The crickets and the clock and the humming of the fan cannot compete with the crashing waves. I appeal instead to bleeding guitars, hoping to ease my distress. I feel like dancing under a babaylan moon, going back to my ancient roots. I am Eve who took the apple and finally knew. 🍎

She Walks in Beauty

Her name was Bernadette. And she was unlike any woman I’ve seen. I liked her and wanted to be like her at the same time. She was a mystery in motion with Bette Davis eyes. She was a femme fatale in black stockings and black pumps. She was Lord Byron’s best of dark and bright. And at 13, I was smitten.

My heart skipped a beat when I caught her perfume in the air. Everyone parted for her like the Red Sea. And she just kept on going, oblivious. I soared like a shining little star under her gaze. I wanted to please her. I wanted to be adored by her most of all.

Here is the secret I uncovered from her:
You have to tell yourself you are confident, you are beautiful, as many times as you need to before you even believe it. And one day, you will not need to tell it to yourself because you are already it. You are confident, you are beautiful. There is power in your allure, but first, you need to find it in you. And when you do, you never give it away.


P.S. This writing is dedicated to and inspired by one of the women I admired and was greatly influenced by when I was in my teens. My 13-year-old self saw her as an ideal of a strong, confident, and beautiful woman. And yet, someone who was also full of mystery and allure at the same time. I was fascinated. She inspired me to break down my walls of shyness, awkward inhibition, and fear of embarassing myself in front of my peers, to let the real me have fun in expressing myself and just allow whatever flows out. She saw something special in me and that inspired me to be brave and to embrace my uniqueness.

This is part of a series I am inspired to write and offer for Women’s Month. And I am calling it “For Her, By Her”. Enjoy! 🌹

Image credit: Sarah Ball @ Unsplash

Light of the World

*This is my tribute to all the phenomenal women in my life, to those who have and continue to inspire me, and to those I have yet to meet.

Cheers to those girls who had to grow up a little earlier than their peers. Those girls who were thrust with responsibility and old woman’s wisdom when they should’ve been playing house without a care in the world. Those girls who grew into independence and resiliency and wore them well into adulthood. I see you and admire your beauty shaped by the years of inner struggles, some still ongoing, and the battles you survived. Your brave hearts that still give, despite past hurts and coming up empty more times than you want to admit. You carry the weight of the world in your arms strong enough for burdens, but always soft for the ones you love. Cheers to you, to us, because we aren’t celebrated or appreciated enough often by those around us. But we can acknowledge each other, wish each other “Blessed be” when our paths cross, and say we are phenomenal women. We are the pillars of love, hope, and strength in a world that will always look towards our light.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore (2013)