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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Chapter two: Fear

"If I'm too cowardly
to life my life
at least I am brave
enough to take it."

-reprised from Maria's Notebook, 2007


It was the second time I seriously thought of committing suicide. 

For the past decade, I am very much certain of where my life will lead me. I was sure that I will stay as a journalist. Maybe a little work for the television entertainment scene or write features or anything relevant, but journalism, definitely is the vocation for me. The pay sucks. The stress level always beyond imaginable. But here is where I found my worth and since then, it gave me comfort in moments of doubt. 

I live with my family a region away from where I work. It was tiring, I admit, travelling at least two hours a day. But I became used to it and I don't mind anymore. Yes, the plan is to get a place of my own within the Metro, but only for inevitable instances like typhoons or monsoon floodings, which is slowly becoming the norm, or anything that would prevent me from coming home. Nevertheless I will always come home no matter. I have to. And I want to.

As for friends, the closest ones are those I rarely talk with. We don't put comments in each other's Facebook status regularly or like every IG post or anything in social media. We rarely text each other or meet regularly for a quick coffee despite the three of us in the group working in the same building and for the same company. It is not our thing and never will be. But we understand each other so much that even in the smallest gestures or great silence, we know. Always.

All these about my life were certain until this month. No one among the closests to me died, but somewhere in the deepest core of my being, a part of me is gone. Dead. Then fear came. 

When I was younger, success is always easier. I was top of the class. I am friends with many. I compete in  academic and art exhibitions where most of the time I emerged victorious. When I aspire for something, as long as I work hard, I always get it. There are rough times, yes, but they were minor setbacks. It was not generally smooth, but at least it was bearable.

Now they were all but distant memories, distant figures of my former self. Gone were the certainty in my gaze, the commanding posture my underclassmen used to fear as I walk down the alleys of our school. The thunderous voice began to squeak, the tears now free flowing, my hands undeniably trembling.

I no longer know which path to take. I stand in a dark crossroad gasping for breath, bloodied and dying. The monstrous shame, terrible low self-esteem, doubt, like venomous snakes clasped their fangs within my soul sucking out the life out of me to oblivion. 

Sleep is my glimpse of both heaven and hell. In sleep I rest my mind from conjuring demons. But there, sometimes, they come haunting. There are nights when I'll wake in the middle of the night crying, sweat dripping only to find out I cannot move even a single muscle in my body. I lay there n my bed petrified, thinking I will die anytime soon. I hope I did.

I am terrified. I am terrified of myself. I am terrified of what will come. I am terrified of making another decision because it could be another mistake. 

Fear already consumed me. It was the unknown, the darkness which I used to inhabit that turned its back on me. I cannot find myself anymore. I can hear the Earth moving in agony, even the stars dying slowly in a distant universe. Everything is dying in a torturous slow motion. 

I am a coward, I admit. That's why I wanted to just die. I was not eating for days. I was almost catatonic. I am currently on leave from work. And whilst I can say that whatever this "thing" I'm going through is getting better, the truth is I am not better. I lost everything - confidence, trust, perception, logic - a lot of me taken away. The sound of the clock ticking is deafening and I know my time is almost up. Almost.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chapter one: Grief

I'm on the edge of my sanity. Recent defeats were just too much to bear and a lot of things are riding on the decision I am about to make within the next two to four months. To be honest, I'm hoping I'll have my choices in a month or two as I can no longer bear the grief I am carrying staying in this organization. 

Truth is I am decided. I will leave the organization. I am about to turn my back from this profession which served my purpose for the past years. This very profession which defined my core and has been the constant source of agony and joy of my life, I could no longer tolerate. But that is not the whole truth. Yes, it serves as a factor for this hastened decision that I do not agree anymore with the system on play and the people pulling the strings. Therefore, I thought what remaining honorable thing to do but plan my quiet exit and return to nothingness before I can no longer distinguish myself within the haze of anguish and doubt. 

Some would say it was bruised ego that brought this. I wish it is that simple. An ego which can easly bend to favors and illusionary compliment. But I feel betrayed. That all my hardwork, all our hardwork all those years were scrapped in a snap, is a plain mockery, an insult to us who brought the competition onto the next level, distingushed even by men and women from outside the organization. And for what? Only to be preyed by self centeredness, irrationality, superficiality, and worse, politics. 

My heart bleeds for this injustice. Here I am again, swallowed by such tremendous grief that even sleep could not ease the pain. I lost my purpose. I'm no longer sure of my direction. Everyday since the day I was told of this mockery, I walk like a dead man, constantly gnawing at images of humiliation and torment as I slowly drift into the pit of depression. 

I know no more of words that would suffice to imprint the deep sorrow I have now. My very inside was pierced, twisted in agonizing grip. I searched for reprieve but none came except endless fear. 
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Galindafied

























I finally had the chance to catch "Wicked's" run here in Manila. Filipinos with no chance of flying to Broadway or Singapore waited ten years to be Galindafied. Finally it's here and it's worth all the wait!

To be honest, I was not as excited as I was when we were about to watch the Phantom of the Opera's run in Manila two years ago. I was not a fan of "Wicked." My friend said it's for the shallow reason that Fiyero actually loves Elphaba and acted on it and that in the end they managed to find a way to be together, which obviously went astray with my obsession for unrequited love plot. And he is probably right because, well, let's face it, "Phantom" is my lifestory. But after watching "Wicked" for the first time, I guess you can call me "converted." And yes I was officially Galindafied (toss, toss...waves).

I remember how the producers then promised the Filipino fans that we will get to see exactly what the audience in Broadway and West End have been enjoying. From what I've seen in pictures and videos from New York and London, I think they managed to fulfill that promise.

I don't know if it's a good thing or what that the actresses playing Elphaba and Galinda looked and sounded like Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, but nevertheless they were both amazing. Steve Danielsen as Fiyero was also amazing not to mention how tragically handsome he is (those blue eyes and buttle butt are to die for). I was able to get a glimpse of him at the backstage, but too bad I didn't get the chance to have a picture taken with him.

Anyway, before I totally digress, with the successful runs of "Cats", "Phantom", and now "Wicked", I am hoping that more musicals like this would find their way to the Philippines. But to backtrack previous interviews, the producers admitted how bringing in these epic shows were definitely not a walk in the yellow brick road. The "Phantom" was already hard enough but "Wicked" is way harder.

They had to to ship 24 40 containers carrying lights, sets, props and costumes. Head electrician L'arge Wilson said so himself that "Wicked" has one of the biggest lighting rigs with 360 fixtures, 96 moving lights, LED, sidelights etc. Then there's Glinda's 25 kilo bubble dress, over 300 Tony Award-winning costumes, and of course, the casts and crew. Also they had to make some tweaking of the Tanghalang Nicanor to make it "Oz ready". All these to fulfill a promise to Filipino fans who a year ago or something started a petition online, desperate to convince the producers, to stage what can be considered as the musical of our generation.

Quite the opposite after watching "Phantom" where I was sobbing shamelessly during the final curtain call, with "Wicked" my jaw literally dropped in awe. Indeed, the word "magical" says it all. Loud cheers and standing ovation greeted the actors. At the theater's lobby, fans are buying souvenirs left and right. All the way outside people can't stop talking and singing about the show.

After soaking up the Oz-someness of it all, you're left with only one feeling: you want more. And while I made a mental note of pulling every string I can to watch the final show, the question now is what's next? For now, if you love theater especially musicals and you're not able to catch "Wicked", you should be green with envy (toss, toss...waves). 
 

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