An Open Letter to 2023

No wishes, no resolutions, only intentions.

Happy new year! A photo by my colleague, Jean Kay, during our school’s 10th-year anniversary dinner.

It was an exhilarating and terrifying passage.

In every new territory, apartment, and hotel room, I was expecting for something to go wrong. And they did.

Things went right as well.

I moved to a nicer place, and met a few good friends to eat with and talk to, both Filipino and Vietnamese. I found libraries and cafes that served as my thinking space. Relationships with my students improved. There was more time for writing.

It’s a sweet year-end gift from my 6th-grade student, Huy. Photo by the author.

I have no wishes for the upcoming year, only intentions.

I intend to form real friendships that grow slowly with time — relationships that are supportive, positive, and backed by delightful dishes.



I tell stories and write poems.

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