Friday, December 17, 2004

A Hero's Funeral. (Flashback VI)

Episode for Dec 16, 2004, Thursday. Lawiswis waited with trepidation; it had been a whole day since Dakila and Bagwis left them, and she feared the worst. Through her Pagaspas voiced his concerns and also predicted ill tidings. Wis wanted to move on and follow their elders. Mayi was holding Gus in her hands, and said, “They left us here. We should wait for them or we’d miss them when they come back to look for us.” Just then, the two Mulawin returned. “Well, what happened?” the others asked. Neither of them quite knew how to break the news. But their silence said it all. Then the group trooped down to where lay Aguiluz’s remains. Lawiswis ran to Alwina’s arms in a tearful reunion. She recognized Gabriel – so this was the stranger Mayi’s friends had told her about. But things had changed much since the children had last seen Alwina. “What happened to Pagaspas?” she asked, and they promised to explain it to her in time. In the darkness, she could just make out the form of two Ravena with their blood-red feathers, standing among the Musang. “Ravena!” Alwina shouted. “No!” cried Mayi. “Don’t attack them! We’ll explain that to you too.” It was all perhaps, too much too soon for her scrambled mind. The reality of Aguiluz’s death had barely sunk in, now these? It is often said that parents could never resist their children when the latter are in need. Now Yolly was about to find out whether this was true or not. She despised Savannah’s conduct just as much as everyone else did; perhaps, even more so. But she was still her daughter after all. On one hand, Yolly did not wish to be traitor to those who were risking their lives for the sake of freedom. Yet on the other hand, she could not refuse aid to her child and permit her to suffer. She had refused to say anything to the soldiers earlier. But now Yolly would loosen her tongue a little. “I wonder if I’m doing the right thing,” she thought as she crept out of the women’s cell. By coincidence, Savannah was outside the mansion contemplating her fate when Yolly arrived. Mother and daughter hastily exchanged words. “I have something important to tell you,” said the elder woman. “Say it quick,” the girl told her. Yolly did not know much in the first place, so it was only general information she could give. “There’s a movement going on,” she began. “They caused the explosion in the storeroom. They’re planning something against you Ravena.” It was not very informative, but enough to give Savannah a new “revelation.” She made all haste and fed the details to the Ravena soldiers, claiming she had had a premonition. However she met with some skepticism, so the girl showed them the trap-door she had discovered. Savannah knocked on it with her foot to demonstrate that it was hollow. Lucio and the rebels were there underground at that moment. Rudy locked the door with a metal bar thus barring all efforts to open it. They waited fearfully as Savannah pushed and pulled in vain and argued with the sentries. “I have to go back to my post,” the soldier next to her said. “King Rasmus may return and he’ll catch me.” “Hey, aren’t you going to help me here?” she said. “What did you find there when you went down?” “Nothing.” “So you didn’t find anything! What’s the point?!” So the troopers abandoned their search for the rebels and went back to their stations. After some time, Savannah also tired of it and went to her old house instead. She brought much good food to her mother there. Yolly’s mouth watered; she had not seen such good stuff in a long time. “Go on and eat, it's okay,” Savannah told her. She said it as if to remind her own mother who was in charge. “Now you need to get more information from them. You’d do well to make them think they can trust you. Ask them what they’re planning. Then report back to me. Is that all right with you?” Yolly’s appetite waned somewhat. She was dealing with the devil now, and demons never grant favors for nothing. Meanwhile, Lucio and Lourdes led their group out of the mansion. Only one drowsy sentry was there at the exit. Lucio hit him with a solid right Lourdes then bludgeoned him with a pipe. The guard crumpled to the ground. As the Ravena monarchs skimmed the cool evening air on the way to Avila, Rasmus spotted a tiny figure deep in the forest below. It was none other than Lawiswis. Oooohhh, the stains on his claws had not yet dried, and here the king was smelling blood again! “I know that little snip!” he said out loud. “Hmm, since it seems to be my lucky day, I may as well go after this one! Get ready, you mouse!” But Vultra was to shy away again from violence. She glanced from him to the child and back again at Rasmus. “I thought we were supposed to go to Ravenum,” she said. “It’s enough to kill one Mulawin for the day.” Rasmus looked at her. “Since when did we put a limit on the number of Mulawin we kill?” he replied. “Isn’t she one of Aguiluz’s friends? She might as well follow him! We have to kill all the Mulawin and their allies! ” “But what could a little child do?” argued the queen. “She’d never be able to do anything. Don’t waste your energy on that, Rasmus.” He heaved a sigh. As usual, the lady won. “Fine!” he said. “Let’s go.” They arrived at the steep heights of Avila early next day. After his triumph, Rasmus now hoped to regain some of his lord’s favor. Beaming, he reported that he had slain the best and bravest of the Mulawin warriors. Ravenum was very pleased. “Aguiluz’s death has crippled them now,” he said. “Perhaps it is time for you to reappoint me as Army Chief,” Rasmus suggested, perhaps too quickly. “Habagat is now even worse than our inutile troops.” “Habagat has been useless to me for me for sometime now,” Ravenum told him. “I think Habagat should be informed of my reinstatement. I want it to come from you yourself… Father Ravenum.” But Ravenum would have none of it. “I know what I must do, Rasmus,” he said. “Do not be presumptuous!" Rasmus gulped and meekly apologized. "Pardon me, Father Ravenum." Habagat continued to lose the confidence of his inferiors. Hasik chatted loudly with his fellow soldiers about the latest happenings. He meant to be overheard if only to see their chief’s reaction. Hasik: “Hey, guys, check this out. There’s word going ‘round that those bird-men around here are Perico, not Mulawin! What’s more, Tuka and Kuwak have been kidnapped! But here’s what’s really alarming. The slaves are planning a revolt! Those lowlanders are learning to make trouble!” He waited for their commander’s reaction. None. “Hey, Habagat, are you even there?” he asked. The former Mulawin was right in front of him. “Huh? Yes, of course. That’s alarming.” “Well, what do you want us to do about it?” “Go and find out who’s behind it,” he ordered lamely. “Aren’t you going to lead the search?” Habagat darted his sharp eyes at Hasik. Hasik had a tough mouth, but that was all he really had. “Shut up, will you?” he told the officer. There was a pair of dummies used for target-practice nearby. Habagat went over, and with a sweeping motion knocked them down with his axe. Looking for a way to alleviate Alwina’s pain, Gabriel struck up a conversation about Gus and Wis. Alwina’s ear was deaf to his words, however, so Gabriel politely excused himself. It seemed that Alwina never heard him; she could hear Aguiluz’s flute playing. She ran to where the sounds where coming from, and found Lawiswis standing beside Aguiluz’s lifeless body. It was she who had been blowing upon the flute. “It touches me to know that you never forgot the music I taught you,” Wis told him. Now it was time to consider the funeral arrangements. “This talk is not for children,” Bagwis told Lawiswis. “Go on and leave it to us. Don’t be stubborn.” He had forgotten that Wis and Gus were children only by virtue of the crystal-fragments. “You’re going to talk about Aguiluz,” said the girl. “He was our friend so we deserve to know.” So Dakila acquiesced and began to speak. “I will tell you something about Aguiluz…” He had been but a boy when his father was slain in the lien of duty. As the flames of his funeral pyre leaped up to hide Aguilar from sight, Dakila paid tribute to him. “He was a brave warrior who died fighting for the good,” he told the child, Aguiluz. “Then why is he being burned?” asked the child. “Because it is the tradition handed down to us by our ancestors,” Dakila answered. “This custom is reserved only for the noblest of our heroes.” The fire burnt up the corpse to ashes; smoke went up into the air like spirit ascending to heaven. Then Aguiluz dreamed as boys do: “When I grow up, I want to become just like Father who gave his life for others, a brave warrior, and defender of the oppressed.” Ever since then, Aguiluz had devoted himself to the diligent acquisition of all the skills a Mulawin warrior was expected to have. His memory of his father dimmed until none was left, but the impression made on him by Aguilar’s heroism never faded. Under the tutelage of Bagwis, he practised his aim with the bow and arrow. He would later be his mentor’s equal with the quarterstaff as well, and the spear and sword. Aguiluz emerged as the best, noblest and most promising soldier in their ranks. Yet, Aguiluz had not been just a warrior, but a son to his tutors, a friend to other young Mulawin, an accomplished musician who would later serenade the heroine Alwina with his flute. Lawiswis had given it to him when they were young, and it was from her he learnt the skill of flute-playing. She taught him a haunting tune that would later become his signature-song. But above all, he had been the heroine Alwina’s protector, who spent his whole life in the faithful discharge of his duty. The grieving fellowship built the warrior’s funeral pyre that night. Bagwis lit the pile as Tuka held back Lawiswis. She wept loudly, while Pagaspas mourned without a sound. Nothing more was spoken; in their hearts each bade a silent farewell to the fallen hero. Aguiluz himself lay as if in peaceful sleep as the flames rose up to devour his noble frame. That was the funeral of Aguiluz – brave soldier, good son, loyal friend, and best beloved.
 

4 Comments:

Blogger moderator said...

south- yah i read ur pm ..thanks sa suggestion mo dont worry d ko tell all the spoilers..:)

u know na pala yung meaning pmrc hahaha:) yah were happy for that..tomorow will be in premiere nyt of sigaw ..hope here in blog can watch it :)

12/17/2004 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger moderator said...

south-i have a pm in u in pex hope u read ..

dont worry i will post pix on january 5.. from taping of mulawin :)

12/18/2004 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger streetstopper said...

moderator:

are you that busy that you got your scheds fixed all the way to january next year? LOL!

you take care and have a wonderful christmas vacation!

12/18/2004 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger moderator said...

my gosh were so happy the premier of sigaw super dooper ganda promise :)

yah im too busy kaya d ko masyado mapost ang pix here pala ang mga pix during the sigaw premier :)

http://tinypic.com/xwuid

http://tinypic.com/xwuo3

12/20/2004 11:21:00 AM  

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