pointed graphite, sharpened until you are short-ended from your constant scratching on the surface while your marks leave a hint of gray traces only to be smudged away only to leave behind ghosts on the page and shavings on the floor. you leave no permanence here.
While the scorching ever-present humidity stroked my skin While the Daragang Mayon - a cone pierced through the skies -eyed down below me, While the tanglad, the makahiya, buganvilla, santan bushes - untamed natives- waved back through the wind...
(I hated journal writing because every word is an easy tourist attraction)
As I walked adjacent to the tricycles, jeepneys, pajacks - masses of machines - moved along in formation As I walked by displays of fruits, slippers, plastic copies, woven souvenirs As I walked by the beach, children swimming with their clothes, heaps of trash and a dead dog washed ashore
(Entries felt liked a packaged pasulubong for family and friends, something to look back on.)
I am still living with the ornament collections, the dust patterned carpets, hanging ancestral portraits I am still living with the makatulong - hands diligently feeding, washing, cleaning- I am still living with lolo and lola - their two story house standing in grandeur but slowly emptied
(I wanted to stay longer just to embrace the uncomfortable sentimentality that came with home. It did not welcome me on new soil but it lingered like the smoke from burning trash. My eyes watered and I don’t want to breath the air in, the same way when I heard “your lolo and lola saw you one last time, and now they feel ready to go.”)