Unsent Letter: To L., the friend I have lost

Dear L.,

Hi! It’s a tad weird, isn’t it, that I’m writing you this rambling letter when we haven’t seen each other for almost five years and haven’t talked for almost seven years. Even weirder, I just realized that in a way, I miss you.

Today had been a rough day for me. Two of my kids (two of my students, I mean) got into a quite messy relationship squabble and dealing with each, sobbing but unapologetic, drained me so much. Trying to reason with 16-year-olds that some of the things they do now may become their future regrets is a pointless case. They are so in love with love just like almost every teenager out there. Just like I was. Just like you were (probably).

As I was scrolling down my feed earlier this night, trying to distract myself from the issue, I saw you instead. The heartbreak of losing a friend and the gnawing feeling that I did something stupid came back. Then I realized, you are one of my regrets.

Do you remember how I would sneak in your room just so I can talk with you? Do you remember when you calmly tried to teach a panicking me how to twirl the baton only a few days before the demo? Do you remember when you used to teach me physics because I was not ashamed to admit to you that I understood zilch in class? Do you remember that I had my first cup of coffee with you and I pretended that I like it strong because I was too lazy to go back and get sugar and cream?

I look back on these memories with a bittersweet smile. If that thing (you know what I mean) did not happen, who do you think we are today? Maybe we could still be the same as we were when we were fourteen — the inseparable twinsies. Or maybe, not inseparable but still good friends, always catching up on each other with a cup of coffee. I truly regret the friends we could have been.

Maybe someday, when we are women enough to actually face each other, we can meet up for coffee. I miss you, L. I really do. And yes, I have forgiven you.

With love,

Wencey ❤


To 16-Year-Old Me

Dear 16-year-old me,

Drop that razor down.

You have a great life ahead of you. Don’t you ever think of wasting it. But if you must cry, go on then. Tears don’t hurt. Let them heal you, at least for the time being.

Honestly, I am not sure how great life will be. I am still trying to figure it out. But don’t you worry because I’m doing everything I can to make it a happy life. But I will need you to cooperate. So can you promise me you will never ever think about doing that again?

I won’t lie to you — life is still pretty tough. I am still clueless of what and who I should be. But life is beautiful. Sometimes, witnessing its beauty is enough to sustain you. There is so much beauty in the world that you can’t afford not to see enough of it. So hold on to whatever scrap of hope is left in you. That hope will sustain you until the world reveals its sheer magnificence to you. Then that will give you something to love and look forward to, something to live for.

I know you have a lot of questions about your identity and your future. I know some of the answers now but I can’t tell you. You will find the answers yourself in due time. They may not come easily and they may sometimes hurt but I know you have enough courage in your poor heart to deal with it. Trust me because I should know — I made it this far. So hold on, will you? It will be okay. You will be okay.

Happy birthday, dear. There will be many more to come.

With so much love,
21-year-old you

P.S. Enjoy that ube cake. That might be your last.

He used to write to her

He used to send her love notes every day — letters and poems, long and short.

Not once did she reply. Religiously still, he wrote of her chocolate eyes, her rosebud lips, her angel’s hair. He wrote of love.

He could have written more but the ink has run dry.


Sweet Sixteen

Dear Batch 2016,

It has taken me this long to actually write this letter because for the past two days, all I could utter was FINALLY.

Finally, we got it. We did it! (insert Dora’s song here)

The word sounds so sweet, doesn’t it? No, not finally — WE. We, as a batch, finally made it happen after three years of consistently placing third. We proved that we are not entirely disparate, that we can work together as a team. We can be one.

To be honest, I was one of those people who lost the enthusiasm after last year’s disappointing results (yeah, still bitter about it). Somehow, most of us had managed to contribute something and shell out whatever ounce of time that could be pumped out of those hectic third year days so I really thought we could actually place that year. But we did not and it hurt badly even for me who was not even an active participant. That pretty much ruined the event for me. In those sorrowful moments immediately after being denied of that one thing we were all yearning for (and what I thought was already at our fingertips), I remember telling myself, Don’t give too much next year — it’s not worth the heartbreak.

But then, what makes it worthy of the heartbreak?

Love, of course. Anything worth loving is worthy of the heartbreak. And you, guys, are worthy of the heartbreak.

I know it is awkward to have this coming from me because I am one of those people who are quite detached from the batch — always the first one to leave after dismissal, the one who never attends parties, the one who always keeps conversations as school-related as possible — but I am not that insensitive to be oblivious or indifferent to all your efforts. I watched in wonder as our leaders attempted to save whatever scraps of hope are left from last year. Seeing them work so hard for it despite all the schoolwork (exams, thesis, NMAT, etc.) while I do practically nothing productive made me feel guilty. I felt guilty for losing faith on us and I felt unworthy to be among you.

To placate the guilt, I started praying the novena to St. Jude Thaddeus, the Saint of Desperate Cases, for us (all right, laugh all you want). But halfway  through it, I started asking myself, Are prayers all that I can offer? It’s not that prayers are useless. In fact, prayers are powerful. But was I incapable of doing anything else? I realized, that compared to you, I was being so selfish. I was not as stressed as you were — we were done with our proposal defense and I am not taking the NMAT — yet I was doing as little as I can just because I thought it was hopeless anyway. Then, I remembered something that I always used to tell myself every time I lose hope.

If there is really no hope left, at least do it out of love.

Then suddenly I saw that that was exactly what you guys were doing. For the past years we fought to win but this time I no longer saw the competitive streak we had before. Instead, I saw each one of us working hard for the sake of everybody else. This time it was done out of love. So I did the same, too. And it felt so good. It was basically giving without expecting anything in return — the purest kind of love.

So to all of you, especially the heads and the props team (woohoo!), thank you so much. Let us have a thanksgiving party after this sem, okay? I love you all so much.

Heart heart, Wencey ❤

P.S. And thank you, Sir L. for that 99. Not sure if we truly deserve it but it was a very welcome gift.