Secret

You were a secret he meant to always keep.

You are treasured and loved, in his own way, as you say. In the depths of the chest at the middle of his soul. Right beside his deepest and darkest, near the roots that ran through his ego and supplied by none other than his love. 

You had your own moments I wouldn’t have known anything about. Your moments were memories, safely locked, like pictures kept safe in the dark room after developing.

You had all your sweet nothings whispered silently to your ears or shown to your and your eyes alone. The words were seeds on your own secret garden. 

You had your love at the darkest of shadows, living a story fit to your own little world, just the spaces peeking at where you and him began.

I think its romantic, how it was just you and him in your secret little love story, and that secret little world. Your book was hidden in that back shelf at the farthest stretch of the library, and by some measure of a chance, I stumbled and found it.

Granted, I still am not in on the secret.

I don’t know of the moments, nor the words, nor the love. 

I just know of the secret and who you are.

You are a secret he means to always keep.

But, I guess, if I were him, you wouldn’t be a secret at all. You’d be the sigh at the beginning and the end of long sentences, or the shout at the top of my lungs at the summit of mountains. You would be the gossip that escaped, formed and reformed by the many times I’ve talked of you. 

You would be the who, the what and the why since the where and the when would be of no consequence. 

You would be the question and the answer and your name would mean both because and yes at the same time. 

But I guess, in the grand scheme of things I took no part in planning, I’m just another secret keeper waiting for the day the universe would write that other book. 

My book perhaps, with my own not-so-secret to keep.

Nowhere

I should be happy, right?

Things are not that bad, right?

But tears keep dropping from my eyes, like there’s a hole leaking in my heart where a piece of me I never thought I lost was supposed to be.

Tricia got engaged, and I even knew it was coming!

I’ve hung out with friends as prescribed.

I’ve thought better thoughts and tried to sleep earlier.

I’ve talked so much and ‘enjoyed’ situations as recommended.

I’ve walked so much to get a fresh new ideas and wash away the rancid sad ones.

But why am I still nowhere to be found?

I feel crappy. The kind of crappy you flush down the toilet and forget about entirely, for who but the chosen few wonder where their crap goes after they’ve flushed it.

Truth is, I feel worse than that. I don’t know if this is the worst, but it might as well be.

Why does the world moving on make me feel so left out, like when God planned the universe, I was nowhere to be found?

I wish there was this map so first I could locate myself in the scheme of things.

But, and I wish to say this because I might find it therapeutic to do so, I wish I was gone.

Trying to fit myself into a plan set for me, or that I make myself seems so daunting and ill-feeling. I’d rather be gone. I’d rather be nowhere.

I want to lose myself in dreams, because I have this sliver of a chance I could forge a life I’d be proud of there. But sleep eludes me.

I want to lose myself in my thoughts, but they only contain memories that lead to darkness, sadness and embarrassment. Thoughts betray me.

I want to lose myself and commit to my wishes, but now all I have is longing, and this unrequited desire for something more. Wishes lead me on.

But even after this rant, sadness overflows like an aura that seep out like toxic black smoke from that same hole at the middle of my heart.

I realize, that I am a nobody with nothing.

I am a no one nowhere.

Dream Journal: Reassignment

It was not meant to be I guess. 

We were all gathered in a room. At first it was clearly all my batchmates in DTTB. It didn’t make any sense that we were in a classroom so I just imagined that we were at our usual class at Tagaytay. We were there but we were just waiting for things to begin. 

A bunch of us were just talking. I dont remember what we were talking about. I had a phone and I was viewing different apps to waste my time. There was no sound for quite a while.

A few minutes later, a teacher came in with her assistant. I remember for sure that it was a teacher and an assistant because the thought was, how would a teacher this pretty/hot not be a teacher? and how would someone so lanky and awkward not be a teaching assistant? 

I remember looking around and seeing most of the guys at awe because the teacher was now dancing. It made sense in the dream so I think I went with it. I was certain that the person beside me was JC. I dunno why it had to be him, but he had the ‘hungriest’ look. 

After a while we settled and got to know the teacher. She was half-Chinese half-Japanese by descent and I remember someone from the back row, Ever, I think who shouted that she was too. That they were ‘from the same fruit’, whatever that means. 

Then, there came the announcement that we all will be reassigned areas due to some reason, after all that time we spent in our areas. It was a ‘restart’ and we had to re-enroll to a super graduate course in this new school, where we would be the pioneer batch. Mind you we were already in a school setting, but the image shifted to another school we entered. 

There, we had to go to that school, which was painted blue but suspiciously looked like my high school in layout. There was even a soccer field and a swimming area. We went inside this classroom where I sat up front. I was the only one in front, and I was certain there was fewer of us there. 

The teacher then sat beside me and gave me a paper. It contained a bunch of gibberish (now) but I remember the word Bocobo. Eventually I realized it meant it was the group I was assigned to. Bocobo was assigned to region IX. I was looking at the other groups and it said Buenavista —> Region VI and some other terms I can’t seem to remember anymore.

I looked around and immediately noticed that there were less people than our batch and decided to hold back saying what my group was, looking for friends in that region. I knew the assignment and experience would be the same, so having friends there would really make the difference.

Eventually I gave up since I couldn’t read the names on the board, so I think I was preparing for swimming training at our usual pool when I stripped down to just my trunks inside the classroom. I didn’t even wonder why people were looking, I just slapped on a towel and went on to walking towards the swimming pool. I woke up shortly after. 

I remember while walking though, that I was so satisfied with the reassignment, that waking up felt a bit off. It was just that kind of dream that makes you feel something and then takes it back the minute you wake up.

However, the concern still is, WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES THAT MEAN?!?!

Real World Status Window *2017*

I almost forgot that I made myself a real world status window like the geek that I am. I should update it every time I have my birthday haha!

Timothy Manalang 
Title: “Hopeless Romantic” – Gain a random bonus on charisma and endurance for chosen actions; -1 intelligence whenever bonus is given
Current Level: 27
Experience: 57/304
Health Points: 25/160
Effort Points: 11/11
Base Stats:
Strength – 8
Endurance – 7 (+1)
Perception – 10
Charisma – 7
Speed/Agility – 5 (+2)
Intelligence – 8
Luck – 3

Status/Condition:
Insomnia – decrease the recovery effects of rest and sleep by 50%; decrease success rate of healing actions by 50%; Decrease effectiveness of actions that cause sleep by 75%
Mild Depression – decrease functional HP by half during critical life situations; reduce charisma, strength and agility to 1 during critical life situations

Job: Tier 1 – Medical Doctor
Job Level: 3
Passive Skills:
Clinical eye: Early illness detection. Success is based on intelligence Current level: 4
Active Skills:
Basic Life Support: 4 EP. Heals character for 9% of HP, greater effect for characters at brink of death. Success rate affected by Intelligence and Luck. Current level: 7
Basic Analysis: 1 EP. Casually observe and analyze situation/items/people. Prevents any other action to be performed. Current level: 9
Dispense medication: 2 EP. Produces 1 medicine. Requires 1 prescription pad. Current level: 7
Minor procedures: 2 EP. Performs minor surgical procedures. Cure conditions affected by surgery. Requires 1 OR Kit. Current level: 4

Job: Tier 2 – Barrio Doctor
Job Level: 1
Passive Skills:
Know-How: Increase success rate of actions during unfavorable situations. 1% bonus to luck rolls. Current level: 2
Travel Resistance: Nature of work increases resistance to travel fatigue. 10% bonus resistance to travel fatigue. +1 Endurance in actions that require patience. Current level: 5
Political Will: Basic knowledge and practice of politics. Success is based on intelligence and charisma Current level: 1
Active Skills:
Strategic Planning: 5EP. Create and strategize regarding health plans. Can be used once a month, requires staff. Adds modifier ‘Carefully planned: increase success rate of next organizational action by 25%’. Success rate increases with level, charisma and intelligence. Current level: 1
Attend Seminar: 2 EP. Gain random skill or status based on available seminar attended. Current level: 4

Profession: Swimmer 
Profession Level: 22
Passive Skills:
Flexibility: Agility + 2 Current level: 6
Lifeguard: Agility + 2 in water areas. Greater mobility in water. Recover 2 HP/minute in water areas. Current level: 10
Basic Endurance: Trained with swimming, basic cardio experience Current level: 11
Acitve Skills:
Swim Training: Increases swimmer profession EXP by 8%. Useable on others. Current level: 16
Swim Technique: Allows sprinting in water. 1 EP per minute. Current level: 14

Profession: Writer 
Profession Level: 17
Passive Skills:
Wordplay: Increases success chance of dialogue/written options by 17% Current level: 11
Basic Writing: Ability to create articles, journal entires and essays. Higher level produces better articles. Current level: 9
Intermediate writing: Ability to create short stories and novels. Higher level produces better stories. Current level: 2
Active Skills:
Word vomit: EP 2. Create a random article. 20% chance of mental block. Current level: 15
Brilliant Idea: EP 10. 0.5% chance of a brilliant idea. Execution not included, can only be used once a day. Current level: 2

Tonight’s Anthem: Kathang Isip by Ben&Ben

Its that lingering straight note that gets me. Like a thought that just won’t die down. A feeling that lingers stubbornly despite will and desire to stamp it out.

Di ba nga ito ang ‘yong gusto
O, ito’y lilisan na ako
Mga alaala’y ibabaon
Kalakip ang tamis ng kahapon

Today wasn’t a great day. In terms of mental and emotional integrity. Perhaps the lack of things to do makes this little brain of mine bound away to thoughts I felt were long forgotten. She asked me if we could try again, after all this hulabaloo with my sanity, an undiagnosed depression.

Mga gabing di namamalayang
Oras ay lumilipad
Mga sandaling lumalayag
Kung sa’n man tayo mapadpad
Bawat kilig na nadarama
Sa tuwing hawak ang iyong kamay
Ito’y maling akala
Isang malaking sablay

The thoughts are varied. They’re of better days and better futures as well as worse days and the worst of futures. I hate it when there are no right answers. We end up assuming everything and losing what’s important.

Gaano kabilis nagsimula
Gano’n katulin nawala
Maaari ba tayong bumalik sa umpisa
Upang ‘di na mawasak ang pusong nag-iisa

I tell people I’ll stick with the decision, frankly because I think I deserve better. But what if I don’t? What if I’m this idiot that deserves what he gets just like everyone else? What if I’m this closeted millennial that feels he deserves more than what the world is offering him? Such thoughts seep in through long walks and fading consciousness.

Sumabay sa agos na isinulat ng tadhana
Na minsan siya’y para sa ito
Pero minsan siya’y paasa
Tatakbo papalayo
Kakalimutan ang lahat

Then once again I remember why I’m here in the first place. In this nightmare of a life that I orchestrated my own depression by reacting to uncertainty. I often question who between the both of us doubted: was it her with her desire to know for sure, or was it me who didn’t let her because I felt she didn’t need anything to know for sure? Now I feel like I’m standing ground, but truth is, my soul is running away.

But, just so you know.

Pero kahit sa’n man lumingon
Nasusulyapan ang kahapon
At sa aking bawat paghinga
Ikaw ang nasa isip ko sinta

I’ve been told I have an active imagination. I know I’ve been daydreaming more and more these days. An odd sense of self-realization washes over the reality that lies broken. Most times I don’t even notice that I’ve spent hours just sitting or lying down.

Kaya pasensya ka na
Sa mga kathang isip kong ito
Wari’y dala lang ng
Pagmamahal sa iyo
Ako’y gigising na
Mula sa panaginip kong ito
At sa wakas ay kusang
Lalayo sa iyo

I often wonder what my imagination brings me, or like in Inception, what could be defined as true. Is it my imagination that makes me think that I’m doing the right thing, or is it the other way around?

‘Di ba nga ito ang ‘yong gusto
O, ito’y lilisan na ako

Senses

I can’t wait for you to get here
Here where i have nothing but love
For I believe all I have is this chest
Full of sweet nothings and embraces

I can’t wait for you to see me
In awe of the sight of you
Mouth agape and heart unbidden
To the face and person you belong

I can’t wait for you to hear me
Sing you all but songs and praises
You are the beat and the sway
And our love is the melody

I can’t wait for you to feel me
Run hands through your fingertips
Clasping your hand with mine
I promise to never let go

So perhaps you’ll have to settle
With this little here poem
Just so you’d know
That even without seeing you
Even without hearing or feeling you
That I have nothing but everything to give
The day we find each other.

Bottom

You were the thought at the bottom of my bottle.

I started with an ice-cold drink. Below zero degrees. Perfect for the weather and the chill that came with my heart. The bottle sweat, as if the coldness was hiding a fire deep and dark, awakened by bitterness and subtle sweetness. It is always in the beginning that we question or decision in the first place. Why in the world was I sharing a bottle with myself at the middle of the night with nothing better to do but stare at the corners of walls?

That perhaps, is a mystery I have yet to uncover.

Then you open the bottle. Click goes the top, opened with brutal ferocity. Its not as if the drink is the tastiest, nor the best in the world. But you still drink this liquid in hopes of better times ahead. Liquid ambrosia for the soul as they say, though or livers would tend to disagree. As the bottle opens, a smoke arises. From the depths of the bottle, the bubbles effervesce and then come feelings of nostalgia.

There was once a time where there was a you and a me. The drink fiddles, as if correcting you. There was once an us.

The drink froths over. Bubbles pointing out days or months or years of fermentation. A bubbling that signifies its soul. It wafts over memories of smiles and singing, of staring at the rain and sharing cake under the stars. There was once a memory of waiting for shooting stars on top of a balcony in the dark, eyes facing upward but hearts facing each other. A memory of sweet melodies, of salsa dancing and long and loving hugs. A time when I told you the static we felt when my arm brushed yours was a sign that our love was ‘electric’. There was, once.

Then you snap out of that nostalgia and sink into a deep and dark void. Then a conscious knowledge of the superficiality of the froth. The decision to blow it away or drink through it arises.

Whatever the action, you sink through the bitterness and look for that subtle sweetness. As the head swirls in the heat that begins to arise from the depths of your person, you sip through and match the drum beating of a heart that longs. Was I here to enjoy the drink, or to finish it?

The bitterness swells. Sometimes it tastes like pennies or whatever metallic dust must taste like. There was a time that I hitched with strangers through traffic to get to you. There was a time where I would endeavor to give you a reason to stay, one day, everyday. There were fights in the rain, in cars and just about anywhere. I knelt in dirt for you, sifted through floods and fought reason itself. Though like this bottle, it ends in emptiness.

Then there you are, contemplating another bottle. As if the bitterness was an empty threat, and the sweetness was all you were after. The head swirls once more as the heart yearns for another of that subtleness ingrained.

Because underneath all this pining and mourning and heartache is our happiest memories. Moments treasured and unforgotten. At the bottom of my bottle, when all is said and done, is our story.