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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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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family, Heart, life, love, reflections, Soul

Thank You for 2017: A Yearly Examen

Saint Ignatius of Loyola taught me to be in awe of the best things like stars in the heavens. For this year, I will continue doing the Examen – another thing he left for us – only in the yearly perspective. I learned of doing a Yearly Examen through an article published in Aleteia last year, and I plan to do it again this year.

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reflections, Soul

Sitting by the manger

“Behold this wonder: a living, moving, startling likeness of who we are, who God is; what God awakens, when God sleeps on the crossing wood of our manger. We have lost the wonder of it all, lost the gratitude, lost the likeness of who we are, who we are meant to love, how life again could matter. No wonder, God came to us as a child in a manger.”Startle, Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ

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art, Hands, reflections, Soul

The first time I wasn’t happy with drawing

On January 2017, I decided to become a freelance artist; I was able to work with good clients during the first quarter of the year.

By the half of the year, I decided to start writing a book I’ve planned in my head.

In September 2017, I published my first ever e-book called Seedlings: A Short Story Collection. I am thankful to those who bought and said good things about it.

Being consistent in posting drawings and stories in Instagram too helped me in practicing my skill and getting my work out there.

Earlier this week, a kind and talented person I met over at Instagram and Arriane Serafico’s #daretoshareIGChallenge, Ms. Cindy Wong Dela Cruz of Filipino book curator 8letters, offered to publish and distribute Seedlings as hard copies! What a dream!

I am very thankful for all of these blessings and opportunities.

But last night, I felt anxious. I felt scared. I felt sad.

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reflections, Soul, travel

Waiting for an eclipse on a mountain park

It was the 21st of August, 2017.

It was overcast the moment I opened my eyes and gazed at the window. The sky and possibility of rain in the Las Vegas Valley tempted me to stay longer in bed and sleep, but I decided to get up instead.

My cousin Jango stood there in the bathroom, fully clothed as if for a hiking adventure. I did not know that the eclipse would take place at 9:00 AM in our area.

“We’ll be going to Exploration Peak for the eclipse,” he said.

I hurriedly ran back to the room and changed.

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reflections, Soul

Purpose, perseverance, and relationships: May 2017 Lessons

This May, I find that my realizations and lessons revolved around purpose, perseverance, and relationships.

On Purpose

I’ve always deemed ‘purpose’ as something that is singular, grand, and fixed. It would show itself to me like this: Arli, you will work someday in an animation studio you love. If it doesn’t happen, then my purpose is gone in this world.

Sometimes, we relate it to our job or what we do for a living as well, and if our interests do not match our work, we think that our purpose is somewhere else.

Over the years, I’ve read articles and found myself dwelling on those that help you find your purpose.

Upon consulting the dictionary, these are its exact words for the definition: “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”

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reflections, Soul

A Custodian’s Blessing

Steward, keeper, caretaker, custodian.

These are words that I may have taken for granted over the years growing up. I didn’t look up for their meanings in the dictionaries nor was I attracted to them the same way I was attracted to long and different words like serendipity, june, or mayflower.

They were simply just words I would come across in schools, books, or movies.

Flight attendants come to mind when I read the word steward. For keeper, I’d imagine a kind and warm woman, an innkeeper who gives and collects room keys for weary travelers. Meanwhile, a caretaker would be someone who does not own the house but lives in it already, making sure that it is still tidy and livable when the master returns. The word custodian would conjure images of a man in cleaning clothes, always keeping halls and floors clean and organizing his materials inside a small room.

Words conjure images, and the images give me meaning. Now that I am older, I have realized the virtuous duty tied to those who personify these words.

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reflections, Soul

Genuine Repentance

We sat there on the wooden pew. We have probably taken this seat several times in the past. My Mom and I were at the left part of our local church, St. James Parish.

It is currently the Lenten Season. A violet banner hung above the top right part of the altar, and the priest too wore a violet vestment. The homily, of course, would probably be about letting go of our old sins and surrendering them to the Lord, repentance, and forgiveness.

I love listening to homilies. The Gospel today spoke of the Lord’s Transfiguration where Jesus brought a few of His apostles to a mountain. Jesus’ face suddenly was full of light, and the prophets Elijah and Moses appeared next to Him. Peter had exclaimed, “Lord, it is good that we are here.” Peter proceeded on telling Jesus that he can pitch tents for the three of them there. God spoke to them from up the clouds, telling them that Jesus was His Son with whom He is very well pleased.

Because I do not want to forget the lessons from the homily, I want to write down what the priest spoke about.

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