10 Signs You’ve Been Educated By The Jesuits

I’ve always been proud of my Jesuit Education and yes, it has been a great part of my life. AMDG, Magis and Cura Personalis! And when I’m feeling down and lost, I always tell myself I need to go on a retreat to find God.

Thought Catalog

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 3.11.20 PM 1. You know the entire life story of St. Ignatius of Loyola. You know this man. His teachings have truly been the background of your entire education. You know his prayer for generosity backwards and forwards. The Spiritual Exercises are nothing new to you, and you’ve taken part in an Examen or two.

2. You know what S.J. and AMDG stand for. You know that if someone’s name has an S.J. after it chances are they’re important, and you should probably behave in their presence. Also, AMDG has probably been engraved on a building on your campus along with all the other meaningful quotes that are ever so strategically placed.

3. You’ve been on a service trip or two, and loved them all. It’s true. You’ve put out a nice chunk your own (your parents) money to get on a plane, to go help someone else, and it was everything…

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I don’t smoke

But I’m addicted

To the taste of cigarettes

On your lips

And comforted

By the stale smell of it

On your clothes


I don’t drink

But I get drunk

On your perfume

And intoxicated by

Your alcohol-laced kisses


I keep coming back

For more

And I crave you

In the most ungodly hours

In the most sinful ways

You are

My only vice

Won’t Be Seventeen Forever

4th April 2014

To say that I was excited to turn eighteen would be a lie. I feel so old and I am now legally liable for anything that goes wrong or any crime I may commit. I am officially an adult. And while that should feel exciting, I feel nauseous just thinking about it.

First off, here’s a little background of what I do during my birthdays: I just hide in my room and sleep the entire day, pretending that this day doesn’t exist and just wait for it to pass by just like any other. I hate it when people greet me and I would really much rather prefer if they left me alone. I become the most anti-social person during this day every single year. Sure, I make a few exceptions, like when my friends greet me and we go out but most of all, I try to avoid this day as much as I can.

This year, though, is different. Firstly, my birthday usually falls during the summer holidays but since the school I go to follows a trimester curriculum, I don’t get the privilege or staying home anymore because I still have school (incredibly sad on my part) and the school year officially ends during the second week of April. And secondly, my best friends surprised me. Or attempted to at least.

Growing up, as a family, we would never really celebrate birthdays and it even came to a point wherein I refused to celebrate it at all. And in the years that followed, especially during my high school and now college years, I see people surprising their best friends and my friends surprising any birthday celebrant. Heck, I even became one of the executors and planners for said surprises. However, I always thought that no one would be sweet enough to surprise me or would even bother to make any effort to do that for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit stoic and refuse to acknowledge any form of feeling or attachment. Or maybe I’m just not the kind of person people truly value to even try and do something sweet for me every once in a while even though I hate cheesy and corny things. Or maybe people are scared of how I’d react. Maybe I’m just not meant to be surprised.

I had so many things in line for today: a reunion with my old classmates, another with my ASEC family or even just an opportunity to visit my late teacher, Mr. Ruel Soriano. I refused to participate in any of these things because, like I said, I become anti-social. I don’t want people to know that it’s my birthday. I don’t want to see people because I know they’d expect me to do something or have a party. But the main reason I told them that I couldn’t go was that I still had classes. Yet, I opted to spend this night with my best friends.

It started out innocent enough. It wasn’t even completely planned. I just asked Siobhan if I could go to her house and use their wifi for a bit since I don’t have any internet at home. I came in a bit late, around 5, because I was still at school and it was still so hot to go out. When I got there, she was going out and already in the car. I didn’t really want to stay at her house and use their wifi without her so I asked her where she was going, she just told me she was going out. I asked her if I could come but she told me no and said I should go inside and talk to her mum. It was a bit awkward actually but she assured me she’d only be gone for a short while. I shrugged it off because not 3 minutes later, I got a frantic phone call from a friend saying she needed someone to pick her up and so I pushed my best friend’s behaviour aside.

Later on, we decided to go to SM to do this Tin Can Challenge. I was going there anyway to get my photos taken for some requirements and meet my former classmates and my current classmate, John. When we got there, Siobhan asked me to call Daniella, my other best friend, and told me to just stay where I was while she went to talk to her. I already had a feeling they had plans for me but it didn’t seem that big to me so I shrugged that off as well.

When we got to the grocery store to buy everything we needed for a night of craziness, John and Siobhan told me to stay far away from them. I knew she was letting him in on the plan but I didn’t know what the plan was just yet. Later, when we got home, Daniella came and the fun began with the Tin Can Challenge. We weren’t even supposed to do it tonight but we just agreed in the end. I told them I had to be home by 10 because I still had an 8 am class the next day. I didn’t really expect to stay that long. I meant to go home at 11 or possibly 12 but I was having too much fun to just leave. It was fun and it was completely insane and a bit disgusting. So then, John pops up an idea that while we throw away the disgusting ones, we could just eat the good ones (i.e. strawberries, peaches, etc) with ice cream. So I stood up from my seat and went to the kitchen when Siobhan shouts I’m not allowed to look at the freezer. I was shocked, honestly because I usually just raid their kitchen. Haha!

After cleaning up a bit, the three of them were talking and sharing stories while I was on my laptop on the dining table talking with people and watching videos while searching for things to help me with my tasks for school. They were a bit distracted so while I was scrounging the kitchen for food (Mind you, I even had to ask permission if I’m allowed to open the fridge to get some milk), I’ll admit, I took a little peek in the freezer. And while I already had a big feeling as to what was inside, I just had to see for myself just what was in there that I wasn’t allowed to see. Lo and behold, a cake! The cake Siobhan picked up when I arrived at her house.

It was getting so much closer to midnight and I was shocked that no one was even looking for me or even telling me to come home yet. I just let it go. I considered it a free pass anyway. LOL. Then I noticed that they got quiet and started speaking in hushed tones. They had that look on their faces that completely gave away everything. That “innocent” look they give you but you know they’re actually planning something. So when John went upstairs to get the guitar and then Daniella said something about the drinks not being that good without the ice, I knew they were starting to put their plans in action. It was a bit obvious, honestly, the way they just crowded in the kitchen saying they need ice and not knowing where the ice was. Daniella did try to distract me and she talked to me and I didn’t even pay them any mind or bothered to look at the kitchen because honestly, it’s not that hard to look for some ice! The freezer is full of ‘em! So while I was ranting to Daniella, she suddenly goes to the freezer and I told her to stay put and listen so she comes back. And then Siobhan goes “Where’s the ice? Kukay, can you help me with the ice?” Daniella goes over there and I already knew what they were planning since it was already midnight. And being the blunt person that I am, I tell them, “What ice? I already know that’s a cake.” And they just drop everything and curse me for not even being able to play along. And I just laughed at them and they were so embarrassed, especially Daniella.

They were so mad because I they couldn’t even go through with their surprise! But in the end they just laughed it off and lit up my birthday cake (it even had a sparkler!). I don’t even know what I wished for or if I even made one. They gave me my presents, except John because he didn’t know. Daniella gave me chocolate and a jar of Nutella (which I actually saw in the drawers while I was scrounging for food in the kitchen) and gave a speech that involves her being…well, Daniella.

“Life is like chocolates. And Aya is like chocolates. And Aya is my life.” (Dayot, 2014)

Siobhan put this big box in front of me, a box I thought was filled with a present she told me she intended to give to herself, a box which I actually peeked in weeks prior to tonight, just to find out that it actually meant for me (now that, I did not see coming). Then she told me that they actually intended to surprise me at home by midnight if I went home early but I just stayed at their house. And I honestly just laughed even though I wanted to cry. My eyes were tearing up and everything! But I was just trembling.

So yes, I understand that this tale makes me seem like a bitch or even a callous person who doesn’t really appreciate any efforts or sentimentality. And while I am possibly the worst person you could surprise because I just cannot be surprised, I really did appreciate the effort they put into this. I never truly expected that someone would actually bother to do this for me because I wasn’t even expecting presents or for anyone to even remember (except them of course). And I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to be attached to anyone but I am so glad I met these people. I am so glad that they became a part of my life and that we’ve been friends for 11 years and we’re still going strong. And I am so thankful and grateful that I have these people in my life and that they actually tried to do something to make my birthday special even if it went against my wishes of being low key on this day. And I’ll be so sad when they leave and maybe that’s why I’ve been extra mean lately because in truth, I don’t know how to deal with goodbyes. I don’t know how to let people go when I’ve formed an attachment with them. But I really hope that we don’t even grow apart as we grow older.


And now I am just getting sentimental and sappy. So to conclude this, I’d just like to say that even though I officially turn 18 in 6 hours, I can safely say that the last few hours of 17 were great and if I count it, the first 3 hours of 18 weren’t so bad after all.


Aftermath of the Tin Can Challenge

Aftermath of the Tin Can Challenge

Because they love bananas.

Because they love bananas.



Yet again, I have not posted anything on this blog and I find that it’s not because I don’t have the time; it’s mostly because I don’t really know what to write about! So I’m thinking of just posting the poems, short stories, and essays I’ve scribbled down when I get inspired in those ungodly hours.

The Airport: The Goodbye Scene is just a sneak peek of the things I’ve written during my free time and random surges of inspiration. So, hope this goes well. Give it a read if you have the time and let me know what you think!



The Airport: The Goodbye Scene

It’s a funny thing that airports have seen more sincere kisses than wedding halls. That the last few minutes two people spend to say goodbye unravels more feelings than the entire duration of their relationship has. That one can find the courage to say something they’ve been hiding in the short amount of time left before it’s time to go. That one person does something they never thought they  could do but the impulse was so strong, they just had to do it. Maybe it was the possibility that they’ll never see each other again in who knows how long that pushes them to act. Because only then can a person see someone’s true value.

All around were people saying goodbye. Others not as emotional as some. Others tried to hide it and act nonchalant. But it was there. The feeling. The emotion.

One couple in particular. This was their goodbye scene.

They sat close but there was decent amount of space between them. They were comfortable but not intimate. There was tension. There was hesitation. There was uncertainty.

“You didn’t have to come, you know,” she told him.

“I know. I wanted to,” he replied softly, staring right at her. She smiled and touched his hand. He caught his breath and swore his heart stopped beating for a second. “Thank you,” she said.

He wanted more than anything to hold her in his arms and kiss her, finally know what the taste of her lips were like. But he couldn’t.

A voice then echoed across the room and announced that her flight back home was finally boarding. “That’s me.” She stood up slowly and they both walked to the gate. He pulled her to a halt halfway towards their destination, looking her dead in the eye.

“I’m glad we met, you know.”

“Me too.”

“I just wish-”

“Shh,” she put her finger to his lips and shook her head. “Don’t. We talked about this.”

“Right. Uh, sor-”

“No, shh, just please,” she laughed. “Really, I thought we had an agreement.” He had to grin at that. She was so adorable, so beautiful.

And yes, they did have an agreement. They said they wouldn’t talk about this. That they wouldn’t go further. That they couldn’t act on the feelings that were stirring within them. She wasn’t completely saying no to his advances. She’s saying ‘not now’. And he respected that and he understood. He wasn’t going to rush this because he believes in Elvis and he believes in timing. They weren’t fools. And for that, she is grateful and doesn’t meed him to apologise. They both knew and agreed that the time wasn’t now.

“So, this is it then?” he asked. She merely looked at him and gave him a tight smile. “I hope we meet again soon.” He touched her cheek and her eyes fluttered shut for a second. When she opened them again, he was walking away. She paused for a second before calling out his name and hurried towards him.

He was walking slowly, trying not to think about the way he just left her like that. When he heard his name being called out, he stopped and turned around. That’s when he saw her, already right in front of him. “Wait.”

She knew that she wasn’t going to regret this, what she’s about to do. He was the type of guy of always knew what to say or do. He took action. He didn’t need anyone to tell him what exactly they need. He just knew. And she loved that about him.

She took slow, calming breaths before she spoke. “I know we said we wouldn’t. And I know I was the one who asked. I know we said not now but,” she paused. She hesitated. She suddenly wasn’t sure and looked down at her feet. He took a step forward, tilted her head up by the chin with his fingers. “What, what is it?” He searched her eyes but they were hard to read. He knew she was scared. “Tell me,” he said.

“But can you give me something to hold on to until then?” she whispered.

He didn’t hold back.

He kissed her. He poured in every emotion he felt for her, every little thing he wanted to say but couldn’t, he made it known through that one physical connection. He gave it his all. He didn’t move too fast or too slow. He was patient and remained a gentleman. She in turn felt everything, everything he’d been holding back and she knew this wasn’t a mistake. The kiss would still linger on her lips even after she left and after they said goodbye. It had been sweet yet fiery, gently searing her to the core and giving her a warmth that tingled her every time she remembered it. It wasn’t malicious. It was unguarded. It was pure. It was profound. It was perfect.

And this was one of the most sincerest, most impeccable kisses an airport has seen.