Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bai Awak Went to Town

The Chemistry Board Licensure Examination is coming up and I can’t help but feature my lucky charm when I took the exam in 2001. No, it was not the then-chair of the department who enticed luck to perch on my shoulder.


Mama bought me this bayawak or water-monitor lizard, if you want the English name, as a Christmas gift. I was already in college then but on that particular yuletide season, my child alter ego took hold of my sanity and asked Santa a toy bayawak for Christmas.

Kuya Bugoy and I love to dress up the bayawak. He usually tied a bandanna (a la Robin Padilla) around the head of the bayawak and put on a Ray –ban on its eyes. Mama would reprimand us, warning us of lighting bolt from the sky for making fun of an inanimate object. When I drew this, Mama was about to reprimand me as well but decided not to when she saw my plan. Knowing her, she must have whispered a prayer to redirect the lightning bolt away from me.

When girls usually have rag dolls or stuff toys beside them on their bed, the bayawak slept beside me. Mama warned me I might get nightmares when I woke up in the middle of night and the lizard’s head is reared up.

Well, that never happened. But I could never forget the surprised look seamen gave to my bayawak when I boarded the ship to Cebu.

When I went to Manila for the exam, the people at the Air Philippines’ check-in counter asked me to find a container for my bayawak. Even though it is a toy, it might cause a stampede inside the plane.

However, I missed the frightened scream when the visitor of my roommate in Manila upon seeing the bayawak on my hotel bed.

Whether this toy is my lucky charm or not, it is no longer important to me. When I saw this toy over the weekend, I know its body striations would be an interesting subject for charcoal.

Once done, the piece did give me something more than a lucky charm could. It gave me a satisfaction I usually get when I finish a piece of art.

Good luck to the examinees. Wanna borrow my lucky charm?

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