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They say deaths make you realize how valuable life is and makes you want to live it more. But this one made me angry at the world on how cruelly and harshly it cuts people you love off the planet with no explanation whatsoever.

The first time I saw Alexis was when I was to interview him in Coffee Bean in Morato for a paper for my feature writing class. We needed to do a piece on anyone interesting and Quark suggested him. I was nervous as hell, given the credentials Quark provided me. During the interview however, he would not even let me pay for his drink. He turned out to be one of the least intimidating powerful people I've met. He was such a gentleman; soft-spoken, yet everything he said meant so much and you could see the passion in his eyes with every word.

The last time I saw him was a couple of months ago, when I was quietly reading a book in the open area outside Starbucks ABS-CBN. Some guy sat in front of me and said my name. I looked up and saw him. He said "I didn't recognize you because of your shades! You look like an artista! What are you reading?" I grin and show him Rant. We talked for awhile until he said he had to go back in Starbucks because Nika was there. He giddily told me she has moved here already and is living with him. Someone has told me that before but I said something along the lines of "Woah, big step. It must be looove."

Cut to now when that big move rooted off love for cinema and each other has resulted into a stupid criminal act. The lover of crime that I am could not fathom something as gruesome as this happening to people I know. When I found out that damned morning, my grandmother's 80th birthday, I had to endure a morning of faking smiles and being kind to all these grandparents still alive, some of them kicking. I went back to the room my mom and I shared in the hotel and I cried to her for the first time. She actually remembered Alexis since I showed her his recent appearance with Caparas on that ANC show. We were both ranting about Caparas and she referred to Alexis as "Yung gwapo."

As most of us have done, I've looked through the internet for every source of writing or information and tribute on him. I read my own LiveJournal though and found a locked entry that crushed my heart. It was my very very personal piece on my so-called alcoholism back in senior year college. I posted it 4:53am and he was the first to comment.

_fiction_ wrote:
Mar. 23rd, 2006 04:55 am (local)
tara, sama ka bukas, inom tayo

adiohead wrote:
Mar. 23rd, 2006 05:03 am (local)
oh just when i was about to lock the comments! haha.
oh.
oh.
i know you're kidding but really don't know what to say so i won't say anything after this.
=)

_fiction_ wrote:
Mar. 23rd, 2006 05:11 am (local)
oh, no we have that judging/jury deliberation thing tomorrow with ed cabagnot and jason jacobo in manila around 8. bernice is going. come!

adiohead wrote:
Mar. 23rd, 2006 05:14 am (local)
oh. that's tomorrow? haha. ackkk, in manila?! in ccp? i'll see.. manila eh!

pinainom kami dati ni sir ed ng lambanog inside his office. =)

_fiction_ wrote:
Mar. 23rd, 2006 11:27 am (local)
pinainom kayo ni ser ed ng lambanog sa office? sino kayo? delikado yun ah! ...

lol. not to take pleasure in your sorrow, but your entry was very well written and your honesty moving. you have a nice brother. you can do it adiohead! alcohol not important. may tiwala ako sayo. :)

adiohead wrote:
Mar. 23rd, 2006 11:14 pm (local)
yeah he did. it was kinda weird drinking inside a ccp office... haha, it was me and two other lfc guys, bono and jonats.

wow.. if that's you taking pleasure in my sorrow then i wouldn't mind at all! =) haha, thanks thanks. such flattering words to hear from a person like you!



He took pleasure in my sorrow by saying my very private piece filled with college angst was well-written. (I have been having a hard time writing again but after reading that again that I think I'd get back to it. ) I’m taking pleasure in the legacy that he has left behind, in the goodness that he has imparted to anyone who’s ever met him, and in the way that he has changed a lot of our lives even without knowing him so much. I hope justice will be served.

When I was just a little girl.

My Lolo Dad would sing to me 'Que Sera, Sera'.  It'd be playing on the record player in the living room and tiny Adi in a frilly dress would dance around the living room with him as I attempt singing my toddler version of the song.  There was a year my dad studied abroad and my mom went with him, leaving me with my grandparents for an entire year.  They permed my hair and showed me off to all of their friends, proud of the fact that I could spell Duck.  "D-U-C-K duck."  Never mind that I'd spell dog the same way (as in "D-U-C-K dog!") 

Eventually Lolo Dad retired from the Central Bank Of the Philippines and his daily life became primarily comprised of renting horror B-movies in Betamax from his suki in Greenhills.  He'd buy me soft serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, the one in the middle of the old Virra Mall, and then we'd go home and watch the movies together in his bedroom while he chain-smokes right next to me.  I do not even remember the title of all those movies.  I just remember him fast-forwarding the parts with naked women, and playing it just in time for the blood and gore, virgin sacrifices included.  A restless kid of four, when he's just watching the news or anything uninteresting for a kid, I'd go outside play with my cousins; but I'd always come back to Lolo Dad after.  Too many times my parents would just carry me asleep from his bed, up to my bedroom because we'd watch the nightly local horror movies shown on some local channel back then and then drift off to sleep next to each other.

He spoiled me, alright.  I was the eldest kid of his youngest, arguably his favorite offspring.  The only time I remember him getting angry at me was when I taped 'No Smoking' signs that I drew all over the house where he would smoke everywhere; and then stole his pack of Salems from under his pillow and painstakingly removed the tobacco off each cigarette and replaced it with cotton and put it back under his pillow.  He forgave me quick though.  Whenever he'd come home from a vacation in the States, I'd have a whole balikbayan box of pasalubong.  He gave me fancy sneakers, a huge Barbie head where I could practice hairstyling and make up, Barbie trailers and houses with furniture and cars that Barbie and Ken can actually ride and play house in, a cute cute Little Tykes fridge complete with ice trays and fake food inside, among many, many other material things.

Seeing as he'd be in bed all day chain-smoking, reading me jokes off the newspaper; and at night having a few beers then sleeping late watching movies with me, he one day got a stroke.  He recovered eventually, his movement restricted to the living-room-turned-his-bedroom.  He'd still be there watching movies and reading the paper, telling me about interesting crimes and the jokes that he'd read off it.  As I entered late grade school, I had more things to do and spent less time with him.  A few days before his second stoke though, he asked me if I still remember us singing 'Que Sera, Sera.'  I smiled and said yes.  But I was a tweener then and I hardly gave it any thought.  And then he got into his second stroke which pretty much turned him into a vegetable for months and wouldn't recognize most of us anymore when we'd visit.  A few days before he died, during my ritualistic goodbye kiss to a grandfather who would not even know who I was, he held me tighter and longer and mumbled something that resembled "Thank you."

I was so stunned because he’d rarely speak so I didn’t get to say anything.  I got teary-eyed on the way home, but kept my tears to myself because I was thirteen then and teenagers do not cry.  It was the same case when he died a week later.  I simply sat at the foot of his bed and would look at him with no concrete emotion, and touch his foot just so I could say that I touched a dead human being.

Years later, I find myself crying my eyes out about Lolo Dad and how much I miss being a child primarily because I miss hanging out with him.  Aside from the toy fridge I still use as storage of accessories and liquor,  all the other memories of him exist merely in my head and in pictures.  Almost all of myself, he unknowingly built like colored Lego blocks during the course of our relationship.  He made me who I am now – a morbid (occasional) prude with a fascination for the uncanny and a notorious imagination; with a weird weird sense of humor, who enjoys a couple of beers every night; and who from loving second-hand smoke evolved into smoking as well.  I love movies, B-movies, zombies, vampires, aliens.  I thrive in horror, fucked up, palpitation-inducing thrillers; and this time I’m old enough to sit through the entire things.  I have grown to love movies to the point that I enjoy being a part of writing, planning, organizing, and basically, making them also.

At twenty-three with my childhood behind me, and the rest of my life ahead, I remember my favorite verse of the song.  

When I was just a child in school, I asked my teacher what should I try.

Should I take pictures?  Should I sing songs? 

This was her wise reply - Que sera, sera. 

Whatever will be will be.  The future’s not ours to see. 

Que sera, sera.

 

I don’t take pictures, professionally at least.  I’d want to sing songs.  I make music videos.  I make shorts.  I write.  I make AVPs.  I produce.  I manage.  I plan things and make them happen.  I organize.  I arrange.  I do damage control.  I do PR when I have to.  I doodle.  I swim.  I dream of owning a beach resort and living there.  I dream of being an underwater photographer and being one with the ocean and its entire ecosystem.  I wonder what I still could be.  Moreover, I wonder if Lolo Dad’s proud of me. 

I wonder if he knew when he passed away or if he knows now how much memories of him I treasure more than any other thing in my life – more than my first kiss, more than supposed unforgettable out of town trips with friends, and more than my Ateneo education.  I cherish more from Lolo Dad.

He'd play ‘Que Sera, Sera.’  The future’s not ours to see.  I worry constantly if I’m doing the right thing and going the right way; if I should give a shit that I AM doing the right thing and if I am even supposed to know what the right way is; if people think I’m doing the right thing; and if I should even give a shit about what people think.  He taught me about acceptance of the things you can’t change.  Things fall into place eventually.  If they’re scattered all over, I suppose that’s not it yet.  That’s the fun part of the future methinks.  You just don’t know what it holds because whatever will be, will be.

Lolo Dad, thank you.  I love you.  Your chain-smoking next to little me pretty much locked my smoking fate right then and there.  Maybe I’ll see you in heaven’s Lung Cancer Club.  I owe you a warm, warm hug when I see you in another plane. For some reason, I can't wait.

Talking to brother over YM.

adi.: ano yung nilalagay mo sa scars para mawala?
ace lopez: terramycin
ace lopez: it doesn't remove the emotional scars though...


Yeah.  I miss my brother.  I miss my sister ALOT.  I have moved out of the house you see.  Out of the house for over two weeks now.  About a week ago, moved into The Nuthouse somewhere in the east of this metro.  I miss my siblings, but it makes seeing them and talking to them over YM even sweeter.

My new room is slightly bare.  And it's costing me quite a lot to furnish even with only the necessary things.  I was really excited to get myself curtains and the carpet thing though.  My curtains are orange and green and my carpet thing is gray.  Pretty.  I'm using an electric fun, something I have not had in my old room in ages because it really does make me feel sick whenever I wake up.  There must be a rational explanation to that somewhere but it's not like there's a cure to it so I won't bother finding out.  The summer heat is lethal but it makes me sweat so it must be some form of exercise.

I miss my little fort under my bed.  But somehow here I feel like I can survive without my TV and cable and DVD player and aircon and little fort under my bed and my bed for that matter because I'd still like to associate that with my home with meh family.  And well also because here we have a 40-inch HD flat screen and surround sound.  (This is a post-house, you see.) 

Our fridge is full of all kinds of cheesesss, ice cream and other random food and random alcohol.  I cook sometimes, not also for the maids now, but for my housemates and the overflowing droppers by.  There's no one cleaning up after me, and it makes me feel like a cleaner, more domesticated person.  Really.  Fun.  And ohmygod I have my clothes laundered but although my housemates are saying it's normal to have my underwear laundered by other people, I still feel awkward about having strangers wash them so I will eventually have to wash them myself GASP.  And they are piling up.

Maui and Odin are editing the Yosha video downstairs.  (This is a post-house, you see.)  Mackie is coming over with more alcohol in a bit to see the Angulo video.  It's funny how from insanely whatthefuck, your life takes a turn for the unimaginably good.  Insanely whatthefuck and unimaginable may be the same thing, but it's all just a matter of how you look at things.

Oh, look at me preach.

I'm twenty-three now, but will I live to see twenty-four?  With the way things are going, I'd like to.

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