9 Days

I still remember the feeling I had that Thursday morning when I woke up late. It was a cold rainy morning, and the moment I opened my eyes, I knew something was wrong. The day just feels so heavy, and I can’t really explain how, and what I felt. Until that very afternoon.

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To J, From R

Jorge

A tribute to a beloved friend.

I’ll miss your laugh
Our empty conversations and nonsense talks
I’ll miss that gait
Of how intimidating it was when you walk
I’ll miss our time alone
No awkward silence when we run out of words to say
I’ll miss our private jokes
About my hair and my nicknames you once gave
I’ll miss a lot of things about you
But I’ll miss the you who stood by me
When I can’t
When no one else did
I’ll miss you, Jorge
A part of me died with you
I’m not going to say goodbye
Rather, “See you soon.”

You can rest in peace now, Jorge. All the pain is gone. I’ll always cherish your stories – the ones you entrusted to me, the ones no one else knew but me. I always have regretted the pain I gave you when you didn’t deserved them. I will always feel guilty about those. I am sorry. You’ll always be a part of me because it’s only you who understood me when I shut the world out. You never left, you never did. Until now. I’ll miss you. We all would.

June 17, Part III

I wouldn’t even do the Alay Lakad if it weren’t for you. Remember when we actually planned to do it with JM and he decided to back out last minute? We actually devised another plan just for it to push through. We decided to do it by bike to solve our problem of going home. I’ve already shared to you how it’s hard for me to see in the dark even with light on yet you still managed to borrow my bike light. Remember when the two of us decided to go and leave the others behind and how it was so dark even with our lights with us because there were no street lights? I almost knocked other people down because of how blind I was that night. Remember when we waited for one another as we climbed those steep slopes because it was really a struggle? Remember when the group decided to eat at the Lugawan and you made fun of me when I told you I was on a diet after I didn’t finish my meal? Looking back, that’s our rapport as friends. We irritate one another as much as we could. That’s our friendship.

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June 17, Part II

Our long ride that last Thursday of July tested me and whether my trainings for the past weeks worked. Our route was Bitukang Manok or the Old Zigzag Road in Quezon National Forest Park. Sa Pagbilao pa lang ay pagod na ako. Akala ko ay hindi ko kakayanin ang ilang ahon. Nakailang pahinga tayo kasi sobrang nakapapagod talaga. Iba pa rin talaga kung sanay ka sa long ride. After that agonizing climb at the base of Bitukang Manok, pedaling was very stiff, we made it to the top. We were already tired so both of us got left behind by our two companions. We rested for a bit because the actual zigzag road is next for climbing but you told me that it’s much better than climbing the base. Mas madali, yan ang sinabi mo. There were two curves to climb before the beautiful view of the park but this time, it’s less stiff when you pedal so it’s not much of a struggle. Nauna kang pumadyak papunta sa unang liko at ako naman, itinulak ko na lang kasi natakot ako kasi puro bangin ang gilid ng kalsada. While we were at the first curve, you encouraged me to try because the climb is not that hard as before so going to the second curve, I did. There, we rested again, and you decided that you don’t want to proceed anymore even though we were being called by our biker friends to go to them. I was having a hard time in deciding whether I would go or stay with you. But ultimately, I did go because it was my first time going there and I want to have a good picture of the place as a remembrance of that ride. With much persuasion, sumunod ka naman sa amin sa taas.

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June 17

It’s been a year since that very first day I saw you. It’s been a year since I had my first bike ride in the Tayabas – Calumpang – Lucena route. It’s been a year since that exhausting yet satisfying bike ride when I climbed the steep slopes of Tayabas I thought I never could. I hate steep slopes especially the uphill ones. Ayoko sa mga ahon. Takot akong umakyat. Nakapapagod kasi at hindi din ako sanay pa noon. But that late afternoon ride gave me one of the best bike rides of my life. I learned how to shift gears. I learned where the best Pansit Habhab is located in Tayabas. I learned to control my speed on a downhill slope. I learned how to appreciate uphill climbs to get to the top where the best view is. I learned a lot that afternoon but the most important thing to remember is that I met you.

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The Louvre

There’s something about Lorde’s Melodrama that I can’t put my finger on. It’s been three weeks since the album came out, been on – repeat since, and still, I can’t seem to get tired of it. It’s a great body of work with each song telling its part of a story to complete the loose narrative of a night out, the metaphor Lorde used for young adulthood, and the emotions associated with it. And as I was browsing YouTube for Lorde’s performances for her set in the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, I was lucky enough to find one for The Louvre, one of the standout tracks from Melodrama.

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