Let’s tell them to look up.

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If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For by Jamie Tworkowski

This book traveled from the US to Philippines shores, landed on the hands of a dear friend, and eventually made its way to me on September 3, 2016. The other night, I kept it close to me after I finished reading it.

Denise asked if I wanted to buy, so she could ship both our copies together. I said yes for three reasons:

  1. My friend is a strong advocate of healing for people who suffer from mental illnesses

Denise echoes beautiful virtues like healing and hope through her writings and art. Over coffee earlier this year, we met and she mentioned how mental illnesses aren’t taken so seriously here in the Philippines.

And then a few weeks ago, she posted something on Instagram about how she wanted to use art and healing together – to be an art therapist is the right term! (She also would want to be a professional book hunter – I think she already is; she knows so many hidden bookstores in different cities and online!)

I was touched by her heart to a beautiful cause like this (and To Write Love on her Arms), so I bought If You Feel Too Much too, to show my support to her vision and to people who went through this kind of difficulty in life.

She also told me about how she wanted to be an intern for To Write Love on her Arms. (If ever you’re reading this, Denise, I hope you try to apply someday!) 🙂

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Everything I Learned, I Learned from You

There we were, two very good friends since high school, propped up comfortably on the bed while looking at photos of activities of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines.

Let me share to you how inspired I was. While listening to her stories and the ardour that the students she talked about, I was moved. Also, I was encouraged by my friend.

Kate has always been good at Chemistry, I remember. She took up Chemical Engineering and graduated last April. She said one time that she wasn’t supposed to graduate, because her grade in one of the last subjects was incomplete. I wish that I could have helped her that time in any way I can or I could tell her that God may have a reason for it. It’s hard to be there for someone through text messages.

She said she was okay. Kate was ahead of me all the time as I read once in her essay that God has a purpose for the opportunities that weren’t given to us even though we may have badly wanted it. We do not understand why, but He does. She sees that in everything, it is His will over hers.

When she told me she wouldn’t be graduating last month, I had formed reservations and hypotheses in my mind. Maybe they were just joking with her. Maybe after a few days, they would surprise her and exclaim, “You’re graduating!” But no.

Nobody jokes about graduation.

Then after a few days, I remember yelling out of surprise and joy when I found out that she will be graduating! It was after a morning jog: the first time I took one because that was the time I woke up from a very bad dream and I needed to get out to breathe and to relax a bit. All the stresses I felt early in the morning was gone the moment I found out the good news from my friend.

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