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 โ€” 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 โ€” 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 ๐Ÿ’˜

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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

We should just love them. Hard.

Acknowledgement.
Recognition.
Confirmation.

I believe feelings are meant to be acknowledged; feelings are meant to be recognized; feelings are meant to be confirmed. Especially if these feelings are special feelings for someone special. Haha whut? This I repeat my phrases, I forget my tenses, I refuse my inability to make any sense of my words is what happens when I’m writing about the most magical force in the entire universe known as Love and I got specific people in mind to whom I get this consuming fireball of inspiration to blabber about something I don’t entirely know anything about. Love, sometimes, is strange. Love, sometimes, is a stranger. Love is a stranger I’m waiting to meet.

Six years ago, I kept within myself an emotion I deeply wanted to share with someone else but I’m not sure if he’s gonna be more than willing to handle it. In my mind, it was easy to make enough excuses and plenty of reasons as to why I should lock in all those emotions into a box called never mind. I was scared and terrified to bear with the possible truth of a one way love affair. Until now, it haunts me. On some days, I simply wanted to call him over the phone and tell him to come see me at a coffee shop near our place just so I can ask him the questions: Did you ever consider me? Did you ever love me?

Pathetic. HAHA BUT DON’T JUDGE! Those were the exact questions I really – badly – wanted to ask him for me to get over with it. Because c’mon, what are the odds?

That guy from my past, we had this connection. In Greek, we are deeply connected by the very thing that stirs the human core: tekhnฤ“ (music). It was that and I believe it was something more than that. But that’s where we started, as per my perspective. That guy and I got constant communication, I don’t completely remember but mostly we talk nonsense and we don’t actually mind wasting our time with this kind of foolishness. Time flew by so fast when we’re together and sometimes I prayed for Time to stop just so I can study his face a little while longer and stare at his beautiful eyes for hours. *cue cringe* From my lenses, we had “the spark.” We got some chemistry going on and we don’t mean science. He was all these sending-butterflies-down-my-belly-everytime-I-see-him and the-very-trip-down-memory-lane-I-don’t-ever-wanna-forget-even-I-ended-up-walking-that-one-way-street-of-Love kind of guy. And I wanted to know if I was all of these for him, too. I guess, I just wanted to know if I ever mattered to him. I wanted to know if we had a shot at chance. Well, I don’t know if getting the answers to all the questions in my head was absolutely necessary.

But you know what, we never really tried. We never got to the edge of confirming anything. I acknowledged and recognized what I felt for him and I stopped there. I never let him knew. The reason being is that I’m a woman and I wanted a man whose gonna confess his feelings for me and not the other way around. I don’t want to take myself away the privilege of being asked. That although I was sure we had something, I cannot hold onto that kind of reality because he did not reinforce this truth. What we had did not equate to what we could have been.

The only thing I’m keeping, however, is the reality that in spite of all my questions, I am certain of the truth that I loved him. We did not progress, but I loved him dearly. Very dearly. And I don’t have any plans of regretting that decision.

I think if we want to love a person, we shouldn’t be cowards. We should just love them. Hard. And if we are blessed with enough courage, we should go right ahead and tell them. Risk. At the end of the day, we never are losers when we love. Even if it’s a love reciprocated or a love that is not.

Little Kid With Big Emerald Eyes, Glowing Smile

So, there’s Doubt.

Again.

Now, even more hyped. Like he made two tablespoons of black coffee in three fourth’s cup of hot water and consume all of it in a minute. He is awake. He never gets tired of telling you how insanely wrong every decision you’ve made in the past four months or so.

At past 3:25 in the afternoon, he yells in your head of the many things you could’ve done if you didn’t jump into the cliff of your instinct. He gets a pen and a paper, he looks at you and with a wide smile on his face, he doodles a word in a Chalkduster font which read: Loser. He blabber an endless lists of You Could’ve, You Should’ve, You Would’ve. He sings you the song of I Told You, So’s.

He doesn’t stop. He never ought to. And slowly, you find yourself agreeing with all the things he’s been filling and molding your mind into. It breaks your heart. It crashes your soul. It pollutes your light with the kind of dark you’ve never seen before. His friends Frustration, Disappointment and Regret are cheering for him loudly, “Way to go Doubt! You got her good!”

And then, there’s a little kid who came out from nowhere and stood by your side as Mr. Giant Doubt and his Super Friends fills the air with roaring laughters, exchanging high five’s. This kid, she held your hands, touched your face and whispered in (what you thought) a non-whispering voice, “Hi, my name is Hope. It is so nice to see you again! Come with me!”

You are curled down on the floor, you lifted your face, trying to recognize this brave kid you’d seen somewhere. She continued, her smile glowing like her big emerald eyes, “You’ve got great potential. You can do so many beautiful things you haven’t realized just yet. I like that you step out of your boat into the dry land of I Don’t Know What Lies Ahead But I’ll Press On, No Matter. That’s what I call Rock, you’re a Rockstar! I believe in you so, so, so much. That’s three so‘s, you know what it means? It means, I believe in you SO much!”

“Hope, what are you doing here? You are not invited in this conversation, go away!” Doubt said, not wanting to lose his hold of you. “Get her out of here.” he continued. Ever so quick of a back-up, Frustration, Disappointment and Regret took the little kid by both arms, trying to drag her away from you yet they can’t let her move, Hope is so sticky and surprisingly strong. And so she held your hands tighter, “We got this,” she said, “everything will be alright. Patience is a string but when you hold on it tighter, it’ll be worth it. Promise. Come with me.”

You wanted to believe the kid but Doubt was persistent. He never gives up a fight. “You are such a waste,” he said, “believing Hope like it can save you in your misery. Wake up! You are a loser. You are born to be one. What makes you think you are worth more than that?”

It echoes inside your head like a broken symphony. You looked at Hope, desperately.

“You are worth more than what you think,” she answered the question in your mind, “losing is a part of life, like chaos and mistakes and brokenness, they are always there. Like you know, a package. But you are made for conquer and create and wonder (and sometimes, wander) and patience and beauty and all the good things. Come with me?” Hope, you thought, got a knowing smile.

You closed your eyes. Took a deep breath. Trying to measure your courage.

“Wait, what’s happening?” Doubt panicks.

“Let’s dive until the end of this cliff, together.” you finally broke off your silence, “and I know things will be crazier than ever before but… I’ll choose and I’ll keep on choosing to believe you, Hope.”

You opened your eyes and everything is too bright. Doubt and friends are now gone, much to your relief. There’s just the little kid with big emerald eyes, glowing smile and whispering in a non-whispering voice (this is not her forte, you thought), “I’ll always choose you, too!!! You know what always means? It means always, always, ALWAYS!!!”

You smiled a bright smile and told yourself, “Good thing Hope never whispers.”

Montello is Our Adventure

I know my friend, Shiela, is an amazing writer. I just never thought how insanely awesome her mind is in making stories.

About two years ago she started, with all the courage that she had, to put down on paper (or a writing platform aka Wattpad, at that) the very stories her mind had woven. I was already proud of her for doing so because very few people have the guts to follow their instinct, to pursue their dream, to just go ahead and bleed their purpose. Very few people will choose something crazy, will choose all the inconvenience over comfort, will choose all the hard work together with whatever they have going on in their lives at the moment. And I know, the other three of our friends (we’re five in our group) believed in her so so much. So there goes the story of Montello High: School of Gangsters.

I’m not going to nag on you to read that story over Wattpad here. Because if you haven’t experienced how a story can make you feel different sorts of feelings and bring you to places you’ve never been and open your eyes to things you might not yet seeing, then, you have a bigger problem. Haha! Kidding. But please, you know ninety-five percent of what I just said is true. I’ll never force you to read the story because I never forced myself to read it. And you know, people don’t need forcing to do something good for them, sometimes. There are other cases for that.

I never read it before because Shels (this is what we call her ((and for her fans, I don’t really know the origin of her pseudonym ‘Siel Alsreim’ but I think the ‘Siel’ part is short for Shels haha whatever))) haven’t finished writing it yet. Yes, I’m that kind of friend who doesn’t wanna read a friend’s story until it’s finished because I’m not very brave in the department of Hang in There for a While, I’ll Give You Your Updates Soon unlike most of her readers. And I love these readers who continued the support for over a year until the completion of the book. Grabe guys, iba kayo. #PUSO It shows that people appreciate art and people can connect their souls to a genuine art if it’s something really very wonderful and sincere. And Shels achieved what every writers should: only connect. It makes us prouder for her even more. Just to clarify though, we (us friends) are already proud of each other and believe in each other just because of who we are, individually. It’s just that how everything turned out for this adventure Shels had was super overwhelming beyond what we imagined. It’s amazing, God is superkaduper awesome!!!

I just read Montello yesterday and I can’t put it down despite my household chores and other things I needed to do. I read it til almost sunrise of today lol. And I was just mindblown. It IS a beautiful work of art. Just. Wow. I witnessed every single shift of events and I was awed. Who can think such story? It was very lovely. It is indeed full of adventure, teenage angst, young love, violence (please be guided when reading it, there are a lot of cussing and violence ((we don’t tolerate that outside the book just so you know lol))), hot-guys-who-read books-and-are-so-full-of-substance (this we tolerate), friendship, death, loss, letting go, acceptance, love and self-love.

When I was younger, I secretly wish to be a gangster too and be all that invincible; reading Montello is like reliving that dream. Haha. I know. Lol. Also, I’ve always wanted that “young love” but that never happened to me (boooo); I meant, the young love that I felt back then was not something that was reciprocated to me. If you are like me, it’s okay. When you love someone, you don’t lose, whether that love was reciprocated or not. Please remember that. (That’s why I adore MHSG’s Jin Cast. It takes one brave soul to love one-sided love. #oopsspoilerthere) Please also remember, High School and College is not the end of the world, if you haven’t given a love story then, something better is coming your way someday. Hold on tight, it’ll be a wonderful ride. Hold. On. Tight.

I will never leave my two cents on Montello without giving credit to our other friend, Mari, who became Shels’ confidant and editor in the whole process of MHSG. Whatever they say, she will be the first editor who ever touched this treasure and no one will ever be compared to the dedication that she put at stake in there. No one will ever dare question! MHSG was a tag team of Shels, editor, readers, fans and all those amazing people who kept being amazing to the story and to our friends.

Thank You Lord, for showing us how limited our minds are because You certainly can do Your works and we will stand in full amazement and praise! Thank You that Montello High: School of Gangsters will be published as a book! (!!!) Yup, you heard it right. It will be published by Summit Media (one of our dream companies to work to, before). This book – Shels’ story – will be available for you to read in hard copies just so you learn the Art of Waiting. If not, I gave you the link earlier and you can start reading if you want to. But it’ll defs worth owning, so start saving up! Lol.

For all those who loved, lost, loved again; those who value friendship; those who cherish their family; those who made mistakes, been so desperate, but learned to hope and get back on their feet… Montello is our adventure. And yes, I’ll keep it.

I Want My Heart, Broken

Yes, you read that right.

Earlier today, while having a random conversation with a dear friend, I spit the statement: I want to experience a broken heart. I want to feel human. I want to experience that kind of pain. And you may think I’m ridiculous because honestly, who – in their right minds – want to have something to do with a broken heart?

Well, I think I’m crazy for saying that statement too or for even thinking that way. But, you know, I also kind of think that a person who have gone through (or who is still mending) a broken heart is the most beautiful fighter you’ll ever encounter in this lifetime. That person is just this big explosion of miracle in a milky way of grace, stranded in an island of hope. Just. So. Freaking. Beautiful.

Let me clear it to you, I’ve got a fair share of a broken heart myself, we’ve all had. However, my context in saying “I want a broken heart” is on the basis of a real committed relationship (all I have before and now are petty crushes ((haha)) and those, do not count). That kind of relationship where you finally let someone else enter into the world you build yourself and giving that person freedom to take care of you and be alongside you. That kind of relationship where you value each other more than you value eating pizza. That kind of relationship where you both would want to save Earth for, not because it is the only planet with chocolate, but because it is the planet where you experience this intensely surreal kind of emotion they call Love. That kind of relationship you thought – and you are sure – will lead to forever but for whatever stroke of fate, failed and ended. That kind of relationship bearing that kind of pain of a fresh and raw broken heart. That is what I want.

I want to understand why tears still flow after you have cried thousands and thousands of them. I want to be familiar with sleepless nights of recounting all your happy memories together along with the bad, and while at it, struggle on how to let go each one of them I hold so dearly. I want to recognize the throb in my chest, the never ending agony of feeling betrayed by Life. I want to go through every single doubt of kindness I can offer myself with. I want to learn catching my breath just to remind my lungs that “Hey, you need air. Try breathing.” I want to somersault in this reality of being human, I want to dive in this dark room of Pain.

I want to have a broken heart.
I want to have a broken heart.
I want to have a broken heart.

I want to have a broken heart because I know that it is only a phase; it is a requirement for Living the Life. Like you know, #YOLO. I want to have a broken heart because it shows you how you can be shattered into a million bits of pieces, and why, that is the most grandiose thing that will ever happen to you. Because once you’re broken, you become lost. And once you’re lost, you have this overflowing chances of encountering the Divine. And that, that is a privilege.

I want to have a broken heart because it sucker-punch you in the gut with Brave. It shows you that your knees, they’ll tremble and you might not able to get up anymore. It shows you that even at the sight of not being able to stand up on your feet, it’ll give you a thousand and one ways that you probably still can. And you know what, you will. And that’s when you’ll learn Bravery. It takes one brave man to wake up one day and tell himself that, “You’ve been here for far too long, it’s time to get up and move on.”

I want to have a broken heart because after you’ve been brave, you’ll grow strong. Your once beat-up, torned apart and wrecked core will find its way to wholeness. You’ll be whole after brokenness. It’s like, you were re-birthed in this planet to make a brand spanking slate of Come Back! This. Is. A. Whole. New. You.

After the broken heart, comes the healing, comes the forgiveness, comes a new kind of love to offer to the world. To a new and wonderful person.

And yeah sure, no matter how loud I say these things now, I can never guarantee that I’ll have the guts to actually face a broken heart when it’s my time to face one. So, let this be a reminder to my one day beat-up-torned-apart-and-wrecked heart in the future: You wanted this before, right? Life handed this to you now and you’re not sure anymore if you wanted to take back what you said when you said it. This might taste awful right now, because well, it is. I want you to hang on Hope, because promise, promise, promise, it will all get better. You’ll see.

Dear Average Woman

You missed to check the mirror again today to say to yourself thatย you are beautiful, no matter. I know it gives you chills because you refuse to believe it but we had a deal, remember? You owe kindness to yourself. Choose to say things that will uplift your soul. Choose to say it, repeatedly, until you are convinced of the truth. Listen:ย You are beautiful.

Stop carrying your Insecurity Baggage wherever you go. Turn down every thought of you not being good enough, not being smart enough, not being attractive enough. Can you stop picking up burdens of negative thoughts and pouring them down like wine, letting it fill your barrel with poison? Have you forgotten that you are made with an exceptional combination of fear and wonder? You are made worthy to and of love, of hope, of faith, of grace and of forgiveness. Sometimes, you forget these things and you dwell too much with all the lies inside your head. I am reminding you of this again:ย You are valuable.

Don’t get too shy around people. Don’t even think that you need to impress them and you always have to be perfect. Please don’t be too harsh on yourself, lower down your pride, tune off from your ego. You don’t need to be perfect, you just have to be yourself. Remember who you are when you’re with your closest friends, you are calm and you enjoy. Be open to the idea that people may or may not like you, you don’t have to feel bad if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Some people may not like you but you can always love them back, anyways. Try to express yourย you more:ย You are allowed to be who you are — flaws and all.

Put an end in selling yourself short, because you know what, you can do a lot of things…excellently! And I mean it in every sense of the word. Being good at art, or advocacy, or science, or words, or food, or cars, or wherever field you choose to be is never petty. You’ve got a plethora of passion and potential in your hands. You have been given an overflow of gifts that you can always work on. Be a good steward of your talents.

You, Average Woman, does not – at all – exist. There’s never a woman who is only Average. You’re a Woman. You don’t wear a label of range and measures. Stop living in the standards of this world because it will never fit you — you exceed it. You woman, you ought to love yourself, because hey, I’ll never get tired of stressing what’s obvious:ย You matter.

And please, don’t you forget.

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This post is inspired by this video (thanks Kamille for sharing this <3) and what had transpired today. Cheers!

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