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Some things don’t change

28 Jan

He gave me love letters. Those were the first love letters I received.

He has a pair of deep, beautiful dimples. Whenever he smiled at me, flashing those dimples, my breath was taken away. He was simply gorgeous.

He was so persistent, following me wherever I went. He sat with me in the library. Every time I turned the page of the book I was reading, he would turn it back. Until he succeeded in getting my attention, my heart included.

He was smart. He was tall, dark, and drop-dead handsome. There was no single day that passed that he didn’t piss me off. But it was the kind that melted my heart.

He was so sweet he’ll knock you off his feet. And he was capable of making you laugh so hard until your stomach hurts.

He was a very thoughtful person. He sent me flowers and a handwritten love letter all the way from the other side of the world.

He was full of surprises. The best part—he always stole kisses on me especially when I was mad.

Each of these men who came and went in my life, left a permanent trace of memory that no matter how much I try to forget, I can’t. When I see a familiar place or hear a certain song, every single memory I had with them comes playing in the background, like everything just happened yesterday. These are the things that will never, ever change.

But while they left something for me to remember with, they also took a piece of my heart that I, up to now, am still trying to piece back all together.

I fell in love with each of them. I fell so deeply in love that I forgot about a very important person—myself. Because of this, I journeyed on finding the love in myself so I can love again with my whole heart.

For more than two years in this journey, I am not very sure if I did progress at all. But I did feel a sense of fulfilment, a sense of being me. Those many weekends that I celebrated alone and those times I did things alone—running, shopping, going home, watching a movie, and sleeping, I felt something so powerful that I never felt before: confidence, a breath of fresh air, and bliss. But more importantly, I realized that no matter how small the piece of my heart that is left, I am still capable of loving again.

I do not know when I will ever have that beautiful love story like many of the people around me did. But even if I am uncertain of time, I will still believe. I will believe that the love that is meant for me will someday get its way to me.

For while some things don’t change, some things do.

Why I got more reasons to smile than to cry

21 May

Looking out in the ravaging rain outside from a glass window with a cup of hot coffee on my hand, I am amazed how the downpour of rain could sound like music to my ears. And as I stand longer watching the gorgeous city lights reflected from the rainwater, I can’t help but smile thinking how life has been so good to me.

While there have been innumerable painful chapters in my book, most of the time, I feel grateful than sorry. And as I look back once again, I realize that it is far better to be grateful of what I have than to cry over something I don’t (and can’t) have.

My family. Thinking how far I am with my family, my heart sinks with loneliness. We never really had a time to be complete even in just a single occasion. Not even during birthdays or graduation or Christmas Eve. Everytime I see pictures of a family laughing and going out altogether, God knows how I deeply wish I can also experience such. But then, I know that we are always connected with an invisible but very strong bond that no matter how far the distance we are from one another, the love and care is always present in our hearts. Not perfect and no family picture, but enough to claim I have my own family. And hey, my mom is just the most amazing woman and the best mother a daughter can ever have!

My friends. While perusing my old diaries and photo albums, I can’t believe I’ve made so many friends in every place I have set my feet unto. Sometimes, I wonder how these people could like me and even allow me to be a part of their interesting lives. Then I thought of it again. I realize, it is them who have made my life a lot more exciting and interesting. It really is funny how these people could bring so much happiness in your life. And what is funnier is how you could be just yourself around them but still love you for what you are—with all your flaws and imperfections. And the funniest part? They could make your life a lot crazier than you already are!

My job. Two years ago, I was still uncertain of what the future has in store for me. Though I know that in the deepest of my heart, I want to become a lawyer, I was still uncertain on how to create steps to realize that dream. Two years fast forward, I already am certain that the future I want is already in my hands. My current profession has just been very challenging (though at times literally back-breaking) that I don’t mind working even until the wee hours in the morning and over the weekends. Not to mention all the places I’ve been to all over the country. And because of my work, I realize how important every single penny is. How precious every minute is. And most importantly, I started to understand that you’ve got to be tough to survive, but pleasant enough to stay grounded.

My organizations. Apart from the countries I’ve been to and many more other countries I will be going to, plus the friends I’ve made along the way, my organizations, my advocacy have taught me so much about life. It made me appreciate the ability I have, the talent I possess, and the voice I can freely speak of. It taught me to become a woman, to become an activist, and to believe that change is possible. And the best part is that it taught me to stay strong and steadfast even if my beliefs are challenged countless times.

My heart. When it comes to the state of my heart, I can’t hide it. My friends and this blog have been supreme witnesses on how I became the happiest woman when I was in love. They, too, can attest how much struggles I’ve been through when those happiness turn into unbearable nightmares. My heart has been embraced with loving arms but it has also been torn apart in ways I never thought could be so painful. Yet, it remained with me. It survived all those debilitating chapters in my life. With scars but still alive and beating and ready to fall in love again. And that is another big reason to keep a smile on my face. I believe that love will always find me. It might not be today, but for sure, it will come. And maybe he is just around. ❤

And there.. the smile I will always wear… 🙂

Please hear me out

16 Apr

I feel scared. I feel totally scared. Not that I am alone tonight in my apartment while the storm has risen to its maximum and the electricity all over town is out. Not even the fact that I have to content myself with only single, little candle illuminating my room while I constantly hear weird sounds outside my window.

I am scared, scared that I might not be able to gather myself up to figure things out happening past me.

I am scared that I might just turn around again and run from things I shouldn’t be escaping from. And I am scared to recognize one bitter fact that I am getting tired of waiting for some miracle to finally put my heart at peace.

To be who I am

2 Feb

I have always loved the waters, the mountains, the smell of fresh air. There is this particular serenity and solitude that engulfs me whenever I communion with nature—the towering trees, the rustling of leaves, the humming of birds in the mountains, and the gentle caress of the ocean’s waves as it splashes on my bare feet.

And the thing I love most about it is that it gives me a moment of peace, a time to look back, to clear my head, and to take a little step forward.

When I was in the mountains a week ago, I felt the urge to cry as every memory of yesteryears came flooding back to me like a mighty waterfall. Those were the memories I kept locked in a tightly-sealed box which I promised to open once I am whole again, once I am strong enough to be the woman I’ve known inside me. I stepped outside my room allowed the night’s cold breeze to cup my body as the deafening silence enveloped around.

I thought of my family and friends whom I miss so much. I thought of my childhood years when life was so carefree back then. I thought of high school and college years—the funny and embarrassing moments which keep a smile on my face and even giggle every time I am reminded of those. I thought of how fast life is unfolding before me. The many places I have set my foot unto. The many people I met whom some I am unsure I’ll ever meet again. And as in every moment like this, I am always drifted back to the times where my heart was constantly bruised and my mind was constantly daunted with questions that up to now reaped no definite answer.

I have written more than a dozen blog posts about how I struggled and recovered from the sting of heartaches of which I knew weren’t very easy at all. I constantly reminded myself that as a vital part of my recovery, I should be more vigilant the next time around, the next time I get smitten with another man. But like I said, breezing through it wasn’t very easy.

For another more hour or two, I freely allowed myself to devour on those memories. I thought of my exes, of the men who entered my door without even knocking and left without me knowing, and those men whom I believe have somehow loved me back (and maybe still do). And as I filled my thoughts with them, I once again felt that unwelcome guest and the pain of rubbing a salt in a fresh wound.

I am not sure how far, or if I have even progressed at all, for the last 18 months that I tried to find myself, to love myself foremost. Perhaps this time, I need to take a pause. To give myself a little more time to think over things. To let the wounds in my heart heal by itself. Because even though I am sure that I have gotten over my past relationships, the present is constantly haunting me.

I need more time; just a little more to figure out how to forget who I were and become who I am.

 

19 things for 2012

12 Jan

I must admit I am one of those New Year junkies, failing to actually fulfill what I have set to attain for the New Year (sigh).

But I am not giving up yet. Since New Year’s Eve, I have already mentally noted what my resolutions will be. There has been a grand list, like 50 of them! But just as I start typing them off in my blog, I can’t seem to figure out how not to become another New Year junkie. So after reading some helpful blogs about making New Year resolutions more possible and realistic, I have trimmed down my resolutions to 19 and have given more specifics on each.

  1. Keep organized. Make a separate notebook for my organizations and my tasks in the office. Regularly fill-up my planner, too.
  2. Set priorities. First things first. Never get overwhelmed with whirlwinds both in my organizations and office works. F-O-C-U-S. Refer to my notes always.
  3. Wake-up early. My morning routine usually takes an hour and a half. I often get late since I need to head off to the office every day at 8 am because I usually wake up at 6:45, or worst, 7:15. So now, I should drag myself out of bed just as the hour strike at 6 am. Unless of course if I had a long night, specially working overtime, I still deserve at least 5-6 hours of sleep. Just in case.
  4. Sleep more. During weekends, that is. Since I usually exhaust all my energy and time every single day, from Monday to Friday, I will consider taking more time to let my body regenerate and prepare it for another bloody week at work.
  5. Be more patient. I have always been very impatient especially in waiting for people who have agreed to meet you on a set time; or people responding too slowly. I want things to keep going and beat every deadline as much as possible. And because I have been too wary of time, of deadlines, and of meeting-set-projects, I end up very, very frustrated and all the more perplexed. So this time, I will always take time to review the do’s and don’ts and will always take time to breathe.
  6. Buy myself a television. I N-E-E-D a TV! Period!
  7. A more balanced diet. Eat more vegetables (one vegetable viand thrice a week) and fruits (everyday).
  8. Value breakfast. I am a no-breakfast-fanatic. I only take coffee and head to works straightaway. This time, I won’t skip breakfast anymore. Not regularly, at least two to three times a week.
  9. Cook. I feel like losing my skills in cooking and baking so this year, I should at least cook something special and/or bake some goodies for myself. I could share it with friends, too. Cook at least twice a month (I barely have the time, I swear! My work is so taxing—travelling now and then); and bake sometime in February (Valentine’s Day!) and July (in time for my birthday).
  10. Exercise regularly. Go to gym at least once to twice a week.
  11. Read more books (one book per month). I just finished my first book for 2012—The Devil Wear’s Prada. Am currently reading Paulo Coelho’s “Zahir” and hopeful to finish it before February ends.
  12. Write more. Publish at least one blog per month despite loads of write-ups in the office.
  13. Relax. Find time to hang-out with friends to detoxify from stress and pressures from work. Go shopping or have dinner with friends once in a while, at least twice a month.
  14. Save more. Deposit 15% of my total salary to my ATM account every month.
  15. Learn another language. I should learn Spanish language! If I can’t enroll by June, I should ask someone who can teach me and by December, I should at least be able to speak in conversational Spanish. I should learn at least 20 words per month.
  16. Keep in touch with friends here and abroad. I will make a complete list of my friends whom I should be writing to and send them handwritten letters using snail mail. I was able to send at least 20 mails last year. This should be easy.
  17. Change hairstyle. I just got my hair treated for the first time for this year—long and straight. After seven months, I will get my hairs curled.
  18. Keep travelling. After going to various beautiful places around the Philippines, usually in the south, and being able to roam around New Delhi and Bangkok, I will travel to the north this time—the Cordilleras! Thanks to my work!
  19.  Love again. Majority of my posts in this blog is about what I have gone through in my relationships and how I am working on my self-love journey. I know I have come out a better, more matured person now than I ever was when it comes to falling in love. I might still have some perks and entertain some more stupidities, but I will still fall in love. After all, my heart is built to love and endure pain. Just a little more matured in dealing with this one this time.

I hope my resolutions are more specific this time. So… lemme hear yours, too!

I could be right, too

11 Jan

Sometimes, I loathe my bestfriend for completely nailing me in the head, knowing exactly what runs through my brain cells. But her ability to read me like an x-ray, I guess, is for my benefit.

At times, though, I wonder if she really has this innate psychic ability or if I am just really too transparent that I allow her (and other people) to see me bare and exposed.

But no matter how much I try to debate with this idea, I always end up realizing she was really gifted with reading my mind because she was always right.

She was right about S, my boyfriend for almost six years. It was beyond doubt when she told me that I was just trying to make myself believe that our relationship was “perfect” just because we never had any serious fight or just because our relationship lasted for more than five years. She was right because, really, I have blocked my mind from believing that S can love me as much as he does with his “first love” when signs were so vivid telling me he was just waiting for his “perfect timing” to exit. Of which, after five years and eight months, he finally bade goodbye.

She was right about M, whom I intended to call in this blog as “Mr. Charmer” and “Mr. Heartache”. She was damn right when she said that M will never be the man for me. That while M is the sweetest and most thoughtful man on earth who could make you fall in love in a split second, he is also the type of guy who can break your heart into tiny debris making it impossible to fix straightaway.

She was right about J whom I referred here as “Mr. Insensitive 1” when she gave me that sharp eye saying he is just one of those men who’ll come and go, who’ll just take and take and never minds to really give back.

She was right about P, about Y, and even about every man I eyed on every bar we’ve been before. Of course, I don’t jump right away with her intuitions even though my instincts tell me so. I have always wanted to see and find it out for myself. At the end, though (gasp!), she was always right.

And though I loathe her sometimes for being so right, I still find myself going back to her for my heart consultation—that is when I am being smitten in love. She has always been my eye when I get blinded with the red flags associated with those men I dated or trying to get involved with.

So last time, I told her about this guy whom I undoubtedly have fallen in love with. I told her that even though we seem to have “something”, I really can’t tell yet where our “thing” is going to. I related to her how lofty his dreams are and how he keeps a focus and priority on it. When I told her that I don’t know if it’s too early to tell yet whether we are going to something definable, she gave me that kind-of-stare again. The kind of sharp gaze that would wake me up into my fantasy.

With what she said, I found myself debating with the idea whether to follow her warnings this time or if I should just go on my own way and find it out for myself. But then I realize love is about taking risks. I said, if ever this love I have for him (and the unwavering patience to wait for him until he get decided) will translate into a love story and a concrete relationship, then I’d be happy, very, very happy. But if it goes the other way around, I know I’ll be ready to embrace whatever it will be. For sure I’ll be hurt again and experience that one-million-beat-per-second of my heart causing me to barely breathe nor sleep. But then, I won’t know what will happen unless I plunge into it, right?

And maybe, just maybe, this could be the start of something real.  After all, my instinct is rarely wrong, too.

The show goes on

3 Jan

It’s 2012.

I didn’t quite notice how 2011 finally gave in to its exit. The events from the past year seemed to have passed in a rapid-fire pace. And as I try to pen down my thoughts about what happened last year, I can hardly put my finger on it.

Perhaps, I was just overwhelmed with how my 2011 has turned out.

Like all the years that passed, my 2011 was full of unexpected turn of events; some were to my benefit and some weren’t. While remembering the little wishes I didfor myself in 2010, which have guided me toward dealing with 2011, I can see how my life was put on the verge of bursting forward.

My current profession has provided me with so many opportunities and room for further growing up. It has allowed me to roam around the Philippines, going to places which I thought would only happen in my dreams not until I reach 40 or something; those places which a lot of people would dream to set foot unto someday and those experiences that many people have been aiming to experience first-hand.

I have also met and made new friends who shaped my ordinary days into very special moments. They have made me realize how small things like going in a café or simply strolling under the trees could make the bond of friendship grow stronger.

A closer-knit relationship and fondness within my family also grew naturally among us. We have spent more quality time together throughout the year. While we still face old stories of unfathomable events, we are all making efforts to somehow mend the wounds to patch our family back again.

I have also gradually worked out my impatience in dealing with problems and challenges. I have come to embrace stress instead of shooing it away with imperviousness. My sensitivity in dealing with other people’s emotions has somehow pitched a notch higher as try to be always careful of my words and their feelings. I still get a little careless at times though.

AlthoughI already earn my own money, I constantly remind myself that while saving is a priority, I shouldn’t feel guilty for treating myself once in a while like going to spa, munching on expensive chocolates, and buying myself an expensive cellphone. Imake sure, too, that first things first in everything I do specially in my works both in my organization and my workplace.

I also came to develop my self-confidence that I can surpass whatever challenge at hand while recognizing that there are also instances that could be best done with a helping hand. In building self-confidence, I also came to realize, is about feeling good about myself knowing that real beauty is nurtured inside but also keeping in mind that I have to stay beautiful in the outside without the intention to lure men.

Lastly, and perhaps the most important, is that I was able to breeze through the state of my heart a lot easier this time than I have in the past couple of years when it felt like everything was spiraling out of control. I have gotten over heartaches and accepted the fact that there are things that are not meant to last; that my heart is built to endure pain; that my fate in love is not (and will never) be based upon fairy tales anymore; that love will never leave me because I already have the love that I need within myself; that the journey to self-love is never-ending but is worth-taking; and that love will always blossom around me because I deserve it too like everyone else.

It’s 2012 and it is the start of something fantastic. I can feel it.

 


Dear Santa

22 Dec

Dear Santa,

Since I was a child, probably six years old or younger, I have already believed in you. Each time those Christmas lights around our house start to flicker, I stare at it delightfully while waiting for you to arrive and grant my wishes.

During those younger years of mine, I would always wish for a box of chocolates or a giant lollipop. Sometimes, though, I’d wish for a sock full of coins which in return I’ll buy for chocolates or lollipops, too.

Though you never came to hand me my wishes, someone would always come, either in the person of a family or friend, and grant my wish. Eventually, my Christmas would turn merry and blissful.

Now that I am 22 years old, old enough not to believe in fantasies anymore, I still want to believe in the magic that you bring as the hour strike at midnight, welcoming the 25th day of December. Though I still want to receive those giant lollipops, I would wish for something else more than those sweet tooth or tiny silvers in the socks. And though there is only barely three days left before Christmas, I hope my wish list will get its way to you.

My heart was bruised for several times over and there even came a time when I already gave up on love. Though I stopped looking for love, I wish that love will find its way to me. I wish there is really someone in this whole, wide world who can complement my being; someone who can be a reflection of who I am; someone who can challenge me for who I am and love me passionately at the same time; and someone who could make my world go round and give me the love and respect I equally deserve.

While I am also very lucky of getting a job I really love which enables me to go to wonderful places and work with and for people in the countryside, each time I go back to my hometown where my family is, I am drifted to a world very different from where I currently live and work. I wish that even just this coming Christmas, I would feel the essence of what this season really is—and that is to have my family in a single roof, on the same table, eating all together while wishing everyone a merry Christmas even just for a day.

I wish, too, that you could bring back my two cousins who passed away 20 days before Christmas. Bring them back to their families to give them the Christmas they deserve. They were too young to leave the world. And they, too, deserve another Christmas time like everyone else.

Santa, for my last wish, give my mom more strength and faith to go through life. She is the source of my strength and my everything. Let her live longer to live a real life—a life full of happiness, love, and joy enough to outweigh her countless years of suffering and sacrifices.

My Christmas is back

1 Dec

Years ago, which I could hardly remember now, I could already feel the coming of the Christmas season upon opening my window. A cold breeze lands on my face, caresses my cheek and whispers the melody of the yuletide season.

As I stride through the neighborhood, lanterns and Christmas lights were already grandiosely decorated on each house as well as the trees mightily standing on the streets. As the night comes in, the whole stretch of the place, as far as my eyes can see, was vividly lighted. Its glowing colors illuminates to every corner making the night come to fuller life as it signals the arrival of the Christmas season.

Years fast forward, this fleeting moment never came back to the picture again. Not until last night.

While I was still recovering from lack of sleep for nine consecutive days and regenerating from bone-breaking legworks, I still dragged myself to work over the holiday with the hope to finish my proposal and assigned articles. With the long to-do-list I have in front of my computer, I felt ill all the more. For the whole day yesterday, I was shaking inside and out. But I still tried to get my focus and my will won over my exhaustion.

Feeling already wearing out from the day’s toil, I wished for a breath of fresh air. I was itching to get out from my succumbing office. As if the heavens heard my little prayer, a friend asked me out.

As we freely sat on the grounds outside the university, my weariness and fatigue came tumbling all over my nerves. But as I caught that cold breeze again, those monsters of stress fade out all at once.

Having with us a very kind teacher-turned-businessman who is an excellent singer and guitarist all in one package, the bustling night turned into a calm, peaceful mood as he serenaded us with songs from the 80’s and 90’s. While I and my friend were listening to his music, I thought to myself: This is wonderful. This is life. At first, I didn’t know if it’s because of the song echoing through the park or is it because of the presence of that dear friend who sways like a li’l child as the guitar kept on being strummed. Or is it simply the company that is bringing me a momentary relief? Or is it because it was already too long ago that Christmas season passes without me noticing it?

Because I wanted to cherish every split second of this wonderful moment, I lied down on the grasses, not minding anyone else around the park. As I gazed up the sky, I can’t contain how happy I was feeling at the moment because finally I am star gazing again, which is a simple thing that never fails to bring enormous happiness to my heart. Just by looking at the stars and locating the small and big dippers (which are the only constellations I am most familiar with), I feel peace and serenity. The universe is extremely huge and full of exquisite wonders, I thought again to myself.

As I tossed to my left side, where my friend R is, I asked him: Is Santa Claus real?  I know I was kind of stupid in asking that question but maybe I was just under the spell of the magical night that made me ask a question that is somewhat not quite too fitting to a 22-year old woman like me. But to be honest, I still want to believe Santa Claus is real even If my friend gave me a quizzical look upon throwing such question.

I was further bewitched by the moment as I noticed children play around the park, hugging the 6feet tall Santa Claus figurine and taking pictures with it. Oh how wonderful is it to be like a child again… carefree and believing in Santa Claus without ever getting that quizzical stares from anyone.

The park was also surrounded by Christmas lights and several lanterns ready to be lit up tonight as December 1 takes off. And oh… those bold, whimsical letters saying Merry Christmas. And the Christmas carols ringing all over the place. And… I was snapped back to Kuya Nine, the singer, and my friend R who are already tapping their pants to shun off the tiny grasses that were stuck to it. As they rose, I knew it’s time to leave and call it a night.

As I and R headed home, I felt how that night, how that one hour moment magically turned my heart at peace once again stoking that little flame of hope that Christmas, the old Christmas way I used to have, is back again.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saan nga ba patungo?

30 Nov

Alam kong buo ang loob ko nang nagdesisyon akong tahakin ang landas patungo sa’yo. Hindi naging madali ang bawa’t hakbang na tinahak ko para mapagtanto ang tamang daan na siyang magdadala sa akin sa destinasyong makapagpapaligaya sa puso kong noon pa’y ligalig at uhaw sa mga kasagutang tila hindi matanto. “Saan nga ba patungo?” Tanging sigaw ng puso ko. Nguni’t sa gitna ng kawalan, tila tanging ako lang nakaririnig sa aking asam.

Pinilit ko pa ring ituloy ang aking paglalakbay kahit panganib ay nagbabadya sa aking daan. Sinubukan kong bagalan ang aking mga hakbang sa pag-asang hindi maliligaw. Nguni’t ang liwanag mula sa araw na siyang nagbibigay gabay sa aking landas ay unti-unting binalot ng kadiliman hanggang di na halos matanaw mga direksyong dapat kong puntahan.

Sa kabilang dako, gayunpaman, nakakita ng liwanag. Pinilit kong iwasan sa kadahilanang kailangang kong magpatuloy sa iyong kinaroroonan. Nguni’t sadyang mapaglaro ang tadhana, kinailangan kong pumili kung saan nga ba. Puso ko’y nagulumihanan nguni’t ano pa nga bang magagawa?

Bago ko pa mawari ang pag-iba ng daang tinatahak ng aking mga paa, ako ay nasadlak na sa isang desisyong kailangan kong pangatawanan. Kahit sa kaibuturan ng aking puso, ang desisyon ko’y hindi buo, alam ko na may dahilan kumbakit ako napunta sa gawing ito.

At habang binabaybay ko ang daan sa kabilang dako kung nasaan ang liwanag na muling bumuhay ng pag-asa sa puso ko, alam kong may kapiraso pa ring parte ng puso ko ang patuloy na maglalakbay para hanapin ka hindi para maging kabiyak kung hindi para ipaalalang naging parte ka sa malayang pagtibok nito.