Signs. Signs. Signs.

There’s a reason why the word reflection is used both to describe the image formed when you look into any mirror-like surface and when you recollect yourself through thoughts. There ought to be some explanation beyond my own observation but I’m pretty sure the meanings are linked and that one word carries a resonance too difficult to look past. Again, this is all about signs.

This is Tito Mannix. I’ve written about him once or twice before but always with a slight hint of distance. The explanation for that has to do with relationships and how they work in the Filipino sense. We know our elders but we maintain distance because they aren’t meant to be our friends. We respect them and respect can often place people very high up on pedestals like relics. He’s been Tito Mannix forever save for that one morning years ago when we walked through Baguio in December to take photos. He said to me on that fateful day: pay attention (see?) to the light. I have since then but the significance of his advice isn’t made manifest until recently.

It’s all in the name: He is Emmanuel by birth and in most other walks of life, he is known by this name. Yet another key sign. Emmanuel comes every Christmas. We know this. He is bearer of light and carrier of hope which incidentally but purposefully also describes this man I’m talking about. He is tired in this photo but even then there’s something about his presence that makes me feel alive and at ease. Two things that normally don’t occur simultaneously but do when he’s around. I have many more images of him but this has to be one of my favorites.  And just because I’m all about signs tonight, guess what happened to roll by a few minutes later…

Jeressalen (the taxi) waits next to San Miguel and I crack up instinctively. I’m pretty sure if this is a lady’s name her parents must have thought she would be a boy. They were probably going to call their baby Jerusalem but when she came out it got switched to Jeressalen. Essa’s prolly her nickname and she owns this taxi line which she named after herself. Who knows, right? It’s completely plausible.

But this (the names and all) strikes me because once, when I asked another friend how to begin putting together items for an altar he said, you have to start with what you grew up with. Start with what you know and love. Here’s a great reminder (SIGN) for that. Lesson number two would have to be (and I quote George what’s-his-name who sang this song): You’ve Gotta have FAITH (and Keep It Too). Sing it with me?

p.s. This was breakfast at 3am the night that we caught Joey A. We were all tired but hungry so we had pizza and pasta at Volante. Still a great way to cap off an already incredible night. I mean seriously, I’ll drink only if I get to eat nomnoms after. And the silliest thing happened to my lens when I accidentally flicked it with an oily finger…

It’s called a happy accident and voila, wave at our motley crew. They brave smoke and sleeplessness just to walk through the sleeping city and give people like me epiphanies worth living for.

But again, it’s all about that word: Reflection.


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