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May Day Eve
By Nick Joaquin
The old people had ordered that the dancing should stop at ten o’clock but it was almost midnight before the carriages came filing up the departing guests, while the girls who were staying were promptly herded upstairs to the bedrooms, the young men gathering around to wish them a good night and lamenting their ascent with mock signs and moaning, proclaiming themselves disconsolate but straightway going off to finish the punch and the brandy though they were quite drunk already and simply bursting with wild spirits, merriment, arrogance and audacity, for they were young bucks newly arrived from Europe; the ball had been in their honor; and they had waltzed and polka-ed and bragged and swaggered and flirted all night and where in no mood to sleep yet--no, caramba, not on this moist tropic eve! not on this mystic May eve! --with the night still young and so seductive that it was madness not to go out, not to go forth---and serenade the neighbors! cried one; and swim in the Pasid! cried another; and gather fireflies! cried a third—whereupon there arose a great clamor for coats and capes, for hats and canes, and they were a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage rattled away upon the cobbles while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tile roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wile sky murky with clouds, save where an evil young moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable childhood fragrances or ripe guavas to the young men trooping so uproariously down the street that the girls who were desiring upstairs in the bedrooms catered screaming to the windows, crowded giggling at the windows, but were soon sighing amorously over those young men bawling below; over those wicked young men and their handsome apparel, their proud flashing eyes, and their elegant mustaches so black and vivid in the moonlight that the girls were quite ravished with love, and began crying to one another how carefree were men but how awful to be a girl and what a horrid, horrid world it was, till old Anastasia plucked them off by the ear or the pigtail and chases them off to bed---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobble and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee, and the mighty roll of his great voice booming through the night, "Guardia serno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o.
And it was May again, said the old Anastasia. It was the first day of May and witches were abroad in the night, she said--for it was a night of divination, and night of lovers, and those who cared might peer into a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry, said the old Anastasia as she hobble about picking up the piled crinolines and folding up shawls and raking slippers in corner while the girls climbing into four great poster-beds that overwhelmed the room began shrieking with terror, scrambling over each other and imploring the old woman not to frighten them.
"Enough, enough, Anastasia! We want to sleep!"
"Go scare the boys instead, you old witch!"
"She is not a witch, she is a maga. She is a maga. She was born of Christmas Eve!"
"St. Anastasia, virgin and martyr."
"Huh? Impossible! She has conquered seven husbands! Are you a virgin, Anastasia?"
"No, but I am seven times a martyr because of you girls!"
"Let her prophesy, let her prophesy! Whom will I marry, old gypsy? Come, tell me."
"You may learn in a mirror if you are not afraid."
"I am not afraid, I will go," cried the young cousin Agueda, jumping up in bed.
"Girls, girls---we are making too much noise! My mother will hear and will come and pinch us all. Agueda, lie down! And you Anastasia, I command you to shut your mouth and go away!""Your mother told me to stay here all night, my grand lady!"
"And I will not lie down!" cried the rebellious Agueda, leaping to the floor. "Stay, old woman. Tell me what I have to do."
"Tell her! Tell her!" chimed the other girls.
The old woman dropped the clothes she had gathered and approached and fixed her eyes on the girl. "You must take a candle," she instructed, "and go into a room that is dark and that has a mirror in it and you must be alone in the room. Go up to the mirror and close your eyes and shy:
Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be. If all goes right, just above your left shoulder will appear the face of the man you will marry." A silence. Then: "And hat if all does not go right?" asked Agueda. "Ah, then the Lord have mercy on you!" "Why." "Because you may see--the Devil!"
The girls screamed and clutched one another, shivering. "But what nonsense!" cried Agueda. "This is the year 1847. There are no devil anymore!" Nevertheless she had turned pale. "But where could I go, hugh? Yes, I know! Down to the sala. It has that big mirror and no one is there now." "No, Agueda, no! It is a mortal sin! You will see the devil!" "I do not care! I am not afraid! I will go!" "Oh, you wicked girl! Oh, you mad girl!" "If you do not come to bed, Agueda, I will call my mother." "And if you do I will tell her who came to visit you at the convent last March. Come, old woman---give me that candle. I go." "Oh girls---give me that candle, I go."
But Agueda had already slipped outside; was already tiptoeing across the hall; her feet bare and her dark hair falling down her shoulders and streaming in the wind as she fled down the stairs, the lighted candle sputtering in one hand while with the other she pulled up her white gown from her ankles. She paused breathless in the doorway to the sala and her heart failed her. She tried to imagine the room filled again with lights, laughter, whirling couples, and the jolly jerky music of the fiddlers. But, oh, it was a dark den, a weird cavern for the windows had been closed and the furniture stacked up against the walls. She crossed herself and stepped inside.
The mirror hung on the wall before her; a big antique mirror with a gold frame carved into leaves and flowers and mysterious curlicues. She saw herself approaching fearfully in it: a small while ghost that the darkness bodied forth---but not willingly, not completely, for her eyes and hair were so dark that the face approaching in the mirror seemed only a mask that floated forward; a bright mask with two holes gaping in it, blown forward by the white cloud of her gown. But when she stood before the mirror she lifted the candle level with her chin and the dead mask bloomed into her living face.
She closed her eyes and whispered the incantation. When she had finished such a terror took hold of her that she felt unable to move, unable to open her eyes and thought she would stand there forever, enchanted. But she heard a step behind her, and a smothered giggle, and instantly opened her eyes.
"And what did you see, Mama? Oh, what was it?" But Dona Agueda had forgotten the little girl on her lap: she was staring pass the curly head nestling at her breast and seeing herself in the big mirror hanging in the room. It was the same room and the same mirror out the face she now saw in it was an old face---a hard, bitter, vengeful face, framed in graying hair, and so sadly altered, so sadly different from that other face like a white mask, that fresh young face like a pure mask than she had brought before this mirror one wild May Day midnight years and years ago.... "But what was it Mama? Oh please go on! What did you see?" Dona Agueda looked down at her daughter but her face did not soften though her eyes filled with tears. "I saw the devil." she said bitterly. The child blanched. "The devil, Mama? Oh... Oh..." "Yes, my love. I opened my eyes and there in the mirror, smiling at me over my left shoulder, was the face of the devil." "Oh, my poor little Mama! And were you very frightened?" "You can imagine. And that is why good little girls do not look into mirrors except when their mothers tell them. You must stop this naughty habit, darling, of admiring yourself in every mirror you pass- or you may see something frightful some day." "But the devil, Mama---what did he look like?" "Well, let me see... he has curly hair and a scar on his cheek---" "Like the scar of Papa?" "Well, yes. But this of the devil was a scar of sin, while that of your Papa is a scar of honor. Or so he says." "Go on about the devil." "Well, he had mustaches." "Like those of Papa?" "Oh, no. Those of your Papa are dirty and graying and smell horribly of tobacco, while these of the devil were very black and elegant--oh, how elegant!" "And did he speak to you, Mama?" "Yes… Yes, he spoke to me," said Dona Agueda. And bowing her graying head; she wept.
"Charms like yours have no need for a candle, fair one," he had said, smiling at her in the mirror and stepping back to give her a low mocking bow. She had whirled around and glared at him and he had burst into laughter. "But I remember you!" he cried. "You are Agueda, whom I left a mere infant and came home to find a tremendous beauty, and I danced a waltz with you but you would not give me the polka." "Let me pass," she muttered fiercely, for he was barring the way. "But I want to dance the polka with you, fair one," he said. So they stood before the mirror; their panting breath the only sound in the dark room; the candle shining between them and flinging their shadows to the wall. And young Badoy Montiya (who had crept home very drunk to pass out quietly in bed) suddenly found himself cold sober and very much awake and ready for anything. His eyes sparkled and the scar on his face gleamed scarlet. "Let me pass!" she cried again, in a voice of fury, but he grasped her by the wrist. "No," he smiled. "Not until we have danced." "Go to the devil!" "What a temper has my serrana!" "I am not your serrana!" "Whose, then? Someone I know? Someone I have offended grievously? Because you treat me, you treat all my friends like your mortal enemies." "And why not?" she demanded, jerking her wrist away and flashing her teeth in his face. "Oh, how I detest you, you pompous young men! You go to Europe and you come back elegant lords and we poor girls are too tame to please you. We have no grace like the Parisiennes, we have no fire like the Sevillians, and we have no salt, no salt, no salt! Aie, how you weary me, how you bore me, you fastidious men!" "Come, come---how do you know about us?"
"I was not admiring myself, sir!" "You were admiring the moon perhaps?" "Oh!" she gasped, and burst into tears. The candle dropped from her hand and she covered her face and sobbed piteously. The candle had gone out and they stood in darkness, and young Badoy was conscience-stricken. "Oh, do not cry, little one!" Oh, please forgive me! Please do not cry! But what a brute I am! I was drunk, little one, I was drunk and knew not what I said." He groped and found her hand and touched it to his lips. She shuddered in her white gown. "Let me go," she moaned, and tugged feebly. "No. Say you forgive me first. Say you forgive me, Agueda." But instead she pulled his hand to her mouth and bit it - bit so sharply in the knuckles that he cried with pain and lashed cut with his other hand--lashed out and hit the air, for she was gone, she had fled, and he heard the rustling of her skirts up the stairs as he furiously sucked his bleeding fingers. Cruel thoughts raced through his head: he would go and tell his mother and make her turn the savage girl out of the house--or he would go himself to the girl’s room and drag her out of bed and slap, slap, slap her silly face! But at the same time he was thinking that they were all going to Antipolo in the morning and was already planning how he would maneuver himself into the same boat with her. Oh, he would have his revenge, he would make her pay, that little harlot! She should suffer for this, he thought greedily, licking his bleeding knuckles. But---Judas! He remembered her bare shoulders: gold in her candlelight and delicately furred. He saw the mobile insolence of her neck, and her taut breasts steady in the fluid gown. Son of a Turk, but she was quite enchanting! How could she think she had no fire or grace? And no salt? An arroba she had of it!
"... No lack of salt in the chrism At the moment of thy baptism!" He sang aloud in the dark room and suddenly realized that he had fallen madly in love with her. He ached intensely to see her again---at once! ---to touch her hands and her hair; to hear her harsh voice. He ran to the window and flung open the casements and the beauty of the night struck him back like a blow. It was May, it was summer, and he was young---young! ---and deliriously in love. Such a happiness welled up within him that the tears spurted from his eyes. But he did not forgive her--no! He would still make her pay, he would still have his revenge, he thought viciously, and kissed his wounded fingers. But what a night it had been! "I will never forge this night! he thought aloud in an awed voice, standing by the window in the dark room, the tears in his eyes and the wind in his hair and his bleeding knuckles pressed to his mouth.
But, alas, the heart forgets; the heart is distracted; and May time passes; summer lends; the storms break over the rot-tipe orchards and the heart grows old; while the hours, the days, the months, and the years pile up and pile up, till the mind becomes too crowded, too confused: dust gathers in it; cobwebs multiply; the walls darken and fall into ruin and decay; the memory perished...and there came a time when Don Badoy Montiya walked home through a May Day midnight without remembering, without even caring to remember; being merely concerned in feeling his way across the street with his cane; his eyes having grown quite dim and his legs uncertain--for he was old; he was over sixty; he was a very stopped and shivered old man with white hair and mustaches coming home from a secret meeting of conspirators; his mind still resounding with the speeches and his patriot heart still exultant as he picked his way up the steps to the front door and inside into the slumbering darkness of the house; wholly unconscious of the May night, till on his way down the hall, chancing to glance into the sala, he shuddered, he stopped, his blood ran cold-- for he had seen a face in the mirror there---a ghostly candlelight face with the eyes closed and the lips moving, a face that he suddenly felt he had been there before though it was a full minutes before the lost memory came flowing, came tiding back, so overflooding the actual moment and so swiftly washing away the piled hours and days and months and years that he was left suddenly young again; he was a gay young buck again, lately came from Europe; he had been dancing all night; he was very drunk; he s stepped in the doorway; he saw a face in the dark; he called out...and the lad standing before the mirror (for it was a lad in a night go jumped with fright and almost dropped his candle, but looking around and seeing the old man, laughed out with relief and came running.
"Oh Grandpa, how you frightened me. Don Badoy had turned very pale. "So it was you, you young bandit! And what is all this, hey? What are you doing down here at this hour?" "Nothing, Grandpa. I was only... I am only ..." "Yes, you are the great Señor only and how delighted I am to make your acquaintance, Señor Only! But if I break this cane on your head you maga wish you were someone else, Sir!" "It was just foolishness, Grandpa. They told me I would see my wife."
"Wife? What wife?" "Mine. The boys at school said I would see her if I looked in a mirror tonight and said: Mirror, mirror show to me her whose lover I will be.
Don Badoy cackled ruefully. He took the boy by the hair, pulled him along into the room, sat down on a chair, and drew the boy between his knees. "Now, put your cane down the floor, son, and let us talk this over. So you want your wife already, hey? You want to see her in advance, hey? But so you know that these are wicked games and that wicked boys who play them are in danger of seeing horrors?"
"Well, the boys did warn me I might see a witch instead."
"Exactly! A witch so horrible you may die of fright. And she will be witch you, she will torture you, she will eat
your heart and drink your blood!"
"Oh, come now Grandpa. This is 1890. There are no witches anymore."
"Oh-ho, my young Voltaire! And what if I tell you that I myself have seen a witch.
"Right in this room land right in that mirror," said the old man, and his playful voice had turned savage.
"Not so long ago. When I was a bit older than you. Oh, I was a vain fellow and though I was feeling very sick that night and merely wanted to lie down somewhere and die I could not pass that doorway of course without stopping to see in the mirror what I looked like when dying. But when I poked my head in what should I see in the mirror but...but..."
"And then she bewitch you, Grandpa!"
"She bewitched me and she tortured me. l She ate my heart and drank my blood." said the old man bitterly.
"Oh, my poor little Grandpa! Why have you never told me! And she very horrible?
"Horrible? God, no--- she was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen! Her eyes were somewhat like yours but her hair was like black waters and her golden shoulders were bare. My God, she was enchanting! But I should have known---I should have known even then---the dark and fatal creature she was!"
A silence. Then: "What a horrid mirror this is, Grandpa," whispered the boy.
"What makes you slay that, hey?"
"Well, you saw this witch in it. And Mama once told me that Grandma once told her that Grandma once saw the devil in this mirror. Was it of the scare that Grandma died?"
Don Badoy started. For a moment he had forgotten that she was dead, that she had perished---the poor Agueda; that they were at peace at last, the two of them, her tired body at rest; her broken body set free at last from the brutal pranks of the earth---from the trap of a May night; from the snare of summer; from the terrible silver nets of the moon. She had been a mere heap of white hair and bones in the end: a whimpering withered consumptive, lashing out with her cruel tongue; her eye like live coals; her face like ashes... Now, nothing--- nothing save a name on a stone; save a stone in a graveyard---nothing! was left of the young girl who had flamed so vividly in a mirror one wild May Day midnight, long, long ago.
And remembering how she had sobbed so piteously; remembering how she had bitten his hand and fled and how he had sung aloud in the dark room and surprised his heart in the instant of falling in love: such a grief tore up his throat and eyes that he felt ashamed before the boy; pushed the boy away; stood up and looked out----looked out upon the medieval shadows of the foul street where a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage was rattling away upon the cobbles, while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tiled roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wild sky murky with clouds, save where an evil old moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable the window; the bowed old man sobbing so bitterly at the window; the tears streaming down his cheeks and the wind in his hair and one hand pressed to his mouth---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobbles, and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee, and the mighty roll of his voice booming through the night:
"Guardia sereno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o!"
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In a faraway land named LA-J4, there exist three great tribes who are competing for power and who aspire of ruling the whole kingdom. 11111 is the most powerful of them. They are known for their bravery and greatness in battle. They occupy most of the plains in LA-J4. The other one, 22222, is famous for blacksmith. They live peacefully at the very heart of the forest making fine metals, weapons and armory. Moreover, most of the traders in the kingdom came from their tribe. The least powerful tribe is 33333. They reside in the mountains. Although, they are known to be experts in making potions and concoctions, people in the kingdom do not trust them completely because they live in seclusion and seldom do they get along with other people outside their tribe.
One day, a sad news spread across the land as the leader of 11111 tribe was poisoined during the annual feast of the tribe. Along with that, a lot rumors have also spread as to who the culprit of the crime is. Because of what has happened, the 11111 tribe was enraged and wanted to seek revenge. Few weeks after that dreadful incident, while the 22222 tribe is busy preparing for the celebration of their tribe’s yearly tradition, a group of armored men attacked them. The supposedly blissful celebration has turned into fearful mass killings. The armored men furiously killed all the people in the tribe. Men, women, children, and elders were murdered mercilessly. Houses were burned leaving the tribe with no glory and honor but only ashes and dead bodies. The 33333 tribe led by Alfonzo delata Castilla came to aid them, but it was too late already. However, it seems like a miracle that a 7-year old girl has survived that terrible and violent event.They found her crying and very afraid. Her name is Fei-Tah, the daughter of the tribe’s master. She was able to escape the horror, hid in the forest, and helplessly watched her tribesmen being killed one by one. 33333 tribe adopted her and treated her like one of them. In her new tribe, she met Xylan, the son of Alfonzo, who became her closest friend. They grew up together. Fei Tah told Xylan with conviction that one day she will take revenge for her tribe. She spent all her life training in the art of battle and since she came from a tribe known for blacksmith she wanted to create the best weapon that would bring down the 11111 tribe, the tribe that killed her tribesmen.
13 years after, with the help of Xylan, they made Leo Collantes, a cyborg and their strongest weapon. At last her most awaited day of revenge has come. With all their might, they attacked the 11111 tribe. The battle went on for several days until the fortresses of the 11111 tribe had fallen one by one. Leo Collantes indeed is a great help to the tribe. Eventually, the forces of 11111 tribe had weaken and for that they decided to surrender, together with their commander. Alfonzo asked the commander to kneel before him as a sign of respect to the most powerful man and the new ruler of LA-J4. He called Fei Tah and gave her a sword so that she could finally fulfil her promise of revenge for her tribe. When she was about to kill the commander, a 7-year old girl ran towards her. She was crying and begging Fei Tah to spare the life of her father. Then suddenly, as if a flashback, she saw herself in that child years ago. She felt pity for the child and decided to put down the sword. Alfonzo was not happy about what Fei Tah did so he grabbed the sword from Fei Tah’s hand and struck it through the leader’s heart. Fei Tah was shocked as she saw the body of the commander fell to the ground. After that, Alfonzo pointed the sword to Fei Tah and admitted everything that he did. He revealed that he was the one responsible for the death of 11111 tribe’s leader. He made a concoction, a potent poison and hired someone to mix it to the drink of the tribe’s leader during the feast. He is also the one who spread the rumors that 22222 tribe was the culprit of the crime that’s why 11111 tribe was infuriated and attacked Fei Tah’s tribe. Alfonzo did all these because of his ambition to rule the land and to make known to everyone his tribe. Finally, he was able to achieve his dream. After revealing everything, he attacked Fei Tah but before he could reach her, a sword pierced through his body from behind. He fell to the ground and saw that it was Leo Collantes, the cyborg, who was commanded by his own son, Xylan. At last Fei Tah was able to avenge her tribe and from then on, peace in LA-J4 was finally restored.
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Prince Hamlet is depressed. Having been summoned home to Denmark from school in Germany to attend his father's funeral, he is shocked to find his mother Gertrude already remarried. The Queen has wed Hamlet's Uncle Claudius, the dead king's brother. To Hamlet, the marriage is "foul incest." Worse still, Claudius has had himself crowned King despite the fact that Hamlet was his father's heir to the throne. Hamlet suspects foul play.
When his father's ghost visits the castle, Hamlet's suspicions are confirmed. The Ghost complains that he is unable to rest in peace because he was murdered. Claudius, says the Ghost, poured poison in King Hamlet's ear while the old king napped. Unable to confess and find salvation, King Hamlet is now consigned, for a time, to spend his days in Purgatory and walk the earth by night. He entreats Hamlet to avenge his death, but to spare Gertrude, to let Heaven decide her fate.
Hamlet vows to affect madness — puts "an antic disposition on" — to wear a mask that will enable him to observe the interactions in the castle, but finds himself more confused than ever. In his persistent confusion, he questions the Ghost's trustworthiness. What if the Ghost is not a true spirit, but rather an agent of the devil sent to tempt him? What if killing Claudius results in Hamlet's having to relive his memories for all eternity? Hamlet agonizes over what he perceives as his cowardice because he cannot stop himself from thinking. Words immobilize Hamlet, but the world he lives in prizes action.
In order to test the Ghost's sincerity, Hamlet enlists the help of a troupe of players who perform a play called The Murder of Gonzago to which Hamlet has added scenes that recreate the murder the Ghost described. Hamlet calls the revised play The Mousetrap, and the ploy proves a success. As Hamlet had hoped, Claudius' reaction to the staged murder reveals the King to be conscience-stricken. Claudius leaves the room because he cannot breathe, and his vision is dimmed for want of light. Convinced now that Claudius is a villain, Hamlet resolves to kill him. But, as Hamlet observes, "conscience doth make cowards of us all."
In his continued reluctance to dispatch Claudius, Hamlet actually causes six ancillary deaths. The first death belongs to Polonius, whom Hamlet stabs through a wallhanging as the old man spies on Hamlet and Gertrude in the Queen's private chamber. Claudius punishes Hamlet for Polonius' death by exiling him to England. He has brought Hamlet's school chums Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Denmark from Germany to spy on his nephew, and now he instructs them to deliver Hamlet into the English king's hands for execution. Hamlet discovers the plot and arranges for the hanging of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern instead. Ophelia, distraught over her father's death and Hamlet's behavior, drowns while singing sad love songs bemoaning the fate of a spurned lover. Her brother, Laertes, falls next.
Laertes, returned to Denmark from France to avenge his father's death, witnesses Ophelia's descent into madness. After her funeral, where he and Hamlet come to blows over which of them loved Ophelia best, Laertes vows to punish Hamlet for her death as well.
Unencumbered by words, Laertes plots with Claudius to kill Hamlet. In the midst of the sword fight, however, Laertes drops his poisoned sword. Hamlet retrieves the sword and cuts Laertes. The lethal poison kills Laertes. Before he dies, Laertes tells Hamlet that because Hamlet has already been cut with the same sword, he too will shortly die. Horatio diverts Hamlet's attention from Laertes for a moment by pointing out that "The Queen falls."
Gertrude, believing that Hamlet's hitting Laertes means her son is winning the fencing match, has drunk a toast to her son from the poisoned cup Claudius had intended for Hamlet. The Queen dies.
As Laertes lies dying, he confesses to Hamlet his part in the plot and explains that Gertrude's death lies on Claudius' head. Finally enraged, Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned sword and then pours the last of the poisoned wine down the King's throat. Before he dies, Hamlet declares that the throne should now pass to Prince Fortinbras of Norway, and he implores his true friend Horatio to accurately explain the events that have led to the bloodbath at Elsinore. With his last breath, he releases himself from the prison of his words: "The rest is silence."
The play ends as Prince Fortinbras, in his first act as King of Denmark, orders a funeral with full military honors for slain Prince Hamlet.v
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In the Philippines, corrupt politicians and police cause abundant crime and poverty. Hitmen Mario and Daniel murder a man named Tiu. The two are prisoners who are regularly released from prison to perform hits for their boss Thelma in exchange for money. Mario, due to be released soon, uses his money to support his daughter's law school tuition and estranged wife Lolet. Daniel, the younger and more reckless partner, sends some of his money home and spends the rest on goods and privileges in prison. Daniel has come to see Mario as a mentor and father figure. After the hit, they are sent back. Tiu's murder case is assigned to NBI Agent Coronel through Congressman Manrique, who is Coronel's father-in-law. Coronel's father, also a policeman, died amid rumors of corruption. When Coronel and his partner, Bernabe, arrive at the local precinct, Sgt. Acosta, a 20-year veteran who feels the case was taken from him for political reasons, resists them.
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Naniniwala ka ba sa pagbibilang ng siyam na butuin sa loob ng siyam na araw.
Kung ako ang tatanungin mo, hindi naman talaga ako yung tipo ng tao na mabilis mapapaniwala sa mga ganitong klase ng kasabihan o pamahiin. Ngunit sa tuwing nakikita mo ang kanilang pagningning sa iyong mg mata, sa tuwing magliliwanaag sila sa dilim, at sa mga ilaw nilang nakakamangha. Wala ka ng iba pang magagawa kundi sundin ang ipinapahayag ng iyong curiosidad. Alam kong pwede itong hindi ito totoo at maari ring hindi magkatotoo. Sa mata ng iba, isa lang itong malaking kalokohan. Ginawa ko ito bilang pagsubok lamang. Katulad nga. Sinasabi ng karamihan, wala namang mawawala at hindi naman ito masama lalo na kung ang kapalit ng iyong pagbibilang ay ang katuparan ng iyong kahilingan. hindi natin alam, wala ni isa satin ay nakakaalam kung nasa mga butuin pala talaga ang kapalaran ng bawat isa sa ating lahat. Hindi naman ako umaasa sadyang hindi lang ako nawawalan ng pag-asa.
Ika-siyam na gabi ko ngayon sa pagbibilang ngunit hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa alam kung ano ang aking hihilingin. Hindi ko rin alam kung talagang matutupad ba ang lahat ng ito.
Ako nga pala si Carl David Opiña,maari niyo ako tawagin sa pangalang Dave
Ilabing dalawang taong gulang na ako.. Nag aaral ako sa eskwelahang Doominican College of Sta Rosa. Isa akong hamak at misteryosong estudyante. Walang gustong makipagkilala. Walang gustong makipagkaibigan bukod sa babaeng nagngangalang Joanne Ausena, o mas sanay kung siya ay tawaging Joanne. Siya lang ang bukod tanging nakakaalam ng nga sikreto ko sa buhay. Ang taong nakakaintindi sa akin mula ng pumasok ako sa paaralang ito. Magkapareho kami ng hilig sa mga bagay bagay kung kaya't siguro ay nagkakasundo kami. Sa lahat ng sikreto kong nalalaman niya mayroon pa rin siyang hindi dapat malaman tugkol sa tunay na pagkatao ko.
Lakbay aral namin kinabukasan ng umaga. Panigurado ako na hindi lang ako ang natutuwa kundi pati na rin ang aking mga kaklase't kamag-aral. Masaya ako dahil madami kaming mapupuntahan. Marami rami din ang aming madidiskubreng bagong lugar. Wala naman akong ibang dapat gawin kundi ang magprepara para bukas at iennjoy ang aming paglalakbay dahil ito lang naman ang solusyon para masulit ko ang araw na iyon. Ngunit hindi ibig sabihin na kami ay maglalakbay aral ay nangangahulugan na hindi ko na iintindihin at pangangahalagahan ang aking mga kaalaman na nakalap sa lugar na iyon. Hindi imposible na magbigay ang aming guro ng aktibidades tungkol dito. At higit sa lahat ay ang pagiingat at pananalig sa diyos.. Ito ang lagi nating dapat baon. Hindi lang sa ganitong pangyayari, kundi sa pangaraw araw na nangyayari sa ating buhay.
Maaring masaya nga ako ngunit hindi naman pa ako nasasabik at naeengganyo par abukas sa hindi ko mawaring kadahilanan. Nababalot ng takot at kaba ang isipan ko. Ngunit iba ang idinidikta ng puso ko.. May mga tao lang na ayaw akong pakisamahan dahil sila rin mismo ay hindi marunong makisama sa ibang taong nakakasalamuha nila. Sabihin niyo ng duwag ang isang katulad ko ngunit sila yung tipo ng tao na gugulo sa buhay mo at hindi ka titigilan hanggang sa huling pag apak ng mga paa mo sa lupa. Sa tuwing naiisip ko sila ay patuloy akong natatakot sa susunod na pwedeng mangyari sa akin. Hindi lang sila isa, dalawa, tatlo o apat, marami sila. Napakarami.
Gusto kong takasan ang bawat pangyayaring ito ngunit hindi ko magawa. Sadyang nahihirapan lang ako sa ganitong klase ng situwasyon. Alam ko mahirap intindihin pero dadating din ang tamang oras para malaman niyong lahat ang totoong storya sa likod ng bawat sinasabi ko.
Napapagod na ako. Iba ang inaasahan ko sa eskwelahang ito. Hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan ako dapat magtiis. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang dapat kong gawin. Ilang buwan pa lang ang lumilipas pero nararamdaman ko na kaagad kung ano ang pinagdadaanan ng ibang estudyanteng pumapasik dito. Ang mga taong walang kinakatakutan, ang mga taong walang kinakawaan. Hindi ko na ata ito kaya.Sila na ata ang taong hindi na mapapatawad pa ng kahit sino . Sumusobra na sila. Hindi ba nila alam ang salitang abuso.
Tumayo ako mula sa pagkakaupo ko sa akin kama. kinuha ko ang isang lukot na papel sa isang lamesa na katabi ng aking kama atyaka sumilip sa aming maliit na bintana at nagsimula nang bumilang ng mga butuin na nagniningning sa aking mga mata. Huling gabi ko na ngayon kaya dapat maging sigurado ako sa akingg gagawin.
Isa, dalawa, tatlo, apat, lima, anim, pito, walo, siyam. Itinuro ko ang mga pinakamalalaking butuin. Ipinikit ko ang aking mga mata at hiniling ko na kung ano ang dapat. Hawak hawak ko parin ang lukot na papel na kanikani langg ay aking kinuha. Minulat ko ang aking mata ng nakangiti ngunit may namumuong galit sa aking isipan. Naramdaman ko ang tagumpay ng natapos ko ang ikasiyam na gabing ito. Umaasa pa rin ako na ang lahat ng ito ay may pag asang magkatotoo ito.
Muli akong humiga para makatulog ng maaga ng sa ganoon ay maaga rin akong makagising bukas. Dapat akong magpahinga at mag prepara para bukas. Ipinikit ko ang aking mga mata ngunit bago iyon, ako ay nagdasal muna, atyaka tuluyan ng binalutan ng kumot ang aking katawan.
Tahimik ang gabi at tangingg mga butuin at ang buwan lamang ang nagbibigay lieanag sa dilim.
Ngayon na. Ngayon na ang araw na pinakahinihintay ng lahat. Kung saan sila ay nagagalak at maligayang nagiintay ng oras upang makapunta sa aming destinasyon. Ngayon ang araw ng aming lakbay aral papunta sa subic, ocean adventure. Marami siguro namamangha at naeengganyo ngunit ibahin niyo ako. Hindi ako ineteresado sa ganitong klase ng mga bagay. Oo, nakakaramdam ako ng tuwa pero hindi ako yung klase na halos hindi na makatulog sa sobrang pagkagalak.
Nanaginip pa naman ako. Isang napakasamang panaginip. Masama ang kutob ko. Nararamdman kog hindi maganda ang mangyayari. Paano kung ang isang panaginip ay mapunta bilang isang realidad. Paano kung ang bawat imahinasyon mo ay magin isang totoong pangyayari. Kinikilabutan ako. Ang ikinakatakot ko ay ano nalang ang mangyayari kun pg ang lahat nga ng sinasabi ko ay tama.
Alas dos pa lang ng madaling araw ay gising na ako. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ngunit nakaramdam ang katawan ko ng isang hanging dumaan kung kayat nagising ang aking diwa. Agad akong bumangon para magkaroon ng kaunting ehersisyo.
Dumiretso na ako sa banyo para magsipilyo at maligo. Hindi na ako kumain ng almusal dahil nakagawian ko na iyon. Wala akon gana tuwing kakain ako ng umaga lalo na tuwing bagong gising. Hindi sanay ang aki tiyana sa ganoon. Naliligo ako ngayon habang ang aking nanay ay naghahanda at nagpeprepara para sa aming dadalhin. Naisipan namin na wag nalang magbaon ng pagkain at doon nalang kumain sa destinasyon kung saan kami pupunta. Panigurado naman ako mayrrong maaring kainan doon. Pinalalahanan ko ang aking nanay na dalhin ang mga importanteng bagay na daoat ay bit bit naman hanggang pagpunta roon. Katulad nalang ng isa pang damit, at iba pa.
Pagkatapos kong maligo ay agad na akong nagbihis ng aking susuotin. Mayroon kaming tinatawag na batch t shirt kada isang baitang ng sa ganoon ay makilala ang bawat isa sa aming lahat. At para na rin makilala kami bilang isang estudyante sa ika pitong baitang. Samantala ang pangibaban namin ay ang aming pe jogging pants. Mabilis akong nag ayos at umalis na kami ng aking nanay papuntang aming eskwelahan dahil sa pagkakaalam ko, doon ang aming tagpuan para makasakay sa aming bus. Pagkatingin ko sa aking relo ay napagalaman kong huli na ako sa oras ng aming assembly at mukhang malelate din kami sa aming oras ng pag alis.. Buti nalang ay na kausap ng aking nanay ang amin guro na hintayin lang kami ng saglit at nasa kalagitnaan na rin naman kami. Pagmamaneho.
Habang palapit kami ng palapit sa amingg pupuntahan o sa aking eskwelahan ay pabilis din ng pabilis ang tibok ng puso ko. Dapat ba akon huwag na lang sumama? Dapat ba ako g. Umatras na lang. Pero pano ko malalaman kung hindi ko susubukan. Dapat akong makasiguro. Kailangan ko itong gawin. Handa akon magsakripisyo mapanindigan ko lang ang mga salitang binitwan ko. Nandito na ako at wala ng oras pa para bumalik pa ako sa simula ng lahat ng ito.
Pagkarating na pagkarating namin sa aki eskwelahan ay agad ipinarada ng aji nanay ang aming sa sasakyan kung saan maluwag ang espacyo. Agad kaming bumaba at dali dalingg sumakay ng bus. Alam ko naman na kami nalang ang hinihintay at aalis ito. Pagkaakyat na pagkaakyat ko palang ay nakita ko na kaagad ang mga mata tila napako sa pagtingin sa akin. Tila mga nanlilisik ang mga ito at parang wala silang balak alisin ang mga matatalas nilang tiin sa aking mga mata. Hindi ko na ito pinansin. Pilit ko itongg iniwasan. Mabilis akong tumabi sa upuan namin dalawa ni joanne. Ako ang nasa window seat samantala Ng aking nanay ay nasa tapat ko sa madaling salita, siya ay nasa aking unahan. Malamig at tila tahimik ang nangingibabaw sa apat na sulok ng bus namin. Nagulat nalang kami ng biglang nagsalita ang mga taong kinakatakutan ko. Kasabay nito ay ang paghihintay ng pag alis ng aming bus. At tama nga ang aming pagaakala, biglaan ang pagtakbo nito kasabay ang isang maingay na tunog na sinamahan pa ng ingay ng ibang tao sa loob
Hindi ito pwede, hindi iyo maaring mangyari, ang bawat iniisip ko unti unting nangyayari, detalyado bawat sandali, bawat pagikot ng orasan, bawat segundo, parehong pareho ng aking inaakala. Kailangan kong gumawa ng paraan. Kailangan kong makahanap ng isang napakamabisang paraan bago pa pa mahuli ang lahat. May oras pa ako para tapusin ang lahat ng ito. Gagawin ko ang lahat sa abot ng akig makakaya.
Masaya ang lahat na naglalakbay. Kasalukuyan akong kinakausap ng aking matalik na kaibigan na si joanne. Sa pagkakaalala ko, kaarawan ngayon ng aming kaklaseng si Jed. Pag nga naman natapatan ng pagkakataon, sa mismon kaarawan nuya pa magaganap ang isang pangyayari. Isang hindi inaasahang pangyayari. Isa siya sa pinaka tahimik sa amin ngunit sa kabila ng kanyang maamong mukha ay may naitatagong maitim na imahe na hindi mi maaring ipakiwanag. Sa pagkekwentuhan namin ni joanne, hindi ko namalayan na lumipas na pala ang dalawang oras simula nung amin pag alis sa amin eskwelahan. Napakabilis ng oras kung kaya naman napakabilis din ng mga sunod aunod na pangyayari. Sumakay na rin ang aming tour guide, na nagngangalang Ed. Matangkad, maitim, at higit sa lahat matalino. Madami siyang tinuturo sa aming lugar kung saan ipanapaliwanag niya rin kung ano ito. Hindi ako mahilig makinig sa mga ganyang klase ng usapan pero hindi ko alam kung bakit bigla niya nalang nakuha ang atensyon ko. Laking pagtataka ko nang biglang prumeno ang aking sasakyan ng napakalakas. Ang ibang nakatayp ay mabilis natumba sa sahig, at ang malala pa napuruhan sa pagtumba ang aming tour guide. Agad siyaninalalayan ng guro namin sa unahan at agad siyang ipinaupo muna. Madami ang naumpog at nahilo sa kanilang pagkakaupo dahil dito. Hindi ko alam kung bakit pero bigla nalang akong napangiti sa hindi ko malamang kadahilanan. Laking pagtataka ng ibang taong nakatinin sa akin lalo na ang aking kayabing kaibigan na si joanne. Madming nagulat sa pangyayari pero hindi nagtagal lumipas din ito, ngunit hindi ito pinalampas ng mga estudyanteng nasa likuran dahil siguro sa kanilang kyuriosidad. Agad nila itong tinanong sabay pag tayo nila. Nagsitiinginan kaming lahat na nasa unahan para makita kung sino ang nagbalak para magtanon kung ano ang nangyari. Bumungad sa akin ang nagtatakang mukha ng amng kaklase na si loraine. Pero bago niya pa maitanong ang kanyang tanong ay inunahan na siya ng aking nanay para dito. Tinanong niyo kun ayos lang ba ako. Hindi na ko sumagot imbis thmango nalamang ako ngunit bakas sa kanyang mukha ang pagaaalala.
Tinanong ni loraine kung may problema bang naganap nungit nanlaki anmga mata naming lahat ng marinig ang sagot ng aming driver, tila may sasakyan daw na tumigil sa aming harapan na dapat ay patawid sa kabila. Lakig pagtataka namin ngunit wala naman sasakyan ang kasulukayang nakatigil dito at isa pa, hindi pwedeng tumawid ang isang sasakyan sa lugar na ito, sa edsa, pa kabila. Litong lito ang lahat. Malapit na rin naman lumipas ang pagmamadaling araw kayat maliwanag na run ngunit hindi ko maipalaiwanag ang ekspresyon ng aming driver na parang toto talaga ang bawat na kanyang sinasabi. Hindi parin kapani paniwala. Ngunit hindi naman kami pepreno ng ganoong kalalas lalo na kung wala rin naman itong patutunguhan.
Nang mapagalaman na ng aming guro na ayos ang lahat at wala namang ganoong nasaktan ay dumiretso na kami kahit lahat ngayon sa paligid ko ay kinakabahan sa susunod pang mga mangyayari. Hindi pa rin makatayo ang aming tour guide sa sakit ng katawan at dinanas niya kayat pinki muna niyang umupo nalang at magpahinga ngunit hindi naman natigil ang pagbibigay ng kanyang kaalaman sa bawat nadadaanan namin kahit nakaupo lamang siya. Hindi kami kumportable sa ganitong lagay. Pilit kaming pinapakalma pero di parin namin maiwasan ang pagaalala. Mahirap pilitin ang isang bagay lalo na kung ang pagpilit dito ay wala namang patutunguhan. Simula pa lang ito ngunit hindi na namin kinakaya. Alam ko sa sarili ko na marami pa ang kasunod na posibleng mangyari.
Lumalakas ang ulan. Natatakpan ng mga patak nito ang aking makintab na bintana kanina ngunit ngayon ay basa na. Gayunman may kakayahan pa rin ako para makita ang mga lugar na nadadaanan namin. Ngunit sa lahat ng mga magagandang lugar na nadaanan namin isa lang ang kumuha ng atensyon ko. Ang isang sementeryo sa aking kaliwang bahagi. Mapuno ngunit malawak. At ang pinaka umagaw ng atensyon ko ay ang bilang ng puntod na naandito. Sinubukan ko itong bilangin kahit malabo na ang akin bintana sa lakas ng ulan. Isa, dalawa, tatlo, apat, lima, anim, pito, walo, at........napakunot na lamang ang akin noo at napatakip ng bibig sa aking huling pagbibilang. Siyam?? Siyam na puntod lamang ang naandirito. Hindi ako nagkakamali. Sa lawak ng sementeryong ito, nakakapagtaka kung bakit siyam lamang ang lutod na naandito. Siyam? Hindi! Hindi! Ito maari. Nawala ang tingin ng aking mga mata rito ng biglang nagsalita ang aming tour guide sa isang mahinahaon na boses. Napatingin na lang ako dito kaagad ng nakakunot parin ang aking noo. Inutusan niya kamingg tuminin sa aming kaliwang bahagi para daw makita namin ang isang napakagandang lugar dito. Ano ang ibug niyang sabihin?? Dahan dahan akong tumiin dito at laking pagkagulat ko na ang mga nakikita ko nalamang ay mga naglalakihang puno na may napakaramihg bunga. Pero? Hinananp ko kung nasaan ang mga puntod na nakita ko kanina. Ngunit nabigo ako at wala naman talaga nito. Ngunit hindi ako nagkakamali, isang sementeryo ang nadaanan namin. Iba na talaga ang kutob ko, una ang sasakyan, pangalawa ang sementeryo na may,, siyam? Na... Puntod? Nakarinig ako ng isang malalim na paghinga mula sa aking likuran at nakito ko ang mukha ng aking kaklase na si isaac na gulat na gulat di. Na parang sa akin. At tila may hinahanap din sa kanyang bintana. Ibig sabihin ba nito na hindi lang ako ang nagiisa sa bus na ito. Ibig sabihin ba niyo na... Nakita niya rin? Naguguluhan na ako. Gulong gulo na utak ko. Ano ba kailangan kog gawin. Ngayon pa lang nagsisisi na ako. Ayoko na.
Hindi ko namalayan na patigil pala kami sa isang gasolinahan para mag pa gas. Siguro stop over narin ito para sa aming lahat. Pinababa na yung iba para dun sa mga gusto munang pumuta sa comfort room. Bumababa muna ang aking katabi na si joanne na kasalungat ko naman. Naghintay lang ako sa loob ng bus. At wala akong gana para bumababa pa. Isa pa. Wala naman pa akong iba pang dapat gawin. Nagpaalama siya st sinubukan niya akong niyaya pero hindi rin nuya naman akong napilit. Alam ko babalik rin naman siya agad sa ilang saglit lamang. Bumababa rin ang aking nanay para bumili ng aming inumin. Hindi ko kaagad na isip na ako nalang pala ang mag isa sa loob. Nakaramdam ako ng panlalamig at hindi kumportableng pakiramdam. Hindi ko na ito pinansin at pinalampas na laman ngunit paulit ulit lag akong niyayakap ng isang napakalamkg na hangin. At hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa rin alam kung ano ito. Napayakap na lamang ako sa aking sarili dahil wala rin naman na akong magagwa para dito. Hindi naman ko naman pwedeng paulit ulit ibaon ang sarili ko sa takot. Nag pretensya nalang ako na wala akong ibang naramdaman na masama para wala na ring iba pang kadamay sa mga pangayayaring ito.
Ilang minuto lan ang lumipas ay nakabalik na ang lahat. Pumasok na rin ang aming tour guide na punilit makapaglakad at ang aming driver na sa aming tour guide. Nagsiupuan na ang lahat sa kanikanilang upuan. Tumani na muli sa akin si joanne na may dalang mga pagkain na pwede naming kainin ngayon. Nakaupo na rin ang aking nanay, ibinigay niya na rin sa akin ang aking inumin at agad na rin humarap. Binuksan ni joanne ang pagkain at sa ilang sandali ay kumain muna kami. Psgkaupo ng driver sa driver's seat ay agad niyang pinatakbo ang sasakyan ngunit hindi paabante kundi paatras. Dahil hindi kami maaring magkasya sa isang maliit na espasyo. Bakit ganoon? Parang bumalik na sa normal ulit ang lahat pero mabuti naman kung ganoon. Untinunti kami umatras ngunit pagkaupo ng pagkaupo ng lahat ay agad itong bumilis. Nagulat nalang kaming lahat ng may malakas na tunog ang parang bumannga sa amin, nung una hindi namin ito pinansin pero nung pangalawang bese na, ay agag na kamig curious tungkol doon. Parang mayroong isang malaking bato na nakaharang dito. Napatingin nalang kamig lahat sa aming likuran ng biglang may mga malalaks na sigaw ang narinig namin. Agad kaming bumaba at hindi ko nakaya ang aking nakita.. Ss-i scheneil , nabangga, patay na siya, duguan at halatang nasagasaan. Kinalibutan ako at agad tinakpan ang aking mga mata. Hindi ko kaya ang aking mga nakikita. Pinagtinginan kami. At ng iba pang mga tao.
Agad dumatin ang isang ambulansya. Dumating na rin ang napakadaming pukisya. Agad pinatong ang patay na katawan ng aming kaklase sa isang higaan at pinasok agad sa ambulansya. Nagimbistiga ang pulis sa oagkamatay ng aming kaklase dahil napakaimposible lahat ng nangyari. Sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon kailanagan isama ng mga pulis ang aming driver dahil kaialangan daw imbistigigahan siya sa prisinto. Napakalaking problema. Tumawag ang aming guro ng panibagog driver habang naiiyak sa pangyayari. Hindi pa ein ako makapaniwala. Ang mga inosente kong mata ngayon ay nabuksan na.
Ilang minuto na ang lumilipas at sa wakas dumating na rin ang aming driver. Agad kaming pinapasok sa loob ng aming bus. Peoblemado pa rin ang lahat sa mga nangyayari pero ibahin niyo si isaac. Walang ekspresyon amg mukha nuya st tila alam niya bawat pangyayari. At ang mga susunod pang mangyayari. Nakakaba na. Siya si isaac, ang pinakamatalik na kaibigan ni jed, mayroon kaming pagkakatulad ngunit hindi sa lahat ng bagay. May bukod tangi kaming pinagkaiba. Ang curiosidad. Hindi ko alam ngunit parang alm niya ang lahat, ni parang wala na siyang dapat imbestigahan pa. Minsan maraming nawiwirduhan sa kanya ngunit wala siyang pakialam sa sasabihin ng iba. Pero ngayon mukhang naiintundihan ko na siya, nakaupo na ang laaht sa loob, may mga luhang namumuo sa mata ng mga kaibigan ng namayapang si scheneil. Ang iba naman ay mas nakakaramdam ng galit sa nangyari. Samantala ako, tulala pa rin at hindi alam ang aking gagawin.
Nagulat nalang ako ng bigla ulit tumabai sa akin si joanne. At ng magsalita na ang isa mga guro namin hindi ko kinaya ang kanyang sinabi. Madami ang nag react at nagulat. Madaming gumawa ng mga kilos na hindi dapat nangyayari ngayon. Itutuloy pa rin namin ang aming paglalakbay. Ano? Hindi ko alam kung ano magiging reaksyon pero hanggang ngayon umiikot pa rin sa utak ko ang mga katabang iyon, itutuloy namin ang fieldtrip. At pagkatapos man lang non ay hindi na nila kami inintindi at muli ng umupo. Pinakalma kami nila ng saglit at ipanilawanag ang nangyari ngunit hindi iyon sapat. Madami pang mas lunakas ang
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