Coy

thanks coy

He used to ask me how he could be stronger. Even that night three years ago when he showed up at my door, he asked me the same question. He was in tears, and he didn’t want to be that way. He said he was too lost, too weak. “You’re too kind,” I would always […]

Five-Hour Connections*

departures

We stepped out to the garden almost at the same time. And almost at the same time we placed a bottle of softdrink on separate tables. “Would you mind if I smoked?” I asked politely. “Absolutely not, I’m here for the same reason,” he smiled and introduced himself. His name is Aurelian, and he’s from […]

The Price of Intimacy: Relatives, Romance, and Roommates

Manila sunset from my new bedroom

The thick dust that carpeted the floor felt like hotel grade cotton when I lay on it carelessly. It was the second day of painting our newly rented condo unit, and much like the afternoon before, I was alone tackling the gallons of colors. I stared at the ceiling and the bright lime wall and […]

The Man in Bulgaria

plamen chestit rojden den

“What’s in Bulgaria that is well worth a visit?” I asked a friend when he suggested that I visit Bulgaria after telling him that my ultimate dream was to tour Europe. For the longest time, Bulgaria had no significance in my life. Back then this East European state was just another country to me. I […]

She Who Shines

asta shines

She came walking slowly towards me, sat beside me and introduced herself, “Hi! I’m Astrid.” Her name means “star.” “I’m Yoshke,” I replied. Reluctantly, I shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.” The whole thing was totally weird to me. It was the moment when, I think, she and I truly became friends. I wouldn’t […]

Akala Mo Lang Wala Nang SLUMBOOK, Pero Meron, Meron, MERON!

slumbook gender

Once upon a time, I had a witty friend who had a witty idea. Her name was Tonet. “Yoshke, I have a brilliant concept for a business,” Tonet exclaimed. “Ano na namang kagagahan ‘yan?” I asked, knowing her history of kagagahan. “Let’s create a witty planner that will rival that of Starbucks,” my witty friend […]