Not Gone

Not Gone

Today marks my grandmother’s 71st birthday and I still miss her every now and then. She passed when I was twelve.

Sometimes I’d wonder how life would have been like if she had lived longer—would we be sharing the same room until now? Would she still watch over me at night when I have a burning fever? Would she still have listened to stories of the boys I’ve loved and broke my heart?

Every year, I remember her on her birthday with longing. If only to hug her one more time. If only to seek counsel. If only to tell her how much I love her and how her loss still cripples me with a pain I’ve always been trying to ease all these years.

Today marks my grandmother’s 71st birthday and it’s been almost eleven years since she passed. She’s not gone. Not completely. For she and her memories remain to walk with my heart.

I miss you, Nanay. Happy birthday.

Now they’ll walk on my arm through the distant night
And I won’t let them stray from my heart
Through the wind, through the dark, through the winter light
I will read all their dreams to the stars

I’ll walk now with them
I’ll call on their names
And I’ll see their thoughts are known
Not gone, not gone

They walk with my heart

Book Review: “…Then What?” by Kella Roberts

51wMigxzFCL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“…Then What?”: 350+ Random First Lines, (already thought up so you don’t have to) by Kella Roberts
Available on Amazon

How often have you thought of The Greatest Idea Ever, only to find defeat inside a blank page? That dreaded first line stymies every author at some point or another. These pages are filled with random first lines, ranging in point-of-view, subject, and tension. This is a creative writing prompt book for those writers who need a gentle push… or a piano dropped on their heads!

Every fiction writer has their own process of putting their ideas into words. Most people would think that if a writer already has all the details he or she would need to write a story then writing it down wouldn’t be much of a problem anymore. While that might be the case for some, a lot of writers are still faced with having to find the Perfect First Line for their story. Read More

Book Review: The ABCs of Hand Lettering by Abbey Sy

Hand lettering and calligraphy seems to be all the rage these days among art enthusiasts and aspiring artists like me, most especially among the network of people that I follow on Instagram.

Read More

PLAY IT FORWARD: A Campaign for Theatre Enthusiasts Everywhere!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post nor am I in any way affiliated with The Sandbox Collective and its staff or the cast of NO FILTER. I am merely a theatre enthusiast myself, who’d like to open doors to anyone who would like to witness the magic of the performing arts.

The Sandbox Collective is “an experimental and multimedia Manila-based performing arts group powered by a curiosity and sensibility to explore and develop new, groundbreaking and cutting-edge theatrical work.” They are relatively new among all the other performing arts group in Manila and I have had the experience of watching Dani Girl last year, which was coincidentally the collective’s first production.

NO FILTER: A monologue series by Millenials for Millenials about Millenials

NO FILTER: Let’s Talk About ME, an original monologue series by Millenials for Millenials about Millenials

Starting July 25 to August 2 this year, The Sandbox Collective will be showing an original monologue series, NO FILTER: Let’s Talk About ME, a monologue series by Millenials for Millenials about Millenials. It features a series of monologues and multimedia performances to explore anything and everything millenial.

The Sandbox Collective also aims to make great threatre available to a wide range of audiences in the Philippines which is why they came up with a campaign called PLAY IT FORWARD to realize that goal.

Their primary goal is to be able to raise AT LEAST Php 18,000 to provide an opportunity for thirty public school students to watch their upcoming production. To drive the campaign, they are offering donors who donate at least Php 500 a signed poster from the cast of NO FILTER, while donors who donate at least Php 1,000 will get not only a signed poster from the cast, but also two unique passes to a backstage tour prior to their matinee performance on July 26. Very sweet deals for a couple of bucks, don’t you think? 😉

I haven’t finalized the date on when I’ll be seeing the show as their debut weekend is the same weekend I have overtime work (awwwww), but I absolutely can’t wait to see what this show’s about! 😀

For more information about the campaign and how you can send in your donations, you may refer to the infographic below:



I’m Still Right Here and I Haven’t Given Up

This was written last August on one of my other blogs somewhere but I decided to post this here now because it’s something I want to share to the public.

Old photo from 2008

I started dreaming of becoming a writer when I was ten or eleven years old.

Ever since I started reading the Harry Potter series, I have always been amazed at how JK Rowling was able to create such a magnificent wizarding world that she can call her own. At how with just the wave of her imagination and with the flick of her wrist she was able to write seven books about Harry Potter and even now she is still able to supplement the world she has created with bits and pieces here and there with her companion stories.

I wanted to achieve what she has achieved. I wanted to be that kind of person—to be able to create and write a universe or setting or a story that I can call mine. To engage readers into reading something I had written.

And while I ended up with a different career path after more than a decade since I had dreamed the dream, the dream of seeing my name in the front cover of a book I had written is still here.


My life has been a continuous Ferris wheel ride. Sometimes I enjoy the upward motion and revel in the beauty and bliss given by small achievements. But then I start to dread the impending pull of gravity and how its downward pull is enough to make me feel sick to my stomach. All the small achievements would be forgotten in that one quick swoop of downward motion not until I find myself at the top once again.

It’s not always the same. Sometimes the journey to the top feels as if I can be suspended on air for so long and enjoy the majestic view from the top, but some other times I can’t even completely enjoy the journey to the top because before I know it I am already being dragged downward. It’s a vicious cycle that I can’t seem to get myself out of. It’s like no matter what I do, I would always find myself down there, lost in the abyss of setbacks and insecurities.


I am a worrier. I worry that I am no good. I worry that I lack imagination. I worry that I lack knowledge. I worry that I do not have anything important to say. I worry that no one will ever take the time to read or listen. And it’s usually the worrying that’s keeping me from achieving something. Because before I even start fighting or struggling for something, all the worry just gets to me that I don’t even give myself the chance to try and do. And I end up with just a bunch of run-on sentences, incomplete drafts of journal entries, and unfinished ideas or stories.

This worrying and all the insecurities accompanying it is something that I have always been trying to keep at bay. Sometimes my will to feel okay enough wins; some other times I get in a rut that I lose the spark.


Today I was reading a book by Christopher Gutierrez and I chanced upon the words that was enough to push me into writing this journal entry. It was a struggle considering that I have been writing this for about four hours now and yet here I still am with enough will to finish this.

It took a while for me to find the voice in me that I wanted to be heard, to figure out what it was exactly that I wanted to express, but now it only comes to this:

I don’t want to hide behind my worries, my fears, and my insecurities. I don’t want to live a life of half-assed trying and maybes.

I want to fight strong. I want to just do. I want to finish.

Though my heart may be dented and rusted by heartaches and failures, I will keep trying because like Christopher Gutierrez said, it is not about being good; it’s about wanting to be good. And wanting to be good is enough push to actually be good because if you don’t at least want it, then you’re not going anywhere. And I want this. Goddamnit, I want it. And I won’t stop wanting it until I become it.

Maybe you will become successful, maybe not.
Maybe you will have the ability to live off your talents, maybe not.
Maybe you will feel embarrassed, maybe not.
Maybe people will tell you that you’re no good, irresponsible and unrealistic.
But who cares.

What the haters fail to realize that it’s not about being good.
It’s about WANTING to be good.
What the detractors and critics, unsupportive friends and anonymous commentors will never realize is that we have found something that makes our lives shine. That there is something we were born with that withers away and dies and leaves us old and rusted if it is not constantly watered from time to time with the creative spirit. That we may not have been born pretty or talented and sheltered from so many of life’s speedbumps by the fruits of our parents’ successes but that at the end of the day, we still paint.
We write.
We listen.
We help.
We hug.
And most of all, we create.
We give back to this world. A world where most people take and act like they deserve more.

— Hard Feelings: Selected Works 2009 – 2013 by Christopher Gutierrez