Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 9

by Lucille de Mesa, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. Standing at almost five feet eleven inches tall, sun-kissed skin, with a pompadour hairstyle, the tricycle driver alighted from his motorcycle and walked right up to Brenda. “Hello!” The driver flashed a smile that could launch a thousand toothpaste commercials. “I’m Luke. You saved my grandma back at the ship.” Brenda stood frozen, staring deep into Luke’s hazel brown eyes. Suddenly getting visions of typical Harlequin romance book cover art, where a well-chiseled man holds a woman in his arms, she curled…

Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 8

by Lucille de Mesa, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. “Lil, wait—” Drew reached out for her hand again, but this time, Girlie stepped out of his reach. She felt his eyes boring into her back, but she did not stop. She went inside, sliding the glass door behind her, leaving Drew in the veranda alone. She did not want to talk to him anymore about the past. It was a long time ago, and that was true, even when there were still some days when she still felt as if everything…

Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 7

by Lucille de Mesa, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. It all started innocently. Brenda was just commenting how Drew seemed to be stuck in the early 2000s with his ringtone. Before everyone knew it, Drew was scrambling to his feet, walking away from the table. “It’s nothing, babe…” Drew said over the phone. The phone call was a full thirty minutes. The group was already down to their last round of beer for the night when Drew came back to the table. “Was that your wife? She must have heard what…

Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 6

by Lucille de Mesa, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. The barkada went out to dinner that night. To his friends’ relief, Phil came along. But he mostly kept to himself and only spoke when asked, while the rest reminisced about their high school memories. “How come you ended up being an architect? We always thought you would become an accountant,” Drew asked Dimitri, pouring iced tea into his glass. “Well, Girlie stole that dream away from me,” Dimitri quipped in between munching crab legs. Everyone laughed at that, even Girlie who…

Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 5

by Lucille de Mesa, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. Shaken by what happened, Phil was thrown back to the moment he wanted to forget forever. “I’ll just go check the car,” Phil said. “I’ll see you guys later.” He turned away, hurriedly pushing through the crowded deck. “Wait, Phil! Wait!” Brenda called out. She was about to run towards Phil when Girlie stopped her in her path. “Brenda, where are you going? Do you need help?” Girlie asked. “Girlie!” Brenda said, her forehead creased with worry. “Please, can you check on…

Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 4

by Lucille de Mesa, Baz Grimm-Pitch, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu, Maria Criselda Santos and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. It’s barely even a year after John died. And Phil still remembers every bit of it all—how they were lounging by the small terrace of their apartment that afternoon, the sun settling below the horizon. John was telling him a news story about a gay couple from Laguna who are now proud parents of a baby girl via surrogacy. “Maybe we can also have one,” John said. They had been arguing for months about having a baby….

Booktungan: MV Redemption Episode 3

by Lucille de Mesa, Baz Grimm-Pitch, Celestine Trinidad, Ibyang Riot, Sarah Bulalacao, Mikki Shiu, Maria Criselda Santos and BJ Medina Click here to read the previous episode. By the time the ferry arrived, the pier was already packed. Phil and his friends had formed a line early on, but when the gates opened to start boarding passengers, some people ignored the line completely and ran ahead. Brenda looked ready to pick a fight with any one of the people who had cut the line, but Girlie held on to her arm, shaking her head. “What?” Brenda said loudly. “Don’t stop me, Girl. This is…