Make-up: An Attempt At Flash Fiction

Behind the story: First of all, let me emphasize that this piece was only an attempt at writing something remotely related to journalism. The idea of writing flash fiction never came to my mind. I never even knew what it meant until our then Retorika professor, Mr. Eros Atalia, decided that our final requirement would be to recite a dagli—with feelings—in front of the whole class and before panelists Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin and Joselito Delos Reyes.

Really, no big deal.

Now, here’s another thing. For the topic of the dagli, we were supposed to pick an issue of social relevance. And the title should be double-edged. And  please avoid the surprise-the-boy-is-gay kind of story.

If I remember it clearly, most of my classmates dealt with the topic of sex. I think it’s because they thought that creative writing required one to be fearless and open-minded, hence, be able to talk about supposedly taboo stuff.

Alright, fine. I was one of them. And somehow I kind of twisted the forbidden surprise-the-boy-is-gay story into something else. I also tried to *wink* make up *wink* for any possible faults in the story itself by providing a double-edged title, as requested.

And then all I had to do was deliver it. With confidence.

Here’s the piece I had to perform. *disappears into a void*


“Boom-boom-boom!” say ko habang nagpapahid ng foundation sa kutis kong pang-mega star. Pulang-pula na rin ang kissable kong lips. Feel na feel ko ng very much na ako ang pinakabonggang sirena sa balat ng universe!

Finally, mapu-push na ng very hard ang pinakauna kong show boulevard dito sa bar. Siguradong hiyawan nanaman ang mga papa sa’kin nito. Umakyat ako sa highest level ng aangkinin kong stage. Nagkagulo ang kalalakihan. Shet, iba alindog ko, beh!

Nagsigawan dela cruz pati ‘yung dalawang pogi sa bandang likod. Lasing na pareho. Nalasing yata sa beauty ng lola mong feeling girl.

Nilapitan ako nung isang kuya mong boy. Sugod kung sugod naman ‘tong si pogi. In need yata ng bagong motor. Sinama niya ako sa kuwarto, saka siya dali-daling nagpaputok.

Boom. Boom. Boom. Nabingi ako sa sarili kong ungol.

Sunod kong nalaman, nakahiga na lang ako rito sa malasutla at makitid na kama. May flowers. May kandila. May salamin sa ibabaw.

Wala nang mas kakapal pa sa make-up ko ngayon.



A Kiss From Papa

Behind the story: This short news feature article was originally published on on January 19, 2015 and it was the first story I ever wrote for a national publication, or news website for that matter. God knows how overwhelmed my 18-year-old self was when I was told via email that the story would be forwarded to the news desk. And so when the link to the article was sent to me, I opened it immediately, saw my byline, felt really funny about it, and then just did the most mature thing. (Hint: I jumped up and down and cried “oh my god” for about three times.)

Now let’s talk about how physically draining that coverage was. Haggard took a-whole-nother meaning as I found myself going home with a bad headache, damp hair, wet clothes, and the squishing of my soaked shoes.

But here’s the thing. I didn’t come home feeling miserable. Instead, I felt like my heart was full. And if only I wasn’t bound by physical limitations, I would have stayed longer.

I think that’s how you know you’re in the right place. Or maybe that’s just the power of a first?

‘Mom ecstatic over her baby getting kissed by Pope Francis’

Carrying only hope and hardly any food, millions of Filipinos waited for hours behind blockades—with many of them even sleeping since the night before—all for only a glimpse, however distant, of probably the most-loved man here in the country–Pope Francis.

But in the case of Jon Dell Naguit, hours of waiting was spent not only for a glimpse, a wave, nor a smile. It was for the moment of euphoria—when the Pope himself planted a kiss on his forehead.


Photo by Rio Deluvio for The Flame

Measured up to everyone else’s encounter with ‘Lolo Kiko’, Jon Dell’s meant a lifetime of blessings for him and his whole family. Not to mention, of course, that he was able to experience this only three months after he was born.

Certainly, this brought tears to the 30-year-old woman carrying him in her arms.

Siyempre masayang-masaya ako! Walang enough words para ma-explain ko talaga ‘yung nararamdaman ko, (Of course, I feel so happy, There aren’t enough words to explain what I feel),” said Jon Dell’s mother, June-Joan Naguit, who was still stuck in absolute happiness right after she saw the Pope in the flesh.

Parang sobrang pambihirang pagkakataon na ‘yung isang tao malapitan niya, mabuhat niya, mahalikan pa niya,” she adds. “Kaya sobrang masaya ako para sa anak ko.” (It’s really a rare opportunity for him to get near someone, carry him, and kiss him. That’s why I’m so happy for my child.)

Listening to every word and chant, June-Joan and her family stayed all throughout the liturgy at the University of Santo Tomas on Sunday led by the Father of the Catholic faith whom they longed for and will keep on admiring.

Perhaps, up to this very moment, June-Joan still could not believe that the baby she carried in her arms will himself carry the burning hope that will forever inspire everyone who surrounds him with their love.

This inspiration will carry on until the day Jon Dell grows old enough to wait for the coming of yet another Pope—where he might say the exact words his mother uttered: ‘Thank you, Papa! I love you!’

Link to the  original post (with photos):