So much to do and so little time left before the May 14 elections but I just have to get this off my chest.
My brother, my best friend, my confidante, my personal cheerleader, my comfort zone, the only family I have left here in the Philippines will be leaving in less than 7 days. We will be thousands of miles apart from each other for the first time in our lives and my heart is turning to shreds.
I do not imagine myself as an overly emotional person. I’ve had my share of pitfalls and I pride myself in the fact that despite them I am still intact. My one big reason for maintaining sanity is my brother, RJ, who manages to make me feel all sorts of emotions whenever I reach a point of utter numbness and exasperation.
Up to this day, I have yet to meet someone who automatically laughs with me over pure powerful vocal acrobatics. Not out of hilarity but of sheer admiration and incredulity. My brother and I, we love music. We are passionate about it. We balk at indifferent musicians who put us to sleep. ‘Ano ba yan, parang inaantok ba siya?”
And we sing together. We harmonize. Just recently we indulged in a trip to nostalgia and reminisced when we REHEARSED production numbers for our relatives and titos and titas during our childhood. Haha! RJ has an incredible musical gift. He can pick up a second voice to any melody. Heck, he can CREATE a totally syncopated back-up in one note. I kid you not. He has a wonderful ear and an equally wonderful voice and I love him for it. Singing with him and watching him perform will be the two great things that I will miss the most.
Among other things, RJ is also my life and my life’s choices support. He criticizes but never discourages. He complains but will always appear at my most urgent beck and call. He gets exhausted but will measure up to any responsibility thrown his way. For these reasons I lay awake at night in the remaining days of his stay with me with the feeling that a part of me is going far, far away.
And despite appearances, he is STILL my little brother. I will surely miss random text messages — “Kate, ano’ng gagawin ko, ang pangit ng buhok ko, magpapakamatay na ba ako?”, and big-sister-acts — “Ano ba naman, RJ, yung medyas at brief mo iniwan mo na naman sa couch!”, and impulsive trips — “Kumain tayo, kumain tayo ng masarap parang baboy.”
The secret of our closeness lies not entirely on our happy moments together but more importantly on the most poignant events we shared. I remember when we accompanied my mother to the airport three years ago. We didn’t cry at the airport lest my mother broke down. We calmly waited for her call to say that she checked in fine. We went straight to watch a totally forgettable movie at the French Film Festival in Megamall. Then we went home, laid side by side in bed, propped up our feet and quietly stared at the ceiling for hours and hours. Afterwards, a look passed between us and we cooked dinner and went on with our lives.
So right now, despite and amid everything that’s happening and so much having to be done, I admit that I am more than distracted and obsessing over RJ’s leaving. A most difficult feat, considering my hectic hours and the focus I have to direct on the work I equally love. To this dilemma, RJ still brings forth a burst of sunshine.
He is also, after all, my comrade. “Pupunta tayo sa Mayo Uno, ang last rally ko dito sa Pilipinas bago ako umalis (We will go to the May 1 Labor Day rally, my last rally before I leave).”