A Holiday for Healing

“Never have I imagined that you would be here,” he opened. “Not at a time like this.”

“Do I look like a ghost to you?” I laughed.

“Nah, nah. Of course not,” he replied. “But you act like one, not only to me, but also to everybody.”

He finished watering his orchids and did exactly what I imagined he would do — he fixed his thin, silver hair with only a sway of his fingers, walked through the door even if his feet were covered with mud, and pushed two heavy couches which he thought he can never move around. Usually when he does this routine, he would complain about his backaches, which would worsen after cleaning all the serious mess he has made on the floor. In the end, the job will inevitably fall into my hands.

But today, he was different. He grabbed a wet mop and proceeded with the cleaning. Looking at all the sweat hurrying down his face, I knew he was too exhausted, so I attempted to grab the task by gently wrapping my palm around the handle. He glared at me and continued moving — which was another way of saying, “I don’t need your help, moron!”

The night turned quieter and colder. He exhaled deeply as he shielded his arms with his loose jacket. He handed me a scarf, which I only placed on my laps.

“I didn’t even ask how you were doing,” he said. “My apologies.”

“No need to apologise,” I replied. “Besides, my answer will always be the same.”

“Tell me.”

I stared at him intently and said, “Nights will swallow the days; sweet arrivals lead to bitter departures.”

He sipped freely from his cup of coffee and rested his back on the couch. He did not speak, but I believed he knew what I meant to convey.

My sight began hopping on every bulb of the differently-colored Christmas lights that ran across the walls of the room. The speakers sang the tunes of common Yuletide hymns, albeit in their classical versions. I saw the Tree standing like a tiny, defenseless child being driven into a corner.

“I’m sorry about the tree,” he commented as we walked around it. “It’s been years since I last installed it. Look at all this dust …”

Afterwards, I sat on the floor and examined each box neatly covered with costly wrappers. I shook some of the boxes in an attempt to guess the contents. Most of them I guessed correctly —watches, shirts, earphones, and body essentials. The names of the recipients were individually written on tiny gift notes glued atop each box.

I stood up, walked towards the table, and drank all my lukewarm tea in one shot — just like how I treat cold liquors.

“Your name’s not here,” he said, as he held the two smallest boxes. “I’ve got too many things to apologise for.”

I beamed a smile. “Haven’t I told you before? I don’t expect receiving anything from anybody. Not even from you.”

“I know. It’s always okay for you.”

“And if jealousy and/or envy arise from within me due to materialistic thoughts, I will seal them away … just like what I actually do.”

He then leaned on his couch and shifted it in such a way our eyes cannot escape the force that drove us to continue the conversation.

“You’ve always been different, Josue,” he mumbled. “But your uniqueness makes me sad and enthralled at the same time.”

“Why so?” I asked.

“Because what you have always wanted couldn’t be fit into any of those boxes; they can never be demanded.”

“Is it love?”


“What is it?”

For a moment, he paused as if he was trying to find any affirmation from within his reach over my soul. He slouched, motioning like he had arrived with a very specific answer.

“Healing,” he said.

My mind went blank. I moved silently to divert my attention and proceeded to pour another round of tea into my cup. Some of the tea spilled on the table like a stream of mossy river that led to a green sea near my toes. The cup fell on the floor as my hands instinctively and desperately searched for paper towels.

“You’re always like that,” he continued.

“What?” I replied.

“You’re always like that,” he repeated. “Like a cup of tea — you are often prone to spillage and breakage. And yet, no matter how many times you break, you still try to pick yourself up and look for your missing pieces …”

“And each attempt is a disappointment,” I replied hastily. “And each day is an opportunity to bleed and to nurture hatred.”


“I am a duality of love and hatred.”

He did not reply and appeared to be waiting for what I will be saying next. I finished cleaning all the mess and threw shards into the trash bin.

“Some say that love and hatred are polar opposites. But, in some instances, they can coexist and complement each other.”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Every time I try to love, reality further drowns me,” I answered as I sat. “It’s like an ocean that has its own hands to pull me underneath until I can no more breathe. But by the next day, I’ll find myself on the shore, still breathing, having realised that the scars I had have renewed to become wounds—some of which are much deeper or more serious than their precursors.”

For a moment, I stopped. My lips failed to connect more words to the previous ones I uttered. I inhaled and exhaled, as if the air that went in and out of my lungs gave me more courage to speak. I knew he wished to talk, and yet, he remained silent.

“That’s why this one here never healed,” I said, as I lightly thumped my chest. “Because every time I try to love, the pain becomes much worse. And that pain breeds more hatred.”

“I understand,” he replied, as he removed his eyeglasses. “It’s like a part of what you’ve always been saying.”


“”Nights will swallow the days; sweet arrivals lead to bitter departures.””

I smiled and gave my short reply. “Indeed.”

He stood up, grabbed a new cup, and poured tea on it. He carefully placed it on the wooden table in front of me, as if he was encouraging me to invite more caffeine into my system. I nodded and took a sip.

“I must say that you’re right,” I said. “Healing is all I needed; and it can never be demanded. I don’t know whether it can be found through love or through something else, but I’m sure it’s there. It may take a long time, but I know it’s reachable.”

The doorbell rang repeatedly. We both smiled when the voices of the children singing Christmas carols reached our ears. We took our purses, launched ourselves to the gate, and gave the children some coins. I checked my phone and realized that it was already past nine, so I quickly bade my farewell.

“Bye, John,” I said.

“I won’t demand you to return soon,” he replied. “But I wish you’ll have the best of healing this Christmas. Take care of yourself.”

“I will,” I answered.


Politicising Marlou Arizala’s Transformation: Beauty and Acceptance in the Philippine Society



Photo Credits to zeibiz.com


“The gods fought, and the very earth shook. The soil broke in half; and from there came Xander Ford.”

This was exactly what I thought when the news about Marlou Arizala’s beauty transformation flooded my Facebook and Twitter news feeds. Three of my close friends sent me links which led me to funny memes that showed his before-and-now faces. Just months ago, he was a consistent victim of cyber-bullying for having a “Pinipig Face”— or in simpler terms — an ugly face; but, starting today, he may rise up to become a typical ideal Filipino guy — an “oppa” before the eyes of women.

I am never going to deny that I hated Marlou or Xander. In fact, I hated him not because of his ugliness, but because of his arrogance and his ceaseless demand for public attention and his unfounded search for fame. However, today I did not laugh because of memes about him, for I realised that our hatred and pessimistic attitudes towards him — not his actual transformation — are the ones that need to be called out and be corrected.

Social acceptance and beauty standards in the Philippine society

The Filipino standards of beauty, perhaps, has evolved via the amalgamation of other cultures’ perceptions on beauty. By merely looking at the television, we can see how the entrenched colonial mentality and the forces of globalisation have moulded us to conform to the Westernised standards of beauty. In the Philippine mass media, one can rarely see black or heavily dark-skinned actors playing a major role in a drama or movie; but if they do, they would only be allowed to perform comedic acts or have their skin lightened. Some actors or comedians who seem “ugly” before, upon gaining financial stability, had placed plastic surgeries on top of their list of priorities in order to please their followers and the general public.

But that is not only the problem. In a country in which fame in social media is being highly valued, many Filipinos are so hooked up on trying to look good and beautiful in order to gain wider acceptance, and consequently, more friends. If you look ugly, you may become a subject of online harassment — which was exactly the problem of Xander and the others. Such a problem may have convinced — or impelled — him to undergo a surgery, which I claim to be aesthetically successful.

Xander’s act of transformation, therefore, exposes larger problems — that our standards of beauty are becoming a requisite for others to obtain our respect and acceptance and that one needs to appear handsome or beautiful in order to rightfully demand social attention. Moreover, in a relatively conservative country like the Philippines — in which many people would tell you to accept and preserve whatever face or body that God has given you — those we consider as “ugly people” are further forced to face a moral dilemma on top of their physical struggles, thus, inevitably trapping themselves in a never-ending quest for social acceptance.


Photo Credits to news.abs-cbn.com

Opportunities for beauty capitalism

Talking about beauty in the Philippines will reveal contradictions in our culture. Like what I said in the previous paragraphs, one key example is how our conservative culture could influence ugly people’s decision to transform. However, in spite of such problem, cosmetic surgery businesses in the country never died; in fact, it may further grow now, since tools and equipment for such operation are continuously undergoing innovations to achieve optimal results and to undermine the Filipino conservatives’ fear of the possible drastic consequences of having such surgeries. Shows played in the television are also subtly challenging the current conservative views on cosmetic surgery.

Furthermore, Xander’s (or Marlou’s) transformation could be taken as an opportunity for beauty capitalists to expand since such marketing strategies involving his transformation — which, initially, are targeted for the propulsion of Xander’s fame and career and the cosmetic company’s reputation  — may benefit the whole industry as well, especially if the demand for cosmetic products and services increases. Moreover, the industry could utilise Xander’s narrative of harassment and bullying in order to create an illusion that such horrendous actions might end upon availing such products and services.

Lastly, ever since this news came out, one pertinent question which arose in my mind is how “ugly people” from all socio-economic classes would respond to the Filipino society’s ever-changing beauty standards. However, one fact remains clear: “ugly Filipinos” who live within or below the poverty line will be forced to swallow the reality that they will remain poor and ugly … and that the beauty is also only a want and never a need and is always out of reach.


Our hatred against Marlou Arizala (or Xander Ford) before and after his transformation is not only a reflection of our individual biases and attitudes, but is also a worsening image of a society in which tolerance and acceptance are difficult to obtain. The beauty standards that we have are so warped that we are actually forcing people to empty their pockets for surgeries in order to be deserving of our attention. Nevertheless, in the end, in this battle, cosmetic businesses will be the real winners, and the contradictions within our society will further alienate and oppress those we perceive as “ugly people”.

The author, Josue Mapagdalita, is a graduate of UP Manila Political Science program.

To My Best Pal, Who Had Set Her Soul for a Short Departure


To my beloved Georgina/Jorge,

Two to three weeks flew fast forward from the day of your departure; and ever since I received the text message regarding your short burial, my world — for some instances — had been cased around an inexplicable amount of despair. My family had undergone a state of mourning, and seemingly, Marco, your dearest companion and partner, was not eating a lot for days, and yet  — once upon a time — both of you were classically conditioned to automatically be hungry as soon as you hear the sound of pots and of plastic bags. But you know what? The arriving semester will soon create a larger, inevitable doom, but I do not anymore have that ‘special someone’ whom I can talk with regarding Pokemon and Naruto episodes that I missed and whom I can express rants about my incompetence in school and about my crush who never noticed me. Ouch.

You knew how embarrassed and furious I was when a friend of mine showed me a picture of a guinea pig being experimented for medical purposes. You knew about the night when I barely had enough sleep because of  pictures of specially deep-fried and marinated-then-roasted guinea pigs that were kept to flash before my vision. For me, it was a nightmare, and I thought, “What if either Marco or Jorge are about to be cooked? Well, I would not mind grilling the cook or chef alive instead!”

The family bullied you for having red eyes — one of which turned blind for unknown reasons. I once regretted for not having brought you to a vet, but, to hell with it, why did you not heed to my advice that ‘you mustn’t use Sharingan too much to avoid side effects’?

You witnessed the moments when we were watching Marco and you having this ‘sacred union’ but such will be interrupted because you would notice us peeking. We always wished for a baby to be born, but you never became pregnant. We waited for countless months, but when we all grew tired of waiting, my only consolation to myself was: “Maybe she’s a lesbian.”

I will forever cherish the days I had you in my arms — afraid to let you go, the days we took a bath together and you were trying to flee out of the bucket of water because you felt so cold even though we were gravely plagued by the heat of summer, and the days when I would not bother walking distances to find something for your dinner.

There were moments when I would be mad at you because you were sometimes attempting to fully destroy the boxes that my father had exerted with full effort for it to remain as your sanctuary. I would also be mad at you because of myriad of other petty reasons, i.e. peeing on my face. But despite that, I love you. I love you, along with Marco and Brownie, more than any other animals — or maybe anything — in this world, that I would wish for us to stay together as friends, probably for a lifetime. But sadly and annoyingly, cute rodents have indeed shorter lifespan than greedy politicians and capitalists. Pssh.

I know that this message I am demanding to deliver is by now too late. I regret for not having to be by your side during your last hours. Or maybe, you would not permit me to do so, because you knew that I hate witnessing sudden departures.

But before I finally say my farewell to you, there is this memory that I am sure I would never forget: the very first time you set your feet on the soil and ran around the whole garden by the countryside, as if you were enjoying the first breath of freedom after my father lifted you out from your little, beautiful cage. In that particular moment, I felt so proud when I saw you running as fast as you could and stashing yourself between the rich foliage, as if you want us to play hide-and-seek with you. And as I think of it, relief comes back into my senses, because finally, you experienced the life outside the comfort of four corners during your last days.

And perhaps, this is the time to let you go.

I love you, Georgina. As always.


Your proud guinea pig pal,

Josue/Sueju Takeshi

Short Note: My buddy and I never took selfies together. There were several times when I captured photos of her, but the memory card of my cellphone containing such photos was corrupted, and I did not have anymore chance(s) to recover the files. So, I am thanking Guinea Pig Cages for posting this photo on Internet, because this guinea pig indeed resembles my dear Jorge. More power to your blog!

Starting Prompts & Blog Promotions

Good day everyone! It will take only a month or two in order for my blog to reach 500 followers. Two weeks ago, my blog, Takeshi’s Flight, celebrated its first birthday (yay!) — a moment which further questioned my capability as a blogger. For instance, compared to other new blogs, I find mine less engaging, because (1) I am sometimes simply not motivated in posting anything, and (2) seldom do I find blogs across my Wordpress reader offering prompts and blog promotions.

Then I asked myself, “What if I also start prompts in order for me to do what is being stated/instructed in my own prompt so that I could post something for a week? Or what if I use my platform so that other bloggers can check out each other’s posts and develop more connections?”

What is your opinion about this, guys? Is this a good idea?


This morning, I had a chat with a ‘friend’ of mine when I was on the train going to another friend’s house; we knew each other for around seven years or so. We are both religious, but it happened that he used his beliefs to justify his bigotry …

‘Friend’: Homosexuality is an unforgivable sin. You must repent now, or else …

Me: Wait, let me count your sins, from A to Z

‘Friend’: I’m a sinner. You’re a sinner, but the Bible says …


‘Friend’: Who the fuck said we can’t eat fat???


*brief silence*

‘Friend’: Leviticus? What’s that?

Me: Welcome to hell, bitch.

Grades: Only Numbers


Hounding his false dreams

Cared for grades than the lessons

Dispersed knowledge gained.

Speech 11, fun, and underlying lessons


Before I lined up and enrolled for my fourth semester of stay in the University, I already predicted that the next five months would be academically toxic and crucial. Furthermore, finding a course that will serve as the best avenue to release this debilitating mixture of feelings induced by repetitious moments of failures — or to at least partially unload a burden of another intense semester — was another challenge I had to face. Adding up to my frustration towards my ineptness in the social sciences (but I am still struggling), unfortunately and annoyingly, is the plain fulfillment of this prediction, for, even if I began changing my study habits, most of the courses I took acted like machine guns showering students with bullets of written requirements — if not, with brain-draining exams or quizzes.

However, on the positive side, there is this one course/subject — which typical students may overlook — that I never planned to take, but I enjoyed the most. In that class, everyone was obliged, individually, to deliver their chosen pieces and to unite as a group to come up with a meaningful performance. Yes, this class may sound like your ordinary high school literature subjects, but for me, every second I spared was enough to turn my life towards abrupt changes.

I hate whatever performance that compels me to stand on stage with all eyes fixing on my actions, but the Course is more than a matter of (re)building confidence and/or self-esteem. When we delivered our narratives, I realized that each one of us presented a unique, personal revelation — words that hold the key to our real-life character and to our present understanding of prevailing circumstances. It could be the same memory that shifts us back to the horrible pain caused by a bitter lost, a beloved’s death, heartbreak, deprivation of second chances, and constant failures. It could also be the mere joy we feel as we journey towards our chosen destinations. It could be the stories hidden within the depths of our hearts, waiting for the right time to be unearthed.

Moreover, as the term slowly progressed, I realized that my Revelation lies behind the lines of written in the short bond paper intended for my Narrative. I fathomed that, undeniably, there exists a thin thread connecting heaven and earth, and that even though there are situations that impale us with sorrow, there are still countless reasons to be happy.

And perhaps, the best thing I ever observed throughout the semester is the burning passion among the members of the class and that, whenever we are called to act, no one ceased to cooperate. Whatever will be the result of this term, I surely will heave sighs of relief, for I know that I’ve gone into a very interactive class, with our one-and-only lovely and passionate Speech 11 professor and lots of crazy people!


Photos are from my lovely Speech 11 classmates, Tanya Mindo and Jara Rogacion.



Earlier, when I was inside the bus during my journey back home, there sat beside me a student who seemingly came fresh from a high school graduation ceremony. He wore a uniform full of signatures and notes; the school logo sealed on his pocket led to my deduction that he came from a school known for prestige and costly education.

In his hand was a handful of letters, and for instances I was glancing at him, I saw his smile — his teeth glittering in apparent joy — whenever his eyes flashes before the sentences which my vision could barely reach. But when he was about to read the ‘last letter’, his smile was quickly converted to a stream of tears. Even though I was concerned with how people around us may react and think, I never bothered him in his private life and suddenly, I stopped observing him and thought: “Soon, he will throw most of those letters away, along with the memories of the past, no matter how joyous or hurtful they may be. Inevitable realities would devour him wholly and would lead him to decisions he would later regret. He will realize that the promises of ‘not forgetting’ are empty and are never true, and that only few memories are truly worth keeping.”



Be pleased with thy jeans.

Don’t threaten tattered wallets.

Choose needs over wants.

A response to RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge.

Beacon and Field

God Light

Sharp beacon of light
Fielding great moments through clouds
Battling against height

A response to Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge

Photo credits to http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/

Love in Pain and Sickness


I Know, I Believe, I Can!

I once believed that those people, who are mathematically-inclined, generally have a hard time in learning the languages and the literature, as experts mostly say. But ironically, I simultaneously discovered creative writing and mathematics as my deep-rooted passions, and I feel that I cannot live if one overrides the other. Therefore, as much as possible, they should be kept balanced.

Since grade school, I had so many detractors who did not believe in whatever I can do. For example, there are people who never thought that I can do well in mathematics, simply because I got straight 75 grades in my arithmetic classes. Thanks to my mentor, John, who was a theoretical physicist, for discovering my talent in numbers, firstly when I solved a Calculus problem when I was still in sixth grade. He once happily remarked to his student, which was me: “This kid is not dumb for not knowing the half of a half. Give him anything that involves higher mathematical skills, and he won’t bother solving the problem even if it will take him days, weeks, or months to finally arrive with a complete, amazing solution.”

I know I can also do well in creative writing, but honestly, there are times when I feel that I am not confident with my writing. That is why I have learned to blog, and because of that, my connections rapidly grew, and I am not anymore afraid of hearing criticisms from other writers, because I know that whenever they find faults in my writing, I can learn from them. Also, in my posts I realized that I could also inspire other people.

I know, I believe, I can continue my passion with numbers and letters, and I hope people will continue in giving all the love and support that I need.

A response to Daily Prompt’s “I Have Confidence in Me”

Beast & Day


The Scriptures foretell:
When the judgment day comes near
The lamb slays the beast.

A response to Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge.

Photo credits to http://static.guim.co.uk/ 

War and Fame


In desire for war

Guts and strength overthrow fear

Fame is well achieved

A response to RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Challenge. Photo Courtesy of wikipedia.org

The Writer and The Physicist: The Meaning of Courage

Once, there was a teenager who wished to escape puberty by the time the first twin pimples popped out near his nostrils, and he hated the fact that the silly idea of removing them with the sharp ends of the nail cutter was something he could not accomplish, because, local aged men told him that if one tries to remove those pimples, the person most likely will face love misfortunes.

The teenager did not believe that, of course, because he thought that the beliefs of these men belong to that of the medieval ages.

In short and honestly, I am that teenager.

However, my mentor, John, a British old man (he’ll be turning 76 next January, but his memory is sharper than my own), long-time quantum physicist and retired professor, is an exception to the rule, because unlike any other people who existed in my life, he was, I think, the most open-minded of them all, which led me to considering him not only just a wise mentor, but also as a grandfather.

When I revealed to him that I wanted to be a writer, he was the first one to laugh horribly, because, at that time, I was at my peak of mathematical learning (he calls me “genius”, by the way, and I do not know why). Anyway, since he cannot do anything to alter my dream, after each of our sessions, he would find a little to share to me some of his vocabulary skills and his knowledge in essay writing.

A year ago, I thought of writing a novel, and I wished to find inspiration to write one. I came up to his room and asked him about courage.

“Courage is best exalted as one conquers the roaring waves when he may choose to pass the serene seas.” I said.
“I disagree.” the John said. “Courage is waiting for the storm to end and for the waves to reveal their silence.” he continued. His cough was terrible lately, I noticed.

“That is patience, Sir.” I affirmed.

“Oh! Have I told you that I already finished?” he said. Then, in a jiffies of staring at each other’s eyes, we burst out in laughter.

Then he slouched his back again against the new black chair we bought that morning. he took deep breaths as he glanced at the window. “Because whenever there’s a storm, you have to muster lots of courage to stand the cold during the evening and the uncertainty of sun shining by tomorrow or not.” he said. When I thought that he was right and I could not add anything up to his argument, he dozed off to sleep. Meaning, our conversation is finally over.

Today’s Motivation

I would like to omit the word “sometimes” at the beginning of the quote.
First and foremost, this quote is really essential for someone, like me, to understand that there are much better things in life than pursuing a relationship that is about to sink. Saying goodbye is hard, but it is meant to forget someone and totally move-on from the love you once had.



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The 13th UP – Finnish Global Health Course: Day Two

The fact that I would be away again from my family bolted into my head the moment I woke up. I wondered if there was a littlest reason for me to leave, but then I threw all the remaining pretexts I had towards the trash bin.IMG_0346

My first morning in Morong, Rizal was surprisingly chilly, giving me a very hard time to get up. I smelled my breath as the worst in my entire life; to top that was a straight line of dried saliva plaguing its host’s beloved face. The feeling was horrifying, as well embarrassing, because I had to keep up with my behavior every time, because I was dwelling in a room for boys.

As I jumped towards the shower room, the water almost killed me as it dropped my temperature down. Even singing my most favorite song I heard last night through the radio couldn’t hide the soft brrrrr I uttered every time the soap hit my skin.

IMG_0371After eating our delicious breakfast, I quickly drove my feet upstairs, to the seminar room. Group 1 gave a short recap of what we did the preceding day, including attending a lecture at the Department of Health. Afterwards, our ears and eyes opened to hear and watch their funny cheer.

The first one to deliver the almost two-hour talk was Dr. Ramon Paterno, a faculty of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine. His presentations were entitled “Global Health Situation” and “Philippine Health Situation.”IMG_0376

In his Powerpoint slides, he was able to “define what global health was and describe the global health situation, trends and major issues.” He also emphasized the importance of health equity, which was defined as “the absence of differences in health that are not only unnecessary and avoidable, but also unfair and unjust” (Whitehead, n.d.)

Right in the middle of the discussion, he showed us a video by Rosling, entitled 200 Years that Changed the World. The presenter stressed that before 1810, all countries, including Great Britain and the United States, wereIMG_0384 in the sick and poor quadrant. However, it was important to note that during the 19th century, the first world countries’ income improvement had also improved the state of health among their people, and it was evident even during the first wave of the Industrial Revolution. Moreover, despite the good news that such created a great, positive impact to public health, public health practitioners cite differences in incomes between states, regions, and countries could be an indicator of health inequity, as people in poor areas would always find a hard time getting proper medical attention and much worse, the medicines to prolong their lives, because such services are costly and cannot be afforded by most of the sick marginalized.IMG_0423

The worst thing that was happening nowadays, as he stressed, was that financial institutions such as the World Bank, influences formulation of health policies, leading to privatization of public hospitals and creation of companies offering health insurances. This, moreover, heavies the burden of poor Filipinos.

He also discussed to us the current Philippine Health Situation. Health as a most basic right was emphasized by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, but it seemed to be violated by those in government position through the legislation and execution of bogus programs, adding to the sad fact that 6 out of 10 Filipinos die without medical assistance or without even seeing a doctor. Poor Filipinos also tend to forego consultation in order to be able to buy medicines and because, also, of non-availability of drugs collageand long distance of health facilities from their homes.

Dr. Buching ended up his talk by equating the Philippine Health human resource crisis to global health human resource crisis and by restating the issues that he aforementioned.

Dr. Gene Nisperos stirred up the atmosphere of supposedly hungry people (in my perspective) as he introduced his lecture, The Socio-Economic-Political Framework and How It Affects People’s Health, with a nerve-breaking, yet clever and funny icebreaker. The challenge was that he will give us a group of words written in metacards, and we will arrange them such that we can make a meaningful story out of them. Hilarity ensued as my group chose me to present our (or so to speak, my) story in front of everyone. What happened next? My own graceful humiliation.

Anyway, in Dr. Gene’s talk, he told us how global and Philippine politics intervene with the state of public health in our country. For instance, the Philippine Health system is patterned after that from the US (specialty-oriented, hospital-based, higher wage for private practice and even the medical education curriculum). In terms of economic aspect, the three principles (liberalization, deregulation & privatization) being promoted by World Bank, International Monetary Fund & World Trade Organization (the three evil institutions) led to privatization of hospitals and health services and to monopoly of health care services.

The social roots of the current state of public health was also tackled, as the Universal Health Coverage (aka social health insurance) promoted AGAIN by the World Bank (really record-breaking, huh) resulted to establishment of private companies jeopardizing the rights of common people to health. Moreover, we can deduce that the people’s mindset nowadays towards medicine is curative rather than preventive & is doctor-centric.

He also discussed how culture and value systems affect one’s perspective towards achieving good health. For example, the Church influences us to decide whether an action is moral or not. The said institution (especially the Roman Catholic) is still against the Reproductive Health Law, which, on the negative side, will delay the prevention of the spread of HIV-AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), of the increasing mortality rate of pregnant women, and ultimately, of povertyIMG_0504.

The afternoon session commenced as soon as we finished eating our lunch. This time, the first speaker was Dr. Anthony Cordero, one of indeed wittiest doctors around. His lecture was entitled The Primary Health Care and Rights Based Approach to Health, in which he allowed our minds to review the basic tenets of Primary Health Care and reiterate its relevance. He asserted that everyone, especially health professionals, must believe in the principles clearly indicated in the Alma Ata Declaration, co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and emerged  during the International Conference on Primary Health Care held at Alma Ata, Union Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in September 6-12, 1978. Moreover, he defined Primary Health Care as “a value system or approach rooted to Alma Ata Declaration” and “a type of medical care one may receive by first point of contact”. Lastly, Doc Ants devoted the last minute for his lecture, remarking that health is multifactorial.

The next part, Analyzing Why We Cannot Go beyond Self and Family: Building the Concept of Nationhood was facilitated by Dr. Elizabeth Paterno, Doc Buching’s wife, instead of Dr. Michael Tan who did not make it to the event. In her short session, we were able to analyze the historical roots of our subservience to foreign interests and dictates. It was appalling to know too, that our concept of nationalism affects how we view health as a fundamental right.

Covering up again for Dr. Tan’s absence, Doc Ants assumed the role of the speaker for the presentation entitled, Gender, Culture & Sexuality. In such lecture, Doc Ants defined current concepts on gender and sexuality, including reproductive IMG_0534health and promoted the cultural and gender sensitivity in development work.

After eating dinner, we climbed back upstairs again to watch the film, Inside Job, which pinpoints the key explanations behind the great US recession by mid-2007 and its effects to the global economy. After which, before sleeping in the Men’s Dormitory, I had a short laugh trip with the boys, so I concluded that my second day in Morong was really blissful and interactive.

Photo Credits to Ms. Pholyn Balahadia, GHC student facilitator.


The 13th UP – Finnish Global Health Course: Day One

Last January 5-11, 2015, I attended the 13th University of the Philippines Global Health Course at Bahay Silungan, Morong, Rizal, Philippines. It was sponsored by the University of the Philippines College of Medicine’s (UPCM) Community-Oriented Medical Education (COME) Unit and Social Medicine Unit (SMU) and by the Peoples’ Health Movement – Philippines and was also generously funded by the University of Tampere’s Duodecim – Finnish Medical Society. The course was intended to educate health sciences students about the issues affecting the local, national, and global health, and to equip us, student-leaders, with essential skills which we can use as we go back to our respective universities.

The program commenced with the Welcome Ceremonies in the morning of January 5 at the Alvior Hall, College of Medicine, led by the officials of UP Manila and UPCM. Despite most facilitators being medical doctors, they welcomed us who came from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) with open arms. The ambiance was so imperturbable that I never considered changing my decision to join, since I will be obliged to be away from my family for a week.

The following are the objectives of the course which I found very well attained:

  1. Describe the global health situation and issues that affect it.
  2. Analyze the country’s health situation in the context of the global health situation.
  3. Describe the different indicators used to monitor progress in national development and health.
  4. Describe and discuss factors that influence the way health is viewed and intrinsically shape the health landscape locally and globally.
  5. Identify basic skills in communication, advocacy and organizing.
  6. Describe the different strategies and efforts implemented in response to these issues.
  7. Formulate appropriate responses based on their local capacities

At the very beginning, I and my friend, Alex, thought that our actions might be restricted and that we will be forced to behave most of the time. But still, our mouths never stopped as we strolled down the Taft Avenue then to the Tayuman Road, in which the Department of Health (DOH) was situated.


The speakers representing DOH’s Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau (HPDPB) delivered a lecture entitled “Introduction to the Philippine Health Situation and the Department of Health”. Such lecture provided us an overview of the Philippine health situation, including various issues and concerns affecting local, national and global health, as well as a brief overview of the DOH in the context of the national health system.

I was overwhelmed with the speakers talking about health statistics over and over again, and I was quite disappointed when they honestly told us the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 could never be fulfilled. I was also appalled to see the DOH framework or organizational structure, which is very susceptible to corruption and service delays.

2011-11-24_18-08_KP organogram.pdf_0

By 1PM, we left UPCM and traveled to Rizal. After eating snacks and settling down, Dr. Edelina Dela Paz introduced the participants and faculty facilitators and gathered the participants’ expectations. Dr. Melecia Velmonte, a retired faculty member of the UPCM and also the owner of the Bahay Silungan, gave the house rules. The participants were also divided into five groups for doing the recap and for solidarity night performance.

After dinner, we watched two short movies. The first one was Limang Libo, which narrates how the poor were ready to do whatever it takes just to have a ready cash payment for their beloved ones who were at the brink of death. On the other hand, Krusada: Ospital provided a brief overview of the Philippine Health Situation and had put more emphasis on the effects of privatization and medical insurances to common people.

I was assigned to sleep at the Men’s Dormitory. I wished to stay at the Ladies’ House, but I can’t, because everything might turn awkward. My first night in Morong was intimately quiet, and I spent the entire evening relishing the undertones of nature.



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Image Search.”


Yuletide’s over

Longing for your arrival

Waiting for a chance.

But no departures

Shall shatter our love.

No More to Lower Audience Visits

For two months, my WordPress blog was kept inactive, mainly because of the following reasons:

1. My computer’s system was completely destroyed, primarily due to the viruses that invaded the system. Since I had no choice but to reformat the whole thing, I tried my best to fix it, but I faced another problem: saving the soft copies of my novel’s manuscript. I never had the chance to retrieve it, but luckily, I still have the drafts on my notebook. But still, I am now having a hard time doing the same manuscript, so instead, I made a new one, creating new dialogues, which I found more sound and effective.

2. Since the computer was already down, we decided to cut off our Internet connection. My inspirations in daily writing usually come from the Daily Post, but since we didn’t have the way to surf the Web, I didn’t have a chance to look over the Daily Prompts. Another problem is that when I go out to search for Internet cafes, I find their computer rentals too costly that even renting one for around half an hour is already equivalent to 1/4 of my daily allowance for schooling. Until now, though I already fixed the computer, we were still finding ways to have a new Internet connection.

I promised myself then that I will stop frowning for the lowering statistics shown in my blog. Instead, I swore to myself that I will keep this blog much more active than before, since the second semester of this academic year is about to begin. 

Ice Jail

Trapped inside

The piles of rocks

From a speedy avalanche

I found myself

Barely breathing

With heart racing

In terror, I screamed

But my voice seems

To only bouncing back

No one heard me

I only thought of

Letting the night pass by

The howling wolves

Terribly scared me

I thought of you

While jailed in ice

The next day

I don’t know why

But I woke up

In a hospital bed

And I saw you

Touching my forehead

“I’m here now. Don’t worry.”

You said, smiling.

Someone Who Understands the Most

As I am typing this, I knew by heart that my mind earlier had been surged with the thoughts of flooding requirements, of prospects of failing, and of anxiety over uncertainties. My friends and colleagues, and even my previous teachers beforehand knew that I can prevail over academic stress, but sometimes, I blame myself for entering a prestigious university, in fact, the best in our country in terms of academics. I blame myself for choosing the wrong degree program, for my undying weakness in economics. But despite that, I felt motivated and challenged, because once and for all I did not only come to the university just to get A+ in my transcript of records, but also to learn about new things, aside from those I had already mastered, such as mathematics.

During this semester, I am bothered with the enlargement of my eye-bags, perhaps, because of staying late at night to study lessons. But during midnight, I go upstairs, to our house’s rooftop, and try to watch the stars, and how they twinkle after a few seconds. And in doing so, I remember my late bestfriend, Paul, who was once there with me, on the same rooftop, and having conversations about our dreams.

Last night, I don’t know why, but I felt that he was with me, as I rambled about my incompetency, of my recent failures. Years ago, when I felt that my elder brother had set his distance from me, he stood up for me just like my own brother.

“You know what? Since the day you were gone, I feel that I am always failing.” I said, gasping, while finding the moon over a cloud of stars.

But of course, I found no answer.

“But my friend, listen to my ramblings for a while. I know that you are someone who understands the most …”

From that moment, I whispered and shouted to the wind all my problems in school, in friendship, and in family. And when I was done talking, the stars appeared to be apparently twinkling several times, and a shooting star crossed the sky, almost only for a second. Though I acted childish, I made lots of wishes.

After which, I went back to my bed, and read the pointers for tomorrow’s exams, and slept with contentment and with overwhelming peace. 

Another Sweet Day

Your smiles’s enticing,
Invites me to spend
One more sweet day.
And fortnights pass
Kissing on thorned bushes.
Life’s filled with no regrets
Rolling ourselves on the bed
Shared each other’s glances.
Entering the coffee shop
Staring at you as you order;
Sipping the same drink together
While I’m wiping your lips.
Your smiles’s enticing
Persuades me to wake up again
For one more sweet day.
Forgetting all yesterday’s pain
As we linked our hands
Feeling the heat in your palm
Showing me your burning love.
Going out on Saturdays
Treating me with street food
Bringing me to places I never knew.
We stood by the corner,
Passed by long, narrow roads
But I knew and I am sure
I am in love with you.
And everytime you let me go,
Everytime you lose your smile
Ships sink, my world feels cold.
Today, I brought no ring
But here’s your popcorn, dear.
Kneeling in front of you,
To ask you to marry me.
Your smiles’s enticing,
Requests me to spend
One more sweet day.
And I am all the more willing
To share your pains in the past
And the uncertainties of the future
I can’t afford to lose your smile again
Stay forever with me.
And in this another sweet day,
Will you marry me?

A response to Daily Post’s Writing Challenge: Genre BlenderI used Romance as my genre and Poetry as my style.



A response to Daily Prompt’s Sweeping Motions

End Station


This isn’t a Harry Potter story
Or of some lovers sharing glory
I opened my phone, utters some voice
You said, where are you now?
But the calling time’s maximized,
So I clicked the red button.
The train driver had notified:
Taft Avenue, this is the end station.
I looked outside, sunset starts
And the clouds on the opposite side
Filled the skies with gloomy shade
I phoned you back again
Saying, wait for me there
You dropped the call; shocked to see me
As if I were a ghost, or a mystical wannabe
Our eyes interlocked, moments froze
We met by the rusty escalator
But with you, tightly holding a girl’s hand
Like I expected, she’s of beauty
Her posture’s great, complexion dominates.
Uttering a word, you cannot do.
She said, do you know each other?
You said no, so pain stabs me
We both nodded, but I was doomed
Then the rain heavily falls, shouts in thunders.
We both parted ways, soon after
All the rainbows slowly fade
At that transit’s end station.

In TransitPhoto from Flickr. Poetry by Sueju Takeshi.

Masked in Hell

Visit our country. Open your hotel room’s television to check out for the latest local news. And when you finally have done it, do not anymore be surprised with what you might see.

The Philippines, while being described figuratively as the Pearl in Orient Seas, prides itself for its long tradition of corruption. And as part of this crocs-inspired culture, let me introduce to you, dear strangers, a city where I first gave something to contribute to Earth — an addition to the exponential growth of world’s population — and also where I currently lay my body to hibernate for years: Makati City.

While Dan Brown through his novel, Inferno, described the country’s political capital, Manila, as gates of hell, I would describe my dear city, the deemed financial capital, as one that is masked in hell. No, I am not describing it as torrid as if you were already experiencing the extreme temperatures inside the future lake of fire and sulfur. I am not also telling you to dislike the historic Pasig River, which streams across its map and of course is now polluted and as dirty as the recent politics.

But beware, you might die since crocodiles are everywhere. Of course, I am not talking about literal death. Just be aware of the current system — bribery plus fake biddings plus ghost employees.

Sometimes, I blame the world for throwing and disposing all the scumbags at my place. Well, I have no choice, but that’s silly. If you want to be rich like the Ayalas and Gokongweis, put your business along the streets of Makati Avenue and Ayala Avenue. Whenever you go out of your office, watch the street children pulling wooden carts, begging for money and inhaling liquids from the inside of a tiny plastic bag. Oh, I forgot the other part of the culture: when the traffic light orders us to stop, we will defy the rule and then rush, crossing the street, aware but never minding the dangers we might face.

The strangest thing for a visitor? Various techniques of snatchers or thieves, such as those being used by dura-dura (saliva) gang and akyat-bahay (climb the house) kids. Try also our local street foods if you want to get any of these three: Hepatitis A, B, or C.

But sometimes, experiencing a bit of hell means tasting a lot of heaven.

Welcome. And enjoy.

Welcome, Stranger. I think I violated the Prompt’s rule. But I don’t mind, anyway.

Releasing Mental Breakdown

‘Twas a big, rainy day
Friends come by and say hey
And all my clouds turned to gray
Finals will come by May.

My eyes locks at computer screen
Feeling nerd, I have been
Summer fades, stress release!
Playing games with ease.

At last, the exam was laid
On my chair’s desk, nerves break
I looked into the first query
My nose bled in fury!

Big Day Ahead

The Truth has been Spoken!

I came across a pavement
Full of compulsive buyers and sellers
Of different garments.
Nervous, held my bag,
Fearing snatchers to pass by.
Suddenly I heard someone spoke
Her voice’s enticing, clinging into my ears
Her words: Buy this at low cost.
‘Twas a old woman, with black-grey hair,
Rugged clothes welcomed me.
Oh sure, Madam! said I.
This vial, said she, will let truth speak
Smoking around your victim!
She laughed; I became a crazy madman
Slowly, opened my purse
Gave her more than a grand
Say, thanks! And left.
And came to my bestfriend,
Removing the vial’s cork;
His breath was overpowered.
For a while, he felt dizzy
Afterwards, hypnotized.
I said, Have you ever loved me?
I haven’t, his straight reply.
But at least,the truth has been spoken.
And lies no more linger on my veins.

A response to DAILY PROMPT’s Truth Serum

Fun but not Facts


The Great Divide

Photo Credits to: Taryn Cox The Wife

Poetry by Sueju Takeshi

Bitch, please

In response to Daily Prompt‘s Ready, Set, Done

Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

The professor said,

Pass your papers!

In a count of three

One … two.

Badum! Badum!

I murmured,

Bitch please.

But sir, I haven’t finished

— yet.

Hi everyone, I am … in Four Minutes?

Daily Prompt
Flash Talk

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

I sat down
For an interview
The breeze, so cold
Touches my hair
I looked around
Seeing eyes
Staring, judging
My appearance.
The panel head
Speaks up, saying
Introduce yourself.
I opened my mouth;
But when word’s uttered,
He speaks again,
Four minutes.
I asked, Sir?
Four minutes only. he replied.
Clashing thunders
Gone into my head.
Confusion strikes
As I go ahead.
I didn’t hear myself,
Nor the sound of my breath.
I am … I remember.
And finally, they smiled
I now see those teeth
Flourishing white as pearls
Saying, Come back next week.
I said, Sirs?
You’re hired.

Welcome to my Home

Hello, visitor
Welcome to my home
Red carpet’s placed by the door
Welcome to my home
Little do I know
That you’re my brother
And you already have your own daughter
Let her sit on the couch
But let her pee there … never
We knew that you are clever
But you won’t be prevailing ever
This is my home
My house, my whole lot
Welcome to my home
Be now ready to suffer.

Delayed Contact

‘Till We Meet Again

Greetings, Stranger

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

A day in the year 2030 was full of hectic schedules for my international graduate studies, and once in a while I sit at Café des 2 Moulins in Paris to write my latest untitled novel about somehow a peculiar magical world and the essence of true friendship. When I was at the middle of my writing, the waiter arrived at my table and asked for order. I ordered a cup of espresso coffee and two French breads. The waiter came again, carrying a tray containing my order.
I stayed for two more hours (since I do not have anymore things to do that time). Suddenly, a strange man, came rushing in to the direction of my table.
He began speaking in French quickly that I couldn’t grasp his words. “What’s your name, Mr?” he asked.
“Josue. Josue Mapagdalita.” I replied.
“Your pen name?”
“Sueju Takeshi.”
He looked so relieved. “Ugh. I’ve been looking for you.”
I was scared, thinking that this guy was a member of kidnapping syndicate. “Why? What’s the matter?”
“Sorry for scaring you. I just want you to know that our publication company wants your novel be published.”
I was screaming in extreme joy; everyone in the cafeteria heard me and congratulated me afterwards. In excitement, I fainted and was brought back to my dormitory.
I woke up. It’s still 2014. Stranger, I’m much more excited now to meeting you. ‘Till we meet again — but not in just a dream.


Sueju Takeshi 武

Trust Me

Locked and Sealed
Can you keep a secret? Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans (when you should’ve stayed quiet)?

One day, when I and my friend were walking down a lengthy pavement leading to their house, we talked about several stuff, which include romantic relationships. A question and an answer led from one thing to another, until he accidentally said that he loves someone.
“Who is she?” I said.
“None of your business.” He replied.
“Oh, come on dude. Trust me.” I ended.
Trust me. The imperative was probably convincing enough for him to open up about his “someone’s” name.
“But don’t tell her that there’s an “us” between me and her or that we have a relationship. This is a top secret bro. Or else, if she knows about this soon, we will break up.”
I laughed terribly. But due to his mischief and threats, I swore not to reveal his secret anytime soon. “All right. I promise.”
Two weeks later from his awesome, breath-taking revelation, I met that “someone” who makes his heart flutter. It was lunch time, and I sat beside her, not planning to reveal his secret.
Let’s name the girl as Anna. She is not your typical beautiful campus crush, but she is somehow cute. But at least I am (and was) cuter than her.
Anna and I were close friends too. We had a conversation about my first love and my academic standing, my current write-ups and other sorts of things I did the day before.
Unfortunately and annoyingly, my tongue slipped, and said that my friend (the guy) was in love with her and that they were “in a relationship.”
At first, Anna thought that I was just kidding. I said that no, I am not. Finally, she was convinced.
She stared at me in my eyes and sipped from her orange juice. “Well, I like him too. If he’s willing to work it out, we’ll make it happen.”
And when she said that, I felt somehow a sense of redemption.
Three months after, my friend courted Anna. They officially, at last, became in a relationship.
They broke up during their first anniversary. Yeah, that’s sad.
But it’s funny to remember how awkward it was to feel the anxiety resulted from accidentally spilling the beans. Yet, after that big revelation, I never told anybody about someone’s secrets again, making the phrase Trust Me as a central imperative principle in my life. And to whoever who gets to read this, you can always trust me. Your secrets will be safe in my cabin.


Sueju Takeshi 武

Lend Me the Power

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, it at all?

I will try not to be hypocrite. No. I won’t be.
I will use the power for only 365 days. And that is to figure out when will be my death. For example, if my vision says that I will die at exactly 70 years old, then by subtracting 1 year due to the power, I will have 69 years left. God, 69 is definitely a HOLY number!
Wait, why am I so witty at this late hour?
I’ll try to be serious now.
Given the power, I will figure out if my country, the Philippines, has already been part of the first world countries. Yeah, I know I’ll face death first before that happens — but who knows what will happen after five centuries? Or probably to know if China has already transferred to Mars, creating their own civilization (no pun intended).
Probably, I can use my power to know if I will graduate from the university on time or not.
Or if my worst enemy has finally been mummified in the Egyptian pyramids.


Sueju Takeshi 武

True Friendship

Photo from what-buddha-said.net

Photo from what-buddha-said.net

Months ago, I began writing one of my unfinished novels, entitled The Butterfly of Winter Plains. I published ten chapters on Wattpad, but  due to subsequent interruptions in my schedule, I decided to unpublish it while having 1000 total number of views.
The story centers to Thaddeus, a foster father of a child, Chen, who soon acquires a rare congenital disease. In Chapter Eight, when Thaddeus encounters his long lost friend, he quotes this:

“There are only two kinds of friends who apparently entered my life:
1. A friend who only knows and understands my sufferings;
2. A friend who sometimes does not understand my pain but still chooses to suffer with me.

“And I won’t mind keeping in my heart those who belong in the second kind.”

Thaddeus’s view of true friendship reflects mine. How about you? For you, what distinguishes a “friendship only” from a true one?


Sueju Takeshi 武

Money ≠ Happiness = No Stress

Daily Prompt: If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?

Money disappears
But true happiness revolves.
And everyone loves working
For the sake of a few pennies.
Yet several realize
Their sweat weren’t paid off
Then releasing stress
From gnawing pain.
My blood pours
With hours of lecture
With eating numbers
And leaving to school.
Now I sweep frustrations
Through writing prose
Or essential blogging.
If I earn while I learn
without thinking of work,
I’ll share my talent first
So that the world may know.

Work? Optional!


Sueju Takeshi 武


316630_492454574108158_718594247_nWe sharpshoot and zoom. We capture light through either the standard or the long lens and process it to be a beautiful, visually appealing creation. We urge danger to chase us as we proudly wear a weapon of great value anywhere or around the campus, facing trails, looking for adventures.

Honey May is one of my best of friends. She was once a typical high school girl who was hideously being courted and admired by a variety of boys. (If she knows that by herself, I do not know.) She is undoubtedly computer literate, knowing a lot of stuff other than Microsoft applications, while I, until now, am still stuck with silly, time-consuming computer games and endless basics. She belonged to a cream section just as me, but of course, without any pretense, I am in a way smarter than her.

We are exact opposites, and we share something in common — talents.

She sings; so do I, but my voice has a perfect echoing only inside our bathroom. She writes; so do I: she writes fiction, while I enjoy non-fiction much more. She captures photographs, so do I; but in this case I can say I am her master, and she is my sidekick. Ah! Wait, we were both bullies, as far as I remember.

If we share things other than the aforementioned, I do not know. If she dislikes me featuring her with this article, I do not care. We treat each other harshly so to speak, because in a contrasting fact we are silent plastics in the presence of our beloved enemies.

It was her whom I learned how to cut classes. I remember it was during the Filipino time in our last year in high school when we did that. We escaped when we got bored and made a journalism activity as a pretext to our teacher. If the guidance counselors of our school will get to read this, please do not hold our certificate of good moral character. I am truly begging you; we are still good kids, simply enticed with the very idea of eradicating boredom.

It was her who struggled with me when I was suffering from heartache. That moment in Speech Laboratory when I cried so hard after being ‘friend-zoned’ and when she was comforting me in her arms, I laughed terribly and crazily like a mad man. It was her who patiently became my sidekick in stalking a guy in high school. (Yes, I am gay; she must be a lesbian. No, she as a lesbian is a big joke.) She once knew the “Ten Thousand Bitchy-Foul Words” and she had recited it with all her heart. However, this personality had changed since we both entered different universities: she is now attending church services regularly and promises to refrain from saying bad language. If she will be a nun or be called as “Sister/Mother Honey May” someday, I won’t anymore wonder.

Honestly, I do not like the idea of her being my sidekick. We are both differently stupid in several ways. I’ll call her a comrade instead.

My Dear Watson

Who Accompanies Love

Photo from londonoa.com

Photo from londonoa.com

This morning I thought of Mr. Alvin Ibalio, my former high school physics teacher — the coolest male teacher I ever had. He taught us optics and a only a bit of mechanics, and then left after our first periodical exam for that academic year after he had applied and been approved for a study leave.

While he was teaching us the concept of light, he told us the story of love and madness. At the end of the long narrative, he said: “[Therefore,] Love is blind accompanied by madness.” I proved this statement to be true because when I first fell in love, I disregarded the facial features of that someone whom I’m in love with, even his bad attitude. Since love is always associated with madness, one gets furious if he or she sees his beloved flirting or entertaining someone else, thus, I got mad and we fought almost everyday just because of that.

What do you think is the basis of his quote and story? Have you found this true in your case?

Bookish Witch


A Bookish Choice

Daily Prompt: A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?

Yes, you read it right — a witch. Not a typical one who had once poisoned Snow White with an apple. And of course, not your filthy stepmother or your strict, toxic professor.

Then, in a flick of her glittery wand, she turned me from a frustrated novelist to a successful one. She gave me two choices; the first is to make me an obscure novelist whose works are being studied in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the second one is to instill in me a writer of books that will inspire thousands of wizards, including Harry Potter.

Which one will I choose? The second one, of course.

Honestly, if I pick the first option, there’s a little chance to earn money … and I never wanted to be studied by scholars. Meanwhile, I always wished to be an inspiring young novelist to millions of readers, and I wish to earn profit from my writing as well.

Thank you, bookish witch then. I hope you won’t send me a curse for this great favor.

Sweet dreams or a Beautiful nightmare?


New Wrinkles

Daily Prompt: You wake up one day and realize you’re ten years older than you were the previous night. Beyond the initial shock, how does this development change your life plans?


Wrinkles and other signs of aging: You could be a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare.
Well, the statement above in italics is in the tune of Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams. Right now, I am only seventeen — an age signifying my innocence. No, not innocence really since I’ve been submerged into different kinds of experiences, which I guess made me more mature than who I am before.

Sweet dreams?

Being ten years older than you are the day before may sound favorable to everyone. Well, I guess it may sound the same for me. If it will turn out nicely, of course, my dreams would definitely come true, like pursuing a graduate school or being a published writer. I could be more responsible in handling duties. My parents probably would have already established a business, profiting from our success. And perhaps finding true love?

Beautiful nightmare?

Guess what, how could a nightmare be beautiful? Isn’t it ironic?
For a nightmare, or certainly a curse, let’s add to the list: slow metabolism that makes us grow fat. I don’t want yet to be an official contestant of the Biggest Loser reality show or something or to be a powerful contender of Sumo wrestling in Japan. Another thing is that when you get rich and famous, strangers in your life will suddenly become your immediate family members. Oh, how dare you.

Either way I don’t wanna wake up from you

Yes, I don’t want to wake up that way: it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a miracle or a curse. Big changes never arrive in our lives just in a snap of a finger. Life is full of uncertainties; unexpected things may happen in a span of a decade. For now, I am contented with my pimples and I definitely won’t let them grow into large tomatoes.



The Reality of Death

“I was just thoughts, just air. There was nothingness all around me. Was this what it was like to be dead? When you died, did you still sense everything going on around you, only it was happening so far away that you didn’t care about it? You were floating through space and time, and nothing that happened to you mattered because nothing really could happen to you because you didn’t exist?”
― Melissa Kantor, Maybe One Day

Inspite of my hectic schedule, a friend still recommended this book to me … I find this novel a powerful instrument which reminds us of our bestfriends, either living or deceased, and how we chose to sacrifice our own happiness for the other’s sake.

Now back to the quote, the author and I have the same idea regarding death. If you die, you will feel loneliness, either because everyone mourns for you or not. You will feel emptiness because you can’t anymore feel what humans have to feel — the emotions and the senses. It feels like you were just air, something who gets to pass to someone’s life and then, in a snap of finger, you were already gone — a feeling like you never existed at all.

In Need of An Ice Pick

Photo from hplusmagazine.com

Photo from hplusmagazine.com

Daily Prompt: When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

When a person is writing something and eventually has been stuck in some point, making him or her stop putting more and more words in a piece he or she has started, this is commonly known as a Writer’s Block.

I’m stuck or I’m running out of words. Honestly yes, I’ve been there and said these for not only once or twice, but also for a hundred times, I suppose. This is one of the big circumstances wherein a writer will be given a chance to grow; hence he or she will need an ice pick to deliberately chop down or remove the ice that blocks the ideas in every neuron of his or her brain.

Unfortunately, after writing the previous paragraph, I am now experiencing this gruesome scenario. Well, I’m just kidding.

I remember back then when it was my fourth year in high school, also the same time when I became the sports editor and photojournalist of our school organ, I had always a hard time writing articles because of the following:

1. Stress

2. Stress

3. Stress

I believe that the ideas in our head are like water … and once they froze, they block the other arriving essential ideas. We all have an ice pick — different ways to destroy the ice — for example, getting inspiration from other writers or from your loved ones in order to continue writing. Or we may have the choice to let the ice melt, such as listening to our preferred music or simply, by sleeping and finding relief from stress.



Remembering You

cropped-cropped-945051_576969178990030_6706747_n1.jpgI remember you. I remember every time you put your feet on the wheels of your bicycle while I was at your back, scared that I might fall and meet an accident down the road. I remember the popular songs we sing together, how you tried to teach me to dance along with the tune. I remember that night when you helped me climb my way to your house’s roof, and as we count all the stars, you told me your dream to be a pilot and your first flight, and though things are uncertain, I started dreaming about mine too. I was ten years old back then, and you were two years older than me. You were the first one to know my deepest, unearthed secrets. Until now, you are like a big bro to me, and that fact resonates in my heart and my mind everyday.

But sadly and unfortunately, you laid your own body inside a coffin and gave up your own flight.
At first, remembering you was indeed uneasy, and I found myself agitated as your face flashes into my vision. I felt anger and kept my silence about your very existence, about our friendship.

But now, my friend, I’m deliberately understanding the words you instilled in me. Now, whenever I remember you, whenever I cherish those moments, I feel sudden joy, even for just a few seconds, each time I feel down. I had promised to you before that when I fall in love for the first time and if that person reciprocates my love, we will scatter your ashes along the seashore, which is the fulfillment of your dream. I am truly sorry for not being able to fulfill such solely because the second requirement of my promise wasn’t even attained.

I will not be a pilot, just like you wanted to be for yourself. Like what I said to you before: we have our own paths to follow. I’ll be making my own flight towards my dream — a dangerous yet an adventurous one. Just like pilots, before commanding an airplane, who undergo training, a person who wants to be someone else in the future needs exposure and experience.

And that is what I’m doing. I wanted to be a writer, a medical doctor, a mathematician or a scientist, and I don’t care where these paths will lead me. But even though your breath don’t anymore contribute to the endless cycle of nature, I swear that I will continue your flight by directing mine.

I remember you. I feel your presence as I see a bike going down the dirty streets and as I get scratches and wounds whenever I try to learn how to run its pedals. I still sing those songs we sing in the kitchen or on the rooftop, and it was like I am traveling back in time, singing high notes of our favorite Boyband’s songs and even that of Michael Jackson’s. Warmth embraces me whenever I watch stars twinkle during a long night, remembering your dream, your first flight, and different possibilities.

Thanks for being my bestfriend. Thanks for letting me take over your plane. Enjoy the ride and be my passenger for a while.


Memoir Madness


Deception (The Eighth Sin)

Daily Prompt: Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?



Deception (The Eighth Sin): A Haiku

A man seeds deceit

Grows as he is not to be

Deception unmasked


The meaning of my haiku is that deception has been a rampant sin among us humans, though we sometimes fail to notice it. Some of us have duplicate versions of ourselves, which then made us harvest unripe fruits, such as fake friendships and broken homes. The more we commit deceit, the more we show others the less of our positive personality and more of our negative character. Thus, we all should unmask deception so that people would know who and what we really are in order to establish good relationship with others.