was the egg of an idea. Some people will term it, the germ of an idea or the sperm of an
idea, depending on which side of the egg they are looking at. Blessed with my long,
Al-Baik chicken-eating days in Saudi Arabia, I prefer to call it an egg.
Sometimes, I call it a bug
too, considering that I am into serious enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Year 2000
(Y2K) computing these days.
I am Filipino, just as Nur Misuari of the
MNLF/ARMM/SPCPD took the oath of being Filipino when he assumed governorship of the ARMM,
and Martin Nievera of TFC is Filipino. I am Moro, just like Lapulapu and Hashim Salamat,
famous liberation front fighters, are Moros. I am Muslim, just like The Custodian of the
Two Holy Mosques King Fahad ibn Abdul Aziz and Malcolm X Malik Ash-Shahbazz are Muslims.
I am a human being, not a
computer, so I have to warn you about a lot of fuzzy and sometimes illogical logic coming
your way as you go deeper into the book. But just like any other author who thinks he is
writing the next great masterpiece, the Book of the Decade, nay, the Book of the Century,
I urge you to read on.
not a book about religion, or about politics, or about entertainment. Unlike Martin, I am
not a singer. And for the most part, I am not a revolutionary, much more a king or a
governor. I am more of an evolutionary: without the 'r', that is. This is a book about
I evolved from my
fathers past from one of the distant, unknown islands of the Sulu Archipelago,
Tapul. For a while, one of my college buddies kept on calling me The Tapul Man, although I
prefer to reserve that title for my father, who actually grew up in Tapul before marrying
my mother and raising our family in the Jolo Island.
I had the feeling that my
ancestors used to throw sticks and stones at the sky to fathom the mysteries of space and
gravity. I throw computer mouse devices against the false ceiling these days.
I grew up in Jolo, not
having seen Tapul Island at all. Neither did any of my nine other siblings. I am the
second in the brood, which, as will become clearer to you much later, is harder than being
My features are regular:
brown eyes, black hair, aesthetic brown body, meaning 5'4.5" and not fit for
basketball. My wife, Liza, still swears to this day that when she first saw me in the
upper rungs of the UP College of Engineering theater, she thought I was wearing a dimly
glowing halo over my head. However, eighteen years of marriage and four children later,
she now tells me on a good day that she could not see that halo anymore. But maybe, she
would say, it was more like that maudlin Titanic scene between Rose and Jack, Rose looking
up at Jack as her raft was being lowered down the side of the condemned ship. My wife now
realizes that those nimbus lights were in fact distressed signals.
I tell my wife that she
should not get too carried away by the movie. After all, it was just a neat, grand way of
presenting a likely Peeping Tom theory of why RMS Titanic scraped into the iceberg.
I am not
an actor or a movie director, of course.
I could be your everyday,
next-door neighbor, so do not give me the oft-repeated crap about my being so different
from the others. I am only different in the sense that you are also different from anybody
else. You are one-of-a-kind, distinct from your twin sibling, if you have one, or even
from your friendly clone who could be breaking fast with you over chicken and egg and
coffee in the future.