It's a week after the twelfth of June, the day that was full of twists and turns. It was supposedly a day of celebration that turned out to be a day of broken dreams & promises and misery. It was my birthday, but I didn't feel it. Maybe because of the thought that the very person that I'm expecting to make that day special forgot about it. I don't feel like going out really, if its not because of the planned outing. Anyway, so much for that.
Few weeks back, my family and I, with some good friends, were planning to go outing and swimming in the newly opened resort in my hometown which is just a kilometer away from my rural abode but due to conflicting schedules, my father decided to postponed it until we finally arrived at a decision to do it on the 12th which I definitely agreed onto because it's my birthday. For the Resort's reputation-sake I'm not going to mention it here.
Here comes Saturday, June 11 of 2011. My Aunt's husband decided to perform the "palakat" thing on my Aunt's tummy in the following day. "Palakat" is a Maguindanaon tradition/practices whereby a first-time pregnant woman during her 7th month of pregnancy is assisted by a traditional "manghihilot" or therapist into a ritual where a pregnant woman undergo a beautification process first (as I call it) by putting lipstick on her, shaving her brows into shape and the like before the "manghihilot" will finally do her things on the pregnant woman's tummy. This activity should be done in a celebration-like where kins/relatives are invited for a small gathering and feast. All these are due to the belief that this activity will make the delivery of the baby safe and that she will have more in life after she will be born into this world. Surprisingly, in this modern world there are some who still hold-on to those traditions, especially my dearest grandmother who initiated all of those things. Just to make my Aunt (who is pregnant after 8 solid years of wait) feeling-not-alone in this special day of her life, we decided to stay until noon-time so that we can't break our promise with the people waiting for us there on the other side.
But it was already afternoon, I'm surprised that Dad don't even bother to remind me about it. I asked my mom if we will pursue, I got this obvious answer that "we better not to" because of the unfavorable weather. From then, I also stop and focus on helping my cousins in cleaning stuffs that was brought by the small gathering.
On the other side, I disappoint my relatives because of our no-appearance. But it didn't stop them from going, and just to satisfy the long wait they pursue and called it a night-swimming. Though it is not offered in the resort due to security reasons and it's already dark, they still got what they heart longs for. So they swim & swim and laugh & laugh at the top of their lungs. Up to the point that they didn't notice the floating bodies of two female kids in the water pool, breathless and helpless. Accordingly when they came to notice it, they rushed and picked them up, offered the first aid that they knew and they could. Good Lord, one of the kids recovered and brought to life again, while the other one was rushed to the hospital but was declared DEAD ON ARRIVAL.
Every body was shocked and feels like dreaming. Even us who were not present in the happening and were just updated through texts feels like crying and blaming ourselves. At some point, I want to blame the people that was with the kids on how could they afford to be irresponsible in taking care of the kids who were just 4-6 years old and on how they wasn't able to predict things such as this.
The worst thing is, the news about the death of the child was roaming around the town, And their favorite intro or should I say reason/cause is it was during the celebration of MY BIRTHDAY. I lived 24 years of this life without putting an emphasis on my birthday,neither I celebrated it that big. So how come that everytime they talk about it it was associated with my birthday? But as of now, I'm taking the blame though I'm not admitting it. I don't know how to clear things out when it is already set-up in people's mind. Though I'm a firm believer of "everything happens for a reason" and when it's already your time on earth, no one can stop it from happening. Besides, another twist was that, according to my folks' stories, the mother of the drowned kid promised when she was still alive that if she die first before her children she'll come and get them so that people cannot hurt them. To give a little spice to the story, the mother of the child died on a street accident along with her two (2) younger brothers last 2010, the drowned kid and her teenager cousin were the only survivors. But now, the kid was also gone. Tragedy as they call it but I also believed that maybe Allah just answered the mother's prayer and promised to herself. It's such a touching story with a heartbreaking end. Another proof of mother's great love for their children. Right now, as I write this, I cannot help but to be sadden and cry. From now on, I think every June 12 of my life will never be the same again. It will just remind me of that tragic celebration of my birthday.