starry, starry night

Tonight as i walked to my apartment building, I found myself stopping for a moment to gaze at the cloudless night sky. It was beautifully dotted with twinkling stars, peeking through the elegantly obtrusive silhouette of a bald tree…

No one can look earnestly at stars and not feel small.

And that’s just what I need right now: To feel small. Because only then can this proud being begin to imagine afresh “how high, how wide, how deep, and how long” the love of God is for His little ones…

The One who calls each star by name is calling this anxious one to, yet again, place his trust in Him. Oh for grace to humbly accept daily such a grand and loving invitation that the stars have relayed to me tonight.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in Thee… for Thy power is made perfect in my weakness.


I’m not sure if this is just a phase or something serious. I think I want a dog. Yep, a live one that barks, licks, yelps, cuddles, plays dead, fetches, knows when I’m down, excitedly meets me at the door every night – the whole “man’s best friend” deal! I know, I know, that kind also poops and pisses, needs to be walked, gets prone to ticks and other little miseries, requires a weekly bath, may have a dietary preference that’s more expensive than mine, might need to be brought to the vet more times than I have visited the dentist. These inconveniences – enough to scare this single, easy-go-lucky guy off his wits – notwithstanding, I still can’t shake off the idea of possibly acquiring a canine buddy (not that I have a shortage of the human variety because I don’t think I do.)

So tonight when Gladys and I rescued Mae, certified canine lovah, from her boring pit of a job and joined her for dinner, I took the chance to quiz her about life with a dog. (Now that I think about it, it could have been a wee bit insensitive of me to talk dogs with Mae; she had just lost her dear dog Harry a few days ago. But Mae didn’t seem to mind.) She gave me pointers on how to potty-train a puppy, and the mess that that entails. I also got an idea of what and how much it costs to feed the pet.

Our family had a string of dogs when I was a young boy. I can even remember most of their names: King, Champion, Swerte, Charming, Tagpi, Chika. But they weren’t really pets more than they were security guards. My first ever diary entry as an 8-year-old was about the death of King who was hit by a jeepney and how, within minutes, we had strange men who smelled of alcohol at our gate asking about the dead dog. Several years later, I understood why they were so interested in the dead dog, and why my elder brother angrily protested their proposition.

Well, let’s see what happens to this doggie fascination of mine. For now, I’m sleepy and need to turn in. I hear the first few nights with a new puppy are the worst. So I’ll savor peaceful slumber while I can. If this interest grows, I should tell my housemate about it. Well, he dotes on four pet goldfish and I don’t mind; I even feed the creatures when he’s away. Okay, I know, a dog is a totally different story. Unless, of course, I can convince housemate that I can keep my doggie in an aquarium – BUT he has to take his goldfish for walks, complete with leash! Nah. Weird thoughts… Gotta… sleep.


dealing with (digital) loss

I took a risk. Thought I understood enough to take a plunge. I was feeling extra courageous, and the usual paranoid and calculating self felt like taking a backseat; so the daredevil took control.

I popped in the Ubuntu installation CD that Besp gave me, and then rebooted Kierk. Besp had been all-praises about Ubuntu – the exciting, new, and FREE operating system based on the Linux platform. It’s supposed to rival the user interface of Windows XP. Sounds like fun! I was pretty sure Kierk would appreciate the new innards…

If only his master had been more cautious…

One misstep in the installation process and I accidentally wiped out my entire “Volume D” where I store all my data! Gasp! I had given my dear Kierk amnesia! Kierk couldn’t remember our songs. Those gigabytes of music that have once laced the silences or shut off the noise – whichever was my preference at a given moment – had vanished! He couldn’t remember any of the things we had been through the past four months: the work docs (whew, good thing i have most of them backed up on my office pc), the Photoshop projects (art gone forever!), pictures (huhuhu), and – what I’m lamenting more than anything – the heartfelt journal entries and soul-baring prayers, records of honest reflection and revelation that can never be replicated. Thinking about it makes me sad, very sad ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Hay. Now, it’s time to move on.

blog evangelism

Last December break, I was on a mission: To convert my elder sister (a lawyer) and my eldest brother (a minister) to become bloggers.

My sis was a tough nut to crack. Despite my – ahem – outstanding arguments in favor of her keeping a blog instead of sending email en masse to her friends and family while she’s in Japan, she just wouldn’t budge. Following several after-dinner interaction, the farthest that my marketing skills could take me was to extract this deal from her: She, who is particularly squeamish about divulging her thoughts online and who thinks her writing has abandoned literary flair in favor of legalese, will attempt blogging if and only if her pesky blogger brother can come up with a blogsite concept that will blow her mind away AND if and only if the same pesky blogger brother would design an equally excellent template for her.

Whew. Told ya it was tough. But a small victory, nonetheless. Now I will devote one precious Saturday to brainstorming and designing for this soon-to-be blogger. I sense my ultimate victory is at hand. Ah, it is winter in Japan now – my sister’s very first. What better way to keep her tropical fingers from freezing than to let them tap away on the keyboard as she blogs! (Yet another creative pitch from my bottomless hat! Haha.)

It wasn’t as difficult to proselytize the minister bro. It helped that he had began a blog before (two short posts and then it died – username and password banished to oblivion). Plus, it didn’t hurt that he had just acquired a laptop courtesy of abovementioned sis. As it turned out, this combination of prior experience and novel gadget – topped with a budding awareness of his writerly potential as pointed out to him by, ahem, yours truly – proved to be the recipe for my evangelistic triumph. So please, dear bloggers and blog hoppers, would you warmly welcome my brother to our universe of online musings by wandering over to his blog, A Preacher’s Attempts at Writing. And, I have a strong feeling that it is only a matter of time before I introduce you to my sister’s own blog. Bright ideas are welcome, anyone?

Long live bloggers!

a sadness

There is a sadness that a smile can hide. That laughter and chatter can drown. That even the eyes cannot betray. It is buried deep, so deep that its melancholy is hardly perceptible. If not for the cruel visitation of unheard whispers that pierce the silences, one can almost forget that the deep sadness exists. And sometimes one is tempted to hope that it can be forgotten, ignored.

And yet no sadness, no matter how deep it has been buried, will remain unaffecting. All sadness is restless – it cannot be kept from growing in the dark of night, until it seeps through the surface. Then it becomes a sadness that a smile can no longer hide. That laughter and chatter can do nothing to drown. That the eyes can – and will – betray.

posing 2 ( an answer?)

Which one should we be more mindful of, more careful about: that which we hold on to or that which we let go of?

Perhaps the answer – or the beginning of such – lies in the fact that, at a given moment, the one can never be the other; what you let go of is never what you hold on to. For we can, at a given time, only clasp or only release – never both, simultaneously. So that what we let go ofย  is never what we hold on to, and vice versa.

The struggle ensues when we keep holding on to what we have chosen to release. Or persist in shaking off what we have decided to keep. If we never reach a place of resolution, we will find that, in the end, all that we are left with are… empty hands locked in a tight grip – not truly keeping anything, and yet not fully being free of anything.

So, let go or hold on. Clasp or unclasp. Choose it – every day.

Turkangel, here is, I hope, a step towards an answer. It is vague, at best, I know. Or maybe we should restate the question? I’m sure coffee will make the wheels turn better… Get ready! ๐Ÿ™‚


And so this came upon him like an unexpected and yet perfectly timed epiphany deep into the night: Which one should we be more mindful of, more careful about: that which we hold on to or that which we let go?

fried future

In my mother’s absence, my elder sister has taken on the role of “evil stepmom” and decreed that I do time in the kitchen during my two-week vacation in Davao City. This morning, while frying porkchops for lunch, I decided that I was a good enough cook to multi-task. So I switched on the TV.

There they were, Boy Abunda and his artista guests; and then, on the rival channel, the Sis triumvirate and their share of celebrities. Since it’s the first Monday of the new year, it was predictable that both talk shows had as guests – in addition to the celebrities coming from across the popularity spectrum – fortune tellers, astrologists, feng shui experts, numerologists, and other allegedly future-seeing personalities. I do not subscribe to fortune-telling in whatever form, so I watched the shows with an eyebrow perennially raised, frying ladle (or whatever you call the metal thing used for frying) clasped in one hand.

The supposedly clairvoyant guests took turns sharing their predictions and vibrations for each of the artistas, their accents as varied as their field of metaphysical expertise. Madam Rosa, who has had her fair share of comic impersonators, was still as enigmatic as ever – in the sense that I never know whether to laugh or take her seriously when she blurts out her piece about the future; the end-result for me is a headache. The lady feng shui expert was personable, but I couldn’t tell if she’s really Chinese or just trying to sound like one so as to lend credibility to her practice of the ancient Chinese art. She excitedly shared to a celebrity couple, whose year signs are Horse and Ox, that their baby Dog will bring them luck. Astrological fauna is confusing.

Then there was the lady who called herself Stargazer – obviously not the name that appears on her birth certificate. She claims to have the ability to read auras. Her eloquence could have convinced me to take her more seriously; but I just couldn’t part with the nagging thought that “Stargazer” sounds more like a Yahoo Messenger alias than the name of a credible prophetess. The lone male fortune-teller, looking respectable with black-rimmed glasses and a monotonous voice that reminded me of Kuya Cesar, only faster, “magically” appeared in both shows. Apparently, Home Boy was taped, while Sis aired live. He used tarot cards on one show and just plain intuition on the other. Or maybe he forgot to bring his props to the other show?

The artistas (oh, how they multiply and crowd our TV screens, it’s just impossible to remember them all) paid serious attention to the seers’ take on their personal futures. One was warned against driving fast in a red vehicle. The same actor was also assured that he will become a major action star this new year. So I guess no stunts onboard a red CRV for him? One teen actress, with a pretty but forgettable face, smiled sheepishly when Madam told her that her career will soar to greater heights this year. Who knows, I could be blogging about having a major crush on her at the end of this year. Now if only I could remember her name and face. Another young actor, a teenage father, was advised to heed his mother’s advice. How mind-blowing is that! There is a non-astrological name for this: Common Sense. A discussion on lucky numbers sent the female hosts of Sis giddy with delight, while…

Wait. What’s that smell? A whiff of my future, no doubt. A strange force and a tingling sensation drew me away from the TV box and into the kitchen – to check on the slabs of pork meat that were burning, er, cooking there. No need for a crystal ball to remind me that if I didn’t do anything about it, my immediate future would consist of a meal of charred, carcinogenic porkchops.

Happy New Year!