Introspections & Retrospections

In Lieu of Light & Luminescence

Light, blinding light, surrounded me like an inescapable prison — but so was the cold, this pervasive cold, that seemed to invade and violate whatever warmth there was left within the hearth of my soul.

We live in this season of afterglow: where the summers lit by countless smiles slowly fade against the relentless marching of days, autumns invading spring before its appointed time — and all sense of it, for time is nothing but an illusion without memories. And what are the seasons here for if not for creating a cycle of stories to remember us by?

A half-forgotten story, maybe that’s all I am… a light that has lost its warmth, nothing more than a bare luminescent shadow of one’s self.

I look around at all the light surrounding me, shining and glaring like a condensate of constellations turned into this ocean of brightness. And I can’t help but wonder how we can be so surrounded by such a myriad, yet feel so alone and cold as we sink against the shadows that they cast.

How can a face still glow with such a cold smile? Smiles are meant to be worn as something warm and comforting. Thousands of smiles making the world a little bit brighter; yet at the same time, a lot more colder.

Maybe that’s why some people shy away to the corners, where the absence of cold humanity creates lukewarm pockets of emptiness that feel more tolerable, preferable, comfortable. Maybe that’s why some would rather stay in the peripherals of society’s short-sighted vision: a self-imposed, relative isolation; a cathartic socio-emotional exile.

Maybe that’s why some people have learnt to silently cry — it’s easier to let the teardrops fall where they can’t be seen; and in being unseen, unjudged. Maybe that’s why some people have learnt to close their eyes — because sometimes, we would rather feel than see it, this light that people claim to be.

Maybe someday, the world will be warmer again. So will everyone’s smile be again — shining, light the morning sun, a soft gentle yet insistent kiss that’s more endearing than annoying. A warmth that causes a chain reaction of minuscule embers to glow, and go ablaze.

But for now, all we have are this tiny lights in the sky, whose touch we might never know. For now, all we have are the luminescence of hope — waiting, believing that love will always find a way to make us its home.

Introspections & Retrospections

When We Get There

I wonder what this coming year will bring. I learned that’s all I can really do— to wonder: in hope, in worry, in faith, in surrender, in this colorful turmoil of emotions bursting through the dark skies, momentary beauties juxtaposed on the apathy of the blank void beyond, booming sounds and tooting horns and all sorts of man-made noise heralding another end as it welcomes another beginning.

And I wonder what it’s all for: all our expectations, all our resolutions, all these plans and dreams that we keep making and breaking and burying into forgotten memories until one day we wake up and realize it’s been years, decades — and with a sheepish, regretful grin, we find ourselves in the very place we hoped to be a long time ago. But that place wasn’t what we hoped it would be. Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

Was It A Morning Like This

For some reason, the music in my head that kept ringing from Christmas Eve to Christmas Morning was an old Sandi Patty song called Was It A Morning Like This — which was in no way a Christmas song.

But isn’t it?

Today, I’m reminded that this season of Christmas is all about Christ’s sacrifice: not just miraculous birth, or His redemptive death, but of His powerful resurrection as well as His imminent return.

And so, with a bit of creative license, I thought of making my own Christmas version of the song: Continue reading

Nativity Scene at Pacific Star
Spiritual Reflections

Then I Could Wish You Merry Christmas

I stare at the ATM display screen. My heart leaps. Finally, I can pay my bills! But just like a beautiful falling star, it fades away. Just barely enough to pay the bills. There goes my Christmas plans.

I stare at the computer screen, browsing through posted Christmas photos. People and pets in costumes, nice and odd presents, and food. Lots of food. I try not to be envious. I wanted to sour-grape, but even that is something I can’t afford.

I grin as I overhear an officemate’s Spotify play an old song from Christmas with the Chipmunks album. I sang along as the crittery caroler crooned about his lost two front teeth, as it brought me back to a happier time, a happier Christmas. Continue reading

Introspections & Retrospections

Let Everyone See Your Heart

Do you like her, they ask. And we balk, torn on how to respond. How do I explain it, we think, in such a way that I won’t be misunderstood, that my words won’t be mistaken for what I truly mean? How often do others listen for what they want to hear in the things we said that wasn’t what we mean?


Do you love her, they ask. And we hesitate, cautious on how to reply. How do I explain it, we ask ourselves, when I’m still trying to understand it, that my heart won’t mistake what I feel for what it truly is? How often do we look for what we want to see in the things we find that wasn’t what we’re searching for?


Is it for fear of rejection, of ridicule, or mere criticism? Why do we hide behind our justifications — these elaborate excuses masking our truest thoughts, even when they remain untrue?

And so we hide this fragile, vulnerable heart of ours.

We protect it, defend it, in the best way we can. For isn’t that how it should be: for us to fight for the weak — including these weak and helpless hearts?


But is it weak at all, this heart of ours — even if it easily breaks?

Lub-dub. Lub-dub! LUB-DUB!
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Introspections & Retrospections

On The Book: What About Justice?

At first, when OMF Literature called for contributions on the topic of justice, I was excited. Then, I hesitated.

First, I don’t really get along with everyone’s idea of justice — especially with my fellow Christians.

Next, what’s the point? Sure, some might agree with me, and some will disagree — and so it goes again: this cycle of division.

And lastly, what do I really know about justice?

Who am I to write about it?


Continue reading