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Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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What Happiness Looked Like

“What is happiness, Grandma?” four-year old Jenny beamed, her eyes filled with curiosity and wonder.

It’s year 2090. The unlikely symbiosis between humans and computers over the years lead to the creation of Hyperworld. Technology evolved in ways nobody believed was possible to begin with. Man, like God, has come to defy the natural law. And there is no need for such thing nowadays.

With little Jenny on my lap, I described what happiness looked like. Happiness came in different forms but always with leaves. They whispered day and night. Their color changed with seasons. Winds carried gay trills of song. They used to make the world alive.

“Does happiness still exists, Grandma?” she asked.

My wrinkled hands brushed the faded photograph. It’s an awkward picture of me walking amid what people in bygone years used to call trees.

“I hope it does, angel. I truly hope it does.”

Word count: 150


I remember the first time I joined Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a writing prompt hosted by PJ where we were challenged to weave a piece of fiction using 150 (+/- 25 words). It lead me to a (virtual) path treaded by the likes of Rosema, Jade, Mandi, Jessie, Davy D, Millie and Ali. Back then, we had all the energy and time create our own fictional worlds and let other writers in. Fast-forward to 2019, we found ourselves caught in buzz of the real. Some of us still writes (cheers!) while others hope to get back at writing (no, you don’t stop). Of the six flash fiction writing prompts I used to join in, only three are left active: Sunday Photo Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner and Friday Fictioneers.

Anybody doing these prompts?

You like sad girls.

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You like sad girls.

You look at their faces and you want to save them. You think they need to be loved, that they should be. You want to make them happy.

So you take your step. With the air of a knight in shining armor, you walk up to the girl who is probably sitting alone on a table for two. Or wave to the girl who has been sharing memes and Bob Ong quotes.

You get a taste of her sharp tongue but you know deep inside, in all realness, she is just a sad girl. So you keep on talking.

Hours, days, weeks, months — you let her feel your presence. You let her see that you care. Know that you’re sincere. The sad streak on her face will slowly fade and you will find her passing a smile.

You get a sense of satisfaction. But that is not enough. You try to hold her, gently, but soon you realize you will have to hold her tight. You still have to get through her wall. Your ego will not let you lose, so keep doing more. More sweet talk, more care, more time, more effort.

Until her protective wall collapses. And you see her closing the distance between the two of you. That is your reward.

She starts telling you her story and history. At first you like it. You like to see how dark her world was and how much light you have brought into her life. You fill her heart with love and she gets better. She does. She no longer talks of heartaches or fears or ghosts from the past. She looks forward to tomorrow with her hopeful eyes glistening with joy.

But as time flies, you start missing your sad girl. You no longer see the pain. You realize your project is over. So you leave her. To look for your next sad girl. Another charity case for you to fix.
MS

 


A story one the radio reminded me of this piece I wrote a while ago. This one is inspired by a friend’s short-lived love story. Have you been through the same thing? Have you met someone who likes sad girls?

Share Your World – Summertime

Melanie at Sparks from a Combustible Mind hosts Share Your World Challenge. Here’s my entry for this week.

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Sunrise ❤

Are you a Summer person? A Winter person? Or one of the other seasons suits you best?
The climate of the Philippines is divided into two main seasons: the rainy season (from June to the early part of October) and the dry season (from the later part of October to May). Despite its melancholy and all its drama, I have never been a fan of the rain. It always makes me sad for some reason. This is why I prefer sunny days. It somewhat calms the chaos inside and makes me hopeful. Though, I hope it don’t get brutally scorching whenever I’m outdoors.

What is your favorite summer time clothing?

Nothing in particular. I’m a regular t-shirt/jeans/cuff shorts kind of human being.

Do you find yourself eating out more during the summer? Or making ‘cold food’ like salads and stuff you can heat in the microwave?

I always think big when it comes to food. I “think” that I can eat a lot but whenever I eat, my stomach can only accommodate a few. Recently, I find myself craving for mango float. Does this count?

Do you like watermelon? What’s your favorite summertime treat?

I like watermelon but I like mangoes better. As for the summertime treat, for me buko salad would be best! It’s a Filipino fruit salad dessert made from strips of fresh young coconut with sweetened milk or cream and various other ingredients. If you want to learn how to make one, check this out!

Are you thankful it’s finally (sorta) dry and warm?

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14 on my side of the Earth. However, I am still thankful because the country has experienced a severe drought and it took a great toll on our farmers. Farmers, in general, celebrate rain showers, but not typhoons, as a sign of good harvest in the future. Now is the time for them to get back on track.

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – I have a question

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Or, rather, Lelouch does:

“What do you do when there is an evil you cannot defeat by just means? Do you stain your hands with evil to destroy evil? Or do you remain steadfastly just and righteous even if it means surrendering to evil?”

Lelouch Vi Britannia

In the vein of last week’s WQW entry, Are there any questions?, here I am throwing yet another inquiry.

Just recently, I was thrown into an alternate world where a philosophical and moral battle strongly exist. The quote above is taken from the Japanese anime, Code Geass. I’ve heard of the series years ago but I never had the drive to watch it. James successfully lured me into the anime this time. No regrets. 😀

The story revolves around the Empire of Britannia who conquered Japan and now call it Area 11. Its residents lost their rights to self-govern and are now called Elevens. The Empire uses destructive robotic weapons called Knightmares to ensure control, but someone is about to stand up against it. Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannian student, seeks to use the power of the Geass to build a world based on his ideals. Unfortunately he finds himself caught in a crossfire between the Britannian and the Area 11 rebel armed forces.

Back to the question, I have this weird feeling inside that has been weighing me down. As an INFP whose choices and decisions are tethered on emotion and idealism, I find it hard to agree with Lelouch’s ways. For him, the ends justify the means. This just doesn’t go right with me. However, by the end of the series, I felt like loosening up to his approach. It’s a dilemma still. Can’t one just remain righteous and destroy evil instead?

Writers Quote Wednesday: Are there any questions?

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Are there any questions?

To some, this might just be an ordinary statement of inquiry. But to those who have read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, these four words carry too much weight.

Originally published in 1985, Atwood’s dystopian novel takes readers to the fictional Republic of Gilead. It follows Offred, a Handmaid assigned to a high-ranking commander and his wife. In an age of declining births, Handmaids are valued only for their capability to procreate. They are held prisoners — stripped off their past and future. They are forbidden to read, write, or interact with the outside world. They are meant only to bear children for their assigned commander and failure to do so warrants death.

The book ends with Professor Pieixoto’s final line, Are there any questions? To me this seems a rhetorical question asked not to get an answer but instead to emphasize a point. It forces us to question our role as witnesses, both of Offred’s tale and of our own history of oppression.

Do we forget and stay silent? Do we remain neutral and indifferent? Do we stand up and fight?

There is more than one kind of freedom,” said Aunt Lydia. “Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

You! Yes, you. As The Handmaid’s Tale becomes grimly relevant these days, would you ask a question?

Share Your World – Introspections

So, I’ve decided to join the fun at Melanie’s Share Your World Challenge. Here’s for the first week of July.


Would (or do) you stop to help (presumably) stranded folks by the side of the road?

As an empath in nature, I would. Of course this does not mean that I don’t feel a tinge of fear or distrust, but I still want to believe that there is goodness in each of us. That, despite all the negativities, people can be kind to one another.

Do you think the world is less mannerly today than in past times OR are we just more touchy and manners are as they’ve always been?

Truth is I’m morally scarred. I would not zoom out to the rest of the world because even just the current situation of the people here in my country, the Philippines, is enough to trigger my cynicism. There is a prevalent disrespect for women and much more disregard for life in general. All these are led by none other than the head of the state. His brand as a populist leader has enticed many Filipinos. Whatever he says, believes or does, people will follow. His rape jokes ripple throughout the country and his bloody war ensues at the expense of the poor.

The Philippines has gambled for an actual medicine-man to cure the nation but I fear that we might have taken the wrong prescription.

What happens if you’re scared half to death, TWICE?
HA! I wouldn’t even try to do the math but I’d probably end up doing the first thing I always do when something scares me: freeze.

If ALL the world’s a stage, where does the audience sit?
This reminds me of a piece I wrote one the first Monday of July a year ago. Maybe life is one big stage, maybe it isn’t. But one thing is for sure, we all have a part to play. The audience don’t just get to sit.

Share your thankful comments here. It’s a gorgeous day most places, so celebrate!

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I’m grateful to God for surrounding me with beautiful people who keep me anchored to life. My family, for being my strength and motivation; my friends, for reminding me that the beauty of life can also be found in people; and the boyfriend, for sticking through my anxieties, mood swings and existential days.

I’m grateful for the comfort I find in words whenever I read or write. To my books, for taking me to different worlds; and to blogosphere, for allowing me to have my own little world. As most of my friends here in WordPress know, I haven’t been writing much — by writing I don’t mean blogging about my escapades out in nature. What I mean is gone are daily poems and flash fictions.

This is why I am also grateful to Melanie for this prompt. SYW for me is a chance to introspect. It allows me to get in touch with my inner self and my muse. Who knows, one day, writing may come easy. 🙂

Hindang: What a sleepy town in Leyte has to offer

We are all familiar with its irregular crevices, multiple galleries, entrances, exits and shafts. Its fossil passages are adorned with various stalactites and stalagmites. It’s dark and it’s cold. It’s eerie with its chambers full of secrets awaiting to be unraveled — or not.

Yes, you got it right. I’m referring to the morphology of caves.

Personally, I have not gone to many caves in the country. My up-close encounter would only include Hito-og Cave in Matalom, Hinangdanan Cave in Bohol, Titip Cave in Cebu, and Bontoc Caves in Hindang. The latter, I would say, is the most interesting by far.

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Tell me what stories rest within you.

Continue reading “Hindang: What a sleepy town in Leyte has to offer”

Negros Oriental Backpacking: Twin Lakes

A month before our Mt. Talinis climb, I went to Negros Oriental to celebrate a special day. I was supposed to feel a year older — a year wiser — but coming into this strange place awakened the childlike excitement in me.

Where to go? What to do?

I do not have a good sense of direction and James did not have a strict itinerary. In the end, we only relied our sense of wonder and wander. But guess what? It was all that we needed.

Giddy feet!

Continue reading “Negros Oriental Backpacking: Twin Lakes”

Snippet: Another ‘what if’

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What if love is not just about falling? We romanticize so much this act of tripping, slipping, losing control and crashing into another person that we forget that love isn’t always a downward act. It is should not be qualified as sacrificial to the point of self-destruct. Because you see, the beauty of love is not only seen in our collapse, but in how it builds the best version of ourselves. It’s not just about what we give up but how we lift our person up.

“I’ll take care of myself for you and you’ll take care of yourself for me.”

Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

 


I was skimming through my unpublished posts when I came across this draft. A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend on whether or not we should quantify love by the amount of material, time, attention, effort, and sacrifice we give and receive. We had opposing opinions on the matter but it made me reflect a thing or two about relationships. This is one of those what ifs.

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