Second Time Around

You know the feeling when you watch a movie the second time around? How that sense of familiarity sinks in and you suddenly realize, Ohhh, that’s what it was all about…? I feel like I am watching things the second time around.

Or the third. Or the fourth. Or the fifth. Or the nth.

One time you took me to Makati and we spent a good portion of the night looking for an open coffee shop. The rain was drizzling on our cheeks. We paused. I told you the story of that one time we ran through the rain, when you sent me off to the bus going back to my hometown. You didn’t really remember. We walked on and settled on the café across the street from your office building.

I almost got lost the next time I tried to go there. Then by the next return, it was like coming home. And now as I roam Ayala’s pavements, I feel like I am watching this movie the second time around.

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Ayala by late PM.

Oh, Hello

Perhaps you are wondering if this blog is still alive. It is. It has fallen asleep these past few months. But stick around and maybe you’ll see it coming back to life.

It will soon be eight months since my homecoming. Just eight months, but I already feel like I have been here since forever. Still, like cross talk, what was in Malaysia crisscrosses into what is in Metro Manila now.

We go through the tunnel near Ayala in EDSA and I feel like the Petronas Twin Towers will emerge anytime. I walk through Greenbelt 5 and I think I’m just lost in a new wing of IOI City Mall.

I have an ex-colleague from Malaysia working here. I’ve also been connected to a Filipina who has been attending Malaysia’s Midnight LG but has now come back home. I’ve started wearing my black office work dresses again.

I’m teaching now. I do distance education. In other words, I have a long distance relationship with my students and we do most of our interactions in cyberspace.

Adrian and I have, thankfully, graduated from that. As of blog writing time, I’m sitting with a view of the sun setting over HV Dela Costa Street, waiting for him to pick me up for our dinner date. I think back to our 1am once-a-week Skype dates. I don’t ever want to go back to that.

I’ve gained weight again. I think it’s because I eat so much when I’m with Adrian, when I’m with my friends, when I’m with my colleagues, when I’m with my family. It’s fine. I’ll go jogging tomorrow, or, like Elizabeth Gilbert said, I’ll just “buy bigger pants.”

I’ve been writing poetry sporadically. You’ll see some of them in this space here. But life here is more rushed, busier, I think. The week has flown by, I haven’t even realized it will already be Friday tomorrow.

I’ll do my best to keep this blog updated. Besides, it feels good to be back here writing again.

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That old school webcam selfie.

On Moving Forward

I’m laying my life down
again. Awakening from a season
of rest to come and heed
this call, disamplified like murmurs. In
truth it has never left my
heart.

I’ve learned to be stripped of crowns, I’ve learned to
be, but now it’s time to move
and do.

To come before the throne room, to
live a life of childlike, unashamed worship, to
sing songs that touch
the Father’s heart.

To call forth nations as
my inheritance, to
be an instrument in seeing
God’s glory cover the whole earth
just as water covers the sea.

To serve the people, to embrace
family, to have one heart with this
body.

No more molting, it’s time for soaring.

Kapal Terbang

Let me fly high. I will soar
across the stratosphere, my fingertips grabbing
tufts of clouds and dreams floating
in the oceanic sky.

I’ve been on this flight before.
Destination: an unknown future. Which I
must willingly embrace as I spin
and tumble through the air, wings
outstretched, hands
lifted in surrender, feet
poised to take on an unknown territory. An
unknown territory called
home.

Fear is a familiar form of
turbulence. Tossed in with anxiety,
plus sleeplessness, plus unnecessary
pressure. But a buzzing excitement
gets me through. This is an
opportunity to start anew. I shroud myself
with optimistic hope and
bump fear,
bump worry,
bump insomnia,
bump all the pressure aside.

I am coming home.

I will run, I will fly, this is not me
being anchored back to the shore. This is me
flying towards a brand new
chapter, a brand new
adventure.

In Transit

Aaaaand – it’s out! My first self-published e-book is out! It’s more like a project/experiment, but nonetheless, it is one step closer to the dream. The introduction reads:

I’ve always wanted to write a book. Unfortunately, all I had were scribbles of plots and ideas for anthologies. I did have a draft for a collection of short stories, but I didn’t think it was there yet.

Enter “21 Days of Poetry”, a project I took on so that I could reacquaint myself with words while releasing some pent up melancholia. Most of the poems from this collection came from there. And then I realized I had other poems which never saw the light of day. Not only that, I had a few flash fiction pushed behind some back drawers, too.

Thus this project. Would I already be able to call it a book? I know it is more like a mini-e-book. Whatever this is, I believe it is one step closer to the dream.

Most of the prose and poetry were written with transition in mind. In less than two months, I would be saying “goodbye” to my foster country, Malaysia, and saying “hello again” to my home country, the Philippines. Why? Mostly for love. I am a hopeless romantic, yes. That’s why a lot of these poems revolve around the themes of love and long distance relationships.

Enjoy the poems here. Avoid the temptation to rush through the way we often do with life.

Are you ready? The next train arrives five minutes from now.

You can download “In Transit” here: In Transit.

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21 Days of Poetry: Author’s Choice #3

And the challenge is done! It was fun – somewhat stress relieving – to think in terms of poetry for the past 21 days.

Well, here is choice #3. And if you liked this project, stay tuned for an announcement I’m very excited to make next week (eek).

Here goes –

Unwritten

The future is unwritten
Yet brimming
With adventure
— Unlimitted possibilities

I face it head on
Unafraid
Unfazed
Hopeful
Believing in that thing called
Destiny

I believe in the vision
I believe in God’s call for me.

21 Days of Poetry: Author’s Choice #2

Day 15 done. Six days to go. Here is choice #2:

Fall Into Place V2

So much legalities
Practicalities
I’d no sooner
Give up —
With all the car loans,
House rents,
Job tansitions —
Hold up!

Everything will fall into place
The way they did
Six years before.

This one deserves a special mention:

Still Breathing

Breathe in
Breathe out
Everything’s going to work out fine

Breathe in
Breathe out
Remember — just take it one step at a time

Breathe in
Breathe out
It’s okay — you’re almost there

Breathe in
Breath out
You’re good — you’re still breathing air

Well, I’m starting to fall in love with poetry. Maybe I can do more of these. <3