To My Future Padawan

 

This world is cruel, some people around you will be disappointing, and you – no matter how hard you try – will get tired of fighting.

One day, you’ll find a cause to carry: an advocacy. Something that pierces deep within your soul that it burdens you to take action, to find your own voice, and to make a stand. You will hear it in your heartbeat, you will feel it in your trembling knees, you will see how it will change you as a person — how it can grow your character and fuel your passion. But, my little one, remember that truth is exclusive. Sincerity and faith are two good things but when it is anchored in something other than the truth, it is wrong. Truth is truth and it cannot be one or the other. Seek to know that which is true and glue your heart in fighting for it.

Should you find the urge to bring your advocacy to the streets, let it be known to you that your father and I will be there to support you. Like how the parents of my friend gave her words of advice on what to expect during street protests, I will also give you mine. Some people will say that it is a waste of time and it is disgusting, but listen to me love, it is never a waste of time and it is never disgusting. There’s nothing wrong with using your voice to speak up against injustice, violence, corruption, human rights or anything that’s in the core of your being. Learn from every people you will meet in this experience and be very observant in your surroundings. Notice the street children who are bewildered on what’s happening because this is their first time to encounter a sea of people chanting, raising placards, and uniting for a single purpose. Notice how one of them will tell the other that the people were doing the protests for the country, doing the protests for them. Notice how your heart will respond to that and cherish that moment forever.

And yes, of course, your mother is one emotional being who’s sometimes (or mostly) sensitive when people go against or get critical towards what she believes in. But your father, he is a wise man, he weighs and opens his mind to listen. Please forgive and have patience with your mother, she’s trying her hardest. Be like your father and find the balance.

It is a reality that people will agree and disagree with you. But even if they go for or against you, do not shut the door in front of their face and lose a relationship in the process. Somebody once told me that instead of drawing the line, we should blur the line so as to restore a relationship – makes sense?

You see, I’ve lived through a time where people burn each other down and/or throw mud on each other’s faces because we think that’s the way we should go, that’s how we could convince those who were outside of the fence. I don’t know what the future will look like for you, my love, but what I do know (and what I was reminded of) is that we should always love one another despite of our differences. Jesus was not kidding when He said: Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you. Love your neighbor as you have loved yourself. Believe me, I know how hard loving one another could be like. It’s no joke.

When humans have different sets of beliefs and they become difficult, we have a tendency to hurt each other with words. When you have cause hurt to someone or when you did something wrong, apologize. Humility can be rare but let it run through your veins, apologize when necessary – say your sorry and mean it. Continue to love radically, still. Be gentle and shower your arguments with grace.

Sometimes you will find your voice in the minority and you will doubt if everything’s worth fighting for. If you will face darkness, I hope that it would be extremely dark for you so you would know that we can only do so much with the strength that we’re given. Remember what I said? This world is cruel, some people around you will be disappointing, and you – no matter how hard you try – will get tired of fighting. I hope you reach that point of desperation that you cry everything out to the Lord and be so dependent to Him more than ever. We have little control over anything, my love. Just commit to do your part and let it rest to the hands of our good Lord. He is Sovereign, remember that. He is Just and He is Love. He is always Good.

When you grew tired of the fight, when cynicism is glancing at the doors of your optimism, when everything continues to break you, I will hold your hand so tight to remind you that you are not fighting this alone. Look up, my child, and see how the moon and stars lit up an entire night sky. We are an army. Let your light saber glow.

Juan Miguel Severo: Sampung Bagay Naituro sa Akin ng Pag-ibig

Una, MAGBIGAY. Ang mga kamay ng mga umiibig ay hindi basta mga kamay, kundi, mga puno na nakatirik sa matabang lupa — patuloy ang pamumunga para lamang sakanya. At sa paghahandog at pagsasakripisyo lalo itong lalago pa. Ang tunay na umiibig hindi basta nalalanta.

Pangalawa, MAGTIIS. Yakapin ang ligaya maging ang kakambal netong hinagpis. Umiibig tayong kay lambot pero sa pagnanais na wag gumuho ay nagiging bato. Hayaan mo, dahil walang madali sa pag-ibig kundi ang mahulog; lahat ng kasunod, paghihirapan mo.

Kaya’t pangatlo, MAKIPAGLABAN. Ang hamakin ang lahat makapiling ka lamang. Sa laro ng pag-ibig, hindi na bago ang masaktan, pero ang nagtatagumpay ay ang naniniwalang kaya itong lagpasan.

Pang-apat, ikaw ay may karapatang MAGDAMDAM, MAGHINANAKIT, MAGHANGAD ng kahit kaunting pagtugon o kapalit.

Pero, pang-lima, ang tunay na pag-ibig ay hindi takot MAGPAKUMBABA. Handa ang mga palad neto na hawakan ang sintas sa kanyang mukha: aminin ang kanyang kahinaan at pagkakamali. At kung ang nagmamahal ay nagmamahal pa rin…

Ang pang-anim ay magagawa hindi man ito maging madali: MAGPATAWAD. Patawarin mo siya. Iluklok ang pag-ibig na higit sa pagkukulang ninyong dalawa. At kung ang lahat ng nabanggit ay hindi na magawa pa…

Gawin ang pang-pito: MAGPARAYA. Isuko ang langit na minsang nilipad mo. Hindi ka mahina, hindi ka duwag. Ang mapagpalayang pag-ibig ay kuntentong makita siya sa alapaap.

Maging handa sa pang-walo, MAGHINTAY. Maghintay ka — may bago mang dumating o bumalik man siya sayo dahil,

Pang-siyam, MAGBABALIK SIYA SAYO. Dahil ang nagmamahal ay laging magbabalik sayo.

At pagsapit ng tagpong ito, gawing araw-araw ang pang-sampu, MANINDIGAN KA. At hangga’t iniibig mo siya at iniibig ka niya, umibig parati nang higit sa anumang sakit at hagupit. Walang dahilan para bumitiw ka.

Maligayang pagdating sa iyong tahanan. Liparin ang langit ng magkasama. Alam kong kay layo ng iyong nilakbay pero ngayong nagmahal at minahal ka, sa wakas, nakauwi na.

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Transcribed this from the last episode of On the Wings of Love. Sharing this with everyone because Poetry is such a strong art of the heart. Thank you, Gege, for these beautiful words 💘

You Will Put the Star in Starting Over

The universe – or the people living in it, rather – will be kind of cruel at you sometimes. And it’s gonna be really painful no matter how you try to smile away the discomfort that you feel everytime they make you remember the mistake that you did, the details you forget, and the explanations they can’t accept. You will feel less of your worth and more of a great disappointment. It’s gonna eat up your confidence – no wait, change that – “eat” is not the right word, “swallow” would be more appropriate. You will be swallowed and chewed on until your scars are so visible for everyone to see. It will never stop until your soul is blue from all the beating. It’s gonna be one of your glorious dark days and you’ll feel as if you haven’t done anything good at all.

I promise you, this is just the beginning, you will have more dark days ahead of you. And did I tell you about the Hurt? You will be hurt and it will suckerpunch your heart until it leave you with nothing but emptiness. I promise you, the Hurt will grow deep: your silent cries will never hide them; your eyes will always reveal them. I promise you, you will be fully consumed with all these blurring emotions until you can’t take it any longer. Promise, you will be broken. And when all these things happen, then my love, congratulations and welcome to the human experience!

You are human, my friend, flesh and bones. You are not invincible. You fall down straight to your face. You bleed. You struggle to get back up. You dwell with pain. You get wounded. You break.

Circumstances can get crazy, accept it. Dark days are there for a reason (or a season) and there are consequences from our actions (or inaction). We need those days and we need those consequences to understand that humility is something that we continuously learn. We learn. We move forward. We are not our mistakes. We are more than our choices.

You will put the star in starting over and over. | Sarah Kay

You are a star and I believe in you. So do the great poets from the All-American Rejects :)

And even when you’re hope is gone, they say, move along. You’ll make it through.

And Seeing a Rainbow Could Mean Believing that a Clearer Weather will Come After

I was supposed to give a testimonial today to a group of young people down South but, a few weeks ago, I was told of the changes that had to happen. I was taken off the list – nothing personal – because they had to invite a main sharer instead. The theme of the event was about Love and Waiting and my supposed part would be sharing my path in this whole waiting process.

And so, here’s what I would probably share to those kids (read: teens) if I were able to speak to them:

Waiting is never going to be easy. You all know this. Srsly, who likes to wait? We all belong to a generation of impatient humans.

When I was about eleven years old, a freshman high school who thought that my crush has a crush on me, I asked my mom this question: Ma, pwede na ba ako magboyfriend? And to my overly excited hormones, she replied silence. She did not say anything. She just kept quiet. And my young mind did not understand then that probably my mom was praying to the God of Heavens to pacify her daughter who got uncontrollable emotions that could possibly lead to teenage pregnancy, haha.

For me, there’s nothing wrong with the boyfriend-girlfriend thing even at a young age, guaranteed you are guided by your parents, you are obedient to your parents’ guidance, you got solid foundation and you know your limits. I don’t see anything wrong but it’s gonna be a tug of discipline between your parents and your wild heart. If you are prepared to go through some difficult battles at a young strength, then, go. Remember though, the consequences could be a lot tougher if you’re going to be really stubborn in the middle of your journey. I’ve seen few people who succeed in this and I’ve seen a lot who did not. Your choice.

By God’s grace, the younger me managed to graduate high school without having a boyfriend because I don’t know if I could ever resist the temptation of the world if I got what I wanted that early.

I never had a boyfriend in high school and until now but I got crushes. Crushes are life source, promise. They get you to school early because you wanted to pass by that corridor and get your daily dose of “inspiration.” That’s it, that’s their benefit, at least you’re not late.

Having crushes are normal, however, if you will purposely not study so you will stay in the same section as to where your crush is, that is crazy. Kid, you are young and crazy and wasting your opportunity to get more knowledge in your history class. You have to pause and recalibrate your mind. You think staying in the same section can get your crush to have a crush on you? It will never happen. But even if it does happen, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re missing out Nebuchadnezzar in History and it’s actual connection to the story you just read in the Bible.

Do not hurry. High school is just high school, there could be a lot more boys who you could fall in love with in College. Unless you’re in MassCom where statistics could be very well out of proportion. Haha kidding! Your goal shouldn’t be finding love, your goal should be waiting for love to come. And while at it, being the best that you can be. Find your purpose and fulfill it. Go change the world if you think the world needs changing. Or, go change yourself instead. In the meantime, please do good in school. You owe that to God, to yourself, to your hardworking folks, and to your country (yup, your country, the main reason why you memorized Panatang Makabayan).

Time will come when you’ll turn 20-something’s and you’ll now realize that how come everyone got their fair share of another person’s hands, arms and comfort and you – well – you are still you. You don’t have anybody to share that overflowing love in your heart with yet. Yes, you got your family and friends who reciprocate the love, but no someone yet. That different feeling. You don’t have that yet.

You know how it would be totally fine if every now and then, there’s another soul who would tell you that they admire you and would just do things for you and would ask you if you could risk loving them too? Then that makes you single by choice. But what if there’s none? You are just single by default. How does that make you feel? Sometimes you just wanna give up waiting and just wallow into self-pity questioning your worth. You just wanted love anyway, was it too hard to ask for?

There’ll be days when Doubts will come rushing in like tidal waves, pushing all your Brave offshore and far away. When it comes, carry your sunbeams with you, still. You’ve collected one too many along the way. You needed that when everything’s just too clouded and seeing a rainbow could mean believing that a clearer weather will come after.

You know how they say everything’s gonna be worth it in the end? I think they’re not lying.

Love will come when you’re brave enough to wait. Waiting is quite a process. It builds your stomach the abdomen it takes to never settle. We might get a six-pack after all these. And that, kid, is worth the wait.

Dalawang Minuto

May mga pag-ibig talaga na hindi para sa iyo. Na minsan, kahit nasara mo na yung isang yugto ng buhay mo, pag nakita mo ulit at pag di nangyari yung inaasahan mo – kahit bilang magkaibigan lang – masasaktan ka. Kasi kahit naman tapos na, di naman naaalis yung pinagsamahan. Pero minsan, ikaw nalang yung nakakaalala. At siya, kaya niyang umalis nang mabilis pa sa iyong inaasahan. Pwede kang maiwan mag-isa. Magtataka ka bakit iniwan ka, bakit kahit konting oras walang binigay, bakit parang di mo bigla maintindihan ung puso mo. Gugustuhin mong lumayo nalang, makaalis din agad bago pa bumuhos lahat ng tanong kung bakit di man lamang siya nagtagal ng ilan pang minuto para kausapin ka. Pero ganun talaga. Tapos na, pero minahal mo siya. Minsan mag-isa kalang palang nagmahal. Alam mo sa puso mo tapos na talaga pero minahal mo yung taong iyon dati, di naman ganun kadali makalimot. Pero kahit nasaktan ka ulit nang di inaasahan, may mga kaibigan kang magpapangiti at magpaparamdam na di ka naman talaga nag-iisa. At para sakanila, magpapasalamat ka. At para sakanya, magpapasalamat ka pa din.

Kaya naman, para sa iyo: Salamat. Ito na ang huli. Paalam.

After reading Papertowns, here’s what I thought or felt (whichever):

All of us wanted to be found. Whether we are ready to be found or not is yet another question. And there’s a beautiful difference between finding yourself in the process and being found by others afterwards. And that’s why we needed to take a day off and go to our Osprey’s (John Green reference, using this as metaphor: the place where we can be ourselves and think through life and stuff) just to gain enough courage before we head on to a journey which will require us leaving – temporarily or for good – or staying. In the aftermath, we’ll know if we’ve picked the right or wrong decision. In the aftermath, we’ll realize that getting it right or wrong was not really the whole point. This is our lives, we had been given choices. And we can make mistakes. Terrible ones. But we had to live this life in the hopes of moving forward into a future where our mistakes and our continents of Good and Bad experiences contribute significantly to our growth and humanness.

Maybe this whole ride is meant for us to enjoy the drive, the Bluefins, the GoFast bars, the fourth food group which does not include Crackers but Apples, the friend-peeing-in-beer-cans-inside-the-minivan-before-throwing-the-bottle-on-the-side-of-the-road because that has been his role all this time: the “needing to pee” friend, the Metaphysical I Spy and (all) the John Green references you wouldn’t care about because you have not read the book and how it explained that we should be careful in choosing metaphors because it matters.

The amazing thing about being broken is the truth that you are not the only one who’s falling apart. Everyone comes to a breaking point. And the breaking point allows us to see each other as they are. Not as what we imagined them to be. And the breaking point allows us to find ourselves. And it allows us to find others. And sometimes, that’s enough. The moment of getting found was enough. And when you look back, it’s not like you’ve figured everything out. It’s just like you were allowed to breathe. It’s just like you allowed yourself to breathe. And that you are still broken but you are breathing.

We got this whole life and I bet, it’s not gonna be enough to understand everything, but at least we go out there and keep trying. Even when we’re broken, kind of stupid, overly optimistic and very human.

Like, each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And these things happen — these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack open in places. Once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable. But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and we finally fall apart. And it’s only in that time that we can see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.

-John Green, Papertowns