welcome to my world!

Hi, I’m Jill! I’m a 3rd year Filipino Mass Media Student in DLSU. I like to write, make videos, take pictures, watch movies, read books and explore the world. In my spare time, I try to write as much as I can and unleash my own creativity. This is a little portfolio of my writings, musings and reflections about my thoughts and experiences.

When healing is difficult

We all want to heal from pain, but what if we’re not ready to?

May 2, 2020

After several weeks of having therapy and ugly cries at sessions, I felt okay. At least I thought I was okay, but I was wrong. My therapist told me that my mood was still low — I was crying the whole session and having difficulty explaining my thoughts. But I expected it because depression isn’t something you can just “snap out of” after several weeks of drinking meds.

I got diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety early of January. It has been an endless battle of sleepless nights — spiraling thoughts, ruminating, aches and pains, several crying episodes and missing school days. I was literally at my lowest — what most don’t realize is that depression isn’t just a mental illness, it’s also physical. I felt so tired all the time, even with a simple activity such as walking from my dorm to school (which was just across each other) made me really exhausted. My mood was really low, nothing could cheer me up. I barely talked to my friends because listening and keeping up with the conversation was overwhelming and tiring. I barely ate — the most I’d eat were two meals per day and not even a whole meal. I was always in bed, listening to music to turn down the noise in my head.

Life was awful and colorless. I felt like a ghost passing through time — merely surviving and just getting through the day. I didn’t get to enjoy anything, even watching a movie or being with people was simply not fun anymore. In short, I felt like life was pointless. There was no point for me to live anymore because everything was just dull and dark. It’s like walking through a dark tunnel, not knowing if you’ll find light at the end.

But things didn’t get easier after several weeks and months of therapy. I thought that after therapy, I’d get better, or that my life would return to normal. But now, I don’t even know what normal is. When I feel lighter than usual, I ask myself, “is this what being normal is?” I mourned the person I was before depression. I mourned for the days that were brighter and clearer. I mourned for the person who can handle anything that’s given to her, because now, I’m the exact opposite of that.

There’s plenty of reasons to hate depression and most especially to hate yourself. There were countless moments I’d blame myself for everything, thinking that depression was my fault. But like what my therapist said, “It’s a medical condition, it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain. Though it’s in you, it’s not you”. There were even instances that I hated going to therapy because I felt like I was wasting my therapist’s time or that it’s not even working — the meds, the strategies, the coping tools. I would purposely not drink my meds because I was afraid they weren’t working or they were simply suppressing the inner pain I was feeling. I wanted the pain to be tangible, so I resorted to harming myself — which became addictive. Along with that came suicidal thoughts/ideation.

I always have this urge to inflict pain upon myself because I don’t believe that I deserve to be loved and ultimately, to heal. Whenever I see quotes about healing, self-care and self-love, I would automatically neglect it. I feel like I’m not worthy of healing or that it’s impossible. I’ve heard stories of friends and other people saying that things get better. I want to believe them, but it’s difficult. It’s impossible to have hope when you have a hopeless mind.

I want to heal, badly actually. But I guess healing is another journey for me. It’s not healing from the pain, but I guess accepting it for what it is. It’s not, not feeling pain or sadness, but having brighter days in between. Ultimately, it’s wanting healing for myself, despite being uncomfortable with it.

I’ve been in therapy for the past four months and I know that it’s going to be a long journey. But I’m grateful that I reached out for help. To be honest, if I didn’t I would have been gone now (I’m serious). For now, I’ll focus on making my mood stable and face it one day at a time. After all healing doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a journey we’re bound to discover. It’s a path we’re meant to choose and want for ourselves, because we all deserve it.

The truth about depression

It’s like living the worst day of your life everyday

May 17, 2020

Today, my cousin passed away after suffering from depression, ADHD, anxiety and drug addiction. He overdosed on Xanax and morphine — with hopes of ending the pain inside him. I received the news from my mom because she knew I was the right person to tell. She knew I understood what he was going through — that suicide in the mind of depressives is an escape, an end to the pain we’re suffering from. Suicide is not an excuse or a call for attention, at times, it is the only way to have peace with ourselves.

As a person suffering from severe depression, I am deeply affected by my cousin’s passing. I do not blame him, but I empathize with him. I am relieved that he’s in a better place now and finally resting. I, too, struggle with suicidal thoughts often. I find myself thinking of ways to end my life just to make the thoughts stop and free myself from the intangible pain. What sucks about depression, mental illnesses in general, is that it’s invisible. Nobody knows what’s in your mind most of the time. You could be laughing from ear-to-ear or enjoying the company of others, but interiorly, you’re falling apart. It doesn’t mean that when someone looks happy, they are.

Depression is not an illness you can just “snap out of” or “pray for” and then it goes away. There is no happy pill or a magical remedy. It’s a lifetime illness that cripples and eats you from the inside. It’s an everyday battle with your mind, constantly telling you negative thoughts such as — you’re not good enough, you’re worthless, it’s your fault, you don’t deserve to be loved. It’s the kind that keeps you awake at night, analyzing every action and decision you’ve made in the past thinking that all of it was a mistake.

Having depression is like carrying an umbrella everywhere waiting for the rain or having a dark cloud above you. It’s literally seeing the world gray as if all of life’s color has been washed away. It’s constantly battling with yourself everyday — more like, living the worst day of your life repeatedly.

Sometimes, it’s faking a smile or trying to keep yourself busy only to find yourself breaking down in the bathroom floor at the end of the day. Some days, it’s finding yourself crying constantly until your eyes hurt or sometimes, feeling numb like a rock. It’s not tasting the good in food and eating simply becomes a means for survival or binge eating to ease the pain inside. It’s reading a book and getting stuck in the same line, realizing you actually don’t understand it. It’s watching a movie without enjoying it. I remember opting to watch horror movies instead of the usual rom-com just to be able to feel something.

Depression makes you feel not only lonely, but alone. It’s achingly painful how much you want company — a hug from a friend or family, but at the same time, being suffocated by their presence. It’s feeling alone in a room with your favorite people. Sometimes, it’s pushing people away to protect them from your depressed self.
It’s sitting quietly in the dinner table, having an internal argument with yourself whether you should speak or not because you’re afraid you might say something wrong or that it won’t matter. Sometimes it’s just listening to your friends and family’s conversations trying to follow and understand them.

Depression also makes you physically fatigued. The most difficult part of the day is getting out of bed. You feel like there’s a massive weight in your chest and your legs have lead — everything is heavy. It’s constantly having a heavy heart and a lump in your throat — the sensation you feel when you hold back tears and it continues to grow even when you swallow it down. You haven’t started the day and you’re already tired. Sometimes, when the sun rises, that’s the only time you’ll be able to sleep after tirelessly ruminating the entire night. Somedays, you won’t even get any sleep at all, it’s already a miracle to sleep for three hours.

Battling with depression makes you realize how long the seconds, minutes and hours of everyday are. Everyday, your only goal is to get through the day and make it out alive. But there are days too that you wish you didn’t have to go through another. Everyday, I wished that I didn’t have to wake up or see another because I was so tired. And really, sometimes you just want to give up, to disappear — to escape.

Depression is not only a mental illness, it is also physical. It affects the entire person, our view of life, ourselves and our relationships. The stigma on mental illness pains me because only few people understand what we really go through. I just hope that people would make an effort to be educated on what it’s really about. At the end of the day, what we really need are people who are willing to listen and understand us.

Sometimes, encouraging words may help, but ensuring us your presence is more than enough. It’s the touch and the warmth of your love that will remind us that there are better days ahead.
I guess the reason why I’m heavily affected by my cousin’s passing is because I feel his pain. I know the struggle to survive everyday and not understand the reason why we have to or how difficult it is to keep your head above the water. I, too, long for that rest and peace.

Although he chose to rest, I know that, that is what he needed. I will forever be proud of the days he lived and his strength for pulling through. Depression is definitely not an easy battle. I cannot guarantee that I will win over it, but I will try to, for him.

Life in the eyes of a depressive

What does happy feel like?

June 11, 2020

I can barely remember what happy looks like. Ever since depression came, the lens I see life through is black. I can’t explain what that means, but picture this: seeing moments of your life faded and gloomy. The happy days like 7th birthdays, birth of a sibling, wedding or any memory look and feel gray. It’s like seeing old photographs of long-forgotten events, but what remains is that nostalgic feeling that those are just memories.

That’s what living with depression feels like. Life — that is so diverse and colorful, suddenly becomes so bleak. It’s difficult to distinguish black from white because in the eyes of a depressive, everything is just black. What you used to look forward to, such as plans, dreams, and goals all become too far away to reach. Soon, you forget about them and they become pointless. When you have depression, it feels like being a ghost — passing through walls and not really knowing where you’re headed. You come across different paths but at the end of the day, you find yourself lost and trapped. But mostly, you don’t really know what life has in store for you. Like how J.K. Rowling described it — depression is like a dementor that sucks the life out of you, leaving you not only with sadness or despair, but empty and without hope.

I never knew my life would change drastically after being succumbed by depression. Recalling happy days is an effort rather than something natural. It’s like looking through murky water — blurry and disfigured, failing to find what you’re looking for. Living became a challenge, a daily battle you have to conquer. Everyday, you fight the negative thoughts in your mind — hoping that at this particular moment, they don’t win. But unfortunately, not all battles are won, because most days, depression wins and you’re left spiraling again and the cycle repeats itself.

It is tiring to pull yourself out of its shell over and over again. After getting back up, you see depression at the corner of your eye, waiting for it to embrace you in its arms. Sometimes, you don’t fight anymore to get out because depression will always be in your life anyway. I know some people heal and are in a better place despite depression. But mental illness is a lifelong battle we carry with us throughout our existence. Depression comes in a certain time in our life, leaves briefly, but comes back right after.

Sometimes, we’re lucky to have brief moments of bright and lighter days — which we try to hold on to when the black dog comes back. We try to tuck in our dreams the good old days when life was beautiful and we were happy. We try to fit those moments into our tainted memory, hoping that that would be enough to offer us hope to live again. Some days, we try to recall again what happy feels like such as allowing ourselves to laugh a little louder or by simply smiling. But we know that those efforts are not enough to banish the black dog because everywhere we go, it follows.

So, how does healing look like for us depressives? At this point, honestly, I am still trying to figure it out. I’m not the best person to ask because I’ve only began in this battle. But as far as I know, healing for me, entails having small victories everyday — getting out of bed, showering, eating and staying alive. At first, I thought those were easy, but to tell you the truth, it is so difficult. I learned that for healing to truly happen, we have to want and choose it for ourselves. Now, I’m still journeying through choosing it for myself and believing that I deserve it.

I think that every depressive battles with choosing healing for themselves. We often think that we don’t deserve enough or the good because of the person depression has caused us to become. Depression distorts how we see ourselves — we don’t remember who we are before and after the illness. All we see is a shadow of ourself — broken and lost. Thus, we always find a way to blame ourselves for our pain. We fail to see that we’re good people who deserve a chance at life as much as everyone else. We see ourselves as a burden, someone not worthy of being loved and cared for. And its true, sometimes we choose to just disappear and escape from the world. We listen to the thoughts — the lies, and give ourselves what we believe we deserve because we’re just so damn tired.

But no matter how difficult everyday gets, we try to fight a little harder, even if fighting is the only way we know. But fighting gets exhausting too, especially since we’ve been doing it our whole life. If ever we do choose to lose, we hope that you remember us for the days we’ve conquered and not for the battle we failed to win. After all, life isn’t just about the happy moments or how vividly we remember wearing that smile. It’s also about the struggle and pain in between — a reality we’ve learned to realize and accept through our illness.

On the same page

Living with mental illness in the pandemic

October 13, 2020

The other day I had a video call with a stranger. Well, she’s not really a stranger because I know her name, but nonetheless, she’s a stranger (to me, at least) because we’ve never met. I had the sudden urge to talk to someone else aside from my family and friends because I wanted to experience what it would be like to talk to someone about the thoughts circling in my head. I wanted someone different for a change — hoping that it would be easier for me to say the things I want to.

The first five minutes of the call were silent. My throat started getting heavy and I felt anxiety creep up on me. At that moment, all the things I wanted to say disappeared and I was speechless. I kept rambling, trying to excuse myself, just so that I could fill up the deafening silence between us. I wanted to retreat and bury myself in my bed, but there’s no turning back. So I mustered all that I could and initiated the conversation (since I was the one who asked for it). Half the time, I didn’t understand what I was saying and didn’t even know where my purpose for sharing it was going. I felt so disappointed in myself because I couldn’t muster up the courage to say the things I wanted to.

It’s an aching feeling — to be held back from saying something you desperately want to. The thoughts continue to circle your mind, sometimes, they’re screaming right at you. You feel it at the tip of your tongue, but instead, you swallow it back into your system until it becomes impossible for you to say it. I don’t know if it was just my anxiety and depression making me create a wall between connecting, but maybe it’s also the effect of this pandemic.

During the first few months of quarantine, I was relieved and happy to be home — no outside stressors and a break from the daily grind. But as the days turned into weeks and those turned into months, I felt loneliness descend upon me. It’s terrifying how I can feel it in my bones — in the heaviness of my limbs whenever I try to get up from my bed and start the day. It’s also in my worn out shoulders that carry everyday’s burden and my strained eyes from the 24/7 exposure to online screens.

I felt depression in the corner of my room, slowly re-inserting itself and making its presence felt. I wasn’t surprised but nonetheless, I was disappointed. The thing about the new normal or being in constant isolation is it makes you feel invisible or you don’t occupy space. It becomes more difficult to see and acknowledge your efforts and accomplishments because of the lack of physical interaction. No matter how much you try to reach out to your friends and colleagues or simply do work, it feels as if it’s not enough. There’s not that much outside validation, feedback, and interaction you receive aside from comments and reactions in your post.

If there’s one thing I’ve realized for the past 211 days of quarantine, it’s that nothing can replace human touch. As much as how lonely and hopeless I’ve become inside the shell of my own depression, I’m growing to realize that people around the world feel it too. We just don’t admit or recognize it, but deep inside, we’re terribly lonely. We miss the outside world — walking in the streets while admiring everyday sceneries, hugging friends and hanging out, traveling, watching movies in the cinema, breathing the air, or simply holding hands with our loved ones.

It’s the physical touch of the world, of each other that we deeply miss — and nothing can replace that. It’s what makes us feel alive, seen and valued. It’s what allows us to not have guilt for filling in a space in the room. It was all these things that I yearned for when I had a call with that stranger. I realized how much I wanted to be understood, held and comforted. I wanted to be needed and remembered because slowly, I was feeling invisible and small. I wanted someone — even a stranger, to make me feel alive and remind me that I am awake, I am here.

As I’m writing down these thoughts, I’ve grown to realize how all of us yearn for this too. For the first time, we’re all on the same page. I’m just trying to remind myself amidst this despair and loneliness I feel because of my mental illness that I am not alone. Somewhere in the middle of the world, another person is feeling small and invisible too. Maybe, that stranger I was speaking to, was also yearning for connection and longing to be found.

My mind still can’t fathom how difficult connection has become for us because of the new normal. I’m learning to believe and see how life-altering this year has been for all of us. Despite the countless events that occurred this year, it reminds us how desperately we want to live. I believe these past eight months have been days of growth and self-reflection — of being awakened and re-awakened into the life we were born. It sure wasn’t easy and will continue to not be, but for the first time, I’m accepting that fact. I hope you will too. I can’t wait for the day we will all step outside and meet the world with our new pair of lenses. Just hang in there, stranger or should I say, friend. We will see each other again, soon.

Hello, Love, Goodbye: Paalam bilang Panibagong Yugto ng Buhay

July 7, 2020

May mga lugar sa mundo na pansamantalang tinitigilan ngunit iilan ang itinuturing tahanan. May mga tao tayong nakakasalubong sa daan ngunit iilan lang ang nananatili panghabambuhay. Ipininta ni Cathy Garcia Molina sa pelikulang, Hello, Love, Goodbye ang karanasan ng mga OFW sa Hong Kong. Inilantad ang buhay nina Joy (Kathryn Bernardo) isang domestic helper at Ethan (Alden Richards) isang bartender. Matutuklasang magkaiba ang pananaw nina Joy at Ethan sa buhay. Inilarawan si Joy bilang tipikal na OFW nagsusumikap kumita para sa pamilya - suma-sideline sa Central tuwing Linggo, nagbebenta ng iba’t ibang produkto katulad ng powerbank (kahit ilegal) at nagtatrabaho bilang domestic helper. Lahat ito, pinagsasabay niya upang makaipon din ng pera papuntang Canada. Kabaligtaran naman si Ethan dahil sa kanyang pagiging happy-go-lucky tila, walang direksyon sa buhay.

Pinagtagpo ang dalawa ng kanilang magkasalungat na pananaw sa buhay. Natuto sila mula sa karanasan ng isa’t isa at hindi nagtagal, nagbunga sa isang relasyon. Sa pagsasama nina Joy at Ethan, natuklasan nilang para sa kanilang dalawa, hindi libreng mangarap. Kapag pumili ka ng desisyon, may kapalaran kang bibitawan. Partikular ito sa buhay ni Joy na buong buhay inialay ang kanyang sarili at pangarap para sa kapakanan ng pamilya. Sinasalamin ng kanilang relasyon ang sentimyento ng kanilang buhay: mga desisyon, responsibilidad at pangarap. Maraming pagsubok ang dumating sa buhay ng dalawa at ito ang sumubok sa kanilang relasyon.

Hindi naglaon, kinailangan ni Joy pumili: pangarap o pag-ibig? Bagamat nakahanap siya ng pagmamahal at nahanap ang sarili, pinili niyang ipagpatuloy ang pangarap maging nars sa Canada. Kahit maiksi ang kanilang pagsasama, pinatunayan nilang hindi imposibleng magmahal. Walang sukat ang pagmamahal sa loob ng mundong puno ng alinlangan. Higit sa lahat, pinatunayan ng pelikula ang misteryo ng buhay - hindi ito nagtatapos sa paalam ngunit nagsisilbing daan para sa isang bagong simula.

Hazard: Paglalakbay sa Kalsada ng Buhay

July 20, 2020

Katumbas ng bawat desisyon ang isang kapalit. Hindi lahat ng bagay sa mundo maaring piliin dahil may mga bagay na kusang ipinagpapalit at binibitawan. Sabi nga ng iilan, maihahalintulad ang buhay sa kalsada. Maraming pasikot-sikot at maaring puntahan ngunit iisa lang ang destinasyon. Lahat tayo, may kanya-kanyang tinatahak na landas sa buhay ngunit hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon, alam natin ang tamang daan. Minsan, naliligaw at nawawala tayo, tinatantya ang bawat kilos upang makabalik sa patutunguhan.

Malinaw na inilarawan ang kalsada bilang buhay sa pelikulang Hazard ni Mikhail Red. Umikot ang kwento sa relasyon ng mag-ama habang tinuturuan ni Archi (Archie Adamos) ang kanyang anak na lalaki (Byron Manasan) paano magmaneho. Sabi ni Archi, sa pagmamaneho, kailangang maging maingat at huwag magmadali dahil puno ng alinlangan ang kalsada. Kailangan marunong magbanta at gamitin ang hazard bilang signal sa mga pagkakataong kinakailangan. Sa kanilang pasikot-sikot sa libilib na siyudad, may natagpuan silang kotse na naglalaman ng patay na lalaki. Matagal na nagtalo ang mag-ama sa kung anong gagawin sa bangkay. Hindi naglaon, nasunod ang plano ni Archi sa pangangatwirang siya ang matanda at mas nakakaalam sa sitwasyon.

Sa likod ng kamera

Hindi pangkaraniwan ang ginamit na pagsasalaysay ni Red sa kwento ng mag-ama. Sa una pa lang na eksena, may ikinukubli nang misteryo ang pelikula. Mapapansin ito sa relasyon ni Archi at ng binata dahil hindi sila nagkakasundo sa maraming bagay at magkaiba ng paniniwala sa buhay. Tila sa mismong pananaw tungkol sa pagmamaneho ng kotse, hindi nagkakaisa ang dalawa. Maliban sa relasyon ng mag-ama, malaki rin ang impluwensya ng ginamit na lokasyon para sa pelikula. Naglakbay ang dalawa papunta sa isang liblib na lugar - walang tao rito, puro talahib at taniman ang makikita sa paligid. Kaya’t sa mata ng manonood, nakapagtataka kung bakit sa dinami-raming lugar, ito ang napiling lugar ni Archi para turuang magmaneho ang kanyang anak. Kapansin-pansin din ang paggamit ni Red ng black at white na estilo sa pelikula. Ito ang nagbalot ng misteryo at nagtakda sa magiging tono ng pelikula. Sa pagbubukas pa lang ng pelikula, madadama na isa itong drama sapagkat seryoso ang tono at paksa ng pag-uusap ng mag-ama.

Ayon sa ilang manlilikha ng pelikula, ginagamit ang black at white na estilo upang mapakita ang pagbabalanse ng light at shade. Mapapansin ang contrast ng dalawang ito mula sa pagpoposisyon ng mga artista. Karaniwang nilalagay si Archi sa bahagi na may shade, upang ipakita ang misteryong dinadala ng kanyang karakter, habang nakatutok o nasisilawan ng ilaw ang kanyang anak dahil lantarang ipinapakita ang kanyang pananaw sa sitwasyon. Isang istratehiya rin ito ni Red upang ipakita ang contrast o pagkakaiba ng dalawang personalidad - na may mas malalim na pinatutunguhan sa huli ng pelikula. Maliban sa pagsisiwalat ng contrast, ginamit din ang black at white upang bigyang pokus ang nilalaman o mismong kwento ng pelikula. Dahil walang ibang kulay na ginamit, natutulungan nitong pagtuunan ng pansin ng mga manonood ang dalawang karakter at ang pag-uusap nila.

Ayon sa ilang manlilikha ng pelikula, ginagamit ang black at white na estilo upang mapakita ang pagbabalanse ng light at shade. Mapapansin ang contrast ng dalawang ito mula sa pagpoposisyon ng mga artista. Karaniwang nilalagay si Archi sa bahagi na may shade, upang ipakita ang misteryong dinadala ng kanyang karakter, habang nakatutok o nasisilawan ng ilaw ang kanyang anak dahil lantarang ipinapakita ang kanyang pananaw sa sitwasyon. Isang istratehiya rin ito ni Red upang ipakita ang contrast o pagkakaiba ng dalawang personalidad - na may mas malalim na pinatutunguhan sa huli ng pelikula. Maliban sa pagsisiwalat ng contrast, ginamit din ang black at white upang bigyang pokus ang nilalaman o mismong kwento ng pelikula. Dahil walang ibang kulay na ginamit, natutulungan nitong pagtuunan ng pansin ng mga manonood ang dalawang karakter at ang pag-uusap nila.

Paglalakbay sa mundo ng kalsada

Mabigat na nakatuon ang Hazard sa batuhan ng linya ng mag-ama sapagkat nilalaman nito ang mensahe ng pelikula. Dito rin nilakip ni Red ang koneksyon ng pamagat ng pelikula sa pinagdaanan ng mag-ama. Ginamit din ang black at white para bigyang pokus ang mahahalagang detalye at nilalaman ng pelikula katulad ng kotse, plaka ng “hazard”, bangkay, at baril. Sa black at white na estilo, karaniwang nilalagay sa frame ang sabjek at bakgrawn. Dahil isang crime-drama ang pelikula, ginamit din ng direktor ang black at white dahil nagpapahiwatig ito ng nostalgia, memorya at emosyon. Sa ilalim ng black at white i-screen, nagiging raw ang mga imaheng pinapakita dahil binibigyang pokus ng kamera ang reaksyon sa mukha ng mga artista.

Kilala si Red sa paggamit at paglalakip ng twist sa kanyang mga pelikula. Dahil ito ang kanyang unang maikling pelikula na ginawa at ibinida sa madla, agarang mapapansin ang kanyang natatanging estilo sa paglikha ng pelikula. Makikitang pinaglalaanan niya ng oras ang pagbibihis ng pelikula mula sa estilong ginagamit - black at white o colored, maging sa screenplay at production design. Bagamat pangkaraniwan lang ang kostyum na ginamit sa dalawang bidang karakter, mapapansin naman ang paghahandang ginawa sa pangalawang kotse at dalawang bangkay. Sa paraang ito, hindi nagiging isang pangkaraniwang pelikula ang Hazard tungkol sa paglalakbay ng mag-ama. Sa pamamagitan ng pagdaragdag ng elemento ng krimen, nag-iba ang takbo at tunguhin ng pelikula.

Hindi lamang ito nagsasalaysay sa karanasan ng mag-ama, ngunit iniimbitahan din ang manonood na pagnilayan ang kalsadang nilalakbay araw-araw - ang buhay. Sino nga ba ang mas nakakaalam sa daan - bata o matanda? Sino ang naglalakbay sa tamang direksyon at makararating sa patutunguhan? Ito ang mga katanungang inaanyahan ng pelikulang pag-isipan ng mga manonood. Bagamat hindi lantarang ipinakita, pinatunayan sa pelikulang hindi laging edad ang basehan kung sino ang mas nakakaalam. Humahantong ito sa ating indibidwal na desisyon dahil hindi araw-araw, may makakasalubong tayo sa daan. Kung mayroon, kabutihan ang ating ipakita at sikaping gawin ang tama - kahit maaring malagay ang sarili sa panganib. Dahil sa paglubog ng araw, iisang bagay ang mahalaga: ang kung paano natin lalakbayin ang kalsadang puno ng alinlangan.

‘Ang Nawawala' sa Indie Cinema: Kritika sa 'Burgis na Juvenalia, review of ‘Ang Nawawala' ni Rolando Tolentino

July 30, 2020

Kilala si Rolando Tolentino bilang batikang manunulat, manlilikha, propesor at dalubhasa sa larangan ng Mass Communication. Bilang mag-aaral ng Philippine Studies, mapalad akong mabasa ang kanyang mga sulatin at artikulo. Masaya akong matunghayan ang kritiko at rebyung ginawa niya sa pelikulang, Ang Nawawala ni Marie Jamora. Iba ang estilong ginamit ni Tolentino kumpara sa pormal na pagsusulat. Tila, sa pagbabasa ng kanyang blog na pinamagatang, Burgis na juvenalia, review of Ang Nawawala, natuklasan kong isang pangkaraniwang tao rin lang siya, katulad kong tumatangkilik at nanonood ng mga pelikulang Pilipino.

Sa katunayan, hindi ko pa napapanood ang pelikula, ngunit sa pagbabasa ng kritiko at rebyu ni Tolentino, nakuha ko ang pangunahing tema, mensahe at paksa ng pelikula. Bagamat gusto ko rin madanas at mapanood ang pelikula ni Jamora, isasantabi ko muna iyon para sa ibang pagkakataon. Sa ngayon, masasabi kong sapat na ang mga ideya at perspektibong inilatag ni Tolentino para pagnilayan ang pelikula. May ilang siyang inilatag na konsepto katulad ng nakatataas na uring maykaya na nakapokus sa mga kabataang pribilehiyo. Nakatuon ang pelikula para sa mga kabataang manonood dahil sa ginamit na naratibo, estilo ng cinematograpiya at paglalangkap ng musikang indie.

Matapos mapanood ang trailer at basahin ang kritiko ni Tolentino, kahawig ang kuwento, karakter at bihis ng pelikula sa dayuhang pelikula, The Perks of Being a Wallflower ni Stephen Chbosky. Umiinog din ito sa kabataang pribilehiyo at pagtuklas sa sarili at papel sa mundo ng pangunahing tauhan sa pamamagitan ng pagharap sa tinatakasang problema. Iba ang pormang ginamit ni Tolentino sa kanyang rebyu ng pelikula sapagkat mas binigyang pokus niya ang mga konseptong inilantad imbis sa pagbibigay kritisismo sa produksyon, tema, cinematograpiya, lighting, at musika. Binanggit niya ang mga elemento nang pahapyaw at iniugnay sa konsepto ng pribilehiyadong uri kung saan ginamit ang cinematograpiya at musika bilang pabango at palamuti ng pelikula.

Sa aspektong ito, sumasang-ayon akong na-romanticize ang buhay ng pribilehiyadong uri dahil maaring nalunod sa mga imaheng ito ang substansya ng pelikula. Tila, ginamit ng direktor ang elemento ng pelikula para ilarawan ang klase ng mundo at buhay ng isang kabataang maykaya. Sa aking palagay, walang masama mag-eksperimento at paglaruan ang paglikha ng pelikula sapagkat sa paraang ito, nagiging mas malikhain at awtentiko ang mga pelikula. Bagamat sinuri ni Tolentino ang pelikula sa lente ng kanyang henerasyon, marapat na balansehin din ito sa paggamit ng lente ng mga kabataan.

Nasa ika-21 siglo na tayo ngayon at patuloy na nag-iiba at nagbabago ang pamamaraan at konsepto dahil sa pag-usbong ng panibagong impormasyon. Tulad ng napansin ni Tolentino, totoong nag-iiba na ang pinapaksa at porma ng indie cinema sa kasalukuyan at nagkakaroon na rin ng baryasyon sa mga manonood at tagatangkilik nito. Bagamat may nakasanayang porma ng indie cinema, hindi dapat ikulong ang paksa nito sa buhay lamang ng mga nasa laylayan. Naniniwala akong tungkulin ng pelikula, hindi lamang ng indie cinema, ipakita ang buhay ng iba’t ibang hanay sa lipunan. Sa paraang ito, mas lalong mapapalawak ang kamalayan ng mga manonood lalo na ng mga kabataan.

Mga salita

by Janella Sayson

Natakot ako sa mga salita. Paulit-ulit niyang binabanggit ang linyang mahal kita. Natatandaan ko pa ang unang pagkakataon na sinabi niya ito. Nasa isang bar kami sa may Poblacion, mga alas tres na ng madaling araw habang, mahinang pinatutugtog ang kantang Huwag Mo Nang Itanong ng Eraserheads. Mahigit ilang taon na rin kami nagsasama ni Addy - nagsimula sa pagiging malapit na kaibigan, hanggang sa nauwi sa magkasintahan. Sa pagkakataong iyon, hindi ko inaasahang babanggitin niya ang mga salita. Pakiramdam ko kasi, hindi kailangang banggitin ito kung malinaw naman ito sa aming dalawa.

Ngunit, iba si Addy - para sa kanya, kapangyarihan ang mga salita. Sinasalamin daw nito ang nasa puso at isip ng isang tao. Sa pamamagitan ng mga salita, nagkakaroon ang isa ng boses at kakayahang maipahayag ang sarili. Bahagi na rin ito ng kanyang pagiging isang manunulat. Magaling si Addy sa mga salita at yun ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ako naakit sa kanya. Tila, sa mga simpleng salitang binibitawan niya, kaya niyang pawiin ang sakit, galit at mapatahan ang puso ko.

Minsan nga, iniisip ko na malaki ang pagkukulang ko sa relasyon namin kasi palaging si Addy ang nagsasalita. Siya ang madalas na nagdedesisyon, nagsisimula ng pag-uusap at siya ang palaging nagbibitiw ng mahal kita. Minsan din inisip ko, hindi ba siya napapagod o nagsasawang sabihin ang mga ito?

Habang humihigop ako ng tsaang mainit at kinakapa ang gilid ng tasa, may kaba at pag-aalinlangan sa aking puso. Mahigit limang taon na kami ni Addy at masasabi kong wala akong pinagsisihan sa limang taong iyon. Ngunit, parang may kulang. Binigay ni Addy sa akin lahat - sumulat pa nga siya ng aklat tungkol sa akin. Hindi niya nalilimutang banggitin ang mga salitang “mahal kita” araw-araw. Sa bawat pagsasama namin, pinalilibutan niya ang araw ko ng magaganda at mabulaklak na salita. Puro mga salita - buong relasyon namin, isang kwento ng salita. Si Addy at ang kanyang mga salita - ako.

Paulit-ulit na umiikot sa aking isipan kung totoo pa rin ba ang mga salitang, mahal kita. Lahat naman ng tao inaasam at gustong mahalin, sino ba ako para hindi tanggapin at gustuhin ito? Sabi nga nila, kapag paulit-ulit na sinasabi ang isang salita, unti-unting nawawala ang halaga at saysay nito. Pati rin ba sa pagmamahal? Siguro. Simula bata ako, lumaki ako sa isang tahanang puno ng pagmamahal. Araw-araw, naririnig ko ang aking mga magulang na nagpapalitan ng mahal kita sa isa’t isa. Para sa isang musmos na katulad ko, corny kapag nakikita mo ang nanay at tatay mo na nagsasabi ng ganitong mga salita. Siguro, para sa iba sweet o cute, ngunit para sa akin, hindi.

Ngunit dahilan ba ito para katakutan ko ang mahal kita mula kay Addy o ang mga salita? Sabi nga, mga salita lamang sila, tao pa rin ang may kapangyarihan upang gawin silang katotohanan. Makalipas ang ilang oras, dumating na si Addy at umupo sa aking harap. Naaaninag ko sa kanyang mukha ang pangamba at pag-aalinlangan, katulad ko. Itong mga nakalipas na araw, lumayo ako kay Addy, sapagkat pakiramdam ko, kailangan ko ng espasyo para hanapin ang aking mga salita. Para basagin ang katahimikan, tinawag ni Addy ang waiter at nag-order ng cafe americano - ang lagi niyang kinukuha tuwing nasa coffee shop kami. Sa unang pagkakataon, ako ang unang nagsalita.

“Addy, kailan ka mapapagod? Kailan ka bibitiw?” Hindi ko inakalang ito ang mga salitang lalabas mula sa aking bibig. Isang hindi magandang panimulang pagbati para sa aming dalawa ni Addy. Muli, nabalot ang aking puso ng takot at pangamba. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit pinipili ko maging tahimik, dahil natatakot ako sa aking sariling mga salita. Natatakot ako na baka mali ang aking sabihin. Sa pagkakataong ito, alam kong mali ang aking sinabi, dahil nakikita ko sa mukha ni Addy ang sakit at pagkalito.

Ngunit makalipas ang ilang minuto ng katahimikan, nagsalita si Addy. Kinabahan ako sa sasabihin niya. “Kapag nawalan na ng buhay ang mga salita.” Sa pagkakataong iyon, nagkaisa kami ni Addy ng pananaw. Pinaniwalaan ko siya at ang katotohanang pinanghahawakan niya. Ang manunulat - ang tao ang nagbibigay buhay sa mga salita. Bagamat naging isang salita ako sa aming kuwento, alam kong hindi ako mananatili bilang isang salita na lamang.

Huling liham

by Janella Sayson

Sa aking minamahal,

Ito na siguro ang huling liham na isusulat ko para sa iyo. Sa panahon natin ngayon, hindi na kumbensyonal sumulat, ngunit, naniniwala akong ito ang pinakamabisang paraan para ipahayag ang aking nararamdaman. May gusto akong sabihin sa iyo - isang katotohanan na matagal ko ng pinagtatakpan dahil ngayon ko lang din ito nalaman. Pinagtagpo tayo ng tadhana sa isang thrift shop o mas kilalang, ukay-ukay. Nandoon ako, aligaga sa pagpili ng mga murang damit na aking maaring isuot, pagkakitaan at ibenta. Habang ikaw, mukhang naligaw lamang at naakit ng mga nakasampay na t-shirt at pantalon.

Mahilig ako sa mga luma at sirang gamit na kailangang ayusin at tagpiin. Kaya’t matapos ang ating pagtatagpo, inayos at pinaganda ko ang blusang binili ko mula sa ukay-ukay. Ito ang sinuot ko sa una nating date (kung natatandaan mo pa). Masaya akong nahanap kita sa tindahang iyon sa Marikina dahil doon ko muli binuo ang aking sarili. Sa una nating pagsasama, alam kong magkakasundo agad tayo dahil sa halos lahat ng bagay, iisa tayo. Parehong nakasalamin, mahilig sa mga libro at kape, nasisiyahan manood ng iba’t ibang pelikula, paborito ang bicol express at marami pang iba. Ngunit sa dinami-rami ng ating pagkakatulad, parehas din tayong may pinagtatakpang nakaraan.

Natatandaan ko pa yung una mong sinabi sa akin ang mga kinatatakutan mo sa pagpasok sa isang relasyon dahil sa mga nakaraang karanasan mo. Maging sa iyong pamilya, hindi nagkakasundo ang iyong mga magulang at malimit na mag-away. Tahimik lamang akong nakikinig sa sakit na iyong dinadala, nag-iisip kung papaano kita matutulungan, mapapagtagpi kagaya ng mga damit na binili ko sa ukay-ukay. Sa mga panahong iyon, nababagabag din ang aking puso. Ilang buwan bago tayo nagtagpo, kakabalik ko lamang mula sa isang brain surgery dahil sa hindi inaasahang aksidente. Nabundol ng isang bus ang taxi na aking sinasakyan na humantong sa isang malubhang karamdaman. Sa awa ng Diyos, nabigyang lunas ang aking sakit. Ngunit matapos ang brain surgery at anim na buwan, nahirapan akong bumalik sa trabaho at sa karaniwang pamumuhay. Pakiramdam ko, nawala ang lahat sa akin at hindi naglaon, nagkaroon ako ng depression.

Unti-unting nawala ang sigla at kulay ng buhay. Pakiramdam ko, lagi akong nag-iisa kahit maraming nagmamahal sa akin. Nawala ang pagmamahal ko sa aking sarili dahil pakiramdam ko makasarili ito. Kaya noong natagpuan kita at nagkasama tayo, binuhos ko ang lahat ng pagmamahal sa iyo na hindi ko kayang ibigay sa aking sarili. Matapos kong makita ang iyong mga sugat, pinilit kong hilumin ang mga ito sa pag-aakalang, mahihilom ko rin ang sarili ko. Akala ko, kapag naging maayos ka, magiging maayos na rin ako. Nahanap ko ang sarili ko sa iyo - sa iyong mga sugat at bakas ng paghihirap. Kaya noong nakita kitang unti-unting naghihilom, naging masaya ako, ngunit pansamantala lamang.

Sa pag-aalaga ko sa iyo, nakalimutan kong alagaan ang aking sarili. Habang naghihilom ka, unti-unti naman akong nauubos at nawawalan ng lakas. Tila, kumakapit na lamang ako sa iyong ngiti at mainit na yakap. Minahal kita ng buong-buo ngunit nagkamali akong hindi magtira para sa aking sarili. Ikaw ang naging buhay ko - ang mga damit na pinagtagpi at inayos ko, ang mga sugat na hinilom ko. Habang ako, nananatiling nasa ibaba, naghahanap ng ibang dahilan para mabuhay.

Alam kong hindi mo kasalanang hindi makita ang paghihirap ko, o nakita mo nga ba? O baka sadyang magaling lang akong itago ang mga ito… Hindi ko na pahahabain pa ang liham na ito. Sa pagtatapos ng ating kuwento, walang dapat sisihin, sapagkat tao lamang tayong piniling magmahal at sumugal sa tadhana. Bagamat nawala at nakalimutan ko ang aking sarili sa ating pagsasama, nahanap ko naman siya muli at iyon ang mahalaga. Salamat sa pagmamahal at magagandang araw na inialay mo para sa akin - ito ang mga pinanghahawakan ko upang magpatuloy at harapin ang katotohanan.

Muli, magpapatuloy akong hanapin ang aking sarili - sana mahanap mo rin ang sarili mo. Gugustuhin man kitang mahalin muli at paulit-ulit, alam kong hindi maari. Hindi ko kayang ibigay ang wala ako ngayon, gayundin para sa iyo. Sana sa susunod nating pagkikita o kung muling pagbibigyan ng tadhana magtagpo muli, sana maging handa na tayo para sa isa’t isa o para kanino man nararapat ang ating puso. Pansamantala, panatilihin at patahanin muna natin ito para sa sariling paghihilom at pagsisimula.



filipino spoken word poetry —

on mental illness


My pet dog

External link


by Janella Sayson

May alaga akong aso
Pangalan niya ay Abo
Katulad ng kanyang balahibo -
Kulay abo
Kanyang mata’y itim
Maliliit ang kanyang ngipin
Dila at labi’y namumutla
Parang nangungulila
Sa kanyang bagong pamilya
Dumating siya isang umaga
Na parang suwail na bisita -
Walang pasintabi
Walang pagbati
Kahit mahina ang tahol
Mabilis siya manghabol
Kahit pumagaspas ako ng takbo
Siya pa rin ang nananalo
Hindi ako
At hinding hindi magiging ako
Palagi siyang nakasunod sa akin
Kahit saan ako magpunta
Naka-buntot siya
Hindi napapagod
Ngunit, ako naman ang napapagod
Para maghanap ng espasyo
Maghanap ng matataguan
Kahit pansamantala lamang

Minsan, gusto ko siyang mawala
Gusto kong itapon ang bola sa malayo
Sa kabilang ibayo
Para mahirapan siya sa pagkuha at paghahanap nito
Na sa sobrang layo
Nalibang na siya sa ibang tahanan
At babalik na lang kina-umagahan
Hindi ba siya napapagod?
Sa kakasunod
Kasi ako, oo
Pagod na pagod na
Sa kakasunod niya sa akin
Nakalimutan ko na ang pakiramdam
Ng nag-iisa
Para siyang anino
Umaga hanggang gabi
Lagi akong sinasamahan
Maging sa aking pagtulog
Hindi - hindi nga pala ako nakakatulog
Nagpupuyat ako gabi-gabi
Para siya’y may kalaro
Lahat ng pasikot-sikot
Nakabisado ko na
Maging aking isipan
Pinaglalaruan niya - namin
Nilalakbay ang lahat ng alaala
Masasaya, malulungkot
Hanggang sa mga bagay na aking kinakatakutan
Alam niya ang lahat
Alam niya ang nagpapasaya sa akin
Pati na rin kung ano ang nagpapaiyak
Maging ang gusto kong pagtakas
Pagkawala sa mundong ito

Ang pinakamasakit -
Hindi niya alam kung paano ako patatahanin
Aalis na lang siya sa aking tabi
Mananatili sa isang sulok
Iiwanan ako na parang unan sa kama
Parang isang laruan na pinagsawaan
Parang alaala na kinalimutan
Babalik lang kapag umaga na
Paulit-ulit ito - araw-araw
Paulit-ulit na lang
Alam ko na ang mangyayari
Kahit magpumilit ako tumakas
Alam kong hindi maari
Babalik siya at hahanapin ako
Sa loob ng aming kuwarto

Kinulayan niya
Ang buhay ko
Parang isang coloring book
Na tangan-tangan ko
Noong bata pa
Imbis na ako ang magkulay
Siya ang nagpipinta
Ang pumipili ng kulay
Ang gumuguhit
Ang nagdidikta
Ang nagdedesisyon
Sa magiging kulay ng mundo
At unti-unti nga
Lahat ito
Naging kulay abo
Pati na rin ako
Oo, ako
Ako naging abo

europe 2018 —

Lisboa, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, + Madrid at a glance

quarantine 2020 —

the world thru my window

film —

raw and authentic