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

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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?

Lub-dub.

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?

Lub-dub.

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?

Lub-dub!

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?

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Introspections & Retrospections

There’s a Lonely Place Between Worlds and Words

There are two kinds of loneliness; three, if you include the discipline of writing.

An empty house. A solitary stroll. Working on a project by one’s self. There’s a sense of loneliness in them, but not all the time. More often a longing for companionship, a teasing reminder that it sucks to be alone.  Continue reading

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Introspections & Retrospections

Pray For Marawi

It’s been barely a day since the rebel group, now considered as terrorists, have brought horror on Marawi City in Mindanao, Philippines. Yet, instead of empathizing, we Filipinos find ourselves back into our old selves: in-fighting, back-biting, pointless and shameless criticisms and blames hurled towards one another.

Every now and then, a dissenting voice calling for prayers squeaks on social media. Every now and then, a misdirected angry voice stirs trouble again, reviving the old ugly cycle.

There’s so much we can accomplish if we stop antagonizing each other and focus on working together. Our bickering won’t help our fellow Filipinos in Marawi.  Continue reading

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Introspections & Retrospections

Til Love Makes Us One

Just because I’m a hopeless romantic doesn’t mean I love weddings. I hate the fact that I’m forced to buy new clothes and shoes. I hate the fact that I’ve pressured myself to lose weight, not just to fit into the formal wear, but to look decently good for the photos. I hate the times when I have to switch into temporary-extrovert mode as I’m coerced into joining the games during reception.

And I hate that bittersweet melancholy as the celebration ends, as guests trickle away and empty the place, as the lovely couple finally leave with each other — to finally, truly live with each other — and all that’s left are the memory and inspiration of the moment, and a hopefulness brewing, stirring inside.

And I can’t help but sigh because, as much as my rational mind refutes it, I find myself at the end of each wedding believing in magic. Continue reading

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