Welcome to an overdue blog post! I have been on hiatus for about a month now – in preparation for Komiket 2018 and Komiket 2018 happening in itself. I and two friends shared a booth where we all sold our work! I had self-published a small poetry book, Paper Trails, and also sold some stickers.

I had been procrastinating the actual editing and proofreading of the book, thus taking up a lot of my time and creative energy that were supposed to go to this blog. (#1 tip in writing and selling: don’t do anything last minute.)


Komiket 2018 lasted for two days: from February 24 to February 25. It was held at Centris Elements in Quezon City, and was scheduled to be open to the public – with a 100 php entrance fee – from 9 AM to 7 PM.

I was a first-timer, and so was Joaquin! We arrived around 8 AM and rushed to set up our booth. It was intimidating to see people lugging around suitcases while we had…. a bag… on the two of us.



It was, apparently, the biggest Komiket ever. There were over 500 exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors. It was exhilarating to put your work out there for people to see and buy, but it was also tiring to have a lot of competition. I always get my hopes up when they open the browsing copy of my book, but then they flip through it and put it back. (Thanks for breaking the spine and making one copy unsellable. That’s 200 pesos off my earnings. And then they pick up the regular copies and manhandle everything! I didn’t know if it would be rude to tell them to put it down and pick up the sample instead.) It’s even more heartbreaking when they promise to come back – but never, ever do.

Just like many people in our lives.

Moving on – it was also exhausting to pitch your book over and over and sit there not able to leave and explore because there are potential buyers. Special thanks to Joaquin and LG when I slowly became demotivated and whiny out of exhaustion. What an experience. I had no idea sitting around could tire me so much.


It was, however, amazing to be surrounded by so many creatives. It offers welcome and support to the art and writing community, whose efforts in creation quite literally pay off. I know that unlike most exhibitors I haven’t sold a lot, but to establish connections and interact with people that get to recognize and know your work is a wonderful experience. It’s definitely motivated me to write more, and think long-term with selling my book/s. I won’t get anywhere selling poetry and pieces of prose forever in conventions but if any of you guys are interested in buying some I’m not complaining.


I had held off on including an explanation for Paper Trails in the book itself – as to why I wrote it and what the whole narrative means. I wanted it to speak for itself and get the reader to interact with how the whole book ties up together. But I feel as if it’ll enlighten those who had bought it (as one already came up to me confused!) and maybe get you guys to be interested in it as well.


Paper Trails is a collection of stories and poetry that all tell one big narrative. It’s centered around one city, one night, and around four or five personas acting as the voices in the poems and stories included.

I’ve already said that some of my posts here made it to the book. Before I took it down, posts entitled A Story and Interrogation were there as well.


I wrote it out of the juxtaposed feelings of both detachment and empathy to see people and their experiences unfold in front of you and there is nothing you can do about it. It is only human for one to center around themselves and their own conflicts and narratives to address. I wrote it out of the realization and suddeness of death. I wrote it largely inspired by actual events and news articles: for example, A Story was real, and hearing gunshots, for me, like one of the personas, wasn’t something new. I wrote it with the realization that with growing up is the awareness to society’s ills, the disgust and the anger you feel is the one that’s new – not the inhumane things you hear of and witness. It’s a cycle of realization and desensitation. There must be something to be done, you think, and then turn to saying that this is how the world has always been; this is how it will always be; you have problems of your own and you can’t deal with others’ just yet. I always feel guilty reaching the end of the cycle, making me return to think that something must and can be done – but the world could never be devoid of problems.

I loved writing it. I love the idea that people are reading it. Though I’ve been told that it can get confusing, I don’t mind much, though it did bother me enough to create this post. At least it’ll make you think. It’ll make you draw a conclusion. It’s better for reading not to be passive, in my opinion, but an active exchange between the reader and the author.




I changed my blog’s logo and color scheme, as well as put up an Instagram account and Facebook page for my writing! This is just to expand my reach – though perhaps with better graphics, as not many people interact with long blocks of text. WordPress is a bit more tolerant. This will still be my main medium of writing, but to grow my audience, please like and share my pages on Instagram and Facebook!

A Dark Side of Harajuku – Yami Kawaii
Powerpuff Girls Magazine
A Museum for Rock Faces


Night excursions 


Walking at night is a developed habit of mine over the last couple of weeks. 

I like it because there is less noise and less people, but also because of how things transform. There’s something about the houses, which I normally would never spare a glance for more than a few seconds, and how eerie and tall they suddenly seem in the dark. They seem to breathe quietly, as fast asleep as their inhabitants. 

You get to know the neighborhood more. The burger joint near our place claims to be closed by midnight but remains open until one in the morning; another serves hot meals until God knows when with a large flatscreen TV on, and a person or two is usually stood in front of it, watching. A group of boys huddle about at ten in the evening near my apartment and play music. The old man who lives in front of us takes calls for about an hour outside. It’s always two brothers or a group of girls drinking at the next block, and while I’ve grumbled about the shops that close too early for my taste, I’ve discovered three that stayed open past nine PM, and one of them has a bench in front where people drink. There’s a rowdy group of friends that like to hang out and brings out a couch to the street. 

It’s quiet and calm. There are rare noises I hear: glass breaking, men muttering the combination of numbers for a karaoke song, jazz music being played by a man on the roof; the engine of a motorcycle rumbling as it passes by. The pavements glow orange beneath my feet and when I look above, I’m always lucky to get a scattering of stars. I remember the sky being full of them and my neck aching staring up, but even when few remain, it’s still as enthralling.

I’ve always loved walking – and it sounds ridiculous, but it makes me think and the faster the pace the faster the threads of thoughts in my head untangle and make themselves distinguishable and clear. I don’t know how many times I’ve intentionally come home late to read and walk. I’ve done how many kilometers when traffic was bad at night. It’s always the same wonder at my surroundings that strike me; the same wonder at my perpetual motion; the same wonder of having a destination no matter how aimless the journey may be.

LIFE UPDATE [S1, EP3]: Diving into the murky waters of self-publishing 


Welcome to an overdue blogpost! Daily posting is the number one cause of creativity’s death.

Yeah, I know it’s a New Year’s resolution, but damn if I don’t feel burned out already. I think it’s better to follow the rule of three to four posts a week, so behold a new schedule: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays! 

Part of the reason why daily posting is hard for me this week is because I’ve been trying to produce content for a self-published book and this blog at the same time. Some of my posts on here are actually early drafts of content that will be there. 

Above is the cover of my self-published book to be sold at the 2018 Komiket, from February 25 – 26 in Quezon City. I’ll be selling with Joaquin, whose web serial will be sold in print! 

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I published two versions of The City twice – because it’s one of the poems that’s going to be in Paper Trails and I keep making changes to it. I edited it further, and will use a part of it as the blurb on the back cover. As a preview – and if any of you are living in the Philippines, please consider going to Komiket! – here’s the final version:

Look out the city; look up the skies. See
a thousand lights above; a thousand lights
spread around – pulsing, in the mystery
of space; pulsing, in the darkest of nights.
See: a man; a cloth over a shoulder,
hunched like Atlas, in carrying the world;
a girl, feet clad in cotton and leather,
walking, plaid skirt wrinkled with hair unfurled;
a shadow, fingers like a ghost haunting
the strings of his guitar; a woman, out
in an ungodly hour, feet dragging
across the pavement, without fear nor doubt
among the people underneath the glow
of neon lights; all on a walk to home,
(all in search of home). Look, see and know:
of how odd it is to feel forsaken
when surrounded by a myriad of lives;
to know of dark alleys; hours; streets, awakened
to the cognizance of stories that thrive

untold, unfolding; inevitable
that we never know of our role in it all.

I’ve read it over so many times it sounds off to me, but it does sound way better than the earlier versions I published here. Another reason why daily posting is not good: hot off the press posts are usually in dire need of editing before being posted.

Paper Trails, though a suite of poems and prose, is centered around a police operation that happened on January 14, 2017, in Metro Manila. One is killed. Three have seen. 

I also explore themes of death and loss to get rid of the teenage angst inside me.

I actually did self-publishing once last year – and actually, just a month ago! It was our book fair and I produced Rhapsody, a book filled once again with my poems. It had all the rookie mistakes: along with Joaquin, we both didn’t know how to bookbind, we were confused over the setting of pages, my cover looked like a wedding invitation, there were no blurbs or excerpts at the back, no acknowledgment, and finally my stupidest mistake: I didn’t put my name on the book at all. Cool, right? One day I’ll have a post called How Not To Self-Publish. 

Also, I’ve updated my blog: there are now Poetry (under Writing) and Review categories since I’ve figured I’ll be making them a lot this year, and of course to make it easier for my readers.

Have a .gif of me in the sunlight, which is notable because it’s becoming harder to get up and function normally. But I’m picking myself up now, before it gets any worse, and acting like this comic of Beth Evans: 

Let’s hope I stick to schedule this time! And that I continue on producing content for this blog and for my book without burning out. 

Weekly-round up of cool slash useful information:

That’s it for this week! Ciao. 

Of sudden disappearances:


Consider change. Consider time. Stare blankly at the fresh green leaves of the neighbor’s tree and hear her bent over scraping at dried wilted leaves on the ground, swept away to lie with crushed cans and torn plastic sachets; disposable items used up to be thrown to waste. 

Look out. See the skyscrapers – you would never have recognized that place in my time, a voice chimes in from your mind – and at the heavy gray clouds surrounding it. Feel the last few remnants of warmth on your skin fade as the sun hides and a wind picks up, making you shiver. 

Consider the last time you were warm from the touch of another. The memory comes, but it is not concretely recalled: the places and faces seems to be a blur, and however slight, the feeling of fingertips sliding down your arm to intertwine with your hand is there. It is there. 

Consider longing. Consider absence. Walk to the door and open it; shout over your shoulder you have an errand to run and know that they will barely look up from the television. But with no warning will come knitted eyebrows and questions of where have you been, and why didn’t you tell us? You feel the first drops of rain on your skin. You wish you could ask the same of the shadows. You wish you could ask the same of the memories. The drops of rain seem to seep into your bones.

Lose yourself into the handful of people with neon umbrellas and rain boots. Stare after the children running after one another and splashing into puddles, laughing even as the rain trickles down their face. Wonder if they will remember these moments as they grow into someone they never would have expected; if they would recall merely the exhilaration or even the heavy breathing, the laughter, the dirt that sticks to their legs and their clothes sticking to their skin. Wonder what they would say if you tell them you were once a child, too; you once played in the rain; as your parents did in this same place, on the same pavements they skinned their knees and rode bicycles on. The pavements are indifferent to what memories they retain; to whose tracks have been blazed onto them; to the stories of those who followed their trails. You aren’t. You chase after memories. You long to trap the moments you’ve lived in the palms of your hands. You could tell them over and over until it is impossible to forget.

Shift your eyes to the crowd again. Feel the warmth of memory on your skin; see a familiar profile that disappears within the sea of people and leaves you blinking away the drops of rain from your eyelashes, and think that you may have just tricked yourself. You feel the warmth fade away.

Consider change. Consider time. With a last look over your shoulder, you turn away, back to the roads that’ll lead you home. You decide to buy merienda just in case they ask what you went out for. Look up, and see the sun slowly crawling back out of its hiding space. 

Where have you been? Why didn’t you tell us? 

You feel warm again.

2018: Pause/Restart


Blinded by the sudden glitz of Christmas lights hanging on every surface possible and shivering in the cold of the gusts of November winds, and in a blink, breathing in the smoke of firecrackers from the third-floor balcony as the clock struck midnight, one thought makes itself clear to me: time has gone by too swiftly. 

Or not. Maybe I’ve made the mistake of thinking that hours pass by in a blink, absorbed in a book, my phone, in a meal, in getting to one destination after the other; too busy typing and sleeping the day away to fully appreciate it. To look up, and just see. I’m my fifteen-year-old self’s promise of what I should never be.

I could turn a blind eye to the truth and say that it’s my New Year’s resolution to regain wonder; to go back to the girl that started this site who saw stories in every person and every moment that passed; who thought of herself as a storybook character; who thought it was only she who appreciated life and existence the way she could. I could, despite knowing I’d only be able to regain an echo of who I was. I can’t turn back time, or change the circumstances that made me abandon writing to focus on my life for a while – and I need to do those to be able to reclaim who I was back. 

I could, but I shouldn’t. It’s time for me to explore this new self that seems to have emerged without me knowing. It’s time for me to go and lose myself in the chaos of discovery, until I grow into the full consciousness of who I am, and who I am to be. It’s time for me to be aware of every precious second that passes. 

It’s time to make the most out of it. 

It’s 2018. Time is an illusion, but I’d gladly be under it to be able to start on a clean slate.