Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Same features :))
Once a kid, I drew my days off with toy guns, marbles, and headless dolls until Mr. Sandman walks me to his world of dreams.  No one played the role of Lola Basyang when I was growing up. No legends colored my night. Stories of curses of giants and dwarves were never told.  No princes with long nose, of the birds and the cowardly encountered. Magical creatures never appeared before my forty winks. If not the games I played, the power of television was the only magic I have known that silenced me until I fell asleep. Yet, I had a fair and blissful childhood. Without the storytelling of how castles in the sky are like, I grew up enjoying reality. I needed no fantasies to learn my values. Bruises and scratches accounted a day’s lesson. The streets and even the trees cultured me. The bicycle marked my leg; yet, I knew all along how well I have been taught. No magic was responsible; I was. And all others around me.

Just when I was exploiting the power of television while waiting for Mr. Sandman, a story was told. I listened to it like a snooping kid I was once. No, it was nothing about kings and queens. Not a tale with enchanted characters. It was far from the world of fantasy. Yet, it painted my night in vibrant colors. It did not put me into slumber, but it did silence me.

The tale was told by a drunken man. No magic spells were involved; his real experiences with the real world were. He began with his childhood. He accounted his growing years with another family until he was distanced farther apart from his own to move to the second another. Those were years divided into days of farm work and nights of school lessons. Not once he mentioned about having the luxury of toys to play with. Two sets of denims were all he had to wear for years in high school. A simple man, he is.

He is a man who had a simple dream of changing his homegrown fate. One Sunday, he left. He hoped. Sure he was that leaving home would let him build his chances for a better future. Only heaven knew what fate his faith would bring him into. He just believed. He never looked back.  Job after job, day after another, the race got harsher. Knowing no other way, he moved forward until he became the man I see every Sunday.

That fair night, I was a kid once more. With my learning eyes, I looked at the man before me who just got off from a feast. It was a feast the man himself hosted. Dishes like no other were served. In that house of marbled floors and brawny stairs, a family of his own is sheltered well. The man’s dream was realized. My ears in full attention to a fulfilled man that he is, I felt the magic in his words played on me.

I was humbled.

His story is not a legend. No fairy godmother made it happen. He is no fictional character. Yet, it is legendary—to him, to me and to all who would listen to it.

I think I just found my Lola Basyang. And I call him Lolo Ilo.

Till his next storytelling.
I may not be old for fantasy stories, but I would rather hear a story as true as his, may it be over bottles of beer. After all, I am no longer a kid.

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