Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Friendship Beyond Time and Distance
















When was the last time we saw each other?
I cannot remember the exact date.
How many miles are you away from me?
I do not know.
Mountains and oceans and seas
And numerous countries are between us
But they do not matter because we know we are friends
And that is all we need to know
To continue caring for each other.
True friendship is that which is beyond time
Time does not cause a friendship’s downfall
But it does deepen it.
True friendship is also that which is beyond distance
We are apart, yes, but only physically
For in our minds and more so in our hearts
We keep each other and the memories that we have shared.
Our prayers go where the two of us cannot go
And so even if we cannot be together
We know that we reach each other through our prayers.
Hearts never cease to talk, they communicate for us
Time and distance are therefore not against us.
Come what may, my friend, I know our friendship stands
For it is not just a plain friendship that we share
But a true and endless one.






============
written in 2003 for a friend who went to Europe.




Monday, December 8, 2008

Acceptance


I am living in a society where the standards of beauty have already been laid. To be beautiful means to have white complexion, a pointed nose and other mestiza-like features. Consumed with vanity, when I sometimes look at myself in the mirror, I would wish to have more attractive features.

When I was a kid, I was teased for being “negra” because of my complexion. With cousins who are all mestiza-looking, I was the odd one out. Next to these paternal cousins, I thought I looked like their house helper. People’s teasing and jokes, no matter how well-meaning they may be, hurt. My self esteem was crushed. Thus, I disliked my morena (light brown) coloring as I was growing up.

I also sometimes wish to be someone I am not. I would wish I were better at singing and dancing. I would wish I knew how to draw and paint or to play any sport magnificently. I also would wish I were good in Math and with anything that has to do with numbers.

I remember there were also times when I would wish for another family. Whenever daddy or mommy hurt me deeply with their words or if they won’t let me do or have what I want, I sometimes would mentally wish for a different set of parents. I have my ideals. And so I wish for people and things in my life to be in perfect accord with my ideal family or with the ideal self that I want them to have. I want them to be what I want them to be.

There are also events in my life I’d rather forget. Oh, how many times have I wished to turn back time to change the course of some events or to have an entirely different set of circumstances. But of course, I can not do that. I can not turn back time. It’s over and done with. And so what I did was to deny - to deny that those happened to me. I can not accept that my 4th year high school experience did happen to me. It is too painful, too humiliating. And so for years I buried it in the abyss of my mind.

So many wishes have I got that are contrary to what I have. So many ideals and perfect things in my mind. Comparisons have gotten me nowhere. It’s either I become proud because I, for example, got a better grade than what a classmate got or, sad because someone got a grade higher than mine. Too busy was I looking for what others have that I do not have that I failed to see my own blessings.

God is always with me. In times when I struggled with people’s hurtful words, He was there to soothe the pain. In times when even I could not like my self, He was there loving me at my most unlovable. His were the eyes seeing me through my worst times. His was the presence giving me strength and comfort when I was so weak and was badly needing comfort and assurance. His was the heart so pure, constant in His love for me even if I had wandered far away from Him many times in my life. Oh how many times have I doubted Him. There even was a point in my life when I was angry at Him for I thought He had forsaken me. Yet, He was full of love and understanding. He was patient. He waited for me to mellow and mature and, when it was the right time, to grant me the grace to enable me to understand and accept everything He has handed to me with great love and generosity.

Now is that right time, Lord. I gratefully and lovingly accept everything that I am and everything that I have. I accept my past as it is - all the smiles, the laughter, the tears, the pains and the struggles. I accept everything as parts of your great plan for me. I am who I am now because of my history. I also accept people and things in my life as they are, not as I want them to be. Each of us is unique, differently made and differently gifted. I can not have everything I want nor can anyone. You as our Great Creator knows us by heart. You know each one of us inside and out. You know and gives us only what is best for us. If we do not have it, we don’t need it.

I pray that you will grant me the graces I need to be always grateful and faithful to You. I may be teased and given names but I ask You to give me the courage I need to stand up to them. Their words won’t harm me. They can think of me as whatever they perceive me to be. They can name me with whatever names but I can not care less about them. What matters most is how You name me, how you see me. I am Your child. I am who and what You created me to be. You love me as I am and so I lovingly accept myself, all that I am and all that I have - fully and gratefully.




==========
written when I was twenty.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Random Thoughts - # 7

Empathy

When I am feeling sad or hurt, I found out that the best cure is to find solace in God and, with empathy, to lift someone else's sadness and hurt. Nothing can be so fulfilling.

photo credit

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Bonita


Whenever I'm confused
And nothing seems right
Or everything is just
Too good to be true
I just turn to you
And the confusion and doubts
And those endless, nagging questions
Then become words of assurance and comfort
And wonderful feelings of empathy and hope.

Whenever the day seems
As dark as the night
You would just look into my eyes
And smile at me
And I would know right then
That everything will be all right.

Whenever I think I'm weak
And can not win over life's challenges
You would just pat my shoulder
And I would know right then
That I can go on and succeed
And that I am worth more
Than what I had thought.

I may not know
What lies ahead of me
But one thing I know of
Is the fact that with you around
I need not be afraid
For you are my guiding light
That spells of faith and hope and love
Life's a wonderful, meaningful journey
Because I journey through it
Alongside of you.






Thursday, November 20, 2008

Random Thoughts - # 6


Love

Love is undiscriminating and requires a universal heart for when we love, we open our hearts to all, not just to a chosen few.







Monday, November 17, 2008

inner turmoil


this isn't the way i want
our story to start -
with promising romance
and possible exquisite heartache
think positively?
am trying to...
but i can't help feeling
apprehensive
i just can't...
maybe this is the way i am -
cynical
tightly wrapped in an intense need
to protect myself from possible pains
that i end up holding back
trusting but still wary
caring so much
and loving sincerely
but doing my damnedest
to appear detached
which would eventually lead to
my pushing my loved ones away...
how ironic
that in my desire
to save myself from pains
i ultimately end up
being the inflictor
of my own hurts.






photo credit

Monday, November 10, 2008

God's Presence in You


I feel God in the friendship that we share
His joy echoes in our laughter
The warmth of His love is in your eyes
His compassion is reached out to us
Through your empathetic nature
And the ways with which you show your care
His wisdom reflects in your good counsel
Your openness mirrors His own
His generosity is in your selfless giving
And in the profound sharing of your self...
Friends are heaven-sent angels
The real-life ones who make life sweeter,
Our days brighter and our selves better
They mirror God and extend Him to others
Like the way you make Him more known to me
You give inspiration by being what you are -
A friend in Christ and the same friend
Who continuously makes my life more meaningful
Because of the personal touch you put in it.







Friday, November 7, 2008

Random Thoughts - # 5


Doubt



Doubt if you must but be sure that your doubt will bring you awakening. Doubt is needed to achieve faith and when you have grasped true faith, be faithful to it.




photo credit

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To Where You Are

take my hand and i will follow you
to wherever you will lead me
i know not where we are going but you do
for all is known to you alone
despite the uncertainties, i fear nothing
because just to be with you is enough
for my heart and soul to be at peace
in you i take refuge
you are my joy, the life of my living
my lord, take me to where you are
to wherever you will be
you are the lord of my history and life
you have called me to follow you
i am yours, i love you
i entrust to you my entire being
all that i was, all that i am and all that i will be
my lord, take me to where you are
i yearn to be with you all the days of my life
i know it is not easy to follow you
but i also know that you will take care of me
every step of the way
by giving me the graces i need
to carry everything out
you are in me and i am in you
wherever you go, i go too
whatever you face, i also face
you and i are one
my lord and my god,
take me to where you are
for to where you are is home.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

For my Beloved Friend


You have told me a lot of times that love is a gift... and I have believed you. You are a gift to me, a very precious one for to me, you are love – the very person who, being love, gives me love in its purest and sweetest form.

Love is truth. Truth, bliss. In loving each other, life is at its most colorful... in its happiest... in its peak. A simple thing is made special because the two of us share it.

Love is freedom - the beauty grasped in the conviction that when we are together, each can be just her true self, with no masks or protective barriers for we know that each is accepted and loved by the other for who and what that self really is. We have differences, yes, but these differences more so deepen our understanding of and our love for each other.

Love is growth. Each of us allows ourselves the space to grow continuously as we deepen our friendship. You grow, I grow. One wonderful thing though about our growth is that we can grow individually without drifting apart from each other.

Love is totality. We either give the best in us and give our all or give nothing at all. Love is also totality in the sense that when we love, we love the person as a whole, along with her human failures. We do not love each other only for our good attributes for if we do that, we are not loving but just admiring.

Love is blind, the cliché goes but ours is not. We see our faults and weaknesses but we choose to see beyond those. We do not dwell on our imperfections. No one is perfect, anyway. Our weaknesses are known to and accepted us part of each other but when you motivate me to know and face my weaknesses, you actually are giving me the strength to overcome those same weaknesses and the inspiration to rise above my human limitations. Motivate is the operative word - gentle and nurturing. We also motivate each other to change for the better, possibly to become the best that each can be. Again, motivate, not force, is the word - gentle and nurturing, as we are to each other.

Love is being. That’s the utmost lesson your good heart taught me. We are to be love incarnate. We are to be its essence, its epitome. We cannot love without being love ourselves.

Love is a mystery... Too deep to fathom and too powerful a word to be fully defined. It is beyond reason. Countless times have I wondered as I do now of how we became friends or when everything had started. I have come up not with answers but with even more questions to answer. For instance, was it you who initiated our friendship? I used to evade you like the plague, having heard many negative things about you, even having witnessed myself your moodiness. How come we became friends, really good friends? Is there such a thing as a destined friendship? I have asked myself those nagging questions a lot of times. I have pondered... and mused... but I have gotten only splitting headaches. It is until now that I learned this: There are things in life that are beyond reason. Ponder not for even the most intellectual and genius of us will never really fathom the wonders that only God knows of. Just let some things be what they are – puzzles and mysteries. And since our friendship is such, I will leave it at that.

Love is what you continuously share with me. Not just any love but a true, life-changing one. And so now, I want to thank you, my beloved friend – thank you for making me see things at a different perspective. Thank you for making me live my life as I have never lived it. Most of all, thank you for your love.

From my heart, thank you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Random Thoughts - # 4

True Wisdom

The less we rationalize things, the more enlightened we will be. When the excess of our logic and reason is gone, the mystery of life and of living unfurls.




picture taken from Moon Garden, Tagaytay

Thursday, October 9, 2008

burning (love) letters










i watched as tongues of flame
licked the papers that held
your thoughts of
and feelings for me
or whatever remained of them
i stared, mesmerized
by the slithering fire
snaking its way
over a handful of letters
scorching what had been
(un)dying professions of love
i listened
as the very same fire
cackled and roared
while its light flickered
over my face
i watched it dance
as the wind
fanned its flames
gradually reducing everything
to embers
leaving me
only with its heat
to thaw
the coldness within.






Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Save me I’m hanging...

Most people would say “Catch me I’m falling” but I’m not most people so I said, “Save me I’m hanging...”

I was eight. Being the hyperactive child that I was, some of my time was spent scaling trees and picking fruits or just sitting in my favorite branch, reading a book as I relished the feel of the breeze on my face. One day, I slipped and found myself hanging on a branch, clinging on to it for dear life. The minutes I spent there seemed like years. The pain was excruciating. The longer I held on, the heavier I seemed to be and the more difficult and painful it became. I did try to pull myself up but I could not. And that’s when I thought of letting go...


Off I fell. And oh, what freedom I felt as I hit the ground. It was painful, yes, but it was a wonderful feeling - to fall, to allow myself to let go of the branch and be spared from the pain of holding on unto something that was obviously futile.

Twelve years later, I fell in love. The song “Fallin” kept playing inside my head.

Help me I’m fallin’
Fallin’ fast again
Why do I always take a fall
When I fall in love

But catch me he did not. I did try to hold on to the love I had. I thought it would be enough. That I’d be content. I was wrong of course for love is a two-way traffic thing...

And unrequited love is rapture and agony in one overwhelming package.

It was when the pain became unbearable that I remembered the time I was hanging by that tree.

It’s just that I recall
Back when I was small
Someone promised that they’d catch me
And then they let me fall

The pain was incomparable for then, it was only physical pain. Love’s sting was more vicious. It gnawed at the very void in me – wanting to be filled but remained empty.

I had to escape. No savior would deliver me from the predicament that I was in. I only had myself. Just myself.

And so I saved my hurting self...

By letting go.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Till You Came Along



















I never thought I needed someone
Till you came along
I’ve always thought I’m better off alone
Till you showed me otherwise
I never thought that shielding myself from hurt
Is for myself to become an even greater loser
Till you taught me that living and loving
Is about taking risks
I want to always come out strong but you showed me
That it is sometimes okay to be vulnerable and that
It is even better to show this vulnerability to someone
Because then someone would be strong for me
Life has never been the same
Since you came into my life
You make me feel proud yet humbled
For the person that I am
With you, I don’t need to be always lovable
Or always at my best because you understand
And accept me as I am
With you, I also come to surpass own myself
And go beyond my self-sufficiency
Because you inspire me to do better
Be greater, love more and give more...
It never occurred to me that being loved
And having someone to love are the best things
That can ever happen to anyone
Till you came along.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Looking back

I recently turned twenty-five. Twenty-five years of living life. With a purpose. With joy. With as much zest as I can put in it.

I have this habit of doing a once-in-a-year cleanup of my treasure box. In it are my journals, letters and cards and other stuff. It’s a treasure trove that holds my important keepsakes and whose contents never fail to bring back smiles, sometimes tears and always, fondness.

And as I rummaged through my treasure box, I found this entry from one of my journals.


As I go through the events of my life, I realized that God was in each event I have had. With every smile, with every laughter, even with every tear and every pain, God was there. God was shaping me and my life, molding all that I was to become what I am now... to gradually become what He wanted me to be...

I am grateful to God for His gifts. I thank Him for each precious memory. Just remembering the happy moments of my life is a wonderful experience. Until now, just the memory of each moment still brings me smiles and warmth. God was in each happy moment but He was not just a spectator. He was the Great Planner and the Guiding Light of the events of my life. I may not be aware then of the wonders He was making in my life but now the joys I felt then are doubled for I know God was taking care of me.


Of course, there were times when I thought He was not with me. There were times I questioned if He was listening to me... if He was there for if He was, why was I in pain. There were times when I doubted Him. I thought He didn’t care. I thought He was neglecting me and my cries. But now, as I look back, I realized He never left me. I was able to surpass each trial because of Him and the graces He gave me. In the first place, He never did give me a trial too big for me to face and conquer. With every pain, I grew. With every doubt, my faith intensified. With every temptation, my resolve strengthened. With every acknowledgment of my weakness, He lifted me up.

And so I thank Him now for each trial and difficulties that ever came my way. Now I know why there were sacrifices and suffering in my life – with my struggles came a better me.

God was, is and will be in every phase of my life. He was with me from the moment He planned of creating me. He has already written my biography with His own mighty hand.

I may not know what lies ahead of me but I need not be afraid – God is there. He is here. God is in me. He is taking care of me. I am His child. He loves me. He knows and will give me what is best for me.

Life has its uncertainties but I have my assurance in my God.


==========
From my journal entry, written in 2003

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

your words

a game of words
played eloquently…
words of utmost caring
professed lovingly.

but did you really mean them?

you knew what made me tick.
prose. poems.
anything literary…
so you dished them out
lavishly and creatively.

words have always been
my strength.
i thrive on them.
breathe them…

but words are my weakness too…

that when you armed yourself with them,
i was helpless.

and so i succumbed
to the power of your words.

to you.

your words
elevated me
to the most blissful of joys,
they touchingly spell out
your love.

but words could turn sour
and yours did
the moment you hurled
words of accusations and excuses at me.

your words hurt.

you tried to make amends
by again arming yourself
with sweet,
maybe even carefully rehearsed
words.

but i grew deaf to them.

so i said the only word
that could save me
from you.

“goodbye.”

in your coming’s wake
are words strewn here and there
the words that used to inspire me,
the words i thrived on and breathed
are now just mere words
spoken but unmeant.

such hurtful words.

i now regret
savoring your words
for now i am left
only with
a bitter aftertaste of them
in my mouth.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Life is too short...


Life is too short for me to live it recklessly, thoughtlessly or wastefully. Thus, in each and every day of my life, I find numerous reasons to live life meaningfully and to its full extent.

Life is too short for me to procrastinate. When an opportunity comes knocking on my door, I embrace it if it is worth embracing. As much as possible, I do not leave any word unsaid or deed undone.

Life is too short for me to live it regretting my wrongdoings. The past is over and done with and so I must not dwell on but learn from it. What matters is the gift of the present, the hope of the future.

Life is too short for me to live it in sorrow, bitterness or anger. Happiness is a choice. I grieve when necessary but knowing that the world will never stop for my grief, I move on. Anger is self-destructive. It shortens one’s life span.

Life is too short to take short cuts. I live each day feeling each emotion fully and savoring each experience passionately no matter how mundane it may seem. It is what I do with it that makes each experience extraordinary.

Life is too short to hasten its pace. Thus, I let things run their natural course. Forcing things to happen destroys the very existence of surprises. There is beauty in the spontaneity of things. Patience pays.

Life is too short and so I make the most of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

warlock(ed)


i thought it is witches
who cast spells


what have you done to me then?




you got me
with your looks...




but you snared my heart
with your attitude.




what's on your mind?



tell me.



are you reading my mind now?



thoughts of you...
pieces of you...
all commune with the part of me
that's confused.




validate my existence
will you please?



make me believe again
in something good...



never mind
that it involves
the deep, dark side
of human nature.




break not this spell
i'm in.



break
the uncertainty in me.



just break







not





















my heart.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cheer Up


I know things have not been easy
For you these past days
You are going through a tough time
And you just can’t help but feel down
But my friend do remember
That the world has its ups and downs
And so when tough times come
Face it courageously
Be strong because I know
You are a person of inner strength
Don’t ever despair, look beyond your troubles
Think of the sunshine after the rain
And of the rainbow after the storm
We may not always see the moon or the sun
But we firmly believe that it’s up there
Just hiding behind the clouds
Cheer up!
You can lose everything
But never ever let yourself lose hope
For it is your hope
That will carry you through your tough times
And never ever also think that you are alone
Because you have me
Now
And always.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A True Friend


She is that person who is sensitive to my needs thus she knows exactly when I need to be alone and when I need someone. She offers me all that she has to offer, no holding back and expecting nothing in return.

When I’m feeling down, she’s there to lift my weary spirits up. Even when many people, even I, have ceased believing in myself, she believes in me still. Her faith in me is amazing, giving me the inspiration and the courage to emerge a winner during trying times.

At times when I have my share of misgivings and others have left me because of them, she stays with me. She’s there to understand without being judgmental. When I need to cry, she offers me her shoulders and doesn’t mind having her shirt drenched with my tears.

A true friend is she who sees right through me. I may fool others with my cheerful facade but she knows when everything’s for real and when it’s not. She knows me so well that when I have forgotten the melody that my heart holds, she can sing it back to me.

She is that person who has seen my worst but knows better than to give up on me. She believes I am not a hopeless case or a lost cause. She helps me get through life and makes me strive to be a better person.

With her, I need not be anyone else other than my own, true self because she accepts and loves me as I am. My worth for her is not measured by what I can give or by what I can do. She doesn’t even measure it in whatever means because for her, I am irreplaceable and my worth immeasurable.

A true friend is rare, true. That is why I feel so lucky to have found you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

walking wounded


buildings and skyscrapers
as high as my dreams
crisscrossing streets
as chaotic as my wayward thoughts
blinding lights from cars
admonishing me to slow down...

where am i going?

i walk aimlessly
as my mother's parting words
keep playing inside my head
"what does a man gain
if he loses his soul?"

it's a dog-eat-dog world i'm in
but i made it.

i'm successful.
self-made.
an enviable career woman.

but what do all these entail?

spending christmas alone.
missing family reunions
not being able to attend birthdays, weddings
and other memorable events
in the lives of my loved ones.

suddenly i feel so lonely.

and i walk not
but trudge home.

home?

where is home?

is it the four corners of my apartment
with its balcony with a view of the city
and its modern comforts?

it's not.

and so i find myself missing my room
in the house i grew up in...

i miss my mom
and my dad
and my siblings
fiercely.

i miss home.


===============
written in December 2006 while I was still working in my former company. This was when I felt all burned-out. And stressed. Two weeks after I wrote this, I tendered my resignation, packed my bags and went home in our province. Home sweet home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Teach Me, Jesus


Teach me, Jesus
To love as you have loved
And to love still even when it hurts
To obey the Father as you have obeyed Him
And to obey Him still even when
My own will clashes against His
To give generously and to give more
Even when I barely have enough for myself
And to give still even when I have nothing
To be trusting and faithful to the Father
And to be more so when trials arise
To gladly embrace the cross and share in your sufferings
And to offer to others the same consolation
That you have been offering me all these times
To be more like you
And less like my proud, fickle self...


My Lord and my God, I surrender.

Monday, September 15, 2008

risk

should I put my heart
in the line for you
even when I know
that when I do
i will risk
breaking it,
hardening it
or subjecting it
to ecstatic heights?

breaking it
will be your doing
so be very careful
with it...

please.

hardening it
will be my doing
because I can
make a fortress
of my heart
blocking anyone
who wishes to enter.

subjecting it
to ecstatic heights
will be our doing -
heightened passion
ensconced
in tumultuous
albeit
blissful
love.

but can I really
let myself wade
into love’s waters
even when I know
that there is still
the possibility
of having
my heart
broken?

love’s a risk
and we really
can’t win over it
if we won’t
even make
the first step
of letting
ourselves go.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Inspiration


People say a good friend is someone
Who will shelter you from any harm
And you are such to me
But do you know what makes you a better friend?
It is the fact that sometimes,
You do not shelter me but instead
Allow me stumble, fall and be hurt
And it is not because you want me to
But because you know that there are things in life
That I have to experience myself
And learn on my own - sometimes the hard way
And because their are circumstances too
Beyond your or anyone else's control
That are behind those pain and hurt...
Hard times are not that hard
Because throughout each time of confusion or pain,
You are there - the hands to lift me up,
The shoulders to lean on,
The eyes to see me through
And the heart that brings me smiles and love
In times when they matter most...
And after such trying times,
Valuable lessons are learned,
A stronger heart is created in me
And a better person is made.
What I am now
Is hugely because of what you are
And I thank you for being you
And do you know what I'm thinking about right now?
It is that someday,
I may be what you are.

You are my inspiration.

An Angel to me

It is because of people like you
That I believe in angels
For since I came to know you,
I realized
That angels need not have wings
Nor do they have to be in heaven
In today's world we have real-life angels...
People who do not have wings
But with their hands,
Get to reach out to others
And touch many lives
With their empathetic nature
Even with their smiles and the gentlest of touches
And the way they mirror God
In their kind words and deeds.
People who inspire others to give
As these real-life angels generously give
To serve as they constantly and faithfully serve
And to love as they selflessly love
People who are God's instruments
In making joy, beauty, hope and love known
To those whose lives are continuously being touched
By these heaven-sent, real-life angels...
I am one of those whose life
Is continuously being touched
By an angel who is just so true
I can not thank God enough
For His wonderful, precious gift
Of a real-life angel in you.


==========
For the Religious of Mary Immaculate (RMI) Sisters

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Goodbye?


We never really say goodbye to the best things in our lives. What can I say? Memories have a way of haunting us, of making us remember even those that we so want to forget.

Undeniably, you were one of the best things that had ever happened to me. And one of the worst. Life’s just like that sometimes – a paradox. Contradicting.

We started out just fine. Yin & Yang. Soulmates, we teased. We complemented each other, much to our delight for it’s rare that each one of us clicked with another person. We’re kindred souls, was why.

Meant to be? We sure thought so up until that point when we realized that too many similarities could sour a relationship. And our response to the niggling problem was the same too – we were too stubborn and proud to allow ourselves to compromise. “This is what I am even before you met me…” peppered our arguments, this thought and others along the same line echoed by both of us.

I got tired of arguing so I said goodbye and never looked back. A cowardly and totally selfish act, I realized in hindsight for we could have settled things if only we were open to a confrontation, a resolution.

I did not know how I survived. Maybe I am an innate survivor. Or the grandest pretender in the planet.

Have I really moved on? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on what I want to believe, really.

Sometimes, maybe I do have moved on… those times when you don’t occupy my mind. Or command my thoughts. And dreams. Or a certain part of my heart.

Damn.

We never really say goodbye to the best things in our lives.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Unsent Letter to a Friend

Dear __________,

Do you remember those times when you got hurt over family matters and nearly devastated over your failed relationships? You were so hurt that it also pained me to look at your wounded eyes. But you were too proud to cry. And so, together, we pondered over your worries. We traded laughter for tears and fought so hard to forget your pains.

Later, when we got home and we’re alone in our respective rooms, I worried so much about you. I especially worried about the tears you refused to cry. I wished you could let it all out, wished I could make you spill it out...


In the end, I cried for you. It was me who shed the tears you refused to cry. I cried and cried. I cried till I cursed the two of us. Till I cursed all of them.

Why do we always have to exude an aura of strength and dependability? Why does it always have to be us other people run to when they have problems? Why do they always turn to us for answers? Are we such good listeners? Do we dish our really good advice that they just keep coming back to us? Why can’t they see that we do have our own worries to address and monsters to battle with? If we’re such good “advisers,” how come we can’t fix our own problems?

Scrap the idea of being needed by others. It’s high time we address our own needs.

But darn! Why are we so proud to admit that we do have needs?

================
written when I was maybe 18. This was unfinished so I wasn’t able to send it out. I just saw it in my college notebook while I was organizing my things and since I still have the same questions, I decided to post it here.

Photo taken from here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Middle Child

Growing up, I had difficulty analyzing my place in our home. I was a middle child, you see, and mom wasn’t really clear on how I should behave.

Whenever my older brother and I would quarrel, mommy would step in and tell me to give way for my older brother because he was older.

When my younger brother and I had misunderstandings, it was a different matter altogether. Mommy would pull me aside then tell me to be patient with and more understanding of my little brother because I was older.

Like what? Why couldn’t she tell my older brother to be more understanding of and giving to his little sister? Or tell my younger brother to let his older sister be? It was really contradicting and mind-boggling for a child my age.

Thankfully, that set up did not instill feelings of bitterness in me. I did not rebel but instead became more understanding. I learned to strike a balance among three hyperactive siblings. I was the peacemaker, the mediator in countless childish tantrums and petty quarrels.

I read in a book once that middle children are insecure attention seekers. I googled "Middle Child" as I am doing this blog and came up with a "Middle Child Syndrome." What I found out made me chuckle.

The middle or second born child or children often have the sense of not belonging. They fight to receive attention from parents and others because they feel many times they are being ignored or dubbed off as being the same as another sibling. Being in the middle a child can feel insecure.

I admit that in my childhood years, I had these issues. It stopped though the moment I turned ten. By then, I had mastered the art of compromise when it came to my brothers. More importantly, I learned to bask on my individuality. And my brothers' too.

I love what Dr. Robert Needlman wrote in this article. Aptly titled Middle Children: Finding Their Own Pride of Place, it delved into the psyche of middle children and detailed their importance not only in the family but in society as well.

Middle children, who are usually smaller than their older siblings while they're growing up, often learn non-aggressive strategies to get what they want, such as negotiation, cooperation, or seeking parental intervention. As the underdogs themselves in many sibling conflicts, middle children often develop a fine sense of empathy with the downtrodden, as do many youngest children. Where first and last children may tend to be self-centered, middle children often take a genuine interest in getting to know other people. Being in the middle, they may find it easier to look at interpersonal situations from various points of view.
But this uncomfortable feeling of not having a defined place in the family may actually turn out to be an advantage. Unlike first children, who often define success by their ability to meet their parents' expectations, middle children are more prone to rebel against the status quo. This observation is the main point of a fascinating book, Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives, by Frank J. Sulloway. The book also argues that birth order--the middle position in particular--is one of the prime forces behind the scientific and social revolutions that drive history forward. I'd wager that most middle children had no idea that they were so important.

I seek not attention but understanding. Not misunderstandings but peace. I may have resented being a middle child when I was too young to fully grasp my significance in our home but now I can only sing praises for being the middle child in the family because if not for it, I wouldn’t be the responsible, understanding and mature adult that I am now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

To sell my soul to have the love of my life?

The above pertains to a question asked in Yahoo Answers. Here's the complete question:

Would you sell your soul in order to have the love of your life?
My answer, detailed below, was chosen as the Best Answer by the asker.
I wouldn't because then it (the act of trading my soul for love) is a very selfish, possessive kind of "love" which in itself is not loving but merely an ownership of another human being.

Also, I can't imagine loving "soullessly" or "being soulless." The soul is credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion. To "be" and to "love" without a soul is futile. And senseless.

The soul is the central or integral part, the vital core of one's being thus to lose it is to lose all as even in the after-life, the soul is that which will bring us either eternal happiness or damnation.

I just edited the capitalization as before, I used to post my answers in the said forum using small letters. Click HERE to view the question's link.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Lost"

I always have this haunting feeling that I am somehow lost amidst a sea of people who are too immersed in their own worlds and feelings of uppity self-worth to notice that the world does not revolve around them and that other people aside from themselves do exist.


Some (or most) people can be so cold of heart or just plain apathetic. I notice this every day – giggling teens texting or eating while an impoverished child trails behind them begging for alms, a yuppie-looking guy in the MRT not caring to offer his seat to a woman or an elderly or people jostling and even cursing to board the train heedless that they might trample the pregnant, the child or the physically challenged among them. Then, there’s this “new breed” of people who have their earphones permanently glued to their ears, seemingly oblivious to what’s around them as long as they have their music to listen to. There are also those who would rather doze off or pretend to be sleeping to be spared offering their seat to somebody else.

It saddens me that while we claim to have reached the pinnacle of being civilized and modern, our concern to our neighbors is actually dwindling. So are some of our values. Why, one’s lucky to hear an appropriate apology these days or a sincere thank you. Just the other day, a guy collided into me but I didn’t hear a peep of “excuse me” or even a hasty apology from him. More and more people too are forgetting to smile and be generally nice and polite to everyone. There’s this misplaced “mind your own business” business that I find it difficult at times to reach out to others.

Today’s life is too fast-paced that most people are rushing headlong into it without fully enjoying the trip or bothering to accommodate others into their lives. There’s misunderstood “equality.” Chivalry’s dead. I heard one guy in the MRT telling his companion that if men can stand during an MRT trip, women can too. Like whaaat?! Of course we can but the point is that offering his seat to a woman shows a man’s character. Apathy is widespread and so is negative individualism (I call this the “me, myself, mine and I” syndrome).

I know that I am not the only one harboring these thoughts. But maybe, just maybe, I’m the one feeling more lost than others because others have already become accustomed to such. But not I, not now, not ever…for always, in those instances, I’d feel disoriented – being with the crowd but “lost” among them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

wounded


and i can only wonder
at how you have not
succeeded
at breaking my heart
but destroyed it
just the same.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gratuitous Love


"Message memory full," so my cellphone warned me. I immediately went to my Saved Messages folder, looking for messages to discard. What I found were messages dating back to 2004. I also found a message that struck a chord in me, sent by a friend a couple of years back. It read,

"We need to thank God if we learn to love gratuitously. It's purely a grace and a gift. It's the highest form of love that we can offer to persons. You have this gift... Be grateful to God... That's why you're special. I thank you for being you... really :)"
Whoa. Why can't I find the same capacity to love in me now? Have I grown too cynical and jaded? Why can't I just love without expecting to be loved back in the same manner, same intensity, same degree, same everything? That used to work just fine for me that is why my friend sent me that personalized message.

Have I turned cold and calculating? Loving only when there is a guarantee of being loved back? Taking only calculated risks? And bolting out the door the moment I get scared that love is asking too much from me?

My friend said it is purely a grace and a gift. Maybe I am now loving humanely. Human love gets tired. Fed up. It has the tendency to give up when the heart becomes too bruised and hurt to love. Human love can get selfish. It has the capacity for jealousy. And revenge. It can shut people out, make itself go numb...

I may have the gift of loving people gratuitously but I am human too. And therein lies my difficulty because gratuitous love hurts. So much.

And I don't want to be hurt that much ever again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When Loving Becomes Tiring


There are times when I find it too tiring to love. I get sick of understanding, of making allowances, even excuses for the one I love. Is that selfless or stupid loving?

Do people deserve second chances? How come we sometimes resolve to giving a loved one third, fourth, fifth and for some, heaven forbid that this will happen to me, nth chances?

Unconditional love, they say. "Phooey!" I say. Yes, that's a scoff you're hearing. Why? Because I am yet to find that.

Is anyone, anyone human, I mean, capable of such? I believe that capacity belongs to God and God alone because He is God and we aren't.

Don't we have expectations from our loved one? Don't we sometimes put restrictions on them? Don't people sometimes demand for something from someone?

Love is a two-way traffic and the moment the loving, the understanding and the giving become one sided, it becomes burdensome.

Love fails to be unconditional for that simple reason - it has the condition of reciprocity. For a relationship to work, there has to be mutual respect and trust. It is a partnership where both must work with and for each other. Both must learn how to compromise, to meet each other halfway without breaking, without losing either party's identity or principles.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

luna


i.
pitch black sky
almost starless
cold wind
seeping
even to the bones
chilling
taunting
casting shadows
of loneliness and pain
over one
forsaken being
staring up the sky
yet unseeing
lost in jumbled thoughts
and amidst
life's chaos.


ii.
a moon
gradually emerging
through the clouds
gently bringing forth
its light
over one forsaken being
rousing her
from a concocted
and self-made
world of drudgeries
and of her
being forsaken.


iii.
she was, is and never
will be alone
nor forsaken
for God is always
looking after her
and there are
God-sent people
in her life
who love her
as she is
the very same people
who also
believe in her.


iv.
relief, joy and hope
sweet and tantalizing
sweep over her
the world is good
life is good
everything is good
including her.


v.
i am that being
and you are that moon
of beauty
of hope
and of my life.


vi.
thank you...
for illuminating my life
throughout those dark
and trying times.


vii.
thank you.










===============
written during my teen years, maybe when I was 15 to 17.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When being rich is not an excuse or a right…


The phone call was terrible, jarring me from my pleasant thoughts of going home in less than an hour. Before the call, I so looked forward to going home. Now, I so looked forward to ending it. Or to strangling the person on the other end of the line. Thankfully, the call ended. But the annoyance remained in me and what transpired got me thinking…

He was just impossible. And horrible. And damned unreasonable. I hate that kind of person – he who flaunts his money, clout and power, who thinks he owns the world and anyone in it just because he is rich.

Being rich is not an excuse to be rude. Indeed, all the luxuries and privileges in this world would not entitle one to decency and breeding.

Being rich does not entail anyone the right to be nasty, demeaning and arrogant. Yes, we did a mistake (a slight one at that) with his hotel reservations but having him all worked up and breathing down our necks with as much anger and sarcasm as he could muster was unnecessary. So was the SOB curse that he directed to my colleague.

That’s what really made me angry. The curse. And the fact that no apologies would suffice, not one among the many logical reasons and explanations was acceptable to him. It was crazy! Reasoning with him was futile and draining - emotionally, mentally and physically, because it was like reasoning with a two-year old, if not with a demented person. At least, a two-year old child would be nice.

In my three years in the business, I especially hate hearing this line, said with dripping pompousness, “Do you know who I am?” Hearing this question makes me see red that sometimes, I am tempted to answer, “No, sir. Because you are not as famous as you think you are and your clout does not reach this far.” But of course, being the customer-oriented person that I am (or maybe, I am just nice), I would simply sweetly say no. Good thing Mr. Rich Guy did not make the mistake of saying those words or I would have forgotten being customer-oriented and nice.

I really don’t have anything against rich people. Some rich people are actually nice and it is just ironic that those who are really rich are the ones who are humble. The nouveau riche, meanwhile are the ones who are arrogant. They are the ones so obsessed with flaunting their newfound wealth, so vain in thinking that everyone knows them and they can make people do what they demand just because they have the money.

Being the arrogant and self-centered nouveau riche that he is, no wonder Mr. Rich Guy came out downright rude. Too bad we live in a sue-happy society or I would just gladly tell him to shut up and get lost.

Thus this blog. Just so I can let it all out.


===============
reprinted from my Friendster blog, dated July 17, 2007. Why? 'coz just this morning I had a phone call that is almost similar to what transpired last year. It's actually worse because the lady was very unreasonable and inexcusably rude even when it is not our fault but hers. And I am so pissed to even consider doing a different blog.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Letdown

You couldn't give
What you didn't have...
And I should have
Known better than to expect
That you would change.

Fervent hopes
Were what fueled me
Into believing...

Or was it just
Plain desperation?

Lies
Created the illusion
That things were working out
Just fine.

You were good at them
Were you not?
And I was an all too willing
Believer.

What a letdown.

Then I chose to see
And the illusion
Shattered right before
My very eyes
And reality could only get
More painful.

This time though
I'd be wiser
And braver
I'd gladly embrace the pain
And for my own sake
Would never let myself
Down again.

In my pain
Would come my healing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

You are God's Gift to Me


Who would have thought
That we would become friends
Who would have thought
That our differences would not
Set us apart from each other
But instead bind us
Closer than we could have imagined
And teach us that to love
Is to accept each other as each one is.
Who would have thought of all those
But God...
To have a friend is to be one
And you showed me what it is like
To be and to have a friend
Thus, whenever I think of you,
I thank God for His gift of you to me
Oh, how I cherish the thought
Of the time when He carefully
And lovingly planned the time
When our paths would cross
For that was the moment
When He thought of giving me
One of life's sweetest blessings -
YOU as my friend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Calculated Love

the first time
we met
i bet
you're easy to love
but hard
to get over.

and i wasn't wrong.

for now i am
on the verge
of falling...

and this makes me
scared.


but the fear
only makes me
braver.

so i take
the plunge
and allow myself
to fall.

but still
with extreme
caution.

after all
i only take
calculated risks.

just don't
let me
fall too deeply
while you
try to play
it cool.

otherwise
i'll break
my own fall
and start
the process
of moving on.

and it will be
over
before
it even
began.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Unstill


The stillness of the night beckons to me. I don't know but there has always been something about the dead of the night that appeals to me. Maybe it's because there is a certain surge of power in knowing that while the world is resting, I am the solitary moving figure unclaimed by sleep's spell.

I also love being alone with my thoughts and most of my thought-provoking questions and answers come at night, sometimes unbidden. It is as if it is at this time that I am at my most aware, vulnerable even. Some thoughts sometimes scare me. Other times they bring elation. Still at times they veer crazily to hilarity. Or insanity.

The night is quiet and it is in this silence that my heart and mind find their refuge. In the serenity of the night is the blanket that warms and soothes me as I lie awake.

Sometimes too, I wear the darkness of the night as my cloak and prowl the streets. The wind will whip my hair and the breeze will gently caress my face. And a myriad of thoughts will still come of course.

The night is still but I am not.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Standpoint


I believe in the beauty of all creation
In the goodness in each person
And in the wonders and mysteries of life and of living
I believe in lasting friendship
In love and in bonds
That tie hearts together
I believe in differences and contrasts
But I also believe that empathy and understanding
Bridge differences and that contrasts
Often complement two opposite individuals
I believe in sunshine after the rain
In lessons learned after moments of sorrow and pain
And in joy felt
Even in suffering and in sacrificing
I believe in the magic of believing
In the power of hoping and in cherishing dreams
And in striving to reach those dreams
I believe in God and in His greatness
In His goodness and in His constant love
I believe in His presence
For I see and feel Him working in you
And I believe He is looking after me
When He gave me the precious gift
Of a wonderful friend in you.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Best Thing about Being in Pain

I sat by myself in our apartment’s balcony and stared at the vast city skyline. The night sky was blanketed with stars, the city aglow with lights from towering buildings. Quite a sight to behold, really, if only I didn’t feel like crying…

I held myself in check and forced the tears back in. I tried to focus – stared at the sky, willed myself to look for a constellation or anything of interest to no avail. I was staring but unseeing… Unseeing but still feeling… At this time of the night, everything seemed quiet and at peace. Everything but my heart… I shivered but not from the cold. I shivered from the emptiness within.

Loss had always been a painful experience but if there were successive losses, the pain could become too much. It could get unbearable even for a strong person like me. If those successive losses too happened at even frequent intervals, then that unbearable pain either became consuming or transcendent. And the former was happening to me now, no matter how fervently I wished for the pain to teach me to tolerate it more so I could exceed my normal pain threshold and in the process, move on.

Sometimes, I just wished I would go numb but no matter how much I tried, the pain just wouldn’t go away. There were times too when I wished that it’s not the pain but you who would go away. You whom I thought were different from them. How ironic that I lost you but the love that I so wanted to lose remained in me, festering like some wound that refused to heal. I was being haunted by the memories that I wanted to get away from, tortured by the very reason for my happiness not quite long ago.

I could really go on ranting and raving and getting all vexed about this whole pain thing but you know what, just looking up at the dark sky, with clouds sometimes obscuring my view of the stars and even the moon, I just realized that life’s pretty much the same – it could get dark and gloomy but there would always be something to brighten it. I just needed to see beyond the hindrance. The night sky had its stars and the moon, with the moon giving the brightest luminescence but even the smallest star could give some illumination, right?

I may have felt kind of hopeless and empty but the fact that I was feeling and hurting meant that I cared. And you know what’s best? It’s the fact that the best thing about being in pain was my not being dead. I lived and I’d go on fighting. I would definitely survive this like I survived my past losses.

There’s a flicker of hope in me. Just a tiny flicker, like a tiny star in the vast city skyline, but a flicker nonetheless…

I had been holding on to this pain, holding it in for so long that it had somehow consumed me. Now I knew better…

And so I let go and let this pain transcend.




================
written on October 2007

Sunday, June 1, 2008

This time, it really is the good kind of bye...


Goodbye is not everything. You will just be going somewhere but for always, you will be in me and I will be in you.

Life goes on. It has always been what it all was. Life is about people coming into and going out of our lives and this truth will always stand.

Goodbye has never been easy but is inevitable. But why should I be sad just because you are leaving? Only your physical self will go. In my mind and more so in my heart, you stay. The many memories we've shared will definitely linger. And treasured of course.

You taught me so much. I am thankful to God for the moments that He let us share the gift of ourselves with each other. You have touched my life in many ways. It is now time for you to touch other people's lives in the place where your new journey begins.

In letting go is strength. In moving on is God's grace. Detachment is not to deny but to give life. Not to disintegrate with others but to be one with one's self and be a part of the different wholes we belong to. Not to refuse love but to love truly and fully.

I am saying goodbye but only temporarily. Our paths had once intersected. I eagerly await the time when our paths will again meet.

The horizon is filled with smiles. Life has its many twists and turns. I will be waiting for you at the next bend.

Till we meet again and until we do, I entrust you to our good Lord's keeping.


===============
For you. You know who you are... And believe me, now I know what you mean by "sweet tears."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

?

why resurface now
and try to rekindle
the embers
of a love
long doused?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fools



















We've both been fools
Where the other is concerned.

You want me to be still
While I yearn to spread my wings
And fly to paths
Uncharted.

I want you
To express things
In black and white
But you would rather have them
In gray...

Makes you feel safer
I guess.

We are
Two very similar individuals
Both single-minded
And independent
Used to getting his
And her own ways
Unyielding
Unattainable, even.

Vulnerability
Never did define
Either one of us
And even for what "could be"
We refuse to let down
Our guards.

You twist words
To best suit you
You make and break
And bend the rules
To your advantage
And I do the same
Quite as cunningly.

What good does it do then
To engage
In a battle of wits
And more so, of wills
With you?

Where is the sense
In all these
When we both know
That each wants the upper hand
And will not consider
Losing...

Not even
Compromising?

Where have you led me
All these times
But to the utmost distraction
Of my mind?

But my will
Will never be broken.

This is not
A concession
Of my defeat
But rather, of my ending
This senseless journey
For I have grown
Weary
Of waiting.

Now I spread
The wings you clipped
And start flying.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Woman & Beauty


It is not beauty that defines a woman
because it is she who defines beauty.
Beauty is being contented with and accepting of
who and what she really is.
It is the strength in her character,
the confidence, optimism, joy and hope
that she has in the way she lives life to the fullest.
It is in her warm, caring & nurturing nature,
In the way she is a “mother” to all.


A woman is not perfect
and she does not try to be
But her beauty is best seen
in how she carries herself in trying, difficult times.
A woman’s beauty is in her courage & bravery
to fight life’s challenges head on.
It is in her being aware of her inadequacies
and in knowing full well
How to make the most of them.


A woman is beautiful
and her only affirmation in that
is her belief in herself.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


kahlan nynaeve, with a score of 12345 and at level 6 in Yahoo Answers.





Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The One Who Got Away*


"There is but one true and great love," her friend once said with eyes all agleam. She just laughed. It was a foreign, even ridiculous concept for her. And then she truly fell in love. Hard. But she fought it . She said he does not meet her requirements and expectations... that they are from two very different worlds and whatever relationship they will share just won't work. She thought of all the reasons that she could think of to shut him out of her life, to justify her shying away from him. Confused and in pain, he said that she was unfair. To him. To herself. To both of them. "Give me a chance," he implored but the words just fell on deaf ears...

Fast forward to a couple of years after she bid goodbye to him. His face still sometimes haunts her. She remembers his smiles and misses a lot of things about him. And then she realizes, maybe her friend is right. Maybe there really is just one true and great love for each one of us. That one person with that special smile, that special way of looking at her that makes her feel as though she is the prettiest girl in the world. The very same person who makes her heart beat faster and brings out the best and the worst in her... That rare person who can make her life into a series of upheavals, a roller coaster ride of mixed feelings and bittersweet moments. For her, that person is he – he who made her define and defy love...

Sadly, in most cases, as was in hers, that person is usually the one who got away.


===============
*for her. Indeed, you will never know what you got till it's gone.

reprinted from my Friendster blog dated July 17, 2007.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Let Me Be

Let me be the one you call
When the world closes in on you
Let me be there and I will be with you
The whole time through
Let me be the one to pick you up
When you stumble and fall
I'll give you my strength, I'll give my all
For you to again stand tall
Let me be the shoulders you lean on
The same shoulders that you can cry on
Come what may, I'll be there
Bearing with you what you have to bear
Let me be your friend
I give you a friendship that will never end
You can always trust and rely on me
Believe, and let me be.

===============
 

written when I was 10

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Guardian Angel



When I see your smile,
Tears run down on my face.
I can't replace.
And now that I'm stronger,
I have figured out,
How this world turns cold and it breaks through my soul.
And I know I'll find deep inside me, I can be the one.


I will never let you fall.
I'll stand up with you forever.
I'll be there for you through it all.
Even if saving you sends me to heaven...

The first time I heard this song a few months back, I was struck at how poignant the lyrics are. Then I remembered you.

I used to think that you are my guardian angel. That is, until I fell in love with you.

I remember you saying, "I'll never let you fall" but now I am thinking that you should have added IN LOVE WITH ME on it.

You were too nice. Too much of a gentleman. Too perfect for me that even if I did my damnedest to not fall for you, I did. You weren't hard to love, you know...

And now I hit rock bottom. In fairness to you, you were there to cushion my fall but only as a friend. You were my angel, right? And I was your ward. And that is all there is.

How could you not notice? Worse, how could you not feel it? How could you ask me how I was doing and then when I tell you that I had been nursing a broken heart you would go to my defense saying I only had to tell you who the guy is and you would beat the lights out of him?

If you only knew, you would be beating yourself black and blue.


==========
Song Title: My Guardian Angel