It was strange, but what was even more bizarre was that nobody seemed to think that something was wrong.
The streetlamps provided enough light, they said. And nobody needed the moon, anyway. Nobody except a girl named Aliah. For she loved the moon so dearly.
One night, as Aliah was crossing a bridge, she saw a boy lying down on the riverbed. He was alive but barely so. “Who are you?” asked the girl.“I’m the moon,” said the boy. The boy explained that it was his wish to become a human and now it was granted.
“Because I did not want to be lonely up there.”
Aliah then asked him what his plans were. Discovering that he had nowhere to go, she offered him companionship. Now, Aliah was not the type of person to easily trust others but for the boy, she made an exception.
For a few months, they lived together as friends.
The boy thought how strange it was that Aliah had nobody else in her home, while the rest of the village kids live with their parents. Aliah told him that she had been orphaned since she was very young. Her grandmother who had kept her had recently passed away.
And now, she was all alone.
“Don’t you feel lonely?” he asked her.
“I have memories of them with me. So when I feel lonely, I just think about it and it’s enough to make me happy.”
“Are memories enough?”
“It’s not. But better than nothing, right?” she told him.
He smiled. “I guess.”
The next morning, the boy had woken up early to ask Aliah to come with him to the foot of the mountain. There, he would bid farewell to her and return to the sky as the moon.
When Aliah asked him why, he simply told her,
“Because I’m not lonely anymore.”
“But when you go back up there, won’t you feel lonely again?”
“I won’t. I now have memories of us!”
“But are they enough?”
“They’re not. But better than nothing, right?” he told her.
I write about wanting to die a lot of times. It’s not that I’m suicidal or anything. I don’t hate life at all (I mean not entirely) but I just feel like something has to be better than this. It’s just too sad to think how the universe is so wide and yet we’re all stuck in this ugly, cruel world.
I just feel like I don’t belong here.
Does it mean I’m all eager about the idea of death? Do I romanticize it? Do I dream about it?
To be frank, I’m not. I’m actually scared of it. Call me a coward but I’m really, really scared of it. And I think I’m not alone in saying this. Most of us have a fear of death because it’s so uncertain. We don’t really know what would happen– would there be an afterlife? Would our souls wander in endless darkness, just floating aimlessly, slowly getting sucked in a black hole? Would there be hell, heaven? Anything in between? Would there be a god or was the universe just faceless all this time?
Maybe, maybe there’s just nothing at all. You just simply don’t exist anymore. Your soul, all gone. Vanished. Nothing left, not even a trace. Your bones would remain buried beneath the earth, but nobody sees you, and not even yourself so you’re just as good as nothing.
All the memories inside your head and all the footprint of life would just be engulfed in a void.
It scares me, I guess.
When I say I want to die, I don’t mean that I don’t want to exist anymore. I want to, but just not in this world.
You could walk in the same place but see different skies. You could live in one neighborhood, but experience a universe poles apart.
The old man beside you could go home to a dying cat. The driver on the street might be waiting for his cheating wife. And there’s a kid on the street selling roses—enough said.
From a distance, everything looks simple. We follow the street signs, we move in chaotic synchrony. We wear a façade. A model of society that philosophers and social scientists have been struggling to define.
But if you look deeper, there’s a part of us that longs to detach from this world. As much as we want to belong, we want to feel distinct. We want to feel special, at least to others.
Because the truth is, no matter how different our realities are, we also long for someone to share it with. We want someone to step in our reality and see what we see.
At the end of the day, we want to be understood.
But for others to understand us, we must understand them too.
but your president will still kiss their fucking ass.
Philippines, your Marites goes to church
at Sundays yet worships the death squads on the streets.
Philippines, they call you
the sick man and the poo-wipers, and your youth fake their accents,
dye their hair blonde, and bleach their skin white.
Philippines, their dream is to forsake you.
Philippines, what are you so proud of, then?
That Hollywood extra who has a “Filipinx” great-grandmother
whom he probably never even knew?
That pageant where the less Filipino blood you have,
the more qualified you look?
That Chess player you never supported until he was claimed by another?
Philippines, what can you be so proud of,
when your people make themselves a joke?
Faux pride will not do anything except probably worsen it by making it appear how famished we are for validation.
First world countries don’t give a damn about it. They have real sources of pride: their technology, economy, cultural values, and good governance. I hope one day, the Philippines will boast something it can truly be proud about.