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A Letter to a Loving Father

Dad, if you are reading this right now, I want to let you know how much I love you.

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How are you doing, Dad?

Dad, if you are reading this right now, I want to let you know how much I love you.

First and foremost, thank you for raising me up from my mother’s womb until now that I’m a well-grown man. I will never forget the memories spent with you each day especially back then, when I was a very frail kid. I trip easily, but with every fall, you bend over to pick me up and set me back on track again. You loved me from the moment I was born as we shared a gleaming sparkle in each one’s eyes.

What else can I ask for when I have a loving father who always thinks of my wellness and abundance? Do you still remember how you taught me to feed the goats at the petting zoo? It really was a great experience. At first, I feared that my fingers would bleed if the goats bite my fingertips. Then suddenly, all of my fears faded away – because I know you were there watching over me, protecting me from danger. It was in that moment when I realized the courage one has to have to become a loving father – I do not know how, when, or why, but I guess such paternal love is possible.

Indeed, I will forever be indebted to what you have given and done for my sake. I still do not know how I can repay you for all good you’ve done for me.

I will never forget the countless days and nights when you were a father full of support, love, protection, and guidance. We do not have much, and you risk your life by working overtime, even if you’re sick, just to continue to support our family.

How you would lend me your handkerchief when I came home from school seeing me all sweaty from head to toe, or how you managed to fit me in your motorcycle after dismissal to protect me from strangers as well as the changing weather before reaching home; these times, Dad, are certainly irreplaceable.

These small memories I shall never forget.

And even when she fooled me Dad, even though I was like a moth captivated by fire, you never left my side. You stayed beside me as times got rougher and tougher. I cried beside you, and you told me that you would always be by my side and that I should not worry – then you kissed me goodnight.

I love you Dad, and I wish you know that. I know I have not expressed myself much lately, but, whatever happens, please be assured that someday I will reciprocate all the good and love that you have shown me.

Nevertheless, may you always be glad, reminded that your children will always be there for you and will never leave you.

Thank you for everything… Thank you for loving me the way I am. Thank you for being a good husband to my mother and a loving father to us. May the Lord, as He is with you right now, bless and love you dearly as much as you deserve. I love you dearly, my ever dearest father, I truly do. And someday, I’ll make you proud.

Mi corazón late por ti solamente, mi amor. Siempre que fue desde el principio hasta el final de los tiempos…

Lovingly Yours,

Your beloved son and lover

Elbert

Photo courtesy of Erise Perez

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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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