just in case the rain forgets to wash away your tears

i have a fascinating (an understatement, mind you) day today, which can be summarized into this: spirituality, extraterrestrials and the forces that keep us from moving on with our lives.


i woke up quite early to meet a friend whom i haven't seen for quite a long time for coffee at greenbelt three. still sleepy (i had a late night last night as usual) and hung over, i managed to take a very cold shower, put on my favourite weekend outfit (shorts, shirts, jacket because it might rain again and comfy shoes) and stepped out of the old, creaky building.
outside, it was windy and the streets were still wet from the rains the previous night. it was a pretty quiet morning, without the usual crowd of office workers, businessmen, hawkers and policemen. makati on weekends is a ghost town. abandoned, the tall buildings stood still like unwanted luvers.
i wanted to walk,  god knows i need to exercise (i feel bloated from all the late night eating and drinking).  but i was afraid i might fall asleep while walking and be hit by a car. scary!


i like this friend. always have. he is the older brother that i never had (you see, i was never close to any of my older brothers.). not that he is very old naman.
i met him when i was still a cub reporter covering then president fidel ramos. he is a tad older (two or three years?) than me and he was raised and educated abroad. he reads a lot (philosophy, religion) just like me and always carries a rosary unlike me. needless to say, i look up to him.
he is spiritual and religious. he has this very calm presence, gentle voice, reassuring gaze. overall, he is radiant. must be the inner peace.
i feel peaceful in his presence, to be honest.

i loved listening to his stories including his life in a foreign country while studying in a boarding school. i was fascinated and intrigued by him and his life. i mean, why was he -- a young, talented man educated in ivy league universities who came from an influential family of politicians and businessmen -- working as a reporter for a local newspaper when there were better opportunities waiting for him somewhere else. or why work at all when he could just take it easy and travel the globe. he came from a very old rich family in the south. when i say old rich, their wealth could be traced back to the pre-galleon trade era.
he hasn't changed. he still looks young, with nary a line on his smooth face. he is still vibrant, lean, with full black hair. on the other hand, i have aged. i gained weight. i am losing my hair and the ones that remain are now nearly grey. but he assured me i look good, even better than the last time we saw each other. i believe him. (what choice do i have? he has always been honest.)
he kept on apologising for this very early meeting. i assured him i didn't mind.
then we talked. started to reconnect.


outside it began to rain and i felt nostalgic. of those days, twenty years ago, when we would talk like this while waiting for the press conference in malacanang palace to start or while inside the press bus that would take us to the events attended by the president.
he is still religious, spiritual, prayerful. he meditates a lot.
i like it that in this crazy world, i could talk to someone whose faith in god is unshaken. one who is calm and is not bothered by the rat race or affected by all the ugliness surrounding us.
it was a very enlightening morning and i never regretted waking up early just to catch up with him.
more than the physical exercise, i need to find my center.
my friend somehow helped me to start looking for it.
it's all here somewhere.
i just need to calm and quiet down my inner conflicts.
soon. i will.


in the meantime i need to find a cab to meet another friend. the rain has stopped and there is a bit of sun, still timid, still undecided. oh well.

at lunch, i met up with another friend, this time in a chinese restaurant in malate. he brought along a young and good looking couple (the husband is french, the wife is vietnamese). i like them already, even if we haven't even talked yet.
they were staying at a hotel in makati because the husband was working there ( a five star hotel near glorieta). it was part of his benefits as an executive of the hotel.
how wonderful is that? i blurted out. i always luv staying in hotels. imagine, you don't have to clean, do the laundry, cook food. the surrounding is always luxurious, clean and smells good. i luv putting on the hotel's white robe while having breakfast delivered to my room.
when i told them this, the wife smiled. she said they always get the same reaction.
my friend told me that he invited another friend, a psychic and metaphysics expert.
i luv! i was excited.
at lunch (hainanese chicken and rice, fried fish, veggies) the psychic, who looked young and spoke with a childlike innocence, started rattling off snippets about my life.
i was shocked. he was right on the spot.

"you need to move on. forgive someone. there are a lot of things that have been hidden from you. you are going to travel. a lot of opportunities will come your way after four to five weeks," he said, even if i didn't say or ask him anything.
"you should go back to your parents because they have something important to tell you. an older person, a man, will help you in your life and career. there is a young man, a lover, who is very aggressive. (a potential cruel luver who will only make me cry?). stay away from him."
he said i am at a cross road and could not make a decision. he said i should just wait, be patient because it will come. meaning, i will be able to decide eventually.
he said i should be happy and stop being depressed. (i did not know how he knew. do i really look depressed? do i wear it like a badge?). he said i should start opening up my self to the world. he even gave me a mantra, kind of an amulet, a lucky charm to ward off my negativity.
we were all quiet, a captured audience. captivated.
the psychic kept on talking, this time to the couple. he said the husband must learn to be patient with his staff and that he has to make an important decision soon. to the wife, he said she was torn between family and something else that she wanted to do, including her plans to go back to school. he said she has to move on and focus on the present.
just like me, the couple was amazed. they also did not ask him anything yet i could tell from their reaction that he read them well. that he was right about them too.


then my friend asked about the philippines, the political and economic situation.
the psychic said the country will be affected by what will happen to the united states. he said president obama needs to make an important decision soon to avert a catastrophe (wait, did he just sound like my favourite columnists in the new york times and the economist?).
he added that the american president needs to declare to the world that aliens (yes, the ets in steven spielberg's movies) are already among us and that they are helping us to solve our problems, including those about the economy and the environment. seriously.


i am a jaded person. i am a journalist and it is my job not to believe everything that is being said to me. i need facts and have to double check them.
but somehow, i got the feeling that everything that the psychic said was true.
instead of asking questions, i just let him talk.
time slipped unnoticed.


lastly, he read my fortune using tarot cards.
in his iPad!


inside my friend's car on the way back to makati, i felt peaceful.
somehow a burden has been lifted.
"i like it when it rains," my friend said. "everything looks new, clean."
exactly my thoughts.


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