Angie Thomas’ novel revolves around this redefined meaning of THUG LIFE by Tupac Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac.
It follows 16-year-old Starr Carter whose uneasy balance between her poor neighborhood and her fancy suburban school is shattered when she witnesses the shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. His name is Khalil, but the world calls him a thug. Everyone wants to know what went down that night. But Starr’s decision to stay silent or to speak comes with a risk for her people and her life.
Some people snicker at the thought of reading books under the young adult genre. They have this stereotyped belief that YA novels are shallow, sappy and superficial. They rarely see it as an avenue for discussing socio-political issues. But Angie Thomas proves these people wrong.
Without mincing her words, she delves into the most delicate and controversial subjects in America and the world today: racism, oppression, privilege and broken justice system. The book is thought-provoking without being preachy. It gave me different perspectives to look into. It made me introspect on what I have done and what I would do when faced with these issues. Other than posting about the hashtags and signing every petition there is, do I have it in me to act against racism, oppression or injustice?
In the end, this novel goes to warn the society that what it gives (hate/violence/injustice) to little infants (the poor/minority/less fortunate) will always come to haunt them. The THUG LIFE cycle continues…
Ours isn’t spellbinding or a gift from the gods and goddesses. Nor does it have to do with an arrow piercing two hearts together at the perfect time and place. It’s far from orphic to begin with and the universe isn’t always on our side.
Ours is bitter and sweet. Love and hate colliding— an endless cycle of cuddles and fights. It is coming back after hundreds of walk outs. And we never learn. We keep messing things up only to patch them in the end. With music, long walks on a moonlit night, laughter.
Ours is a downright matter of choice. Holding on to what keep us together rather than those that tear us apart.
Sharing another old IG post for Monday Musings.
I’m not an expert in all matters of the heart but if there is one thing I have been writing about and has come to prove firsthand, it’s about love being a choice. It is seeing the beauty and the ugly in a person — and choosing to embrace them both. 😊
It’s killing me softly, love is. But I wouldn’t mind this kind of death.
Icarus didn’t aim to burn but he knew it was coming. He felt the wax scorching his back and saw the feathers falling off his wings. He could have stopped but there is so much we do not know about flying.
And, perhaps, this is how I refuse to be. To be like the trolls and sprites who must have watched Icarus in shame. Knowing that they never tried. Clueless of how great it must have felt. Forever wondering why Icarus chose such kind of death.
Two years ago, I wrote this with a promise to myself to do things scared.
I have always been a hermit, preferring the comfort of solitude and quiet. Always been a hopeless romantic, too good with words yet too afraid to apply it.
But here I am, fast forward to 2020, appreciating the beauty of connection. With nature and people. Wide-eyed, silly grin plastered on my face and a whole lot treasured moments to reminisce.
I’m still a hermit and connecting can at times be a struggle. Still a romantic yet now a hopeful one. Definitely still scared, but you know what?
Like Nike, let’s just do it. Like BDO, let’s just find away.
I was taking a bath when a streak of light hit my skin. From the gap between my wooden window, it came with the color of fire — the kind of orange you get when you light a lamp in the midst of a dim room. The ones we used to play with during brownouts.
The clock strikes 5:49 pm and a wave of nostalgia begins.
Was amazed by today’s sunset and I had to write a little something. Also, linking this to this week’s OLN hosted by Grace. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Having spent seven years in the concrete jungles of Cebu gave me a pair of eyes that looks at province life with extra appreciation and love. Like most people around my age, I started craving for the simplicity and warmth that rural places have to offer. Going home for me has become more than just reuniting with my family. It has now become a form of healing.
At the height of ticking off #bucketlists and #travelgoals, more and more places are “discovered” each day, topping the trends on Facebook and Instagram. While this is essentially harmless, I personally don’t like the idea of calling every place a tourist spot. I believe that, in a way, we rob it of its personality.
To set an example, let me take you to my hometown.
Bung-aw is a mountain barangay in the municipality of Hilongos in the province of Leyte. We do not have something elaborate to boast apart from our simple way of life. However, a few years ago, people from far off places started coming. The reason? Didang river.
Didang river gained popularity because of its yellow stone boulders. It was named after the woman who lives nearest to the river. The cameras and naked eyes did not lie. Didang truly was and still is Instagrammable. Its beauty is nature’s very own masterpiece.
What bothers me is hearing people say that it has now gone unpreserved. That the locals gave less value to those Insta-famous yellow stones and that they should have made the place tourist-friendly to boost its status. “If only this… “If only that…”
True, Didang looks different than it was on the onset of its fame. It looks even more different when it didn’t have a name. But locals know that after being worn and rounded by the action of moving water, the river always change.
There was no need to protect Didang. At least not until outsiders started disrespecting the place and leaving garbage behind. They carved on stones and littered the riverbed with plastics. So who’s at fault again?
Despite this, my people started adjusting to the long complains. They no longer wash laundry near the river to avoid photobombing shots. They built makeshift huts to offer guests shade. They even placed multi-colored flag banners along the trail to welcome onlookers. The rest is history.
If only these “tourists” follow the river that snake through the foothills of our mountains. They will certainly find other scenic nameless spots.
But today’s generation is naive. They travel more for photo sessions than learning about the place – not knowing there’s more to Bung-aw than Didang.
They didn’t know the story of our hanging bridge. How it made the local’s lives easier as they cross it carrying their farm produce, charcoal and root crops for sale.
They didn’t know the story of our kanal. How it sustained the rice paddies and at the same time carried our fondest childhood memories as we bathed and washed laundry here.
They didn’t know the story of our mountains. How, despite the digital era, people still have to climb higher up the hill to get a better cellular connection to check on their loved ones.
No, these are not tourist spots. These are part of our lifeline. They were not created to please other people but to cater the basic needs of its residents. We do not have fancy names for such places even. So if you only think of doing it for the ‘gram or racking up Facebook likes or being the first word-of-mouth, go away.
There are no such thing as tourist spots in Bung-aw.
I sit beside helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon
the laziest and most boring elements,
Thinking periodically how you came—
Perhaps because ours is a chemical romance
like helium that always comes in two
like neon giving colors to my gray days
like argon remaining colorless and true
like krypton giving each other strength
like xenon starting from being strangers
like radon becoming each other’s weakness
This, I think, is why I like noble gases
they were once set aside at first
until they finally found their place
In response to dVerse’s Poetics: Let’s get elemental! hosted by Sarah who challenges us to write some poems inspired by the periodic table elements.
From a number of plot twists to finally reaching Mt. Kalatungan, our three-day climb culminated with a traverse hike to Mt. Wiji.
Mt. Wiji stands at the height of 2819.78 meters above sea level and is located at the southern part of Kalatungan Mountain Range. The mountain is named after the first Japanese who made it into the peak, but locals refer to it as Mt. Lumpanag or Makaupao.
The early morning wind greeted us with a chill and by the time we sipped our coffees, we were wearing layers of clothes and jackets to counter the very cold temperature. We were supposed to start the ascend at 8 am based on our initial itinerary, but Kuya Babu and the guides suggested that we start early for us to witness the sunrise and [probably] the sea of clouds. So there, in the darkness of the dawn, we started our trek.
It was 5 am when streaks of light started painting the sky with shades of pinks and purples. Although Mt. Wiji is less than a kilometer away from Bamboo Camp, the trail going to the peak is very steep. But despite our huffs, pants and coughs, the gorgeous view made it a whole lot easier.
“Say ‘I love you’ now because tomorrow is never promised.”
Sadly, people nowadays think the phrase is synonymous to either a lie or a form of vanity. Some hold back their emotions, afraid of what others might say. Yes, “I love you” should not — and should never be — randomly thrown away. But if you truly mean it, fuck the rules. You don’t have to shout it to the world. You just have to say it to him, to her, to them. We live in a society filled with too much sadness, hate and depression. And though most of the times action speaks louder than words, there will always be days that it works the other way around. Sometimes it will be words they will be holding on to when you’re far away. It will be words they will be holding on to when you’re both chained to your desks on a busy day. It will be words they will be holding on to when they’re locked in a room with a bottle of pills. It will be words they will be holding on to when they’re on their deathbeds. So don’t hold those words back. Say it to your loved ones, your family, your friends. Spread love.