Thank you, Chester Bennington!

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Photo from Mike Shinoda’s Facebook page.

On July 21, 2017, I got a text message from my brother. The text message said that Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park died. My heart sank. I was in a bad mood. I checked the internet to confirm the news my brother brought me.  Numerous posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter said that Chester Bennington, my childhood hero and crush, committed suicide. He hung himself.  My heart broke into pieces.

I cried as I binge-watched LP’s music videos. All of a sudden, I was transported back to my childhood.

As a kid, I was very in love with Linkin Park. They were the very first rock band that I ever listened to. Years ago, my brother introduced me to that band. He liked their music. I remember when he saw a Fil-am looking guy with spiky hair on the TV*. His name appeared on the screen. Mike Shinoda. My brother told me to remember his name. I did. And I also remembered Chester’s name when it also appeared on the screen. Chester Bennington was the lead singer with an angelic voice and demonic screams.

Linkin Park had great rock and roll songs, which angsty teenagers could relate to at that time. I have to admit that later on I began to like the band more than my brother did.

Growing up, I was bullied a lot in school. Whenever I had a shitty day, I’d listen to their music at the end of the day. LP’s music was my sanctuary.

I was a walking encyclopedia of the band who had memorized stuff about its members. I knew their birthdates, their full names, their wives’ and girlfriends’ names, and their kids’ names. I knew their quotes by heart. I knew some of the things they liked. I knew some of the things they hated.

I have almost all their albums, except the last one “One More Light,” which I still have to buy.  My favorite album was and still is Hybrid Theory.  But I also like some of their new songs.

When I was a teenager, I watched their concert in CCP Open Grounds.  It was an amazing show and I had a blast! What I liked about LP was that they’re really good live. Chester was a phenomenal singer (and screamer!) and Mike was an entertaining rapper.  Their live performances were as good as their albums.

I was shocked when I heard the news of Chester’s passing. I didn’t know that he suffered from depression. He hid it so well. He always cracked jokes and laughed with his bandmates.

I see myself in Chester. Like him, I’m into music and art. I love to sing and draw. I am a moody person. And I also had a mental illness, which was already cured. Sadly, his depression doesn’t have a cure.

LP had inspired me to write dark poetry.  After hearing about his death, LP’s lyrics made a lot more sense now. I realized that their songs were about him. It was selfish of me to think they wrote those depressing, angry and dark lyrics for us fans to relate so we know that we’re not alone in the situations we face every day. I realized that their lyrics are Chester’s cry for help.

My problems are panis (nothing) compared to Chester’s. His depression is real. His depression is more than just “feeling down” at the moment. Or for a few days.  As far as I know, clinical depression is a feeling of hopelessness and loss of interest in some things that used to make you happy.  You can laugh and joke when you’re with other people. But when you’re alone in a room, you feel empty and crazy thoughts creep inside your head.  I may not have clinical depression, but I have an idea how people with this illness feel.

One afternoon while I was reading a book, I saw LP’s lyrics instead of the real words in the book. I knew I just imagined it.  My mind played tricks on me.

Right now, I still can’t believe he’s dead. I don’t know if I can move on from this. His death made me sadder than my breakups. Now I know it is possible to love someone who didn’t know you exist.

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington.  You will be missed by a lot of people.  Especially your family, friends, bandmates and fans. 😥

 

Note:

*A lot of people thought that Mike has a Filipino blood. He doesn’t. He has a Japanese blood.

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On my Instagram today. #greatloss

 

The first concert I attended. I was lucky because I had a chance to watch Linkin Park live. I was just a teenager back then who used to wear band shirts and a spiked bracelet. LP’s music helped me through tough times. I remember having a crush on both Chester and Mike. Chester Bennington was a highly talented musician who wasn’t afraid to explore different genres of music. I may not be a big fan of their new sound, but I’ll always consider Linkin Park as one of the greatest bands on earth. Rest in peace to the talented and humble Chester Bennington.

The Rose Girl

5th of April, Monday dawn.

Stacey’s bedroom had a dark ambiance as she was struggling in her sleep. Nightmare was creeping in her head seducing and yielding her to death. She wanted to scream but she couldn’t. Her mouth was silenced by its hands. She wanted to open her eyes but she also couldn’t. Nightmare seemed to have blinded her. At this moment, she was fighting for her life. She was fighting hard to live because death, just like this nightmare, is a dreadful thing. She tried to get up but she couldn’t. Nightmare was beating and raping her hard that she couldn’t break away from it.

She was moaning.

Her heart was beating rapidly.

She heard loud knocks on her bedroom door. She wanted to open the door and save herself from her agony but still, she couldn’t get up. It was as if her body was strapped on her bed.

She kept on trying to wake herself and get up. She kept on moaning.

Until…

She felt a cold hand slap her right cheek. She finally woke up, her right cheek was aching. Christine, Stacey’s stepsister, looked at her disdainfully with lips smiling maliciously. “Get up Emily Rose!” Christine removed the bed sheet from her violently. “You can’t skip school by pretending to be possessed!”

Christine’s yell almost made her deaf. “I’m not pretending to be possessed and I never tried skipping school unlike you!” Stacey retorted, mimicking her stepsister’s yell.

Christine pulled Stacey’s hair and dragged Stacey to the bathroom as Stacey screamed in pain. She brought Stacey to a sink where a mirror was hung above. She held Stacey’s head with both hands and made her face the mirror. “LOOK AT YOURSELF! YOU’RE AS UGLY AS YOUR BEHAVIOR! DON’T EVER TALK TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN!”

Christine slammed the door and left. Stacey didn’t react against to what her stepsister did. She was used to the maltreatment Christine did to her. She experienced it every day. She became numb.

Stacey Perez was fifteen years old turning sixteen next week and a junior high school student. She had a brown complexion, a deformed face which made her look like a monkey, eyes that were green like jade, long, wavy black hair that flowed on her shoulders like a river, and an aquiline nose. All her physical features were fairly good except apparently the second described.

Stacey belonged to a family that was far from being her ideal consisting of an indifferent father David who was always busy working as a sheriff and had not even a little time to spend with his family, an alcoholic and moody stepmother Lana who had been unemployed two years up to now, and a hostile stepsister Christine who went to school with her and bullied her every day.

Stacey had a queer old-fashioned habit of wearing a rose in her hair everyday by placing it behind her left ear. When she was little and her real mother was still alive, she was told by her real mother how beautiful she was when she wore a rose in her hair. She had acquired that habit since then. However, her stepmother, stepsister and classmates told her that the flower didn’t suit her and it couldn’t change her face and make her beautiful and that only beautiful girls should wear flowers in their hairs. Despite the torture of their insults, she continued the said habit to remind herself what her real mother told her. Her real mother was her best friend and the best person she had ever known. Stacey believed only in her. She kept her real mother’s photo which was placed in a photo frame inside her drawer. She’s the only member in her family who kept the photo.

Stacey went to school. She passed the corridor carrying her bag loaded with books and other school stuff and headed for her classroom as her three classmates who were also passing the corridor talked and laughed behind her. She looks ridiculous with that rose in her hair, commented a first. Her face looks burned in hell, commented a second. She had a face of an orangutan, commented a third while mimicking a monkey’s movements. Everyone laughed except her. Stacey was close to tears but she stopped them as she walked in the classroom and sat on her chair. Her classmates continued laughing and mocking her as they infected the whole class with their laughter and mockery. The whole day in school was s***.

She went home from school. She entered the living room and was “welcomed” by the sight of her stepmother making out with another man on the sofa and the table adorned with beer bottles and used cigarettes on the ashtray. This was the twentieth time she saw Lana with another man and she was sure that something more than that happened between the two. She had seen her naked nineteen times with equally nineteen men. This broke Stacey’s heart. In her mind, if she only had even a slight chance she would stab Lana and the man to death. She loved her dad and this bitch did nothing but get drunk and f*** other men. She felt invisible daggers pierce her heart.

Lana and her man got up from the sofa. “If you tell this to your dad, I’m gonna lock you up in this house and burn you,” said Lana menacingly. Stacey nodded, turned her back to them and burst into tears. She heard the man whisper, “What the f*** is wrong with her face?” Lana snickered like a madwoman as the man headed for the door. S*** in school.  S*** at home. The same s***s went on and on in her life until…

Her 16th birthday. 9th of April, Friday evening.

It was JS Prom night in the school gym. It was a special night where most girls had a chance to show off their elegant dresses and hide their true faces with makeup to attract boys and make their fellow girls envy. It was also a night where boys had a chance to show off their cars and would have their opportunity to f*** the sophisticated chicks in dresses in their own cars. It’s vanity and lust night. Everybody wanted to be the King And Queen of the Night. Everybody wanted to have a great night as well and have somebody to sleep with. Well, almost everybody, at least. None of these had crossed Stacey’s mind. She was sitting alone at her table (wearing a rose in her hair and makeup that barely changed her face) indulging in iced tea. Nobody asked to dance with her. She didn’t feel bad about it. In fact, she predicted that she would be alone in this event.

She felt a warm gentle hand squeeze hers. She looked up to see whose hand it was. Magically, it was Scott’s. Scott who was a popular boy in school took her hand and danced with her on the dance floor. At first she felt like an idiot because she didn’t know how to dance. Nevertheless, his graceful movements supported her and made them possible to dance beautifully. The girls in made up faces and elegant dresses who had mocked her in school stared at them enviously, while the boys who had laughed at her were stunned. That dance was the best thing that ever happened to her. She reckoned that if she’d have a dance with Scott all the time, she’d be perpetually euphoric. She blushed as she thought of this. The boredom that she felt earlier when she was sitting alone at her table, having nobody to talk and dance with, was eventually replaced by euphoria since Scott danced with her. She was utterly happy at this moment and she felt important for the first time. She was the happiest girl this night.

Prom night was about to be over and the King and Queen of the Night crowned. Everyone was seated at their tables. Scott sat beside Stacey and again, the girls stared at them enviously over their table (which was earlier occupied by Stacey alone). The girls’ faces were distorted as they scowled and looked disdainfully at Stacey. Scott took Stacey’s hand again and squeezed it, this time tighter.

“I want to give you something that you won’t forget,” he whispered to her. Puzzled and enchanted by the statement, she asked what it was. He said it was a surprise.

The hosts were about to announce the King and Queen of the Night. All ears were listening to their announcement. The announcement of the hosts surprised everyone. “We’re Queen and King of the night!” Stacey exclaimed in disbelief and excitement. Scott beamed at her. They came up on the stage and were crowned as King and Queen of the Night. Everyone else applauded for them.

It was like a dream turned into reality for her.

He blindfolded her and they went further from the school gym.

They went outside the school gym and inside a hideout filled with weapons. She groped for his hand, he held hers. “Where are we?” she asked.

“I told you it’s a surprise,” he whispered. She zipped her mouth and dared not to ask again fearing that her eagerness will spoil the surprise. He approached her and held her face with one hand by the chin to kiss her lips. Her heart stopped beating as his lips touched hers. She forgot to breathe. The kiss had almost killed her. When he’s done kissing her, she felt him let go. She was still enchanted.

She touched her lips in shock and still savoring the kiss. The feeling she had when Scott kissed her was special and surreal – she wouldn’t expect it to be his surprise. He swept her off her feet. It was the best and only gift she received from anyone. She wanted to do it again with Scott if he wouldn’t mind. He embraced her tightly.

He removed his arms from her and walked away from her. The enchantment she felt was suddenly gone. “Goodnight queen of the night,” he said. His voice was musical. He bowed down in front of her even though she couldn’t see him. He went off and left her in the hideout. She was still blindfolded.

She removed the blindfold and saw the place where they stayed. She was horrified by the sight of the weapons which filled it and the men who stood in front of her. They all looked stoned with their red eyes. They stared maniacally and smiled wickedly. She shuddered that the rose she was wearing in her hair fell on the ground.

She ran from them but one of them caught her. One of the men kissed her violently on the lips and let go. “Did you enjoy it, honey?” he mocked. His companions laughed maliciously. She spat on his face. He swiftly took a dagger from one corner of the hideout and placed it near her throat. Her eyes widened in fear. “Do that again and I’ll bury it in here,” he hissed. He took the dagger away. “You follow our orders tonight or we’ll kill you. Take off your dress.”

She took off her dress and showed the stoned men a beautiful body she unexpectedly got: beautiful shoulders and arms, small but firm breasts, well-toned abdomen, virgin vagina behind the thick pubic hair, and long flawless legs. One of them took off his clothes and laid her down the ground. Tears rolled down her rough cheeks. He fondled her breasts and licked them, first around them and then the nipples. She closed her eyes in disgust and whimpered. His tongue traveled to the midst of her breasts and abdomen and finally vagina. She cried hysterically. He penetrated her. She moaned not in pleasure but merely in pain. When he was done raping her he beckoned to the other two men. Two men came to them. One man also took off his clothes and told her to stand up, turn around, face the wall and press it hard with both hands holding on to it, spread her legs and bend them so that her buttocks were exposed to him. She did exactly what he said. He penetrated her from behind. She moaned in pain again. Another man opened the zipper of his denim pants, pulled it down and then his underwear. He told her to give him a b******. She reluctantly sucked his c*** and licked it. He moaned in pleasure.

The three men indulged in her until dawn. When they were done raping her they dressed themselves and told her to leave. She got dressed, put the fallen rose back in her hair, and exited the hideout crying. The nightmare that she had a week ago had turned into a monstrous reality. She cursed this night and loathed herself endlessly as she ran home.

10th of April, Saturday dawn.

She was in the street heading home. The sky was gray and the clouds produced heavy rain. She was drenched; the dress that she was wearing nearly looked like wet rug wrapped around her body and some of the petals of the rose in her hair fell on the ground. Everything seemed tranquil as she walked on the street. Windows of all houses were all shut and no one was on the street but her. Everyone seemed asleep. She landed her feet on the ground near the gate of her house and rang the doorbell. No one came to open the gate for her. She climbed over the gate and jumped to the terrace, opened the door of her house and went inside.

As she went inside the house her father David was throwing vases to Lana while whining at his b****y wife’s infidelity. Lana was evading every vase thrown at her and was pleading forgiveness from David.

Lana ran to the kitchen and took a knife from the silverware drawer. David followed her. She brandished the knife at him. He backed off and pleaded her not to hit him with it. She aimed the knife and threw it at his heart. The knife was buried deep in his heart and his shirt was stained with blood. He fell down and died. Stacey cried hard. She blamed herself in her mind for failing to save her dad because of her fear that she would die if she tried to kill Lana. She blamed herself for being such a wimp standing and watching her stepmother kill her father. The only person left who mattered to her just died before her eyes. Now the urge to kill her stepmother grew.

“Go to your room, you f****** beast or I’ll kill you with this!” Lana said while playing with the knife. Stacey went upstairs.

She saw that Christine’s bedroom door was locked which hinted that Christine was sleeping soundly despite the wild commotion earlier downstairs. This was her great chance to kill Lana and avenge her dad’s death. No one and nothing’s going to stop her. She headed for her dad’s bedroom, rummaged through his bed drawer for a gun and took it. She went downstairs to do what she had to do.

It’s high time for Lana to pay the price due for her infidelity towards her husband and for her killing him. Lana had to be dead.

Stacey headed for the kitchen and saw that Lana was cooking sunny side up eggs for breakfast. She aimed the gun at Lana’s back. Before Lana turned and noticed her holding a gun, she pulled the trigger and…

BANG!

At last — Lana died. Lana’s upper body bent down and her face was in the frying pan. The back of Lana’s shirt was stained with blood and her face was boiled in the frying pan with the eggs she was cooking earlier that she looked uglier than Stacey in her death. Stacey was very happy. She had at last killed the person she had wanted to kill and avenged her dad’s death. The people who mattered to her had said goodbye from this cruel world she had known and endured. She decided to die beside her dad for her life was not worth living anymore.

She walked beside her dad, removed the rose in her hair which only had four petals left since the rain made the rest of the petals fall on the ground outside their house, and placed it on his heart. She lied down beside him, aimed the gun at her heart, and pulled the trigger and…

BANG!

Her heart stopped beating and her dress was stained with blood.

Christine woke up from the roar of the gun and smelled the smell of blood and a rose that filled home.

 

The Ghost Who Loved Her

Thirty years ago

Thirty years ago, somewhere in the world, there existed a town named Green Fields Town. This town got this name simply because there was a myriad of marijuana fields. Marijuana was not very illegal in this town that’s why it’s okay to plant and grow them. However, there were people who couldn’t get and use these marijuana: minors and foreigners. Because of this insensible law, the crime rate had been severely high. These weeds made many criminals and lunatics. Nevertheless, the town leaders kept on legalizing the planting and growing of marijuana because they too, were fond of them. In order to solve the crime rate problem and somehow lower it, the mayor commanded the townspeople to burn some of marijuana fields that were easily seen and preserve these marijuana in secret places.

The sky was gray and gloomy one Monday afternoon in a graveyard. A guy in a black hoodie and a pair of denim pants was standing by the grave of the girl he loved. He stood there, muttering a prayer. After saying a prayer, he threw a bundle of roses on the grave. Thunder broke the silent and solemn air of the graveyard and his moment of solitude with his loved one. Lightning struck the hills of the forest far from the graveyard; flashing through the thick gray sky as it summoned rain. Rain fell hard. He was drenched and cold. He stood up and then exited the graveyard with tears streaming down his face.

Two days before

Saturday. 3:00 pm.

Alastor Academy, the only coed academy in Green Fields Town, was closed that day but all the guys of the Tae Kwon Do team came in to practice for their upcoming match against the academy’s rival Jupiter Academy, an academy exclusively for males. Alastor Academy apparently chose only the guys of the team to play for that match so that it would only be a match among males.

In the varsities’ locker room, a guy clad in a Tae Kwon Do uniform was standing by his locker, soaked in sweat. His hair was short, his complexion was as white as the painting on the walls of the locker room and his eyes were chinky that he looked like a Chinese. He was popular with girls despite his having a not-so-handsome face. He was very smart and a consistent straight-A student. Because of this, he was very proud and had only few friends (he was choosy on the people he liked to hang out with). But since he was popular with girls, he had many girlfriends. His name was Gabriel Leon.

The Tae Kwon Do team, including the coach was showering in the shower room. Gabriel was about to get his change of clothes from his locker because he could no longer stand the sweat in his body. He was about to open his locker when his teammate approached him. His teammate’s hair which also bathed in sweat was clean cut, his complexion was brown and his eyes were large and round. He was also popular with girls because of his charm. He was not very smart in class but he was very friendly that’s why almost everyone in the academy adored him. The principal and vice principal, the teachers, his fellow students, and even the maintenance team adored him. Aside from Tae Kwon Do he also joined many extra- curricular activities such as the dance group, the choir, and the journalism club. Unlike Gabriel who had many girlfriends, he only had two whose names were Sally Rose and Katharine Bluebell. His name was Seth Jaguar.

Seth offered Gabriel a handshake. He wanted to congratulate Gabriel for winning in their practice match. But Gabriel refused to shake hands with him. Instead of shaking hands with Seth, Gabriel invited him for another fight. “You’re on,” said Seth.

Seth attempted to punch Gabriel with his left fist on the latter’s right cheek but the latter dodged. Seth’s left fist touched the air. Gabriel’s turn to counter-attack came but as soon as he attempted to punch Seth on the left cheek with his right fist, Seth dodged. Gabriel’s right fist also touched nothing.

Their real fight started with giving each other punches, avoiding, and missing each other’s hits. Gabriel hit Seth a lot. Seth felt he was losing in their fist fight so he decided to continue their fight with a combination of punches and kicks. After ten seconds, Seth attempted to punch Gabriel on the left cheek with his right fist and this time it was fierce enough that it hit Gabriel and pushed him to the lockers. Gabriel nearly bumped his head into the door of his locker. But Gabriel prevented his head from bumping into it. Seth then ran toward Gabriel and decided to attack him with a side kick but Gabriel quickly jumped in mid-air with his arms spreading, making his body look like a cross defying gravity, then jumped backward to the highest locker door and rested his feet on it, let his arms down, and then finally jumped down to body slam Seth. Seth broke away from Gabriel and then shoved him. Gabriel stood up and then Seth rose. Seth walked a few steps backward from Gabriel, mustered his strength for another attack – a flying side kick! Seth ran toward Gabriel to attack him. Unfortunately for Seth, Gabriel (using his left hand upward) caught Seth’s left foot. Seth rested down his left leg for a little while. He couldn’t believe that someone could control his flying side kick. Gabriel approached Seth and then attacked him with a double leg takedown which put an end to their fight. With that, he made Seth lie down on the floor, exhausted in their fight. Gabriel came back to his locker, and then opened it to get his change of clothes – a plain white T-shirt and a pair of denim shorts. He clothed himself with these, exited the academy and then headed home.

5:30 pm.

Upon entering home, Gabriel lay on the couch then turned on the TV. What appeared on the TV turned out to be news:

On news today, three out of four girls were killed in a car accident at the Green Fields Town. The said car, a red Volkswagen, bumped into a bridge and its front surface, including the rearview mirrors cracked. The ones who were killed are identified as Katharine Bluebell, Marianne Hyacinth and Amanda Violeta. The survivor, identified as Helena Lilac, having found sitting on the driver’s seat, is deemed responsible for the tragedy because she looked drunk. According to Helena Lilac, the alleged killer of the three girls, she was not responsible for the tragedy. She stated that the one responsible was Sally Rose who is missing. The town’s police and detectives are going to have further investigation to find any proof if Helena Lilac’s telling the truth or fabricating a story just so she could escape from the punishment that would be given to her by the law. Helena Lilac would temporarily be arrested and in custody in the Green Fields Jail. Good afternoon, I’m Nancy-

CLICK!

Angered by the news, Gabriel stood up from the couch then threw the remote control at the TV. Fuck her for killing my Amanda! His chinky eyes burned.

A guy wearing black shades, white sleeveless shirt and a pair of camouflage pants was inside a convenience store with another guy who was taller and wearing a red T-shirt and blue jeans. The short guy ran toward the cashier then commanded, pointing a gun at her and an index finger at the cashier box, “Give me everything you’ve got there.”

Alarmed by the gun pointed at her, the cashier got all the cash inside and gave them to him. After he got all the money, he and the other guy ran outside the convenience store. The cashier attempted to call the cops but before she could dial a number, the short guy immediately shot her hand. The two guys exited the convenience store and went inside the car then drove out of sight.

6:15 pm.

The two guys were inside a garage that was so dark and full of deadly weapons such as knives, guns of different sizes and kinds and two Samurai swords. This garage appeared like a hideout of a criminal gang. The tall guy was dragging the short one. The short guy had his mouth taped and his hands bound tightly by a rope. The short guy, who had become the victim of the tall guy, was trying to untie the rope. He felt a dagger inside his heart. He felt he had been gravely betrayed by his friend. He yearned for revenge at this moment. But at this moment, his vengeance was of no use because he had been captured. There’s nothing he could do. The owner of the hideout came. It belonged to someone they knew. He was pale and lean in his white T-shirt and a pair of denim shorts. The short guy gritted his teeth when he recognized him. It was Gabriel.

Gabriel walked toward the short guy, flashing him a sinister grin.

“Isn’t it surprising that we have a common friend, Seth?” Seth darted his eyes at the guy who betrayed him. You’d be done for Siniztah. He said only in his mind. He glared at Gabriel, still trying to untie the rope.

“You can’t get out from the hideout by merely doing that,” said Gabriel. “You must get away from us first. But of course, you can only do that by doing what I want.”

“What do you want?” Seth raised his voice.

“I’d tell you without beating around the bush. I need you to be part of our clan to kill Helena while she’s in jail,” he continued. “I can’t wait to see her die after she killed my girlfriend. It’d be better if one of us kill her than to wait for ages for the court to give her punishment. Because they won’t give her the right punishment that is death! So if you screw this up – say if you tell the police about this hideout or our clan, I’m going to cut your pretty face.”

A guy in a black T-shirt and a pair of denim pants who had a ghostly pale complexion and was apparently paler than Gabriel , piped up, “But there’s no proof yet that Helena killed – “

“Shut up Ghost! Don’t ever disagree with me or dissuade me of continuing my plan. Don’t you remember that you owe me for saving your family? If you want to screw this up, you’d better prepare coffins for your family.

“This is want I want to happen boys.” Gabriel looked at each member. “I prepared a poison for Helena to take. One of you has to stir it up in her juice. Since Ghost’s Helena’s best friend and is well-trusted by her, he’ll be the one who’s going to do that. Ghost must visit her to her cell to give her the poisoned juice and some food. Of course I’m going to watch Ghost and make sure that Helena drinks the poisoned juice. That’s plan A boys. If this screws up,” he glared at Ghost and then to the rest of the clan. “I’m going to need your cooperation.”

He threw a marijuana to Seth, Seth caught it. “Welcome to the Hemp Boys Seth,” was the last sentence that came out from Gabriel’s mouth. As a tradition to the clan, whenever a new member was introduced to the founder (who was Gabriel), everyone was obliged to smoke the marijuana before they do the leader’s plan. That’s how they got the name of the clan.

Gabriel went outside the hideout. He knew that Ghost might betray him so he started thinking of plan B. He didn’t care much if plan A didn’t work out. He would just take Ghost out of the clan and let Seth and Siniztah cooperate with him.

6:45 pm.

The cell where Helena was staying was a very dingy place. Its interior was full of dust, dirt and smoke (because all of her inmates were smoking). The black paint of the bars was fading. Some of the bars were nearly gray. Everyone who’s inside the cell was sweating due to its hellish temperature. The cell guard called Helena’s attention, and then presented her visitor. Helena approached the bars upon seeing Ghost. She was in tears while she was holding the bars.

“My parents don’t believe me Kenji.” She called Ghost in his true name. She was trying to stop herself from crying and wiped her tears with her right hand.

“I talked to them on the phone. They said that I’m a bitch for killing the girls! They ask me why on Earth did I do such a thing and told me that they did not raise me to be a killer! I swear I didn’t do it Kenji! I swear I didn’t do it!” She cried.

“I know Helena. I believe you.” He said in an assuring tone. He offered the juice and some food. “Trust me Helena. Everything will be fine. You just have to wait for this situation to be better.”

Through the gaps of the bars, he held her hands dearly. He was near tears. “I gotta go…” Gabriel saw Ghost and Helena talking to each other. He ran toward Ghost and then whispered. “You know what would happen if this thing messes up.” Ghost nodded and then exited the jail.

Gabriel visited Helena in her cell. She stood up, surprised to see him. He greeted her with swear words and said things like, “You whore! How dare you kill my girlfriend! You should’ve died now!” He glared at her. He waited for a few seconds for the poison to work. After ten seconds if Ghost didn’t change the juice, Helena will die.

He counted in his mind ten…nine…eight…seven…six…

His grin was reaching his ears…

five…four…three…two…one…

What the fuck! I knew that bastard’s gonna betray me! He called Seth on his cellphone. He said, “Finish Ghost!”

The rest of Hemp Boys, Seth and Siniztah saw Ghost exiting the jail and avoiding their glares. Seth and Siniztah punched and kicked Ghosts. After beating Ghost, they got inside Gabriel’s car and then Seth drove them to the hideout.

7:45 pm

Seth and Siniztah gave Ghost to Gabriel. Gabriel glared at the three: firstly, to Seth, secondly to Siniztah, and finally to Ghost. He slapped Ghost with all his might that Ghost fell on the ground.

“You can kill me if you want. But not my family and Helena.” He kneeled before Gabriel. Gabriel kicked Ghost and then pointed at him.

“It’s worthless to do that now, Ghost! You’re not part of the clan anymore.” He continued in a proud voice.

“And that means you suffer more in your life than you ever know.”

Ghost exited the hideout and then Gabriel announced plan B to the remaining members. They smiled after hearing the plan.

Ghost’s dream

Ghost had a dream. In his dream he was sleeping in a marijuana field. An iridescent light woke him up. The part of the marijuana field where he slept grew as high as the hills of the forest that stood far from the marijuana field. The marijuana vanished and were replaced by pink roses. The iridescent light sang to him saying that he followed its path. He followed the path of the iridescent light as it became a full rainbow. He heard a sound of a violin. He knew it was Helena who’s playing the instrument. He climbed the rainbow to see her. He went up to the sky and stood on the cumulus clouds. She was wearing glasses, standing in her stooped posture and had fly-away hair. He walked through the cumulus clouds, toward her to hug her. As soon as he hugged her she stopped playing the violin. He removed her glasses and then looked deeply to her jade-green eyes. He was about to kiss her cheer-colored mouth but…

A girl with red hair and round blue eyes appeared beside Helena. She was wielding a great axe that looked like Death’s before his eyes. She struck him down with the axe. He went through the cumulus clouds.

He woke up.

Sunday. 10:00 am.

Helena was sitting with her inmates who smelled of smoke and sweat. She had been staying for a long time in her cell with awful-looking women with eye bags, yellow teeth and bad breath. All the inmates had been forced to engage in manual labor for as long as twelve hours just so they can eat decent food or be paid for just a little amount. Sometimes they were forced to work just to follow the orders of the authority. Last night the inmates had eaten rice which were not well-cooked, fish which were not fresh, beefs which had merely bones and scarce meat and tasteless bowls of soup. Helena had not eaten since her last conversation with her parents on the phone. She cried as her parents’ words echoed in her mind. She grasped on one bar, slid her sweaty hand on it. She examined the dirty floor and found a cockroach crawling on it. She disgustedly stepped on the cockroach and then slid it outside with her slipper. After killing the cockroach mercilessly, she sat again. Suddenly, a manly figure stood by her cell. It was just the cell guard.

“Wake up prisoners! It’s visitation time!” The cell guard piped up hostilely as if he had eaten something sour. All the prisoners came to the visitation room to have a quality time with their loved ones, for just thirty minutes.

In the visitation room a tall and handsome but geeky-looking guy came to Helena and greeted her cheerily. It was Stanley, her older brother. He had a tremendous resemblance with Helena. He looked like a male version of Helena. He had a fair complexion, jade-green eyes and clean-cut hair. He wore black-rimmed glasses, plain red shirt and denim shorts. A tear slid down her cheek.

“I miss you Stanley,” she said with all her heart.

“I miss you too,” Stanley replied warmly.

“Let’s go home.” Helena embraced her older brother lovingly and Stanley embraced her too.

As she sobbed in her older brother’s shirt, she noticed one thing different about him: he wore a pungent perfume. She knew Stanley wears only a mild one. No he can’t be my older brother…He can’t be Stanley! Someone tricked me! These words kept reverberating in her mind until-

Blank.

Everything was dark.

PLAIN DARKNESS.

No light, no ugly women, no fellow inmates, no cell, no guards,

the guy who pretended to be him is gone. NO EVERYTHING.

But wait – there is one thing left!

A memory. A violent memory.

The memory of the dagger slashing her throat.

Scarlet blood runs like a river

drowning her body. A river drowning her wholly! Flowing

from her neck, down her heart, her legs, her feet

and finally, on the floor.

Soon…

The scarlet river runs continuously.

The memory becomes feeble, as it’s consumed

Gradually.

The memory is gone. Darkness emerges again

Until it becomes total darkness

COMPLETE DARKNESS. Nothing is visible.

NOTHING! This is how it goes and ends.

Her soul escapes her body.

Then Darkness becomes

DEATH.

Upon exiting the jail, Seth’s cellphone rang. “Did you do it well buddy?” said the voice on Seth’s cellphone. It was Gabriel.

“Yes, you’ll see it on the news later,” replied Seth. The voice chuckled wickedly. Seth turned off his cellphone, and then headed to the bakeshop.

11:00 am.

Seth had planned to buy a cake for his mom’s birthday that day. He was about to enter the bakeshop when someone pulled him…

“Dude I need money today, you’ve gotta help me. My daughter’s sick. I need to buy medicine for her.”

Seth glared at Siniztah and then pushed him. Siniztah kept clinging at Seth. “Seth please. This time I mean it and I need it. I’m sorry about yesterday.” Who does he think he is? After what he did he’s saying sorry? Sorry himself! Seth said in his mind.

Seth retorted, “I’m gonna buy a birthday cake for my mom. This is my money. I earned this for doing Gabriel a favor. I’m the one who really needs this.” He pushed Siniztah harder. Infuriated because Seth did not give him the money, Siniztah produced a knife and then placed it near Seth’s neck. Seth stole the knife and then buried it to Siniztah’s forehead. Siniztah’s forehead produced a fountain of blood all over his face. Seth ran hurriedly before the owner of the bakeshop and the residents of the street who saw that incident report him to the police. He then headed to another bakeshop on the left corner of the street.

Seth entered the bakeshop then bought a cake for his mom. After he bought the cake, he headed home where his mom was cooking an early lunch for him, her only son. It was only the two of them who lived in their home. His mom had become a widow when Seth was only nine. His dad had died of lung cancer at an early age of thirty. Seth mourned so much on his dad’s death that he made a promise to himself. That promise was to make his mom happy each day. He also promised that he’d love his mom as much as he loved his dad. He did that. And he was happy for it for he knew he was making his dad proud and blissful in heaven. He was fulfilling his promise so far.

Seth’s mom heard the door open. She greeted her son with a “Where have you been this morning?” His son answered her. “Just from the bakeshop, Mom. Happy birthday.” Seth greeted his mom.

His mom turned to him as she wielded a saucepan, resting her arm down. She was surprised to see the cake.

“Oh dear, you don’t have to,” she said in a common maternal tone, sweet and loving.

“No, it’s your day mom,” said Seth “I just want to make the best mom here on Earth happy.”

“Thank you dear,” said his mom gratefully. Seth placed the cake at the dining table, beaming at her. For a little while, he said to his mom that he needed to go to the bathroom (for it was part of his routine to wash his face when he got home). His mom let him go to the bathroom.

Upon entering the bathroom, Seth washed his face. The lights turned off and the interior of the bathroom became pitch dark. He headed to the door and saw a girl in a white dress, with wavy black hair, pale face and jade-green eyes. He was about to open his mouth to scream. But then she swallowed his whole body, spat his soul to the toilet bowl and then flushed it.

3:00 pm

Ghost was wandering in one of the hills of the forest two hours far from Green Fields Town. He had a vision that the one who killed Helena was just around this forest. He was combing the first hill for two hours after he had watched the news about Helena’s death on TV. The hill grew Indian trees, there was a clean pond and birds were singing everywhere. It was the most peaceful and quiet place Ghost had ever been.

Despite the hill’s peaceful and quiet ambience, Ghost still felt bad. He desired to take revenge for the one who framed Helena for the crime she didn’t commit. He wanted to find and kill the real killer. Oh how he missed Helena badly! Her flyaway hair hanging on her shoulders, her face that looked like as white as the clouds and her jade-green eyes that sparkled only when she smiled…

He thought of her beauty which no one else saw. He stopped by the pond and then drank a little water. It somehow eased his mind and brought him back peace and quiet.

Near the pond there stood a tree. On the treetop there stood a wooden house. Inside the wooden house, a girl with red hair and round blue eyes was sipping tea. It was Sally Rose: the true killer. He produced a knife and then aimed it to the killer’s heart. Unconscious about what’s happening to her, the killer was at last hit by the knife instantly. The knife was buried inside her heart and blood flowed all over her sleeveless shirt.

5:30 pm.

Gabriel and his new girlfriend were making out in the clan’s hideout. Both of them were feeling lusty. He pushed her and said, “Let’s do this inside.”

Suddenly a motorcycle went in the hideout. Ghost was riding it.

“What are you doin’ here freak!” exclaimed Gabriel. “Thought you were dead!”

“You’re gonna pay for what you’ve done to Helena!” retorted Ghost. Gabriel’s eyes burned in anger and a desire to kill Ghost emerged from himself. “Fuck you!”

Ghost got down from the motorcycle and then ran toward Gabriel. He attempted to punch Gabriel on the face but Gabriel dodged. Gabriel then attempted to punch Ghost on the belly and hit him. Ghost grunted, lowering his head while touching his belly.

Ghost was on bended knees, facing the ground. Gabriel stood by Ghost and said, “I’m giving you a chance to give up if you don’t wanna die.”

I’m gonna win this fight for Helena no matter what, thought Ghost.

They continued fighting.

The two exchanged punches and kicks. Gabriel gave 388 punches and received forty from Ghost. Ghost gave 387 kicks and received forty two from Gabriel. Ghost felt a little tired. The two of them were apart from each other.

“Are you gonna give up that easily Ghost?” said Gabriel. Ghost ran toward Gabriel, attempting to push him and attack him with a knife but Gabriel stole it and then hit it on Ghost’s neck. The knife went inside Ghost’s neck and then jutted on his nape as blood oozed all over his shirt. “No one wins over me!” said Gabriel. He laughed like a madman. He laughed maniacally as he kicked Ghost’s motorcycle and buried the knife on Ghost’s back. After he did all these, he felt great about himself. In his mind, he praised himself and proclaimed endlessly that he was invincible, powerful and stronger than anyone.

“You can’t be certain about that.” An angry female voice behind him said. He turned around, surprised that these words came from the mouth of his girlfriend. “The last blood that cries will be yours!”

Her face turned into Helena’s. The jade-green eyes burned. She produced a gun, aimed it into Gabriel’s heart and then fired it. And at last, blood poured out as he cried in pain.

One day after

The sky was gray and gloomy one Monday afternoon in a graveyard. A guy in a black hoodie and a pair of denim pants was standing by the grave of the girl he loved. He stood there, muttering a prayer. After saying a prayer, he threw a bundle of roses on the grave. Thunder broke the silent and solemn air of the graveyard and his moment of solitude with his loved one. Lightning struck the hills of the forest far from the graveyard; flashing through the thick gray sky as it summoned rain. Rain fell hard. He was drenched and cold. He stood up and then exited the graveyard with tears streaming down his face.

In a few moments, the rain stopped. The sun rose up and then a rainbow appeared in the sky. A calm female voice sang behind him. Captured by the voice, he turned around and was surprised to see the love of his life – Helena Lilac. She smiled at him. He looked deeply to her jade-green eyes, then to her cherry-colored mouth and then kissed her. And she kissed him too. No words were uttered to express their feelings. They merely communicated with the most powerful language of all, the only language that conquers everything even the most bloody of wars…

Love.

Angels don’t play harps. They play rock music.

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It’s been 10 days since Chris Cornell died. On May 18, 2017 (which, I think, was May 17 in my country the Philippines), I was enjoying my salary. I had just finished shopping for a dress and some makeup tools and toiletries. I was about to eat my dinner in Kenny Rogers Roasters when I received a text message from my brother.  My brother texted me that Chris Cornell died. My heart sank and I was sad. I forced myself to eat my so-called “cheat meal” which I was supposed to enjoy but didn’t.  Life played a cruel joke on me. I am a fan of Chris Cornell and his death made me sad. So on that night, I listened to his songs and even posted some of his music videos on Facebook.

I discovered Chris Cornell’s music when I was a teenager. Music channels like MTV and MYX would play songs by his band Audioslave. I love their songs “Like a Stone”, “Cochise” and “Show Me How to Live.”  His voice was beautiful and deep, and his lyrics were dark.  He was one of my favorite rock singers.

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My favorite part in the music video of “Like a Stone.”

I only learned about his other band Soundgarden when my friend in college recommended me their song “Black Hole Sun.” That song is amazing. I love its eerie lyrics and catchy tune.  I’m a huge fan of songs with weird lyrics. I’ve watched the music video of that song a thousand times even though it made my skin crawl the first time I saw it.

I heard his song “Sunshower” in the movie Great Expectations. From that moment, I thought it was his best song. The song sounds romantic and his voice is sexy. I‘ve always thought it was a love song that you could dedicate to your significant other. It really sounds like a love song. But when I read the lyrics and tried to understand it, I realized it’s an inspirational song. It tells us that when we go through dark times, we shouldn’t worry and it’s going to be all right. (“It’s all right. When you’re all in pain and you feel the rain come down…Though your garden’s gray, I know all your graces someday will flower. In a sweet sunshower.”)

It’s a love song you dedicate to yourself. Clearly, he was a talented and genius musician. I can’t imagine anyone else who could write a song like that.

To be honest, I only know a few of his songs. So I can’t say that I’m a massive fan of his music. But I loved Chris Cornell as a fan. I remember writing on Facebook, “If I were a guy, I would love to have a voice like Chris Cornell’s.” He had a distinct voice, with a wide vocal range. It’s as if he could sing any song regardless of genre.

Aside from his great voice, I also admire him for his handsome face and hot body. Now that he’s gone, I’d truly miss those things about him.

He was an inspiration and his music has helped me through dark times. I still can’t believe he committed suicide. He’s the kind of person who seemed like he had it all. Why did he do that to himself?

When I found out he was battling depression, I finally understood why. Depression not only eats your happiness, it also eats your soul. I think no one has the right to judge him or any person who committed suicide. None of us knows what was going through his mind before he decided to end his life.

Rock in peace, Chris Cornell! I know you’re up there in heaven playing music with all the great legends!

chris cornell why
For those people who don’t understand why we mourn the death of artists.

“13 Reasons Why” takes me back to high school

13-reasons-why-netflix-01-480x320

This TV show really spoke to me.

13 Reasons Why brings back some of my memories of high school, both good and bad. Like Hannah, I was bullied in high school. I also had many problems and a very few friends. But because I’m emotionally and spiritually stronger than Hannah, I conquered my problems. In fact, years after high school, I even became Facebook friends with some of my former tormentors.

However, I have to admit that Hannah’s problems are more serious than mine.

I won’t spoil the series for you. But I’ll give you a brief synopsis about Netflix’s hit teen drama show.

Clay Jensen is sad when his crush, classmate and co-worker Hannah Baker committed suicide. He finds a package that contains blank audio tapes. Before her death, Hannah had recorded in those tapes her voice. She narrated her secrets— the 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself. It’s like a suicide note, but in audio form. As he listens to the tapes, Clay acts like a detective that solves a crime. He then talks to Hannah’s tormentors and fake friends, and makes them confess about their wrongdoings and crimes against his beloved friend.

13 Reasons Why gets a mix of positive and negative reviews and reactions all over the internet.

One positive review said that the show teaches us to be responsible for our actions and treat one another better. It also teaches us that anything we say or do can affect a person. So to prevent a suicidal person from killing him/herself, we have to reach out to them. Listen to them, understand them and help them.

One negative review said that Hannah’s negative outlook in life might influence a lot of young people and they might imitate Hannah’s actions. A lot of people are alarmed that some depressed teenagers might think about committing suicide, too.

I think both reviews are correct. That’s why to be safe, I’d recommend this show to mature, prudent and responsible teenagers and grown-ups.

13 Reasons Why is a good show. It’s the kind of show that both entertains the viewers and makes them think. I was hooked when I started binge-watching it. In fact, I finished it in 3 days!

I like the opening credits. It’s appealing, artistic and easy on the eyes. It shows a cartoon of a guy riding a bike at night in his neighborhood. A car passes in front of him. Then a cassette tape shows the number of the episode you’re about to watch.

The actors are really good. They portray their roles well. There’s not a single person in that show who can’t act. My most favorite character is Tony. He is a genuinely nice guy and a good friend to Clay. He also happens to be gay. My least favorite character is Courtney. She reminds me of people who appear to be overly nice, but in reality, are the epitomes of evil. She’s actually worse than Bryce, who did something very bad to Hannah.

A lot of people raved about how great the soundtrack is. I think it’s just good. I only like one song which is The Strangers by St. Vincent. The track has an indie vibe, with a melancholic tune and unique lyrics.

If you like teen TV dramas, you should definitely watch this. Bring a box of tissues and a soft, fluffy pillow for comfort.

Rules for singing during a videoke party

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It’s summertime! I know most of you are having a trip or vacation (or planning to have one). One of the things we like to do during summer, aside from swimming in a sea (or pool) or taking selfies at a beach, is singing at a videoke party with our friends and/or relatives. I know that when you hear the word “videoke,” you feel the urge to sing your favorite songs and let all your feelings out. Hold on! Before you go to that party and sing your heart out, here are a few rules:

  1. Pick a song that matches your singing ability. If you can’t hit high notes, don’t sing hits by great divas like Ariana Grande, Celine Dion, Charice Pempengco, Jordin Sparks, Mariah Carey, Regine Velasquez, and Whitney Houston or other similar artists. Opt for songs that are catchy and easy to sing.

 

  1. Try not to cry when you’re singing a sad love song. Calm yourself down before singing it. You don’t want to let people know you’re still going through a breakup, right?

 

  1. Make a list of your favorite songs a day or days before the party comes. So you’ll know what songs you’re going to sing. During the videoke party, it’s not nice to make people wait for 10 minutes before you choose a song. You’re not the only person in the room who wants to sing. They want to sing, too!

 

  1. Don’t be shy. If you want to sing, just do so!

 

  1. If you’re with someone who can sing, don’t make a lot of song requests. He or she might get annoyed. Plus, it’s a videoke party and not a concert. (This rule depends on every person. Some people don’t mind getting a lot of requests. Just don’t overdo it. You can sing the song yourself.)

 

  1. Try not to wake the neighbors up. This is self-explanatory.

 

  1. Sing, don’t scream! Unless you’re a rock star and it’s a rock song. Otherwise, you’ll scare the birds flying outside the window.

 

*My inspiration for this blog entry: my noisy neighbors who sing 24/7 using their videoke machine like someone’s celebrating their birthday every frickin’ day!

To my foreign readers: We Filipinos like to use the word “videoke” when we’re referring to karaoke.

The Dark Side of Betrayal

My name is Alexander Morales. I’m 18 years old and I live in Sampaloc, Manila. I’m a Fine Arts student in Parker University, one of the prestigious coed universities in Pasay. There’s nothing much to say about me. I guess I’m one of those people who you will see as an easy going, happy-go-lucky and harmless punk. A stud who is constantly being chased by girls in school. An athlete who only cares about winning. A son who just wants to make his parents proud. Perhaps you think you know me because of my reputation in school and the senseless rumors about me. You think you know me, but you don’t have any idea about me. No one really knows me. No, that’s not right. There’s someone who knew me very well. Her name is Daphne Reyes and she was my best friend.

I’m passionately, obsessively and madly in love with Daphne. All I’ve been thinking about was to have her all to myself. I would do everything to get her. I didn’t care if my conscience would bother me. What I did to her was wrong and unforgivable. Even I would never forgive myself for this. No one would think I would do it. Even I couldn’t believe I did it to her. For God’s sake, she’s my best friend since 6th grade! We had been very good friends.

But I did something wrong to my best friend.

I raped Daphne Reyes on March 26, 2009.

Before I tell you how I committed the heinous crime, let me tell you about Daphne.

She was an immensely beautiful girl. But she hid her beauty in the baggy clothes she used to wear. She had an angelic face, long shiny hair, fair skin and a petite figure. She would have looked like a TV actress if only she wore nice clothes.

Daphne was my classmate in the 6th grade. She was a new student, I was an old student. She sat at the back of the classroom; I sat just in front of her. She was very shy and quiet. During break time I decided to talk to her so she would have a friend.

The sun was shining in a blue sky, gilding the grasses, trees and flowers of the courtyard. Teachers and students were milling around the courtyard. Daphne was alone sitting under a tree reading a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

“Hello Daphne,” I said. “I’m Alexander.”

“Hi Alexander,” she said. We shook hands.

“That looks like an interesting book. Can you tell me something about it?”

She told me the synopsis of the novel, without spoiling it for me. She was a good storyteller and I could tell that she was bright. But what really caught my eye was how her eyes shone and her face looked lively as she talked to me about the book. She looked like that when she talked about something she really liked. I couldn’t help but admire her radiant skin as the sun shone on it. I knew from the start that I was attracted to her. But Daphne was someone I just met.

As we talked, I learned a lot of things about her in a short span of time.

She just turned twelve that June (her birthday was on June 4, we were of the same age). She came from an all-girls school. Her father is the owner of a computer shop and her mother is a seamstress. She only had one sibling who was a 10-year-old boy. She lived in Las Pinas. She transferred in my school because her parents couldn’t afford the high tuition fee of the all-girls school. Her little brother was studying in another coed school near their house.

She loved music so much. She could sing and play a guitar. Her taste in music was eclectic. She enjoyed all types of music like rock, jazz, rhythm and blues, hip hop, trance, techno and house. But her favorite type of music was rock. I also like music. We listened to the same bands like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, A Perfect Circle, Tool, Deftones, U2, Muse, System of a Down, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. We talked about those bands during the break time and dismissal time. We clicked instantly. We started hanging out since that day.

 

As we got to know each other we learned about our other similarities and differences. We both loved music, but she was really into it. Music was her life – it gave her solace in dark times. I only listen and dance to music to be entertained. We both loved reading novels. But she’s a faster reader than me. She could finish a tome in one sitting. I could finish a book in three days. We both loved video games, but she was a better gamer than me. She could beat me in any game, whether it’s a violent mature game or a kiddie game. She was kind of a lone wolf; I have a lot of friends in school. Actually, everybody in school liked me, so I could say that I could get along with anyone. We both loved to go to rock concerts and gigs. I like sports like badminton and tennis; she didn’t like sports. She liked sweets; I don’t like them because they make me fat (I like maintaining my athletic body because I want to always look good.)

I introduced her to my friends. They were athletes, campus crushes and geeks. Daphne tried to get along with all of them. But naturally, she only got along with the geeks. Her new friends were Kathryn and Julio. Kathryn is a Cosplayer, while Julio is a gamer. We hanged out most of the time with those geeks. Daphne and Kathryn joined Cosplay competitions and I simply watched and supported them because I didn’t like to join them in those competitions. Daphne only dressed up in Cosplay competitions. She really looked cute and adorable in those outfits she wore. She looked kawaii. We played various video games on Julio’s Playstation. My favorite games were Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Marvel vs Capcom. Daphne didn’t like my other friends (Daphne referred to them as the “popular crowd”) so I didn’t bring her when I was with them. My teammates and the campus crushes usually asked me, “Where’s your girlfriend?” I laughed at them and told them Daphne was busy studying at home. My friends always thought Daphne and I were an item.

 

One time I had a fight I can never forget. I was with my athlete friends Matt and Christian. Matt was a point guard in the basketball team, while Christian was a member of the Taekwondo team. We were playing billiards in a bar just a few blocks from the school. We decided to play after the midterm exams were over, so we could have a good time and forget about our midterm exams for just a while. It was midnight and the bar was noisy and full of the stench of beer and smoke. Matt had one attractive girl on each muscular arm, while Christian was smoking a cigarette as he waited for his turn to play. I hit the first ball.

“Where’s your girlfriend?” asked Matt.

“You mean Daphne?” I said. “She’s not my girlfriend. She’s not interested in billiards that’s why she didn’t go with me.” He hit the second ball.

“You know she’s really pretty,” said Matt. Christian tried to hit the third ball, but he failed. It was my turn again. “If she dresses up, she will look like a total babe.” I couldn’t understand why Matt would say things like that with those girls around. He could make each of those attractive girls pea green with envy.

I hit the fourth ball.

“Yeah I know she is pretty.”

“And I know that you like her. Why don’t you ask her out?”

We continued playing.

“It’s not that simple. She likes another guy.”

“Oh that’s a bummer.” Matt snickered. I smiled weakly.

“If I were you, I’d take her to my house, buy her a drink and make sure she’s drunk until she can’t walk. Then I’d carry her drunk ass in my room and we’d fuck in the dark.”

I stopped playing and punched Matt’s ugly face. His face got bruised. And because Matt was stronger than me, he beat me up with his punches and kicks until I saw stars. As Christian and other people from the bar were trying to stop us from hurting each other, Matt said, “Putang ina mo, bakla ka kasi kaya ka ganyan!” (“Your mother is a whore. You’re probably gay that’s why you can’t do it!”)

“Gago, wala kang respeto sa babae! Kaibigan ko yun!” (“You’re a fool! You don’t have respect for women. Daphne is my friend!”)

Matt spat on the ground. His girlfriends (or whatever they were) were trying to calm him down.

The next thing I knew my mother was treating my bruises with ice covered with towel as soon as Christian took me home. My mother asked me what happened. Christian answered her question.

“Loko yung Matt na yun ah, said my mom. “Walang respeto sa babae.” (“Matt was an idiot. He has no respect for women.”) Don’t hang out with him anymore. He’s a bad influence.”

When Daphne saw my bruises, she was shocked and worried. She asked me how I got them. I only told her half the truth. I told her Matt and I fought over a girl with both liked.

“Matt is such a loser,” she said. “Oh my, now that you don’t look so handsome girls will stop checking you out and chasing you for a week or two. You should thank your bruises.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes, it’s kind of difficult to appreciate a handsome face with all those bruises.” She beamed.

I laughed. I always laughed when she teased me.

 

A few weeks before the incident in the bar, Daphne told me that she had a crush in school.

“Is it me?” I joked. Daphne punched my arm in a friendly manner. “Ow!” I said.

“It’s Lance.” Oh great, she had a crush on one of the best looking guys in school. That guy looked better than me.

“Do you know him?”

“Of course, it’s Lance. The captain of the basketball team.”

“Does he have a girlfriend?”

“Sorry, but I don’t know. But you know what? I can make him notice you.”

“How?” asked my best friend. I touched her hair to fix it. Suddenly, she guessed what I was about to suggest. She smiled excitedly even before I spoke. I smiled, too.

Of course because I’m a guy, I had a little knowledge about girls’ fashion and makeup. So I let the expert to help my best friend in her situation. My gay friend Chris fixed Daphne’s hair and made her up. Then he taught her how to style her hair with a flat iron and a brush, and to use makeup. I bought her beautiful dresses, shoes and accessories. Daphne gasped when she saw the things I bought for her.

“Wow, these are too much!” exclaimed Daphne.

“These stuff will make you feel beautiful,” I said. “Because you are already beautiful. You just don’t know it.” She really looked beautiful when she got dolled up.

Daphne blushed and looked away from me. “Thank you for buying these stuff for me. I appreciate it.” She hugged me.

“Don’t mention it.” I hugged her back.

Since then, Daphne wore natural makeup and nice dresses every time she went to school. Then she made small talks with Lance. Eventually, they got close and their conversations got deep and meaningful. They talked about art, science and life. They exchanged numbers and then texted every night after school. I felt like I suddenly lost my best friend. She got a new best friend.

Daphne and Lance hanged out together in every part of the school. I saw them in the corridors, the canteen, the locker hall, the courtyard, and other places. They looked sweet to each other staring into each other’s eyes, laughing together and holding hands. I let her have beautiful moments with him. I wanted to make her happy all the time. Lance was her crush after all. Who wouldn’t be happy with their crush?

I’d be a fool if I told you I wasn’t sad. No, that wasn’t right. To say I was sad was an understatement. I was down and brokenhearted. But I just busied myself with extracurricular activities like sports and painting just to get her off my mind. I hanged out with my varsity and cheerleader friends (also known as the “popular crowd” as Daphne would call them). So every day it was school, sports, art, and clubbing. It was like a cycle that went on and on. I was surrounded with friends, but my life was empty. I missed Daphne so much.

 

Several months passed. One lazy afternoon, I was playing Playstation at home. The doorbell rang. I paused the game and opened the wood door and the green gate. It was Daphne. She was crying.

We sat in a white sofa in front of a glass table of the living room.

“Why are you crying?” I asked her.

“I saw Lance kissing a girl in a coffee shop.” She was crying heaps. I tried to calm her down, but she kept sobbing.

“Don’t worry, you’ll find a better guy than him.”

I let her cry on my shoulder and hugged her in a friendly manner. She still looked beautiful even when she cried.

“But I don’t want to find a better guy. I just want him.” She complained like a child. But I couldn’t blame her. We were teenagers back then.

“You need to forget about him because obviously he has forgotten about you. He has moved on. Okay?” I almost yelled at her.

She continued crying. “It’s so much easier said than done. What if this were happening to you? Oh, I know it doesn’t happen to you! You never knew what it felt like because you never had problems with girls!”

“That is not true, Daphne.”

“It’s true! Girls chase after you. You have dated them but you never took any one of them seriously.”

“But that’s not the point. My point is you should forget about him no matter how hard it is. You are such a beautiful girl. He is just an ass. He doesn’t deserve you.”

“You were right,” she said in between sobs.

“Look, I have an idea. Let’s go to 7/11.”

We went to 7/11. I bought her lots of ice creams with different flavors. As soon as we got inside my place, we ate them all until we were stuffed.

Daphne was licking a chocolate ice cream. “This is so delicious!” She exclaimed. She finished Cookies and Cream, Banoffee Pie, Blueberry Cheesecake, Capucinno, Mango Graham and Oreo. I ate S’mores and Sea Salt Caramel.

“You are the sweetest guy I know,” she said. She kissed and hugged me in the sofa.

What we did didn’t save the problem Daphne had at the time. She didn’t forget Lance in an instant. But at least, I made her happy for a little while.

 

Fast forward to high school, Daphne and I became lovers. I courted her for almost a year. I drew portraits of her, wrote her poems, and gave her flowers and sweets at her house. Sometimes I would place it inside her locker in school. She had rejected me a lot of times. She said she didn’t want me to be her boyfriend because I was her best friend. But I continued to pursue her until she forgot all about her first love, Lance. When she forgot all about him and got tired of being lonely, she finally said her sweet yes to me. I was the happiest and luckiest lad on earth.

We had so much fun as lovers. We had candlelit dinners in reasonably priced restaurants. We had picnics in our favorite park near our school. We also went to that park at night to gaze at the stars, while holding each other’s hands. We went to the gigs and concerts of our favorite local and international rock bands. We went to museums and libraries. We rode bikes around town. We went to coffee shops and tried delicious coffees and pastries. We played video games together at my place (because I was the only one who had video games at home). We watched movies either at my house or hers, on a couch while cuddling each other. We cooked for each other scrumptious meals (she was a better cook than I am. Her specialty was spaghetti. I loved eating her spaghetti). We went to malls and bought each other gifts. We hiked in mountains. We swam at beautiful beaches. We worked out in a gym at our favorite mall (we went to yoga classes together). We also played badminton in another gym.

When we weren’t outside, she would teach me how to play a guitar in her house and I would teach her how to draw nature and landscapes in my house. We made love a lot of times in my house when my parents were away. I drew her naked. Daphne looked madly beautiful when she’s naked. Her body was delicately slender. Her skin was fair and flawless.

Our relationship was steady even after high school. When we were in college, we still saw each other. We visited each other in our respective universities. My new friends learned that I was dating a pretty girl who wasn’t fashion-conscious like the other girls. But I loved her and I was so proud of her.

I thought things were going out so well between us.

Until one day, she decided to end our relationship.

 

It was a rainy night. We were having a dinner in a nice restaurant. Daphne was wearing a little black dress and a deep red lipstick. She only dressed up when she thought she needed to. Like, on our dates and other occasions. Her skin was glowing and the dress accentuated her shapely figure. She almost looked like one of the models in FHM I fantasized about. She looked smoking hot!

I was eating sushi. She barely touched her food. I asked her what was wrong.

“Nothing,” she said.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. I continued eating my sushi.

“I have something to tell you.”

“Go ahead.”

“I know this is going to be hard for you, as I’ve always been with you almost all your life. But there’s no easy way to say this—”

“Are you breaking up with me?”

“Yes.”

“Why? What did I do wrong? Am I not good enough for you? Am I not making you happy?”

“You did nothing wrong. It’s just that I found someone else who makes me truly happy.”

“Who?”

Daphne looked down at the table. “I don’t need to tell you who it is. It would only make things worse if I told you. I’m sorry.”

Then she left the restaurant. Her plate was unfinished. I didn’t grab her hand and beg her not to leave me, simply because I didn’t want to create a scene in front of many people. I just sat there and cried silently. Like a fool. I didn’t finish my sushi.

 

So after the breakup, I was devastated. But I tried to hide my sadness and loneliness. Whenever I hanged out with my buddies in the bars, I drank tons of vodka until I passed out. But I managed to maintain my athletic figure by working out in the gym. I dated lots of girls, but I never took them seriously. I’ve had flings left and right. Girls wanted me to be their boyfriend, but I couldn’t imagine having a relationship with any of them. I loved Daphne so much. She’s the only person in this planet that could make me happy.

One sunny afternoon while I was walking on the street to buy some school materials in a bookstore near my house, I saw Daphne. She was with an attractive girl. They were holding each other’s hands.

So Daphne was dating a blonde and petite girl whom she called Ash. The bitch replaced me with a femme lesbian.

I tried my best to stay invisible. I tried to ignore them and pretend I didn’t see them. I even wore my shades to somehow hide my face. Or just to hide my sad eyes.

However, Daphne still saw me. She ignored me and pretended like she didn’t know me. Ash kissed Daphne’s lips. My heart sank.

As soon as the cashier gave me the stuff I bought and my change, I left the bookstore.

For several months I dated tons of girls I met online and at parties. I also slept with some of them just to get Daphne off my mind. But when I slept with those girls, I missed Daphne even more.

I missed her lovely scent.

I missed the sound of her laugh.

I missed her gentle hands and the way she touched me.

I missed her sweet smile.

 

I searched these lovely things in every girl I slept with. But none of them got the qualities that Daphne had. None of those girls were as enchanting as my beloved girlfriend, Daphne Reyes. I wanted no other girl but her.

 

Daphne was the only person I talked to when I had problems or situations made me sad. Like when my Beagle, whom I named after the famous cartoon dog Snoopy, died of old age. I was just in grade school that time. Snoopy was one of my best buddies. He was always with me when I jogged in my neighborhood every morning. He was very smart and learned tricks easily. When I was sad, he comforted me by licking my feet. I missed him so badly. Days after he died, I cried and cried silently in my bed. When I buried Snoopy in a pet cemetery, Daphne kissed and hugged me and said, “Don’t be so sad for Snoopy. He is in heaven.” Corny as it sounds but it made me feel a bit better.

But when Daphne and I broke up, I could no longer talk to her. So instead, I talked to Christian. We were in a pub drinking alcohol. He was drinking absinthe, I was drinking vodka.

“Yo, Alex!” he said.

“Yo Christian!” I said.

“How you doin?'”

“I feel great.”

“I see that.”

“So do you have a girlfriend?” he asked me.

“No,” I told him.

“Oh, come on! Chicks dig you a lot.”

“I know, but I still love Daphne.”

“Oh, bro. You should move on. No offense but she has forgotten about you. She even replaced you with a chick.” He laughed.

“Yeah, I know you’d tell me that. But the truth is I want to get her back.”

“That’s impossible, bro. She doesn’t want to be with you anymore. For Christ’s sake she has a girlfriend!” he reiterated. “And she’s very much in love with her!”

I was silent for a few minutes.

Christian changed the topic. “Listen, Alex. I haven’t told you about this yet. The reason I agreed to meet up with you tonight is because I want you to know something.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“Me and my family will be going to Japan. We will stay there for good.”

“Wow, that’s great bro!”

“So I’ll be having a despedida party (farewell party) at my house this coming Saturday night because we’ll be flying next Monday.”

“Wow, that’s so sudden!”

“Yeah, I know. Sorry for the super short notice. You know, we both have been busy for a long, long time.”

“It’s alright. I understand.”

“So I’m inviting you and Daphne to come to my party. I want all my friends to be there. Sounds okay to you?”

“Yeah, sure. I’ll text Daphne.”

“Thanks, bro.”

 

Saturday night arrived. It was Christian’s despedida party in one of his houses in Bacoor, Cavite. It took me an hour and a few minutes to go there. His house was big and white, with a front yard that had flowers and trees. His Ford was parked in an open garage in front of the house. Christian opened the black gate and let me in.

The party was held in the backyard which had a guitar-shaped pool. Christian invited 10 people. All of them were our friends in high school. I spotted Kathryn and Julio. I asked them were Daphne was.

“She’ll be here in a bit. Na-traffic lang. (She was just stuck in traffic),” said Kathryn.

30 minutes later, Daphne came.

Daphne looked so beautiful that night. She was in a red dress and red heels. Her hair was down. It was long and wavy, like the waves of a beach in summer. On her neck was a silver heart necklace. She smiled at everyone, including me. Her smile was enchanting.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hello,” she said.

“Where’s your girlfriend?” Christian butted in. “Why didn’t you bring her with you?”

“She’s studying for her final exam in calculus,” she said.

“Ah,” said Christian. “Too bad she’ll miss out on all the fun.”

Christian invited all of us for dinner. Those people who were swimming in his fancy guitar-shaped pool stopped to join us. We ate pizza, spaghetti, fried chicken, lechon baboypancit palabok, shrimp paella, Sansrival cake and Mango Graham cake. We drank coke, Four Seasons and mango juices.

While we were dining, we talked about our wonderful and funny memories in high school, what we were up to now that we’re in college and our plans after we graduate. Most of us will be working in the office, while some will study postgraduate courses. One guy is cooler than the rest of us. His name is Joe. He is a singer in a rock band who actually has a record deal.

Later at midnight we sang over the videoke machine and drank bottles of San Mig Light and Red Horse beers. I didn’t drink much because I had to drive. Some guys played billiards in the balcony.

After the party, Daphne asked me if I could give her a ride home. Of course, I agreed to give her a ride. We said goodbye to Christian and wished him luck. “Ingat ka lagi haMami-miss ka namin (Take care always. We will miss you),” I told my dear friend.

Oo nga (Yes we will),” said Daphne.

“You can visit me there, if you have time,” said Christian.

We hugged him.

I opened the door of my car for Daphne and let her in first. Then I went inside the car.

“Daphne, is it okay if we go to my place?” I asked her. “I just want to talk to you.”

“Sure,” she replied.

We drove to my house.

 

We were inside my bedroom. It was pitch-dark. I turned on the light.

“What do you want to talk about?” asked Daphne.

“Nothing,” I said. “I just want to be with you tonight.”

She smiled. Her smile was brighter than my light.

“It’s been a long time since we talked,” I said.

“Yeah, it is,” she said. “Can I borrow your guitar? I want to play you a song.”

“Sure.”

She picked up my blue guitar and played a song she wrote herself.

Her voice was ethereal. The melody of the song was sad. The words were dark.

She was ravishingly beautiful and sexy when she sang the song. In that moment I wanted to take off her dress, lay her down the bed and make love to her with all my love, passion and manly strength.

“That song is really beautiful. What’s the title?”

“It’s called ‘The Dark Side of Betrayal.’ It’s about a girl who was betrayed by her friend whom she trusted all her life. It’s called ‘The Dark Side of Betrayal’ because when someone gets betrayed, he or she blames him or herself, instead of blaming the traitor. The girl in my song hides herself in the shadows of shame and never comes out of it and forgives herself for trusting that person.

I began kissing Daphne on the lips. She kissed me back. We kissed passionately for a long time.

But then she stopped and said, “This is wrong. We shouldn’t do this.”

“No, this feels right,” I continued kissing her. But she pushed me gently.

“I have a girlfriend and I love her,” she said. I slapped her right cheek. She opened her mouth in shock.

I kissed her neck and shoulders. She kept saying “no” while I was kissing her.

Then I took off her dress, her bra and underwear. She whimpered as I took them off.

She pushed and kicked me hard. I fell from the bed.

She got out of the bed and ran at the door to open it.

I ran faster, went in front of it and blocked her. Then I closed the door.

She was about to kick me but I punched her stomach. She grunted in pain. I punched her head. She got unconscious.

She was about to fall.

I carried her and then pinned her down the bed. I kissed her breasts and licked her pink nipples. Then I let my tongue travel down her stomach, towards her cunt.

Then I opened her legs and entered her.

I indulged in her fair and slender body. I took pleasure in her feminine scent, her softness, and wetness for a long while.

Afterwards, I slept beside her. She was still unconscious.

The next morning, I woke up and she was gone.

On Monday, I went to school pretending like nothing happened. But deep down, I worried that Daphne’s parents would soon learn about what I did to her and come to my house and confront me. Or that one day the police would arrest me in my house. But that did not happen.

 

Two weeks later, Daphne’s mom phoned me. She was crying hard.

“What’s wrong?” I asked her. Oh no. Maybe she learned what I did to her daughter, I thought. I tried to act innocent. It was easier to do that since I was not face-to-face with her mother.

“Daphne killed herself!” She cried harder.

“I’m sorry,” I said.

 

A few days later, I went to Daphne’s wake and funeral in Las Pinas. Her family, friends, her attractive girlfriend, and her relatives came. They all cried hard for her. Daphne had touched their lives. She treated everyone well. She was an angel on earth.

During the funeral service, a mass was held. The priest told us about our temporary life here on earth and the eternal life that awaits us. He said that after we die, we either go to heaven or hell. God is waiting for us in heaven where we will experience eternal happiness if we are good. But if we are bad, Satan is waiting for us in hell where we will experience the fires of eternal damnation. Our purpose here on earth is to serve the Lord and do good things. If we want to enter heaven – of course all of us want to – we should always praise the Lord, keep our faith in Him, do good things to everyone, renounce Satan and avoid his temptations, and ask for forgiveness from God when we commit sins.

Then the priest said a short prayer.  We bowed down our heads to pray. Later on we said our eulogies.

The priest told us to pour a bottle of holy water in her coffin. Each of us poured the bottle of holy water in her coffin. Daphne looked eerily beautiful in her death. Cliché as it sounds, she looked like an angel.

When it was my turn to pour it in her coffin, I muttered under my breath, “I’m sorry.”

For a fleeting moment, she opened her eyes. I blinked, unsure that it really happened. But her eyes remained closed. She was sleeping like a baby in her coffin.

A few minutes later we buried her six feet under. It rained hard. The sky was crying with us. The people around me opened their umbrellas and they went straight to their cars to go home or somewhere else.

I wore my black hood; my hands were in my pockets. I walked into my car and drove to my house.

I went straight to my bed and thought about what I did to Daphne.

So my best friend and the love of my life killed herself with a knife. She blamed herself after I raped her. Like the girl from her song, she blamed herself for trusting me that night. It was I who drove her to commit suicide.

 

A month after her death passed. Daphne made sure that I felt her presence wherever I went. When she was alive, I chased her. But now that she’s dead, she chased me instead. To be precise, she haunted me.

Usually, a draft entered my house even though the windows were closed. Sometimes windows and doors opened and closed by themselves. Lights flickered at night. My room got cold even though the air conditioner was turned off. When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, my face had blood all over it and a knife was pointed at my neck. I guess that’s what Daphne wanted to do to me if only she had the guts to do it. She wanted to kill me.

I saw her face on the walls, doors and cabinets. She frowned, cried and screamed. But I ignored her hauntings. I told myself that it’s all in the mind.

At midnights, I would hear her strumming the chords of her song “The Dark Side of Betrayal” in my guitar. She sang it quietly. Her voice was like the wind that passed swiftly. It was soft and serene. I could barely hear the words. The next moment, she sang it loudly. It was full of pain and hatred. I could hear the words clearly.

One afternoon I made love to one of my flings Ellen in my room, I saw Daphne’s face instead of Ellen’s. I screamed and pushed Ellen away from me. Daphne’s face disappeared. It was Ellen’s face again.

Startled and disgusted, Ellen said, “Freak!” Then she left me.

When I showered in my bathroom, droplets of blood came from the showerhead instead of clear water.  Since then, I didn’t shower for days.

One chilly night while I was sleeping Daphne appeared in my dream. She was in a red dress and her skin was pale. She was hanging in the air.

“Hi, Alex,” she greeted me.

“Daphne,” I said curtly. Then I asked her, “Why do you keep scaring the shit out of me?”

She laughed a mirthless laugh.

“Have you forgotten what you did to me in this room?” she said. Her face was distorted in anger.

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry is not enough! How could you do that to me? You were my best friend!”

I didn’t reply.

“What you did to me was cruel and abominable. I suffered in hell because of what you did. That’s the reason why I haunt you. I want to make your life a living hell!”

“What is it that you want me to do so you will stop haunting me? So you’ll be at peace? I’ll do anything you asked me to.”

“Confess to the police about your crime against me. That’s the only way I’ll forgive you and end your suffering.”

Then she was gone. I woke up.

 

The morning after, I went to the police station of my city and told the police that I raped Daphne Reyes, my beloved best friend and the love of my life. I did it because I loved her madly, passionately and dangerously to the point of committing a detestable crime against her. I betrayed my best friend. And she killed herself because of it.

At first I thought the police officers would arrest me and send me to jail right away. But of course, they investigated the matter and searched for evidence. When the police gained knowledge that would lead a reasonable person to believe that I committed rape against Daphne, they arrested me and sent me to jail.

As of this writing, I am in jail. I had nothing to do here, so I wrote this story. It’s a true story. Although some of you would think that I’m crazy for believing that Daphne really haunted me. You’re probably thinking that I just imagined it or that I made this up. But to be honest, I don’t care what you think.

Now I’m waiting for my hearing, which has been set next week. In this country, justice is slow. The judge has to decide my case yet.

But at least I did my part. Daphne will get the justice she greatly deserves.

Finally, her soul will rest in peace.

-Alexander Morales

Manila, February 21, 2010

Die Beautiful

die-beautiful

I was so excited to watch Die Beautiful. It was my first time to watch an indie film in a movie theater (I have already seen tons of indie films at home and also in school). When I watched this film with one of my best friends, I felt like I have unlocked an achievement! Hehe. 😀

Usually, the Metro Manila Film Festival shows hackneyed mainstream movies during Christmas season. But this time, it was different because they showed avant-garde films that were beautifully crafted from the heart and will make us contemplate about the important things in life. They’re not the usual films that were made purely for profit and cheap thrills. These are the types of films which show not only the talents of Filipino movie makers and actors, but also events in real life that we hesitate or rarely talk about. These films show us the real world.

To be honest, before I watched this movie, all I know about gay people is that they are flamboyant and they love fashion and make people laugh. But there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Die Beautiful is a comedy and drama film directed by Jun Robles Lana. It revolves around a transgender woman, Trisha (formerly known as Patrick), who dreams to be a beauty queen someday. She wins the biggest title from one of the prestigious gay beauty pageants in the country. But a few minutes after she is crowned, she faints and dies. It’s later found out that the cause of her death is brain aneurysm.

Before Trisha’s death, she told her best friend Barbs (Christian Bables) that when she dies, she wants to be beautiful. She also told Barbs to turn her into different female celebrities. Using her makeup skills, Barbs fulfills her best friend’s wish.

The film flashbacks on the good and bad times she had and her hardships as a transgender woman: the discrimination she got from people, especially from her dad (who should have supported, or at least understood and loved her, but instead kicked her out of the house.) The film also takes us to the darkest point in her life.  That scene made me shed tears.

Die Beautiful is the most beautiful Filipino movie I have ever watched. The plot is simple yet compelling and thought-provoking. It doesn’t have mind-blowing special effects or gory scenes.  What it has is a fresh concept, an interesting story, great actors (the actors are not “OA,” they speak and act like regular people do. Which is why I prefer indie films over mainstream ones), and a brilliant screenplay.

I believe that everyone should watch this movie, especially the homophobic people. Because it might change their opinion about gay people (it has changed mine).

What I liked about the film:

  • We all know that Paolo Ballesteros and Christian Bables are undeniably talented actors. But I was surprised to know that Albie Casino can act, too. Aside from that, his washboard abs caught my eye. Hehe. The role of a typical annoying (and heartless) jock fits him.
  • We’re used to see Gladys Reyes portraying a matapbore villain in teleseryes. But in this movie, you will see a “new” Gladys Reyes. She portrays the role of a compassionate ate. 
  • Joel Torre has always been one of the most convincing actors. He never ceases to amaze everyone with his spectacular performance. He frightens me each time he scolds and yells at his son Patrick.
  • The makeup transformations of Paolo Ballesteros are exquisite and impressive!
  • The jokes are really funny in an inoffensive way.

My favorite dialogue (non-verbatim):

Trisha: Anong alam mo sa pagmamahal?

Young Shirley Mae: Wala pa po. Pero ang alam ko yung pagmamahal mo sa akin (ang pagmamahal ng isang ina sa isang anak). Sana ganyan din ang pagmamahal sa iyo ng lalaking mamahalin mo.

#Feels