Posted in The Critic: Exploring Philippine Literature

Exploring Philippine Literature: One Night in Purgatory by Carlo Vergara

It was said that everyone has feelings locked up… and that alcohol just opens those dreadful doors.

Alcohol. Exes. Long-kept and unspoken questions. Black tittle-tattles. Realizations. And on rare occasions (who am I kidding) Sex. These are all the cliche ingredients of heartbreak after-stories for the hardcore inamoratas and inamoratos (and those in between) out there. The minds of these tormented beings are just too jumbled, exhausted and beaten up that even gravity would be considered a negative and repugnant force. Love, as analyzed and described in my previous readings, is heaven and hell– mind it being heaven– and of course, your brain would be dehydrated of cerebrospinal fluid if you lose your so-called paradise. As your heart beats in a melancholy rhythm, you find it arduous to even eat and sleep– two gems of the millenium, or for college students, at least. After which, you start to reminisce bits and pieces of your golden moments of fun and laughter, all the way cursing your brain for doing such as you play The Script albums in your iPhone.

But this is but a mere (annoying and deadly) finger-post of your entire love life, and if you are unable to resist such tsunamis, you’d, logically, die. But heartbreaks are not all about these– it has a good side that could barely be seen– like a needle in a haystack.

Think about it. This Graphic Novel told me that there is more to heartbreak than just pain and suicidal thoughts. Having a shattered heart is like having your eyes freed from possible illusions and “Salamancas.” Love is, at times, deceiving, and I say that heartbreak is the cure to such deception. It is in possession of shattering hearts that you realize things that you never knew you thought of because your brain is somehow convening with your hearts deafening beats.

With heartbreak comes letting go, realizations and new beginnings. You venture into arguments that make you feel like you did the right thing.

This is, of course, for some cases. In this tale, however, this philosophy can be applied. People have long been dubbing heartbreak as a negative phenomenon, but it is because of the myriads of heartbreaks that Casey was able to realize that there are more to men that having that extra limb.

So it’s just the package, right? The only thing that’s stopping you from having a boyfriend is the extra limb? There are more to girls than not having dicks…

I guess I loved you in that way. So what if you were flat-chested and had a dick? It was like having a relationship with any girl. Except the sex, of course. It all seemed to fall into place. You made me feel needed whoever I was.

These are the lines that my mind danced upon as I read the novel. I can’t help but say that these lines that appear so camouflaged and typical in the story are actually the nobel-prize definition of LOVE. Relationships are not all about sex and the “hoity-toity” (kilig) sensation– there is a deeper and more worthwhile underlying feel to it– it is the feeling of being needed, being someone, and feeling belonged and protected. This, is what I would like to call Mature love– love that has reached self-actualization, according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

But let’s stray off the parameters of love for now (because I’m having a migraine) and tackle the other matter of the novel: GAYS.

Try telling that to the rest of the world! You’re marked for life. I’ll be your darkest secret for the rest of your life.

I don’t actually know whether Casey is gay or bisexual, but the truth of the matter is that part of being bisexual is being gay, logically. Since he has the hots for both sexes, we could validly call him a Bisexual. I, in all honesty, have nothing against the queer population– I actually find them to be great friends. However, I admittedly didn’t feel my “muscles and bones melting” after seeing Casey and Deio kiss– not the kind that Peeta-Katniss, Tobias-Beatrice, Sherlock-Irene, bring to my poor paralyzed soul.

But I hope you understand, because I don’t.

But fudge cakes, if someone’s gay, then be gay. There may be ignorant and judgemental people in the society but you can’t actually afford to walk through life with a mask, right? That’d be exhausting, emotionally and mentally. As what Elsa famously said, and I melodiously quote, “Let it go.” I need not mention all the other “Express yourself and who says you’re not perfect” twaddles here– they simply are written in the Milky-way’s archive of everything.

I think I feel a vein popping out now. This is all I have to say for I am squeezed into a dry pulp.

I would also like to point out that Graphic Novels are more fun to read because you can really *ehem* see everything. But there, however would be a limit to what an author can write.

Nonetheless, this Novel is still good.

P.S. I am listening to The Script as I write this. It really helps.




Hey there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Kryztal, a 20 year old medical technologist swimming through medical school admissions. I live by the dream of being a doctor who'd be reading Sasusaku fanfics and watching Adventure Time episodes during her break.

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