Going Away and Taking You With Me

The bell rang. Thank God it’s lunch, meaning I survived half of the day. I don’t have to pretend to listen to teachers. During lunch break, I just pretend to listen to my friends. There’s nothing wrong with them, really. I like my set of friends. I just find it difficult to always give my full attention to different people blabbing gossip about strangers I don’t care about.

Sometimes, I wish I could just fly with my thoughts. I want to be outside. I want to be at the ocean.

As I walk along the halls towards the cafeteria, we stop by each of my friends’ lockers, like picking them up until we’re all complete for lunch. I guess we’re really close that way. All my friends say hi and wave hello to classmates along the way. I’m usually friendly like all of my friends, but these are the days I just don’t want to be the social butterfly I’m expected to be. I put my earphones on and I hope they get the sign I’m not in a friendly mood today. I hit play when I find the right soundtrack in my playlist – Everything by Ciudad. The best I can give to people right now are soft half-hearted smiles. My friends don’t seem to mind and the crowd doesn’t seem to notice. But the moment I see him coming our way, I quickly drop my smile. I look down on my shoes trying to control my pace as I secretly steal a look. He doesn’t see me. He pretends not to. I continue walking.

I take my seat at the lunch table with my friends whom I’ve been sitting with since freshman year, eating the same stuff they’ve been serving us since the golden age. Some things never change. My friends start the blab. I start my pretence while I peel the napkin off my utensils. It’s become a reflex of mine to glance at his table. He sits in his usual spot, the same old table with the same old friends. While his friends are busy laughing their heads off at some toilet humor, he leaves the table. I see him head to the exit, but he looks at me first and signals me to go out.

As I go through the door, I see him waiting for me outside. He’s leaning back at the same bench where he always waited for me. The sun hits his hair just right to make it shine its usual glow. His gaze looks up to me slowly from the floor. He flashes a smile. I get the familiar butterflies. “Wanna get out of here?” he asks and gently grabs me by my wrist.

He runs and leads me to his car. He starts his engine when I ask, “Where are we going?” He slowly backs up his car and he says, “To the ocean.”

I can never know how he knows what I want, and when I want it. I can never know how he knows when I want to have a road trip or just lock myself in my bedroom and watch Ghibli films. I can never know how he knows when I’m just too shy to get the last piece of pizza, and when I’m too full and he needs to finish my plate. I can never know how he knows when I try to be strong and keep pushing, and when I just want to give up. I can never know how he knows.

I watch him drive as I try to decipher everything in my head, and I get surprised as he reaches for my hand and intertwines his fingers with mine – I let him. Familiarity strikes me. I get comfortable. I don’t remember how many times we’ve done this together before, and until now I don’t picture doing this with anyone else.

We were driving in silence for a while just listening to Ebe Dancel in his playlist. I’m not sure if he remembers it was me who put it there.

“So what are you planning after graduation? It’s only a few months away.” I ask.

“Me? Still the same plan. Nothing changed.”


“And you? Did anything change?”

“… A lot.”

He stops the car as we reached the ocean. He takes off his seatbelt when he looks at me intently and asks, “Ready to test the waters again?”

“No, I’m just here to see it.”



Going Away and Taking You With Me


It is said that us fairies are so small in size that we can only feel one emotion at a time. And ever since I met Peter, all I felt was admiration.

I had been in love with Peter since I can remember. You could call me a fool. Fairies were supposed to just stay with their families. Humans posed as grave threats for us fairies. But when I saw Peter stalking in the woods with his band of lost boys, I couldn’t help but to be amazed. He was a very rugged boy, older than all the lost boys. His stance and movement summoned the boys to follow him and his orders. His expertise in sword fight made him notorious especially for pirates. His charm and good looks had always captivated the mermaids, and without blinking – they would kill for him. He was like an urban legend for the rest of Neverland, because nobody believed anyone could be as good as he was said to be. Tiger Lily knew better though. She and Peter had been close even before I had met the pack. Truth be told, I had never been fond of her. All I could feel for her was jealousy. But little did I know jealousy, until Peter met Wendy.

Wendy was really… Normal. Until the end, I didn’t understand what Peter, or any of the boys, saw in her that made her special enough to go home to Neverland with us. Why did Peter ask her to be the mother of the boys? Why did Peter reveal the beautiful secrets of Neverland to a foreign girl? She was nobody until Peter gave her notice. She was just someone who knew how to sew.

I wondered, if I weren’t so tiny, would Peter have noticed me? Would he have finally loved me? Could I have made Peter as happy as how Wendy had? But though he could never see me as how he saw Wendy, I loved him still. I loved him constantly.

Wendy chose to grow up. Before Peter and I left, Wendy asked, “You won’t forget me, will you?” “Never,” Peter replied. But I knew it was a lie.

As she returned to her family, Peter looked at me and whispered, “Let’s go home, Tink.” That was one of the rare moments he looked me in the eye. I finally had Peter all to myself. There was not even one lost boy for Peter to take care of. Not even Hook to keep him distracted. No boys. No Wendy. There was nobody else but me. As I flew with him side by side, I looked at his eyes and I recognized sadness. In return, I felt sad too.

When there was no more Wendy or the lost boys, Peter changed. When we came home to Neverland, he didn’t leave his bed for days. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Peter was so absent, that winter fell to Neverland. Winter came as cold as he was. This season wasn’t good for Neverland, even for us fairies. We didn’t have enough warmth in our bodies to stay alive in this deep of winter.

One by one, fairies fell like kids stopped believing we existed. New fairies didn’t last long, either. If winter didn’t end soon, fairies would be extinct. I tried to care for him, but he shooed me away. He didn’t want to see me. That didn’t stop me though. I still watched him even when he slept. I flew close to him and saw his loneliness despite being asleep. I fixed his hair from his eyes and stared at the boy who Wendy needed to take care of. I whispered in my teeny tiny voice and asked, “You won’t forget me, will you?”

I walked away as a tear fell from my eye. In my heart, I knew the answer.

I traveled to London and I found the familiar window. I knew they would’ve left the window open for Peter, just in case. To my surprise – it wasn’t. I had to sneak in through the hinges to make it inside their nursery. I saw Michael, John and the lost boys all together sitting in one big table as they did their own things. I had never seen the boys so well-behaved and neat. They didn’t notice me enter the room and exit to the halls.

I flew around the house and looked for Wendy. And when I examined her, she changed. Her change was not similar to Peter. She wasn’t sulking in her bed; She was humming. Wendy waltzed around the room as she combed her hair incessantly. She seemed to grow a day quicker than other girls.

Wendy noticed me, and was terribly shocked and terrified. She was struck dumb. She gawked at me curiously, not knowing how to react – And that was when I knew. I knew she had no memory anymore. She grew up.

How could she do this to Peter? How could she grow up? Peter would be back for her for spring-cleaning, only to find out the Wendy he came for wasn’t here anymore. Peter would be miserable.

I couldn’t let that happen.

With all the pixie dust I had, I showered myself upon Wendy. Dust by dust, I sprinkled every bit of memory I had with Peter. I closed my eyes tight, hoped and wished that every piece of me would be poured over to her. I remembered all the emotions I had felt – the amazement when I first saw Peter, the excitement from all the adventures together, the fear when he fought against Hook, the jealousy for Wendy, the hatred I hid, and the love I felt. As Wendy started to feel all the memories rushing in her, I start to not feel anything at all. I lied myself down on her side table and watched my wings fade its light.

I smiled as I saw Wendy smile. It was the same look I had when I thought of Peter. Wendy now had all my happy thoughts. At least, somehow, somebody would tell the story about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, and a fairy who loved him.

Michael believed longer than the other boys, though they jeered at him; so he was with Wendy when Peter came for her at the end of the first year. She flew away with Peter in the frock she had woven from leaves and berries in the Neverland, and her one fear was that he might notice how short it had become; but he never noticed, he had so much to say about himself.

She had looked forward to thrilling talks with him about old times, but new adventures had crowded the old ones from his mind.

“Who is Captain Hook?” he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.

“Don’t you remember,” she asked, amazed, “how you killed him and saved all our lives?”

“I forget them after I kill them,” he replied carelessly.

When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her he said, “Who is Tinker Bell?”

“O Peter,” she said, shocked; but even when she explained he could not remember.

“There are such a lot of them,” he said. “I expect she is no more.”

I expect he was right, for fairies don’t live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them.

Wendy was pained too to find that the past year was but as yesterday to Peter; it had seemed such a long year of waiting to her. But he was exactly as fascinating as ever, and they had a lovely spring cleaning in the little house on the tree tops.



Sabi nila, kaya tayo sinasabihan ng “Ingat” ay dahil hindi na nila tayo kayang alagaan. Kaya kinakailangan alagaan ang sarili kasi wala nang ibang mag-aalaga sa atin.

Kaya eto. Eto na. Eto na ang paraan ko.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga ipis. Alam kong hindi laging may nag-aabot ng Baygon at hindi ka laging makakalaban mas lalo na kapag lumilipad sila. Wag na wag kang sisigaw kasi mas lalapit sila kapag maingay ka. Kapag mas marami sila sayo – may Baygon man o wala – sinasabi ko sayo tumakbo ka nalang.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga holdaper, mas lalo na kapag may klase ka pa hanggang gabi at malayo pa ang iyong lalakarin para lang makauwi. Kahit magmukha kang ewan, ilagay mo ang bag mo sa harapan mo. Ilabas mo ang pepper spray na binigay ng tatay mo sayo noong nakilala niya ako.

Mag-ingat ka kapag umuulan. Alam kong ayaw mong nagdadala ng payong, pero kailangan. Gamitin mo ang naiwan kong kulay asul na payong sa bahay niyo, paborito mo rin naman iyon. Hindi lang iyan panakot sa aso; Ginagamit din iyan tuwing umuulan.

Mag-ingat ka sa lamok. Lapitin ka pa naman ng mga iyan. Maari bang magsuot ka ng mahaba-habang bestida o kaya’y mga mahabang medyas para hindi ka kayang kagatin ng mga lamok? Hindi sapat ang pagpahid ng lotion.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga umaaligid na lalaki. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay gusto ka lang maging kaibigan. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay gusto ka lang ihatid pauwi para ligtas ka. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay mababait. Hindi lahat ng lalaki ay gusto lang pumatay ng ipis para sayo. Minsan may mga manloloko, at mang-uuto. Minsan ay nababagot lang sila at naghahanap ng karamay.

Mag-ingat ka sa manyak mong professor. Sabihin mo alam ko kung saan siya nakatira.

Mag-ingat ka kay Janice. Hindi ko alam kung bakit, pero pakiramdam ko hindi siya mabuting kaibigan sayo. Alam kong matalik kayong magkaibigan sa tagal ng panahon, ngunit hindi siya nagsasabi ng buong katotohonan. Sana dito ay mali ako at tama ka.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga alaalang hindi kagandahan. May mga panahong maaalala mong masaya ang nakalipas, at mararamdaman mong mas gugustuhin mong bumalik sa nakaraan – Huwag. Alalahanin mong medyo masakit rin ang nakaraan at madami ka nang pinagdaanan. Ikaw ay malakas at matapang, kaya mo nalapagsan ang noon. At mas kakayanin mong harapin ang kasalukuyan.

Mag-ingat ka sa mga sinungaling. Alam kong mahirap malaman kung sino nga ba ang nagsasabi ng totoo at sino ang andyan para lang lokohin ka. Alam ko minsan, ang tao mismo hindi na alam kung katotohonan pa ang pinapangako sayo. Minsan sasabihin niyang mahal ka niya, pero hindi naman niya maipakita. Minsan pinangako niyang hindi ka niya iiwang mag-isa, ngunit darating ang araw na kinakailangan kang iwan. Minsan sasabihing poprotektahan ka, ngunit siya rin ay hindi niya maprotektahan ang sarili niya sa sakit nang mawala ka. Minsan sasabihin niyang aalagaan ka niya, pero hindi naman pala niya kaya.

Kaya eto. Eto na. Mag-ingat ka, ha?



Alex is the girl you’re probably gonna look at the first time she passes by. You notice her in a room, but you won’t give a second look. She’s pretty, but not gorgeous. Her hair is a bit messed up. She’s smaller than average. Some people might consider her brash at first glance, but when she smiles at you – that impression will melt with your heart.

You go to the same school, in the same year and maybe even have one or two classes together. There’s a big fat chance you’re in the same party and you’re introduced to one another – probably by a friend of a friend.  You both realize you have more friends in common. You share a lot of laughs, maybe a drink or two. It gets a little too late in the night, and being the gentleman you are, you offer her a ride home. She politely declines and says she can hitch with a friend of hers. Don’t worry – she says yes the next time you ask.

When you see her around campus, she hands you a flyer and invites you to join her school club. You now often see each other on school days, and go to the same parties on weekends. When you’re not hanging out, she sends you video links of cute puppies swimming in the bath tub. She makes you listen to her favorite indie band. You sometimes invite her to come hang with your friends and she seems to fit right in. You imitate movie characters only you two seem to recognize and your friends seem to be quite happy with that. She gets more comfortable as you spend more time together. There comes a point when she asks if you can do an emergency grocery with her and you feel like she just asked you out on a date. And one night when you’re on the phone with her, she casually invites you to have lunch with her family. You try your best to casually say yes – But of course you panic. It is a big deal.

You come to a moment when you two are alone, and you look at her with awe while she shares her expansive dreams to you. You realize her childhood shaped who she is now and who she wants to be. How she was never allowed to have a dog so she collected stuffed toys instead. How her mom always told her she needed to comb more, and so she keeps a comb in her bag but never uses it anyway. How she dreams to make toys for a living because she never had anyone to play with as a kid. She offers her smiles and dreams so generously that it just makes you tilt your head and wonder why God seemed unfair to all the other girls – because she was more captivating than anyone else. You fix her hair away from her face so you can look deep into her eyes. And when she does look at you, you see the magic inside of her nobody else will find. In that special moment only you will ever know, you realize she’s even better than the girl from your favorite book. She isn’t a leading lady, no. She isn’t superficial, but she’s real. In a story that’s full of myths and whimsical twists, she seems to make sense in the world.

But after some time, you’re gonna forget that moment. After some time, you get into fights and senseless arguments you don’t even remember its starting point. After some time, you’re gonna think that she’s another problem to fix in your life. After some time, you start walking out from your bedroom and avoiding her in the morning. After some time, you’re not gonna see the magic in her eyes anymore. Because your vision gets clouded by some temporary anger and hate.

You won’t make her feel the luckiest girl alive, but you leave her with a feeling she is never enough. After some time, she asks herself where it went wrong and sadly, she starts blaming herself. After some time, she even forgets her own worth. After some time, you’re not gonna see the magic in her eyes anymore. Because her vision gets clouded with loneliness.

When you suddenly get tired in the middle of an argument, I hope you stop. I hope you stop and remember the night that sparked it all. The night she shared you her dreams and you wanted to make them all come true for her. Remember her laughs that she doesn’t seem to laugh anymore, the smiles she used to give so very often and not as much today, the magic that seemed to spark yours too. You have to remember that it’s not just your world anymore but hers as well. And when you listen to me and you do stop, make sure you fix her hair away from her eyes, and find that magic inside of her, once again.



“It’s gonna be a good day,” I celebrated to myself. My spot just emptied at the exact moment I opened the door to the coffee shop. I dropped two of my three bags to reserve my table, and went to the counter to place my order. “One tall mint chocolate frappe for here?”, he asked with his ever consistent smile.  I returned the smile to my favorite barista and said “Yes, thank you DJ.”

As I took a seat with my drink on hand, I saw that the customer before me left her unfinished coffee sitting on my table. I didn’t mind it as I was focused to start my work urgently. I needed to write a story and send it to my boss come end of day. I was eager and determined not to mess up my first job as a writer. I just had to impress my boss.

But with only sheets full of childish doodles and only fragments of nonsense to be told, I got nothing worth of a story. With four unopened emails from my boss, an empty cup of my drink and only three hours remaining, I still had zero inspiration to write. I stared hopelessly at my coffee-table-turned-work-desk desk that felt too cluttered yet totally empty, just like my mind. Suddenly, my eyes studied the half-full cup of Caffe Americano on my table. I stared at it blankly, wasting forever staring into something that wasn’t even mine to begin with. I managed to snap out of my daze when I heard someone said, “Want me to take care of that?” I watched as DJ took the cold cup away from gaze.

Noticeably, the cup had already left brown, mild stains on my table. How familiar it looked for me. I suddenly remembered how it felt to always have a cup of coffee in my hands. All the things I got to do, with the feeling I was unstoppable. The rush and charge running through my body was magnified. I felt powerful and relentless. The feeling was ecstatic. Motivation and inspiration was never a problem. I was on top of the world and nothing could bring me down. I didn’t want it to stop. I was in love with the feeling it gave me.

But it reminded me why I stopped drinking coffee. It became an addiction. I relied on it too much, I couldn’t write without the bitter taste hanging on my lips. It became so bad it kept leaving stains everywhere. When I tried to remove the stains in my life, I couldn’t wash them all away. How it had left stains on my writings – my words, my echoes of thoughts. My health, my thoughts, my heart all depended on reliving the past over and over. But I couldn’t fool myself into thinking that. I had to accept that I needed to move on. I needed a good grip on reality without the help of anything else.

A napkin suddenly fell on my table. DJ started wiping the stains away. “There, like it’s brand new,” he said smiling. As he left, I looked at my spotless table. I took out a white, clean sheet of paper and clicked on my pen. I started to write.


In Between

In this world, people strongly believe that not getting everything you want is a good thing, and this includes the people you meet. Everyone respects and follows these little light bulbs on everyone’s heads because you’re not supposed to meddle with fate, and there are signs that lead you to “destiny”. The little light bulbs all generate varying colors that are supposed to make it easier for you and me to identify people’s roles in our everyday lives, and who’s there just to make it worse.  A person lights differently for each and every person. When people follow these signs, the world becomes a less complicated place.

There are people who bring good in your life, the ones who have the green light and say go. These are the people who can teach you, make you become the person you’re meant to be, or basically just great friends you can hang with. To put it simply – Imagine getting a match at Tinder. There are also those who you are supposed to meet, but not right now. These are the ones who glow yellow. Think a potential boyfriend but currently in a relationship so you have to wait a bit more to avoid complications. And of course, the people who you’re just not meant to meet at all – the ones who have the red light. People with the red light could be generally bad for the public, or just bad for you.

If you’re not familiar with this world, you would probably find the light bulbs very distracting. Walking in the busy streets, each person walking alongside, there are differently lit bulbs on top of each of their heads. But after a while you just get used to it. Whenever I see the green lights, I assume I already know the person I pass. Being 25, I’ve more or less already met most of the people who glow green for me – the guy who helped me with my Calculus assignment, the HR who passed me to the final job interview, the lady who helped me cross the street when I broke my leg. Whenever I see people with the red light, I just avoid them at all costs. Aside from a being a fate-believer, I guess you can call me a scaredy cat as well. I try to avoid possible serial killers whenever I can. The ones who glow yellow for me on the other hand, is quite rare. And that was why I noticed him instantly.

I remember the first time I laid eyes on him it felt like magnets. Atoms inside my body were just drawn to him like it has found the object to orbit around to. I didn’t even notice I was already following him. As my body felt like it knew where to go, my mind wondered who this man is and who he will become for me. How would I even meet him? Suddenly, I came to an abrupt halt and realized I shouldn’t have been doing it. I shouldn’t be doing something in the present to unfold what is not to happen yet. I had to stop it and remind myself today is not the day. With a hopeful smile I whisper, “Not today, not yet.”

There are times that I would see a yellow light, and without a doubt I know it’s him. But I can only admire him from afar, knowing that what I long for is something I can have indefinitely. Everything that reminds me that it will be worth the wait, is just making me more ill at ease. I always have to make him pass me by, as I try to steal a little glance of him to keep for my dreams.

In a sea of stops and go’s, I don’t understand why we need to stand in between. I want to know him. I want us to talk. I want to know why we shouldn’t know each other yet. Why not now? Why not just never? Are the signs supposed to keep us safe, or keep me waiting for nothing?

But one day, it’s different. I felt different. Once more, I see a yellow light. And I can see the yellow light is coming nearer. With a rush of emotions and with no sense of thinking, I run towards it. I run towards him. Screw the signs. F*ck destiny.

As I run nearer to him, I catch him by surprise. He was startled. I try to catch my breath and my thoughts as I realized I didn’t plan this out. Slowly, I walk towards him. Slowly, he walks towards me. Slowly, we look at each other. Slowly, I feel nervous, and enraptured, then struck dumb, jittery – And then all at the same time. Slowly, very slowly, we look above our heads.

We don’t talk. We just look at each other’s eyes and I know. I know.

My eyes say, “Won’t you stay?”

But his eyes say he’s sorry.

And as I watch him walk away, slowly – very slowly – the little light bulb turns red.


In Between

Three In The Morning

Good morning, your alarm clock wakes you up
You rub your eyes and try to make the buzz stop
You look at the ceiling and stare to think
Why you suddenly remember me.
You try to get up and take a look at your room
Everything feels in and out of zoom
Little trinkets around remind you of what used to be
When you get up, you still remember me.

You go downstairs and get ready to leave
But you first think of getting something to drink
You look back at your kitchen and think of my coffee
And once more, you remember me.

You go out and look for a cab to ride
A shiny silver car passes you by
You laugh at yourself because you agree
It’s silly of you to remember me.

You recognize the DJ on your favorite station
Telling about two lovers that are never shaken
You suddenly recall of our own history,
Also the fifth time that you remember me.

You sing out loud with the top song of the day
But then you hear the song we used to play
You sigh and decide you have enough memories
You have enough to remember me.

You get out of the taxi, thank him for the ride
It starts to rain and all else runs inside
But you see a couple enjoying what they see
Of course, you again remember me.

You see your friend who brags his new phone
You see it’s the same as what I own
You look up and wonder really
Why with everything else you remember me.

It’s time for lunch, it’s time to eat
You think of the place across the street
But the last time you ate their best seller spaghetti
Again you remember, you remember me.

The places, the songs, the things that you see
Somehow everything points out to me
Your lips tremble, and your eyes get blurry,
You just can’t help to remember me.

You have me in your mind from morning ‘til noon
You wonder when it will all be over soon
But still you reminisce, quickly and slowly
Still, however, you remember me.

It was your choice to end all of this
I hope there are no regrets on things
But I do hope, this way, you’re still happy
Give it time, you will soon forget me.
Three In The Morning