It’s not too late to get back on track.

Quit trying to straighten out your life before you give it to God. Give God your crooked self now, and let Him figure out what to do with it. Jesus built a movement on lepers, prostitutes and tax collectors. He can work with what you’ve got, and straighten you out in the process, but you have to be willing to stand before Him, sins and all, and say: ‘I don’t know why you’d want me, but if that’s what you’re asking for, here I am.’ – Unka Glen

It’s post-first-senior-semester and I am wondering on all my life has come to. I feel old, ripe, and rotten. I remember being an adult in a teenager’s body; so mature and wise for my age from all the experiences I’ve been and all the conversations I’ve had with God. So many questions that have already been answered and locked away for me to easily take but now I’m just so lost and lonely and alone; officially an adult but just a brooding teenager inside trying to get my life back and piece everything together to fit the reality I want to live. I have been so lost so long, so afraid of being unfound that all I really do is wait for that bang; the big finish in the middle that’ll let me know that all of this misery and waiting hasn’t been for nothing. But I guess that’s the problem. All I really do is wait without wanting enough, or acting, and I’m trying so hard to fix myself before searching for Him– trying to do everything alone thinking I can do it when maybe it’s time I realize that maybe God wants me broken. Maybe He wants to be given the opportunity to love me as I am and fix all that’s crumbled inside me. If it’s anything I learned, I realized that God doesn’t stop loving you. Even if you don’t love yourself or ignore Him every time He knocks, good things keep coming and so will His love forever. His love isn’t based on conditions, on whether you love Him or not or whether you even acknowledge His presence. I guess it’s the constant and I guess it’s why I’m trying so hard to fix myself without His help. Just to try to prove that maybe, I can do it alone. But I am tired of waiting and of this brokenness. This misery and fear that keeps me hidden in my room, preventing me to experience all the things I have yet to experience. I am 20. I don’t want to waste any more. I want to be the person I want to be. I’m just so afraid of finding everything too late.

I am a sinner and I am broken and I am human but I’m no longer doing this on my own. Each step of the way I’m going to try to offer it up to God. Maybe all God wants is me and it’s time I stopped lying to myself and facing what’s there. It’s difficult looking myself in the mirror lately. So much brightness and opportunity down the drain at the strange face now staring back at me that I have forced the mirror on backwards, just so I don’t have to see. But acceptance is the first step, and I’m not giving up. It’s time I stopped waiting. Here’s to offering myself up and hoping that somewhere along the way I’ll be my very own miracle.

It’s time for me to open.

The Brightness of Possibility

I met a boy yesterday. He set my blood to breathe, produced a thousand fireflies aglow in my gut, a bright ray of light; a shimmer of promise of possibility. He was good, decent, and free. When he spoke it was of up-righteousness; the character of an unwavering gentleman spilling from his lips, kind eyes and that uplifted smile, interested ears and a soul wanting to uncover, to know more, little details of my life that were mostly unsignificant but to him remained interesting nonetheless. It doesn’t help that he’s from Southridge– a new breed of cavalier that stay true to their integrity (most of them anyway). It was an honest certainty that good boys still exist to this day; the kind I always imagined marrying; so decent and so right and so good for me and I to him. It is difficult to stay saintly in this world but it is saintly that I am after– the peace and security that brims fullness of life, of light, contentment and blessedness. I know because it’s what I used to have. In that state hatred couldn’t touch me, nor anger or jealousy, nor even pride. Just love and faith. A God. All one needs to get by.

I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to thrive. I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise. To fly.

That boy brought back hope. He is out there; the man who will be good to me. It might take him a few wrong turns, a number of dead-ends and infinite obstacles but one day all of these will lead to me and I to him. Because of the existence of the boy, I know that surely there must be more out there; enough for me to hold on to one. It’ll be beautiful if it’s the right person and I want nothing short of that. And so here I am, back to the beginning, trying one more time at loving myself and being good so I can be worth it for him too. So please, to anybody listening, be good to people. Give them kind words, caring smiles, gentle touches of concern and care. You could be the one to save them. You could turn their life around.

As a dad once told the whole world to his child, “Settling means giving up. Dont.” Don’t give up on yourself and don’t give up on people. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to have a man who can tell that to your kids; give advice and be the stronghold throughout their life, and of course yours? You are going to find love someday and it will be beautiful and worth the wait. Not yet though. Right now, the universe is pulling strings to make the both of you right for each other, placing struggles to make the two of you better, move with the beauty of growth, wisdom, and experience so when the two of you finally catch a spark that will turn into a fire one day, you will both be strong enough to handle the burns. Most of the time, love is really loving yourself first, patiently waiting and trusting that God won’t fall short of a good man for you. So be good to yourself and to others, and most of all: don’t lose hope. He will come. After all, throughout the history of time, God has never let anybody who believed in His promise down. Your time will come too.

I met a boy yesterday. It was only a short period of time but in that instant, I fell in love with the idea of him but in my man, with the bright future full of nothings but everythings at once and all the best that is yet to come; this time, for me too.

Trust in the process.

Beat the odds.

Three minutes until three in the morning and I have early class in a few hours but here I am, spending my time on what I do best: inspiration. I decided to shed a new light first and foremost in my external surroundings, aka my room since it’s where I am most and printed cut out inspirational block quotes and words. I need a change within me and plenty of people usually say that it begins inside but trust me, sometimes having an outside influence helps a ton.

Time for new changes, beginning with a no longer clean block of wall.

It looks a bit messy but it is art nonetheless. Every single day before I leave the door for daily life, I’ll be struck by the bright colorful cubes of remarks to remind me of the kind of person and the kind of life I can have. Like a friend said, “work on yourself; time will pass by that before you know it, you’re already there– the exact point you wanted to be months ago but never dreamed of reaching.” It begins with an act. And ultimately I realized that it has to begin with me.

Majority of the days I spend lying in bed, crying myself to sleep or fantasizing about better conditions; situations I actually want to find myself in. Little did I realize that I have an entire other life in my head and the actual one I am living is dissipating into concrete waste. Back when I was bright, I had a strong sense of control where I would stop myself from getting worse– the voice that screamed “don’t do that to yourself”; I guess I was my own guardian angel.

Now I’m my own little devil and I’m struggling back to grace, and then I realize that maybe grace has been reaching out for me all this time. Moments when I feel soft knocks in my soul, somebody asking to come in, to let Him take the wheel of what I’ve become and drive me to safety. I hope the knocker never tires for I’m about to budge soon. Do a full on U-Turn as long as I’m moving. I guess all this time, all I’ve really been doing is wait. But it’s time to move. I’ve been waiting for a push or pull somewhere but nothing has come and I’m exhausted on standing by, the dawn burning out. Where is the sense in waiting if I don’t know what I’m waiting on? Where is the sense in being if I can’t be me in my fullest most authentic potential? It’s time I got there.

You're mostly a pain but I love you.

Yesterday morning I wrote the words “Beat the odds” on the palm of my hands. Beat the odds. Three short, simple but powerful words that affects my core. When I feel like giving up and losing hope, when I want to lash out and scream at people I hate, people who have it better than me, people who are blessed to the point that I don’t feel blessed anymore. God, I used to feel like the most blessed person in the world. What happened to that? When I feel stupid and insecure because people put me down, stereotype me before getting to know me so I don’t even get a chance, no kind of love and I just want to crash and burn, crash and burn because they make me think I deserve it, I’ll say it out loud: Beat the odds. It is more than its self– it’s an entire battle cry. A chance, a shot that rises to the sky when you thought all hope was lost: Beat the odds. To be that one in a million; to stand upright even when all of me buckles under the load of resentment: Beat the odds. To do my best when I am certain the result won’t change: Beat the odds. To not give in to all the hatred that fills my brain, the evil eye that skims upon perfection, the irritation that bubbles up at all I lack: Beat the odds. 

Prepare your armor, keep your head sane and your heart closer–it is a fight for freedom already on the losing side but here we go again: You will beat the odds.

Once more it’s a Dead-End

I feel like my life’s going downhill at every turn; and I just wish I could make everything alright again. I’d never admit this out loud but I am lonely– not in the sense that I am looking for any romantic relationship like every hopeless damsel in distress but just lonely that I’ve cut off my relationships with people and ended up with somebody ugly. I can’t find meaning, my innings are empty. I’ve been misplaced.

Nothing in my life’s particularly beautiful anymore, including myself, and every single day I am facing the darkness, waiting for the grace to be free of this; to be free of me and all I’ll never be.

I’ll never be is what haunts me. A lifetime is awfully long when the word never is at its head.

Ateneo de Manila University during Typhoon Pedring.

When trees go planking.

Street salad along the red brick road.

Apparently two more storms are scheduled to come, one to enter the Philippines’ area of responsibility sometime tomorrow afternoon or evening. It’s kind of a beautiful chaos to me. Like there’s a light somewhere among the downfall, and it might not be a lot, but it sure beats the darkness. After all, everybody reaches out in the aftermath. Finally, a move. A change of heart. A cry of prayer. May Mother Nature be more generous in the next coming rounds.

Typhoon Pedring Hits the Philippines!

The waves are higher than the coconut trees! Manila Bay.

So Pedring swept across the nation since yesterday evening. I didn’t sleep the entire night because of the thundering winds smashing against the hard windows, banging them back and forth like a beating drum. Trees were swaying horizontally and sounds of things flying in every corner could be heard. Thankfully we live in a fortunate area where electricity doesn’t run out, internet can be found, and no flooding. The most of our worries is finding some ice cream to eat and entertainment to watch while waiting for the storm to calm. Other places aren’t so lucky though.

Typhoon Pedring fury along Manila Bay, Roxas boulevard

The US Embassy sinks as rain continues its downpour.

Brave smiles despite the floods pounding the streets of Manila and causing catastrophes.

Three of the most prominent typhoons that hit the Philippines now have more or less the same anniversaries. Milenyo was on Sept. 28; our mango tree almost crashed into our living room if it hadn’t fallen the other way. Ondoy on Sept. 26 that caused fear and trauma within people after just a little drizzle of rain afterwards, due to heavy downpour for days. And now Pedring on Sept. 27. This might be a recurring thing every year from now on. Pag-Asa seems to make a big deal of storms that aren’t really strong but they dismiss the storms that are (like this one which they didn’t anticipate and therefore did not recommend suspension of classes). I’m sorry but our Pag-Asa Typhoon System is really bad. Most of their info hasn’t come off exactly right yet. They should feel bad for themselves, and for everybody not properly prepared or correctly informed.

Stay safe everybody, and as always, pray for the Philippines.Marikina river submerging houses. View from Libis, Quezon City.

Up till now the rain hasn’t let up but the sound and the gloom is definite bedweather. While everybody’s fighting outside for their lives, I’m here lying on my bed having the time to write about it while waiting for my torrent downloads to finish. I’ve got piles of work to begin before the school semester ends but the rain makes me calm, makes me feel alive, a kind of harmony in its washing that awakens something in me that the heat of the sun will not do.

Like my mother always said, “why the frown when it rains? don’t you know, rain has the potential to be a blessing.” This is to being grateful for all that we have, and for being alive and well.

Stay safe everybody. And as always, pray for the Philippines, and the rest of the world. I’ll leave you with the lasting image of this large gargantuan humongously big tree uprooted somewhere in Quezon City. Stay strong and blessed!

Death

I am thinking about death. And all the little things you would’ve done different if you knew. I am thinking about how unpredictable it is; like death could come knocking at your door any second and you wouldn’t know. You’d skip out on saying goodbye to your mother because you’re late for school, ignore your little sister when she asks to play with you because you’d rather watch television or read or do something else than little kid stuff, tell your brother to go away when he barges through the door because you’d rather be alone. I’m thinking of all the moments I would’ve changed if I knew I’d die tomorrow. I would reach out to my dad for one, and ask him to come home, just so we can have a family dinner once more. I would call all my best friends and all the ones I wished were my friends, tell them how much I admired them and inspired them, all the things I was too afraid to speak out, let them know that without them I wouldn’t know who I’d be. I would lay under the nightsky on spiky itchy field grass and look up at the stars, watching them twinkle, letting my thoughts and emotions rise like the world has stopped moving, like I didn’t have better things to do like homeworks and projects, and feel so small. I would reach out more, to a particular boy, tell him I like him and kiss him under the rain, wanting my chance at love. I wonder about death; the unfathomable kind. The one that enters and takes away, leaving nothing but gripping coldness and ache at the now empty space left. The universe gives and takes and I am afraid I won’t be able to do the things I’ve always dreamed my life I’d be doing: doing the things I love every single day, never held down by insubstantial matters. I don’t want to worry about accounting or theology, about school papers or losing weight or the fact that I don’t know where my future is headed. I wonder about death, and it taking away those who barely had a chance to live, or have lived but not in full. I wonder how it chooses, in random or in kind, a fate that comes to play as punishment or maybe gratification, an end to the suffering at its tail. I wonder about all the people I’ll forget to say I love you to, all the people I’d never tell goodbye, all the secrets that would be buried with me when it’s my time to croak, and all the life that slipped away under my fluttering fingers, a one-winged butterfly crashing, crashing down to the blackout. I think about death– the sad kind of not being able to live enough, and I wonder if I’ll be lucky enough to be taken away first before anybody else gets taken away before me. After all, the only thing that’s worse than leaving is being left behind to face the wake.