About that Wislawa Szymborska line (i.e., 27th birthday)

*November 6, 2020 A few weeks before November 6, the poem Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska came to me like a directive: “I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries/ that can be celebrated every day […] I prefer not to ask how much longer and when./ I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility/ that existence has its …

July 2020 Book Review: Dying, time travelling, animals talking, creepy exchanges

As far as my series of book review is concerned, I left you on March 2020 when I talked about books written by women. I guarantee you that your Kindle junkie is still tap-tapping that rectangle thing. However, I got caught up with old stuff, new stuff, sharp stuff that had beaten the hell out …

Disposing of/holding on

I was first introduced to Marie Kondo last year when I once received messages of friends asking me to adopt the wacky socks they do not want to use anymore.  Marie Kondo has become a household name, so phenomenal that she has become more of a verb than a figure. To ‘Marie Kondo,’ as how …

COVID-19: 10 things in mind

How are you? This is really a silly question to ask, considering the proliferation of the pandemic that has changed our lives forever. But this is coming from a place of concern, because inasmuch as I expect that your answers would most likely be depressing, sad, terrible, being asked this question is something that would …

A love letter

To whom it may concern: If you fall under the category of the brokenhearted, the depressed, the friendzoned, the ghostee, the abused, the stuck, the invisible, the solitary, the incomplete, the waitlisted, or the abandoned, I am giving this letter to you. So February 14 excludes you from those who will celebrate this day with …

Hello students, goodbye

Legit: teachers take the last sessions seriously. It’s the time we wax nostalgic, as if breaking up with a relationship, or retiring after eons, or folding our tents after an unforgettable summer camp. The thing that most students do not know is this: we care about you and we kind of wish that we have …

Teaching martial law period literature in the era of post-truth

Pressing are the current times when students are led to believe the “convenient truths” on the President Marcos debate. Despite substantial studies proving the oppression during the Martial Law period, the students’ emotions are won over by apologists whose tweaked narratives renounce common sense. In the age of devaluing reason and glorifying propaganda, literature teachers should …

Happy 20th birthday, Interpreter of Maladies!

I encountered Jhumpa Lahiri’s cadence in graduate school when we’re asked to read the beginning short story “A Temporary Matter” in the light of postmodernist criticism. I forgot how I answered that examination on comparative literature. What I remembered was sweat excreting on my palms. I guess reading under pressure is not a wonderful reading …

I’m a good person

Trigger Warning: suicide, depression, anxiety, and strong language May 7, 2019. I was crying going home, but the driver hadn’t noticed it. I wiped my tears and sucked all of my feelings up so my parents wouldn’t notice a whiff of my emotion. I went straight to my room, pumped up a random playlist, and …

The situation is a lot more nuanced than that: A meditation on mental health through Crazy ex-girlfriend*

Good morning to the freshies, to Dr. Wilter Friales, to the NSTP facilitators, and to the paid laughers and clappers I scattered around this gymnasium. This is such a wonderful day, essentially for me. It’s not every day that I get asked to speak of mental health, the thing I am passionate with and striving …

Maligayang #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy. Also, #EndRapeCulture.

The month of August marks the #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy or Month of Filipino Works, an online campaign spearheaded by the award-winning novelist and poet Edgar Calabia Samar. It’s my time to snoop around his Twitter account and the hashtag to discover promising literature and celebrate the virtue of creation in spite of the unspeakable clownery of Philippine …

Books on faith terrify me—until Anne Lamott (or a bookworm stanning 4 Anne Lamott books in one week after reading 1 book last month)

Some books cast a repelling effect on me especially when they start waxing fundamentalism. Their audacity to assure me of a successful life through a handful of Bible verses and telling me ‘it’s all in the mind’ unwittingly implies that my feelings of emptiness are invalid. When a writer refuses to descend from his/her ivory …

A list of things running in my mind while running that I should try to avoid (but I still fail every freaking time)*. I should

stop thinking I am going to be Usain Bolt. It’s never going to happen at least now, tomorrow, or next week. avoid comparing myself to myself. If I won, I beat myself. In every breathing pattern I try to compose to get a faster run, I fish my phone on my tiny zipper pocket and …

Running for HIV/AIDS

This week opens up for the annual T’nalak Festival in South Cotabato where I am based right now. The office I work in started to get too loud with all the booming playlist on the street and the tourists idling by. It’s harder to get a tricycle anywhere, and the days will be freaking inconvenient …

Keeping a Journal

Joan Didion has written about how notebooks are essential in keeping memories. Twitter and Facebook and Instagram ruined our memories, making us all-too dependent for affirmation and hype, that the only memories we stick are those with the best filters, that the principles that win are those which are retweeted the most, and liked the …


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