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Inside ACO's Poetic Mind
About ACO
My Heart & Soul
Mga Tula in Filipino
Mga Tula in English
Mga Tula in Iloko
Mula sa Baul
Mga Bagong Likha

I have tried living alone for two months. Away from the curfew and questioning looks of my parents whenever I went home late at night. Away from the responsibilities of being a panganay. Away from the grueling truth that I am running away from my own self.

Living twenty-three years of my life under the care of my parents is hard. Hard enough for a typical ma-pride na anak like me. I would often hate myself whenever I find myself asking for my baon. Given a chance I would always turn to other means like getting odd jobs so as not to be a burden to my already worn out parents. Oftentimes I would resort to small-time raket just to make both ends meet. Funny, I am not that kind of anak who would have tantrums just to get their parents attention. As a matter of fact, ayaw ko nga na pinapakialaman ako. I would rather live my own life. I would rather be alone. I can live by myself. I have this notion that I can be whatever I want to and be happy. That I can be an island. Or so I thought.

Moving out was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It happened at the most unsuitable time and at the most depressing moment of my life. Well, I kind of acted at the spur of the moment. I got pissed of at our house with all the pressures that Ive been getting. My whole life was a mess. I hated my dad for trying to push me around and for telling me what to do. Probably I was just sensitive because I am trying to live out of his shell. I am trying to make a name for myself. I am tired of living behind his shadows. A simple thing like giving a share of my earnings for our household expenses was not a thing out of my mind. I am planning to do that ever since I started earning for myself. I have the intention of helping out our financial incapacity. But being told to do so is another thing. It touched on the most sensitive part of me, my pride. I hate being told what to do. I hate being pushed around. Id like to do things my own way. Mas masarap gumawa kapag may kusang-palo. Yung hindi hinog sa pilit. So on the eve of his arrival from one of his out-of-town training, I packed my bags and moved out. To hell with the high price of the studio type room that I am about to be renting, I just want to escape!

It was easy. Living alone is like living without all those bawal stuff. I just have to worry for myself. I don have to think of what to say whenever I went home late. I dont have to make up stories whenever I want to be myself. It was freedom. I could sleep with my karelasyon whenever I want to. I was freed from the bondage of all expectations and norms. But then as the song goes, some good things never last. The burden of spending for all my expenses came: food, electricity, water and rental. It piled up. And I cant get a hold on it anymore. On nights when I am alone the air of sadness fills the room. As much as I want my karelasyon to be with me, hindi puwede. May pamilya siya. Hindi pa niya kayang mag-isa. So I would cry in my room, hiding with my loneliness. Ive never felt alone in my whole life. But since that moment, Ive realized that I could never live alone. I could never be an island. For I am human. I started to miss my brothers and sisters, my mom and my dad. But still I only miss them when my karelasyon is not with me. It wasnt easy.

It was hard.

I thought about the moments spent with my family. I thought about so many things. About life and my existence. Being alone makes me think about philosophical stuff. And I hate it when it happens. The serious and ever logical side of my being just pops out when I am alone. I always come to a point where I would think about committing suicide but cannot go through with it. I am a coward. I have this messianic complex. I feel that I am the savior of my family yet I hate the idea that I will be the one to support them. I am selfish. But I can still feel guilt whenever I think of my own welfare. My Catholic education and upbringing has a lot to do with this. I was conditioned to think and believe that suffering is a virtue. And that women submit themselves to men. Hah!!! I despise that way of thinking. It is so patriarchal. It is so oppressive. No wonder men have this feeling that they superior than women. It has been implanted in their brains for centuries. Actually ever since the world began.

I had second thoughts about coming home. It would mean that I am weak. It would mean that I would be subjected once again to the grueling truth of responsibility. I would be seeing my dad again. But I dont blame him. Raising five children is a lot of responsibility. It could be hell. It is a good thing that almost all of his children were cooperative. Three of us already graduated from college and are now working. My two younger siblings are in college. I could say that we are matino in the sense that nobody got married early, nobody got hooked on drugs and BI na barkada. Sometimes my dad can be annoying but all in all he is an excellent father.

So Ive swallowed my pride after two months of escaping from reality. I decided to come home. To hell with all the gossiping! I dont give a damn. I am what I am. Let them be. I am human. 

Abigail Cruz Oliva