• Faith & Spirituality,  Musings

    “Congratulations!”

    That’s what the priest told me in the confessional when I went to confession recently. The past 6 months have been a struggle. I experienced spiritual fatigue, burn out, betrayal, doubt, persecution, hurt, loneliness. I also stepped down from my position in ministry to take care of my non-community priorities, and with it came speculation, rumors, gossip. Some people I thought were my friends weren’t friends, after all. I stopped talking to most people because I didn’t know whom I could trust. “Ano ba yan, Lord,” I sulked. “Ginagawa ko lang naman yung pinapagawa Mo sakin.”

  • Sketches and doodles

    To all the sketchbooks I’ve loved before

    I laid out my sketchbooks recently and was quite surprised to find I’ve gathered up quite a bunch already. I’ve always had sketchbooks even as a kid but I drew in them sporadically. I only started to fill up an entire sketchbook in 2010. I wasn’t an illustrator yet then; I was working as a fulltime graphic designer and drawing was merely a hobby– a mindless and inconsistent pastime for idle moments at work while I was waiting for client feedback on my design projects. In 2016/2017 when I already a professional illustrator, upon God’s leading, I let go of my illustration agent (more on that in a blog post…

  • Books,  Odds and Ends

    10 books I’ve read that have stayed with me

    Note: I’ve had this post (originally from a Facebook meme) saved in my blog drafts since 2015, and I’ve decided to publish it on my blog just now, four years later. Sayang kasi 😛 I love books. Before the Internet exploded and competed for my attention, I always had my nose in a book. My mother actually had me “banned” from my grade school library (she instructed the librarians not to let me borrow any books) because I would check out and bring books home to read instead of studying, and my grades in school suffered because of it. Indulge me as I share my list of 10 books that…

  • Faith & Spirituality

    In my Father’s house

      I drove up to the guard at the gate of the retreat house and asked permission if I could walk in and check out the place. I had just come from brunch at the cafe next door and since I was already there, I wondered if I would be able to wander in and explore the retreat house right next to it. The guard radioed his higher-ups asking for approval, then maybe because I was just a lone, curious tourist, gave me the go-signal.

  • Philippines,  Travel,  Travel journal

    Two weeks in Bohol

    Last May I went to Bohol for some R&R (they call it self-care these days, I guess). It was a much-needed two-week break from being “over-peopled” and it was also a chance to get some art/work done in a new environment. It wasn’t my first time in Bohol. I was there last year for my friend’s wedding and I found Panglao island just beautiful: I decided to go back to Bohol when I was choosing where to go for vacation. I chose Bohol because it had the right combination of elements I was looking for in a working vacation: it should be a place I’ve been to before so I can…

  • Faith & Spirituality

    Silent retreat, 2018

    “God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.” I asked God for His leading on my venue for my silent retreat. I wanted a place in nature, full of trees. The leading was this certain Augustinian retreat house in Tagaytay. I googled it, didn’t like it (not enough trees), so I chose another retreat place instead. We have free will to choose, I reasoned. But friends pointed out— you asked God and God already gave you His choice. Are you still going to go with something else? So I begrudgingly booked the Augustinian retreat house even though it was not MY choice. But I choose to go with whatever God…

  • Faith & Spirituality

    This song played in the car today

    It must’ve been 2008 or 2009 when I googled the lyrics of I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab (one of my favorite bands). One of the links I saw was a blog post about how the blogger imagines its lyrics as God speaking to him, resistant and stubborn to God’s reality in his life, particularly these lines: “How I wish you could see the potential The potential of you and me It’s like a book elegantly bound But in a language that you can’t read just yet” Ironically, the song is about a stalker-ish, one-sided, obsessive love, but if you SWITCH your mindset and listen to the song…

  • Faith & Spirituality

    Thoughts from watching The Lion King

    When you’re aware of the nature of God, His attributes, His Word (the Bible)… you have a better perception of Him in all things. And when you’re aware, you will see God’s fingerprints in the world— even in secular things like The Lion King.   Simba knew his father was dead but was told he was still alive. As Simba looked at his own reflection in a pool of water in search of his father, a giant vision of his father’s lion face appeared behind him. Rafiki was singing the song He Lives In You: There’s no mountain too great Hear these words and have faith… He lives in you…