Found then Lost

When I graduated from university in 2014, I was filled with ambitions and goals to destroy a particular person. Being fueled by anger and rage isn’t really a viable source of energy. I burnt out. I had nothing and no one to hang onto, so I fell into a hole. After struggling for a year, I met some interesting people in a café near my place. Since my mother was a pain in the ass (she still is), I kept going back to them. First, they became close acquaintances because we talked about coffee. They got me to convert to speciality coffee rather than drinking shitty Starbucks coffee. From there, we talked about things that you would normally hear in a café in Europe like philosophy, economics, religion, literature, sociology, politics, etc.

From acquaintances, we became friends who asked about each others’ day or life. We gave each other encouragements and laughs. We’d talk for hours and hours about work, family, and university. It was like that for so many months until finally, I thought of them as a family.

Coming from a shitty family with shitty parents and no siblings, they were the closest thing I had to a family. We would care for each other. Truly care for each other. If something bad happened at home, they would come to the café to seek comfort. Heck, that was my reason why I kept going there every day. I would be there from the time they’d open to the time they’d closed. It was then that I realised three things about a family. You are either born into a family, make your own family, or find a new family.

I found a new family, and I was really happy that I did.

Then, something happened. The energy in our group became less and less. And, fewer and fewer people were coming back. Until one day, the café closed. Without a home, the family was cast away like evicted people on the streets. I saw them less not because it was difficult to see them (it was relatively easy) but because I didn’t know where they were hanging out.

After months of hiatus, the old café was declared bankrupt, and a new café would take its place. I was excited to see all of my old friends. I was excited to get that old life back. I was excited to have my family back again. But there was one thing that I didn’t take into account.

Time moves forward and so do the people with it. It was naive of me to think that nothing would change. It was childish to think that people would wait for me. During the hiatus, my friends were still in touch with each other. I, on the other hand, drifted further from them. And to top it all off, I had gotten incredibly ill. I had to stay at home for a month just to regain my strength.

My absence from everyone drove me away from them, and I just didn’t know how to catch up. I couldn’t tell them to wait for me because what kind of a dickbag friend would I be if I did?

I came to the new cafe every day as always. But then, staying there for hours on end became painful and uncomfortable. Everyone was closer with each other, and it felt like I was back at square one.

What really drove a stake through my chest was how friendly everyone was to this new girl. She achieved a level of friendliness that I never could, and she did that in the few months she knew everyone. I knew everyone for two years, and I still felt like an outsider.

As the months passed, my visiting hours at the cafe dwindled. I used to be there every night. The cafe would be packed with the regulars, and they’d share laughs and stories. Now, just being in the same room with all of them makes me feel small.

So, I started to slip away as naturally as I could. From every day to every other day, to every two days, to every five days, to every week. Now, once every two weeks.

I don’t even visit at night because I know everyone would be there, so I go as early as I can. The cafe is practically empty at opening hours save for the barista or the co-owner. Sometimes, I only go there if someone asks me when I’m not busy or if I have no coffee at home.

I feel much better now that I spend less time with them. Having my own bag of beans and coffee making equipment at home saves me tons of money. It’s also a good reason not to visit the cafe. I have lost those friends as my family, but I fell in love with a girl. Those friends of mine can’t give me what my girlfriend gives me, so I’m happy.

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Living in a Limbo

For the past two weeks, my emotional and mental state have been driven into the dirt. Everyday for the past two weeks, I’ve been battling my depression and anxiety, and I’ve been telling myself that I still have a chance.

For the past two weeks, I’ve had possible signs of cancer. I thought I had bacterial infection. I took antibiotics for a week, but I didn’t improve. In fact, these lumps have spread even more. I took another kind of medicine, but it still didn’t work.


I listened in to a conversation between my friends, and they said that one of their friends had a similar condition to me. I didn’t want to chime in, so I just acted disinterested. They talked about how he might also have cancer and how much the chemotherapy would cost (it’s around Php1.6M).

Hearing how much it cost instantly shattered me. I was breaking on the inside. I couldn’t tell my friends what was happening to me. I don’t know why. I just shut down.

With that amount of money, it would put my family in poverty. I have no health insurance or a health care plan. Even if my family would be able to pay, my future would be ruined by it. The worst case scenario would be that I would die because I couldn’t fully pay for the treatment, and my family will be more broken and live in poverty.

I could die before I reached my 28th birthday.

I left my friends and immediately went home. I was having an anxiety attack. I felt Death coming to take me, and I was mortified. I have so many things to do in life, and I began to regret not doing them anytime sooner. I began to regret teaching because it didn’t earn me much, nor did it give me a solid health care plan.

Then I talked to the person who has kept me grounded for the past two weeks. She brings me happiness. She gives me clarity. Without her, my anxiety and depression would have taken me. She doesn’t know, but she’s my lighthouse in this hurricane. Just like a boat anchored to the seafloor, I can’t ever let her go.


Also, I had a fine needle biopsy, so I’ll know between 3-5 days what my fate will be.

Dazed and Confounded

It’s been a while since my last post, eh? Life’s been a blaze like a zombie on fire: stunned and confused, yet knew exactly what to do although never knowing how to execute it.

This’ll be a short one, so I’ll cut straight to the chase. I’ve been having nightmares every night for the past week.

Usually, I can immediately catch myself in a dream, and I could sometimes ride along it. However these nightmares have been working me to the bone. I wake up thinking they’re real, and each one involves some sort of terrible life changing experience.

Most of the nightmares are like recurrences of my some parts of my life, but the anxiety intensity has been cranked to a nine. What’s more intriguing is that my mother is always involved. I never dream about my mother, so you can see why I would think that these hellish episodes were documentaries and not some wicked M. Night Shaymalan fiction flicks.

I’m beginning to think that my anxiety is attacking my unconsciousness. I’ve been a bit on edge for the past few weeks, and this could be a manifestation of it. Why my mother is involved, I will never know.

Hopefully I can sleep tonight without freaking the fuck out.

Weekly Schedule

I’ve been posting each day since I upgraded to a Personal Plan. One looming feeling I’ve had was my pace in writing. I have prompts, but not all prompts are that good. Plus, I don’t want to use up all my good prompts in less than a month. So, I’ve come up with a schedule to help inspire me to write.


Monday

Every Monday, I’ll be posting a poem to start off the week. For some reason, Mondays just feel like a good day for something creative.

Tuesday

Tuesday will be for my opinionated posts and prompts. Some Tuesday posts will be reactions to Monday’s news. Most of the news comes out on Mondays, so I’ll pick one that fancy and react to it.

Wednesday

Wednesdays will be for short stories. I’ve always seen myself as a pseudo writer haha! Ha…

Thursdays

My love for Japan has no bounds (actually there is), so Thursdays are dedicated for all things Japanese: my progress in studying Japanese, my progress in job hunting as an EFL teacher, news from Japan, music, TV shows maybe, etc.

Friday

Friday will be regular blog day. I’ll blog about what I did throughout the week and maybe blog about things from the past. Who knows?

Saturday

Every Saturday, I would wrap up what happened on the website. Saturdays would basically be a weekend roundup of the past week. I’ll also see if I was able to finish all the things I set myself to do the Sunday before.

Sunday

Every Sunday, I’ll write about my plans for the coming week. What sort of goals I’ve set myself. Who I’ll meet. What I’ll do. That sort of thing.


I hope this schedule will allow me to grow as a writer. Setting restrictions actually challenge people to think outside the box. Speaking of a challenge, I’ll try to limit myself to 5 paragraphs at most per website entry. If I can’t get the message across in 5 paragraphs, I probably need to work on my writing.

Plus, I won’t be following this schedule to a tee since I could get a burst of inspiration and feel like publishing it on that day would be more appropriate.

What Is It like to Grow up in the Philippines?

Before you get into this entry, let me eradicate your expectation. This isn’t some puff piece of how I felt growing up here in the Philippines (if you really want to read something like that, you can read one of my entries). This is about what it’s like growing up under President Duterte. When I came up with this idea, I didn’t want this to become a political piece. I also don’t want to use theories and ideas from Political Science since this is not what this site is for. Of course, I won’t spurt out baseless ideas without facts.

This essay was inspired by The Learning Network’s prompt: Is It Harder to Grow Up in the 21st Century Than It Was in the Past? There is also an Opinion piece written by David Brooks titled A Generation Emerging From the Wreckage. You should give that a read as well since that helped me frame my mind for this entry. And if you don’t know about President Duterte, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published The Duterte Administration: Year in Review. It’s not a complete picture, but it’s a great place to start.


All things I say are purely my opinions and my observations, but I will never make assumptions based on nothing. So to answer the title, it’s very frustrating and extremely disappointing to be growing up in this regime. When people vote for a person, they place trust in that person and the institution to lift people’s standard of living (in my personal opinion, the standard of living is what all governments of the world should focus on improving). However, I don’t see that happening with Duterte’s administration. When he was still running for president, I was actually still hopeful of the change he promised. He’s definitely known for wielding an iron fist, but I thought that discipline could be a good wakeup call for all politicians. In fact, I even wrote a paper on it.

One of the earliest blunders of Duterte was the campaign of War On Drugs (read the latest article* from the Inquirer and Rappler). This campaign was supposed to “clean” the Philippines of drugs, but it has set a veil of fear over the population. No one knows who’s going to die next. It could be someone we know like a friend or a neighbour. Small-time drug dealers and unfortunate innocents get shot without prejudice, yet alleged big game drug lords are getting some form of special treatment (read the articles from Inquirer, CNN Philippines, and Rappler).

So there’s a state of fear, anger, uncertainty, mistrust, and disappointment. But I think what’s most frustrating is that people are now afraid to speak out since there’s a possibility of being shot. Last year, Ateneo de Manila University had a rally outside the campus calling to stop the extrajudicial killing, but they were met with a police car with no license plate (read the article on The Guidon and The Inquirer).

One paragraph of Brooks’ essay actually does ring true to the young generation of the Philippines:

The students spent a lot of time debating how you organize an effective movement. One pointed out that today’s successful movements, like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, don’t have famous figureheads or centralized structures. Some students embraced these dispersed, ground-up and spontaneous organizations. If they flame out after a few months, so what? They did their job. Others thought that, no, social movements have to grow institutional structures if they are going to last, and they have to get into politics if they are going to produce any serious change.

In my previous post, I talked about why I had low political participation, but I guess I forgot to mention the dangerous environment where free speech could be seen as a weapon against the government. But there are young individuals like Sarah Elago who has gotten into politics, and I can’t wait to see what kind of change she can bring. I guess I should add ‘being hopeful’ as one of the answers to my main question.