One early morning the other day as I was having my coffee at our veranda, I heard the loud voice of one of our senior neighbors who, as usual, was doing his walking exercise with two other elderly street mates of mine. I imagined he was frothing at the mouth and I could instantly deduce what he was fuming about: the controversial viral clip of an individual portraying Jesus in a drag outfit while singing a punk rock version of the “Lord’s Prayer.”
I have been watching crime investigation documentaries lately and I find some of them engrossing because it keeps my mind working. It’s just like putting together 100 tiny pieces of a big picture puzzle. But what I have noted is that when investigators would talk to people near the crime scene, the common response is: I didn’t see anything unusual or I didn’t hear anything out of the normal.
I was watching “Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini the other day and I was amused that in spite of the somber spirit of tragic opera, the famous composer was able to insert 3 stock figures straight from Italian Commedia dell’arte named Ping, Pang and Pong in a drama set in ancient China where there were no such characters in that country’s theatrical tradition.
A supposedly mature lawmaker unabashedly sheds tears in public like a little boy accused of misdemeanor in class. Another legislator casually clips or grooms his mustache while conducting a public hearing, even as video cameras are documenting the proceedings. A pastor-leader of a religious community exalts himself to high heavens with all kinds of conjured divine titles, claiming to have supernatural powers.
IN the early ’90s, I was offered by an American company to work in the United States in the field of educational media. It didn’t come with a lucrative salary but it was a dream job because it was right down my area of expertise and experience. But when I learned that I couldn’t bring my wife and two children with me, I had second thoughts and I turned it down. I never heard from them again, so I guess somebody else got the contract.
It’s been seven years since Irene, my son’s wife, died of metastatic cancer and like we usually do, our small family went to visit the crypt where her ashes are kept. We realize that we still miss her, in the same measure that we still miss all the deceased loved ones in our family, most specially those who’ve gone too soon like Irene.
Last May, in the wake of her passing, video clips of the great Tina Turner performing “Proud Mary” went viral, and hearing it rekindled my lifelong interest in the songwriter behind the song and the band that performed it first—John Fogerty and his band Creedence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty who? You’ll probably say.
He was late and as soon as he sat down, his very first words were: “Can’t stay long, got to go by 2, pards.” The three of us who did not mind waiting looked at our old friend with dismay, silently expressing what was all in our minds: “You’ve just arrived, why the hurry? Besides this meet-up happens only once a year.”
One early morning, over cups of coffee, my wife and I had a talk about our young grand kids. She was worried about what would happen to them in the future after we’re long gone. I tried to assuage her anxieties, telling her they will manage on their own. After all, I said, look at us now; we found a way to cope somehow.
Just a few days ago, my wife and I learned about a distant relative who has just been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Of course, his close-knit family vowed to help him fight it. But the sad truth is that it is he alone who will have to go through this excruciating ordeal. No one will be able take his place and suffer the physical, mental and emotional agony and pain of someone afflicted with cancer.