Flying a kite on a rainy day

I know now that she will never love me. She pinned her hopes on me, expecting me to fly her kite. I failed. Either the wind never blew right, the rain got in the way, or I was holding it the wrong way, I don't know. I just couldn't fly her kite.

And because I am incapable of flying her kite, but capable of fashioning my own kite (and being able to fly it), I know she will never love me. For how could she love? She is a broken thing. Even her kite is sodden and torn from being passed on from my eldest sibling to the youngest, all incapable of flying her kite.

And how can she love me? I am broken like her. I can barely keep my kite together, keep it flying. I am broken, broken by her expectations, longing, and regret.

She can never love me.


Akala mo, Karen, ikaw lang

Ako rin! Meron na rin akong Shelfari. Nasa ibaba. Kung mabagal masyado, ito na lang.


The People's Daughter

This villanelle was written for our Creative Writing class.

The people are calling me now, mother.
Do not shed oceans for me: tears or bile.
I must go; I am the people's daughter.

Mother, I am no longer the butter
Long ago, you melt with your hands so vile
The people are calling me now, mother.

I have learned to look up from the gutter,
To veer away from the well-traversed mile.
I must go; I am the people's daughter.

Bullets piercing my body: I prefer
Than seeing this wasteland, once so fertile
The people are calling me now, mother.

Mother, in this cause, I will not falter
Against the unjust system, I will rile.
I must go; I am the people's daughter.

As long as tyranny exists, mother,
In this land, I am always an exile.
The people are calling me now, mother.
I must go; I am the people's daughter.

It's not just PMS

Don't try to make me feel better by saying "It's PMS." It's not. I'm not acting like a raving lunatic because of hormones. My behavior may be erratic, and it may cross the thin line between crazy and normal, but my feelings are real. I am ranting because I am angry (or annoyed or fed up). So don't try to dilute my feelings by saying it's all because of hormones going wacko. It's insulting. It's like saying I don't really mean what I say (or feel) because I'm not really myself. Of course I mean what I say (and feel)! Where do you get off?

I have real issues. The government. The system. The education (slash brainwashing) the youth today get. The HSA. Poverty. Harassment (sexual or otherwise). Opportunities. Relationships. Double standards regarding women and men. Supposedly enlightened individuals who cannot see beyond your class origin. And everything else semi-colonial and semi-feudal we are trying to change. I feel the same whether my hormones are at their normal levels or not. It's just that (probably) I'm less tolerant of these things when I'm PMS-ing. Hell, I've been expected to accept these unfair conditions for more than 21 years; would it surprise you if I went "crazy" once every month?

So take these issues seriously. Take me seriously. Don't say, "I understand, it's PMS." It's not. Just say, "I understand." Period (no pun intended). It would help though if you also said, "I'm with you as we all work for a better, just, and enlightened society."

Or else, just fuck off.



I want a level up!


Open Letter to Mommy

It is not the fault of the Jonas Burgoses of this world that they have gone missing. It is not their fault that they have taken active participation in changing our society, and got in trouble. It is not their fault that they are branded as rebels.

Ma, to paraphrase a famous quote, the troubles of the world create rebels, not the other way around. They did not cause the chaos in our society. The current conditions gave birth to such people.

So please, stop thinking that the disappearance of Jonas Burgos was of his own doing. And please stop telling me that his disappearance is one strong reason I should go home early, refrain from attending mobilizations, and keep quiet. Because I can think of stronger reasons for me to continue.

Ma, I may be your daughter, but you do not own me. You never did. Isn't the person I turned out to be proof? You sent me to private Catholic (and except for one year, exclusive) schools for seventeen years' worth of education, hoping that I will not join the street parliamentarians, the red flag-waving crowd, the fist-pumping people. But in these schools, I found reasons why I must join the clamor of the oppressed.

Perhaps you knew then that I was an impressionable, precocious, and sensitive child. Maybe these were the reasons you forced me to attend these schools, instead of allowing me to go to public schools (which was what I wanted). But, I think, these are the same qualities that made me into who I am today.

Isn't it funny the way things turned out? How you've done everything just so I won't become an activist, and well, here I am. (I know you're always saying I lack tact. Here's proof to that. I just need to underscore that already blatant fact.)

Gusto ko rin ng katahimikan, Ma. Ngunit habang nananaig ang tatsulok, hindi ako makakapahinga.

There's this song that's one of my favorites. And no, it doesn't get airtime in any of the stations, so I'll share the chorus instead:
"Marami pang dapat imulat, kasama
Lipuna'y puno ng problema
At sa pag-tigil ng hininga mo
Kami ay magpapatuloy..."

It doesn't matter whether I die for the cause, Ma, because everyone dies. I may not die the same, conventional way as my brothers and sisters will someday. Or I may die earlier than any of them (which I know, you might find hard to accept, as I'm the fourth of six). Anyway, I know it's hard for you to not worry (I can already hear the sermon, "Pag naging magulang ka..."), but this is what I have chosen to do. I am happy. I am committed. And though it may never meet your expectation of what success is, well, success is overrated anyway.

I have to go, Ma. This is what I want and must do. And nothing you say or do (insults, reprimands) can make me change my mind. Because, as you say, I am pig-headed (which I think, I inherited from you).

And no, sorry, I don't think I can bring you to Hong Kong. But I think I can spring for your Kankunis tea occasionally.