Drawing was really my passion and forte but when I was in high school, an incident made me forget this and even came to a point that made me hate myself and blame my hands for not doing it while there was still time. To understand what I meant let me guide you and get you back to the past.
I was born to parents that both have careers to attend to and so my brother and I were taken care of by babysitters which we don’t like anyway, but I guess we don’t have much choice either. To while away time drawing became an outlet for fun since we were not allowed to get out of the house and play with the neighbors, hence I started drawing at a very young age.
We drew a lot and had our imaginations soared high... we even exchanged drawings with my brother and laughed at our own weird creations... The power of one’s imagination and the aid of pencil and paper... I would admit though that my brother draws better than me but as we grew up he became fond of raising pets and breeding them. He had a wide collection of different species of aquarium fishes and a wide variety of flowering and succulent plants while I am left alone to my pencil and paper.
Life for me was the four sides of my room, my pencils and my drawing pad. My life changed a bit as I grew older but not that much... I could not just put down my pencil. When I reached high school my passion for drawing was even more developed as people started noticing my talent.
Every time I get bored with listening to my teacher’s lectures I would secretly get my drawing pad and started sketching my teacher’s face and transformed her into one of my favorite subject... cartoons... I used to make a cartoon character out of her and or make her fashionistas as I also love to design fashion trends. One time my teacher caught me and guess what?.. I do get a good spanking (not literally meant)… From that time on my teacher would always put a pair of scissors on her table and always warn me that if ever she’ll caught me again doing sketches she’ll cut it into pieces.. of course this didn’t stop me from doing my passion.
I was a member of the school band then... I used to play the drums... I had this co-band member who used to tell me weird things but as I recall now and pondered on the things she shared I felt she only wanted me to see what life really was, however, I ignored her as it does not meant anything for me that time. Once she asked me to draw her and make her seem like a grown-up successful fashion model wearing different fashion styles and put her name across the drawings or beneath it. I jokingly asked her – “why are you going to die tomorrow?” and ignored her answers. Days after that I found myself crying in front of her coffin giving her what she wished for... the drawings I spent sleepless nights on just to fulfill her wish but who will see it now?.. Her Mom had the drawings buried with her. That was one of the greatest mistake I committed when I was younger... I did not listen... I was not paying close attention to unseen clues... I was totally clueless and it even got to the point that I blamed myself for her action of claiming her own life! I could not forgive myself for ignoring her when she said she will be leaving us forever, that she will travel to another place not on earth. That we won’t ever see her again... I thought it was just a practical joke she was playing. I was such a fool for ignoring a helpless and troubled soul. How could I?
Life was never the same from that time on. I never lifted my pencil and never opened my drawing pad. I was devastated over the death of a dear friend. My other friends tried to cheer me up and encouraged me to draw again and to move on, but it was just too painful that I never actually moved on until I finished high school. I was in my second year in high school when that incident happened.
My Ma used to keep my drawing books and bring them to her office to brag to her officemates that she found an artist in me. My Ma’s boss loved the drawings and when I went there to pay Ma a visit she asked me to make a portrait of her. I don’t want to do it but Ma and her officemates urged me to do it for their boss. It was a hard decision for me but I guess it wouldn’t hurt if I try. I started drawing again and as I etched my pencil on my paper and freely do the lines to make a portrait I find peacefulness in my heart... it seemed time healed my broken heart and finished the portrait in a few days. Ma’s boss eyes sparkled the moment I handed her the portrait... she was very happy and told me she looked alive in it even if it was just a charcoal portrait. She said she looked happy and contented in my drawing and told me I will have a future if I pursue being an artist which I never thought I will be anyway. A few days after that she died, what do you think I felt?... This is the second incident that made me forget my passion in drawing for I thought I will not have a future in it. It was the time I started questioning myself... are my hands evil? Do I draw to kill people? Why does everyone I made drawings for always end up leaving us?
I never had found answers to these questions but life has to continue. I realized I will not live a happy and blissful life if I continue to dwell in the past. If I let the past overcome my future I will not have a life. I asked my Ma if I could enroll and pursue a career in Fine Arts. My Ma was elated when she heard it. Ma is the kind of person that you will have to find a good reason to convince her to say yes, however, this time I never had any difficulty. I was not really expecting her to allow me but she did which amazingly surprised me… so I prepared all my credentials and enrolled at the University of the Philippines Cebu and took up Bachelor in Fine Arts.
Life was never the same since then. I had to live on my own and survive in a place away from home. I tried my best to fit in a place that is totally different from the place I was used to. Lifestyle in the big city is a far cry from our place. I used to make portraits so I will also be able to have my own money when allowance from the school gets delayed.
Once, I met this lady and asked me if I could paint something for her. My hairs stood up while she was so engrossed in telling me her stories and asked me to paint her flowers, a lot of flowers... flowers in a vase, flowers on the table and so on... I just could not help but sad memories came rushing back. She told me she would put my paintings at her bedside so she would always enjoy it... it was very unlikely of me to think of premonitions that this lady won’t live long... it was so evil of me to think that way.. My eyes swell and found streak of tears run through my face and I just could not tell her why. She gave me a call card and went home. My heart was heavy but I need to do this for her. I painted all the flowers she pictured out in her instructions and in few days were done with her orders.
I could not help myself but cry to see how delighted she was with the paintings. A week after that I was at her deathbed listening to all her advises and wishes for me. She told me I made her happy in the last few days of her life. For me those paintings are very ordinary, infact they looked like posters that commonly hang in the walls of ordinary houses but those paintings for her were amazing. She told me the flowers made her at peace and even encourages me to paint more flowers. She laughingly told me that she can even smell the fragrance of the flowers and imagined herself surrounded by them when she will finally meet our Creator; I just nod in approval for I couldn’t break her heart at that moment... I just can’t afford to... She said she found people who made her few days here on earth memorable and mind you… I was one of them. I was very touched by her soft words. She told me to continue making people happy.
This incident brought along the biggest twist in my life.
I now see meaning in everything I do and found the answers to my questions and reasons for the sad things that happened in the past. Now, I don’t feel as sad as before when the lady said her goodbyes. In my heart I found contentment and happiness. I will always look back to the past but I will always found a reason to move on and shape my future in the best way I can.
Miracles do work in a lot of ways and angels don’t have wings! I do consider her as my angel and thanked God that I had the chance to know her for without her I would have been living in misery and I will not be able to forget and forgive the past.