Experiencing Magic

I've been fortunate enough to experience magic in this lifetime. What is magic, you say? Magic is different for everyone. It could be tangible, like a dream materialized, or intangible, such as a fleeting moment you will remember forever. Most of the time, it comes out of the unexpected.

To me, "magic" is when I find myself whispering a thank you to the Universe, a wow, or a now I understand. These are those once-in-a-lifetime events I will one day be telling/bragging about to my grandchildren and the very same things I will wish for them.

Off the top of my head, some of those epic experiences:

Magic from places I've been to
1. Seeing the Bayon Temple in Siem Reap up close for the first time. As blogged previously, Bayon was just magnificent, parang templong ginawa ng may pag-ibig (like a temple built with love). I couldn't help hugging one of the rocks and shedding a little tear.

2. Watching the sun set at the U Bein Bridge. The monks quietly crossing, a few tourists milling around taking photos -- witnessing the life of a very, very warmhearted community at a day's end.

3. Hiking the rice terraces in Batad/ the hike back from Batad to Bangaan. This was a trip that was 20 years in the making and I've dreamed of seeing the Banaue Rice Terraces since I was 7 (of course one grows up & finds out that Batad is the main event in the Cordilleras).

Mountains make me happy. I felt like a girl from a Miyazaki cartoon whistling along as she goes up and down the steps amidst the vast greens (must climb another one soon). :)

Falling in love with taste 
4. My first sip of sugar cane (with my dad; I was around 5 or 6), I knew the drink had the word "sugar" in it, but I remember thinking how the yellow green liquid did not taste exactly like sugar, although it was sweet. Every sip from the first time I had sugar cane was delightful and tickled something within. I think this was the day I became a believer of the transformative power of drinks (a belief that has obviously been applied to alcohol).

5. My first ever encounter with dinuguan. After picking me up from a kindergarten class, Rosie (my yaya of xx years) prepared this strange-looking "black" ulam for us. I was hesitant but trusted my yaya enough to take a bite. The first spoonful spelled out for me what masarap ("delicious") meant. A-HA. I finally understood.

From two sneaky encounters 
6. Kazu's laughter. It was late night in Fukui and I was staying over at my mom's, I was either chatting with a friend in Manila or downloading a show in the living room. My brother Kazu who only speaks Japanese so we don't really talk and spends most of the day asleep suddenly laughed inside his room, emitting uncontrollable fits of hyena-like giggles in his matinis (shrilly) voice. His giggles spilled over from his bedroom to the entire living room. If I can only bottle that sound, I remember thinking then because I knew a year later I'd be back in Manila. To this day I hear it in my head whenever I miss him.

If I could ask for superpowers (I want several), one of the things I'd request is the ability to remember & play in my head the laughter that people make, i.e. the throaty laugh that was Manuel's (my dad), the brave and loud fits that Cecille (my mom) indulges in, Froi's hagikgik, Turtle's loud HAHAs, etc.

Laughing says much about how a person embraces life, don't you think? In the movies at least, how a character laughs is telling of the role he/she plays.

7. A particular first kiss. We skipped some classes that afternoon, and this boy & I were chatting about something mundane (which, I'm sure, felt very important to our 18 & 19 year old selves). The weather was hot and humid, the kind that makes one feel a little sleepy. The details are hazy now, but I remember closing my eyes and then a kiss, and suddenly my world was spinning, it was nighttime, we were the only ones on Earth and I saw the planets align. Yun. Magic.

Magic could happen everyday, but you have to be sensitive to it. An out-of-the-blue text from someone you like is magic, but so is a flash of understanding & respect for what you do from your parents, partner, child. It's being on the receiving end of someone's kindness, much as it is when you are the one extending the generous act. Magic happens to you when you hear a song you so badly needed at a crucial moment or when you get inspired by something you see or read.

My friend Rach tags herself a money magnet (which totally worked for her, btw), and I've been telling her how instead of magnetizing money, I'd rather magnetize giddiness and magic in different aspects of my life now- spiritual growth, creativity, work, travels, and in my dealings with the people that I care about.

I think the coming "-ber" months will be interesting (September included). Bring the magic on, Madame Universe!

Care to share about your own magical experiences? :)


  1. Nyel, cried upon reading this because I'm sad and sort of "sensitive" right now. Don't worry, naiiyak ako hindi dahil lalo akong nalungkot pero dahil pinaalala mo sa akin kung paano maging masaya kahit sa maliliit na bagay. :)


  2. Watching the sun set at the U Bein Bridge. >> I still long to see this for myself. :)

    Recently, a magical moment for me was realizing that, yes, the law of attraction DOES work, and that it works in magnitudes we sometimes don't expect. DUH. Money magnet nga -- but I didn't get cash diba? I got a whole bank tapping my back and asking me if I want to work for them.

    The Universe thinks far greater than we do. :)

    Believe in your 'giddiness magnet' -- never doubt, never be desperate, never fear and panic. Have blind faith in what you're attracting.

    Such a nice read, Nyel! :)

  3. Hey Suze! Giving you some sisterly hug now. We should take you out for drinks. Let's do that soon. Hang in there. You're a good person, something great's in store. Libot mo ko sa Vargas Museum soon? :)

  4. RachLimjocs, let's travel together, one day! I'll be your guide - magpaka-Asian tayo somewhere. :p

    You're my magnet guru and I'm so glad you are where you want to be.

    "The Universe thinks far greater than we do." Amen to this.

  5. Isasama kita sa Jakarta, Nyel, to visit my best friend from grade school. You'll love her and her kids.