An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

27 May 2006

The boys I love

These are some of the photos of the demonstration of the Urban Counter-Revolutionary Warfare Course (Sureshock) Class 55-2005 of the PNP Special Action Force during their graduation, held on the 24th of March 2006 at the SAF in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan. The photographs were taken by Leonito Navales, photographer of the Office of the Chief of the Philippine National Police.

23 May 2006

The other side of summer

At some point, this once-a-week blog turned into a once-a-month blog. At some point, I ceased writing five to ten thousand words a day so I could listen to other people talk about the hills they had combat in years ago. At some point, the days blended into each other and morphed into a two-year deadline. At some point, there began a new different season altogether.

Every year, when June begins, I always feel like an era has ended. No more breathing in hot, dry air. No more blinding brightness from the windows to wake me up at six in the morning. No more heavy siesta afternoons where even the gnats look drowsy. No more feeling a fine film of dust over my skin after a day in the field. No more taking showers in the middle of the day. No more driving along the South Luzon Expressway to the SAF Training School with the windows open and the fierce, burning wind sweeping all throughout the interior of the car. No more Sureshock class to learn with.

Now that I am older, I have got to learn how to stop investing summer with too heavy a memory. After all, the rainy season can be just as memorable. And after all, the man from summer remains, and he brings summer with him wherever the two of us may be – Sta. Rosa, Silang, Muntinlupa, Bicutan, Makati, Baguio. At some point, as the gritty days of summer blended seamlessly and naturally into damp and unsummery June, so have we blended slowly, instinctively into each other. Perhaps this time an era has really ended. At some point, there is no more me; there is just us. We have crossed over to the other side, and the memories are just beginning.

16 May 2006

At the force march

Written on the sole of my combat boots
is the name of the man in my life.
I didn’t write it there, and neither did he.
It was the bootmaker who wrote it there
to remind himself of the person
who was going to pay for the boots.
Little did that bootmaker know
that the hastily scribbled name,
which meant nothing to him but 1500 bucks,
would give me the power I needed
to walk 28 kilometers for 6 hours,
and drive another 25 at 3kph.
When I got to the bivouac
with the 900 troops who walked with me,
the mud had already obliterated the name.
But no matter; it has fulfilled its purpose.
Because at the camp, the real guy,
who walked the entire 53 kilometers overnight
in the darkness and driving rain,
had time to hold me and tell me
that names don't matter
because we already know who we are
to each other.