Deserves to be Sad

Everyone deserves happiness, says humanity. Say the poor, littlest things package most joy; biggest rob it so why come after gold, dear precious metals when oxygen rusts them all?

Say the weak, hiding is power—if you can escape from realities you believe are alternatives, you are great enough to ease your pain, be happy then create a world that is refuge and yours.

Say the afraid, fear is a friend, your best warning, humiliation-proof, guards of ego. No falling. No frustration. No struggle. And you’re content. You’re safe and happy for fright.

Say the hurt, stronger I shall be. Learn to forget, you’ll find peace. But learn to forget you’ll find peace, if you don’t acknowledge history and the blood of it.

Everyone deserves to be happy, so you say choose to be happy. Yet choosing to be happy is never equated to happiness. Happiness is not a choice, it’s existence. And you don’t choose existence.

Something hangs on my wall and annoys me

Something hangs on my wall
and annoys me
with its ‘ticks’
and ‘tocks’
as if saying
I have music more beautiful
than your favorite songs
so just listen to me.

It sticks there
all day, all night
with its irritating warnings
of time lost
every second,
every parcel of each second.

I take the chance
to ask it
if it ever gets tired of
measuring a thing too abstract,
too imperceptible,
and all it answers
‘tick tock’
For god’s sake,
yes or no?

I wonder
if someone ever finds happiness
in seeing all time gone
only to see that the same hands
point at the same numbers
indicating the same time
all the while
till you realize nothing has really been lost.
Or everything has been lost
at the very midnight
it starts ticking.

I take the chance
to ask it,
Do clocks count time?
Or do they even know they show it?

Just that simple


That simple joy
one gets
when one gives up her seat
for an old lady
who just boarded the crowded train
and the old lady
thanks her
as if she won
the lottery

is not that simple afterall.


Sometimes, no matter how annoying your train experience can be, it can bring out your widest smile. Simple deed. Appreciation was beyond what I deserved. And it felt wonderful. 

Catching Fire

No. This is not about your hunger games. This is about catching a glimmer of light amidst the darkest. This is about catching flickers of candles as one catches flickers of hope.

The past few days, I had no contact with the world outside that mountain. I had no contact with my phone, with my laptop screen, with my regular meals and desserts, and with the fluorescent lights. I had no contact with my calendar, and with my papers. I had no watch, no make-up, no formal dress. I just had myself and the folly that I was before the real essentials of living.

That living is so complicated is an idea that never occurs to the Tanay people. Life has been rude and ungenerous to them yet they have been living it as if it were so kind and sympathetic. Their poverty is sheer simplicity to them. Their empty plates are a bounty. Their wooden couches are a cradle.

Their neighbors and their classmates are their social networks. The bamboos and the flowers are their gadgets. The trees and the uphills are their playgrounds. The soil and the dust are their shoes. The clay and their hair are their canvass. Walking and running and jumping are their dance. Their shrieks when playing are their music.

I have witnessed how the littlest things can bring out the hugest smiles; how the simplest jokes can trigger the hardest laughter; how the smallest loaf of meat can fill the hungriest stomach; how the tiniest piece of flower can beautify the dullest place; how the slightest touch of your hand can offer the warmest caress to a longing child; how your shoulders can be the highest place they have ever reached; how your old things can be the newest they have ever seen; how your flashlight can be the brightest thing they have actually held.


Sometimes, children could be more knowledgeable than you. During our immersion, the children always led me. They taught me how to get to places, how to climb trees. They showed me how to get bamboos for a living. They toured me and explained to me history behind things. They told me stories only people who had that kind of perspective could share. They taught me how to be a child all over again. They taught me I missed a lot of my childhood. They taught me hope beyond its very meaning. They taught me living. They taught me life. And they did not even try.

Contrary to popular belief, the candles they light at night are actually not a necessity. They can survive without these candles, I am sure of that. They can even walk along the trails without any lamp. But why do they have to light those candles if they are not necessary anyway? It is because these candles are the only luxury they have. These are the only extravagance they can treat their families with. These are the only things that could express their undying hopes to have better lives when not one of them bothers to express it beyond the mask of contentment. These are the only fire they can catch, with their dreams as their arrow, their family as their bow.


After all, I didn’t have any regret in participating in that immersion activity up the Tanay mountain for I met people way richer than I in more ways than you can imagine.