The Hundredth

I believe in the good. When I talk about good, I mean enough. A century would have passed, and like the unfamiliar scent of a deserted island, the Filipino would have enough. What they have enough of is food, shelter, and transportation. A family- with truth- stricken variety- will have food that would cater its members for three times a day or more, shelter sturdy enough to not let monsoons behead homes- a house made of concrete walls and cement, with suitable ventilation, and virtuous government- subsidized technology- and transportation where the rich ride with the poor. This is not too much for a century to have transpired- war attacks by foreign lands here and there, reigning victorious yet a little broken, our Philippines is. This is not too big of a change, but it is good. It is enough.

The Filipino Farmer- once in desperate of rice to eat, once in dire need of lands to plant on, money to garner more seeds, once handed over to a hurricane of bullets- at present, lives in the good. When I mention good, I mean enough. They have their own respective hectares of lands to plant as many root crops as they desire, to bring the whole nation meal on their plates, to cultivate long rooted dreams as they receive ample education to experiment with new planting techniques, to research more on organic matter upheld as fertilizers. The Filipino Farmer, by this time, is a scientist.

Cardboard justice serves victims no good. Drug users, under the law, shall recover under the custody of rehabilitators and not under the hands of those with guns and falsified power. The Filipino Victim deserves good. When I discuss of good, I mean enough. The Filipino Victim receives medicine, at only the right amounts, and daily consultation with recognized physicians and psychologists. The Filipino Victim is endowed with respect by his caretakers, such as a mother loves her child. The Filipino Victim is not dead.

I believe in better. When I disclose what better stands for, I mean the government is replaced by the grandsons of the millennials, those who fought for and opposed the murderer buried among those whose blood relentlessly poured for the flag with three stars and a sun and is raised every morning to welcome the light of dawn. When I state my belief in better, I mean that the arts is duly conceded as a body of knowledge necessary to supplement humankind with guts and bravery and a horizon extending outwardly, enticing the Filipino, regardless of where they stand and sector they represent, to aspire of something greater than the sunrise before them. I also imply that the Filipino receives his very right to health care, to marry, to save a broken family, to get into a job fit for the demands of his responsibilities including kin, identity, and country, to speak up for himself when subjected to criminal screening, to vote and receive the truth about his vote, to acquire honesty from those in command, and most importantly, to education. The Filipino deserves better. The Filipino now holds, a century later, what those that came before them never had, but sincerely, with the dignity they refuse to let loose, begged for.

I believe in the best. What best cradles for me is the Filipino Youth. A century later, the Filipino would have stopped counting for the day the children Dr. Jose Rizal claims as the hope of our country arrived. They have long came, generations over, only in few chosen souls, not permitting a change earlier than now, where the best of youth has gathered in outraging number, excelling in the fields of engineering and mathematics, medicine and law, arts and theatre. These outstanding youth, however, are not the best solely because they have embarked on the journey of the Renaissance man; but because they embody a light that sets them apart from the rest. They know what to fight for and how to fight for it; the Filipino Youth fights the hardest.

The Filipino Youth is raised by a century of outpouring revolutions from the pain and triumphs of their forefathers. It has been a long process. Good is enough. But more than that, we deserve better, and now, after all these years, we have the best.


I wrote this essay for my PI 10 class. It is my version of Dr. Jose Rizal’s Philippines: A Century Hence. I thought I might share it, even if my Professor probably did not find it interesting enough, nor if it is any good.

The independence we have today is a fraud; we can all do better than this. Nevertheless, although far from sufficient, much has changed since the colonial period.

Happy Independence Day, my Philippines. We will work hard for your freedom.

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Cheap Cigarettes & Heavy Mornings

I might as well seep through the clouds.

At 3 AM, I found myself staring from a couple of feet off reality. I have lost contact with black and white. The concrete that swallowed my feet into a glacial abyss has endowed me with frequency fast enough to lead me into breakage. Into sedition.

Tiny, fading lights could sure make the world a little less dark.

No, I’m not relentless about the idea of jumping- of falling, maybe.

People would hurt less, knowing they couldn’t have done anything. I want them to come to think of it that way.

The world, from up here, is a world of shapes. Rectangles. Squares. Multiply length times height. Get the area. Count the windows. Count their edges. Follow the curtains dance from every balcony. Make the most out of this, close your eyes and feel the wind. The stinking, polluted breeze of Manila. This is nowhere, not even close, to dying.

I want a do- over. I do not want to feel as if I’m still holding you in between my arms, whispering I have to let go. I do not want to keep you anymore. I want to jump off the railings, inhale all the nicotine I could possibly drown myself into, break loose, make a different version of heavy. I want my own. I want my own kind of heavy, not the heavy you keep pinning down on me.

I want to stop remembering. You were everything I have and more. Were. I want to be so engrossed in my reality, in a reality that is far from having to peek down and check if I’m part of this massive chunk of universe. I want to come home sweating, too tired from studying the parts of the human body to even deal with the pain of your leaving. I want to jump. Let me.

I do not love you enough anymore. In fact, I think I no longer do. I do not long for your hands holding mine. So why, why do I still feel like I’m in the same room as you are in? Why do I feel as though I’m still coming home at an empty bed?

All of me, I gave up to welcome yours.

 

I am 18. I am sorry.

I still have not figured it out.

You can say I am a product of the new era. A spirit molded by the worries of this generation which to some may refer to as whining and tremendous complaining. People place labels across my forehead, as if claiming they can fill my journey of self- fulfillment, only putting me in restriction from what they believe I am merely made of. Most humans deem their possession of such audacity to take my very humanity away from my becoming like they know better.

I do not get disgusted at all by blood oozing off women’s genitals. It’s natural; menstruation comes ticking off my mouth naturally- simply because there is nothing wrong about it. I support lovely mothers feeding their infants through their breasts which God made so beautifully to connect the product from the origin. It is a direct embodiment of life and the primary tangles of human dependence. I have absolutely no problem when people work differently as I do. Moreover, I do not hate people when they prefer a different set of clothes, or when they choose to watch movies far from what interests me.

I do converse, however, when it involves my country, the Philippines. I do communicate what I regard as just when the poor is stripped off form their rights. I never let indifference slip. I do not let my country fall under the hands of the oppressor, may it be foreign or within; in this era where the Filipino is no longer under the jurisdiction of those who claimed their conquest on the Pearl of the Orient, why would I let my country suffer more when it has suffered enough? I fight. I fight for the low- wage earners. I fight for those who have yet seen the comforts of a home. I fight for life, but I also fight for the life of the life giver. I believe in contraception, in education, in pills, in dignity, in discipline. When I say I fight for life, I mean I fight for every race Earth cradles because every person from every ethnicity breathe; they are humans: we are made of the same skin, of the same cells- we take in the same element. Moreover, I fight for life and its sanctity; the animals and the planet are of essence to protect. I fight for involvement. I fight for the accused who have gone naked from their very right to receive a spot in court. I fight for the people; I fight to serve the people; I am still fighting because the people who should be serving their countrymen are serving themselves. Skilled, extraordinary, proficient, men and women deserve a seat in office; instead, sexist, fascist, and incompetent people hold these positions. I fight for girls who are boys, for boys who are girls, and for those who refuse to encase their expression in a universe that have made something so wide into something so minimal. I fight for an emancipation that the former recognize as odd and unnecessary.

Yes, you’re probably correct. I have not met grounds for becoming the successful one the past era makes me persevere to meet; I still have not found the secret behind being Mark Zuckerberg and earning on my own at age 18. I work hard, nevertheless, to be less of a burden for my parents. But I have explored alone, read alone, chose to be alone, so I could see the world from a clearer lens, making a spot for myself to traverse this universe, my universe, without disregarding the credibility of the identity of the living and the place I call home. I chose to travel with my own two feet, so I could immerse myself in the simplicity of time and complexity of human race. I have known struggle but I have not known enough of it. I have tasted ease and comfort but others have not. That is why I strive to walk further, making use of all that I have so I can live a life for others, so that they, too, may get a hold of the life they deserve. I carry this responsibility with pride and honor.

I apologize, for not meeting the standards of those who came before me. But I will not apologize for how ravishingly I came to be. I will not apologize for being so different that it disgusts them, for being so unusual that they start calling me as rude and sensitive and a waste of time and money and space.

I still haven’t figured it out- the path that leads to becoming a machine that those who assert they have power can simply manipulate.

I probably never will.

Give Me A Script to Write

I am not soft bass beats.
I am not your dark, silent screen.
I am not fire dying with ignition.
I am not your indie movie.
I am not quiet conversations, bodies sunken halfway underwater. I am not moon meeting sea- fingerbeds burnt, rotten open by the unceasing lifeline of a cigarette. I am not the folk song playing softly on the background, much more the waves of the tsunami waiting to disrupt your eyes from staring into mine.
I am not your indie movie.
I am not your Celestina; I am not the mother of 9 children, the hooker who made love to her husband, her happily ever after, her dungeon for thirteen years, only to get half her face in dissection from broken vodka bottles.
I am not your indie movie.
I am not the one you seek, mountains and mountains over; I am not the plane ticket you strongly hold on to after years of saving up, I am not the motor boat that flew your hair to the sky and made you feel alive, the skiing trip that made you offer yourself to the cold, freezing wind.
I am not your indie movie.
In our little, short episode, there is no director. There are no cast. No volunteers. No creatives. No scenic views. No dialogues. 
I am not quality. I am not little money for integrity. I am not your principle. I am not your belief. I am not skins and bones, hair tangled, pressed unto my face, screaming in passion, chest in rise and in fall, in collision with the soft smile you make from the sheets and pillows of our dreams and reality. I am not inception.
In our little, short episode, there is no director. No cast. No volunteers. No creatives. No scenic views. No dialogues. Because I am not your indie movie.
I am not soft bass beats.
I am not your silent, dark screen.
I am not fire dying with ignition.
I am not your indie movie.
But God, how I wish to be.

17 Years

We convince ourselves; the moment we discern the soft tugging inside our chests and crumble into our blankets, we convince ourselves. We seek to induce our bloodstream with the in-betweens of clarity and obscurity: 1) “get up!” 2) “5 more minutes.” We immerse and alleviate our needing by the satisfaction of the opposite. We are walking paradoxes and sleeping truths. These, let’s talk about as I rumble upon being at the almost-end of the bridge and at the almost-verge of the slope. Seventeen is waiting for its replacement.

This is quite something, I believe. The thought reverberates and I think more profoundly. I deem humans mostly as those choosing the opposite. Most of us are worn out from last night’s battle but we decide on going further. The providers. The earners. The passionate. The need for a better life. The need for shelter. The need to answer prayers. The need to shoulder the needs of others. Humans, most of them, ignore the sounds of cracking bones and wheezing lungs because they believe in something bigger than pain. They do not hear the applause- but they do it anyway. Even in the persistent, inhibiting selections between clarity and obscurity, they open their eyes once they are conscious of their heart beating. Some are even unsure if they are alive, but they head on nevertheless.

Clarity. The ones who see things from a wider perspective. I believe they are souls brave enough to feel what kind of blue the sky is. If they reach that kind of height, I do trust that they did not journey their way up to see how little skyscrapers and humans and automobiles are to reckon themselves as superior. They have sketched their voyage the night before their flee; they keep their visions locked in their chests. They heed likelihood of specters that they take in a good dose of spontaneity. At times too, I suppose they camouflage their setbacks and sadness and doubts into smiling and kindness and hope to stay aligned with their  idea of a destination. In addition, they are most true to themselves; they know when to to take a rest and when to start again. These weary yet visionary eyes know exactly what their plea is to the mystic. They have sent them already— their little, buoyant letter for the universe to grant.

Obscurity. The ones who look from a tiny lens but whose minds are rather bulking with so much thoughts. Sometimes, the lack thereof. These are the ones who fail to recognize their need for adrenaline and exhaustion. They crumble into their clouds of musing thinking, “this is how I could be” but simply choose to end it at that thought. They may feel as though they are neglected— but really, to me, they are on the process of finding their spot in this allotted space in our universe. They choose the delay for reasons they consider but mostly because they cannot see distinctly. They have baggage they choose to unpack and unload first before they could curate their route to embracing the light of day. Eventually, they will know which plane to board while knowing it could crash any second. They will choose it anyway because they are certain that what comes with relief comes with torment. A little push would do for them to get up, but let them take that 5 more minutes. Believe them. Believe in them.

And then there are people who rove the in-between. The mortals who could do it—who could have done it. The ones who are about to send their letters off for the mailman to deliver. The unsure. I presume this is where most humans lie. This is where I have lived all my life. Lastly, this is how it feels like to be propelling myself forward.

While having gone through 17 years, I have predominantly observed humankind. The struggles, the successes, the yearning for tomorrow and even for different kinds of pain. But I have only known so little—that I am certain of. I think for a second I know better, but taking into account the contradictory and incongruous nature of things, I know I have yet to know more. It took me a long time to understand the state that I am in; it even took me a disturbingly protracted time to assure myself: this is real—I am real.

It is odd though, because I have never felt so alive. I am in complete control of my expedition. I am capable of loving and of loving enough. I am capable of growing and growing more. Every two seconds or so, I blink; I blink the melancholy away and open my eyes to a brand new feeling I am always so eager to feel. I know now; I am done roaming the in-between of clarity and obscurity. I have got to choose. And I choose clarity. I have sent my letter for the mailman to deliver. I hope the universe accepts.

There is always a choice. If there are no options, make options. Choose. Choose where you belong now and where you belong best. Clarity or obscurity or the in-between. If you find yourself satisfied with choosing the same option every day, then you are right where you should be.

Good luck to all of us.

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You Will Miss Her

When she tells you leave, leave.

Give her rest. Give her all the time she needs until time itself tells her to come back to you. She is going to tell you words that will crush your insides; she will dissect each and every bone strong and firm and break it- without using her hands, without using her fists. All that it will take her are her goodbyes. It will haunt you.

Before you sleep, you will remember how the pain turned all your guts into screaming- into tears-  you will need the world to collapse, you will need the walls of your room to give you wings so you could fly and shout and yell. Because it hurts. Because you would want to feel a lot less than the hurt- than the pain. Because you want to feel more sore and numb and shaking than you already are. Because it hurts.

Give her time.

You will know then that it isn’t her speaking.

It was her weakness and her brokenness and her defeats.

It is not her.

If she does not come back to you, tell yourself it will be okay. Tell yourself that you are going to see sunrise like you have always imagined you would with your own eyes, standing with both your feet, alone. Tell yourself that soon enough, you will feel your blood rushing into your head and into your heart coming from all the places in your body which she has left cold. Tell yourself it will be okay. Tell yourself: I will be okay.

Even if it hurts- even if you know you cannot be.

Fake it. It will hurt.


Chase her.

She deserves the love she wants. She deserves a consuming love that never gives up on her. She deserves the love she needs.

However, how can you chase someone who does not want to be chased?

You never gave up on her. When the world told you to stop, you went for it. Because you love her, more than you ever did for yourself. I understand, you never gave up on her like she has on herself. You loved her. You love her. And no matter how painful it is to have your heart broken, you will reach for her hands even when she has clenched them so hard her knuckles turn white. No matter how painful it is to get your heart broken from the distance she has set between you both, you will get up and walk and run so that you can wrap your weak arms from the back around her waist. And silently, even as you will run out of breath, you will ask her to stay. And you will smile- dear God, you will- even as tears fall one after the other.

Both your mind and body are weak. But your heart is screaming, it is worth it.

When you can no longer get up from the bruises the tragedy has left you- when you can no longer raise your head up to see how many wounds and scratches it has left your face the other night, rest. Do not run after her. Do not make her a cup of coffee when you know she will toss it on the floor.

Give yourself time. To heal.

When you finally do, chase her.


When you get a headache so bad from crying, sleep.

You will need a lot of sleep. Make sleep your best friend. This is the only heaven you could let yourself fall into while you are going through hell.

Should I talk about them nightmares?

Yes. Nightmares. I mean- when you dream of waking up next to her drawing circles into your back; when you dream of the way she caressed your hair when you cried yourself into misery; when you dream of her waking you up in your sleep telling you that she needs a hug; when you dream of her laughing so hard her eyes close; when you dream of her asking you to stay.

It will be more painful than the way she spit the word, “leave.”


You will miss her.

A Spoken Word Poetry: Love is

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It was as solemn as the nights would stretch into morning. Intertwined with my fingers are yours- slowly yet continuously- letting ourselves collapse into sunrise, leading us into the cosmos that would soon consume us both.

It was painful. The hold was too painful to even bear. And darling, it’s supposed to be beautiful. Love is supposed to be beautiful; love is waiting; love is waiting for the bus stop at 11 pm. It does not count how terrifying darkness seeped into your skin; you still wait for it no matter what. Love is supposed to be beautiful. Instead, love is exhausting. Love is ripping all the vessels in my body apart, letting out all the secrets the world knew yet did not understand. They knew not of love. They knew nothing about love. 

It’s ironical, you see, for the girl who held my hand stitched all these wounds together and made dry all the painful words the boys from my past threw at me: “I’ll always love you.” They’re gone the next morning. 

What have we done, but love? 

She had long hair like mine. She always hugged me from behind. She would sometimes steal kisses from me. But that was who she was. She is.

Love is supposed to be beautiful. Love is. But not in this universe.

What have we done, but love? 


I wrote this while on a bus ride.

I recited this in front of my Speech Communication class, as an introduction for my persuasive speech about why homosexual love is greater than heterosexual love.

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