Play.

Starting over is the biggest lie ever
There is no reset button, no undo icon
Moving on is what’s true
The continuous belief of ‘it’s okay’
Pushing yourself to keep moving forward
Because in real life, there is no rewind
Stop, pause nor fast forward
Play is the only one button that exists
And the only thing you can do
Is continue

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Hourglass.

If time travel was as easy as turning the hourglass upside down
Are we trapping ourselves in the past?
I wonder how long we will last
Caged in trying to correct our errors
Running away from every horror
Hooked in living the perfect story
Making everything ideal for you and me

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Flock.

I was amazed by the flock of birds
Soaring high in the sky
There they flew up and down
In circles forming a spiral crown
Is this the epitome of freedom?
Why is it that we are bound to this land
Limited with our feet on the ground
Is the law of gravity out biggest enemy?
Keeping us from our destiny
When we know we were born to soar
A fact that we cannot hide anymore

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Green.

I have a confession, when you were born I was green
You’re one of the cutest babies I have ever seen
With white and fair skin, pudgy cheeks, bulging big eyes
How come you get those, while all I have are these chubby thighs?

Later I start to accept what I always knew
Life is unfair – I mean, how could I compare?
You are a beauty, the epitome of being a lady
And for a length of time, a question kept bugging me…
How can you take for granted everything that I’ve always wanted?
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to sound like a bitter song
That was all in the past, so let’s forget about it real fast

Let me get to the point, I am sorry
For getting stuck at comparing our reflections in the mirror
Like a child playing ‘spot the differences’
When I could have been like your diary sharing every laugh and heart ache
We could have jumping the same hurdle, running the same race

Well now, at this point, we are in a process
Like gears slowly moving in sync together
Making those ‘could haves’ into reality – into here and now

I still remember the cupcakes you bought me for my birthday
When you let me cuddle even if you wanted to stay away
That time you hugged me when I was crying
That moment when we became best of friends
Having no sense of privacy – taking what’s yours as mine
But we both know you pretty much do the same

Sister, I want you to know this
I will be hard on you, harsh even
But always remember that I love you
I would always be here to catch you when you fall
Here to help you stand when you lose your balance
To lend you a hand when you need it the most
I am here when no one else is there

I want this to be a reminder
A sticky note that is permanent as a marker
In your heart and mine
That my arms will be open for you no matter what happens
Because how could I be green when I have you as my sister

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The Search

By Raya Sioson

Note: I made this story for my Creative Writing subject.

- Prologue: It Begins -

Love – a short four-letter word.
But, what is it? What does it mean?
This is what this story is about.
This is about a search for love.
This is my search of what love is.

‘Always tell ‘I love you’ to daddy and mommy, alright?’

My mom taught me to always say ‘I love you’ and being the good kid that I was, I always did. When I asked her what it meant, she told me that our home was filled with love. That love was when mommy kissed daddy. Love was when daddy carried mommy to bed when she fell asleep on the couch. Love was when mommy kissed every boo-boo I had when I hurt myself. Love was when daddy carried me when I’m too tired to walk. Love this, and love that.

Back then, I thought love was as simple as that.
That love is an action.

‘And they lived happily ever after.’

This was the ending to every fairy tale I watched. And as a little girl, I dreamt about finding my own ‘prince charming’ and having my own ‘happy ending’. I believed that just like every other princess in those movies, I would also have my ‘happily ever after’, my own ‘true love’.

I thought that to do so, I would need to know what love meant. An intense feeling of affection’, ‘a romantic attachment to someone’ – these were some of the meanings I found in dictionaries but, I never really understood them completely.

‘Silly girl. You don’t search for it. Love comes to you.’

That was what my best friend, Jake, told me when I asked him what love meant. He laughed at me, told me that I was being too analytical. He said that love is something different – it is something felt, it is not forced, not searched. It comes when it’s supposed to; that’s why it is so special. He told me to wait, because love is all about having faith.

So I did.
I waited.

Then love came.

- Part One: Idea -

Love came when I was in high school – or so I thought.

He was my classmate. He usually teased me about everything and I didn’t mind. Actually, I looked forward to him teasing me, making me smile, talking to me and simply sitting beside me. At first I wasn’t aware of these things.

It was only when Jake asked, ‘So, what’s the deal with you and Tommy?’

I was caught off-guard. When I told him I didn’t understand what he meant he just laughed and teased me. It wasn’t long until I realized why he was doing this.

Unexpectedly, I seemed to have fallen in love with Tommy. Love is unpredictable.

Tommy and I became friends. Slowly it occurred to me that he wasn’t my ‘ideal guy’. I mean, he’s not the guy I thought I would fall for. His qualities weren’t even in ‘my dream guy list’!

But you know what sucks? I found out that he was already in a relationship, that he already has a girlfriend. Nonetheless, I continued to love him without telling him. I listened to his stories and jokes, his problems with his girlfriend – and I even helped him on occasions. I guess at that time I believed that Tommy was my unrequited love.

Time passed, we finished high school. Tommy and I no longer stayed in contact. We became like strangers. Until now I don’t know if it was because of me being detached or maybe because we weren’t close friends to begin with.

But with time I realized that I wasn’t actually in love with Tommy. What I was in love with was the concept of him – the Tommy of my imagination, the image of who I wanted him to be. But fact is, the person I thought I was ‘in love’ with wasn’t really Tommy, that person was just who I hoped he would be – a want, a wish, a figment of my imagination. I just didn’t realize it sooner because I was already hooked by the concept that I was in love with him.

And because I was hooked, I believed.

But if I could take away something from this experience, it’s that love is something that shouldn’t be rushed. I was in a hurry to have a taste of it that I managed to convince myself that I was already in love, when in fact, I wasn’t.

I told Jake that I blamed him for this. If he hadn’t asked that question, things would have been different. I wouldn’t have thought that I was in love with Tommy. He just laughed and told me that it was all on me. He just asked the question, and I assumed. It was I who analyzed things and concluded that I was in love with Tommy.

So if there was someone to blame – or rather something, it would be my over analytical brain. I need to be careful because searching what love is can be tricky. This experience got me into thinking; maybe I wasn’t ready for love because just a simple taste of it was enough to get my world spinning and my brain over thinking – what else would real love do to me?

‘Or maybe, love isn’t ready for you yet. Just wait.’

This was what Jake said.
And once again, I waited.

- Part Two: Together -

Love came towards the end of college. He confessed to me.

‘Love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict.’
(- When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

And just like in my favorite poem, it was unexpected and unplanned. I didn’t see it coming, although I would be lying if I said I hadn’t hoped for it. It first started with simple dates, like having lunch or coffee together. Then later on he asked me to go out for a movie, then dinner, and then he confessed. He told me he liked me ever since he met me – that it was love at first sight.

As cliché as that sounded, I believed him. I agreed to date him.

“So, how’s love?” Jake asked over the phone.
“Love is bliss.” I told him
“So, I’ll take it you and Nathan are good? You finally have another meaning for ‘love’?” he teased.

Jake always teased me about my search for love and me over thinking. Nonetheless, I continued to update him about everything and he continued to listen. I told him that I had this theory – beginnings are always fragile – and this is why when a relationship starts we always try our best to please each other, to fit with each other. As usual, Jake laughed at my tendency to analyze things.

“There would come a time that you will need to just let things be.” Jake said.
“Maybe soon, but not this time.” I answered him.

Maybe it was because Nathan was still courting me or the fact that we were both unsure on how we will progress – or if we will even progress – but at that time, everything was so pleasant. I was really happy.

Soon, we became a couple.

Nathan was amazing. He made me experience how enchanting love could be. He always worked hard to please me, tried to know what I like and dislike, what makes me happy and unhappy. He introduced me to his best parts and I did the same – and because we were so in sync with each other, the idea that love is perfection came.

I felt like I was his priority and as self-centered as it may sound, I enjoyed being someone’s priority. The little surprises – chocolates, dinners and movie dates meant a lot to me. The feeling that I would always have someone there for me and that he would answer every call or text was wonderful.

“So, in short, you’re being spoiled.” Jake concluded.
“Oh shut up.” I retorted.
“That’s honeymoon stage. It’ll end soon.” Jake explained.
“You know what? Stop talking Jake. How come you know so much anyway? It’s not like you have a girlfriend.” I said jokingly.

However, just like every time, Jake was right. The pure bliss did end; slowly Nathan and I started fighting. Soon, love became difficult.

When we didn’t meet each other’s expectations, can’t get our point across, refused to listen, wanted to be always right, always wanted to be in control – that’s where it started getting messy.

Things such as him getting jealous about my other male friends; he even got jealous of Jake! I mean, seriously, Jake was my best friend ever since! Then later on, it seemed like whatever I did wasn’t enough – like I wasn’t affectionate enough, I spoke or did the wrong things when he was not in the mood, I didn’t give him enough space, I didn’t consult him first about my problem, and so on. It’s like the little things he didn’t like about me, those things that he swept under the rug, piled up and are now bursting, waiting to be exposed, waiting to be dealt with.

‘So, how’s love?’

This was Jake’s usual question whenever we talked over the phone; the question that usually starts our long conversation. And unlike last time when I had a pleasant response, I told him that love is complicated. It has awakened my insecurities, made me question myself and made me think like everything I did was wrong, like my effort was not enough or maybe, I’m not enough…

“Hey. Stop that. Have you told him how you felt?” Jake asked me.
“… I… no.” I answered meekly.

I haven’t told Nathan the stuff I told Jake. I haven’t talked to him because I was afraid. I was scared. I didn’t want to be vulnerable. I was so used to being on my own and convincing myself that I’m strong enough.

‘Talk to him.’

Those three words were Jake’s advice. It may not solve the problem, but it’s a start – because love is communication.

So, I did.

I talked to Nathan. I told him how I felt whenever he gets jealous with my male friends, especially Jake. It’s like he doesn’t trust me enough. He apologized and told me that he was just being possessive.

He then admitted that I hurt him when I decided on major things on my own or kept my problems to myself. He told me that he wanted to help me, that every decision I make affected ‘us’ and not just ‘me’ anymore. Because we were partners and every concern or success happening to one of us is happening to both of us.

And the list went on.

I then had another meaning – love is an ongoing challenge.

It requires you to be vulnerable. Because you expose yourself to love, you should be ready to expose yourself to mistakes and disagreements. You expose yourself to trial and error, the need for teamwork and compromise, the openness to listen and understand.

Love requires you to show the side you never dared to show anyone. You need to have the courage to open you heart and to risk breaking the walls you’ve build around yourself in order to let your partner in fully. No pretenses, you let yourself be bare and naked – that’s why no matter how much we anticipate being ‘in love’, it is also something that frightens us. Because we can never really be completely ready for it.

That is why love is so scary.

- Part Three: Apart -

Love is attachment.

That’s another reason why it is scary – because you let yourself depend on your partner; you let yourself depend on another. So what happens to you when love breaks? You’ll need to detach; and it isn’t that easy. Sometimes you discover that you were too attached that you’re life revolved around that person. But what’s worse is when you lose yourself in the relationship; when you realize that you don’t know yourself anymore because you tried too hard to fit yourself to that person’s liking; that person’s ideal version of you. The worst part is when you realize that at some point you lost your own individuality.

So, how’s love?’

Jake questioned. I asked him if I could come over and he said yes. Now here I am crying like there’s no tomorrow while Jake’s beside me, comforting me.

I told him that Nathan got an offer to be a scholar and an intern – abroad. He asked me if he could go, if I was willing to have a long distance relationship and until now, I haven’t replied. I was fearful – three years is quite long. A lot can change in that span of time and I was afraid to lose him, lose what we have. After all, Nathan is my first love.

‘Like a flat tire, there were other places I planned on going, but my plans didn’t matter.’
(- When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

But honestly speaking, what I was mostly scared of was being alone. Without Nathan, I felt like I wouldn’t know what to do. Too much of my life revolved around him, involved him. I felt like he was leaving me hanging while he, on the other hand, flew and chased after his dream. I felt like I mattered but at the same time, I didn’t – because in this plan of his, I felt like I wasn’t included.

“So what do you plan to do?” Jake asked me when I was done crying and passed me a tub of ice cream, just like what he does every other time he comforts me.
“Thanks… I still don’t know.” I answered as I took the tub and began to eat.
“You’ll need to answer him soon. Think about it. Put yourself in his shoes.”

What if you were in his place?’

And just like every other time he comforts me, he knew exactly the right words to say for my brain to start thinking.

That night, I had my answer: I needed to let Nathan be.

Letting him be was what’s best for both of us. I’d rather that we try having a long distance relationship than to have him blame me for being the reason why he was not able to chase after his dreams. I’d rather that he were there than here but dreading every moment of it.

I don’t want him to have a dozen of ‘what ifs’ in his mind. Which I supposed would happen if I asked him to stay. I don’t want to be the one who held him back. I’d let him go because if the situation were reversed, that’s what I would have wanted him to do – to let me be to chase after my dreams.

If you love someone, you need to be ready to make sacrifices even if it means letting them be, even if it means pain. Love is wanting what’s best for the other.

That night, I called up Nathan.

‘And love grew, stretched like a trampoline. Love changed.
Love disappeared, slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed.’
(- When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

People often say that distance makes the heart go fonder. Although I don’t completely agree, I would have to say that is it partly true.

In the beginning, Nathan and I did our very best to keep in touch. We updated each other about everything, and although we were in different time zones, the loneliness I felt somewhat lessened.

But maybe, some things aren’t permanent. Maybe, love isn’t permanent.

One year, four months and three days. This was how long out long distance relationship lasted. I don’t know what happened, but for some reason we just drifted apart. Ha, who am I kidding? Of course, I had a theory.

Love changed.

In time, the ignored calls increased, the answered calls lessened. I realized what had happened – Nathan’s priority had changed. And along with that change was me being on the bottom of the list. I could say I don’t know when it began but, if I were to be honest with myself, then I would say it began the moment he asked me if I were willing to have a long distance relationship. Because at that time, I felt that he was willing to put me on hold – to put us on hold.

We said we would make it work, we said that nothing major would change – aside from the distance. We said that three years wouldn’t be that long, that we’ll figure it out. We believed that we could make it work. However these things we believed in were mere illusions of what we wanted.

It was a fantasy that can never meet reality. Both of us were in denial.

We were in denial of the fact that with distance, things are going to be different. It was then that I admitted to myself that I was more in denial than Nathan was. I kept on clinging to the old Nathan – my Nathan, the one I fell in love with – while the truth is that Nathan was changing. He had different priorities now.

“It’s not working, is it?” I meekly said over the phone.
“What is?” Nathan asked after a moment of silence.
“This. Us. Don’t you feel it?” I was tired of being in denial, from running away from what was happening.
“…yeah.” He said with a tone of, what I believed was a combination of, sadness, guilt and regret.
“So, what do we do?” I asked.

Love is a choice.

It is a choice of what your priorities are and what they would be. It’s a choice of what’s more important, what you pursue, what you put on hold and what you leave behind. It can be a choice of letting go or holding on. What’s sad about it is that, sometimes one can choose to hold on and the other can choose to give up.

Maybe there are times when you meet the right person but at the wrong time. It can be that you’re too young or maybe one is unavailable at the moment. It can also be that one is putting love on hold and is chasing after life, chasing after their dreams. Then love becomes a choice between pursuing the person at the wrong time or pursuing what time had originally set for you.

Even if I used to think that Nathan and I were perfect for each other – that wasn’t enough. Now I realized that just because you love one person, it doesn’t mean that he is ‘the one’.

Now I know that real love is not a fairy tale.

Movies have the tendency to show that love conquers all and for some reason, I believed it. It made me believe in happy endings; because that’s just how powerful it is. So now, I’m stuck with the question: where’s my happy ending?

When do I get to see that?

- Part Four: Realizations-

Some things are not meant to be.

But that reason is not enough to stop you from wandering, from regretting and from thinking of the ‘could have been’s’. It doesn’t stop you from thinking of the most powerful, hurtful, impactful two words ever put together – the ‘what if’s’.

What if you hadn’t done this, what if you had reacted another way… what if this, what if that. The list goes on and on. Then you question yourself: what could you have done differently? At some point, you will wonder what made everything fall apart. You will try to remember, you will try to look for those flashbacks. Like a detective, you will attempt to see those signs that perhaps were evidently there but you refused to acknowledge them – those signs that might have led to this outcome.

Love will come in another time, when you’re ready.’

That was what Jake told me a few months after the break up. He also said that at some point, I need to stop blaming myself. He told me that no matter how many times I repeat what happened in my head, it wouldn’t change what has already happened and that even if I saw those signs, it might delay the outcome but it wouldn’t have changed it.

‘Maybe love stays- maybe love can’t. Maybe love shouldn’t.’
(- When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

Love is forgiving.

It is forgiving both yourself and the other. For every heart break you face, you will need to realize that maybe that’s it. Maybe you were just meant to be with this person for a year, a month or even a week. But you shouldn’t doubt whatever it is that you had because breaking up doesn’t make what you had any less true.

If it was true for both of you at that specific time then why are you questioning it now?
It was love, simply because both of you believed it was.

There is no point in dwelling on the past. But, I realized that in order for me to completely move on, I needed to forgive myself. Although love is something blissful, it also gives you bruises, it can also hurt. However, that is the point – you fall, you hurt, you learn and you get back up. After all, even if love gives you bruises, you shouldn’t let it scar you for life.

Love prepares us to be the person we are meant to be. It enables us to learn from our mistakes, which we perceive as a preparation for the ‘right one’. But more importantly, it is a preparation for us to know ourselves more and make a better version of ourselves for ourselves.

As humans, we have the tendency to think that there will always be concrete answers to our questions. But on my search for what love is, I have found that nothing is ever guaranteed.

I realized that each of us has our own definition of love; it varies from person to person, it is affected by the people that we meet, those we let in and out of our lives. Each of us has our own meaning because love is anything we wish it to be, anything we want it to be.

Because the word ‘love’ has no exact definition and that is why we are so hooked with its concept.

- Epilogue: It Continues -

Silly girl. You don’t search for it. Love comes to you.’

I have failed to see that love has always been present. It’s funny how my over analytical brain could miss such a thing. I was too busy with my search to pay attention. And yet, love has been patient.

‘Or maybe, love isn’t ready for you yet. Just wait.’

Even when I tried to blame love for not speaking up – or for not being ready for me earlier or at the right time – love just laughed it off saying there is no point in blaming him. After all, he did say that love is neither forced nor searched. Love is felt

‘Love will come in another time, when you’re ready.’

When he said that, I smiled realizing that he was once again right. Love did come again – at another time, love waited when I was ready.

And if you ask me now what love means, I would say that love is not perfect.
Well, neither am I.

I realized now that love is just like everything and everyone – it has its imperfections. But it’s all about exposing those and seeing beyond them. If you’re lucky, you’ll realize that those flaws are actually what make your relationship significant. Because no matter how hard we try to achieve perfectionism, there is nothing more ideal than love accepting us perfectly despite our imperfections.

Why would love do this?

Because love is frank enough to tell my flaws and kind enough to accept who I am.
Because I’d do the same for him.
Because love is worth it – and because the person I chose to love is worth it.

“Cassie.”

I guess I need to stop analyzing things again; love is calling me right now.

Will this love last?
Honestly, I don’t really know.
But love told me to have faith, and that’s what I’m doing.
It is time for me to just let things be.
This is me having faith – in love, in us.

‘Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to, and love leaves exactly when love must.’
(- When Love Arrives by Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye)

The End.

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Captured Moment: Project 2

The challenge: control the movement of water with a slow shutter speed.

In the brief given to us, we were required to use a tripod when taking the shot since a fast shutter speed is required. Well, tough luck for me because, 1) my family planned to go out of town with my cousins so I didn’t know a place where to take the shot, 2) my sister forgot to bring the tripod since she didn’t know I needed it, 3) my cousin forgot to bring their tripod (even if I reminded her a few days before), 4) I couldn’t remind her again since my phone was not cooperating with me (the battery was dead and no matter how long I charged it, it won’t turn on).

So, deep inside I was panicking on how I was supposed to get the project done. Luckily for me, my mom said we could stop over into a resort wherein she will inquire about the membership. In that resort there was this one fountain…

That fountain was my only chance for this project in time… so thank you fountain!

Here are some of the ‘good’ shots:

The picture below is generally what you usually see. Its the front view of the fountain… and personally, I didn’t think of it as a big deal or something that was worth taking a shot at – but I needed a shot.  Even with the constraints that I had at that time – without the tripod and with just this fountain – I needed a good shot.

DSC_0019

So, I tried several things. Tried to use my hips to rest my arm so it can steady me, tried to use my sister’s shoulder as my tripod, tried to not breathe while taking the shot… and I didn’t get the result that I wanted.
DSC_0032

Luckily (again), there was a pole by the side of the fountain. It was kinda far, but I was really lucky that I used it. Why? Because in this project I realized how important it is to find the right angle. When I took the picture from the angle where the pole was, it was so much better (in my opinion).DSC_0048

And so, I zoomed in (or rather cropped) and took different shots. Honestly, I was really happy on how it turned out (although I admit that I did get frustrated at first HAHAHA).  Anyway, another thing that I realized is that sometimes, you just need deal with it and work with what you haveDSC_0045

Because if my sister and cousin hadn’t forgotten the tripod, if that pole wasn’t there for me to lean on and support, if I was satisfied by my first shot… I wouldn’t have been able to take this shot that I submitted. :)DSC_0040

Title: Mimosa
Flickr

 

 

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Captured Moment: Project 1

In my photography class, we will be given several projects. For this post, Project 1, the challenge is: to freeze the movement of animals.

When we were briefed, I already had an animal in mind, my pet dog named Hero. Honestly, although I was quite frustrated at first, I enjoyed shooting it because of one reason: my dog is so so so cute. HAHAHA.

Here are some of my attempts:

DSC_0649

I tried several techniques, first was throwing his ball. Well, it was not really his ball cause we couldn’t find it, we borrowed our other dog’s toy.DSC_0656

It worked okay at first, but then he ended up going in random directions. DSC_0650

Which explains why he is sideways in the picture below:DSC_0651

The second technique was me having treats and calling him to come to me. The shot below is one of my favorites. Too bad it wasn’t a full body shot. :(DSC_0632

And of course, the last technique, (which made me think: why didn’t I think of this sooner), was letting him sit and stay far from me, then calling him to come to me. IT WORKED WELL. :)
DSC_0036

Have I told you that he’s just so cute and adorable and cute? :)DSC_0051

I submitted the picture above. :)
Title: Here Comes Hero!

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