PAIN

How many times have you been hurt? When was the first time you did? Any debilitating ones? And do you also ask yourself again and again, why the heck do we need to experience pain?

As I write this, my eyes are a bit swollen from crying about a certain character in one of the fictitious series I’ve long been following. I won’t spoil anything, don’t worry. When the episode was over, I took a leak after holding it for too long and realized, how many times do we have to experience pain in our lifetime?

In my 31 years of existence, I’ve experienced all kinds of pain. Not even gonna sugarcoat it with “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, because it fucks the shit out of you. From jellyfish stings, to my oftentimes unbearable period cramps, to losing myself and even loved ones and to thinking that one day, I’ll lose more.

Was supposed to publish this a few days ago, but I didn’t feel like doing so ’til today when I learned about a girl, an artist only a year younger than me, found dead. Another loss, another reason to feel pain, but it doesn’t stop, does it? Pain is part of life, ironically.

Back in college, a professor once said that people tend to forget what pain feels like. She was teaching OB Nursing. She said that it’s also partly why women get pregnant for the second time, even though the first one made them go through hell of a pain. Ain’t that just wonderful?

But then again, aren’t you grateful for when that day comes, and you wake up not feeling so hurt anymore? The jellyfish sting eventually fades. The cramps eventually go away, thanks to my meds lol (I know I have to go to an OB the soonest). And surprisingly, the pain of losing a loved one progresses from DENIAL in DABDA (5 stages of grief) to that last A which stands for what leads to healing, which is ACCEPTANCE.

Whenever I get scared or feel like questioning all the painful things happening around lately, I look up and ask for strength and grace to go through, accept and eventually be grateful for it all. Not an easy feat, but it is what it is. Let it fulfill its purpose.

xoxo,

KAPANGYARIHAN

First things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMA MARY! Haven’t prayed the Rosary in a while, but glad we were able to squeeze in a quick trip back home for Mama’s birthday over the weekend—this meant praying the Rosary as a family every day after dinner. To me, praying has always been very calming and reassuring. Gives you that feeling of certainty and safety amidst all the bad stuff happening around. Speaking of KAPANGYARIHAN, don’t you also feel oh so powerful when you pray and when you know God and Mama Mary both got yerrr back?

I could say the same for Ben & Ben‘s new song and also my ultimate favorite atm, “KAPANGYARIHAN“. I finally gave in to Spotify’s suggestion to listen to the band’s—(are they actually called a band? coz they seem so much more than just a band. Yehes meganern?) second album, Pebble House, Vol. 1: Kuwaderno.

I’ve actually seen previews a few weeks before their new album launch through a photographer I follow, Aia Solis. I assumed (based on her stories) that together with other photographers, she helped shoot photos for Ben & Ben’s album cover and other publicity photos.

I think I may like this new album more than their first. It had lots of collaboration with equally talented artists including Chito Miranda, Moira Dela Torre, KZ Tandingan, Juan Karlos and some artists whom I’ve heard first on this album, Zild, Munimuni and SB19 who all did great, btw!

I only got to listen to their most popular songs from their first album, so comparing that to my obsession with their second album would be unfair and only leave a bad taste in your mouth, so no comparison here, promise! To be fair though, I think that listening to their sophomore album gives you a grasp into a reality that goes beyond break ups and heartaches. I felt empowered and not just because of their song “Kapangyarihan”. They incorporated so much more issues in this album, which is a plus! You’ll have to listen to it to know, and like what they said in this interview on TV Patrol, these songs hit you in the spot. I couldn’t explain it any better than that. Lol.

Last week, while working from home and when I finally listened to the album, I literally dropped whatever it was I was doing when “Kapangyarihan” played. The words were too powerful, I couldn’t contain what that song evoked in me. In my mind, all I can think of was the “Tumindig” movement–closed fist high up in the air!

Over the weekend, the song was also featured on TV Patrol saying it was a big hit and I suddenly remembered just a few days prior, I posted about how the song made me feel on literally all of my social media accounts. Wait, it’s not why it’s trending right now, is it? CHAROT! Echos lang powshshzhswwhh! Kidding aside, it should be listened to by everyone, especially by those in position.

I know being a Filipino right now, in this pandemic seems like a long and agonizing torture, but we will have to endure this for now, knowing that God’s grace will help us go through it all. And of course, the biggest thing we can do right now is to do our research before the elections and when the time comes, VOTE for the right people! I cannot stress that enough, because we’ve had enough!!

Leaving you guys with THE SONG! I hope it does more than give you LSS, the goosebumps and teary eyes!

P.S. Kudos to Ben & Ben! Was listening to this song on repeat on my flight back to Cebu and all I could think of was how beautiful the Philippines is (it looks so glorious from above) and we cannot just let people destroy it.

Akala niyo ba, ang kapangyarihan
Ay nasa inyo? Sino ba kayo?

‘Di naman kami nagkulang
Sa aming pag-uunawa
‘Di ka namin isusuka
Kung hindi ka pa sukdulan

Huwag niyong tapakan
Ang katarungan

Akala niyo ba, ang kapangyarihan
Ay nasa inyo? Sino ba kayo?
Magwawagi ang katotohanan
Ang kadiliman ay ibabagsak

Nagsisilbi ka dapat
Nagsisilbi ka dapat

Ibon na may layang lumipad
‘Di mo na makukulong

Akala niyo ba, ang kapangyarihan
Ay nasa inyo? Sino ba kayo?
Magwawagi, ang katotohanan
Ang kadiliman ay ibabagsak

Nagsisilbi ka dapat
Nagsisilbi ka dapat

Katotohanan ang dapat mamuno
Sa namumuno sa mamamayan
Makatarungan ang dapat mamuno
Sa namumuno sa mamamayan

Nagsisilbi ka dapat
Nagsisilbi ka dapat

xoxo,

The Sunday Currently / 17

In case you wanna know, this is a SIDDATHORNTON BLOG LINK UP. This series ended in 2014 yet a lot of people still continued doing this on their respective blogs. I was #76 on the list of blog links and will post my 17th TSC today as proof of life. lol.

C U R R E N T L Y . . .

R E A D I N G  I know it’s been more than a year, yet I still haven’t finished reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”. You don’t have to rub it in my face. *rolls eyes* Well, if you must know, I just recently found the book in the trunk of my car after MIA for almost a year, so this time, I promise, I’m gonna end this once and for all. Lol.

W R I T I N G  I haven’t written anything for a while. I think I may need to write that article for my writing course due many weeks back. *ya think???!* 

L I S T E N I N G  to my landlady’s dog barking at the neighbor’s dog yet again. It’s a lazy Sunday morning and I just finished an episode of “SCHMIGADOON“, an Apple TV Musical that Abbey Sy recommended on her IG story. And since I brought it up, I had to look up my fave song from the show atm, “Corn Pudding“. Super catchy, isn’t it?

T H I N K I N G  of how to earn more moolah and all the stuff I need done today, but also thinking about how I just wanna stay in bed all day. Get what I mean?

S M E L L I N G  nothing. Chill, I don’t have the virus! Boy, I need to eat!

W I S H I N G  I could figure out a way to earn more mooolah! haha mukhang pera much?!

W E A R I N G  my Kill Bill shirt from yesterday. Don’t ask why! lol.

L O V I N G  this day. It’s Sunday! Also, my skin—Been taking supplements and drinking lotsa water, detox juices, kombucha. Hope all those are paying off. Also loving this VOD subscription app for all the new movies, live tv and series! If it weren’t for my family, I would’ve unsubscribed from Netflix already! Also loving this new IG TV series by “First Bike Ride” called Super Ultra Panks. If you’re into biking these days and into kwela adventures with your friends, you have to see this!

W A N T I N G  to go diving or lounge at the beach for the longest time. *sighs again* lol. 

N E E D I N G  a vacation and really good food!

F E E L I N G  grateful still for good friends and good conversations. Also loving my alone time with GOD.

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope you are all happy, safe, sound and in the warm, loving arms of your loved ones! Yes, cheesy Sunday, it is!

xoxo,

Yellow Fins

Not as yellow as I would have wanted, but I am in love with them!

Last year, smack dab in the middle of the pandemic, I was introduced to the world of FREEDIVING by a guy I briefly dated. For someone who fears the deep blue waters, it did not excite me at all. I was terrified. It didn’t help to hear stories of people blacking out or coming out of the water with bleeding noses, but the thought of trying something new tickled my adventurous and hydrophilic heart.

In September, I took an Introduction course in Mactan, Cebu with the Pacific Blue Freedivers, under Marion Sumalinog himself, a Molchanov instructor who also recently competed in Bohol and now holds a Constant Weight record of 61m!

I only dream of doing awra shots in the deep, but seeing how much freedom and peace of mind you get from diving into the deep in just one breath hold, I’m not surprised why this water sport and the community has grown quite quickly over the past years.

After completing the course, I went on weekend dives to see if I will eventually grow tired of it or in my case, will give up trying because I couldn’t get my duck dive and equalization right. My frustration grew more as I fail to even reach the sea floor at 5m deep.

My last dive was back in November and seeing as it would be pointless to dive again and again without improvement, I thought, there’s probably no need for me to buy fins anymore. And I would also let go of the sport as easily as I let go of the one who introduced it to me. Chos!

Though I stopped diving for a while, my love for it grew as I continued to scroll through my freediving groups on facebook, stunning photos of freedivers on instagram, Seazoned and Apnea.ph (freediving schools I followed way before I got into the sport itself) and documentaries on Netflix and even of Erwan Heussaf. I also follow Alexey Molchanov on instagram and seeing how passionate he is with what he does, I knew, I couldn’t let it go of it just yet, without at least giving it one last try.

Little did I know, my brother was aching to go back diving as well. Unlike me, he got himself new fins immediately after his intro course and he didn’t want them to go to waste as they weren’t cheap. Lol.

We tried to go back diving in Mactan one weekend. Sadly, the timing was bad as it was just after Marion’s competition and the place was just too crowded even though I had slots reserved for us. Good thing, he booked us a drift dive in Moalboal through Nicco’s Place for his birthday!

I have to admit, it was one of the best things that ever happened during this pandemic and I am so glad I did not give it up just yet.

Unfortunately, the fins I ordered online didn’t arrive in time, so I had to rent from Nicco. The fins I used were longer than the usual ones I rent in Mactan; however, they were a bit loose, so I got blisters for the next 3 weeks. Fortunately, I had a really good time and the battle scars don’t matter to me no more. Haha! Yes, I do have a horrible scar on my heel and my butt cheeks and legs are 5 shades darker (don’t ever forget to put on sunscreen even if you’ll go down deep LOL) now, but they are all worth the fun 2km dive, the resident pawikans and sardine run in the home of the freedivers! My brother even got up close and swam next to a pawikan!

At first, I didn’t expect much from the dive. After all, it was my first dive since November and knowing how much I suck, I was surprised I FINALLY perfected my duck dive! I even did a dolphin kick once on the way down after duck diving. How I did all those and not die, was all by God’s grace and probably from the fear of humiliation from the group we were with that day. Haha.

So, I finally got my YELLOW (of course) pre-ordered fins from Leaderfins Philippines last week (after more than a month of waiting) and a bunch of bright colored swimwear from Shopee. I am just waiting for my PINK customized fins bag from Reez Custom Spearguns (yes I am a fan of fun colors forever and always). We are just waiting for the weather to improve before I finally get back into the deep once again!

Moral of this post, wear sunscreen, equalize before diving, pray lots, and don’t give up just yet!

Before I end this post, I’m sharing some of the documentaries I love watching over and over and a clip from our recent dive! Also saying hi to my blogger friend, Aysa who is one heck of a freediver in one of the best places to dive ever!

35 sec clip of moi! haha!

xoxo,

My Purpose Driven Journey

A few days after Ash Wednesday, my longtime best friends, “the CKhristines”, Juci (Kristine), Chris (tine) and I embarked on a 40-day Purpose Driven Life (PDL) journey.

I’ve always wanted to read the book (papa’s copy has just been sitting around the house after he read it a couple of times — wonder how he found it though bec my friends and I had some significant reactions towards Catholic vs Christian teachings), and I’m glad Juci invited us to read a chapter a day and to meet up via Zoom every night to discuss.

It was a 40-day virtual bible sesh that I have been craving for since I stopped attending my doctor’s group bible study due to the pandemic.

A couple of weeks back, we finally ended the nightly PDL meet ups (we had to push back a couple of times due to our work commitments aka e-numan sesh with clients lol) and I think I am having withdrawals, not only from my friends, but also from the new learnings about FAITH and GOD.

This PDL journey, although not perfect has taught my friends and I valuable (some are hard to swallow) truths about our faith and Christianity. I want to re-read the whole thing to understand it more or perhaps to discover hidden messages that I might have missed out the first time, or see teachings in a new light.

Nonetheless, here are some of my key takeaways from the book that I will be forever taking with me wherever I go:

  1. It all starts with GodThe purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. I’ve read something similar before and I wrote about it HERE. Our beginning and end is God, but somehow, due to our worldly ambitions, we kind of forget that and we try to make our whole life revolve solely around US. We fail to see things in a bigger perspective which is why we are so engrossed to making more money, making projects that aren’t for God or doing things for the glory of us. We can be so focused on finding our purpose, which we think we will discover when we find ourselves; when the one Being we should be looking to get closer to is God. When we do that, we discover our PURPOSE. Mic drop! Char!
  2. You were made for God, not vice versa, and life is about letting God use you for His purposes, not your using Him for your own purpose. Yes, it can be really trickyyy! *cue Tiktok This or That challenge. char. Answers will not become clear to us, unless we first accept that we were made for God’s purpose. All our mundane accomplishments on earth are mere mini-games in our life of a campaign mission. I brought this up to my friends early on during this nightly meet-ups and I asked them, “How does an fetus who died before he/she was born able to fulfill his or her mission?” Similarly, “How can we tell if a street dweller who dies in an accident was able or not able to fulfill his/her mission in God?” These might not be clear to all of us, but regardless of the length of our lives on earth, we all have a purpose and we will get to know it, once we become closer to God.
  3. You are not an accident – Your parents might not have planned you, but God did. – When I read this, I felt a warm, comforting feeling inside of me. It made me feel special, knowing that we were conceived in God’s mind way before we were conceived by our parents. How does that make you feel? You are that important to none other than God Himself! Every part of your body, your race, gender were all thought of by Him. And He created us not because He was lonely, but because He wanted to express His love! If you’re feeling unloved or sad or even depressed, perhaps you can remind yourself that you are loved by God and that He is a god of love. The very essence of His Being is LOVE.
  4. Benefits of knowing your purpose: 1) It gives meaning to your life, 2) It simplifies your life, 3) It focuses your life, 4) It motivates your life and finally 5) It prepares you for eternity – This chapter also specifically emphasizes that “Many people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth, yet, what ultimately matters most will not be what others say about your life, but what God says. You weren’t put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity. When you die and stand before God on the judgment seat, two things you will be asked are: “What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ?” and “What did you do with what I gave you?”
  5. When you live in light of eternity, your values change. – We are given a fleeting moment here on earth. Somehow, because of the problems and challenges we face on earth, we feel like a decade is too long or 80 years of living is too long, but when we focus on the life in eternity, we might think otherwise. We will begin to see these problems as trivial and insignificant. I remember watching lots of the outer space movies which have been a fad in Hollywood for a time and seeing the world from outer space feels like your problems don’t matter. Seeing the world from a plane’s window makes you feel insignificant in a world this big. This is how we should look at our lives. Our time on earth is too short to waste on anything less than loving God and loving our neighbors. Easy to say, right? That’s what I told my friends that I want to achieve for myself after our 40-day session ends. It is hard, but I want to be reminded of how we should live our lives here on earth.

There are still so many things that have been pointed out by Rick Warren on this book and I have to admit that some of them we already know, but we tend to ignore.

I remember sharing to my friends some sentiments about my faith. I told them that whenever I watch the film, “The Passion of Christ”, I feel a huge amount of regret and guilt after crying my eyes off during the second half of it. Then, I start thinking to myself that I should really change my ways after seeing this film. And that has been my initial reaction whenever I finish watching the movie and I think I’ve seen it several times. But what I fail to do is to follow through on those realizations. When problems arise, I lose all of what I have learned and realized during the film and go back to my old ways. What a waste!

Now that our PDL sessions have ended a couple of weeks back, here are some of the things that I want to achieve for myself:

  1. I want to be closer to God – in order to achieve this, I need to learn more about Him and the best way to do this is by READING THE BIBLE. My friends and I agreed that Christians are waaaaay over and beyond Catholics when it comes to understanding the Bible and that is one thing I wanna be better at as well.
  2. I want to fulfill my purpose, which is basically, loving God and loving others. Easy enough? Not at all. It is hard to do this when you aren’t completely in love with God. I can be a complete hypocrite and I want to change that. I don’t want to do all of this for show, because after all, when my life comes to an end, it will just be God and I and there is nothing I can hide from Him. He knows everything.
  3. I want to live my life for God, for in God, problems, loss, failure will all be bearable. With God’s grace, we can get past whatever stumbling block we have in front of us. I remember offering God my greatest challenges at work lately and I know some of those seemed impossible to achieve with the time constraints and all, but because He allowed it to, I was able to fulfill this work duty with excellence.

3 simple things yet I find so difficult to fulfill. Of course, I know I wouldn’t be able to do it alone. This is why I want to always be reminded of the things I learned in PDL and to ask for God’s grace to help me to these things before I die.

Funny, how a change in our mindset can also change our priorities and goals in life. Perhaps soon, I can finally let go and say “Thy will be done, Lord!”