Published in TAYO Literary Magazine (Issue 6: February, 2017).

You call her prinsesa because she comes from a broken family—her father bailed before she could barely walk so she’s been in her mother’s care since forever—and because she’s an only child even though she’s actually the third and last born, thanks in part to the pneumonia that took both her sisters on the very day of their binyag, and the inutile neighborhood doctor who failed to detect it before it was too late. (This moved her parents to consult with a new doctor, when Prinsesa came around, and to hold her binyag at home instead of in the chapel as was the custom.)

She’s spoiled as spoiled can be. She hates the name, however. At the sound of it she pulls her lips to a corner, and shakes her head in disgust.

Prinsesa, kumusta ka na?

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