(One Day) Life Will Give You Its Sweetest Hello

 

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I don’t believe in chasing anything or anyone. Whether it is in love or in life, I’ve learned that it is always more painful to hold on than to let go. But I am a firm believer of second chances. I know that the closed doors and missed opportunities are trying to teach me something the hard way. If you find yourself lost and confused, remember that the world doesn’t stop for anyone. So, choose to push through. Whether you want to stay or leave, cry or laugh, fight or give up, remember that mistakes make you human. Dust yourself off, pick up the pieces, and don’t let failure and sadness define who you are because you are more than that.

The world is a battle ground and you need to make important choices every time. You’ll get hurt and your heart will be broken a lot of times. You’ll never be ready when a friend leaves, so treasure every moment that you have. You’ll never be happy when you didn’t get the job but remember that there’s a bigger world outside. You might never be loved by someone who’s truly dear to you but you need to know that there’s more to life than love. In this world full of “you’ll never be….” I hope that you’ll always choose, “it’s ok because I can always be…”

In life, you won’t always get what you want. You’ll get knocked down. You’ll hit rock bottom. You’ll need to prove your worth time and again but its ok. If one door closes, take all the lessons it taught you and choose the bigger ones because truly, you’ve got nothing to lose. If you missed an opportunity you’ve long been waiting for, wipe your tears and keep your eyes on the goal. I know it won’t be easy but one day, life will reveal why it shuts you that door, and why it let those chances slip your hands. No matter how difficult it may seem, always choose to fight and go on.

Know that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be and there’s no need to hurry. While you’re trying to figure out what you want, don’t put your life on hold because you were damaged and rejected by someone. Life is beautiful so you must learn how to celebrate its small surprises so you can cherish the big ones. Don’t be afraid to smile most especially when it is the hardest to give it to someone. Trust that there are second chances and even a hundred more. For as long as you’re trying, one day, life will reward you its sweetest hello.

 

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A Trip Down Memory Lane: Sweet Escape to Las Casas

It’s been a while since the last time I updated my blog. A lot has happened in my life these past few days and have decided to keep the not-so-good moments to myself. It’s a relief to know that we have our loved ones and friends who are always willing to cheer us up during the trying moments. Hence, God is so good to bless us with people we can count on and beautiful places we can visit where we can just enjoy and relax. Despite the difficult times, He will still give you moments where you can say, “Lord, thank You for the gift of life.”

Last September 8-10, my friends and I had the opportunity to visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan. For someone like me who considers herself an old soul, this place is heaven. I have seen a lot of photos of Las Casas on Instagram and have always been in awe of its beauty. Every corner of the 18th century-inspired resort is not only Instagram-worthy but definitely a breath-taking piece of art.

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is a 400 hectare estate that showcases architectural pieces of bygone era. It is considered as a living museum of Philippine heritage where noble-class mansions and wooden stilt houses were reconstructed brick by brick, plank by plank. The streets were also made of cobble stones which takes you back to the 18th century Philippines in a blink of an eye. To complete the nostalgic experience, the traditional houses were used as hotel accommodations along with a backdrop of majestic mountains, expensive rice fields, and a running river that flows to the sea.

Las Casas also has avenues for entertainment, relaxation, and recreation. The resort has spa, a swimming pool, a private beach, gaming center, restaurants, conference and banquet facilities, plus, cultural shows, and heritage tours.

Here are some of our photos during the 3-day 2-night trip. (Please forgive my photography skills).

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These beautiful statues will greet you at the reception area.

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This casa is one of my favorites. Its facade is made of bricks and painted with rustic colors that completes its pre-historic look.

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In this photo are my friends (Marga and Janno) showcasing their millennial pose in this “instagrammable” doors.

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Fun at the beach: My friends and I make the most of our time by enjoying every spot in Las Casas including the beach.

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Casa Binondo: We’re really curious what’s inside this beautiful casa and why its accommodation fee costs PHP150,000. Yes, a whopping 150,000.

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Casa Escolta: Another beautiful structure that served as our home during the trip.

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(L-R Me, Janno, Manel, Marga) La Bella Teodora: This Italian-inspired resto is where we had our first-day dinner. The food is great and the musicians add a relaxing vibe to the place.

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An over-looking view from the reception area where our free breakfast was served.

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Another interesting part of the tour is the Las Casas’ cultural show where traditional dances like Cariñosa are performed by equally-talented dancers.

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Calesa Ride: Have a quick tour at the resort for only PHP75.00.

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Dinner at Cusina ni Nanay Maria: Cusina ni Nanay Maria serves Filipino dishes at a very reasonable price. Their kare-kare is definitely a must try.

These are only few of the beauiful spots that can be found inside Las Casas. Though I must say that our stay is a bit pricey, the fun we had experienced in this trip was still priceless.

I’m very happy to have spent this trip with the people who are really close to my heart. Hence, sixteen years of friendship might be long enough for memories but quite too short to experience more of life with the people you love. More than the beautiful sceneries, good food, indeed, it is the people we travel with that makes the journey fun and memorable.

In this trip, I’ve learned that visiting places while you still can adds meaning to life. It enables you to learn new things from the locals, expand your horizons, discover different cultures, and more importantly, know more about yourself.

What’s your most memorable trip so far? Feel free to share it.

 

 

(Note: All photos are subject to copyright.)

Things that Make True Love More Than Magical

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Falling in love and being loved in return is one of the most amazing things we could ever experience. We all dreamed of that fairy tales and happy endings as a child. But as we learn and discover more about relationship, we realize that love isn’t about a prince charming, the glass slipper, and the pixie dusts. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but true love is more than what we see in movies. It’s not the fancy dates, the limousines, and even the expensive gifts… but a series of sorry, I forgive yous, and I love yous. It is always the smallest things that make us appreciate ourselves and our partners even more.

Love is…

A good morning text saying you’re thinking about each other first thing in the morning

Praying for each other and with each other because it is God who brought you together

Spending time with each other because being “too busy” is a lie

Random I love yous, I miss yous, and can’t wait to see you just because you don’t want to miss the chance

Asking how each other’s day was even if it means telling the same old story again and again

Remembering the small details like his/her favorite color and why he/she hates a particular actor

Doing the groceries together and waiting for long hours to pay for a single item

Learning how to cook your partner’s favorite dish even if it means asking your mom for the hundredth time

Crying your heart out to each other when everything seems wrong because you feel disappointed with the situation but never with the person

Getting mad because one of you forgot to bring stuff like an umbrella and it suddenly rained

Laughing with each other (but never of each other) for no reason at all

Random photos of your unplanned dates because every moment is memorable and should always be captured

Heartfelt conversation about the future and silly talks about everything under the sun

Waking up early because you’re excited to see each other even if you saw them last night

Loving his/her friends and all the people close to him/her

Embracing his family like your own because from now on, you’re each other’s home

Eating ice cream together under the rain even if its cold just because it makes your partner feel good

Playing silly games like a child even if everyone’s watching

Helping each other with the dishes and the laundry

Choosing a pair of clothes that looks good on each other

Saving the last bite of your favorite food because seeing your partner happy and full is more important than your tummy

Going to places that are part of each other’s childhood

Cheering your partner even if you have problems of your own

Supporting each other’s dream even if it means being apart

Being each other’s fan when something seems to be impossible to achieve

Trusting their choices even because you know that you’re one of them

Believing in their actions even when they falter several times

Forgiving their mistakes because you know you  that their wrong decisions doesn’t make them a wrong person

Saving for your future

Accepting their worst, believing their best, and embracing everything in between

Ending the day with I love you even if you had arguments the whole day

Celebrating each other’s success and grieving at each other’s lost

Choosing and falling in love with the same person over and over again

Being on each other’s side even when the world has walked away

Enduring and braving life’s challenges

A conscious and effortless decision to be in love with the same person even at days he/she seems to be unlovable

Trying your best to become a better person every single day knowing that there’s another soul who deserves a better version of yourself

Jumping with your eyes closed trusting that he/she will catch you on the other side of the cliff

Loving yourself enough to give your partner the kind of love he/she deserves

Thanking God because it didn’t worked with someone else

Love after all is not blind. It is our hearts that see and feel what it truly is. Love perhaps is more than magical—an inexplicable feeling that leads us to another soul who also yearns to feel, to fall, and to be part of something bigger than life itself. It is living beyond our expectations and accepting the reality that love is putting the needs of your partner before yourself. Love is something we all want but haven’t learned at all. While it’s true that there are all kinds of love in this world how deep we’ve loved is all that makes the difference.

 

Dear Someone With a Troubled Heart

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Dear someone with a troubled heart,

I know you’ve been hurting and that life has been throwing punches at you lately, but hey, let me tell you that your troubled heart will soon be healed. You might be sleeplessly crying at night but I know things will get better. Take that baby steps and know that today might not be as good as it was but there’s always hope and that the world is waiting for you to smile again.

These past few days may have been gloomy but have faith that soon, it will be time for the sun to show up. I know you’re hurting and there’s nothing that I can do but to wait until things get cleared and make sense. But don’t worry, I will be patient until you’re ready.

Remember what I’ve told you last time? That people who are hurt are like garbage trucks; when they’re fed up, they try to look for a place where they can dump their trashes. But always know that you are better than that. Your emotions are valid and you are allowed to cry but remember that at the end of the day, no one is responsible for your happiness and accountable for your actions but yourself.

We all have our trying moments, I know. There are days when I can see you crying and feeling down. Sometimes, I wonder why you feel you’re not enough when in fact, you are one of the most gentle persons I know. You’ve been too hard on yourself lately and I think that’s not beautiful.

Let me tell you this, when you find yourself alone and lonely, please remember that the world needs you. It wouldn’t be as beautiful and meaningful as it is if you’re not here. You might be fighting battles I know nothing about but believe me that you are here for a reason. It might be stormy today, but it can’t rain forever. Cheer up and trust yourself. It might be difficult to see that there’s still something good in this world—but there is. And you will only see that if you get out of that dark room and learn to live again.

My dear, give your self enough time to grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not worth it or that your life is nothing but one hell of a drama show. Remember that you are allowed to get hurt. Let the wounds bleed but also let your tears run dry. No one should tell you how you should feel about anything for you are uniquely designed by God and that alone makes you beautiful.

Whatever this season is trying to teach you,  embrace your journey and learn to forgive yourself for tomorrow is another day and a chance to write a different story. Don’t get too sad that you forget how amazing your life is. Don’t be consumed by your emotions too much that you don’t realize what it’s like to be part of something bigger than yourself. My dear, life isn’t always about you. There are people who’ll fight for you and are more than willing to be part of your world. Please, stop building walls and shutting them out of your life. You’ll need them and they need you, too.

To you who has a troubled heart, I know that you’ve had had your fair share of emptiness, rejection, and lost, but I’ll still wait for you. I’ll be here until you feel Ok. I’ll be on your side until you find yourself again. I’ll never get tired of reminding you that you are loved, blessed, and appreciated. I don’t expect you to be fine soon, but I’ll be here while you’re still mending. Remember that you can always turn to God, to us, for we believe that you should never allow anyone dull your spark—not even yourself.

Love,

Your other self

Bucketlist

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I was checking my journal in 2013 and found at its last page “My Bucketlist”. I’m sure you have an idea of what it’s all about—these are the things that you want to do or achieve before you die. As far as I know, there’s even a movie about it starring jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Looking back, I’m very happy to share that some of them have already happened while others, I believe, and declare are on its way. Let me share my own version of “The Bucketlist” with high hopes that I’ll be able to tick all of them one day.

Zipline
Skydive
Visit Baguio
Visit my bestfriend in Singapore
Meet my ultimate/ idol Pinoy crush Direk Paul Soriano and Toni Gonzaga
See or ride a hot-air balloon
Watch a concert of my fave pinoy band:

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Parokya Ni Edgar

UDD (Up Dharma Down)

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       Toni Gonzaga

Watch a concert of my fave foreign band (Blue, BSB, Nsync, Westlife)
To become an inspirational or guest speaker in a commencement exercise
Visit Vigan
Celebrate my birthday with the elders
Play drums
Host a birthday party
Be part of a music ministry
Write for the Lord
Purchase a house and a car
Travel /work abroad
Become a model for a photoshoot
Treat my parents / family to a memorable vacation
Write a book about love and relationship
Become a DJ for a day
Teach the less fortunate children
Volunteer for a worthy cause
Fall in love
Get married and become a wife to a loving husband

Life is too short to be afraid and not to do things that will make you feel alive.

Thank God Even When It’s Hard

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Sometimes it’s difficult to smile and thank God when something is not going right in our lives. It’s hard to pretend that you’re happy when you are broke, jobless, lost, and broken-hearted. Reality is, we only know and appreciate His goodness when things are going our way. It’s not easy to thank Him when the road gets bumpy and you don’t understand what’s happening. But when the storm is over, you’ll realize that it was Him who helped you get through it all.

Thank God even when a friend leaves because he wants you to know that He is enough

Thank God even when you didn’t get the promotion maybe because He wants you to improve or a better job is waiting for you

Thank God even when you’re rejected, remember that the world rejected Him first

Thank God even when you’re broken-hearted because He is preparing you for the right one and the right one for you

Thank God even when you lost someone because He wants to remind you that nothing in life is permanent

Thank God even for the goodbyes because He wants you to start over again

Thank God for the failures because He wants you to understand the true meaning of success

Thank God even when you’re family is broken because He wants you to know that you are a child of a King

Thank God even for the broken promises for He restores everything

Thank God even for the people who hate you because you don’t need to find your worth in them

Thank God even for the tears because He wants you to experience pure joy

Thank God even when its dark for He is the light

Thank God even when you don’t understand why you’re hurting because He wants you to trust in Him

Thank God even for the sorry you didn’t get because He wants you to experience the joy of forgiveness

Thank God even when things are unfair because He is the Almighty judge

Thank God even when you’re hurting because there are things you need to learn the hard way

Thank God even when you think nothing good is happening for He makes beauty from ashes

Thank God even when it’s hard—-most especially when it’s hard.

Life isn’t always fair but God is an all-knowing god who knows even the smallest details of our lives. He knows what you need and when you exactly need it. So trust, let go, and believe that everything happens for a reason.

28 Things I’m Grateful For on My 28th Birthday

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I’m celebrating my 28th birthday today. But more than the gifts and greetings that I received, my heart is compelled with so much love from friends and family. My life isn’t perfect but I couldn’t thank God enough on how He beautifully designed it.

  1. Thank you for the life that wasn’t perfect but meaningful
  2. Thank you for the salvation and peace that I’ve found in You
  3. Thank you for the strangers who became friends; and friends that became family
  4. Thank you for my family for the unconditional love
  5. Thank you for the job that brings out the best in me
  6. Thank you for the smiles that I forget to wear sometimes
  7. Thank you for the challenges that strengthens me
  8. Thank you for the unknown future that teaches me to trust in You
  9. Thank you for the pain that makes me human
  10. Thank you for the heart that still believes in love
  11. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness that allow me to start anew
  12. Thank you for the talents that I’m able to share with others
  13. Thank you for the space I sometimes need to discover myself
  14. Thank you for the time that reminds me of the things that I can’t control
  15. Thank you for the silence that lets me hear my inner voice
  16. Thank you for the scars that reminds me I fought for something I truly love
  17. Thank you for the wisdom when I am lost and confuse
  18. Thank you for the people who leave that reminds me nothing in life is permanent
  19. Thank you for the tears that made me appreciate laughter
  20. Thank you for the laughter that heals almost everything
  21. Thank you for the renewed faith that anchors me to my creator
  22. Thank you for the rainy days that allow me to embrace the changing season
  23. Thank you for the music when I ran out of words to tell what I feel
  24. Thank you for the sleepless nights that allows me to think about life and my dreams
  25. Thank you for the arguments that leads me to better understanding of things
  26. Thank you for the rainbow that reminds me of the pot of gold
  27. Thank you for the past that made me who I am
  28. Thank you for the love of my life who taught me the beauty of second chances

Indeed, life becomes more meaningful when it is shared, cherished, and embraced. Cheers to more years of learning, discoveries, laughters, and love. =)