Letter to my Kuya

Dear Kuya Eugene,

I hope that this letter finds you in utmost comforts in heaven. It has been years that we have had last a conversation together. I still remember that I was juvenile and you were in your teens but the rest are no longer memories but rather emotions of how it is like to have you around. I may not have all the words before to express fully what I wanted to say but this time I write you this hopefully as an adult.

Since you left, I grew reconciling myself to having no male figure around. Luckily, mom is here to make things a little easier for me and ate. I know everybody tried their best to move on and oftentimes I felt like needing to follow the good things you have left behind. Of course I later on discovered my individuality, and probably the footsteps I track right now are no longer yours nor dad’s. I am sure that I did try to keep up with the challenge of bringing honor to the family. But no matter how much gold i take home with me, the feeling of wanting to chase the better impact you have made remains. 

I may have been chained to factors that kept security and confidence from occurring in me. In many times I try to prevent myself from drawing straight lines between my gender orientation, the lack of a father, family secrets and competitiveness, culture and choices, and the many things that were lacking or taken away from me (you included). I look outside the box and realize what a mess this life is. However, I live and have become what I am now because of these constraints.

Many changes happened while you were gone. I assume you take a peek at the hallowed windows and witness almost all these. But this time I share to you how I experience what has transpired over the years.

The Nurse

So I am a nurse now Kuya! Probably not your daily-average-sane-psychotic nurse, I consider myself special. I would have loved it more had I taken the course on Computer Engineering or Journalism that I really wanted but skimming over my career track, everything came so fast that in the blink of an eye I am now taking my doctorate. Even if this decision to take nursing was heavily influenced by false promises, I still manage to give my best. But at times I could not resist to linger to the what-if questions especially if I face the frustration of not able to achieve the primary goal to why I took nursing - to work abroad.

I was somehow forced to believe that the heavens speak differently about my fate and that I am in this spot now for another purpose. Lesser to my eyes, what I do not see nor experience now is the greatness it may turn out at the end of the day. My skepticism though was not a hindrance to strive for a living and now I am teaching young nurses who just like me before are on their way to more challenges. I have also authored three books related to my profession and carry myself the hope that I will be able to touch lives through these familiar ways.

Lifestyle and Adventures

I am not sure how you would react to my lifestyle but I believe that I am engrossed into a wide range of human exploits. Since I came back from my four-year stay in Baguio, I have found myself loved and hated, stubborn yet growing, rewarded and punished, frozen yet seared, built and broken in a number of ways. Moreover, I have loved traveling and being afloat in the plane or slackened in the bus seat is one of the best ways I find tranquility. I am fast paced and ideas spark inside my thoughts like a lightning that comes out of nowhere. Oftentimes, I let my excitement take my impulsivity to a higher level but whether my decisions are sheer necessity or just stupidity, I take consolation of the positive ends, if not the fact that at least I tried.

Lately though, I have learned the art of mellowing down. My spirit that is constantly on the go has got to rest. My mind and emotions this time will be further tamed down. Even if I am at times irritated by the shadows of my past, I am blessed that i am enveloped by the unconditional support of mama, ate, the family, and my closest friends. I am also glad that Tagum is a lot different from what it used to, and now it is a better place to live a simple yet happy life.

The Big What if 

It is irresistible to wonder how it would be like if you were still alive. If you were here, I am not sure if I would be able to do what I have done in the past few years as I remember you were too over-protective of me when I was still your young little Macoy. You will most likely stop me from taking risks that would jeopardize myself. On the contrary, I would perhaps not allow you either to stop me from my pursuits as I know I would strive hard and never stop to get what I want. Nevertheless, what’s important I reckon is that I am safe with the family. It would just be a lot better if you were here. Just like before, it would be amazing to have you as a companion as we go to places. I still remember the Video Rental Store visits we make. But then again, I am happier that you are now at peace up there. 

Totally, there is nothing to worry about Kuya. The tasks I am left with and the goals that our family has set will not be led astray. I believe that everything will fall into its right places in the perfect time. And as long as I am here to protect mom and ate, please be confident that everything is basically A-okay!

Do send my love to our grandparents and I hope that this letter makes you smile!


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Friends, Time, and Friends

Relative as it is, friends are defined in a number of ways. As for me, having them is a need, a life demand. I could never think of life without these people. Not only would it be boring, I think my life itself would not be life at all. It would be dead or worse, owing to the fact that even dead people themselves have friends who miss them! 

Time should not be enough to dissuade friendship from carrying on. If friends extend their role beyond time then perhaps they were also present before it? Soul-mates call you may, my friends came in different points of my life. Although some remained, others physically distant, and a few probably totally lost, the experience of friends is found in the magic of every single moment and the collection of good things (and bad things) shared with sincerity. 

Be that as it may, it is not very clear how my childhood friends and I started to know each other. Perhaps it all began in grade school when I started off as a newcomer and then found myself singing, prancing, and do almost everything with everybody else. My memory with them may be a little faint but I do remember the glee and innocence we shared. I cannot of course recall all of their names nor faces, however a few have been with me side by side up to high school, college, and even up to now.

As I reached the point of tranquil settlement with the set of friends I had and looking for new ones seemed  unnecessary, no less than the old ones came my new friends. As I was away from my family, these new people who came as strangers started listening, encouraging, and sympathizing. Although I had my defenses up at first, they too showed love and acceptance that expanded the space in my heart to welcome them as a new need I would no longer live without. 

Whether old or new, time does not control the path of friends nor can it predict it. The timelessness of friendship cannot be fully deciphered. In spite of this, it is more important to me that I have them because they are vital to my living not for what they can give but for who they are and what i become when i am with them. At the end of the day, I find myself in peace and happiness that I have so far existed with friends who tag along for whatever reason... even if there is no reason at all!

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Leading Off My Long-Distance Relationship

It has been a week since I came home after keeping myself ensnared from a seemingly non-ending contemplation of what lies ahead of the climacteric decision to finally leave Baguio City. As I experience the breath of home sweet home, I gasp in ambivalence with the thought of having left my boyfriend, my partner. Physical as the separation is claimed, keeping a long-distance relationship may not be as easy as it is read nor spelled.

I would have believed that this kind of setup rarely prospers. Hearing and reading repeated accounts of those who have been through failed long-distance relationships, I too settled into the thought that i would share the same fate should I engage into such. This thought may have been influenced by a mixture of emotions lead by fear of waiting for nothing, making a fool out of myself, and ultimately fear of failure.

Although despite these negative emotions that stir the situation into further complexity, I closed the deal to stay into my relationship. The fear of losing him is superior than any fear I could possibly think of now. Although the decision entails a lot of risks (unmanageable fights, unquenchable needing, etc.), I force myself to find peace that at least I still have him.

I am gay and unfortunately unable to get married, which may add more challenges to our situation. In order for us to be more realistic, we set a deadline to when we should be together again, or else accept that we too, like the others who tried, should part ways. We have no ties, but I know we have something more genuine than any ring or contract. I hold on to my love for him and the promise we made for each other whatever the stakes are.

As I spend the early days of remoteness from my lover, I carry on with my adventures and do what I can to become my best for my family and for that day I await that we meet again. The pain, the fears, and the feeling of inadequacy are all my responsibility to deal with. And as challenges cloud our relationship while 600 miles away from each other, I cling to hope to hinder myself from once again being astray.
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The Resurrection of Forward Push

The blog is dead. Or rather, it WAS! I can no longer figure out why I stopped writing. But, I did stop and all I can do now is guess on the possible reasons why I did. It must be pointless to go back to those reasons but I find it very crucial for me to put these reasons into awareness because most of these are the keys to understanding my future articles.

To claim that the reason for stopping is blog maintenance issues is very lame. I remember when my former landlord and I had a disagreement on an issue regarding tariff increases, I decided to move in to another house but unfortunately my new place did not have any internet access at all. Probably this is a major factor why I stopped but if I really wanted to write then I would have sought ways to post like going to an internet shop. Obviously, there is another reason.

My masters drained my energy. I was enrolled to the final level of psychiatric and mental health nursing that involves intensive practice. I went to help victims of the typhoon and offered stress debriefing and I also took care of children with special needs. I made modules, researchers, and a lot more! To fit my blog to my schedule was simply hard to do but it was not impossible. So, this could also not be the major reason for stopping. There is still one more.

My ex-boyfriend and I got back. We again dated and tried to save the once destroyed relationship that we had. I had to spend more time with him than anything or anybody else but to make that a reason to stop writing is also lame. Probably, my euphoria for winning him back led me to conclude that I have moved on (or so I thought) and forward push already served its purpose.

I stopped writing and left the few who remain loyal readers to the blog hanging and probably frustrated. I am sorry. I admit it was selfish for me to stop. Believe you may, the reasons were unconscious to me and it took a lot of time and complexities (that I will explain in my future articles) before bringing everything into consciousness.

Around 2 weeks ago, I received messages from people telling me that they have been reading my blog and further asserted that they can fully relate to it. Only little did I know that some of my posts were actually still being read. That inspired me to bring life to Forward Push once more. I am still hoping that my former readers would still have the heart to check on my blog. It is back and it is alive!
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