Waking up at unholy hours

3 AM. A jolt from a weird dream
that I couldn’t even remember.
Instead, I am reminded of
messages- morsels of myself-
waiting to be returned
to my inbox.
Today’s just Sunday.

Yet my body is more impatient,
than how it usually is during a regular work week.
This is not the first time i woke up
at such unholy hours,
disregarding the laws of biology
manufactured by xanax.
I should have been sleeping

4 AM. My friend stirs beside me,
her soft body, a driftwood i cling onto
in these moments when my mind
resigns itself to a hurricane.
Her breath becomes a metronome
as I try to lull myself back between
fragments of memories and dreams:

When i asked my mom what love is,
she told me it was divine intervention.
Like Mary hearing about the future
from a cosmic force
she couldn’t really say no to.
Were you overjoyed? I asked.
She shook her head, and told me no.
Loving your father took a lot of time.
But it paid well in the end.
You just have to hold on
to the word promised to you.

5 AM. My friend shifts into another dream,
Her sleep talk both precious and incomprehensible.
I realized how frightening words are-
They are meaningful and empty.
A tangible collateral that can mean nothing.

My father once told me that the fear
of my mother’s absence
prompted him to fulfill his vows.
Love, he said, is when you realized
you have lost someone
and you couldn’t be the same again
until that person comes back.
When the side of your bed becomes
a vast desert,
you begin searching for water.

All this tossing and turning has made me thirsty.

6 AM. Maybe it was just a mirage,
but I certainly heard the church choir
as the town begins the day
with its series of masses.
I uttered a short prayer
before checking my feed for signs.
A short drizzle starts pattering on the rooftop,
but I didn’t mind.

It was time to sleep, my body says.
Go. Return to the world you are deprived of.
Today’s just Sunday.
No one gives a damn



Maybe it’s just the wine talking, but let me confess:

when you echoed the words I have long spoken into thin air

I felt the universe answer my lost prayers—

For once, the mountains moved, and the earth opened its wells

for rain to kiss its cracked cheek.

For once, there was no malice in the exchange. Only a conversation

picked and continued after years of white noise.

And when I thought the sun would finally stand still,

The boon was suddenly taken back, jolting me from my trance—

All I have are just prayer beads spilled on the cold floor

As if the plea was too sinful to begin with.


A/N: I was sorting some old doc files when I chanced upon this. Written last 2013. Crude and sick, yes. But I was devoted.



If you ask me what beauty is like,

I’d still tell you that it’s the Sun.


That god of gold

Whose radiance I’m always blinded at.

Whose presence blurs everything

Into nothingness…

I could only see, only feel, only think


Always passing my way

But never stopping, never even coming

To me.


I know that bastard does that on purpose.

Revenge, he claims, is best served cold.

Yet his anger burns at my betrayal.

He’ll probably never forgive me,

Will never even cast again

A caring glance nor longing for my arms.

Even so, I am to atone by remaining here- transfixed

At his magnificence.

Yielding at his will.

Embracing his rage for sustenance.

Maybe for life itself.


Other nymphs tell me that I am getting mad

It’s getting unhealthy- my skin starts to be singed.

It’s best to run first and hide away, they say.

Any more prolonged exposure

Will lead to my eventual burn.

To my ruin.


But they don’t understand that

He has ruined me already-

What is burning compared to dying?

I will wilt without the Sun

And I will surely shrivel

If he forgets, if he forgives

If he grows cold.


He has already caused me to thrive

In the fields of eternal fire.

Reasons Why I Should Quit Coffee

  1. The moment I started smelling roasted Arabica beans from your hands, I knew I should have quit. It seeps through your skin and inevitably to mine whenever you run your fingers through my hair. I spend countless sleepless nights in my bedroom, inhaling that intoxicating scent of coffee from my pillow. All I could think about are your hands.

  2. Followed that burning smell as if I’m a lost child walking into a caramel house. But I’m not lost, I told myself. I know where I’m going. I know what I want, and I shall have it.

  3. I made you make me a latte. Extra milk, nonfat. All I want is that extra foam on top, but not the extra baggage.

  4. My mouth still burns whenever I taste that Double-shot Americano you had from your tongue. We could all benefit from putting in a bit of milk and sugar, but you prefer yours black and watered. I couldn’t reconcile how a calm, easy-going person such as you would want something that’s devoid of any sweetness at all. Nevertheless, my taste buds still entertained the irony.

  5. I started ordering your brew whenever you are not around. Just to see how far I can go with that strange preference of yours.

  6. After finishing 2 cups, I realize what made you crazy over it. I still don’t know if I’m crazy over it as well.

  7. Indecisiveness is ordering the same damn drink over and over again because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t get my money’s worth from the other blends. Maybe if I order it continuously, I’d get tired of its taste and switch to another – just as I got tired with my extra milk latte.

  8. Indecisiveness is standing in line for the shop to open, just to mull whether I really like my coffee black.

  9. Indecisiveness is watching you do other people’s coffee, but not saying that what I really want is for you to be here sitting across me. Meanwhile, black coffee swirls in my tongue, and I am itching to tell you what made you like it. I am itching to tell you what made me like it.

  10. I am drinking my nth cup as I watch you fix macchiatos for these group of girls. Your hands stain those pristine white cups from the leftover shots of espresso that you’ve added. I guess, I wouldn’t be sitting here alone- they’d be sharing my space. After all, you wouldn’t want anything else in your coffee. And I don’t think I want any other as well.

An Open Letter To Meme and Vienna

May 29, 2014


May Anne Gorion and Viennalyn Jane San Juan

Two of the Most Important Persons in My Life

Here in My Heart (Yes, this is how cheesy as it gets)



I’m writing this because I have so many feelings from our “despedida” coffee + cake + conversation earlier. A part of me wants to continue this convo that we had and haul you into my room for an overnighter. Alas, it can’t be. Vienna has a TR for the night, Meme has to take care of her CavSu papers/business et.al and I still have to go to work tomorrow. Times have indeed changed. We can’t just ditch our classes like we used to. We have different sets of priorities now and we’ll probably have less time for each other. That is why, I really appreciate it that we have made time for each other today. Thank you for being there. Thank you for pushing it. Thank you for putting a high premium on this relationship.

Actually, I want to thank you for a lot of things: For being there when I’m sick and stranded (even when I’m pretending to be sick- thank you for tolerating it/covering it up for me at times). For being my wingman/parent/brodah/devil’s advocate when situation calls for it. And most importantly, for showing me the world in another perspective…in lots of perspectives, actually. I don’t think I’ll be the person that I am right now if not for the two of you. I don’t think I’ll grow my hair this long or I’ll ever have the guts to go to a high school reunion party (and pull enough courage to talk to the guy that I liked for so many years) if not for your support. I also don’t think I’ll have the motivation to try to find love again and to leave many dysfunctional relationships behind if not for your lives. My thank you’s are not enough, actually. I don’t know any other words to express how much grateful I am for your existence.

I am rereading Kundera [again] and I’ve come across his musing on Nietzsche’s idea of eternal return. Examining it, he concludes that Nietzsche’s idea would render events that happened only once as nothing, bearing no weight at all no matter how beautiful or sublime it is. On the contrary, things that happen again and again bears weight and becomes a burden for mankind. That is why history is given importance (because it repeats itself) and we consider the people who we passed only once, as something that is trivial. But in the latter chapters, Kundera asks- if people try to assign opposite attributes to pairs, what is deplorable and what is splendid? Heaviness? Lightness? What shall we choose?

Connecting these questions into our lives, what are we? Do we recur or are we the-only-once-in-this-lifetime type of friends/people? What is more ideal, more apt to describe this friendship that we have?

I still don’t have a sure answer for that. As for now, I like to tread the gray area and conclude that we are both- lightness and weight. Just like how Meme’s love returned to her through Vincent, this friendship that we share will recur and will return to us, only in a different face.  And with that, I am grateful because you showed me how friendship is like. However, a part of me is still torn because…I don’t know. It’s still different in a way. I cannot imagine myself having this kind of relationship that we have with our other [future] friends. There is something (a 1%) that stays inside the two of you that when you leave out of my life, I know that it will not return to me in the exact way again. And this is not the clingy me talking. In my heart of hearts, I know that will not be this same person without the two of you.

I’m sorry for my messed up understanding of philosophy and for not making any sense at all. But yeah, I know we’ve been through that already. And thanks for hearing me out, despite my inconsistencies, incapacities and dramas. Just a few stuff that I would like to say to [both of] you (in no particular order):

  • Thanks for picking me up when I was helpless and stranded. You were the only persons who did. Now that I think of it, I’ve met many people who respond in times of need. But they are the types who respond when it’s kind of convenient to them. You are the only persons I know of who would brave a storm just to rescue a friend. Thank you.
  • Thank you for teaching me that love is not passive. That it is not as rosy and ideal as it seems. That it fights, it gets angry (but it overlooks and arrives at compromises) and that at times, it also admits defeat. I still haven’t found THE ONE yet, but thank you for believing that I still have a hope in this field. SOMEDAY.
  • Thank you for understanding my Stockholm syndrome with Jason. You know how much I am tormented with my high school shits- and how much I am making a big deal out of it. I also know that at times, you get tired from hearing it. But thank you for lending an ear anyway. And for being my devil’s advocate when I need a whack in the head and a serious reality check.
  • I’m sorry for not giving you gifts. I’m still broke. Thank you for overlooking all our debts to each other (when we can help it). And for being patient when we collect it. BEST FRIENDSHIP EVER. J
  • For the sex tips and sexploits- I’ve learned a lot from you guys. Looking forward to practice it in the future. Please buy my first pregtestkit (KIDDING (but you know what they say about jokes)).
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg
  • I don’t think there is a need to reaffirm this, but YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL. Not even Pau’s beauty could rival to yours, I swear. And that’s saying something.
  • Maan is still the most beautiful in my eyes. Don’t contest over that.
  • Since we will not be seeing each other for a long time, the super attentive nice guy I’m talking about is actually- shit, should I really confess this?– a barista. Shame he’s not on duty when we were there. And aside from the many other reasons why I’m having second thoughts on him, I’m actually quite unsure if he’s nice because he’s paid for being nice. But god, how he notices the little details that either annoy or gratify me. You know that I have a thing for SUPER kindness. Well, he’s the one who pulled the strings just for me to print my resume on time. He’s the one who recommended to try the drink that we had awhile ago. And he has puppy eyes- Ian-like, puppy eyes. ANYWAY, I’m leaving Ortigas so there’s no reason for me not to hold back this piece of information from the all-knowing eye of the internet. I’m doomed.
  • I love you
  • I love you
  • I love you
  • I will never stop nor be shy to say how much I love the both of you because really, I do. I love you more than what the English language could supply for the word “love” because that’s how I really think and feel.
  • Writing to you because we will not be seeing each other for quite a long time is just an excuse. Heck, we know better than to put this relationship into the hands of Fate (c.f. Invictus). Let’s go camping together. Finish that darn checklist. Add more to that. Stargaze while lying in the trunk of a pick-up. I know that you will not be like my other botched friendships in high school because we’ve fought for each other. A lot of times.
  • See ya.


I love you,

Hannah Riesa/Harie/Hannah Abangan

Your Forever Abanger Friend

Even in the Parallel Universes


P.S. I really appreciated the Kebabers stunt. I guess that sealed what I feel for the two of you.




I made this poem last 2012- back when I felt that I really had to let go of a delusional one sided affair. Now I’m bringing this out from my closet. It’s more like a self reminder now than a resolution.



Barbara Barquez Ricafrente: Charlatan



Notes: One of the things I learned from my AB/BSE Litt classes is that poems do have a variety of meanings. And as I read Ricafrente’s “Charlatan”, I can’t help but to associate this with the pain and the angst that comes from a heartbreak. It’s a biased opinion, of course, given my recent melancholia over a certain someone (X). But I find this poem biased as well. I mean, here, the reader only gets to read the side of the one who’s jilted/left behind. There are no explanations justifying what the other party did. In fact, the persona doesn’t even want to hear any explanations from the other party. The frequent use of the lines, “you have no right” and “do not speak to me” support this.

The thing is, I cannot blame the persona. He/she has already gone through the period of  hoping and waiting, only to find out that: (1) there are no words left for him/her and (2) that the other party has moved on to another phase of his/her life, totally oblivious of the wreck that he/she has left behind. People may say that the persona is selfish and unfair but really, who wouldn’t be when one gives away everything and realizes that it is all just a play?

Maybe the reason why I’m so affected with this poem is NOT because I’ve also been fooled twice- setting aside my pride for someone who’s assuring himself that there’s a girl willing to sacrifice an arm and a foot for him. No. It’s because like the persona, the wounds are still open. A part of me still hopes and dreams. True, the other party has just left me behind without even explaining why but it doesn’t mean that he has vanished completely. He is still there in my Facebook liking and posting stuffs; He is friends with my friends; and the worst of all, he is lurking in my subconscious. That is why, every little action that he does- even how irrelevant it is- speaks to me and transforms into theories as to why he suddenly cut the connection between him and I. And I’m tired of hearing it. I’m tired of playing mind games. And he certainly has no right to speak of love and of pain when he’s a jerk enough to toy with my feelings. But I cannot help it. Sometimes I wish I’m selfish enough so that I can only think of myself.