If I Had Not Met You

Here are some of the film photographs he took as we near the last days of our college senior year.

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If I had not met you, I wouldn’t smile like this, despite all things and everything that is not always wonderful. My everydays are extra special, I’m always excited to go to school, like the little kid I was back then when my socks are high on my knees. I’ve always liked school because I have this nerd in me who always wants to learn and be amazed on the existing things I do not know. You were one of those things I do not know before. Now that I know you, I am in awe of how great you are, as a person and as a truth, and how much of “us” works.

If I had not met you, I do not know what it would feel like to feel the way I feel today, I could not even express how I feel. All I know is I am constantly moved by your actions to do something that is beyond me, to better myself in all sense possible because you make me feel I can, and I am destined to do it, like I’m the only one who must do it. In short, I feel super. I’ve always been a conceited person because I’m a spoiled daughter who was raised to be a winner. But I’m not always my best self, there are times that I doubt. Of course I pray, but God wouldn’t descend from heaven just to remind me, nor would my guardian angel blow his/her cover and show his/herself to me just to remind me I’m not a loser, I’m not always with my whole family, so I got you, always. You ground me, root me to my own soil, and nurture me.

If I had not met you, I wouldn’t be assured in the existence of the universe (in a non-scientific way), serendipity, destiny, and all those shits I taught were shits. I wouldn’t believe there is such a thing as love as great as a mother’s or a father’s with a different sense of homeliness, as corny-sounding as a first love. I wouldn’t belive, home could be a person other than the family you have, from a stranger to a lover, to a home, always. I don’t know how I would have survived my college life without you supporting me in every way and all the way. Those photographs you took surprised me, including those in the past, every single one of them for I didn’t see myself in such beautiful ways. I’ve always knew you have different ways of looking at things, because you are such a visual person, you have a lot of alternative lenses. But it’s only now I understood what it really meant, you saw me this way, in a way I never saw myself. In my rawness, you have loved me. I think I’ll never understand why me, at first I’m convinced, “why not me?” but I grew up, you know people mature and finally realize they are not exactly the ideal in their perfectness. But you embraced all of my tantrums, my moodiness, my piercing words, my lateness, my selective immaturity and most of all, my selfishness. It must have something to do with you being a Christian but I wouldn’t give too much credit to the religion, you’re a great person in general, must be genetic.

If I had not met you, I wouldn’t have a bestfriend today whom I drag along with me to all my misadventures, mischief, and daydreams. That one person I always talk to at the end of the day to talk about things (even though we’re together the whole day), the one I want to be with to new places and restaurants, that one person I’m certain to see and whom I want to see tomorrow again and the eternal days that follow. Life is so much better with a companion who gets you, especially your humor, right? I couldn’t be more thankful to find someone as patient as you. You let me be because you understand, you let me grow, you nurture me to grow. You make me feel super, because you are super too! That makes us both super, in our own terms.

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Sandali

Lagi kitang naiisip.
Humahaplos sa aking alaala
Kasabay ng pag-inat ng umaga.
Ikaw ang sinag ng araw
Mula sa bintana kung saan
Ako’y dumudungaw nag-aabang
Sa iyong muling pagdaan
Sa aking alaala

Lagi kitang naiisp
Humahagip sa aking kamalayan
Naka-ayon sa panahon
Tulad ng pagsapit ng gabi
Alam kong ako’y gising pa
Alam kong ako’y buhay na
Nabubuhay sa iyong alaala

Dumarating ka hanggo ng gabi

Ikaw at ako,
Ako at ikaw.
Lagi kitang naiisip.
Ako at ikaw,
Ikaw at ako.

Di ko naiintindihan noon
Nabubuhay ba tayo sa paghahanap
O nabubuhay ba tayong hinahanap

Dumarating ka hanggo ng gabi

Lagi kitang isinasaiisp
Pagkat ikaw ang aking nahanap
Na matagal nang di mahanap ng iba
Sa kabila ng mundong mapaghagilap
Ikaw na nasa aking alaala.
Nakita na kita.

Sa muling pagsapit ng umaga
Sa bintana kung saan
Ako’y dumudungaw, nag-aabang
Sa iyong muling pagdaan
Sa aking alaala.
Nakita na kita.
Lagi kitang inaalala.

Recently published on Dapitan literary folio

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Heartbreak

The cheetah was the white flash
to nothingness going towards
a roof made from a giant book
becoming the word.
Sense was jumping of the window
crashing into a void
of patterned dreams
that ascend only to avenge
lost and muted breath.
Her four limbs were no faster
than chemical reaction and respiration
all that was triumphant
was gravity and his wish for her misery.

She left moments ago
only to say hello to beginner’s luck.
He tapped her conscious mind
with parodies of her failures.
He was granules of earth.
She was not sky.
The landscape was as a hoax
as a galaxy traveler
carrying a sack filled with dry asteroids
but has baptized himself
as a constellation collector
Earthbound.
But she was not.
She ran in lighting vector
For she was speed.
Not anymore, his.
And there was a motion of relief
She felt on her bosom she learned
It was exhale.

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Ang Pula ay Pula

Minsa’y iniisp kong sana
Nandito ka rin
Nandito ka pa
Sa piling, hindi lang
Sa madikit kong alaala.

Sana’y maalala mong
Binigkas ko noon, naalala mo?
Kailangan kong
Nandito ka
Sa piling ko, sana
Ngayon hanggang sa pagtanda.

Kumampas ang mga araw, mahal.
Nagpinta ng mga taon, kay ganda
Kung nandito ka.
Ano na nga ba ang kulay?
Ang alam ko na lang ay ang kulang.
Ikaw, sa piling ko.

Sa bawat kusot ko sa mata
Pag napuwing sa malikmata,
Akala ko nandiyan ka na.
Nalalagasan tuloy ako ng pilik-mata.
Kinurot-kurot hanggang sa madampot
Ang kakapirangot na hibla
Sabay hihipan sa hanging
May kasama nang dalangin.

Minsan kasi akong nagkamali
Kumagat sa nginig ng laman
Ayan tuloy, nagkulang
Ang mga araw kong wala ka na
Pero alam kong babalik ka pa
Pagkat sinabi ko noon,
Diba mahal? Kailangan kita.

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To My Playmates in Damayan St.

I live in a place of sun but of flood water when it rains too hard
Where you could smell a Sunday noon grilling
milk fish and liempo.

I don’t like people talking behind my back.
Just blocks away from Our Lady of Fatima Church
Outside our window, the low mumblings of the elders
and occasional giddy screams of children.

I dream to be lawyer someday.
We playfully blocked each other on the asphalt street
playing afternoon, sun and moon, never rain.

I don’t like the idea of being teased or taunted.
It’s always my turn to fool around.
Let us dream we’ve grown much more than we really did
And get married.
Run about back and forth the ends of our street
Sex is not just a fantasy running in our heads
to the tips of our hair.

On an afternoon of sun and breeze,
We return in front our apartment
Sweating like the plastic of Coca-cola and straw
Enjoying the view of pink bougainvilleas as we think about hopia.

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Etc

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Who Are

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Restraint

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