Ah, my lips. My everlasting luscious lips. For a long time, I have longed to have my lips to be as red as the purest drop of blood. Something that even the Kardashians would envy of having.
It was Friday night. I was busy applying my make-up on my pretty face. Carefully, I put some lip-gloss on my lips, wanting them to be as shiny as polished ruby.
“Hey, gorgeous!” I said to myself as I puckered my freshly-glossed lips.
Suddenly, my phone rang. It was one of my girls calling.
“Hey, girl!” she said. “Where are you? We’re already in the club. Hurry up!”
“Yas, yas,” I said while wiping the excess lip-gloss from my lips. “The princess is almost done. Just applying some lipstick on my lips.”
“You always take a long time putting on some lipstick,” my friend complained. “Would ya hurry your ass up?”
Just as I was about to end the call, I noticed something sticking out of my lips. It was a bit of dry skin. Well, I don’t want anything sticking out of my lower lip, so I pulled it out. I know it’s just small, but damn, it hurts. It left a tiny wound on my lip, which also bled for a tiny amount. I don’t mind wiping it away if it makes my lips appear more reddish.
I hurried up and went to the club as soon as I finished putting on the last layer of my bloody red lipstick. I arrive at the nightclub after a 30-minute ride and joined up with my friends.
“Hey, gals!” I greeted with my hands raised to give them a hug. “The princess is here!”
We hugged and kissed each other’s cheeks as welcome. Each of us grabbed a drink and enjoyed the wild night beneath the darkness and the laser lights.
“What are we waiting for?” one of the girls said. “Let’s go get some boys!”
And in a moment, the night just went wilder than it already was.
Isang misteryosong lalaking nakasuot ng jacket ang pumasok sa mall kanina at biglang ikinanta nang malakas ang pambansang awit ng Pilipinas. Nagtinginan ang mga tao sa kanya at ang iba ay inirecord nila ang pangyayari sa kanilang phone cameras. Nang siya’y nalalapit na sa huling bahagi ng awitin, “Ang mamatay nang dahil sa’yooo!!!”, isang malakas na pagsabog ang narinig sa isang bahagi ng mall. Continue reading
Palagi kong naaalala ang sinasabi sa akin ng kapatid ko sa tuwing binibilhan kami ng pagkain ng aming nanay.
“Patikim ako, kuya.”
Oo, palagi kong naririnig iyan. Kahit na pareho kaming binilhan ng pagkain ng nanay namin, lalapit pa rin siya at hihingi sa kinakain ko.
“Binilhan ka na nga ni nanay, oh!” reklamo ko minsan. “Bakit mo pa kailangan humingi?”
“Eh kasi, hindi ko pa ‘yan natitikman,” katwiran niya palagi.
Hindi naman ko naman siya kayang tanggihan dahil baka magtampo siya at isumbong pa ako kay nanay. Kaya wala tuloy akong magagawa kundi ang ipatikim sa aking kapatid ang kinakain ko
Linggo ng umaga. Isang ama ang gumising at nagluto ng almusal. Nagprito siya ng hotdog at itlog na paborito ng kanyang anak na babae. Kinuha niya ang bahaw na kanin sa pridyidir at isinangag ito sa kawali. Nang matapos siya ay pumunta siya sa kwarto ng anak upang ito’y gisingin.
“Gising na, anak,” sabi ng ama sa kanyang anak.
“Good morning, papa,” naaalimpungatan pa ang bata.
“Good morning din, anak. Oh, bumangon ka na; nagluto ako ng paborito mo. Bilisan mong bumangon dahil pupuntahan natin si mama ngayon”
“Talaga po ba?” ngumiti ang bata. “Yehey!”
Dali-daling bumangon ang batang babae at pumunta sa hapagkainan upang kumain na ng almusal. Masaya siya dahil makikita na niya ulit ang kanyang ina. Matagal na kasi niya itong hindi nakikita.
Matapos nilang kumain ay pinaliguan na ng ama ang kanyang anak. Binihisan niya ito ng magandang damit at tinirintasan ang buhok. Siya rin ay nagbihis ng disenteng polo at pinabanguhan ang sarili. Nang sila’y matapos sa pag-aayos sa sarili ay sumakay na sila sa kanilang kotse at nagtungo sa kanilang pupuntahan.
Tumigil muna sila para mamili sa isang tindahan ng bulaklak. Pinagmasdan ng bata ang magagandang mga bulaklak na naka-display sa harap ng tindahan. Mayroong mga rosas, daisy, at marami pang iba, Pero ang namukod tangi sa kanyang mga mata ay ang paborito niyang daffodil na kakasibol pa lamang.
“Papa, gusto ko ‘yun oh!” itinuro niya ang daffodil.
Hawak ng kanyang ama ang isang palumpon ng carnation na napili niyang bilhin.
“Ale, isa na rin pong maliit na buoquet doon sa bulaklak na tinuturo ng anak ko,” ang sabi niya sa tindera.
Kinuha ng tindera ang isang namumukadkad na palumpon ng daffodil at ibinigay ito sa bata. Tuwang tuwa ang batang babae nang matanggap niya ang palumpon ng daffodils. Inamoy niya ito at nagpasalamat sa kanyang ama na nagbabayad sa tindera.
“Thank you po, papa! Matutuwa rin si mama sa ibibigay niyo sa kanya,” ang sabi niya.
“Para kanino ba ‘yang mga bulaklak na ‘yan?” tanong ng kanyang ama.
“Para po kay mama,” sagot ng bata. “Sasabihin ko sa kanya na paborito ko ‘tong bulaklak na ito.”
“Sigurado akong matutuwa siya kapag nakita niya iyan,” napangiti ang kanyang ama.
Hinubad ko ang aking damit na babad sa pawis mula sa aking huling workout session. Humarap ako sa salamin. Nakita ko ang isang diyosang ubod ng ganda ang katawan. Leeg na kaynipis. Dibdib na kaylaki. Beywang na kaysikip. Balakang na kaylapad. Pwet na kaytambok. Binti na kaytikas. Ako na nga ito. Ilang taon kong hinintay ‘to. Ilang taon akong nag-diet, nag-jogging, nag-sit-up, at kung ano pang klase ng ehersisyo para lang sa araw na ‘to. Sa wakas, nabawasan na ng 72 kilos ang timbang ko, nabawasan na rin ng 12 inches ang waistline ko, at higit sa lahat, maganda at malaki na ang pwet at dibdib ko! Ilang taon kong pinaghandaan ito. Sana naman ngayon, matanggap na niya ako.
A new day has come in Sitio XIV as the sun rose up the cloudless skies and lit up the cultured land of the village. The roosters cackled as soon as the rays of sun hit their eyes. The farmers prepared their salakot and their basket for their harvest early in the morning. For today will be a long day.
Romina was awakened by the light of the rising sun in the horizon and by the sound of the bus traveling the main road. She rubs her sleepy eyes to see that they have already arrived in the province. She turns to her mother half-asleep right next to her. She tries to talk to her but decides not to disturb her mother sleeping.
“I wonder how living is like in this place,” she thought as it is her first time to visit the province.
Romina took the moment to gaze upon the fields counting every cow that passes by her vision.
“I’ll grow bored with this,” she said. “I need to have some fun stuff I could do.”
Soon, the bus arrives at their destination – Sitio XIV. Romina and her mother get off the bus where a man approached them and gave a beso to her mother.
“Joleng, you’re finally here!” the man welcomed them.
“It’s good to be back here,” Romina’s mother said. “Was it 15 years already?”
“I already forgot since I was busy counting the chickens!” he chuckled.
“Oh, anak, bless from your Tito Luis,” she told Romina.
Romina took her uncle’s hand and placed it on her forehead.
“Mano po,” she said.
“Is this my pamangkin, Rommie?” Tito Luis asked in awe. “My, she has grown tall already!”
Romina smiled back at him, not knowing what words to say.
“How old is she?” Tito Luis asked.
“She’s 19,” her mother replied. “It’s her first time here.”
“Ahh! She’s almost the same age as my daughter, Julia,” he said. “I’m pretty sure they’ll get to know each other easily.”
Romina’s eyes widened when she heard what her Tito Luis said. She thought she would spend the Holy Week in the province alone with no friends. But she saw Julia as a ray of hope. At least, to keep her from feeling lonely for a few weeks.
“Are you hungry?” Tito Luis asked them. “We have bread at home. You can wait inside the tricycle while I get your luggage.”
Tito Luis took Romina and her mother’s luggage and placed it inside the tricycle’s sidecar where Romina’s mother is seated.
“Tito Luis, may I sit behind you?” Romina eagerly asked.
“Sure, just hold on tight! The road will be a bit rough later,” her Tito Luis answered back.
Tito Luis kicked the starting pedal and drove back to his house as soon as the engine ran.
Romina felt the chilling breeze of the cold morning air of Sitio XIV. Though the sun was a bit high up in the sky, she didn’t feel any burning on her skin. She closes her eyes as the cool air smashed into her rosy white cheeks. She looks back to see the dusty trail left behind them. By the road, she sees corn kernels laying on the ground. She turned to her Tito Luis.
“Tito, why are there corn kernels on the side of the road?” she curiously asked.
“Ahh, they’re drying up the corn so they could lose its moisture,” he answered.
“Why do the farmers do that?”
“It’s because it’s ideal to sell corn at a lower moisture level. If we harvest corn that is not dry enough, we dry it in a grain dryer or under the sun if we’re on a tight budget.”
Romina looked back at the ground again, still confused. Nonetheless, she looked upon the field and saw cows and carabaos grazing on the grassland. The morning was quiet and the only noise she hears is from her Tito’s tricycle engine. She breathes in the fresh morning air of Sitio XIV. Romina felt like she belonged here.
Herminio is a thrifty man. He always has his ways in making a budget meal look like a buffet. His classmates are also mystified with how Herminio survives the whole day with the tight amount of budget that he always brings to school – considering how far his school is from his home. But Herminio is clever enough to know what he is doing. He values money so much that he couldn’t even think of anything to spend it on (because he hates spending money for himself).
But there is one thing Herminio couldn’t stop spending his money for, Regina, his girlfriend. Regina does not demand too much from Herminio since she can already be happy when he gives her the simplest gifts. Regina is contented with eating street foods whenever they are having a date, and Herminio is quite happy with that because he doesn’t have to spend too much. But sometimes, Regina gets upset whenever Herminio tries to avoid spending a lot on their dates. This disappoints her and causes Herminio to spend the money he has been trying to save for himself. Nonetheless, Regina still understands the times when Herminio has absolutely nothing to share, in which she sometimes shoulders everything with her money.
One day, Herminio’s father gave him a one-thousand Peso bill, an amount of money large enough in Herminio’s standards.
“Don’t tell your mom that I gave you money,” his father said.
“Thank you, dad,” Herminio said. “I won’t tell mom.”
Herminio knows that his mother would never give him his daily allowance if she finds out that he has enough money for the week. Now, it is up to Herminio how to spend the money his father gave him.
He thought of buying the books that he had always wanted to buy. Or maybe buying game credits for the online game that he is addicted to playing. But instead, he thought about repaying Regina for what she had spent for him in the past few weeks. So, with the huge amount of money in his hand, he thought of having a date with Regina. It’s been a long time since they ate at a restaurant.