Giving thanks at Christmas

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

In less than two weeks time, it will be Christmas day. While I contemplate the birth of Jesus, I am also enormously grateful to God for bestowing a precious gift-a writing ability that I continue to hone to this day. I would like to close this year’s column with a prayer.

Father our thou that art in heaven

I was thinking for a theme to write and was, instead, led to make a compilation of my articles that fortunately saw light for publication in few local and national magazines and dailies. One at a time, I placed each one in chronological order, cautious not to mistakenly skip a piece nor mistakenly put one before or after the other.

Be thy name hallowed

Praise to Him! There were almost a hundred of them, a hundred pieces of short stories, which when taken as a whole, would definitely weave a charming yet heartrending masterpiece only my life story could convey. When you read between the lines of each story, you read the fine points of my existence.

Come thy kingdom

Prayers worked! The very first published article was in a weekend magazine in the Philippines way back in 1997. I still have vivid recollections of how I yelled “Thank you Lord!” at a mall when I got hold of a copy. The piece narrated the life of a sabungero’s son. The manner I wrote it made so obvious how my father could not stay home on Sunday afternoons and how he rather opted to be in the company of “fighting-rooster-passionate” squad for his no-miss “Sunday school.” Apparently, it was the story of a father who tried to tag along his son in every cock derby, so his son would think sharp and strong like his fighting cocks trained for sharpness and strength.

Be done thy will

One after the other, more articles followed. The second one got so much fuss from readers. Entitled “For the Love of Singing,” it undervalued my own singing capability, so they say. They constantly thought I inherited no less than a quarter of my mom’s vocal dexterity. Nevertheless, it was merely an article to complete a family picture that all of us siblings could certainly carry a tune. I wrote quite a number of articles about faith and God’s love, about how one could survive life’s adversities. Most of them were inspired by brothers and sisters in my Catholic community.

On earth as in heaven

It looks to me now that my articles transpired when I was either at my lowest point or at the cradle of seventh heaven. For instance, I wrote about El Nino, when the country was suffering the ever-scourging heat of nature. Heaven years in every foreign travel were also put into writing-detailing the four seasons particularly. The most emotive of all is when I tried to spell out my ambitions, failed and achieved, into a two-page piece of writing. From childish hopes to being what I am now, I kept on asking myself where all my other dreams have gone.

Our daily bread give us today

As of this writing, I have a compilation of my life that speaks about twists and turns. Rummaging around for a title, I ran across the word “Flicker.” Hence, I named it “Flicker”–for the sparks of ideas, the flashes of thoughts, and for the words that continue to connect and stimulate other stretches of words. Flicker is the word given to a compilation of hope, of love, of faith and of prayer.

And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us

Not all was a bed of roses. As an amateur writer in this very competitive world, many times I felt almost close to giving up, letting go of this untamed dream and maybe venture into something else. Countless times I felt cheerless when editors rejected valuable pieces. The white flag was almost hoisted.

And not lead thou us into


In spite of all, somehow, somewhere, as I looked at my “Flicker,” there is a place for me in this spacious circle of a world, this enduring dream God-knows-what better things would bring and where probably might lead me. Only God knows.

But deliver us from evil. Truly.

Lord, thank you for giving me a precious gift-this writing craft. As I continue to write for The Collegian, provide me the grace to love my work, treasure the moments and show appreciation to the people who have given me the chance to share stories, inspire readers and to use this talent for your greater glory. Amen.

#1.882516:2780114954.jpg:ericsalace.jpg:Eric Ariel L. Salas, Foreign Eyes: