Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Of the people that we meet

In a suddent turn of events, I came to a deep thought on how our life is changed by the people we meet. How are we changed by the people in our lives?

In the year 2003, I enrolled myself to the UP Open University. It was an attempt to get back at studying after having made plans on what to do with my life. I was still very eager to go back to PMA only that I was already entertaining other plans just in case PMA will not push through. There are people that I met and one of them was an interesting person by the name of Joy.
I first met her through Yahoo Messenger. Open University capitalized more on the internet so most of the students were very much into the Internet technology. I do not remember now who started talking to the other but I remember that our discussion was about Dead Stars. She told me about how a dead star can look very much "alive" on earth since light has to travel a great distance. Meaning, although it is dead we still see it as alive in our night sky. A few years later I finally was able to read the literary piece that started that discussion. It was Paz Benitez-Marquez's short story entitled Dead Stars. This short story is recognized in Philippine Literature as the First Short Story in English written by a Filipino. Until this very day, although I haven't been in touch with Joy for years, the short story only reminds me of her.

And then there was my gay room mate. Believe it or not, I had an openly gay person for a room mate back in College. The day I transferred to our room, I immediately got a taste of his (or her) being Homosexual. Inside our bathroom hanged sets of panties. He said that it was more comfortable wearing those than briefs. In my mind, I knew it was because wearing those made him feel more female. In the many months that we shared that room, I was able to understand not just his being Gay but also other things. I was able to see how hard work makes a person, how being the best is infectious. People may find being gay as some kind of deficiency, but believe me when I say that he is one of the few people whose heart is made of gold. Up to this very day, I will not hesitate to have the opportunity to share a room again with him.

There is also my mother who passed away in April 2000. She taught me how to dream BIG.

In the many encounters we have had and we will continue to have with people in this lifetime, all of this will contribute to the kind of person we will become. Good or bad, people leave an imprint in our lives that will change us forever. In each of these encounters we are able to get things from even if some do not help us. The truth remains that people around us contribute to the kind of person we have and will become. So I aske again, how are we changed by the people that we meet?

Joy changed me by being the kind of person that she is. She will forever be part of my knowledge on the First Short Story in English written by a Filipino. My gay room mate will be my constant reminder not to judge the gay people. Of course, my mother will constantly push me not to give up on my dreams. Small or big, people do change us. Its not just those that we have become close, it even includes others as simple as the vendor we buy a chewing gum every time we pass a street near our house. Summing up everything, we are immortalized in people just as people are immortalized inside our hearts out of the interaction we have. The sooner we accept thise, the easier it is to accept that life in this world is connected in some way.

People will come to us in different ways. They will also be taken from us in a snap of a finger. Last sunday, a former classmate and now an upperclass was shot in the head in an ambush in Isabela. Just like that he was gone. All the memories about this person suddenly goes back and although he's gone in each of the hearts of the people he has touched... he lives on.

I guess the whole point in why I write this entry is to understand the reality of the complexities of this life. I, too, can not explain death but I do know that when a person becomes immortalized in our hearts, death is not the end.

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