Fisherboy (8 of 11)

March 30 to April 5

Fisherboy: Imaginarily Directed By Ishmael Bernal
A Story by Jonathan Aquino (8 of 11)

The sun was mercilessly hot, like a malignant, ancient fire god. Jay and Temyong were in the middle of the sea, the boats of other fishermen within sight like specks around them. The far-away shore seemed to be a mirage in the shimmering air.
"Time for lunch, Jay!" said Temyong, opening the wrapped banana leaves. "How nice!" he exclaimed, pleased. "You'll love Miling's galunggong paksiw!" He looked up at the sun directly over them. "With this weather," he joked, the soup should still be hot!"
"Oh, look, Tata Temyong!" said the boy, happy because he's secretly ravenous. "Nanay Miling even wrapped us some salted eggs and tomatoes!" Jay was quick to learn to eat without spoon or fork. He washed his hand in the ocean and began peeling the violet-purple salted egg. "Tatay Temyong," he asked, "I heard that the catch is getting fewer lately." He took a bite of tomato like an apple.
"Yeah," nodded Temyong, expertly separating the galunggong flesh from the fishbone. "Not like before. That's why sometimes, we're forced to raise our price by a peso, or even two." He took a handful of rice, egg and fish, shaking his head as he chewed. "I remember when I was your age," he continued as he swallowed. "Our boat would almost sink because of the heavy catch!"
Jay would eat a piece of egg and a bite of tomato, like a tequila ritual. "How did you become a fisherman, Tatay Temyong?" he asked.
"How did I-?" Temyong seemed amused by the question. "My father was a fisherman, so was my grandfather and his father before him." He chuckled. "How did I became a fisherman?" he repeated. "I didn't know any other life!"

Their catch took over half the boat. It was little, Temyong said, regaling Jay with stories of the post-War golden age of fishing as they paddled to shore later.
 "Are you tired, Jay?" Temyong asked. "Want to rest?"
"I'm fine, Tatay Temyong," Jay said, exhausted but trying not to show it.
"What's going on?" murmured the fisherman, squinting in the late afternoon sun at the shore.  Jay, almost slumped at squiggling mass of netted fish, looked up and saw the other fishermen at the shore forming a circle around something they couldn't see. Their voices, not sounding friendly, drifted in the wind.
"I hope it's not trouble," Jay said nervously.
Temyong looked at him. "You're with me, Jay," he assured the boy. "Nobody here would dare lay a hand on you!" The fishermen saw them and waded to meet their boat and help pull it towards the sand.
"We've all been waiting for you, kapitan!" said Sendong, a fisherman who looks like Ketchup Eusebio in Rakenrol. 

"You know Lucio, right?" he added, gesturing towards a prosperous-looking man on the shore who looks like Christopher De Leon in When Love Begins.

To Be Continued Next Saturday Night On The 2Rivers Saturday Evening Posts
(Photos courtesy of,,

From The Journal of Jonathan Aquino aka Huggybear

March 18, 2013
12:02 a.m., Monday

I believe in living simply. In simplicity there is truth, beauty and power. Beginning today, there would be only 7 major activies in my life. The only minor thing is my blogging. Everything else would orbit around my ONLY SEVEN

The second is my work as a freelance writer: my latest publication is today, a timeless story on Albert Einstein that appeared in Philippine Panorama

The fifth, sixth and seventh are personal projects that will transform yet again my ever-changing, forward-charging, totally unconventional life. After my expected outcomes, by itself and by extension, I will be "where I belong..."

"...And I won't look back
I can go the distance!
And I'll stay on track!
No I won't accept defeat!
It's an uphill slope,
But I won't lose hope!
Till I go the distance
And my journey is complete!

"But to look beyond the glory is the hardest part
For a hero's strength is measured by his heart..."

~Michael Bolton
Go The Distance
(Theme from Hercules)

(Huggybear's photo taken March 18, 2013 in Lahug City, Cebu)


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