Things that Matter by Michelle Abigail Tiu Tan – Student’s Corner

Image result for carlos palanca memorial awards for literatureTitle: Things that Matter
Author: Michelle Abigail Tiu Tan

Family, as the smallest unit of society, serves as the core foundation holding the Filipino culture and values together. It is deeply rooted and is one of the greatest factors that influences our certain decisions in life. This is how we are inevitably raised. As Filipinos, we somehow have this notion “We live together, and we will die together,” funny as it may seem, this truth has been around for generations and supported with the practice of still living together with our parents even after having our own family. However, unavoidable conflicts may occur.

The story starts with an open argument between the protagonist and her mother in regards with the credit card bill. This triggered the protagonist’s role as the family’s new breadwinner.

Everything is going well, from expenditures to bits of luxury here and there, the protagonist and her family always managed to get by until one day a can stuffed with his father’s remains from overseas made its way to their doorstep.

Sometimes, life caught us off guarded with things that makes us lose our wits.

It comes with crashing weight of pressure and we are forced to handle a situation we’re not even capable of dealing with. Usually the pressure comes in waves and as time passes by it builds up, affecting our behavior internally and externally. We are left a question about things that truly matter.

Defining the thin line that exists between one’s wants and needs.

One way or another, it exemplifies how a simple story line can make your heart ooze with emotions you’ve never felt before, proving the fact that you never really need to be in someone’s shoes to feel their adversities and struggles in this sly world. It makes us feel more human.

The story doesn’t need fancy words just to convey its meaning, naked words that are pure and honest sufficed.

It perfectly depicts the picturesque of the people that are left behind by their OFW relative and how much effort it takes to cope, how much more if that certain someone suddenly vanish. It is like the constant variable whose true nature is to stand independently and stay unaffected and in an instance that it is gone, the dependent variable or the whole equation will be left unbalanced.

Just like the protagonist’s situation who is obligated to act as the constant factor, making it the closest solution to attain equilibrium.

But for it to achieve stability specific reactions must happen. Similar to the story, the main character undergoes drastic measures and sacrifices to make things work. Little did she know, it diverted her to the more important matters at hand. In a larger scale, this reflects the Filipino culture about its vulnerability when it comes to their family.

As a student critic, we humbly give this piece of writing a rating of 4.4/5.

It may have been a cliché but as human beings who feel, the sentiments presented are encapsulated well. We recommend this to all sorts of people especially to those who seek encompassing familiarity that a family can give.

Note: This story is a recipient of the 66th Carlos Palanca Awards:

1st Prize  Richard C. Cornelio Zoetrope
2nd Prize  Larissa Mae R. Suarez Sundays at the Cardozas’
3rd Prize Michelle Abigail Tiu Tan Things that Matter


About the Writers and How Do they See Themselves 10 years from Now

Czarina G. Castillo,  Student – Pasig City Science Highschool

10 years from now, I am living the “LIFE”





Mikaela Manalo,  Student – Pasig City Science Highschool

A decade from now, I’ll be a woman of society.



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