To the so-called intellectuals

There is nothing wrong with finding resolutions to the ills of our society and of our country. We are citizens of this sick nation after all and whatever happens to the Philippines reflects back at us.

But belittling your fellowmen just because we wanted to have fun amidst the stresses we experience from day to day just won’t help the country either. Instead, you are just adding kindling to the fire that burns down our nation.

Tinatanong ninyo kung may nagawa na ba ako para sa bansa natin? Kung sasabihin ko sa inyong “Oo, marami na akong nagawa para sa ikabubuti ng bayang ito, mga bagay na hindi magagawa at nagagawa ng isang ordinaryong Pilipino lamang,” ay maniniwala ka ba? Because as I see it, you already set in your way of thinking that we are a useless bunch of people just because we patronize popular culture. That whether or not I tell you how deep and important my contributions to the betterment of our country are, you would just scoff at it and make no importance of it.

Para malaman ninyo, ako at sampu ng mga kaibigan at kakilala kong nakiki-ALDUB din ay may silbi at kontribusyon sa bayan. Hindi lang sa panonood ng show na ito umiikot anf buhay namin. Mayroon din kaming sari-sariling pamilya, social circles, and professional circles. We discuss a multitude of topics not only revolving this craze but topics of national and societal importance.

You all say we are zombies–people with brains no better than a worm–yet you’re the one who can’t even engage in a decent exchange of words. What you really are–or really trying to project–is a self-righteous “intellectual” who belittles people you don’t even know, who stereotypes people who don;t go blindly with you and your self-imposed ideals.

ELHA

The grand champion of The Voice Kids PH Season 2. ELHA MAE NYMPHA!

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Elha was the very definition of a dark horse in this season’s competition. She was just chilling down the TVK2 barrel and then… BAM! She hit us hard with her upbeat yet powerful rendition of one of Mariah Carey’s expert-level songs.

Admittedly, I wasn’t really rooting for her at the beginning. In fact, in the very early stage of the competition I was rather enthralled by the wonders that were Esang, Sassa, and Reynan (in that order) for they presented something different on my plate. Though, I have a penchant for power belters so Elha was amongst my favorites but not on the top. She was just there, chilling on my list.

Belters (biritera) in our country are one too may. We have tens and hundred of them both in the professional and amateur arena, so I wasn’t really (very) impressed by her Blind audition.

Later on, as the competition progressed she started to make a mark. Not so explosive, though, like Esang did in Blinds or Sassa did in Battles or Reynan did in Sing-offs. As I said, she was just there making me aware of her but not making me go rooting for her.

Heck, a lot of people could not even accept the fact that she got through the Battles’ “Your Love” performance over an early favorite of theirs. The bashing was just too nasty to mention.

People even went too far lambasting poor Coach Bamboo for “choosing poorly” during the Sing-offs since Elha had “no marketability and mass text votes appeal” over another early (imported) fave. And, like I said, people thought that “she was just another biritera”.

But, silly me… I started falling in love with her during the Sing-offs with her lovely rendition of “Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos”, which spoke and sang to me so deeply.

And thereon I thought, this girl got game! I was 50% rooting for her then because even if she was a power belter through and through, she can handle her low notes as beautifully as she handled her highs. She was a technical as well as an emotional singer. She got her singing in a right balance.

And like Bamboo, i started to see what he saw in her. Elha started tot ake root in my heart because she made me start believing in her talent, in her versatility, in her consistency, in her.

What sealed the deal for me, though was her semi-finals interpretation of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

She was Finale ready that night. Like Coach Lea said, it was Elha’s night. She owned the stage like she’d been performing for years and years and years. And my two voted that weekend went solely to her. I went batcrap crazy when she was called amongst TVK2’s Top 4 on the Semi-Finals results night. My boss who was watching with me at the office, heckled and made fun of me when I almost did a cartwheel (LOL) when her name was called. I was beyond pleased.

Like Coach Bamboo said, “I’M A BELIEVER!”

And what a performance she did during the Grand Finale weekend! She shined like the North Star she was destined to be.

One, she went toe-to-toe with the amazing male belter Jed Madela singing “Narito”.

And that ULTRAMEGASUPERDUPEREXPIDIALICIOUSLY AMAZING take on Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” (first vid here) that made me and thousands of TVK2 followers do the LSS until the very next day. The headtone and whistle register were just superb, especially for an 11-year-old just-recently professionally trained girl. And boy! Singing upbeat, whistling, belting, and DANCING in one song! She was phenomenal. Her performances made me think of one person who was timid yet a monster on stage. Coach Sarah G.

That very performance catapulted Elha to her fate in the competition. Her talent made people forget that she also had a sob story to tell. She made you forget her half-orphan life, her bananacue gig, or her laundrywoman widowed mother. When she was on that stage, it was just Elha and her brilliant talent.

ELHA WAS THE VERY DEFINITION OF A DARK HORSE.

She was not an early fave but she crept up on us like a thief in the nigh and stole our heart, and our votes, sending her to the very top alongside the millions that was her winnings. And her talent had delivered a very competent yet underrated COACH BAMBOO his first THE VOICE CHAMP trophy! Yipee-ka-yay!

This season was the best for me in terms of everything. Every kid that went to the Finals alld eserved to be there and no matter who won would be fine. But it was so much better and so bittersweet that an underdog from a win-thirsty team bagged the coveted trophy for TVK2!

It was Elha’s and Kamp Kawayan’s night. Congratulations to Elha and Coach Bamboo!

(Note: all media in this post is credited to owners)

You Love Me at My Weakest is STRONG!

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The word WEAKEST may be in the title but You Loved Me At My Weakest is far from being feeble. It was deep, emotional, and gut-wrenching.

I am in love with the love that Kanye has for Emily. He stayed true to their love and did everything to take back the Emmy that lost herself. Kanye is the epitome of a man in love. Yeah, he may not be immune to pain and frustration since the love of his life tried to do her best to push him away, to tell him that she doesn’t deserve him anymore. But he never gave up. He persevered. And they got through the pain.

And that time when Kanye got hurt, I knew that he was okay but I got burned with Sasha in Darkest so I don’t know what to expect anymore.

“I now understand that even roses can’t be perfect. They all have their own scars from their life cycle, yet they stand tall and are beautiful. I am a rose. I have scars from my life, but I am strong. I stand tall and I grasp life every day and live. I survived. I’m a survivor and I’m proud of myself.”

This may be the most poignant way of closing a heart-rending, gut-wrenching story of someone who went through unimaginable pains only a few would ever survive.

Darkest was an emotional roller coaster. Weakest was space shuttle. I can’t imagine what Ugliest would be. **I’m excited!!!**

YLMAMW is more than five stars. It deserves more, so much more.

Evie Harper is love.

Sana’y `di na lang

friends lang

Kung sana’y hindi na lang naging tayo

Hindi sana ako nakakaramdam ng ganito

Kung sana’y hindi na lang sumubok

Hindi sana tahimik na lumuluha sa sulok

Maayos naman noong tayo’y simpleng magkaibigan

Alam ko kung saan ang ating hangganan

Pero bigla’y naisipan mo akong ligawan

At sinabi sa aki’y mayroon kang nararamdaman

Napakasaya ko dahil ako’y nagustuhan mo

Sa isip ko’y napakaswerte ko sa iyo

Kasi alam kong mabuti kang tao

Hindi ko pagsisisihang ibigay ang aking puso

Totoong kaibigan ang turing ko sa iyo noong simula

At noong nagtapat ka’y hindi ako makapaniwala

Pero naisip kong tapat ang iyong hangarin

Na hindi lang laro ang tingin mo sa akin

Pero sa huli ay doon lang din pala ang punta

Nahulog lang din tayo sa mapait na alaala

Ikaw ang dahilan ng gabi-gabing pag-iyak

Ang puso ko, ikaw din pala ang nagwasak

Nahulog kasi ako at minahal ka ng totoo

Umasa ng wagas ang tanga kong puso

Inakalang ang masasaya nating sandali

Ay tanda ng tayo na hanggang sa huli

Hindi ko alam kung kaya ko ang gusto mo

Na manatili na lang na magkaibigan tayo

Dahil hindi ko ala kung kakayanin ko ba

Ang ngitian ka kung muli tayong magkita

Mahirap nang ibalik ang nakaraan

Lalo pa’t may nabigo at nasaktan

Kung pwede lang hilingin sa mga bituin

Hihilingin kong sana `di ka na lang naging akin…

You Loved Me at My Darkest… so dark…

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What can I say? I HAVE A NEW FAVE AUTHOR ON MY LIST!

Congrats, Evie Harper, for a great debut! You Loved Me at My Darkest took me to a hell of a ride. The Taken premise was just right to get me hooked on the story.

I love Lily, I love Jake. I pained for Sasha, Emily, Megan, Cho, Natalia, and all the women who unfortunately got into the mix. I was breathing hard in most parts, especially during and after Sasha’s escape. That almost killed me, I cried buckets. I was looking for a plot twist or something… but **sigh**. Those parts were hard, especially that my blurry eyes were acting up.

Though, I look forward to Alexa and Joseph. Their impending chase excited me so much. I am a sucker for their kind of drama.

This scared me a little since I’ll be flying away from home (not New York, though) to work. I have a pretty morbid imagination and reading YLMAMD touched the scared-shit inside of me making me think of what-ifs. Pfft! Hahaha.

Anywho, again, congrats on your amazing debut, Evie (I’m on a first-name basis now, eh?). All the stalking your takeovers and grovelling to the rafflecopter gods to lemme win a copy paid off so well I wanna do the chicken dance for them. Hahaha!

I also want to say ‘thank you’ to Ate MayRose for introducing you to me through your work. It was because of her that I got obsessed with chasing butterflies.

I look forward to reading more of you. Kudos and love from the Philippines!

A date with destiny!

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Mt Batulao: 811 Meters Above Sea Level

I have never thought that I would and I could. Fifteen minutes in, I wanted to quit and run back to the main road.

The trek was arduous as hell. I am not a physical-activities-kind of person; hell, I don’t even jog and exercise! I did not know what came into me that I agreed to join in this activity. I think the eternal salesman wrestled me into going. He was effective. Props to him.

Did I enjoy the trek in the true sense? I’d honestly say… YES!

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Yeah, there were a LOT of times that I complained and complained and complained. I think my climbmates (is there such a word?) were getting annoyed with my caterwauling.

Then worst was when we scaled Peak 9, I almost fainted. I was robbed off of all my strength that my eyes were swimming in blackness and my breathing was labored. Inside my head I cursed the adventure and thought that that would be the last time that I’d do such thing. I wished that, as Van said, we had a HOME BUTTON that I could press to end the ordeal in a snap!

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But right at that moment when I thought everything was all hopeless and shit, right at that moment when I thought that suffering had no end, I saw the rock that said CAMP 10…

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Right there and then I ran towards the rock and hugged it so hard I wanna cry.

Then, when I roamed my eyes at what was in front of me, I felt at awe. I was humbled as I saw the grandiose that was Mt. Batulao summit.

Below me were land formations and greens that looked so little they seemed not as formidable as they looked from below and not as intimidating as we were scaling them. Around me was the majestic beauty that you’d only see and appreciate if and only if you’d been through one of the hardest hardships one could imagine.

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I was overwrought with fear and self-doubt at the beginning. But when I was able to overcome every obstacle in front of me–including a sucky knife trail that I thought would kill me–and reached that coveted summit, there was one line that I hope I should’ve had shouted…

I wanna go tell my fears and self-doubt to GO AND SUCK A LEMON!!!

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^o^

The feeling of having one’s feet at the summit was indescribable at best. My eyes were feasting at the delicious scenery around me. My nose was languishing on the smell of fresh air and scent of grass. My skin was torn between the heat of the sun and the chill brought by the wind. And, as weird as it may seem, promise I could almost taste the sweetness of the moment.

Reaching the top was sensory overload! It was one of the most awe-inspiring places I have seen in my entire existence. It was so fun it trampled every experience I have had in a lifetime. LOL!

And even if I had sworn on my damaged bag that I would not do it again, given the chance–amidst a busy sched and pressing problems–I’ve decided that I would love to go at it again. If not sooner then later!

This is one check off on my ever-growing bucket list. Yippie-kay-yay!

10710820_717243631692418_8270792756012378912_n I want to extend my gratitude to my climbmates for bearing with my craziness and for sharing the experience with me. It was the first time that I met you but I felt an eternal connection to the new-found friends I have bonded with at eight hundred eleven meters above sea level.

Hasta la proxima vez!

The Doctor is Mine excerpt

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ANNA BRISKLY MADE A BEELINE along the SBN lobby while rummaging inside her bag for her ID.

It’s Monday and she’d overslept. Wala na naman siyang hang-over sa kalokohang paglalasing niya but here she was still sporting a major headache while rushing to the office.

May meeting pa naman siya in a few minutes.

“Hay, Anna,” she grumbled. “What a great way to start your work week!”

Hindi na niya binati ng ngiti ang security guard like she usually did because she’s on a rush. When she timed in, she was twenty-six minutes late. A record for her dahil hindi naman niya ugaling pumasok ng huli.

Then her stomach rumbled.

“Ang galing mo talagang t-um-iming, Anna…” she groaned, her teeth gritting. Gusto na niyang magwala at pumalahaw ng iyak.

Isa pang problema niya, wala pa siyang matinong agahan! All she ate while dashing from her apartment to the office was a slice of bread. Okay pa sana iyon but all she had for dinner last night was a freaking apple! Such a crappy start for a busy week.

Dadaan muna siya sa workstation niya bago tumakbo sa conference room, she had some instant cereal drink stashed in her drawer.

She was near the bank of elevators when she saw a man just entered one.

“Please hold!” sigaw niya dito at dali-daling tumakbo.

She was huffing heavily and was a bit dizzy when she was at the door. She was about to say her thanks to the Good Samaritan when her right shoe got caught on the little slot for the elevator doors. Like a bummed idiot, she fell bodily on the elevator floor bumping her knee, her torso, and her forehead. At dahil hindi niya pala naisara ang bag nang hugutin doon ang ID kanina, its contents spilled just about everywhere!

“The hell!” dinig niya bulalas ng lalaki. “Miss? Miss?”

When it rained, it really poured. Totoo nga talaga ang kasabihang iyon dahil lahat na lang yata ng kamalasan ay inani niya ngayong umaga. At hindi lang ulan ang dumating sa kanya kundi flashflood!

“Aray…” She groaned under her breath as she tried to dizzily get up from being slumped on the floor.

“Here, let me help you up.” Anna grabbed onto the hand offered by the man. She held      onto sturdy arms. “Ano ba ang nangyari sa `yo? Natisod ka yata.”

She wanted to snarl at him and bark a scathing “obvious ba?” but she can’t find her voice. Malakas ang naging bagsak niya. Her knees, her entire front region, and her head were hurting. She tried focusing her eyes but the elevator’s interior seemed to be spinning.

What she was feeling worsened when the elevator surged up. Her stomach felt like it was displaced na lalong nagpahina ng mga tuhod niya. She wobbled and almost toppled again when she felt the stranger’s strong arms held her up, close to his warm body.

“Steady. Kumapit ka sa akin,” she heard him speak in a deep baritone as he supported her with his dependable body. The moment she felt him near and heard him clearly, her gorgeous-man radar spiked high!

He sounded gorgeous! She noticed that his voice sounded delicious in her ear. His voice was a beautiful rich baritone that seemed to seep into her system and reverberate in her body.

He felt gorgeous! His chest felt toned and all, his arms ripped, and he was strong enough to bear her slight weight. Being this close to him with only her weakened senses helping her see, she felt safe and well-supported.

And more than that, he smelled gorgeous as well! He smelled like wood and musk and spice. He smelled of spicy cologne mixed with total manliness. His smell was a perfect ten in her smell-o-meter!

This man sounded and felt and smelled so dazzlingly her-kind-of male!

Loka ka, Anna, nadisgrasya ka na nga kung anu-ano pang kalandian ang tumatakbo sa utak mo! her conscience reprimanded when her fingers curled on the clothes covering his lean pecs.

Wala kang paki, konsensiya! that flirty part of her brain deflected. Minsan lang ako kumiri ng ganito, dude! Strike while the iron is hawt!

“Here, lean on the wall,” her superhero interrupted the impending debate inside her head. He backed her up on the corner. “I’ll pick your things up and we’ll find someone who could help you.”

“Thank you,” she answered, groaning. She pulled in a deep breath and shook her head briskly to clear her head. “Okay lang ako.”

“That’s good to hear,” anito habang pinupulot ang mga gamit niya.

“Uy, salamat talaga,” she muttered with a hint apology as she was getting her bearings back.

She stirred away from the wall. She leaned in and started to move to help him pick up her stuff pero tumayo na ito. He pivoted on his heel at iniabot nito ang bag sa kanya.

“Here,” he said coolly.

But when she got a hold of her bag’s strap and looked up at him, she was rendered speechless and awestruck. Her jaws slackened and was locked fully open!

Saying she was stunned was an understatement. If there was a stronger word than stunned, then that was her reaction at seeing the man standing in front of her. Her system seemed to stop working at the sight of him.

He stood there looking all tall and still as handsome as she remembered him a few years back.

Clean-cut black hair topped a finely-chiseled face. He had a strong chin, firm mouth, slightly-crooked nose, and intense liquid chocolate eyes. He was sporting stubbles on his chin, jaws, and the top of his arched-lip. His skin was suntanned. And his shirt-clad body somehow revealed toned muscles that filled in all the right places.

He was dressed for business in dark slacks and a white dress shirt. His silk tie was pinstriped blue. His shirt and tie were a little askew from helping her.

He was all man and all gorgeous her open mouth felt like drooling!

Is it… is he really… oh, dear Lord!

“Miss, are you sure you’re okay?” he asked, looking intently at her. Worry was etched in his features.

Tumango lang siya bilang sagot dito. She still couldn’t find her voice as she continued to be stunned by his huge presence.

But the voice inside her head was screaming!

“Miss, I really have to go. This is my floor. But I could accompany you to the clinic if you still don’t feel okay.”

Hindi niya napansin na nakabukas na pala ang elevator and he was holding the door open. She straightened up and mentally slapped her face to wake her sluggish senses.

“Ahh… h-hindi. I’m okay. Medyo na… uhm… O-okay lang ako.” Shit! She was star-struck!

“Are you sure?” his voice was laced with worry.

She answered him with a series of nods. “Sorry for…” she gestured his disheveled clothes and smiled nervously. “That.”

“No prob. Nothing’s wrong with a little crumple on my clothes. Makes me feel like I’m still human.” A corner of his mouth raised in a slight smile and he gave her a wink. “But if you’re really sure that you’re okay, I’ll go ahead.” He smiled feebly and inclined his head towards the door. “I suggest that you go to the clinic and have yourself checked, though. Namumutla ka.”

Tango lang siya nang tango sa sinabi nito. Nothing was sinking in because some other thought was occupying her head.

“Have a safe day ahead.” He let go of the door and went out. “Umiwas ka na sa disgrasya.”

Inihatid niya ito ng tingin. Her gaze followed on his retreating figure until the elevator doors closed in on her. She let out the shaky breath that she was holding.

“Oh… my… God!” she squealed in unbridled excitement. A flash of thought coursed through her head. A heady rush sent through her veins.

And a big picture question popped.

Was what she’d seen for real or was she hallucinating?

Was that really…

Just a story a daughter wanted to tell

We had a pretty comfortable life.

When we were still kids, we had a very comfortable life. We were not rich but our `rents were able to provide everything for us. A roof above our heads, sending us to school, among other things. All of our wants and needs were almost always met. They busted their asses off to make our life comfortable.

But comfort doesn’t always last. Especially if you have a parent whose life was always on the line between life and death.

When I was fifteen, my life—our life—was turned downside up. A tragedy washed into our lives.

Papa, who worked slinging guns, along with three of his former comrades-turned-bodyguards went missing during one of their bodyguard duties. They were abducted by God knows who. All that he left for us was a single text message and a cryptic phone call saying “someone took us” and “don’t worry, I’ll be alright.”

But it was not alright. Nothing was ever alright after that fateful day.

He never came back. No phone calls. No text. Not even a single goodbye was given to us. People said he was dead. I was having a hard time believing it because he’s my father. He was invincible. He slung guns. How could he be dead?

But there was no trace, no sign, nothing. There was not even a dead body that we could mourn and bury. We were left with nothing. Literally nothing.

And mama… mama was never alright after that day.

 

It was hard to lose a parent. It was harder to see one falling slowly apart in front of my eyes.

 

I never saw her cry when the news happened by us. She was steadfast. She put up a brave façade. But she was not brave for long. After months and months of searching for him—in police stations, hospitals, friends’ houses, and even morgues—there really was nothing.

Then her tears started flowing. I saw how she fell apart. She was no longer the happy, cheery mother that I grew up to know. She looked glum and miserable.

Everyday she cried. That was all she did. Cry.

I saw how she cried every time she sat in front of the altar praying the rosary, petitioning for his return to us—alive or dead. I saw her cry every time she held my two-year old sister close to her. I saw her cry every time she sees their picture together. And I always saw her cry every time she looked at the door with that longing etched in her eyes. She broke down. She was lost.

She lost interest in people. She lost interest in her business. She almost forgot about her children, her family, and her life. Somehow, it seemed that she almost forgot how to live and just succumb to grief and despair.

Our family was breaking apart. Without papa around and mama nearing her breaking point, there was no one to hold the family together. I was only fifteen, my brother was twelve, and our youngest was two. We were on the verge being separated, of being torn apart.

We were becoming a dying family, withering slowly.  I almost lost my hope. Almost.

But as weak mama was that time and as tempted as she was to just let go of everything and be done with her heavy burdens, mama did her best to stand up again, to live life again.

Slowly, she gathered all her strengths—through the help of my grandma—and started back on her life. She said that papa may be gone forever but she still had us. She could not stop living because she lost her husband. She must go on living because she had three children whom she loved very much and who greatly depended on her.

She still had a family who never stopped caring for her and loving her.

She must go on and fight not only for herself but for her children, her family.

And life does went on even after tragedies and hardships.

It went on for mama. It went on for our family.

We may not be living as comfortable as we have been before, the fact that our family was able to overcome a more shattering tragedy was enough for us to go on living and to stay as strong as you could manage.

One would never really know how to be strong not until being strong was the only choice left. And strength doesn’t only entail physical power but also the capacity to survive despite an emotionally and mentally traumatic incident in one’s life…

 

 

Reading DRACULA abridged version

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Today, our office had a familiarization tour a.k.a field trip to various museums and parks here in Davao.

Anyways, in the bus, while everybody was busy chatting and feeling excited by our trip I was busy doing my thing; snuck up on my corner of the bus, reading.

I was reading the abridged and starter version of DRACULA. I borrowed it from our Admin Officer’s sixth-grade son.

The book was a fun read. I finished the 200-pager in an hour and a half, give or take a few minutes. It was a chill and quick read because even if it was 200 pages long, the print was large and every chapter has a pageful illustration. If the print was printed the way my regular read was, it’d be cut in half.

I enjoyed the book a lot, actually. The past years, I have read countless books that depicted vampires as this yummy papis that women drool over.

With this book, the king vampire was not depicted as a sparkly, shimmery, shine-bright-like-a-diamond vampire; none whatsoever! Good ol’ Count Drac was written as a pretty bad villain! And it was cool. I missed the original vampires who killed and infect like no other!

But it wasn’t a complete experience for me. The gore wasn’t there the way it was in the unabridged version. Then in the end part, it was a little anticlimactic because—with everything that Count Drac did in London–the fight and the ultimate death happened in just one page, two paragraphs.

Maybe because it’s a kid’s book so it was a bit tamed. Rated PG.

What made the read even more fun, though, was when my officemates were amazed that I leafed through the pages “like lightning” (their words)! Hahaha! They were shocked when they saw me close the 200-pager before we reached our second destination. ^o^ It was a kewl feeling when I saw their faces and when one said, “I know you read much, but I have no idea you read THAT MUCH! (NV)”

Anywho, to wrap this up… I give Count Drac 4/5 stars for a reader starter book.

Looking through Your Eyes

“Look at the sky, tell me what do you see. Just close your eyes and describe it to me. The heavens are sparkling with starlight tonight. That’s what I see through your eyes.”

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KIMMY STOPPED her stride along the road when the intro of the song started. She looked up at the never-ending stretch of the sky. Truly, the heaven was really sparkling with starlight tonight, that’s what she saw.

She pulled a deep breath and let it out slowly, easing the building tension within her that was slowly making her lose breath and shake. She did not like what she was feeling. She was supposed to feel glad. She was going to see someone special. There should be no room for the anxiety and the welling tears she felt stinging her eyes have no reason to be there. There should be just mere happiness. She sighed again and looked up at the diamond-studded sky.

Soon she’d see her special person, her one-in-a-million love. Jacob. It’s his birthday today. And it’s a tradition for her to see him on his significant day. She’s carrying a small box of black forest cake and a pint of rocky road ice cream, his favorites, and a gift he so longed to have.

 

***Kimmy and Mr. Campus Personality***

She had known Jacob at the University she had enrolled in. They were taking the same course. It was her second year in Civil Engineering while it was his third – third year in the third course he shifted to.

He wasn’t a bum student; that she knew. In fact, Jacob was one of the best and famous students in the Engineering Department. It was just that he was not your geeky-type of guy. He was cool. Way too cool.

He was the head chancellor of their University’s chapter of the famous brotherhood, APO Fraternity. He was among the top performers in their department. And he was, first and foremost, the unico hijo – heir apparent – of the Arguelles Family, their University’s proprietor and one of the richest families of the country. He was ultra-famous, even for his own sake. He can do whatever he damned like. Even shift from course to course. It’s their school anyway.

She, on the contrary, was just a plain one among a horde of plain ones in the University. According to her cousin, she was a garden-variety Pinay. Yes, she was brainy. In fact, she’s a scholar of the University. And by large, she was a looker.

But she wasn’t brainy and a looker enough to be noticed by her ultimate crush, her first love, Jacob. Only God knew how much spark he ignited in her with his mere presence alone and how many butterflies fluttered in her stomach when she smelled his manly cologne. Only the Lord knew how much she was drawn in to Mr. Campus Personality.

However, she was reeled into him not because of his famous, or infamous, characteristics. She was caught hook, line, and sinker because of those hazel brown eyes of his; eyes that spoke of sadness within its depth.

He might smile widely, grin like crazy, and laugh boisterously but she could always see that ultimate sadness in those eyes that belie the happiness of his façade. Eyes that, in her view, were asking for comfort, love, belongingness, and acceptance. Real acceptance.

But never in a needle’s chance, she thought, would he set those eyes on her; much more seek in her the things she thought he sought.

Inasmuch, he was the ultimate ladies’ man. You’ll see him with different college lass. And not just your ordinary ladies but head-turners like the recent University beauty titlist he dated, and discarded, in a span of one week. He changed his lady friends as much as he changed cars.

He had thrown a glance at her once in while. Sometimes it lingers but most of the time it just passes. But the probability of him noticing her as a person, much more as a woman, was slimmer than a thread.

Until that one night that has woven their fate…

 

***That Night***

She was on foot from her last class to the gate. She’s about to go home. She was on the University road’s sidewalk. She liked to follow the road and take the long way than trail the covered path walk and take the short cut.

The road had a much better view with the trees swaying and swishing along it. And with few students and faculty members owning cars and motorcycles, the road was almost always deserted, letting her relax and de-stress as she walked.

While strolling, she was looking up at the ebony sky above her. It was adorned by sparkling stars like those of diamonds. The moon was not visible since it’s a new moon. What a peaceful heaven it was.

As she took a deep breath of fresh night air, she heard tires squealed behind. When she turned, she saw a blinding light before her then felt hard metal slammed her body and sent her flying. Her body crashed down painfully on the pavement and her head banged on the graveled sidewalk.

The last thing she remembered was a trembling man cradling her, worriedly calling her name, and unconsciously enveloping her quivering and weakening body with his warmth.

But what was forever etched in her mind was the last thing that she saw as their eyes met. Those pair beautiful sad eyes that are so familiar to her. Eyes that were telling her to hang on, hang on for her dear life.

Then all the lights went out…

 

***Jake***

Kimmy, wake up. Please wake up…she heard amidst the haze. A very distant voice but still audible in her ears.

She looked around her. However, all she could see were blinding lights. She felt a cold rush of air flowing around her but she could not see her surroundings. Lights. There were lights. Lots and lots of lights aimed directly at her eyes, blinding her.

Wake up, Kimmy. Please wake up. There it was again. That distant voice. A voice so familiar but a voice she cannot place whose.

Who are you? Where am I? Why are all the lights turned to me? These were the questions she wanted to ask but she cannot find her voice to utter those queries.

Wake up, Kimmy. Please come back.  The voice was slowly fainting. The blinding lights are slowly fading.

Come back to me, Kimmy. I…was the last thing she heard before everything went blank and black…

“Doctor, how is Kimmy doing?” she heard a man saying. The voice was familiar. She thought she heard it somewhere.

“Everything is normal with the patient, Jake,” said a calming baritone voice, perhaps the doctor. “You need not worry yourself. Look at your—”

“Then why isn’t she waking up?!” Jake, whoever he is, cut the doctor’s sentence short. “Why is she still…” the voice stopped.

She heard a groan. And she realized it came from within her. Her chest and throat reverberated.

“Oh God, her eyes are opening. I think she’s waking up,” then big, warm, soft hands held hers. “Kimmy, are you awake? Please answer me.”

She heard beeps somewhere. Then people were scurrying around, bustling to and fro. But she only heard it. She was not seeing it. Weren’t her eyes open just as that Jake person was saying? Then why wasn’t she seeing anything? Maybe the lights were turned off.

Turn on the lights please…she wanted to say but could only manage a moan.

Hands were on her checking for something, anything. Voices, men and women, were uttering some things beyond her comprehension. Things were still hazy and fuzzy in her head. She can’t move, too. She was panicking!

But the comforting hands covering hers did not leave her. She felt warm, quivering lips kissing her palms. The combination of the hands and lips calmed her senses. It tranquilized her panicking psyche.

Who are you? she wanted to ask him.

She knew he’s a man. A very familiar man. And amidst the fuzz in her head and immobility of her body she could feel that proverbial butterflies in her stomach in just feeling the hands and lips of that man on her hands.

Why do you feel familiar? Why do you sound familiar? Jake. Is that your name? Who are you, Jake? Please don’t leave me.

“Kimmy, I’ll always be here,” he said as if hearing the words inside her head. “Please come back to me…” she heard his shaky plead before silence has taken a-hold of her again…

 

To be continued…

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