Posted in Personal Development

Living Intentionally

It’s been a while that I have written in my blog. If I would look at the last entry, it was actually dated May 6, 2021. A lot has happened in the past year and I would say that I have lost a part of me– the part where I get excited about documenting and sharing my personal story. I got lost in the motions of life that even in writing, I have fallen behind. I have so many thoughts in mind but those thoughts remained unwritten.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflections which probably came from doing long walks and long runs. I have realized that I seemed to make it through life by winging it. I feel like I am just experiencing the moment on a superficial level. Sometimes, when I am in a particular moment, I feel the fickleness of life and time seemed to pass swiftly.

In one of the online groups that I am part of, I came across a concept about “Living Intentionally”. The phrase may sound too simple but it’s actually hard to put into action. You see, we go through life thinking that the only thing we have to accomplish each day is to survive. Maybe our brains are wired to think that way. Maybe that is how we are brought up.

But one thing that I have realized is when we start to live life intentionally, we are actually putting meaning in everything that we do. I want to share an example. This morning, I made my cup of coffee. Well, this is just an ordinary morning routine. But when I started to question “What’s in it for me?”, I realized that making a cup of coffee signals the start of my day. It is symbolic in its own form. Cofffee=kickoff.

I’ve read a line somewhere that says, “Life begins after coffee”. I find it hilarious but some people can relate to that. It could mean that for them, coffee is their day starter. Maybe for some, they find coffee time as a way to put their mind into perspective. Does that also resonate with me? Yes, I would agree. Doing that simple act of making a coffee is already meaningful.

That is when I realized that living intentionally is also trying to look at things beyond their surface level. It is about looking at the essence of things, finding meaning in what we do. Before, I used to think that living intentionally is having that greater sense of purpose of contributing to something bigger than ourselves. Yes, it might be true, but I, later on, realized that it’s just a connection if you start doing small things intentionally.

I have thought that maybe, if I would start to do things knowing my intentions and purpose behind them, then I can slowly build up the habit of living intentionally. Like right now, while I am writing, I am also thinking of at least three reasons or intentions of why am I doing this. And some of the answers are:

  1. I want to create the right headspace.
  2. I want to document my thoughts.
  3. I want to practice my writing skills.

Looking at these three answers, I think I have enough reasons to answer the question of why I am doing this. There are far more complex reasons but I think those were my top three. I feel like having reasons and a sense of purpose will keep me grounded and will allow me to live life intentionally. It’s actually not an easy thing to do because at this age and time, we simply want to go through the motions of life.

I am not sure how this little experiment of mine will go but I want to practice it starting today. If this would turn out well, then maybe I can share about this some more in my next blog post.

So, I think that’s it for now. Thank you, dear reader, for reaching this part.

I hope you would live a life with thoughtful intentions.


Posted in Matters of the Heart, Random Musings

If you are feeling anxious, you are not alone.

I’ve been feeling uneasy the past few days and I don’t really understand why. I mean, my life is okay. I have family and friends whom I can confide with any time. Most days, I feel awesome and great. But there are days, too, when I don’t want to get off from the bed and just wonder about my whole existence.

You might not believe it. At first I don’t want to believe it either. My ego tells me that it is not right for me to feel this way because I am usually a person with a positive outlook.

You may see me carefree and full of positivity but that doesn’t exempt me as well.

But this pandemic made me feel emotions I do not usually feel, and brought me in a state that I seem to only read in books and hear from other people.

Anxiety is indeed real.

But this is part of being human. I cannot say that I am living with it but there are occasional moments that it got me.

I cry for no apparent reason, my self-esteem is so down, I miss people badly, my body clock’s a mess. These were feelings I didn’t feel before but now I feel like anxiety becomes my weekly visitor but is utterly uninvited.

Sometimes I am afraid to sleep because I might wake up to a shocking news the following day.  Sometimes I wonder if I ever get to receive a good news. I already forgot  what “good” feels like.

I feel like I am just going through the motions of life and everything is pretty much  a routine. I wake up, then I sleep. The only difference is what I do in between.

Anxiety is at its peak. People are losing their jobs, people are getting hungry, the economy is collapsing. And no matter how much I try to see the good side, it’s a reality that I can’t escape.

But if there’s a positive side to feeling this anxiety, it means that I am capable of feeling. I am anxious because I care, sometimes I overcare and I overthink.

What will happen next, no one seems to know.

One thing is certain, what we are feeling now is temporary.

We just have to go through it and hope for better days to come.

Hugs and Kisses,


Posted in Random Musings, Running, Trail Run

5 Life Lessons that Running has Taught Me

I was not a born athlete, and I was never athletic in any sense. Well, if sleeping was a sport, I could have been a gold medalist already. Kidding aside, at first I don’t really get it why people would run and inflict pain on themselves. Like… why would you pay for those races, run, and get muscle pains at the end of the day? It doesn’t make sense. But that’s before when I absolutely have no idea about running. Quite frankly, I’ve debunked a lot of myths about running and when I actually started doing it, that’s when I began to understand why it is so addicting and therapeutic at the same time. Here, I’ve listed down 5 Life Lessons that Running has taught me.

1.Allow yourself to be a beginner, no one starts off being excellent

As an amateur runner myself, I started from the bottom of “runners hierarchy”. There are beginners, consistent runners, and elites or marathoners. How many of us wants to instantly jump on something or take a shortcut just to get to the destination in a faster way? Seems familiar, right? Although it’s very tempting to register on a longer distance and get that shimmering gold medal, you have to start somewhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 3k, 5k, or a 10k run as long as you start. You just have to decide and commit to make it a lifestyle. This is where you can appreciate the value of hardwork and every progress becomes a reward in itself.

My first training place is the Family Park. I just love how I can run and connect with nature at the same time. I run mostly in the morning because that’s when I feel most alive.

2. Embrace discomfort, that’s how you grow

As I continued with my running journey, I realized that running short distances has been my comfort zone. I am already contented with a 10k finish but then I felt that it won’t give me the same challenge as it has given me before when I first started out. That is not to say that I am already a great runner but for me, when you keep on doing things within the circle of your comfort, you will be bored anytime soon. That’s when I decided to increase my mileage from 10k to 12k then to 21k. I am also thankful to my running community, Sugbu Trail Masters, who pushed me and inspired me to go beyond my limits.

My first 21km Run and I thought I couldn’t make it. But I did! 🙂 (c) ActiveSports photography

3. Every second counts, literally

Whether in training or in an actual race, keeping track of time is really important. You may just be one second away from hitting the finish line within the cut-off or a minute away from finishing a sub-1 10km run. I personally experienced this and that “almost” feeling brings regret and dismay for not making it through. So, one thing I learned is that every second of our lives is equally important to that one hour or two. That one second, it may just be a second, but it could have changed the results. So why not give it your best shot!

Milo Marathon 21km run and I wasn’t able to make it to the cut-off. I am still happy that I finish it injury-free :). (c) Paksit Photos

4. Trust the process

Another lesson I learned is that you have to embrace the journey of becoming a better person. Your progress may seem small compared to the others but your greatest competitor should be yourself– the old you versus the new you, the changes that happened now that you look back on the journey. Once you get into this kind of lifestyle, you will never be the same. Your perspective will change and some people may not understand why you’re doing this and who you’re doing this for but the important thing is you believe in your self more than anything else. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. Just focus on your own pace.

Recent (March 2021) Weekend road run with uphill training. (c) Paksit Photos

5. Rest, but do not quit

Lastly, there could be a lot of challenges that would discourage us. So many failures and setbacks that would truly test our character. In a race, you take a short rest when your legs started to get painful but you do not sit on the sidewalk and stay there until it hurts no more. It will always hurt. The more time you rest, the more you prolong the agony. So why not continue and have that one-shot pain after everything? It’s really all about endurance. You don’t throw months of training and hardwork just because you feel like you can’t go on anymore. You have to see how far you’ve come and realize that the finish line is almost within your reach.

You slowly walk, pick up your pace, and increase your cadence.

That’s how you keep going.

Resting at Mt Manunggal Peak during the Fun trail with STM.
Taken during MagMa Trail Run 2019. Resting and Appreciating the view from above.

If you would ask me if I run every day, the answer is a big NO. There are days when I feel I’m not personally at my best and I can’t find the motivation to hit the road or trail. I take breaks (for weeks or even months) and I think that’s okay considering we’re on a pandemic but I still strive to get back as soon as I can. Always listen to your body and if your body demands to rest or take a day off from running, do it. Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.

In a nutshell, the lessons that I learned from running are very much applicable in real-life and I know there’s still so much to learn and I have a lifetime for that. My greatest hope is that by sharing my insights, you also get to reflect on these lessons and apply them wherever you are in your journey.

Rooting for you!


Posted in #explorePH, Hiking, Local Travels, Mountaineering

Mt. Lanaya and Cambais Falls Adventure (with actual itinerary and expenses)

Mt. Lanaya has always been on my adventure list. It is located in Alegria, a distant municipality in south western part of Cebu. I can say that it’s an underrated place because most people would either go to Badian or Moalboal to chase a different kind of thrill. Well, for me, I preferred a more laid-back place with few people. If you want to relax, you surely want a place away from the crowd, right?

So last Janaury 14, 2020, my friends and I decided to finally paint a “color” on this long overdue trip. Sa wakas, nakulayan din! Our original plan was to explore the waterfalls in Alegria and have an overnight at the base camp of Mt Lanaya. I honestly didn’t have any idea what to expect at that time since all of us were first-timers.

Nevertheless, it didn’t stop us from going there. I did some research on websites and travel blogs on how to get there, the budget, and what to prepare. I asked my friends who have been there before and I’m glad that they generously shared their ideas along with their experiences (thank you, friends!). The planning was just done virtually (via messenger chats) because I was still in our province when we conceived the idea. Everyone’s excited, though, and we only had few days to prepare our camping stuff and hiking gears.

Alegria, here we come!

The meet-up was at Dunkin Donuts inside Cebu South Bus Terminal. We waited for everyone to arrive before boarding the bus going to Alegria.


We asked the driver to drop us at the highway where we can catch a habal-habal ride. We alighted the bus, then some habal-habal drivers asked us where we were headed. We told them that we are going to Cambais falls.  But before that, we bought puso (hanging rice) and lechon manok (roasted chicken) for our lunch.

Our original plan was to do waterfalls hopping to Cancalanog, Cambais, and Montepellier Falls. However, we were told that the three falls are pretty much distant from each other. It would have been possible if we go there with our own ride to save us time. After some negotiations with the driver, we finally decided to be dropped at Cambais Falls.

Off to Cambais Falls!

Upon arriving, we were greeted by locals. They asked if we need guides. Since nobody from the group had ever been to Cambais, we get two guides, an adult guide and a kid. They offered to bring our extra stuff. The trail going to the falls was mostly covered with trees and it was just around 15 mins before we arrived at the visitor’s center.



When we arrived at the visitor’s center, we logged our names and paid the environmental fee for 50.00 each.

Plunging in the cold water of Cambais Falls

We secured a spot and then we arranged our stuff. We also rented a table near the waterfalls since we decided to eat our lunch there. The water was crystal clear and there were few tourists when we arrived.


125196123_676424506397525_7796834128393972630_nWe swam to our heart’s content like happy kiddos. It’s been a while since we had that fun. We decided to go the level 3 of Cambais falls. We’re lucky that we got the place for ourselves. There was literally no one when we arrived so we savored the moment and marveled in the natural beauty of the falls.



After swimming, we cleaned up, keeping in mind the principle of Leave No Trace (LNT). Since we brought a garbage bag with us, we made sure that all trashes were collected and disposed properly. We then changed to our dry clothes in the visitor’s center. After making sure that we have everything with us, we then departed for Brgy. Legaspi.


We waited for few minutes for the habal-habal to take us to Brgy. Legaspi. Again, there was a moment of negotiation since we have to agree on the fare of the habal-habal to take us there.


Registration at Brgy. Legaspi

We arrived at the brgy hall of Brgy Legaspi. We have to log in again before we can continue our journey to Mt. Lanaya. The attendant is hospitable and she told us that we need to get a guide to follow the protocol especially that we’re all first-timers. She asked if we will be staying at the base camp or we will be summitting the Kalo-kalo peak. At that time, we haven’t made up our mind yet. We don’t know if we are ready for that hahaha.


Then the trek started…


Behold, the beauty of Mt. Lanaya

The trek going to the base camp took an hour. The trail was relatively not that difficult but we have to stop to catch our breaths. We were rewarded with a beautiful view. This is like those moments in the movie when you’ll say, “Can I just stay here?”


We continued with the trek. Looking around, you will have those New Zealand feels where the hills were covered with lush grass. There were also cows around the area. After an hour, we finally arrived at the basecamp.

A little trivia: Why is Lanaya Peak called Kalo-kalo Peak?

According to our local guide, Kalo-kalo peak or the summit of Mt. Lanaya was named from a cebuano word “kalo” which means hat. From afar, the summit’s shape is like a hat that’s why it’s called Kalo-kalo peak.



After resting, the dusk slowly sets in and after pitching our tents, we then prepared our dinner.

Sunset Viewing and Preparing for dinner




After dinner, we decided to play a game. The timing was perfect. Since it was fullmoon, we didn’t use our headlamps and flashlights. We played the game “Never have I ever” and it was really fun! There were shocking revelations, too! hahaha. It was surely a fun way to get to know each other better.



Exhausted from the whole day adventure, we finally called it a night.

Day 2: Mr. Sun is a little shy

We woke up the following morning and thought that it’s gonna rain heavily because the wind started to blow a little stronger. It made us somehow think not to push thru going to the summit of Mt. Lanaya (Kalo-kalo peak). We strolled around and we also found other group of campers. We waited for the sunrise but it was quite elusive at that time. The skies were covered with dark clouds. So we just took photos.




We then prepared our light breakfast…


Corned beef ala Clint hahaha.


Summiting Lanaya Peak via Legaspi Trail

After our breakfast, we then cleaned up the space and get ourselves ready for the trek. We left our bags at the basecamp and just brought a tumbler. Six of us originally planned to summit the Kalo-kalo peak. There were actually two routes going to the peak, via Lumpan trail or via Legaspi trail. According to the guide, the Lumpan trail is easier than the Legaspi trail. We took the Legaspi trail but it’s difficulty cannot be underestimated especially for first-timers.


The rocks were sharp and the soil was really loose. The assaults were very steep, like you seemed to be doing rock climbing of some sort. I even regretted wearing outdoor sandals and I advise you not to commit the same mistake that I did. That was because I thought we will just be staying at the base camp. Anyway, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I got minor injury in my toefinger and it’s a lesson that I learned the hard way.


Despite the difficulty, we were able to finally reach the summit. We finished the trek after 2 hours. The 360 view, will literally leave you speechless. I thought the basecamp is all that there is to marvel on but the summit is way beautiful that even the camera couldn’t capture its beauty.



Going back, we still took the Legaspi trail and surprisingly we only did the trek for an hour. Maybe because it was mostly descent and there’s a heavy rain that’s threatening to pour so we hurriedly went back to the basecamp. The trek got us all thirsty and thankfully, our friend generously asked the local to prepare buko juice for us. I don’t know why the buko juice is extra tasty at that time haha. Maybe because we’re all so exhausted.


We went back to the camp and then told our other friends that we reserved buko juice for them too. We rested for a while as we waited for them. Then we packed our bags and our tents. After making sure that everything is secured and that there were no trashes around, we asked a camper from another group to take a group photo for us as a souvenir.


When we arrived at the highway, we waited for a Ceres bus going back to the city. We chose an airconditioned bus so we can sit comfortably for the long ride. The good thing there is that since we boarded from Alegria, there’s still a lot of vacant seats. Bus started to get crowded when it passes along the municipalities of Moalboal and Badian.

We arrived around 6pm at Cebu South Bus Terminal. We then bid goodbye from each other for the beautiful weekend adventure that we had.

*Before our trip, I made an itinerary based on my research from blogs, travel websites, and advice from friends. The itinerary is just a guide, and it doesn’t mean that we have to strictly follow the time and activity. And true enough, there were changes especially during the second day of our trip.

Here’s our actual itinerary:

Day 1

04:00 AM- Meet-up at South Bus Terminal

05:00 AM- ETD Alegria

09:00 AM- ETA Alegria 

10:00 AM- Waterfalls adventure at Cambais

12:00 NN- Lunch

01:00 PM- Continue Swimming

02:00 PM- ETA Brgy Legaspi/ Register/ Get a guide

03:00 PM- Start trek 

05:00 PM- ETA basecamp (Windows XP camp)/ Pitch tent/ Sunset view

07:00 PM- Dinner and socials

10:00 PM- Lights off

Day 2 

05:00 AM- Wake up call

06:00 AM- Sunrise viewing

07:00 AM- Prepare breakfast

08:00 AM- Start trek to Lanaya Summit (Kalo-Kalo Peak)

10:00 AM- ETA Lanaya Summit

11:00 AM- ETA Basecamp

12:00 NN- Break camp

01:00 PM- ETA Brgy Legaspi, Alegria (Highway)/ Wait for Bus 

02:00 PM- ETD Alegria (bound to Cebu City)

06:00 PM- ETA Cebu South Bus Terminal

Budget and Expenses:

Airconditioned Bus- Php 203  (one-way)

Habal-habal fare from Alegria to Cambais- Php 100 each

Lunch- Php 90 each

Guide Cambais Falls)- Php 50 each

Environmental fee (Cambais Falls)- Php 50 each

Rented table- Php 100 (one table)

Cambais to Brgy Legaspi- Php 150 each

Registration fee (for Mt. Lanaya)- Php 175 each

Guide (Lanaya and Kalo-Kalo Peak)- Php 1000 (8 pax) 

Total Estimated Expenses: Php 1, 246 each (expenses may vary for each group member if you purchase snacks or other items during the trip)

Important Notes:

1. Bring enough water for the hike.
2. Pack light but make sure you got all the essentials.
3. Prepare extra money for unexpected or emergency situations.
4. Always follow the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT).
5. Plan ahead but embrace the beauty of spontaneity. 

Photo credits to Clint, Cecil, and Jade. Thank you guys for documenting our trip! 🙂


Posted in Free Verse, Matters of the Heart, Poems

On days when you feel like you can’t go on anymore…

Hey, little warrior

I know you are at the brink of giving up

You are trying to hold everything up

By smiling through life’s struggles


You said you’re okay, right?

But how come the simple question, “How are you?”

Creates those tears in your eyes

And makes you question yourself if you’re really okay?


Deep inside you know the real answer

You are just afraid to admit your own feelings

It’s a lie that you convinced yourself to be true

It’s a lie that you almost believed in


You have asked why life seems to be unfair

Why is pain even necessary?

Is it for us to appreciate happiness?

Or is it to remind us of our vulnerability as humans?


Remember, you are a warrior

You have come this far

Despite the pain and the heartbreaks of the past

Here you are, still fighting


Rest if you must, but do not quit

It’s not you, but the situation that you cannot control

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Carry on, one day at a time


Even if how many times life will knock you down

You will fall but will never break

I want to tell you that I am proud of you

To survive each day is already enough


Posted in Matters of the Heart, Mental Health

Log Off: A day for a Mental Health break

Recently, there are a lot of news that are circulating online (real and fake ones) and to be honest, reading them sucked the energy out of me. Yesterday, I went for a log off. It’s not the first time that I did it on purpose and I usually disconnect from social media if I feel like it’s already taking a toll in my mental health.

I know I am not supposed to absorb everything but I can’t also help myself not to be affected on what’s going on around. I find comfort as well that my internet connection is down the past days, so yeah it’s really a perfect time to go offline.

So yesterday, aside from the unstable connection, I truly decided to do a mental health break. It was a conscious decision that I have to do although it’s really tempting to check social media from time to time. It’s like a default in our system that we have to stay connected especially in this time of pandemic. But yesterday, I purposely left my account unopened.

I know there would be messages from my loved ones but I informed them ahead through text that I won’t go online for that day. I appreciate that they respect my decision. I also don’t want them to worry about me so I gave them updates to let them know that I’m still alive and breathing. Lol.

Taking a mental health break or social media detox is a form of self-care for me. When things get extremely overwhelming, I know I have to protect myself and my sanity, of all things. I want to stay sane because people need me.

Being in a helping profession, such as in the field of Psychology, would mean that I give a part of myself to others– especially my time. And I know that I cannot pour from an empty cup. I have to equip myself with the psychological resources while making sure that I am also mentally okay.

You see, self-care is never selfish. It’s also not a one time thing like a reward of some sort, but a habit that we should cultivate. Imagine, why do we give off ourselves easily to others but why can’t we give time for own needs?  We spread ourselves too thinly for others yet we give ourselves the least priority.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Well, it shouldn’t be the case. We have to acknowledge that we can also feel drained, lost, unproductive, sad, lonely, stuck, etc. Hence, it’s really fine to feel those emotions as part of being human.

The negative feelings don’t signify the absence of the positive ones. They actually put balance in our system.

The yin and the yang.

They can coexist.

Just because we’re happy doesn’t mean that we can’t feel sad.

Like for example, I am currently happy with my life but I am also sad hearing the news about people who are struggling to make ends meet. It’s a form of empathy, feeling what other people feel. But also as an empath, I have to put boundaries or else, other people’s emotions will devour me and just like a candle, I might burn out gradually.

The best thing about taking a mental health break is you get to be in touch with yourself. You become more mindful about your emotions and your thoughts. You can actually connect more to people in a deeper level rather than the superficial ones. You get to prioritize yourself and your needs. You also get to assess where you are in your journey.

It’s a like a system reboot, giving yourself a pause, a chance to step back so you can move forward.

Mental health break should not be taken as an escape but a kind act of facing the realities of life in a more loving, compassionate way towards ourselves. In the end, we only have ourselves. Check yourself, are you really okay?

One thing I learned from my yoga class before is when you feel the tension arising and you seemed out of focus because of the pressure, just remember this one word…

We may feel pressured to keep up with the demands of life but we shouldn’t discredit how far we’ve come just because we haven’t reach the destination yet.

It’s really okay to take a break. No one owns your time, but you.

If you think that it’s selfish, then I tell you, be selfish. Even for once.




Posted in Matters of the Heart, Personal Development, Random Musings

A Minimalist Birthday, Not A Quarantine Story

I always look forward to birthdays. It might just be an ordinary date in a calendar but for me, it holds a special meaning. It is that one special day of the year that you get to celebrate your existence.

When we talk about birthdays, they’re usually coupled with the idea of foods, people, gifts, parties (and booze).  There’s the cake with the candles that you have to blow in order for your wish to come true (or maybe not). Well, it has just been a tradition most of us grew up with.

This year, I was looking forward to my birthday. My original plan was to go on an international solo trip. It would be a supposed first time experience that I will travel alone in an unfamiliar place. I was really excited for it and I even put it in my 2020 planner.

But then, COVID happened and my plan remained in the paper where I excitedly wrote about the things that I would do. I have thought of an alternative plan which is to go back in our hometown and celebrate it with my family. But since Cebu was placed back under ECQ, all operations for traveling and passenger transport were halted.

Until yesterday, I was in denial that I will be celebrating my birthday alone. Quarantined birthdays are now the “new normal” but I can’t seem to accept that I will be a member of those people who celebrated their birthdays amidst the pandemic.

Apparently, I don’t have a choice. I decided to embrace the reality of celebrating my birthday alone. There were no fancy foods, no glittery gifts, no other people. It’s only me, in my room.

I have to admit it, it was lonely and I can’t hide the fact that I wish I was with my family or if only there were few people around me to sing a birthday song for me. I mean, it’s utterly fine with me if I am quarantined during my birthday as long as I am celebrating it with my loved ones. Yet, none of those options were possible.

I feel like I was totally isolated. What could get any worse than being alone in your birthday during quarantine? As if living alone wasn’t enough. It sucks, right? But instead of sulking in sadness and self-pity, I managed to carry on and connect with people virtually.

Thankfully, my loved ones and few friends made an effort of creating an online birthday bash for me. Well, there’s nothing that could really replace the face to face interaction but what else can I do but to adapt and adjust to what’s available at the moment.

Still, I am really grateful for the people who reached out to me. My birthday was not made public for some personal reasons. I didn’t post about it as well in my social media on that very day. It’s not about challenging who can remember my day without fb notifs or stories but I just want to keep it lowkey and perhaps, a little bit intimate (with myself and few people online). They are the ones who were there for me even if I can’t offer them anything, not even a single candy.

It’s a realization that I no longer want material things but I just want to celebrate what I have. 

Maybe the quarantine enhanced my introverted side or maybe it’s because of my age that I just want a simple celebration. It could be both. Resources were also limited because of the stay-at-home order although online deliveries are possible. However, instead of thinking about it as a quarantined birthday (like how some people call it) I made my own version of a minimalist birthday.

Before, I used to think that the measurement on how loved and valued I am is thru receiving a lot of affirmations and material things from people. But yesterday, I just want to celebrate my special day by counting what I already have rather than anticipating what I can get.

It made a huge difference in my perspective.

Expectations can hurt. Really. That’s why one of my greatest realizations is to stay in the realistic side. Expecting is normal but you have to also view things in a realistic perspective. I’m not saying that we stop ourselves from expecting but it’s more of managing our expectations and putting more logic behind it. In this way, we can approach things maturely in case things don’t go as we expected them to be.

Celebrating my minimalist birthday was not that bad afterall. I gained fresh perspectives about life. I learned to value the things that are truly important to me. Lastly, I have let go of the idea that birthdays are all about getting and receiving more.

Birthdays are actually about being genuinely happy,  being contented of what you currently have, and celebrating the person that you have become– bolder, stronger, wiser. 



Posted in Matters of the Heart, Random Musings

An open letter to those who did not have their Graduation Ceremony

Picture this, after years of struggle, you can finally walk on that stage, receive your diploma and give that big smile to the photographer. After the ceremony, you will see photographs of yours outside the venue. You will then recognize that face. “Oh that’s me”. Finally! Your family will be there, too, smiling proudly from your back while you claim your photos. Then you will also have pictures taken with your close friends while throwing the graduation cap up in the air and unanimously shouting “Yes, graduate na jud mi!”

You are smiling from ear to ear for that thought.

Then reality struck you, COVID happened…

To you, this pandemic is the antagonist of a supposedly “happy ending” that you imagined in your dreams and your waking life. One time, you were so excited and then the next time, you don’t feel any excitement at all. The supposed to be graduation day becomes an ordinary day, just another day in your quarantine life.

You might be even looking for some silverlining (or rationalization) like at least you don’t have to spend for a fancy dress or tuxedo for the gradball, or you don’t have to invite your whole clan for a get together, or you don’t have to worry about where to have a graduation getaway. But admit it, your heart swells that none of this will ever happen. Or if it may happen, it is not something like what you expected it to be. It will not be grand. It will be simple.

And that’s undeniably painful. Expectations hurt. I mean, who wouldn’t have expectations? The moment that you set foot on the university, you are already looking forward to the graduation day.  Aside from gaining friends and acquiring knowledge to prepare you in the real world, you have this idealistic mindset that after graduation, it will be the first taste of freedom– freedom from academic responsibilities and freedom to do things on your own. Yeah, that sounds good but let me tell you this, that freedom is only for a little while. Soon you will be taken to the shackles of the “adulting” life. Soon you will have to face other responsibilities as you transition to the next level.

So before that happens,  you would want to at least celebrate. You want to immortalize this moment and look back at it with great triumph. Afterall, the tassel is worth the hassle, right? But what if there’s no tassel to symbolize this feat? Will you still feel happy? Or will you feel like there’s an important part that is missing? It’s a bit odd that you won’t be able to live that experience and savor the moment. It’s like finishing a race but you’re not given a medal or any entitlement that will validate your efforts.

However, despite that, what I want you to realize is that even if you will not have your graduation ceremony (for now), that doesn’t take away the fact that you already graduated. The ceremony is just a formality to end things. You have to be proud of what you have achieved and where you are right now. The whole journey will be a reminder of how you make it through when there were so many times when you could have easily given up. Surviving the roller coaster ride in your academic years is already an achievement in itself.

Although there is no certainty when this will be over, but when the time comes for you to have the special ceremony (if it is still possible), cherish the moment and always remember that yours is a special one. You did not only survive the rigorous academic requirements, you survived it while  facing the pandemic that challenged you in various aspects. That’s already something worthy to be proud of! You’re indeed a warrior!

You are still a graduate, not because you wore the toga but because you finished it strong.

Congratulations for not giving up and for reaching this far. 

We are proud of you, batch 2020!

Quarantined but definitely a fierce batch. 


All the best,



*featured image courtesy of Credits to the rightful owner of the photo. 🙂


Posted in Poems

Bizarre Romance

You wrangle your way to my unconscious mind and sit there

Throughout the day while I pretend not to care

You showed up at night while my guard is down

And my unconscious thoughts are repressed


It was in that very moment when I stripped down

To my most vulnerable form that you came

In that moment when I was tired and uninhibited

When I am alone and no longer distracted


I tried to make sense of everything

Then I would wonder why I kept on dreaming of you

And the more that I think about it, the more I dream of you

If all of these don’t mean a thing

Then why do I found you there?


I tried ignoring the signs

But just because it is all in the unconscious

Doesn’t mean that you don’t mean anything

Because in fact, whether in dreams or in reality,

You mean everything to me.

Posted in Poems


When the humid shadows of dusk begin to linger under the star-clad skies,

and the sighing breeze of evening gently murmurs the end of the day,

I cannot help but yield to profound introspections;

pondering why I was always placed by a magical conjuration in your power.


From the beginning I haven’t thought of catching a glimpse of you.

You’re just a mere entity, an ordinary hum in my melody

but as days passed into weeks and weeks slid into months,

I slowly began to realize that I am no longer the same when I’m with you.


I build walls to keep my hidden emotions bottled inside

for since that day, my mind has been completely distracted from my daily pursuits

Doubts, fear, delight and a thousand emotions have been agitating me,

and all my efforts to repress or stifle these feelings have been in vain.


For months, the thought of you became the sole food of my memory

Your voice lingered and reverberated deep down into my psyche

It is difficult to know at what moment it all began;

It is less difficult to know it has begun.


This intolerable madness,

This incredible, all-rendering folly;

Could I but loosen its grip and free myself from this bond of life

The more I try to cast you aside, the more I get you there,

deeper into my brain, my sinews, my marrow.


Everything around me seems to be blank,

a vast void where I am lost drifting aimlessly about something difficult to understand

These are the opium to which I am afraid, I have fallen a victim

Because some may call it madness but I call it love.