Short Story Snippets

I’m working on a short story about a carnival set in PH 2041. Here’s a snippet. Actually I’m done with it because I submitted it as an output for one of my comprehensive exams. But I guess, I’m editing it and might submit it somewhere. I’m not entirely sure. But here it goes!

When Timpi manned the gambling booths, he was unsure how much of the night’s earnings he could slide into his pocket. Huni caught a small glimpse of the box a few nights ago and gave him a suspicious look so he had to be more discreet about his ‘earnings’. If things weren’t so unpredictable he would slip a couple of coins a day, enough to get unnoticed. Two 50-peso coins couldn’t even buy him a cigarette stick in this economy. Maybe 2 pieces of hard candy. He tried to calculate a negligible absence, the balance between useful for him and unnoticed for Alpas. If only they made half the size of a cigarette so it would cost half as much and maybe lessen his chance of ending up in hell for he stole such a small amount that Satan wouldn’t even want him there. 

The gambling table was slippery from the gunk that accumulated from the decades worth of games. He cleaned it twice a week, scrubbed it hard that some of the paint faded. He had to trace them back with paint markers, it did not look decent. But it was enough for the gamblers, aesthetics was never an issue for them anyway. 

Timpi couldn’t resist. It was just not like him. It is not like he needed the money. He had everything within the confines of the land. Shelter – a decent sized room in a concrete structure. Alpas almost legally adopted him a decade ago but he still went on and stole from his foster father. He needed a cigarette to be sane and get through the week before the announcement. 

He couldn’t even remember that last time he held paper money. Maybe he hasn’t. It doesn’t matter because he would have no use for it anyway. Timpi was secure that he was going to stay. So when Aruga and Huni suggested that they randomly draw the ones who get to stay, he was furious.   

“It should be a fair fight,” he said. 

“Not everyone makes enough money for the land. We need the ones who are good to stay.” 

 “Are you saying, you make enough?” Huni said. 

“I guess you’re only saying that because you hold the money, unlike the rest of us who had to depend on whatever Alpas thinks we deserve.”  

“Physically holding money is not always earning money, Timpi.” Aruga added. 

“It’s just supposed to slip through your fingers rather than straight to the box.” 

 Huni finally spoke, “unless he slides it into his pockets, then…”  

Timpi couldn’t hold his temper. He was about to hit Aruga when the dog started barking. Aruga signaled Tahol to sit. 

“Watch your beast,” said Huni. “It might just cost you your spot.” 

Tahol whimpered. Aruga walked away and it followed him away from them.

Animal Crossing Update

Here’s my living room in ACNH.

Just dropping by! Hope you’re all doing well. I know I‘m not. But it’s okay! We’ll get through whatever it is we’re feeling right now just to experience another bad thing… but with a different flavor. So let’s be a little optimistic about things.

I know this is a book blog, but I can’t help but pour my thought once in a while.

Until next time,


Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

I haven’t posted lately because I had to review for my comprehensive exams. Hopefully one step closer to finishing my MFA! 🤞

I’m currently reading Vonnegut. He’s the kind of writer I aspire to be: effortless wit, the kind of humor you reserve for your closest friends but hope that some like minded stranger would understand.

Ang Hirap Mong Mahalin

Rough translation: You’re difficult to love.

I still dream about convenience stores in Tokyo. We have Family Mart and Lawson in Metro Manila and I’m trying to fool myself that its essentially the same. It’s not. Like how Minute Maid in the US is worlds apart from the Minute Maid here in PH.

I miss Japan so much 😦

Of course, everything here is cheaper, it’s not even pretending to be anything more. It knows what it is and its nestled in its mediocrity. I’m tired of making excuses for the society I live in. Around this time last year, I was still idealistic that we’re doing something meaningful or noble by teaching in a public school. Now, I just feel cheated. I cannot teach anymore because I have lost faith and idealism. Sad, I know.

I’m not going into the specifics because I’m saving the frustration for my utopian-themed masters thesis, estimated date of completion, if all goes according to plan: 2021/2022.

I also stopped watching the news. If you’ve been listening to the local PH news, you’d know why. It’s not that I’m disappointed because that would entail you had faith in the first place. I’m amazed at how we are living up to the standards – there are no standards. Now, that’s how you survive this country.