“Huhuhu, Rudy, niadtong buhi kapa, mo kaligo 'ta sa dagat, mo lingkod ko sa bato, mo ingon ko ka nako: ‘Gloria, mura ka'g si Ms. Universe,’ huhuhuhuhu...”heart-rending cries from a widowed wife heavy with a child of four months and a newly weaned daughter, donned all in black and a veil covering all her pains, sufferings and despair; the young widow is a picture of destitute and sorrow.
This image of death was in 1968. The dead husband suffered from a ruptured appendix and was a resident of an island town where basic commodities were scarce, much more of medical services.

Before Rudy's wake was transported back to his home town, his first vigil was celebrated in his father's house with rounds of 'bahal nga tuba' and a game of 'kulasisi' in between. Yes, death is inevitable. It is the great equalizer. It transcends race, gender, religion and culture.

We celebrate death as we do with life and every happenings. Most of us would never entertain the thought of dealing with death much less going thru it. We all wanted to go to heaven but we seem to deny undergoing it.

Death is real. And sometimes life is an illusion. If we live with our past, we become depressed. Much more, we become anxious if we think of our future.

If we all live with our present and be at peace with ourselves, then our world is far much better.

How do we celebrate the lives of our departed? Are the beautiful lighted candles enough? Or the thousand novenas could suffice? Could the painted and beautifully manicured niches satiate their abandoned souls.

For whom are these banal and religious offerings? Are they for our dead or for us, the living? So as we will not be judged as ingrates and uncaring relatives. We bury our own dead. We carry their burden until we become numbed. . . and what is left but bittersweet memories.

The living move forward - either in denial or acceptance. Or whatever we believe that the soul is eternal and comes in another lifetime.

Yes, life and death are both real! One is acceptable, the other is always possible. These truths are not a debate between the chicken and the egg. Neither between reality and fantasy. This is just a matter of a long journey. . . until we arrive at our chosen destiny.

We fasten our seatbelts no matter how long or short the distance we travel. We either kick the bucket, eat the dust or bite a bullet. Still, we always write thirty!

There are five hundred million ways to die. Sleep well until the Sandman knocks on your doorS.(CJ/UN/jmm)
Bisaya: Pangandoy
English Translation: Lamentation
Bisaya: Bahal nga Tuba
English Translation: Aged Coconut Wine
Bisaya: “Kulasisi”
Definition/Description: ‘Kulasisi' is a game of courtship performed by dance, siday or luwa (spoken poetry). It is joined by as many participants as would like. An ‘it’ will initiate the game. An object is passed around while a chosen song is sang.

The next “it” will take over when the object is at his hands at the time the chosen song ends. The game continues! “Kulasisi,” is performed only during the wake of a departed.

“Huhuhu, Rudy, niadtong buhi kapa, mo kaligo 'ta sa dagat, mo lingkod ko sa bato, mo ingon ko ka nako: ‘Gloria, mura ka'g si Ms. Universe,’ huhuhuhuhu...”

English Translation:
“(Cries), Rudy, when you were alive, we bath at sea, I would seat on a rock and you tell me: ‘Gloria, you’re like Ms. Universe,’ (Cries)”

-, November 15, 2023

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The Calbayog Journal (also known as CJ)
is an on-line news service covering Eastern Visayas area.
CJ aims to offer unbiased coverage of the people and events in Eastern Visayas.

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