Month: April 2014

SH’s Last Words and My First Goodbye

“Someday, the true story may be told.”

These were Sherlock Holmes’ last words as written on page 737 of Sherlock Holmes Complete Novels and Stories Volume 2, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have now reached the end of my journey.

The whole experience was a bit bumpy but nevertheless amazing and educational. I would have finished this volume in a week or two, but there’s a part of me which wanted to prolong the ride. I know I can always read Sir Doyle’s works anytime. It’s just that on my part, it was pretty tough to let go. I may be overreacting, I don’t know, but that’s how it is. L

During the days I was absorbed reading Sherlock Holmes’ stories, adventures, case-books, memoirs, whatever you call it, I even experienced seeing him in my dreams. I’m not exactly sure how the story went in my dream, all I know is that I saw him there. Sherlock Holmes visited me in my dreams. Isn’t that sweet?

I’ve read a lot of novels and have been acquainted with a couple of male characters but it was only Sherlock Holmes who blew me away. Well, unlike other characters and heroes, he is the only one, by far, who had the luxury to pour himself onto his readers. Imagine with those four novels and 56 short stories (divided in Volumes 1 and 2), readers and fans like me, can truly have the opportunity to know him on a deeper level and have a clear picture of him as if he really exists in real life.

I couldn’t be more grateful to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for bringing the greatest detective ever in our lives, in my life specifically. He has been beyond generous on his descriptions of Sherlock Holmes in every story. And what a genius he is for coming up with such amazing adventures! It was, in general, a pleasant experience and an educational trip.

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To Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Not only have you made my 24th year of existence more colourful and bright, but you have also proven to me, that great minds never once forget the Creator that is behind it.

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To Dr John Watson, it has been very selfless of you to show your loyalty and obedience to Sherlock Holmes even if some things are beyond your understanding and even if it meant welcoming danger upon saying ‘yes’ to your bestfriend. Sir Doyle, yet again showed in you that we are all capable of meeting and maintaining a close tie with at least one person for the rest of our years on earth. And that even the most successful person needs someone to turn to in times of tears and much more in times of laughter.

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Lastly, to Mr Sherlock Holmes, I apologise for using the prefix due to you just now. I wanted my narration of you in my previous writings to be casual as I feel that I can express more using only ‘Sherlock’ or ‘Holmes’ or ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ This time around, I am addressing you as Mr Sherlock Holmes as a sign of respect and yeah, love, for the character and person that you are in these carefully crafted adventures. You have showed that all men have a soft spot and it takes time before one can truly see that. You have also showed that some people even behind those cold masks are capable of expressing their feelings. You have taught me that small details, which are oftentimes considered unimportant can also be as vital as the big ones. You are a perfect example, a model to me of someone who can exhibit composure amidst chaos and have proven that patience is definitely a virtue that we humans must all possess. Above all, you have shown regard to a Supreme Being. You are one of the few fictional characters who have successfully instilled in my mind that this life is not our own. Hence, we should take care of it with all our powers.

Thanks to you all.

This isn’t a heart-breaking goodbye. Best to put it as my first goodbye for I am certain that I will be with you all again in the future.

‘Til next time my dearest SH. ❤

*a friend told me that the best way to get over this great book (as I don’t want to really feel sad) is to read a new one right away. And that’s what I’m going to do now. 

Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.

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My Thoughts on SH: The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes- The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger

The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger

How to save a life?

In this memoir narrated by Dr John Watson, Sherlock Holmes not only successfully answered this question, but he, more than ever, successfully showed how to save a life…a precious woman’s life.

The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger is a story which I can relate to the most in this collection. I wanted to express in writing what I’ve experienced. Hence, this entry.

The case revolves on the life of a woman who escaped from a very terrible past, did everything to live peacefully and with the utmost privacy and literally hid her face every single day with a black veil even though she lives with no one else.

The landlady of the apartment she was renting was pretty okay with the whole setting of her paying the monthly rent in time and not allowing anyone else to see her nor come near her. Until one day, the house owner in the name of Mrs Merrilow heard her screams with some sort of allusions to her bitter past, not to mention when she accidentally saw the face behind that veil which caught her off guard.

Eugenia Ronder, the veiled lodger, had a tragic, miserable history. She was a poor circus performer, a lovely woman whose life turned for the worst after marrying a brute husband. That marriage, as implied in the story, was definitely against her will. As with any other woman who are suffering within their marriage, it’s given that that woman will soon fall for the guy who will show her genuine kindness and love. In addition, a lot of women, since time immemorial, have been forced to marry someone they don’t love either as in an arranged marriage or as a form of payment for the family’s debt. That’s a piece of harsh reality right there.

The battered wife can no longer tolerate such inhumane treatment from his husband that she soon agreed to devise a scheme to murder him, with the aid of Leonardo, her lover. The plan was to have the circus lion attack and eventually kill her spouse. It was carried out one night but unfortunately went awry. Though the husband was killed in the process, Eugenia was also attacked and had her face chewed up by the beast. It was a miracle she came out alive after that incident. This was the first sad result of their actions. The second one was that Leonardo turned out not to be the man she expected him to be for he run away and left her when she needed him most.

It was tough. It has been one hell of a long ride for Eugenia Ronder. That tragic past of hers haunted her and she came to a point when she could no longer hold it all in. She couldn’t tell the police either because that will mean imprisonment for her or/and Leonardo and she didn’t want that to take place. No, she wouldn’t allow something like that to happen to her old lover. Even after everything that had occurred, she still cared for Leonardo. Sacrifices such as this one is undoubtedly evident in the real world. As in Eugenia Ronder’s words, “But a woman’s love is not so easily set aside.”

SH the veiled lodger

Sherlock Holmes was the best option for her story so she then opted to invite the great detective accompanied by his loyal friend to her apartment. There she told the two men of her past. And so the powers of Sherlock Holmes came in play. After listening intently, in John Watson’s words, “…Holmes stretched out his long arm and patted her hand with such a show of sympathy as I had seldom shown him to exhibit.”

Such gesture definitely worked for Mrs Ronder. There were also accounts of Sherlock Holmes’s soothing ability in the previous stories. He then decided to close the case and his parting words to her were:

“Your life is not your own. Keep your hands of it.”

The above stated line struck me deeply. Yes, our life is not our own to end. While there is life, there is hope. Amidst immeasurable sufferings and loneliness, we can always count on a Being superior than our own to soothe our pains. There is always, always someone who can help us. Such a cliché, but it’s true.

Good results. That’s what we expect from the world’s greatest detective and he definitely never fails to deliver such positive outcomes.

“Two days later, when I called upon my friend, he pointed with some pride to a small blue bottle upon his mantelpiece. I picked it up. There was a small poison label. A pleasant almondy odour rose when I opened it.

‘Prussic acid,’ said I.

‘Exactly. It came by post. ‘I send you my temptation. I will follow your advice.’ That was the message. I think, Watson, we can guess the name of the brave woman who sent it.’ ”

I was a bit teary-eyed upon reading that last part. Another good ending, isn’t it? Indeed the best one for this story.

And that…that was how Sherlock Holmes saved a life. 🙂

Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.

My Thoughts on SH: The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes- The Adventure of the Three Garridebs

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I am less than a hundred pages away from finishing Sherlock Holmes The Complete Novels and Stories Volume 2. As a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, I know I have to apply the art of detachment as early as now. Reading the ‘goodbye’ remark of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the preface of The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes seriously broke my heart, though I know I can always reread his works.

The Adventure of the Three Garridebs is the sixth of the twelve adventures of Sherlock Holmes in this collection. Dr John Watson was a major star in this case which was presented firstly as a case of hunting three men with Garrideb as their last name in order to fulfil a will. Of course with Sherlock Holmes, we can never be sure that the initial case presented is really the case itself. I mean you have to keep on reading in order to have a complete grasp of what the story is all about. As expected, it turned out that Mr John Garrideb, the main hunter of the other two Garridebs had a hidden agenda for launching his quest.

Another remarkable talent of Sherlock Holmes is his ability to discern if someone is telling the truth or not. This is basically why he always exert an effort in meeting his client and all the other people involved in the case, face to face be it in their Baker Street lodging or somewhere else.

Eyes don’t lie. That’s a fact. I can just imagine Sherlock Holmes’ piercing gaze and scrutinizing looks every time he interviews a client. If I were that client, I might lose focus and just stare at him in return. 🙂

Anyway, this case was a pretty easy and fast-paced adventure for Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. The former was quick to figure out that his client, Mr John Garrideb was a hoax and that his real identity is, “‘Killer’ Evans, of sinister and murderous reputation.” This dangerous man was really after the property of the second genuine Garrideb, Mr Nathan Garrideb.

Evans constructed another lie to have Mr Nathan Garrideb set out on a quest of his own in search of the ‘third Garrideb’ in the name of Mr Howard Garrideb (which is definitely another hoax).  So the house was emptied and Evans took the opportunity of breaking into the house in search of a certain counterfeiter’s machine, a printing press called Prescott’s machine. Holmes didn’t know at first what particular object Evans was after. What he knew was that it is within the property of Mr Nathan Garrideb and so he also took the chance of breaking into it with his loyal accomplice, Dr John Watson for further investigation. This is when they had caught Evans in the act of taking Prescott’s machine.

For me, the highlight of this story was not when Holmes and Watson caught Evans in the act, but that when Holmes finally showed his vulnerable side – that face of Holmes whom for a moment showed genuine concern for his good friend Watson. It is not every day that I get to read such accounts of my most admired fictional character. This happened when Holmes and Watson caught Evans and the latter attempted to fire his revolver on them resulting to a sort of sudden hot sear pressed on the doctor’s thigh.

The below statement was the very statement Holmes uttered that showed his vulnerable side.

“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”

Watson’s thought bubble response was:

“It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment.”

What a heart-warming statement from Watson, isn’t it? Good thing nothing serious happened to him. If there is one person in this world who is most deserving of seeing that vulnerable side of Sherlock Holmes, that’s got to be Dr John Watson. It’s a complete privilege on my part, as a reader and as a fan, to be a witness to this event. (I know t’was a bit weird but I keep playing this scenario on my mind since I’ve read it.)

And the below statement of Holmes proved just how much he cares for and values Watson.

“By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.”

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Again, what is there to not like and love in Sherlock Holmes? I must admit, Dr John Watson deeply moved me in this story as well. His loyalty and obedience to his friend never once weakened. Who wouldn’t want a friend in Watson?

I really love this adventure of Sherlock Holmes mainly because I have seen another side of him. His approach in every case he handles is highly admirable, one that will leave you in awe, but on my part, it’s really his personality, his humanity that draws me to him. Oh I can even come up with a list of all the characteristics Sir Arthur Conan Doyle carefully crafted for the world’s greatest detective.

I just love SH. I really do. 🙂

Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.

I Am A Frustrated Ginebra Fan

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End of regulation: 97-84. Talk and Text Tropang Texters still undefeated, advances to the Semifinals. Barangay Ginebra San Miguel now officially out of this year’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

That was definitely far from being a good game for Barangay Ginebra. They could have played well even if they lost, unfortunately, they did not. They did not play well at all.

I was literally shaking my head all throughout the ball game. Talk and Text completely dominated from 1st to 4th quarter. As for Ginebra, there were just a lot of turnovers, wasted shot blocks and unnecessary fouls. Their defense was good in the first half but come 2nd half, it was totally a different story. With such poor plays, there is no way you can win against a team who consistently plays well with or without an import.

Everything looked easy for Talk and Text while on Ginebra’s side, everything looked so friggin’ hard. I bet none from the players, managers, coaching staff are proud with the way Ginebra played earlier. With the exception of Mark Caguioa, the ‘never say die’ attitude that we so love in Ginebra was non-existent in today’s game. It appeared like as early as 3rd quarter they have already given up.

This is really frustrating from a fan’s standpoint. What happened to the dominant Barangay Ginebra team we witnessed in the previous Philippine Cup? Where did the best defensive player in Japeth Aguilar, the sharp three-point shooter in Mac Baracael, the intelligent playmaker in LA Tenorio, the aggressive athlete in Chris Ellis and the super rookie in Greg Slaughter go? I have cited these players because they have been the major factors in Ginebra’s successful run (though they didn’t win the championship) in the previous conference. Where did all these players go?

I personally will not have high expectations for Ginebra if the team doesn’t have these kind of players. For years, Ginebra has the underdogs, but these underdogs played with so much heart on court that winning is no longer a big deal for me. What’s important is that they give a good fight. Now that Ginebra has some of the best basketball players in the country, they fall short even more and that’s really frustrating.

That game earlier was one of Ginebra’s worst.

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On a lighter note, I am deeply grateful that Mark Caguioa is still with the team. He is definitely the heart and soul of the most popular professional ball club in the Philippines. He showed heart earlier. It just wasn’t enough. He needed help.

I am still one of the millions of Ginebra’s solid fans. This I’m certain. I am hoping that come next conference, we’ll be able to see the good ol’ ‘Never Say Die’ Ginebra team again and yeah, players who play well in every ball game.

I just have to let all my frustrations out.

Inhale. Exhale. Accept the fact that my team is officially out this conference.  

Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.

My Thoughts on SH: His Last Bow- The Adventures of the Devil’s Foot

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Every story I read always leads me to a growing admiration for Sherlock Holmes. I know I already sound like a broken record for saying how amazing and wonderful of a person he is, but who am I to blame? I just can’t find any flaw of Sherlock Holmes that will stir my distaste for him. There is nothing in him not to like. Even the defect which I have indicated in my previous entry is for me, another admirable characteristic of the world’s greatest detective.

The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot is one of my favourite SH case. In this particular case, and well, in several other cases, Sherlock Holmes showed immense knowledge not only on investigating the crime scene but also on coming up with the possible causes of a very horrifying outcome. The victims, as one can see, were driven to madness, of which two were brought to the asylum and the other one buried all because of an unexplainable scheme which left almost no trace of the perpetrator.

It is always a method of Holmes to first look into logical explanations before resorting to such things which are out of this world, say, perhaps a work of the devil. He makes sure that every possible means of arriving at a solution is exhausted and even if probabilities are slim, he will definitely take his chances.

It was indeed remarkable how Sherlock Holmes manages to find objectivity amidst serious mystery. His knowledge on sciences undoubtedly helped him resolve this case. You see, Sherlock Holmes knows a lot of things and he devotes ample time on knowing the environment, the people in it, and the society as a whole. I remember when he said that the mind is like an attic which needs to be filled with the necessary pieces of information and needs to be emptied which such details that are not helpful in any way.

It turned out that the perpetrator, Mortimer Tregennis, used a special kind of powder to turn the room, where the other three were staying, into a poisonous atmosphere. The offender was once estranged from his siblings by the matter of dividing the proceeds from the sale of the family business, but he insists that all was forgiven, although he still lives apart from them.

However, surprise among surprises! Well, this is not a shock for Sherlock Holmes surely. Days passed and the body of Mortimer Tregennis, distorted of terror, was found with no life left in it. So this led to a second suspect whom Sherlock Holmes was quick enough to realize in the name of Dr. Leon Sterndale.

There was a bitter history between Dr Leon Sterndale and the Tregennis. The former, unfortunately, was forced to put the law in his hand upon learning the death of the woman he so loved, Brenda Tregennis. Without a doubt, he knew how the crime was fulfilled and in turn, did it to Mortimer Tregennis. Hence, his tragic death.

What moved me in this story is the sympathy that Sherlock Holmes extended to Dr Leon Sterndale. The doctor was summoned into their Baker Street lodging without the presence of the police force so Holmes can hear the side of the doctor first and decide for himself the best way to deal with the case.

By the end of Dr Sterndale’s narration, Holmes asked what his plans were which was answered by a direct statement of the former, “I had intended to bury myself in Central Africa. My work there is but half finished.” Holmes perhaps already knew this and allowed the doctor to fulfil his plans. No formal trial whatsoever has been made.

I would like to share Sherlock Holmes’ reasoning for arriving at such conclusion.

“Some fumes which are not poisonous would be a welcome change. I think you must agree Watson, it is not a case in which we are called upon to interfere. Our investigation has been independent and our action shall be so also…”

The last part of the story was my favourite for it yet again introduced Sherlock Holmes to me. In every adventure, I always look forward to knowing Holmes more and more and the below statement, among all the others, by far, stood out for me.

”I have never loved Watson, but if I did and the woman I loved had met such an end, I might act even as our lawless lion hunter has done. Who knows?”

Sherlock Holmes may not be a big fan of womankind but he does know his limitations and that is when it comes to love, one can’t really tell what man is capable of doing. Who are we to judge anyway? Dr Sterndale is a man who had loved so much and lost so much. He did what he had to do. Sherlock Holmes just acted in the most humane way possible.

And that’s definitely a good ending. 🙂

 

Photo credits: Image used was grabbed online. Credit to owner.

Getting to Know MH: Mycroft Holmes in The Adventure of Bruce-Partington Plans

The Adventure of Bruce-Partington Plans is one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes adventures mainly because of Mycroft Holmes.

It is already given that Sherlock Holmes is such an expert in his craft that I am now running out of superlatives to describe him and his works. I mean, will there be enough adjectives in the Webster dictionary to describe how great of a genius Sherlock Holmes is?

In this particular incident, which is more of a theft than a murder case, Mycroft Holmes approached his younger brother to help solve the case of the stolen submarine plans, called the Bruce-Partington Plans which are very important for it already involves the British Government and its international affairs. Since Sherlock is a much more ‘free’ individual than Mycroft in a sense that the former can conduct investigations which are off the radar, he became the best person to resolve this case. Of course, when it comes to Sherlock, we can only expect the best results.

So this time I’m writing more because I am just overwhelmed with the descriptions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put in for Mycroft Holmes – accounts which I haven’t imagined reading ever. I was totally caught off guard on the position that Mycroft Holmes occupy in the British Government and how rare of a ‘human being’ he is. Also, the existence of the Holmes brothers proves yet again that good genes definitely run in the family.

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Below are the very descriptions of Sir Doyle for Mycroft Holmes which I have gathered in the said story, as told by the younger Holmes to Dr John Watson.

“You are right in thinking that he is under the British government. You would also be right in a sense if you said that occasionally, he is the British government.

Mycroft draws four hundred and fifty pounds a year, remains a subordinate, has no ambitions of any kind, will receive neither honour nor title, but remains the most indispensable man in the country.

Well, his position is unique. He has made it for himself. There has never been anything like it before, nor will be again. He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say offhand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant.   Again and again his word has decided the national policy. He lives in it. He thinks of nothing else save when, as an intellectual exercise, he unbends if I call upon him and ask him to advise me on one of my little problems.” (Doyle, 1917. p 400)

While the following are the descriptions as told by Watson.

“A moment later, the tall and portly form of Mycroft Holmes was ushered into the room. Heavily built and massive, there was a suggestion of uncouth physical inertia in the figure, but above this unwieldy frame there was perched a head so masterful in its brow, so alert in its steel-gray, deep-set eyes, so firm in its lips, and so subtle in its play of expression, that after the first glance one forgot the gross body and remembered only the dominant mind.” (Doyle, 1917. p 402)

I also got the following traits of Sherlock Holmes in this story which are definitely a bonus for me.

“I play the game for the game’s own sake.” – Sherlock Holmes

“It was one of my friend’s most obvious weaknesses that he was impatient with less alert intelligences than his own.” – Dr John Watson

“One of the most remarkable characteristics of Sherlock Holmes was his power of throwing his brains out of action and switching all his thoughts on to lighter things whenever he had convinced himself that he could no longer work to advantage.” – Dr John Watson

Every day spent reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterpiece is indeed a day well spent. I am more than grateful that books like these do exist and that I am one of the many which have been given the opportunity to read his works.

I still have several stories left to read in this volume and I know, that disappointment will never befall on me.

Photo credits: Image used was grabbed online. Credit to owner.

Miracle in Cell No. 7: Ibang Klase Talaga

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“I’m really sorry. Please help me.”

–          Ang mga huling salita ni Lee Yong Goo

 

Nagmakaawa siya. Ilang beses siyang humingi ng tulong. Ibinaba ang sarili para sa kapakanan ng nag-iisa niyang anak na babae…

‘Don’t expect life to be fair.’ Ika nga nila. Totoo naman. Huwag kang umasang patas ang buhay. Huwag mong hilinging sumang-ayon sa ‘yo ang lahat dahil kahit kalian ay hindi iyon mangyayari.

Ang pagiging ‘unfair’ ng buhay ang nagsisilbing balanse ng mundo. Kaya may maputi, dahil may maitim; kaya may mayaman, dahil may mahirap; kaya may mabuti, dahil may masama. Ganyan ang buhay.

Miracle in Cell No. 7. Ibang klaseng pelikula. Kung sa panonood ng Blind Side eh free-flowing ang luha ko sa isang mata mula umpisa hanggang katapusan, dito naman naging free-flowing ang luha ko sa kaliwa’t kanan pati na rin ang sipon naging free-flowing din na may add-on pang hikbi. Naabutan pa ‘ko ng Nanay ko kanina na magang-maga ang mga mata. Sabi ko na lang, nakakaiyak kasi ang pinapanood ko.

Pero ang totoo, hindi naman talaga nakakaiyak ang pelikula. Nakakadurog ito ng puso. Kumbaga ang mga luha ko, sipon at hikbi ay resulta na lamang ng pagkadurog na nararamdaman ko. Ang hirap magpigil ng emosyon eh. Kamote talaga. Kung naikokonvert lang ang kada litro ng luha sa isang slice ng blueberry cheesecake, malamang may isang taong supply na ‘ko ng pagkaing ‘to.

Grabe lang. Sa mundo ng mga bilanggo, makikita mo na ang iba’t-ibang uri ng tao, ang iba’t-ibang paraan ng kanilang pamumuhay, ang iba’t-ibang diskarte nila para mabuhay…at ang iba’t-ibang dahilan nila sa pananatiling buhay. Normal man o hindi sa paningin ng karamihan, sa huli, pag-ibig pa rin ang puno’t dulo ng lahat. Sa sobrang pagmamahal mo sa pamilya mo, nakakagawa ka ng masama o ng mabuti, natututo kang magsakripisyo o kaya naman ay natututo kang maging gahaman. Dahil sa pagmamahal, posible kang umabot sa puntong kailangan mo na rin magmatigas o kaya naman ay lubusan kang magpakagago, magpakatanga…magpakamartir.

Miracle in Cell No 7a

Pag-ibig ng ama sa kanyang anak. Tunay ngang hindi matatawaran, hindi masusukat, ni hindi matutumbasan ninuman.

Pag-ibig ng anak sa kanyang ama. Hindi mapepresyuhan, hindi mapapantayan, at kailanman ay hindi ipagpapalit ng isang magulang sa kahit ano pa mang yaman sa mundo.

May limang oras na ang nakalilipas simula nang pinanood ko ang pelikula. Ramdam na ramdam ko pa rin ang sakit. Papa’s girl ako eh. Kaya siguro ganoon na lang din ang tindi ng epekto sa ‘kin nito.

Magang-maga pa rin ang mata ko.

Ibang klase. Ibang klase talaga.

 

Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.