Looking at the stars

The moon and a star. Aligned.
The moon and a star. Aligned.

The stars are immutable, unmoving, moored in their final resting place.

But they are alive, lit from within, holding a million other mysteries.

I have touched the surface of the moon tethered to a looking glass.

Its valleys and fault lines are real, its pockmark scarring its perfect sphere.

I looked at its dark side and saw nothing; but I sense that something is there.

Something veiled, and something I am not meant to see.

Because we are all initiates; those who ‘need not know’.

And yet they call to us. Oddly, then more than now.

When lights were faded and dreams were conceived during star-lit nights. When man did nothing but to contemplate his nothingness in the face of an enormous void.

Now we distract ourselves with our pursuits and our baubles of dreams.

Dreams that visit us. Dreams that forget us.

Until we tire of our toil and are called to rest.

Until the next day comes and we are forgiven.

And the ambrosia touches our lips, and life claims us as its captive once again.

But the moon and the stars stand transfixed, unseen.

Weaving their powerful magic.

With their alliterations, alterations, reminiscences, remembrances.

Beckoning to us – look back, look deeply.

Look.

 

 

 

Where is Conrado de Quiros?

Remembering.

Remembering.

Conrado de Quiros. Lost to the world but not forgotten. His was a mystery I wanted to solve.

De Quiros fell into a coma and has not woken up. No one knows if he will speak again in his voice, or if he will even remember or comprehend the visions he has painted with words, or love with passion – still – the country he has shaped with his pen.

He has, after all, put a president into power (which resulted in impotent uprisings against the writer).

I started to write because of him. With (and in) his writings, I found my voice – the first feigned interest (an opinion writer can write with an evocative, almost lyrical quality? really?), then the piqued longing to put thoughts into paper, test a storyline, hear it ring true. Like his. Although we were distant and unaligned, his writings always comforted me like an old friend. I – in my then-14-or-something years –somehow understood.

He inspired me without meaning to (or maybe meaning to). I found in his writing that putting words to paper could be solace, satisfaction, death, deliverance. That thoughts could brim until they overflow, speak a truth, be uncut, uncouth, yet strangely liberate.

I do not want him to be forgotten.

I will not forget.

We are grains of sand, soon to wither, weather, washed away by the sea/ocean/torrents of rain, tossed, forgotten, a fleck/dust/speck, imbued with meaning, meaning nothing, meaning everything, until we are hurled/guided/led – again – to shore.

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Marco Delgado: Not given everything he wanted (and it was okay)

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Wind turbines and Marco Delgado

Marco Deglado has a legacy to Philippine Christendom that not very many people know about.

It started with passion, and a mission. Ambassador Antonio C. Delgado, Marco’s grandfather and the First Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican, made it his personal advocacy to have a Filipino saint canonized. This became a reality with the beatification in 1981 and canonization in 1987 of San Lorenzo Ruiz. An issue came up, however, when the sculptor started work on the likeness—whose face?

It was then that Marco’s grandmother took out a picture of the boy Marco (who was then living with them) and thus, immortalized him as the face of the patron saint of the Philippines, the Filipinos and interestingly, the Overseas Filipino Workers.

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Blank Space

 

Joy

Joy

Taylor Swift sings about it but it does not exist.

At least not in the periphery of our minds.

We close our eyes and stem the tide but much as we try, images will begin to crowd our consciousness. Light filters in, a faint filtering of a prism, like waves breaking over mounds of hewn rock, and then a sound or two – voices that seem to belong to us but not – edging each other out until one or two take center stage and we are caught up in a story, much like a spider in its web.

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Life and its many victories: the story of Artist J.A. Tan

The Artist.

The Artist.

J.A. held his brush as if it were a talisman and an extension of himself.

He then let the colours cascade on canvass, while the camera panned alternately to his hand, his brush, his face. He was immersed in the moment, caught in the words he was trying to speak.

It was at once stark and beautiful.

The video, shown to me after the interview, was made by J.A.’s brother, Thomas, a screenwriter by profession, and it spoke of J.A.’s journey, of his autism, of his art. Of how everything was difficult but perfect for J.A., because he found a way to speak his truth.

Sanctuary

Granville Island boasts of “fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, studios, unique shops, cafes and the most spectacular fresh food market you’ve ever seen.” It is infused with colour and energy and showcased Vancouver’s sea to sky magnificence.

It is also a hotbed for art.

For Jose Antonio “J.A.” Tan, however, it is a sanctuary. It is there—at the Saltwater Studios off of Duranleau Street in Granville—that he spends his days speaking his mind through expressions/explosions of wonder and beauty.

To him, it was the flowing water that surrounds Granville, which one could barely hear in the distance, that soothed him best (the False Creek Inlet was few steps, in fact, from his studio) and allows him to bring to life his inner world.

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How to be a lawyer in Canada

Grow.

Grow.

When one arrives in a new country, he has grandiose dreams.

Much like the dreams that he left back home. But only more vivid, more reachable.

Maybe it is earning more than he has ever dreamed of, or living a life of utter happiness or peace, contributing to his greater good, fulfilling his potentials.

Be what he was – doctor, teacher, lawyer, engineer, architect, scientist – learned, professional, respected.

He finds that in his new country, in Canada, it is not so easy.

It is not easy but it is possible.

If you are a foreign professional and you want to practice your profession in Canada, take heart from the fact that the path has been laid out for you. Some more clear than others, yes, but many have laboured long and hard so that the future will see that road.

The future is now. You are it.

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A month into the year

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Harvest Time

And a confession. I’ve always thought about a comeback.

I thought I had given up blogging, but it is a gift that keeps on giving. And one fine day, I thought, what would it take for me to go back?

Maybe it is the shedding away of a lot of responsibilities, a shedding away of writing as a career.

I was editor of a newspaper. Words were my life. Others’ words, some mine, but I was inundated with it that I wanted nothing to do with it.

The creativity was stifled somehow. Because of a perceived audience, because of being careful, because of what cannot be said, because of what should be said.

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George Verdolaga: Think like an entrepreneur

George with wife Maita at a brasserie in Paris.

George with wife Maita at a brasserie in Paris.

As editor-in-chief, I have had the privilege of getting to know and learn from some truly amazing Canadians. It’s my honour that I could now consider some of them as close friends and mentors.

George and his wife Maita have been very instrumental in helping us navigate and appreciate Canada. Here’s his story.  

After growing a six-figure business into a seven-figure business in just three years, George Verdolaga found himself at the crossroads.

He was an Economics graduate who had just generated some impressive growth figures with the business that he was running. However, he found himself yearning for something else.

After some soul searching and exploring many options, he let his inner-creativity transform his life.

“It was a very long road that started with a simple dream. I had just discovered interior design eight years into running my business which had become a big success. I decided to explore it and take part-time classes, and after a year, I thought ‘I really like this’, then I thought ‘I think I’d love to do this for the rest of my life’, which turned to ‘I think I’d like to learn from the best around the world’.”

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