Here's I Went out Walking by Grace Paley, page 56, in her collection, Fidelity . Bought this book at National Bookstore in Mandaluyong for Php 200! I envy Ms. Paley here. The only walks I take these days are along the hospital corridors. The mountains I climb are flights of stairs to take me to the fourth floor.

Death of plans and expectations

Stacie Schmidt on the Pharisees' plot to kill Jesus after He raised Lazarus back to life:  When confronted with Jesus, we all find ourselves in that place where we understand that Jesus’ power and call to believe means the death of our plans and expectations. 


I'm on the lookout for good places to eat, so I know where to bring my friends whenever they come visit. I wrote previously that deciding to where to eat—or meet—is a perpetual dilemma. Compiling a list of restaurants and establishments in Marbel, Gensan and South Cotabato that serve anything that can be eaten would probably make these decisions easier.  So here's the first restaurant I've tried: Juego , on the way to Agan Homes in Koronadal. My cousin Hannah told me about an good place that serves good chicken wings. It's a walkable distance from the house. She said, "You won't notice it. It's on the second floor, like a hole-in-a-wall thing." I learned that it's a hip place to go to. There's a live band that plays music until late at night.  We tried it out for early dinner.  I was with my brother and cousins, Hannah and Alyza. To discover new and exciting places, one must seek the wisdom of youth.


The internet, for all its evils and flaws, can be a wonderful place to discover things. Reading Biola University's The Lent Project devotionals , I click a link that takes me to Jayne English's Substack and find an essay on silence .  She begins this way. I hear it first thing in the morning. Though it's not really silence. There's the whir of the fan, the slowly ticking clock. It's not so much the absence of sound that defines silence, but a moment when the second hand slows the spinning Earth and creates an expansiveness of time. Not just on the borderlands of waking and sleeping, we cross the threshold into this broad space more often than we realize. Usually artists take us there. She offers the reader a poem by Suzanne Cleary, Elm Street , which will go down as one of my favorites. You see, I've been reading more poetry now, usually in the mornings before I go to work. Poems force us to slow down. Poems demand silence,

Tree 1

There's this tree in the hospital's parking lot that goes unnoticed. Its leaves are bright green. When they are about to fall off, the leaves turn into a yellowish color. The tree offers shade from heat. Because it's right smack in the middle, it runs the risk of being cut down, as people in my community often do to pave the way for "development." Like road-widening or the creation of a concrete parking lot.  Many trees—old acacia and narra trees—have been cut down in South Cotabato because of road-widening. The sight of fallen trees saddens me. Maybe I should take pictures of them before they are felled. Sounds like another blog project.


I read Alice Munro's Jakarta on this Saturday afternoon after my nap. It's the second story that appears in her collection, Family Furnishings (2014). As with most of her stories, a brief summary is difficult to formulate. There's the part where Kent—a pharmacist, who lives a normal life soaked in capitalism—visits Sonje, her ex-wife's bohemian friend many years later. Kent has a new wife, younger than his daughter, and together they drive across the country, visiting family and friends. Auntie Alice Munro's skill in storytelling is exceptional (I consider her to be in the same level as Tita Mavis Gallant, who writes shorter sentences), as she demonstrates in the insight she shares through Kent's experience.  With every visit he had made on this trip, there had come a moment of severe disappointment. The moment when he realized that the person he was talking to, the person he had made a point of seeking out, was not going to give him whatever it was he had come