We were on the beach that evening. Each had a horror story to share. I told mine, or my sister’s I should say. I had nothing to share but a monstrosity of feelings which was also the reason why I sought a time out of the city, and I am not sharing it in any way.

I lied down in the midst of their stories. Their words were diminished into unclear and incomprehensible murmurs. The bottle of beer slipped out of my hand, it reached and burrowed in the sand. I looked at the sky. It was clear and beautiful. The stars looked like the moment sugar is thrown into a mug of dark coffee.

This was not what we were supposed to be. We wanted to be together. But things changed. I no longer take warmth from your hands cupping mine. Comfort was no longer the blanket you put on my back while reviewing in the wee hours of the morning. Company was not as delightful as we walk from our house to school.

On my Graduation, the only sad thought pinching through the joyful celebration was the promise of us together marching from the school grounds to the commencement hall. It was too late to be possible. You remained in school for two more semesters from the day I graduated. I can no longer remember the time we felt victorious together. That could have been the chance.

I grabbed the bottle of beer, sat, and looked around. They were already done with their horror stories. I got myself up and got into our pick-up truck. Alcohol was not enough to cover their fear. They were scared out of wits on the way home. I was not, well I was, actually. I was afraid I’d be back to the city tomorrow morning. I was afraid of the odds of seeing you again.

Root of Romanticism

Dear Love, we’re in a poetry book I’ve read innumerable yesterdays ago

This is an image taken by Jenno, my latest addition to my “Favorite People” list, during our random trip to Intramuros one bipolar-weathered afternoon.

I would be lying if I say this is not of utter beauty, sans the bias that it’s my boyfriend and I in the portrait. I did not actually think our picture would turn out this way since we never planned of taking nice photos anyway. We just wanted a trip to the National Museum, an Intramuros walking tour, and an illegal tag along of Carlos Celdran’s tour.

I would say this image is too beautiful for me to judge aka apply art/photography criticism to. But as far as resonance and wonder is concerned, I would give a million words for a praise.

I found this photo rather dear to me. It reminded me of photographs found in Rolando Carbonell’s Beyond Forgetting. It’s one of the earliest poetry books I’ve read. My grandfather gave it to me in grade school because of my penchant with novels and poetry as early as then. It was about love – found and lost. It was about waiting – its toils and pains and triumph. It was about our souls – torn, broken, crashed. It was about emotions – kept and subdued, professed and demonstrated. The images spoke the same. They breathed every printed word. They pierced thoughts, induced thinking, leading to reverie. Even an innocent 10-year old’s heart was tugged. I might even consider this one of the foundations of my tendency to romanticize. (Mark this entry as Exhibit A)

Later on I found out, the author was my grandfather’s high school friend. It felt like I actually met him.

The book is still with me as to the moment I write. I browsed through the pages after seeing image above. The book may have aged, leaves brown and crisp. But its words are still intact, its images radiated as before.


Thus “He” Spoke (A Repost)

This post was lifted from my personal journal, then published here.

Still, I remember her. It’s been more than a year since we both sat in this bench facing the lake. Same warm sun, same cold wind, same paddled boats, same pedaled swans, same dome of yellow blooms above our heads. Same everything – except her.

Right there before we have entered the park, I could have said what I felt, what I was suffering from; but her imperfectly orchestrated ways got the best of me. She flew me right to the other end of the rainbow even before I opened my mouth.

She was silent until we sought refuge at this bench. She was in between a smile and a frown, in between laughter and tears. She spoke no words – as if I have never taught her to perfectly choose and use them, or maybe, because she felt like they were awkward – more awkward than her silence.

We just stared at the lake. It wasn’t actually a beautiful sight. Thus, we sought beauty in the eyes of lovers passing by, in the smile of kids riding their bikes (I still know looking at them makes her happy and envious at the same time).

We left with the usual parting words. I would have liked to hug her and tell her things the way I did that cold December night, or simply give her a high five so I can catch and hold her hand – that she’ll find security in me and that I’ll feel assurance in her.

Months after, she told me she wanted to talk to me. I asked her to meet me at the library. Eight in the morning. Just us two. She nodded. She smiled.

But when I woke up in the morning , a message from her said she cannot make it. She already left the night before for something more important but she promised she’ll save the words. I insisted that she tell me still. I asked, yes I did, and she let out the words. It wasn’t the most beautiful litany – it was more of a random set of words she confusingly put together to make sense, but its chaos was concrete enough to understand what she was trying to say.

I did not know. Maybe I found something inadequate, or maybe, I found myself uncertain. Things kept coming and going in and out of my mind. For once, I did not know which words to choose. Seemed to me, a “goodbye” was the only remaining thing that made sense. And that I said – without a hug, without a touch, without a bitter smile.

She spoke foreign words as her farewell. I never heard of her since. But sometimes I feel her – in sincere smiles, in soft drizzles, in loud laughs, in smiling eyes, in girlish giggles. Weird though, I remember her in winning playstation matches, in warm well of coffee, in nighttime study breaks, in comic films. and yes, I do think of her and her stars when i brush through Exupery’s The Little Prince.

I wonder if she has already turned me into literature – calling me different names, utilizing different metaphors like what she did to my yearbook testimonial.

I know she comes here every now and then. I’m just not sure whether she sits at the same spot and feels the same way again.

It was our last long walk and talk together. Now i wonder where’d she be. Who she’d be walking with, who she’d be sharing a bench with. But with her imperfectly orchestrated ways, which I actually find interestingly beautiful, she must be flying right now. She’s probably flying to places only a few people could find and explore – but not the way back to me, not even to back to this bench.


Dear Former friend,

I’d rather not call you that way, but how else will I? Anyway, something reminded me of you, although I’d rather not be reminded of you in that light. Same news reached me days ago, it coincided with your birthday. It didn’t concern you though, it just made walking down memory quite painful. But that’s just how it goes. You’re way better now anyway. Hope you always will. That, and a Happy Birthday.


This is NOT a Birthday Blog…

…because this is about me, my dear love for writing and our years together.

I have been writing for god-knows-when-time I started holding a pencil. The first I wrote was a story entitled “The Sad Fish” in red-blue-red sheets of paper, which I believe my mother kept in some buried place of the house after showing off to my aunties and uncles how genius I am. Until now, they all believe I’m good in writing.

However, I don’t think I am utterly gifted in writing. I am no Shakespeare and I know no rules in writing (except for grammar, of course). I shied away from Language and Literature in college because I didn’t like writing to be a chore and I don’t want to be too critical of myself when doing so. I write when I want to write. I write what I like to write. Shallow or contemplative entries, that’s what have been keeping my pen alive these years.  My former blogs can attest to that. Yes, that was my premature writing phase when my blog was a compilation of love-hate relationships with this and that. Add the fact that I don’t consider capitalization in most posts, but I’d rather say those entries are allusions to ee cummings.

But there is growth and a lot more to it. Like keeping journals to myself then, to lifting the pages, publishing and sharing them on the internet now. There might just be a few who care to read and listen, and that’s enough. Not everyone needs to know about everything, while I too, curate my own pages and decide what to put into writing. It’s a matter of privacy. I’m no sister of the president, you know.

I don’t even know what’s the point of me yakking about this, actually. Well, it might be because I don’t write creatively now. I’m not pertaining to rhyming poems, ok. But to writing short stories and the like. I must have forgotten since I got busy with work. Yuppie thing, yes. However, work afforded me to more ideas and possibilities I’d rather plant on myself than to fictional characters. Thus, I might stick, or let’s say write majorly about myself and what’s going on rather than incorporating and inventing. This makes me feel so mature I’m sticking to reality, come on! But hey, I’m serious.

So, 23’s going to be a year all about me and whoever’s around.

Again, this is not a birthday blog, just a little glance upon me and my dire passion of sorts with writing. Birthday blog will come soon, perhaps when the month ends. My birthday is always a month-long celebration anyway.

Oh yes, birthday blogs – personal tradition aka annual writing project. Good thing, every year, something significant comes up. 🙂

The Young Heart Cheats Death by Reconstructing Memory

This is a guide where the heart wanders in case it has been torn. This is the closest and the farthest from home. It rekindles and rules out memories, washes out all remembering.

There is a place she knows people wouldn’t think of as beautiful as she would. They might even look for a corridor leading somewhere else without the cold floor and bare walls. But this is, she says, what makes it beautiful.

She looks out the high windows way above her head. Her soul screams to the unknown faces from the other side. But no one notices, but the little streaks in broken weakened glass dampened with her breath.

She lies in corners. She rests against walls she could paint with utter delight. Her fingers get soaked in memories she’d rather have. She plays in her head a series of events she’d incorporate with reality.

She flutters around and suddenly find herself in ruins, in what she failed to hold with both her hands, in what she has fell short of saving. But her Corinthian columns still stands proud, quite enough to build another Parthenon.

Then she sits under the sky with a silent smile. She looked up.

She still and will, set the rain on fire.

The Bleeding Goddess and The Poet’s Spouse Hath Spoken

She said I write Press Releases beautifully. She even asked me for extra copies of our Press Kits. She turned the pages with the excitement of a young girl who has just unearthed an old diary.

She loved the product of what I have despised doing. Her appreciation was more than flattery.

She reminded me of the lady who was too critical, she rarely praised and considered something beautiful. But she did call my work splendid – like the strawberries that bled among volcanic rocks, like the Bougainvilleas she grew on her head midst the winter in Paris.

*This makes me miss my mentors.

Day 14: Dear MALFB,

You have a treasury of photos, mixtapes, notes and poetry. You have lists of dreams, confessions, realizations and to-do’s. You even consider these things your closest friends.

Haven’t you realized you have a problem? You have always mistaken temporal things as permanent matters. That simply explains your abysmal disappointment and utmost pain on plans that do not push through, on supposed to be happy endings and on subtle/sudden detours.

That even makes memories even more even more problematic. You are very much aware of their temporariness that you immortalize them as they become words inscribed in paper, images frozen in time, and music saved in a record. You rely in those materials to make you go around in pretty stupid circles. First, you think of both good and bad memories. Next, you try to feel grateful that everything existed. Then you romanticize and fall in love in love with it all over again.

Lately, you have wished to discard this certain character. If ultimate opposites be labelled optimist and pessimist, you said you would situate yourself in the middle and call yourself a realist. You promised not to hold on to hopes brought about by romanticized memories springing from stuff buried in dust. At the same time, you swore not to immerse yourself in the fear of the dark, unknown future. You vowed that you would rather stay somewhere in between.  You wouldn’t go drowning with too much love on the past only to become passive of the good things that come your way. You would opt to stay somewhere you would be free of chains – the fear of taking risks and holding fire in your palm.

Somehow you need to know which is which. You need to discard and discriminate. You need to learn and be reminded that today is defined by certain conception and acceptance and impression of now.

You know it’s too hard conversing with yourself and telling that person in front of the mirror what and what not to do because in the end, you end up doing what you truly wish to anyway.

These that you have mentioned are not pretensions. These are not the hard candy to your gooey center. These are pointers, guidelines to somehow help you cope with your delusion of the past, present, future, fantasy, reality and whatever else.

Today is the 14th of February, hope this letter gets to you just in time. Hope this saves you from marching back to the graveyard of memories.