The Comedic Tale of “Aswang”

In that little bario called ‘tagong banwa’ where everyone knows everyone, children still play piko and women wash clothes at the side of the river. Unlike the city, the people here have more time to talk and were keen for stories.

This is the reason why the rumor about a ‘bag-ong yanggaw aswang’  has spread quickly. From mouths to ears, house to house. Though the evidence was nothing but dead chickens and dogs bitten on their necks. It was feeding the fear of the villagers.

Though aware of these stories, it can’t stop Darla from selling his vegetables. His eagerness to earn himself a degree is what motivates him to rise up and walk a few miles from their barangay to another barangay and sell his talong, patola and patani.

Such irony was in his name and gender because his real name was Danilo Lucas Aposaga but everybody calls him ‘Darla’ for his heart was of a woman.

– – — – — – — – — – —

It was past 9 in the evening. Darla was on his way home when he felt a sudden cramp in his stomach and it stopped him from walking.

Like two hands squeezing his belly. A human body way of telling that it has to excrete.

He looked around, finding a perfect spot to squat. There’s no thick bushes nor trees around to cover him except for the lemongrass whose width can’t even hide a dead body.

The squeezing on his stomach continues like a plastic container about to get torn apart because it can’t hold the weight anymore. It gets heavier and heavier.

The pain widened his eyes and now his feet were in dance — as if the ground was on fire.

He bent down hurriedly, as his knees folded and he unleashed the monstrous smell by lowering his underpants. Revealing his arse with sculpted lines in different directions.

He closed his eyes in great pleasure and opened his mouth very wide to make the biggest release. Droplets of sweat trickled down from his forehead to his neck. His long hair all over his face dampened by his perspiration.

His hands now forming a fist to exert more force and push the weight down in his belly like how mothers bore their babies –only that it wasn’t a child.

The human body has great wonders. How digestive tract can manage to pound Indian mango and bread in less than 24 hours. Humans were made in great artistry.

A sudden scream caught his attention but he ignored it. He moaned in great relief — releasing the last parcel of metabolized food.

Then he lifted the gartered short through his legs and fixed his hair. He got a handful of soil and covered his dirt as if he was a feline burying his dark secrets.

– – — – — – — – — – —

The next day…

A group of women and children were in some sort of discussion. From afar, Darla saw how one woman stretched her arms, describing something enormous while her lips point with great exaggeration.

The children listened attentively that with just one poke and they would run off. Darla heard the words long hair, large, squatting behind the lemongrass.

They all seemed to describe last night’s events. Only that the woman concluded and ended her story with the word ‘aswang’.

 

– – — – — – — – — – —

Definition of Terms:

Aswang – is a shapeshifting monster in Filipino folklore usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch, or different species of were beast, or even all of them together.

Talong, Patola, Patani – Eggplant, Luffa, Lima Bean

Piko – is the Philippine variation of the game hopscotch.

Bario –  neighborhood

Bag-ong yanggaw – newly infected

References: Wikipedia.com

 

Read my previous short story: The Story Behind Judas Kiss

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Day 1: Punch The Keys for God Sake

Dear brynelmaries,

There are days when you feel inadequate. There are days when you begin to question your ability, your existence. There are days when words are quite detached from you and most of the days, you keep on wondering if you ever deserve to call yourself a writer.

You drown yourself with unnecessary hatred towards oneself.

Does writing a book will always be a distant dream?

When you were younger, you were quite sure of yourself that you wanted to be like Edgar Allan Poe but has your dream gone murky like a water in turmoil.

Let it sink. Let it sink. Let the dirt sink and separate itself from the water and you will see again that nine-year-old kid with big dreams with a pen and a scratch paper.

Remember her. Remember her smile when she read the poem ‘Tree’ and how she discovered how words fall into places with the wave of her hands. She was doing magic on paper.

Now, remember her, the joys that were in her eyes when someone tries to read and understand the far-flung words separated by erasures. Remember her when you can not remember yourself.

You were destined to make dandelions dance like ballerinas in the air, you were destined to change lives, to give hope and to make the impossible possible. With your words. With your magic.

At 25, I feel like I’m running out of time

I wish I could swallow all the pieces of advice I gave to my friends about not minding accomplishments and rather focus on getting small steps nearer to the goals, however, we all know that sometimes, we can’t fake optimism but I’m not being melancholy today either. There are just days when my mind is clouded with lots of questions on keeping up with my timeline of things, my age, my body, ideals and what not. I don’t see anything wrong with this self-crisis. I even think it’s healthy.

It’s healthy that I was able to re-examine myself and think. Not to put myself down for not getting things done or not striking through on my to-do list notebook but this quite serves as a reminder to push a little further. Knowing that there are a lot of things to learn and discover makes life worthwhile.

Sometimes I feel sorry for slacking. Time even made it feel worse when it runs like a train and I stand there to watch it pass by.

Having daily reminders on my phone didn’t do any good either. My thumb kept on postponing them with a slash from the right going to left. But at least I am aware.

Maybe today or tomorrow I will get better and like all millennials used to say I’ll get my shit together.

I’m a firm believer of notebook and pen make things happen so I wrote down all of my goals. Here are the list of things, I have to do or (I hope to do) before the year ends. (This will be a reminder or a slap in the face )

  • Learn Hiragana and Katakana (make kanji a bonus point)
  • Get involved with community works again
  • Paint
  • WRITE (goal since I was born and until today)

  • Travel
  • Read 12 books (couldn’t even finish 1 and it’s already March!)

Positive note: I still have 9 months. 😀

  • Start an online business (online boutique)
  • Start an online channel
  • Find ways to save Earth (start at home!)
  • Be consistent with my job and any task (including household chores)

 

Putting so many eggs in my basket this year. I might not get them all done but I will. Someday. If it’s not this year, then maybe in the next year or the next lifetime.  The good thing is, I have all of these todos to look forward doing. A sense of purpose.

 

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

 

Why Tatlong Pulo, Guimaras Held Me Captive

This wasn’t my first attempt to write about Tatlong Pulo. In fact, I have it drafted for more than 3 years.

But this time I am eager to finish this today since I wanted to practice writing again and seeing this in my draft triggers my self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder. And of course, this place deserves its five-star review though it doesn’t have a five-star hotel in there nor electricity. Yes, we use kingki during our stay on the island. For those who don’t know kingki, it is a lamp where a piece of cloth seemed to serve as a conductor between the kerosene and the light.

It is usually used by primitive people and even still in some parts of the rural areas. So if you’re expecting a grand vacation with comfy sheets to welcome you, your hopes will fail. But if you’re like Dora the explorer who likes adventure, a little hike, and kayaking. This place is heaven.

History

Filipinos love storytelling to the extent that if we can only monetize chismis, we could have been a rich country. Lol Going back, during our stay, I had the chance to do a small talk with Manong (the caretaker). He told me that tatlong pulo represents three siblings and that’s all. We were interrupted and I don’t know what happened next. Haha Though the folklore behind tatlong pulo is as vague as my blog post, there is something magical in these islands that would surely keep you coming back. Well, aside from being so pocket or wallet-friendly. There are a lot of reasons why. Here are some visuals to fill your hunger for nature and travel.

The cottage

 

 

 

As you can see in the pictures, Tatlong pulo is not as crowded as Boracay or any other mainstream beach resort and If I’m going to name it as my own, I would call it the haven for the introverts. Because it is in a secluded part of Jordan, Guimaras and very ideal for escaping the boring city life. Though the phone signals are very hard to find, I just think that it’s a good way of disconnecting and removing total distraction in your vacay.

What made me love Tatlong pulo so much is the night life. No. There are no island parties there but a total silence when the night starts to take over the day. By the way, it has a very instagrammable sunset.

In tatlong pulo, the night was even more magical. There were planktons glimmering at the shore and the fireflies light up the sky along the beads of stars. It was the best spot for stargazing unfortunately, I don’t have a good camera to capture those. It has held me captive. Breathtaking. End of drama. And I would definitely recommend for thrift travelers and for the waldas ones. lol

 

How to get there and other expenses:

  • Ride a pump boat from Ortiz (fare – 14 php and 20 for night time)
  • Ride a jeepney going to Jordan (fare 14 php)
  • From Jordan market, ride a tricycle to tatlong pulo (100 – 200 php)
  • Hike a little and follow the narrow cemented pathway
  • If you’re going to stay overnight you have to pay 150 php per head
  • You could ask Manang to coo your meals (fee 100 php and above) Depends on the number of dishes

Tips

  • Pack light.
  • Bring only the necessary. (Don’t bring your whole wardrobe. lol)
  • Bring hammock or tent to save space or cottage rent.

 

Enjoy! More thrift travel blog posts soon. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

 

All photos were from brynelmaries.wordpress.com

To a friend I have to live without

I never thought it will be this so mushy to say goodbye, but while I type, I am almost teary-eyed and half-frantic because I was writing this Friday morning in my cubicle and someone might catch me cheating. Spending my paid hours for a love letter. Well, you know me. And I think it’s one of the things you won’t forget about me. (Feeling important)

I know I make your day extra…..annoying. I’ve dragged you for a couple of troubles too like escorting me while I transform myself as a drunkard.  It wasn’t me, it was the beer’s fault. It was not my intention to get drunk, I was just taught not to refuse to graces or blessings so I drink every cup they handed me and you end up, accompanying me in the toilet room.

You were scared to death when I almost vomit in the taxi but you were successful in reminding me to hold on with the vomit of chips and liquor until we get out of the cab.

I know I am a constant occupant of your fb notifications and I’m not sorry for tagging you endless memes. Also, for mimicking your voice and give you names like my pets.

You are my number one supporter of my crappy childlike poems. What friends are for. 😀

And like other friendship, ours is not perfect. We also have petty cold war. Sometimes, I reckon hormone as the culprit.

But seriously, I wish every person you’ll meet next will see how beautiful you are –inside and out. I’m just lucky.

And I’d like to remind you, you deserve an adventure, a love that never falters and a big sky to spread your big wings.

Time to fly! or sail! or go wherever your feet lead you.

Soon, you’ll be setting your feet on a foreign land and with the oceans in between us, I know it will be hard to keep up but like the line in the book you gave me;

“I always hoped to stretch myself.. to cover the distance.” 

I will be here when you decide to moor or to land and stay and fly again. 🙂

Waves

 

My feet are ready to test the water,
to kick the waves, to be carried away
into the wilderness of the ocean floor.

What’s underneath, I am not certain
but I’ll be here indulging the ride.

Let the waves crash on me,
Let it break my solid form,
Let me learn how to stay afloat.

Highs and lows,
let it carry me,
to where I should be.

 

Universe

Let me write about those eyes in my poetry,

Deep as black holes.

I’ve never been in the outer space

but I just know.

You’re a universe on your own.

 

Full of stars and ocean,

of unknown.

 

The Story Behind Judas Kiss

Someone whispered into my ear –a voice shared by a thousand men. It says ‘Take little steps, my child.’

And the echoes run through the walls and begin to explore and conquer my mind.
The rubbing of my sandals against the ground made an eerie sound in the silent night. Like two people fighting within one body.

The voice, it dictates the way and my feet were like submissive soldiers bowing to the ruthless queen. Telling me what I should do that I should not.

If my sanity was in human form, the evil beheaded it. Now it took full control of my body.
I ran fast to my MASTER as I perform the venomous kiss.

As soon as my lips touched HIS woundless face and so does the fulfillment of the prophecy.

 

It was like those puppetry where the object moves its feet as the puppeteer lifts the strings.

This they never tell you.

 

Disclaimer: The content written was only a by product of the writer’s imagination.

Bye 23

This mind could still remember the chilly air of October
and the booze in our hands,
the flickering lights in that careless night,
it was still all fresh like a damp stamp in a paper.
But it was all that I remember.

A drunk night, the spirits, a boy I mistook as an adventure and the longing for the spontaneity at the age of 23.

 

** I’m really getting old. lol

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