This weekend, I have seen so many chairs.

On Saturday, where I purposely delayed my little jaunt to Doksolohiya, BULPAC’s 25th Anniversary, I bought two brush inks each priced at almost $2. I also smuggled a cheeseburger inside my backpack. I was the only girl in shorts, but being aware that everyone knows me and the spoiled child that I am, I remained unbothered. I saw Drake. I saw Yganne. I saw my Atlag family and maybe a few more. I wondered where my favorite folks were at, or if they were here, but I had a cheeseburger and fries to finish.

The girl who sat beside me was too friendly, and I chatted with her even though I didn’t know her name. I didn’t have to. San Isidro UMC was sat in rows, and there was Danielle in her quiet cuteness. And the older ladies reveling the fun. I never knew our side of the church was this maharot, but, having less of that element in me, it was fun to see them so. It took me a good two hours to finally see the reason why I came here for: Hilaga, Timog, and our church’s very own Jonalyn singing a part. Girl had it covered.

At this point, after the eating and the photo-opping, people started to leave. Honestly, the games did not serve its purpose. There was the lack of excitement. People were slowing down, ready to take their siestas at home. But yes, that hour-long thing had to push through because there are public announcements to be done. It wasn’t at all bad, after all, the pastors cracked me up. Methodists can be nutty at informal times.

Then came the thing. The people on the chairs were half-gone now. Audiences had to come down to the lower part to fill the spaces. That’s alright. I came to watch. Although my heart sank a bit because I heard the Unity Choir practice that Friday night, when their voices filled GOL’s acoustic-covered walls. It was beautiful. Josh’s medleys were beautiful. The shouts they made was beautiful. Goosebump-inducing. And there were less people to watch it now. Heartbreaking.

On Sunday, I made a wrong decision not to eat at Chowking. My brother and I could have just finished our food, endured the torturous, over-crowded jeepney to Hagonoy, and get to church on time. Instead, we took our stuff out, went to Crossing expected for a bus, and only a jeepney came. My famished brother had to eat in the shaky ride while the driver blasted his Sunday reggae songs.

We came in late. Also, the kids did some chalky things and I was unapologetic for it. Sorry, dear person who had to clean our mess up. Creativity calls for change in the routines. I am afraid my kids draw at things other than the concrete pavement. Please excuse your tiny sons and daughters.

That evening, my parents waited outside the movie theater, earlier than we expected them to be. Watching The Greatest Showman was a sudden suggestion, but I knew it was something I wanted to see. On this day, my brother spent more than he should, yet he made me realize we should give when we can and not when have a few extras. I’ll keep that in mind. I may have forgotten that after 2017 took most of my soul.

And oh, how dare the cast made me so happy and brave while I sat in the near-top of the crowded theater that night? HOW DARE THEY. Ang ganda ni Michelle Williams, bakit ganoon?

Thank you, Hugh Jackman, for your Barnum. And thank you, Bearded Lady, for your completely bold performance. I love you with all my heart.

The dreams we have right now shape the future. Barnum’s vision of creating a circus was a groundbreaking venture in his time. He was commended for that. He did, however, lied a lot, prioritized personal profit, abused people, and so on. We romanticize his journey, the time when tickled imagination from scratches, from the dusts of his marvelous brain. But he bent rules. He hurt people. And right now, we’re putting the lens on the things hidden in the curtain, the ones that are damaging, the ones self-demeaning. There are things that weren’t to be but were, like lions jumping through the fire with whips on their backs, and elephants balancing their tusks as they cry to the sky, perhaps wondering why giants like them are enslaved by little humans.

I hope the dreams you have right now will shape the future for the better. I hope it is not hurting to anyone. I hope it will teach them to fight, to be accepting, to love, and to hope. x