Monday, June 19, 2017

Japanese Zero

As soon as we were back in Davao, I had asked Sean what he remembers about his Lolo; and he said, "That particular moment when we went home to B'la, and Dad and I were so crazy about airplanes, we were making airplanes made of cardboard, and suddenly, Lolo noticed what we were doing and said, Uy, eroplano man na sa Hapon!" For Sean and Ja used to make  Japanese Zero out of cardboard and scotch tape.  I remember holding one cardboard Zero when we left Nova Tierra a year after Pa's first attack; holding it up to Ja for I wanted to give it to one of the neighborhood kids, and Ja said, "Leave it alone with the garbage," and I remember feeling sorry both for the Zero and the neighborhood kid, who would be deprived of the joy of playing with an airplane replica, even if it was only made of cardboard, that kind of aircraft had played a role in the war theater, no matter how cruel, I was only interested in it as a toy, I'm still blind to its ethical implications.
Yet, I remember, too, leaving a pot of wounded Oregano--its branch had been unwittingly cut off in the midst of our moving, and saw the aghast face of our next door neighbor when I left it to her to care for.  She never really loved plants, and never knew anything about Oregano, so, how can I expect her to appreciate the extraordinary mission of healing a wounded plant? It was only later when I realized my stupidity, for she actually  expected me to leave the healthy ones, and not what she considered a reject! So, to avoid further embarrassment, I followed Ja's order to leave the Japanese Zero to the garbage, instead of handing it out to Jamal, the Maguindanaoan boy who was our next door neighbor, because maybe, Jamal would not really love to have a  Japanese Zero made of cardboard.  (But still, I strongly suspect that he'd love it!)
Now, I'm warming to the fact that when Sean thinks of his grandfather, he remembers those times, he and his Dad were so crazy about airplanes, they were building Japanese Zero out of scotch tape and cardboard, and it was his Lolo who first took notice of what they were doing. Did they, at least, leave one Japanese Zero for him?  I wonder what Karl is thinking when he thinks of his Lolo, but as for me, I remember so many things, including an unfinished conversation when he was suffering with pain and sleeplessness deep in the night.  I had a deluge of memories that needed to be sort out and taken down, one by one, never to be forgotten.

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