The Last Day to Trek

I woke up to the sound of a busy home, hearing footsteps like giant leaps trailing around the wooden floor. I opened up my eyes in peace, then I was greeted with Bas’ booming voice which nearly shook my consciousness.

“Hey! Sleepy Taffyta,” said Bas. “Just because dad said that sleeping is good, it doesn’t mean you have to be asleep all the time.” My seven-year-old brother held my gaze for about two seconds then jumps at me and started to imitate pro wrestlers.

“Go back to bed, Bas.” I groaned.

“Mom, I woke her up!” He said. “Can I have two bananas on my lunchbox today as a reward, please?” He flies out the room, looking for approval.

What is up?

Wait a second . . .
It isn’t the day, is it?

Ah, I get it.

Today must be Friday.

My mom was standing in the corner of the room wearing traditional Filipino clothes. She adjusts and readjusts the garter of her saya on her waist and the hems that touch her shin. The light of the room made her lips look paler. Nevertheless, it was still identical to the same ones that she used to kiss me good night with, even though that was almost two decades ago. She’s still as beautiful, like my dad always said.

“Here, honey,” She hands me her wig. Her serene voice cannot be slashed out as one of her quirks. “Would you mind helping mama with this?”

Mama didn’t have to ask. I already had the wig grip headband in my hand. I traced her hairline gently; or what’s left of it, at least. I placed the grip band directly above her upper forehead and circled it around the head until it reached the nape. Once secured, I smoothed out her wig. I positioned it on her head like the way I’ve done it a million times before: laying it down the scalp and pulling the rest of the wig over her head. She stood up straight looking at the mirror, looking very pleased.

“I thought the doctor kinda forbid you to teach again, ma’am.” A woman’s voice said. I spin around and found my older sister standing in the doorway, her arms were crossed.

“Need some help?” She asked while grinning.

“It’s the last day of class, after all.” My mom replied.

We were like mom’s stylists, my sister and I. Pen took charge of the accessories while I was left with mom’s shoes. A couple of minutes passed and I still haven’t decided. Should she wear sandals? Flip flops? Slip-ons? Flats? Bakya? I was getting frustrated. And hungry.

The tension seemed to be building up . . .

. . . and that’s when she laughed.

“Look at you two,” she said. “You should’ve seen your faces!”

She lit up the whole room.

Tears were falling down her red cheeks. She was laughing so hard that whenever she comes up for air, she gives out a loud gasping noise. My mom’s eyes were twinkling in a slow ecstatic motion, like the first droplets of rain to hit the land. Never have I ever seen my mother this happy, ever. In my entire life.

I wish she was this happy all the time. I wish the stairs weren’t mountains for her. I wish she doesn’t know that it isn’t just only her last day to teach, but her last day as well. I wish she doesn’t know, even though she does. I wish she didn’t have to make that choice. I wish she had more time.

Suddenly, Pen started laughing with her, too.
And so did my papa and Bas, who just arrived.

And in that moment, I just wanted to freeze everything. I want to remember my mama this way. Someday, I will look back in this with a flash and recollect every single emotion that has resonated through me.

If I could just capture this fleeting moment with my family, I would be forever grateful.

For half a second, I was struck. I was afraid that I’m never going to be this happy again. This happiness might be the peak and nothing can surpass it.

And so, time flew.
I guess you could say that I was right.
I never was.

(image found on WeHeartIt from user @ElyceBerlinn)


Magic is her middle name.
And rarely, she plays by the rules of the game.
Rumbles of leaves sing to her everyday.
“Junk is art,” she used to say.
On the fragile phase, she hid.
Repeating “I am not a kid.”
Iridescent lights flash between her eyes above,
Encased by grief is the girl who has never been in love.

((suggested song with this vibe: Georgia by Vance Joy))
(Image from


Please break my heart.
Break my heart so that I will write about you. Break my heart so that the whole world will know who you are. Break my heart, love me once more, then leave and haunt me again.

Please tell me you love me.
Because I know that you don’t.

Please make me wait.
Make me wait for nothing. Tell me to be patient. Tell me that destiny chooses the best timing, and that one day we will have what we can call “ours”, so that I will have something to hope for.

Please keep me away from the world.
Don’t tell your mom about me. Don’t even mention my name. Hide me in the darkest corner of your mind, so that somehow, I will feel special—only thought of by you.

And one day when you realize how kind of a person you are for doing all of these sincerely, please come to me. I will be waiting for you.

I will be waiting for you to break my heart again.

(image source: WeHeartIt user @Pink_Slippers)

Every Moment of It Shined

His pillows smelled like fresh laundry. The way his sheets lingered over me makes me think about rubbing pearls on your skin and how it leaves you feeling revitalized, slightly airy. We lay awake at 1 in the morning, unable to rest. Our heads were facing away from each other but our bodies touched. There was a small night lamp shaped like a tree that hangs near the door, on the far side of the room. On his side.

His lips are made out of faultless curves. I wonder if he has ever gotten the feeling of wanting so badly to kiss someone. I wonder if that someone is me. I turn around. Trace the length of his back. His body tensed up, surprised. A minute later, he watched me watch him hold both of my hands, facing me.

A hand cups my right cheek.

“Hey,” a voice said.

The room suddenly seemed so little, I must have fallen asleep. My eyes closed for a second, adjusting to the darkness. My chest felt heavier… his voice must have awakened me (literally and figuratively). He played with the strands of hair that fall on my face and tucked it behind my ear. He smells like vanilla, I kept thinking to myself.

“What are you thinking about?” I asked, my voice hoarse.

He looked up, looked at me, and smiled.
Oh, god.

“You,” he said, still smiling.

I kissed him, once. Just to satisfy my craving for his lips. “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” I said.

“Still, you like being lied to.”


“Like, when I told you I didn’t love you,” he said. “you were smiling.”

“That’s because you’re a terrible liar, I knew—”

“You knew it the whole time,” he finished.

I smiled.

He put his leg above mine, bear-hugging me. I shifted my body to come closer to him and pressed myself against his chest. I inhaled everything about him, not wanting to let go. We stayed like this for a while (we could stay like this forever).

“I’m thinking about how this world works, with all its monotonous twists and turns,” he said, finally breaking the silence.

I stared at the rise and fall of his lashes, unblinking. “I’m thinking about how we met—and grew, together,” he continues. “And how guilty I am not to see through you right away. Goddammit. You have the most beautiful soul. Even if sometimes you like to pinch my nonexistent arm muscles, talk in your sleep, and like to tell me if I’m being a little self-centered, which I am most of the time, as a matter of fact… You’re my favorite person. I’m a liar, and you know it, but now I’m thinking about telling the truth. The whole truth.

“I like to write about you,” he said.

A pause.

“I’m thinking about writing about you again, and how I would name it. How about ‘Every Moment of It Shined’? Does it sound a little out of place? Hey, most of the time I’m not this expressive, so think of yourself as a lucky woman. Wait—how about…” and he went on and on.

It was months later when I realized what he really meant.
He was thinking about writing a eulogy.

(image from Pinterest user Behance)

An open letter to the guy who doesn’t deserve me

*For all the times you sent me sweet good night texts or attended my plays or watched something I said was good. For all the times you had no one and I cared about you so much I couldn’t leave you alone. For all the times we were actually friends.

Dear Jo,

I have always hated the way you talk to me. I was just too blind to notice since my feelings were “partly cloudy” because of you. I wrote you a poem. Damn. I wrote you a hundred poems. I hate you. Fuck you. Fuck. You. I hope you die and go to hell.

Your haircut sucks. You look like a demented iguana. I want to punch you in the face so bad. I hate you for making me feel like SHIT. Oh yeah, you wanted to feel good about yourself. I was your safety net. But guess what?  FUCK YOU. I am not falling for you. And your sweet moves. Never again.

I am an independent and beautiful young woman. I shouldn’t be crying because of pricks like you. My mind is a complex whirlpool of secrets that you don’t deserve. Because you suck.

I fell for that stupid smile you make when you try to annoy me. Well, fuck your smile. Fuck your witty opinions. Fuck your carefree attitude. Fuck everything about you. I could snatch your eyeballs and sell it. I am so moving on. I’ve actually come up with twenty three ways on how to kill you.

Jo dear, I know you always loved to kid around but I am not a joke. I am not a kid. I don’t like jokes. And I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. And I hate you for making me hate you.

You suck.

(Artist yet unknown)