“Hanap” (Search)


Here’s a lesson in the Filipino Language.

“Hanap” is a Filipino root word for “find,” ” search,” or “look.”

The affixes give the term different meanings.

“Hanapin” has more of an imperative tone. It is a verb used to command the person to find something. You would hear most Filipinos say “hanapin mo nga ito” (You find this…). “Hinahanap,” “hahanapin,” and “hinanap” refer to varying tenses of finding and searching. “Hinahanap” is currently happening. “Hahanapin” is future tense. While “hinanap” refers to something that you found or have been finding. “Hanapan” is the noun conversion of the word which pertains to the act of finding.

The word changes in mood and meaning when repeated. “Hinahanaphanap” refers to something that you have tried before but is longing to find again. It refers to that deep longing for something whether a love, a taste, an experience or a person. “Hinahanaphanap kita.”


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile on the topic of finding something, I recently realized one common theme in role-playing games is the quest to find something. Your chosen character would determine the path you would take in a game but the plot and side plots all entail finding something.

Come to think of it, choosing the character is a quest all on its own. You try to find the right weapon, armor, head gear and magic powers to effectively use the character. If you want a berserker or a warrior you find muscle strength as your biggest asset. If you wanted a mage or a wizard, your strength lies in magic and spells. Other characters vary but the formula is the same – you will still try to find the best combination.

The search is only masked by fighting monsters and minions of the main antagonist. You feel the need to make your character stronger to fight bigger and stronger opponents which make you stay in the game. Eventually the quest to find the princess or the big boss or your father or the sword or magic sarap or whatever that completes the game is obscured by the fighting. However at the end of it all the point of the game is to find something.

I guess this mirrors a person’s inner need to find some sort of direction or purpose in life.


Monk constructed their monasteries on top of mountains. There they would perform chores and a lot of mental and physical exercises. They also vowed to live in poverty, living only with the barest necessities, grow their own fruits and vegetables and abstain from meats. They would also find time each day to meditate and pray. These monks lived, ate and breathed meditation regardless of their religious affiliation.

601250_4517506056944_1425860637_nThe premise was that in solitude, one could find one’s soul and find enlightenment. When someone moves out of the crowd and spend time praying to a deity or god, they would find inner peace and a fulfilled soul. There were stories that some monks did find enlightentment of some sort. Some Christian monks even became saints because of this.

What these monks developed is actually something we need. Although we do not need to lock ourselves in solitary confinement for years, all of us who are working in towns or  big cities need to take some time to get out of all the noise and pollution to a place where we can really set things straight. A suitable place and a lot of quiet moment would allow us to just talk to God and reflect on our current states.


cross-person-silhouette-sun-1The point is we are all searching for something in life: it may be intimacy, destiny or purpose. We all have our own way of finding it – our own idea of searching for it.

The thing is, once you have found a moment or an experience that you have been looking for, the feeling will turn into longing. “hinanap” turns into “hinahanaphanap.” The search turns into longing.

The thing is, our way, our idea must be flawed for us to feel a deeper longing. It must be flawed if at the end of our search, we would have to search again.

Just look at the people who have experienced love, care and compassion. Once withdrawn from the source of love and compassion, a void seems to form in their hearts. Once in a break up or in a divorce, a deep gash seemed to have formed in their hearts.

Just look at the people who play role playing games. They have found the weapon, the armor or the lair of the big boss and finished it. Their search would lead to another longing for something bigger, or better or stronger. Their desire would eventually become insatiable.

Just look at the monks who have found enlightenment. They would still spend countless of hours meditating because they long to find the moment once more. Once they have experienced the high of meditation, they would still do some more to feel a different high.

11873393_10153015158970846_7320005482365155502_nIn a span of two days, I tried to embark on that journey to find God. I wanted to find the right build for my character. I am trying to find the right feeling while meditating. I have that deeper longing to know that Higher Being. I joined the Soul Searching Weekend of Project Grow in Sacramento Valley Resort in Tanay, Rizal.

In my perspective though, something kicked in the morning I woke up to embark on the journey with a few others. I felt responsible and helpless at the same time. I was tasked to coordinate the program that I did not construct. I felt that there was a burden to serve and do something and not just sit down and meditate as I have previously desired. I also felt that I was a burden because I was not doing what I should be doing.

Yet there was some sort of peace in the fact that I was not just sitting and listening. There was something more fulfilling than just to sit and relax and talk to God. I did get the chance to talk to God but when I did, I felt as if I was already full and all my questions have been answered. I could not get any words out. I wanted to  cry out to God but some kind of peace  has already captured my heart – something that seems to say that I have already been comforted before I even had the chance to cry out.

I don’t know what soul searching is for you but if you still have that “hinahanaphanap” the answer is already there somewhere.



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