Living forever


“Letters to A Young Poet”,  is a collection of ten letters written by Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) to Franz Xaver Kappus(1883–1966), a 19-year-old officer cadet at the Theresian Military Academy in Germany.

It is one of my favorite books. I have read it many times through and it has always been timely. Although it was written in 1929, almost a century ago, the lessons and musings gleaned from its pages remain  relevant…

Relevant, to a young woman who has just finished a very long career as a student…or a young woman who was on the brink of a new and scary life adventure…or a woman who wanted to forge out a career for herself. Most especially so for a young woman who had recently had her heart broken (but not quite), and was searching for a stable hold with which to weather out the emotional storm.

(All of these young women, are myself, at certain stages in my life.)

I did not come by reading Rilke by accident. No, it was more different story than that. At the time, I was with a young man, not much younger than myself, who I believe, loved words…

I loved stories, and I coaxed him shyly to tell me one, and on cue, this was the book that was nearest to him. In a voice that soothed my soul, he read to me the first chapter of the book.

It was a letter that talked about why one must write…a topic that was very dear to my heart…

“You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you – no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.

Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

He might not have known it then, but my whole being was absorbed in that moment. That one time when he spoke, his words…Rilke’s words, touched me, and touched my heart. It was an unintentional caress, a balm for my soul. And in that moment, I knew that he, the boy,  would live forever…in my writing, my heart. #



Photo: Vintage Cameras

Leaving. March 2012.

Is film photography dead?

I’m sure it is very much alive…just not here, where I’m from.

These photos were taken a few years ago, while I was still living in Manila. I had been told that in my hometown, they still had those machines that printed from film negatives.

Ironically, they closed down a year before I got back, and the only ones in our area was in a photography shop in Colon area in Cebu.

(Currently looking at places online…will update soonest!)









Photos: The funeral of a great guy

Whenever he’s mentioned, people tend to say, “Job? He’s a great guy…”

My Tito Job was buried today. He was a distant relative, but where I come from, people tend to go to funerals because the person that died had an impact on them in some form or other in their life.

He died of liver cancer…he was being treated at the hospital I worked in and I ran some errands for him, and tried to help them out when I could.

He lost the battle to cancer very recently…but in everyone’s hearts, he never wasted away in his last few days, but instead, became an even bigger man, by staying true to his work as a councilor, being a dad and husband, and cracking a joke or two to people who appreciated a boost.

He was a nice guy, he was always kind.

I never got to know him intimately in my childhood, but at least, where it mattered, I was able to know him.

Tito Job will be missed, not only by the family, but also by the town…

Why I take pictures

On the See-saw. Dumaguete City. April 19, 2015.

I love Street Photography.

I love that the streets are teeming with stories, that, with just the right amount of bravery, you can pen a tale on them. 🙂

My sling bag contains a Sony RX-100 MII,  small black powerful little beauty that takes really good pictures in both low and good light. It’s a dream. I like the panel that flips so you can take your pictures ate difficult angles and still gauge the framing and see if you’re doing it right.

To honest, I find the experience of taking pictures with it exhilirating, as I feel like Vivian Maier with her medium format camera, documenting stories of life. Life is art, and the street offers life in its most vulnerable, ephemeral form.

After mass, I wandered around the playground while waiting for my father to bring the car around. It was high noon, and I was amused because despite the heat, there were still many children playing. Some were in the shade, but some, like these two girls, were out in the sun.

What draw my eye to them was my memory of being a small child who also played on them. I always loved the “up” side of the see-saw, and liked the height. However, I also remembered that it was hard to come back down when you’re up there…and a bigger kid weighed his side down so you couldn’t get back up.

It’s like a heady life experience, once you’re “up there” and happy, you’ll also need to think about the “downs”…or, at least trust someone (who may or may not be a bigger mean kid) to keep you safe and let you down easy when it is time.

And that is what I mean about being “brave” when taking these pictures. Sometimes, the things I take pictures of makes me reflect on my own life lessons.

And there is liberty in that.