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!



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.




It’s OK to Crash and Burn But Don’t Stop Living

Dear Shay,

This entry is for you and your broken heart.

You’ve been with him 2 years and 15 days. That’s 745 days of your life you will never get back. I’m not saying you should regret it though. I’m just stating a fact.

I refuse to say “I told you so.” Aside from the fact that I don’t see the point of rubbing your mistake in your face, I’m pretty sure your other friends have already overused that statement so I won’t even bother.

I’d like to say I understand but sadly, I don’t. As much as I would like to spare your feelings, I don’t want to sugar coat any detail or any thought. Instead of adding another lie to that mound that’s already starting to pile up, I’ve decided to lay it all out there and be completely honest with you. It’ll be a refreshing change after all the other stuff you’ve had to go through.

Those fiercely loyal to you have probably already told you what a horrible person HE was and how HE never deserved your love. First thing you have to remember is, love changes you. Before you go flying off the handle, allow me to explain. Love is a beautiful thing, it takes a hold of your senses until there’s nothing left but that feeling that rises and falls with each memory that you build together. Love is beautiful BUT it can turn ugly at any second without warning. You don’t mean for it to happen, it just does.


HE was a good guy Shay. The first time I met him, you said what you loved most about him was his goodness and the way he made you feel. Once upon a time, you saw him as your Prince Charming come to life. Now, he’s nothing more than a nightmare that haunts your every step. Still, there was a time when you loved him.

I know for a fact that a friend of yours said that HE never loved you. I know this because I was there when those words were said and I have to say, that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. HE loved you Shay. HE must have loved you. At the end of your relationship, when you thought you were the only one fighting, he was fighting off his own demons to get back to you. I guess in some bizarre way, he loved you the only way he knew how to at the time. I know this because while I was holding your hand, I was also holding his from a distance. You were never fighting alone. The only problem was that you were fighting two separate battles. It was when he won his that you decided to surrender to your own demons.

I don’t blame you. So much has happened and so many people have made it their life’s mission to be your sentinel that it was hard to see past all of that. You told me that allowing yourself to wallow in that pool of sympathy that people have made for you was your own way of coping. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

“Breaking your heart doesn’t mean you have to stop living your life.”


It’s hard to start peeling all the other layers of your relationship to find that one small, vital piece. You both were so busy trying to be perfect lovers that you forgot how to be friends. I’m not an expert and I’ve had ZERO experience so don’t take my word for it. I’m just calling it like I see it. The rest of the world saw it, I’m just not sure the two of you saw it too.

Truth is Shay; nobody’s immune to the power of love. Love is unpredictable and it works in the craziest ways. You mope and whine over 2 years and 15 days. My parents were married 16 years before they decided to call it quits.  That’s a lifetime compared to 745 days. I’m not saying it’s any less important but it is a hell of a lot longer. I asked my Mom about it and I believe Shakespeare couldn’t have said it any better. She said:

“Love is a give and take relationship. The problem is, you can’t give something you don’t have. How can you give all of you when you’re not even whole to begin with?”

-M. Lerias


This entry right here is my ultimatum. Either you sit down and work things out OR you find closure and separate as two full-grown, free thinking adults. I hate to be the one to break it to you but you’re driving your friends crazy (myself included.) It’s been almost 3 months and no matter how hard we try to help, we can only do so much. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to face the hard hitting questions and make the toughest decisions on your own. We can all see that HE’s starting to mend, why can’t you?


You have to start living again Shay. Life is a wonderful thing and you’re letting so many opportunities pass you by. Lingering won’t do you any good so why do it?! You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and allow that beautiful you to shine through 🙂

The Wanderer and the Little Princess

I was waiting for my friend Gypsy (yes that’s her real name) in a café the other day. It’s been a while since she and I have seen each other so I was pretty excited. It wasn’t long before I saw the mass of red hair she warned me about. She recently had it done and apparently, it takes a while for the actual colour to surface. That day, she walked towards me with hair similar to the colour of a fire engine. I admit, I bit the sides of my cheeks and looked away pretty quickly so she wouldn’t see the grin spreading across my face.

As my shoulders were going up and down from my apparent mirth, I was distracted by a shrill shriek, “Ninang Jing” I turned and saw my 6 year old godchild Shani (although she says she’s 6 ½ now) barrelling towards me, a huge smile plastered on her face. She leaps into my open arms and says, “You still feel like a pillow” (gee, thanks) and proceeds to plant a slobbery kiss on my cheek before running off to look at the menu of the café.

Gypsy then gives me a big hug and I inhale the nasty chemical-ish smell of her crazy red hair. She moves back, sees the expression on my face and says, “Don’t start! Mom already gave me an earful last Tuesday.”  I put on my most clueless expression, looked straight into her eyes and said, “What? This is wonderful! Call of the search! I’ve found Nemo.”  She rolls her eyes, whacks my arm with her hand bag and walks to the counter to place her order. From our table I could see Shani bouncing up and down the side of the counter engaging one of the baristas in a story about Jess, her purple stuffed rabbit.

Shani had barely settled into a comfortable position on the couch beside me before Gypsy  launched into an all-out, animated story telling of the past 2 years of her life. She talked about backpacking through Europe and about visiting Malaysia, Alaska, Phuket and Brazil. She talked about all the interesting people she met (mostly men by the way) and the different cuisines she was able to try (she and I are both foodies)

Gypsy seemed so worldly that I felt like a country mouse in comparison. How is it that she and I are the same age yet she seemed to have been able to immerse herself in a lot more adventures than I have? Granted, she has yet to step into the hallowed halls of a University but I had to wonder; did she choose a better path than I did?

As these thoughts coursed through my already frazzled mind, Shani pulls herself up and hands me her iPad (yes, this 6 year old kid has an iPad. I roll my eyes at the injustice) and says, Ninang, you have to answer all the questions I listed honestly and truthfully so help you God.” I glanced at Gypsy for help. My friend, being the wonderful creature that she is, sticks her tongue out at me, smiles, pulls out her iPhone and starts a game of Draw Something (which reminds me, I have got to get into that game!) Left with no other choice but to comply to a 6 year olds demand, I smile down at Shani and scan the questions she listed down. (I later found out that Gypsy had already answered the same questions a few days back which explains the sticking out of the tongue)



  1. If you had to kiss a prince, would he be a pig, a fish or a frog? (Can’t he be human instead? What happened to that option)
  2. If Peter Pan came to your window, would you fly away with him forever? (I’d miss my family too much. If they could come along, then why not?)
  3. If you had to eat chocolate forever, would you choose Snickers or Butterfinger? (I guess I’ll starve because I’m not too crazy about either one)
  4. If you were a princess, would you be Cinderella or Snow White? (Neither. I’m more of an Ariel, Jasmine girl)
  5. If Barney asked to be your best friend, would you say yes? (Probably not. I kinda think he’s a little creepy plus, I’m pretty happy with my human best friends)
  6. If you could be a superhero, would you be a mermaid or a fairy? (What happened to the Justice League and the Avengers and all their cool super powers? Can’t I be one of them instead?)
  7. If I tell you a secret, will you promise not to tell Mommy? (Okay. – then she leans towards me and whispers, “Mommy has stinky feet.” HAHAHAHA!!!)
  8. Would you live in Disneyland forever? (YES! YES! YES!)
  9. Who’s your favorite cartoon character? (Winnie the Pooh! :D)
  10. Who’s your favorite Barbie? (There’s more than one Barbie now?!)
  11. Who is your Prince Charming? (I’ll let you know the second I find out kiddo. 😉 )

Questions made by Shani and Lana (her Mom) de Leon


That was some list huh?! I asked Lana about it after and she said it was all Shani. She just changed the spelling but those questions came straight from that little girls funky and colorful little mind. I felt a tinge of pride at how amazing this kid is turning out to be.

Truth is, as much as I loved being able to hang out with Gypsy again after all these years, my favorite part of the afternoon was my little conversations with Shani. There’s just something about a mind of a little kid that sets them apart from everyone else. It’s refreshing to be able to see the world the way they do. None of the bad stuff, only the good.

Thank you Shani for teaching this big lug a thing or two about setting your mind free and letting it wander for a while. One of these days I shall join you in Shanisia (her imaginary world) Don’t grow up too fast okay? 🙂

A Million Times NO! (Day 6)

I know it seems like I missed Day 5. I was supposed to write about something I hope to do in my life. Now before you get all judge-y on me, let me just say that those entries (yep, I got more than one) have already been posted way before I even found out about this blog project. You can choose from the following posts. Part 1 of Travel, Part 2 of Travel (if I haven’t made my intentions clear yet… I would really love to TRAVEL) and something about Jaws (I promise it’s more interesting than it sounds)

With that, I’ve decided to jump right into Day 6 of the Blog Project.

Day 6 is about something you hope never to do. Before I get into that though, I just wanted to say how incredible it is to be given the chance to immerse myself in all the beauty this world has to offer. The best part though, is being able to share each day with the people that mean the most to you. Every single day is a blessing that should never be taken for granted.

This statement leads me to answer the 6th question on the list. In my life… Even though it may sound selfish… I hope I never have to say goodbye to anyone I love.

I am seriously bad at saying goodbyes. A perfect example would be having to say goodbye to my cousin/aunt, Jill (it’s a long story. I shall explain it in another post) every time she has to go back home to the US. It’s always the same story (give or take.) She comes to visit, we pick up where we left off and have the most amazing time and a few days later, I’m helping her pack her bags. It’s sad but, it has to be done.

Now before you start thinking about how much of a weirdo I am (because I know it’s running through some people’s minds right now,) I’d like to stress that I am not that intense about goodbyes. Yeah I cry and wave at airports (tell me that’s not a cliché) and I cried when Harry Potter ended (I just had to squeeze that in there) but I can promise that tears will not be shed every time my Mom has to head to the office or my grandmother has to go to the grocery. I’m sooo not that shallow (sorry to disappoint)

The goodbyes I’m talking about are more of a permanent nature.


If you haven’t figured out what I mean yet, then you lead a very sad life indeed. The “permanent goodbyes” are the ones that can’t be changed and can’t be taken back. (this would be the perfect time to have a light bulb click somewhere in the back of your mind) 🙂

The thing is, you never have control over when that day will come (I refuse to say death so we’ll just call it Mort) One day you could be sipping coffee with that person and the next, you’re wearing black and bawling your eyes out because Mort decides to pay your little circle of love a visit.

Speaking from personal experience, losing someone to Mort definitely tips the pain scale at an alarming rate. The lucky ones slowly recover from it but, there are those that spend the rest of their lives feeling empty inside.


Among all the possible fears I will have to face, losing someone I love definitely tops the list of things I hope I never have to do. Granted, I have done it before (and those moments probably belong to the top half of my worst life experiences list) and know it’s inevitable but, having to go through life with that taunting your every moves really makes you think twice about open your heart to someone.

Just thinking about Mort scares the bejeezus out of me but then again, going through that is The Circle of Life. As they say, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”

Every waking moment is a blessing. Treasure it! 😀


May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.  May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.  And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

– An Irish Blessing

A pat on the back… (Day 2)

After plastering my faults in my previous post, I was pretty psyched to write this entry for Day 2.  If you don’t understand what I mean by “Day 2”, please check out my previous post HERE.

After digging my own grave (so to speak,) I shall now try to tweak my ego up a bit by sharing a few things I can actually do right. 🙂 This is to show you all that I’m not such a bad person and that I am not totally insecure about myself. 😀


  • I love how I am able to laugh at myself when I make a goofy mistake.
  • It’s funny how I can memorize all sorts of tunes and songs in my head and make it seem like I listen to stuff like that all the time when truthfully, I’ve only heard some of those songs once or twice.
  • I think it’s pretty cool how I can whip up something interesting in the kitchen and, more often than not, have it turn out to be something edible and other times, pretty incredible. (YEP! Chef in the making right here. I wish! Haha. 😀 )
  • I love how I get so wrapped up in a book I’m reading that I tune out everything and everyone else around me and live in my own Lala Land.
  • It takes very little to make me smile. I get a little pick-me up note from a friend and I’m set for the day.
  • I don’t claim to be any sort of professional dancer but I can bust a move given the chance.
  • To be blessed with an amazing group of friends means that I must be doing SOMETHING right with my life. So whatever that something is will be listed as the last one on this list. (If I figure out what that is, I’ll let you know! 😀 )


“No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning.”

– Barbara de Angelis


Thank you all for being so amazing and I hope you guys continue to keep me company for the next 28 days as I journey towards finding myself and sharing my life with all of you. CHEERS! 😀


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. 🙂









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



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! 😀