A PASSING IN A LAND FAR AWAY
March 10, 2010
Sad news, sad summer. In the middle of earthquakes and hypertemperature came the all-too-sudden and premature passing of a dear writer-friend, Fae Barandon. We met back in 2003 as co-fellows for the 1st Juliana Arejola-Fajardo Workshop for Bikol Writing in Pili, Camarines Sur. She was then a staffer for The Pillars, the Ateneo de Naga University school paper. I remember her as smart, reserved, friendly and pretty. It turned out later that she was from Baao, so on my way to Iriga we took the same bus. We talked about the writers’ group that we were planning to form.
Sad summer, sad news. she never was able to attend any of our poetry critique and reading sessions due to “personal issues” as she would opt to say. Later, she went on to take her master’s degree in the US. Thereon, we became occasional chatmates. For her, it was in between MA classes, coffee breaks and her bartending side job. For me, it was in between teaching units, beer breaks, writing and guitar playing. She would describe her milieu, life pattern, and even her European boyfriend who spoke little English. Lost in translation they were.
Sad to hear about her untimely demise. Rest assured though that she enjoyed the last of her days as she was able to do the things she wanted. She used to say that she was not much of a writer. I disagree. Not only that during our workshop she exhibited poetic tension through carefully chosen choppy-syllabic lines, she also truly lived the life of a poet: Ever with a vision, ever with the zeal to create through images and film sequences. As wise men say, death is merely consummation of truth. Now she rests into completion.