Tipping Edge

I never imagined getting affected by the flimsiest of things but here I am, a chaotic mess of sad, angry and feeling bad. Yes, I felt bad.

It never crossed my mind that I would develop anxiety but the past 10 months of uncontrollable uncertainty has turned me into a silent wreck.

Isolation and confinement has pushed me to reach out to people, recklessly exposing myself to be emotionally vulnerable and I’ve been led on and left out.

I’ve never done any of these things before and it’s overwhelmingly new and suffocating. And as soon as someone paid attention, I easily forget that expectation is paired with disappointment.

I used to be so good at refocusing my thoughts, blocking out bad memories, or just not giving a care but somehow, it’s been getting really hard to hold it all together and not being able to control what runs through my head is taking its toll on me.

Too heavy.

Too depressing.

Too confusing.

Too much.

xx

DMV

Soju Nights

The cliche goes like: a drunken mind speaks a sober heart. And there is so much truth in those seven words. More honest, more vulnerable. Those drunk ramblings aren’t just random or ridiculous thoughts, somehow they’re something you’ve held back on, you’ve bottled up, you’ve tried to forget, might be trauma, or just silly nonsense your sober mouth did not have the guts to spew.

These moments might break someone, ruin the mood, destroy a relationship, but will undeniably ease the weight you’ve so long carried on your back. Only if you remember.

What’s funny though, despite being your unfiltered, totally honest, and reckless self, once you are sober, they tell you to stop thinking of whatever it was that has been unconsciously hurting you for years, that it’s all in the past, just try to accept, count your blessings instead, or forget about what fucked you up and move on. And they say it so easily.

You know why I don’t talk? Nobody truly listens. It’s either I’m being irrationally dramatic or unnecessarily bitter.

Oh well.

xx

DMV

Gloria in Manila

U2 | The Joshua Tree Tour 2019

The Joshua tree, which in fiercely adverse conditions, was seen by U2 as a symbol of faith and hope in the midst of aridity. The tree was named, by early Mormon settlers, after the Old Testament prophet Joshua as its branches reminded them of Joshua raising his arms to pray. — Valentina Magli

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After four decades, U2 has finally found its way to the PH.

I literally cried when they sold out 2 nights in Singapore. I mean these are legends, and it might be the only time I will ever get to watch them perform live and I missed my chance.

Blessed by the universe, they decided to add a PH leg closing their tour and I was so so so happy. I was like, GOD thank you for listening to me! And what was interesting, their VIP floor tickets sold cheap! It was like the universe was saying okay go on, watch and have fun.

Dec. 11 – Concert Day

Woke up at 3am to catch my 5am flight to Manila, it was pouring but I was too full of excitement, it didn’t really bother me. What turbulence? lol.

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After lunch, we drove through the almost 2-hour traffic up north to Bulacan, to the Philippine Arena where they will be holding their concert and was greeted by the blaring pipe-in of Where the Streets Have No Name on repeat for the next 4 hours. The crowd was very diverse, from Boomers to Gen Z, it was a picnic at the parking lot with all the collapsible chairs and coolers of beer, while waiting to queue.

Started queuing at 4:30ish to claim our tickets and get into the venue.

We finally got inside after queuing for more than 3 hours and was welcomed by a 200 ft × 45 ft state-of-the-art 8K video screen that flashed a loop of varied poetry from acclaimed poets and novelists from around the world, even featuring poetry from our very own Bino Realuyo, Eric Gamalinda and Dr. Jose Rizal as a prelude to the concert that started a little past 9pm.

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After The Whole of the Moon played by the Waterboys, I knew it was cue that the concert was about to start and we made our way through the mosh pit to the front of the stage. Just as the lights went out, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam took the stage and kickstarted the show with Sunday, Bloody Sunday and everyone was up on their feet, hands swaying, singing, screaming.

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After a couple of songs, Bono paused to greet the more than 45,000 people in the arena “Mabuhay!” And likened to a church service, Bono made known his prayers for an epic night of rock n roll transcendence.

Then they started singing Bad from the 1984 album Unforgettable Fire, and I got so overwhelmed, I started crying. How wonderful that one of my favorite songs was being played live by legends right in front of me.

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As the concert progressed into the Joshua Tree album, the ginormous wall morphed into a backdrop of American deserts, endless highways, emblematic mini movies and a play of psychedelic visuals towards the end.

At one point, U2 dedicated the song Ultraviolet (Light My Way) to pay tribute to women game changers, to women who came together to rewrite history. To quote Bono: “When women in the whole world unite to rewrite history as her story that is a “Beautiful Day.”

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This included Filipinas Lidy Nacpil, Cory Aquino, Lea Salonga, and Maria Ressa. And so much blah has been thrown at U2 being political and shit. The band’s been playing freakin punk rock since 1976. For those unaware of the genre (and are so called fans up until..), it’s supposed to be political, look it up. They’ve always had a reputation for their strong humanitarian conviction and activism, so get over it.

Playing their encore, some songs were accompanied with Tagalog subtitles, just shows how inclusive this band is.

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After thanking everyone who came and stuck with them throughout the show, expressing their admiration of the indoor stadium, making mention that the Philippine leg is their 2,050th show, that not having come sooner, they have no excuse, and Bono saying ”from our single island to your thousand islands, thank you for making us feel so welcome on your islands, you’re making a new history for yourselves but the truth is, none of us are really an island and what happens in one country affects the other side of the world. From typhoons to drought, the way we live in one country affects life in every country. There is no them, there’s only us. We are…,” they closed with One, from their 1991 album Achtung Baby.

The concert ended at almost midnight and up to leaving the arena, I’ve been singing love is a temple, love the higher law, we got to carry each other, carry each other, some serious case of LSS.

And through the grueling exodus exiting from the car park that lasted around 1am to arriving BGC at almost 3am — took a shower, ate a bit of breakfast (dint realize I was starving from the concert) and went to the airport at around 5am to catch my 7am flight home and straight to my seminar.

Literally no sleep for more than 24 hours, but having endured the traffic, long queues at the ticket booth, food stalls, comfort rooms and the arena, and coming down with fever and all, just to experience an impeccably choreographed 2-and-a-half-hour show and hear the uncannily seamless voices of the band performing live and up close, was golden. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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Here is their PH setlist:

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Gloria

New Year’s Day

Bad

Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree:

Where the Streets have no Name

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for

With or Without you

Bullet the Blue Sky

Running to Stand Still

Red Hill Mining Town

In God’s Country

Trip through Your Wires

One Tree Hill

Exit

Mothers of the Disappeared

Desire

Encore:

Elevation

Vertigo

Even Better than the Real Thing

Every Breaking Wave

Beautiful Day

Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Love is Bigger than Anything in its Way

One

 

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Thank you U2 for the once in a lifetime experience and thank you Poi and Jobelle for sharing this epic night with me! Truly magical.

xx

DMV

Enemies of the Heart | Anger

Following a daily devotional to appease a lot of chaotic thoughts.

This one is for me and I’m just going to leave it here as a reminder that there is so much more to life than living with all this nonsense.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 3

“Letting Go of Hurt and Anger”

Scripture: Ephesians 4:25-32

The second enemy of the heart is anger. We get angry when we don’t get what we want.

Show me an angry person and I’ll show you a hurt person. And I guarantee you that person is hurt because something has been taken. Somebody owes them something.

We all know people whose anger could be verbalized in one of the following ways: “You took my reputation.” “You stole my family.” “You took the best years of my life.” “You stole my first marriage.” “You robbed me of my teenage years.” “You robbed me of my purity.” “You owe me a raise.” “You owe me an opportunity to try.” “You owe me a second chance.” “You owe me affection.”

The root of anger is the perception that something has been taken. Something is owed you. And now a debt-to-debtor relationship has been established.

How about you? What debt is causing the anger you feel?

How long are you going to allow the people who have hurt you to control your life? Another month? Another year? Another season of your life? How long?

I’d like to propose that today should be the day when you quit holding on to the hurt!

While it’s true that you can’t undo what’s been done, it’s equally true that you don’t have to let the past control your future. In Ephesians 4, we’re commanded to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger.” We do that by “forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

The remedy for anger is forgiveness. If we hold out waiting to be paid back for the wrongs done to us, we will be the ones who pay. If, on the other hand, we cancel the debts owed to us, we will be set free.

Of the four monstrous forces we’re discussing in these devotionals, I believe this one—unresolved anger from intentional and unintentional hurt—is the most devastating. Yet in some ways it’s the easiest to overcome. You simply make up your mind to cancel the debt. You decide and declare, “You don’t owe me anymore.”

Follow this four-step process today:

(1) Identify who you’re angry with.

(2) Determine what they owe you.

(3) Cancel the debt by forgiving them.

(4) Don’t let the anger build up again.

“So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:25-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Mommies Day Out | Taiwan 2018

Mommy break in Taiwan.

Scorching summer heat but still fun nonetheless especially with the company I was with. Seriously nonstop laughter from the littlest, nonsensical and most random things.

Photo Set

Day 1

First stop – North Park for breakfast since our flight was not until later in the evening.

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Left for Taipei around 7pm and arrived past 9pm. Our hotel is in Ximen, we checked in at Diary of Taipei, (very conveniently located near the Ximendeng shopping district, Taipei main station and is only 5 km from the airport), and walked around to look for dinner.

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The famous Hot Star Chicken. There was still a queue even when it was already late.

Day 2 | Taipei

Patriotic Park

Went early to see the changing of the guards but apparently it was closed.

Shilin Main Presidential Residence

The former residence of Chiang Kai-shek and his wife turned into park and tourist spot. Did not finish exploring this area though as it was a scorching 40C but still decided to climb up a long stretch of stairs to go to a pavilion that wasn’t even impressive and got myself unnecessarily drenched lol.

National Palace Museum

Houses 8,000 years of Chinese history. Some pieces date back to the 10th century and are still amazingly very well preserved.

Shuangxi Park and Chinese Garden

We just passed by this park on our way to the museum and decided to check it out after. Built in 1974, park features different types of bridges, pavilions, courtyards and lots of lily pads, the place is so beautiful!

Baishihu Suspension Bridge

The first long span suspension bridge in Taipei and on the other side is a strawberry field.

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Shilin Night Market

Fun finds and lots and lots of street food.

Day 3 | Northern Taiwan

Yehliu Geopark

When sea erosion form beautifully shaped rocks.

Jiufen

A mountain town in Northeastern Taiwan, packed with tea houses, narrow alleyways, street-food shacks and souvenir shops.

Shifen

Was supposed to go the Shifen Waterfall but it was soooooooo crowded. So here’s a picture by the bridge going there lol.

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Went to Shifen old street, lit a sky lantern and let our wishes fly.

Day 4 | Ximen

Woke up late yaaaaay! Lunched at the popular Modern Toilet. Food is surprisingly good, generous servings too.

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Tried out the street food around this area. Did not try the stinky tofu.

Geography Bar and Cafe

A little tricky to find, we got lost a couple of times looking for this place but it was so worth it. Place is small but cozy and they make their cocktails very meticulously. Their playlist also included a couple of OPMs lol.

Xinyi District

View of Taipei 101 at almost midnight.

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Barcode

Known to be one of the poshest and most sophisticated chill-out spots in Xinyi District, this was a really pretty bar. Thing is, it was a Tuesday when we went so we were like the only ones (and a few tables) there. Stayed until closing, they close at 2:30am.

Day 5 | Home bound 

Did a little shopping for some goodies to bring home and well, never ending milk teas.

Refreshing break indeed despite the summer heat thanks to these awesome ladies.

On another note, best time to go to Taiwan is between December to May, weather is much cooler they say.

 

xx

DMV

34th | Keeping up with the SObelles

If you weren’t there, you won’t get it.

Spent my 34th with these crazies in breathtaking Siargao.

Photo set

Day 1 | Cebu

And off we go!

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We had to wait for April to arrive from Manila so we killed time at the Casino just across the Mactan Airport.

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Winning! 😎

Literally pigged out at a Yakiniku for lunch

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and chilled at Politics Cafe for the night.

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Day 2 | Siargao

Almost 1 hour plane ride from Cebu to Sayak Airport and we went straight to our first stop for the trip (which is just like 5 minutes away). We booked all our tours with Galatea.

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Kawhagan Island

Pit stop for lunch since eating/cooking and drinking is no longer allowed at the Sugba Lagoon.

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Sugba Lagoon

Very picturesque turquoise waters. Definitely a must see. Nice that when we went, it was not that crowded.

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We left around 4pm to go to General Luna which is like 45 minutes away from the airport and checked in at the Bravo Hotel.

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We had dinner at Harana and at 9PM they cleared the dance floor. Apparently, every night there is a different party at a particular venue. Saturdays are for Harana.

Day 3 | Siargao

Woke up around lunch time and headed off to Kermit. Food is really good, did not disappoint.

And we started our salubong sesh by the beach. Sundays are for Bravo. Super fun night, thank you friends!

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Day 4 | Siargao

Party boat by Galatea. Happy birthday to me!

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Daku Island

Clear blue waters, fine white sand, beer in hand, soaked up the sun. Lovely.

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Birthday lunch 😋

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Corregidor Island

Island is not as crowded compared to the others. You could snorkel and hike here too.

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Naked Island

Toilet break.

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Cloud 9

Regularly rated as one of the top 10 surf sites in the world. Bonus for beautiful sunsets.

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WILD. But we’ll keep that to ourselves.

Thank you universe for yet another year of awesome.

And thank you too to this crazy bunch. Hugs!

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xx

DMV

 

God and Religious Stereotypes

I think I’ve kept quiet long enough. Too long even. I’ve kept quiet most of my life. Maybe I was scared. Maybe out of respect for the people who took (and still takes) care of me and taught me early on all that is viable in life. Or maybe because I know my opinions would be judged and unacceptable to some (or most). Or maybe because I know I will be looked down upon because my faith is rather unconventional. I don’t know.

God and Religion are two totally different things.

God is definitely not religion. Do not confuse yourself.

I am not religious at all, I’m sorry. It’s nothing I’m proud of, just pointing out that I’m not. And I wish to not identify with any religion. But don’t get me wrong, I do believe in God and know for a fact that I have a great relationship with my Creator.

There is this stereotype that people who do not identify with a particular religion must therefore be an atheist. I have nothing against atheists. In fact, I know a lot of atheists, I have friends who are atheists and most of them are really good people. We are all entitled to our own beliefs. Religion or religious beliefs or nonbeliefs do not make a person. Religions are but human institutions that enhances your experience of God but just because you do not identify to one does not mean that you cannot experience God.

I’m not religious because I’m just not impressed with it. I feel like it limits someone’s understanding of faith as each “religion” has its own distinct ideologies and cultures and traditions EVEN IF they claim to worship the same higher being.

And although I am not religious, I know, I KNOW that my God loves me the same as everyone else because my God is omnipotent and unbiased and merciful.

There is this other stereotype that if you don’t identify to a particular religion, your soul won’t be “saved.” I think I’ve lost count of how many people would scold me or tell me off when I don’t go to church, like as if rubbing shoulders with hypocrites really make my Sundays better. They will then proceed to tell me that you are there to worship God and not the people who attend church and I’m like aren’t these worship leaders, these priests, people as well? They are actually one of the reasons why religion turned me off. I do go to church sometimes, the coffee is always good.

I am very much aware, growing up in a family with closed religious beliefs, that as a “Christian,” I am obliged to go to Sunday mass or worship service, share in charities and actively participate in small groups (and I did for so many years). That is what tradition dictates. Not sure what sort of validation they get from doing so as I feel like their idea of being good followers of Christ or how a Christian life is to be led are pegged on their church attendance or the amount they give for tithes and offerings. I don’t really need to let the whole world know of the good that I do. Publishing it on multimedia and spilling it all over social media does not secure you a spot in heaven.

I don’t go for certain reasons I’m sure most people (who also call themselves Christians) won’t or refuse to understand. I however, worship my God in my own, intimate way, I don’t really need to let everyone in on how I do it because at the end of it all, it’s going to boil down to just me and Him. I keep a devotional that I read and reflect on every morning, I converse with my God about random things as I go about my day and I’m a fervent believer of prayer. Yes, I pray a lot and I also teach my children how to pray and be thankful for the life God has graced upon us. How fortunate are we to experience this beautiful world.

You see, each of us have our own ideals and beliefs and just because we are so passionate with ours, does not give us the right to dictate or force it on someone who does not share the same.

I wish everyone would learn to respect each other’s unique principles instead of being bigots and judgmental human beings.

I love my God and I always try to do whatever it is that will be pleasing to Him. I hope, as believers, you do the same.

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xx

DMV

Rainy Friday Afternoon

When everyone is used to running towards you, expecting you to fix their cracks and you try to seal it, feigning wit and refreshing humor, to somehow complete whatever it is that they lack.

You have this way of making things better after you, it’s hard to explain. The sponge so they say.

But who extracts the water from the sponge when it is full?

The glass is overflowing but they still continue to pour, fumbling for your lifeboat as they drown in the turbulent seas they ceaselessly create. You also give away your life jacket.

When you are gagged to even feel broken and muted so as not to be judged, the words bleed out of your mouth and drain you empty.

The silence is almost, always deafening, amplified by the sickening reflection you see when you stare at yourself in the mirror and find that there is no one around but you.

The world could seem like a complete nightmare sometimes.

I asked if you were okay and you laughed a little too loud, smiled a little to hard and held a little too tight when you said “I’m perfectly fine.”

 

xx

DMV

Mayana Peak | Too foggy for a view

Quick getaway for me and my munkeys before school starts.

Weather was not on our side, gods must’ve been smoking a ton of clouds nonstop but still, the foggy pictures looked eerie beautiful.

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If you want to opt for a day hike with a magnificent view — Mayana Peak. It is located at Sitio Punod, San Carlos City, only an hour and a half travel from Bacolod City. Getting there you could take a public bus or use a private vehicle. A 4WD could go up to where you start your trek (I’m saying a 4WD because on a rainy day it is really slippery, but a 2WD could do depending on the weather condition); or if a private vehicle is not available, from the entrance of the Sitio, you could take a habal-habal for P100; or if you are the more adventurous type, you could walk from the drop off, takes about an hour to reach the peak but more time to take in the feels and the sights.

At the bottom of the peak, there is a tourist lodge where you log your information and from there they will provide you with a guide. They don’t charge any fees for the hike up but donations or tips are very much welcome.

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It was really foggy when we went and it would have been a pretty view if the skies were clear but well, June is the start of the rainy season and we took our chances.

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It’s a short trek up to the peak, about 15-20 minutes, depending on your pace but it’s kind of steep.

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Something like off a Land Before Time scene (haha), right before the fog set in.

First of many. We’ll be back on a better day.

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xx

DMV