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Dahil sayo, natutunan ko ang sining ng pagpapanggap.

Na habang nariyan ka, ilang metro lang ang pagitan,
nakatayo sa harap ko na tila walang namagitan,
ay kinakailangan kong magpanggap na hindi humihiyaw ang puso ko
sa isang statwang kagaya mo.

Natutunan kong umiwas sa mga mata mo na tila walang pinapahiwatig,
na tila walang bakas ng panghihinayang,
sapagkat halata pa sa sikat ng buwan ang pagmamahal ko
sa mga buwisit na matang ito.

Dahil aminin na natin, kahit sa simula pa man,
ay wala ka na talagang binibigkas.
Wala ka nang minamarka sa bato.
Walang kang dinedesisyunan.
At wala kang sinugal.

Kaya’t pinipili kong huwag kang tignan dahil habang walang sing hirap itago ang sinasabi ng aking mga mata ay walang sing dali sayo.
Dahil alam kong sa isang iglap ng pagdaan,
malalaman mo na may kulang dito,
na may blankong ayaw magpatalo sa panahon, sa lahat ng oras at pagkakataon,
na may hungkag kang binuo,
dito sa pagal at walang pagod na pusong ito
na gusto ko nang patayin nang higit pa sa minsan.

Ngunit ang pinakamalupit sa mga bagay na inukit mo sa puso ko,
ay ang katotohanang hindi mo alam na sabay kong dinadala ang bigat ng pagibig at pasakit ng dahil sayo.

Wala kang alam, at hindi mo man lang inalam.

Na patuloy at tahimik kong tinitiis ang hirap na hindi na kita nakakausap.
Na tila bumalik tayo sa dalawang magkaibang mundo,
walang pakialam at mga estranghero.

Subalit dinedesisyunan ko, na ito ang tama, na ito ang dapat.
Na putulin ang anumang nagdudugtong sa atin para maisalba ko ang sarili ko.
Araw araw, dinedesisyunan kong mahalin ka at huwag kang mahalin.
Na mahalin ka sa malayo, kung saan matatanggap ko nang tuluyan,
na ang pagmamahal ko sayo ay nagsimula at matatapos sa pagmamahal ko sayo.

Sa pagmamahal ko lang sayo.

P.S. Sana masubukan ko talaga to nang live. 🙂

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To you who’s been invisible, I want you to know that you are not alone.

We all know her. That person who sits by herself on a crowded corridor. The one who speaks but was never heard. The one who dresses up nicely for an occasion but never gets the attention. The one who walks the hallways but was never greeted by anyone. The one who blends in the crowd too much that she drowns. And the one who seeks to be remembered but fails to do so.

You know her. I know her. At one point, I was her.

There’s no great surprise that some of us don’t really leave a lasting impression on others. Or even a first one at that.  With all the myriad of personalties surrounding us, how could everyone be noticed by everyone? There are times when these ‘invisibles’ get used to where they stand in the world. Maybe because they have their own world which does not fit any mold or the ones they consider to be rightfully ‘visible’ in the circle they live in. Sometimes, they scream just to be accepted by the people who may not be even aware of their cries. Yes, human beings can do that without even knowing it. They are so intent on making their own lives the center of the world that they could inadvertently leave out some other centers. And why the hell would they not want that, right? After all they’ve got only one life–their life to live.

Being invisible in certain situations is what other people could want. Especially when they don’t really want to be the center of attention. I have never really felt out of place until recently, but when I remember those years growing up, I could consider myself not really wanting the spotlight. Which has been good for me since I like spending time alone or with just a tight circle of friends. You can say, the sidelines were a good friend growing up.

I went through highschool and college being normal. My big sister was, in contrast, quite the more popular one, I suppose. And I enjoyed that because she was really more of the outspoken, friendly, and larger-network-type-of-gal. I even remember one instance when my own classmate knew my sister and was surprised to learn that she had a sister in her own batch. I actually laughed at it, felt a little embarrassed but eventually just let it go. Because it didn’t really matter that much.

In college, everything went as normally as it could be. No limelight whatsoever. You see, I was never really the type who came to class with a bang. I was mostly quiet. And I was never used to putting on makeup, dressing up, or being loud. As the years went by, I didn’t really feel all that left out. I had good, solid friends. A family that laughs at my jokes. My own dreams to be fulfilled. And my own personal dilemmas to even worry about being invisible.

That was until it happened to me. It was an experience that taught me so much. I learned that what human beings utterly crave for is simply to be heard. We live in this world so that our voices can be heard. Our presence to be felt. Maybe not by all people but definitely at least by some. In that situation, I felt like I really did not exist. I was not missed or remembered. I actually at one point even stopped trying because maybe a little part of it was my fault. But at the end of the day, it really hurt. Which I guess is the same pain felt by all those invisibles out there trying to feel important in one way or another. Human beings have that need for their existence to make a difference, even by a little especially to those people who are dear to them. We were born so that our thoughts, feelings and actions can somehow have an impact on others. And that is the plain truth of it all.

Maybe we were all meant to go through this to learn. Even though we act a certain way towards others, it doesn’t mean we can expect them to act the same. We have to learn that not everybody is going to accept our energy or enjoy our personality. And that the bigger lesson is to accept that they cannot accept us. There is a reason for that. I understood the reasons. And understanding is a huge part of accepting it.

So to you, like me, who has carried the invisibility cloak at one point in your life, believe that there is a reason why others would do exactly the opposite. These are the others who will make you feel visible. The others who will take the time for you to feel missed. The others who cannot wait to hear your voice. And these people, you have to find them. You don’t really have to search that far most times. These are your people. So smile, because you have your ‘others.’

Be grateful you went through it, because it has made you more compassionate. More understanding and aware. And that it has made you more determined to be heard. So speak up. Dress up. Stand up. Because, even if you do not feel or believe it, you matter.

 

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New Day

What a difference a year makes. Isn’t it so surprising what could happen in a year? How you can be changed by things or experiences in this span of time? You never know what to expect. What could come along. How you can feel so many different emotions, learn new things, and realize how your life has been shaped by situations whether good or bad, by changes that caught you off guard, and by people who have made a difference in your heart.

A year from now, I don’t know where I will be. What I’m doing. Who I’m with. Or what I would feel.

And it is scary. Not knowing. Figuring things out again. There is a life out there, just waiting for me to open. And it is exciting at the same time.

But I guess, all I could hope for is, to be happy. Much like every living soul on this planet.

It’s so funny, this happiness stuff. We all aim for it. And most of us find it so difficult to find, right? It’s quite frustrating at times. We all pray for it. But sometimes, it’s easier to be sad because we’re so used to it. If we become happy, we know it wouldn’t last. Something will happen eventually. At least if we’re sad, we’d always have something to aim for. But, maybe, happiness is just something that’s not really supposed to stay with us always. I mean, emotions, they change, even by the minute. It’s that fast. If we have happiness that rare, we’ll cherish every moment of it. Suck in the floating feeling of joy. Learn to seep it into our skin, like we’ve never had air in our lungs.

I am rambling, once again. But I guess, what I’m really trying to say is, it’s alright to be sad at times. It allows us to grasp that evasive happiness by its neck. That kind of happiness that makes you sick. Because it fills your heart too much.

I guess every New Year, we make resolutions to be happy or make others happy. I really am not the type of person who makes resolutions though I have one of those lists of things to do. But if I was going to make one, just this year, I resolve to be kinder, to make important decisions that could make my life better, to be less scared. And keep my promises.

There really isn’t anything different when the New Year comes. Unless you make something out of it. They say it’s a time for second chances. But second chances can come any day. No need for a New Year to have one. They say it’s a time for change or resolutions. But you can make one today or tomorrow.

I guess, the New Year is merely a reminder. But we don’t have to wait a year for things to happen.

So here’s a toast to a New Day. May it bring your life that kind of happiness we all hope for. 🙂

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Broken as Hell

It’s true, isn’t it? Bullies are broken people too. Maybe more broken than we think.

Cruelty. Nobody is exempted from it, I guess. All of us have come across it in any shape or form. It’s inevitable in life. Yes, nobody is exempted from it, yet nobody deserves it.

I can’t help but think about what bullies have gone through in their lives. It is more likely that they have rooted, unhealed, and traumatic wounds that they try to cover up. Maybe because they don’t know how to face them, scared to peel off the band aid, and are oblivious as to how to try to mend the hurt.

By knowing this, we can come to realize that they also need our help. Bullies are actually crying for help. Quietly screaming. Diverting their inner pains. Reacting to it in a defensive way. Because through bullying, they wouldn’t be seen as weak. Helpless. Frightened. Unconfident. Broken.

But somehow, if they resist help, how can they be saved? If they have gotten used to being the way they are, would they be willing to move away from what has given them comfort? Sometimes I think, we should just accept how they are because that’s who they are, and we can react differently than get affected or hurt. But we are broken people too. We hurt the same way. We break. We fall apart. Even with the little things that aren’t supposed to matter.

We can try to understand them. Give them the chance to change. Because everybody deserves to be better human beings. But is there a sliver of effort from them? I genuinely and pray to God, hope so.

There’s just a point where, enough is enough. Victims have their boiling point too, when you can’t take it anymore. And you realize that you can’t give them the satisfaction anymore by showing they affect you.

As my friend always says, they simply do not count in your life. So why be affected?

Maybe they do not count, but what they do to you counts, because it is just plain wrong. And it counts because you know they can be good people too. If they only knew how. If they only wanted to.

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The Story of Mine

I pulled my jacket tighter with the soft breeze caressing my face as I walked the familiar path in this dear little park I had grown up loving. It was a great day, I had known it. The sun was just on the rise, peeking through, with its gentle light touching the green green grass that seems to hear its own beat. Leaves endlessly rustled beneath, never seeming to know where to go or when to rest. The air was cool, just enough to be enjoyed by anyone on a breezy summer day.

And there he was.

For only a while, I had known him. He had a faraway look in his eyes as he rested his elbows on his knees, hands clasped together, seeming to search for something out there yet having a sweeping calmness about him. As I climbed the uphill slope to where he was, I had that certain feeling that this was the last time I would see him.

“Hey.”

“Hey, you came,” he had said with a tinge of a smile.

I stayed quiet until I was sitting beside him on the rusted bench, overlooking the beauty of our town.

“How are you?”

“I’m okay. It’s nice to see you,” I told him, and in truth, I didn’t believe we would meet again.

“You too. Are you coming tomorrow?” he had asked. And of course, he knew I would not come. He had that sheepish look, embarrassed for even asking.

“I wanted you to know that I wish you every happiness,” I looked him in the eye with all the hope I could have for his life. I had wanted him to feel how much I pray, everyday, for his life to turn out greater than he expected.

“Thank you,” he said, looking down, with sadness seeming to fill his eyes. “Sometimes, I can’t believe this is happening.”

“I know.” It was my turn to look away. “But it wouldn’t have worked, you know,” I said, trying to lift his spirits, and maybe mine.

He was taken aback for a second then looked amused, “Oh, why not?”

“I just felt…too much,” I had confessed, adding a touch of a smile to wipe off some of the humiliation I was feeling.

“That’s not possible,” he remarked with incredulity. “I can’t even imagine that. And even if you did, you wouldn’t have topped mine, I think.”

I breathed in the cool air as I turned to hold his gaze, longer for just this moment. Just today, for the final time. Here in this place where we can be ourselves and I could tell him everything that’s inside my heart. And he looked at me, trying to reach out, telling me those things which I already knew. He was defeated, yet his eyes were resigned to the fact that he had made the right decision.

I sighed deeply, knowing all too well that this was it. I slowly got up and so did he.

“Thank you for everything.” It was all I could say. It was everything anyone could ever say. I meant it from the deepest trenches of my heart.

I held the collar of his jacket, fixing it, and pulling it closer to keep him warm. And I smiled, I wanted to leave him with a smile.

“You are awfully calm for a man waiting to walk down the aisle,” I teased, but my teary eyes were saying another thing.

He chuckled a little. “You can’t really tell when I’m nervous or sad, can you?” I laughed a bit. He had always seemed so relaxed, sure of himself, and cheerful for the short time I had known him.

He breathed in deeply, “We’re going to be okay, you and me.” He said reassuringly. I nodded, maybe just for the sake of doing so.

“Be safe.”

“I will,” I answered. Then I gave him my one last smile of acceptance, letting him know that I intend to have a great life. Even after this. Even with this love.

And then it was time to walk away. I needed to be the first to walk away. Or I’ll never leave. I looked deeply in his eyes, trying to memorize him or how he looked at me before I finally let him free.

How funny could love be, I sent out to the void. We could never really choose who we’ll love. I guess, it doesn’t really work that way.

In a few years, I won’t know anything about his life. How it had turned out. If he ever had children. And he won’t know anything about me either. He’ll grow old and I’ll always wonder how he is. If he reached every single dream he has. Did his drive for work and life ever tone down? Has that twinkle in his eyes faded somehow? Does he think of me once in a while?

It’s not everyday you meet your person. The person whose ineffable laugh brought joy in your heart. Or the person whose mere presence makes you ever grateful.

I met mine on a bright sunny day, with the gentle wind blowing my hair, in the beloved park I knew so well. I met mine on an old rusted bench, up on the hill, where the leaves had a life of its own, for the very last time. And I smiled. Because, in some ironic miracle, I had met mine.

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As we wrap up the year 2012, we find a moment to remember how our lives have changed or remained in a span of a year. How has 2012 been for you? Much like the rest, today, I think about how the year has come and gone. It was not an easy year, with changes, challenges knocking on the door more frequently than anticipated. It has been a year filled with drama and surprises, if I’m being honest. Which is not always a bad thing.  And I suppose, in this dear little heart of mine, that it has been the same for you.

One thing I loved this year, which I plan to retain for the coming years (or to be certain for the rest of my life!), was traveling with my beloved friends.  It’s not that many, but for me, these trips were some of the highlights of my year. I’ve long dreamed to go to these places – Boracay, Ilocos and Korea, and I couldn’t be happier to check them off my list, a very long and unbelievable list hehe. A friend once said to me that, traveling was not really part of her priority list but she knew it was on mine.  So she was just glad that she had someone who she can just follow and tag along with on these trips. And I’m glad that was me.

2012 was also a time for goodbyes, fortunately not those teary ones but still, they still made you want to cry. Some dear friends had to leave so they could face a new, better life for their own happiness. And I am proud and happy that they are moving on, it’s high time they get the life they have been wishing for. I pray in my heart that 2013 is their year.

As goodbyes are never on their own, beginnings are always a great but scary way to spend the year. There were new things, new experiences to discover. I tried out for the Palanca Awards this year, and though I was so far from winning, submitting an entry had always been something I wanted to do. 🙂 I’ve also had the chance to play more table tennis which was really more than I can chew but what the heck! Those were definitely good times.

Work offered a surprise on its own as well. But opportunity is scarce, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s up to you how you’ll take them. I’m glad I was given a chance to prove something of myself, that I can be better, that I can contribute, and learn more. More than the expectations of others, it is my own that infinitely push me forward but at times hold me back. I don’t need to be told this because I know it myself. And so for the next year, I just have to relax, take it one step at a time, not be too neurotic, and just do my best.

This year has also been a time for love. As should every year. Because without it, any year might just be a time not well spent. Hardships are the bread and butter of any kind of love whether that be for family, friends or a dear someone. A FRIEND of mine, it was how we called each other, went through some hard stuff this year and I understood it better now. True love can be a true pain. But I think, we human beings, wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what we live for. To find that only someone who we can imagine spending our days with without fail. Someone who can bring joy in your heart with an ineffable laugh, a knowing look or a corny line. Someone who can fill your heart fully, like you can’t breathe whenever he’s around and whenever he’s not. It seems that I am rambling too much now, but you can never really ramble enough about love. And so I hope for love to fill our new year, and someone real and lasting who can give it to you my FRIEND.

It’s nearly new year’s eve and a whole lot of the unknown is ahead of us. I’ve never really paid that much attention to resolutions but hey! I probably should, because I’ve been neglecting a lot of stuff the past year. I intend to bring back my love for reading, it’s kind of hurting me right now (don’t ask! hehe). I probably need to buy a great book to start me off again. I also intend to help more this year. I have not done my part to the community as mush as I’d hoped. I probably should start that with a birthday treat (almost 29! Deym!) this February.

And so to all of you who’s reading this, to a certain few I’d presume (hehe), a toast to a fruitful, meaningful and blessed new year! As I always say, gratitude is the best weapon you can ever have in this life. While 2012 may have had its bumps and bruises, I always go back to that one Sunday evening, as I mutter over and over again to Him, how much I am grateful that I have finally come here to this point in my life where I have felt that happiness, although fleeting most times, but still it was happiness. I realized I’ve always been scared to say I am happy because I never really knew how that would feel or maybe because it might not be real or maybe it might not last. But I guess, we just have to make our own happiness even if it is just in those fleeting moments. Maybe it’s time we just don’t wish or say “happy” in Happy New Year but actually mean it.

So cheers everyone,  to a “new” Happy New Year! 🙂

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