Infinity In The Palm of Your Hand

Saturday Stories February 17, 2018

My first feature article got published on December 2004 in Philippine Panorama, the Sunday magazine of The Manila Bulletin. Since then, a lot of my stories have appeared in various publications like The Philippine Star and The Manila Times.

DeWitt Wallace, the founder and editor of Reader's Digest, is one of my virtual mentors as a young writer. His essay in a vintage edition has inspired me to write stories that are concise yet timeless, without needless words yet of "enduring value."

The best of my magazine stories became my first book, The Way To Inner Peace. The title comes from my essay on spiritual awakening inspired by Zen Buddhism and  Siddharta by Herman Hesse. 

My book first came out in 2013 from Smashwords, an ebook publisher based in the United States.

This year, The Way To Inner Peace got published in Amazon Kindle.

In the second part of the book are some of the most significant  essays from my journal. I would like to share brief…

When God Met Satan

Saturday Stories February 10, 2018

I found one of my untitled and unpublished narrative poems recently. By coincidence, on the same day, a friend gave me the link to Setu Bilingual, a literary journal in English and Hindi based in Pittsburgh.

"Setu" is Sanskrit for bridge, "to connect the extreme ends of the words," to quote the publisher, "written and spoken, across the globe."

The story of my poem, which appears in the January 2018 edition of Setu Bilingual, is inspired by the meeting of God and Satan in the Book of Job – but that's where all similarities end.

Here is a short excerpt:

"'That’s the most ridiculous thing,'
said the Lord, 'since Vatican!'
The Devil cannot be distracted,
he’s in debate: 'Look,' he said,
'feed a dog and he won’t bite you,
but feed a man and he will.'"

I gave it a name, "Divine Comedy," in honor of Dante Alighieri, author of the 14th century epic Divina Comedia – the tr…

Once In A Super Blue Blood Moon

Saturday Stories February 3, 2018

Blue Moon is when two full moons appear in a month. A Blood Moon is a lunar eclipse where the earth passes between sun and moon. A Supermoon is when the moon comes to its closest orbit. 
The Super Blue Blood Moon of January 31, 2018 is when all of them happened at the same time, the first since March 31, 1866, with the next coming soon on January 31, 2037.

My fellow author Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo and I were chatting on Facebook last week and the topic came up, and we created a poem in real time which she titled "Ode To The Moon."

It got published in perfect timing on January 31, 2018 at, a literary site and magazine publisher based in Albania. We want to thank Agron Shele, the publisher; and Kapardeli Eftichia, who graciously took the time to translate our poem into Greek.

Ode to the Moon By Elizabeth Esguerra Castillo and Jonathan Aquino
Goddess of Light from above,
How you captivate me even from afar
Just a me…

My Favorite Miriam Santiago Jokes

Saturday Stories January 27, 2018

A lot of Miriam jokes are coming my way lately, which is nice. I collected and translated those that I like, so that means no insults about physical looks (which are not even remotely funny) and political jokes (which are funny but tragic because some of them got elected).


I forgot your name – can I just call you mine?


You can sell your house – because you now live in my heart. 


Can you recommend a good bank? Because "I'm saving all my love for you."


Are you a password? Because I can't forget you, but I can change you anytime!


Do you sell cigarettes? Because you give me Hope and More!


You used to be his whole world. What happened: he went to another planet? 


A person who really loves you is like a good student during exams: even if he finds it hard, he doesn't look at the others.

A father was explaining to his young son the difference between "confident" and "confidential:" 

Why Palawan Is Inviolable

Saturday Stories January 20, 2018

I'm not sure why the YouTube videos I shared on my Facebook Timeline have all vanished. They include about two hundred songs for my OPM series and stories on some Cinemelaya movies. What hurts me most is losing my conversations with friends on the comments.

I also lost my full story on Palawan because I wrote it on a post with a shared YouTube video, and I didn't blog it. But, as I was telling a friend yesterday, I really tend to look at the bright side, and I'm happy to say that I found a copy of a short excerpt on my online portfolio.

So here it is, "Why Palawan Is Inviolable," which I posted on June 11, 2017 but is now God knows where.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has declared the entire Palawan archipelago of 1,700 islands, covering 1,150,800 hectares, as a "Biosphere Reserve" as mandated by international laws.

The UNESCO has also cited both the Tubbataha Reef Marine P…


Saturday Stories January 13, 2018

I'm always amazed at what I find when I'm looking for something else. I was checking my e-mail, where I keep all my files as drafts and attachments, and I came across some of my old diary entries. I got goosebumps because I found passages that say exactly what I feel right now about my current workplace. This is spooky – but in a good way.

October 7, 2012. Four things why I know I'm not insecure: I don't like gossip, I don't suck up to so-called authority figures, I'm not desperate to impress others, and I'm genuinely happy for other people's victories.

September 28, 2013. I never expect more than I can give. Friendship is sacred to me. I would have taken a bullet for a friend, like the line from a movie. N and J, two of my closest friends, have given me the same counsel: I shouldn't expect others to be like me. I don't. It's just that I can't understand why some people don't even care about doing wha…

Dolph, A Deer

Saturday Stories January 6, 2018

Our company owner asked me if I can name all of Santa's reindeers. "Rudolph," I said, "Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen!" I know them because I just recently made a recording of "A Visit From St. Nicholas."
There is another one, he said, and he'll give five hundred pesos if I can tell him who that is. I quickly Google-d it: I got them all and there was nobody else. I was intrigued.
"The Who?" I asked.
"Olive," he said.
"That's Popeye's girlfriend," I told him. "You know, the one with no boobs?"
"You haven't heard of Olive, the other reindeer? he grinned.
"Ah!" I smiled, and began to sing: "Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names! They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games!"
On our Christmas exchange gifts at the office, we also had small kris-kringle gifts with a different theme eve…