Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul



Book Talk: Portrait of a scared reader

Do you have a book that scares you? It could be of any genre but mostly it’s horror or suspense thrillers that raise some hairs.

Five years ago, on this day, I found and bought this book in Booksale (SM City Cebu). Fast forward to 2021, I still have not finished it.

Why? Nightmares — every. single. time. i. read. it.

I am a sucker for crime thrillers, books or movies. Give me gore, give me blood, give me mystery (so long as there is no paranormal involved). I also love watching and researching true crime stories. I am passionately interested in what goes into the mind of the mad. So, my experience with Cornwell’s Portrait of a Killer honestly came as a surprise. I’ve had countless attempts of continuing the book which resulted to countless of nighttime terror too.

By 2018, I gave up. It’s not about Cornwell’s writing (I am a big fan of her Scarpetta series by the way). It’s just that the scanned letters, the sketches, the newspaper clippings and the police reports — they all felt so close. It’s different when you’re watching things on the screen. Touching the pages with my hand felt like Jack the Ripper breathing on my nape.

Will I ever get over this book? How do you deal with such fear? Hmm…

Old Whang-od


Old Whang-od

Amid the verdant mountains
Wild rivers and slopes
Reside the countless culture
And the mambabatok

The tattoos etched on her skin
Flaunts beauty and grace
The history of headhunters
She wears on her face

Old Whang-od taps the bamboo
And the tattoo session begins
Officious tribal patterns—
Ethic outlines worth the pain

The tapping sound of bamboo stick
Sends a hum of thrill and fear
For at the end of the citrus thorn
The charcoal ink shall smear your soul

© 2017 Maria. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credit: Lantaw

In response to dVerse’s Tuesday Poetics: Artisan.

Tending the bar for Poets Pub today is Kim who challenge us to write a poem about an artisan or wright emulating the style of Irish poet, Seamus Heaney.

This one is a tribute to the 99-year-old Whang-od who is considered as the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the Butbut tribe in Buscalan, Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines.

Head over here to join the fun:


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!:)


Colossal Shame


Colossal Shame
A Mythic fiction

“I refuse this humiliation, Salacia! It’s a colossal shame.” Neptune screamed, pointing at the statue perched atop the jagged rock near the beach.

Down in the land of mortals stood a towering statue that mirrored the god of the sea. It’s an enormous work of art that captured the attention of the world for its immense dominance.

Il Gigante, they call it. Il obbrobrio, I’d say! For years I didn’t squabble when they made me look like a slave carrying that chunk of concrete over my shoulder while they dance merrily above it. But this?!.”

Salacia couldn’t help but smile at her husband’s distress. He’s been complaining endlessly since they bombed his statue and left it an armless ruin. He wanted to summon the biggest wave to wash out the artwork that he called shame. “My husband,” she sighed, “You are as great as that statue withstanding the strongest storms for centuries. And look, even without its arms, it stood high and proud.”

“But I love my arms…” He trailed.

“So do I!” She laughed.

Word Count: 175 

© 2016 Maria. All Rights Reserved.

Glad to be back in the tale weaving world! YAY! ❤❤❤ Thanks PJ for another fun prompt. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Here is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Mom the Obscure.

From what I’ve read,  this is a photo of Il Gigante (The Giant) located at the beach of Monterosso del Mare. The 14 meter high image of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, was originally built from concrete in 1910 to decorate the seaward edge of the elegant Villa Pastine. Allied bombs and rough seas have turned the once mighty century giant into an armless ruin. 

Neptune must be furious, you think? Hehe.

Enjoy more stories here:



Photography by Hideaway Girl

Dripping sweats, muscle strains, and beating hearts
The world stops for this game of dominance
Slam dunks, alley-oops, and fadeaways
Fluctuating figures on game charts
Hearts thumping; an otherworldly performance
Spinning world carved with names and legends
History forged in a hundred plays
Hearts and games; dribbling world never ends.


Day 14: Today’s prompt comes to us from TJ Kearney, who invites us to try a seven-line poem called a san san, which means “three three” in Chinese (It’s also a term of art in the game Go). The san san has some things in common with the tritina, including repetition and rhyme. In particular, the san san repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The seven lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.

Inspired by two major events on NBA history:

1) Steph Curry along with the Golden State Warriors, broke the all-time NBA record by winning their 73rd victory of the season, eclipsing the previous win record of 72 games held by the 1995-96 Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

2) Kobe Bryant finishes his farewell game  with a grandeur, scoring 60 points on 50 shots, in a win over Utah Jazz.



I am Guillermo Fransisco, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s 21st division, a patriot, a family man and a drifter soul— in layman’s term, a ghost.

For seventy-four years, I’ve guarded the forts of Corregidor, watched how the remnants of our battle slowly faded through time. This place, which once served as the battleground for freedom, is now considered a heritage site. Heritage. A term for the riches of the past passed from one generation to the other. I’ve heard all the stories from the tour guides but theirs were mere versions. Nobody lived to tell how the Fall of Bataan felt like.

Or if they lived, nobody dared to remember.

In response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt. Friday Fictioneers is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields where a photo is used as a prompt for a hundred-word piece of fiction. The photo prompt is a courtesy of J Hardy Carroll. Thank you!

I have always had an affinity to old places and heritage sites. When I saw the photo prompt, it took me instantly to the battles of Bataan and Corregidor. This story is inspired by one of the Philippines’ unforgettable event, The Fall of Bataan. Seventy-four years ago, on April 9, 1942, eighty thousand Filipino and American prisoners of war were forced to walk their Death March.

Read more stories here:

Up ↑