Category Archives: Literature

A Heart-touching Poem by a Soldier – A Tribute

It has been months after the war broke in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. And until now, our Philippine soldiers are still fighting for our freedom and peace, and for their lives.

I may have seen their struggles. But the intensity of fear and the quest to survive is greater to those who are on the ground than those who just witnessed their situation in media and social media. I can only empathize and say a prayer especially for the families of the soldier’s whose lives were short-lived.

My Facebook feed during the time the war was still fresh is depressing. You just can’t set aside watching or reading bad news whenever you feel somber. The news and testimonies of the unsung heroes are heartbreaking.

Soldiers in Marawi
Photo grabbed from New Marawi City Pulse Facebook Page

Just like the poem of a soldier that circulated the internet. According to FilTimes, the poem “A Heart-touching Poem By A Soldier” was seen posted by New Marawi City Pulse (@MaranaoPulse), a Facebook page of an organization that gives updates on the Marawi crisis. The post affected many netizens, reached millions, share after share. The chilling poem goes:

A HEART TOUCHING POEM BY A SOLDIER

If I die in a war zone,
Box me up and send me home,

Put my medals in my chest,
Tell my mom I did my best,

Tell my dad not to bow,
He won’t get tension from me now,

Tell my brother to study perfectly,
Keys of my bike will be his permanently,

Tell my sis not to be upset,
Her bro will not rise after this sunset,

Tell my love not to cry,
“BECAUSE I AM A SOLDIER BORN TO DIE”

Tragic, isn’t it?

But have you ever wondered who could have written this piece? Could a soldier in distress manage to pen a poem in the middle of a fight? Perhaps, but not in a breeze. Also, he would rather choose to head on to the battle than be engrossed to his Facebook. Of course, not. Someone has to write it for them.

My research did not yield me to its real author. The poem is shadowed with anonymity. But whoever wrote it, it is a snappy representation of what could be every soldiers’ farewell.

Just as how snappy this poem embodies their goodbye, we also give a snappy salute to all their courage and sacrifices in the battlefield in their quest to achieve world peace.

May victory be in their favor. May God, Allah bless them!

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21 Life Lessons from Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie You Might Be Needing Right Now

I read Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie few months ago. It was an ebook stagnant in my phone for years. I was bored at that moment so I scanned my phone until I found it waiting to be read. I read it to kill time. I read it to lull me to sleep. But ended up screen capping the portions  filled with valuable lessons I wasn’t able to resist. They just hit me to the gut.

SPOILER:

Morrie Schwartz was Mitch Albom’s professor in college. After Mitch graduated, his teacher developed an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a Lou Gehrig’s disease which Mitch described as a “brutal, unforgiving illness of the neurological system.” It was terminal and there was no known cure. It means Morrie will die. Because of that, Morrie was admitted in his home. And Mitch would visit his well-loved professor every Tuesday. They would spend time together talking about love, life and death and many other things. It is from their conversations where these inspiring words sprung.

I know most of you have read it. And I agree with your positive reviews of this book. You even recommended this as a must-read. But it takes an effort to scan again to find those inspiring words. So I am taking down some of them for the benefit of those who need them and those who haven’t read it yet, especially those who might need some motivation right now. It may change the way you see life, like me.

1. Tension of Opposites. Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle. Which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins.

2. The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.

3. So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

4. The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levine said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

5. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too – even when you’re in the dark. Even when you are falling.

6. Everyone knows they are going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. To know you’re going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time. That’s better. That way, you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living.

7. Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

8. Learn to detach. But detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That is how you are able to leave it. Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a love one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion, now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.

9. I embrace aging. It’s very simple. As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It is growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better live because of it.

10. You know what, people are so hungry for love that they were accepting for substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.

11. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I’m sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you’re looking for, no matter how much of them you have.

12. The truth is, you don’t get satisfaction from those things. You know what really gives satisfaction? Offering others what you have to give. I don’t mean money. I mean your time. Your concern. Your storytelling.

13. If you are trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone.

14. Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.

15. And love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone.

16. There are few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike. And the biggest one of those values? Your belief in the importance of your marriage.

17. In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, you need others to survive, right? But here’s the secret: in between, we need others as well.

18. As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on – in the hearts of everyone you touched and nurtured while you were here.

19. Here’s what I mean by building your own subculture. I don’t mean you disregard every rule of your community. I don’t go around naked, for example. I don’t run through red lights. The little things, I can obey. But the big things – how we think, what we value – those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone – or any society determine those for you.

20. No matter where you live, the biggest defect we human beings have is our shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential, stretching ourselves into everything we become. But if you’re surrounded by people who say ‘I want mine now,’ you end up with a few people with everything and a military to keep the poor ones from rising up and stealing it.

21. Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.

Morrie Schwartz is brimming with wisdom. Every single statement is an eye-opener. I didn’t notice I finished the book. It didn’t kill my time. It didn’t fall asleep. In fact, it awakened me to a new perspective of life. It made me get the most out of my time instead.

Which among the pieces of advice struck you the most? Which of these did you need right now?

Radyo Tahimik

Minsan, sa isang yugto, sa likod ng maingay bagamat nakakaaliw na tunog at musika

Ay upuang tahimik, mikroponong walang kahit isang bulong.


Halintulad sa tao, sa isang yugto, sa likod ng masigla at masayang itsura,

Kubli ang katahimikan, marahil kalungkutan at pananabik sa ‘di mawari kung ano man.
Bobbi Petalurca | April 21, ’16

Three A.M.

Ryan. He hopped in as soon as the yellow-painted jeepney pulled over. He clasped a burger wrapped in a wax-coated paper with prints of a known fastfood chain’s name. He tucked it into his grey hoodie jacket as if other passengers would take it from him. It is as if the only one left for him.

“Bye Ryan!!”, a loud lady voice thundered. It seems the goodbye she bade is the last he would hear that dawn. All other voices, three or four more if not miscounted, echoed the same farewell, with variations of course. He flashed his braced-teeth to them with a thumb up, casually.

The wheels rolled, causing cold, morning wind to brush his face. His thick, quite messy hair danced to the beat the wind’s melancholic silence. It tickled his slightly trimmed mustache. His stare. It is towards the vehicle’s direction. It ran faster than the jeepney he is aboard. But it didn’t take a turn or a curve. It is straight.

He wanted to get home quick. How bad he wanted to slumber into his bed. He wanted to get numbed, for years perhaps. He wanted to replace his blood with liters of caffeine or intoxicate himself with the hardest drink the world have made, if not because of Ellen’s reaction.

Among the voices he heard who said goodbye, Ellen’s was the loudest. He never seen her open her tiny lips. But he heard it from her stares. And her goodbye was with a mix of “I’m sorry.

20150806_021350

That last stare, it left an aftertaste. It says, “We can still be friends.” The word reverberated into the caverns of his emptiness. The brush of wind felt more like a slap and awakened him. He summoned the heavy feeling and squeezed the bun in his hand. “Friends,” he whispered.

Bobbi Petalurca | July 19, 2015

 

Ordinary Letter to my Most Valued Dearest

September 30, 2013

Yulie Joung

71492 Un Nouveau Village

Dearest Bonroe,

We were lying on the grass, staring at the cerulean sky. You took a photo of every cloud that would pass by, looked at me and kissed my cheek. Then whispered “I love you.”

Suddenly, the grass turned into a bed cushion, sky into a ceiling with dangling cobwebs. And you, into a soft pillow and the whispers, a music from the radio. You haunted me again. Why can’t you just be mine? 

Almost every day, I lie in my bed thinking of you, thinking of what could it be if I have you, how would it feel if I’m with you.

I have believed in the law of attraction. It said I have to imagine what I wanted, with a doubtless heart and it will come. It said further that I have to create a picture in my mind as if I already have it. I do it. Almost every time. Probably, the universe is having a hard time planning out how will we meet and become together.

This is so funny but I have thought of this every vacation, when it is time to go back to our province, to home. In my daydreams, you were with me, sitting side by side on the bus seat. I am on the window side. Your cam, hanged around your neck, is as impatient as you are to take every breathtaking landscape you see. While the bus went on the long-winding road formed on the  mountain cliff’s edge, you are fascinated by the exhilarating views. You did what you have loved to do. You can’t get enough of the panorama at every other end of the clicks.

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Photo: Julius Voltaire Villanueva

We arrived at our place. I let you taste the province life. I brought you to the places where nature brags its beauty. The smell of the breeze, the lives of the people and everything you want to capture and write about. Apparently, if we’d become lovers or friends at least, I will be your most supportive companion. I won’t ask for your too much attention if you are too focused on the things that you have loved first. I will love you as much as you love your passion.

Yeah! Daydreaming about you. It is a desperate thing I know. But I don’t really call it as such. I call it as “taking-the-risk-to-achieve-my-dream.” You might think I’m just wasting my time dreaming about you when I could dream of many other things more than you. One question, why did you dream of the dreams you have today when you can have other things to dream of, perhaps better than what you have now? Your answer will be mine as well. I have dreams other than you. It’s just that, you are a dream in another aspect of me.

You might be also wondering why a person or a stranger like me who only knew you virtually and haven’t been with you for a longer time actually felt something special towards you. You might be bringing up reasons like “Why me? I’m not handsome. I’m not like this and that..I don’t have like this and like that..”and whatever. Shut Up! (Rude me :D)

I ADMIRE YOU! If you have reasons, I have mine too. I like you because:

You are kind;

You are smart, adorable, and sweet;

You are socially-concern;

You are passionate in your passion and you love art;

You are so ideal;

I just love you, no other reasons.

It is so absurd. How can someone like me actually assert that I love you when in fact, I haven’t met you yet in the first place. (Mind-Stuttered) I  just read your posts, comments, statuses and everything, and unnoticeably fall in love with them, with you. Call me a stalker. I call myself, INTELLIGENCE AGENT (:DDD). I don’t care because this is where I knew you.

Have you experienced having a relationship before? With so many people that have admired you so much (which includes me), I’m pretty sure you got interested in one. Nevertheless, whoever it may be, they are so lucky. They got a full-packaged man, more than enough. For them, getting into your life is just easy. They met you face-to-face, talked to you, heard you sing, saw your handwriting, held your hand, touched your cheek, dined with you, laughed with you and everything that I WISHED I have experienced with you too.

But everything is just a daydream… Law of attraction is only a conditioning that works in consonance with the cosmic order, a standard set by the universe.

Who am I for you? I’m just a stranger. I’m just ordinary, average. You want something exciting and interesting. We lived in two different and opposing lifestyle. We have so many thing in not-common. And I’m not sure what this post can do to me. But as for now, one thing is for sure I have released SOME of it.

I Hope. I Wish. I Promise.

Lovingly yours,

Rogue 

_____________________________

I have loved only thrice, all my life, as far as I know. This “letter” was for the first of three. It was when I can no longer contain the feeling that I wrote this. But I was too obsessed until I confessed for good. He was able to read it. I will leave the next thing that happened as a mystery.

Originally written on my Tumblr account: Extroverted Intro-Version

Bobbi Petalurca

HomoColloquioBiblio

Every year, the National Book Week is being held. During my high school days, our school organized an activity where students were asked to write a poem. I was in the 3rd year when I got the first place but I wasn’t able to secure a copy of it. When we had the same activity the following year, I crafted this piece, my last. Unfortunately, it has given the chance of winning to others. Hope you like it.

The wind that blew with bliss as its sting
Is the breath of tomes seemly sing
That sage’s wisdom to me out bring
A sense to once a foolish evening

Ample trees feed a lovely enchantress
With eyes on mended words, illusion never displeases
To a pond can be heard a greeting fishes splashes
After a crunch of unwavering memories

Deprive not me from visage I see
That virgin syllables though they’re merely
But clutched a brilliance illuminating intensely
Juvenile minds led to a path progressively

Much to the gaiety they give as to heaven
gentle reasons refined as it’s spoken
How man will struggle when Armageddon coming
It’s the only sparkling that can ne’er be stolen nor forgotten.

Bobbi Petalurca | November 28, 2009

May Kadahilanan

Kung ikaw may aking nasaktan,
Patawad , O, aking kaibigan
Ako’y tao rin naman,
Mayroon ding kamalian.

Sa mga panahong kahinaa’y aking natapakan,
Mga noot-sa-butong salitang aking binitawan,
Ako’y lubos na nanggailangan,
Ng iyong tugon at lubos na kapatawaran.
Sana naman iyong pakinggan.

Ngunit iyo sanang mapansin,
Kamalian ko’y kamalian mo rin.
Ang ibig sanang aking sabihin,
Ikaw ang dahilan ng ‘yong mabigat na pasanin.

Ang hangad kong ika’y magbago,
Ang tanging nais ng idyoma ko,
Nang matugunan ng lahat ng tao,
Ang pangangailangan mo.

Bobbi Petalurca | February 14, 2009