photo by IAN CARLO L. ARIAS
ON DAYS when I would go to school, I would look at the towering walls adorned with patterns of spikes and stones. They undoubtedly made me feel like the campus was a safe space where I was impenetrable. Outside these walls, however, were people who did not have the privilege of being secured by the unbreakable defense that I have always been surrounded by.
They are exposed to the punishingly hot rays of the sun and unforgiving downpour of rain, as well as the toils of hard work during the day and the threats hidden under the veil of the night. On the nights that I would lay down on my soft, comfortable bed, my heart would warp when I remember that those people have to lie down beside the cobblestone-patterned walls as they pray that they, too, could feel safe and secure someday. F ADRIAN PAUL L. TAÑEDO