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

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.

 

 

Why do we have New Year’s resolution?

   Change is constant. We plan, we travel, we go back, we leave again. But just like us and everything else, there must always be something different and we know that. That’s why we want to prepare ourselves for what’s coming by making resolutions.
But since we don’t know what’s next, we make plans and preparations. It’s good to know our shortcomings and the remedies we can do once we encounter the same situations.

Everything we have right now were once just imaginations and it’s in our instinct that we need to have some sort of plans in order not to get drawn by any current into unknown directions or be stuck in a certain level. 
There’s a purpose why we keep changing. We renovate things to cope up with our present taste and the more we change the more we develop new challenges. We must all move with time. It’s never our intention to create the worst but no one wants to live without a purpose. 

New Years are moments when we can simplify our past and have new goals to look forward to and fearlessly imagine ourselves becoming better. But ofcourse, New Year is a new year, we don’t know what’s going to happen but it’s good to have a basic plan.
Eventhough the world is ahead of us, we still take creative liberties to explore new angles of life so we cannot be disrupted by the unknown. There’s always parts of our plans that we break because we need to reply according those questions being asked. We fail because when reality hit us we also changed our priorities.
We need reasons to keep going. And reasons has always been about seeing new perspective, developing new plans and discovering ourselves. And since we always believed we could have done better, we continue to make new plans.

Intelligence vs. Values 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There was a couple –a doctor and a lawyer–about to get a divorce. The reason is not because of infidelity but because they argue too much about everything and they said maybe they are simply just not the perfect match.”

 

When I went to the forest after a long day at school, I’ve always climbed up a tree to get some fruits and watch the sunset. I became familiar with how the days are going by depending on the color of the sky and when do I have to go down by looking at the sun. My body was my clock because it tells me when to eat and when I should go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.

I grew up learning the language of the universe and reading it’s signs through my instincts.

I remember watching television outside the window at the neighbor’s house together with the other kids. Since we are all too small and the window was too high, we had to hang on at the posts while we used our feet to support ourselves from falling by stepping on the wall. The television had no sound. We simply just watched those moving pictures and laughed at the same time when we realized something looked funny.

What do we expect from a world that teaches it’s people how to read and write to be able to defend and protect ourselves from an invisible war? It seems like we already know too much about everything that we think we already know what is still yet to come because of those billions of words we have learned through reading but no real lessons that nurtures the heart. We have learned so many things to argue about but no love to give.

You should be able to realize the reason of conflict by now if you are paying attention.

 

“It’s not how many words we’ve learned to speak, to argue or to defend to make things right, it is the ability to listen, observe and develop greater communication and learn the most important thing we need in  this world and achieve harmonious life.”

The lumad people are probably the most educated people I know that still exists not that they graduated a degree but because they know the most important values people must learn. 

I talked to their Datu(leader)and as a gift I printed of picture of him as a souvenir. I asked him to write me a message at the back of the photograph. He wrote me a simple message which I expected to be something different. 

“I love the envi (environment)”   

He talked to me about his wife, about how they met, how he knew from the moment he saw her that she’s the woman he’s going to marry, also about the happiest moment of his life which was when he saved his people from being abused by those who are trying destroy their lands and wanted to squeeze out the mountains and the forests.   

I’m lucky to have met them and able to talk with them. They might not know how to read and write but they know the real essence of life.

 

“The doctor and the lawyer went on separate ways, leaving things as is because they are both right but in different fields. They have their own languages but it’s wasn’t universal. ”

 

The beautiful woman.

“She had a world of her own, but she was never alone.”

 
I  looked at my reflection and always felt insecure. I’m skinny, I wish I had better proportions, my feet looked like a ginger. I wished I could dance, had pointy nose, had lighter skin, not satisfied about so many things? I didn’t know what I had. 

Just like you, I’m far away from being perfect. I got tired hiding my blemishes, my scars, my veins on my skin, didn’t realized they were actually beauty in disguise. 

I was unaware about what I have because I kept looking for something I was never meant to have.

Like a swan walking with the ducks, didn’t know I wasn’t ugly, I was just different.

I wake up every morning being back to the same old me then become an illusion at night when I know for a fact that I’ve been living in a world where no one’s perfect.

I stopped adding up to that illusion, because I realized, the more I tried to fool myself, the more people will fall to that trap. 

I will never discover what my personal legend if I’m trying to create another person that I am not.

You too are capable of turning those scars into beauty that people would be interested to know more about you and your story. 

There’s no need to hide.

You don’t have to change something about yourself to look beautiful, all you have to do is to embrace yourself, including your imperfections. 

That’s beautiful. 

The best thing when nothing’s left.

 

photo by @shutterkissed(Gerard Del Mundo)
  
When I’m walking along the streets, I often ask myself, 

“Am I supposed to feel bad about people living along the streets or to people who are living with a lot of money because they could never clear their mind?” 


I don’t know. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m obliged to feel for people, and I don’t know what it is that even if I have nothing myself, I have the urge to give help. I try to turn my back but it hurts my soul. 

Do you know the difference between people who have a lot of money and people who are begging in the streets? 

People who are wealthy pretend they are happy while the beggars along the streets pretend they are sad.

(What an irony.)

Now what’s the best thing you can have when nothing’s left with you? 

You’re free to go without worrying about the things you left behind, you are more connected to your soul from things that really make you happy, for the purpose you are meant to live, the sensitivity for people’s genuine happiness and sufferings and to find the real treasure that’s meant for you. 

“Today”


“I regret the day I turned my back on my parents and took off with my friends because of my vices.
I have been everywhere along the streets of Manila for more or less 30 years now, my parents are gone. Fifteen years ago when I first ate the food from the garbage, I have slept anywhere in the streets and get drunk every day and night because I’m haunted by regrets. Until now I still think about what could’ve been if I made the right decisions.
I miss my family, I want to see them. But I know they are angry at me, of what I have become. It’s too late now. I’m already old. 
If I can go back in time and can fix something, it’s my relationship with my family. I’ll finish school. I would have chosen better people to surround me. I would have gone to places and made lots of houses and buildings, not a cart.


I would have kids and a normal family too. But ofcourse that will be too ambitious for my current situation! Instead, I prefer to suffer alone instead of letting more people suffer because of me.”

“I know there’s not enough days to make up with my life anymore, but I’ll stay being a good person until my last day.”

Boy(Batangeño), from the street of Malate, Manila today. 
#blogpost #streetsofmanila #thegoodtomato #mariamaharlika

Aurora and the man from the rich mountain.

I just want to share a story about Aurora, a woman who was born with a mysterious curse. She get wounds and bruises on her skin everytime somebody get hurt in her village. She grew up in pain so she finally decided to protect the people. 

While on her protection, people never experienced pain. People wondered and most of them believed it was their prayers to the gods that sent them protection. They became carefree while she was up all night and restless. 

Until one day she met a man who happen to see her while she was behind the border watching the rich mountains where he come from. He told her how courageous and creative people are from there. How they built the city from their own sweat and blood. The man fell inlove instantly as he crossed his eyes on hers. He has never seen so much beauty in her eyes that combines innocence and experience at the same time. They tell lots of stories. He wanted to take care of her and love her. 

She felt happy and relieved, finally because someone’s able to make her happy and will take care of her while she take care of the people. It wasn’t so hard for her to fall inlove with him and  later on she accepted his promise. A person who would comfort her when she’s lonely and able to give her the peace she’s been longing to feel.  

During the day she watched the village and at night, she went to him. She felt weak and drained until one night she finally told him she was getting tired and asked him if he could help her protect the people. 

“Why do you do these?”, he asked. 

The woman answered, “Because it’s painful not to care”.

He accompanied her for few days to watch the people.

Everybody’s happy, everyone enjoyed eating and drinking, writing and singing and laughing with all the stories each of them say. Everyday was  a feast. He even disguised one day to join the people. Until he came over to a man and asked if he knew Aurora, and none of them knew her. He wasn’t satisfied with what he found, people lived lavishly, far different from his people. He couldn’t stand to watch them while the love of his life was miserably restless because of them. 

He went to Aurora and asked her to leave them as they will never learn to take care of themselves if she kept protecting them and because the people didn’t have any sense of gratitude to her. He even told her it’s a waste of time taking care of those kind of people. 

Aurora shook her head. She felt pain she haven’t felt for so long, more painful than those wounds she had taken from the people. For once she felt heavy knowing the man is not capable of unconditional love and will be weak enough to carry her on his back. She assumed he would leave her if he learned about the curse.

She kissed the man and never showed up again. She realized it would be better for her to stop caring about everything anymore since whatever she did led her to worst pain.

People began getting hurt. Sickness and hunger came all over the village. The man was in constant search of her. The village became miserable. It was of his too much love and justifications that he loss her.

He went from house to house in search of Aurora, and he found no sign of her. 

She ended up on a little house behind the border and found a sick woman, horribly wounded that he barely can see her skin. She was on the floor. He carried the woman to the bed.

She was fragile and needed care but he had no idea how to help her. If he stayed, his search of Aurora will be delayed and might lose his chances of seeing her again. He was one step away from the door but he felt the pain for the woman and chose to step back remembering what Aurora once told him:

“It’s painful not to care”. 

If she was there with him she would ask him to take care of the woman. So he decided to stay. 

Months have past, wounds and bruises constantly healed and showed up on her skin but the woman gained more energy and she was getting better.

Only to figure out one day, it was Aurora, the woman of his life’s love that brought him to her.

The man eventually learned about the curse. He realized that her happiness and safety was more important than anything. He did her best to make her happy by giving the village protection and loved them unconditionally. 

“I just want to point out in this story that there’s nothing wrong about giving anything including love unconditionally, wether the receiver deserve it or not, as long as your intention is good, that’s all that matters.”

  

In a relationship

1. BE BRAVE.

You have to open your mind just as you opened your heart. People are not possessions. You can only have what they wish to give. You can’t keep controlling things make them happen your way. It’s just going to drain all your energy and won’t let each other grow.

Do not let your partner choose between you over anything. You are supposed to help them choose which one is better for them but still not your decision to make. The only thing that is constant in this world is change and the best thing you can do is to embrace it. If they cheat on you, if you can’t let it go, then let them go. The reason why people tend to end up getting married to someone they love less is because they are scared of what it do to them. They want security over the unknown endless adventure.

Before you win a battle, you must fight first.

2. LOSE YOUR EGO.

Some people would rather lose the relationship than argument. Winner stands alone like those soccer players with millions of fans screaming their names out loud on field but then they come home and feel alone when they go to bed. You don’t have to win to win a fight. Sometimes backing down is the best way to gain something worthwhile.

3. COMPROMISE

Let’s say you are some kind of a wagon. No matter how far away the distance you made in between,  you know you will end up on the same direction. Don’t kill each other’s dream just because you both wanted to take the same path. People were born with different dreams. You are supposed to be the key to the machine not someone to break it. Some people are lucky to find someone who will take the same path with them. Some need extra patience and trust until they reached the intersection once again. Love a person close to you but you must also learn to love them from a distance. There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing someone you love feel alive.

4. COMMUNICATE

Mostly after all those chemicals your bodies produced started slowing down, your differences will starts showing up. You started fighting. You realized your partner doesn’t like many things you like. Even so, there are people who are better in showing what they feel rather than saying it. There are also those who like to hear or see rather than feel. Sometimes it’s already obvious yet you still ask them if there’s something wrong. Always try to understand and communicate depending on which type of a person your partner is, maybe your partner is someone who like to see, someone who like to hear or maybe someone who like to feel things to understand them better. Pay attention.

Anyway, when you love, you just give it. You don’t love just to make conditions. You should be grateful if the person loves you back.