In the middle of the slightly ecstatic night, the indie band, Peryodiko chanted, Tayo lang nakakaalam, nandoon sa pagitan ng paalam at pahiram. Those lyrics swiftly bludgeoned my giddy mind of something deeply philosophical and rhetorical, that I did not quite grasp easily and quickly at that time. It was too profound, too grievous, for a supposedly light-hearted and fun night. But, for some reason, even after the song has died down, the melancholic verse sauntered around my head. What lies between borrowed and goodbye?
UP is indeed deserving of its wacky nickname, the University of Pila, because even at the Sunken Garden, on a UP Fair week, another queue awaited us, already jammed with mostly young adults, adults, and maybe there are also elders who still felt young at heart. Of course there are couples, but too bad for most, because the queue was split into a male and a female queue. But then, there are the annoyingly lucky couples, like the lesbian couple behind my friends and I, who seemed to mock us with their constant sweet displays of affection. My friends and I, on the other hand, huddled and reacted with hushed, bitter comments, like, “Walang ”forever” or “Shet, ano ba? Magbebreak din kayo.” I think they probably didn’t hear us, but some part of me hoped that they did. Nonetheless, we wished them all the best. Kidding. Wala ngang forever e.
Although I was beyond excited with was coming, there’s still that queasy feeling inside me, because the GC card rule kept flashing before me. Acads before Lakads. Acads before Lakads. Acads before Lakads. But, there I am, a quasi-GC, anticipating a great UP Fair experience, there at Sunken Garden, on a Tuesday evening, joyfully prioritizing the “Lakads” before the “Acads.”
The band, Bisakol, was already playing their groovy tunes when we entered. My friends and I seemed to be quite unsure of where to go and what to do, or maybe I was the only one who did. Everywhere we go, we would bump into couples. Couples here. Couples there, Couple everywhere. Near the main stage, food stalls, book stalls, game stalls, advertisements stalls and condom stalls lined up. Fair rides were also scattered around the area. We decided to eat first. There are amazingly so much delicious food to choose from. And then we played on a couple of stalls, where the prizes were slightly disappointing. I could still remember Ate’s face, who was operating at the Toy Gun stall, who awarded my friend a Pillows snack and a lollipop after perfectly hitting down 12 balloons, grinning somewhat evilly and then claiming, “Just for fuuun.”
We strolled around the area, and then marched down near the stage to listen to the tunes of the bands performing. Most of them were pretty good. Midnight Meetings and Peryodiko are my favorites. We observed that the people pretty much are enjoying the experience, even the ones in solitude, or the ones without partners. And then we rode the massive boat, the Vikings, that swings like a pendulum. It seemed simple at first look, but when we actually rode in there, the experience was extraordinary. We were all shouts and screams and grips and curses.
We decided to sit on the grass eventually, mostly because of exhaustion and the Vikings’ hangover. There are also groups of people sitting around us. We listened to the songs, sometimes shouting replies at some vocalists. My thoughts too, are quite exhausted, that there’s no room anymore for anything else, but feeling the music and well, looking for attractive men. I even forgot to worry about the next day. So this is borrowed time. In the middle of the slightly ecstatic night, the indie band, Peryodiko chanted, Tayo lang nakakaalam nandoon sa pagitan ng paalam at pahiram.
There is a continuum,where the borrowed time and goodbye lie at opposite ends. All time really, is borrowed time. Then there’s this other side of the road that says, “Dead End!” It is not goodbye when that Tuesday night at the UP Fair ended. Borrowed time continues even after the last song of the last band to play has died away. Borrowed time continues. What’s in the middle?