Geraldo and Siquito: Message from the Earth

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Geraldo a young 25 years old angel was looking at the Earth-Time-Counter screen when Chiquito another 24 years old angel came to him.
‘Counting time again heh?… Why do you love to spend your time with that stuff? Come with me. Let’s go explore some other place in this Universe of Heaven.’ Chiquito said looked at Geraldo impatiently.
‘Today is 31st October in Earth Siquito…’ Geraldo replied.
‘Yes… and tomorrow will be 1 of November. I know how that Earth-Time-Counter works. So… what?’ Siquito asked.
‘You know what. We both always receive the message from the Earth on 1 November Siquito.’
‘Yeah…we always do. And what should we do with that?’
‘Do you remember what our Great Teacher said in our Life-on-Earth class?’
‘Which one?’
‘That the message we receive from earth is prayers from everyone who lives there as the human being.’
‘Ah… that one. yes..I remember now. What is the matter with that?’
‘I am wondering with the family who sent the message to both of us. I often heard the woman called my name, your name and then she will cry alone. Usually, it is in the early morning or midnight of their earth time. Sometimes I can hear her husband speak a lot of things with me in his loneliness as if I am there with him. Don’t you want to know why they become so?’
‘Hmmmm… perhaps in the past we also took part in their life?’
‘That can be possible. The Great Teacher said the prayers from the earth are the message that reconnects people on earth and angels in heaven. All angels are once sent to earth to live as the human being before return to this Heaven as an angel again.’
‘Maybe we can go the Library to find out our life as human being in the ‘Book of Earth People’?’
‘Yeah… that’s good thing to do. Come on.’
Then, Geraldo and Siquito went to the Library to find out the Book of Earth People. It took them quite long to find out their names as the human on earth as there are millions of similar names. Siquito almost gives up with the searching but then Geraldo came up with the idea to find out about the family who sent the prayer message. It is easy for them to find out about every human being on Earth as they have access to see it like accessing an atlas of the world.
Meanwhile, in Earth, a woman was crying silently inside her zinc house. Tomorrow will be 1 November. The day she believes to be The Day of All Angels as what she had learned from the Sunday mass preach. She believes that tomorrow, her late two sons’ will be visiting her in the form of an angel. She wonders how would they look like now if they are still alive. They may have been a well built and handsome young boy. They would be tall, with black hair and sharp eyes and has thick eyebrow like Bollywood stars. She can imagine if they are with her now, she would cook their favorite food, asking them to help her in her kiosk and their father’s kiosk at the market. She would ask them to fix every broken thing in the house. She would ask them to advise their little brother on how to be a well-mannered man. She would see them studying in the university in Dili or one of them may have got a scholarship and study abroad or just studying in Indonesia and the school fee would be paid by their elder sister who is now residing in Dili. Oh… how she miss hearing their manly chatters in the house.
The imagination of them made her think about the past years where they were born as little babies. Things were difficult as food is scarce and money is a luxurious thing during the difficult years of the 80s. She and her family were just returned from their village located near Matebian mountain and surrendered to the Indonesian government. Her husband had to leave her to find a job in another city leaving her with the little daughter and her family to sustain themselves with little money he left. Days kept going and the money left is about to go. She had to find a job to sustain her household. She works in rice-field and got a little share of rice for her family and to sustain her second pregnancy. She had a baby boy, her first baby boy and he is adorably cute. She felt happy though life was still difficult for her. She continues to work in the rice-field and had her relatives looked after the baby. But on the eight-month, the baby passed away after had a high fever. She felt a deep sadness for the lost. Her husband returned from the other city and he too felt sorry for the lost. He wished he could be always there with her wife.
Starting new page of her life after the loss, one day she found out that she was pregnant again. She was so happy and she tried not work too hard. She had another baby boy, the second baby boy. She believed the baby was the reincarnation of her first baby. This time she dedicated all her time to be with the baby though she had to try to live frugally with little money which sometimes not enough to buy a bag of rice. Her husband then came and brought her to move to the other city where he lives. The baby grew healthily. But one day, at his tenth month, the baby has a high fever and has to stay during a week in the hospital for treatment. She felt a huge fear haunting her again. Deep in her heart, she asked the God to not take away her baby. But life had another response to her request. The hospital tried to refer her baby to a bigger hospital in another city that took two hours trip. On the way, the baby passed away. She lost her baby again.
It’s been a while when she sat at the back of the shelf and crying but then she quickly has to stop when somebody calling said ‘Kiosk’, a code word means to buy something. It’s a customer. She then rubbed her teary eyes with the handkerchief before she met the customer. There, two young boys with age around 25 and 24 years old stand there looked at her silently for a moment.
‘Yes.. .what do you want to buy?’ She asked them.
‘Two coca cola and a pack of biscuit.’ One of them said. The woman picked the mentioned stuff and handed to them. They both sit on the verandah in front of her kiosk* and eat. It was a hot midday. She stands from the window of the kiosk and looked at them. She felt as if her two late sons are still alive, they may age like these two boys. She saw how they eat the biscuit. She could feel that they were hungry. Without knowing why she felt pity for them.
She then went into the house. She came back with two plates of rice with stir-fried vegetables and fried chicken. The two boys still sat there. She called to the two boys, offered the meal and hand over the plates to each of them, asking them to sit there and eat. The two boys felt shy and rejected the offer at first but the woman kept insisting and then they accepted it. She smiled when she saw how they eat the food wholeheartedly. She felt as if her two late sons are there with her at the moment. She then went back to continue baking the bread to sell. After a while, the two boys finished eating and they handed back the plates. They say thank you to the woman. They stand there in the window of her kiosk just to look at her made the dough for the bread. They observed how she made a phone call to somebody from distance that she called with a lovely name. The woman is talking about how she missed her two late baby boys and how they would look like if they still alive.
After the lady finished her phone call, the two boys called to her to excuse themselves and say farewell to the woman. The woman says goodbye to them. But before they left, the boy who is a bit elder tell her:
’Please do not be sad mom…. We both are always watching you from the heaven…’
The woman freeze for a while. She felt her world is stopped. She felt blank. She tried to call them back but they had disappeared. She did not know what to do next. She wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. In her euphoria, she took a box of candles and light the candles in the Oratorio and started to pray for her two angels son.
Dedicated to Two Brothers in Heaven VZ
*Kiosk = small grocery shop
**Oratorio = a miniature praying house
VZ, Dili, 31 Oct 2017
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Dream

Dream is like the mango fruits displayed on top of a house roof

If you want to taste its delicious then go pick it

If your hands cannot reach them, climb to the roof instead

Or find a wood and make a ladder
VZ

Caicoli,26-10-2017

Cloud and the Blue Sky

What if the sky only has blue?

Would it remain beautiful?

The blue sky lives in solitude of its dull monotony

Then God creates the cloud to accompany the blue sky

The blue sky becomes happy with the new company

Together they spent their days enjoying the view of the world below them

But one day cloud realize that she is fading away and turn to rainfall

The blue sky felt so sad until it almost fades its blue color to grey

But then the rainfall went to the sea and ascents to the blue sky to reform itself

They met and each of them tell their stories. They finally realized that they will live together, again…

VZ

A CONCERT OF POP MUSIC AT THE HEART OF THE CITY

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What do you see during the concert of pop music at heart of the city?

 

Is it the setting of the stage where the blinking lights are all around?

 

Is it the unstoppable speech of the host?

 

The native and foreign singers who sing with their beautiful voices?

 

The dancers who shake themselves in an amazing style?

 

Or, the crowds who surface like ants?

 

As for me. I am not only looking at these things.

 

Eyes of mine supposed to only look straightforward, yet they draw me to see a five-year-old boy holding a bunch of five balloons and selling them around.

 

Then, a father holding her little daughter buys a pink balloon from the five-year-old boy who sold the balloon. The father gives the balloon to her daughter. The little girl laughs out excitedly.

 

After that, a woman came along and took the little girl from her father. She kissed her daughter with laughter.

 

The three of them stand right in front of me holding the pink balloon they just bought and watching the concert of pop music at the heart of the city.

 

Now, I am the one who cannot see that concert of pop music at the heart of the city.

 

VZ

Largo Lecidere, Dili, Timor-leste, August 29, 2017

The Sky of Tonight is Gloomy

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Beloved…

Look up to the sky

That sky of tonight is gloomy

No stars… no moon

Only darkness wraps the heart

That trembles of longing for you so much

Do you also feel it?

Beloved…

The seat beside me is empty

As it waits for your shadow to fill in

Together, we would face the coldness of the night’s wind

We would be talking again

About all those unfinished feelings
We would be witnessing again

How the tremor of this longing had shaken us

We would be unifying the tremble of our hearts

Into a most solid and tightest embrace

We would be sharing the magnificence together for tonight

In a sweetest kiss ever

You and me, together we would be wrapping our souls with this warmth

You and me, together we would be looking up to this night’s gloomy sky

But…

How can all this happen if you do not come along?

Beloved…

The sky of tonight is gloomy

So does my heart.

VZ, Lospalos, January 3rd, 2017.

Honesty is Very Expensive!

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Honesty is very expensive!
To be honest in a truth is very costly
As you walk according to the counsel of truth
You will get insults, hatred
People say ‘how arrogant you are, how stupid you are, how you do not know anything.
Step aside!’
‘Do not you be so self-righteous! Do not you be so sanctimonious!
Let the lies rule over everything to go smoothly!
Who are you to confront?

Really my brothers and sisters …
Lying is cheap and easy and keeps everything go smooth
We are sweet to each other
We call each other ‘friends’
But who wants to punish his heart to death?
Is it you or me?


My brothers and sisters…
Honesty for the truth is expensive
But it is the one who gives freedom of life!

 

VZ, March 24, 2016

Timor Runguranga: A Gulliverian Travel of David Palazon as an Alice in Wonderland.

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“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”
Ansel Adams

If there were a simple and practical way of time travelling around us today, then I would say that photography is one of it.

My first time encounter with David Palazon was back in 2013, at the office of the State Secretariat of Art and Culture (SSAC) in Villa Verde (today has moved to Praia dos Coqueiros Street), Dili,  when I was working with UNESCO Art and Culture Programme as  an administrative and programme assistant. At first sight, as a Timorese, I was a bit curious of David with his presence as a malae (foreigner in Tetum). Why does this malae willing to travel far away from Spain to Timor just to do all these fancy work of photography and all related stuff?

Before joining the UNESCO Art and Culture team, I used to think that art and culture is something fancy and has to be luxurious. But being introduced to David Palazon’s work as photographer and having the opportunity to witness his work with SSAC on the preservation programme of the tangible and intangible art and cultural heritage of Timor-Leste, made me realize the importance of art and culture documentation and preservation for Timor-Leste.

On doing his work of documenting the art and cultural events and objects in Timor-Leste through photography and videographical work, I saw that David’s passion and enthusiasm are painted in each of his work pieces.  In gathering all these artistic and meaningful documentation, David also engaged the Timorese fellows in a collaborative work and together each of them express their messages on each photographical work they have produced on how rich the Timor-Leste art and culture is. From that time, I start to believe that Timor-Leste is indeed a wonderful land of art and culture and I would always admire it and appreciate it as a Timorese.

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David Palazon (Stand in the middle from the first row behind) and his fellow source person friends of Timor Runguranga book.

However, despite being Timorese and one can say being the owner of all this Timorese richness of art and culture heritage, a question rose in mind, how can we continue to value and preserve these heritage of art of culture? How can we share the beauty of this value of Timor-Leste art and culture to our fellow Timorese and to the world around us? As Timorese, we may already carry out the role of valuing and preserving by maintaining the continuous practice of the heritage. On the other hand, in the context of Timor-Leste’s fluctuating development progress, more effort is necessary to encourage the act of valuing and preserving the Timor-Leste art and culture. One of these efforts, as I would concern, is to have the documentation. As without it, we would lose some significant things in life.

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Timor Runguranga is indeed has answered that concern of mine in a very artistic, satirical, mindful and yet heart-touching ways. When I received David’s invitation to attend the launching of the book in Timor Aid last year, I was kind of wondering, what exactly this photographical book would look like? The title word runguranga itself has caught my attention so much as it made think about messiness because runguranga as I understood it in Tetum, is everything related to messy and messiness. I had no idea why I pick up the book home only to keep it as collection and open a glimpse of it sometimes when I have a bit of free time. But once opening it, I start to promise myself that I have to go through the book and I did it at last.

After reading each page one by one, I laugh at myself on how I have underestimated this book. For me, looking at the pictures displayed inside it, has gave that sense of looking at the old family photo in a thick photo album. So nostalgic and emotional until you want to smile, laugh, frown and cry at the same time. Why? Because this book has captured how life has going on in Timor-Leste lately since its independence in 2000s. Within the decades, the runguranga essence that kept decorating the independence progress of Timor-Leste has brought us to learn many things as a new emerging country and that being runguranga has shaped us to grow along with the turmoil of the modern globalized world.

This book, being as a diary and memoir, has also capture the exchange of feelings as well as the exchange of collaboration between the insider and outsider who met in this small world of Timor-Leste and entwined them both in a world of rungurunga that only each of them can perceived when they were here. As some wise man has said; do not judge a book by its cover or do not judge people by its outer appearance then I would say do not judge a country if you have not been there. This book will confirm that saying with the collaborative work it displayed and the emotional sense each source person has shared.

This is why I found this book to be one of the inspiring photographic books I have ever seen. Apart of being a photo album, diary or memoir, this book, is also a fairytale storybook of Timor-Leste that one may share to their friends, family and children who would like to visit Timor-Leste or to see Timor-Leste in the past decades. I would also say that this book would be a collection of inspiration and motivation for me as a Timorese, to help advocate the art and culture preservation in Timor-Leste. As for the visitors who would like to know about Timor-Leste this book is very recommendable as an indirect tour guide.

To conclude, I would like to say that Timor Runguranga is the answer of my first impression quest to David himself which today I have called as maun (brother in Tetum) David, on why he is willing to travel  from far-far- away land of  Spain to Timor-Leste. By reflecting his Gulliverian journey throughout all territory of Timor-Leste in this book, I would call him ‘the male version of Alice in Wonderland’.

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To buy the book, please follow the link below:

http://www.blurb.com/b/7181097-timor-runguranga

Further infromation about David Palazon’s work can be found in this link:

https://davidpalazon.com/timor_runguranga/

ZV/VZ

I live in Dili and I love to read novels, watching movies, listen to beautiful musics and wrote things I found interesting.

Dili, 31 July 2017

An Office Colleague

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#1

When you are here, it is noisy.

When you are not here, it is tranquil and mute.

When you are not here, there is no trouble.

When you are here, there will be trouble.

Yet from the trouble you brought with you, it had made us find the solution together.

You, noisiness, trouble and solution, we never let go of each other.

#2

It is no use for you to continue to tell everyone a fiery story about the ugliness and bad deeds of someone in order to impress your listeners. Probably it does sound amazing telling those stories. However, one day, neither you shall be infallible of mistakes.

O, my friend, the human being is indeed not perfect at all.

 

VZ, Dili, 2016