You Always Have A Choice

You find yourself sitting on the rooftop at 2 AM, bathing at the moonlight, staring at the stars and not hearing anything from the whole town after it has gone to rest, (aside from the neighbor’s caterwauling cats as always).

Not a bad idea, just you in the middle. Peaceful. Quiet. Cold.

new york city GIF by Quote Catalog

Thinking how the day went so fast and soon enough the sun will erupt for the place to be busy once again. It’s during these calmest pauses and serene moments that you’ll realize, what your heart truly desires in life.

You have no one but your inner-self which will help you with what and where you incline to be.

Actually, it’s all in your front already. The choices and options were there. Maybe what hinders you is your fear, there’s so much more you can do and you can be if you’re not afraid. Think about it.

Fear will be gone if you choose the path where your heart truly desires. Trust me. It’s a tough choice to make knowing ahead that it will require your fullest potential, and you have to because it is where your mind goes when you wander.

Let your cells work for you. Come to think of this, why do you close your eyes when you’re praying, when you’re dreaming and even when you feel like crying? It’s because the most wonderful things in life are not being seen but only felt by the heart.

Every little step that you’ll take is what will make your journey complete. Enjoy every step of the way, fill your heart with it. You can’t go back and change what you chose to begin with. But you can start where you are and remold what you desire.

Your mind may always set fear, but let your heart break it. You always have a choice. Let go of what’s caging you. To the point that you set yourself free. And when you do, it’s during this time you truly live at the moment (and happiest).

You can sleep now.⁠ ⁠

Have You Ever Felt Tired Of Living Your Life?

Life moves pretty fast. Why don’t you stop and look around once in a while?


You may not notice your favorite toy when you were a kid that you liked to throw here and there and break its parts is now fully covered with dust. The childhood scent of crayola box that you used to sniff, faded overtime. Along with the leaves falling by your window from the tree that you used to climb back then, now drifting.

You may now blink, right before you set your foot forward to your whereabouts for the day, you will pass by the stray kids goofing and playing around on your way. You will hear calls on repeat from the peddlers of goods. When you caught a sight of them, you’ll notice wrinkles of hardship painted on their faces, and hard-earned sweat streaming down their necks. Hard sacrifices for their simple dreams — to eat for a day and live for another day.

While you stride on the narrow streets of your childhood place on your way to the bus station off to school and work, something in mind will hit you. A thought or two which will make you ponder about what you just saw, has something changed? Then, you’ll realize there’s none.

Now you’re sitting in the bus, and since your drop off point is the last, you chose the back seat to feel like you’re the main lead of the movie. You noticed the people standing in front of you. The one facing left who seems to be late incessantly looking at his wrist watch. On his right is the serious senior student, looks like he’s ready for a one-seat apart examination. Then there’r the recliners, seems like the whole world has heard all the battles they’ve started this morning. And of course the sleepers, whom are tired from a night-long wakefulness to finish their reports and staffs for work or school.

You will just ask yourself, do these people you are with, share the same problems as yours? You think maybe you all do, but fall into different categories. A long way ride it is, you can’t do anything but to think of some things and your mind is occupied with unwelcome thoughts which makes you emotionally tired. Bills are waving — electricity, rent, internet, plans, maintenance and others. You will then check your email inbox where requirements and duties are giving you a heads up to finish it in due time.

So maybe right now you’re stuck, you are asking yourself how can you get out of the hole you dug for yourself?


What you try to do is to stay positive and have optimistic point of view in this kind of negative situation. Realizations will bubble up like maybe you’re just feeling lazy, or somehow you made some sort of mistake which makes you feel stressed.

Then you’re looking at these messed up things as a chance for you to grow, because you believe that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonades which means you keep yourself feel encouraged in the face of adversity.

You believe in fate and faith, though at times it’s hard to trust faith because your fate tends to deny you for so many times. It’s hard for you to believe in hoping for something you expect to happen or have faith in someone to come in your life when wrong things ensue over and over again. But you still believe on its power. You believe in His will and His plans for you. And so you pray and trust Him.

Though the phasing of life is real fast, it is way too short to live it like you’re just existing.


You can live your life because you keep doing action to flight. You are capable of building a castle out of all the bricks that life is throwing at you. Yes it’s a hard journey that’s filled with obstacles and failure but you’re used to it now. Every day is a battle, but what’s waiting for you is worth the struggle.

***

The sky turned velvet, you’re on your way home now, as you walk through the narrow streets, the playing kids were gone to rest. The place became quiet as the peddlers earned enough today. You’re like them, they have routines same as yours, and they never stop.

So, you will wake up 5AM tomorrow to start the day, it’s the process. I know it’s tough, but so are you. For now, you can rest. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. Okay?

A Weekend in Mindoro

I still have a few backlogs to write and one of those is this one.

The semester has finally ended, so I thought about finding a good way to spend it. Thus, I took advantage of having a getaway at my mom’s hometown, plus it was my Lola and Kuya’s birthday. And we wanted to celebrate tho.

The night before, I was thinking if I will be taking the shower already, so I won’t have any struggle in the cold and knee-curling temp of the water as we have planned a super early morning parting because we wanted to get there in Mindoro as early as we could as it is way too far. But that night, I was really feeling drowsy and worn-out so, I decided to just generally have a morning shower. Well, it did help me freshen and wake up in that early move.

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Mom: “Saan na kayo anak?”
Me: “We’re on our way na po, na-traffic lang sa laot haha

Unfortunate events normally happen in life. We missed the 8AM ship, I’m gagged. So my mom, auntie and uncle waited for about 4-5 hours in Mamburao (Occidental Mindoro capital) to pick us up. We boarded at exactly 10AM.  The usual travel time to offboard in Port of Abra de Ilog consumes 3-4 hours including the latencies. Plus, an additional 1-hour drive from the port to Mamburao.

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It’s past 5PM when we got there. Painted on my Lola’s face was jubilee for the reason that we only pay her a visit when we’re free. And since my mom works overseas, we only have a seldom time to go to Mindoro. We briskly gave her a hug and mano — an honoring gesture as a sign of respect. Since there is no cellular signal in our place there, I then swift to the shore where there’s an available. I told my dad that we already made it to Lola’s place. That’s our day, we have had some fun-filled talks, we ate and rested afterwhile to recharge. And I thank God for it was indeed a safe trip.

#DayOne

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Everyone’s recharged and so did I. We were about to go swimming in the sea, but we were caught by the blazing heat of the sun. So my brother and I went lurking, we’ve decided to go to our cousins to check how they were. They live near the mountain, so we considered hiking. For I was curious to see the picture of everything at the bottom when you’re on the top of the mountain.  It’s not arduous to climb it and the views were undoubtedly a good distraction. It’s getting late in the afternoon, so we took the moment and gave thanks that we were allowed to get there and prayed to return us safely to the trailhead.

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This weekend trip wouldn’t be completed without fresh foods. Foods that we don’t eat on a usual day. Yes, we were blessed with an abundance of bounty — seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooking style. Evident in the picture, I wasn’t able to get away with cleaning the dishes, just as how I do in Batangas. To drench, I used water from the poso — an old-style water pump commonly used in the provinces of the Philippines.

#TheNextDay

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To kick start the day, I walked by the bay, listened to the rhythmic swell of waves, and of course inhaled the fresh, briny smell of the sea. Just as the heat of the sun has an ability to damage our skin, it also has plenty of health benefits associated with it. As per research, a 5-minute stand under the sun will save us from skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis and fungal skin infections. Just avoid too much exposure that may lead to suntan which means the skin has already been damaged. Since it’s low tide, I found a starfish by the shore. Sea stars can be found in the rocky areas just below sea level. They’re easy to find, and seeing them is indeed an exciting part of being in the beach.

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This was one of the highlights of our escapade, my Kuya turned 23 and my Lola celebrated her 60th year of existence, glad we were there. For her, age is just a number, and she is young as she feels. I thank God for the added year in their lives. He really is the redeemer, the anchor, and healer of all life seizures.

#LastDay

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It has been a tradition of our family to go to Calawagan Mountain Resort on the last day of our visit in Mindoro, about an hour trip from Paluan.  It’s a nature-based resort good for leisure outings, evident lush vegetation, has a cool mountain breeze, there are available cottages, forest, and hiking trails. There’s a lap pool upon entry and a connecting bridge to the other side of the resort where natural pool with boulders and rock formations can be found.  The large trees which abound throughout the resort provides an excellent shade even on the midday sun. As they say, birdwatchers wouldn’t have to go too far to locate some of Mindoro’s endemic birds such as hawk-owls, flower peckers, fruit-doves, flycatchers and sun birds as it can be seen and heard throughout this resort. It is an ideal locale for anyone who wishes a unique outdoor adventure in Mindoro. Picture taking is really a must.

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It’s our last day in Mindoro, the time when unwelcome thoughts bubbled up, as our so-mini-vacation ending was imminent in just a wink. I love this type of vacation when we used to travel back and forth where I used to get a sunk feeling. The feeling of I-still-didn’t-want-to-go-back to my daily routine. It’s like I’m having anxiety because I’ve been used to what I’ve had experienced for the past few days. Then all of a sudden, I’m dreading the end to a glorious trip. The post-vacation feels hit me like a wrecking ball. I closed my eyes, I’m  having the time of my life, I opened my eyes, I’m back facing the reality and what happened fades in an instant.

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. The life in Mindoro was just so simple. The way of living merely has a big difference from our life at home. There’s no signal for some area, means for FM radio, mobile phones and television, unless you have cable TV. I was able to experience this which others cannot. The simplicity of the life of the residents, harvesting onion crops, riding in a boat and balsa- a small raft or boat, roaming around by the shore to pick up seashells, viewing sea stars, sightseeing around, and mountain adventures.

It was a weekend away from the civilization and overcrowded places. I was able to feel the sea breeze and it’s brine, and the sounds of the blow of the waves. I was also able to meditate, away from the pressure and social media.

God is good all the time. He provided us not just the financial needs but also the strength and the precious time to look back and visit the place and the people whom are part of who we are and how’s our life now. And I know He is with us, wherever we go.

Till our next.

An Open Letter To The One That Got Away

What if we were really meant to part ways,
So that, in time, we could find each other again?
I believe there’s a silver lining for us to meet at the shore,
Where our lines will be intertwined to resume our half-sealed pinky swears. 

I was 17 when I got to know you. The night I can’t seem to forget where the glaring moon and stars witnessed the first time we’ve met. I really had no idea from that moment on, we’ll create the profound story of us.

Adrenaline rushes through every opening of my veins whenever we talk, and see each other. I don’t know why, maybe because the feeling felt like it’s always new. I’m always on cloud nine, a fairy tale bliss kind of feeling. Why do you have to carry that aura of an angel with you? It’s enticing, you got me. You’re like the blue sea, still and calm that I could stare the whole day for me to think of things I’d like to. The blue sea that turns red whenever I kiss you. Not a chance on a day that we won’t exchange goodmornings, and have you eaten your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On busy days, we still’ve time to share how our day went before we bid our goodnights. We went out on dates, ate our favorites, and shared our stories to tell. I learned things from you, and you learned things from me. We even coerced our ship with every prodigious waves that hit us. Cherished good, bad, exciting and thrilling happenings and special days that came our way. We were young that time, but we both knew that our tryst relationship could go deeper, soon as we sail. We’re like that — we’re normal.

Thank you. You’re the one who brought out the best in me, and made me want to be a better person. You’re very ideal, your patience and empathy is indeed admirable, you’ve made me feel I’m validated. You ought to let me realize how to embrace my imperfections and perhaps it made us perfect for one another. Who wouldn’t love you?. Expressionless you might be but if I could be able to look through your heart, I know every beat of it can show the depth of your love for me. Your words might not be able to describe how you really feel towards me, but I thank you enough for telling me that you love me. And I so love you more always in all ways.

My Apologies. I know I’m perfect being imperfect, I’m no superhuman and I made mistakes. Sorry for acting silent like it’s nothing whenever I’m mad and for ignoring you at times. Sorry for my inability to compromise, the immaturity and toxicity I brought, for being too jealous of your time or even to someone. For my non-sense jokes, my whines and I sought your attention while you were too busy on your things. Sorry for being my greatest fear. Sorry for a bucket full of never-ending misunderstandings we have had. And a lot of things to apologize for. But above all these, sorry for loving you this much that made it hurt you. I trust fate and I believe you’ll accept my apology. I’m sorry.

I forgive you. I know you only have few words to say and you seldom spill what’s on your mind, I understand. You might be forgetful at times — on our special days, it’s fine. You might be too confined and you seem not to involve me on some of your whereabouts, it’s okay. You have taken the leap of faith, and tried to make everything right for us. I’ve had forgiven you.

Support

We were perfect for each other,
For years we’ve built a foundation of our love.
But there’s a thick line which indicates a limit,
And I guess, the time wasn’t right.

There are things which are simply inevitable. You’re dealing with existential crisis and I couldn’t help but to cause incessant arguments which disturbed your mental peace.  It wasn’t healthy anymore and I admit it’s because of me.  I have realized how frozen you were, you needed space and I sensed it. So I need to keep myself ready for the possibilities. Until you started to melt your ice. That night, I have all ears, eager to listen to your sentiments.

You needed a break from every commitment you have, including ours. You wanted to commit your time to yourself. Thus, you wanted to feel free and do everything without worrying that I would feel anything bad about what you do. You wanted to be happy without feeling any form of guilt for choosing your own happiness because you’ve always felt that you’re denying yourself. That you’re always making decisions on what other people are expecting from you. And whenever you choose to follow what your heart says, deep inside there’s always a feeling of guilt. Being with me for years, you thought that you weren’t giving me enough. You felt that you weren’t treating me the way you should. You perceived everything’s a mess that moment, and you want to fix yourself again because you needed to. You really wanted to make me happy but you can’t bear to give your all for me, for us. You were really thankful for the time we spent together and you wouldn’t forget me, you added. I was your first serious relationship, the one being really committed and lasted for years. But everything seemed to be blurry in the end. You needed a break and you’re lost. You felt that you weren’t improving and you didn’t knew when can you fulfill the role you have to play for me. And you felt like you weren’t the best for me. You needed a break and you swore that you needed to focus on yourself first. You said you don’t know if that’s the last heartbreak you will give me. You love me so much and you wanted me to be happy without you. You uttered that maybe you needed time to think about everything and you can’t assure me anything from that moment I begged on you. But you left me with the words that I would cling to “I believe if we really are destined, we’ll definitely find our way back”. “Promise me you still give your best in everything you do, even without me,  Pinky swear — I still love you.”

What If I never brought it up? Maybe you stayed, just the way you find me every time I’m lost. So we can figure it out until we learned to fix everything. But this context depicts me being selfish. Upon hearing your sentiments, tears streamed down my face. I had no idea for how long have you been keeping those burdens with you. I was dull not to notice those things until the silence echoed. And I failed to see my shortcomings to make you happy, so you’ll stay.  I believe everything happened for a reason, maybe to teach us a lesson. Even pain has its own intentions. I guess, that time was solely not for romance or compatibility, ’twas our future, families, hard work and career which were at stake. Never have I ever thought that I’ll lose you. I was caught off guard. It feels like I can’t run back to a burning house just to save the things I value — us.

It was the point of my life that I badly needed to escape and hide in the midst of nowhere so no one can see my dreadful being. Knowing that I can no longer touch the unwrapped of memoir of ours. For  the passing days without you I’ve had anxiety and I cried helplessly. Pillow cases witnessed my awful state until tears came out no more. Cobwebs were in my head like maybe I didn’t mean as much to you as I thought I did. My soul whispered sounds of yesterday’s memories as I kept reminiscing your presence. I knew how it felt to cry at night and struggle to cover my mouth so no one can hear my weeping. I knew how it felt like crying in the rain so no once can notice the tears sobbing in my eyes. I’d tried to stop the waves that cleared all our memories printed in the sand. But the splashes of these waves have already washed out my entirety. And then, I realized that even if I can’t stop the waves, I know I can learn how to surf and bring out the valor I’ve had. Some memories may never leave me, like I once dived into the sea, I already carried the salt and it became part of me. I can’t change anything more unless I learned how to accept it.

A line indicates a limit,
A limit which means boundary
If we were never to cross that line,
We would never experience the world, life, and relationships outside the boundary.

Well, we’re 22 and it’s been a year since we parted ways. Just because we were no longer together, doesn’t mean I won’t love you. There’s always a hint of sadness and a piece of my heart that smiles whenever I think about you. You’re my what ifs, my could’ve beens and should’ve beens. You are worthy, you are enough and you are blessed. I hope you have already found out what you’re looking out there. I hope you have already the audacity to believe that you are capable of everything, and be sure of all your decisions, and you deserve all the things that you have. I hope you’ve figured out what your heart truly speaks for, and your mind truly thinks of.  Be proud of yourself wherever you are or what you do. I hope you’ve already cleared out all the mess and wiped out the blur confusions you’ve had. Above all of these hopes, I hope you’ve found the answers to the questions that we once never figured out. It doesn’t have to be completely whole, but the leap of faith matters the most. A leap of faith where you believe and accept everything outside the boundary.

Despite everything that has happened, I want you to know that I have no bad feelings towards you. Yes you broke my heart, but you didn’t break me.  Instead, I’ve learned how to forget what hurt me, but not the lessons it taught me. I believe that there’s always a light at the end of every tunnel.

I wrote for the one-percent chance that you could read this piece. And though it’s only a one-percent chance, if you feel you’re ready to like me still, then couldn’t we start over? You don’t have to like me very much. Just keep your heart open for me.

 

You Are Doing Your Best To Cope And Survive, It’s Enough. You Are Enough.

 

Deer in the headlights as I grasped all the sequels of what COVID-19 pandemic has brought us and the government-imposed community quarantine and social distancing.

As a sword to fight for productivity, certain people are being accustomed to working from home, engaging to webinars, whilst some are having their perfect fitspiration to tone up, or catching up with a multitude of books, decluttering storage and closets, and even trying new recipes like dalgona coffee or something that’s all over TikTok, so to speak.  I have even read and shared that Sir Isaac Newton had to work from home in 1665 as the University of Cambridge temporarily closed due to the bubonic plague, the time used for him to develop calculus and theory of gravity.

These whirlwind of productive activities are the onslaught feed of the internet nowadays for people to spend their extra time in a good manner. I’m in awe that I so admire people from pushing this through and taking the advantage of quarantining. What an impeccable perseverance which serves as a rebuttal to the overabundance of time and scarcity.

However, I feel extra pressured to keep hustling and fill my time to complete and finish the tasks I have. For instance, there are times that I take a glance at the finalization of my thesis in graduate school and later disrupted that I can’t seem to get it done for the past month since the enhanced community quarantine has been imposed. And I always tend to take a break and do some other things which can lighten my mood for a while or rest. Moments that I feel like I’m procrastinating or having an instinctive physiological response to take fight or flight. But I guess it’s something that I should not be invalidated for.

We are all going through this global pandemic phenomenon, and we are being inundated with tons of anxiety-inducing news about coronavirus update which really affects our mental health. We are stuck in this traumatic experience which adds to our emotional discomfort and unsteadiness. It’s indeed hard to process when we’re still in the battle, so it’s really not a bad idea to give some grace and be more gentle with ourselves during this time. It’s going to take some time, but that doesn’t mean that we fail as a human. Plus we still have to work on our regular routines. I’m not saying that we don’t need to exert hard work, but we also need to change our rhythms. It’s okay to just sit on a couch for a day, binge watch your favorite K-Dramas and movies on Netflix, play games, answer some gibberish, listen to music, discover obscure talents, browse on your feeds, connect with family and friends, support our frontliners, reflect, pray, meditate and most importantly take care of your mental health as we are all coming from different hurdles as we cope up during this quarantine.

Yes, we are all adjusting, sometimes it’s okay not to be productive, what we can do is just to trust the process. Don’t let other people define how you manage your time, we are no Isaac Newton, but we can be enough being ourselves to cope and survive. Live anyway, this too shall pass.

 

 

Take Solitude To Take Time For Mental Health, It Won’t Make You Fragile But It Will Keep You Strong

It’s a cliché for everyone to equate people who tend to be alone as dispirited, downcast, or anti-social. And for some, it’s an agony for them seeing people who desire in the solitude state. But the antipode, that state can be really putting someone in good shape for some aspects.

As for my mantra, I can be alone for as long as I like, doesn’t mean that I’m being lonely or depressed, it’s just that I can get fully accustomed to the feeling as I fully embrace it. Actually, choosing to be alone is very essential for my self-realization thus, it yields me to relax my mind to its utmost tranquility until I get motivated. Into the bargain, being alone also taught me a lot of valuable lessons as I live.

I established doing things I really enjoy. Whenever I’m constantly with the amity of other people, I always have to adjust in order for everyone to feel relished and it’s fine. But if the circumstance won’t go their way, I tend to apologize for their agitated feelings. There are also instances that I got to second-guess if I have done something exasperating for them to feel disgruntled. Egocentric it may sound but I want to yearn that the things I want should not be compromised. Unless I’m on my own where it’s easy to actually do everything I set my heart on. Whenever I got to do things I really enjoy, I felt freedom, and from loving it, there’s the feeling of happiness.

I ceased to deem for everyone’s validation. In the end, it will always be me to utter final words to every deed I’ll make. Yes, I value others’ opinion but I value more about what I think and how I would feel after. At times, I ought to ask for a bit of advice from a colleague or a friend. But, I always try to ask myself first, I guess, the more I do it alone I develop resiliency. I became sturdy to rely more on my decisions no matter what verdict people may give, whether right or wrong as long as I have pushed myself to be really capable of. As they say, If I live up from people’s approval, I’ll definitely die from their rejection.

Being in the solitude state helped me build a vigorous relationship with other people. Spending time alone for some time succored my mind to focus and recharge my brain. And the time consumed in solitude state gave me a substantial appreciation for myself. It also let me realize how valuable it is to have a relationship with other people where I’m unmindful before I have actually done my “me-time”. Upon rebooting myself I was able to really find what my desires are in life and create better choices to decide who I want to spend my life with. I know that at times I choose to take the road less traveled but I’m not going to walk alone.

And as for everyone, in the state of being alone, various things will be taught, and the greatest learning I’ve taken from it is that I have proven myself and let my cells dance knowing that I can do things that I have never imagined that I’m capable of, I was able to really know and be sure of who I really am in the midst of solitude.

Take solitude to take time for mental health — it won’t make you fragile but it will keep you strong. The sure thing is you’ll also find answers.