When we become strangers


You were unsure which pain is worse… The shock [at] what happened or the ache for what never will


It started with the weekends… You know very well that we only have the weekends to do things we like. We dig gastronomic adventures and aimless wanderings. It was fun doing things with you because you were never afraid of failing, of getting disappointed or getting dirty…We no longer go out as much as we used to.

The morning “Hi”s and “Hello”s used to be like stars dotting the night sky with conversations just about anything under the universe. We’ve talked about your dreams, your fantasies…your political and social stands and so much more. You were so passionate of all the things to suddenly become uninterested. Responses, if any became minimal and clipped. You can even stand a day…no, a week or two without having a word with me…you became distant and far.

We were strangers when we first met. You were the spark that rekindled the fire I’ve long put out. Your spark burned and has become my warmth and light for a new beginning. I could not believe I was blazing! I did not realize I have that much fuel to burn like a bonfire. Then truth crept into the vines…Your indifference started to water down my fire. Your silence blew the remaining flicker until I was left cold and burnt. My light faded as fast as your spark ignited it.

We’ve drifted apart… I’ve seen your fleeting image as you inch away. I was left aching for something I don’t know. Am I hurting because I was left alone wondering? Is this pain gravitating to the fact that things never happened like I would have dreamed of?… Or simply because I never expected the fallout this soon? All I know is that I am hurting… bleeding… cold… We were back to square one… when we were strangers.

Feature: Agbalala Beach, Brgy. Wawa, Abra de Ilog

 

Sabay sa buhos ng ulan

Sabay…

Sabay tayong mag tampisaw sa ulan.
Sabay nating alalahanin ang masasayang yugto ng ating kabataan.
Sabay tayong lumusong sa ‘di kalinisang tubig, sa bahang dulot nang walang humpay na pagbuhos ng ulan.
Sabay nating hahayaang paliguan ang ating musmos pang katawan, ng mga patak ng luha ng langit habang nagbubunyi tayong sabay sa kalagitnaan ng walang hangang kasiyahang dulot ng ulan.

Sa gitna ng unos ay may pagasa…
Ikaw, ikaw na humaplos sa pusog sugatan.
Ikaw na nakabatid nang mga matang luhahaan, nagkukubli sa masaganang pagtangis ng langit…
Ikaw ang aking tagapagligtas…ang aking Haring Araw, aking liwanag sa makulimlim na kahapon na ngayo’y puno ng pagasa…

Sa pagbuhos ng ulan, tangan mo ang aking kamay…
Hawakan nang mahigpit, aking pagsamo. 
Sa bawat pagpatak ng ulan, sa bawat hakbang ng ating mga paa…ang tangi kong hiling ay ikaw…

Sabay nating pagsaluhan ang galak na dulot ng ulan…
tayo’y sumayaw sa indak ng bawat patak…
Ikaw…ako…tayo…

…Sabay

**written in Tagalog for relevance and accurate delivery of emotion and character.
**written over Viber from the hands of two hearts

Boracay Fly Fish: to hold on or to let go

Fly fish or Flying Fish,  have you tried riding one? How did it feel?

I suck at watersports mainly because I have lived in the idea of water engulfing me to it’s deepest bowels and it terrifies me. To top it all, swimming is not part of my repertoire. When I took on the banana boat challenge in Cowry Island, it was a leap of faith – holding my precious life on the greatness of the good looking…well, life jacket! It was fun to be tossed around at the time. I was taught a good rule…“Do not hold on. You gotta let go.”

My Boracay Fly Fish Adventure

I told myself, “why would I miss this part of my first Boracay trip?   I was thoroughly encouraged to begin with by the fun-ny tales of the experienced.  So that afternoon we booked ourselves a Fly Fish session.

 before fly fish

Before the Fly Fish adventure
Shot: Miel on Diogey’s GoPro

The Fly Fish was docked in Station 1 in front of Astoria Boracay.  It was one freaking hot day. I felt Mr. Sun’s excitement throughout the entire stroll to where we were supposed to hop on the monster! Following the very quick registration and signing of a waiver (yes, there is a waiver you have to sign). Now it sounded like a dangerous venture! I was getting a bit hesitant, but what the heck!  It’s time to experience something new! It’s not like I’mma die young…or was I? (well I lived to tell the story…wahahaha)

The dues have been paid (P 500 per person) and waivers signed! It’s time to officially meet the monster of the sea and pet it (hoping that petting such monster would increase my chance of survival)! Anything that needs to stay dry and safe must go to the speedboat! So I momentarily bade goodbye to my shades, my ‘waterproof’ (or so Sony thought it was) phone and flip-flops! I felt so bare with just my shirt and board shorts on!

And the Hunger Games began!

So the Fly Fish looked a lot like banana boats in some sense. Only that fly fish is composed of three dwarfed banana boats fastened together by a sheet to bridge the gap to make it sort of fly like a kite! The thing was, we were a total of five (the monster can accommodate a total of six) which makes the monster a bit heavy (not to mention my solo weight alone) to literally lift itself up completely.

With the scorching heat of the sun, it was refreshing to feel the sea breeze as we were getting towed far from the shore. I was holding on to the inflated monster pretty firmly because it was rather comforting that way. As we gain speed and distance from the shore, the dilemma came rushing in…do I hold on or should I let go? Well, the decision had to be quick; the water started splashing on my face and the freakin’ monster’s attempting to lift off the water! I grabbed the handle tightly…as tight as I could because I so #$%&@# love my dear life (bubble thought of a non-swimmer)!

To hold on or Let go?

Remembering the only rule, the best rule I was taught: let go!…It’s gonna hurt more if you keep holding on! You have to trust yourself and your life vest!

I can clearly remember how it was to let go. It made the whole deal fun back in Cowry Island…“not here”“not now…” I told myself as I gripped tightly on the handle. I hugged the monster as it tried to silently throw me out on the water…to be left alone and wonder what I did wrong (duh?! of course they’re going to get back at me…)

One too many, some of us went completely overboard…I, on the other hand triumphantly endured all the beatings! I fell once, but only because I have spent too much energy holding on that when we came to a halt I felt drained so I slid off the side (I could hardly get back onboard).

Was it worth holding on? Does the banana boat rule apply to the mighty fly fish? I am not sure of anything. In the moment when I was being shaken off I felt it was prudent to hold on tight because falling off means uncertainty. Will someone catch me if I fall? Of course the sea will (duh!). There’s that nagging question…what if it was more fun falling? Getting thrown out of the banana boat felt great the last time…and it was a relief to let go…

A thought after all the hype: I felt sore and couldn’t do anything much. It came to me that maybe letting go was the best. First off, I wouldn’t feel sore had I chose to let go and fall. Second, there wouldn’t be that what-if lingering on my mind. Was the pain of holding on worth it? I say it was! I lived to tell the tale…and that’s a feat for me. I learned yet another lesson – holding on can keep you alive and get you another stab at life. And it is true, holding on hurts like hell…but it’s worth all the pain when you do it for love…

What-ifs and Letting Go

I flew out of Boracay Island a couple of weeks back, before the summer officially kicked in. I couldn’t shake off that nagging thought! What if I didn’t close out? What if I let you in? What if we’re two worlds colliding to finally make one? There’s a whole lot of what-ifs and maybe some sort of regret…only because I chose to hold…hold on to my fear of getting hurt, to my insecurities and all the excess baggage I carry around when I travel. I have never really packed light, didn’t I?

After Boracay, I have finally decided to let go of all the excess baggage I carry around when I travel. It would be a great challenge, but I have to start at something…It just hurts too much if I hold on…I need to set myself free…I need to let go and believe in myself, for once…for love…forever…

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‘Good mornings’ and ‘Goodbyes’…

Good morning!

It all started with that smile! That “good morning” I get on my daily trip to the most convenient convenience store for my supply of bottled water. All along I was under the impression that the nice gesture was a standard protocol. Then, I was the only one to get that morning greeting considering there’s a whole bunch of customers coming and going…I don’t want to think I am special but as a courtesy, I make it a point to return the greetings every time with a smile or the same “good morning”…

You were always there every morning. You give me that greeting, that half smile, that genuine niceness. I’m not sure if it was just me or you really mean something more…then again, I am a moth that got lured by the fire…I got burned in the past so I am not kissing the fire again, only because getting burned is just too frightening…

I wasn’t sure if you left…or you just moved so we don’t see each other in the morning. I was holding back when you were here just because I do not want to kiss the fire and be burned. But now that you are gone, I don’t know if I should regret holding myself back…


you were at the back row watching, as always

I missed your “good morning”

I hoped to see you smile

You didn’t

You left without saying “goodbye”

so I kept your “Good Morning”…


It’s been a week or two, I don’t know. I’m getting by without you. but I still stop by. I still look behind the glass doors. I am still hoping to see you someday, if not today…

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How I broke a relationship that never was

adobo solibao

How do you say goodbye to a stranger? 

On the fourth day the sky finally had its fill of empathy for this broken heart. The seemingly eternal downpour dissipated into a morning mist while the golden rays of Mr. Sun broke through the clouds. It was a promising Sunday after days of cold and dampness.

You and I stepped out from the ‘upstairs’   to celebrate the beautiful day. We strolled and found ourselves in the warmth of Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral. When mass has been offered, we joyfully traced the descending stairs I took alone trying to find myself in the rain the day before. Silence was a commodity we both enjoyed in this journey…lost in our own thoughts…

We reached the landing and you knew where we were going…I, on the other hand was still lost in my reverie…wondering if these moments will ever have to end. You dragged me in the reality and pulled me into the warmth and aroma of a treat called ‘breakfast’. We were inside Solibao Restaurant along Session Road where we had an authentic Ilocos empanada the day before.


We’ve been sharing meals since we met and clicked. We shared music and our thoughts on politics, Ant-Man and that birthday breakfast at Tsokolateria. In Solibao however, like an omen, we had our own separate meal. You had your Baguio longanisa and I had my chicken-pork adobo. 


 

adobo solibao

 

As loud as the omen of separate meals, we ate in silence. We were consumed by our thoughts. There was a quiet battle in the heart that threatens to explode and leave us broken. It felt like a time bomb…I took a deep breath, downed the bitter potion and smiled fighting that urge to detonate.

Back ‘upstairs‘ we gave ourselves that much needed space. I stayed in bed while you stepped out. I was at a blank, staring at your bunk, wondering the what-ifs. Then I was reminded that what we have will never bloom no matter how we nurture it with memories to smile at. A stranger who unknowingly tried to fix the broken…but could only ease the pain. A  stranger who could not mend this broken heart…but thank your for trying…


I came broken looking for some reprieve

In solitude I was hoping to fix my soul

Instead, I stumbled upon a heart,

a heart good enough to pick my broken pieces…

but not big enough to mend it


With a pang of sadness, I took a shower and packed my bag. I wasn’t ready to go. I still had a day left to stay. But I was a bomb waiting to explode. I didn’t want you to be a casualty of the mess that I was. Your words were hopeful but I can only give a hollow promise of return…before my eyes become glassy and betray me, I stepped out of the room, checked out and started the long journey to the bus station…

sign 3