Thursday, May 14, 2009

The David Archuleta Experience

Today is a totally different day. But before I tell you why, I’ll let you know what a normal day is for me. First, I wake up late in the morning, maybe just earlier or later than 9:30, then I’ll make my bed, eat breakfast and after that, I’ll do my chores. Then I’ll watch TV or turn the radio on until it’s time for a meal, lunch and dinner, and sleep again until another day comes.

But today, that routine is broken. I woke up very early in the morning – 8:00. (Yes. Very early.)

I ate my breakfast two times faster than the usual because I wanted to start my chores early.

After eating, I swept the fallen leaves on our roof. (I did because my father told me. I am so obedient.) I was already doing it for like an hour and I was nearly finished when my brother and sister yelled like the roof was going to be ripped off from our house.


I nearly fell off the roof. The next thing I know was that I ran all over the roof, got myself down, went inside the house and sat in front of out television set. “Hey, you yelled so well,” I told my siblings.

Before I started cleaning the roof, I told them to yell David’s name when the program goes on air. A talk show had him as guest.

I turned the volume louder so I could hear everything. The hosts made a short introduction and finally, David showed up with a big smile painted across his face.

Seeing him here in the Philippines is just priceless.

I shouted, screamed, yelled, threw my hands up, and applauded. I showed my support even if he couldn’t see me nor hear me. I couldn’t even see him clearly until I wiped my happy tears off my face.

David is my hero. He is the person that I am looking up to since he started in American Idol Season 7. He inspires me a lot to do what I love which is singing. Because of him, I had the more strength to join singing competitions or even made me more confident to just show my talent to anyone.

And to tell you more why this day is different, in a normal day, I always do what my dad says immediately and without a single word. But today, I disobeyed him for just a bit. I was watching the TV with all my eyes and ears on it when dad told me to help him pick some mangoes, which, later in the show, David says he loves.

“Can we do it later because I’m watching TV?” I begged.

I saw him frown. “Why? What’s on the TV?” he asked.

“The one from the US who sang…” I continued with a line from “A Little Too Not Over You”, one of David’s many beautiful songs.

After that, he didn’t say anything. I knew he allowed me to watch some more. Maybe he couldn’t protest because actually, he likes that song too. Sometimes, I can hear him sing that song even if he doesn’t know the lyrics.

I continued to watch until the end where he said this Tagalog phrase– “Mahal ko kayo”, which means “I love you.” The audience naturally yelled that they love him too. But if they didn’t do that, I think he felt the love from the screams of all the people. Also, there were girls who really cried their heart out.

That TV program started airing their episodes for like forever and to watch it for the first time because David was their guest is a totally freaking, amazing, mind blowing experience. And to think that we are standing on only one land made it more special. Finally, he felt the great support from us, Filipinos.

But even if I cannot go to his concert on the 16th of May because I have no freaking money and that I cannot show him my utmost support, I know that he will realize how the Filipinos’ love for him is overflowing. I hope that he can feel that every citizen of the Philippines, like me, has given him a space in their hearts only huge enough for him to feel how every beat of it is partly, if not entirely because of him.

Every song that he sings represents all of my days. Every note in a song represents all the hours and all the minutes. These notes create a perfect tune to be heard from the moment I wake up until I sleep and rest to prepare for the next sunshine to wake me up and play a different, but equally perfect tune. Indubitably, this David Archuleta experience will never be forgotten unless the morning light will never wake me up again to play me another Archie music.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cryptic Deaths - A Novel (Chapter 3)

I lay on my bed one January morning. The moment I woke up, I felt the morning chill pierce through my skin. I got out of bed and went straight to my closet and got more clothes to prevent the frosty air from biting. I returned to my bed and tried to get more sleep.
After a couple of seconds, I closed my eyes, and then opened them again. Out of the window, two flying red ribbons caught my eyes as they soared with the winds and settled in a tree. I watched them jump from branch to branch until they were out of sight. My attention was diverted to the dancing mahogany tree’s leaves. They were squirming wildly because of the winds, until a leaf lost its attachment from the tree and was blown over a hundred meters away.
I closed my eyes again, felt the warmth of my blanket, and exerted all my efforts to seize my sleep. Too bad but all my efforts failed. I just stared out of the window and suddenly, memories came back to me.
I remembered Marie. I remembered the times when she was still alive. I remembered the feeling when she was still around.
Marie Umber was a beautiful woman, half-Filipino, half-British, tall (5’8”), sexy, friendly, and generous; it was like she had no negative traits. Her beauty is unique - a blend of tall, white British woman and innocent, Asian beauty of a Filipina.
She had a nice but strong personality, had a good sense of humor, was a member of the local theatre arts group, could sing, dance, and act, was the editor-in-chief of our school paper, and had won the national teenagers beauty pageant-a talented woman indeed. But behind all the talents that were given to her, there wasn’t a time that she lifted her feet off the ground. Despite her busy schedule, she still had the time to mingle with other people, and that’s why she got the congeniality award voted by and among all graduates when we were in high school, because she could really blend well with anyone and everyone in school.
One nice day when she was still alive, my friends and I had a vacation in Kyle’s house in Manistique, Michigan. We spent one week there and enjoyed every second of our stay. We did plenty of activities like water skiing, fishing, and swimming, picnic by the Manistique Lake, wakeboarding, morning exercises, badminton, board games, and a lot more. We also soaked ourselves under the sun while watching the magnificent Lake Michigan.
I remembered my bonding with my friends especially with Marie. We had a very memorable stay there.
I also remembered that after our first dinner in Kyle’s house, we needed to wash the dishes ourselves because the dishwasher was out of order and the helpers were out for their summer vacation. We needed to work it out so we played spin the bottle and the one who was pointed three times would be the one to wash the dishes by hand. The bottle was spun for a couple of times and Marie and I were in the lead with 2 points each and the rest were pointed once. I spun the bottle, which was the last spin because it pointed Marie which means she would have to be the one to wash the dishes. I volunteered to help her because I was the reason why the bottle pointed her.
We went to the kitchen and did the dishes while we talked and laughed. We chatted about our funny childhood memories and about the future until we realized that bubbles were already flying around the kitchen.
We laughed, threw bubbles at each other, and laughed some more.
After washing the dishes, we ended up soaking wet, with bubbles spread all around the fully furnished kitchen. Naturally, we laughed again, wiped the bubbles scattered around, got tired, and had rest.
Silence and darkness covered the night as happiness invaded me. My mind stopped working and sleep came to me.
I woke up and knew that I was in my bedroom; in my house here in Bellwood, just outside Chicago. I sat up and felt a tear run down my cheeks and suddenly, I let myself burst into tears. And those were tears of joy because I saw and felt the happiness when Marie was still alive but at the same time, I was sad too because I need not dream about it when she’s still alive because I wouldn’t long for her presence.
Marie was a good person. She didn’t deserve what was done to her. She didn’t do something wrong and I’m sure about that. We’ve been friends for too long and knew almost everything about each other. To me, she’s not just a friend but a family. I treated her as my older sister that’s why it’s just so hard to accept that she died.

Friday, March 13, 2009


March 12, 2009 (Thursday) – one of my most heartfelt days.
It’s the day when I came back to UP Baguio. It’s the day when I came back home.
I’ve been to Baguio for a couple of times before but I’ve never visited the University of the Philippines since I left it 2 years ago. It means that I had 2 years of not seeing my classmates, two years of not seeing my friends.
The moment I woke up, I’ve never felt so much excited about anything. I fixed myself, took a bath, ate my breakfast, put my clothes on, and I was ready to go.
I rode a van. During the ride, I savored every memory I have left when I stayed in Baguio. After an hour and a half, UP was already within my sight. I got off the van. I walked towards my past. Every step that I took led me closer to my school, my classmates, my friends, my comfort zone, and my home. One by one, I stepped my feet. Each and every step felt like my feet have chains wound around them. Every step was heavy and was a burden to me. I told myself that those steps represented all the days from the day I left to the day I returned.
Inch by inch, I finally reached my destination. I saw my some friends and my university. I realized what changed, and still appreciated what remained. I smelled the trees and our Biology laboratories. I witnessed students walking to and from buildings and remembered that I was once like them. I remembered the times when I bought snacks from “Manang Mani” and “Manang Banana cue”. I remembered the moments when my friends and I sat on the lobby floor and killed the time by just talking and laughing about things. I remembered when we walked our way to SM City Baguio to amuse ourselves after a sanity-wrecking exam. I remembered when I walked in the rain under my umbrella while my shoes swept the splashing raindrops. I felt happy. I felt great. I felt calmness. I felt home, again.
I remembered the days when I walked in and out of the campus, strolling beside the famous symbol of the University of the Philippines – the Oblation. I also remembered when the weather gets unbearably chilly we’d embrace each other just to keep ourselves warm. I remembered how good these people are and I believe they’re still the same. I remembered those days of my stay.
Hours passed and I came back to reality. I cherished every minute of my homecoming. I embraced the moment when I get to experience my past the second time around.
I tried to deny it but my clock insisted that it was time for me to go. That’s when I started to think about a saying - “History repeats itself.” I proved that it is true. It is true that I’ll get to experience the things that happened before but one of the things that bothered me a lot was the fact that I would have to experience the aches of leaving for the second time and that I would have to turn my back on my home and say “Goodbye.”
Though it’s difficult, it’s still a journey that I’ll always remember.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Symptom Revealed - A Poem (AMKS)


Acute Matt Koval Syndrome
Have you ever heard of this doom?
If not, you’d better read this poem
To know the cause and effect to whom.

Matt Koval you know him eh?
Then let his videos come your way
You want some fun? You’ll get it here
Wanna be awesome? Watch with your peer

If you’re indeed a YouTuber
Then watch now, you’ll be happier
It’s a sensation that’s getting bigger
Every new video, bet it’ll be better

Tressla, a must-learn word for everyone
Watch a video, you’ll never get done
This entertainment that is so pure
Is a sickness that I won’t intend to cure!

Anne Frank: Quoted

  • “My nerves get the better of me: it is especially on Sundays that I feel rotten. The atmosphere is so oppressive and sleepy and as heavy as lead. You don’t hear a single bird singing outside, and a deadly close silence hangs everywhere, catching hold of me as if it will drag me down deep into an underworld.”

  • “I have faults, like everybody else, I know that, but they thoroughly exaggerate everything.”

  • “I am my own skipper and later on I shall see where I come to land.”

  • “Why shouldn’t I follow the way my heart leads me, if it makes us both happy.”

  • “Riches can all be lost, but that happiness in your own heart can only be veiled, and it will still bring you happiness again, as long as you live. As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within and that you will still find happiness.”

  • “Let the end come, even if it is hard; then at least we shall know whether we are finally going to win through or go under.”

  • “Quite honestly, I can’t imagine how anyone can say: ‘I’m weak’, and then remain so. After all, if you know it, why not fight against it; why not try to train your character? The answer was: ‘Because it’s so much easier not to!’ This reply rather discouraged me. Easy? Does that mean that a lazy, deceitful life is an easy life?”

  • “Laziness appears attractive, but work gives satisfaction.”


There’s a feeling in me that I want to explode and be lost in this cold March night.
Am I in love? Am I lacking someone’s attention? Am I just bored? Am I just sleepy? Am I longing for somebody’s love? Am I missing a person? Am I angry? Am I sad? Am I losing my self? Am I embarrassed? Am I excited? Do I want contact with someone? Am I okay?
With these thoughts that makes me confused, is it proper to say that I’m full of problems?
I went outside and looked at the moon, stared at it for a moment and I didn’t know what to think about. I went back in the house and did the same thing – stare at something w/ nothing going on in my mind.
What I want to know is why I am feeling like this. What am I going to do? What’s happening to me?
I lay myself on my bed and tried to settle my mind. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. I was on my bed for almost an hour until I realized the thing that’s been confusing me. I am missing a person. She’s someone who is very close to me. For me, she’s my best friend. But sometimes, I ask myself “Could it be more than that?”
It could be. But I’d rather sleep and meet her…in my dreams.

Cryptic Deaths - A Novel (Chapter 2)

Everybody was packed in one place discussing things. I didn’t trust the police so I walked away from them. I was already about 200 meters away from everybody when Kyle looked at me, maybe he was curious why I walked away. I waved my arm for him to come.
Kyle approached and asked, “What are you doing?”
I gestured for him to be quiet and said, “I’d like to wander around. The police might have been missing a thing.”
“But they said they couldn’t find anything,” he demanded.
“But I feel there’s something here. Let’s take a walk. Maybe something will show itself.”
“I mean what if evidence is hiding, waiting to be seen. Now come on!”
He wasn’t speaking after I spoke but he first started our walk. Even though the police didn’t allow it, we took the risk.
We walked around the lake and investigated the place. We stopped beside the large rock where Marie jumped and laid our eyes on everything that were there - the lake, the rock, the sky, the sand, the trees, the bushes, and the blackish plasma-like substance on a bush’s leaves. I thought it was just a drop of sap from a tree. It took a moment until I realized it.
“Kyle! Look! Over there! The bush! There’s blood on it!” I said.
But after a second, thoughts came rushing into me. There’s blood on the bush. Was it Marie’s? If it was, then someone, or more than one, has dragged her into the woods. There’s blood here then this must be of great help. Now we could locate the body. Body? Full of blood? What was done to her? Why was she killed?
Kyle saw the blood immediately then gasped. He looked very stunned. “Let’s tell it to the police.”
“Huh?” My mind was sprinting around in my head. Kyle pulled me very hard as if my arm was going to be ripped off from my body. After 2 seconds, I realized we were already running towards our group.
“Mr. McAllen! We saw blood on a bush over there!” Kyle exclaimed while catching his breath.
Mr. Victor McAllen was the chief investigator for this incident. He ordered us to tell him where the bush was.
“Go at the right side of the lake. Stay at the shore. Go straight where the huge rock is, and the bush is there, under the trees,” I explained.
Mr. McAllen and his members went straight to where the bush was. They came in no time then saw the bush where it was. Blood was wiped on its leaves. It’s like something was hauled into the woods. It must be Marie’s body.
The police entered the woods and followed a trail, a trail which the ground and the bushes were distorted from their original positions.
They walked slowly, scrutinized the place to collect evidences. After over a hundred meter, the trail broke. The chief ordered his men to search the place. The suspect must’ve carried the body somewhere.
After thirty minutes, a police called his chief. They saw a woman’s body. They took pictures of the place, and the most important of all, the body. They also searched the place for evidences.
They found two very unusual things, things that can hardly be considered as weapons for killing. Positioned beside the body was a wallet sized calendar of the year 2008 in which the number 28 under the month of October was encircled, and a small dictionary starting from “Z” - “A”.
The very sight of the body was the most mind-boggling of all. The police found out that the body was Marie’s because it had a blue butterfly tattoo beside a brown heart-like birthmark on the lower right part of its back. The police saw it easily because her body was lying face down. The upper back was badly wounded and the cuts resembled a stanza:

The first is thee,
The next is your tee,
I’ll stop your pee
Then hey! You’ll be free!

Each letter cut deep into her skin. Blood had spread and covered her back and had dripped to the ground.
We saw the evidences and the pictures. The calendar and the dictionary gave us an unbearable confusion, and the sight of Marie’s bloody body left us bewildered and crying on our knees, vomiting.

Marie’s death made a great impact on our lives. But no matter what, our lives kept on moving. Even though the police failed to solve the crime, my friends and I didn’t give up on looking for answers and searching for the truth.
Marie was buried after 5 days from the day of her death. Her memories gave us the strength and inspiration to work hard to achieve justice. But as we searched for the truth, we found out that terror was just beginning.