Thursday, October 14, 2004


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet
Written in May of 1951

While on our way to Baguio, Mom left me instructions as to how to deal with her remains after she has died (if she ever does, from cancer). While I was totally quiet throughout the [one-sided] discussion, I cannot seem to believe that discussing death could actually be this easy.

Knowing that cancer can totally change your appearance at least a week before your actual death, we decided to opt for creamation to spare her the embarrassment of being talked about during the wake. You know us Pinoys. Tsismoso. Eh patay na nga ang tao, eh.

I asked Mom to stop the topic because I wasn't comfortable with it. I will state it here once and for all that I will never, never, never be able to accept Mom's death if it does come to pass (and it eventually will). So if it does happen, do not attempt to stop me from prowling the streets as a taong grasa. "Nuff said.

Anyways, since my High School days, I was never the one who was afraid of death. I've written about it in my poetry, even told Mom about it one time. It must have been my exposure to literature which romanticized death too much, I don't know. I am even more scared to be strapped to a wheelchair in old age than to die at an early age. What would have I felt - me, a party boy in my younger days, a runner, an active person - strapped all of a sudden to a wheelchair and wouldn't even be able to get my dick out to pee?

"That's not a bad idea, but how do you intend to kill yourself?", asked Mom.

Galing talaga ni Mommy. Bigla ako napaiisip dun ah.

So, I was talking to my colleague Jesy earlier tonight about how calm I was during the recent earthquake while everybody was literally screaming and running out of the building. I mean, what the heck?! I just kept in mind never to commit the mistakes regarding earthquakes: NEVER hide beneath things like tables. This would surely crush you to death.

Last Summer, I almost met death when our 5J 30-year-old DC9 aircraft towards Tacloban was making its approach from the sea when we entered turbulence. It rocked the aircraft so bad that I heard some friends give little yelps. One was holding on to his seat for dear life. His first time on an airplane and that was what he got. Poor guy.

5J's colorful Mcdonell Douglas MD-30s lined up in Manila's Domestic Airport

Anyways, suffice to say that I was rather calm about the whole thing. Aside from giving a reassuring smile to the foreigner across my seat (he look whiter than he already was), I just looked out the window and saw the bluish sea. It was so calm. Calming. I saw the fringes of the island of Leyte and I thought, God! What a wonderful thing to see before dying. I was just ready for any eventuality. Having flown on an aircraft since I was a baby, I know the procedures for water landing but what happened to us - losing altitude fast, dropping from the sky by the meters - didn't make the scenario of a water landing plausible.

Then I remembered the airport bombing years ago (See related blog).

When I come face to face with Death again, I know that I can just sneer back at him. Death, you don't scare me!

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