Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mary Saludares

I received news lately that a very good friend of mine died. She was a young ballerina with big dreams within her reach. After a performance in Maryland, as she was crossing the street, a car hit her and her colleagues.

I feel like a car has hit me, too, at speeds a speedometer can't read. I feel both numb and hurt. Masakit. I will heal. We will all heal, as we all must after such tragedies. Life does go on for us, the living. Your memory and what you mean to me, us will forever remain. But, until time heals the pain, I will mourn for you, Mary.

You were one of my best partners. Our tandem had presence. It was easy to dance with you on stage because you gave of yourself completely. Together, we would be lost in our characters, the music, and the steps -- living and breathing the dance. The first time we partnered was for Teacher Tinnie's Modern Choreo. There was only a small partnering bit, but after that there were so many. Sayaw Pandirigma. Teacher Jun's Skirt Dance. No Exit. Rhapsody in Blue. Lattice. The Astor Piazzola Tango set. I will never forget how your mom and my mom both concluded after one show that when we danced together, there was magic.

Pre-dance, after-shows, between classes and just in our own time, we always ate. We did love to eat. Turtle pie at Coffee Bean. McDo, Coke Float and Fries. Tita Susan's Mango Crepe. Spaghetti. Turon. Any brand of Chocolate even the inexpensive Goya Chocolate. Chocolate Cake. The Choco log at Country Style (Yes, we had more than our fair share of Chocolates). It became a part of our pre-show routine to go to the others dressing room looking for sweets. Sometimes, you'd come to me. Sometimes, I'd go to you. But we never failed to look for food.

I remember how, when lounging at your house, you, vida and mcCoy decided to pluck all my chest hair out. Hahaha! That hurt until I was numb and was really funny. We were all laughing. Again, we ended up laughing when, mid-bathing, you, vida and I ran out of the three bathrooms at your home because there was no more water. There was only half a pail of water left. We had to make do with that. Grabe yung tawa natin nun. You loved to laugh, Mary. Your eyes would grow wide and your grin made others laugh with you. You loved to joke, muck around and have fun. We would hang at steps, BP, the mall, dressing rooms, UP, your home, etc. and we would always have a grand time. Even if you were just watching your anime as I read, we had a great time. We had lots of adventures. Your 18th debut celebration. Our audition for HK APA. Kilig moments at UP. Going to Baguio. Accompanying Cyril to POI and then walking back to April's condo to watch the PNAB rehearsal. My Discovery Suites racket where they colored our hair blue. The Gabby Barredo exhibit. Looking for costumes at Makati Cinema Square. Our various overnights and parties. Watching movies and ballets. Eating, again... Hehehe!... And all those others that could fill a chest of memories.

You knew how to have a great time. But you were my friend because you also had substance. You weren't just a girl in the world. You had brains, heart, and passion. You loved your family, friends, and teachers. Unlike me, you were very vocal about this. You were a university and college scholar at UP and made sure you got good grades. You would work on your roles with passion and ferver. Always testing how far you could go. We could talk about life and love for hours on end. Even though I missed you, I was really happy you were in the States to realize your dream. We shared the dream, didn't we? To dance for others and touch lives through our art.

I was looking forward to seeing you this May. I was hoping that Steps would have us partner again. I was looking forward to your jokes, your kwento's and your company. Now, I am glad I was able to tell you a few weeks ago that I miss you and that I love you. Yes, Mary, I will mourn for you. And I will remember you. But I will also rejoice because you are in heaven. There is no better place to be than there.


rianne said...

i am sooooo at loss for words, peej

AndyMcDandy said...

We all know that she is in a better place now. Mary was a very very very good friend of mine.

In the next life, she deserves nothing less than the best... we all know that. She's in a good place. WIthout a doubt.

May she rest in peace, and in our hearts!!

RS Suyosa said...

Thank you for being a good friend of my cousin... It's a truly unfortunate and unforeseen event, but we'll have to be strong no matter what the circumstances.

She's being fetched and is expected to arrive in a few days. Her wake is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.

Please pray for her.

Laura Zimmerman said...

I wish i could fly out to visit her family and to see her at the wake. I did get to meet Bryan and Marissa and it was so wonderful to meet them. They are in my prayers.
Mary was the best roommate i ever had and my best friend for the past year and a half. What she left behind has left a huge impact on me and always will. She is still here at heart. I can still hear her voice, and her hand on my shoulder is still warm. I will dearly miss Mary and hold dear the times that we had together.

threemoon said...

mary saludares..
1st of all... we would like to tell you that we are so proud of u, for bringing pride not just to our school(CSR) but to our country as well.

mary.., my dear friend and classmate back in h.s... i was still at state of shock after hearing this dreadful news.

but i know that she will be with God in no time...may she attain eternal happiness and may she rest in peace...
we will miss you...

Anonymous said...

I would never forget Mary's smile, she was truly the happiest person that I ever had meet in my entire life, as student she always tried every single correction that a teacher could give her without hesitating, many things made her very special and we all know how she was, I do believe Mary is an Angel.
My deepest condolences to all her family and all her friends.
Thank you Mary for teaching as a lesson.
Carlos Valcarcel

the13thelysium said...

mary was my batchmate in UP but we weren't that close. we hardly knew each other. but remembering mary and how she danced and captivated everyone, and thinking of her right now, it hurts... really. she was talented, a promising ballerina and my batchmates and i agree that this happened all too soon.

when i read your blog, i cried. i really did. i would never get to see her dance again nor get to know her better. what the Lord gives, He takes away.

i will be praying for her peace and for her family too.

A.J. said...

My son called me this morning to tell me the sad news--he was at WSB last year with Mary and we had seen Mary dance several times. What a tragic loss! We are so sorry to hear of this loss--it affects us all.

Condolences to you and to her family.

Powers family

Diana said...

This is more than hard.. there are not words to say anymore.. anything is gonna make her walk in that door of our apt. a part of my is gone with her, but a much bigger part she left in me. The power of laughing and being happy and positive about life, the desire to grow, and be nice to everyone.. the multiple things she had are now more than even in all of us.. and im sure Mary is happy in a better place ,the one that is gonna treat her like the princess she is..Mary i miss you so much and i'll love you forever! i still think that you are here... i cant believe it... love you sweetie..

edward said...

En Paraguay tambien estamos con mucha tristeza por lo ocurrido con la "dulce Mary". Trasmitimos nuestro pesar a su familia y amigos. Ella compartió con nuestra hija Diana momentos muy felices por lo que su ausencia será muy penosa. Paz para ella y familiares
Eladio & Isabel Ojeda(padres de Diana)

Anonymous said...

im soooooo sad, crying and feeling so bad that mary died...

Marinel Palma said...

there will be a mass for Mary tonight, feb23 at 6pm at the sanctuario de san antonio in Forbes Park..

Keina said...

This made me cry. I miss Mary

Anonymous said...

Mary was such a beautiful, sweet a breath of spring...and to watch her dance sometimes it was hard to tell which was more luminous...she or the sunbeams shifting through England studio...yo me decia que si llegaba a ser mas divina, seria puro cielo, ella...

I feel so blessed to be one who has known and loved her and will always be inspired remembering sweet Mary.

I just want to send my deepest sympathy to her family; We loved Mary so much; we held a Rosary for her here as soon as we could, once we heard the news. All our thoughts and prayers are with you, we feel the loss deeply and hope the love of so many is some small consolation.

And to all who, like me, waited with her at the bus stop, shared the daily stuggles, and can't bear to think that her sweet face is never going to appear around the next corner... I pray for the blessings of love and peace ---that Mary lived--- to be with us all.


dizzychick said...

Peej, I've been googling and crying at the same time... fyi your pic is in the "papers" hehe...

With a link to your page.


Anthony Ong said...

PJ, I am so sorry to hear this. I was just forwarded the news article on it and found my way to your blog. My condolences to you, her friend's and her family.

Tiffany said...

Ohh, Peej, that was beautiful. You have me in tears all over again, but that is okay. You did end with hope, as you said. And that leaves me with a good feeling. Thank you. :) Hugs

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful girl... Mary, I promise you that you will never be forgotten. You have touched the heart of so many - you were a loyal older sister to my own son. I will never, ever be able to forget your exquisite beauty on stage - your lovely, graceful arms that extended so perfectly and the regal way in which you held yourself. We will miss you so very much.

Brooke said...

Mary always knew the right thing to say. She was such a kind soul, always trying to help in any way possible. The loss of such an amazing person is impossible to explain. All I can hope is that God knew she was an angel and was ready to welcome her into heaven. I know she is still here with us, in spirit and in her lasting impression. Mary will be a beautiful angel shining down from heaven.
All my love and condolences to the Saludares family and friends
-Brooke Kettler

Anonymous said...

Mary was a batchmate of mine in highschool. We are so proud of her and we would definitely miss her.


this blog might be a big help
the author of that blog offers grief counseling as well
you might want to pass it on to her family

Bacardi Moments said...

Mary Saludares Memorial Fund

Today at 7:59am

Dear fans of The Washington Ballet,

Thank you all for the many warm words and encouragement since hearing of the tragic news concerning our Studio Company member, Mary Saludares. All at The Washington Ballet have been lifted up by your care and concern; out of this great tragedy has come a reminder that we have a special community here.

We have received many calls and emails asking how people can help during this time. The Washington Ballet has established the Mary Saludares Memorial Fund to help Mary’s family in the Philippines defray the costs of funeral arrangements, including returning Mary to the Philippines as her final place of rest. As you might imagine, this is not an easy thing to do, and the costs are a challenge.

If you are interested in honoring Mary’s memory and are able to provide a financial contribution, please contact Michael Hill at or (202) 362-3606 x122. Any contribution is welcome and should be made to the Ballet with an indication you desire that it be applied to this special fund for Mary.

Plans are under way for a memorial service for Mary early next month. Until then, we ask you to continue to hold our dancers and staff in your thoughts. But, more importantly, for those who knew Mary – either as a person or through her dancing – please remember the bright light she was to all with whom she came into contact.

Thank you again for your great care and concern.

Septime Webre Russell Allen
Artistic Director Executive Director

Anonymous said...

I never knew Mary, only heard about the accident on the news. I travel everyday back and forth to work passing by where Mary was tragically struck and every time she is in my mind and prayers. There is a new song by country and western singer Alan Jackson called "Sissy" and I would like to dedicate it to Mary. God please bless Mary's family and friends. I never knew that such a loss could be felt on someone when we never met. God bless you Mary.

Angela said...

I was on my way to work an 11-7 shift at the Sleep Inn the night of Mary's passing. I normally walk to work, as I live just past the Best Western and it's only a very short trip for me to do so. That night, I got a ride from my brother, and saw the section of Route 24 cordoned off. I didn't find out what happened until I spoke to the security officers on duty, and learned that Mary had passed.

I didn't know Mary, but I think of her every time I must cross that intersection on my way to or from work, and I say a prayer for her. I am so sorry for all of you who lost a friend, and my condolences.