Introspections & Retrospections

01| Bushi+DO: On Benevolence

It had been a tiring, yet good day. I had fun, both during the kendo practice, as well as the club dinner afterwards with our guest teachers. I headed home, giddy from the freebies, my thoughts drifting to the manuscript I need to work on when I get home.

A stray kitten mewed in the night.

I stopped. You don’t really have the time for this, don’t you? I told myself.

So I spent the next 15-20 minutes coaxing the kitten from its hiding place. Save for some minor scratches, I felt happy. But now what?  Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

The Prejudice of Love

“I realized,” my friend confided, “she wasn’t that pretty after all.”

I kept silent. I didn’t know how to react. Was he simply sourgraping the breakup? I couldn’t honestly tell; I am not the best judge of physical appearances, as I admittedly am as vulnerable to the usual biases as other guys when it comes to beauty.

But as embarrassing as this might sound, I am indeed judgmental when it comes to appearances. I am quick to ask myself, “What in the world did that girl see in that guy?!” (or vice versa) And yes, at the end of the introspective argument, the only explanation that makes sense: “S/he is in love.” That’s it.

Love is blind, and we often quote it with sarcasm. Yet— is that such a bad thing?  Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

The Prejudice of Hope

I sat beside her bed, hesitant and confused. I loved my mother, yet I didn’t know what to say. I want her healed. I want her restored. I wanted to see a miracle. I wanted for her to be back to normal. I believe in God, in His words, in everything good and wonderful about Him. Yet I stayed there, unable to say anything. It’s one thing to have faith in God’s nature, to believe in everything He is about and stood for. It’s another to trust in His promises— to hope, not just on what’s about to happen, but beyond what’s about to come.

How often do we mistake our wishes for prayers, and how often do we mistake our prayers as hope? Likely, we tend to pray, not because we hope, but because we are about to let go of it. Bahala na, as we Filipinos tend to say. A hopeful faith hiding our hopeless resignation.

We always say we hope for the best, but most of the time, we barely recognize what it is we’re hoping for.

What is it that we’re hoping for? Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

The Prejudice of Faith

Beliefs can be such a stubborn thing. There always comes a point where we somehow notice that our way of reasoning sounds a bit irrational, yet we hold firmly to it simply because to our own logic, it makes most sense to us.

“See,” I told myself smugly, as “I knew she was going to do that.” I knew because I’ve seen the behavior pattern. I believed in that pattern, and simply dismiss every deviation from it. “I knew she can be relied on.” Thus, faith comes and becomes— and turns into something that is difficult to unbecome. Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

The Prejudice of God

Let’s say that you have been given the following statements as indisputable facts:

  • The dog bit the father’s hand.
  • The father slapped his toddler.
  • The toddler was trying to eat a dangerous object.
  • The mother absent-mindedly left a harmful object within her toddler’s reach.
  • The mother and father were arguing in the kitchen table.
  • The mother was angry at the dog.

Who would you say was at fault? What if I say that the given information was not in chronological order? How would you arrange it in order to show the cause of the problem? Continue reading

Introspections & Retrospections

The Pains of Isolation: Part 1 – The Unseen Physical Wall

Stage 1

I think I was in Grade 3 then. I guess I was around 9 years old then. My mom was having her worst clinical depression episode yet— I can’t quite remember if she was already undergoing therapy or if she had already been diagnosed with such. But I remember those days, weeks where my father had to hide us from our mother in her madness.

She had forced my eldest sister to study in Metro Manila against my sister’s wishes almost year before; my sister Alyn— I heard about the story of my mom literally dragging her by the hair from her classroom, to be brought God knows where. It was only a matter of time before she came for me. Our house, no longer a home— was already emptied of its furnitures; an empty shell, befitting the hollowed resemblance of our family. Continue reading

Introspections & Retrospections

The Pains of Isolation: Introduction

I was about to meet a couple of friends for some much-delayed catching up. Then, another group comes along— insisting I join them instead. For what exact purpose, I don’t really know. I was hesitant; but against my own logic, I gave in and apologized to my other friends.

It was the biggest regret I have over the weekend.

At the eatery, they simply forgot I was with them. I was seated on a separate, while everyone else simply had a good time. Not that I’m against them enjoying the time together. When you’re part of a group and you notice after 30 or more minutes that you don’t belong or is a part of group, you start to wonder.

What the hell am I doing here? Continue reading