Of Movies, Superheroes, and Real Life

Got home last night to news of horrific incident in London perpetuated by terrorists. Emotions of sadness, concern, anger, and (I am ashamed to say in my weak moment) hopelessness plagued me at the same time. Like many people, I asked ‘why?!’

When I came to this country 17 years ago, I noticed a big difference in the TV news compared to that of the Philippines. News of violence is very rare. I thought, at the start, that perhapsthe news agency in this country just do not like to sensationalise violent crime unlike back home. But as the years passed by, I have accepted this to be the norm. 

In the recent years, violence seem to be popping up every now and then. Most of these shocking violent crime are terrorists related. Last night, I was asking the question, ‘What is going on, London?’ I know that there will be no straight answer to this so I felt despair and anger. I feel despair for my beloved home of 17 years and I feel anger at the assailants. I despair for the world as what happened here in London is but a symptom of what is ailing humankind. Lives were lost due to extremism and refusal to be tolerant of others but sadly this is not just a truth that only the British people know. These kind of incidents are happening everywhere and moreso in other countries. 

This morning, I woke up and the world was as it was last night. The tragedy did happen. Lives were lost and forever changed. Yet the answer to this societal problem is not immediately forthcoming. I was second guessing my plans to go out this morning but I thought, those men would achieve their goal if people, like me, stopped living our lives. So I decided to carry on. 

As I walking towards the bus stop, a thought hit me… If only we had Superman, Wonder Woman, etc or at the very least, Jack Bauer on our side, perhaps they could have stopped last night’s atrocities, flush out these crazy people and their cohorts before harm was done. But this is rea life. This is no Hollywood movie where a director can yell cut or a writer can make sure that there is resolution at the end. Those who lost their lives will not get up when the cameras are turned off. This is a real life problem needing real life solutions and not just fantastical musings of despairing person. 

I have always been a pacifist. I will always advocate for peaceful resolution rather than a violent one.  Only Light can drive away the darkness as Marti Luther King said. But what if the adversaries are in a blackhole that no matter how high powered the light beam is, it will just be swallowed by the darkness? Will sending a photon torpedo into the black hole solve the problem or will it just feed the blackhole and make it bigger? In this hypotherical question, I have no brilliant answer. 

Advocacy for love, understanding, equality and acceptance should always be the primary approach. We need to stop people from being enticed to enter the darkness. These are the ones we can save. But those who spread the darkness need to stopped and held accountable for the hate they are spewing. 

So what can we, the normal people without super powers, do?  We can carry on living our lives and make sure that we treat people in all encounters with love, kindness, and fairness. We have to make sure that we do not become a reason for them to enter the darkness. We cannot accept… No…We must refuse to let what happened last night to be our new norm. 

We are British and we stand united. We are unbowed. We carry on and live our lives. 

So off I go to carry on living. 


Of Butterflies and Love


The moment our eyes meet

When our fingertips touch

When your foot playfully taps mine


When you ask me to stay a little longer

When we both smile slowly

When a lingering fragrance stays on


But butterflies have wings

They fly off and disappear

Fleeting moment neededto hold on


Choosing to know you more

Wanting to be with you at all times

Missing you when you are not here


Seeing perfection with flaws

Understanding differences and simitarities

Willingness to go the distance


Steadfast, reliable, patient, true beyond doubt

Remembering and thinking despite distance and time

Waiting faithfully for my butterfly



Eyes closed in sleep’s embrace

Take me into a place of love

Where laughter and birdsongs tinkle

Where happiness can be found

Then you showed that life can be dreamlike

Where eyes are wide open 

Where smiles and dreams can be done by two

But time ran out and so did you

Left dreaming alone with my eyes open

Yet not willing to dream on my own 

Entreaties went unheeded

I called to you to stay and dream together

But push you’ve done

Enough! Not worth your time

Not what you are looking for

So close my eyes with tears still streaming 

Willing myself to slumber

Perhaps, I can hold you again

In my dreams

That moment…

That moment…

When you wake up with a full heart

When you realised you’ve fallen 

When you decided to accept the unexpected love

When you finally see the colours of the rainbow

When your smile reaches your eyes and heart

When you conciously love anyway despite it all

When your souls recognise each other

When your thoughts clicked without being spoken

When smiles and mirth happen spontaneously

Then that moment happens…

When you learned that your efforts are unnoticed

When you understood your invisibility and muteness

When your words were of no consequence

When you are bottom of the list

When your presence is no different than your absence

When your pain has silenced your spirit

When you walk away and no one holds on

When your tears drown your laughter

When your heart can no longer hold on hope

When you think of letting go and walking away

When you are asking yourself

Is now that moment?

Do you…

Do you…

Think of me first and last in the day

Hear the thumping of your heart when we are near

Feel the fluttering butterflies in the stomach when we hold hands

Dream of prolonging our embrace each time

Wish to hold your hand all the time

Talk nonstop of our dreams and aspirations

Look forward to our sparring of wits and banter
Want to know how my day went when we are apart

Fall helplessly whilst staring into your eyes

Imagine the first time our lips will meet

Smile like a silly kid in your company 

Miss my presence in my absence 

Know that you hold the lock to my heart

I need to ask , do you…

Because I do. 

Politics and friendships in the Time of Social Media

So I have not written for a long time… yet again! They say a good writter needs to have some level of angst inside to produce good works but I guess too much angst can be debilitating as well. Anyway, I digress from my extemporaneous-speech-worthy title. I can just imagine picking up this title from the jar and being given 1 minute to compose my thoughts before I launch into my speech. But, that was a different life, when I was young and the world was my oyster… yet I digress again!

So, onto the topic chosen.

Social media has become ubiquitous in our present lives just as the smart phones have become akin to extensions to our hands. We have become a society that lives in both real and virtual worlds. Social media has made it possible for us to connect with people miles away and in different time zones. Sharing of information is just a matter of nano seconds now compared to days if not weeks by ordinary post. People across the globe can be influenced and galvanised into ideology or action with the use of social media. People, like myself, can share my two cents’ worth of opinion to the world. Social media is a good tool depending on how it is being wielded and who is doing it.

In the last Philippines Presidential election, social media played a big role in galvanizing the people of 7,107 islands and of at least 120 dialects. Social media managed to challenge the biases of mainstream media as the people themselves can post live streams of the actual events rather than listen to or read the news that have already been slanted to the media’s own biases. The people’s decisions were no longer influenced by what is on the tv or radio. There was suddenly an alternate way of knowing of what is really going on. Social media made it possible for a mayor with no real political machinery to win by unprecedented huge margin.

As I said earlier, social media can only be as good or bad as the user. The one advantage and disadvantage of social media, our thoughts and opinions will be broadcasted to the public instantaneously. Politics, just like religion, is polarising in its nature. People will always have to take a stand in politics. Even the act of abstaining is taking a stand. This is where social media can become a virtual field of landmines. People can take a personal affront to opinions or posts shared. That is one of the effects of sharing an opinion unfortunately. But there is also an unspoken agreement in social media decorum or etiquette that is expected which are:

a. Everybody is free to post their opinions

b. We can agree to disagree on things

c. We can have a friendly reasonable discussion on the topic on my wall as long as there will be no name calling or expletives

d. If you want to throw your toys out of the pram (aka throwing a tantrum), please post your meltdown on your own wall.

e. There is the unfollow button to click if the posts are annoying or offending you.

I have followed the above rules in my use of social media. I have clicked on the unfollow button several times so I avoid irritation and I also do not lose friends over opposing opinions.

Having a meltdown in someone else’s wall is like following somebody to their own home so you can have a tantrum in that person’s home because you had a disagreement on something. I know that this sounds ridiculous but that is exactly how it feels when someone is having a tantrum on my own fb wall. Gentle ribbing is ok  and I normally can roll with the punches thrown. I understand that that there will always be differing opinions but when reactions are incindiary, I sometimes just erase their posts. That is my way of showing them the door in the virtual world then click on the unfollow button.

With the recent Presidential elections for USA, the whole world is still reeling from it and trying to re-orient itself to its axis. It is indeed polarising not just for the citizens of USA but for the whole world. People fell out with their friends on social media because of the results. Social media has made it possible for all your virtual friends to know  simultaneously your opinion once you have decided to post it online. 

In the next couple of months, UK will be going to the polls again. Social Media is now starting to fill with election related articles. I do not shun these things on my fb feed. I actually welcome and read them (- both sides )so I get a balanced view on things. ( although, I have always be a socialist in my ideology). I would like to enourage everyone to read up for themselves too. It is our responsibility as citizens to read on what we are voting for and not just be swayed by who talks the loudest, longest or more charismatically. Learn to be savvy on determining on who is telling us half- truths. How do you do this? Educate yourself on what is being discussed. We cannot blame the politicians for telling us half-truths because that is their tactic to get votes. We can only blame ourselves for the ignorance in our own votes. 

Last night, my friends and I were talking about the coming election. We are of differing opinions but we respected each other’s opinion. We were respectfully listening to each other and agreed to disagree. No tantrums were thrown. 

In the last referrendum, a good percentage of people did not vote then cried foul over the results. It is my belief that those who did not vote do not get to complain regarding the results because they lose their right to do so when they actively opted not to vote.  Those basically who did not vote, gave up their right to have a say and decided to go with the majority, hoping that the majority will make an educated vote. Errr… no, it does not work that way. 

I am not here to convince you who to vote for. I just want to remind you of your power as a citizen in helping steer the future of this country. Educate yourselves. Read up. Register. Vote. 

And our opinions will differ and for sure social media will become a virtual field of landmines. We just need to remember that when the election is over, we will still need to interact with our friends, colleagues, family and loved ones so let’s have a good debate going without attacking the person airing his or her opinion. Let us not lose friendships over politics. 

So… let the campaign begin!


NB I started writing this last November (hence the introductory paragraph) but I got interrupted and never finished this until now. With the new election looming, I have decided to finish it as it seems to be relevant to the times again.  




The Game

There is a game, so I am told

That people play in love

Do it well and you’ll win

What are the rules, I ask

Go hot and cold

Let them wait and stew

Be mean to keep them keen

To always keep the upperhand

Being earnest is a big no

Don’t show how you feel
Keep your cards close to your heart

Or else out in the cold you go

But I am inept in this game

Taught as a child to love without care

Show love and care sincerely

Be bold , say it loud

When heart is bursting

Patience, tolerance,  kindness , comfort

Thoughtfulness, faithfulness, and generosity

Ways to show love and care

In books  and I hold these ideal

In real life, it makes one a fool

Wearing heart on your sleeves

Does not make you win hearts, it seem

It makes you lose each time

Hurt, unloved,and unwanted is all there is

For one who does not know how to play

The game

Of Tears

Happiness, laughter, sadness

Emotions that produce water in our eyes

Voluntarily or involuntarily they roll

Conveying emotions in the soul

When in mirth they come

Clap our hands and show to friends

Alas! If sorrow is the source

Comfort in our loved ones we seek

But if love unappreciated breaks the heart

Roll down they come unbidden

Amor propio forces a plastered smile

As heart breaks of love unreturned

In the rain and isolation 

Freely welcome the stinging pain

Of tears

The colour of You

Whilst most kids will be gravitating towards either blue or pink as part of culturally accepted gender stereotyping, I preferred neither and was more than happy to like their combination colour –  Purple! (guess I was already stubborn and a rebel even then) Though I can never carry clothes coloured purple, lilac or violet as they drain my colour, my favourite things will be a shade of purple. My favourite ice cream is Ube and it is coolured purple too.  My favourite beddings was one with purple hearts on it. And yes, I love the song Purple Rain too.

Then I became a teenager and my colour preferrence changed to red. I cannot remember whether it was a conscious decision but my eyes always stray to anything red. It has cone to a point that one of my close friends would exclaim, ‘Red again?!’ each time I hold a top or dress coloured red. Currently, my phone case is red ( and it is not the first time) and my tablet cover is also red. My winter coat is red – for which I have been called ‘Nona of the North’. So if you ask me now what my favourite colour is, my automatic answer will be red!

Going through my drawers and my recent clothes purchases, I noted a trend and a shift in the spectrum! I have more navy blue new tops and dresses than red! It got me thinking – Have I switched yet again? I now have to make a conscious check before purchasing anything that it is not in blue again! Perhaps, the change has something to do with the fact that I wear red at work all the time so I cannot be wearing same colour outside of work too. Then again, I like blue skies, blue flowers, blue eyes, etc.,

I guess our colour choices and any choice for that matter will be fluid and variable with time. Our experience and interactions will influence our preferrences. What was true 10 years ago may no longer be true today. As our Social Studies teacher told us in 2nd year high school, ‘the only constant in this world is change’.

So I am not going to sweat it that my wardrobe is now mostly blue. Who knows? I might decide tomorrow that green will be my favourite colour. Life is full of colours anyway and there is no rule that says to choose only one.