Is Juan Tamad Really Lazy?

Picture this: a young man sitting beneath the shade of a guava tree, lying restfully with its native hat covering its head. He sleepily sits there, waiting for the guava fruit to fall instead of picking it. This image of a familiar folklore character has been known for ages across generations of many Filipinos. He […]

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The Divine Face

Here in my place, I can see from afar Mount Makiling, the famed mystical mountain of Laguna province, about two hours south of Manila. Since my childhood, I have seen the mountain nestled in the east, giving birth to the rising sun everyday. Locals here know that the mountain is the home to a diwata, […]

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For the Spirit

The other day was my first time to roam around Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown, to celebrate the eve of Chinese New Year. The sights were a vivid red in every corner, from lanterns to red envelopes to charms to shirts. The sounds were a loud repertoire of lion and dragon dances and powerful drums, plus the […]

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Creations, Not Obstacles

On the last day of a recent retreat,  me and other participants were asked by our mentor and facilitator Ms Leah Tolentino to collect some small stones and leaves outside the room. Later, we gathered them all in the room’s center, laying them down carefully on the floor. Then, we were asked again to scatter […]

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A Glass of Wisdom

We have quite a number of various drinking glasses and mugs in our kitchen. But in the recent years, none of the glasses has ever managed to survive. I estimate that around 5 sets of glasses got broken one by one. My mother bought new sets just to replace those she broke. Her eyes recently […]

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What Babies Teach Us

Paveli is the first baby girl in the family. My younger sister gave birth to her the exact day when I posted Return to the Inner Child. That was really a timely moment. Five months have passed and it has been a continuing magical journey for all of us in the family to watch how […]

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Folding, Unfolding

I was 12 when I became hooked on origami. My ninong (godfather) taught me my first lesson, the famous origami crane, some weeks after he arrived from Japan. I was in sixth grade and it was a creative adventure. At the time, aside from cheap plastic toys sold along the sidewalks near the school entrance, […]

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