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.

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.”