Fiction by | April 14, 2013

Jomari is convinced that a monster is out to get him. He could see it dancing on the walls, edging closer and closer to the foot of his bed. Sometimes, he could feel it tickling the soles of his feet. Other times, it would nip at his ears. It is a small thing, no bigger than his fist. The shadow follows him even under the cover of the blanket, making its way up his legs, squeezing in right beside him. Jomari would turn away from it and shut his eyes. He doesn’t want to see it.

Night after the night, the shadow would creep inside his room to nibble at his toes. Sometimes, it would laugh at him. Its piercing shriek of a laugh would have Jomari hiding his head under the pillows. But somehow, the tinny laugh would find its way through Jomari, its echoes reverberating inside his head.

In the morning, Jomari would get headaches. He has not been sleeping well. There were bags under his eyes. At school, he often falls asleep in class, his head leaning against the wall.

In between breaks, or whenever he was awake, he thinks of ways of getting rid of the monster. The monster always comes from under his doorway, slipping in through the gap between the door and the floor.

Jomari writes notes that he keeps tucked between the pages of a notebook. He has a habit of reminding himself. He is afraid of forgetting even the littlest of things. Maybe, he thinks, the notes could help him.


28 Feb
I think I know where the monster is coming from.
I don’t know how it got there, but it’s there.
There’s nothing I can do to get rid of it.
Or maybe, I haven’t tried everything yet.

Continue reading Shadows

We Might Soon Be Extinct (or Not)

Nonfiction by | January 30, 2011

Why do I write? I have asked myself this question often and most of the time I get a low humming sound from the back of my brain. How lovely.

I write maybe because I want to or maybe because I need to? I write because I have something that I believe in? I write for the people who cannot read and who cannot write, for the people who can’t speak and understand Bisaya, for the people who can’t even spell their names, for the people who go to sleep hungry, for the babies who are not even born yet? I torment my mind with questions that even I cannot answer clearly regarding my being a writer.

Residing in Davao City gives me a lot of things to write about, from the usually uneventful jeepney rides from Boulevard to Mintal to the (maybe) interesting lives of the people that I see with their palms open burning under the heat of the sun, begging on the streets, or the people who frequent the malls some of them indifferent to the problems that plague our society and some of them wanting to forget their own problems even just for a short while, or the people who are living under Bolton bridge. It seems to me that they have a lot of stories to tell under their ordinary, unassuming guises. They only need someone who would listen to their unspoken chronicles and tell it for them. I don’t know if I would be that person, but I want to be that person someday, somehow. I want their stories to be told and not lost in the fleeting current that is life.

Continue reading We Might Soon Be Extinct (or Not)