Every day, after my class in Tuburan, we always recite this verse:

Our work is done
Our day is past
And I will hold so tight and fast
The things that I have learned today.
I have given with my heart and mind
The effort that it needs
And I will strive with all my might
To hold good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.

This week gifted me an affirmation that these kinds of verses will go a long way for us humans.

During my younger years, my father would play Queen almost every morning in the th eplaka. I inevitably memorized Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are the Champions, and We Will Rock You – as if it was predestined. It was not at all a pleasant experience, in fact,it was one of the noisiest mornings of my life with all the “Karamush, Karamush, Bismillah, Galileo!!!”

As I grew up, I would meet aspiring musicians every now and then who dig Queen and would rave about their vocalist Freddie Mercury who, by the time I reached high school, have passed on for a decade or so due to AIDS. It was not a material of interest because I will always remember them as the group responsible for that noise in the house.

This week, however, husband along with friends got really interested in watching Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic about Queen – highlighting the life of their Rockstar vocalist.And so, the other day, I tagged along to see what it is that my friends are so excited about.

The story revealed the Indian lineage of Farrokh, the name given to Freddie by his parents and the humble but bold beginnings of Queen. They chose their name just because it was outrageous. As with their songs, Queen knew that they are not meant to be understood – they’re meant to be listened to. More so, the film is, actually, a glimpse of Freddie Mercury’s biography in the limelight.

Freddie’s father used to utter “Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds” to him when Freddie was a child. And even when Freddie rebelled against it in his youth, Freddie found himself again in aspiring for those values later in his life. Despite being such a mess during the peak and early decline of his health, Freddie was still lucky to have someone utter those words to him; it was with those words that he knew he had faltered. And because he knew he faltered, he knew how to straighten up.

While watching the film, I cannot help but find a certain reverence for the human being in Freddie Mercury. Yes, he was human. He was eccentric, flawed, crazy, and self-centered; his loneliness got the best of him. But in the process, his illness brought him a blessing: while confronting his illness, he found something to stand up for. There is indeed life after death.

Perhaps the reason why artists like Freddie Mercury sing about love and second chances with such fervor and passion is because they have fully seen how life is without it. And for a human being so lost, a guiding angel must have brought him back again to people who cherish him – the people who would rejoice in seeing him in good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.

So now with gratitude to this man of music, I gladly join the world in singing “We are the champions, my friends! And we’ll keep on fighting till the end! We are the champions… we are the champions! No time for losers, cause we are the champions… of the world!” (davaotoday.com)

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