To the Man Who Will Never Be Mine

From the moment I first saw you, I somehow knew deep down inside that I’ll be in trouble.

I was at the hospital on that day for an orientation about the patients and the services offered by various groups. I noticed a lot of people waiting in line for their turn at the lab, all of them young men wearing masks and most of them are cute. It was a big day for me, I traveled around 4 hours from home just to get there. I was at that hospital to identify opportunities to serve this community and learn more about the job that I signed up for. TTMINH-Tweets1 copyI met the staff, talked to some of the patients, even those who were confined upstairs. I was there to listen, learn, take mental notes and observe. I was there to focus on work.

Then I was introduced to you by one of the volunteers. You were just about an inch or two shorter than I am. You have this clean handsome face with a mustache and stubble, nice set of teeth, a winning smile, light to fair skin and  that pointed nose that I like in a man. I was smitten. You were there for your regular check-up, you said. There were several things that were happening to me at the same time during those 15 minutes of conversation: I was asking you questions that I asked other people that day, trying my best to be the professional that I am. I was also memorizing your face, suppressing the “kilig” I was feeling and scolding myself for feeling this way. I have no objective answer to why “you,” a question you asked me at a later time. It was just you.

Next thing I knew we were friends on Facebook. I must admit that while I forgot who added who, it was highly possible that it was I who initiated things. I had a professional excuse to keep our conversations going. That’s when this became a problem. ‘Coz we kept on talking.

We talked about your story, your health, your work, your family and a bunch of other stuff. I talked about my work, my background, and the things you saw me post each day. It started out like that, just finding someone to talk to. The conversations flowed naturally until one of us needed to sleep or do something else. I found myself slowly becoming addicted to you. TTMINH-Tweets3 copyEveryday I was waiting, checking messages, hoping you’d be online. It started with all the basic getting to know you stuff. Then it became “what did you have for dinner?” and then it progressed to “I think you are sexy. You’ve got beautiful lips. I love your eyes.”

All of these are supposed to be okay if not for the fact that you are in a long term relationship. I’ve known it since I added you on Facebook. We talked about it briefly at first but then somehow I found ways to avoid bringing it up ‘coz it may spoil the fun we were having. At least that was my reason. After all we weren’t doing anything wrong, technically. We are just two friends enjoying online conversations.

Then we met again. It was a deliberate act on my end to travel 2.5 hours just to see you after your medical appointment. By this time, it was not a professional meet up, it was personal. We talked endlessly, so it seems, at a very public place. All the while I was looking into your eyes. I was smiling all the time. I was near you. I felt your knees brush against mine as well as the the hair on your arms when we compared skin color. I was with you for almost two hours. I would bet that anyone who saw us that time may have thought that we were on a date. Not that we touched like lovers ‘coz we didn’t. We seem to have an unspoken agreement about physical limitations that we need to respect. But maybe because we were focused on each other the whole time. Like no one else around us mattered. You looked at me, held my gaze many times over.

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We talked about many other things except for what was truly happening between us. It was probably looming over our heads but we chose not to acknowledge it. For if we do, it will become real. Too real. We will be forced to answer bigger questions we aren’t ready to answer. Meanwhile, I was there with you, partly fascinated and also partly falling.

While this was happening, there was another internal dialogue happening in my head. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?,” says my ego in exasperation, knowing that it would not get a serious answer from somebody awestruck. It was futile to demand introspection or to stop things from going in a certain direction. At some point, I think I mentally taped the mouth of my conscience and my overprotective ego.

TTMINH-Tweets2 copyAs I walked with you to the bus station, I was feeling wonderful things that I cannot speak about. When you were about to enter the bus, I kissed you goodbye. Not on the lips, but close enough to surprise you, you said a few months after. It was not my intention to kiss you there but it was my intention to kiss you in a way that would express all the words I cannot utter. I wanted you to feel me. It was a bold act on my end. A gamble. It was crossing a very thin line. It was now or never. It could be hello and goodbye too if you got offended.

I went home happy. I was also worried about misinterpreting things between us. Are you drawn to me in the same way that I was drawn to you? Was I imagining things? What if it was just one way affection all along? What if it’s not? I was scared that I was becoming the person I wasn’t supposed to be. Am I taking things too far? But above all the reservations in my head I only knew one thing for sure, I was happy. You made me very happy again. It was enough for my stubborn heart.

(Part 1)


From Convict to King: Jesus Rise to Power

From somebody who was born humbly in a manger and only known in the community as the son of Joseph, how did this particular Jesus (of many people named Jesus during his time) become the exalted savior and king of many generations? How did a group of less than a hundred disciples composed of fisher folk, poor people and sinners who were constantly persecuted grow to become one of the most powerful religious groups in the world?

These are some of the questions I’ve had in mind for quite some time now and have been trying to read about. So it’s a blessing to have stumbled upon CNN Philippines’ airing of  National Geographic‘s 3-part series of the documentary “Jesus Rise to Power” last night, Black Saturday. The NatGeo website describes the show this way:

“Unravelling an epic human drama filled with suspense, political intrigue, brutal religious persecution and sheer luck – Dr Michael Scott is setting out to discover how Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.  This is the story of how, in less than four centuries, the little known cult of Jesus rose from a disparate collection of beliefs into a dynamic, coherent force that would one day dominate the world.”

Thanks to one of the tweets I saw on my timeline last night I was able to catch a few parts of it. As a student of the Christian faith, I appreciated the presentation of social, cultural and political context of Jesus as a way of digging deep and around the simple text of the Bible. I always felt that the story and struggle of Jesus seem very flat and that we need a multi-dimensional look into what happened, why it happened and how it all happened. I always thought that we need to make Jesus humanity more human in our stories and not look at him as just a handsome (scholars say that he looks pretty ugly, the opposite of what we see in posters) figure levitating in the clouds.

What I appreciate about this documentary as well is that it looks beyond Jesus and presents how the movement grew and how the early Christians’ faith and aggressiveness shook the social order of the Romans. It allowed me to realize that looking at it from a different angle, the Romans were not much of the enemy but were also caught up in a movement for change that they didn’t expect to gain traction. The documentary tries to show us how political ambitions, negotiations and propaganda worked in the rise of Christians into acceptance, prominence and yes, power.

Just in time for the Philippine elections this May 2016, it would be good to look at how movements create gods and kings. It seems that the dynamics hasn’t changed. Let’s observe that over the next months, shall we?

Check out the links below to watch the 3-part documentary. I realized that I need more time to absorb all these and so I shall watch them again. So expect a possible continuation of this post. ‘Til then!

Tweets of the Soul: Jan 16-31

January 2016 felt like a roller coaster ride for me. As I was exploring a new career, I felt like someone who’s fresh out of college and just absorbing the new world outside. I’ve experienced so many highs and lows during this month. I also felt like giving up on several occasions. Everyday felt like a crash course to adulthood. So I tried my best to capture my “growing up” moments and here are some of those tweets.

Jan 26 Tweet copy

Jan 16: Grab opportunities to be someone else, like an actor does. If only to liberate us temporarily from the confines of a boring self.
Jan 17: I don’t know how single moms do it. Maybe it’s the survival instincts kicking in. I’m blessed my mom is a strong & kind woman.
Jan 18: When u’re comfy w/ a new grp of people, u allow urself to be a lil vulnerable before them. Then u find out if u can trust them 2b u.
Jan 19: Growing up requires some financial discipline & a character that facilitates sound mgmt of personal resources. I’m a late bloomer.
Jan 21: Maybe growing up includes learning how to peacefully co-exist w/ people u dislike, trying to be fair & kind to them. Let’s try that.
Jan 22: When things change fast & u can’t do anything abt it, adjust ur attitude & give the change a chance. Tame the rebel w/in & learn.
Jan 23: There are moments that are best enjoyed alone. To be comfortable in solitude & in the company of self is a sign of wellness.
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Jan 24: The bottom line is we all need intimacy – a true & soulful connection w/ people. Friendships, romance, family. We feel empty w/o it.
Jan 25: When we take the time to stop, observe & wonder abt the world around us, we’ll find things to care abt lyk stray cats & hungry kids.
Jan 27: One of the imp things in life is to be self-aware. Knowing who we really are includes openness to feedback & critical introspection.
Jan 28: The 1st important thing we do everyday is to show up. Show up even if u hv doubts, are fearful, feeling awkward or not in the mood.
Jan 29: There is freedom in being true to urself. It’s OK to accommodate others’ needs before urs & it’s OK too to stop pleasing them.
Jan 30: No act is small when u help meet basic needs of a community. If u want a meaningful life volunteer in nearby schools, brgy projs etc.
Jan 31: U were not born into this world 2b rejected or hv everything or be d center. Define ur purpose, defy expectations, live peacefully.

Tweets of the Soul: Jan 1-15

I started 2016 with a desire to document highlights of what I am learning or experiencing from my daily life. I’ve rediscovered Twitter a few weeks before the close of 2015 and had lots of fun talking to strangers. It was an outlet for someone like me who shamelessly loves instant gratification and is challenged by expressing my ideas in 140 characters or less. So I embarked on a project to tweet a personal lesson I learned, unlearned or re-learned as I face different situations in everyday life. Here’s a look at my highlights for the 1st 15 days of 2016.

Jan 4 Tweet copy

Jan 01: 6 wks in Twitter so far. It’s been a great time online. Tnx to new friends 4d wonderful convos. Here’s to 365 more days of tweeting!
Jan 02: Some loves are easy. Some require conscious effort. Some need more than motherhood statements & thrive w/ concrete expression.
Jan 03: Minsan ang kwento ay nagsisimula sa pagluluksa. Para malaman mo kung ano ang tunay na mahalaga sa’yo at sino ang laman ng puso mo.
Jan 05: Obligasyon. Pakikisama. Reward. Ilan sa mga salitang kasama sa bokabularyo ng tao. Lalo na kapag payday.
Jan 06: Life has a way of directing our attention to what we’re neglecting. It also takes out internal & external barriers to help us grow.
Jan 07: I’ve proven again today that concentrating on one thing helps me get better results & go beyond minimum expectations. Next goal pls!
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Jan 08: To realize that you need help and that you should help others along the way is the wisdom you get out of humble beginnings.
Jan 09: It’s interesting 2b known in diff ways by diverse grps. So many interests, so lil time. One must choose w/c version of u comes 1st.
Jan 10: It is imp to remember that YOU too hv a contribution to what makes ur family happy or sad, healthy or toxic. B4 blaming, check self.
Jan 11: A puzzle that inspires curiosity will lead u to new learning if u pursue it. It may also inspire u to care & help others better.

Jan 12: Good & bad things come & go. The struggle is to let go of both good & bad on a daily basis & learn to start over quickly the ff day.
Jan 14: The mighty is humbled. Those who seem weak & slow can teach u a thing or two abt life. When they rise above u… bow, learn, fight.
Jan 15: How time flies. Esp if ur working in a place that constantly challenges you. No room for othr things. Body, heart, mind, time given.