He called me crazy. Now, I couldn’t agree more.

I let myself tremble at the thought of him with someone else. Following eleven months (and counting) of devastating struggle and distance, I figured that my temporary insanity has been quite a sane response.

He called me crazy. Now, I couldn’t agree more.

Because fear is the heart of love, betrayal – even just the slightest thought of it – has been so threatening. Distance has been so consuming. Paranoia, absolutely life-altering.

Did he actively try to avoid speaking to me online? Did I just sense the nervousness from his voice as he scrambled for every possible excuse as to why he can’t provide me with the time I go beyond for to give? Am I not worth the sacrifice of a lifestyle he isn’t really supposed to be living in the first place? Does his friends really matter more?

It’s all wrong. I started to feel embarrassed for letting this one person get away with disrespecting me so fully. I got angry at myself for constantly letting it happen – that giving of so much of power to someone who won’t seem to take me seriously or see me worthy of his attention and understanding.

My willingness to put up with more than I normally would when I’m not emotionally invested and involved has been stunning. It seemed never-ending until I found myself unknowingly able to twist the game of perspective, transforming it from my worst enemy to my most favorable ally.

How did I actually do it? Well, I didn’t – I got exhausted. One time, for reals.

Imagine putting up with resentment day in and day out for eleven months. It took a toll on both my body and soul – so tough on my health and rough on my spirit. Anger, paranoia, betrayal, and resentment imprisoned me from real joy in every aspect of my life that I withdrew myself from what seems to have been killing me.

The withdrawal occurred in phases he would not have failed to notice (had he really been in love with me). When the final straw has been drawn, it hit me hard. It shook my world that I’ve grown stronger, strong enough that saw what a waste I have been!

My mistake or the rain’s, I thank the heavens for now I know. I only have one go-around.


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Dear Daddy

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When I was five, I believed you were a superhero and the best in everything you did. You had my world revolving around gaining every single bit of attention I could get from the awesome you. Damn, I was punned.

You were the best musician-bass guitar player, amazing badass tattoos, wonderful singing voice. A rock star! Hey, you were a good cook, too. To top it off, you were the best driver and car salesman in the world. Everybody said you looked good and were so young to father a child – you had them all believing you had me at eighteen when you did when Mom was seventeen and you, well, twenty-two (or three?).

See, you got to be proud your baby grew up pretty smart and figured things in a different light. I saw and followed the beam called reality that is beyond your fantasy world. You took me to your beer-drinking sessions when I was barely four. You hopped from job to job because of negligence and-see, the real adults, they call it laziness and irresponsibility.


Daddy, three-y/o me, and glass of beer

I used to feel horrible for having been born out of wedlock and to be coming from a broken family, with my parents so young and separated. I perfectly recall each of them girls you brought home to Grandmama’s house (because you never really had your own place). At least three of them’s a Cathy – but, I specifically recall the bitchiest Cathy with whom you did drugs with. I was seven at the time she was your chic and when I called to say I missed you, you said to me:

Honey, listen. Never call this house again.

“Why, Daddy?”

Because I said so.

Wow. I am not being emotional or remorseful – please don’t get me wrong. Those words broke the seven-year-old girl, sure. But, they also made the woman I am today. Thanks to you, I grew up tough and brave.

I have to say great choice on my Mommy, though. While she never emphasized, I grew up to recognize she was beautiful, strong, and just naive when you had her. She learned, too. We both did and we both fought.

These days, you call me a lot and as I am not to upset Mommy. I pick up, be polite as she taught me. But, Daddy, I got to admit it felt terrific when we last talked –

Baby, I miss you. Will you meet me, at least?

“I am sorry, Daddy. I am terribly busy.”

Forgive me if I was a jerk or if I have never been a good father.

“Wow. You knew that? Holy macaroni. I need a drink. Will you buy me a beer?”


Me and Daddy, 2016. In good terms. What does one get out of anger?


Art: Solitude and Discovery

When I was a child, the adults said I was good in drawing and art. Looking back, I remember how I made pretty neat stuff (puppets, paper dolls, shoebox houses, and popsicle stick fences). As I went to school and met kids who were doing better at it, I got scared. I felt behind and discouraged and limited. Anyway, wrong attitude. Moving on…

Just recently, I broke up with my boyfriend and thought I needed to work on my self discovery. Hence, my attempt to revive this blog and search for the artist in me (among many other things I have been fighting for as part of the change I am eager to attain).

I ran to a store, purchased tools (chalk pastels, charcoal, a sketchbook, some pencils), and worked on a few pages. I know that the output don’t even measure, but the effort I put into each of it made me feel great. Guess what? It’s the process that counts. The relief, the strange joy, and the solitude while I have been working on each was inexplicably fulfilling.


Chalk Pastels


Colored Pencils & Some Soluble Graphite

While I have certainly commited myself on deciding which sort of art journal to have and maintain, I don’t feel the rush. I call these days (or months) to come part of my discovery not of where I am good at, but of where I am happiest with in terms of medium and styles for my art. Today, the style is random and the pressure is off.

Disclaimer: Now I know that this is supposed to be a ‘photo’ challenge. But, I decided to take it for my art. Why not, right? Solitude

Heartbreak, Drama, and Lady Gaga

When I started this blog, I was like you and your boyfriend—excited. Hell, very enthusiastic and eager to keep it filled with awesomeness that screams and says, ‘hey, my life is amazing!’

But, hell no, it’s not. At least, not everyday. The past year has been particularly difficult. 2016 is the winner of ‘the greatest transition award’ of my life (so far) where I had to go through a whole new world where I have expected a hundred thousand dreams to see…all after eight years of pseudo-independence. To spill the beans and keep you kind of engaged (because, hey, I can be an attention whore sometimes, too – right?), the issue is that I left my Alladin behind. Don’t roll your eyes ‘coz this is another break-up story.
From 2008, I have lived away from my family. That was when I started college and thought I was too smart. Damn, I have been an idiot. I can either ignite you with rage or bore you to death with countless stories of my life-ruining escapadesthat no one the hell in my family found out about. Ever. Because I was a spy, just like that.

The thing is, I am part of the mob. I am mafia, badass. Bam!

Lie. Well, I guess my trend explains the name I picked for the site. I sugarcoat a lot and I would bet my ass you do, too – maybe not as much as I(?) See, I said sugarcoat when I actually meant I have been a liar – a very, very deceitful one. But, we all sugarcoat and this can be a ‘fun’ problem with people. And, like too much of all things fun, it turns to ‘bad’ and, the next thing you’ll feel is the ricochet that hit your bottom.

I mean, you might love it if you’re Goddamn gay, who knows? Okay, shut up, judgmental you – I love my gay friends and we joke a lot. I was serious, though.

Lie. For days, I have been trying to come up with a pseudonym. “Dear Sugar” or “Hey Honey” sort of thing to communicate as so you don’t figure out who the hell this crazy, ranting person is. I also imagined cute thumbnails of cats or penguins or piglets – you know, to go with my sugar or honey or bumblebee. But, why would I hide behind a cat when I can be annoying being me, and not an orange?

Life is not cotton candy. It’s difficult, a struggle, and a journey. For resilience and freedom of my soul’s sakes, I want to be out—transparent and honest for the first time in my life.

I have been enduring crap and I know I am yet to endure more crap. Chil, you will, too~ *winks*

Here’s a sample. I saw myself starting this project of a wonderful ’30 days of stories’ prompt I found two years ago. Must I say yay because I stopped at day two? Sure. Zero consistency, very unreliable, horrible work ethic, blablabla.

Lie. No way. For years, I punished and blamed my self for how things turn out and how life failed. To be how my (recent ex)boyfriend, my family, and the society have envisioned has been all that mattered. Then, it hit me like whiskey. After having had too much – as I hope it does for you as well – I understood that I buy my shit, and I pay for my choices after all!

I am not proud of shit, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s my shit. I did it and I have the option to watch it float and disgust myself or I could flush it down the drain and forget about it. I may even choose not to not look at it before I let it go because tomorrow I will shit again. With the right food choices, it must feel easier. Besides, I got better things to do.

Truth. Thus, I apologize to me and I forgive me.

2017 is the year where I should stop being hard on myself. It is my year of discovery and truthfulness. I invite you to journey with me, wherever and whoever you are, my faraway and lost soul sister in heartbreak, drama, and Lady Gaga (admit it).

Let’s get out and don who we are. Let us stain ‘em all haters with red lisptick like we just found out we’re the bosses of us. Without doing harm to anyone, but bringing joy to those we love. Without inflicting pain on ourselves, but fueling our very desires.

So long, old me! I am out. When will you be?

Day 2: Neighbors

Day 2 of telling your stories: neighbors.

Who were your neighbors? Kids your age? A huge dog? A mysterious Boo Radley type? Who lived down the hall from you in your dorm? Who lives across the street now? What friends have you and your kids made at the bus stop?

The funniest thing crossed my mind the moment I thought of ‘neighbors’: the subdivision I spent my growing up years in is a small, close-knit community in the city with only approx. 300 families who almost knew everyone else in the neighborhood. What came to mind was that, in that same community of 300 families, I’ve been linked to four different boys at different stages of my development (the “crush” phase, the first “true” puppy love, rebound guy, and the “friend into lover” drama stage).

In more liberated cultures, being linked to four different guys, as long as at different stages, in a single neighborhood is perfectly fine. Even if more Filipinos are more open-minded these days, there still are a number who are disturbed by it. So, the streets in our subdivision were currencies and we used to live in Franc Street for a little more than a decade before we moved to Pound Street where we still are now for five years (and counting).

So, my first crush happened when I was in the fourth grade. We were in Franc Street (our house then was in the corner lot – Yen St.) and we had a food cart selling fish balls (a common Filipino street food) in front of our gate. Each afternoon, my crush (who was from Dinar Street) would pass by along with his friends after their afternoon basketball game. He was about four years older than I was – and, for someone in the fourth grade, a four-year gap is huge enough for us to never ever get the chance to interact. I mean, I barely had boobs and he’s got some cute facial hair. I got past him, of course.

When I was in junior high school (2005), I started my first longest relationship (which lasted 23 months). The guy was from Pound Street and he was the funniest I ever hanged out with. I’ve seen him around the neighborhood a couple of times before us being introduced and him wanting to be with me (we had cute moments I used to think are cute for everyone but am now embarrassed to tell about lol). He transferred to my high school (which was an 8-minute walk from my house) and we walked to class each morning together, had recess together, spent our lunch breaks together, and our field trips like dates. Basically, he stole half of my high school social life, but I’m grateful he did. We broke up before college and, to date, we’re very good friends.

I went to my first two-three years in college without getting serious with relationships. It was in college that I had a shift in neighbors (because I had to live alone – a two-hour drive from home) but also found myself getting linked to someone from my family’s subdivision later on. He was my first rebound guy and he was, like my former crush, from Dinar Street. Funny they’re friends and the same age. Disclaimer: I didn’t intend to rebound on him (details when I’m ready).

After our family moved to a slightly larger house in Pound Street, we’ve been positioned right across one of my closest guy friend’s house. He was one of the nicest and, I swear, a boyfriend material who confessed his, you know, L word. We didn’t work out – he’s nothing more than a brother figure to be around with. Besides, he’s a little too good for me.

The thing is, there are more neighbors I have had significant experiences with and funny moments to tell of, but I am using this day’s prompt to show how neighbors can help affect aspects of our lives more than we’ll ever realize. Neighborhoods are environments, and environments are very important especially in developing years. And the most dramatic transitions and pains one will ever have to go through as he/she grows is in romance. I see this blog and my 30 days of stories as an avenue to introduce myself and my past to my future children and younger relatives – at what age the children will be when I plan on showing them, I still haven’t identified…

Day 1: Saturday Mornings

 Day 1 of telling your stories: Saturday morning.

Write about Saturday mornings, either now or at some time in your past. How late did you sleep in when you were a kid? What did you have for breakfast this morning? In college, did you spend Saturday mornings getting ready to go to the big football game? Do you take your kids to your parents’ house on Saturdays? Do you get up early to run?

Growing up in a family of seven siblings, I rarely tasted boredom. I am the eldest (Sophia Nicohle; I don’t know about you, but there’s something about describing selves–you can get to know more of me later), then there’s Ivan Angela (now 22, the only chubby one among all of us – first to have a child at 21), John Carl (20 years old, video game lover & a sweet funny guy, went to aeronautics school), Dianne (fondly called Wawi at home; 18 year old psychology student, thrifty and smart – you don’t mess with her), Ernesto II (17, named after his grandfather – all 7 of us are from 3 different fathers), Maria Scarlet (16, a beautiful young lady with a brave soul…and some teenage troubles), and Anna Patricia (14, the apple of my eye, my darling, our little angel, and forever baby).

Ivan (r) and I (l) playing

Ivan (r) and I (l) playing; We looked the same age, but I was four and her two here

Except for Ivan who moved in with us 8 years ago (she was with her dad’s family), we all grew up together. Although Ivan was with us almost every weekend back then. Our beautiful mother who had me at 17, is the most adorable person. She loved each of us dearly and dedicated her life to taking care of us. She’s the kind of woman who, for her children’s sakes, doesn’t need a man to complete her. It was our Mom who taught us to love each other (siblings) first, and it was her love for us that never made us feel any different from one another (no half-sibling issues).


Ernest, Anna, and Wawi

Our Saturdays were full of fun-filled activities that rarely needed spending since (1) there are a lot of us to take on a trip and (2) our mom is the coolest, most creative who always  finds stuff for us to do. Saturday mornings, we usually wake up to Arroz Caldo for breakfast–a Filipino rice porridge with chicken, topped with hard boiled eggs, roasted garlic, and spring onions. Then, we’d either go to Quezon City Memorial Circle (a park where you can rent bikes and roller skates) or our Aunt Joanne’s house in Pasig (or they come over). Our Aunt Joanne is my Mom’s elder and only sister and she has 5 children. Hence, if not biking or rollerskating, our Saturdays were playdates with our cousins. I’ve actually got to admit, my siblings and I like being in the park, having picnics, and biking/rollerskating better. Whatever it is that’s just us. Staying at home, lounging or playing with water guns in our inflatable pool (the biggest you can find) is also cool.

Now, obviously, I grew up to fun Saturdays. It all felt normal back in the day and we rarely felt time flew and situations shifted. 2008 is a very important year for me: I went to college, the University of the Philippines Los Banos–a 2-hour drive from our home in QC so I had to stay in a college dorm, away from my siblings for the first time in all my life. The same year, our family had gone through some trials that led to my Mom having to work overseas, away from us for the first time in all our lives. We were all aching inside, silently. The Saturdays of the year 2008 were my favorite days of the year: I get to come home and see my baby brothers and sisters, spend time with them, and be able to catch up or help out with school projects and homework.

Image Source: Matthew Mendoza

Image Source: Matthew Mendoza

Slowly, each of them went to college or grew up to be teenagers with different sets of friends and hobbies. Each of them had their own busy schedules and we’ve seemed to have gotten used to seeing Mom once, for two months, each year. Although I have my own life I’m pursuing, I can’t help but crave and wish for even just a moment to get one of those Saturdays with Arroz Caldo my Mom made and some crazy, fun day with my baby brothers and sisters.

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  1. […] Saturday mornings […]

Writing Challenge: 30 Days of Your Stories

I found this interesting list from Pinterest that I would really like to start this blog with. This blog is my journey to improving my creative non fiction writing in order to accomplish a life’s dream: to publish my memoir and biography of my grandmother.

Through the most creative of ways I could stretch my mind, I plan to give visitors of this blog and its personal pages glimpses of my life–glimpses that are all tiny puzzle pieces that I hope I could someday get back to, filter, and put together when I have gathered the strength and felt the timing is right to commence on my novels.

As soon as I get to Day 1, I shall ping Sandra back as a sign of my thanks for the step one in my journey that this simple list of hers bring.