Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul



Writers Quote Wednesday: Freedom

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“Is there any country, sir,” pursued the history student, “where submission to Government is not due to fear?” “The freedom that exists in any country,” I replied, “may be measured by the extent of this reign of fear. Where its threat is confined to those who would hurt or plunder, there the Government may claim to have freed man from the violence of man. But if fear is to regulate how people are to dress, where they shall trade, or what they must eat, then is man’s freedom of will utterly ignored, and manhood destroyed at the root.”

― Rabindranath TagoreThe Home and the World

Last night, I finally finished reading Rabindranath Tagore’s The Home and the World. I’ve had this book for weeks but didn’t want to rush it to end. It was much more than a classic literary masterpiece to me. Each page was an awakening about the fragility of humanity. Each POV from the three central characters brought me to their shoes. I struggled with Nikhil in keeping his morals, I lost my way to sensationalism and terror with Bimala, and I breathed in Sandip’s clouded fanaticism.

This book resonated deeply, especially with what is happening to my country, the Philippines, and to the rest of the world. What is true freedom? How can we truly heal? Here’s an excerpt from the book that hits home:

And to anyone who hasn’t read it yet, I definitely recommend The Home and the World.  ❤ #makelovenotwar

I Dare You


I Dare You

I dare you to move.
Plunge into my love and I will not resist nor will I stop you from swimming the depths of me. I will hand you the freedom to bathe in my warmth but be careful not to drown. For my love can be still as water or can come in waves.

I dare you to touch.
Wrap me in your arms and I will not fight back. I will build no solid wall so that our souls can stare right into each other and that our touch can reach beyond the skin. But do not attempt to own me for I belong to no man.

I dare you to fall.
If, by this time, you have swum my depths without drowning and you have touched this soul without owning, I dare you. There is a reason I keep a warning sign to this heart. Proceed at your own risk— you have been warned.

© 2017 Maria. All Rights Reserved. Continue reading “I Dare You”

The Prisoner of Chillon by Lord Byron (George Gordon)

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

My hair is grey, but not with years,
          Nor grew it white
          In a single night,
As men’s have grown from sudden fears:
My limbs are bow’d, though not with toil,
       But rusted with a vile repose,
For they have been a dungeon’s spoil,
       And mine has been the fate of those
To whom the goodly earth and air
Are bann’d, and barr’d—forbidden fare;
But this was for my father’s faith
I suffer’d chains and courted death;
That father perish’d at the stake
For tenets he would not forsake;
And for the same his lineal race
In darkness found a dwelling place;
We were seven—who now are one,
       Six in youth, and one in age,
Finish’d as they had begun,
       Proud of Persecution’s rage;
One in fire, and two in field,
Their belief with blood have seal’d,
Dying as their father died,
For the God their foes denied;—
Three were in a dungeon cast,
Of whom this wreck is left the last.

Continue reading “The Prisoner of Chillon by Lord Byron (George Gordon)”

Forget Them Not


Forget Them Not
A Haibun

For more than a hundred years, I stood atop this unpolished granite which houses my remains. Dubbed as the Philippines’ national hero, I have been one of the most famous and photographed historical landmarks in the country. Go on, take a snap. Flash those wide smiles and share it with pride. But, please, remember. Remember that this bronze figure that I am now was once a man breathing the same air, basking under the same sun and staring at the same moonlit night. Remember what I lived and what I died for—our beloved Philippines. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Three major islands united by blood. I didn’t fight for freedom so you could wage war against one another. I didn’t wield my pen so you could practice ignorance. I didn’t die for nothing. I breathed my last air with a hope for a breaking dawn after a long troubled night, a better future and an unwavering peace. Filipinos, I lived for you.

Winds of change passed by
Tainted ancient history—
Forget them not, please

© 2016 Maria. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Dennis Villegas 

In response to dVerse’s Tuesday Poetics: Chisel me a conversation

Poet’s Pub today is hosted by Lillian with her heart-breaking piece. We are to to find a sculpture and write in the voice of that sculpture — become either the artist who created the piece or the subject of the sculpture. So here I am writing in the voice of our country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

Interested? Join the band here!:)



© Oleg Oprisco

Tired of sham and charade
Jaded by cynicism and grief
She cadge freedom

© 2016 Maria. All Rights Reserved.

In response to Shapeshifting 13 #53 KICKOFF: This week, in exactly 13 words, your challenge is to write a story or poem inspired by and using any form of the following word(s):



Oil Painting by Thomas Kinkade

Streaks of morning light

Chirping birds in the sky

A smell of coffee in the air

The melody of church bells

Children’s laughter nearby

Loud screams of delight

Waking to my father’s voice

And to my mother’s smile

In another world it is darker
Dimmed by anguish and war
In another world people suffer
Chained by fear and scar

But in this world the sky is clear

Birds chirp; children laugh

In this world the church bell rings

My father sings; my mother smiles

And how I wished to spend a lifetime

Where angels of mirth dance in glee

In a small world that I call, Home

Where I am boundless and free

Last Friday, I’ve decided to post my unpublished poem, Seconds: A Vignette,  for our Writing 101: Poetry course. As a continuation, I am posting yet another LATE entry for our Day 5 prompt (a courtesy of Imposiblebong of My Own Private Idaho). This is the one I wrote last Christmas, during my two-week long holiday vacation. A time when I was in a state of blissful freedom. 🙂 🙂

Day 5: Freedom

Freedom is a fundamental need. It is so powerful that nations go to war for it. People engage in both despicable and heroic deeds to gain it. In the name of freedom we suffer, make sacrifices, and attempt to perform miracles. For freedom we are willing to lose everything and risk our lives, since no life really is one without freedom.

What freedom means is open to interpretation, which is why it’s been a recurring subject in art. In today’s poem, share your take on freedom. While you’re at it, be fearless with your thoughts. Don’t hold back. Unleash your emotions and be honest with yourself. Uncensored writing coming from the heart often produces the most amazing read.

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