Sinta Na Hindi Akin. (Tagalog Poem)

Ang isip ay lumilipad nang madalas,

Nananaginip kahit imposible.

Kahit alam na nating parehas

Nandito lang tayo sa kung saan komportable.


Sa lalong pagtanggi sa sarili

Na hindi totoo ang nararamdaman,

Sa ngiti ko’y nananatili

Ang bakas ng kasiyahan.


Magkalayo man sa ngayon,

Hindi man alam ang ruta papunta diyan,

Malay mo’y sumang-ayon

Ang tadhanang nakalaan.


Sumasagi rin kaya sa isip mo

Ang mga ganitong bagay?

Tinatanong mo ba ang iyong puso,

“Siya na ba pang-habambuhay?”


Siguro nga, ganito ang trato mo sa lahat.

O di kaya’y kaibigan lang talaga ako.

Kahit ano man sa dalawa ang angat,

Nagpapasalamat na pinagtagpo.


Magulo man at walang kasiguraduhan,

Pero handa akong itaya ang puso ko muli.

Hindi mo man alam sa kasalukuyan

Na gusto kong sayo’y umuwi.


Sinta na hindi akin, manatili ka

Rito kung saan tayo lang ang nakakaalam.

Sa lugar na walang humuhusga,

Sa lugar na sana’y walang magiging paalam.


What Does It Mean To Fall In Love?

It came rushing in like a breezy wind finding its way towards the comfort of your room’s open window. The feeling of being home–in fact, more than that–captures your soul and fills you with bliss that you felt like was stolen, deprived of you for so long. It doesn’t matter whether you expected it to come, or how long you’ve waited, or that it wasn’t part of your plan. You attracted energy that appealed to that one person in particular.


Like they always say, it’s crazy that in retrospect, this person wasn’t as significant to you as he is now. It’s surreal that somewhere along the way, you clicked and interacted with each other like it was the natural thing to do. How the power of conversing gives you a cheap (well, not really) thrill of finding out more and more little details about him that you wouldn’t get to discover unless you actually talk with compassion and interest.


And you start to question yourself: where had he been all this time? He had always been there, hiding in plain sight, living, existing, breathing; the same way you were. It was privilege, a fact you weren’t aware of the first time. But when you finally acknowledged this truth, it was the moment you know you’ll both treasure and regret (if things turn up ugly). And you know you don’t have to look any further for questions you will never have answers to.


But there’s a catch to it somehow…it’s really too good to be true. Here’s the thing: you don’t know if he feels the same way. You haven’t mustered the courage (or never will, who knows?) to ask him directly because it isn’t your business to pry on his feelings. Your feelings are your feelings alone, and this applies to him as well. You hold on to this tiny slivering dash of hope that maybe, just maybe, he looks at you the way you look at him: with admiration, respect, and most of all, love.


Love. Huh. It’s a feeling that’s become foreign to you, even though it has been only months since the person you loved for years broke your trust and decided to close his eyes and never open them once again as long as you’re in the picture. The person who made you travel an extensive road with no exit signs or directions to follow. Yet you’re here, getting back up, putting the past behind you, and moving on for yourself.


Because of this, it provides you with a great amount of terror. What if this boy you’re talking to isn’t the man you think he is? This has been the scar of the love that left you–a bag of trust issues, constant need of reassurance and consistency, and a slight craving of attention. And you may not admit it yourself, but you are. You are scared. You’re scared to love again and to open your mind and heart to another person that you know is temporary; but you’re also fearless and careless because no matter how much you convince yourself that you don’t want to fall in love, you always do in the end and that excites you. It moves you, even. And that’s what it means to fall in love: to have your heart chewed up and spit out, until you cross paths with this one lovely human being in your lifetime and you know: you’re on your feet again, walking, running, frolicking towards love, towards the person closest next to home; and everything that’s disheartening, and even the walls you absentmindedly surrounded yourself with, will be gone the moment you hear your heart beat.

The Buried Past As I Work. (A Short Fiction Story)

Like the way renowned pianists are accustomed with the parts of the piano, I am here tracing the shape and physique of your body. Every measure has to be accurate–no more, no less–for the outcome to be perfect. I carefully and earnestly study your shoulders, your boobs, your hips, your belly. There’s no denying it: this is what I love.

Onto the next phase, where everything should follow your design. Your desires. Will this truly satisfy you? Do you want to feel reborn? Do you want to be significant enough? Will I be able to signify your part successfully? In this case, we have to work together to both meet our ends, our pleasures.

We make small talk here and there to make up for the uneasy silence that embraces us around this room. “Is it too tight?” I ask you politely when you suddenly look like you’re out of breath. The top half of your boobs and cleavage are showing and have droplets of sweat on them due to the summer heat, but I don’t mind that. You smile timidly and tell me, “I’m alright.” It doesn’t reassure me quite enough, so I adjust just in case you feel a little out of place.

“There’s no reason to be anxious,” I advise to you lightly after you share with me your thoughts: how ecstatic you are that it happened, how scared and nervous you are of what will happen next, how you want to have kids after. “Really?” you retort and then hold my hand gracefully, an expression of your gratitude of my being there. I mean, of course? How can I not be?

We are done for the day and we both start packing up and fixing our respective paraphernalia. I felt a wave of accomplishment because I see the way your eyes shimmer like the lights of this space we are in together, the ease that appears in your face, portraying exactly this: you are truly, madly happy. 

“We’ll see each other again, right?” she cheekily says and leaves.


As I hear the various narratives and stories of the contented, happy couples–or in the sense of business–the happy customers, I am always left with two things: one’s a strange, electric pang that goes through my heart and chest, and the other a tremendous sense of fulfillment. Sometimes, those two duel on which should I feel more; the feeling of emptiness or of satisfaction. When my brain chooses the former, I remember my ex-husband and the lingering sensation of him abusing me while were still married. That sensation haunts me from time to time. In retrospect, I expected too much about having the flawless, ones-you-see-on-TV marriage.

Nowadays, the latter feeling overwhelms me. And when it does, I cling onto it like it’s my remaining lifeline. Remember when I said that there’s no denying that I love this? Indeed. I love my job as a modiste. Years after I abandoned the married life due to his abusive behaviors, I took this life that I currently have now.

I am the modiste that soon-to-be husband and wife run off to for their wedding needs. Getting them as customers still makes me giddy, but nonetheless I’m grateful to hear their exciting individual stories about their engagements. I never tell my customers anything about life outside my profession and I tend to keep it that way. No negativity shall reign on them after getting their hearts’ delight. Whether their marriages will end in chaos just like mine did or be their source of bliss, contentment, and feeling of home, is matter-of-factly, out of my control.

As I leave for one of my customers’ wedding–yes, we will see each other again–I ponder if some people think I’m secretly envious of them auspiciously finding loving husbands because I failed to do so in the past; but no. It is what it is. I am going to remind myself every now and then that I was a reason, a bridge, a path that made their wedding elegant and beautiful; to their eyes or to the eyes of the ones they both love.

“The Buried Past As I Work”

Leave me alone.

You have no say in what I choose to say and do towards you. You have deeply hurt me, degraded my being, shattered my heart, used me like an object, and disappeared like thin air.


You have no say in what I choose to feel. This is the consequence of what you did. You let this happen and you know well this is your fault. You can’t blame me for what I feel after your shitty, selfish act.


You have no say in my putting a grudge against you. I am angry, I am disappointed, I am upset, I am frustrated. You have left me in awe and wonder and confusion.


My boy, you have no say in anything at all ever. You obliterated your own place in my life and that is something you cannot undo. Go if you must; but always know that you have no say in what I choose to say, do, feel, and my putting a grudge against you. You can merely watch from afar with your own judgment and regret. By your leaving, you also take your baggage with you–memories, paraphernalia, intentions.

A Phantom Hovers.

I still see you in everything I do. Walking in the park, drinking coffee, singing karaoke, swimming in the pool, watching movies at the cinema.


“What can we be doing at this very moment?” I ask myself. Will you kiss me? Hold my hand? Hug me out? Make fun of me? Tell me one of your stories? There’s a lot to do. But a lot isn’t enough because you decided to leave.


There’s no one to kiss. There’re no hands to hold. There’s no one to hug. There’s no one to make fun of. There’s no one to tell stories to. There’s nothing I can do, except to pretend that your mere shadow is with me.


You are not sorry for what you did. And that’s okay. I’m not sorry for writing this either. I am not sorry for holding on while you chose to let go. But as I’m writing this, maybe you let go a long time ago. Maybe you left several times and chose to go back because I love you and it’s just that easy.


Indeed, I am pondering over what we could be doing at this moment instead of me writing all of this alone. Your ghost haunts me everyday until I have to close my eyes and dream somewhere else.


You are not mine anymore. I cannot kiss you. I cannot hold your hands. I cannot hug you. I cannot make fun of you. I cannot tell you stories. There’s a lot to do, and that is to wake up from my fictitious realm and into the reality that you’re never coming back.


I should never again see you in everything I do.

The aftershock—courtesy of you.

How do you forget someone whom you built a future with inside your head?


Funny how one mistake, one message, one circumstance, ends it all. How one thing leads up to another. One second ago, you were saying your “I love you’s” and the next you thing you know, they were your last. It amazes me and leaves me breathless.

Months passed, and I’m not going to lie, but you still come into my mind every now and then. It stings for a few minutes; going through the painful memory of what we once had, of what we once shared. But I knew better than to cry over something that’s becoming rotten to the both of us. So I fix myself up, dry my tears, and put my attention elsewhere.

I grew more cynical and doubtful over whom I let into my life after you. I loved myself more than I did before. I became more open to the thousand possibilities that the universe may offer. I have gotten reclusive, and I think that’s okay.

Walls are getting higher. Stakes are getting rougher. Heart is getting colder. Brain is getting wiser. What’s not to expect?

Falling in love with you and then losing you may have been the worst thing…but it was also the greatest experience anyone could offer. You have showered me with love, care, and attention for a short span of time. You have made me feel like a priority, even just for a while. But most of all, you’ve given me enough reason to become myself.

Melancholy as it may seem, going through the process of surrendering and opening your heart up to someone to being bitter, heartbroken, and lost, we can’t exclude the fact that we grow by it.

Don’t worry. This is just my aching heart speaking. I’ll learn to go through life without you. Someday, I will find the courage to blossom and flourish. I am my complete self, yes, even without you. You do not define me. And in the meantime, I’ll be busy rebuilding the future that I once built with you in it.

I will move on…in my own time and pace. And I hope you do, too.

How lucky you are.

How lucky you are
When you find someone
Who also likes the way your coffee is made
Laughs at your jokes even though they aren’t funny
Has fondness for you that is eternal
And how lucky you are also
If you don’t have that someone
You have all the time to improve yourself
Find what you really want in life
And do the things you desire
Just because you’re in love, doesn’t mean you’re always lucky
And just because you aren’t, doesn’t mean you’re hapless
It’s all about perception and your own apprehension
Of what you have and what you don’t have.

— H.L.


If you’re a writer: “Write when your heart aches.”

If you’re an artist: “Create if you’re bothered.”

If you’re a singer: “Sing a sad song if you wish.” 

If you’re a dancer: “Let what you feel be what you do with the beat.”


I am not an artist, a singer, a dancer; I am only a writer. And this is me, writing while my heart aches out of disappointment.


It isn’t surprising that my heart has once again been shattered by the same boy. The VERY same boy. Still, why am I disappointed, if it’s the selfsame boy? Because, if that was the case, I shouldn’t be shocked, right? For a span of few months, he made me live in this world where we were together. A world I would gladly choose back then without skipping a beat. A world where I thought this time, this could be it. He is my future.


But the record scratches and the frames fall and shatter, and that future was again taken away from me. You, yes you, the very same boy I fall for every goddamn time, had let words slip out of your mouth and meaning not a single word. I know you’ve said that I’ve always doubted you, and that it’s mostly my fault why we fell apart now, but, can you blame me? I won’t put out my reasoning.


So tell me, why is it that I always fall for you? Why do you keep coming back and I keep letting you in? Is this a curse? A spell? No, it’s goddamn reality, and that’s sad.

There is no plot twist.

This year has been a crazy, wild ride. I was gifted with family, friends, and that special someone who makes my heart happier than it was before.

I’ve been blessed with the people who surround my personal space, with the talents God has given me, and for the adventures and lessons that this year has brought me. But, as much as I would want to give light to the positive things that I’ve encountered this year, I have been weighed more with each awaking moment in which I wished I was dead instead.

“Oh, but why? You’ve got everything! You ungrateful bastard!” You would say. Well, no. Even with the amount of joy that may have been granted upon me, the catch is that I will ALWAYS face its downside; that is, being lonely than I already am. You have all these people around you, people who support and yearn for your success, and yet, you feel so alone when the clock hits 3 AM. There’s no one you can count on, no one to lean on, no one you can call to talk about your demons with.

Not even the person you’re in love with. Sometimes, it’s that very person that triggers all of your emotions at once. And sometimes, you screw things up because these demons play tricks to the one you love. They’ll break your relationship, make you realize you’re actually better off on your own. The fact that you should be fighting off your own demons than to drag someone with you is already disappointing you. What a dependent, shitty person I am. Do I even deserve this person in front of my cellphone screen? Do I deserve his reply, even when he has none?

There is no plot twist. God knows I’ve been hysterically asking Him to make my 2017 a year I won’t forget. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist. There is no plot twist.

Still, you try to subside all these thoughts and feelings away, for the sake of the ones you love and care most about. Who cares, right? Put a mask. Suppress everything. It’s what I do best anyway. There’s more to my story, but it’s a surface I can’t break. It’s too deep that even I can’t fathom what lies underneath. What stories are yet to be told. No one’s willing to listen. So, I’ll keep them to myself until I die.


I wish I was dead. Or maybe I’ve always been dead with every passing minute. Or you know, maybe I’m dead now, after you’ve read this.


There is still no plot twist.

I finally swallow the truth.

An open letter to the boy I like but I was too late. 

Hello. You know that this is about you. Everything was goddamn about you. We were very close, though we started being friends through social media. An internet friend is a real friend, too.

I don’t know why it happened all of a sudden. I was fine before. Was it because, I finally met you in person? And it felt so good to talk to you in real life than through a screen? Well, yes. It is.

It wasn’t your intention to break my heart. The timing was just very wrong—even though I was the first one to break yours. Yes, I broke yours first. I hated you for liking me in such a short span of time, for asking me silly things and admitting that, in fact, you liked me. What was I supposed to do then? Tell you I love you? No. It doesn’t work that way, prince charming. I didn’t know you very well, and you can say the same about me at that time being. We were still strangers then. So, no, I didn’t reciprocate the love you gave. I threw it, because I was so unsure. I mean, who THE HELL were you?

But that all changed now. Years later, we finally met in an unexpecting way. Who knew? I though I’d never see you. It was good we remained friends, though. Close friends, to be honest. But, something in my heart clenched and my stomach swirled. What? What was it? I shrugged it off.

But, even when I jumped on my bed and laid there, you messaged me—”nice seeing you”—and I said the same. Wow, it really was SO NICE to see you. Because you are the boy whose heart I broke a few years back. I never did admit to you that I liked you, too, then. But it was just crazy; it felt like we were going too fast. So, yet again, I restrained myself at that time.

I’m really sorry if I didn’t give you a chance. And now I regret it. What if, somewhere at some point, I told you that I liked you too? Where would we be then? What ifs. They’ll torment you for the rest of your life.

So now, I accept my defeat. And my mistake. You have someone special in your life now, and I don’t want to interfere and ruin such connection. You deserve it after all the heartbreaks you experienced after me. I know I broke your heart intentionally, but you are breaking mine, too, right now, without knowing. And not because you wanted that.

It’s my fault I let you go. And I’m sorry. I’m glad we remain friends though and that means the world to me. You aren’t aware that I really like you now, but it’s better off that way. You deserve a peaceful and happy relationship. Until then, I wish you luck.