Friday, May 25, 2018

I Failed in Life and that’s Okay

Have you ever felt like you’re wading through a quicksand of failure, that no matter how much you paced your way through it, you seemed trapped in that situation, at a complete loss?


It could be a failed family business, a failed job, a failed project or event, failed career, failed relationships and so many more. And in that situation, maybe you start asking yourself – who am I without it? How am I supposed to live without it? 

Then, those questions later on turned into – what is the purpose of my life now? And you begin asking yourself about the things that are still worth living for. You twitch to look for tiny possibilities, any glimmer of hope you can hold on to, so you can start building your life again. That’s exactly me few months ago. 

I just woke up one day feeling like everything that makes me happy and complete, all vanished. And I was left with nothing but emptiness. 


Like I ran out of pixie dust and I can no longer fly. I graduated with a degree in college but still haven’t found the right job that can make my heart at peace. Is there really? Because until now, I am still asking myself of what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. I am still looking for something I can put my whole self – my heart and soul – into it. One time I was thinking of going back to school, enroll another course instead. Some other time I was thinking about answering “Yes, I will be there” for another job interviews. The next day I was thinking of writing a book, but I couldn’t find a better story. Until it came to me to start a business and I spent the whole day thinking about it. 

Then like a lightning, a memory of my current catastrophe hit straight to my head and my thoughts started to malfunction again. The overwhelming pain at 2 a.m. came in crawling, crashing down every wall left there is that gives me the best feeling of comfort. Right there and then I began thinking a lot about failure because I often feel like I am starting to become one. 


I already was, before I knew it. I feel like I’ve failed so many people who are expecting a lot from me. And because of that I was doing the most stupid thing I shouldn’t have done – comparing my own time table to others, matching other people’s lives to mine, and using it to pattern my own. It’s completely rubbish! 

But, “Life is not always served in a silver platter” as they say and I have to remind myself about that, which is why I pinned it on top of my tweets. Life can be sometimes hard and what we feel about it can add up to the pile that pushes us under, deeper and deeper.

 So yeah, I finally hit rock bottom and it felt like I was completely alone, like I am the only one who’s facing such awful situation. It made me angry, it made me feel afraid. I was watching how some people got things so easily, just exactly what they want, and I was like “God, what about me?”


Yeah. I know that feeling too. At first, I was very careful with my actions and I’m in that stick-to-the-plan gaming. But you see, life is full of surprises and something unexpected will always happen. Really unavoidable. And it’s pretty much annoying to realize that you felt like you’ve given your all, but then life starts to do its tricks again, and with things being done smoothly the result is still far from what you expected. You lose control, seeing everything slip away from your grip.

What I learned is that trying to have a full control can exhaust not just your mind, but also the soul. My capabilities in dealing with life may be limited, but it doesn’t mean I will stop reaching a better life. Because as long as I am breathing, as long as I still get myself out of bed every morning and do something to live a purposeful life, it’s enough. People only play their roles in accordance of the scene they’re included in, so I too, should keep working at my own pace. 

Life is not just about winning all the time. There’s more to it. It’s how we play, how we hit home base, how we scored without doing dirty tricks. 

Break free.

I started to loosen up a little from the standards I created and forgive myself for not reaching it so far. The beauty in everything that’s happening is that I am now learning how to remain at ease, most especially when the universe starts to draw borders and builds barriers on my way to success. Because all the setbacks and delays happened, to help me evolve into better version of myself. And I think it did.

Failure is not as awful as how you think it is. It may be unacceptable at first but in the long run, it is more like a blessing to me, in disguise, lighting me up a path that leads to my real destination. Because reality check, there’s no given map with marks of where we should be at certain times in life. And these failures I am experiencing right now, were just the wrong turns I decided to choose along the way, and all I need is to fail successfully in an ideal manner, to gain insights that leads to victory. 

So, this is not about falling down and getting back up, or how to be successful kind of article. You can find a handful of it on Google who talks more about bouncing back. But this one, is about giving failure another name – change. A genuine change stopping each one of us to wreck our lives in a more painful manner. A realistic change helping us to humble down. A bittersweet change resetting ourselves, before pain totally takes away the kindness left in us.

Because we can’t just continue living our lives the way we’ve always been. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


You leave because you have to. I left because I have to.

I continued living my life all through the days. 
Hoping and praying that time will just pass by.
The hours quickly turned into days.
And the days transformed into months.
Someday soon, I might not even notice that it will be a year since we walked out from each other's door.

The last time I said goodbye, it was full of anger and tears. It was full of pain and despair. 
The last time you said goodbye, you already knew it was the end of our story while I was still hoping it wasn't.
That time you were so sure it already is or maybe we really have known it for a while, that it will soon come to an end.
A very soon end.

Allow me to say goodbye to you again, far different from the last time.

This time...
I'm saying goodbye to the life we had when we were still together.
When you're gone, I know my life will not be over. 
But at some point I was wrong. 
A life of me ended the moment you left. 
It was a kind of life where there is you and me in it. 
And it died the very day we let each other go.

This time...
I'm saying goodbye to who I have become when I am still with you. 
I am now leaving behind that version of me you used to love, who have been with you through thick and thin, through the good times and in bad.
She was a part of you and I am no longer now.
I am saying goodbye to that version of me who had always believed in you, in the goodness there is in you, in us.

This time...
I'm saying goodbye to all the places we've been, we used to hang out, even to all the places we've been planning to go to.
Farewell to all the video recordings of our sweet and happy moments.
Farewell to those saved voice clips of our deep conversations and how we've exchanged "I love you" to each other. 
Those were the proof of your love for me and my love for you, and now they're all gone. All deleted for good.
This is a goodbye to all the memories we've shared, a sweet goodbye to the very reason why we even started in the very first place.

This time...
I'm saying goodbye to you every time breathing finally gets easier.
I'm waving my last goodbye to the moments where I keep on asking our friends just to check how you've been doing so far. 
I thought I can have the closure I wanted by making peace with you.
But it turned out that the closure I was looking for was always here with me.
It is just by realizing that I should rise again after being broken into pieces.
It is just by winning a battle that was never against you but was always against myself, since from the very beginning.

This time...
I'm saying goodbye to my old self with all of you in it. 
Even the way how I lived my life when we were still together.
I'm saying my last farewell to the plans we used to dream together. (It ached so much writing this part)
I want to start all over again, to begin a new life without you in it. 
It is a plan that I guess I am destined to follow ever since.
That it only faded because you suddenly came.

This time...
I am saying goodbye to a version of me always afraid of losing the one she loved.
To that dear old self who didn't always follow her goals and dreams in life because she's always busy helping someone follow their dreams instead. 
I am waving my sweet farewell to all the times I thought of you before myself.
To those moments I always thought of the best of those who always bring me down.

Doing all these letting go and moving on stuff has been the most painful process I have encountered. 
At first I was so scared to embrace it, of how it would hurt. 
So afraid that it might harm me straight to the core.
And yes, it did.
There were actually moments when I forgot my purpose.
It made me fall down into tears, in a most painful way - I've never cried that way before.

But after all this goodbye,
I'm saying hello now to a new version of me.
But is still thinking of other's happiness, but will not make it to a point of destroying myself again.

That version of me right now is happy, loved by the Most High.
And she wishes also the same love for you. Always.


Not The Girl Of Your Dreams But Your Realities

I am more than what you hoped for. I am the reality of them all. The one who showed you that there is beauty in every sunrise and sunset.

I have been through a lot of experiences that have stained the innocence of my used to be pure soul. I am made of scars from the wounds of my past. All have made me realize why I am here for. I have been journeying the ice and fire, been frostbitten and burned. I have sailed the highest of tides, and even explored the low. 

My eyes can see what others can't - Unfortunate reality of mankind. I have traveled deep down the caves of sadness, through them mundane sad eyes. 

I have become that wounded warrior, no longer father's sweet little princess. 

I have fought my way to where I am now. And at this present, is still fighting a good fight with my own demons, devil's snares and human traps. 

You want someone who makes everything easy for you, who won't make things hard. But you see, I am harder and has been the deepest to discover. I am that someone who made you realize your worth and at the same time challenged your existence. I had exposed you to different realities that made you question yourself, and even made you question the love there is between us.

Everytime you've decided that things were way beyond of your control, when all were too much, even too hard to think of, I showed you how hard I am willing to fight for us. 

I made you realize the importance of being in dire situations, along with the radiant ones. I showed you how much you've learned and how much you still need to learn to. I showed you how you brighten up my days, and how God's light brighten up yours. 

We both long for forever. You are looking for your other half in me. I'm sorry I failed you but I am not a half. I am already whole on my own, and this is because of God's everlasting love in me. 

Now, I will continue to prove to you that our kind of forever is not the one that is finding-the-other-half, not searching for someone who can complete each other. But it is the kind that finds the heart  whom you can journey with for the rest of your days, a soul whom won't leave even in the darkest. I will be your South Pole, and you will be the North Pole. Even if how many times the situation may break us, we will always find our way back to each other. 

I am not the girl of your dreams, I am the girl of your realities. 

I am real. I exist. I am the one whom you can see everytime you wake up from a deep slumber, silently sleeping right next to you. I am the one who will always remind you the blessing there is in every good morning and every good night.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ablayan Peak: Shouting My Broken Heart Out

The thought of climbing mountains and reaching great peaks always give me the kind of reassurance and confidence, that if I can reach the top, perhaps I can also achieve my desires and goals too. That if I can survive the dangerous and risky trails, perhaps I can outlive my brokenness too. 

I guess, every climber experiences the same feeling of accomplishment upon standing every mountaintop. It’s that unexplainable sense we get every time we finally reach the summit. The feeling is so overwhelming that it makes you close your eyes, feeling the air’s touch on your skin, while hearing a voice in your head saying, “You’re going to be okay”. Does this sound familiar? I. Feel. You.

Ablayan Peak never failed me. 

The moment I reached its heights, the feeling of accomplishment and relief reigned in me. The scenic view it offered, turned into God’s way of embracing my pains, healing whatever is broken. Up there I saw how mighty God is. He created such delightful and exquisite panorama, where no HD camera can justify. The valleys, the seas, the trees, the clouds – all were blending with each other in perfect harmony. 

Reaching the peak of Ablayan gave me the idea that God wants to have a conversation with me through it. He wanted me to realize that, everything I’ve been through were left down in those low lands. Whatever I lost along the journey and all the pains that exist because of my weakness, somehow loses its importance because it all remained below. God brought me to the top so I can see how small everything else was, and that includes all my sadness and discomforts.

I am made to reach the mountain heights so I can see how wide the horizon of my life is and realize that there is no corner in my heart where His love cannot penetrate. He can still reach it, no matter how vast the hole is. 

Ablayan Peak is the right place to penetrate more so you can come to your perfect senses. 

When asked, “Mj, of all the great peaks in Cebu, why Ablayan?”, I smiled and said, “Because it’s the perfect place to shout my broken heart out.”

It’s fun because we were all shouting our hearts at the peak on that very fine day. I am with happy hearts on that day, mine was the only one who got broken. And until now, I still laughed about those words that came out of our mouths. Only the mountains, me and the great friends I am with, heard what we all shouted. Insert grin emoticon.


πŸ“Ablayan Peak, Boljoon Cebu

How to get here:

🚌 Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal, ride a bus heading to Boljoon, Cebu. Bus fare is Php 130. It's quite a long ride, travel time including traffic is within 3 to 4 hours.

🏀 Arrival will be at Boljoon proper. The town locals are very friendly and approachable. They will most likely ask you where are you heading. All you need is tell them you're going to Ablayan Peak. The habal-habal drivers will take you there, safe and sound.

🚡 Habal-habal fare is Php 500.00 back and forth, including waiting time, up to 2 person only per vehicle. Travel time from the town up to the peak is within 45 min to 1 hour.

πŸ—» Ablayan Peak Finally!

πŸ’¦ You can ask the habal-habal drivers to include Dayhag Falls and Eli Rock as side trip to your adventure. But you'll be paying additional fare for that. Price range depends upon the negotiation.

Have fun and explore Boljoon now!
SAFETY FIRST. Be a responsible traveler, BAWAL MAGKALAT.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Mt. Lanigid : Finding Self Again

"Don't just wait for the door to open. You might wait forever believing that it's locked. Do something. Twist the knob."

After almost 10 months of hybernation since Mt. Hambubuyog, I am finally back on track. Here I am, satisfying my soul again after months of craving to climb mountains again. Most low budgeted trek that I have encountered. This 500 masl peak has been the easiest to hike so far. You can even reach the top for only 25-30 minutes. 

It's been a long time since my last climb but the thought of doing another trek never left in my mind. I waited for so long to make Lanigid happen. I forgot to realize that the start of the journey lies on my feet. The great affair is to always move one step ahead after the other. Same goes in life, some situations stun us from doing the things we love to do. Some hinder us from reaching our dreams and desires. Some even block the road. But the decision lies in our hands if we will just stand there and do nothing, or find another way and continue the journey.

Let me share some tips on how to make it to the top despite road blocks:

BRING BACK YOUR CONFIDENCE. We all get tired, not just sometimes, but most of the time - draining us. You just have to remind yourself of how amazing you are and what you're capable of. Learn something while waiting. Be confident enough and believe that you are loved by the God of all chances, making you possess those more than enough posibilities. You're capable to become who you wanted to be, capable of going where you wanted to go. Self confidence and knowing what you wanted to happen in your life will balance everything out.

REMEMBER YOUR REAL VALUE. Sometimes in the midst of troubles and pains, you forget who you really are. You can no longer distinguish your own identity, what you are made for, and even Who made you. You tend to focus more on life's issues, problems and misconceptions. You can not even realize your real worth. This feeling sometimes prevent anyone from becoming who they are meant to be. So, remind yourself again and again that You are handcrafted by the Master of all creations, Himself. Tell yourself that you are God's beloved, His champion. You are the greatest gift anyone can have. You are worthy to be on top. You deserve God's best.

TRUST THE PROCESS. We all arive at some point in our lives where it's hard to find the reasons why things happen. Sometimes things are way too hard to understand, simply because it's beyond our human understanding. And all we need to do is to trust the process, because it would be all worth it in the end. If it's not, then it's not yet the end. God is not finished with you yet. Everyone is a work in progress. He's not yet done creating miracles in your life. There is more than amazing, more than marvelous, more than miraculous waiting for you at the peak. Continue doing what you love to do. Bring back the passion. Bring back the flame. Continue the journey.

DO IT AGAIN. Pick yourself up. Shake your past off. And do the climb again. Persevere enough. Many begin but few have finished. This is not the time to turn around, not the time to back out. Wake your confidence and fix your focus now. Even when you have to go against the wind, do the climb again. Don't you dare quit. You are closer than you think you are, closer than where you've been before. Breathe again. Hope again. Fight again. Rise again.


How to get there:

Most low budgeted trek that I have encountered so far - Mt. Lanigid at Liloan, Cebu. This 500 masl peak has been the easiest to hike so far. You can even reach the top for only 25-30 minutes. Igo-igo jud kang hangakon eg abot sa babaw lage. Here's how to get here:

For private vehicle:
Pagasolina lang daan. Budget depends on your location. Syempre google maps ka din pag may time. Set the location to Brgy. Mulao, Liloan, Cebu. Mo tingog ra nas Google Map asa ka dapit mo liko, ug pila ang distance usa ka mo liko. Google Map was our best friend on this trip. 
Syempre para wai gasto, ngaon mi daan ug paneudto oyy. Mailhan ra na nga naabot na kag Mulao, kay you will see a signage of Welcome to Brgy. Mulao. πŸ˜‚ Basta adto dretso sa Brgy Hall, palista didto. Bayad ra kag 10 pesos per head, (wai labot tiil, kamot, and other parts of the body). After palista, pwede ra gani nimo sak.on ang peak without guide. Ug kursonada jud ka, maabot ra kas babaw. Timan.e lang ang instructions nga ehatag sa taga brgy hall. Pero naa man silay guide, depende ug maka tayming. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜΄πŸ˜

For Commute:
Adto ka Park Mall - 10 pesos
Sakay ka para Liloan - 15 pesos
Adto hunong sa eskina Fatima, (kabalo na nang jeep). Naa ray mga habal-habal nag atang sa eskina.
From eskina Fatima to Mulao - 50 pesos per head (ulo ra ha, wai labot lawas). One way fare. Do you want to book for a return back to eskina fatima? Sabota lang ang driver. πŸ˜‚
Brgy Mulao fee - 10 pesos

Sugdi nag drawing ang mga plano. Ana ra gyud ka gasto kaayo. Malipay na ka eg abots babaw. Pwede ka campingan gani. Color.color din pag may time. Ayaw nang puro ra black and white. Make it happen. God bless you. Di ka magmahay. 😎

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Open Letter To The Boyfriend

I used to expect a lot more when it comes to relationships - the one that is influenced by the books I've read, the movies I saw and those real-life relationships I've witnessed. I've been clipping visions and thoughts, and been day dreaming about what it should look like and the feels. I've been setting standards as high as the walls I've built to keep my heart safe, and wait for those pinned ideas to happen.

And then, you came. Miraculously. I didn't saw you coming. You broke down the barriers around because you know I'm worth it.

It took me a while to realize how blessed I am by having you around. You keep me safe.

What we had isn't that easy, it comes with challenges and difficulties. But you made it possible for the both of us to still say, "this journey is worth it." And I really thank you for that.

Thank you for choosing to stay.

Thank you for appreciating the good days, understanding the bad ones and everything in between.

Thank you for making me feel good about myself by loving me for who I really am and what I have become.

Thank you for inspiring me to become a better version of myself. And still waiting patiently for it to happen.

Thank you for accepting me even when I am not trying to impress you, even when this society says I am not that acceptable, even when I feel like I am most unlovable.

Thank you for being confident enough to show me around in public.

Thank you for taking me to work at the most highly inconvenient hour.

Thank you for taking care of me when I got ill.

Everything is comfortable. What we had may not be perfect, but we both know this is real - the kind that scares.

The kind that changes not who we are, but the way we are.

The kind that influences how we see things and how to react to it.

The kind that taught us to open our minds to different worlds, outside of our own, and then teaching us to look at life differently.

The kind that chooses to come back after taking few steps of walking away.

Yeah, after taking few steps of walking away and letting go.

This love made me realize that the standards I used to define of what love really is, is far from the real thing. We found love in the midst of messiness, in between imperfections. I am so happy I opened the door when you came knocking. I am glad I let you in. The moment I said, "Welcome to my life.", what I really meant was, "I hope you are going to stay for a longer period of time." And you did.

Above all, I praise God for the 184 days we've already shared. And still counting...

I love you too. ❤


You Don't Have to Face Things Alone

It's not that easy to expose the depths of your mess, especially when you're trying to be a nice person to someone. I honor you for being brave enough to share your past, no matter how dark it was.

Okay, you mess up (but we all do). At this point, I want you to remember that you're human, and human as you are, you have sinned and have committed mistakes just like everyone else.

 I feel the need to say "Thank You" because even if you tried to hide it, still you did not cover it up in front of me. Thank you for being honest.

I hope that someday soon, you'll learn how to repent, to forgive others, to apologize and make amends, and finally learn how to forgive yourself. But it's all up to you. Yes it's a long process, but if you'll let me, I'll help you how to accept the grace, mercy and freedom that God has offered through Jesus. (Sorry, but I also feel the strong need to include God in this. Insert grin emoticon.)

Every single one of us is imperfect and in need of grace and forgiveness. So I won't judge you by what you did in the past. You don't live there anymore. I hope my presence gives you a warm feeling of "We're in this together!" and that somehow the burdens were no longer that heavy.

I acknowledge and accept your weakness and brokenness. You may be asking why I keep on seeing and talking to you. Please know that I already have in mind what I'm getting into before I took the risk to know you more. I am pretty much aware of your imperfections but still thinks that the beauty your soul is as beautiful as your pair of lovely eyes.

I am not scared of the ghost in your past. Simply because I believe in your ability to look pass through your life despite weird circumstanes, and your willingness to move forward in life. I believe in your strength and how you fight with the demons that haunt you sometime. I believe that you're going to give yourself the chance to become a better person, one day, and love again.

I don't care about your yesterdays or the person who you once were and the kind of world you lived in. I am more interested with the version of you that I see in front of me. I care about your great potential to become the best version of yourself.

I am more eager to share God's love to you regardless of your heavy baggage and scars. I am also excited to give you the care that Jesus did to me. If you'll allow, I want to guide you as you overcome your struggles in life. I want to understand all your pains, your tears, and your fears.

You keep on telling me that you're not scared with anything or anybody, but allow me to shield and protect you with prayers to keep you safe no matter where you go.

I hope one day you'll put your guards down and you'll allow me to see every inch of vulnerability in you. Don't be so scared to open up fully yourself to me. I hope for the best in you and I want to see you shine again. I want to be there and witness you as you bring back the pieces of you that once was left along your life's journey.

I just wanted you to know that you don't have to face your challenges alone. Having someone who will stand by you makes every trials worth conquering.


Monday, May 15, 2017

We're Going To Break Each Other's Heart And That's Okay

We're going to break each other's heart.
No matter how much we try to take good care of it.
No matter how much efforts we exert to satisfy heart's content.
No matter how much we seek each other and understand it more.
No matter how much we accept the differences patterned up until the core.
No matter how much we make everything fall to its proper places.

Still, we're going to break each other's heart.

We're going to mess up again and again.
We're going to hurt each other a little less and a little more.
We're going to disappoint heart's expectations.
We're going to falter and let each other down.
We're going to fail.

And that's okay.

We're going to break each other's heart.
Because we're not perfect.
Because human as we are, we have our unique brand of weaknesses.
Because no happy photos on social medias has it all together.
Because everyone goes through ups and downs, never the ups-ups, nor the downs-downs.
Because we are all capable to make mistakes.

The day may be ruined.
The whole week may have gone wrong.
The month may be filled with struggles and circumstances.
The whole year may be in drought.
But life is still good.
It's just a bad day, not a bad life.
It's just an unlucky week, not a cursed life.
It's just a poor month, not unfortunate life.
It's just an unproductive month, not an ill-fated life.

Remind yourself.

Remind yourself to move on in life.
Remind yourself to rise again.
Remind yourself to hope again.
Remind yourself to love again.
Remind yourself to breathe again.

And after you remind yourself.
Remind me next.

Remind me of all the strength I have within me.
Remind me of the beauty there is in me.
Remind me to stay strong.
Remind me to keep the courage and faith to fight back the demons inside.

And we will be okay.

We will be okay because we're going to hold on to each other again.
We will be okay because we will look at the bright side of life.
We will be okay because we will remind each other to continue the journey,
despite how painful things are.

And in the midst of pain, we are helping each other to become better version of our selves.
We're helping each other to grow and expand our understanding.
We're helping each other to see everything as life's valuable lessons and that everything has its own reasons.

We're going to smile again.
We're going to track down comfort, back in each other's arms, again.
We're going to dig out the reason why we even started.
We're going to discover back the love we felt for each other ever since.

Let's love each other again.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Created for a Reason

Human body cells perfectly counted.
Flesh and fibers faultlessly connected.
With pure heart and mind from the Heaven above,
I came into this world full of God's love.

Protected and cared by the Master of all Creations,
the evil got jealous, planned dark schemes and poisons.
Attacked my weakness, took away my innocense.
I have sinned and fell at the devil's trap and snares.

But the Lord loves His little princess so much.
He sacrificed Jesus to die and cover up for us.
Through the death of Christ victory was claimed.
The sins there is in us were no longer chained.

God renewed my strength so I can still go on.
Gave me Jesus as my lifetime companion.
My Savior never gives up, He never leaves.
He said,
"Come take my hand and I will be your lead."

Right then, I knew I am created for a reason.
I am made to bloom in the right season.
I live to tell, to spread and to shout,
all the glory and praise to the Greatest God.

I am chosen to be trained by the eagles.
And destined to fight for the Lord's battles.
Into my life's storm my spirit gladly soar.
I give my all whether I live or die in this war.

Even with the presence of hell around,
And the trace of darkness found.
They can't pull and drag me away.
Under the Lord's shadow my soul shall stay.

Mt. Lanaya Climb: Grace on Top of Grace

"I climb mountains because there is this certain happiness that I can only feel when I am looking at a perfectly still scenery, from the top. It's like nature has its own way of bringing back the pieces of me, that once was lost along my life's journey. Whenever this restoration happens, it's always Jesus who did it again."

When I was a kid, I always stare at those pointed top of the mountains with full of excitement. I, at any rate, can't help but ask "What's in there? What would things look like when I'm on top of the peak? Will I ever survive the long-ascending trails?"

I grew up in an awesome lowland place of South Cebu. There are usually no mountains and large hills located at a walking distance, but only seas. Maybe this is why I am drawn towards those elongated pile of humps - rising above the land, higher above the sea level. And as clichΓ© as it sounds, opposites do attract. Because, it's not here. 

 "I can't find here what I can find there."

I want to be there. Because, it's not here.

I have to go there. Because, it's not here.

I should be there. Because it's not here.

I don't know if anyone has ever felt this, it's like those bleak landforms are talking to me, inviting me for an adventure. Those wonderful creations are alive and are waiting for me. And Mt. Lanaya is one of them.

Climbing Life's Greatest Peaks

God's love is waiting for me at the top. I can't let this opportunity to experience Him more just slip away. I continued walking the trail despite of doubts and fear. We all experience this in life. It's up to us if we keep going or not.

Reach the top or go back home. Looking at its peak, I doubt if I can make it to the top. I mean it's 720 meters above sea level, and I don't know how to get there. But this feeling awakened me and opened my eyes to some of the different realities of life. 

Climbing to the top is more like surviving my way up to success in life. And before I can make a decision that I will surely regret, I keep going and remembered why I started in the first place.

We need someone to guide us. For every trail we journey, we can't make it to our destination if we don't know which way to go. We need someone who knows the right path to take before we get lost. We all need companions in life. I am grateful to those people who have already gone first this trail, they helped me a lot to make this journey less difficult. 

I thank you for allowing me to experience Jesus' guidance and presence in you.

And in all of a sudden, my heart felt peace because I know Whom I have trusted. I felt safe because I know Who's with me.

Thankful enough I have real and good friends to laugh with along the journey. 

Blaze the right trails to follow. I am not the last one who has interests on climbing hill tops. And once people see that I made it to the top, chances are possible that they're going to follow the trail I take. I feel obliged to be a reliable source of information. 

Allow me to be the one to help you smooth the path this time. Allow me to extend Christ's companionship to you.

And when I got back home, I felt like I am whole again. The journey made me collect bits and pieces of myself along the trail. Like God is sending back my lost pieces through nature's kiss. The moment I experienced this kind of healing, I was smitten to the desire of climbing mountains, and have remained so ever since.

The moment I conquered Mt. Lanaya, I then know that I can overcome life's struggles and difficulties.

God knows you can make it too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dearest Little Sister

     I have always loved you.

    But maybe you’ll answer me back with a question, “How have you shown your love for me, Ate?”

    And I fully understand if you question my love for you, both of us know why. Because our past says so.

     I admit, I am not the “caring big sister” to you, not until today I guess. And if we look back in time, I was really horrible. I have drowned you with tears many times. You wept and wailed countlessly because I always pissed you off and made you suffer, up to a point that you’ve hated me so much. 

   “She was crying, but she looked up to heaven because she trusted the Lord.” (Susanna 35), and I always admire you for this, your faith also inspires me to do the same.

     But it really brakes my heart every time you got scolded by our parents, and your emotions were misunderstood by them. All those times you thought no one was there on your side, well I was actually there silently praying to God, that He’ll give you the strength and comfort you needed. Because I can’t give them during those times. All I know is, God can.

     It aches me to see your pains. Sorry for giving additional weight on your heavy baggage.

     Forgive me. I did not listen to that little girl inside me, saying that I should love you more because you are a blessing from the Heaven above. I was also blinded and my view was really clouded. I was also full of hatred way back. I have not yet known Jesus in my life before.

    God has given you to me because we were supposed to be partners – looking after each other, growing up together. Be the best friend to each other. Be the light in each of our darkest. But I failed the Lord and wasted so many years by not fulfilling the promise. We would have started our sibling goals early. I apologize for causing too much delays.

   I am sorry for all the pains that I’ve caused because of my own weaknesses. I did not know any better before.

     I am not showy with my emotions, not a very loving person either. But I am always praying to God that He’ll teach me how. I ask Him to make me a channel of His love, to always enroll me in His course of Humility, Passion and Forgiveness. Because I still fail during His examinations. 

    I know it’s not too late to become your super, mega, ultra, power human friend.

    Now, I honestly want to do my role as your “Ate”. Again, with Jesus Christ.

    Please know that we’re all in this together - from struggling to rise up, to failing again, and rising up again.

   Let’s be broken together. You and I know how painful our journey is, but we both love this family anyway. And the pains have taught us very well to keep pushing until something moves, and keep praying until something happens.

     I honor you for being brave all this time.

  I pray that may you always have the strength to keep moving forward, all the way to our heavenly home. And share that strength to me in my moments of confusion. Let us gaze upon Jesus’ face together. 

     No matter how loud I scream my love for you, in the end, God’s love will always be your most beautiful experience here on Earth. This is the only love that will surely last forever. God loves you so much.

   P.S. Dearest little sister, God is now pulling up what He has planted in you. Rejoice! 


Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Glass Please

     You ordered a cold glass of iced tea and it was served unto you just the way you wanted it. You drank it satisfying your throat, ending it almost empty. You've had enough for a day.

    But you can't have only one iced tea in your entire life. Right? There will always be another glass in the next day, and next of the next day, or whatever day it is.

    "Waiter! Another glass of iced tea please."

   Now, let's say the glass in the picture represents your life.

     You are the vessel. What if one day your life that is overflowing with God's abundance, suddenly turns out to be empty and drained? No blessings spotted by your human eyes, no grace realized by your human knowledge. Can you still find yourself praising the Almighty Father?

     Will you care to look at the situation as a blessing and not a curse?

    Will you strive hard to look for its purpose instead of focusing on it as a problem?

     Will you wait for it to be filled up to the brim again?

  Situations like this, yes, they're too extreme to be accepted and endured. Unbearable up to a point where patience is being taken away, inch by inch.

    But aren't these situations the time for you to rejoice more, pray more and give Him thanks more?

   Rejoice more because when you were being emptied, God is actually preparing your vessels and tanks, making lots of spaces so He can pour out more and more and more and more of His love to you. (Sorry if I have to repeat "more" again and again over here. I am emphasizing how generous our God is. He is not that kurepot.) That you have to be empty so you can seek more of His grace and abundance.

       Rejoice while waiting, then endure.

     Pray more for it is the Lord alone who sends rain and showers to dry lands. The Great I Am saves the people long ago from drought, and made the fields green again for everyone. He caused the rocks to break open and water eventually flowed, freeing them from thirst. Amazing! He can do that to your dry seasons too.

       Pray while waiting, then endure.

     Give more thanks to Him because more blessings will be poured upon your emptiness. Better blessings will be replaced with new ones, the best ones actually. God is not yet done in you. Prepare for your breakthroughs. You will be refreshed again by His love. The kind of love that is new everyday.

     Give thanks while waiting, then endure.

     Lo and behold!

     "The Lord says,  'Because of my covenant with you that was sealed by the blood of sacrifices, I will set your people free - from the waterless pit of exile." - Zechariah 9:11


Rejoice! Even if You're Single this Valentines Day

  Again, it's the 14th day of the second month of the year. Love is not just in the air people, its in the waters too. Wherever God is, love is there. Today is not just for the married, for sweet couple, for perfect twosome, for duos, for lovely pair. February 14 is for family as well, for single people also, for broken people, for the sick, for the unloved.

No need to pressure yourself if until now, you are still patiently waiting. God has given you more than enough reasons why you are blessed to be unattached on this day.

“John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” There is no greater love than this. The love there is in God's sacrifice for us, it is enough to show that you are deeply loved by The One who created you. Jesus' death on the cross, it is enough. You are paid by a price no one else can pay, only God can. You need to realize this more.

      Rejoice! God loves you so much.

“1 John 4:19, We love because He first loved us.” Love more this Valentines season. There is this certain kind of feeling or urge to return the favor, the moment you are fully aware of the greatest love ever done for you.  Come to think of it. Even in the people in your life right now, whenever you feel you are deeply loved by someone, you have this certain feeling of loving back as well. God, being your perfect lover, has all the right to be loved back by you on this day. Loving Him means doing good for others today, the people around you actually, by doing simple random acts of kindness. Even if you are single this Valentines day, you are capable of loving people today. Dearest beloved by God, whoever does not love does not know God. I know that you know God. Love Him back. Your family and friends is waiting for that God's love through you.

      Rejoice! God loves you so much.

   “Romans 12:9, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Thank God  even if  you are still, not in a relationship with someone. It would be nice to think this way, God is saving you for situations that can destroy you and can take away the kindness there is in you. Do not worry too much if all your friends have someone to date today, and you have none. What is destined for others, is not destined for all. We are all in different situation. Relax! God is still on the process of making things easier for you. Do not complicate things. If the situation tells you to wait, then patiently do so. Jacob even waited seven years to get Rachel, but those long years of waiting seemed like only a week to him, because of His love for her. There is no harm in waiting. God works all things for good. He knows what He is doing. Trust Him. Really. Give your full trust to Him.

      Rejoice! God loves you so much.
“Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Being single this Valentines season, you can't help but ask the question, “If God will give me the desires of my heart, why am I still single?” Because this world has taught us that Valentines Day is only for those who are in a relationship, the day has become a struggle for single people. Delighting ourselves to God's words and His plans for us must be our top priority in life. Many singles out there still don't get this. They keep on doing their own thing, rather than trusting God more. They did not even include God in their decisions. Dearest singles, do not force yourself so much in making relationships happen. You can not do that. You are not in control of everything. You are not God. Many single people keep on doing this, only to end up having their heart broken again. You deserve the best in this world. Be still and wait on God to do the first move. Waiting requires lots of patience, yes, and sometimes the process takes long time. Patiently endure the struggle. Do not rush. The Lord creates all things in pair.

       Rejoice! God loves you so much.

If you have lived your life truly in committing your destiny to Him, and continues to believe in His promises, God will never fail you. He will give you even more of what you though was enough for you. He is an ever generous God. It may not be easy. And loneliness will always get in the way. But trusting His plans is always worth it.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Be quiet, Be still

      Even the winds and the waves obeyed Jesus' command when they heard His voice.
The wind died down when He said, "Be quiet!"
The waves turn to a great calm when He said, "Be still!"

      I believe God does the same for us too, specially in the midst of our life's great storms. All we have to do is to pay attention to what He is saying.

      Do not cover your ears. He is saying something to you right now.

      Separate yourself from the distractions present in this world. Have some time for serene moments. Enjoy God alone for a day or two.

      You need to stop worrying too much and stop being distracted by this sin-ruled world. And just listen to the Lord. He holds the answer to all your queries in life. Your understanding is only limited. It has the ability to fail you.

      Listen now. Be still. Settle down your heart. And know that He is God.

(Reflect on Mark 4:39-41)


I Am Worth It All


      Human as I am, I also arrived at a point where my service to God had gone all slipping slowly, out of my calculations. Then the WORLD in arial bold letters, took the forefront of my view.

      Those were the days when worldly lures and the devil had suddenly dropped down on me, and I was weak and powerless to prevent it.

      I could not ignore the pain of it, out of me, knowing that it broke the Lord's heart so much.

      I failed Him.

      But I know there was one thing I could do. I could still pray!

      I prayed and was given understanding.

      "Mj, God doesn't change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. You must repent. And pray continually for His guidance. Ever since, you had nothing on your own. So you must trust Him. Come home. Come back to His loving arms again." - Jesus Christ

      Those words lifted me up. Sinner as I am, I shouldn't be worth it. But then, His voice came in and cleared all my worries.

      It made me realize that I am worthy of God's love and affection, more than I could ever imagine. I deserve someone who would give up His life for me, I deserve Christ. I am worth dying for.

      No one owns me but God alone. I am loved and adored above all things by the Creator of all things. No matter what I've done in the past, I still deserve the Greatest Love of All. And I know you too. We all deserve it.