Author: jmanunulat

Writer | Student | Reporter | Marketing Executive |BUM Currently, I am a reporter and the marketing executive of The Voice of Sierra Madre, a regional newspaper in Cagayan Valley, Philippines. I am also a scriptwriter for Teatro Publico, a community theater group in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. I write poems, scripts, verses, song lyrics, essays, and anything that can be written when I have the time and those are what you are going to see in this site.

The Words Between Us

“¿Qué tal?”I smiled, wondering how those two simple words sounded so melodic coming from your lips. They didn’t rhyme and there wasn’t anything poetic with the question yet to me, it sounded like a beginning of a song I’d end up singing even in my sleep. And it did.

Those were the first words you said when we first met. I didn’t understand them then, and like an idiot, I smiled and repeatedly said, “Si!”, which didn’t really answer the question.

“Panandaliang nahawi ang ulap ng pangungulimlim upang masilayan ko ang langit sa ilalim ng iyong mga paa. Iyan, iyan ang kaganapan.” I answered, sounding more like a kid writing his first poem.

You just rolled your eyes and laughed, the melodious sound bouncing off the walls of that little coffee shop we were in. A few curious glances were thrown our way but that didn’t stop you. Nothing ever did as far as I can remember.

You turned to look out of the window as I settled myself on the seat in front of you.

“Ha estado lloviznando toda la tarde…” I heard you say after a while, your eyes trailing the lines the raindrops have made on the glass window near us.

I almost asked how you could look at a raging storm and see it as a mere drizzle. But that’s how you have always seen everything around you; small, miniscule, nondescript.

“Tuvimos una tormenta muy fuerte ayer.” I replied, looking at your hands tightly clasped on top of the table, hoping like hell that I said the words correctly. I wanted to add that it was still storming, that it didn’t stop, but I could remember the words. My Spanish wasn’t really good, lacking actually.

“Natututo na ikaw,” You said in your faulty Tagalog, making me chuckle.

Pouting, you reached for your bag and took out the Filipino-English-Spanish dictionary that you always have with you. I took it away from your hand just as soon.

“Todo vien… Todo va muy bien…”

You look as if you wanted the argue for a few seconds, a look of pain crossing your eyes.

I lied. Nothing was fine. Not the raging storm outside. Not the difference in the words we speak. Not the distance that the bond on your finger have created between us that no dictionary can ever bridge.

“Estoy bien.” I said, hoping that it didn’t sound like another lie for it wasn’t. It was more like a promise, that of wishful thinking.

“Estoy enamorado de ti—” I said as I watch the tears fall from your eyes.

“But it’s okay.” I added, in English this time, in the language that we both speak yet never use. It was poetic really, the fact that we have a common language we could have used all these times but never did. But we both understood why.

It was a game of hide and seek, after all. Us hiding from the world while trying to seek ways to understand each other. In a way we did, and somehow, we ended up understanding too much, much more than the meaning of the words. We ended up falling into the crevices between the letters and the lines.

I took a quick look around the cafe. We were the only one inside now. You did say that you didn’t plan on opening it that day. It was supposed to be just one of the multitude of cafes in Pamplona closed because of the storm, small, nondescript, hidden under blanket of the rain.

It was the only place where we could meet. And at that moment, even the few people who had sought refuge from the rain had left.

It wasn’t the Instituto in Ermita, that was clear. I was no longer your student too. I was just a memory, maybe even a nightmare from your past, a mistake.

I took out a pack of cigarette from my bag and stood up to open the window. The rain was still pouring hard outside.

I lit one up and choked on the first drag followed by a torrent of coughing. I don’t really smoke that much, not anymore anyway.

“Fumar te da cancer.” You said in that tone that you have always used at the Instituto before; authoritative but gentle.

“Kailan pa ako mamamatay kung hindi ko ihahanap-hanap?” I answered with a smile. That too was a lie. I was already dead and smoking doesn’t have anything to do with it.

You see, I have this stupid notion that a person should only have one bad habit at a time. I already have you. No. I had you. That’s the difference.

You just shook your head. You’ve heard me say that line countless times before; outside the Instituto, at the streets of Ermita during our late night walks, in your hotel room, the one overlooking the crowded streets of Manila which you said would always remind you of me.

“Estamos compremetidos. Ya hemos fijado una fecha para la boda.” You said out of the blue. I choked on the cigarette again.

I have heard about the engagement. Why else would I have flown to Pamplona if I didn’t? I didn’t want to believe it.

“Siempre fiel.” That’s what you have asked of me before. And I thought that was your promise too. Always faithful, that’s what you wanted. I didn’t know it was something you could not give.

“Why did you come, Michael?” You asked when I didn’t say a word.

English didn’t suit you, I thought. It was too clinical, too detached, too bland in contrast to the seductive and passionate aura that you exude when you talk in your native tongue or in mine.

But it was appropriate. It fits the whole situation just as much as the pouring rain outside. Cold and merciless.

“I wanted to say goodbye properly. You at least owe me that.” I said, the pain coming from the memory of you leaving without a single word echoing in my voice.

That was a year ago, when you just disappeared, when you asked the Instituto to not give me information about where you are, just to send me a letter a year after, with only the word “Gracias” written. Why you even bothered to write down your telephone number at the envelope was completely lost to me.

So, I called, and as it worked out, found my way to that cafe to meet you. For what and why, I still do not know.

“If you came for an apology, you are not getting one.” You said coldly. All I could do was look at you, then at the rain, then at your blurry reflection on the window.

I shook my head, took one last drag from the cigarette, before walking towards the door.

I wanted to bolt out of that cafe, away from you, away from your memories, away from the three years you have given me.

“No. I just wanted a clearer picture of what conquered me so that I could find ways to break the chains that bounds me to you. I just wasn’t expecting such a vivid picture.” I said before walking out into the cold rain.

Poetic, that’s how I want to see it, how you have conquered my whole being, an echo of what your ancestors did to mine.

I took one look at the signage of your cafe before walking away. And there it was, your chain, your prison.

Recuerdos de Ermita. I didn’t need a dictionary to translate that.

It was after a month more when I took the cab from the hotel to the airport. In those days, I went everywhere that my feet could reach, everywhere except that corner in Pamplona where the cafe stood. I wanted to have a different memory of Spain, one that was inviting, welcoming, a version so much like you when we first met.

In a way, I succeeded, the reason why I was thrown back into oblivion when I saw you standing at the airport, in Manila, smiling.

You pulled out a piece of paper from your pocket as I walk towards you.

“¿Qué tal?” I asked, my voice just above a whisper. It was like a repeat of that day, only without the rain.

“Panandaliang nahawi ang ulap ng pangungulimlim upang masilayan ko ang langit sa ilalim ng iyong mga paa. Iyan, iyan ang kaganapan.” You answered, reading from the piece of paper.

I couldn’t say a word.

I was conquered yet again.


Unang Tagpo


(Magbubukas ang entablado sa kusina ng isang barong-barong sa isang baryo. May kawayang sala set sa kaliwang bahagi ng entablado na may kasamang maliit na altar.  Kahoy na lamesang halatang luma naman at bangkong upuan sa kanan. Isang divider ang naghihiwalay sa dalawa. Nakaupo si SOLEDAD (50’s) sa sala, nakaharap sa altar at nagdarasal habang nasa kusina naman si EMILIA (32), naghahanda ng agahan.)



Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre,venga tu reyno, hagase tu voluntad, asì en la tierra como en el cielo.

(Mapapatingin sa direksiyon ni Soledad si Emilia at mapapailing.)



Danos hoy nuestro pan cotidiano, Y perdónanos nuestras deudas,

asì como nosotros perdonamos á nuestros deudores. Y no nos metas en tentación, mas líbranos de mal. Amén.



Mabuti at hindi biglang lumiliyab iyang rosary ninyo kapag nagdarasal kayo. At talagang Espanyol pa rin ang gamit niyo hanggang ngayon. Mas madali ka bang mapapatawad ng Diyos kung sa lengguwahe pa ng mga unang prayle ka nagdarasal? Abay, baka gusto niyong sabihan si Father Vincent sa bayan.



Huwag mong ginagawang katatawanan ang paniniwala ko, Emilia.



Hindi ko ginagawang katatawanan ang paniniwala niyo, inay. Kung meron mang nakakaalam na hindi nakakatawa ang paniniwala niyo, malamang ay ako na iyon.




(Maglalakad papunta sa kusina)

Dumaan dito si Manuel kahapon.




Gusto na yata talagang mamatay ng hayop na ‘yun.






Huwag niyo nang simulan, inay. Huli na ang lahat.



Hindi ko rin ginusto—



Pero wala din kayong ginawa. Kaya hayaan na ninyo. Sanay na ako. Ngayon pa ba ako magrereklamo samantalang labing-anim na taon na ang anak ko?



Emilia, ang sa akin lang—



Kung iniisip ninyong hahayaan kong mangyari kay Esperanza ang nangyari sa akin, nagkakamali kayo. Hindi ako katulad niyo. Hindi ko rin kailangan ang isang katulad ni Manuel para gawin iyon para sa akin.



Pero anak—



Tama na, inay. Mamaya ay marinig na naman kayo at madadamay na naman kami ni Esperanza sa galit. Mabuti sana kung ikaw ang pinaluluhod niya sa harapan niya kapag nagagalit siya.









Iyon ang totoo. Pero huwag kayong mag-alala dahil sanay na ako. Iniisip ko na lang na katulad ninyo ay nasa simbahan ako at naghihintay ng basbas.


(Sasampalin ni Soledad si Emilia.)



Huwag mong idamay ang Diyos sa kababuyan mo.



Ako pa talaga ang sinabihan niyo ng ganyan.






Ipagtimpla niyo na lang ng kape ang asawa niyo, inay. Iyon ay kung asawa pa rin ang turing niya sa inyo.


(Papasok si ESPERANZA (16) na may bitbit na mga damit at gamit na panligo. Kitang-kita na palinga-linga siya sa paligid.)



Bilisan mo na ang maligo. Huwag kang lalabas ng banyo na hindi pa nakakabihis.



Opo, inay.


(Mabilis na lalabas sa kabilang direksiyon si Esperanza. Susundan lamang siya ng tingin noong dalawa.)



Kausapin mo si Manuel, anak…



Wala kaming dapat pag-usapan. Madadamay pa ako kapag namatay siya.



Hindi mangyayari iyon anak.



Ilang beses ko nang narinig iyan mula sa inyo, inay. Kapag nagkataon, baka isama lang niya sa kahoy na gagawing uling si Manuel. At sigurado kong hahayaan din lang ninyo ang lahat dahil nangako kayo sa Diyos niyo na hindi niyo siya iiwan kahit na anong mangyari. At ako, masyado na akong maraming kasalanan sa mata ng Diyos niyo. Ayaw ko nang dagdagan.






Sanay na ako, inay.



Si Esperanza lang ang iniisip ko.



Si Esperanza o ang sarili ninyo? Huwag kayong mag-alala, inay. Ginagawan ko na ng paraan para hindi siya matulad sa akin. Hindi ako katulad ninyo na hahayaan na lang ang lahat.


(Papasok si ARNULFO (47), halatang bagong gising. Matatarantang magtitimpla ng kape si Soledad samantalang diretso lang naman sa paghahanda ng agahan si Emilia. Kahit nang paluin bigla ni Arnulfo ang puwetan ni Emilia ay hidi ito umimik. Panandaliang napatitig lang sa dalawa si Soledad bago nanginginig na iniabot ang tasa ng kape. Walang umiimik sa kanilang lahat.)



Naayos mo na ba iyong mga uling na ibababa mamaya?



Nakasalansan na sa harap. Nasabihan ko na rin si Mang Tonyo na hihiramin natin iyong kalabaw nila. Ihahatid daw rito ni Julius bago siya pumasok sa eskwelahan.



Sinong Julius? Iyong kaklase ni Esperanza?






Huwag mong papasukin si Esperanza sa eskwelahan.


(Magkakatinginan sina Soledad at Emilia.)



Kailangan ko nang kasamang magbababa sa palengke. Isa pa, may eksamen sila ngayon.



Wala akong pakialam. Basta hwuag mong papasukin sa eskwelahan si Esperanza!



Magpupunta na naman dito iyong tiga-DSWD—



(Kay Soledad)

Kinakausap ba kita?



Nagsasabi lang ako, Arnulfo. Mamaya ay ipatawag na naman tayo sa bayan.



Ano ba kasing pakialam ng mga punyemas na iyan sa buhay natin? Hindi naman sila ang nagpapakain sa inyo ah!



Ihahatid ko na lang si Esperanza sa eskwelahan kung ayaw niyong magsabay sila ni Julius.



Para ano? Para makakerengkeng ka sa linsiyak na Manuel na iyon?



Alam ninyong ni hindi ko kinakausap si Manuel.



Dapat lang!


(Walang imik na ipaghahain ni Soledad ng pagkain si Arnulfo. Lalabas naman sa nilabasan ni Esperanza si Emilia.)








(Hahaklitin ni Arnulfo ang braso ni Soledad)

Kung ano ang sinabi ko, susundin mo. Maliwanag?


(Marahas na bibitawan ni Arnulfo si Soledad.)



Samahan mo si Emilia sa pagbaba sa bayan. Siguraduhin mong hindi makakalapit sa kanya ang putang-inang Manuel na iyon.











(Papasok si Emilia sa kaliwang bahagi ng entablado bitbit iyong pinagbihisan at gamit panligo ni Esperanza saka pasimpleng itatago sa isang gilid bago magmamadaling babalik sa kusina.)



Saan ka nanggaling?



Tinignan ko lang iyong pinahinog na saba kung pwede nang ibaba.



Bumili ka na rin ng pampatay ng daga. May gumagapang na naman sa kuwarto kagabi.



Kabibili ko lang ng isang kahon noong isang linggo.



Bumili ka ng mas matapang. Punyetang mga peste ‘yan at hindi mamatay-matay!


(Mag-iiwas ng tingin si Soledad pero susundan siya ng tingin ni Emilia.)






Isama mo ang nanay mo para nagkakasilbi.

(Lilingon sa direksiyon ng nilabasan ni Esperanza)

Nasaan na si Esperanza.



Nakaalis na.


(Ibabalibag ni Arnulfo ang hawak ang tasa sa direksiyon ni Emilia bago niya ito lalapitan at saka sasakalin.)



Anong sabi ko sa iyo kanina? Sabi kong huwag mong papasukin, di ba?



(Nag-aalangang hahawakan si Arnulfo)

Diyos ko naman, Arnulfo. Huwag mong saktan ang anak mo.



(Kay Soledad)

Tumahimik ka!

(Kay Emilia)

Ano? Igagaya mo sa iyo ang anak mo? Magpapakaputa din siya sa kung sino-sino katulad mo? Ano?



(Kakawala sa pagkakasakal sa kanya ni Arnulfo at lalayo)

Eskwelahan ang pinuntahan ni Esperanza. Hindi putahan.



Sumasagot ka pang talaga?


(Maririnig ang boses ni JULIUS (17) mula sa labas.)





(Off Stage)

Aling Emmy! Nandito na iyong kalabaw.



(Kay Emilia)

Papasukin mo na muna. Itanong mo kung gustong magkape.


(Pupunta sa bandang sala si Emilia pero palingon-lingon kay Arnulfo. Papasok naman si Julius na ngiting-ngiti, may bitbit pang isang supot ng gulay. Magpapatuloy lang naman sa pagkain sina Soledad at Arnulfo.)



(Iaabot kay Emilia ang supot)

Ipinabibigay po pala ni nanay.



Naku naman, nag-abala pa siya. Kami na nga itong humiram ng kalabaw sa inyo eh. Bakit nga pala an gaga mo?



Eh sinabihan po ako nina nanay na tulungan na kayong magbaba sa palengke kaya inagahan ko na.


(Tatayo si Soledad para ipagtimpla ng kape si Julius.)



Huwag na, nakakahiya naman. Kasama ko naman si Nanay na bababa eh.



Ganoon din naman po. Sabay na lang kami ni Espie na papasok.



Iyon na nga. Nauna na din kasi ang batang iyon na bumaba.



Ganoon po ba?


(Ihahatid ni Soledad ang kape kay Julius. Makikitang lalabas si Arnulfo ng entablado.)



Magkape ka na muna.



Naku naman po, nag-abala pa kayo.



Kami nga ang nakakaabala na sa inyo eh. Kumain ka na ba?



Opo. Huwag niyo na po akong alalahanin. Okay na poi tong kape.



Kamusta naman si Espie sa eskwelahan?



Hindi pa po ba niya sinasabi sa inyo?



Ang alin?



Naihanapan daw po siya ni Sir Manuel ng scholarship sa isang eskwelahan sa Maynila. Nainggit nga iyong iba naming kaklase pero wala naman silang magawa dahil siya naman talaga ang pinakamagaling sa klase namin.

(Mapapalingon sa paligid)

Nasaan po pala si Mang Arnold? Parang wala po yata siya.



Nasa kusina, kumakain.


(Mapapatayo mula sa kinauupuan si Emilia at pupunta sa kusina. Takot na takot na mapapatingin siya kay Soledad pagkakitang wala si Arnulfo doon.)






Diyos ko…


(Patakbong lalabas ng entablado si Emilia. Magdidilim ang buong entablado. Maririnig ang malakas na paghiyaw ni Esperanza mula sa labas ng entablado.)



Pangalawang Tagpo


(Tulalang papasok si Esperanza, nakasunod sa kanya si Manuel (34).Isang jacket ang nakapatong sa suot na uniporme ni Esperanza pero kita pa rin ang gulagulanit na pantaas nito. May pasa din siya sa pisngi.)



Hindi pwedeng hindi natin ito sabihin sa pulis, Espie…


(Hindi sasagot na tuloy-tuloy lang ang luha ni Esperanza. Humahangos na papasok si Soledad. Agad na susugurin ng yakap ni Soledad si Esperanza. Mapapahagulgol na ng tuluyan si Esperanza.)



Diyos ko. Ano bang naging kasalanan namin sa inyo…



Nay, kailangan natin itong i-report sa pulis para mahuli agad ang gumawa nito sa kanya.

(Kay Esperanza)

Nakilala mo ba ang gumawa sa iyo nito?



(Kay Soledad, habang humahagulgol)

Nangako kayo ni nanay. Sabi niyo— Nangako kayo— Pero bakit pati ako? Bakit pati ako!


(Mapapahagulgol na din si Soledad. Humahangos na papasok si Emilia. Matitigil siya sa paggalawa pagkakita kay Esperanza. Mapapatingin lang si Manuel sa kanya.)



Hayop siya. HAYOP SIYA!


(Pupunta sa kusina si Emilia at kukunin ang isang itak doon. Akmang lalabas na siya ulit ng entablado pero pipigilan siya ni Manuel.)




Bitawan mo ako! Papatayin ko ang hayop na ‘yun! Bitawan mo ako!



(Yayakapin si Emilia para hindi makaalis)




(Nagpupumiglas pa rin)

Bitawan mo ako sabi eh!






Huwag mo akong matawag-tawag na anak! Putang-ina ninyo! Hinayaan ko na ngang babuyin ninyo ako. Bakit pati ang anak ko, idadamay ninyo. Papatayin ko kayo! Papatayin ko kayo!



(Hindi pa rin bibitawan si Emilia)

Emmy! Tama na!



(Pilit magpupumiglas)

Talagang tama na!

(Kay Soledad)

Magsasama kayo ng putang-iang hayop na iyon sa impiyerno! Papatayin ko kayo!



At sino pa ang magbabantay kay Espie kapag nakulong ka?


(Walang magsasalita sa kanilang lahat pero patuloy lang sa paghagulgol ang tatlong babae. Nanghihinang mapapaluhod si Emilia. Aalalayan lang naman siya ni Manuel.)



Pati ba naman si Esperanza ay ipagsasangkalang mo, inay? Para lang hindi ka niya iwan? Hindi pa ba sapat sa iyo na binababoy na niya ako gabi-gabi habang hinahayaan mo lang?



Emilia, alam ng Diyos na hindi ko gusto ang lahat ng ito.



Bulag ang Diyos na dinadasalan niyo, inay.



(Magdidilim ang buong entablado.)


(Matatapos ang ikalawang tagpo)



Ikatlong Yugto


(Nakaupo sa sala si Arnulfo, kita ang galit sa mukha. Nagtitimpla naman ng kape si Soledad sa kusina. Mula sa isang bulsa ay ilalabas niya ang isang botelya ng pamatay sa daga at lalagyan ang kape.)



Hoy! Ano ba? Wala ka talagang silbing hayop ka! Para kape lang ang tagal mo pang gumawa!


(Walang imik na pupunta sa sala si Soledad bitbit ang kape at saka ilalagay iyon sa harapan ni Arnulfo. Agad namang hihigop si Arnulfo.)



Mahahanapan ko din ang mga hayop na iyon! Akala ba nila matatakasan nila ako? Akin sila! Akin kayong lahat! Mga walang utang na loob! Pare-pareho kayong mga puta!


(Walang imik na mauupo lamang malapit sa altar si Soledad at saka ilalabas ang rosary mula sa bulsa saka sisimulan ang pagdarasal. Masama ang tinging ipupukol ni Arnulfo kay Soledad pero wala namang sasabihin. Bitbit ang kape ay pupunta siya sa kusina saka doon uubusin ang kape.)



Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos, santificado sea tu nombre


(Mabibitawan ni Arnulfo ang tasa at mapapahawak sa lamesa.)



Venga tu reyno, hagase tu voluntad, asì en la tierra como en el cielo.

(Matutumba si Arnulfo at sahig, kitang-kita ang takot at sakit sa mukha.)



Danos hoy nuestro pan cotidiano


(Bubula ang bibig ni Arnulfo at magsisimulang mangisay habang patuloy lang naman sa pagdarasal si Soledad.)



Y perdónanos nuestras deudas, asì como nosotros perdonamos á nuestros deudores. Y no nos metas en tentación,

(Maglalakad si Soledad papunta sa kusina at titignan ang nangingisay pa ring katawan ni Arbulfo. Mauupo siya sa tabi ni Arnulfo at saka kukunin ang ulo nito saka ipapatong ang ulo nito sa hita niya.)



Mas líbranos de mal. Amen.


(Magdidilim ang buong entablado.)


(Katapusan ng dula.)

The Excuses That I Make

It’s is exactly as the title, I’m going to be making excuses for not updating this blog. So, since you know that it’s going to be excuses, I’m not going to bother you with it. I am in the middle of writing a series of short stories though and would be uploading them soon. So, there. 🙂



The sound of the music is echoing throughout the empty dance hall. It’s been like that for more than an hour now and alone, I tried to match every beat that I hear. Pop, grind, slide, wave, swing, jump, pause, slide; nothing coordinated, just letting my body feel every single rhythm. I haven’t done this for so long that I wonder if I actually look ridiculous.

I can feel the drops of sweat running down my upper body as I move, slowly caressing the skin, like that of a lower taking it ever so slowly. It was both that of torture and of sweet anticipation. I hate that feeling yet I continued to move as if it’s the most important thing to do. I hate that feeling but I didn’t want to lose it too.

“It always looks so raw and beautiful when you’re like this.” I almost missed my footing when I suddenly heard your voice. I stopped in mid-step and tried to regain my balance.

“I never thought I’d ever see you like this again.” You said with a sad smile.

“You shouldn’t have.” I said, walking towards the stereo and turning it off. Suddenly, I feel tired.

“What are you doing here?” I asked you. Instead of answering, you took your shoes and coat off before rummaging on the CD tracks on the desk beside the stereo.

“Dance with me.” You whispered before putting the CD on the stereo. When the first few chords of Broken Strings came out, I just shook my head.

“Please…” There was begging in your voice.

We’ve danced to this song so many times that I can’t even count anymore. This was our warm up song. Every single time, we would play this just to let our body loose. This was our song, the only thing that we really ever had.

Let me hold you
For the last time

I guess we’ve been rehearsing for this day and time. The only thing is, we never really talk about what we should do. We just move and somehow, it clicks, every single time.

You were already moving on your own when I turned to look at you. As always, it was beautiful that it was almost painful to watch. I let out a sigh before stepping towards you. If this would be the last time, then let it be something beautiful. Even pain can be beautiful you know.

“One last time…” I told myself before gently caressing your face with a sad smile. I’ll fall in love with you for one last time.

It still amazes me how synchronized we can be despite not really planning and what would be the next move or next step. You sway and I’ll match it without thinking. You glide and I’ll glide with you. Every pop, every swing, every jump, like that of two bodies with one mind, we dance.

Oh… It tears me up
I tried to hold on but it hurts too much
I tried to forgive but it’s not enough
To make it all okay

Broken strings. Quite fitting. That’s all we ever were. The broken string of a guitar connected only by music and movement. I should have realized that before. You needed me to find your rhythm. I needed you to make each unsteady step firm. We needed each other but only inside the dance floor, that’s all there is to it. Nothing more.

“I used to watch you and wonder how it would feel like to hold you in my arms like this.” I said. You almost missed a step but continued. I did the same.

“When did you stop watching me?” You asked. I almost laughed. Instead of replying, I lifted you up in the air. After all these years, I can still do that effortlessly. You used to say that when I do that, you always feel like you can do anything as long as you have me. I’ve wanted that for you too.

But the two of us have always been a couple of broken toys at the eye of the storm. And the point is, we both didn’t even realize it until we were being thrown all over the place, away from each other.

When I put you down, you didn’t make a move and just stared at me. I stopped as well.

“When did you stop looking at me?” You asked. I let out a sigh.

“When you stopped noticing…” I said. And as if on cue, I heard footsteps coming towards us.

“I knew you two would be here!” I didn’t even turn to see who it was. The storm has come to take you away for good.

“You two aren’t cheating on me, are you?” I guess that was supposed to be a joke. It wasn’t funny.

“We just have to say goodbye the way we know it.” I said with a smile before walking towards the stereo. Just in time too.

Let me hold you, for the last time
It’s the last chance we’ll feel again…

The last notes, the last few beats, and then it was over. Like everything else between us.

“Hey! We’ll expect you tomorrow!” There it was again, the voice of the storm.

“You’re not going to miss our wedding and come up with a lame excuse are you?” I laughed. I guess saying that I can’t watch you any longer as you walk away from me would be lame.

“Of course…” I said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

I heard your footsteps walking out of the studio before the deafening silence. It was over.

I took the CD out of the stereo and dropped it on the nearest trash bin. I’ll never dance to that song again.


“If I would write a love story about us, it would be short, bittersweet, and of both of us finding someone else.”

I was a little taken aback when I heard you say those words. It was meant to be a joke when I suggested that you be my partner if you are writing my love story. I didn’t even think that you would actually consider it just to shut the idea down completely afterwards and bluntly at that.

There was no sugarcoating or pretense in your choice of words. That was so like you: blunt and brutally honest. It almost made me wish that I didn’t say anything at all.

This isn’t exactly the first time that you tried writing my love story. You did try to partner me up with a common friend of ours before, teasing me with it actually. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea but there was no stopping you anyway so I let you go ahead with it. I guess it didn’t work out since you stopped talking about it.

“You’re both too reserved for the story to work. You need someone to force you out of your comfort zone.” That’s what you said and I couldn’t agree more.

That’s when it actually struck me that if there was someone who can take me out of my comfort zone, it would be you. Blurting that out didn’t seem like such a great idea though since you shut it down just like that.

“I wouldn’t have the patience to wait for you to change your mind and fight for me.”

Short. Sharp. Direct to the point. And it was also true. I guess that’s the reason why I wasn’t quite surprised when I felt a sharp stab on the chest after hearing that.

In all honesty, I didn’t want to think about it yet a part of me wanted to prove you wrong for some reason. The idea that you wouldn’t even consider a make-believe love affair between the two of us was nagging me for some reason and wasn’t sitting well with my pride.

For days, those words keep popping in and out of my mind. Looking at it logically, I can actually see how you came up with that conclusion.

It takes a while for me to really warm up and open up to people. I don’t easily trust anyone. There are only a handful of people who can come as close to me as you did because of the walls I’ve built around myself.

I’m not even quite sure how you tore down those walls in the first place. It was like I woke up and you were just there, insulting the hell out of me.

Being with you is quite a roller coaster ride if you look at it. One minute, you’re making me feel like the worst person alive, then a minute after you’d be making me feel like I can conquer the world. You can easily talk me out of a depression and sent me right back in if you wanted to.

You see right through me and it’s scary at times since you tell me things about myself that I wouldn’t even dare think about. But I think that’s exactly what had me inching closer and closer to you. You saw both good and bad in me and stayed. You never let me hear the end of it, of course, but you stayed.

Then there are those late night conversations that seem to last until morning. We can talk about anything and everything under the sun. We often disagreed but that’s what made it livelier. Not one of us would ever back down. We’d stick to our guns and stay with it until we change the topic, not yielding until the very end.

I can be who I am with you and it would be okay. It was as simple as that.

And maybe that’s the reason why it bothered me so much, you saying that we wouldn’t work if ever, not even in your made-up stories. It was like you saying that you know me well enough not to fall in love with me and that hurts. I want someone like you to fall in love with me, someone who can see through me and still love me no matter what.

I still had that thought in my mind when we met a few days after.

“So, you really won’t fall in love with me?” I asked. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was hoping to hear when I asked that but I just had a feeling that I should.

You looked like you were giving it a thought before you answered.

“It’s not impossible but I’m not that stupid to fall for someone who can’t love me back,” Was your answer. Somehow, those words made me feel a little better.

“Why are you asking anyway?”

“Just curious,” I said. “So I guess I just have to fall in love with you first then and you’d be able to write our love story.”

“That’s just plain weird and scary coming from you and a little stupid too.” You said with a laugh.

“Why so?”

“Falling for me doesn’t necessarily mean that I’d fall for you too.” That was painful to hear but you had a point.

“Besides, you’d never fall for me. I’m not exactly lovable.” You added.

My mind went haywire of things to say to prove that wrong. You are painfully blunt but that’s just because you care enough for the person that you’d rather he or she takes things as it is. You are tactless and would always talk your mind freely when given the chance but that’s just you making it real. You never give in to what the society expects from you unless it suits your purpose. You make your own rules and even with your stubbornness, people are still drawn to you, because sharp-tongued as you are, you know how to take care of the people that matters to you.

I could have listed a million things that would make you see just how easy it is to love you. And that’s when it struck me.

“I’m in love with you.” I said softly, more like a confirmation for myself than telling you.

I heard you choke on your beer. You were still coughing when I looked you in the eyes.

“Please tell me I didn’t hear you say that…” You said under your breath, a look of fear in your eyes.

That was the most painful thing I have ever seen; seeing you scared of me loving you.

I wanted to take it back knowing that if I did, you would not have that scared and pained look in your eyes. I wanted to say that I was kidding but I know that you would see right through it.

“You don’t get to do this to me. Not you of all people.” You said when I didn’t say anything. And before I knew it, you were out of the bar and into the streets. I immediately followed you but you wouldn’t even look at me.

“Is it really that bad for me to love you?” I shouted at you when I couldn’t take the pain anymore. There I was, finally admitting that I was in love with you and you’re first impulse is to run away.

You turned around with tears in your eyes and that almost broke me.


The most painful part of hearing that was knowing that you believed it with all your heart. You loved me too, I was sure of it, yet that seems to be exactly the reason why you are running away.

“Could you please stop running away and tell me just exactly why it’s such a bad thing?” I asked you and that just made you sob even harder.

You walked back to me and the pain in your eyes was just too unbearable to look at.

“Because you falling in love with me would break you. Because you falling in love with me would go against everything that you believe in and that would kill you. And I know that when push comes to shove, you wouldn’t have the courage to fight for me and I love you way too much that if that happens, it would break me.”

I couldn’t say anything after hearing that. You were right, of course. You know me way too well.

“I have enough demons on my own, Nate. Please don’t make me fight your demons too.” You said with the saddest smile I’ve ever seen.

“I’d change. I’d do—“

You placed your finger on my lips to stop me.

“You wouldn’t. Not for me.”

I was surprised when you gave me a soft kiss on the lips before hugging me ever so tightly. I wished that moment lasted a little longer. I wish I have had the courage to tell you right there and then that I would prove you wrong, that I can make it work. But I just couldn’t lie to you.

“I guess I was right. Our love story would be short and bittersweet.” You said with a smile before finally letting go and walking away.

“We’re both cowards, Nate, you and I. And we’ve been running round in circles far too long to be anything else but that.”

And just like that, you disappeared from my life. My world had never been so quiet.

For days after, I struggled with my own demons and tried to drown every feeling I have for you with all the alcohol I can get my hands on to. I’ve wasted days and nights trying to convince myself that you were right, that we wouldn’t have worked anyway. Weeks turned to months until it finally turned into a year, but still, one thing remained, I still wanted to love and be loved by you.

I tried looking for you, asking our old friends and acquaintances if they knew where you are. I even went as far as asking your parents but they wouldn’t tell me anything.

They said that I’d just break you again and that there was no way in hell that they would let me. The hardest part of hearing that was knowing that they were probably right.

A few more months after that, I saw you at a coffee shop with someone else. You looked so happy and it was obvious that you were going out with the person you were with. You two didn’t even care that the world was watching you. You looked so secured with what you two have that the rest of the world didn’t seem to matter.

Only then did I finally accept to myself that you were exactly where you should be; happy and unafraid, something that you will never be with me.

I walked away, knowing that it was time for me to write my own end of the story, finally admitting that you wouldn’t be writing it with me.



This is my take on what exactly is happening in the world right now, the war in Syria and the recent attack in Paris. This is the way I see this continuing war or any other war for that matter. I hope people would actually read this one and look at the picture at a bigger angle. We already know this. I guess, we just need reminding.


The stage would resemble that of a motel room, looking quite rundown but still livable.

There is a bed in the middle of the stage and a small writing table on one side. By the bed is a window that shows the sky.

Tahir is sitting on top of the writing table, a tattered baseball glove on one hand and a baseball on the other, playing catch on his own.

Sitting by the bed is Kole, a basketball on both hands, staring outside the window.

There is an old radio on the small table and Tahir would turn it on. It would start playing the song, Silent night.

Kole would sing along.

KOLE: (Sang)

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

Both Saif and Alec comes in, Alec in his Marine uniform while Saif is wearing a hooded jacket with an empty backpack hanging from his shoulder. Saif would look at Kole while Alec’s eye would land on Tahir.

ALEC and SAIF: (Shouting) What are you doing here?

Both boys would jump from where they are sitting.

Kole would stop singing and Tahir would immediately turn the radio off.

SAIF: I told you never to come here anymore.

KOLE: Come on, man! I was waiting for you. Besides—

TAHIR: I have nowhere else to go.

ALEC: Then you should just go home.

A loud explosion would be heard. All four would look out of the window, fear etched on their faces.

KOLE and TAHIR: Where?

KOLE: And you promised that we’d play hoops before you left.

TAHIR: I’ve been practising on my pitch too.

ALEC: This is not the right time to be playing games, Tahir. You do know that, right?

SAIF: It is not safe.

KOLE: You always say that.

TAHIR: You promised…

Both Alec and Saif look at the boys.

ALEC and SAIF: I’m sorry…

KOLE: Whatever, man!

TAHIR: I should go then.

Tahir and Kole would walk towards the doors on the opposite sides of the room but Alec and Saif would prevent them.

ALEC and SAIF: It’s not safe!

KOLE: Was it ever?

TAHIR: I am already used to it.

ALEC: Just stay here for a while.

SAIF: It will be over soon enough.

KOLE: You’re lying.

TAHIR: You do not have to lie to me all the time, Mr. Alec. I am not blind.

KOLE: I may just be a kid but I know that it will never end. You know that just as well as I do.

SAIF: You talk too much.

TAHIR: But no one ever listens.

ALEC: You’re getting good at this, playing the victim and all. It’s not going to work with me, buddy.

KOLE: Well, I could try, right? (Laughs) Where were you anyway?

SAIF: That is something that you do not have to know.

KOLE: Oh come on!

TAHIR: Do you fear that I would tell someone about it? I will never do that Mr. Alec.

ALEC: I know that, Tahir. It’s just better that you don’t know.

KOLE: That sucks! Why am I always the last one to know?

SAIF: It is for your own good.

KOLE and TAHIR: Do you really believe that?

SAIF: I do.

ALEC: I have to. Because if not—

SAIF: I do not even want to think about it anymore. If not, then—

All four would just stare at the floor. The sound of another explosion somewhere would be heard, further than the first one.

KOLE: (Excited) You went to see her! I knew it! That’s where you have been!

TAHIR: Is she going to be okay? Is she going to live?

SAIF: Maybe…

ALEC: The doctor said that she needs another operation. They did say that she is a fighter.

SAIF: She’s strong… Maybe stronger than all of us. She will survive.

TAHIR: Praise Allah!

KOLE: Of course she is! She’s my sister!

TAHIR: I hope she is well enough when Sahir arrives. He would want to hear her sing again.

KOLE: Of course, she would hug Alec. He would be blushing when she cries at the airport but would never let her go anyway. She’s our little princess.

SAIF: She is beautiful.

ALEC: You’re brother would be happy.

KOLE and TAHIR: I know.

TAHIR: It is all thanks to you.

KOLE: She would have died if you didn’t bring her to the hospital.

SAIF and ALEC: Please don’t thank me…

KOLE: Why not?

TAHIR: Saif have always said that we should say thank you to those who help us.

KOLE and TAHIR: You’re our angel.

ALEC and SAIF: I am not…

KOLE: Anyway, when are you leaving? You’re done with what you have to do here, right?

SAIF: It is better that you do not know.

TAHIR: I understand. I just wanted to be able to say farewell to you before you leave.

ALEC: You don’t have to do that, little man.

KOLE: I know. You will be okay, right? I mean, when you get back there. I heard that it’s worse. It’s all over the television two days ago.

SAIF: That is the reason why I have to go back.

ALEC: I hope everyone is okay at home.

TAHIR: You have a brother and a sister, just like me.

KOLE: Are they okay?

SAIF: I have no news about them since I left.

ALEC: But I hope they are alright. Oh, I just remembered, you would be the same age as Kole. You two would make good friends.

SAIF: Tahir is quite timid though, especially with strangers.

KOLE: Well, I can talk for both of us. Or we could just play a game.

ALEC: (Laughs) That’s true. It would be a miracle if he would let you speak at all.

SAIF: Tahir would just stare at you with his eyes wide if that happens.

KOLE: You should take him with you when you come back.

ALEC: That’s not possible…

TAHIR: Why not?

SAIF: It’s not safe.

KOLE: You always say that!

TAHIR: It is all that I ever here. Hide, Tahir! They are coming! Close the door, Tahir! Do not go out, Tahir!

KOLE: It’s tiring. You adults always make it sound as if it’s like the Game of Throne out there.

ALEC and SAIF: It’s for your own good.

KOLE and TAHIR: Then why does it not seem that way?

ALEC: You’re too young to understand, Tahir.

SAIF: Wait until you are older.

KOLE: That’s just ironic, you do see that, right?

TAHIR: If we ever grow old, that is what you mean, right?

ALEC: That’s the reason why I am doing this.

SAIF: Why do you think we continue to fight after all these years?

KOLE: I don’t know, maybe because you guys are morons?

TAHIR: Fighting a war that is never going to end.

KOLE: No one will ever win anyway.  It would just stop for a bit and there start again after a while.

TAHIR: You have a term for this but I do not remember. What was it again?

ALEC and SAIF: A circle of violence.

TAHIR: You remind me of my older brother.

KOLE: Alec talks like that all the time. You would like him.

ALEC: I’m afraid he’d kill me if he sees me, buddy.

SAIF: As I would if I see him.

KOLE: That’s stupid.

TAHIR: Is it really supposed to be like that?

ALEC and SAIF: We follow orders. We do not make the rule.

SAIF: Our beliefs are just too different.

ALEC: That’s just how things are.

KOLE: That’s why it’s stupid.

TAHIR: I do not understand.

SAIF: You will, when you are older. One day, you will believe in something and will fight for it.

ALEC: Even if it would mean putting your life on the line.

KOLE: Again, that’s just stupid.

SAIF: It is not.

ALEC: You will understand when you’re older.

TAHIR: Do you understand it?

Both Alec and Saif will not answer.

KOLE and TAHIR: How many people died today?

SAIF: You should not be asking those kinds of questions.

ALEC: It is better than you do not know.

KOLE: What’s better is if nobody dies at all.

TAHIR: A lot of people have already died, some are still dying.

SAIF: It is a necessary evil.

ALEC: It’s the only way to find peace. You do understand that, don’t you?

KOLE: Not really.

TAHIR: Maybe you are right. I am too young to understand such thinking.

KOLE: And you’re logic is quite stupid. How can killing ever solve anything. Why don’t you just talk?

SAIF: What do you mean?

TAHIR: That is what the missionary told us before. That there is only a need to talk.

ALEC: The time for talking is over, Tahir.

KOLE: No. It’s just that no one wants to listen. Everyone just wants to get what they want. And when they don’t, they destroy whatever it is that would go against them.

TAHIR: There is always time to talk, the missionary had said before. He said that it is the people who do not give the time to really listen.

KOLE: It’s I want this and I want that. You guys are acting more like kids. Worse actually.

SAIF: You do not understand how the world goes.

TAHIR: No. It is you who does not understand how it really goes.

KOLE: I mean, if you put eight babies on a big bed, they don’t actually try to push each other out of the bed so that they would have a bigger space.

TAHIR: They would just sleep peacefully, as long as they have their own space. Sometimes, they would even hold hands and smile at each other.

ALEC: It’s not as simple as that, Tahir.

KOLE: Well, it should be.

TAHIR: You adults just make it more complicated and harder.

ALEC and SAIF: You don’t understand!

KOLE and TAHIR: You always say that.

ALEC: Because it’s the truth.

KOLE: Your version of truth sucks.

TAHIR: Your truth kills people.

ALEC: They are terrorists, Tahir. And they have killed just as much people as I did.

SAIF: They claim our lands and pretend to protect it.

ALEC: They keep on yapping about their stupid beliefs.

SAIF: Forcing us to swallow their own sense of justice.

ALEC: They are the enemy!

SAIF: I am just doing this for the good of the many.

ALEC and SAIF: They deserve to die!

KOLE: For the millionth time, that’s just stupid.

TAHIR: Nobody deserves to die. Not for the reasons you have given me.

SAIF: They destroyed my home!

ALEC: They killed innocent lives!

KOLE: Just like you did.

TAHIR: Your actions are not so different.

SAIF: Do you expect me to just watch them as they kill my family?

ALEC: I do what I do to protect those who are important to me.

KOLE: So you kill to try save lives.

TAHIR: And they kill to try to save the lives that you intended to kill.

ALEC and SAIF: We do what we have to do.

KOLE: And those who die on the crossfire?

TAHIR: Those who have nothing to do with your endless war?

KOLE: Who fights for them?

TAHIR: Who would protect them?

ALEC: You don’t understand.

SAIF: There are sacrifices that need to be made.

KOLE: Sacrifices? That’s all that they are to you?

TAHIR: They are people. They deserve to live as much as you do.

ALEC and SAIF: Collateral damage.

SAIF: In every war, these things cannot be helped.

ALEC: It is the only way that we could have peace.

A loud explosion would be heard followed by the sound of sirens. None of them would speak until there is silence. All of them would just be staring at the window.

Tahir would remove the baseball glove from his hand and put it with the baseball on the table. Kole would put the ball on the floor. Both of them would walk towards the window and stare outside.

Alec and Saif would just watch them. The boys would both put their hands on their chest and blood would start oozing down.

Alec and Saif would look the other way.

KOLE: That’s quite a cold way to put it, don’t you think?

TAHIR: It almost seem like we do not matter.

ALEC: We have orders that we need to follow.

SAIF: Things that we need to do in order to continue the fight.

ALEC and SAIF: This is the only way to have peace.

KOLE and TAHIR: If you say so…

The boys would smile and would go lie on the bed, side by side. Both of them will close their eyes.

ALEC: You’re really good at this…

SAIF: Playing the victim…




This script is a personal property of JAYSON ARVENE TABANGIN MONDRAGON. Please contact the author for permission to use this script. There is NO FEE for its usage but please do inform the author before using it as a matter of respect. Thank you and happy reading.










Nakatayo na sa kani-kanilang pwesto ang mga mananayaw bago pa man magsimula ang unang pintig ng puso mula sa background music.

Magsisimulang magsalita ang mga mananayaw, tipong magpapatong-patong ang boses hanggang sa dulo ay magsasabay-sabay.

MANANAYAW 1: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

MANANAYAW 2: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

MANANAYAW 3: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: (Chanting)Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.




Magsasayaw ang mga mananayaw sa tugtog na matatapos sa isang tableu.



Papasok sa entablado sina Shasta, Kevin, Bryan, at Chriezel at pupunta sa kani-kanilang pwesto.

Naka-wheel chair si Shasta.

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

SHASTA, KEVIN, BRYAN, at CHRIEZEL: (Pasigaw) Kustunan!

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

SHASTA, KEVIN, BRYAN, at CHRIEZEL: (Halos pabulong) Kustunan, pangngaasi yo… Basol ko, basol ko, basol ko…

SHASTA: (Pasigaw) Basol ko!

Magsisindi ng kandila si Shasta.

SHASTA:(Malumanay) Dayta met iti kayat yo a mangngeg, di ket? A siyak iti akin basol. Maiparbeng laeng kanyak dagitoy a mapaspasamak toy biagko.Maysa a mulit iti kinatao.Arinsaed iti maysa a dakes a tagtagainep a rumbeng laeng a mailimed, mailimmeng, maibilleng, lipaten. Basol ko, basol ko, basol ko lattan…(Freeze)

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

KEVIN: (Pasigaw) Kustunan!

Magsisindi ng kandila si Kevin.

KEVIN: (Malumanay)Danog, kugtar, tungpa, panangliblibak iti kinataok. Ammok met a madi yo maawatan nu kasano ti dana toy biag ko. Kurang laingen ket tupraan yo ti rupak a sisasango. Ginustok daytoy, dayta ti kapanunutan ti tao isu rumbeng laeng nga ibuturak ken pagtakderak daytoy a kalbaryo. Imbag kuma nu agpaysu a kasla kawes laeng daytoy a mabalin nga ussuben ken uramen nu dikon kabaelan a takderan. Ngem saan. Basol ko, basol ko, basol ko lattan… (Freeze)

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

CHRIEZEL: (Pasigaw) Basol ko!

Magsisindi ng kandila si Chriezel.

CHRIEZEL: (Malumanay) Anya ya ti kayat mo a mangngeg kanyak? Haan ko met nga iliblibak. Kurang laingen ket ibaga yo nga inkararagak iti kastoy a gasat. Dagmelak eh. Tangaak. Kunak gamin, maminsan laeng, tatta laeng, haan tu mauliten. Ubingak pay a talaga. Madik man laeng napanunot iti kaipapanan na. Basol ko, basol ko, basol ko lattan… (Freeze)

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

BRYAN: (Pasigaw) Kustunan!

Magsisindi ng kandila si BRYAN.

BRYAN: (Malumanay)Wen. Kinayat ko. Siyak iti nagdesisyon nga isalangat iti bagik.Siyak iti nagdesisyon nga awan iti makaammu.Siyak iti nagdesisyon nga ilimed amin a kas maysa laeng a dakes a tagtagainep. Naalan iti impierno a biyag ko amin kenyak. Apay kuma nga nayunak pay dagiti aglangladinget nu mabalin met nga siyak lattan. Basol ko, basol ko, basol ko lattan… (Freeze)

Kanya-kanyang lapit ang apat na mananayaw kina Shasta, Kevin, Chriezel, at Bryan habang nagsasalita.

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

Sabay-sabay na hihipan ng mga mananayaw ang apat na kandila.

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Mahihinto ang tunog ng Heartbeat.

SHASTA:  Kustunan…





Nasa kalagitnaan ng paglilinis si Ain sa entablado. Kumikendeng-kendeng pa siya habang gumagalaw. Animo ay damang-dama niya iyong kantaat sinasabayan pa niya iyo pero sintu-sintunado

May isang thermos sa gitna ng lamesa at mga tasa. Meron ding lalagyan ng kape, creamer at asukal.

Papasok si Parcy, may rollers pa sa buhok at mukhang bagong gising.


Maapatalon si Ain na parang kabayo.

AIN: Ay kabalyo!

PARCY: (Nakataas ang kilay at nanunuya) Agtalna ka man! Bigbigatan ka nga agam-ammangaw! Saka sino kuma kadata a duwa iti agruruprupa a kabalyo, kabsat?

Hahalinghing si Ain na parang kabayo na may kasama pang sipa pero biglang ding babawi.

AIN: Tse! Kunam ka la asino a mangbugkaw-bugkaw kenyak.Apay? Sino ka aya ti panagkunam?

PARCY: I’m the daughter of the owner of this boarding house!

AIN:  Daughter, daughter! Tantandaanam, daughter ka laeng while I’m the—

PARCY: Ana? Ana? Sino ka?

AIN: (Pabulong) The maid…

PARCY: Madik nga nangngeg. Ulitem man. Sino ka?

AIN: The Maid! Ana? Naragsak kan? Pirmi la unay iti panangikuskuspil mo kenyak.Gappu ta sika iti agpaspasweldo kanyakon. Serbisyok lang iti baybayadam haan nga kinataok! Tantandaanaman daytoy, Parcy, dumteng tu ti aldaw nga agparintumeng dagiti bituen! Sharon Cuneta, Bituing Walang Ningning, Ilokano version.

PARCY:  Nagadu nalabid mon! Isubli kan tupay kinni tatang mo? Kitan ta lang nu madim makita dagita a bituen a ibagbaggam malpas na ka a danugdanugen.

AIN: Joke! Sika met manang, kasla ka lang agduduma kenyak. Ammom met a nabayag kon a kayat iti agartista. Pagbigyan nak lattan.

PARCY: Heh! Padasem iti agsarming nu maminsan! Aguray lang. Nasingir mon aya dagita boarders tayun? Kinsenasen. Haan mo nga ibaga nga uray maysa, awan pay iti nagited?

AIN: Naiyawat ko kinni mama mon, madam. Idi pay laeng kalman.

PARCY: Ain!Apay nga isuna nangtedam.

AIN: Na! Apay kuma a saan? Ket isuna met iti akinkukua ditoy boarding house. Anak ka laeng, madam. Nu sika man iti reyna, isuna iti alas! Saka ana kuma iti maaramidak nu nakita na a nangiyawat ni Shasta kenyak idi kalman. Alangan met nga ilimed ko?

PARCY: Inya metten, kabsat! Ammum la garuden nga ited na manen ijay boyfriend na ajay kwartan, madim man laeng nga pinanunot! Agpanunot ka met a nu maminsan. Awan sa a talaga iti nabati dita utek mon ta kinapuskol na ta make-up mo!

AIN: Ti panagkuman lang, awan, ngem adda, adda, adda! Carlo Aquino, Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa, Ilokano version.

PARCY: (Hahampasin ang balikat ni Ain) Ilampasok ta rupam aginggana maikkat amin a make-up mo, kayat mo?

AIN: Immala ka a talaga kinni inang mo a nadagsen ima na! Saka, haan ka man a highblood. Ammuk met ti kinagargarampang ni mamam. Dijay laeng bayad ni Shasta iti inted ko kenyana ta isu pay laeng met iti nagbayad idi kalman. Tatta pay laeng nga agbayad da Kevin ken jay dadduma. Apay itulok ko nga haanak maka-sweldo.

PARCY: Nu ata kuma iti ummuna nga imbagam di haan ka pay a nabanatan. Dios ko met Ain, maibusanak talaga iti dara kenyam.

AIN: Nakaserseryoso kan tumet gamin. Di nak la tuladen.Nakaisem kinanayon. Kitam! Awan iti pimples ken wrinkles ko. Kasla la labanos iti kinapudaw ko agrugi buok nga awan split ends na agpatingga saka nga awan ingrown na! Ayna! Pang-Miss Universe ah kinapintas kunam man! Kumugtar!

PARCY: Mangngeg na ka kuma ni tatang mo tatnu makugtaran na a talaga ta rupam.

AIN: Ammum madam, nauneg a talaga dayta sakit ti nakem mo kenyak. Haan kuma met a kasta ah. Apay basol ko nu adayu a napinpintasak ngem sika? It’s in the genes! Malas mo laeng ta genes ni tatang mo ti naalam. Na, nu iti linya kuma iti pamilya tayo iti nagmanaam, di mabalin mo kuma ito umabay kenyakon.

PARCY: Padasem iti agkape nu maminsan. Itta ka man laengen. Umay mo latta ited kenyakon nu adda masingir mo. Iturog ko pay laeng.

AIN: Sure manure! Ingka pay lang iturog barbareng pumintas ka pay bassit.

Babatukan pa ni Parcy si Ain bago aalis.

Magkakasunod na lalabas mula sa kani-kanilang kwarto sina Shasta, Chriezel, at Bryan, halatang bagong gising.

AIN:  Good morning, beautiful people! Ngem siyak latta iti kapintasan! Pak!

Titignan lang ng tatlo ng masama si Ain. Mapapaatras si Ain ng wala sa oras. Kanya-kanyang upo sa may lamesa ang tatlo.

AIN: Kitaem man dagitoy a tallo. Nu makapatay lang a talaga dagita mata yo, naustilakon!

BRYAN: Mabalin met latta.

SHASTA: Naasa ba dagijay kutsilyo ijay kusina?

CHRIEZEL: Wen sa. Nu haan, ikali tayo lattan a sibibiagen.

BRYAN:  Aguray lang ngarud ta mapanak bumulod pala dita bangir. Pakpaken tayo lattan tatno haan a natagari.

Akmang tatayo si Bryan pero agad na hahawakan ni Ain ang mga balikat niya para pigilan ito. Kunwari ay mamasahehin pa niya ito.

AIN: Kunak garud, sikayo iti kapintasan.Nakalalaadak ngata.

Biglang aasikasuhin ni Ain ang tatlo at ipagtitimpla ng kape.

AIN: Agkape kayo pay laeng. Ana kayat yo a kanen? Uray anya, ibaga yo laeng ta ilutok.

Mapapatingin ang tatlo kay Ain at biglang hahagikgik.

AIN: Ukinnayo! Bigbigatan pay laeng! Addan tu latta iti aldaw yo kenyak!

Papasok si Kevin mula sa labas at kitang-kita ang mga pasa nito sa mukha. Iika-ika pa siyang naglalakad.

Agad na tatayo si Shasta at lalapitan si Kevin.

SHASTA: Oh my God! What happened?

AIN:  Diyos ko!Ana’t napasamak?

Titignan nilang apat si Ain. Magpi-peace sign si Ain. Igigiya ni Shasta si Kevin sa isang bakanteng upuan at titignan ang mga pasa sa mukha nito.

KEVIN:  Life happened.

Akmang magsasalita si Ain pero duduruhin siya ni Chriezel ng kutsara.

CHRIEZEL: Agsao ka pay?Ana panagkuman ta bagim? Google translate?

Isasara ni Ain ang bunganga at kunwaring isi-zipper iyon habang umiiling. Kukunin niya na lang ang isa pang tasa at saka magtitimpla ng kape.

Tatayo si Bryan at papasok ng kwarto.

SHASTA:  Naggappuam aya?

CHRIEZEL: In-report mon dayta napasamak kenka?

Mag-iiwas ng tingin si Kevin. Tipong may sasabihin pa sina Shasta at Chriezel pero magkakatinginan na lang at iiling.

Babalik si Bryan na may dalang first aid kit at saka tatabi kay Kevin. Sisimulan niyang linisan ang mga sugat ni Kevin.

KEVIN: Nu maminsan, Bryan, sweet ka met. Pabisong man!

BRYAN: Kayat mo a nayunak dagita sugat mo?

KEVIN: Joke lang…

SHASTA: Sino akin aramid iti dayta?

KEVIN: Long story. Saka haan nga importanten nu sino man isuna. Awan met laeng iti maganab yo nu maammuan yo.

CHRIEZEL: Ana nga awan. Mabalin ko apan ipa-salvage! Naggargarampangam man gaminen?

AIN: Naggarampang a dagus? Saan aya a mabalin a  simmali laeng isuna iti boxing, mix martial arts, taekwondo, wrestling, kasjay? Sobra ka met! Gapu ta unicorn, garampang a dagus? Judgemental! Kuna da garud, don’t judge a book by its cover because there’s a rainbow always after the rain! Oh di ba pak! Rainbows ken unicorns. Kasla gay pride lang. I thank you! World peace!

Titignan ulit ng apat si Ain.

AIN: Kunak garud, mapanak agluton.

Aalis si Ain.

BRYAN: Ana? Kadwaan ka nga mapan pulis station madamdama?

KEVIN:  Madin. Awan tu met laeng iti papanan na. Bay-an yon.

SHASTA:  Haan met a mabalin nga baybay-am lattan, Kevin. Kitaem man ta langam!

CHRIEZEL: Ana  aya ti usto a napasamak?

KEVIN: Long story garud.

Didiinan ni Bryan ang paglilinis sa sugat ni Kevin at mapapa-aray ito.

Darating si Rafael at matitigil silang lahat.Mag-iiwas ng tingin si Kevin at mahahalata iyon ng tatlo.

CHRIEZEL:  And the long story just got shorter.

Parehong mag-iiwas ng tingin sina Rafael at Kevin.

SHASTA: Baka kayat yo iti agpalawag a duwa.

Isang malalim na buntong-hininga ang pakakawalan ni Kevin bago magsasalita.

KEVIN: Nu mabalbalin lang, ibati da kami pay laeng…

Hindi iimik sina Shasta, Bryan, at Chriezel pero halatang napipilitan lamang na aalis.

Tatayo si Kevin at aayusin ang mga ginamit sa paglilinis sa sugat niya.

KEVIN: Go home.

Lalapitan ni Rafael si Kevin pero titignan lang siya ng masama ni Kevin.

RAFAEL: Kayat ko laeng a makita nu ana iti lagay mo.

Haharap kay Rafael si Kevin at ipapakita ang mukha.

KEVIN: Makitkitam met a nabiagag pay. Mabalin mon iti agawid.

RAFAEL:  I’m sorry, Kevin. Nu ammok laeng—

KEVIN: No. Not this time. You can’t say sorry and feel better about yourself.  Not for this one.

RAFAEL: Maawatem met kuma ah…

KEVIN: Isu garud a narigrigat a aklunen, Rafael, ta maawatak, ta ammok nu apay a naaramid mo kanyak amin daytoy.

RAFAEL: Kevin…

KEVIN:  Agawid kan. Baka biruken na ka man ni tatang mon. Isu pakatayakon nu makita nata nga agkadwa.

RAFAEL: Kevin met—

KEVIN:  Ana aya iti kayat mo nga ibagak? Nga okay lang? Sige! Nu ata laeng iti ururayem, okay lang.

RAFAEL: Kev, haan ka kuma met a kasta ah. Ammum met nga—

KEVIN: Nga ana? Nga binaybay-an nak a madanug-danug ken makugtakugtaran? Nga insalangat nak kenni tatang mo tatnu laeng madi da maamwan a bakla ka? Nga imbagam kadakuada a basol ko nu apay a nagbalin ka a kasta? A sinulisug ka laeng?

RAFAEL:  Nabutnganak lang…

KEVIN: And your cowardice almost got me killed!

RAFAEL: Ana aya iti kayat mo nga aramidek? Haanak met a kasingtured mo. Kasanuak laingen ngay nu naamuwan da iti agpayso? Kevin! Haanak a padam a kaya na iti agbiag nga agmaymaysa! Panunutem met  koma.!

Mapapailing si Kevin.

KEVIN: I can’t believe I let myself drown into someone as shallow as you.

RAFAEL: Please, Kevin…

KEVIN: Agawid kan, Rafael. Haan mo urayenen nga siak mismo ito mangiguyod kenka pasubli sajay balay yo.

Mapapatungo si Rafael at saka aalis. Maiiwang nakatayo lamang doon si Rafael.



Papasok ang dalawang mananayaw at sasayawin ang unang stanza at unang chorus ng kanta.

Babalik sa pagkakaupo si Kevin at titignan lamang ang direksiyon kung saan lumabas si Rafael, nagpipigil ng iyak.

May mga pagkakataong tatayo siya at akmang susundan si Rafael pero sa huli ay ipagpapatuloy na lamang ni Kevin ang pag-aayos sa mga ginamit na panglinis sa sugat niya.

Bago matapos ang pagsasayaw ng dalawa ay maglalakad na papunta sa pintuan ng kwarto si Kevin pero imbes na pumasok ay mapapasandal lamang siya doon.

Matatapos sa isang tableu ang dalawang mananayaw.




Magkatabi sa may lamesa sina Chriezel at Gerome, may ilang notebook na nakabukas saharapan nila. Kitang-kita ang laki ng tiyan ni Chriezel.

CHRIEZEL: Apay kasla nagadu met launayen iti insuro da kinyayon. Maysa aldawak lang a saanak a nakasirrek.

GEROME: Anya kuma iti baru dita, mare? Ket nagadu met a talaga iti minor subjects tayo a feeling major subjects. Diyak tupay ammu nu apay nga nagadu launay iti iparpaaramid da. Sadantu pay kasla Dios nu agsao. Apay? Panagkuna da aya ket nalaka?Isudan tupay. Maysa laeng a subject iti isursuro da, marigatan da pay. Sitayon tu lakitdin nga estudyante a manu a subjects iti rumbeng nga intay adalen iti unos ti maysa nga aldaw.

CHRIEZEL: Haan met a nasakit iti pakinakem mo ana, mare. Bassit lang tay imbatad ko, inatiw mon iti drama ti radio ta kinaatindug ta sinalawasaw mo.

GEROME:  Ibagbagak lang! Ayna, nu mabalbalin laeng nga madi ak agadalen, nabayag kon a pinuuran amin a building dita campus.

CHRIEZEL:  Isu pay ah! Ajay lang ta awan met maaramidanta ta diploma met iti biruken da nu agbirok ka iti trabaho. Nu mabalbalinlang, ag-Japayuki ak lattan.

Titignan ni Gerome ang tiyan ni Chriezel.

GEROME: Di la sumgar ta dutdot mon dita imbagam, Chriezel?

CHRIEZEL: (Tatayo) Ket apay kuma? Napintasak met. Ammok met iti agsala.

GEROME: Baka kayat mo pay iti aganak nga umuna, mare.

CHRIEZEL: Ayna! Haan a problema dayta. Exotic kunamman! Buy one, take one!

GEROME: Nu madi ka la ga agdadagsen, tinungpa-tungpa kan.

CHRIEZEL:  Subra ka met! Liwliwaek lang ti bagbagik. Makabannog iti agpanunot nu maminsan.

GEROME: Ket apay gamin a sika laeng iti agpanpanunot? Inya kuma sirbi na ni ETTHON nga nangsikog kenka? Ana iti panagkunana iti bagi na aya? Sperm donor laeng? Anya, gummatel, angkudkod, pummanaw? Kasjay lattan?

CHRIEZEL: Ayna mare! Di nan tupay maitured nga ibaga kinni inang na nga agdadagsenak. Imbag ngarud ta adda pay kunsensiya na ajay a lalaki uray kaskasanu ta mangmangted pay iti kwarta nu maminsan. Ammom aya a binagaannak pay nga iparegreg ko latta kanun tanu awanen ti parikot.

GEROME: Tinungpa-tungpam kuma! Anyamet a kapanunutan daytan. Apay? Basol ta ubing ti kinagargarampang ‘yo?

CHRIEZEL: Ayna, dandanik pay kinugtaran ngem ammum metten, madik tupay maingato daytoy saka kon. Nu haan lang koma a dakes ti mangpapatay, nabayagen nga insublik kenni inangna a nakalungon.

GEROME: Sikan tu man gamin! Inya aya ti napanpanunot mo ta ingkayang mo lattan. Ubing tayo pay. Disinuwebe ka pay laeng. Kasanukan ngay? Imbag kuma nu mailimed mo kadati nagannak mo dayta panagdadagsen mo. Manu a lawas laingen, malasindan ta tiyan mo. Anantun ti aramidem nu maamwan da?

CHRIEZEL: Sangwek tu lattan ah ti pungtot da. Nu mabalbalin a saan da a maamwan aginggana makapagpasngayak ket nasayaat. Basol ko met datoy.Nagpakatangaak. Awan met ti mabalin ko nu kastoy ti nagbalin a gasat ko.

GEROME: Kayam aya?

CHRIEZEL: Ket iturturedkon ah. Isu laeng met iti mabalin ko nga aramiden ita.

Papasok si Ain, kasunod niya si Etthon. Hindi sila agad mapapansin noong dalawa.

AIN: Adda bisitam, kabsat.

Parehong mapapatingin kay Etthon sina Chriezel at Gerome.

GEROME: It’s a miracle!

CHRIEZEL:  No father, its Coat Saver!

AIN:  Awan iti milagro! Iti milagro ket masarakan laeng kadagiti puspuso dagiti tattao! Nora Aunor, Himala, Ilokano version.

GEROME:  Eksena!

CHRIEZEL: (Kay Etthon)Ana’t nakan mo ta adda ka ditoy?

Mapapatingin kina Ain at Gerome pero hindi magsasalita. Pati tuloy si Chriezel ay mapapatingin sa dalawa. Magkakatinginan din sina Ain at Gerome bago magliliwanag ang mukha sa pagkakaintindi.

AIN: Hoy baboy! Pumanaw ta kanun.

GEROME:  Wen kawayan! Makariknaak met ket.

AIN: Baboy? Kawayan? Happy fiesta! Hala bira! Hala bira!

GEROME:  Nagaddu ammum! Inta kitdin!

Aalis sina Gerome at Ain.

ETTHON: Imbaga da kenyak nga madi ka kanu nakastrek. Ana’t marikriknam?

CHRIEZEL: Concern? Bassit pay mamati-ak iti milagron.

ETTHON:  Kasarsarita ka a nasayaat, Chriezel.

CHRIEZEL: (Gagayahin ang pagkakasabi ni Etthon)Kasarsarita ka a nasayaat, Chriezel.

ETTHON: (Inis) Nakarigrigat ka a kasarsarita!

CHRIEZEL: Mayat ah! Makaunget ka nga dagus? Apay? Madi mabalin iti ag-joke? Awanen aya iti karbengak nga agpakatawa?

ETTHON: Chriezel!


ETTHON: Ammum, sika lang garuden iti umay ko binisita ditoy, siyak pay iti ikaskastam.

CHRIEZEL:  Wow! Kababain met kenka. Haan mo gamin nga putot daytoy sikog ko eh. Pasensiyakan ah. Aguray lang ta iparuar ko jay red carpet.

ETTHON: Ana aya ti problemam?

CHRIEZEL:  Adu! Kayat mo nga ikkan ka iti listaan? Ngem ana kuma iti sirbi na  ket sika met iti umun-una ah nakalista!

ETTHON: Chriezel met!

CHRIEZEL: Imbagam kadagiti nagannak mon?

Hindi sasagot si Etthon at mag-iiwas ng tingin. Magpapakawala ng isang malalim na buntong-hininga si Chriezel.

CHRIEZEL: Nu kasta met laeng, awan gapu nga ummay ka ditoy.

ETTHON: Maawatam met kuma a! Haan met a kasjay kalaka dayta dawdawwatem.

CHRIEZEL: Iti panagkunam aya madik ammo? Ulitek laeng ta amangan a  nalipatam, siyak iti masikog isu ammok nu kasano karigat. Agawid kan, Etthon. Makapungpungtotak laeng a makakitkita kenka. Aginggana haan mo pay nabirukan tay ukel-ukel mo ken naibagam kadakuada a  nakasikog ka, haan ka pay lang agpakpakita kenyak. Kabaelak a takderan daytoy uray awan ka.

Aalis si Etthon. Magkakasalubong sila ni Shasta.

Agad na lalapitan ni Shasta si Chriezel at yayakapin.

CHRIEZEL: Nangngeg mo?

SHASTA: (Gagayahin ang pagkakasabi ni Chriezel) Kayak met duray awan ka! Big words!

Papaluin ni Chriezel ang braso ni Shasta at tatawa.

SHASTA: Paggatgatangam aya dayta a kinatangsit ken kinatured mo ta mapanak met gumatang.

CHRIEZEL: Napidotko lang ijay ruar.

SHASTA: Ipidutannak tun maminsan. Kayat mo rumwar?

CHRIEZEL: Awan kwartak. Ammum metten.

SHASTA: Siyak bahala kenka.

CHRIEZEL: Nagal-alaam manen? Sika Shasta ah! Maammuak lang nga agpokpokpok ka, basibasen ka!

SHASTA: Pokpok dagus? Saan aya a mabalin a nagilako-ak iti kidney?

CHRIEZEL: Sardengam iti panagtambay a kadwa ni Ain. Naakaran kan. Ngem jay agpaysu, nagalaam manen ta kuwartam?

SHASTA:  Ammum metten iti bastarda, awan pamilya na ngem adu iti kwarta na.

CHRIEZEL: Nagkita kayo kinni mamam?

SHASTA: Sinugod ko isuna ijay opisina na. Ayna! Nu nakitam lang kuma nu kasanu a pimmuraw jay rupa na. Kadwa na pay met ajay baru nga asawa na.

CHRIEZEL:  Sumro man kinabagtit mon! Ammum la ngaruden nga ilibak na kan tu met laeng, ipilpilit mo latta. Ana man iti palusot na tattan nu siasino ka?

SHASTA: Anak iti kasinsin na. Ajay met iti imbaga na idi umunak a makita ajay baru nga asawa na eh.

CHRIEZEL: Dayta garud iti ibagbagak kenka. Paspasakitam laeng ta bagim.

Hindi agad sasagot si Shasta.

SHASTA: Rumbeng lang nga ipalagip ko kenyana nga nabiagak pay, nga haan nak pay naikali a sibibiag. Madik baybay-an a malipatan na nu siasino ak. Dayta laingen iti nabatbati, madik itulok nga pati dayta ket alaen na pay.

CHRIEZEL: Ngem sika met iti marigrigatan…

SHASTA: Sinnanayan lang dayta.

Papasok sina Gerome at Ain.

AIN at GEROME: (Kumakanta) Maala-ala mo kaya, ang sumpa mo sa akin, na ang pag-ibig mo ay sadyang di magmamamaliw…

AIN:  Dear Manang Charo, gappu ta napinpitasak ngem sika, nagsuratak kenka tatnu maikkan ka iti beuty tips.

Babatukan ni Gerome si Ain kaya matitigil ito.

GEROME:  Nagtungtong tan eh!

AIN: Sumubsubra kan! Awan karbengam a mangtumpa kenyak! Kabsat ka laeng! Vina Morales, Kadenang Bulaklak, Ilocano version.

GEROME: Ana nga version ito kayat mo ang panangpatay ko kenyam? Wrong Turn? Spit on Your Grave? Wennu ala-Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Saka haan ka nga kabsat!

AIN:  Wow! Sika pay talaga iti adda gana na nga agreklamo? Kababain met kenyam.

Maririnig ang boses ni Macoy mula sa labas.

MACOY: (Mula sa labas, patili) Best friend!

Papasok si Macoy na may dalang dalawang bag.

MACOY:  Ayna, Shasta! Nakaru a talaga dayta kinakabkabaw mun! Nu maisina lang dayta u— (Matitigil sa pagsasalita pagkakita kay Gerome) Oh my God! Adda man gayam ditoyen jay anak ni Golum.

AIN: (Gagayahin ang pagkakasabi ni Golum) My precious!

Sisikuhin ni Gerome si Ain.

AIN:  Pasensiyan friend, awtomatik eh.

GEROME: Ket ana ngay kuma nu adda ak ditoy. Problemam?

MACOY:  Awan met. Iti kinapagpaysuwanan na, nu maminsan ikarkararag ko a makita ka.

GEROME: Apay kuma?

MACOY:  Tatnu malagip ko nga adda pay naaskad iti rupa na ngem siyak. Agkallugong ka bago ka a rumwar ah. Ammom metten, mabilbilang la ngarud dayta buok mon baka maitayab pay.

CHRIEZEL: Agtalna kayo man, madamdama, makariing da Kevin, mabugkawan tayo manen.

GEROME: Ay haan! Sumubsobra ata a baboyen. Hoy! Tantadaanam, pudaw lang iti inlamang mo kenyak!

SHASTA:  Ken kinatayag, ken buok, ken—

Papamaywangan ni Gerome si Shasta kaya ito matitigil. Pasimple namang makikipag-appear si Ain kay Shasta.

MACOY: Baboy? Baka kayat mo iti agsarming? Native!

GEROME:  Yorkshire! Saka tantandaanamn a nanannanam iti native!

Sabay na magbubukas ang pintuan nina Bryan at Kevin. Lalabas ang dalawa na madilim ang mukha, parehong mukhang kagigising.

Sabay na magsasalita at parehong nagpapa-cute sina Gerome at Macoy.

MACOY at GEROME:  Hi, Bryan!

Walang sabi-sabing lalapitan nina Bryan at Kevin sina Ain, Macoy at Gerome saka hahawakan sa may kuwelyo saka ilalabas.

AIN:  Awan basol ko! Awan iti pinatay ko!

Babalik sina Kevin at Bryan pero hindi na nila kasama sina Macoy at Gerome. Pasimpleng nakasunod sa kanila si Ain.

AIN:  Nora Aunor, The Flor Contemplacion Story, Ilocano version.

Sabay na titignan ng masama nina Bryan at Kevin si Ain. Magmamadaling aalis ulit si Ain.Ibabaling naman ng dalawang lalaki ang tingin kina Shasta.

KEVIN at BRYAN:  No pets allowed!

Parehong babalik sa kani-kanilang kwarto ang dalawa saka pabalibag na isasara ang mga pintuan.

CHRIEZEL: Kabutbuteng a talaga dagita a duwa nu madi iti riing da.

SHASTA: Imbagam pay. (Bubuntong-hininga) Agsukat kan.


SHASTA:  Inta gastusen ajay gag money nga inted ni inang ko. Ana kayat mo a kanen?

Sabay-sabay na papasok sina Gerome, Macoy at Ain at titingin lang kay Shasta.

SHASTA:  Toooo! Come here!

Lalapit ang tatlo kay Shasta. Babatukan ni Shasta ang tatlo.

SHASTA:  Basta makan iti tungtungan, nagpipigsa dagita lapayag yo!






Nakatayo si Parcy sa tapat ng lamesa, tinitignan ang isang box na puno ng Christmas Tree decorations.

Papasok si Kevin na dala-dala ang Christmas Tree.

KEVIN:  Pangikabilak?

PARCY: Ditoy pay lang lamesaan ta kawesan ta pay.

KEVIN: Apay gamin nga siyak ti inayabam a  tumulong? Ana ngay kuma iti ammok ditoy.

PARCY: Bakla ka a naturingan ngem dim ammo ti  ag-decorate? Ana pay kuma sirbi kina-baklam ngay?

KEVIN: I’m not really sure if I should be insulted or what.

PARCY:  Hoy, Kevin! Don’t English me! I die!

KEVIN:  Agkasinsin kayo ah talaga kinni Ain. Ammom, haan nga gapu nga baklaak, ammok dagiti kastoy a banagen.Apay? Amin aya a bakla adda parlor na?

PARCY:  Madi met ketdi a. Kasla sika laeng kuman. Agpaysu a lalaki met laeng iti birok mo, ngem kitaem met, uray babai, marigreg latta iti panty na nu makita da ka.

KEVIN:  Launay! Parcy, duray ana iti ibagam, madi ka a tulungan. Nabagkat kon toy Christmas tree. Kustunan.

PARCY:  Sadot!

KEVIN:  I’ll be taking that as a compliment.

Papasok si Zemaia at lilinga-lingang lalapit sa dalawa. Nakasunod sa kanya si Shiela.

ZEMAIA:  Naimbag a bigat yo, ading. Mabalin ba ti agsaludsod? Ditoy nga agnanaed ni Bryan de Gracia?

Sesenyas si Shiela sa dalawa na huwag sasagot pero hindi siya mapapansin ni Parcy na agad kakatukin ang pintuan ni Bryan.

Akmang pipigilan din ni Kevin si Parcy pero huli na ang lahat.

PARCY:  Bryan! Bryan! Adda agsapsapul kenka.

Bubuksan ni Bryan ang pintuan at pupungas-pungas na titignan si Parcy.

BRYAN: Sino?

Ituturo ni Parcy sina Zemaia at Shiela.Agad na magdidilim ang mukha ni Bryan.

SHIELA:  Manong…

BRYAN: Shiela, di met aya nalpas tan a nagsarita?

ZEMAIA:  Saan nga isuna iti nagibaga kenyak. (Haharapin si Shiela) Ammum gayam nu sadino ti ayan ni manong mo madim man lang imbaga. Dua nga aldawak nga agsapsapul kenkuana.

SHIELA:  Nang…

BRYAN:  Haan yo a pagpudutan ni Shiela ta siyak iti nangibaga kenkuana a haan na kayo a bagbagaan. Apay? Ana aya iti masapol yo kenyak?

SHIELA:  Manong, haan met kuma a kasta iti panagsasaom ah.

ZEMAIA:  Kayat ko laeng a makita nu kamusta kan. Awan aya iti planom nga agawid? Manu nga aldawak ditoyen ngem tatta ta laeng a nagkita.

BRYAN:  Apay? Adda ya maganab ko nu umay ka kitaen? Nu agbirbirok ka iti nabara a panangsarungkar, ajay asawam iti papanam. Awan ti manamnamam kenyak.

Akmang sasabat si Parcy pero pipigilan siya ni Kevin at sesenyasang huwag makiaalam.

SHIELA: Manong, saan koma ah kasta ah. Tatta tayo laeng a kumpleto. Ita nga adda kadatayo ni Mama—

BRYAN: Ana ngay koma ti bibiang ko nu nagawid dayta inang mo? Ken ana koma nu adda isuna? Adda aya ti maipaay nanga nasayaat ti panagawid na? Nu adda man iti tao a agragsak iti panagsubli na, ajay asawa na lang. Haan a sika. Nakarkaru a haan a siyak.

ZEMAIA: Anakko, haan nak met kuma a ikaskasta ah…

BRYAN: Apay koma a saan? Anya aya ti pagarup mo, gapu ta nagawid ka ket kasapulan a sabten ti nabara? Nasuruk a sangapulo a tawen na kami a binaybay-an!

ZEMAIA: Haan kayo met a binaybay-an—

BRYAN: Ana nga haan? Saan a gapu nga agipatpatulod ka ti kuwarta ket uston. Apay, masubadan aya ti pirak ti amin a kinadakes ken kinadangkok nga inaramid ti demonyo nga asawam? Impierno ti nangibatiyam kadakami.Tatta a nakapanawak, saka nak umay alaen nga isubli?

SHIELA:  Manong!

BRYAN: Iyawid mon ta inang mo, Shiela. Ipagarup yo lattan a natayakon.

Lalapitan ni Zemaia si Bryan at tangkang hahawakan pero iiwas ang huli.

ZEMAIA: Awan met iti sabali a dawatek kenka, anakko. Iti kayat ko laeng met ket uray ita lang kuma a paskua, agkakadwa tayo. Duray maysa nga aldaw laeng.

BRYAN:  Haan yo nga ipilit dayta kayat yo!

ZEMAIA:  Anakko, pangngaasim met ah. Manu nga aldaw laingen, agsubliak—

BRYAN: Ket agsubli ka latta ah! Sublianam dagijay aywan mo ijay Hong Kong ta isudamet a talaga iti annak mo. Duray ana iti ibaga yo, haan dak a mapasubli. Nu kayat yo iti aggian impierno, sikayo lattan. Baka makapatayak pay iti demonyo nu makitak ajay asawam.

Sasampalin ni Zemaia si Bryan. Matitigil ang lahat at mapapatingin sa mag-ina.

ZEMAIA: Sumubsubrakan! Nu agsao ka, kasla lang awan naganganab mo iti panangpakasar ko kinni Ankel Dodong mo. Panagkunam aya, makaapanak Hong Kong nu madi nak a tinulungan? Nu haan a gappu kanyana, aginggana itatta, agururay tayo pay laeng iti milagro a sublianan na tayo ni tatang mo.

BRYAN: Saan yo nga isungsungbat kenyak ta kinatanga yo.

Muling sasampalin ni Zemaia si Bryan. Mapapa-atras si Parcy, hindi makapaniwala sa nangyayari.

Darating sina Chiezel at Shasta pero matitigil din agad sanakikitang nangyayari.

Lalapitan ni Shiela si Bryan at ilalayo.

SHIELA: Nang! Kustunan! Manong, anyametten! Pangngaasim, madi ka sumungsungbaten.

ZEMAIA: Nagtangken ka la unay, Bryan. Maysa aldaw lang iti dawdawatek kenka!

BRYAN:  Maysa aldaw laeng? Maysa aldaw laeng.Sige.Dayta iti kayat yo.Ana aya iti maysa nga aldaw a makitak dayti demonyo a rinabi nga umay mangbabbaboy kenyak iti uneg ti sangapulo a tawen?Ana aya iti maysa laeng nga aldaw nga agsango kami nu iyabay mo iti nasurok sangapulo a tawen nga insalsalangat ko iti bagik tano laeng haan na nga garawen pati ni Shiela. Awan met, di ket? Sikayo mismo iti nangibaga, maysa nga aldaw laeng.

Akmang sasampalin ulit ni Zemaia si Bryan pero matitigil. Mapapatakip siya sa bunganga at mapapaatras, maglilipat-lipat ang tingin kina Shiela at Bryan.

Yayakapin naman ni Shiela si Bryan.

SHIELA:  Manong…

BRYAN:  Pasensiya kan, Shiela. Madik kaya a tupden diay inkarik kenka.Diakon kabaelan nga ilimed pay.

Tulalang lalabas si Zemaia.Susundan lamang siya ng tingin ng lahat.

BRYAN: Mapan mo sarunwen isunan, Shiela. Bantayam. Baka ana pay iti maaramid na.

Titignan lamang ni Shiela si Bryan panadalian bago susundin ang sinabi nito at susundan si Zemaia.

Maglalakad sana si Bryan pero biglang mangangatog ang tuhod niya at matutumba. Agad siyang dadaluhan nina Kevin at Shasta. Lalapit din sina Parcy at Chriezel.

Saka pa lamang maririnig ang paghagulgol ni Bryan.

Papasok si Ain na may dala-dalang box pero agad ding matitigil pagkakita sa kanilang lima.

Maririnig ang huling parte ng Christmas carol na pinatugtog sa simula.





Nakaupo si Ain at abala sa pagbabasa ng diyaryo. Maririnig ang boses nina Gerome at Macoy.

MACOY: (Mula sa labas) Adda ka man ditoyen!

GEROME: (Mula sa labas) Apay? Balay mo? Balay mo? Ayan na iti titulom?

Papasok sina Macoy at Gerome, nagtutulakan, parehong may dalang supot ng pagkain.

MACOY:  Nagpuskol lang ta rupam! Nu ata kuma kinapuspuskol ti rupam ket isu iti impuskol ta buok mo, di haan mo kuma a karuprupa ni Kokey!

GEROME: Wow! Kababain met kenka! Nu siyak, napuskol ti rupa na, sika, haan lang a rupa! Ultimo ingrown ken split ends mo, adda bilbil na!

AIN:  Shatap! Ana manen aya iti pagap-apaan yo?

GEROME:  Ket kasanu met gamin. Umay ko kuma bisitaen ni Bryan. Nakangngeg lang daytoy a baboy, summuruten! Agtutulad!

MACOY:  Apay? Panagkunam, baybay-ak a masolom ni Bryan. Kitam man ta rupam? Duray aso madik ibati a sika iti kadwana, ni Bryan pay ngata!

GEROME: Tagikuam ta iparit mo?

MACOY: Wen! Apay? Adda reklamom! Kukuak laerng isuna, kukuaklang ni Bryan!

Sasampalin ni Ain si Macoy.

AIN: Awan iti kukuam, Macoy!

Sasampalin ni Ain si Gerome.

AIN:  Awan ti Kukuam, Gerome! Kukuak lang ni Bryan! kukuak laeng! Angel Locsin, The Legal Wife, Improvised Ilocano Version. Pak!

MACOY: Sika ngata iti pakpaken me, kayat mo?

GEROME: Baka kayat mo iti ma-Angel Locsin a kas ijay One More Try nga impungot-pungot ni Angelica Panganiban?

Mapapahawak sa buhok si Ain.

AIN: Kunak garud, sige, paginnagawan yo lattan. Kayat yo gudwaek laingen ni Bryan. Anya kayat yo a gudwa, Lengthwise wennu crosswise?


MACOY:  Adda aya dita ni Bryan?

GEROME: Adda ginatang ko a chocolate cake, baka kayat na.

MACOY:  Cheap! Sus! Chocolate cake kanu, naggappu met panaderia ijay kanto!

GEROME: Apay sika? Ana dayta tugot mo?Liempom a naprito?

MACOY: Excuse me? Home-baked coffee and praline soufflé with freshly brewed Palais Des Thes chamomile tea.

AIN:  Ana kanu?

GEROME: Madim damagenen ta dumakkel man a lalun iti ulo na datan.

AIN:  Ket ana ngay garud ti isungbat ta.

Magkakatinginnan sina Ain at Gerome bago haharapain si Macoy.

 AIN at GEROME:  Whatever!

Sabay na magbubukas ang pintuan nina Bryan at Kevin. Mukha na naman silang bagong gising at masa ma ang tingin sa tatlo. Sabay-sabay na magpi-peace sign ang tatlo kaya babalik din sa loob ng kwarto sina Bryan at Kevin.

AIN:  Siyak laeng aya wennu talaga nga mamin-anu na tayo a pinatay dayta a duwan sajay panunot da.

GEROME:  Imbagam pay. Urayak la sumgar. Kabutbuteng.

MACOY: Kunak la ngarud nu umay da tayu manen iguyod paruar ditoy.

AIN: Naggugwapo ngem kasla da la pumatay iti tao. Maysa pay dayta a madik maawatan kanyayo a duwa. Nu apay nga uray kasanu karanggas ni Bryan kanyayu, sige kayo latta a sige.

GEROME:  Sobra ka met. Haan met isuna a kasjay. Nu sumro laeng.

MACOY:  Timing lang a talaga nu maminsan. Ngem ammum met a nasingpet isuna.

AIN: Hmp! Iti ibagayo, crush yu lang a talaga isuna uray kurang laingen ket tagbatagbaten na kayo, sige kayo latta a sige.

MACOY: Ana ngay maaramidam nu true love garud!

GEROME:  Isupay ah! Madi tayo lang ammu, isu laeng gayam iti ur-urayen na.

Ihaharap ni Ain ang dalawang kamao sa mukha ng dalawa.

AIN:  Puyutan yo.

Hihipan naman ng dalawa kamao ni Ain.

AIN:  Tanga! Agsardeng kayu man!

Babalik sa binabasang diyaryo si Ain. Makikidutdot din sa diyaryo si Macoy. Manlalaki ang mata at panandaliang magbabasa bago nagmamadaling kakatukin ang kwarto ni Shasta.

MACOY: Oh my God! Shasta! Shasta!

Bubukas ang pintuan at lalabas si Shasta na inaantok.


Ibibigay ni Macoy ang diyaryo kay Shasta. Babasahin lang iyon ni Shasta at mapapabuntong-hininga.

GEROME:  Apay?

SHASTA: I’m no longer a secret.

AIN:  Ana?

MACOY:  Ammu daydi asawa ni Mama nan. Nag-file kanu iti annulment ajay lalaki idi naammuan na. Ukis ti saba na kabsat, big time gayam ni inang mo a talaga, pati ajay naasawa na.

AIN:  Apay? Madi ammu jay asawa na nga adda anak ni mama mon?

SHASTA:  Panagkunam? Ilimmeng dak aya ditoy sulsulinek iti lubong nu ammu na?

GEROME: Ket kasanun ngay?

SHASTA:  Problema na metten ah. Isuna akin aramid, di sangwen na lattan. Mayat kitdi ah, tatnu duray itatta laeng, haanakon a kasla agtatakaw nga aglimlimmeng . I should be happy.

MACOY:  Kasta iti naragsak? Kasla ka la natayan.

 SHASTA: Sayang lang gamin. Malpas amin a panagsaksakripisyok, kastoy latta iti nagtungpalanna. Basol ko latta nu apay a madi na mabirukbirukan iti mangparagsak kenkuana.

GEROME: Shasta, awan met rason a pabasulen—

SHASTA:  I’m alive. That’s reason enough. Madik kayat a pagtungtunganen.

Babalik sa kwarto si Shasta at maiiwan ang tatlo.

 MACOY: Bassit laingen, mamatiakon nga adda malas na atoy a boarding house. Gatsanggasat dagiti biag amin a nagnaed ditoy.

GEROME: Kasla la episode iti MMK a kanayon. Addan sa a talaga iti malas ditoy a balay.

Mapapatingin kay Ain sina Macoy at Gerome.

AIN: Siyakun! Siyakun iti Malas! Siyakun iti agmaymaysa! Jennelyn Mercado, English Only Please, Rephrased Ilocano Version!

GEROME at MACOY:  Letse!






Nakatayo na sa kani-kanilang pwesto ang mga mananayaw bago pa man magsimula ang unang pintig ng puso mula sa background music.

Magsisimulang magsalita ang mga mananayaw, tipong magpapatong-patong ang boses hanggang sa dulo ay magsasabay-sabay.

MANANAYAW 1: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

MANANAYAW 2: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

MANANAYAW 3: (Chanting) Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.

LAHAT NG MANANAYAW: (Chanting)Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam. Siripem! Kitaem! Mingmingam! Ilukat mo ta matam.


Nakaupo si Shasta sa may lamesa, nakatulala.

VOICE OVER:  In local news. Business woman Diana Logan-Romualdez, the wife of local business tycoon  Alfredo Romualdez is still in the ICU after what seems to be an attempted suicide. This happened a week after the scandal that had threaten to break their marriage…

SHASTA:  Kustunan…

Papasok si Kevin, nakasunod sa kanya si Rafael. Mapapatingin lang sa kanila si Shasta pero hindi siya makikita ng dalawa.

RAFAEL: Just give me one more chance, Kevin. I swear—

KEVIN: Haannak man a riribuken, Rafael!

RAFAEL: Ana aya iti kayat mo nga aramidek mapakawan nak laeng?

KEVIN: Rafael, haan nga siyak iti pagdawatam iti pammakawan nu di ket ta bagim. Ta siyak, ammuk nu siasino ak ken madik ikababain dijay. Haan ko nga ilimlimed. Nalpasakon a naglimmeng ken nagbuteng, Rafael. Madi nak met kuma iguyguyod pasubli dijayen.

RAFAEL: Madik kaya daytoy nga agmaymaysa, Kevin.

KEVIN: Kayam. Madim lang kayat. Rafael, nu mabalbalin laeng nga siyak iti sumango para kenka inaramid kon. Ngem madi eh. Haan met a mabalin nga aglimlimmeng ka kinanayon. Ammum nu ana ka, nu siasino ka. Adda kenkan nu takderam wennu saan.

RAFAEL: It’s not that easy! Damn it!

Titignan ni Kevin si Rafael at hindi agad magsasalita.

KEVIN: Ammok. Naggappu ak ditan. Isu nga nu mabalbalin laeng, madim met koma nga ipaspasa kenyakon. Nalpas daytan a dana iti biag ko. Haan ko kayat nga subliananen.

RAFAEL: Kunakon eh. Ibati nak met laeng.

KEVIN: Sika iti nangibati kenyak, Rafael.

Aalis si Rafael. Mauupo si Kevin sa isa sa mga lamesa.

SHASTA:  (Pabulong) Kustunan…

Lalabas si Chriezel at Etthon sa kwarto, halatang nag-aaway.

ETTHON: Narigat aya nga awaten iti ibagbagak kenka?

CHRIEZEL: Sika iti nakarigrigat a katungtong! Nu awan met laeng iti nasayaat nga ibagam, pumanaw ka lattan!

ETTHON: Para kenyayo met laeng daytoy, Chriezel! Awatem met kuma!

CHRIEZEL: Ket siyak? Maawatannak aya! Etthon, kasla ak la kabit nga mailimlimed ken mailimlimmeng! Ammom aya iti riknana iti agriing iti bigat nga awan man lang iti kadwa na! Inaldawak a agbutbuteng Etthon ta madik ammo nu katnu nga dumteng iti aldaw a madi ka umay ditoyen!

ETTHON: Apay gamin a kasta iti panagpanpanunot mo?

CHRIEZEL: Ket ana kuma iti panunutek? Etthon! Binagaan dakon ijay eskwelaan a nu awan maiparang ko nga wedding certificate, madidak a pag-enrolin tun sumaruno a semestre. Ana? Ana iti kayat mo nga aramidek? Inya metten Etthon, haan mo met kuma dawatinen ah nga pati panagadal ko, isakripisyok gappu laeng kenka!

ETTHON: Apay? Kinayat ko? Sika iti nangipilit nga ituloy dayta! Tapos tatta, siyak iti pagproblemaem?

Sasampalin ni Chriezel si Etthon.

ETTHON: Chriezel…

CHRIEZEL: Pumanaw kan.

ETTHON: Chrizel, dispensarem, ngem saan nga isu ti kayat ko a sahwen…

CHRIEZEL:  Pumanaw kan!

Itutulad ni Chriezel si Etthon. Mapipilitang umalis si Etthon.

SHASTA:  (Mas malakas) Kustunan!

Maririnig ang pagkalabog sa kwarto ni Bryan. Agad na mapapatayo si Kevin at pupuntahan ito.

KEVIN: Bryan!

Karay-karay na ilalabas ni Kevin si Bryan na walang malay, bumubula ang bibig.

Sakto namang papasok si Shiela at agad na lalapitan ang dalawa.

Lalapit din si Chriezel. Si Shasta naman ay hindi man lamang aalis sa kinauupuan at saka

SHIELA:  Manong Bryan!

CHRIEZEL:  Diyos ko! Bryan!

KEVIN: (Kay Shasta) Agayab ka ti tricycle!

Nakatunganga lang na titingin si Shasta pero hindi gagalaw.

CHRIEZEL:  Shasta! Agayab ka iti tricycle.

SHIELA:  Manong! Manong! Manong, imulagat mo met ta matamon ah. Manong!

KEVIN:  Bryan! Bryan! Aguray ka lang biit. (Kay Shasta) Shasta! Aggunay kan ah!

Mapapaatras si Shasta at lalayo.

SHASTA:  Kustunan… Kustunan.. Kustunan! Basol ko! Basol ko! Basol ko! Kustunan!

Hahagulgol si Shasta at mapapaupo sa may pintuan ng kanyang kwarto.

SHASTA:  Kustunan… Pangngaaasi yo… Kustunan…


pang-anim na tagpo

Magkakaharap na nakaupo sa lamesa sina Ain, Gerome, at Macoy. Kitang puyat silang lahat.

Papasok si Parcy at halatang pagod na pagod.

AIN:  Kumusta ni Bryan?

PARCY: Awan met kanu iti piligron ngem bantayan da pay kanu.

MACOY: Apay met nga kastoy ngay. Kunam la metten nu inrurumen da amin nga agnanaed ditoy. Puro latta probleman.

GEROME: Kunak garud, adda a talaga iti malas.

Mapapatingin si Gerom at Macoy kay Ain.

AIN: Siyak manen iti nakitayon. Apay, basol ko nu nagrarapok ito adda problema na ditoy? Atoy boarding house ah iti ibagaam a malas, haan a siyak.

PARCY: Haan met kuma a. Saka haan met a malas wennu swerte iti agibatbatang nu ana aya iti mapasamak iti biag iti maysa a tao.

MACOY:  Agpaysu met ketdi ah.

GEROME: Kunada da garud, desisyon met iti tao nu ana iti kayat da nga aramiden kadagiti biag da. Awan met a talaga iti nalaka. Duray siasino met a talaga, dumteng iti kasta.

MACOY: Ammuyo, duray siak met ket. Mamin-anuk met a pinanunot nga agpakamatay laingen. Nakarkaro idi high school. Ayna, nu haanak laeng nga mabuteng iti dara, naustilakon.

PARCY: Agtalna ka man! Sika, haan na ka nga binaybay-an dagiti nagannak mo. Addada latta dita likod mo dray kasanu iti kinabagbagtit mo. Sabali me kenyada Bryan. Duray da Chriezel ken da Kevin. Sinango da nga agmaymaysa amin.

AIN: Imbagam pay. Narigat met a talaga nu kasta a nagadu lang garud iti panpanunutemon, mamaysam pay.

MACOY:  Haan da met nga agmaymaysa. Ana sirbi na ngay nga adattoy tayo?

PARCY: Duray nu addu dagiti tattao a nakaparibungbong kenyada, sabali latta nu haan ajay mismo a tao nga ururayen da iti umay nga mangtulong kenyada.

AIN:  Ayna apo! Nagdagsen laeng nga panpanunutin. Nu tagtagainep laeng kuma amin, naglaka kuma iti agriing.

MACOY:  Nagdakes met a tagtagainep datoyen ngay.

GEROME: Kasjay met a talaga. Nu maminsan, iti biag, kasla dakes laeng a tagtagainep.

PARCY: Iti narigrigat pay, awan man laeng iti mangayat nga mangriing kenka.




Magkakaharap sa lamesa sina Chriezel, Bryan, at Kevin, nagkakape, parepareho silang lumilingon sa Christmas tree.

Papasok si Rafael, kita ang mga pasa sa mukha at may dalang bag.Agad siyang lalapitan ni Kevin.


Hindi magsasalita si Kevin. Yayakapin niya lang si Rafael ng mahigpit saka igigiya papunta sa kwarto.

Papasok ang isang pulis, kasnod si Zemaia.

PULIS: Bryan De Gracia?

Mapapatayo si Bryan at naguguluhang mapapatingin kay Zemaia. Naiiyak na ngingiti lamang si Zemaia.

Susugurin ng yakap ni Bryan si Zemaia at mapapahagulgol.

Aalis silang tatlo at maiiwan si Chriezel sa lamesa. Isang buntong hininga ang pakakawalan niya. Akmang papasok na siyas a kwarto ay papasok si Etthon.


Luluhod si Etthon sa harapan ni Chriezel at saka ilalabas ang isang singsing.

ETTHON:  Will you marry me?

Itatayo ni Chriezel si Etthon at saka yayakapin ng mahigpit. Papasok silang dalawa sa kwarto.

Papasok si Shasta at makikitang walang ibang tao doon. Makikita niya ang tatlong tasa at isa-isang hahawakan iyon.

Mauupo siyas a isang upuan at magsisimulang umiyak.

Papasok ang mga mananayaw at sasayawin ang natitirang tugtog.


Aalis ang mga mananayaw at maiiwang umiiyak pa rin shi Shasta sa may lamesa. Maririnig ang mga yabag ni Ain.

AIN:  Shasta! Shasta! Hoy! Agriing kan!


AIN: Shasta! Kitam man atoy nga ubing! Ditoy pay talaga a naturog.

Magigising si Shasta at mapapatingin kay Ain pero hindi magsasalita. Maririnig ang boses ni Parcy mula sa labas.

PARCY:  Ain! Adatta ba ni Shasta?

Papasok si Parcy na may dala-dalang wheelchair.

AIN: Ayna! Nagtagtagainep sa manen. Agsangsangit nga nakaturog idi makitak.

Agad na lalapitan ni Parcy si Shasta.

PARCY: Shasta… Shasta…

SHASTA: M-ma-nang!

PARCY: Mapan ta pay laeng agpasyar ana? Tatnu makalinis ni Manong Ain mo ditoyen. Sumangpet gamin dagijay boarders tayo madamdaman. Isu ti kayat mo di met? Tanu adda man iti kaayayam mon.

Tatango si Shasta. Pagtutulungan na ililipat nina Parcy at ni Ain si Shasta sa wheelchair. Makikita na halos hindi maigalaw ni Shasta ang buong katawan at papaling-paling ang ulo.

Halos magkakasunod na darating sina Bryan, Kevin, at Chriezel, may kanya-kanyang dalang bag.

BRYAN:  Naimbag a bigat yo manang.

PARCY:  Ayna! Nagsapa kayo met a summangpiten. Aglinis kami pay laeng.

CHRIEZEL: Okay lang ajay manang. Maymayat tanu makatulong kami.

AIN: Nalinis met kitdin a dagijay kwarto da.

Lalapitan ni Kevin si Shasta.


SHASTA:  Ha-hay!

PARCY:  Kabsat ko.

BRYAN: (Kay Shasta) Hi! Siyak ni Bryan. Ana nagan mo?

SHASTA:  Sa-sa-Sasta!

KEVIN: Nagpintas met jay nagan mon. Kasing-pintas mo laeng.

Hahalikan ni Kevin si Shasta sa pisngi. Tatawa ng malakas si Shasta.

AIN:  Kitam dayta kabsat mo. Nakakita lang iti gwapo, gummarampangen.

PARCY:  Umapal ka lang!

Titignan ni Shasta si Ain.

SHASTA:  B-bakla!

Maririnig ang boses nina Shiela at Zemaia.

SHIELA:  Manong! Tulungan na kami met kinni nanang ah!

Papasok sina Shiela at Zemaia.

ZEMAIA:  Intugot mon sa met gamin buo a balayen. Apay?Awanen aya iti planom nga agawid?

BRYAN:  Ni nanang met! Adda ah. Tatta pay nga adattoy ka.

ZEMAIA:  Uttot mo! Saannak nga allilawen.Banayagakon a naallilaw.

SHIELA:  Ayna! Imabagam pay inang. Sumipsipsip langdata ta kayat na agpagatang iti laptop.

Papasok din sina Etthon at Rafael, may kanya-kanyang karton na dala.

CHRIEZEL: (Kay Etthon) Ana man atan!

ETTHON: Madik man ammu kinni mama. Damdamagen na garud nu nalawa kanu ajay kwarto ta umay na itulod dajay crib ko idi ubingak.

CHRIEZEL:  Haan met nga excited launay ni Mamam ana. Tallu bulan pay laeng toy sikog ko.

ETTHON:  Pagbigyan ta lattan ah. Umuna garud nga apuko da.

Lalapitan ni Rafael si Kevin. Kukunin ni Kevin ang box mula kay Rafael at saka hahalikan si Rafael sa pisngi.

KEVIN:  Thanks!

RAFAEL:  Ana a thank you, adda bayad na ata!

Mapapatingin silang lahat sa dalawa. Saka pa lang tila nahihiyang maghihiwalay ang dalawa.

SHASTA:  Bakla!

Matatawa silang lahat.

AIN:  Mayat man dagiti boarders tayo itatta! Rapok rapok laeng! Ayna!

PARCY:  Imbagam pay. (Sa lahat) Ibati da kayo pay laeng ditoy. Ipasyar ko laeng biit ni Shasta tatnu makaurnos kayo a nasayaat.

CHROEZEL:  Sige manang.

PARCY:  Ain, sika pay laeng ti makaammo kakuada . Adda ginatang ko a meryenda ijay kusina. Pagmeryendaem isuda madamdama.

ZEMAIA:  Ayna! Duray saanen. Kababain met kenyayo…

PARCY:  Madim panunuten ajayen, nang. Kasla pamilya mi metten dagiti boarders mi. Sige, umuna kamin.

Aalis si Parcy tulak-tulak ang wheelchair kung saan nakaupo si Shasta.

KEVIN:  Bye baby girl….

SHASTA:  Babbay!

AIN: Ay aguray, kurang eh. Dapat nabarbara a panangsarabu. Welcome to heaven boarding house, where you can rest in peace forever . . .  Welcome to heaven boarding house, such a lovely face such a lovely pace . . . Plenty of room in the boarding house, anytime of year, you can find it here. Welcome! Eugene Domingo, Paano Kita Iibigin, Semi-original version. Oh, di ket? Nabongbongga! Kumugtar!

LAHAT:  Tse!







This script is a personal property of JAYSON ARVENE TABANGIN MONDRAGON. Please contact the author for permission to use this script. There is NO FEE for its usage but please do inform the author before using it as a matter of respect. Thank you and happy reading.



Unang Tagpo: Dance Routine

LFX: Dim lights/Follow Spot on Bob

SFX: Thumping heartbeat at the beginning with a modern dance track mixed to it.

Magsisimulang mag-sayaw ang mga mananayaw sa . Lahat sila ay naka-uniporme pero nakasuot ng maskara. Sa una ay sasabayan nila ang tunog noong pagpintig ng puso hanggang sa pumasok ang dance music na kanilang sasayawin.

Uupo ang lahat ng mananayaw sa mga armchair na nasa entablado, hindi gumagalaw. Matitigil ang dance track pero patuloy ang tunog ng pintig ng puso.

Papasok si ROBERT “BOB” MARTINEZ, naka-uniporme na katulad ng mga mananayaw, palinga-linga sa loob ng classroom, kita ang takot sa mukha.

Mauupo si BOB sa isang bakanteng upuuan at maglalabas ng isang stationary at magsisimulang magsulat. Sabay-sabay na mapapalingon sa kanya ang mga mananayaw. Sabay-sabay din silang tatayo at dahandahang pupunta sa kanilang pwesto. Palinga-linga pa rin si BOB pero mukhang hindi niya nakikita ang mga ito.

Maririnig ang isang malutong na pagtawa, sunod-sunod mula sa magkakaibang boses, na akala mo ay nang-iinsulto. Manlalaki ang mata ni BOB na mapapatayo at mapapalinga-linga sa paligid. Malalamukos niya ang stationary.

BOB: S-s-sino kak-kak-kayo?

DANCER 1: Love letter talaga?

DANCER 2: Uso pa ba ‘yan?

DANCER 3: Throwback pa more!

DANCER 4: Panaginip na nga lang, low tech pa rin!

DANCER 5: Baka walang internet sa bahay nila.

DANCER 1: Ang sabihin niyo, baka hindi niya alam gamitin. Para kanino ba yan?

DANCER 3: Para kanino ba yan?

DANCER 4: Malamang kay Daisy na naman yan.

DANCER 2: Kay Daisy?

DANCER 5: Ambisyon pa more!

DANCER 1: Sa tingin mo magugustahan ka niya?

DANCER 2: Sa bobo mong iyan?

DANCER 3: Sa itsura mong iyan?

DANCER 4: Sa kalagayan mong iyan?

DANCER 5: Mangarap ka ng gising dahil—

ALL DANCERS: Hindi ka niya magugustuhan!

Muling maririnig ang malakas na tawa.

BOB: (Pasigaw) Alam ko! Hindi niyo na kailangang ipagdiinan! Alam ko! Paano ba niya magugustuhan ang isang tulad ko, di ba? Normal siya! Samantalang ako — (Matitigil panandalian) samantalang ako…

Lalakas ang pintig ng puso. Maririnig ang overlapping na tawa at mga boses na nagsasabing “hindi normal”, “bobo”, “tanga” at iba pang panlalait na paulit-ulit.

Babalik sa upuan si BOB at mapapaupo doon at titignan ang stationary. Pupunitin niya iyon at ibabalik sa bag.

Aalis ang mga mananayaw at maiiwan si BOB doon.

BOB: A—a—lam k—ko…

Mapapayupyop sa upuan si BOB at animo’y natutulog.

VOICE OVER: (Boses ni Bob) Mabuti naman at alam mo.

Matitigil ang tunog ng pagpintig ng puso.



Pangalawang Tagpo


Maingay ang loob ng classroom, nagkakagulo ang mga estudyante at may kanya-kanyang ginagawa habang nakayupyop pa din si BOB sa may upuan na tila ba natutulog.

Mapapatingin sina MARK, KURT, at BEN sa natutulog na si BOB at magbubulungan at matatawa. Kanya-kanya sila ng kuha ng papel at lalamukusin iyon saka simulang ibato iyon kay Bob. Magtatawanan sila sa tuwing sa ulo tumatama ang papel.

Makikita ni ALICE ang ginagawa ng tatlo at mapapailing. Kakalabitin niya si ELLICE at saka ingunguso ang nangyayari. Titignan iyon ni ELLICE pero hindi magsasalita. Iismiran pa niya si BOB.

ALICE: Si Bob na naman ang nakita nila.

ELLICE: He deserves it.

ALICE: Heavy ha! Hindi ka naman galit sa lagay na iyan? Lakas lang maka-mean girls eh.

ELLICE: Nagsasabi lang ako ng totoo. Ano ba kasing akala niya dito sa classroom, extension ng bahay nila? Porke’t special, pa-ispesyal na din! Kung bakit kasi isinama-sama pa siya sa atin eh.

ALICE: Grabe ka naman! Kung makapagsalita ka—

ELLICE: He deserves it.

Maririnig ang pagtili ni DAISY mula sa labas at patuloy iyon hanggang sa makapasok siya. Maaalimpungatang magigising si BOB at mahuhulog sa upuan. Matatawa ang mga nandoon sa mangyayari pero parang walang nakitang didiretso sa tabi ni BOB si DAISY.

DAISY:  Bob! Bob! (Patili) Bob!

LFX: “I’m So Excited” by Pointer Sisters lines: “I’m so excited, and just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it”

Sasabayan ni DAISY ang tugtog na parang dubsmash.

BOB: (Mag-aayos ng upo) D-Daisy? Ba-bab-bakit? S-si-sino namatay?

MARK: Si-si-sin-si-no na-mam-mam-ma-tay?

Matatawa sina MARK, KURT, at BEN. Sabay na mapapatingin sina DAISY at BOB sa tatlo. Agad na mag-iiwas ng tingin si BOB pero iingusan lang ni DAISY ang tatlo.

DAISY: Huwag mo silang pansinin! Bob! Bob! (Patili) Bob!

BOB: Na-sa-sa-saniban ka b-ba?

Sabay na matatawa sina ALICE at ELLICE.

ELLICE: Like OMG. Tumama din sa wakas si Abnoy.

ALICE:  In fairness! Bumenta sa akin iyon.

DAISY:  Kung siya abnoy, ikaw baboy! Sabat lang ng sabat? Bakit? Kasali ka sa usapan? May invitation ka? Ha? Ha?

ELLICE:  Whatever!

BOB:  A-ano b-b-bang nangyari?

DAISY: (Patili) Hindi ko na siya crush!

BOB: Huh?

DAISY: Hindi ko na siya crush! Tanda mo ba iyong kapatid noong abay sa kasal ng kapitbahay ng kuya ng kamag-anak ng lola ng nagbebenta ng taho sa kanto namin na nakilala natin last time? Hindi ko na siya crush!

BOB: Ka-ka-patid ng a-ano?

DAISY:  Iyong kapatid noong abay sa kasal ng kapitbahay ng kuya ng kamag-anak ng lola ng nagbebenta ng taho sa kanto namin na nakilala natin last time! Hindi ko na siya crush!

BOB: B-bakit?

DAISY: Ay! Mabuti naman at natanong mo ‘yan. Kasi naisip ko lang, na kapag crush ko pa rin siya, lagi ko na lang siyang maiisip, iyong tipong siya na lang ang laman ng utak ko. Eh di kapag ganoon, hindi ako makakapag-aral. Kapag hindi ako nakapag-aral, malamang, hindi ako makaka-graduate. Kapag hindi ako naka-graduate, hindi ako makakahanap ng magandang trabaho. Kapag hindi ako nakahanap ng magandang trabaho, hindi ako pwedeng mag-asawa. Kapag wala akong asawa, eh di hindi ako magkakakaanak. Kapag hindi ako magkakaanak, tatanda akong mag-isa. Kapag tumanda akong mag-isa, walang mag-aalaga sa akin pagtanda. Kapag walang mag-aalalaga sa akin pagtanda, mamatay akong mag-isa. Kapag namatay akong mag-isa, walang magpapalibing sa akin. Kaya hindi ko na siya crush!

ELLICE:  Eh bakit hindi ka na lang namin ilibing ngayon para wala ka nang problema?

MARK: Ako, Daisy! Hindi kita iiwan! Sasamahan kita sa pagtanda!

Magsisigawan sina KURT at BEN. Magpapa-cute naman lalo si MARK.

ELLICE: Ang baba lang ng standards!

ALICE:  Hindi naman masyadong obvious ang pagmamaasim mo sa lagay na ‘yan, friend?

ELLICE: I don’t care. Totoo naman eh. Hindi na nga kagandahan, mukha pang ironing board.

DAISY: Excuse me.

ELLICE: Bakit? Iihi ka?

DAISY: Excuse me? Sinong tinatawag mong ironing board? Ang sexy ko kaya! Model na model ang figure! Pak! Pak! Pak!

ELLICE: Model ng ano? Men’s clothing?

BEN: Sige nga! Sige nga, hawakan mo nga iyong tenga niya!

KURT: Pitikin mo nga sa ilong!

ALICE: Sige! Gatungan pa ninyo!

ELLICE: At bakit ko naman sana papatulan ang otap na ‘yan? Mukhang bakla!

DAISY:  Excuse me?

LFX:  “Babae po ako” ni Tuesday Vargas. Kakantahin ito ni DAISY.

MARK, KURT at BEN: (Kumakanta) Girlaloo… Girlaloo… Girlaloo… Laloo… Laloo

DAISY: (Kumakanta)

Babae po ako

Mali ka diyan sa inaakala mo

Babae po ako

Hindi ako clone

Lalong ‘di likha ng ‘yong ilushown

Babae po ako

Pag nakatagilid, tingin mo lang ako’y otap

Porke ba bumper ko’y small lang ang sukat

Babae po ako… No no no

Babae po ako!

ELLICE: Anong akala mo dito. Glee?

SFX: Dubsmash: Kris Aquino’s “May tama ka” line. Sasabayan ni ALICE.

ELLICE: At kung takot ka talagang tumandang mag-isa, anong ginagawa ni Bob? Di ba? Friends naman kayo. Eh di siya na lang. Isang otap at isang abnoy. Ayaw mo nun, lagi kayong may discount dahil PWD siya.

MARK: Hep! Diyan naman yata ako hindi papayag.

SFX: Dubsmash: Maja Salvador in The Legal Wife: “Akin siya! Akin lang siya!”. Sasabayan ni MARK.

BEN: Naks naman ‘tol! The Legal wife lang? Baka gusto mong sampalin ka ni Bob saka ka niya linyahan ng—

KURT: (Magboboses babae) Walang sayo, Mark! Akin lang siya! Akin lang ang asawa ko!

MARK: (Titignan si Bob) Kung kaya niya.

Mag-iiwas ng tingin si Bob. Lalapitan ni Mark si Daisy at magpapa-cute.

MARK: Hindi mo na crush kung sino man iyon di ba? So tayo na?

Papasok si Ms. Penaflor, may hawak na grade slips.

PENAFLOR: Hindi Mr. Alvarez. Hindi tayo kundi upo.

Kanya-kanyang balik silang lahat sa upuan. Takot na mapapatingin si Bob sa test paper. Nag-aalangan siyang magtataas ng kamay.

PENAFLOR: Yes, Mr. Martinez?

BOB: Ma-ma’am. M-May I g-go o-out?

PENAFLOR: You’re test grades will not change even if I let you go out, Mr. Martinez. So that’s a no. I will be handing out your grade slips. Ilang buwan na lang ay magtatapos na kayo ng high school kaya siguro naman ay naiisip na ninyong seryosohin ang pag-aaral.

Isa-isang bibigyan ng grade slip ni Ms. Penaflor silang lahat. Ihuhuli niya si Bob na mukhang hindi mapakali.

PENAFLOR: I’ve given you enough leeway Mr. Martinez, considering your condition. Pero maliban sa Math, kung hindi pasang-awa ay bagsak ang mga grado mo. You have to work harder kung gusto mong magtapos kasabay ng mga kaklase mo. Do you understand me?

BOB: Y-yes, m-ma’am.

MARK: (Paubo) Bobo!

PENAFLOR: May sinasabi ka Mr. Alvarez?

MARK: Ay, wala po ma’am. Nangati lang po iyong lalamunan ko.


DAISY: Yes, ma’am?

PENAFLOR: See me before you go home. Kailangan nating pag-usapan iyong darating na Quiz Show. Wala ka pa rin bang nahahanap na kapareha?

MARK: I volunteer!

PENAFLOR: Mr. Alvarez, I appreciate your rigor pero kung ako sa iyo, uunahin ko ang pag-aaral ko. Talk to me kapag hindi na puro palakol ang laman ng grade slip mo.

DAISY: Naghahanap pa ako ma’am.

PENAFLOR: Pag-usapan natin iyan mamaya. So everyone else, you may go home. Daisy, sumama ka sa akin.

DAISY: (Kay Ms. Penaflor) Yes, ma’am! (Kay Bob) Baka late na kami matapos. Susunduin ka ba ng Lola mo o hihintayin mo ako?

BOB: S-sunduin.

DAISY: Okay! Daanan na lang kita bukas para sabay na tayong pumasok.

BOB: S-sige.

Aalis sina Daisy at Ms. Penaflor. Nakasunod sa kanila sina Ellice at Alice. Tatayo na din sina Mark, Kurt at Ben. Sasadyain pa ni Mark na banggain ang upuan ni Bob na nakaupo pa rin.

MARK: Tabi! Haharang-harang ka diyan.

Lalampasan ng tatlo si Bob. Aayusin na lamang ni Bob ang mga gamit niya.

BEN: Wala, pare. Daig ka ni Abnoy. Buti pa siya, araw-araw na kasabay si Daisy.

KURT: Oo nga, pare.

MARK: Oo nga eh. Nakakabanas. Ano ba kasi ang nakita niya sa abnoy na ‘yan?

BEN: Baka naawa lang. Alam mo na, special.

MARK: Ano naman sana ang espesyal sa pagiging autistic niya?

KURT: Kaya nga special eh! Kasi special child.

Tatayo na sana si Bob pero mabibitawan niya ang bag. Mapapatingin sa kanya ang tatlo.

MARK: Tara na nga!

Maiiwan si Bob na nakatungo.




Nakatayo lamang si BOB at palinga-linga habang may kausap si Lola Mameng sa cellphone.

LOLA MAMENG: (Sa cellphone) Ganun na lang? Aba, Magda! Hindi porke’t pareho na kayong may pamilya ni Arturo, pababayaan na ninyo si Bob! Baka naman gusto niyo ding bisitahin ang anak ninyo? Magtatapos na at lahat ng high school ang anak ninyo! (Makikinig panandalian) Puro ka na lang dahilan! Bahala na nga kayo sa buhay ninyo…

(Patuloy pa rin ang pakikipag-usap ni Lola Mameng sa cellphone)

Mapapatingin si Bob kina Daisy at Ms. Penaflor.

PENAFLOR: I need you to focus on the competition this time, Daisy. Hanggat maari, mas maganda sana kung dito nakatutok ang atensiyon mo.

DAISY: Opo naman, ma’am. Ako pa!

LFX: Dim Lights/Spotlight on Bob

SFX: “Sabihin Mo Sa Akin” ni Sherin Regis. Kakantahin ni Bob.

BOB: (Kumakanta)

Ang tunay bang pag-ibig ay mayroong mukha?

Ang puso ba’y saan tumitingin?

Ang mga ulap ba ay dapat kong hawiin

Upang maglaho ang dilim na bumabalot sa akin?

Pag-ibig ba ay may kinikilingan?

Namimili ba ng dapat mahalin?

Anong kailangan kong gawin upang

Pag-ibig ay maramdaman kahit lang saglit?

Ano ba ang mayroon sila

Na hindi matatagpuan sa akin?

Ako nga ba ay kakaiba

Sa kanilang paningin?

Ako ba ay may pagkukulang

Na dapat mapunan?

Ano ba ang mayroon sila

Na wala sa akin?



Tatapusin ni Lola Mameng ang tawag at saka lalapitan si Bob. Matatapos na din sa pag-uusap sina Daisy at Ms. Penaflor. Aalis si Ms. Penaflor at lalapitan naman ni Daisy sina Bob.

DAISY: (Kay Bob) Nandito pa pala kayo.

BOB: K-ka-rarating ni L-lola.

Magmamano si Daisy kay Lola Mameng.

LOLA MAMENG: Lalo ka yatang gumaganda, Daisy?

DAISY: Masyado naman kayong honest, Lola Mameng! Hindi naman masyado. Slight lang!

LOLA MAMENG: Tignan mo itong batang ito. Ay naku, kung ikaw ang mapapangasawa nitong si Bob, pwede na akong mamatay ng walang iniisip.

BOB: L-lola!

DAISY: Mamatay agad? Hindi pwedeng maimbalido muna? Morbid din kayong magsalita, Lola Mameng eh. Saka, hello? Mapapangasawa agad? Eh hindi nga ako nililigawan ng apo niyo. Hindi effective sa kanya ang kagandahan ng katawang lupa ko!

LOLA MAMENG: Bakit? Kapag nanligaw ba itong si Bob ko, sasagutin mo ba?

BOB:  L-lola! Na-nakaka-hi-hiya!

DAISY: Sus! Sa akin ka pa nahiya! Teka nga! Bakit ka nagba-blush! Hoy, Roberto Martinez! Umamin ka nga! May pagnanasa ka ba sa katawang lupa ko?

BOB: Huh?

DAISY: Huwag mo akong ma-huh-huh! Isang tanong isang sagot! May gusto ka ba sa akin o wala?

BOB: S-sakalin k-kaya kita!

DAISY: Aray ko naman! Oh ayan, Lola Mameng. Ako na ang binasted. Tse! Choosy ka pa! Tara na nga Lola Mameng at baka maitulak ko pa iyang apo ninyo sa harap ng rumaragasang jeep!

Hihilahin ni Daisy ang tumatawang si Lola Mameng. Napapakamot ng ulo na susundan lang ni Bob ang dalawa.




unang tagpo

LFX: Dim Lights/ Spotlight on Bob, Mr. Martinez and Mrs. Martinez

SFX: Heartbeat in the beginning, then it would be mashed up to a modern electric dance mix

Nakatayong nakatungo lamang sina Bob, Mr. Martinez at Mrs. Martinez.

Magsisimulang nakahiga ang lahat ng mga mananayaw at tatayo sa tugtog ng pagtibok ng puso. Sasayaw sila sa tugtog ng musika bago bumalik at matatapos na nakatayo. Babalik sa tunog ng tibok ng pusoang tugtog at patuloy silang nagti-chest pop.

Sabay-sabay na titingin sa manonood sina Bob, Mr. Martinez at Mrs. Martinez.

BOB: Ma… Pa…

MRS. MARTINEZ: Lasing ka na naman? Kung ganyan din lang ang araw-araw mong gagawin eh di mabuti pang hindi ka na lang umuwi.

MR. MARTINEZ: Pwede ba! Huwag mo akong binubungangaan.

MRS. MARTINEZ: Paanong hindi kita bubungangaan, aber? Anong oras na! Ano bang akala mo sa sarili mo? Binata? Eh di sana hindi mo na lang ako pinakasalan!

MR. MARTINEZ: Talagang hindi na lang sana kita pinakasalan! Sa tingin mo ba, kung hindi kita nabuntis, pakakasalan kita! Eh pinilit lang naman ako ng nanay mo! Tapos, manganganak ka na nga lang, abnormal pa! Kung hindi ka ba naman minamalas.

MRS. MARTINEZ: At kasalanan ko pa ngayon? Bakit? Ginusto ko ba? Ginusto ko ba na ganyan lumabas ang anak mo?

MR. MARTINEZ: At sa tingin mo, ginusto ko din ba? Eh di ipinalaglag mo na lang sana! Hindi sana tayo napeperwisyo ngayon!

Mapapasigaw si Bob, mukhang nagtatantrums. Mapapatingin ang dalawa kay Bob at parehong mailing.

Mamamatay ang spotlight kina Mr. at Mrs. Martinez. Aalis sila kasabay ng mga mananayaw. Patuloy pa rin ang pagwawala ni Bob, sinasaktan ang sarili.

Papasok si Lola Mameng at saka agad na yayakapin si Bob. Magpupumiglas pa rin si Bob at patuloy na sasaktan ang sarili.

LOLA MAMENG: Bob, apo ko… Tahan na… Tahan na…

Titigil sa pagpupumiglas si Bob pero patuloy pa rin ang pag-iyak.

LOLA MAMENG: Tahan na, apo. Gusto mo, maglaro na lang uli tayo katulad noong dati? Katulad noong pinapanood mo sa TV? Ha? Gusto mo ba iyon?

Tatango si Bob.

LOLA MAMENG: Sige, basta tumahan ka na ha.

Tatango ulit si Bob.

LOLA MAMENG: He is 11th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egypt whose tomb was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. He was 17 when he died. Alam mo ang sagot diyan, di ba?

BOB: T-tutankhamun…

LOLA MAMENG:  Tama! O sige… Sino naman ang naging asawa niya?





Naka-upo sina Kurt at Ben na magkaharap sa classroom. May ginagawa si Kurt samantalang nakatitig lang sa kanya si Ben.

KURT: Hubaran mo na lang kaya ako!

BEN: Ang lakas din ng bilib mo sa sarili mo ano?

KURT: Eh titig ka ng titig eh. Sus!

BEN: Oy! Wala kang pruweba!

KURT: Denial is not just a sea in Egypt, is a freaking ocean. Aba, ingat, pare, baka malunod ka.

BEN: Sus! Saan mo naman napulot ‘yan? Yabang mo lang eh.

KURT: Yabang ka diyan. Ayaw pa kasing umamin.

BEN: Oy! Umayos ka! Wala akong aaminin!

SFX: “This Guys in Love With You Pare” ng Parokya ni Edgar. Kakantahin ni Kurt.

KURT: (Kumakanta)

One look and then yun iba na

Malagkit dumikit ang tingin ng mata

One smile, iba na ang ibig sabihin

Di na friends, ang tingin nya sa akin

Everyday parating we’re together

Every week, palaging may sleepover

Ang tawag nya sa mommy ko ay tita

Bakit ba, di ko non nakita

Until out of the blue,

A feeling so true

Bigla nalang sinabi sa akin that

This guy’s in love with you pare,

This guy’s in love with you pare

This guy’s in love with you pare

Bading na bading sayo…

BEN: Sipain kita diyan, gusto mo?

Biglang hihilahin ni Kurt si Ben at tipong sasakapin.

KURT: Wala ka talagang aaminin?

BEN: Umayos ka, Kurt! Saka bitawan mo nga ako.

Mas lalong hihigpitan ni Kurt ang pagkakayakap kay Ben. Papasok si Alice at Bob na magkasunod makikita ang dalawa. Hindi sila mapapansin nina Kurt. Parehong mapapatingin lang sa dalawa ang mga bagong dating. May hawak na malaking libro si Bob.

KURT:  Iyong totoo? Wala ka talagang aaminin?

BEN: Bakit kapag umamin ba ako may mangyayari?

KURT: Malay mo.

Aalis si Alice at maiiwang nanonood lang sa dalawa si Bob. Akmang maghahalikan ang dalawa pero mabibitawan ni Bob ang libro at babagsak iyon sa sahig. Parang nakakita ng multo ang dalawa na maghihiwalay.

Lalapitan ni Ben si Bob at kukwelyuhan.

BOB: B-Ben…

BEN: Patay ka sa akin kapag may pinagsabihan ka ng nakita mo.

Bibitawan ni Ben ang kwelyo ni Bob at saka aalis. Susundan naman ni Kurt si Bob.

Mauupo si Bob sa kanyang arm chair, hindi nagsasalita. Papasok si Daisy na may dalang mga print out at tatabihan si Bob.

DAISY: Bakit para kang nakakita ng multo?

BOB: (Mag-iiwas ng tingin) W-wala.

DAISY: Hoy, Bob! Huwag ko lang malaman-laman na may itinatago ka sa akin, masasampal talaga kita ng round trip.

BOB:  W-wala nga. Ang k-kulit!

DAISY: Aba! Naninigurado lang! Anyway, tulungan mo na lang akong mag-review para sa Quiz Show. Nakakaloka! Ang dami kong kailangang i-memorize.

Sisimulang basahin ni Daisy ang mga tanong na nasa papel.

DAISY: What is total land area of the earth’s surface?

BOB: 148,647,000 sq. km.

Mapapatingin si Daisy kay Bob saka babalik ang tingin sa binabasa. Kukunin niya ang answer sheet at titignan doon ang sagot. Manlalaki ang mata niya at muling mapapatingin kay Bob.

DAISY: Paanong?

BOB: M-mahilig si L-lola s-sa ganyan.

DAISY:  Talaga? Teka nga lang. Give at least three countries where Communism is still active.

BOB: (Mapapaisip sandali si Bob) China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos.

Papasok si Ms. Penaflor pero hindi siya mapapansin nina Bob. Panonoorin lamang ni Ms. Penaflor ang dalawa.

DAISY: Sabi ko three, kuya. Mayabang lang? Kailangan, kumpleto? Okay, next! What is the hottest sea in the world?

BOB: P-Persian Gulf.

DAISY:  Kaloka! Ano ka, walking encyclopedia.

PENAFLOR: The area of a right triangle is 50. One of its angles is 45o. What are lengths of the sides and hypotenuse of the triangle?

Parehong mapapatingin sina Bob at Daisy kay Ms. Penaflor.

PENAFLOR: Bob, gusto mo bang ulitin ko iyong tanong?

BOB: (Mag-iisip sandali) X e-equals 10. Ha-hypo-potenuse is 10 squareroot of 2.

DAISY: Hoy! Huwag mong hulaan! I-solve mo muna kaya!

PENAFLOR: No need. Tama ang sagot niya. He is after all the highest in Mathematics. Mas mataas pa ang grade niya sa iyo. Isa iyan sa mga naging tanong noong nakaraang exams ninyo.

DAISY: (Kay Bob) Eh di ikaw na!

BOB: N-nag-aaral kasi a-ako.

DAISY: Hmp! Sabi ko na nga ba at may itinatago ka sa akin eh.

PENAFLOR: Daisy, pwede mo ba kaming iwanan muna ni Bob?

DAISY: Ay ma’am! Huwag kang ganyan! Bawal yan! Saka isa pa, una siyang naging akin!


DAISY: Sabi ko nga po, joke lang. (Kay Bob) Punta na lang muna ako ng canteen. May ipapabili ka?

BOB: J-juice n-na l-lang.

Aalis si Daisy pero hindi din naman lalayo.

PENAFLOR: Bob, bakit hindi mo sinasabi sa amin na magaling ka pala sa mga tribia?

BOB: N-nahi-hihiya po a-ako ma’am.

  1. PENAFLOR: Hindi mo iyon dapat ikahiya. Sino ang nagturo sa iyo?

BOB: L-lola k-ko po.

PENAFLOR: As expected from a retired principal. Gusto mo bang sumali sa quiz show?

BOB: P-po?

PENAFLOR: Ako na nang bahalang makipag-usap sa lola mo, kung gusto mo. Wala pa rin kasi kaming nahahanap na makaksama ni Daisy. Gusto mo ba?

BOB: P-po?

DAISY:  Yes na ‘yan ma’am! Akong bahala! Kapag hindi pumayag, ipapasagasa ko sa jeep!

Parehong mapapatingin sina Bob at Ms. Penaflor kay Daisy at matatawa.

PENAFLOR: I expect you to work on this together then. Sige, maiwan ko na kayo at tatawagan ko pa ang lola ni Bob.

Aalis si Ms. Penaflor. Babalik sa upuan si Daisy at excited na excited na hahawakan ang kamay ni Bob.

DAISY: Sabi ko na nga ba eh! Meant to be! Wala ka nang kawala! Ako na talaga ang nakatadhana para sa iyo! Oh my God! Ang tatalino ng mga magiging anak natin!

BOB:  P-puro ka naman ka-kal-kalokohan.

DAISY:  Alam mo, nakakasakit ka na! Bakit? Sino? Sino ba ang gusto mo at ipapa-kidnap ko! Choosy ka pa! Wala ka nang kawala sa akin! Akin ka lang! Akin ka lang!

Tatawa na parang demonyo si Daisy.

DAISY: Kaloka! Demonyita lang ang peg. Kaya ako napagkakamalang walang utak eh.

BOB:  Ba-baliw ka kasi!

Papasok si Mark.

DAISY: Of course! I’m Crazy! Crazy for you! Oh, ha! Banat pa more! Ayaw mo nun, from best friends to forever! Tinalo natin ang La Presa!

MARK:  Kadiri.

DAISY: Problema mo?

MARK: Magkakagusto ka na nga lang, sa abnormal pa. Ewan ko sayo.

DAISY: Teka nga muna! Eh ano bang pakialam mo?

MARK:  Sinabi ko bang meron?

BOB:  T-tama na, D-Daisy!

MARK: T-tama na, D-Daisy! Magsalita na nga lang, hindi mo pa magawang diretsuhin. Abnoy!

DAISY:  Ang sama din ng ugali mo eh.

MARK: Sinasabi ko lang kung ano ang totoo. Saka ikaw din naman ah. Kaya ka lang naman dikit ng dikit sa kanya, kasi naawa ka. Hindi ba iyon naman ang totoo?

Biglang aalis si Bob.

DAISY:  Bob!

Akmang aalis din si Daisy pero pipigilan siya ni Mark.

DAISY:  Bitawan mo nga ako!

MARK:  Bakit ba siya na lang palagi ang nakikita mo? Ano bang meron ang abnormal na iyon at siya na lang palagi?

DAISY: Simple lang. Mas ugaling normal pa siya kesa sa iyo.

Matatahimik si Mark.

DAISY: May autism si Bob, Mark. Pero ni minsan, hindi naging magaspang ang ugali niya sa kahit na sino sa atin. Hindi din siya nagkukumento sa tuwing pinagtatawanan niyo siya. Hindi ko din alam kung paano niyang nagagawa na hindi mag-meltdown sa tuwing pinagtatawanan niyo siya pero nagagawa niya. Saka ano bang ipinagmamalaki mo sa pagiging normal mo? Pareho lang naman kayo ng bilang ng daliri sa kamay at paa ah. Parehong lang kayong tao. May autism lang si Bob, Mark, pero hindi iyon kabawasan sa pagkatao niya. Kumpara sa iyo, malayong mas lamang pa siya.

Aayusin ni Daisy ang gamit niya at maging ang gamit ni Bob at saka aalis. Maiiwang nakasunod lang ng tingin si Mark.



LFX: Follow spotlight on Bob and Daisy

Papasok si Bob at nakasunod sa kanya si Daisy na dala-dala ang mga gamit nila.

DAISY:  Utang na loob, Bob! Kapag hindi ka pa tumigil, sasapukin na talaga kita.

Matitigil si Bob at mapapatingin kay Daisy. Lalapitan niya ito at saka kukunin ang sariling gamit.

DAISY: Huwag mo na lang kasing pansinin iyong sinabi ni Mark. Alam mo na ngang sira ulo iyon eh.

BOB: W-wala namang m-mali sa si-sinabi n-niya, eh.

DAISY: Pwede ba? Huwag kang nagpapaniwala doon.

BOB: Daisy, t-tama n-naman—

DAISY: Sasampalin na talaga kita!

BOB: I-iyon ang to-tot-totoo! H-hindi a-ako no-nor-normal. At h-hindi k-ko kailangan ng a-awa mo!

Matatahimik silang dalawa.

 DAISY: Ang babaw naman ng pagkakakilala mo sa akin.

Aalis si Daisy at maiiwan lang na nakasunod ng tingin si Bob.





Naka-upo lang sa isang upuan si Ellice, nakatingin sa malayo. Nag-uusap naman sa isang tabi sina Mark, Ben, at Kurt.

Papasok si Alice na mukhang excited na excited.

ALICE: Alam niyo na ba ang balita?

ELLICE: Bakit? Kapag nalaman ko ba ang tsismis mo, masasagot na lahat ng problema sa mundo? Matatapos ba ang taggutom sa Africa? Matatapos na ba ang Giyera sa Syria? Magkakalunas na ba ang cancer? Matitigil na ba ang pagiging tsismosa mo? May mapapala ba ako diyan?

SFX: Dubsmash of carlo Aquino’s “Akala mo lang wala, pero meron, meron, meron!” line. Sasabayan ni ALICE.

BEN: Bakit? Anong nangyari.

ALICE: Nanalo daw sila Bob at Daisy sa Quiz show at masasama sila sa regional competition!

KURT:  Talaga lang ha? Kita mo nga naman. May utak din pala ang abnoy na iyon. (Kay Mark) Wala na pare, wala ka na talagang pag-asa.

MARK:  Wala akong pake!

BEN:  Nakatiyamba lang yun!

ELLICE: Wow! Hiyang-hiya naman sa iyo si Bob. Ang tali-talino mo eh.

BEN:  Problema mo?

ALICE: Oo nga. Bakit ba kanina pa mainit ang ulo mo?

KURT:  Baka nireregla.

ELLICE:  Eh ano ngayon kung nireregla ako? Bakit? Bawal? If I know, gusto mo ring reglahin.

Magkakatinginan sina Ben at Kurt.

BEN:  Pinagsasabi mo?

ALICE:  Ellice—

ELLICE: Gusto mo talagang sagutin ko ‘yan?

MARK: Bakit? Anong meron?

ALICE:  Ano ba, Mark! Huwag ka nang sumawsaw!

MARK:  Para nagtatanong lang eh. (Kay Ben) Bakit pare, may kailangan ba akong malaman? Nagkatuluyan na ba kayo ni Pareng Kurt?

BEN: Mandiri ka nga!

ELLICE:  Plastik! Tag-ulan ngayon, mag-ingat ka. Delikado sa mga plastic at sirena. Baka lumabas ang kaliskis o lumutang sa baha, or both!

ALICE:  Ellice! Ano ba?!

ELLICE: Bakit? Totoo naman di ba?

Mapapatitig si Mark kay Ben at saka unti-unting tatanggalin ang pagkaka-akbay dito.

Papasok sina Bob at Daisy. Agad na susugurin ni Ben si Bob at saka uundayan ng suntok. Itutuloy-tuloy niya iyon hanggang sa bumagsak silang pareho ni Bob sa sahig.

Matutulala panandalian sina Mark at Kurt pero agad ding pipigilan ng dalawa si Ben nang matauhan. Hihilahin nila papalayo si Ben.

Adlib: Adlib on the lines

Tulalang nakatingin lang sina Alice at Ellice. Agad na dadaluhan ni Daisy si

DAISY: (Kay Bob) Bob! Okay ka lang? (Kay Ben) Ano bang problema mo?

BEN: (Duduruin si Bob) Hayop kang abnoy ka! Binalaan na kita! Taratado ka! Ang kapal lang ng mukha mong ipagkalat na bakla ako!

Akmang susugurin ulit ni Ben si Bob pero pipigilan pa rin ito nina Mark at Kurt.

Biglang magme-melt down si Bob at magwawala, sasaktan ang sarili. Matutulala silang lahat panandalian. Lalapitan dapat ni Daisy si Bob pero masasampal siya nito ng hindi sinasadya.

ELLICE: Hawakan niyo iyong kamay niya! (Haharapin sina Mark) Mark!

Bibitawan nina Kurt at Mark si Ben at saka pagtutulungang hawakan ang mga kamay ni Bob. Pipigilan nito itong gumalaw.

Lalapitan din ni Ellice si Bob at hahawakan sa magkabilang pisngi. Nagpupumiglas pa rin si Bob.

ELLICE: Bob! Bob! Makinig ka sa akin! Bob! Uulitin mo ang sasabihin, okay? Bob! Pakinggan mo ako. No more crying. Bob! No more crying. Bob, ulitin mo ang sinasabi ko, no more crying.

Uulit-ulitin ni Ellice ang linya hanggang sa tumigil sa pagpupumiglas si Bob.

BOB:  N-no more c-crying…

Bibitawan nina Kurt at Mark ang pagkakahawak kay Bob. Sesenyasan naman ni Ellice si Daisy. Mauupo si Daisy sa may ulunan ni Bob at ipapatong sa kanyang hita ang uo nito.

DAISY: (Kay Ellice) Paano—

ELLICE: May autism din ang kapatid naming bunso. Mas malala ba iyong mag-melt down kaysa kay Bob. Sabi nga nila, practice makes perfect.

Lalapitan ni Ellice si Ben at saka sasampalin.

ELLICE: You should have known better.

ALICE: (Kay Ben) Hindi si Bob ang nagsabi kay, Ellice. Ako. Kasama ako ni Bob noong makita namin kayo.

Mapapahiyang aalis si Ben. Agad siyang susundan nina Mark at Kurt.

ELLICE: (Kay Daisy) Hayaan mo lang muna siyang magpahinga. (Kay Alice) Pumunta ka ng clinic at sabihin mo sa kanila kung ano ang nangyari.

Aalis si Alice. Pagmamasdan lang ni Ellice sina Bob at Daisy.

DAISY:  Salamat…

ELLICE:  It’s never going to stop.  Maswerte na kung magkakaroon siya ng normal na buhay at trabaho. Kung tutuusin, mas maswerte siya kaysa sa iba dahil kahit papaano, nako-cotrol niya. Pero siguro naman alam mo na hinding-hindi iyon mawawala, di ba? Pare na iyan ng pagkatao niya, Daisy…

DAISY:  Alam ko…

ELLICE: Kakayanin mo ba?




Nakatayo ang lahat ng mga nagtanghal sa entablado maliban kina Daisy at Bob.

LOLA MAMENG: Sampung mga daliri, kamay at paa

  1. PENAFLOR: Dalawang tenga, dalawang mata

ALICE: Ilong na maganda

ELLICE: Malilinis na ngipin

MARK: Masarap ang kumain

KURT:  Dilang maliit

BEN: Nagsasabing

LAHAT:  Huwag kang magsinungaling

LFX: Follow spot on Daisy and Bob.

Papasok sina Daisy at Bob at magsasalubong sa gitna bago haharap sa manonood.

DAISY:  Kung titignan mong maigi

BOB:  Wala naman talaga tayong ipinag-iba, hindi ba?





Nakayupyop sa upuan si Bob, pero nakapormal na damit. Papasok si Daisy, naka-pormal din, at maiiling. Lalapitan niya si Bob at gigisingin.

Babangon mula sa pagkaka-upo si Bob at ngingiti.

DAISY: Hindi ka pa ba nagsasawa sa classroom na ‘to?

BOB: M-medyo l-lang. Dumating na ba sila?

Maririnig ang boses ni Mark.

MARK: (Mula sa labas) Mga taksil!

Papasok sina Mark, kasunod niya sina Alice, Ellice, Kurt at Ben. Lahat sila ay naka-pormal.

ELLICE:  Diyos ko naman Daisy, hanggang ngayon ba naman eh nililigawan mo pa rin si Bob? Aba ate, sampung taon na!

ALICE:  Kaya nga! Naunahan pa kayo ng dalawang pamintang ‘to eh.

KURT:  Inggit ka lang!

BEN:  Kaya nga!

MARK: (Kay Ben) Isa pa kayong pares ng mga taksil! Paano niyo nagawa sa akin ‘to?

ELLICE:  Hoy, Bob! Baka naman gusto mo nang sagutin si Daisy.

DAISY:  Huwag ganyan! Huwag i-pressure baka takbuhan ako. Saka, huwag niyo ngang binubulyawan ang future husband ko sa mismong classroom niya.

ALICE:  Eh di ikaw na ang protective future wife.

DAISY: Talaga!

Papasok si Ms. Penaflor.

PENAFLOR: Bakit kaya hindi na ako nagtataka na nandito kayong lahat.

DAISY:  Iss! Istorbo nga iyang mga ‘yan ma’am eh. Moment ko na eh! Moment ko na!

BOB: Hoy! M-maya kung a-anong isipin n-nila!

DAISY:  Do I look like I care? Mukha ba akong care bear?

Magtatawanan silang lahat.

PENAFLOR: Teacher Bob, kanina ka pa hinahanap ng mga estudyante mo. Kailangan yata nila ng tulong sa sound system.

BOB:  Y-yes ma’am!

MARK: Iyan lang ba ang inilamang sa akin ng lalaking ‘yan, Daisy? Iyan lang?

DAISY: Madami pa, gusto mo bigyan kita ng listahan?

BEN:  Humirit ka pa kasi!

Magtatawanan uli silang lahat.

SFX: “Growing Up” by Gary Valenciano

Papasok ang mag dancer at sasayawin ang kanta habang patuloy lang na nag-aasaran ang mga nagtanghal.


******END OF PLAY*******

Author’s Note:

The concept for the play isn’t mine. I just wrote the script based on the specifications given by Mr. Alcarez.


“You’re crazy, you know that?”

I just rolled my eyes and continued eating. There was no point in answering anyway. No matter what I tell my friends, they’d still think that I am crazy. I guess that’s the reason why we were friends anyway. We were a crazy bunch, all with their own eccentricities which oddly worked quite well together.

Melissa, one of the closest friends in the group just stared at me blankly for a while before speaking. “So? You’re still doing that waiting thing?”

Everyone else in the table seemed to suddenly get interested with my answer. I guess that is one of the perks of being the only single person in the table. I am the constant third wheel, or fifth, or seventh, depending on how many are there of them with their partners and all.

For some reason, they often treat me like the kid they have to give away in marriage, and like most parents, my love life is one of the major topics. I guess that was expected since I haven’t been in a real relationship for awhile.

“Who even said that I was waiting?” I said, my mouth still half full with tempura. We were at a Japanese restaurant for what had become a weekly “meeting” and for some reason, my non-existent love life had been the sole topic since we arrived. It’s funny, actually, since they seemed more bothered about my being single than I was.

“Oh come on! You’ve been pining…”

I started zoning it out every single word Melissa was saying after the first two words. It takes a lot of practice to do that, especially with my friends but I’ve long gotten the hang of it. We’ve been friends for years, college friends even. Being with them almost every single day do give you time to develop such talents.

The thing is, they never stop talking about anything and everything under the sun, and so, instead of telling them to shut up which would not stop them anyway, zoning out was way better.

“You’re not even listening, are you?” I caught those last few words enough to grin a little. I guess they do know me well enough. Melissa gave me her usual dagger eyes but I just smiled.

“Just let him be. It’s his choice anyway.” It was Andrew this time. “It’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s old enough to make his own decisions, you know.”

“No truer words have ever been said! Thanks dude! I knew I can always count on you.” I said, laughing. Melissa just stared at both of us blankly.

“You know I always got your back, brother, no matter how crazy you are.” Andrew said, ignoring Melissa’s glare altogether. I was sure that he would have hell to pay when they go home. Nothing major though. They have been together for more than eight years now, married for two.

“He’s thirty-two,” Melissa said, scowling. “He should at least be in a real relationship by now.”

“Why?” I asked. “It’s not like my sperm has an expiration date like your fallopian tubes. And speaking of which, shouldn’t you be worrying more about that?”

“I’m already pregnant you dimwit!” Melissa exclaimed, silencing everyone on the table.

My jaw dropped for a while after hearing the news before I started literally jumping for joy. It would have looked a little over the top to some but that was normal for me. I like kids and for some stupid reason, I like hearing people telling me that they are having kids.

“And here I am, not really surprise that he would react this way,” Andrew said in between chuckles, watching me walk towards Melissa and forcing her to let me put my ears on her tummy. I just rolled my eyes. Andrew knew everything about my life and of course, he wouldn’t be surprised at all.

Melissa protested for a while but gave in anyway. “God! You’re annoying!” She said with a little laugh.

“Annoyingly handsome, adorable, and really cute to boot!” I said before, making a face before turning my attention to her still flat tummy. “Right, baby? You call me Papa Handsome, okay?”

Hearing my own voice say those words gave me a little chill. It wasn’t the first time I’ve said those words.

“And we still wonder why he is single,” Celine, one of our other friends, said making everyone else on the table laugh. That brought me back just in time.

I don’t mind, really, being told that I act like a kid, I mean. I do act like a kid most of the time and it doesn’t bother me at all. Besides, it’s only with them that I can act out like that anyway without being condemned or ridiculed.

I was still on my knees, baby-talking with Melissa’s tummy when my phone rang. Melissa’s eyes rolled when she saw that it was you. I’ve been meaning to ask her why she hates your guts but I was sure that I won’t like what I would be hearing so I never did.

Standing, I gave Melissa’s tummy just one last light tap before walking away and answering the phone. The minute I did, I heard you crying. I didn’t even get to say hello. I gave out a sigh before saying anything.

“You got dumped.” It wasn’t a question. You didn’t even answer and just continued sobbing. I let out another sigh.

“I’ll be there in 30 minutes.” I said before hanging up.

I went back to my friends to tell them that I was going ahead. They didn’t really like the idea but they didn’t ask me to stay. They knew it would be futile.

The drive to your place took just about twenty minutes and I wasn’t really surprised when I saw you still bawling over your broken heart on the couch.

I didn’t say anything. I went straight to the kitchen and started making coffee. If you wanted to cry over it all, then I’m not going to stop you. After all, it’s your feeling. It’s not like I can really do anything about it.

I was already on my second cup when you came into the kitchen, your eyes puffy and all red from all the crying. Truthfully, I was already getting tired of listening to your sobbing but I stayed anyway. It’s not like you needed me. You just didn’t want to be alone and I’m stupid enough to make myself available for you most of the times.

“Are you done being stupid?” I asked as I pour some coffee on another mug. You didn’t answer. I guess I was being pretty harsh but from experience, I know that sweet-talking you and sugarcoating everything just makes it worst.

These kinds of things, I have learned about you over the years, right from the day that we have started going out. Even after we broke up, you’d still come running to me. And as always, I didn’t have the heart to say no.

I should have gotten a degree in Psychology in college instead of literature and film. If that would have been the case, then I could at least charge you every single time. Too late for that, I guess.

“Why are you being nice to me?” Your voice was just above a whisper but I heard it loud and clear. I almost laughed right there and then. But I saw how hard you were clutching the mug, your fingers turning almost white. This was no time for laughing or kidding around.

“Because I did this to you.” I said bluntly. “And no matter what you do I would always feel responsible for everything. I’m not being nice. I’m just doing this for my own conscience.”

You gave me a half-hearted smile in response. For a while there, I wish that you didn’t. I will never stop comparing this type of smile that you give me now to the one that I used to see you give me when we started dating. I wonder if I’ll ever see you smile like that again.

I miss your innocence, the way you seem to be always so naïve about everything. I still remember those times when you would suddenly just come up to me out of nowhere and tell me that you love me. In all honesty, it was a little annoying before, how you followed me around, and how you always tell everyone that you would do everything just to make sure that I fall in love with you.

Our first mistake was being stupid enough to let something happen between us. The second was thinking that we could actually make it work. Then that was followed by a parade of mistakes that even I didn’t think was possible. By the time we both admitted that it would never really work out, you were pregnant. And everything just went downhill from there.

“You don’t have to do this. You have nothing to be guilty about.” I didn’t have any answer to that. This was, after all, the first time that you ever gave me some kind of absolution from all the things that happened between us two.  For years, you have been blaming me for all of it, how I ruined you, how I took away everything from you.

“Please say something…”

I let out another sigh. That has become a habit for me as well. It gives me about a few seconds to think first before blurting out what was in my mind.

“That’s new.” I said. It was the safest thing I can think of. You gave out a hallow laugh as an answer.

You took a quick sip from your coffee before responding. “I guess you’re right.”

The silence that followed was deafening, but I got used to that as well. Thinking about it now, that was all we ever had between us after our kid died before he was born. No, we didn’t blame each other; there was no shouting, no crying, no dramatic interlude between being together and finally breaking up. If we have had something in my mind then, we both decided to keep it to ourselves. So, just silence. The deafening and heart wrenching sound of emptiness.

“I didn’t have a miscarriage. I had our baby aborted.” I stiffened a little when you just went ahead and blurted out those words. Not that I didn’t know about it. I have known it all along. It took me awhile to get my mind wrap around it. I even hated you for a while, to be honest, until I came into terms with the fact that I was partly to blame for it too.

Averting my eyes, I settled on staring at my own cup of coffee. It’s been five years but somehow, it still feels like it just happened yesterday; the pain of hearing that you were in the hospital, bleeding and almost dying, and then the talk with the doctor after, it’s still clear in my mind up to this day. I have never forgiven myself for that. That’s why I stayed, that’s why I never left.

“I’ve always known.” I said. “Why do you think I stayed beside you this long?”

I can feel your eyes on my face but I kept staring at the mug. I didn’t have to look at you to know that you were really surprised to hear that. I at least knew you that well enough.

“And you chose not to hate me. That’s cheating.”

“I cannot hate you when I was the one who drove you into doing that. You were in love with me and I took advantage of that just because I was lonely. I was a giant prick. I still am. I thought that I could fall in love with you and took the chance without even thinking of what could happen if I didn’t. I’m actually still wondering why you put up with me all those times.”

The words came out like a crashing tidal wave. I don’t know what exactly came over me but it feels like it was finally the right time to say those things out loud.

“Your sense of guilt is really annoying.” You said with a laugh. That made me look at you and I was really surprised at what I saw. You were smiling, an older and wiser version of the one you used to give me, but it was a real smile nonetheless. It didn’t quite reach your eyes just yet but it was almost there. That’s when it hit me.

“You two didn’t break up.” Again, it was a statement, not a question.

“No. He wouldn’t let me. He said that he would wait as long as he needs to. He said that he would wait until I would have the courage to finally give up on you. That scared me. You were that one dream that I thought I would never give up, the one dream that I gave up everything for. And you never really made it easy, you know. You stayed. Even when you didn’t have to.” There was a long pause after that.

“I guess, all these time, I just really can’t let you go. I knew you love me; you wouldn’t have stayed if you didn’t. I also knew that the love you had for me wasn’t exactly the love that I wanted from you. But I have made myself believe that it would be enough. You see, I have given way too much already to just give you up. Besides, I knew you would never leave unless I asked you to. So I trapped us into this prison for years. You were too kind and as I see now, I have both loved and hated you for that.”

I just sat there, listening to you, wondering if there was really something that I should say or do.

“I feel in love with a dream and I didn’t want to wake up.”

“I was a nightmare.” I finally said. You just laughed.

“You were a mistake, but never a nightmare. And you would always be that mistake I would willingly commit over and over again.”

There were no words coming into my mind after that. I didn’t expect any of this when you called earlier. I thought I would just come here and listen to you rant and blame me just like before.

“Do you love him?”

It took you awhile before you finally answered, “I do.”

There was nothing more to say after that.

I emptied my mug and rinsed it before putting it back inside the cupboard. Then, I took the key to your house out of my pocket and placed it on the table in front of you before walking out the door.

You didn’t ask me to stay like you always had and I knew right there and then that this would be the last time that I’d ever set foot inside that place.

The painful jabs that I feel on my chest were making it hard to breathe but I kept walking anyway. I needed to be as far away from you as possible because if I didn’t I’d go back there and ask you to take those last two words back; I’d let myself be selfish all over again.

Maybe now I can really be as nice as you have always thought I was.

When I reached my apartment, I wasn’t even surprised to see Andrew waiting for me. He does know me well enough. One look was all it took for him to understand what happened.

“You finally got dumped.” He said. I just nodded.

“And she doesn’t even know what exactly she did…”

I just nodded once again.


When I was four, my mother borrowed a shoe that was a size too small for me to use for the Reyna Elena Parade where I was one of the princes. I don’t remember who it was but I was told that I was only going to use it for a couple of hours anyway so I should stop being a brat and stop whining about it

By the time I took it off, there was a blister the size of an old one peso coin on my foot. I wanted to cry from the pain but I was also told that real boys don’t cry so I sucked it up and waited until I was alone before crying my heart out. They still called me a bratty and whiny crybaby anyway.

Two weeks after I turned six, I finished kindergarten at the top of my class, getting almost all of the awards aside one, the Best in Spelling award. I heard the mother of the kid who got the award telling her son that I wasn’t really smart because if I was, I would have gotten the award too. Up to this very moment, I still remember those words and there are even times when I believe every single word.

I was in second grade when I had an argument with one of my cousins. He told me that if my mother really loved me and my siblings, she wouldn’t have left to work in Hong Kong. I gave some smart-ass reply and pretended not to be bothered. I cried silently the whole night.

In third grade, there was this news that my mother was about to be executed in Hong Kong for accidentally drowning her boss’ child. A classmate called me the son of a murderer. I almost ended up stabbing that classmate with a knife. It was someone else’s mother with the same first name.

The end of primary school, I was told that I would get a bike if I make it to the top five. I did. My brother got a bike instead. I never believed in any promise ever again.

Third year high school, I was asked to beg for a special project in one of my subjects to add just one more point just so I would be eligible for the honor roll. I swallowed my pride and own beliefs even when I didn’t really care if I was in the honors list or not. The disappointment of the people around me was overwhelming when I still didn’t make the cut. I wasn’t disappointed because I knew that I didn’t deserve it.

In my last year of high school, I was told by my Filipino teacher that the short story I wrote was really beautiful. A classmate who wrote about being in love with one of our teachers for the same project told me it was trash. I knew she was just jealous but still, I believed her for a while. I still continued writing stories anyway despite hearing her voice over and over again in my head. I still hear her voice at times.

So, what’s with all the sad and melodramatic childhood memories? Nothing really.

It’s just a simple reminder we all have bad memories and painful childhood experiences. Some of it breaks us completely, while some of them make us stronger, little by little, even the worst ones, believe it or not.

We get to grow up and these kinds of things shouldn’t hurt us as much anymore, unless it’s the truth.

A lot of people in the world had it so much worse than you do but still, you don’t see them doing a Binay because of it. You shouldn’t too.

At the end of the day, all you really need to do is to suck it up and grow up. Cry a little then bounce back up. Face it all up front instead of blaming everyone else for the crap you are getting. You’re not a child. Grow up.

And yes, I just watched the new Binay advertisement in case you are wondering where all these are coming from.