If you dig deep into this blog, you will find that the first entry I’ve ever written, almost seven years ago, was about a boy. I met him during my first year in college. I couldn’t remember anything about that day now. All I could clearly recall was the sun, burning brightly outside the classroom like there was no end to its flames, and his smile, warm as July weather to my heart that was frozen as ice. And just like that, I fell madly in love with him — no questions asked. It was as if I was caught in a trap, almost as if the Universe never even gave me a chance to run and escape, or never even asked me if I was ready to risk my heart for what would turn out to be a grand torment of an experience.
I stood by the bridge, overlooking España Boulevard and UST. I thumbed through the spaces that surround me, overtaken by the swooping sensation that I was so close to the world, yet so distant and so disconnected from it all. Lights blinked from every corner of the place like kaleidoscope colors splashing life to the dead canvas of my troubled mind.
Certain places in the city never catch my attention and make an impact—like the crowded stretch of a boulevard or the blinking signal of traffic lights. I consider them ordinary, the way most people do, and recognize them as merely a part of the overall rhythm of the life force that drives and moves the city.
One . . . two. . . three
The jeepney swerved to the left and to the right before it made a full stop at a gasoline station where its tank was filled with fuel: hot, brazen, and gold. I imagined the smooth texture of the combustible fluid sliding effortlessly down my throat, setting my body in flames. I remembered the film I saw once about a Buddhist monk who burned himself to death in 1963: how fire licked his skin, his robe, his being, and how he felt nothing. I wanted so badly to assume that he died feeling nothing.
My head was up in the clouds today: soaring like a lonely flying creature in the gloom of this inclement weather, allowing itself to be blown away by the gust of these stormy skies.
My only source of stillness was the thought of coming back to the university, to that one place in the world I can always come back to and call home. Continue reading “Homecoming”
Weekends are for crashing into bed and tucking yourself beneath blankets; your favorite teenage playlist banging rock music in every corner of the room as if it is some kind of a personal familiar comfort, melting the world of its temporary intimacy and sense.
Weekends are for reminiscing and travelling back in time. Your unmade bed is a space machine and your imagination are wings transporting you to a decade of wander and wild spirited youth. Continue reading “In Remembrance of Youth”
I know myself too well and I know for certain that when someone asks me to go out of town, I would be quick to run for the nearest exit before I could even say no. Continue reading “Under Northern Skies”
There should be a word for the gap in our souls, for this hollow space in our chest where our hearts used to be.
I reach out for myself, dragging my hand all the way down my trembling lips, my bruised neck, my aching collarbones, and notice the cracks stretching infinitely into that lonely cave they call heartbreak. I let my hand wander further and find my skin a vast ocean of memories. My eyes water, my tears forming pool and tracing an island of scars.
I thought I would never to be able to bring myself to write another entry here.
But here I am once again: scribbling a letter after another until I finally make up a word, a sentence, a paragraph that’s lucid enough to express my apparent ambiguity and my obscure speculations about the world, about everything I know (or thought I knew).
The end of February always brings a certain kind of sadness to me: sharp, weighty and wordless like a falling dagger to the chest, hammering through the flesh and beating my heart to death. Out of all the months in the year, February is the most difficult to say goodbye to, because the farewell only acknowledges the arrival of a new month, my birth month, and that for me is more than terrifying.
It would be an understatement to say that 2016 was a bad year. I fumble around and probe into the sentiments of other people to find the same grave opinion they have towards this monstrous moment in time.
I went to the cemetery today: a one-ride trip to the northern part of the city that is well-known for roasted pork and burial grounds and crematoriums. I have been to this area only once in my life, about two years ago, when we had to take Lola to her final resting place. Even then, I couldn’t understand the idea of burial rites as the final passage of a person’s life. And when they said in unison, “Lola is finally going to rest,” I thought mournfully to myself, “Finally?”
Hello September, it’s you again.
It seems to me that once again I have lost track of time. If someone comes up to me and asks what month it is today, I would probably say December or March without thinking twice, or scream the year 2010 without doubting its validity.
My sinking soul could only hold so much of its consciousness before it finally starts to displace its attention to something more crucial than the fleeting motion of people and events, before it finally starts to lose all reverence to time.
This has been the longest semester I have ever had in my entire stay in the university. When I closed my eyes last January—the blaring sound of beating deadlines ringing in the background, the clicking sound of tapping keyboards banging steadily in my ears at 2am, the hollow feeling of isolation in the midst of the great white sea of papers—I felt like Time stood still and never again ticked like it used to. But now I could hear the rushing sound of Time once more as I approach the final deadline.
Graduating today feels more like a dream, like a fiction. Like even if I put on my best dress, slip into these expensive pair of Charles and Keith, wear my graduation robe, it would all seem unreal (Yes, I deliberately used the word unreal instead of surreal, for the former captures better the phantasmagoric nature of the event) which I deem is a pretty normal feeling for an event as momentous as this one. But far from this dreamlike reality, I imagine myself misplaced—a piece of a jigsaw puzzle which could not fit into the picture. I feel like I am not here anymore, like I have graduated a long time ago and carried on a different life.
There are voices inside my head that refuse to be silenced. On the train or at the streets, or in the silent corners of a classroom at the university. I hear these voices with all the sharpness of a wailing knife. Sometimes they tell good things to me, but most of the time they curse curse curse. I wish they would stop but the stronger I wish they were gone, the louder they scream into the depths of my calloused consciousness.
But even with all these weight I try to live like the most of them: these lost and floating faces in the university. And through my interactions with them I come to realize how little they differ from me, and how much we share the same encounters. I promise myself this year to learn to live with acceptance, and in all of those moments I find myself wanting for some, I tell myself over and over again to learn to accept my circumstances and to learn to be grateful for whoever the Universe sends in our way. The ultimate strategy is to live in the moment, and to let the rest of your worries find their own time.