about me, i am a christian

Another Year… and So I’m 37

I love the sunsets. Apart from it being a beautiful sight to witness… I like what it symbolizes. HOPE. It gives a bittersweet representation of life. When the sun sets, it closes the day to mark its end, but it also leaves with the promise to come back tomorrow. Bitter. Sweet.

Today, I turn 37. That’s how many sunsets that passed since my birth? And as I look back at the year, I realize that apart from surviving, I am also grateful for the sufferings.

Wait… why am I talking about sufferings on my birthday?

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; character, hope.”

Romans 5: 3-4

No one wants to suffer, but these things come into your life, without you expecting it, so you have to take it.

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in my 37 years is to surrender. You see, I am generally a control freak. I was worst when I was younger, but I’ve given up much control over the last few years. I used to maneuver things as I see it fit (people and circumstances) until my life came crashing in front of me and I finally understood that there are some things that I cannot control. That there’s a limit. And that most especially, you cannot control what other people will do… so at some point you have to relinquish your power.

God is Hope

No one wants to suffer. If I could plan my life I would want to always be happy, but that’s not possible. So I am grateful to the Lord because his love has taught me to see the glory in my sufferings. My life (now) is the sum total of all the typhoons that hit me. Of course in the midst of it all, it didn’t make any sense. But that’s how faith works. You go through the sufferings without bitterness in your heart and trust that God has a plan.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

My sufferings have definitely taught me to persevere… to fight through the struggle eventhough it seems futile. To carry on, even when it should’ve been easier to just quit and walk away. And through it all, here I am thriving. Moulded into what I’ve become. Well, I am still a work in progress, but I am hopeful at the work the Lord has began in me.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”

Philippians 1:6

So this is why I am talking about sufferings on my birthday. Because I cannot celebrate life without finding glory in my sufferings. I am what my sufferings have made me… and like the sunset, I view my life with such bittersweet thoughts. Well, my life is not entirely as picturesque, but it definitely exists with the same amount of drama.

Oh Lord, thank you for my life and for the sunrise and sunsets that have come and gone…

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about me, blogging

New Year, New Blog

Goodbye old blog

It has nothing to do with turning a new leaf, really, but maybe so. The truth is that for a while now I’ve been going through my blog and I realized that I’ve outgrown it in so many ways. But since I’ve given it so much (since 2008) it really isn’t easy to move on. As a matter of fact, when I took a small hiatus from blogging between 2013-2015, I was in so much pain the whole time, so I went back. Writing is my only vice. I do not smoke. I only drink socially. I don’t pull tantrums. I don’t rant on social media. I don’t go on depressive, catatonic states to escape. I don’t indulge in retail therapy. I don’t binge eat. I don’t go adventure-tripping. People deal with life in their own way–and WRITING is what I do. I read somewhere once, “Writers can treat their mental illnesses everyday”, and I agree with that. I have gone through many potentially damaging chapters in my life that hardly moved me because of my capacity to release emotions through a collection of words. Well, it’s writing and the Lord, of course… I want to make that clear.

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about me, food is good, random

Seafood Can Kill Me

Part of my friend’s vacay itinerary is to visit DAMPA. It is a shop and cook kind of restaurant and it serves mainly seafood. You go to the wet market to buy the food and then you choose a restaurant and tell them how you want the food cooked. It’s a bit pricey, but the food is fresh and is cooked amazingly so it’s really worth the money you pay.
So anyway, when my family goes to DAMPA they know to order for me fish and chicken/pork. I am allergic to seafood so places like DAMPA is not really for me, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Anyway, on our drive to Macapagal, I only then thought to remind my friend about my allergy. “Oh shoot!” She forgot but I told her not to worry about it because I can just order something for myself–and I got steamed fish with tausi (very yummy by the way!)
On Instagram, I said: “Literally… to DIE for”

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about me, love and relationships, stories of friends

I Don’t Have A Lot of Friends

My Facebook and other social networking accounts may show that I have numerous connections, but those are professional and personal contacts (mixed with countless acquaintances). In my life, I have met and connected with lots of people but only a few people have made a true impact in me. My close friends are consist of camp neighbors (who are my childhood friends), high school friends (my soul mates), my dentist friends (college and workmates) and some loose friends not belonging to a specific category. These people hold a special place in my heart and I love them. Most of them I grew up with, but some I met later on in life–which shows that friendship is not determined by numbers and not even by proximity.
When I was living in London, I left my friends for two years. I was so far but I became very close to a lot of them while I was away through letters. My friends and I sent letters, back and forth, and soon enough my two years was up and I was coming back home. When I did, when I was finally back, it was as if I hadn’t left.

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about me, in my opinion, my travels

Did I Jump At Ariel’s Point?

I’ve been to Boracay several times already. Definitely not as much as the usual LABORACAY crowd, but my last trip there was my fourth time and every time I go, I experience something different. This trip, I got to visit Ariel’s Point. Confession: I knew nothing about Ariel’s Point when they sent me the itinerary, so I Googled it and thought it was quite interesting. You pay Php2000 for the all-inclusive extravaganza: roundtrip boat ride; buffet lunch and unlimited drinks; and free use of facilities for kayaking, snorkeling and cliff diving.
All about the boat… it’s time to party

You get a discount if you are a guest at the Boracay Beach Club; nonetheless, you can book online or as a walk-in. We made reservations 2 days before and gathered at the registration point at 11:00 am, on the day. To get there, we road a boat and they started serving beer the moment we got to our seats. It was, maybe a 30-minute ride, after which we got to the island where we could pick huts or tables to settle in.

While there, you get to enjoy cliff dives from three different heights: 5, 8, and 15 meters or you could go kayaking, snorkeling or simply take a leisurely swim in the sea. An hour from our arrival, lunch was served, but from the moment we arrived at the island, the drinks were overflowing. They were serving beer, sodas and rum coke. They also served banana fritters for an afternoon delight, right before we boarded the boat back.

To Jump or Not to Jump
I posted the photo below during the time I was contemplating over whether to jump or not. When we got there I watched people take their dive down 5 meters, 8 meters and 15 meters. The 15 meter jump looked very ominous and deadly but I watched everyone jump down the 5 meters (some of my companions did right away) and decided I could do it.
Before lunch I made a declaration: “I am going to jump!” and I was quite psyched already. Some people commented on my post on FB and Instragram, telling me to go for it and I thought: “I might as well, you know, I’m already here.” But right before I finished my food I got a message from my best friend: “Crix, careful sa Ariel’s Point… dami kami patient who had accident there before when I worked at Bora”. (Crix be careful at Ariel’s Point. We had lots of patients who had accidents there when I was working in Boracay before.)
Anyway, I didn’t jump. It wasn’t really her text, I am not making her my excuse. I had the same feeling before she messaged, my thoughts just became more certain. I am not afraid of the water (I was swimming without my life vest and going deep with goggles to explore underwater the whole time). I am not afraid of heights (I used to jump from the roof of our house or jump from a high tree). What ate me was the “what if” and when you’re paranoid and can think as far ahead as 10 steps all the time… the YOLO thing has a different interpretation in my head. I only live once and freak accidents can happen anytime.
Ariels Point. The amazing 15-meter height with a man in mid-air and about to plunge into the sea. On the side of the photo you can see the 5-meter and 8-meter planks.
Anyway, who knows… maybe my calculations will be different in another time? Of the group I was with, five people jumped and they said it was awesome. By the middle of the stretch of time we were there people were drunk already and guys were jumping naked, cupping their groins a they dove. Two girls jumped topless, hugging each other for cover. Ariel’s Point is a different experience. Probably not my kind of fun, but it was for some.
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