Noong nakaraang dekada

Dati, tamad na tamad akong magbasa. Maliban sa Ibong Adarna, Florante at Laura, Noli Me Tangere, at El Filibusterismo at laksa-laksang "required" readings noong high school, hindi na ako nagbabasa ng iba pa. Wala na akong alam bukod sa mga awtor na nirerequire ni titser. Itong Dekada '70 ni Lualhati Bautista ang unang nobelang natapos ko nang buo; yung hindi ko dadayain ang sarili ko na lagpasan ang ibang pahina. Ang sarap palang magbasa. At mula noon, hindi na ako tumigil sa pagbabasa.


No one is apolitical

"The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the beans, the fish, the flour, the rent, the shoes and the medicine, all depend on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst of all thieves, the bad and corrupted politician, lackey of the national and multinational companies."
--- Bertolt Brecht
Para sa sikat na manunulat na nagsabing "Huwag ikulong ang mga manunulat sa pulitika." at dapat na maging "apolitical" diumano.


The 'Humble Toy' Story

Tuesday, I woke up late because I do not need to rush myself. "I'll be off to school by lunch." I sighed. As I exit our yard I saw my father's tricycle, (it was a motorcycle with a sidecar, for foreign readers, in any case). Dust, cobwebs, and dried leaves from a nearby Narra tree are scattered in its couch. No one ever dared to clean it. Sort of.  I couldn't remember the last time I drove that. Maybe it was 2010, oh, two years ago. Perhaps because my two elder brothers have their own motorcycles too, and maybe because I do not own a licence.
I waited for the bus for about fifteen minutes. I was giving a watch to it. But before the bus came, Mama went home for lunch. I am disturbed by that idea. Mother does not go home for lunch since my father has died in 2008. But today was different. She arrived with three men. Two of them are familiar to me. They are engaged in a tricycle buy-and-sell business. The other one must be the prospective client. Mother has pronounced weeks ago that she has this plan of selling father's tricycle. "No one uses it anyway." She said. Nobody in the family replied during that dinner.
It was a 1993 Honda TMX 155 Model, equipped with a Stainless Steel sidecar, which is kinda rare today. The motor costs P90,ooo; sidecar is P30,000. Imagine that value in 1993. Father was very careful with his humble toy. He would get angry if his sons would sit on its fuel tank. He doesn't want us to dent it, or damage it in any way. He succeed but not with the discoloration of its stickers which is inevitable --- I presume.