Posted in Journal, Poetry

Embers

sunlight

Image via sfgate.com

this time of the day is yellow
your colour is most intense before it disappears

“this time of your life is mellow
you turn to him for ardour
by watching him paint the skies you’ve turned your back on
your face beholding pseudo-lights and glaring pages of a life-decaying manuscript-to-be
is this the story that you want your future to look back to?”

remind me
that i’m not mellow
or shallow
or sullen
or forgotten
remind me
before the blushing sun covers its cheeks
before a silence sets in
before the shadow descends again

remind me how a slow breeze washes dirt like a river
remind me how a soft sunshine ignites a flame
remind me how a pelting rain cannot wash away your fragrance
remind me how a chilly night cannot overpower the embers of this heart

this time of day is fading
I reach out for your arduous colours before they’re gone
I rage, rage, rage for my life to bleed
let my colours bleed before the night that numbs could come

Posted in Journal

Today, I Have A Choice

Today, I have a choice between accomplishing what I can on my own strength and doing what I am capable of only through the power or God and by the grace I have because of Christ. The first one can impact the world; the second one can make a mark in eternity. But the world is in so much need, what I am capable of on my own strength will not suffice, but what God can do through me, that is what the world needs — to experience God’s dunamis power and relentless love. Today I can dream about heaven and the things I want to do with my life, or I can bring heaven to earth, the thing that God wants to do.

God help me choose the latter.

Posted in Journal, New Years Resolution

Last Sunday – Walk, Eat Thai, Swim…

Last Sunday, I was feeling a bit “under the weather” (even though the weather was really SUNNY!). Haha. Wrong use of idiom there. Actually, it was because I got super spent the day before, and because of my physical condition (I think), I needed a whole day to recover from fatigue. I thought I’d spent the entire day at home but I had to have lunch outside or else I’ll starve to death. I thought I’d go for a swim too at the sports center 10 minutes from my house, to get my blood flowing. I was tired of fastfood so I prayed where to eat. (Yeah, I was so clueless where to go that I had to pray about it. Hahaha. Guess what? I really felt I heard God say, “You’ll know when you get there.” So I went, “by faith.” Oh happy day. =)))

I rode the jeepney to “town” and found myself having to walk short distances and cross intersections under the heat (and I mean HEAT!) of the sun. I was a bit concerned I might catch a fever later (it used to be like that before when I exerted a bit too much for a given day)… but I didn’t. Thank God. Just before crossing the street, I remembered a Thai restaurant (Krung Thai) with affordable food within my budget. It’s close by and seems to be at a convenient location from the swimming pool too. (I knew it!) I walked quite a but I was willing to just to get my Thai food! I crossed the market leading to the restaurant.  It’s a “very” local place, not too stylish, a bit too pricey for its interiors, but serving good Thai meals. Excited.

So here’s the city market.

marikina city market at bayan

I didn’t realize I could buy fruits here instead of going to the bigger but farther Farmers’ Market.

fruits stall marikina market at bayan

I had been craving coffee that week so I was glad to see iced coffee in the menu. I ordered iced coffee with my meal. Then I was served Thai iced tea. So I had it replaced and then here is the coffee… 🙂

for an additional P50 ($1+) with my solo meal

Iced Coffee Krung Thai Restaurant C. Paz Marikina City

I also chose the stir fried chicken meal, pointed at the picture on the menu, but the lady thought I was ordering the picture below it. So I was served chicken curry instead. Waaah. Oh well, I guess you have to be careful to clarify your order when going to this place. (Not complaining!) :)))

The chicken curry, by the way, was love. My only comment is that the serving size felt more like kiddie sized. There were 4 or 5 bite sized chicken slices, some veggies, and that’s it. But I was happy about the veggies. And overall, I was happy to remember to drop by this resto. It was well worth it despite the mistakes they made. LOL.

Chicken Curry Krung Thai Restaurant Marikina City

Paying to swim in the afternoon. P50 ($1+) – P10 sports center entrance + P40 pool entrance – good until 4:30 pm. That’s 4.5 hours of swim time if you arrive at 1pm. But got there past 2pm so I had 3 hours. Fair enough!

How much is swimming at Marikina Sports swimming pool?

Semi-covered pool at the Marikina Sports Center. Not too crowded. To think it’s a Sunday. And I don’t hit pool bottom anymore when I tumble turn. 😀

Swimming Pool at Marikina Sports Center

At first I couldn’t cross the width of the pool doing freestyle but by the end of the session, after self-correcting myself, I was finally able to cross to the end. Perhaps next time I can work towards going back and forth. Yikes. Let’s do this. 🙂

Posted in Journal

Tuesday Walk Discoveries

Today (Tuesday), I walked.

But first, I bought a new pair of rubber slippers. Because the one I was wearing retired in the middle of the road.

After my 2nd swim class in a subdivision near my house, I grabbed a few items from the nearby grocery (again) as per my dad’s request. I opened my Maps app to make sure I’ll take the right route, I crossed the street and before I could go further, my left slipper gave up on me. I went back to the mini mall and bought a new pair.

It was 33 degrees Celsius. I had no umbrella. I didn’t put on sunblock. But I wanted to walk. So I did.

It was my first time (well maybe second) time to walk around my neighbourhood. (Why is WordPress using a British dictionary to correct my spelling?) I had missed out on the view for five years. I was glad I chose to walk today. So I can catch up on what I’ve been missing.

Here are a couple of my thoughts about my 20-minute walk home.

Our neighbourhood has lots of lovely trees. This street looks vibrant. I discovered a few eateries. They seem to be worth checking out.

IMG_20150519_104320_edit

See that man behind the cart? He respectfully greeted me “good morning.” I thought it was pleasant of him to do so.

F Balagtas Parang Marikina

I had been asking my dad if there’s a junk shop where I can get a small aluminum sheet. I would not have known there is a junk shop nearby had I not taken the time out for a leisurely walk. Unfortunately, it was too hot to even contemplate a stop over. Not today.

junk shop

I got a better look of this resto we’ve been wondering about but never got the resolve to check out. Now I know a bit about their menu!

kuta parang marikina

I have been wondering where I can buy organic vegetables. This organic vegetables “garden,” it turned out, is on the block across our subdivision. Sometimes, walking around is better than Googling it up!

parang marikina

And here’s another shot of the other street.

Parang Marikina

I arrived home dripping, or at least it felt like I was that wet with perspiration. Who cares, I was about to take a bath anyway. But next time I’ll bring an umbrella. 😉

Posted in Change, Journal

Monday’s New

So I was excited for my swimming class on Monday. Finally.

But it was not just about swimming. It was also about getting out of the house. It was about getting into a sport. It was about meeting new people, being in a new place, learning something new, passing by the grocery (which was near the swimming area), feeling healthier, figuring out my way home from there, and getting to do an errand, all in one morning. In short, it was about being productive while doing something you like.

For example. #1 Here’s me with some big cartons I got from the supermarket. I’ve been needing to get some of these so I can start sorting my clothes for giving away. I did this after my swim class, which was held beside the mini mall that catered to the grocery.

Carton-Boxes.jpg

#2 – I finally got to check if they (the grocery) have greek yogurt. Unfortunately they don’t so I ended up buying this, which was the wrong kind ‘coz it’s not much different from the regular yogurt. Oh well, it’s still yogurt.

Greek-style-yogurt.jpg

#3 – I discovered that (praise God), there’s a tricycle terminal nearby and I can take a ride home on one of these. Unfortunately, the fare is a bit expensive so I might just walk home on some days.

Tricycle-station.jpg

#4 – I was surprised to learn that my swimming coach is my neighbour. He lives right across my house in the same small subdivision. He could have lived 2 houses away or down the street corner, which would still be pretty near, but he had to live right across! Super funny. And my mom for the longest time, had been so curious about his kids whom she could hear from across the street when they cry. I think she’ll finally get to meet them soon. Hope so.

#5 – I could breathe better. Literally. I told my coach that I think I have colds. (I’ve been having difficulty breathing ‘coz my nasal passages always feel congested.) He said, it will go away when I swim. He was right. It was instant relief. Then after two days of swimming, I’ve been breathing normally. I’m so happy.

So that was Monday morning. Not bad at all.

Posted in Change, Encouragement, Journal

reflections on my first third swimming lesson

I used to ice skate 3 to 4 times per week. That was way back, 20 years ago. I stopped some 13 years ago. Never got into another sport since then. I also stopped taking jazz classes (which I used to take to complement figure skating). I tried to get back to skating a number of times but it was too difficult (and expensive and risky and impractical) I tried to get into swimming, but it was short lived. I thought about trying aerial silk. I never got past imagining my first class.

Then yesterday came. This must be a breakthrough. I had my first third swimming lesson.

First third. Yes. Yesterday was the first day of my third swimming class. The first class I took was when I was a kid. Six years old maybe. The second one was three years ago. This was the third one. The coach put me in advanced class. Seriously? Advanced? I had been a bit frustrated with my freestyle skills for the past 3 years. (Yeah it can go on for three years if you don’t do much about it.) But yesterday, I was so happy.

I enrolled in a 10 consecutive week days class. I never thought I’d commit to swimming this often but it just happened. It felt right. And so it was! I couldn’t be happier. And I realized I had been torturing myself for the past 13 years for not replacing the sport I lost.

I even wrote a poem about grieving its death. Yeah, I wrote a poem about losing my figure skating dream as if it were a person. Because it felt like something precious died when I stopped figure skating. I didn’t realize it immediately after I stopped, but it set in slowly. It was difficult to admit that I loved it that much. I mean, I can’t exactly make a career out of it because I was not that skilled in the sport yet, but it had also become too expensive and difficult for someone my age. (It’s a high impact sport. I had scoliosis. It’s an expensive sport. I was not filthy rich. Etc.)

Then life happened and it was kind of, sad.

I did a bit of yoga via YouTube. I downloaded some dance videos. I tried HIIT at home. But nothing beats a good ol’ sport. 🙂

Yesterday, my new coach corrected my freestyle technique. I finally felt like I was doing it correctly. For the first time in 13 years, I felt like I had a sport again. It’s like I could be alive again. I know it sounds silly, but that’s how I felt. At three decades old, I realized sometimes there are things we find hard to admit but admitting it could be the first step to breakthrough and healing. I think, today, I realized I needed to admit how I felt about figure skating. I also realized how I can’t run away from how I’m wired for sports. Just ‘coz I can’t make a career out of it does not mean I’m not allowed to make it a major part of my life. I guess I found it difficult to value something that doesn’t earn money. It felt irresponsible to do so. But I also realize now that acknowledging how I’m wired is a step towards worshipping God. It’s part of acknowledging how unique he’s made me to be and how I should love how he fashioned me. And I know ultimately, it will bring Him glory.

So YES YES, I can’t wait to swim again tomorrow. Ten consecutive weekdays remember? And to go on some more after that.

Christian blogBy the way, I’ll tell you about my 4-, 6-, and 9-year old swimming classmates next time. I didn’t enrol in a one-on-one class! And my oldest classmate is 9 years old. I know right? What do you think eh? 🙂

Posted in Poetry

This Quiet

This quiet
Isn’t really quiet
Soft music
Voices from across the aisle
Morning sun
And building’s fluorescent
Wooden table, like forrest
On glossy tiles

This quiet
Isn’t really quiet
A book
Open
Electronic mail
From peripheral eye
A white sheet
For writing
And thoughts
Are wrestling

Everything is quiet when no one hears
Your thoughts,
Loud as fingers typing,
They fall away
Then strangers stare into your eyes
Deaf

Everything is quiet when you are shouting
In your mind
Shouting
Your words leave marks
On no one but you

Everything is quiet when you are

Mouth shut
Heart pounding,
Breathing easily,
The way you are,
This morning –
Quiet
Like every other