Category Archives: Old Journals

A Face in the Crowd

December 15, 2003, 3F, end of the hall

And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire.

—Stephenie Meyer, New Moon


I miss you, my dearest friend. I find myself searching the crowd for your familiar face. For even the tiniest semblance on them of you. But as always, I see nothing. For there could never be another one like you. A whisper, a glance, or even a slight nod would have sufficed to make me believe that people still know I exist. But none came.

Your departure left me in fragments and, more poignantly, in tears. How can I survive this place without you? Without the warmth of your bedimpled smile—which always held just a hint of naughtiness behind them—the rooms seem cold and unfriendly. Without the comfort of your presence, our school seems unforgiving and harsh.

As I reminisce about the times we spent here together (as I am wont to do every now and then), I hear your laughter once more, echoing loudly  as it bounced against the walls. I was so accustomed to seeing the cocky way you walk, sashaying up and down the narrow hallway like some glamorous movie star and beaming at everyone you pass by. But then you went away abruptly, had your baby, got married, and moved abroad. And I never saw you again.

From the moment you came up to me and asked me where the administration office was, I knew we would become fast friends. I know now that I will never be the same again. As your laughter fades from the halls and your scent disappears from the room we shared as penniless students, I wonder what life has in store for me. Will I survive graduating without you? Will I have to venture out into the real world alone?




Dream Journal #5


Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake? 

—Leonardo da Vinci

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She had another dream about you last night. It’s been so long since the last time, but like the previous ones, they still sweep the rug from under and floored her. Every time.

She was at school and by the landing she saw L in a guard’s uniform. As she was making her way down the steps, she saw you wearing the same thing. You were climbing up the stairs toward her. We took a walk around the front gardens. They talked and laughed like they haven’t talked and laughed before. The boy said he and L were on guard duties as part of a community volunteer service. For the first time—and only in her dreams—he was so easy to talk to.

Suddenly, they were sitting down on a row of benches in an unusually deserted park, and he was wearing something more casual. She asked him about his girlfriend. He said that you had a girlfriend for a while but it ended not too l0ng ago. She argued that the status in his social media profile was still “in a relationship.” He explained that he kept it that way so no one would bother asking him why he was still single. Then they boy said something funny, and the girl slapped his leg affectionately. The next thing they knew, they were holding hands while making their way back to the building. They walked like it was the most natural thing to do in the world.

It was at this point that her imagination took over because the dream ended with an  anticipation of a kiss as the boy lowered his lips to meet hers.


She woke up shivering from cold. It seemed funny because the sun was shining quite brightly outside her window, and there was only a slight cool breeze coming in. Maybe the shirt she wore to sleep was just a little too thin and that the still cold draft of the early morn crept up her spine. Or maybe it was the lingering feeling of anticipating for that kiss, which almost always never happens in all her dreams of him. She may never know. But all she knew was this, she missed him. She feared that she will never see that boy again. All she had of him now was just a lifetime of memories and a series of frustrating dreams.

She  went downstairs to buy lunch when the answer to her dream came assailing through my ears. The girl remembered that old cheesy love song the boy used to sing to her when he called her one day. It may be the corniest love song ever but for a brief moment, it made her smile.

Way back then, she remembered cradling the phone close to her chest as she smiled. That smile was frozen on her face all day long because of that call. They were so young but even then, she knew it was love. It wasn’t just infatuation one bestows upon a cute boy and then just quickly take it right back and offer it to the next cute boy in sight.  No, what they had was real, and she will treasure it for a lifetime.

Life is too short to live in perpetual frustrations and undying guilt. But if it was all she have left of the boy, then the girl would gladly accept an eternity of anguish. That’s how much he meant and forever will be to her.


In Retrospect: Doormat

Bedroom, May 11, 2014

“If they don’t appreciate your presence, perhaps you should try giving them your absence.”

–Tinku Razoria

313721_155033961252771_161781144_n-11155842_stdI got home from work and was looking for a hot meal to cap off my day. But instead of an inviting smell of dinner wafting from the kitchen, I was greeted by a locked door. And upon opening said door, there he was in the doorway, gulping down a glass of water as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He could have just opened the door for me, so I wouldn’t have to fumble with my keys. But no, he stood there next to the refrigerator with a blank look on his face.

So instead of the promise of food to fill me up after a hard day’s work, I had to cook dinner for the both of us. It would’ve been fine since I’m used to cooking my own supper, except for the fact that he was home all day long while I was toiling away at work. But I digress!

After dinner though, I had to wash and put away the dishes, while he went straight to his room to rub gunk out of his irritated eyes and go back to his so-called work. What burns me even more is he had the gall to mock me while I was finishing with the dishes.

By the way, it’s Mother’s Day today and instead of celebrating the joys and extolling the virtues of being a woman, I felt so darn unappreciated. I feel like a a dirty rag that has outlived its usefulness and tossed unceremoniously aside without so much as a glance. I may not be a mother, but I’m still a woman who gets fed up with being treated like a housemaid.

So let’s review, shall we! 1. He didn’t open the door even though he was just a few steps away, 2. I had to cook dinner for the both of us when I just got home and tired from work, 3. didn’t offer to help with the dishes and mocked me while I was doing it, 4. treated me like a maid who caters to his every whim, 6. acted like he didn’t care, and 7. ignored my advice time and time again not to rub his eyes to keep from getting even more irritated.

Sometimes I wonder why I bothered having a boyfriend at all!





Flashback Journal: Harangued

Bedroom, Mar. 17, 2014

“Mama said there’ll be days like this, there’ll be days like this, Mama said…”

The Shirelles, “Mama Said”

I haven’t slept a wink and was running late for work today. Just as I sat down to open my tools, the person sitting next to me told me they were asked to take in OE (Order Entry; basically, sales) chats since yesterday, due to the overflow from India. Having been from my RD (rest day), I immediately asked if I could take OE chats instead of billing. Apparently, I was not among those shortlisted to take in sales chats, even though I’ve had 4 years worth of experience. I argued my case and pleaded to switch my chat login to OE, but nada. In other words, I had to take miserable billing chats for my entire shift, which sucked big time.

The first 2 chats were a pain, and the other one was a Supchat, which the Escalations team refused to take due to a technicality. And while I was wrestling with my 2 chats, Little Miss Clueless TL (Team Leader) came by and cracked a joke about my termination. Needless to say, I was not amused.

Then I had coaching with my TL, who was feeling extra self-important today, about my so-called “bitchy” attitude. I sat there fuming silently, while TL Self-Important reviewed a perfectly fine chat flow. I was under the impression that they were trying to dissect my every move, just so they could feel superior about themselves and their ability to make mountains out of molehills, or maybe they just wanted me to resign before I was eligible for the 5-year retirement plan. I’m strongly leaning toward the latter.

And today’s the first day of my period, which seems to be the cherry on top of a craptastic day! Nothing like bleeding from your nether regions to set the mood for the whole day. Ugh!

The Musical of Life

Bedroom, Mandaue, Apr. 26, 2013


I wish my life was a Broadway musical.

It would start as spectacularly upbeat and full of promise. I meet my True Love and it would be rainbows and cupids every waking moment we’re together. We would declare our undying love for each other in a beautifully poignant ballad with our voices blending in perfect harmony.

Towards the middle, we’d go through the climactic tension when we shed copious amounts of tears amid the cruelty of a world trying its best to keep two lovers apart. Finally, we reach the inevitable ending where it could only go two ways: a glorious happy-ever-after or a heart-wrenching tragedy.

After the big finish, the curtains close and the actors go out on stage to make their gracious bows. The suffering ends.

Sadly, in real life, the pain goes on and on. Some days, it fades to a dull ache. While on others, it feels like your heart and soul is being ripped apart over and over again in an endless loop.

In musicals, the guy always strive to win the girl back, against all odds. In reality, boys lose interest over time. The rose-colored glasses come off and you will see your beloved as someone who is as flawed as everyone else.

Beauty is fleeting. Those traits you’ve previously thought were endearing annoys you to no end. You realize you’ve suddenly stopped whispering sweet nothings to his ear and only scathing criticisms tumble out of your month day in and day out.

On stage, lovers would sing their reprise and re-affirm their love before reuniting in a sweet, sweet embrace. In life, there are no do-overs. Tears cannot be wiped with kisses. No lingering hugs can cut through unspoken words. Sometimes, regrets stay with you your whole life.

If my life were a musical, would my beloved shout my name into the heavens? Will I burst out in song over every emotion? When will I find my destiny? Where is my happy ending?


To Be or Not To Be a “Big Sister”

Bedroom, CDO, Feb. 12, 2007

Calling our parents, elder siblings, relatives and older friends and acquaintances certain honorifics are part of Filipino culture. At the very beginning of their formative years, every child learns to call elders with a title preceding their name. A grandmother becomes “Lola“, grandfather is “Lolo“, the elder brother is “Kuya” and an older sister is “Ate“.

Lately, I’ve been thinking. What exactly is the definitive description of a big sister? What does it mean to be an “Ate” and how does one behave like so?

I have two younger sisters and for the life of me, I don’t believe I think and act as a model for those two. Not when our eldest fills the position so well. She walks, talks and God knows, she reprimands like a big sister.
I guess I never really thought I could be an exemplary role model to my younger siblings. So I never tried. And why should I? When we already have a big sister looking over us.

Although, back when my little sisters were still young and blissfully unaware of how screwed up a person I really am, they at least respected me a little. They would ask me for help with their homeworks, valued my opinion about seemingly important but mediocre stuff at school and life in general, and looked up to me somehow as someone who knew something at least. But now that they’re grown up and are on the process of discovering their place in the world it seems that I have fallen behind. Sometimes I feel that they have outgrown and “out-matured” me. Yes, I feel like my two younger sisters are infinitely more mature than 25 year old me. Pathetic but oh so true!

Anyways, what prompted me to self-destruct like this and ponder these depressing facts is that my new boardmate, a 21- year old nursing graduate who is about to take IELTS/TSE exam right next door to me, calls me -yep, you guessed it!- Ate.

Not that it bothers me, of course. I even insisted he calls me that because of the era-like difference between our ages. Talk about generation gap!

Anywho, as I was saying. I look old. I feel old, Yet I don’t act old or at least, mature enough for my age. Here I am. 25 and on the verge of graduation, facing an uncertain but promising future. And yet I still have trouble deciding which color shoes I like best on my tiny feet, or dealing with the fear of shopping for cabinets and like accessories for my room all by lonesome, or battling with myself every weekend to go out of my boarding house because I’m too afraid and feel guilty to spend any amount of money for my own leisure.

Maybe my friend Noems had it right after all! I’m still immature and naïve.

How very sad. How very un-Ate like.


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This Thesis Will Be The Death of Me!!!

Bedroom, CDO, Mar. 10, 2007

I am working feverishly on my thesis these days. I have very little time with all the mundane things that I have to do to survive my miserable existence all by my lonesome, here in a city I have chosen over my own home. Washing my clothes, cleaning my room and even taking out the garbage seem to take a backstage to my taking up residence in front of the PC.

I still do my grocery shopping weekly but only because my body needs food to live. If food came in capsule forms, I would’ve bought a bottleful just to forgo eating and waste precious time chewing and digesting food. The only thing that gets me through the day is the gallons of coffee I gulp down to keep my mind and body alert.
Most of my spare time is spent on worrying, working, stressing and worrying over my thesis. I’m taking Stresstabs but they don’t seem to be working.

With all this stress, one would think that I’d have lost weight at least, but no. Every glob of cellulite in my body seemingly converges around my waist and hips. I read somewhere that typing burns calories. Hah! I’d like to clobber the researcher senseless for writing such obvious lies. I don’t even have time for my regular exercises and it’s been ages since I’ve done my yoga. As a result, I now look like I have a skin-tone floater fitted snuggly around my waist making my hips dangerously close to measuring 28 in pant size.

But on the upside though, my typing speed is now averaging between 32-40 wpm (words per minute), according to the typing tutor I had tried during lab time out of sheer boredom from the dull monotony of my classes.
In addition to Stresstabs, I take Vitamin C to give my immune system a boost and I keep a steady supply of asthma medications just in case my chronic condition starts acting up, as it usually does when I’m stressing out, PMS-ing (which is the Scrubs version of Dysmenorrhea or Pre-menstrual Syndrome)or just downright depressed.

It doesn’t help matters that the only topics we were allowed for our study hasn’t been done successfully yet. Only recently have there been a sort of break. Previous researchers have finally made a full-fledged running game after working for over a year. We, on the other hand, have only a couple of months to complete, run and document our thesis. Talk about pressure!

There’s got to be a better way to graduate than doing thesis.. If only.