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On November, on Pretenses

November 1st and the colors it brought

I greeted November with the thoughts of going home but stayed in the city instead. I welcomed November with a bottle of Tanduay Ice along the lonely, crowded Mango Street dazed from its post-October bliss with Sashi, Virhenia, and Jacklyn. We were cool for sitting and drinking in front of National Bookstore waving to the passing motorists, who smiled at our antics—our sorry attempt on pretending as prostitutes in heat. Mango hookers cannot afford to sit, they stand and run since the competition is stiff. I wanted to welcome November with words, many words, written words, beautifully written words.


A very well-thought-out costume

On Halloween

“Aside from that, for dressing up and pretending to be something else, there was only Halloween. And church,” quipped Loorie Moore on her interview when asked “Did you ever act yourself?”

Should the question be taken at its face value? Acting as theatrical per se? If not, I envied her. Because Halloween is only one of the many pretenses I do in life. My days are reeked of the (un)necessary hypocrisies and pretenses.

Halloween is the day of the hiwi (crooked), the day when one theaterizes one’s self. Or the day to show the innermost self: evil.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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  1. David says:

    Hey Jona, nice website & stories. This Mango Street you speak of – it sounds ripe with story! I will send my brother there to investigate..lol.

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