Petal by Petal front


Interview by Cris Santos

Hi, Marie! Tell us about your poetry collection, Petal by Petal. What was your inspiration for this?

I’m really inspired by the stories of flowers. I’m fascinated by what they might observe in their surroundings. If only they could talk, imagine the wisdom they would share!

This poetry collection is about self-discovery and rediscovery. I believe that even in the unknown, we can still bloom gracefully, and in this journey, we will understand ourselves more and allow things to happen to us — even beauty and terror — because some things are

inevitable and uncontrollable. I think that as we constantly dance like flowers in the wild, we’ll eventually accept that we are changing and that no one is the final self, and no feelings are final as well.

I noticed that you particularly chose the dandelion for the cover. Is there a meaning to this?

Yes, I have a novel titled “The Moon I Thought the Sun,” and one of the characters there has a line that goes, “Dandelions grow everywhere, so we can see them anywhere. But once they detach themselves from the ground and fly away, we’ll never know where they fall.” If you think about it, we truly don’t know where they fall. That’s where my questions and ideas come in. What happens to a

dandelion’s journey? And I think it’s the same with us, humans. No one will ever know our journey but us.

How did you arrive at the decision to publish your work? Did you have any apprehensions? Adjustments?

It took me two years to complete this collection. It’s very personal to me because I wasn’t at my best while writing these poems and prose, but maybe that’s the reason why this book came to be. I learned a lot during those times, and I just want to share those lessons with others through my words.

What’s your favorite poem in the collection? Why is this your favorite? Can you give a few lines as a sample?

I really like a lot of my poems. Not to brag about them, but because I really put my soul into them. One of my favorites in the prose included in the book is titled “Watching from Below.”

Some lines I favor are, “Sometimes, I feel a sense of loneliness, as though I am on the outside looking in. But other times, I feel connected to everything around me, part of a larger whole that encompasses everything from the tiniest mushrooms to the largest tree. From below, I see the world in a way that reminds me of my place in it – small but important, part of a grand and beautiful design.”

It’s quite self-explanatory why I love these lines.

Any lessons on writing poetry that you would like to impart to aspiring authors?

I started writing when I was in high school. It wasn’t even a poem or something; I just loved to write whenever I felt like there was something in my mind that I couldn’t fully understand, so I wrote it down. For aspiring authors, I’d say keep writing but don’t write to impress or for the rewards. Don’t write just because you need to. Write because you have something to share. If you think no one has written your idea yet, write it.

Get your copy of Petal by Petal: A Dandelion’s Journey now for only PHP290; also available on Shopee, Lazada and Amazon.

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