Poetry Reading for the First Time

I did something for the first time — poetry reading. I did declamation, extemporaneous speaking, and public speaking when I was student, and I have delivered speeches, hosted, danced, and even sang onstage (despite my being tone deaf) but I have never read poetry in front of an audience. Never. Ever. Until a couple of…

My First Big Bad Wolf Experience

For someone, like me, who loves books and reading, a roomful of books and a book sale are a huge come-on. So, when the Big Bad Wolf book sale came to town, I made sure to allot time to visit the book sale. Fortunately, I have a friend who shares the same pastime (and enthusiasm),…

Car-less Sunday in Jakarta

If there is one government program in Jakarta related to the preservation of the  environment and to combating urban pollution that is consistently being implemented, that would be every Sunday morning’s car-free day along Jakarta’s central business districts of Jalan Thamrin and Jalan Sudirman. Originally held twice a month, car-free day is now being held…

Phoneless for Five Days

I spent five days without a smartphone. For some people, it would have been disastrous. For me, it was five days of ‘freedom’.

Grateful! Grateful! (An Appreciation List)

2017 is not my definitive year, nor the most life-changing, and definitely not the worst (it’s not bad either). Over-all, it was a good one, and there are tons that I am grateful for.

Back Home Again

No one will ever understand why a luxury ship has made a dent in our being, why we keep coming back to her, and how Nippon Maru and SSEAYP have changed our lives, literally and figuratively.

Lessons Learned from Life

I have lived away from home since I entered university at 16, lived in at least three cities and stayed short-term in around 10, and travelled to 12 countries, mostly on my own. I have met a lot of people, experienced at least a dozen cultures, and stayed with a few foster and host families. …

SSEAYP28 Files: Excerpts from Loose Leaves of an Unfinished Journal

While cleaning my apartment and browsing through my stuff last weekend, I found a file of my SSEAYP (Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program) journal that I started writing during the program in 2001. It is still unfinished up to this day, as much as the journey was/is unfinished, literally and figuratively. Coincidentally,…