From Our Readers: It Used To Be Us

It used to be love.
ART Trixie Ison

Couple photo

Love is so powerful that the word itself can already hurt. The idea of it can be thrilling and spectacular although the happiness that it can give cannot compare to how much pain it can cause.

It used to be fate. It used to be what you wanted, what I dreamt of. It used to be everything I envisioned. What I'd always search and pray for. It used to be love. It used to be us.

READI Should Have Listened

I'm sorry for all that I've lacked as a person. You have no idea how much hate I pour onto myself. I've never felt so insecure and have dropped my self-esteem to the lowest level. I'm sorry for being so selfish. Selfish in a way that I didn't give you the happiness you deserve. It was all you who did the work and I couldn't forgive myself for that. I'm sorry I wasn't the girl of your dreams. The girl so beautiful and smart in every way. I'm sorry you had to leave. The first and second time you did, I'm sorry I was stubborn and tried to win you back. It's just because it was always worth the fight. But not for long. I'm sorry I didn't give you all the love you deserve. For not having that mutual kind of feeling with you. It's just because I loved you more. And that kind of love wouldn't let me show it. Love is selfish, I know. But love is also kind. So kind that it allowed us to be together even when we can't.

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I didn't want to give up, but I have to. Life makes giving up such an easy option. The sad thing is, I was willing to wait for the right time. Then one day, I received a sign that you had given up. I just had to say, "may masisira pa pala sa puso kong durog na." Why do I feel like you're still hurting me even when we're already apart? You know that I've been through a series of heartbreaks and you, so heartless, had the guts to add to it. I thought you were different but I thought wrong. I'm not mad at you for leaving me. I'm angry because I let myself get hurt by you. You, of all people. You, so kind-hearted and amazing. You made me believe that something can be real, that something can actually last forever. I had to stop waiting. I had to let go of the fact that you and I will never get back together. That the "us" we had was never meant to last. That you were just another bridge to go through to get to the right one. And I hate it. I hate the story that was made for us. It was better not to have had it than to have had you and lose you. But we tried, we fought and sometimes that's enough.


READBut You Won't Let Me

I believe that some lovers don't end up together for the reason that they don't love each other anymore. It's the circumstances that come along and change the way it should've been. Believe me when I say, that circumstance had been a lifesaver. I loved you even before you knew it. I loved you more than you knew. I loved you even after you left. You left me with beautiful memories to treasure but you've also left me with my heart shattered into pieces. And you left me with the fear of falling in love again. I'm sorry I was the girl so easy to replace. But, I'm not that girl anymore. As you read this, I have found my way back. I have gotten my sources of strength and I won't let the thought of you get in the way. Because in the end, I've realized you're only going to have to be strong for yourself.


Now, the pain you've caused cannot compare to the happiness you gave me. This is my closure which you're supposed to give but I've realized it's much better you leaving without any words said. It hurts less. Let's face it. You were right for me but I guess I was never right for you.

READTo The One Who Holds My Happily Ever After

I want to let you know that I loved you with all my heart. Maybe I wouldn't be able to find someone as perfect as you were. But I sure can find someone who's right for me. You were my first love. And I don't regret every bit of our love story. Even if it hurt, it was real and beautiful. You may not be my one true love, but God do I want you to be that person. I loved our story. It wasn't easy but it was definitely worth it. Mostly when people break up, they grieve for the reason that they could've had more memories and could've been better. But this is the first time in my life I felt that the relationship we had never lacked anything nor did it miss something. It felt as if the time given to us were enough. It felt like it was all planned. I've realized love is all about sacrificing. It is about having to resist the pain of the fact that a wonderful love story has it's ending. That pain might be long, but it's not forever. Just like "us."


I loved you even before you knew it. I loved you more than you knew. I loved you even after you left.

This is my way of saying goodbye. Goodbye to the pain I've kept and tried taking away. Goodbye to the person I stopped waiting for. This is me moving on.

Alyssa Cuerdo is 16 years old. Got your own story to tell? Drop us an email at candymagazine @gmail.com! We'd love to hear what you have to say. If you're lucky, you just might get published in this space, too! Please indicate if you want to remain anonymous. We're also looking for artwork and illustrations to use with the stories, so please send some in if you want to be featured!









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I was, but I am not. Desperately, I am trying to reach you – my hope. I am in this particular space in my own constructed world where doubts and frustrations recur. Emphasizing how scared I am being here, I never explored this area before. I was always in those places filled with benevolence, hope shining like the light the sun and the moon possess. And I didn’t have any plans to visit a ‘dark’ place, as how I described it then. But, as funny as how my world suddenly flipped, I am now here, completely lost with monsters persuading me to go insane.

How did I end up here? I can’t logically tell you the answer for that, but I guess, I know when. It started when I had to consider what college course do I want to pursue. Well, if you want to ask what ambition had occurred in my mind when I was young – which is usually the case in terms of life when you were like 7-year-old young - it was definitely being a doctor. I’d thought about wearing a medical coat with a stethoscope around my neck, ready to cure people from their illnesses. It was actually stuck in my mind for so long I almost thought that I was sure of it, yet, as a particular song yields, almost was never really enough and still, it is and will never be.

When I realized that such a perspective was slowly draining me, I tried my best to stand tough. I convinced myself that this was just temporary, that I could think of a way out of this. “There’s still plenty of time,” I once convinced myself. However, my environment demonstrated the contrary: I felt like I was completely out of time.

I was there when my classmates were happily talking about that ‘dream course’ they wish to take in their ‘dream university.’ I was there when my family was suggesting the thought of using my ‘suitable’ speaking voice for broadcasting and voice acting purposes. I was there when my teacher was convincing me that Education suited me the best. That ‘Stand tough!’ aura I used to own back then, suddenly transformed into ‘I give up!’ state, slowly destroying my being. And now, I am here in this space where doubts and frustrations are filling my former enthusiastic self. I need help.

I know, at this point, some of you may never consider me ‘fatal’ because, as you’re reading this, you may judge that I still have the ability to transform my thoughts into words that can be read, so that ‘automatically’ falls into the aspect of complete sanity. No, because I will never tell everything to you in the first place if I still have the urge to stand like I used to, relative to my belief that speaking up through writing is the best way to attract help.

When you look at the photo of mine above, you may say that I was okay. That I was successful. That I was never losing myself. Yes, I was. But, think about what happened days after that was taken and the message of this passage you started reading minutes before, do you think I am still the same girl smiling in the photo? I hope I will be or better yet, improve if the world will permit me. But, now I’m sure – I’m not the same.


This blog is dedicated to all teens out there struggling in determining what they really want in their life or if you simply want a glow up. And since were still facing a pandemic, I think this is also a season where everyone is re-thinking about their lives. So, I hope these advices might help you.

Tip #1. TAKE RISK - since most of you are still young, I advice you to take your biggest risk. Whether it may be taking the course you want, a skill you want to acquire or just simply taking the risk to throw away your emotional baggage from your childhood. While you're still young, you have very little to lose. You dont have that much commitments and responsibilities. Because the older you get, the more responsibilities and obligations came. So when they are still not piling up, take the risk! As for me, the biggest risk I took when I was still a teenager is to CUT OFF TOXIC FAMILY TIES.

I may sound rude here but, yeah. I decided to throw away my emotional baggage from my traumatic childhood and cut off some of my family ties and it is completely okay! You dont have to be bothered by whatever they will say. Because at your age, you are already investing on your growth as a person. If you really want to grow, THERE IS NO PERFECT TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE RISK BUT NOW. Because in taking risk you are actually giving yourself a reward of getting something amazing or beyond what you expect you can have. As they say, the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Keep in mind that the bigger the risk, the bigger possibility of FAILURE. But that is completely OKAY. Because just like what I said earlier, you are still young. You dont have so much to lose so, dont be afraid to take the risk and then fail. But after failing, learn from it and the more courage you have to take risk the greater the learning, reward or happiness. Ito na nga, how to take risk nga ba? And what are the risk that would actually help me to grow? #

2: VOICE LESSON - dont get me wrong, hindi ito vocalization para sa pagkanta. What I mean is, learn to listen to that VOICE INSIDE YOU. Listen to your heart, to your intuition and to your visions because it will be your GUIDE. Because I realize that as you go along your journey of your life and if you really want to be YOURSELF and be successful in achieving your goals, the only GUIDE that you should follow is your OWN VOICE.

It is okay to take and consider other people's advices but at the end of the day,you should never forget to listen to your own voice. Because that voice is what tells you what you truly want. How would you know that if it is your 'own' voice? Your own voice always comes from your HEART. The voice where YOU and GOD'S voice are one. Because I firmly believe that God knows your heart and that is where he reside. I like journaling because whenever I journal my thought every night and every morning, I feel a dual voice inside my head. Like, it contradicts what the other voice is telling. For example: If we have dreams or goals that puts us so much weight and pressure to the point that it makes you exhausted, STOP. Because it might be a dream or goal of someone else. I believe that your own dreams and goals may be frustrating most of the time, but that frustration has fueling feeling that will always tell you that 'This is the hard way to better so keep going'. Frustration in your own dreams will not make you feel exhausted because achieving a dream itself is a fulfilling feeling.

#3. TAKE ACTION - if you really want something to happen, take action. Dont just sit there and wait things to come your way. Make action or decisions that will take you to where you want to go in your life. Just like what I said in one of my novels that I am writing in wattpad, "There is no such thing as destiny or fate. Because YOU make your OWN life choices." For example, I cannot expect to be a published author if I dont write any novels right? The bottomline here is, if you are not moving forward you are actually moving backward. And it is a sad thing. Life is full of situations where you will be put in the line whether you take courage or just stay where you are. Because GROWING needs consistency in moving forward. So if you dont have to enough courage to take action, your life will always stay the same or worse you will continuously shrink down.

#4. EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS - this means stretching your comfort zone. I watched an anime entitled "Black Clover" there is a captain there where he always tell his subordinates to surpass their limits right, here right now. Going out of our comfort zones are surely scary and uncomfortable. But you have to accept the fact that you cannot stay on the coast forever. You have to change, because the only thing that is constant in this world is change right? Go out of your comfort zones because LIMITS are just in the MIND. There are disabled people who are successful in their own careers. Because the lesson here is, if you hold back there will be no growth. Because GROWTH blooms in DISCOMFORT.

Last, #5. INVEST IN YOURSELF - especially now that you are still young, you should focus on investing on yourself more. Time is your bestfriend at this point of your life. You have so much time to discover things about yourself. I never regret buying and reading books that I never knew will help me later on in dealing life's challenges. You can use that time to read books, gain wisdom, or pick a new skill, improve your talent and learn from your experiences. Keep learning outside your home or your school. Because the real battlefield is OUTSIDE. What you learn in school will only help you in your career but your wisdom and experiences will help you in life or as a person. People who doesnt embrace growth will never succeed in their life. (This is a reflection blog from my 21st birthday last week. I hope you can feature this on your page and I hope it can help others as well. )

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