January 31, 2015


Arlene* and Marc* were my classmates in my Caregiver Course. Arlene is an unwed mother. At 21, she was a pretty and hot mother of Sean, 4 years old at that time. Then, Marc came. He was living with Karen and they had 2 kids. Karen’s parents sent Marc to school hoping that he would be able to provide for Karen and the children. But then, Marc met Arlene. Then things got complicated.
Since we knew about Karen, Marc tried to disguise his interest in Arlene as, purely, friendly. But I was too old and had seen too many people with various expressions to know better. But I didn’t ask. First, because it was none of my business. The least I could do was express my concern. Second, because if they consider me a friend, I didn’t need to ask, they would tell me if they wanted to.
Of the two, it was Arlene who was closer to me. And as I expected, she came to me one day and told me about her feelings to Marc and that Marc felt the same way about her. I knew she wasn’t asking me for advice, she was just letting me know what’s going on. Still, I had to have my say. I didn’t take Karen’s side nor Arlene and Marc’s but I reminded them that there were children involved, and not just any other children but THEIRS.
Several months ago,  I saw Arlene and Sean. Arlene was pushing a stroller with a cute baby girl, Marc’s and hers.

January 30, 2015

Friendship for a House

Edgar is a hard worker. He works day and night. His parents had been poor and they lived in a very small house. When Edgar got old, he promised to build a house of his own. So, he worked. He accepted any job that pays. He was determined to save money for his house. One day, one of his co-workers, Ador, invited him to have fun after work. Edgar politely refused. He didn’t want to spend his money. It was meant for his house.
Years passed by but Edgar’s money was still not enough to build the house that he wanted. He was beginning to lose hope that his dream would come true. He was getting old and weak. If he doesn’t build his house soon while he still can, then he never would and his dream would never come true.
One day, Edgar had a minor accident. He slipped and fell on the floor. Ador, the one who invited him after work several years ago, helped him up. He led Edgar to a chair and handed him a towel covered ice cube for his bump. Edgar thanked him. Ador smiled and said..
You’ve been working so hard ever since you came here. It seems like you don’t have time for anything else, least of all.. fun”
I have to save money so I could build a house.” said Edgar.
Ador looked at him and asked..
What kind of house do you have in mind?”
Something big with rooms and a loft, in case of flood. I want a sturdy house. One that will last long..”
Well, tell me about it over a bottle of beer..”
Edgar was about to refuse when Ador cut him out..
Do you want to build your house or not?”
Edgar simply nodded..
Well then, come on and let’s talk about it…”
Ador took him in a simple diner outside the factory. There he saw most of his co-workers who were either eating, drinking or simply talking with each other. They greeted Ador and nodded at Edgar who nodded back.
Ador ordered two bottles of beer, one for Edgar and another one for himself. Then, he called their co-workers and told them Edgar had to build a house and that he needed their help. Edgar started to say that he didn’t need anything but Ador silenced him and continued with what he was saying. In the end, he asked if there was any one who is willing to help Edgar and everybody said ‘I do.’
That weekend, Edgar started to build the house of his dream. With him were hi co-workers who helped out in anyway they can. Every weekend, any one who is available came and spend a few hours to help Edgar. At the end of each working day, they would share a few bottles of beer, talk and sing.
After a few months, Edgar’s house was nearly finished. It was as big as he dreamed it to be and he was sure it was as sturdy as he wished. After all, it was he and his friends who built it.
Now Edgar has not only a house, but also a group of friends who are willing to help..
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 29, 2015

Accepting Your Nature

One of the most difficult things in life is knowing your flaws. But more difficult still is accepting those flaws. We may try to change ourselves, which is usually the most sensible thing to do, but more often than not, we end up frustrated.
I was already in college when I realized how disorganized a person I was. I thought at first that I was just too lazy, too lazy to clean up, too lazy to put things back, too lazy to do anything. So, I tried.. and tried… and tried, but I ended hating myself because I couldn’t be as organized as other people.
Then, I started working and I realized that I wasn’t lazy at all. I was a student assistant in my university but in a year that I worked,  I never called in sick, nor did I come to work late. As a matter of fact, I even worked overtime without filing for overtime pay while completing my OJT in Industrial Psychology, writing my thesis and writing my case study in Clinical Psychology. I am, in fact, a hard worker.
When I started to work officially after college, I realized another painful and embarrassing truth, I couldn’t work in a clean and organized surrounding. I was more at home with, yes.. mess.
Needless to say, my table was the most cluttered and messy table in a company of hundreds employees. I tried cleaning it but my attempt at organizing took me only as far as alphabetizing my suppliers’ file, and that’s all. What surprised my boss and my co-workers, however, was that I was always the first to hand in daily, weekly and monthly reports. Not only that, my reports were flawless and user friendly. I could find anything, anything, they asked of me in a matter of seconds, about 2 minutes tops. What more, I could answer every single question they asked of me even without consulting my file which I bring out only for reference, in case they wouldn’t take my word for it.
It doesn’t mean though that I would take being organized for granted. I still believe that other people prefer to be neat and organized but at this point in time, I think I just have to accept what I’m not and use what I am for my advantage.

January 28, 2015

When Things Get Tough

Pearl* is a distant cousin of mine. We grew up together, and when we got old, our closeness though waned a little, did not completely disappear.
When she fell in love and married Zack*, for some reasons, we were disconcerted. But since all we wanted was her happiness, we had to be happy for her. They seemed happy alright. Zack proved to be a good provider. Pearl was like a queen. She put up a buy and sell business and money lending. Though we didn’t conform with her high interest, we left her alone.
After ten years, Zack crossed paths with his ex-girlfriend. It wasn't long before he left his family to go live with the other woman. So, Pearl had to work to support their three kids,. Then the youngest, a girl of barely a year old, was diagnosed with cancer. Pearl had to sell all the properties she and Zack had acquired. No support came from Zack. It was Pearl alone who took all the responsibilities.
After two years of chemotherapy, the little girl died, leaving Pearl physically exhausted and emotionally battered.
 *not real name

January 27, 2015

The Mother Who Never Cried

Aling Minda is a widow. She has a daughter, Carla, who means the world to her. She did not remarry and focused all her time and energy on raising Carla by herself. All she ever wanted was for Carla to grow up the fine woman she dreamed her daughter to be. She fed her, clothed her, sent her to school, wrapped her in love and affection only a  mother could give.
At first, it seems like all her efforts paid off because Carla grew up to be a smart, kind and fine lady. However, when Carla got a little older, she started to talk back to her mother. She started to complain about their way of life. She started to blame her mother for being what she is. She started to detest her mother's presence. She started to see every wrong thing her mother did.
Aling Minda knew how her daughter feels about her. She didn't know what had gone wrong or what she did wrong because she knew she did all she could to make everything right for her daughter. Where Aling Minda grew up, there was an old belief that every drop of tear your mother shed because of you will get back at you a thousand fold. She knew it. She believed it and she didn't want it to happen to Carla.
So, every time Carla talks back at her or disobeys her or snaps at her, she would go to her room and slit her leg with a blade. Then she would cry so hard focusing on the pain in her leg and completely forget about Carla and how she behaved. When she felt better, she wound tend to her wound and face her daughter again as if nothing had happened. Carla didn't have any idea or she didn't care how much she was hurting her mother.
Despite Carla's malevolence, Aling Minda never gave up. Though she knew how Carla felt about her, she never stop correcting her daughter's mistakes and instilling the principles she wanted Carla to grow up with.  After several years, Carla finished her education and found a stable job. She grew up a very fine and respectable woman, smart and strong. She held a position of leadership given only to a few. Aling Minda would look at her daughter and thanked the heavens for such a wonderful daughter.
Then one day, Aling Minda had a stroke. Carla rushed her to the hospital. After a few hours, Aling Minda was declared out of danger and was taken to a private room. When the mother and daughter were left alone, Carla asked Aling Minda about the numerous scars found in both her left and right legs. Carla couldn't remember her mother getting involved in any accident that might result in those scars.
But Aling Minda didn't want her daughter to feel guilty over things that are now in the past, so she invented a story on how she got her scars. After several more years, Aling Minda passed away. Carla buried Aling Minda knowing her mother loved her but she would never knew just how much.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 26, 2015

Question Answered

Nine years ago, on this same day, my father was reunited with our creator. It was the dreadful big ‘C’. Two years prior to that, both my parents migrated to the United States to live with my sister Liz. It was a dream come true for my father and for a while, he lived the dream and I was happy for him.
I thank the Lord for giving him those two years. But more than that, I thank Him for the last whole month He gave my father so that he could live with us, for the opportunity He gave us to tend to my father’s needs and show my father how much he meant to us.
When my father was laid to his final resting place. I had a question more important than the others. Had I been a good daughter? Had I been smart enough and kind enough? Had I been the daughter he hoped and wanted me to be? Had he been proud of me?
At the time, my children were still very young and they needed my attention. So, I had to get hold of myself, I couldn’t succumb to grief. I had to set aside the pain of losing one of the most important persons in my life. I was not able to mourn for my father properly. So, that question lingered, and it lingers still..
Had I been a good daughter?

Now, as I look at my own children, I think I have the answer. My children may not be the nicest and the smartest kids, but they are mine and I raise them with love and affection only a mother could give, and they are my pride and joy, and that is the answer. Neither technology nor modernization could change what children are to their parents.
I am proud of my children as my father was of me..
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January 25, 2015


Dory* was a widow with three children when I got to know her. In fairness to her, she was a hard worker. She sold various things from frozen meat to plastic wares. Then she met Dindo* and they got married. Dindo was quiet but very nice. He took Dory and helped her raise her kids. After a few years, Dindo and Dory had two children of their own.
Dindo worked abroad and Dory put up a business. She started a piggery and a poultry. She also bought and sold rice by wholesale. From an impoverished widow, Dory became a cunning businesswoman. But she was still not contented. There was something more she wanted. So, I wasn’t surprised when I learned that Dory got a lover, a handsome police officer who was known to be a womanizer in our town.The affair went on for a few years until Dindo found out. I didn’t know how, but he just did. Dindo broke up with Dory but Dory got to keep the business and the children who received financial support from their father.
After a few more years, Dr. Javier, a physician who has lived in the US for decades has come back in our town. He met Dory when one of her children got sick and was taken to the doctor’s clinic. Dory learned that Dr. Javier was just back in our town for a visit and more importantly, that Dr. Javier was a widow.Before long, it was rumored that they were having an affair. Soon, Dr. Javier went back to the States. After several months, Dory left her children to join him.
As was natural, the townspeople got tired of talking about Dory. And that was when her two younger children left to join their mother and Dr. Javier in the States.
For some reasons, when I think of the word WOMAN, I think of Dory..
 *not real name

January 24, 2015

The Grumpy Old Man by the Bridge

During rainy seasons, Bayanihan street is always flooded. Pedestrians, particularly students, have a hard time crossing. The problem with the road is that it is actually uneven, so even if you make it on the shallow part, chances are, you wouldn’t make it on the deeper part. It was either you risk getting wet from the waist down or stay the night until the water subsides.
As soon as the rain started to fall, the pedestrians expect the worst. So, they were surprised to find a wooden plank they can cross one rainy season. The improvised bridge was manned by a grumpy old man they got to know eventually as Tibo. He carried with him an old greasy can for coins which he waved at the people crossing the bridge.
Tibo was a former soldier who left the service when his wife died. Though he never talked about it, his military orientation manifests itself in Tibo. Every single one is to fall in line, no pushing, no pulling. He doesn’t tolerate any dilly dallying while crossing the bridge as it may cause delay to other passersby. He made sure every single one drop a coin which he called tax.
As the rainy season passed by, there were additions to the improvised bridge. Poles were erected on both sides with a horizontal bar that held them together. It became easier for the people to cross because they had something to hold on to while crossing. There were also lads to help people, especially the elderly or delicate women, to cross. The plank was also changed as soon as it was no longer safe for crossing.
At first, the pedestrians were relieved and thankful. Eventually, they got tired of Tibo’s rules of discipline. They started to complain and make snide comments. But Tibo didn’t mind them. They probably didn’t realize that all the coins they were giving were used to maintain the bridge. However, Tibo didn’t explain that to them, he didn’t need to. Let them talk all they want. He has a bridge to man.
Year after year, the improvised bridge was put up by Tibo ang his little helpers. And year after year, the people complain. Then one rainy day, Tibo didn’t show up to man the bridge. Rumors had it he was sick and had to stay in bed.
Consequently, no one was manning the bridge. The passersby rejoiced. No more grumpy old man and no more tax. But Tibo’s little helpers didn’t show up as well, so no one was helping the elderly, making it longer for them to cross the improvised bridge. Then, at the middle of the rainy season, the poles of the bridge went missing. They were stolen. Now, the people found it more difficult to cross.
The people began wishing Tibo would get well really soon. Things were better when he was there. Before the rainy season ended, even the plank was stolen. Now, there was no more bridge and the pedestrians were back where they used to be.
The year passed by and the rainy season came again. The people were so happy when they saw Tibo putting up a wooden plank. With a scowl on his once handsome face, he barked the rules to people who were so relieved to see him they put out their wallet to give not only coins but also bills.
 (Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 23, 2015

Friends for Convenience

By the end of summer, I received a very unexpected call. In my surprise, I grabbed my phone and asked the caller if he really was the name appearing on the screen. Even after he identified himself, I still couldn’t believe I was talking to him.
I learned eventually that he had a problem and he was asking me if I know of someone who could help him. I mentioned a number of people who I thought might do so and even provided him with cellphone numbers. Probably in really deep trouble, he forgot to ask me how I was. Funny, because I was dying to know how he had been.
I met this person more than 20 years ago and we had been friends since. Even after we graduated from college, we still got in touch with each other going out once in a while. He promised he would give me a ride in his very first car, he would take me places I’ve wanted to go, and so on. He was just starting his business at the time.
Then, he was given breaks after breaks. He had been so busy he probably forgot about me. A few years passed and I learned from someone else that he was making it big time. Guess he was making it real big he couldn’t spare a thought for an old buddy. But surprisingly, I didn’t feel bad about being ignored, I was just happy that he got what he’d always dreamed of, that makes one of us, right?
Then, after almost a decade, I received that call. So, he got my new number after all. I changed numbers 5 years ago and he was among those I informed, good thing I took the chance to let him know.
He asked if I know a lawyer. I got so worried I forgot to ask why he needed one. I just gave him the name and number of my lawyer-friend. It was a brief call but a welcome one for me. Afraid I might interfere with whatever problem he had that time, I waited for him to call again.
He did.  This time, the call was more cheerful. He said I was the first person that came into his mind because he knew he could always count on me and I would help him without asking any questions. Yes, I AM that. But for some reasons hearing him said it reminded me of the word convenient and it didn’t make me feel good. Then, he told me about himself and what had happened to him for the past 10 years.
I was glad and I told him so. But what really made me happy was his getting in touch in me. He asked me if we could go out just like old times and I said that would be very nice. That was several months ago. He’s been setting a schedule since then but he kept on cancelling it.
Well, I guess he’s just REALLY busy, huh?
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January 22, 2015

Against the Odds

Nick* and Flor* were just out of high school when they eloped and for that, they lost the support of their families and they received numerous thumbs downs from the elders.
Without money of their own and with their families against them, they only had brains and determination between the two of them. Aware that Flor was smarter than he was, Nick worked for both of them, as a messenger, as a waiter and even as a janitor. He sent Flor to college and after four years, Flor had become a teacher.
With her good credentials, Flor was accepted to teach in high school then she sent Nick to college. It took longer for Nick to finish his course because he was working and studying at the same time. Then, Flor had their first baby and they had to take turns babysitting.
After six years in college, Nick finally finished his course and became a teacher like his wife. They had two more children. Now, in their late fifties, they are among the finest and most respectable couple in our town.
Cheers to you, Sir and Ma’am!
 *not real name

January 21, 2015

The Hidden Spring

Ramon inherited a big parcel of land from a distant but wealthy uncle who died of old age. In the middle of it stood a big house. It was surrounded by lush flower and vegetable gardens. Compared to their previous accommodation, the inheritance was a paradise. It was the perfect place to live except that the bigger part of the land was wooded.
When Ramon asked around what was in the woods, nobody knew. So, he just left it be. Who knows what kind of monsters were lurking in there.
For years, Ramon and his family lived not knowing what was in the woods. There were a few times when he was tempted to take a hike and find out more about his uncle’s land, now his, but always, caution took better of him and he decided against exploring the land.
Then drought came upon the town. Plants withered and animals died. The well where Ramon gets potable water was nearly dried up and if it didn’t rain for the next few weeks, it would dry up altogether. One day, a friend came to Ramon’s house and invited him to join them. They were going to the next town to find some water. Ramon looked at his wife and now almost grown up children and made a decision. He was going to find water. That night, while Ramon was packing his things, his oldest son, fourteen-year old Lito came to the room and asked.
What if you don’t find any water, Father?”
We will..”
But what if you don’t?”
Annoyed, Ramon answered..
Then, we’re going to die..”
Lito got scared. He didn’t want any of them to die. The following morning, he watched as his father and the other men from the town left to find some water. They had with them a cart pulled by a horse. The cart was loaded with several water containers of various sizes and shapes. When the group disappeared from his sight, Lito climbed up the roof of the house. From there, he could see his father and his companions. But not only that, he also saw the crown of some trees, green and lush, past the dried trees and plants at the wooded part of their land.
He came down and told his mother about what he saw. But his mother was too terrified to let Lito go to the woods. Nobody knew what was in there and her son might have just imagined the green crowns of the trees. Fortunately, Ramon and the other men came back after a couple of days. The water he brought home got them through the drought.
But the next year didn’t get any better or the year next to that. Every summer, the wells dried up and Ramon and the other men in town had to leave to find some water for their family. When Lito was old enough and strong enough to go, he did. Between them, they got more water.
Several years had passed. Ramon got too old to find water during the summer. It was Lito who joined the men now. But one day, they came back empty handed. There was no water to be found in the nearby towns.
We’re all going to die, thought Lito. Then, he remembered the green crowns of trees he saw from the roof ten years ago. Lito looked at his father sleeping on the bed. He knew Ramon would not approve, but his approval wouldn’t mean anything anymore if they all die.
Lito gathered the other men. Each carried a weapon and a container of water. One by one, with Lito leading them, each man went deeper into the wooded area. Gradually, the woods changed, from dried plants to green bushes and trees. The temperature also went cooler. The men went deeper and deeper until they came upon a paradise of tall trees. Running between the trees is a silver ribbon of cold spring adorned with moss covered rocks on each side.
It was indeed a paradise and Lito couldn’t believe they didn’t know about it all these years just because they were too scared to find out.
The men filled their containers with water and filed out of the woods with smiles on their faces and hope in their hearts that they are going to survive the summer and the summers yet to come.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 20, 2015

Fear of the Unknown

I used to be a daredevil. I wasn’t scared of anything or anyone. I did what I wanted to do without regards, whatsoever, to consequences. Call it youth, call it stupidity, but whatever it was, it was there and I couldn’t shake myself off it nor did I even try.
But consequences have a way of getting even and no one, not even the most elusive and most cautious of all perpetrators, could get away with it.. for long. So, my handiwork, most of which were destructive both to myself and other people, caught up with me and I paid the price for my indiscretions.
People pay for their mistakes, but for how long? How many times must a person get hurt in order to make up for the uncountable times he hurt others? I don’t know and I’m afraid to find out. So, I started to live in the abyss of irrational consternation.
Years have passed and I got older and supposedly wiser. But the fire of long ago has been extinguished, never to be relit, or so I say for now. Sometimes, I miss my days of spontaneity and recklessness. There are things I still want to try but wouldn’t and couldn’t. I grew too wary. It’s not necessarily failure I’m afraid of but the idea that I may not have time to rectify a new mistake I might commit for acting on impulse.
Yes, I’m afraid. Though I know I’m not supposed to be, I still am. I’m fighting with teeth and claw but fear always sneaks on me from behind my back and before I know it I’m choked and immobile with fright. I don’t like to feel this way so I fight it.
Maybe someday I’d get myself free from this paralyzing fear. I just wrote it down believing that it would help to talk it out for now.
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January 19, 2015

The Promise

When I was in college, my boyfriend gave me a paperweight, an hourglass. For me it was just a pretty little thing with blue sand. What really touched my heart was the note written in the card attached to the gift. The note said:
I shall not promise you FOREVER because forever is too short a time for my love. So, I shall but promise to love you each day and every year to come…”
I found it really sweet. Though it doesn’t mean anything now because we parted ways and we haven’t seen each other for a long time. As a matter of fact, why I still remember the entire note is a puzzle to me.
Maybe I just have a good memory or maybe the note stuck in the memory because it is such a sweet sweet promise. But just like any other promise, it was meant to be broken and IT, indeed, was…

January 18, 2015

The Window

Once there was a big house across the plaza of a small town. It was inhabited by a kind and wealthy family. Though the couple has so much money, they were unhappy. Their son, their only child, got sick and was getting worse every day. The boy was once a healthy lad, smart and kind hearted just like his parents. One day, he fell ill. He was taken to the best doctors and hospitals but he only got worse. His father gave him the best room in the house with a big window where he could look out and see the whole town. Every day, the boy would be seen looking out from his window. Every day, he would watch other children playing at the plaza, couple walking down the road and vendors selling various oddities. He would wave at them and smile at them and they would smile back at him. When he died, the whole town mourned for the passing of the boy.
After several years, the house was sold to a politician. Though he appeared to be charitable, the politician was mean. The man was jealous and possessive. He was cruel to his wife whom he kept locked inside the room with the big window. The unhappy lady was not allowed to leave the house nor to have visitors. She could not speak unless permitted to do so. She was a prisoner in her own home. She would be seen peeking from the window every once in a while. One night, the lady threw herself off the window. She was rushed to the hospital. But since she lost her will to live long before she fell, she died.
Several years had passed. The house with the big window remained unoccupied until a family arrived. Unlike the former inhabitants, the family was not of great wealth. Father was a bank employee and Mother was a small-time businesswoman. They have a grown-up son and almost grown-up daughter. The family was nice and, except for the daughter who was a little wild,  got along well with the townspeople. After a few years, the daughter got a little older and on some very fine nights, she was seen climbing down the big window to meet her boyfriend somewhere. After a few more years, the daughter got pregnant and for the first time after the big house was built, a wedding was celebrated. The succeeding years were happy and fruitful. The son got married, had a family of his own and moved out of the big house. The daughter and her family migrated abroad which left Father and Mother to grow old and die together.
A few years after the death of the previous occupants, another family moved in the big house. But this time, there was only an unmarried daughter and her old sickly father. The daughter was a kind and gentle lady who chose to devote her whole life taking care of her father. She would be seen carrying a basket at the market, walking along the street going to or coming from the church and pushing her father’s wheelchair at the plaza. She was a nice lady who kept candies in her purse in case she came across small children in the street and who exchanged recipes with neighbors. Her father, a retired Literature professor, was equally nice. He always had a nice story to tell older children and a ready square of colored paper for origami to entertain smaller children. Most of the time, he would be seen looking out of the window of the big house to watch pedestrians go back and forth. When he died a few years after they came, the town mourned his passing. Eventually, the daughter was offered a teaching position in the public school. She soon married a widower and moved out of the big house.
This time, the big house was no longer its old majestic self. Compared with the new houses built more recently, it now stood more of a relic than the house it once was, an eyesore to the new generation of citizens armed with various electronic gadgets. It was an accommodation only the poor and desperate would live in. So, when a single mother with two small children moved in, the townspeople felt pity. She was a newly widowed young woman who sells refreshments in a cart to support her children. She takes her children with her in the plaza where she sells her goodies. At night, the light in the room with the big window would be seen from the street and  the noise of children’s laughter would be heard. After a few months, the small family was settled and was accepted as part of the community.
Then one night, the widow, tired by working the entire day, fell asleep on a chair while cooking supper for her children. She woke up amidst the smoke that filled the entire kitchen and probably the entire ground floor of the big house. She ran upstairs and scooped her two children off the bed. But when she was about to go down and out of the house, the stairs gave out trapping the family on the second floor. The widow ran back to the room and directly to the big window. As she expected, there already were people yelling at her to come out. As the smoke was almost everywhere already, she knew there was only very little time. She looked out the window and yelled..
Please, save my children…”
Then, she saw a blanket being held by the people and without thinking twice threw her older child on it. Then, she saw another blanket being held for her second child. Trusting the townspeople with all her heart, she dropped her younger child to the blanket. With her waning strength, she climbed up the window hoping to climbed down the street for safety. When she was up the window, she realized how beautiful the town was and how nice the people in it were and then she blacked out.
She woke up in the hospital and was told that both her children were safe but the old big house with the big window was gone.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 17, 2015

Losing Something

I discovered I could sing when I was a teenager. Though I wasn’t blessed with an extraordinary voice, I know I can sing and I enjoy it. I may not be a professional singer, but I love it when I get off the mike and people would give me a thumbs-up which means they enjoyed my little performance.
Singing is a magical experience, in which you are able to express whatever it is you feel without the difficulty of choosing the right words and saving yourself from the embarrassment of being cheesy. It is both a private thing that separates the singer from the audience and a group experience shared by everyone who hears the song.
When I learned to play the guitar, I got to appreciate singing even more. I joined the church choir and sang for the Lord to give Him back the glory, though I didn’t know it at the time. When I went to college, my singing went from religious to secular. Then I did something that I would regret later, I abused my voice.
Last summer, when I offered tutorial at home, I just felt that my voice was breaking every time I sing with my student. I didn’t mind it at first, thinking that it will pass. It didn’t. Three months ago, I had laryngitis and was advised to rest my voice for two weeks. After two weeks, however, though I got my voice back, it breaks every time I speak. So, I couldn’t sing anymore, nor could I talk for a long period of time without a sore throat.
I’m afraid I lost my singing voice for good. I can’t describe what I actually feel. It’s too painful to think about it. Naturally, I want to blame someone, anyone, but there is no one to blame. Then, I want it back, but I know no amount of wishing would do.
I want to sing again. I want it so much it hurts. I’ve always known I’d lose my voice someday somehow, when I grow really old, but I didn’t know it would be this soon.

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January 16, 2015

Not My Type of Love Affair

I met Rick* through his classmate who is a close friend of mine. If there is one guy I would call handsome (not simply good looking but handsome) well, that would be Rick.
I noticed, however, that Rick is one of those handsome guys who capitalize on looks and not on skills and much less on brains. My observation was confirmed when I learned that Rick was not among the students who graduated last March. Though my conclusion that he failed a subject was wrong, the reason for his exclusion from the graduating class was equally.. disappointing.
Obviously lazy, Rick nearly failed a subject during his second year. Fortunately, his professor, who was rumored to be gay helped him out. It was said that that was the beginning of their affair. According to their friends, it was the professor who was doing all of Rick’s homework and projects. In that regard, it seems like Rick was taking full advantage of the affair. However, it was also rumored that the professor was being possessive of Rick that he was not even allowed to go out with lady friends, only with guys.
Then last March, when Rick’s friends were about to graduate, the gay professor gave Rick a grade of INCOMPLETE disqualifying him from being a candidate for graduation, When I asked why would the professor do that, my friend answered that he probably did not want to let Rick go yet. Maybe this semester or the next, or the next after that, or when Rick learn to study harder and pass the subject on his own. We never know.. :)
*not real name

January 15, 2015

The Great Reformist

Andres is very excited. He heard that Carlos Esteban, the Great Reformist, was in town. Andres has always wanted to meet and interview the man for the local paper. He had been with the paper for a few years now but it seems like he was not getting anywhere.
He heard of Carlos Esteban when he was young. The Great Carlos was said to be a smart man who was born to lead people. He was among the most popular boy in high school but was not able to finish his college education because of his active involvement to student activism. It was said that when the Great Carlos started to talk, people had no choice but to listen. He quoted books like he was reading a comic series.
He knew history and the history of that history. He knew politics, he knew science, he knew art and he composed essays and poetries like he was eating popcorn in a movie house. He was everywhere. He went to places to enlighten people. He showed them what they can do. He changed lives and he made history of himself.
Why did he do that? Andres wanted to know.
He wanted to meet the man to find out how he came to be so wise. What books he read, what types of movies he watched, what kind of people he talked to. What was the secret behind his popularity.
Finally, Andres got his chance. An old friend arranged his meeting with the Great Reformist. He didn’t waste time, he asked the most important question of all..
Well, Carlos, being a great reformist that you are, why do you do the things that you do?”
Carlos looked at him with amused eyes and answered.
What do you think?”
Well.. I don’t know…”
Because I can…”
That’s it? No humanitarian reasons. No vows of selflessness. No perpetual search for enlightenment.
That’s it?” asked Andres.
Why, what do you expect?”
Well… More.”
With his bright and alert eyes, Carlos looked around and said..
Why else would someone do the things he does? It’s because he can do it. And if you know you can do something, you feel the need to make things happen. You stand up, you speak your mind because you know you have something to say. And when people don’t hear you, you speak louder because you want them to listen.
“When you know you have it in you, you feel obligated to make a difference. When you see something wrong, you feel the need to make it right. People may love you for it but more might hate you for it, but you still do what you think you have to, because doing otherwise will make you hate yourself even more. It’s not about money or fame, it’s about filling a role designed for you, no matter how small that role is.
“I could have been a dancer or an actor, but then again, I don’t have the talent for those. I was born to manipulate words and turn them into action. Maybe someday I would regret it or maybe not. But no matter how my life turned out, I did what I was capable of doing and that is something you can’t say about everybody.”
Andres sat for hours. The Great Reformist had long gone. He already moved to another place to do what he had to do. Andres was left with a blank sheet of paper but with a new sense of direction.
He went home and went straight to the attic. He dug out his old guitar, brought out his cell phone and gave his old band mates a call.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 14, 2015

Losing Track and Finding It

This is a RE-POST from my old blog and originally appeared on Sept. 22, 2013. This is re-posted to save the article for sentimental reasons.

For quite some while, I lost track of what I really wanted in life.. I suffered from the terrible feeling that nothing was going right anymore. It seems like my life was wasting away right before my eyes while I stand and watch.
It wasn’t a pleasant feeling at all..
I started to panic. I knew I had to do something, but I couldn’t remember what it was. I had to start all over again and I asked myself the most basic of all questions. What do I really want to do with my life?
As soon as I realized the answer, I started to plan.. again. Then, I began to pray.. hard. I let the Lord know what I want and I asked him to please give it to me, because if he did, it would make me happy and I perfectly know the Lord wants me to be happy and I know he knows what ‘s best for me. Then, I felt this strange feeling of having something heavy and hard lifted from my chest then I started to expect for.. something. Every morning I get up from bed feeling very excited with the overwhelming anticipation that it might be the day the something nice would come.
And one day it really did come. Now, I’m back on track. My goal is still up ahead but I can see it from here. Every day, I thank the Lord for giving me hope, hope that I can still be what I want to be and I can still have what I want in life, and faith, faith in God and faith in the skills He gave me, for surely, he gave me those skills for a reason.
Life is indeed beautiful, not for what is in it but for what you make of it.  

January 13, 2015

Small World

Leth* was a naughty girl. She was basically sweet, friendly, smart actually, but, yes.. naughty. Maybe she didn’t mean it but she played around other people’s feelings. I knew that she didn’t have any intention of doing that, but for some reasons, she always ended up hurting other people.
When we went to college, she left behind a lovesick boyfriend, Rudy. Actually.. Rudy was, I don’t know. All I knew was that she didn’t like him that much and she just accepted him because he was NICE, yes, that’s the word, nice.
Okay, so, we went to college and she met someone. He wasn’t as naive and endearing as Rudy but just as nice. That word again, nice. It was clear that she was flirting with the new guy, Joey, though I believed also that she didn’t like him much. Just the same, when Joey asked him if she had a boyfriend, she said ‘no’.
Well, we became friends with Joey, both of us, though it was obvious that he was smitten with Leth. I guess he really really liked her because he said he would visit us in the province on Christmas vacation. He said he has a relative in our town. Oh, well, inventing relatives, for me, wasn’t good, no good at all.
On Christmas vacation, we went home and Leth was reunited with Rudy. She seemed genuinely pleased to see him, but, I still had my doubts. After all, she denied his existence, right? Several days passed and the vacation was nearly over. One day, someone came to visit. Actually, there were two of them. Can you guess who?
Yes, it was Joey. With him was Rudy who was his cousin. Well, it was true that he has a relative in our town after all.. :D
*not real name

January 12, 2015

The Security Guard

Manuel is a security guard. He has been working at a jewelry store for five years and he is happy with what he does. He loves to open the door for people who come in happily and come out even more happily. His favorites are the old women who lean on him for support and the young girls with sparkling eyes. Manuel loves being a guard who keep people and property safe.
The manager of the jewelry store, however, doesn’t think much of Manuel. He is just a security guard, paid to lay down his life for the establishment and can easily be replaced by another desperate individual ready to don a uniform for a small amount of money.
One day, during the manager’s regular visit, he heard a commotion at the shop all the way from his office. He got up ready to pick on Manuel. He stopped just in time to hear a gunshot and he was knocked down the floor by Manuel. Surprised by the attack, he started cursing at Manuel who laid motionless on top of him. It was only when the door burst open and two policemen came that the manager noticed a strange man who was eventually dragged by the officers out of the store.
Then, the manager started to push Manuel off him. The women screamed in unison and a few men came over to help Manuel. He was shot in the arm when he knocked down the manager to get him out of the bullet’s way.
An ambulance was called and Manuel was taken to the hospital. After a few months, Manuel went back to the jewelry store to inform the manager that he was ready to go back to work, but the manager did not want him back. He said it was Manuel’s fault that the robber managed to get inside the store and nearly got him killed. Manuel tried to reason that he did not let the the robber in but was held at gunpoint and was himself dragged inside. But the manager  did not want an incompetent man like Manuel back to his employment.
With his arm still throbbing, Manuel sadly went out the store. Then he met the kind old lady whom he regularly open the door for. He smiled genuinely and held the door open for her for the last time. The old lady’s eyes lit up and asked Manuel about his arm and when he was returning for work. Manuel admitted that he was no longer coming back.
The old lady smiled kindly and asked Manuel if he likes to work for her. She said it was a boring job which nobody likes. The job was to accompany an old lady and carry her shopping bags for her and occasionally watch over her grandchildren when they go shopping around. She said she needed someone she could trust with her and her grandchildren’s lives and she believes that Manuel is fit for the job.
After one look at the jewelry which he guarded for several years, Manuel smiled at the old woman and shook her hand.
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

January 11, 2015

Facebook vs Truth

I’m not an active Facebook subscriber. As a matter of fact I only put up an account because it is the easiest and most convenient way to keep in touch with my husband who has been working abroad for several years now. But since I have to check my account on a daily basis for my husband’s message, I can see other people’s posts especially those of my close friends’.
So, I was quite surprised when one of my long time friends came home from abroad and told me she was getting a divorce.
I had to ask why because based on Facebook it seems like she and her husband are very much in love. As a matter of fact, she just posted some pictures of the entire family on weekend getaways and beach extravaganzas, the whole shebang. So, she told me that the pictures are old and that her marriage has been on the rocks even longer than she wanted to accept. So, why post the pictures? Because she wanted to fool other people into believing that she is happy.
So, it’s more like fooling herself, I guess..
Then just last week I saw a post from a mother on how much she loves her children and that they mean everything to her, when I am perfectly aware that her two older daughters are living with other people because she never took care of them, letting them go hungry and dirty when all the while she plays cards and it was suspected that she uses drugs even with the kids around.
At this point in time, I don’t know what to believe anymore. It seems to me that most people’s posts on Facebook are not true but what they want to be true.
Well, I don’t know..