"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


in many of my dreams, i do nothing but wait. for what? it is not clear to me. all i know is that i do nothing but wait.

i see myself staying near the door, waiting. for what? i do not know. i see myself near the door, squatting, curled hands pressed to my cheeks, waiting.

i see myself waiting and waiting and waiting. nothing's coming, nobody's coming, nothing's happening. still, i wait and wait and wait.

in my dreams, there i am, a younger version of me, staying near the door, waiting, every inch of me a picture of a hopeful kid.

why such recurring dreams? why by the door? why wait? the answers to the questions led me back to my childhood.

i used to think that i was a mama's girl, but mama could not agree. she says i grew up being papa's girl, and believes i will forever be. mama says that early on i was closer to papa than i was to her. i would have not believed her had she not recounted the times when i used to stubbornly spend time by the door waiting for papa to come home...

papa went away.

"dili man to mobalik imong papa (your papa's not coming back)," was what other people in our house told me.

"taka lang man mo! mobalik man si papa, ingon gud s'ya sa ako beh. (you're wrong! papa's coming back, he told me so.)," i'd answer back. even as a kid, i was like that.

"dili lagi. hawa na dinha sa purtahan, gaali ka sa dalan, lamokon gyud ka dinha. dili pa to mouli imong papa. (no, he really won't. move away from the door, you're blocking the way, and the mosquitos will bite you. your papa's not coming home yet.)"

conversations like this went on for days and days. there i was... always opting to play, eat, stand, sit and talk near the door... always hopeful that papa would come home. for days and days, he never did.

"nakalimtan naka sa imong papa. dili na to mobalik. (your papa has forgotten you. he will not come back.)"

"dili man na tinuod. inyo lang man ko gibinuangan. ingon s'ya mobalik s'ya! (that's not true. you're just fooling me. he said he's gonna come back!)

i trusted papa. i believed him when he said he'd be back. i tried to be a good girl while he was away because that's what he asked me to do, and i spent days and days waiting for him by the door.

he finally came home one day and proved me right. i was so happy, i finally left the door. he was away for a month because he had to take his civil engineering licensure exam in manila, a place so far away from his family, his wife, his son, and his daughter who was then his baby.

now that mama made me remember that part of my childhood, i no longer get puzzled by my dreams of waiting near the door. i now understand why it's papa who's always been the one who gives me counsel, the one who dons my medals during graduation, the one who waits up for me whenever i decide to go home late at night, the one whom i immediately sought for comfort when a firecracker blew up while i was curiously handling it, the one who went to the principal's office when parents were called by my high school to settle a class mischief that got blown out of proportion, the one who held a badly-shaken-me after i got dragged by a speeding motorcycle, the one who stayed up late with me when i needed help for my projects and art entries... i now understand why, even after he spanked me so hard with his leather belt and got nasty-looking welts more than 15 years ago, i still look up to him.

mama's right. i'm papa's girl. maybe that's the primary reason why i prefer being called val. (hehehe. i like the fact that papa and i share the same nickname. even if the time comes for me to change my family name, i'm assured that i'd still have his nickname. *winks*)


  1. i adore my dad! always and forever a daddy's girl! back to the real world eh? hehe

    originally posted on 01.05.05 - 12:57 pm using Haloscan comment board

  2. I guess that makes me a mummy's boy then

    That was a nice story, btw. I was thinking it was going to end with him not coming back. I'm glad it had a happy ending

    originally posted on 01.05.05 - 8:49 pm using Haloscan comment board

  3. Aww! At first, I thought your Dad didn't come back until now. Hehe! I thought this post will show your anger or pains or your Dad. Hehe! Silly me! The story is really interesting!

    Two thumbs up Miss Caterpillar! =)

    originally posted on01.06.05 - 12:35 am using Haloscan comment board

  4. nice story.

    another papa's girl here! but, like you, i'm very close to my mom as well.

    originally posted on 01.06.05 - 1:01 pm using Haloscan comment board


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