Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alicia Baylon: The Reason is You

There would be no Neko Mimi, if there was no Neko Mama.
And that Neko Mama, was  Alicia Baylon.

My mom and I may look the same, but we can be complete opposites.

She was a very active Catholic, while I am passive about my belief. Whether it was going out or doing any task at home, she moved in a hurry while I often take my time and prefer to do things at my own pace. She preferred to be up and about outside while I'd rather stay at home online. When it comes to computers and the internet, she was just learning her way around, while I would sometimes go into withdrawal symptoms if I do not get my hands on the keyboard and be online at least an hour after a stressful day. She liked books that are religious or devotional in nature and has a whole collection of them, while she hardly touched mine that range from children's books to supernatural to romance and even self-help.

But if there was one thing that held a special place in both our hearts, it would be komiks.

Komiks had played a major role in my life even before I was born. She used to tell me a story of how komiks became the reason how she and my father had met. Mama used to work as a bookkeeper for a shipping company in Manila. While the seamen waited for their name to be called as one of the lucky people who get to work on a ship for the next 6 months, Mama offered them magazines and komiks to keep them entertained. Because of this, Mama was able to befriend a lot of seamen, including Papa. And well, the rest is history.

As I had said in previous posts, I learned to read because of komiks. When I was around 2 or 3 years old, Mama introduced me to what eventually will be OUR komiks: Funny KomiksEventually as I grew older, I also explored other komiks to read. When I was 8, Mama helped me start my "Pugad Baboy" collection. And when PB got sold out of bookstores, she  introduced me to "Mang Ambo" created by Larry Alcala, one of the authors from her time.

We bought a copy of Arnold Arre's "After Eden" on my 15th Birthday. It was the most expensive graphic novel I had at that time, with a Php250 price tag, that I was kinda hesitant if she would oblige. We were a small family living within a tight budget that I grew up learning to keep my wants to myself until I can earn or save up for it. To my surprise, she did oblige to buy the book, and I had made sure that she did not regret it. "After Eden" still remained as my favorite graphic novel even to this day. 

As the years went by, I thought I had grown out of my love for komiks the same way as I had grown out of anime and cartoons. But I was wrong about all these three. Instead of becoming just a passing phase, my love for komiks grew big enough for me to continue it even until adulthood. I had even started my own blog in tribute to my first true love. She had supported me through all my phases, from komiks collector to frustrated komiks writer to an even more frustrated komiks artist until I became the komiks enthusiast I am today. And in due time, I too would be creating komiks for other komiks fans to enjoy.

And all of these began with the enthusiasm and love of one person.

She was the reason for everything. From my birth to my obsession with food up to my love for komiks and books.

And she is also the reason why I am making this post.

~ @ ~

Last August 10, 2012, my mother had passed away from complications of Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare type of fast-acting cancer that affects the digestive system. It took only 3 months, but it had been a long and fierce battle. It was the most difficult time all of my 25 years of life, and though I may not look like it, with her gone, it feels like I had lost my very own right arm. I can still do the things I used to before, but it will never be the same. Somehow, there will always be something missing... something different... something imperfect.

I am still recovering from what had happened, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's a struggle, because I know that no matter what I do, I can never fill in her shoes, even if others expect me to. Sometimes people misunderstand how I am able to go on with my life now that my Right Arm was gone. How it was easy for me to accept that she is now gone. But for me, its not just about acceptance alone. As I said at the introduction, I am not a devout Catholic as my mother was. But I do believe in God, and I think the reason why I do not feel the sorrow of loss was because of my belief in Him. Somehow I am assured that she had a safe journey in the next life and has found her way to Our Father's Kingdom. And is there a more safer place than in the hands of Our Creator?
Still I can't help but think that she would sometimes be beside us, watching over us, maybe with huge white wings and a bright golden halo around her head. And knowing her, she'd want us to go on with our lives, even if it would take us one day at a time. She would want me to go on, chase my dreams, and enjoy my life. Simply, be happy, even if it means swallowing up adult pride and 
acting like a crazy cat high on catnip when around food, books, or komiks.

She was the reason why this blog began.

And she is now the reason why this blog will go on.

This is my very first portrait drawing of my mother.

~ @ ~

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with every day
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
That's why I need you to hear


I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you

And the reason is YOU. *

~ @~

 You will always be the reason for me to go on. 
There are no goodbyes. Because one day, we will meet again.

So I will miss you everyday, until that time that we come together once more.Thank you for everything.
I love you, Mama.

*song: The Reason by HoobastankP.S. THE HIATUS IS OVER. OMG!!! Komiks! is back! Reviews and Komiks reports will resume in the next post.

Neko Mimi Over and Out!

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