what’s in a name?

japanese name

The calligraphy is authentic and was made by a friend who was also a volunteer at the clinic in Thailand.

In Japanese, my name means “True Blessing”. Gee whiz, no pressure there. Just because my name means I have to be good doesn’t mean I have to deprive myself right? Then again, maybe there’s a reason why we were given our names. I observed how some people live up to their names, literally. If it’s not true, then where do you think nicknames originated? What do you think?


Maybe this is because I keep moving. Or maybe this is why I have to keep moving.

I seem to have this knack of distancing myself from people every so often, and i don’t know anymore if it’s healthy or not and whether it’s a personality trait or if it’s a self-inflicted expression of shame or guilt.

I don’t know what or where home is anymore.

whatever wherever whenever whoever

so much
of us are broken into bits
a tragedy waiting to unfold
and yet
undeniable bliss when alone

i’ll be
whatever wherever whenever whoever
you need
together apart brightness or the dark
whatever wherever whenever whoever
you need

so much
deny neglect ignore the itch
a miracle waiting to unfold
and yet
unforgiving sadness when alone



“If we are to be free, we must make each person we meet our ultimate object of reverence.”

-Burmese Buddhist proverb


The photo was taken one early morning while I was waiting for my breakfast to be served. The monks were going through their usual morning rounds, collecting alms from willing believers and this man was one of the workers in the place I was having breakfast. I observed and witnessed how he stopped in his tracks to offer rice to this monk, and then he knelt down, head bowed as the monk began to pray.

The Burmese quote on the other hand was something I read in a book I borrowed from the DPNS students.

I remember there was a time when I wanted to make interviews with Buddhists, Muslims and Christians here in Mae Sot in light of what happened to the monk and the massacred Muslims in Myanmar. In the interviews, I would ask them two questions:

1) Is religion worth the bloodshed?
2) Is religion making us better people?

But then I didn’t push through because I would have to learn Burmese or find someone willing to translate and that would mean that I wouldn’t be working alone. And then there would be the challenge of finding people to interview. And I guess I already half-heartedly conceded that my interests in film and advocacy would just remain as food for my imagination, and never really something I would actually act upon on and share with the world.

Oh well. So much for ambition and creativity.

Hi Papa

I usually celebrate in isolated silence.

I bet you would have enjoyed getting lost on the road with me and you would have delighted at my determination/stubborn will to roam the streets in a strange new place with only my bicycle as my constant companion. I ate at a buffet for lunch and had tea afterwards and I imagined you were there to keep me company.

I can’t help but wonder how our conversations would be like if you were still around. I have a feeling it’s you that I look for in the spaces between sleep and reality, adventures and learning, longing and faith–always in faith and love.

Happy 68th. 🙂

Love always,


Are enhanced viruses the next human wonder pill?

Earlier I received a videolink from Upworthy and it caught my eye mainly because it involved the Medical field. So, I played the video and I ended up crying. See video here.


The problem with people seeing Hope is that it drives the helpless hungry, sometimes in extremes, to the point of violence and or lunacy; Hope is that moment when someone suddenly decides to give away a sack of rice to every household daily for no particular reason or cost. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s always that off chance of abuse from both parties. Plus, those who have grown to live meagerly can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness because yes, rice arrived, but it arrived too late–well, too late for some family members that is.

It’s actually good news for humans to use their knowledge and technology on disease and genetics for finding a cure or ways of relieving misery, but after seeing this particular video, I can’t help but agree that yes, ignorance indeed is bliss.

Time passes but we cannot forget. No matter how much we justify how we’re so much better and that we can move on with our lives without the presence of the people who are gone, the memories still haunt our present, and regrets will still cling to our future.

His smile lingers and his absence has never been so loud. I miss you, dear father, and I wish you were here now.

So I guess this will serve as a post-Father’s day greeting of sorts? Or maybe not. He’s very much alive, and I don’t really need a certain day to remember how great and gentle my Papa was, IS. The best I can do is to live out my life in a way that I am true to myself and yet still able to watch over my family and the rest of the people I care about.

Too bad the HIV discovery came only 8 years after.

I still get emotional over things like loss, I can’t help it, I was designed to compete for survival, to develop myself and yet it all feels useless because after all the efforts, I still lost someone over disease and/or bad habits, and I can’t do anything about it no matter what.  I know it’s not my fault, but isn’t there something else we can we do aside from accepting the fact that death is a natural part of life?

Maybe I’ll never get rid of this habit or maybe I will someday. For now, it seems like writing it down is my only outlet, and I’m better off with this than bawling over the past and the future and how unfair everything seems to be (I’m joking, I’m usually quiet when I cry and I try not to complain and think about me most of the time).

So this is it. Thanks for hearing me out.


a letter to my ex (employer)

it’s been a while since i last thought of you, i think it’s partly because you bring up so much sad memories and partly because i don’t see the point of conjuring up everything that’s been said and done.

just like how post-traumatic patients stop doing whatever caused their trauma, i ended my habit of putting into words my thoughts and ignored my longing to paint every bit of emotion that had anything to do with you.

but now that i think about it, i may have been too hard on myself; maybe it was unfair of me to actually deprive myself any source of self expression, of the power to speak up.

so i thought i’d talk a bit.

ours was a love affair that started with so much promise and ardour. in the aftermath, you and i worked hand in hand to exhume what was left of the storm. we fixed what could be repaired and we sewed together the scars of the world we once knew.

in the middle of our love story though, something broke along the way that i found myself regretting my decision in choosing you at times. we underwent profound changes and little changes, but still we carried on. in the end though, i felt that a year with you was enough for me. you had brought me to different places, allowed me to meet different people and transformed me in ways i never thought was possible. but you also taught me to reset my priorities and neglect some essential parts of my life like my family, and to question acts of kindness as well as our fidelity to our principles.

maybe you won’t feel it now–the loss– if ever i did mean any value to you, but i believe i did what i could on my end and God knows how much i poured most of me into you. sadly, that only left me feeling like i’d been cheated on, like you were an unhealthy beverage drink that i couldn’t resist consuming on a regular basis, but that you were actually devouring my guts inside little by little.

eventually, i decided to let you go, for me to move along with my other dreams.

but for what it’s worth, i do miss you somehow. sometimes, i crave for you like how the seashore aches for the moon to carry the waves.

i learned a lot from you but i half wished i didn’t waste so much of my time trying to fit myself in your standards because the truth is, you needed me more than i needed you. i realized that too late into the commitment.

still, we had some good times to look back too, right? it was with you when i started to organize adventure trips with other people and began to use sports as an outlet and avenue for the team to get to know each other better.

over all though, i half wished we never happened. as much as i want to help, i found too late that there were other alternative channels for my passion to serve, other than committing myself to you. and yet, i’m well aware that i have grown in your care, and for that i’ll always be thankful.

my dear, please do get better, and maybe in the future, you’ll win me back again as your loyal and devoted partner. until then, see you when i see you, and goodluck with your political shenanigans.