It was my day-off, and that means it’s my catch-up day. and you know what it means? It means; it is the one day of my life where a get to be normal, go to the mall like a normal human being, see a new movie, sleeping till my eye hurts, catch up with the news, etc. So after waking up and found myself so busy doing nothing. With my bag containing my laptop slunged on my shoulders, I went out of the house like an excited teenager with a raging hormone.
I arrived at Robinsons Pioneer an hour later, and the catching up began. Movies (watched 3 movies in a row), Lunch (once a week I treat myself with food I could barely afford, hehe!) and window shopping (just look and not buy). Though there are a lot of better malls around like Megamall, Glorietta, Trinoma,, etc. Pioneer is the mall that I feel really at home with. It remind me so much of Tuguegarao. It’s small compared to other malls, it remind of Brickstone Mall, its not congested and most of all its free wireless internet (they call the place cybergate sometimes). Just bring your own laptop and you can sit anywhere inside the mall and surf to sawa.
I got out of the movie house past 7:00 PM, It’s time for some free internet. I passed by the nearest french bakery and bought a coffee and two pieces of bagel. I chose an isolated bench and began surfing. It’s time to catch up with the events. so I surfed news after news, from yahoo news to CNN to Local dailies sites, the Inquirer to the Philippine star to Sunstar Cebu. After reading some pages, I am feeling some discomfort but I dont know why. Then it dawned on me; Its disorientation coupled with some sort of familiarity. Some things has been there too long, they are not that good but due to familiarity they now seem normal. I looked out the window and saw two street children playing at the front garden of the mall. “They should be home by now if they have a home” I told myself . I know that If I get out right now, these two boys will approach me and would ask for some change. And what will they that do with the money? I am not really sure, they might buy food or they might buy some rugby. Either or both. Its not right, but because solvent boys had become common sight in the streets of the metro, they now seem to normal. They would ask for money, when you try to give them food, they would not accept it. Give them the money and they would not even say thank you. What have we become? I feel something haevy on my chest, hopelessness is not a feeling I am use to.
I closed my laptop. leaned back, took a deep breath and exhaled. There is no use. I came here to catch up with the current events that seemed to pass me by, but the truth is. I’m not missing anything at all. Today’s new was yesterdays news. History is still current events. Nothing really changes. You open up the pages and you see politicians bickering about the same old political hoopla that is self conjured. You read about robbery, graft and corruptions, rape, murder, war and all the stuff that that will make you think society or humanity as a whole is on the self-destruct mode. We are still clinging to the pseudo-reality that our self destruction is just a matter of time and the clock is ticking. but come to think of it, the clock has been ticking for quite sometime now, and, the thing is that, it might not stop ticking. It might be all ticks and no boom. maybe we have learned to thrive in constant chaos. maybe, if i stay in my room for 20 years, no radio, no television, no newspaper, I will still be able to tell the news like I read it just today. The printed names will be different, but the sad story will still be the same. We are hopeless.
I Packed my laptop and went out of the mall. I left my untouched coffee cup on the bench, grabbed the bag of bagels and headed for the nearest exit. It is time to go home. The night air is warm. As I make my way past the two street boys, they stood up and approached me. with their palms trusted in-front of me, I joked “Ano? pang solvent?”, the smaller of the two responded “hindi kuya!” as i reached on my pocket for the 5 peso coin, the older of the two smiled and said “hindi kuya, pangtawid gutom lang, wag na pera, yang tinapay na lang, di pa kami kumakain eh” pointing at the the bagel inside the. I stared at him with, maybe, a hint of disbelief showing on my face. he stared back at me with the are-you-on-drugs kind of stare. I handed him the bag, to my surprise, they said “thank you kuya“. I boarded the bus home with a stupid smile. “That is something” I whispered. Perhaps, I was wrong in a way, I woke up early to catch up with the news, in the end, I caught up with the truth. yes. maybe I’m wrong. The baggage that I carried in my chest seemed to have vanished in thin air, but the smile never left my face. With a palpable sigh I found myself whispering “Perhaps there is still hope