Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Bits and (scattered, messy) pieces

How does one sum up a year?

My 2013 had been a beautifully scattered piece of mess. The first couple of months I spent like a headless chicken. But later on, I gradually gained rhythm, then momentum and, overall, was able to create a handful of experiences out of 365 days that I would happily bring with me to the coming year. But before I finally wrap this baby up, I’m sharing with you how, more or less, my 2013 was like- in an equally cluttered way as it was. Just throwing everything out there!

New job. New challenge. New family.

Boracay is always a good idea. 

“Leadership is not a rank, it’s a decision.” 

"The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other happiness."

10 years. There are no words for this.

There are blessings that would land on your lap without you even asking. Thank the Universe twice over.

“Social media is noise. You don’t actually care about 90% of the people on your friends list. You don’t. They don’t even cross your mind. And the handful who do make an effort to see you and have conversations with you are face-to-face with anyway.”

Never let the kid me down. Cheers to 2 and 5!

Commit to fitness. It’s not being superficial. It’s loving your body which is what allows you to hop on planes, swim in the ocean, explore new places and take part in all the good things in the world.

Be compassionate. Have mercy. It’s not intelligence that this world lacks, it’s mercy.

Give your best time to the most important people in your life.


Take breaks. Realizing that the people who rely on you can function without your presence doesn’t make you less important. On the contrary, it frees you. It liberates you from unnecessary worries and pressures that you carry on a daily basis.

You haven't travelled enough if you've never experienced a cancelled flight. 

Blaming someone and coordinating with someone are two very different things, but the only defining factor is timing. When that person still has enough time in his hands to work things out, that’s coordination. Otherwise, you’re just playing the blame game and nothing good ever comes out of that.

If you want me to consider your opinion, you have to say it to my face.

Smile. Work hard. Be kind.


"Growing pains hurt, duh."

1.Bravery and joy.
2. Fail forward.
3. Make mistakes.
4. Love your enemies.
5. Love everyone.

The only thing you can control is yourself. 
Pick love over hate, joy over envy. 
Choose the good things. 
Feel wisely.

I will forever be grateful that my life has been blessed 
with a soul as gentle as yours. You are my best friend. 
And although I do not tell you as often as I should, 
I want you to know you are my happiness. 
Ikaw ang mahal ko sa buhay. Naks!

Thank You, thank You, thank You! *points up*

Scattered and messy, I warned you, didn't I? Now all of that's out there, I'm ready to bid this year farewell. 2013, you've been all sorts of..ummm.. just all sorts really! From career to family to love to friendship to adventures, you have showered me with blessings in every aspect there is.

And as I welcome another year, I'll surely spend a couple of hours doodling on my fresh planner about the things I should do and places I must see but mostly, rules as to how I should live my life. Rules that I'll definitely break along the way. But I trust that the Big Boss upstairs will continuously guide me and remind me that, really, the only rule there is, is love.

Cheers to 2013!
And the warmest welcome to an unknowable, infinitely beautiful 2014.
Love and light!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Be the exception

Some 5 years ago, I came across a Youngblood article written by a 25-year-old educator on her most important life lessons so far. The list is universal and written with an interesting amount of honesty that leaves some pain in your gut. Among all the items in her list, there was one that stuck with me.  I wrote it in my planner, in my virtual post-it, in a real post-it on my office window. I’ve moved office spaces and even office buildings but it’s still there, written in a piece of yellow notepad, posted in my cork board. I will share it with you later on, of course. I might be building unnecessary anticipation here, since you might find the words so simple and somewhat conceited  but I hope you find it inspiring in the same measure as I did.

Boys label girls. This is a sudden change of topic, I know, but I’m making a point, I promise.

So, boys label girls and one of the most popular ones I hear now is that HIPON vs. LECHON issue. Now the boys I don’t have time to contemplate on and try to understand where the name-calling comes from, but girls. Us, girls. What happened?

Girls are supposed to stick together. We aren’t supposed to tolerate this and weigh in on all the who’s-better -off pity party. Haven’t we learned enough from Cady Heron?

Calling someone fat, doesn't make you any skinnier.

Calling someone ugly, doesn't make you any prettier.

Calling someone stupid, doesn't make you any smarter.

Calling someone mean, doesn't make you any nicer.

-M  e  a  n     G  i  r  l  s

Instead of reassuring ourselves with 'hey, at least I have a pretty face,' or ‘at least I’m not fat', we should live these lovely words written by an equally beautiful human being:

“Dare to be the exception. Be beautiful, intelligent, sexy, funny and kind, all at the same time- and at stellar levels. Those who say that it cannot be done are those that have tried and failed. But that is their story and it doesn’t have to be yours.”

I know, I know, it seems like an impossibility to BE that kind of girl but we will all surely be better individuals if we just strive to be all that, and more, one day at a time. :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

An Apology to Long Novels

I used to steer clear of long novels. By long novels, I mean those that have 800 pages and more.

Those books intimidate me.

I can spend days and nights reading. But reading the same book for a long period of time? I didn’t think so. Until I met someone who finished reading Les Miserables. All fifteen hundred pages of it. And he’s a guy! I took it as an opportunity to conquer my fear, my terribly irrational fear, of long novels. What better way to do it than to read one of the best literary pieces of all time.

There is never a story too long. 

Reading Les Miserables took me a month. That period already includes nights when I can’t help but snatch the book from my bedside table, despite my conscience tugging me to sleep already. It was a lot to digest. It was a tragic story written in a language that is too lovely. Despite its dragging pace at some points, I still read very carefully so as not to skip a word.  Overall, the biggest hurdle was finding the right pace and sticking with it.  When it comes to reading, my heart and mind were used to a race . This book was a marathon and it taught me exactly how to deal with one.

Dear Long Novels,

I’m sorry for every single time I shrugged when I pick up one of you.
I’m sorry for looking at you with terror, instead of wonder.
I used to think that stories worth reading should be written in not more than 600 pages long. Anything beyond that is a bore.
But I was so wrong.
It takes a tandem of a gifted writer and a brilliant story to fill so many hundred pages.

So, forgive me. 
I will not skip you on the shelves in my next bookstore trip.
Pinky promise. :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

You lovingly hand me your phone whenever I bug you that I want to play Plants vs. Zombies, even though you're playing, even though I never finish a stage anyway and even though games bore me to death in a matter of 2 minutes. You hand me the phone without question, watch me play and chuckle when I end up throwing the phone at your lap after, yes, 2 minutes. 

It's the littlest of things that make me feel like I'm in the safest place inside your arms. 

I didn't write anything for our 10th anniversary because I wasn't confident that I could create something that would live up to its significance. But if I would be given a chance to return to 4 months ago, writing this would have been enough:

You know how to love me, specifically, and only me.

I love you, buddy.
You make a decade feel so short.

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