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The Power of Kind Words

Back in high school, I was fortunate to be a member of our school’s theatre guild. I was so passionate about acting (I believe I still am); and that led to amount of praises. I didn’t know how to handle them so well, thus I ended up keeping them in my head instead of heart, resulting to unwillingness to learn and grow. I really thought I was great enough and knew everything I needed to know. Little did I know, I still have SO MUCH to learn. And I’m just glad that even before I succumbed to being arrogant, I was able to learn my lesson. 

Now I have found another passion, which is to inspire people through my imperfectly perfect life, I am blessed to be appreciated by others. But I’m no longer the type of person who puts too much weight on compliments. I have also learned to use them to push myself to be better. Of course, I am beyond grateful every time I receive kind words from family, friends and especially from strangers who I never thought would appreciate me. It’s just that i don’t feel the need of posting them online.

I have mentioned in my past blogposts that the last few months had been a struggle; and I am still trying to getback from that setback. But the last week has been extra kind on me. I unexpected received a number of sweet words from family, friends and strangers. I never thought that my decision of finally changing my perspective comes with many surprises—surprises that are made by words from people and meant to touch my heart. So today is an exception to my no-posting-of-compliments-rule. This is not to brag nor to show off, rather, this simply is an expression of gratitude for these folks that inspire me more to become a better version of myself. 

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I was surprised to receive this message from one of my greatest friends, Eva. I wasn’t even complaining yet she apologized for being busy and not being able to find time to catch up.  And this I truly appreciate. This message simply reminded me how blessed I am to be friends with people who know to value friendship despite the long distance. 

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The only thing I want for my birthday is for my lovedones to remember me, and here is a great friend reminding me of my special day two weeks in advance. image

Here’s unexpected message from one of the women I look up to. Isn’t just so sweet to be randomly remembered by people? It’s one of the things that makes me think that maybe I am really doing something good with my life. 

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I sent Ate Isa a birthday greeting. I was only expecting a “thank you” as a respond, yet my most favourite writer in the planet sent me this in reply. How could I not be encouraged to live rightly? 

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In times when I was doubting my capability to do greater things, Alve, my partner in Love Letter Project, unexpectedly sent me these kind words. 

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And here’s Miguel tirelessly reminding me my worth, constantly believing in me and never giving up on me, especially in my worst. 

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And even before the week ended, a fellow blogger Danielle Bueno, sent me a link to her blog and found this short but sweet feature. How could I not feel grateful? 

There were times I looked at myself as weak and inferior. I doubted myself for being a good person so many times. But these messages simply reminded me that I am more—stronger than I think; braver than I can imagine. smarter that I may seem; and better than I believe. And with that, I just want to say with full sincerity, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for reminding me my life mantra—life is beautiful regardless of its flaws. You inspire me more than I inspire you. Your words made my heart happy more than you know. Y’all blessings! ♥

I really find it amusing how powerful words can be in terms of empowering people. And I know that there are so many people like me. People who need comforting words to remind them their worth. So I encourage everyone (myself included) to spread kind words everyday, because we never know the kind of change we’re doing for others! :) And I want to start today!!

Gusto kong umiyak. Isa lang naramdaman ko ng nabasa ko to. Yung puso ko. Ang lakas ng tibok. At duon, alam ko, nabuhay muli si Rizal. Ang tagal ko hinintay maramdaman ulit to. Akala ko hindi ko na siya mahal. Pero solid to. Bawat letra nagpa-alala sa akin kung gaano ko kamahal ang Pilipinas. Salamat Sir Nikko Ramos! Isa kang henyo!

Through fun times and flatlines, mabuhay ang Gilas

By Nikko Ramos

Buong buhay ko, ang best friend ko, yung lolo ko. Si Rizal. Magkasama kami sa kwarto, sabay kami namamalengke, magkasamang tumatakas para kumain ng McDo kahit bawal sa diabetes niya. Pati yung nineteen-kopong-kopong niyang Mitsubishi Lancer sabay naming kinukumpuni. Silver yun eh, well at least nung brand new siya, silver daw kulay niya.

Nung high school ako, naging mas makulay pa sa outfit choices ni Kuya Germs yung auto. May green kasi minasilya, may black kasi butas, may blue kasi may nagasgas siyang sasakyan na nakaparada sa mall. Oo, hinit and run ng lolo ko. Pag matanda ka na daw kasi, minsan di na nag-aapply sayo yung batas, and apparently, common courtesy. Isang araw, pinagising niya ko. May solusyon daw siya dun sa pagtulo ng ulan papasok ng kotse mula sa mga gilid ng windshield. Pinalabas niya ko tas nakita ko siyang sobrang saya sa tabi nung bulok niyang sasakyan. May hawak siyang duct tape. “Bakit ba ngayon ko lang to naisip? Perfect diba?” Take note, award-winning engineer yung lolo ko. Ilang building na naitayo nun. Pati airport natin. Tapos ngayon tuwang-tuwa na kakulay ng duct tape yung kotse. Ibang klase.

Hanep kasi sa kulit yun eh. “Burjer” ang pag-pronounce niya pag hamburger. As in “hamburjer.” Pero pag cheeseburger, tama naman, nagiging “cheeseburger”. Pag naghuhugas siya ng kamay, ipapagpag niya yung tubig sa ulo mo. Sabay tingin sa kisame. “May butas yung bubong!” Everytime. Walang palya. Habang tumatanda ako, marami akong pinangarap na career: basketball player, piloto, english teacher. Pero isa lang talaga yung gusto kong maging: katulad ni Rizal.

Kaya nung namatay yung lolo ko pagkatapos ang maraming taon ng malubhang pagkakasakit, para akong nabunutan ng tinik sa tagiliran. Tapos sinaksak ulit. Paulit-ulit. Walang humpay. Walang katulad.

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M & M Adventure: Brew’d

Miguel and I had no plans to see each other last week. But I think his week wouldn’t be completed without seeing me (naks, ganda mo te!). So he surprise visit me again. It was actually a fail because I was at the mall with kuya when he went to our house. Glad, mum was there. So I met him at home.

Since we had no specific plans, I suggested to try out this resto near our place called Brew’d. I’ve always wanted to visit this place, because everytime we pass it it’s always full. So we did!

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I thought this was a cafe until they asked for our ID. I was surprised because we went there for brunch and they were asking for an ID. Plus, its exterior looks like a cafe to me. Now, I wouldn’t wonder why they are open until 11 pm!  

Actually. I don’t have an ID since I don’t drive and I don’t bring my passport with me all the time. Thank God, we already ordered when he asked. So he had no choice aside from letting me stay. hehe Thank you, sir!

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I love their interior! It’s unique in its own way.  A mix of modern and vintage. But what really stands out for me is their superheroes wearing medical suits wall art. This resto is actually located across a hospital and most of their customers are med people. Thus, their wallpaper gives a figurative meaning! Such a smart way of paying tribute! Whoever thought that is a genius! ;) 

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Miguel and I also love their dainty table setting!

And their food!!! Friends, their food is amazing! Presentation wise—10/10! Taste wise—another 10/10! 

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Miguel ordered open steak sandwich and I ordered by far the best eggs benedict in town! 

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We both fell in love with this resto! They have everything we look for in a restaurant— affordable, great place, great food and ultimately, great service! This place actually makes me think to finally get my 18+ ID, because I would love love love to go back :)

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Miguel will always be my favourite food buddy! I’m so thankful to have this guy in my life. He just knows how to make the most of every moment. He can turn the ordinary, even a simplest afternoon, to something worth remembering! Hashtag blessed! ♥

CMZ ADVENTURE: Friday Hangout

Over a week ago, Chet, Zahra and I finally had the time to catch up after months of not seeing each other. We were meant to go hiking, but the weather was terrible. I swear, everytime we go out, the weather is always in the bad mood. So we decided to visit Miguel instead. It was a lovely afternoon despite the rain, cold and me being sick. An afternoon full of food, solid laughter, karaoke, dance central, hugs, friendship and love. Aaaaaah nothing feels like to be reminded that I am not alone in this journey. Forever grateful for these folks! ♥

A week ago, Mame Cecille tagged me this photo of Tatang and my cousin, LA, wearing my kuya’s birthday costume. I live for moments like this. It’s the kind of photograph that tells a story. A photograph, for sure my cousin, will look at 10 years from now and be moved. I am moved when I saw this at first sight. It made me happy and sad at the same time. Happy to see their smiles and sad to know that I’ve missed another precious moment with them. Lucky are those who live near with their grandparents. Make them happy as long as you have the chance to! They are the people who love you more than you ever know. 💛👴👱

The Love Letter Project ✉

A couple of days back, a familiar name popped on my chatbox. Then I realised it was Alve Aranton—one of the most talented writers I know—asking me to team up with her for a project. I am a fan. So you can imagine how surprised I was.

A year ago, I stumbled upon her blog and never thought that an unexpected discovery would pave the way to a birth of a new friendship. I am all for writers who write with (and by) heart; and Alve is one of those writers. You know those writings that are completely irrelevant with your current life status, but they just speak to you. And you don’t know how and why, but they do. Alve writes those kind of stories. It seems like her words touch a certain part of me that I don’t know that exist. And for me, that’s a gift. What’s more amusing is that she’s never afraid to share that gift to everybody. And to be honest, I’m still wondering why amongst all the talented bloggers out there, she chose me to collaborate with her. I swear, her excellent writing skills somehow intimidate me. But then I realised, the things we didn’t ask for, but given to us, are God’s blessings. And this one is indeed a wonderful blessing. 

So after days of brainstorming, we have come up with The Love Letter Project. 

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I am a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell; and that the world deserves to know every story. With The Love Letter Project, you are very welcome to send your stories to me and Alve. Stories including, but not limited to romantic and heartbreak stories. You can tell any stories about your life. You can share us your dreams, happiest moments and even your failures and personal problems at home. Stories of courage and fears are also very welcome here. We will devour them and will respond to you in an open letters. We’re not here to give you smart advice, because guess what, we’re just like you—human—still lost, figuring out and enjoying this crazy adventure we call life. We’re here to listen, learn, grow and make new friends. 

Alve and I are praying to inspire and empower others through this special project. We also hope that this project will pave the way to a birth of more new friendships. 

We can’t wait to read your love letters! 

Much Love,

Marah 

Tribute Thursday: Nicole Araiza

When the topic is about maturity, one of the first people that comes to mind is Nicole Araiza. She’s only what? Nineteen? But she thinks like a 30-year-old grown up woman. Yes, there are pros and cons of being more mature than her age. She’s probably misunderstood at times, but I commend her for staying true to herself. She speaks her mind. She apologizes when she makes mistakes. And she loves her family more than herself.

Nicole may be younger than me, but she’s my dream “Ate”. I always tell her that. This woman is full of wisdom. She’s one of my go-to-person whenever I needed to vent out. And most of those moments happened in a train. In every lifetalk, she would impart a valuable life lesson that I know I will hold for a lifetime. And if there’s one particular life lesson I got from her that I will keep forever in my head, it is this: “Gawin mo yung best mo, para pag bumagsak ka, hindi ganun kasakit, wala kang regret, kasi alam mo binigay mo lahat.” (“Do your best. So when you fail, it won’t hurt that much. You won’t regret anything, because you know you gave your all.”) And friends, this life lesson is the reason why I’m marching on November to get my diploma.


Kaya friend, Salamat! 😊