The Not-so-little Merman
Once upon a time there was a chubby young merman who lived in the beautiful West Philippine Seas with other people of his kind. His name is Juann. He spent most of his days peacefully exploring the reefs and the deep waters while occasionally peeking out at the surface, ever so curious of the world beyond the one he swam in. The dry land and the vast emptiness they called the “sky” scared and soothed him.
It so happened that a lone pigeon was flying too close to the surface of the water and Juann took the chance to strike a conversation with the peculiar travelling bird. Throughout the days, Juann accompanied the solitary flyer as it flew the vast distances which the chubby merman had no problem swimming through because speed was his specialty in the water.
This flight and swim tandem eventually grew a certain fondness for each other which then angered the elders of the sea. No creature of the sea was to have such a bond with a creature of the sky. Juann was banned into the dry lands; his mertail was taken away, his gills were shrunk almost to oblivion.
The Land of Humans
Even if Juann lived among the humans, he never found his little pigeon friend ever again. Things were different and Juann had to make it in this dry world or die trying. Juann found comfort in those written knowledge called books where worlds of reality and fantasy seem to intertwine and where perceptions are deemed as “facts”; he quite enjoyed how the humans perceived existence.
Juann lives among the mountain creatures, far from his beloved waters, but Juann is still happy to be close to living beings that radiate the energy which reminds him of the breathing and thriving mother Earth.
Among the many human crafts that Juann enjoyed is the art of Photography. It always fascinated this cursed merman how one can take something as intangible as memory and materialise it into something you can touch and feel. Photography didn’t work too well back in his home-waters. Paper doesn’t stand a chance much under 3 leagues under the sea. The Canon 7D, Sony A6000, and the Samsung S6 Edge are his partners in the craft. Juann is NOT a professional photographer, and he doesn’t really care much either. He just like storing memories. These things matter most to him.
Juann likes music. All kinds of music that tickle the deep corners of one’s soul. He likes to sing, but not solo singing, he finds beauty in choir of voices all singing in complex forms and combinations that build harmony and life. Juann, though unable to read notes, find great pleasure in playing the piano (please don’t make him read notes, he can’t do it even if his life depended on it).
Juann Likes birds
Juann likes birds. Wait, not right. Juann LOVES birds. It is the very reason why he has been cursed away from his beloved seas and forced to walk the land. Though he might never find that pigeon ever again, he does not stop loving birds because he believes birds proudly show the very essence of living and fulfilling your dreams. One day Juann will fly.
Going Home Sometimes
Befriending a group of humans called “Dive Ta Bai”, Juann occasionally returns to the open seas to quench his thirst for the deep blue. Freediving- it is what the humans call the activity. Juann’s gills stop itching and with a smile on his face, memories of the familiar flood his heart, his mind, and his soul. Though he no longer has his tail, he’s satisfied for now just using a man-made monofin. Don’t call Juann a mermaid. Mermaids have boobs. Manboobs don’t count. MERMAN, get that in your dry brain MER…MAN…. Thank you.
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