Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Think I'm Growing Up.

There are days when I crave for songs the way a pregnant woman craves for a specific kind of food. Last night, I lay in bed tossing and turning cause I wanted to listen to Jose Mari Chan's Beautiful Girl. Unfortunately, I don't have it on my iPod.

Life is the unsteadiest thing in the world. Like they say, the only thing constant here is change, but somethings, these changes are so drastic, we don't even have much time to catch our breaths and estimate the damage. loss, or gain.

It's been a happy week for me. I got to talk to my mom on the phone, and it was like nothing went wrong. We had our Pastor and church mates over this afternoon and held a mass in our house, and then my sister and Yeyey and I went out to buy some snacks outside. On Friday, it's St. Jerome's feast day, so there are a lot of booths and stalls set up along the highway, selling sweets, fruits, snacks, clothes and toys. I used to be so excited for September 30 when I was little.

The only thing I worry about right now is that everyday, I keep hoping our family is able to hold it together for the day. Sometimes, we just get into these little arguments and they annoy me. It seems like my aunt can't speak a word without actually sneering or yelling at us. My sister likes spending time in her room and complaining about things, whining to my aunt, and my aunt always sneers and tells my sister not to talk to her like that. you know, I just think we can all try to be a little nicer to each other. But I pretend that I don't care cause I'm scared that this family might just burst at the seams out of the blue, and things will never be the same again. Although this set up isn't perfect, it's not so bad.

I want to do something productive. Something charitable, even, but I don't know where to begin. first of all I don't have any money. Second, it's not like I live in the city where everything is walking distance. I wish I'm good enough to deserve the things I'm being given everyday that I always take for granted, like good health, food, a family, and then some luxuries not everyone can afford, like the internet and stuff like that. I wish to be good, period.

I think I'm finally growing up. Forgiveness doesn't come hard for me now, and I'm growing to be more of a thinker and less of a talker. I think, I'm growing up.

I'm growing up... I think.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Be Kind

I'm bound to cut a friendship short today. I don't know if I can even say that, since it never realy felt like I had that particular person for a friend, but still.

I'm not one to pretend that I like someone when I don't, but I'm decent enough to be civil with them. I don't get why people find it so hard to do that. Why do we always feel like we need to put other people down before we can start feeling good about ourselves?

I'm talking about bullying and being judgmental. A book I've read recently, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult tells a story about a teenage guy, Peter Houghton, who went on a shooting spree in his high school, killing ten people and leaving 19 others wounded. Peter was a victim of a lifelong, day to day bullying.

I think everything we do leads to another circumstance.That's why we have the words destiny and fate in the dictionary.Think of what would happen if someone set a building on fire. It would affect the lives of the people who own the building, the people who work there, the people who passed by it, the people who would see it on the news, and the person who lit the match, thus affecting every single person around all of them, even indirectly. That's what bullying does, too, except there's no fire, only a crushed self esteem. There'll be no one shouting for help, only a victim's supressed feelings. There are no charred walls and collapsed ceilings, only a broken heart.

I don't want to sound all saintly and good, because I'm not. Sometimes, I have those moments, too, when I'm being mean and can't help but notice someone else's imperfections, but when that time arrives, I just remind myself that calling someone fat won't make me thin, and calling someone ugly doesn't make me beautiful. It certainly doesn't make me feel beautiful.

It makes my heart hurt when I witness someone giving dirty looks to a couple because they're both girls. It makes my skin flame with irritation when people make fun of someone who's gay. We don't even know how his father might be hurting him in the confines of his own home for his sexual preferences. That classmate you call geek, that someone "totally uncool", that "friendless loser", that "fat bitch", that "ugly duckling"? They all have their stories to share. Stories that might change your life, if only you will listen. Bullying is no laughing matter.

One quote I've read somewhere says, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I don't know if those were the exact words, but no quote could have said it any better. If we only stop for a while, before we say anything hurtful, and reflect on that phrase, I think the world is going to be a beautiful place, the way it was meant to be. I hope we can all just try to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and instead of pointing out a person's flaw or imperfection, smile and focus on the many beautiful things about them. We all need someone, anyone to make us feel accepted for all the things we are and all the things we aren't. Be that person for someone else. We can save lives.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I used to like this song
it reminded me of you
of the parentheses in the corners of your mouth
when you smiled
when you
made me want to jump
overwhelmed by your presence
from the ledge of tall towers
tall buildings
tall trees
deep pools

your eyes, your half moon eyes
used to look at me as if I was
the answer to a complicated question
you've been asking yourself for years
but then
I wasn't
I never was
and you didn't take long to figure that out

I used to like this song
you made a prettier version of
because I might not like it
but I did
I liked everything about you

and as randomly as you came
just like a hurricane
after hundreds of days
of longing and wondering
it played
when my iPod was on shuffle.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Enter the Exit Music...

One thing I've learned from attending a funeral today is that it doesn't matter what your relation to a person is; it doesn't matter what your opinions of them are; it doesn't even matter how you feel about them. When they die, all it takes is a flash of melancholy music triggered memories, and you'll cry.

When I was little, my mom and dad would fight, and my mom and I would go to her house in Talavera to cool down. I was so small, I used to clutch to a rag doll for dear life, and people scared me. There was this one particularly big man there. He always had a knife in his hand, and always, they'd mess with me, saying I was brought there to be slaughtered. I always cried.

She used to clean my ears and invite me over for lunch when we became neighbors. She once disdainfully said I was growing up being rebellious, and that I was hard headed. It was true, but it hurt me nonetheless. Ever since then, I decided not to like her anymore.

She was my grandmother's sister. Through the years they'd grown apart, pulled away from each other by jealousy, envy, and false accusations. She once hired someone to kill my grandmother. As soon as I heard of this, I told myself I'd never forgive her.

Today, I joined the procession of people who laid her to rest. People who didn't bother wearing white or black, and stuck to floral prints and red shirts. People who never cared what kind of person she was, what she was willing to do in exchange for a happier life. They'd whispered in the past, once or twice, about her personal life, the things she must have been regretting. They think studying what floats on the surface is enough to say you know a person well, but they're all wrong.

She wasn't a saint. The last time I saw her, she was all skin and bones, and I was scared. Still, I touched her hand to my forehead, a sign of respect for the elderly in my country. Cancer had eaten away at her physique and left us with an unrecognizable person, not speaking, not moving, not able to fend for herself. She had her fair share of mistakes and wrongful doings, and most of them have been aimed at my family, but today, watching her children grieve her departure, it was a struggle to blink back the tears.

I've learned, as I stood there feigning indifference, that I never hated her. My heart has been coated with dislike, but I've realized that in spite of all of those things I resented, she's a mother. Her children are hurting because she had provided them with the love they needed and deserved.

When I see her in my mind, she's still that healthy, cigarette smoking woman I've been so used to seeing. It's been a hard battle for her, but it has ended now, and much to my relief, she'll find peace.