Once Upon A Time

I was browsing my old yahoo mail account and was so happy to reminisce old stuff, messages, conversations, and memories.

Five years after, I’ve realized only now that my 20-year-old self isn’t that bad pala. She was slowly coming out of her comfort zone then as a new graduate, yet she managed to do what she had to do and more. I wish I had given her a high five back then. It’s so nice to reminisce. It’s nicer to reminisce it now. Years after, I appreciate that “me” and season even better.

Once upon a time, my voice was heard on national radio. Haha. Glad I was able to keep the TOA (Tape On Air). Honestly, I almost forgot what TOA means so I Googled it. Haha. And, listening to it five years after is both funny and nostalgic. Okay, cringey too. Well, for the shy me.

Get ready to cringe and laugh out loud with me with this audio clip 😂🤣😅 :
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aIW1JTamXHyBGVblSFDKs4A7Lus8cWhp

Once upon a time, a billboard layout I made was displayed at A. Bonifacio near the tollgate at NLEX and other areas near Commonwealth. Seeing that old email and the photos, I suddenly remembered the joy and kilig I felt every time I see the billboard on my way home. Para bang napapatanong ako lagi, “Is it real?”

Once upon a time, I designed shirts, calendars, and bag tags too. These merchs were given away to listeners of the former radio station I worked at. It was a proud moment for me so I kept one of each. Seeing them makes me remember the good times.

Once upon a time. Oh, once upon a time. 

Looking back, my 20-year-old self must have been so happy to have done and experienced such things. Underneath the stress back then, doing the things she loved on the side made all the stress bearable. But, in the end, she had to leave that work and bloom some more. Nevertheless, she was thankful. Thank you, Pangga!

Dear twenty, thank you for the great memories.
Dear twenty-five, let’s go and make some moreeeee! 

P.S. Last Saturday, I was able to stroll around my old office’s area. A lot has changed. I was filled with nostalgia that day. I am thankful that once upon a time, God brought me there.

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LifeLife Lately | Ap’reel

The night before my birthday was completely different from last year’s. I wasn’t crying sad tears anymore. Still cried though, but only because of the movie, Coco. Hehe. So, I welcomed my new year with a happy heart. For that, I’m really thankful. ❤

My pabaon nga pala for this year is Luke 12:31-32. Very very timely.

I spent my birthday at the beach with mama & papa. It’s been a chill and relaxing birthday for me. It was peaceful and intimate. Thank God for quiet beach spots.

As you can see from the above reel, my April has been filled mostly with friends and food. I’m happy to be reunited with my childhood friend and my inaanak. It’s been a long time since we spent time together. From elementary to highschool, we spend almost everyday together. I’m happy that we’re starting to see each other more often again. 

I’m blessed to be surrounded with friends and siblings in Christ who I feel so much comfortable with. I love spending time with them. They make taking a break from introverting worthwhile. Hahaha

This month, I was also able to get an article published on Thought Catalog again. My writer-heart is very happy at that.

I started going back to reading again. Decided to read Chronicles of Narnia. Butttttt, I haven’t finished at least one book. I missed the old reader me. I guess my brain’s too tired from reading at work so I’m more drawn to movies and KDramas instead. Excuses! Haha. I was able to finish two dramas this month — Cheese In The Trap & I Am Not A Robot. 😅

My April which started pretty chill experienced some big waves too. I guess it’s because life is just like that. It isn’t always sunny, but God is still good nonetheless.

And, oh, we’re praying for a new home. I hope for more build-ing than breaking for our family this year. 

What’s with the video? For my silver year, I committed myself to record one second of each day for the entire year. I started on my birthday and so far, here’s how my April went. So that’s it! 

Looking forward to maymories. 

“You’ve Got Mail”

When mama got home tonight, she handed me a mail. It’s no secret to people who read my blog (mayron nga ba? haha) that I get excited every time I receive physical cards and letters. Since I’m not expecting receiving one, I was really happy.

It was from one of my sponsored children from World Vision. It made me all the more happy.

Unlike the previous ones, this time, this thank you card was from my second sponsored child. As I can remember, this was the first time I’m receiving a picture and card from him. For me, it was extra special and personal.

Looking at his picture, I felt nostalgic.

It all started in April 2014.

Lunch break. I remember it was at that time when God impressed in my heart that my money and the ability to produce wealth–regardless of how big or small–are all from Him. That we’ve been blessed with time, talent, resources, etc. that we can also share with others. 

That leading and the example I saw from my mom led me to also bless someone through World Vision. I started sponsoring a child in April 2014. Then, two years after, when I got a salary increase from my present job, God impressed in me to sponsor another one. The mail I received tonight was from him.

There were times when I feel insecure, thinking I haven’t done much after graduating in 2013. Five years after, I am nowhere near the “success” my batch mates and friends have attained. But, I know these are all mere lies from the enemy. God has a far greater definition for “success,” and that’s what I should focus more on.

I am glad to have received this mail today.

Letters like this one make me realize that I am blessed to be given an opportunity to invest in something bigger — someone else. 

But, this experience I can’t boast of. What I was able to give isn’t mine in the first place. It was God’s. And, the heart to give, I can only credit to Him as well.

I’ve realized that sponsoring children through World Vision has been my greatest invesment (so far). Because though I don’t earn much, somehow, I get to see God work through someone else’s life in doing so. And, I think that makes it all worth it.

Today’s mail has been an encouragement. Really.  And, I’m thankful to have received it at this moment. It was just in time.

P.S. Honestly, I’m having second thoughts on whether I will keep this entry public or private. But as much as I want to keep this a secret, I also want to share this experience to whoever might read this. 

If you want to be involved and experience this joy as well, you can get to know more about World Vision and what they do by visiting their website here: www.worldvision.org.ph

P.S.S. This isn’t a sponsored post. 🙂

Appreci8tion Post: 8 “Little” Things I Appreciate

Reading through my old diaries and journals, I came across one entry from 2016 which reminded me to stop and take a look at the many —big or small— things that are worth appreciating in this life, things that used to wow me or make me smile.

Hence, the title of this post. (Hello again, punny self!) With that, get to know more about me as I share (in no particular order) 8 of what seem to be little things I really appreciate in this lifetime:

Alone time and quiet moments. As an introvert and only child, I’m so used to being alone. Back then, I wasn’t so comfortable going out or doing things alone in public. I used to be so insecure of what people may think about me. But, now, I am sooooooooo comfortable and at ease doing pretty much everything by myself. I enjoy my own company, not caring if people see me eating alone in a fast food resto or cafe, watching a movie by myself, and the like. And, to be honest, doing such things make me happy. Alone times recharge me.

During stressful days at work, I find peace and quiet riding a bus or a van to another city. Then, I’ll either stay at a cafe or just window shop. I also enjoy my quiet moments when everyone’s asleep at home, I just enjoy the night’s quietness.

Music or movie discoveries. I love listening to music. If you happen to listen to my playlists, you’ll mostly find old songs from Bread, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, The Everly Brothers, or see indie OPM songs from Reese Lansangan, Clara Benin, Cheats, etc. It feels so good every time I discover a new good song, and I would end up playing it over and over for a day, or a good one week. The previous week, I was glued to new songs from Migz, someone I’ve been following since the good old Twitmusic and Soundcloud days. I also feel happy when I get to meet people who like the same music as me.

I also love movies and good dramas. It may also be because of my dream to write one. More than watching them, I love it when I discover hidden gems in movies that aren’t really that popular. I also find most of my favorite songs from movie soundtracks.

Genuine “How are you?’s” I truly appreciate people who genuinely ask me how I am or how my day was without any hidden agenda of either offering me an insurance, selling me a product, or asking me a favor. Hehehehehehehehehehe.

The moon, stars, and the night. I am a bonafide “Oh, look at the moon!” person. I can’t exactly explain why but I’m very much enamored by the moon  —all phases of it— and the stars. I even used lilmissmoon as my Tumblr blog name back then. Probably, one thing I loved about the moon is its mystery and beauty combined. The moon and the stars also remind me that I can still find something beautiful even in my darkest nights.

Postcards, notes, and letters. I love receiving and collecting these things. Personally, I love writing little notes or birthday letters to my parents, friends, or people dear to me. Maybe, it’s because I’m more of a writer than a talker. I can express myself better in writing. More so, I love receiving them. I’ve kept letters and notes ever since, and on sad days I re-read some of them. In this era of technology, I still prefer letters than text messages, especially on special occassions.

I’m also into postcards. It was a year ago when I joined Postcrossing. It is an online project that allows its members to send and receive postcards from all over the world. More than receiving postcards with all those aesthetically-pleasing stamps from all over the world, I enjoy reading the stories attached to them. My favorite so far is the one I received from a bookstore owner somewhere in Europe. She sent me a vintage postcard she owned way back in 1970.

On every overseas trip I make, I also see to it to mail myself a postcard back to the Philippines – as my form of a souvenir and self-talk. Haha.

Train rides. No, not the MRT ride in Metro Manila. That’s an exception. Hehe. But, I enjoy riding it though during late night trips when it’s less stressful and there aren’t so many people around. When I’m out of the country, I always look forward to train rides. I find riding trains relaxing. More than that, I get to see different people, sceneries, and enjoy being alone even in a crowded place. Train stations also have that dreamy vibe, well to me.

Family downtime. As a child of two busy parents, I really appreciate it when we get to watch the television together, not thinking of anything else but just enjoying a downtime together or talking about stuff unrelated to our store. It’s one of those little moments that make my heart happy. It may seem to be a normal scenario for others, but to me, it’s always one for the books —for mine, at least. It’s because I can only count moments like this one with my fingers.

My go-to person. My go-to person’s main concern isn’t making me happy, He’s more concerned of my highest good. But, knowing I have Him in my life comforts me that I won’t have to go through life alone. I have friends I can also go to during my “moments,” but sometimes I myself can’t explain to them what exactly I am going through. So, instead, I just go and cry out to God when I can’t find the right words to explain what I’m feeling.

During sad or asdfghjkl times, I think one of the best and most effective antidotes is remembering and revisiting things, people, or memories that make us happy. So, that’s what I’ll start practicing.

How about you? What do you appreciate the most?
Let’s be in the habit of appreciating instead of hating! ♥

Life Lately | Febru-weary

As much as I only want to post mostly sunny, positive, and good things on this blog, I’ve come to realize that hindi pala keri. Life isn’t all sunny episodes. And, I don’t want to portray one that has it all together (in this life nor in this blog)– because, there’s no such thing.

It’s only been a week and I’ve already cried a lot for this month already. (And, no, it isn’t because I don’t have anyone for the ‘love’ month. Hehe.) It’s just that I felt so tired, weary, and zapped out from many different things. Then, along with that, the insecuritiessss dropped by once in a while too. It was draining.

As my short devo (I haven’t been consistent in doing this for the past week) reminded me yesterday: Take heart, struggler.

I thank God for using this 🔝 devo to remind me to keep pressing on, cheer me up, and renew my sight and perspective. I also thank Him for using a friend dear to me to remind me that even in the midst of a ‘febru-weary,’ I still have a lot of things to be grateful for that I’m losing sight of.

I’ve realized that I’ve grown tired of asking. I’ve stopped asking, seeking, and knocking consistently only to realize that God is the very thing and person I need in this life.

So, in the tears and the whys, I hope that a warrior rises up again in the ‘weary-er’ in me.

P.S. There’s still three more weeks before the month ends. To the ‘weary-ers’ like me, let’s fight and faith it. Life is no easy feat. It’s okay to cry. But, it feels much better to cry it all out to God. So yeah, together, let’s take heart. 💛

Life Lately | January ’18

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This morning, upon checking my inbox, I saw this emailed letter from FutureMe. I was happy and surprised because I have already forgotten about this letter I wrote a month ago. I love receiving letters (may it be from others or from my past self. haha). Letters from my past self (surprisingly) encourage me or help me evaluate things or events that happened in my life for a specific period of time.

It was in 2013 (as I remember) when I started writing to my future self. Since then, it has been a habit. I usually send my self letters months or years into the future. Here’s the letter that made smile and laugh this morning. 🙂

Untitled
Just how my 2017 self wished, I welcomed the year with something I want to find myself doing for the rest of the year. I prayed and had my devotion.

Looking back at the 29 days that passed for my first month in 2018, all I could do is smile and thank God for giving me a good, fresh, and productive start. It’s just been 29 days yet I already had a lot to remember and be thankful for.

For January, here are 8 of the many things included in my “thank” tank (hi, punny self!) :
– an overseas trip to Hongkong & Macau
– reconciliation between Papa & his brother
– a new year for my mama, one of my spiritual ate’s, & soul sister
– quality time with dgroup, family, & friends
– an answered family prayer
– alone times despite the many activities (hehehe)
– opportunity to attend IDC 2018
– and, God’s presence itself.

January will always be a great month to look back to for this year. I am grateful. So much. And, I know God has more in store for me. Whatever they may be, I know they will all work together for my good.

On my January 10 journal entry, I read and noted down (and claimed too) :

“And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’ And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’ – Revelation 21:5

True to His word, God is making everything new for me for this year. And, He is only beginning. I believe 2018 is my year of #AllThingsNew. ♥

P.S. If you’re curious, yes, I’m less (actually, almost not) awkward na. Hahaha

 

Life Lately | Novemblur

So many things happened this month, yet there are still two more weeks before a new month ensues. More stuff can happen. I wish this time, they’ll be good ones. This month, things around me moved soooooooooooo fast that it seems like life has become a blur. I’m trying my best to keep up.

I recently lost my lola, my last living grandparent, who I fondly call Lola Kiska or Apu. Before she passed away, I was missing my other lola who I lost in 2008. I didn’t imagine that a few days after Undas, I’ll have another special one to miss. It was sad. What makes me sadder is seeing my mama cry because she lost her mother. But, underneath the sadness and loss, there’s security and peace in us because we know she’s now with God in heaven. After 92 full years of life, she can now rest.

On the wee hours of every morning that I’m the only one awake during her wake, I’ve realized a lot of things. One, she was sooooo loved. Over three hundred people came to see her on the second day of her wake. And, I wondered, if that was me, will there be people who’ll come? Two, my mother was sooooo loved. A lot of people she didn’t expect to come, comfort her, and send her condolences came her way even if they’re province/s away.

I realized that I should not miss the opportunity of impacting the lives of people I’ll be meeting in this lifetime. That “pakikisama” matters really. That in this life, I should really live and not merely exist. More than that, I’m reminded that after the end of this earthly life, something greater awaits. Jesus needs to be known so other people can experience heaven in eternity as well.

Apart from the realizations and countless thoughts, what ifs also surfaced. Tons of them. They were too loud that I just try to shoo them away. I try my best not to resort to overthinking and burden myself. It’s difficult though. But, deep inside, I am reminded to not be and anxious and let tomorrow worry about itself. That if another day ever comes, I must keep on clinging to God and depend on His grace for that day.

Before all this, my latest and most prominent reading was Psalm 71 where verses 19 to 21 had the most impact. I remember that I was praying for a confirmation or a Word about relationships. I got this. It didn’t quite connect at that moment. Little did I know that I’ll be needing such Word the days after.

Psalm 71:19-21 (NLT)

19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?

20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.

21 You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.

I can’t deny that my life lately is a confusing blur, but one thing is clear. It’s that God is sovereign. He is still good. And, all these things are for a purpose. For now, I’ll (try to) look at life and the future with a fresh set of eyes. These blurs will clear up soon.