Tag Archives: non-fiction

Monochromatic Makati

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The towering skyscrapers came into view as I rode the cab to DBP tower. The hotel where I staying was a mere 2.2 kilometers away, exactly one academic oval in UP diliman, yet it took me 20 minutes and 100 pesos in hopes of making it to the 7:30 am call time.

I arrived 7:35.

Traffic from Quezon city to Makati during the Monday morning rush is inevitable. Thus, I chose to stay the night in a hotel near DBP tower, the venue of our meeting. My view from the 14th floor gave no obstruction to stars that twinkle in the night sky, and no, I am not referring to the literal stars in the sky. The lights of the cityscape twinkled in contrast to the pitch black landscape. Headlights of cars zoomed past my sight.

I slept with the stars peeking through my curtains.

The magic of Makati at night slowly turned grey as day began to break. Approaching the tower, women in high heeled stillettoes, and ill-fitting skirts rushed along the sidewalk. Men with half-done ties followed, much like ants in a colony, only without a path to follow.

I wore my bright pink blouse coupled with black slacks, and 1-inch heeled shoes. I looked at my reflection against the building window, and thought, it looked good, mature and “business”-like.

Imagine a cartoon where color is literally drained from the scene, and a single character on the screen remains to have color. That was me.
I was that speck of color against the monochromatic shades of grey.

Suddenly, a dash of color enters my peripheral vision. My kids (students) huddled in one corner, and I approached them with pride. They came on time, dressed the part, and adorned with excitement on their faces.

We greeted each person who asked us questions with smiles that matched our enthusiasm, only to be replied with a stern nod.

By the time we reached the 12th floor, the color from my kids faces vanished, confidence gone. They were assigned cubicles and computers to work on, and I left to explore the city.

I came by to pick them up at 5 in the afternoon. By then, they were dead tired. Their faces pale, just another face in the sea of colorless faces.

With my bright pink blouse and smile on my face, I say goodbye to the stars that hold much promise because of the the monochromatic life the city offers.

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Break Down

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After more than 10 years, our car showed the signs that it had reach its limit. The air conditioned was not working right. There was a strange humming sound from the back. There were times when it just stopped all together. Do we notice these signs of a break down? Of course. Do we still use it? Of course! After all, we haven’t rendered it useless yet.

If only humans can easily show the signs of a breakdown…

Good thing most people can. Whenever I see someone gloomy, I can easily tell something is wrong. I simply ask, “Are you ok?”, and they will share their life’s sorrows with me. After hearing almost all of the stories, I realize that my friends’ problems are so much more childish than mine. Oh how I wish that their problems are mine. Even so, I listen to them. I may not sympathize with them, but I listen, and that is enough for them.

But, here lies the irony of the situation. I help people with their problems. I can’t sleep at night trying to think of ways to resolve conflicts. I constantly rehearse every word in my head trying to think of the perfect thing to say. I desperately try to please everyone, so that, even in my world, everyone could be happy. I try to make them happy, and for a few moments, I see that they truly are, and I am too.

But, they do not see. Behind the smiling face, listening ears, and caring hugs, is the real me. They do not see, or rather they do not wish to see. Here I am, with a giant neon sign with the word help,  and no one even notices. All, I want is someone to listen, but all I have is me, so I just cry myself to sleep to ease the pain.

Notice the signs. Fix the damages, while it can still be repaired.

The only thing I can hope for is that they won’t render me useless and drive me straight to the dump.

The Things Never Meant to Be

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Whenever I speak, I feel weak.
Whenever I express, my soul is in distress.
Whenever I lead, it all becomes a dream.
Whenever I try, I crash and fail to fly.

But I still want to speak.
I still want to express.
I still want to lead.
I still want to fly.

But just like the rock who is never meant to walk.
Just like the leaves who were never meant to believe.

I am never meant to speak.
I am never meant to express.
I am never meant to lead.
I am never meant to fly.

I am never meant to dream.
I am only meant to weep.