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marj carbonel A day ago

A Stranger "Things"

strangers can be not strangers, they can be someone else

Isn't it intimidating to interact with strangers? Majority will say "yes" certainly. No doubt, parents also come up with their very classic "Don't talk to strangers" smart advice for their children. But come to realize to take the opposite approach of it as we grow older, there's a tangled idea in our head it it is beneficial or not.

Finding comfort to someone we don't know is like finding a needle in the bunch of hay. A blurry-blurry thing, a no-percent no-possibility to happen. But not to compare, for others it's like their way of finding comfort, way to socialize, way to widen their circle of acquaintance, that's why psychologist somewhat agree with it. If the person didn't give you a ghastly vibe, why not give it a try to interact. It's kinda weird thing to open doors for strangers,but at the same time, its interesting. Think of this, why its easy for others to share secretes of them, or to have pretty intimate conversation to random person? Cause they say, "No judgement".

Why its okay to ask help to person we dont know if we are in unfamiliar place? Cause they can help us, and same goes in other way. Bottomline, Strangers are not just strangers or a person we dont know, or a person that our parents taught us not to talk to. They can be someone else who can help us in times of unfamiliarity of places or thing. They can be the person who sit next to you in the bus who ask for a little help for direction and end up having a great conversation.

They can be a lot more we didn't expect to, and you can tell by yourself that your best of friends you have today are once a complete stranger to you yet you end up having a strong bond of friendship. They are the person we completely don't know, we dont know their upbringings or what, but sometimes the can be more helpful to us than the others we know. By simply having a casual conversation with them, we're not noticing that they are giving us a diffirent approach to different aspects in life and unfortunately, this idea overpowers by just word "stranger". Hopefully, maybe now or then, we're very thankfull that we took the opposite approach of "do not talk to strangers"

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Danica Codilla May 30, 2020

Loneliness that Turned into Beautiful Solitude

Are you one of those many people who experienced loneliness? The moment where you do not have someone else to rely on. Have you experienced it? Going home with a lot of thoughts running in your mind but no one was there to listen. Have you ever felt bad for yourself? In realizing that you were the only one left. When every one else was leaving. When most people around you have chosen others over you. Have you experienced the pain? The pain of being alone? A lot of people are afraid to be alone for various reasons. Some people says that they are just used to something that there is always someone out there for them. Someone who is always there. Someone who is always ready to accompany them in all. Someone who is always willing to stay. Stays in your best and most especially at your worst. While others simply do not have the courage to face the world of loneliness. I, experienced the pain of loneliness but gained a lot of benefit from it.

Living alone is not a simple thing for me to do but for me to survive and acquire proper education, I have to. I have to learn to live alone. In living alone, I had face a lot of difficulties. I encountered a lot of problems that were made to be fixed by many but was able to get it fixed by myself. Yes it was hard, it is hard. It was never easy to begin with. There will be times or days that it can make you drain and cause you countless sleepless nights. Yes, it is painful. But we have to realize that in loneliness, we can also find peace in ourselves. The "YOU". The genuine "YOU".

People are so afraid to experience loneliness. Most of us do not realize that with so much fear of being alone, we started to forget that good things come from being alone. As time pass by, I got used in solving problems by myself, I learned to live alone, I saw the "beauty of loneliness" that's how my loneliness slowly turned into beautiful solitude. As time passes by, I realized that there are a lot of good things that you can get in being alone. So, for those who are reading this, I hope you guys learn to appreciate the beauty of being alone.

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Jules Philip May 30, 2020

Midnight Musings

3 AM is my new midnight. Never in my wildest dreams have I seen myself wide awake in the wee hours. It has been like this for three days already. I left my window open and let the cool breeze fill the entire room of nothingness with something. The pitch darkness engulfs the small sparkles of fluorescent light from the neighbor’s rooms. Rhythmical noises of cicadas and crickets fill the deafening silence to which you can almost hear people breathing and a mother humming a lullaby to her baby even from a mile away. Even the wolves and dogs do not howl. The roosters that are supposed to cackle this time are asleep.

As the paradox that I always am, I now seek for warmth when I let the cold in. I hurriedly grabbed my blanket and covered my body. As I curl up, it all starts kicking in. Yes, 3 AM is my new midnight. My body has already adjusted its clock. I now sleep during the day and stay awake at night. I try to close my eyes, but I can’t. I tried again. My eyes. When I open or close them at this hour, all I see is darkness. I tried sleeping with the lights on but I just can’t. Oh, maybe ghosts are playing with me, I think. But I am certainly not scared with ghosts. I am scared with the demons inside of me, trying to escape my fragile body. Fear, Regret, Anger, Sadness---they all have names.

3:07 AM and still awake. 3:15. 3:33. Tick tock. All these flashbacks play so quickly. All these voices unheard of resonate so clearly. I force my eyes to close until they grew painful. Breathe in….and out. The clock strikes 4. My eyes surprisingly closed on their own. 3 AM is the devil’s hour, they say. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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Taj Rosales May 26, 2020

How can I be sure in my life when I'm indecisive? We all make decisions, but let's be honest that it is not easy to decide like which is which. We all have to consider all the things that can affect our decisions. Since then, making decisions for myself was never been so easy like what should I take, what should I pick and many more. I find it struggling because even though all I want for myself is for the good, I cannot have it because I don't even have the sureness in my life.

As I lay down in my bed at night, I always think the what ifs in my life. "What if I choose that over the other, would it be better?" those kinds of questions. Yes, it is hard being indecisive that you cannot have at least 90% happiness of the decision you made because you're not even sure about it and you will just feel happiness if the results are good. I am the kind of person who just go with the flow and doesn't even bother with the problems that must be taken seriously. I am thankful for the people especially to my friends who are always there to help me out in my life. People think that I'm the type of person who is happy-go-lucky but the truth is I'm just showing that I'm always happy but deep inside of me, I'm not. I'm really questioning myself that makes me overthink sometimes. To be able to help myself, I searched online about tips in making a decision. I know that I'm being "OA" because of this, but actually it helps me. I am trying to apply all the readings I read whenever I make decisions.

Right now, I am somewhat happy and contented because I make decisions that I'm fully sure of. We must not take all the things as a joke, especially in making decisions. I don't want to have those feelings again that I had before. We must all help ourselves whenever we have problems. We cannot depend on others forever. You can reach out, but remember that you yourself is the key to end up the problems that you're into. So, let's all do the things that we can do today because there are many things waiting ahead of us.

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Ivah Ely May 25, 2020

Forget Me Not: A forgotten entry in Tokyo

Watching well-made films often fuel the desire for adventure and excitement in our own lives. Like many in their youth, I've felt that childlike feeling of seeing myself as the main character in my own movie. The genres often change with time and it goes from comedy to tragedy really quick. I used to think that if I closed my eyes for too long, I'd miss the best parts. That if I close my eyes then I'd be covering the lens to the camera in my mind. But I also believed that I could dream about what I see again when I lay my head to sleep at nights or that I can re-watch all my memories after I die. But now that I'm older reality has a tighter grasp on my throat as I trudge my rocky road to adulthood. My memory is failing me. I write this entry for that reason. Because I am scared to forget. I was emotionally and mentally worn. I didn't know it at the time but I desperately needed that feeling of childlikeness again.

Senior high school came with so much unnecessary pain and pressure that I didn't realize I was gasping for air. I always sat by the window to stare out during class as the voice of my teacher became background noise that faded into my daydreams. Before I knew it, I was packing a small backpack in the middle of the semester on a cold November evening to go on a trip to Tokyo. This time it wasn't a dream and it felt as if time stood still.

While my friends and classmates were back home in their classrooms going on with their lives and schoolwork, I on the other hand was two-thousand miles away in a foreign land with a foreign language where my basic knowledge was not enough for me to survive on my own. Like passing through the Torii gate which the Japanese believe brings humans into the land of the spirits, I was in a new world. The breeze felt like a cold nip at the tip of my nose as autumn was nearing winter but I've never breathed in air fresher. I was welcomed into a small and warm Japanese home with lovely little folded cranes on a humble dinner table.

My aunt who was far lovelier and even more vibrant than the colors on the delicately folded cranes was there to welcome me as well. The paper cranes weren't the only things she prepared for my one-week stay. On a little pink card, she had my name along with my Tokyo address handwritten in Japanese for our rides on the bus & bullet train; and in case I get lost. She also prepared a small pink pouch with cute yellow elephants on it. The pouch was filled with coins of different amounts. The coins were for me to spend freely on drinks and snacks in vending machines. It was all more than enough since beforehand she already prepared us 2 weeks' worth of snacks for my 1-week stay. On top of all that she prepared winter clothes since I traveled light and she insisted that I wear the pink parka that she brought before I came over. I find it funny that she still thinks I like pink but it's still just like the good old days. She's still one of the most thoughtful people I know. My aunt is a missionary in Japan and has always been like a mother and a friend to me. I sobbed like a baby in front of a thousand-member congregation on the day my family and I sent her off. A few years later, with my father being our Church's missions pastor, I was given the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and see her. Seeing her again was bittersweet. It's sweet since she raised me and is a big part of who I am and my interests today. But bitter because it hits you like a ton of bricks when you notice someone you love is has gotten older or weaker. Don't we all feel that at some point with our parents and guardians? On my father's side of the family, we have issues of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia. It's hard to pretend that it doesn't hurt that after years of being with my grandma, she doesn't know who I am. As for my dad, on top of having Parkinson's he is starting to show early signs of dementia too. It's scary how quickly one can forget decades worth of memories. I wonder if I may go through that as well one day.

At the time these thoughts were overshadowed by the magical Disneyland rides and digital museums, sights like Mt. Fuji as well as traditional and Modern Japanese Architecture, pictures we took at the iconic Hachiko shrine, and Shibuya crosswalk, and even the small oddities of Harajuku fashion and merchandise. I took as many pictures every chance I could get. I wrote in my digital journal with plans to make a picture journal when I get back home. Japan was quite the story to tell that I believe rekindled my childlike spirit. Before we knew it, the week ended and I was packing once again. This time my luggage was more than twice as heavy and the destination this time was home. I dreaded leaving Japan but I dreaded leaving my aunt more. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to her at the airport due to my not knowing that she was only allowed to see me off until a certain point. I cried on the flight back while holding a giant Donald duck stuffed toy as I just imagined her going to her small Tokyo home alone. I also cried since soon I'd have to face reality once again. After hours of travel I found myself back home in the all too familiar Baguio. But I was in distress. It wasn't because my lungs were starting to forget what clean air felt like or that I'm missing the life I've lived for the past week. But I was in distress because I couldn't find my phone. Why was that the biggest problem in the world to me at the time? It was because of the pictures and notes that were lost with it. All the pictures I took and the notes of the smallest details were a blurry mess amidst the panic in my brain. I never posted anything because I wanted to live in the time there and not worry about anything back home or anyone knowing what I've been up to. But what haunts me is that I don't remember a single one of the pictures I took. I was so sure that I'd be able to go over them when I get back home. I don't want to forget. It's been 550 days and it still bothers me. It's been 550 days and it's only now that I realize the lesson of this story as I write this.

As scary as it is to forget memories, we have to understand when we have to hold on to something and when it's okay to forget. I tried for weeks to somehow recover the pictures on iCloud but to no avail. We may not be able to fix the mistakes of the past or avoid misfortune that is out of our hands but what we can do is to move forward and make more memories that are worth remembering. Treasure the beautiful moments and the lessons from the terrible times. Cherish them and fight to keep these memories on the surface. If you find that difficult to do then strive to tell your stories to others. Because in the times that we forget, then we have others will remember our legacy. We can't be sure about what happens next though we can plan all we want. Often life doesn't have spoilers and may have a plot twist around the corner. As for me, I may never find those photos again but I made it a goal to one day come back to Tokyo and make more memories. That is a promise that I won't forget.

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Kim Angela Santos May 25, 2020

The Art of Doing Nothing

We have been confined with the worldview about the idea of success; thus, the word “productivity” has been diverted into a different meaning. We labeled the level of our success by identifying the weight of the works we’ve done – believing that the busier you are, the more productive you’ll be. But little did we know that this kind of mindset is a pitfall, ending up in a trap and restricting us to do more of what we can.

Every person has their own way of planning on how to get productive. One of the tips mentioned by Prosalendis was the “2 Hour Hermit Mode” where you just need to stay quiet for two hours to learn and reflect. Within the 2-Hour Hermit Mode, you need to completely shut down outside distractions and try to do nothing, this will help you to have a peace of mind and a quiet time. Focus. This word may be cliché, having a shallow meaning, but the reality is, focusing on one thing is one of the hardest things to do. Some people may have mistakenly understood “doing nothing” as unproductive, but this is actually a form of taking a break. I usually do this 2-Hour Hermit every time I am loaded with tons of deadlines. Just try to sit in the corner of a coffee shop and try to discover new things or just go to a place where you find yourself comfort and peace.

The art of doing nothing makes you appreciate the beauty of the mundane things - you get to witness how the leaves sway on their own branches, you get to see the unappreciated smiles of the people, you get to hear the sound of the birds giving you lullabies. You will never have the time to focus if you are too disturbed with a lot of things. Give yourself a rest from thinking about all the work you need to do. Don’t get distracted and give yourself the freedom of unfolding new things. The power of focusing and art of doing nothing will help you to do things you don’t normally do, and maybe start to love the things you once hated. Trace your progress. We don’t know how productive we are unless we trace our activities. I have a journal where I can write the things I have done, and the things I wasn’t able to accomplish. This helps me to track and jot down the things I failed to do within the day.

You are able to take a break and have a rest by doing outside the boundary of the tons of work you have. You will also be surprised that you have done so many things when you’re listing the things you’ve accomplished. This will not just give you the satisfaction but you will also be grateful for what you have done for the past twenty-four hours. You just need a minute to reminisce what you have done while enjoying the silence in the process. Small daily acts can be a solution to achieve our long-term goals. We’re always bombarded with distractions and piled up work, but nothing can beat the idea of staying on track and not feeling lost. By doing this, we will always be reminded why we started to commit on the things that we want to do. After all, what makes us love what we do is knowing why we started it in the first place. The problem with us is that we are too busy achieving, losing the time to see the colors of the ordinary. We are blinded with the idea that success comes with great productivity. We always think that we are defined by how much work we exerted, and not appreciating the effort we’ve given. The fact is you are already successful in acknowledging that you have done something, and nothing.

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Ryl Vonn May 22, 2020

“I wish I was like them” is what we constantly whisper to ourselves. When we see someone more attractive than us, when we see someone having more than us, and when someone seems happier than us, it just somehow makes us question ourselves. So… what do we do? We try to be like them. We buy the clothes they wear, the accessories they use, and even the perfume they spray on - we reinvent ourselves. But why is it that whenever we see someone who seems to have more than we do, we have this huge urge to “be like them”?

Technology has become such a huge part of our lives, that without even noticing it, it has started to brainwash us. What we see online starts to dictate how we dress, what we eat, and overall, how we act. It even begins to tell us what and how we should look; and it makes us question ourselves because what we see on our screens is not what we see in the mirror. We focus so much on what other people think and how other people will react that we lose touch of ourselves. We begin to beat ourselves down just because we aren’t the picture they painted in their minds. We go to extremes just to mimic that person on our screens that the internet wants to see. But the story was never about you becoming like them, it’s about you coming into being.

We are like blank canvases waiting to be painted on with brush strokes of life experience; and once we feel that the painting is done, we reveal ourselves to the world with pride despite what people say about it. So get lost in the moment, understand yourself, and never forget that we are all beautifully different. After all, life’s too short to live someone else’s life.

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Quienie Gamutan May 16, 2020

3 promises I made to myself before turning 25

First, I will go back to Boracay. Why? To enjoy the feeling of being an island girl again! Woohoo! Sippin' coconut juice while lying on the sand, hearing the waves and feeling the warmth from the sun. Sunglasses on, flipflops out, preparing my seaside series of songs to be played in my ears, what a lovely day it is in my head right now. It makes me feel like I'm living in a dreamlike life wishing not to snap out right away and go back to Manila for another battle with work and traffic. We deserve a break of course. And a break to me means a beach for a week!

Second, I should learn how to drive. Funny how it seems but yeah I'm 23 yrs old now and still got no license in driving. Am I the only one at my age who doesn't care about driving yet? Lol during this ECQ days, I realize how much important driving skill is especially if you are living alone and no Grab App to lean on. It's 3 times harder than you think it is. "I need to learn driving", is another way of telling myself, "Be extra prepared during emergencies".

Lastly, to have an investment. Working 8 hours a day from Mondays thru Fridays is never easy. Plan out your future by slowly keeping up an investment. Life really is rigid at times. Learn to be vigorous, surround yourself with positive-thinking people. As what people say, we are not getting any younger anymore. Before turning 25, I want to develop a synergy of faith and courage to my promises. If not, well I still believe that everything will fall into places in time. Promises might be meant to be broken for some, but to me promises are there to test how good you are in keeping your word. How about you? If you are to make a promise to yourself, what would it be?

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Andrea Borillo May 14, 2020

“Ill-starred”

A pessimistic optimist – that is how I describe myself. For years, I let my soul be touched with both the pros and cons of destiny and luck. Whenever something is bound to happen, I forecast it with omens signifying negativity even though that a part of myself yearns for positive outcomes. It was always like that.

In order to incline an optimistic side to a certain phenomenon, I will first think about the unfavorable things that may happen. I will let negative ideas arise to keep my positive mind waiting on the other side. But as you came, my brain sank into a deep chaos. For the first time, my disposition did not unveil any image of what I was hoping for us to become. My logicality was lulled with irrationalness as my mind became void of predictions. I will feel sad if I will foretell that only negative things will come on our way. On the other hand, I will not easily believe myself if I will tell my soul that the result of your arrival in my life is my happiness. I became dumbfounded because you blew all the answers away.

I was scared – scared to the point that if I continue to talk to you, I am afraid I may now totally fall but if I forget about you, I am also afraid my sanity will be lost too. You made me think for a thousand times. You made me feel hundreds of emotions. When you are not around, I am not the same woman. I will become half the person I normally am. You balance my personality’s yin and yang. Now, as you intertwined our fingers, held my waist and looked at me straight in the eyes with your most appreciative look, I felt that this is the dream I am waiting for to exist in reality.

Dancing is not my forte but I was surprised our bodies swayed gracefully to the rhythm. Your olive eyes were glued with mine and everything around us faded. The orotund music and voices from the background suddenly disappeared as your whispers and talks are the only things I hear. I felt that the world stopped and it was only you and I who never remain immobile to our surreal bond.

From then on, I figured out some things. You are the chapter I never wanted to skip, the song I never get tired of listening, the sonnet I will keep whispering and our story is the kind I have always wanted to tell. In your arms, I found warmth. In your heart, I found a home. In your soul, I found peace. With you, I feel whole and alive. You love with your whole heart and did not matter if returned or not. The way you love me is unlike anything I have ever known. Because of that, I now commit myself to you blindly and trust you without reservation – to accept you for who you are and what you wanted to be, to need and want you always and without demand and to love you without fear and without holding back. I do not care if this is a fortune or a dire. What I only know is that if I will not take a risk on this, I will forever be ill-starred. In just a span of one night with a couple of dances from you, I realized I will be unlucky if I will not love you.

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Focus On Your Own Battle

Have you ever felt so down because you think you are not worthy enough? Have you ever felt the feeling that you are tired and everything is just the same like nothing’s new and so unproductive? Did giving up came into your mind? It’s a sad reality that people have to choose between two things just to not disappoint others. It sucks and suffocating that you have to always comply to be loved.

I was used to be a “just-go-with-the-flow” person. I do not care about my wants as long as the people I’m with are happy. I was afraid to be judged and rejected by others. I don’t want to be alone. But then I realized that the more I depend on other’s sentiment, I am losing my happiness and passion. I felt that I’m stuck in a cage and there is no chance for me to discover and develop. Developing what you are passionate about is the hardest thing in this world if you are forcing yourself to do the things you don’t like. Sometimes you anticipate that this is what you want but in reality, it is not. You are just blinded by the fact that this is what the people around you want you to do, but deep within yourself you know it is not what you love.

People around you will never be contented. All of the things you have done will never be enough for them to be satisfied so stop complying. Stop depending on other people and start to stand on your own feet. Have the courage to keep in mind that not everyone can be pleased and learn how to be grateful to the people who appreciate you. In life, you will realize that every people you met has its purpose. People come and go. Some are just bypassing. Some are just using you. Some will be a lesson to you so be with it. Quit considering the opinions of others.

Live on your own. Be contented with what you have. The greatest thing you can give to yourself is happiness, as long as you know who you are and what makes you happy it doesn’t matter how others will see you.

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Bulletin
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Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.

On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.

A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.

My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.

That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?

Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?

- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link: http://qkathreece.wixsite.com/kathreecequizon/post/breaking-waves

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