Archive for October, 2018

I experienced waking up in the middle of the night because while I dreamed about a class activity that wasn’t in my preparation for the next day, I realized my lesson could be not enough. And so I add up on my lessons at 2 AM.

I experienced going home so late from school, not because of some late-night school programs, but because of a student who wanted to sit me down and ask for a listening ear, because her parents fought and broke platters again; or because his severe anxiety attacks again; because she feels her family and everyone around her doesn’t really care whatever happens to her; because he is being taken over by depression and contemplates on cutting himself again; because his girlfriend thinks he’s too busy for her; because her boyfriend cheated on her for some new student.

I experienced getting a knock in the faculty room to ask if Miss Bekah was there, and when I went out to see the student, she asks, “Miss, busy ka po?” And I remembered swallowing my inner cries for my impending paperwork deadlines and instead told her, “No, what’s the matter, dear?” Those moments took a toll on my sleep, but I never regretted it.

I have tossed and turned at countless nights. I have learned to always push aside my own concerns, my personal struggles, for a student who may need to have a listening ear. A comforting heart. A consoling soul. A kindred spirit. And I never regretted it.

There are decisions in my life I would always find reasons to regret making. But choosing to teach is not one of them. And I hope and pray that every teacher out there would not regret their decisions, too. That they, too, would find joy in what they do.

Happy Teachers Month!

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Pwede Pa Ba?

Posted: October 2, 2018 in Poems
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Pwede pa ba

(Rebecca Plotnick Photography)

 

“Ang tagal na rin ah,” masasambit niya
matapos ang isa, dalawa, tatlong hakbang papalapit.
Malungkot na ngiti, sabay sabi ng, “Oo nga. Matagal na rin.”
Nanginginig na boses. “Kamusta ka na?”
“Okay lang ako.”
At pipigilan niya ang mga patak ng ulan galing sa kanyang mga mata.
Sa wakas, magkakalakas ng loob na sabihin
ang matagal nang hinihintay na marinig.
“Sorry. Sorry talaga.”

Titigil ang puso. “Ano?”

“Sorry kasi umalis ako ng ganon lang.
Sorry sa lahat ng pait at sakit dahil lang akala ko sigurado ako.
Sorry kasi binitiwan at binasag ko ang nag-iisang mahalaga sa’kin,
dahil lang takot akong panghawakan ka.”
At iiyak ang puso niya, pero hindi ang kanyang mga mata.
Matagal nang natuyo’t naglaho ang mga ulap ng luha para sa kanya.
Sa katahimikan, may malungkot na ngiti.
Sa gitna ng maingay na katahimikan
Susubukan niynag magsalita ulit.

“Pwede pa ba?”

Pwede pa ba? Pwede pa nga ba?
Ibababa ang ngiti. Lahat ng bubog, basag, at lamat ng nakaraan
na pilit niyang itinago sa pinakasuluk-sulukang bahagi ng puso
Lahat nagsilabasan, lahat mapanakit na nagbabalik.
Lahat hindi magpakukubli muli. Lahat ay nananakit.

“Anong pwede pa?” tatanungin niya.
“Kung pwede pang manakit ulit?
Kung pwede pang lalong palalalimin ang sugat na naka-ukit?
Kung pwede uling mahawakan ang basong basag na para durugin ulit?
Paki linaw kung alin dyan ang gusto mong maging pwede pa.”

At doon matatahimik siya. Siguro.
Gustong-gustong magsambit ng sumbat.
Gustong-gusto niyang magbitiw ng mga salita
Nang siyang umalis ay mapulaan at masaktan.
Gusto niyang ipagdukdukan at ipagpilitan
Na siya’y nagkamali sa pagbitiw at pag-iwan.
Na siya’y nagkamali sa kanyang paglisan.

Ngunit higit sa lahat gusto niyang patahimikin
Ang tahimik na boses na nagsasabing,

“Pwede pa ba? Pwede pa ba siyang bumalik? Pwede pa bang umulit?”