Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Day

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From U2 

December 31 Midweek Musical 

Angel of Harlem 

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Pride (In The Name Of Love)

With Or Without You

Sunday Bloody Sunday

New Year's Day 

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
With Or Without You

from the Stephen Hopkins film Blown Away

See also Tears For Fears, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet

Photo courtesy of and

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Prana with Open Arms

Saturday Evening Posts
December 27 to January 2 Edition

Prana with Open Arms

September 7, 2014

It's only a quarter past eight in the morning as I write this but I've already made my day very productive.

I woke up at dawn and ran around the jogging lane at the back of Cebu's business district, just a block away from Gorordo Avenue near I'm presently staying.

I did deep breathing exercises and some yoga stretches in the open air. It inspires me to further minimize smoking and to bring more focus on perfecting my current physical body.

All around me were large fields of bermuda lawn and robust trees like in an Ivy League campus. A lot of my fellow joggers are foreigners and rich folks with their own cars.

I took in great gulps of fresh air, constantly on the move away from the areas with the pungent smell of dog droppings and the locals who spit everywhere, bizarrely oblivious to how disgusting they are even for someone who tries not to judge.

I sat down on a tree stump in the sea of grass, absorbing the prana from the air and drawing energy from the earth. I visualized a white healing light filling and purifying my entire being as I inhaled deeply, and I visualized all the stress and negative thoughts as dark smoke being expelled and instantly disintegrating as I breathed out.

I feel an overwhelming calm because of the paradoxically exhilarating sense of physical and spiritual well-being. The white light is God and fills up my senses.

When the sun turned hot and before going to the gym, I walked to the public market in Cabantan about fifteen minutes away to buy fruits and vegetables. Apples are out of season, I was told by a vendor. I bought some bananas.

My typical breakfast for the past weeks is chopsuey and canton noodles with chopped vegetables. I find it very Chinese (I sometimes buy take-out so I can eat them at home using chopsticks) although I have certain aspects that makes me more like Japanese in character.

I'm renting a room in a small house which I share with the landlord, set apart in a quiet family compound. This is in an old wide avenue that gradually became a commercial area, unlike most other places where residential areas with narrow streets deteriorated into urban squalor.

Last night past midnight, I stayed alone in the dark garden, drawing strength from the silence and the solitude. The moon was pale and ghostly. The only light came from my room through the window. I wasn't thinking of anything in particular, just letting my mind breathe, like opening all the doors of your car just to let the air circulate.

But I remember feeling a tinge of melancholy one afternoon a few days ago as I looked out the window at the rain. It fell so hard it felt like a typhoon, and the garden had become a lake. There is something in me that's evoked by the rain, something elemental that responds to one of the wondrous secrets of nature.

That's one of the many joyful mysteries in my life.

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

August 18, 2014

Dahil sa mga pinagdaanan ko sa pakikisalimuha sa iba't ibang uri ng tao sa dami ng mga napuntahan ko ay lalong naging matalas ang pagkilatis ko sa tao.

Napansin ko na karamihan ay hindi nila pinapakita ang tunay ng saloobin nila sa madla. May mga tao na mahilig sa mga party at inuman, at kung titingnan mo ay parang walang problema sa mundo.

Pero ang iba ang may mga pinagdadaanan sa buhay, yung iba naman ay malungkot ang kanilang personal na buhay. Likas siguro yan, na karamihan sa mga taong nasasalubong mo sa daan ay maraming bagay ang nais nilang baguhin sa buhay nila.

Ako man ay ganun din ngunit may malaki at napakahalagang pagkakaiba. Malungkot ako ngayon dahil malayo ako sa pinakamamahal ko. Tila ba ako dagat na malakas ang alon ngunit sa ilalim ay tahimik. Mayroon kapayapaan sa puso ko na kung saan ay pinaghuhugutan ko ng lakas.

Mas maaliwalas ang pananaw ko lalo ngayon na alam ko na ang mga bagay ng gusto ko at alam kong dapat gawin sa buhay ko. Higit sa lahat, natagpuan ko na ang taong nais kong makasama habambuhay. Walang mga salita na maaaring ilarawan ang aking kasiyahan at pagpapasalamat dahil nasa akin na ang bagay na hinahanap ng lahat ng tao ngunit di nila natagpuan.

Inaaliw ko ang sarili ko sa panonood ng cable sa office pantry bago at pagkatapos ng trabaho. Nakakatutulong din sa akin ito dahil hindi ako nale-late at hindi ako stress na kasabay ang mga crowd sa elevator. Noong nakaraang Huwebes, palabas ang The Patriot habang kumakain ako ng hapunan.

Ito ay kwento ng isang ama, balo, at mag isa niyang pinapalaki ang kanyang pitong anak.

Yung ang panahon ng himagsikan sa Amerika na kasalukuyang sakop ng Inglatera. 

Di siya pumayag na sumali sa gera dahil daw sa mga anak niya. Wala na nga silang ina, at mawawalan pa ng ama.

Ngunit, tanong sa kanya, paano naman ang prinsipyo niya?

Ang hirap ng ganun sitwasyon, kung saan naglalaban ang konsyensya dahil kailangan mamimil. Ang panganay niya ang sumali sa gera kahit labag sa kanya. Ang tanging nais niya ang ay mabuhay nang tahimik kasama ang pamilya. Ngunit iyon ay panahon ng gera. 

The Patriot

Hanggang sa isang araw, dumating na ang mga kaaway. Halos mabaliw siya nang harapin niya mismo ay binaril ang isa niyang anak. Wala nang mas masakit at mapait na kapalaran kaysa dun. Dun nagbago ang lahat, at ang nakalipas ay kailanman di na magbabalik.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's Christmas!

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From Sheena Easton

December 24 Midweek Musical

It's Christmas All Over The World

We've Got Tonight
with Kenny Rogers 

See My Favorite Kenny Rogers Songs

Almost Over You

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only 

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Love and Light

Saturday Evening Posts
December 20-26 Edition

Love and Light

September 21, 2014

This is my reply to an e-mail from a cousin

Dear Cousin,

I'm surprised you still remember me, and I appreciate your letter. I can still recall the last time we saw each other. It was in 2005 when I came to visit Aunt Fe. (her name means "faith" in Spanish.) I was then living in Manila.

I'm sure you remember that when our grandmother died and my parent's house got sold when I was nearly thirteen, I stayed with relatives, first with Uncle Freddy and then with Uncle Ramon, but I wanted to be free so I went my own way and lived my life on my own terms.

I think you know me well enough to know that I've always been very independent. I don't ask for help unless it's absolutely necessary. I actually went to Aunt Fe because I was then short of cash. The mere fact that I would ask help for a relative means the situation is really bad.

In that period of my life, I had been an English teacher for South Koreans in a language school near the U.P Diliman campus. (I spent a lot of time in the Sunken Garden with my sketchpads.) The job doesn't pay much, and frankly, I used to earn more as a fast food service crew when I was a teenager, although the sense of fulfillment as a teacher is priceless.

But the students are returning home because classes will be starting, and I felt it was time to do something else. That's also the beginning of the call center industry in the country. So there I was, on the verge of a new chapter in my life, and I was broke, so I went to Aunt Fe. You lent me some money, and I'm grateful for it.

I haven't forgotten that. I remember everything that everybody has ever done to me. I think I asked for twenty thousand but I'm not choosy. I stayed for dinner that night, we had chicken adobo. You and Aunt Fe were following the soap opera with Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa but you never once mentioned that I look like Jericho.

Pangako Sa Yo
with Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa

See My Favorite Soap Operas in our Slumbook Page

I talked to Cousin Orly for the last time on that same night. He actually taught me to play chess when I was a kid. I feel the fragility of our physical existence as I realized that Cousin Orly and Uncle Freddy have both passed away, and Uncle Ramon seems to have vanished from the face of the earth. Yet we are still here, and we still have their memories, and life has to go on.

Please give my regards to Aunt Fe and to everybody there. I sincerely doubt that my nephews and nieces even know me, and that's okay, and my best wishes still go out to them.

With Love and Light,

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

August 4, 2014

Text to my friend CB

The last time I heard from you, you were in Manila.

That's from your text message a couple of months ago giving me your new number. Some weeks before that, you texted me with another number. I sent replies both times but there were none from you. Have they designed disposable SIM cards?

A lot of things have happened since I saw you last. I got married, for starters. I'm still in the same company, though with a bigger pay but without the motivation unlike before. My plan remains the same: I'll leave after I get my Christmas bonus this December and the tax refund around February.

There's got to be more to life than this, as I told a work colleague last week. I know what I want, and doing what I'm doing and being where I'm now is definitely not it.

How about you, bro? How's your soul-searching? I hope you realize that true and lasting peace comes from within. You won't remain happy if your happiness and sense of purpose depends upon somebody else. It needs to come from inside yourself.

That is one of the most precious things I learned in life. It's not enough to try to find it. You have to know what you're looking for. If not, it may just be there without you knowing. For all you know, it's been there along.

"All the years waiting for a sign," goes the Manilow song, "to think I had it all, all the time..."

All The Time
Barry Manilow

"All the time I thought there's only me,
crazy in a way that no one else could be..."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Perfect Christmas

My Favorite Christmas Songs From Jose Mari Chan 

December 17 Midweek Christmas Special 

When A Child Is Born

A Perfect Christmas

Christmas Past

The Sound of Life

A Wish On Christmas Night

A Christmas Carol

Christmas In Our Hearts

May The Good Lord Bless and Keep You

Do You Hear What I Hear

Little Christmas Tree

Mary's Boy Child

Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)

Give Me Your Heart For Christmas

Christmas Children

This Beautiful Day

See My Favorite Songs From Jose Mari Chan
See My Favorite Filipino Song On Our Slumbook Page 

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What Matters Most To Me

Saturday Evening Posts
December 13-19 Edition

July 27, 2014

The only thing I value more than life is freedom. I have nothing to hide but my privacy is sacred.

I don't want a world where the government spies on its own people, especially here in the Philippines where law enforcement officials are notorious for extortion. You can have these criminals with badges sent to jail through public exposure with the help of the media.

But in the United States, the National Security Agency seemed to have manipulated the law itself to intrude into the lives of civilians. In a world where secrets are held only by the real enemies, the NSA's $1.9 billion machine, with three million stamp parallel procesors that can break all the encryption codes ever devised, was elegantly revealed to the public through a book sold as a fiction novel.

This is espionage in a world dominated by computers, where glorified hackers are into quantum permutation, mention unicity points, stream ciphers, knapsack variants, self-decimating generators and other high tech nose-bleed stuff. These guys can steal your Facebook as easily as checking their own. This is the ultimate revenge of the nerds.

Then the brilliant scientist Ensei Tankado has devised an almost mathematically impossible encryption algorithm and came out with the ultimate secret code. Not even the mighty forces of the world's most advanced intelligence agency can crack it. Naturally, Tankado dies. But now nobody can break the code. Not even DaVinci.

Digital Fortress

The Da Vinci Code

Angels and Demons

See my story on Angels and Demons

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

August 6, 2014

Test To My Baby

Kanina pagkalabas ko sa trabaho, kumain kami ng mga kasamahan ko sa work. Tortang talong lang ako at isang order ng kain.

Masyadong malungkot sa bahay ngayong wala ka na kaya hindi muna ako umuwi. Ang pangungulila ko sa yo ay kahit paano ay gumaan ng kaunti nang malaman kong nakarating na kayo sa Maynila nang matiwasay. 

Ang ginawa ko ay nagpunta ako sa Internet shop sa Lahug. Napadala ko na ang larawan ng kuha natin sa terminal sa pamamagitan nang Facebook message. Buti na lang na-recover ko ang ilan pang mga litrato sa USB, at napadala ko na rin sa yo.

Bago ako umalis, pinanood ko muna yung video ng kanta ni Sam Concepcion habang iniisip ko na magkasama tayo at inaawitan kita, at may kasama pang sayaw.

Mahal Na Mahal 
Sam Concepcion

See The Original Version From Archie D

"Yan ay maari natin sadyang matatanggap habang ako'y may buhay, mahal na mahal kita, higit pa sa iniisip mo..."

Alay ko yan sa pinakamamahal kong asawa.

Nasa bahay na ako ngayon, matapos magpahinga nang sandali sa I.T. Park. Ang meryenda ko ay mainit at bagong lutong bananacue para sa potassium. Imbes na softdrinks ay malamig na malamig na tubig na lang kasi makakatulong ito sa paglilinis ng mga toxins sa katawan at mainam sa kalusugan.

May mga bagay akong hindi ko naikukwento sa iyo. Isang beses, hinoldap ako sa kanto ng Avenida at Mayhaligue noong kalagitnaan ng 2008. Naglalakad ako noon. Hatinggabi. Papunta ako sa Tayuman para dumalaw sa burol ng nanay ng kaibigan ko na ngayo'y patay na rin. Bigla na lang akong pinalibutan ng apat na kalalakihan. Sumabay silang lumakad sa akin hanggang nasa gitna na nila ako. Hindi ako natakot. Galit pa akong na sumigaw sa kanila na wala akong pera kaya nga naglalakad ako eh. Umalis na lang silang na para wala lang. Wala silang nakuha. Yung isa tinatangka pang kunin yung relo ko pero umalis din nung lumayo na ang mga kasamahan niya.

Kaya ko nabanggit yan ay dahil bumabalik sa aking alaala ang napakaraming pagkakataon na naramdaman ko na talagang may gumagabay sa akin. Kahit sa mga pinakamadilim na panahon sa buhay ko, tila ba may kapangyarihan na nagbibigay sa akin ng proteksyon. Naisip ko ang mga iyan kasi alam kong malalampasan ko ang matinding pagdurusa ko ngayon dahil wala ka sa piling ko. Nakakahugot ako ng lakas sa ating nalalapit na pagsasama muli kapag natapos ko na ang mga bagay na dapat tapusin dito. Ang bagyo ay lumilipas, ang ulan ay titila, at magliliwanag ang gabi sa pagsikat ng araw na may dalang pag-asa at simula ng panibagong buhay.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Merry Little Christmas

My Favorite Christmas Songs From Jackson 5 

December 10 Midweek Musical

Someday at Christmas 

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Give Love On Christmas Day 

Up On The Housetop 

The Christmas Song

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

The Little Drummer Boy

See My Favorite Songs From
Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, December 06, 2014

What I Believe

Saturday Evening Posts
December 6-12 Edition

What I Believe

September 2, 2014

This is the English translation of one of my regular texts to my lifetime partner and to my tried-and-tested friends as my pre-paid load was about to run out.

I'm sharing my inmost feelings to those who know me the most. Here is the declaration of my convictions. We are spiritual beings.

We have been here since the beginning of the universe. We were in complete union with God and we helped create the earth and the heavens.

Then, we have been separated from God. It is a long story why, and religion (and Satan) has nothing to do with it. We need to return where we came from. The only way to do that is to purify our soul. This is the reason why we are living in the physical world - and this is the meaning of life.

But because of the things we did and did not do, we have to start all over again. This is what is called reincarnation, the truth of the soul's journey through different lifetimes to rediscover its true nature.

Jesus taught this but it was taken out of the Bible so the Church would be the only way to "salvation." Here is where what both the wise and the ignorant call karma comes in. Everything we do or don't do comes back to us. If we hurt someone, we will experience the pain in the present or in a future lifetime. Everything in our lives now comes from how we have lived in the present and the previous ones.

But we also reap the good things we sow. Karma is just how things work, like gravity in the air and bouyancy in the water. Once our soul remembers, it is then that we achieve enlightenment.

Jonathan Aquino's Journals

October 2, 2014

Text to a friend who is asking for my advice because he is going through a misunderstanding with his friends

What is most important is that your conscience is clear. At the end of the day, that is all that matters. Your friendship with them remains steadfast after all these years, and you have become a part of their lives as they are to yours.

They would eventually come to understand. Just give them time because they are in a state of shock. This too shall pass. Everything will go back to the way it was if these are friends worth keeping. You know you have nothing done wrong. God, whatever you conceive Him to be, is your witness.

I'll Be There for You
The Rembrandts
Theme from "Friends"

Top 15 Funniest Friends Moments

"I'll be there for you
when the rain starts to pour,
I'll be there for you
like I've been there before..."

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Home For Christmas

Huggybear's Favorite Songs From The Carpenters

December 3 Midweek Musical

Merry Christmas Darling 

I'll Be Home For Christmas


A Song For You

Yesterday Once More

We've Only Just Begun

For All We Know

I Need To Be In Love

Calling Your Name Again
Richard Carpenter

Photo courtesy of