Tearful Friday

PENPOINT - Ryan Mark () - November 2, 2005 - 12:00am
October 28 was definitely an emotionally exhausting day for me. I started shedding tears as early as 10am while watching the finale of Kuya Boy's weeklong birthday special on "Homeboy." Then I cried again as I viewed after lunch "Bethesda," a moving and powerful movie written and directed by Gina Marissa Tagasa. By past 11pm, I got teary eyed again over the climax of "Dubai." The hours between the two movies had me thinking over my chances of getting into heaven as I attended the 5:30pm mass at the Basilica Del Sto. Niño, in which the celebrant differentiated the apostle from the disciple. Gosh, it was a heartbreaking day indeed. Fortunately, I was with a friend whom I have a crush on for almost a year now. We heard mass together, had dinner, then he treated me at Starbucks before finally watching "Dubai" at SM Cinema. So yes, it was a tearful day, but it had a touch of thrill. What thrilled me the most was the fact that he was the first guy who went to hear mass with me at the Sto. Niño.

Still, I was a crybaby last Friday. I'm not afraid to admit it because it's just normal. For me, crying makes me stronger. It is through it that we're able to release our innermost sentiments, angst, pain, frustration and disappointment. So when our eyes run dry, we feel lightness and relief. There are times when I shed tears before the mirror. I love to see my face as I try to figure out where and what I did wrong. I seldom cry though, maybe five times a year. Promise!

When Kuya Boy in his parting statement last Friday thanked the people who helped him become what he is today, I was suddenly teary-eyed. But it was out of happiness for seeing a man, who at the peak of his career, giving credit to where it is due. Then he went on to mention his beloved "nanay" and how much he loves his mother - it was at that point that I really cried. I was able to relate to Kuya Boy. I suddenly missed my very own mother.

Don't get me wrong, I love my father too, but it's different with my mama. She was the first to accept me for what I am. Never did she hurt me for being gay. Oh yes, there were times when she confronted me about the boys linked to me in my teen days. I explained and she believed me. My mother listens and understands, but she never fails to come up with a firm stand on any issue at hand. When parents scold us, they don't mean to hurt or control us. They just want to show us the right way, concerned at what we'd become in the future. The good thing about my family is that there is always freedom to express, think and act as long as you're responsible for the consequences.

I thought that after that "Homeboy" episode, I would stop being sentimental. After having a good laugh over the antics of Vic Sotto, particularly his "si ano, inano ni ano" jokes, in Bulagaan, I remembered that I had to finish watching "Bethesda" because I had to return it to good friend and Banat reporter Edwin Melecio the following day. Edwin had warned me to prepare handkerchiefs when viewing it.

Bethesda is a village where people, who are cured of leprosy, try to start a new life. One of them is Liway who ran away from home because nobody loves her because of her ailment. She was full of hatred. Her brother, who was the only one who protected and loved her, was sentenced to years of imprisonment for stabbing to death somebody who burned her shanty. So she had nowhere to go to but the "Tala Leprosarium." Liway, who could not forgive the people who hurt her, questioned the will of God.

Now, here came a man who wanted to make a documentary out of the people in Bethesda. As a battered child, he too had his own story to tell. He could not forgive his father until he met Liway who, by that time, was already at peace with God. She discovered the meaning of life through the Holy Bible sent to her by her brother. The ending was very dramatic. The man hurried back to the city so he could forgive and take care of his dying father. The reason why I cried was because I was so touched by the fact that Liway, though just a simple girl, was able to influence others through her strong faith in God. God really works in mysterious and wondrous ways.

Today is All Souls' Day. I can't help but think about the homily I heard at the Basilica last Friday. Apostle is someone who goes ahead to prepare the way of God, while the disciple is the follower of God - and that includes us. It hit me when the priest asked churchgoers: are we practicing the teachings of God? It left me asking: what about our loved ones who died a sudden death? Were they ready for it? The thought that they weren't bothers me as of this writing. What we could do is to pray for the souls of our faithful departed so that they may rest in peace.

Watching "Dubai," on the other hand, was actually a good break because the storyline was not common although the ending was still typically Pinoy - they lived happily ever after, so to speak. For those who have watched it already, forgive me, but I would have wanted John Lloyd's character to die to make it more tragic and dramatic. But as my date was telling me, it has to be that way because the fans might not watch it should there be death in the ending. Okay, fine. After all, what I like in the story was the strong love between two brothers who each made personal sacrifices to pursue their childhood dream of going to Canada. Aga was the first one to go to Dubai and worked there for nine years. He pushed for John Lloyd to follow him there, so they could proceed to Canada together. It turned out that in the years that Aga was working there, he had no enough savings to finance their dream of going to Canada all because he was so helpful of fellow Pinoys there, aside from sending money to his brother. John Lloyd failed to appreciate this, instead he felt betrayed and deceived by his brother's promise. Worse, Aga dumped Claudine Barretto because he was not ready to commit to her because of his and John's dream. Eventually John fell for Claudine. She eventually got pregnant and went home to the Philippines to raise the child. She turned down John's marriage proposal because it was still Aga whom she loved.

The climax was that a day before John was to leave for Canada on his own, he figured in a vehicular accident. It was so touching because while he was fighting for life in his hospital bed, Aga was viewing a videotape of John Lloyd asking for his forgiveness. And then as John was gasping for breath, Aga embraced him tightly and they forgave each other. That actually was my favorite scene. In the end, John was able to realize his dream of going to Canada, while Aga chose to settle in Dubai for good. What a tearful Friday - and day-off at that - it was, indeed, for me.
* * *
To Uni Buckley of Burlington, California thank you so much for expressing your desire to donate something for The FREEMAN Foundation's Christmas party for street children on December 10. If it's in kind, you can course it through me at The FREEMAN Newspaper, V. Gullas Street Cebu City. React at Libutine_real88@yahoo.com or text to 0919-3194947.

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