A Breeze of May 2020

The last time I saw the sky tinged this pink was on a warm day at university, on a drive back home with my books near my feet. It felt like a blessing to see it like this early this month, after more than two months of this strange routine. Even so, May was a period of growth: I started writing again in a journal as part of meditation practice and, in the process of doing so, I rediscovered my Catholic faith. My day starts at 6 a.m., in which I proceed with having morning exercises, family meals, calls with friends, and leisure time for reading books and watching new films.

I think about how May could have been better, but as it comes by like a breeze, it dissipates. It passes off as memory. For me, I can always look back at it as a constant reminder of what was, what should be, and what ought to be better.

This month, I had difficulty reading and only managed to complete two books, namely Courtney Summers' Sadie and Alexandra Bracken's The Darkest Minds. Although I enjoyed both books, I found both underwhelming, failing somehow to capture my complete interest.

Between the two books I read in May, I enjoyed Bracken's novel more despite its close resemblance to the plot of many well-known dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent. Set against a chilling context, her novel follows a dystopian setting in which young survivors of a rampant disease are held in government-owned rehabilitation camps due to their supernatural abilities that render them "dangerous" and "threatening." The author's writing was beautiful and easy to read through, though the plot of the story itself was long and heavy to digest. I look forward to continuing the series soon.

This June, I hope to expand my reading by going through local and Asian literature, young adult books discussing social issues, and adult literature set in different contexts.

Through this ongoing break from online requirements, I found time to discover great music through Spotify. My friends and I had a DJ session through JQBX, and I fostered a deeper appreciation for indie pop music and original Pilipino music (OPM, or music of the Philippines).

Some of my new favorites include: Lisztomania by Phoenix, Honey by One Click Straight, Sanity by Lola Amour, Home & A Song About Space by Reese Lansangan, Wait by Over October, and Golden by Cory Wong & Cody Fry. I love and support local and indie music.

Beyond discovering new songs, I have also been doing more exercises and simple meditation every few days. I participated in the 21-Day Meditation Experience by Chopra Center Meditation that a close friend hosted online, which has helped me reframe my mindset, think more positively, accept my vulnerabilities, and, more importantly, rediscover my Catholic faith. Unfortunately, I failed to be consistent with daily meditation, but I am happy that, through this activity, I have somehow found a way to be closer now to God despite years of questioning my faith. Now every day before bed, I find peace and hope through quiet prayer, seeing that it helps me draw strength amidst these trying times.

Despite the near 50°C weather in Manila, I will always remember May as the month of growth and rediscovery. As summer ends and typhoon season gradually nears, I hope that June brings to many people new blessings, miracles, and change long sought after.
jillian etc.