Sarimanok in my Dreams


I’ve dreamt of a man in white clothes with a sarimanok perched on his left shoulder. It was August 2. The day Dad got out of surgery. You see, he had been amputated due to complications in diabetes. I waited for him to come to his senses. The nurses said he shouldn’t be moved for at least a couple of hours. All I did was follow their instructions.

Mom was in Laguna. Kuya just left the hospital to do his duty online. Diko was working in Davao. Ate was living in Cebu.  Sangko was in Cavite. I was the only one left in the family to take care of Dad and my niece, Anchee.

August 14. Twelve days since Dad had surgery. Also, the day before the Davao Writers Workshop application deadline. I sent my 5 poems: 2 Bisaya and 3 English. I haphazardly made the last one so I could comply for the requirements. Abby and Summer already submitted their applications. And to think, I was the one who urged them to apply for it.

It was almost 5pm and I had to go home because Dad’s caregiver’s shift ends at 6pm. I got stuck in traffic. Had to pay her overtime.

August 30. Dad’s caregiver quit. That night, I dreamt of that man in white clothes with a sarimanok again.

September 23. Ate found someone who could do take care of Dad, Kaking. She immediately sent Kaking and her daughter to come to CDO on a ship. I fetched them form the pier.

September 26. My friends from NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang mga Mambabalak sa CDO) met for our preliminary meeting for our next Poetry Night on the 25th of October.

It was also the same day that Sir Steven Fernandez’s Sarimanok was being performed at the XU Gym.

That night, I dreamt of that man in white clothes with a sarimanok again.

September 27. Abby and I just watched The Xavier Stage’s production of 10 Little Indians – a stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It was a whodunit stage thriller. It gave me chills.

Upon going home, I had this nagging feeling that I had to check my email, but I chose not to because I just really wanted to go home immediately.

At 11pm, both Abby and Summer asked me if I’ve checked my email. Why would they even ask me… Damn it, I should’ve trusted my instincts. It’s about the workshop.

September 28. I finally got to check my email! And I got in!

October 14. Kaking had to go back to Cebu, which meant I had to look for another caregiver for my dad. 13 days away from the workshop and this happened. That night, I dreamt of that man in white clothes with a sarimanok again.

October 23. My sister and I still haven’t found anyone who could take care of dad when I get to Davao. I was this close to not going to Davao. Good thing I talked to our stay-out house help and she agreed to the temporary situation.

October 25. Poetry Night!

October 26. 11:30pm. Abby and I took a nonstop bus ride to Davao via Buda (shorthand for Bukidnon-Davao route)

October 27. 7am. We finally reached Lispher Inn. The venue for this year’s Davao Writers Workshop.

October 28. The dream became reality.

. dww

See this photo? You see, from where I was sitting, Sir John (the man wearing white in the photo) looked like he had a sarimanok on his shoulders.

I’ve had a lot of dreams that became real. But I guess this one is very much special because I really thought, in the pit of my gut, that I couldn’t go and experience the workshop. What with all the shit that happened to me. Murphy’s Law was a bitch.

But I like to believe that in order to beat Murphy’s Law, we have to be relentless.


About le miss loudmouth

Mai Santillan is a freelance content writer born and raised in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. She, along with her friends from Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, founded NAGMAC (Nagkahiusang Mambabalak sa CDO) or loosely translated as United Poets of CDO. Once every two months, they organize CDO Poetry Night. She was a fellow of the 2014 Davao Writers Workshop. In her spare time, she hangs out in milk tea and coffee shops alone and eavesdrops on strangers hoping to write her next play.

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