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.

🙂

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

“Late Blossom”: Love is Ageless, it Knows No Limit

Photo grabbed from AsianWiki

Though your hair may already be graying, your skin sagging, and wrinkles long been forming on your face, it can never be too late for true love.

Late Blossom (Keudaereul Saranghamnida ; 그대를 사랑합니다), a 2011 South Korean indie film and one of the featured films at the recent 2012 Korean Film Festival in the Philippines, revolves around the lives of four old people whose ages do not limit their abilities to love and be loved. 

 

The Story

Kim Man-Suk (Lee Soon-Jae), a milk delivery guy that uses his motorbike, is a grumpy old widower on the outside but is really soft and sweet on the inside, while Ms Song (Yun So-Jeong), a scrap paper collector and seller, is a soft-spoken old woman who is alone almost all her life. They run into each other before dawn a few times and eventually, develop a strong affection for each other.

Meanwhile, Jang Kun-Bong (Song Jae-Ho), the neighborhood parking lot manager, and Jo Soon-Yi (Kim Soo-Mi), who has Alzheimer’s disease, are a married couple who once had their three children living with them but, naturally, as they started having their own lives, left the couple living alone yet contented together.

The two couples journeyed through old age accompanied by each other’s love and new-found friendship.

Just like what I said in my blog entry, All Hail the Hallyu Wave! (2012 Korean Film Fest)Late Blossom is very touching and was worth more than the every tissue I pulled out of my pack during its screening in the film fest. I am not the emotional type, but I cried while watching the film, when my friends and I were talking about it right after seeing it, when I retold its story to my sister, and even when I remembered some of its scenes while I was on my way to work. The film was that amazing in pushing the right buttons of its audience.

And how can it fail to be great when each role, whether major or minor, was played by an actor who’s expert in his or her field, plus the fact that the South Korean film industry has a seemingly effortless ability to make everyone cry with just the right facial expressions, words, settings, and angling of the scenes. With that, it is not surprising when it became a box office hit in its home origin.

 

Thoughts, Sentiments

(Warning: Spoiler Alert)

“That’s how I wanted to grow old,” Ms Song murmurs as Jang Kun-Bong slowly walks away, relieved and thankful, while carrying his wife on his back. Already late for work, the old man accidentally leaves their home’s gate unlocked which enables his wife to go out and wander around the village, oblivious of how she’ll go back. Upon learning about this horror, Kun-Bong then spends the next hours running and shouting around the neighborhood, looking for the love of his life. When he finds her walking with Ms Song and Kim Man-Suk, he runs toward her, very much worried, and holds her tightly. This scene, filled with strong emotions, is when one can learn how powerful love is, that it can incessantly work its magic despite oldness and the other half’s shortcomings.

The enormously worried Jang Kun-bong holds his wife tightly when he finally finds her. (Screencap from Late Blossom)

Ms Song’s sentiment may be the reason the movie gets a sobbing crowd. Or at least in my case. Everybody wants to grow old with someone who shares the same passionate feeling as ours, and whose only condition in perpetually loving you is just you being at their side through good times and bad times. Just that. It doesn’t matter if you’re not able to give as long as you’re simply there, breathing the same air they breathe, and occupying the same space that they do. So just imagine that thought, coupled up with a film that shows exactly that kind of unending love rolling right before your eyes, and you’ll surely be fumbling through the things in your bag, hoping you can finally get a hold of your tissue. I’m speaking based on experience, yes.

Then as though the tears that already flowed out of your eyes aren’t enough, the film continues and later on, the viewers are presented with a weeping old man on the verge of committing suicide with his wife. He can’t take the fact that due to a severe disease, death will soon be snatching his beloved away from him. “Goodbye. I’m a timid old man. I couldn’t go on without you. So hold on to my hand. Let’s find each other again,” the married old man is saying behind the camera, as the scene zooms out showing the now departed couple, peacefully holding each other’s hand.

Again, everybody wants something like that. Who doesn’t? There’s a realest of the real love that even death can’t completely break into two. It’s somewhere out there, and the only thing you can do is wish that someday you’ll be one of the fewest lucky winners of that kind of love. But what are the chances? That is the question.

Like teenagers. Grumpy but sweet Kim Man-Suk and soft-spoken Ms Song on a date. 🙂 (Screencap from Late Blossom)

Then if sweet love exists, there’s also a bittersweet one that no matter how you admire each other, you have to willingly let go of the relationship right away out of fear for possible heartaches and sorrows.

While walking home from the late married couple’s wake, Ms Song tells Kim Man-Suk that she’s going back to her hometown ’cause due to age, both of them will both depart from the world soon, and she won’t be able to take it if the latter goes first. As a person who has been lonely almost all her life, she thinks it’s better to stop what they share right away than wait for that moment to come. Upset by what he just heard, old Man-Suk walks out, leaving behind the authentic, black leather gloves which the old woman gave her, but comes back immediately when he finally comprehends Ms Song’s sentiments. He agrees about the set up but asks the woman if they can meet each other before they both pass away. At the end, Man-Suk leaves the world looking elated while Ms Song hears the familiar sound of Man-Suk’s motorbike, opens the door, and finds him outside, flashing her a smile and inviting her for a ride. They’re finally reunited and nothing can hold back their happiness together anymore.

I read before that if a man truly loves a woman, he will let her go. Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s it. And that form of sacrifice is indeed very touching.

 

How about you, have you watched Late Blossom? Did you cry as much as I do? If so, what do you think is the reason it was able to conjure so much emotion from you? 🙂