Finding a Home in the City of Lights

Home is a feeling, not just a place. Author’s Note: This was my contest piece during the International Speech Contest Area Level Contest, Toastmasters International, Manila on 19 Feb. 2022. The last time I competed was in 2011 so it felt great joining the contest again. Honestly, I was thinking of backing out a few…

The Magic of the Earth

There is something magical about the Earth. Each day, thousands of seedlings push around the dark, damp earth and move towards the sunlight. They grow, at first, a tiny bit of green but then they become taller and wider and sturdier. Each day, the earth nourishes grains, vegetables and fruits that feed the billions of…

And the Years Passed By

Today, 22 January 2022 marks the six years since I took my oath as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO). I still distinctly remember that day when I had the oath-taking at the Department of Foreign Affairs wearing a royal blue Filipiniana gown and a rather conspicious silver necklace which I never wore again after that…

Face to Face with Covid-19

Two weeks ago, I exhibited the first symptoms of Covid-19–fever and chills. I did not know then that I caught the virus. In fact, since it would be the first workday of the year the next day, I brushed my health concern off thinking that a good night’s sleep would cure me. However, I was…

Emi in Paris

Recently, I started watching Season 2 of Emily in Paris after a long break from watching Season 1. The vibe is the same–cool, fun, trendy. What I like most about each episode is that there’s always a misadventure that Emily runs into but she almost always pulls it off. I could relate to her efforts…

A Thousand Words

A few weeks before I departed from Paris to go back to the Philippines in September 2021, I had a sudden idea. One weekend, I made it happen through the help of two people, one, a dear friend, and the other a Paris-based Filipino artist who encouraged me and thought that the idea was a…

1, 2, 3

December 29, 30, 31. Are these days any different from the rest? I believe so. For many people, it is a time for many things: self-reflection (without consciously doing so), recreation, preparing a list of New Year’s resolutions or the more practical tasks such as cleaning up your bodega and disposing of unnecessary stuff in…

The Grinch

There are days when you have to try harder — to smile, to meet others, or even simply to get up from bed. There are days when the temptation is strong to simply lie under the covers, shun conversations, be in the company of books all day, surf the net mindlessly, or do a solitary…