Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Do you know why secrets itch? It’s because it stings to be kept in the dark. They struggle in the darkness like a drunken man sneaking in at 4AM- fumbling through furniture for the light switch while trying to keep silent.

One of my earliest memories of secrets was with my father. Growing up, I saw him as a very mysterious and strict man. He had many rules for us. We could only play from 4 to 6. By 7, we should be bathed and ready for supper. We could never leave a speck of food on our plates. If we broke any of these rules, we would surely get the bitter end of his black leather belt.

Of all my father’s rules, the strictest was bedtime at 9 o’clock. This story is about the time I broke that particular rule. It was the night that I had a little too much soda and the caffeine just wouldn’t let me sleep. I snuck out of my bedroom and went to the living room to play video games. At around midnight, my father opened the door and found me on the couch wide-awake. He totally wigged out. I got the beating of my life and was sent to bed wounded and in tears.

You’d think that that would keep me from staying up but I was a pretty curious kid. I wanted to know why my father was awake. I could see from the little space beneath my bedroom door that the dining room light was still on. I opened the door a little and I could see my dad. I wondered what he was doing.

Upon closer inspection, I saw that he was swinging his hips. Was he dancing? What was he dancing? I had questions. So many questions. Why was he dancing? Was he joining a contest? Was my father a good dancer? I wanted to know. Dammit, I really wanted to know. When the curiosity was so intense I felt it would overflow, I mustered up enough courage to open the door.

It was then that I discovered my father’s secret. He wasn’t dancing the flamenco or the tango. He was practicing his golf swing.

There are some things you should know about my father. He grew up in a farm; the youngest of a large, primarily male family. Although the land was theirs, it seems there was never enough of anything for his entire family. Like most parents, he wanted his children to have the life he never had. He left the province to work in the big city and swore he would never return. He found a woman with a similar view to raise a family with. Together, they worked hard to raise my sisters and me. They’ve kept their promises. Growing up, we always had enough of the basics: food, clothing, shelter and love. (A little too much love if you ask me. We were a little socially retarded from the lack of interaction with people outside the family.)

Now because my father had spent most of his life making semi-riches out of rags, he did not have the same interests or skill sets as the men his age. To put it simply, he couldn’t afford any hobbies. I suddenly recalled a conversation he had with my mother when we were driving to church. A friend had invited my father to play golf in some posh country club. He tried to play it down, adding a scoff here and a few off-topic remarks there but I could still tell that he wanted to go. My mom told him to turn the offer down. We were barely getting by and a sport like golf would cost a lot of money. “Stick to what you know,” she told him and that was the end of that- or so we thought.

Suddenly, it all made sense- the weekend “meetings”, the late night practices. No wonder he was so cross when he caught me playing Mario! I interrupted his private tee time. He was trying to catch up with men who grew up affluently- who were able to master golf at an early age. My father didn’t have that same privilege and if he wanted to play with them, he had a lot of catching up to do.

I carried my father’s secret. I understood his reasons. That night, I saw my father’s human side- the one he hides from the family he kills himself for. Who was I to deny him of this outlet? Undetected, I went back to my room and never told a soul.

What would my father do if he learned my secrets? Sometimes, I imagine life would be better if nothing was kept in the dark. Although I keep most of them for our mutual protection, there are moments (like right now) where I wonder if he would accept me, his only son, for who I really am. I suppose some secrets are darker than others. The only similarity is that they are all in the dark. I understood you, father. Will you understand me? I saw your reasons and I loved you for them. Do you think you could find it in your heart to accept mine?

In saner moments, I realize that such questions are pointless. Some riddles don’t have answers. I have learned to never question. There are things you just accept.

 Photo Credit: MHA

Pieces of You


  1. hindi ako makapagbigay ng maaayos na kuro kuro ukol sa usaping ama

    gayunman, ako'y lubos mong pinahanga dahil sa iyong pang-unawa

    salamat pala sa pagsunod sa aking blog

  2. I know my dad watches my only straight porn dvd whenever I'm not in the house.

  3. Probably the best post by a blogger that I have read in many months. You have the obvious gift of telling stories that are both devoid of narcissism and generous in empathy. :)

  4. *Golf clap*

    Another great, insightful, unpretentious, and very human post, Nyl.

    Thank you.

  5. sometimes there things that are better left unsaid, sometimes we just had to understand and left things be


  6. i agree with victor... naiingit na ako sa inyong dalawa. di ko na kayo friend.

    naiinsecure na naman ako wahhhhhhh!

  7. Sana ganito ako kagaling mag sulat ng english. Very well structured and written, parang nasabi ko na ito dati sa post mo.

    But with regard to youre deep darkest secret, i guess not all secret should be out in the open specially if they don't know it. Sabi nga sa ng mga office mate ko about pambababae "What she doesn't know doesn't hurt her" So same way, leave it just like that :-D

    Just my two cents :-D napaenglish ako dun ah

  8. kahanga-hanga!!!

    i agree with victor ... you have a gift kafatid!

    suddenly .. na-miss ko tuloy ang fuderacka ko ... sigh ..

    but still ... very very awesome post ... bravissima!

  9. good post :) you're such a good son for understanding.

  10. but in this case, acceptane comes after the questioning......

    as always, wala kang kupas sa pagsusulat friend....

  11. @anteros ~ thanks! i must say, i'm a little curious about why you can't give your opinion on fathers.

    @engel ~ does that mean he's seen the others?

    @LOF ~ most of our struggles begin when we try to look beyond our space in time.

    @victor ~ that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said. thank you very much. :D

    @rudeboy ~ well i'm not sure about insightful or unpretentious but i can say i'm very human. thanks for appreciating. :D

    @xtian ~ and when we don't, that's when the real problems happen.

    @jepoy ~ wow. isi-screenshot ko to. minsan lang kita nakitang nag-english. hehe

    yeah, it won't hurt him. nakakapagod lang magka-wall between him. may small voice in my head that tells me baka kaya naman niya, takot lang ako.

    @bernadette ~ thanks! text mo dad mo. kanina nga hinug ko yung akin. he asked me kung bakit. sabi ko wala lang. naweirdohan ata sakin. nagdudrugs ba daw ako. haha

    @koji ~ thanks! :D

    @yj ~ and the questioning is something i'm not sure i can handle. thanks for the compliment. :D

  12. Nice one. ^:)^

    But it's true. Some secrets are really just meant to be secrets for whatever good or bad purpose it have.

    You are one brave guy ;)

  13. thanks for reading! can you imagine a world without secrets?

  14. ikaw! ikaw ang secret ko! hahahaha

  15. haaayyy...
    sa lakas ng pandinig ko, misan may mga naririnig aking hindi ko dapat marinig.


    "What she doesn't know doesn't hurt her"


    pero, masakit...
    kapag moment of truth na.
    ibang klaseng sakit...

  16. props to you CB. this is a nice post. very well written. it made me think about my secret. haha.

  17. @gege ~ well most people lie because they are afraid that people can't handle the truth. ako din, there are some truths that hurt when i hear it but that's the consequence. it's the price you pay for something so pure and absolute.

    @max ~ thanks! :D haha ano secret mo?

  18. i like this post too. miss ko tuloy family ko. dami ko rin secrets =)

  19. thanks! sad no, how there's a wall pag may secrets. but what can we do?

  20. I just remembered something my friend Melanie B told me when I jokingly accused her of lying about something. She said: "Bakit sa tingin mo ba, madali lang magsinungaling?"

    Maybe telling the truth is a lot easier than lying; what's difficult is what comes after everything has been said and done.

  21. so it's not the truth that stings. it's the inacceptance of it after all. hmm.. interesting.

  22. @citybuoy..la eh, may sapi ako nung sinulat ko ito..ehehe

  23. a very beautiful post...bravo!!!


  24. nyl, i never knew about this... wow. it changed my image of who your father is...
    nice post! ^_^
    actually on the part where you were trying to find out what he was doingg midnight, i was thinking of something else.. bwahahahaha! *chants: happy thoughts! happy thoughts! happy thoughts!* ^_^

  25. @the geek ~ thanks! haha parang malamang yung "ahhhh" mo ah.

    @carlo ~ well it's not exactly a factual depiction of my father. haha i had to change a few details to get my point across.

    anong iniisip mo! jusme, pati tatay ko pinagnanasahan mo! haha sumbong kita kay romulo.

  26. me and my dad never talk about my preferences but somehow i know that he knew already,and he accepted me already,yun nga lang too late na di na kami close hehehe

  27. of fathers and secrets, i cannot say much.

    i too have my father issues. but with secrets, i don't exactly how to congratulate you how you tell it all.

    fathers are fathers. they be fat, lean, rich or lazy. what you write here make me think of my father again. uhg. erase erase.

    lol. tatlong bagsak. ^^

  28. @mac ~ malay mo di pa huli ang lahat. hehe sabi nga ni tita mel, habang may buhay, may pagasa! hehe

    @yas ~ yeah, i remember reading about that. thanks for reading! :D

  29. secrets were meant to be revealed no matter how deep you keep it :)

  30. that may be true but it's always nice to see people struggle to keep them. haha

  31. Good day! I am Astrid Abesamis, Communication Arts graduating student from the University of Santo Tomas. Our thesis group would like to ask for your help by answering our survey about blogging. Can I ask for your email address so that I can email the survey questionnaire? We hope for your response. Thank you so much! God bless!

  32. Wow, so much love in here.

    Having secrets makes us human, and accepting others' makes us humane.

    This is a really nice post. :)

  33. well nyl, hindi ko pinagnasaan ang dad ko! haha ugh yuck ka... uyyyy inimagin mo si romulo!!!! uuuyyy ini-imagine!!!! ^_^

  34. I know a little secret about my dad too.
    Wala pa akong pinagsasabihan kahit sino pero na-shock ako nung nalaman ko.

    Anyway, I guess your dining room is spacious para makapag-practice ng golf swing. =o) Hanggang putting and some stretches lang ang kaya kong gawin sa loob ng bahay. Baka makabasag, hassle!


  35. @abe ~ sure thing! i'm a ust graduate so i'd be more than happy to help. my yahoo id is on the yahoo messenger icon on the right sidebar.

    @manech ~ yeah. i was surprised at the amount of love too. haha anyway, i love how the letter e changes human to humane. if you think about it, there's a world of difference. it takes a strong person to accept someone for who they really are.

    @carlo ~ ewww! DILF ka! hahahhaa

    @m2mtripper ~ it seems like u understood him too. ganun talaga pag mahal mo diba?

  36. Thank you so much for responding.. I already emailed the survey questions.. Thank you very much! We really appreciate your participation and help.. Thank you again! Good day!

  37. ganda ng kuwento. napakasimple pero may puso.

    i always knew my secret is safe with you. charing lang! hahaha! :)

  38. thanks! nakakataba naman ng puso.

    oo naman. kahit papano may secrets din naman tayo. haha

  39. oo nga nyl, it's interesting how some people try very hard in keeping their secrets. meron namang iba, easy as breathing ang pagtago ng secrets.. or magaling lang magcontrol and magpretend. hmm.

    great post, btw. idol! :)

  40. oh wow! so i see you've crossed over narin from multiply! hehe

    i think i'm one of those people you mentioned. it's our way of protecting ourselves din. i'm sure we all have our secrets. milku? haha

  41. may blogger na ko even before. tinatamad na ko mag-multiply..

    yeah! napaisip ako sa secret ha! :)

  42. i agree. ako din i abandoned multiply na. nakakapagod kasi at nakablock din siya sa office.

    alam ko secret mo! hahahahaha may pictures and videos pa ako nun! hahaha

  43. waa.. u kept it? no way.. u're good at keeping secrets.. let's 'keep' it that way.. :)