vomiting nostalgia and graduate study


A view from outside our classroom…

The first chapter of my grad study is nearing the last page. Soon, I’d be taking up a rigorous comprehensive exam – a test that will help me determine my readiness to proceed with the research and defense.

Time certainly flies fast. I could still remember my first semester, tugging no such confidence, only this deep instinct. I wasn’t like most of my peers. I was pursuing literature; yet my undegraduate study was tuned for business administration. I was different. I knew it and I didn’t care.

Because all I really wanted was to go back in school. The academic institution have long been my home. Back at school, I figured that if I messed up, I could always go back and try again. The outside world is different, though: if I scew up, I will suffer and that “suffering” is long-term in nature. …IMG_20150214_115408

I’ve come across the most amazing people I could imagine – teachers! 🙂

It’s inspiring to be surrounded by people – whose job is to make a difference in the lives of our youth. When I hear them talk about their pupils or students’ response on a certain genre,  I can’t help but experience awe. Their anecdotes are raw, freshly taken out of those classrooms.

Teachers do more than just teach. They themselves serve to stir influence. And when I see the calibre of teachers that we have, and experience the conmitment they possess, I’m most certain to believe Rizal’s words: ‘that the Filipino youth is our hope’.



unnamed verse #3


I am a memory

part of the gross substance in McDonald’s leachate,

a fragment of invisible dust in towels for-sale,

a slither of light on forgotten hollow,

a collection of tiles

broken and swept —

sidewalk trash,

a pair of hooded eyes

armed with colorful maps

on sun-kissed hands.

I am a memory

I fade, I come

I long for you

meet me once again,

when you walk the unpaved,

dusty streets of Fuente Osmeña circle.

Why I can’t craft comforting messages? (And stick to ‘My condolences’?)


Death and loss.

Bad news registers to my head.

And that’s it.


A really frail woman died last, last month. She was my grandma, my grandpa’s sister. We went to the wake twice. My mom’s quite good in the comforting department. I am a different story. I only knew how to behave, to sit still, to wear this solemn look. My curiosity urged me to look at the coffin, to remember. But memories don’t come. Because what sits at the face of this mortal end is a sleeping figure.

The second attendance took place in my mom’s province. To help the preparation, we sweep and mop the floors. It’s not a big thing because a corpse couldn’t care about cleanliness. The bleary lights of some artificial candelabra winked at me. The superstitions would come. And then the reunion took place. My lolo (grandpa) and lola (grandma) came close to the coffin to see their sister.

IT’S a heartbreaking scene. I didn’t expect it to move me (I was thinking tough, I guess). Even now, reminiscing and putting this recollection to words makes it all the most heart-wrenching. I didn’t knew grief that much. But I felt it: it was difficult for my frail lolo and lola.

I don’t have to look at their faces to see the tears. I didn’t have to hear them wail to know they’re in pain. I just have to look away and remind myself: this is death. Nothing about it is poetic.



Weeks passed and a bad news came. My high school classmate’s four year tot passed away. The shock was odd. Most days, I’d see her FB posts and click ‘Like’ because I found their pictures together cute and cool and everything motherhood could have been.

The kid got ill. He didn’t make it. Another death unfolding in front of my well-constructed wall.


At the face of these intimate losses, I figured out something: death is straightforward. When you die, you cease to exist. Nothing more, nothing less. But loss… it’s a whole different sullen concept. It’s an experience, a reminder, and awful kind at that. It tests you — your faith, your belief system, your you.

When the Pope came to visit Yolanda victims, I remember his sincere offering: silence. It was humble of him to acknowledge the lack of words for these victims. Perhaps, its because I often find everyone to avoid offering this same thing. When our lola and my friend’s kid went, words came outpouring. Some pieced out sincere messages. The keywords consisted of “God’s will”, “there is a reason”, et cetera.

I couldn’t bring myself to say or type those words, too.

It’s painful. And words that do heal may not really come from me.