Paperback

I love books. Undeniably.

If you’d ask me what  I have done most in my entire lifetime, aside from writing, I’d answer reading. I couldn’t actually pinpoint, though, the Genesis of such addiction. I started reading books (novels, at that) the moment I learned reading. That’s pretty basic. I continued on my addiction until my optometrist said I would have to wear these annoying spectacles (it’s never cool, unlike what others believe). Alas, I would have to suffer from myopia til my last breath. (Things seem so near yet remain unseen).

Just to clear things out, I’m not writing in here “The Diary of a four-eyed Freak.” That’s awfully, painfully dramatic. Don’t pity me for blurry eyes, pity yourselves if you haven’t tried reading. Perhaps people would find it sooooooo boring just killing time scanning pages. But try it, you would then perhaps understand why a handful of the people go so loco over words printed on papers (not to mention their addicting smell).

Now, what books should you read really? You could all choose from variety of topics – from Astronomy to Zoology. But if you are like this blogger that wants to play movies inside his mind, you’d probably want to cry, laugh, get afraid, amazed and go crazy over these writers whose books would really hook your eyes.

My seven favoritest (the word doesn’t exist) authors:

7. Nicolas Sparks

A great story teller that would make you fall in love and would just eventually break your heart with his novels which endings are tragic. Happy-ever-after is where? With his pen, you wouldn’t find it. For his stories don’t just end, even after you read the last page. In the heart, they remain.


Some of his greatest novels include: A Walk to Remember, The last Song, and The Notebook. And my favorite novel of his, Message in a Bottle.

6. Dan Brown

The author of The Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress, Angels and Demons and Deception Point.

You’ll get crazy following the signs and insignias and the codes he write. You’d think critically like you never did before. Undeniably a great mystery writer, he keeps you figuring out how, who, what and WHY?  I’ve read all of his novels except for his newest piece, The Lost Symbol.

5. John Grisham

All I love about his is the somewhat “legal” touches of his pieces. He’ll take you to courts and show you exactly what happens. He offers imagination. And he offers it with premium of truths. The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Rainmaker, The Last Jury and The Pelican Brief had caused me sleepless nights. All I want for summer is his newest, The Litigators.

4. Mitch Albom

Inspiring and unique. Lines of him are too striking; stories, too moving.

   This author behind the well-loved books The Five People You Meet in heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie really knows how to touch lives. His works requires a great leap of change to the readers. You’d change because you’d change. His writings are just great. Nothing more. Nothing less.

3. Jodi Picoult

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.

The only gal on my list. I first fell in love with her through My Sister’s Keeper. Right then and there, I was hooked up. With her stories with lovely characters and beautiful plots, Jodi had surely made me love life. The stories were great, self-realizing and life changing. Everything’s worth handling with care.

2. Paolo Coelho

Author of the bestselling novels: the Zahir, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Brida, The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes and his greatest (to my own paradigm) Veronica Decides to Die.

His works are too philosophical. And he has the greatest lines and words in the world. His stories revolving around people’s deviance to the norm are worth trading with a whole-night review for an exam (reminds me of high school. haha!). Seriously, his books are fantastic. the reasons of my visits to our library during high school. And I miss reading his works. I wish somebody would suffice my thirst. (donation, anyone?)

1. James Patterson

And this. My greatest love.

There’s something in him that I cannot really resist. The fast paced two-to-three-paged chapters of his books make me finish one in a setting. And you’d learn to love the characters of his well-known series. I just wish Alex Cross, Lindsay Boxer (with the women’s murder club), Maximun Ride (and Fang, please) and Daniel X were really existing. Don’t he get tired writing books. he’s the fastest writer I’ve known. And flexible, so to speak. From detective stories to science fictions to worth falling love stories, he’s simply the best of his field.  I pray someday, my collection gets completed.

more of this i want.

    Thanks for reading. And i wish it wouldn’t stop here. Go grab some book. It’s something worthwhile. I tell you.

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Fourteenth

Happy Valentine!

I know many hearts are of their biggest smiles right now. This is the day for those whose hearts are in the zenith of bliss and ecstasy. This is for the roses and bouquets in the hands of every woman and for those which fragrance will never last til they rot. This is for the boxes of chocolates, of candies and lollipops and of sugars which shall melt before you actually taste them. This is for the love songs, love stories and love notes which messages would echo through the years. This is also for the poems still unwritten, for proposals never said, for smiles which would just turn into tears, for dinners never attended and for hearts who’d always beat for the person not meant to be.

This is a day for happiness and bitterness, for completeness and brokenness, for the most poetic lines and most heart-breaking phrases.

This is for you. For the inks spilled. For the crumpled papers. For the empty smiles. For the shattered days.

This is for the words unsaid. And for my notes unread.

 

 

A piece from a yellow notebook

It’s raining so hard. I wonder if this still stops. Just like the rain, I wonder if this sentiment of mine ceases to flow for you. I’ve never seen you today and here i find my self staring at the photograph you’ve taken on my cell. I suppose I’d never stop thinking about you even if the rain suddenly decides to stop.I never though this would run so deep. I want this to end.

I’m disturbed with the thought of you. You’re in my mind in every petty thing I do. I wish I never have to write this but this emotion could really kill me literally.

I’m being stubborn again. I should never throw a look for someone like you. I should never think of someone before going to slumber. I should never be like this. But then, I could never stop my self from falling…

It’s raining so hard and I think of you. I wonder if you also hate the weather this very moment. I wonder what you’re doing or wearing. I wonder if I had ever crossed your mind. I wonder of you also feel “incomplete” not seeing me today. I wonder if you ever think of me. I wonder if you also love me.

It’s raining so hard and I’ve got no idea when shall this stop. I just hope that as the sky slowly clears off, my heart will also stop beating for you. I don’t know if that’s possible. I don’t know anything at all. I only know one thing: you are the reason of my struggles.

January 05, 2011

09:45 pm

ROOM 4

Aftershock

This is actually a very late reaction.

I know. I know. You could call me now a loser for I haven’t known an article of mine was published on a national paper last February 4 (that’s a week and a day ago). I tried sending an article to Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Youngblood for the first time last month without giving a damn if it gets published or not. Of course, I was hoping it would happen but I never expected. Not really.

So there I was receiving a text message from a friend that she had read the article. That was last Friday, exactly 6 days after the issue was released. And I was shocked and had felt a bit bad at the same time (because I’ve known it so late). Nevertheless, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even speak a word while the pack was jumping and shouting.

For those who haven’t read. Here’s the article:

Lolo the unforgettable

I remember the times I would run to granny’s room every time he came home drunk at night. As a child, I couldn’t understand then why he was acting the way he did. And I was afraid every time I saw him in that state. But despite my fear of him, I learned to respect him.

Lolo has always been good to his grandchildren. When he was younger, he would bring us fruits fresh from his farm and he loved to play with us and carry us in his arms. My childhood memories of him are still so vivid. And though there’s still that fear of him, I remember him as a very caring grandfather.

My father would tell us stories about how a disciplinarian Lolo was—the spanking, and the kneeling on grains of salt. He would recall in a funny way how he felt when Lolo would come home drunk, which was exactly my feeling too. My father would tell me how he would dance and sing in front of my drunken Lolo. He said he did those funny “foolish” things because he was afraid of Lolo. But through it all, my father still saw in Lolo things he believed he ought to emulate.

Lolo Temio, as we call him, was indisputably a respected leader in our place. A barangay captain for quite a time, he was respected for his accomplishments. This, I believe, was what pushed his sons to continue his legacy of public service.

I remember how big Lolo’s and granny’s smiles were when all of us, their grandchildren, were gathered in their house. We were all unruly, but they never showed a trace of exasperation with our presence. And Lolo, being a good listener, patiently paid attention to my stories no matter how impossible they seemed.

Lolo has only three grandsons (all others are granddaughters), and I’m the closest to him. When I was a small, I loved to sleep with him. He would tell me various things like the war, the flood and many other stories I can’t recall anymore. I played solitaire with him and he always reminded me to be a good son to my parents. I didn’t understand then, but I would tell him, straight up with all innocence, to stop getting drunk because I was afraid of him when he was. And he would just burst into boisterous laughter.

I see how the years have formed wrinkles on Lolo’s face. His hair has turned grey, and his skin is now all creased. But he has not changed, not a bit. He still drinks. He still tends the fruit trees, the fish pond and the house. He still plays the solitaire. But he does these all alone now. Granny died 15 years ago, and all his children now have their own families, and his grandchildren are all grown-up, and we don’t play with him anymore; and, sadly, gathering all of us is next to impossible.

At the age of 85, Lolo is still in good health and a bottle of liquor is still his best friend. “We would all be leaving this world, of course. We all will,” he would say.

Yes, Lolo is old now. But I still see the strength that I always saw in him during my younger days. I still see it now, even through his wrinkled skin.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/22361/lolo-the-unforgettable

 

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Steps

They’ve always been the campus’ best pair.

We call them MSUans – those extraordinary individuals whose fashion statements never go out of style. Nope. We don’t actually see their styles being featured in a well-renowned magazine nor have we seen America’s next top model ramp with their denims on. Everything is awfully smarter than that.

A typical MSUan fashion doesn’t follow much of the world’s trends. Simply because they create their own world. And though pages of the world’s fashions turn out from one to another, MSUans’ style would stand still.

The basic fashion statement of MSUans is spelled with t-shirt, shorts, and the campus’s best pair – tsinelas.

Albeit the campus is never situated to some muddy streets, students in here never get away with slippers. We see those pair of cuties being worn in the commercial center, in the corners of seventh and fifth streets, in the cold milieu of ‘Tagaytay,’ and amazingly (though may sound too disgusting for others), inside the classroom, even while taking the exams.

Perhaps, in the history of all Philippine Universities, it is only in MSU that students still religiously wear slippers matched with faded shorts (if not rolled-up pants) and three-week old shirts while attending classes. It is a headache for professors who deem formality inside their classes but at a certain point, the fashion had already been an acceptable part, and funnily a sort of requirement, of being an MSUan.

There’s no certain face of this tsinelas craze, actually. Slippers vary from the oh-so-expensive Havaianas, to the time-tested Islander, to the tatty classic Spartans. Some would be more than an inch thick. Some may even look like it has been rubbed to the surface of the earth for years. There’s the hole, the beads and the ‘tongueless’ cute little mouths of the feet. Some would even be too noisy, too creaky, too eye-enticing and even funny. There’s the floral, the kind that stepped on the beauty of the garden of Eden.

Whatever the weather may be, the pair would always come in handy. It is the best weapon in fighting the devouring waves of the fifth street. And perhaps the very reason why the clumsy gals took their disgracing falls on the slippery ways. It is the greatest fear of the cockroaches (You were too hysterical to see them flying; you haven’t noticed the slippers flew like saucers). Or – for the most poetic line, the one that would protect those little feet from the burning coldness of the floor. You can even throw them to someone you hate so much (kidding). The twin is even the commonest present one would give, come Christmas time.

To the very point of this, slippers, though we least give them value, certainly play a very significant role to the MSUans and the MSU as a whole. The wearing of it had already been a trademark; the never out-of-date fashion.

Certainly, after years of the campus’ existence, they’re still considered the best pair we ride and step on.

Truly, tatak MSUan!

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Forbidden

The man sat at the bench. Smoking.

I could see how his heart was pounding. He was thinking deeply, oblivious of the passing people, their noises and their stares. The sole of his shoe totally killed the dying light of the cigar. He lit another.

I would always remind him to quit with his vice. I know I had only a little of a convincing power. He got away with it. Not until now.

He sat there. Legs crossed. His views remained focused to nowhere. I was there; a few feet away from him. A handkerchief in the right hand. I squeezed it hard. And I almost cried.

He sat at the bench. And I sat beside him.

“The air’s freezing you should have worn a jacket.” My voice hung in the coldness of the night and of the park showered by colorful lights. My voice hung in the air. Unheard.

We sat there for a couple of minutes. Talking about nothing. No, not even talking at all. The silence was unusual. He continued smoking while I covered my nose with the hanky. The only thing I’d be keeping from him.

Sorry, he finally said. He’d thrown the stick and turned to me.

Sorry, he repeated.

I smiled and looked away. I thought the skies were crying. But I was wrong. I was the one crying.

I have always expected this thing to happen. We both were. We both knew there could always be an end.

Before we decided to see each other that night, I have already prepared myself to anything that might happen. I have heard of the talks day before. But I never heard a word from him. The questions I had were asked in silence. And that night, he also answered them in silence.

He hugged me and I could feel the warmth I have always yearned to feel.

I could feel his tears falling. That made my sob audible.

I stood up and handed him a letter. I had written the things I could never personally tell him. He stared. His tears continued to fall. I wiped mine and smiled.

Best wishes, I said without looking at him.

He reached for me and said, “I love you Miguel.

But I walked away. Saying nothing. The tears fell like it wouldn’t stop. My heart bled. It was squeezed. I ran like a child with the audible sobs.

I wanted to shout how much I love him too.

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Caprice

In the amber sand

They built their castle

With hopes at hand

With worries too little

They began to create

Their blissful dreams

With much to anticipate

From their childhood realm.

 

In the amber sand

They played along

Held each others’ hand

While singing their song

They watched the waves

Meet the shore

The beauty it gave

They thought would endure.

 

 

In the amber sand

They made their promise

And that fairyland

Was their sole witness

To be together

Was their solemn swear

From once upon a time

Till forever after.

 

In the amber sand,

She waited for him

Darkness swept the land

But he never came

She let out a cry

And tears were shed

While he went by

With words unsaid.

 

Time had come.

Time had gone.

And there he stands

In their amber sand

Full if regrets

For he didn’t forget

The girl she left

With words unsaid.

 

And there she is,

She had fully grown

Feeling complete bliss

While singing their song

She builds a castle

With worries too little

Holding some other’s hand

In the amber sand.

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Uncovered

There could be no surprising beauty than that of a hidden paradise.

The hundreds of steps were worth it.

Before I actually got to the place, I didn’t have a single clue what to imagine. Others’ words and stories were all fantastic but I also thought tongues could be exaggerated, of course. The fact that I haven’t seen the movie where KC and Sam had starred also added to my own uncertainties. I would love to see waterfalls but it never crossed my mind how magnificent the views would be.

I am not really fond of traveling, let alone visiting places from one to another but the people I’ve been with were so much filled with excitement so I thought I also have to feel the same.

There was something with the name “Tinago.” I assumed the place was merely situated in the chest of a jungle of Linamon, Lanao del Norte. But alas, it meant literally hidden. It was hidden under a long swirling stairway. I had to tire my feet and shake my knees before finally reaching the spot. And after the last step, I was welcomed with a nature’s beauty I have never seen before. I thought I was just imagining. The falls was too beautiful to be true. A paradise, indeed.

The rushing current of waters through the big rocks was so relaxing to witness. I beheld a river of blue. The milieu was simply panoramic; the kind of beauty our eyes would never want to miss.

Looking through the faces of the people who bathe themselves in there, I could see how satisfied and fulfilled they were. The sound of the current was so inviting. I have witnessed how people seemed to embrace the beauty of nature as they jump off, swim and sail through the raft while enjoying the priceless scenery. I sat on one of the big rocks facing the waterfalls and have closely seen the magnificence of it. At that moment, I still could not believe everything was true. I could not even believe I was actually feasting my eyes on a scenery from Mindanao. It seemed I have unlocked a mystery. It seemed I have never really known my place.

I know the moment was just short but everything was encompassing. I loved the beauty for beauty loved that place. I left the spot gasping – had almost my lungs pierced while climbing up the ladders. The palpitation of my heart was rhythmic with the rustle of waters that was left in my ears. It was indeed a long walk but the exhaustion was never tantamount to the experience and the actual beauty of the place. Every step was worth it.

It had been a walk too long but it had been a walk too beautiful. I will be coming back Tinago!

Knowing Sharmaine

The last time I saw her was like three years ago.

We constantly plan through text of seeing each other again. I so much wanted to hear from her how it is like to study Development Communication in the University of the Philippines – Los Baňos (one of my greatest frustrations). I miss how we would trade our books and talk on endless things about our favourite authors. Like me, she also wanted to be a journalist; this is what we always want to talk about aside from the people we have met and we would like to meet. I know how she would itch to make comments on my write-ups or talk about Sam Concepcion, of love, of places, and of people she hates on the TV.

Sharmaine Alisa Basinang is my best friend (one of them) during high school. And though we stay too far from each other now, we still find time to know what’s going on each other’s lives. We share a lot of common things. We love to write, read, and speak of things other people would never listen to. We love to critique important personalities and talk of even nonsense things like the few anime series she would watch over and over again.

I do not really remember when I last saw her but I would never forget the first time I did.

She used to be the Miss nobody-would-dare-touch during our first year in high school. The class was indeed intimidated, with her beauty perhaps. She just stayed at the corner of the classroom, scribbling something most of the time, seems creating her own very world while the rest obliviously locks their own. I remember how I never wanted to talk to her; she was not approachable. Her words were limited. Before, I thought of the folly that maybe it was because her braces sometimes cause mispronounced words. But, she was just reserved and timid – the girl who just sit straight on her place while calculatedly tossing up the bangs that would cover her eyes.

Sharmaine learned to break her shell as we went along our high school years. She was still the self-confessed Maria Clara descendant but with a few loosened screws (she knows when to fix them, of course). We could already hear her laughing over others’ cracked jokes on a small group. She learned how to disclose herself with some of our classmates and she became the Sharmaine we never thought we’d know. Most importantly, she got away with her nanny who used to be with her while we were having our classes.

She completely devastated the walls and exceeded our expectations when she started joining beauty pageants. We never thought she would join on contests like that but we were happy as her when she bagged titles. She was hailed Miss Esperanza 2007 when we were on our junior year. Months after, she joined the search for Bae Naliyagan 2008 (Miss Agusan del Sur) where she was crowned the first runner-up. During our last year in high school, she represented the school to the Search for Miss STEP (Student Technologists and Entrepreneur of the Philippines) 2008 where she bagged the title for the division and regional level and was hailed the 2nd runner-up in the national competition. A year after, she became the Mutya hong Butuan at the age of 16; her greatest achievement as she considers.

Having participated in a number of beauty pageants, she realized that she have the potential to communicate well with other people. Thus, she pursued her degree majoring in Community Broadcasting.
“I would like to pursue a field in which I could utilize this potential, not just for personal development but as well as for the advancement of the institution that I may be involved with in the future,” she said.

She believes her course would help her hone her skills in writing and broadcasting. She was a campus writer since she was in grade three. Aside from being the Editor-in-Chief from 2004 to 2005, she had also delegated twice in the National Schools Press Conference for Editorial Writing and won as Butuan City’s best feature writer on 2005. She served “The Narra,” Agusan National High School’s Official English Publication for four years as one of the Managing Editors.

I have been a witness of how well she writes. I was teary-eyed when I read her note about her father’s death.

“I had mixed emotions. Of course devastated, but I was also thankful to God for my father’s life and for allowing him to share it with me for 17 years. I accepted the fact that he’s gone; though his loss was the worst pain I have ever felt,” she said.

Sharmaine was the only daughter so it was really hard witnessing her father struggling for his last breath.

“It was excruciating to loss someone you heavily depended on but no crying or no amount of blame would bring him back,” she added.

At present, she and her mom are recovering to the demise of their home’s pillar. She wants to reach her dreams for the father he lost and for the mom she ardently treasures. With how I know her, I know she’ll land to the fulfilment of her dreams someday. She’s never just beautiful; she’s talented, intelligent, a good friend and a loving daughter.

I am looking forward to seeing her broadcasting. The braces were gone, so she wouldn’t have to fear mispronunciations, of course. She had totally come out of her shell to effectively communicate with people and foster development. She had long deserted her own world; she’s working on extending it to others’. She had completely transformed into a stronger woman now but some things never changed. She’s still the intellectual seatmate I used to know; still my best friend who’s always willing to listen.

She still believes that destiny is not a matter of chance. It is not a thing that we hope for. It is a thing that we work for.

It’s been three years since I last saw her. But now as I write this, I see her differently and realized I have never really forgotten a thing about her. Until our roads would cross again. Until then, I would never stop knowing her.

Sendong

Yapos ko ang siyang tumuldok
Sa kwentong luha ang punla
Sinadya ang katimogang sulok
Sa hudyat ng pananalasa

Hindi mabilang na patak
… ng luhang mula sinapupunan
… ng dugong naghatid sa libingan
… ng buhay na naging kabayaran

Bugso ng hangin at damdamin
Tubig na kumot sa pag-idlip
Ulang kumitl sa bawat pangarapin
Bahang lumunod sa bawat panaginip

Alam kong aking idinulot
… nabaling bagwis ng mga anghel
… di maibsang sakit at kirot
… puso at kinabukasang durog

Sa puting telang bumalot sa lupa
Pulang mantsa ay naipinta
Putik ang yumakap sa kanila
Mga taong pantay na ang paa

Lilisan at mamamaalam ako
Nahugasan ang ibabaw na mundo
Pasakit at pagkitil ng buhay
Dahilan ng paghahawak-kamay

Bahaghari’t araw matatanaw pa
Sa Maylikha tanging tumingala
Ulitin pa hindi ang kasalanan
Pagtibag niyo sa alay Niyang tahanan

 

 

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F-Perfect

I write this column under the tantrums of the sky. The clouds cry. The tears won’t seem get dry. And even if how I try to make the most poetic rhymes, this isn’t a mere Shakespearean piece delivered to a heart deserted by bliss.

This column is not mine. The words are, but the emotions are not. This column hears the silent sob amidst the deafening, despising laughter. The weak is always devoured by the mockery of the strong; faces humiliation and being pushed to the graves of condemnation. They are the rotten apples of the scrutinizing eyes – abnormal, unheard, and bullied.

With couples of eruptions in his face, James conceals the hurt inside. He blames it to the hormones that never met equilibrium. They blame it to his parents for breeding an “ugly species.” They thought everything was fine with how big his smiles were. The pain is concealed. A clown with a tomato nose also knows how to cry – with teardrops a lot copious than his pimples and people’s curses. James’ life is more than what’s written on his face. His story reveals more than the laughter he hears from people with pretty faces but crooked hearts. He also falls in love and gets rejected by the girl who always wishes for Sam Milby. And he is ugly but that doesn’t mean he isn’t beautiful. He is the boy you laugh at because he never fits to what the world considers handsome. He is the boy who had just lost the faith to himself because you made him feel so. He is bullied. And this column is his.

She is the laughing stock of the entire class. With her size, it would not be hard for one to notice her. Sadly, she considers herself to be the biggest loser, with a capital L. And Sharon Cuneta would never change others’ treatment towards her. People would always think of her eating even the plates. The kitchen is her supposed hideout. But no matter how huge she may be her heart is still frail. Insensitive fire-breathing individuals always break it. Size does not always equal strength for her pounds do not make her heart tough. She is Betsy – the fat girl you laugh at because she’s as big as the earth. She is Betsy – the big girl who had just lost the faith to herself because you made her feel so. She is bullied. And this column is hers.

He would hear them shouting he’s a child born out of soot. With a pair of ruined rubber shoes, patched faded pants, and literally holed pockets – he is so rich with people’s judgmental, swearing words. He is being looked-down by people he looks up. If poverty was a crime, he surely is behind the bars now. Loloy is being considered an outcast because he was never born with a silver spoon on his mouth. He’s impoverished and he never denies that. Being financially poor is never a sin. A poor treatment to them is. He is being looked down because he works to just finance his studies. But he never is ashamed of that. Being a working student does not make one less than being a human. And he may never had lived in a castle, but what’s inside his heart is much precious than the thousand bars of gold. He believes that no one is in higher position than anyone. After all, every one of us was born naked. That, at least, makes us all equal. He is Loloy – the boy you laughed at for having an empty pocket. He is the boy who had just lost the faith to himself because you made him feel so. He is bullied. And this column is his.

James, Betsy and Loloy have their pieces of their own stories. Sadly, we choose to cover our ears and give them not the chance of being heard, seen or felt. Our prejudices dictate they are not part of this world. And yes they are, because we let them be. People tend to just look out the garish panorama inside the rotten exterior. We are too blind to see and too numb to feel them. Everyone has his own imperfections. Our narrow minds fail to understand these.

Until when are we going to deem them as the “unfortunate” ones? When are we going to stop bullying them?

That girl you laughed at because of his mispronunciations and grammatical mistakes also try her best to be understood. That man you badly stare because of his cut legs had long struggle to walk and continue his life’s journey. That black-skinned gal with curly hair is also finding the beauty within her. The mute has something to say. Those frustrated musicians you wish you’d thrown with rotten tomatoes still have the rights to sing their hearts out. She can still write even when she lost an arm. He can still paint using his mouth. The cowardice is a soldier of his own battle. The gays are not aliens. The toothless brings the sweetest smiles. You call him stupid but he’s never an idiot. She’s just a banana cue vendor but she deserves respect. Too skinny individuals suffer from illnesses we never cared to know. They are unheeded. They’re mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood. And you never have to become Pink just to appreciate them and know they’re fucking perfect. They are all bullied. And this column is theirs.

We do not have the rights to judge them, they are not books. And Melanie Marquez may never have the eloquence and may have broken the grammatical rules. But she still made a message cross, I believe we all understand.

I have started writing this column on a starless night – when it rained cats and dogs. I started writing this with much hopes of being understood. And prayed the readers would learn a lot from this. I end this now, on a sunny morning with the same prayers and hopes. I wish that somehow through this, the clouds insides the people’s minds and the rain from the eyes of those who own this column would prevail no more. I hope to see them smiling, respected and understood even when the sun decides to set to the west.

For this column is never mine. And like the bullied individuals, this column wishes to be heard.

***

Note: This article was first published on my column “Sighed Views” @ the first semester issue of the Mindanao Varsitarian, A.Y. 2011-12.