Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sense And Senselessness

It’s useless to make sense of the senseless. Best if we can just graciously accept something that is beyond our control and comprehension. Yet we still try to, if only to trigger some kind of closure.

The bus fell off the cliff on a Friday. I was in a shoot outside the office when I got a call from my colleague and a close friend of Bam. There was worry and panic in his voice; earlier they had called Bam’s cellphone, and it was the police who answered. I remember telling him not to think of the worst yet, that so long as there’s no confirmation, there’s hope. But I knew better, and readied myself for the other shoe to drop. And it did, at first slowly as details trickled in via SMS, then with a thudding finality from my colleague: “sir wala na si bam.”

I’m no stranger to death. Even before we lost our friend and fellow Fabcaster AJ, I had buried relatives, friends, and colleagues. I said farewell to my 4-year old brother and my 69-year old dad. And yet over the weekend D noticed there was something wrong with me. I was masungit and tahimik. Initially I thought I was emotionally affected by this Korean drama that we were watching (yes, I’m actually quite hooked on it). But when I attended the wake on Sunday evening, I realised it was Bam’s loss that shook me deeply.

Of all people, why him? For me, he exemplified the phrase mabait na tao. I’m sure he had a mischievous side, even a naughty one. And I’m sure he has a pasaway side to him. But in the office, he was a gentle soul who didn’t put himself above his team. In fact he preferred to fade quietly in the background, and let his work speak for itself. He was friendly to everyone in his own quiet way. It was next to impossible to get mad at him, let alone hold a grudge against him. He was too much of a gentleman.

So why him? His wife had just given birth to his second child. He was getting ready to move her and the kids from Bicol to Cavite, where he had a house built. He had big, exciting plans for the channel. He was only 32 years old.

Senseless. Sometimes that’s the only thing that makes sense.