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Scribblory Writers Library

Your virtual library of true stories has come to this site!

Scribblory Writers Library shelters short true-to-life stories written by the memoirists of Scribblory Writers Group. This virtual library started in 2020, at the outset of COVID-19 pandemic. While the world was losing many lives, we held our pens and preserved life stories.

Are the write-ups here too few to quell the thirst of the reader in you? Head out to our old site and read some more.

Christmas Jewelry

The Day I Turned Gold

Written by Kai Alfonso

August 18, 2020

Last 24th of February, our [SWG] writing prompt was about "when we felt most loved.” I wasn’t able to write for this because I had reports to submit, and the whole week was rather busy with office work.


A day before, February 23rd, I celebrated my birthday.


Then last Monday, the writing prompt was about something to be grateful for – may it be a celebration during COVID time or the simplest celebration that becomes an unforgettable memory. This time, I don’t want to miss it anymore.


My day is as ordinary as any day I have in my life. But because of all the people around me, it’s the day when I always feel all the love in the world. It is a day to be truly grateful – so grateful that there was a time, as I lay in bed and went back to the day that had been, I got up to kneel. I cried and thanked God for my life. I have this kind of episode of gratitude.


No matter how I want to keep it as simple as possible, my office staff would never hear of it. For the last fifteen years, it has been the most known surprise of all surprises – my birthday. Whether I take a vacation the day before or the day after it happens, and yearly, it varies from the cheesiest to the weirdest, to the sweetest, to whatever fancies them. It becomes my birthday surprise. It is that day of the year when they have the liberty to do whatever they want with our room.


Once, after lunch, I walked into a blacked-out room and saw no one around. When I was seated in my cubicle, they all came out with my cake and flowers, each one carrying a balloon and singing "Happy Birthday." What they did was they camped in the monitoring room and waited there until I was settled before they marched in.


Another birthday surprise was when they filled our room with balloons, flowers, and print-outs of my pictures downloaded from my Facebook account. It was like a festival of my faces all over the room. One of my favorites was when the whole wall of my cubicle was covered with pink and white papers cut in circles where they wrote all their greetings and wishes for me.

This year, there were four celebrations. The fourth was pushed through virtually because I couldn't attend due to my office commitments. On February 21, I celebrated my birthday with my Oblates Community during our Thursday prayer meeting. It was a simple dinner with them after our prayer. On February 22, it was my office's surprise birthday celebration. On February 23, it was a celebration with my family. And since it fell on a Sunday, we were able to go to a seafood “paluto” restaurant for lunch. On February 25, my Heartspace family also celebrated my birthday. But since I was asked to report for work that day, it became a virtual celebration.

With all those celebrations, there’s one thing I realized: Somehow, the celebration is not all about me, but all about the people I love and who love me in return – people who make it possible for me to live in a loving world. This is indeed something to be truly grateful for the Lord who makes everything possible.


As for the very simple unforgettable one, I know it will not happen so I asked for it. I made it happen.


The year 2018 was my 50th birthday. Everybody was excited – especially my batchmates – and my Facebook was filled with fabulous Golden Year birthday celebrations and parties. For me, it was a year of transition. There was quite a stir in me after years of embracing and learning Benedictine spirituality. The stripping, the unlearning, the yearning, and the longing should come forth in actions.


As a birthday gift, I requested that there would be no celebrations at all in the office. I pre-ordered packed lunch and snacks and that was all. I took a leave of absence, and since it was a weekend, the kids were off to Bulacan. I wanted a day alone for myself.


As soon as the clock signified the start of my birthday, I turned my cellphone off. I've just turned into gold, I told myself. Then I should be leaving gold dust wherever I go. Time is gold too as the saying goes. And before I can truly spend that with people I love, I have to start with myself. Anyway, maybe that’s how one can truly become gold – you have to have more time to spend for yourself.


It’s one of life’s luxuries for me: waking up whenever I want to wake up, and my birthday should start with that. I cooked sunny side eggs and tuyo for breakfast, paired with warm rice. It was perfect enough for me. I prepared to attend the 9:00 AM Holy Mass. After which, I just sat there, and lingered. Nothing to rush, anyway. Then I went to buy flowers for my altar and some vegetables for my lunch and dinner. I cooked and ate and in between, I got to meditate, read, and write. Slowly, mindfully, I went through this day present to myself – caring, loving, and nurturing as simple as mundane as ordinary.


This was how I found myself on the day I turned 50.


Before I slept, I turned my cellphone on. Tomorrow, my alarm clock will remind me to wake up to another day. I am ready.


I am blessed, I am grateful, I am gold.

Table Setting

Wooden Dining Table for Ten

Written by Sisang Batute

August 17, 2020

I always treat my birthday like any ordinary day – no fuss, no planning. Maybe I am just practical and economical, for I know that my birthday will come every March anyway. Did you hear the grinch? Except this year, four days before my birthday, Luzon was declared to be under quarantine. So, what now?


Suddenly, my day became special. The family was complete for all three or six meals of the day although my children would have enjoyed a nice lounging meal in a restaurant where a complete set of silvers and a cloth napkin are used. Oh, how they love playing the role of the rich! I hope it is more of envisioning themselves in the future and not mocking the upper hands of the society.


Unfortunately, we were stuck at home, and the extraordinary thing to do for the day was to binge on a Netflix series that my husband chose. Though I served our regular meal for the day, we enjoyed them as if they were more special than when it was served the last time, maybe because of the boisterous laughter in between munch and chomp and the never-ending stories of all seven members of the family.


My day did not end without everyone – including my little nine-year-old – praying over me with their wishes of blessings. We capped the day with a hidden surprise from the freezer which my husband bought earlier in the day. Two tubs of ICE CREAM!


As I laid myself to rest on the day I turned 47, I softly told God how thankful I was. I heard Him whisper back, "Keep on dreaming, my dear. You have more years to come."


Then it came, the 20th of May. One of my sons, Arlan, whom we fondly call "Dongdong", turned 22.


I don’t spend money on my birthdays, but I splurge on all the birthdays of my children and my husband. Last year, we celebrated Dongdong’s birthday in a posh hotel along Roxas Boulevard, pigging out in the hotel’s most talked-about eat-all-you-can restaurant and spending an overnight stay there. It was not because I was such a spendthrift, oh no! We were there because Dongdong also graduated last year in the same month as his birthday.

If last year's birthday celebration was grand and well-planned, this time, we were forced to stay home. But I did not let this special day of my wonderful son pass without a celebration, so I ordered all his favorite dishes. Such a blessing that all restos were back in business, and deliveries were preferable that day. Dongdong loves seafood. A tray of shrimps and crabs with its garlicky and buttery flavor will not suffice, so we had another delivery of a round tray of sushi and two more small trays of sashimi. Lastly, the specially-made strawberry cheesecake came just on time.


The setting of the table was not complete without his favorite Alfredo Pasta that his sisters prepared. Our small dining table almost did not carry all the food that we needed to keep the rest of the dishes at bay. The family is growing physically, and our table remains the same. It is time for it to be replaced. It has served its purpose for ten years anyway. I thought of adding a new item to my dream list: a wooden dining table for ten.


I woke up from the short-lived reverie of my dream list and realized how everyone was excited and confused about which to eat first. Then I saw my once-little baby boy glancing at me with his wide and sweet smile.


This year's birthday celebration is definitely one of those looking-back topics over meals by the next generation.

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