EACH AND every person that we meet in our lives ignites different kinds of sentiments within us. Some people are so dazzlingly bright that their flames envelop you in cordial warmth, changing your life forever. They are those who look like they belong in a colorful, baroque painting whose radiance bellows kaleidoscopes of auburn, yellow, orange, and red.

A lot of us knew a person whose flames guided many in the labyrinth of the days and the umbrage of the nights. We had thanked that kind flame for acting as our warden towards our own growth as little flames. We had entrusted him to embodiments of success and power that shone as bright as the sun to nurture him, to help him illuminate even more paths of the oppressed people that reside in the darker parts of town.

However, he got too close to scorching fires that swallowed him whole. What he got were not amiable bonds or warm kindred relationships, but rather punishments that left burn marks on his body. He was a candle that was snuffed out.

Up until now, the scent of that snuffed out candle has not left our noses. It haunts us like the ember that candle used to ignite in us, and what remains is the smell of smoke waltzing beside us along with the warmth that the candle has left. ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO

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