silence

Silence

When all that’s left is silence,
there is nothing you can do
but to endure the cacophony of voices in your head
at two in the morning
in the middle of that cold dark room.
One tiny voice tries to scream
to keep the sanity inside that head
but the million other voices
seem to think otherwise.

When all that’s left is silence,
your senses seem more alive.
You can feel the darkness creeping in to your soul
freezing everything inside of you
as its claws touch your heart.
And even though the heart pumps more blood
to keep you warm as a sign of protest,
the darkness wins and you fall in to the cold pit
especially made for you.

When all that’s left is silence,
you begin to lose sight of the light.
You become trapped in an abyss
where not a single sign of hope is visible.
And no matter how you cry,
how you howl or scream or shout,
nothing will answer you back from all your whining.
Nothing at all, even your echo will be afraid
to reverberate within the emptiness.

When all that’s left is silence,
the past slowly walks in and fills the emptiness
with all of those moments, those memories
that you have been trying to erase with utmost effort.
Yet here they are, endlessly haunting you
and trying to bring back the excruciating pain
from the wounds you thought already healed.
Tears roll down your cheeks quietly because you already know
that crying out loud makes no difference.

When all that’s left is silence,
you suddenly find yourself bare and unarmed
in a duel against the scariest of foes.
It is ‘You of the Now’ against ‘You of the Then’
fighting for the right to be the ‘You of Tomorrow’.
Opening old wounds, creating new ones,
not realizing that neither one comes out unscathed.
In the end, the ‘You of Tomorrow’ will similarly be
scarred and scared of living.

When all that’s left is silence,
there’s nothing left to hold on to
as if every one you love has left you behind
empty, frozen, and unimaginably broken.
You hear voices screaming your name along with words
that make you doubt yourself even more.
All you are left with is a small piece of self-worth
that you keep in your pocket to push you forward
yet swiftly vanishes on the palm of your hands.

When all that’s left is silence,
you’d feel numb and beat and sore
from fighting your inner demons within the edges of your mind
as they burn your soul until it leaves you behind.
As always you find yourself alone and cold,
up against the things that scare you the most.
You even wonder what keeps you fighting,
you question yourself how you win each match
and end up facing a new day to live.

When all that’s left is silence,
you try your hardest to calm yourself down
so that sleep can finally embrace you
and tuck you under your warm blanket.
Only to be interrupted a few deep breaths later
as the sunlight creeps through the window sill
shedding light once again to your once cold dark room.
You open your tired eyes and reach out for your mask
trying to hide yesternight’s battle scars.

When all that’s left is silence,
you ask yourself, ‘What else can I do?’,
thinking that there’s no purpose to be in this world.
At the end of each day you find yourself
in the same state, so detached from reality.
Routinely putting your mask on and off
and continually fighting your inner foes,
you ultimately conclude that maybe it’s time
to finally succumb to the quiet.

fickle-rain-drought

As Fickle as Rain in a Drought

Sometimes, all it takes is one touch.

From the moment their hands merge with yours, it is not just your skins that meet each other. There are times this kind of touch reaches your heart, touches your soul. They undress you and leave you so exposed that you show them the magnificent view of the universe inside you. It transcends the physical and reaches the depths of the spiritual. You bare all of yourselves to each other without a care in the world, confident that you have found a better and far more wonderful world in each other. How amazing to imagine that with just one touch it brings two souls to a state of euphoria so intense that it transcends boundaries of the self. It can keep you in a high so immense that a once broken self feels so whole again as two souls merge into one.

Yet all it takes is a word, or a lack thereof, to bring you back to the reality that there are things that just do not last. With one word, a world crumbles or a universe explodes. Add a few more and they are like a rain of arrows bringing down a liberated soul from achieving full freedom. But sometimes silence brings a far worse devastation to the heart. It is like a thief in the night, patiently waiting for you to fall asleep before taking away those which you hold dear. It draws you close and embraces you while stabbing you slowly, gracefully, then you realize it is all too late; that as you shed a few tears, you have shed more blood feeling almost no pain.

You suddenly endure the pain induced by something that once gave you happiness; just as Icarus’ wings were burnt by the heat of the sun to push him away from that wonderful feeling of reaching something magnificent yet incredibly fatal. As you fall back to the ground broken into a million pieces, you ask your innocent self how this could happen when all you wanted was just to grab that one thing that you thought could bring you bliss.

But just like the sun, not everything bright and warm is wonderful. Not everything wonderful could provide the happiness we deserve. The things we desire, those we constantly ask for, come as often as the rain during a long and seemingly endless drought. In the end all we have to do is accept that some things are not meant to stay.

Sometimes, all it takes is one touch; one touch to force the universe inside of you to explode and show its grandeur to someone else who becomes your world until eventually it starts to lose its glow; your soul gently dying as they shut their eyes, turn their backs and slowly walk further away.

taking-flight

Taking Flight

In the middle of that seemingly endless road — his jeans tattered, shoes worn out and shirt drenched in sweat — Hope stopped and let out a heavy sigh. His knees have given up on him as they fell to the ground. All energy seemed to have left him as he let his back uncomfortably touch the ground. He raised his right hand to reach for the red sky as the sun started to set. He turned his head sideways and gazed at his flat tire, and then chuckled. Surprisingly, he found himself smiling despite the dawning of weariness and nightfall. Hope found it funny that he can manage a smile and a chuckle in the midst of this sticky situation. He simply didn’t care.

As the sky turned into a deep blue, Hope stood up and sat on the trunk of his car. He stared upon the vastness of the heavens, then a chuckle broke the silence of the night. Funny how the stars suddenly become abundant when he already stopped trying to hunt for them. Life really has a funny way of playing tricks on you. Minutes passed, and as if Life hasn’t played enough tricks on him, clouds hugged each other and cried over the wide empty highway where Hope sat still. As the drops of rain trickled down his face, he felt relieved that he need not hide his own tears which started welling up in his eyes. The rain, he thought, was a blessing in disguise.

By the sound of an approaching car, Hope opened his eyes and greeted the morning sun with a yawn. He woke up feeling new and fresh. It was unusual for this to happen. Maybe he needs to cry himself to sleep more often, he thought to himself jokingly. As Hope unmounted his car, he felt a little spark of excitement as the once empty highway was now bustling with cars. A few stopped to check on him and offer him help. This time, however, he did not refuse. Amity pulled Hope’s car along as they travelled to the next city so that he can have it fixed — while also trying to replenish all the energy he exhausted.

It was amazing, Hope thought, to have another person help him. During his ride with Amity he felt differently — something vastly distinct compared to what he felt during his joyride with Bliss — but a wonderful feeling nonetheless. While in the city, he began his plans for recovery starting from his body all drained of energy until his clothes all worn out and battered. After his moment of relaxation he found a place to get his car fixed. As he waited, he stayed a few more days to explore the city.

Hope had witnessed a series of sunrises and sunsets as he explored the city and experienced all its wonders. After wandering around with no certain destination, he finally decided that it is time to leave. He grabbed his keys, started his engine and stepped on the gas pedal. As he was driving a few meters out of the city boundary, he heard some faint engine sounds from behind. In a matter of seconds he found himself driving along with Amity.

As they drove forward to the limits of the never-ending road, they have experienced a lot of amazing things Hope never thought he would be able to do. They have shared with each other stories about their journeys and made new memories along the way. One fine day, while taking a break from their long drive, Amity told Hope some plans of going somewhere far away that the only way to get there is by travelling through the sky. Amity invited him to come if he wanted. Hope suddenly felt like his mind jumped off a cliff, free falling. The idea sounds exhilirating and fun, but something was holding him back. There was fear in his heart — the fear of stepping out of his comfort zone and going wherever the winds or waves may take him. After that crossroad incident he has become too afraid to trust once again. Hope is afraid of being left alone once more.

Hope’s worried expression slowly vanished as he saw the smiling face of Amity. It was as bright as the sun shining from the sky enveloping his heart in a warm embrace. His lips curved upward without him knowing. Suddenly it hit him, it is time to leave the past behind and start a new journey. The uncertainty of what’s beyond may be scary, but Hope has decided to go for a free fall so he can unfurl his wings and learn how to fly.

http://www.reelmama.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/What-If-Movie-Poster.jpg

Awkward Beginnings, Happy Endings

A review of the movie, What If.

I have recently watched the movie, What If, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. Honestly, I found it quite hard to write about the film because I felt too much about it that I can’t think as objectively as I should. Therefore, I shall be sharing my comments about the story more than the technicals.

Within the first few minutes of the movie, I was already smiling to myself. Generally, the story was told quite fast. However, it was visualized in such a way that you get a deeper emotional understanding of how the main characters’ love story is progressing. Sure, the main plot and the ending was sort of expected but the tiny details that tie each major moment together were beautifully done which made watching the movie fun.

Besides the fact that the movie felt terribly relatable, I loved how it showed the harsh realities of making relationships work. It felt real and that was what made the story really engaging. How meeting someone in a very awkward situation and having awkward conversations can spark something special between two people is an interesting way of starting a love story. The way the characters moved, thought, conversed and breathed their stories to create the big picture was done fairly well.

The soundtrack for the film plus the animation were simply perfect in improving the storytelling. The main plot of the story was not really novel but the way it was told and laid out was done amazingly well. The music conveys the feeling of each moment clearly and the thoughts that the animation were expressing were also showed well. I also found their animated engagement story at the end credits really informative for those who would keep wondering how they ended up engaged after coming back to Toronto. It was not essential to the main story but it is a good add-on for certain audience — like me — who might start asking about that little gap before their happy ending.

Overall, I’m giving the story a 9/10 rating. It was amazingly done and it will surely make you feel something. The main story might seem to be considerably fair like all the other happy love stories, but the storytelling was wonderfully executed that you’ll end up smiling even after watching the movie.

gwangju-fave-cafe

Turning Korean

When friends and family tell me I look like a Korean now, I do not think they are serious. But recently I have been mistaken for a Korean by Koreans. So I guess it is kind of true.

-Exhibit A-

Last weekend after partying until late, I was going back to my dorm and a Korean from the same building was walking behind me. As I was about to put in my password to open the door, he warned me about entering the dorm after curfew. He was speaking in Korean so fast I only understood a few things. I said it was okay, and that my Korean is not so well. He was about to enter his room (which was at the first floor in front of the elevator) while I was waiting for the elevator when he tried speaking in English saying he was sorry because he thought I was Korean. But really, I was quite grateful for his concern.

-Exhibit B-

Just this afternoon during my walk around the city, there were these Koreans who were promoting some sort of event/product at the underpass. The guy nearest to the stairs where I was walking approached me and started talking in Korean about whatever they were doing. I did not quite understand what he said because of the noise. I just told him that I was not Korean and I could not speak really well. His friends seemed to understand what happened as they all chuckled and started saying some English words.

Today, before I went back to the dorm, I stopped by my favorite café downtown and had a short talk with the cashier as I was ordering. She was speaking a little bit quickly so it took me quite some time to answer her questions. When she asked me what my major was, I told her I’m still studying Korean. I explained that this was the reason why I cannot speak well, but she said my Korean sounded good. That time, I was already thinking of ending the conversation but her compliment gave me a confidence boost so we talked a bit more about why I was alone today and what my friends were doing. It was a really short talk but it made me realize something. After one semester of learning basic language, I am now more confident when it comes to speaking with the locals as opposed to my first few weeks here. My listening and reading skills also improved. Hopefully, this confidence boost will help me push myself further come the next semester.

I find it amusing that after three months of staying here, locals think I am also a Korean. Quite flattering perhaps, but it also puts a bit more pressure on me to learn the language faster. Sure, I have to go out more and practice what I have learned so far. But just for a bit, I am going to enjoy the few days of vacation and fall in love more deeply with Korea. 😉

Morning Calm Indeed

It has been more than half a month since I arrived here at Gwangju, South Korea which was enough time for me to have tons of wonderful adventures. Our classes have not yet officially started that is why we have a lot of time in our hands to go out for trips.

What has made my stay interesting so far is the opportunity to make friends who came from different parts of the world. The diversity of our group is very enriching to both mind and soul. It is amazing and fun to share different cultures with each other.

Before I came here, I always wondered why it was called the “Land of the Morning Calm.” I never knew it was somehow self-explanatory. Back in Manila, I was used to waking up at around seven in the morning and find the streets very busy. But here, even though Gwangju is a metropolitan area, I wake up at seven and find myself in a , literally, calm morning. Most places open and
most people are out on the streets at around nine in the morning. Their days start quite later compared to Manila, but their nights are just as long. Nightlife is not something to worry about if you are a party animal.

The weather is another thing that makes me love Korea even more. During midday, when the sun is at its peak, it can get hot when there are not much clouds up in the sky. But the wind still blows a cool breeze so by just staying under a tree’s shade one can already avoid the harsh heat of the sun. Or there is always a coffee shop around the corner to enjoy a cool drink or some desserts (and free WiFi of course).

Reading about South Korea having the best internet connection around the world is not just propaganda. Experiencing its high-speed internet connection firsthand is just astounding. Streaming music and videos, uploading photos and sending mails are so fast you save a lot of time to enjoy more activities. However, it is definitely not perfect so some connections — especially WiFi — can get a bit unstable sometimes.

I’m so stoked for more wonderful adventures ahead of me here in Korea. Definitely, this is a country I would recommend everyone to visit at least once in their lifetime.

Empty Spaces and Goodbye Notes

Today is my last day at work. Part of me wants to scream “Finally, freedom!” but another is saying “Is this really goodbye?”. I’ve been in this job for two-and-a-half years and it has been a blast working with the various people I’ve met here.

It suddenly dawned upon me that everything that comes with today — all things existential, figurative and literal — is not just happening inside my head. Reality bit me. It bit me really hard. Its ice-cold fangs punctured my heart and made my whole body shudder. This is it. I am leaving.

All the random events of today are still floating in my head, trying to push their way to the bottom of the pit. It’s just hard to let them sink in. Our office is left with nothing but me and some of the very silent and inanimate furniture. My officemates shared a good meal to send me and one of my friends off (two of us will be leaving the office). I have finally turned over all of my tasks and responsibilities to other officemates. There is nothing left for me to do but to walk out the door and close it shut behind me. Right now I feel like everything just seems so surreal.

Honestly, I don’t even know what else to say. I’m just full of different feelings right now like a blender turning tons of different fruits into smoothie. My mind is almost blank, my body is cold and my heart feels heavy. I couldn’t even manage a sigh of relief. Maybe it’s just the mocha icing.

Probably it’s time for me to stand up from this chair and start walking to the door and finally close this part of my life. This time, I shall run free to the world outside and open myself to this new journey I am about to begin. I say not “goodbye”, but “see you later” to my friends who have become part of me in my two-and-a-half-year journey that is about to end.

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/markhughes/files/2014/05/Maleficent-poster-1.jpg

Neither Hero Nor Villain

A review of the movie Maleficent.

When people ask me how I found the movie Maleficent I always respond with a smile and a nod saying “I liked the way the old story was retold.” I wouldn’t say it is a great film because it’s fresh and filled with CG. I believe its appeal was less in the cinematography but more on the literary aspect.

Disney released Sleeping Beauty in 1959 telling the little girls then how one can find true love amidst all the evil lurking in every corner of the world. A charming prince will save the distressed princess and they will end up together and live happily ever after. However, just like in Frozen, I like how Disney is destroying that concept of true love by showing the women of today — who might be the little girls of yesteryears — that princes are not what they need in life to be saved. True love does not fall from a tree or found coincidentally in a forest. It blossoms between two people who care deeply for each other. Love is not always about the romantic type because sometimes familial love is stronger than any other love that exist.

The line that struck me the most was when Maleficent said, “There is evil in this world, I cannot protect you from it.” Somehow, I believe that this part humanizes the character. This is what made the retelling of the story more relateable. When a person accepts the fact that good and evil exists within each individual — within oneself — that person begins to understand how to live. Maleficent achieved this enlightenment which manifested in her acts of remorse and sacrifice. The movie somehow teaches us that when we find the evil in us consuming our mind and heart we begin to see the world as dark and unforgiving. But when we start to love again we begin to see the birghter side of life.

I really liked how they told the story in a different perspective. Overall, I’d give this movie a rating of 9/10. I’d recommend it to people who want to experience the story of Sleeping Beaty differently. But I guess, after Frozen, the idea of True Love was not as fresh as it was supposed to be.