Lamentations of an Imaginary Past

With great uncertainty, I do not know why at this time of day I am feeling this surge of lament and regret, of losing what really is not lost at all, and having a staredown with the bed, when I should be sleeping and getting ready for the next day.

To wit, you, my dear friend, are departing from our shared soil for some reason I do not dare question for it is not my affair at all. Yet, this sense of loss weighs on me right now at the very least, a yoke that came on just now, saddling me with the emptiness of ‘what-could-have-been’ questions. There is a spacious void that begs to be filled with a fulfillment that comes with sharing even just a humble slice of our lives, and even though this day’s technology has tried its best to approximate and shrink the vast swaths of miles between people, there is absolutely no substitute to the immediate manifestation of your presence. None. Not at all. The world may try to vanquish such tears and spaces, but all it provides is a temporary salve, hoping that we will forget the distance. But we do not forget easily.

For those who do not forget easily, and yet carry lamentations more significant than the ones I have, your impending absence is excruciating. Memories and questions alike flood our minds, while we try to sort out what they want to hold on to. While this exercise is sorely futile in the face of destiny marching on as it reaps its harvest, we still try to not let go, to cherish what has gone by, and to only be mortified at the erasure of the futures we have imagined.

Now, though, we are confronted with this – your departure. And in the face of this helplessness, we wish you a spate of abundance the Lord will surely provide you.

Grudgingly (but not by any fault of your own, or your kin), we say farewell. With a more resolute force of hope, we say ‘see you someday.’


Breaking Ice

After two years, I’m making yet another attempt on a blogging comeback. Who knows if the literary quality of this entry would at least qualify for my autobiography should I become famous, but that’s not my concern. For now. HAHAHA.

To be honest, I don’t even know what to post or write. My intention is just to break the ice and thaw whatever it is that is sticking on to my ability to write, and I intend to do that by reading more (no, sports articles and opinion pieces don’t really count in literature, but creative non-fiction is starting to break ground, last I heard. Anyway…) and writing more.

A lot has changed. For one, I actually graduated from college – something I honestly thought would never come three years ago. But praise God for He is merciful and truly gracious with his blessings. I will try to write about a lot more, and I don’t know if it will be compelling and engaging at the very least.

The only thing I’m sure of right now, though, is that 1) this blog will be a lot less emo and “hormonally-charged” than before (I guess it comes with growing up and actually being out of teen-hood) and 2) everything I write, think and do from here on out – heck, every single thing I do – will be for Jesus and His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

It has been a wonderful life for me now, and I want you to have it as well, for nothing is impossible with Him. ūüôā

CDC Glass Door and Road Painting

Rain or shine, the FLCD Circle always has a colorful day in its hands.

On June 2 and 3, Circlers had a fun time painting and repainting designs on the road leading to the Child Development Center. Under the scorching heat of the sun – and under the shadows provided by the trees, people gave new life to the designs that have been previously faded by the elements. People who participated in either day of the road painting were Bea Estrada, Carina Suarez, Charm Siocon, Ian Bayta, Jasmine Dizon, Joanna Sta. Isabel, Joi Tiu, LA Santos, Laurie Quiambao, Marc Lalas, RJ Soriano, T-Ann Oleta, Tintin Roque and Yssa Idolor.

Meanwhile, on June 3 and 9, the FLCD Circle cleaned CDC’s glass door in order to paint a new design on it. The book cover chosen for the new glass door design was Virgilio Almario’s Paradise of the Animals, the illustrations of which were drawn by Joanne de Leon. June 3 was not enough to clean the glass door and paint the designs, so the painting was extended on June 9, a rainy enrollment day. Alexa Carreon, Bea Estrada, Charm Siocon, Chato Racoma, Ian Bayta, Janina del Valle, ¬†Jill Ponio, Joanna Sta. Isabel, Joi Tiu, LA Santos, Marc Lalas, Mariko Nisce, Maxine Sta. Maria, Paul Mishuku, Sarah Lazaga and Sassja Cucueco.





It’s been almost three months since I wrote anything not resembling a Facebook note, an academic paper or an observation portfolio. Sad, really, that I kind of turned my back to the first art I learned and practiced – or at least, attempted to.

Writing, meet Aimee.

That’s probably a vague statement, but I’m more focused right now on expressing my thoughts through visuals – photography. (Aimee’s the name of the DSLR I have now.) They’re basically the same, except that in photography, what is desired is inverse to what writing does to its readers.

I’ll try to write again.

Ang pagkukwento ng Sandosenang Sapatos ni Dr. Luis Gatmaitan

Noong ika-21 ng Pebrero, 2011, pumunta ang ilan sa mga miyembro ng UP Family Life and Child Development (FLCD) Circle sa Marikina Shoe Museum upang ikuwento ang “Sandosenang Sapatos“, na isinulat ni Dr. Luis Gatmaitan. Ginawa nila ito sa harap ng mahigit na 35 bata na nagmula sa ilang mga day care centers sa Marikina.

Parte ng paggunita ng ika-33 anibersaryo ng FLCD Circle ang isinagawang pagkukwento na ito ng organisasyon. ¬†Ang Sandosenang Sapatos ay isinalaysay sa pananaw ni Karina, isang batang babae na may tatay na sapatero at isang kapatid na ipinanganak nang wala ang kanyang dalawang paa, si Susie. Dito ay inilahad ni Karina ang pagmamahal na ibinigay ng kanyang tatay sa kanilang magkapatid, lalo na kay Susie. Nang pumanaw ang kanilang tatay, natuklasan ni Karina ang sandosenang¬†sapatos na ginawa ng kanyang tatay para kay Susie – isang sapatos para sa bawat kaarawan na ipinagdiwang ni Susie. Matapos nito’y ipinagbigay-alam niya sa kanyang kapatid at sa nanay nya ang mga sapatos na ginawa ng kanyang tatay, na tanda ng sobra nitong pagmamahal sa kanyang mga anak.

Matapos na magkuwento ang mga Circlers, sila’y namahagi ng mga sapatos sa mga bata na dumalo sa pagkukwento ng FLCD Circle. Sila’y tumungo sa Cafe Kapitan para magkaroon ng kaunting meryenda, at pagkatapos ay bumalik na sa UP para maghanda sa exhibit na kanilang¬†ilalahad sa Alonso Hall, parte pa rin ng pagdiriwang ng ika-33 kaarawan ng FLCD Circle.

Ito ay nagawa sa tulong ni Teacher Mayan Ignacio, na nagtapos rin ng kursong BS FLCD sa UP Diliman, kasama ang Marikina Art Council (?). Kasama sa pagkukwentong naganap sina Celina Buensuceso, Gail Viyar, Joanne Aritao, Marc Lalas, Maxine Sta. Maria, Mimi Navales, Rasziel Doquenia, Sarah Lazaga at Steph Uy.

On brick buildings

“But it’s true. It’s a little unfair… When you’re trying to repair a brick building that was made the wrong way the first time, you have to tear the whole thing down before you can begin. It can’t be done in any other way, because brick is too strong to change..”

– Soujiro Seta

A letter you probably wouldn’t want to read

It was a long six months.

I could’ve snapped a little here and there, but the truth is I kept my faith that somehow you would give me a chance to love you. Even with every little thing you showed me (or more aptly, didn’t show me), I love you.

I already saw this coming but I still hoped for something that can illuminate the darkest sides of my heart, clinging on to the faintest speck of light I can find with my frail eyes. ‘Hope for the best, expect the worst,’ they say. Maybe I was a fool for believing you despite the odds.

But that’s what crazy people do, right? They do crazy things justifiable only to themselves. I rolled the dice, and apparently, I’ve lost. So much for taking chances.

One night, I thought of fortresses in relation to my waiting for you. Out of the rubble all my building and rebuilding has resulted, I could probably make another one, trying to defend myself from the inevitable pain that was to come. I knew it was coming and yet there was nothing to get myself prepared for it. I swear you’ve torn me apart, unconsciously, even effortlessly, as I struggled in mending my heart that was longing for you.

I could’ve hated you a lot. I know I could. But even so, I’d still choose to love you if I had the chance to tell you that.

But I won’t go do that. I’m weary, and I can rest based on the fact that I can recover from this. Maybe it’s not my right to tell you ‘don’t worry,’ because you will despite what I’ll tell you.

I’m sorry for putting you through all of this. And for one last time, I love you.

But most probably, I won’t be around to show and tell you that.

Articles for CMVG

CMVG’s Advent Recollection

It was 11:34 AM in a cloudy morning when I arrived in front of the Cenacle Retreat House. I rang the doorbell, then entered. When I finished checking in at the office, I went straight to the Conference Room; Sister Yna O√Īate, the retreat presider, was there. She then gave me the first activity that my fellow-retreat goers did: a reflection on Isaiah 35:5-10 (Joy of the Redeemed, NIV)*, as well as to draw a symbolism of the significant symbols that marked one’s life.

Lunch then was served after the activity, and then the 17 of us went back to doing another reflection Sr. Yna gave us: Luke 1:26-38, which tells us the foretelling of Jesus’ birth and that Mary was the one chosen to bear Christ in her womb. Along that were some questions, one of which was particularly noteworthy: how would we react if we were given news of such magnitude, something which gives us responsibility for the birth of the one Most High?

After our reflection session, we proceeded to watch Joshua, a film inspired by a book by Fr. Joseph Girzone. It tells the story of a man named Joshua, who arrives at the town of Auburn and becomes an instant blessing to the townspeople there, spreading compassion and leading by example. We had a post-movie discussion by pairs, and then we were asked by Sr. Yna to share a word which was the predominant theme of the recollection that day.

We then went to the dining room to have a symbolic breaking of the bread with Father Mike and had dinner. Concluding our day was a prayer and the usual photo session, and we left the Cenacle Retreat House with a renewed excitement coming into the Advent season.

CMVG participates in UP Parish Simbang Gabi festivities

The Campus Ministry Volunteer Group (CMVG) sponsored the December 17 UP Simbang Gabi Mass, singing with the members from various Catholic Students’ Community (CSC) organizations and also giving an offering for the said celebration.

The Mass also marked the last Simbang Gabi appearance of outgoing UP President Emerlinda Roman, who had also graced the second Simbang Gabi night Masses the previous years.

After the Mass, CMVG held a short bonding session held at the Delaney Hall with the CSC orgs in attendance. They ate breakfast together and also played some games after they ate.

The first time

I don’t remember myself wanting to get things right when experiencing something for the very first time.

Before, and even up to now, I value the experience itself more than trying to get things right. Sometimes, I’d get it right on the first try but I’d tell to myself afterwards that I just got lucky. But the dismissive attitude that I have towards the situation is because I know I’d be making mistakes as I go on. So there’s no reason for me to rejoice that much.

But now that I’ve said that, maybe I, too, am concerned with getting things right the first time.

I’ve mentioned something about telling a girl that I like her, in a way I never did before. And I swear that I asked God for that exact scene that happened on that day – we were just by ourselves on a street corner, I was holding her umbrella and it was raining hard. Voila.

Whenever I recall that exact moment, I always smile by my lonesome. Even if that makes me look a little crazy. But examining what happened after makes this a bit complicated talk. We haven’t had a serious, long talk ever since we had that walk in her village the same day I told her what I feel. And it’s been months since I saw her for more than 30 minutes. Needless to say, what I (we?) have now is an unwanted fallout, but who knows if this will matter, say, 3 to 5 years from now?

Anyway, I digress. I keep on telling myself I don’t regret what I did, in part because I asked God for that one moment to happen and He gave it to me. I can’t waste that. But based on what’s existed between us as of now, I’m tempted to think otherwise.

Coming back to what I said earlier, I don’t really care if I commit a mistake on the first time I do some things. But this might be an exception. I told myself that day that I only wanted to tell her what I really felt on that day and then I’ll leave the rest up to God. But secretly, I wanted to see her at least smile back at me when I told her such things, which, to me, equates to having made a right decision, the right thing to do, and it should’ve felt so right and made me so happy when I did tell her I like her – no matter what happened afterward.

And no, it did not happen. If everything went right, then who knows in what heaven would I be residing now. Apparently, what I did was – I daresay – a mistake, and I should have learned my lessons. But like everyone else, I get tired of making mistakes and eating humble pie after. I wanted to get it right the first time, even though I said otherwise.

Here comes the element called the future. Though it sounds preposterous, it allows you to somehow mop up your mistakes. It gives you a second chance even though there’s a big chance it will never be like the past that you once enjoyed. Though I might not have gotten it the first time, there’s always that second time. It offers you the hope that someday, you might get it right, that loving will make you happy – and will love you back.

Here’s to 2011. It won’t be the first time I’ll be doing this, but hey, world: get ready for me.

Proposal for a certain 2011 resolution

Earlier this evening, I was surfing Facebook when I stumbled into a status, a quote taken from One Tree Hill. What really caught me was this reply by Dennis Arroyo (former NEDA Director, founder of UP ICTUS, one of my orgs in UP):

“I think happiness is a by-product of losing one’s self: in love, in service, even in an activity like a basketball game. Psychologists speak of the phenomenon of “flow” which involves that transcendence from self.”

After a few minutes, I passed it on to one of my close friends, Katkat, who had seen it before I did. We both agreed on what Dennis had to say. I thought that she was the one who’d regularly lose herself in happiness, based on the way I saw her (when she was still in college). I was surprised when she said she was amazed by the way she lost herself in love and in writing; she also told me she never thought it could happen to her that way.

Now that I thought of it, how many times has it happened to me? The first images on my mind were that of my sophomore year in high school. It was that time when I really had fun in life: studying, enjoying everyday life, writing, and yes, falling quite deeply in love. And when I tried to come up with examples of losing myself in happiness in recent times…well, I could not think of any.

Or maybe I’m just being too tight – or something in me represses my thoughts for some reason. I remember myself sharing in one bonding session that sometimes, I’m in autopilot mode when doing certain activities because I’ve been there doing those activities in a long period of time. And over time, it seems to take the joy out of me – bored would be a blunt yet somehow, inappropriate word (if you can read my mind and get my context, anyway). My friend then told me that maybe I should approach what I do in a different way. But I’m too uncreative.

Or maybe I’m scared. Which is surprising because if I were to describe my personality this year, it’s that of a loose cannon – audacious (the way I told someone I like her), outspoken (many times with my close friends), adventurous (first time I scuba dived was last September, in Anilao). Or it’s just that, I don’t know how to put it in a single word. Take this for instance: together with my orgmates in ICTUS, I coordinated ¬†a Christmas party for Grade 2 students in a public school, which, mind you, was no small feat. I expected 700 or so children (the figure that day, December 13, was around 550 kids). ¬†After the party, I was somewhat surprised by how the party went – mostly orderly, few reports of kids being rowdy, significantly less stress, and we all had fun. And still, I was more nitpicking myself on how I could improve the party than patting myself on the back (can’t do that, in more ways than one). I was happy, sure. But I couldn’t really figure out what it was – was I happy because the kids were happy, because we did a good job, because the way we coordinated during the party was commendable. In the end, I was still looking for something. (Ok. The paragraph looks weird, it didn’t really show me being scared. But whatever)

Or I think too much. Again, nitpicking – what more I could’ve done in a certain event, what I shouldn’t have done, and a litany of questions – on what’s supposed to be a happy event. So I’ve created a dichotomy of being a happy-go-lucky person as perceived by people and being a control freak in reality – and, to make matters more complicated, a role reversal of those perceptions.

Not that I don’t have opportunities to lose myself in sheer gladness or joy – I do recall one November night, when we won a certain carstuffing competition in UP Diliman that gave me smiles and a very bad lower back pain. Another is when I watch some Youtube videos – those moments of mababaw ang kaligayahan – and since I’m home, I can laugh out to my heart’s content, provided that there’s still enough people awake to not disturb them when they do hear me laugh.

Again, though, I’d think too much. This can be one explanation as to why I’d inexplicably freeze whenever I’m doing something – writing, singing, talking to people (I tend to eat my words), even while walking. And it looks weird. I know how to snap out of it, and it’s to do things without hesitation. But in doing so, I fear that because I did not think things out, I could be out there doing something wrong and it might be too late to retreat.

So there goes my foundation for something I’d want to change. I’ll try to lose myself in happiness, try to do things with conviction.

But then –



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