Last night we talked about childhood Walked down memory lane to recall past antics You painted a picture of your early years: Smart kid, chubby cheeks— Probably a little too plump coz you were constantly teased, But you used your wit to you your advantage— Traveled far and wide Winning contests. Here’s a boy who likes solving puzzles, reading newspapers, raising hands
You got a treasure trove of bests And I wish I could say the same.
You see, I have very few memories of childhood I have images lacking backstory And voices with no picture in mind At a young age, I was torn Between two languages— Tagalog and Bisaya, clashing, twisting my tongue which is probably why I came to love silence— And English Here’s a girl who likes Edward Lear, book reading reports, hour hands
I’m a hunter of the treasures of my past And I wish you stick with me ’til I find them at last.
Short Synopsis: Set on a Bengali noble’s estate in 1908, this is both a love story and a novel of political awakening. The central character, Bimala, is torn between the duties owed to her husband, Nikhil, and the demands made on her by the radical leader, Sandip. Her attempts to resolve the irreconcilable pressures of the home and world reflect the conflict in India itself, and the tragic outcome foreshadows the unrest that accompanied Partition in 1947.
What I liked:
1. The characters. 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. These internal turmoil that each character go through make the story relatable.
2.The depth in this slim volume. It talks about infatuation — one that goes beyond the physical attraction. It weights the pros and cons of being infatuated with an idea. It tackles the concepts of freedom and bondage, pitting rationalism, nationalism and humanism against each other, backdropped by the political scenario of the Swadesi movement.
3. Tagore’s poetic power. I know people did not miss the faulty translations but that did not hamper Tagore’s beautiful prose.
What I didn’t like: None? Haha I’m an easy-to-please reader in general. The only thing I could wish is to be able to read and understand the novel in its orginal language. Perhaps I’m also slightly disturbed by Bimala’s representation of women (her gullibility) but I understand her chosen path of freedom and the form of redemption she received in the end.
Favorite quotes: “I am willing to serve my country, but my worship I reserve for Right which is far greater than my country. To worship my country as a god is to bring a curse upon it.”
“To tyrannize for the country is to tyrannize over the country”
“So long as we are impervious to truth and have to be moved by some hypnotic stimulus, we must know that we lack the capacity for self-government. Whatever may be our condition, we shall either need some imaginary ghost or some actual medicine-man to terrorize over us.”
“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.”
“It is only when we get to the point of letting the bird out of its cage that we can realize how free the bird has set us.”
“I tell you, sir, this is just what the world has failed to understand. They all seek to reform something outside themselves. But reform is wanted only in one’s own desires, nowhere else, nowhere else!”
“To clutch hold of that which is untrue as though it were true, is only to throttle oneself.”
“Only the weak dare not be just.”
Final Thoughts: I first read this book in 2017. It is much more than a classic literary masterpiece to me. Each page is an awakening about the fragility of humanity. This book resonates deeply, especially with what is happening to my country and to the rest of the world today.
With the world in utter chaos today due to COVID-19, we are reminded of our mortality — our vulnerability despite having played like gods over other creatures. As death threatens to knock on our doorsteps, we realize the value of living.
To live, not merely exist. But have we made the most of life?
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…
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.
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.
We didn’t mind our aching muscles or joints. We didn’t mind our heavy loads. We didn’t even mind when our knees and chin almost touch with every step. We were just thankful for a blessed day.
“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.