BUGS & BYTES,
In Bigger Prints

Table of Contents

 

Section I
PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, IKLOG (O MANOK?)

1 The Egg

2 Hatsing! (Bless Me)

3 Arthropodic Wisdom

4 Dear Decision Maker

5 Letters To The World

6   A Pain In My Head

7 Something Happened On My Way To School
8   A Discourse on The Grand Laws of the Universe

9 Black or White

10 Bayanihan in Jeddah

11 Chair of The Interim Board

12 Breakaway Telephonic Existence

13 The 'R' in Mrs. Regis

14 One City, One School

15 Eggs Breaking

16 PESJ History

17 The Chicken Fence

18 Believing The Man

19   My Own Version of The Jolo-Caust

20 My Sister's Version

21 The Rifle Guitar

22   Cat Stevens Unplugged

23  Landing on D-Day

24 The Great O-O-Os of the Late 20th Century

25 He Kept On Stumbling Over Chickens And Eggs

26   The Renaissance of Tilapia Farming And The Likes

27   The Saga Continues

28   The Pigeons In Our Lives

29 The Essence of Education

30   A School Is A Home

31  Gentle Fire From The Qur'an

32  At The Threshold

33  A Brief Discourse On Dancing

34  Being First

35   At The Edge of Light-Blue Metallic

36   Grappling With The Colossus

 

Section II
BUGS & BYTES
In Bigger Prints

The Power To Be
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 1 # 1

Of Crabs & Men
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

PathWalks
Excerpts from B & B Vol. 2 # 2

An Inability To Understand
Excerpts from A Speech by Prince Charles,
B & B Vol. Vol. 3 # 1

'Educating Miriam'
Excerpts from A Case Study of A Philippine School,
B & B Vol 3 # 2

 

Section III
BABEL RISING

A millennial short story

 

A Glossary of Pilipino
(& Near-Pilipino) Terms
Wondering what iklog is?

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In Bigger Prints
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Prologue, Epilogue, Iklog (O Manok?)
Copyright 1999 by Said Sadain, Jr.

36   Grappling With The Colossus

I particularly like driving the car through the long, long corniche of the Red Sea. The over-developed seaside, with its well-manicured boulevard and sand playgrounds and all its weird sculptures and monuments and high-rise buildings dotting its length like ancient, giant stones guarding the waves, gives me a calm that is almost as hallowed as those in the Holy Mosques at Makkah and Madina....

Some days, I park the car beside the boulevard, step out of my sandals into the pavement and, away from the hurly-burly of the city, I climb down to the big rocks, to touch the cold sea with my bare feet and feel the edges of a continent permeate into my bones, sinews and fibers.

It was in one of these moments, while staring out into the sea, the wind and the sky, that I felt the stirring of my bronchitis again, and I started toying with another egg of an idea.

What if, at 41, I become the first to publish a book among my siblings? My brother Mehol surely will not mind.

In between its covers, I can print all the back issues of BUGS & BYTES, my personal letters to the world, and, in one swat, smack the world with them. I can write a prologue to it. An epilogue as well.

I can even offer a modest salutation to the coming millennium by way of a cerebral or celestial (or whatever that you critics will call it later) short story.

Never mind the fact that the last short story I wrote for Focus Philippines, way back in 1980, was half numerical formula and half alphabets. I vaguely recall that I named that story Pages, and in parting, I had sworn then that I would not write fiction again until I could write as good as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

After almost 20 years, have I evolved enough?

I always knew I had a fighting chance to become like Vonnegut. We both have the Jr. at the end of our names. That was a good starting point.

At the office conference table in my OFW workplace, I would often softly but firmly intone to the rest of our management team, Feedback, feedback, gentlemen, is the breakfast of champions. The rest of the management team would look at me and flash their management smile and nod their management nod. Having worked with this management team for the last ten years, I knew for a fact that nobody around the table had read, or even knew of, Vonnegut, so it was either I was being taken up seriously or I was not being heard at all.

When I finally decided on publishing this book, my first resolution was: no more size 7 fonts and no more half-A4 pages. This will be in bigger prints.

Thus the title: BUGS & BYTES, In Bigger Prints!

It is borne out of compunction for the inconveniences of all my readers who complained about the difficulty of reading the small prints. Fortunately, there were only a few of them – my readers, that is, and by deductive reasoning, the complainers.

Some of their letters brought tears to my eyes. They were done in smaller prints.

In the case of Francisco Arcellana's letter, his fine words and lofty title redeemed his shaky chirography: Professor, Emeritus, Francisco, Arcellana, Professor, Emeritus, hmmm.

I still remember the day I held that letter in my hand the first time. I felt like I was being confronted by a Greek colossus, half of his bronze body emerging out of the Red Sea, one hand reaching out for the thunderbolts and the rumbling eggs in the clouds. Having grabbed them, the Colossus started to aim the giant eggs at me. I cringed on the sofa. My wife noticed my discomfiture and advised me to slow down on my coffee.

"I’ll be okay", I told her. I am, after all, your New, Overseas, Filipino, Moro, Hero from Jeddah, Tapul, Island.

 

Waves!

 

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