Running is Love

11 Oct

After my morning run with the gorgeous sunrise in teh background

09Oct2012

Nothing is as lovely as waking up at the stab of a still dark morning. You witness the moon slowly fade in the background as the mighty, gorgeous sun takes over. You watch the birds fly at a distance so close you can almost touch them. You watch the dew drop from the leaves and they suddenly glitter as the ray of the sun split from the haze of clouds. And you find yourself smiling as you continue to go in motion while half of the world is still asleep.

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The cards and my true love

12 Aug

After a very long time of debating with myself whether to have my future read by a psychic or not, I finally decided to do it.

I entered the room where the psychic was. As the door closed behind us, my apprehension was growing a knot higher each second.  However, I convinced myself saying that it’s all right to do this, that there is no harm in trying it. But for the very last minute, I wanted to back out.

As I motioned to the door, the psychic said: “You are very apprehensive.” I froze and as if in a trance, I found myself sitting on the opposite side of the table, fronting the lady psychic.

“I’m sorry,” I said, my hands were trembling. I told her that this was my first time while saying to myself I actually don’t believe in fortune tellers. She seemed not to mind what I was saying even though it was obvious that I wanted to leave as quickly as she read my mind.

She began scribbling numbers on a paper as she randomly asked questions. For the first couple of minutes, she told me my lucky numbers, my interests, my achievements, my dominant characteristics, and how apprehensive I was to have the tarot cards read my past, my present, and my future.

I picked my first tarot card.

“He’s the person who is in your mind right now,” she said. I was stunned by her revelation.

As she enumerated more things about me, I felt how my uneasiness gradually faded in the background. But while the discomfort dipped down, the fire of fear started to slowly burn up.

I asked, “Do you see us together in the future?” She didn’t directly answer my question. Instead, she told me I’ll be meeting two men in the next six months who will bring significant changes in my life. She also noted that one of them will cause me an irreparable damage of whom I should really be very cautious off.

After she detailed events of my past and my personal background along with amazing predictions for my future, I was incredibly happy and scared at the same time as I left the room.

On my 23rd birthday, I once again asked for another reading from a friend. I asked an almost the same question about the matter of my heart.

“You always love very deeply. But the card says that you may not prosper in finding the one who will love you back the same way anytime soon. But you will definitely realize that you are meant for something more important, something bigger.”

Now that five months have passed after my first reading and almost a month after the second, I find myself reflecting back. While I don’t exactly believe in each of every word they predicted about my future, I still feel that twin excitement and fear I felt right after those experiences. And while I hope that they will be right about a huge blessing that will about to come in terms of my profession and aspiration, I also realistically know that those predictions are just but cautions and reminders that may guide me as I stride through my journey.

I have come to realize that while there are actually people who were blessed with an astonishing talent of reading the future and that our destiny is predetermined by something greater than any of us all, still, majority of what happens to us is within our control. That our journey of finding what makes us happy is mostly dependent on us, on our actions, and our determination to make it happen.

With that said, I know that I will always be looking forward to whatever happens tomorrow, the day after that, and maybe for the next 20 years to come. For it is the feeling of knowing that there is something exciting and very intriguing in discovering the unknown that makes life. . . life.

To the psychics’ credit, however, I must say that I am still on a shaky ground of finding the one. But for the past couple of years, I have been receiving overwhelming blessings that has been filling the empty spaces in my heart. And this for me means more than having that one true love.

Link

Of being a mom

27 May

http://baguiomidlandcourier.com.ph/animatedme.asp?mode=archives/2012/may/5-20-2012/animatedme.txt

I purposedly developed this article as a gift for my mom and to all other moms for the Mother’s Day celebration. And hey, it got published in a local publication which is circulated in 8 provinces in the Cordilleras! I couldn’t be happier! 🙂

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… 🙂

Of being a mom

14 May

It is always a wonder to me how the laughter of little kids could melt the toughest hearts. There is this particular comforting touch that seems to work magic that no matter how toxic the day was, hearing them giggle in a genuine manner could magically keep all those weariness at bay.

There are moments, too, when they drive you seriously crazy. Those times when it requires an enormous amount of patience to stay calm. Those moments when all you could do is release a heavy sigh, shake your head, and could think of nothing else other than how the day could get any worse.

Little kids, really. They are full of wonders.

No. They are not my own kids. They are my sister’s. I let these three kids stay with me for their summer vacation. And with that seemingly short span of time, it actually felt like years because my usual lifestyle had a complete 360-degree turnaround.

But more than knowing all this stuff about having kids around, I also learned how being a mom could actually become the most challenging role I can ever have. And if I am to be honest with myself, having them around took all the energy I have for every single day.

Those times when they randomly show up and throw random questions. If you know the answer, you feel quite like a genius. Otherwise, you try to pretend you know the answers but deep inside you are also wondering. I can’t help but think: “How can these children know a lot more than I could?!”

Those times when you bring them to department stores and they would point to something they‘d like to have. While you wanted so much to grant their wish as often as possible, you simply can’t. And they’d just stare on the floor and stay quiet. In those instances, I could hear my heart breaking because I knew there was nothing I could do for the moment other than to promise I’ll try my best to save for that something.

Those times in the office when one of them suddenly calls you in the phone and you hear all of them shouting or the other one crying or all of them fighting over a toy or whatsoever stuff they can fight over with.

Those times, when, no matter how much you want your sleep remain uninterrupted, it already becomes inevitable. Those times when they wake up in the middle of the night crying because they are having a nightmare and you have to keep telling them that everything is going to be all right until they fall back to sleep. That sometimes takes until the wee hours of the morning.

Those times when you have to leave them at home for a couple of nights because your work requires you to. Those times felt like torture because your mind keeps wandering back to them: how they are doing, what they are eating, and if they are already calmly sleeping, or having nightmares again.

Those mornings when you have to drag yourself out from the bed, no matter how little hours you were able to spare for sleep, just to prepare their breakfast.

Those late afternoons when you go home and they all come running to you asking for the “pasalubong” you promised to give them when they stayed behave for the day.

Those times when even if you no longer have enough energy left due to a toxic day in the office, you still have to use that minute energy left in your store to perform yet another motherly role for the rest of the hours—cook, clean, wash the dishes, and so on.

Those times, when, even if your eyes are already wanting to drop on the floor, you still have to grab that story book and read them bedtime stories in the hope that they’ll learn some virtues.

Those nights, when they are all soundly asleep, and you stare at them thanking the heavens that finally they are resting after exhausting so much energy, including yours, all day long.

Those times when you receive your salary and realize it won’t actually last in your hands for the time you wish to be.

But then, those sacrifices seem to be all worth it. Especially when they would always greet you in the morning and kiss you goodbye each time you head to work. When they see you coming home, they would all rush to you giving  a kiss and a hug like you’ve been away for years. And at night, just before they close their eyes, they would also kiss you good night. Those moments are simply heartwarming.

Tonight, my kids will be heading back home. And as I stare at their backpacks, I can hear my heart breaking yet again. These kids have been wonderful. While my pockets are already empty, my heart is filled with joy. But more than that, they taught me a lot about being a mom.

For just a month and a half, I realized how taxing being a mom could actually be. And only up to this time did I realize how much sacrifices every mom has to make for each of their children in every single day of their life. Yet, their sacrifices remain undervalued. I realize, if those simple acts of thoughtfulness or sweetness could drive my mom’s weariness away, how come I haven’t regularly done it?

I know it is not yet too late to show my gratefulness to my mom for being such a wonderful and an ever-patient mother of 10 kids for 27 years of her life and counting. And I know, too, that it doesn’t really entail for one to bear their own kids before they realize the countless sacrifices of their mom. And truth be told, being a mom is the most challenging role any one can ever have and the most amazing talent one can ever  possess. It is just yet to be further appreciated.

Happy mother’s day yesterday, today, and everyday!

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.

12 best places I visited in 2011

5 Jan

Capping my 2011’s wonderful and worth-reliving moments won’t be complete without giving them justice through photos.

Being an innate adventure-quencher that I am, I have been to several places around the Philippines as well as outside the country. While most of the places I have been in 2011 were more of a duty,( as part of my job so I can gather stories), I always took time to capture the beauty being offered in every place I set my feet to and immortalized them in photos.

1. Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The incredible Taj Mahal! I failed to visit Taj the first time I went to India and how sad I was. So the second time around, I was very lucky to finally get so close with this majestic, one-of-its kind world's wonder. To my amazement, I even touched every wall I passed through!

2. Bangkok, Thailand

What first caught my attention during my trip in Bangkok was the emanating bright colors of taxis and 'tuktuk' all over its street. These, for me, are simple treats for the eye. They are... lovely!

One, of course, should never miss the food delights on the streets. They are so delectable! Plus they cook the food to you right away and the whiff of it makes the food all the more enticing. This, too, is best to sate the rumbling stomach after a feet gone tired. 🙂

3. Enchanted Kingom, Sta. Rosa, Laguna

The Space Shuttle Ride. It has been a childhood dream to experience the 'magic' enchanted kingdom unselfishly offers. To complete my EK adventure, I summoned all the energy and guts to ride in this space shuttle and for the first time (ever) in my life, I felt how my soul literally departed from my body! It was uber fun, nonetheless!

4. Island Cove Resort and Leisure Park , Kawit, Cavite

Island Cove, Kawit, Cavite. This is a perfect place for a get-away for at least a couple of days after hustles and bustles from work. It offers various exciting activities such as outdoor paintball field, giant chess set, biking, horseback riding and a lot more. And the pool? It is sooooo inviting you'd love to keep your body dipped for hours!

5. People’s Park in the Sky, Tagaytay City

People's Park in the Sky, Tagaytay, Cavite. This is only one of the right places to have a wide appreciation of how beautiful the southern part of the Philippines is. At this view deck, you can see the ever-famous Taal Lake plus the Canyon Woods subdivision on the opposite side. It's a sure eye-treat!

6. Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort (Border of Tiaong, Quezon and San Pablo City, Laguna)

Villa Escudero. This place brings you back to the setting of a rustic Philippines where Filipino traditions come to life and constant appreciation. Riding in a carabao-driven cart serenaded by excellent folk artists are just some of the bonuses!

7. Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon

Pahiyas Festival, Lucban, Quezon. Being one of the most-awaited summer festivals in the Philippines, Pahiyas never fail, not even once, its spectators as select houses are grandiosely decorated with multitude of colors using 'kiping', a famous Lucbanin decoration made of rice dough. This century-old festival showcases the unequaled creativity of its townspeople as it brings out a lively and colorful festive mood during this prestigious gaiety.

8. Katigbawan festival in Catigbian, Bohol

Katigbawan Festival, Catigbian, Bohol. In this celebration, the kabaws are dressed up to the nines like “kings and queens” using every material available, indigenous as well as artificial. They blaze in all their glory with their painted nails, grandiose ‘gowns’, extravagant head dresses, colored eyelashes, and complete make-up at that. Very interesting! 🙂

9. Blood Compact Site, Tagbilaran City, Bohol

The Blood Compact site, Tagbilaran City, Bohol. Now this one is a true spectacle! This particular site was made in honor of a very important event in the Philippine history done between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. At my back is the Panglao Island which also offers an array of pristine spots one can enjoy to its maximum.

Blood Compact Site

10. Streets of Marawi City, Lanao del Sur

Marawi City. Just some of the snap shots I took while roaming around the streets of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. All over, one can see buildings like this, the mosque for Muslims.

Marawi City street. And oh, this cute little boy. He is so angelic, isn't he? 🙂

11. Davao City

Durian fruit in Davao City. This city offers unlimited list of things to do and places to visit. But, for me, one's Davao adventure won't be complete without trying this exotic durian fruit. a very extraordinary and really a-need-courage-all challenge for first-timers is because of its foul odor that would make you puke the moment it is stuffed into your mouth. But for the second time around, you'll praise this fruit for it's exotic but mouth-watering goodness. Try it! 🙂

12. Chocolate Hills, Bohol

Chocolate Hill, Bohol. And lastly, my top favorite place--Chocolate hills. This has been one of the world's eight wonders. As to why it has named as "Chocolate hills" is because its lush green mountains magically turns into chocolate brown during the dry season.

And there you go—the best 12 places ever that has completed my 2011 and made it even better. Plus, this is my 70th post. Hooray!