Friday, 30 January 2009

Lessons from Mirana

the cadena de amor
I was looking through my traditional diary planner over things that I failed to do and I was so delighted to see the cadena de amor(Chain of Love) flower pressed on one of its pages. And I remembered the afternoon when we met up at the UP Diliman Campus, few days after the showing of her 'Silent Odyssey" to celebrate her birthday. I find the cadena de amor quite special because nobody else have given me such flower. Roses, tulips, orchid varieties and few wild flowers were handed to me in different seasons and situations from various people that I know or from stragers, but receiving a cadena de amor is a first time experience.

birthday dinner for Mirana

Second, its pretty bizarre because instead of me giving her a flower , it was the other way around. In addition we were in the ladies restroom at one of the buildings in UP me, powdering my nose while she was about to enter one of the cubicles when she handed me the flower which made me really smile upon remembering such moment.

Most importantly, this flower has been a constant reminder of three lessons that I learned from Mirana.

watching Mirana's Silent Odyssey

First, take time to listen. More than a year earlier, I was distraught about an incident in one of my trips in a small island and I found a willing audience in her. The good thing about this was- she knew the person and the situation which upset me so much but she merely listened. I am aware that she could be very busy as a filmmaker but she took the time replying to my e-mails and text messages, and most importantly, I did not have to tell her that-I had enough- she verbalised it for me. She did not push me nor requested me to try my best to be 'civil" to the person i was very upset with but she allowed me to freely express my feelings about the whole situation and gave me space. She was there when I "reunited" with this person and when apologies and explanations were done- she joined us. Our friendship reached a different level and most importantly, the friendship remained intact despite some odds. Moreover, she did not leave me wondering about things or information that I missed. She took lots of efforts to show me the "whole picture" which largely helped my understanding and "recovery" and judgement. In a nutshell, the whole brouhaha was a good learning experience for me.

watching her movie " Silent Odyssey"

Second is the idea of acceptance. "It was not meant to be" is a nice line that I always remember from her. I wanted to accompany her and show her around in Davao during the film showing of "Alyanna" in 2007 knowing fully well that it was her first time to go and aside from the film organisers, she did not know anyone in the place yet circumstances have not allowed me to do things as planned but there was no tinge of being upset from her at all. Her answer to my text message apologising for not being around was "It was not meant to be." We had exchanged more messages expounding about the line and the most unforgetable was when she said that saying such line makes her feel better and moving on a lot easier.
She has been a very private person and I do not know the circumstances nor the disappointments that she went through in life in relation to that line but surely I have realised that she is a person very much at peace with herself and to the world. Most importantly, that line is very useful to me making my own "moving on" a lot easier. "It is not meant to be" as Mirana said is like a breeze of fresh air that comes and makes her feel better. Similarly, that line has been making the same effect to me.

using sign language in Silent Odyssey premier show

Third, having the passion for something. Over dinner in our now favoured Italian restaurant Cibo, Belen, the seasoned communicator, no less the Chairman of the Speech Communication and Theater Arts Department in the UP Diliman asked her what inspires her to do her advocacy film after asking how much she had spent and the time used in creating the film "Silent Odyssey" ,the premier of which was few days before her birthday celebration. Now Belen has to ask this because she knows that she has been workingas a film editor doing "mainstream movies" and definitely, earning more than probably having a " break-even" in her advocacy films.

I was quiet and carefully listened as conversations like these from my achiever friends have always awed me. Without batting an eyelash, she looked at Belen and answered "passion". Well, at the time, the only "passion" that I was quite familiar of was passion among lovestruck individuals which talks about intense emotion, or ardent love so when I went home after that dinner I took a closer look at the huge dictionary. Passion, according to the huge red dictionary, also means " a strong liking for or devotion to some activity, object or concept "

Of course Mirana expounded on why such "passion" has been like a fuel that keeps her going and I listened intently while finishing the flourless birthday cake that the restaurant has gifted her.

catching up at UP Diliman over pancit(noodles)

Now I fully understand and see "Passion" from the perspective that Mirana was into when she answered Belen's question(which I dare not ask).

And seeing "passion" using Mirana's perspective has given me the "wings" to go and follow my own.

1 comment:

miranamedina said...

You've remembered all those details?? You're amazing Maan! I've forgotten all that until I read your blog! thanks for reminding me of cadena de amor! Despite being considered as an ordinary bush or a vine-- I love that flower because it always reminds me of my childhood, Corregidor and Ms. Virgie Moreno too. Thanks to MMDA! You know why? When I was small, we had a neighbor with cadena de amor clinging onto their fence. At night, fireflies abound in that area. I used to play with cadena de amor and used to collect "fireflies." Imagine cadena de amor and fireflies in a bottle!!! And then when we shot my docu in Corregidor, the American lady in my film Dr. Selma Harrison treated us for dinner. Surprisingly, she had a basket full of cadena de amor. Ang ganda!!! She told us that her mother who graduated from UP Manila before the war used to join the Cadena de Amor festival..Ever heard of Cadena de AMor fest in UP? Heard that from Ms. Moreno too who brags about that fest everytime she tells us about it. Kasi mga fashionista mga nandun.

That is why when MMDA started planting and growing them along EDSA, I was very happy. I usually pick up or touch the flower then when they are in bloom at the corner of Quezon Ave on my way to UP. I'd be enjoying looking at it, remembering the fireflies in the bottle...then set it aside or keep it in my bag when I reach UP. That must be the day we met! I was so happy to see your foto of the pressed cadena de amor! Napaka-senti mo...pangdrama talaga!!! Ha!Ha!

Re the lessons--I am honestly not aware that small things or acts that I do could be of importance to others. "Little things mean a lot" as others say?? Nevertheless, aren't they practical, easy to apply and really render positive effect in us??

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