Graduation Goggles – (n.) the relief and nostalgic feeling one has about a time in their life when it is about to end, even if the time was completely miserable.

Paskuhan Tree 2013.IMG_7085
Color Theory Workspace. My desk.IMG_7093
1 ID – 4. My blockmates.IMG_7096My friend, Martha.IMG_7106On the way to star gaze at Antipolo. This was my first time riding the LRT train.
IMG_7104Ann and I at Quiapo. We walked all the way from UST to Quiapo Church.
(I was a catholic then)IMG_7100We went to hidalgo to buy more film for my vintage rangefinder camera from my Lolo.IMG_7097Quiapo church.IMG_7103Side street.IMG_7098Mic Comia and Jam’s Elbow. This was before Mic formed Where’s Ramona and became it’s vocalist. (Check out their band).
IMG_7078A truck we found in Antipolo. We weren’t sure if someone died in it.IMG_7102Reason and Dale.IMG_7092View from “our balcony” as we call it. By our, I mean me and my boyfriend, Jam. This is one of our secret spots in the Beato bldg. I find secret spots for when I wanted to be alone or when anxiety gets too bad and I don’t want to face anyone but I can’t leave school. Took a while before I shared these secret spots (even to Jam). Which is also why it took me so long to decide if I wanted to share these photos to the world since it’s very personal to me. IMG_7108This was my corkboard in my dorm room.IMG_7091Basilio, the bunny. I don’t know whose bunny. I already forgot.IMG_7110This was our first day as a couple. Taken outside Antipolo church. (same as the photo below)IMG_7109IMG_7086Another view from our ‘secret’ balcony (same as the photo below).IMG_7087IMG_7111My love.

What happened to me when I disappeared?

The best and worst days of my life. They say it takes getting everything you ever wanted and then losing it to know what real freedom is. Disappearing was well worth it because I found something so much better than fame and fortune… myself. Although, I’m still on that journey of finding my happiness and knowing what I really want in life, being away from the scene that ruined my head helped me heal and appreciate the better things in life. Being away from the people that hurt me has allowed me to be myself, whoever that is. I’ve learned so much from my time in college. There were good times and bad.

My college experience started out really well. I felt accepted for a while. By the time I was on my third year, I felt so utterly isolated from everyone. I kept asking myself what was wrong with me and why I was always alone and how I both loved and hated it at the same time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no one really knows what’s best for you except for yourself (this applies to people who are 18 and above, please don’t disobey your parents. well, unless they’re abusive and all). I’m not telling anyone to drop out of college, move to a big city and just wing it. School is definitely good for something. I could confidently say that I wouldn’t be who I am today without everything I learned in school (the most important life lessons, I didn’t learn from books or adults or teachers but from my friends and from own experiences). It’s okay to feel alone and isolated. It’s not always your fault and it’s not always a bad thing. I certainly didn’t expect to be a college drop out and I never expected to end up where I am today but it’s important to know when to stop. I certainly wish I had finished my course and earned a diploma and I probably still will, just not at a place I don’t believe in and not around people I don’t relate to anymore.

To my love, Jam. You have given me so much and you made me a believer again. I could not thank you enough for being my rock. You never failed to be there through my ups and downs and my highs and lows. Thank you for showing me kindness, something no one has ever shown me before. Thank you for setting a standard in my life on how people should treat me and that has taught me to identify those who abuse and use me. Thank you for giving me courage to take big leaps in my life, including this one, even if it meant we had to be away from each other for a few years until you graduate. Thank you for loving me no matter how much I tried to push you away at first. Thank you for constantly telling me that I am a whole being even before I met you. I know I wrote a post on my old blog on how I wished that we were in another universe. A universe where I was not so damaged by my past that I could let you take care of me and maybe even love me. You have made this universe a universe worth living in by existing. I can’t wait to see you again.

I was experiencing graduation goggles (a term I learned from watching How I Met Your Mother) for a few months after I dopped out, while I was waiting for my papers to get fixed so I can move far away. Truthfully, no matter how miserable I was in my last few months in UST, I still miss it. I miss Moira Lynn and Kantunan and the people that work there. I miss Joyce’s, Joli’s and Jomar’s. I miss Cow Wow. I miss Dormus. I miss Galleria Suites. I miss my overpriced little apartment. I miss my ex roommates even if we’re not all in great terms when we separated ways. I miss Beato and my secret spots. I miss the janitors that open and close the elevators, they have become my friends during the times I felt isolated from my peers. My dear, Ate Susan calls me anak everytime we see each other. I miss my dear professors (except a certain bully professor whose name I will not drop but i will say that s/he was a big part on why i wanted to leave the school). I even sort of miss those rude ass street kids running around Espanya and P. Noval to steal food, skateboards and terrorize students (just kidding, I really don’t miss that).

I almost didn’t want to leave because my graduation goggles were so deceiving but I’m glad I did. No matter how hard it is to start fresh in a new country. It is what I needed.

To my readers: you are important, you are valid, you are stronger than you think.

(All photos were taken with my rangefinder camera, Nikon L35AF, 35mm film. Badly scanned. Most photos are from 2013.)

11 thoughts on “THE LOST DAYS

  1. Hi Aria. I Don’t know how to start my message by I just wanna say that somehow I feel your pain. I have been suffering from depression and anxiety for 3 years now and it’s not getting better. Sometimes I take a look at your blogs and listen to your songs too (I am kind of a fan, I guess). I also kinda believed that you and I are somehow the same. Right now, I still feel empty even though I gotten a degree, I guess real life is killing me. Anyways, I don’t wanna waste your time reading a long comment but I just wanna say what you wrote here, hit me hard , really hard but thank you. This somehow took the pain away. Hope your well 🙂


  2. Hi Aria!

    You are so beautiful, wonderfully made. I hope that you’ll find the genuine joy deep within your soul, it must be there.




  3. Hi Aria 😊 I am happy for you right now. Continue what you’re doing and I hope someday we’ll meet again 👌 Have a great journey! 🎨🛤🛣🍕🍟🌭🍔🍝🍜🍫🍻


  4. i didn’t really imagine, or even see it in you, the anxiety that you felt, what i saw in you is a strong girl with a wonderful mind, that everyone could wish for, if i am to choose who i wanna be for even just a day, i would gladly choose to be you, I really idolized you during your little big superstar years, but I idolized and loved you more now that you have shown us your weak side or should i say your stronger side…thank you for sharing this,,, i’ve learned a lesson from it, and i really hope i can meet you so that i can give you a tight hug 🙂

    hugs and kisses


  5. Hi! I used to deal with depression and self harm a few years ago. As of the moment, I could say that things have gotten better. I’m not so lonely as I used to be. Sure, anxiety is still lurking behind my back every single day but one thing’s for sure, it’s that I’m proud of myself that I didn’t give in to my lust for death. And I’m really happy for you as well and I don’t know if you believe in God, but I’ll be praying for a happier Aria in the future. More years for you and Jam! ❤️‍


  6. this made me cry (almost) huhuh same feels. i miss beato, those art students inside, kuya guard.. 😦 i’m also an interior design student but then anxiety attacks happened (including going back and forth of usth). i adore your courage, and beyond that, your passion that’s never left behind. thank you for inspiring us aria!! we love you!!


  7. This made me go ashgrhndgh. Idk what to say right now so let me make it simple. Even though you don’t know/remember me, I will always love you, Aria. Hehe. Been a fan since 2012 and I’m still here. You’re one of my favorite people :). Always remember that there are people, few or many, who love you and will love you no matter what. :))


  8. I miss you in beato!!! Whenever i see you at the corridor, stairs, or even outside ust, i was really thrilled and kilig inside! I always regret not saying hi to you because I really want you to be my friend but I was damn scared that I might look like those creepy fans 😦 And I was really sad when I saw from ur insta that you dropped out! 😦 You know, ust, too, has been both a heaven and a hell for me same as my blockmates and professors but I always push myself to be bigger than them and my pains. I know anxiety sucks, big time and I hope you overcome it and always remember that you’re a bigger person than those people who don’t believe in you and bad memories in the past.I believe that the shadow of your success will bury those things forever. I hope you also remind yourself that you can do it no matter how many bumps and curves you go through. I wish you success in life, success that means health, happy, and contented. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s