Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Kababayans, I hope you are all doing well and had a great time celebrating the holidays with your loved ones. 2020 has been a roller coaster ride with the COVID-19 Pandemic arriving in our part of the world in March which resulted in much of our country being locked down. Fast forward nine months later [...]

    Read full post »

Visitors to Pinoytimes

Page added on July 20, 2011

Email this to a friendEmail This Post Email This Post                      Printable versionPrint This Post Print This Post


by G. Encarnacion

The original reason why I decided to tell my story was because of routine. As a newspaper journalist, that’s what I’m trained to do – report news of importance or of interest. And as a journalist, it is my desire to share this with you, as the reader. So although my story might not be that important to you, I almost guarantee that it should pique your interest. Others who have heard my tale find it bizarre, fascinating, even unbelievable. But I swear to you, on who I am today, that every word you’re about to read is true.

It all began when I was sent out of town once again on assignment. The boss had me going to some remote area about two hours away from Calgary. He asked me to do a human-interest piece for the paper’s Travel section, a short article on the magnificent scenery of this often-looked-over attraction. I was to stay in a cabin belonging to an old friend of my boss’. Apparently, no one had used it in years and he was only glad to have someone occupy it again, if only for a short while. So early Saturday morning found me in my car, on my way to nowhere. And it might as well have been nowhere, I had thought, as I cursed my profession for the hundredth time in my life.

The log cabin, I found, was in surprisingly good shape when I finally got there. Although there was a hint of a musty scent, the result of a human-less abode of many years, the cabin was fully equipped with electricity and running water. All of the furniture was intact as well. Oddly enough, there was no accumulation of dust anywhere, nor did I find the expected cobwebs hidden in the corners.  In fact, the cabin was virtually spotless. Was it not for the fact that the owner himself had said that no one had lived here for many years, I would have believed that I was intruding in someone’s present home.

It was after I had finished unpacking the few necessities that I had brought when I decided to begin my research for my article. The sooner I finished this assignment, the better. I picked up my notepad and pencil, a journalist’s two most essential belongings, and stepped out into the wilderness. It was several hours later when I returned, how many exactly is not important, nor are the details of the information I found for my article, for they are not the focus of this story. What is important is the little book I discovered once I returned to the cabin.

Having spent all afternoon out in the sun, I was dirty and exhausted when I finally completed enough day’s work to my satisfaction. I collapsed on the squeaky bed located in the cabin’s corner, relieved to finally get off of my tired feet. When I noticed that I still had my notes in one hand, though, I had to reluctantly pull myself up and search for a spot to hide my work.  (Before I go on, there’s something that you should know about myself as a journalist:  my writing is my pride and joy, and I would go to great lengths to keep it protected.). Although I knew I was in a pretty remote area and that the chances of another person coming into the cabin were quite slim, let alone to steal my notes, I added the by-line “By Oliver Ave” at the top of the first page. What can I say; I know and I admit that I’m a selfish person. But it was this very self-indulgence that propelled me into the experience of a lifetime.

I spotted the bedside table next to me almost immediately, and decided that its lockable drawer would adequately conceal my writing for the time-being. I pulled it open; its only contents were the drawer’s key and a small book with a black leather cover. My investigative nature urged me to open it, and instinctively, I did. What I found inside was someone’s diary. It belonged to a woman by the name of Eva Revilo, or so it was signed at the end of each entry. Strangely enough, the first words written in the journal were dated just a few days ago. I guess I merely shrugged it off as coincidence, and concluded that perhaps she, too, was here, maybe a year or two ago on the same date.  Anyways, I found her first few entries rather dull, describing only the cabin and its surroundings.  It was when I got to the fourth entry, dated with that day’s date, when I really began to get interested in her story.

“Today,” the entry began, “something felt different with me. When I woke up this morning, I felt a little more potent, for lack of a better word. I didn’t think much of it at first, because sometimes, you know, you just wake up wrong from not sleeping right. But as the day went on, I was really starting to feel strange. It was like I had gotten stronger overnight, I had so much energy. But what’s even weirder is that I think I’m in the middle of catching a cold, and I really should be feeling tired, and not refreshed. And I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s this place. Maybe it’s me. Maybe tomorrow things will feel normal again.”

I turned the page, curious to see what happened next. To my disappointment, the rest of the pages were blank. I felt somewhat annoyed, even though I knew that I had no right snooping through the diary in the first place. Shaking my head, I began searching for a dinner snack before preparing myself for bed.

The next morning, I awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside the window. I swore at them under my breath, feeling that they were partially responsible for the surrounding scenery, the reason for which I was there in the first place. Slowly, I pulled myself up out of bed, mentally planning out what still had to be done for my article’s completion. I decided that I only had to take a few pages worth more of notes, hopefully including a few interviews with permanent residents of the area (if I found any, I thought dryly), then I could resume with the actual commentary. With that in mind, I changed into my hiking gear and proceeded out into the wilderness once again.

When I returned home several hours later, I was tired and frustrated. Not only was I unsuccessful in interviewing anyone (which is the essential personal touch for any article to relate with the reader), but I was also covered with mosquito bites. It was enough so that I felt entitled to issue a complaint to my boss about the past few undesirable assignments I had recently been issued. Looking around for a sheet of paper on which to record my grievances (I decided not to use paper from my notepad since it would either get lost or forgotten there), I vaguely remembered the blank pages of the diary. I leaned over towards the dresser, unlocked the drawer, and pulled the journal out.

What I discovered next was, I think, the first strange occurrence of my story. I opened the book to what I had thought would have been the first blank page. Instead, I found another entry, with that day’s date written at the top.

It read: “Something is definitely weird with me, both physically as well as mentally. Physically, I think my cold is getting worse, since my voice is starting to sound deeper to me, probably from my sore throat. Mentally, I must have been doing weights in my head or something. What I mean is, do you believe in mind over matter? Well, I really must think that I’ve gotten stronger overnight because even I can’t believe my strength now. Just today, I dropped my comb under the large mirror dresser in front of the room, and it was so easy for me to lift that darn thing up and get it!” I looked over to the antique dresser she was speaking of; it looked quite heavy, even to me. I read on. “You know, though, it’s weird, I wasn’t even wishing to become stronger, and I still did. Can mind over matter work if you’re not even thinking about anything?”

The entry ended with those words, but then continued a few lines down, apparently written a few hours later. “What is WRONG with me today, I’m losing hair! First my voice, then my strength, now my hair?!! I heard somewhere that stress causes your hair to fall out. Maybe this ‘mind over matter’ thing is too much for me. I’ll go see a doctor tomorrow.”

I put the book down. There was nothing else written on the following pages, but I already had this eerie feeling that tomorrow would bring more news in the diary. Yet, as a journalist, I knew that behind every mystery is a logical explanation. I concluded that someone must have snuck into the cabin each time I was away, and with his own key, unlocked the dresser in the bedside table. He must have then recorded a new entry in the diary each time this was done, only….for what reason? To scare me?  To amuse me?  To confuse me? So far, all three were working to some extent. Forgetting all about my desire to write a complaint, I studied the cabin, searching for any clue as to how the intruder might have gotten inside. To me, the room looked fairly secure. Then I happened to glance at the old mirror dresser once again. I walked over to it, and remembering the entry I had just read, attempted to lift it. To my surprise and embarrassment, I was unable to. “These dumb assignments must be having more of an effect on me than I thought,” I muttered to myself in excuse. I exhaled a deep sigh, and decided to sleep on it.

The little diary was on my mind when I arose out of bed the next morning. Without even bothering to continue my newspaper article work, I automatically reached for the dresser drawer. The book was exactly as I had left it last night; this convinced me that no one should have had the opportunity to add anything new. Still, I was compelled to open the diary up, just to confirm my beliefs. And, I really must say that my blood ran cold, when I saw before me words that were not there the night before.

“I’ve got to get out of this place,” were its first words.  “I’m going insane. I got up this morning only to find that my hair, my long, precious hair, is gone! Well, really it’s not all gone, but it might as well be, considering how short it is. It’s like I’m going bald! (Do women usually start balding at such a young age?) Instead, and I’m so embarrassed to tell you this, but I think that the hair I’m losing on my head is growing on my face. Should I shave? (I never believed I would ever ask that question of my face.) Anyways, my hormones really must be out of whack because I think I’m losing weight, too. When I put on my jeans this morning, they sunk down past my waist. My sweater hangs on me like a tent. Not only that, but I’m starting to sound like a foghorn, my voice is getting so low. What is happening to me? I’ve got to see a doctor – now.”

In spite of her miseries, I giggled to myself, before stopping abruptly when I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Her woes sounded exactly like the sort of things I would worry about, specifically the part about balding. Impulsively, I glanced at my hair in the mirror. Did my hair really look thicker and longer today? I peered at myself closer in the mirror, and observed something I hadn’t noted before. I hadn’t shaved once since I had gotten here, yet there was no hint of a five o’clock shadow.  I frowned, somewhat perplexed. It was rather strange that I really hadn’t noticed any of this previously, having been totally preoccupied with my job assignment.

Shaking my head out of reverie, I scolded myself for not prioritizing that very job assignment. I sighed, and reached over to put my outdoor clothing on once again. Curiously enough, though, I had a difficult time with this; my sweater seemed to hug my chest more closely than usual, and my jeans hugged my buttocks so closely that I questioned how I had ever fit in them before. I stared down at myself.  Maybe I was putting on a bit of weight, albeit in the most odd places. It appeared to me that perhaps I was getting a bit heavier, both in the hips and bosom area.

It was at this moment when I realized something. My natural inquisitive character startled me into a bizarre yet undeniable conclusion. I may have been pulling at strings, but to me, all of the facts suddenly pointed to one thing. Was it mere coincidence that the changes overcoming Eva Revilo were the exact opposite of the slight changes I was enduring? Was it normal for every woman to acquire a deeper voice, lose head hair only to have it replaced by facial hair, slim down in the hip and bust areas, and gain masculine strength, out of nowhere? And was it normal for every man to grow hair on his head in his later years, lose the hassle of everyday shaving, fail to lift objects that were once easy to hoist, and put on some pounds in those same hip and bust areas, out of nowhere? “No,” I whispered hoarsely to myself, and even to me, my once robust voice was starting to sound weaker. It was at this moment that I can honestly say that I’ve felt fear for the first time in my life.

My article forgotten, I sank slowly on the bed. “Me,” I thought, “as a woman?” I looked over to the little black diary, which at that moment, I honestly believed, started this whole mess. All of a sudden, an uncontrollable fury rose inside me, towards that very book. Not quite thinking clearly, I picked it up and strode towards the stove burner. Turning the gas up to its maximum level, I waited only a few moments before ripping the pages out one by one, and burned their existence into oblivion. When I was done, all that was left were the leather cover and several blank pages. Although I was uncertain of the consequences of this act, and didn’t quite believe that the changing process would be halted, I felt my anger dissipate somewhat. It took a few minutes before I fully (or to the extent possible at the time) regained my composure. I walked over to the bed once more, dropped on the mattress, and lost myself in my thoughts.

I must have been contemplating things harder than I thought, for it was already the next morning when I got out of bed, having fallen asleep some time the night before. I was feeling a bit groggy, and my head seemed not to function clearly right at that moment. It was when I was finally able to get up when I remembered the previous day’s events. With a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, I turned to the old antique mirror dresser for comfort. But when I looked in that mirror and looked at the reflection, I was offered little solace. Instead I was left staring, horrified, at the image before me.

What I saw was a woman. If I was born a female, I would have been proud to have grown into such an attractive lady. My once sparse locks had developed into a full head of shiny auburn curls. My lips seemed fuller and my eyes appeared brighter. Overall, my skin felt more radiantly smooth. I had grown an impressive figure, too, petite, yet muscular. It was enough so that I gasped loudly, feeling faint, two things that I cannot recall ever doing before in my life.

Having a hard time breathing, I looked wildly around the cabin. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted what was left of the diary on the bedside table.  I grabbed it, and opened it to the first page. All of the entries I had read before were rewritten on the remaining pages that were once blank. I turned page after page in amazement, until I reached the end of the book, where one final entry was included.

I read it. “I went to the doctor’s yesterday, and he didn’t find a thing. Today I woke up as a completely different person. Today I woke up and I was a man.”

“I have accepted the fact, although it was hard to grasp at first.  I didn’t like the balding look nor was I fond of my heavier, more stout physique. I feel more tired now, as if my life has always been a struggle with stress. And really, what could be more stressful than a change like this? I am someone totally different from who I was only a few days before. I’ve had no choice but to change everything about me, even my name. No longer will I be Eva Revilo, but instead, the reverse of my former name.  Now I am Oliver Ave.”

I sat back, stunned. That was my name, or it was just yesterday. What pure coincidence that our names spelled each other back and front. Taking a few moments to let this information sink in, I slowly put the diary down. When I finally got up again, I began to pack my things.

It is now two years later. I never did go back to my job at the newspaper office. How could I, as a woman that they’ve never seen before? Instead I just practice what I do best by myself, and that is to write articles and stories, although now it is for my own benefit. As I think about it now, being Eva Revilo isn’t really that bad. I’ve made several female friends, and while men try to make my acquaintance too, I tend to stay away. Some things just don’t change. And to this day, I still have no clue as to how those entries in that little diary ever appeared there, waiting to change my life.  But I swear to you, it did.  I, myself, am the living proof.


  • No Related Post



Nancy Pelosi says U.S. House will move to impeach Trump unless VP forces ouster thumbnail Nancy Pelosi says U.S. House will move to impeach Trump unless VP forces ouster
PH Consul General to Calgary, Alberta Culture Minister Discuss Cultural Projects thumbnail PH Consul General to Calgary, Alberta Culture Minister Discuss Cultural Projects
Winter Driving Tips thumbnail Winter Driving Tips


Vaccination of health workers completed within a month — Palace thumbnail Vaccination of health workers completed within a month — Palace


HAVE YOUR SAY Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, dolor sit ipsum.


PROMOTIONAL BLOCK Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, dolor sit ipsum.