Galley port

Mina de oro
My one golden breathing space
Open sea glistens

Graceful island dance
Hypnotic beats, crashing waves
Quiet in the din

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Puerto Galera sunset

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Promontory

Inspirational Speechwriting 101

I’m a fraud.

A friend asked me to edit her inspirational speech addressed to graduating students of her alma mater. I injected it with so much positivity that even I doubted what the heck I was writing about.

An inner monologue ensued…

What was written: Don’t be afraid to take that step, to make that decision.

What I was really thinking: “Yeah, you can totally do this, kids. Or not. We’re all just trying to survive, you know.”


What was written: How will you know that you are on the right track? You have your parents, your siblings, your relatives, your teachers, your significant adults that you may consult.

What I was really thinking: “Wuuuuuut? Don’t base your decisions on the advice of a village’s council of elders! Adults make mistakes too. Do your own thing. You’re a responsible adult yourself. Backbone, please.”


What was written: Trust your instincts. Listen to your heart. It will not betray you.

What I was really thinking: “Duh. That’s not how it happens in real life.”


What was written: You are young and you have all the choices before you.

What I was really thinking: “So yeah, dear graduates, you’re screwed just like the rest of the working population. Enjoy!”

But what do you know, I went right ahead and added to the speech this gem of a quote (thank you, Google):

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

I don’t know you, Mr. Thurman, but thank you. That hurt, but thanks. You see, I’m one of those zombies. So that makes me a lying speechwriter.

I really should follow this advice and practice what I preach. It’s time to ask:

What makes me come alive? And why am I not doing that?

I’m asking the same questions wide-eyed fresh graduates are asking. Ooookay. Way to go, maturity.

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Scorching

A few of my 575 favorite things…

Football reminds me
Of summer-dreaming giraffes
Soya milk mornings

Sweet-salty popcorn
Subtitled foreign movies
The best afternoons

Babys and Sharpies
Elephants from Bangalore
Spotified evenings

(Written for Thursday Poetry Rally Week 81)

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December: A month without too much “stuff”

(Part of A Year of Living Without)

The Challenge: Mindfully staying away from excess, and putting a stop to hoarding stuff  bought from malls

Planned replacement habits: Recycle. Reuse. Reduce waste. Ask myself if I *really* need something before buying it. Raid my closet and dispose/give away unused things first before acquiring anything new.

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Shirts galore

Month-end Report: For my Christmas gift-wrapping tasks, I recycled used board papers into gift cards and fashioned old calendars into wrapping papers and gift bags.

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Before: the wall calendar

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After: the gift bag

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Colorful calendars as wrapping paper for gifts

I’m also cleaning out my closet. In fact, I already gave away old clothes and started redesigning some of the t-shirts that I kept. A lovely DIY blog called Wobisobi inspired me to cut up my shirts.

Aaaaand it’s a wrap! That was a year of living without. Thanks to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits for the inspiration.

It’s empowering to find out what’s really necessary so I can simplify my life and give up some things that might be taking up space, weighing me down or making me unhealthy in some way physically, emotionally, or mentally. I learned that living without some things may mean making room for some better things, so I’m all for it.

Cheers to 2014, and the awesome year to come! Hello and welcome to my life, 2015!

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November: A month of living without red meat, processed or not

(Part of A Year of Living Without)

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The Challenge: To go meatless, but not necessarily tasteless.

Planned replacement habits: Vegetables, fruits, chicken, and fish

Month-end Report: I’m not much of a beef eater and can definitely go without steaks and burgers anytime. Pork is a different story. It’s just that pork is…love. Hahah. I tried to limit my meat consumption, but I’m defenseless against tocino. The good news is, yes, I ate more vegetables (ate them with pork).

Up next in December: Minimalism during the grandest time of the year: Christmas!

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