Another New Year

All too often, anger works better than answers, resentment better than reason, bursting the suppressed wounds for even just a little sigh relief, and maybe a little hint of life. The endless whys trigger a migraine. This is how we are alive. This is how I was living.

Sealed trauma;
A surfaced past;
Trying to forget, will forget, please forget, I don’t want to go there;
Tight lips;
Soulless eyes;
Empty thoughts;
Heavy heart;

This year was remarkable.
From being diagnosed with MDD cm ADD and put on medication for 13 months;
From sleeping next to pitiless insomnia;
From countless court hearing resets and dragging court dates;
From being sick with Covid, first time riding an ambulance, brought to a facility, my anxiety was spiraling, it was so stressful I lost so much weight in just 2 weeks;
From going through the heartbreaking deaths of my dogs;
From falling out friendships and toxic relationships;
Yes, this year has been remarkable.

I don’t talk much. I don’t. But the doctor said I have to. To process. To release. To unbury feelings. To ungirt the leash that is suffocating. So this is as much that I could do. I’m trying, it’s unusual, it’s uncomfortable, but I’m trying.

Despite everything, I am proud of myself. For hanging in there. For surviving. For still being here. I am no longer angry. I haven’t been in a long while now. I am more calm. I don’t try to feel too much of the insignificant things.

And most of all I am grateful. Especially to the few who understand me, who include me, who check up on me, who bear with my quiet, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sending out love to each of you, wherever you find yourself this season. 💜

xx DMV

3rd Quarter Musings

I think—no, I believe I haven’t written in a very loooong time. This pandemic has fvcked up my sleeping cycle, my body clock, my little to less routines, and totally drained out whatever is left of the creative ink circulating in my brain. I started this back last year if I’m not mistaken? And I guess stories of certain events and bent up feelings of excitement coupled with a little anxiety finally finished it. Soooo, yeah, here haha.

The Day Everything Changed

One full year isolated from friends and loved ones.

One full year out of work, out of school.

One full year of faces hidden behind a collection of masks.

One full year of life as we know it, thrown into complete disarray.

Exactly a year ago when the world went into a standstill, locked down and boarded up as we were thrown into a wave of uncertainty, unprepared and caught off guard, spiraling into a state of disequilibrium, a life characterized by fear and anxiety.

One full year since the day everything changed and away from a reality we will never get back.

Can we ever grasp the new normalcy we struggle to live with?

Will we ever become comfortable in the daily uncertain?

Will we ever see through the shadows of a dream draped with looming obscurity?

Will freedom be less defined?

Endless questions with answers held by a future that remains dimly vague,

With tiny slivers of hope only few seem to recognize, rejected by most as distrust blind their discernment.

Out of this chaos, may we realize that everything can end in an instant so focus on what is important and always be grateful for somehow, we are still surviving.

xx

DMV

Cliff glider

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

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

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.

IMG_6095

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.

DCIM102GOPROGOPR2672.JPG

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.

IMG_4292

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.

XXFH0682

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

OPDLE2001
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.

IMG_E4213

 

xx

DMV

Sitting with the Rebels

I used to not understand the complexity of insurgency; how it is deeply rooted onto ideologies so unfamiliar from what is taught through tradition.

The people branded as rebels have been stereotyped as savages. They are a people civilians have learned to fear.

What most fail to see is, they too are just, well, people. They too deserve to be heard, to be seen, to be felt, to be taken cared of. They too are citizens of this universe and they too have rights and is protected by the laws of the land.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Now I’m not saying what they do is generally acceptable especially when clashing and raising arms against the military or when civilians get involuntarily dragged into their encounters, everything has it’s limitations. But what I’m trying to get at is despite the ruthlessness and notoriety, they have the right to equal opportunities accorded to all.

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Insurgency has always been a prevalent problem in our country which is why the government has created programs that extend development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind. Programs anchored on inclusion, accountability, transparency and sustainability.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

For those unaware, I work with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental under the Technology and Livelihood Development division. PGNO already has an existing peace program through the Provincial Peace Integration and Development Unit (Pro-PIDU) in partnership with the 303rd Brigade wherein former combatants who decide to surrender arms will receive a livelihood package. The province has an existing half-way house wherein returnees are debriefed for reintegration to equip them when they start a civilized lifestyle.

For this year, our office as part of the Pro-PIDU, decided to focus our services on armed conflict-affected communities considering that areas tagged as such receive the least due to the risk involved.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Last week, we’ve started our first tranche immersing into these areas doing orientations on our services, livelihood trainings and assistance, conducting surveys and just simply getting to know the people and their culture.

I’ve cried more than once this past week, their stories are so heartbreaking. And I’ve seen first hand what it is like to live a life like theirs.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

There are so many problems most especially the basics: water, shelter, health. I’ve learned (and seen) that greed has grossly plagued those in power at the expense of the poor, thus insurgency. It has become a vicious cycle. The lack of political will gravely affects the marginalized and it is so sad.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

But we’ve expressed that not everyone in government is tainted. And I am glad that the communities we interacted with gave us the chance to be heard and is open to our aid.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Despite their present situations, the people are generally happy and very accommodating. They’ve given us a feast (they grow their own food).

The experience is very humbling. Makes you realize how petty your problems are.

Thank you to the communities, the Barangay Captains and Council, the PNP for facilitating our visits and accommodating us. Thank you universe for keeping us safe.

 

xx

DMV

 

%d bloggers like this: