Of Life and Facials

After work, I went to a facial cleaning center. I went to one referred to by a family friend. It’s been five years, I think, since I last had one. So, imagine how much dirt my big pores have accumulated through the years.

It was a bit painful. Some tears fell uncontrollably. Haha. Lumuluha yung mata ko kahit nakapikit.

While the extraction and cleaning are being done to my face and while I’m on my way home, I’ve realized how it could relate to life.

1. There are times when beauty comes after the pain and the breaking.

Though the facial procedure somehow hurts a bit, soon, it will reveal a better, cleaner skin. My face may look a bit sore now from the extractions, but it will look better soon. I hope! Haha

The same goes with life. There are times when a better, more beautiful version of us emerges after a painful situation. BUT, this could only happen if this pain is experienced under the hands of a professional. With facials, the dermatechnician. The extractions may be a bit painful, but she sure knows what she’s doing.

With life, it’s God. Under His supervision, pain can turn to something good.

2. If there’s something to be fixed, don’t wait toooooooo long before addressing it. Doing so can spare us from unnecessary pain.

If I only went to a facial center earlier, there won’t be as much whiteheads and blackheads to be removed through painful extractions. There won’t be much to be removed to have a cleaner, better skin.

The same goes with life, if we would only come as early as we can to have our lives and character be fixed by God, we can spare ourselves from additional pain. Mas patatagalin, mas maraming aayusin, pwedeng maging mas masakit.

3. Our version 2.0 should be maintained and regularly brought back to the one who made it that way.

It takes effort and discipline to keep a clean skin always clean and free from impurities. Although impurities can’t be completely eliminated, with discipline (eating healthier, going to the derma regularly, and having healthy habits) it can be less and less.

In life, as a Christian specifically, it also takes discipline on my/our part to make every effort to protect our salvation so we won’t go back to our old, sinful ways. More than feeding the soul with the Word and thinking of Godly thoughts, I should always go back to Him who made me new. Always.

So, yeah. That’s how my afternoon facial cleansing went. I think it did way more than just clean my face. 💛


What to Tell Yourself When Your Failures Start to Limit You

As I was sorting my files on my Google drive, I came upon this piece I wrote (but never published anywhere) in Feb of 2017. I actually forgot about it after writing it. But, I know seeing it again this new year is no accident. It’s a great read to help me start 2018.

P.S. Yeah, I’m back at it (sort of). I just feel the need to share this. To share is why I blog, I remembered. Sooooo, I hope you get inspired and cheered up the same way I did. ❤

Your past failures will always haunt you. They will make your life a horror story and paralyze you with fear every waking day. They can limit you, make you lose your hope in yourself and in the world. With their tiny yet powerful voices, they will tell you to stop going.

The voices of the ghosts of your past will always be loud and haunting, but how they will affect you solely depends on you. Will you entertain and welcome them into the doors of your thoughts or silence them before they can silence you?

Your failed resolutions, career, relationships, and dreams are all things of the past. Don’t let them weigh you down forever. Take them with you in the future only as lessons. You’ve got forever to go — many years still ahead of you.

Cry as much as you want and let your tears wash down all the labels your past failures marked all over your soul. Free yourself.

Never let anyone belittle you and define you for your past failures, especially yourself. Fake hope until it becomes real to you because one day, in the moment you least expect it, someone will see all of you and still see potential.

Someone will see you past your failures. He will see you not as a hopeless project but a gem in the making. He will see the great future you’ve been failing to see yourself — the future that’s been clouded by the mistakes you used to define and dictate you and your life.

It won’t be easy. Pity parties will always be inviting. But after you tire yourself from crying and seeing yourself short, get back up. Never give up on yourself. You owe yourself that.

When opportunities start to knock again at your door, leave whatever you’re doing and welcome them before your fears knock them over. You’re only a few steps away to be back in your game.

However, if you happen to fail again; remember that our God is a God of never-ending chances. Don’t be afraid to humble yourself and take another chance He offers you today and will offer you for always.

Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You are more than your failures.

Give yourself a chance to start again.
Don’t let your past limit you.

Cheers to #AllThingsNew for 2018!

Today, March 2, this piece got published on Thought Catalog! 
Here’s the link: http://tcat.tc/2FJvuoE 

Yesterday Once More

Cue music: Yesterday Once More by Carpenters

​There are days when I look back to memories I had with the friends I had in the different seasons of my life. And, in those days, I’ll always feel contrasting emotions. Sad, that some I outgrew. Happy, that I got to share parts of my life with them. Sad again, that those memories will only stay as long gone memories I’ll remember. Happy, that I see them happy wherever they are. Sad, that I can only be happy for them from afar. Happy, that there are those who stuck like glue.

I also realized that just because a friendship didn’t last doesn’t mean it hasn’t been real. Sometimes, it wasn’t just given a chance to push through a new season. There’s no more Season 2 or 3 or 4. We can only hit rewind.

I guess, it reminds me of life’s reality that truly, there is nothing permanent in this life we live. Things that are ‘in’ today will be outdated soon. Things we encounter have expiry dates. People change. Relationships end. We’re here today and gone in the future. Change is constant, and is ever present. It’s sad. Very. But, it’s the truth.

As we change and grow, our circles change too. Though, it’s kind of sad to lose and outgrow some people dear to us along the way (no matter how much we try not to), I think we just have to accept that life’s like that. We outgrow some people, yet we also win new ones. Our circles grow smaller, but as they do, they grow as close knit as they can be.

As for me, I’m not certain of who’ll stay and stick ’til the end and grow old with me, but there’s one thing I’m certain about. Though friends I’ll hold dear may come and go in my life, God never will. He’ll stay — no matter the season nor situation.

And, though I’ll never be worthy of that, I’ll always be grateful that He has called me friend — and that He promised to stick with me ’til the end.

As for now, I’ll stay closer to the greatest Father, Friend, and Lover I have. He’s the only One that’s constant. Along with that, I’ll cherish the friendships He has blessed and continues to bless me with while I have them.

I’ll savor what I have in the “now.” Because in the end, all these things and life itself will just be a part of my existence’s “yesterday’s” … once more. ❤

(Don’t) “Go for What Makes You Happy”

I chanced upon an FB live of a local radio show yesterday afternoon while they were interviewing a local band. They were talking about issues about love, relationships, and other similar things.

Then, during the course of the interview, one of the band members said (non-verbatim), “If all people will go for what makes them happy. No one will be happy.”

I realized. He was right. He totally was.

Happiness is subjective. What can make me happy won’t always be the same as that of other people. We all have our own definitions of “happy” and “happiness.”

We can’t always go for what makes us happy. If we do, our world will be in chaos. Relationships will be short-lived. Everyone will pretty much do whatever they please, even at the expense of other people, on the pursuit of what will make them happy. Sadly, it will always be about “I,” “me,” and “myself.”

I think that’s sad. More so, selfish.

We shouldn’t always go for what makes us happy. Instead, we should always choose to be sensitive towards the people we’re surrounded with – their happiness included. We’re relational beings. The world doesn’t revolve only around us. We co-exist with others.

Sometimes, we’ll have to sacrifice our happiness just to be truly happy. Only then can we achieve happiness, together. Why? Would we truly be happy if we’re pursuing “our” happiness while hurting someone else in the process? I guess not. “Happiness is better when shared.” Cliché as it is, but, it’s the truth.

Successful relationships last not because they go for what makes them happy individually. They last because they adjust, compromise, and make sacrifices. They don’t pursue their individual happiness. They meet halfway just so they could be happy – together.

Another thing. What makes us happy today may not be the same for the coming days. Happiness can vary through time and age. It’s temporary – constantly changing.

Happiness is often based on emotions and circumstances. There’s no assurance that what makes us happy today can still make us happy in the future. So, if we only do things according to what makes us happy, we’ll be jumping from one career or relationship to another.

Aside from making sacrifices, I guess another better thing to do than going for what makes us happy is finding happiness where we already are, regardless of emotions and circumstances in life.

Lastly, I realized that more than going for what makes me happy, I must go for what makes God happy and what He calls me to do. It will not always be convenient. I know it wouldn’t always be sunshine and butterflies, but it can make me more-than-happy in the long run.

So, for now, that’s what I will try to do. ☺

Of Pain and Pomelos

It’s been a long time since I last shared a muni-muni on this blog. 🙂 Surprisingly today, I learned a few lessons while peeling a pomelo. Kind of funny no?

While I was peeling the pomelo, Mama precautioned, “O, ingatan mong mahiwa ‘yung laman, baka pumait.” (Be careful not to slice through the pomelo’s flesh while peeling it as it may taste bitter.)

There I realized, we people are like pomelos. Bruises and cuts from life’s unpleasant experiences tend to make us bitter. Pain can make us bitter persons. But unlike the pomelos, we people have the choice on how to respond with pain. We are given free will to either surrender it to the Lord or let it rule over our lives.

Another thing, while peeling the pomelo, I discovered that the white part covering its flesh is too thick pala. It’s thick enough to protect its flesh from being cut or sliced. Then naisip ko, pwede naman palang iwasang ‘di mahiwa ang laman ng suha para ‘di ito pumait. I realized, if we’re only careful enough, we can avoid being the cause of hurt and pain of others. We can do something to keep them from being bitter. Although we can’t avoid that because we’re mere humans, we can watch our words and our actions, and be more sensitive with other people’s feelings.

If we really need to correct them though, we can do it in a loving way so as not to break them. We are made to build up people, not break them apart. We must cling to God even more so we can be instruments of healing rather than breaking. We must ask God to guard our words and actions each waking day.

Our words and actions are like knives. When mishandled, they have the ability to break a person … the same way knife cuts make a sweet-tasting pomelo turn into a bitter-tasting one.

Let’s not add more bitter “pomelo” casualties out there. Let’s pray to be instruments to making more people better than bitter.

Okayyyyyyyyyyyyy, I’ll go back to eating my pomelo now. 🙂 Ciao!

Had I Only Known

As I am almost spending my whole day in bed today (because sick.tsk) backing up photos and videos from our recent trip, I had the privilege and time to reminisce and reflect. 

I wonder. Had I only known how my life would turn out many years after, I guess I wouldn’t be the same little girl I knew I was. If I had an early screening of how my life is now, I think I wouldn’t have thoughts of dying early. I wouldn’t be that insecure, broken, and almost hopeless kid. I think I will be so full of hope of the future that is to come. Had I known early on the story God is writing for me and my family, I would have looked at life differently then.

At an early age, honestly, I didn’t have much hope about the things in my life. In fact, all I wanted then was to just die and disappear. I just wanted an escape from everything. But, thankfully, God had a different plan. Now, I am on a continuous discovery of the hope and the future He has for me. Everything that happened in my family and my life in the past is just a preparation for the better things He prepared for all of us. Truly, in Him, all things work together for the good of those who love Him. He has a plan, a wonderful one.

Do I deserve His goodness, love, and grace? I am certain, I don’t. I would always be unqualified. I would always fall short. It was never about how good I’ve been. It had always been about how good He has been even from the start. I just failed to see the bigger picture – that after the rain, He has prepared a beautiful rainbow for me.

Had I known early about the future God has in store for me, I wouldn’t have minded the heartbreaks and the not-so-good experiences I went through. Had I known early, I would have looked forward to the future that is to come. Had I known early, I would have just smiled through my parents’ arguments in the past knowing they will all soon come to pass. Had I known early, I would have been a better version of myself early on. But, God has a perfect timing for everything. He has His timetable for everything in my/our lives.

I also thank God for His timing. Had I known early, I wouldn’t be this super appreciative of the good things God is allowing me and my family to experience now. Had I known early, I wouldn’t be able to see the depth of His goodness and transforming grace into my family. Had I known early, this post will be nonexistent. Hehe 

P.S. If you’re going through a down moment in your life today, cheer up. Have hope. Your present situation will soon be a thing of the past. Brace yourself and let God lead you into the future He has solely prepared for you. 🙂

A Letter to the Young Ones We Once Were

There are times when life hits us and shoots us with thoughts we can’t seem to handle. So many questions pile up our minds and tear up our eyes. And, at times, we won’t find all the answers. Well, I guess that’s how life works. That’s how life on earth is.

If I had only known how my life will end up twenty plus years after, then I might have dealt with my past differently. But, there’s no going back. And if you’re young and happen to read this, you don’t have to go through the same course I went through. Don’t wait for yourself to grow up and realize the years you’ve lost along the way. Look at life differently.

To read my complete letter, click here and read it from my Thought Catalog profile. (Yay!)

I wish I could tell these things to my younger self. But, no. There’s no such truth to time machines. We only get one shot at our lives. There’s no magic door to go back to the past. But, there’s only one thing we can and must start doing.

It is to look at life with anticipation and pursue the future versions we are to become. It’s time to move forward. And, it’s our chance and privilege to help the young ones of the present be better than the “young ones we once were.” ✉