Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There's Nothing Like Love

There's nothing like love to throw you off course
or straighten your path.
To make you wary of taking risks
or propel you to take the leap of faith.
To make you fear  
or trust implicitly.
To make you hit rock bottom
Or take you to the greatest of heights.
To bring out the inner monster in you 
that you feel hurt and jealous all at the same time,
or even unreasonable.  
But it can also create 
an understanding, giving heart in you
and even inspire you to be selfless.
There's nothing like love 
to take you to a life of upheavals 
but it will be 
your most thrilling rollercoaster ride yet...
Whatever it is that love brings you, 
remember that it is your doing - 
your choice.
So love wisely,
taking care of not just his heart
but of yours as well.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happiness is not an Ending

The pursuit of happiness.  I have come across this phrase quite a number of times.  And I wonder why.

Is it because most people think of happiness as something so elusive?  Many times, I have heard and read about people wanting to be happy.  Some even list it as their ultimate goal.

But I disagree.  As I have always said, happiness is a choice, albeit a more difficult one.  Happiness is also not a goal or an ending.  It is something we can achieve even while we embark on this adventure we call life.  We don't live because we want to be happy in the end.  We are happy simply because we live. 

As I celebrated my twenty-eight birthday recently, I give thanks to God for this wonderful blessing of my life.  And I give thanks too to and for my loved ones and friends - these people who add vibrancy to my already great life with the personal touch they put to it. 

Happiness is not an ending.  Surrounded by my loved ones, it is something I have always had.  It is something my parents showered me with from the time I was conceived.  It is something I see in their proud eyes and is also reflected in mine .  It is something I feel every time the family gets together.  Something my friends and I also share.

Happiness is the celebration of the person that I am.  It is reveling in my individuality and the appreciation I have for what I have been blessed with. 

Happiness is also the security I have in my rewarding career.  It is also in being able to travel and shop and indulge in my favorite food.  In being lost in a good book.  Or music.  Or being entertained by a movie.

But happiness is not just about the good things in life.  Happiness is also knowing that my tears of sorrow or pain have sprouted lessons that now guide my present and future.  It is growing up.

As I look back on what was and look forward to what will be, I remember the many happy birthdays I have been greeted with these past twenty-eight years.  

And I smile because indeed, it is a happy life I live.

Friday, September 16, 2011

God Takes

I love how Facebook now enables us to go on a trip down memory lane by posting our status messages a year ago.  It's very helpful for me because sometimes, I just randomly share my thoughts and feelings on Facebook (and also on Yahoo Messenger) and forget to share them in my blog.  Below is my status message a year ago, which again reminded me to let go and let God.

Heaven sends and heaven takes but come what may, I believe in You, my Lord and my God, for your ways are different from ours... 

... and so, I surrender - with no fear - just with trust and faith and obedience. Take away what is good so you may give me what is best.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mama Mary

O Mary today we celebrate your feast
And to thank you for your openness and generosity is what I can do least
I want to be like you, my dear Mother -
A simple servant of Christ and His faithful follower.

found in my journal & written when I was nineteen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Of Life and the Sea

I was eight.  We were on a family outing and mommy was teaching me how to swim.  Both her hands supported my weight as she coaxed me to paddle.  I paddled as hard as I could.  We did this many times till my body ached.  And we did it again in our succeeding beach outings.

When she thought I could do it, mommy did not place her hands under my body lying facedown on the water and just said words of encouragement as I tried to support my weight on my own.  I sank.  But mommy was quick to haul me back into her arms.  She hugged me and tousled my hair to soothe me, all the while whispering words of encouragement.  But I shook my head, scared of again sinking while I struggled, helplessly flailing my hands as salty water made its way into my nose and mouth.

My fear of being in an open water heightened when during one of our beach outings, two teens from a nearby cottage drifted far away into the sea and had to be rescued by a boat.  Their family members were so sick with worry that some even wept as the boat was dispatched to look for them.  Once reunited, the teens said they slept while on a life buoy and woke up to find themselves in the middle of the sea. 

Despite their happy ending of being reunited with their family, their ordeal left an imprint of a great fear of the sea on me.  From then on, I made sure to wade but only waist-deep in the waters.  During outings, my companions who were in the deeper part of the sea would wave their hands invitingly but I would only go as far as to where the waters reached my neck.  And once there was an onslaught of waves, I would hurriedly go back to where the shore was, fearful of being tided over by those waves.

As these memories come to me now when I am faced with a great personal dilemma, I realize how I have been playing safe all along. 

From 2001 to 2005, I waded but only waist-deep in the waters, testing if it suited me.  Then one really big tide of a trial happened in 2005.  Confused, hurt and even angry, I retreated back into the shore and comfortably settled there for years.  I thought I was okay.  I thought I would always be okay there.  That to the shore was where I belong.  But in 2010, the water again beckoned to me.  Scared, I retreated farther back into where the land was but the water time and again called out to me.  I resisted but the more I did, the more I suffered.

And so I summoned all the logic in me to battle with what my heart wanted.  I wanted nothing of the water.  It was dark and deep and endless.  I did not know what awaited me there.  Waves crashed against it.  Anything on it either drifted somewhere else or got drowned.  The shore, meanwhile, remained a bastion of safety.  A haven where the water could only touch but not claim it. 

2011 came.  The water now more loudly called out to me.  I again summoned my logic to rationalize my response but it compromised with my heart by telling me to just wade waist-deep into the water and see how it would go...

I've been waist-deep in the water since and I must say it's something I am getting used to.  It's something I actually prefer but am scared of fully embracing.  I have even told myself that this is the perfect spot because here, I get the best of both worlds.  I am at sea but the shore is just a "swim" away.  If push comes to shove, if a big tide is coming, I can always head back to the shore.

Swim.  Using this word makes me realize that I never did learn how to swim.  And all because I have feared the water.  The water that has been calling out to me for the longest time now.  The water that I am so scared of fully committing myself to for fear of it again hurting me.

But as today's memories make me re-realize my fear of the water, as earlier said, it also makes me realize that if I continue standing on its shallow part, just like I missed learning how to swim, I will also miss what really is in store for me in it.  What I am really called to life to.

Yes, I either have to go back to the shore and stay there for good or risk it all and fully be enveloped in water.

I admit I have reservations.  I still have my fears.  But as AndrĂ© Gide wrote, "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Loving is Taking Risks

Loving someone is always a risk, but it's one that's worth taking.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For X

I don’t know why I’m writing. I don’t even know where to start. I’m having second thoughts too on whether I should continue this. Is chickening out an option? Whoa. Now you’re taunting me.

“Aren’t you courageous?” you often say. And therein lies my truth. Because with and for you, I am anything but brave.

It’s been two years since I met you. And in that short span of time, you have managed to take me into the most nerve-wracking rollercoaster ride of my life.

I have always told myself to never put myself in a situation where I do not know where I stand in another person’s life. And yet, I am in such a situation now.

I don’t know how to read you, you know. You say you like me. You care. You miss me. Truth be told though, hearing those words brings me anything but assurance. Hearing those words makes me more confused. Scared.

Why can’t you just say things outright?

Where does caring for, missing and liking someone lead to? What are those endearments for? I really am confused. And annoyed. I hate it that we’re both too stubborn. That we play a game of wits and will. I enjoy the former, hate the latter. I do not know if you’ve noticed but my response has always been as guarded as my heart is. I don’t want you to think I am leading you on, is why. And I also do not want to appear easy or aloof and heaven forbid, unreachable. And so I play it cool. Maybe way too cool. Damn.

You very well know what our dilemma is. It is the fact that you want me to be the first to admit my feelings for you but I want it to be the other way around.

Maybe culture is a big factor. From where you are from, women can easily admit to their feelings. Some even openly flirt. But I, despite your perceived sophistication of me, am still a traditional Maria Clara at heart confined by the long-ago notion of my ancestors that women should wait for the guy to woe her…

I don’t know how long will I be able to keep up with you. Or why should I, in the first place. If I am going to be very honest with myself, I have to admit that I’m getting tired of guarding my heart. Of waiting. Of being unsure of anything that concerns you.

Funny how just when I, a person who only takes calculated risks, am willing to abandon all and take the great leap of faith, the very person that I am taking the plunge for is nowhere to be found to leap with me or break my fall.

But you know what I find is funnier? It is that you can dare talk to me about courage when you are anything but brave.

And you know what’s funniest? It is that I thought of courage as taking the leap of faith for you because now I know that where you are concerned, courage is about letting go of my beloved who does not know that I am worth defying his great fear of love.

May 18, 2007 was when we met.  May 18, 2008 was when you reminded me that it's our anniversary.  I laughed because you remember the date of our first meeting.  I did not.  As we spoke, I was actually feeling sheepish, torn between amazement and being touched because really, it's rare for a guy to remember.  May 18, 2009.  We both remembered the day.  I was hoping you'll come out clean but you just continued dancing that avoidance waltz that I despised.  That same night, I wrote this post as I mentally said goodbye to you.  This post remained sitting in my Drafts folder though.  May 18, 2010.  My iPod Touch's calendar reminded me that it's May 18.  I cancelled it.  May 18, 2011.  The same alarm from my iPod Touch rang.  I immediately cancelled it then deleted the yearly reminder.  It's been about two years that we lost contact with each other and days ago, I found this while I was sifting through my files.  So here I am, posting this in celebration of my moving on.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Silver Lining

There are times when I can't help but feel jaded.  I guess at some point, we just see the world as it is and not even a really good pair of rose-tinted glasses can make us see otherwise.  After all, life is not a bed of roses.  It most certainly is not a fairytale.  Still, happiness is a choice, albeit a more difficult one.  So I'll smile and face this head on knowing that for each obscuring cloud, there is a silver lining to tide me through even the roughest of seas.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

the wedding

                photo credit

and today's
one of those times
when i run away
from the here and now
and drift off
to that faraway place
where there is no you
and your memories
will haunt me the least...

oh how i wish to forget.

and today's
the most painful day
when i watch you
watching her
both of you looking
so perfect for each other
your smile
beaming your pride,
hers a picture
of genuine bliss...
and i smile too
while i try my best
to compartmentalize
my emotions...

oh how i wish to not feel.

and today's
the craziest of days
my tears
making it difficult
to see you
standing in the altar,
eagerly awaiting
the lovely lady
walking down the aisle
to claim her
as your bride.

oh how i wish i'm not here.

and today's
your special day
the atmosphere
in stark contrast
to how i feel
my barely contained
mixed emotions
veering fast
to pained amusement
as you introduce us
myself being the ex
who is now
just a friend.

oh how i hurt.

and today's the day
i finally let go
i hurt, i weep
as i allow myself
to freely feel the pain
i ponder, i write
these mostly bitter
but somewhat sweet lines
as i say goodbye.

tomorrow i will heal.

written last weekend after watching (for the nth time!) My Best Friend's Wedding.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Falling is Just Another Way to Fly

I dreamed I was standing on a cliff's edge, scared of taking even an inch forward.  I was scared even of looking down so I closed my eyes and took a dozen steps back, thinking that's where safety was.  But then I realized that what I was doing, what I had been doing all along was a way of playing things safe.  Of settling to what was familiar.  I took a deep breath, ran towards the cliff's edge then with only a split second of hesitation, jumped.  And as I fell, I felt anticipation.  The fear was still there for I knew not what would happen but there was freedom too in finally leaving my comfort zone and embracing the unknown.  

Thud.  It wasn't such high a fall and I landed with my two feet firmly planted on the ground.  Chest heaving, I opened my eyes and surveyed my surroundings, taking in the grassy field of dandelions.  Who knew this was what awaited me here?  

For a while, I stood there, watching some dandelions soar by.  Mesmerized, I gathered one and observed how its florets needed to be separated from the "head," from the plant itself, in order for it to find its own patch of soil and grow new dandelions.  Then I thought of myself and of the risk I took to take flight.  And of the more risks that lie ahead...

Then I woke up and I was smiling for I realized from my dream that falling is just another way to fly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Random Thoughts - # 15

People are bound to disappoint us one way or another and so I learned to just not expect anything from anyone.  Let people be themselves, and you'll find out that each one is a pleasant surprise in his or her own way.

Monday, February 28, 2011


My friend: I'm listening to Ironic by Alanis. Isn't it ironic to find the man of your dreams then later meet his beautiful wife?
Milai: Nah, the irony there is meeting the man of your dreams. (laughs)
The above exchange made me do a double take. Have I gotten too cynical beyond redemption?

There is no denying that I am romantic to the core.  You see, I began reading romance novels at an early age.  While most children read fairytales and picture books, I, much to my mom's dismay, took delight in reading Mills and Boon and Harlequin novels starting at age eight.  I also loved reading the works of Barbara Cartland.  At age ten, I was into Danielle Steel and at twelve, was into novels by Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey and Jude Deveraux.  Reading about their heroines ending up with the man of their dreams sure made me think about my own happy ending.

Ten years after, my view on love, or rather, on men, soured due to the fact that some of my friends and acquaintances became victims of their infidelity or were in an abusive relationship.  There were some too who fell in love with men who were difficult to love in the first place.  And some who were with men who could not find it in themselves to commit to a relationship or marriage.

With the above, and also because I experienced heartbreaks and heartaches firsthand, I became very wary of love.  Or rather, of men.

A friend in college said not just once that those like us who grew up reading romance novels would have a difficult time finding the "man of our dreams" basically because we already have our ideals on who or what we want in and from them.  "Admit it, unconsciously, you have the tendency to compare a suitor to that dashing, romantic duke from the Victorian era in historical romance novels or to that confident, urbane, a little difficult but loving man you read about in your contemporary novels."  And we laughed because it was partly true.  Matthew Allen Parker from McNaught's Paradise, where are you?  Ha ha!

Then there's this Linda Howard novel I read where they joked about Mr. Perfect being "science fiction."  Ha!  I just had to laugh on that one.

When I was home in Aklan last January, a relative, knowing I am already twenty-seven and most of my batchmates were already married, joked, "So when is the grand walk down the aisle?"  I laughed and replied that I am even yet to find THAT  man I will walk down the aisle with.  Polite queries followed, with most of them asking all the hows and whys that they could think of regarding my being uncommitted and all later coming to a concession that I am just being choosy.  Ooooooo-kay.  Whatever.

Is there anything wrong with being single, especially when it is someone's personal choice and she's happy being such, as I said so in a previous post?  Is there anything wrong with having standards for THE man a woman wants to marry?  I'm not looking for Mr. Perfect because we all know that perfection in anyone or anything does not exist.  But I do have standards for the man of my dreams.  And on this I refuse to compromise.  Why?  Because we are all entitled to choose who we want to spend the rest of our lives with.  And mine is to be with a man who is like Daddy.  Oh, he isn't perfect.  He sometimes drinks and used to smoke and he is scary when he gets mad but he's faithful to my mom and wonderful to us.

You may have noticed I wrote "on love or rather, on men" twice in this post.  I want to emphasize this because men (and of course, women), may become unfaithful or jealous or insincere but love is not and never will be.  It is and will always be the same kind of wondrous, saving love that it is made to be.  Anything less than that is not true and lasting love - the reason why most relationships don't last these days and why some marriages crumble.

I want to end this post by addressing my cynicism.  Yes, I admit to having gotten jaded over the years but there's still that part of me who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses.  Who still believes in the wonders of love and in God's perfect timing for everything.

True love waits.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Past and Future Love

Seasons change and people too
But I believe that some feelings don't
The clock keeps on ticking and people come and go
But our longing for them just continues to grow.

We may forget some of yesterday's memories
But those that we wove with that special someone 
Would remain, and may even haunt us
That we couldn't help but look back on what was.

I miss your smiles, those bedimpled cheeks
And the way your knowing eyes would look me over
I miss all the laughter, and even our silly fights
And the kiss-and-make-up that is sure to come later.

I sorely miss the way you always inspire me
Those words and acts of love that you share
But most of all I miss being with you
And being enveloped in your sweet and tender care.

I remember all these, and painfully, more
For I also remember the day we parted ways
I remember saying goodbye for I thought it was best
Turning a deaf ear to the pleas you expressed.

Until now, I don't know why or how we drifted apart
And I have stopped trying to analyze everything
All I know is that somewhere, somehow, we changed
That what used to be two sides of a coin became estranged.

Things happen for a reason, so they always say
And maybe, ours is to learn to lose ourselves to an US
Because admit it, when we were together we seldom compromise
Self-absorbed and stubborn, to our own self each one relies.

I still believe that what happened is for the best
And though I still sometimes miss you, I can smile
Knowing that you and I have grown individually
In ways that our being together did not allow us to be. 

Wherever you are, my love, I hope you now know
That sometimes the greater proof of love is in letting go
May love teach us to truly love in ways we failed the other
That we may become braver, wiser and better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Heart Chooses to Heal

In all its fragility, I marvel about the capacity of the heart to withstand innumerable heartaches and hurts.  I guess in the end,  a heart that CHOOSES to freely bask in sincere, selfless love is bigger than any and all of life's struggles.  Cheers to all WARRIORS OF THE HEART who never give up on love despite being heartbroken at some points in their lives.  Happy hearts day!  :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Gift of the Present

The greatest gift of the present is that it is a constant reminder of God's never ending love for and faith in us.  We are blessed with another day because He wants us to cherish yesterday as we grow from it.  So if you've been hurt in the past, let go.  Today is a new day.  God has given you a chance to heal.  To make up for your wrongs.  To be happy.  To love again.  To live life to the fullest.  Seize this day! 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Random Thoughts - # 14


Closure isn't about just putting an end to the vexations of the mind, heart and soul.  It is also coming to terms with the difficulties of the past and, from hereon, beginning a life of acceptance, gratitude and learning, and in so doing, achieving the serenity we so long for.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mirror of Truth

Life used to be one big theater for me
I had to play, I had to act
Masks and facades and barriers
Had all been a part of me
That sometimes they became my "truth."
And do I have to tell you
That before I resented you?
I disliked the way
You were seeing right through me
For that meant I wasn't convincing enough.
Others saw the smiles and claimed
They felt my joy
But you saw how empty those smiles were.
You saw the pain beneath,
The uncertain, vulnerable child that I was
Hidden behind those masks.
I tried my best to avoid those probing eyes
I was wary of the wisdom those knowing eyes held.
If I could then shut myself from you, I would
For you "scared" me and it's not because
You were mean or ill-tempered
But because you knew me so well
That I felt vulnerable with and around you
And no one wants to be vulnerable, right?
Pride dictated me to shun you
So no one would then read me accurately
No one would know my heart and being but me
But you were so understanding of and patient in
Just letting me be, waiting for me to mellow and mature
While doing your best to help me probe deepest into myself
That I may bring to light the real me.
Little by little, my defenses came crumbling down
Until finally, nothing was left but my true self 
The very self that I used to hide and deny surfaced...
I no longer resent you, in fact I never did.
I just thought I did but now I know 
That those were just resistances...
I'm glad that all those masks are now gone
I no longer act, I never will again
For life is no grand theater, 
Everything and everyone is real
And so I must be too.
I am what I am and it feels good to be me
And it feels even better to know
That you accept me as I am.
Thank you... for being my mirror of truth
For that's all I needed for my awakening.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Ties that Bind

Be kind to each and every person you meet for s/he is fighting some kind of battle that you may not know about.  Our blatant exterior differences aside, we are all a lot like each other - we just want to love and be loved.