Behind new bars [Poem]

This poem was prompted by Robert Peake’s prompt generator.

Prompt:

Include as many of the following words (or variations on these words) as you can: flaws, spear, guts, earlier, styrofoam, blouse, shimmer, insurance, nous, parrots

Also: Include an unusual taste

Picture for inspiration by public domain review


Crawling on its guts with its long black blouse

Absorbed in the shimmer that no eyes can see

Dangling from the ceiling of the rotten jailhouse

Tasting flawed bliss of afternoon tea


This poem is about a prisoner who killed himself in his cell. Death was the only way he could bring peace (like afternoon tea). However, suicide brings in more death, so the reaper collects him and imprisons him for his misdeeds.

P.S. I am not shaming anyone who has committed suicide or anyone who has done self-harm. Suicide does stop a person from feeling, but the sadness doesn’t disappear. It spreads. The best way to get rid of the sickness is to get medical help from an expert.

Plans for April 2 – 6

It’s the season for college entrance exam review, and the company has given us schedules for conducting classes. I have to familiarise myself with the materials they’ve given me since the company does update them every year. But since I don’t start until next week, I’m going to focus on getting my final requirements for my job applications as an EFL Teacher overseas.

One thing I don’t have is a full body photo, so I’ll definitely drop by Kodak and have my picture taken: full suit and tie. When I get a copy of it, I can sign up for jobs through the company I where I trained for the TEFL.

Then, I have to get the Professional Civil Servant ID that I’ve been waiting for since 2015. After that, I’ll drop by Ateneo to get requirements for transferring there. Once I get the requirements, I’ll have to go to La Salle, get my alumni card (which I lost for the third time) and get other requirements for transferring universities.

I’ll also keep practising my Nihongo. By the end of the week, I should be able to read all the hiragana characters. I’m not gonna push myself too fast to learn this on my own, but I still need to be consistent.

Hopefully, I can fulfil all my goals for this week and not have to carry them over next week.

What are you looking forward to this week? Tell me in the comment section below!

The Almost Dropout

This essay is inspired by The Learning Network’s prompt Do Other People Care Too Much About Your Post-High School Plans? and the Opinion piece by Elisabeth Egan titled Stop Asking About My Kid’s College Plans.


I’m pretty sure I posted about my homeschool on my blog some years back, but just in case no one can find that post (I certainly can’t), I’ll talk about it again.

Egan talks about her and her daughter’s stress from graduating high school and going to college. One major difference between Egan’s experience and mine is that kids in America are pushed to leave home after high school. The major problem as Egan explains:

Both conversations — college and driving — are stand-ins for the real subject that’s keeping us up at night: Our kids are leaving home in a year. No more books all over the table, no more late-night cups of tea. I don’t want to spend our remaining time obsessing about where my daughter is going to college. Except for the tuition (deep breath), the destination is beyond my control.

Most Filipino families have their kids live with them probably until the kids get married or if they go work overseas (which is what I’m hoping for). There’s only one reason why Filipinos stay with their parents: salaries are too low. I don’t want to talk about low salaries since that would be another essay. I’m just explaining why kids don’t leave their parents after high school.

In my case, my high school experience was completely different. For one thing, I was in a homeschooling program. I still reported to a school. The only difference is that I was handed piles of modules and had to teach myself the lessons then take the tests in school. The other thing is that my family was in shambles (arguably it still is), so I didn’t care much about my studies. I didn’t have much support coming from my parents especially my father. No emotional support. My mother’s support is lacking as always. I mean, I’ve always wanted my family to be better, but I can’t do anything about it. I didn’t care about anything. I felt numb. Thinking about it now, I was depressed. My parents did this to me.

I was so close to dropping out and just calling it quits, permanently. There was nothing that could have inspired me to push forward. Then one day, it came. I was handed the large green envelope from De La Salle University-Manila. I got in a university. Seeing that envelope was like a spotlight washing out the darkness that shrouded over me.

I immediately made a tally of the subjects that I haven’t finished: 2 subjects from my junior year and all subjects in my senior year. I basically had to compress my entire senior year in four months. Yes, that includes P.E. and thesis. That was one of the most stressful times in my life.

I got into DLSU, and I thought it would be smooth sailing from there. O! How I was wrong! I was very wrong.

Unexpected Inspiration

I just came from a teacher’s training seminar on Mind Mapping and Speed Reading. This is the third time I went through this training. We teachers at the company needed to do this since college entrance exam season is coming up, and the company decided to change the format of the lesson plans a bit. We were tasked to make a mind map of happiness, and I naturally did a mind map of working and living in Japan. That was pretty much the highlight of the training. I also noticed that there was a guy beside me practising his Japanese, and I was a bit jealous of that. Good on him though!

What was surprising for was that he came up to me as I was leaving. He asked me if I was interested in Japan, and I said that I was. So we talked a lot about why we wanted to go to Japan. He was interested in becoming interpreter or translator then, later on, develop a good Filipino-English dictionary app. Apparently, the Filipino dictionaries here in the Philippines are not as good as English dictionaries or even Japanese dictionaries.

This person was a man of language. He studied for his JLPT N5 on his own and got it! He didn’t need an aid of a class or anything. If he could do it, then I could do it. So starting today, I’m going to brush up on my Japanese and eventually sign up for the JLPT N5. I hope I can do it by the end of the year. Wish me luck!

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.