Friday, November 02, 2007

of ashes and bones..


my recollection about "kalag-kalag" (commemoration of all the faithful departed in our local dialect ) always been a picture of our clan gathering in cempark. my grand lola, uncle and aunties, then my cousins.. it is sort of reunion together with the belief of spending some time with our departed love ones. me and my brothers usually gather candle wax then boil it in a cap of cola then put a sacrificial ant on it. it will blaze itself and crrrssh! we call it "santilmo". lately, we haven't done that since most of our relatives either migrated somewhere or we just simply visit the cemetery on our own. we never had the chance to meet up since we simply bring flowers, lit some candles and then--in my case, mutter a prayer that usually end up talking to my aunt. she's one of closest auntie. and i grew up knowing she's beautiful and brilliant. but she died at early age due to cancer and undeniably, of broken heart.


lately i passed by three cemeteries. Olango, Sta. Fe and Danao.

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chai, russ and i pass through mounds of sea sands at one of the site in Olango cemetery. its like anthills, it just that it has wooden cross (engraved on it is the name of the departed, date of birth and death) thrust into the end of the mound. it's my first time to see a sort of landscape full of mini hills where dead are buried. one of the mounds, the three of us noticed that some of bone fragments can be visibly observed on the convex. i don't know if it gives justice to the dead but for me i like to see how the bone turned chalky white as it has been washed by the rain, bleached by the sun then breath on sea breeze. as Russ and I somehow agree, that these dead people are definitely lucky, being buried near the seashore, where their soul will always be cradled by the undying lullaby of the sea..

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during my visit in my hometown last month, i smile seeing rows of yellow bells shrubs , as the truck passed by along the sta.fe-bantayan highway. sweet scent and the fresh morning dew blow on my face as we speed on. although its not related but i found myself humming "tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree, its been three long years, do u still want me.." then all of the sudden the yellow bells are nowhere to be seen.. it replaced by mango trees, coconut palms then some bougainvilleas. hoping to see another row of yellow bells but instead i saw an open cemetery. i noticed that it has no gate or whatsoever boundary that enclosed the graveyard form the street. its so open and so inviting---it cringe the hell out of me!

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last night, i manage to be with Julio and visit his departed father in Danao cemetery. last year, he spent his "all soul's day" with me, when we went to cempark. so now we're even. i carry the flower that he arranged for his father while he brought the metallic painted candles, customized capiz tea lights and river stones that we're going to use to adorn their ancestral tomb. i failed to go back to Cebu city where i suppose to be on duty, i'm just damn tired to do so. my absence on the floor will make my premium and double pay on that night vanish like a wisp of smoke. but again, im too tired to care for that.

the moment we arrived at Julio's ancestral tomb, we arranged the flower, the river stones and the candles. once everything are put into place we just smile to each other, then he knock on his father's lapida (as to give reverence) and he said:

"Pa, naa akong uyab.."

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If time shows unkind to me, and if i shall outlive my significant other in the future. i will carry the urn of my beloved and walk towards the untainted part of a river. I will scatter some of the ashes on the flowing water and let the current carry his ashes through the sea and unto the ocean. thinking, that the sun will gather some of his remains into a cloud and when it rains---i will dance and be soaked by his presence...

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