I’ve never seen something so beautiful.
Round and pale, steaming hot.
Show me what you are, and I’ll show you what I’m not.
With so much inside, show me what you hide
To your laws I’ll abide.
And I’ll tear down my pride
Pretty, pretty girl
With round cheeks and fair skin
With so much you hold within
Siopao, I call you
I like how that sounds.
Steamed buns just like you,
Pretty and round
With hidden treasures at your core
Siopao, and so much more.
Description: Siopao is a widely popular snack here in the Philippines and is a sort of Philippine twist to baozi. It is a steamed bun with some sort of filling, usually pork.
Hannah Sophia Gonzaga is an aspiring writer from the Philippines. She has been writing since she was 10 and also sings, acts, and plays guitar.
The blazing sun began its descent, casting a golden hue across the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, painting the skies with a multitudeof reds and oranges. It was in this vibrant metropolis that my story unfolded—a tale of resilience, faith, and personal growth. At the tender age of fourteen, I found myself navigating the labyrinthine corridors of life, battling the shadows of racial remarks, judgment on my appearance, and the weight of academic stress. As a born-again Christian, my heart was steadfast in my faith, finding solace and strength in my relationship with Christ. However, the world around me seemed determined to challenge my resolve. The echoing hallways of my high school became breeding grounds for toxic friendships and unkind words, whispered and shouted in ignorance.
The day began like any other, with the cacophony of voices and the scent of freshly brewed tea filling our cosy home. My parents, hardworking individuals, had always instilled in me the importance of education and excellence. Their dreams for my future were etched deeply in their eyes, and I carried their aspirations upon my shoulders. But they soon morphed into burdens that plagued my heart. I slowly crumbled from academic stress that loomed over me like a relentless shadow. The expectations of my parents, who longed for me to excel in my studies, became an unbearable weight on my shoulders. Every grade I earned, and every test I took, was scrutinised with unwavering intensity. The fear of disappointing them, of falling short of their dreams, suffocated my spirit.
But amidst the pressure to excel academically, I found myself struggling with the weight of my own insecurities. Racial remarks whispered in my ear like venomous serpents, seeping into the crevices of my self-esteem. But the attacks didn't stop at my ethnicity. My weight became a target for cruel jabs, words that seeped into my thoughts like venom. I battled against the relentless pressures to conform to society's warped ideals of beauty, as whispers of "fat" and "ugly" echoed through my mind. I felt the harsh sting of judgment on my weight and the presence of arm and leg hair that defied societal beauty standards. My self-esteem withered like a fragile flower in a scorching desert, wilting under the weight of those hurtful words.