I do not owe myself rest.

This whole month has left me in a floating bubble, wondering what a real, pounding heart must feel like across bare skin. I refused alcohol for weeks now. I haven’t had a single stick of Marlboro black in between my lips. It may look as if I’ve depended lifeline on drugs, but for a while they’ve been keeping me sane. And I know this blog post may look as if I’m about to tell a huge devastating story of my life, but no. Definitely, this is something else.

I woke up to an empty house on a cold Saturday morning. It did felt lonely, but it also felt good. It felt like I had no one, but it sure felt like I had myself. I’m not on a journey to self- discovery (or maybe I am) but man, have I always been so interested in living inside. So as I stretched my body and faced the window, I made myself promise.

I do not need to wait. I do not need temporary.

I have known the taste of nighttime for far too long that I have forgotten how the sun kissed my cheek and how the wind embraced my being. I have come into terms with my scour for solitude. I understand now. This is why I loved being alone. So long have I wandered around my city without tagging anyone along. Magical things happen when I’ve got no one to depend on but my own two feet and my enthusiasm. What bedazzles me as always is how often I get lost traveling around and how brave I am not to stop and ask for directions unless I am completely in a state of anxiety. I just look to my left and right and choose. And my choices have always been the right ones. I get to entrust myself to myself. I get to protect myself. I get to offer myself the kindness it deserves. I get to give her time. I get to give her the world. I get to give her vision. I do not regret my decisions.

But I do regret not giving myself the best of everything. More often than not have I fallen into the traps of sloth, mediocrity, ignorance, and passiveness for I simply do not do. This, by far, is my biggest regret. This led me to a lifelong mantra: time is deemed not a social construct; time is time and it is cruel for seeming as if it is absent.

I waste time trying to rest, believing I owe myself one. I waste time in the fraud pleasures of it. Hence, this is I, discouraging any belief that involves my being in dire need of waiting and taking sips of temporary. I need to constantly walk, take glances and experience the world in every angle. This is how I will become.

 Productivity. I have not been consistent with such. I always take in huge dosages of whatever will do to get by. I have not taken into consideration what has been provided for me to make use of to become an avatar of excellence. I like to believe I’ve only been myself when I have complete jurisdiction over my body, my thoughts, and my actions. But what I fail to recognize is I am also myself when I choose to back down and settle for alright. This is not who I am; I have always fought against temptations that will only tarnish the very innocence of my struggles and my pleas. I have always fought against myself and it seems as though I have surrendered. This is the only way I know how. It gets bloody sometimes, but having a raging battle between me and myself is better than becoming the enemy of the universe.

This is why I have always treasured my time alone. Why I always spent money for myself. Why I always think it’s worth it. Because I am always thirsty to get myself broken, to get myself dirty and to get myself to rise up and try again.

This is the kind of permanent I am aiming for.

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Why I left

I was at home when I thought about it. It was a pang of realization and a puncture of pain. It was inevitable, but I had to act against inertia.

I am going nowhere. I am nowhere. I am in my hometown, a city where I grew up, and I should be happy here, but I am not. I was dying to be someplace else but that is a surprise, because I know how it feels like to be far from home. Suddenly, I am starting to feel like I’m back in 10th grade, deciding which university campus to choose. It feels horrible being away from family. And that horrible fact of being away from them makes me a monster for choosing to do something for myself; it makes me feel like I left them, sacrificed the people who made a home out of me, for becoming far greater. I should be walking towards greatness by now, except I feel way worse.

I was eaten up by a choice I willfully made which had an exemplary purpose. For a while, I thought I was a murderer for killing my spot in the family: a plate, a set of spoon and fork, a glass of water had to be put away because Rea has gone away. That, for the longest time, was who I am. I was identified to be the woman who exchanged family for education and I was done being the monster I thought I was. Because in reality, they are okay; they understand. They are rooting for the lady they believed in so much. They keep away my spot in the dining table when I’m away, but place it back right where it should be when I arrive home.

It’s been two years in college cities away from mine and this is all I came to be. This is all I had become. What a complete waste, those two years was. I refuse the guilt. I refuse to feed myself to the fangs of those voices behind my back whispering me to stay because I have long taken my flight to make myself something more, and this has been keeping me from reaching my destination. I have been on my plane for a long while- it is time to touch down.

So here I am. I will continue to work for Z Plus the same way I am willing to work for learning photography, enhancing my writing which I suppose is very much mediocre, read, and read more- be it political, be it local and international news, be it fiction. I am willing to go beyond my craft the same way I am willing to divulge and drown myself in science: biology to be specific, a field I chose to traverse and succeed. With all my heart, biology, I offer my life to you. And to my country, my Philippines, you’ve got me. Everything I do, I do for your healing.

To Mom and Dad, to my family, you are home, you will always be, but I know places that await me; I have places to be. See you back home, and I love you.

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.

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.

What I Believe In

I like to believe that I’m off to med school in two years’ time. If not for my irrationality, I would have not landed in a course I won’t be pursuing in the first place.

I like to believe in the hideous idea that the four kings and queens of old will make it back to Narnia and save the god forsaken land. I like to believe that fiction, if I think of it hard enough, dream about it almost every night, then it would actually come true.

I like to believe in truth.

Yesterday, when I was looking at all the vintage finds I have snuggled at every garage sale in the city, I thought about how much shit I took out when you left.

You gave me so much that I had to pull out everything in my room that day.

I was on the floor, crying, my mom knocking on the door.

I was on the floor, grasping for air, or not anymore, I cannot possibly remember- surprisingly- like how I could no longer remember you; I could only remember you in multiple proportions. Maybe I’ve had too much chemistry to start thinking about Dalton and the Laws of Matter. I wish I would have; that way, I wouldn’t think too much about you.

I remember you though, “hey, if ever we broke up, and you throw away all the things I gave you, I’m going to get real mad.” What a foolish thing for me to believe that you would. You see, I was still scared. I was still scared of you getting mad at me. I wish you would; instead of not caring at all. That hurt me. With the same gravity of pain. With the same weight as heavy as the whole world could ever make me carry.

I look at all my vinyls piled up on the corner of my room, thinking that if our story were placed on one of those tracks, the needle on my turntable would have probably cracked because it’s always on repeat. I think about my room, how many ancient things I love I placed in here. I’ve always been in love with the past, even wishing that the amount of stale would replace the past I had with you. This was history, and I loved it, except when I still had you.

When I still had you, I was in love with the future. I prayed to God three times a day. One in the morning, when I hear you whisper “wake up, you’re going to be late.” One at noon, hoping God hears me more than all the people praying that instant, only for you to pass your anatomy exam. And finally, one at night, when after a long, tiring fight, you still have your head rested upon my chest. So innocent; so sure about what our tomorrow will be.

Now, I pray to God every single moment of every day, “please, Lord, let me think about something else.”

Yesterday, when I was looking at all the things I have summoned into my room to cover up the scent of your perfume, I thought about not thinking about you. That finally, it’s been a while since I last thought about you. That at last, I was too busy to think about how I missed you, and how you don’t. How happy you are in the arms of your new home. But thinking about not thinking about you makes me cringe even more, because I just did. I just thought about you. Again.

I like to believe in the now. I like to believe in something real. That I am my own person, that I am not living a lie. But it can never be more difficult than now. I would have given up anything for you to be nothing but an eye contact; a chapter skipped; a plan A that could never be. I would have given up anything, because in the now that I am in, you are taking so much of my time. You are taking so much of my space, that even as I took all of you out of me, you still left me with every day.

I still have every day with you.

I like to believe I have let you go. Problem is, every day.


This is a piece that is very close to me. I wrote this leaving very few edits. This is as raw as can be. Hopefully, this will be the last of its kind.

Good luck to all of us.

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.

©

Time Check 12:33 AM

It’s been a while! 

I have lots to tell you.


Halfway through the year and I am not feeling my best. I had so much plans for myself this year. What I remember most is telling myself, “be more.” Now, I feel ugly. I feel utterly loathsome and beastly. I could not find my way to quietude amidst the unruly stampede of thoughts willed by my conscience and fear. I could not grasp my unbecoming and that is the least I could do with this internal emulation. Soon, if I let it, it will be more and more dreadful. I will be more and more intolerable; it will result to a lot of pushing away and deactivation. Everything will detach. I will relapse into partition.

No, this is not about academics. I am no longer that woman who bases everything on numbers. Or is this just a mere cover- up for what I have truly metamorphosed? This is not about my personal life. This is not about my country nor is it about society.

It is about me, and me alone.

Sure, there are catalysts- but to whatever extent I pushed myself into relies solely on the fact that I settled for release. I freed myself upon dominion.

I could not precisely describe the feeling of losing control over my own self. But if I must: it is as though travelling an empty road that goes on forever, without even stepping your feet on the ground. You feel weightless. You hurt no one. No one hurts you. You only get to hurt yourself.

I have tried so many times; I prayed so many times. And out of all these times, nothing lasted. Not even when I prayed, “Lord, help me.” I do not even know what to fix. I just know I need fixing and I need it at the soonest possible time. The consistency of my feelings were increasingly fading. And for months it felt like I surrendered to no one and nothing but the void.

 I come home to my parents every weekend, visit my girlfriend every weekend, hang out with friends at times, do a lot of academics day and night. My grades are fine. However, nothing really satisfied the seeping emptiness.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my family, my friends, my girlfriend. They are not the driving force as to why I am slowly becoming a slave to nothingness.

As a matter of fact, I can no longer will myself to write.

It’s much better to write broken than to not write at all, I have figured. For at least, when I am angry and sad, I know I am breathing. I can feel my heartbeat; whereas when I am emotionless, I can only feel the air touch my face and see the people I love crumble as I turn into something I must not.


Into contemplation, I realize that it is my utmost commitment to life that also brings me into grave abandonment. I pressured myself into all these becoming that I soon lost my grip on to what is right. I lost my grip on the dream. I cannot accept who I am that I scrutinized myself into becoming someone I am not. I think so little of myself! I am not my mistakes. This moment right now is to be remembered always; someday, the new, fulfilled and complete Rea will thank this exact moment. There is nothing to be ashamed of, I know now. I am not to be ashamed of having to transform ever so often. I am not going to be ashamed anymore that I am not as smart as I ought to be. I am not going to be ashamed anymore of having lower grades than my brilliant block mates. Instead, I am going to raise my head up and I am going to start being thankful. Rather than moping around the corner wishing I had the same writing skills than him, I would approach him and commend him for a great poem. I am no longer going to dwell on what I lack; I am going to delve into filling the lack thereof. I am not going to let it consume me. I am going to be kind. That way, I will be strong. I will know how to fight the silent fight. I am no longer going to repeat people’s criticism about me in my head every second and question my being; instead, I will gulp it all up and see what I can do. It’s okay to return to wishing I was someone else, because I know for sure it is normal. But I won’t feed it my courage and resilience of being better. No. Scratch that. Of being the ideal Rea.


But really, what is there to change about me? I keep saying, I will, I will, I will. But what are these things that I would like to change?

  1. Not helping my family members with chores around the house.
  2. Not being able to balance my time with school works.
  3. Settling for, “bukas na ‘yan!” (“I’ll do it tomorrow!”)
  4. Going for, “bahala na. Okay na ‘yan.” (“Whatever. That will do.”)
  5. Resorting into fear.
  6. Lying. (To God, to parents, to myself)
  7. Feeding my insecurities. (Like getting mad at myself for being dumb sometimes.)
  8. Being ignorant. (About rules, schedule, deadline, simple things.)
  9. Not being practical. (Being too miserly)
  10. Being a spoiled brat.
  11. Not paying respect to my parents.
  12. Being too lazy.
  13. Forgetting proper hygiene. (I often forget applying my medications for my pimples.)
  14. Saying no to friends because I’m lazy.
  15. Complaining so much.
  16. Not being grateful enough.
  17. Always forgetting things.
  18. Being insensitive.