The Philippine Star

Love Let­ters from rody

- BUTCH DALISAY Email me at jose@dalisay.ph and visit my blog at www. pen­manila.ph. Bloggers · Internet Celebrities · Celebrities · United States of America · San Diego · Edgar Allan Poe · God · United States Navy · Mona Lisa · Mona Lisa

T(Con­clu­sion) wo Mon­days ago, I fea­tured the first of two type­writ­ten love let­ters that I had found, folded and un­sent, be­tween the pages of an old book from the 1950s that I re­cently bought. As I men­tioned then, I felt em­bar­rassed to sud­denly be­come privy to some­one else’s most per­sonal dis­plays of af­fec­tion, but was at the same time trans­fixed by the lit­er­ary qual­i­ties of the writer’s prose.

I’m aware that back then, it wasn’t un­heard of to em­ploy tem­plates — form love let­ters com­mis­sioned and sold in books by en­ter­pris­ing pub­lish­ers to help ver­bally-chal­lenged Romeos along. Some­where in my col­lec­tion is one such book, from the early 1900s and in pro­fusely or­nateTa­ga­log,of­fer­inglet­ters­forevery­pos­si­ble oc­ca­sion along the courtship time­line — in­clud­ing a let­ter to the girl’s par­ents, im­plor­ing their tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing. By the 1950s and 1960s — as I re­call from my sor­ties to the book­shops and news­stands along Avenida Rizal — these were avail­able in English (thank­fully I felt no need to re­sort to them, although my ver­sions prob­a­bly made their re­cip­i­ents cringe).

Our present suitor, who signs his name “Rody,” clearly dipped into his own trove of metaphors in ad­dress­ing his un­named beloved, with such choice pas­sages as “rich jew­els in an Ethiop’s ear.” From this sec­ond let­ter, we can di­vine that he had gone to col­lege to study Medicine, had been con­fined at the hos­pi­tal where his beloved worked and nursed him back to health, only to af­flict him with a fa­tal pas­sion; in de­spair over fail­ing his school ex­ams and hear­ing noth­ing from her (de­spite which he takes her si­lence for love), he joins the US Navy, and is now on the eve of sail­ing for San Diego (where, iron­i­cally, this col­umn is be­ing writ­ten, on our an­nual visit to our daugh­ter Demi). Let’s hear it from Rody, and pray that who­ever he (and she) was, he found love and peace in his later life. Dear --------------, It has been a long time since my last let­ter and the urge in me to write you is at its top­most height. Your lengthy si­lence is an in­duce­ment for me to break the ice — that si­lence made me jump to the con­clu­sion that — you love me.

I am the hap­pi­est guy nowa­days in the whole wide world. No poet can best ex­press in words the joy and bliss deep in my heart. Not even the im­mor­tal Al­lan Poe who can speak to the crags of the sea.

You are the only girl I cared for and you knew that even from the very start. You are the girl who can make the torch of my life burn bright with clear and un­end­ing light. You are the only girl who can walk straight with me through this vale of tears.

Although it is de­spi­ca­ble and un­be­com­ing for me, I can­not help but be hum­ble and con­fide in you my down­fall. I vowed never to let you in on my se­cret but vows can never be sealed for life and vows are made to be bro­ken. Be­sides many say that sin­cer­ity is truth. Now have this: I in­curred fail­ures the last se­mes­ter and am de­barred from the Col­lege of Medicine.

There re­ally is no one to blame but me. I wasted a lot of time on non­sen­si­cal things that I never had a minute to de­vote to my stud­ies. Time is pre­cious for med­i­cal stu­dents and that I know. I was not a con­sci­en­tious stu­dent and can never be one. Once I said to my­self: you won’t make a good doc­tor any­way, so why bother to be one?

Af­ter the in­evitable thing hap­pened I be­came des­per­ate and dis­gusted with life. I be­gan to com­plain to the heav­ens why life was treat­ing me this way. I felt the urge of end­ing my life, but con­so­la­tion came in the nick of time and only then I knew that God was with me. That con­so­la­tion was in the form of si­lence and the si­lence meant you love me.

You gave me hope amidst my tears and mis­ery. You nursed my ill­ness and brought me back to life. Now I feel a new light guid­ing me back to life. Only now I know that God is my co-pi­lot.

I have no more in­ter­est to pur­sue my stud­ies. I no longer have the ap­petite to swal­low the hec­tic life of a col­lege stu­dent. I got my fill of stud­ies that I joined the United States Navy.

Our ship is leav­ing for San Diego by next month to this date. The bea­con of the Navy is timely but sad. I miss you more than any­thing else. I will miss that comely look and that Mona Lisa smile. But bear in mind that you will al­ways be the girl I love.

I long to talk to you and bid you good-bye but time is stingy and never gave me a chance. Last Sun­day I in­tended to visit you at the Nurses’ Home and dis­cuss with you mat­ters at hand but you were on duty. I can make it this Sun­day, will you be off by then? I hope this let­ter will reach you be­fore the time, and see you then. Lov­ingly yours, Rody

 ??  ?? From Rody’s sec­ond let­ter, we can di­vine that he had gone to col­lege to study Medicine, had been con­fined at the hos­pi­tal where his beloved worked and nursed him back to health, only to af­flict him with a fa­tal pas­sion.
From Rody’s sec­ond let­ter, we can di­vine that he had gone to col­lege to study Medicine, had been con­fined at the hos­pi­tal where his beloved worked and nursed him back to health, only to af­flict him with a fa­tal pas­sion.
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