Stories of hope and gumption from conversations I’ve had the past twelve months.

Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

The following below inspire me. They might inspire you too.

The list is in random order. I deliberately withheld mentioning specific names and brands. …

Whatever you do, there’s always someone who’s gonna be pissed.

Offensive much?

I saw a meme early at the start of the pandemic that I found mildly amusing. It was this particular one:

“Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being asked to sit on the couch. You can do this!” Meme from this Facebook page.

This meme has many variations. The first one I saw was uploaded by a prominent car journalist on his Facebook page. I got a chuckle out of that and didn’t think any more of it, until I had to Google the said journalist to check if he’d make a good resource person for a story I was working on. That’s when I found out that his posting of that meme stirred a bit of a hornet’s nest. …

Just how much cash is 20 Philippine pesos? Technically not a whole lot.

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash.

Just how much money is 20 Philippine pesos? How far can it take you? Not much. Not far. Not even for a Third World country like the Philippines. It can buy you a turon,which is a sweet spring roll snack filled with bananas and — occasionally — jack fruit. It can buy you three pens at the largest local bookstore chain. If you hailed an old school jeepney — and not one of those eco-friendly ones that look more like buses — to get to the nearest mall, it’ll be enough for a round trip. (With those eco-friendly ones, you’d…

Filipinos go all out and all in during Christmas. But what makes a Filipino Christmas distinct from all others?

Enjoying my cup of salabat.

Filipinos go all out and all in during Christmas. But what makes a Filipino Christmas distinct from all others? Below are clues from food writer and researcher Doreen Gamboa Fernandez. This is part of her essay on a quintessential Filipino Christmas. I can’t seem to find the rest of this essay:

“For food is at the center of the Philippine Christmas…The food must be shared because community and family feeling are at the core of the Filipino Christmas. More important than what is eaten is the fact of eating together, of the coming home of sons working in Saudi Arabia…

Takeaways from the mental health talks I attended this month.

Photo by Kevin Jesus Horacio on Unsplash

If you noticed a spike in the number of mental wellness talks held over the past month, that’s because October 10 was World Mental Health Day. It’s the day mandated by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the aim of “raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.”

Anyway, I attended two mental health talks this month, partly to write stories for publications, and partly also to personally learn more about the topic. Here are my key takeaways:

  • 3.3 million Filipinos suffer from depression, according to WHO’s 2017 data. Another 3.1…

That’s the thing.

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

Yet another death

The Philippines is dealing with yet another case of death due to the beastly initiation practice of hazing. Philippine Military Academy Cadet Fourth Class Darwin Dormitorio succumbed to hazing-related torture on September 18. This, after repeated visits to the academy hospital (where his abdominal pains were dismissed as mere urinary tract infection), and after being found unresponsive by his roommate in the wee hours of daybreak.

It can be recalled that around this time in 2017, University of Santo Tomas law student Horacio Castillo III also suffered a similar fate during a euphemistically tagged “welcoming party” of the Aegis Juris…

Thank God for that.

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash.

“Good” conduct

A backgrounder: everyone was shocked when Department of Justice Secretary Guevarra said convicted rapist and murderer Antonio Sanchez, a former mayor of a town in Laguna, “may be” released soon as a result of his “good” conduct in prison. He was referring to the GTCA (or the Good Conduct Time Allowance) provision in Republic Act 10592 which allows for jail time to be deducted from prisoners’ sentences as a reward for good behavior.

Because of the uproar over this possibility, the Palace quickly hastened to assure the public that perpetrators of heinous crimes were exempted from this privilege, thus rendering…

Hi Moocharoo. Thank you for this!! Appreciate it. Figuring out stuff like this is fun. I wonder if Sovereigns are sold as a souvenir item. Would like to have one.

#Sovereign #RegencyEra

Remembering the last few convicts to have been meted the death penalty in the Philippines.

Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash


I will always remember the image of convicted rapist Leo Echegaray right before he was hauled off to be lethally injected. Surrounded by police, the media, and various kibitzers, I was struck by the two objects he carried that symbolized the two entities that could’ve saved him from his fate that day: an orange wristband typically associated with then-President Estrada, and a Holy Bible.

This image came into mind again when the issue over the death penalty was revived during last Monday’s State of the Nation Address. I support the President, but I’ve always been anti-death penalty. That’s just me.

Yay or nay?

Which parts of the Game of Thrones finale did you find satisfying? Which parts did you find disappointing?

Image from Brené Brown.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

I liked all the episodes of the last season of Game of Thrones, except for the second and sixth episodes. That’s a problem for me since the sixth episode was, like, the last episode. Ever.

I felt the finale ended a bit too nicely, like everything was tied up with a neat little bow. Game of Thrones ending in a non-jarring fashion? It was so anti-climactic it was shocking.

Lingering questions

A few lingering questions:

Drogon didn’t seem to mind that Jon Snow was kneeling beside a freshly stabbed Dany? Wasn’t the dragon even the least bit mad at…

Patricia Mirasol

A personal blog.

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