End of 2018 Life Update

2018 was.. well, a year of enlightenment for me. I couldn’t say it was a walk in the park as it was actually a crazy mix of sunshiny days and BAD THUNDERSTORMS but I am thankful it was because it made me really look at life differently (clichés aside). You know, exactly just like how my girl Kylie put it, “I feel like this year is really about, like, the year of just realizing stuff”. 😉

All my life I have always asked God for what I need — from strength to peace of mind or some things as specific as getting this certain job, closing this deal or to be able to do this and that. It was always a bummer whenever you do the best you can, pray as hard as you can and still fall short of what you expect. It made me doubt myself, my abilities, even blamed the people around me. It happened so many times that it came to a point that I actually believed that I do not deserve anything good. And those were good days. On bad days, I started questioning my faith and on those bad days, I was a mess. Love, patience, kindness… I felt like I don’t have and couldn’t give those anymore. It was so far from the Yves I was and continuously trying to be. Yes, I am happily married. Yes, I have a good job. Yes, I have a roof above my head but I felt empty. But who knew right? Yves is happily married. Yves travels. Yves manages a small business. Yves always smiles, etc etc.

But it wasn’t all that bad because this year, I have a stronger hold of myself. If there was one thing I learned from 2017, it was to rise above anything so whenever I feel like I have recurring periods of negative thoughts and feelings, I reflect. This particular year, I realized that I did not trust God enough. I turned my “Dear God, I worked so hard for this, please give this to me..” to “Your will be done, my Lord. I’ll accept what you think is best for me” and wow, it has done wonders. I still do the hard work but managed my expectations, I had a fresh mindset where whenever things did not happen how I want them to be, I believed that I am being led to something greater — something that I just don’t know yet. And when I started practicing that, the disappointments were a lot less painful.☺ I had some self-love and it was easier for me to accept certain things that I do not have any control of. I always choose to see the good in everything and not let any ill feelings eat the heart that I carry.

Looking back, there were A LOT of things that I prayed for but did not work out and I was nowhere near the thought that I was being protected or guided in the midst of them all but now I understand. I understand that to be truly happy, you must trust that God is working up there. Just do the work and have faith. You’ll never know when God will surprise you. He has greater things aligned for us that will blow our minds.

…just like how it blew mine. Well, JM’s and mine’s!

Thank YOU for reading this far! And… gosh, this is so surreal, I’m having a crazy time blurting it out. Haha! Okay uhm, may I just share with you that…

WE ARE MIGRATING TO CANADA 🙂

Okay now I don’t know what comes after finally getting that out. We leave on Christmas Day! *insert happy and sad emoji*. We literally just got our visas last Monday and that week had been crazy! It was just last Thursday when it actually started to sink in when JM and I were in the car and we tried to work on our schedules so I opened my calendar and started scheduling. It was a crazy feeling of joy, excitement, fear and sadness. It is a very promising opportunity but IT IS A BIG MOVE. I started realizing that I only had a few days left with my family, my friends, my dogs, my favorite places and restaurants! So I started crying in the car. We haven’t left yet but in that moment, I started missing my sister who does a lot for me and my little brother who runs to me when they fight. Hahaha! They were always there for me and I guess what I’m trying to say is… I will miss them the most. I’ll stop here cause my throat hurts from trying not to cry.

To whoever is reading this, I will miss you too. I bet we have atleast one crazy happy memory together so I am leaving you with this: whenever you feel like nothing is working out, let God’s plan for you take over. One day, you’ll actually say “Aha! That’s why it didn’t work out!” and if it takes too long to happen… look back to the bad days you survived, the friends you kept, the good health you have and the family who loves you. You might not get the thing you have been praying for yet but what if what you currently really need is his constant guidance and care to make it to another day? And if that still doesn’t work, always remember this story of mine ☺ A girl struggling since God knows when but finally started to get her plot twist number one!

And for a pabaon note to myself, (I know I’ll read this blog again on random days. Haha!) Know that life will always have its ups and downs but whatever challenges you may face, you have a God who knows what you truly need even before you ask him. Trust in His timing. Plus, you have your bestest friend by your side! There’s nothing that you two cannot do!

Ahhhhh this week has been a total cryfest for a lot of reasons but we just cannot wait to flip another chapter in our lives ♡

All my love!

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Mind Your Own Body

Amidst all the Jelena posts, I was quietly drinking my bulletproof coffee and trying to go on a fast, I stumbled upon another Facebook post. The first line got me…

“Why do people feel the need or feel like they have the right to tell me I’m fat?”

A few more relatable rants until this part…

“I can’t be in my closet and say ‘Oh! Nice dress, I’ll wear this”. Instead, I’m always like ‘Nice, kaso sabihin nila ang taba ko”, or ‘Nice, kaso iju-judge nila ako’. So dapat magpapayat muna ako before I can happily choose what to wear and happily wear it?”

And that hit me hard.

Growing up, I was always a people-pleaser, someone who does not know how to say no and I know it might be off-topic but I am saying that to emphasize the impact of these traits on how someone sees themselves… and even if you grew up differently, I bet, even once in your life, you have been body-shamed.

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I have always had a small figure. I was a skinny child in my grade school days and I never really paid attention to my body as my Harry Potter books got me busy. Come High School, I may be timid but I wore what I please. First day of school, I wore a sheer halter dress and at 15, my mom let me wore a g-string. No biggie. Although I knew that in a conservative private school in the province, I would be the talk of the town for wearing such a “bold” outfit when everyone was in their shirts or pants. Bottom line is I OWNED MY BODY. 

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Carefree, high school days (2005)
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That was me wearing the blue shorts!
…not until I saw how the boys in our school make fun of a classmate for being “chubby” and for slowly realizing that for you to be a campus heartthrob, you have to be not just good-looking, you have to be thin too. I was a volleyball player back then, and I had the metabolism of a teenager but strangely enough, I started to watch what I ate. I remember me and my bestfriends would have lunch together and we would share on a chicken sandwich and unconsciously rant about how “fat” we were when in reality, we weighed 100 pounds, at most. Come to think of it, we were just brats who complained even if we have nothing to complain about. I was never really that pressured about my weight because as I’ve said, I had a metabolism that anyone would kill for.

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Come college, fastfood was life.
It was 2008 when I moved to Manila for college and gone were the days when homecooked meals were prepared for you. Fastfood meals were the most convenient and anyone could vouch that stress-eating is real, especially when finals and class presentations come your way. The only workout I did was to lift my spoon and fork lol. To add to that, date nights also consisted of food and so from 45 kilos, I gained 3, 4, 5 kilos and everytime I went back home to visit, I was always greeted the same way, “tumataba ka”, “uy nagkakalaman ka”, or “lumalapad ka ah”! I did not mind at first but man, when these comments just won’t stop… it starts to get to you. It’s as if you are defined by how you weigh. It’s the constant reminder in a tone where it seems it’s unacceptable to gain weight?

Take the comment on this photo taken 7 years ago as an example:

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2011, when I started to be continuously body-shamed
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Comments like these put SO much pressure on me looking good. I also remember being in a school team where someone made fun of me when I did floor exercises because I “looked heavy” and that time when a certain person saw me eating at the cafeteria and took away my plate with a “why are you even eating?” comment. I was never bullied my entire life so hearing things like this slowly has taken its toll on me. I was, at most, at 125 pounds then.

Since then, I hated wearing fitted clothes or any top that had no sleeves. There was a time that I just did not want to deal and hated going out. I hated looking at the mirror. “I have nothing to wear” became an everyday dilemma. I felt guilt every single time I eat. I knew in that moment, I did not own my body anymore. My body is owned by the picture-perfect people on social media, the judgmental stares and the passive-aggressive (and mostly unsolicited) comments about my weight, my arms, or my double chin.

I’ve come along way from college and as much as I wish to end this blog with me being a body-shaming survivor, I honestly think I still can’t say that. The photos below were those times that I tried so hard to lose weight… and I did. Only to gain them back again.

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NYC, 2014
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Boracay, 2014
I currently have a love/hate relationship with my body. There are good days, but mostly bad. I gain some weight, I lose some. It is a very exhausting part of my life and mainly the reason why I’ve tried to work out even when I don’t want to, starve myself despite the headaches, then binge-eat at times and try every diet possible out there but I still look in the mirror and see someone who is never good enough. It’s the constant “ang taba mo ngayon” being the new “hello”. It’s the constant pressure to look good especially when you see all this beautiful people around you and believe me, I know that beauty is skin deep but until we learn how to redefine beauty in our culture by accepting beauty at all different shapes and sizes and people learning how to filter thoughts in their head and thinking about what and how to say it, there will always be people feeling bad about themselves.

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Slowly trying to be a bit kinder to myself this 2018
So next time you make age, gender, weight or skin be the intro for your small talk… why not bring some positivity to the conversation? Maybe next time when we are with our family or friends, let’s try to not give in to the body shame talk. Let’s stay positive, appreciate others’ bodies for all of the awesome things it can do. Tell others how awesome they are and how great that dress looks on them, or how glowing and young they look. It’s about damn time we lift each other up, girls!

And if you are still having one of those days, remember that we are smart and well-educated women who are kicking ass in this arena called life. We’re raising humans, running businesses and charities, and contributing on a larger scale than the women who came before us. Our bodies weren’t meant to look like they once did when we were in high school. Our bodies are designed to change and morph with age and babies so let’s all be kind to ourselves and eat that damn cake 😉

 

All my love! ♥

Of Drag Queens and Pride Month

I have always wanted to write about this one show that I have been obsessed with, and girl, when I feel the urge to write about something, it pretty much means I have strong feelings about it. It either made me cry, made me sleep thinking about it or it simply touched me. (Disclaimer: things may get a bit personal at the end of this post).

Successful shows pretty much have the same formula. Aside from the big shot cast; the drama, level of relatability, deeply felt characters and good cliff hangers usually lead to high ratings. This show had all these… and much more. It was one boring day when I was browsing Netflix and stumbled upon this show and ever since that day, I got hooked. I saw it’s thumbnail and I had absolutely no clue who this woman was on the cover. Man, I was in for a surprise when I pressed play.

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Yaasss!!! It’s RuPaul’s Drag Race!

And that woman on the cover? She’s a man.

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I have an obsessive personality: When I’m into something, I need all of it. Why eat one slice of pizza when you can have five pizzas, you know? This is what has happened with Drag Race.

First things first, I had no idea about drag. Two minutes in the show, I was honestly confused about what this show was all about and seriously took the title literally and thought it was about racing cars lol so when I finally pieced it all together, it made me feel super excited. I have watched reality shows from Project Runway to Masterchef and all that but this was a whole ‘nother level! One episode down and I could not stop watching.

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Before I talk about why I love RuPaul’s Drag Race, let me give you a quick background about the show. The show documents RuPaul in the search for America’s next drag superstar. RuPaul plays the role of host, mentor, and head judge for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week. RuPaul’s Drag Race also has a panel of judges and guest judges who critique contestants’ progress throughout the competition. My queen Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Lady Gaga made an appearance too!

CHARISMA

Boy, these ladies have such beautiful faces with or without the big wigs and heavy makeup. They just make you wanna stare at them ALL.DAY.LONG. And their transformations? Better be ready to pick your jaw up from the floor.

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Riiiiight???!

UNIQUENESS

All these queens come in the competition with such big and different personalities. Black, white, asian, thick, slim, there are queens of every race, creed, culture and background imaginable which is such an amazing celebration of LGBT identities and diversity. Drag itself is diverse as well. There isn’t just one singular type of drag: there are comedy queens, pageant queens, artsy queens and so much more so just imagine mixing all these queens together in one show!!!

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NERVE

…and the shade of it all. These queens are, in the words of the great Jaclyn Jose, “bitch ka lang, ako super bitch!” level!!! Their fights are so amusing and hilarious. I swear, you have never seen anything like multiple drag queens arguing. They’re super sassy and turn fights into the most entertaining ones.

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TALENT

For all those who don’t know much about drag like me, drag queens are men that use makeup, hair and outfits to transform themselves as women. Omg I even saw them put all kinds of glue on their brows so if you thought contouring was hard, imagine doing drag makeup.

But nope, these aren’t just men putting makeup on and walking in 5-inch heels. These are incredibly talented people who do crazy challenges from being impersonators to comedians to lip-syncing and dancing. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE AND THEIR TALENTS ARE OFF THE CHARTS.

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They may be born males but they all have C.U.N.T.s (get it, get it?)!!! 😜

I guess the bottom line of this blog is how this show is a great platform to entertain and preach messages of acceptance and love. A big part of this show, almost as big as the competition itself, is the personal stories of each contestant. Queens discuss coming out, family reactions, past tragedies and their journeys, each with hardships. Season 5’s Roxxy Andrews broke down discussing how, as a child, he and his sister were abandoned by their mother at a bus stop. Trinity K. Bonet from season 6 came out as HIV-positive. And, rather than defining them, these and other admissions become just one more reason that they all support each other through. I mean..

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We’re dealing with people who have been shunned by society and have made a life regardless of what anyone else thinks of them have decided. It shows the strength and resilience of the human spirit, which each of us watching relates to. And I root for them. I think that’s what’s so captivating about it, seeing how these beautiful creatures have managed to prevail despite how cruel our world may be.

It’s got more heart than any other show on TV—reality or otherwise.

And I think this is why I have such strong feelings about it.

Growing up, I have witnessed family and friends go through such a hard time coming out of the closet and it boggles me… WHY. Why do these lovely people have to experience fear and anxiety and shame when they are just being themselves? I saw the hesitant look of a cousin when all his partner wants is to hold his hand in the mall, I saw the pain in a friend’s eyes when she is forced by her own family to a place of healing to be “free” from this “disease”, I saw how an uncle continuously try to go day by day trying to hide who he really is, I saw a co-worker’s hope go down the drain day by day when he can’t seem to find the love he deserves, I can feel the fear that my sister tried to hide when she realized that her life was not “normal” and when things like these happen…

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Like, I literally feel as if I was the one experiencing it. We are our Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters, all equal in His eyes. We are family and didn’t Lilo once said, “family means no one gets left behind”? So if the straight ones can show love to whoever they please, why can’t our gay brothers and sisters do just that?

This is why in any way that I can, I try to affirm everyone that I can reach, be it personally or in social media. I remember that there’s this acquaintance of mine who came from the same province as I did, we really haven’t talked personally but I always make it a point to leave comments or messages whenever he is on drag or when I simply see him so confident by just being himself. So if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry if I come off as feeling close. Hahaha! But I just wanna say that I am just so damn proud of you!

I am a very strong LGBT advocate and I want nothing but love and acceptance for all our brothers and sisters. I believe in equality and I think my personal goal is to shine a light on those who don’t get paid much attention, or get paid the wrong kind of attention. I pray for the day when we all try to be kind to ourselves and to one another and throw kindness around like confetti ♥ I hope we all believe that it’s possible to find love for others—and ourselves—despite all of the crap and the pain and the heartbreak we go through in life. Sometimes we put ourselves through all of that, creating obstacles that stand in our way simply because it’s easiest to set ourselves up for failure. That’s exactly what we should avoid—whether you’re in a dress or a suit. Loving yourself has to come first; once you’ve got that down, you can accomplish anything—such as looking at the bright, beautiful world around you and telling those who stand in your way to fuck right off.

Whew. That was a lot for one post! I KNEW I’d get emotional!!!

So to end this blog, I would leave you with this beautiful question from Mother RuPaul:

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Can I get an amen??? 😊

 

 

All my love! ♥

 

Back with Another (Long Overdue) Life Update

I’m back!!!

I can’t believe it was almost a year since I wrote something and I mean, how on earth did I let that happen when I told myself that I wouldn’t let life get in the way of doing this? This was supposed to be my outlet but yep, it just goes to show how I often let life eat me.

Let me see.. it was August of 2017 when I awkwardly left things off that there’s no way to bounce back from that lol. So pardon me if I would just dive right back in with random but pretty significant life updates.

JM and I continued travelling as much as we could.

Here are some photos from our Vietnam trip. I think this was from November of last year.

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I love food but I’m mostly into oily, fried and salty food so the fresh, minty and food full of veggies from Vietnam surprised me. Not really a big coffee drinker but maaaan, I think I drank atleast 5 cups of coffee when we were there.

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We, of course, did some touristy things such as visiting churches, temples, museums and good food spots. We even hung out on the streets and at the park, ate street food, drank beer at the local bars and just did some people-watching.

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We also went to La Union… and discovered that I could love a place so much, that for some time, I was really considering moving there. No joke.

My sister, Yna, always talked so much about La Union. We were dying to see what the hype was all about so in a spur of the moment, we packed our bags and just went. We were SO obsessed with the easy and carefree vibe that place offered. Did not expect to like surfing, too! I remember thinking and really ASKING the locals how much and what would it cost to really learn how to surf. Did you know that you have to train everyday if you really want to be a pro and that also means you have to relocate in La Union for atleast a month or two. Someday, La Union, someday!

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For our 1st wedding anniversary / JM’s birthday, we thought of going to Baler. We stayed at L’Sirene Boutique Resort ( a lot of my friends have been asking me about this because the place was sooooo IG-worthy) plus it was new, pretty and clean. Three things that I look for in a place. 😊

Though we pretty much did nothing but lay around, eat, drink and soak up some sun, I remember having the time of my life. It really is a damn dream to find someone you can do nothing with (especially for a lazy girl like me lol).

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Aside from seeing places, I think this is the most significant of all updates (so far!). Remember this post? No? Well, I expected that :p

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 7.25.36 PM.png I FINALLY DID IT!!! I had lasik surgery!

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From an eye grade of -6.75 (R) and -7.50 (L), my eyes are now both 25/25 (when I had it checked a month ago)! I am due for another check-up tomorrow and I have a good feeling it’s already 20/20 na because my eyesight has dramatically improved, like so much!!! I can even read those tiny letters at the bottom of billboards when I drive. IT WAS LIFE-CHANGING.

I. SIMPLY. HAVE. NO. WORDS.

Anyway, I’ll do another detailed blog post for that to answer all the questions I got from my IG story! 🙂

On a more personal note, in a span of a year since I started out this blog…

  • No babies yet!!! Though JM and I are more than thrilled to move on to the next chapter of our married life, we’re trying to take things little by little by laying a good foundation for our future family life. It sounds so cheesy but I guess we just want the best future possible. I might appear expressionless when people ask me when we’re having a baby (or babies, really praying for twins!), but you don’t know how kilig I am when you ask me and I’m dreaming of the day when I get a mini JM and mini Yves. Lol.
  • I got into sales (I know right?? From HR to tutoring kids to writing and working from home… I don’t know, I think I’m in that phase where I just want to explore) and I’m glad I did because it really taught myself a lot of things. I mean, growing up and by simply living, you think you’re this person but life really surprises you and you’ll be amazed on how your own self will surprise you more. I did things I thought I couldn’t do, I accomplished things that I thought were too challenging and of course, broke down numerous times! (That part wasn’t new but anyway), all I’m saying is keep working on yourself and trust the process. I used to be so anxious about things, I still am, but I guess, I am more positive this time around and it is SOOOO liberating. To just live life with a positive mind. So I hope if you’re reading this, I hope in your own way, try to embrace life’s flaws and just spread happiness, love and good vibes. Just what this world needs more of.

I guess that’s it! I know it’s not much but I believe that life has so much to offer and I just cannot wait to keep moving forward!

I know you all have better plans than reading this blog on a Saturday night but I hope somehow, I gave you all a bit of love and positivity 🙂

Wishing you all brighter and beautiful days ahead!

 

All my love! ♥