Tired from all the day’s work accompanied by a hot humid weather; I was already lying flatly on my bed when an unexpected phone call came in the middle of the night…
“F*ck! Sin-o na gatawag man!?”
As Ilonggo as I could get, I tried to compose myself while I dragged myself out of my bed to attend to a phone call which was obviously not important at all only because I wasn’t expecting any from anyone at that time. I held my breathe for a moment before I looked at the screen and check whose name is registered. In a brief moment; a fraction of a millisecond before I peeked at the screen, I knew that I only wanted one person to call me… so, with all might and desperation, I wished hard… I wished that all the dragging I had to go through plus a few small steps I took from my bed to where my phone was would all be worth it… My heart was pounding…
“Ay teh, kanami gid! Siya gid gatawag!” *tumbo-tumbo sa kalipayon
I answered the phone with so much excitement filling me up to the brim. I literally jumped around my room first before I swiped the answer button. There were a million things and possibilities in my head, but it all boiled down to one when I heard the voice that has kept me happy for a while now…
“Hello, diin ka?”
It sounded funny at first as I try to understand the very first statement I heard. It was not spoken well, at least in a way how we Ilonggos naturally say it, but it was said with an obvious effort to assure me that between us exists a comfortable atmosphere where our worlds harmoniously entwine.
“Ari lang sa balay, ikaw, diin?”
A few years back I can still clearly remember how one of my Titos would sneak the wired telephone from our sala to his room because he was “telebabad-ing” with the girl he fancied before. My lolo is a very busy person and the telephone line in our house must always be kept free and open for any emergencies, but it was to no avail to my Tito. The love he felt was strong enough to circumvent the usage rules set by my lolo with regards to the single PLDT line we have at home. It was funny how slippers would fly around the house the morning after as if it were heat guided missiles directed to hit my tito’s forehead! The telephone cord would usually transform into a whip if he would resort to explaining himself to my lolo. What I am simply trying to say here is; I’ve never experienced this my entire life and I don’t think I ever will because technology happened…
The moon was bright and shining, the few cars passing by EDSA created a choreography of lights trying to paint the streets with a glowing yellow hue… Yellow has always made me happy. I do not know why, but it never failed to draw a bright smile on my face. It was a peaceful Tuesday evening except that of course I was overjoyed knowing that on the other end of the line, I can hear my heartbeat talking to me… Deep inside I was painted yellow. It felt warm and it felt amazing. I thought to myself how lucky I am because my Lolo’s not here and that my “telebabad” experience happened only at this point in time when I can truly say that there exists a happiness greater than my own.
2 hours and 20 minutes. That’s how long it took. It’s literally the longest phone call I ever had in my life. I don’t think I am truly happy because I am in love or in any way gestating over the thought of it. I felt happy because of one simple reason. I received an unexpected phone call from someone who’s been acting as an inspiration for quite a time now and we managed to talk about things that interested us, things that made us happy, and things that well… not made us so happy… It was a conversation that went on and on and to end it was the last thing on my mind.
“Natuyo na ko. Tulog na ta.”
I went back to bed and pondered again on what just happened. Will the kids today ever feel the way I felt with that simple phone call? Will they be able to relate it to stories that happened in their past? Technology has overpowered experiences and has taken away significant amount of moments in our lives; moments meant to be lived in the now and not set aside for tomorrow or set aside to be remembered someday. More than anything else, I don’t want people to see this as my personal love story, but rather a reference to what it was like years back and what it actually meant to be on the phone with someone for a long period of time. The conversation never ends, the talking never stops, and the emotions fill you up to the brim until the only sure thing you have in mind is that each of you, to one another, is in every way… special.
“After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, here’s what I’ve decided. There is no such thing as a grown up. We move on, we move out, we move away from our families and from our friends. But the basic insecurities, the basic fears, and all those old wounds just grow up with us. We get bigger, we get taller, and we get older. But, for the most part, we’re still just a bunch of kids running around the playground, trying desperately to fit in.”
(source: Grey’s Anatomy)