Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Conduct Unbecoming.

Episode for Jan 17, 2005, Monday.
It was a small world for Gabriel, too small. However he tried to escape his former life, fate steered him toward it again and again. In one day, he would meet three personalities from the past he had vowed to leave behind. After the unhappy accident of meeting Savannah at the beach, Gabriel passed by a store to buy some goods. The owner of that store – as one would expect in such a small world – happened to be Meding. “Say, aren’t you that fellow staying with Ka Doroy?” she asked. “Such a handsome lad you are! What a coincidence. I also have a stranger staying with me. She’s pretty and single. I’ll introduce you to her.” The woman called out, “Hey, Savannah! Come over here!” At that, Gabriel hurriedly turned his back on her and bumped into another man standing by. It was Terong, who had wandered into Santiago after quitting the Taguba camp. Gabriel’s eyes brightened. “Terong!” he said. He bustled his old friend out of that place, not wishing to meet Savannah again. She arrived just soon enough to see them walking away in the distance. Forgetting her kind host, Savannah went after them in stealth. On the way back to the shore, Gabriel recounted his adventures to Terong. “That bird-man lied to me,” he remarked. “He told me I’m a Sugo and everything. But it’s all just because of that binhi I swallowed.” “You mean your wounds heal on their own just because of that?” asked Terong. Gabriel looked uncertain, but he said, “I guess so. Now, just remember this. Act as if you don’t know me when we’re in front of Ka Doroy.” “Why?” “I don’t want a lot of questions. I just want to start all over and forget my past.” In a humble but sunny dwelling in Avila, Lourdes was nursing Veronica’s wounds. “You’re still the caring old friend I remember, Lourdes,” the latter remarked. “But are you the Veronica I remember?” Lourdes asked as she dressed the wounds. “I’m sorry, but after all the things that have happened, I still find it hard to believe.” Veronica turned to look at her. “Yes, it really is me, Lourdes. I’m your friend.” Lourdes paused. “But now that your memory has returned, I don’t know if you can forgive me,” she said. “Why? What did you do?” She had come to the dim and dusky realm of Halconia to ransom Veronica. Lourdes showed Rasmus a large black plume and told him, “I’ll give you back your ugatpak in exchange for Veronica. If not, I will burn it.” “No!” Rasmus said hastily. “Here, I have something else to offer you.” He showed her a small leather pouch and took out a shining green seed from it. “Magical things, green binhi for your beloved Bagwis,” he told her. “What will I do with that binhi?” she asked angrily. “I came here for Veronica, not that!” But Rasmus was shrewd. “You can ransom Veronica, but for what?” he argued. “So she can get back together with Bagwis? Bagwis is useless without his sight, Lourdes. Use the binhi to heal him and he will love you forever.” Veronica grasped the bars of her cage and cried, “No, Lourdes! I’m the one Bagwis loves! Ransom me, not the binhi!” “Take the binhi and live happily ever after with Bagwis,” Rasmus insisted. Lourdes stretched out her hand. “Give me the binhi,” she answered. Rasmus placed the binhi in her hand, and from her other hand, he retrieved his precious ugatpak. As soon as he had reattached it to his spine, he told her, “Get out of here now… before I change my mind!” Then Lourdes turned away, leaving the prisoner to her doom. As she walked away, Veronica’s plaintive cries stirred the evening air and pierced her heart. Those helpless cries would echo in Lourdes’ mind and haunt her for the remainder of her life. “I chose them instead of your freedom,” Lourdes concluded. “I hope you can forgive me.” But it was not an issue for Veronica. “I understand that now,” she told Lourdes. “I’m the one who should go down on my knees and ask your forgiveness for everything I have done. Even then, I know it would be hard for you all to trust me, especially Alwina.” The bird-man who had been responsible for all that was just then making plans with Aramis the hunter. Only recently he had confessed supreme love for a woman and begged forgiveness for his wrongdoing. Now, Rasmus was back to his old business, bent on more wrongdoing than before. Aramis was not keen on the idea of returning to Avila. “You know what happened to me the last time you sent me there,” he said. “How was I to know that that would happen?” Rasmus snapped. “You, someone who has unusual power, beaten by the song of a petty little bird!” “What makes you so sure I will do as you tell me to?” asked Aramis. Rasmus’ eyes burned into his. “Because you owe me a huge debt,” he replied, “and you have yet to pay me.” Alwina had gone to the Mulawin tree to sulk on her own. On the way to that foggy area, she met Aviona, and the two warrior-maidens greeted each other as two long-lost friends do. Alwina then went to the foot of the tree and spoke to Aguiluz. “She may be my mother,” she said. “But when I look at her, I see only Vultra. Am I such a bad person now? If only you were here, Aguiluz!” Aguiluz answered her, but Alwina never heard him. He reached out to touch her, but in vain. This was painfully reminiscent of those early days in Tierra Fuego, when he could watch over her only from afar and could not make himself known. “You still miss Aguiluz, don’t you?” Aviona said. “Long before you lost him, I already lost him. So I’ve had more time to come to terms with it than you.” “I’ll never have anyone in my heart except him,” Alwina told her. “Don’t say that,” the other girl told her. “If you open your heart, it can love again.” But Alwina was inconsolable. Aviona was more optimistic now, and later went out to gather fruits with some companions. As fruits fell rolling to the forest-floor, a man came to pick one up. It was Aramis. “You want this?” he said. That brought a very, very pretty smile on her face. Veronica was sitting by herself outside Lourdes’ house when Bagwis came to pay a visit. She greeted him with a smile, but her eyes were sad. “I just want to know how you’re doing,” he told her. “Well, here,” she said, “I really can’t mix with the people that much. It feels like they know who I am.” Bagwis gave her a reassuring pat and said, “Veronica, nobody here knows you!” “Maybe they don’t know. But I know, Bagwis. I know who I used to be and what I did.” The warrior touched her gently and answered in a kind tone, “Give yourself time. One day, you will see the same woman that I see: the woman I love most.” Lourdes came walking in from behind the house and saw them in an embrace. Without making her presence felt, she stole back into the house. Later, Veronica began to ply her with questions regarding Alwina’s likes and dislikes. “Why don’t you ask her yourself?” replied her friend. Veronica sighed, “Because I’ve noticed that she’s avoiding me.” “Well, then, make a way so that she can’t avoid you,” Lourdes said with a smile, handing her some dessert. Veronica carried this food with her to where Alwina was. Of course, the gates had been opened and anyone could enter. The mother hesitated, and then said, “I brought you some food.” “No thanks, I’m not hungry,” replied Alwina with her back to Veronica. “Don’t worry. It’s not poisoned.” Alwina turned around to face her. It hurt Veronica to look into those remote eyes. “How can you make a joke like that about our past?” Alwina asked. “Do you think that’s funny?” “I just want to forget the past…” “No,” the youngster snapped. “It’s not so easy to forget the past and your sins. You can’t dismiss it with a little food or a joke. I don’t know if I can accept you as a friend. And I certainly don’t know if I can accept you as my true mother.” Gabriel’s bad luck had not run out, it seemed. Now he wanted to start over and live anonymously in this nice fishing village. But, perhaps, destiny had something else in store for him, and thus allowed Savannah to foil his plans. “How can you two friends deny it?” she asked. “Don’t you know that the Ravena burned your mansion, Gabriel? And your father. They don’t even know yet if he’s dead or alive!” Ka Doroy had been listening to their conversation. “You there!” he said, walking over to them. “This girl here knows you, Gabriel. You lied to me. I told you: I had only one condition, that you must not lie to me. But you did. You’re fired, Gabriel. Get out of my house, and take your old friend here with you!” Thanks a lot, Savannah. Bitch! So the young men had to abandon their fishing boat and leave the town. Savannah was still following them. They retired back to the woods with Gabriel steadily leading the way. He knew where he was going, and Terong had an idea too. “I know this way,” he said in a whining tone. “Why do you want to go back here? That bird could turn us to stone again!” “That bird is gone,” Gabriel assured him. “Look, you heard what Savannah said. There’s nothing left for us to go back to in Tierra Fuego. I just want to forget it all and start anew.” Terong was struck by the change in his young master. “You want to forget everything?” he asked. “Including your loved ones? Even Alwina? Gabriel, you’re the one who taught me to face up to life’s problems instead of running away from them.” Bagwis came again later that day and saw Veronica weeping like a child. “Why are you crying?” he asked. “Oh, it’s nothing, never mind,” she said, wiping her eyes. “It’s Alwina,” Lourdes told him, and narrated what had transpired earlier. “Let her be,” Veronica said to them. “I understand why she’s treating me like this. Can you blame her?” Bagwis retained his calm. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I will talk to her.” So he went to the Mulawin tree and gently reproved Alwina, saying, “Why did you say those things you said to Veronica?” Alwina’s ears smoked like a chimney at this. “Why are you taking her side?” she asked. “I’m the bad one now? How can you expect me to trust her?” And her father said, “There are things deeper than trust. Such as love. I love Veronica, and you are the fruit of that love. Alwina, you can disown everything and everyone. But not the one to whom you owe your life.” Dakila had called the people to assembly. Rosing and the other lowlanders had feared he could be sending them home now, when they no longer had any. They cheered for him when he appeared, and he said: “Do not cheer for me but for yourselves. Because of you, Avila has regained its freedom. Now, I have heard that many of you lost loved ones during the battle. To show you our gratitude, and as a symbol of unity between our kind and yours, I am inviting you to live here with us Mulawin. I am opening the doors of Avila to you!” This announcement met with rounds of applause. But Habagat felt a stinging sensation in his skin beneath his armor. The other Mulawin were shunning him like a disease. “Give them time,” Mulagat said. “They’ll forgive you eventually.” “It’s not that,” Habagat replied. “I know it’s hard to forgive others. But the hardest thing is to forgive oneself.” Veronica would have understood that perfectly. “I sense dark clouds coming this way,” Aguiluz confessed to Salimbay. “But they’re not coming for the tree. They’re coming for my loved ones! If you’re right and my powers are unfolding, then this isn’t some hunch I’m having. It’s real. Something bad is going to happen to Alwina.” She again insisted that Alwina was no longer his charge. But even as they were speaking, Alwina sensed impending trouble on her own. Someone had arrived. “Who goes there?” she called out, ready to strike. The figure of a man stumbled into her presence and Alwina brought him down with her new-found powers. When he gathered himself up again, Alwina recognized Gabriel.


Blogger South Rock said...

My apologies to the admin who posted that commentary on the Kapuso blog. I couldn't resist using the same title... :)

1/18/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger streetstopper said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/19/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger streetstopper said...

hahaha SR!

no need for apologies.

in fact, personally, i was flattered that you chose the same title.

i guess the title fits well most especially with alwina. maybe she is giving savana a run for her money.

who knows, she might even get an award for being and acting like a bitch LOL!

1/19/2005 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger South Rock said...

Yep, she's getting annoying! Gabriel shows more sense. He doesn't despise his stepmother anymore. I think having to face the same ordeal - being a Ravena - has made him sympathetic.

I had a hard time thinking of another title since that episode didn't have a lot of action in it. But I liked that commentary. I wasn't sure who wrote it... you or QD.

And thanks for your email! :) I've been looking for it for sometime now.

Good day!

1/20/2005 07:41:00 AM  

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