The ecstasy of yours

Three things I love: coffee, snail mail, books. Two more things I love: surprises, giving.

A lot of my friends celebrated their birthday in September; so it was, for me, next to Christmas, the month when I handed out the most number of gifts. And I wonder what makes gift-giving so pleasurable. Does it have to do with the desire to please someone or gain something in return? In my case, all I want is to see a positive reaction from the recipient once the present is unwrapped. So there's selfishness in there, too—needing an acknowledgement of your good taste, attention to the other's lifestyle and quirks, and resourcefulness.

That said, it's also wonderful to be on the receiving end. Yesterday I was bedridden, nursing a cold and tortured by the thought of wasting the entire weekend at home. But happiness soon arrived at the gate, a surprise package from J:

Clockwise from left: (1) a jar of coffee;
(2) a narrative of her day; (3) Twilight translated in Tagalog
How many things do you plan to buy but couldn't get around to buying even if it's easily available and quite cheap? One of those things in my list is a coffee jar. So when I saw this, I giggled. And knowing my friend, something must be inside—and I was right.

For the longest time, we've been exchanging letters— because that's how we roll. But when she moved to a farther place, she stopped receiving mails, including a postcard I sent her from Cebu. Apparently, the post office in her area is not reliable. Where do lost things go?...

A copy of Takipsilim. I was bewildered as Bella. Whatever that means. But J supplied a thorough explanation, said she bought it because:
  1. She found it amazing that the damned book was translated in our language— 'Pinaghirapan din itong isalin ng manunulat natin';
  2. She remembered me when she read the title (referring to a poem I wrote with the same title); and
  3. Because certainly I will never ever buy it for the sheer fact that it's Stephanie Meyer's Twilight and that it's written in Tagalog.
...hinding-hindi mo ito bibilhin dahil ito ay nasa Filipino o Tagalog—attention can sometimes lead to bad judgment, but I'll let it slide. At least now I have a conversation piece to put in my bookcase.

J ended her letter:
Marami din akong bayarin, at ang natira ay nilulustay ko rin. Isang nagpapaligaya pa rin sa akin ang kaunting kakayahang makabili ng mga bagay para sa mga taong mahalaga sa buhay ko; hindi doon sa bagay, kundi sa pagbibigay, 'ika nga. Kaya hayaan mo na lang ako. Sa akin naman, ang lahat ng mga bagay na ito, nabibili man o hindi, ay lilipas din, balewala din pagdating ng panahon. Ngunit alam natin ang mananatili, hindi ba?

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