Tiny Tutubi

How it came to be

When I was graduating from our science high school years ago, a faculty member asked me what course I was going to take in college. Before I could even say something, he said, “Surely not Chemistry, right?”

Perhaps it was meant as a joke with a tinge of certainty. It hurt a bit in retrospect, because in recent years, I wanted to understand better what we could do to help Earth. 

I wasn’t good in Chemistry or anything with calculations or mathematics-related. My brain just isn’t wired as such. Maybe I understood science not logically but emotionally, spiritually. I feel anxious when thinking about the future, but I remain hopeful. So with the climate crisis we are facing, I’m inclined and called to do something in my own way. I may not be able to come up with sound policies or innovative ways to help mitigate the effects of the climate crisis, but I’ll do it in a way I know best: through stories. And it will be through these stories that I want to show how man and nature can live harmoniously.

Together with my editor and friend KB Meniado of Bookbed, we have started Tiny Tutubi, an online collection of illustrated short stories dedicated to our Mother Earth. It hopes to inspire people to act even in tiny ways to help fight the global environmental crisis.

Tutubi is Tagalog for dragonfly, and tiny relates to the short stories. Dragonflies, in certain spiritualities, mean change/transformation; with this series of stories, my friend and I hope we can help change the way we see our planet and our place in it.

I’ve always believed how everything is connected; if we destroy our home, we destroy ourselves. If we care for our home, we’re caring for ourselves.

The Stories

Story I – The Door is Alive

“No such thing as dead trees.”

“Cut trees don’t grow anymore, do they? Like wooden paint brushes. Or lumber. The wood gets chopped and ceases to grow. Once brought out of the lumber mill, it’s as good as dead, right? Same with doors.

But no, not this door. Not this door at all.”

Read the whole story here.

Story II – Too Hot for a T-Shirt

“It’s too hot for a t-shirt.

Yes, even for a t-shirt.

So I put on a summer dress,

sleeveless, free-flowing, and breezy.

Our days are perpetually dry anyway.”

[Read the whole story here.]