Saklap

Sakit na pakiramdam,
Pagtanggi ang syang dahilan.
Ngunit buhay ang kapit;
Masakit man, patuloy parin.
Mga pangakong di natupad,
Mga pinaasa’t pinangarap,
Sumabay sa hangin
Ayun, lumipad.

Mga pusong nabasag,
Kirot at sakit ang damdam.
Patuloy parin sa pagtibok.
Bumubulong,
Nagpaparamdam,
Tila nakikiusap,
‘Wag na natin pahirapan ang isa’t isa’.
Tanggapin nalang
Na wala nang natira
Tapos na ang lahat.

Humingi ka man ng tawad,
Di ko na makakalimutan
Lahat ng sinabi mo
Katapat ng mga di natupad.
Magkalimutan nalang
Na parang di nagkakilala.

Tayo’y magpanggap.
Kaluluwa’y ligaw,
Sadyang di na nagkatagpo.

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Bullshit

“Bullshit!” Mandy exclaimed.

 

It’s 5pm and Mandy has just finished her second shift of work for the day. She unbuttoned her shirt, threw her knickers to the bin, and just settled on the couch. Tired bags have lined her usually twinkling eyes.

It has been another tiring day at work.

Vince was glad Mandy got home okay.  He knew how stressed Mandy was at work. She’s been sulking around lately and he naturally just assumed… No, hoped, she was all right.

 

Today, however, he had the gut feeling Mandy was stressing over something else other than work… something more emotional.

 

“I was at the Convention,” Vince started thinking as he took a sip of his coffee. “She wanted me there. She kept asking me to go, and saying I had to do that speech. But it was too public… too open. There were too many people.”

 

Vince rubbed his neck and scratched the stubble of his beard, reminding himself that he probably needed to shave soon in order to look like a proper human being.

 

“I knew I should be with more public people,” Vince thought. “But I just want normal. Perhaps cut the extroverted crap and just hide away in my hole…”

 

Then he looked at Mandy sitting on the couch, “Oh wait, I’m in a relationship. No way am I ever getting any of this holing up in the wall alone.”

 

He sighed and looked at Mandy.

 

She looked at him and wasn’t at all pleased herself.

 

Vince has always known her to be one of the most optimistic people he’s known. He has joked, rather lamely, that he thought she was as bright as the sun. He held no doubt that she was.

 

She was always smiling and beaming. She always looked happy – sometimes a little too happy. It doesn’t seem like anything could bother her at all.

 

But now, perhaps there is something that bothers her.

 

That’s odd.

 

Through the course of their relationship, Mandy has never been the one to get through emotional roller coasters.

 

Mandy was always hanging out with tons of friends. She’s the one who’s always away and doing something. For one week she’d go off teaching and in another she would travel and participate in volunteering events. She has that zest for life – traveling, writing, starting up a business – that he couldn’t quite grasp.

Mandy has this intense, uncontrollable energy that keeps her moving on to a great idea. It seemed like the more the world challenges her, the more she embraces the challenge… and she always manages to do so with a smile. How she does it, he doesn’t know. But that’s part of what makes her so charming.

 

The bitter, miserable Mandy in front of him isn’t the Mandy he knows.

 

He immediately pondered over the possibility that he could be the problem.

 

Mandy has always been a ray of sunshine while Vince has been the cold, lingering storm.

He tries to keep up with her energy, but, most times, he’s just exhausted, frustrated and worn.

He knows that Mandy is too good for him. Often, he’d wonder if Mandy knew that. She’s too smart, friendly, outgoing, and funny – pretty much everything he isn’t.

He knows he’s definitely lucked out to have her as his girl. Sometimes, he’d wondered if Mandy ever felt the same.

 

There are moments, though, when he’d miss being alone. 

Dating Mandy isn’t so bad. She’s always so much fun to be around. Yet, he’d miss his solitary cave every now and  then. These days, though, he’s come to miss the tranquil comfort of solitary confinement much more often. He’d try to shrug it off, wondering all the while how he could possibly be so happy in a relationship and still want to be alone.

 

Mandy curses blasphemic frustrations in the air.

 

This isn’t the Mandy Vince knows.

 

Mandy was sweet and kind and loving. The Mandy in front of him looked bitter, sad, and alone. How that could happen just seems difficult to understand.

 

Vince sits beside her and asks, “Babe, what’s wrong?”

 

Mandy looks intently into Vince’s eyes, her gaze deep and stormy. She looks angry, frustrated and sad.

 

Tears start streaming down her eyes to her cheeks.

 

Mandy touches Vince’s face as if she’s afraid he’ll disappear. For a moment, Vince felt the same. Then Mandy leaned in close, and whispered in his ear…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I wish I was real.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo Sheree
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Tama na

Di ko hanap
Mga pangakong
Ligaw sa hangin
Lalong di ko hanap
Walang hangganan
Pakikipagsama

Ngunit
Di lang to katuwaan
Umasa akong
Di ka tulad nila
Na kahit minsan
Tama ang paghangad
Kahit walang pangakong
Dapat itupad

Sana man lang
Sana naman
Ika’y maiba

xoxo
Sheree

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A stroll around the city

It’s funny how easy it could be to become a stranger in your own locality.

Staying long enough in a city and living as a local could bring about the flawed assumption that you know everything there is to know about the city you live in. So you go about and continue living there – content with no need for exploration in the city – because, after all, you already know everything there is to know, right?

The funny thing is, so many of us dream of exploring new places but many would continue to ignore the possibilities of exploring their own locality. There’s so much to see and learn even in your own area. One can never really tell what surprises a city can show, and these surprises can only be found if they are ultimately sought for.

Personally, I believe we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just dreaming about exploring other cities and other countries. We can always start by exploring our very own and letting it surprise us. This is definitely a great way to start on traveling and is a cheaper way to satisfy any lingering wanderlust.

So, yesterday, we decided to do just that…primarily because a couchsurfer decided to stay over at Sheila’s and we took it upon ourselves to show him around.

For those who don’t know what couchsurfing is about, couchsurfing is an organization for travelers which helps them connect & meet up with other travelers by staying over at their place. Usually, it involves having a host accommodate the traveler in his or her home by having the traveler stay over or “surf” at his place…usually on a couch, or an extra room. It is also a helpful way for other travelers to ask about cheap places to stay in if they don’t want to surf.

Unfortunately, Sheila’s guest only has less than a day to fully explore the city. His only itinerary for the day was watching a movie in the mall, but that wouldn’t be so much fun. After all, what’s the point in going to another country if you won’t go out to explore?

The challenge to our city trip was we don’t have a lot of money. We intend to spend less than P200 each for a whole day around the city. So with that in mind, we ventured out.

We started by going around Colon, the oldest street in the Philippines. We took a jeepney ride from Ayala which only cost P8 each.

Around Colon, we came across the commemorative sculpture of the Spanish arrival in Mactan.

(This photo was taken on a tour around the city with another friend of ours. I’m using this since I didn’t get to take a more recent photo).

We also walked around a bit until we came across the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
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Lucky for us, a wedding was taking place in the Church so we also got a view of the beautiful ceremony taking place. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a better angle to capture the wedding. We wouldn’t want some tourists disturbing a perfectly beautiful ceremony. 😛

Then we went around the street and stopped by the Basilica del Sto. Niño – one of the oldest churches in Cebu.
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The Basilica is dedicated to the baby Jesus Christ and is one of the major churches in Cebu.
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Its bell tower was damaged because of the magnitude 7 earthquake last year, but the government is working on getting it fixed – hopefully in time for Sinulog this January 2015.

After that, we decided to have halo-halo at Chowking. Halo-halo literally means “mix-mix” since the frozen desert is a mixture of different ingredients ranging from ice cream, red beans, corn, nata de coco (coconut jelly), and ube to corn flakes, pop rice, and, even, leche flan.
The halo-halo at Chowking cost P72 but several shops sell them for a much cheaper rate.
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After the halo-halo, we decided to take a short trip to the Philippine Taoist Temple in Lahug. To get there, we rode a jeepney from Colon that passes by Mango to Lahug. The ride only cost us P8 and from there, we stopped near La Vie Parisienne where a lot of habal-habals are waiting around for passengers.

The habal-habal is essentially a motorcycle ride wherein two or more people could ride the back of a motorcycle to steep areas. The habal-habal ride to the entrance of the temple cost only P10. This is very important to note since several habal-habal drivers would attempt to haggle for an increased rate or would demand a more expensive fee if they can see that you’re new to the place. Some may even pretend they don’t have enough change so you’d have to pay a bigger fee. Naturally, this only happens in some cases but it’s better to know about this in order to prevent getting ripped off.

The walk to the temple was short but tiring because of the elevation.

On our way to the temple. It took us only a few minutes and the view to the temple is breathtaking. :3

A post shared by Sheree Tampus 🦄 (@shereettampus) on

The effort was still worth it though because the temple is a view in and of itself.

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It has long, winding staircases that provide a good view of the city once on top.

#Taoist #Taoisttemple #philippinetaoisttemple #cebuph #cebu #Philippines

A post shared by Sheree Tampus 🦄 (@shereettampus) on

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#sora #philippinetaoisttemple #Philippines #cebuph #Cebu

A post shared by Sheree Tampus 🦄 (@shereettampus) on

People are allowed to roam around and take pictures of the sculptures, the architecture and the gardens, except for the holy Taoist Saints.

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The temple also has the Taoist prayer and wish stones which allows for devotees and visitors to ask for prayers from the Taoist God. I rarely get the chance to be in Taoist temples and I am very much curious about the prayer stones so I tried to make a wish myself. image

It was a wonderful idea. In fact, I was so thrilled I got to try it. I’m not Taoist but I have high respects for the faith.

Personally, I believe that regardless of what religion or faith you come from, there will always be harmony so long as there is respect for each other’s faiths and beliefs. I believe this is very important and one that many should try to attain.

This harmony and balance is essentially what Taoism is about. After all, according to the Taoist philosophy, one has to understand that we are all part of the whole. In order for us to attain harmony and peace, we have to accept that balance is necessary and respect is an aspect that helps achieve this balance.

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I was actually quite nervous when I managed to hold the kidney-shaped blocks in my hand. I was afraid I’d throw them wrong or that I’d receive a “no”.

I am very fortunate to have received a “Yes” from the Taoist God (through the kidney-shaped blocks, of course) when I made the request to make a wish. I was even more fortunate to have received another “yes” when I was asking about my wish.

I honestly didn’t expect for anything and I was prepared to receive a “No” or a “Maybe”, but I’m so glad it managed to turn out positively. This gives me hope. I would love to tell you about my prayers and my wish, but I’m afraid of jinxing it.

We couldn’t get a photo of the prayer room because photos of the saints are forbidden.

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After our short trip around the Philippine Taoist Temple, we went back to the urban jungle by riding another habal-habal for P10 and a jeepney back to Ayala for P8.

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Overall, it was a very tiring and exciting adventure. Also, one of the coolest parts is..we spent less than P200!

Here’s a tally of our expenses:
P8 – Jeepney from Ayala to Colon
P72 – Chowking Halo-Halo
P32 – Softdrinks at Chowking
P8 – Jeepney from Colon to Lahug
P10 – Habal-habal to the Temple Entrance
P10 – Habal-habal from Temple Entrance to Lahug
P8 – Jeepney to Ayala
Total
P148

Obviously, if I hadn’t eaten halo-halo and had expensive soft drinks, I would have only spent a total of only P44. Not bad for a cultural exploration around the city’s downtown area and its Taoist Temple atop the mountains.

It was so much fun and I look forward to sharing this experience with my friends and family. I say, more people should try exploring their own cities. You can honestly never tell what surprises your own city has in store for you.

xoxo
Sheree

No to rape and unjust discrimination

I was browsing my newsfeed on Facebook when I came upon this article about a young woman in Iran who was convicted for the murder of her attempted rapist.

Essentially, Reyhaneh Jabbari wasn’t given a fair opportunity to prove that she killed the man in order to protect herself. Since the man came from a wealthy and influential political influence, the trial became a full-blown case and the young lady was eventually convicted of murder, the punishment of which was execution by hanging last Saturday, October 25, 2014.

Several human rights groups have attempted to prevent her execution, but the verdict of the Tehran Court last 2009 sentencing her to death for the murder of former Ministry of Intelligence employee Morteza Abdolali Sarbandihas was upheld by Iran’s Supreme Court – thus, sealing her fate to a rope tied around her neck.

Prior to her death, she wrote a letter to her mother requesting her to not grieve over her death and that she doesn’t want to be buried on any ground. She requested that her organs be donated anonymously to people who need them the most and that her mother should not mourn for her. She also stated that divine justice will eventually condemn those who have unjustly executed her and trampled on her rights.

Here’s an excerpt of her letter to her mother.

You taught me that one comes to this world to gain an experience and learn a lesson and with each birth a responsibility is put on one’s shoulder. I learned that sometimes one has to fight…

I don’t want to have a grave for you to come and mourn there and suffer. I don’t want you to wear black clothing for me. Do your best to forget my difficult days. Give me to the wind to take away.

The world did not love us. It did not want my fate. And now I am giving in to it and embrace the death. Because in the court of God I will charge the inspectors, I will charge inspector Shamlou, I will charge judge, and the judges of country’s Supreme Court that beat me up when I was awake and did not refrain from harassing me. In the court of the creator I will charge Dr. Farvandi, I will charge Qassem Shabani and all those that out of ignorance or with their lies wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn’t pay heed to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it.

This whole message just shows that there is still much that needs to be done in order to protect the rights of people – not just women – everywhere. Despite the movement to promote equality and justice in a global and local scale,  and despite the attempts to show that the world has matured on social issues considering that now is the 21st century, inequality still happens. Corruption still happens. Abuse of power, gender discrimination, power tripping, and oppression still happens. And worse, the people who fought for their rights are the ones condemned to death.

We don’t want any more of this.

We don’t want anymore of this terrible, oppressive rape culture.

We don’t want anymore unfair trials, political power play and unjust killings over unresolved cases and corrupted agenda.

But these won’t change unless we all take a stand to condemn all of these.

If we allow ourselves to passively accept these gross disrespect for human life as another headline on the news or another death rated in a statistic, then change isn’t going to happen and the oppression will continue on.

We cannot turn a blind eye on this.

As such, I would personally say “No to anymore of this.”

I would personally condemn each of these oppressive and unjust killings. I condemn the rape culture and I condemn the tyrannical abuse of power by these “people in power”.

I may not be someone of influence, but I will definitely be someone who will take a stand against this…against all of these. I believe that if more people try to stand up for something, let them stand up for this.

Because for every girl or woman who has been raped and condemned for being victims…there’s somebody who’s willing to fight for that woman’s right ti justice…or at least, for the right of every woman against the injustice of the rape culture.

For this, I’m proud to take a stand.

xoxo
Sheree