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Karen Mei Caro Jun 13, 2020

A LETTER TO A PERSON WHO LEFT ME FOR SOMEONE ELSE

It started like a fairytale. Surreal so it seemed. We were miles apart but we fell in love. Your best friend introduced you to me. You just came from a break up and you were still healing. You said you were not yet ready to be in a relationship again. We immediately became friends. And then, a few months later, we turned into lovers. You were sensible, amusing and sweet. We talked about a lot of things. We shared our thoughts and dreams. We even talked about our future together. l waited for the day to come when I could linger in your arms, to sit beside you and watch you sleep, to hold your hand as we walk on the street. How I wished to spend eternity with you. We were happy.

Everything was fine and I felt that you really loved me. You sent me chocolates and gifts. You even wrote a sweet poem for me. But then, I didn’t expect it to end that soon and it wasn’t like a fairytale that had a happy ending.

One day, I just felt that you didn’t really care anymore. You stopped communicating with me for how many weeks. I didn’t know if you were still there. I didn’t even know what you were thinking about. There were many things that I wanted to ask. There were many stories that I wanted to share. But you were not always around. I received a message from you. I was trembling when I opened it. And my instinct was right. You were saying goodbye because you were falling for someone else. You said you still loved me. But I knew that it wasn’t true – because if you really loved me, you didn't fall for that woman. If you really loved me, you didn't have to choose.

You promised that you would never hurt me but you did. Many times. You might think I was so tough but I just never let you see me cry. If you only knew what I had really gone through, then somehow, you would understand. I was so stupid, and at times, even pathetic. I still believed in happy endings. Yet, it didn't happen. But I never hated you. Not even for a day. Not even at all. It’s painful to see you leave but I had no other choice than to let you go. The healing was a long process. It wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen overnight. But I was thankful because I was able to overcome all the pains and heartaches. I learned to smile and to believe in love again. Yes, I had a broken heart but not a broken life. We saw each other when you took a vacation here. We even watched a movie about second chances. But it just ended there.

It was comforting to know that we still became friends. And I felt relieved because when I saw you, I knew that the feelings were no longer there. Many years have passed and a lot of things have changed. I can see that we’re now both happy with our separate lives. And I want to thank you for everything. Now, I understand why it didn’t work out with you - because God has already prepared someone better for me.

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Rose Ann Ponce May 16, 2020

Temporary

At the end of every journey, it’s always strange to hearken back the roads traveled, and places visited. It brings with a sense of nostalgia — a sentimental longing for something or someone from the past. I’m sure many of us can hardly think what’s the exact situation where we are in; “the state of despair". It’s really hard to think back to a moment where you’ve reach the end the road with someone important in your life and to narrate a scene that wrapped around that moment. All you ever want to do is to just end that chapter yet, it’s difficult because there were times that you have to look back those memories again to answer all your whys.

She’s so unsure of so many things. There were times that she wears mask to hide the scar and pain. How many masks do you wear every day? When you are at home, when you go outside, when you meet someone, or when you surf on social media. Unconsciously, we live to always impress others. Sometimes there’s something that will not stay permanently. Can you think of a situation where you are not used to it because everything has changed? And all you can do is to miss the person you had committed time, thoughts, and myriad of things with is no longer part of your life today. The person who knows how to make you laugh, cry, and even knows what irritates you and other millions of little things they love to do is no longer the same. It hurts to think that of all the places and even her playlist of songs reminds all the time they’ve spent together. The first person you chat with exciting news, or the last person you talk to before you go to sleep. The way the person makes you laugh because of his corny jokes, his bars, and everything about him that makes her smile.

Disappointment makes us learn to embrace discomfort. Sadness makes us learn to care and hug ourselves. Feeling of hurt brings us into deeper spaces. A room where we put our patience; where we can find the door to forgiveness. At the end of the day, we’ll realize that everything is just temporary; the things around us and even him.

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Jessica Bonifacio May 13, 2020

To the guy who ruined my eyeliner:

December 25

The final hours of December twenty-fifth drips down in form of rain. The day was fine, all fine, except today I redid my eyeliner three times. The intricate dark lines on my eyelids are weak against old memories, pictures; and most importantly, wet lashes. You cannot imagine how frustrated I was the third time I had to redo them, all because of you. It was five days before Christmas when you told me you no longer wanted to be with me. Cruel, entirely cruel; and in the first few days after that I was begging you to come back. I was a mess and rightfully so. I did lose two years. I did lose your voice in the morning. I did lose the person I love the most.

But during the first two days after our breakup, I could not bring myself to put on eyeliner, as such I had nothing to fix except an empty void in my heart. It was only after three days when I started to regain my will to do anything other than cry. I put on good music, threw on my favorite clothes, and finally drew the lines on my eyelids. The perfect black lines that said, hey, I'm taking care of myself. Hey, I deserve to feel pretty. Hey, I'm moving on. And the entire day, it felt like I was.

December twenty-fourth started with that same, sane energy. I was going to be better for myself, I said. But that Christmas eve, I only felt dead. I slept at nine and woke up some minutes after twelve o'clock. I had missed Christmas. There were no fireworks, no chatter, no lively noche buena. There was only silence. No message from you. I could feel your absence because it weighed too heavily in the air.

You had always been my Christmas wish, every year fulfilled, until that night. I cried then, until the morning of the twenty-fifth. In the afternoon, I tried to get better. Another set of makeup, to cover up the sadness beneath. I went up to my room after, and tried to get some sleep, but I only cried. I redid my makeup. And then cried again, and again. And it was tiring having to redo my eyeliner multiple times, when it was so easily erased by the wetness of my eyes and the old, fading memories. You broke me apart on Christmas and I was obsessed with getting better. I cannot say that I won't cry again, or I won't miss you again, but I want you to know that I will get through this, one stroke of a black line at a time.

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Alexis Bausas Apr 14, 2020

Close to midnight thoughts (Things that i wrote while i was battling my inner clown some time ago lol, I’m completely healed now i just feel like sharing this piece for all the “broken/umasa” out there.)

Wanna know why it hurts? Because it’s real. The more that i think about it the more painful it gets. The smile on your face made my mind wonder why couldn’t you even grin that way for me. The beauty in your eyes was something that made my heart sink. The words that you said were things that I liked recalling, the sweet and even the painful ones.

I hate myself for being stupid enough to like you. But i hate myself more for thinking that the only flaw that you have was not having the ability to return my feelings. I like you and it felt like the end of the world for me when i had to admit my love. But it felt like my life ended when I realized that your world wouldn’t end even if there was no me in it. You were far away from anything that i dreamed of. But you were the reality that i wanted to have.

You were the only thing that mattered to me as i felt my pride kept going down. You were my priority i wanted to give you all my time and attention hoping that there was a small space in your heart where i could fit into. You were enough for me even as i saw how it was like to be in your world. I wanted to show you how much of me i could give you if you just let me. I gave you a version of me i knew that was only for you.

I will stop having regrets now knowing that I can’t have you. I chose to move on because i now know that the kid in you that longed to loved by someone special will never be me. And if It still doesn’t seem real for you I’d have to convince myself to not believe in anything anymore. If it doesn’t seem real enough for you then i just have to remind myself that this love that i had for you was never meant to be reciprocated anyway.

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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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