I’m sorry (among other things)

Hi, you.

You probably won’t ever see this, but I’m writing it down anyway. This comes with a disclaimer: I am doing this for myself and not for you; it’s to ease all the guilt and pain I have in me these past few months, intensified by the past few days.

When you messaged me last Christmas, I replied back, a simple “Merry Christmas, (your name).” That was it. To be honest, I procrastinated over it, and then proceeded to reply. I only replied for old times’ sake, and it was Christmas. It didn’t matter that I was feeling sad because it was my first Christmas away from my family or that I was feeling so lonely. That Christmas was just ‘okay,’ and it didn’t have the warmth of home. It was eerily quiet and strange; it was white noise. I didn’t ask how you were even if I missed your stories and I have a bajillion questions. Even if I missed you. And I didn’t unleash all the stories and feelings I had in me brought about by the holiday season and otherwise, when the usual would’ve been me sending one message after the other.

And I felt fine.

The next day, you messaged me again, checking how I was for my “first Christmas away.” This time, the minute I got that message, I knew I wasn’t going to reply. I don’t know what your intentions were for checking on me—maybe you’re being this good friend or maybe you were bored (haha, let’s face it: there was the probability it was the latter; it was a holiday, after all, and you probably remembered me then after a month of not talking to each other.)

But I was certain about one thing: you weren’t going to get a reply.

And I felt guilty.

The nice part of me, the part that is your friend, and that nasty part of me that still loves you, wanted to reply. Those parts of me feel guilty and rude for not even thinking twice about not sending a reply, for just reading the message and putting you in the seenzone.

The other part of me, the better part of me, the one that is starting over and is recovering, and the one who thought of self-preservation, figuratively curled up in one corner and threw the phone across the room where it shattered into pieces, just so I wouldn’t reply.

Truth: I didn’t want to reply because I didn’t want to reignite my hope.

And as long as I have that hope that there could be some sense of a future romantic relationship for us, I cannot be your friend.

I don’t want you to be a part of this ‘new’ life that I am building.

Not yet, anyway.

And I’m sorry for that. Continue reading

Between Molo Soup and Apologies

December 29, 2009, 8:34PM

My mom rarely cooks—“rarely” as in twice a year. It’s not like because she doesn’t know how to cook—she does—but she’s really busy with our business so she doesn’t really have time to do that. So when Mama cooks, it’s supposed to be special, to be appreciated and not to be taken for granted since it’s just once—okay, twice—in a blue moon.

So Mama cooked carbonara for Christmas which was lovely (I have her to blame for my eating a lot last Noche Buena), so that constitutes one in the two times that she’s cooking in a year. I thought the other time that she will be preparing food for us was for the dinner before New Year (Media Noche, is that right?), for that was the usual tradition. But I guess tonight is a special occasion, for she cooked something for us: molo soup.

Fact: My brothers and I don’t have the faintest idea that she was the one who cooked the soup (which isn’t really a very good excuse, right?).

So when dinnertime came, we sat down to eat, I was the first one who commented on the molo that came with the soup. I said it has a weird taste because it too much onion (forgive me, I am not a fan of onions), and Mama said it wasn’t her who made the molo—it was our long-time househelp. It didn’t help, though, that my brother commented that it was “sloppy,” and I surmised he was also commenting on the molo because he didn’t have any soup yet on his plate, just the molo. Dinner went on and we tried to dissect the molo—NOT THE SOUP.

I couldn’t remember what remarks we had said about the molo (again, not the soup), but I knew I stopped with “weird” and “too much onions.” Mama even said she doesn’t know if our househelp had placed the entire onion to make the molo, and even joked that she might have had vampires for children because we don’t like garlic and onions. There was a point in the dinner when my brother said something to the effect like: Parang sa school lang, isa lang yung ulam kaya wala kang choice. Hindi ka makakapili ng pagkain kaya kakainin mo nalang. My mama and papa said it was the right attitude, and I agree with that, but I guess that comment was painful—especially for the one who cooked for it was coming off as if we were eating it only because it was the only thing there to eat and we didn’t want to starve.

I was done eating and enjoying some iced tea when my mother said, “Alam mo, kung ayaw mo siyang kainin, iwanan mo nalang dyan. Wag mo nang ipakita sa akin na nasusuka ka sa kinakain mo.” I frowned, and when I looked up I saw she was talking to my brother. I don’t know what facial expressions he had while eating (for I was seated next to him), so I don’t know what my mom was referring to. She repeated this and my brother shook his head, saying, “Masarap yung soup, yung molo yung hindi.”

And then she stood up, left, and I went to wash the dishes. Papa asked me who cooked, and I said I thought it was the househelp. But when Mama returned with a plastic container, shoved what remains of the soup into the container, sealed it, placed it in a plastic bag and went down to throw it in the trash, I guess it won’t take a genius to figure out that it was my mom who cooked the soup.

So there. Brother and I (yes, I am admitting it was my fault too even though it was my brother who really pissed my mom off) ruined a special dinner. While washing dishes, I thought about this: do we comment nicely on the dish set before us when the cook is with us, but when he/she is not, we blab about how bad the dish is?

Just how many times do you have to take your mother for granted before she actually breaks down, then go and leave you?

With all the things—material and not material—our mothers have given us, what have we given back in return? Bad comments regarding her cooking? Snide remarks whenever she asks us to do house chores? Headaches? Heartaches? Disappointments? A roll of the eyes when we think she can’t understand us?

We usually think of people we take for granted, but rarely do we think about who we take for granted. Admit or not, we rarely notice that, for we always know that they are always there, for we always know that no matter what we do to them, they’d be—more likely than not—be there. I guess we do not have to look beyond our houses and family to know who we usually take for granted: our parents.

And no matter how many times we’ve heard about telling our parents we love them before it’s too late, cliché as that may sound, it’s actually true. Sometimes, a simple hug, a simple thank you, a simple I love you, can make them feel appreciated.

Ma, it wasn’t the soup—it was the molo. But we know it isn’t molo soup without the molo. We are sorry that we didn’t appreciate what you’ve cooked. We really are.

P.S. Please cook for us for New Year?

(Posting this even though there is no chance at all that you will read this. But I’ll tell you just the same when you’ve cooled down. I really am sorry.)


First of all, I want to greet everyone a very happy Christmas not only to you but also to your family. Cheers!

Second, this announcement is regarding Solace. I am very sorry to say that I might not be able to finish the story by December 31, 2009, since I am currently stuck in the next chapters, ruminating the next scenes as to what will happen to Nyah, Josh, and Thaddeus (yes, he’s still pretty much a part of this story), and to Justin and Alexi. Such writer’s block exist, for those of you who are skeptics, for there are moments when:

  • I am so busy I can’t think of anything but work;
  • I am so caught up with my emotions that I can’t think straight when writing; or
  • I am still waiting for the Muses (or other people) to inspire me which is the best path the story should take.

But to make up for the delay of the release of Solace’s succeeding episodes and finale, there will be outtakes in the PDF version of Solace, so you better be sure to get it!

Again, my apologies for this delay, and hope everyone will enjoy the holidays :)

Kessica Tanglao

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