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Literary

Bakit Walang Forever?

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MAY nakita kang umiiyak na dalaga at tinanong mo sa kanya kung ano ang kanyang problema. Sinabi ng dalaga na iniwan daw siya ng kanyang minamahal nang biglaan.

Patuloy na nga siyang nagtaka kung bakit palagi na lamang ganyan – gumagawa ng mga pangako na hindi naman nagagawang tuparin. Bakit uso ang pagwiwika ng salitang forever kung kahit ang mismong nauna pa ngang nagsabi nito ay siyang unang aalis? Bakit nga ba walang forever?

Hinanap ng iyong mga mata ang kalangitan, huminga ng malalaim at nagwika:

“Mali ang forever na natagpuan mo sa kanya.”

May iba’t-ibang klase ng forever. Ang pisikal ay ‘yong nawawala. Wala siyang nahanap na pisikal na forever sa’yo at ganoon ka rin sa kanya.

May forever na natatagpuan sa puso. Maaari mong mahalin ang tao habang buhay kahit kayo’y hindi na magkasama. Iba-iba rin kasi ang anyo ng pagmamahal.

Ang forever sa utak – mga alaala mo noong kayo’y magkasama. Nais mo ba siyang kalimutan? Huwag lahat – itira mo sa iyong isip ang mga karanasan at pagkakamali sapagkat ito ang iyong susi upang hindi na ito maulit sa iba at hindi mo na maranasang muli ang sakit.

“Paano ko na malalaman kung alin nga ang tama?” tanong niya sa’yo.

“Kapag hindi ka niya piniling iwanan;

kapag ang pagmamahal mo sa kanya ay hindi magbabagong anyo at sinisiguro niyang mananatili siya sa’yo;

kapag ang mga ala-ala mo na kasama siya ay tuloy-tuloy pa ring nadadagdagan;

at higit sa lahat, kapag parehas niyong kinikilala ang mali ng bawat isa at sabay niyong palalawigin ang inyong mga pananaw sa buhay,” ang tinuran mo bilang sagot.

Relasyon sa kapwa na walang pag-iimbot at walang hinihinging kondisyon – iyan ang tunay na forever.

Kuha ni Bria Cardenas

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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. 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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