Behind the Words


As a child, I was preoccupied with the idea of “discovered” writing. I had been writing in diaries ever since I was six, and growing up, I was fascinated with the idea of a stranger reading it. The fascination turned into writing diary entries addressed to the reader, and every time I started on a fresh, new notebook, I’d write: “To you, dear reader, this is my mark in the world.”

It was nothing but some fancy sentiment for a nine-year-old then. Now, I think it was the beginning of awakening to what had pulled me to write in the first place.

I see initials carved into a tree with a heart locking it in. It’s not a testament of love, but a testament of fear: at the fact that the only thing constant in the world is change, that what and who you hold precious now will, inevitably, become obsolete.

Even in graffiti, even by children holding crayon and coal and chalk, inscribing ways of life and names on walls, and myself, feverishly writing miniscule details in journal entries, addressing the reader over and over; in love letters, where, as a romantic touch, I write that memories may fade but ink never will: there is an acknowledgement of the universal, centuries-old fear of demise and disintegration; of feeling like a mere spark in a bonfire; a speck in the world.

In whatever way, we write to cope, to commemorate, to prove: this is us. We exist. Let us tell you our stories. Let us carve our names into your skin.




All decisions unmade and paths not taken,
words unsaid and people unmet, doors
left open, skin untouched, hearts unbroken,
stories all unwritten and untold, shores
uncharted and places unexplored thrive
in parallel universes: where the
maybes and the perhaps can rest easy uncontrived. The odds are infinite; wrought

in time and space, and I try not to dwell
on the existence of another self –
happier elsewhere; without regret; held
by hands gentler; the future still undelved.


Poem made in tribute of the passing of the physicist Stephen Hawking.

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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



I am cursed with such forgetful fingers.
All things I touch go unremembered –
duplicates of keys sit on my dresser;
I savor books and bathe in every word,
with hands pressing against spine and paper
in desperation. I fear and dread loss
and to be lost: pebbles and crumbs linger
on the paths I dared to take, all because
my memory cannot sit in one place.
Forgive me for pitiful excuses
(all things can go and be lost in a haze,
with you the lone exception; all wishes

can go ungranted, but the one where I
plead my mind not to forget you); lies

that I stutter and bumble through
for a slim chance of a touch; a slim chance
to memorize your being; a chance for you
to be the one to recall who we once
were, if I dare betray my own heart; my
own self and look upon you, years later,
in puzzlement. Remind me, and sigh
into a kiss, intertwine our fingers,
warm my hands with yours – bring me back to this

moment, when I loved and wrote and feared oblivion

REVIEW/REUNITED WITH YA: Eleanor and Park + Lola and the Boy Next Door


I’ve stopped reading young adult literature the past couple of years.

I feel like every book under the genre had become formulaic and cliche, so much that I was no longer satisfied with reading them. After attending Pluma that made me seek out Filipino literature, I had dropped reading YA altogether and focused on the former instead. Later, I delved into horror, science fiction, fantasy and contemporary poetry.

Now it turns out formulaic and cliche is what I need. The books I’ve been reading have been pretty heavy, and I longed for something simple; something that would make me smile; something that had a snarky protagonist or the boy-meets-girl plot that’d make it easy for me to be hooked and easy on my heart. 

So just last week, I read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (I’ve never read it, though all I’ve heard was that it was boring, which made me stay away from it for years) and Lola and the Boy Next Door (the next book from the series of Anna and the French Kiss, which I guiltily enjoyed back in 2016 amidst my newfound snobbiness of #philippinelitonly).

Fan art of Eleanor and Park; by Koizumi Mari-chan on DeviantArt

Eleanor and Park didn’t quite fill in the gap my miserable, miserable heart needed, but story-wise, it was a good read. I fell in love with Eleanor and Park as they fell in love with each other. They are, so far, the most unlikely pair I’ve ever read about, but also the most realistic – and now, my favorite pair to imagine in an alternate, ideal, utopian world, where they will marry and have cute babies. The slow development of the mysteries surrounding Eleanor’s life was in pace with her and Park getting to know each other more. I admit it became slow to the point of boring – to which I attribute the previous criticism I have heard of it – but it’s honestly tolerable. The ending was right, somehow. It was what the whole story should have ended up to, but I frowned at my page because like I said: I needed warm and funny and a happily-ever-after. Eleanor and Park doesn’t give you that. Everything is bittersweet in this book.

Lola and the Boy Next Door, however, was one that gave me what I needed. It was refreshing. Lola was absolutely entertaining as a character, and her outfits, being described in detail, made me go on to Google and research everything from her accessories to her shoes to the fabric she made her dresses out of and put them together in my head. The story was predictable, but it was light and fun; with a redeemable character and one that you want to send straight to hell to Satan himself. This one – for me, at least – did end up with a happily-ever-after. I was left cheerful and ready to fall in love with a boy-next-door type of guy.

All in all, I have them to thank for putting a grin back on my face, and for rediscovering the wonder and need I must have for YA. Predictable and formulaic most may be, but I think that’s where I derive my sense of comfort from. While I’m on the hunt for another book with heavy themes and prose for me to stare at the ceiling after and think of the meaning of my existence after I finish it, I think I’ll also stroll by the young adult section and have a good story, there, too.

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.