Footnote to Us

Jose Garcia Villa’s Footnote to Youth tells us about the life of a seventeen year old boy named Dodong. Dodong at a young age married, believing that he was man enough to enter adulthood. He was full of conviction, no doubts, not even a single ‘what if’ entered his mind whenever he thought about marrying the girl he always dreamt of. With his parents’ consent, Dodong and Teang married each other. Unlike Dodong, his father had second thoughts as a strange helpless light in his eyes was visible according to Jose Garcia Villa. Why is it that he didn’t make any objections in Dodong’s sudden declamation about marriage? As for Dodong and Teang, their sweet young dream got even sweeter as their first child, Blas arrived. Dodong, being a first time father, no wonder felt afraid but eventually, he got through it. As Blas grew older, Dodong and Teang had more children as well. It may sound cliché but history repeats itself, Blas came up to his father asking his approval to marry Tona. Though he had objections, Dodong agreed.

The first time I read Footnote to Youth, I honestly thought it was just about youth getting married at a young age and finding themselves full of repentance. But I guess there is more than what you think there is. Behind the not so ‘shallow idea’ of marriage at a young age, I think that what Jose Garcia Villa’s footnote to us is to be brave enough to accept our mistakes and make a change. Dodong and his father accepted their mistakes but failed to correct it. Many of us are full of conviction specially when we believe in something but when life gets a little harder, we give up. It’s not that I approve on marrying at a young age but maybe since it’s reality I have to agree to the idea of Jose Garcia Villa. Sometimes we are too brave that we forget to think about the possible consequences we might face and when it comes, it will shock us to the point that you would just want to surrender. For me, he wants us to start strong and finish stronger.

My Little Infinity

I’ve been really ecstatic about writing a TFIOS FanFic so basically what you’re about to read is my interpretation of what had happened to Hazel after Gus’ death. Play this song while reading, it’ll make you more emotional, like what it did to me. —> Tee Shirt – Birdy (It’s part of the TFIOS Soundtrack, by the way.)  Hahaha :)

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The cold breeze touched Hazel’s skin. It almost felt like there were butterflies fluttering their wings making her shiver as she made her way to Support Group, at least the one near their new house. Hazel’s medium-lengthed dark hair with streaks of brown and white was tied up in a bun, a few strands falling on the side of her face as the wind blew harder. Her cheeks were as red as a tomato, soft as a marshmallow. She was radiant, similar to the sun on a warm day which she wish was the weather. But she never saw herself that way. Hazel always thought she just looked okay. She sat behind everyone else, always trying to hide herself from the spotlight. She hated attention, but today wasn’t her lucky day. She stood up and walked to the front as their support group leader wished to hear a short introduction from the newbie, she felt her heart thumping. The tip-tapping sound of her new support group leader’s shoe was making her feel uncomfortable. it made her even more nervous. “Hi-i.. Mm-my name i-is Hazel Grace Lancaster, I was dd-di-agnosed with ss-tage 4 Thyroid Cancer.” Hazel said, stuttering. She couldn’t help but remember him. “I only started living after he died.” That’s what she thought after Augustus passed away. Hazel had to live in a life where there was no Augustus Waters annoying her. She missed it, she missed him. “I am happy, healthy, hearty, lovely, and laughing loudly, I…. am…..great!” Support group was finally finished and she no longer had to sing that song which she thought was even worse than what Patrick did before. She let out a deep sigh as she brushed that thought away and immediately remembering the only difference Mr. Green, her new support group leader and patrick had. Mr. Green, was a good joker, he said “People who joked about cancer had no sense of tumor.” She laughed her lungs out, only in her mind, trying not to capture too much attention. Her knees weakened as she stepped outside, she wanted to die right away remembering that she left her gloves at home. “Oh right! The cold never bothered me anyway!” She said sarcastically to herself. She started walking, the cold wind making her hands feel numb. It made her wish Augustus was their to keep her warm just like how he always did before. She shrugged her shoulders and kept walking, wondering if Augustus was watching over her.

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Reality’s Realization With The Help of Thinking

“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”
― Dorothy AllisonBastard Out of Carolina

Why is it that our country seems like a failed experiment? Elements combined together with fantasies that are to good to be true. Too good that we Filipinos couldn’t keep up to it which resulted to an even worse result, failure all covered up with our little fantasies. As a Filipino, yes, I have a dream for my country more than success and prosperity, I always hoped that one day, we no longer have to believe in these stories that our government would tell us but we could see things the way it is without any lies and fantasies attached to it. The perfect example that could further explain how fantasies could blind you from the truth is the never-ending government corruption and how we Filipino Citizens are partially to blame.

For the past few months, we may have been seeing the same things over and over again in news headlines, newspapers and it may even be your class topic. The issue on the Pork Barrel Scam took the government a huge amount of time before they had finally convicted the main suspects. Not to my surprise, who else could it be? Our own government officials who sworn to God and to us to serve the country with honesty and promised a better future. How could it have happened that our own trusted officials where behind this corruption and how were they able to keep it a secret? One thing’s for sure, they fed us with their promising fantasies, fairy tales wherein they were our prince charming who saved us, the damsel in distress when the truth is they were the greedy and beastly creatures who wanted everything for themselves not even thinking about how many FIlipinos have no houses,no proper education and worst of all no way to start a better life.

How is it possible that we all believed in this illusion caused by their fantasies? Why did we let them build our country with lies when we had the chance to stop it? Like what Nathan Allen said in his article Filipinos: Think! Think! Think!,  “due to colonization and other factors, the Philippines may have established itself as a country full of “small minds”- and by that I mean people that were intentionally discouraged from being ambitious, and kept from their potential.” We all grew up in a fairy tale that the authorities made up that’s why we don’t know how to speak our minds and differentiate reality and fantasy and because our fantasy is what we ever wished for, we chose to live in it.

What I picked up from Nathan Allen’s FIlipinos: Think! Think! Think! that could probably be the reason why we are what are not is that we don’t give importance to who we are or what we stand for. Like our officials, sometimes we are greedy about our ideas we don’t let other people learn about them, we keep things to ourselves. Yes, we might be thinking but we don’t put them in action. The worst part is that instead of making something of our own, we our contented of copying not minding that we would look like people who have no ideas so we just pretend like its ours and even brag about how good we are at it.

Though I am ashamed of how a foreigner made me realize these things about my own country, I am quite grateful to these people who pushes us to our limits even thought they are not of our kind.

A Way to Kill School Children

I couldn’t imagine my self agreeing with the author. The very thought of it made me feel nauseas. How could you pollute an innocent child’s mind with useless junk that kept them away from life’s cruel reality. Why did they have to take away their ability to see, to hear and to think. A child’s vulnerability is a man’s strength, they may have had questions all tangled up in their little minds but that huge boar never gave them the chance to speak, “A huge boar gores mountain villagers;” and cover them with melted caramels, “Promise them toy trains, toy rails, toy bridges.” to lure them back into their fairytale. Some may have tried to speak but these “Black-streaked monkeys tote guns in tree perches;”, scared them away. Why did they do such inhumane acts if they would just cover it up?I couldn’t help but blame them for what we are right now. Because of those fairytales, we still opt to believe that all is well and that a smile can take away all the pain. News Flash! Wake up, there are no fairytales but on the brighter side, there’s reality, the only thing that we can believe in. Though today’s reality is dark and may look despairing there’s always a flickering light, indicating that there’s hope but you just have to find it.

To be honest, the first time I heard the poem’s title which is A Way to Kill School Children, I immediately thought about mental abuse, never-ending homeworks, projects and of course terror teachers who’s looks make you want to fold yourself like a piece of paper and just be thrown away. But right after reading the poem, I finally understood the reason why it had that title. It wasn’t anything related to school. It didn’t literally mean killing or murdering the school children physically but I felt it had something to do with a child’s young mind. Many people would say, “A child may have many questions and opinions, but a gift would easily keep them away.” and that’s how they killed the schoolchildren. They made them believe in the king who ate slime, monkeys who tote guns and charmed mice. They turned them into little pets whom you feed, train and give little bone snacks to make them stop barking and catching attention. In my opinion, if you hear the title even without reading the poem you wouldn’t immediately think about white-washing, or violence, death and dark secrets but like me you would think of homeworks and such. The title was so strong it made me and you believe in its little fairytale where in there were no such things as a dreaded president only a dreaded king and soldiers who were like puppets following ruthless orders like monkeys whom they said could tote guns.

Thank Him for The Little Things

” Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

There are a hundred reasons to be thankful in life but why do we forget to thank Him? Do we ever think how much He has given to us? For every second that you live for every gift you received, did you thank Him? Don’t forget how much He has sacrificed in order for us to live a life full of opportunities a life where in we can make decisions. For every little thing you receive, God is there. Thank Him everyday as you wake up. He sacrificed for us and yet we cannot give Him what He deserves. Always remember that even if the Lord gives you trials in life thank Him because at the end of the day, is you who will benefit in the lessons you have learned. Give thanks to Him because He never failed to show you how much He loves us despite our imperfections.

With every moment you live, dedicate it to Him. With every prayer you say, put your heart into it because in every prayer treated as a joke, a chance to talk to Him is wasted. Don’t forget that if the Lord didn’t warn Noah about the Great Flood, we all wouldn’t be here and I won’t be writing this telling you to thank Him for the little things.

Let Him.

” Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. ” Proverbs 3 : 5-6

This verse has been with me since I was a kid. I hear it in school, at home and sometimes I randomly see it. I never really understood this verse not until I realized how much I needed Him in my life. At first I thought that if you pray that God will help you do something for you without you making an effort and it will still happen. For example, you have a test and you weren’t able to study for it, if you ask the Lord to help you a minute before the test even though you prayed, you will still fail because you never did your part. I’ve been through a lot of these situations but eventually, I learned my lesson.

Let God control you don’t try to deny His access in your life. If life was a game, make Him your Game Master and be his hands who will do His works and share it to others. Let Him live in your heart be amazed about how He can change you in a way you never thought you’d become. Let Him make you a better person. Always remember that in the little things you do, God is always there teaching and guiding you, telling you what is right and what is wrong and by then, let His will be done in you.

Parents :)

In today’s busy lifestyle, many of us forget about spending a few hours on family bonding. Many of us doesn’t realize how that short amount of time can affect the whole family. During family bonding, parents and their children get to know each other even more. They know what’s happening to their children, if they are doing good in school or if someone might be bullying their child. A lot of families have been making ways to keep contact to their children specially because as teenagers, we tend to stay much longer on the internet rather than talking to our parents. We should always remember that if anything happens, family will always be there. Put in mind that if ever the world brings you down, your family will be there no matter what happens.

As parents, its never too late to try and interact with your child. I’m quite sure that regardless of the things he/she has done to disappoint you, you’ll never give up on each other. A few minutes spent with your child can be a way to lead them to the right path. That short period of time can change them. Make them feel how much you love them and tell them encouraging lines to keep them up. All it takes is a few minutes of your time Sacrifice for them and teach them the little things needed in life. Be there to keep them going when goals starts to become harder to achieve and when they are at their worst. No parent wants to see their child suffer and no child wants to see their parents give up on him/her. And lastly, let the Lord do miracles in your life. Let Him lead your way.