Poetry by | February 6, 2023


Niinging layag sa kinabuhi
Kung diin ang kalinaw
Igo na lamang na hanaw
Ug ang unos nitubaw

Nahisukamod sa mga gabnod
Gilokumos sa dagkong bawod
Daw sa kinabuhi kini hawod
Unsaon aron dili malunod

Kung ang bangka wala nay katig
Ug ang layag naguba nas hangin
Lisod magpadayon sa kapalaran
Kung ang direksyon dili na mahikaplagan

Moabot ang panahon ang tiil
Mohunong na sa pagpatid
Kung diin dili na kayang mosalom
Og maunlod na lamang sa ilawom

Kung sa bawod kita lunuron
Ug sa gapnod isi-isihon
Pasagdai kung asa kita dad-on
Sa hampak niining panghitabo karon

Kay tataw kaayo nga lisod sugaton
Ang dagmal sa kapalaran karon
Apan, kung ikaw magmaisogon

—Lutaw lang sa gihapon

Jean C. Cano hails from San Isidro, Davao Oriental. Currently studying at Davao Oriental State University-San Isidro Extension Campus, Jean is a sophomore taking Bachelor of Elementary Education.

Magpuli Ta Sa Uma

Poetry by | February 6, 2023

Magpuli ta sa uma kag magtanom sang kahoy
kag mga gulay nga aton kaunon
magpuli ta didto nga mabugnaw sa kagab-ihon
kag matinong sa imo paniyapon.
Simuti ang sungaw ka lupa nga imo gin-kali
para sa imo tanuman, simuti ang hangin
nga naga-palid sang burador nga anda ginapalupad.
Ta kag kita magpahuway sa payag, sid-inga
ang mga mapula nga bunga sang katumbal nga nagatudlo
sa kalangitan nga naga dayaw sa Ginoo
samtang nagasaot sa paghuyop sang hangin.
Magpuli kita sa uma kag mangabuhi
sang kinabuhi nga simple
nga ang aton pagkaon ara lang sa palibot
ang kape mo nga sara-sara sa sartin nga tasa
tupad sang takuri kag sang radyo nga nagasaysay
sang historya ni Gimo, nga isa ka teniente.


JD Arellano is an accountant presently splitting time between Davao City and Koronadal City. Some of his works were published in Cotabato Literary Journal, Dagmay, and in his zines “Hide and Seek” (2018) and KUN AKO MATAK-AN, AKO MANGIN ISA KA MAYA (2022), on which this poem first appeared.

The Flight Attendant

Nonfiction by | January 30, 2023

There was only the dim ambient lighting from the standing lamp as I was staring at my reflection on the wall mirror. I adjusted the wet towel that clung to my lower body, and I felt droplets of water descending through my legs and to the floor. The sound of muffled torrential downpour escaping from behind the bathroom door was the only thing I could hear while Michiel was taking a shower.

Staring at myself, I didn’t realize how much my body had drastically changed. Gone were my spindly limbs, replaced with a bulk that showed strength. My chest had filled in, my stomach had some faint ridges, and most of all my buttocks seemed fuller. I remembered my older sister telling me when we were shopping at a mall that she would buy me denim jeans as my college graduation gift. But since, as she had said, I had a flat behind, any jeans I would wear would appear awkward. But now that years of exercise had chiseled my body, perhaps my sister would no longer have any difficulty finding me new clothing. And also, since I was working in a foreign country, perhaps I could afford to buy clothes that would suit me better.

Truthfully, it was a bit strange, thinking why I was here. I had only met Michiel in person four hours ago, after some conversation on Grindr. But then again, as my friends had told me before, gay men were more physical, more visual, more primal, than their straight counterparts. It was not uncommon for two gay men to have some physical pleasure on the first date.

The bathroom door opened. Michiel came out, a towel around his waist, another towel he used to dry his blond hair. “What are you staring at?”

“Just myself,” I replied.

He sauntered behind me, appearing on the mirror, then hugged me from behind. His arms were like flaps of an envelope, completely covering me. He had to lean lower to put his chin on the nook of my neck. On the mirror, it appeared like Goliath had captured David, his tall and lithe Dutch frame awkward on my shorter Filipino figure.

“You’re gorgeous,” Michiel whispered.

I blinked, taken aback. No one had said that to me before. And no less from an “afam,” as my Filipino friends would surely call him.

Before Singapore, I had gone out on dates with Filipino guys, but they had all been a disaster. A recurring pattern was my date would ask for money after the first date. One said he wanted to buy a gift for his sister, another one said he needed to buy underwear, and the last one had to borrow money to pay some of his college tuition. After realizing I was only a walking ATM for these men, I came to the conclusion that dating wasn’t for me. But moving to Singapore and realizing I wasn’t getting any younger, I decided to give it another try. While Michiel wasn’t the first afam I met, he certainly didn’t ask for money from me. Instead, we went Dutch when we paid our restaurant bill—fitting, because of Michiel’s nationality.

“Thank you,” I replied after a brief pause.

I could see Michiel noticing my reaction, that I wasn’t totally convinced with what he had said. His response was just to hug me tighter.

Growing up in the Philippines, I had always been the invisible guy, lost in the background, like I was hiding behind the curtains in the classroom. When I was in high school, my classmates were worried about their puppy romances or saving enough baon to buy gifts for their teenage lovers. Meanwhile, I was worried about my acne. It was a source of constant grief for me, and a money drain for my mom. She would spend thousands for my dermatology visits and for my medicinal facial creams. And when my acne subsided after I graduated from college and found work, I went to the gym. But still, I wasn’t handsome enough.

“You’re a hipon!” a female work colleague had told me one time as she was a bit tipsy during a Friday night party.

“Hipon, why?” I replied.

“Nice body, ugly face,” she said, laughing.

That stung. That label turned into a scar I especially noticed whenever I glanced at my face on any reflective surface, like I was sizing another person in a duel.

I slowly loosened myself from Michiel’s grasp. “I should get going. It’s already past midnight.”

He nodded as he told me he would get me a glass of water. Putting on my clothes, I was looking at Michiel. He was a good-looking man, although when I told him that he was handsome during our date, he had seemed surprised. Aside from his noticeable height, he had a kindness to his baby-blue eyes that would match his smile. He also smelled like fresh sunflowers whenever I caught a whiff of him. He told me he didn’t wear any perfume, but it could be his aftershave. Later he mentioned that he was in his mid-forties, while I was only in my late twenties, so I could easily find a younger replacement for him.  I shook my head in disagreement. He also asked why I had decided to meet him that night, and I only replied: “Because you felt right.” Besides from the personable photos he sent me, our conversation was so much different from the dates I had had in my hometown. He was the quintessential older gentleman. It felt like I was treated as a person, an equal—so unlike the police interrogations I had experienced with the guys in Davao, where my date would ask about my height, weight, age, employment, my crushes and exes, and even the size of my manhood.

“It’s too bad you’re flying tomorrow. Where is your next flight?” I asked while drinking the glass of water.

Michiel replied he was going to Bangkok, then would stay there for a few days, then fly to South Korea, then back to Singapore, then fly back to Amsterdam. As a flight attendant for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, he was everywhere. I, on the other hand, was grounded with my desk job in Singapore.

“You must have met a lot of guys through your job.”

He pondered for a bit, his eyes squinting, then faintly shook his head. “Not really.”

Fully dressed, I walked to the front door and put on my shoes. He followed me, towering over me like my office building when I arrived at work. “Will I see you when I get back to Singapore?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, smiling. I had to tiptoe to plant a kiss on his lips. “I’ll be right here.”

He opened the door as he smiled back. He gave me one more hug and kiss before I headed to the elevators then exited the hotel. I took one more glance behind me, then started to walk to the subway metro, passing by the flickering neon lights in Geylang. It was surprisingly chilly. I could hear the bustle of tourists. I took out my phone and briefly read my text conversation with Michiel.

Have a safe trip to Bangkok, I texted him.

After a few minutes, my phone vibrated. Michiel had replied to me: I will see you again. I’ll be staying in the same hotel when I arrive back.

A small smile was on my face. I really wasn’t in my hometown anymore, I thought, as I kept at my pace.



Glyd Jun Arañes works as professional linguist for a language technology company in Helsinki, Finland. He briefly worked at a big tech company in Singapore before migrating to Europe. He was a fellow at the 2010 ADDU Writers Workshop and the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop.

Monochrome Scales

Fiction by | January 23, 2023

Through and through, I am gray. An equal balance of good and evil, pure apathy to everything.

It’s common sense that murder is one of the most abominable sins to commit, but I find it hard to care even when my co-worker is breaking down in the middle of the office. Everyone rushes to comfort her, to soothe her with promises that her husband is now at peace, but I stand to the side. The most I can do is acknowledge her tears with a listless glance, and I’m back to typing away on the keyboard.

It makes me wonder if that makes me evil. The scales tip ever so slightly.

“Y’know,” Jose begins in his lazy drawl, taking in a large inhale of his cigarette and sighing. “It wouldn’t hurt for you to try and pretend you care.”

I know. I flick the ashes of my own cigarette at him, and he scowls back. With an uncommitted shrug, I exhale, and smoke puffs from my lips.

“I’ll try.”

The gray of the smoke ruins the clear blue sky above, but it fits perfectly with the ruined alleyway and me.


Another thing that should be normal is parents lighting up at the pitter-patter of footsteps scurrying to greet them at the door. When the doorknob turns and the little boy smiles at me, something twists and grips at my heart.

“Papa!” he cheerfully greets. “You’re home!”

Home feels like a bitter word on my tongue. It’s unrestrained anger, nail marks on my skin, and tears on my cheeks as I hide beneath the bed. This ruined apartment isn’t home, but just temporary solace from the rain and the sun, a place where I can stare endlessly at the paint-chipped walls. But I don’t bother correcting the little boy.

“I’m home,” I say half-heartedly. I lift my hand to his head, but something grips my arm, and it falls back to my side. I ignore the disappointed look on his face and let him take my coat and things. It somehow feels bad, watching such a tiny body struggle to take them. He guides me to the table where a meager meal awaits me.

“I tried my best!” The bandages on his fingers prove his words. “I—I hope you enjoy it!”

It’s too salty, but at least there is something to eat. I do not say anything to him, but he smiles as he continues to watch me eat.


I tell him to go back to his mother. There is no future for him with a deadbeat salaryman like me. One of these days, a corpse will return to him, and he will have nowhere to go.

He shakes his head, innocent face still smiling at me like I deserve it. “My home is with you, dad. Mama is too busy holding hands and eating at restaurants with the weird uncle.”

It feels like punishment to have something so deserving of everything I cannot offer him near me. I look at him, and the thought of leaving him alone within these apartment walls run rampant through my mind. I see his smile, and I wonder what will happen to it if I tell him of all the regrets I carry on my shoulder.

If I tell him that he was never meant to be, will he finally leave me be? The sick temptation grips me like a vice.

“I’m not a good person, boy.” My voice is raspy and the lingering hangover pounds at my head with every syllable. “You’re better off living with your mother. She can give you toys and food, and you won’t have to cook and cut your hands anymore.”

“Why aren’t you a good person?” Damn children and their curiosity. “You work hard every day to provide for us!”


And then I begin to speak.

“I think of leaving you alone. Every day, I don’t know how someone like me can face you. All I can give you are cheap clothes and groceries, and I don’t know how to comfort sad children or angry children or children of any kind!”

I reach out for him—he doesn’t flinch, and somehow that makes me only cry harder.

“You don’t deserve the life I lived, son.” His hair is soft. “You deserve everything in the world and more.”

I wonder if he’ll break under my touch, like how I used to at my father’s hands back then. His tiny hands reach up to mine and squeeze.

“Pa isn’t a bad guy. He says he wants to leave me alone, but he hasn’t. You say that mama is better, but you give me more love than she does.” He nuzzles into my rough palm. “I don’t want toys if mama doesn’t play with me. But here, I can cook food and eat them together with you every day.”

I am at a loss for words.

“You’re not evil, pa.” He grins. “Because I know you’re always thinking what’s best for me.”


I tell myself I’ll leave him, but I can’t. His tiny body may shatter under my hug, but nothing can stop the onslaught of tears as I hold my dearest son close to my heart. His small arms hug me back, and it’s the first time in my life that I have family.

I am still gray, but for this little boy, I can be human again.


“Not joining me for a smoke break?” Jose asks. “Now that’s a surprise.”

“Cutting back,” I grunt to him as I continue to type on my keyboard.

“Well, at least join me for a drink after work.”

“Not happening, either. Gotta buy groceries and cook.”

Jose snorts and lightly slaps the back of my head. “God help you. Having a kid made you boring.”

He’s joking, I can tell, and I chuckle and shake my head.

“Then the least I can do is invite you over for dinner.”

Jireh Dacanay, 17, is a Grade 12 HUMSS student at Davao Christian High School V. Mapa Campus. Writing for over 10 years, they continue to seek new ways to improve their writing style so they can write a novel that will make Philippine literature known all over the globe.


Poetry by | January 23, 2023


he must have been remarkable,
to capture wizened, cynical eyes,
or to earn a woman’s weeping
in a place for forgetting the dead,

which will not in millennia be rid
of the stench of rotten blood
haunting it like the million specters
hidden long ago in its stained halls.

but he, too, will become a ghost,
whose futile grasp at life and glory
ensured that his shell will never return
to the remains of the place of his birth.

he, too, will be a whisper in the throng
of the orphans and widows drifting
with bare feet, bare breasts, cracked lips,
stomachs twisting upon themselves.

in the world above, the crowd cheers
for the lone gladiator still standing.
the denarii pass between greedy hands,
and a purple toga remains unstained.

but here, at the edge of the darkness,
we can mourn a man fearless and dead.

Thei Roy is a queer writer who is currently studying in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, under their Intarmed program. They are based in Davao City.

Hide Me till I’m Ready to Come Out

Nonfiction by | January 16, 2023

I was reluctantly headed towards the gate of my condo with the intent of going to a nearby supermarket under the heat of the blazing four o’clock sun. I decided on wearing a bright teal colored hoodie that day, paired with my baggy pajama pants, and my go-to sneakers that apparently hadn’t been cleaned from my last escapade. “No one will probably call you out for your footwear anyway,” my nonchalant inner voice advised.

The request was definitely sudden but wasn’t that unexpected seeing as my mom’s belly had been looking more and more like a watermelon each passing day. Anyone could tell that she was about to give birth this month or even the next and that obviously meant it was time for the only other person at home to step up and become the other adult in the house. This was my moment. My time for maturity had come.

“Feels like the sky’s glaring on me today,” a random thought came as grey clouds were suddenly starting to form from above.

I had prepared for every eventuality that I might come across for this sudden mission. I had my pink sling bag stuffed with everything, literally everything from my QR card, credit card, vaccination card, ID card—you get the picture. 

Shopping for groceries may be a normal thing for anyone at the age of eighteen, or even younger, but for a sheltered only child for most of my life, it honestly felt like entering society with a “stare at me” sign taped on my forehead, specifically printed in bold and all caps. If you couldn’t tell that this long ranting monologue was proof of my nervousness, then the sweat dripping down my forehead was definitely a sign. Or it could just be the sun.

Getting out of my thoughts, I made my way through the narrow sidewalk while putting on a pair of knockoff AirPods, now listening to a random song I clicked from my BTS playlist. In times like this, a good jamming session from your favorite band is best for calming nerves. I didn’t get to finish the song, though, since it didn’t actually take a full minute for me to reach my dreaded destination, unfortunately. 

With only being a few inches away from the entrance, I could actually feel my anxiety steadily surfacing on my prepared and calm exterior from moments ago. Between me and the entrance, there were merely two steps of stairs that I had to cross. Easy, right? “More like crossing the Korean DMZ” is what actually came to mind.

I took the leap in, but now came the harder part: shopping to get out.

I wanted to end this trip as fast as possible. I quickly navigated my way through the path of consumers that made this very small grocery store even smaller. I only had a few things on the list that my mom gave me to shop for: a few canned goods, alcohol (the safe kind), hand soap, laundry detergent, food, a broom, a rag, and a few other things. Basically, if you need it at your home, that’s what I’m buying.

After a few minutes of roaming around the store, squeezing my way through people in crowded aisles including their unattended shopping carts that frustratingly blocked the wider paths, I still managed to find most of the things on my list. I suddenly missed my life before I took a step out of my home, the safety of being indoors, relying on foodpanda whenever we got lazy to cook at home, not being surrounded by people who were most likely judging your pajama-like outfit. Deciding to stop the rambling, I just carried on living in reality rather than wishing to be in the fantasy. By then I was almost done with my list.

I only had two items left, the broom and the rag. I struggled the most to find these since despite being in a store that made you feel claustrophobic, I found out there were actually a lot of areas where needed items could be hidden. The meek extrovert in me needed to come out by now, it was getting late and I couldn’t handle the place anymore, so I mustered up the courage and just asked a nearby saleslady at the aisle where on earth the broom and the rag were.

Coincidentally, both were literally at the aisle behind the one I was in. That lady must be laughing deep down at the situation I was in. She was just focused on her job, though, minding her own business after the help.

Now back to my situation, the items were placed at the very back of the store and you’d have to worm your way in just to get them, and I did just that. I won’t lie to you and say that it was a pleasant experience, especially since I had to put myself in and out of there twice to get both separately. Gotta admit I might have silently yelled my profanities at the time, low-key regretting all the take out I had while being a subterranean and lacking the communication skills to ask help from that saleslady earlier. Couldn’t do much about it now, the only thing left was to finally pay and leave the store. I made my way through the counter.

“Your credit card isn’t working, ma’am,” the cashier in front of me mentioned out of the blue.

I had no cash except for twenty pesos in my wallet that could only cough up flies, my mom wasn’t with me to help with the situation, she didn’t reply to my texts either, there were several people behind me waiting for their turn while I was holding the line up front—you couldn’t see it, but I was definitely panicking. I instantly wanted to go back to that broom aisle and hide, just like I always had at home. Well, I wasn’t at home, I was here in trouble, in the real world.

I was now headed towards the gate of my condo, bag of groceries in hand, and it was extremely heavy. I finally made it back to our unit, and my mom welcomed me for a successful trip. She asked me how it went and I really told her everything that happened, the claustrophobic atmosphere, asking for help, even the credit card problem. She asked me what you’re probably wondering.

“How did it end?” she asked.

“I tried it again,” I replied.

That answer somehow became a very important lesson. One will never be completely prepared for what life throws at you. The nervousness and anxiousness one has is a normal feeling, and trying over and over again is what matters. We shouldn’t stop ourselves from facing reality or society just because we aren’t ready. Rather, we try to emerge and face our insecurities. And that’s when we know we are truly ready—when we come out.

Fionin Maer Tagimacruz is currently taking up BS in Psychology and has always had a soft spot for all things fiction. She takes inspiration for her literary pieces from everything around her since her youth, spending hours indoors reading fantasy novels and watching sitcoms.


About Water

Poetry by | January 16, 2023

A poem about water would tell of
shallow ponds, silent lakes flooded with
rain from rivers. I will tell you about
the stream flowing the wrong way, the brook
babbling up the wrong hill. Perhaps the
wave cresting on the shoreline, dying
far out at sea. The roaring waterfall of
rising water, its plunge pool a shallow puddle.
They will never tell you what they long for,
the reasons why they rebel: the stream is driven by
an undercurrent of disbelief. It curses its mother,
blames its doubt on the kind mountain spring.
The brook, tactless in its climb, remains
ignorant. Its arrogance is the dam that swells
hubris. It sees its shallow sediment from
the height of roaring floodwater. The wave is
discontent. It hurries from dull sand grains for
greed, searching for gold in the wrong sea.
The waterfall, a water rise. It aims high while
wishful. Always unsatisfied, losing itself in
the heights it aspires to. These waters have
Forgotten to remember. Will you?

Jerson Randell Francisco is a Grade 12 HUMSS student at Davao Christian High School V. Mapa Campus, Davao City.



Fiction by | January 9, 2023

There were twenty computers inside SKY 91, wedged in the form of letter E. Toto occupied number eleven, filling a row of cubicles. The words appeared on Toto’s monitor: “I’m Faith. What’s yours? ASL?”

He had chatted few of the girls. There was Maria, twenty-years of age, who liked to go scuba diving. There was Gretch, who was interested in meeting him in exchange for cellphone cards. But none of them sustained the exchange of information. He was hoping to look for another one, someone beautiful and witty, and there he found Faith.

He hadn’t seen Karla for about a week. He had tried to give her gifts, bringing her in secret places to make love. But she had been testy and moody. It had begun after they made love. Toto told her something that made her cry. They both agreed to cool off for a while, to give her space and time, as what she had asked from him.

Toto typed: “Toto, 25, M, Cebu. And you?”

Then on the screen appeared: “I’m 29, Davao.”

They shared information about themselves. Occupations, the schools they’d been, hobbies, email adds. He had already been sitting there for hours when his feet felt numb. He stood up to give the attendant the stub, then paid for the fee.

He stood there at the pavement, looking for a cigarette vendor. There was none. He walked the sidewalks with other passers-by. It was around six in the evening and he could hear horns of vehicles beeping loudly on the traffic. Gray smoke filled the air.

He felt lonely for a while. He didn’t know where to go. He took out his Nokia 3310 from his jeans pocket and checked if somebody had texted him. He had texted his classmates and friends, but there wasn’t any reply. Maybe they had been busy with their girlfriends or maybe they hadn’t received his messages, or maybe they had run out of load. The money left in his pocket was just a few coins.

He thought of Karla. Where could she be? Was she at home? Was she drinking with her friends? He wanted to text her, but he hesitated. Maybe if she had enough space and time, she’d come back to him. He was optimistic. He knew she loved him as much as he loved her. But his ego was confusing him. He wouldn’t try to make up with her just because he was lonely and alone.

He came across a cigarette vendor and bought a stick. He lit it with the match. Some moments he found a jeepney bounded for home. He threw away the cigarette and mounted up.

The next morning he had until ten o’clock to finish his breakfast. He had no roommate. His apartment was the only one standing bleak at one of the buildings at Colon Street. He ate by himself on the table inside his room.

He had been already dressed for an errand. Black shirt tucked inside his blue jeans. Black Reebok running shoes he had bought in an ukay-ukay in Carbon. He groomed his hair with a gel, gleaming as if a cow had licked it. He ran out of food he had stored on the landlady’s fridge. Sometimes the landlady would be nice enough to offer him humba or pancit. When he finished his breakfast he was yet again ready for another day.

He was thinking about Faith. He wondered if she was beautiful. He had thought of opening his email to check if she had sent him pictures of her. He decided to go to the Internet café first before buying groceries.

He felt displeased when he went out the streets. The scorching heat of the sun hurt his eyes and burned his pale skin. He didn’t like it as he had always treated his skin with great care. Sometimes he would put sunscreen on his face, his arms, and the back of his neck.

He reached SKY 91. He came in through the glass door. There were only a few people on the seats. Good, he thought. So he could concentrate and not be disturbed by noisy kids playing video games.

As soon as the attendant gave him the stub, he immediately clicked the E icon that says “Internet Explorer.” He had to be quick. He had only one hour to surf the Net. He opened his email and there he found pictures of Faith. He can only saw her face down her tummy. She was pretty, he thought. She had chinita eyes, teeth as white as a pearl, revealing two little pits in both sides of her cheeks, although the skin of her face was a little bit sagged, which he didn’t like. She looked like no less than 30 years old. She had large breasts that bulged on her tight gray shirt. From the background she seemed to be in the United States, although she definitely looked Filipina. He decided to send him pictures too. Pictures he had scanned some months ago, pictures from his school’s acquaintance party. Her letter read:

Hi Toto. It’s been nice chatting with you yesterday. I find you’re a good man. I hope we could still get to know each other well enough to meet someday. I think you’re not the kind of man whom I can’t trust. Here are my pictures you have asked. Hope you’ll like them. 

Hope to hear from you soon. Good wishes.

Your New Friend,

They shared more information about themselves, letters, pictures. Sometimes they would send funny texts, some beautiful and inspiring quotes. He knew they were getting along with each other. He knew that she could be his girlfriend someday.

One day they decided to chat again on the Net. It was half hour past nine when Toto was once again sitting in front of the monitor.

They were chatting for about an hour when Toto opened his e-mail. He saw a new message. The message was from Faith. Attached were jpeg files. He clicked to view them. He was startled. The pictures showed she was sitting on a wheelchair. The rest of them showed she was sitting on the bed and nothing where her legs were supposed to be. He came back to the chat room and typed: “Faith, I’ve just received your pictures and I am surprised. Is this you?”

She responded: “Yes. That’s me. I am handicapped. I have no legs. I didn’t tell you because it might be the reason you won’t keep in touch with me anymore. Now I reveal it all to you. Does it bother you?”

Toto couldn’t type a word. He was still looking at her pictures. She really had no legs. He was disappointed. He hadn’t expected this. 

Then after a while he typed: “Why did you lie to me? I can’t believe this. Why did you make it so long for me to wait?” He paused for a moment. He hesitated to press the Enter key. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings. He was confused. He deleted all that, and typed: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. No. No. It doesn’t bother me at all. Nothing changed. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.” Then he pressed the Enter key.

For a while there was no reply. He waited for some moments. No reply.

After a minute he typed: “Faith, are you there?” Still no reply. He typed: “That’s perfectly fine with me, Faith. I still like you.”

But still there wasn’t any reply.

He was immobile. His hands were numb. He felt a pain in the stomach. He had regrets. She might have been gone before he could reply. She might have been gone because he had taken a long time to reply after she revealed everything. He was ashamed. He was contrite. He didn’t know what to do. In a second he was informed by the attendant that his time was up. 

He stood up.

Thereafter his cell phone rang, and he answered it.


“I called to say goodbye.”


“I’m sorry. I made up my mind. It didn’t work out, and I think it never will.”

“Oh, please don’t tell me this over the phone, Karla. I need to see you.”

“It’s over. I’m sorry. Goodbye.”

He tried to call her back, but she was out of reach. He dialed again, and again, and again. 

But she was gone.

Honesto Avellanosa III is a 48-year-old guy who makes content for his YouTube channel Cebu and Davao Journey. He used to be a musician.