Friday, January 4, 2008


24" x 30", acrylic on canvas
12" x 17", pen and ink on paper

Tonight, coming home from Luna Street from my regular haunt in front of Pasay Chung Hua Academy, I saw a very thin girl. No, not a thin girl but a "stick thin" girl. She seemed to be one of those young waifs I'd see scurrying along the streets of Pasay at night poking at the garbage and hoping to find their next meal. She looked so "unnervingly" familiar.

I passed her and she looked at me blankly. She was in a ragged skirt skipping and hopping on a rope. Beside her was an old woman rummaging through a pile of garbage with a short blunt stick. The old woman was selecting, as I could see in the dim light, through a pile of what seemed to be thrown holiday contents from someone's refrigerator.

"HOY! P**a kang bata ka. Itigil mo na yan at tulungan mo ako dito. (Stop that and help me with this!), was what I heard the old woman shout to the child in her feeble voice as I walked on towards Taft Avenue.

When I got home and sat in front of the computer to read some emails, the little girl's image kept on pounding in my brain. Then it dawned on me.

She was the Jumping Rope Girl I saw about a year ago gingerly jumping with her rope. I rummaged through some past posts and saw this one long buried and forgotten...


March 06, 2006

This morning I sit by my window looking out. The whole street was alive with cars, jeeps and people hurrying to places where they should be. It's just another Monday - the start of another week and I have my coffee with me. My eyes still smarting from the bright morning sun, I need a few more sips to ease myself to being fully awake.

Then I saw her across the street below. She could be around 7 or 8 years old - a little girl I have seen these past few early mornings playing in the same place at the parking lot of the bank across. Today I see that she's skipping on a new rope. "Plat... plat... plat..." even above the din of the cars honking, I could hear her rope hitting the sidewalk cement. Oblivious to things around her, she would just hop on one leg, keeping perfect time to her rope hitting the ground. Like the cadence of a marching band, the child can keep her rythm as steady as a clock.

I am just amazed to watch her, early this Monday morning.

How time flies...


Kiks said...

the wonder of ordinariness can only be seen with a fresh pair of eyes.

and sometimes, they never really wear us out.

Anonymous said...

wow Palma !!!
what a fantastic image...
I love your style and your story telling
wishing you all the very best with your exhibition :)

suzanne cabrera said...

It is so interesting how we can file the subject of a drawing deep into the recesses of our mind, only to have it resurface once the subject does.

Beautiful story. Beautiful sketch and painting.

palma tayona said...

@ kiks : we simply have to keep our eyes open.

@ kim : thank you kim for the wonderful greeting and wish.

@ suzanne : and an added note, that work will be part of my first show. thank you