Tloveller

Let’s go to Paris
And have a sweet kiss.

Let’s go to Baghdad
And let me hold your hand.

Let’s go to London
I’ll teach you how to hold on.

Let’s go to Moscow
I’ll eat all your sorrow.

Let’s go to Beijing
To continue the loving.

Let’s go to Prague
And have a long hug.

Let’s go to Brussels
And cherish our cuddles.

Let’s go to Washington, D.C.
Oh! Wait, will you come with me?

Between December 2012 to October 2013

Snake Twin and Other Stories by Edilberto K. Tiempo

From Goodreads

From Goodreads

I think it’s my first time to read short stories inked by Edilberto K. Tiempo. And by read, I meant digesting the whole story from start ‘til the end. Tiempo’s writing style is prominent and consistent. The author is tagged as a “romantic realist” who “envelopes his stories in a proper atmosphere of actuality through details drawn from personal experiences, unleashing a spate of a kind of Gothic romanticism, while he keeps on firm ground, constantly aware of life’s shadows ever touched by an eternal luminescence. Tiempo is the necromancer writing for the sheer pleasure of it, enjoying the added latitude of creativity allowed by such a genre (as Snake Twin), but never really cutting the cable tying this transport of the imagination to the ground of experience” (Dimalanta, Ophelia).

Tiempo’s Snake Twin is fictional yet I felt it was so real because of the effective employment of language, facts and, yes, imagination. The way he used language in his storytelling is simple yet deep and engaging.  Though Snake Twin talked about local legends, Tiempo was still successful in explaining it in English without the need to use native words. Tiempo is one great storyteller—his word manipulation is of great importance in the story’s development.

Aside from the language’s help, Tiempo injected reality into the story which made the reader feel more than a reader. The sets of experiences narrated by the author will drown the reader in the story—as if he’s the one speaking the lines and talking to the characters. As I read, I was reminded of some stories from my family and friends about myth and legends. Since I’ve heard something similar to what Tiempo’s narrating, I felt more engaged in the story. This sense of belongingness and involvement is the reason why Tiempo’s work is remarkable.

Now, combine Tiempo’s use of language and sense of reality, the reader’s imagination will be activated. My imagination was on a rampage while reading each story. In fact, during the “candles along the highway” scene of Tierra Encantada, I felt the need to check if there’s a person at my back even though I’m the only one in our house. The climax of my reading (and imagination) reached the peak when I felt scared when I heard our gate suddenly opened. The noise it made was perfect horror! The reader’s imagination (and heart) will be disturbed by Tiempo! I’m not a scaredy-cat but Tiempo made me feel something’s unusual.

Going back to the top, Tiempo is indeed a romantic realist—he knows how to romanticize language that makes his narration compelling, inviting and real.

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Remata

Sinangla ko pala ‘yong puso ko sa’yo’t kailangan ko nang kunin ngayon. Pupuntahan sana kita riyan sa inyo kaso naisip ko, baka hindi ko rin mabawi ‘yon dahil wala ka namang inabot sa’king papel de ahensya o patunay na nagkaliwaan nga tayo nang ialok ko sa’yo ito. Ang tanging pinanghahawakan ko lang bilang patunay ay ang aking mga salita—buti sana kung tatanggapin mo ‘yon.

Kailangan ko na ‘yang puso ko dahil ang hirap mabuhay ng wala ito. Nasasabik na kong maramdaman muli ng aking mga palad ang pagtibok nito na tila tumatagos sa aking dibdib. Hindi naman maaaring hawakan ko ang dibdib ng iba para lang makadama ng puso. ‘Yong puso mo ba, ipaparamdam mo sa’kin? Malamang hindi. Nasasabik na kong makarinig muli ng tibok ng puso. Hinahanap-hanap ko na ‘yong puso ko at alam kong hinahanap na rin ako nito. Kung nasaan man ang puso ko ngayon—kung wala na nga talaga sa’yo—natitiyak kong sumisigaw ito’t naghahangad na makanlong muli ng aking dibdib at makaniig ang buo kong katawan mula bumbunan hanggang talampakan. Walang pagod din akong sumisigaw at nagbabaka-sakaling marinig ng aking puso ang aking tinig—imposibleng maglakad ito patungo sa akin; imposibleng marinig nga nito ang boses ko; at, imposibleng makasigaw din ito. Sino ngayon ang aasahan ko? Ikaw.

Bakit ko nga ba sinangla ‘yong puso ko sa’yo? Hindi ko kailangan ng kahit ano noon at walang kapalit nang ibigay ko sa’yo ito. Inalok ko sa’yo ito para mayroon kang alagaan at ingatan—hindi bilang hayop o halaman kundi bilang bahagi ng iyong katawan. Inalay ko sa’yo ito para malaman mong may nilalang na kaya kang bigyan ng pinakamahalagang bahagi ng pagkatao niya—upang maramdaman mong ikaw ‘yong mahalaga’t hindi siya.

Pero nagsawa kang ingatan at alagaan ito. Isinilid sa isang itim na kahon, inilagay sa ilalim ng ‘yong aparador, hinayaan do’n ng matagal na panahon at nang tanungin ko sa’yo kung nasa’n na, wala kang nasagot kundi isang mahabang pagtulala. Baka itinapon ng kung sinumang kasama mo sa bahay dahil akala niya’y basura ito dahil ito’y duguan, wasak, durog, sira at hindi na mukhang puso.

Nasa’n na ‘yong puso ko? Kailangan ko na itong muli dahil kailangan kong bumawi sa mahabang panahon na hindi ako naging “ako” sa sarili kong puso.

Baka naman sinangla mo rin sa iba ng walang kapalit. Buti sana kung ‘yong puso mo’y pinahiram mo rin sa’kin.

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