Akso Rojas
Akso Rojas' realm of abstract sphere hyperspace
The Shoes He Will Be Wearing
Categories: Free Writing

It was the middle of summer. The kind of days when the gust of wind produces burn on your skin creating tan lines on your back that testifies your midsummer’s goings-on. And these are the times of the year that I have to stay with Tatay and Nanay. That is how we, their apos, call them. I have to endure an exhilarating seven-hour travel time to be with them. But to understand how long a dreary, mind-numbing seven hours of sitting in a public bus is, you have to be familiar with the law of relativity. Calculating that using Einstein’s way ~that seven hours is equivalent to my three days worth of time.

Like any other story, I was able to bear the boredom of the seven-hour trip. I arrived just in time before sunset. Our house is located wherein you will see the setting sun in between mountains. And every day, some minutes before night awakens, when I look out the window, I observed that each sunset of every summer is differently crafted by the universe. And every drama of each sunset I dreamt of seeing is right in front of me. Sunset reminds me of the coming death of life. This thought keeps hunting me. It whimpers in my ear that every day there ‘is’ this one sun that has to be buried. And it’s like a gunman shot me at point blank range with the idea of: SOONER OR LATER, I WILL DIE.

It has always been summer that I get the chance to be with Tatay and Nanay. That’s the only time of the year when all them cousins, coming from different region and countries, reunite and bond and visit the beaches of La Union. This is the time of the year when I burn my skin. I will be darker and I will hate myself that I spent another summer in the province.

I bid my respect to gramps. Went straight to one of the rooms, unpacked my bags. Then and there, I saw a pair of brown shoes. It’s Tatay’s I assume.

I jokingly said that I want the shoes. Tatay said that I can’t have those. I reiterated that I really want them. Tatay didn’t answer. This gives me the urge to want the shoes more although it’s not my type and I know that I won’t wear it if I go back to the city. I just want the shoes because I want to tease Tatay and give him one more reason why he needs to drink his hypertension medicine. It is just for fun and, at the same time, to grasp the opportunity of making special memories with Tatay.

The pestering goes on for days. I would wear the shoes and when Tatay saw me putting on them, he’ll get mad and would remind me in an irritated tone that I can’t have them. This continued until summer was over. I then had to return back to the city.

The next summer, we celebrated the grand reunion. My uncles and aunties together with my parents wanted to have this before it’s too late. Tatay and Nanay are not getting any younger. That same summer, I saw the shoes again. It was still new and barely used. I didn’t care at all, because at that moment, I am looking at the sunset. It was lovely and nostalgic at the same time. Yes, at the same time.

That was the last summer.

Because months later, a different reunion is to be commemorated. My family is to celebrate a bittersweet gathering ~Tatay’s funeral. My uncle called each one of the apo and asked one thing: “Is there a will or a wish that Tatay told you before his passing?” This is one of the hardest questions that have been asked to me not because I do not know the answer but because it only means one thing. Tatay is already gone. My cousin told my Uncle that Tatay wants to wear the brown shoes when he died.

The same brown shoes that I am pestering Tatay a year ago. Now it makes sense. That shoe was given to him by my uncle. And up until the last moment, Tatay wanted to wear the things that were given to him by his loved ones. I knew it, Tatay wants to bring with him in the afterlife his happy memories. Memories of which will map his way to the heavens.

I still think of sunset as a coming death of man, and Tatay had a stunning sunset of his life. But the thought of deaths and sunsets no longer creep me out. I am going to die, I know, but I will collect as many happy memories I could collect.

And I will watch as many sunsets I could watch..

223 Comments to “The Shoes He Will Be Wearing”

  1. teka, mag-iisip muna ako kung sino ita-tag ko…hehehe.

  2. teka, may ganitong version ang chicken soup for the soul Ax. about a girl naman na may nagpapadala sa kanya ng love letter tuwing valentine’s day…di niya alam kung sino ang sender…

    it went on and on, then ang last statement niya is that noong namatay ang nanay niya, hindi na rin siya nakakatanggap ng valentine’s card…

    labkodispost ax. pang-book na naman.

  3. Ax, bakit protected na ang blog ni brother hamster? what happened?

  4. superlolo says:

    Pa 2nd beys Ax.

    Ang ganda Ax nitong kuwento mo…may kurot.

    —“I am going to die, I know, but I will collect as many happy memories I could collect.”

    Amen.

    • Ax says:

      Salamat po Super Lolo sa appreciation! Hehe. Ü nung nagkaron na ako ng w0rk, di na po ako masyado nakakauwi sa La Union. Hehe.

  5. Vajarl says:

    La Union? Shux baka kamag anak mo si Dracula. Haha. Magtatago na nga ako. Lol.

    Nagkalat pala ang mga kamag anakan mo all over the country. Para pala kayong ipis. Joke. :P Hindi ko kase alam ang sasabihin ko pag tungkol sa kamatayan na. Pero tanong ko lang, totoong story ba to? Or part ng book mo ata?

    Now that I think about it, I never really spent time tryong to watch the sun set. I think I have had a couple of chances to do so, I guess I was too busy dealing with people when the scenery should’ve been enough to keep me preoccupied.

    For what it’s worth, I believe in the afterlife. I know my religious views can get extreme but I really do. I just think it is nice to think that we have something to look forward to going to after we are finished with this one we have here.

    So let’s enjoy the sunsets as long as we are here. I know I should do that more often. :D

  6. Vim says:

    Because of the shoes, you’ve made a wonderful story! Ganda! Galing! Naconnect connect mo ang sunset, ang summer, ang shoes, at ang death. Galing!

    • Ax says:

      Salamat Vim!

      I want to write about summer and my province and then, I realized I am writing about death and a pair of brown shoes!

      Sasabihin ko sa’yo yung good news kapag may good news. Hehe.

  7. lababo says:

    aw. Lungkot. ayoko pa muna ng mga ganitong kwento. =(

    Tama, watch as many sunsets as you can. Yun lang naman ang magagawa natin talaga, ienjoy at gawing makabuluhan lahat.

    *hindi ko chinecheck ang site mo kasi for some reason ay palagi syang nabablock dito sa office. Isa ka daw virus. lol. Pero ewan ko, tinry ko kanina, okay naman.

    • Ax says:

      Salamat, Lababo sa comment!

      Araw araw may sunset, kaya araw araw, feeling ko yung magnificence ng isang Divine para gumawa ng sunset ay regalo niya sa atin! Hehe.

      Again, salamat at napadalaw ka!

  8. mtoni says:

    tama kutob ko na gagamitin ung ng lolo pagpanaw nya.
    dati kasi naalala ko ung lolo namen sa tuhod na humingi sa nanay ko ng relo.

    • Ax says:

      T’was two years ago nung namatay si Tatay. No worries, okay lang. May mga death wish talaga siyang sinabi kung ano yung susuotin niya. Ganon, gusto niya mamamatay na suot yung soldier uniform niya. Kase nagsilbi siya sa Pilipinas as a soldier. He went through war noong World War II. Gusto niya rin na nandun yung plate niya. Plate ba tawag dun? Yung apilyido tapos pini-pin? Hehe. Tapos, yung relo din na bigay ng Tita ko. Yung mga yon. Basta lahat ng bigay. May bag pa ngang sinama sa grave. Isasama na nga rin dapat ako, kaso sabi ko: unfair! Bakit isasama ako! Waah!

  9. mtoni says:

    kaya hanggang kaya pilitin magukol ng panahon sa mga mahal sa buhay.
    mahiwalay man pansamantala o pansamantagal ay nagawa mo ang obligasyon na laan para sa kanila.

  10. J.Kulisap says:

    Pang Readers Digest.

    Na dig ko ba, ‘di ate berkie, english na naman.

  11. J.Kulisap says:

    Inihaw, namiss ko bigla ang pagbabasa ng Chicken Soup for the Soul..bakit kaya nakalimutan ko na?

  12. Mon says:

    eto ba yung for ****** Ax,
    mamya ko na babasahin ha. hehe

  13. J.Kulisap says:

    OT:
    Suplado na blog ni Jason Hamham.

    Siguro may ginagawa siyang transformation, parang si Jolina, nawala pagbalik isa na lang pilikmata na kulay red/orange na parang isang kilometro yata ang haba.

  14. mr. nonsense says:

    uy…pakakataon mo nang makuha yung sapatos. sige na bago magising *kidlat*….hoy sabi ni jason sabihin ko raw yan

    btw, mukha kang na-inspire sa last blog ni jason at yung mga comments dun…

    • Ax says:

      Oo nga, kukuhain ko sana kaso may problema..

      nung kukuhain ko, nagalit siya. Sabi niya, “Sinabi ko na sa’yo na huwag mong kukuhain eh.”

      Ayown.

  15. ron says:

    sunsets are beautiful and sad at the same time… everything ends but that’s not a reason to enjoy it…

    • Ax says:

      true indeed.

      i rather watch the sunset and slumber in my sleep that i experienced such a wonder.. than wake up at morning and fear of another sunset in the coming night.

  16. taribong says:

    Sinuot nga ni tatay? naalala ko lang ang pamahiin na hindi isinusuot ang sapatos sa yumao, sa tabi lang ng paa, dahil baka kung bumisita siya, may mga yabag na maririnig… tok. tok. tok. at least, mawe-welcome mo siya hehe

    • Ax says:

      Ay teka, ang alam ko suot, or I am not sure kung nilagay lang sa casket.. i reminiscing it.. ganun ba yun? hindi sinusuot?

      Sige, kapag may narinig akong naglalakad, eh, sisigaw na lang agad ako!

  17. jeniffer says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. What can I say?

  18. pengengbente says:

    ang galing mo magsulat ax… parang nandon ako sa eksena habang kinukwento mo…

  19. ODDBLOOD says:

    ang lungkot naman but i really enjoyed reading this..i felt the warmth, the sincerity and the heart..o ha! ^_^

  20. jason says:

    nakakalungkot to ax…

    ikaw pilyo ka talaga. buti di mo nadungisan o nasira yung sapatos kundi lagot ka. isasama ka nya. hahah biro lang.

    the sunset..

    hanggang ngayon pag nakakakita ka ng sunset naaalala mo si tatay?

    huwag ng malungkot axo.

    magandang umaga!

    • Ax says:

      Ahm, not only Tatay. Kase when one of my Tito died, daddy ng pinsan ko, it was sunset at La Union nung binalita sa amin.

      Grabe, ibang iba yung sunset noong araw na yun. Ang pula pula. Parang ang daming dust particles. And then, the next bad news given to us, namatay nga yung isa sa mga Tito namin.

  21. jason says:

    hmmmmmmmmmmmm

    nalungkot ako bigla akso..
    kasi naisip ko one time
    darating din ang time na
    magpapaalam si lolo ko…

    i remember one last time nung namatay lolo ko, fatherside. di kami masyadong close. pero napahagulgol ako nung nakita ko si daddy biglang hinablot ang twalya tapos umiyak ng umiyak.

    yung lolo ko ngayon ang medyo close ko. nasa bahay kasi sya palagi. kahit medyo bingi na eh nakakatuwa pa din sya, lakas ng sense of humor.

    tama na.. ayaw ko na magkwento. kaw kasi e
    hahaha

  22. gerald says:

    padaan muna ah, sa sobrang haba kase ng post mo eh nagutom ako bigla.. balik nalang ako. =)

  23. pinkdiaries says:

    kala ko naman makaka base nako! hirap naman! hehehe

  24. bipolarsisa says:

    nakakaiyak naman. :(

    lalo na yung association ng sunset with a death..naspeechless na naman ako.

  25. arsean says:

    nakakalungkot naman ang post mo ax…naalala ko tuloy yung lolo ko bata pa ako when he passed away…

    ang naalala ko nman sa kanya yung tungkod nya…ayaw na ayaw nya malalayo yun at paglaruan namin…pag inagaw mo tyak mapapalo ka nya…Aw!!

    love this post.. :-)

    • Ax says:

      Sa amin naman, pag ginabi ka ng uwi, nakow, papaluin ka talaga. Hello, eh mga kamag-anak lang naman ang pinupuntahan namin. Minsan natulog kami sa bahay ng pinsan ko, pero nagpaalam kami kaya ayos lang. One time, nag-inuman tapos di kami nagpaalam, ay nakow, paktay kaming lahat nung mga panahon na yun.

      Papauwiin daw ako ng Manila at lahat kaming magpipinsan papauwiin. Haha, nung time na yun gusto ko ng umuwi!.. kaso ayoko kase masaya kasama mga pinsan ko!

      • arsean says:

        lagi ka sigurong may latay noon sa pagkapasaway mo…hahaha

        • Ax says:

          hindi naman. dumating yung point na ayaw kong umuwi sa probinsya kahit pilitin ako ng buong angkan ko.

          kahit pilitin ako nila mama at daddy.

          that was the time, i was introduced to pride. wala ayoko lang umuwi dun. that is the time when i am too young and too stupid.

          and too reckless.

          and i wish i could collect all the memories i missed with all my cousins on that specific summertime.

  26. timangkey says:

    “its better to die than to fade away…”

    i dont know where ive seen that one.
    kakalungkot naman nun. umiyak ka?

  27. (i think) wearing the shoes means two things.

    one is about reliving the memories you had with the owner. even if you don’t wear it, so long as you see it once in a while, the memories come like a movie reel rewinding.

    second is a bit on its physicality. don’t you think wearing those shoes means wearying out too of the memories? wearing the shoes might change the effect of the memories on you,

    or probably, this is just the way I look at it

    *_*

    • Ax says:

      i remember the story of a child who was given a shirt by her crush.

      and the child says that the shirt does not look so great.. but he’ll wear it everyday because the giver is someone special.

  28. jason says:

    Magandang Umaga sayo AKSO!!!!

  29. gerald says:

    ayan, nabasa ko na.. naalala ko tuloy ang lolo ko (father side) sa tarlac. wala na rin sya, five years ago pa. hindi naman kame close pero uhmm.. wala lang, hindi lang kame close.

    condolence sa family nyo… :(

    • Ax says:

      Ayos lang, matagal na rin naman tong nangyari. And he wouldn’t want any one in the family be stuck in the past. Ayos lang.

  30. Vajarl says:

    Gudevening Boss! Mga hindi kayo nagpakita kanina sa happy berdey bash ni MOMMY Kaye! Hahaha.

  31. euford says:

    hai kua ax aus ang post mong to ahahahaha

  32. sixto says:

    hey sir. napadaan lang ako..i really like your site especially the layout. Sir Ax right?

  33. Joyo says:

    ano pinabaon mo kay lolo mo Mr. Ax?

  34. onealberto says:

    dear ax,

    Nalungkot ako sa kwento mo. may kurot ika nga. na-iimagine ko tuloy yong brown na shoes kung ano meron dun? pero napaka realistic ng kwento mo, kasi lahat tayo mamamatay, lulubog na prang araw. pero bago pa man yon dumating eh we journey the path kung saan at ano ang gusto natin. maganda ang lesson ng kwento, catchy din ang sunset na emphasized mo sa kwento.

    maganda ang mga writing stints mo, walang duda. yun nga lamang naboboring ako sa font ng blog mo.

    sincerely yours,
    youknowmewho ;)

    • Ax says:

      kahit lumubog naman ang araw, kinabukasan may panibagong sinag pa rin. patuloy na iinog ang mundo.. maraming araw at buwan ang sasakop sa langit.

      ayos lang, basta maraming alaala na iiwan.

      OT: haha, i’ll try other font. kaso busy pa ako these days to experiment on whatnots. salamat sa advise.

      i remain,
      the funny precog alien

  35. orville says:

    hehe.. sobrang busy.. di na ako nakaka hop sa mga blogs nyo.. huhuhu

    • Ax says:

      oks lang. take your time, alam kong may dapat kang gawin at tapusin. hehe.

      • orville says:

        hehe last week talagang nakakapagod.. punta kami sa isang elementary school para bigay ng mga gifts sa mga malnourish na mga bata taz last saturday night sa ospital naman.. nagpakain kami at nagpa kape.. hehe. kakapagod pero ibang klaseng pagod ang naramdaman namin.. may satisfaction. hehe..

  36. Vajarl says:

    Goodmorning Boss! Tara fishball tayo! Haha.

  37. jason says:

    AKSO!!!!!!!!

    magandang umaga!!!

    teka.
    sama ka nga pala.

    basta. email kita

  38. slaveboi says:

    Very nicely written. I like it. :)

  39. emiLaySkie says:

    Ang lungkot naman nito. My condolences Ax. Will be praying for your Tatay, you and your family.

  40. sows says:

    hmm, dpat pla nagpe prepare na rin ako ng shoes ko. dpat striking red pra may art..e

  41. dong ho says:

    Is there a will or a wish that Tatay told you before his passing? This is one of the hardest questions that have been asked to me not because I do not know the answer.. but because it means only one thing. Tatay is already gone. >>> bigat nga isipin to. pero talagang dadaan yata talaga tayo diyan.

  42. Vajarl says:

    Goodmorning Boss! Pizza for breakfast? Para maligayahan naman si Hamsterman. Haha. :D

  43. Richard says:

    ax, kasali to sa nuff? hehe. kung ganun, panalo ka na. :-)

    • Ax says:

      actually not. there’s a problem i have encountered. mali ang email na binigay ng nuff. so, technically, hindi ito kasali.

  44. arsean says:

    good morning ax!!!

  45. jason says:

    woist akso nareceive mo na email ko?

  46. Emarth says:

    ang galing u naman mag english kuya.. ahm buti pa kayo..

  47. kevin says:

    hello po.. gud afternoon po.. pwed po ba akong mgplink sa site nyo po? kailangan lng po kasi sa grade po nmin… kailangan ko po kasing pataasin ung alexa rank ko po… pra lng po tlga sa grade.. nagmakaawa po ako… thank you po sana po maintindihan nyo po.. pra lng po tlga sa grade ko po e2..

    • Ax says:

      sure, no problem. hehe. for awhile lang, afternoon rush ako ngayon. may tinatapos lang.

      by the end of this day, nakalink ka na. hehe.

  48. kevin says:

    friend po pla ako ni kuya robert.. sinabi nya po na mgplink po ako sa inyo kasi po marrami po kyong visitors at mataas po kasi rank nyo po.. sana po ilink nyo po ako sa site nyo po.. pra lng po tlga sa grade ko po…

  49. Vajarl says:

    Boss Gagambax! Gising! Hahahaha.

    Gudafternun boss! Bili tayo sago!

  50. bluguy says:

    the shoes i will be wearing at the sunset of my life……secret? nope…it’s blu!!!!

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  52. Blotspace says:

    This is one sad post. You are right. life is really short and that’s a reality that we cannot deny.