"No one can outrun their destiny."
So says the tagline of Mel Gibson's excellent action film Apocalypto. I can't help but shake my head and agree. How true, how true. Apocalypto was my inescapable destiny. This is how it happened.
I was on the fast ferry from Cebu to Bohol. Customarily, they show videos to entertain the passengers. This time was no exception. And what should they show on screen but Apocalypto? I demurred from the film, wanting to watch it properly on the big screen. Instead I opted to read. But somewhere near the middle of the film, during the bloody Mayan sacrifice, I couldn't keep my eyes away anymore. It was just too compelling.
And then the boat arrived. Movie cut short. Well, thank goodness, eh? It didn't spoil the ending for me.
Three days later, I was back in Cebu. There was a computer trade show in SM. A small crowd had gathered around a large LCD screen. What do you think they were showing?
Again, I was drawn into the action. And I joined that merry band of kibitzers as the hero Jaguar Paw finally made his last stand against his pursuers. Though I was weighed down by my backpack, I stood there till the end of the film, which cut just as the Spanish explorers were arriving.
Guiltily, I thought that Mel Gibson, multimillionaire though he is, shouldn't have to lose my share of the ticket sale. I resolved to watch the movie in full. Lo and behold, as I reached Dumaguete, what should be showing but Apocalypto?
Alas, I couldn't find the time to go to the theater in my short stay in Dumaguete. Some other time, Mel, I said.
And on Sunday I boarded a bus from Santander to Cebu City. And what should be showing again?
No matter how honest I was trying to be, there it was: my inescapable destiny. So I sat as close as I could to the TV on that three hour bus trip. I took in the sights of the jungle of ancient Yucatan, I joined in the laughter of the tribe as they went about their idyllic lives, and I fought with them as their more powerful enemies attacked their village. And I marched them as they were led up that high temple altar to be sacrificed to Kulkulan. And I ran and dove with Jaguar Paw as he escaped from his captors, ultimately to turn upon them with vengeance.
After all, no one can escape their destiny.
(And by the way, now that I'm back in Davao, Apocalypto is showing here, too. Sigh. Fate.)