books, Mind

He huffed, he puffed, and he brought a book sale to Manila, Philippines

After a busy office day, my Mom and I went to the Big Bad Wolf Sale here in World Trade Center, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines last Feb. 21, the VIP day.

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life, Soul

Thank You for 2018: A Yearly Examen

It is New Year’s Eve, and I want to continue a tradition I have been doing for the past two years (2017, 2016), and that is to do a Yearly Examen, as suggested in an article from the Aleteia website.

The Examen is part of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises wherein we reflect on the day we had. Below is a guide from Philip Kosloski:

  1. After placing yourself in God’s presence, first give thanks to God for all the many blessings received during the past year. Pass through each month, remembering the blessings that occurred.
  2. Pray for the grace to understand God’s divine providence.
  3. Next, review each month again and take notice of any feelings or movements that occur in your heart while doing this activity. Whatever you may feel (whether it was a good feeling or bad feeling), ask God to help you understand why an event happened.
  4. Fourth, ask pardon for any sins you committed, trusting fully in God’s mercy.
  5. Last of all look forward to the New Year think of ways that you can collaborate more with God’s loving plan for your life. (Article written by Philip Kosloski from

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faith, Soul

If these walls could cry

The Parables of Peanuts…

Henri Nouwen…

Thomas Merton…

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius…

She keeps coming back to these books – and their kind – in my religion shelves here. She just stays there in front, looking at the titles on the spines (perhaps, ‘seeing’ would be a more suitable term). She sees those books as if there was a part of her there, a part of the authors who too longed for truth and for love in what they believed in.

She hasn’t bought any of those books yet, but if something called to her powerfully, she definitely would. I’ve seen her many times now to know that she was one of those people who had piles of unread books in their home but would still buy a few more.

Would one call that a vice?

Perhaps a person who dislikes books and truth would.

I am a bookstore, so in my eyes, it is a virtue.

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life, Soul

Stuck in writing, stuck in living

Our dining chair in the province is now old, if not older, when I fell into it.

I remember how my Mom laughed first before giving me a hand. It was such a funny situation for us, and I could still imagine myself being stuck there, not being able to help myself up. 

This was being physically stuck, but the mind and heart being stuck somewhere is a less funny story. 

I felt stuck in my writing.

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Heart, life, love, reflections, Soul, Uncategorized

Today, someone called me ugly

I was on my way home, just several meters away from the office. Compared to before, I probably looked more decent and dignified. I walk with confidence and an air of being street-smart now, because loved ones would tell me I looked easy to fool, that I was naive. True enough, I could be. I was. So good friends before told me too to be more assertive.

At a time when I have more faith in myself, and even believe in my own loveliness as I am and not with how society measures it, I guess there was a time to be tested.

With my tiny lunchbox in my hand and a red umbrella in the other, in a black cardigan given to me by my loving parents, I passed by my usual way; when I reached the area where there were big unkempt trees and a dirty gate, there was a group of male bystanders (erm, bysitters (?) because they were sitting on the sidewalk) in front of a small barbecue spot. You know how you put a simple grill at the sidewalk – that kind of barbecue spot.

Because I felt that something rude might happen, given our culture today of how people view women, I continued to stride on and rub my nose, as if I was nursing a cold. So that I would look discreet. So I would be unnoticed.

But I heard it.

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life, Soul, travel

You leave, so you can return; you say goodbye, so you can say hello

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – Terry Pratchett

June 28 of last year, my Mom dropped me off at the airport for what was supposed to be just a three-week vacation. In the plane, I sat next to a young woman my age who worked in the East Coast. She asked me why I was taking the trip. I said I was just going for a vacation to spend time with my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.

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Mind, movies

They wrote their sonnet well

[This post contains spoilers. And some illustrations I did after feeling inspired and renewed from A Wrinkle in Time!]

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself,” thus said Mrs. Whatsit.

I think it may be the best quote that could describe how I see Director Ava DuVernay’s Disney’s movie adaptation (and adaptations in general) of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, first published in 1962. But before I delve more into what I think about the film, I just want to share how I first knew about the beloved author.

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reflections, Soul

Related, connected, loved

While reading a certain article on Brain Pickings the other night, I was inspired to write the following about interconnectedness:

Everything and everyone is connected…

The universe is in relationship to a human being as a cell to a system. One atom of a young woman reading the news this morning in a cafe somewhere across the Pacific is in relationship with a galaxy outside of ours. The stars in the heavens may as well be like the neurons in our brains; one thought can negatively or positively send some kind of energy towards somewhere, so one must be careful with her thoughts. One small or big thing has an effect on something else.

What we do can affect our world, our solar system, our galaxy, our tissues, our bodies, our relationship with others. I think about it right now: had Madeleine L’Engle, one of the writers who showed me the way to be brave about merging science and faith and putting spiritual themes in her books, given up on writing more when A Wrinkle in Time was rejected not less than 10 times, I probably would not be lying on my back right now reading more about writing and her interviews in some websites.

By the character, persona, genius, perseverance of someone else, I was moved. Like in writing, we connect events and people for the whole story to make sense.

Connections, relationships, friendship, love… the universe makes sense because of relationships.

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Soul, travel

A walk in a garden, a journey in the soul

My Mom has a green thumb. She has her own magic of making sure that the ground is fertile and healthy, helping plants grow to bear fruit and flowers. Although I do not have a thumb as magical as hers, I do share her love for nature and gardens. I thought of her when my Dad, our relatives, and I went to Hakone Gardens in Saratoga Hills in California last July 4, 2017.

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