A SCRIBE'S story does not end when he writes 30. The moment he started to put his thoughts and words of wisdom on a piece of paper, or on a blank sheet on screen, his immortality starts to build because then, such as we know it, will go a long way. It will be shared and perhaps replicated a million times over, we never know up to what extent, and passed on through generations.

Nathaniel Villanueva, the passionate realist that he was way back then, was of our mould. His was a life offered to give voice to the voiceless, so intense and tireless, he was consumed by the medium that brought life to the half-dead. He would have wanted to continue doing what he did best, that is, but his story has to outlive his humanity, at least for now…

Knowing Natnat, he would have felt the way we do today, as once again the ends of Peace seems be held hostage by the powers in our society that threatens to scuttle it again.

He would have been saddened to hear that while the Peace Process is on-going, the lust for blood continues in the countryside, where the farmers and the Indigenous Peoples suffer silently as their dignities are trampled and spit upon by so-called authorities who accused them of siding with the revolutionaries.

Natnat would have written strong words to express his jubilation over the little triumphs of the much-degraded Kinaiyahan in the closure and cancellation of permits of some big mining companies in Mindanao that continue to suck out and plunder ancestral lands, causing irreversible damage that may take forever to recover.

And he would have been dismayed to hear that the self-proclaimed “leftist” president has shed his true colors and made pronouncements that he will soon regret. Our dear Natnat would have walked miles to reach the Lumads in need, to listen to their woes and write about their aspirations even if he knew it already by heart.

With all these realities, our dear Natnat will always be there with us, as we continue the works he has left and most have broken his heart.

Thus, we will always feel his presence long after he has gone, because like countless other comrades who went ahead of us, he has left behind an immaterial legacy of struggle that will always remind us of the true essence of being, of what it is that we should be living for.