This could not have come at a better time. Truly inspirational in every sense of the word! 🙂 This is for all of the people who’ve lost their way and need a little pick me up. Nothing is impossible!

 

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it!”

-Walt Disney

Strange Fruit

If you need some inspiration, watch this. To never give up, is a hard lesson to learn.

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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.

 

 

 

For my special little people who are slowly growing up…

I’ve always wanted a little sister. Don’t get me wrong. My not-so-little brother is the sunshine of my life (a cliché I know but he is) and he and I are inseparable but, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a mini-me of sorts.

Being the eldest cousin on both sides, (although I have yet to be blessed with one on my Mom’s side) I thought I’d be able to dote on my younger female cousins. Unfortunately, certain complicated circumstances have gotten in the way (but I won’t get into that now) so I haven’t been given that opportunity until recently.

By that time, Lea (female cousin #1) and her brother Andre migrated to New Zealand so I wasn’t really able to spend so much time with either of them.

ANDRE and LEA

 

I was able to form some sort of bond with Eena (female cousin #2) and her little sister Euha (female cousin #3) but, as luck would have it, they migrated to Dubai late last year.

EUHA and EENA

 

I’m now left with Issa (female cousin #4) and her older brother Marvin whom I have yet to connect with on a deeper level (hopefully we get to do that soon yeah? 🙂 )

ISSA and MARVIN

 

and Erika (female cousin # 5) who is probably the closest to me at the moment.

ERIKA

 

This entry was born out of the sudden need for me to impart some of my knowledge (No matter how measly they may be) to my younger cousins. Because we aren’t able to speak face to face, I shall let the power of modern technology work to my advantage.

Know that I write this full of hope for each of your futures and with love for every single one of you.  

ATE JING’S BRIEF GUIDE TO OWNING LIFE


  • Always have a good head on your shoulders.

You are all so amazingly talented and incredibly blessed. Stay humble and stick to the values your parents have worked so hard to instil in you. You’ll never go wrong if you remember to always be grateful to every single person who has helped and supported you along the way.

 

  • Learn to make your own decisions.

You don’t always have to do what other people tell you to. (Your parents being the exemption) You’ve learned all the essentials, now you have to act on them. Don’t ignore what other people have to say but don’t allow them to dictate your life either. It’s YOUR life so live it the way you see fit.  As you grow older, you’ll learn to tell the difference between right and wrong. Granted, making mistakes is a part of life but, try to lean towards doing what’s good and proper. You’ll end up loving yourself for it.

 

  • Always aim for the best. (from Kuya Jong)

Don’t be contented with mediocrity because once you do, you’ll end up settling and never aiming for perfection. Keep working and aiming for something better. There’s no other way but UP! 🙂

“PERFECTION PARADOX MY DEAR COUSINS,         

If we do not strive to improve ourselves,                 

We cease to be perfect.”

-Kuya Jong

(Yes my brother is a geek but he’s a lovable one. :D)

 

  • Learn to live in the moment.

Planning things is great but there are times when you have to be spontaneous. Life’s no fun when you’ve planned out every single detail of it.

 

  • You don’t always have to care about what other people think.

You’re not always going to agree with every Tom, Dick and Harry that you meet. Don’t let that bug you. What matters is that you’re happy with yourself and with the choices you make in life. Trust me, being normal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 😉

 

  • Venture out of your comfort zones. Write your own stories.

You can’t always hide behind Mommy and Daddy. There’s no doubt that your parents will move heaven and earth for you guys (I know mine does) but you have to learn to do things for yourself and make your own bloopers in life. It’s okay to act a little goofy sometimes. Trying new things is the only way you’ll be able to discover yourself. 😀

 

  • (For my female cousins) Play hard to get.

You’re all so beautiful and any guy would be lucky to get a second look from any of you. You’re at that age when you start crushing on boys (Although your parents would strongly disagree) and having those boys crush on you right back. Don’t be in a rush girls. You’re all so young and there’s a lot more to think about than boys. You’ll get there soon enough (to the horror of your Dad’s) but for now, enjoy the beauty this world has to offer you and continue exuding your AWESOMENESS. 🙂

 

  • Learn to forgive and move on.

Mistakes are human. Don’t expect people to always do the right thing. If someone ends up hurting you, learn to forgive. It won’t do you any good to have negative feelings fester and boil inside you. You’ll end up hurting others as well as yourself.

 

  • Dream beautiful and DREAM BIG.

Life is yours for the taking! Dream about everything wonderful and aspire for the world.

 

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
 Life is beauty, admire it.
 Life is a dream, realize it.
 Life is a challenge, meet it.
 Life is a duty, complete it.
 Life is a game, play it.
 Life is a promise, fulfill it.
 Life is sorrow, overcome it.
 Life is a song, sing it.
 Life is a struggle, accept it.
 Life is a tragedy, confront it.
 Life is an adventure, dare it.
 Life is luck, make it.
 Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
 Life is life, fight for it.”

– Mother Teresa

 

 

 

CARPE DIEM my loves! I love all seven of you with every fiber of my being. I can’t wait to share in all of your adventures.

The Cousins plus Tito Alan and Tita Mikay (Sadly, no Lea and Andre)

Maybe not today… but SOMEDAY!

I’m 23 years old and I’ve never been in love. How’s that for a beginning statement to a Valentine’s Day post?! CatchyI’ll say. True? Most definitely. I thought I was in love at some point though. I got that similar feeling of butterflies, saw the heavens open, heard the choir of angels burst into song and created illusions of happily ever afters.  There was only one thing different; time passed and sadly, so did “love”. Again I was left alone and wanting.

I’m no hypocrite. To say that I’ve never looked with envy at happy couples sharing private jokes and stolen moments would be a lie. Sometimes I wish I had that. That feeling of longing magnifies tenfold on Valentine’s Day. Another year passed and another day of hearts spent twiddling my fingers and looking up at an empty sky (Coincidentally, Valentine’s this year was a tad rainy so the whole empty sky comment wasn’t me trying to sound all deep.)

I spoke with a friend a while back and he asked about the state of my heart. I looked at him and replied “It’s still in there. I haven’t given it away just yet.” He looked at me and said, “In all your 23 years, you’ve never once given a piece of it to anyone?” I figured the incredulous look on his face was a joke so I just said, “Nope. Not yet.” Feeling a bit uncomfortable with the conversation, I was hoping he’d let it go but as luck would have it, he had one last thing to say, “Well Honey, you better hurry. Love doesn’t put up posters on every block. If you miss your chance, it’s gone forever.” That made me think… Did I really miss my shot at love? Was I destined to wallow in self-pity, never to experience the joy of a heart thudding for someone else?! At that point, all I could think about was how I couldn’t become the old woman spilling out of a couch surrounded by 12 cats. I don’t even like cats…

I was feeling fairly disheartened and decided to jot it down, lest I forget about my depression. (Lord knows how terrible that would be… Hello sarcasm) I figured, at the very least, maybe I could make a good story out of it. By chance, I stumbled upon an entry I wrote a few years ago.

I think I’ve mentioned a while back that I’m a music student. I major in voice and sometimes I sing for special occasions like birthdays, weddings etc. The entry was about a birthday party that I was privileged enough to perform at. It was a lovely and intimate gathering with only the closest friends and family. There was a host, Annette, who saw to the perfection of the event. She handed me a song list and ordered me to stick by it. I went over the list, smiled at the band and began to sing.

About 3 songs before the end, Annette hobbled (Yes hobbled. She banged her shin on one of the corner tables) towards me and whispered, “Do you know the song TWO WORDS by Lea Salonga” to which I replied an ecstatic “Yes!” (Because I absolutely love the song) “When I give you the signal, start singing it okay.” This was apparently the part where the birthday boy took center stage and danced with his partner.

As I sang, I watched a relatively old couple sway to the melody of the music. It was the instrumental part of the song when, to my surprise (and apparently to the rest of the room as well,) the old man started speaking, his voice bouncing off the walls of the room. (He apparently had a wireless microphone taped somewhere) He said, and I quote, “I have been lucky enough to share the 1st half of my life with the woman who made me a man. Now, at 56, I am even more blessed to meet the woman who has turned me back into a lovesick boy.” He slowly gets down on one knee and says, “This boy would now like to ask you to spend the remaining years of his life with him. Will you marry me?”

The reactions were as expected. There was not a dry eye in that room. I had to turn to the band and ask them to loop back to the instrumental just so I could have a minute to compose myself. By the end of the song, everyone was cheering and clapping and clinking wine glasses. Annette introduced us (The band and I) to the happy couple. It turns out, the man was married once before but was a widower at the age of 41. The woman was a very close friend of the man’s wife and she said that falling in love with him was completely unexpected. As they retold their story, I could see how transparent their love was for each other. Not in the mushy kind of way though. In my opinion, that’s the best kind of love. You don’t have to flaunt it for other people to know it’s there. D

So, yeah… At 23, I’m still single but I’m enjoying what life has to offer. Do I want a special someone to share Valentine’s Day with? Of course I do. And I know someday… I’ll find the Shrek to my Fiona. 😀

So for now, I’m happy spending Valentine’s Day trying to surprise one of my bestest friends on her birthday. 🙂

LEE and JING

LESLEY

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m happy sharing a meal with my Mom and brother and splitting dessert at the end. 😀

MOM, ATS and MIGUEL

 

I’m glad I can act goofy and silly on Valentine’s Day. In the end, it’s really all about being happy with where you’re at in life. I may not have Prince Charming banging on my door just yet but, maybe he’s just waiting for the perfect time to sweep me off my feet. 🙂

 

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.” 

– Carrie Bradshaw

 

Here’s to hoping you all had an amazing Valentine’s Day! Here’s to hoping every year will be better than the last! CHEERS! 😀

Confessions of a Seething Daughter

WARNING: Complete ranting ahead. I apologize in advance.

I’ve been on a writing strike for a while. Not because I want to… I would love nothing more than to indulge my reading and my writing, but alas… Every writer goes through their rainy and messed up moments. My train of thought has made a temporary detour, and my mind has been blank the last couple of days, hence, the completely random last entry dated the 4th of February.

Today, however, the train was jolted into locomotion by a very irritating and downright spiteful creature. No names shall be mentioned although I must say I have taken quite a strong dislike to a certain type of flower for the sheer reason of her carrying the same name. (To this I say TO THE FLOWER, “You poor, poor blossom”)

Let me start by saying that I have ZERO respect for people who talk crap about other people behind their back. I’m also pissed as hell at people who promise to do something and end up screwing you over in the long run. Basically, people who have the word FAKE invisibly tattooed on their forehead MAKE-MY-BLOOD-BOIL.

Trust me when I say, I’m not an angry person. I’m actually quite pleasant most of the time. What irks me to no end is when certain people mess with the people I love. In this case, my Mom.

Golden Rule: Never mess with a person’s Mom. NEVER!

The funny thing is, this creature of darkness, this bitter shell of a woman… She’s a Mother herself. And to you I say… What sort of example are you setting for your daughter? With the way things are going and with the despicable people she’s exposed to every single day, I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be just as wicked as you…

Stop trying to make my Mother look bad because it isn’t going to work. My Mom has proven time and time again, how hardworking, honest and incredible she is. You, on the other hand, are too busy chasing after your fluttery dreams of a happily ever after with your less than perfect Prince Charming (I use this term loosely, if at all) and your eyes that are way too far apart to even be on the same face. Speaking of that, I also suggest you see someone about that creepy face fetish of yours. The one where you assume the camera loves your face so you take dozens of photographs of yourself from every possible angle… Not working for you at all. That’s just soooo lame! Please don’t think so highly of yourself because you end up looking like such a social climbing loser.

You better look closely at that woman staring back at you in the mirror before you start blabbing and yammering on and on. You sound worse than a brainless Dodo.

— Honey, you shouldn’t have made such an effort trying to hide who you are because the snake will crawl out eventually. I have said my peace and I am so done with you.

 

You will always be a part of me…

Losing someone you love may just be the most painful experience you will ever have to go through. In some way, it feels like you’re losing part of yourself. Yes, time fades and wounds close, but forever may pass you by yet those wounds may never fully heal. There will always be a scar. A nostalgic, special memory eternally locked away somewhere in the center of your heart.

My great-grandfather passed away 6 years ago. He was the most incredible man in the world. His heart was so full of love despite his having to go through harsh times in his early years. His devotion to the people dearest to his heart was staggering. It was amazing to see how one man, so capable of conquering the world, was happy and content to watch his friends and family take the limelight. He was so respected and was put on such a high pedestal that he seemed quite impossible to reach. As time passed, I saw him remove each and every block so that he would never have to be superior to anyone else. He saw everyone as his equal, everyone was his friend. It’s funny… you would think that because there were so many of us, one was bound to feel less important than the other. I still don’t know how he did it but, his love was so immense, so absolute, that it was able to embrace all of us. I remember him telling me at one point that the world had to share half of his heart because the other half had already been given away a long time ago. My great-grandmother was his world. In his eyes reflected the love he was never afraid to show. I asked him once how their love story started, he looked at me and simply said, “I was a lost man, but she changed me. She was my salvation” (Coincidentally, my great-grandmother’s name was Salvacion)

I wrote this poem approximately 4 months after he died. I admit it was a hard blow. 6 years later, I still feel like I’m missing a piece of me. That’s the thing about real love, once you give it away, you can replace it, but it will never be the same.  Tears still slip from my eyes when I think of him. I have learned to accept the things that I cannot change. I have let go but I will never ever forget…

IN MEMORY OF YOU

When I was a kid I would stare up at you
And marvel at the things that you could do
You took me in your arms and stood proud and tall
You were the superhero of one so small

You tucked me in when I went to bed
Sweet dreams little girl was all you said
I’d smile at you as you kissed me good night
A lingering promise of another morning light

Though I grew older, a child you’d still see
Your little baby princess would still be me
With you I could act silly and never pretend
For me the laws of gravity I know you will bend

When I had a problem I’d always run to you
A few witty quotes and I’d no longer be blue
You’d smile and tell me there’s always a reason why
You’d wipe away my tears and tell me not to cry

You were my true best friend you see
With you I knew I could always be me
You knew me well both inside and out
With you I’d find comfort and lose all doubt

That’s why goodbye was so hard to say
I still ask myself why God took you away
I miss you more each passing day
In my heart your memory will stay

I love you and you know it’s true
You’re gone now and there’s nothing I can do

YOU SAID:

“Be still sad heart and cease your pining
Behind the clouds, the sun is still shining!”

Thank you for everything and so much more
When I think of you it makes my heart soar
You will always be a part of me
The sweetest note in my life’s melody…

Smart is overrated!

I don’t think I’m stupid. I’m slow at some point but, I’m definitely not stupid. I won’t be able to answer the big questions at the drop of the hat but… Here are some things I actually do know…

I know what it’s like to be happy, happy in all ways and in all things.

I understand the importance of time. I know that once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

I know how gripping inspiration is and how it can help and encourage you to grow and expand your horizons

I know the value of friendship. I am thankful each and every day for all the people that have been sent to ease my having to pass through troubled times..

I know how it feels to cry. I cry because of pain, because of loss and because of things I’ve had to leave behind. I know that every tear that falls from my eyes is a memory forever etched in my mind.

I know what it is to learn. I may not learn as quickly or as efficiently as others but, I know the essentials.

I know that everyday is a new discovery and every rising sun hints at another chance to better myself.

I appreciate beauty. The way the sun sinks to the earth to give way to dusk is a sight I shall carry with me all the days of my life.

I know how to have fun. Crazy, reckless fun that leaves me senseless, breathless and gradually tints my cheeks with a rosy colored glow of complete and utter satisfaction.

I have experienced the wonder of words. Shelves filled to the brim with books that allow me to explore this world as well as the next. Words that shield my eyes from the pains of reality and allow them to awaken in Utopia even if it’s just for a fraction of a moment. All this happens with nothing more than a few sheets of paper bound tightly in leather and written in ink.

I know how to make choices. Granted, they’re not always the right ones, but I know that in every path I take, there is always a lesson waiting for me at the road’s end.

I am aware of the dangers of taking risks. I also know that sometimes, risks are crucial. They build character and they push you to leap when you would otherwise just sit in the corner and watch life pass you by.

I have faith. I have faith in people and faith in myself. When that isn’t enough and I feel like all is lost and times are dark, I put my trust in the Lord and in his promise of salvation. I know in my heart that he will never fail me.

I know how important it is to dream but, I also know the difference between living your dreams and living IN a dream. You should never get those two mixed up for they could not be more different. One offers you the world, the chance to explore the inner depths of your being and shine brighter than the stars. The other will give you nothing but grief and a longing for something you can never have.

And last and most importantly, I know how to love and am loved in return. I have been blessed with such an amazing family. They are a reflection of me and of who I want to be. They are proof that love, so compelling and boundless, exists in the real world and not just in fairy tales. I know that without family and without love, there is no life.

So there… I may not be able to explain the world and how it works in so many complex words like Einstein, nor am I capable of answering mathematical questions in an instant but I do know some things… They may not mean as much to you but, they mean the world to me. If that makes me stupid, then I don’t want to be smart…