Friday, August 27, 2010


There's a million things that I haven't said to you, and I hope that somehow you actually get to read this, so this one's for you.

I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough for you. I'm sorry that I couldn't find the courage to stand up for you. I hope you know that it's not because of a lack of love, but it's because a different kind of love is conflicting with my standing up for you. I know that this may seem unfair to you, and trust me it's unfair for me too, but one of the things I've learned is that things are almost always never fair. This may seem trivial to you and you may not understand it but I hope that one day you will.

I'm sure that as of this point you're questioning exactly how deep my love for you is so let me try to point out a fraction of the things that I loved about you, because I don't think any website could handle the amount of things that I'd have to type in to describe the way I feel about you and the things that I love about you.

I loved the way you smell. I know this sounds silly but with or without perfume your scent always haunts me wherever I go, I loved hugging you because it'd give me the chance to catch a whiff of your scent. It calms me down, it lets me know that no matter how tough my day is, was or will be it'll get better soon. It sends shivers up and down my head that I just can't explain. Just the thought of it already makes me smile.

I loved how I could tell the way you were feeling by looking at your feet, I'd know if you were excited or amazingly happy when your feet would start tapping away like crazy, it's almost like you were trying to imitate the penguin dance from happy feet and with that of course comes this amazing smile that you have. A smile that just takes peoples' breath away. It's not one of those generic "I need to look good for a photo" smiles, but a genuine heartfelt beaming smile. It was always something I worked hard on because I loved seeing that smile on your face. It was always rewarding for me because I felt that I just saved the world whenever I'd see that smile on your face.

I loved how every time we'd see each other it felt like we hadn't seen each other in years. You'd jump up and down all excited to see me and I'd just be smiling at you deliriously happy to see me. And for some odd reason every time you'd say "what" your tongue would sort of stick out. That for me was just extraordinarily cute.

I loved how you'd call me while I was still sleeping even if it was already lunch time, telling me that you miss me and that you were on your way to my house to bring me food, I still think about that every time someone calls me when I'm asleep, secretly hoping that it's you.

I loved how random we could be and how we could spend hours in the car just parked somewhere and we'd be talking about whatever it is that we wanted to talk about from the most mundane things up to the most relevant issues.

I loved how you understood my being a geek, not everyone gets that. And not only did you understand it, you actually immersed yourself in it. Graphic novels and playing computer games wasn't exactly in your vocabulary but you got yourself into it.

I loved how I could be so open to you about whatever it is that I was feeling and that I could tell you anything, no matter how stupid it sounded. You still listened.

I loved how you made me feel like I was part of your family.

I loved how you made me feel complete, despite whatever crap I was going through back then.

I loved how you forgave me despite my many unforgivable moments of idiocy. That's something not everyone can do.

I know you've found someone new, and trust me when I say I'm not writing this to bring you back or to confuse you. I'm simply writing this to let you know once and for all what exactly I'm going through without you. I wish you luck and I pray to God that the lucky guy you're with right now sees all the wonderful things that I saw in you. Like everything else I wrote earlier, I wish I could say I loved you, but I can't because..

I still do.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Letter to the Filipino Youth

I very rarely blog about anything of REAL depth. Today however I think I should make an exception. A good friend of mine wrote the letter below because of todays events.

I think it's the best place to start rebuilding our country's already tarnished reputation.

A Letter to the Filipino Youth

I would like this entry to be a vessel of words that every unassuming, Filipino youth can call his or her own.

Today I witnessed one of the most atrocious acts humanity has ever seen. Blood spilt, fingers pointed in all directions, and so much compassion and sympathy turning into spite and anger. Fellow Filipinos, I feel your pain. I feel your anger. Whether it is with the media, whose blind incompetence further fed a madman’s blood lust. Or Manila’s Finest, whose obvious lack of training has made a possibly peaceful exchange into a bloody altercation. We are even angry at our leaders, our politicians, who seemingly did nothing but throw out words and blame at each other, and exclaim the sorry state of our mother nation. Yes, I, as you, am deeply livid. Livid to the point of shame towards my nationality. But as I cursed and screamed and cried, I came to realize something: I have been looking through a telescope. Quirino Grandstand is miles away as I wept in distance. Truth be told, it is very easy not to care. How will this really affect the food I eat, the job or school I go to, or the people I say my hello’s and goodnight’s to? But to hell with that! The fact of the matter is, I DO care. There is a sense of nationalistic altruism in my blood somehow.

If only though a telescope.

I urge you, fellow Filipinos, to look at a mirror instead.

I have come to recognize that none of this would’ve happened if it weren’t for me. I am to blame. And I accept all the repercussions this event entails. I have not always REALLY cared for this country. This morning, I was not thinking about the inherent problems of social media. I was not pondering on answers for poverty. I was not thinking of how I could be a part of the solution for corruption and street violence. This morning, I had my own life. And suddenly, with the whole world watching, with the problem growing out of proportion, and with my fellow Filipinos affected, I began to care like a mother to her crying child. I am a sleeping giant, poked by a pin. Now, all my thoughts are dedicated to the flaws of Philippine government and media. And all my emotions are dedicated towards nationalism and unity. I am angered and displeased. But what have I done? I’ve simply tweeted some curses, blamed some people, offered a few well wishes and prayers, and that’s it.

One month from now, I will not think of Captain Mendoza or the people who have died and suffered in this ordeal. And why should I? Life goes on. But I ask you, fellow Filipinos, WHERE do we move on to? How do we live our lives from here? I believe that today was a message from God. Maybe I SHOULD think about the country more often. Maybe I SHOULD start doing something of my own to remedy the problems plaguing our nation. Maybe I SHOULD add the country to my nightly prayers. Right after I pray for my parents. My brothers. My sisters. All of whom I love dearly. Maybe I SHOULD start loving the country like I love them.

I place blame on myself because had I been doing all these things, had I lived my life even 10% more towards Nationalism and the improvement of my environment, I think maybe people like Captain Mendoza wouldn’t exist. Maybe media wouldn’t be so defective. Maybe our police officers would be more adept. And maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have to have my telescopic sympathy turn into blind rage.

When Ondoy struck, I wept for this country. I handed out my donations, did volunteer work, and helped rebuild our city. But what then? What now? Honestly speaking, for me, Ondoy is past and I have not really done anything to remedy the situation. I am not even close to ready in case another storm of that magnitude hits. I’ve stopped caring. Even when deep inside me, I know I should care more. And even when, back then, I felt like I wanted to help the entire world. And for this, I am truly sorry.

Conversely, this is why I am truly sorry for the events that transpired today. I am at fault. I promise to do better. I promise to be a beacon of change. I promise to admit my faults and my selective sympathy. I promise that I will live my life, even to the least extent, making sure that something like this will never happen again.

I am deeply sorry, humanity. I ask that you forgive not only Captain Mendoza, or the media, or the police, but I as well. I am at debt to you and I can only hope that my words can help my fellow youth feel as I do.


I am Jay Abastillas. A Filipino. 22 years old. And I am sorry that I don’t pray for the country enough.