“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki MurakamiNorwegian Wood

Favorite, Letter

Unsent Letters

Dear Stranger,

1. I’m going to tell you now I’m a bit harder to love than most. It’s because I grew up with ghosts at my home and fallen debris. I turned myself into an armor of steel so I would be protected from slashes and whips and people like you who might break me.

2. Sometimes I would need you to cut through my barriers and reach me. Sometimes I would need you to knock on my door when it’s closed. Sometimes I would need you to love me a little bit louder.

3. Dear Stranger, I’m going to tell you now that if you are here to stay, I would ask too much.

4. I have a mixed up relationship with my depression, dearest. It comes and it goes and sometimes it takes over and I can’t control it. I would need you to hold my hair and keep my head up when I vomit my life all over the sink.

5. I won’t ask you to tell me that things are going to be okay, because I have enough wisdom to know that they won’t always be. I won’t ask you to hold my hand and tell me to turn over to self love, because I don’t have any.

6. Self love is a blanket I cover myself in when I go to sleep at night, occasionally with punctured holes and flaws whenever my thoughts have taken over or when someone throws hurtful words at me. Self love is a luxury I couldn’t afford, not when I spent this long drowning in too much loathing.

7. Dear Stranger, I am not alright. I’ll be okay on some days and I would laugh at your jokes and hug you tight and kiss your lips. I’ll believe in a parallel world where my life isn’t taken over by a lonely sky. I’ll fumble my way through crossroads and horizons, just so I could meet you halfway. I won’t leave you alone and I’ll try harder to get to you, it’ll only take time for me to get there day by day. I would ask for you to be extra patient with me and careful, as I don’t know what I’m doing.

8. I kept all the butterflies in my stomach in a jar hidden somewhere in my closet. I would need them at nights when I’m tangled up in your sheets and need to feel something.

9. This would be a burden, but I ask you to keep me away from my family.

10. Dear Stranger, for all of this, I am sorry. I just need you to love me.


This was written by Cariza Opana. Her first blog was entitled Paper Antlers (which I have no idea how I got there.) I remembered I was 16 years old and finding a way to escape boredom, I forgot the other details, but all I know is that I was visiting Cara’s blog everyday hoping for updates and new articles to read. Her works inspired me to create a blog and continue my writing.

I was a campus journalist during high school. I’ve attended workshops, joined contests, received certificates and medals, and even won first place in Copyreading and Headline writing in Golden Pen Awards during my fourth year in high school. But now that I’m not in high school, I’ll be honest, I never was into journalistic writing. I liked it, but I never love it the way I do with creative writing.

After I passed the entrance exam of West Visayas State University, I listed my name on Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. It’s because I did not know what I want to be or I had no plans where I should be, I was just driven by the fact that I was a budding journalist in high school.

My friend Jeremiah listed his name in Bachelor of Science in Development Communication. I said, “What’s that? Are you sure you like that?” and he told me tales about this course and I was like, “Okay. It’s good, somehow.” Days before I could take the exam in Journalism, I transferred my name in DevCom. I was so sure that time, no backing up plans. I made up my mind, “I guess I don’t belong in Journalism. I guess my fate and my passion is really to go out and help people.”

I’m really fortunate to found Cara’s blog. It helped me ignite my love for words, those that are free and with no technical standards. She writes from her heart and you could feel her sincerity. Because of her creative ways in writing, I was motivated to follow what I really love, take risks and proved to me the line from the movie We Need To Talk About Kevin,

“Just because you’re used to it, doesn’t mean you like it.”

This 2017, Paper Antlers‘ domain name was changed to https://caraopana.com/.

Visit it. Devour the words to your soul 🙂

Favorite, Personal

Looking Back at 32 Songs

To be frank, Electronic Dance Music or EDM seems to be dominating my music taste in the present. It is globally admired for it covers up your thoughts at the moment you hear it, as if it’s hypnotizing and stimulating. Some people, including me, who want to forget their problems for a while, listen to this kind of music. It is in demand in people’s night life and the people who make this kind of music continue to grow in numbers.

But I want to share these 32 songs that some, I used to love back when I wasn’t still a devotee (slave) of EDM. This is a diverse list for there are 32 different singer(s)/bands. I have a lot of favorites but I just picked what I want to include in the list. I chose 32 songs because the number 32 has a significant meaning in my life.


Check out this list. Maybe some songs are close to your heart! 🙂

  1. 1, 2, 3, 4 – Plain White T’s

  2. The Scientist – Coldplay

  3. Secrets – One Republic

  4. Your Guardian Angel – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

  5. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

  6. Time for Miracles – Adam Lambert

  7. Be Your Everything – Boys Like Girls

  8. Love is Waiting – Brooke Fraser

  9. Live Like We’re Dying – Kris Allen

  10. Thinking of You – Katy Perry

  11. Perfect – Simple Plan

  12. Never Grow Up – Taylor Swift

  13. Collide – Howie Day

  14. Skinny Love – Birdy

  15. Oceans – Hillsong United

  16. Moment of Truth – FM Static

  17. High Hopes – Kodaline

  18. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Greenday

  19. Six Degrees of Separation – The Script

  20. Somebody Out There – A Rocket to the Moon

  21. Sad Song – We The Kings

  22. When I Look At You – Miley Cyrus

  23. Love Like Woe – The Ready Set

  24. Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls

  25. Love Bug – Jonas Brothers

  26. Oh Darling – Plug in Stereo ft. Cady Groves

  27. I Wouldn’t Mind – He is We

  28. If I Die Young – The Band Perry

  29. Unwell – Matchbox 20

  30. Your Call – Secondhand Serenade

  31. Never Alone – Lady Antebellum

  32. Brielle – Sky Sailing


No Child Should Be Neglected and Forbidden of a Happy Life


People who are close to me often describe me as their “physically clingy” or “touchy-feely” friend. I literally cling to someone’s arm in any circumstance, hug my friends frequently and touch anyone’s hair or hand. I like feeling things at the tip of my fingers.

This personality (or maybe a mannerism) that I cannot cease had led me to the thought of pursuing my advocacy. I don’t know where it all started but as I grew older, I loved looking at babies and again, touching them.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.

We all used to be babies. Babies are the purest and most charming creatures. But no one stays as a baby. I believe that they should be monitored and while they are slowly learning things about life, they should feel loved and guided. That is the noblest thing we could do, building up children to be strong for them to survive life; living it happily and with no doubts.

What I want for children is that they should not be neglected and forbidden of a happy life. They should be literate. They should be given the needs we once needed when we were still a child. My advocacy was also inspired by my personal experiences from my childhood.

My childhood days were monotonous. I don’t feel excited talking about my 7-year old self because there was nothing special in every day. I don’t want other children to grow up as sad people. They should experience good moments in life while they are still young. Life has so much to offer. If not to my childhood, at least for theirs.


A Mass Communication added with a Heart

“Education, work, and access to health care for all are key elements for development and the just distribution of goods, for the attainment of social justice, for membership in society, and for free and responsible participation in political life”, said by Pope Francis.

There is this one thing, very dear to me, that I ponder in relevance to what the Pope had said. This something, I can use, to personally say that at least, this is something I have to live for; to fight for. This may not be known to most people or some might be curious about the sole purpose of its existence, but as an advocate, I will share my personal judgment about this something to prove that this is more than just Mass Communication.

When we say College of Communication, older people will mostly think of these three: television, radio and newspaper. As of today, cause by technological advancements, youth of our age will refer Communication students as expose to different media platforms and added the thought of social media or the internet. I know some people will always degrade the ones who are in Communication courses. They say it is all fun and easy but they have no idea of our everyday struggles. It is inevitable, but what they do not know is that there is this something that is more than just what they perceive.

Development Communication is this something that I’m talking about, that people should know about.

The mother of Development Communication, Dr. Nora C. Quebral defined Development Communication as the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfillment of human potential. The mere fact that it is not that known to most is because it was articulated just in 1971. Unlike other courses which almost been a part of the history of our grandparents.

Development Communication has been labeled the “Fifth Theory of the Press” because as time passes by, the needs of the people are becoming extensive and they realize that there should be a just and harmonious way of empowering individuals to achieve development. It is more effective for people to participate than the older ways like oppression, abused freedom and unbalanced system.

The role of Development Communication is purely for the well-being of people, progress of communities and strengthening the future of other generations. Development Communicators are not just simply giving the necessities of individuals but we are teaching them to have their own identity. We are obliged to teach them not to depend on other people and make their way through fast-paced society.

Not to forget that we are using common means of communication like radio, tv and newspapers but mostly posters, fliers, magazines, flipcharts and many more, just added the purpose of development.

Development Communication is essentially participatory. It is more than just one day project of tree planting, feeding program, raffle draws and giving kits. We give people the chance to show what they are capable of doing and enhance it even for them to share to their fellows. We believe it is not just about the money and material things, it is about the learnings that they can use until the hourglass of their lives will finally lose their sand.

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

As a DevCom student, I could say that Development Communication is a Mass Communication added with a heart.


Life is a Dance


“Life is a dance,

You learn as you go.

Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.

Do not worry about what you do not know.

Life is a dance,

You learn as you go.”

-John Michael Montgomery’s, Life’s a Dance

In life, nothing and no one is perfect. It is unavoidable to make mistakes. It is impossible to not fall down. There will always be times where we would thought about giving up… But just like in dance, we have to finish what we have started. Yes, there will always be errors, but as what they always say, “practice makes perfect.” It is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. As long as we are motivated by those to be the best version of ourselves.

In dance, you may either be a choreographer or a dancer. You alternate with those two depending on the situation. It is rewarding to lead a team and it is fulfilling to manage in our own terms. We have to share what we have got, but we have to consider that there are also people who have something to give. Sometimes even more, than we could ever give. But it is always a choice. Be the choreographer leading your crew or be the dancer learning new steps. In life, we have to grasp that sometimes we will lead. Sometimes we will follow.

Dance, as I have learned from my recent PE class, is composed of three factors: rhythm, movement and self-expression. Without these three, there is no dance. But, there is more to dance than these components. Dance is so broad, so artistic and sophisticated, that actually, we can relate the technicalities of it to people’s lives.

Just like in ballet, life can be precise and organized. The flow of circumstances is smooth, so flawless, as if there is no problem. But there is no stability in life. Sometimes life can also be hiphop where it goes crazy and you are letting loose. But keep on dancing. Dance is beautiful no matter what genre. Just like in life, we have to keep on living, because still, there is beauty in life.

In contests, sometimes there is a criteria for costumes. You wear a prescribed outfit, suggested color of shoes and sometimes make-up. But no one wins just because of the attire. It is still about the talent, skills and passion for the craft. This is also applicable in different aspects of life. There is judgment on the first impression, but what stays and wins are what we show from the inside.

Dance is exhausting but as a dancer, I never thought about leaving it. I used to be so physically drained at the end of each day, but I never stopped for my mind is stimulated with choreography, corrections and new information.

We may feel tired of living sometimes but that’s just how life is. The odds will not always be in our favor. Keep on striving and be fueled by the thought that we have something new to learn every day. Our learnings never stop and being alive is the greatest gift that we received from above.

Dancing is life. Life is a dance.

Favorite, Quote

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

– Pride and Prejudice


It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.

– Diary of Anne Frank


 It is so appropriate to color hope yellow, like the sun we seldom saw. And as I begin to copy from the old memorandum journals that I kept for so long, a title comes as if inspired. ‘Open the Window and Stand in the Sunshine.’ Yet, I hesitate to name our story that.

Flowers in the Attic


Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There’s no hurry, for there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy…and no money to buy it with.

– To Kill a Mockingbird


And yet he had loved her. A Bookish girl heedless of her beauty, unconscious of her effect. She’d been prepared to live her life alone but from the moment he’d known her he’d needed her.

– The Lowland


Today I’m five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I’m changed to five, abracadabra.

– Room


Because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.

– The Bell Jar


There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

– The Notebook


Better be happy old maids than unhappy wives or unmaidenly girls running about to find husbands.

– Little Women


She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

– Eleanor and Park


 There is so much Darcy wants to talk to her mother about: the war and what happened to the soldiers who were there; the feelings she is having for the new (and troubled) boy in school. But she can’t. So she finds solace in her mother’s garden.

– Garden of Angels


There are two types of women in the world, Beattie, those who do things and those who have things done to them.

– Wildflower Hill


If you stare at the center of the universe, there is coldness there. A blankness. Ultimately, the universe doesn’t care about us. Time doesn’t care about us. That’s why we have to care about each other. – Every Day


© Reynele Angeli Soldevilla

After some time spent sleeping, wide open eyes, in unfamiliar beds with those who carry their mouths like sharks, you learn well to breathe underwater. – Emma Bleker