"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."

Sunday, January 09, 2011

rest in peace, eddie

originally posted as a facebook note on january 7, 2011

it's difficult to comprehend. it's difficult to accept. it's difficult to let things sink in. today, i got reminded how life can be so fleeting.

at first, i wanted to dismiss the information as part of a major, major uhmm bad joke but i quickly realized that, at this day and age, my friends who were born around the same year as I was are already mature enough to know that it's simply not acceptable to joke about someone's demise, more so that of a common friend.

did he get sick? did he figure in an accident? did he kill himself? none of these really made sense as i struggled with the telegraphic bit that our good friend from college days, E.A.S., passed away.

no, not eddie. no, it cannot be. we're supposed to still meet somewhere, somehow... we have a lot of catching up to do. we were happy during our college years. because we had a great time, sometimes, college feels like only yesterday but the reality is this was already years and years ago: even when we stuck it out with physics and eddie did not, he still took time to hang out with us -- in and outside school -- idle talks, billiards/9-ball, house visits, lunch-outs, videoke, halo-halo food trips, joyrides, ping pong!

eddie's not the kind i could easily forget. i remember him for a lot of things...

he's a very talented ping pong player -- we know how he's able to send those table tennis balls a-zooming and can leave them broken with his agility at smashing. he can be such a livewire. the kind of person you learn and laugh a lot with. the kind of friend who lets you shine with your own personality, too.

i remember...

...the iced tea incident during one of our lunch-outs in jy dimsum. we ordered iced tea to go with our sumptuous lunch. we waited, waited, and waited until the girl who took our order eventually came back to request us to cancel our order. we asked why. they didn't have enough number of glasses. tsk. certainly, not one of those very welcome excuses but we recognized the laughable for what it was. we tried to hold back our laughter... we couldn't... hahaha, nahutdag baso!!! major laugh trip. it's one of those things i really could not forget.

...how he cares and how he's protective like a big brother. he tells us in a straight-forward manner to deal with our hair (something like 'panudlay pud oi ') or pulls down the hem of our shirts/blouses to conceal skin or points out what needs to be fixed with our clothes. i'm aware i'm using the present tense. sometimes, it's difficult to write using the past tense.

...he rooted for us, defended us from the people who couldn't get past thinking that we're a bunch of weird (probably boring in their minds, too?) uppity people pursuing a crazy course. he stood by us, remained proud of us.

...i told him out loud, "regardless kung unsa pa ka, i'd still be your friend." he took courage and became more open. he told us about his crushes. haha.

earlier today, i tried to recall the last time that we saw each other. the closest that i could dig up was afternoon of december 29, 2006 (already that long time ago since we last met?) in buhanginan, the hill where our city's seat of government is located.

as part of my january 12, 2007 log, i wrote:

"on our way down sa buhanginan, nakadungog mig nisyagit sa akong pangalan... taymsa! dili ko artista, why shout my name... and then gisyagit sab ang pangalan ni joyce... taymsa!! kaila jud ni nato. si anwar una nakabantay sa amo... si eddie!!! grabe ang coincidence, si eddie nagsakay ug pa-city hall na jeep kay paadto siya sa comelec. and since mga talakitoks man ming tanan, napanaog namo ang eddie gikan sa jeep and temporarily na-set aside iyang tuyo sa comelec (magkuha sa iyang manghod). so there... although dali lang pud mi nagkakamustahan, nagpicture-picture and all (what is, gataligsik biya and naa mi uban nga bata)... lingaw."

december 29, 2006: val, joyce, eddie, anwar at the foot of buhanginan

one paningkamot shot | our tripod: a box of oven toaster

eddie was wearing his uniform. he came from work and was on his way to the local comelec office to fetch his younger brother who went there for voter's registration. when he saw our small group from the jeepney that he was riding on, he called out. we were walking down the hill when we heard my name and, then, joyce's name. eddddddiiiiiiiieeeeeeee!!!

instead of going straight to where he was supposed to go down, eddie, in his very neat uniform, went down the jeep and shared a few precious moments with us. yes, precious. very. i didn't know that was the last time we'd have our pictures taken together.

at around 2am today, january 7, 2011, somebody shot him dead.

i remember him expressing that he didn't want people to be sad when it's his time to go -- that people should be happy, celebrating life, drinking wine instead of crying but... with what happened, how his life was snuffed just like that, we can't help but be sad.

we used to plan of having V.E.N., our "someday" project back then. it's a resto-bar to be owned by me, him, and naoms. i just realized that "someday" is already knocking at our "now" and the man who took his life also took away our younger selves' dream. V.E.N. would not be V.E.N with eddie gone. :(


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