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O wag kang tumingin ng ganyan sa'kin.

In between writing nineteen papers (yes, 19) and trying to revise my thesis, I somehow stumbled upon the link to something I've been waiting for for quite a while now - the short documentary on Sugarfree's "Paalam Pilipinas" farewell concert.

I wasn't there that night. I should have been and I could have been, but I wasn't. Instead, I was holed up in my dorm, somewhere along Katipunan, trying desperately to finish a play that was to be submitted later that day to one of the most terrorizing (yet one of the best) professors I've ever had. I was torn between a night of reckless abandon, singing along to my favorite band with probably a beer or someone else's fingers in hand, or a night of piecing together characters and a plot I've long grown tired of.

My boyfriend texted me earlier that evening, asking me if I wanted to go. He and his orgmates suddenly decided to go on such a short notice - he had the car, he had the company. He knew I loved this band. And he knew I shouldn't be stuck in front of my laptop slaving away to a play when I should be listening to one of my favorite local bands live. I knew right away that that in itself was already a recipe for a great, memorable night: a final paper to submit, impromptu temptation by boyfriend, a farewell gig that could not be missed - it was even raining, for crying out loud - wasn't this how all those coming-of-age scripts in movies went, or something?

But alas that night I could only think of my own unfinished script for CW130. I could have easily said yes to my boyfriend, hell I would have gone even if he didn't invite me - who wouldn't? - but I was reminded of the look on my professor's face the day he threw all our first drafts to our faces, and that was that.

I spent that night instead listening to the live streaming over at Jam 88.3 while chatting up with a friend who was also missing out because of an upcoming exam. We felt like the saddest, most unfortunate kids in those few hours; I'm sure if anyone would be able to get their hands on our thread, they would find the world's saddest pity party. We were both crying and whimpering (through emoticons of course.. or not) at the bands' quips and at their every riff, so in a sense, we too were there. We heard the songs, and we sang them. But half of my attention was on the blinking cursor on the screen waiting to be pushed towards the end of complete sentences, instead of on Ebe and Jal and Kaka shaking their heads and strumming their fingers and hitting their notes for the last time.

Watching the documentary, I could not help fighting back the tears. One, for the evoked sadness of realizing once again that Sugarfree is no longer. But more for the fact that of course, I missed it, all of it. I should have been there - my arms one with the crowd waving as they opened with Prom, my beer up in the air as they sang of memories and of an old jacket in the corner in Kwarto, and my hands shivering in half-confusion and half-delight as they said goodbye with Burnout.

Burnout. I can't believe I missed out on Burnout. I carry a certain degree of fondness over that song because it's... UP. (Actually, Sugarfree has been the soundtrack of my UP stay, but Burnout just really stands out from all the songs.) It's the encapsulation of my experience in three and a half glorious minutes. It's in my afternoon walks along Roces St., it's in the anxiety I feel as I fill out my blue books, it's in the jeepney rides that usher me into the comforting calm of lush green trees along the Oval. It's in all the times I wanted to give up, and all the moments I chose to carry on. For all those times it pushed me away and all those days I relished in my stay - it was there. It was mine. It's my song. And I couldn't even bid it goodbye.

I guess what makes it somewhat delicate again despite the fact that it's been a year later is that, this time, I'm about to graduate. I really am supposed to bid farewell now, to take an exit - but because I never got closure with the song, I feel like I could never have the finality for college as well. Is it so weird to get this attached to songs?

I still regret not going to that gig. Even if I did get an uno for that playwriting subject. I missed out on one of the most important bands to me. I did not give them a proper send-off like a true fan should have. This almost feels like sacrilege to me.

But not saying goodbye that night to Burnout makes me feel like I shouldn't say adieu to UP either. In some twisted, warped way, it comforts me, the thought that because I was never there to witness it end, then maybe it didn't end - both Sugarfree and the memories they bring along with them. There's this nagging, lingering impression that I didn't miss out on a farewell because there wasn't a farewell.

I sure hope so. In the meantime, I shall let the band, the memories, and the songs keep me company as I drudge through the final weeks of my stay as an undergrad.