Nonfiction by | November 29, 2015

An afternoon, early summer of 2010, at the pathway to the CHSS building of UP Mindanao, I first saw the girl I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Her name was G, a freshman. She had a shoulder-length hair, parted at the center, a thin physique which was emphasized by long sleeves shirt and pants. In my vision, she walked as if her feet stepped on piles of cotton—softly and lightly.

I have always felt a tinge of envy every time I hear stories of romance from people close to me. All of them seemed so easy as though it has long been planned and only the perfect time had to be waited for before the execution.

There were times when I would catch myself smiling at random pictures of my high school classmates with their boyfriends or girlfriends beside them. There was always a hollow in my chest. Scanning through photos on social media, I would sigh and every breath sent air right through the hole in my chest. I could not help but tell myself: I was not one of them. My true identity, as others would call it, was unknown to me until I turned seventeen—a sophomore at UP Mindanao, thriving, getting by, trying to get over with the academic life. It was as if the universe handed me what I could not give myself—a means to determine who I was.

A lot of people have given testimonies before about time and motion slowing down when they meet somebody who could possibly be their other half. And for me, that somebody was G.

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Sweet Kape

Play by , | March 25, 2012

Character: Carlota, 37 years old, architect, married
Setting: A café at a mall—one table with a seat for the main character and another empty chair. Mellow instrumental music plays at the background.

The scene begins with Carlota coming into the coffee shop. She puts her things on a table in a corner – her handbag, tracing paper tube, and laptop – and fixes herself up. She is wearing a pair of blue jeans, polo shirt, eyeglasses, a wristwatch, and rubber shoes.

Carlota: Waiter! One cappuccino with whipped cream, please. Wala? O sige, iced skinny mocha with extra coffee jelly. Wala din? Espresso na nga lang.

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The Old Lady at the Bus Terminal

Fiction by | February 5, 2012

The last trip was at 10 pm and I was already having a problem with my stomach. It was aching. Must have been from the water I drank earlier. I asked for it at a carenderia near the terminal. I had never drunk tap water before. But the long wait at the terminal made me thirsty and clammy, and I only had enough money for the bus ticket and a few coins to pay for my jeepney ride once I arrived in Davao.

It was always like this at terminals in provinces. The benches were made of varnished lumber, and only two fluorescent would be lit. The sidewalk vendors had all gone home, and the stores nearby started closing. I sat uneasily on the bench, flipped my long hair from side to side, and fanned my neck with my hand.

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