Little Dreams

I was absent today to catch up on things I needed to do — work, home, school… Trust me, it’s endless. Anyway, I opened the fridge and looked for something to eat. I decided to eat ice cream. I got my sister some and took it to her room. Then while we were eating, we realised how time has flown so fast. It seemed like it was only yesterday when we enjoyed ice cream as kids. We remembered how simple our dreams were back then, and one of them was to buy a fridge of our own and fill it up with food that we loved to eat.

But you see, we’ve never really taken a pause and relished this moment. We realised that our dreams have changed, our wants have changed, and our little dream seemed so little that it vanished from our heads. But now thinking about it, I realised how important it is to look back on our little dreams…for they remind us of how simple life should be.

Have a blessed one, my friends!


From a Teacher, with Love


I weave songs of love and joy
in this demented world of humanity.
I am racing with time.
Sometimes I ask:
is it even worth it?

A picture of confusion,
that’s what you are;
of colours infused
in the well
of innocence.

You are the war
by eagles who
flew above us;
the slave
captivated by
flashes of
mesmerising lights
and jaw-dropping
film effects.

But of course,
you are just a birdling,
trying so hard
to understand
this world
we are living in.

Yes, I am weaving a song
of love and joy.
It’s my gift to you.
Listen to it,
feel it,
learn from it,
will you?

Weekly Photo Challenge — Letters

calungsod memories1

This a collage of letters from my students before. Most of them graduated from college just last month, and that just makes me so happy. 🙂

Lackadaisical Me


I’ve posted this here before on my first week of blogging — when I didn’t have a lot of friends yet. So, I’m featuring it again. Let me know what you think.

Today’s one of those days when I just can’t be bothered to do things that I’m supposed to be working on and accomplish urgently. I have piles and piles of work to be done — marking students’ papers, writing reports, and all the other gazillion things required of a teacher. Sometimes I question myself as to whether I was right or not in choosing this profession. Well, everybody says it’s a noble job, and it is indeed! But the demands and pressures in it are just but overwhelming. Every teacher on this planet will probably agree with me on that. These demands and pressures — they sometimes scare the hell out of you and make you think: Boy, is this ever going to end?

I’ve always envied most of my friends who come home from work without having to worry about what to do for tomorrow. I see them enjoying themselves doing things they want to do — watching films, reading their favorite books, or socialize with other friends. And then there I am in my room, busy planning lessons for the following day — how unfair is that?

It’s just funny though because at the end of the school holidays when I’ve had my share of rest and enjoyment already, I would miss my students and would suddenly grow a feeling of excitement and urge to start planning lessons again. Don’t get me wrong though. I know that I love teaching, and I really do. I’m just cold feet sometimes, and whenever I start feeling the cold, I tend to be lackadaisical. 😉

Have you ever felt being incompetent at work before? You feel guilty because you think you could have done better? I’ve realized I still have some insecurities in me that I need to battle and put an end with. Over the years, I’ve tried to deal with each one of them but I guess they don’t go away that easily. It’s not my fault though, I would say. These things I’ve acquired over the years from my surroundings, and from how I was raised as a kid, and even from the school where I spent most of my life. I was raised in a very competitive environment, where I’m supposed to have known, and read, and studied everything way ahead of time. An environment where I learned to be prepared all the time otherwise I’d look dum, stupid, silly.

I think that pressures and expectations in this world — they do take their toll, and the effects are but devastating as ever. I’ve had sleepless nights, nightmares, and sudden ‘cannot be explained depressing moments’. I wake up shocked to see myself crying from a bad dream that’s usually to do with past humiliating memories.

I think it’s time that we truly love one another. Let’s be concerned and truly caring. For what really matters most in the long run is that we’ve loved (and therefore HAPPY) at all. 🙂

*Photo not mine. Thanks to whoever the owner is.


I’d like to feature a favorite song written and composed by a Filipino musician — Ryan Cayabyab. The song received an overwhelming response from my students when we used it in class for close reading. It sort of immersed the students to a kind of life they don’t normally see around them. They realized that they are lucky after all — they’ve got free education, free transportation to school, free notebooks, a decent house to live in, a simple yet ‘closely-knit’ community, free access to water, free hospitalization, and many others.

I remember having to be exposed to poverty in slum areas of the Philippines when I was in high school. The school had a Social Action Program that encouraged us to show compassion and think of some really good ways we could help the people around us. I tell you, those were truly humbling moments, and they taught me a lot of valuable lessons giving me a sense of purpose and meaning in life. I learned to value simplicity, justice and fairness, humility, cura personalis, preservation and care for nature, among others.

The song tries to describe what a child sees while he roams around a dump site in the Philippines called Payatas where poor families wrestle over mountains of garbage in the hope to find food and reusable things. Below, you will find some photos of children in Payatas which I’ve gathered from the net. The kids in these photos show you smiles of happiness and joy. They show you laughter despite poverty and hardship — an irony of life. However, you also get to see the weight of the world on their shoulders. They stare back with eyes not of innocence but of questions and dismay. Ironically, the song talks about paradise (paraiso) that is totally the opposite of what we all know paradise is. There is good play of language here, and perhaps you can talk about them as you respond to this post.

Here’s the song:

Written and Composed by: Ryan Cayabyab

Return to a land called Paraiso,
a place where a dying river ends.
No birds dare fly over Paraiso,
no space allows them to endure.
The smoke that screens the air,
the grass that’s never there.


And if I could see a single bird, what a joy.
I try to write some words
and create a simple song to be heard
by the rest of the world.


I live in this land called Paraiso,
in a house made of cardboard floors and walls.
I learned to be free in Paraiso,
free to claim anything I see.
Matching rags for my clothes,
plastic bags for the cold.

And if empty cans were all I have, what a joy.
I never fight to take someone else’s coins
and live with fear like the rest of the boys.

Paraiso, help me make a stand.
Paraiso, take me by the hand
Paraiso, make the world understand
that if I could see a single bird, what a joy.
This tired and hungry land
could expect some truth and hope and respect
from the rest of the world.



To live with Joy

I encourage everyone to say this out loud:


*Today, I’ve been blessed with 50 beautiful and gorgeous followers!
Thank you ever so much!



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