entry from july 24, 2016 / 3:58AM

Flying over Dubai. I cannot believe time has flown by this quickly. It felt as if I was just on this same flight route but backwards only yesterday, but also I feel as if I’ve left a big part of myself already, somewhere in the canals of Amsterdam, the streets of Budapest, the far stretches of beyond in Switzerland. I have seen and felt it all and they have all been true. They have all been a part of me. I look out the window and the engines whir in whispers, as if to accompany me in some quiet sense that I have changed, that I am changing still; the world beneath my feet and in the palm of my hand. And I feel both distraught and relieved to be going back home–because what if you feel like home is already both Manila and in the company of some other? In a country that doesn’t speak your language, in a place where people will stare but forget who you are?

I want to yet again face the world with certainty. Oh God, let me find the courage and the strength to do so.

I have been so blessed and that is enough. Chili, may you remember that, always. You are blessed and that alone is enough to get you out there.

Forward, forward, forward. Onto other stories…


going dutch

i’ll be real right now, i really don’t want to be writing at this moment. it’s just that it’s a horribly awkward time to go to bed, and i need to keep my laptop on while i illegally download anthony bourdain travel shows. so here i am, 11:50PM in my room in utrecht, the netherlands; my roommate fast asleep and a dim incandescent light keeping me company. so much has happened since i got here, and honestly everything is just moving at a crazy pace and often i even find it difficult to keep up with daily happenings. i blinked and 2 months have passed.

anyway, let’s keep this light. here’s a list of little things i love about my experience here so far:

  1. cooking your first decent, socially acceptable meal from scratch
  2. sipping on cold belgian beer
  3. peeking at the results of your first roll of film
  4. random dancing with a sweet swede, aussie and swiss miss
  5. introducing vanille vla to a vla virgin
  6. biking with the wind on a rare sunny saturday afternoon
  7. meeting strangers baking in your own kitchen
  8. fitting perfectly into an impulse-buy leather jacket
  9. standing in front of a barnett newman
  10. getting hit on quite unpredictably by a odd irish fellow on st. paddy’s day
  11. hitching on the back of someone’s bike
  12. watching pink tulips bloom on your windowsill
  13. surviving the worst aka getting your entire bag stolen on your first day
  14. talking about andrei tarkovsky with your 6’5″ tall, dutch-italian twin brother
  15. drinking a cappuccino in a cozy cafe along the canal
  16. finding aesthetic sisters among your flatmates
  17. confronting the cutest pizza delivery boy in the planet
  18. winning a bowl of chips (w mayo) in a pub quiz
  19. shoveling down a kaassouffle in a dodgy snackbar at 4AM
  20. sharing bottles of wine with a table of people from all over the world on taco night
  21. booking your flight ticket for your first solo backpacking adventure
  22. indulging in warm and free stroopwafels
  23. slaying at yogalates
  24. saying dank u wel and alstublieft right for the first time
  25. feeling utterly at home in a country on the other side of the world

it just keeps piling up. i love where i am right now. bless.

things you learn at nineteen

Bidding farewell to the strangely underwhelming 18th year of existence while reluctantly embracing my last year of being a teenager. Some things I’d like to put into writing:

  1. We’re always at an intersection.
  2. You have a lot more control over time than you think.
  3. No matter how far you travel, you will always be with yourself.
  4. Sadness, like joy (and most things), is a blessing.
  5. Do not underestimate the power of counting your blessings.
  6. Sleep is and should always be a priority.
  7. Prevention and maintenance is a lot easier than curing. Apply to skincare.
  8. Groom! Your! Brows!
  9. Art heals. The meaning of life.
  10. Inspiration comes from within.
  11. Try to recognize value instead of placing worth on all things.
  12. A little routine never hurt nobody.
  13. A person is only as good as their word.
  14. But it’s okay to change your mind.
  15. What is enough?
  16. We give in sometimes, might as well enjoy it.
  17. Actually, no one really gives a fuck.
  18. Take it easy on yourself.
  19. It’s very helpful to listen to your own advice sometimes.

Love, Chili

the long and short of it:

i can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. this has never been about what i wanted. truth be told, i gave you the short end of the stick. you wanted your choice? here it is, the matchbox, the gun. i left some change in the drawers. i got the easy way out. but this was never about me. the ball has, is and will always be on your court. staying, leaving, running away– this has always been your call. and call it what you want: the wishbone, the fork in the road, the bus fare for a one way ticket to somewhere. the payphone is ringing and it’s for you. spare me the melodrama, just answer it, just pull the fucking trigger. the lump in your throat, heavy. the bullet crossing my eyes, the glint of the gold too bright for second guesses. we are all moving forward. none of us are (looking) back.

well. y’all know i’m siken trash anyway. this was supposed to be something with some smidgen of honesty but i can’t deal with that shit right now. goodnight.

but tell me you love this, tell me you’re not miserable

It’s 2:45am and I’m scared shitless. I can’t fucking sleep. I can’t sleep. I’m so tired but I can’t sleep. I am already regretting things I shouldn’t regret, like taking a nap because I was sick or making the weekend mine, but now I can’t sleep and this is scaring the life out of me. I’m asking and screaming for answers but nothing’s coming out, my brain is mush and the universe is silent and nothing is working and dear god, I just want to sleep. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to take pills. Oh self. Is this your subconscious punishing yourself? Is this how you deal with your guilt, with your failure? Living has slowly grown into building my case against not living, but not anything else. Is there anything worse than silence? Than having to deal with this blank uncertainty? Of not knowing who you are, of not knowing what you’re feeling, of not knowing what you’re doing? Oh I plead for understanding. I feel myself getting more neurotic, like I live by detaching myself from my own consciousness like I’m a third person living outside myself, I can’t do this because a part of me contradicts it and I can’t do that because another part of me can’t deal with that either. And dear lord, the psychosomatic pain in my gut. It never leaves. Like the holes are growing ever larger, deeper, digging its way out to the other side. Oh what must you take from me. What must you want from me. I just want to close my eyes and sink into the pitch black, succumb to the tar, the sludge of sleep, no matter how messy, how uncomfortable, how it leaves me more tired to live. Even if sleep and my dreams are growing more sinister each time. I am running out of words to describe the divorce that is ripping me away from what I want to be. God, I just want to sleep. Let me have a break, no matter how undeserving I am. I don’t like having insomnia. I hate it. I want to sleep. I want to sleep. If I say it enough will I be able to do it? Can I stop chewing myself inside out? I beg you. I don’t care if I crash or if I am cradled. I just want to close my eyes and not be in control. To not be worthy, to not be undeserving, to be free. Throw me in the chasm, I do not care. Just let me sleep. Ang sakit. Ang sakit. Ang sakit.

as we were.

“I’ve always tried to make a home for myself, but I have not felt at home in myself. I’ve worked hard at being the hero of my own life. But every time I checked the register of displaced persons, I was still on it. I didn’t know how to belong. Longing? Yes. Belonging? No.”

— Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

God, I’m so awful at this friendship thing. I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore. Nowadays I just feel like surprise news flashes– breaking news! girl tries to initiates contact with l’etranger, he shoots her instead!— all too sudden and quick to leave so I can avoid opinion, like a permanent shoot-first-think-later gig, so afraid to hear what you think about me. A graveyard out of a bone white afternoon. And it’s always the fucking corpse staring up at me. Waiting for something interesting. Too bad, honey. You’re fucking dead.

Here are a few things that have given me solace from myself:

  1. It’s Okay, That’s Love. 2014 Korean drama. 10/10, totally fresh. I suggest you educate yourself and try to feel something relevant again. I’ll reserve this for a later post.
  2. Only Lovers Left Alive. 2014 Jim Jarmusch. Utterly mesmerizing vampire movie. Hiddles The Bæ and Mother Swinton amidst a background of incredible, beautiful music.
  3. Food porn. To be perfectly honest.

As you were.


There are holes growing in my body. I can’t feel anything but this ripping numbness, this pronounced emptiness. All I have to do is close my eyes and I can feel the holes converging, replacing my skin with nothing as it creeps its way all over my body, slow but unwavering. I can’t tell if it is unpleasant. My doctor says it is normal, the sensation like frostbite, but he says it’s ordinary and tells me to let it pass. He says they don’t usually take anything anyway. But I feel it. It crawls in my gut and it takes and takes and I’m not sure if it leaves anything behind. If it does I don’t feel it. If it does I can’t feel it. It’s not odd, I’m not sick, I know, but there’s gotta be something different with me now, because not feeling anything is different from feeling nothing, right? The worry and smoke dissipates now, that’s how I know they’re still there. They’re still there.

I googled it and it says that if you dream about holes in your body it means you’re feeling empty and weak. I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean but in any case I don’t think emptiness is weakness. It just means there’s nothing there. If less is more, then nothing is everything. I’m letting it pass. The holes are growing but I’m letting them pass. They’re still there but they’ll be gone soon. They’ll pass through the holes they made; they’ll jump in and go to where everything else goes. I wish it could be sooner.

swimming upriver towards happiness

i can’t tell if i’m crying because of my horrible microeconomics exam today, or because of this goddamn fic. or both. probably both.

jesus. i’m tired. i also can’t believe that there’s roughly 2 months til another year. god, i feel old (among other things). i’m finally going to have one exam-free week in this monstrous hell of a sem. silver lining?

atlas, pasan ko ang mundo

“It’s dark because you’re trying too hard,” said Susila. “Dark because you want it to be light. Remember what you used to tell me when I was a little girl. ‘Lightly, child, lightly. You’ve got to learn to do everything lightly. Think lightly, act lightly, feel lightly. Yes, feel lightly, even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.’ I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly—it was the best advice ever given me. Well, now I’m going to say the same thing to you, Lakshmi . . . Lightly, my darling, lightly. Even when it comes to dying. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self-conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Goethe or Little Nell. And, of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the Clear Light. So throw away all your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling. On tiptoes; and no luggage, not even a sponge bag. Completely unencumbered.”
Excerpt from Aldous Huxley’s Island

as per usual, richard siken takes the words right out of my mouth

“Personally, I’m a mess of conflicting impulses—I’m independent and greedy and I also want to belong and share and be a part of the whole. I doubt that I’m the only one who feels this way. It’s the core of monster making, actually. Wanna make a monster? Take the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable—your weaknesses, bad thoughts, vanities, and hungers—and pretend they’re across the room. It’s too ugly to be human. It’s too ugly to be you. Children are afraid of the dark because they have nothing real to work with. Adults are afraid of themselves.
Oh we’re a mess, poor humans, poor flesh—hybrids of angels and animals, dolls with diamonds stuffed inside them We’ve been to the moon and we’re still fighting over Jerusalem. Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I’d know it was something true. Now I’m trying to dig deeper.”

— Richard Siken, Spork Editor’s Pages: Black Telephone