by Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

I have been experiencing emptiness ever since this year started. There were battles beyond my emotional limit and capability which led me astray from all things that should have been lifting me up. Everyday felt like a battle. Valentines’ and birthdays were full of good byes and tears, and all that is happening is beyond my naive comprehension of what I thought is love. I have to escape my thoughts caused by doubts and melancholy. This lingering attachment for a person weighs me down but he himself is ironically trying to lift me up. And it hurts to feel helplessly stuck in-between my thoughts and emotions. Everything feels like walking on a thread supported by two sticks on both ends. Everything feels like being stranded on a middle of a sea whilst clinging to a capsized boat. Everything feels like walking in a crowd opposite to their direction. Everything feels like nothing; and everything is yet so easy for him. And I wish I felt the same way, too. I wish this will be the last time I will write about him.



by Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

At the cafe
with long delay,
the flashes flick
as shutters click.

To the next way,
I walked at bay
behind the two
of lovely hue.

Red into gray,
to stone from clay,
a heartache grew
out of the blue.

Ending the day
with no delay,
photos were kept
as we three left.

Parting the way,
I walked away
and left the two
for rendezvous.

And on this day,
love fled away
with my lone hope
at a slow lope.


by Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

He has his own thorns yet he is still as wonderful as a red-colored rose by the streets in a beautiful fourteenth day of February. He never gave me roses but he is a rose of his own. He gave me more joy than a lady receiving a rose that will eventually wilt. He blossomed my life with memories—sharp, soft, and calm memories—that will never wither in my heart. I cherished his soft rosy fragrance and held him like he is the only flower from the valley of roses in Bulgaria. Holding him made my heart constantly jump over and over the moon with a thought in mind, “he is a cosmic miracle in my life.”

—an excerpt from A Cosmic Miracle; the last paragraph from the book I will never publish


by Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

Your smile seems like the sun
You melted my tender heart
Your eyes are like the moon
Oh, they are a beauty to see

By the touch of your palms
All the sadness flew away
The cold and stormy seas
You calmed it ceaselessly

Even in your warm smile
I feel the serenity of night
Even the rising can be seen
In your two moon-like eyes

In you, I fondly glimpsed
The sun and moon meet
I love you as the sun conceals
And when the moon reveals


ni Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

Ngiti mo ay tila isang araw
Aking puso, iyong tinunaw
Ang mga mata na parang buwan
O, kay ganda nilang pagmasdan

Sa haplos ng iyong mga palad
Kalungkutan ay napalipad
Isang binabagyong karagatan
Pinakalma mo nang tuluyan

Kahit kita ko ang iyong ngiti
Ramdam ko ang mayuming gabi
Kahit pagsikat ay kitang-kita
Sa mga buwan mo na mata

Sa iyo ay aking nasilayan
Nagtagpo ang araw at buwan
Mahal kita lubog man ang araw
At kahit buwan ang lumitaw


by Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

Confusion. It is all I have at this very moment. Not at everything, just for someone.

It is quite vast to feel everything towards one person; and quite perilous too. It is weakens me to think that a melancholic narrative keeps on repeating itself.

Writing our story seemed like turning the pages in reverse. Ever and anon, I have felt the urge to discontinue writing this book of ours or rather put an unsatisfying ending that will boggle the hearts of those who read our story.

Nevertheless, all stories deserve a sequel—and I hope this new story of ours will bloom beautifully like thousands of sunflowers.


by Lara Jahzeel I. Onato

Years ago, I met a boy who has a huge interest in gaming. While we were chatting, I asked him what his in-game name was. He told me that he used “Clim” as his monicker in the game for that day. My mind went clouded with curiosity and thought how unique of a name that was. “What does that mean?” I inquisitively asked. “Christ lives in me,” he replied. After his reply, my heart was pleased to know what he meant by that name and to know that it was an acronym of a meaningful phrase. I would never forget that conversation and what it meant to me. It made a positive impact on how I perceive him as a person, and it became a reason for my interest in him to reach its peak. “I would adore to know him more, to see Christ through him,” I thought to myself.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Everytime I hear that verse or read it, my mind automatically recalls the boy who used “Clim” as his in-game name. The days thereafter were a journey of us befriending and getting to know each other more. We became the best of friends as we shared what our minds reckoned. He is the only son of a mother who works in Israel as a caregiver and shares the glory of God as a pastor.

“We are awakening to that marvelous truth, that Christ is not in the heavens only, nor in the atmosphere only, but Christ is IN YOU.” – John. G. Lake

“Christ is in you.” It is such a powerful phrase that touches my heart and soul. Christ lives in us. It is more than wonderful to hear that Christ is there up high but is also nigh. After years of knowing the boy I am talking about, I am mistaken to label him as a boy. He may be twenty-nine days younger than me, but his thoughts are of a matured man—a man of Christ. In a poem of mine that was written for him, I described him as “a prince in body but king in mind.” He has judgments that are way beyond his age. In everything he ponders, he considers God as the king of his decisions. Meeting him made me looked at the world differently and made me look more for God. Like other living beings, he is also a human with his own imperfections. But, what makes him remarkable is that he is eager to learn from his mistakes because he knows that there is more to life than sins, that there is more to life than living according to the world, and that there is a God who loves him beyond reason.

“Christ-likeness is not produced by imitation but by inhabitation. We allow Christ to live through us.” – Ptr. Rick Warren

Through that boy who became a special person in my life, I felt Christ. I once messaged his mom to greet her on her birthday. It was our first conversation together and I opened up a talk about his son and how he always reminds me of a phrase I love: “Christ lives in me.” Because of him, I was able to comprehend that to be like Christ does not mean that we only have to copy what He did. To be like Christ is to allow Him to live in us, to let His presence be simultaneous with our presence, to feel His blood flow through ours, and to let His Spirit dwell within our souls. That special boy in my life who used “Clim” as an in-game name taught me how to live according to God and nothing worldly. He is an epitome of what it is like to have Christ within us.

“God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:13

To know Him more and to help others do the same—that might be the purpose of the boy I was talking about. Throughout the years of knowing him, he did everything for the greater glory of God. He may still have a lot to learn for a young age but he never ceases to lift up the wonderful name of God. He gives significance to the power that God has blessed him and uses it to strengthen his faith and the faith of others. His desire to give glory to God extends beyond praise and worship—he gives glory to Him in his studies, in his words and actions, and in his thoughts. He is an epitome of salt and light in this world. His achievements in school were a product of his diligence and faithfulness in God. Through his works, it made a way to shine light unto his friends and family—and that light made a way to give glory to God. He influenced me to live out of this world because God chose us to come out of this world and set our hearts on things above. It is because of him that makes me want to feel and know God more. I am a witness to have felt that Christ lives in him. We came to this world sans knowing our purpose, but Christ has a purpose in us—to reveal Himself to us, through us, and in us—and He has given us the desire and power to fulfill it for Christ lives in us.