Black and white restaurant

Sometimes We Are Lost

This piece was one of the winners of the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards for “Top Three Posts of the Year”, and was originally featured here. The Manila Survival Guide is re-publishing the article with minor edits.

(4 days ago)

It was midnight, and we were eating Chinese food in a popular restaurant near Makati Avenue. I was treating you because I just asked you for a favor and you, very graciously, obliged. Perhaps it was the late hour, but we were speaking in an almost whisper.

“I just feel lost,” you said. “That’s what I feel. I don’t know how to describe it. I’m just lost.”

And you talked about your job. And your friends. And you said that when you were still in love, you didn’t feel this thing. But the dissolution of the relationship made the lack in your life more acute.

“It’s frustrating. I don’t know how to deal with it.”


(2 years ago)

Black and White Road

Another friend. We were chatting over the net. He’d been accepted for a master’s program overseas, under a very prestigious scholarship. He just broke up with his boyfriend. He told the latter he couldn’t promise monogamy, and the boyfriend would accept nothing less. He was alone, in a foreign place, and he just learned that his ex had no trouble finding a replacement for him. He said (rather, implied) that he found solace and comfort in the countless glasses of red wine he was consuming; the type that came in cheap boxes. He wanted to go home, but he couldn’t. There was regret, and loss. His need for a connection felt almost desperate.

And I imagined him, this soul, hunched over a keyboard, in the soft light of a computer monitor, looking for meaning in a life with a future that used to be so bright he couldn’t see, now foggy and seemingly meaningless.


(4 years ago)


Another friend. He was across the table, talking about a job that was his life. And a boss who told him that he wasn’t doing enough. The frustration was etched in every word that he spoke, and he found himself shedding tears he didn’t want me to see. I held his hand, and told him this is just one day, in a life that has proven itself, time and again, more than capable of achieving the almost impossible.

“You are special,” I told him. “And you know that. There is no need for this.”


(9 years ago)

black and white store window

We were eating in a fastfood restaurant in Marikina, and you asked me why I’ve been seeing you so frequently lately. I couldn’t tell you, because I didn’t know myself. But you were an anchor in a time when everything felt so, transient.

Instead I said, “I missed you. And we’ve always had a connection. It doesn’t happen to me often, so you’ll have to forgive me if I tend to abuse the few friendships I’ve managed to cultivate.”

And you agreed. And I never told you how much that meant to me.

For R. For M. For I.

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