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Of Asking What’s Wrong to Finding What’s Right

I’ve been wondering for so many years what’s wrong with me why I’m not in a serious romantic relationship when most girls and women my age are getting engaged, married, and having babies.

I asked myself countless of times, “Pangit ba ako? or Super taba ko na ba?” I’ve been trying to comfort myself with the words, “Matalino naman ako, mabait, at malambing. Masaya din naman ako kasama.” How come I’m not committed yet?

At times I get so used to the idea that being single is fun. I can actually date any guy who would ask me out. I have no commitments. I own my time. I do not have anyone to think of or care about aside from my strong, independent, and stubborn self. But, this train of thoughts do not soothe the longing to be in a relationship and the desire of having someone to have and to hold.

I became a hopeful romantic…

Everywhere I go, I welcome the idea of finding my one true love. I thought of meeting him in a bus or plane ride. Every mountain I hike becomes an easy climb with the thought that maybe he is already there at the peak. Every island is a paradise with the thought that maybe he is also there wandering and looking for me.

I waited, prayed, gave up, stumbled, prayed, and waited again. For years, I was thinking of what I have done wrong, or what’s wrong with me, or if I was looking at the wrong places. In this cycle, God made me see that there is nothing wrong with me, it’s just that it wasn’t the right time yet.

For 8 years, from 2009 to 2016, I have included “to be pursued by a man and be in a relationship” in my faith goals. Every prayer and fasting, I asked God for someone to love and to be loved in return.

Until 2017 came, I intentionally not include being in a relationship in my faith goals, not because I gave up on it or I lose my faith already, but because God impressed on me that getting married and having a family of my own is His plan and promise for my life. So, I don’t have to beg Him for it rather I should trust in His timing.

Lo and behold, when I least expect it, when I thought that the year is ending again and I’m still not in a relationship, and just when I gave up searching for love, love found me.

God moves mysteriously.

God has brought him to me at the right place and the best time possible. He is God’s gift to me, delivered just outside our home on my 28th birthday (literally).

Looking back on why our paths haven’t crossed before…

I started hiking way back 2012 with Mt. Pulag in Benguet as my first mountain while he was busy toiling their land on the other side of the mountain province. That was the closest chance I could get to meet him, if left to my own will and strength. I visited several islands and dive seas, while he was somewhere in the other part of the ocean, training as a diver. I ride commercial bus and planes, while he ride military/police service transportation. He has never been on an island for leisure but he was training in the forests. Most of my time were spent traveling here and there while he spent most of his inside their barracks. There is little to no chance of meeting each other if we will look at it in our own situations and differences.

But, God has His own ways of bringing us together.

Who would have thought that in this archipelagic nation of 7,641 islands, the two of us will share a seat under a beautiful night sky? I still can’t fathom how a man from the mountains of Ifugao (him) and a woman from a penal colony in Davao (me) found our ways to each other. I haven’t computed how many islands have separated us before or how many miles there is, but there’s one thing I know and that is – the world is too small in God’s great and gracious hands.

I’m grateful that as God took our hands, He leads him to me and I to him, so we can have and hold each other’s hands.

[10-27-17 Our first picture together taken after our first jogging around Sunken Garden. This is truly an answered prayer, for I have long been asking God to send someone who will run with me at night.]

God is indeed the One behind every best love story written. I can’t write our own story yet for we are only in the first chapters, but I am sure and is at peace that God has prepared the best plot for us two.

Both of us weren’t totally faithful in our individual seasons of waiting, but God is faithful to lead us to each other, just as He planned it.

I hope that as you read this, most especially if you are a single person, you will be more faithful to God and His perfect plans for your life. Remember that His promises come in His own ways and in His appointed time. He will make all things beautiful in His time.

Trust God in the waiting, in the weeping, in the wandering, and even in your past wrongdoings. Know that He alone can turn the wrongs to rights. He work wonders and write the best love stories. Allow Him to author yours. 😍

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The thing about Love and Pain

“Pain demands to be felt”, and for many years, I tried to escape anything that can cause me pain. This is the reason why I can’t jump off cliffs because I’m afraid that when I fall, I might get hurt.

Lately, I have been posting on Social Media about the man I’m currently dating. I even created a hashtag for all my post about him, #CardoSavesTheDay, which is very new to me since I tried to escape love to avoid the pain it may bring.

For the first time in 28 years, I’ve openly told my family, friends, and friends of friends that there is one blessed man who’ve reached my heart and my Facebook timeline. It created a buzz to those who knew me as a strong, independent woman, most especially to those who know that I’m not the type who would share my dating status to anyone, much more on my public accounts. BUT, this time was different. I finally have the boldness and courage to open up and officially commit.

For those who knew me well, and I mean very well, they knew that I have commitment issues and that I really fear getting hurt. I’m afraid that when I decided to love, I will be left behind in the end, or I’ll be cheated on, and that eventually, I’ll be heartbroken. Things like these go inside my mind, that’s why I’m scared to love. I’m afraid of the love that may hurt me eventually.

My heart is guarded, but this time, I finally allowed someone in. I have been asked if I’m ready to be hurt, and I was surprised with my courageous and certain reply,

Pain is inevitable, but we choose our pain. We choose what’s worth it.

I cannot remember exactly where I’ve read those lines, but one thing is for sure, it made me believe that love is a decision and that I can choose my pain in the same way I decided to love.

If in time I’ll found myself hurting in this love that I chose, then I’ll make sure that it will be worth it. After all, there should be no fear in love, for even Love, Himself, suffered so much pain for someone unworthy as me.

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Where are you heading?

Have you ever pondered on the question, “Where your life will end?”

Every day we get up from bed to go to work, do our chores, pay our bills, settle our insurances and taxes, take some rest, then work again.

Life has become routinary.

To escape the routine, we go on vacations once or twice a year and make sure that we get to celebrate the holidays.

Life has become a cycle.

To break the cycle, some of us head to a full stop such as taking an early retirement or take a detour to make sure that life does not escape us or simply bore us.

Life has become a state where we get stuck, so we do all our best to keep moving and moving, not minding the fact that we don’t have any direction at all.

Is your life now a boring, directionless, routinary cycle? Are you certain of where you are heading? If not, try to look back from where you came from. Are you moving far from it? Or, are you heading back to it?

Looking back does not hurt once in awhile. In fact, looking back reassures us that we have gone so far in moving forward from where we begin.

I don’t know about you, but I believe that if there is one certain path that we will take, it must be the path that leads us to our original design. Our life must begin from the One who made us and it should also end with Him.

Like Ebe Dancel’s song, Bawat Daan, may we be able to sing to God…

Kung ang puso ko ay imamapa

Ikaw ang dulo, gitna’t simula…

Kumanan man o kaliwa

Kung timog man o hilaga

Ang bawat daan ko ay patungo,

pabalik, Sa’Yo.

If my heart will be mapped

You will be the end, center and beginning…

If I turn right or left,

If I go south or north

All my road will lead

back to You.

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Live for Your Why’s

The world’s troubles can drown us, but our why’s can keep us afloat.

What is your “Why”? Are you living according to purpose? Are you living for something? Or, you’re just living because you don’t have any choice?

There are two significant days in a human life – the day you were born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain

I’m so excited to share with you my “Passion x Purpose” Project coming out in 12 days, as I also celebrate my 28th birthday! Living for my Why’s!

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Your Worth, Your Rights, Your Price

What can you buy with one thousand pesos in the Philippines (20usd)?

A thousand peso is just half of my weekly school allowance, even less than my monthly coffee expenses, only a third of my monthly mobile plan bill, and a single fee I pay for a bodyhair cold wax service. My list of personal expenses worth a thousand pesos can go on, but my point is – I cannot live with just a thousand pesos for a month. So, what more a government institution designed to protect and preserve the rights and liberty of humans?

Yesterday (September 13, 2017), the Philippines House of Representatives approved a monthly budget of one thousand pesos only for our Commission on Human Rights (CHR). This was shocking, devastating, and heart-piercing.

How could they do that? What were they thinking? Were they on a sound mind or are they up to something?

I cannot see a good rationalization with this national concern. More so, when someone said, “since the CHR only defends the criminals, then they should have asked their budget from the criminals as well.”

Criminals? Aren’t they humans too? Unless, I wasn’t informed that they are now plants and animals.

I am just one of the few Filipinos who are upset about this. I’m upset because I don’t know what’s going on in the minds of our lawmakers. I’m upset because my friends in nationbuilding are ranting (instead of collaborating) here and there and some blame it on one person alone, whom they beleived is the brain behind all these. If only one brain is behind all these things, then this makes our lawmakers brainless. It sounds like people power, impeachment cases, and coups are around the corner again.

But, let me go back to the word “few” because that is what bothers and affects me the most. There are millions of Filipinos, but only a number cringed with the CHR budget passed by our congressmen. Aren’t we all humans? Shouldn’t we fear the fact that our rights can be threatened or is already threatened by this?

What is upsetting me more is that no one among my students (both Senior High and College students) seem to care. I welcome all the rants my nationbuilder friends poured out on social media. I really do. I read every word of it; they are entitled to their own opinions and emotions.

But, my students!!! Not a single one cried foul. 😭 Don’t they even know their rights? their worth? their value as a human being? Do they watch the news and read the papers? If they are more concerned with the class suspensions and the latest Korean Oppa, then what kind of future our country will have?

It makes me question my profession as a Public School Teacher and a Nurse. Who do we blame for the youth’s innocence, vulnerability, and lack of empathy? I took the blame to myself. I have a part on shaping the future, and I am sorry I failed somehow. 😭😓 I’ll give my best to work on this, to make the youth the best hope for our nation’s next generations.

To the Filipino youth reading this, I hope that you will be secured that your worth and rights are far higher than a thousand pesos. Not because the institution that is meant to preserve and protect our integrity as humans is not given enough worth, we already become worthless humans with an affordable price for our rights.

Know your worth and your rights. Above all, know that you are priceless!

Our lives are priceless, and our rights – to exist, to live, to voice out and be heard, to be given a name, to be educated, cared for, and valued, are ours to claim and defend for.

Do not be silent. Let your voice be heard because that is your RIGHT, most especially now that it is being threatened and priced below its real worth. It is not just your future we are talking about here but the future of our country.

Kabataan, ikaw pa din ang pag-asa ng bayan. Gumising ka at mamulat, bago pa mahuli ang lahat. Karapatan mo ay ipaglaban at pahalagahan.

Images are grabbed from Google

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Let’s talk about Murder

War there. Killing here.

Corpse there. Bullets here.

Evidence there. Drugs here.

What made killings and illegal drugs so rampant and popular these days is that we are officially talking about it. Illegal drugs and injustice has long been an issue of our country. But, we only talked about it out in the open when the elected-President speaks about it like it is a common, usual topic. He talks about killing people like it is a normal thing to do.

BUT, isn’t it really normal?

Even before he won, there were killings everywhere, but we don’t talk about it. The media doesn’t put it on the headlines. We’re not informed about it, so we can not talk about it. We were silent.

How many innocent blood have been shed and lives lost that we have not heard of? How many children, mother, father, and old people who died a tragic death but were not mourned and prayed for? How many families cried for justice but were never heard in the past years and even decades?

Yet, we scream now #SILENTNOMORE

Why only now?

Where were us when the Prison Guards of Bilibid where shoot down by gunmen hired by those rich druglords in prison? Where were us when fathers raped their daughters and mothers sold their children to foreigners? Where were us when bodies were chopped and thrown in the ocean or locked in a luggage? Did we mourn for them? Did we cry foul? Did we say ‘enough’? Did we even blame anyone for it?

If we look at our crime rates, we can probably enumerate a lot of instances that we have been silent for the past decades, yet we only speak now.

During his presidential campaign, Mr.President said that if ever he wins, “it’s gonna be bloody”, and so it is now. It’s bloody because we can openly see it, hear about it and talk about it. Killings do not happen in the dark and shootings are not done in secluded areas anymore. Public areas such as malls, highways, streets, and homes are now the murder arena. There are bodies left dead out in the open. There are those who were killed and are mourned by a number of Filipinos because “we are silent no more”.

If we can talk about it in the open, then openly and collectively, we can address it. We are not to tolerate murder (because it appears to be normal now), rather we can confront it straight to the eye and condemned it as a sin, a thing that only the devil does.

Let’s talk about murder. Isn’t it what God has done when he faced Cain? He knows what Cain did, but He still asked of his brother. Do you think God was not there when Cain murdered Abel? God was there, but He also wants to hear it out from Cain, himself.

How about us? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about the murders of our brothers?

I just hope that before we open our mouths to be silent no more, may we also remember the deaths of those who do not make it to the news and our knowlege.

May we not neglect the fact that we are our brothers keepers and that the things we did to them and what we failed to do for them are still our accountability to God.

May we not blame one man alone, just because he was the first one to talk about this in public. You can call me bias, but this is a democratic country with millions of people who are supposed to be responsible for each other.

May we all remember that it is the Lord who gives and takes away life. He is the Author of everything. He allowed such things to happen from appointing the President to what’s happening in our country today. He was, is, and will always be in control.

This is not just the time to be silent no more, but this is the time that we confess our sins – a thing that Cain failed to do, even when God asked him to.

God said…

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

Photo grabbed from Google images