Lumapit ako, pero sa layong sapat lang

Sa distansyang hindi mo maabot, pero mapagmamasdan kang masaya.


Lumapit ka rin,

Lumapit ka sa distansyang di ko akalaing ako ay aabutin.


Naging mabilis ang lahat ng pangyayari,

Ako’y iyong natangay ng wala man lang pasabi.


Nagulat ako, nagmadali.

Sinubukang isalba ang pwedeng matira sa akin.

Wala akong nagawa kundi ang sumabay na lang sa kumpas at bawat hampas mo sa buhangin.


Ngunit mahal, bakit?

Nang sinubukan kong mas lumapit,

Saka mo naman ako itinutulak pabalik.


Sa pagkakataong ito, inabangan na kita.

Di ko alam pero di ko napigilang hindi maakit sa misteryo mong dala.


Inabangan kita sa lugar kung saan una mo akong inabot,

pero tila ako’y tuluyan mo ng nabaon sa limot.


Napaupo ako sa isang tabi.

Nagmamaktol, nagsisigaw, humihiyaw sa sakit.


Hindi ko napansin na noong ako’ y iyong isinoli,

ako’y tadtad ng sugat at pasa mula sa mga bato sa ilalim.


Hinintay kong kumalma ang mga alon,

ngunit nakalipas ang ilang taon hindi pa rin ako makaahon.


Saka ko napagtanto na ang mga taong tulad mo ay minamahal lang mula sa malayo.

Kaya mamahalin na lang kita mula sa malayo.


What to expect when you apply as a CARA Volunteer


If you aspire to volunteer for this 17-year old organization, it’s important for you to know that CARA Welfare Philippines is not an animal shelter, it’s a clinic which temporarily houses animals with exceptional cases as they wait for adoption. CARA offers one of the lowest veterinary services in the country. You can check out their rates via this link.

CARA survives through the help of dedicated volunteers. I sent my application form via email 14th of October and got a reply on the 4th of November for the volunteer orientation. Since they don’t have a membership fee, you will be encouraged to bring 1 can of dog/cat food, 1 kilo of dry cat food and 1 bag of cat litter. Anything that can be donated (e.g. newspapers, old towels, office supplies, unused pet items) is gladly accepted. Don’t forget to bring a hard copy of your application form with your picture. This is to be submitted to the admin office for filing and database.

15224618_10211041112404917_624253790_o.jpgThere were less than twenty of us attending the orientation. Senior Volunteer Ria Ilano, headed the program where she shared with us CARA’s projects and committees. Committees are varied to make sure every member will find one that will spark their interest. Since I’m selectively social (lels), I chose Events and Writing.

Aside from deciding which committee to join, we were also asked to choose between volunteering for Laguna Pit Bulls (LPB), or CARA. Ria assures us that we can volunteer for both, we just need to have a specific project to work on. The orientation lasted for about an hour. After that, we were divided into two groups for the clinic tour.

15293263_10211041116725025_1246699410_o.jpgThis is the quarantine area where newly rescued animals temporarily stay. Quarantining helps protect in-house animals from any contagious disease a rescued animal may have.

15231673_10211041183446693_1458816166_o.jpgTheir cattery houses at least 20 felines. Ria told us that if we wish to carry them, we should pick them up by their belly using both hands. Their cats are named after where they were found, and how they were rescued. One cat was named Basu, as she was found in the trash (basurahan).

15231506_10211041234847978_1641651930_o.jpgThis calico cat kept bumping her head on my hand whenever my attention wanders off to other felines. 

We sat on the floor of the cattery and waited for them to approach us. In no less than five seconds, tabbies in different colors and sizes were all around us, asking to be petted.  I noticed that cats in white and brown colors are the clingiest. Ria said that they’re ferals, or those who were born and brought up in the streets. Their difference with stray cats is that strays used to be pets who happened to be neglected by their owners.

15225196_10211041314329965_852519759_o.jpgAbove is the canine area where about less than 10 canines stay. One dog was a tripod. His leg had to be amputated after being ran over by a speeding vehicle. 

15293366_10211041339730600_1476789058_o.jpgCARA offers pet boarding services. Cats scheduled for spaying and neutering also stay at the boarding room. 

Overall, it was a fulfilling experience, knowing that soon, I’ll belong to a community whose advocacies I support and passionately believe in. Join us, be a volunteer, and witness how love can transform these rescues. They don’t need much to be happy, they just need your commitment and caring presence.

CARA organizes a volunteer orientation once a month. You can download their application form, and learn more about their organization through their website at Always remember that it’s always better to adopt than shop!





Teacher’s Day Tribute


Teachers play an important role in motivating and inspiring students to pursue a dream. The things they teach us, it goes beyond what they write in their lesson plan, so for all the teachers/superheroes, I would like to greet you all, a happy teacher’s day. 

I’d like to give special shoutouts to those who have truly touched my heart.

First on my list is my adviser in grade school, Ms. Dolores Villanueva. I am forever in her debt for introducing me to writing. I recall the days when she would call me from her table at the back of the classroom, to point out all the grammatical errors and misspelled words I’ve committed. She would say, “Duguan ka nanaman,” and hand me a paper filled with glaring red marks. She was strict. The kind of strict you would not dare mess around with.

My favorite memory of her was when I was in 6th grade. I have been joining writing contests since grade four and she has always been my mentor. I got so used to joining writing competitions, that I started slacking on the preparations. Needless to say, I became arrogant.

On the day of the competition, I was more concerned with finishing the essay first, than doing it really well. Out came the results, and I was last on the list. Normally, the District Young Writer’s Contest would have four competing schools, that year they only had three, which automatically advances everyone to the next level. (Thank God).

While my other senior colleagues were grabbing first place, I was alone in the third spot. Ms. Dolores, or Ms. Dolly as others would fondly call her didn’t say anything. Instead of being sardonic, she focused on training us all harder. Together with my teammates, we would go home later than usual. I promised myself that this time, I will do my best to make her proud. When the Division Young Writer’s contest released their list of winners, I was so happy that I placed first out of at least twenty students from Metro Manila. This win propelled me to the regionals, earning me an Outstanding Student of Makati medal. I never got around saying thank you to  Ma’am Dolly for being such a huge blessing in my life.

Second is my Science teacher, Ms. Rio Reyes. I remember her not just because she had me master the periodic table of elements, but also because she’s kind-hearted. Funny how she admitted she didn’t like me during freshman year because I was talkative in class, considering I was the president. She’s definitely one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. I’ve always liked Science, but she made me love it because she’s the teacher. She’s a living proof that personal and professional relationship can coexist. 

Next is Ms. Irma Mutuc. I haven’t seen her in a proper classroom setup but I get a strong feeling that I’m going to love her if I had been her student. She’s a professor in U.P. Diliman but works as a part-time Senior Editor in a publication where I used to work as an Editorial Coordinator and Writer. I wouldn’t forget the first article I wrote that she edited. She sat me down and had me explain the whole thing. Turns out my article was vomiting with complex sentences – a common mistake beginners usually make. She’s intelligent but not ‘intimidating-intelligent’. The kind of lady I aspire to be.

Last but definitely not the least is my aunt, Lourlie Gierran. She’s an elementary teacher in Sergio Osmeña Elementary School in Davao del Sur. What strikes me the most is her generosity towards her students. She never hesitates to give what she has. Her love for her own children reflects in the treatment she gives to her students. No wonder why her co-teachers admire and respect her. 

To Ma’am Dolores Villanueva, Ma’am Rio Reyes, Ma’am Irma Mutuc, Ma’am Lourlie Gierran, and to all the passionate teachers, Happy Teacher’s Day! 🙂

Red Electric Guitar


I remember how we sneaked up to your room when your parents were not around.

I like your small bed. The teddy bear I gave you was propped at the edge. I recall you name it after your favorite bassist. I love how our bodies fill up all the empty spaces. 

You’d turn up the volume of the music through your computer near the stairs. I know how you fancy seeing me, running around naked. You’ll whip out your camera and take my photograph. I’d pose like your darling journalist, and we’d laugh. 

We heard a sound of doors opening. You dressed as I sat on the cold floor waiting. 

After a few thrilled heartbeats, you asked me to hide on the balcony. And as they climbed up the stairs, you threw me a quick nervous stare. Your red electric guitar, the only thing that’s blocking me from their judging glare.

We don’t know if they knew. I don’t think we cared. So we sneaked out quickly and left for a wholesome date.

Last Dream


These past few days, I’ve been dreaming of you a little too often.

I had a dream of us talking like good old friends. You asked me how I was doing, and in my mind, I was so happy because I’ve been waiting and practicing for this moment a million times. I went onto my long, well-rehearsed script, bringing you up to date about my family, career, travel, and friends. I was surprised at how confident and relaxed I sounded. I stopped when I came to the part where I’m supposed to tell you about him. I kind of felt awkward so I asked you how you’ve been. You told me about your promotion. How you’ve been spending so many sleepless nights, coming up with copies for shitty product commercials. You told me how your relationship with your mom has gotten worse. Good thing there’s been progress with the music band you’ve long been dying to get on. You coughed. Once. Twice. Too many times. You drank a glassful of water. Figured you were never able to get over your nicotine addiction. Your eyes sparkled as you told me how happy you are with your girl.

Looking back, I should’ve known you were already slipping away. I tried to keep a straight face, but I know my expressions are giving me away.

In that moment, I decided to let go of my prepared script.

And so I told you about the night where I stayed up until 3 am, talking to him; despite waking up at 5 am the day before, for a football event that I had to cover. I told you how I never had to stress about inhaling second-hand smoke. How it felt completely comfortable sharing everything with him; as opposed to how I’ve always found it difficult to let my guard down with you. How he has never compared me to any other girl. How we both share the same dirty humor.

And as I was pouring my heart out to you, I knew I was setting myself free. Free from all the hurt and betrayal. I was there when you had no one. Not even yourself to rely on. I embraced you with all of your imperfections. And just when you’ve mustered the right amount of courage, you decided I was dispensable. I thought it was unfair. None of it made sense. Then I realized, love wasn’t really meant to make sense.

I smiled and sniffed away a tear. I embraced you and said, “This’ll be the last time I’d let you into my dreams.” and so you looked me in the eyes, kissed my cheek and said goodbye.

(c) photo by shelbybaughn