Dear 2015

By December 31, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments
(photo by Pao Peña)

(photo by Pao Peña)


Dear 2015,


I have mixed feelings about you. Like I’m thankful and angry. Like I love you and I don’t. Kind of like how I feel about dieting. or Chicharon. Allow me to tell you why.


I met you at the start of the year. To be perfectly honest, I was pretty excited meeting you and hanging out with you.


I had just come from a bad relationship with 2014, and it left me bruised and broken. But I was pretty optimistic. You were offering new possibilities, and a chance to renew myself. So I had to actually start the year with a lot of faith in you. I had to believe that you were gonna help me find a better version of myself. Remember, when 2014 ended, I had just turned single? I was feeling emasculated, insecure, and not really worth anybody’s time. I was trying to reassemble a daily routine that no longer involved texting someone a “good morning” or an “I love you”. I can honestly say that it was one of the lowest points of my life.

But you changed that immediately. Thank you 2015. You are lovely.

In January, you let me become part of a Tanghalang Ateneo play again, Waiting for Godot. It had been years since I have had the opportunity to be onstage. I was feeling rusty. But I got one of the lead parts, by some weird twist of fate! And I got to work with a stellar cast, crew and director. I was part of the Male Set A for Godot with Xander, Mora, Jerome and Soc. Led by Direk JK. I played Didi! And achieved something I hadn’t previously done in my theater carreer: Cry on cue.

To tell you the truth, I was really happy then. You ever get that feeling that where you were is exactly where you had to be? That was how I felt with that play. Whenever I would be in the theater, it was just me doing what I was meant (destined) to do. Nobody could ever do that at that point in time but me. It gave me a sense of purpose. Thank you 2015. You are generous.

You continued to make me happy in February, despite some betrayals from a few friends who thought badly of me — who misconstrued my good intentions as romantic feelings. Who made it seem like if fell for someone, that it was a bad thing. I easily got over that. After that, you even made me meet Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye! Wowza! Next, you gave me the chance 2015 to launch my poetry shirt line, and to celebrate my birthday with all the important people in my life.

At this point, that category – “all the important people in my life” – was still a complete entity. I’ll go back to that later.

Anyway you, 2015, during the month of february, you kept me in the theater. You gave me a chance to write, and direct a play. Coming from Godot, I was oozing with inspiration. So it came to be, I directed and co-wrote Near Yet Far, Far Yet Near. It wasn’t an easy play, by any stretch of the imagination: Not a lot of time to prepare, not a lot of resources, an actress quitting the week before the show. But you showed me that it was still possible to achieve something special. And you brought in very special people to help make sure that magic was still as real as the stage we put plays on. I had a chance to direct friends Guelan, Tarek, Trency, and discover new talents in Jerome and Tine. You gave me a solid production team with BJ, Pepe, JP, JR, Leyson, and of course the wonderful stage manager Regina. You even got a couple of blogs to write good reviews about us!

I’ll be a bit of a braggart, but honestly, everytime the audience (no matter how few they are) clapped, I felt tingles up my spine. Kilig. Yeah, that’s the word I’m looking for.

We were on a roll 2015, but then things changed.

In March, you got my sister sick. That wasn’t very nice of you. Lo and behold, 3 months later, she’s gone. 3 months later, I’m writing a eulogy for the first time, and I am in tears. A lot of people were able to read that Eulogy, and even if it was perhaps the saddest chapter of my life, at least it made me happy that people were mourning with me. Sorry if that sounds a bit selfish. Anyway.

I don’t wanna dwell on that too much. But I was thinking to myself, that despite all the losses and pains I’ve had and endured over the years, losing my sister was definitely the heaviest burden I’ve ever had to carry. And it didn’t help that I watched everyone else around her carry that same burden. It didn’t help watching my mom and dad cry in front of her casket. It didn’t help watching all the friends my sister had over the years comfort each other with hugs and old stories of her life. It didn’t help that her 3 year old daughter had no clue what was happening. You are a bitch, 2015. Why did you put us through that?

And the months around that, I was really off balanced too, 2015. Constantly worrying about my family and how we were gonna survive, and you added stress from work, and stress from being in love with a young girl. I was literally stuck in a tornado of emotions, literally. I did not know how to feel about things, and how to react based on those feelings. For the first time in my life, I had no clue what I was gonna do.

I think you know 2015, that I’ve always taken pride in being bacteria like. Not in because I’m dirty (I am actually pretty concerned with my hygiene), but in the “I can adapt to anything” kind of sense. Many people have tried to push me around, some have succeeded, but I’ve always found a way to overcome. This wasn’t the case during those months. I was weak, and I felt I was being slammed harshly to the ground until I no longer knew the difference between my face and the cold, hard cement road.

Especially with being in love.

Don’t get me wrong, 2015, I’m not angry that you made me feel love again after a while. I was pretty happy loving that person. But I guess, I too wasn’t ready. With so many things happening, I wasn’t exactly in the best shape to love other people. And I’m at least glad that after it was over, you still stuck with me. You gave me a chance to love myself and to find some form of comfort in that.

And the best way you made me feel that 2015, is with the LIRA poetry workshop. I had never been to a poetry class before in my life. But you made me learn; not just the words to write, or how to write them, but most importantly you made me learn how it was to see things from a bigger perspective. You showed me how to be inspired by letting me meet so many inspiring people: my fellow writers, LIRA officers and members, and of course the mentors: Sir Rio, Sir Mike, Sir Fidel, Sir Marne, Sir Egay, Sir Nanoy, Miss Ergo, Sir Joel, Ma’am Becky, Sir LJ, Sir Gian, and everyone else. You showed me new friendships. At least you softened the blows that I was taking from all of the other sadness I was going through. 6 months of learning poetry were 6 months of learning life.

You also introduced me this year to the wonderful people of Words Anonymous. And they also inspired my poetry. I’m grateful for that 2015, you are swell.

In August, I wanted to thank you 2015, because you gave me new life.

You finally made me let go of her.

At least that was one thorn out of my bludgeoned heart.

From July to September, you were also giving me good projects with Sindikato. And you handed to us good people in Alvin, Lorraine, Mella, and Topher. We were on a roll, and we were doing more things with less fatigue. We were laser locked on to our goals, and it was a great feeling. We even got a new TV show with the fantastic China Cojuangco Gonzales! Thank you 2015. You are a blessing.

I thought the year was pretty much done at this point to be honest. I was already excited for Christmas, because things were in place. The pain from losing my sister wasn’t as strong as before thanks to the comfort and solace that a lot of people kept pouring down on us. And I got to reconnect with an old friend, Danica, too! Randomly at that! She’s been really special, and she’s been nothing but fun. She’s been part of the upside of the year.

But you had to ruin the fun 2015.

October, you took my dad away. Just like that. One day he was telling me to take care going to work, and the next day, I was holding his lifeless hand in the company of my best friends Enzo and Edzon. Why did you do that 2015? Why now? Why him?

October became like my dad. Lifeless.

It wasn’t the same.

My dad has been retired for the past 20 years. So he’s always been at home. He’s always taken care of everything. He always made sure the trash was brought out, and that we always had gas for the stove. Heck, he even made sure that the mail was received, and the bills were attended to. But that’s not the case now. The empty rooms seem emptier. The walls have become much lonelier.

When people ask me, “How are you?” I always have one reply. I’m okay. But the quiet moments are really the worst.

You know, 2015, until today, I can still hear my dad’s voice in my head. I still sometimes check to see if he’s there. Before I leave the house, I still sometimes say goodbye to him and tell him I’m going to work. I still whisper to him what time (I think) I’ll be home. I still see him working on his daily crossword puzzle and watching the discovery channel.

I want to stab you, cut you up to pieces, and let you rot in a swamp somewhere 2015.

November came, and you tried to make it up to me. I appreciate that. You sent me to Japan with my friends for the first time. You gave me some pocket money to spend. You gave me a chance to refresh my weary spirit. Or at least to be distracted.

That trip was fantastic. Just being with my friends, and going on adventures. I really needed that. Thank you 2015. That was mighty sweet of you.

It’s December now, and I’m trying to remember everything. I’m writing this in a coffee shop. And I really look like an idiot. One moment I have a huge smile on my face, and a minute later I’m wiping my eyes from tears.


(Me earlier at Starbucks Katip photo by Bryant Garduque)

I lost a lot because of you, 2015.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t gain anything from you.

I met random friends. I copped a lot of shoes. I encountered new experiences. I tasted romance, I gained a part of me I never previously had access to.

Like a secret level in Super Mario. Or Final Fantasy. Sorry for the old reference, Millennials. (Yup, I spelled Millennial right).

You are a mystery to me 2015. Right at the time when I was asking a lot of questions about myself, you leave me with more questions. Maybe you did answer some things, too, but I guess that’s okay. Maybe I need to ask these questions and answer them for myself.

I still don’t understand you 2015. I probably never will.




I am glad we are parting ways today.


Maybe when 2016 comes, she will help me answer those questions.

Walt Disney once said, “Keep Moving forward”. I guess I’ll do that. But I will take some part of you 2015. I’ll shrink that part and put it in my pocket; and I’ll bring it as I continue on this journey called life.

We’ve had a wild ride 2015.

And before I say farewell, I wanted to thank all the people that you dragged beside me 2015:

Kenny, Bugs and Mondy (the original badings)

Darling, who won rookie of the year at the Apogator Awards.

And Gelaine who was the runner-up.




Sindikato. And the new badings Kuya Erwin, Teng, Rorotski, Lebron James Dela Cruz




My Prod Friends – Prodmadnezz mostly.



New Prodhouses I got to work with – Manilaman, and Onmedia

My TA Family – especially Sir Glenn, Ron, Ricky, Rhem, Yaps, Gel, Joenel, Soc, Barth, Banjo, Lia, Gly and all you youngins lalo na ikaw Jessica.

My DITO: Bahay ng Sining Family – Bj, Pepe, Madame Y

My ARPT Family – Pau, King, Chin, Kristoff (and Mian), Carl (and Teril), Carlo not so Big (and Alex), Jongko, Marlo, Diane, et al.

My Poetry friends – LIRA, and Words Anonymous.

My new Intact Students and Student Facilitators.

My HS students in the Ateneo Video Club.

My sneakerhead friends – especially you Mesh Maini.

My bars of the year, Loading Point and Route 196 and all the people who run said joints who have seen me at my worst times.

My crush of the year, Tin Gamboa (Suzy 899). Listening to you almost everyday made me kilig. Legit kilig, not unlike the kilig you get from taking a piss lang. I wish I can take you out to dinner someday. Or kahit coffee. Or kahit breakfast. Or kahit magtawag ka lang ng grab car tapos maghihintay ako katabi mo sa pila.

My musician friends especially peeps from Sud, Autotelic, Mayonnaise, Kai Honasan, Reese Lansangan, Champ and Hale, Spongecola and Saul, Jugs and Itchyworms, and all of you guys who I can’t mention because I have the memory of a 70 year old.

My fans, who make sure I average at least a massive 10 likes per post on Facebook. or at least an overwhelming 4 likes on my instagram, @lordapags.

2015, these people made it easier and much more meaningful to breathe this year. If only for them, thank you 2015 for bringing them beside me.


Farewell, 2015.


It’s time to say goodbye.



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