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Spotlight On Writers
- Where, do you hail from?
I hail from the Pearl of the Orient Seas, Philippines. A warm country where you can have a taste of Western and Eastern culture since it has been dominated by several nations in the past such as Japanese, Spanish and Americans.
If you are looking for a place with a perfect balance of work, rest, and play, the Philippines is a great haven for you.
- What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
When I used to work as a Flight Attendant, top of my list whenever I requested for flight duty was – Japan. A place I consider as a second home. Waking up in Japan countless times brings spark to my heart. It stirs up each and every sense of my being.
From its tradition and cultures, its people who are kind, courteous, respectful and disciplined. Its ultimate mouth watering cuisines, scenic nature, Japanimation, leading edge technology, arts and crafts, name it!
Words can’t explain how I love Japan, maybe it’s a big factor that in our family saga, being Japanese runs in our bloodline. And if I can teleport at this moment in time, there is no place on earth I'd rather be than in Japan.
- What turns you on creatively?
Mostly everything stimulates my brain. A vivid memory from a dream, smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, a slurp of Japanese ramen, sound of silence or Mozart music playing in the background, walking on a street struggling with the winter breeze, waves as they reach the shore, intense heat from the sun, chatty nosy people, a line from a movie, a breath of fresh air when coming out from a confined space, seeing unexpected events, catastrophic scenario, opaque emotions or just being idle.
There’s not one place, but it mostly depends on how often I catch that thought, let it marinate, get it out of my system, and put it into writing. I kept a secret journal where most of it are dark and taboo. It’s where my optimum freedom is unleashed on how I think the world is and all the living being in it. Most of the time, I pretend to be in someone else’s/other’s image, e.g. just like a bird, think as a bird, and act like a bird, so I can separate the bias of being a human being. Sometimes I pretend to be one of the stars in the galaxy, gazing upon the universe, sitting next to the moon questioning how mother earth feels.
Writing offers not just a voice of creativity, but also a lot of security by providing an antidote to my existence.
- What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I always have a soft spot for words like limerence, nyctophilia, ricochet, ethereal, felicity and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Yet for me, the beauty of words depends a lot on what they mean. Ergo, I love the word Serendipity.
I truly believe that life is sprinkled with moments of magic. Who doesn’t love the idea of chance meeting, lucky break, unexpected circumstances, fortunate events, happy accidents, or those surprises that change our lives for the better? These sprinkles help us connect the dots in our lives leading us to our destined paths.
must quit the wait and take a leap of faith
gait to own North Star, bate, gravitate
Serendipity fetch a twist of fate
magic as celestial coordinates
- What is your pet peeve?
With more than a decade of experience in the aviation industry, it tested my patience to the edge. I consider people in aviation particularly Flight Attendants being the most patient people on the planet. I used to get easily annoyed by silly things, like people who chew loudly and sounded like pigs, and people who don’t use nor understand the importance of seatbelts. Sometimes I wish that seatbelts had only 2 options, either you wear it around your waist or around your neck. But kidding aside, life gives us major challenges to deal with, that we won’t have enough energy to let these minor pet peeves get under our skin.
However, I’m only human and I’m not perfect. Plus knowing the fact that adulting only allows us to sleep for 4 to 6 hours a day, which gives us 18 to 20hrs free time to get annoyed, irritated or go ballistic. So here are the top 3 major pet peeves that I'm still trying to overcome with patience and utmost understanding.
a. Dealing with NOSY people who keep asking why am I single? - Being single is not a crime! It’s a choice. Why does it even bother you? Worst thing is attending weddings then people poke you saying “You are next!" Uggggh! Then what if I start saying the same thing at funerals?
b. Lack of common sense - Voltaire can testify to that.
c. Lack of empathy - empathy makes us human. One wise man says, “Lack of empathy instigates the rise of ego that creeps inside the pure heart. Transforming a muscle that emanates joy and love, that powers the human life force itself into hard and cold rock that only looks upon this world with eyes of self-righteousness, devoid of any emotion”. We could have a better place, a better world... Not unless the majority of the world's population is suffering from EDD (Empathy Deficit Disorder).
- What defines Annalyn Neo Celeste?
Quarantine lets me spend my time on reading, writing, trading, but most of the days on reflecting. Reflecting on the past, present and what the future may hold. Life makes me realize that no matter how you strive and thrive in life, there will always be unexpected, out of control challenges that you may encounter and sometimes it will be heavier as it seems. Just like everyone else’s challenge nowadays, the merry go round of life with the Pandemic.
Yet, it is always our choice if we are going to play that victim part. I guess what really matters is what sinks from within, to live and be grateful, aligned with our own core values and focus on how well we can come back from a setback.
I came across a line in my journal that I wrote a long time ago about a Japanese philosophy called Kintsugi also known as Kintsukuroi (the art of precious scars). It’s about a chipped piece of china and how it becomes more beautiful because it gains character through its imperfections. This philosophy teaches me all through these years that when things fall apart, it’s just a part of life. That I have to be wise, and use every scrap, patch myself up, and keep going. And besides, I won’t realize my full potential until I go through the tough times.
Whether we are going through something serious and life-changing, if one can practice strength from within, then that is more powerful than anything negative that will come our way. And sometimes when we get lucky, we can always turn those tides in our favor.
This is how I think about and define myself. With all the challenges I’ve had through the years, I don’t look at them as signs of failure or misfortune, but signs of experience and things I have overcome. My imperfections make me tougher, a fighter, and a lifelong learner. Possessing that perseverance intact towards self-betterment, expanding my limits, and holding that endless power to create and recreate a definition of who I am.