Quiet, I’m praying.

The Jesuits believe that it’s only when you’re alone and in absolute silence that God speaks to you. So once a year, they talk to God. To do that, they stay absolutely silent for forty days. Their eyes only read the Bible, and their ears only hear the sounds of the passing day. They do not talk or communicate with another soul. No touching other people. No eye contact. Nothing.

Maybe they’re right. Vows of silence are known across other religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Islam. They all have their own followers of silence.

So it was that I found myself somewhere in Tagaytay, contemplating silence one summer in a three-day retreat, Jesuit style. Read: in absolute silence. Continue reading “Quiet, I’m praying.”


How to Cook Chicken

Cooking is simple. I should know; Mom taught me how to cook when I was around ten. Or twelve. I’m not really sure. Before she got sick.

Rub one whole chicken with a mixture of chopped ginger and sesame oil.

Before, the world revolved around the kitchen. The dirty kitchen, to be precise. Some chicken had been culled earlier in the day, and Mom was collecting the coagulating blood for later. Mom had seen them at the wet market and thought it would be good to demonstrate how an entire animal becomes dinner. I was transfixed by the cooking process; nothing went to waste. Continue reading “How to Cook Chicken”