Magdalene

She reaches into her pocket. Literally, not a single penny-even for a candy. It would have been nice to have one, she thought. Her mouth was as dry as Sahara desert.

She chuckled. She’d rather be in a deserted place┬árather than stay here — on the streets looking out for another customer. Worst of all, she has not eaten yet.

It’s been slow. The economy has worsened and nobody wants to waste their money on prostitutes anymore. Money was tight for every one. It was 2020 and Manila has some of the darkest streets and trades. She had no where else to go. For someone who can barely read or write, everyone refused to take her.

How she got there? Nobody knew. Some do not even care. They would just pass by. But mostly men, look at her, with so much disdain and lust. Some women would stare her down–from head to toe.

But she walked anyway.

Now she laid lifeless near the river banks, along with the bunch of garbage. People started to surround her body. No one knows her or her name.

Her story, we will never know.

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Social Media Show-off

There I was, on the kitchen counter, with a new MacBook. I am elated. Never in my life, did I imagine myself getting one. I was a die hard Bill Gates fan but here I am, a traitor.

I am “in” as they say. Those days, where I feel a pang of envy towards people posting about their MacBooks and iPhones, are gone. Now here I was, contemplating how to post it on social media so everyone would know about it.

I hit post and waited until I received likes and heart signs on my Instragam account. But here I am, a few hours later, guilty as hell for bragging about a laptop. That feeling of pride that you have an expensive MacBook dies down in an instant and it replaces it with shame and ridicule. I scolded myself for being too fixated on the reactions of the people around me when quite frankly, it does no good to anybody and they might not even care.

Don’t get me wrong. Celebrate if you must. If it brings comfort and ease to your daily existence, go ahead.

My point is people, including myself, rely too much on social media to get appreciation and likes. And how many of these likes are even sincere? We post I love You’s to our families on social media yet we do not make them feel that way when we are at home. We are so hooked to self-gratification nowadays that we forget the reason why Social Media exist– to create bonds and relationships; to interact and communicate with other people outside your spectrum; to learn new languages. Nowadays, it is about being famous and going viral.

I am no angel and I am quite guilty of this. Nevertheless, life is a constant learning process. As we go through experiences, we learn that there is more to this than bragging about a new computer. Clearly, we are far more better than this.