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By: Alyana Mahilum

I write because I have to

I write because I have to. If I don’t, I’ll get a failing grade. If that happens,

I’ll lose my scholarship. Then, of course, my parents will have to pay the tuition

fee. So, most probably, there will be a decrease of my allowance and that will

hurt me and my stomach. Not only will my system adjust to less glucose but also

I’ll struggle with disappointments and regrets that will lead me to think again of

all the past mistakes I’ve done and eventually, I’ll wake up everyday thinking

how great of a failure I am. All these things could negatively affect me which

could lead to worse possibilities like, lower self-esteem, stress, depression or

worse--suicide. So when I think about throwing a subject, I think about these

things and it has become my greatest motivation. Well, I don’t want lose my

breath in my own hands. Like, seriously. So that’s why I write.

As I started to write, at first, I was so impatient. I couldn’t wait for it to be

finished because it makes me tired and I get bored doing it and so I just wrote

anything that comes up to my mind and didn’t cared of anything beyond that. But

when I read for the first time my first piece, I was so devastated--that’s an

understatement of what I really felt. Then, I felt the need of revising it and little

by little, I started to figure things out and I started to really understand my piece

and slowly, I fell in love with the feeling of being able to express myself through

words. From that moment on, I started to develop the desire to write even without

the necessity to and though I got a score just a little bit above the passing score

from that piece, there was that indescribable feeling of satisfaction of being able
to represent myself through that work and regardless of what I have gotten, I was


Now, still, I write because I have to but more than that, I write because I am

in love with it.

She was I

Grief--her eyes declared in distance

With a listless tick in alto echoing, ceaseless
She moved closer towards I
Familiar but published ne’er
Weary, she voiced, “even verdicts, you defy”
Then I’ve recognized she

Rare is she in mass

In seclusion can she be heeded
Dust wraps her nails, her clothes, rancid
Fatigued is her tear ducts, her epidermis, rough
Her being, unfed, her skin, sloughed
Then I wanted to fathom she

She was unnoticed and was abhorred

Hopeful was I to feel her or hear her voice
And I tried to
But I failed
Because she was I
So whatever that was I, prevailed

“Lie” a tender noise in alto echoed from the entrance. “Jacob!” I ran to him

even when the floors of what seemed to be an extension of heaven were as slippery as

how I define that word. I gave him a longing hug and from his grin, I knew, he was

happy to see me. “The results of your blood test came out and it seems like you will

have to stay here longer.” Jacob always tells me these words trying to look like he’s

fine with it but I knew, it breaks him inside. I wanted to tell him that I’m tired. I

wanted to walk out that door and see even just for a while what’s in there. “It’s okay.”

I replied. Trying to convince myself that it is. “Lie, I know. I know that staying in this

room for heaven knows till when and not knowing anyone but me makes you even

more sick” I felt bad that Jacob had no choice but to spend his entire life hoping that

the girl she loves will soon be able to get out of this room and spend the the rest of his

days with her. “Jacob, it’s alright.” I gave him a wink and a smile as if I don’t have

countless questions of what is on the outside, as if the thought of getting stuck here

forever doesn’t bother me. “I’m so sorry, Lie” Jacob said with his voice so hopeless

that it made a tear dropped from my eyes without permission. Jacob was always

cold—trying to act strong for me.

It was a Wednesday—horrible syringe days and the last that will be injected to

me always feels like it sucks out my energy that even breathing made me struggle. I

thought of that moment as a chance for escape. I could break Jacob’s arm and stick

that sharp needle to his skin and run. “Lie, I know this will hurt a bit but just hold me

and you’ll be okay.” I couldn’t do it. I wanted to get out but that means I have to go

against Jacob—to go against the only person I know and the only person who loves

me. I was trying to hide my thoughts but I knew Jacob noticed so I just let it out.
“Jacob, I want to be out of here.” I said, pleading—trying to stop him from

injecting that painful liquid but instead of listening, he punctured me with that sharp


Not a week after that talk, Jacob came back. “Lie, your blood test came out

and…” “it seems like you will have to stay here longer” I knew. I’ve memorized it.

“Jacob, I want to get out.” Jacob looked at me with his eyes enraged. He was furious

and I did not understand why. I was scared. “Lie, you know it’s dangerous. You know

it’s lethal and not only will you harm yourself but every person you’ll talk to.” “But

Jacob, you do not understand. I want to live. I want to feel something aside from the

sting of these syringes. I want to…” “It’s either you endure this or you’ll walk

through that door and see everyone die because of your selfishness.” Just right after

those words, I pushed Jacob to the door and before he could sting me with that needle

again, I did it to him instead. I sobbed, shaking, not knowing what to do next. I ran as

fast I could, as far as I could. And I did it. I was free.

Everything amazed me. Everyone in that broad space made me feel human

and there were many colors and I could stare at those forever. With my mind full of

bliss at that moment, my heart wept and I realized I couldn’t be happy without Jacob

and I couldn’t replace him with all of these things.

I decided to trace back where I went and on my way, there was this dirty gray

sheet that caught my eyes. I picked it up and tried to read it like I’ve read the labels in

my medicines. Fortunately, it entertained me. It was about a famous scientist who

became mad of inventions that he killed people for it. He was too passionate about his

Job that he became insane. Above the story was an old picture of him and to my

surprise, he was the only person I could recognize.

I love Jacob and I wont trade him for anything.
Buros ba?

Buros ba?

A play in one act

“Buros ba?” Character List

Mayet: An immature teenager who is in a relationship with Dongkoy.

Dongkoy: Mayet’s boyfriend who wants to get the baby (if there is) off
from Mayet’s womb. He is a happy-go-lucky person.

“We don’t always regret mistakes. We do them again sometimes”

Mayet and Dongkoy are in a relationship. One day, Mayet’s menstruation
was delayed. The two thought of seeing a quack doctor but they were not
able to know whether Mayet was pregnant or not. So, they prayed, hoping
that through their prayers, their problem would be resolved. With the same
experience, they heard a girl who was talking to someone in the phone.
They thought that this was God’s answer to their prayers causing them to
follow everything they heard from the phone call; only resulting them to
do the same mistake over again.
Buros ba?

(Sa text)

Mayet: LHaBz!? A$ah kAh KaRUn?…

Dongkoy: PhA-uLi pA LHaBz. Y LHaBz? GiMingAw naKa sA AkO LHaBZ?
Mayet: MaNaNagna GyUD kAh LHaBz noH??! MaTagNaan JhUd DayUn NiMo akONg
giBati LHabz buh!… TiMIng GyuD LHabZ wala si MaMuh ug PApUH ruN…
Mayet: LhUBz?…
Mayet: HUiii LhuBz!!!…
Mayet: LHUbZ?!!! A$aH naKah???!!!…

(Naay nanuktok sa purtahan)

Mayet: Lhubz? Ikaw na na?

(Walay nitubag)

Mayet: Lhubz?

(Wala gihapoy nitubag. Nitindog si Mayet ug niadto dapit sa purtahan.)

Mayet: Lhubz! Ayaw na pag effort. Nawong palang nimo daan, angay na

(Gi abrihan ni Mayet ang purtahan. Apan walay tawo sa gawas niini.)

Mayet: (Naglingi-lingi sa ngit-ngit nga palibot) Lhubz ba! Asa ka ba!Pakita

na! Wala nako nalipay!

(Nikalit ra ug abri ang purtahan ug…)

Dongkoy: (Nagdala ug tulo ka kwek-kwek) Surprise!

Mayet: (Nahuwasan sa kahadlok. Ni aksyon ug kasuko apan nakita ang kwek2

ug wala nalang gidayon) Ikaw jud Lhabz ba! Nahadlok baya ko. Abi nakog
naa nay dili ingon nato diri. Asa ka dapit nisuksok sa gawas?

Dongkoy: Lhabz, basig nakalimot ka nga talent nako nang ma-imbisibol sa

ngitngit. Sige na, nagdala kog kwek-kwek para sa imo. Tulo gyud na para
I love you. Sorry Lhabz. (Gigakus si Mayet)

Mayet: I love you too my Lhabz. Mahadlok man kog abat pero mas mahadlok
gihapon ko nga mawala ka.

(Nilingkod sila sa kan-anan ug gikaon ang kwek-kwek.)

Dongkoy: Lhabz, naay problema? Murag naguol man ka?

Mayet: Lhabz, ayawg kakurat ha? duda nako, buntis ko.

Dongkoy: (Nakuratan) Ha? Lhabz! Sigurado ka ana? (Naguol) Labz, dili pa

pwede. Labaw na run, kinahanglan pa nako sameran akong mga bagsak.
(Nalisang) Ma GG gyud kog samot ani kang Tatay. Lhabz, dili gyud ni pwede.

Mayet: (Nagsugod ug hilak) Lhabz, “duda” lang gani diba? Paita ba anang
utoka Lhabz oy!

Dongkoy: Pag-ilis ug tarong. Manglakaw ta.

(Nisunod si Mayet sa giingon ug nanglakaw sila.)

Mayet: Lhabz, unsa mani diri? Kahadlok ba aning dapita. Lhabz, ayawg buhi
ha. Mahadlok baya ko mawala ko. (Pause) Pero mas mahadlok ko kung mawala

Dongkoy: (ni-smile) Ayawg kabalaka Lhabz, Dili ikaw o ako ang mawala, kung
dili kanang sulod sa imong tiyan. Ig naa man.

Mayet: (Nabalaka) Ha? Lhabz! Dili baya ko naga tuo-tuo ug ingani. Mag adto
nalang tas doktor Lhabz! Mahadlok ko Lhabz!

Dongkoy: Lhabz, salig lang sa akoa. Dili lagi ka ma-unsa.

Mayet: (gaduha-duha) Ha? Sige…

(Nanuktok si Dongkoy ika-tulo)

Dongkoy: Ayoooo! Manang Koring! Si Dongkoy kani.

Manang Koring: (Ni-ubo ika-tulo) Sulod.

(Nisulod si Mayet ug Dongkoy ug nilingkod sa sopa. Nilingkod si Manang

Koring sa ilang atubangan.)

Manang Koring: Unsa man inyong kinahanglan?

Mayet: (Pa-honghong) Lhabz, muoli na ta. Hadlok kaayo siyag nawong.


Manang Koring: Ikaw nga babaye naay pagka-arisgada. Ug ikaw, Dongkoy,

adarit ra nang agi nimo. Kabalo kong gidudahan ninyo nga buros ning babaye.
Kanus-a ninyo gibuhat?

Mayet: (Nasuko) Hala! Kakuyaw ba nimo mangis---

Dongkoy: (Gitabunan ang baba ni Mayet) Atong niaging semana, Manang Koring.
(Kay Mayet) Paghilom sa Lhabz, palihog. Paminaw nalang.

(Nihilom si Mayet ug nagpahipi nalang)

Manang Koring: (Naay gipanglitok sa di masabtang linggwahe ug nag

nagluwa-luwa ug ginagmay sa nawong ni Mayet ug Dongkoy)Sa pagka karon,
di pa mabasa sa akong mga kamot ug naa bay galihok sa imong tiyan. Balik
lang sa sulod adlaw ug akong ikompirma ug naa ba o wala.

Dongkoy: Pero manang Koring, kinahanglan gyud namo karon mahibal-an!

Manang Koring: Tungod sa inyong kagahig-ulo, kamo nangalisang karon.

Panglakaw na kamo ug pagpatuo.

Dongkoy: Manang Koring…

Manang Koring: Lakaw na kamo!

Dongkoy: Manang Koring, kung di nimo mahatag sa amoa ang tubag karon,
tabangi nalang kami sa laing pamaagi.

Manang Koring: Ug sa unsang pamaagi aber?

Dongkoy: Numero nalang sa Lasto Manang Koring. Last naman gud ni among
kwarta pangbayad nimo.
Manang Koring: (Nasuko) Uli!

(Nigawas si Mayet ug Dongkoy sa balay ni Manang Koring)

Mayet: Unsaon nalang man nato ni lhabz nga walay klaro man tong mga
gipang-ingon sa mananambal or manghuhula ba to?

Dongkoy: Lagi lhabz, kasayang lang jud sakong wawertz dzuh. Wa na tay mahimo
ani kundi ipangadyi nalang jud na dili mabundat ng imong tiyan.

Mayet: Mangadto nalang siguro tag simbahan lhabz. Ihalad nato ning
kahimtanga sa Ginoo.

(Nangadto si Mayet ug Dongkoy sa simbahan ug mipwesto sa pinaka atubangang

lingkuranan, paduol sa altar. Niluhod ang duha ug nagsugod mag-ampo.)

Mayet ug Dongkoy: Sa ngalan sa Amahan, sa Anak, sa Espiritu Santo…

Mayet: Ginoo, kaluy-i kami saamong salang gihimo. Palihug paminawa ning
among pag-ampo kay dili na gayud kami mag usab.

Dongkoy: Ginoo, pasaylua ko kay tawo raman ko na ma tintal jud sa mga di

mapugngang butang sama sa jeena ni Mayet.

Mayet: Ug ako man Ginoo na nagpadala sakong emosyon na nagdahom makatilaw

sa kalami sang junnie ni Dongkoy. Kung sa sunod man gani na mahitabo pa
ning butanga, maypa putlon nalang Nimo palihog nang junnie ni Dongkoy bag-o
pa man na mutindog kay mangitag masudlan.

Dongkoy: Agay kasakit! Mao nang dili na unta muabot ang panahong mahitabo
nang butanga, Ginoo. Padugua nalang gayud ang jeena ni Mayet. Batan-on
paming duha ug sa kadaghan pa samong mga dapat buhaton sa skwela ug balay
samong mga maguwang, nag dungag dungag ra ni samong responsibilidad.

Mayet: Sa panahon karon, lisod na magtindog ug pamilya, sa kadaghang

palitunon ug uban pang gastuhunon,dili ni basta basta madalag gugma, unsaon
pa man kakusog.

Dongkoy: Ginoo, kaluy-i kami.

Mayet: Ginoo, tabangi kami.

Dongkoy: Kami namalihog ug nangadyi. Sa ngalan ni Hesu Kristo, anak sa


Mayet ug Dongkoy: Sa ngalan sa Amahan, sa Anak, Sa Espiritu Santo, Amen.

(Nigawas sa simbahan si Mayet ug Dongkoy ug sa mismong purtahan, sila

nakakitag aligagang babaye nga naay kaistorya sa iyang cellphone.)

Babaye: Badet, duha na gyud kabulan, wa pa jud ko gidugo. Paunsaon nako

ipahibalo sakong mama? Panindigan kaha ko ani sakong uyab? Wa na ko kabalo
sakong himuon intawon.
(Nibagting ni kay Mayet ug Dongkoy sa ilang pagkadungog mao nang nihinay
sila sa ilang paglakaw ug nagpaduol gamay sa babaye kay naminaw sa
gistoryahan niya sa cellphone.)

Babaye: Sige, wa na koy labot mugana ba’g dili nang imong nisip. Basta
ingna lang kay buhaton nako ang tanan dug-on lang kog balik.

(Nikuhag bolpen ug papel ang babaye arun ilista ang mga ginapang ingon
sa iyang kaistorya sa cellphone.)

Babaye: O, sige, pagyawyaw dira kay akoang ilista. Sige una, muinom ug
daghang beer. Unsa? Red horse? Tanduay? Tanduay kay mas barato? Sige,
Tanduay. Tapos? Lima ka buok? Sige. Tapos muambak ko para dug-on na jud
ko for sure? Sige Badet! Mupalit nako karon dayon. Kung kini man ang
makasulbad sakong problema, buhaton jud nako. Salamat dzai!

(Paspas na nihawa ang babaye sa purtahan sa simbahan ug nagtinan away si

Mayet ug Dongkoy.)

Dongkoy: Lhabz! Basig mao na ning tubag sa Ginoo! Magdali kita ug mupalit
pud. Pulo ka Tanduay.

Mayet: Pulo gayud? Lima lang man tong ating nadunggan lhabz.

Dongkoy: Aw, mag inom nalang kitang duha ug tabangan tika mag ambak ambak.
Lima lima kitang duha!

Mayet: Sige, ato nalang suwayan. Unta kini na ang makasulbad sa atong

(Nihawa si Mayet ug Dongkoy ug ni-adto sa tindahan ni Manang Bukday nga

naa ra sa atubangan sa balay nila Mayet)

Dongkoy: Ayoooo!

Dodoy: Unsa man?

Dongkoy: Uy doy, aha man imong mama?

Dodoy: Mamalit ka o mangita sa akong mama?

Mayet: Doy, pulo ka imnunon.

Dongkoy: Red Horse, naa?

Dodoy: Wala, Tanduay ra. Lapad o longnik?

Dongkoy: (Nasuko) lapad ra. Dalia!

Dodoy: Magyawyaw ka o magbayad?

(Gibundak ni Dongkoy ang bayad. Gihatag ni Dodoy ang Tanduay ug nagkatawa

ug ni adto na ang mag-uyab sa balay nila Mayet.)
(Padulong sa balay nila Mayet…)

Mayet: Lhabz, ka-init ba nimo ug ulo karon uy!Kabalo man kang gara-garaon
ra gyud na si Dodoy. Unsay problema?

Dongkoy: Wala Lhabz,naguol lang ko sa mga posibleng mahitabo. Tara Lhabz,

Ato nang sugdan.

(Miadto si Mayet ug Dongkoy sa sala ug milingkod sa sopa.)

Mayet: Lhabz, para mas dali, dungan nalang tang duha mag-inom. Sabayi
nalang pud kog ambak ambak.

Dongkoy: Sige Lhabz, pero kayanun kaha nimo?

Mayet: Oo lhabz, ako pa? Kayanun gayud kini kay mao ning tubag sa Diyos
sa atong mga gipang ampo. Mao nang dili na ta magdugay ug magsugod na samtang
wala pa sina Mamuh ug Papuh.

Dongkoy: Sige, isa, duha, tulo!

(Gi abrihan ni Dongkoy sabay ang pulo ka Tnaduay ug nagsugod na sila



(Nagtingog ang alarm sa cellphone ni Mayet ug nimata kini para palungon

ang alingugngog nga tingog. Nakurat siya pagkita nga nagtapad sila ni
Dongkoy sa pagtuwog nga way saplot.)
I’ll Write More!

As I ventured out the world of writing and revising, I have not only improved my

skills in it but I also had the time to know my self deeper. For all of the pieces I have

made, there were people and experiences that inspired me to do it. I wrote the poem

“She was I” as a reflection of how I see myself., the character of Lie was inspired by

my mother who endured all the pain and chose not to live blissfully just to give us the

life we have now and the story “Buros Ba?” was inspired by teenage struggles that I,

together with my group mates, Christi Sia and Norhadia Mindo have observed which

has become one of the phenomena that needs urgent solutions today. When writing all

of those, I have realized a lot of things but the greatest of all those realizations was

that in all the things I do, I must put my heart in it.

My journey in this subject was full of plot twists and unexpected comebacks and

when making the revisions, I remembered all the lessons I learned throughout that

journey--both in class and outside classrooms and it made me realize greater things

and made me even want to write more.

Writing is more than just putting words together and making sense out of it. It’s

actually pouring your heart out, giving yourself an outlet for your pain, happiness,

regrets, etc. And inspiring other people from all of those and see yourself grow not

only as a writer but also as an individual--rooting for change--for the better.