Sanctuary amidst Technology

It was already 5:30 PM. The show has not started yet at that time.

The parking lot space used for an event was filled with people. It was a mall tour for a band that’s promoting their latest album.

Then finally, The host started the show. He started with a simple game of asking trivia questions about the band. Nobody in the crowd dared go to the stage to answer them except, of course, the avid fans.

At long last, the band is onstage! The crowd went wild and the fans rushed to the barriers that separate them from the stage.

I do not know why I went there on my own at that time. Maybe because I really like the band, or I really like their music…It was the music.

There is something always special in a song when there is a violin accompaniment. I’m not sure. All I know is that my eyes were focused on the electric violin the whole time.

I think that was the first time I laid eyes up close on an electric violin. A shoulder rest is added. The bout’s missing.

What’s more surprising to me was the other bandsman’s electric cello, only a fingerboard with strings. It is handled like a real cello but it is supported on the other end to a belt around the player’s waist, Thus he could stand and it was easier for him to “rock” it out as he jumps in sync to their song, something hard to do with a real cello.

I guess the amplifier takes care of these instruments’ unique sound since it was almost the same as the real ones. I’m not sure.

As they hold their mini-concert, I saw the numerous cellphones, digital cameras, and even tablets stretching out within the crowd, trying to take numerous pictures of them and the ones who owned those gadgets. Not to mention, record their performance.

These people, especially the fans, were making noises when they saw a glimpse of a bandsman upstage, a while before the show started. After that was a bit of deep silence as they were focused on what their gadgets’ lenses were focusing.

I honestly thought that they were here not exactly for the band, but for their music…directly played in front of us.

Not from radios.

Not from televisions.

Not from portable music players.

I think that is another reason behind why the vocalist of a band makes the audience sing some parts of their song during their performances.

Well, I just brushed that aside as I watched the show.

Then, while a sad love song was playing,

there I noticed…

A man all by himself in the midst of the crowd, almost has his arms crossed since one of his hands was covering his face as he had his head look down.

It seemed at that time that the song entranced him as he was on complete melancholic state as the song plays. To me, it was a sight where there was just him and the band playing, nothing and no one else.

After that, a happy love song was playing…

Still ignoring the waving gadgets, I noticed a couple where the person was hugging his partner from her back as their bodies was swaying to the beat of the band’s music…stuck in their world where it was just them and the band.

Both were good sights in my opinion.

We tend to forget certain things as we focus our attention to another.

We usually think that these things are easily ignored or compromised.

Or maybe I am still stuck by the ideal sight of how music concerts should be.

The concert finished at about 7:00 pm.

People dispersed as most returned to the mall. Only the fans remained each with their own copy of their album as they wait for the band to sign them.

I never saw the couple or even the man after the show.

But at least they had found minutes of refuge before they gone back to their realities again.


さようなら (sayounara)


A Japanese term meaning goodbye. じゃ また (ja mata) also means goodbye, but these two terms are different…


It is required on our curriculum for being a math major to learn at least one foreign language. Ever since, my childhood was filled with anime and up ’til now I am still enjoying their stories and plots. Because of this, I chose to learn the Japanese language or 日本語 (nihongo).


The class of basic Japanese was great! It was so great that I used up my free electives just to continue learning Japanese. I even had a great bond with my classmates and 先生’s (senseis).


I learned a lot of things. Being able to read them. Write them. Speak them. I even want to share these terms to others.


With the people I know, we would usually use the romaji (or how a Japanese word is syllabicated) when we have text conversations mixed with English and/or Filipino terms.


But this is the thing that I am fond of doing: telling Japanese phrases to people that do not understand it. It is some kind of surprise, not to mention a cute sight to see that person “die” slowly with curiosity.


I can’t remember how many countless phrases I stored up. Usually, I would utilize them right away or plan on how I would use them in situations.


My draft message in my cellphone were filled with phrases. Every time my 先生 would mention a phrase worth sharing, I would quickly grab my phone and type its romaji.

I even almost hated myself because I forgot one time that my 先生 viewed a short clip where a boy said to a girl the “ultimate” way of showing affection.


It is really fun to learn Japanese or any other language. The reason we learn a language is to meet.

To know.

To understand.

To express.

To communicate.

To bond.

じゃ また.

じゃ また means goodbye, but it actually means more of a “see you later.” You part ways with the person but you both expect to see each other very soon. A very optimistic message of knowing that both of you will always have time to meet.


I have learned to say all these words and expressions to people who know or do not know the language.

…except one.

I thought that I would not need to say this. It was too sad to pronounce it, but I believe that our situation actually fits the definition.

This is goodbye.

We parted ways.

The difference is that we will never see each other again. Unless, in the distant future that we might meet, it is not because of fate. We will just treat the meeting that it just happened, and we will say goodbye once again.