untitled kuno

Waking up everyday at the sound of church bells ringing.
Walking hand in hand with Papa each nippy early morning.
Sitting on the first bench,
Waiting for the priest.
The commentator reads the day's intentions.
The first prayers are said.
I look around and see the same faces.
Mostly at eveningtide of their life's years.
I see myself as one of them.
Among those who know that life is fleeting:
"Too short to hold grudges," as someone said;
"Too long for those who are waiting;"
and a "blink of an eye between two eternities."
Borrowed words
Borrowed time
Your life is borrowed
and so is mine.

ormoc pier

One of those mornings when the sea looks calm and inviting
When Mt. Magsanga at a distance seems to call the climber to scale its heights
And the sky reveals the promise of a beautiful day
On this hot, humid, summer day of May 2009 in Ormoc.

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We toil under the sun
Not for ourselves
but for our loved ones.

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Two motorcycles
going in opposite directions
They merge, seemingly one.
In a blink of an eye
they disengage
On to their respective destinations...
or destiny

"Touch... then, go."

Is it not the same with us?

There are millions and billions of people in the world
We do not meet all
We meet only a few
And these few are able to touch us
even as they go.

The intensity may not be the same
Some leave an impressive imprint
Others, merely a feeling of deja vu
But whatever impression there is
It was a meeting of
Touch... and go.

No sooner than our next hello
We go
Wondering if our next meeting will be
another case of touch and go.
Or forever gone.

Whatever reason there is
why cosmic energies brought us together
I cannot clearly tell
But I am grateful that we met
For I am enriched by that meeting
Hoping that I, too, have become a blessing
In this life's journey of touch and go.

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My mom rarely takes pictures for us.
In fact, as far as I can remember, she never did took pictures except this.
She couldn't say no that time when I just handed her papa's camera and jumped into the parched riceland.
"Pinduta lang ang shutter, ma! Andam na na! (Just click the shutter, mom! It's set already!)"
She was surprised and made a lot of excuses, profusely claiming that she doesn't know how.
But she clicked it anyway.
I'm glad she did.
Now I have something to remember by... of that one windy summer day of long ago...

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On moving on:
discard or
keep properly
in the closet;
understand in another angle
those unresolved issues;
close amicably
those hanging conversations
to prevent the accumulation of litter and instead, leave imprints that give peace and life to the soul.

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... and make them perfect in your mind."

Many times I hear myself and my friends mutter,
"Aaaahhh... I forgot to take pictures again!"

But later I realized that it doesn't really matter as long as I learn to capture and store the images in my mind and in time, make them perfect.

If perchance I will lose my memory, then it will be just like losing my pictures as if they were burned, stolen or simply misplaced.
Then live on...

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There are times when we find ourselves standing once again at some crossroad. We do not know if we are lost, or will be lost.
Then we ask ourselves,
"What to do?"

Often, some find this boring, frustrating, depressing.

This could also be a time for hybernating...
regathering energy...
as we we teach ourselves to
kill time... (not ourselves).

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"Nurture the child within"
I first heard this years ago from Sr. Celine, O.S.B. who allowed me to borrow her elf books. It was from those little books where I learned more about the child in us that needs to be understood, cared for, and be healed. Some years later, while studying at CeFAM, I met Sr. Geraldine, a Singaporean sister who became my partner in one of our counselling classes. She helped me see and accept my childhood issues which I realized were hampering my development as a person. It was an arduous task as I tread on the longest journey within.
Today, while reading retold stories of Lise Lunge-Larsen on Trolls, I came across her 15 basic lessons which affirmed what I thought I already knew, but needs to be reminded lest I forget. Now, I am sharing this with you hoping that this may shed light to some dark path as you take your own journey within.

    • Remember who you are.
    • Be true to your own nature.
    • Follow your dreams.
    • Every action has consequences, so be attentive, be kind, and always do what is right.
    • Your life is a journey; nobody else can do that journey for you.
    • Your journey will unfold according to a pattern. The pattern is a guide.
    • Use your gifts.
    • Help will be offered when you most need it and least expect it.
    • Despite the odds, good will triumph over evil, love over hatred.
    • Don't ever give up.
    • Be careful in what you wish for.
    • Things are not always as they appear.
    • Everything you need can be found inside yourself; it is always there.
    • Miracles happen.
    • There is magic in the world.
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Paltik is not an extraordinary dog that does tricks. He's no showbiz. But what makes him standout is that he is our dog. He belongs to the family.
Society may see us as ordinary, even non-existent. But we are extraordinary to those who care about us. We matter.

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This dish was prepared for us by Fr. Epoy, a superb cook in all respects. It's pasta with prawns, mozarella cheese, olive oil and spices. Pasta is al dente. Just perfect!

If you are the kind who likes vegetables more than meat, try cooking pasta with squash. hmmm... Doesn't sound so tasty to some, especially to my siblings. LOL!

I served it one time during my birthday. I knew my brother who abhors veggies would be coming for lunch. Since a squadron would be eating for lunch that time, I cooked a kilogram of pasta - al dente, of course - added ground lean meat, lots of tomatoes, then onions, garlic, cheese and not-so-favorite veggie: squash. I added it for its nutritional value, and also to make the kids eat vegetables.

Believe it or not, they licked the plate clean! And my brother asked for a second serving. It was then when I told them what they had just eaten. My brother turned green. LOL!

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Okay, Eric, you are finally here. hahahaahha. Thanks for sharing your talents and for being patient with me and melyn. You are indeed one of a kind. Gabo, wherever you are, always remember that we keep you in our prayers.
Thank you all for giving me that "pat on the shoulder" when things seemed impossible to do or undo. Hmmmm... ok, let's pat each other's shoulder. :)
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hugging trees

There is something about hugging that heals the human spirit as it somehow gives you an affirmation that you are okay, that you are accepted as you are, that you are loved. Same goes with hugging a tree. It's like releasing your negative energies and taking in the positive energies that you need to live on. Now, what about the crawling insects and the itchy catterpillar that also thrive on trees? Well... they, too, have the right to live and hug your tree. :)
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coffee break

In the middle of all the discussions, finding other options, arguments and finally coming to a dead lock, somebody finally says, "I need coffee."

I am not a regular coffee drinker. In fact, I personally prefer milk and tea. But working with people who are coffee lovers who can't continue work without it somehow has made me change my opinion about coffee.

I can't exactly remember when I first tasted coffee. Who can anyway? But I remember drinking coffee for breakfast when I was in second grade. I was about 7 years old. It was an enticing aroma served together with the fried eggs, fried dried fish and the never missing rice on the breakfast table. I had a teacher who would sometimes ask us about what we had for breakfast. All my other classmates would say milk, rice, eggs, hotdog, luncheon meat.... etc. but never coffee. I remember feeling nervous when it was almost my turn to speak. I started to sweat at that time, thinking that I might give a wrong answer because noone had mentioned coffee yet. Then one classmate, I forgot who it was, mentioned that he had coffee for breakfast. My teacher was shocked. I remember her opening her mouth, and closing it again without saying anything. Then after some minutes of ackward silence, she told the class that it is not good for us to drink coffee at our age. That really made me feel like going under my desk. I felt like omitting coffee in my answer. In my mind, I started to practice what I'd say. Then I heard my classmate who was sitting in front of me starting to recite his answers. I started having strange sensations in my stomach. Yes, I can still vividly remember that morning session with my teacher for it left a strong impression on me. Finally, it was my turn. With cold, sweating hands, I blurted out my answer and said, "I had fried egg, fish, rice and..." I remember she patiently waited for the next word as she looked at me intently. Just then, my other classmates started to show their restlessness as a group started talking in hushed tones which sounded like buzzing bees to me. In what seemed like a split of a second, my teacher looked at the "buzzing bees" and without hesitation this time, I said very softly and very fast, "coffee." Phew! I believed she missed the last word for she finally acknowledged all of us for our answers. It was a relief for me and I kept my little secret until just a few years ago when my brothers, sisters and I related our elementary years to our young nephews and nieces who are not encouraged to drink coffee at their young age.
Of course they clammored that it's unfair. After some cajoling and clear-cut answers coming from my sisters in the medical field, they finally agreed not to touch coffee for now. Then somebody said, "Can I drink coffee when I'm 16?" It was our 5 year old tyke.
Now she has something to look forward to.


I spent a week's respite from the gruelling demands of school work in the highlands of Baguio.
This is the quaint chapel of the Benedictine monks, built on this holy ground where we stayed.

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