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The Art of Being Alone

My home in Ratanakiri, where I learned to love my solitude.

I’ve been alone in the past year and just came home from one year of volunteering in Cambodia.

Long ago, I thought it would be dreadful being alone. But when I lived in Cambodia, I had a roller coaster of emotions, until I learned to love it. Now the reality of losing my solitude is starting to sink in. And I hope that I would have the privilege of living alone again. But now let me share with you some things I’ve learned, not necessarily things I did on a daily basis, but the things I find ideal in living alone. The following is not and never was my routine, but was and still is my aspiration. On good days I do most of them. But on ordinary days I simply want to have some sense of things. It’s not a prescription either, but my own way of seeing meaning in a life in  solitude. This is about me. You might have a totally different way of dealing with being on your own. And whatever is your way, if it works, then that is good. I call this the art of being alone.

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The planet is a person, and she is our Mother



Grabbed from pinterest at

In a world where even humans have to fight for their basic rights, it is difficult for many to grasp the idea of the personhood of non-humans, such as animals. As a vegan, this for me is one of the most difficult messages to get across. People just don’t get it that animals are individual sentient beings who should be accorded rights to live their life unbridled by human follies. And if people could not understand the personhood of non-human animals, all the more it is harder to comprehend the personhood of non-human non-animals. Why, you might say, are non-human non-animals accorded the very high status of personhood?

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Kim: anecdotes

When Kim was two, she drew a perfect apple, left-handed. She was also an early reader and learned to write early too. I noticed she had difficulty writing just after starting preschool. I observed her in school and saw that her teacher was forcing her to write with her right hand. I confronted the teacher and told her Kim had been writing long before she started school… she is left handed and there is nothing wrong with it.

Kim kept on drawing and was later making little books with stories whose characters were stick figures. I knew then she would live her life as a creative and I felt nothing should keep her from being one.

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In memoriam: to initiatives that didn’t fly

Image result for planting seeds

Photo not mine just grabbed from

New Year usually evokes feelings of hope and new beginnings. But what I am is anything but usual. The fact that I am so different makes me much misunderstood, rebuked, and even pitied. In some cases for me, I feel there should be no apologies. We are all the same by being unique and different in our ways. And I celebrate this New Year differently in memory of some things that died or have paused, like a seed in slumber, my initiatives that didn’t fly. Continue reading

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Got green books? Donate!

Almost twenty years ago, I bought part of my friend and Kumpare Jerry Gracio’s library. 175 books sold for a song to a friend who he thought would take care of the books and keep them forever. Jerry is now an award-winning writer/poet and currently Commissioner at the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and I don’t have a single book from that collection anymore. I was proud of that collection and allowed everyone who wanted to borrow the books to get them, trusting they would be returned. None did.

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