ABOUT ME

         Wind came and left so rapidly, unstoppable like time. The world used to be so wide and clear that if stared too long at the sky, it was going to swallow me. But now, the world feels smaller. I could see the world on each corner of my eyes. 
@shutterkissed (Gerard Del Mundo)
@shutterkissed (Gerard Del Mundo)
I grew up in a small village surrounded by lush mountains and vast green fields. With children from the neighborhood which friendships I don’t remember how it all began.

We hunt spiders and exotic fruits into little forests. Run bare-feet on vast oasis. Steal crops on harvest seasons and get scolded each time we come home with wet clothes full of mud.

Curiosity that brought us to unknown places and finding new paths to wander. I still wonder how I never caught a snake each time I stuck my hands into farm holes to catch a crab.

The euphoria of childhood. Everyday is a brand new day and yesterday’s memories are to cherish.

To grow up observing the special woman in her forty’s with a long, wavy, salt and peppered hair clipped neatly in a maroon colored ribbon who managed to look graceful despite the wounds under her feet caused by diabetes while she walk all day under the glaring sun to find food. She was my grandmother.

I wish I knew how to ease her endless pain. It gave me the impression of hospitals are only for those who can afford to live longer.

A whole day spent at school with empty stomach because my grandmother was too sick and there was no food at home. I’ve spent time reading short stories from some dusty old magazines kept inside the school cabinets or simply lay on the grass field contemplating about life.

I remember Mylene, my grade school classmate. She was dubbed as dumb because of she’s too old to study with us. She always had packed lunch because she lived in a farm far away from school. It was always scrambled egg with tomatoes and sometimes dried fish but sometimes, it also went bad that both of us would go on the day without food. She didn’t have much but she always shared it with me.

I feel my chest. I hear the crickets, sometimes the calm or disturbing silence before we hear the loud voices slowly coming one by one from a distance.

I was a misfit, outcast, the reject. The weird girl who always sat at the back of the classroom. Too tall and skinny. Always asked to do errands in exchange of friendship, money or food.

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          Until one day, my teacher pulled me out from class because I was caught stealing an ice candy from the canteen. I wished the Earth to just swallow me alive. The discriminations and rejections everyday.  Living years with people who only looked at me with disgust and fear that I would steal their things. Nobody wanted to sit nor talk to me.

My hair covering my face with eyes always looking down made me feel safe. 

I learned to ignore my surrounding as if I was invisible. A much needed space to breathe, to think, to dream, to be anything.

After school, I keep the house everyday so grandma can rest when she gets home. In a house where initiative is important, we help each other but sometimes, as a child,  I just want to play outside. We lived near the farms and grass oasis. I still remember the sensation every sunset. When suddenly the world seemed to be more calm and everything becomes quiet. Little, big birds fly across the sky. The field filled with countless dragon flies. Silhouettes of trees, bats flying across the serene sky. Not a cloud obscured the fiery ball slowly setting behind the horizon. The Sun on my skin, twilight hues slowly fades against the dark before the moon meets the Sun. These times when beauty’s truly defined. What I missed the most– the simplicity of life. Freedom and joy that I might not able to feel anywhere again anymore.

One afternoon, I was up the tree where I saw a kite. A rhombus shape out of plastic and bamboo sticks. I attached its two wings and a long slim tail -but it would not fly.

“I didn’t understand. How come? –When it looked exactly like the other kite?”

I just kept running, in despair to make it work but all it does is hit the ground. Out of madness, I just let it go, let it fall and scratched the ground. Both wings detached and rapidly rotated until something magical happened. The kite with one wing left and half of its tail, now flying steady in the air!

Joy filled my heart. I have looked forward to fly it everyday.

It was a beautiful windy day, I felt excited. I thought it was a perfect day to fly my kite. I tried to reach the bottom of the string to see how far it will go. At last, it got so high that it looked so small. The string felt hard as the wind was stronger up there. I felt afraid so I tried to bring it closer to me but it was too late. The string was already broken and my kite joined the direction of the wind. My kite is gone.

             I felt the regret and internal discomfort. I didn’t realized the wind was higher and stronger up there. I was too concern on getting higher and forgot to consider the capacity of my kite.

Then came High School, I got 50% scholarship from the government also with the help of the institution, I’m able to study in a private school.

But nothing has changed. Maybe faces and names but my situation remained. I’m still invisible. Not even a person remembered my name until the second year, when the most challenging moment of my life. It was before Christmas, a part of me died, as the love of my life and the only person I have in life, left me forever, my Grandmother.

Something inside me has awaken and I was afraid.

Why is this happening to me? Is there really someone out there watching over? Why do I have to go through all of these? I’m just a girl. And now, I’m alone. Where do I go from here? I haven’t asked anything in this world. I tried not to be a baggage to anyone. I always figured out for myself. I never complained but fate was hard.

To be too young to understand but old enough to feel the pain. I’ve never felt so alone. But these are the moments when the unknown becomes a beautiful thing. When tomorrow becomes a gift. Perpetually blessed with an armor of bravery and fearlessness from all of these obscurity. Courage to go forward because nothing’s left behind.

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A girl who has nothing. I surrendered to fate. The only thing I know was to see what lies behind the horizon. I didn’t want to live and die in the same way, in the same place. To live every second of my life.


Just imagine what happens when a naive girl who comes to the city–a world that’s dark and lonely. Blinding lights. Deceiving sights. To learn to gamble and dance with every demon that comes along who tries to steal every bit of my soul. Inexperienced. I was vulnerable. Into the wrong hands, it was easy to fall. Yet, I was no longer felt alone.

You know this thing called beginner’s luck? When one takes the hardest step for everything to fall into place as if the ride always waited for one to take. A lot of things happened, including the ones that almost pushed me into the darkest place until I see no light. But with Time, the wounds turned into scars as a perpetual reminder of hope, strength, and courage. The Universe is kind.

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Awaken from that long nightmare, tears of joy came rushing on my cheeks. Like a dream in a dream, I found myself walking on a stage with a spotlight on my face, on a bright runway, where people awaits, to capture that moment, as if the book has closed a chapter, as if I was just about to uncover a beautiful gift, and it was just the beginning.

That moment, I didn’t have to do anything anymore but to keep my head up and be proud of where I am.

I have always been a dreamer even if I was surviving. It took me a while to get used to the pain fitting my ginger-feet inside those six-inches stilettos. Tears of joy for each new projects. I’ve never felt so relieved. I didn’t expect to become any of it. Everything was just magical.

In no time, I left Philippines for the first time. I had my first plane experience traveling to Zurich, Switzerland at the age of 19. I was on a journey of understanding love. To be with a person who will show me my own reflection. With this journey, I learned that love is the most beautiful thing in this world, and it was free. From a helpless cocoon, I was transformed into a beautiful butterfly.

One day, I was in Lucerne, the next day, I’d find myself watching the mountains of Rigi. Barhopping in San Moritz and trekking to the peak of Uetliberg. Barefoot on the streets of Basel then back to my home, Philippines.

As soon as I arrived, I became an official candidate of the most prestigious national beauty competition in the Philippines which during the time of the audition, I didn’t even know what it is. Although, I never dreamed of being part of this world, Binibining Pilipinas (Miss Philippines Universe) changed my life. It was around 2012. I didn’t win but it build my confidence and taught me a lot. I also booked more projects.

I travelled back to Zurich then to Paris, encountered a beautiful woman named Julie (Maison Julie @maisonjulie) , who asked me if I could walk for her show in Zurich while I was shopping at her boutique. I walked-in to some agencies in Europe and signed to their agencies. Metro-models and Time models gave me a chance but I had to go back to Philippines and again my life was on fire. I won Ms. Resorts World 2012-3rd Runner up, then travelled to Singapore as a prize. I couldn’t believe what was just happening to my life. Year 2014 represented Philippines for Asia New Star Model–FACE of the Philippines. It was a competition held in Korea where I met every every race in Asia. I was more than happy to meet all the people who was there as if I have traveled different worlds then a lot more magical things followed. 2015, I won a place for Miss Manila. 

I realized these events were actually just part of a dream. To go back and reflect how far I’ve come made me realized that I am the dream and what I make of me.


From those moments I was alone- it taught me to be resilient and to always have humility and surrender to the greater things. No matter how many times I fall, always get up because pain is also a part of life and it is often the real blessing in disguise. Take the unbeaten paths because that’s where the real adventure lies. And let loneliness become solitude.

Those times I let people hurt me, I couldn’t be more thankful to them. I gained more wisdom and sensitivity for  people who are also going through rough times. To understand how it feels to be rejected, discriminated, bullied and to have nothing and no one for you but yourself. –To always be grounded.

All the rejections and discriminations were my greatest momentum to something big and special that is going to happen with life even when I felt so small. To see things clearer, understand better, observe and be more sensitive of other people.

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To my grandmother, thanks for being tough. Thanks for leaving me enough WISDOM and COURAGE to face the world. Now I know why you had to show me TOUGH LOVE.

To that kite that disappeared with the wind, it was a lesson from the universe. To find balance in everything. To be aware of my intentions in order to sail the unpredictable direction of the wind. Always keep connected to the ground and know that being on top is not always a good place to be. It could be cold, lonely and sometimes it’s just going to break one apart. (But still, in destruction, there is recreation of beauty.)

As I grew older, I realized that we are only able to see our treasures when we are ready for it. It could’ve been just right in front of us the whole time but we are looking far away. But that is life. You have to walk the path before you walk the path. The soul knows its journey.

If you are looking for the meaning of life, don’t look ahead, but inside. Feel the weight of your heart and recognized those voices inside your head always battling to make the decision. To recognized both where it is coming from. Choose what nurtures your soul and the key to that is to conquer your ego. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you are dancing in the rhythm. We are one Soul divided into little pieces. Even a tiny speck of dust can turn a blind eye.

We divide the gifts and suffering we bring out to the world.

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And up to now I’m still learning. Still in constant deconstruction to recreate beauty in its new form. I am grateful of everything that happened to me. And of those people people who have wronged me, I forgive you. We all deserve to carry on with a light heart. GET INSPIRED!

12 Comments

  1. love this Jill 🙂

  2. Sammy Encabo

    Hi Miss Jilly,

    First of all you are a good soul Miss. So happen that i clicked your IG and led me to your blogsite. And i am truly glad that i did. Were you an editor at school or maybe a journalist? Just skim read your blogs/articles but i promise i will do a more in depth read. You are a lady with substance miss. Just keep on writing and i will keep on reading. And oh yeah diabetes sucks, lost my father to that disease. Reason why i am active as much as i can, I am just trying to beat my genes really. It is genetics, so we have to be careful. You will get somewhere uptown in life because you are a fighter. Keep it up miss and more power and keep the fire burning.

    Sammy

    • Hello Sam, thank you for this message. I lose kick but comes back when people like you appreciate my writing. I hope that you will keep reading and also help me save good tomatoes by sharing it to your friends.

      Thank you so much and have an amazing life ahead! It’s my pleasure to see your message. To know that you appreciate it. 🙂

  3. Jane Soguilon

    Hi @jillybully I drop by to let you know that you are doing great job with your blogs keep it up! looking forward to list you down as one of my favorite author 😀 you should write your own book :)))

    • Hello Jane. Thank you for the comment you left. You’re inspire me to keep writing. I hope to give you a book someday. 🙂

      • Jane Soguilon

        I would be so much glad to see receive a book from you 🙂 see you on your book signing looking forward to that 🙂

  4. Hello beautiful soul – Maria or Jilly. 🙂 An instagram post led me to your blog. I thought you were “just another pretty face,” but reading your blog, and knowing bits and pieces of yourself through your writing has proved me otherwise. I am truly inspired by your courage to tell us your story, and you write very well. Please keep it up, and I will be looking forward to reading more of what you can share. 🙂 Hugs!

    • Hello RoxDab, I was really surprised to see your comment on notification. I’ve lost kick writing and with your comment, once again I was able to check my blog. You have no idea idea how refreshing ig feels to read my life once again.

      I have so many things to write and I don’t know where to start. But I’m definitely going to write everything.

      I hope you have an amazing time around and thank you for the positive vibes. I know I’m not very good in grammar and limited vocabulary. But I know it’s not about that when the reader is a passionate person.

  5. I so love it I read all of it!!You should published a book

    • Hello Lee Ann, thank you and lots of love and blessings to come along.

      That’s my dream, to write a book. I’m still waiting for the current to draw me into that island where I used to get lost. Hopefully soon. I’ll let you know when I started writing again.

  6. Nice story. Wow. Keep at it!

    • Thank you Erwin for dropping by and even leaving a comment. 🙂 you are also free to share your story and I’ll post it on my blog. 🙂

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