L I N K. M E






INTRODUCTION || 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8

C O M M E N T S




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BUHAY PARI

Extra Story


         Ako si Herbacio Bihagan Jr, tawag nila sa akin ay “Boy”. Nakatira kami sa isang maliit na kubo sa isang isla na kung tawagin nila ay Banacon. Ang ama ko, si Herbacio Bihagan ay isang emplayado ng isang insurance company sa Tagbilaran, Bohol. Ang ina ko naman na si Innocencia Bihagan ay isang guro sa isang pampublikong paaralan sa aming baryo. Bilang panganay sa walong magkakapatid ay kinailangan kong magsipag mag-aral at magtrabaho.

         Hindi kami mayaman, kung kaya’t sa isang pampublikong paaralan ako nagtapos ng aking elementarya. Pagdating ko ng haiskul ay ipinasok ako ng aking mga magulang sa Immaculate Heart of Mary Semanary School, isang semenaryo sa Bohol. Nagtrabaho ng mabuti ang aking mga magulang upang makapasok ako sa isang napakagandang paaralan. Dahilan na rin sa matinding pangangailangan ng pera, imbis na ako ay maglakwatsa tuwing bakasyon, ako ay nagtatrabaho sa simbahan upang makapag-imbag ng pera sa darating na pasukan. Hindi madali sa akin ang mag-aral sa isang semenaryo , dahilan sa mga mahigpit na palatuntunan na ipinapatupad sa buong paaralan. Araw-araw, 5:30 pa lamang ng umaga ay dapat gising na kami. Ako at ang iba pang mga estudyante ay kailangang magdasal ng tatlong beses sa isang araw: isa sa umaga, isa sa hapon, at isa sa gabi.

         Habang nasa semenaryo, nawili akong tumugtog ng gitara at maglaro ng basketball. Sa katunayan isa ako sa pinakamagaling na forward, guard at shooter sa amin noon. Tuwing Linggo, humihiram ako ng gitara sa simbahan at nagpapaturong tumugtog ng gitara sa aking mga kaklase.

         Makalipas ng tatlong taon sa seminaryo, isa-isa kaming pinamayam ng mga pari. Sa panayam na ito malalaman kung sino ang mga maaring maging iskolar ng isang simbahan sa kolehiyo. Mapalad ako at nakasali ako sa siyam na napiling mag-aaral sa Marbel, South Cotabato. Isang pari ang nag-asikaso sa aming pagpunta doon. Noong nakarating ako roon, kumuha ako ng Pilosopiya sa Notre Dame University.

         Sa aking pag-aaral nakilala ko ang Obispo ng kanilang pook. Napakabait ng Obispo sa akin, at hindi nagtagal napalapit ako sa kanya. Dahilan sa matagal kong pamamalagi sa South Cotabato ay naging bihasa ako sa pananalita ng Ilonggo. Hindi ko rin namalayan na onti-unti na palang nagbago ang aking pag-uugali. Naging masmalapit ako sa Diyos at naging masmadali sa akin ang makitungo sa ibang tao. Marami akong naging kaibigan! Kutya pa nga nila sa akin ang pangalan ng labanderang nag-aalaga sa amin, si “Tateng”. Sabi raw nila ako raw kasi ang paborito ng labanderang iyon, kaya naman hanggang ngayon, tinatawag pa rin nila akong “Tateng”.

         Pagkatapos kong magtapos ng Pilosopiya, ipinadala ako ng simbahan sa lungosod ng Davao. Noong panahon ko, ang Remase Semenary School lamang ang tanging semenaryo sa Mindanao na may post graduate sa Teyolohiya. Sa eskwelahang ito, nakilala ko ang mga malalapit kong mga kaibigan ngayon.

         “Malapit na ako maging isang ganap na pari. Tiyak na matutuwa ang aking mga magulang!” Bulong ko sa aking sarili. Habang ako ay nag-aaral sa Heswitang Semenaryong iyon, namulat ako sa masamng kalagayan ng ating bansa. Hindi na maganda ang diktator na pamumuno ng presidente. Pagkatapos niyang magdeklara ng Martial Law, hindi na natigil ang mga pang-aabuso ng mga militar sa mga mamamayan, kung kaya’t nang ako ay na basbasan bilang isang pari, ako ay sumali sa National Democratic Front. Sa organisasyong ito, marami-rami ring pari ang naging kabilang. Kaming mga miyembero ng NDF ay tumutulong sa mga iba’t-ibang mga samahan na tumutuligsa sa mga katiwalian na isinasagawa ng diktator na presidente. Kabilang sa NDF ang NPA o New People’s Army, na siya rin naman naming tinutulungan sa panahon ni Marcos. Minsan, nagkaroon ng isang pagpupulong sa paanan ng mga bundok ng Digos. Dito ko nakilala si “Jack”. Si Jack ang tumulong sa akin nang ako ay magkasakit sa panahon ng aming pagpupulong na iyon. Dinala niya ako sa isang nars na siyang tumutulong rin sa mga nagkakasakit na mga rebelde. Isang taon lamang ang agwat ng edad ko sa nars na iyon, ngunit ako’y napa-ibig niya sa oras na ako’y kanyang ginagamot. Roni dela Cruz ang kanyang pangalan. Matagal na siyang nagretiro sa hospital na kanyang pinagtatrabahuan dahilan sa pang-aabusong ginawa ng doctor na kanyang pinagsisilbihan doon, kung kaya’t inanyayahan ko siyang magtrabaho bilang nars doon sa Marbel. Pumayag si Roni. Noong natapos ang pagpupulong sa paanan ng bundok, kami ay sabay na pumunta sa Marbel. Naiwan naman si Jack sa Digos upang ipagpatuloy ang kanyang misyon.

         Si Roni at ako ay naging malapit sa isa’t-isa. Alam kong pari ako, at walang karapatang umibig sa ibang tao, ngunit ano ang gagawin ko? Mahal ko si Roni, kung kaya’t hiningi ko ang kanyang kamay ng patago. Nalaman ko noong panahong iyon na iniibig niya rin ako at kami ay kapwang nagmamahalan. Naging patago ang relasyon namin ni Roni.

         Ilang araw nang nakalipas, ipinatawag ako muli ng NDF sa Zamboanga dahil mayroon muling pagpupulong na magaganap sa kabundukan roon. Minsan, noong ako’y naglalakad, kasama ang isang lalake at dalawang babaeng mga estudyante, sa paanan ng bundok ay nadatnan kami ng tatlong mga sundalo sa aming patutunguhan. Tinutukan nila kami ng mga baril na kanilang dala. Lubos kaming natakot, ngunit hindi na lang kami lumaban upang hindi na lumaki pa ang gulo. Wala na kaming nagawa kung kaya’t kami ay dinala ng mga sundalo sa lungsod- bilangguan. Sa loob niyon, nagkahiwa-hiwalay kami ng aking mga kasama.

         Bilang isang pari, ako’y nagbibigay ng misa at pagbabasa sa Bibliya sa mga bilanggo roon. Hindi nagtagal pinalaya rin nila ako dahil sa tulong ng Obispo ng South Cotabato. Nagbalik muli kami sa Marbel at nasabi ko doon sa Obispo na nais ko nang lumiban sa simbahan upang mapakasalan ko si Roni. Nanghinayang ang pari at nakiusap sa akin na dumito muna sa simbahan ng dalawa pang taon.

         Lumipas ang dalawang taon at ako’y nakalabas na ng simbahan. Nagpakasal kami ni Roni sa huwes, at doon kami sa Maynila nanirahan. Gayunpaman, hindi pa rin nawawala ang lakas ng loob kong tumulong sa mga taong inaabuso ng batas na ipina-ukala ng presidente. Sumabak ako sa naganap na People Power Revolution sa Edsa. Hindi nagtagal bumaba si Marcos sa kanyang kinauupuan.

         Kami ni Roni ay namuhay ng masaya at biniyayaan kami ng anak. Nagtayo ako ng isang maliit na negosyo upang matustusan ang mag kinakailangan ng aking pamilya. Tunay nga ang ligayang aking nadarama ngunit ang pagmamahal ko sa simbahan at sa aking Diyos ay nananatili pa rin sa aking puso at isipan. Kahit papaano, mayroon pa ring bahagi sa akin na nagnanais na makapamuno muli ng isang misa sa harapan ng altar at magsilbi sa maraming tao. Ang lahat ng aking pagkapari ay nananatili pa rin at walang nagbago sa aking puso. Ito ay nadagdagan lamang ng iba pang pangarap. Ito ay ang pangarap na magkaroon ng sariling pamilya at makasama ang babaeng minamahal ko habang buhay habang nagsisilbi sa Diyos. Ito ay ang isang pangarap ng isang paring nag-asawa katulad ko. Walang masama sa isang paring nag-asawa. Ako’y mananatiling isang mabuting pari, asawa at ama sa mga mata ng tao hanggang ako ay mamatay.

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INTRODUCTION

Author's Note


         Well, I have decided to write a story. It's very rare for me to finish a long story, but then I am also determined to finish one. So, I decided to share with you the story that I have been writing lately.

         The story is actually a love story. It's about a writer who died because of an illness. Before she died, she was able to publish her last book, "Follow Me", which reflects her dreams and experiences. On the day of her funeral, her ex-boyfriend(Toshiro) was there. Her bestfriend (Aoi) gave a copy of the book to Toshiro. Then, the story starts.

         So, the story, "I Exist", contains two stories: 1.) The Story Itself 2.) The Story from the Book, "Follow Me". And oh, there are chapters where in the characters themselves were the one narrating their own experiences. Don't get confused, okay? ^-^

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Chapter One

The Funeral


         One day, a writer died because of diabetes. On her funeral, a man came. He then talked to the best friend of the writer that is now at peace.

         "How was she, Aoi-san?" the man asked.

         "She is dead! Why are you asking me that Toshiro? Can't you see?" And she looked at the man's face and continued "She is dead!" The man did not react and did not say anything.

         After the funeral, the best friend handed him a book, "Follow Me". It was the last book written by the author before she died. After that day, the man started reading the book everyday.

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Chapter Two

Departure (Follow Me)


         In the middle of the crowd, two persons were standing far apart. They were seemingly looking each other. They did no words and no actions. They can't be seen easily in the crowd. It was noisy and full of people. Many people are saying goodbye to their loved ones for they are departing.

         Finally the girl, who looked pale, started to say something. She was shouting, but the boy can't hear her. He was looking at her. She started to give off tears on her eyes. Her hair was waving through the wind. The boy looked away with sadness and left without saying anything.

         After a year, Nakajima Yuki, an eighteen-year old girl, is a first year college student. The day her boyfriend departed still makes her sad, but then letters from him makes her do her best everyday.

         She was running fast and stops infront of a door. She opens the door to a room.

         "Kyaaaa!!!! Gomenasai!" She said loudly.

         She was late and everyone was staring at her. A guy then waved at her. He was trying to tell her to sit beside him. Yuki walks towards him. Her hair black pony tailed hair waves.

         "You're late again?" The guy asked.

         "Isn't that obvious, Daichi?" Yuki answered.

         The two laughed. The teacher suddenly heard them and threw a piece of chalk to both of them.

         "Please be quiet!" The teacher scolded and the class was resumed.

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Chapter Three

Memories


         Toshiro starts to get tired of reading and closed the book. He wears of his glasses and closed his eyes. It was quiet, but then suddenly he felt like someone was behind his back. He immediately turned around, but he saw no one. As he looked in front, he was astonished to see someone. It was a beautiful lady with short brown hair. She's not tall, but she looks lady like. She was surely a true blooded Japanese looking girl.

         "Mariko?! Don't you ever scare me like that!" Toshiro scolded.

         "Demo... You are so quiet, so I just made something to make you feel alive, and I think that went effective, ne?" She smiles.

         "You're really smart Mariko for noticing it." He said with a sigh.

         There was silence for awhile.

         "Toshiro-kun, I know you are sad because Miharu-san was once your..." She stopped for a second. "And that you are so close with each other for a very long time... but, she is past!" Then, she looks away and pouts. "I'm affected by your reactions. You are too affected... Too affected that you might forget about me..."

         "Stop it, Mariko! We don't have any of the relationship you are talking about..."

         Mariko starts to bite her lips.

         "I hate you Toshiro!!! I hate you!" She yells and runs away.

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Chapter Four

Mariko’s Love


         One day, I got a phone call from Toshiro-kun, the only one I loved. I do not know exactly what he feels about me, but I was sure that I was glad hearing my phone ring because I know it was him calling.

         "Mushi mushi." I answered.

         "Mariko-chan?" Toshiro says. His voice was weak and soft.

         "Nani desu ka, Toshiro-kun..." I asked him.

         "Can we meet tomorrow at the park? Is that okay with you?"

         I was in great surprise and happy hearing it from Toshiro-kun. "Was it really him talking to me?" I said to myself.

         "Wakarimashita. It will be 2pm at the park." I replied with great happiness.

         It was the next day, when I came exactly 2pm at the park. As I walk, his image was getting clear as I walk towards him. He was as good looking as ever, and his brown eyes shine beautifully under the great ray of sun.

         "Toshiro-kun, what is it that you want us to meet? Is this something like a date? But it can't be because you already got a girlfriend..." I smiled and laughed.

         He did not answer for awhile. He looks away and he seemed troubled.

         "Mariko..."He said in a bold voice.

         I did not say anything, but I looked at him with wonder.

         "Can you be my girlfriend?" He asked eagerly.

         "NANI?!?!?!" I was shocked. Toshiro-kun was saying something that he and his girlfriend broke up, but other than what he said, I no longer remember anymore. There is something that bothers me in my mind on why he asked me to be his new girlfriend. I looked at his face. He looks like he was just forced to ask me. I knew that time that he will just use me, but then I have great love for him. So, that day I became Toshiro-kun's girlfriend.

         Since Miharu-san died already, I thought I would completely conquer his heart, but then it was the opposite. Slowly, I'm losing him... Slowly I’m vanishing in his heart... Slowly his love is dying... If only I am Miharu-san, I would make him happy for good.

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Chapter Five

Friendship and Love (Follow Me)


         Daichi was walking Yuki on her way home.

         "You seemed so happy today Yuki-chan..." Daichi said.

         "Sou desu ka." Yuki laughed.

         "You are so weird as ever 'Ko-do-mo'" Daichi teased her for acting like a child and it continued until Yuki arrived at her home.

         They stopped infront of the house gate.

         "Watakushi wa URESHI desu!" She stresses out and goes inside the house without saying good-bye to Daichi at all.

         "Baka." Daichi whispers, but then he was smiling as he walks away.

         Inside the house, it is only Yuki living there. Her father is a brilliant engineer working in Osaka and her mother died long ago when giving birth to her. So, Yuki needs stays at home alone. She always spends her time in front of her personal computer to survive the boredom.

         "Oh, an e-mail from Daigoro-kun..." She clicks the mouse and looks inside the mail. It says:

         Yo Yuki-chan!

         My parents agreed that I should stay there in Japan for awhile, and so it means I could also be there with you for some time. I'm so excited to see you. It's really funny that they would like me to stay there so that I won't forget how to speak Nihonggo.

         Very well, my schedule is too tight today, so I'll be moving on now...

         I miss you so much!

The cutest guy in the history of Japan,
Daigoro



         There was silence for a-while. Then, Yuki starts to laugh. She laughed and laughed.

         "That Daigoro didn't change at all... He still thinks that he is that cool..." Yuki said.

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Chapter Six

It was not Sayonara


         On the next morning, Toshiro decided to visit the resting place of Mihasa. He was quite not sure if he should go, but in the end he did.

         He was wearing his good Polo shirt and pants. He also brought blue daisies which were Mihasa's favorite flower. While he approached the grave, he saw a woman standing infront of Mihasa's resting place.

         "Tanaka Aoi..." Toshiro called.

         The woman standing looked at him and she wasn't smiling at all.

         "I thought you will never come back..." Aoi said. She was looking sad while looking at Mihasa's grave.

         Toshiro puts the flowers on top of the grave. "I loved her." He said and stood up beside Aoi. "She's really stupid for letting me go..."

         Aoi squeezed her fist. "You shouldn't say that! She took her happiness away..." Aoi shouts.

         "She didn't want you to get hurt... she doesn't want you to know that she was to die. She wanted you to find another person you will love before her death day, so that you will not be sad. That's why she let you go before you even knew it, and it wasn't stupid of her... It was her choice... Her sacrifice" She looks at Toshiro.

         "Before she met you, she was in loved with Kenzo. You heard about him right?" She smiles. "She said that she only thinks Kenzo as her bestfriend too, but then..." Aoi stopped talking.

         "But then?" Toshiro asked.

         "Kenzo and you fell in love with each other..." Toshiro sighs. "So, it is the reason why Mihasa seldom talks to you..." Toshiro continued.

         Aoi was looking sad and had teary eyes. "Everytime I see her, she always smiles and always says that she is happy for the two of us. But, I still feel her pain and sorrow..." Aoi cries.

"I was sorry... Eventhough I knew about her feelings towards Kenzo... I betrayed her... I don't want her to be sad anymore." She looks at Toshiro.

"I thought she will hate me, but she didn't. Before you even met her, she was already sick. She doesn't care about her in coming death, but then when you came, it changed. She was happy... very happy with you... You became her life. She loved you more than anything."

Toshiro was startled and did not say anything. It was just quiet. Soon after, Aoi left and it was just Toshiro that was there the whole day.

"I did not know. Gomenasai... Hontou ni Gomenasai Mihasa-chan..." and tears fell from Toshiro's eyes.

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