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To The Person I Gave Up On

When do you decide that it's time to move on?
WORDS Hannah Garcia, PHOTO The CW

"We met at the wrong time. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Maybe one day years from now, we'll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot," said something I saw on my Tumblr dashboard a few months ago.

The first time I read those words, I thought of you. And how things ended between the two of us. And how our relationship will never be the same. And how you'll never feel the same way about me. And how things would have turned out if I didn't do what I did and if you didn't let me do what I did.

Memories of us rushed to my mind. I felt an ache in my chest. Why would my heart hurt when I've already moved on? I don't know, but it did. Why would I feel sad and full of regret when I was the one who wanted to end what we had in the first place? I don't know, but I did. Why would I miss you? I don't know, but I did. I missed you.

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Of course, the academic load I had for the second semester was enough to keep me busy and distracted. I had too much to do so I stopped thinking about you. I found myself moving on again. I was happy. I was back to my normal life, which was mostly family, friends, school work, church, and a few happy crushes. I was sure that I didn't miss you. Okay, I did miss you, but, I miss all of our high school classmates, so I guess it's safe to say that I missed you in a non-romantic way. My head was back in the game. I mean, the chances of us seeing each other again were slim to none, anyway, and with the requirements for each class, I was very sure I wouldn't get caught up in the "Gosh, I miss him I wish we were still together" emotions I once had.

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Boy, was I wrong. You were there last night in one of the events I waited for. You were there. I thought my friends were just teasing me when they said you were coming. I thought you weren't really going to come because you had final exams. But you were there. In the flesh. And words cannot describe how much I wanted to hug you, bury my face on your neck, and take you to a place where the two of us can talk. Like really talk, because the last time we did was during the start of this year, and reality check, this year is ending in a few more days.

But what happened again? Yes, that's right. We ignored each other. I felt like a fool. It was embarrassing. And I kept asking myself how we ended up this way. It's like we were with our friends, but we were divided into two—the people you were talking to, and the people I was talking to. I felt pathetic and helpless. At least the night ended with us saying two words to each other: "hi" and "bye."

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I regret not talking to you last night. Then again, I always regret not talking to you. And I get jealous of the girls you talk to. I guess this is what I get for hurting you in the past? A little too hard to bear, but I'll take it. As long as you're happy.

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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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