Unsent Letters

Dear Mama and Papa,

When I was still a young girl, you always told me to fight for what I believed in, to not be let down by the littlest of discouragement, and to have a stand in this world. For sixteen years, I was the headstrong daughter you raised me —until the time I was heading off to college and choosing my career path.


You came into my life
     Silently, slowly
As your tiny bones grew
     And your tiny heart throbbed
And I never knew, never knew.

For eight weeks, or nine
     I had you in my womb
Then tiny drops of crimson
     Dripped, dripped, gushed
And you were gone
     Too soon, too soon.

                            - k.m.t.g.

#Hugot: Love Is Not Enough

Ever since I was a kid, it has always been my dream to work as an editor—or just a part of the editorial staff, even as an editorial assistant or contributor—at a lifestyle or fashion magazine. Elizabeth Wakefield of Sweet Valley Twins and Betty of Betty La Fea were my role models: how I wish I could be in their shoes and work as a sassy editor for a posh magazine.

And just this month, as I was looking for a new career opportunity, I landed a job as an editorial assistant for a classy and well-known magazine. If it happened a few years back, when I was still so young and naive and starry-eyed, I would have jumped into the opportunity—with no second thoughts, without considering anything else but my wide-eyed zest to be what I always dreamed about.

Vigan and Wheelchairs

On a humid and sleepy Saturday morning sometime in March, I realized that my two-year relationship with my then boyfriend had come to an end, much to my chagrin. The second thing I did after crying out ugly was to call one of my best friends and plan an out-of-town trip. Our destination? Vigan.

Get Inked at 032 Tatoo!

Not my tattoo. Just a sample of 032 Tattoo's work.

Thinking of getting inked this summer—or anytime soon this year? This week?

Just this month, I got inked at 032 Tattoo, right in the heart of the city: Mango Avenue, Cebu City—just at the back of Alcohology (a popular bar). What I like best about 032 Tattoo is that the artists, and the owner, are very responsive and friendly.

Chow Abinales, the owner of 032 Tattoo, as well as a tattoo artist, oversees the inquiries of possible customers. He responds on the fly, at the same time giving you a price quote and asks you for the day and time you'd like to have your tattoo done.

To Plonky Talk: From a Daughter to a Mother


You have sparked the attention of a lot of mothers out there, and I'm here to voice out my opinion as a daughter.  

Let me introduce myself. I'm a twenty-four-year-old unmarried and childless writer who grew up not really seeing my mom that much, and was raised by a hands-on dad, a doting grandma, protective sisters, and a string of yayas. I have two older sisters who are in their thirties and are apparently "fake" hands-on moms because they are not at par to your losyang standards in your oh-so wonderful article "How to spot a fake hands-on mom of toddlers." (And by the way, both of them have toddlers and one-year-olds, and they still are hands-on moms, have time to work full-time, and look as young to pass as college girls.)

I am the youngest from a brood of three, and at the time of my birth, things were financially difficult for my family, so my mom had to work her ass off to give all of us a future. I barely remember my mom in a lot of my childhood memories. Heck, she wasn't even there when I had my menarche.

Life of a Nurse: Lessons from a Corpse

I was 20 then. It was just a few months before graduation, when I would have become a full-fledged adult with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. But for the moment I was focusing on being a good student nurse.

It was our first day in our clinical duty at the emergency room. We were on the morning shift, so we had a busy start. One of my assigned patients was a young male just a few years shy of 30, with the diagnosis of meningitis.

He was just one of the many patients I tended in the whole four years of my student-nurse days. But I remember him so well, and I don’t think I will ever forget him.

Book Review: By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead

Title: By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead
Author: Julie Anne Peters
Genre: Young Adult / Juvenile Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Warning: Spoiler alert

The title of the book speaks for itself: it is a story of a suicide.

This is a story about fifteen-year-old Daelyn Rice, a girl tormented from bullying virtually all the years of her life. Her failed suicide attempt rendered her mute and unable to eat solid food, and now, she is on 24-hour suicide watch. 

Despite the close guidance of her parents, she is determined to die successfully this time. She stumbled upon a suicide forum called through-the-light.com, which gives her open and honest guides on her options to go, a countdown of her "date of determination," and anonymity in posting in forums. In through-the-light, Daelyn finds solace in purging her painful past—of bullying and abuse that started at a very tender age.

Daelyn has 23 days to live—23 days to prepare for her suicide. As the days count down to her death, she meets a geeky and socially inept boy named Santana who, in spite of Daelyn's silence and social isolation, persists in befriending her. Santana and Daelyn eventually form a bond, and Santana reveals to Daelyn a secret that leads her to question her decision to take her own life.

By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead is a book that I recommend to everyone to raise awareness on mental health—whether you're struggling with suicidal thoughts or otherwise. The book covers a broad range of very sensitive and taboo topics, openly giving the grisly and provoking details about depression, bullying, and suicide.

Of all the books that I read about mental illness and suicide, this is the best I've come across to. It's a short read, only 200+ pages long, with handy information sheets about depression, bullying, and suicide at the last few pages.

Julie Anne Peters wrote a poignant tale of a deeply wounded girl, beautifully written in a prose that is easily understood—no frills and fancy words, just simple and downright honest about the thoughts of a person who is severely depressed and suicidal. 

From the very first chapter, you can feel Daelyn's despair, of how hopeless she is, that the only way out is for her to die. As the book progresses, you go deeper to her mind and be drawn to her dark past. Her desperation to die is somewhat brought to a lighter note by Santana's awkward social advances and his endearing humor and personality.

The ending brought a mix of emotions to me. As I flipped through the last page of the book, I was at peace, believing that Daelyn didn't commit suicide; rather, she chose to "kill" her past and be reborn to a new her. 

Spoiler Alert and Final Words

The narration of her last visit to through-the-light gave me the idea that her deleting the account was a sign of her coming at terms of her past, that it is where her date of determination ends. Her pondering of hoping for Santana to get a dog on his birthday gave me the impression that she went to his party, as opposed to her original plan of skipping school and going home to drown. Emily was also a vital character in the story, in that her friendship with Daelyn serves as a symbol of hope for both of them.

This is not so much as a "trigger book" for the suicidal, but a book that gives hope and a better perspective about life in spite of all the darkness. It does not promote suicide as well; rather, the thought-provoking questions from the book make you think twice about how you see life and death.

I love this book so much, I can read again and again. :) 

To Love Me Again

I used to be very independent.

I could go to Ayala by myself and window shop for hours and not get bored.

I could go to Oh George! and eat a whole large plate of carbonara all by myself and not feel awkward.

I could stroll around Colon all alone and not get scared.

I could travel to Mindanao and Visayas all alone, by ship, for 12 long hours, and still have the best time of my life.

I lived all alone in a rented room for years and I didn't feel lonely at all.

I made decisions all by myself, and I created a life that was so great that I couldn't wish for more.

I was so carefree and self-reliant, but where am I now?

Book Review: The Bell Jar

Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Genre: Semi-autobiographical
Rating: 5 out of 5

Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar was one of the books that I read during my episodes of depression, and there is no other book that could depict just how vague, complicated, and difficult  mental illnesses are.

Esther Greenwood's decline to depression, and eventually suicide, speaks volumes about the complexity of the human psyche: that even the smallest and minute events can lead to the dwindling of one's self-worth and will to live, that no one can really pinpoint the one and true reason for someone's depression. I, for one, keep people's minds boggled why I have succumbed to depression: I have a wonderful family, I have a job, I have a blossoming love life, I have great friends, and I have a generally good life—but I am still depressed. So why? 

I don't know. And this is how Plath portrays Esther's story: the reader cannot fully understand the root of her depression, why she decided to die, and how she still fears that the "bell jar" of depression will cover up and invade her world again. 

Plath describes depression as a bell jar: it hovers over your head, covers you under its dome, and keeps you trapped in a prison of sadness, emptiness, and solitude. She clearly describes the pains of going through electric shock treatments for her illness, her attempts at ending her life, her constant inner battles, and her days in the asylum.

Plath's writing is spontaneous, one that really depicts just how unpredictable life is—that life is a series of events that one cannot expect to happen in spite of how much you plan it so. When you read The Bell Jar, you cannot guess what happens next, unlike most novels where each and every plot is carefully laid out to create a climax and a resolution. The Bell Jar parallels Plath's life and her personal experience on her treatment for depression, and this is where the true beauty of the book springs from: it is a story of a life.

Copyright kristennemarie. Powered by Blogger.