“And what makes you think you have been saved? You cannot even see me, can you? Do you even know what I am?”
The sun chariot passed over the island of Sarpedon. Helios, the sun, marched onwards home to give way to the moon, his sister Selene. In front of the cave on the island, surrounded by jagged rocks that belied the lack of thriving life, stood a monster, watching dusk quietly take over dawn.
“What would you like for supper?” A voice asked. The monster turned around to see its companion. A woman, her skin like sun-kissed olives warmed by the sun, her smile as sweet as honey mead. In other instances, the monster would have devoured her; it was flesh-eating, after all, and hungers for mortal flesh on the daily. Instead, the monster replied, noncommittal. …
If there was a word to describe what I felt at that moment, it perhaps haven’t been invented yet.
But it felt like all the air has been sucked out of the room, and with it, all the sounds it carried. What remained was the percussion in my chest — my telltale heart beating like a lonely metronome. That was how it was when I first met him, and now, three years on, I had the same feeling. Like I was seeing him again for the first time.
“Hello,” he greeted half-awkwardly before sitting, raising an eyebrow in response to my silence. “I’m not that late again, am I?” He joked, displaying that smile that destroyed my defenses so many times before. Yes, he was late as usual, but how could I not forgive him? I remember his face so well. That dimple could coax out all the temperance I hold in like a dam; those ears that perk and redden when I tell him I love him. And those eyes — two dark obsidians that sparkle in earnest when he says he loves me back. …
It is a tradition ingrained in the Filipino as far as our colonial history. More than the birth of the Christian god, Christmas is seen as “a day for the children.” The younger ones would still have their beliefs in Santa Claus, while their parents would roam around alongside them, collecting gifts and money from their ninong and ninang.
A good godparent, in turn, would fulfill this expectation, but a bad one would hide from their inaanak. …
Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit is officially the most popular miniseries of 2020. The chess-themed drama, based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name, discussed the tragedies and triumph of female chess prodigy Elizabeth “Beth” Harmon, from surviving being orphaned and a drug addiction, to becoming a world champion. The show, created for the video streaming platform by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, is credited for making chess more accessible to the public and reigniting the interest in the sport altogether.
In addition to the script and performances of its ensemble cast (particularly that of lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy), the series has garnered praise from mainstream media for its supposed feminist depiction of a woman succeeding in a sport dominated by men. …
Nothing lasts forever
winding roads hath their bend
and thus I look forward
to the end
When I wave my last goodbye
I will no longer shed a tear
I have coaxed out every morsel.
The end is finally near
Quivering in anticipation,
an arrhythmic heart and
bated breath —
I will open my arms in welcome
“Let down the bars, O Death!”
For courage sprang aplenty
Fear here hath no place
I will end this valediction
My last of days
And when they ink my eulogy
say Grace, when, to and from
To be, only in memory,
For the end has finally come. …
There was something comforting about her cane touching the earth; it was her attachment to the real world, the thread that connects her to reality even if she has lost one of her senses.
A flurry of dancing colored lights reflected on Cecilia’s eyes, but she didn’t need to blink them away. It was early Christmas morning, and as always, her and her grandmother’s tradition is to spend it in the final night mass. The cold December air chilled her, but Lola gave her a comforting pat, warming her ever so slightly. Cecilia always marveled at her grandmother’s strength. …
In the modern world where smart-shaming is weaponized to keep criticism in check, it is even more imperative that we keep a clear head and realize what struggles matter most.
Woke. It is a word that started as a call to justice in oppressed communities, but is now rampant in digital spaces as an identifier of people practicing “cancel culture.” This verb-turned-adjective’s once noble power has now become corrupted, trickling down to the recesses of meme culture to describe the caricatured versions of “social justice warriors,” “liberals,” or the equally perverse “snowflakes.”
Weaponization of words is not a new concept. We have seen how power has corrupted words, from relatively innocuous ones like “salvage,” to grand ideologies like communism, conservatism, and liberalism, into divisive and sometimes dangerous modern forms. This is now particularly more important in the age of (dis)information, wherein ideological battles are starting to be fought in digital spaces. …
Umaandap-andap ang ilaw sa lobby ng hotel kung saan naghihintay si Elena at ang kanyang ina. “Gaano katagal po kayo magcheck-in Ma’am?” Usisa ng kahera. “Dalawang oras lang,” sagot ni Ester. Ngumiti ito sa anak at hinawi ang buhok na mabusisi niyang inayos kaninang umaga.
“Excited ka na ba?” Tanong niya, at tumango ang anim na taong gulang.
Maganda ang gayak ni Elena noong araw na iyon: suot niya ang bestidang kulay rosas na may disenyong Hello Kitty at mga pulang sapatos na pinapayagan lang siyang gamitin tuwing may okasyon. Nilagyan din siya ng koloretes ng kanyang ina, kaya’t may halik ng rosas sa kanyang mga pisngi at labi. …
But I hear their meaning
clear as a bell.
the semantics of your touch
You were the expert linguist
to dialogue with my soul
But no more I can hear
your loudest sentences
A phrase nor a syllable
doesn’t make any sense.
You spoke to me once more
perhaps I just misheard —
But we are mere strangers now
speaking different languages.
Jay-ar Paloma is an HR executive by day and a frustrated artist by night. He has extensive background in campus journalism as an editor-in-chief in elementary and high school as well as a contributor in his college days in UP Diliman. Currently the Podcast Head at Vox Populi PH, he likes to read and write fiction and opinion pieces relating to LGBTQ, social media, and culture. When not engrossed in a book, he is probably playing a tune on his guitar or keyboard. …
Ang mas malalim na pagtalakay sa reyalidad ng kapitalismo, relihiyon, at moralidad ang mas nagbigay-kabuluhan kaysa sa kababalaghan ng akda.
Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan ay ang ikawalong aklat na nailimbag ni Bob Ong, sagisag-panulat ng isang Pilipinong manunulat na hanggang ngayon ay lihim pa din ang tunay na pagkatao. Malawak ang mga paksa at genre na tinatalakay ni Ong sa kaniyang mga akda, mula social commentaries hanggang romance, ngunit ito ang unang pagkakataon na nagsulat siya ng horror.
Umiikot ang istorya kay Galo, isang labing-anim na taong gulang na binata na nag-aaral sa isang pamantasan sa Maynila. Dahil sa kahirapan at pagiging ulilang lubos, nakitira si Galo sa tahanan ng kaniyang tiyuhin habang nagtatrabaho upang makalikom ng sapat na salaping pangtustos sa kaniyang pag-aaral. Bagama’t first person ang pagkakalahad sa istorya, kakaiba ang paraan ng pagsulat ni Ong dahil ginawa niyang pawang talaarawan ang pagsasaad ni Galo sa kaniyang mga karanasan. Hindi ito ang unang pagkakataon na ginamit ang ganitong pamamaraan. Halimbawa, sa mga banyagang akda tulad ng Perks of Being a Wallflower ni Stephen Chomsky at Stolen ni Lucy Christopher, matatandaang naglahad ang mga pangunahing karakter sa pamamagitan ng pagsulat ng liham. …