To The First Man That I Loved

Now, I completely understand and respect your decision to leave us.

Even after you left us, I found time to meet you just to make sense of everything- your line of thinking, your reasons, and why happily-ever-after can’t really exist. It was and is still hard until now, but I definitely accept why it happened. I accept that you already chose not to be with us but you left a lot of lessons that I can carry with me wherever I go.

Write Legibly

I can still remember how we spent almost the whole day just on teaching me how to write legibly. You showed me how talented you are because you can draw and do some lettering. I may still not have the best handwriting in the world but I really love arts until now.

yuehes1.jpgDream From the Rooftop

One lazy afternoon when we were just bored, we went to our rooftop and laughed a lot while my grandma and mom looked for us all over the house. There at the top, you would always tell me about your plans for our family.  I can clearly visualize your dream house, store, and car. This taught me to dream big, but this time I am determined to work really hard and make that into a reality.

Experiment when Cooking

I was always excited when I knew that you’d be cooking because you tried every way to make a simple dish different. Even if we have old bread that we can throw, you’d make a way to make it into something delicious. You were always the good cook in the family and I think that I carry this trait until know.

Travel As long As You Can

happy1.jpg

I remember when I had my 9th birthday celebration, we surprisingly went on a boat trip. My first plane ride was also with you. You would bring us to long road trips or just a simple weekend city getaway. I know you were pissed at me for TAKING TOO MANY photos because even back then I wanted to have my fair share of photo shooting. I am still hard-headed until now because I love photos and traveling.

Save and Provide

Since I was 13 years old, you would always give me a huge amount of money for my allowance because you would never know when was the next time that you can give me money. That is why  I learn to budget because I know there will be days that I will have money and there are days that I need to spend my savings. I learned the hard way to look for ways to earn when I even didn’t have money at all. I tried to sell puto seko or homemade sandwiches to my classmates back in high school and college just to buy food transportation allowance, or (worst) tuition fee. Life was and is still hard, but I developed the resilience to find ways to survive.

Be my Own Hero

Since you left us, I tried to look for the strength, protection, and stability to all the guys that I have dated.  I was really afraid to live my life. However, I just realized that no matter how imperfect our relationship is, you have given me the necessary advice and lessons even if it is so painful.

I don’t need to look anymore because I found out that I kept on surviving no matter how difficult my life overseas is since these traits that I have been always looking for are just all within me. The fact that  I had the courage and the ability to pick up the pieces that you left, and strive to assume your role to support the family is indeed a blessing. It was and is still never an easy ride for all of us, but I am thankful for everything.

No money can ever buy the lessons that I have learned and I hope time can heal all our wounds.

Happy Father’s Day.

“Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it. The other person loves me as best as they can, with all their limits, but the fact that love is imperfect does not mean that it is untrue or unreal. It is real albeit limited (or) and earthly.”- Pope Francis

Of Being a Filipino and Some Skills that Help me Enjoy FREEDOM

June 12 marks the Philippines’ 119 years of independence. Since this day is intended to celebrate Filipino’s hard-fought FREEDOM (whether it may be taken from a positive or negative perspective), here are some reasons why I am still thankful that I am a Filipino. Living for almost half a decade overseas makes me realize how hard it is to be a foreigner because I have too much freedom to do what I want

Living for almost half a decade overseas makes me realize how hard it is to be a foreigner because I have too much freedom to do what I want. Having too many options of which values to apply or cultural boundaries to set can be really confusing. My stay abroad allows me to deal with my innate Filipino culture and the integration of another foreign culture. So let me share some Filipino skills that help me enjoy the freedom that I have today.

unknown.jpg

ENGLISH 101

We are NOT English native speakers but given the fact that all of us learn English since we were just babies, help us to communicate with all people around the world. This is a strong asset in traveling and landing a position in a multinational/ foreign company.

HOME COOKING

Wherever you are in the world, the best stories are shared over a sumptuous meal. Name a Filipino dish and we can make a way to make it happen regardless if there is a missing ingredient. Cooking does not only fill our stomach but it also connects us to home.

TOTAL PERFORMER

Events pave the way to every Filipino to shine by singing their hearts out or even dance like there is no tomorrow. It is more fun to party in the Philippines and Filipinos take that spirit as we put our 100% energy to sing videoke or dance to any beat.

LAUGHTER IS THE MEDICINE

When life happens, Filipinos have that super magical power to still smile or laugh amidst adversity. Many foreigners can’t even understand and they have an impression that we are not taking the situation seriously. But hey! We deal with problems head on but can we just smile for a while and tell ourselves that everything will be alright?

KEEP IN TOUCH

No matter how many cities you visited or how many dishes you have eaten, nothing beats a long conversation over Skype, Viber, Whatsapp or any other new technology with our friends or family. Filipinos are friendly and hospitable but what makes us different is we really mean it. It is easy to be friends with us and no matter where we are we will find ways to connect.

LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS

Filipinos love a lot. I am not just pertaining to romantic love but also if we open our house, we treat you as a part of our family. We give more than what we have. Same goes for a relationship, we always try to exhaust our freedom to give everything until we don’t have anything left for ourselves.

I think the freedom that we have right now is so enormous that we might be abusing the same freedom that our ancestors have fought for. Instead of uniting and enjoying what we have, there are some detrimental effects not only in the Philippines but how the world view us as well. It makes me think about what is our collective Filipino identity given the freedom that we have today?

“The identity of the Filipino today is of a person asking what is his identity.”
Nick Joaquín, Culture and History

What is your Option B?

Setbacks, problem, painful situation, and unexpected life’s twist may be considered as someone else’s “drama” but what if these are your reality?

It is always easy to judge other people and claim that life will get better but adversities really happen as much as we want to avoid them. Considering all various bombings, wars, and attacks that are currently happening right now all over the world, how can one really bounce back? Whether it may be a sudden regional incident or an excruciating personal dilemma, how can we all develop resilience and find happiness once again no matter how impossible it can be?

18596648_10155357431314777_1700902187_o.jpg

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant pushes the readers to take into account various perspectives as Sandberg narrates her journey on how she copes up with her husband’s unexpected death. The book also provides various examples of problems in work, studies, relationships, health, and life in general.

Words are powerful, especially if they can touch one’s innermost cries. Here are some of my favorite quotations from the book which I hope to empower and lessen one’s load.

I

DSC_0393.JPG

There are no words to describe the pain and consequence when life hits you hard. For me, I always blame myself because I think it is much better than to blame someone else or the situation for our own misfortunes.

This book encourages every reader to practice self-compassion. To accept the negative situations in life without putting one’s self down. It is a matter of being brave to be honest and  conquer one’s own demons without falling into depression or self-destruction.

“Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization- the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness-the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence- the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever… Recognizing that negative events aren’t personal, pervasive, or permanent makes people less likely to get depressed and better able to cope” (16).

“I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again” (29).

“Self-confidence is critical to happiness and success. When we lack it, we dwell on our flaws. We fail to embrace new challenges and learn new skills. We hesitate to take even a small risk that can lead to a big opportunity. We decide not to apply for a new job, and the promotion we miss becomes the moment our career stalled. We don’t muster the courage to ask for a first date, and the future love of our life becomes the one who got away” (64).

“When we look for joy, we often focus on the big moments. Graduating from school. Having a child. Getting a job. Being reunited with family. But happiness is the frequency of positive experiences, not the intensity” (100).

“[T]he love we need to lead a fulfilling life cannot only come from others but must come from inside us as well” (172).

Others 

DSC_0459.JPG

In terms of other people, there are two perspectives. First is how one will react to the misfortunes of others and how one will act or not act at all as a response. In times of trouble, I learn who my real friends are. It is also surprising to know that sometimes one can also find comfort in the company of strangers because they are just there beside you. Eventually, these strangers will begin to be one of your true friends as well. Thus,  it is always not too late to create meaningful relationships with others, if something ended.

“Not everyone feels comfortable talking openly about personal tragedy. We all make our own choices about when and where and if we want to express our feelings. Still, there’s powerful evidence that opening up about traumatic events can improve mental and physical health. Speaking to a friend or family member often helps people understand their own emotions and feel understood” (39).

“When people close to us face adversity, how do we give them a button to press? While it seems obvious that friends want to support friends going through a crisis, there are barriers that block us. There are two different emotional responses to the pain of others: empathy, which motivates us to help, and distress, which motivates us to avoid” (47).

Together

Some adversities do not only affect an individual but they can also have larger implication to personal relationships or in a specific society/country in general.

“Even in the face of atrocity, elevation leads us to look at our similarities instead of our differences. We see the potential for good in others and gain hope that we can survive and rebuild” (136).

We are all currently working on our first options. For me, Option A is our best choice on how to live our life but if something unexpected happens, it is not bad to have an Option B.

I’m glad that sometimes this newly improved option will help us pick up the pieces of our first option. Option B helps us to bounce back higher in life and create more meaningful relationships because of the growth brought by our past experiences.

NEWSIES: Movie Review

MEDDA: When you go somewhere and it turns out not to be the right place, you can always go somewhere else. But when you’re running away, nowhere’s ever the right place.”

Newsies_quad-emailable.jpg

Copyright:Disney

 

Disney’s NEWSIES- The Broadway Musical captures the hearts of its audience as the narrative tackles the life of the newsies during the 1890’s in connection to the complex world of journalism. The relationship of the newspaper publishers and newsies have been very dynamic as the tension increases scene after scene through the song and dance set.

The story also includes the struggles of Katherine, the female protagonist, as she defies the norm as a female journalist. She proves that a woman can also have a career and can write news stories which may be relevant and fearless at that time. No one can actually stop her from pursuing her passion and from helping the newsies to publish their cry for justice.

Besides these two major themes, Jack Kelly really captures the heart and soul of the viewers. His character proves that no matter how difficult life can be, if you believe in something, and you have a good support system, then life will give you back the just compromise that you deserve. Even though Jack confronts the challenges brought about by poverty, he and his friends still inject the power of humor-making hard and low moments, light.

newsies_filming_jeremyjordan_karalindsay_photo_by_disneytheatricalproductions-2

Copyright: Disney

 

The fusion of theater and cinema makes the story more compelling. The reaction from the live audience adds life to every scene, while the film captures the emotions of the characters especially through the close-up shots.

The idea of capturing a theater musical through film gives an equal chance to all people worldwide to experience Disney’s magic and the quality of a Broadway musical at the comfort of the cinemas near them. This makes the concept of art reachable to the public and the message of this stories alive to everyone no matter where they are in the world.

Speak, Fight, and Win:  Catch Disney’s Newsies– The Broadway Musical is Coming to Cinemas Near You!

 

Have you felt that your voice is not so important that no one actually listens to you?

In this technological-driven world where people are preoccupied with the Internet, work, academic pressure, or daily obligations, making your voice be heard seems so challenging, or even difficult. Can someone listen to any claim of injustice? Can someone be brave enough to stand up and fight for their rights?

Even though the there is an existence of socio-political differences today, fighting for what you deserve is indeed possible!

Disney's Newsies_The Broadway Musical_The Newsboys_Photo by_Disney Theatrical Productions.jpeg

Copyright: Disney

 

Take the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899 as a particular example, the Newsies or the children who sold newspapers on the streets, fought for a fair price for newspapers. They challenged two newspaper titans, Joseph Pulitzer of The World and William Randolph Hearst of The Journal to treat them as legitimate members of the newspaper business because these publishers refused to lower the price-per-paper that the newsies had to pay back.

Did they reach a compromise?

Revisit the history and find out how this story unfolds!

Disney's Newsies_The Broadway Musical_Jeremy Jordan_Photo by Disney Theatrical Productions.jpeg

Based on the book Children of the City by David Nasaw, follow the story of Jack Kelly played by Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl, The Last Five Years) as he dreams of a better life far from all the hardships that they experience as Newsies.

Be enthralled in an explosion of song and dance set!

S2-Stage Show.jpg

Original Company, North American Tour of Disney’s NEWSIES. Copyright: Disney Photo by: Deen van Meer

Seize the day! NEWSIES The Broadway Musical is coming to cinemas this Sunday, February 19!

 

Click this link and book your tickets now: http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/

Love: In All Phases

It is  February 14! I know that for some it is just a big ploy for consumerism. But, hey!  why can’t we just use this event to reflect and deal with love? Are you ready to be vulnerable?

v.png

Enjoy Single Life

Yes, being single is very different in various phases. Regardless of your status (No Boyfriend/Girlfriend Since Birth, Third Wheel, or Single due to a bad break-up or divorce), the best choice is to accept, embrace, and be thankful for your freedom.

Honestly, the most common mistake that you might commit is to blame yourself. This is actually suicidal or may cause sadness or even depression. Acknowledging and improving one’s bad personality can be a good move, but focusing on every negative thing that you can think of about yourself is really dangerous. So, please stop the negativity and welcome happy thoughts 🙂

The freedom that comes from being single gives enough space for you to find who you really are, what do you still want to do in your life, and enjoy every possibility that you can achieve without asking for permission or considering someone if he or she will agree with your choice.

Dating or Hanging-Out is More Fun than You Expect

I believe that dating or hanging out is not just about chasing or playing. I think it can also be seen as a learning opportunity about other people’s passion, experiences, culture, hobbies, and interests. It is always a win-win situation especially if you are happy to be open and get to know someone in a much deeper level.

Well, it is up to you to decide on whatever lines you would want to cross. Just take note, never ever change or assume something at this phase. Just enjoy and be yourself! Get to know the person and who you really are— in relation to your date. You’ll be surprised about what you can discover about yourself!

You Can’t Force nor Stop Love

When love comes into your life, you cannot really fight it! You might deny it or even want to postpone it but sometimes love gracefully enters whenever you are ready.

Ready means that you are not just lonely, playing around, or searching for love. Sometimes love just really comes unexpectedly during the time when you fully embrace and love yourself —that energy radiates and attracts the right person.

You can have a list of standards about what you like or don’t like about a partner but when love hits you, you’ll just know it.

THE RELATIONSHIP

People from different cultures have various notions about how should a romantic relationship work.

Being in a relationship can be happy, fulfilling, and really fun! You can both travel, spend major occasions together, and have various dates. You can also have a chance to be a part of each other’s social circle, and most importantly, family.

The fact that there is someone who loves you and has the willingness to be your partner is such a blessing or maybe one of the best stages that can happen to one’s life.

However, love is not just about being in a constant state of euphoria. Relationship is also about hard work, acceptance, and respect. Differences will always be a given factor but it takes hard work to reconcile each of these differences and acceptance to those things that both of you can’t change.

True love is accepting and respecting the worst side of your partner. Love is choosing to stay through the best and especially the tough times.

As a priest in Rome states in his homily, “your ability to love is determined by your capacity to suffer.”

Learn to Let Go

If the relationship reaches its dead end, be thankful and just let go. Never blame anyone, especially yourself. Don’t be bitter as well.

Be happy that you experience that kind of love, and welcome the possibility of a new beginning.

City of Passion

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

This is the first country in Europe that I really wanted to see.  Last 2013, I had a vacation in Paris and indeed the city is really lovely!

Transportation

At first, any tourist might be confused, since there a lot of train lines in Paris but I find Paris’ public transportation very useful, especially if you want to go from one tourist spot to the other within a matter of minutes. Therefore, it is really needed to get a map once you are in the city.

DSC_0196.JPG

 

Arc de Triomphe

This famous tourist spot is situated at the center  of Place Charles de Gaulle, where you can also find some shops nearby. This monument commemorates all those people who died during the French revolution and Napoleonic war.

DSC_0334.JPG

 

Eiffel Tower

If we talk about Paris, it’s a must to see the Eiffel tower. It is really romantic especially at night, with its sparkling white light.

DSC_0431.JPGDSC_0472.JPGDSC_0506.JPG

However, I really recommend that it’s worth it to see the city at the top of Eiffel tower. The view is indeed majestic! There might be a long line using the elevator going up, so it is better just to walk. The ticket is also cheaper when you choose this option. Aside from that, there are also a lot of trivias which you can read while walking up.

DSC_0664.JPGDSC_0676.JPG

 

Notre Dame

When I was here, the child in me was hoping to see Quasimodo or Esmeralda. However, I found more than what I expect. Notre Dame is  big compare to a normal church and its structure and design are really worth your attention. It’s also a great place to reflect and be closer to God.

DSC_0700.JPGDSC_0792.JPG

DSC_0742.JPG

Sacre Coeur

Aside from the fact that there are a lot of hostels and restaurants near Sacre Coeur, this elevated point gives you a view of the city. There were also street performers that we saw outside of the church.

DSC_0826.JPGDSC_0845.JPG

Louvre

Second to the Eiffel Tower, I just want to see Mona Lisa in Paris and I did it! Louvre has some ticket discounts depending on your age so how I wish that I should visit it when I was a little bit younger.

I recommend to spend a whole day here if you are really an art enthusiast. The museum is so big that I s had the chance to see some of the artworks which we had in our textbooks back in grade-and high school.

DSC_0916.JPGDSC_0965.JPGDSC_1020.JPGDSC_0040.JPGDSC_0071.JPGDSC_0099.JPGDSC_0173.JPGDSC_0182.JPGDSC_0246.JPG

Moulin Rouge

If there’s a French sentence that I can say, it is definitely one of the lines in Lady Marmalade. However, it would be definitely be off if you walk along the streets of Paris’ red light district. The nearest metro station is Blanche and once you are there yiu can see a lot of adult shops and who wouldn’t miss the famous  cabaret, Moulin Rouge! Just book a ticket reservation beforehand, if you want to see the show.

DSC_0265.JPG

Drinks

Aside from croissants and other French bread or dishes, what surprised me is the taste of French coffee. It’s a mixture of coffee, alcohol, and cream and I didn’t just know how to distinguish the taste when I tried it. Go, have a drink and taste for yourself!

DSC_0800.JPG

 

There are a lot of exciting tourist spots that I would love to see when I come back in Paris! I’ll come back that is for sure!