Thursday, March 19, 2015

To the Best Beloved

March 18, 2015. Fourteen years ago today, when everyone else was preparing to leave graduate school, I entered Silliman University Medical Center at 1 pm, gladly and fearfully, expecting your birth. I was glad because finally I would be meeting you, not just any other child any mother can give birth to, but the special subject of the personal essay, “Letter to the Womb: Writing and re-Writing Woman in the Literary Text,” I submitted for the final exams of our Contemporary Criticism class under Dr. Ceres Pioquinto. The idea came to me out of the blue, after the realization that on the verge of childbirth, I could no longer think in a clear, linear and logical way but in swirling, maddeningly spiraling fashion; and so, to suit this particular frame of mind, I abandoned the methodical way most scholars used to write their “scholarly” texts and wrote instead a personal essay addressed to you, Best Beloved, applying the critical literary theories I learned by heart.
And so, in a gist, this was how you came into this world, Gloria Steinem spewing words on the TV screen in between my throes of labor, making the pain slightly bearable, Kuya Karl watching at the hospital lobby, as my stretcher rolled by; and Ja, your Dad, trading jokes with the nurses in a voice grating to my ears.
Now, I can’t believe it’s been 14 years; and I'm slightly disoriented. Where is that toddler who used to grab my books every time I attempted to read? Where is the one who tirelessly climbed over my body? Where is the tireless watcher, who used to monitor the hands of the clock inside the newsroom, who used to tell me, Ma, the sky has turned black outside, are we not going home?! What a delight to have you! Happy 14th year, Sean!

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