Parting

Eyes lit up, both hands holding up my face, you gazed through my inner soul. Succumbing the place unknown, the world turned blurry — only the two of us recognizable.

I thought, this is what I dreamt of. It is you, I dreamt.

The next thing I knew, you were on your knees, extending your arms carrying a beautiful, glimmering treasure.

I was surprised, my eyes in tears. Of course, I do. Oh, yes I do. And then you carried me up and dance in the rhythm of the wind. This is what true happiness means, it’s what you said to me.

This is how I remember us. The happiness circling around us the day you asked me if you can spend your whole life and make me happy.

But truly, what I remembered most about us is this way — with your eyes lit up, both hands holding my face, you ripped my inner soul, destroying the once unknown place and leaving me standing in the chaos of the love I thought I’ll never have.

I thought, this is what reality means. It is the reality of you leaving me.

The next thing I knew, you were on your feet, walking farther and farther away from me.

I was shocked, my eyes covered with tears. Of course, I can’t. Oh, no I can’t. And then you carried all your baggage and stepped in the coldness of the wind. This is what desolation means, it’s what I’ve repeated myself again and again.

This is how I remember us. The once happiness circling around us the day you asked me to be your lifetime then disappeared.

I stayed and you leave.

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Big Bad Book Craze

I took my time, running my fingers along the spines of books, stopping to pull a title from the shelf and inspect it. A sense of well-being flowed through me as I circled the ground floor. It was better than meditation or a new pair of shoes- or even chocolate. My life was a disaster, but there were still books. Lots and lots of books. A refuge. A solace. Each one offering the possibility of a new beginning.”
― Beth PattilloJane Austen Ruined My Life

To lose yourself around copious types of book is every bookworms’ dream. And two million books, so to speak, are no joke. This is the very reason I eagerly visited The Big Bad Wolf (BBW) Book sale at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

I was totally dumbfounded upon entering the said haven. I literally wanted to take home all the books around me (though budget is somewhat the only problem here :D). My eyes glimmered with delight and excitement as I walked from one section to another.

Book lovers all around!

The BBW Book sale has wide selection of books which varies from children, fiction, non-fiction, young adult, crafts and hobbies and a lot more.

Thriller/Mystery Books

Graphic Novels

Children’s Books

Young Adult Books

Fiction Books

And for customers who already have carts full of books, BBW has allotted a Customer Storage Area, where book lovers can store their unpaid/unpurchased books so they can still go back for another book haul and so.

Customer Storage Area

This is the first time BBW gathered in the Philippines for the world’s biggest book sale and from time to time, I can see bookworms pulling their carts, some carried their books in their arms and engulfed with another round trip from various sections, while others sat in the corner checking their book choices (and probably getting their numbed feet relax for a while). Bookworms literally invaded the said event.

The undecided. 😀

I’ve wandered all over the place to have a flick of what to buy or not. It was a total insane that after an hour or two, I still don’t have anything I want, and it goes to show that I went home empty handed. I failed to buy any book. I don’t know why but I think the book selections left there were either: 1) I already have a copy, 2) is not appealing to my taste of genre, or 3) my eyes got tired searching from one book to another. I’m supposed to buy this knitting craft set I’ve seen under crafts and hobbies section but because I couldn’t find the journal I’ve been eyeing for some time, I let go the ideal stuff I should have bought.

But my experience was really enjoyable. I’m happy to know that Filipinos’ love for reading is impressive. The massive people who flocked the BBW book sale showed how Filipinos, of all ages, still enjoy reading even in this age of modern technology. I find it remarkable how you can’t let modern stuff affect what you have grown fond of. Reading has been a way of life for Filipinos, I guess. Books, they are golden. And if there’s one thing I am proud of myself, it is the assertion that I am a certified bibliophile! I can live with books alone, lol!

 

With my ever supportive boyfie.

This event deserves a selfie. Lol! 🙂

Books, they’re life. It’s a free ticket to travel to any place you want. So find yourself a corner now, dear, grab a book and enjoy reading! Thank you, Big Bad Wolf for such an awesome experience.

Read to succeed!

Talulot

Iniabot ang bungkos ng rosas, isang halik na matamis sa labi at ang katagang “mahal kita,” nag-ugat ang kuwento sa rosas na pula at sa kung paanong nahulog hindi lang ang puso, kundi ang buong pagkatao mo sa kanya.

Naalala mo ba na ikaw ang dugong pinadadaloy nya papunta sa kanyang puso? O ang mga pagitan ng mga salitang hindi nya mabigkas dahil ikaw lamang ang kayang kumumpleto. Naalala mo ba na ikaw ang hakbang sa bawat lakad na atrasado, maging ang kantang di nya kayang bigyan ng ritmo? Kailangan pa ba nyang ipaalala sayo na ikaw ang natatanging tulang kaya nyang likhain ng animnapung segundo.

Ilang hakbang pa ba ang kailangang lakarin upang maintindihan mong ang mga paa nya’y iisang direksyon lamang ang tinutungo. Ilang distansya pa ba ang kailangan nyang abutin upang maabot nya ang puso mong tuluyan nang lumalayo. Hindi mo ba alam na ikaw lamang ang markang kaya nyang itatak sa katawan nyang walang kahit anong bahid ng sakit at hirap.

Isang yapos ang itinumbas sa mga matatamis mong kilos. Pinaalalang hindi ikaw ang problema sa puso nyang nakalimot, sa mga plano nyong sabay binuo. Pinaalala nya sayong huwag mo syang gawing iyong mundo, katwiran nya’y dahil may sarili syang mundo. Kalimutan ang mga binitiwang pangako, mabuhay nang matiwasay nang hindi sya kasama. Dahan-dahang pumiglas sa huling yakap, sabay ang katagang, “mahal, paalam sa magagandang alaala.”

Iniabot ang bungkos ng rosas, isang halik na matamis sa labi at ang katagang “mahal kita.” At sa ikalambing-apat ng Pebrero, nagtapos ang kuwento sa rosas na pula at sa kung paanong hindi mo kayang maangkin ang puso nyang ang tinitibok na ay iba. ###

Refrain


Don’t call her the sun. I’m telling you, she’s not the center of your universe. She owns her heart and makes it the center of herself. She doesn’t want attention. She doesn’t want other lives revolve around her. She creates her own life. Heads up, steps on the ground, she brightens her way. But she’s not the sun, I’m telling you. She’s more than that.

Don’t call her the moon. I’m telling you, she’s not going to keep a glow of your cloudless nights. She can radiate her own luminosity amidst the dark sky. She can shine on her own, emitting such a beautiful glow from her own bold spectacle. She doesn’t need admiration, she’s valiant as she is. But she’s not the moon, I’m telling you. She’s more than that.

Don’t call her the stars. I’m telling you, she’s not going to grant any of your wishes. She’s not one of the willing victims that will just die for you after living alone for long. She doesn’t need petty promises anymore. She cast glimmer of hope wherever she goes in a constellation far unknown. But she’s not the stars, I’m telling you. She’s more than that.

She’s beauty beyond measure. She holds in her hands stardust of dreams and aspirations. She looks at the sky amazed and hopeful. She travels clouds after clouds feeling the weightless world – breaking free. She’s free and no one can take her from the freedom she’s born to feel.

She is one with the sun, the moon and the stars. She creates a world of her own, painting hues of vibrant colors that denotes her life. She exists to believe and to welcome pleasure. You see, she does not exist to be the ordinary girl you thought she is. She’s special. She doesn’t need someone who only see her beauty when in fact she’s full of imperfections.

She exists to justify that she can harmonize with the world. She carries with her the entire galaxy. Look how she glows the entire space all on her own. She is a human molded exquisitely. Her scars make her beautiful and that’s what she is. She takes pride of her imperfections and conspired to attract positive energy to Earth.

She’s not the sun, the moon, the stars, I’m telling you. She’s far more than that. In her hand she holds her broken heart but still exists to believe in the universe. She’s broke, she’s fragile but she’s free and I’m telling you she’s more than the celestial bodies you know, she’s magnificence, oh yes, she’s the universe. ###

Unkept

Once, you said you’ll be the path that will lead me somewhere beautiful. We’ll travel places hand in hand. Together we’ll explore unknown destinations, together we’ll conquer the world. Remember those Christmases when we plan our next travel route? We readily get excited to pack our suitcase, jotting down itineraries of places to explore. Only then do I realize, exploring means being on my own, continuing the plans we had before.

Once, you said you’ll make me happy. You always love to plant kisses on my cheek, forehead, lips. You always pinch my cheeks and tickles me. You hold my hand and never tends to let go. I don’t know now where it took us. But it took time for me to realize that letting go of those hands will be easier than holding on will do.

Once, you said you’ll have my heart — protected and unharmed. Without second thought, I let you own it. You took possession of this fragile heart telling me you’ll never break it. But somehow, along those times, bit by bit you took away part of my once still heart. You ripped it into pieces, I no longer knew now how to mend. In those fleeting moments, I’ve realized it’s my own job to protect my heart in the first place. It’s my own heart, I should care. It’s my heart, my one and own heart, I possess.

Once, you said you’ll be my man. You’ll shield me from the harsh world and the cruel environment we had. Remember how once, we build our dreams, our family, our home. Remember when you told me, I’ll be the woman you’ll wait at the cross, I’ll be the woman you’ll spent your whole life for. Because, once you told me your love will never fade. But all of a sudden, your love became just a haunting memory of regrets and heartbreaks. Soon, the man I came to know does not value me anymore. The man, whom I thought would be my all, became the man who ended up breaking my heart, and left it torn.

Where does it takes us from here? Do you know promises are meant to be kept? Do you think goodbyes are just words without meaning, when in fact it means another heart dying? Because now, I’m here, stuck on my own, still remembering those words you said to me. I believe, of course, because once, you said I love you, dear, and next thing I knew, I stayed but you decided to leave.###

Remind yourself

Dear,

Remind yourself that it’s okay to focus on your own happiness. You’ve been in the process of making everyone happy for such a long time. You made them worthy of pleasure. You made them believe that there’s always that one reason to be happy despite all the odds along the way. So now, take time to attend to your own happiness. Look at the blue sky. Smell the flowers. Breathe. Do the things you intend to do. Do everything to make yourself worthy of the happiness you are giving to others. Before you rely your happiness to someone, look at yourself and be your own reason to be happy.

Remind yourself that it’s fine to weep for some time. You’ve been living your whole life surviving each day even if it’s too hard just to get by. No matter how much effort you give, you made yourself accept the fact that things don’t always work on your side. That most of the time, courage is admitting your weakness but it doesn’t mean you’ll give up. You’ll break, you’ll lose, you’ll cry, but the most important thing is you survive. You survive and that’s the true sign of strength.

Remind yourself that it’s fine to rule out the world some time. For most of your existence, you’ve been the perfect-flawless-model human. But keep in mind that you don’t always need to be that picture perfect human. Sometimes, in order to keep pace of the world, you need to do crazy things, to be messy and to care less about the world. Accept that you’re just a mere human being capable of doing silly things like other people.

Remind yourself that it’s fine to love yourself more. You have given the best portion of your heart to someone you love – whom you thought love you in return. But then somewhere between believing you have given them the best of you and trying to still leave them a space in your heart, know that your heart needs to rest, too. Your heart, the most vulnerable fragment of your existence needs to slow down a little – to assess things and prepare to love again, now, with yourself.

Many times, your heart may rip into pieces, hammered with lots of pain and aches, but the possibility of putting back the broken pieces is yours to make. You don’t need someone to complete the puzzle of your aching heart. Remind yourself, dear that even without them, your heart is whole, to begin with. Love yourself better than the love you offer to someone. You deserve the love that is endless, unrequited and real. Love yourself, love yourself more, love yourself most, because you deserve it.

Most of all, remind yourself that it’s fine to make mistakes, to pamper yourself with the things you like, to enjoy the scenic views outside, to hold hands with yourself, to pat yourself in the shoulder (because you’re tougher than you thought), to look straight in the mirror and be proud of what you see, to say things you’re afraid to say and most importantly, to open your heart and start loving yourself even more. ###

Ikot

Sinimulan ang kuwento sa katanungang bakit tayo nandito?  Ngunit patuloy lamang na tinahak ang kalsadang pagkahaba-haba na animo’y walang katapusan. Tumingin sa kanan at sumulyap, napatigil, may ibang kahulugan ang hubog ng kanyang mga labi.

Sa ilalim ng pinaghalong kahel at itim na kalangita’y maaaninag ang papalapit nang paglubog ng araw. Saan aabutin ang mga gulong ng sasakyang kanina pa binabagtas ang kalyeng wala namang kasiguraduhan.

Dito. Sa tatlumpu’t-apat na segundo masasagot ang lahat ng katanungan kasabay nang pagtigil ng bawat dumaraan, tulad din nang paghinto ng puso niyang hindi na sa iyo nakalaan.

Ganito ba winawakasan ang sumpaang walang hanggan? Wala ni isa mang salita ang kayang mabigkas. Ang dating masasayang espasyo’y napalitan ng daan-daang bakit at kailan. At sa pagitan ng mga bumabagabag na katanungan, naisip na mas mabisang kasagutan ang katahimikan lalo na  sa mga pusong hindi na sabay ang ritmo ng tugtugan.

At kasabay nang hudyat ng berdeng ilaw, ang pagtanaw sa tatlumpu’t apat na segundo na pinili nyong wakasan ang isa sanang magandang kuwento ng pagmamahalan. Walang inihaing dahilan, walang kahit anong paliwanag kung paano humantong sa ganito ang walang hanggan. Kung ang pag-ibig ay pagtahak sa paikot-ikot na kalsada at paghihintay lamang sa bawat paghinto at pag-arangkada, bakit hindi ilaan ang puso sa pagitan ng mga segundong patuloy na naghihintay sa panibagong taong daraan?

Sinimulan ang kuwento sa katanungang bakit tayo nandito?  At kasabay ng berdeng ilaw sa ilalim ng pinaghalong kahel at itim na kalangitan at pag-ikot ng ferris wheel sa gawing kanan, tinapos ang kuwento sa salitang patawad at paalam, at dahan-dahang pag-ikot pabalik ng sasakyan. ###

 

 

 

Adrift

When our circumstances are harsh and sorrows outnumber joys, Jesus shouts to us, “Hold everything you’ve got, help is on the way!”

I came across this verse while I was busy monitoring a newspaper. And it struck me how significant it is for me now that I feel something is not working against my favor.

I’ve been at lost for the past weeks. I’ve been feeling totally out of control for everything that is happening to me recently. Things I found so tiring to just get by.

It came to a point where I keep questioning the slow passage of days (even if it’s only Monday, I want the day to pass quickly and wishing for Friday to arrive). I always woke up disinterested in the world, telling myself that this day will pass quickly so I can rest and go home.

And the void I’ve been feeling lately came to a realization that I’ve been missing myself, the one I am before. And it’s hard and unfulfilling.

I miss the girl who laughs and talks so loud. The girl who loves to tell stories, and listening to friends who do the same. I miss the girl who looks forward to mornings because she knows new days offer new opportunities. Most of all, I miss the girl who loves the world and daydreams a lot. I really miss myself now.

I know it’s the emptiness of missing certain people that adds to the desolation I am feeling right now. But somehow, I still believe that there is someone up there, looking down on me, protecting and telling me not to quit but to just rest my heart for now.

I am tired. But every day, I still keep thanking God for the gift of life. I still ask Him for the guidance to fulfill tasks I need to achieve. And most of all, I still love to look up to Him, in that perfect blue sky, whispering to Him, I’ll get through this, Lord. I’ll be fine.

With that, I can somehow survive every day and be courageous enough to say, I made it even if days are hard. I made it even if I feel desolated. I made it even if I feel empty. I made it even if I’m not happy anymore. I made it because I believe You.

Because in between being lost and being find, convincing yourself there’s God will take away all your fears and worries.

In those chaos, I find Him protecting me. ###

Celebrating Women Empowerment through Art

Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” —G.D. Anderson

The most beautiful creation of God is a woman. They  have the power to rule. The power to create. The power  to transform. They can make the world. And most of all, they can rule it. These are just few of the things that a woman can. And all of these signify how strong, determined and amazing women are.

Blessed to be part of a wonderful advocacy, Woman, Create, marked its 3rd year of seeking and fulfilling wonders through art at Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall, Makati, last Saturday (November 25).

The host, Ms. Verns Quintana.

A Philippine-based arts platform organization, Woman, Create aims to continuously empower, engage  and influence people  through art.
Woman, Create‘s theme for this year centers on Big Magic and seeking the pieces that leads people to it. Generally, it wanted people to turn their lives into works of Art and finding Big Magic along the way.
It was also truly enlightening that this event was graced by speakers who shared their passions and purpose in creating art and craft that influence others.
The first speaker who talked about Intention and Connection was Ms. Clarisse Provido, a visual artist specialising in watercolor and collage. She also blogs at Pintura’t Pintig.

Ms. Clarisse Provido.

A freelance writer and travel blogger, Ms. Danna Peña shared her insights about Purposeful Writing. Ms. Danna is also a member of Woman, Create’s #FeministBookClub.

Ms. Danna Peña.

Ms. Chiara Garcia, a storyteller turned creative entrepreneur, meanwhile discussed Creative Community-Building. She is the proud founder of a community-centered production biz called Hey Kin.

 

Ms. Chiara Garcia.

The youngest speaker of the event, Ms. Gabrielle de Baron is a Grade 12 IB-Visual Arts student, who gave talk on how youth can be Present in issues such as Feminism today. Her arts and exhibits tackle issues such as sexual harassment, mental health and womanhood.

Ms. Gabrielle de Baron.

Meanwhile discussing about Our Pursuit of Passion was Ms. Ja Quintana, a Migo Imagineer by day, and an ethnic jazz singer and songwriter by night. She has just returned to performing and writing new songs.

Ms. Ja Quintana.

I was amazed, and at the same time, inspired on how these muses confidently shared their art and passion to other people. Just by listening to these girls talk about how people can contribute to empower women is really encouraging. Sadly, I wasn’t able to finish all the talks because it’s really getting late.

Setting things aside, every year, portion of the planner’s earnings has been given to the plight of Syrian refugees, in particular to SavetheChildren.org – the Syrian campaign. But this year, Ms. Marika Callangan (@projectrika), the founder of Woman, Create, decided to give it to Wipe Every Tear.

Ms. Marika Callangan, founder of Woman, Create. (Credit to the owner)

A Philippine missionary organization, Wipe Every Tear  is dedicated to rescuing girls who have been caught in sex trafficking. It commits to bringing hope and healing in the lives of women. To know and learn more about this advocacy, please be free to visit their website or their Tayo tab.

Planner pick-ups, artist meet-ups and a mini-postcard exhibit also occurred during the event.

As I said earlier, I was blessed to be part of this wonderful advocacy. I was fortunate enough to be one of the contributors of the planner. I was overjoyed that my two poems were blessed to be part of the 2018 Wonder Planner.

From my poem “Lost.”

From my poem “Prelude.”

365 Wonders 2018 is available in the following stores: FullyBooked Fort and Greenhills; CommonRoom Alabang Town Center, Katipunan and CommonRoom PH and Co ATC pop-up space (UGF). It costs Php 1,195.

Jewel Wonder Collage cover. (Credit to the owner)

I truly enjoyed the launching, and as I was inspired by all the talks I’ve heard, I will continue to pursue my passion just so I can inspire others, too. I will ignite the living writer in me, continue creating art and share this craft to the world (it’s possible, I know).

And so, to all the days that will come, with the stillness of my heart, I will take courage to keep living my dream — filled with wonder and intention. Seek the Big Magic, folks!

Begin Today

Behold, there’s life
Full of wonders
Filled with surprise
You’ve got this one chance
Begin now! Make no regrets.

Now the sky’s asking you
Fly with the clouds
Sing with the birds
Color it with distinct hues
Begin now! Wash away your blues.

Do you feel the warm breeze?
The air’s breathing with you
Go where you’re headed
Feel the cool wind
Begin now! No one’s stopping you.

See the world so bright
There’s new hope waiting for you
All dreams are possible
Follow your heart
Begin now! Dream anew.

All beginnings take courage
There’s no easy route than taking step
Take your heart, follow where it leads you
Fear has no room here
Begin now! Bravery starts with you!

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