When I smile like this, I see my 5 year old self who is sincerely happy when she has her Barbie and Polly Pocket by her side. Fast forward to 20 years, happiness becomes fleeting and much harder to achieve.
It's a beautiful chapel standing in the middle of a bustling business district. That's why when you arrive a couple of minutes before the Mass begins, don't expect to get a good seat. Chances are all the good ones are taken and those at the side and the rear are already getting filled. But not tonight. Shortly after the rosary, we saw a small space for one person on the second row. A closer look, and the people seated only needed to move a little more to give way for two more persons. So my friend and I thankfully took best seats for the Mass. You'll never know when you'll be lucky. Or for a better term, blessed. Thank you Lord for tonight.
I remember somebody wrote, "...the sound of a million hearts breaking." It was the day Manny Pacquiao lost to Floyd Mayweather Junior. Almost everyone was in pain. It was like the feeling of losing somebody. Arguably, many felt boxing, as a sport, just died. So it was "...the sound of a million hearts breaking" that would open our program for the night. But one person pointed out that it wasn't a good one. He asked, "What is the sound of a million hearts breaking?" Have you heard a heart breaking? Today, I did. I entered the control room feeling something cracking in my chest. It was like a glass that was pounded heavily for so long and for many times that something just wanted to crack open and shatter into pieces. It was the last day of my mentor in the office. And you know when somebody leaves, the place -- the environment and how everything feels -- will never be the same again. I sat in the producer's chair and logged in to my account. Our anchor sat down in the studio desk and fixed herself. Everything looked the same. As the opening music played, I did not hear the line "the sound of a million hearts breaking." But I heard a heart -- or hearts-- breaking. Those hearts knew that this newscast and this day wasn't exactly the same. Somebody's leaving. The one who taught us how to do THIS is leaving. A quarter of an hour passed. Just as I was about to add up something to a script, I felt a hand on my shoulder. As I looked, he said, "Aalis na ko." He kissed my forehead. I momentarily put my headset down and hugged him. After all, I would not be wearing that headset and would not be seated in the producer's chair if not for him. My colleagues and I took so many pictures with him through the day. But I felt I didn't have enough, and this time was different. My mentor was with me in the control room neither to man nor to give instructions. Not even to guide. But to say goodbye. So I took my nth picture with him for the day. He bade goodbye to another colleague and friend. He bade farewell to the team. Then he left. There was not a tear while goodbyes were being said. But once he stepped out, the lump in my throat seemed to have traveled to my eyes in a way I couldn't explain and understand. I was no longer watching our show and hearing the voice of our anchor. I was only remembering the four years that we spent with him. How he taught us, guided us, defended us, and believed in us. How he pushed us higher when all we wanted was to just sit around the corner. It was painful. I went out of the control room. Many were also in tears in the desk area. It was difficult to carry on a show when all you wanted was to stop the world and bring everything back to what it was once. But you know too well that 1) You couldn't end the show just yet and 2) You couldn't stop the world and bring back the past. So it was the sound of hearts breaking. The sound of goodbyes and wishes that wouldn't just come true. The sound of uncertainties and fears of how the coming days would feel and look like. The sound of people leaving and places that wouldn't ever be the same again.