What If

Word

I have gone through so many what if’s in my life that I figured, “It was time for a change.” So when love came knocking, I barely put up a fight. It was new; it was exciting, it was something I couldn’t wait to dive into. I wasn’t sure I was ready but sometimes, fate plays a hand and you have no choice but to follow through. I was whisked away into an experience I wasn’t entirely certain I was ready for but, looking back, I have to admit… I couldn’t wait for the ride to begin!

I never thought I would love so quickly nor did I ever imagine finding myself falling down an unexpected rabbit hole so fast. It was a whirlwind romance.  I was clueless and apparently, so was he. I wasn’t his first but, from the way he acted, it felt like I was. He stared at me with a nervous grin, twiddling his thumbs when he couldn’t fully grasp what I was trying to say. To me, that made it all the more endearing and so, I fell even further.

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. ”

-Agatha Christie

 

My instincts kept telling me to get out while I still could. To save myself from the inevitable heartache this relationship would cause. Still, I was stubborn. I kept trying to steer our direction towards a happily ever after when in my heart of hearts, I knew this particular chapter of my story was meant to end in disaster.

amazingly stupid

When the dust cleared and the remnants of what once was lay broken and forgotten; I was left wrestling with more questions than answers. If there was any form of love in what we had, then why did I feel so empty? Why was I left wondering?

I guess that’s the thing about googly eyes, sweaty palms and promises of forever; if things work out, you’re left on cloud nine with butterflies in your tummy and a dopey smile permanently plastered on your face. If fate decides to drag you the other way, the floor disappears and back down the rabbit hole you go, once again faced with the question you’ve tried desperately to run away from… WHAT IF…

“Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war, love… is growing up.”

-James Baldwin

 

Love Actually: A 2014 Kickoff

future

Earlier today, as I watched the lights explode into thousands of teeny tiny particles in the sky, the realization of the start of another 365 days dawned on me. As 10 years of an undecided future flashed before my eyes, I took a step back and instead allowed myself to ponder and hope for all the wonderful things that 2014 had to offer.

At the start of a new year, I pray you allow imagination to take you to places you’ve never been before. Don’t settle for the conventional. Instead, allow yourself to wander through all the possibilities because when you break barriers and go beyond limits, your possibilities become endless.

I hope beyond every hope that you see the beauty of the world through different eyes each and every day. Only then can you truly appreciate what it is to live. May all the iridescent beauty of the world engulf your senses and continuously remind you of how blessed you are to be a part of something so unbelievably unique and special.

This year, I pray you learn to live not only for yourself but for others as well. Self –pity is selfish and should not be entertained. Whenever you feel worthless, remember that your life is a gift that is meant to be shared with others. There is no room to feel anything else but grateful.

In the new journey you face, I hope you always choose to leave behind regret. There will always be things that could have been but, dwelling on the past won’t change the future. Learn to live in the now instead of the yesterdays. When you’ve mastered that, everything else will fall into place. 🙂

I pray that this year pushes you to write yourself a better story. Dream like a child whose world knows no bounds. Dream with your eyes open to all the wonders that this world has hidden from you. May you allow this year to be the end of mediocrity and the start of amazing tomorrows.

Lastly, it may sound like a cliché but I hope that this year brings you nothing but love. Love in yourself and the acceptance of all your imperfections; love for the people around you and their crazy ways; and love for life and all the ecstasy and heartache that go with it. Always remember that you are blessed and that everything in life is beautiful in its own wicked way.

For the most part, I wish everyone every happiness this world can muster up. 😀

“Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.”

– Tom Robbins

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY LOVES!

May 2014 turn out to be everything you wish it could be and more.

goodbye

FALLING In Love…

Every girl dreams of finding that one guy to spend her happily ever after with; the question is, how do you know who to give your heart to?

Being single for the past 24 years hasn’t given me A’s for experience BUT it has allowed me a glimpse into the life of star-crossed lovers, flings, love affairs and promises of forever. I don’t claim to be an expert but after so many years of watching people falling in and out of love, you’re bound to pick up a couple of things.

life

Ladies, be kind to your heart…

Fall for the guy who keeps you up at night. Who makes you smile when you think about him and makes you that much more excited to see him again.

Love the guy who tells you you’re beautiful every chance he gets. Who tells you your gorgeous even though you’re only wearing a pair of jeans and a regular shirt because you feel bloated and fat.

Pick the guy who’s affectionate but understands when you need your space. The guy who’s confident enough to leave you alone for a while because he knows that at the end of the day, you will always come back to him.

Fall in love with the guy who puts up with your unreasonable mood swings during “that time of the month” not because he gets it but because he loves you enough to let the little things slide.

Be head over heels for the guy who loves kids. You can never go wrong with a man who’s willing to pretend to be prince charming just to impress a 5 year old little girl.

prinvxdg

Choose the guy who isn’t afraid to be wrong. That guy who knows he’s not perfect and doesn’t try to justify his mistakes just to save face.

Find the guy who makes you laugh. The guy who thinks you’re cute when you accidentally release a snort and doesn’t care if your hysterical giggles echo throughout the restaurant.

Find the guy who can put up with your quirks. The guy who can’t completely grasp your unreasonable love for Broadway musicals but will bob his head and sing along to your show tunes in the car because he’s gotten so used to hearing them. 🙂

Look for the guy who can put up with all your weird habits. The guy who doesn’t get how you can top rice off with coffee but will try it anyway because it’s something you love.

Fall in love with the guy who can think for himself. The guy who won’t make his world revolve around you but instead, will find a way to make your two worlds intertwine.

Fall for the guy you’re most comfortable with. The guy who isn’t bothered when you both just sit in a coffee shop and read books together like an old married couple.

UP

Pick the guy who’s loved you for the longest time. The guy who waited because he knew you weren’t ready to hear what he had to say but has always been there for you every painful step of the way.

Fall in love the guy who accepts your imperfections. The guy who can see through all your crazy mishaps but loves you anyway.

Finally, love the guy who can live without you but chooses not to. The man who’s grown so accustomed to loving you that he can’t imagine not doing it for the rest of his life.

LOVE

“I am someone who is  looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”

~ Carrie Bradshaw

May we all be so lucky to find that one person we can share forever with. 🙂 Have fun falling in love mon chéri!

A Pre Valentine Confession

Everyone more or less remembers their first love. How it started, how it felt and how it eventually broke your heart. You end up drinking until your world spins, you eat like there’s no tomorrow and you constantly repeat the phrase, “I can’t go on!” like a mantra from a really bad remake of the High School Musical. At the end of it all, you curl up in bed, stare at a photo and bawl your brains out.  Such is the aftermath of having your heart ripped out and shredded for the first time.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”

-Neil Gaiman

 

After a couple of weeks or months if you thoroughly enjoy wallowing in self-pity, you decide to dust yourself off and revisit the magical land we normal folk like to call the bathroom. After putting on a fresh pair of pants and a relatively new top, you plan the biggest bonfire ever!

You dig up the hidden boxes packed with sweet nothings (receipts from your first date, the little I love you post it notes), the love letters of yester years and the cheesy couple photos with you ALMOST but not quite kissing (because that would just be tacky.) You pile them up in a mound closely resembling an anthill and set everything on fire. Maybe, just maybe it’ll help you forget…  When all the love letters and trinkets have been burned and the rivers of tears have been re-shed, you’re left empty, damaged and alone… That is — until the next one comes along.

crying babs

 

They say that loving a second time is easier. Been there, done that sort of thing. Yes there are butterflies and yes your neck still approaches breaking point at the sight of a pretty face, but unlike the unabashed transparency of young love, the second time around pushes you to become more cautious. After being hurt the first time, you’d like to think you’ve become more learned and more mindful. You learn from your mistakes and you’d like to believe that it’ll be smooth sailing from here on in. Some find this tactic effective and they end up walking that long, flowery white aisle to their happily ever after. Others however aren’t as lucky. After building supposedly unbreakable walls around their hearts, they end up right back where they started… Empty, damaged and alone.

If I’m starting to sound like a love guru, then my mission is complete. Truth be told, the only romantic kind of love I’ve ever experienced is through the movies I’ve seen and the books I’ve read. I’m 24 years old and I’ve never been in love. I may sound like a painfully bitter spinster to some but quite frankly, I don’t give a damn. I love my life and everything and everyone that comes with it. It just so happens that that kind of love has yet to make an appearance. 🙂 It’ll happen when it happens. I’m in no rush. C’est la vie mes amis!

May this year bring you luck in life, happiness in love and fulfillment in everything that is beautiful! 😀

 

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”

-Nicole Krauss

Haven't met you yet

2012 Year Ender

This year is literally about to end in a couple of hours and I just have to say how incredibly blessed 2012 has been. Here’s why…

This was the year I learned to let go of old dreams to make room for new ones.  When you’ve built something up for so long, it becomes that much harder to leave it all behind. 2012 has taught me that changing paths doesn’t necessarily mean changing who you are. Yes, your goals may have been altered but at the end of the day, you’re still you… And that’s the important thing. 🙂

2012 was the year I truly became brave. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I started out lost but I knew I had to suck it up or else I’d never be able to get from point A to point B. Again I had to let go of certain things and certain people. It was painful but I became a better person.

2012 was the start of a new chapter in my life. I opened myself up to a whole new world. A world so foreign and different that I almost decided to turn back. But then realized… I already knew what I was going back to. Would I be willing to return to what was comfortable but stagnant or would I venture out and see what else was out there? In the end, I chose the latter and till today, I have never looked back.

I was blessed to have so many amazing people surrounding me. Opening a new chapter meant welcoming new characters  into the fold. Some I was quick to disregard and others were just as quick to latch on. I met a bunch of quirky people who have stretched my heart even wider.This year has been a year of fresh faces and newly built friendships. I am grateful every single day for all of the people who have touched my life in various ways. 😀

This was also the year I let go of regret. There were so many things I wish I did. So many roads I wish I had taken. But wallowing in regret doesn’t bring anything back. It just takes more time away from getting started on something new. This year, I learned to look forward to tomorrow instead of looking back on yesterday. When the day is done, and the sun has set, everything that has happened quickly becomes a memory. There’s no chance of ever going back BUT… there’s always a chance of turning things around when the sun rises the next day.

I’ve always been more of a laid back person. If there was an easy way out, more often than not, I’d take it. This year, I decided to face all the challenges that came my way. Knowing you’re imperfect is one thing. Cashing in all your imperfection chips is another. We’re human, we make mistakes but still… We strive for perfection. This year allowed me to shove mediocrity in the back of the closet along with shame and fear. 2012 was the year I decided to CARPE every freakin DIEM! 😀

Along with my new found love of challenges, I dared to hope. 2012 was the year I sat myself down, reflected on my life, trashed the wistful remnants of the past and created a whole new list of goals, wants and dreams. 🙂 I wouldn’t call myself an optimist but this year, hope seeped from every inch of me. It was hope that kept me going and faith in the big guy that kept me strong. Paths changed, people changed but the big guy up there never did. He’s always had my back and 2012 was no different. 🙂

This year gave me a chance to work on myself. It was the year of revelations, a year of unearthing hidden passions and rediscovering forgotten aspirations, a year of forgiveness and a year of gratitude. 😀

2012 was the year I decided to step up and not go about my life merely existing. It was the year for change, the year for hope and… Though it may sound cliché, the year for LOVE. Love that encompasses every crevice, every nook and cranny of your being until your full to the brim. It was the year my eyes didn’t just see the what if’s and maybe’s but also all the beautiful and exciting things that go hand in hand with all the questions and anxieties of the unknown.

 

goodbye 2012

Here’s to leaving the past behind in place of an even better tomorrow. Happy New Year everyone. I hope and pray with all my heart that 2013 allows you to break walls, dream big and soar higher than the sky. 😀

we are

FLOOD WARS

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my site and for that, I would like to apologize. My blog was blocked for over a month and when it finally decided to stop going bonkers, I was way too busy and I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what I wanted to write about. In the end, I ended up doing what all the Greats (Shakespeare, Austen, and Poe, to name a few) have probably done before me. I twiddled my fingers and counted invisible sheep in my head. Thus begins the inevitable cycle of a frustrated writer suffering from writer’s block.

A lot has happened in the last 3 and a half months. There have been life changing experiences, cheap thrills, heart-breaking losses and crazy adventures in between. Having said that, I know most of you understand my dilemma over choosing the “perfect” story to share. It often feels like the best moments can’t be put into words and the rest of your anecdotes have become too run of the mill for other people to care. When you think about it, it’s a wonder how any of us can get a good word out when there are so many hitches that get in the way… Sometimes though, something larger-than-life happens and in that moment, the story seems to write itself.

I guess the only question that’s left to ask is… Why now? Why this story? Well… It all starts with WATER. Lots and LOTS of water…

The rain started around Friday last week (August 3rd) but it wasn’t until Monday evening (August 6th) that the droplets of water from the sky started pounding on the pavement with a vengeance.  By Tuesday morning, classes were suspended and the flood wars began.

Students balancing on top of chairs to avoid the flood…

The University of Santo Tomas. FYI, that pond/lake in the middle isn’t usually there. On a normal day, that’s the field…

 

Storms are never a welcome sight but this one in particular was an unabashed traitor. It came like a thief in the night, unexpected and DEADLY. As I rushed home from the University on Monday afternoon, I was told I left just in the nick of time. It wasn’t long before the downpour started lashing out at the train I was in; almost as if it had something to prove.  As the train swayed a little more violently than usual, I found myself praying that I’d make it to my stop before the weather got any worse. Every gruelling inch that train took was one step closer to me getting home and for that… I was grateful. Unfortunately, my other friends weren’t so lucky. Most of them were forced to set up camp in other people’s houses because it was getting impossible to travel. At that moment, my only goal was to get home. Thankfully, I did. The next morning, I watched in horror as the floods quickly engulfed the streets of Manila.

The streets of Metro Manila completely submerged in flood water

Search and rescue teams trying to get everyone to safety.

 

It was an incredible blessing to be safe at home but I couldn’t help but think about all of those people who weren’t as lucky as me. I was worried about my friends who were stuck in their houses and dormitories with limited food supply. I was glad they kept updating me on what was happening but aside from actually knowing how they were, I could do nothing more but sit at home and pray for their safety.

Tuesday evening (August 7th) was probably the worst day. I kept receiving text messages from my friends saying that water was invading the inside of their houses and that they needed to carry as much of their belongings up to the 2nd floor. Some possessions that were too big or too heavy to carry had to be sacrificed. One of my friends’ who is currently a piano major, watched helplessly as the flood began to lick the bottom of her piano. After a few hours, she knew that those beautiful piano keys were tarnished and the piano itself now belonged to the water.  Despite having to go through all of that, she sent me a text message later that night telling me that she was grateful that she and her family were dry and safe up in the 2nd floor of their home.

To add insult to injury, SOS tweets started coming in at a rapid pace. News of people stuck on the roof of their homes needing rescue were rampant. Relief centers tweeted about needing more supplies and reinforcements. Anyone who was willing and able to help was welcome. Then came the tweets about hospitals being flooded, patients running out of provisions and hospital generators slowly dying and needing diesel. Somewhere, someone out there needed help. People were hungry, tired and sick but still, the rescue operations continued and volunteers kept packing relief goods non-stop until the wee hours. At that point, everyone knew… It was definitely going to be a long night…

UST Hospital Emergency room. FLOODED!

UERM Hospital SUBMERGED!

 

By Wednesday morning (August 8th) the clouds were still dark and trickles of rain still fell, but the weather lightened considerably. Floods dropped and more roads opened for cars to pass through. There was still water in some areas but canoes, rubber boats and “submarine” like vehicles were no longer needed to get from point A to point B in most parts. Volunteers started flooding into relief centers in droves.  Everyone wanted to help in whatever little way they could. These people are the unsung heroes of this calamity. These are the people who were willing to give of themselves to help others. 🙂

Packing relief goods for the flood victims

At around 2pm on Wednesday, the clouds shifted, darkened and the flood wars continued. Though the rains weren’t as strong as the previous days, new water mixed with the flood equals even more flood. Water started to rise AGAIN but thankfully, the rains were not continuous. 😦 Night came, the rains were in and out and there was nothing left to do but pray.

Today is a Thursday (August 9th) and it looks as if this day marks THE END of the flood wars. Not a drop has fallen from the sky, Mr. Sun has come out to play and I couldn’t be more thankful. The battle is far from over. There are still people who need our help. A lot of people have suffered valuable losses and this should be the time when they’re allowed to lick their wounds and feel sorry for themselves. However, instead of catching people wallowing in self-pity, I see folks desperately striving and utterly willing to help their fellowmen. The beauty about being a Filipino is knowing that when push comes to shove, you are never alone. At the end of the day, we’ve got each others backs. 🙂

I salute the Prisoners of Muntinlupa Jail!!!

 

When tragedy strikes, picking yourself up and trudging on is always a choice. Amidst all the hardships my country had to go through these last few days, I am proud to say that I saw determination, sincerity and HEART. We may not know each other from Adam but we’re always there to lend a hand. We may not be a perfect people but we know when to put aside our differences and work towards a cause so much greater than any of us.

We are Filipinos. BANGON PINOY! (Rise!)

We Really Should… Such is Life…

Life is love and love is life…

One cannot truly exist without the other. In truth, we live each day of our lives hoping for the chance to share a part of ourselves, not just to those who know us best but also to some random stranger we happen to come across on the street. A smile, given with the most unabashed intentions, touches the deepest crevices of one’s heart and life, becomes that much more meaningful.

We must accept our faults. Man may be a well-oiled machine but, like everything in this life, we are flawed. We have to remember that it’s okay to go through life with a couple of glitches. These mistakes are often the best teachers. Through them we learn.

 

Amidst the many treasures that this world holds, it is usually the simplest things that draw out the most sincere emotions and the fondest memories.

Time goes on and beauty fades but the immortality of love lives on. At the end of the line, boxes of riches won’t compare to a flower that has been carefully pressed between pages of a worn book hiding a long forgotten story of yesterday.

We must grab every opportunity to further our minds with the realities of the world as well as the nonsensical know-how of the imagination. It is only when we are able to create a balance that we are truly fulfilled.

Every person we meet in life has a purpose. Don’t take ANYONE for granted. Take every moment you are given with someone and live it as if it were your last together. You never know when your goodnight turns into your final goodbye.

We should jump at every chance to open our hearts to love. Whether it be the rock solid love for a friend, the incomparable love of family or the passionate and enthralling love for a long awaited lover, love encompasses everything and everyone. Love is who we are and who we choose to be. It is in filling our hearts with a feeling of utmost surrender that we are able to see ourselves for what we truly are.

We should grab every possible moment to be courageous. We are all given a chance to be warriors in our own little way. There are many battles that we have yet to overcome. Life is full of trials. What separates the strong from everyone else is their acceptance and willingness to act and change the course of their life.

Time is a flighty thing. It’s here one minute and gone the next. Every breath is fleeting, every glimpse of a smile, a moment you can no longer get back. Life is beautiful in all its imperfections. Such is the irony we must accept.

There is magic in every small thing we do. We are so caught up in striving to be perfect that we forget how amazing and blessed we are to be human. Every day can be an adventure. All we have to do is allow ourselves to make that journey.