BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Friday, December 29, 2006


He sits on that busy corner, by the road behind the pink fences, below the Quezon Avenue station of the MRT. He cannot see the hordes of commuters going about their daily grind through that part of the city because he is blind. But he knows they can hear him.

His vocal contortions, after all, fill the air. Never mind if his microphone and speaker are covered with layers of dust left by speeding vehicles plying that part of EDSA. He sings everyday to make a living. A box for coins is on top of the black rustic speaker.

His singing is louder than the deafening horns of moving buses and jeepneys.

I could not miss him. Whenever I take the train, this blind man is there singing a different song each time. His voice reverberates through the loud speaker but it is never unpleasant to my ears. And I always make it a point to drop off some coins. My aunt once said that if you enjoy the music of street musicians, even for just a split second, you ought to share something in return just as they shared their music to you.

Early this evening, on my way home, I didn't take the train. I drove my car but still I heard him as I passed by that part of the city. He was playing Pasko na Sinta Ko. I don't know about the other motorists or the thousands of commuters around him but as always, his music was a treat for me.

It is a momentary respite from both the noise and the silence around me.