She leaned towards me and said loudly,

“I bet you’re an AMAZING gardener!”

Muriel was a leading member of our suburban congregation, so at this pronouncement everyone silenced and turned to look at the object of her attention. Me. Momentarily stunned, I searched her face...

March 16, 2016

Once upon a time lived a young girl who was light-hearted and glamorous. She could dance until dawn in rhinestone-studded heels. Over candle-lit dinners at the Champagne Room she peppered her conversation with bon mots. She rubbed shoulders with millionaires, movie sta...

February 13, 2016

My husband has invited three Filipino coworkers and their wives to dinner. That means we will be eight people total. I have been prepping and cooking for two days.

 

Butternut squash bisque. Grilled salmon. Baby bok choy. Sesame honey chicken wings. Roasted eggplant and...

February 13, 2016

My insight on the subject of personal destiny is that we do not make it, but rather, come into this world to receive it.

 

A thoughtful child, I knew early on who I was and what I would do in life. I would find a small corner of the world and nestle down. Now, which of m...

February 13, 2016

I was fourteen, when given my first glimpse of God.

 

It was Christmas Eve, St. Paul’s College of Manila.

 

In the balcony of the Chapel of the Crucified Christ, I was sullenly awaiting the start of midnight mass. Earlier, when mother had informed me we would be attending...

February 13, 2016

“Ang taba mo, Lotis! Kumusta si Dolphy? Mag pepelikula ka?”

This is the cheerful greeting reserved specifically for me, every time I pass through immigrations at NAIA. I’ve come to view it philosophically. It’s a metaphor, isn’t it? For the next ten days, two thirds of...

February 13, 2016

Eeeyyauugghhhhh! … Ah-Ah-Ahhhh! … Uh-Uh-Uh … No-no-no-nooo!!! Agh! Agh! Moans, imprecations and squeaks, emanate in jerky spurts from my North American business partner. He grimaces, rolls his eyes, arches his back. The knuckles of his clenched fists show so white I ca...

February 13, 2016

Last week, over-hearing my daughter whispering into her cell phone, I suspected she was talking about our latest family adventure. There was raucous laughter, some indistinct, muffled exclamations, and then at the end, a clear “Well, you know mommy … lunatic magnet.”

 

L...

February 13, 2016

I was twelve when my parents divorced.

 

My father was a 6’4” tall, golden haired, blue eyed American who’d served in the Pacific and returned home to the US, flourishing a delicate souvenir from the Philippine Islands. He was the first American she had ever met.

 

My tiny...

February 12, 2016

There are two envelopes. The outer one—white with atomic tangerine detailing—has my name and address. The inner one—persimmon colored foil with speckled cream liner—holds a crisp origami-style, fold-out invitation. Peeling back the layers, I am sprayed with a burst of...

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