Dear Old Friend,

You said that you are in pain. That on a scale of 1 to 10, it is always a 4. Everyday. It is as if someone stabbed you with a knife, twisted it inside, and left it that way. And only when the pain reaches 9 do you ever call for an ambulance.

You see, you remind me so much of my father. Or should I say, you remind me so much of my father’s cancer. The way it disabled him. The way it made him stay in bed for days because the treatment was too painful it left bruises on his abdomen. The way I could no longer hug him in bed because if I did, I would send him screaming in pain.

Everytime I think about you, I think about my father. How I wish my father was as strong as you. I admire your decision for choosing not to get treatment for your cancer. And I am glad you chose not to get any form of treatment. Because if you did, your 4 would have been an 8. Or a 9. Everyday.

Once in our lifetime we meet people who touch our hearts so deeply without them even knowing it. You’ve always touched my heart eversince we stood on that terrace and asked each other if we are ready and if we are alright.

I wish I can tell you how wonderful it is to meet people like you who truly understand what it means to stop holding on to hopes. May this Universe bless you with an even stronger faith to the joy of being present and unattached.

We are here, and we are here now. Thank you for being present.

Written 29 May 2017


VI. Thou shalt do no murder.


FREMANTLE PRISON, PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. A prison built by convicts in the 1850s.






FREMANTLE PRISON. My sister and I went to visit this old prison. I have never been to any museums or any cultural attractions with her, but this one we had to visit together. My sister and I are huge fans of The Walking Dead, so coming here was us being two of Rick’s people.


FREMANTLE PRISON. This one, on the other hand, is Resident Evil. Minus the safety nets which were placed there to prevent suicides.




FREMANTLE PRISON. This place was a minimum to maximum security prison. For convicts under maximum security, the cells were usually ‘personalized’ based on how each prisoner would most likely escape. 




FREMANTLE PRISON. Four toilets for around 600 prisoners. 






FREMANTLE PRISON CHAPEL. This Chapel was built in the later years. It was built the same way other chapels were built. What was interesting here was what was written in The 10 Commandments of God. Usually, people write “Thou shalt not kill.” In this chapel, though, the prisoners wrote “Thou shalt do no murder” to avoid offending the military who were trained to kill.

To Brisbane (BNE)


PERTH AIRPORT. I am getting fond of taking pictures of boarding passes and tickets. A documentation of sort. I’ve kept my bus tickets almost everytime I traveled by bus and glued them when they matter. I kept my tickets to and from Baguio City and pasted them on my diary. It was one of the most important trips I’ve had. I kept my first ever bus ticket to Manila when I finally moved back to Baler. I keep those that mark important chapters of my life. I have always been a hoarder of things I like, but have always wasted them in the end for staying unused or even forgotten. Right now my addiction is in memories. I am a hoarder of my own memories. This one I shall add to my collection of invaluable yet valuable clutter. It is a record of another solo trip to a foreign land I have yet to explore. I now take photos of important things, taking advantage of technology and having a back up memorabilia in digital format when I need it. You see, I sometimes play the role of an old granny in my mind. And in my head, I tell my grandchildren stories about my wonderful younger years and the scene usually starts off like, “this was my ticket when I went on a very special trip to…” and then I will go on narrating how those days were. – 07 January 2017


PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. I thought I should better take a souvenir photo of this trip, so I took this one. I could have cropped that guy from this photo, really, but I had to include him because this photograph tells me so many things about this day and this time of my life. And somehow I remember how it felt seeing him smiling at his phone (he was grinning, even) just when I really believed he was tired and all. – 07 January 2017