Post a Week: Art

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ART.


Photo taken at Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace (visit my other blog!)




Heto ako ngayon
Naghihintay ng tinig
Mula sa Iyo, Panginoon
Buksan Mo ang aking pandinig

Nais kong malaman ang nasa puso Mo
Nais kong makita ang plinaplano Mo
Nais kong maging instrumento na siyang mangyari ‘to
Panginoon, heto na ang buhay ko

Heto ako ngayon
Alay ang aking mga mithiin
Buhayin Mo ang bawat awitin
Gawin Mong ang sa Iyo’y akin

Nais kong malaman ang nasa puso Mo
Nais kong makita ang plinaplano Mo
Nais kong maging instrumento na siyang mangyari ‘to
Panginoon, heto na ang buhay ko

Ang bawat pangarap na alay sa Iyo
Ay magpapakita ng kadakilaan Mo

Nais kong malaman ang nasa puso Mo
Nais kong makita ang plinaplano Mo
Nais kong maging instrumento na siyang mangyari ‘to
Panginoon, heto na ang buhay ko

Post a Week: Nanay

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us KINDNESS.

I met Nanay at the airport. Her daughter noticed I was traveling alone. I must have had my super friendly demeanor switched on because she approached me, then startled me with her introduction and proposition: It was her mother’s first time to fly on her own — did I mind taking the little old lady under my wing during that flight?

“She can’t speak English,” she pleaded.

“Uhhh… Okay,” was my sheepish and rather hesitant reply.

Daughter sent us off past the check in counters. I stood by Nanay as the Immigration Officer put exit stamps on our maroon booklets. I led her to the luggage x-ray machine and translated because the guards spoke to her in Bahasa Melayu.

Kailangan niyo po raw inumin yung tubig niyo, bawal siya idala sa eroplano.” (He said you have to finish off your drink, outside water isn’t allowed inside the aircraft.)

We kept each other company while we waited for our delayed flight home. I showed her the way to our plane and even filled the immigration card in for her.

When we landed, she said her son should be there to fetch her.

May phone po ba siya?” (Does he have a phone? )

Wala, Internet lang ang gamit niya.” (He doesn’t, he only uses the Internet.)

After circling through the arrival area, we concluded that her son for some reason failed to show up. Thankfully, Adrian was there to fetch me. And since he had a phone, a sim, and some credit, we were able to contact some of Nanay’s relatives.

I’m going to kill you guys, you forgot about me and didn’t send anyone to fetch me,” she said sweetly into the phone in her local dialect Waray.

Nay, magtaxi nalang po tayo, sabay nalang tayo tapos baba kami sa Ortigas.” (Why don’t we take a taxi together and we’ll just hop off at Ortigas.)

Sige, ganun nalang. Pasensiya tala anak, salamat talaga.” (Ok, that’s what we’ll do then. I’m really sorry, child. Thank you.)

Wala pong anuman. Wala pong anuman.” (Not a problem. Not a problem.)


Filling the Pages In

Midnight. I hold a key in my hand. My fingers tremble, my breath comes in staggered gasps, but I will myself to calm down.

This is it. This is the moment. This is the night I will unlock that box and dare to take a look at the book hidden inside. This is the night I will finally get to know what is written in those pages, what secrets and stories are scribbled and scrawled concerning these two lives that were somehow caused to collide.

I feel an arm on my shoulder. He is here. He smiles warmly. I smile back.

We make our way towards the chest. In silence, we stand. In silence, I put the key I had been fumbling with into hands which are stronger, surer, and more secure.

True, it was he who gave me that key. But though I’ve been already keeping it for a month, I wanted him to be with me in the grand unlocking of the greatest love story. He had already given me the right to do the key turning, but I wanted the person to do it to be him — not me.

And so after 3 years of watching and praying, after 18 months of courting and waiting, after 1 month of Lala Land bliss —

After anticipating God’s perfect timing — finally.

Finally, I see what is scribbled in the silver-lined pages.

And finally, I see the abundant spaces where more stories are waiting, waiting to be written in.

You should also read:

I Want to Shake Things Up

drop of center
A photo taken from an activity at a drop off centre late 2011.

I miss this.

I miss asking kids to draw out their dreams. I miss singing nursery rhymes in awkward Tagalog and in even more awkward Bahasa Melayu. I miss seeing how few small acts of kindness can make big, big differences children’s lives.

I  miss talking to little ones without any other agenda than to show them love and be loved in return.

I have to do something to shake things up.