Seeing Through Centuries
Dancing Like Dobson
Looking For Alvin
Jonathan Aquino's "Huggybear's Corner"
My eBook, Huggybear's Corner, went live December 14, 2013
Here's my blurb
This is the first anthology of my inspirational and eclectic magazine articles, all published in major magazines and newspapers.
These stories on spiritual growth, the triumph of the human spirit and a mind-blowing range of other subjects are crafted to stand the test of time.
This volume is dedicated to those who have the faith to believe in their talent for writing, and who have the courage to follow that passion all the way, no matter what stands in their way.
In the end, it's not about how others celebrate your work. It's about how your journey as a writer made you a better person.
Along the way, hopefully, in our own personal ways, our pen has shone a light on our own little corners under the sky, and made this world a bit better by our transient passages.
My First "Greatest Hits" Collection. With Stories About Og Mandino, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Reeve, Cory Aquino, Dolphy, Eddie Garcia, Paeng Nepomuceno, Marilou Diaz Abaya, Mario O'Hara, Celso Ad Castillo, Lea Salonga, Manny Pacquiao, James Herriot, JK Rowling, Philippe Cousteau, Oliver Stone, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Norman Vincent Peale, 3-time Nobel Prize Nominee Fr. Shay Cullen and a lot more including near-death experiences and Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Download Huggybear's Corner
February 15, 2014
I was standing, leaning against my workstation, looking through the glass windows with a spectacular skyscraper view of the mountains of Cebu.
There were three of us who had volunteered for the midnight to 9 in the morning shift: me, my best friend JC and the former rock band vocalist RC.
I was thinking how those mountains have stood for thousands of years, wondering what they looked like in the centuries past, knowing they will still be there a thousand years after I'm long gone and forgotten.
"I never know what brought me here," I sang softly, "as if somebody led my hand; it seems I hardly had to steer, my course was planned..."
Ever Since The World Began
Jimi Jamison and Survivor
[Theme from Lock Up]
I held the bouquet of "flowers" made of chocolate wrappings and cloth paper tied with a material made from banana leaves.
"I admire creativity because it's so rare," I told JC earlier, showing him the "flower" made by RC from tissue paper for the Valentine office decoration.
Our 4 a.m. lunch was the first time I got together with my closest friends in the office: JC, NJ and MA who's also my gym buddy. With us were his girl IR and our officemate AG from whom I bought the home-made empanada last week and who had bought California maki.
"Johnny, you're so rich," MA joked, kidding me with my new knapsack, rubber shoes and the large pouch of TwinLab whey powder.
I remember our conversation last week where I told him that once you experience being totally self-reliant, you'll have a radically different mindset about money.
"I bought it because I need it and I buy only what I need," I told him. "I choose quality because I respect myself but I never pamper myself like a spoiled brat. Only insecure people do that."
Speaking of money, I was with my friend CB two days ago when when he got a loan from the bank.
"I'm lucky if you're with me!" he told me.
It's true. I bring good luck to people. I even seem to draw customers when I'm buying from street vendors. Coincidence perhaps, though a spookily consistent one at that. But that, I think, is one of the best compliments I ever heard in my life.
My issue with my supervisor is okay now. We had a heart to heart talk and she apologized. She admitted that she had indeed acted rather harshly, intruding into my personal life which is one of the worst things you could do to me. She asked me to stay, getting JC to make me give it one more go. I'm staying because it's too early to leave. Once I do, I'm not sure when, or if, I'll ever get back. JC and I are targeting promotions.
But deep inside, I know I really don't belong here and I will soon continue my journey. I already know where I'm going to next. My heart is not in any office job. It never had been.
February 21, 2014
I dreamed I was standing in the yard of what looked like an abandoned or unfinished building.
I was talking to a woman who seems to be drawing water from a pump or hanging clothes out to dry.
Her aura is blurred and I don't know who she was.
The building is unpainted, just gray from the cement plastered on the concrete hollow blocks. On a large hole on the wall which had been a window, I saw a cousin-in-law. I was glad to see her because we're close and I miss decent conversations.
In a blink, I was standing in a bright living room full of stuffed toys and colorful decor. I saw my cousin-in-law look go into the kitchen alcove to my right. On the sofa in front of me is someone from my present work whom I had an issue with last week because of the way she was showing how unworthy she is of her position.
I have a solid track record of defying authority. But I'm always civilized, even in my dreams. I was telling her that I like the place because it's large. I even danced like Peter Dobson in Sing.
I looked behind me. The wall, with bright billowing curtains on both sides, gave way to a lanai, or outdoor patio, overlooking a sprawling garden. In my dream, I thought it's the home of a childhood friend. Now, I realized it wasn't. I have never been there before.
February 23, 2014
It was half past two in the morning when I went out to get a cup of hot chocolate.
The vending machine is in the variety store down the street.
They have a large TV where the locals would sit on benches on the sidewalk to watch movies on DVD or cable.
I went to the bakery across. The girl at the counter told me that they still don't have pan de sal. I looked at the glass counter.
"Where's Alvin?" I asked.
She looked confused.
"I mean Francis," I corrected myself.
She smiled too.
Francis is a type of bread without fillings. But they don't have it too.
I felt the beginning of a drizzle as I went back. The little droplets of rain were like ticklish pins and needles. The rain fell as I went inside. So there I was, sheltered from the raging elements with a cup of hot chocolate. I should be so lucky.
Blessings come in all forms and sizes. I try not to lose focus on the big picture. I know what I want in life. They may be radically different from the socially-upward goals of almost everybody else, but my life is nobody's business but mine.
In my present company, my original goal is to stay for a year. There's been a couple of times when I've been tantalized by the prospect of gunning for promotion. I know this is not my dream. So I had to ask myself why. It's not about the prestige because my self-worth is a solid as titanium. It's not even about the higher pay although I'm saving to continue my journey. I certainly don't want to be stuck where I am. But my idea of moving on means leaving it all behind.
So, to me, money means freedom. This is why, unlike most people, I avoid a high-maintenance lifestyle. I would hate it if I'll be forced to slave for gadgets, coffee shops and overpriced Internet service. But money per se doesn't faze me. I have proven to myself many times that I can walk away when the atmosphere has turned toxic. Absolutely no regrets. It's a big world out there. I'm a voyager and there's nothing to keep me here aside from the need to work and save. What I have that "normal" people don't is the freedom to just get up and leave when it's not worth staying anymore.