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Cure for the Insecure

It’s officially summer here in the Philippines! Summer means having sun-kissed skin and extra-bodyweight, at least for me (because I once heard someone who said that if you have not gained weight or have darker skin during summer that means you have not enjoyed the season). Having been to the beach already, I now have a darker complexion compared to my natural skin color. In just a week, I already heard of countless compliments from different girl friends even from strangers on how they like my “tan”. I really love having this I-went-to-the-beachskin.

One thing bothers me about having this temporary complexion is that I cannot understand why the women who say they like my summer tan are also the same women who are after having fairer skin. In fact, I even heard one who informed me before that she envies women like me who were born with naturally fair skin. Now that my skin is no longer fair due to constant sun exposure, she still envies me? She envies me when I’m fair and she envies me now that I have a tan complexion. Obviously, the problem is not with my skin color.

Whenever people tells me that I’m getting fat, I only replied with, “Did I get ugly?” because why would I fret being fat? Fats can only make me look unfit but never ugly. So, when insecure women tell me I get darker, I also respond with, “Am I ugly with this skin color?” because then again, I know I’m beautiful in whatever shape, size and color. Don’t get me wrong here. The beauty that I’m talking about goes beyond what meets the eye.

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Acceptance, Confidence, and Security are the things I know (and have) that battle and cure one of the cancers of society called Insecurity.

The society can never have a single standard for beauty, but you can always ACCEPT your own beauty. There are women who wants fairer skin because they have brown complexion, while women who are fair uses tanning lotions to get darker skin. See? Why not accept your own color? or your weight? At least there’s one person in this world who accepts your beauty for whatever it is.

It takes CONFIDENCE to show that you have fully accepted your own beauty. Even when the weighing scale told me that I’m already obese, I still confidently wear cute girly dresses. Even when I am surrounded by long-legged ladies, I still confidently walk around them with my chin up, chest out and my flabby stomach in. Why would I let other people stop me from showing the “fearfully and wonderfully made” creation of God in me? If you know and believe that God created all things as good, pleasing and perfect, then why will you be insecure? Aren’t you created by God too?

When I came back after my summer getaway, I showed some of my pictures to my mother. I told her that those pictures are unfiltered because the beauty of the place does not need to be filtered. Then she told me that I should have filtered my size. Ouch! What a comment from my own mother! If I am insecure, I could have been offended by those words. But, nah! I took that lightly. Why? Because I look like my mother, if she calls me ugly or fat, then I can just say, “I look like you, Ma. If I’m ugly that is because you are ugly” and we would just laugh at it.

In the same way, if we know and believe that we are the daughters of the King of kings, then we should act likewise. Is there a princess who is insecure of her status? If the all-powerful God is your dad, then will there be anything to be insecure of? I hope that when you finally have an answer to this question, you’ll be able to accept your own kind of beauty, walk confidently in it, and be secured with the fact that you are God’s masterpiece.

Be secured with the fact that you are God’s masterpiece.

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” – Song of Solomon 4:7

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16

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Women

Cheers to all women who embrace the notions that (1) freedom is a personal choice, (2) equality does not equate to similarity, and (3) happiness can be found/created wherever they are. Happy International Women’s Day!

#InternationalWomensDay2017 #Forward2oi7💃

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Hello, #Forward2oi7

Another year, another beginning.

New hope, new seasons.

This is the year that the Lord has made!

I will praise and delight of its days.

I will be expectant and excited.

I will be faithful and forgiving.

I will persevere and be patient.

I will trust and obey the Lord.

I will make my days count.

I will say “No” to disposable relationships.

I will say “Yes” to God’s Grace.

I will let go of the past hurts and bitterness.

I will move on to where God will take me, as I #Forward2oi7

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Surely, Someday

The rain is pouring out

Giving chills to my warm heart

Through the window pane

Thoughts flooded my brain
Maybe somewhere in a faraway land

Someone is meant to hold my hand

To comfort in pains, to correct the wrongs

To breathe fresh air into the lungs
To watch sunsets and sunrise

To dry the tears from my eyes

To share the hopes of tommorow

To connect deeply through the skin down to the marrow
To witness the skies turned gray to clear

To sing lullabies and music to the ear

To witness the blooming and fading of a rose

To bring tickle and aroma to the nose
To cross borders and boulders

To rest my head on his shoulders

To bring out each other’s best

Or to simply lie on his chest
To drink tea, coffee or wine

To wrap his arms around my spine

To share secrets and cooking tips

To bring thousand kisses to the lips
We may be separated now by oceans or just a river

Like blood knows its path to the liver,

I know our feet will find its way

Not maybe, but surely, someday.

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I can Only Hope: An Open Letter to my Grade 11 Earth Science students

Today, we reach the end of our Earth Science class. As your teacher, I can only hope for the best of you and your future.

I hope you learn from our lessons and the activities we have in this subject. More importantly, I hope you will apply all these learning in your life.

I hope that every time you look at the stars at night, you will remember the gases that formed it and the supernova that will end its life.

I hope that as you walk on rocks, you will remember that it is not only there for us to step on; it contains minerals and even our Earth’s history.

I hope that whenever it rains, you’ll remember why it has to fall.

I hope that when you’re out on a beach and it’s very hot, you’ll recall how the heat of the sun takes away the waters of our oceans and how it will return again to us.

I hope that you will not only see land as something dirty, instead you will appreciate and take care of it to prevent weathering, erosion, and mass wasting.

I hope that you travel someday and see a lot more of our Earth, and the universe even more. As you do so, I hope when you see Mayon Volcano or any mountain, you will remember how it was formed and the endogenic processes that made the mountains stand.

I hope that when you cross oceans, you will remember that underneath the deep blue seas are ridges and seafloor that spreads due to the intense heat beneath the crust.

I hope that you’ll visit other countries and continents, and remember that the world’s land pieces were once together. And someday, it will get back together.

I hope you’ll remember how vast our expanding universe is and where in this vastness you belong.

I hope you’ll always remember that if the stars are born with such precision (not just by any luck or any chance), you were also created with a reason and perfection.

And if, the rocks exist for an awesome purpose, then you as a human has all the more reason to live and not just exist.

I hope you will see and appreciate the Earth more than what you learned from our class.

I hope you’ll realize that the Earth is the only planet where humans live….

…and it’s the only planet with oxygen, chocolates and love. 🙂

Lastly, I hope one day when you have seen and explored more of the Earth, you’ll be able to remember me and say to yourself, “’eto pala yung pinag-aralan namin sa Earth Science ni Miss Ram.”

I can only teach you the basics and what the books and researches have said. But honestly, I know that what I shared with you in class are not (and will never be) enough.

You’ll never know the Science of the Earth, until you learn to explore it yourself.

– Teacher Ram

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Honor Thy Father

Papang and Me

Photos above are taken on my first birthday, and the lines below are the words I was never able to say to my Father who passed away before I learn the words “I Love You”.

 

You were already old
And your heart was failing.
You have four grown up children
Yet, you still chose to adopt me.

You’ve given me your first and last name
And made sure everyone gets to know me before you die.
You called me your own
And considered me your “manna”.

We may have limited photos
in the two years that we are together.
But these are all enough
To show that you are my father.

Pang, you held me in your arms
You helped me stand
You made sure I won’t fall
And you taught me how to walk.

You’ve left me your books,
your journals, home furnitures,
and bottles of Black Label,
reminding me of your good taste (making me choose likewise).

What in this world an adopted child

could have asked for more from a Father?
I can only wish that you lived longer

and witnessed all I have and become.

 

I couldn’t say that you raised me well

or that you can be proud of me.
But you’ve raised my elder sisters and brother
and they made sure you will be proud of your adopted child (as they stand as my guardians).

 

You will always be my Father, Pang!
My two-page Birth Certificate, my IQ level,

my Chinese attributes and our somehow matched DNAs
would suffice to prove that.

 

I love you Pang! I’ll do my very best to honor you and Mamang in every way I can.

Happy Father’s Day up there! 🙂

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SAVED DATE

April 15, 2016

After a minor invasive procedure – Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

I never knew how strong I am, not until I walked in the operating room, got fully sedated, walked out of the recovery room, processed my hospital bills and left the hospital ALL BY MYSELF. I was left an independent girl at 13 and I still had to be 13 years later. I know for a fact that ever since Mamang (my grandmother and legal mother) died, I am to look after myself always ‘coz there’s no one to do that for me anymore. My siblings are all married and got families of their own including my ever-hardworking, biological mother. I was never comfortable to bother them to babysit me or simply care for me, for I know that they have more important things to look after compared to a 26-year-old, in-pain woman in me. They raised me to be independent after all.

After my very first operating table experience, I literally just walked out of the hospital in spite of the cautions given by the hospital staff. I simply assured them that I am nurse, and I know what to do with myself in case there is anything unpleasant that will happen to me after the procedure. They were not convinced though. 🙂

I do not want to go home yet. It was too hot, there’s no enough ventilation in my room. I am hungry ‘coz I had to fast the night before, and I don’t want to sleep ‘coz I just woke up from a general anaesthesia sedation. I decided to eat somewhere all by myself, since I am so used to it and very comfortable to do so. 🙂

I guess the enemy’s eyes were prying on me at that time, and seeing me in my independence, he took his chance at me with his very unwelcome sales talk. I never knew how strong my faith is, not until the enemy started telling me with lies saying, “Look at you, you just had a minor operation and you were in so much pain, yet there’s no one to be with you now. No one cares for you. You’ve got friends, family and ministry, but where are they now? You’ve got a family, but they don’t care for you. Did they even ask, ‘How are you feeling right now?’ They do not love you. NO ONE LOVES YOU.”

Tears started flowing from my eyes, and as soon as I come into my senses and with the Spirit, I immediately wiped it with my then swelling hands and replied to the cunning enemy, “Get behind me Satan or better yet leave me alone. I am not going to feel sorry for myself for choosing to be alone and for being in pain. I chose to do things by myself, and I am secured that I am not unloved. I AM AND WILL ALWAYS BE DROWNING IN THE DEPTHS OF GOD’S LOVE. No one can take me away from that, not even you.” Right then and there, I felt relieved and will not entertain another word of sorrow from the devil.

I called another independent friend to join me for dinner, and so we had an awesome time together, laughing our hearts out with our recent life stories. See, I was not alone at all? I’ve got friends to call just to be with me. And even if I am left with myself, I KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH ME ALWAYS AND FOR ETERNITY. THAT’S A FACT THAT IS HARD TO DOUBT.

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April 15, 2005

Youth Camp

Exactly 11 years ago, I made the biggest decision of my life in accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. See? It has been 11 years, and I’m still counting on the faithfulness of Christ in me. Ngayon pa ba ko bibitaw sa Kanya? Pambihira naman!

It was my eleventh birthday in Christ. (I did celebrate with pizza and ice cream party the following day).

I do not believe in coincidences. God is just so timely to remind me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me. I’m pretty sure God was smiling at me, as I fought the enemy on that day – my saved date.

I do not believe in coincidences. God is just so timely to remind me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me.

I may be vulnerable to the traps of evil at times, but I can always be secured that I am God’s child no matter what. The enemy can only try, but he will surely not win.