Choose life

The last post I had was an emotional one. I was feeling that way for a long time that I just want to let it out. I haven’t told anyone yet about my struggles this year. Knowing me well, I start to be in touch with those kinds of emotions when I am alone. At least I have the time to feel sorrow when I could have just feel numb by binge-watching on a television series.

As I have written before, this semester is a busy one. I’m just lucky that this Thursday morning, I have no classes to teach I might as well spend it in writing this post. Once I’m done with this, I’ll be back checking papers to clear out pending tasks. At least I have the time to even focus on checking them though I rush a bit at times.

I read somewhere that we experience certain kinds of “deaths” in life. There’s something in me that’s needs dying so probably that’s what I am experiencing right now. I am blessed to even take a pause in between the busyness. At least I have the time to experience different “deaths”.

I wanted to finish reading a book. I started reading The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien and Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser but I can’t get past Chapter 2. But at least I have time to write about wanting to finish reading them.

I bought those books when I travelled to Marikina twice last June and July. I have a home visit last June 20 to 25 and co-facilitated in the Coaching Module of MAPAC last July 8 to 15. It is good to just spend a while with your family; and, it is good to meet new people who shows passion for sports and education. I am blessed to have the time for family visit and co-facilitate in developing coaching skills every year.

Maybe, when I look back, I will just laugh at myself for acting the way I am reacting now. Like the song of Urbandub’s Soul Searching says, choose life. As for me, I choose to spend time thanking God for all the blessings I received despite the hardships.

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How to read Catholic books in three months?

I bought all these books (no, most of them) in a span of 10 months and I haven’t even finished one of them.

You’ll notice that all of them (except the two text books on the bottom) are Catholic books.

None of them are novels; some are collection of essays, reference materials, or devotional books. I cannot just read them on one or two sittings. I want to finish reading them all before the end of March. 

I don’t know if I can achieve my goal. But I’ll update and see if I can even write reviews of each of them. So please pray for me and I implore too the intercession of our Doctor Saints, especially St. Thomas Aquinas. 

Let’s do this!

How to survive the attempt in drawing a portrait?

Need to release this reflections before the internet slows down.

Last week here in MAPAC, I have two choices of modules to attend: ecology or artwork. I chose the latter. For the record, the last time I pushed a pencil and a paintbrush was when I was ten years old.

This week, I have an erratic schedule because of my part-time teaching load, spiritual direction to Ateneo (more on that next post), and this art module. Anyway, I’m not a teenager anymore having problems with managing time so I just let it flow. While I’m doing the art module, I can’t help but to recall the book I read which I just read halfway since I don’t like it (and I gave it away as a gift to the girl I courted before. Hehe!). In that book, I saw two portraits: before and after. The author was no artist but she tried to attend a sketching class in her free time (Maybe it’s because of her Happiness Project). Now I realized that I did like that part of the book: the before and after sketching. Before, decades ago, I was a kid who draws a lot. Until now, I still draw but they still look childish (in a nice way perhaps). In our artwork, we did not just draw but painted and colored as well and I’ll just focus on the drawing part though I enjoyed the coloring and painting part. Going back to the before and after part, I might borrow the idea and practice sketching again in my free time. Gonna buy some lumograph and sketchpad and off I go.

So to answer my question, to survive attempt in drawing a portrait means just drawing. Do not complain you are not a good artist. Every chess grandmaster started out as noobs. Or the other way around will do: complain also. Be angry with your attempt and complain you are not an artist so you will fuel your desire to be better and practice more. Or to paraphrase the hooky song from Walk the Moon, just shut up and draw. Desire and practice and you will succeed in your own way.

Things worth looking forward to

Finally, a fast internet connection. I was in a hiatus just because of the slow connection in the past months. Allow me to free-write.

Last January, I purchased a Kobo tablet (an outdated model) and downloaded WordPress app and it didn’t help; I can’t even use the app. I’ve been itching for a long time already to post something here in WP and the circumstances just doesn’t help me. Another factor is that I am using a computer room with 20 plus units, all desktops. We don’t have a WiFi connection in the fraternity (our house) and I need to use the desktop just to be online. It’s even more convenient to do this than to get my tablet and go to a WiFi zone. I heard something about the Free Internet project in the Philippines this coming July and I don’t know how this will roll out. Just one of the few good news in the country since what’s happening here in the news is quite depressing. It is an issue close to my heart and not just a random rambling of a typical Manilenyo who doesn’t even know (and care) about Mindanao and its history.


I read a lot now because of Kobo. Reading is different. I miss blogging.

I’m not yet back since I’m preparing for the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) which is quite unique here in the Philippines since we have an oversupply of aspiring teachers. When I was young, I never dreamed of becoming a teacher. Just to be clear. Even if I did not aspire to actually become one, I must. I think I’m starting to like it now. I haven’t got the experience yet not even a full-time practice teaching stint in the school. I’m becoming stressed a lot now because of the LET review. Actually, it’s not a review but a study since it’s not my major in college and I just took 18 units in Education just to qualify in the PRC requirements. But let’s see how will I fare in the exam. Until next time. Cheers!

Do it for love: an anecdote

Yesterday, I was asked to write a vignette on my memories as a Marist student for the 50th anniversary of Marist School, Marikina. I sent this anecdote hoping to be part of the future coffee table book. It doesn’t matter to me if they reject this. This is an expression of my love towards the “little ones”. Here it is:


One of my most memorable moments was when I received a CSEP award in my senior year. To be honest, I was not even expecting it. As a teen who almost gave up studying, I wondered what reason was it behind the inclusion of my name among the awardees.

It was 2005 when we taught Math in a Grade 5 class of Kapitan Moy Marikina Heights Elementary School. At first, I went there because we were told to. But after borrowing a book from my classmate, my perspective on teaching changed. Reading Improve Your Grades by Veltisezar Bautista inspired me. As a result, I helped me reflect and feel compassion towards the little ones.

One afternoon, dissatisfied with our manner of teaching, I took over, animated the class, and spoke as if I’m just discussing with my barkada. I was stirred by that moment.

I believe I was given the award not because I was a good speaker nor I was knowledgeable of the subject but because one afternoon, I taught with passion.

To paraphrase Mother Theresa of Calcutta, teach math not because you were told to; teach it because you love the students who will learn it.


How I found a rare and old book

I just finished reading The Seven Storey Mountain. Definitely, I will reread it again next time. So I need to find another to read. Luckily, I stumbled upon a book that I was looking for a long time already. This is how it happened:

I remember in our retreat last March before our first profession of vows, our novice director gave us an excerpt of a book. We were on a one-week retreat in the Trappistine Monastery in South Cotabato. The excerpt was the first exercise of the book Sadhana, which means spirituality. After reading this, I decided to look after this book and get a copy. It’s not easy since it cannot be found in our bookstores here in the country.

Last Friday, our community decided to clean our library since no one is maintaining it due to the lack of a librarian. We re-shelved the books left by some of our brothers who graduated last October. Because of the re-shelving, I got more familiar where to look the books I might be interested reading on the future. But I did not think of Sadhana.

Last Tuesday before our classes starts, I tried to look for a copy of General Directory for Catechesis (GDC). I saw some copies of it during our re-shelving. Before I went up to the library, our Dean of Studies saw me and called my name. I was running that time. I know it was rude but I said “wait” since our classes are about to start and I need to see a book. So I hurriedly looked for the book. During the search, I ended up seeing the book Sadhana by Anthony de Mello. I grabbed it and decided not to pick the GDC. So I have the book I was looking for a long time as I went back to the Dean.

And that’s how I found a rare old book.

We’re heading to Baguio

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In my last post, I mentioned about my heart’s palpitations.
I think I just need some rest.
So this coming Friday, we’re heading north to the high altitude place of Baguio!

Hope that I’ll find some good night sleep for a few nights.
This vacation will relieve me of responsibilities like locking the community’s computer room every 10:30 p.m. Continue reading