Introspections & Retrospections

Sundays, Self-Reflections, Stargazing & Suburi

My legs were shaking. My knees were shaking. I barely finished 10 hops of ‘frog suburi,’ but I was already panting hard, and part of me wanted to just give up and call it a day. But a couple of strangers behind me snickered, and I could barely hear a girl’s mocking voice say: “See, he can’t do it anymore.”

I was tempted to whirl around, snarl at them to try doing my exercise routine. But I did not. Instead, I took a deep breath, stood up, and proceeded with the next routines. Faster. Sharper. Stronger.

By the time I was done with my second round, it was quiet again. I didn’t even notice them leave. Part of me wanted to feel smug. Part of me wondered, hoped, if in some way, they learned something from me that night.

The grass was moist, but the ground was dry and cool. For the first time in a very long while, I hugged the earth without a care or thought. I smelled the sweet aroma of the soil mixed with organic decay. I listened at the sounds: of footsteps from various joggers and strollers, of distant honks and beeps from cars whizzing outside the park, of children squealing as they try to chase after the resident cats and parents yelling after them. And slowly, I gazed around me: at the artificial lights diffused by the rustling leaves of trees, at the ever-unreachable dark sky pimpled by stars where the luminescent clouds couldn’t hide them. And for a moment, I was filled again with the same longing, heartbreaking joyfulness that I’ve always felt at nights like this during my youth.

Oh God, I’m already 36 years old. I’m too old for this.

Why am I even doing this? Continue reading

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

Introspections & Retrospections

There’s Kindness in Pushing Others Away

I wonder why we push people away, when deep inside, we know we want them closer. Our arms ache to wrap around them; but instead, we only find our hands and heart bleeding where it touched them. And so we pull away, hesitantly, slowly, abruptly.

Why do we push people away? Because sometimes, there’s a faint comfort in being alone, in knowing that you won’t burden people you care about with that insufferable side of you: these cracked facets of your fragmented life, sharp edges where our memories touch one another’s, breaking off slivers from each other that become tears. Continue reading

Introspections & Retrospections

Don’t Mind The Gap

She sat there, right in front of him, quietly ignoring his very presence. There’s a sacred wall between them that he knows too well not to trespass: a fragile wall made of music and silence, an unbreakable barrier consisting of indifference and disinterest.

He longed to touch her, just to get her attention. Or maybe just grab and smash those obnoxious earphones: a God-sent device that allows us sweet solitude, a devilish contraption that wrongfully isolates people.

Space: that formless, boundless commodity of our over-populated, hyper-connected world. How often have we longed for it, yet how often have we cursed it. Because even as we wish for some time alone, we find ourselves annoyed standing on the other side of this man-made gap. A fracture that no technology could address, a crevice that no science could fully explore, a trench that one can’t simply refill and terraform.

For what truly separates us from one another aren’t the nautical miles nor mountain ranges, but that immeasurable sense of being not near, of being not here. Continue reading

Introspections & Retrospections

Be Home For Christmas

“Hey, Ron— aren’t you going home to your family this Christmas?” an officemate asked. I smiled, an automatic response due to years of experience in answering the same set of questions every time.

Yes, Ron. Why aren’t you? Part of me asked as well.

Here I am, roughly 600 kilometers away from them— 8 hours of land travel, a single journey trip of at least a thousand Philippine pesos. And getting a bus ticket (even a plane ticket) this late is sheer horror: I have no intention of getting stressed and stranded on an overcrowded provincial bus terminal. And there’s work to talk about.

All these are pathetic excuses, really. I know. Continue reading

Spiritual Reflections

The Be Attitudes: Quietude and Solitude

We’ve all heard and read that phrase: No man is an island.

And we’ve all seen rants and angst about it: people bemoaning staying at the office on weekends, being left alone in the house, traveling solo, going to a party or event without a buddy, or watching a movie by one’s self. We like being independent, but we sure hate being alone.

Admittedly, a lot of our daily activities (and inactivities) are more pleasurable when there are other people to share it with you. Enzo, a youth in our church who loves playing video games, even sheepishly admits that he prefers playing a multiplayer game along with his siblings than holing up alone on a laptop. And the same goes with other youth: what hooks them deeper into LAN games aren’t just the thrill of the game itself — it’s more of the opportunity to bond together in something everyone can enjoy together. Being together makes everything seem more fun. More memorable.

Is it?  Continue reading