Sweet vengeance | Inquirer Opinion
Young Blood

Sweet vengeance

Again, the shiny dreadful thing I carried on my back was mocked by my classmates. “Wait till you hear it sound,” I growled back at their ridicule while mumbling a silent prayer to the god of music, or whoever else cared to give life to my nylon strings. “Gling!” If Rizal were listening, he might have remarked, “Sounds like the braying of an ass. Nice try, kiddo.”

Well, my guitar failed me again.

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“You’ll never be successful with guitar playing. Your last resort will be your singing prowess,” my flabby mentor said.

Though the singing prowess sends melodies right into my ears, most of it was pretty much distorted by the first four words of insult that, I didn’t know, would stain my pure desire. Nothing has ever been challenging to my 10-year-old spirit; the challenge to be fought is beyond my capabilities. Only a smile is what I can shoot back to that good-natured flabby. But I owe him, though.

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Yet, I’ve always clung to the fact that music runs in my blood, coming from both sides of the family. My Dad is from a family oriented to the harana (serenade) and has his dexterous fingers gliding on the fret board while my Mom sings to the rhythm. This always happens on nights when my father arrives home from pamamasada (plying the streets), with lugaw   (gruel) and baryahan (coins) in each hand.

I was then living in my mother’s womb, yet I witnessed everything; being nurtured by musical blood, or is it really? Or is it trying to run away from me and being so generous to let ordinary blood enter my veins? This is enough to be called a frustration.

My parents also believed in what I believe. So all of a sudden, my mother purchased for me an unbranded electric guitar and a mini-amplifier. I immediately began to picture myself as Tommy Emmanuel, or even the sensational Jerry C during those years.

Eight months passed. I turned myself out as a rock star. I happily went to school with my new, shiny electric guitar—not a burden anymore, but enough to make me float with pride as my classmates murmured with envy—dreadful they were this time. “Can you play that?” they said with an air of mockery, “You can’t even bring out a single note.”

So I walked nervously to the stage where the recital was taking place. I sat down on the stool, which also seemed to be confused, with my beaming electric guitar in hand. I breathed deeply as the backing track played, vivifying memories, extracting and restoring what seemed to have happened a minute ago. The stain impressed on my desire was freshened, yet it was being bleached by the painstaking months of enforcing flexibility on my tiny, frail fingers.

Then the sensational shredding of Canon Rock cried out from the guitar. At the same time, in my mind, I was applying the shredding technique on my teacher. Suddenly, I was Attila the Hun.

All I heard was, not clapping, but gasping.

Kim Emmanuel C. Cañazares, 17, is a classical philosophy student at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Seminary in Lucban, Quezon.

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TAGS: Electric guitar, Guitar music, Music in the blood, Young Blood
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