End of 2022 | New Year 2023

2022 was like lyric poetry. A stack of unopened boxes full of mystery. It started with intimately wrapped presents encased under pretty gift wrappers, opening to a delightful surprise at a new dawn. A series of firsts after the long lockdown and life began to restart after 3 years.

Work came in full swing and I was busy as an ant building an enormous colony, you get lost in days, weeks, months.

But it rewarded me with views of the clouds, the sound of feet over cobblestone streets, a taste of historic monuments and foreign delicacies, interesting conversations with different colors and old friends, even an introduction to a scent I will never, never get used to.

I’ve woken up to foggy mornings and the sound of chirping birds and slept under fairy lights with a preview of the milky way.

I soaked in the sun, I dug my toes in the sand, I savored the remnants of salt in my skin, in my hair, I watched a collection of mesmerizing sunsets and it was breathtaking every time. 

I reunited with family and it was filled with long ago laughter, it was a streak of hangovers and countless sleepovers.

Despite starting the year right, until maybe to the first of the last quarter, with the universe having a sick sense of humor, I opened the twelfth box to an unexpected plot twist and I find myself crying through December, utterly frustrated and defeated. I have no words.

We are handed different, sometimes explicit, circumstances and we are exhausted maybe, but I only wish for renewed strength and a bit of happiness to survive the unchanging uncertain. And ultimately, just be thankful for everything in between, the big and little things that has put a miraculous glow on my face.

May we look up to the sky and find the stars align to be a compass that sets out to guide us when we are lost in the darkness, to ignite the spark of hope we need that burns to a fire that will lead us out. Out of misery, out of loneliness, out of exhaustion.

And as the year finally closes, keep in mind that everything will eventually fall into place exactly as it should, when it should, even when we go forward into another start of unopened mysterious boxes.

Have a happy end of the year and start of another year.

/ DMV /

Grey and Yellow

2020 was life-changing, it was exceptionally challenging that I can’t even put in a good word.

It was unremarkably heavy, a burdened weight unnecessarily shouldered for the past 10 months.

Suddenly, everyone had to forego with comfortable, we did not have a choice and that was frustrating. Life had to hide behind the mask.

Loss was a daily constant. The existential need to be seen, to be heard, to be held, was abruptly stolen by uncertainty and time was not on our side.

Anxiety continue to grow and you find yourself writing down turbulent thoughts on a fleeting lucid moment at 2 am.

I had to deal with so much the last year, I couldn’t cope. Gone was the strong facade I so easily wear, replaced by a throng of vulnerability and unrest. I feel like the chemistry in my brain fucked up.

2020 did not turn out how we hoped it would be, it was a cruel surprise. But somewhere in between the pandemonium was a window of realization that human as we are, we will instinctively survive.

If there was anything that I learned from the longest year of my life, it was gratitude, gratitude from the smallest of things: from keeping a job despite the economic collapse, home-cooked meals, discovering a hobby, appreciating my small circle of family and friends, new-age technology filling in the gap from being socially distant, waking up alive, healthy and somewhat sane.

May we leave the dust of the year that was in the past and may we learn that we could choose to drop these heavy loads and walk towards hope, no matter how small a speck, with empty arms making room to carry much better things.

Smile. It’s a New Year.

xx

DMV

Bewitched by Children’s Laughter

I did not dream of having kids. It was never part of the plan.

I wanted to write and live in different places, experience this diverse, expansive earth everyone keeps talking about.

At some point, I even wanted to go to outer space, discover aliens, leave footprints on the moon, trek Mars, name stars.

But you see, life has a sick sense of humor and who would have imagined I’d end up birthing 3 boys instead.

The irony.

I wasn’t ready.

Stuck in the mundane.

I think I’ll never be ready.

Fine, joke’s on me.

But I kept on, even when my mind was in total chaos. I still keep on.

I had the choice to get away, to run away as I always do, but I stayed.

And trying to be a mother, keeping up a facade of this supposedly strong person and parenting alone while my heart shattered into infinite pieces, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.

But oh, the laughter of children, the sweetest songs, such beautiful music to my ears, I could listen to for a lifetime.

The course of our lives sometimes do not play out like how we pictured it in our heads but somehow, we always end up where we should be.

And most times, much happier.

 

xx

DMV

Kids’ day out

Instead of throwing a party, me, my sister and her husband decided to take the kids to theme parks in Manila for Lily’s 2nd birthday.

 

July 1 – MNL Bound

All set! So many firsts for these kids.

From the airport we went straight to Enchanted Kingdom.

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Nice that we still got to avail of the weekday rate plus government discount plus student discount.

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Happy birthday Lily!

Enchanted Kingdom rates here.

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We had Lily’s birthday dinner at Mandarin Sky complete with birthday cake and Tagalog birthday song (haha).

 

July 2

Mark took the boys to buy car parts up at Banawe and had them try Mamonluk.

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Then we met up with fam for Lily’s birthday lunch,

And went to Dreamplay at the City of Dreams in the afternoon.

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Tired chipmunk (haha).

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Dreamplay rates here.

Sneaked in a couple of slots at the Casino while the kids were playing (lol).

Dinner with fam at Dampa and went home at exactly midnight.

 

July 3 – HOME

Our flight was supposed to be at 5:30pm but was very very lucky to be chance passengers for the noon flight. Yay!

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Such a great weekend! Kids really enjoyed, weather was really good, flight was a bit bumpy but we all got home safe and in one piece. Thank you God, thank you universe and Happy Birthday Princess!

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xx

DMV

 

Forgiveness: The Key to Keeping the Devil Out of Your Life 

Sharing Day 322 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Forgiveness: The Key to Keeping the Devil Out of Your Life

Forgiveness helps us because it releases God to do His work in us. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person.

The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. You need to forgive, by the grace of God in your life, to leave the door of your heart open to the Lord.

Unforgiveness gives the devil a foothold, which he needs to create a stronghold. When he has a stronghold, he can block the influence of the Holy Spirit. But whether or not he has the power to do that in your life is entirely up to you.

When you forgive, it keeps the enemy from getting an advantage over you and keeps your fellowship with God flowing freely. So do yourself a favor, and be quick to forgive.

Prayer Starter: God, I don’t want to give Satan a foothold or a stronghold in my life. I don’t want anything to hinder or get in the way of my fellowship with You. I release my unforgiveness so that I can fellowship freely with You.

When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭10-11‬ NLT)

xx

DMV

What is Happy?

Everybody is thirsting to find happiness in life. More often than not, a lot of people aren’t happy unless a certain person behaves a certain way, or unless a certain situation works out just the way they want it to. We are so used to being unhappy because we let our happiness depend on other people and situations; there are just so many ways that we put unrealistic expectations on people and rely on them to keep us happy.

But one of the most important lessons I have learned is that I cannot count on someone else to make me happy. I alone can make me happy. God has given us the ability to take responsibility of our own happiness.

So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. (Ecclesiastes 3:12 NLT)

xx

DMV

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(Photo courtesy: Tumblr)

The Big 3-0

I’ve lived three decades and survived!

No, it wasn’t a lavish celebration, considering the fact that I don’t really celebrate my birthday.

But I thank God for giving me the wonderful gift of loving Family and really great Friends. All these unplanned events made me feel extra special.

Day 1:

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Bananas from Dane, lunch date with my sister, pizza party from the office and dinner with the family, what a pleasant surprise.

Day 2:

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Mahjong party with these beauties. My raccoon eyes were worth it! (lol)

Day 3:

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Fancy dinner with this bunch. It was an interesting night indeed! (aka ang ita)

These people, these moments…I don’t need much, they are enough.

xx

DMV

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…and that concludes my big 3-0. Thank you so much for cheering me up, for always remembering me and staying by me through whatever. We might not always agree on things but I am confident that you truly care. I love you all so much! Cheers!

My little Angel

Yes, I was pregnant since February of this year (me and my husband got back together, you figure it out) and I just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last November 5th.

It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. It was stressful and chaotic but I’m blessed that Little Boy came out and turned out to be okay.

I had to literally start from “zero”, the age gap being nine years. And baby stuff? I literally had none (not even one washcloth!). But I thank God for caring and thoughtful friends and family who eased my needs by throwing me a baby shower during me and my husband’s 10th year anniversary. From that moment on I’ve been excited to meet Little Boy.

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And it was a torturous waiting game when I was on my 37th week. I’ve had a number of false alarms and it was really dragging. I couldn’t wait to get it over with. I felt bloated and heavy and tired.

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(Photo courtesy: Jyuan Sebastian V. Jose)

But due to some complications I was augmented on November 3rd, 4 days before my due date. I was in labor for 36 hours and during the one and a half day I stayed in the labor room I watched other pregnant women come in and go. It was very exhausting; everything hurt, everything felt heavy, everything was messy, I literally felt so battered. And when my Doctor came during the wee hours in the morning of the 5th to further my labor, we found out that Little Boy was in breech position and I was subject for C section. Imagine going into labor for 36 hours and ending up in the operating room (tragic).

But on the brighter side, I thank my God for keeping me and my baby safe.

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Our little angel JUANCHO ANGELIOS V. JOSE, born November 5, 2013 and the whole of Negros Occidental celebrated with him.

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xx

DMV

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