Farewell, Dear Jace

On my very first day of class as a college freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University, I met Jason in my English Honours class. We were the chosen ones to learn from the wisdom and brilliance of the late Doreen Fernandez, and were all a bit intimated by life, college, and being an Atenean. I felt completely overwhelmed by the environment, but Jace smiled and introduced himself, making me feel at ease right away. Later on that freshman week, I met two other girls who, together with Jace, irreversibly became pillars of my soul. Together we formed an inseparable…

The Gift of Astonishment

I can never hide my Jesuit upbringing or the strong influence of Ignatian Spirituality in my life. It is simply that – a part of me, who I am, and what I believe in. During a past Pentecost, which I cheekily refer to as the Translators’ Feast Day, but I allow myself this transgression because I am a translator myself, I stumbled across an excerpt from Pope Francis’ book Walking with Jesus wherein he refers to the Gift of Astonishment. “A fundamental element of Pentecost is astonishment. Our God is a God of astonishment; this we know. No one expected anything more from…

The Photographer’s Prayer

While searching for inspiration on another piece, I stumbled on several versions of The Photographer’s Prayer. Here is the most popular version: Oh God, as I bring my subject into focus and prepare to make each portrait, never let me forget that I’m creating treasures for some family, a keepsake for loved ones. Make me sensitive to the qualities and virtues of others, that I may draw out into the light the beautiful radiant belongings of their hearts. Help me to be an artist, collecting the beauty of every soul, the glow of youth, the gentleness, the laughter or tears…

Your Heart Today*

*this liturgical song was composed by Manuel V. Francisco, SJ, sung by the Bukas Palad Ministry of the Ateneo de Manila University. Click HERE for the YouTube video to accompany the lyrics. The song was dedicated to Sen. Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino Jr. and Pres. Corazon Aquino, a reflection of Fr. Francisco’s fervent prayers for the Philippines. Where there is fear I can allay Where there is pain I can heal Where there are wounds I can bind And hunger I can fill Lord, grant me courage Lord, grant me strength Grant me compassion That I may be Your heart today Where…

The Blue Eagles Take A Stand

9 November 2016 Memo to         :           The University Community Subject            :           Marcos burial issue On 8 November 2016, the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines decided to allow the burial of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the historic and symbolic Libingan ng mga Bayani. With no hesitation, the Ateneo de Manila University expresses its indignation over this decision, calling this an act of convenient equivocation and injustice on the part of the Supreme Court. In its decision, the Supreme Court argued by saying: “While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human…