Tag Archives: Challenge

Believing in the unknown

20 Apr
My five-year old self dreamt to see Africa one day. I finally did!

My five-year old self dreamt to see Africa one day. I finally did!

Growing up from a village with nothing much to do but go with the usual routine of school to house and house to school, I dreamt to see the world outside my village someday.

I grew very curious (and envious) how the life in cities seemed to be very exciting and fairy-tale alike. I was always jealous when I see a child in movies having grand toys and wearing grandiose clothing while my childhood past time were that of climbing trees, jumping off a mound of rice husks in the rice fields, having an improvised play house, and compulsory sleep in the afternoon.

I remember being gleeful and excited with just the sight of an airplane roaring above the skies. Each time I hear an airplane coming, I would rush outside our house and savour the spectacle. Then, I wished to see an airplane up close.

For every falling star that I saw, I closed my eyes and wished. One of which is to someday ride in an airplane and see the world beyond the village where I live.

Life, however, has its own way of discouraging me from my dreams. There were times when I felt there was no more hope. Some people even told me I was meant to go nowhere and end up like the other young girls in our village who were forced into marriage at a very young age.

But I didn’t allow myself to fall trapped in these unprecedented tricks of life.

Then I saw a falling star again. I wished and closed my eyes. When I opened it, I was already up above the skies riding in an airplane I thought will only happen in my imaginations. And before I knew it, I was already going from places to places, from one country to another.

I am full of dreams. Slowly, while carrying a sheer determination with me, they are coming true. Not that of having grand toys and grand clothing which later I realized is pointless.

I graduated with flying colors. I landed with a job I love so much. I am surrounded with amazing people who are always there to give me a little push and a tap on my back whenever I feel weary and hopeless. I have a loving family and a super mom. I am able to travel to many places here and abroad not just as a tourist but someone who speaks in behalf of her country. I’ve already visited a country in Africa, a dream since I was a five-year old kid.

Today, I am moving forward to fulfilling yet another dream I’ve set myself into since I can remember.

Now that I am 20-something, I know I already have a head-on of my own life. There are still challenges of course. But still, I believe in the unknown, one that is scaring and thrilling me in equal measures.

I asked myself, how many of us have the chance to fulfil their dreams at this very young age? How many of us have the chance or ability to counter a traditional belief about a village girl’s fate?

I am lucky enough to be one. While it wasn’t an easy road, I believed I can do it. I worked on it. I valued each and every opportunity given to me. And I trusted the heavens.

I did. And you, too, can do it.//

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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.

Just like today

11 Dec

When you set your feet on a new environment, on a new place, and feel like everything is fresh, feel it. Own it. When you see a natural attraction just like that of the amazing Banaue Rice Terraces for the first time, immortalize it. If not in photographs, at least in your head. Take some time to let it linger in your mind, close your eyes, and play the scenes over and over in your head. Until it becomes vivid and clear even if you no longer see it.

Just like today.

When you meet new friends at school or at a certain event, take a moment to really get to know them. Laugh with them. Share your stories and listen to their stories, too. Connect with them.  Share a glass of beer together or play the “Never Have I Ever” game. Let the fun flow naturally. And let the friendship stay even if the years keep rushing by. Even if the distance keep getting farther and farther away.

Just like today.

When you chance a moment to be with your family amidst all the hustles and bustles of work, be physically and emotionally present with them. Do anything to make that very moment memorable and full of love that you may keep the happiness in your heart even if it takes another painstaking months before you get to see them again.

Just like today.

When an opportunity knocks on your door, open it; grab it. When you’re given a chance to be a part of an important event, make it happen. Go on the streets and let your voice be heard. Support other people’s advocacy if you think it is what it takes to become an active citizen. Experience a Flash Mobilization once in your life. No matter how simple it is, if you take part in it and lets your voice reverberate throughout then it is, undeniably, fulfillment itself. Opportunities don’t come twice just like lightning that don’t strike at the same place twice.

Just like today.

When you go to a bar and feel like drinking up all night long yet you hesitate because it feels wrong, don’t linger on that feeling. Don’t let what others think dampen your excitement. Don’t keep avoiding that very moment when you can actually do what you’ve always wanted to experience somehow. Dance with the beat. Don’t deny yourself from an evening that could bring so much energy and anticipation, even just for one night. Spending a life avoiding what you’ve always wanted to do only mean avoiding yourself to be just you.

Just like today.

When you meet that someone who keeps your heart beating ten times faster than it regularly does, allow that person in your world. When the universe permits you to be with each other’s arms, hug tighter. When the starts align and lets you experience that spur of a moment once your lips meet, savor it. Close your eyes and listen to your heartbeat while the planet stopped on turning. No matter how uncertain the future is, let yourself experience the wonder of being in love.

Just like today.

When your heart is broken and you feel that burning sensation in your chest over and over again, feel it. When the pain cripples your heart to believe in love again, fight back. When it feels like nothing is going be the same again after your belief in love is crushed into tiny pieces, get up and move on. Pain goes with loving. And so is moving on.

Just like today.

Let go and feel free again. Dream big and chase after them. Stop and start anew. Kiss if you feel like kissing someone who allows you too. Cry hard and smile again afterwards. Keep travelling. Keep doing the things that make your heart filled with happiness and fulfillment. Let you be you. Truly, to get somewhere, you have to be hurt, you have to feel pain, and you have to fail at something. But keep trying. Because just like today, these things might not ever happen again. And they’ll be the days that you’ll surely miss.

12. 12. 12

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!

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.