It’s the Little Things

As a kid, I distinctly remember saying that I couldn’t wait to grow up (I said it more than once actually). I saw all of these amazing things around me and I met so many fascinating people along the way that I thought this world held nothing but wonders. I looked at life from a different perspective back then. I can even say that, as a child, I looked at the world through rose-tinted glasses. All I saw were the beautiful things this world had to offer me. There was only that, and nothing else. I remember thinking, “One day, I’ll end up doing everything and so much more.”

At 23, I find myself gazing back at the little girl who thought she held the world in the palm of her hand. I still get amazed at the things that catch my fancy and I still meet so many riveting and beautiful people every day. The only difference is my perspectives have changed. I have changed.

We may not want to see it for what it is but in the back of our minds, the thought is there. Life is never easy and it doesn’t always play fair.

There are a million things to appreciate but there are an equal number of things that leave your heart broken into several little pieces.

The glasses are off and reality rears its ugly head.

 

Yes there are happy people, but there are also those that literally live their lives one day at a time. There are kids who play with mountains of toys, but there are also kids who are forced to wander the streets begging for food. There are people who jet set all over the world yet, there are those who are content to live their lives cooped up within the 4 walls of their home, not realizing how ginormous this world truly is. Then there are the little girls who dream of conquering the world and holding it in her hands. They dream of controlling time and moulding life into a Utopia that’s been built on fantastical stories of happily ever afters. Somehow, they grow up and realize that princesses are for stories and worlds could never fit into teeny tiny hands. With this in mind you can’t help but think, “If there are so many things wrong with this world, what is there to live for?”

 

 

I always pass by Recto on my way to the train station. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s a fairly rough neighbourhood in Manila, Philippines. It has a reputation for housing some of the most badass people in the country who mug you blind if you’re not careful.

As I was walking, I came across two street urchins running up the sidewalk and pointing at the train that was passing above them. One of the little boys stared in awe and said, “One day, I’ll be able to ride that train too” the other little boy looked at him and said, “One day, I’ll make a bigger train that can take us to the moon.” As the train disappeared from their sight, they smiled, picked up 2 discarded sticks from the ground, and ran along the side of the street without a care in the world. I went home that day with renewed spirits and a brighter outlook on life.

Here’s the thing. Kids may be little but their hearts are always so full, their words almost always hold true, and their minds are constantly conjuring up dreams of a better and more exciting future.  If those two street kids, who may or may not have 20 pesos  to their name, dream about one day claiming the world as theirs, who’s to say their dreams won’t come true? That’s the problem with the real world, a lot of the time, when things don’t turn out the way we plan them to, we sulk in a corner and give up.

If you want to be happy, you have to remember that you can’t be good at something if you don’t work at it. It’s a basic lesson but it’s always shoved aside for the more highfaluting morals that are basically just a more flowery version of the original.

Another thing I’ve learned is that you have to want to excel. If you refuse to rise above and beyond what you think you’re capable of, you’ll forever be mediocre. I know a lady who used to work as a household helper. 10 years later, she’s opened her own restaurant and owns a franchise of a popular Filipino fast food joint.

 

To answer the question, what is worth living for? My answer would be LIFE!

Amidst all the chaos and “horrors”, there is still hope and a chance to turn dreams into reality. Sure there are bad stuff, but there are also instances when your heart is on the verge of exploding from so much joy and love.

 

“Such is the way of the world. Balance is in the greater scheme of things.”

 

One thing is certain, years pass and we all grow but that doesn’t mean that we have to completely let go of the kid in us. We can still dream for a better tomorrow and leap towards a brighter future. All it takes is hard work, faith, trust and a little fairy dust. 😀


 

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No one is You-er than YOU!

You know those moments when you’re just so down in the dumps that you feel utterly lost and completely resigned to what fate has in store?  Those moments when you feel like you can’t sink any lower but you suddenly realize that, “Hey, there’s still the Earth’s core to sink to. Why not drop even lower? “

We’ve all been there. You want something so much but it seems like the cosmos are conspiring against you. Moments like that aren’t even worth looking back on and you just want to forget and move on.

Life is bound to suck at some point. Not only is it a nuisance but it’s also, unfortunately, unavoidable. These are times when you really have to choose between wallowing in self-pity (with puffy eyes and a blotchy face) or dusting yourself off and trying again.

If you want something bad enough, you’ll storm heaven and earth to get it done. At the end of the day, the only person you really have to face is yourself. You choose to live your life the way you want to. No one else can make the important decisions for you.

Allow your life to overlfow with dreams

At the end of the day, if you work your ass off,

those dreams may just become your reality… 😀

 

Not a lot of people get it on their first try. Even the GREATS had their moments Once Upon A Time. 😀

 

DON’T QUIT!!!

 

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–

You may succeed with another blow,

Success is failure turned inside out–

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

-Edgar A. Guest

 

 

I’m Gonna Get There Part 2

This is part two of my Travel Log. I’ve thought about what countries and places to put on this 2nd list and realized that there’s still quite a few left, but I decided to narrow it down to just four more. Keeping in mind what a fellow blogger advised, I shall be linking the photos I will use to their original sites. If you guys want to check out some more stuff about the countries I will be listing down here, you can click on the photo and it will take you to a new site that will most likely have more useful information than my “Why New Zealand? Because Lord of the Rings was shot there.” 😀 So with that, let me begin my list…

HALONG BAY, VIETNAM

You know those movies where there are pirates and treasures and hidden cities? Well, Halong Bay in Vietnam has a feel to it that’s just like that. Every time I look at photos, I feel like some sort of prehistoric creature is bound to appear out of nowhere and bite my fingers off. I would also want to meet the people and enjoy the food. A couple of my friends have already visited Vietnam and they say not only are the people incredibly pleasant, the food is to die for too. 🙂 Two of my favorite combinations! I shall see you soon Vietnam! 😀

 

JIUZHIAIGOU VALLEY, CHINA

Not forgetting my Asian roots (as you can see I’ve already listed Vietnam up top) I’d also like the opportunity to visit China. Not only do they have the Great Wall, which can be seen from the moon, gorgeous gardens and the Jiuzhaigou River, which is really pretty because of the beautiful array of colours; but they have… AUTHENTIC CHINESE FOOD! I am a sucker for Chinese. I can live off the stuff forever. I’d also like to get the chance to explore the other hidden treasures that China has to offer and paint the beautiful scenery. 😀 I’m no artist but I try. 🙂

 

                   AFRICA

I’ve always wanted to go on a Safari in Africa. Two of my favourite TV channels are Discovery and National Geographic. Animals fascinate me and I’d like to be able to spend some time in their natural habit as opposed to me looking through cages and aquariums and them looking back with sad eyes (granted, some may have been sad AND hungry eyes). There are some that are oblivious to the fact that Africa isn’t just a Savannah.

SEYCHELLES, AFRICA

They also have beautiful beaches in Cape Town, South Africa as well as unspoiled islands like Seychelles off the East Coast of Africa. Another reason why I would like to visit Africa is, I’d like to be able to help out the people there through whatever means I can. I know that some people living there are not as fortunate as others and are not given enough attention and support. I hope to be able to find away to make their lives a little bit easier. I know I won’t be able to do as much as I would like but a little goes a long way. 🙂

 

PORTUGAL, SPAIN & THE DOURO RIVER VALLEY

Last place on my future tour around the world is good ‘ol Spain. I’ve got a little Spanish blood in me (and by little… I mean itty bitty :D) so I’d like to be able to experience the culture and see the sites for myself. I’ve always thought of Spain as a lively country. I have a couple of Spanish friends and they definitely do not disappoint. Their food is absolutely to-die-for and their clothes are stunning. I also love the fact that a lot of their streets are still made of cobbled stones. I think it gives it an olden touch of sorts. I think Spain is absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to visit. 😀

 

This is where I end my travel log. Writing this entry has made me so excited for the future and even more determined to actually go to all the places that I’ve listed. I hope that one day I am able to get the chance to travel and experience all of these wonderful cultures and encounter all of these amazing people. The world truly is a magnificent place and every day we spend on it truly is a blessing! 😀

 

 

 

I’m Gonna Get There!

This is another list. I’ve made quite a few of these since I started this blog and I’m hoping the stuff I put in them have, more or less, provided you with a small glimpse of my persona. I start this post by saying how completely fascinated I am with the world. (I suck at geography though but let’s not get into that) This place we live in truly is a blessing. Its awesomeness never ceases to plaster a smile on my face. Such beauty just calls out to be explored and one of these days, I will answer that call.

I’ve decided to try my hand at making a travel entry. Not to the places I’ve been, but to the places I want to go to someday. There are just so many wonderful little nooks on this planet that I have yet to see, so many cultures I have yet to immerse myself in and, most importantly, there so many more delicacies I have yet to try and savour. 😛 Just thinking about it gets me all giddy and excited. 😀

This isn’t to say that I haven’t had my fair share of travel. I’ve been very fortunate in life and have touched down on four of the seven continents. Still, it’s nice to have something to tack up on your wish board (yes I have one of those) and dream about day and night and in all the spare minutes in between. 😀 Again, it looks like I will have to divide this entry into two. There’s so much to see and so many places to share that I’m pretty sure I’d start sounding like a travel book by the end of a full post. Bear with me here. 😀

photo from the internet - NEW YORK CITY

If you haven’t dreamt at least once about strolling the streets of Manhattan and enjoying the magnificence of Central Park, then you haven’t lived. There’s also the teeny tiny possibility of actually seeing a Broadway show IN Broadway. So many beautiful people, so many wonderful sites.  New York truly is “The city that never sleeps.”

 

 

photo from the internet - FRANCE

I have ticked off Europe on my list of continents because we’ve been lucky enough to visit London twice now. On

photo from the interent - AUSTRIA

our last visit, we joined a tour that took us to Bath in Somerset and Stonehenge (hence my lovely gravatar) but we have yet to venture out further than that. One day, I hope to scratch France (the Eiffel Tower, Chateau de Chantilly, Arc de Triomphe), Austria (huge Sound of Music fan!), Ireland (don’t even get me started. I was a little girl once. HELLO CASTLES!), Italy (food, glorious FOOD!), Spain (rich culture and colorful history), Greece (again with the amazing food, the beautiful people and the breath taking view and cobalt blue water) and Switzerland (chocolate) off my list. Okay… Honestly, I would love to be able to scratch as many European countries as I can. I think Europe truly is a rich and wonderful place!

 

photo from the internet - NEW ZEALAND

The minute I laid eyes on the vast lands of New Zealand in the movie Lord of the Rings, I knew I had to one day walk on the same ground as Frodo and the rest of the Fellowship. I’ve always loved nature. Even the smallest rock has an interesting story to tell.  The best part about being able to visit this place is being able to see my 2 cousins. 🙂

 

photo from the internet - BORA BORA

I absolutely LOVE the beach. My country, the Philippines, is surrounded by tons of beaches, some commercialized (cabanas, white tanning chairs, karaoke, villa’s… The works) while others remain untouched (a blanket, some food and the stars). Regardless, taking a dip in the water is something I really enjoy doing. I guess this is why another place I’ve always wanted to go to is Bora-Bora. The ambience of the place just leaves me breathless. The thought of encountering something completely unexpected underwater gives me quite a thrill. 🙂

 

photo from the internet - BRAZIL

Brazil is just such a lively place that you can’t help but want that upbeat lifestyle even if it’s just for a little while. Every time I see photos or movies of this country, it’s always so colourful and so alive. I also love how their music speaks to each person and how dance has become a language that speaks to every heart and every soul may it be young or old. I believe that this place truly is magical in its own special way. 😀

 

And with this, I end part one of my soon-to-be travel log. I promise I will post part two just as soon as I decide which places I really really want to visit. And to Greg and Krista, my awesome followers, I shall post my Bucket List if and when I have decided what to put in it. 😀 Don’t worry though, I’ve already started! CHEERS! 🙂

 

 

 

Stuck in Wonderland

There are so many things I wish I could do. The funny thing is most of them border on crazy or completely impossible. That’s the funny thing about dreaming; only you are able to set the limits of your mind. You control how far your thoughts wander and how real you perceive things to be. Sometimes, I just want to get away from all of it. Away from the hustle and bustle and the drama of my seemingly busy life and the problems that have arranged itself accordingly on a shelf in my head.  Basically, I want an escape from reality… even if it’s just for a little while.

I’m sure that most know the story behind the little girl who got lost in a dream and found herself in a topsy-turvy world where animals and flowers talk, decks of cards are people, creepy cats with a big grin appear out of thin air and the 364 unbirthdays are more important than that 1 birthday you have in a year. But even so, she was able to escape from this droning world into Wonderland. Hence began the story of little Alice Liddell, STUCK in Wonderland.

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

In my life, there are moments when I just sit and stare into space. Sometimes, my mind is a void. I think about absolutely NOTHING. I just am. Other times however, I am blown away by vivid pictures of places that in reality do not exist. It is a world I make to escape everyone… and everything. It may sound crazy but in a way, I think it’s magical. In reality, there will always be times when you feel like you can’t be yourself. Even if you say you can, instances occur wherein you will have to slightly re-invent yourself to fit in. In the real world, we sometimes feel trapped and limited to the norm. Jamie Paolinetti says, “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

We all need an outlet in life. For some, it’s music, for others it’s writing, reading or even cooking or sports; but for me it’s something much simpler. I don’t even have to exert so much effort, cash out on so much money or travel far away.  It’s all in my mind. See, it’s important for one to escape the harsh truth of reality. Wonderland is a means to get away from all the jerks and freaks that come in and out of our lives.  Truth be told, it’s always easier to hide behind a wall of protection; a place that has become your comfort zone away from reality. Sometimes, we feel so limited to what’s actually out there that we end up creating an alternate world. You portray a completely different life where you are able to freely express yourself. This world becomes a canvas where you are the artist and you have all the control. There are no qualms, no hesitations. I can conjure up creative situations that can be exciting as well as entertaining or scenarios that calm my frazzled nerves as well as speed up time whenever occasions threaten to make my dreary afternoons even longer, a daunting feeling of it lingering until eternity.  As they say, dreams are powered by the imagination where by entering an alternative world, one can be allowed to better convey who they truly are instead of living by a false concept of reality.

In a way, I think that everyone has their own version of Wonderland. It’s nice to get away.  But at the end of the day, reality will inevitably set in. Wonderland is beautiful. A place that is truly yours; but we must not forget to LIVE. In this life, we cannot change the cards we are dealt with. We can only hope that we strategize well and win in the end. A brilliant man by the name of Randy Pausch once said, “It’s not really about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself and the dreams will come to you.”

In retrospect, Wonderland isn’t as far away as people make it out to be. Sometimes, when I’m feeling stumped, I like to daze and liberate my mind.  After all, dreams are one of those rare things in this world that are FREE.  It has no limitations, no rules, no hindrances that exist unless you want them to.  So, with that…WHY SCRIMP?! Never lose that child-like wonder in you.  Whether you’re 7 or 97, Wonderland is always just a hop, skip and a jump away. So when you dream, dream beautifully and dream BIG.  Should you be so fortunate to get half your dream in this lifetime, then you can say you have hit the jackpot and reached the stars.  After all, how many could actually be so lucky that at the road’s end you are one of the privileged who will have lived your own “Happily Ever After”.

Note: I would just like to thank my cousin Tracy for helping me out with this essay. She helped piece together my thoughts. 🙂 Love you Trace! 😀