Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes


Posted on June 11, 2006 by jimparedes


It took close to three months but I finally made time to attend my first Ken Wilber group discussion meet-up in Glebe last Wednesday. Ken Wilber is one of my favorite reads and even while I was still living in Manila, I had already chanced upon some info on a KW meet-up group here and vowed to meet kindred spirits. It happened at 7 to 9 PM at the Home.Cafe on the second floor. There were seven of us and we spent the evening exchanging experiences and insights into a wide range of spiritually inclined topics which would once in a while connect to KW’s thoughts. As in every book club meeting I have attended, there was much to learn from everyone. In sessions such as these, one is exposed to people who come from quite varied backgrounds and in my eyes, have much to contribute to expanding our understanding. The lively exchange warmed the night for Ala and I who are experiencing our first ‘extended’ cold spell (an entire winter, that is) ever.

This is a must-attend for me in the coming months. It is good for the spirit and it is mentally stimulating as well.


Proudly, I write to say I passed my driving test!!!! May karapatan na ako maggmaneho sa bansang ito. I was so happy and relieved to hurdle this unnerving but necessary rite of passage that everyone in this country is subjected to. Thanks to Mario Aldeguer, my very able and wonderful teacher who took me around all the possible routes an hour before, I made it. I did not realise how much I had been anxious about the test the whole week that I could not sleep that night after I passed the test. I was just too hyper and happy at the same time. WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!

My apo and palangga Ananda had her 2nd birthday recently and was it a lot of fun. When she woke up on her birthday, she ran down the corridor to our room shouting ‘June 7″! A day before the celebrations which were held later last week, we were having anxieties about the weather since we had planned on holding the party in the park and it’s been raining. To simplify things, we decided to just hold her gathering at home instead. There were 41 people all in all at our little house and 16 of them were kids running around, screaming, eating, playing and having fun the way kids do. The house was a mess but what a party it was.

Ananda relished everything– the food, the gifts, the attention, and the happy company of people her age. When the kids left, she called her mom and simply said, “I am tired” and promptly fell asleep! What a cutie she is.


I was able to do my first real ‘sit’ here in Sydney. Since I got here, I’ve put my daily meditation aside as I attended to everything else. I found excuses for not doing my zen sits, and the main excuse was that I did not bring my pillows and cushion. The morning of my driving test, I decided to sit to calm myself and be in touch with the center that does not change, the reality that is not affected by any goings on in the world, the One that merely watches without attaching, or grasping to anything. There entered in me a peace and an equanimity that was wonderful. I knew I could do anything that day in a manner where I would not be fazed by however things turned out.

I ‘awakened’ to doing things as they should be done without any personal issues trying to force an outcome. I was unconditionally present to do them. All tasks that day were done with the least problems. Whatever needed to be done was done, period! As simple as that. What I notice is that in this state, things get ‘accomplished’ with the least effort. It’s like being in ‘the zone’. And I suppose that’s how it ought to be.


26 to “Finally.”

  1. isay says:


  2. Bass Poet says:

    Hi Jim,

    I am glad you’ve past your driving test. I was nervous and anxious when I took my driving exam in Toronto. You have to pass 2 actual driving exams in Toronto to be a full-pledged driver. I seek divine intervention for my driving intentions and examinations. Sa pag-uubaya kay Bathala, ang Diyos ay naawa at ako’y ipinasa sa aking pagmamaneho. Akala ko nga habang buhay na akong mag-bubus at magsa-subway na tren dito.

    I praised you for your constant and on-going commitment to higher learning and spiritual cconsciousness. I will always pray for you and your family.

    If you need a personal tour guide here in Toronto, Jim and your family for a spiritual trek, isang tawag lang ako.

    Ingat lagi!

  3. enigma says:

    Congrats Jim for passing your driving test!

  4. trotskybee says:

    Seems that you’re getting the hang of things now. Congratulations and all the best!

  5. THEA says:

    Mr Paredes, are you ilonggo? hehe

  6. Jim says:

    isay, enigma, trotskybee– thanks.

    bass poet–will look you up if I am ever there. Thanks.

    Thea–no I am not ilonggo. why?

  7. cbs says:

    haven’t done any real meditation myself though i’m intrigued by the prospect (as well as by the subject). when you said you sat down to calm yourself “and be in touch with the center”, i am reminded by margaret atwood’s poem ‘variation of the word sleep’ which states, in part –

    “i would like to give you the silver branch, the small white flower, the one word that will protect you from the grief at the center of your dream, from the grief at the center.”

    maybe the poem is about meditation. maybe in the future you can give us hint on how to find this “center”.

  8. Jim says:

    cbs–one of these days, I will make a post about it. Accessing the center is like being home.

  9. mary rose says:

    sir jim,
    wow! congrats! now, you can drive there freely hehe.
    ang bilis ng panahon… you’ve been there for 3 months na. parang kailan lang when you told our class that you were migrating to australia..

  10. nonoy says:

    hi, kuya Jim. this is my 2nd comment in your blog. anyway, i’ve been reading your “life” as an immigrant there and i just wanted to commend you for passing the driving test! way to go!

    visit my blog sometimes. you were mentioned there twice already. hehe..

  11. N says:

    congrats sir jim!!

    (oh and ananda’s such a cutie!)

  12. Anonymous says:

    since you already passed your driving test then my advice to you is to be very careful not to get a ticket because here in the US it will cost you a lot of money which i am sure is more or less the same there aside from the driving record you, it will also appear in your insurance record so concentrate and drive carefully because cops sometimes appear when you least expect them. take care and blog always.

  13. Marlyn "Nini" Reynoso says:

    Hi Jim

    Congratulations! Take care, huh.

  14. THEA says:

    oh. because i saw palangga. thats what my mom calls me and she’s an ilongga. so i was just wondering :) hehehe. anyway, congratulations on passing your test! i have yet to take mine. im still studying the california drivers handbook. im afraid my manila driving skills might show 😐

  15. benette says:

    Congratulations on all 4 achievements!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am positive more blessings will come for a very nice fellow like you. This is just the start of more success to come your way.

  17. Menchie says:

    the roads welcome you Jim! Been enjoying your blogs since after the jam night. I’m keeping an eye on your first Sydney workshop – i hope to get info on it one of these days soon. keep your light shining! if Edsa highway has closed in on us – our info superhighway is always wide open.

  18. Nicole Burbank says:

    congratulations Mr. Paredes on obtaining your licence! It really is a nerve wracking experience isnt it? It’s one thing to worry if you’re doing ok but another to predict other peoples driving…
    i’d much rather be a passenger :)

    beautiful photographs of Ala, i never really did see the resemblance with her and Erica but now i see.. ah to see a daughter through her father’s eyes.


  19. Anonymous says:

    ganda ng photos (make-up, lights, and model)! my favourite is the one on the left in the middle row.

    congratulations on passing your driving test.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful photo’s of Ala. Erica you are a great make-up artist! Congratulations Jim!

    Take care and God Bless!

    Toronto, Canada

  21. Jim says:

    mary rose–how is my favorite class beadle? Yes, time flies, doesn’t it? What are you doing thse days? Working na?

    nonoy–I visited your blog din. Will visit again.

    n, marlyn, bennette -salamat

    thea–my father is actually Ilocano but I consider myself a manila boy.

    menchie–nice to hear from you. Let’s get together again.

    dirty vegas, nikka, anonymous–thanks. I agree. maganda ang anak ko. ha ha!

  22. mary rose says:

    hehe. wow. im touched. fave class beadle daw 😛

    hmm.. sort of working, im helping my mom with stuff. oh, we also franchised ogie doggie at sm clark. mr. alcasid was there earlier, grabe… super daming tao. hehe!

    happy father’s day sir jim! :)

  23. cathy_bythesea says:

    Your apo is sooo cute! We met a last year in Manila when we guested on Ricky Carandang’s show. And before that in Inquirer. YOur blog is very interesting! And it’s so inspiring to see how one can re-invent and start anew at various points in life. God bless!

  24. Tuny says:

    Hello Haring Liwanag :-)

    I just discovered your little piece of real estate on the Internet, and happily found its place in “my favorites” links folder. Truly inspiring. I’m also so happy to read that everything is going very well for you there down under.

    Question: Do you have a day job there? I mean a real 8AM-5PM day job?


  25. Anonymous says:

    Hi Jim, I was and still a big fan of APO. Lumaki ako sa ERA ninyo. 40 anyos na ako. Isa kayo sa maituturing na talagang pinoy product. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na nag-migrate ka na sa ibang bansa. Ako man, kasama ng pamilya ko ay naninirahan sa ibang bansa. 16 years na kami ng asawa ko rito sa Texas kasama ang dalawa kong anak. Nakakalungkot isipin na kailangan pa kami makitira dito sa US para guminhawa ang buhay. Pero hindi kailan man ako nanghinayang. Bakit? Walang ibang nagbigay sa akin ng ganitong break sa pinas. Lumaki ako na sariling kayod. Nagsikap para makatapos para ano? Makipagsabayan sa mga tao na maraming padrino dyan sa pinas. Say what you can about america pero dito, patas ang laban. Walang palakasan. Disiplinado. Me tamang tawiran. Me tamang sakayan at babaan. Lahat kailangan pumila. Walang singitan kahit sino ka pa. All you got to do is work hard. I am now a succesful systems analyst in a big cancer center here in Texas. Sa pinas? Ano? Sarili kong bayan, hindi ako bigyan ng break komo wala akong padrino. Kapwa ko Pilipino, kahit dito, walang alam kundi mainggit sa ibang tao. Walang alam kundi makialam sa buhay ng iba. Dito sa US, ang mga kano, to each his own. Masama ang loob ko sa Pinas. Masakit man aminin pero wala tayong binatbat. Masipag tayo pero hindi natin kaya ang ibang bansa. Sabihin mo na na sinamantala tayo ng america pero “kung walang maloloko, walang manloloko”. Tayo ang gago dahil nagpaloko tayo. Galit tayong pinoy sa US pero tingnan mo sa pinas, lahat ginagaya natin. Sa mga programa na lang sa TFC, wala na akong nakita kundi panggagaya. Wala tayong originality. American Junk? Yeah right. Mga hipokrito tayo. Nagmamagaling, wala namang binatbat. Kailan nating maaamin na kahit anong gawin natin, kahit sino ang maupo sa gobyerno, kahit baligtarin ang mundo…kurakot tayong lahat. Gusto easy money. Ayaw maghirap. You might not have given up but I did. I did when I was still very young. I knew back then na wala akong mapapala sa pinas. Kahit sa sports, natatandaan mo ba yong mga batang (kuno) na sumali sa little league world series of baseball noon? Nanalo sila pero binawi ng malaman na mga over age sila. Wala na tayong ginawang matino. Siguro iisipin mo na wala akong ibang makita sa pinas kundi masama. Bakit? dahil masama ang loob ko. I never been proud to be a Filipino. I hate it. Nahihiya ako. Sabihin na na ako’y taksil. I admit it. Taksil man ako pero masisisi mo ba ako? Sarili kong bayan hindi ako natulungan. Humingi ako ng tulong sa sarili kong bayan pero walang nakarinig. Sabihin mo na lahat laban sa america pero sila ang mga tumulong sa akin. They gave me a break. All I did was work hard.

    Anyway, congratulation for passing your driving test. We all had to go thru all of those things here. Sa Pinas, ano? Magbayad ka lang, meron ka ng driving license. Just another example of the pinoy trademark. Aren’t you proud being a Filipino?


  26. Arnoldcmf says:

    Hi Jim,

    Peace! I read that article in the inquierer and I was sad to see the headlines that you have given up on RP finally. I am a missionary priest working in Los Angeles for the rights of immigrants. I was to to read the correction they made that you have not given up. When I was reading about some articles on Ninoy I was thinking of you. Good luck in your new life in Australia. Maybe we could share experiences as immigrants. my email is amabelardo@yahoo.com God bless.
    Arnold, cmf.

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