Quarter Life. Not all of us has the luxury to experience wonderful things in life. 

When I was young, I have always wanted more. More clothes, more gadgets, more friends, more parties and even more booze. I never really had it all, however, I was given enough. 

I didn’t know the essence of it all. I did not know then what I know now. And they used to say that I was “young, wild and free.” I was unstoppable, I would always do what I want to do, I would always get what I want to get. I try and strive hard for my passion. 

My lust for adventure lingers in the cranny nook of my Superior Vena Cava, giving me the wonderful heart skipping beats. I would go beyond the borderline to kiss a guy I dont even like, would jump hoops to go out with friends for booze and survive sleepless nights with people who are practically strangers.

It was a wonderful feeling. Unforgettable and definitely worth the while. Jumping off the cliff to wilderness, not knowing what would happen next and consciously forgetting about tomorrow.

My mentor once told me that “people change, responsibilities happen.” I couldn’t grasp the reality of that thought until it swept me off like a strong wind in a desert. 

I didn’t know how and why, but it just happened. I started losing the drive to go out and seek the terror of the night, I lost the strength to dive in the adventure of fiery sun light.

Incident happens, real life problems came and I had to grow up. So I did.

I shall never let go of the youth in me, but I would trade everything to replenish my innocence.


You should date an illiterate girl.

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale or the evenings too long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.

Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent of a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, goddamnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. Or, perhaps, stay and save my life.

C. Warnke

From the Eye of the Un-Deployed

“As you go there, you bring yourself with you. You go there to give light in their dark, barren world, you go to their lifeless, awfully destroyed place, and you give hope. Hats off to you. By standing before you now, I’m supposed to speak to inspire you, but it’s the other way around, YOU INSPIRE ME.” - Atty. Lizada.

As a volunteer, we aim to serve the humanity. As a RED CROSS Volunteer, we live by our principles, Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Universality and Unity. We do not take sides, whenever we are needed, regardless of the age, race, gender and social status, without asking or expecting for anything in return. Others have traveled to the farthest mountain, few have crossed the ocean, and some have faced their own grave.

As a person, I look up to my co-volunteers, who chose to risk their lives, who opted to, and without a single iotic doubt, lived by the principle; “to serve humanity.” To every individual, who spent sleepless nights at the CHQ, and to those who conquered “Bopha.”


I raised my concerns to those who have been deployed. I have seen them pack their personal necessities. Clothings, tools and equipments, and I asked, “Where are they going to sleep? Will there be enough food to eat, clean water to drink? Will they be safe?” I ASKED, THEY DID NOT, and that is FAITH.

Equipped with their knowledge and skills, they took the ride of our “MAMBA,” and the journey continues. They left to gratify the needs of those who are less fortunate, they left to render service. They left without definite number of days in the area, leaving behind their loved ones, TOUCHING THE LIVES OF THE STRANGERS.

I spent minutes, hours and days, waiting and praying for the whereabouts of my friends, of my co- volunteers, and someone said “negative response.” I know where they are, but I don’t know how they are doing. What we can only read on newspaper, see on television, hear over the radio, THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED IT.

After days, almost a week of exposure, they came back. Every single one of them. The look in their eyes, the touch of their hands, no word is enough to express the feeling of misery from the place that they’ve been too. They bear their scars as if it were medals from war.

Typhoon Pablo, hundreds of lives have been lost, millions and billions of properties have been destroyed, these are few among the many reasons why Philippine Red Cross Davao Chapter’s Swift Water Rescuers, Emergency Response Team, Rope Rescue Technicians, Emergency Medical Technicians, Disaster Response Team, Community Health Nurses, chose to respond.

And to quote Atty. Lizada (Secretary of the Board of Directors PRC-DC Chapter), “If one day, you find yourself feeling like giving up in life, remember that YOU HAVE ONCE BEEN THE STRENGTH for those who are weak, And that your rich experience will always be kept in your heart.”

With everything that I have, I thank God for keeping you safe and bringing you back. And from the canny nook of my whole being, you are my inspiration. You have touched my life in so many ways only God knows how. Indeed, you are the new heroes of today.


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0117 152

Im not happy, but I’m not sad either. I’m not catatonic nor hyped up. I make constant effort not to give a flat affect because I programmed my self to live in accordance to the norms of the society.

No one should cry in a public place, not that there’s a bill or a law for that but when you do, people will stare at you. Few will ask for the reason why but those who really care knows what it’s like.

Breaking down has become the easiest way to humiliate yourself in public. Thus, can be listed taboo. It won’t matter if your lover broke your heart, if your parents decided to disown you, or if the world has decided to swallow you whole. Stand up, walk out of the crowd, go home and cry.

Euphoria can also be misjudged because of the quote “people who laugh the most has the heaviest emotional load. It is, therefore, considered as overrated. So don’t laugh too much, they will give you those creepy stares leaving you with a frozen sense of idea that the world indeed has become a habitat of prejudice likes.

So take a look at your self from afar. If the place that you’re in is not helping you to be the person that you want to be. Leave, even if it means going out of your comfort zone. Leave, because it will transform you into a monster that you never wanted to be. Leave, because it will give you the chance to be one of them. And most of all, leave because you have to know that there can be a place where you don’t have to blend in especially if you know that you are capable of standing out.

As for me, the people I have met taught me how to decipher the thoughts of idle minds, they’ve given me the ability to comprehend with the mind of those who work night and day to prove the humanity that life is worth living.

The great art that I have seen, the troublesome literature that I have read, the fierce attitude that I have encountered, became the visible testament that life indeed is so hard but also very beautiful. So, don’t buy the fancy thought of my being too loud, I still take time to think.

Judge me, close your door on my face, it’ll hurt me but not as much as it will hurt you. Tonight, I will give the world what it wants from me.

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The silent cry of the eerie dawn gave my mind incomprehensible thoughts, those that I wish my brain could automatically transcribe.

I have written about how people always leave and how I (thought) got over it. I’m sorry but I guess my idea of “change” has just changed.

That tiring cliche “everyhing happens for a reason” will not be reiterated if people could actually get it. I’m sorry but I think (whoever said it first) didn’t mean to imply “que sera sera” as somewhat synonymous.

Things happen for a reason because you have to learn and unless you refuse to do so, life will give you a hundred throwbacks until you get it.

Life’s definitely not something like goin to school. It’s not like it, because A) we don’t, we won’t, and we can’t stop learning and B) mistakes during exams aren’t given back by the instructors till we get it right.

Anyway, here’s what I have learned for tonight. People always leave because a.) they have to, to give space for those who will teach you lessons that they can not teach, b) to make you realize, truly realize, that in this lifetime, you came out alone, you have to live alone and c) that it’s either they’re done with their purpose in your life or you’re done with your purpose in them.

Be wise in allowing people to get in to your life. Give yourself the assurance that you can grow while they’re around, and that you are capable of reciprocating the things that they can/will do for you.

Afterall, you get what you give. Leave a footprint, not a scar. It’s just wrong to hurt someone.

The Tide That came and Never Left

It’s been a while since I have longed to pour out my emotions through writing. I have yet again succeeded in hiding from the monster inside me..

12 days after the brand new year, and my tears are dried up. I’m out in broad daylight with that smile painted all over my face.

I have been holding on for so long for this emptiness inside me, trying to convince myself that it’s just a song or a poem waiting to be written but I guess ive thought it wrong.

That pain, no matter how hard i cry, it’s there, still there. I know i said im a damsel who loves her distress but this is too much and im ready to let it go.

And just when im about to set it free, it refused to let go of me. I have buried it deeper and now it consumed the whole of what’s left in me.

All these time, ive been telling my friends that “you cant get over pain, you cant let it go, you can only get used to it..” maybe im right, maybe im not. I got used to it but i can still smell it from within, like a rose i have longed to taste it’s odor. It lingers in me like a warm embrace of sweet serenity.

I have nourished it well enough. And now it’s all over me. Feeding my very soul with melodies that
only memories can fathom. It stings, leaving scars that are only visible to me.

Im capable of truly living a happy life by day, but when dusks breaks, i leave all the smiles and give way to the heavy sighs. I have gotten used to it and realized that im running in circles getting hold of the heavy luggage.

One day. Just one day of love, felicity and sense of genuine freedom. Give me that, it might be what ive always needed. I wouldnt really know cuz i have intentionally deprived myself from that.

Everything happens for a reason, people always leave, we cant be sad for all the days of our lives. Ive heard those, i e said those. Now, prove me that it’s actually true. That it’s not a fantasy that i have created.

Millions of Billions of Milliseconds

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, “for a single woman, I feel so loved.”

All these time I have felt so lost in the wilderness of my well created maze. I have secluded my self away from the things that could bring me genuine felicity. I have managed to nurture my barren soul with thoughts that consumed me entirely.

I blamed my traumatic childhood experiences. I blamed the overachievers, blamed those who effortlessly lived a justified life. I took in the fact that life will never be fair.

And as I grew up, I realized that it’s true. Not everyone’s blessed with riches and fame but each one of us were given a unique gift to survive a lifetime. And if you’re lucky enough to recognize this gift, maybe then you’ll be able nourish it and turn it into something more.

For most days of my life, I have failed to recognize my gift because since I was a child, I have focused on what I thought was a curse.

'Till lately I realized that my good life has become a testimony for others. The strength to endure all the pain that I have gone through gave me friends that I will never give up even if it means putting my life on the line.

Over time, I have won some and lost some. I have learned to treasure those who have always been there for me and those who needed me and learned from my past. “You are the sum of the people that you meet,” they said. And I believe that.

I owe it to my friends who shared their heartaches in love and life the lessons and actions that I should’nt have taken, in which I stubbornly took anyway for the love of experience.

I owe it to my friends who have been there for me at all times. To those who listened to my bitterness and understood my lust for life. To those who never failed to understand the unspoken words of hatred and to those who wiped away my deluge of fear for the unknown.

I owe it to the people who shared a bottle or two, a pint, a glass of happiness. Over night we have shared stories witnessed by the sober moon and spoken by our drunken past. We made it through the dawn, bruised soul yet completely whole.

To every stranger who looked at me, those who gave me cold stares because of the cigar between my fingers, for the empty coffee cups, and those who never ceased to express their forbidden hots for me (ahem!). I owe them the courage to walk down the street without giving a sense of doubt that I can make it to the end.

To everyone, who’s been a part of my rollercoaster ride of loneliness and happiness. The never ending drama of my life that surely has been worth living. With all my heart, I express my deepest gratitude for you have made me realize my gift of STRENGTH.

My wealthy experiences have given me enough troubles. I stumbled and bruised every part of me and the world stood still, waiting for me to show what I really got.

So, yes, I have the courage for I am blessed with wonderful people. And for that, I thank the Lord. I have more than enough.

Deception and Distractions

Everytime I question my self worth, there’s this quote that pops into my mind, “Once you lose yourself, you have two choices, find the person you used to be or lose that person completely.” I have had my series of misfortunes, so yeah, I’ve already abused that quote.

Not so far from yesterday, I have decided to let people feel that they are loved, cared for and treasured even if it means putting my well being on the line but I’ve had enough of everything. My well’s dried up, now it’s depth is discernible. I am empty, I guess I’ve given up so much and I don’t have pretty much left for my self. I can no longer fight it, I can no longer give the façade.

Anger, disappointments, frustrations, pain, I will be taking those with me. Fits perfectly in my luggage, eh? I remember a friend telling me, “never leave with a heavy heart,” so, it took me a little while to figure things out. I just let those days pass me by, never really found in my heart the sense of forgiveness. I have waited long enough, but clemency failed to knock at my door.

Sure, a friend once said, “I envy that you’re so carefree.” Maybe because I’m left with no choice but to grab each possibility of happiness. The way I see it, hatred is easy, pain is always there, sadness is overrated, but forgiveness, that’s a tough one.

Sorry, I’m a cracked egg but you know what they said, “everyone’s normal until you get to know them.” So this is me, right here. A little broken but still standing. And before someone else can pull another stunt of crashing me down, let me go somewhere far, maybe the salty sea can wash my wounds, maybe the cold December breeze will slap my face and make me realize that “I haven’t really started yet,” and maybe, my burning desire to move on and give life another chance will send me to the place where I truly belong. So between finding the person that I used to be or losing it completely, I guess I’m stuck in the long bridge.

But I’m moving on, I have to move on. Who knows, maybe next year I’m still going to be the woo-girl (a party girl who shouts in the club. The louder the woo, the deeper the wound), may still be that solitude-sucker girl in a coffee shop (who’s desperately trying to write something), or that lass who smiles even with a heavy heart, and, or, maybe, finally, I will find bliss that I have unconsciously deprived from myself.

I’m going to end this year and leave the heavy luggage to where I’m going. When I get back, I’ll have a lighter load, ready to be filled for the coming days. For now, let me do, as what my friend  said, “Don’t plan ahead.”