An Open Letter To My Unexpected Friend (Feb, 2018)
*Trigger warning: Post mentions suicidal thoughts.
I was busy thinking 'bout how I would end my life when suddenly you came into the picture and told me how wonderful it is to live in this world. Remember when I told you a story about my favorite artist, Curtismith? We've known each other for years, but we haven't done any "date" yet. But you know what's memorable for me? Your tears. Your tears for me. I'm telling you a story about my burdens when suddenly you became teary eyed. "Wag mo i-down yung sarili mo. Atleast ikaw, kaya mo i-express in words yung nararamdaman mo." I'll never forget that, friend. And I thank you for that. You don't know how that statement of yours gave me hope and courage to never stop my passion. You made me realized that I should never doubt myself. So in return, I'll always be your mentor in terms of having a good handwriting-- just kidding. Hoping to have more "dates" with you. Let's talk about your love story and my dramas in life. We may not be friends since day 1 of our college life, you may be my unexpected friend, but I promise that you'll always have that one special place in my heart.
Don't Cry (Jan 2019, Me.) Hey, another day has come. Are you ready to go out and see a new bunch of faces? Or you still want to bury yourself inside that room 'cause you're afraid of judgements? Wow, you're smiling today. What's with you? What's the reason behind that smile? Girl, I know you. I know when you're happy and I know when you're faking it. Why do you have to keep on wearing a mask instead of showing what you really feel? Is it because you don't want them to see you sad? Or you just want them to see that you are tough, strong, unbreakable...
Girl, remember what your favorite artist said? Sometimes it's okay to cry. It's okay to show them your weakness. Huh? What? You're alone? You have many people around you and yet you feel that you're alone? That's awful, babe. Ssshhhh.. Don't cry. Hey girl, don't cry. Hey, that girl in the mirror, don't cry please. Maybe you just have too many insecurities.
Your best friend Candy taught you about self love, right? Love yourself, girl! Love your flaws, failures and most of all believe in yourself. You got the skills! Always keep that in mind. Maybe you're alone, but always remember that you can be alone without feeling lonely.
College won't be as fun without my roommies. They became my study buddies, we've been together through all the all nighters and early morning cramming, all the stressful days due to never ending quizzes and even due to dorm problems. I miss our saturday night specials including our game night, I miss kicking your butts on UNO, I miss our art session, I miss our conversations about random things and our unending plans on moving out and finding a new dorm????. Keep safe mga mamshies, see you soon! Let's play UNO once we get back ????
Everyday since first year second sem, me and my friends are always together. We've always been there for each other, helping each other when it comes to schoolworks and academic challenges. But since we all went home to our provinces for the month-long quarantine , it was a sudden change of daily routine. In order to cope we talk via videocalls especially during online classes so that it would still feel like we're together during classes. I miss you my star friends, please stay safe, see you soon!
If you're still single now, there are probably a a lot of questions running in your head. But being on your own for a long time helps you discover more about yourself. It's more than just freedom or independence. It's facing the world with so much courage. It's trying to make the most of your life without having to depend on someone. It's being happy on your own and loving yourself with all that you are.
We've been chasing love only to realize that it's not gonna work out that way. The right time will come that you will be blessed with the one you deserve. The one who also prayed to be with you. The one who will make you believe in love again. Let life surprise you. Hang in there.
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.
Literally to begin with, I am writing with little shaky hands because this is the last time I went for a vacation like most of us must have and can’t plan any for now. The coronavirus outbreak has compelled us to stay at home for our safety and others in the vicinity.
I remember how I penned down my year 2020 to be the most remarkable year of my life in the hope of doing everything I desired for a long time and overcoming few obstacles. Whilst planning things ahead, I forgot to truly value all of things in the present.
I remember being chipper and grateful for my last summer vacation but now I feel I should’ve valued each and every moment. Considering the current gnarly situation, I want each one us to motivate ourselves to look for a positive side and to make the most of our time no matter the situation.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t give up in these circumstances and reckon that there are a lot of good things for us in the store. We’ll have the most amazing season of our life post pandemic. Let’s accept for the change and become the change. Propagate love and only love.
Danielle Flestado @artdkf.ph | June 19, 2020
"While I was reading my devotional book yesterday, this part hit me: rejoicing together is more difficult to do than grieving with each other. And so, I thought of reminding myself that I should be happy for the success of others. After all, we are part of one family and every one of us is striving to accomplish our own goals in this world. Let us be happy for each other."