Questions of a Vigilant Soul

My Symphony: Fix You by Coldplay

Apparently, my promised week-long leave is now officially over. I believe I have finally put all my brain cells back together once again to be able to do what I do—blog. Yes, everyone. I am back in online writing. And as promised, I’m working my ass off now in telling you the overall spill of my very own version of Halloween (Pardon the A word, people. It’s an idiom. Who cares? Haha).

So you see, before, when I’m still stuck as the same old boy who contents himself in simply being with family and relatives in the memorial park as we commemorate our deceased loved ones while eating a bunch of good stuff, I was actually the type who simply sits down and watch all the other teenagers make All Soul’s Day a little bit similar to the casual let-us-go-watch-movie kind of fad. I could clearly see that they tend to forget and defeat the true sense and purpose of celebrating the All Soul’s Day on the first place. In fact, there were even times when I was really irritated. I never seemed to be minding my own business in the cemetery years ago. I gaze at people, observe what they do, criticize the way they behave and piss myself off with all their good-for-nothing superficiality. But since at one point of our lives, we are blessed to change so unpredictably, I was able to get over my self-destructively odd vigilance and just concentrate on finding ways on how I could make my Halloween a little more unique.

So I asked myself. How could I make my Halloween one of a kind? I stopped thinking. I grabbed a glass of ice-cold water from my uncle’s cooler, reached for a couple of Napoleones and sat down on a wide blue carpet which I myself had spread the very minute we arrived at The Bacolod Memorial. In a span of seconds, I noticed that the sky grew darker. I could no longer see the clear clouds and the colorful birds that had flown in freedom. I was able to feel the wind starting to grow even chillier and creepier enough that it made me pull the little blanket from across the bed sheet. Some more time passed and I found that I was no longer sitting—I was lying down with my eyes fixated to the starry evening sky. What’s hilariously peculiar was that if it happened that you were right in front of me at that strange moment, you’d be able to see how I looked just the way I did everytime I go to bed when I was just four years old. I am pretty sure that that time, I was able to yield the face of an innocent little kid, wondering of so many things and very eager to discover what’s behind the inanimate objects he sees. And everything was just sane and timid. Even though it was undeniably dark, the image I saw in the skies was a vivid photograph of both life and death. Oh yeah! Life and death—the things I really wanted to talk to you about.

I mentioned a while ago that I was like a child beneath the covers of his soft bed, looking at the ceiling as he tries to understand things he never really could. Only that, in my case, I was staring at the heavens that had given me the impression of something weird and striking. The first question that popped in my head was this: Why do people celebrate All Soul’s Day? I took a sip from my glass and then suddenly I had an answer: People celebrate All Soul’s Day because they are amazed by the fact that they get to reunite with their friends and family at the cemetery, eat snacks and spend the night in the place. Wait, no! That’s shallow. People don’t really celebrate All Soul’s Day. I think All Soul’s Day is not celebrated on the first place. It is more like venerated and memorialized; thus, those people who give November 1 a room for sanctity and tranquility are those who venerate and memorialize All Soul’s Day. On the other hand, those who fancy the mere snacks and chats are those who celebrate All Soul’s Day. Therefore, I think I had with me a wrong question to the right answer.

“What happens if people stop ‘celebrating’ All Soul’s Day?” was the next question that had entered my asking brain. My answer was this: If people stop “celebrating” this day, it only means that they are not really hungry for snacks and chit-chats. I admit I was a little harsh on this one.

After the second question bugged my mind, I remember that I sighed for several times, quit thinking for a while and listened to a couple of songs in Therese’s mp3. Afterwhich, I went back to the whole thinking craze.

Naturally, I expected that the third question would simply come my way in short notice since I had with me two questions in a matter of minutes without even looking for them. But after waiting a little more, I grew tired. I grew tired of waiting for the third question that’d help me kill time. I turned to my right and I saw an R.I.P. sign. I turned to my left and I was able to spot a bouquet of funeral flowers. I looked straight ahead and I observed that just in that cemetery, there were already countless of corpse lying six feet under the ground. Right then and there, it submerged to me that the third question didn’t really exist.

But the third answer sure does exist…

I realized that one of these days, I will become one of those people who are buried under the green grass I walk on. I realized that though humanity is divided into two very different faces, the richness and fame of Beverly Hills and the slums of Tajikistan, one day will come when everyone will be equal without any partiality  Look at the trisikad driver and the president of the United States. The first thing that will enter your mind is how opposite their lives are from each other’s. The president of the US having only the finest beverages ever manufactured, being able to dine in only the best 5-star restaurants from all over the world and getting a salary which is more than enough, and the trsikad driver, who can barely eat three times a day getting an income which is hardly enough to buy a cup of coffee for breakfast. This is the ugly truth which some of our less-fortunate brothers and sisters have to painfully take. Humans are not born equally. But let me add another general truth to that…

Humans are not born with equality, but they all die equally.

The trisikad driver who scarcely gets a mere nine-peso salary a day and the president who complains about how his cappuccino isn’t served hot with hazelnut toppings will both be stuck rotten thousands of meters under the ground one day. One day, we will all realize that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.

I bet the trisikad driver is having more genuine fun than the president right now, huh?

Well, that was how I spent my All’s Soul’s Day. Just take a close look at how unique it had been, having had observed not just a bunch of teenagers, but a bunch of life.


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