Wednesday, September 27, 2017

God's Surprises

One day you wake up and your arid days are over. 
You smile at the sun, you eat well, and you bounce when you walk.
You're all too happy that you can't find words for it or for anything.
It feels like life's wheel just turned, and you're on top.
And there, in that transition, you realize what can really make you happy.

You get to know that you're not the type who gets ecstatic with promotion or any career success,
that you're not proud of being known by quite a multitude of people,
that compliments no longer get into your head.

There, you get to see what's empty and what's not.
You define what it really means to be on top.
You rename dreams, find new goals, and envision a new life.

Things suddenly become surprising as if spotting a huge shell on the shore,
or suddenly feeling cool with the May air,
or taking hold of a book you thought you wouldn't find in the Philippines' bookstore.

And what's more surprising is, whatever made that has always been within your grasp.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I don't know if you're fond of dogs. 

I am.

I pray for every street dog I see, especially when it's crossing the street.
"Lord, take care of that dog. Oh please, protect it from getting hit by a vehicle."
My eyes then follow the dog until it safely gets on to the other side of the road. I do that, as if staring helps.

My heart breaks for them, you see. I believe that dogs are good by nature. It's how they are created - loyal, loving and even sweet, sometimes. And I think they are adorable no matter how messy they look. They do not deserve the dirt and cruelty of the street.

But they're homeless.

And I hate that somebody deprived them of the warmth of home, of a family. 

One midday, I was looking out from the jeepney I was riding. I saw a street dog, and said a prayer for it like I always did. The jeep continued to run as it should, but as it did, I saw a street child. My eyes fell on the muck in his cheek, the tattered clothes, bare legs and tanned, dirty skin. I reckoned, he was about three or four years old.

I don't know if you're fond of children.

I am.

But I don't always pray for every street child I see in the street.

You see, I am a preschool teacher. I teach kids how to read and write. I love it when we fall during ring-around-the-rosie. I greet them with a hug, assist them when they change clothes after gym, and fix the girls' hair when tousled. Children are pure, good and happy by nature.

I don't know why it's always blame that comes to my mind first.
"This happened to him because his parents are lazy and indifferent!"
But I realized, it doesn't change the fact that this street child is not one of the kids I teach in school, that he's not learning how to read and write, and that he doesn't play ring-around-the-rosie safely. 

I don't know how many hugs he receives each day, or if somebody assists him nicely when changing clothes, or when somebody even bothers to comb his hair.

I thought, this street child does not deserve the dank, angry road.

But look.

He's homeless.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Forgotten Present

I am sorry, Present.
You're a gift I've been taking for granted.
I keep thinking about Past and Future,
When all I ever have for you.
So at this moment, allow me to remember
Who you are.

You are sacred
For you are the space in time where God and I meet,
Where God's words are spoken the loudest,
Where His presence is the warmest,
And where God is just being Himself.

You are the reality
For you're the world where there is real breeze,
Real heat and real coldness,
Real sunrise and real sunset,
Real skin and real breath.

You are beautiful.
You are the detail I always miss,
The splendor of heaven 
Revealed in tiny things.
You are both God and man's triumph.

You are mine.
Past has already died.
Future has never been born.
But you, Present,
You live.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ghosts in My Closet

I opened my oldest, dustiest closet.
And liberated myself.
I pulled it open and ghosts flew out of the door.
I realized, I had a collection of rotten things.
Old colorful arts and crafts.
Heaps of old and long letters.
Tattered notebooks messed up to the last page.
And lots of photos.
Everything looked well-preserved,
but smelled of rat's pee.
I grabbed all those that came from him,
and reluctantly remembered.
I ripped every memory - 
teared every word,
every face, every drawing,
 until it felt good.
I then pushed the pieces 
down the plastic bag with my foot,
pushed them until it almost burst,
then tied it with a rope twice.
It's ready for the garbage truck.
No more ghosts.
No more rotten things.
No more traces of him.
And there's now space
for something new
and way better.