A Tiny Tale of Us

I miss you.

I may not be your priority but, I know I always run through your mind.

We hardly share about everything we’ve been through, 24/365+.

You know I can’t look you in the eyes, I could melt if I do.

You think the printed pair of socks you gave looks cute on me, so I keep it.

Like a kid, I always put the blame game on you whenever my character dies at the games we play.

You’re particular that I’m not vocal when I feel something bad that makes me mad for a long time, until I cool down and spill the beans.

I was like that.

You loved me even on my tattered points, and I love you so.

I could not even imagine myself with anyone but you.

And now, I always imagine how our lives could be at the present if we’re still together.

Lot of what ifs and regrets I have in mind could either make us or still break us.

Let’s try even the 1% chance left on us.

Trust the process, you always say, and we always do.

Pinky swear?

About Having Our Dog

I admit that I’m a non-dog lover. Maybe because I’ve got bitten when I was young. I have lived to be scared of dogs, like every time I walk by in our narrow street, I will always bite my tongue, so I won’t get noticed by the pack of dogs as I pass by. I don’t know but, I believe in its magic.

Until my brother had one, it took him a long time to have a dog, since I’m really not into it, we always argue. The barking, the shredding fur, the pooping and peeing, the smell, and stuffs — some minor issues I’m concerned with. I’m glad he considered my shallow plead. So, we adopted a native dog that has no breed, an Aspin. Having one require less maintenance than purebred dogs.

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our boy, kobe 🐶

A post shared by Franze Villas Garcia (@franzegarcia) on

His name is Kobe, a great addition to our family just right before Coronavirus pandemic rebellion. He is 2 months old when we adopted him on 30th January. I can’t touch him, really scared of him, even though he’s that small.

There were consecutive mid nights and dawn he barked which put me into a really awful sleep. Agh, I don’t know why I’m the only one who complains about it in our family. I always come closer to his shed to talk to him that he’s really noisy. I always scold him because of his behavior. Funny how he stares at me and listen intently as if he can understand what I am preaching. I heard that he’s compulsive barking is normal since he’s into a whole new environment.

As the day passes, I’m getting used to his barks, and he as well got used to our place. There was a time that he really wanted to come out his shed, and he kept on barking. So, my dad let him out of his house, he hastily ran away beside a distant tree and peed, later he also pooped. I just learned something from that day. Those barks may be a sign of a comfort break, aside from attention seeking, or he wants to play, he’s hungry, and there’s a stranger.

On weekends, I used to feed him since my brother is out of town during those days. I got annoyed that sometimes he will make noise even though it’s only 10 AM, not his feeding time. He will stretch his body just to allow me see him because I always do my work in the kitchen near his shed. Poor boy, we have no food to feed him that early and wait for us to finish our meals first before he could finally eat. But I can’t take his appeal, I will then open canned goods for him to eat and stop the noise already. And I will start my preaching again as I feed him.

He became part of our daily routine. We let him out of his shed in the morning and sunset to play in the field, feed and wash him too. For the passing months I haven’t touched him yet. I just really can’t but, I love how I used to feed him and play without touching him. It has been 8 months since he’s home. I can’t believe the fact that we already incorporated Kobe in our everyday lives. He became quiet and adaptive as he age, he became comfortable to our place as well. The only time he will make noise is when he’s going to have a comfort break, when he wants to play, when he’s hungry, and he saw someone peculiar. Not to the point that we can’t get a comfortable sleep at night.

We really can’t avoid unfortunate events to happen in our lives. One morning, where the sky’s gloomy and the rain’s about to drop, my dad noticed that Kobe went missing in his shed. We all started to look for him all over the place. Asked the neighbors by any chance that they’ve seen Kobe. One of them said that he saw a dog walking outside our compound, he wasn’t sure if it’s Kobe. Until the rain came, we failed to find him, we really had no idea where he was. Whilst, my brother had no idea that his dog went missing because he’s out of town.

We ate lunch, I’m the one tasked to do the chores and stuff, I already had everything cleaned. I stopped and sat for a while, I’m suddenly reminded of how I prepare Kobe’s food after our lunch. As the rain came heavier, thoughts of where Kobe could have been situated hit my senses, tears in face came streaming. Maybe he’s shivering, wet and lonely and had no place to shed off. I just really can’t take to be reminded of those unfortunate instances and of course our bittersweet memory together.

Two days passed, we had no idea where he was. I missed the morning walks and plays, the sound of his noise. I used to look around our place if Kobe’s just hiding or nearby. I just can’t control my feelings and let my tears drip on my face, it hurt me so much. I can’t let go of thoughts that maybe he’s into another family, he got by the authorities, hit by raging car, and even worst, dead. But I’m still hoping that he’ll make his way home. And I won’t get tired of waiting for him.

Six o’clock in the morning, one of our neighbor came knocking on our door together with Kobe telling us that our dog was seen heading inside our compound. He looked so sad, starving, and chilling. We didn’t know where he had been, he just walked by inside the house, he knew the place, but he seemed to be aloof. Maybe he’s dealing with emotional trauma after being lost. We fed him, gave him water and pet him. We really missed him.

You’re really a grown up dog, our Kobe! You once got lost but you found your way home.

I felt relieved the moment I saw him eating the foods we gave him. It felt like he didn’t eat for ages. You are safe, you are home now.

I can’t deny that I really got inflicted by this happening. I still can’t consider myself as a dog lover, a frustrated dog parent in such different way, perhaps.

The moment he came back gave me deep realizations and affection towards him. He made me realized that in every fall, do not lose the hope for there might be a great come back. Thank you, God, we’re together again.

Here’s to more bittersweet memories with you, Kobe. 🐕🐶

A Weekend in Mindoro

I still have a few backlogs to write and one of those is this one.

The semester has finally ended, so I thought about finding a good way to spend it. Thus, I took advantage of having a getaway at my mom’s hometown, plus it was my Lola and Kuya’s birthday. And we wanted to celebrate tho.

The night before, I was thinking if I will be taking the shower already, so I won’t have any struggle in the cold and knee-curling temp of the water as we have planned a super early morning parting because we wanted to get there in Mindoro as early as we could as it is way too far. But that night, I was really feeling drowsy and worn-out so, I decided to just generally have a morning shower. Well, it did help me freshen and wake up in that early move.

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Mom: “Saan na kayo anak?”
Me: “We’re on our way na po, na-traffic lang sa laot haha

Unfortunate events normally happen in life. We missed the 8AM ship, I’m gagged. So my mom, auntie and uncle waited for about 4-5 hours in Mamburao (Occidental Mindoro capital) to pick us up. We boarded at exactly 10AM.  The usual travel time to offboard in Port of Abra de Ilog consumes 3-4 hours including the latencies. Plus, an additional 1-hour drive from the port to Mamburao.

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It’s past 5PM when we got there. Painted on my Lola’s face was jubilee for the reason that we only pay her a visit when we’re free. And since my mom works overseas, we only have a seldom time to go to Mindoro. We briskly gave her a hug and mano — an honoring gesture as a sign of respect. Since there is no cellular signal in our place there, I then swift to the shore where there’s an available. I told my dad that we already made it to Lola’s place. That’s our day, we have had some fun-filled talks, we ate and rested afterwhile to recharge. And I thank God for it was indeed a safe trip.

#DayOne

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Everyone’s recharged and so did I. We were about to go swimming in the sea, but we were caught by the blazing heat of the sun. So my brother and I went lurking, we’ve decided to go to our cousins to check how they were. They live near the mountain, so we considered hiking. For I was curious to see the picture of everything at the bottom when you’re on the top of the mountain.  It’s not arduous to climb it and the views were undoubtedly a good distraction. It’s getting late in the afternoon, so we took the moment and gave thanks that we were allowed to get there and prayed to return us safely to the trailhead.

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This weekend trip wouldn’t be completed without fresh foods. Foods that we don’t eat on a usual day. Yes, we were blessed with an abundance of bounty — seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooking style. Evident in the picture, I wasn’t able to get away with cleaning the dishes, just as how I do in Batangas. To drench, I used water from the poso — an old-style water pump commonly used in the provinces of the Philippines.

#TheNextDay

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To kick start the day, I walked by the bay, listened to the rhythmic swell of waves, and of course inhaled the fresh, briny smell of the sea. Just as the heat of the sun has an ability to damage our skin, it also has plenty of health benefits associated with it. As per research, a 5-minute stand under the sun will save us from skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and fungal skin infections. Just avoid too much exposure that may lead to suntan which means the skin has already been damaged. Since it’s low tide, I found a starfish by the shore. Sea stars can be found in the rocky areas just below sea level. They’re easy to find, and seeing them is indeed an exciting part of being in the beach.

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This was one of the highlights of our escapade, my Kuya turned 23 and my Lola celebrated her 60th year of existence, glad we were there. For her, age is just a number, and she is young as she feels. I thank God for the added year in their lives. He really is the redeemer, the anchor, and healer of all life seizures.

#LastDay

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It has been a tradition of our family to go to Calawagan Mountain Resort on the last day of our visit in Mindoro, about an hour trip from Paluan.  It’s a nature-based resort good for leisure outings, evident lush vegetation, has a cool mountain breeze, there are available cottages, forest, and hiking trails. There’s a lap pool upon entry and a connecting bridge to the other side of the resort where natural pool with boulders and rock formations can be found.  The large trees which abound throughout the resort provides an excellent shade even on the midday sun. As they say, birdwatchers wouldn’t have to go too far to locate some of Mindoro’s endemic birds such as hawk-owls, flower peckers, fruit-doves, flycatchers and sun birds as it can be seen and heard throughout this resort. It is an ideal locale for anyone who wishes a unique outdoor adventure in Mindoro. Picture taking is really a must.

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It’s our last day in Mindoro, the time when unwelcome thoughts bubbled up, as our so-mini-vacation ending was imminent in just a wink. I love this type of vacation when we used to travel back and forth where I used to get a sunk feeling. The feeling of I-still-didn’t-want-to-go-back to my daily routine. It’s like I’m having anxiety because I’ve been used to what I’ve had experienced for the past few days. Then all of a sudden, I’m dreading the end to a glorious trip. The post-vacation feels hit me like a wrecking ball. I closed my eyes, I’m  having the time of my life, I opened my eyes, I’m back facing the reality and what happened fades in an instant.

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. The life in Mindoro was just so simple. The way of living merely has a big difference from our life at home. There’s no signal for some area, means for FM radio, mobile phones and television, unless you have cable TV. I was able to experience this which others cannot. The simplicity of the life of the residents, harvesting onion crops, riding in a boat and balsa- a small raft or boat, roaming around by the shore to pick up seashells, viewing sea stars, sightseeing around, and mountain adventures.

It was a weekend away from the civilization and overcrowded places. I was able to feel the sea breeze and it’s brine, and the sounds of the blow of the waves. I was also able to meditate, away from the pressure and social media.

God is good all the time. He provided us not just the financial needs but also the strength and the precious time to look back and visit the place and the people whom are part of who we are and how’s our life now. And I know He is with us, wherever we go.

Till our next.

An Open Letter To The One That Got Away

What if we were really meant to part ways,
So that, in time, we could find each other again?
I believe there’s a silver lining for us to meet at the shore,
Where our lines will be intertwined to resume our half-sealed pinky swears. 

I was 17 when I got to know you. The night I can’t seem to forget where the glaring moon and stars witnessed the first time we’ve met. I really had no idea from that moment on, we’ll create the profound story of us.

Adrenaline rushes through every opening of my veins whenever we talk, and see each other. I don’t know why, maybe because the feeling felt like it’s always new. I’m always on cloud nine, a fairy tale bliss kind of feeling. Why do you have to carry that aura of an angel with you? It’s enticing, you got me. You’re like the blue sea, still and calm that I could stare the whole day for me to think of things I’d like to. The blue sea that turns red whenever I kiss you. Not a chance on a day that we won’t exchange goodmornings, and have you eaten your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On busy days, we still’ve time to share how our day went before we bid our goodnights. We went out on dates, ate our favorites, and shared our stories to tell. I learned things from you, and you learned things from me. We even coerced our ship with every prodigious waves that hit us. Cherished good, bad, exciting and thrilling happenings and special days that came our way. We were young that time, but we both knew that our tryst relationship could go deeper, soon as we sail. We’re like that — we’re normal.

Thank you. You’re the one who brought out the best in me, and made me want to be a better person. You’re very ideal, your patience and empathy is indeed admirable, you’ve made me feel I’m validated. You ought to let me realize how to embrace my imperfections and perhaps it made us perfect for one another. Who wouldn’t love you?. Expressionless you might be but if I could be able to look through your heart, I know every beat of it can show the depth of your love for me. Your words might not be able to describe how you really feel towards me, but I thank you enough for telling me that you love me. And I so love you more always in all ways.

My Apologies. I know I’m perfect being imperfect, I’m no superhuman and I made mistakes. Sorry for acting silent like it’s nothing whenever I’m mad and for ignoring you at times. Sorry for my inability to compromise, the immaturity and toxicity I brought, for being too jealous of your time or even to someone. For my non-sense jokes, my whines and I sought your attention while you were too busy on your things. Sorry for being my greatest fear. Sorry for a bucket full of never-ending misunderstandings we have had. And a lot of things to apologize for. But above all these, sorry for loving you this much that made it hurt you. I trust fate and I believe you’ll accept my apology. I’m sorry.

I forgive you. I know you only have few words to say and you seldom spill what’s on your mind, I understand. You might be forgetful at times — on our special days, it’s fine. You might be too confined and you seem not to involve me on some of your whereabouts, it’s okay. You have taken the leap of faith, and tried to make everything right for us. I’ve had forgiven you.

Support

We were perfect for each other,
For years we’ve built a foundation of our love.
But there’s a thick line which indicates a limit,
And I guess, the time wasn’t right.

There are things which are simply inevitable. You’re dealing with existential crisis and I couldn’t help but to cause incessant arguments which disturbed your mental peace.  It wasn’t healthy anymore and I admit it’s because of me.  I have realized how frozen you were, you needed space and I sensed it. So I need to keep myself ready for the possibilities. Until you started to melt your ice. That night, I have all ears, eager to listen to your sentiments.

You needed a break from every commitment you have, including ours. You wanted to commit your time to yourself. Thus, you wanted to feel free and do everything without worrying that I would feel anything bad about what you do. You wanted to be happy without feeling any form of guilt for choosing your own happiness because you’ve always felt that you’re denying yourself. That you’re always making decisions on what other people are expecting from you. And whenever you choose to follow what your heart says, deep inside there’s always a feeling of guilt. Being with me for years, you thought that you weren’t giving me enough. You felt that you weren’t treating me the way you should. You perceived everything’s a mess that moment, and you want to fix yourself again because you needed to. You really wanted to make me happy but you can’t bear to give your all for me, for us. You were really thankful for the time we spent together and you wouldn’t forget me, you added. I was your first serious relationship, the one being really committed and lasted for years. But everything seemed to be blurry in the end. You needed a break and you’re lost. You felt that you weren’t improving and you didn’t knew when can you fulfill the role you have to play for me. And you felt like you weren’t the best for me. You needed a break and you swore that you needed to focus on yourself first. You said you don’t know if that’s the last heartbreak you will give me. You love me so much and you wanted me to be happy without you. You uttered that maybe you needed time to think about everything and you can’t assure me anything from that moment I begged on you. But you left me with the words that I would cling to “I believe if we really are destined, we’ll definitely find our way back”. “Promise me you still give your best in everything you do, even without me,  Pinky swear — I still love you.”

What If I never brought it up? Maybe you stayed, just the way you find me every time I’m lost. So we can figure it out until we learned to fix everything. But this context depicts me being selfish. Upon hearing your sentiments, tears streamed down my face. I had no idea for how long have you been keeping those burdens with you. I was dull not to notice those things until the silence echoed. And I failed to see my shortcomings to make you happy, so you’ll stay.  I believe everything happened for a reason, maybe to teach us a lesson. Even pain has its own intentions. I guess, that time was solely not for romance or compatibility, ’twas our future, families, hard work and career which were at stake. Never have I ever thought that I’ll lose you. I was caught off guard. It feels like I can’t run back to a burning house just to save the things I value — us.

It was the point of my life that I badly needed to escape and hide in the midst of nowhere so no one can see my dreadful being. Knowing that I can no longer touch the unwrapped of memoir of ours. For  the passing days without you I’ve had anxiety and I cried helplessly. Pillow cases witnessed my awful state until tears came out no more. Cobwebs were in my head like maybe I didn’t mean as much to you as I thought I did. My soul whispered sounds of yesterday’s memories as I kept reminiscing your presence. I knew how it felt to cry at night and struggle to cover my mouth so no one can hear my weeping. I knew how it felt like crying in the rain so no once can notice the tears sobbing in my eyes. I’d tried to stop the waves that cleared all our memories printed in the sand. But the splashes of these waves have already washed out my entirety. And then, I realized that even if I can’t stop the waves, I know I can learn how to surf and bring out the valor I’ve had. Some memories may never leave me, like I once dived into the sea, I already carried the salt and it became part of me. I can’t change anything more unless I learned how to accept it.

A line indicates a limit,
A limit which means boundary
If we were never to cross that line,
We would never experience the world, life, and relationships outside the boundary.

Well, we’re 22 and it’s been a year since we parted ways. Just because we were no longer together, doesn’t mean I won’t love you. There’s always a hint of sadness and a piece of my heart that smiles whenever I think about you. You’re my what ifs, my could’ve beens and should’ve beens. You are worthy, you are enough and you are blessed. I hope you have already found out what you’re looking out there. I hope you have already the audacity to believe that you are capable of everything, and be sure of all your decisions, and you deserve all the things that you have. I hope you’ve figured out what your heart truly speaks for, and your mind truly thinks of.  Be proud of yourself wherever you are or what you do. I hope you’ve already cleared out all the mess and wiped out the blur confusions you’ve had. Above all of these hopes, I hope you’ve found the answers to the questions that we once never figured out. It doesn’t have to be completely whole, but the leap of faith matters the most. A leap of faith where you believe and accept everything outside the boundary.

Despite everything that has happened, I want you to know that I have no bad feelings towards you. Yes you broke my heart, but you didn’t break me.  Instead, I’ve learned how to forget what hurt me, but not the lessons it taught me. I believe that there’s always a light at the end of every tunnel.

I wrote for the one-percent chance that you could read this piece. And though it’s only a one-percent chance, if you feel you’re ready to like me still, then couldn’t we start over? You don’t have to like me very much. Just keep your heart open for me.