Napuno ng kantahan at tawanan ang sala ng aming bahay. Habang hawak ko ang gitara ay masayang nakisabay ang aking mga kaibigan. Matagal na akong hindi nakatutugtog kaya't lubos kong ikinagalak nang dalhin ito ni Rj upang magpaturo sa akin. Tila ba'y matagal nang hinahanap-hanap ng aking kalooban ang mga notang dati ay araw-araw kong pinaglalaruan. Natigil ang aming tugtugan nang dumating ang aking nanay na may dalang isang pitchel ng orange juice. Matapos niyang ilapag ito sa mesa, naisipan niyang banggitin sa mga maiingay at magugulong kong kaibigan ang aking “music phases” noon. Alam kong magiging katuwaan nila ito kaya't laking tuwa ko nang maudlot ang kaniyang kwento dahil sa pagtunog ng telepono. Hindi ako nagkamali sa pag-iisip na ako'y kanilang aasarin pagkaalis ni nanay
Natigilan siya. Sa paligid, tahimik din ang buong gubat. Mistulang nakatitig ang mga puno, gaya ng lalaki. Sapagkat sa harap niya, umuusbong na ang bulaklak. Nanumbalik sa utak niya ang mga sabi-sabi. “Mala-perlas ang mga mata nila, kasingpula ng makopa ang mga labi,” kwento ng isang matanda. "Iyong mga nakabingwit doon, masarap ang buhay— hindi na bumabalik," bulong ng isang lalaki. "Kasi ‘yong mga babae rito, kulang sa biyaya!" “Sa kalagitnaan ng gubat...” Sinapawan ang mga boses ng lumalakas na pintig ng kaniyang puso. Bawat pulang talulot ng bulaklak ay unti-unti nang bumubukadkad. Sa kasukdulan ng pagbuka, biglang nabalot ng liwanag ang paligid. Nang muling makakita, tumahip ang kaniyang dibdib. Mula sa tangkay ng rosas, nakatayo ang isang babae; map
Eaya was physically drained from her harsh conditioning as she strengthened her body for the game. As she sluggishly reached her bag, the fatigue weakened her grip on the strap, making the bag slip through her hand. She immediately tidied each item back into her bag. As she picked her things under the bench, she was greeted by a photo that encapsulates the memory of her father by her side on one of her basketball games. Eaya settles into a bench as she reminisces of the days that caused the many changes in her life. She pictures her father’s enthusiastic attendance as he never let the dates of her matches slide through his mind. When Eaya provides a successful shot, he would gleefully leap out of his seat to acknowledge her feat. If melancholy subsides her after a loss, her f
Today, a memory of my lover Resurfaces, breathes. Her soul awakens, alive within the corners Of a picture. I hold its edges, pinched Between my wrinkled fingertips, I used to touch hers with. At the sight of her image, I hear my heart Its raucous beating piercing through the silence, Enveloping me along with the shadows of grief. Darkness intensifies as I recall How her presence surpassed sunshine, but now lingers no more. She was a time traveler, or so she proclaimed, As her delicate fingers roamed the buttons Of her camera, her treasure. She captured Moments, time, the mundane, the most special, The unnecessary— everything, except for me. This I questioned over and over, Bothered by such oddness.
I pinch one edge and turn it for the hundredth time. It lingers like dust on my fingers: the skyward roller coaster rush of the plot, building butterflies, then coiling my gut into tangles. This tale's peak was chapters ago but the calm descent— perhaps the next page. I bask in the blinding gleam of clashing muddles. This apex has become linear; the rusting wheels only dawdle and the sprightly wings have wilted, now crumbling in its antiquity. This tale’s life flatlined long ago but I breathe for it— the resolve somewhere. Until then, the dust will stay unwashed as I pinch the edges and turn it in the hopes that after the last page, it would find its rest on the top
FRANCES MARIE G. IGNALAGA/ The Flame She laid on her bed as the monotonous voice from the recorded lecture filled her silent room. At this point, she could no longer make sense of her professor's words as exhaustion began to weigh her down. She stared blankly at the ceiling, letting her thoughts drift about in that darkly lit room. She could barely remember what motivation felt like. Back then, she was always eager for what was to come. But now, the future no longer seemed as bright as it used to be. As she turned away from the ceiling, her eyes hovered over the shelf filled with books she no longer desired to read. They stood among various trinkets of memories she kept all these years: a jar of decorative rocks, an unopened deck of tarot cards, a badly sculpted bar made of soap, ...
The summer heat urged me to steal as it continuously made sweat trickle down my back. As the raging ball of fire governed the skies, its rays hit the enticing bottle of Sprite that was perched on the counter of the sari-sari store across the street. I could not help but be drawn to it. Daydreaming about the fizzy drink’s sweet taste made the bottle seem to gradually inch towards me as it effortlessly pulled my gaze. My thirst needed quick quenching, and the longer I stared at the Sprite bottle from afar, the more stealing plans I devised. Unfortunately, my scheming halted at the sight of Paolo, my long-time rival. He arrived panting on his bicycle at the far end of the street while clutching a woman’s purse— his snatch of the day, perhaps. Even from the distance, I sensed Pao
At first it bleeds so stridently— the ink in steady flow, unfettering the hushed blooming pain, extricating uncertain masked breaths. I guess enormous blades can carve the most imperceptible scars but through smudged sentence edges and uncarefully spun words, my paper mirrors perceive even ill-lit depths. Then time flew too swiftly, flipping pages ahead, past a year on the same chapter with a veiled end. So now it dries progressively— the pen wilts though half-full, declaring all senses paralyzed, tolerating vague tomorrows. I guess time-worn wounds can harden though devoid of any healing but through the lingering hand and unornamented white leaves, my paper mirrors behold even h
Behind the stack of boxed action figures and bright-colored balls was a small-framed woman, not the kind that you would pity at first glance, but the kind you would not notice at all. Old Marites sat patiently on a small stool, fanning herself with her clammy hands. She tucked the gray fringes of hair behind her ears to alleviate the bugging, humid heat. Marites scanned the nook of every shelf in her stall. She released a long, spiritless sigh. “Not a toy sold today, huh.” She sprung up from her seat and unfastened the ropes of a make-shift umbrella made of tattered tarpaulin. “Maybe tomorrow,” she muttered to herself. As she drew the covers together, she felt the seams of her shirt being tugged. Her gaze traveled down her side to a slim, bright-eyed boy. She crouched down to meet t
Hirap na hirap si Aida sa pagtulak ng kaniyang shopping cart patungo sa Aisle #5. Kalahating oras na lamang ang natitira bago matapos ang kaniyang shift at naatasan siyang mag-restock ng ilang produkto. Nagpaparamdam na ang sakit ng katawan ngunit pinapaalala na lamang niya ang oras sa sarili upang siya ay ganahan. Wala siyang nakasalubong na mamimili kaya’t dumiretso na siya sa pwesto ng mga instant noodles. Pagdating doon ay agad niyang sinimulan ang pagsalansan sa mga ito. Hindi pa niya natatapos ang kaniyang ginagawa nang nakarinig siya ng malakas na pagbagsak ng mga lata sa sahig. Paglingon niya sa pinanggalingan ng tunog, namataan niya ang isang babaeng nagpupulot ng mga nahulog na lata. Agad niya itong nilapitan. Tutulong na sana siya sa pagbalik ng mga lata sa kanilang