A Few Stories, in 130 Letters or Less

This post is brought to you by the National Hero of the Philippines himself, Dr. Jose Rizal, who’s celebrating his 151st birthday today.

Disclosure: Dr. Rizal grew up in the same province as my home town. By deductive logic, we can conclude that Erik Spoelstra’s family is also from the same province, though I doubt that Dr. Rizal would approve of the Miami Heat.

I won’t lie: It’s not easy to write a story within the bounds of a single Tweet. That’s what made #RP612fic such a challenge for me, since it would’ve been easier to just write things that are “fictional” (e.g. “Ninoy Aquino lives” or “Government websites are user-friendly”) instead of succinct accounts of What Might Have Been (see: the rest of the stories that got re-tweeted along with mine on the GMA News website, along with the ones posted on ABS-CBN’s site and Rocket Kapre’s own picks). Add to that the fact that I don’t always write speculative fiction – let alone speculative fiction that involves Doctor Who, mythological characters, killer robots, or Philippine historical figures between 1901 and 1972 – and this experiment would have been a complete failure. 

But I survived, and I managed to compile – no, salvage – five favorites from the many entries I have written for this year’s #RP612fic, with some ex post facto editing involved. 

First, the painfully obvious:

“You were fully unconscious, Mr. Renner,” said Dr. Rizal, pouring a shot of brandy. “We found you floating under the seawall.” #RP612fic

There’s a lot going on in here, so let’s just say that The Bourne Legacy would have been a different movie altogether had our friend Aaron Cross biffed that bike chase through Fort Santiago. Who else but the National Hero would know what lies under that seawall?

(I also wrote a variation of this in Filipino, where “Sir Jeremy” turns down an interview with a cheesy showbiz gossip show after a night of hard partying at a karaoke bar… where he sings the most dangerous song in the Philippines. Considering that the man does get his karaoke on quite frequently in real life, you know he would’ve at least tried.)

More painfully obvious:

Credit: Anak Bathala

Realizing that his days in Miami were numbered, Erik Spoelstra decided to pursue his calling as a tikbalang hunter #RP612fic

Dude, forget about coaching LeBron and playing “defense” against Westbrook. Chasing down monsters is much more fun in the Philippines.

Speaking of fun things in the Philippines:

2022: “Battle of the Brains” revived on Phl television as David Celdran moderates presidential debate #RP612fic

1) David: not to be confused with the entertaining (and often provocative) Carlos Celdran, who happens to be his cousin. 2) Just watch the video and tell me if this is not the best format for a presidential debate.

And if you thought David was cute, try this on for size (heh):

Credit: noypistuff.blogspot.com

“Throw Your Support Behind The Katipunan“: Large-scale mural in Intramuros decried by friars as ‘subversive’, ‘licentious’ #RP612fic

Yep, it took way too long to get the joke. (By the way, you can still throw your support behind the fully clothed Philippine Volcanoes; they’re the ones to watch now in the Asian rugby scene.) 

And finally…

E! News Update: Manny Pacquiao Confirmed to be “In Talks” to Join Cast of Expendables 3 #RP612fic

I’m telling you now, it is so going to happen.

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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