I Am Still Here

Today was probably the most tiring day for me. I am exhausted about everything and so I wrote this poem in honor of my luxurious meltdown:

I Am Still Here

I can no longer count the many times I thought about death like a luxury
I thought of it as a way to be freed from the negative, heavy forces the universe places on one’s shoulders
I thought about death so many times today
I thought of how everybody would probably love me when I’m dead.
When I lost my dad twelve years ago, I wished I was the one lying on his casket
I wished it was all a dream and I was the one who was stabbed by a Katana in the abdomen, cut with a bolo knife numerous times in the head and stoned to death
I wish I was the one who had excrement in my jeans, crying, begging that there was someone in the crowd who would help me
His death taught me that not even your best friend could actually take a bullet for you
as his left him in the battlefield
I thought about turning back time and wishing I could morph into his body and we could switch places
I wished that when I talked about losing my dad, people did not judge me for no longer having one
I wished that they did not think I grew up broken because they did not know how it felt to have none
I wished someone held my hand, wiped my tears and told me they were proud of me because I grew up strong
But it was all wishes that did not come true.
My dad died for me.
My dad killed for me.
I thought about death so many times today because of how people I trusted mistreated me.
You may have thought I had given up but I am still here.
I thought about my own death
But I am still here.
You could kill me many times in your head
But I am still here.
You could kill my heart until it crashes down my feet
But I am still here.
I am going to keep fighting.
I could cry a river, fall on my knees, crawl a mile,
but I am going to keep fighting.
I thought about death millions of times today.
But I realized
You may have killed my heart,
But it still got eight lives,
And my dad taught me how to keep my fists alive.

Passion and Poetry


Yesterday, I was lucky enough to meet a guy I have never heard of before. I feel a bit embarrassed for not knowing him. Who wouldn’t know Mark Bustos? Apparently, I didn’t until I got a smiley from him through my hidden message requests on Instagram. I was intrigued by him and “googled” his name (he doesn’t like the term “google” but I am using it anyway). It turned out that he was actually very interesting and fascinating, and I have admired him instantly.

It wasn’t because of how popular he is now, but the fact that he has worked really hard to get to where he is, and he decides to give back to people. He is a humanitarian with a very inspiring advocacy to help people in need of support. To cut the story short, he is a popular hair artist who has worked with celebrities and high personalities but also conducts hair cut sessions for free on the streets when he has the time.

I asked him how he started doing his thing and he said it started when he was young. It really helps that you discover your passion at a young age. He was fourteen when he started playing with scissors and “giving his siblings and friends crappy haircuts” (at least that was how he described it). Then he worked in salons to practice until he became really great at it.

He worked on his passion and persevered. And now, he is a perfect example of a man who is either “expensive” or “free” but “never cheap.”

I am pretty sure everyone wants to be that person, but it takes a lot of hard work to get to that position. And knowing your passion and what to do with it is where it all starts.

Every time I meet new people and tell them about what I write in my website, I almost do not answer them. I just want them to see it for themselves. I want them to be surprised when they discover something they wouldn’t have expected me to write — like my erotic poems. After all, that is what Toast&Tea is all about — a bit of mystery and discovery.

A week ago, a guy I met in a secluded bar at Soho Central talked to me and asked me about my inspiration for writing my poetry series, Senses. At first, he came up with the idea that for every poem, there was someone, a man or a woman, behind it that sparked my imagination and creativity.

I just smiled at him and asked if he wanted to be one. Of course, I was kidding.

When you are a writer, you get inspiration from anything, even the simplest things. It’s not just a person, it’s not just anything. Sometimes, you even draw inspiration from nothing.

Also, when you are very passionate about something or when you know your passion, everything just comes out easily and naturally. You just need to work hard to keep up with this passion. I can’t say I am successful at what I am doing now, but I will get there eventually. I still have a long way ahead.

This Thinking Space

I imagine myself being in the middle of a rice field. Alone, listening to the noisy sound of rice stalks swaying with the wind.

I no longer recognize myself. I don’t recognize this place — this place that has become a big part of me. This has been my thinking space where I seek comfort from. When I feel happy, I come here and emanate the happiness I get to feel. When I feel sad, I am more likely to confide in this tiny virtual space to let all my bad feelings out.

So many things have happened and changed in the past six months — most of it I found great. Because of that, I have forgotten that I have this space to run to if ever things don’t go the way I want it. I try to always be happy and to be grateful for everything I have, but sometimes, I also have days when I just don’t feel like living at all. It’s like…it is so hard to live, I just want to take a break and forget I exist.

Today I woke up sad and really empty. Maybe it had something to do with a dream that I could barely remember but I just knew I had to cry it out.

I’ve been feeling alone and to avoid being depressed, I run to people I love and care about to in search for happiness. I am aware that in order to be truly happy, you should start with yourself. But you know what’s sad? It’s when you know that it isn’t helping you at all, and that you feel like you are not allowed to feel how you feel.

I am not always this lonely and depressed. As I have mentioned a couple of times already, I want to be happy, and I want to inspire everyone to be always positive. But there is this part of me that comes out once in a while…this part of me that I can get rid of.

I feel jaded, and all I want to do is hold the people that makes me happy close to my heart. Unfortunately, not everyone I love understands the way I am, and when things go down the drain, I always end up feeling abandoned in a rice field. But right now, I have found this thinking space again. I am here alone, and I appreciate this solitary moment I get to have. I will get past this phase, and I will be okay again.

Gratitude Is One Key To Happiness

Gratitude is one key to happiness. When you are grateful and you recognize this feeling, you will most likely find what makes you happy. It took me a while to realize this, but recently, I’ve started thinking of the things that I am grateful of and things that have made me genuinely happy.

Today and in the past few days, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. I had no explanation as to why I behaved a little differently. It could have been because of the female genes (you know that time of the month where women turn into monsters?) or I am just really naturally depressed.

But just because I haven’t been feeling good, I am already dwelling in this emotion. I always try to find happiness in my daily life. It’s a bit hard, especially I don’t feel mentally and emotionally stable right now.

Nonetheless, I found my happiness today, and for that, I am grateful.

Today, I am grateful:

  1. For Jed, whom I just officially met today. She is so cool and admirable. She laughs and smiles a lot. I was so happy when I finally got to interact with her. I just suddenly realized that she has inspired me and she is the person I want to be.
  2. For Chelle, who was with me today. She makes me feel comfortable and she actually listens to me. She also gives good advice and motivates me to do things I am usually not confident doing.
  3. For Kayla, who happens to have the same personality as me. She has been my coffee buddy for almost a month now, and I love it when we go to Starbucks just to talk about things we are both interested in (like gossips haha).
  4. For Cielo, my little sister from another mother. She makes me laugh every time we talk. She talked to me today, and even though it was only a short conversation, I am thankful that she remembered me today.
  5. For my mom, who remembered to talk to me today. She lives in another country, and her doing this means a lot to me.
  6. For my sister, who were always so worried about me. She is definitely the best sister in the world.
  7. For Andrew, who I always stress out with my sporadic mood changes but is still patient with me. His one-minute call made me happy today. It was short, but I was happy to hear his voice.
  8. For that kind guy at my favorite congee shop. He is always the one serving me, and he is very nice and humble. I didn’t see him for two weeks, and he told me he went on a vacation. I asked him where he went, and I found out we were from the same hometown! No wonder we connected!
  9. And lastly, for the congee I ate, the coffee and the winter melon milk tea I drank today. They’re very delicious! :3

After writing the things I am grateful for above, I just realized that people were wrong when they said we don’t need a reason to be happy. Of course we do. We always do. Sometimes we just don’t realize how things make us happy.

Now, what I want you to do is to think of what made you happy today. 🙂

Hold On, I Am A Little Unsteady

Maybe you were right. We can’t be together if I never help myself to be a better version of me. Maybe you were right when you said I can’t be with you if I stay like this — eternally lonely.

I thought I was already the better version of myself. I thought I was better than who I was yesterday, but I guess I still wasn’t. There are still lots of things to improve on, and I am starting to feel like I am never going to be good enough, that I will never be good at something.

I tell myself it is okay. It is okay to fail because I wasn’t born perfect and I will never be perfect. It is okay to give up when I can no longer hold on to something that I’ve been having a hard time dealing with.

You may tell me that is a foolish thing to do — to quit — and that only the weak and dreamless people do it. But you know what? Sometimes quitting could be the strongest and bravest thing you could do.

I’ve always wanted to be the last person to say something. It is not because my pride is too high that I want to be able to say the last words in a conversation, but it is because I want you to remember five to ten years from now that I did not give up and just forget what you said…that I responded, and that was the end of everything.

I have never known how painful it is going to be when you let me say the last words. I have never thought I would want you so bad to respond…to tell me not to give up, to hold on and be more patient, to be strong for you.

Hold onto me, ‘Cause I’m a little unsteady. If you love me, don’t let go