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Chapter 1

A story lost, forgotten, and unheard in the new generation. A horror that changed history. A love that conquered all questions and confusions. A love made after her time.   


May 1942

Priscilla had nowhere to go. They were taking young ladies to serve the military and she had to rush and find the safest place for her to hide—if there was any. A flashback of her parents’ death occurred to her as she was dragging her feet to find safety. Her parents tried to protect her from the hands of small but fierce men wearing khaki uniforms but ended up getting their heads shot. It was the year of Japanese occupation in the Philippines. It was the moment in which the country’s freedom was once again taken for the purpose of having a dominant, one Asia.

But for Priscilla, it was a life and death situation she had solely surrendered to God. She knew escape was too impossible with her little efforts that even her fastest run could not save her from the imperial forces. So she thought she needed some divine protection.

“Raul. He must be somewhere.” She silently spoke through her fast pace of breathing.

She realized that her frightened mind had unconsciously brought her few steps away from her lover’s place. But just before she was almost approaching Raul’s humble barrio, a Spanish term for village, she heard a loud scream begging her attention.

Takbo, Priscilla! Run, leave this place!” With that one last cry, Raul was shot at instant. There was not even a second to spare for him.

It was not even dusk and yet Priscilla had already witnessed 3 dead people—her loved ones at that. If wishing to give up and submit herself to the ruling Japanese soldiers was a coward thought, for Priscilla it was a grasp of the situation. She had lost all her strength to escape the approaching soldier; but as if her strong prayers to be saved were heard by the almighty, she managed to drag herself away again. Her mind was quite unconscious, yet her body continued to fight.  

“Follow! Lady! Running!” A stern officer yelled in his tough, unnatural English accent.

The nearest soldier responded quickly. They were trained to be haste in actions so not even one was able to outwit them, especially a lady like Priscilla. A beauty like her would not miss the eyes of the ruling Asian army.

Priscilla was a mestiza, a product of two colonies. Her mother was a Filipino-Spanish woman who married an American man, who was, on the other hand, the known Arthur Harris that owned big advertising companies and worked in Clark Air Field Pampanga—now a place of ashes after the bombing. He was not present during the bombing, December 8, so he was fortunate enough to survive until he had to protect his daughter and lost his life.  All of his assets were also taken directly to the Japanese authority. It was but a tragic lost indeed.

The soldier chasing after her shot the gun in two consecutive times, but Priscilla momentarily neglected her fear of the piercing sound as if she had enough. If she was going to die while being chased then she’d probably have at least one quick pain. Being killed by a gunshot would be less painful for her to accept than dying in the arms of lustful soldiers.

“Father! Help me, please… after me…” Priscilla was too fatigued to say the right words, but despite that, seeing someone she believed she could trust relieved her in some way.

“What’s the matter, hija?” The Filipino-Spanish priest still seemed oblivious of some women being captured by the imperial forces.

“They’re after me… I need a place to hide.” She completed, almost fainting.

The soldier could be anywhere near her by now, and she certainly had no way to buy some time.

“Go inside, hurry. I’ll do my best to send them away.” The priest promised but clearly there was no assurance.

Priscilla nodded and hurried inside the cathedral. She knew she put him at risk, and any moment by now he could die for her sake. If in the near future she survived while the priest did not, she would have to confess that she killed him. She had placed Father Mariano in this situation and she had to pay for it.

Gradually, she was walking on the aisle toward the altar and reached for the closest prie-dieu, a prayer-kneeler. Her sobs were echoing in the empty church. This was where she dreamed of marrying. This was where she thought of walking with her father, who would possibly cry while sending his daughter to wed the groom. This was the place where she viewed herself and Raul saying their vows together in front of God. However, this place had now become her fantasy—a dream impossible to grasp for her.

Priscilla bent her knees as she clasped her hands together. Not a second did her faith was triggered by these events; perhaps because she was raised in a devoted family.

“I can’t do this anymore… I’m so tired and weak, and helpless. How far, Lord should I go further?” She spoke through her mind. Her apparently wearied, loud sobs were the only sound echoing inside. “They were killed because of me, and now Father Mariano’s life is in danger. Oh, how I wish you’d just take me out of here. How can a country be this suppressed? If I could only get a glimpse of what the world would be like without blood shedding everywhere, then perhaps I’d be willing to die at ease. If it’s not today or the week ahead then I pray that you’d let me live till that day comes. I want to witness my country’s freedom from its oppressors before I die. So I beg you, God. Spare me from my captor. Spare me from the Japanese for I do not want to be their slave…”

Priscilla had almost fallen asleep while waiting for an answer. She continued repeating her soundless prayers until she realized she’d been doing so for hours. For a moment she wondered why no one had yet to come and take her. Had Father Mariano successfully lured the soldier? Had God really answered her constant prayer and allowed her to survive? These were her thoughts back then; thus to stand up and bravely walk outside was to find out the answers.



May 2014

Steven Cheng is on his way to Intramuros, a district of Manila, for his next big project. He works as a part-time writer in a well-known magazine in the Philippines, Rivét—a magazine that caters the interest of the elite. Rivét is in fact a company owned by his parents. Steven just cannot commit himself to work as a full-time and be an actual heir to his father because of his other interests, which his parents clearly understand. Although he enjoys his career as a freelance writer and photographer, he still feels unaccomplished until his indie-films are discovered by the movie industry. As a matter of fact, Steven has successfully finished 3 films already, but none of those satisfies him. He thought he needs something better—something that is definitely art and will move the hearts of the people.

His friend Karl came with him. He’s also another passionate young artist who stands as the production manager. Both are geniuses when joined together, except that Karl is a little silly in terms of lighting up the mood.

“Are we gonna set-up here?” asks Karl, who has the rest of their equipment in his hand.

Steven, on the other hand, holds the camera, ready to capture any perfect setting for the next shoot. “Not here, dude. We’re not aiming for a gangster kind of place.” He replied, pertaining to the graffiti on the walls.

“The once clean walled city is now a canvas for colorful art.” Karl jokes around. He isn’t quite sure if he’s going to be impressed or disappointed by the sight of a creative vandalism.

They both realize that some parts of this historic place during the Spanish colonization aren’t preserved well; perhaps out of pollution.

“Hey, can you hear that?” Steven asks as he listens to the soft sound of the kampana. The bell is ringing quietly, as if it’s more of a soft whisper than a loud church bell.

“What? Never heard of a sound of a bell before?”

“It’s coming from the cathedral, isn’t it?” Steven confirms, ignoring Karl’s sarcastic tone.

“Yeah, most likely. It’s the only nearest church that would ring a bell here.” Karl says. He has no idea how Steven finds it peculiar at this moment—at this particular time.

“Hey, are you okay? Where are you going?”

“I think I’ve found the right place.” Steven simply says, trying to grasp the mysterious call of the basilica.

He then rushes to find the church that is only a few steps away from their current post. Even he cannot explain of his sudden excitement to get there; all he probably knows is that the Manila Cathedral is a living history that will bring him back in time.

Plaza de Roma is dominated by the Cathedral-basilica. It was built during the Spanish regime in the Philippines in 1581, governed by a Spanish friar Juan de Vivero. The cathedral had to be renovated several times due to strong earthquakes that led to its damages. It was also triggered and destroyed during the World War II in 1945 that it had to be reconstructed all over again in 1954. To limit these consecutive tragedies, the church underwent repairs that have tougher foundation against earthquakes. It’s been two years since it was renovated again, and last month, April 9, 2014, the cathedral was reopened for public.

Steven walks up the stairs of the church, and at once the bell stops ringing. There are other people walking around, yet all he sees is the moment he and his story meet. He then holds his camera and adjusts the brightness. He wants it just as natural under the vivid sunlight. And then through his lenses, a woman of mid-20s, whose fragile and drained face is captured.

Steven immediately views the shot and is amazed by the subject’s beauty. He glances up and sees the living woman, who is just about to fall from the staircase if not for Steven’s quick response. He holds the fainting lady in his arms, and all of a sudden it feels strange.

The woman stirred from her abrupt dizziness. She looks at the unknown man, whose appearance is similar of those in imperial forces but a little lighter and broader.

“Take me… take me out of here.” She feebly says, almost a whisper.

Steven frowns as he barely understands the message. He believes the woman is a foreigner. Her accent speaks of an American, whilst her white physique is more of a Spanish blood. Her tied brown hair has been loosed and messed up as though she’s been running for hours.

“Are you okay?” Steven realizes how lame his question is when obviously she can be in critical condition.

The woman fails to notice him for she completely collapses, hoping to find safety in a stranger’s arms.

“Hey, miss? Miss!” Steven calls in panic but she doesn’t wake up.

Karl approaches soon after he catches sight of Steven. In fact he’s sort of infuriated when his friend just walked away without a word, but upon witnessing the situation, he thinks he can consider the thought.

“What’s wrong? Who’s she? Why did she…” Karl doesn’t know where to start. He usually softens every time someone appears to be severely sick.

“We have to get her out of here.” Steven carries the woman, firmly thinking he’s the help she’s been searching for.

Karl freezes for a moment as he observes some suspicious stares from the people. They must probably think they’re sort of kidnappers or some syndicate that abduct girls though they obviously do not look like one. It’s just that such crimes usually happen in the Philippines so people, especially the adults are overprotective.

“Just what on earth happened to my sister? We should, mom would be so worried.” He exaggerates but somehow delivers his alibi naturally. He has to speak quire louder for everyone suspecting them.

Steven burrowed, not particularly aware of the sudden drama so Karl still has to mouth his point. “Dude, just act okay?”

“Oh, right. She just fainted. She’ll be fine, don’t worry.” Steven has no idea if he said the right words. They merely agree with each other and rush to go where they parked the car before a commotion could start.

“Seriously Steve, just where did you get this girl?” Karl begins to panic in curiosity as he starts the car. He is to drive, while Steven sits with the woman at the back seat.

“I don’t know. She just appeared.”

“What? Since when did you prioritize women before work?” Karl needs a proper explanation for he still cannot understand the sudden turn of events. He’s expecting Steven to be passionate about this new project so why is he bringing a girl instead?

“She’s not my woman, Karl. She needs help, and it feels strange… I’m not sure how.”

“Dude, you’re in love—at first sight!” Karl guesses. It must be the only reason for Steven to be attached like this.

“Shut up. It’s not because of that. You know what, let’s just wait for her to wake up and know her story, okay? She’s even in a Spanish dress.”

“So what if she’s in that dress? There are a lot of artists portraying a señorita for tourist purposes.”

“She looks like a woman of the past.” Steven speaks, as if finally he has confirmed what he’s been thinking of all this time.

“Of course she would. She acts like one.” Karl laughs at his friend’s insanity. Now he thinks of him as someone crazier than him; at least in terms of history matters.

Steven, on the other hand, believes something unusual has happened. He isn’t sure about anything except for one thing—the feeling is mutual to both of them. He needs the woman, and the woman needs him. Priscilla does.

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Chapter 2

Steven has always loved looking back. It’s not a matter of moving on or letting go and accept what the present is, but more of a passion to learn something that is left behind; something fading till it’s forgotten. He might not be a historian, but Steven learns history very well. He believes in the art of the past—in the knowledge of the former. And right now he sees it through the woman lying on his bed. She can be the source of his success and answer to his many questions.

“Are you aware that you’ve been staring at her like a maniac?” Karl interrupts, holding a cup of coffee. He’s been eating and watching TV in the sala an hour ago, before he enters the room.

“What?” Steven stutters, distracted by his friend’s humor.

“Dude, you’re seriously blushing.”

“Look, I’m just curious okay?” Steven says. It’s true that he finds the woman exceptionally beautiful, but he’s more after the background—her story, in particular.

Why is she running? Who is chasing her? Where did she come from?

It’s nothing but a puzzle to him right now, but he’s anticipating to understand. He wants to learn from her.

Priscilla slightly moves her head, apparently gaining consciousness from her deep slumber. Her whole body still aches that she could barely lift a finger, but she’s confident of her safety. She has survived the threatening scheme of the Japanese soldier.

Steven notices Priscilla’s attempt to sit up, so he takes the initiative to help her. He positions the pillow on the headboard so Priscilla could comfortably lean her back on it.

“Do you need anything?” Steven asks, careful not to offend the lady in any way. “Tubig, Karl.” He signals his friend to bring a glass of water.

Priscilla’s lips are almost white in parchedness that Steven thinks how she must be really thirsty. Karl then leaves his coffee on a desk and does what he’s asked. Though he remains reluctant of the strange woman in the house; he still cannot fool himself by saying he’s not curious at all. Steven could be right, anyway. The woman may indeed be their next big project.

Karl returns with the glass of water in his hand. He passes it to Steven so he will not have to do the assisting.

“Here, drink this.” Steven utters as he hands the water.

Priscilla trusts the intention of the man. She doesn’t refuse his offer, and neither doubts the kindness he’s showing. He’s the one who rescues her when she could have died. Right now for her, he’s the hero—an answered prayer.

She drinks till no drop is left, but she isn’t satisfied. One glass of water seems too little of a volume to quench her thirst.

“I’ll get more.” Karl takes the glass and rushes outside. Just by looking at the woman’s obvious thirst, he knows she wants more.

Gracias,” The woman suddenly speaks that both Karl and Steven have to glance at each other, quite unsure if she is indeed addressing them.

Priscilla then reaches for the glass and finishes the drink. She feels better, as if gradually she has gained back her strength.

“You speak Spanish?” Karl asks.

“I speak English, Spanish, and a little of Filipino but I can understand very well. I’m also learning French.” Priscilla says in her accented English.

She notices the seemingly distinct arrangement of this room from her own in Intramuros. There are no pamaypay hanged on the ceiling, no bunk for the maid, no furnished tea table, and no arinola beside or under her bed. There are, however, a lot of unfamiliar squares and boxes that Priscilla has yet to figure out the purpose. Because her mother maintains the setting of what they adapted from the Spanish culture in their hacienda, Priscilla scarcely gets to see the modern technology that the Americans brought to them. She can only see and listen to a radio if she visits her father’s office, yet this place is still different from what she knows as modern.

“Wow, you’re a quadrilingual!” Karl says, amazed by the fact that she could speak four languages. He himself wants to learn at least four.

“Yes, somehow. How about you? You look a bit of the Japanese forces. But because you helped me, I presume you’re Filipinos.” Priscilla continues, “You must be half-Chinese, half-Filpino, aren’t you?” She’s looking at Steven, who apparently is as astonished as Karl.

She sounds medieval in their perspective.

“You do have an eye for different nationalities, huh?” Karl asks.

“Who would not? We’ve been colonized by different countries already, so there are many of us who are of mixed blood. However we still claim ourselves as Filipinos because we live in this suppressed country.”

“What? Are you outdated or something? You speak like you live during the Japanese occupation when it was years ago; really, a long time ago.” Karl blurts out. He cannot keep with the drama anymore. The lady must be acting insane.

“Oh, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you with my words…but I don’t get what you mean. How did it happen a long time ago?” Priscilla questions. There must be something that she doesn’t know.

“You know what,” Karl is just about to get infuriated again when Steven cuts him off. He knows he has to interfere this time. Karl is not really patient with scam artists as he was once a victim. But Priscilla isn’t a scam. She would never lie of such serious matter like this.

“Karl, why don’t you make us lunch today? Let me speak to her.”

“Can I just order pizza?”

“Not another fast food, dude. Adobo will do. I have the ingredients in the fridge.” Steven requests. He has been craving for the Filipino dish since his mom went abroad for vacation. He lives alone and only gets visited by his parents at least twice a month, so it’s Karl that usually accompanies him.

“I know how to cook Adobo. I watch the maids sometimes.” Priscilla says, eager to boast of her knowledge.

“Good for you then, mademoiselle.” Karl mockingly says and steps out of the room.

“What have I done that he dislikes me?” Priscilla asks, upset that someone hates her at once. She used to be love by many, so why this man suddenly ridicules her?

“Just don’t mind him. He has trust issues.” Steven speaks on his friend’s behalf.

“Trust issues? You mean, he doesn’t trust people?”

“Yes, basically.”

“So why did you rescue me?”

“I saw you in the cathedral. You fainted. Look, just don’t take him seriously, okay? He loves to joke.” Steven tries to assure her upon seeing her troubled face. He feels that Karl’s reaction has affected the woman’s sincerity.

“Did you not see the man chasing me? How about Father Mariano? Is he alive? Oh dear God, I forgot about him.”

“Are you being serious right now?” No matter how Steven suspects the woman, he still cannot keep himself from believing her. There’s no reason for her to lie, and no hint of her getting insane. No scam artist will have to battle for their lives unless some cops have caught them. But this woman is not talking about the cops. She’s worried of the Japanese army that may attack her anytime soon. She thinks of the past, and Steven knows the impossibility of her telling the truth yet he believes her.

“How can you ask me that? You know how serious the Japanese are. Have you been to the Plaza?” She asks, almost letting go of her tears.

“What year do you think you’re in now?” Steven says. He wants to confirm if his suspicion is right.

“It’s May, 1942.” She simply responses, still not getting the confusion she brings to the man she’s talking to.

“It’s 2014…” Steven utters. He has no idea how to explain it to her when he himself cannot figure out what’s happening. It’s either the woman has amnesia, she lost her mind, or she does live in the year she says to be on 1942.

“One second.” He says and stands up to find something. He searches for a video tape that shows precisely about Philippine history. From the rack, he grabs a CD of documentary film regarding the Japanese occupation in 1941; from the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Field to McArthur’s return. He turns on the TV and plays the clip.

Priscilla cannot seem to say a word as she watches a thin, wide box that shows moving pictures. She has no idea that there is more modern than what she usually sees in her father’s office. “H-how do you… what is that? Why is it moving? Where is the person narrating?” She spontaneously asks, focusing on the absurdity of the object and not what it’s televising.

“This is a television, and what I’m showing to you right now is the bombing of the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and the arrival of the Japanese here in the Philippines.” He speaks like a teacher talking to a grade school student.

What really catches Priscila’s attention is the part where the Japanese took over Manila. The speaker narrates the struggles and resistance of Filipinos during the occupation. It says that Filipinos have embraced the American ideology of democracy—of freedom that they refused the harsh control of the Japanese. Priscilla cannot agree more. She may want Japan’s idea of one Asia, but the way they regard women as their slaves as she previously witnessed is extremely cruel.

“How did you do that? Why does it say history?” She questions as the TV shows the events in 1944. “Gen. McArthur returned,” She says, but more like a question. “How did you know he will return on October 1944? Why is he talking as if it’s all in the past? This doesn’t make any sense…”

Steven, bothered by Priscilla’s obvious troubled face, stops the clip.

“This is a proof that we’re no longer in the 1940s, and the reason why Karl, my friend, suddenly reacts like that is because he thinks you’re bluffing. He thinks you’re trying to get our attention by saying you’re from the past.” Steven explains in his gentlest manner, but it seems like Priscilla has enough confusion to try and comprehend what he’s saying.

“How can I be bluffing when you could be the one lying to me? I know the Japanese are good in technology. Who knows if you’re one of them?” She panics and forces herself to stand up. She could have survived a soldier a while ago, but facing another death in the hands of what she thinks now are manipulators, is not far to happen especially in times of war. She thinks she might have fallen in their trap.

“No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…” Steven cannot find any decent words to convince her of their honest intention. Even he is confused of what’s happening.

Priscilla, however she wants to run at the particular moment, do not have enough strength to carry her own still wearied body. Steven holds her shoulders just before she’s about to fall again.

“I believe you…” He speaks sincerely as he stares at the woman’s misted eyes. “I believe in your story so please, believe in mine as well. I don’t know how it happened but you’re in the year 2014, 72 years ago from the time you’re saying.”

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Chapter 3

Priscilla met her first love in a theatrical entertainment show that was brought by Americans as Vaudeville, but was more known as Bodabil in the Philippines. She could only watch the show when her friend, Silva, would successfully convince Priscilla’s mother to allow her. Since she’s an only daughter, her mom couldn’t help but make sure she never goes out of sight. They did travel a lot though, but Priscilla was never alone. If she wishes to leave, it was either her mom, dad, or her maid was to accompany her.

O siya, just make sure to be here before your Papa comes home. Muy bien?” Priscilla’s mom would usually advise her with her quite irritated voice.

“Yes, Mama, I’ll be back at 8pm.” She said with much glee and hurried to kiss her mom.

“Las ocho en punto, señorita!” Her mom once again reminded her to be back at exactly eight o’ clock.

Adios, Mama!”

Priscilla and Silva both shared their triumph of happiness as they were able to go out together, with no maids watching after them, reporting their every move to their parents. Since Silva turned 20, her mom wasn’t too protective of her anymore. As long as it was Priscilla she goes out with, then it’s fine with her mom.

“Oh my, Silva, you’re such a blessing! It’s been years since the last time I watched the Vaudeville!” Priscilla was so excited more than ever.

“I heard they have new handsome actors. We better get hurry and take the front seat.” Silva naughtily said, as if the Vaudeville stars were what she had really been anticipating.

“Oh, that’s so indecent of you, Silva.”

“How is it indecent? It’s not like we’re going to run after them. I just like a better view of the show. The manager might even discover us.”

“Seriously, Silva.” Priscilla laughed. The thought of her mom hearing this conversation would cause her punishment, but since it was just the two of them, Silva’s silly joke might not be far from being possible.


They came just in time when they arrived at 5:30 pm. The show was supposed to start at 4:30, but due to some technical failure and apparently tardiness of some actors, they had to postpone the show for at least an hour. This could be one proof of what they call, Filipino time. Most Americans were in the front seats, most probably because they were the first ones to arrive. Sooner or later, this would be a custom of the guests coming late at a particular event knowing they’d be waiting for an hour or more when they arrive at the said time.

Ay, we didn’t get the front seat…” Silva was quite dismayed. However, seeing there were two available seats in the second row, she immediately grabbed Priscilla and took the seats.

“I believe no one is supposed to sit here?” Silva questions the American beside her. The man just smiled and nodded his head. “It’s reserved for a beauty like you.” One minute and Silva had already found a man to flirt with.

“Oh, thank you.” She said, flattered.

“Silva, the show is starting.” Priscilla interrupted, noticing her friend’s interest to the man. She realized she already adopted the sternness of her mom particularly in terms of decency that she was becoming like her to Silva. She didn’t mean to prevent Silva from finding her love interest; she just did not like the idea of her acting like a wanton and end up being perverted.

“Ugh. Such disturbing thoughts.” She sighed and tried to heave what she was thinking off her mind.

“Did you say something?” Silva asked, but didn’t bother to keep asking as the red curtains opened widely, revealing a group of women dancers linking arms with one another. Their synchronized kicking matches the lively rhythm of the music.

“Good heavens, Silva…are they even clothes? Gosh, their thighs are showing!” Priscilla panics. She couldn’t believe the Vodabil has become this liberated since she last saw it.

“Hush, you’re not in the Spanish era anymore. Aren’t they lovely?” Silva said, apparently enjoying the show with the man beside her.

“Lovely? This is so much.” Priscilla hissed, but seems like her friend was still busy chattering with her new man, unaware that he was actually focused on the thighs being exposed freely.

She might not be able to take the constant liberation of the show and Silva’s ignorance of the man’s obvious perversion that she decided to have a moment of silence outside. She would consider coming back if she had perhaps settled her mind to accept the culture change. Twenty-four years of not leaving her mother’s presence, she surely was surprised of the difference between the Americans and Spaniards.

On one dark corner just outside the dressing room, a man wearing a tuxedo caught Priscilla’s attention. She noticed him stating some lines, as if rehearsing for a play. Gradually, she walked nearer so she could clearly see the man’s face.

“You there! Don’t move an inch or I’ll…” The man forgot his line again. He had been reading and memorizing the script of his short participation in the play, yet because he was utterly nervous, he couldn’t bring himself to complete at least one dialogue.

“I’ll shoot you!” Priscilla suddenly continued for him. She had heard some similar dialogues from a radio drama so a script like this was already expected and if she was to be honest, cliché.

“W-what… who are you?” The man stuttered.

Priscilla had no idea of her abruptness that it almost appeared to be a rude act. “I’m sorry, I just…”

“No, no… it’s all right. How did you know my line? Are you also a talent?” He asked in Filipino.

Hindi…” She tried to respond in the same language as well, but her ability to speak was not as good as he yet so she went on in English, “I’ve just heard similar lines before… you know, from the radio.”

“Ah… then you’re an audience? Can you understand Tagalog?” He spoke in a crisp Filipino English.

“Yes, I just went out for a while, and yes I understand, but I can’t speak well.”

“I see…I’ll be performing in 10 minutes, and I haven’t delivered my lines perfectly.” He said; His sad face expressed a glimpse of giving up the role.

“I’m sure you can do it. Just deliver your lines like you’re the actual person you’re portraying.” She advised as if she herself was an actor.

“Forget the audience. Forget that there is even a person watching you. Focus on your character alone.”

“Are you sure you’re not a talent or an actor? Because you sound one.” He noticed, quite impressed.

“I learned this from my dad. He sometimes produces a radio show.” She explained. “Now let’s try again. I will stand in front of you, but you will ignore me like I am not here at all.” She then positioned herself, ready to listen to the man whose nervousness lessened a little.

“Okay, forget the people around me…” He breathed, yet could not help but stare at the beauty in front of him. “You there!” He pauses, suddenly felt his hands sweating.

Priscilla remained steady, unaware of the man’s consciousness of her. She smiled and nodded at him, encouraging him to continue.

“You there! Don’t move an inch or I’ll…” He had the urge to kiss her. It was only a step away from her lips, but he had to restrict himself. It wouldn’t be appropriate to offend a lady like her.

“You there!” He repeated. “Don’t move an inch or I’ll shoot you!”

“You did it!” Priscilla made a slight jump and clapped her hands, eager enough to show that she really was happy for him. “I believe you will be a good actor.” She complimented, not to mention his good looks as well.

“Thank you… Señorita?” He asked, unsure of what to call her.

“Call me Priscilla.”

Such a beautiful name, he thought.

Ako si Raul.” He then introduced and opened his palm for a shake hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“It is nice meeting you too, Raul.” Priscilla welcomingly said. For the first time she felt that they were having a sweet moment to share until someone from the tent called.

“Off you go Raul! You’ll be up in five minutes!” The woman shouted.

“So, I guess this is goodbye.” Raul said, thinking he might not see the girl anymore.

“No. Don’t.” But perhaps for Priscilla, there should be no goodbye yet. They couldn’t be hopeless this time. “I’ll see you after the play…”

“Great. After my performance, I’ll come to you.”

“I sit in the second row.”

“Okay, you better go in as well and watch me.”

They laughed and exchanged smiles before parting ways. They needed no device to contact each other; just a clear conversation was enough… and of course their hearts that were once very much willing to connect.

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