Let Us All Rise! #WhatsupWednesday

Let today’s post be a celebration of the wonderful poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist Dr Maya Angelou. This is one my most favorite poems of all time (thanks, Google Doodle!). It reminds me of hope, courage, triumph over adversities, equality and the importance of self-acceptance. Maybe it’s timely, too, that I am reminded of it.

(NOTE: You might want to skip to 0:41)

Still I Rise

Happy 90th Birthday, Dr. Maya Angelou!

 

My Ultimate New Year Wish #WhatsupWednesday

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

No, sir, my greeting is not late because it is still the new year, and it will continue to be so maybe until February (the usual month for the Chinese New Year), maybe even March. So you know, there’s been a bunch of stuff that actually either made me busy or hindered me from posting here. But I’m back, nevertheless (do people still say “nevertheless” or just me…?), and I’m wishing you all the great things 2018 may bring.

Obviously, the world is not right these days. It is ill, sick with all the negative forces surrounding it. There are the environmental problems and degradation. Endangered animals are being slaughtered to very near extinction. Politics are rife with graft and corruption. There are wars between nations, races, religions, factions, individuals. There are biases against genders, age, disabilities, economic status, educational background. There are…too many negative things that we spread, leading to our decay…

Tell me I’m wrong. Please do, I need to hear it. Then tell me why…

We have been so sick for the longest time, it’s time to heal. This year, why don’t we start to heal the world even through baby steps?  Let’s start with ourselves. I am not being all-righteous here. This, too, is something I need to do. Let’s all do it together!

Heal the world. For the world to heal its wounds, that is my ultimate wish for 2018.

What’s YOUR new year wish?

 

*********************************************************

Thanks to Maati Baani for creating the video, all the talented child prodigies featured in it (I only recognize Angelica Hale from the most recent AGT and because she’s half-Filipino), and especially the late Michael Jackson for this beautiful song 🙂

Next post is about 8 new things about me!

HEY, HEY, HEY! HO HO HO!

HO HO HO!!!
However, though Christmas is for anyone who wants to celebrate, let us never forget the real reason why we celebrate, okay? It’s CHRISTmas! I’m not against any Christmas figure, but there’s a reason it’s not called “Clausemas”, or any other “-mas”.

Why we celebrate CHRISTmas

If you’re not Christian, that’s okay. No real religion is bad religion. Practice the good that yours preach. If it doesn’t teach you any good, then what are you doing in it?

If you have no religion, then celebrate humanity. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be human, but it does require effort from you.

Please, always stay positive and keep smiling. Never let depression rule you. It’s a debilitating disease — the longer you nurture depression, the more it will debilitate you. It could be clinical, yet it doesn’t mean you should let it rule your life. It’s hard, we know and we understand, but ultimately, it’s all up to you. Many have succumbed to this deadly affliction; don’t be part of the statistics. We love you. You are important to us. Maybe we are just not good at showing it.

This world is not an easy world to live in. It is up to us to make things work the way we want them to work. Just be happy for the world even if the world seems to smile downwards. Give and expect nothing in return. Spread love and joy and you will feed the hungriest of hearts.

Remember, we’re all in this together.

The Hunchback of Rural High #MondayMemoirs #KwentongUPRural

I was never popular in high school. If I ever was, that could be because I was considered weird, which never offended me. I welcomed being voted as Weirdest Girl in Class two years in a row. For me, that meant I was not one to conform just to be called cool. Besides, when you’re a writer, people just tag you as weird. Hollywood fed us that idea.

Most probably, though, if I ever was popular, it was because I was the Hunchback of Rural High. I was the short girl looking like Quasimodo.

I didn’t use to be like that. I did not have a humped back prior to high school. I was a shy kid in grade school who only started coming out of her shell in fourth grade. By sixth grade, I was jumping from tables, singing the oldie La Bamba shamelessly…Then a teacher sent me back into my shell, accusing me in front of the other kids because she supposedly didn’t like something I said about her favorite student.

I was dumbfounded and confused. I did not even understand what she meant until days later! Worse was, she thought wrong as I was not referring to him. Unfortunately, my self-esteem already suffered because of it. Why a teacher should even get offended by a student practicing the right to choose who to like or not is beyond me. By the time I reached high school, I was starting to develop the humped back.

Well, that was my backstory, no pun intended. High school started and soon, boys from my batch would sing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) theme song whenever I passed by. But I never hid or ran away; I just passed by poker-faced. I knew they’d get tired of it one day. Thankfully, the bullying didn’t go further than that. But of course, I resented what they did; I had feelings, too. Some years ago, an old teacher reminded me of the time I had the guts to tell him to tell those boys, whom he was friends with, to get off my back (again, no pun intended).

The funny thing was, to be honest, I resented them because I thought they were referring to the “mutant” part, which, for me, translated to “uber-ugly girl”.  It was months after that I realized they didn’t exactly mean it that way. They meant something else. Surprisingly, that lifted my self-esteem a bit. I was glad they were referring to something else that I could do something about.

So, I did do something about it. I started trying to fix my Quasimodo posture. If you think it was easy, it wasn’t.

It took a lot of effort and self-awareness to prevent the slumping whenever I walked. I could actually feel the physical pressure every time I tried to keep my back straight. If you were near me enough, you’d probably hear me groaning a bit. It worked, though. I may not walk straight as a model, but I got my intended result. I didn’t know the reason for the humped back until Home Economics in the fourth year: a book explained that slumping was a sign of insecurity. I thought, Well, that figures.

The teasing stopped. A boy in senior year attempted to revive it by singing the TMNT song as I walked nearer. It was the classic case of someone bullying somebody else to compensate for his own low self-esteem. Instead of feeling hurt or getting mad, I was amused and tempted to say, “What, you’re still not over that?“ He never tried again.

 

My whole high school life was like everyone else’s. I had to struggle with different issues (body changes, grades, crushes, friendships, lack of confidence). However, if there’s one thing that made me different, it was this early experience.  It hurt emotionally and physically, but that was part of what made me, me.

I don’t resent those boys anymore. I forgave them a long time ago. I’m thankful they somehow taught me to stand up straight. Take it figuratively, take it literally, it’s up to you. Besides, I kind of liked the ninja turtles 😊

 

********************************************************************

Usually, I don’t follow the Philippine time when I post stuff. But I wanted this posted already before I forget or lose interest again. While it’s still Sunday in most readers’ part of the world, it’s already Monday here, so this counts as a #MondayMemoirs post.

I’ve already mentioned about my turtle “background” before, but this is a bit more revealing and personal. I wrote about it because our high school reunion is coming and I’ve been asked to write my HS experience for our unique souvenir programme. I was able to submit three write-ups (Rattling Cages and two trivia pieces). Unfortunately, this one did not meet the deadline. I was supposed to share this after the reunion, but since it’s not going to be part of the programme anyway, I went ahead and shared it. (By the way, my school was the U.P. Rural High School, ergo, the use of the “Rural” word.)

I do have a DISCLAIMER: I don’t, in anyway, hate my old school. This is not to speak ill of it. I shared this because (1) my growth was important to me, and (2) to show that things like this happen anywhere. Ultimately, it is up to us to choose which life lessons we’re going to keep and how we will use them to our advantage.

Any comments or thoughts? I won’t mind. Let me know below! Or maybe share your own experiences? 😉

Love is…

It’s about time for me to do this. Many months ago, C. E. Robinson (thanks, C.E.!!!) over at Before Sundown nominated me for…

The Spread the Love Challenge (Award)

The first and main instruction was/is to “Write ten four-word sentences about what love means to me.” Honestly, I thought it would be easy, but believe me, I tried and tried to come up with my ten items, but I could never finish the list until I stopped. I mean, it’s so easy to just come up with one, but would it really reflect how I felt/feel? Sometimes, I take things very seriously, even something like this. After all, I want this blog to be a reflection of my journey.

The matter remained unresolved, then one day, maybe sometime in June or July, I was suddenly inspired. Not having pen and paper at the time, I typed them down on my phone and saved my list as a draft. The list had been there since. Well, until now.

I decided to post this. So much has been going on in this world that has been letting me down lately that I thought I’d like to brighten up the day a li’l bit. Here goes…

  1. “Write ten four-word sentences about what love means to me.”

LOVE…

…comes from God

…must be half-blind

…is sincerely kind

…binds the family

…strengthens a country

…should beget peace

…is never selfish

…fights for freedom

…signifies true humanity

…is noble sacrifice

2. “Share your favorite quote/poem on love.”

There are so many quotes about love that I have seen/read in my life. I don’t particularly have a favorite. If it resonates with me, then I’m good. However, I think this famous quote from the most famous book sums it all up:

3. “Nominate a few bloggers for the same.”

I nominate everyone who gets to read this. It’s your call if you’d like to accept it. As I said, “Love fights for freedom.” The decision is all yours, not mine 🙂

 

***********************************************************************

What is love to you, though? Give us an idea and comment down below. Let’s talk about it. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from you still 😉

Wil is Sick

To be honest, I hadn’t been watching Wil Dasovich‘s current vlogs lately. Some things got my attention more, plus I was thinking he was just doing clickbait with the “sick” thing (don’t get mad at me as he and friend Daniel Marsh always do that and admit to that). I was planning on checking out missed posts and binging on them one of these days, which is what I usually do on YouTube.

I did keep checking out if Wil had new posts and because they were all about sick, sick, sick, I ignored them at first although I was curious what it was about. The last time I watched him vlog about sickness was when he was abroad. He and his friends wouldn’t mention what he was sick about and were kind of joking about it, saying it was embarrassing, I assumed it was something like diarrhea or UTI.

Okay, so I checked out his channel today and the title of his newest vlog stunned me. I felt that this time, he’s serious. Admittedly, I read the comments first and indeed, wow, it is serious. This time, this is not about creating drama “para sa vlog” (for the vlog). It’s real life. I don’t think he’d be joking about something like this.

It’s cancer. I don’t know what kind. He did not say in the video. But whatever kind, cancer is a serious matter. It is something I would never wish on anybody. It is something that suddenly makes you reflect on your life more–what have you done with your life? have you done any good for anybody? do you not regret, at least, one thing in your life? These are questions we need to think about considering that even someone seemingly as healthy and obviously fit as Wil could get something like cancer.

I am sharing his video here. Don’t worry, it’s a nice and relevant video. There’s a bit of a sad part, but he’s not going to be all weepy about it. In fact, he encourages everyone to LIVE!!! I don’t really know him, of course, but I think Wil is a decent young man who just wants to enjoy his life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats this thing.

Okay, he says you can help out by clicking on the thumbs-up sign and subscribing. That’s how he earns from YouTube, guys. I suggest not skipping the ad as it helps vloggers more when we don’t. He also encourages people to share the vid, so I am sharing it through this post, which will be automatically posted on my Facebook page and Twitter feeds. Also, he didn’t mention it, but if you want to help him out more, he sells merchandise at Tsongandtsonggo.com. Maybe you could try and give the site a visit.

 

**************************************************************

UPDATE: His friends recently created #1MforWil to grant his wish and help. “1M” does not refer to an amount of money, but to his dream of reaching 1M channel subscribers. Well, he has not asked for any financial assistance exactly, but the number of subscribers does affect a YouTuber’s earnings from vlogging. So if you can’t help financially, maybe subscribing to his channel won’t hurt you, rather that may help him with whatever assistance he needs.

Image

The End Justifies the Journey

It is easy to be depressed. It is easy to be mad. It is easy to just meet fire with fire. But the harder thing to do is to just sit down and let the fire burn till it dies…Today, I am reminded that you cannot teach others new tricks when they don’t want to learn using their hearts. I am not perfect, but I know I try to be the kind of person I have to be, not just the kind of person I want to be.

The End Justifies the Journey

the-way-of-the-TAO

View original post

Advice for the Supposed Lovelorn #ThursdayTips

Valentine’s largely become an occasion for married couples, those in a relationship (even if “It’s complicated” and all those other tags), or people simply in the courtship stage. And this has pretty much resulted in singles being shoved aside, figuratively speaking, but sometimes rudely just the same. The worse part is, oftentimes, it’s the singles who belittle themselves and feel unworthy.

This should not be so. It’s the season of LOVE!!!!! Love is everywhere of every day. Love is for everyone! And unless you’re an evil overlord or such,…

YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE

Stop hating on Valentine, it’s not his fault. Don’t be a killjoy just because you think Valentine’s is not for you. Perhaps it’s simply not the right time, or s/he’s not the right person, or there are just greater things in store for you. Stop sulking and keep living.

I remember this incident when two younger and prettier girls concluded that I was depressed due to a lack of romantic relationship. It was the only proof they had. In other words, singles like us (or like I was then, and they were, for that matter) were diagnosed as depressed just by knowing our pitiful status.

I never really felt depressed about the lack of significant other. I hope that if you are singles right now, you don’t either. Let me share with you the things I learned along the way (taken from my SPINSTERVILLE piece). Take these as words of wisdom from a former supposed lovelorn:

Being single is not something to be ashamed of. It is not a sin. Where in the world has that ever been written? Spinsterville is not The End of the World. More like a State of Mind. The end of the world is only for those who cannot get pass beyond what their eyes can see. They do not care that the world is round and to see it from different perspectives. They do not care to look at what is really beyond the horizon, afraid that they just might find themselves and not like what they’ll see.

Singlehood is not merely a choice you make, but the only one given you at the particular moment. Should the opportunity presents itself, however, you still have the right to not accept Choice B. Maybe not that soon, maybe never.

Love is not something you simply buy from the store wherein you go to a rack, pick one item up, then pay for it at the counter. If this is how it’s done, then you just might pay dearly…It’s about making the right choice. It’s about choosing what makes you happier, not what makes them happier.

Why hurry and jump into the frying pan just to avoid singlehood? Sometimes, you get more than you bargained for. Many times, people get into it at the first sign of false hope, only to get burned and live the rest of their lives trying to lick the wounds…In our hurry, we pick the closest fruit nearby and think that that will do. Later, we discover the worm that has been hidden all along. By then, it’s too late. What a rotten deal we put ourselves into.

Don’t join the bandwagon just so you won’t be left behind. A wedding does not assure you of a happy marriage. It is simply a declaration of the commitment you make, that you will try to achieve the happiness you crave for in the relationship.

It does not assure you of children, either, if that is your primary goal. Don’t treat your spouse like a thing that you can use for your own selfish purposes.

A soul mate is not necessarily the one you marry. S/he could be your best friend in the form of a companion, parent, child, someone of the same sex…I can go on and on. A soul mate is someone who understands you fully yet helps you become a better person and lets you return the favor. A kindred spirit, so to speak.

Do you realize that statistically, there is an uneven distribution of the sexes in the world? There are, in fact, less men than women. Let us also not forget about gender preferences…I only know that somehow, some way, the balance is tilted and that’s reality. They will not change just because you say so. We all have to look at the small details to see the bigger picture.

Singles should not think they are the only singles in the world and that they have failed in fulfilling their life’s mission. Was Jesus ever married? No. Did Mother Theresa marry? No…This just goes to show that you don’t have to be married to achieve whatever it is you are meant to achieve.

“You are all that you need.” I think, to have someone is really just icing on the cake. The cake itself is already whole, delicious and edible, its foundations already built. The icing and all others are just treats that may be enjoyed and add color. But they are not necessary. We just want them to decorate the cake, like we want them to decorate our lives.

I think singles and non-singles are both victims of society and its twisted notion of what is supposed to be right or wrong. This thinking dates back from time immemorial. It’s so much so that even when they feel happy, doubt often creeps in to kill that happiness, simply because they are not what they are not. 

So you think you are alone and has no one at all? Then, it is worse than loving blindly. I call it living blindly. Open your eyes, look around! You can never be alone unless you will it. What do they say? That “no man is an island”. Realize that many people need you.

The heart is the biggest and strongest muscle after all. It can accommodate as many as you want if you let it. Marriage is not a requirement in life. It should not be a must to be considered normal and a part of society. It is definitely not a ticket to hand over to enter the gates of Heaven.

 

Do you guys agree yet? If yes, can I give you a few more tips? These are from an interview Dr. Eamer did with me about being one of those in the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) crowd. In Part 2 of that interview, he asked for me to give a message to NBSBs (start reading that as a noun). Here they are below, translated wholly in English. I believe they are meant for all singles, not NBSBs alone…

TIPS WHILE YOU WAIT (OR NOT)

One, don’t wait. Don’t waste your time waiting. Don’t lose hope, yes, but do not make it your life-long goal or else, you might get more depressed. It will happen if it will happen. If it does not, at least find a way to be happy nevertheless. You owe it to yourself. Maybe do something that will benefit others.

Two, others can eat their opinions. If you’re just thinking of what others say or think of your situation, shove it. Are you getting into a relationship just so you can shut people up from meddling in your single life? Who do you think will suffer in times of trouble, them?

Three, don’t be desperate. Don’t settle for two-timers who are all-too willing to treat you as a fling or mistress. Where’s the dignity there? I think that would be even worse and humiliating than being an NBSB for Life.

Four, if you’re NBSB or single, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you and that you’re incomplete. We just have different circumstances. You’re already complete, as an individual–people are just icing on the cake, there to add flavor into your life.

Five, be careful what you wish for.

So singles, stop trying to conform to others’ standards so that they can mold you into their likeness. Stop explaining yourself and coming up with possible reasons on why you’re still uncommitted when you’re not even sure of them yourself. Stop being defensive and picking we’re-better-than-you fights–online or otherwise–with non-singles.

Most of all, stop apologizing!

YOU ARE SINGLE BECAUSE

YOU JUST ARE.

Alright, this is my key takeaway:

“When I finally meet my Creator, He will not be looking for the ring on my finger; He will not measure my worth by how many kids I’ve brought to the world; and He will not condemn me for not saying “I do.” Instead, He will ask how I lived my life regardless of a ring; He will measure me by how many kids I’ve helped bring up as good persons; and He will ask me what I did for others unselfishly. I will not face him as a single or a married person. I will stand before my Creator as an individual. That’s what really counts.”

 

*********************************************

Agree or disagree? Let us know below.

If I ever offended anybody with this, kindly let me know. It’s not any of my intentions to do so.

The Legend of the Fifth Turtle

Times like this, I think it’s okay for me to reblog a post like this. For you to hopefully understand me a little better; for ME to understand me a little better…

The End Justifies the Journey

Did you know that aside from Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Donatello, there was a fifth Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles member?

This fifth member was a shy little girl in gradeschool. Then high school happened. The fact that she had to make new friends with kids who knew each other since gradeschool, were mostly more outspoken and liberated, were mostly more well-off, seemed like a smart lot, and mostly lived in the same freakin’ town…Well, that was a lot to bear. Hey! She was thirteen! Just starting her teens. Psychologists are right when they say that the teen-age years are times for a lot of confusion and insecurities.

lonely-turtle

She soon again proved psychologists right. A change in her became noticeable. Short kid that she already was, she became shorter and developed a kind of humped back. She didn’t even know. So her parents would say, “Stand straight! You’re slumping again.” She…

View original post 279 more words

Life Lessons from “Train to Busan” #FreakyFriday

Last week, I promised true freaky stories for #FreakyFriday. Well, I am currently working on them. *sigh* BUT, I’ve got something else! *reverse-sigh (is that even possible???)* I happened on my pal Fran’s recent post on Cure4Mondays. Fran is “a full-time homeschooling mom and tenacious seeker of what feels good….currently the CEO and the undisputed demi-god” of her household. I got to know her after I left the print publication and she just got in. That seems weird, but that’s how it went. Fran is a really nice and talented lady.

But we’re talking about her post. I thought I’d share her post today 🙂

7 Life Lessons You Can’t Miss in “Train to Busan”

busan2

 

Agree or disagree? Tell us what you think!

Have a nice weekend!!!