Sunday, June 19, 2016


Maiibsan ang kalungkutan,
Kumapit ka lamang.
Darating din siya,
Walang aasa kundi kusa.

Sinambit niya ito,
Ako'y um-oo,
Ngunit aking napagtanto,
Bakit hindi na lang ulit tayo?
Dahil tapos na,
Ang ating kabanata.
Panahon na para,
Isarado ang pahina.
Tumingin ako sa malayo,
Pumiki't huminga.
Tama ka, tama ka.
Kailangang sumaya.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Clasped Hands

*Wednesday night

I looked at the HR personnel and looked back at the pieces of paper in front of me...

"This was not what I was expecting," I told him bluntly.

"Yes, yes Mr. G. I know that," He replied, sympathetically.

"Give me a moment while I think about it." I picked up my bag and left the interview room.

I took a deep breath and sat on one of the chairs for applicants.

I looked at the job offer again.

It's not quite what I had in mind.

But I needed a job. And I needed it fast: bills are piling up, my house won't construct by itself, and the variable insurance nor stocks won't pay for itself either.

Closing my eyes for a moment I envisioned myself if I stayed in Cebu and asked these questions:

Would I be happy with my work?
Would I be happy with the people at work?

No. No I won't be...That's one thing I am sure of.

So I shall start a different beginning, or perhaps, a continuation of what I have started.

And from there we'll see how life goes.

Leaving my work in Cebu was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have learned what type of boss I will not be next time.

I have learned what type of employee I will not be on my next venture.

And I have learned what type of leader I will be once I get into Operations again.

Finally, I looked at the offer once more...

I faintly smiled and said to myself, "It's still a blessing. No matter how I look at it, it's still a blessing."

"Nobody's ever who they were. We just have to watch and listen. Meet him there." - Daniel, The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

Friday, April 29, 2016


I exhaled a huge amount of air as I rolled and packed my clothes inside my luggage bag.
"I'll surely miss Cebu," I said to myself.
Zipping the bag, I sighed once again.
I went up from my room to breathe some fresh air and check the sunlight. The ambiance and atmosphere is a far, far cry from Manila.
I went down again to check what I might have missed. Nothing, I guess.
My Tito finally came a few hours later to pick up my stuff.
"There's no turning back for you, Paolo."
It was my conscience making me bite reality.
"Yes, yes I know that," I replied.
It was sad saying goodbye to such a beautiful city. It was also my first time being completely independent. It was a wonderful feeling: you get to know yourself more, you get to do what you want to do more, and you get to be responsible for your actions more.
*A few days later
As I climbed onto the plane heading back to Manila I remembered the time I was going to Cebu.
I was worried and excited at the same time! Away from family and friends, heck, I don't even have any relatives there nor do I speak Bisaya and eat lechon. But it was a gamble I was willing to risk...
"Three months. Three fucking, stressful, toxic, educating, adapting, worrying, convoluting, happy months."
I looked at the sun again one last time before the plane ascended.
"But everything's gonna be okay," I told myself. "Everything will be okay."
As the plane finally lifted off I smiled down and looked beyond the place I shortly called home.

"But these are crazy times. I sometimes believe these must be the craziest times ever." - Maggie, Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hanggang Saan?

Tumingala, minasdan ang mga ulap.
Sana'y maabot sila, munting pangarap.
Tinignan ka, sinambit kaya mong mahawak.

Tumingala, sinubukang abutin.
Hindi, hindi talaga kayang kunin.
Tinignan kang muli, wala, ulap ka pala din.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

30,000 Feet Above Ground

Processed soy with caramelized brown sugar
So last 26th of March marked my two months here.

Can you imagine?

I've been living and residing here for 60 days already.

But it's time for me to say goodbye to this beautiful place.

The places are beautiful. The people are beautiful. Everything is beautiful here.

But anxiety got the best of me - with adjustment taking longer than expected and workload eating pretty much my time.

Yeah I'm a quitter. No saving grace here.

So I'm going back to ridiculously congested and clogged Manila with the hopes of doing something better - a work with a purpose or perhaps finally open a vegan shop.

This is far from the end of my journey here. I will always cherish the memories I have gained here as well as the people I have encountered and bonded here.

This place will always be special.

For a Manila boy, that is.

Part 3