Baguio Lights

No one sees the monster as she sees it.

Advertisements

Katherine Katy Kate was an unappreciated  person who walks alone, sits alone, go home to her dorm alone, eats alone, and was happy alone. She was a quiet girl who did not bother anyone. Her life was simple. During Tuesdays to Fridays she would go to school and try to live up the expectation of being a student of the University of the Philippines and during weekends she would do her homeworks. These was her life ever since college started and she has to leave everything she grew up knowing and accustomed with even her family. She has little to do for friends. She doesn’t have many and those she has was only because of group works and was mostly an acquaintance relationship. But that was fine. It really was. She was that kind of person.  

Baguio was so different from the flat landscapes she grew up in. No longer was the street shadowed by skyscrapers but By the misty green canopies of the pine trees’ treetops. And the air no longer tingled with heat but of a heavenly luxurious cold. It was like being in a new country. Katherine learned to enjoy walking in Baguio as she was a person who appreciated the picturesque views Baguio offers. Sure, most of the city has been urbanized but still, it was nothing compared to other cities in the lowlands. But Katherine’s favorite spot was an open-view of a mountain side in the street going to her dorm. Only a foot tall metal railing stood as the boundary between the cliff and her. It was the most beautiful spot possibly in all creation. She would wake up at five in the morning and walk a ten seconds walk to that place and witness how the mountain side twinkle with those distant house lights that looked like orange and white stars embedded on. Baguio lights. It was a sight unappreciated and ignored by many. Most people have no time to get lost in that beautiful misty view. And Katherine was happy because she was one of this person who heard the call of those mountain side lights. It was also there that she first saw her monster. A dark figure who looked terrifyingly like her except it was crying blood and was staring at her. Katherine was soon to be followed everywhere by that monster. Before she goes to bed, the monster would float in front of her and she would see nothing but that monster and she would feel it’s bloody tears wet her face. 

“Are you alright, Katherine?” Her roomate would ask and Katherine would always reply “Dust in my eyes.” Even when she’s in the bathroom the monster would follow her and it would yell things that made Katherine not want to get out of the bathroom. But life pushed on. Forceful. Heavily. In class, her monster would often sit with her and Katherine would try to tell everyone that the monster is attacking her but she seemed fine and most people did not care. Katherine tried to call her parents and tell them about the monster so they agreed to travel to Baguio and they saw the monster. Katherine was not sure if they really saw the monster as what it really looked like because they were more sad than frightened it was then that Katherine realized the true horror: no one saw the monster as she sees it. No one understood. Before leaving, her parents gave her hugs and kisses that the monster blocked and they left her with the monster. One night, Katherine walked to the spot. The mountain stars were vividly and psychedelically vibrant. Like stars with scars that glimmered in an abyss’s  mouth. Katherine stepped forward, the gusts of cold wind kissing her entire soul. She felt the monster drag her closer to the cliff. She didn’t fight back. She watched as the lights of Baguio became larger and larger ever so vibrant every step. She watched those lights.  Will-‘o-the-wisps.

 God’s heart. 

Ghosts. 

Souls.

 Stars. 

“Do you trust me?” Her monster asked. 

“I don’t.” Katherine replied. 

She stepped closer and closer until she closed her eyes. And at the moment her eyes closed she was sure she’s going to join those beautiful unappreciated glimmers. For the last thing Katherine Katy Kate ever saw was not black but light.

God bless

Man is good.

In a gloomy December day, God decided to go to Starbucks and order a Hot Chocolate Frappe. He was wearing a mortal vessel as to not kill anybody with His divinity and to not draw attention to Himself. God just lost His Son and traded his throne for a creation who disowns Him. Things are not well if it was a man to look at things. God wept. 

“Are you alright mister?” The lady in the bar asked. 

God nodded. “I’m just thinking.” 

“It’s a hard life.” The girl said as she gave God’s order over to another barmaid.

 “It’s not supposed to be.” God said reminiscing the day He made Adam and Eve. 

“Yeah.” The girl absently said as she wiped off the dust on the counter. “But there are worst things than this life.”

 “Like?” God asked. 

“People. People who blame things on fate, destiny, a god.” The girl looked at God straight in the eye 

“Like, get a grip! You can’t live a life full of blame. Yet again, you can’t blame them.” The girl shrugged and chuckled. “I’m sorry sir. Stress is getting to me I guess” 

“Oh, it’s alright. I like small talks. It doesn’t happen often as before.” God said in all honesty. He was pleased with the lady. The lady grabbed God’s order from the barmaid and uncapped a pen. 

“Name, sir?” The lady asked. 

God looked at the girl. Her beautiful green eyes so vibrant on that equally dazzling dark complexion of hers. And it reminded Him of good things.

 “God.” God simply said. “My name is God.”

 The girl stared at Him for a second only. Bowed her head, and carefully wrote, with a capital ‘G’, the word: God. She smiled and handed God His hot chocolate frappe. And before standing up to leave the shop, God heard the greatest and most heart-warming words He had ever heard. For no one ever said it to Him. “God bless, God.” The lady said with all sincerity. Not expecting anything in return. Not wishing for anything to happen. God smiled that day. A smile He never did in all of eternity. 

Man is good.

Infatuated Human

Arf.

 I watched Nicolai grow up. His parents got me for his 4th birthday and I have been there ever since. I was there to witness his first steps, I was there when he was a curious babe and I had to place things away from him. I was there when he first entered school, how hard it is for me not to eat his school snacks everytime he dropped it on the floor. How I would walk him to the bus stop and how I would wait for him to return every coming of sunset. When he was a bit older, he started taking me to the park, patiently teach me tricks. I was there to protect him from a group of bullies that I chased around the neighborhood, and I was there when I met my replacement. He was in highschool and all of a sudden, I watch him abandon his video games to hold chocolates and flowers. I watched him take off his printed shirts to wear a stupid tuxedo and a stranggling necktie. I tought it was all for me– but I’m not allowed chocolates. It was for a thing they call ‘girl’. That ‘girl’ became a friend and that friend became a ‘girlfriend’. And I soon shared everything with this girl. The couch, the house, the park, the backyard, and most importantly, Nicolai. I hated it. I hated her. And during my first weeks of meeting her, I would yell at her and she’d get scared. Nicolai had to threaten me that he’ll chain me up if I did not keep quiet. So I accepted that girl. And I tought ‘What could  man’s bestfriend have against man’s girlfriend.’

 But he was young. Not rel love. Just infatuation. So they broke up.  I was there to comfort him through the nights of tears. Then when I tought everything was fine, I saw a beautiful pomeranian outside our house. Arf.

Chicken Adobo

​Madalas noong dekada sisenta, sa aking kainan sa tapat ng Akademya de Pilipinas may isa ako’ng suki na lagi, pagkaspit na pagkasapit ng ala-sais ng umaga, pupunta ang batang lalaki na iyon dito at bibilhin niya ang buong kawali ko ng adobong manok ko. Isang napaka amo na batang lalaki, matipuno, at malinis tignan. Araw-araw iyon kahit Sabado at Linggo. Ngunit kahit araw-araw siyang pumupunta dito, ni minsan, di kami nagusap maliban sa simpleng bati ng umaga. May mga panahon kung saan dadamihan ko ang luto ko para sa kaniya. Wala akong anak na lalaki kaya naman sobrang natuwa ako sa lalaking ito. Dumating ang araw na bumili siya kasama ang isang babae na kahawak-kamay niya, dumating din ang panahon kung saan hawak niya na ang thesis niya. Ngunit noong Septyembre bente-uno di ko na nakita ang bata na iyon. Umuwi ako sa bahay at binuksan ko ang telebisyon. Mukha ni presidente Marcos ang sa akin ay sumalubong.

Perfect Illusion

In a sunny normal January day, Satan appeared to an innocent nine years old girl named Esme.  “Come with me and I’ll show you something.”  Satan was not the being Esmè thought he would look like. He was wearing a neat tuxedo, a white neck tie, blue pants, gold shoes and his beautiful brown hair was sleeked back. He was a very handsome man. “Where are you taking me?” Esme asked bravely. She was not afraid. God was with her, she said to herself. Satan sat beside her on her bed and calmly smiled. “To Heaven.” He said simply. Esme, at the thought of seeing God, was very excited and so she agreed. Satan took Esme under the shadows of his wings. “Be still, alright? I’m here.” Satan comforted. 

And they flew very high above the celestial ocean and was very fast. And with a blink they were in Heaven. Satan walked with Esme and did not mind all the angels who were cursing him. They came to a white throne room and there at its center was God. “Good day, Lord.” Satan bowed. “Good day.” God replied. “I came to say sorry for everything I’ve done, father.” God stood up and said “Go back to the fiery depths of hell!” 

And Esme was confused. How can a forgiving God not forgive someone? Was it all just a beautiful perfect illusion?

Take Me

Mr. Kung was celebrating his seventy-ninth birthday and was in the mall treating himself. He was a quiet, good-natured, simple man who found contentment in life’s smallest things.  Everything about him was touched by age except his eyes. Which were still crystal-blue and surprisingly still very sharp. Mr. Kung just finished buying himself a pair of new gardening gloves and was now heading to the bonsai shop when something vibrant caught his peripheral sight. It was a new shop. Mr Kung was very certain of it because when your a man his age, and without any family of your own, going to the mall becomes a hobby. It was a very colorful shop with paintings  and sculptures decorating the entrance. Above the glass door was the signage: : Pet Store: Everything For Free’ Amazed, Mr. Kung entered and was greeted by a man wearing a red hood. 

‘Sup old man?’ The man stank with the smell of dung but had a smiling face. Mr Kung nodded, his wrinkled cheeks wobbling.  ‘Just looking around.’ Mr Kung said throatily.  Inside the shop, were a colossal amount of variety of cages. Some big, some small, some in between. Screeches, howls, screams, and humming filled the store. The red riding hood man followed Mr Kung for assistance. ‘We have the world’s most amazing companions! From the Loch Ness Monster to the Pegasus of Heracles, its all here.’ “I’m searching for something small. Something not hard to take care of.” Red Riding Hood man directed Mr Kung to a series of drawers where small dollhouses were placed. They stopped in front of a white cheese-dollhouse with three mice wearing glasses sat and wearing a signage that says ‘Take Me’ In fact, all the animals around were wearing it. “The Three Blind Mice are excellent for you! There small, blind, and are mice!” Red promoted absurdly. Mr Kung shook his head and walked forward to another series of cages. “I’m late!” Shouted a white rabbit in a waistcoat. “This is interesting.” Red repulsively shook his head “Oh, this guy has been returned here  seventeen times! His past owners complained that he was always late for occasions and park visits!’ Red leaned in and whispered ‘Plus he’s one of those mad animals.’ There was a ‘meee’ of a lamb. Red and Mr Kung turned around and saw a lamb whiter than white. ‘Oh. You again!’ Red said frustratedly.  The lamb had very humane eyes and looked like it could talk. “What is that?” Mr. Kung asked very interested. “It’s the Lamb of God.” Red introduced. The Lamb too was wearing a ‘Take Me’ sign.  “No matter how many cages we make for the guy, the cages always break. There was even one time, I chained him to a pole so that I could feed him but chains don’t work for this Lamb.” Red said smilingly and pet the lamb. “How much for the Lamb of God?” “Oh you want this one?” Mr Kung smiled and nodded ‘Yes I would.’ ‘The Lamb is for free.’ ‘It is?’ Mr Kung asked unbelievably. Red carried the lamb and placed it in front of Mr Kung. ‘Yah. The Lamb of God is free for all. You’re the first one to ever avail it though.’ Red Pointed out. ‘Why is that?’ Mr Kung asked as he bended down and placed his hand on the lamb’s head. ‘Mostly people find it boring. Plus it has a blood stain somewhere near it’s heart’ Mr Kung carried the lamb and saw a spot of blood near its heart. “How did he get it?” Mr Kung asked feeling sorry for the lamb and wanting it more. “It fought against Death. It’s, and I’m not supposed to be saying this, the most amazing companion here in the pet shop. It doesn’t bark but it can protect you from thieves. Plus it’s a good garden companion.” Red said eyeing Mr Kung’s gardening gloves. Mr Kung smiled and removed the ‘Take Me’ sign from the lamb’s body and carried it in his arms. ‘I think this would be the one.’ ‘Wonderful.’ Red said gleefully. Red watched as Mr Kung walked away with unexplainable joy with the lamb.

 There was a ‘ting’ sound. Red walked towards the package area and saw a box from God saying ‘Good job. Here’s another one.’ Mr Kung took out the lamb from the package and put the sign on its head. Just in time because, right then, another person came in looking for a companion in life.

News Feed


​*Opens Facebook account* 

“Sweetheart, dinner’s ready!” 

“Just wait!” 

*Sees 43 notifications* 

*Neil Restain and 456 people liked your profile picture*

 *smiles* 

“Sweethea–”

 “I SAID I’M COMING! ARE YOU FREAKING DEAF?!” 

*continues scrolling down* 

*Mark Luke Matthews accepted your friend request. See what you share now!* 

*chatbox appears* 

*Hey, Ember you look so mouth-watering in your profile picture* *Thanks, Mark! I thought you’d never accept my friend request* “DO’NT WAIT FOR ME TO GO THERE, EMBER!”

 *Hey, I got to go Mat. I’ll just log in in my phone. Gonna eat dinner! :)* 

*logs off Facebook in the computer* 

 Ember hurriedly grabbed her phone, slipped into her house sandals and dashed to the dining room where her mother and little sister were already sitted. They have’nt touch the food. Ember rolled her eyes and sat beside her little sister. 

“Move aside, dwib.” Ember said as she pushed her sister to another chair. “Ember!” Her mother said alarmingly “Be nice!”

 *logs in Facebook* 

*tapped the status box and hit the camera icon*

 *took picture of the food on the table* 

* Caption: ‘Thank You, Lord for the wonderful provision and for my sister and mother that I really love.* 

* hit post* 

“Ember, no gadgets–” 

” Whatever mom! This is just a phone! Could you chill?”

 ” Ember, you’re being rude!” 

 Ember just rolled her eyes. She took a spoonful of rice and chicken. *34 likes in just 4 minutes* 

*smiles* 

*chatbox appears* 

* ‘Ember, I’m so blessed by your life. All evidence of God’s glory is in your timeline! I’m speechless!’*

 *’What can I say, God blesses good people like us :)’*

 *21 notification* 

“Ember, how is school?” 

*Gawain Arthur and 321 friends liked your photo.*

 *smiles*

 “Are you getting this? Continue rolling.* 

*Goes to news feed* 

*Passes by all the religious posts*

 *Stops at Mark’s updated profile picture*

 *Gives a heart* 

*Types a comment: ‘Urg ❤’*

 “Ember why are you not talking to us?” 

“Do’nt you see I’m doing this? You would’nt understand. You do’nt have likers to maintain.” 

“Honey, your worth is not dependent on how many people liked your profile picture!” 

“You would’nt understand.”

 *continues scrolling down the news feed*

 *sees an encouragement verse from the Bible*

 *shares it with a caption: ‘I love God so much. No matter how corny it sounds liked.’* 

“I’m going to bed Ember, take care of your sister.” 

*scrolls down* 

*likes a picture* 

“Hey dwib, let’s take a picture.” 

*takes picture* 

“You freako, you did not even try to smile!”

 *posts picture with the caption: ‘With the best sister ever*

 “I’m going to bed with mommy.” 

“Whatever” 

*432 likes in just two minutes.*

 *smiles* 

 There was a screeching shout from upstairs. Ember could hear her sister calling out her name. Ember grabbed her phone, and slowly walked upstairs.  

*scrolls timeline* 

*likes all the comments in the picture*  

Ember saw her mom dead. Eyes open, blood all over her body. The window was crashed. The jewelrey box was open. Ember grabbed her phone. 

*clicks the camera*

 “Dwib, could you move closer to mother? And pose your hands as if trying to carry her. Go”

 *takes picture* 

*post in Facebook with the caption: ‘Today, God challenged my family’s faith. We’ve been robbed and mother got killed. Please help us. Please call the police.’*

 *waits until she sees it in the news feed* 

*logs out* 

*closes phone*

Moving On


Once, Time fell inlove. Oh dear, how absurdly eccentric was her falling in love! As you would probably know, Time was incharge of making sure mortals lived their time in the world meaningfully by her given limit. You must understand though, that Time had a master. The Mechanic.
One day while Time was multitasking, as she always do, giving and taking people’s life back, she noticed a man. A young lad of the wonderful African savanna. An able-bodied man reap of the excitement of life. And Time stood frozen, because before her, the man was going to end his own life.

Angered,Time went towards the man and shouted “What do you think you’re doing?”

The man looked at Time without any emotions. “I’m ending my life.”

“But..” Time mumbled looking at the man “…but…but you can’t!” Time quenched her eyebrows “You can’t do that!”

“Your not the master of my soul! You cannot stop me!”

Time was dumbfounded. For she never met a man who does what she does: taking one’s time.

“But thats my job! Not yours!” Time defensely shouted. “I’m Time! Not you!”

“Give me reasons to live then.” The man started “And I’ll let you hold my time”

And so Time spent days trying to prove to the man that life is worth living. She showed this by telling the man about ‘timeless things’.

“You live in a world where everything is limited by Me.’ Time said looking at a lion nearby ‘With that said, live your life in search for the timeless things. Things that is beyond me, beyond Time. That is the beautiful challenge the Mechanic gave to you all. To live in a time-bounded world in search of timeless things.” Time looked at the man and was happy to see stars in his eyes. “Tell me,” the man smiled “what are these timeless things?”

“Love is timeless. Friendship is timeless. Hope is timeless.’ Time said.

Time stood up from the green grass ‘I have to go now.’ 

The man was taken aback ‘You’re leaving!?’ 

Time giggled. ‘Time never stops for anyone. Exept maybe for you, dear friend.’

‘Will you come back?’ the man said very sadly.

‘I am Time. I don’t go back. Only forward. I only move on.’ Time explained. There was a tear in that smile.

‘Is there any way I could see you then?’ the man asked persistently not wanting Time to go.

But she was time. And Time moved on. Time flew. Away.
So the man, this, history does not know, spent his entire life in search for timeless things. And he found all of it. And in his last years, the man created the very first watch. A device that allowed him to see Time everyday. And when his time was done, Time stopped. But she was time, so she moved on.

Untied Shoes


​”Please tie your shoelace, honey.”Mom said when I was five years old. I was in a birthday party and was about to play tag. Life was very easy then. It was just about learning to tie your shoelaces and you could go and venture out the open world. 

“Shine your shoes, dear.” Mom said when I was ten years old. I was about to go to school . Life was kind of  easy then. It was just you and learning how to shine your shoes because that was what ‘proper and clean was.’ 

“Do’nt wear highheels, honey.” Dad said when I was 14 years old. I was alone in the house when mom and  dad returned from doing grocery. Life was kind of beginning to get tough. I had to learn to fit in; whatever that was. 

“Let me tie that shoelace of yours, love” Said my soon-to-be husband. I was 25 years old. We were about to get married. He entered the room and helped me dress up. Life was at its most beautiful. Though my parents did not come. 

“Mr. Andrew, you are wearing the wrong shoes!” Gaia shouted at me. I was 35 years old. Tired, I just let my untied shoes be.

Barko: Nang Ako’y Iniwan ni Hesus

​” Barko”


Tao:

May panahon kung saan

tayo’y naglakad sa iisang daan.

Hawak mo ang aking kamay

Puso ko’y tinuring ka’ng gabay
Dinala mo ako sa malambot na buhangin

Kung saan ang aking mga paa’y humimbing

“Tara” sabi Mo “Dito ka muna at ako’y hintayin”

Naglakad tayo sa dagat at isang bangka’y binigay sa’kin
Naramdaman ko ang dulas ng iyong kamay

Nang ako’y iyong binitawan at pinaghintay

Luha’y bumuhas habang pinanood ka’ng umalis

naguluhan at nagalit ngunit ang nanaig ay hinagpis
Higanteng agos at bagyo’y aking hinarap magisa

Bago matulog ako’y titingin sa abot-tanaw

sa pagnanais na kahit anino mo man lang aki’y matanaw

Ako’y nahirapan at puso’y nauhaw
God:

Hindi ako umalis at hindi ako sumuko

Pag-ibig ko sayo’y di maglalaho

Buhay at kamatayan aki’y hinarap

Iyong parusa, ninais kong, saakin matapat
Dinala kita sa barko, kung saan ika’y ligtas

Sa masasamang hangin at kanilang pagaspas

Sa mga agos at kidllat

Niligtas kita sa lahat.
Ninais ko na ika’y maglakad dito

Nang walang lungkot at luha

Kaya tinago kita sa barko

Iyong pako at krus, ako na ang bahala
Tao:

Pinakamalakas na agos ako ay itinumba

Sa Barko, aking mga kamay, hindi nakakapit

Pagligtas ng aking buhay ako’y di na nagabala

Pinabayaan ko na ako’y malunod ng tubig at sakit
God:

Ako ay tumakbo

Sugat at sakit

Aki’y di pinansin

Maligtas ka lamang

Mayakap ka muli
tao:

Isag kapit aki’y naramdaman

Habang ako’y inahon ng kung sino man

Pag-ahon sa dagat ako ay natulala

sa dalawang butas, iyong kamay ang may dala

Handa na ako sumigaw. Handa na ako magalit.
God: Handa na ako masaktan. Handa na ako tabuyin.
Tao: Bago pa man sumikat ang buwan at sumayaw ang mga bitwin

Ako ay iyong hinatak. Ako ay iyong niyakap.
God: Sapagkat tapos na ang lahat. Tapos na ang lahat.
Tao:inalis mo ang luha sa aking mga mata.

Ikinamatay mo ang kamatayan ko
God: Upang buhay ko ang maging buhay mo.
Tao; At dito, sa gitna ng dagat ng mundo at himpapawid ng kahirapan, iyong muling sinabi

God:

Tara, at tayo’y umuwi.