For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 Date: 31 Dec 2017 Time: 10:18pm Place: Costa Coffee, Eastwood There’s something fascinating about the energy of New Year’s Eve (NYE). Some families spend the entire day of the last day of the year preparing for Media Noche. Some pack their bags for a staycation, while some hit the road by dawn for an out-of-town getaway….Continue Reading “New Year’s Eve”

Travel and tell no one, live a true love story and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things. — Khalil Gibran We are drawn towards things that are beautiful, nice and happy — best exemplified when we start clicking the like and love buttons in today’s social media-driven society. But have you ever thought how we are slowly transforming our lives into something that’s fake, pretentious and empty? I like your travel photos and the way you’re slowly filling up your passport with stamps from…Continue Reading “What Lies Beneath”

“Tear off the mask. Your face is glorious.” – Rumi I was seated comfortably on the couch on a Wednesday afternoon in my counsellor’s office, facing Nina, my counsellor. Thanks to my employer’s generous Employee Assistance Program (EAP), I am able to avail of 5 counselling sessions for free, which were normally priced at A$230+ per hour. I’ve gone deep into my “dip” episode again and decided to seek professional assistance this time. Nina: How are you feeling right now? Me: I’m exhausted.¬† I was…Continue Reading “Time Traveler”

2008, Starbucks Gateway, smoking area. 2 friends starting to get to know each other while sipping their own frappucino drinks on 1 weekday afternoon. I’m trying to recall if I skipped class that day to spend time with him, or I did finish my classes that day. All I could remember was I was enjoying every minute of time talking to him. I was tired of getting in and out of shallow relationships for 2 years, so I cut to the chase of telling him…Continue Reading “On Your Birthday, My Love”

Hi Jarl, In a few hours, I’ll be saying goodbye to another decade of my life and will be bidding hello to a brand new chapter of life. Birthdays are always special episodes of remembering the year that was and feeling the excitement of what’s yet to unfold. But this year’s extraordinary because I’m inclined to remember the ‘decade’ that was and couldn’t help but feel immense gratitude for having reached this far in life. It’s not so much the length of time adding up…Continue Reading “To My 20 Year Old Self”

“I know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart; you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful.” – William C. Hannan Tomorrow marks the end of a financial year here in Australia. Tomorrow marks the end of June, signalling the start of the second half of the year. For Interactors, Rotaractors and Rotarians, tomorrow also marks the end of a Rotary year. This year should’ve been extra special because I would’ve officially ended my Rotaract journey as I…Continue Reading “Grace in Defeat”

Why Darwin? At the back of my mind, I ask… why not Darwin? I’ve been answering this question for almost 6 months to people now, to the point that I’m close to doing a pre-recorded response. But thanks to the very same people asking us, for I’ve somehow given time to reflect on this big decision for quite some time now. We could’ve moved to another state that’s more urban, say Melbourne, Queensland, Perth, Canberra or Adelaide.. but I guess it’s the remoteness of the…Continue Reading “Why Darwin?”

Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me. – Mt 26:21 Today, we remember Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and how the people enthusiastically welcomed him with palm leaves as he entered. Who would have thought that the same people who welcomed him could or might have been the very same people who persecuted him and chose Barabbas over him, eventually leading him to his suffering and death on the cross. Jesus didn’t even have to go that far in terms of betrayal….Continue Reading “Palm Sunday: The Betrayal”

Today marks the holiest week in Christianity, showing us the greatest manifestation of love in the world. I grew up and have been exposed to professing my faith the most concrete way, the likes of which included hearing Mass every Sunday (there was a point in my life I even went to Mass daily) and getting myself involved with parish activities — as lector and commentator, as an audio-visual operator (props to Fr. Omer Prieto for introducing us to the wonders of great music and…Continue Reading “Sunday Reflection: Without the Trappings”

Since Karlo and I arrived in Australia in 2014, we made it a point for us to go to church every Sunday and hear Mass. More than fulfilling our Catholic duty to do so, going to Mass served as our weekly source of spiritual nourishment in our relationship. It has become our Sunday routine to go to church and head to a cafe for brunch. Our conversation over coffee and bacon & egg rolls¬†would revolve on the priest’s Homily. At times when the priest’s message…Continue Reading “Sunday Reflection: I’m On My Way”