Ibong Adarna and the Chronicles of Memories

They were waving at me as I continue my walking. They smiled, like it was the best smiles I have ever seen from them. It was so vivid that I almost imagined that dream was real. But I just don't know if those were of hello's or goodbye's.

I dreamed of walking last night. In a lengthy, and straight road I found myself wandering through the course of it. Along with it, I found the memories of the past, imparting the people by the roadside who came and went away in my life.

I was eleven when I entered high school. And high school introduced me the concept of 'jungle' in the pool of human beings. It was, and will always be.

The Chronicles of Berbanya. Like graphite on paper, some memories do fade. 

One of the most memorable memories I had in high school is the "Ibong Adarna". We had the play of it for our Filipino subject. There are 40 students in the class, and 28 of it were girls. We belong to the Special Science Class where the scarcity of males is very prominent. If that is so, I do not know why. The story needs at least four male characters to be ran on a sensible storyline. But our group had only three. So the one very lucky girl in our group played the role of Don Fernando, the father. I played the role of Don Diego, the second son, like the 'middle' sibling in real life. Gerard Jake played the role of the youngest don, Juan and James Al as Pedro.

We had three months to prepare, that includes rewriting the script, designing the costumes and setting what we all need, and all others. James Al wrote the script. It was very poetic that I admired his writing. I see it as a 'good' one. I once suspected him that he had just copied it from another's work or  made somebody write it for us. But I was wrong. He is just plain genius and that made me hoard the original manuscript of it, written in an Aspen Notes with Paula Peralejo on the cover by a pencil. I guess that just made Paula very lucky enough.

Gerard Jake, one of the little things I know about him is that he is the youngest male in the family, has a premature birth (like me), and who was always being accompanied and fetched by his father via Nissan pickup. He was a spoiled son. I know it, and I know why. Like James Al, he too does well in academics, especially Science, and History. I remember him being my greatest competitor in Science and History Quiz Bees in Elementary. Yeah, that small, groggy, but smart guy.

These two boys have taught me a lot of things (bad ones included). In those three months of preparations, we always have Saturdays and/or Sundays to rehearse and plan out the play. When other main casts were unable to attend, rehearsals were thwarted. But that didn't let us to spoil the fun. We would hold rehearsals either, on James Al's house, Gerald Jake's or in the warehouse near Kristine's flat. Kristine is the Don Fernando by the way.

During the postponed practice sessions, James Al would teach me how to play football in their neighbor's house. I remember when I wiped out their neighbor's bamboo fence for an 'uncontrolled' kick. Because of that, he would always tell me that I should be a goalie first, so that I could have a familiar connection with the ball. Well, in good considerations, James Al is a football varsity player in high school, aside from being the Editor-in-Chief of our English School Paper, and the SSG President. Beyond that, he is still humble, but proud. I think of him as a would-be football superstar in the future, if not because of his illness. He gave up the sport. I did too when the Azkals came into the limelight and changed the perspective of the football as a sport of discipline into a girl's weekend show. But I think Azkals are good anyway.

Gerard Jake gave me the idea of 'cyber world'. Plus, we would always play Play Station, either in their house, or in a PS House --- with James Al. Vigilante, Metal Slug, Marvel versus Capcom, Crash Team Racing, Strikers 1945, etc. . . too many to mention, plus anime too! He always end up getting bullied by James Al (and I, occasionally) yet he is not ''pikon" (I want to preserve that word). He is always on the top ten in the class, and I don't wonder why.

Our brotherhood didn't end up even after that play project. It grew and we even recruited the rest of the males in the class. And we call that 'gang' as Spiders, which of course gave birth for our female counterparts, like Capulets.

All of those good memories were meant to cherish, reminisce, and re-read, just like how the way I hoard the manuscript of Ibong Adarna in my recollection box.

It has been almost six years since I last saw them. That was during our high school graduation, April 5, 2006. Over the years, I tried to search for them on Multiply, Facebook, Twitter, and even in Google (if they maintain blogs like this one) but to no avail. I have only befriended them virtually, on friendster. And its shut down on 'socializing' feature made me terribly sad. I wasn't able to resuscitate portraits of smiles that last longer to the eyes.

The last news I heard about them is that they both pursued their education at UP Diliman. James Al qualified for a program in Political Science, and Gerard Jake in Civil Engineering. That was the last time I heard stories about them.

In the story, Don Juan was, and always the one who was desired to be lost among the three brothers. Don Pedro, although alive couldn't find his way back to Berbanya. Diego has set up his way to the kingdom and thus married Princess Juana. He was very happy and contented. But there's always a space in his life that he has always been missing, and he is awfully wanting it back, at least in some point. 

The story concludes with a double marriage, of Don Juan's and Don Pedro's, and once again brought tranquility and happiness to the kingdom. Everybody was very happy.

Now, I shall end this entry with a smile, and without worry. Perhaps, I'll meet them soon, at the crossroads. For now, happy trails to them, wherever they are.


  1. This made me sad in an instant. Because of this, I sent msgs to my hs friends in facebook.

  2. @Andrew: Hi there Kuya! Thanks for visiting. :)

  3. this is good. i'd like to day you write better in english than in filipino kaso ito pa lang ang english mo na nabasa ko so it might be too early to say. keep it up kid.

  4. Thank you my friend! Hey, you've been everywhere and I wanna thank you for inspiring me first day of this year. Thanks for all the comments!


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