Morals of the Story

For every trouble that comes our way, it is important that we do not only overcome the pain and turmoil, but also get lessons which aims are to make us better persons and give us a better perspective of the world.

In 2012, I met my biggest problem thus far and it sure shook me, and crippled me for a while until I decided to break free and stand up if I really wanted that genuine smile on my face again.  It was no cinch, letting go and moving on with life, but with the careful analysis of everything that occurred, which helped me learn God’s purpose for giving me that chaos, I was able to do it and now I’m reaping good fruits.

I have no plans of recounting what happened now that everything is completely over, but I believe what I learned deserves a space in my blog. So here they are:

#1
Do not be too likable. Sometimes, having no one who has any problems with you can cause you a big problem.

#2
Sometimes, it’s helpful to follow your intuition. If you’ve felt any doubt about something or someone right from the start, maybe it’s better to stay away from it or that person immediately. Set aside your being stubborn and say-no-to-quitting attitude.

#3
Ask if you have questions, worries, or doubts. Ask.

#4
Be cautious on who you give your care to. Especially if you have the tendency to care too much. At the end, you may already be doing it for the wrong people and this can hurt you big time.

#5
Fight if you know you’re on the right side. Make sure you’re heard.

#6
Sometimes, it’s better to take sides instead of settling to be in the middle. ‘Cause for all you know, the safest place may turn out to be the most dangerous.

#7
Stay away from people with big problems. You may sink with them and become a codependent. Tsktsk. Bad for your health.

#8
Making a mess is sometimes good for it can show you who your real friends are. It can also yield good results.

#9
Okay, it’s your life. But sometimes, it’s goddamn better if you listen to your friends. If they tell you to stop, maybe they see that you really need to stop. Remember: They are concerned about you and they are just protecting you from pain.

#10
Do not completely trust anyone from the other side.

#11
It’s never wrong to have the habit of looking at the brighter side, but learn when not to do it. Remember, too much optimism lets your guard down, making you unaware when bamboozlers have already crept their way toward you, tainting you with their horridness.

#12
WTP  (Acronym for ‘Wag Tanga Please, in English, Do Not be Stupid.)

#13
Shut your big mouth if you can’t say it to the person you’re talking about.

🙂

Advertisements

The Dragon Baby Says Thank You!

Earth Dragon baby in the 2012 Year of the Water Dragon. ~

The best year isn’t always the one that gave you the most laughs and fun times. Instead, it may be that when you received the proper spanking, which made you learn so much in life.

The year 2012 is that year for me. It topped my 2008 as the most unforgettable with the way it fastened me tight on a roller coaster, giving me the ride of my life. It made me laugh harder and smile wider and more often, breathe fire in anger, get butterflies in my stomach, feel stupid and weak, set barriers up with people I don’t feel good about, appreciate friends and family more, fight for what I think is right, feel my heart pounding hard due to stress, learn and try new stuff, spend more time awake than asleep, become more vigilant, submit to forgiving and forgetting, surrender my proclaimed independent mind and seek people for help, and even create rivers of tears for so many nights on my way home from work–which scared my Mom and sister for witnessing that one deemed the strongest in the family at her most vulnerable.

It was a crazy year that proved I’m a warrior armed with all the metaphorical weapons all over my body. It showed me that being unbelievably nice is noble, but there should be a boundary between it and that pathetic thing called martyrdom. And that I shouldn’t expect everybody to reciprocate everything I do for them. It also taught me to love myself, to put myself first before anyone and anything else, because with an incredibly stubborn mind like mine, it is only I that can really save myself from drowning at the end.

It was crazy. Crazy, indeed. But as nerve-racking as it may have been, 2012 is still the bombastic year I wished for during its New Year’s Eve. I can even confidently say that I have no regrets with every move I made. In fact, I cannot imagine doing otherwise, more so any other aftermaths than what there is now. I know everything that happened will play a huge role in how I’ll act, think, and perceive the world in the future. And with the abundant optimism God blessed me with, I am thankful that I still see the world the same as before, He only tainted me with a little bit of pessimism to balance everything out and to protect me. God designed my year 2012 to get me ready for more lemons that will be thrown at me in the coming days. And now, I’m very much ready for more challenges.

 

Of course, everything wouldn’t be possible without the people around me.

With no hard feelings now that it’s turning into a distant and blurry past, I give my sincerest thanks to those who shattered me. I have come to understand that God sent them to me to wake me up and help me realize gazillion things. They were blessings in disguise to me, and without them, I wouldn’t discover who and what matter most. THANK YOU.

Then my warmest gratitude goes to those who helped me pick the pieces up, not just to bring me back to my old self, but also to form the happier, stronger, and wiser person I am today. They know who they are. For those I have baptized as my “brutal friends”, thank you for the sweet but piercing reprimands and the constant and forceful pulls whenever I seemed to lose track of the right path. This extremely adamant Aries-meets-Dragon lady needed those blows. For those who have chosen to treat me the tender way, thank you, too, especially to those who listened to me and obligingly gave their advices and opinions ’til who knows until what time it was–thus the term “unhealthy friendship” was born. For those who listened to my stories and endless rants and never got tired of them, for those I have frightened with the tears that always came unannounced, for those who supported me and are still standing at my back waiting for the next chances to help me more, for those who didn’t and hopefully will never give me up, for those who effortlessly made me laugh, smile, and appreciate life and its every moment more, for those who shared their lives to me, for every helping hand whenever I need them and even when I didn’t ask for them, for all the good times, for the friendship, THANK YOU. THANK YOU, EVERYONE. I am unsure if I have already thanked everybody enough, so I just immortalized my appreciation in this page.

For some who are unaware of what I went through and even those who think they have little to no contribution in my life, I would also want to thank them. For just being around me, being able to make me smile, laugh, think, and some, even irk me, they have also made significant impact in my life and helped in my growth, I assure them. Again, THANK YOU.

 

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charisse Reyes

Charisse Reyes

Carlo Reyes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarissa Catalina Repollo

Jocelyn Que

Mary Ernestine Yao

Rajiv Idnani

Yuko Konishi-Legaspi

Yuko Konishi-Legaspi (Photo grabbed from Yuko Konishi-Legaspi)

Meynard (the only guy on the photo)

John Joseph Santiago (the only guy on the photo)

Abigail Lucas ~

Mae Winky Mozelle Veluz

John Herald Cachola (middle) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desiree Quijalvo (Right)

Desiree Quijalvo (Right) *

John Carell Fababeir (the only guy on the photo) *

Jorice Oliveros (left)

Tita Elvira Angeles (farthest left), Tita Gregoria Candelaria (third to the right), Tita Josefina Evangelista (second to the right), and Nanay Priscila Nazareth (farthest right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ate Beverly Candelaria-Garcia (left)

Ate Jeramae Evangelista-Santos (farthest left) and Ate Pamela Angeles (the woman holding the baby)

Michael Rey-Ann Norte

Michael Rey-An Norte (left) (Photo grabbed from Cha Reyes)

(Top, from left) Cedric Reyes, Lexus Reyes, Ate Charm Rebong, Cha Reyes, Alexis Reyes, Gelai Rebong, (Bottom, from left) Me, Monique Rodriguez, Jay Ar Rebong, Ivo Rebong, CarloReyes

(Top, from left) Cedric Reyes, Lexus Reyes, Ate Charm Rebong, Cha Reyes, Alexis Reyes, Gelai Rebong, (Bottom, from left) Me, Monique Rodriguez, Jay Ar Rebong, Ivo Rebong, Carlo Reyes (Photo grabbed from Lexus Reyes)

The Reyes Family

The Reyes Family (Photo grabbed from Tita Malyn Reyes)

Sir Hermie Morelos

Sir Hermie Morelos (Photo grabbed from Ms April Ramos)

Boss Deth Alegre

Boss Deth Alegre

Sir Butch Reyes

Ms April Ramos Ana Marie Nibal Juvy Tan (L to R)

Ms April Ramos, Ana Marie Nibal, and Juvy Tan (L to R) (Photo grabbed from Ana Marie Nibal)

Cristine Leal (Left) and Darah Manigo (Right)

Cristine Leal (Left) and Darah Manigo (Right)

Randolf Santos (right)

Antonio Apatan Jr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Antonette Basbas

Abraham Basbas

Jayson Domer (the only guy on the photo) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Shirley Tito (middle) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malou Alvarez (Left)

Malou Alvarez (Left) *

Eldie Arubang (farthest right) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Karl Acepcion (middle) *

Rosanna Manansala (third to the left) *

Licelle Andaya (Second to the left), Sir Jojo Munoz (only guy), and Ms Shiela Ecube (farthest right) *

Noli Pionilla (farthest right) *

Sam Jaictin (farthest left) *

Tito Fred Alcaraz (Only guy on the photo)

Tito Fred Alcaraz (the only guy on the photo) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellow Hikers

Fellow Hikers at Mt Daguldol *

Ms Ana Valencia (second to the right) and Ms Tonet (farthest right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guia Trinidad (middle) *

Suzanne Uang (Photo  grabbed from Suzanne Uang)

Ivan Anyayahan (the only guy on the photo) *

TY Joan San Diego

Joan San Diego

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanna Ayroso (farthest left) (Photo taken in 2011) *

ITI Philippines Interns (people on the left side) and Michelle Joy Dela Cruz (girl in pink standing on the left) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Yttel Anne Robles (farthest right) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Of course, lastly, I would like to thank my partners- in-crime in photo taking: Kiki, my Sony digicam, and Steven, my iPod Touch. ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, and the most important of all, there’s my Creator. I have the greatest feeling now that I have completely rekindled my relationship with Him. I still have my shortcomings, but still, I know that He’s just there, patiently waiting for me and loving and protecting me. I have realized that optimism minus Him is as good as a life filled with nothing but negativity. I thank Him for the dark days for I know He placed those to make me come running back to His loving arms, and so that’s what I did. I thank Him for the unyielding love and concern. He truly is amazing and I don’t know if I have already praised and worshipped Him enough to deserve the overflowing blessings He has been showering me with. LORD, THANK YOU, I AM YOUR SERVANT AND I’LL DO EVERYTHING NEVER TO GO ASTRAY EVER AGAIN. 🙂

 

It’s been a few days since we said farewell to 2012 and my original plan was to post this on the first day of 2013. I failed because I had a hard time writing this entry as memories came rushing back, thus, I was teary-eyed every once in a while. I actually thought of discontinuing this, but a friend encouraged me saying that since she witnessed how my 2012 is very different, it deserves a space in my blog for the record. And she’s right. With everything that happened, though I didn’t specify them here, the year deserves to be written and be re-read again and again in the future to remind me and to poke me whenever my over positivity will make me forget of what I’ve been through.

With this post, I close another chapter of my life and turn to the next blank pages for a more fruitful and more blessed year.

2013, I’m ready! 🙂

 

 

—–

Photo Credits:

* – Champy Cachola

~ – Abigail Lucas

It’s Raining Blessings Everyday!

Last week, I sent an SMS to my high-school friend greeting her a happy birthday and telling her–with much conviction–that God will surely bless her more in the new year added to her life.

After a few hours, she replied with the usual thanks, and that she’s looking forward to that “I know God will bless you more” part. I smiled with positivity upon reading it, then suddenly, I thought…

Photo grabbed from Flickr

Heeeeeeeyyyyy…  We’re lavished with blessings everyday! 🙂

From the moment we wake up, take a bath, eat our breakfast, say goodbye to the people at home (if we live with our family or anybody else), commute to work, let the sun touch our skin, meet and mingle with our colleagues (or classmates for those still in school), do our tasks in the office or at school, eat lunch, eat snack, reach the end of our shift, commute back home, pass by people–strangers or not–with equally busy lives, greet and catch up with people at home, eat dinner, watch TV, check our Facebook accounts,  get a bit unlucky with some of the occurrences along our daily routine, to the time we say goodnight, turn off the lights, and go to sleep… These are all blessings from God!

To most, those may not be godsend anymore because doing them every single day have made them too monotonous. But if we really think about it, not everybody is given the gift of next day, which means there are less fortunate ones who can never be able to do those everyday habits again.

As Panic At The Disco‘s Oh Glory song goes, “If I wake in the morning, I only need two more miracles to be a saint…” It’s true. To be able to see the daylight once more is indeed a marvel. Just imagine how many people sleep at night with carefully-listed plans for tomorrow in mind, but then, never able to fulfill them because their time have expired. And there are people who still wake up, but then after a few hours, their lives turn unexpectedly, and they can no longer function the same way they do.

So to us who still have the chance to greet the world a happy morning again and again, let us never take those unacknowledged blessings from the Lord for granted. Let us also never stop from thanking Him for those ’cause we never know when the last time we’ll be able to do them.

We are very fortunate. We really are. There may be times when our regular days are disturbed by troubles–lots of troubles–and it seems like there’s no way out. But remember, God doesn’t put those trials just to punish us. Problems come to us to teach us and mold us into the stronger and wiser persons whom He meant for us to be. That’s another great blessing, right?

So let us not let ennui take over us and instead, look at the brighter side. Blessings are abundantly presented to us each day, we just have to search at the right places and have the right frame of mind.

 

P.S. A simple reply of appreciation that led to this blog entry. Oh, it’s okay if you don’t mind me, and it’s okay if you do. It’s just me with overflowing optimism and renewed faith in God. :3

God bless!

 

 

—-

UPDATE (October 21, 2012):
I just remembered this quote I read from Jostein Gaarder’s The Solitaire Mystery:

How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.

But then there was that moment

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
It sways to the left, right, and into my shallow hilarity.
I never laughed that way to such, there must be some magic to it.
And so, it waves here and there, and I, giggling from ear to ear.

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
I almost tumble and get lost in it with sheer delight,
Until I glance at you, and you’re beaming nowhere but at me.
Has anyone told you that you look the cutest with that smile?

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
I turn to it again, yet I desire more glimpse of your face.
I peek at you once more and get an unfaltering effect.
What’s wrong with you? I think, but everything feels so goddamn right.

Fountain is dancing to the beat and I watch it cheerfully.
It’s a spectacle, yes, yet something else steals my attention.
If only I can stare back at you and still get that same look,
God, I will do anything to make Father Time freeze the moment!

I remember the fountain danced and I watched it cheerfully.
Looking back, you might be grinning ‘cause I was too petty.
But, heck, who cares if for that I got extremely gratified,
I can insult my intelligence for more rounds of that.

And now…

Fountain may dance once more and I can watch it cheerfully.
But you smiling right at my side may never happen again.
After the tears and hurtful words that ruined us and our trust,
‘least there’re happy moments like this that I can cherish in mind.

*June 2012

Touchdown, Guards Down

Both feet finally touching the land you once thought you can only reach in your dreams can ultimately give you all the excitement in the world. But it may be helpful if you stop for a while, breathe in, breathe out, and take time to check for some warning signs first.

Epic, Simply Epic

Finally… Macau! Just a couple of years ago, we were merely happily dreaming of this place as we sit on our college classroom chairs, but now, here we are, living the dream. And oh, how cool is that, there’s a mini shuttle bus that transfers passengers from the airplane to the terminal!

It was almost midnight when we arrived at the Macau International Airport, but our energies were still soaring as if a new day just began. As girls who always get thrilled over new things and experiences, we were so full of anticipation as to what we might expect and do in that foreign land.

First things first. Documentation!

Inside the “mini shuttle bus” at the Macau International Airport. Not sure if it’s called that, though. Correct me if I’m wrong. Thank  you! (Photo by Abigail Lucas)

My friend’s DSLR and my iPod Touch out, we started taking photos in the mini shuttle bus then we got more excited when we reached the terminal. Because of the time, there were only three lines and we chose the one at the middle. While waiting, my friend told me to take a pose for a photo and so I did just that and gave the cutest smile I could come up with. After a shot, she told me she’d take another one so I happily gave another pose.

She then handed me her camera which I obligingly took and we exchanged places for her turn. Looking at the viewfinder, I started to focus my friend’s gadget. Having a bigger and heavier lens than other DSLRs, plus the fact that I am thin, always makes it hard for me to use it so it constantly takes me longer to take a shot.

Oh, someone’s shouting. But who cares, I’m busy.

“Miss! Miss!”

Focus… Focus… 1… 2… 3…

Click!

“Miss! Miss!”

Another one! Focus… Focus… It’s heavy… Foc…

Hard tap! Tap! on my right shoulder.

I lowered the DSLR, shocked, and looked at the person who distracted me.

“No camera! No camera!” said the tall, thin man in blue uniform as he waved his right hand firmly at me. An Immigration officer!

The world stopped as he went back to his post. My friend and I then fell in line again silently and looked forward to be faced with a huge board with signs, Chinese characters, and Roman letters in neon lights. Among the information that were written and posted there were reminders that cellular phones and cameras (Yes!) are not allowed in the area. The Immigration area.

“Maaaaacccc (One of my nicknames), it’s embarrassing!” My friend told me and I could only smile at her.

We kept quiet and tried to act as if nothing happened but we couldn’t, and I was quite sure I heard murmurs with the word “camera” from the people around us. Uh-oh. We were at the middle of the area and everybody surely saw what happened!

Minutes slowly passed, the lines got shorter, and we were more and more terrified. What if the Immigration officer that would look at our passports decides to have us deported back to our country?

Thank goodness what happened wasn’t such a grave mistake. We were able to pass through the officer in charge of our line and we were also able to see and experience Macau as planned but with some paranoia every now and then about taking photos in certain public places.

Oh well. So much for this (too) embarrassing experience.

Caught on cam: No Cellular Phones and No Cameras signs in neon lights. Readers, don’t try this on your travel abroad. (Photo by Abigail Lucas)

Ignorance, indeed, is never bliss (Not my first time to travel abroad but it was my first with a company so I never bothered with such before). But looking at the brighter side, flaws like this at least remind us that to err is human, therefore, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves and others, and, hey, things like this happen so that we can have some worthwhile memories to laugh at in the future. 🙂