Saturday, September 14, 2013


Saturday, September 14, 2013

my friend, gigi, recently got a new ink on her wrist. the tattoo (by a multi-awarded filipino tattoo artist) is nothing too detailed nor too fantastic. as a matter of fact, it’s just a word. one word. it says “gratitude”. what an  excellent choice for a tattoo. whenever she’d go through a hump, she’d look at her wrist and it would give her back her balance. this is a visual aid for life that works wonders.
one thing that i learned over the years is that gratitude is an innate power that fritters away because we forget to say “thank you” and mean it. i may not be the kind to remember to say “thank you” the moment i wake up (the very first thing that i have to respond to in every waking moment is the emergency call for milk.) but i believe that i have become better in appreciating all that the universe has showered my family and me with. we don’t have a fat bank account, not even a chubby one,  and we’re not keeping land titles in our drawers. but we have each other — to laugh with; to cry with; to give to; to take from if we need a hug, a kiss, a piece of rainbow cake… and everything is for free. well, except for the cake. 
 currently, we have the sea, the sand, the sun — oh, what a pesky cliché! but yes, those are our wealth… and we have fresh seafood delivered to us everyday at a very cheap price. (notice how food always manages to squeeze itself in between these lines?) we are free to make choices for our own lives, which others simply cannot afford to do because they are limited by life’s circumstances or by the execrable dictates of culture (think about very young yemeni girls married to men four times their age), or simply by arrogance (think about people who have acquired too much money that they have forgotten what life really is about.)
it may not sound much to some because what i just described as our wealth does not come with an exorbitant price tag. that is exactly what’s challenging yet rewarding in this whole thing. if you removed all the hefty material things from your life, would you still be able to attach the word “happiness” to your name? get a cup of coffee, sit down and think. we need to do this kind of exercise once in a while because it leads us to only one road — gratitude. even if we had nothing, we would always have the people who matter to us. so yes, say “thank you”, and since the word “love” functions correctly as a verb,i don’t think a shiny new car is capable of giving you that.
i am a grateful person, i know, but not grateful enough. i will never be rhonda byrne. my goodness, i will never even be the most grateful person in this tiny town we’re in now. but i keep working hard on it. the universe hears me, i know. 
the universe hears you, too. 

the constant reminder on my friend’s wrist must have opened up the channels to the universe and it heard her. on the month that she got inked, a bundle came with it. something that she has longed for especially since my goddaughter, ally, is turning three this month. gigi is on the family way, again, finally. 

cheers to life!


kenneth iwarat is a multi-awarded filipino tattoo artist. his kilometric clientele list, which includes celebrities, local tattoo aficionados and foreigners, speaks well about him.
his shop is “get inked custom tattoo” located at the 3rd floor, diamond arcade, cubao, manila, philippines
contact him at +639498979452

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