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No one has any idea how much The Fault In Our Stars has inspired me in many ways. From the book, to the movie down to its soundtrack—everything about it moved me in ways I couldn’t fathom. Even though Augustus-Hazel Grace-lovestory is the kind of love story I don’t want to be apart of, their love story is still the kind of love story I’d happy to watch and read over and over again for one main reason—their story offers a lot of simple life-lessons we, people, often neglect, but shouldn’t. In fact, last night I’ve watched it again together with my siblings; and it still moved the way it moved me the very first time I’ve seen it. So today, I have decided to share to everyone the top three valuable life lessons I’ve learned from the film:

1.  To Appreciate my parents more

One of the things the film emphasized was parental love. It was very timely because I was having issues with my folks the first time I saw the film. The story showed how a mother and a father can love her/his child so much. I’ve seen it in both families of Hazel Grace and Augustus—the being emotional of Hazel Grace’s dad; the choice of Hazel Grace’s mum to be strong and positive for everyone in her family; the cry of Augustus mother; and the decision of Augustus’ parents to put inspirational quotes around their humble abode; and the pain they deal with every time they see their own child suffering from cancer. All their actions simply resonate unconditional love. Love that I’ve also witnessed within the four corners of our home, but often neglected. The film made me realise that there’s nothing greater than parental love. So appreciate your parents more. Be grateful to have them in your life. They only want the best for you. To quote Grant Taylor from Facing the Giants: "You just can’t judge your father by his actions and yourself by your intentions. It just doesn’t work that way". Yes, there are moments we don’t meet halfway, but we can’t erase the fact that there are no other people who could love us as much as they do. 

2. To be loved deeply is better than to be loved widely

Remember the scene where Hazel Grace got mad because of Augustus’ obsession with being remembered? That particular scene hit me.Hard. Let’s admit it, there’s an Augustus Waters in each one of us, who is also striving to make a dent in the universe. I won’t deny that I’m somehow like him. Honestly, that was my main reason for making this blog. I thought that’s my purpose—to make a difference in the world, to inspire a lot of people and to be remembered. I must admit that there were times I would based my own ability as a blogger by the notes I get—and boy, I barely get one. Thus, I would get upset and thought that no one’s reading my blog because I’m not good enough. I was too focused to be validated by other people and gain more readers, that I tend to overlook the few number of people who approached me personally and tell me that I inspire them. But after watching that scene and hearing Gus’ eulogy for Hazel, I come to realise the difference between being loved widely and being loved deeply. Now, I’m learning not to care about th number of notes or followers I get. I am now more focused on appreciating more the  who believe in me and have been supporting me since day one. I’m more than happy to make a dent in someone’s life. As Mother Teresa puts it: "If you can’t feed a hundred people, just feed one".

3. Live in the now

This may sound so cliche but the truth is, life is short, yet oftentimes we live like tomorrow is always promised. We spend so much time worrying, thinking about the future and spending so many hours thinking about what people think of us, that we fail to embrace what’s in front of us. We waste our time on gadgets, computer or video games and on the internet that we tend to forget that the present is the only thing guaranteed. After watching the film, I appreciate life more. I realised how short it is. I appreciate every moment I have with the people I love and experiencing life, because who knows how many more years we all have left. There are people who live in this planet for 70 years, yet feel like they only live for 10 years or less. But there are others who are given the opportunity to only live for 18 years, yet live a life worth telling. So learn to enjoy not only every moment but also every person who loves you and supports you. Enjoy it with pure happiness and courage. We only have one life, make the most of it. Isang beses lang tayo mabubuhay, mabuhay na tayo ng tama! This is A BIG NOTE TO SELF for me!!

There are love stories that can only leave us with a smile and kilig; and there are other love stories that can leave us with so much life lessons that will inspire us to live more, appreciate more and love more in the most beautiful way. The Fault In Our Stars might be a tragic love story but it is a story that will remind us how wonderful it is to be human and to be given the privilege to feel, get hurt, to love and experience life and everything in between. I hope you get a lesson or two from this blogpost. I can go on and add a lot more, but I think these are the main three simple life lessons we often fail to commit to, but shouldn’t. 

Have a blessed week ahead of you, folks! :)

Much Love,

Marah 

Posted: July 29, 2014
Currently With 2 notes

Miguel always wanted to see Wellington at night. He’s fascinated to see how Wellington looks like when the sky darkens and the city lights start to brighten up the whole city. However, we’re both products of filipino parents. Thus, we both grew up in a very conservative and reserve environment, particularly me. 6 p.m. is already late for us. Movie date isn’t a good idea for our mamas. We are far from the typical modern couple. You can say that we kind of fall to the category of old fashioned couple and I am more than happy with that. So even though we want to have a date night, the thought of “they may not allow us” always get in to us. But, being the couple who politely follows the rules, I guess we have already won our parents’ trust. So after over a year of being together, we finally had our first date night.

Miguel always gives me the memories I long to have, and of course, I want to do the same for him. So this date night is really for him. 

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We walked around Waterfront and Oriental Bay whilst watching the sun fades on Wellington’s skyline.

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We saw this new built condo by the bay and started joking about living here in the future. 

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We decided to sit down in front of this view. It was still twilight when we started talking about life and everything in between, then next thing we knew it was already dark and the breeze was colder. That talk lasted for over an hour. 

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And the city lights finally lit up the coolest little capital in the world. This view somehow reminds me of Santorini. Aaaah how wonderful it is to share this view with the man you love most? ❤

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This photo doesn’t do justice on how beautiful Wellington is at night. The city is so much alive at night. Far from Wellington during day time—where people look so uptight and places are too busy. The city at night is still crowded but filled with smiles, laughter and bliss. We felt like we’re wandering around a city somewhere overseas.

Aaahh the feeling of making your man’s dream come true <3

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We headed to Siem Reap for dinner afterwards. I told my parents I’d be home by 8, but we arrived there around seven and our orders took forever to be served, so there’s no way I could make it home by 8 p.m. Being the responsible gentleman that he is, Miguel called my parents to apologize and ask permission to extend our date a little bit later and they said no problem. I appreciate that a lot. We had a very satisfying dinner. I don’t know if the food’s really good or we’re just hungry. But to sum, it was a lovely dinner. 

However, our night didn’t end up so well. After our dinner, I had felt a terrible toothache. It was so painful that I couldn’t breathe properly. We were meant to have dessert somewhere else but we didn’t push it through anymore. What a great date-wrecker you say? Honestly, No, I still consider it as a beautiful night regardless of my struggle. Why you ask? Because I had a wonderful man beside me who never ceases to make me feel so loved. For the thousandth time, I’m amazed by how he took care of me. We were on the bus headed home, my head was on his shoulder, I was in pain, then he started serenading me with our favourite love songs, careless on what people might think of him. How can you not consider that as a beautiful night? I wanted to cry that moment, not because of my stupid toothache, but because of how I felt so loved by a wonderful man like him. I’m getting teary eye as I type this. This may sound so cliche but I think no one hasn’t invented the word to describe how grateful I am to be loved by Miguel. God is just soooo goood to me for sending him in my life. :)

To end this, here’s a short and sweet vlog where you can see more of our first date night plus our Mini Putt adventure: 

Posted: July 28, 2014

I’ve been going on mini adventures with my sister for the past two weekends and I guess, it would be a good idea to add a new series on my blog. Yes folks, I’m calling it Weekend Adventure with Joie!! So from this day forward, you can expect our weekend adventures here on my blog.

Last weekend, which also marked Joie’s last day of holiday, I took her to the place where she’s been longing to go to—Crepes a Go Go—which is a food joint that offers french street food, particularly crepes. I’ve been hear thrice but I never get tired of their crepes and their lovely service! Good service is always a plus to me! 

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I swear, my sister is the most beautifuly 15 year old I know :) #proudate

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I ordered Sweet temptation with vanilla ice cream on top and she ordered a White Forest with berries. We are both satisfied with our orders (you can see her priceless reaction on our vlog below). Thus, we left the resto with a full tummy and full smile on our faces.

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I love how my backdrop somehow reflects my personality. #travelislove

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A random building across Crepes a Go Go

It was raining and freezing so we didn’t get to do much. However, whilst waiting for our parents to pick us up, we did a mini pictorial.

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I swear, Joie can pass as a model. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, she’s taller than me. 

#OOTD:

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cap from Hallenstein; scarf from Cotton On; denim jacket from Jay-jays; white crop top from Mirou; jeggings from Valley Girl; and boots from Number One Shoes. 

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Cap from Hallenstein; Denim Jacket from Jay-jays; Dress is thrifted; and Shoes from Converse.  

Joie and I really close despite of our five years gap. Not everyone is blessed to have that kind of relationship with their older or younger siblings, that is why I’m grateful with the kind of relationship God has blessed us. I swear, I’ll never get tired to be her Ate and more so her sister and best friend at the same time. Our friendship is one of the friendships I’ll definitely treasure the most for the rest of my life. 

To end this, here’s our video blog of our weekend adventure:

Source:lifewithmarah
Posted: July 26, 2014
Currently With 2 notes

I had been sick the last three weeks. And when I started feeling one of the side of effects of being sick—depression—I decided to go out. I just had to or else I would allow loneliness hit me. Of course, being the happy person that I am, I don’t want that to happen. And I think there’s no better person to go out with other than the funniest person I know—my sister! I swear, she’s the only person who can make me laugh. SO HARD. We just went to the mall. I was meant to buy a box to keep all the mementos from Miguel and my friends, but the price is a little bit too much so I decided to just do DIY. Then, I took my sister to my favourite cafe, Java Point. Everything that happened in between is in this video blog. Here’s a trivia: this is my first vlog with someone talking, but I let my sister did most of that because I am painfully shy human being and was still in my recovery phase when this was taken. You could hear me laughing a lot though. Hopefully, I’d muster the courage to vlog in public. But for now, here’s my adventure with my favourite girl in the planet—Joie. Enjoy!!

Posted: July 23, 2014
Currently With 1 note

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that beside M & M Adventure, I also have series of CMZ Adventure. CMZ Adventure is composed of my adventures with two of my favourite girlfriends in the world, Zahra and Chet. Since school and work always get in the way of our schedules, we barely had time to hang out. Fortunately, we had our sembreak recently and finally had the chance to make time for a catch up! 

Chet invited us to their humble abode and have cooking session. That really excites me and Zahra so of course we said GO! Being the generous that she is, Chet already bought everything we needed that day. Sarap niya maging friend no? haha!  We cooked spaghetti pesto, macaroons, egg pie, and churros. I swear, Chet prepared a lot. As in a lot. Zahra also bought roasted chicken while I, well, do the filming and eating hehe. 

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I wasn’t 100% feeling better healthwise that day, so they were the ones who did most of the cooking. All recipes come from C! :)

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They wanted me to invite Miggy as well, so I did. I’m blessed that my boyfriend get along with my girlfriends really well. Here’s a trivia: Miguel has been friends with Zahra even before I met him. :) 

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Always a team in every way. Nakatulong din naman pala ako kahit papaano hehe 

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We had a karaoke session whilst waiting for our dishes to be cooked. Me and Zahra went crazy over Bamboo’s Hallelujah. Too bad, I wasn’t able to film Chet while singing. She has an amazing voice! But Zahra was the performer of the day. She rocked the house! Concert Queen indeed! I always admire her always game-lets-do-this-attitude. Walang ka-arte arte! Enjoy the moment lang talaga siya! #mabuhayangmgajologswooooh

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Chet’s egg pie is definitely a nine! We’re having too much fun, thus I wasn’t able to take photos of the other meals. 

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Hindi kami vain, promise! Wala kayong ebidensya! WALA!!!

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We pretty much eat, sing our lungs out and laugh the entire day. I swear, I never had that so much fun in a long time. That day I realised laughter is indeed the best medicine, but too much laughing can be exhausting too! I forgot my ulcer because I was having too much fun but I felt so exhausted once I got home. Pero yung feeling na napagod ka dahil sa dami mong tinawa ay nakakablessed!! 

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Thank you C for welcoming us to your kitchen and sharing your recipes to us. You’ll be Zahra and I’s cooking mentor. Also, thank you for allowing us to rock your house through our singing hehe! I am so proud of the woman you have become, C! I’m grateful for you and your generous and loving heart. I look forward to more cooking sessions with you and Z! 

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I feel blessed to have found friends whom I don’t see much, but when I do, I feel like we’re never apart for a long time. I’m grateful for this friendship. Definitely growing old with these two + Miguel! <3

To end this, here’s our cooking and karaoke vlog that never ceases to put a smile on my face. I’ve watched this like a hundred times and still smile and laugh like I’m watching it for the first time #sograteful:

Posted: July 21, 2014

I remember he surprise visit me that day. I was still in my recovery phase due to flu. But Miguel really knows how to make me feel better. I don’t know he does it, but it seems like he has a certain kind of positive energy that is contagious and can influence people. Also, he brought me some sushi a.k.a my favourite food in the world. We devoured them while watching a talk about Choosing God’s Best by Peter Tan-Chi. Afterwards, we shared about our new music discoveries (Yay for couples who love music!!)…and well, this happened:

M & M ADVENTURE: Baliwan Session from marah roque on Vimeo.

This video shomehow showcases our crazy side and I certainly hope you’d find that in a cute way! Haha Pretty much this also shows the Marah and Miguel behind the edited M & M Adventure you watch here on my blog or on vimeo! We are happy (and crazily weird?!) couple, so we really love to goof around and laugh! If you’re a great observant, you could also notice that I’m crazier than him ( again, in a cute way! ) and Miguel’s the more malambing. I’m blessed to have found someone I can be nothing but myself and can be weird with. Dr. Seuss once said, "we’re all a little weird and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." 

I hope you enjoy this and I pray that you’ll find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with yours!!

Love,

Marah 

Posted: July 19, 2014

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A couple of weeks ago, my sister, Mel, got invited to perform at Chilton’s Cultural Event. Of course, being a fan of her, I along with mama went to watch her live. It’s my first time to attend a cultural event. I was an introvert, so events were not my thing for years. But things have changed when I decided to completely go out of my comfort zone two years ago. This experience was definitely one for the books. I’m glad that I have allowed myself be a sponge that night—just completely absorbing everything that’s happening in front of me.

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This event also gave me and mama the opportunity to have a mother-daughter bonding. Oh how I missed these kind of moments. 

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My sister performed Ed Sheeran’s Give Me Love. She was amazing on stage and there’s nothing greater than seeing her do what she loves. She meant to perform Yeng Constantino’s Salamat too, but she accidentaly cut her finger while strumming her Give Me Love performance. We didn’t even notice it until she left the stage after her first performance. It was bleeding but she remained so calm; and I hope she would do the same thing when life gets tough. I am just so proud of her. I’ll always be a fan. 

Aside from watching my sister’s performance, another highlight of that night was the experience to be exposed to different cultures, see amazing talents and try out different cuisines from different countries like U.S., South Africa, Chile, and many more. 

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Our friends from the youth, Seth and Gabby, also performed!! They look so gwapo in their barong tagalog! 

FILIPINO REPRESENT!!!

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Here are some of the food we got: 

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Food from Chile, US and South Africa

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Look how cute this muffin burger is!!

These food seemed so tiny, but they’re heavy. I was so full that night. Yes, we had carbs on carbs on carbs on carbs!! 

To sum, I really enjoyed that night. It’s really good to step out of your comfort zone and experience new things when opportunity knocks on your door, because experience like this is what helps us grow more as human beings. It’ll make you realise that there’s really more to life than staying in our comfort zone. So go experience more, explore more and enjoy your journey more! Aaaaaah I look forward to more opportunities like this! 

Posted: July 17, 2014
Currently With 1 note
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