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Literary

A blood-partner for life

A blood-partner in life once told me that at the very long road that we continued to walk over, everyone seeks their individualities and ends up being alone at some point for it was what she said—essential.

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Artwork by Tricia Jardin

Counting the time that is headed towards the day where love seemingly arises and everyone is seemingly enjoying the moment with their loved ones are about to come. A blood-partner in life once told me that at the very long road that we continued to walk over, everyone seeks their individualities and ends up being alone at some point for it was what she said—essential. Kind of ironic that her next words contradicted her first statement by stating that the process of it is just what makes us feel alone, for we focus on achieving for ourselves, for moving forward for sometimes, selfish reasons. But the truth is, we are never alone.

Humans are social beings, even with people who hated other people, we are still very connected to one another. The paths that we take are all terrifying, and the absolute lack of knowledge on to what lies ahead is what makes us hold on to our edges and halt at some point, but someone will always press our gears and move us. May it be an event that was made possible by people, a person who inspires, a person who was damaged and we take pity, and even a person who was already gone can push us to keep moving forward.

If not a lot, that are some of the few things that I learned from her and kept on believing even after a decade. I had faith in her that there are some things that won’t forever go smoothly as I would expected, but it is okay to stop, to relive of the people who made me reach this far. The memories of comfort and serenity were enough to ease the pain of a burning resolution, that is why sometimes we burn-out because of the excessive will of selfishness that only centers our ego and pride. Soothing me from my combusting, bright resolve is someone who will never go extinct from my memory, and cheesy it might sound—from my heart, also. A blood-partner that is existent as long as I continue to crawl, walk, run, and stop in my path.

Today, I am standing beside a polished gray rock along with my parents, visiting a day earlier from what should be the day of visit. Her name is engraved on the smooth concrete and I, with my mother and father recalls the days that she was standing with us. On the one-day early from the day of love and hearts, we stood watching, and in unison, we said: Happy Valentines, Ate.

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Literary

Confession

It creeps up on me when I eat, when I am sitting in the living room, when I am about to sleep.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

To rest is a sin.

In the quiet moments of this new sheltered life, I have come to accept that there is a small dark corner of my mind where all the dates of the calendar are marked. From the first week of April, to the last week of May—it’s all there. It is a small dark corner. It creeps up on me when I eat, when I am sitting in the living room, when I am about to sleep.

This small dark corner reminds me everyday of what’s about to come. I explain that I’m not ready, that I need more time, that this is new territory and I haven’t taken a step further since I came here—it doesn’t listen to me. It tells me to get to work. It tells me that this is my priority, this is what matters the most in this worldwide pandemic. It forces me to listen, to do as it says, to be its puppet to be controlled with the numbers controlling my arms and legs.

But this is just a small dark corner of my mind. There are other corners. Much bigger corners.

To rest is a sin. 

I have yet to be forgiven. 

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Literary

Little Bit of Paradise

You try to breathe in the catastrophe as your thumb keeps scrolling and scrolling and scrolling until the end is reached, leaving a deep void that makes you unable to speak or act.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

You wake up to the sight of your room’s white ceiling. The summer heat makes your skin sweat immediately. Piled up papers stare at you from the corner of the room along with unpacked belongings from the dorm––ah, yes. You are home––earlier than expected but still, you succumb to this little bit of paradise.

You breathe in the familiarity of your bed sheet’s smell, let every caress of the fabric give comfort up until you check your phone.

Three hundred thirty-nine new cases. The death toll is now at 704. Recoveries at 1,842. The total is now at 10,610.

This little bit of paradise began to crumble from the inside. Like a volcano nearing to erupt. The summer heat began to burn not only the skin but also made its way into bones and flesh. Piled up papers began to yell, screaming for a continuation. Gentle caresses became tight grips with nails digging deeper into full palms.

You try to breathe in the catastrophe as your thumb keeps scrolling and scrolling and scrolling until the end is reached, leaving a deep void that makes you unable to speak or act.

You see posts from people staying up in their ivory towers while waving their flags of toxic positivity for all to see. You grit your teeth in disgust. The screen refreshes, showing heroes and people trying to survive from exhaustion and hunger.

This little bit of paradise of yours completely crumbles, leaving traces of guilt, fear,  and anger, all in one.

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Literary

Finding Courage

In this time, praying has become a refuge. There is solitude in knowing that you are being heard and that what you are feeling and thinking are valid.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

It’s nice to wake up with the thought of having food served on the dining table for the day. When you know that you have a home, your family beside you, and wondering what you will do for the rest of the day. Make Dalgona coffee? Bake? Read? Watch a new TV series? Finally finish your school work?

Watching the news has become a staple in the household. Seeing the cases increase, people helping one another, our frontliners making things easier for us, and the struggle of the people trying to make ends meet despite the difficult situation. Suddenly, watching the news brings tension, stress, and anxiety. 

In this time, praying has become a refuge. There is solitude in knowing that you are being heard and that what you are feeling and thinking are valid. It is okay to be scared in times like these but know that these too shall pass. Courage is hard to find these days but waking up and getting out of the bed is a progress. I hope you find the courage to go on day by day.

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