Memories That Never Happened
by Ari (United States)
Audio: "Memories That Never Happened," read by Ari
In the jungles of Aklan stands a statue of a man I've never met.
Stands a monument to a face I've never seen.
Hidden under hole-filled leaves, cast in Pacific island sun, surrounded by huts and houses built on stilts to protect them from rising tides.
There is a village in Aklan and though I've never stepped one foot on its soil, rested my hand on one trunk of a tree there, I miss its humid air, its sea-breeze, its cuisine and its culture. Though I've never seen one of its mellow creeks or dipped my hand into its cool water, I miss the times I've skipped over the rocks on my way to school.
That's what my grandma, my lola, did when she was young like me.
I've only heard stories.
But though I've never breathed in the smells of adobo or sinigang cooked in a house in the Philippines, though I've only tasted it here in the States, I long for those long summer days.
In the jungles of Aklan, stands a statue to my great-grandfather who assisted the Americans in World War 2, a military leader who fought oppression.
There in his tiny village, is a statue no one outside that jungle knows about. A memorial for his service.
And though I never met him, I wish I had.
I miss him already.
I can so easily imagine myself sitting at his feet, listening to his stories, hearing his deep, scratchy voice. I think he'd have a deep, scratchy voice.
It's a memory that never happened.
And I miss him already.
I miss that village.
I miss digging my toes into the sand.
There is a region in the Philippines called Aklan.
And there is where I'm from.
Ari, age 18, is a “Mexipina” (Mexican-Filipina) who is living proof that “the quietest people have the loudest minds.” She loves expressing herself through her piano-playing, drawing, and writing. Always fascinated by her family’s history, one day she hopes to visit the lands of her ancestry.
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12/3/22, 12:37 AM
11/19/22, 9:15 AM
This is a masterpiece.... Well done
10/12/22, 2:00 AM
An amazing piece on climate change. Congratulations!
10/12/22, 1:58 AM
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love this! Could read this over and over again.
10/12/22, 1:56 AM
Such a beautiful piece Lyat. Congratulations!
10/12/22, 1:54 AM
From your piece, you're an inspiration and a driven person who wants to make the world better. I hope you get to achieve all these and I hope you receive all the support.
10/12/22, 1:48 AM
Brilliant and educative in all aspects!
10/12/22, 1:43 AM
Everything about this piece has perfectly collided with the perfect words. Teen years are special and form a concrete part of a person's life. Glad I read this now. It's a beautiful piece.
9/29/22, 4:40 PM
9/24/22, 2:13 PM
Was this inspired by flights over Iceland?
9/24/22, 10:04 AM
Amazing. I love it.
9/23/22, 7:34 AM
This is just so good!!!! "The air has been poisoned' I love how you describe things! Congrats :))