Silence makes you stronger.

Silence does not make you less person. It makes you stronger, and better. According to Lao Tzu, it is a source of great strength.

I used to think that silence is boring, that silence is actually a waste of time. As a youth leader, I am used to joining lots of gatherings. Our weekends were always filled with outdoor activities. In our ministry, we usually had events and formation for the youth. When my weekend is empty, I feel unproductive.

However, as I grow older (and hopefully wiser), I’ve realized the importance of silence. When I say silence, what I mean is the opportunity to stay still, reflect, and meditate.

For me, silence is important when slowing down and recharging.

In silence, I remember my unvisited thoughts. I can recall the little things that I need to do (the things that I keep on forgetting). I remember the things I need to organize in my room, the books I need to cover, the notes I have to keep, and the emails I need to read.

In silence, I can think of new ideas, stories, and my strategies to execute all these projects. My Paghilom book is actually a product of my silence. I’ve also noticed that I am most product when I am away from social media. I can write more posts and content after uninstalling Facebook on my phone.

As an educator, giving my students silence is also important in the learning process. It is an opportunity for them to think, brainstorm, and analyze the facts given to them. After asking a question, I give them some time to process their ideas. When they’re ready, they can answer the question easily. This is applicable to my foreign and local students.

I strongly believe that silence makes you stronger than before. It is not quitting but it is more of recharging. Through silence, you can also build a deeper relationship with God. Listening to His words is best done in silence.

When was the last time that you were silent? I hope you find time to be quiet in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life.


It doesn’t have to be grand.

When I was younger, I used to believe that people should always be successful. I should always do my best and produce favorable outcomes. However, as I grow older, I’ve realized that my priorities are changing (yes, progressive tense).

I graduated grade school and high school with flying colors. When I was in college, I joined different organizations, and did some basic writing freelancing gigs on top of my commitment as a volunteer-servant in our community. My weekends were always full. My weekends were always spent in the church.

Before I graduated college, I set my goals. I should graduate at 20 years old. At 25, I should finish my MA degree in my dream school. My goals area always revolving in my career. I have forgotten about myself. That person outside the academe, that person outsider her career, and that person before everything else.

Who am I without those affiliations? Am I still myself? Am I forced to do what society expects me to do?

I’ve entertained these questions because lately, I’ve been thinking about a very critical decision. I reviewed my goals, priorities, and needs. And you know what, everything has changed.

My goals before are not my priorities now. I choose to spend my energy to what matters most.

I believe it’s totally fine. People change, and so our decisions. We live life differently. We all have different origins, environment, and experience. When our goals are not yet achieve, we should not falter. Everything REALLY happens for a reason. We should know that reason to move forward.

Here’s what I’ve realized after working for more than 10 years (including my freelancing days).

1. Life does not have to be always grand. Some people use social media to post achievements and be quiet in their in-betweens. I am guilty of it and I am sorry, self. I’ve realized that I can still find something special out of ordinary experiences and events in my life. There is beauty in simplicity. Reading Japanese self-help book made me understand more about this belief.

2. Sometimes, we do not achieve our goals in our own timeline and that is OKAY. There are external factors, too. We don’t have the control to everything. When the time comes, we will surely achieve our goals. We just have to take time to pause and review, and keep going. Who knows? Our time will surely come.

3. Never stop learning. In life, no matter what you do, you should be open to learning new skills or thoughts. Ideas and concepts must be learned to. Life has changed rapidly, and so are other ideologies. If people refuse to accept new facts and stick to the old and not updated one, then it would be really problematic.

Here’s my photo reminding you to celebrate new experience and embrace new life lessons. You are capable! Always!

What is something that you’ve realized lately? I hope you find life meaningful despite of your issues.

May God bless you, friends.

To walk slowly

The phrase 慢走 (man zou) in Chinese literally means walk slow.

This is one of the many ways they say goodbye or part ways. Man zou is one way of reminding people to be careful in their journey. This also means to take time and enjoy the things they see along the way.

When I was learning Mandarin in UP, this is one of the phrases I remembered by heart because this shows thoughtfulness and concern once said sincerely.

I’ve been reading Japanese books about Ikigai and Ichigo Ichie, encountering man zou somehow reminds me how eastern philosophies promote mindfulness, and living life one step at a time.

In this fast-paced world, it is important to remind ourselves to walk slowly–to appreciate our journey before we reach our destination.

We all have our own journey, and dream destination. As we strive to live and to achieve our aspirations, may we not forget to walk slowly.

To walk slowly entails appreciating the view that we see, the people we meet, and the experiences we have.

To walk slowly does not mean avoiding the rocks, but carefully stepping not to drop into the hole of sadness, or insecurities.

There could be a tight bend on the road where we walk, but if we only learn to walk mindfully, then that’s the only time when we could pass that bend on the road.

May life give you many reasons to walk continuously.