My Cherie Amour

Almost Famous (2000) | William sees Penny

Scene commentary: Kate Hudson as Penny Lane was golden in this scene. No doubt about it, in this film, she was Penny Lane. Patrick Fugit as William (the underage journalist/music-lover writer) translated all the awkwardness of telling the truth to someone you love even though it hurts. And we get a very powerful moment that transcends film and tugs at something inside us in reality.

William may look sweet and naΓ―ve, but he can see beyond the illusions of the Penny Lane persona. And that’s what scares her. To have someone who can be brutally honest with you even if it hurts you, who sees the real you and loves you for it can be unbearable for someone who desperately wants to stick with her illusions. Clearly, “Penny Lane” has a lot of growing up to do. William knows that and loves her enough to want her to shatter her own illusions. πŸ’–

“You are worthy of the deepest kind of love.”

Since I first watched this film, I wasn’t immune to Penny Lane’s charms. Her beauty, sensuality, confidence, daring, and childlike wonder drew me in to her depths. Penny Lane was a mystery I wanted to get to the bottom of. She was a siren calling out to me with her song. At the end, I got to know her like every wounded sacred woman: looking for love in everyone and everything else but herself.

There is a Penny Lane in all of us at some point. She is also the inner child yearning to be heard, seen, and set free. She reminds me of my younger self who still had a long way to go before her own awakening and healing journey. She is in parts of me that I have yet to embrace and express. She is me every time I belt out to that Queen song, “I want to break free”.

Penny Lane is so real, raw, and vulnerable. I just want to love her. And as I write this, I realize that the deepest kind of love I will ever know and commit to is the love I find in myself. The highest form of unconditional love can only come from yourself, not from others. Unconditional love’s only requirement is to love the whole. And most especially, the parts you rejected and have kept hidden for years–parts that triggered chaos, pain, and shame in you. When you’re ready to fully open up to that kind of love, only then can you accept it from another and nurture it. Because no matter the depths someone else is capable of loving you, when you haven’t explored your own depths and learned to love yourself whole, you will always reject love that’s being offered to you freely.

I embrace all parts of me that I hid, especially those I was ashamed of–the bits that used to make me feel inferior, unworthy, unloved. I set myself free from all poisonous thoughts, limiting beliefs, and all the barriers to love I put up myself. I will not put up with them any longer. I reclaim my power that’s rooted in unconditional love of self. I am open to more opportunities for growth and abundance. I desire and attract the kind of love that matches and nurtures my own.

P.S. I recommend listening to the song, My Cherie Amour (the long soul version) by Stevie Wonder to accompany this piece.


Second post in the series: Music / Film + Writing Heals πŸ’–

Almost Famous (2000) | Penny Lane / Lady Goodman

Lovely as a summer day, distant as the Milky Way

Almost Famous (2000) | Penny Lane overdoses

You know that part in Almost Famous when Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) overdoses on Quaaludes and William (Patrick Fugit) was just in time to call for medical help? And as she was vomiting over the hotel room bathtub, severely wasted and emotionally worn out, her legs and feet fidgeting against the tiled surface, William kept looking at her as if she was the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie Amour plays in the background and that’s when it always hits me: this is one of the sweetest and subtly erotic scenes I have ever seen. But I just do not like it for that. It’s also for the dream that it gives me: that a person who truly loves you is someone who sees you at your worst and still finds you beautiful.

Written: 3 July 2012

P.S. I recommend listening to the song, My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder to accompany this piece.


First post in the series: Music / Film + Writing Heals πŸ’–

A prayer for today

Dear Beloved,

Allow me to see with the eyes of love and compassion.
Things may not be what I want them to be right now, but give me the courage to let go.
I may not have all the answers I am seeking now,
but in going within and surrendering further, lead me to the wisdom and guidance that I need.
Soften the hard, jagged pieces left in my heart and purify my mind that I may be reborn anew.
Help me clear the clutter so you have the space you need to co-create with me.
Whenever I falter or take a step back to old ways, remind me that Union and Oneness is within me.
I am where I need to be.
Everything that happens is for my growth and all paths I take would lead me home.
Strengthen my faith and trust so that I may continue to tend to the hearth within me and move forward in my journey with hope and love.


Growing up in a predominantly Catholic school, we wrote prayers as part of our Christian Living class tests and seatwork. I remember enjoying that part because it was one of the ways I could flex how good I was with writing. But it was more for ego and show than writing what poured from my heart and soul.

These days, my personal relationship with prayer has changed a lot. Before, I only asked for what I wanted and was so attached to my projected outcome that I always ended up disappointed when of course, I didn’t get what I wanted. I was using prayer as a crutch to get me where I wanted and thought I deserved to be, not where I needed to be. And also with little thought to what’s best for me and everyone else involved. Again, feeding ego.

So many things have happened since the past year alone that tested my faith and challenged everything I believed in. But prayer has become more of a constant and guiding light. This is what prayer is for me now: a heart-to-heart conversation with the Divine. Praying is a state of accepting what was and surrendering to what is, so that I can make room for possibilities and co-create the future. The spirit of prayer requires total trust and surrender that whatever comes my way is the best answer for me. That even though I don’t like what happens, that may be the answer necessary to push me to make the changes I need or to take a moment to choose how best to respond to the situation. There are always answers when you choose to see it. And there is always something to learn. Prayer keeps me grounded and reminds me to be present in the moment. It’s my umbilical cord to the Divine. πŸ’–

Image credit: Todd Rhines @ Unsplash

Big Bang

“You love the soul, not the gender.”

That is something I believe has taken root in me since I was a kid. My soul already knew. I just wasn’t prepared to accept it as my truth. How could I, when I was trying to fit in with the 3D programming set up for me? Somewhere in the middle, I forgot all about it. A quarterlife amnesia. But then, out of nowhere, you were my Big Bang. Our galaxies aligned into one stellar Universe. The ancient and evergreen wisdom was awakened in me again. I am not afraid anymore. I am me. I am free.

Someday, you will also break all the barriers you set up and let the love in you take its place as the Sun–the core, the center of the Universe. And with it, all possibilities will thrive for you.

Image credit: Alfred Pasieka / Science Photo Library @ Getty Images

Oh Sweet Child O’ Mine

She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stare too long, I’d probably break down and cry

— Guns N’ Roses (1987) πŸ”«πŸŒΉ

Healing the inner child

When I was 8, I wrote my mother a letter asking her this question: “Why don’t you have time for me?”

It was a valid question but I never got a reply. Like most parents of my generation, mine both worked full-time. Both worked their way up the ladder at the government’s top financial institution. Their love language was primarily focused on being good providers for my sisters and I. We grew up mostly autonomous self-starters but lacking that validation that we are enough on our own. It’s funny because we all filled up that lack in the same ways–by pouring ourselves out through books, music, art, and our school lives. We were creatively and academically engaged, but we also became people-pleasers in varying self-destructive degrees.

I am grateful for all the hard work and sacrifices our parents have made for all of us to live a comfortable life. And I understand they both made the best choices they could at that time. Most of my shadow and healing work revolves around reclaiming my worth. That I never needed to be extraordinary, to compete, or to always remain on the ledge of pleasing and pleasant to be enough for them or for any other person I value in my life. I am enough. I am always enough. And I am loved. I am loved by those who fully embrace me as I am. I continue to heal.

Celebrating the inner child

They used to call me bungisngis. I was the kid you could pull laughter out from effortlessly. And if you did it in a string again and again, I ended up laughing in tears. I remember making Lola Ilagan (not blood-related, but special to me) happy with just my laughter. She told my mother, “Ay, ang tawa niya, ang sarap!”

I first encountered the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine” when I started reading my dad’s monthly Reader’s Digest subscription when I was 7. And yes, I do believe laughter + the gift of making someone laugh, smile, and see the brighter side of things is a balm to both the bodily nerves and the soul.

I want to continue celebrating and paying homage to this precious inner child trait by laughing like bungisngis little Lea more often and making others laugh and smile in my own ways. Corny or not. 🌽

Embodying the inner child

Whenever I channel my inner child, I always flash to this particular photo (see featured photo). It’s special for me. There wasn’t any ocassion for it, just a random Saturday or Sunday when my mom thought of finishing off the leftover film in her analog camera by taking photos of me and us in the garden.

This is the essence of little Lea. I feel like it doesn’t need further elaboration. You can look at it and feel what my soul–my inner child spirit is like. Eternally young and innocent, playful and mischievous, easy to love, trusting, and free as a bird. Always seeing and revealing the light in others. That’s how I hope to embody my inner child as she continues to be with me in this wonder-filled journey of a life. πŸ’—