The Looming Thunder

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Dreams do fade away

So is the hope to live

Rejection and neglect

What more should I give?

 

If you dream, dream big

Life doesn’t seem to follow

Hard work turns to dust

Hopes turn to sorrow

 

I am never getting there

The voice in my head sings

Better days are yet to come

The voice in my heart brings

 

If God’s will shall be done

I’ll be glad to starve forever

But let it be known,

I tried my best however

 

I am too young they say

My clouds won’t bring the thunder

I say if you try and you must

You will surely fill with wonder

 

But I’m here, stuck

Crippled by the stigma

But I’m here, alive

Facing the darkest enigma

 

I fall, I rise, I roar

The wind whispers to me

“Don’t hold back child,

Be anything you want to be.”

 

“For it is when you think you’re losing

that you see the light,

You have come this far,

be assured things will be alright.”

 

“Keep on digging, keep on pushing.

The precious gems are found in the deep

Wake up and soon you’ll realize,

That dreaming is not when you sleep.”

 

The Second Time Around

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After the success of Beyond Redemption (for being the ebook of the week), Widbook once again put another book of mine into the spotlight. The ebook Saints and Demons is the featured ebook of the week in Widbook! Also, for the second time around, I made it to the top five writers of the week. This is really a big deal for an aspiring published writer like me. I’m sure God is working his miracles on me now. This kind of recognition by Widbook is something that really inspires me to write more, to write a novel-length story, and to aim for my stories to be found in book store shelves.

Saints and Demons is a collection of short stories that I wrote during my temporary vacation after graduating from college. I suppressed my passion for writing shortly after I also left my staff writer position in our university publication. For three years, I took the road to concentrate more in my studies since I wanted to graduate with flying colors. After what seemed like forever, I finally made it to the top of the academic ladder and once again ventured into writing after college. Every short story that I wrote since graduating except for the Misfit’s Crush Chronicles Series is in the book. I compiled all of the short stories for the convenience of the readers.

The cover of the ebook is quite attractive but I do not own it. I got it from a site that offers non copyrighted photos since I do not profit from writing the book. The cover is somewhat symbolic for me. The book contains stories that open the eyes of those who are unaware of the realities of life, of those who chose to always see the good things, and of those who always see the bad. There is this another side of everything that we see in this world, and we just have to look closely in order for us to realize this.

The stories are carefully written to bring entertainment and curiosity to the reader’s imagination. Dark plots are no exceptions but are true representations of a real person’s struggles in the world. Each story has its own symbols and values that the reader may freely interpret to his own desire. The contents are rich in their essence and are truly the author’s guarantee to an entertaining reading experience. Expect to travel to different parts of the globe as you hop from one story to another.

Here are the descriptions to some of the short stories:

The Savage of Porto Velho

In the city of Porto Velho, a mysterious woman appeared bringing threats not only to the people of La Jungla Club who knew her   secret but also to its entire citizens. As Ramon Melo swore, Brazil will know her name and the events that occurred that one fateful night of November.

 

Bittersweet Desolation

How far could a battered wife go in order to give justice to herself and earn the kind of love and affection that she deserves in the first place?

 

The Passing of The Eye: (The Struggle Against the Strongest Typhoon that Hit the Philippine Islands)

A short fiction inspired from the events that occurred during and after Typhoon Haiyan hit the eastern parts of the Philippines. The tragedy, relived from the writer’s imagination.

 

The Paternal Replica: A Horrendous Childhood Memoir

One woman’s childhood horror came flashing back into her memories as the lights are switched off in her sleep. She will never sleep the same way again.

 

Dreams Of Soap

A story of two young African boys caught up with their dreams and the realities of their lives as they travel a long road for their temporary salvation.

 

Beyond Redemption: A Short Story

It tells the story of Carl Larson as he struggled to take away the guilt that had been keeping him unstable for the past years. In order to correct the biggest mistake of his life, he also made one of the biggest decisions that would make or break him. The decision would test the limits of his fears and would measure how far he would go just to be with his family again. read more…

To see more short stories, be sure to subscribe to Widbook and check out Saints and Demons.

Somewhere We Used To Go

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I dreamed of a place we used to go

Where the moon shone just above us

And the stars never faded their glow.

 

I felt the wild grass beneath my feet

Watching the small town below us

From the edge of a limestone cliff.

 

Can you spare me a moment?

To listen to the song of the past

About the places we used to kiss

The heaven we thought we would last?

 

In broad daylight, I dreamed of us

There in the small cottage by the sea,

You made me drown in your love

 

We promised forever, we were so young

You said it’s you and me ’til the end

The end was just at the tip of your tongue

 

Can you spare me a moment?

To listen to the song of the past

About the places we used to kiss

The heaven we thought we would last?

 

If this is the end, let me begin to say

That memories forgotten are memories regretted

That love buried is love unrequited

 

 

Things will never be the same

The choice was ours to blame

For we lost in the game of flame

For we lost in the game of flame

Interviewed by Widbook

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                                                 My interview with Widbook by Ms. Gabriela Loschi.

 

I was granted a rare opportunity to be interviewed by Widbook, an online publishing company about my book and my writing techniques. Check out the interview here http://goo.gl/hwv8GW. Thank you Widbook and Ms. Gabriela Loschi for giving me a chance to share what I know in writing to fellow aspiring writers.

Widbook’s Featured Book of the Week- Beyond Redemption

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Screenshot from my Widbook home page.
Disclaimer: I do not own the art cover for the book. The cover was a painting entitled ‘Lonely Man’ and until now, it remains a mystery for me as to who painted this masterpiece. Credit goes to the real owner of this artwork.

This week’s featured book entitled “Beyond Redemption” in Widbook was written by yours truly. I am proud to say that Beyond Redemption was the very first story that I have written for this blog and published in Widbook. The story was my debut in the online world of writing and sharing. I was glad that ever since the story went online, people kept on adding me and following my blog. It was a gem that invited a lot of opportunities for me. And the people who praised its genius were the fuel to my drive for writing more stories.

Beyond Redemption was written in a first person perspective and tells the story of Carl Larson as he struggled to take away the guilt that had been keeping him unstable for the past years. In order to correct the biggest mistake of his life, he also made one of the biggest decisions that would make or break him. The decision would test the limits of his fears and would measure how far he would go just to be with his family again.

A mix of psychological and science fiction thriller, Beyond Redemption will make you question the validity of man’s soon to be phenomenal invention of time traveling. It will also make you ponder in the end of what really happened in the entire recollection of Carl. Was his mission successful? Or was all just a product of his delusions in order to evade the past that kept on haunting him?

New Book in Widbook

The Savage of Porto Velho

Let me use this opportunity to promote my latest book in Widbook which is entitled “The Savage of Porto Velho”. As I have mentioned in one blog post, I write because I want an escape route. I want to travel around the world for free, so I wrote The Savage of Porto Velho to research and virtually visit Porto Velho, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondonia. The story isn’t about Porto Velho but the fictional events that took place in it.

One will probably point out the similarity of the story’s plot to Bruno Mars’ music video of his hit single Gorilla. In fact, the story is inspired (loosely) on the music video. But I have included in my disclaimer in the last page of the story that any events that doesn’t resemble with the said video is only the work of my imagination. Believe me, I have another take on the story and of which you will be shocked to know later on as you flip the e-book’s pages.

Sneak peek/ Description of The Savage of Porto Velho :

“In the city of Porto Velho, a mysterious woman appeared bringing threats not only to the people of La Jungla Club who knew her secret but also to its entire citizens. As Ramon Melo swore, Brazil will know her name and the events that occurred that one fateful night of November.”

Read the entire story by clicking this link if you have a Widbook account or simply read it here in my blog.

I would also like to extend my biggest thanks to the people working in Widbook for making Beyond Redemption the featured book for the week. I am highly gratified that they took my humble book to the spotlight, making it more visible to potential readers. It’s a rare opportunity for a budding writer like me to reach hundreds of readers, but Widbook made it possible. In my last post about my Widbook Experience, I mentioned about the curator from Widbook who invited me to try publishing in their platform. Yes, a special thanks to you Breno Spadotto for the great help/assistance that you have given to us, new writers. Lastly, to the people who both read and recommended Beyond Redemption in Widbook, thanks a lot!

If you will find Beyond Redemption interesting, I am sure you will also like The Savage of Porto Velho.

The Savage of Porto Velho

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Photo Source: http://www.thefantasybar.co.uk

Saturday, November 13

Big drops of rain started to batter the streets of Porto Velho. Flashes of light tore out the clouds and zigzagged downward a few miles away from the quiet city . Soon enough, the night sky roared in loud protest throughout the eastern shore of Madeira river, one of Amazon river’s many tributaries and of which the city is humbly seated on its side.

Upon hearing the wrath of the sky, people walking in the main streets took shelter to some uninteresting shops lined beside the walking paths. What was supposed to be uninteresting places to buy turned out to be a lively hangout for the stuck citizens of Porto Velho. As always, the rain that night was a blessing in disguise for store owners as sales boosted every time people step inside their shops.  It seemed that for the people of Porto Velho, socializing with others in unexpected situations was better than bringing umbrellas with them. After all, it was November and the weather had been like that for weeks or so.

The biggest sales for the night went to a night club discreetly situated in an alley along the main street of Porto Velho. Ramon Melo, the Spanish owner of La Jungla (The Jungle) club had come into conclusion that for the last five days, the boost in their sales  was not because of the cold and rainy season but because of the new comer, Natalia. Their usual sales tripled since Natalia came. The woman was a wonder and where this Natalia came from intrigued Ramon more than anything. When Natalia stepped into La Jungla a week before, her eyes seemed to tell Ramon that this woman could kill had not for her seductive beauty. But what Natalia showed Ramon on the small stage made him decide to take the woman in even before knowing her origins.

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Tracing her full lips with a heavy finishing of red matte lipstick, Daniela looked at herself with pleasure at the vanity mirror before talking with Sofia who was also seated beside her. Their light brown skin glowed in the dimness of the room. Their long black straight hair were damp by the room’s humidity. Each sported different styles of costumes but of which both revealed a lot of skin. They were almost stripped before they could do so on the stage of La Jungla.

“That woman thinks she knows better than us. Wait until I’ll tell Ramon what she’s been up to,” Daniela said.

“What are you talking about?” Sofia asked as she finishes curling her eyelashes.

“Don’t tell me you don’t know how she looks at Rafael every time she performs,” Daniela answered. She took a sip of whiskey from a glass that had been sitting there before putting her make up on.

“You know too well that Rafael doesn’t settle for just any woman.”

“But this is not just any woman Sofia. She can take us both out of business anytime soon.”

“She can’t do that. We have Ramon for ourselves. Just continue pleasing him and he will not throw us away.”

“That’s the problem. I think he is already fond with that woman. I will tell Ramon that Rafael is sleeping with that Natalia. He will kick that woman out of here before she’ll know it.”

“You’re a bad girl, Daniela.”

“I thought you already knew that,” Daniela said and gave Sofia a devilish smile.

Before Sofia could answer, a stout man in a blue Hawaiian shirt and brown trousers emerged from the beaded curtains of the dressing room. Some white locks of his dark curly hair suggested that he was in his early fifties. It was Ramon Melo, who seemed to be unusually happy that night. Ramon went in the room and glanced over at his two strippers before looking for his new favourite girl.

“Natalia. It’s your turn,” Ramon called not far from where the two women were talking awhile before.

Both Daniela and Sofia’s eyes grew bigger as they were obviously shocked to know that Natalia was just somewhere inside the room the whole time. They looked behind them just to see Natalia emerged from a dark corner of the room with a cigarette butt in one hand.

Natalia was like a supermodel when she strutted toward Ramon. She was tall and her olive skin was healthier to look at than anyone in the room. Her long dark curly hair was all over her head and her make up highlighted the sensuality of her eyes and lips. She was like someone who just got out of the bed that really enjoyed some sex the night before. But she did make herself appear like that on purpose. She believed that men would go crazy for the wildness that she would unleash in La Jungla. For her, men wanted to tame a woman like a beast. They wanted to have the superiority that taming could make them feel.

As Natalia quietly passed by Daniela, she nonchalantly flicked the cigarette butt into Daniela’s glass of whiskey before exiting the room.

“Disgusting,” Daniela said under her breath. She was fuming with jealousy and anger to Natalia. If only she could see something wrong with the woman, then she would never have to worry about her failing career in Porto Velho.

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He called himself Rafael Lima, but from where he came from he wasn’t given a decent name. It had been three years since he stepped foot into the soils of Porto Velho to start his dream of becoming a famous musician. And right from the moment that he saw a bald man cleaning electric guitars from the shop window, he applied himself in to become the man’s helper.

Three Years Ago

The store owner was hesitant to take Rafael at first. He didn’t need additional hand to help him tend after his shop. Rafael was determined and even offered the man his service in exchange for guitar lessons and a place to stay in. His offer seemed inviting but the owner was afraid of the stranger that just popped out of nowhere in his guitar shop. The store owner’s name was Felipe Dias and he couldn’t even deny that Rafael was a very attractive man in a cheap clothing. Felipe dismissed his attraction to Rafael immediately and told Rafael  to get out of his shop or he would call the police.

As the heavy rain poured down the city that night, Felipe was awakened by a loud crashing sound coming from the front of his shop. He got up even though he was still in a trance from his deep sleep. When he opened the door to the shop, he figured out three hooded men in the darkness. All men were headed toward the cash register. Felipe quickly went back inside the room to get his mobile phone, but it was too late as one man saw him and pointed his gun to Felipe’s trembling body.

“Please, please. Don’t kill me. Just take everything you want,” Felipe told the man in a shaky voice. He could see the man’s face that time as his bedroom had its light on.

“Do you think I will let you live after seeing my face?” the man said as he pushed his thumb down into the hammer of the gun.

Out of nowhere, someone slammed an electric guitar on the thief’s head. The thief lost his consciousness and went helpless down on the floor. Before Felipe could react, gunshots rang in the air followed by heavy thuds and blows. There was a struggle going on the floor as Felipe crept his way into the shop’s counter. He then peeped quietly to witness what was happening.

The second thief was already sprawled on the floor unconscious. When Felipe shifted his eyes to the ongoing commotion, he saw a silhouette of a strong man , half-naked and was forcefully pouncing the third thief on his chest. He continued drumming his fists unto the opponent’s chest until Felipe couldn’t hear the last thief breathing.

“Jesus!” Felipe shrieked as he realized that the thief was dead.

Felipe then ran to turn the light switch on. Just as the light blanketed his now ill-looking shop, he saw Rafael catching his breath and sitting on top of the dead man. Rafael was soaking wet from the heavy rain and Felipe felt guilty toward him. After that night, he took Rafael in and gave him both guitar and voice lessons. He called Rafael his anjo caido (fallen angel).

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Friday, November 5

The crisp orange light inched its way into the tiny holes of the club’s window. It was a busy late afternoon for a few people working in La Jungla as they prepared for that night’s show. Rafael and his band were playing the last song for their rehearsal sequence when the main door of the club opened. The bright light that entered the room was blocked by a tall woman’s figure standing by the doorway. Upon seeing the woman’s almost perfect attributes, the music coming from the band all went haywire. Before Rafael could sing the first few lyrics of his song, he recognized the marvellous beauty that stood in front them.

“Is that…Why are you here?” Rafael asked the woman.

He put down his guitar and jumped with a lot of ease from the stage. He jogged his way toward the mysterious woman who was wearing a peach flowing dress made of cotton and polyester. He thought the woman had changed a lot since he last saw her. She became a fully grown woman with a beauty and body to die for. Rafael could feel the hardness of his manhood in his trousers as he approached the woman.

“You recognized me! They call me Natalia now,” Natalia said, happy and excited of seeing Rafael.

“I hardly recognized you actually. In here, they call me Rafael. But wait… why are you here? How did you know I am here?”

“Somebody told us that you are here in La Jungla. This place really suits you Rafael.”

“Are you kidding me?” Rafael seemed to take Natalia’s light comment seriously.

“Does that bother you? Anyway, your mama said you should come home. They miss you. I missed you.”

” I can’t go back yet. I’m starting to make a name for myself in here. Have you heard of Hollywood in America?”

Natalia just looked at Rafael with blank eyes. The word Hollywood was new to her but she was sure it was a paradise based from Rafael’s reaction when he said the word. Rafael guided Natalia to sit in one corner of the club as they were discussing.

“Aren’t you happy to see me?” Natalia asked Rafael.

“Of course, I am. It’s just that this place isn’t for you. It’s too dangerous in here, in the real world.”

“I can handle myself Rafael. I am a grown woman now and I have learned a lot of ways to survive. They say men go crazy if ever they see my breasts,” Natalia said as she cupped the bottom of her breasts with both hands.

“Stop doing that,” Rafael cautioned and put her hands away from her chest, “Men go crazy but at the same time lose their respect to you. Unless they feel the same way that I do for you.”

“So come home Rafael! I won’t leave in here unless you come home with me.”

“You know I can’t do that! You know that we can’t be together when we come home.”

Tears started to well from the corners of Natalia’s eyes but before they could fall, Rafael wiped them away with his rough bare hands. Ramon Melo suddenly appeared holding a red cash box and seated himself beside one of the club’s round tables. Natalia got on her feet and went straight toward Ramon. Sensing that someone was standing in front him, Ramon looked up and his heart skipped a beat when he saw Natalia.

“How can I help you querido beleza?” Ramon asked Natalia.

“I want to work in here,” Natalia said and pointed to the pole that stood in the midst of the small stage.

“Oh… So you want to be a pole dancer?”

Without any word of affirmation, Natalia quietly climbed up the stage and stood behind the pole. She held the pole with her left hand and closed her eyes as she lost herself in a fantasy she would soon create.

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Saturday, November 13

“Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to dive into your pockets as La Jungla presents to you the newest and the hottest craze of Porto Velho.  Be mesmerized by her spellbinding act as she will melt your hearts and souls. Brazil will soon know her name. I present to you, Natalia!” Ramon announced through a vintage microphone from a small cluttered booth.

Her name echoed throughout La Jungla and the patrons who were eagerly waiting for her act stood from their seats. Daniela and Sofia positioned themselves around the tables just beside the stage as some customers requested for them. Natalia materialized on stage as she walked slowly but sensually toward the pole. Her confidence shook Daniela and Sofia’s nerves. She was wearing a tight black shirt with long sleeves made of shiny leather on top and a black lace lingerie on the bottom. Her five inched black high heels clacked in each step that she took. The get up might be a little bit conservative but her actions, though sensual were not offensive to look at.

Rafael’s band started to play a slow song, just enough for Natalia to make her entrance as seductive as possible. Their eyes met and Rafael could see that he was already burning in the eyes of Natalia. Her stare was melting him but he struggled to maintain a steady breathing for his song to continue throughout the performance. Natalia could see the sensation she was making on Rafael, so she shifted her gaze to the audience. She heard most of the customers blew sighs of satisfaction as she looked at the men one by one with a flirtatious smile.

The spotlight was focused at the middle of the stage and it gave Natalia all the people’s attention in the club. She started her routine by holding the pole with her left hand and gradually grinding her body down to the floor. Then, she crouched and crawled like a hungry tiger and climbed up the pole until she reached its middle part. She entwined her legs around the pole and locked her feet together to secure her position as she freed both of her hands and leaned her body away from the pole. Natalia placed herself upside down and slid herself using her legs down the floor. She danced her way up on her feet and made two quick turns around the pole before she held it with both hands and swung herself with all her strength and made a lot of acrobatic moves. She seemed to be twisting her body around the pole most of the time but the audience were more entranced each time she split her legs in mid air using a hand or two to hold the pole and almost revealing the edges of her womanhood.

Her performance was jaw-dropping and at the same time stimulating the heat inside every man. Natalia’s moves around the pole sent a kind of electric current that shivers a man’s warm body. She left the pole after a few minutes and crisscrossed her legs as she walked toward the narrow catwalk of the stage. She paused and as the second chorus of Rafael’s song soared throughout the four corners of the room, she stripped her long sleeved shirt in one swift motion. It revealed her sexy black lingerie. She knelt and did some floor routines with grace and art. All of the men who were hypnotized by her performance dove into their pockets and produced a handful of bills and threw their money on the stage. They were chanting her name and were attempting to reach her with their hands. Daniela and Sofia stopped grinding their butt to the men around the tables as one man pushed them aside to clear his view.

Natalia was like the beast and the men around her were the hunters. They feast for La Jungla’s rare find, they celebrated for her beauty and art. Sparks flew as she was about to wrap up her performance. Clearly, the men wanted more of her but the rest of what she could offer would only go to its rightful receiver, Rafael. For at the end of the night, she and Rafael would passionately make love to one another at the backseat of his car. She was eagerly looking forward to it just like the last few days. As Rafael promised, they would go to Hollywood together to fulfil their dreams- Rafael, as a famous musician and Natalia, as his confidant and lover.

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After her exhilarating performance, Natalia waited for Rafael outside La Jungla. The heavy rain had stopped an hour ago but the coldness of the wet ground she was standing on evaporated into her body. She tucked her coat closely unto her skin and got a lighter and cigarette from her coat’s outer pocket. After lighting the cigarette, she took one long inhale and let out a thick cloud of smoke.

“Waiting for your lover missy?” Daniela asked as she emerged from the smoke.

Natalia didn’t see Daniela and Sofia coming but she felt their presence right before Daniela talked. In fact, Natalia knew that aside from the two aggressive women, there were four other men who came along. The four others just stood not far from where the two women were standing.

“Do you think we don’t know what you’re up to?” Daniela continued.

“What do you want from me?” Natalia asked.

“We just want you out of our sight,” Sofia answered.

“You can tell the boss about my relationship with Rafael. Let’s see if he would dare give us up.”

“I have already thought of that. That’s why I’ve brought some people with me to help finish this dirty business with you,” Daniela said.

“What do you mean?”

Daniela smiled and snapped her two fingers to signal the men to come forward. All the men were tall and robust with muscles overlapping the tightness of their shirts. Their eyes told Natalia that these men were used of killing any living body they wished to execute. It’s as if they knew every intricate detail of killing without batting an eye.

“I’m warning you all. You don’t want to do that,” Natalia said.

“And what will you do? You’re not going to transform into the Incredible Hulk, right?” Sofia said.

“Who is that?”

“What? Jesus! What part of this planet did you come from?” Daniela and Sofia were hysterical.

“From the deepest part of the Amazonas,” Natalia answered.

“Oh, I see. You’re such a joke. Men, do everything that pleases you and make sure I won’t see this joker’s face again here in Porto Velho,” Daniela said to the four big men.

The four men came forward but before they could lay a finger on Natalia, she stepped back and snarled and hissed like an angry animal. In just a second, they saw  two sharp fangs grew from each side of her gums. And just before they could digest into their minds what was happening, Natalia transformed into a jaguar. Her black fur shone in the moonlight but it was hard to keep track of her movements in the dark. She growled and eyed the men one by one, waiting for them to make a move. Suddenly, all six enemies ran away as fast they could but Natalia caught up with one of the men as she leaped and pounded her paws on the man’s neck.

When the man lost his consciousness, Natalia dragged him in a dark corner of the alley and started to sink her fangs into the man’s neck. Her animal instincts took over her as she feasted on the man’s flesh. She had not yet eaten that night and the big body of the man was something that could satisfy her hunger for a day. It was the first time she had eaten a human being. There was nothing else she could do for they pushed her into her limits.

After ten minutes, Natalia heard noises and footsteps coming toward her. Then, flashes of light illuminated her and her victim. The lights hurt  her eyes but she could sense that there were a great number of people ready to hunt her. Dogs barked like crazy and ran after the man-eating jaguar. All the people were shouting and throwing big rocks at her.

Natalia ran away as fast as she could. She leaped and climb her way up a three-meter wall before running in another alley and found a good exit to the main street. She was heading to the forest where she could safely hide temporarily from her predators. Natalia was running the whole night until the people of Porto Velho gave up the chase. When she reached the neighbourhood of Rua Raimundo, a short street in the city which was near the Madeira river, she willed herself to transform into her human form. She was bare naked. Natalia moved with great stealth into someone’s backyard and grabbed some clothes that hung by a metal wire. She then walked a few meters until she reached the woods. In there, she waited for the dawn to come and crouched by a tree’s gigantic roots.

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Natalia found peace in the woods. She had fallen asleep after a short time of crying. All she ever wanted was to be with Rafael, even in their human form. No one would ever understand her or her  love for him. Not even Rafael’s family. They said it was impossible for them to be with each other and that their specie was the enemy, but Natalia proved them wrong when she came to Porto Velho. She defied the fate that the universe had already created for all that exist in its realm.

Natalia felt a large rough hand caressing her face. She held the hand and put it on her lips without opening her eyes. She heard someone grunted and when she opened her eyes, a massive black beast was standing on its strong limbs in front of her. It was a gorilla.

“Rafael? You came!” Natalia said and wrapped her arms around the gorilla tightly.

The gorilla transformed into its human form, into becoming the Rafael that the patrons of La Jungla knew. They both stood up and kissed for a moment, drowning themselves with the happiness that’s overflowing their emotions. Then, Rafael looked deep into Natalia’s eyes. Rafael closed his eyes for a second and let out a big sigh before throwing his dreams away.

“Let’s go home,” Rafael said.

They held hands together and watched the sun rose in the east, uncertain of how they will live their lives in the deepest part of the Amazon jungle.

Disclaimer: The general concept and characters of this story are based from Bruno Mars’ music video, Gorilla. However, some events that do not resemble with such video is a work of the writer’s imagination. All character names appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.  The author of this fiction does not, in any way, profit from the story. No copyright infringement is intended.

The Widbook Experience

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My humble profile account in Widbook.

It has been a dream, or perhaps a lifelong dream of mine to publish a book that everyone will claim to be another sensation next to The Hunger Games or to Tolkien’s tales of Middle-Earth. I am still in the process of shaping this dream into words as I struggle to live a life juggling a lot of activities outside my literary realm. Considering myself as a renaissance woman, I never set aside my literary pursuits into oblivion from the things that I am capable of doing. After all, writing is what really defines me and the only solid skill that I can actually do with a lot of flair.

The advent of technology in the 21st century made aspiring published writers to emerge from the dusty corners of their basements. The world, which is a devotee of electronic communications and social media saw the rise of new writers in fan fiction sites such as Wattpad. The existence of e-books proved that content can now be distributed to just anyone who owns a modern electronic device. With all that in mind, another emerging company offered me to start publishing my short stories in their very own online writing platform. The online platform, which is Brazilian in its origin, is called Widbook.

I have nothing against Wattpad, after all its great reputation includes millions of subscribers. That was really my problem. With a lot of subscribers and emerging writers using Wattpad, my place in the market was somewhat blocked. It seemed I couldn’t get through their net and share my stories into the world because of tight competition. The situation was bound to be hopeless had not a curator from Widbook saw me (or my work) and invited me to try their newly-built platform. Widbook gave me an experience that other platforms were not able to offer. And I’m glad to say that I found my niche in Widbook!

Widbook is easier and more convenient to use. The only downside I see is that you can’t copy+paste your content from a word document to its writing platform. But you can directly upload your word document and it will automatically be placed on the platform. You just click an icon that says ‘DOC DOCX TXT’ or you can use Evernote. Another plus is that you can include images and videos into your e-book. Yes, videos!

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This is where you write your content in Widbook. Just like seeing your dream book forming in front of you as you write. These are the first two pages of my short story entitled ‘Bittersweet Desolation’.

Isn’t it cool to see your dream book shaping in front of you as you write? Now you’ll have an image as to how your book would look like inside paperback covers. Book curators, which are professional writers hired by Widbook are there to personally coach you on how to further improve and market your e-book into their site.

If you prefer reading than writing using Widbook, you will benefit a lot from the convenience of reading an electronic archetype of a real book. Features which will favor the readers include adding bookmarks, highlighting and sharing the quotes from the book, and send/request collaboration from the author himself. They also have an app for those who want to read using their android and apple devices.

In just a few weeks after joining Widbook, I made myself a name in the market of fresh new writers and fiction readers. I even got the chance to be one of the top five writers for a week, which totally explains the number of my followers. I get an average of twenty to thirty followers everyday and that really surprised me at first. In short, Widbook is the new ‘it’ in online writing and reading platforms. A great avenue to showcase your literary flair and wit. Of course, there are competitions on hand that vie for the attention of users, but it won’t hurt if you try Widbook for yourself.

I am not working in Widbook or anything but as a token of my appreciation for the great opportunity and service that they have given me, I decided to put their company in the spotlight. It’s not everyday that people might notice you or your work. Just take the moment to ask yourself ‘Am I really in the right place at the right time?’ It’s when you realize the value of your existence to others and how your passions and hard work get the kind of credit they deserve.

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My bookshelf in Widbook

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Sinulog Festival Survival Tips

Pit Senyor! The time of the year when all things go wild and festive at the heart of the Cebu metropolitan has come. It’s another lively year to celebrate the Sinulog Festival, with a chance of rainfall to add! With all the mass, novenas, and other solemn practices being done, the street party and the Grand Parade held every third Sunday of January will be totally a whack if you don’t prepare yourself well. Expect millions of different people in the streets of Cebu, the party locos, the celebrity fanatics, the Sinulog contingents, the ordinary spectators, the foreign nationals (tourists), and the infamous pickpockets. For those who are not aware of the existence of this festivity, the Sinulog Grand Mardi Gras is considered the mother of all festivals here in the Philippines, thus it’s one hell of a street party!

Here I have listed the essential things to do and not to do to survive the festivity.

DO: WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES

DON’T: WEAR LONG SLEEVES, COTTON SHIRTS, AND JEANS

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Wear clothes that are comfortable enough for you to walk in crowded streets. Expect the weather to be a combination of sunny and rainy. The best pieces to wear are denim shorts or skirts and tees which are either themed or personalized for your own comfort and not for flaunting your undies and “desirable bodies”! Try not to be very conservative or very inappropriate, and tread the line in between the two. Dark colored clothing is a no-no since they tend to absorb more heat, and you don’t want to feel sticky or hot during the event.

DO: WEAR SNEAKERS, RUBBER SHOES, OR ANY CLOSE COMFORTABLE FLATS

DON’T: WEAR HIGH HEELS, SLIPPERS

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I bet you used to think that slippers would be highly appropriate for this grand event. But imagine getting your feet stomped by other people in crowded areas, or get soaked in a muddy/ wet road, or even stepping on broken liquor bottles on the side of the street, seems uncomfortable, right? High heels? I don’t have to explain that because we all know it’s going to be a long walk from the steps of your home to the city. So to protect our soles from elements beyond our control, it’s safe to opt for any close flats.

DO: WEAR COLORFUL ACCESSORIES

DON’T: WEAR EXPENSIVE JEWELRIES

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I have already mentioned that a lot of people are going to invade the streets of metro Cebu, including the infamous people from the world of the dark pickpocket/thief state. So it is more appropriate to wear colorful accessories. Aside from being safe from the prying eyes of thieves, you are also making your sense of fashion fit for the colorful festivity. After all, Sinulog is also all about liveliness and colors.

DO: BRING H2O (WATER)

DON’T: FORGET

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Millions of people are in the streets and squeezing yourself in those crowds will most likely drain your energy as heat and sweat creep to your system. In order to prevent fainting spells, it’s best to hydrate yourself with water. There maybe a lot of street vendors selling small bottles of mineral water, but hey, you’ll never know where your feet and pocket will take you. Having a bottle of your own, safeguards your hydration wherever you go.

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

1. SUNBLOCK- Lather sunblock on your skin if you don’t want to get baked by the cruel heat of the sun… or if there’s any sun.

2. BRING ONLY THE ESSENTIALS

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Only bring a small bag with you that is enough to hold all the important things you want to bring. Travel light as possible so as to enjoy walking and partying in the streets.

  • house/ car keys
  • phone/ camera
  • cash in a coin purse (Just bring the cash that’s enough for you to survive the day)
  • water
  • fan
  • light snacks like biscuits
  • extra shirt
  • hand towel

3. BE WITH A FRIEND OR GROUP

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Celebrating is a lot of fun when spent with friends. Aside from that, you will have people who can make you feel safe in a crowd of strangers.