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Magis’ Magic

NOTE: Peter Ivan Guballa, a member of the Ateneo de Naga High School Batch 1977, wrote a review of my latest book, Magis – What Matters Most in Life, which I am sharing with the readers of Bicol Mail. Special thanks to my high school classmate Ernie Verdadero, who invited me to write for Bicol Mail years ago, where some of the articles in the book have appeared. Thanks as well to Nilo Aureus, Bicol Mail publisher, for his continued support. For orders in Naga/Bikol, contact Djai Rugeria at 0916 239 8306 or

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Expect not a big Zoom meeting with each frame or essay different from the rest.

Seems that way.  Then, while reading Magis, you see more than overlaps. You see that its consistent simplicity, while necessarily taking you down the author’s memory lane, is that salient because his articles are like ripe fruits glimpsed behind foliage. You are drawn more.

Drawn more into two main areas.

Greg and his itch to reach heaven from the ground, and “underground” up in his immense and intense socio-political locomotive. It oscillates you through history, yes, but, no, it does not quickly chug away. You pause and ponder. Someone said that whatever small part of the world you pull is pulling in the rest of the world. You look at his world and experiences.  And you breathe in pulls within you. 

Greg and his flesh-and-blood love for family.   All is one because while ever missing his parents and younger years, he is never missing in his devotion as Lynn’s husband, a father, and a grandfather. Thus all are one sky. 

Learned from a forgotten Jesuit about the Eucharist also happening when ordinary things like bread, wine, wind, etc., expand to extraordinariness if inhaled and exhaled well.  This, Greg nudges us to see by looking beyond what is in front.

We studied, learned, played, prayed, etc., in the same campus. But as the school song has it, “High (still) our purpose be.”  And that purpose tills its growing relevance when being aware of the circumstances of surroundings wherever you may be.  Emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually.  The paragraphs are mostly plainly written, even the quotations, and amply armed to parry left and right any confusion about what was meant. 

If a hammer does not hit a nail on the head, maybe because it descends to hit someone’s fingers or hands especially those who lead.

When you finish one portion, regardless of length, pause. Or slow down. May your awareness or recollection of what you just met connect and collect.  Your magis-in-the-making. Thanks to Greg and Magis.


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