This Is What Depression Looks Like

This Is What Depression Looks Like

By: Xandriane E. Loriega


It is waking up to a gray sunrise every passing day
ignoring my bed bug infested foam when it feasted on my skin
not taking a bath for a week and wearing the same underwear for days;
the piles of laundry I kept hidden for a month – from April to May
it is the bags of trash I refused to throw; clinging to the small
pieces of my day I out rightly refuse to dispose,
it’s looking at my distorted reflection in the bathroom mirror
noticing only the scars that’s carved on my grave looking face;
it’s walking while dragging my feet to the door
it is my appetite lost in an all you can eat buffet,
me binge eating on Saturdays with nothing but parfait,
it’s purposely drinking water to find myself choking day after day;
the times I deprive myself from drinking on hot summer days,
it’s being with friends with my mouth tightly shut; I have nothing so say
yet laughing out loud from a line in a dramatic play,
it’s thinking I’m probably abhorred by the people I call peers,
it’s me crying from the pain I sometimes no longer feel,
it’s not eating my salad of milked avocados,
not saying “Hi” to acquaintances passing by and said, “Hello”
it’s planning a trip for weeks only for me to cancel;
it’s my pillow drenched in sweat and tears – I’m such a funny damsel,
it’s not singing along to my favorite song,
it’s sleeping all day from morning to dawn,
it’s bidding happy good byes to my family – Adios! So long,
it’s finding comfort in the corner inside my closet
my mother yelling my name for hours, her voice upset,
it is knowing that the sun is an adversary, and death a friend,
it’s breathing while feeling I am better off dead,
it’s waiting for an arm to reach only for me to turn away,
it’s standing on top of the bridge railing, finding
the dark asphalt road as hope’s path and only way,
it’s trying to smile in the midst of weeping,
it’s suddenly screaming at nine in the morning,
it’s vomiting on the sink even when I had barely eaten something,
it’s throwing everything in sight without me knowing,
it’s holding a knife to my throat with the intention of stabbing
when I had always been nauseous of the thought of blood spilling,
it’s me teaching others the skill of swimming
and finding myself intentionally drowning,
it’s my cellphone suddenly ringing
a person I haven’t talked to in years, calling,
a familiar, good-nature voice rhetorically asking,
“Hey, how are you doing?”
slowing down my shaking,
finally breaking down, howling,
I whisper, “Help, I’m barely breathing.”



Bagahe By: Xandriane E. Loriega

Ang problema ay nasa parisukat na nakausli sa aking kanang balikat.
Minsa’y nakaaba sa aking nababaluktot na likuran,
madalas pumupulupot sa mga bisig na ngalay.
Laman nito’y samo’t-saring pagdududa na nais kalimtan;
saloobing hindi lubos maunawaan –
patuloy na bumabagabag sa bawat sulok ng isipan.
Nilalaman nito ay ang mga katanungang patuloy na
naghahanap ng tiyak na kasagutan;
sagot na noon pa’y natagpuan subalit pilit na tinatalikdan.

Ang problema ay nasa parisukat na de-gulong
na hinihila ng aking pawising palad –
Minsa’y binubuhat kapag daan ay lubak,
madalas iniiwan ngunit muli ring binabalikan.
Nilalaman nito ang mga suliraning na sa aking harapan;
mga responsibilidad na hindi ko nais gampanan.
Laman din nito ang mga mithiing nais kong makamtam –
subalit salat at yaring kapos sa kaginhawaan,
ito’y hanggang bubutihing pangarap
at mananatiling bituing susungkitin mula sa kalangitan.

Magaan man o mabigat, ang parisukat ay aking pasan
simula sa pagmulat ni Araw hanggang sa pagtulog ni Buwan,
ito’y sumasandal, dumidikit at nananatiling nariyan;
sa balikat, sa likod, o sa bisig man;
hinihila, binubuhat o binabalikan;
akay-akay, dala-dala ang bagaheng aking taglay
kasa-kasama ko sa aking paglalakbay.
Masalimuot ang gabi kung lama’y madagdagan
mapalad ang araw kung ito’y mabawasan.

I Feel

I feel extremely helpless, hopeless and gone. For the past few months, years actually, I have been consistently making great efforts toward the light of self-actualization and in what do I envision myself in the future. And for these past few months, years even, I have consistently and constantly failed. I am lost in the depths of the murkiest water, stranded in the sea of constant confusion and chained to the poles of permanent mediocrity. I am lost. And I want to be found. I cannot bare to live knowing that everyday is a losing battle and that I have to wake up to the constant slap of reality that I am a failure in the making.
I feel extremely used and taken for granted. For the past few months, or for moreover a year, I have constantly tried to be the best that I could possibly be for a group of people who never really cared nor appreciated me. I am tired of pleading. I am tired of begging. I am tired of asking for the same thing every single day. I am tired of repeating myself every single day, begging for your attention and respect. I am tired of being sick and restless because I was up most nights, thinking and burning my brains out just for everything to work out.
I am tired of all of you. I am tired of every single piece of shit that reminds me of you. Fuck you for being so important that I have degraded myself, sacrificed my self, is willing to go to certain extents just to fix and  make sure that everything is working out for you. I am tired. So tired.
To life and you, I just want to say that I feel too.
Stop messing with everything that’s going right. Stop ruining my already messed up life. I feel too, so stop making it a point that it’s always about you. That I get to be hurt because everything that you think is important is you. Stop making me feel that I’ve never done anything right and that I never will, because I feel too.
All I wanted to be is to be happy like you. All I ever wanted to be is to feel happy like you do. For all I feel is the negativity that you throw and bestow unto me. That I would always be the mistake and the mediocrity I have grown to be.
I just wanted to feel.
Because all along, when I thought that I felt, I never did.
Photo Rights: Vincent Tenazas

Under The Influence

A night of someone’s happiness and celebration. All of us filled with thrill and excitement.

Then it happened.

That simple gesture.

I know I don’t have the right to feel this way, but I did anyway. It felt so real.

Him, hugging me from behind, it was something that I dreamed of for years.

His comfort, his love.

Knowing that he smiled, it was all that made my knees go jelly.

Knowing that it was me, out of all the rest, gave me the fantasy that maybe it is still me.

But, being the naive person that I am, of course I assumed. I believed. I thought it was true.

A gesture done out of the influence.

Fuck everything. Fuck feelings. Fuck gesture.

Why. Why do I still feel those butterflies whenever I see you. Your smile. Your eyes. Everything.

You told me you were happy. Happy that you made me happy. Fuck you. I hate you.

Because after all these years, all the pain and hurting, all those sleepless heart-aching nights, I still feel this way towards you.

You who never even considered looking back at me.

You whom I still love.

Fuck you.

I love you, you silly fucked up bastard.

But no matter what I do, I will always look the same to you.

I will always be, will only be, your best friend.

I can only sigh.

I was happy. To have taken care of you.

Maybe you being under the influence had its advantages.

I wouldn’t have been with you if it weren’t for that.

I hate you ’cause after all these years, the fucking butterflies won’t die.

Even if it was just you being under the influence.

Anime Analysis: Clannad + Clannad: After Story


Clannad is a complex show. On the surface, it’s a typical high school drama/romance with a hint of supernatural elements. As such, it also follows a pretty simple harem formula: a main protagonist surrounds himself with beautiful girls who each have problems that he attempts to resolve, as well as possibly some girls falling for him in the process. Shows like Bakemonogatari have deviated from this typical harem formula with its own unique brand of comedy and whip-smart dialogue, and Clannad is no exception.


Hopefully through this analysis of both Clannad and it’s sequel, Clannad: After Story, you may get a better understanding of all the little nuances and layers the show packs on, leading you on a journey that’s as transcendently beautiful as it is heartbreaking.

Note: The following analysis contains a heavy amount of spoilers for Clannad and Clannad: After Story, so proceed with caution. If you have…

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A Soon To Be OFW’s Prayer

A Soon To Be OFW’s Prayer

By: Xandriane E. Loriega

O, ray of light that shines down upon us
hear the cries of your lowly servants:
freedom from the chains of doubt and regret;
release us from the sorrow of desires unmet.

Allow us to discover what’s beyond the border
to dance in exotic fields with raging colors –
us restricted and bound by persuasive traditions
of nursing the old and raising other’s children.

Grant us the grace to explore beyond ourselves
and realize the crafts we’re created to delve –
awaken our fire, fuel our thirst;
kindle the flame; unleash the child.


Grado By: Xandriane Loriega

Ang mga numerong iginuhit ng aking mga guro
sa kapirasong papel ay patunay sa aking mga abilidad –
magsaulo ng mga parirala at kumabisado ng libro;
magbasa mula sa unang pangungusap
hanggang sa huling salita – subalit ito lamang
ang aking natatanging kakayahang nakuha;
ang buong buhay na ginugol sa pag-aaral
ay walang malinaw na punlang naitanim
at walang matinong aanihing bunga

Ang mga numerong ito ay isang katibayan
na ako’y naging hangal at nabulag
sa mga prestihiyosong karangalang
kaakibat ng matataas na grado –
panandaliang kasiyahan, pang glamor Kodak lamang;
isang instrumentong panglikom ng dekorasyong
ipangsasabit sa harap ng salas –
mayroon lang maipagyayabang sa bisitang walang muwang
at sa kapitbahay na walang nais kundi ay makalamang

Anong saysay nang mga sanaysay
kung ang diwa ng pag-aaral ko’y naglaho;
ako’y nawala sa kawalan ng mga mangmang
na walang alam kung hindi ang magbilang
ng mga numerong walang kahulugan –
sa pag-iisip na to’y magdidikta ng mabuting kinabukasan,
at kaligayahang matatamasang pang-wakasan;
naglahong pagkakakilanlan
at pagkaalila sa sakim na kaisipan
ang tanging naiambag sa aking kasarinlan.