Today and today and today

and let's trust the future to tomorrow.

Category: Because I miss home

The week ahead

by Jem

And the many years to come.


On Thursday, I am going to turn seventeen.

I really, really think my 17th birthday is very special. (Even more so than my 18th.) I really want it to be.

And that’s why I am planning my week. What to do (that is, watch Les Misérables!), what to eat (that is, almost anything).

I dunno how I feel though. I’m not sure if I’m excited.
I’d like to be.

But planning these things alone,
planning to go to the movies and planning to have a costly, yummy birthday lunch alone can suck the excitement out of it all.

And then there’s the maybe’s and the if’s
and the nevermind’s.

Maybe Thursday won’t be so bad. Maybe watching a movie alone won’t be so bad. It’s Les Misérables after all. Maybe lunch by myself would be nice considering the suffocating days I’ve had lately.

If I was home, I’d be sure to have a splendid time. My family will make sure I have the best day and I won’t have to think twice about asking my friends to join me for lunch. If they haven’t set a lunch date already.

And there’s really not much I can do so nevermind.
I think I have been so much better at sucking it up recently. And so that, I shall do.

But it’s still quite sad.

I want chocolates and potatoes and cheese and flowers and hugs and kisses and my family and friends on my birthday.
My 17th birthday which will only come once in forever.


And gosh. If I’m a mess right now, I can’t imagine how the heck I’m going to make it through Thursday.
And I thought this year was going to be better.


I really hope I’m wrong.


I can’t wait

by Jem

to spend the day with you.

Once upon a time–that is, a few years ago–I never would’ve thought I would be looking forward to a day out with you.

Once upon a time, I felt that we’ve drifted so far apart that we wouldn’t ever find our way back and be friends ever again. It was funny–a twisted kind of funny if you ask me–that so much could change in the course of one summer. Even one day. Even half that. That was how quick everything went downhill for us and the friendship I very much cherished and hoped you did too.

The thing about life is that everything about it, everything that happens gives us some sort of lesson. No matter how happy or sad or painful or exciting things are, there’s a moral at the end of it all. The moral of our painful experience? Friendship is fragile. It is very, very fragile. There was only so much our bond can take, even if it was the strongest of bonds. Even before what happened, it was breaking. I knew it. I believe you knew it as well. We could’ve frozen, we could’ve stayed where we were, it could’ve been good enough for us. But we still pushed it. And it broke. We fell apart.

And it was quick. So very quick that there was no room for any sort of attempt to patch it all up. No room to talk. No room to explain. No room to try to understand.

And once upon a time, there was only room for regrets.

But you know me. It wasn’t the what-could’ve-been kind of regret. It was more of the what-was one. And that’s just it. My thoughts were about what we used to do, what we used to have, what we used to be. I kept looking back. I wanted to go back and re-do things.

I wanted you back. I wanted my friend back. I wanted a part of my life back.

It was with all these wants, all the longing that I hurt myself further, little by little. I should’ve caught myself and left you and everything else alone. But I needed closure and you avoided me like a plague. (You even said so when we were ‘speaking’ again.)

Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t suicidal or anything. My world didn’t revolve around you. I had lots of other things to think about. But you know how the most important thing in a burger is the patty yet it still doesn’t seem right without ketchup? You were the ketchup. (And I feel like the mood of this lengthy post is lost because of that metaphor and this comment.) I was also occupied with everything else that I really didn’t dwell on whatever was going on (or what was not) between us but it was the type of thing that catches you off guard. I’m laughing and then something suddenly reminds me of you and I stop but try to shake it off a second later. Or after a packed day, just before I drift off to sleep I am reminded of that day. And the days before that when we were happy. And I cry. Just a little.

That was how it was and once upon a time, I didn’t know how to deal with it. The whole thing felt like a secret. If everyone knew, it would’ve brought a much more damaging blow, I just knew it. So we had an unspoken consensus. We couldn’t tell anyone. Well, at least not just anyone. I think you told one or two of your friends if only to ask what you could do. I’m not sure. But I told a few people of course. Only a handful of the friends I trusted the most. And they didn’t fail me. It never leaked and it may have made it easier for us later on.

I thanked God each day for our friends who knew us before it happened and who knew what to do after I told them. It would’ve been so much harder if I didn’t. And I guess that was another good thing that came out of our situation: It became clear to me which friends I was willing to trust and I proved that I made the right choice.

Once upon a time, I thought that was it. We wouldn’t have to see each other in the hallways anymore in a few months’ time. It would be a lot easier to avoid, a lot easier to forget, a lot easier to go our separate ways.

But I am quite stubborn and so I finally, finally confronted you. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t know then if I was being stupid. Had I not any pride at all? But looking back, it was probably one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

I asked you what the problem was. I knew it, of course, but you had to learn to talk about it if we were to move on–as friends or otherwise. Did you really think I was going to let you go that easily? Well, I thought so too. But I considered you my best friend and I just felt like I couldn’t lose someone as important as that in my life. We needed to talk and we did.

As selfish as it sounds, I think I saved us. I’m not sure if you would’ve approached me to talk about it too and you were just waiting but the point is, I did it first. I am very patient with a lot of things but this was something different altogether. It was a matter of the rest of our lives and whether or not I had to go through it without you and if I could.

I figured I couldn’t so there, I talked to you. We tried our best to make it work and at first it didn’t seem to. I eventually just tried to accept that after we receive our diplomas it was goodbye for good. I tried my best, didn’t I? We both did. Thanks. Bye.

But the universe was with me on this one. I was meant to annoy you for life and I wouldn’t admit it to your face but I was pretty okay with you bugging me for the rest of my life too.

And now here I am, a couple of years later, excited to see you over the Christmas break and possibly spend a whole day with you, probably as an early birthday celebration for me. Possibly, probably. But for sure it would be a celebration of our friendship and the many years to come.

I know we’re not as close as we used to be. What happened is a topic we would rather not touch for now. Sometimes it feels like I still have to be very, very careful and maneuver my way through things that concern you. But we’re getting there and boy, do we have time.

I’m counting down the days until we finally bond over some ice cream. Even as close friends before all the drama, we never really went out on a friendly date. And now that we are, I feel we really have matured. How much we’ve grown, eh? I hope it goes well for both of us. I’m pretty sure that after that, I’ll stop counting. No more n years ago or n years later. Just you, me and the rest of our lives. It would be pretty tiring if I had to count all the days we would remain friends because I am pretty sure it would mean counting until we grow old.

by Jem

  • I want a tree-house. I read a story featuring one and I want one. Next to impossible though. We don’t even have a backyard. At least a place for me then. Like a hiding place or something. Sharing a room with three other people here and then with my siblings at home, sometimes I really feel like I need to get away.
  • I had a nightmare last night. It was horrible. I do not remember what happened but I get quite scared when I remember I had a bad dream and frustrated that I only recall the feeling and not what really happened. I guess that’s the worst kind.
  • My mom just texted and asked me how I’m doing. Christmas break can’t come soon enough. Tick. Tock.
  • Buddy date on Thursday. If I get out of class on time. One thing to look forward to this week.
  • Planning for an early birthday celebration on December 17th. Still hoping to be surprised but it’s far-fetched so a back up plan’s good.
  • Get me out of here already.

Nothing like

by Jem

speaking with old friends. Even if it’s only through chat.

Thank you for asking me how I am doing.

Reminds me that there are people who care.


Every time, I am thankful.


Actually. Is it just me or isn’t it one of the best feelings in the whole wide world to have a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long, long, looong time (or at least it seems that way) randomly ask, “Kamusta ka na?” (How are you?)

What a way to turn this day around

*happy sigh*

(I have been doing that a lot lately)

It is December

by Jem

and I am in love.

I suuuper love December and of course, the season that comes with it. Idk. It just feels like nothing can go wrong at this time of the year. Of course, that isn’t really true but I am particularly cheery and optimistic when the last month of the year comes around.

I heard from mom yesterday that my lolo (grandpa) was busy with his parol so he couldn’t speak with me yesterday. My lolo is so cute that way. He loves decorating the house for the Christmas season. The huge parol and the Christmas lights… I can’t wait to get home to them!

December also means Christmas parties and exchange gifts. + the Lantern Parade here at our university which I missed last year (regrets! huhu) so I’m making sure I don’t miss it this time and everrr. My second favorite date is December 24. Actually, I am torn between it and my birthday so I guess I love them both equally. They are special in different ways but the 24th is because it is Christmas Eve and as a family tradition (extended family on my mom’s side) we all stay up late, eat Noche Buena and exchange gifts when the clock strikes midnight. And then we watch a movie or two and then we have our own mini exchange gift as a smaller family: my parents, my sister, brother and I.

I also love December because our church celebrates its anniversary during this month. This year though we’re moving it to January and I love January too so all is well. I treat December-January as one whole happy, happy season. And so I am very, very thrilled that December is finally here! Hohoho.

I laugh that way during December. It’s become my thing. Hoho.

Happy 1st of December!


And oooh, I almost forgot! Jeb promised me we would celebrate my birthday this month so that I have happy memories on my actual birthday during January (because most likely I will not be home like last year when I actually cried, hoho)! And December is another catch-up month for me and my friends. I’m so happy school will end early this year!

+ I just remembered: my favorite tita (aunt) is coming home this month! And hopefully, for good.

*happy sigh*


by Jem

I was with some of my fellow youth churchmates after our anniversary celebration when,

“Pumunta na nga kayo sa kanya-kanya niyong mga pamilya!” (Go to your respective families already!)

I pouted a little and they noticed. And also laughed.

“Aww, nalungkot!” they cooed. (Aww, she’s sad.)

I laughed lightly along with them, saying, “Nandito kaya Daddy ko!” (My dad’s here, you know!)

I tried to take it lightly and I know they didn’t mean to hurt my feelings but it still stung a little. Because I have been an emotional wreck (well not exactly a wreck, just emotional…) lately. For the most part I am still my happy, happy self but I’ve also become very sensitive over the last few days that I tear up/cry over small things that make me happy or sad.


Do you know how hard it is to live alone?

Very. It is very, very hard.

Especially for a sixteen-year-old college sophomore who is struggling to maintain her grades and keep up with everyone and everything around her.


I know there are a lot others like me. I know I’m not in the worst of situations. But as Charlie* says, it shouldn’t mean I should stop feeling bad for myself. And as I read somewhere, saying I shouldn’t be sad because others have it worse is like saying I shouldn’t be happy because others have it better.

I do try my best to stay perky and all and it does work but sometimes it just gets to you.

Especially when you have lunch with your dad after weeks of not seeing anyone in your family. Like today.


But when it does, now I know to think of the substitute homes I’ve come to recognize as such for different reasons but mainly because they make me happy.


One of which is the only school organization I belong to. Debsoc has been very helpful to me in a lot of ways. Of course firstly because I get to be with people who are also very passionate about one of the things in this world that I really love, the art of debate. Even though they would probably laugh at me for saying this because we don’t like being cheesy, DS is my family in school. The members are actually my closest friends here because apparently I’m not very good at making friends in class. When we tambay (hang out), we not only debate about current issues but we also talk about other things like life and love (HAHA) and I guess being debaters, they’re really a lot of fun to talk to because they make a lot of sense and I love listening to deep stuff. And because we all gather to train at the end of the day, I’m happy I have something to look forward to through all the pains classes have to offer. After a very tiring day, despite the fact that debate seems stressful (well, it really is actually), it’s nice to just come to the tambayan (where we “hang out”) and know that you belong.


My church has also become home to me. At the end of the week, I TGIF because my weekends are spent at church. Aside from church being one big family, there are also smaller groups and individual people (well, one person) I love being with.

There’s the recon/worship team where I also meet people who share my love for music. I was never one of those people who played an instrument since birth and stuff but every time I spend a few hours with the team, I learn a lot and I am inspired. We even have end-of-the-month parties for birthday celebrants and it’s just nice how people are so supportive of each other and thoughtful of every single member in the group.

Also, the cell group I belong to. Twelve girls plus one amazing leader. It just makes me feel less lost to belong to a group that is founded on God’s love. We have Sunday lunches sometimes and we celebrate birthdays and we just all grow together. And they are very sweet, very fun people, the girls I am with on Sundays. Plus I don’t look like much of a loser when I get to sit with someone I know during services.


And lastly, the cheesiest one. As much as I hate sounding so mushy and being so clingy, I would have to say that I have found home in my buddy’s hugs. My buddy is one of the most amazing people in the universe. He is very nice and very understanding and very sweet and I am sounding very much like a fangirl but that’s just how he is. And he gives the best hugs. One, because he is, um, very huggable (hihi, love you bud!) and because we hug a lot and because it seems like the most normal thing in the world. And it is. And we’ve only been friends for, what? A year now? And buddies for only a couple of months. I don’t think I’ve hugged anyone outside of my family as much as I have hugged him. I think it’s become our thing. And because I’ve gotten used to it, it feels like home. It doesn’t pick a season or a mood either. I hug him when I’m happy or sad or angry or tired or perky or whatever. And I guess the best thing about it for me is, whatever happened during the day, whether or not we’ve talked, even if sometimes I’m being snobbish or I feel he’s being snobbish, when we part ways, we hug and it’s like sealing whatever’s been going on between us during that day with loads of love. I even remember telling him last night,

“Kumo-quota na tayo sa hugs ngayon ah.” (We’re already reaching a hug quota today.)

Not that I was complaining. It was actually very much appreciated given the taxing day I had.


These are what I go back to, what I look forward to after everything that goes on in my life, whatever they are. And that’s why they feel like home.



*Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Hello littler brother

by Jem

I miss you a lot, you know?

I bet Daddy and Mommy, Ate Jed and Kuya Jet do too.

I’ve thought about you often, especially recently. My pseudonym on here is even after the nickname we’ve prepared for you.

And your ate is such a crybaby. I just thought of you tonight and I cried. I miss you!

I bet we’ll see you soon, when the right time comes. And then I’ll cuddle you, kiss you, play with you, read you stories and just make you feel all the love I feel right now and will forever feel for you.

But for now, continue to be the cutie patootie guardian angel I always imagine you to be, ‘kay?


by Jem

Three and a half out of five pages, a new blog (and two posts) and a couple of hours wasted later, I decide to take a shower. It’s been my solution to my laziness lately. And when I run out of creative juices. And willpower.

Standing under the shower head has been my sanctuary lately.

I don’t know why.

Maybe the light pressure of the water on my scalp is what I need to jump start my brain again. To squeeze out some ideas from my worn out brain. It is ready to go home to cold Baguio six hours away from here. But it has to wait a few more days. Just a bit more. In the meantime it will find comfort in the shower. It will find life from the cold rush of the shower on very early, chilly mornings.

It will find inspiration from a reminder of home.

I will find inspiration from a reminder of home.

And pretty soon I will be home. I’ll find inspiration in the shower. And everywhere else too.

It is home after all.