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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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life lessons

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – THUG LIFE

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“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.

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…

Monday Musings: A matter of choice

Today, I will not romanticize love.

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. 😊

Monday Musings: Do it scared

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.

Fighting! 😊

There are no such thing as tourist spots in Bung-aw

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.

one of the mountains of Bung-aw

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

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…”

yellow stone boulders

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.

Didang River in June 2016
Didang River in September 2018
Didang River in January 2020

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?

Cousins

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.

Didang now

If only these “tourists” follow the river that snake through the foothills of our mountains. They will certainly find other scenic nameless spots.

A personal favorite spot.
Nope. Not Didang

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.

Home ❤

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.

We used to play in the water all day

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.

My go-to place whenever I’m home

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.

Horseshoe bend

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.

Spread love

“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.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Iron and Ironies

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Today we are surrounded by man and his creations. Man is inescapable, everywhere on the globe, and nature is a fantasy, a dream of the past, long gone.

Michael Crichton, Congo

My first foray into the written world of Michael Crichton was Congo. James, who loves the man as much as Dan Brown, never missed to mention his works whenever we talk about books. So I guess this is where curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back comes in.

The 1980 sci-fi novel centers on an expedition searching for rare blue diamonds and investigating the mysterious deaths of a previous expedition in the dense tropical rainforest of the Congo. At first I was worried that I’d be stuck in the complicated science and technical jargon but as it turns out, Crichton is a great de-jargonizer. I found myself immediately engaged in the story that capsulized science, history, and geography in each and every page.

Which brings me to this week’s WQW, Iron and Ironies. Congo left me emotionally, mentally and morally disturbed. In a simple story it raised provocative questions that I found hard to answer.

To what extent is animal cruelty? Is it limited to performing experiments/animal research? How about throwing lobsters on a boiling pot? Sticking pigs on bamboo poles? Exterminating rats? Do ALL animals have rights or just a selected few? Does man get to give them the reason to stay alive as a species?

These questions led me to reflect on our deeply ingrained habit of meat eating, on the equality among animals, and man’s idea of speciesism. I know there are multiple sides to these multifaceted issues and I would love to hear a thing or two from you. 🙂

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Monday Musings: Your Own Kind of Beautiful

It’s easier to laugh it off. To pit women who put on a full make up against those who don’t. This culture of incriminating women of their choices — the way they look or the way they dress — must end. Women can put on make up or choose to bare their freckles and dark spots. They can wear LBDs and stiletto or just plain shirt and baggy pants. Truth is, we can always do both if we choose to. So stop this duality, this sick comparison of nonsense. Because we are our own expectation and reality.

And so much more in between. 🌻💚

One day at a time, anxious person

We will never be enough.

For people who walk hand in hand with anxiety, it will always come as a surprise when someone tells us that we are the missing puzzle in his or her life. Everyday we spend precious seconds tiptoeing, walking on thin glass — afraid that one wrong move would break our hard-earned peace of mind. For us, it will always be a question of why. Why me? Why leave? Why stay? We keep a long list of why’s on our pockets so whenever we feel like we took a bad step and notice the slightest change, we know what to start asking. Why did his tone dropped a little lower? Why is she touching her ears? Why did it took him extra 2 seconds to answer?

People say that we should learn to trust others. But, truth is, they are not the problem. We can hand them all the trust we have, but we can never fully trust ourselves. We will never be a good enough reason for anything. Not smart enough. Not kind enough. Not talented enough. Not pretty enough. Sooner or later they will realize that we are the not the missing puzzle. We are the puzzle. And that is the hardest thing.

But keep going.
Keep breathing.

One day at a time, anxious person. 🌻
MS

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – We need to be bothered

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There is, I assume most of you would agree, a long list of reasons why physical copies of books are better than their eBook counterparts. However, not everyone can bare the temptation for too long. A peak at a sentence that reads, IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN, could lead you to the very last page. And that’s what happened. I read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 online.

This classic dystopia will take you to a time when books are banned and burned. In Guy Montag’s world, lives are dominated by televisions and literature is on the brink of extinction. Books and freethinkers are burned without a second thought. The storyline is good enough that it could stir the minds of many, but perhaps I was looking for more. More hard-hitting satire, more stimulation. Maybe a stronger revolt.

Nonetheless, it’s still a commendable piece of writing. This quote, for one, is very timely.

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

With all the happenings in different corners of the world — be it political, moral or environmental concerns — we really need to be bothered.

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