Posed


Here is the proud wall of our family portraits.

As a young adult, I would often sneer at our portraits. How phony, I would murmur to myself.

A few years wiser now, I merely sigh. Finally, I have realized that these portraits truly show what our family is — uncomfortably posed.

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Creativity 2018


At the start of every year since I was eight, I had been making New Year’s resolutions. At the end of January every year since I was eight, I also break them. Well, actually that is not entirely truthful. A few were broken mid-February — they were the lucky ones — while many did not even had the chance to be broken because they were not even started.

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Like most people who make New Year’s resolutions, if not all, I never managed to discipline myself enough to accomplish my yearly goals. While I have long accepted that this is part of our humanity and I have been making resolutions only for the sake of tradition (and to placate holiday guilt), I have decided to shake things up this year. Instead of making another set of certainly ill-fated resolutions, this 2018 I will be living by my Word of the Year.

This “resolution revolution” was first introduced by entrepreneur and founder of Uplevel YOUChristine Kane. In this alternative, you pick one word and you let it guide you to your aspirations and dreams for that year. You will live by your chosen word.

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In 2017, I ended my first year and started my second year in my first ever job. Being a workforce neophyte with a deep-seated insecurity regarding my skills and talents, I dedicated my 2017 as the year of building habits that will fortify good work ethics, in an effort to prove my worth to my own self. While aware that there is still a lot of room for improvement, I was more or less satisfied with the results of my efforts. However, it came with a price — I am slowly losing my lifeline.

Writing used to be my lifeline. When reality was frustrating and seemed hopeless, I could always turn to writing. But lately, I have been struggling to write for at least twenty minutes without being distracted.

Writing is my first love and I realized that despite the writer’s block that I am currently experiencing, I am still willing to fight for it, the same way I did when I started this blog. Thus, this 2018, my Word of the Year is Creativity.

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This 2018 I will live by creativity. Because of 2017’s creative drought, my 2018 will be spent trying to wake the hibernating right brain. I do not expect to be able to write again with the same passion as I did a few years ago because knowing myself, action does not happen in a snap (and that is why the word of the year is not Create). But at least, I expect to rekindle that passion, even if in a lesser intensity.

I have no detailed plan of action and I have no intention of making one. All I know is I need to go back to my old habits that used to elicit a lot of light bulb moments — i.e., reading a lot of books, visiting museums, taking long walks, etc. — without breaking the new ones I worked on in 2017.

It will be tough, I know. But who knows? Maybe cultivating creativity this year will also help me at work. After all, creativity is a necessary trait for teachers.

Cheers to 2018, the year of Creativity!

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Unwashed by the Sea


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It is the color of serenity,
of blissful solitude.
Unwashed, I watch in guilty tranquility.
Away from the vicissitude masked by quietude.

The sea endlessly beckons,
its rolling waves serenading my wandering soul.
It is a trap, I though reckon,
knowing many souls it once stole.

But what if the sea is my salvation?
What if only it can wash what weighs me down?
But I am afraid, beyond consolation —
What if the sea is but a ghost town?

I shall allow the sea to wash me someday.
I shall wash myself, but not today.

 
Serene

God? I know you’re there.


November 8, 2017

We were discussing about earthquakes in class so naturally, I showed a documentary to my students. As the geologist narrated about the most destructive earthquakes the world has ever faced, one of my students mumbled to himself, “So where is God in all of these?”

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“Where is God in all of these?”

It was not meant to be answered, based on the way it was said, yet this has been the most difficult question I had to answer as a teacher.

Many have claimed that in the beauty of nature, we see the face of God. But face to face with nature’s wrath, where is God?

Always, I have staunchly upheld my faith. Despite strongly disagreeing with the Church’s comments on reproductive health and same sex marriage, I have remained a Roman Catholic. Despite my science education opening a world of truth for me, I still believe in God. But never have I found an evidence of God’s existence. You may think, how can I, a made scientist, believe in an entity whose existence I can never physically prove?

I can only sigh. I do not really know where God is in all of these. But there is comfort in trusting that somewhere, he must be there.

Homeless Heart


“Home is where the heart is,”
they say.
My heart is lost.
I am homeless.

This homeless heart waits right here,
waiting for someone to take her home.

To not know


It is no secret that I do not know what I am doing most of the time. “Just do it” can easily be my life’s motto — I just do things without fully understanding the risks and consequences of my actions. But hey, if I do not just do things, I will never be able to get anything done. I would have never even lived at all.

This never came to me before — not knowing what you are doing is a crucial part of life. To not know is to have the capacity to learn. To learn is to know better. To know better is to keep moving forward. To keep moving forward is to live.

I do not know what I am doing most of the time. I must be living my life just fine.

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Tulala


29 September 2017

Finally, an unpopular — and therefore, empty — cafe.

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As I slurp my iced latte, I wonder how many Filipino words are not translatable into English. For instance, the word tulala. To be tulala, in the usual context, is to stare blankly ahead, mind wandering aimlessly in a different time and place, real or fictional. Sometimes, as in my case, it is simply thinking quietly. It annoys me that I cannot think of an English world that perfectly encapsulates this.

Just then, the barista (that’s what you call a person working in a cafe, right?) arrives with my bacon and eggs. He introduces himself and told me to look for him if I need anything. I heard him but I do not catch his name. Whatever. I never ask for anything extra, anyway.

I pick on my bacon and swirled the undone yolk of my sunny-side up with my spoon, wondering this time why people often ask me why I am tulala. I mean, why do they care? What’s so wrong about thinking? Apparently, for some people, thinking in virtual solitude is a crime.

My yolk-swirling is interrupted by the same guy, this time asking if the food is okay. I gave him half a smile and flashed him a thumbs-up. Honestly though, cafe food anywhere tastes the same to me. Whatever. Anyway, I am just here because I need a deserted place and some time to be tulala.

Being tulala keeps me sane, just as writing a ramble does.

Now I feel a little better.

Forever Drafts


I write and write and write,
endlessly through the night.
For with the words I bleed,
my heart I freed.

Papers stained with tears I shed,
papers hidden underneath the bed.

I write and write and write —
endlessly through the night —
stillborn verses and paragraphs,
remaining forever drafts.

Break-up Blues


This is what happens after a break-up.

First comes the overwhelming sense of empowerment. Finally, you are that single woman who needs no man in her life. You are independent. You are unstoppable.

Then, stealthily, loneliness creeps in. You are happy yet there is no one to come home to and tell why. Or you had a crappy day and there is no one to rant on. There is no one to share food with (and hell, food tastes so much better when shared).

Suddenly, you miss his soft hands and purring voice. You miss his scent.

There really is a price for choosing yourself. Is it worth it? I hope it is.

Blackout


The dark is captivating.

Lying in the dark is falling unto a bottomless well,
bringing me closer to a new world I cannot see.
Dead to the world yet alive, I wonder,
What does this black, empty space hold?

In the dark lie mysteries.
In the dark lie the secrets of the universe
that we are yet to uncover.
Fearful and restless, I wonder,
How long will they wait to be found?

In the dark lie stories
no one dares tell.
In the dark lie truths
no one’s prepared to hear.
In the dark, they lie,
screaming silently,
pleading to be known.
Guilty but hesitant, I wonder,
Am I ready to listen?

In this blackness I stare,
blissfully,
until the light are turned on.

Suddenly, the world is dismal and expected.