An unsent letter to a stranger.

We were lying close together on the floor beside the water. We raised our beer bottles as we celebrated our life and love. You talked about the future. We talked about having a family, about having small number of children and where we are going to raise them. You even said we are going to marry twice that I actually thought you were kidding. One my way and one your way. We are going to build our home in a place with a nice garden where we can have bbq, lunch and dinners together with our children. It was a tickle to the soul. All I did is smile at you. You were certain it is me and you. Stars aligned for me that night.

I have a heavy feeling in my chest. I felt it every day. You’ve changed…like I don’t know you anymore. Your rythmn, your mind, your heart and your soul.

I don’t know you anymore.


Is it me or it is you who have actually changed?Maybe it’s just because I started to care more about what you think and how you feel?

Is it my own ghost haunting me?

We’ve drifted apart.

You have awaken my insecurities. I used to know how you feel, what you were thinking, what you’d do. Now you’re just a stranger that’s squeezing my heart.

Do you still love me?

As I looked at myself in front of the mirror, I see a lonely reflection. This is where distance brought us. My heart hurts and my soul is slowly dying. Our love turned into poison, killing both of us slowly. I don’t know, maybe it’s only me. I am lost. I don’t know where else to go.

You have been my home but now I can no longer come to you.

–J

Memories of Yudanaka

The way to Yudanaka

We have arrived at Yudanaka Station after having an amazing 50 minute of watching the beautiful mountain sceneries through the windows of the train from Nagano Station. There were apple farms, colorful and breath-taking landscapes. I didn’t even realize that we have arrived already at our destination. 

The Japanese Lifestyle

We stayed our first night at Hotel Yudanaka, where we have experienced a very unique vibe. I had the chance to wear a kimono and sleep on a Japanese bedroom.  

Yudanaka is a very preserved yet friendly little town. For dinner, we went to Japanese GOEN Restaurant and enjoyed delicious soup and yakitori where I had the chance to make a my own chicken meatballs with vegetables and finish with noodles and Sake to add a little bit of character. 

The next day the hotel served us their Japanese breakfast–which I didn’t like that much because I normally don’t favor pickles for breakfast–( but coffee was good!) After breakfast, the accomodation normally include free ride to the Snow Monkey Mountain trip.

On the way back you’re gonna have to take the bus that leaves atleast every 1.5hrs but we preferred to walk to see more of the little town. 

Along the way, we passed by a brewery that opens around 11am for tasting, a buddhist temple and (my favorite of them) the small street adventure with so many little Japanese stores and restaurants along the way. If you are also looking for ATM, you can find it inside the post office. 

By the way, the snow welcomed us when we arrived but the next days, the weather got more dry and sunny which made our trek to the snow mountain easier. We finished the night with a bath at the hotspring inside the hotel which was also very interesting to try. I had to be naked with all the other women and enjoyed 10mins of relaxation. 

The Snow Monkeys




Female snow monkeys live together while male snow monkeys only join the group when during mate season. They stick together to keep each other warm especially during winter. Just like humans, they are very protective of their children. 

A night to remember

We decided to have another night in Yudanaka and moved to another hotel called Shimaya. It was owned by amazing old Japanese couple who were bery accomodating and always try to help out to make every one of their guests trip easier. It was atleast 5-10mins walk from the station. Just like the other hotel, it also had a Japanese style bedrooms. We went to Takayama for dinner, a local restaurant very close to the Japanese GOEN (all walking distance). When we entered the restaurant, there were only locals. The vibe was super authentic Japanese. 

We ordered another Japanese soup which turned out to be the food for Sumo wrestlers. (But ofcourse smaller serving good for 2). It was managed by old Japanese Couple as well which the chef was the husband and the wife was the one taking care of the service. Before we left the restaurant, I had a photo only with the chef because the wife was too shy to join the picture. 

The group of Japanese guys came over to us after eating to give us a basket of fresh apples from their farm. It was so kind and sweet of them. And just like the other night, we reserved the hotel’s private ONSEN (hotspring), a 3 minute walk from the hotel to bond together since other ONSENS don’t allow couples to be together and we had the whole little cozy place for the night before going back to the hotel. It was such an amazing and unique experience. The cold weather and the hotspring, the wonderful mountains, the amazing culture and food, everything was worth it. 
Arigato Yudanaka!

The Sleepy Guitar Vendor

I went for a walk today. I brought my camera with me and see which scenes it’s going to make me capture. I was thinking of writing reviews for restaurants but found myself shooting people along the streets. I am inspired, touched and moved in every story I was able to bring home with me.

Last 7 Months ago, I bought a guitar from this man. I saw him always carrying all these guitar along the streets then stopping by at this exact same spot before night. I passed by him again today. He was sitting trying not to fall asleep but he was very sleepy. I wish I could buy all his guitars. It was the guitar I bought for the old man working as cab driver who wanted to become a musician but couldn’t afford to buy. This guitar street seller was kind to give me one of his finest guitar even if I only had enough money for the smaller ones when I said I was buying it for the old man. Your family is lucky to have a husband and a father with such a big heart like yours.


It wasn’t a very busy time along the street so I kept walking to find something to eat. This father and his son spent time together playing and sitting behind their cart full of coconut while there was no customer.

After eating at one of my favorite restaurant to visit in Manila, I’ve crossed path with these two young men holding their balloons to sell along the streets. I knew the other boy was feeling a little bit embarrassed  but I admire these young men for trying to do something to earn. I used to be like them back in the day, when I was high school. I worked in a carnival to collect tokens on a running light. I was a little bit embarrassed because my classmates were looking down at me to see me work, I still  did it to be able to go to school.



This country is amazing! These simple things that the Filipino people do to keep living make this country different from others. We try and try because that’s is life. As long as you are still attached to your surrroundings, to people and still feel grateful, you are living the life. One day, we will all realized that it’s all those simple things that matter.

 

 

 

If you were a tree

It is hot and humid.

I am alone at home watching the tree across the apartment. My eyes could not help but look. It is very tall and skinny tree. I see it every time I looked outside. It stood strong in the middle of the thunderstorm, endured the burning heat of the sun, fought against strong wind blows and surpassed dark lonely nights.

I noticed that it doesn’t even even have a fruit or a flower. It is just a lonely tree in the middle of high-rise buildings waiting for years to come by.

I could not help but think, what if this tree acted like human. It would question its purpose. It would question why it had to live without a flower, why it would never bear fruits, why t had to be tall or skinny. What if it ceases to wait and decide not to face the sunshine? Will it ever wait to know its purpose?

A raven went to pick the flower from the balcony where I was sitting then flew back to the tree. I found myself smiling.

What a beautiful day.

 

Balance

I want to share a piece of my childhood to you. This was the tree I used to climb when I was a child. I used to think it was so high, now i realized it is actually not that tall.


Anyway, It’s been 24 years and it’s still alive. How amazing is it to know that some part of my childhood survived bringing you back to some good old memories? Some of it still make me laugh and make me feel like I am back to being a child.  I even fell from this tree and then found myself on the ground wondering how come I didn’t feel that I dropped on the ground?

This was where I used to to fly kite. I was hanging up on this tree when I first saw a kite. It was beautiful so I made one.

I was wondering why it didn’t fly when it looked exactly like the others. I was careful because it was my masterpiece. I didn’t want it to break whenever it hit the ground. I kept running but it was doing the the same thing over and over.

Finally I just let it go. I was ready to face whatever happened to it. I let its parts ripped off as I ran faster. To my surprise, it tossed around and started to hang still. I made something fly!

Every afternoon, I went to this place to fly my kite. 

One day, some other children came with their cool kites. I was jealous. I wanted to show them that even though mine was handmade it can fly higher than any of their kites.
I let all the string go until the end. My kite got smaller and reached very far.

Suddenly. I felt the string was getting harder and I realized it wasn’t strong enough. I rolled it back but it was too late!

My kite flew away alone with the wind. I didn’t realized the wind was higher up there. I didn’t consider the capacity of my kite. I was still holding on to the string that once connected me to my kite. I lost it no matter how much I loved it.

Happiness is not a mater of intensity but if balance and order and rythm and harmony. –Thomas Merton

Anyway just a story.
Visit my blog (jillybully) and show me love on Mondays. Help me save the good tomato! ❤️❤️❤️

I woke up angry this morning.

“It’s sick. I see images that are inexistent. Exaggerated thoughts slowly killing my sanity. My drinks were poured all over the poor girl the same way she was to him. I couldn’t watch. I won’t. It made me sick. 

It brought out the beast in me. 

Why did I doubt him when he have shown me so much love? I don’t own him. If he wants to go away, nothing can stop him. He’s a man of choices not a slave.”

I woke up angry this morning. I woke up without him by my side. My anger is fresh like the alcohol in my system. He slept outside the bedroom. He went to me and embraced me but my feelings wouldn’t go away. I stood up and tried to divert my attention. I cleaned the apartment. It gave me moment to think better than I was last night.

I thought about the woman. I felt sorry. I could have acted way way better if I didn’t drink too much. I thought about my actions. Myself turned once again into a stranger.

He told me to stop what I was doing. Practically telling me to forget what happened and just lie down together. I was still angry for a reason-no longer of his actions but mine.

When I’m angry, my mind is close. I don’t see things or hear things except for my own voice. It needs a little time and it will surely pass when left untamed. Like some problems everyone deal with everyday. Sometimes all it need is time and diversion until the tension passed.

What do they say about “face your problems and find solutions”? —Sometimes all it need is time and space to breathe. 

It’s not that you are going away with it or wasting time being ridiculously angry but to calm the mind and heart down so you can think better.

No matter how bad things would go. I learned that I shouldn’t place decisions in my hands. No one should ever be treated like they were possesions. We can only have what they wish to give. We can’t always get what we want.

We are free to do what we want except that we are not free not to love. If a person want to go away, let him. If he comes back then he decided to belong to love.

I read a beautiful quote about love today.

“Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.” -Liam Neeson

How can fear change your life? 

Song of try (The Red Dot) 

I f I didn’t try, I wouldn’t know, 

If I don’t  know, the fear will grow,

So I must try, then I know,

When I know, the fear will go.

    

Do you remember yourself when you were a child?

Dream as though the world will make every dream of yours come true. The excitement to know everything. The enthusiasm to try and the strength to face whatever result it may bring you?

As you grow, you stop trying.

Your dreams starts becoming blurry and indecisive about which path you want to take.

You stop trying unless it’s safe. You stick to things that you already know. And the fear of failing becomes bigger than trying.

There’s a story I want to share to you, about my uncle who is gay. 

 

“When we were young I already knew he was softer than other boys but he was more creative. We were both raised by his mother. He was the youngest child then I was 2 years younger than him.

     We were always together in everything. We carry the pail of water together to fill the drums. We helped grandmother wash the clothes and clean the yards. He was excellent in cooking and making the house more colorful. That made him stand out also in school. He planted so many flowers at the frontyard and vegetables at the backyard. Everywhere he walks becomes colorful. Such a little boy with striking personality, enthusiastic and always been very creative in everything. He can fix anything we gave him. Everybody loves him. Aunts, teachers, my grandmother. 

    When we were growing older, he started seeing his differences from every other child. Little by little he felt more safe being alone. It seemed as though the world do not understand him anymore. The world turned around and it became against him. With his fear of rejections and not having anyone to share it with turned him into a person with lots of insecurities. 

    It became worst when we finally became orphans. His mother who was my grandmother passed away. He believed the world was rough to us because we were left alone while we were young in facing our difficulties. Alone with the love of his life, his dreams also burried. Not only that he was insecure, he hated everything around him. 

    We didn’t make it to university because we didn’t have any money to sustain our needs. I had to try to find the treasure the world had for us. While I tried, he lived behind the shadows and discriminated himself. He never wanted to try anymore. Maybe he just couldn’t find anymore reason to take a step out and fight. His fear of being rejected was slowly eating him alive. 

    We didn’t have anything, money was enough to feed us the day and some days, we didn’t eat. I was feeling drained of doing things alone and everytime I asked him wether telling him in a nice way or forcing him to change his life-didn’t work. So I gave up trying because the more I did, the more he became angry at me and to everything around him. He felt being a baggage instead of taking a stand for himself. He takes everything negatively thats eating him more and more.

    Life was tough to me but I was more open to my feelings while he kept his by himself.

But came a man who he fell inlove with and made him get out of bed and see the sunshine.

    For a second I was happy to finally see him smile, laugh and love. I’ve never seen him felt so alive. 

    I supported him. He made presents and comes home with life on his eyes.  He found a job and it excited him everyday. 

    But relationships doesn’t always end like in fairy tales. He found out he was being cheated by his partner. He was new from all these things and didn’t know how to handle his emotions. But that’s not the worst thing that happened because his partner found out he got HIV. 

    He was scared that he might have it but what scared him more was losing the man he loved and I hated him for that. I cared about him while he cared about him. His love was so strong that he was willing to give all his life and won’t ever make him feel alone but sometimes love is not enough. He was left alone hanging. 

   He didn’t know how he was going to face another day knowing the man was gone, left him wondering if he is also sick. He was scared. 

     Every night I watched him in tears. It hurts to see him hurt when he closes his eyes. He was sleepless, much worse when he found him. The fear of the thought that he might be sick as well hinders him to start all over his life. He couldn’t find a spark of hope and will to try. 

“I am still alive but it feels like I am already dead.”

… His exact words. Last week after a long long time of hiding behind those shadows. He found the courage to face his fears. Acceptance and reminding himself what he still have left. He had me, he had his bestfriend, enough to hope for a second chance.

He took the test.

  After few days, he received the result that changed his life and his perception.

It was negative. 

  He felt like he won Miss Universe and was given another new life. He’s never been so happy and fully moved on until he finally faced his fear. It was all he needed after all to start. He asked me to write his story because he wanted to let everyone know how he feels, how it feels.  He wanted to share it to every people like him out there, how it changed him. That he’s never been so happy!

    He want me to help encourage everyone who are suffering from fear, that the only way to know is to try. And by knowing,  you’ll figure out where to start.”

 

“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.” 

–P.C.

 

 

Trash in the air. 

 “A piece of a plastic was hanging up in the air carried by the wind and before it hit the groud it changed its direction then stayed up hanging in the air again.”

 

I don’t make plans. I get up, cruise around the city, go to the gym, back home, eat, go out, come home whenever I want to or whenever I’m tired. I work different jobs 4-6 times a month because that’s when I have saved enough to pay my bills (mostly jobs I want to do). In between those days, I do what I want, chill and see what the day’s going to bring me. Sometimes I plan something but always ends up a different story. In making decisions wether I would choose work over fun is only when I’m almost broke. But my life is good. It’s spontaneous. Full of adventures. I get to go to work, go to beautiful islands for free, to festivals for free, climb mountains, write a blog, smoke some pot, party on the weekends and even fly out of the country and see the other side of the world mostly for free. I am wherever the the direction of the wind will bring me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If you’re not doing what you love to do, then you’re wasting your time.”

 

That was my philosophy. I do what I love to do but do I like my life? 

Honestly, I don’t know.

There are days when I get inspired to wake up early in the morning to see the sun and pass by people waiting in endless lines for taxis and jeepneys to go to work. I go inside and see the same girl-working at the store before I went to bed -still working in the morning. And at home, I see my neighbor passing by my apartment, seem to be drained and always coming home late from work. I don’t care if they hate or love what they do but I felt jealous. 

It’s not always about doing what I love to do I guess. It can’t always be about me. There are many people in this world. This isn’t just about what I love to do because then no one will ever do the dishes.

I had that phase when I had no shame to genuinely showcase my talents no matter how stupid it’s gonna make me look.

I used to speak to people with conviction because I believed in my own words. I was naive but I knew what I want. I didn’t think about what others will think of me. I wanted to learn everything. Today, I don’t do things just to learn anymore because the more I have learned the more I realized how little I know. I think about safety.  I kept comparing myself to others and it is exhausting. Seems like failure is no longer acceptable. Nothing I can laugh about when I remember.

  And now I’m in Singapore,  a country where everything has to live by the rules (by law). I have not lived like the way they do before. Maybe here, I’ll find that balance I am looking for. I want to learn how to wake up everyday for the same routine, to follow orders, to work 9-5pm, to get drained from doing ehat you have to do and to put up a fine face even if I have big problems at home.

For me, this is my way of learning how to be responsible for myself, for other people and for my dreams. This is my way to see the soul of this world and be brave enough to live into it.

“And while the trash was hanging, the lady who’s cleaning up the street took it and threw it inside the garbage can.” 

It’s not happiness that we need, there’s something else.

“There are splashes of milk moving in slow motion across the sky. The water is alive and it’s coming back and forth like it’s showing me a simple philosophy in life. It feels like I am back in the old days when my eyes were still focused and I see the colors of the world clearer and more vibrant. 

    I was sitting in between the pink sky and the green mountains. The whole universe is smiling at me. I am satisfied.”


My happiness were theirs. It was when I wasn’t capable of giving anything but gratefulness when everyone was joyful. The only time I didnt forced people to be happy around me by giving them something or making up for their struggles. All I had to do was to have fun. I felt grateful about everything and it gave me happiness I didn’t have to take from someone else. It was all coming from me and it was contagious. Every one started dancing as I danced and even laid down on the sand.

I was watching the clouds. Even the trees are like saying hi. I even thought about how lucky are these trees in between the oceans and the mountains. They are able to contemplate all these beauty.

It was when I thought everything’s  so perfect that there was actually more to come. There was only gratefulness inside me and I didn’t know how I’m going to keep all these memories in one day.

This lady started dancing with us while she was watching us. Everyone who watches us started dancing.

I understood what lesson the universe left me that day.

 

 

 

And it is about gratitude that make people happy.

 

No matter how big or small things are in front of me, if I am not grateful, I will never be happy.

I also learned that I cannot take happiness out from myself and give it to someone else. Happiness must come from me first. I can only show people where its coming from. I cannot give it.

I’ve found a beautiful place without looking for it. I had most remarkable time of my life when I didn’t ask for it. I had everything I didn’t ask for, and I’m grateful to have had it.

           

      If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.
Follow @realsurfph

Photos from @patejercitado

Learn, don’t regret. 

I was thinking about what I have been doing for this year. I felt like I didn’t do enough. My perception has been changed. I used to feel high on everything that is happening in my life. Like if I just got in the city from the mountains and I walked for a show. Those tears out of joy or dreamy feelings when I’m in another country or when I see the ocean. I would be nervous to eat at a fine restaurant or feel lucky to find a 5peso coin on the floor.
Everything has changed. I went back to my life 10 years ago until 2015 arrived.

I was able to travel 8 countries, 18 lagoons and beaches, 2 waterfalls, 3 peaks, 4 beauty competitions, 3 bestfriends, currently Miss Manila, once represented Philippines, touched lives, inspired people, living on my own from 14 to now and many more. 

There are countless beautiful things actually happened to this life yet what I’ve actually miss feeling was the gratitude I used to have with me. My drive. My ambitions. My ability to do things no matter how hard it will take without questions. I’ve lost it because I have been receiving so many things in life and everything became just another story.
I’ve been terrible communicating to everyone when it comes to texting and commitments. My jobs disappeared one by one because I wasn’t very sure anymore about what I want. I felt I have stood up in the middle of a crossroad too long to decide which way to go until I got drawn back and forth until nothing is actually happening. I couldn’t choose which of those open doors to enter and just started realizing how much of a horrible person I was for those pains I’ve caused people because of my indecisiveness.

    I want to leave you something you might want to know which I’m actually just telling myself too. 


   Be grateful of those little or big things. Show those people who are there for you how grateful you are to have them. Let those people you love know how much they mean to you and what you truly feel for them. You will only realized what you could have done to save them when your chances are already gone.

 

Forget those people who do not give a single shit about you. They will only drain your energy and live together with their misery.  Enough forcing to fit in a hole you don’t belong.

 

 

Enough understanding every damn thing around you. All you need to understand in this life is yourself and what truly make you feel alive. This will reduce sufferings of other people especially those who care about you. 

Violence start to grow once you started minding everything around you so focus on what you love to do and transform it into your profession. 

This system we have in this world is a mix of everything to have a smooth cycle. Don’t ruin the system by stopping your function just to help others to function. We are all here in this world with a treasure waiting on every side.

Generosity only counts when given to right people. People with disability, children who are abandoned and people who are suffering from sickness and loneliness. When given to the wrong person otherwise, it is senseless and another blockage to the proper flow of the system.

Don’t always look so far away wondering what’s behind those horizons instead feel those real things first within your reach.

2016 is on its way for me to give another year of perception. And new chances of walking into the path that I really want to go. I’m going to recreate my dream and live, just live.

Happy New Year! Always feel alive.
Love,

Jilly.