In Another Life

Maybe in another life.

When I felt the news last Monday (because we all heard someone was crying and the pain was resounding all over the floor) – I was tempted to laugh. Why? I didn’t know. It just felt like a ruse, a joke, a thing that makes me feel “pinagttrip-an na naman ako”.

It all felt too fast – soon the people were talking and I cannot anymore concentrate on my work nor drink the rest of the matcha in my table. I feel hollow or I feel actually nothing. And then the work didn’t stop. As always. Even when terrible news came – the world didn’t stop spinning – as I’ve learned many many years ago.

I was able to visit only just before it ends. And still there seeing everything – my subconscious were still trying to deny it. Oh, darn you subconscious – we have seen many deaths but I will not allow you this time to make it seem untrue – because it’s real.

From here, I just knew that he didn’t deserve half-baked goodbyes that I gave to so many people before him. I have to say goodbye – if it was the last thing I could do.

***

My journey in Shell started with this person. It was that fateful day sometime in May 2015 – the interview is supposed to be at 6pm but then when I reached Makati – it was moved to 7pm. I was tempted not to go. Haha – that time – it all felt incredulous to me (being a dayshifter) who schedules interviews at night? But I still did go – albeit my mind was already on something else – because I made plans to go to 12 Monkeys after to watch bands. Haha. Way to go.

It was a good interview. Though may parts na na-weirded out ako. And I learned why when I joined the team. Actually – dalawa silang interviewer ko. Si Ate Anne at si Adhie. Si Ate Anne – mabait na interviewer, actually sa kanya lang ako nakatingin. Naiintimidate ako nun kay Adhie – kapag nakatingin siya sa papel na hawak niya (the interview guide questions) sobrang feeling ko ang taray niya pero kapag nagsasalita na siya – okay naman – napakafriendly, kaya ang weird. ‘Yun pala – he was trying not to laugh (hence the serious face while reading the questions) because I resembled someone from Shell. 🙂 Natawa din ako ‘nung nalaman ko – oh – so that was the reason. And indeed mula ‘nung pumasok ako sa Shell – ang unang sinasabi nila: “Kamukha mo si Hidel.” Of which mas nauna ko pa malaman un name niya kesa makilala siya.

***

Fast forward to six months ko siyang naging Team Manager. Ang galing niyang TM to the point that when he announced that mappromote siya and iiwan kami – it’s like “we’re very happy because you very much deserve that promotion” and also a bit nasasayangan – because sobrang galing niya and sana mas madami pa akong natutunan. The words really na ipangdedescribe ko sa kanya is “the one person na kapag nag-explain is wala ka nang idadagdag – he pretty much covered everything – all in an amazing clarity”.

***

Fast forward to the time na nasa Houston sila and nalipat na ako ng Compliance. I still remember un email announcement and he emailed me congratulations – of which actually wala pa naman akong nagagawang matino but I feel good receiving that.

***

Fast forward to the time na I am making the compliance tax returns and narealise ko hindi ako nagkamali ng paglipat kasi andun siya (of which hindi ko naman talaga alam na makakawork ko siya paglipat ko – I thought I’ll be saying goodbye to Tax Admin team once malipat ako).

From there – ang pinakanaaalala kong compliment na nareceive ko is that one time na nagpunta pa talaga siya sa area ko pagkatapos niyang mag-email ng commendation – it’s like he really was proud to have hired me. Haha. If only he knew I was also very proud na siya ‘yung naghire sa akin and siya ung una kong TM. (It’s just so sad na until now I am waiting for a congratulatory note coming from him for my promotion that I knew I’ll never get, but this is selfish me talking.)

***

I cannot write anymore. It’s just that I will always remember him as having that “medyo masungit face” pero kapag binati mo siya – biglang maglilight-up un mukha niya ngingiti siya sa’yo and it always feels good. The one person that resembles the best leader – ‘yung feeling ko na kapag tiningnan niya ako, makikita niya agad if may mali akong ginagawa, ‘yung may discernment skills. And lastly, the one person that makes you do your best because you want to make him proud, because you want to reach that level.

Siguro madami pa akong di maisulat. Ewan – I know we really did not reach un level of closeness when it comes to personal life unlike all of those people na I know mas nasaktan sa nangyari but for me – he was a great leader, the one you can lean onto. And I am so very thankful to God that He made me knew a person like you. Ayun lang.

Indeed up until that last minute, may natutunan pa din ako. I learned to say goodbye. And that was only there that I cried because I realised that I cannot anymore think na naka-leave lang siya – mahirap pala magpaalam. (Because all the persons who died before – I didn’t say goodbye to)

***

At times I’m tempted to just think that all of this was not true – to just abandon all things and believe na naka-leave nga lang siya but I guess it would be an insult to his memory. I think I owe it na maalala lahat until the last minute because I knew his life was lived wonderfully. Life here on earth will be a little bit boring without him.

***

Ang hirap gumawa ng ending thoughts sa blog post na to. All my posts as I’ve read have a really nice ending sentence pero eto ako walang maisulat. (Oh darn you subconscious – way of rebelling mo na naman kasi ayaw mo pa din maniwala)

At times people have their own way of coping up with a loss. Some – they can’t say goodbye to because it would really break their heart (and I’ve done that all too many years ago) But this time – I’m saying goodbye for the last time, because you taught me how to and I think that you will really rest in peace knowing that our heart is already at peace with your passing away.

***

P.S. Actually I didn’t really plan on attending the burial. But when I learned that they were going to attend – I had this urge na sumama. I don’t know and I’m happy that God made it possible – so even if I was on 3pm to 12am shift – I thought I could carry on. Mabuti na lang na-file ko ung tax return and buti na lang napakacooperative ng 207 and 201 ko at nareview nila ng mabilis. I stayed from 3am until morning – kahit na wala akong super close na kasama. Kasama ko papunta sila Malyn at 3am – andun pa ‘yung iba and sinamahan nila ako until mga 4:30am dumating un mga Canada peeps and iniwan na nila ako. Sabi ko nga kina Gitte – was nila ako iwanan until di pa dumadating un mga MF peeps. Kaya lang dahil mag- 5:30am na at mattraffic pa sila umalis na din sila. Mabuti na lang dumating din agad mga MF peeps. Haha. I made it! Indeed, up until the last – you made me do something out of way – and I’m glad I did it.

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