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The Pioneers are living their life!

These articles, made on the spur of the moment by Pioneers, reflect our sentiments, our experiences, and our hopes.


Jove and his 'Nature of Love'
Carlos and the FX Driver
Carlos meets a Pioneer
Apple visits JFK


Jove and his 'Nature of Love' (go to top)
Nature of Love
by Jove

We are earth-sky
   Brownish, moist soil; bluish, windy high.

The sun awakes
   Moods change
   Cools, warms; stills and quakes.
The day-course moves
   As our life,
   Flowers, and then soars.

As dusk falls,
   Fading twilight flicks on the stars.
We sleep in our cot
   On green fields in cloudy halls.

   We shall too
   Nature may change,
   But we remain True.

Carlos and the FX Driver (go to top)
It was a lousy day for me. Things have been going wrong from the start of the day when the meetings get to you going through lunch when you spill some soy sauce on yourself all through the afternoon waiting for a phone call that never came.

It had become so frustrating to the point of me wanting to sweat out all the hidden screams in my head.

After an hour or so at the gym, I decided it was about time to meet my girl and earn the saving grace for my day. So I packed my bag and got ready to ride the bus for Q.C..

I just knew her smile would make all well.

A Tamaraw FX driver heading for Vito Cruz halted to a stop at the waiting shed, flashed an inconspicuous signboard that said - Vito Cruz/Baclaran and proceeded to haggle with the dispatcher. I thought what the heck, it's the same as the bus so I boarded.

I was the only passenger who boarded and not wanting to feel the air of awkwardness, I struck up a conversation with the driver. Funny, first thing I thought of saying was if there a brothel nearby.A statement I would regret later on.

I managed to extract from him what jobs he has had since college. How FEATI used to have a better reputation than today. He was particularly fond of talking about his 5 year old boy.

'The boy's bright' he said. 'I hate having to send him to that public school he is in now but I have not much of a choice'. That got me. Sending your child to school with all the wallet you're worth always seem so touching to me.

By the time we were at SM Bacoor, we talked liked neighbors. Funny and sad - nobody else rode the FX.

I was already sort of feeling pity for the man. He and I knew he was just going to earn P25 for my ride. He could have earned P250 if that FX was full. I began to think of paying him P50 instead so he wont feel that bad. But I thought again and kinda felt embarrassed.

As we got near Baclaran where I plan to disengage myself from the situation I was in, I put my hand in my pocket and felt the P50 bill I saw in there earlier. I put my resolve to hand it to him and close the door real fast so he won't have time to give me change. I was thinking,ha! this ought to feel good.

He pulled the FX over and I got ready to pull my 'stunt'.

As I handed the bill to him, he just smiled and said 'Go on - that one's on me'. I insisted, feeling confused as if a student whose experiment blew up. He wouldn't take it and the bus behind was honking real loud. I said my thanks and got off. The best I could do was remember his face and his taxi. BLESS GOD - PWP 315 if I got that right.

How terribly wrong I was. About a lot of things.I thought it would be in in UP that I'd feel relief.

God decided to meet me earlier.

Carlos meets a Pioneer (go to top)
How many times have I thought of writing this and putting it off?

I couldn't blame myself, I wanted to a long time ago but there were just too many distractions. And now here I am on a Sunday with all the time I can spare. No more excuses; I begin.

'Twas a long drive from Chandler to California. Six hours to San Diego and another 3 to L.A.. But my spirit arrived at the exact spot where I'd be seeing her again the moment I stepped in the car. Driving was a breeze and my two companions are wondering to this day how in the world I got the guts and energy to drive that hostile interstate considering the three of us were neophyte drivers.

It was hard to explain and I'd rather have kept it to myself. They were looking forward to seeing Sea World and Universal Studios and Sunset Blvd. Me - I was looking forward to seeing Pilar.

Who's she? Depends on who you want her to. Friend, confidante, schoolgirl, daughter, girlfriend, chic, Inday Badiday - you name it.

For me, she was Pilar my high school thesismate. She was the girl I remembered asking if she sometimes just wears her uniform without ironing it or if she just sleeps on it (She said None of the Above as a matter of fact). She was the nerd look-alike with those spectacles and high-falluting achievements. She was....The Prom Killer Queen who showed up in red and left all the boy's hearts in heaven and their jaws on the floor. (Boy was she beautiful that night and I'm not kidding.)

Sea World half a day and that night I'd be calling her. I couldn't believe she was so near. It seemed so long ago when she was just a slap-my-hands-and-gimme-five distance from us.

I couldn't believe she developed a slang either.

I kept thinking, 'What the hell happened to your tongue, man?'. She pronounced Kamusta like Kemesteh. I wanted to pry her tongue out and twist it the Visayan way.

So we talked and I agreed to fetch her and take her to Universal with us.

I couldn't sleep in the motel that night though I had the bed to myself while my companions Jun and Fred shared (my price for driving 70% of the way by the way). I kept thinking I'd be meeting her and she'd be wearing that red prom dress and I'd be just wearing jeans and I'd just aw shucks her right to Universal. And the sun came up and I (yes I again) drove us to her place.

Seemed like years but there she was. And I thought, this could not be her, why hasn't she grown? Why is she not wearing the red prom dress.She not blonde yet? Why does she look like - Pilar? But a louder voice was screaming 'Hey look, that's my friend right there! Yup! She's waving at me not you! Oh my God, Oh my God , she's coming my way!'. I was so excited I could cry.

I was wrong, she did not look like Pilar, not 100% anyway. She looked like a lady Pilar. Is that a trace of make-up I see? I wanted to poke her arm to see if it was really real. Hugs and smiles and introductions followed suit. We went to UCLA and was awed by it's atmosphere. In UCLA, there were old buildings and green grass everywhere. There were squirrels on trees too. Then, off to Universal we went.

We were happy. No, we were exhilarated by the experience. We rode and rode and walked and walked and talked and talked. It's kind of funny. It's like we were going to die that night and we were to spend our last few ours in Universal.

She was transformed since the last time I saw her. I couldn't help but be amazed at her tenacity in her struggles. She was braver and more chismosa. I thought her life was perfect but it too was strewn with occasional problems we all have. She was determined to head on to med. school. She was tired, I could see but the fire's not dimmed a bit. I knew she'll make it.

During the tram tour ride, I saw look distant and sad. I asked her why. She said she missed the Pioneers. She said I remind her so much of the Pioneers. I should, because I am a Pioneer as is she.

It was weird. You felt your sinking feeling grow exponentially as and your happiness fade geometrically as the sun rides the sky. But there was no mistake in the sincerity of that day for both of us. I was the messenger of the Pioneers' warmth and fun and I tried my best to bring her back home.

Funny how sometimes you ache to catch a glimpse of something you know would haunt you longer than that glimpse of a moment. It's very much like looking at a coffin of a loved one. That ache transforms to grief the moment you lay your eyes before it.

That was pretty much how I felt during dinner when I knew I might not see her again for a long time. But I did not dare show it. I knew she felt the same. I was her postman as I am yours. I brought her your letter and now I bring you hers.

But that dinner her postman was leaving after bringing her a letter she waited for years.

But hey, I'm just the postman mi amigo. And postmen always have to leave.

My ode to you, Pilar.

Apple visits JFK (go to top)
...Then when we parted ways, I went to the Pentagon to meet a family friend (I was supposed to stay with her for the weekend), but she did not come after I waited for her for an hour and a half.

So I went to some place peaceful, and the Lord led me to Arlington Cemetery. I know it sounds weird, but as walked towards JFK's gravesite, I saw a lot of things which disturbed me. There were people buried here who died during the Vietnam War, and the oldest I saw was only 29 years old.

Then one grave caught my attention. This guy died when I was born. I don't even remember his name. He served in the Vietnam War, but he was only 18 years old. I felt ashamed of myself for thinking about how big my problems were, and here he was... he must have been so scared.

I wanted to give him flowers, but I did not have any. I looked inside my bag, and found an apple I had brought with me... so I placed that there. I'm sure the squirrels have taken it already. I learned that even the "unimportant" things can be the best teachers. JFK's grave or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier did not move me as much. I left my peaceful place, thanking God He led me there.

I am so happy.

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Page created: September 26, 1998
Last updated: September 26, 1998
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