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When I have to start all over again.


The dawn paved the way for the sun to rise and as the sun does its own thing, I did mine too. The longest day of my life, I suppose, began. I searched for the snuggest space in my summer home where the place’s only source of light was the glare of the sun. Its wooden floors, creaking everytime one takes a single step on it, leads to a semi-huge apertures on the wall. The panes gave me the wintry feel of the season as I place the tip of my fingers on its freezing veneers. I sat down and stayed for a little while to compensate the warmth of the space. It was not really a forever-alone-me scenario when the time came for me to take a sip of my coffee. This place has been my inspiration. Eight years had passed since I started planning and sketching the skyscraper I am to propose, mostly of pristine patterns and motifs with dominating beauty and perfection, coruscating with the kaleidoscope formation of gleams of the sun pointing towards the East; I was then able to satiate the board’s decision five years ago; the development has commenced the year after the approval and who knows, this day might be the inauguration. The only thing they left me was: they would surprise me. I finished my cup and prepped myself for the longest day of my life. The sunrise hasn’t receded yet when I took the plane from the island of Coron, Palawan to the still-busy metropolis. As the isle subsides, I begin to figure out how things work out in this place; from a distance, you cannot see the friction on things, even the rust or


the cracks of paint on it. You just see the place as someone once imagined it, beautiful and reliving but never lonely. The next thing I knew was that I reached Manila in no time. The first gleam of the sun has vanished into thin air and the warmth of the city arose at its peak. I can feel the blisters as the heat radiates against my ruddy skin. Manila is still Manila. I am driving my black Volvo S60 towards home when a colleague of mine since high school got me on the phone. Rerouting towards the North, I was bound to Ortigas at nine in the morning for the inauguration of the skyscraper of my longing. I arrived just on time for the preparations. The board, as soon as I reported to them, gave me the opportunity to attend the cutting of the ribbon because 1. Maybe, I am the one who planned and designed the skysail, 2. I deserve it, and 3. I have no reasons to doubt anymore. The place was just as ruminative as I have expected; jam-packed with round bags of brightly colored rubber sac inflated with air which I could not literally count using my fingers. The other side of the location was of a grandstand approximately five feet high, which seems to be too tall for such crowd around the place. A tall lady went up into the stage and declared something when my phone rang. “Hello. Good Morning!� I answered.


“Hey! It’s Holy. Meet me. The Firm. Ground floor. Lobby. Now.” Then the static sound of the phone call relived denoting the end of call. Distracted by my colleague’s phone call, I asked my secretary about the tidings and he said: the program will launch in ten minutes. As soon as I reached the Ground floor lobby of the Firm, I noticed no one but the replica of my skyscraper; towering not just with height but also with hopes, flashing with the hues of gold and metals of silver. It was then when I realized, it was part of the plan. For a day, I forgot who I am, what I am doing, what are my achievements today, why I am here. For a day, I remembered: who I was, what I did, what I achieved for the past three decades of my life and the reason for being a part of this history. I remembered my friends from the past, my high school, the building I used to cram and do my proponents, the bed of grasses shaded by a huge tree that I did not even care to know what kind of tree it was, my mentors and advisers whose white hairs grow everytime we defy their own jurisdictions, I remembered my life thirty years ago. The longest day of my life, I suppose, was a day of nostalgia. The next thing I knew was this: my hands were propped on a podium I saw at the location of the five feet grandstand. Silence is all that I hear together with the rhythmic strains of my pulse against my wrists and my neck. I looked down, stared at the huge crowd searching for my company. In astonishment, the only thing I could do is just to gaze at them


until Holy mouthed to me: speak. Then words came out from my mouth not knowing where they came from maybe because 1. Holy’s big round eyes frightened me, or 2. Her mouth was too repulsive. Technically, I don’t have any piece of speech to read but I got something inside me, which served as my stepping-stone to evince whatever lies in my mind. My speech went like this: When I have to start all over again. And every line came as how every tick and tock of the clock sounded off. The rust penetrated the depth of my throat and I almost buckle at each word that I say but then I took a short gaze at my skyscraper, towering, flashing, and glistering with the hues of impeccable oeuvre and so the gentle wind of nostalgia sauntered around me. It was during my high school when I was introduced to a different avenue of art, it might not be the profession I have right now, but it’s the greater deal of the majority; it is the technicality of life. From then I began searching for the right path and University of Santo Tomas High School was, I believe, the one for me. I convinced myself that the first days of my high school ventures was completely a blur. It was like I am putting my own life at stake but then the first lecture I attended from outside the four sides of the classroom was to risk. Yes, to risk is to fear but fearing is the basest of all possible emotions. It is not just like the idle fantasies of someone having horrible things in his life or the disgust of a person by seeing a dead stranger. Fear is the feeling that existed even before me, or even the earth did. The reason why we knew how to breath through our lungs, how to run of shock and despair


and to risk the most important things we own is that of fear. Risking and conquering my fears was first thought to me by this academe and indeed, one of the proofs why I chose to be here. Year two thousand and ten, I was second year then when I began sailing through the prevailing winds of this journey to succeeding the ride of my coaster. It was also the same year when I met the girl who never left my mind ever since I knew her name. Her name was as lovely as the lovebirds chirping melodies through the gentle air, caressing every little flower while it sprouts the prettiest it can. Junior year came at no time just like when the bell rang denoting a new class for me to attend, year two thousand and eleven when this event came to my life. I won the elections for our school’s Student Council Assistant Treasurer. Touching the premises of serving the student body was not easy. Brushing the stain of the past and creating a new legacy even in my simplest ways was way to hard for everyone to see but I realized that I was not really alone along my way; it was actually ‘along our way’ that is why we are signified as a council. This was my first year of having my turn to bringing back the school to the school. When in my elementary years, I am often asked as “What do you want to do when you get older?” I realized that it is, indeed, right for me to answer: What have I contributed to my holdings in my three years of being an abled youth? Senior year was technically a year to be really proud of. I have to spend much days crying because I will miss my classmates and those people whom I came across along my venture; my mentors who seem to look older because of my mishaps, shortcomings and even defects. I have to admit that I wasted hundreds of tissue and I have to beg my mom for me to use my clothes to wipe


my tears and add it on the pending laundry; all I want to say is that High school, indeed, was a great event in my life. “When I have to start all over again,” I paused and said, “It is the time, indeed, when a door closes but it must be the case that another opens.” Then the gentle wind of nostalgia flew up and vanished into thin air as the crowd burst into applause. The board members got me into their way towards the skyscraper and hand me over a pair of huge scissors. Feeling the brass metal fiddle against my fingers and the freeze of the moment left my face a smile of assurance that I was able to turn my hopes into reality. Flashes of camera accompanied me as I cut the ribbon of the skysail and marked the commencement of the inauguration. The tingly feeling inside me burst into an array of applause as we enter the premises of the skyscraper. It was indeed, a feeling of fulfillment; seeing the huge cases of stairs rounding up towards the ends of the skies, the shafts flying through the hundredth floor in a span of seconds, the glare of the sun from outside the gold finishing of the expanse and the people entering the inevitable delight of being inside the world’s peak. The board congratulated me before I went to my colleagues and friends. There was Arvin, one of my partners for doing this project; Holy, Phoebie and Rick, my co-officers in our high school council; Bettina, Joselle and Kitkat, the three closest ladies of my life; Frances, Kimberly, Kelsey and company; Patricia, my fellow photo-geek during our high


school was also present; my fellow architects from University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture was absolutely present with their matching ties, as if they expected to attend a black-tie event; I could not name more besides these people. Well, I have to add my parents and my sister in the attendance of this event. I asked for a period of absence. I walked through the elevators of the skyscraper. I stood alone and get inside to feel the presence of my endeavor. The wintry feeling of being alone smote me as I held captive of the silver glasses while viewing the metropolis, Manila. Nostalgia blew a gentle wind of resemblance to the speed of the shaft from where I am standing right now. The inevitable flight of the ticks and the tocks on a person’s life take rapidly, nowadays. Envisioning how my course led me into this platform rising above the tower of the towers. All those plates I made in my previous life that started in the year two thousand and thirteen. My five-year run to my profession began. I entered the University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture and willfully accepted the challenge of having a bigger eye bags along the way of my venture in this cold premises. Time subsided and I felt my mind deciding to reside in the warmth of this second home of mine. The grasses beside the walkways of the campus have been my not-sopermanent place to stay everytime I lose track of my inspirations and motivations. The wind hitting the leaves of the trees became my music and the birds were the melodies forming a variety of bands and artists [as how people refer people as great musicians] along my work. Meeting new friends every year has been a daily routine to me, though I was able to create


some of them nothing would ever beat my high school family. There were times when Professor Spiegelman would countdown for late plates and I would enter the room even though I am dripping wet of sweat just in time for me to submit my work to him. This happened several times but my junior year paved the way for me to cut the blood lineage of being behindhand. From then on, our class was able to take a peak on my works, which my professor, when in good mood, commends [sometimes]. My fifth year was mostly of my thesis. My family, most especially my father carried me despite of the challenges and shortcomings. He was always there to make things at ease for me but nonetheless, my efforts were visible to every work I did in my last year of studying inside the premises of the College of Architecture. I graduated and top notched the Board Examinations. The platform unloaded the pack inside the shaft and I reached the hundredth floor of the skyscraper in no time. A breath of cold air welcomed me at the peak of the skyscraper. I still can see the flashes of golden and silver hues of the skysail when I walked through the path towards the edge of the space. “JM?” I heard a sweet tone from a lovely lady similar to the voice of the girl I met from high school. “Hey! Ho-how are you?” I re-replied.


“Good. I’m good. You?” A glance from her impeccable posture to her bouncy hair and to her endearing smile gave me goosebumps all over. “Doing. Uhmm. Good. I’m good.” I answered. “Hmmm. You did a pretty nice job, Architect.” She answered, smiling. “My pleasure, miss.” I said. Then we went then and there forming the puzzle we created in eight years of our absence from each other, realizing the gap formed between the two of us. Things got complicated at times but here we are, making things simpler and clearer. I made her feelings at ease and she made mine too. She is now working out her career as a pharmacist in a sought-after pharmaceutical company. Then she told me that she missed me. “I missed you too. I missed you so much.” I whispered. She gave me her most reassuring smile and I told her about my plan of beginning a venture in Dubai. I will be putting again my hopes up for my own architectural firm and open up several buildings and create more clients. I held her hands moved her body close to me that my hands were feeling the most contentment of having her hands back to mine and I hugged her. “If you could do everything once more, will you start all over again with me?” “I will.” She answered as an array of hues glimmered from outside the skyscraper. End.


When I have to start all over again