Monday, July 09, 2007

Dear Ana

Dear Ana:

This letter is long overdue, and as with many things in life, it comes too late. But I sometimes like to believe that the universe does not exist in linear time, so I hope that somehow somewhere somewhen you are reading this message.

We never got really close, and I suppose that comes from my stiff, staid, and proper exterior persona. But there's no question that I will always remember you. This very blog contains a small reminder of you: see that photo on the right, the one that I've been using for my canonical shot since that summer of the writer's workshop? You took it. Of all my portrait shots, this is the one I like best.

I remember our first conversation. You were the one who started it, remember? I barged in on breakfast at El Oriente. With what ease you struck up that acquaintance! It was as if we were old friends meeting again after a long while.

I'm sorry we both missed Krip's lunch treat that Wednesday afternoon. Knowing of your field in child therapy, I shanghaied you to Analou Suan's Great Physician Rehabilitation Center. We were both very hungry then. But you carried on like a real trouper, unfazed by the unexpected dozens of parents there to listen to your talk.

I never quite told you how impressed I was with your technique on management of speech disabilities. The essence was communication, you said, not speech. See? I remember. Unsentimental me almost came close to tears as I saw the fathers in that session asking questions about their children (but of course, I didn't let on.) I remember.

And remember how we headed off for a late lunch to Sans Rival. We both had spaghetti, I think (on that I'm a little fuzzy, I'm sorry.) And then back again to the workshop with Mom Edith.

You were always one for mischief. One of the last emails I remember getting from you recounted dinner at Mom Edith's Montemar residence:

When I said hello to her during the dinner at her place, she couldn't remember me. Told her: "Mom, of course you remember me. You said I had the loveliest poems you've ever read." Mom was tickled and actually laughed out loud.

And that was so very, very Ana.

That's how I want to remember you, Ana: cheerful, mischievous, zesty, unflappable, adventurous, and sexy. (Yes, "sexy." But I never did say, did I?)

The universe is curved, the scientists say. Perhaps that's a clue to non-linearity and non-causality. (And that is a very Dom thing to say -- though we both know I really have no idea what I'm talking about.) We can only hope, I suppose, that even though I'm only writing this now, well, that somehow, you know.




  1. Nice one, Doms. A mutual friend woke us up and gave us the bad news that Ana was in the hospital. Then a couple of hours later Paz received a text message and we knew it was over. She was Paz's first ever friend when she transferred to Cebu and they'd meet for coffee and what not from time to time. Shocking news indeed.

  2. hey Domi, just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

  3. Thanks all :-)

    Hey, Jigger, drop me a note, will you? Dugay dugay na ta wala nag-storya. I'm usually online in the mornings (Philippine time) -- both on Yahoo and Gtalk.

  4. When I first read about this post right after it showed on my Google Reader, I was intrigued who Ana was but left it at that.

    It was only later after I talked to some Bikolano writers who knew her that I googled her name and connected her to the Inquirer article about her death, and to a lot more intriguing stuff.

    I think she's a wonderful, gifted individual. I don't know her personally but to use another cliche, her death diminished us all.