Creative Writing 101: Sunset

Describe a sunset as viewed by a character that is in bliss; describe the same sunset but this time as seen by a character that is in gloom.

A mixture of blood and smoke scattered beyond the vast firmament of
heaven.. Dispersed in malformed glorious clouds; half part is
sprinkled in snow and the other part of wine and of rubies and of
sunflowers. Celestial lavishness corrupts me. Stars reach me.  I
closed my eyes. And still, I see hues and phantasm. I am in bliss.

The dusk, a thief, stole everything. It painted the sky selfishly.
Smothered the sun with something heavy. With something so heavy, it
decided to free its fall and be swallowed by the sea. As the sun
slumber on its grave, the night cloaks the earth and my vision
darkened. It was gloomy.

While reading a book at a library slash book store, I came upon a creative writing composition. It has lots of exercises and tips on creative writing. One of the exercises include fleshing out a stranger you have seen the first time. Compose stories about that stranger and why he is on that place. And a lot more exercises. While at work, I answered this exercise where I have to describe the same sunset as seen by a happy and a sad person for five minutes (squeezing my writing ability to its boundary in a time constraint manner). Next time, I’ll try this creative writing again with different rules, probably two street dogs making love from a child’s perspective and an old guy’s perspective.. Probably or probably not. It depends.

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How Can a Filipino Help the Philippines

Help Philippines Ax Realm

The moment I started this blog, I started for a cause because I want to influence some life form out there who is able to access this world slash teritorrial subspace.  Me making a difference, huh? But yeah– I want to influence someone for the better.

Well, this is a list of things that I could think of that my countrymen should do– but this can also be done by those people who have learned to love this 7,107 islands

  1. Recycle Paper.
  2. Follow traffic rules.
  3. Vote. Research everything about the people you are going to vote. Do not be mislead by articles that talks about good deeds of Mr. X running for Y position. Have a neutral point of view. The winning candidates of the national election will decide and run the next six years of the Philippines.  And six years is long enough, long enough for a high school student to finish his or her secondary education.
  4. Teach kids to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’
  5. And teach kids the essence of prayer.
  6. Report smoke belcher vehicles. Yes, you need not be a traffic enforcer to report such.
  7. Get your ticket after you pay a public utility bus. It is honesty.
  8. Explore the Philippines. And please do not vandalize historical places.
  9. Do not burn plastic-made materials.
  10. Segregate trash.
  11. Do not badmouth the Philippines. Either in your blog, to tourists, or in any media. We have to deal with it. Things are worse sometimes here in our country. But if we speak ill about our country, we are giving bad impression to ourselves.
  12. Respect law enforcers. And of course, report law enforcers who do not enforce the law of the land.
  13. Watch indie films.. in theater.
  14. You may trash paper anywhere. But please, put the non-biodegradable in trash cans.
  15. Explain to kids why they have to put their trash in a garbage bin.
  16. Try to finish your schooling. If it is a four-year course, TRY to finish it for four years. If it is a five-year course, TRY to finish it for five years. If you are enrolled in a state university, the government is paying for your education. The government could have spent the amount of your extended years to someone who wanted to earn a college degree. If you say you are enrolled in a private school, you are spending your parent’s money that they could use on their retirement. If you say you are the one who pays for your tuition, then kudos to you.
  17. Plant anything. Vegetable, flowers, or trees. If you do not have time, at least water your plants.
  18. Observe due process.
  19. Do not hold grudge against the government. Our government means People of the Republic of the Philippines.
  20. Support even one charity, sector, or right groups.
  21. If you smoke, at least make sure the flame is extinguished when you throw it away.
  22. And would you mind to throw your cigarette in a trash bin.
  23. Cooperate with the securities of airport, hospitals, government and business buildings and educational institution.
  24. Walk if it’s near.
  25. Tell a blogger to write anything what he can do to his country.

I believe the essence of this post is to tell everyone what my thoughts are on how each of us can help the Philippines. After all, this is our home.. And most of us do not have anywhere to go to if this paradise got messy.

Bakit Mas Mahaba ang kay Kuya

(This article by Akso Rojas won BlogSikat (english trans. BlogFamous) in Saranggola Blog Awards 1999.)

Mahaba ang gabi. Pumipikit. Padilim nang padilim!

Paunti-unting nasisilaw ang aking mga mata nakapikit man ang mga ito. Umaga na pala. Kailangan nang bumangon ng isang bata. Ako si Kaito, limang taong gulang, at paborito ko ang araw ng Sabado!

Bumangon na si Kuya kaya bumangon na rin ako! Sinundan ko si kuya papunta sa palikuran at kitang kita ko–mas mahaba ang kay kuya! Nagtaka ako kung bakit mahaba ang kay kuya kumpara sa akin. Bakit mas mahaba ang toothbrush niya? Pero masaya pa rin ako dahil magkasabay kaming nagtoothbrush ni kuya, paramihan kami ng bula at paputian ng ipin.

Kainan na! Ang aking baso na puno ng gatas at ang aking pinggan na mayroong tinapay! Kakainin ko na ang aking tinapay nang mapansin kong bakit mas mahaba yung tinapay ni Kuya? Oo, sinukat ko! Napakadaya naman. Napakarami kong gutom ngunit mas mahaba pa rin ‘yung kay Kuya. Pero nagdasal pa rin ako dahil mayroon kaming pagkain ni Kuya.

Tinawag ako ng mga kapitbahay ko! Maglalaro daw kami ng tagu-taguan. Saan kaya ako magtatago? Ah! Alam ko na. Magtatago ako sa likod ng bakod namin nang makita ko si Kuya habang naglalaro sila ng basketbol. Gusto ko na tuloy maglaro ng basketbol para magkakampi kami ni kuya.

“Boom Kaito!”

Yay. Hindi ko namalayan na naghahanapan na pala.

Ngunit tinawag ako ni Mommy. Sabi ni Mommy, “Kaito, kailangan mo na mag-aral kung paano magbasa.” Bakit ganun? Mas mahaba ang oras ng paglalaro ni Kuya. Bakit ako na maliit ay kailangan pa mag-aral? Ayoko na nga magtagu-taguan o mag-langit lupa. Ayoko na rin kumain ng tinapay. Ayoko na rin magtoothbrush. Bakit lagi na lang si Kuya ang pinapaboran?

“Mommy, bakit mas mahaba ang toothbrush ni Kuya?”

“Kaito, kase mas matanda si Kuya kaysa sa iyo.”

“Daddy, bakit mas mahaba ‘yung tinapay ni Kuya?”

“Alam mo Kaito, mas malaki si Kuya kaya kailangan niya ng mas maraming pagkain!”

Ganoon ba ang sukatan? Kapag mas malaki at mas matanda, mas mahaba na ang kay Kuya? Ganito ba talaga ang tunay na buhay.. Nakakalungkot naman na sa ganitong paraan ko napagtanto ang bawat bagay. Hindi ba pantay ang pagmamahal ni Daddy at ni Mommy sa akin at kay Kuya. Siguro nga mas mahaba ang kanilang pag-aalala kay Kuya kaysa sa akin.

Nakatitig ako sa bintana namin at dumating si Kuya.

“Bakit ka malungkot, Kaito?”

“Eh kase, mas mahaba ang toothbrush mo. Mas mahaba ang tinapay mo. Mas mahaba ang oras mo ng paglalaro. Mas mahal ka nila Mommy at Daddy.”

Inakbayan ako ni kuya. Tumatawa. Napabuntong-hininga.

“Kumuha ka ng diyaryo, ng walis tingting. Kukuha ako ng pisi at ng pandikit.”

At kinuha ko ang mga sinabi ni Kuya. Dalawang pisi ang kinuha niya. Ang isa ay mas mahaba at ang isa naman ay mas maikli. Siguro sa akin ‘yung mas maikli.

Tinititigan ko si Kuya habang nagmamaniobra ng mga papel. Ang galing galing niya kahit hindi ko alam kung ano ang ginagawa niya. Para siyang inhinyero.

“Kaito, tapos na! Tera, pumunta tayo sa labas at paliparin natin itong mga ‘to. Heto ang sa iyo. Mas mahaba ang pisi na gagamitin mo. Eto ang sa akin, maikli lang.”

“Kuya, bakit?” ng may halong pagtataka. “Bakit mas mahaba ang pisi ko kaysa sa iyo?”

“Mas mahaba ang sa iyo para makarating ito ng langit! Kaito, tera na. Paliparin na natin itong mga saranggola,” napatigil siya at nagwika, “Kaito, ako ang Kuya mo. Mas malaki ako at mas matanda ako sa iyo. Kung mahaba ang pagmamahal mo sa akin, mas mahaba ang pagmamahal ko sa iyo. Bilang Kuya, aalagaan kita at proprotektahan kita. Pag ikaw ay naging kuya na rin, gagawin mo rin ito ha.”