Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul


spoken poetry



All my life I’ve suffered from motion sickness. Take me on a car or bus ride and I’d know right then what’s bound to happen. Once, on a van ride home, I tried to withstand it. A few kilometers passed and I started feeling weird as if the butterflies in my stomach wanted to break free. My throat went dry and the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. I thought I’d make it to ten but I was already throwing up at five. Experts said motion sickness is caused by mixed signals sent by our inner ears and our eyes to our brain. Well whatever it is, curse it.

There is a reason why I love long walks and hate the rides. But carousels are an exemption. For ours was a carousel ride. Your love took this heart round and round and round. You sent my butterflies flying in an uneasy state. My inner ears and eyes were sending mixed signals to my brain. My ears — they heard my scream and told my brain this needs to stop. My eyes — they’re drawn to you and told my brain it is time that needs to stop. Unable to comprehend, the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. But then you held my hands and I lost count of the numbers. The world stopped turning and the hour hands paused.

I love the carousel but I also want it to end. I want us to go north to see the beaches, south to hike the mountains. I want a destination not just a merry-go-round. I want commitment not just falling in and out of love. But if you ask me on a carousel ride, I’d still take it. I’d withstand motion sickness until you decide to make this a journey instead of running round and round.

Facebook reminded me that I wrote this piece two years ago this day. In 2017, I attended the two-day Cebu Literary Festival x Komiket event. Back then, my world was only limited to the four corners of my room or the pages of my books. It was a crucial year of existential crisis, all bottled up for so long. I struggled to find purpose and failed. It felt like I was functioning on auto pilot every single day and the only thing that would separate me from a robot would probably be poetry. Reading through my old poems, I could see how I was in a chaotic emotional mess. A hopeless romantic. An anxious human being trying to recreate her world through words. This piece is just one of those. I wrote it while listening to spoken word artists performing in front of me. In my mind I wanted to take the stage and express. In my heart, I just knew I can’t.

PLOT TWIST: Fast forward to 2018, I found myself onstage stuttering to the words of Pasabta Ko Palihug, a spoken word in my local dialect. Time flies! 😀

Laro tayo ng lokohan

Laro tayo ng lokohan
Bilang inaraw-araw mo na rin lang
Ang magpaloko sa ex mong makupal
Siguro naman ngayon,
Alam mo nang laruin ‘to

Pag sinabi kong kasalanan nila—
Ng mga NPA at komunista
At mga adik na kasing-liit ng daga
Maniwala ka

Wag kang magtiwala sa mga balita
Sa ingay ng mga aktibista
Na pilit ginigising
Ang iyong kamalayan
Manalig ka

Manatili kang nanampalataya
Sa sarili mong diyos na mapang-mura
Syang nakapanig na sa masa
At panig pa sa Tsina—
Siya lang ang tama

Silang mga butil ang ipinunla
Na ngayo’y umaani ng bala
Ay hindi marunong sumunod sa batas
At nagtatago lamang sa anino ng dahas

Silang mga isang kahig at isang tuka
Na ngayo’y sa kalsada nakabulagta
Ay hindi na dapat paramihin
Nang matigil na ang mga krimen

Laro tayo ng lokohan
Bilang inaraw-araw mo na rin lang
Ang magpaloko sa ex mong makupal
Siguro naman ngayon,
Alam mo nang laruin ‘to

Babalik-balikan ko
Ang mga linya
At mga pangako
Uulit-ulitin ko
Ang mga bula
Nang magtunog totoo

At kagaya ng laro niyo ng ex mo,
Kung sino man ang maloko dito ay talo.

Happy #NationalPoetryWritingMonth. Don’t be fooled, Pilipinas!

You! Yes, you.

You! Yes, you.

You who are probably wearing a little black dress or a loose shirt and skinny jeans or your grandmother’s overalls.

Yes, you.

I want you to know that you can spit them now. Your hatred, your frustration, your anger. You are not a refugee from the past. You are here, now – breathing, living.

When you happen to pass a dark alley and you hear the whistle of lust, it’s okay to fight your might. Do not allow that man to define you in fragments. Skin, neck, legs, breasts and thighs— as if you are a piece of meat that can be pulled apart. I will join you in particicution for we are more than the gates of heaven that opens in one thrust. We are capable of giving them hell.

But, remember, you are also free to take flight. It is not your fault to tremble and feel your body shake. When the outside world and your mind are in equal darkness, it’s okay to cry. This world is cruel and respect is nothing but an amputated speech. I understand your distrust.

I’ve heard it too, passed on to me in soundless words with their lips hardly moving. Yes, they do not touch us but their eyes take off our clothes faster than their hands do. They claim respect but they reduce our worth to the size of an hourglass, a number, a measurement, a color. A rape joke with a disclaimer “do not take it personal”.

You! Yes, you.

Spit it out, that acrid taste of misogyny and sexism. Be angry and be frustrated because this is not what you deserve. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.


This one’s inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a harrowing story chronicling women’s struggle and survival set in a strict patriarchal society. The book is more that just a dystopian classic, it’s a warning to a not-so-distant future.

Bulong ng Hangin

It has been a while since I’ve written a Tagalog Poem (or any poem for that matter). It was my recent hiatus that rekindled my love of writing poems in our local dialect and I couldn’t be any happier. Perhaps it was being one with nature that brought my muse home? 

Hope everyone’s having a lovely day! See English translation below. 🙂


Bulong ng Hangin

Hiling ko na ibulong sayo ng hangin
Ang mga sekretong pilit kong kinikimkim
Na sana sabihin nito sa iyo na hindi ka nag-iisa—
Na ako man ay takot din.

Takot na baka magkamali,
Takot na baka ito ay mali.

Takot na masakatan na namang muli.

Ngunit para saan pa ang mga pusong daig pa ang ingay ng mga tambol
Kung hindi naman nito kayang mangahas?
Anong pang halaga ng pagtibok ng puso?

Kaya, heto ako, humihiling sa hangin na ibulong sayo ang daing:
Katulad ng paghagod ng mga alon sa baybayin,
Katulad ng paghalik ng palubog araw sa karagatan,
Katulad ng pagyakap ng dalim sa kalangitan,
Matuto tayong magpadala sa tadhana
Na wala ang mga takot ng nakaraan.

English Translation: Whispers of the Wind

I wish the wind whispers you the secrets
I’ve been trying to keep.
I hope it tells you that you are not alone—
That I, too, am afraid

Afraid to make another mistake,
Afraid that this is a mistake

Afraid to get wounded all over again.

But for what are the hearts that beat louder than drums
If they can’t be brave?
What’s the point of having hearts that beat?

So, here I am, wishing for the wind to whisper my plea:
Just as the waves stroke the shore,
Just as the setting sun kisses the sea,
Just as the darkness embraces night,
Let us give in to destiny
Without having the fears of the past.

Linking this one to dVerse’s Open Link Night. 🙂

Head over here to join the fun!


I Will Look For You

I Will Look For You

I will look for you in beautiful lines of every page I read
In poignant lyrics of every song I listen to, I will look for you
In the tears and joys of an actor in a movie that we may have watched together
I will look for you in gentle melodies of a playing beautiful piece—taking away my fears, like rolling waves, from the shores of your love
Love, I will look for you

I will look for you in every shining star in the sky
In the darkness of a moonlit night
In the touch of the squalling winds
And if I ever fall asleep amidst the crickets’ hymn, I will still look for you
I will look for you in my dreams
I will gamble and play until you’re found
But if a brand new day starts and
As I wake, rise, and realize
That you are not here, I will look for you again.

As a part of my 2016 list of desires, I expressed my want to explore and try our local poetry, to eventually write poems in our local dialect (Tagalog or Bisaya) and share it in this blog. I have written only a few as it turned out, writing in my language was quite a challenge. Sigh.

The poem above is a translation of the Tagalog spoken word I wrote entitled, Hahanapin Kita. I am sharing this for my dear reluctant poet friend, Chuck. Have a great weekend! ☀️😊

Home by Warsan Shire

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

Continue reading “Home by Warsan Shire”

To a four-year-old unanswered letter…


To a four-year-old unanswered letter…
A Spoken Word Poem

Our story did not turn out the way you would have written it. No roses, no date nights, no kisses or tight hugs. You would have inscribed love in every line; filled the chapters with laughter and smiles. You would have carved utter bliss on our faces and our story would have had a happy ever after. We would have been bestseller.

Instead, I wrote you tragic story— a dreadful dystopia for you alone. I was a spilled ink running over your romantic scenes; an eclipse to a starry night. I was your runaway no one and you… you were the heartbroken man. I have never let you waltz with me in the path of love for you were a mess and I was a bigger mess.

And let’s accept it, we were two unruly messed up beings.

So I walked and left you in a corner, at the junction of what and why. What and why. What went wrong and why did our story end that way? No. Scratch end. It never ended, right? I tried not to see it the corners of your eyes but it was there. I could hear the dialogues in your trembling voice as your fingertips itched to resume the tale that was once written in your heart. I could feel it, it was still there.

And I am sorry.

I am sorry that I couldn’t give you a better ending. I am sorry that we couldn’t have a better beginning.

© 2016 Maria. All Rights Reserved.

Photography by Anna O.

Today’s Filipino word prompt is “yugto” which refers to “a fundamental transition or development of a story or phenomenon”.

Come on! Write a poem or a fiction
Snap a photo under the sun
A six-word tale or a long post, perhaps?
Let’s all get word-high this July!

Want to join the fun? Find the prompt words HERE! Don’t forget to pingback & use the tag WordHighJuly. Mazel tov! 😉




He was so much in love that you wished you were, too
So the butterflies fluttering in your stomach would calm and slow
So you no longer define the sunshine as glimpses of his smile
The glittering sea in the horizon as his winking eyes
So he will no longer be the air that you breathe
You wished you were dancing in love with someone else
Someone… who may not be the stunning vocalist on a Saturday night
Whose every strumming fingers on a guitar is a caress to your heart
Who may not like romantic movies and romance books
May not like your sundry prose and quite walks
Someone who would drive the bicycle with your hands wrapped around his waist from the back as he drove along the bumpy road
Who would climb the cliff with you on a piggyback, his hands holding you tightly and never letting you fall
Someone… who is everything he is not
With a promise of no more chasing
No more stolen gazes, not even an unrequited love
Just arms wrapped around each other
Fingers interlocked
Someone who would fall in love with you and not with somebody else.

Yesterday, I was inhaling too much of Sarah Kay and the Button Poetry that I woke up this morning with a spoken word poetry in my head- an oddly sad piece to start my lovely sunny Sunday. Weird but I hope this makes sense. 🙂 🙂

Sampung Segundo

A week ago, I added a new section called Love Local and posted my very first poem written in our national language, Filipino. It was heartwarming and fulfilling that I was able to embark on a new journey of exploring Philippines’ literature through poetry. The challenge, I realized, lies in translating the poem in the English language without sacrificing its true meaning and emotion. Gladly, it turned out all right but, still, this remains a work in progress. *Sigh*

So here’s a second of (hopefully) more local poems from a hopeless romantic’s pen. I hope you enjoy this. 🙂 ❤


Tagalog Poem #2: Sampung Segundo

Sampung segundong nagtagal bago ang mga ngiti ay napawi
At ang mga hikbi ay kumawala kasabay nang pagtulo ng mga luha
Mga patak ng luha na tila ulan na humahampas sa puso at kaluluwa
Nilulunod ang natitirang pag-asa
At mga ala-ala
Sampung segundo na ikaw ay minasdan
Papalayo sa bukas kong pintuan
Naghihintay, umaasa- nagmamakaawa
Na sana ikaw ay lumingon, takbuhin ang ating pagitan
Pigain sa higpit ng iyong mga yakap
Ang lahat ng hindi natin pagkakaunawaan
Sampung segundo na wari mga daliring nakakapit sa bangin
Nanginginig, nangangalay, nangangawit
At isa-isang bumibitiw sa bawat hakbang ng iyong paglayo
Sampung segundong pagsusumamo
Na ang ating kwento ay madugtongan
Maibalik sa panahon ng ikaw at ako
At makulayang muli ang aking mundo.

English Translation: Ten Seconds

Ten seconds that lasted before my smile fades
Before sobs loosened up and tears fell down my face
Tears that felt like drops of rain hammering my heart and soul
Drowning whatever is left of hope-
And your memories

Ten seconds of longingly watching you
Walk away from my door
Waiting, hoping- begging
That you’d turn back around, run the gap between us
Squeeze with your tight embrace
All our differences and rifts
Ten seconds that seemed like fingers gripping on a cliff
Shaky, numb, and tired
Letting go one at a time in each step you make
Ten seconds of pleading
To keep the story of us
Turn back the time when there was you and I
 And bring the  color back into my life

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