Our Many Isms

Ism. This interesting suffix recently crossed my mind. Even if it is a familiar component in many words, I also noticed that if it stands by itself it seems so nondescript. When it appears in a complete word, as it is so often combined with some prefix or plain words, it wields new power. It […]

Read more "Our Many Isms"

Creative Side

After a talk I gave, a young lady from the audience approached me and told me how thankful she was to learn that we are in the same boat: she is a struggling creative with a lot of passion for singing and music. She is a nurse, but her heart sings more for her creative […]

Read more "Creative Side"

Elders’ Healing

I enjoyed the company of older people. I sought the counsel of a priest or a nun. I chatted with librarians, janitors, security guards, drivers, cashiers, vendors and people living ordinary lives. I talked to older people in hospitals and communities, learning about their condition while taking their blood pressure. Those conversations as a young […]

Read more "Elders’ Healing"

Out Of Our Minds

Reflection on Mental Illness In my late teenage years, there was a time that I wanted to become insane. Riddled with so much frustration and anger, taking my life was never an option. Instead, I wanted to escape by means of psychological breakdown and live a life with mental disorder. Despite contemplating such idea, it […]

Read more "Out Of Our Minds"

Awakening in Love

Right after Buddha’s enlightenment, a man saw him and became confounded by his presence. The man asked the Buddha if he was a god, an angel or a saint, but to each question the Buddha answered “no”. Then the man finally asked, “Then who are you?” The Buddha replied: “I am awake”. In this story, […]

Read more "Awakening in Love"

Deep Rest

To be honest, the past month dragged me into a convoluted state. I had to make ends meet by finishing my writing deadlines. These were interspersed with a lot of things to think about – worries about physical and financial preparations for a retreat I was about to attend. Then, I focused on the rest […]

Read more "Deep Rest"

Returning to the Inner Child

There was a huge open grassy land at the back of our house. It was our wide playground. Kids in our neighborhood play all sorts of Filipino traditional games and even some western ones such as football and softball. It was then our summer escapade. We had our fun adventures under the sun, trekking through the […]

Read more "Returning to the Inner Child"

More than Morality

A friend was reprimanded by a Catholic priest after confessing her “mortal sin”. It was such a grave one that shocked and angered the priest, who almost left her without finishing the confession, as if her sin was unforgivable. My friend felt embarrassed and rejected, but continued to listen to the priest’s harsh words without […]

Read more "More than Morality"

The Call of the Soul

Two days ago I met Michael, a 20-year old college student. Together with his friend and classmate Earnest, who lives  in my own neighborhood, Michael came to see me and ask my help for their writing project. I was eager to talk and help them but our conversation led me to discover the other side of […]

Read more "The Call of the Soul"

The End of Competition

School days are the most fun-filled days for learning new things. But for most students these days could also be the fiercest days. There are bullies and rivalries and there are races to become topnotchers and dean’s listers. Students compare everything from their pencil cases to school grades. The Darwinian principle of “survival of the […]

Read more "The End of Competition"