08 August 2009

During the feverish Cory week I was busy facilitating a special art session with a 6 year old cute balikbayan girl named Ryanne. It was a Saturday and hours before that, I found myself awake at dawn. I normally work at dawn because I love the silence and the cool atmosphere plus the fact that half of the people I needed to communicate with are awake. Most of these people live on the other side of the globe where we have a difference of 9 to 12 hours. I am usually ahead by a day. So if it is 3 AM in Manila, it is probably 3PM the day before in another part of the world.

That early morning of Saturday I was not planning to go online. When I have an appointment in the morning I do not work at dawn. So when I awoke around 3 AM I knew I have to go back to sleep. But instead I got up from bed and went to check on my hounds. They were quite agitated. I learned to trust animal instincts. Is there a coming storm? An earthquake perhaps? Had my hounds sensed some danger? I looked at the leader of the pack we fondly call Alfafa Sumo. Alfafa stands for Alpha and Papa which Sumo is. Sumo is the father and alpha leader of the hounds. Sumo also taught me to understand nature a lot. That morning he whined and placed his paws on my knees. I tried to comfort him and he willingly went back to his house, re-arranged his two pillows and went to sleep. Sumo's pups followed so I went back to my room and tried to sleep. I turned on the radio and heard the news: Cory died at 3:18 AM.

I am a Cory fan. I flashed the Laban sign at EDSA. I prayed when rebel soldiers staged a coup d'etat to oust her when she was our President. I felt relieved when she willingly ended her term of office and went happily back to being Citizen Cory and continued her conviction against graft and corruption. Before Cory, I was a Ninoy fan. Cory and her husband Ninoy are my heroes. For me, they signify the power to rise above apathy. When I have to take an unpopular stand I get my strength and inspiration from them. So when they died, a little of me died with them.

Yet that Saturday morning, a few hours after Cory died, I was with Ryanne. I was with Ryanne again the following Monday and Wednesday. I tried to keep our informal art session alive by challenging her creative spirit. Yet by Wednesday, when Cory's funeral mass and procession was underway, I held back tears. Like most typical sensitive kids Ryanne sensed my sadness amidst my smiling face. Her small innocent eyes watched me as I told her about Cory and the quest for truth like a magical tale. Just like the many stories read to her at bedtime.

It was a tale so special and so magical yet real and it was all I could do at that moment. Maybe Ryanne will take inspiration from it too. Maybe she will tell others about it and carry it in her young memory bank when she gets back home to the USA. Maybe when she gets back to Burbank, her childlike innocence will remember the tale, and she will take courage from it. As I did. . .

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