On the Smell of Books, Coffee, and Rainy Afternoons

How would I describe my ideal guy?

Someone who smells of old books, and coffee, and rain.

Failing that, it would at least be my ideal perfume (has any company already made that?).

In an ideal world, I would spend every afternoon with a mug of coffee in hand, a book on my lap, and raindrops drumming a tattoo on my bedside window. Who needs yachts and private jets and luxury condos and dream destinations, when you can have this little bubble of serenity all in the comfort of your own home?

On rainy afternoons, the world is transformed, blurred around the edges. The rain drops form a curtain, a cocoon, a shelter. On rainy afternoons, I am transformed. More than just an awkward girl with melancholy in her bones, I am a dreamer, a writer, an artist. My fingers bleed ink and spill beautiful words that stain parchment. Smudges of charcoal form worlds conjured by imagination and rendered alive on canvass.

On rainy afternoons, armed with coffee and book, I am transported to faraway worlds where bravery and kindness triumph, and no one cares about how many followers you have on social media, how many likes your posts get, or how well drawn your fake eyebrows are.

On rainy afternoons, I am alive, I am free, and I am more.


An Invitation Into My Bubble

So many blogs these days are filled with wanderlust-inspiring travel destinations, a profusion of beauty products and meticulously applied makeup, mouthwatering food and drinks from every cuisine imaginable, breathtaking photography, amazing experiences that make you wish you were in the blogger’s shoes. These blogs allow us a glimpse into the greater and finer things in life, the beautiful, the glamorous, the exciting, the decadent, the #lifegoals-worthy stuff.

This is not one of those blogs.

This is a blog by an average girl (albeit one dealing with social anxiety) living a largely average life (definitely far from “life goals”), earning a living through an average, unglamorous (and at times boring) job, trying to navigate a world dominated by social media and populated by a confusing variety of characters.

This is a blog hopefully for similar people, who don’t lead glamorous lives, who are just trying to make their way through this world in one piece, dreaming of great things but also, really, just hoping that the Universe wouldn’t be too hard on them.

This is for everyone who deals with everyday struggles as a human being who may not be leading a lifestyle that garners thousands of likes on Facebook or Instagram, who may just be hoping that maybe someone out there knows the struggle too, may even be going through the same things.

This is for you.

Welcome to my little bubble of awkwardness and real, unfiltered life.

How I got my Philippine passport renewed in La Union (2018)

There’s been this huge issue lately regarding the DFA appointments for Philippine passport issuance/renewal. People have been complaining about how, as early as the start of the year, slots are already fully booked all the way to March. There’s even talk of a “passport syndicate” or some such thing.

I managed to book an appointment for passport renewal last month, and received my passport today, roughly 3 weeks after booking.

I went onto the DFA website on 19 December 2017, and was lucky enough to nab a 23 December 10:00 am – 11:00 am slot at La Union.


Now, I live inside Metro Manila and La Union is approximately 6 hours away, but I was pretty desperate. I really needed to have my passport renewed, since the tickets for my February 16 flight to Australia had already been bought. My visa had already been approved, and this was the final ingredient I needed.

All in all, it took 3 weeks (including both working and non-working days) for me to get my passport, or just 10 working days, since I paid extra to have it expedited.

The process itself was really smooth and quick! My appointment was for 10:00 am, but I got there at around 9:30 am. THERE WERE ONLY 8 APPLICANTS THERE (including me), so they were able to accommodate me well before my scheduled time.

Since I was only after a renewal, all I had to submit were my old passport with photocopies of the data page and the last page, a government-issued ID (I presented my Philhealth card) plus photocopy, and a recent NBI clearance plus photocopy. After I submitted these, I proceeded to payment, then had my picture taken and biometrics captured. Finally, I went to the LBC counter to pay for the delivery of my passport, and that was it! In total, it took maybe 15 minutes, 20 minutes tops.

I truly didn’t expect there to be that few applicants, since everywhere, slots were filling up faster than you can click next on the browser. There were just 8 people, guys! EIGHT! I’m not sure about their policy on walk-ins, but if there had been people walking in, they’d have had no trouble accommodating them.

I don’t know why the website indicated that appointment slots were no longer available. Their DFA office could certainly have accommodated A LOT more. Maybe the other steps in the process would have taken too much time? Your guess is as good as mine.

In any case, I didn’t feel like it was a wasted journey at all. Not only because I finally have my passport, but also because we managed to make the most out of having to travel 6 hours to La Union, and actually had a lovely time.



My 2017 Plot Twist

My grandma entered the house, looking dazed. She sat herself on the couch, like she didn’t have the strength to hold herself upright on both legs. Hands to her chest, she kept muttering, “What are we going to do? What are we going to do?”

My aunt, the only one in the house with her at the time, was speechless. My grandma didn’t have to tell her what she was panicking about. In her bones, she knew: The secret they had kept for 24 years, the one they had thought would safely remain buried for eternity, has finally clawed its way to the surface.


It all started innocently enough. I got a new job, and one of the perks is a half-month long training in Australia. I had never been anywhere outside of the Philippines before, so this was huge for me. Our visa was approved in just two days, and it seemed like the only thing left to do was wait.

Unfortunately, since I had never been out of the country, I didn’t know about the “6-month validity rule”. Our flight was booked for February 2018, and my passport expired July the same year, leaving just 5 months validity by the time we were to depart. Thus, I had to hurriedly arrange for the renewal of my passport, with just 2 months left before our trip.

Now, that might seem like plenty of time,  but here in the Philippines, it really is not. Appointments for passport application and renewal with our Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) tend to be fully booked for months in advance, and passports take 2 weeks on average to be released.

I asked my grandma to request a copy of my birth certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), formerly the National Statistics Office (NSO). I already had an NSO copy of my birth certificate, but our company’s HR team told me that I needed one with the PSA stamp on it, as the logo has changed.

I didn’t think getting one would be a problem, since my grandma usually gets a copy almost as soon as she requests it, as senior citizens get priority in queues, especially in government offices.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

Through some stroke of luck, I managed to get an appointment for that very Saturday, albeit in a province roughly 6 hours away from the Metro. But still, lucky!

It was already Tuesday, so I messaged my aunt to ask if they can get my brother to bring my birth certificate to me before Friday (since I was renting a place near work). I was surprised when she said that they still haven’t been able to get the birth ccertificate.

What? But it’s been more than a week!

My aunt seemed extremely agitated, far more than what the situation warranted, I thought, and she kept telling me to just talk to my mother. I told her I don’t see how that would help in any way, since my mom was all the way out in Colorado.

Finally, my aunt told me that the reason they couldn’t get my birth certificate was because the system locked it. Apparently, in addition to changing its name, the PSA also switched systems, and the new system has locked mine because it was “Late Registration”.

For the first time, I looked at the registration date of my birth certificate and saw that it was registered THREE years after my birth. I thought, “Oh well, typical Mumsy to forget a thing as important as that for three whole years. Haha!”

Of course, it still didn’t make sense to me, so I kept asking my aunt questions, and she just told me that it was because I had two birth certificates, and the system would only release the first one, which had the “wrong details” in it, and that I should just go ask my mom about it. She seemed so stressed out that I just decided to do as she kept telling me to, though I still couldn’t for the life of me imagine how a chat with my mom would help.

That night, at around 10:00 pm PH time, my mom messaged me and asked me if it’s okay to video call. I said sure, so she rang me up. She was at work, and she looked very upset.

In her weird, kind of disjointed way, she began telling me the story of why I had two birth certificates.

Anak (daughter),” she began, “the reason you have two birth certificates is that… I lied in the first one. You know how, back in the day, people judged you if you had a child but wasn’t married? I was a coward. I was so afraid of being ostracized, that I lied. I put in there that I was married.”

At this point, she was crying. But I was like, “Oh, okay. That’s not too bad. That’s perfectly understandable.”

But she wasn’t done.

“And… And it was a different guy there that I put down as your father.”

She was crying even harder, but I was laughing. Why was she so upset? I thought it was an amusing story! A teenage version of my mom, barely an adult, panicking and deciding to make up a guy to be her “husband”.

Chuckling, I asked her, “What was the name?”

“Seiji Ozawa,” she responded through tears. Then, she asked, “Anak, why are you laughing? You should be crying.”

I answered, “But the story is so funny! I can just imagine it! So who was this guy? Was the name completely made up? Or did you at least know the person?”

Anak,” a pause, “he’s your real father.”

Abruptly, my laughter died.

Without warning, I burst into tears. It was the ugliest cry of my life. Loud. Big fat tears. Huge gulps. Face crumpled with all these emotions I still couldn’t process.

My first thought was, “So Mich (my younger brother) is only my half brother.”

“Can you forgive me, Anak? Do you love me less now?”

Wiping my tears, I hurried to reassure my Mom.

Of course not! Why would such a thing make me love her less? That’s stupid! Nothing’s really changed anyway.

Of course I don’t blame her, she was so young! If I had been in her place, I wouldn’t have known what to do either.

Whoever my real father was, good riddance to him! I never knew him, he disappeared before I was even born, he’s just a stranger for all I know.

I asked her to not tell my brother just yet, as I wanted to be the one to tell him.

I messaged him, asking if my grandma or aunt had talked to him that night. He asked me if I wanted him to call, so I immediately knew that he knew.

I called him, and was greeted by the sound of his sobs. I nearly broke down then. My 19 year old brother, whom I have never seen nor heard crying since puberty, was crying and sobbing in the most heartbroken way, and it was all I can do not to just do the same. But I knew I had to be strong for us. So I tried to make him laugh.

“Hey, at least now we can answer the mystery of why we look nothing alike.”

That earned a chuckle. He was still crying, but I knew he was starting to get a grip.

“Besides, this doesn’t really change anything. You’re still my brother. We still came out of the same vagina.”

Just earlier that night, before my call with my mom, before the “big reveal”, my brother messaged me, telling me that he was second highest in their final exam for his most difficult subject this term. I screen capped it and posted it on Facebook, saying what a proud Ate (big sister) I am.

He said that after my grandma and aunt told him, he went up to his room and cried, even throwing his phone out of some strong emotion. My grandma went after him and implored him not to blame our mom, that it was our grandparents’ fault for not giving her the support she needed. (Later, my grandma would tell me that he really wanted them all to go to where I was at that ungodly hour of the night. “Poor Ate, she has no one there with her.”)

He eventually calmed down, but he went on Facebook and saw my post, which set him off on a fresh round of crying.

They visited me the next night, carrying with them a very old picture of my real father.

My brother is the spitting image of Daddy (his father whom I thought was my father as well), while people always told me that I took after our mom.

Staring at that picture of my real dad, I exclaimed,

“Why does he look like Mich as well?”

We all laughed, but we all also knew that my mom has always had rather thin lips, while mine were thicker.

Very much like the lips of the man in the picture I held in my hands.

Almost exactly like his, in fact.

Everyone in my family had huge eyes, with the exception of me and my brother. We knew it was because we were half-Japanese, but we’ve also always noticed that while his eyes were slanted the exact same way Daddy’s was, mine have always been kind of cat-like in that they were slightly rounded, then titled at the corners. They always just told me that I got Daddy’s mother’s eyes.

Now, looking into this stranger’s eyes, I finally had the real answer.

Yes, I resembled this man I had never met, and it bothered me slightly, because I didn’t really want to. I wanted it to still be that I took after Mommy while Mich took after Daddy.

But at the same time, there was this sense of… completeness. Like puzzle pieces clicking into place.

I thought back to things from my childhood that finally make sense in light of this new knowledge.

Why there were no pictures of Daddy holding me when I was a baby… Why my brother and I were six years apart… Why we look nothing alike… Why the birthplace in my birth certificate had to be faked…

I talked to two of my uncles (my mom has four brothers and one sister) and they both apologized that they had to lie to me all these years. One of them said he even got into a fight with my mom and my grandma, because he thought long ago that I had the right to know, but in the end it wasn’t his secret to tell.

They told me what little they knew about my father.

That my mom said he was a genius with numbers, and that was one of the reasons she fell in love with him. Back in school, I was a mathlete, so now I know that I got that from him as well.

They told me that he was an accountant, which surprised me, because I am now an accountant by profession. My aunt said she was surprised when I chose my course, but of course she couldn’t say anything.

They told me that he was very tall, nearly six feet, and I cursed my fate that I just had to get my mom’s height. I could have been 5’6 at least! But no, I had to be stuck at 5 feet and fuck all inches.

My mom told me about how he was from a province in Japan, and that they fell in love, and by the time she got back to the Philippines, I was already growing in her belly.

My aunt told me of how back then, few people owned mobile phones, and they walked far just to get a pay phone so my mom could contact him.

My mom told me of how they would write each other back and forth, because the Internet wasn’t a thing yet, and it would be weeks in between each letter, and that was probably why it didn’t work out.

My uncle told me that he wasn’t a good person, that he disappeared as soon as my mom got pregnant with me.

My mother told me of how in love they were, and of how handsome and tall and smart he was.

My grandma spoke of how good-hearted Mich’s father was, that he would take me in and love me as his own child.

They told me that he wanted me to grow up knowing him as my father, and that he wanted to take the secret with him to his grave.

But in the end, even the most well-kept secret has a way of crawling towards the light.

It was a burden they carried for two dozen years, out of fear.

My mother feared my hate and anger. My grandmother feared rebellion, that I would stray from the right path, as kids from “broken families” were wont to do. My aunt feared that I would spiral down into depression. One uncle feared I wouldn’t understand, that I would not forgive them. Another refused to say anything on the subject, as he thought it was not his place. Only two believed I should have been told a long time ago, and only one of them said that I was tougher than what my family believed.

In the end, though, I believe that the Universe conspired for me to find out at exactly the right time.


Plot twist: It turned out that I didn’t need the birth certificate at all.

Our company’s HR called the DFA, and they said a government-issued ID would be enough.

It seemed that the string of events was just meant to lead me towards the truth, nothing more, nothing less.

I still have a lot of questions, most of which would probably never be answered.

But I do know the important things:

My family hid the truth from me out of love. In their minds, they were protecting me, and I am nothing but grateful.

My brother is my brother, no matter our parentage. I don’t love him any less, and he isn’t any less my brother because of this.

My biological father is only my father to that extent. In every other way that counts, my father is: Daddy, my uncles, even my grandparents, my aunt, and my mother.

The secret has been a heavier burden on my mother than on anyone else, and the fact that she willingly bore that all these years is testament to how great her love is for me and my brother, and I will forever marvel at how little we have done to deserve her love and yet she has given and continues to give it to us anyway.


I am loved, and I have a family that I love very much and that is all the truth I need to know.


To the Joey de Leons of the Philippines

Yesterday, during the Juan for All segment in the long-running Filipino noontime show Eat Bulaga, the topic of depression came up.

And boy, was it awkward!

Joey de Leon, a veteran of Filipino tv and cinema, as well as one of the “founding brothers” of the noontime show, said what will come down in PH history as among the most ignorant and disgusting things ever said about depression on live tv:

“Yang depression, gawa-gawa lang yan… Gawa nila sa sarili nila.” (That depression, it’s only made up. They make it up for themselves.)

“Huwag niyo suportahan, gawa-gawa lang nila ‘yon.” (Don’t support them, they’re just making it up.)

Oh no he didn’t?

Yes. Yes, he did. Unfortunately.

Most unfortunate of all is the fact that depression is still largely a taboo topic in this country, and that is due to the fact that the Philippines is populated with hundreds and thousands of Joey de Leons.

I’m not talking about people who share the name (although there is probably a lot of that too -both first name and surname are pretty common), but rather people who share that way of thinking.

So many people out there would invalidate your feelings and struggles, most of the time not even intentionally. They think they’re helping, when in fact they’re making it worse. They would be so quick to say, “mind over matter” or, “think positive”. Maybe that would work with simple, run-of-the-mill sadness. But guys,


Depression is something that goes deeper, and is much more damaging and dangerous. It is the climate to sadness’ weather. Sadness comes and goes according to the situation. Depression, folks, is here to stay.

Of course, it is also something that is very difficult to explain to someone who has not gone through it themselves.

Mr. Joey de Leon, maybe you said those things because you have never experienced depression yourself, and if so, lucky you.

But there are those who struggle to get up from bed every morning, because just the act of living is such a struggle in and of itself. There are those who have thoughts of harming themselves and even ending their lives, because sometimes the burden feels too great and tomorrow seems so bleak and hopeless.

Your mind is a prison and depression is the warden.

If you have never experienced these things, then good for you. But maybe be more sensitive towards those who suffer through it? Trust me, depression is punishment enough on its own, without the added burden of ignorant, insensitive people like you who are only capable of seeing things through their own myopic eyes.


When Maine Mendoza, a young, up-and-coming host at Eat Bulaga, attempted to explain to Joey de Leon that depression is very real and serious, that so many people suffer from it and we should support them, he shot her down.

What. An. Ignorant. Dick.


This is why we need to raise awareness regarding mental health.

To avoid bigots like Joey de Leon from dealing further damage by propagating the lie that depression is a figment of people’s imagination, and invalidating the struggles of people who have to deal with depression every day of their lives.

To allow friends and family to understand the illness (because it is a medical condition, as much an illness as asthma or hypertension), and know how best to support their loved ones and maybe help them carry the burden, so it feels even just a bit lighter.

To lessen the instances of suicide by knowing how to spot the signs and respond accordingly, how to make the victim feel loved and less lonely and less alone.

So many people unknowingly inflict harm by being a Joey de Leon.

Guys, educate yourselves.

Be more of a Maine Mendoza in a country full of Joey de Leons, and maybe in that process, you’ll save a life.


Four letters.

One word.


And yet, her mouth refused to form the word, tongue lying inside like a dead thing.

The word lodged in her throat, stuck. Too big to push through. Too significant.

She knew she couldn’t say it, that it would be selfish of her. She knew his world was much, much bigger than this tiny corner she occupied. He was one of those people who were meant to forever be untethered.


His voice pulled her back to the real world. The present, here, now, on what she came to think of as their spot: this patch of grass where they spent many an afternoon talking about the earth, the stars, and everything in between, where she would sometimes read and he would try to distract her, until it became a game.

“Well what?” she asked, even though she knew. Of course she knew.

He stared at her, some strong emotion burning in his eyes, staining his cheeks. Then his eyes fell away, like it took great effort to keep them on hers.

“Aren’t you going to ask me to stay?” he mumbled, as if almost ashamed of the question, like it pained him to ask.

She felt a burst of anger.

How could that word have slipped so easily from his mouth, when it choked her in its enormity?

She swallowed, hard, and the word made its way down, dropping to her stomach, settling hard and heavy.

“You know I can’t,” she forced out.


“You know why.”

She was staring at the ground at this point, him still looking away. Both were determined not to look at the other. He continued rubbing his nape, eyes and cheeks hot, while she clenched and unclenched her fists, breath coming fast and shallow.

The silence stretched, precious minutes ticking away.

Was this how they wanted to spend their last moments together?

No, she decided. Definitely not.

“Come back.”

His head snapped around, eyes probing her face.

She looked up at him, her own eyes trying to answer the unspoken question in his.

“Come back,” she repeated, “for me, okay?”

“Will you-”

“I’ll wait.”

His arm lifted, as if to reach for her, but then it dropped to his side.

“Fuck. No. No!” he snapped, “I can’t make you wait for me. Look at you! You can’t waste your life waiting for someone like me.”

“Well maybe I won’t,” she snapped back, “Maybe I’ll wait for you and you’ll come and I wouldn’t have wasted my time.”

They stood there, staring at each other, fists clenched, cheeks and eyes burning.

Then finally, he nods. He reaches out to pull her in, and she lets him.

In a few hours he will be on a plane, and she will be back in her room, waiting.

But for now, there is this.

Tipan ng Tadhana

Nuong unang panahon, inatasan ni Tadhana si Kuntalapa na lumikom ng labing-isa sa pinakamagagaling na mandirigma sa buong kaharian. Bagamat malaki ang pagdududa ni Kuntalapa sa sariling kakayanan, malaki ang tiwala dito ni Tadhana, dahil bagamat hindi pa ito sanay maging pinuno ng isang grupo, alam niyang mabuti ang kalooban nito.

Hindi nagtagal ay nakahanap si Kuntalapa ng labing-isang mandirigma na ang layunin ay protektahan ang Tipan ng Tadhana.

Ang mga ginoo:

Si Pasipo na napakatamis ng tinig. Palabiro, at madalas magdala ng tuwa at tawanan sa grupo. Agad niyang napapansin kapag may nalulungkot, at gagawin niya ang lahat upang makapagpasaya, kahit ang sariling kalungkutan ay isinasantabi muna niya. Likas siyang matulungin, at likas na mabuti ang puso.

Si Agui, masayahin, matapang, mahilig sa sayawan. Mula sa malayo pa lamang, maririnig mo na siya. Marami siyang baon na kwento, kaya’t walang patay na oras kasama niya. Siya ang tipo na sinasabi ang laman ng isip. Mahirap maging kaaway, ngunit maaasahan na kaibigan.

Si Bayoa, tahimik at tila palaging malalim ang iniisip. Mukhang seryoso, ngunit kapag piniling magsalita, magugulat ka na lamang na nakakatawa pala ito. Madaling akalain na mahirap ito kaibiganin, ngunit ang totoo ay isa siyang tunay at matapat na kaibigan.

Ang mga binibini:

Si Tala, na may mga matang kasing kinang ng mga bituin. Kasing tamis ng ngiti ang kanyang pagsasalita. Napakabait niya, ngunit siya rin ay matatag at matapang. Sa anumang panahon ay handa siyang tumulong sa mga nangangailangan, nang buong puso at walang pag-aalinlangan.

Si Amihan, mahinhin at busilak ang puso. Tahimik lamang siya, ngunit malalim ang kanyang isipan. Mahilig siyang magbasa, at buong puso siyang nagsisilbi sa May Likha. Naandyan siya upang makinig at magpalakas ng loob. Matamis ang kanyang mga ngiti, kaya naman kanyang naakit si Pasipo.

Si Mayari, ang nakatatandang kapatid ni Amihan. Gagawin niya ang lahat para sa kaligayahan nito at para sa mga itinuturing niyang kaibigan. Madalas sa kilos niya ay tila brusko siya, ngunit sa ilalim nito ay isang malambot at busilak na puso. Matatakbuhan siya sa anumang problema.

Si Dal’lang, na may taglay na kagandahan at katalinuhan. Madalas nakangiti at napakadaling mapatawa. Mapagmahal na kaibigan, kahit madalas ay tila nasa alapaap ang isipan. Mahilig man itong manghampas, mahilig din siyang manlambing. Napakadaling ayain sa anumang kaganapan.

Si Lalahon, matapang at palaban, ngunit mapagkalinga. Siya ang nagsisilbing inahin ng grupo, at handa siyang protektahan ang bawat isa na tila tunay niyang mga anak. Masayahin din siya, sa halip ng pinagdadaanan sa buhay, at sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay kaniyang ikinakalat ang sayang ito sa mga kasama. Napakalaki ng kanyang puso na matapang at mapagmahal.

Si S’dop, taglay ang ganda bilang isa sa mga Maharlika. May naaangking talas ng pandinig, pang-amoy, at paningin. Madalang ang nakalalagpas sa kaniyang pansin. Masayahin at palangiti, baon niya ang tuwa at tawanan saan man siya magpunta.

Si Dihas, na taglay ang talino at bilis ng isip. Maaasahan siyang may sagot na solusyon sa anumang problema. Sa gabay ng May Likha, ginagabayan niya rin ang mga nakababatang mandirigma. Mahilig siya sa musika at magagandang bagay.

At syempre, si Anitan, may taglay na bilis ng kidlat. Kakaiba ang kanyang mga kilos at ang pag-iisip, tila galing sa ibang kaharian.

Sama-sama nilang pinrotektahan ang Tipan ng Tadhana.

Hanggang sa dumating ang araw upang umalis si Anitan at hanapin ang lupang kanyang pinanggalingan.

Napamahal na siya sa mga kasama: Ang makulit na si Pasipo, and palakwento na si Agui, ang tahimik na si Bayoa, si Tala na napakabuti, ang mahinhin na si Amihan, si Mayari na maaasahan, ang malambing na si Dal’lang, si Lalahon na napakalaki ng puso, ang masayahin na si S’dop, si Dihas na matalas ang isip, at maging ang pinuno nilang si Kuntalapa.

Ngunit alam niyang importante ding matagpuan niya ang sarili. Kaya kahit mapait, kinailangan niyang magpaalam.

Diary of First Loves and Other Silly Things: Entry 1

September 29, Tuesday

16:30 Bubble Tea Cafe, Mall

Yes, I bought this notebook on impulse. Aside from the really rockin’ cover (“I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison), what sold me is the fact that the pages are lined on one side, and blank on the other.

Today’s topic: …

Well, I was supposed to be thinking about the topic for my final paper. But as every person in this world probably knows, “what we should be doing” often doesn’t end up “what we actually do”. So instead… I find myself thinking about him.

I believe that dreams are very telling. I do not believe that they are prophetic, but I do believe that they give us an interesting peek into a person’s subconscious -how it reflects a person’s innermost fears and desires.

So I dreamt about him. So what?

I do know that I like him. And maybe it’s kinda narcissistic of me, because I wonder if I find him awesome by virtue of him being him, or me perceiving him as a reflection of myself. I wonder if his thought processes fascinate me because I fancy them so much like my own, or if it’s the parts I don’t get that intrigue me.

I’m confused, and I’m thinking: I probably shouldn’t even be thinking about this.

End entry.


“She is oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. The same elements that are inside the rest of us, but I can’t help thinking she’s-“




The tug on her ponytail wasn’t hard enough to hurt, but was hard enough to annoy.

She whipped her head around and glared at the offender.

He smiled lazily, top front teeth (just slightly bigger than the rest) appearing, blue eyes crinkling at the corners.

She tried to stay annoyed.

It was a losing battle.

He peered over her shoulder at the book on her lap. He was close enough that she can smell his shampoo and that faint scent of tobacco that told her he had smoked earlier. She wrinkled her nose, both hating the smell and hating herself for enjoying it just because it’s his and it’s him.

“What are you reading, anyway?”

She snapped the book shut and made to stand up.

“None of your business.”

Long fingers wrapped around her wrist, tugging. She plopped back down on the grass, none too gracefully.

He smirked.

“It’s one of those crappy YA books you bafflingly love, isn’t it?”

She huffed.

“Yes, it is a YA book. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I’ll have you know, it is far from crappy. In fact, the main character reminds me of you.”

“Oh?” he brought his face close to hers, “Is it because he’s charming, funny, and devastatingly intelligent?”

And he has dark hair and blue, blue eyes, and he’s confusing and complicated and so much deeper than he lets on. He cares deeply, but disguises that fact by making a joke out of most things. He’s guarded, but that’s because he has such a big heart that it’s such an easy target.

“No,” she replied, arching a brow, “it’s because he’s annoying and full of himself and he likes playing games with people.”

Suddenly, his expression turned somber. His eyes hardened with a seriousness that scared her in its intensity so that she had to look away. In the distance, wispy clouds were lazily floating across a clear blue backdrop, and she focused on them.

“I don’t play games with you.”

She sucked in a breath, but managed to keep her eyes trained on the horizon.


He drew the end of her ponytail over her shoulder, long fingers playing with the strands. She was frozen in place.

“This,” he sighed. She felt him lean his forehead against her shoulder, fingers still threaded through her hair, “is driving me crazy. And it shouldn’t, right? Why should it? It makes no sense. No fucking sense.”

Suddenly, he drew back, pushed himself off of the ground in one fluid motion, dusted off the seat of his pants, and started walking away.

“See you around!” he waved, not even bothering to look back over his shoulder.

Her fingers lifted up to touch the ends of her ponytail. She frowned.

Confusing and complicated, definitely.

She sighed. Maybe she should start wearing her hair down.



He smells like ozone.

Like the air just before a storm, charged with electricity, crackling with energy unseen.

Or maybe he doesn’t.

Maybe it’s just her. Maybe it’s just this overwhelming attraction she feels, the charge of electricity skittering along her skin at his nearness, the nearly tangible but always indefinable something hanging in the air between them.

Taking a deep breath, she risks glancing up.

In the fading light of dusk, his face is partially thrown into shadow. This near, his eyelashes stand in stark relief, thick and curling, the tips glowing golden from the setting sun. His eyes, forever shifting in color from grey to blue to green, now look like pools of molten silver mixed with gold.

He breathes her name more than says it, and she suppresses a shiver. It has always made her feel strange whenever he says her full name. Perhaps more from the way he says it than the actual saying of it. And it’s always a good strange she feels.

But today feels different somehow. There is something more to how he has said her name. Something akin to the indefinable something that always seems to hang between them.

But today, she also feels brave.

“Yes?” she asks, meeting his gaze head on. This makes his lips tilt upwards in that familiar smirk she so loves.



“Do you smell that?” he asks, a teasing note to his voice.

Bemused, she asks, “Smell what?”


Her eyes widen, but before her brain even begins to formulate a response, he closes the distance between them.

The air crackles.

The “Drawing” Life

Depression is… complicated.

And one of its little “nuances” is the phenomenon of agreeing to a social appointment and cancelling, seemingly at the last minute.

We Filipinos have a term for that. It’s called “drawing”.

This term stems from the plan never materializing, being stuck on the “drawing board”, so to speak.

Most people who do this, do it because something else suddenly comes up, or they just suddenly don’t feel like it: maybe they got lazy, or are just in the mood for something else.

For someone struggling with depression, it is somewhat similar to that, except it’s… heavier.

Most days, it’s a struggle to even get up and drag yourself out of bed. Most days, you have to mentally and emotionally prepare yourself just to face the same people you interact with everyday, because it’s that exhausting.

So to agree to a social event outside of what is normally required of you is quite something. This is a common theme among introverts as well, depressed or otherwise, but even more so for introverts struggling with depression, which category I fall under.

It’s a difficult spot to be in, because people would give you shit for “drawing” on them, and the last thing you want is for them to hate on you for that. You already hate on yourself more than enough, thankyouverymuch.

But what can you do?

This is a sickness, and as much as you try to fight it, some days the battle is too much, and you just let it drag you down, invisible weight pinning you onto your bed, and you draw circles in your mind, wondering when you can be a normal, functioning human being.