I go out. Face the world. Muster all the strength I have to project that strong person I wanted people to see. I walk the streets seemingly too confident. Brandishing every move with much stiffness and apathy. I am strong. I am brave. I want the world to see my invulnerability. It is as if a play. I play the lead role. I have mastered the character so well. I had so realistically portrayed the role. I have grown accustomed to this fiasco. Be stiff. Appear indifferent. I always tell myself. I have never let my guards down. People should see me as tough, not giving in to the brutality of this world. In the waves of life’s cruelty, I stood firm like a stone. Like a soldier ready to face the bullet of death for the sake of what he believes in, I looked each problem coming my way straight in its eyes. I never let them daunt me. I have fooled people. I made them believe that nothing could knock me down. I made them see a fighter in me. I have fooled them. But can I fool myself?
—written the night after my father’s funeral. I never cried. I was holding back the tears. Physical attributes, I have gotten nothing from my father. I do not look like him at all. I would always tease my mother that someone else had fathered me. Then I realized that just like my father, I keep problems to myself. There’s something other than the physical that he had passed on to me after all.