Through the Alleged Looking Glass

I cannot help but feel dread about the upcoming 121 with the PL and another senior leader.

She is good in veiling the alarm and weighted danger of her messages. Maybe to cushion the blow of what they are going to tell me. Maybe to keep it as secret as possible so my answers and reactions would be as close to natural as possible.

I just do not want to get off guard with them. A core of the trust I once endowed so lavishly, so naively, has been fading away.

I want to put value to myself by, after so many hardships and bad consequences, finally standing up for myself. For me. This time, putting myself first and taking good care of myself, before I try to give so much of myself to ANY PERSON.

It took me so long to come upon this decision and live it for myself, do it for myself.

And then God talks to me to forgive.

It happened, Gela. It already happened. I hope the fact that in a few hours, the head of the staff will know this, spells the end of this harrowing chapter of your life.

Just do not deny it also taught you a LOT of valuable lessons. Lessons I know, will help you become a better person, only if you allow it. Only if you respond to it in grace.

By Dr. Gela Villa


I watched the majestic reds of flowers nearing as the escalator I rode on descended. A lot of them were reds, bundled in a few stems and placed at each pockets of the stands being displayed for buying.

Most were reds. There were specks of little yellow flowers to make it more diverse, a white one in some thinly made bundles and leaves of green attached to its greener stems held by an invisible straw. All tucked safe in the steel pocket of a black stand, a stark contrast to the lively greens, reds and yellows it bore.

As colorful as the ornaments were to match the gaily celebrated coming of the summer, they stood in their liveliness faking it as much as they were, in their form, a fake. All lively. All artificial.

The initial instant delight wore down as the escalator continued its descent. The feeling was still present, though, when I reached the landing and inspected critically to prove to myself that indeed, the flowers, in all its splendor, were plastic.

Then again I couldn’t help but admire the lively colors, since I thought they were true flowers.

I cannot help but admire and at the same time come to terms with the twinge of disappointment at its feigned authenticity. After all, fake flowers cannot compare with the wonder and awe and beauty of a true one. Not even a true, withered one.

By Dr. Gela Villa

Grinding Stones

When I read message of the SSE about how they came to understand their love for Phi, and through feedback fueled their inspiration to love the sorority even more, I had a strange feeling. I was alone.

In the midst of more than a thousand sisses, I felt alone.

Going back to Palawan and finding out that I’d be missing the entire summer with Phi activities, with me being the Asst. Sister Caritas, naturally I was aghast. An unforgiving one at that, whose conscience bore the brunt of an absentee summer sis. Before going back I resolved to ask my father money for rebooking to an earlier ticket for Manila. All I needed was the right tiyempo. And this tiny crack of possibility presented itself through my mother, who asked “Kailangan mo ba talaga mag-Boracay? Pwede natin tanungin si Daddy mo.” Little did I know that my mother was just trying to humor me so I wouldn’t feel so distraught about not joining any tuli missions. But this smallest of the small chances I usurped just to say I did everything in my power to make possible what I wanted.

I learned the hard way I shouldn’t have done that.

That night the family was sitting in the living room sofas, with every person doing his/her own thing to kill time. It was a relaxing atmosphere. The wind was cool. It got a nasty chill to it when, after mustering my softie charms on Daddy and in a palambing way urged him to come closer so we could talk, I said I wanted to rebook an earlier flight to Manila. I dropped the bomb. What followed through was the bomb, after exploding, burst off its fragments to awaken the land mine beneath.

Until now I feel the aftermaths still. But these take place internally. Without meaning to, I hurt my father. After a day or two I talked to him about, he said it was normal for the family to go through things like that. Things like your daughter wanted to choose Phi over her own family. Deep down I knew he was hurt. My family was questioning what Phi really was to me, that I unknowingly hurt them for wanting to rebook at their expense.

What is Phi to me? Who am I to Phi? Those were the questions the SSE wrote down, and answered through consensual feedback.

But instead of fostering stronger ties between Phi and me, it grew a trail of doubt. I hate to say this, just after swearing my undying devotion to the sorority when I prematurely ran for Sister Caritas last election.

That time it just felt right to run. To offer myself wholly to a cause the sorority offered, a cause I firmly devote myself to like sword to a samurai. To willingly sacrifice the time I may have to spend with my family. To abate the fears of going to a tough LU4 with such a heavy responsibility on my shoulders. Almost everyone was cheering for me. In retrospect, I committed to run without knowing the depth of its consequences. It was clear to me I ran blindly. It was clear to me I ran bravely. I felt like a desanctified martyr who wondered what it was she lost for in the first place. “Lost” being of two natures, one who literally lost the elections and one who was still groping in the dark as to who she really was and what her beliefs were before any of these had to happen. Who her true self was, beneath a layer of veils she voluntarily laid upon herself.

After I read the SSE message from a print out, I realized that I needed to do something about my situation. What the situation was, I may not fully know. All I knew was if I continue to be heedless of undertaking a task too far out, I’d find myself in a future I may not have worked hard for in the first place. A different future where somewhere along the way, I’ve lost sight of who I wanted to be and what I want to do.

That was a considerable fear. Yet, I cannot be living in such a fear. I‘ve got to do something about it. Daddy’s right. It’s not the sorority. It’s not the lack of money. It is my personal choice to undertake what I did and the night I told them what I would like to do. What I thought I’d still like to do.

By Dr. Gela Villa


Always has been. With you.

Every time I see your name, or feel your presence nearby, or just hear the sound of your voice, there’s this split second of hyped up consciousness, followed by a grueling number of hours thinking about how best I could’ve been at that situation.

Should I greet you? Say hello, maybe? Should I have smiled at you? To tell you that in these small gestures of mine that I care for you? When I come across you at the halls, must I strike up little conversations, or text you from time to time, so that you would know I’m here?

Well I am here. In this crazy, bordering on pathetic, one-sided freakish love story where I, and only I, am the heroine who musters a brave face and decides to move on. Never to look back. Never to hold on. To the remnants of what could have been a beautiful, beautiful thing called love. Yet here I am still, except that my partner in mind seems to be engrossed in travelling places, in 9gag, and in women of whom I am clearly excluded.

Do you know how painful it is to accept the fact that you don’t feel the same way for me? That you’d rather have me within ten meters’ length from your reach? That you are enjoying the hell out of life while I am here, dreading the moment I would see you again, yet glad in my heart at the same time because at least the proximity tells me we still live in a kind world that can give second chances for poor hopeless romantics like me? No matter how much I try to shed off this stubborn hope for us to be together, to try and save myself some dignity of again falling into the trap of unrequited love, still it holds on. It tenaciously, annoyingly, surprisingly holds on. And I can’t do anything to shake it off.

Believe me. I have successfully convinced myself to disarm from these kinds of traps. From your trap. I read countless tweets of gutsy move-on tips, and articles on how to get up from a heart-scarring phenomenon. But to discover that I only do it to cover up the feelings. To dampen the passion that has grown from the seeds of last year rooted firmly and surely.

These feelings. They make me cry. They bear the truth that indeed, I have grown fonder and fonder of you by the day, regardless of whether I see you or not. Of whether I talk to you or not. Of whether you feel the same way about me or not.

All the more, these feelings make it clear how displaced my love for you is. I, the vessel of romantic emotions, and you, the cold, indifferent one.  Poles apart, we are the opposite ends of the spectral love.

Before I used to imagine that I’d come undone in the great name of love. I didn’t hope for this. That I’d come undone in this manner. Because it’s baring the soul out of me with nothing to come home to, nothing to take warmth from. Only sadness and pain.

Yes. There is something worse than pain. More heartless than pain. It’s indifference. And unrequited love is the most hurtful love of all.

This just doesn’t make any sense at all.

By Dr. Gela Villa

Ripened for the Picking

For the ordinary eye, we might just be another batch of Regionalization Program students entering LU 3 of the UP College of Medicine. An additional 17 students to a pool of hundreds who have gone before us trudging the same path. Seventeen new faces to become doctors whose hands tend to the sickly of the forsaken havens of the country.

We take pride in being part of RP 2016. Handpicked from the different regions across the country to study in its most prestigious school of medicine, we live our own unique stories that shed light on why we choose to be where we are now through RP. And it’s not about using the ridiculous backdoor to get into UP Med. That falsely cheapens us. It creates an unfair image which does not in any manner give justice to the nobility and excellence of purpose that the Regionalization Students Organization and its constituents uphold. We, together with our alumni, have proven time and again that our lot is way better than that.

And as much as we uphold the same ideals that our predecessors have laid before us, that the college have instigated in us, we are going to be the batch aiming to deliver our goals to golden heights. Not just for the RSO, but for the Filipinos who have been first and foremost, our priority patients.

Our dreams are as diverse as our personalities. But we are held on by the same thread. Like dancing marionettes governed by the same hand, we similarly commit ourselves to cultivating the best that we can be in this institution which serves as our primordial learning ground.



By Dr. Gela Villa

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By Dr. Gela Villa