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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.

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Image by Weronika Romanowska

My Beetle Sweet Story

Written by Sisang Batute

August 5, 2020

When I was young–so much younger than today–back in the tiny barrio of Bubog in Paombong, Bulacan, my friends and I would play with salagubang (beetle). This is the usual kind of beetle with a pair of antennae and three pairs of minuscule jointed legs.


During our days, we easily found salagubang in trees. We climbed trees and shook branches for them to fall on the ground. Each of us would get one and bring them home to pet them. Before the dawn of the Japanese Tamagotchi in the late 90s, we already had been cosseting our own salagubang.


The first time I got my own salagubang, it flew away. One of the older kids in our lot taught me how to tame it so I could keep it for a long while. The first portion of their legs must be cut from its joint then the inner plastic thin part of their wings which is clasped by the outside thick one should also be removed. My friends also taught me how to put them to sleep. Placing the beetle on my cupped palm and clapping both cupped palms will put it to a sound sleep. One would know that a beetle is sleeping when all of its legs are neatly kept in their grooves.


Like an ordinary pet, I named mine “Kapkap” (reverse of ‘pakpak,’ in English ‘wings’). I kept Kapkap inside a big matchbox that I requested from our neighbor who owned a Sari-Sari Store (variety store). For days, I fed him fresh budding leaves of our gumamela plants that my Nanay (mother) grew in bushes around our dilapidated house. I played with Kapkap by letting him out of his house, placing him on the ledge of our wide window where I always sat, and watching the folk in our barrio go about their day. I would let him walk from the other end of the ledge to the other. I was not worried whenever he spread out his wings in an attempt to fly because he could not take off.

I brought Kapkap everywhere I went to make sure that my younger brother, whom I fondly called Ato, would not get hold of him. I was afraid that he would eliminate Kapkap if given the chance. I thought of boys as tough to play with and my pet might not be able to survive it.

One Sunday morning, when we were preparing to hear the Holy Mass, I took out Kapkap from his matchbox house. He was sleeping. I thought of bringing him to the Mass so I could introduce him to Jesus. Therefore, I placed him inside my pocket. During the “peace be with you” part of the Mass, I took out Kapkap from my pocket and showed him to my brother to greet him. But Ato told me, “E Ate, patay na ‘yan.” (That’s already dead.)

I believed him, for I nudged, I poked, and Kapkap did not budge.

My heart missed a beat. Little by little, my tears fell. Together with my unending tears was my mucus. Picturing myself then–my face all soaked with tears and mucus, I told God, “Bakit po kinuha Niyo agad si Kapkap?” (Why did You get Kapkap right away?)

After the Holy Mass, my Nanay muttered to me, “Ano ‘yang iniiyak-iyak mo d’yan?” (What are you crying about?) 

With my broken spirit, I only shook my head to say “none”.

Kapag ‘di ka tumigil, kukurutin ko singit mo para magkadahilan ang pag-iyak mo.” (If you won’t stop, I will pinch you in the groin so you’ll find a reason to cry.)

My Nanay was already nagging while she was tagging my right earlobe, which made me cry even more.

True enough, I had something to cry about that day.

Boy with Chick

Once a Pet Is Named, It Becomes Family

Written by Kai Alfonso

August 11, 2020

I was raised in the province of Sipalay, Negros Occidental and, practically, we grew up with lots of pets around us.

Our provincial home is secured with a bamboo fence, not for us but for the safety of all passersby. We never ran out of dogs and the number never went down to 10. And since they were our pets, we didn’t keep them on a leash.

We had a backyard house extension made of bamboo and our dogs slept there. We had a small pond where we kept some goldfish and where our ducks took baths. I remember following our ducks all around, imitating how they walked. We also had goats and lots of chickens. They also shared a small bamboo house at the side of our house.

My father is a dog lover, so aside from them, all the rest of the animals eventually became food on the table no matter how much we wanted them to become pets.

Then one day, a special chick came around. Unlike all the rest, its kind was unique. It had no feathers on its neck. So we asked our Nanay if we could take care of it. We even coined a name for her and called her “Piyok.”

We loved Piyok, and we would look for her and give her corn in the morning. For the rest of the chicken, we would just call the usual crock crock croooooting and the backyard would be filled with chickens scrambling for cracked corn and kaning lamig. For Piyok, there was a small eating can and water.

Whenever Piyok came close and ate with the rest, the big ones would challenge her, prompting her to scurry away. This made us love her more. We thought that because she was different, she was being cast out.

One day, we could no longer find Piyok. Then at dinner time, we were served tinola by Nanay. It was steaming hot with lots of papayas and malunggay leaves. Somehow we knew that this would be our last time with Piyok. Somehow I just thought that she had already served her purpose. With a tear or two, I said I would just eat the vegetables.

It made us siblings stop naming chickens and ducks and pigs and goats. We reserved it for the dogs and cats. And then we somehow made a silent pact that once a pet is named, it becomes family and we will be assured that we won’t see another Piyok in the dining table one day.

Cat Close Up

Makuying, My First Cat

Written by Sophia Ruth

August 6, 2020

Makuying is black and gray (a mix of both) and he’s the constant subject of my play.

Makuying was my first pet. I got him from the neighbor of my best friend who secretly gave him to me, warning me not to tell anyone about it lest he’d be taken away by his mother. Oh my, that scared the heck out of the seven-year-old me.

So when I got my hands on this little ball of furry creature, I frantically carried him home. Arriving at our house, I shut all the doors (and if I remember correctly, the windows even) for fear that Mother Kitten would catch up with us. So yes, I got a bit carried away and a little over the top with my protectiveness.

From then on, Makuying has been the apple of my eye. And in case you wonder how I got his name, it’s this: ‘Kuying’ is the Waray term for ‘cat’. I just added ‘ma’, for it rhymes with the song I composed and sang about Makuying in our class during first grade. Oh, how funny that memory is. The whole class burst into laughter. I couldn’t care less, though. I was just so fond of Makuying.

Looking back to it now, I realize that this must be the reason I’m more of a cat person than a dog person. My first pet was a cat and that, I guess, explains much.

Quite amusing really because just a few days ago, I got this theory based on nothing-at-all that the reason I prefer cats more than dogs is that cats are ‘less demanding’ creatures. Thanks to this writing prompt, I got to straighten this faulty reasoning. Maybe my ‘firsts’ just matter so much to me.

Image by Weronika Romanowska

My Beetle Sweet Story

Written by Sisang Batute

August 5, 2020

When I was young–so much younger than today–back in the tiny barrio of Bubog in Paombong, Bulacan, my friends and I would play with salagubang (beetle). This is the usual kind of beetle with a pair of antennae and three pairs of minuscule jointed legs.


During our days, we easily found salagubang in trees. We climbed trees and shook branches for them to fall on the ground. Each of us would get one and bring them home to pet them. Before the dawn of the Japanese Tamagotchi in the late 90s, we already had been cosseting our own salagubang.


The first time I got my own salagubang, it flew away. One of the older kids in our lot taught me how to tame it so I could keep it for a long while. The first portion of their legs must be cut from its joint then the inner plastic thin part of their wings which is clasped by the outside thick one should also be removed. My friends also taught me how to put them to sleep. Placing the beetle on my cupped palm and clapping both cupped palms will put it to a sound sleep. One would know that a beetle is sleeping when all of its legs are neatly kept in their grooves.


Like an ordinary pet, I named mine “Kapkap” (reverse of ‘pakpak,’ in English ‘wings’). I kept Kapkap inside a big matchbox that I requested from our neighbor who owned a Sari-Sari Store (variety store). For days, I fed him fresh budding leaves of our gumamela plants that my Nanay (mother) grew in bushes around our dilapidated house. I played with Kapkap by letting him out of his house, placing him on the ledge of our wide window where I always sat, and watching the folk in our barrio go about their day. I would let him walk from the other end of the ledge to the other. I was not worried whenever he spread out his wings in an attempt to fly because he could not take off.

I brought Kapkap everywhere I went to make sure that my younger brother, whom I fondly called Ato, would not get hold of him. I was afraid that he would eliminate Kapkap if given the chance. I thought of boys as tough to play with and my pet might not be able to survive it.

One Sunday morning, when we were preparing to hear the Holy Mass, I took out Kapkap from his matchbox house. He was sleeping. I thought of bringing him to the Mass so I could introduce him to Jesus. Therefore, I placed him inside my pocket. During the “peace be with you” part of the Mass, I took out Kapkap from my pocket and showed him to my brother to greet him. But Ato told me, “E Ate, patay na ‘yan.” (That’s already dead.)

I believed him, for I nudged, I poked, and Kapkap did not budge.

My heart missed a beat. Little by little, my tears fell. Together with my unending tears was my mucus. Picturing myself then–my face all soaked with tears and mucus, I told God, “Bakit po kinuha Niyo agad si Kapkap?” (Why did You get Kapkap right away?)

After the Holy Mass, my Nanay muttered to me, “Ano ‘yang iniiyak-iyak mo d’yan?” (What are you crying about?) 

With my broken spirit, I only shook my head to say “none”.

Kapag ‘di ka tumigil, kukurutin ko singit mo para magkadahilan ang pag-iyak mo.” (If you won’t stop, I will pinch you in the groin so you’ll find a reason to cry.)

My Nanay was already nagging while she was tagging my right earlobe, which made me cry even more.

True enough, I had something to cry about that day.

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