Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Skies Are Dark, It's Time For Rain...

This is the loneliest sunset I have ever seen.

I should be happy today, not sat here worried like mad, because I do not know what's happening to you. I don't know what happened to you. I don't know where you are, if you are safe now or what... I don't know, and that makes it all the more difficult.

Last night was ecstatic. You, I, our friends, and all the other people that matter, together in one dream, in one place. You held my hand the whole time, and as I leaned my head on your shoulder while we listened to the rolls of waves crashing on the side of the ferry, I wished I could freeze time and stay there with you forever.

It all came without warning today. This morning, you didn't wake up. You were supposed to wake up! To open your eyes and greet me, and wish me a wonderful day. You were supposed to tease me a lot! You were supposed to talk, to breathe this cool, clean air... But you didn't. I shook you and you answered me with a grunt... And before my very eyes, you gasped for air, your heartbeat was crazy, and then it was almost gone. Gone....

I cried, but my tears were not to you like water to plants. They took you away in a noisy ambulance, and all I could see were the flashing reds and blues as I sat limply on the curb, rubbing my face on my palm. I was supposed to chase after you! To make sure that they would give you the best care, the treatment you deserve! Where are you now...?

Cal... Please don't hurt me like this.... Please be well.... Believe me, I tried... I tried to convice them that I was important enough to be there with you, to be there for you... I don't know where you are now... I don't know what's happening now. I don't know if there was something I could have done... I feel so ... I don't know what I am feeling right now....

Please don't leave...Please...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What Is Your Reason For Living?

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
~E. B. White

 Hello, I am just a simple girl. My mind thinks simple thoughts; my heart feels simple emotions. I need the most basic of all necessities, shopping makes me happy, and on a regular Friday night when the air is crisp and car horns are beeping, I like staying in bed and cuddling up with a book. My life is not glamorous, I am not always happy, neither am I always sad. My life is not as good as I want it to be, but honestly, it is not too bad, either.

So what do I live for? Do I live for my dreams? Do I live for my family and friends? Do I live just for the heck of living? Do I live for the knowledge that one day,the world will bow down o me, at my feet? I could say I live for myself, but that would sound too selfish to be acceptable.

I do live for the people I love, but here's the catch: I live for everyone who needs me. I live for that little girl in tattered clothes who sleep on the streets, rain or shine. I live for my pre-school teacher, for the Pastor who preaches before the penniless. I live for the Security Guard in front of the bank he works for. I live for the candy vendor, for the cab driver, for the post man, the plumber, the construction worker, the cashier in the supermarket who never fails to smile and wish me a nice day. I live for all these people, because in one way or another, I might or might not have noticed, but they have surely made an impact in my life.

This may sound odd,weird,unusual. After all,this world has gone from being our world to being someone's self's world. I just realized,if I don't give credit to all these good people,then who will?Who will let them know that they matter,too?Who will tell that Security Guard how nice it felt when he told me that I was kind,just because I put my trash in the trash can,which,in the first place, was in fact, my obligation?

I live for the hope that one day,the rest of the world will wake up and see the beauty in every single thing,even in the most mundane ones.I wish everyone could touch a cancer patient's cheek and tell her that she is beautiful,and for once,make her cry with tears of joy.I wish mothers and daughters could just realize sooner than normal that they do live for each other,and that nothing in the world could come in between them.I live for the hope that there are still good people who actually care about the welfare of others,and are not afraid to show it.

I live for Christmas dinners and those street children who brave the cold weather, singing Christmas carols in the street, tapping car windows. I live for the people who actually open their windows and share their blessings to the less fortunate;the world needs more people like them. I live for the hugs friends share when words couldn't explain feelings anymore. I live for anonymous donors, overseas Filipino workers, and non-government organizations volunteers.

I live for the rainbows after the rain. I live for the bravery of my fellow Filipinos who managed to smile even after the storms destroyed their homes last year. I live for the unity that was shown in the face of tragedy. The Philippines is a country not as financially rich as the United States nor the European nations, still, we all managed to somehow smile and help each other.With tears in my eyes,it has been proven to me that we were not hopeless,and we never will be.

I live for the people who take the courage to sail even when they are destined to fail. I live for my Mom,whose faith in love is undying,and for my Dad,whom I terribly miss every single moment. For my sister, my aunts, and my grandparents, whose faith and love for me never cease,for the neighbors who say hello every once in a while.

I live for all the simple moments in life,because they are the most fragile ones in my memory.I live for lazy Sunday afternoons,for the summer breeze, for blowing bubbles in April, for the smell of new clothes, for a box of 124 pieces of crayons, for the cats that meow and the dogs that bark, I live for waking up at 3 AM from December 16-25 to complete the 9 early morning masses and for the wish I get when I do, for the sweaters and cardigans I only get to wear from November to February, for Lilac blooms and the sound of a little girl's giggles, for the feeling of comfort when my cheek is pressed on my pillow, for sweet daydreams and teddy bears, for all the laughter and tears.

I live for the sake of being able to live, because every man dies, but not everyone lives.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do You Want Me To Brave This Road For You?

 Soooooo I think I have a new favorite song.

I can't stop smiling on my way home because this song was playing on my PSP. I was shamelessly singing along, even when a neighbor was standing near me,I couldn't care less.

Anyway,so today was my Mom's birthday. After school,I bought prepaid credits to text her a birthday greeting.I was walking peacefuly to 7 Eleven to get some Coke,when somebody called my name. I whirled around to see my old pal, Karen.I once wrote a post about her here.Anyway,so yeah I bumped into Karen,and we stayed in 7 Eleve for a couple of minutes to catch up. God, I missed her. I kind of regret shifting schedules, but I can't do anything about that now. What matters is that we talked,and nothing has changed between us.

Part of me is happy right now because there's a reason to be happy. But I decided not to talk about that here that much.I want to keep private whatever it is that I have right now because the world doesn't have to know...Only we do. I just...I can't explain it.I'm perfectly contented with whatever I am in right now,I guess that says it all.

As I have mentioned,it's my Mom's birthday and I texted her this afternoon. I've been waiting all day for some reply but I still haven't got any.I have a feeling she's mad at me,cause she's been calling these past few days and I wasn't able to answer any.Maybe she thinks I was ignoring her calls,but the truth is,my phone was in silent mode,it always is,she knows that.She calls at the most random hours,and I am not a phone person...Most of the time I do not even know where I put my phone,so I really didn't ignore the calls on purpose.

This hole in my heart is like screaming at me that our relationship (if we even have one) is falling apart. I really want nothing more than save it...But she doesn't seem to be working with me. Still,I can't just give up on it.
For all it's worth,I want to fight,to fight for my Mom,for her love,and a little affection. She thinks my sister and I only remember her because of her money, but we do not even get any of her money.I don't know what happened in the course of eleven years, but from the looks of things, it seems like it's all about money. Money, power, money, more money. I don't need so much money,you know?

Aside from that,I have no more worries. I feel calm and a little collected now.I would not let my emotions control me anymore. Some people have it worse...So I don't have the right to complain. It does nothing good...especially when my friends feel guilty about me being sad.It makes me feel selfish...

Speaking of European time based clock fell off the table today. It broke. I turn to it when I need to know what time it is in England and Ireland..Well,it's gone now.I really hope SHE didn't purposefully break it.She has the tendency to get jealous of my internet friends...

Lastly,it's raining all night. I've watched The Wedding Singer..I love Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler together like no joke!!! Oh, and I cut my toe. Accidentally. With a sharp rock.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Final Straw

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.

I think I'm being the girl I used to be again. I'll wear no pretenses this time--I am so depressed. I'm tired of pretending to be so happy, so hyper just so I would not ruin the mood of my friends. I'm lonely, and I need to bleed it out or it'll stay in me forever.

I hate it,I hate being like this. Last night, I almost pleaded for my friends to stay with me. My friends in real life and some internet friends... I thought I at least deserved some of their time,since when they were the ones who needed me,I dropped everything just to be there for them. Well, they did not have time. It's so fucking disappointing,you know? I am so mad at the world. Why is everything so unfair?

Now I really know who my real friends are. Rani thought I was referring to her when I said some friends only remember me when they need something. Truth is, Rani saved me last night. She made me laugh with all those Chinese zodiacs, it was fun talking to her. She did not ignore the fact that I was a ROBOT, and she did something about it. Yasmina was there,too. I'm not surprised, she always has been there.

Anyway....I don't think I can live like this. I wish my friends know that I have feelings,too. I'm not some superhero you can run to whenever you need help. Sometimes, I need help too. Sometimes, I need you,too. I wish you could like,take five minutes out of your precious time and for once,ask me. Ask me what's wrong. Help me ease this burden in my heart. You are supposed to do that,cause you are supposed to be my friends.

Don't tell me we'll talk next time cause THERE IS NO NEXT TIME. I needed you last night. Call me selfish,call me a bitch. When it's you who needs me,I move heaven and earth just to be able to help you. I'm tired of all your excuses and all these pretenses. I can see right through you....You're not here, because you are perfectly happy with your life right now.

One day soon,you will need me again, and you will realize I'm not there aymore.

You have lost me,and I hope it gives you hell.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Need To Feel You.

Take me back...Take me back in your arms...

The only way I could hear your voice these days is when you're on the phone, telling me how hard your job is...You once told me that you noticed how tired I was,how tired I sounded...You didn't know the reason behind my silence.

I wanted to tell you that my classmate used to say that one day we would fly.She made us fall in line back in second grade and pressed our foreheads until they were bloody red,because supposedly, that was the only way we could fly. That night, I stayed awake, waiting for my body to start floating magically on air. I could not wait to fly. I could not wait to fly to you...

I wanted to tell you that I started liking a guy when I was in sixth grade. He had beautiful skin, and I hated my best friend because she liked him too, and unlike me,she was not discreet about it. I wanted to tell you that my teachers told everyone that they were pretty...Everyone except me, because I was boyish and unruly. Because nobody was there to say I should have grown my hair, I should have tied it up so that it would not cover my face.

I wanted to tell you how happy I was when my crush covered my eyes with his hands when I was thirteen.When I was fourteen, I thought I was in love. I rushed into things and got my heart broken for the first time. I wished you were there for me while I cried silently inside the bathroom, because I wanted no one to hear me. The pain was rippling, and I got over it, but every night, I wished you were there... I wished you were here...

I wanted to tell you how much I have grown. How I wanted you to be in the picture as I clicked the camera shutter on my sister's graduation. I wanted you to be with me when I enrolled for College. I wanted to tell you how I loved my College course, but you didn't like it. I wanted to prove to you that I was right...

Now, I'm nineteen. When you were my age, you had me. I want to tell you about my friends who call their Moms bitches just because the women won't let them use the computer, or go out with friends. I want to tell you how selfish I think they are for taking their Moms for granted. I want you to know how proud I am of myself because not once do I think of you the way they think about their Moms. I could tell you a lot right now... I could tell you how much pain I am feeling because of you, because you left, because I lost you, and never found you again. I want to tell you, Hey Mom...It's me. Hey Mom, what's for breakfast? Hey Mom, these are my friends. Hey Mom, can I have some spare cash? Hey Mom, let's bake a cake. Hey Mom, is everything alright? Hey Mom, I love you every fucking second of my life. Hey Mom, it hurts. Hey Mom... Did my heart break enough this time? Did it break enough...?

Mom,every time I remember you...I remember you yelling at me...Because that's all the memory I have.Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night from dreaming about the very first time you went away. It's like I am there all over again, red rimmed eyes, tear soaked shirt... I did not beg you to stay, but you did not see my lips quiver when I mumbled goodbye.

Mom, I wish I never said goodbye... Maybe if I didn't,you would have came back...

She Didn't Want Parades Just Passing By Her

And then God made Jackson Rathbone,and a war ensued among women.

Hi,hi, hiiiiiiiiiii!!!

Life's bliss these past few days. It's like I couldn't ask for more,but in the back of my mind,there's fear.

I'm scared of being this happy,because that usually means the downfall is somewhere near.I don't trust the forces of nature when I am this high,because when you're on your highest, there's no other way to go but down,right?

Anyway,I think I'll worry about that when that time comes. I'll just live this moment while it lasts, cause it may not last long.

Yesterday I went to SM San Fernando to meet up with my internet friend, Ate Liahn. Shhh, my family thought I was in school the whole time,and I do not have any plans of changing that belief. Yep, I am badass, but that's what you get when you're too controlling.

Anyway,I really had fun.Before we met it was like everything was just virtual. Like yeah,I have friends on the internet,but we don't see each other.That kind of thing. Well,now it's easier to imagine having a friend hug you when you need one. I personally think my internet friends are better than the real ones--no offense meant, but you know...They don't ever let me down. Or maybe I am just being biased. Of course there's some concrete reason why my internet friends and I don't fight.It's not that I don't trust them,but when you're behind a computer screen,you tend to put your best foot forward.

Ate Liahn gave me lots of Greenebone tarpaulins and button pins,and a tote bag.I really love them,and I am planning to go home early today (if that is even possible) to post them all on my wall.I just couldn't wait. Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. We had a really nice time,and I got to meet her boyfriend,who was also very nice.We made him carry our stuff and take our photos at the same time.He passed my test.I like him for her. :)

We watched The Last Airbender in 3D. I therefore announce to you guys,that I,the mighty mighty Seann,was devirginized yesterday.Wakokokoko. It was my first time TO WATCH A MOVIE IN 3D because in our oh so awesome province of Nueva Ecija, there are no 3D theaters.I am so freakin' proud that the first movie I watched in 3D was a Monroe Jackson Rathbone V movie. I needed new schmanties,he blew me away. Look at that photo above. Holy Mary Mother of Grace,pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,Amen. I had multiple heart attacks during the movie,and I was unable to focus on the story. Whatevs, I am not a fan of the anime thingy anyway.

Okayyyyyy,so I boarded the bus home at about 6 in the evening,dear God was I scared,by the time we reached Gapan I was the only passenger left,and I was bracing myself for the worst. What if I got raped? What if they parked the bus on a deserted side of the road and kill me afterwards? This is why reading and watching horror and thriller stories is never a good idea for me. Thankfully, I am still alive and whole. In every way possible.

I spent the night playing Facebook games,because that's what cool teens do on weekend nights,not party all the way. So this friend of mine commented on one of my photos saying it was disgusting (she said yuck) because apparently I had ummm...some dirt thingy in my eyes on the photo. You judge.

I asked her if she was serious but she did not reply. Honestly,I was hurt. I still am, because all these years I never did or thought about anything that could hurt her. I guess friends do let you down every once in a while. I felt like she posted that on purpose,for everyone to see.She really likes proving to everyone that she is better than I am. Anyway, I really don't care anymore.

After all,it was not I who showed motives to her boyfriend. Yep,her boyfriend sent me messages on Facebook,asking for my number. Which I didn't give,by the way.

Thank God I have friends like M, Yasmina, and Mainia who stood up for me even when I didn't stand up for myself.

Sometimes I want to tell myself how horrible I am,but that would really hurt my feelings.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Keep Breathing,I'm Not Leaving You Anymore

I love you...I loved you all along...

What if you spent all your life working hard on something, and then it didn't happen the way you planned? What if for ages,you kept to yourself...You never spoke of the way you felt about certain things or people,and then,one day,when it was already too late,you found out that they felt the same?What if you devoted everything you own to one person,and then they ended up disappointing you?

Time...You don't buy it cause you can't. It's free,but only while it lasts.

We waste too much time thinking about what could have been,instead of working on what is. Most of us believe that life is all about what we have,when in fact,life is all about what we do with what we have.We always focus on what we want,and as soon as we get what we want,we wound up wanting more.It's an endless and redundant process,and in the end, we all die with nothing to bring but our souls,anyway.

I used to do everything I could to prevent myself from getting hurt,because as I have said a thousand times before,pain is the greatest of my fears.Now that I am smarter and older,I found out that pain is what I need in order to grow.It might be forced out of me,but it's all for goodness' sake,and through it, I am better.

We all have our regrets. We often make mistakes, and do things the wrong way, or simply just do the wrong things.Our lives don't have to stop because of one single mistake though. Go back to the one you left if you feel like you belong with them. Say how sorry you are, and mean it. Tell yourself that you will try not to falter again, and with all your heart, prove it.You owe it to yourself to pursue your happiness,and dwelling in the past and carrying its burden in your shoulders is not a way to achieve it.

Sometimes,we have to move on, because goodbye is the only way.

Sometimes,we are blessed with the choice to stay...And times like that,the opportunity should never be wasted.

Because regret is one bitter pill to swallow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Softly,We Tremble Tonight

I think I blog too much, but you really can't do anything about it.

Today has been a day of keen observation. If you knew me well enough,you would know that I don't pay all that much attention to things unless I'm really bored. My mind is always floating with thoughts and ideas so most of the time, the hands of the clock would tick by and I would not even notice.

Today,I made it my business to just look around me for once.

I've never seen the road as beautiful as I have seen it today. The branches of the trees that swayed above me were beyond magical--I felt like I was in wonderland. On my way to school.I thought about stuff that I usually think about.Like why people die and why things happen.

Human beings are funny,in a way. Sometimes, we are annoyingly funny. Sometimes, it's just plain rude. I was sat in McDonald's all alone, eating my lunch in quiet stillness when a lady (she's about 25-28) asked if she could share my table.I said yes,of course.I mean what choice did I have? Even though there were tons of vacant tables, it would have been rude if I said no,right?

Well,I just realized that no matter how kind you are and no mater how good your intentions are,people would always push you to your limits and you must forgive them for that.Perhaps you make others feel like that too,at times. So the lady turned out to be VERY talkative.I was never the type who talked to strangers like we were old friends,mind you.I have trust issues. So I was wuietly nibbling (hehehe,nibbling) on my chocolate sundae, and I was having these really disturbing coughing fits in between,and she wouldn't shut up.

Nibble,nibble,nibble.She wanted to know where I lived,where I was studying,why I was at the mall, how old I was, what year was I in, what course I was taking, how long did it usually take me to get home, did I take the jeepney every single day, did I have anyone with me at the moment...The list could go on forever. Right at that very moment, I was mentally nagging myself for ever deciding to buy that chocolate sundae. All I wanted was to have some alone time with myself to be able to think things through,but her words were faster than bullet,so as soon as I put the plastic cup down,I politely excused myself and escaped the scene of the crime.

What I'm saying is, that WAS VERY RUDE. I really appreciate it when people talk to me,I mean,I do that a lot in Twitter and Facebook,but when I am eating, DO NOT EVER SPEAK TO ME. I am very strict with this ever since high school. I do not like being watched or talked to when I am eating, cause I respect and value the food. To others it may sound shallow, but why do we pray before we eat? To thank God for the blessing,right? Well, that is the reason why I like eating undisturbed. It makes the meal all the more special and sacred. That is just my opinion.

If you ever find yourself in the same situation one day,respect the other person's privacy and silence,please. As you can see,I was really pissed,and I still am,because I feel violated. I don't know why. It's just so annoying,even until now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Standing Face To face,But A Million Miles Apart.

If there is one four letter word that is stronger than love,it's supposed to be HOME.

Home,you are supposed to be my fortress,but why does it seem like you are the dungeon I am locked in? You are supposed to shield me from the painful blows of life,but instead,you give me the wounds that take the longest to heal.I don't know if I am safe in you...

Why do we like to hurt so much? Is it not obvious yet that I am too sensitive about this family issue that you don't even realize how much pain it causes me when we talk about it? I wish I could bury the bad memories that I have,so that I can just go on with my life with nothing holding me back. Each time we look back, I cry... Not because it hurts me,but because of the knowledge that it hurts you,too,but you look back anyway...

I wish I could ask you to just forget it and move on.I wish we were actors,so that we could just pretend that it was all acting,like it was a bad comedy that did not make people laugh.But it was all real,and try as we might to conceal the agony,the pain is still there.It lingers...

I wish you knew...I wish you could hear me sob silently each night.You have no idea what I am going through,even after all these years. You could not see past my perfect charade...Or maybe you could,you just chose to ignore it,since there was nothing you could do anyway.I wish you knew how much I loved you,and that I would do anything to make you happy...But I wish you would see,even just for once,that the things that make you happy at times,are the very things that hurt me.

I am trying so hard to glue the pieces of this family back together.No one said life was easy...Nobody said it was this hard,either.But I'm coping...Day by day,I struggle to save myself from the person I might become because of all this pain...Maybe you,for once,could look at me and tell me all the words I needed to hear to make it all better...

Tell me that it is worth it...and prove it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dead Stars

THROUGH the open window the air-steeped outdoors passed into his room, quietly enveloping him, stealing into his very thought. Esperanza, Julia, the sorry mess he had made of life, the years to come even now beginning to weigh down, to crush--they lost concreteness, diffused into formless melancholy. The tranquil murmur of conversation issued from the brick-tiled azotea where Don Julian and Carmen were busy puttering away among the rose pots.
"Papa, and when will the 'long table' be set?"
"I don't know yet. Alfredo is not very specific, but I understand Esperanza wants it to be next month."
Carmen sighed impatiently. "Why is he not a bit more decided, I wonder. He is over thirty, is he not? And still a bachelor! Esperanza must be tired waiting."
"She does not seem to be in much of a hurry either," Don Julian nasally commented, while his rose scissors busily snipped away.
"How can a woman be in a hurry when the man does not hurry her?" Carmen returned, pinching off a worm with a careful, somewhat absent air. "Papa, do you remember how much in love he was?"
"In love? With whom?"
"With Esperanza, of course. He has not had another love affair that I know of," she said with good-natured contempt. "What I mean is that at the beginning he was enthusiastic--flowers, serenades, notes, and things like that--"
Alfredo remembered that period with a wonder not unmixed with shame. That was less than four years ago. He could not understand those months of a great hunger that was not of the body nor yet of the mind, a craving that had seized on him one quiet night when the moon was abroad and under the dappled shadow of the trees in the plaza, man wooed maid. Was he being cheated by life? Love--he seemed to have missed it. Or was the love that others told about a mere fabrication of perfervid imagination, an exaggeration of the commonplace, a glorification of insipid monotonies such as made up his love life? Was love a combination of circumstances, or sheer native capacity of soul? In those days love was, for him, still the eternal puzzle; for love, as he knew it, was a stranger to love as he divined it might be.
Sitting quietly in his room now, he could almost revive the restlessness of those days, the feeling of tumultuous haste, such as he knew so well in his boyhood when something beautiful was going on somewhere and he was trying to get there in time to see. "Hurry, hurry, or you will miss it," someone had seemed to urge in his ears. So he had avidly seized on the shadow of Love and deluded himself for a long while in the way of humanity from time immemorial. In the meantime, he became very much engaged to Esperanza.
Why would men so mismanage their lives? Greed, he thought, was what ruined so many. Greed--the desire to crowd into a moment all the enjoyment it will hold, to squeeze from the hour all the emotion it will yield. Men commit themselves when but half-meaning to do so, sacrificing possible future fullness of ecstasy to the craving for immediate excitement. Greed--mortgaging the future--forcing the hand of Time, or of Fate.
"What do you think happened?" asked Carmen, pursuing her thought.
"I supposed long-engaged people are like that; warm now, cool tomorrow. I think they are oftener cool than warm. The very fact that an engagement has been allowed to prolong itself argues a certain placidity of temperament--or of affection--on the part of either, or both." Don Julian loved to philosophize. He was talking now with an evident relish in words, his resonant, very nasal voice toned down to monologue pitch. "That phase you were speaking of is natural enough for a beginning. Besides, that, as I see it, was Alfredo's last race with escaping youth--"
Carmen laughed aloud at the thought of her brother's perfect physical repose--almost indolence--disturbed in the role suggested by her father's figurative language.
"A last spurt of hot blood," finished the old man.
Few certainly would credit Alfredo Salazar with hot blood. Even his friends had amusedly diagnosed his blood as cool and thin, citing incontrovertible evidence. Tall and slender, he moved with an indolent ease that verged on grace. Under straight recalcitrant hair, a thin face with a satisfying breadth of forehead, slow, dreamer's eyes, and astonishing freshness of lips--indeed Alfredo Salazar's appearance betokened little of exuberant masculinity; rather a poet with wayward humor, a fastidious artist with keen, clear brain.
He rose and quietly went out of the house. He lingered a moment on the stone steps; then went down the path shaded by immature acacias, through the little tarred gate which he left swinging back and forth, now opening, now closing, on the gravel road bordered along the farther side by madre cacao hedge in tardy lavender bloom.
The gravel road narrowed as it slanted up to the house on the hill, whose wide, open porches he could glimpse through the heat-shrivelled tamarinds in the Martinez yard.
Six weeks ago that house meant nothing to him save that it was the Martinez house, rented and occupied by Judge del Valle and his family. Six weeks ago Julia Salas meant nothing to him; he did not even know her name; but now--
One evening he had gone "neighboring" with Don Julian; a rare enough occurrence, since he made it a point to avoid all appearance of currying favor with the Judge. This particular evening however, he had allowed himself to be persuaded. "A little mental relaxation now and then is beneficial," the old man had said. "Besides, a judge's good will, you know;" the rest of the thought--"is worth a rising young lawyer's trouble"--Don Julian conveyed through a shrug and a smile that derided his own worldly wisdom.
A young woman had met them at the door. It was evident from the excitement of the Judge's children that she was a recent and very welcome arrival. In the characteristic Filipino way formal introductions had been omitted--the judge limiting himself to a casual "Ah, ya se conocen?"--with the consequence that Alfredo called her Miss del Valle throughout the evening.
He was puzzled that she should smile with evident delight every time he addressed her thus. Later Don Julian informed him that she was not the Judge's sister, as he had supposed, but his sister-in-law, and that her name was Julia Salas. A very dignified rather austere name, he thought. Still, the young lady should have corrected him. As it was, he was greatly embarrassed, and felt that he should explain.
To his apology, she replied, "That is nothing, Each time I was about to correct you, but I remembered a similar experience I had once before."
"Oh," he drawled out, vastly relieved.
"A man named Manalang--I kept calling him Manalo. After the tenth time or so, the young man rose from his seat and said suddenly, 'Pardon me, but my name is Manalang, Manalang.' You know, I never forgave him!"
He laughed with her.
"The best thing to do under the circumstances, I have found out," she pursued, "is to pretend not to hear, and to let the other person find out his mistake without help."
"As you did this time. Still, you looked amused every time I--"
"I was thinking of Mr. Manalang."
Don Julian and his uncommunicative friend, the Judge, were absorbed in a game of chess. The young man had tired of playing appreciative spectator and desultory conversationalist, so he and Julia Salas had gone off to chat in the vine-covered porch. The lone piano in the neighborhood alternately tinkled and banged away as the player's moods altered. He listened, and wondered irrelevantly if Miss Salas could sing; she had such a charming speaking voice.
He was mildly surprised to note from her appearance that she was unmistakably a sister of the Judge's wife, although Doña Adela was of a different type altogether. She was small and plump, with wide brown eyes, clearly defined eyebrows, and delicately modeled hips--a pretty woman with the complexion of a baby and the expression of a likable cow. Julia was taller, not so obviously pretty. She had the same eyebrows and lips, but she was much darker, of a smooth rich brown with underlying tones of crimson which heightened the impression she gave of abounding vitality.
On Sunday mornings after mass, father and son would go crunching up the gravel road to the house on the hill. The Judge's wife invariably offered them beer, which Don Julian enjoyed and Alfredo did not. After a half hour or so, the chessboard would be brought out; then Alfredo and Julia Salas would go out to the porch to chat. She sat in the low hammock and he in a rocking chair and the hours--warm, quiet March hours--sped by. He enjoyed talking with her and it was evident that she liked his company; yet what feeling there was between them was so undisturbed that it seemed a matter of course. Only when Esperanza chanced to ask him indirectly about those visits did some uneasiness creep into his thoughts of the girl next door.
Esperanza had wanted to know if he went straight home after mass. Alfredo suddenly realized that for several Sundays now he had not waited for Esperanza to come out of the church as he had been wont to do. He had been eager to go "neighboring."
He answered that he went home to work. And, because he was not habitually untruthful, added, "Sometimes I go with Papa to Judge del Valle's."
She dropped the topic. Esperanza was not prone to indulge in unprovoked jealousies. She was a believer in the regenerative virtue of institutions, in their power to regulate feeling as well as conduct. If a man were married, why, of course, he loved his wife; if he were engaged, he could not possibly love another woman.
That half-lie told him what he had not admitted openly to himself, that he was giving Julia Salas something which he was not free to give. He realized that; yet something that would not be denied beckoned imperiously, and he followed on.
It was so easy to forget up there, away from the prying eyes of the world, so easy and so poignantly sweet. The beloved woman, he standing close to her, the shadows around, enfolding.
"Up here I find--something--"
He and Julia Salas stood looking out into the she quiet night. Sensing unwanted intensity, laughed, woman-like, asking, "Amusement?"
"No; youth--its spirit--"
"Are you so old?"
"And heart's desire."
Was he becoming a poet, or is there a poet lurking in the heart of every man?
"Down there," he had continued, his voice somewhat indistinct, "the road is too broad, too trodden by feet, too barren of mystery."
"Down there" beyond the ancient tamarinds lay the road, upturned to the stars. In the darkness the fireflies glimmered, while an errant breeze strayed in from somewhere, bringing elusive, faraway sounds as of voices in a dream.
"Mystery--" she answered lightly, "that is so brief--"
"Not in some," quickly. "Not in you."
"You have known me a few weeks; so the mystery."
"I could study you all my life and still not find it."
"So long?"
"I should like to."
Those six weeks were now so swift--seeming in the memory, yet had they been so deep in the living, so charged with compelling power and sweetness. Because neither the past nor the future had relevance or meaning, he lived only the present, day by day, lived it intensely, with such a willful shutting out of fact as astounded him in his calmer moments.
Just before Holy Week, Don Julian invited the judge and his family to spend Sunday afternoon at Tanda where he had a coconut plantation and a house on the beach. Carmen also came with her four energetic children. She and Doña Adela spent most of the time indoors directing the preparation of the merienda and discussing the likeable absurdities of their husbands--how Carmen's Vicente was so absorbed in his farms that he would not even take time off to accompany her on this visit to her father; how Doña Adela's Dionisio was the most absentminded of men, sometimes going out without his collar, or with unmatched socks.
After the merienda, Don Julian sauntered off with the judge to show him what a thriving young coconut looked like--"plenty of leaves, close set, rich green"--while the children, convoyed by Julia Salas, found unending entertainment in the rippling sand left by the ebbing tide. They were far down, walking at the edge of the water, indistinctly outlined against the gray of the out-curving beach.
Alfredo left his perch on the bamboo ladder of the house and followed. Here were her footsteps, narrow, arched. He laughed at himself for his black canvas footwear which he removed forthwith and tossed high up on dry sand.
When he came up, she flushed, then smiled with frank pleasure.
"I hope you are enjoying this," he said with a questioning inflection.
"Very much. It looks like home to me, except that we do not have such a lovely beach."
There was a breeze from the water. It blew the hair away from her forehead, and whipped the tucked-up skirt around her straight, slender figure. In the picture was something of eager freedom as of wings poised in flight. The girl had grace, distinction. Her face was not notably pretty; yet she had a tantalizing charm, all the more compelling because it was an inner quality, an achievement of the spirit. The lure was there, of naturalness, of an alert vitality of mind and body, of a thoughtful, sunny temper, and of a piquant perverseness which is sauce to charm.
"The afternoon has seemed very short, hasn't it?" Then, "This, I think, is the last time--we can visit."
"The last? Why?"
"Oh, you will be too busy perhaps."
He noted an evasive quality in the answer.
"Do I seem especially industrious to you?"
"If you are, you never look it."
"Not perspiring or breathless, as a busy man ought to be."
"Always unhurried, too unhurried, and calm." She smiled to herself.
"I wish that were true," he said after a meditative pause.
She waited.
"A man is happier if he is, as you say, calm and placid."
"Like a carabao in a mud pool," she retorted perversely
"Who? I?"
"Oh, no!"
"You said I am calm and placid."
"That is what I think."
"I used to think so too. Shows how little we know ourselves."
It was strange to him that he could be wooing thus: with tone and look and covert phrase.
"I should like to see your home town."
"There is nothing to see--little crooked streets, bunut roofs with ferns growing on them, and sometimes squashes."
That was the background. It made her seem less detached, less unrelated, yet withal more distant, as if that background claimed her and excluded him.
"Nothing? There is you."
"Oh, me? But I am here."
"I will not go, of course, until you are there."
"Will you come? You will find it dull. There isn't even one American there!"
"Well--Americans are rather essential to my entertainment."
She laughed.
"We live on Calle Luz, a little street with trees."
"Could I find that?"
"If you don't ask for Miss del Valle," she smiled teasingly.
"I'll inquire about--"
"The house of the prettiest girl in the town."
"There is where you will lose your way." Then she turned serious. "Now, that is not quite sincere."
"It is," he averred slowly, but emphatically.
"I thought you, at least, would not say such things."
"Pretty--pretty--a foolish word! But there is none other more handy I did not mean that quite--"
"Are you withdrawing the compliment?"
"Re-enforcing it, maybe. Something is pretty when it pleases the eye--it is more than that when--"
"If it saddens?" she interrupted hastily.
"It must be ugly."
Toward the west, the sunlight lay on the dimming waters in a broad, glinting streamer of crimsoned gold.
"No, of course you are right."
"Why did you say this is the last time?" he asked quietly as they turned back.
"I am going home."
The end of an impossible dream!
"When?" after a long silence.
"Tomorrow. I received a letter from Father and Mother yesterday. They want me to spend Holy Week at home."
She seemed to be waiting for him to speak. "That is why I said this is the last time."
"Can't I come to say good-bye?"
"Oh, you don't need to!"
"No, but I want to."
"There is no time."
The golden streamer was withdrawing, shortening, until it looked no more than a pool far away at the rim of the world. Stillness, a vibrant quiet that affects the senses as does solemn harmony; a peace that is not contentment but a cessation of tumult when all violence of feeling tones down to the wistful serenity of regret. She turned and looked into his face, in her dark eyes a ghost of sunset sadness.
"Home seems so far from here. This is almost like another life."
"I know. This is Elsewhere, and yet strange enough, I cannot get rid of the old things."
"Old things?"
"Oh, old things, mistakes, encumbrances, old baggage." He said it lightly, unwilling to mar the hour. He walked close, his hand sometimes touching hers for one whirling second.
Don Julian's nasal summons came to them on the wind.
Alfredo gripped the soft hand so near his own. At his touch, the girl turned her face away, but he heard her voice say very low, "Good-bye."

ALFREDO Salazar turned to the right where, farther on, the road broadened and entered the heart of the town--heart of Chinese stores sheltered under low-hung roofs, of indolent drug stores and tailor shops, of dingy shoe-repairing establishments, and a cluttered goldsmith's cubbyhole where a consumptive bent over a magnifying lens; heart of old brick-roofed houses with quaint hand-and-ball knockers on the door; heart of grass-grown plaza reposeful with trees, of ancient church and convento, now circled by swallows gliding in flight as smooth and soft as the afternoon itself. Into the quickly deepening twilight, the voice of the biggest of the church bells kept ringing its insistent summons. Flocking came the devout with their long wax candles, young women in vivid apparel (for this was Holy Thursday and the Lord was still alive), older women in sober black skirts. Came too the young men in droves, elbowing each other under the talisay tree near the church door. The gaily decked rice-paper lanterns were again on display while from the windows of the older houses hung colored glass globes, heirlooms from a day when grasspith wicks floating in coconut oil were the chief lighting device.
Soon a double row of lights emerged from the church and uncoiled down the length of the street like a huge jewelled band studded with glittering clusters where the saints' platforms were. Above the measured music rose the untutored voices of the choir, steeped in incense and the acrid fumes of burning wax.
The sight of Esperanza and her mother sedately pacing behind Our Lady of Sorrows suddenly destroyed the illusion of continuity and broke up those lines of light into component individuals. Esperanza stiffened self-consciously, tried to look unaware, and could not.
The line moved on.
Suddenly, Alfredo's slow blood began to beat violently, irregularly. A girl was coming down the line--a girl that was striking, and vividly alive, the woman that could cause violent commotion in his heart, yet had no place in the completed ordering of his life.
Her glance of abstracted devotion fell on him and came to a brief stop.
The line kept moving on, wending its circuitous route away from the church and then back again, where, according to the old proverb, all processions end.
At last Our Lady of Sorrows entered the church, and with her the priest and the choir, whose voices now echoed from the arched ceiling. The bells rang the close of the procession.
A round orange moon, "huge as a winnowing basket," rose lazily into a clear sky, whitening the iron roofs and dimming the lanterns at the windows. Along the still densely shadowed streets the young women with their rear guard of males loitered and, maybe, took the longest way home.
Toward the end of the row of Chinese stores, he caught up with Julia Salas. The crowd had dispersed into the side streets, leaving Calle Real to those who lived farther out. It was past eight, and Esperanza would be expecting him in a little while: yet the thought did not hurry him as he said "Good evening" and fell into step with the girl.
"I had been thinking all this time that you had gone," he said in a voice that was both excited and troubled.
"No, my sister asked me to stay until they are ready to go."
"Oh, is the Judge going?"
The provincial docket had been cleared, and Judge del Valle had been assigned elsewhere. As lawyer--and as lover--Alfredo had found that out long before.
"Mr. Salazar," she broke into his silence, "I wish to congratulate you."
Her tone told him that she had learned, at last. That was inevitable.
"For what?"
"For your approaching wedding."
Some explanation was due her, surely. Yet what could he say that would not offend?
"I should have offered congratulations long before, but you know mere visitors are slow about getting the news," she continued.
He listened not so much to what she said as to the nuances in her voice. He heard nothing to enlighten him, except that she had reverted to the formal tones of early acquaintance. No revelation there; simply the old voice--cool, almost detached from personality, flexible and vibrant, suggesting potentialities of song.
"Are weddings interesting to you?" he finally brought out quietly
"When they are of friends, yes."
"Would you come if I asked you?"
"When is it going to be?"
"May," he replied briefly, after a long pause.
"May is the month of happiness they say," she said, with what seemed to him a shade of irony.
"They say," slowly, indifferently. "Would you come?"
"Why not?"
"No reason. I am just asking. Then you will?"
"If you will ask me," she said with disdain.
"Then I ask you."
"Then I will be there."
The gravel road lay before them; at the road's end the lighted windows of the house on the hill. There swept over the spirit of Alfredo Salazar a longing so keen that it was pain, a wish that, that house were his, that all the bewilderments of the present were not, and that this woman by his side were his long wedded wife, returning with him to the peace of home.
"Julita," he said in his slow, thoughtful manner, "did you ever have to choose between something you wanted to do and something you had to do?"
"I thought maybe you had had that experience; then you could understand a man who was in such a situation."
"You are fortunate," he pursued when she did not answer.
"Is--is this man sure of what he should do?"
"I don't know, Julita. Perhaps not. But there is a point where a thing escapes us and rushes downward of its own weight, dragging us along. Then it is foolish to ask whether one will or will not, because it no longer depends on him."
"But then why--why--" her muffled voice came. "Oh, what do I know? That is his problem after all."
"Doesn't it--interest you?"
"Why must it? I--I have to say good-bye, Mr. Salazar; we are at the house."
Without lifting her eyes she quickly turned and walked away.
Had the final word been said? He wondered. It had. Yet a feeble flutter of hope trembled in his mind though set against that hope were three years of engagement, a very near wedding, perfect understanding between the parents, his own conscience, and Esperanza herself--Esperanza waiting, Esperanza no longer young, Esperanza the efficient, the literal-minded, the intensely acquisitive.
He looked attentively at her where she sat on the sofa, appraisingly, and with a kind of aversion which he tried to control.
She was one of those fortunate women who have the gift of uniformly acceptable appearance. She never surprised one with unexpected homeliness nor with startling reserves of beauty. At home, in church, on the street, she was always herself, a woman past first bloom, light and clear of complexion, spare of arms and of breast, with a slight convexity to thin throat; a woman dressed with self-conscious care, even elegance; a woman distinctly not average.
She was pursuing an indignant relation about something or other, something about Calixta, their note-carrier, Alfredo perceived, so he merely half-listened, understanding imperfectly. At a pause he drawled out to fill in the gap: "Well, what of it?" The remark sounded ruder than he had intended.
"She is not married to him," Esperanza insisted in her thin, nervously pitched voice. "Besides, she should have thought of us. Nanay practically brought her up. We never thought she would turn out bad."
What had Calixta done? Homely, middle-aged Calixta?
"You are very positive about her badness," he commented dryly. Esperanza was always positive.
"But do you approve?"
"Of what?"
"What she did."
"No," indifferently.
He was suddenly impelled by a desire to disturb the unvexed orthodoxy of her mind. "All I say is that it is not necessarily wicked."
"Why shouldn't it be? You talked like an--immoral man. I did not know that your ideas were like that."
"My ideas?" he retorted, goaded by a deep, accumulated exasperation. "The only test I wish to apply to conduct is the test of fairness. Am I injuring anybody? No? Then I am justified in my conscience. I am right. Living with a man to whom she is not married--is that it? It may be wrong, and again it may not."
"She has injured us. She was ungrateful." Her voice was tight with resentment.
"The trouble with you, Esperanza, is that you are--" he stopped, appalled by the passion in his voice.
"Why do you get angry? I do not understand you at all! I think I know why you have been indifferent to me lately. I am not blind, or deaf; I see and hear what perhaps some are trying to keep from me." The blood surged into his very eyes and his hearing sharpened to points of acute pain. What would she say next?
"Why don't you speak out frankly before it is too late? You need not think of me and of what people will say." Her voice trembled.
Alfredo was suffering as he could not remember ever having suffered before. What people will say--what will they not say? What don't they say when long engagements are broken almost on the eve of the wedding?
"Yes," he said hesitatingly, diffidently, as if merely thinking aloud, "one tries to be fair--according to his lights--but it is hard. One would like to be fair to one's self first. But that is too easy, one does not dare--"
"What do you mean?" she asked with repressed violence. "Whatever my shortcomings, and no doubt they are many in your eyes, I have never gone out of my way, of my place, to find a man."
Did she mean by this irrelevant remark that he it was who had sought her; or was that a covert attack on Julia Salas?
"Esperanza--" a desperate plea lay in his stumbling words. "If you--suppose I--" Yet how could a mere man word such a plea?
"If you mean you want to take back your word, if you are tired of--why don't you tell me you are tired of me?" she burst out in a storm of weeping that left him completely shamed and unnerved.
The last word had been said.

AS Alfredo Salazar leaned against the boat rail to watch the evening settling over the lake, he wondered if Esperanza would attribute any significance to this trip of his. He was supposed to be in Sta. Cruz whither the case of the People of the Philippine Islands vs. Belina et al had kept him, and there he would have been if Brigida Samuy had not been so important to the defense. He had to find that elusive old woman. That the search was leading him to that particular lake town which was Julia Salas' home should not disturb him unduly Yet he was disturbed to a degree utterly out of proportion to the prosaicalness of his errand. That inner tumult was no surprise to him; in the last eight years he had become used to such occasional storms. He had long realized that he could not forget Julia Salas. Still, he had tried to be content and not to remember too much. The climber of mountains who has known the back-break, the lonesomeness, and the chill, finds a certain restfulness in level paths made easy to his feet. He looks up sometimes from the valley where settles the dusk of evening, but he knows he must not heed the radiant beckoning. Maybe, in time, he would cease even to look up.
He was not unhappy in his marriage. He felt no rebellion: only the calm of capitulation to what he recognized as irresistible forces of circumstance and of character. His life had simply ordered itself; no more struggles, no more stirring up of emotions that got a man nowhere. From his capacity of complete detachment he derived a strange solace. The essential himself, the himself that had its being in the core of his thought, would, he reflected, always be free and alone. When claims encroached too insistently, as sometimes they did, he retreated into the inner fastness, and from that vantage he saw things and people around him as remote and alien, as incidents that did not matter. At such times did Esperanza feel baffled and helpless; he was gentle, even tender, but immeasurably far away, beyond her reach.
Lights were springing into life on the shore. That was the town, a little up-tilted town nestling in the dark greenness of the groves. A snubcrested belfry stood beside the ancient church. On the outskirts the evening smudges glowed red through the sinuous mists of smoke that rose and lost themselves in the purple shadows of the hills. There was a young moon which grew slowly luminous as the coral tints in the sky yielded to the darker blues of evening.
The vessel approached the landing quietly, trailing a wake of long golden ripples on the dark water. Peculiar hill inflections came to his ears from the crowd assembled to meet the boat--slow, singing cadences, characteristic of the Laguna lake-shore speech. From where he stood he could not distinguish faces, so he had no way of knowing whether the presidente was there to meet him or not. Just then a voice shouted.
"Is the abogado there? Abogado!"
"What abogado?" someone irately asked.
That must be the presidente, he thought, and went down to the landing.
It was a policeman, a tall pock-marked individual. The presidente had left with Brigida Samuy--Tandang "Binday"--that noon for Santa Cruz. Señor Salazar's second letter had arrived late, but the wife had read it and said, "Go and meet the abogado and invite him to our house."
Alfredo Salazar courteously declined the invitation. He would sleep on board since the boat would leave at four the next morning anyway. So the presidente had received his first letter? Alfredo did not know because that official had not sent an answer. "Yes," the policeman replied, "but he could not write because we heard that Tandang Binday was in San Antonio so we went there to find her."
San Antonio was up in the hills! Good man, the presidente! He, Alfredo, must do something for him. It was not every day that one met with such willingness to help.
Eight o'clock, lugubriously tolled from the bell tower, found the boat settled into a somnolent quiet. A cot had been brought out and spread for him, but it was too bare to be inviting at that hour. It was too early to sleep: he would walk around the town. His heart beat faster as he picked his way to shore over the rafts made fast to sundry piles driven into the water.
How peaceful the town was! Here and there a little tienda was still open, its dim light issuing forlornly through the single window which served as counter. An occasional couple sauntered by, the women's chinelas making scraping sounds. From a distance came the shrill voices of children playing games on the street--tubigan perhaps, or "hawk-and-chicken." The thought of Julia Salas in that quiet place filled him with a pitying sadness.
How would life seem now if he had married Julia Salas? Had he meant anything to her? That unforgettable red-and-gold afternoon in early April haunted him with a sense of incompleteness as restless as other unlaid ghosts. She had not married--why? Faithfulness, he reflected, was not a conscious effort at regretful memory. It was something unvolitional, maybe a recurrent awareness of irreplaceability. Irrelevant trifles--a cool wind on his forehead, far-away sounds as of voices in a dream--at times moved him to an oddly irresistible impulse to listen as to an insistent, unfinished prayer.
A few inquiries led him to a certain little tree-ceilinged street where the young moon wove indistinct filigrees of fight and shadow. In the gardens the cotton tree threw its angular shadow athwart the low stone wall; and in the cool, stilly midnight the cock's first call rose in tall, soaring jets of sound. Calle Luz.
Somehow or other, he had known that he would find her house because she would surely be sitting at the window. Where else, before bedtime on a moonlit night? The house was low and the light in the sala behind her threw her head into unmistakable relief. He sensed rather than saw her start of vivid surprise.
"Good evening," he said, raising his hat.
"Good evening. Oh! Are you in town?"
"On some little business," he answered with a feeling of painful constraint.
"Won't you come up?"
He considered. His vague plans had not included this. But Julia Salas had left the window, calling to her mother as she did so. After a while, someone came downstairs with a lighted candle to open the door. At last--he was shaking her hand.
She had not changed much--a little less slender, not so eagerly alive, yet something had gone. He missed it, sitting opposite her, looking thoughtfully into her fine dark eyes. She asked him about the home town, about this and that, in a sober, somewhat meditative tone. He conversed with increasing ease, though with a growing wonder that he should be there at all. He could not take his eyes from her face. What had she lost? Or was the loss his? He felt an impersonal curiosity creeping into his gaze. The girl must have noticed, for her cheek darkened in a blush.
Gently--was it experimentally?--he pressed her hand at parting; but his own felt undisturbed and emotionless. Did she still care? The answer to the question hardly interested him.
The young moon had set, and from the uninviting cot he could see one half of a star-studded sky.
So that was all over.
Why had he obstinately clung to that dream?
So all these years--since when?--he had been seeing the light of dead stars, long extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in the heavens.
An immense sadness as of loss invaded his spirit, a vast homesickness for some immutable refuge of the heart far away where faded gardens bloom again, and where live on in unchanging freshness, the dear, dead loves of vanished youth.

~Paz Marquez Benitez

Embrace Changes.

There's a hole in the roof. There's a huge pool of water stain on my side of the bed because the sky has just finished crying...

What,you don't want to talk about the hole in the roof? Fine.

What shall our lesson for today be?I'm so tired,my eyes are starting to flutter,but I will blab anyway, since YOU, yes, YOU have nothing better to do so you waste precious time reading about my less than not perfect life.

Today,I watched Hating Kapatid, a Filipino comedy/family oriented movie by Viva Films. I'm not really a fan of Viva, since I prefer Star Cinema, nor am I fan of Sarah Geronimo or Judy Ann Santos...but it was a good laugh.

It was about two sisters, Rica and Cecilia, who were left by both their parents when they were young. Their parents went to work abroad,and since then, Rica was left to care for her sister. They lived with their grandmother.

Their life became stable financially with the sacrifice of their parents. For twenty years, Rica cared for Cecilia. She gave everything up for the welfare of her sister. Then when Cecilia graduated finally from College, their parents decided to go home already,thinking they have fulfilled their responsibility of giving their children a decent educational background.

When they arrived home, Rica drifted away from them. She became selfish because Cecilia seemed to be closer to their parents now than with her,when years ago,she was her only family.She became jealous. She did not know what to expect from her parents or wheter to expect anything from them at all, and neither did they,so problems ensued. It took them all a while to learn to forgive and forget,and embrace the changes in their lives,but in the end,it all worked out fine.

Lesson? We must all accept the fact that the world doesn't revolve around any of us alone.The people we love have the right to love and be loved back by other people apart from us.We must understand that even though we were the ones to shape them and help them be what they were,they have their own will,and they could decide for themselves.It may be hard to let go of the people we love, but the truth is, they never really just disappear. Their world just expands, and that doesn't mean that we have to step out of their heart to give room for others.There is more than enough space in a person's heart for everyone to fit in,so jealousy and being possessive is just pointless.

Maybe that is what a mother feels when she watches her son marry the woman he loves. Perhaps, that's what a father feels when a guy picks his daughter up for her first date.We all have that in us,but in the end, everyone's freedom prevails.

In Memory Lane...Again.

Look at this photograph...Every time I do it makes me laugh...

I'm toying with memories of the past again.That's so typical of me,I know.I just can't help it.

It's so hard to believe that so many years have passed,and so many things have happened already.My heart still feels young,like I'm still eight or ten,or maybe,fourteen. Back then,I was so eager to grow up and be a woman,have a husband and kids,a home to call my own, and go and visit my parents on Holidays. Now that I am close to that, I am not so sure anymore.

That's the problem with me.I change my mind a lot.I'm always uncertain... One day,I wanted to be a teacher. And then I woke up taking Food Technology in High School, and suddenly felt that I wanted to be a chef. I still want to be a chef,but I am just wondering... What if there's more to life than dreams and the future?

We keep worrying about the future.This I know,for on the rare occasions that I go out of the house to visit some neighbors, what they always talk about is the fact that they have no more rice to cook for tomorrow, or that the kid might be going to school with no lunch money. The funny thing is, they only talk about it; they never do anything to change their fates.

Anyway,enough of that,I guess. So why am I playing with memories again? Because I am so stressed right now,I don't know what to do. I have lots of things going on in my mind, and the past is the safest place for me to hide. I just miss running barefoot on what used to be a narrow dirt path in front of our house, or build haystacks in the rice fields during harvest season. I never get to do those things anymore. For one, I am too old for those, and two, I actually have no time.

When I was little I would feel like a princess, riding on a carriage that was pulled by a carabao. My grandfather owned a carabao, he still does. Those carriages were made to transport the rice sacks from the middle of the fields to the side of the road. It was so much fun, I felt free.

I guess I made these memories my sanctuary because I only remember what I want to remember. I find comfort in knowing that once when I was a child, classes were suspended because there was a storm. For three days,we stayed indoors with no electricity. I used to collect candle wax and round it up into a ball,then used a match stick for a wick. When the sun came up again one August afternoon, I was so happy to be outside the house again that I immediately went to play in the backyard. We had a papaya tree there, where I found a golden tortoise beetle. I loved golden tortoise beetles, and the colors they would project when hit by the sun.

I wish I had a photograph of all those precious moments when we all smiled and tackle hugged each other. They say photographs are good because they never change even if the people in them do, but don't they realize that photographs fade,too? That's why I rely on my memories. They are not that vivid now, I might get the faces wrong, but I clearly remember the exact emotions I felt during those days. No more,no less... And I wouldn't be lying to myself.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cause The Last Time I Felt Like This,I Was Falling In Love...

I'm just so freaking tired tonight.I wanna sleep!

Have you ever had that one person you could tell anything to,and would never judge you in any way?I do now,and I feel so blessed.

I just got an e-mail from Yasmina,my best friend online.I will change that "best friend online" stuff someday,I swear. She'd be more than that to me,I mean we'll be best friends in reality.Best friends who meet and talk and stuff,not behind computer screens.This I promise myself.

Anyway,so yeah I got an e-mail from her and I'm now as lonely as she said she felt like she made me feel.Haha try to figure that sentence out.Well,I was not SO miserable these past few days,but she kind of feels guilty for not being always here to talk.It's fine though,I know she has to live her own life every once in a while.And I am busy too.

I think we're fine.We're never the type of best friends who talk everyday on Twitter and stuff,and that's what makes us special.We never run out of things to talk about when we do talk.We prefer e-mails,anyway. We're cool like that.

Okay,enough of that.I'm actually going to study tonight,then,after our classes tomorrow,I'll be having a road trip with my friends in motorbikes.Yep,with C,of course.Now...Have you read Sexy Pool Boy? haha..Just kidding.

I wanna see The Inception.I've seen Cinco and it was creepy.It won't get out of my head.Creepy and gory,to be honest.I had to try my best to not throw up in the cinema.Thankfully,I succeeded.Note to self: never watch a horror movie alone,you fool.

I don't know how I am feeling right now.I'm really confused...Because love is a strange thing,you know?I don't quite know if it's safe to call it love cause I might be wrong...And I'm really,really scared.Maybe I shouldn't worry about it too much,but I can't help it.What if this is the chance I have been waiting for,and then I just let it pass?Agggh.I simply don't understand myself.

But last night,I was fully awake when I was supposed to be sleeping,just thinking about it.Smiling. Under my blanket. This is so weird...

A Letter To An Inanimate Object I Hate

Dear Computer Speakers,

I wish you don't sound groggy.To be honest with you,you sound worse than I do when I have just woken up in a very bad mood on a hot morning in June.I don't know what exactly that means,but I'm sure it's a bad thing.

Anyways,can you please straighten yourselves up?Everytime I play Trading Yesterday you make them sound like there's phlegm in their lungs,I kind of lose my mood because of that.

All in all,though,if I look past all the crazy sounds you usually make,you can be pretty useful,too,when I want to drown out my thoughts,or the neighbor's inevitable NOISE. I'm sure we are one on this.You know what I mean.


Please try your best not to fall of the table.It's getting anoying,really.


Midnight Melancholy

I just feel like pouring my heart out to anyone who would listen.

I miss the past and all the people who were a part of it. I miss the people who claimed to care about me, when deep down, I knew as well as them, that they didn’t. I miss the way things used to be. I didn’t want to believe it, not like how I do now, I’ve finally realized…people always leave.

It's so easy to say that life goes too fast to ever notice what have changed and what remained the same,but when I look back  a year from now,it's clear that in the course of a month or twelve,I have been forced to grow and face life for once,maybe twice.It's just so weird that I feel so young and reckless,I want to experiment on things,but I am too afraid to try.

I've been trying so hard to blend in with the world,but I feel like I keep being shoved out of the picture,and maybe it's better to just drag myself away before anything or anyone can hurt me...But how would I learn about life if I keep on running away from it?

I try to talk to the people I really miss the most,but I don't know what to say...Or more accurately,I don't know if they want me to say anything,so I don't.But living deep inside me are the words waiting for me to bring them to life.Like how much I miss you.Like how much I wish we could stay the same.Like how painful it is for me to look back on our old happy days,knowing that's what they will always be--memories.

It still pains me to see that the people I cannot possibly live without,can live without me,you know? Sometimes,it even feels like they are doing things on purpose...Like showing me that they can go on even without me,and times like that,the idea of just disappearing altogether sounds so delicious that it's all I could do to stop myself from snapping my finger and vanishing right away.It's just so weird that yesterday you had them to yourself,and then the next thing you knew,they were five steps ahead,and you were left behind.On your own.

I wish I was never born this way,vulnerable and sensitive,and over passionate.I love too much,and that's the problem.I have a hard time of letting go of all the things and people that I know I would eventually lose.If I could sum up what I have learned so far about life in three words,it would be very simple.

Life goes on...

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Month Of Letters Prompt Table

day 1. A letter to an inanimate object you hate.
day 2. A letter to a dinosaur.
day 3. A letter to a movie character
day 4. A letter to someone you want to kick in the face expressing why you want to kick them in the face
day 5. A letter to a celebrity you want to kick in the face
day 6. A HEARTFELT letter to some food
day 7. A letter to a historical event
day 8. A letter to a giant space robot
day 9. A letter to the coolest person you’ve never met
day 10. A letter to an alien race.
day 11. A letter to your last bowel movement
day 12. A letter to a mythological creature
day 13. A letter to a word you don’t like
day 14. A letter to a word you love
day 15. A letter to your crotch.
day 16. A letter to your bed
day 17. A letter to a video game character
day 18. A letter to a website that ruined your life
day 19. A letter to an animal you like
day 20. A letter to an animal you think is fucking stupid
day 21. A letter to something you’ve owned for 5 years+
day 22. A letter to something you want to fuck
day 23. A letter to the drug of your choice.
day 24. A letter to one of your bodyparts
day 25. A letter to Gary Busey
day 26. A letter to the future cyborg version of you
day 27. A letter to band that really needs to break up
day 28. A letter to a movie you hate
day 29. A letter to a letter you’ve written
day 30. A letter to a bowl of fruit

She,Revealed,A Statue.

I don't know where to begin.

I just think life is funny nowadays.I shift from mood to mood,day by day. Well,last week was like a hurricane.This week seems more promising,so I'm counting on it.

Yesterday,a Youth Council meeting was scheduled in our Church,but my sister and I decided not to attend since we had lots of school work to do.Luckily for us,our Chairman called and informed us that it was cancelled,perhaps because it was raining really hard.

So my day was spent wholly at home,doing my visual aid for "Statue" by Jackson Rathbone,which I would later present in class.Sadly,I fell asleep while doing it yesterday,I was so tired.So I zonked off at about 3 in te afternoon,and woke up at 6 feeling groggy...My sister was on the computer the whole time.I didn't finish anything,but I think I liked it.

The thing is,I like lazy Sunday afternoons.If it's not lazy,then I'll make it lazy by being lazy.It was raining all day yesterday,and that's what I loved,bundled up in my blanket like a cocoon,listening to the sound of the rain and some piano lullabies.It is always good to spend some time with my sister doing nothing at all,just being in the same room for hours on end,ocassionally speaking to each other,is bliss.

I've met new friends too,there's Darcy who's really funny and I enjoy talking to her a lot.I stay up until the wee hours just role playing Alice on Chatroll,and if ou only know what I'm dong there...Haha! It's really fun,but I don't think I can get on there as much as I have these past few days.

I just feel contented today.No silly fights in the house,no shouting..There are still those ocassional cold shoulder treatments but I can't complain.So far this is better than the last few days,so maybe I should even be thankful.When I feel so down I just remind myself that there are so many kids out there who don't have families,and I have one,so I'm lucky.That keeps me going.

Anyhooo...A friend right now is feeling really down and stuff,I wish I could help her. :-/ The world is crazy and harsh,and she better learn that early,I think..That not all we want,we get. Perhaps a lesson is waiting for her in the end.Right now,I must help her hold on to the last shred of hope left in her.I'll be more than guilty if I just watch her give up,you know?


She dances in the forest shade
in freckles of the sun
slight winds breach the trees’ blockade
and the shade succumbs

A sudden burst of brilliant light
the forest comes alive
illuminating scattered paths
where forest creatures hide

She, revealed, a statue
bleaching in the sun
her skin of stone
a marble tone
her dress a mess
of vines and nests
a kind distress
her mouth

for a statue
no less
for the trees
leaves dancing
in season
and reason deceived
as she seems to be
dancing, dancing for me

what shadows might allow at night!
when branches dip and sway
the disco moon, a trick of light
she sways on nature’s stage

her holly golightly gave her the reds,
my james dean savior will see me dead

bowing to the inscription a questioning sigh
could something less than rain make a statue cry?


That's the poem I was talking about.Isn't it beautiful?

Some of the words Jackson used give a hint that he wrote this poem with his Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) in mind. Just read between the lines.Anyway,even if he didn't,that doesn't change tha fact that it is beautiful.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Where Is Your Faith?

Give up something for Christ's sake...

Today,I went to our Sunday Worship Service to hear our Pastor preach.I really need a bible,since my bilingual bible is somewhere out there,I don't know where.I can't find it.Anyway,the bible scripture that we read today was Luke 8:23-25, where it said....

As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

I just thought it was a very good topic,our Pastor asked us to go to the next level of faith,but it's not that easy.Why?

Because we worry too much about the most mundane things when in reality,they shouldn't really matter all that much to us.Today,I have realized that in order to take the higher step in the ladder of faith,I have to give up something for God,so that I can lift myself up and reach Him.

What do I have to give up for Him?

My burdens.The things that trouble me.The dark thoughts in the back of my mind.I have to give them up and let Him work on my life,because He is planing something good for me.I just have to be faithful enough and trust Him,cause only He knows what's best.Think about this...

A woman was boarding the bus.She had loads of stuff hanging by her arms,while her baby was clinging to her chest.She had a shoulder bag,and she could barely walk because she had too many things.A man helped her board the bus.

As soon as she got on the bus,the man told her to sit comfortably and let go of her bags and baskets,but she wouldn't.

"I can't just let go of this," she said, "I'll be fine.Someone might steal them away."

She held on to her belongings and her baby the whole time,thus making the journey very uncomfortable for her.

See,if the woman had faith enough that God wouldn't let anything bad happen to her,she could have had a comfortable journey,but instead,she clung to her bags for dear life.

That's what we usually do. We cannot let go of the things that hurt us,of the things that bother us,that's why we are trapped in the past and never moving forward.I'm not talking about burden itself,I'm talking about all kinds of burden.You see,it comes in many forms.

It can be a best friend that influences you in the wrong way.It can be your problems or vices,or the hatred you feel towards someone.These things are hard to let go of and just forget about,but in order to grow spiritually,we have to.Because these things put up a barrier between who we are now and who we could become-a better and happier person.

Today,I could say I am in a boat in the middle of that ocean,and there are storms and winds,but I am unafraid,because God is with me,and I have faith in Him.No matter what happens,I leave it all up to Him,and I know He shall make me better...

I hope that somehow,I've inspired someone,anyone,with this post.Let go of whatever burdens you,yes,YOU.God has an awesome plan for you.Upgrade your faith,and He shall bless you with everything and more.

I'm leaving you with my current favorite piece from the Bible.I first read this one during our CBA Youth Camp last May 3-6,and I fell in love with it.I think it suits this topic,too.

Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house

because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.

She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

"Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."

But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.

Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."

~Luke 8:41-48

Faith.It transforms everything...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Wait

I'll be back, you said. That was all I really needed to hear.

For years,I sat by the window,waiting for your return. I watched the raindrops splash into the glowing pavement, and chased butterflies in the garden during the Summer.

Wishing you were there to hold me close,like you always used to do.

Not a day passed by that somehow,at some point,I did not think about you.

Why can't I just go with you? I asked,my eyes were rubbed out,swelling,as I cried for you.

I cried for you...

Your old gray shirt somehow comforted me.I wore it at night,when there were thunderstorms and I was much too terrified to sit by the window and wait.

I cuddled with your shirt,inhaling your scent that was barely there.Sometimes,I inhaled so deeply that I ran out of breath,desperately trying to catch the fragrance and hold it in my lungs.It was the only way I could hold you in me.

When I celebrated my birthday,I looked myself in the mirror and somehow found that I was not the girl I used to be.Everything has changed,but my feelings for you remained the same.Untouched,unfathomable. I whispered Happy Birthday to myself, concentrating hard on mimicking your voice to perfection,so that I would feel that you were there,celebrating with me.

When times were tougher,I would lock myself up in my room and just whisper your name.I talked to you like you were always with me,like you were never gone at all.I told you about my days,about my wait,my patience,and my faith that one day you would walk through that door again,and I would be there,throwing my arms around you,and you would know how much I have missed you.

I hugged myself in bed,and I never forgot to say my good night to you,like a prayer,before I go to sleep. I once stayed awake all night,awaiting your return,staring at the ceiling,projecting virtual memories of the times I spent with you.I was so into it that when the bubble showed you turning your back from me,I began to sob and plead.

Don't walk away. Don't leave me again...

 And I woke up to the sound of the chirping birds and passing cars,and I hugged my pillow tight because it was the only thing I could do back then,because you were not there.

You were never there.

Last night,I set the table for dinner,turned off all the lights and lit a candle.The table was filled with your favorite food; there were roses and daffodils in cut glass bowls around me. I set two plates across each other on the table,and poured wine on the glasses.The sound of it touching the bottom of the glass was almost intoxicating.I felt your presence,and I knew,I just knew,that you'd be dining with me.

And so I put on my best smile and tried not to cry.

Happy Birthday,Mom. I whispered into the dark, and right at that moment, nineteen years didn't seem too long a wait.It was worth it.

Because for once,you were back,and your voice that I heard,saying that you loved me, was not a product of my imagination anymore.

It was real,and you were,too.

I hugged the telephone before putting it back on its cradle,trying my hardest to capture that moment forever.With my eyes closed,I held on to the last flimsy strand of hope that maybe you thought about me as much as I thought about you while the distance between our feet lingered.Maybe I had you beside me all along...

Don't go,I sobbed when you said goodbye.

On the other line,I heard you sigh. I'll be back.

And that was all I really needed to hear.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I Don't Know How It Gets Better Than This ;)

Heeeey, good evening.

Rain is pelting the roofs right now,and I could not ask for more.Sitting in the dark even though lights are available, sipping Coke in a Raspberry Juice bottle so no one would be suspicious that I am drinking Coke even though I really am drinking Coke,and just...writing about my feelings. It's the best.

I'm talking to my friends on the internet. Until now,I still cannot believe that I have made friends through technology.I mean,I was never the type who just went around saying hi and felt comfortable about it.I was never comfortable with people,that's why I used to wonder why I took up HRM,when it is all about meeting and greeting and serving different kinds of people every single day.

Anyway,I have changed a lot since February.I cannot even look at myself in the mirror without smiling while studying my face.Look at you,you still look the same,but you are an entirely different person.I aspired to be a better version of myself,and I'd like to think that I have,in a way,achieved it.

I don't know how I can thank these people for coming into  my life,you know? They've always been here through ups and downs,even when I am moody and pissy. Looking back,I cannot imagine how I managed to live before I met them.It seems to me now like I have always known this life,but in reality,it has only been five months or so.It feels like forever.

Right now,in my life,I could not ask for more.I mean,sure,I do not have everything,but I do have anything I could ever ask for.As long as life goes on like this,with the people who mean the world to me,I promise I'd get by.I am just so happy right now,and there's no particular reason why.

I guess I have just realized that I have to take the good with the bad.Problems are always blessings in disguise. I really really really love life...