(2021) HEIGHTS Vol. 68, Seniors Folio

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heights seniors folio 2021 Karapatang-ari 2021 heights ang opisyal na pampanitikang at pangsining na publikasyon at organizasyon ng Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila. Reserbado ang karapatang-ari sa mga may-akda ng isyung ito. Hindi maaaring ilathala, ipakopya, o ipamudmod sa anumang anyo ang mga akda nang walang pahintulot ng mga may-akda. Hindi maaaring ibenta sa kahit anong paraan at pagkakataon ang kopyang ito. Maaaring makipag-ugnayan sa: heights, Publications Room, mvp 202 Ateneo de Manila University p.o. Box 154, 1099 Manila, Philippines Tel. no. (632) 8426-6001 loc. 5448 heights - ateneo.com facebook.com/HeightsAteneo Twitter: @HeightsAteneo Instagram: @heightsateneo Malikhaing Direksyon at Dibuho ng Pabalat: Patricia Grace Fermin Paglalapat: Patricia Grace Fermin, Giulia Lopez, Aitana Nellas at Justin Dhaniel Tan Pag-edit ng mga Litrato: Kevin Bryce Castro Inilimbag sa mvb Verdigris

Seniors Folio antolohiya ng panitikan at sining ng seniors 2021

Mga Nilalaman Lucas Abaya 2 Island Virgins 4 Zianne Agustin Dinner Rituals

12 14

Cristina S. Batalla Bandang Maynila

18 20

Jude Buendia Palabas sa Binondo

30 31

Kevin Bryce Castro


Ang Ginhawa ng Binitay

Brianna Louise Cayetano 40

let her sleep there's already a bed

41 42

Diana Rain Cuevas



Train Ride


Marguerite Genuino Evermore

52 54

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon 58 Alien World 60 Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin 72 Langib 74 Sermon 76 Marty R. Nevada 78 Daft Punk splits up like it's nothing Raphael Angelo D. Ramiro 82 <Cats> 84 Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez She's a GodLord!

88 90

Madeleine Sy 104 creep 106 frailty 108 Clare Bianca Tantoco 112 The Last Year: The Blanket



Panimula Batch 2021, our journey began in OrSem 2017, Likha, where we were entrusted with the goal of, not only envisioning, but creating a future within and beyond the four walls of Ateneo. Three years into our journey, in our last year, we were met with the tumultuous advent of the pandemic where we bore witness to how nothing, yet everything, has changed; in Dolomite beaches, in unwarranted mananitas, in bigger national debts, in aggravated police brutality and brazen killings, in worsening academic and working conditions, in exacerbated anxiety, lethargy, fear, and harassment within domestic spaces, in peddled propaganda and politics of vaccines, in distrust of health departments and officials, in deaths trivialized and reduced to numbers and statistics, and in the overall lack of response and weak handling of the COVID-19 situation by the hand of spineless and hypocritical leaders. There is no doubt that these events in the pandemic spelled a change in fate for us; and for those before us; and even for those after us. But in spite of knowing that all this will take a significant toll on our last days in Ateneo, we also know that there’s more to our experience and story as a batch than the pandemic. In the face of immediate ruins, it is a miracle that we still choose to create today. HEIGHTS’s 68th year was guided by the thrust of emboldening the conscious creation of art and literature in times of upheaval. The publication moved forward with this direction to show how, although many issues have become muddled in the backdrop of our global eco crisis, each experience remains unique; each story worth telling. Our Seniors Folio unfolds this and asks: How are we to celebrate the best of us in the worst of times? Art and literature came to our stead not only to reflect who we are throughout our stay in the university, but even more, to embolden who we have become in the way we see the world today, and in the way our sensibilities and vi ·

convictions have become shaped within it. In the most turbulent of times, creating art and literature today, beyond storytelling, has now become a form of history-making. Through these mediums, we not only capture and give meaning to what we witness today, but all the more reimagine them for tomorrow, so that those who have come before and will come after us can share in both our story and our stance. Much urgency and responsibility then comes with creating art and literature today, but as we recall from HEIGHTS LXVIII No. 2, where there is reciprocity between crisis and creation, there must also be continuity in breaking the boundaries between them through action; be it in storming the streets to demand accountability, in thinking about the next leaders we want to put in power in this coming elections, or even in choosing the roles that reflect our calling today. Batch 2021, although our circumstances are far from what we ever anticipated or envisioned, our place today is difficult just as it is opportune; because, whether we are artists, writers, or otherwise, we all have the power to create a future that is working in and through us now. It is our choice, and ultimately up to us, to accept what we face today as the new normal—or otherwise. We are at a unique juncture of being able to define what the world must be tomorrow as we hold the power to reconcile our situation with our very own aspirations. And so we end where we began. Much like what OrSem 2017 Likha imparted to us, there is so much we are left not only to create, but all the more rebuild in all the devastation we face today. While it is true that even after the pandemic will cease, the problems that it will leave in its wake will remain, so will our stories; so will our deeds; and so will our legacy at a time of historical turmoil.

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Although the road will be long, and the light at the end of this tunnel is dim, all this bears a message of hope as it comes with the assurance that there is still so much ahead of us.

Zofia Lyne R. Agama editor-in-chief Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin associate editor Justin Nicholas C. Barbara

managing editor for internal affairs

Giane C. Butalid

managing editor for external affairs

Nathan Myles U. Lim

managing editor for finance

July 2021

viii ·

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · ix

Mga Akda

· Portrait by Lucas1Abaya Background Photo by Jim Dasal

Lucas Abaya bfa information design Lucas takes pictures on a 35mm film camera he got as a graduation gift after finishing high school. His family is the sort to pose in front of a tourist attraction or at a dinner table for minutes trying to get the perfect smiling photo. Lucas isn’t graduating this year. He thinks his family takes too many pictures. He wishes he could take more. Lucas likes the guesswork involved with his camera. He likes thinking about the parts of us and Us we can’t control. He has to wait weeks after taking his pictures before he sees them. He only sees what’s already there.

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3 · Lucas Abaya

Lucas Abaya. Our Lady of All Nat (series) Island Virgins. Film photography. 3649 x 5444 px.

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Lucas Abaya. Queen of Long Skirts (series) Island Virgins. Film photography. 3649 x 5444 px.

5 · Lucas Abaya

Lucas Abaya. Star of the LPA (series) Island Virgins. Film photography. 3649 x 5444 px.

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Lucas Abaya. Comfort of the Sun Bleached (series) Island Virgins. Film photography. 5444 x 3649 px.

7 · Lucas Abaya

Lucas Abaya. Refuge of Aspins (series) Island Virgins. Film photography. 3649 x 5444 px.

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Lucas Abaya. Mother Moss Stained (series) Island Virgins. Film photography. 3649 x 5444 px.

9 · Lucas Abaya

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Portrait by Zianne Agustin Background Photo by Jim Dasal

Zianne Agustin bfa information design When I was a high school sophomore, I thought I wrote from the heart for the first time. Seven years later, I realize I’m not too sure what that means. Some days, I want to go back—to be fourteen and freezing in a school bus backseat while some band rocks on about heartbreak I know nothing about. Most days, I’m sitting at home working on my theses with a stuffed duck plushie by my side. I never really thought about where I wanted to be before I turned twenty but I suppose it could be worse. Raya, Marion, Jimby, Lya, Giane, Sabine, Hannah: say the word and I’d let you beat me at reallyboringwebsite. Aya, Darice, Dianne, Erin, Julia: thank you for every seat you’ve saved for me. Bri, Jbarbs: I’ll catch you after midnight, as always. My HEIGHTS upperclassmen besties: thank you for believing in me, you know who you are. Parker: dab. MVP 202, I miss the boisterous laughter every day (Guidon, we’re sorry). 67th EB: one day, maybe that beach trip could happen. Cody, Pretzel: you’re both soft and make me soft. Mama, Mommy: you make me want to be a better writer and person, I love you.

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13 · Zianne Agustin

Dinner Rituals At the end of the day, I come home to my box in the sky. Outside, it is dark. A television whirrs idly and all the doors are (closed.) Bless us, O Lord. The bathroom is bright and white and quiet. The exhaust, always a little (too loud.) and these, thy gifts— thy gifts! There is a note on the fridge to call my mother, a fast-food delivery menu, magnets to rose-tinted memories. I set the table: two plates, one for me and another for habits I’ve yet to unlearn.

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Capital G god, (I have so many questions.) Outside, a car speeds into the good night— at once, a screech becomes nothing. (If not the familiar sound of departure.) Bless this home, and all those who enter. (Bless this home, and all those who leave.)

15 · Zianne Agustin

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Portrait by Cristina S. Batalla Background Photo by Kimiko de Guzman

Cristina S. Batalla ab development studies Cristina Batalla is a believer in stories, organizations, and change. She is currently a student leader and graduating Development Studies major at the Ateneo de Manila University. As Sector Representative and Coordinator of the League of Independent Organizations, Tina makes sure that the youth uphold their rights to dream and belong in the campus community and beyond. She is also a member of GoodGovPH, a non-profit youth-led organization that champions good governance in the Philippines for and by the youth. Always fascinated by public spaces, she likes to go cycling in the city and take photographs to share the peculiarities of being human.

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19 · Cristina S. Batalla

Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 1. Digital photography. 3456 x 5184 px.

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Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 2. Digital photography. 3456 x 5184 px.

21 · Cristina S. Batalla

Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 3. Digital photography. 2229 x 3344 px

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Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 4. Digital photography. 3456 x 5184 px.

23 · Cristina S. Batalla

Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 5. Digital photography. 2345 x 3518 px.

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Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 6. Digital photography. 3456 x 5184 px.

25 · Cristina S. Batalla

Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 7. Digital photography. 5184 x 3456 px.

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Cristina S. Batalla. Bandang Maynila (series) 8. Digital photography. 3253 x 4987 px.

27 · Cristina S. Batalla

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Portrait by Jude Buendia Background Photo by Jim Dasal

Jude Buendia ab development studies

To his mom, dad, and family, To Gab, Bong, Chester, Arvin, Ramon, Joergen, and Joyo, To Dollhouse, To Block BBB, To HEIGHTS, AMP, DevSoc, and everyone in between, To all the boys he had a crush on, And to everyone else, Jude has met along the way, Thank you for everything. He’s not yet there, but he’s on his way. See you down the road.

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Jude Buendia. Palabas sa Binondo (diptych). Digital photography. 960 x 640 px.

31 ·Jude Buendia

Jude Buendia. Palabas sa Binondo (diptych). Digital photography. 960 x 640 px.

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Portrait and background photo by Kevin Bryce Castro

Kevin Bryce Castro bfa information design Kevin is a HEIGHTS Art Staffer, a very inactive Finance Officer for DECO, Editor of both Art and Design in Matanglawin and a guitarist in his band, OK CLUB. Kevin wondered how he was keeping it all together, then Kevin looked the gift horse in the mouth and the guy who got him the horse was like, “Are you f***ing kidding me?” and used his horse magic to get the steed to bite Kevin’s finger.

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35 · Kevin Bryce Castro

artist statement for Ang Ginhawa ng Binitay The piece is a reflection of how I’ve been handling myself the first quarter of SY 2020-2021. I gathered things that represented pain points in my experience: x-rays of my scoliosis, notes and sketches of my creative ideas that I couldn’t execute (causing me to deeply resent myself as I’ve tied my self-value to my creative pursuits), news headlines that have invaded my mental space to the point of paralysis, and a close-up photo of my broken glasses, and I used these images to create an environment of light to surround the main subject. I chose to use the image of a manananggal to represent myself, free from all these pain points because I imagine that a manananggal’s perception of pain is shaped by its perspective as a manananggal. A manananggal needs only to concern itself with feeding itself (nevermind the ethics behind the act), and ensuring that its halves are joined before sunrise; everything else is unimportant. I framed this image using the tarot card, The Hanged Man because I wanted to scrutinize and reject the escapism of the piece. While it’s true that a mananaggal’s conception of pain is different from mine, my interpretation of its perspective is a forceful projection of my own pains upon it. I tried to reinforce this idea by using different “blending modes” to influence how the main figure is detailed and lit. Ultimately, The Hanged Man asks me to consider its perspective and acknowledge that my fantasy is out of reach because even my fantasies are preceded by my reality, and I can only grow within these limitations.

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Kevin Bryce Castro. Ang Ginhawa ng Binitay. Digital self-portrait and photomanipulation. 6077 x 6077 px.

37 · Kevin Bryce Castro

Ang Ginhawa ng Binitay. Digital self-portrait and photomanipulation (detail).

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Portrait by Brianna Louise Cayetano Background Photo by Justine Daquioag

Brianna Louise Cayetano ab communication “I had the time of my life, with you.” — Taylor Swift, “Long Live”

To HEIGHTS, you are my home. Thank you for teaching me and loving me. To Martina, Ponch, Luigi, Ninna, Jamz, Sandy, Ryan, and all of my HEIGHTS Seniors and EB 1819, thank you for believing in me. To Sarmie, Danie, Juancho, Arnold, and EB 1920, you have given me so much. To the Primeras and my Ateninangs, Alyanna, Alex, Renee, Cam, Kim, Kayla, I’m glad we stayed best friends until college. There’s more in store for us. To Moi, you deserve the world. To Zi, you are the only person who can make me laugh the way you do. Thank you. To block A3, SPEED, and the wonderful people whom I had the pleasure of knowing. And to Justin, all’s well that ends well to end up with you.

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Brianna Louise Cayetano. let her sleep. Embroidered scrap fabric and paper. 15.5 x 12.5 cm.

41 · Brianna Louise Cayetano

there's already a bed. Embroidered scrap fabric and paper. 15.5 x 14.5 cm.

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Portrait by Diana Rain Cuevas Background Photo by Julia Carpio

Diana Rain Cuevas bfa creative writing Rain Cuevas is a Creative Writing major who has been writing since she was 11 years old. Her fascination with trains, vending machines, and psychological horror informs most of her work but doesn't yet confine it.

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45 · Diana Rain Cuevas

Train Ride The child had been stealing glances at her from three seats down. It wouldn’t normally bother her but today was not a good day. The morning had started perfectly normal, but things were off. They weren’t horrible, she’s definitely had worse mornings but it was the little things, in fact, an outstanding number of little things that have gone wrong. Too many little things that have gone wrong for an acceptably good day. Too many things that she would rather not think about but when one has had a bad day, one can sense when more bad is coming. She straightens her posture and pulls her coat tighter around herself, a trick she’d learned from a therapist several years back; something about comfort in pressure around one’s body, like a hug. Her lips quirk up in a small crooked smile that was as unsure of itself as she was. A hug, how laughable. A woman of her age should have hugs that don’t come from a tightly pulled coat. But then again, a woman of her age shouldn’t get bothered by a child who keeps looking at her. Her eyes pin the girl to her seat and she scowls. In all honesty, she didn’t even have the energy to muster a terrifying scowl, so perhaps it was more of a grimace. Nonetheless, the child looked away. The child seemed to be fairly old, perhaps something of a tween with braided hair and a bright pink beanie. Those ones should be old enough to know their manners, shouldn’t they? She seemed to have been raised with good parents if her clothes are anything to go by, and yet so rude. She cranes her neck around to see the window behind her. The cityscape rushes past her eyes as muted orange gives more and more way to dark blue. It’s a disappointing phenomenon that happens nowadays when one sees something so beautiful, that they can only heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 46

think of how much time they spent at work today and how late it would be before they got home and how much time would it take to make dinner or should they opt to buy something at the train station before going home. There was a restaurant nearby, really just a short detour from her stop, that served a pretty good chicken but was chicken really what she wanted to eat? Tiring days deserved good dinners, to balance out the bad, at least that’s what she wanted to hear. The undeniable truth was that she hadn’t the energy to even think about what else she could eat or prepare so the chicken was the way to go if she wanted to eat at all that evening. She could also just go straight home and sleep in the shower. She checks her watch, an analog watch that she bought at some flea market a very long time ago, not that she can really read analog that fast but it looked nice. Something about the leather strap matching her favorite pair of shoes or something else stupid like that. Maybe just because it was four dollars and who can resist buying anything that was just four dollars. It’s late but it’s not too late to walk down the street alone, though that’s not really why she checked her watch. The time right then couldn’t have mattered less to her but the child, the tween was looking at her again and she felt the need to pretend that she’s too busy to be here, perhaps that someone was waiting for her somewhere and she’s not just a lonely woman in her late thirties sitting in a train to be stared at by children. She’s too tired for this confrontation but she turns her neck just a bit, enough to look her squarely in the face. Her mouth was just forming another tired scowl when she realizes that this girl has hazel eyes. That wouldn’t have been such a big deal but it reminded her of something from a long time ago, almost a different life, really, of another child with hazel eyes, this time a child of five, not thirteen. She didn’t think she had the energy to scowl anymore but the particular memory did end up making her day worse. She thought she’d almost forgotten it but apparently, she hadn’t, and it’s making her very uncomfortable staying in the same car as the tween 47 · Diana Rain Cuevas

with the hazel eyes. She checks the window again and breathes a sigh of relief when she recognizes the view. At least she’s almost home. She stands up to position herself in front of the doors as the train pulls into her stop. The platform is blessedly empty when she steps off the train. For a moment, just a moment, really just a second or two, she’s disoriented, as if she hasn’t walked through this station nearly every night for seven years, and couldn't remember if she turned left or right from the platform. Just a moment before she spies the vending machine she always passes over to the left. It was enough time for the tween to catch up to her and it took all of her willpower not to growl at the child. “You look very familiar,” the girl says. She’s now staring at the girl, the child. Her legs weaken just a bit as she opens her mouth to speak. She wants to say no, she doesn’t speak to children, in fact she hasn’t spoken to children for eight years. Her mouth is open but she doesn’t know how to say that the girl looks familiar as well without opening a whole box that’s been sitting in the corner of her mind for so long it’s probably grown mold, if metaphysical boxes in metaphysical spaces could grow mold. Supposedly she could say that she couldn’t possibly be familiar, that there would be no way the girl is that girl, but the hazel eyes are striking and she doesn’t know if she could lie. “You shouldn’t be speaking with strangers,” she says instead, tugging her coat around her tightly once again. It’s marginally helpful. “In fact, you shouldn’t be staring at strangers.” “I’m sorry.” The girl’s eyes widen now, as if only realizing how her actions can affect others. She seems to debate just leaving and she really wished the child would leave so she can finally get her dinner, but her mouth is dry and she can’t imagine it tasting as good as she heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 48

knows it is. “My name is Mia, I wanted to know why you look familiar and why you remind me of pancakes. It felt important.” Something drops, perhaps the uncertainty surrounding this girl’s identity. Maybe it’s good that now she knows who the girl is for sure and she wouldn’t be wondering about it over dinner, if she still has the appetite after this exchange. Or perhaps it would have been better to not know for sure that the girl was Mia, so she could have forgotten about it easily. Chalked it up to coincidence and left it at the door. How is she supposed to forget about her now? She looked all grown up and healthy and pretty and not so far off from what she imagined she’d look like as a teenager. She hadn’t wanted to adopt such a young child then but teenagers were hard at that age and she was really only 25 or 26 then, and Mia had looked at her with her very big hazel eyes with the kind of trust you wouldn’t see in anyone older than five. The kind of trust this tween in front of her has in her eyes, as if she trusts her not to be a serial killer. Her parents should have taught her better. “I don’t know a Mia,” she says, her palms sweating in 40-degree weather. “And I don’t like pancakes.” Anymore, she wanted to add, not after I’d made them every morning for my child, who I did not get to adopt. She steps away from that bubble of awkward conversation, because there’s really no way to have that conversation, and the train pulling out of the station is almost deafening. She shouldn’t look back, but she does, when she’s passed the vending machine and nearing the exit, she looks back to see the girl standing where she’d left her, pulling her own jacket tightly around herself, before she walks out of the station. She can only hope she’d never have to see her again as she tries her hardest to focus on something else. Her walk home, her tiring day, her aching feet, her dinner, her watch, her coat, the mess she’d left in her kitchen sink that morning. She really should clean up after breakfast. 49 · Diana Rain Cuevas

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Portrait by Marguerite Genuino Background Photo by Julia Carpio

Marguerite Genuino ab communication “She was style, and she was an old loneliness that nothing could quite wipe away; she was vastly knowledgeable about people, about books, about the mind’s emotions and the heart’s. She lived sometimes in a black box of memories and unanswerable questions, and then would come out and frolic—be feisty, and bold. I believe she loved totally and was loved totally. . .This love, and the ensuing emptiness of its ending, changed her. Of such events we are always changed—not necessarily badly, but changed. Who doesn’t know this doesn’t know much.” — Mary Oliver Meg is fascinated by the world of art, fiction, & the sky. At 22, she finds herself caring for plants + going through her (ever-growing) stack of books, developing her taste in literature & visual art over time. Ateneo has nurtured her spirit, allowing her to learn, thrive, meet, and explore whatever comes her way. Quarantine has left her missing the long walks on campus all the more. She’d like to thank her profs, the sisterhood: Cat, Caila, Mikki, & Geri, Chai, Kaya, Nina, Inka & Luis, Dani, Icely, Tria, & lastly, the holy trinity of women in her life: her aunt, grandmother, and dearest mother, amidst all.

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53 · Marguerite Genuino

Evermore Gray November, I've been down since July It's been a while since I cherished moments when I could run outside, without worrying if someone's standing too close to me. I would be so scared of the nearness, in getting close . . . there's something about the closeness that perturbs me. But this unsettled feeling keeps me on my feet, and I'm made for this anxiety. It seems that I am so comfortable with worrying about trivial things. The cool amihan breeze strokes my face as I look out the window. It is early in the morning and I'm watering my plants—now lush and tinted a healthy green from months of care. This must be enough, relaxing in the small moments I have to myself away from the weight of countless, ever-growing obligations. and I was catching my breath, staring out an open window Bright blue, pale hues of the clouds and sky make me want to stare at the vastness before me; airspace that could take me far from this invisible enclosure . . . if only I could lose myself in this vastness. I want to fly away, beyond whatever this is—wherever I am. This doesn't seem right. It can't be all there is to me and my small life. Although I know, there is a chance of entrapment, that my dreams are too far away to reach. How can I stop myself from dreaming? Must I set a limit to what I want, if it's way beyond what I can have, what I deserve? My chest sinks just thinking about it. I don't want to shut my eyes to the pale blue sky, or the ever-moving clouds, circling around this unkempt city. Please let me leave, someday. This feeling is such a weight that haunts me every day I wake; not even the unbearably cold water I swim in can make me forget. Though I know, I must stay to try to make things better. Sometimes, I wish for the unspeakable indifference some people are privileged enough to keep.

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Hey December, guess I'm feeling unmoored Can't remember what I used to fight for . . . Sending intentions halfway across the globe is the only way—where my heart is yearning for adventure and familiarity. I know there are many moments I could have done better, but right now I believe I am striving for the very best. Circumstances permit me to do so, and I have yet to be broken by letting myself down. Four years ago, I couldn't quite understand something greater than what I wanted. Today, I long for so many things; the softness of my grandmother's touch, her heartfelt gaze when she looks at me a certain way (as if everything I do is beautiful, and she can't ignore even an ounce of me), and the uplifting voice of my father—who I have yet to understand. How I wish to act upon my meaning, to cultivate my life all the more. It seems that I'm trapped in an enclosed space, like a goldfish living inside a comfy glass bowl. I can't keep being like this, adequately comfortable yet so afraid. Oh, to swim in an endless ocean with nothing but water and the world in front of you. I want that. To have the unknown before you, right there to explore and get lost in. I yearn for a place that no one knows my name, somewhere I can discover myself all the more in and learn. I couldn't be sure, I had a feeling so peculiar that this pain would be forevermore It is five in the afternoon and my sentiments have settled, the sky is turning light gray with the clouds fading into lighter shades of orange: peach, apricot, tea rose . . . the lightness calms me all the more. I can't think about just one thing; it has been too long to stop looking up. My mind is all over the place, but I know I have to focus. If I breathe easy, maybe I won't worry too often about things that are quite beyond my reach. Only time can tell, and I think I am willing to wait. My eyes are fixed on the space between two colours; the gradient of muted oranges, pinks, and grays—even blues with dusty specks of white. 55 · Marguerite Genuino

I couldn't be so sure, but I know that I could stare at the sky for a long time, if not a very long while. In the cracks of light, I dreamed of you—is there a line that we can just go cross? My thoughts are all over the place. Oftentimes I wish I didn't have to speak too much since it feels like I'll keep needing to explain myself. I want to be quiet. To be still and sit in silence, with those who need not words to understand. Many walks under the moonlight have been blanketed under the solace of silence. Perhaps it was meant to be so lonely; that when no one speaks, and you're left alone to think so much, you're left with everything that means so much . . . if that even makes sense. I apologize for the long trail of thought, but I swear I could go on about the most minuscule things. It might be too much. Everything I ever think of is. That my head cannot handle things without wondering what it means. I swear, each day feels like another. Quarantine has changed me, yet my wonder remains the same . . . it feels like my thoughts are overflowing, I've always thought this much. At least I know what it's like, being so introspective (I can't help it). I wonder if it'll do me good—even better. It was real enough to get me through.

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Portrait by Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon Background Photo by Jim Dasal

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon ab diplomacy and international relations with specialization in east and southeast asian studies

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” — Joan Didion, The White Album Sofia applied to Ateneo with the intent of studying history. Four years, two more courses and a pandemic later, she is graduating with a degree in Diplomacy and International Relations with Specialization in East and Southeast Asian Studies. Throughout her stay in the university, Sofia has spent her time learning new words and what to make of them. Of all the words she’s learned, her favorites have always been “thank you” and she’d like to extend her gratitude to: her parents, for teaching her that to be brave is to ask questions. To her professors, for answering them and for encouraging her to always ask new ones. To her friends, for teaching her that to love someone is to know them— and how lucky she is to know you all. To Ateneo’s administrative staff, for the generosity and easy kindness. To her organizations, for fostering hope, wonder and making her understand the work that has to be done in between. To everyone, for the patience. To Zoom for the obvious, she hopes there comes a day wherein she’ll never have to use the program again. Sofia leaves Ateneo asking what the word bravery means today. Everything she does is an attempt to inch a little closer to whatever that answer may be. Though she’s learned that an attempt is an answer in itself sometimes. Her last day on campus was on March 9, 2020.

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59 · Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 1. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px.

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Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 2. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px.

61 · Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 3. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 62

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 4. Film photography. 7575 x 5117 px.

63 · Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 5. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 64

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 6. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px.

65 · Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 7. Film photography. 7575 x 5117 px.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 66

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 8. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px.

67 · Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 9. Film photography. 5117 x 7575 px.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 68

Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon. Alien World (series) 10. Film photography. 7575 x 5117 px.

69 · Sofia Andrea K. Guanzon

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 70

Portrait by Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin Background Photo by Jim Dasal

Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin bs applied physics with materials science engineering

Para sa mga nawawala at nananatili

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 72

73 · Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin

Langib Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Punit Hapdi Hinga Tulo Tulo Pahid Tulo Pahid Pahid Takip Kati Kati Kati Kati Kati Kati Hawak Diin Hinga

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Tingin Dutdot Hapdi Takip Kati Kati Kati Kati (Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot Kutkot) (Kutkot) Hinga

Tingin Yuko Hinga Haplos Ngiti

75 · Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin

Sermon Lagpas sa pikit na mga mata't Mahigpit na kapit sa rosaryo Sa mga matang padilat-dilat at Ilang dikit sa malayo May isang batang umuungol Hindi rinig ang heleng sumasabay sa Sayaw ng isang ina, tinig ng sariling mundo Sarado sa sitsit ng katabi, sa mga Kunot na noo, sa mga pinapangako Niya Siya namang nasa pulpito Bukas na Bibliya, taas-baba ang kamay Tinatangkang pasukin ang mundo Ng mga taong pagkalayo-layo Paano magkaroon ng saysay? Patuloy ang paghayag, Mata’y nakatitig sa ina’t anak sa likod ng simbahan Hiniling niyang matawid ng mga salita ang layo Marahan, mistulang matamis na bulong Ng isang ina sa kanyang anak

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 76

Portrait by Marty R. Nevada Background Photo by Julia Carpio

Marty R. Nevada bfa creative writing

Marty R. Nevada is a Creative Writing major at the Ateneo de Manila University, with minor degrees in Education and Korean Studies. Her work has been published in Kritika Kultura, Heights, and various collective zines in the Philippines. She was a fellow for poetry during the 24th Ateneo Heights Writers Workshop. She was also a recipient of the Loyola Schools Award for the Arts in 2020. She is a huge fan of K.K. Slider.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 78

79 · Marty R. Nevada

Daft Punk splits up like it’s nothing and my dad isn’t alive to hear about it, so I give Discovery a listen. On our trips back to Baguio we’d drive through Legarda, my sister riding shotgun picking the music, me at the back. Once she let me pick a song. I picked “Digital Love,” which I don’t remember hearing anymore because dad said I spoke funny. That was years ago and years go by simply like terms of endearment creeping out of dad’s mouth, or the blueness of his skin from septic shock hours after I get the call, he’s gone now, please come to the hospital. So I try the album again. Daft Punk sings about dreaming and you—I wish I knew who you were, if not a mechanical man with transplants playing house music at 3 AM, grasping for light down the corridor. I wish I could say you were human enough. We didn’t decide to become robots, but the shots of insulin and soft foods on visiting hours couldn’t save us. And there is no ending but yours. You die with the door open as I sleep in the back room. But this is the epilogue: two robots plodding through the desert until one of them disintegrates with a boom; dynamo ringing in my ears at the voluntary flip of a switch. If we could have an epilogue, it would just be the ending, playing one more time.

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Portrait by Raphael Angelo D. Ramiro Background Photo by Julia Carpio

Raphael Angelo D. Ramiro bs psychology

Currently stuck in a pandemic, Drico is the least of your worries. He tends to write what he feels, which sadly, doesn’t happen often. He practices self-care and also is drowning in academics. If you’re reading this, please do a kind thing to someone today. Then repeat that. Every day.

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83 · Raphael Angelo D. Ramiro

<Cats> Scratch walls dull paint piles on fallen scraps Dinner time ring bells ring but we can’t stop. Every ring bells stop hair swings couch swings Zip by can shakes happiness makes us Blessed Pavlovians. Rocking forth and back knit her questions under snoozing woes Chase couch race hops on her lap. Satisfied I tumble dry chase puffs of dust. She vacuums so alone though. I guess we’ll never know. Salmon smells fried puffs cooked out dry or wet food for today Another catch another yarn another sweater She can’t find past pendulum forwards or backwards Another motion another other. Can’t keep still intermittent meetings To ceiling lights shuffling carpeted floor tension awkward meets — Huh, She never needed sugar till now. Cups meet hands held out thoughts of lips Pressed through clouds of fish bubbles enclosed in dreams. Reality slinks back through a mouse hole you take your pick. She finally found one. I’m happy for her.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 84

Long-awaited bloom peddled reaching out coming back and forth Cables entangled foot of the door scratched long awaits home. Anxiety purrs and whispers what humans never understand But I’ll let her know that it’s always A cat and cat’s game. First love last second seconds turn to minutes unmentioned Left photo-proofed. And chase and chase and chase and chase all over again. I meow. She’s finally happy. I cough a hairball. Doors bell rings faux wedding bouquet flies On secret kisses false wishes We sit by Christmas fire. Three won’t be a crowd. At least not today. Master is happy again.

85 · Raphael Angelo D. Ramiro

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Portrait and background photo by Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez bfa creative writing A struggling Fine Arts major, Matt makes up for his writing unskillfully by writing stubbornly. Outside of the craft, he has been the School of Humanities Representative by luck from 2019–2021. Combining his experiences with people and his love of comedy has left him primarily occupied with the element of absurd dialogue, even if he’s a fictionist, not a playwright. At the moment, his favorite book is The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, which also isn’t fiction. “From now on, you will not bother me.” —Galatians 6:17

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 88

89 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

She’s a GodLord! “Jacqueline Amadani GodLord, you must now fulfill your destiny,” said the old lady to the young woman carrying her while she was sprinting far from any of the nearby villages, away from a monstrous, grizzly man chasing after them. The woman began to slow down, panting. “This is it?” The man behind them leapt into the air and slammed his arms down onto the ground, causing a blast that shocked the surrounding area. Caught in the radius of the impact, the woman tripped from the recoil, but she did her best to hold onto the lady lest she fall hard. Then, she set her down carefully onto the cracked earth. “You’re sure this is it?” Jacqueline asked her. “Yes, it is. Your destiny, as the Sacred Texts surmised.” “I’m just—I’m supposed to die?” “It is your destiny! The destiny of the GodLord,” the old woman asserted. Jacqueline turned back to the huge, broad man breathing heavily and staring down at them, fists clenched. She gulped. “I think I got a little left in me. Just give me a moment and—” “You cannot outrun destiny, Jacqueline Amadani Godlord,” the lady reiterated. “Master Lucille, why is he so mad at us anyway?” “Destiny has called him to you, the GodLord!” said Master Lucille. Jacqueline gasped. “Was it those dudes from the cave? You think he’s connected?” “Do my words fall upon deaf ears? Remember your training, Jacqueline Amadani GodLord!” “You never trained me.” “Believe in your GodLord gift! The GodLord Prowess!” “What’s that even supposed to mean?”

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“Think hard, Jacqueline Amadani GodLord, within yourself,” Master Lucille said, pointing at Jacqueline’s right leg. She looked at the small squiggly lines resembling GL, the GodLord insignia, on her knee, although it had originally appeared on both her elbows and both her knees. “You can enhance a limb that you so choose, granting divine ability beyond human measure,” Master Lucille had once told her, but even then, Jacqueline could not pry a clearer explanation out of her. One day, a bug had flown onto her leg, throwing her into a fit of panic. In her fumbling, she had suddenly felt an energizing warmth in her leg as she began kicking at the air erratically in an attempt to shake off the insect. However, the kick was so powerful that she had launched herself several feet off the ground. Once she had regained her bearings, she noticed that the GL insignia on her knee was glowing, but the ones on her other limbs had faded. Master Lucille had never mentioned that once she had enhanced a limb, the GodLord Prowess would be bound to that limb alone. Of course, she would’ve preferred to bind it to one of her arms, but Lucille insisted that it was foretold by her GodLord destiny. “Destiny calls you now, Jacqueline Amadani GodLord!” Master Lucille said, now pointing at her. “Umm, no? No it doesn’t. I don’t wanna die, Master Lucille,” Jacqueline said. “The GodLord status is transcendence,” said Master Lucille, pointing to the sky. “Are you sure about that? That guy looks more GodLord than I do. Could probably move mountains. I’m starting to feel like a fluke.” “You are summoned always as Jacqueline Amadani GodLord, and no less. Perchance, it serves as a reminder that you alone are the GodLord,” said Master Lucille, placing her hand on Jacqueline’s face, one finger getting onto her eye. “Wh’t ‘re y’u duh’ing?” her voice was muffled by her master’s palm on her mouth. “And-mayhaps-an-assurance-that-I-hadn’t-made-agrave-mistake.” 91 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

Jacqueline took the hand off her face. “Sorry, what?” “Destiny befalls you, Jacqueline Amadani GodLord.” “Are the women quite done chattering?!” interjected the man. “Shut up, you’re making me anxious!” Jacqueline turned back to her mentor. “Can I really not beat that guy? Or survive at least? Or something? Anything?” “It is your destiny!” “My destiny to what?” “You are destined for greatness!” “So I can only be great if I die? What the f—" “You must…go forth…Jacqueline Amadani GodLord,” Master Lucille said, her voice weakening and her eyes slowly closing. “Master, are you dying?!” “No. I wish to sleep whilst you go about your destiny.” She relaxed, her eyes now closed and her hands resting on her torso, almost as if she were lying in a coffin—but she was still breathing normally. Jacqueline sighed and got up, pacing closer to face the one who had been pursuing them. There stood a man whose hair was long and dark, and his beard was grizzly. He was shirtless and barefoot, but he was wearing pants that were torn below the knees. The rest of him was built more heavily than a tank, except that he was plated only with pure strength and protein. His body appeared covered in large bulges of muscle, from his trapezius and deltoids, through his eight-pack abs, and down to his quadriceps and Achilles tendons. It was a wonder he could even move or bend any of his joints without his huge muscles getting in the way. Sparse throughout his muscles as well were veins clearly pronounced through his flesh. Jacqueline stood firm, hoping to swallow any fears and doubts. She tried to bluff, “Last chance. We can still talk this out.” “Why should I have to converse with you?” “’Cause I’m about to make destiny happen,” she said, wiping sweat off her forehead, “I think.” The man laughed. “Destiny?”

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“I don’t know either, but that old lady over there,” she pointed at Master Lucille, whose snoring was almost audible from where they were, “goes on and on about it. I’m just gonna figure it out.” “You really believe you can best me? I am Phabien Adonis Maximus the First, manliest man on Planet Earth! No other man— and especially no woman—can vanquish me.” She held back laughter. “Did you make that up yourself? Sounds like you tried really hard, and the testosterone is really gushing—” “Cease, woman.” “I’m just gonna call you Phabe. Okay, Phabe?” “You dare disrespect me? Know your place, woman!” Phabien leapt forward and swung his fist at Jacqueline. Although she was able to dash to the side, the force of the punch had still blown a gust of wind that pushed her off-balance. She answered back, “I can tell you were trying to fit the part with that name though.” “Wha—no.” “At least you got a choice. I’m always called by my whole damn name no matter what.” “What do you mean?” “Try it. I won’t even tell you my name. Just call me out.” “I don’t care who you are, Jacqueline Amadani GodLord. Wait what?” His eyebrows furrowed. “How?” “Yeah, it’s Jacqueline Amadani GodLord, but you can call me Jacqueline Amadani GodLord. See, it even happens to me.” “Jacqueline Amadani GodLord, what is this trick you’ve played on me?” “Master Lucille, the old lady again back there, tells me it’s part of this whole GodLord thing.” “That is inconsequential! The women resort to ancient witchery from centuries past.” “Huh, I feel like you’ve never talked to a girl before.” “Shut up.” “Or maybe you just got trouble talking to us?” “Just shut up.” 93 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

“Oh, so you’re one of those.” “You just shut your mouth, cretin! I have trained all my life for this, building every single muscle, every possible part of me that can be strong,” he explained, and then flexed different bulges of muscle around his body—even in parts that Jacqueline didn’t even think were possible. The flexing made all of his muscles bulge even more, almost as if they could burst if he showed off even a bit too much. Then he continued, “Under the tutelage of the InCels, my strength, my manliness, has far transcended any measure of humanity.” “InCels?” she asked. “The Zealots of Intra-Celestialis.” “Oh hey, those are the guys in hoods up in those mountains! You know them?” “You knew of them?” He was growing flustered. “They were my mentors. My counsel. My brothers. And you slaughtered them.” “What, no. I just—Master and I were lost and we found their cave. She made me go inside, alone, and then I saw them huddled around a piece of bread.” “The Weekly Sanctification Ritual. You dare interrupt their—" “Shush. Okay, so I asked if they could help us, but then they started spitting at me. Calling me, ‘Witch-whore!’” “Yet you slaughtered them for your own sinful nature?” “No, actually, I just told them to get a life, and they all started fuming. Then one of them literally combusted, so Master Lucille and I got away before these explosions from—” “Quit it, you ingrate. I shall avenge them with my newfound machismo, channeling my absolute masculinity into supernatural power,” said Phabien, squeezing his veiny fists. “With their blessing, I shall destroy you and restore the GodLord tradition to his rightful, superior species.” “Species?” Jacqueline cringed. “Women and men are both human.” “Silly, naïve woman.” “What the hell do you think we are?” “We both know that the male is dominant, the alpha. You are nowhere near our level.” heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 94

“Oh my God.” She pressed her temples and sighed. Phabien noticed that she was distracted, so he charged forward for another offensive. “You fool, I have you now!” “Who even says stuff like—” She had only noticed his attack at this point and reacted, missing the fist by only a few hairs. However, Phabien followed up with the other fist, striking a blow to her stomach so strong that she was sent back falling. “Ah yes, the woman’s cowardice surfaces,” Phabien remarked. “What the hell are you on? I was trying to dodge,” said Jacqueline. “It is the woman’s nature to remain timid, avoid conflict. It makes her weak.” “Seriously, what was I supposed to do then if you’re so good at this?” “Stand your ground and take it like a man!” “Not everything is about brute strength and hardcore muscle, man.” “If you could grow some balls, you would have stood your ground and braved my offense.” “Oh my God—” “Lord! Destiny…” Master Lucille interrupted from far back, interjecting in her sleep. “You should have known this before stealing the birthright from me,” said Phabien. “Uh, you do know it’s random, right?” “Random?” “Yeah, I didn’t know I was the GodLord until the old lady found me knocked out at some ditch by—” “Ye Old Tavern 55th?” “Yeah,” her eyes widened, “I got knocked out drunk and fell there, but how do you know that place?” “I was there,” he said and pumped his pectoral muscles, “flexing my alpha muscles for all to witness.” “You were—but I don’t remember seeing you there.” “But then what at all of that evening does your memory serve you, hag?” 95 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

She pursed her lips. “Good point.” “Nevertheless, the GodLords have always been men. Clearly, there exists no GoddessLord, or Goddess-Lordess rather,” said Phabien with a haughty grin. “Oh yeah? Who says?” retorted Jacqueline. Phabien’s grin was wiped away. “It just is. The first GodLord was a man, and so should the rest. He ordained it as such.” “All men, huh? Name every GodLord before me.” “Wha—preposterous!” He threw his fists into the air and then pointed at her. “As if you’d be able to do the same? How would you verify?” She squinted. “Touchie.” “You mean ‘touché?’” he said. “Wait, am I a mistake then?” Phabien smirked. “Well, yes, you had committed such an atrocious mispronuncia—” “Can you just shut up for even a second?” She turned towards Master Lucille. “I have to die? For him to be GodLord?!” The Master appeared to be deep in her slumber, but she was too far away for Jacqueline to notice the drop of sweat that had just run down her forehead. “Wait, what about the mark? I have it. He doesn’t, right?” Jacqueline muttered. “Oh, you mean the GodLord insignia?” Phabien combed over his chest hairs, revealing a similar symbol to the one on Jacqueline’s leg. She gasped, but then looked again, slack-jawed. “That looks more like a really gross birthmark.” Phabien raised an eyebrow. “Perhaps you yourself are an idiot, plain and simple as are all females.” “You sure that’s the thing? Also, mine glows sometimes, so…?” “That’s because you were falsely ordained, heathen! Women and their insatiable bickerin—” “God, have you not heard yourself this entire time?” she raised.

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“And why do you hate us so much? You get this from the InCels? All the stuff they teach, I swear they got problems.” “I will not let another girl talk down on me,” Phabien yelled, almost in a sob. “Another girl?” “You lot wouldn’t understand,” he said and looked away to hide his eyes becoming misty. “All the girls who picked on me, made fun of me, laughed at me with their friends.” “What, seriously?” “And then spread stupid rumors about me, and telling the other guys too. I couldn’t make any friends so I just ran away. Only the Zealots accepted me.” “You gotta calm down. Not all girls are like that. You’ve just been talking to the wrong people.” “Does it even matter if the damage has been done?” “Yes?” “Well, it doesn’t matter to me!” he clasped his hands together and forcefully swung at her. “Maybe it should, you beta.” “You’re one to talk.” “But I won’t be one to die by the greasy paws of someone like you.” “Remember your nature. Women must surrender. Submit.” “No, but I do remember one thing.” Jacqueline stood firm, taking a combative stance. “I’m a GodLord. Like—” “Your father before you? How clichéd,” Phabien interjected. “No actually, I never knew my father. I was gonna say, ‘like the old lady’s been telling me.’” Master Lucille raised a thumbs-up from afar and then returned to her slumber. “Well, it matters not. I shall rightfully claim the GodLord status.” Phabien moved forward with great ferocity and struck her. Jacqueline dodged the blow once more, dashing to the right. He tried to follow up his attack again, but this time, Jacqueline was able to anticipate. He continued to attack, now in a combination of

97 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

both punches and kicks but utilizing the martial arts that he learned from the Zealots. But she was able to avoid getting hit every time. Phabien started to put his muscles to better use, increasing the speed and force of his strikes, but Jacqueline was able to compensate by empowering her leg. She continued to evade sideways, trying to get around him as much as possible. “Pathetic!” the muscular man jeered, throwing himself into the air and raising his fists like a gorilla. Just as he had done earlier, he crashed down onto the ground with his fists, but Jacqueline was able to jump reactively, capitalizing on the opportunity to get a better position. Finally, she was behind him. The attack had taken a bit too much stamina out of Phabien, so he was taking a moment to recover. Regardless, she advanced, feeling that same energizing warmth in her leg, and with all her might, she jammed her foot onto the bulge between his legs. Phabien coughed all the breath out of his lungs. He struggled to stay on his feet, his legs trembling in total shock of the occurrence. Cringing, he hunched over and closed his eyes. He tried to bring his shaky hands to hold his crotch in an attempt to soothe the writhing pain. Jacqueline saw this and paced further back. Although it did not hurt at all, she saw the GL insignia shining bright at the same time that she felt an incredible burning sensation around her leg, which was glowing in an orange aura. Then, she ran back towards Phabien and swung her leg once more into his groin, slamming it with so much force that he was thrust upward and into a somersault, several meters into the air. After a few moments, he landed face first while holding onto his privates. Still panting, she taunted, “Wish you didn’t have balls now, don’t you?” Unable to reply, Phabien lay squirming and crying helpless on the ground. Jacqueline looked up into the sky and took a deep breath. “It’s over.”

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“Master Lucille!” she called, running back to her master who was still snoring with her arms spread out. “Master Lucille, wake up! I think I—” “No,” called the man’s voice from the distance. Jacqueline turned around to see Phabien getting back up, blood dripping from his mouth and sweat running down his shirtless body. He started grunting and flexing harder than before, so much so that his flesh began tearing, exposing the tissue from his bulging muscles. A foul odor was starting to emanate from his body, so pungent that Master Lucille had awoken from her deep slumber, in tears. “Holy sh—” Jacqueline couldn’t even finish as she picked up her master, and with all the strength she could still muster, she leapt away from the site. Phabien screeched in a high-pitched voice, and he exploded in a blast of muscle and mystical, glowing testosterone—or at least that’s what Jacqueline thought it was. Nevertheless, the two women had escaped the blast safely. “Master Lucille, I did it!” she said, smiling, “I figure—” Master Lucille turned away from her and threw up. “Goodness me, what was that stench?” “It doesn’t matter. We did it! And I’m still alive!” “Ah, it seems so.” “Hold on,” Jacqueline narrowed her eyes, “was I really, actually a mistake?” The Master coughed and laid back down. “Good heavens, I’m losing my bearings once more. I must return to slumber.” However, Jacqueline shook her by the shoulders. “No, you don’t get to escape this.” “The Sacred Texts had made their prescriptions,” said Master Lucille, closing her eyes and putting her hands together as if in prayer, “I might have chanced a deviation.” “What does that even mean?” Jacqueline pinched her nose. “And why haven’t you ever shown me these Sacred Texts?” “Even a GodLord cannot consume the cosmic contents of those Texts.” 99 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

“You couldn’t even let me try to look at it?” “They were only available in my dreams.” “Your dreams—are those Texts even real or are you genuinely delirious?” “Their existence mustn’t be subject to question,” said Master Lucille, raising a finger as if correcting Jacqueline. “I’m literally asking right now,” said the younger one. “Alright. Byhaps, I had visions of a great burly man,” the elder lady put her hands together in a prayer position, “and I feared for my life.” Jacqueline frowned and nodded. “So he was in the visions or whatever.” “Upon my waking,” Master Lucille continued, “my male landlord—his name was Manlord—had forsaken me from my cottage residence, and so, so early in the morn too. However, I thirsted for dairy.” “Milk?” “A woman in my state needs strong bones!” Jacqueline sighed. “Anyway?” “I had wandered, not aimlessly but aim-fully, guided by what I presumed were the deities of refreshment, and I had chanced upon Ye Old Tavern 55th.” “And that’s when you found me?” “Let me finish, you buffoon,” she said, locking and clenching her fingers around her hands still in prayer position. “I thought the voices of the deities were getting stronger, calling out strange handles as, ‘Levy! Sofia!’” “I see?” “But I was mistaken, of course,” she was shaking her head. “The voices were amongst the garbage and empty flasks lying outside the tavern.” Jacqueline began to look intently at her master. “‘Lucifiel too, you wanna fight?’ cried the voices once more,” she said, doing an impersonation of Jacqueline. “Amongst the rubbish, I unfortunately encountered the origin of the voices.”

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“Huh? So what was—” “It was you.” “Oh!” Jacqueline smiled but the smile washed away in just a moment. “Oh.” “Nevertheless, I would never have desired mentorship over a man, so I thought this—I mean you—would have to do.” “In essence, the male-kind is quite garbage.” “Fair,” Jacqueline rubbed her chin. “But how’d you know my name?” “I had not. Jacqueline and Amadani were the last two addresses you’d uttered in your wastage before I called out to you.” “Oh.” For a moment, the two remained awkwardly silent. “Oh!” Jacqueline lit up. “Quick, try to call me by name again.” “Jacqueline Amadani GodLord,” Master Lucille said, glaring at her. “Oh,” she sighed. “Anyway, what do we do now?” “Pardon?” “Not gonna lie, I thought I was just gonna die. Felt like I was supposed to make some kind of sacrifice or whatever, but here we are. There must be something left to that destiny business, right?” “Honestly, child, I do not know.” “Oh,” Jacqueline grimaced. “I did not think we would get this far,” the old lady added. “Well, I’m still alive.” She stood up and checked on her knee. The GL insignia was still marked. “Plus, I’m still the GodLord even if that whole destiny stuff is over with. I guess destiny’s whatever I make of it now so long as I still live and breathe! I count my own days from now on!” “I suppose,” Master Lucille yawned. “So, what do you make of it?” Jacqueline turned to the sunset. “We’re going tavern hopping!” The older woman’s jaw half dropped without a word. “Then we’re gonna get so drunk but maybe also stop fights,” Jacqueline continued, “and then I’m gonna kick more nuts!”

101 · Carl Matthew D. Rodriguez

Master Lucille pressed the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. “Bestowed with such great power, and that’s what you choose?” “Says the one who wanted me to die.” She smiled, still gazing into the horizon. “I’ll probably just figure it out as we go along.”

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Portrait by Madeleine Sy Background Photo by Kimiko de Guzman

Madeleine Sy ab economics - honors “Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.” —Stephen King, On Writing To those who’ve inspired me to keep looking forward.

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105 · Madeleine Sy

creep to make sense of the words is pointless thoughts pour sweat festers and all at once I have to make sure to needlessly gravitate to speculation and overt disappoint as if to fashion makeshift training wheels for the eventual dismay brought about my own doing see wouldn’t it be better if we all ignored the common human denominator of identity as if questioning like Marcel and decided to seek anonymity in the dark recesses of unconsciousness there is a notion that satisfaction comes with a seal of approval of which I am expected to leave a mark indicating I was there that I was privy to its creation but a creation does not need to be named for in its roots there is a choice to refuse any relation after all who would want their words to be used against them I have nothing to say but everything to lose when I deny my own motivations and tend again to the unsubstantiated in a hapless depiction of the thinker who’s lost his thought I can only watch as the mind reels in and of itself there should be no complexity to this thought

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I only need to vomit substantial meaning into my words but how can I when I refuse to face what I fear most: release.

107 · Madeleine Sy

frailty after Heironymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights i. It begins with flesh and life, the beating pulse of organisms. This space as heaven on earth knows no more joy than the satisfaction of consummation. The grip on the pale arm of woman made as spectacle, tantamount to control. Gazes of modesty, of bashfulness, of shame appraised by a gaze begetting control. The emergence of bodies from a pond, alien and foreign, white giraffe, migratory unicorn, did Bosch ever visit Africa? Human nature naught but the slaughter of deer in paradise.

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ii. It continues with a crush of bodies, hot and heavy, wandering gazes, lingering hands. Women, a prize to be had, centered in a throng of animals. If lust is not intent, why is there more racial diversity than the perceived image of heaven. If man is king, why should he rely on beasts of burden. The body on display is a centerfold of pride. If the structure wills it, so will it be done: human rapture in neither earthly nor heavenly form. Are humans as bad as animals if they provide a show?

109 ·Madeleine Sy

iii. It ends with spilled blood, no longer any differentiation. If there is suffering to be made, it is cold judgment that awaits. Man nor woman can bear to show the skin they’ve grown to love, and for once woman is not to blame. Did humans truly wish to be strung to a lute, drowned, and consumed by the very animals they called impure? How can this be hell if Virgil cannot guide the poor souls to knowledge. If the future is defecation, the fishes would be better off.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 110

Portrait by Clare Bianca Tantoco Background Photo by Kimiko de Guzman

Clare Bianca Tantoco bfa art management After four years in the Art Staff, I thought I’d be saying that the C in Clare stands for “confused,” but now I say that the C stands for: “Cthankful to everyone who’s played a significant role in my life whether they know it or not, specifically— Mom, Dad, Kuya, and the entire family, Ethan, Alex, Liara, Salvana, Andie, and Brgy. Ride or Die (you know who you are), BBI and the House Team, 68th EB and the Art Staff (shoutout to Justine, and apologies to the staff for saying the c-word), and HEIGHTS, my self-proclaimed home org.”

(PS: To all my profs, I knew your readings would come in handy one day)

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 112

113 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

artist statement for The Last Year: The Blanket The papers used are a mix of readings, tests, syllabi, and research papers from freshman to junior year. This is the first work in an ongoing project.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 114

Clare Bianca Tantoco. The Last Year: The Blanket. The Blanket - Process Photo 1. Paper. 56 x 66 in.

115 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

The Blanket - Process Photo 2. Paper.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 116

The Blanket - Process Photo 3. Paper

117 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

The Blanket - Process Photo 4. Paper.

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 118

The Blanket - Process Photo 5. Paper.

119 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

The Blanket - Process Photo 6. Paper

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 120

The Blanket - Process Photo 7. Paper.

121 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

The Blanket - Complete. Paper

122 ·

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 122

The Blanket - Detail 1. Paper.

123 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

The Blanket - Detail 2. Paper.

124 ·

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 124

The Blanket - Detail 3. Paper.

125 · Clare Bianca Tantoco

heights Seniors Folio 2021 · 126

Loyola Schools Awards for the Arts 2021 Creative Writing: Fiction Pilar Augusta Andrea H. Gonzalez, bfa creative writing James Andrew E. Reysio-Cruz, bfa creative writing Creative Writing: Nonfiction Patricia Ysabelle G. Almazan, bfa creative writing Micah Avry L. Guiao, bfa creative writing Shelby Ann O. Parlade, bfa creative writing Creative Writing: Playwriting Mikaela Adrianne C. Regis, bfa creative writing and ab literature-english Dance: Choreography Nathan Francis P. Chua, bs chemistry with materials science and engineering Abraham T. Leonido, bs management of applied chemistry Maria Elise Katrina S. Relucio, bs communications technology management Dance: Performance Ma. Andrea G. Padilla, bfa information design Marella Jessica B. Reyes, bs life sciences Music: Arrangement and Performance Jerome Emmanuel R. Isip, ab psychology Music: Composition Timothy Patrick P. Albert, bs communications technology management Tamia Gloria F. Reodica, ab communication

Music: Performance Alexandré Jane T. Ong, bs legal management Screen Arts: Cinematography Jason T. Mariano, bs information technology entrepreneurship Theater Arts: Performance Zoë C. de Ocampo, bfa theater arts Earvin Kristoffer J. Estioco, bfa theater arts Catherine Jane R. Lubangco, bs psychology Theater Arts: Production Design Lyanna Martina N. Parpan, ab communication Visual Arts: Graphic Design James Elijah H. Yap, bfa information design Visual Arts: Illustration John Gabriel C. Agcaoili, bfa information design James Elijah H. Yap, bfa information design Visual Arts: Mixed Media Clare Bianca F. Tantoco, bfa art management Visual Arts: Photography Jason T. Mariano, bs information technology entrepreneurship

The members of the Awards for the Arts Committee: Mark Joseph T. Calano, Ph.D. (Chair) Alexis Augusto L. Abola Laura Corazon A. Cabochan Anna Liza F. Castaneda Michael M. Coroza, Ph.D. Carlomar A. Daoana Allan Alberto N. Derain, Ph.D. Gary C. Devilles, Ph.D. Ariel A. Diccion Karen Fatima R. Francisco Jesse Gilliam Z. Gotangco Ma. Victoria T. Herrera Glenn S. Mas Isabel Consuelo A. Nazareno Allan J. Pastrana Maria Inez Angela Z. Ponce De Leon, Ph.D. Aaron R. Vicencio Martin V. Villanueva

Pasasalamat Fr. Roberto C. Yap, S.J. at ang Office of the President Dr. Maria Luz C. Vilches at ang Office of the Vice President for the Loyola Schools Dr. Leland Joseph R. Dela Cruz at ang Office of the Associate Dean for Student Formation Dr. Josefina D. Hofileña at ang Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Jonathan Chua at ang Office of the Dean, School of Humanities Dr. Priscilla Angela T. Cruz at ang English Department G. Martin V. Villanueva at ang Department of Fine Arts Dr. Gary C. Devilles at ang Kagawaran ng Filipino Dr. Allan Alberto N. Derain at ang Ateneo Institute of the Literary Arts and Practices (ailap) G. Ralph Jacinto A. Quiblat at ang Office of Student Activities Bb. Marie Joy R. Salita at ang Office of the Associate Dean for the Student and

Administrative Services

Gng. Liberty P. Santos at ang Central Accounting Office G. Regidor B. Macaraig at ang Purchasing Office Dr. Vernon R. Totanes at ang Rizal Library Bb. Carina C. Samaniego at ang University Archives Bb. Ma. Victoria T. Herrera at ang Ateneo Art Gallery Bb. Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo at ang Areté Ang MVP Maintenance at ang mga Security Personnel Dr. Vincenz Serrano at ang Kritika Kultura Bb. Angel Ramos, Marketing and Events Director ng

Teach for the Philippines

Bb. Ednalyn Lebrino, Bb. Issa Yang, Ms. Carol Estudillo, 2018 Teacher Fellows ng Teach for the Philippines Bb. Kristine Nuyda, Instructional Coaching Manager ng

Teach for the Philippines l

Bb. Danielle Margaux R. Garcia at ang The GUIDON

Bb. Caila Noche at ang Matanglawin Ang Sanggunian ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila,

at ang Council of Organizations of the Ateneo - Manila

At sa lahat ng nagpapanatiling buhay ang panitikan at sining sa komunidad ng

Pamantasan ng Ateneo de Manila sa pamamagitan ng patuloy na pagbabahagi ng kanilang mga akda at patuloy na pagsuporta sa mga proyekto ng heights

Patnugutan Punong Patnugot Zofia Lyne R. Agama [ab lit (eng) 2021] Katuwang na Patnugot Alyssa Gewell A. Llorin [bs aps-mse 2022] Patnugot para sa mga Panlabas na Gawain

Giane Ysabell C. Butalid [ab ec-h 2021]

Tagapangasiwang Patngugot para sa Komunikasyon

Katuwang sa Pananalapi

Justin Nicholas C. Barbara [bs mis 2021] Nathan Myles U. Lim [ab ec 2021]

Patnugot sa Sining Clare Bianca F. Tantoco [bfa am 2021] Katuwang na Patnugot sa Sining

Justine Clarisse S. Valdez [bs ch-mse 2023]

Patnugot sa Disenyo Giulia Clara R. Lopez [bfa id 2022] Katuwang na Patnugot sa Disenyo Patricia Grace R. Fermin [bfa id 2022] Patnugot sa Ingles Jose Antonio D. Carballo [ab lit (eng) 2022] Katuwang na Patnugot sa Ingles

Stanley Triston Y. Guevarra [ab lit (eng) 2023]

Patnugot sa Filipino Cydney Maegan M. Mangubat [bfa cw 2022] Katuwang na Patnugot sa Filipino Bernardine B. de Belen [bfa cw 2022] Tagapangasiwa ng Produksyon

Cesar Miguel V. Fabro [bs ch 2021]

Katuwang na Tagapangasiwa ng Produksyon

Paul Stanlee V. Añonuevo [bs mis 2023]

Patnugot ng Heights Online Gianna Paula T. Sibal [ab com 2022] Katuwang na Patnugot sa Heights Online Simone Andrea L. Yatco [ab socio 2023]

Punong Tagapamagitan at Tagapamagitan sa Ingles Martin V. Villanueva Tagapamagitan sa Filipino

Christian Jil R. Benitez

Tagapamagitan sa Sining

Alfred Benedict C. Marasigan

Tagapamagitan sa Disenyo

Tanya Lea Francesca M. Mallillin

Tagapamagitan sa Produksyon

Micah Marie F. Naadat

Tagapamagitan sa Heights Online Regine Miren D. Cabato

Mga Kasapi Sining

Lucas Abaya, Mika Alvear, Jude Buendia, Kimiko de Guzman, Regina Due, Pilar Gonzalez, Andrea Isaac, Kevin Javier, Yuji Los Baños, Ana Lucia Pineda, Alexa Denise Salcor, Carla Saludes, Rachel Maxine Tan, Lance Teng, Stel Zafranco


Tricia R. Alcantara, Eli Alconis, Alfonso Arellano, Kessa Avila, Ven Bello, Lia Datiles, Carmen Dolina, Sarah Huang, Anya Nellas, Ash Santos, MJ Sison, Justin Dhaniel Tan, Trisha Tan, Mia Tupas, Dagny Eran Yenko


Ma. Arianne Aleta, Cat Aquino, Alexie Cruz, Ariana Gabrielle S. Domingo, Gayle Dy, Sophia Alexis E. Escarez, Harvey Felipe, Alexandra Glorioso, Maria Angela D. Lanuza, Marty R. Nevada, Ysabel Nicdao, Andre Noel D. Pandan, Andrea Posadas, Nina Respicio, Trisha Reyes, Bea Pauline V. Salcedo, Patricia Sarmiento, Lyle Surtida, Madeleine Sy, Lance Teng, Justine Tiongco, James Tiu, Andie Villegas, Nigel Yu


Jerome Allen Agpalza, Iggy Bunag, Benzi Castro, Angela Cole, Rouella Danao, Frances Joson, Maria Larga, Iva Magsalin, Jerome Maiquez, Psy Panaligan, Mikaela Adrianne Regis, Fide Ramos, Nina Romero, Lars Salamante, Joaquin Santana, Lulay Santiago, Faith Santos, Ryan Suarez


Zianne Agustin, Ashlee Nicole L. Baritugo, Justine Borja, Maria Carmela Cabanos, Brianna Louise M. Cayetano, Louise Janelle Dimalanta, Cad Dionco, Alexis Nicole Ferreras, Mariana Gardoce, Sofia Guanzon, Angelika Portia Lapidario, Robert Kwan Laurel, Lindsey Therese U. Lim, Bianca Mallari, Arnold Manuel Rillorta, Aisha C. Said, Faith Santos, MM Silverio, Psyche B. Villanueva, Charles Bernard Yuchioco

Heights Online

Julia Carpio, Kelly Daphne Y. Choy, Gabrielle Christina A. Cortes, Bettina Coz, Natania Shay S. Du, Mariana Gardoce, Hazel Lam, Arnold Manuel, Maiko Aira Ng, Aletha Payawal, Allianza O. Pesquera, Tamia F. Reodica, Kenzie Sy, Jacob Tambunting, Andrea Tibayan, Kristine Torrente, Iya Zafra

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