Tuwing brown out, automatic Basil Valdez on loop ang nasa utak ko. LSS ko ngayon yung “Siya Na Ba?” kasi parang bagay sa brown out. Mamaya sigurado “Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang.” This is telling – it indicates the years I first encountered power outs. I think when I was very young my older brothers used to sing Basil songs with another brother on the piano or guitar when we didn’t have electricity. I also remember learning how to play mah-jong during brown outs because they needed a ‘fourth man’ on the table. And I learned the second voice of many many many songs because my sister was in the Glee Club and she always sang the melody, she was the soprano (ako alto) – at kahit July – Christmas songs ang ituturo niya sa ‘kin. Tapos may ghost story stretch for sure. Tapos sa pagkaka-alam ko “brown out” if nawalan ng kuryente during the day, and “black out” pag nawalan ng kuryente sa gabi. (may ganun din ba kayo?)
I also remember how we always tried to beat each other to blowing out the candles when the lights went on and every single time, EVERY SINGLE TIME the candles are blown we all sing the end of “Happy Birthday.” (haaaaaaaappy biiiiirthday toooo yooouuu~) I can still smell the candle smoke. And then when the lights are back, we’d stop singing.
Now? Well, I’m on my laptop – battery down to 48%, — attached to the net through my phone’s personal hotspot, (kasi nga walang kuryente) waiting for NDRRMC updates, tracking the storm via Project Noah’s website, checking on my boys (human and canine) -both snoring, chatting via text messages with a media person and a scientist, both good friends – and on Facebook writing about why I automatically hear the voice of Basil Valdez when the lights go out.
Okay, 535am na.