Love in the 20s

Love in the 20s
is a wardrobe of clothing collections,
spoilt for choice;

we leave our doors open,
hoping that we could find the right one: the type
downcast and beyond hope;
just a load of pants, eventually.

Love in the 20s
is a pond of school fish randomly
(or, sequentially?)
caught by a hook and a hunter,
one and the same;

with unquenchable thirst and desire,
they demand to savour each one
temporarily, with no mercy. 

One would be lucky enough to be chosen, saved and cradled.

— mckenzievlad

World at stake

Have you ever heard the sound of a gun firing? It comes with a blast — loud enough to wake the dead, and it kills when a bullet hits the right spot. Anything that comes with a blast tends to scare us off. A bad omen, they said. 

Car sirens. Aircraft carriers. Explosions. Warning signs prior to emergencies.

We are accustomed to casualties brought upon by such alarms that we have failed to gird our loins for something that lurks and jumps quickly in shadows, undermining our strength and keeping our cells at bay. 

Outbreaks take us by the throat and infuse fear within. Each one launches threats of hellfire, burning on earth with passion. The burning sensation has left us gagged with deprivations — which makes us question where else we could go while there’s only one planet as a sheltered spot for sheltered lives, albeit gravely affected, in danger of falling apart.

Shops closed. Bars and pubs shut down. Schools postponed. Unemployment happened. Concerts canceled. The only thing that withers in the wind now is the unusual quietness that has left nothing but a state of bewilderment, sending a spiral shiver down everyone’s spine. 

Facts may hurt and may be uncared for, but reality can be the death of us. It has slaughtered almost every part that lives, breathes, and walks on earth. Human disruptions are unstoppable, hence natural disasters — no thanks to acts of idiocracy. This home deserves so much better than how poorly it has been treated, as if it were something to be taken for granted.


Beautiful stranger

O beautiful stranger,

You sat there alone, listening to music —
it must have been your favorite,
as it prompted a rush of adrenaline
vividly shown in your wildly erratic performance —
a style of dance for joy, making you sway unsteadily
from side to side, as though you were put in the spotlight.

No one but I was enchanted to witness 
a magnificent and intelligent creature,
having quality time to himself,
while his fingers were flicking through pages of a book,
running along each letter or word: lost in his world.

O beautiful stranger, 

I caught you looking at me at times for an instant
when I cast my eyes in your direction and met yours.
My heart could not skip a beat, I swear — once bitten, twice shy.
Though, could we call it fate, or shall I call it another heartache
…as you stepped out of the door without looking back?

I wish you did. Really – I still do.

I knew then that —
fate may create that sensation of hope,
but it can never grant you a hankering.


A decade wrapped

Stepped into 2020 with a determined grip on the will to live, learn, and cherish. Any chance, albeit a small one, is after all the drive to fuel and to fulfill my passion with such dedication. 

A decade flew by at the speed of light – I have lost and found parts of myself stumbling into and out of darkness, darting across fire and flames. I watched myself burn and crumble to dust, leaving nothing but remaining fiery flickers that have never faltered since.

I looked for a miraculous sign in the wrong places, fell for the wrong people, and dived into a world unknown. I mistook lust for love. I rushed headlong into romances one after another, just to escape the state of loneliness and feel loved, that I had forgotten what it meant to love myself and feel whole. 

Above all, I have learned, and I have found the magic in me. I now know that scars are beautiful landmarks that have embarked on my journey and turning points in life. I am surrounded by the right people. I have friends and family who know me best, and I no longer dress to impress. I have made peace with my past and let things go with no judgement. 


Unrequited love

In the calmness I possess, there’s stillness
that lingers in silence with a faint hope,
seeking in vain for clues to brew relentlessly —
like the sound of coffee brewing that deafens
to the ears and makes my blood run cold.

Each night, when I lie in the dark,
I embark on a journey to escape this gritty reality,
waiting patiently for your warm embrace. I, however,
lose you again and again when the awakening comes to life.

Then, as I reach for your hand to hold these fragments
of vivid imagination, your lips have parted in a smile,
splitting my heart into two.

Maybe it’s just me secretly pondering on an aura of mystery,
pinning my hopes on this whole fantasy of unrequited love;
cussed to curb like an ecstasy drug.

Maybe you know, or you don’t;
and, we’ll never be upfront about it, to spit it out
without fear of rejection and disappointment.

I hope – there comes a day when we both part ways,
our hair turns grey; that’ll be the day to array
my bewildering complexity of emotionless mask.

That’s how I knew the tragedy of unrequited love.


Life by 25, a paradox

Maybe life consists of different pieces
that are meant to be well assembled
and put together: one whole jigsaw puzzle.

On one hand, it’s a paradox composed of
these fascinating stories, fulfillments,
and obstacles.

On the other, it’s a riddle of open-ended
questions and what-ifs; and quite sometimes,
though, they do fall in between.

When we look at life without rose-colored glasses,
we’ll begin to think with sinking thoughts that…

perhaps, life is full of questions that remain to be
up in the air in all respects, albeit ironically,
we patently hold our keys to those sealed caskets.


perhaps, life is full of choices we tend to dwell upon —
we can choose to hold on to pain and gain nothing
but anguish, or we can choose to let it slide, subside,
and succumb to temptation.

Like the sea that ebbs and flows over the course of time,
everything will fall into place when we embrace change to thrive.

So – when you look at life by 25, you’ll ascertain why life gets you
prepared to defy gravity that could set you free from a spanner
in the works.


Palawan, El Nido

El Nido, a far-off island filled with abundant treasures 
and natural resources hidden deep in the sea,
seemingly appears as blue as emerald blue
I never knew would exist.

What a beautiful balmy summer morning,
accompanying the cool breeze, blessed by salty air —
one can easily get lost in such rare beauty of nature.

As I crossed the Philippine Sea on a ferry boat
that sails on the vast Pacific Ocean,
I could see marine life breathing under
the crystal-clear water, dashing a riot of color,
bearing a resemblance to rainbows.

Dipping myself into the open ocean, I felt the caress
of seawater as calm as the comfort of its warm embrace,
truly monumental in the name of majestic Palawan:
The Land of Promise.

A place where one is enchanted, itching to come back for more,
either to stay or settle down.


A heartbreak

A heartbreak aches like nothing else — it tears you limb from limb.
Feelings fade, though haunting memories remain,
lingering still like an irrevocable step that you can’t take back.

As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder
(however, come to think of it, does it really concur in reality?)
Rather, I’ve seen absence bring nothing but bitterness
held dear by those who love with all their heart.

Grin and bear it, if you shift your focus onto your lot in life with meticulous attention,
you’ll somehow find out why one thing is attached to another: nothing appears intact

So, my friend, the next time you have your heart broken, gently remind yourself to
take a deep breath, have a little faith, and give yourself time to heal: healing is a process.

…and when you’re ready to rise again, be sure to fly high like a bird set free.

I do hope you fall in love with someone
who would never wish to break your heart.


M’pay Bay, Koh Rong Sanloem

On a late Saturday afternoon, when the moon soon appeared in the clear-blue sky cast by the pale light of halo that was oh-so beautifully rounded, I caught a plain sight of its glimmer disguised by white patches of clouds, passing unnoticed as if they were dancing gleefully with the wind.

However cozy the moon glowed, it was no better than how blinding the sun shone in its golden hour, glowing red with the heat yet gentle and warm to my sun-kissed cheeks as it was descending gracefully from the west, blessing the whole village and all living things on the sandy M’pay Bay of the tropical Koh Rong Sanloem with the gleam of the setting sun and a renewed hope of what’s to come tomorrow.

While the sun was sinking below the horizon, glinting off the distant mountains, the moon remained lucent in the firmament until the sun disappeared from view and the moonlight began anew. I savored the moment in that instant, astonished by how the sun and the moon turned to each other for solace as yin and yang as two halves that beat as one – the likes of which I hadn’t seemed to notice.

Perhaps, the way the moon gives strength to the sun teaches us that love is more than a display of affection — love is the essence of devotion and patience.


My Gentleness

I grew up thinking that there must have been something wrong with my gentleness and quietness, or how I wore my solemn expression which somehow was considered to be quite intimidating to hostile kids: the bullies. 

Perhaps, that’s just the way they thought — all in their heads like a buzzing fly that got inside their ears, zizzing furiously. It never found a way out.

Perhaps, it caused or triggered such unease in their stomach. A thunderous sound, I suppose. But they never came to understand their starvation, the thirst for grace; deprived of food for courtesy. 

Perhaps, I didn’t feel the need to fight back, or intend to do so, like cat and dog; for fighting never ends and resolves, yet turns into nothing but remorse and animosity. 

Ever heard of a series of unfortunate events? That seems a lot like it, or it can possibly be worse. A chain that never ends is a chain of conflicts. 

To not be engaged in a fight is to stay aloof from the bickering. One shall put a wall of defense up to not get flooded by unnecessary rage and temperament. Ill will is pointless, and so not wise. Be kinder by all means.