Ma Cherie Part I

This is an EDITED excerpt of a letter I wrote to a friend for her birthday. I know I may sound didactic, but I really think this is one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever told anyone.

Ma Cherie,

So you’re 18. Actually, you turned 18 exactly two weeks ago. So I’m having a civil war in my head about whether to still greet you or not (actually, it would be considered more like a quaint little skirmish, almost just a quarrel). Whatever. The point is, I’m wishing you well.

And it doesn’t even have to be your birthday for me to wish you well. Know that every day (well, almost) I pray for you. I pray for your well-being, for your sanity (lol), but most especially, I pray for your happiness.

I know you seek to be happy. Don’t we all? Isn’t that human? And maybe sometimes you don’t know where to begin looking, and maybe the fact that you don’t know where to begin looking might make you question if happiness can be found at all, and if it even exists. It’s also possible for you to wonder if it’s worth all the trouble to go chasing after it. Or I dunno, maybe that’s just me.

But however you choose to see the pursuit of happiness, I’m sure you’ll find it. Call me foolishly optimistic, but I believe there is happiness to be found in everything, just as there is sadness to be found in everything. I don’t want you to ignore the pain that this world has. I want you to face it and come to terms with it. It’s a wolf that never goes away. It’s cunning, and brutal, and powerful. But it can be understood. And if you understand this wolf, you will learn how to live with it without letting it bite you or destroy what you love. Sort of like man and nature learning how to live as one (yes, all that zen). Accept and cherish the wisdom and even the good things it brings (because even wolves exist for a reason), but rebel against the dominion it wishes to cast on you. It is a free entity you cannot control. And you are a free entity it cannot control.

Consider yourself blessed, because you are faced with the opportunity to understand this wolf more closely than many others could ever hope to (myself included). Furthermore, you’d be able to teach others how to understand it, and how to not seek control nor be controlled by it.

Do not fear it. Do not build high walls to keep it out – because that keeps the sunshine out, too. Do not set traps and surround yourself with spears – that keeps the bunnies out, too. Train yourself and strengthen yourself so that when it does come, you can wrestle it with your own two hands, the same hands that bathe in the sunlight, the same hands that caress a newborn bunny.

Do not seek to destroy it, or the cave where it lies. Caves are caves. They can house wolves, or they can house gold, or they can house both at the same time. They are a medium. Sometimes they change residents. You need to think of people that way. And you must also understand that harboring wolves is no easy task. Maybe once you understand the movements of the wolves you can help the cave free itself of the wolves, and maybe kinder life will find a home in it.

Now, in spite of everything, when the wolf comes in the dead of night, and I say when because it really will happen, and you feel its teeth sinking in and your legs are paralyzed, I want you to remember that you are free. It has no right to control you. When it sees the solid determination in your eyes, it’ll release you, and leave you.


‘Di Mo Naman Babasahin

10 March 2014

You can’t wait for summer to begin.

I’d give up the world to keep it from coming.

A couple of months ago, I’d always glance at the clock, begging its gears to turn faster. Everything was about what would happen next. I kept wishing for the next day to come, and then the next, and the next. I’d wish away days to get to those two hours you’d simply sit by my side. I’d wish away hours for those ten minutes in between classes that we got to talk, even if it was just you asking me about homework, or whatever mundane thing there was to chatter about. Whatever miniscule fact I learned about you, whatever trifling development there was between us, I’d celebrate.

These precious moments WERE my days, the highlight of every morning, the last thoughts before I slumbered and dreamt. But to you they must be like a few grains of sand in an hour glass – small, just an insignificant portion of more, just passing through to be followed by numberless others. You were my sunshine, even on your cloudiest days. I was just your seatmate.

Even so, for those few seconds I got to be with you, I’d be happy. And when they would end, tomorrow was another chance to talk to you, to be with you, and it could NOT come fast enough.

Now the year draws to a close.

After one more tomorrow, you will never be my seatmate again, you will never be in my class again.

We will never again exchange knowing glances when the teacher says something.

We will never again text or chat each other up to ask what tomorrow’s assignment is.

We will never again stay up late with each other cramming a paper.

We will never again battle with short stories or poetry together, or help each other out with our activities, or joke about our teachers, or read each other’s work, or squabble about little nothings, or tease each other, or trade stories, or share secrets, or welcome each other into one another’s world.

After one more tomorrow, the treasured little that we have slowly grown to be will fade. I will not see you – even if I’ll be in school every day, you won’t be there. You will have no reason to contact me, and neither I you. I could send you messages out of the blue, even if they might have the same chance of connecting to you as throwing paper planes out my window. Chances are, when June comes, we will become nothing more than two acquaintances who only smile and wave at each other when they pass, in a hurry to get to wherever their schedules have now destined them to be.

This will be your summer, but like the leaves that have been cascading all over campus as our last days dwindle, I know this will be my autumn.

I was a fool to beg time to go so fast.

Even if I COULD give up the world now, the clock still ticks on.

My summer is on the verge of ending.

I’ve finally run out of tomorrows.

One of the better sappy works of mine. Now that time has distanced myself from how things were and I’m living in the present, I can finally soothe my ego and publish these things online haha.