Friday, March 29, 2013

Not Easter Sunday, but Holy Week

It's that time of the year again. It's Holy Week.

When I moved to Canada, I was surprised that Easter Sunday is more popular than Holy Week.

However, in the Philippines, Filipino Catholics commemorate Holy Week. It's a week long holiday from Holy Monday to Holy Saturday. Filipino Catholics observe it in their own ways. Some go to the beach, some do the Way of the Cross, some go back to their hometowns and visit their family, and some go to a spiritual retreat. My family commemorates it in our own way.

l grew up spending Holy Week at home or at my aunt's house in a small town South of Manila. It's at the foot of the mountain, so the air is fresh and its very quiet. My aunt goes to the market every morning to buy fresh foods. There's no tv or Internet. It's a very simple and quiet week. And that's how my Holy week has always been.

I can't "celebrate" or have fun on Holy Week-especially from Good Friday to Holy Saturday. So I had to turn down my friend's invitation today. I feel bad for turning my friend down, but there's nothing I can do. I want to go, but I know that I would feel guilty. My friend BG advised me not to go. She didn't even invite me to her birthday celebration on Saturday because she knows I can't go. She says I'm religious, I say... I'm not. :D

It's...tradition? I don't know. The point is, Holy Week is a significant time of the year. It's always been that way and I hope it will always stay that way. Then I can celebrate again after Holy Week--on Easter Sunday. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

At The End of the Day (aka Homecoming Part IV)

It's difficult to appreciate the little things when you're tired and stressed.

At the lowest point of our lives, we turn to someone or something that will make us feel better.

For my regular blog readers (if there is one), you probably already have an idea of my "addictions". For new and recent readers, this list is a summary of my "addictions".

My reliable go-tos:

a. Asian dramas. I watch an episode (or two) when I need a distraction.
b. Anime. When I would rather watch a 25-minute episode or when a one-hour drama is too long.
c. Books. Need I say more?
d. Friends. They're a very good and fun distraction.
e. Can't think of anything.

I rely on this go-to list when I feel like everything is falling apart and I want to forget reality. These past few weeks have been tough, and I unexpectedly turned to the last people I never thought I could turn to: my family and closest friends.

It's not because they're my family that I turned to them. They represent my other identity, the 19-year-old me who grew up in a small, poor, and corrupt country that moved to Canada. The other Lora who walked to school with garbage on the streets, breathed the dirty air in the city, got used to flies and cockroaches flying everywhere, and saw children on the streets asking for money.

And those were just normal things that happen everyday.

I have cousins who live in the country and can't afford tuition because they can only afford food. Their condition reminded me that I'm still lucky even though I'm exhausted everyday. There were times when I felt like giving up but when I thought of my old life and my relatives, I couldn't give up. I had to work hard.

And that was when I realized that my other self will always be a part of me. The self who grew up in the Philippines for the first 19 years of my life. The self who will always make me realize that there are a lot I should be thankful for. 

That was how I got through this semester. And why my blog is named Homecoming

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I write poems whenever I feel like it. This is one of them.


Stare right into her eyes
And you'll see the dark corners of her world.

Stare right into her eyes
And you'll see the pain that resides in her heart.

Stare right into her eyes
And you'll see what she really feels.

Look beyond the face that shows you the glittering eyes and infectious smile.
Look beyond the words that tell you that everything is alright. 

Because sometimes, we just need to let it all out. 

© Lora Quitane

Another poem I wrote a few years ago. I wrote this at 3:03 a.m., and I'm sure that this needs editing. But I'm too lazy to edit it right now, so I'll just post it as it is. Inspired by someone close to me. 

And Then She Became Five Years Older

It's not her looks--
the face that can fool anyone
for them to think that she's a teenager,
nor her face free of make-up,
but the eyes that mirror her thoughts.

It's not the clothes--
for she wears what she wants
and eats when she wants.
Her body is the least of her worries.
What matters is that she breathes and lives. 

It's not her actions
that makes you think she's innocent
and child-like most of the time,
nor her fascination and imagination,
but the subtle things she does that rarely catch your eye.

It's what she sees and how she feels.
For a child must open her eyes
to realize and accept what's in front of her.
To understand that it's in her hands
how the future unfolds.
And when she finally opens up,
that is when she grows.

And that was how she became 5 years older.

© Lora Quitane

"Whatever you do, choose life.
The thoughts on your mind, choose life.
Wherever you go, choose life."

- Soul Searching, Urbandub, from Influence.

"There's no point to keep your head face down,
When all we see and know and feel is temporary."

- A Call to Arms, Urbandub, from Apparition.