Unfinished Sketches




Thank you Juansen for the nomination! And I’m so sorry for the late feedback. I had a myriad of academic-related things to do, and I really, really have to prioritize those, as much as I wanted to answer these right away. Anyway, I’m done with all those academic mess, although I do still have an exam to take tomorrow. After that exam though, I will finally be free. AT LAST. I’ll soon be waving hi to all the movies and TV series that are waiting to be binge-watched, and all the books that are dying to be read. And also to my guitar and pencil that are just almost a snap away to be played with.

So, here are Juansen’s 7 questions (Your questions are awesome, Juansen, btw) :

  1. What did you wish to accomplish by starting a blog?
  2. What is the story behind your domain name?
  3. What is your MBTI Personality Test Result? How does it affect you as a person?
  4. What is your meaning of life?
  5. What is your favorite memory?
  6. What is your passion?
  7. If the world suddenly paused just to listen to you—what would be your message to the world?

Here are my answers:

  1. What did you wish to accomplish by starting a blog?

My wish is just similar to what many bloggers who run a personal blog wish to accomplish, eudaimonia (personal happiness/welfare) and catharsis (purgation). To think about it, eudaimonia and catharsis might not be mutually exclusive. I often feel a certain eudaimonia every time I experience catharsis through writing. But, every catharsis for me does not always result to personal happiness. For example, I might be purged of all the worries and doubts inside after posting some entries here, but that does not necessarily make me happy. There is surely satisfaction, but I also often don’t get any pleasure from purging negativities.

What surely give me eudamonia are my interactions here with other bloggers. That might be the top thing in my mind on why I should be starting my own blog. I could always read blogs, without creating my own, but part of me wants validation, and improvement. I can only improve through constructive criticisms, and also, most importantly, experience. “Am I doing OK? Is this OK?” I was thinking then, that maybe blogging should give me answers. Feedback is very important for me, because I believe that destiny (and passion) would always slam me to work places that require public writing, and public writing demands a myriad of variety, ethical precepts, etc. I also wish to give my personal feedbacks to many other aspiring writers here, and so far, I’ve been giving a lot of positive comments to multitude blog posts, and it is because there are so many smart and quirky writers here in WordPress. I also noticed that I get inspired quickly every time I scroll down my WordPress feed. That’s how incredibly awesome people here are.

  1. What is the story behind your domain name?

@ligawnakerubin = Ligaw na kerubin = Lost cupid (Dir. Eng. Trans.)

One of my nicknames is Angel, and I tried to come up with something unique out of it. I decided that ‘Angel’ or some kind of wordplay or modification or whatnots of that name should be included in my domain name. I had numerous futile attempts with ‘Angel’ because all of the wordplays or puns I made are so, NO. They were so corny that I almost opted with just ‘Angel’ but I later figured that that’s just lazy and uncreative. And then I thought of Greek & Roman Gods/Goddesses, because there’s just a 3rd Yr. English book lying there open near me, while I’m in my weird, brainstorm pose. There is a Psyche & Cupid tale there, and I thought, ‘Hey! Why not, right?’ And so I have Cupid, being the Roman god of desire and affection, portrayed as an angel with his iconic bow and arrow. I had second thoughts, because his passionate depiction doesn’t quite ring true to me. I’m not a dreamy, match-maker either. But Cupid/Eros and I are both great believers of love. And I thought, well, maybe love should be enough. Cupid in Filipino translation is Kerubin, and so I have Kerubin. I thought I should add something.

Ligaw is lost in English translation. Bawat Daan by Ebe Dancel has been my favorite alleviating anthem. I take comfort in the message of the song that I’m not alone. I’m not the only one who’s lost. Placing ligaw in my domain name means that I’m OK with being lost from time to time.

So, long story short, @ligawnakerubin is basically one of the many people who genuinely believe in the power of love (huh, sappy, I know) and she also happens to be one of the many people who are unashamed and OK to admit that they’re occasionally lost.

  1. What is your MBTI Personality Test Result? How does it affect you as a person?

 I’ve taken a lot of the variations of the MBTI test, and almost every time, I test as INFJ. Sometimes I test as INFP/ENFJ, but I circle back always to INFJ. Although I’ve researched that MBTI is quite flimsy because it didn’t have enough foundation to support it, I still acknowledge the fact that MBTI is indeed very helpful in understanding basic behavior patterns and personalities of people.

Here is a brief description of the INFJ personality type:

INFJs indeed share a very unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

Source: https://www.16personalities.com/infj-personality

I was amazed many times by the accuracy of most of the descriptions on INFJ. I was amazed by how true it speaks for me. The descriptions just translated my thoughts about my personality, into words, that I initially found difficult to articulate. For more than a decade of my existence, I’ve always noticed how different and sometimes ‘off’ my personality is compared to other people. Most people just perfectly fit into this particular personality, and I found it difficult to fit myself into anything. Maybe part of it is because I refuse to place myself anywhere. This INFJ Paradox really hits the jackpot:

While the INFJ values sharing deep bonds with people, they often struggle with opening up themselves. So even though they are the person who will coax the truth out of others, they are intensely guarded about their own emotions. The INFJ wants to bond with others but may struggle to truly do so. They hide parts of themselves out of the fear of being judged or misunderstood. They understood others very easily, but struggle with sharing themselves completely with people. The INFJ wants to be understood, but often fears what it will mean if they open up to people.

Source: http://personalitygrowth.com/the-truth-behind-the-infj-paradox-explained/

Discovering my MBTI personality type made me appreciate who I am. I still catch those self-depreciating thoughts every now and then but they come even rarely now, because I’ve learned that I have to love myself, in order to genuinely give the love I wanted to share with others. MBTI helped me, most essentially, to understand and appreciate the people around me. I’ve understood that people are different and their personalities are diverse, but this does not mean that we should create barriers. This may be a hasty generalization, but I love quoting it: Diversity is beautiful. MBTI just gave me a lot of points to support this.

  1. What is your meaning of life?

Life, for me, is loving. It all falls down to this notion that we should really love in order to really live. What makes us wake up? Love. What makes us hold on to living? Love. You really know you’re alive when you love yourself and you love other people, as well.

  1. What is your favorite memory?

Oh, this is too hard to answer. I have a lot of favorites. I can’t really articulate all of those memories that I love all at once now, as much as I want to. Plus, I might be saving those memories for future blog posts. Hehe, sorry buddy.

  1. What is your passion?

I can’t think of only one, because there are lots of things that I genuinely love to do.  But, in general, I think learning is my passion. I’m passionate about learning about other people, the latest news, different viewpoints, musical instruments, art, writing, languages, culture, food, self-expression, etc., etc. I have like, 12 tabs on my screen right now, and each displays distinctive contents that I’m currently interested in. It’s hard for me to center most of my attention on one thing or two, because I get bored too easily. I wish I could hack my brain into a singular thought right now. I can bring myself to focus into one, of course. It’s just very difficult for me to do it, and it requires a myriad of shenanigans and rituals like taking a bath first, listening to a full Regina Spektor or Coldplay or Ebe Dancel album, and then eating powdered cocoa, before doing anything else. So yeah, I love learning. Learning is very easy now, especially if you have a good Internet connection. You can watch a flute tutorial on YouTube in one tab, read an interesting psychology-based article in another, play Duolingo in another, chat with friends on Facebook in the next, scroll WordPress in another, watch a movie in Rainierland, listen to a local indie band, create pictures in Canva, etc., etc.

  1. If the world suddenly paused just to listen to you—what would be your message to the world?

Ehem. Ehem. Friends, family, countrymen, I’m here to deliver you an important message.

Stop being so discriminating and unreasonable. Stop making other people feel less human that they actually are, just because they’re different from what you’re accustomed to. Make some sense out of: “We’re all equal.” And just LOVE. Oh, and also, there are lots of people around you who need at least a 5 second hug. You are required to attend to those people.

I nominate:

Life As A Bipolar Artist

Dear, Jhoanna






And my questions are:

  1. What are your core values? How do you transform those values into action?
  2. What is/are your favorite book/s? What make/s it/them a favorite?
  3. Aside from writing, what do you like doing best in life?
  4. Who inspire you the most, at this moment?
  5. Are you a hopeless romantic or a realist? Why do you think you fall under this label?
  6. Which artist do you listen to the most? What do you like about him/her/them, or his/her music?
  7. What is your course/profession? Where are you studying/working? Do you feel like you are heading to the proper direction?

Dear Ate Krystel,


23 April 2016

8:45 AM – ?

If it weren’t for that Facebook post, I might’ve never known that you already died. When I stumbled across that post, I initially thought that it was your birthday, and I remembered feeling all geared up on what sappy birthday message should I post on your wall and what picture of us should I choose to post along with my greeting. The Facebook post was a photo collage of you and the person who posted it, and there were also several group pictures pasted on the collage where you and I are included. But then, there’s also a coffin, and I found it odd because it seemed to be quite inappropriate for a birthday post. I knew what was coming, but half of my heart doesn’t really want to believe it. Half of my heart is in compete disbelief. No, it was not Ate Krystel’s birthday after all. There’s no need for a cheesy birthday message and a selfie with her. Intrigued, and with my heart in my mouth, I decided to read the caption. I can’t imagine that the moment I started reading the photo’s caption would also be one of those rare moments when I’m really sure that I’m absolutely rooted to the spot, and the whole world just fell over my shoulders. It was like someone has dropped a bombshell, and I’m not so certain anymore whether to run away from it or not, even though there is that obvious choice to delude myself. The caption goes:

“Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean, ‘We will miss you. Until we meet again.’” Haysss. Hanggang ngayon mahirap pa ring isipin na never ka na naming makakabonding ate at masisilayan. Rest in Peace ate.

I did a double take, just to be sure that I’m not having an unexpected hallucination. And then another take, and then another. I was thinking that maybe if this is not a hallucination, I might just be having a morning after, because I binge watched a series with a couple of shots of caffeinated coffee the night before. So I did another take. I blinked a myriad of times. I slapped both of my cheeks. I smashed my head on the table. I pinched myself so hard. I was running in circles. I must’ve read the whole caption repeatedly for over a hundred times. Every time I read it again, my head would scream a series of “What?”, “No!”, “Ate Krystel?”, “Ate Krystel!” and “Sorry.” I just stared blankly at the screen and felt that my grip on my gadget went numb.  Every part of me went numb, even my heart.

“What?”, “No!”

We were just having a conversation a week ago! We even left from the office together, just you and I. You were telling me that you were already prepared for your last year at college and OJT and that you’re about to finish the required number of duty hours. You have plans.  I was telling you about thoughts of shifting out from my course. You were telling me tokens of encouragements, which was so like you. You were laughing at my little, corny jokes as we walk along Riverbanks, because I was so pathetic and you just loved to give away gestures of appreciation.

10 April 2016

7:15 A.M – 11:30 AM

When I entered the room, you were already there, along with Ate Veronica. Ate Veronica was recording the heights and weights of the patients. You were searching for the files of the children and young adults who were about to be checked-up by the doctors. I gave you and Ate Veronica a small wave and a “Hi.” You only smiled back. I approached you and asked if I can help you in any way. You offered me the attendance sheet so I have to wait for people coming in and out of the room, to make sure that they’ve signed. You seemed preoccupied and maybe less gentle than what I usually know. I shrugged it off because maybe you’re just too busy. Minutes, or maybe hours later, I was asked by Kuya June to measure the blood pressures of patients. It took me a lot of time, but occasionally, if there were no patients to attend to, I would come over yours or Ate Veronica’s stations to assist them. Later, more service youths came, and the room suddenly felt brighter. Ate Camille, Ate Irah, and Ate Lizette, are really, really close friends and they have known one another for a long time so whenever they’re together, eruptions of laughter is inevitable among them. But even they cannot make you genuinely laugh at that time, which I found so odd. You would only smile and nod in recognition whenever we talk to you or even make you laugh. Lots of people went to be checked, so there were also lots of things to do. Searching for the people’s files was extra harder, because some of the files were missing, so consequently, we have to make a number of new forms. We thankfully accomplished all of these. I felt fulfilled. I was sure you do, too. Ate Camille, Ate Irah, and Ate Lizette stayed to watch a TV show, after we gave them our goodbyes. And then we left.

11:35 AM – 12:45 AM

We walked away from the office together. Your home was just near the area, just some meters away from the office, in Barangka. You only have to walk. I still have to ride a jeepney to Cubao. I noticed that you were extra quiet. I knew that it’s already your disposition, but at the back of my mind, I also knew that something’s going on about you, because you wouldn’t be that quiet if there wasn’t. I wanted to ask you that but we’re not close enough, and I worry that you might take offense of it. I also knew that you wouldn’t give me the most honest answer that I want to hear. I wish I asked you, because I’m quite intrusive, but not in an annoying way. I use this pushy disposition to bring out the best and the worst out of every people I meet. But to think about it, even if I travel back to this time, you still wouldn’t tell me what’s wrong if I blatantly ask you. Your parents and your closest parents never knew what you’ve been going through until the day that you’ve been confined. Only your boyfriend knew it. I wished you told more close friends about it. Maybe, just maybe, that would make a better outcome, if not the best. Maybe you the baby will still be here. Maybe you would still be here. But the maybes are done. And you’re gone. Both of you are gone.

So instead of being too intrusive and personal, I just asked for slightly meager questions for the sake of conversation. I almost didn’t do it, because I had the strange feeling that you didn’t want to chitchat with me at all, and that you didn’t need it. Because Marikina is almost coated fully with candidates’ paraphernalia, I asked if you are going to vote this month, and you said yes. I asked about your possible presidential and vice-presidential choices. We discussed yours and we discussed mine. And then I asked you about college, and your plans. You told me about enrollment, OJT, SpEd, etc., but these were all told in a rush, as if you just wanted to answer my questions for the sake of it, and as if you wanted to end it. But, I feel like a have to fill out the possible silence so I made measly remarks about traffic, the weather, shifting, Marikina, my university life, etc., etc. I even didn’t remember the things that I said because they were too pointless and disorderly to remember. I just remember you, your sweet veneer, and your sad atmosphere. We parted ways, and I remembered feeling disconnected and dissatisfied because I didn’t accomplish that personal task of cheering you up.

“Ate Krystel?”

You had a quiet, gentle and sweet nature, and I love that about you. Your calm disposition is the Yang to a troubled person’s Yin. You somehow balance my screwed-up, slightly cynical character whenever we’re talking with one another. You made me feel like I was actually OK to be with or at least, you made me want to believe it. You believed that everyone has a heart, no matter how broken they look in the veneer and that everyone should have the chance to learn, especially those who are handicapped. You were translating those beliefs into action by majoring in Special Education, and assisting in this foundation. You were so passionate about service, and I always see you moving, helping and offering your hand to every people. Whenever we’re in the same room, I consistently notice that you always had something to do. You don’t just stare at empty spaces during free time, or choose to watch T.V right after eating lunch. Or maybe chitchat with the other people in the room. No, you were always on fire. “Nothing to do” doesn’t seem to be in your vocabulary of phrases. There should be more people like you in the world— those people who act more, and talk less. Or at least, there should be more people like you who can quickly convert their core values into action, not just mere dusts of bullets fired to the moon, exploding into nothing. But now, the world is deprived of people like you. The world somehow became less gentle, less diligent, less efficient, less helpful, and less appreciative without you.  Another sweet Yang soul has been taken away from this Yin-dominated, messed-up planet. The world is deprived of Ate Krystel.

24 April 2016

“Ate Krystel! Sorry.”

            I didn’t cry even after God-knows-how many times I’ve read that Facebook post. I didn’t cry the whole day, and I remembered feeling worried about the state of my soul. Am I still human? Am I still capable of feeling? Have I become heartless? I messaged some of our mutual friends, and they told me that the funeral is over and your wake is also over. The people I messaged told me that they texted me, but my phone was broken. I was not able to receive the news. It was only the night after I saw the Facebook post that I really cried. I cried because I will never see you again. I cried because I never had the chance to know you deeper. You’re the kind of person I would love to befriend. I cried because I will never see a future where you’re there.  I cried because I didn’t attend your funeral or your wake. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Ate Krystel. You are far away from us now, but closer at the same time. You will always be in my heart. I’m pretty sure that we will see each other again. Good bye.