Good Morning! from a Night Owl

6am is my favorite time of day.
It is the perfect definition of  C O Z Y.

Sometimes 6am is just before I go to bed — after cramming work all night — and although it is a beautiful reward, I miss it. By then, all I can appreciate is finally getting to sleep.

Often, it’s serendipitous, glimpsed at only in foggy consciousness — when I try to wake up to my alarm clock, but sleep just drags me back to oblivion. And I cannot honor it the way it should be.

But sometimes, it’s days like this, when I’m fully awake, and grateful to have this peace.

6am is when the birds start chirping, and roosters crow in the distance. The sun peeks through the clouds and there’s just light, and nothing is bright. The air is cool. [This is the only time that the air is cool in the Philippines, where the two seasons are hot and hotter. (Except, of course, when there’s a typhoon. And that’s beside the point.) It is a welcome reprieve from the tossing and turning, finding the best position to get maximum wind from the fan.] So I gratefully pull my blanket and snuggle up within its warmth. This, for me, is the best way to sleep, with the cold chilling your bones and prickling your skin and yet heat seeps into your cocoon. Glorious!

As I celebrate this ungodly hour, I realize that all this post is about, is trying to motivate myself (cajole more like it) into waking up earlier, and being excited about it. But isn’t it so ironic, that the morning I love so much is still for sleeping? I’m sure people love it for holding a steaming mug of coffee between their hands too — but I just don’t buy it. So we’ll see — is it worth it: to give up precious sleep for this short window when morning is so wonderful?



MORE MOTIVATION: Mr Darcy at Dawn, from Pride and Prejudice [2005 Film]


Longing, such a Beautiful Word.


Image courtesy of alex_ugalek at


I miss you, Ma.
I thought I’d be okay —
Then I realize,
I may have never depended on you a lot,
But it was your presence
that gave me confidence
to do anything
and everything.

Without you, I am lost.
How I wish you were here.

And my father —
whose gentle strength
was the pillar of our dreams,
whose integrity and kindness
laid the best foundation to my person.

I love you both, so much.


Have a meaningful All Souls’ Day, everyone.

What I Thought I Knew

You never know what you have until it’s gone. So, naturally, I try not to take anything for granted. I knew that. I understood it. It’s an old tired saying. How can I not?

But I didn’t.

I am an advocate of living an eco-friendly lifestyle, of maximizing each resource before counting if off as waste, of reduce-reuse-and-recycle, of bringing your own bag, of choosing organic and responsibly-made/sourced products, etc. So I felt pretty good about myself. I felt like I deserved my spot on Earth, because I protected my spot. I wasn’t a nomad who exploited one spot, blamed it on the next guy then moved on to a greener pasture.

Last week, I took a vacation with a couple of friends. We visited Lake Sebu in South Cotabato, Philippines. It’s the area where the indigent T’boli people thrive. Sure, they have our modern conveniences — cemented roads, cellular networks, internet, and junk food, but they didn’t have a stable source of clean water. They were surrounded by waterfalls and lakes, and they had no access to clean water.

During our stay, I was extra mindful of my water consumption — mostly in taking a bath, washing my hands, and brushing my teeth. I didn’t think much would change, but I was surprised. Nothing I did was haphazard or thoughtless. I used exactly the right amount, and as it happens, I can still save a lot of water.

I felt a little hypocritical then — wanting to save the world and forgetting something so simple as my water consumption.

But perhaps, it really is just not possible to know the value of something. Perhaps, we will always have room for improvement. Perhaps, it is just a process, and there is no ending.

And actually, this experience has been a really good thing. Note to self, you don’t know everything. 😛

A Letter Too Late

Dear Mom and Dad,

It’s been years since I’ve last written you a letter. The last was probably a Valentine’s card, when I was 10? That would be more than 10 years ago now. Far too long. Far, far too long.

As my letters usually go, this will be soul-baring and embarrassing. For me at least; for you, this will be nothing short of enjoyable. (Wink.)

Please know that I love you, with all my heart. I know I have not said it often enough. So here, I try to really make it count when I do. I do, truly, love you.

We have had our differences, naturally. And still, I would be nothing if not for you. You are amazing parents. You may not have been by my side throughout. Mom, I know that you deeply regret that; but don’t. After all, you were busy working hard so you can give us the best life possible. It’s not just that though. You have been amazing role models, and you continue to be. I am proud of the person I have become and continue to grow into. And everything that I am, I have become because of you. Although I am far from perfect, but I think I make a pretty good human being. 

You have taught me to be independent and self-sufficient, to stand on my own two feet and work hard. You have taught me to be a person of integrity, to be kind and fair, and to always try to stand up for what is right and correct the wrong. You have made me strong and brave, so that I can rally through tough times. And I continue to try wrapping my head around the idea that I am capable of doing anything that I can dream of. You have to be patient with me on that one.

I hope that you are proud of me too. And if so, please be proud of yourselves too. I know that you seldom take credit and you never expect praise, but you have earned and you deserve all the credit, and much more. I will continue to earn praises for you as I try to equal the wonderful lives you’ve lived.

Sending all my love to Heaven,