Author: Chiaski

Literal Commitments

I have been having issues with work-life balance, and understanding what to prioritize in my life. Aside from the constantly-shifting mental state that comes with being a teenager, I’m getting accustomed to the bigger picture of things: what it means to seize opportunity, what metrics actually matter, and what it means to learn. In other words, I dropped my first class. It seems irresponsible, and maybe it is–but it was a computer science 200-level class that was taking upwards of 20 hours each week that I didn’t feel was really rewarding at this point in time. I still fully intend to be a computer science major, but I’m currently embarking on several projects and preparing for what is perhaps the fullest months that Developh will undertake ever since its founding in 2016. I’m engrossed in Philippine politics, and am working with several campaigns that have also affected my sleeping schedule since I’m working around the clock. Over-all, it’s an interesting experience that I think shifting my major classes will be worth for. There are some things I want to …

Pinkerton, home, floods

The next three thousand words are selections of writing I did for a class I had this Fall. I am slowly learning, and hope to return with better pieces to make the most of this. A lot of my writing dealt with religion, home, and expectation. If you read this blog, you’re probably used to that. Thank you for following my journey from my first “chapbook” (not really) to my first college works. The title comes from the fact that I did delete a Pinkerton reference in the fiction piece, somewhere in the attempt to copy Borges (we read a lot of Le Guin and Borges–the comment was that there was too much extraordinariness in the listing of lives and beings, and I agreed, we have to dwell somewhere more common at times) but without the experience and knowledge to actually understand what a worthwhile life is like, but I’m getting there. I don’t really spend much time publishing or sending out things (I don’t do this at all), but I’ve been writing a lot …

Love as repetition

Incomplete, last update: 2/6/2019 11:44AM How do I tell you that I think I fell in love with someone on Skype. Their screen name revived by the spam message I accidentally sent, everything unanswered and rewinded. Like I spent my teen years thinking I was better because I lived in another world in my room, listening to 8tracks playlists by all my past lovers. I closed my eyes and listened to the Ending of Dramamine. My hair is the longest it’s been in years. We bleached it thrice but I couldn’t get it to gray. It’s the darkest and thickest it’s been in years. I wanted so badly to make it wither and gray, anything but how it looked then. Did anyone ever send you a death threat in BBCode? Or maybe the war we started in phpBB. No amount of trying to get myself to like what you love will fix this. Do you wonder what you would be like if you were a kinder person? Not anything amped up, just kinder. Forgivable in …

Newfound Interest in Snowstorms

I became a girl alive three weeks into class. Even before I left Manila, I fell into this annual sick mess. Like when you can’t breathe you pray to just remember something you have had for your whole life, over and over and over, with every little glimpse at having that again being some cruel joke until it subsides and you think nothing of it. I am so sick I could die. I am so sick I could wait and wait to be okay again and endure it all. The first two weeks or so at Yale (and many, many other colleges in America) are an add/drop period, they call it shopping period here. Your classes aren’t finalized until the period finishes but you have to keep up with all the work for all the classes you choose to attend. Being sick and walking around campus with your head spinning and holding back the urge to start coughing out one’s guts for 5 minutes straight is quite possibly my worst experience here so far. The …

It isn’t a leap year

Hello to a new year. It’s no new though, but it’s also weird thinking that a manmade construct gives us a new slate when the operational or academic or anything timeline doesn’t follow it either–but it’s a mindset thing as always, I guess. There are weirdly vivid times that come into my head when I’m doing work at my computer and just stare at the timestamp in the corner. I move the cursor, hovering gently over the month (paying no mind to the seconds passing by), thumbing over the calendar months til I find dates with nothing on them (not hard to get to) if I happen to be on Windows, and just sitting there like a captive to the passing of something I feel so behind of. It’s pretentious: to be paralyzed, and suddenly lose all focus as if I’ve already lost the year and time itself when I could just simply continue. But it is never that simple.

2018 top albums!

I just finished off my first semester of college this Tuesday, and can pretty confidently say that one of the biggest things that got me to be able to go through everything is music. I’ve mentioned it in the past and still joke about it every now and then, but one of the most exciting things to me about going to school in America is the fact that I can go to shows (!!), see artists that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid after countless years, and immerse myself in incredible local music scenes. (Not to say that it isn’t prominent in the Philippines, though.) Given an abundance of free time (at times), I’ve been more closely immersing myself in new releases instead of just listening to whatever like I have in the past. I’ve never realized how critical it was for me to be with people interested in the same kinds of music–or any music, for that matter–at all. It’s just something I can so easily slip in and out of …

November 13, Tuesday

You are busy. Preparing for something, waiting for something, getting somewhere. I place the most selfless thing that I have made for myself scribbled on the back of a workshopped poem. It is a love letter addressed to myself, signed from myself. It is unsealed and vulnerable. It is hastily written in pen from a conference where I had to pretend to be someone. It is the rawest thing that I had ever known. For the first time in a long while, I ate well. There is a Starbucks in the corner that I visit in early mornings and late afternoons; yesterday, my emptiness echoed into a lecture hall, and then a library, and then the guards checking my bag as I stretched back to my dorm. My nightly fixation is how the drone of my stomach is equivalent to a bomb: that is, it is atomic and resonant and pierces everyone’s ears, that is, it is likely disregarded and forgotten by everyone else in history but the people it has directly inflicted, that is, I …

An American Dream—from the Heart of Manila

I first began thinking about studying abroad in my junior year of high school. In America, particularly. It felt like the safest option in terms of diversity and accessibility, and was entranced by the prestigious Ivy League dream (I knew about Harvard and Yale before most local universities, Western media influence and all).  One day, I brought it up to my mother and was pleasantly surprised with encouragement. If we can afford it, go for it. In 2017, Town & Country Philippines released an article called “The Best and the Brightest: Brilliant Minds From the Class of 2017“. Questionable title, they’re definitely not “the best and brightest” but the point on their international education stands. The universities mentioned in the list are all selective–they’re not those kinds of schools that accept anyone that can pay the full fee and boost their international student count, a metric often used in top college rankings. If you do a quick Google search for a school, you see their acceptance rates–or you know, you know that Harvard is Harvard because it’s …

a poem for the evening sun

I believe in God the Father Almighty, in false things and delusions; the tap water running to drown out the sound of the shivers at seven. In the quiet moments and the bare body on the camera or the lost prophet in the home and altar. Reciting His name again and again will absolve this household of sin, we believed.   I believe in emptiness, in ajar mouth and rewired brains. Tap dancing on the throe of loneliness and kicking bags over fences; the presence of smokescreen or radiation in June evenings–the same infallible empty. Like buckled belts and car crash memoir, weighing life for small games and chances and the redundancy of trying.   I believe in belief, in healing towards the dead. The picket fence and the turn towards atheism, boys equating running and late nights to freedom for the drone of the system to repeat itself again. Where momentarily my verse becomes a soldier, the escape or done vow to something again–the summer solstice and the painted moon towards revival of mankind …