“flawed | an instant film exhibition”
Danny Sanchez / Mission Accomplished / Director’s Selection


Have you ever looked in the mirror, and not recognize the person staring back?

Not because you look too different,

but because something inside you is amiss?


Like the continuously unpredictable weather, life- for anyone today,- is nothing but a continuous, strenuous struggle.

It’s as if we cannot go past the “rebellious teenage years” when we are either stuck in our box of how we see ourselves and others, or we are so without a solid foundation of who we truly are, that we let ourselves just go with the raging current of the times.

Realizing each of our individuality, we often lose our sense of community.

Realizing the sheer power of our limited free will, we often burn ourselves with the consequences we refuse to respect. Until there’s nothing of us that is left.

We are curious to learn of the other, but are often too afraid of the change knowing them would bring upon us.

We hate being boxed, but at the same time we hate the prospect of having to change.

We are so confident in what we know through our limited means and limited senses, that we forget and hate the word “limited.” Though,  that will be always a part of being us. Being human.

We know how limited our time is. “YOLO!”, so we rush through it, instead of cherishing the little seconds of it. Forgetting the little seconds, our little movements may have rippled across generations to come after us.

And in the struggle we find ourselves in, we can’t seem to escape the growing pains of the times.

Well, we aren’t perfect.

You, and I. Flawed.

Maybe if when we learn to accept that fact, and stop making gods of our intellect, our physical beauties, our talents, our achievements…

Maybe if when we learn to accept that fact, and searching for gods in each other…

Then we can learn to live life the way we are meant to. No matter the flaws.




Us…Strangers|T.O.A. |World Lit. Reflect. “Mulan” (FIN)

(A/N: First part here)

The story of Mulan begins with Imperial China being at a state of emergency following the Huns’ breach of the Great Wall.  Despite being faced with an enemy whose reputation of ruthlessness and brutality preceded them, it was a time when the Chinese so strongly believed that to cower in fear of the enemy or to decline the Emperor’s summon would equate to having no sense of honour. Defending China meant defending their villages, their livelihood, and most of all their homes.

But what could Mulan do? Her ailing father, determined to honor and protect his family, had strongly forbidden her protests and commanded her “to finally know her place”. It was these final words of reprimand that only aggravated Mulan’s already broken heart. Earlier that same day, their people’s matchmaker had publicly declared her to be nothing but a harbinger of shame to her family- a word that was almost as absolute as a Prophet’s speech.

But despite her sorrow from the “verdict” on her fate, Mulan’s determination to protect her family in whatever way she could was unwavering. Her “shame” only drove her to work with whatever she had. And work she did, with all her best.

Yet at the same time, Mulan could not make it alone. And this is where the beloved character of Mushu, the once-guardian-dragon came in! (Plus a very “lucky” cricket, if you may!)

Mushu was himself an outcast, a familiar made stranger due to the one mistake he made that lead to the untimely demise of one of Mulan’s ancestors. From guardian to virtually the spirits’ alarm clock, Mushu in the beginning seemed to be sealed to his fate. However, in ingenious ways, Mushu came and indeed acted as a true guardian, but one whose character fit very well to the overly eager Fa Mulan.

Mushu gave Mulan the redirection when she needed it and the “invisible” hand that worked behind some very pivotal scenes that if they had happened otherwise, the story may have worked out very, very differently. Perhaps through his mistakes, his concern for Mulan’s safety slowly and evidently came before any self-interest he had in bringing Mulan back in ribbons and medals. The storyline welds these similar, yet at the same time starkly different characters in a very interesting way. And as it closed, the outcome was, for sure, the opposite of what was “written” as their fate.

Perhaps, it was their situation of being individuals whose minds ran differently than those around them that pushed them to work not to assimilate themselves completely, but to stand firm on their own and all the while being in harmony with the society they call home. Others would probably resign to their fate, but here we have two people struggling against the flow whenever they see it going on the wrong direction. Indeed people like Mulan, are people that you won’t just meet in every dynasty!

Perhaps, we can then surmise that our fate isn’t completely absolute in being unchangeable. Perhaps we could start to see “fate”, through the story of Mulan, in associative manner? The type of fate that awaits as a consequence of the direction of life that we chose, and the actions and choices that we take within the limits we’ve been given. Perhaps by first utilizing what we are given, we could find the purpose we should be fulfilling.

Perhaps amidst the hardships, we should start seeing these dark events that unfold in our lives as something that redirects us or shifts our footing in case we had taken the wrong steps? Or maybe these adversities are meant to unravel or strengthen traits we have, but may not have given value?  Perhaps these are the imbued lessons when the Emperor told Captain Shang, “The flower that blooms in adversity, is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

Perhaps these thoughts are what the writers, who adapted the legend of Fa (Hua) Mulan, intended to stir into their viewers- that it were “strangers” that strove for principle and selfless dreams that have always moved the mountains throughout history, despite the “norms” set about by the times and places they lived in.

Us…Strangers | T.O.A| World Lit Reflection: “Mulan”

A/N: YES..! I’m back 🙂 Pretty busy. But found my assignment in my  “World Literature” class as a reason for me to get into writing again! I really didn’t know that one of my childhood favorites was actually based off a Chinese literary classic , “The Ballad of Mulan”…! Literature is really exciting, if you take it from a much more different and deeper perspective! So here’s the first part. Working on the rest ^_^

“…So blessed are the strangers.”

It’s been years since I first saw the animated film, “Mulan.” And ever since then, I was always captivated and inspired by her story. However, I just realized how I’ve never given much thought as to why…

What is it about Mulan that has many people enamoured to her account up until today? What of its essence has enriched me?

Is it her almost reckless courage and passion that drove her to the measures she took in order to protect her family? Is it the image of a woman, so different from her time and that broke the societal boundaries set upon her?

Many stories like Mulan’s have been written, but they speak about different times and places. However, they also tell of the same type of person- a “stranger” within his/her own people, well ahead of his/her time and doing the “unthinkable.” But each story is still arguably unique, just as how the Brenda Chapman’s story of Princess Merida of Dunbroch* is different from Walt Disney’s adaptation of China’s  “Mulan”.

Looking in retrospect, stories that have been endearing to us aren’t really because of their face-value facts that we can often pick-up in the first go. Usually, these “special things” come after returning to them for the umpteenth time. Some stories even take years in pages just for the main gist to be unravelled! The same thing  goes for “Mulan”- I believe that its “gem” (at least for me) lies beyond the just your popular “tale of the empowered female” storyline.

I believe Mulan’s gem, lies in the themes of “purpose” and “destiny”.

A/N: How about you? Share below 🙂

 *Brave, 2012

FROZEN (part 2)|Heroes, Dreams|T.O.A.

Image ImageImage



In a world where darkness grows, how are the little sparks going to grow?

In times when illusions spread, how will Truth fill the rays of morrow?

(Click here to go to previous article of this series, FROZEN (part 1)| The Dilema...)

The growing tree is frozen in thought; unable to stretch its fragile branches further upward into the uncertain, treacherous and cloud-filled sky.

I refuse to believe that there is no hope. I will always believe…

There is. Hope has always been the key for any species to survive, even for those beings that are labelled to only be “instinctual creatures with no reason”. Like the herds have hope to return to the pride lands after the drought has ended, “instinctively” knowing  believing that the lush green will reawaken. Like the migratory birds, normally fly away for the winter but always expected to return for they know believe that spring will come again.

Like us- human beings. Even for those of us who continuously reject that there is the need for laws and religion to define the goodness within one’s humanity, we all secretly strive to find the right direction that’ll lead us to a harmonious life. We were given the “reason” to deny it, but we know that there must be Hope, just as there must be air, food and means for shelter to survive and grow.

H.O.P.E.- Hope. Some search for it in the declared “idols and stars”of the entertainment industry. And some search for it in the heroic stories that fill our TV and cinema screens…deeply wanting to be a force that could bring some light into the tension-racked times… deeply waiting for that “hero” that would prove us wrong- that sacrifice for the greater good we all dream for, is and will always be worth it. 

 (The Arrow. One of the current and quoted, “most popular hit-hero TV series of all time”. )

But in an increasingly complex world that’s forgetting the true materiality of “those little things and values”, how do we recognize Hope? How do we find it?

Heroes, even for us “grown-ups in denial,” are stars we constantly pine for especially in our times that are ridden by the revolting facts of escalating wars, fears and a famine that encroaches far more deeply than the lining our stomachs.

I am one of those people, and I have come to terms with it. I realized that it never symbolized an immature side of me…of something I thought I understood to be just that, and thus threw it aside. Instead, cherishing those tales of people who stood out and stood up against the storms of their society and made a difference-may they be history or myth- represented a dream, a goal, a value that I must discover in order that I may truly live before my time . Heroes are the reflection of a forgotten  self who is challenging, waking up, and calling out to the child in me that has grown but lost her courage to ask, to question, to learn and to fight for what’s right despite all odds. Heroes had always symbolized an unspoken fire of hope.

As children, the stories of heroes captivate us more than anything when growing up, lighting up the shared spark within each of us that more or less says, “I’m going find out what I love, be good at it and make this world a better place.” It’s as if, the various but singular role of being this vicegerent placed on earth is an inherited trait by all of us, regardless of what country and time.

It sparks when we reach maybe 5 and grows with a fury until elementary. But from there ’til junior high, that fire begins to waver, and by the time we step out from college many of us are drained of all that ardor, just desperate to survive.

Our once dreams then have become a distant fellow we no longer recognize and are welcomed as nothing but immature burdens that should be left on the shelf.

It shouldn’t be that way. It mustn’t be that way…right?

Which reminds me of the story of Maria, someone I know and hold dear…

(to be continued)

The more life l…

The more life looks to God who is the Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One, and the more belief becomes the life and spirit of life, the more it becomes perpetual and produces enduring fruits. It also becomes so elevated that it receives the manifestation of eternity; it no longer looks to the brevity or length of a lifetime.

The Flashes by Said Nursi ( 325 )

(shared to me for this day by a good online friend and brother in faith)