Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 12, 2018

Why I have a Hard Time Opening My Doors to Friendship

It's good to have closest friends in the workplace to chill with at meal time. It makes life so much easier and harsh days softer. And I am very grateful to have met individuals whom I feel extra comfortable with. Something that rarely happens because I have a hard time opening my doors of friendship to all the people I met.

With Reyn and Sahara, two of my closest colleagues whom I feel ultra-comfortable going out with

I have a very tight circle of friends because I often have difficulty getting myself at ease with people. Perhaps due to the way I brought up. I was not exposed to the crowd while growing up. I lived in a secluded environment nestled between ocean and mountains with almost no chance to interact with folks from different culture. So I grew up terribly shy and just keeping things to myself.

Until I developed this odd personality of being a conscientious- introvert. This is a type of personality where an individual shows interest to the outside world through concerns on issues but does not feel at ease right away with everyone in the surroundings. It takes time before easiness sets in.

A conscientious-introvert is always mindful with what is going on, acts accordingly and hates being in the crowd. A cautious, self-disciplined type where being highly-reserved is the highlight of the behavior. At the same time very homebody, rarely go out and does not easily fit to people with contrasting personality.

I was inferior while still in school and in early part of my working career. I totally lacked self-confidence. I was always scared to everything. Scared to try. Scared to fail. Scared to disappoint everyone. I would not initiate a conversation nor expressed opinion for fear of being rejected. Meeting people and talking to boys also scared me to death.

But when I turned 30 I tried hard to get out of my cocoon and started facing my fears. I built self-confidence out of my desire to become an independent, empowered woman who knows my right to individuality.

I was able to get rid of my inferiority complex when I obtained my masters degree. I slowly building life goals and exploring possibility of getting out of my comfort zone. So I decided to leave Davao and sought job in a corporate world in Metro Manila to taste life in a more complex environment to learn a lot from life. It was then that I felt I am living an existence free from fears.

With this, people in my circle have often mistaken me as hostile, aloof, timid, selfish and indifferent. Some of them dismissed me as stubborn, ruthless and hard to please. But unknown to them I have a long struggle building my self-confidence, getting rid of my shyness and fortifying my strength. I am a typical country girl who does not easily gel with people in the city.

I am used to a quiet environment so I always seek comfort in a small group and with modest people. Most of the time, I don't like to be surrounded with noisy and show-off people. It is the way I brought up and already entrenched in my behavior.

I am just being myself and I do not pretend somebody I am not. Though in recent years I made some adjustment on how I interact with people, and tried hard to fit in, there are instances that I prefer to stick to the basic. And just remain quiet in the corner.

I get easily bored with nonsense conversation. And I am not comfortable dealing with people with loud and tactless personality, especially women who bounced on boys like hungry labradors. I go with girls who are prim and proper and with people who understand me and fully accept me and appreciate my value as a person.

They are some of my fewest colleagues whom I feel comfortable with
Food trip with them is always the happiest

That's why I have fewest friends. I only go with the people whom I can relate with and who personify the same lifestyle as mine. I am very transparent and I wear my emotions under my sleeves everyday. I cannot pretend to be somebody else. I find it difficult to be with everyone who manifests a contrasting behavior. And I hope people will respect my way of life.

But even though I am very used to a solitary life and been dining alone for the most part of my adult life, it is still a welcome respite to have friends around when I go out for lunch. It makes things lighter.

With Bechay during our Hongkong and Macau trip. She is another colleague in the university I got to close with.

I love long conversation with the people I like to go with. It's the only time that I can let my hair down and talk endlessly and laugh wholeheartedly without any pretensions. I find meal time as a serious business and a sacred ritual so I want to spend it with friends whom I feel at ease with. It makes the food tastier and flavorful and satisfying.

With Juvy and Joice at Pearl Farm beach

Meal time is also a chance to have some breather and catching up with friends, so I prefer to spend it with folks whom I can relax in a conversation, who see the real me and appreciate and understand the deepest core of my personality. As you see, I have a hard time dealing with people who are loud and tactless and who talk pointless things and I do not want to spoil my appetite with pretensions.

Two of my closest friends in the workplace are Reyn and Sahara. We have the same personality. Cautious and reserved. Modest and proper. Not loud and rough.  I can relate to their personality. They are quiet and highly disciplined. And we can easily agree to almost everything.

So last week, we had some fun going out, spending brunch at The Marketplace by Rustan's along the Citywalk 2 in Eastwood and had good conversation over food. It was a cool day though literally cold due to gloomy weather. But I had a great time with them. Check my food blog about The Marketplace, click The Gourmand Travel Guide.

On the following day, we agreed to spend lunch at Bonchon in Cubao. Actually it was my first time to grab a bite of value meal at Bonchon. The first time I dined at Bonchon was with Gerard and I chose the Bibimbowl set. Chicken meal at Bonchon is not something I want to take when I am hungry. It is not tasty, nor juicy. Just crispy but not flavorful. But I like the french fries, a lot tastier than those in Mcdonalds, Jollibee and KFC.

If I would go back to Bonchon, perhaps I would stick with Bibimbowl sets, it tastes better and I like the spicy tad in soup and on the meal itself. Though my taste is very oriental, I am not impressed with Korean dishes. Flavor is not really savory. I still prefer Japanese cuisine.

Sumptuous dinner at Kenny Rogers in Boni with Rowie Tagaan 😘

Last Saturday, I met my long-time friend and former colleague in the university, Rowie. We have been friends for more than a decade and she is one of my closest friends in life (with Helen) whom I have not lost contact despite working now in different companies. Helen is now based in Dubai but we always find time to communicate. She has just celebrated her birthday last August 1. Belated happy birthday lenski!!! 😘💖

With Rowie and Helen during our annual retreat in Baguio City while still working in a Catholic university in Davao

During our 2017 reunion

Just like Aya and Reyn, Helen and Rowie are also quiet and highly proper in their manners. Our favorite bonding when we were still working in the university was a weekend trip to the monastery of Pink Sisters in Davao City. Because none of us was involved with men, we usually spent valentine's dinner together.

With Rowie during our Angkor Wat adventure in Cambodia
Food trip at Paul in SM aura

Rowie has been my travel buddy for the past years. Our love for traveling already brought us to different places, here and abroad. Beach trip in Batangas, adventure in Vietnam and Cambodia and on countless food trips. We gone to Tagaytay for a couple of times because we both love Bag of Beans.

Enjoying the timeless beauty of Saigon in Vietnam

In the future, I hope I could meet more people who will become my friends and share my litte world. I love long conversation. I love to travel. I love to eat. And it is nice to share each moment of this passion with friends whom I feel at ease with. And who will appreciate me unconditionally.

Until then. 😊🤗

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August 05, 2018

Omoide of Osaka

I'm always fascinated with relationships that have gone a long way, relationships that have been tested with time and still endured. Perhaps because I haven't been there. I haven't been into a relationship and it kept me wondering how two people meet and fall madly in love and build dreams together. 

I belonged to the long-forgotten generation of dreamers who are literally poisoned by fairytales, that happy endings are real. So when I hear stories about breakups, it gives me a real deal of time thinking why on earth lovers can't sustain the momentum of affection. Though I am completely aware that breakup is part of the cycle in a relationship, it still struck a deep cord to my heart. Because, well, hurt hurts. Whatever hurt means.

Last week, I had a serious conversation with a friend, who is also a colleague, over his long relationship that ended after eight years. Eight long years!

It doesn't sound like I've just discovered where in the world the next destructive earthquake will strike but the length of time they've invested just to keep things strong seemed long enough to call it quits. Kinda surprising and a bit ground-shaking.

What made the whole story quite astounding is that they were engaged and planned to take a trip down-the-aisle in 2 years! And yet it ended.

It is always sad to hear stories about breakup. Just imagine the emotional damage it inflicts to lovers, it's devastating! It makes you feel unworthy and breaks your heart into pieces. And there's nothing cute in heartaches. It sucks because it means someone else's dream for a happy life together had been shattered. And most of the time, breakups affected self-esteem.

I wanted to tell my friend there's nothing wrong with him. He is a good person and a fascinating man. It's just that the other party overlooked the purity of his heart and intention. I wanted to tell him he is better off with somebody else, someone who deserves his love and devotion. Someone who could reciprocate the level of his loyalty and affection.

Whatever the circumstances that ended the journey and led to severing ties, it's still breakup, and with it, ended the plans and the dreams he was trying to build with his fiancee, which is a bit heart-wrenching!

As someone who has never been into a relationship I could not fathom a thing why people fell out of love, why things fell apart, why couples kept hurting each other. Is forever only an imaginary thing? I mean why someone kept hurting the one they loved?

These lead me to ask more complicated questions. Why lovers would end a beautiful story with just a reason of weariness? I mean is it not normal to get weary at times? Is it not part of challenges in a relationship that they must overcome and resolve?

Eight years sounded like ages. It already fortifies relationship with so much investment on emotions. Long enough to throw off memories. And for someone to turn away and jilt a lover sounded a little baffling. What made her change?

I got to sympathize with my friend whom I know a very good and responsible man, a  smart guy who did not deserve to be dumped somewhere else. But, well, things happened.

If couples are working things out in a relationship and decided to bring it to the next chapter, the last thing that could happen is really to fall out of love. I mean feelings don't wither. It endures with the passing of time because genuine love perseveres.

Genuine love slowly grows. It evolves and develops as time progresses. It manifests respect and compassion. It would never inflict pain to someone. And would never back down even during the stormy period of the relationship. It can wind off any kind of challenges along the way. Because genuine love is eternal and sublime.

Hearing someone broke the engagement and gave up after long years in a relationship is terribly upsetting.  But who can blame circumstances? There are things in life that's beyond our control. And the only thing we can control is our mindset and views.

Their story might have deeper meaning that must be understood. It ended because the relationship has reached its timeline. It ended because something better is about to begin in each of their life story. Perhaps, their fate has been designed to stop at that point and there's no way to pass into another intersection of life. It has come to an end. Their love story halted because it was not meant to continue.

That's the story of life. It might be difficult to comprehend but sometimes circumstances must interfere to steer us into the right direction and bring us to where God wants us to grow as a worthy human being. It is a message that must be understood. Everything happens for a reason and it is always for the best. Breakup is one way of telling the couple they are meant for someone else and not themselves. Every circumstance has a purpose. Even the people we met.

We met people not by chance but by purpose. The purpose is either to teach us lessons or to add value into our lives. People who are just meant to teach us lessons are those who cannot be with us as we continue with our journey in life, but those who are meant to add value into our lives are those who endured the tumultuous journey and continue to be with us all along.

Perhaps his fiancee only came into his life to teach him a lesson but not meant to be with him forever. A lesson for him to be stronger, to be tougher with times and to be cautious the moment he decides to enter into another relationship.

There are things that are temporary, including lovers, but we have to appreciate their value because it has meaning in our life's journey. They are trying to teach us lessons. Trying to teach us to become a stronger, better person.

Looking at my friend, I could not see any signs of remorse in his face nor a manifestation of regrets and anger. Maybe because the feeling of torment has already passed. He has gone through a considerable period of time coming to terms with the truth. It's been months since the devastating breakup, afterall.

Still, I could feel that he has been hurt. And the memories of torment for a wasted love is still there. It won't vanish in a spur of the moment I guess. Because a love that endures with time is an emotional investment that could not just be dissolved with the closure of affection. But I wished time can heal him completely because he is such a wonderful person.

Though I could feel he has moved on, still the reminder of that lost love clings a bit. It's normal. And it takes time. It takes a considerable period of time to get rid of the memories of the nurtured love. Because once in his life he cared for that someone, he nurtured that someone. But whatever it is that made the circumstances a bit agonizing, life has to move on.

It has to move on.

And yes, things happen for a reason. The story has ended because another story is waiting to be told. Another encounter is waiting to be revealed. Fate always finds ways to unite two souls who are meant to travel in life together.

Everyday offers hope of a beautiful tomorrow including meeting "the one". There's no exact season to fall in love. God makes all things possible and often gives us a beautiful story far better than what we have expected.

His plans are always better than ours. And we should never worry about looking for the perfect time to find love because God's time is always perfect. And love always finds ways. It will find us.

I also believed that the person we are going to marry is not the one we are madly in love with, but he/she is just the person who is right there, at the right place, at the right time when we make a life-changing decision. Because love is a decision, not just feelings.

With Mikko's story, I remember this beautiful quote on why God allow us to wait longer:

"When God know you are ready for the responsibility of commitment,
He will reveal the right person for you under the right circumstances,
so wait patiently, don't waste your time searching and wishing for someone to come into your life, grow and be ready, and you will see,
God will give you a love story far better than what you've been dreaming"

The circumstances of his love story provided me somehow an idea to write a book about memories of love 😂😃 I have not tried writing a manuscript about romance because I don't find it challenging.

Romantic story is a formula story and its structure is always predictable which makes it uninteresting to delve on. Though it's one of the easiest genres to write, I still find it a bit boring.

But his discomforting plight on love is a bit inspiring and somehow gave me a premise to dig deeper on the idea of falling in love, and the searing effect it gives to lovers when somewhere along the way things will turn pretty bad.

I am currently writing the initial draft and I am using this working title "Omoide" which means "memories" in Japanese. It's a tribute to Mikko's Japanese heritage. And because I love all things Japanese and been thinking of visiting Japan in my lifetime, I decided to use Osaka or Kyoto in Japan as the setting of the story.

And with this, I'm sending this open letter to my friend.

Life can be tough but it shall come to pass. You are a great person who deserves the best in this world. Just consider yourself as a multi-colored glass window with few patches where sunlight filters in exciting shades.

Staring at these shades and identifying its worth will provide you a good perspective of life in general and find your balance: riding the thrill of adventure without losing your grip, catching the tide of excitement everyday.

Just believe that you live in a certain form of wonders and behold, things flicker surprisingly. Magic is everywhere, and miracles happen. One of these days you will understand why things did not work out with you and that someone. Perhaps, God is preparing someone better for you.

I have at least one blog post in the previous years about realizing why things turned out badly at times, something you can ponder on:

Who would pick me up? Who would be used by God as an instrument to lift me from this turbulent moment?

Hardcore questions. And answers are as distant as those floating meteors in the milky way. Even if I would bang my head in the wall for a hundred times, I would never get satisfying answers to all these muddles. Logic might be flawed and everyone will argue.

Because TIME is a tipping point of what should be done and how things should get us going. It controls the intersection of our journey. It would never yield to what we scream at the moment. It has its own direction. It has its own blueprint how things should flow. It follows its own command. It has its own phase and interval. No one can ever pass the parameter without the consent of time.

But who controls TIME?

We might finish our day with a split mind and ended in a mental facility, but I know, somewhere out there, someone control’s TIME. Someone we cannot defy, whose judgement cannot be questioned, whose decision cannot be bargained. Because this someone owns everything. 

Even TIME.

We might create unreasonable decision, possess courage to make a difference, dare to fly high with our intention to make life worth living based on how we define it, how we map our plans, waste energy to pursue those dreams and intentions, but without fitting on the timetable designed by God, everything is senseless.

He owns TIME. God owns everything. 

Even the mapping of our plans. The direction of our destiny. The collision of our path with another. He controls everything. It might be hard to accept or too difficult to take it in but that’s how it goes and we cannot barter it. Not even trading self-sacrifices and lashing our feet on the steps of the church every day. If the grand design is not yet complete. None of those plans will come to realize.

Everything has its own time. And God owns it. He designs it. We have to undergo a different level of pain and tribulation to recognize His grand design. We might feed up with the long delays but faith will keep us going.

After a while, I get back on my feet and think about life in the correct sense, think about my faith, about God and what I have right now. Why I should feel bad? Why focus on the things I have no control? Why concentrate on something that should never be given? I still have my life to live. Never mind those people who refused to believe in my worth, those people who jilted and abandoned me, they are not also worthy to be grieved on. Like passing moments, they are not meant to be in my journey forever. 

There are still wonderful things on the other side of the road. Wonderful people that I will meet who will recognize my worth. At the end of this tormenting journey a great reward awaits. Something that only God is capable of providing.

Sometimes, the only thing we truly need is just within ourselves, it's just deep within, we only need to bank on our faith to understand everything. Understand the message of life, the message of God. Because everyday is a message, what happens to us, good or bad, is a message that we need to understand. 

Life is a reflection, whatever thought we feed on our subconscious becomes us. There's at least one quote I've read somewhere that keeps me motivated now: “God’s plan is always the best, sometimes the process is painful and hard. But we should always remember that when God is silent. When it seems He never listens to our prayers. He is doing something great, something better. So wait for that grand gift, for that grand plan, you will see why things happened the way it ended.” 

Someday, things will make sense for you, why those ugly circumstances need to occur. God is trying to send you a message that something great is waiting out there. And God prepares someone better for you. You only need to feel it by your heart and understand life's message to see the other person clearly. Don't worry about timing, for God's time is always perfect.

It's a beautiful day! And tomorrow is another exciting day to rebuild lost dreams. Your life itself is a gift from God that must be cherished.  😊

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 31, 2018

I've Never Felt So Alone

Hitting rockbottom again.

When I am on the edge of everything and no one seems to go with or to talk with or even hear my voice, my only resort is to spit everything in my blog and unload my pain to be relieved and get rid the pressure off my head.

This is my sanctuary, my repository of sordid emotions and torment where I can freely talk without being judged. I always seek comfort here when things going tough.

I just want to spit things out to discard the angst that is slowly crippling my senses now. It's downhill deep inside. Like I've just hobbled down the track of pins and terribly wounded but could not pick up myself. All I could see is a pattern of dark shades, a thorny road and a blank space. And no one there to hold my hand. 

I used to live a life of solitude. I lived alone for the most part of my adult life. I used to keeping things to myself. But now, I could feel the thorny grip of a solitary life gradually tearing me apart. It's bloody dreary. The grip is so tight it pierces down to my skin like a hot needle, so much so that I could feel my body searing in pain as though it was thrown into an open fire. 

I figured, when we are all alone and going through a lot of wretchedness in life and there's no one to turn to or even listen to our story or hear our voice, the pain just kept swirling somewhere inside our heart like a wild tempest.  Shredding the fiber of our skin into tiny pieces.

The feeling of torment is creeping terribly down to my ribcage now. Yes it does, and for more than six hours, it felt like I was being punished to stand under the hot sun, enduring the blistering heat.

Just this early morning things turned out pretty bad. Worst perhaps. Something I have never expected to happen, at least in an environment I blindingly believed a secured surrounding where a high level of security is provided.

After all, this company is taking pride itself as exceptional in all aspect, committed to provide its clients with a prodigious security that even bringing electronic devices inside the production area is extremely prohibited. Goddamn!

That is a big lie! This company's policy is bloody pretentious, irrationally hostile and greed. A one sided affair favoring their business interest only while their manpower is bleeding with discomfort, restricted only to follow whatever they wish. As though we are bloody machines.

It does not manifest their so-called excellent business principles. The level of security they provided to their environment is a sick joke. A horrendous pretension that only served their greedy business intentions. Sick, egotistical people! 

What happened after then was a terribly agonizing situation where things were just handled as though I just spilled a cup of milk to their carpet. Wipe it and gone. Such a horrible security protocol that even a mediocre mind could not fathom. Why can't these jerks just don't improve their insane security services when there have been similar cases happened in recent months? Ghastly!

They are just trying to throw the stone back to the victims as though we are dumb and the unfortunate circumstances were entirely our fault. And how about on the aspect of protection if safety is being challenged? Is it not part of the protocol? Are they expecting of seeing a bed of roses always under their watch? Bloody insane!

Whoever to be blamed, whatever the lapses of security, this workplace is infinitely dreadful and undesirable to be called second home. And the way the incompetent security responded to the crisis is hideously horrific. If I would spill the beans of these rotten policies it would be down the hell for both of us. There was no even assurance of anything positive. Rob with my trust, I could not believe I am in an awful working place with a very careless, incautious security.

My breath had been labored since this morning. But I had to compose myself because I still have work to do. Outside, I was a picture of calmness. I held my tears. I suppressed whatever anger, defeat, remorse raging inside my body. I should not let myself down because I still have a long day. My shift just have started.

So my vigor did not wane. I still managed to laugh, responded to the conversation and getting cozy with everybody there. But no one see me the way I supposed to be seen. Inside I was breaking. Like a dark shadow slowly rolling to the wilderness of agony, the feeling of torment was creeping painfully to my soul. 

When stuff like this hits the horizon, I just want to make the most out of the situation by covering whatever dejection my system has been wrestling. I want to be with people. I mean real people who could help ease the distress and the feeling of torment.

Then temporarily forget every ugly circumstance by getting involved with everybody. I figured, I just want to be surrounded with friends, acquaintances or whoever is there to help me get through the day. 

But my life is always a story of misery and reclusiveness, confined in a state of distress and gloom, forever trapped in isolation and eternally cramped in a small, miserable world of solitude. Once again, I was all alone absorbing the sting of distress.

Over the years, I tried to build my self-confidence, forcing myself to get comfortable with acquaintances but my effort is always unsuccessful. So while crying bitterly for my life in the comfort room before returning to the production floor, I resolved to crawl back to my lonely shelf.

Alone. Abandon. Unwanted. Downtrodden. Perhaps this is how my life is designed. Perhaps this is  how my journey is mapped to bring me wherever God wants me to grow as a person. Unfortunate circumstances are being dished out to teach me a lesson. In a harder way. Wherever this road leads me, I can only pray for a stabilize endurance to get the journey going without breaking.

Life sucks. And disappointment kills. When you have a bad day you thought stars were not perfectly aligned. You thought everyone in the environment is rejecting you. And that it rained each day of the week and you've burnt every meal you have cooked. But I know this is not going to be like this everyday.

Tomorrow is another day. Another chance to reconstruct my lost dreams, my life plans. Another day to purport hope.  Another opportunity to unearth my real value, my strength, my shining moments.

Tomorrow, I know things will get better. By then I can understand God's message why depressing circumstances needed to occur. Why I need to suffer. Do I deserve all of this?

For once, I believe, things happen for a reason. In the coming days, I hope I could see some bright sparks amidst all these dark hues. And fully understood why agonizing moments needed to take place.

Until then.

Monday, July 30, 2018

July 30, 2018

The Tragic Story of The Bee Gees and Andy

The Bee Gees - Barry, Robin and Maurice, with younger brother, Andy, joining them

This weekend seems to be very different. Had so many things going on in my mind. After editing two video clips for my travel blog, I began searching music to be downloaded for my upcoming vlog.

The search landed me on Jim Croce songs - Photograph and Memories and Time in a Bottle.  Playing the songs and hearing the melodies, my appetite for soulful music began to pick up. And there, commences my period of sentimental Sunday morning.

I searched for more soft rock songs in youtube until Andy Gibb's Our Love (Don't Throw It All Away) popped up.

I knew nothing about Andy. Though I am aware that he was the youngest brother of the siblings singing group, The Bee Gees, I have not explored his music before. Later, I found out that most of his songs, which I already heard, I have mistakenly believed were from The Bee Gees. Andy's voice has a striking similarity to his brothers, Barry and Robin. Well probably because almost all his hit songs were written by Barry.

In fact, until today, I did not know that Our Love was Andy's hit. Though The Bee Gees recorded it in 1977 for John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever, it was Andy's version in 1978 that made the song infinitely popular and soulful.

This surprising discovery about Andy Gibb prompted my curiosity to learn more about him. He had been dead for 30 years now but what I discovered about this man is something that really made me so emotional.

Here was a man of his time, full of life, charming, good-looking, with a pair of sleepy hazel eyes, and had a soulful voice, but unfortunately consumed with depression. His young life was beaten by alcohol and drug addiction which led to his sudden death in 1988 at the young age of 30.

I knew little about Andy, perhaps because it was his brothers who were so famous during the time I was learning to appreciate good music. It was always The Bee Gees and nothing about Andy in my childhood memories.

The Bee Gees, composed of Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, the first band group that I adored, have songs that are so timeless and their ballad feels like a cure to a wounded soul. I grew up loving Massachusetts and Someone Belonging to Someone.

I always love this iconic band. I grew up listening to their songs. For me they were simply the best, extraordinary than any other boy bands in the music industry. Even The Beatles paled in comparison, at least in my own standard of music. There's something in their style of music that sets them apart from their rivals, perhaps it's the melody and the level of emotions they demonstrated in the lyrics. They can transform the soft rock genre into a delicately soulful music. The Gibb brothers were simply genius.

Why are they so perfectly harmonious? Perhaps because they have some variations in their songs. They can excel on rock 'n roll and discorama genres without being tasteless when they switch to ballad and mellow rock as exemplified in their hit songs Someone Belonging To Someone Massachusetts, How Deep Is Your Love, Words, New York Mining Disaster and I Started a Joke.

The brothers themselves have contrasting voice qualities that made them a wonderful group band. Their voices blended so perfectly, creating a melodious and harmonious music, full of soul. Barry belted on falsetto and did background vocals (most songs of Andy with background vocals in falsetto were done by Barry) while Robin sang on vibrato, where he was the main voice behind Massachusetts and I Started a Joke. 

The Bee Gees in 1997
The brothers performing in a live concert

The Bee Gees group had been one of the most highly successful boy bands in the music history and one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. They were the only group to write and produce six songs that made it to the number one music chart in the U.S.

They were an unforgettable boy band that has not faded in the memory of music lovers even with the passing of time. Simply timeless.

But here's the cliche.

Contrary to popular belief that Bee Gees or BGs stand for "Brothers Gibb", reports had it that BGs actually were taken from the initials of Bill Gates (no, not the billionaire Microsoft founder), an Australian DJ who introduced the brothers to Australian music market, Bill Goode, an Australian Speedway promoter and driver who commissioned the Gibb brothers to sing in the track race and Barry Gibb.

The Gibb brothers catapulted to fame and unprecedented stardom when they composed the hit songs of Saturday Night Fever, Stayin Alive and You Should be Dancing, and became legends in the disco craze era of 1970s to 1980s.

The brothers were born in the Isle of Man in England but grew up in Manchester before moving to Australia with the rest of their family in 1958. It was in Australia that they established themselves as Bee Gees.

However, it was not the songs alone that drew my attention to admire this legendary singing group, it was the circumstances of their lives and their personal story. Especially the tragedy (ironically, the title of one of their hit songs) that befell to their family.

I adored them because they were brothers. It's so rare to hear siblings working and singing together and became highly successful in the world stage. Their youngest brother, Andy, followed suit but launched himself as a solo artist separate from his brothers. 

Though he was a solo artist, most of Andy's songs were composed and produced by his 3 brothers. His most popular and greatest hit songs, Shadow Dancing, Our Love (Don't Throw it All Away), Everlasting Love, I just want to be your everything and Rest Your Love On Me, his duet with Australian pop icon, Olivia Newton-John, were composed by Barry who also did the backup vocals. So much so that when you hear Andy Gibb's songs you would think it's The Bee Gees.

He was the most charming and good-looking among the Gibb brothers. Girls in his time were swooning on him. He was simply gorgeous and yet had a sad, private life despite his success. And this is where my emotions shook. The story of Andy.

Andy, who was born in a year his three big brothers started a music group, had a tragic life. And his fame was also short lived. Born to a family known with inclination to music, Andy gravitated to fame  when he started his solo music career, but despite this, the youngest Gibb was secretly suffering from depression worsened by his addiction to alcohol and cocaine. 

While he oscillated in fame and success in his singing career, Andy was rapidly consumed with drugs and alcohol. He went to a drug rehabilitation center but seemed too late. In between his performances and hit songs, he was slowly drowned with depression.

In February 1988, Barry, Maurice and Robin announced that their youngest brother will be joining them in The Bee Gees which would have made them four in the group. But Andy did not live long to realize this dream.

Andy Gibb

On March 10, 1988, only five days after he celebrated his 30th birthday, Andy Gibb died from inflammation of the heart as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. Contrary to reports, Andy did not die from drug overdose. 

Such was a terrible circumstance of a young man whose charming looks equaled his great talent in music and whose budding career in the music industry was cut short abruptly by death.

Today, many might have not known the story of Andy Gibb but he was a man with a romantic singing voice that could melt someone's heart, and a charming look that could send every girl down to her knees. His death struck a deep cord to people who adored him. He was so young and very promising.

The Bee Gees paid tribute to Andy during their 1997 concert in Las Vegas by performing Our Love on stage with Andy's recorded performance of the song shown on TV screen. It was surreal and I cried a bit watching the episode.

Fifteen years after Andy's death, Maurice died from a bowel operation that went wrong in 2003. Barry and Robin disbanded the Bee Gees and went solo, however in 2009 the brothers decided to resume the band.

But just as they started the rebuilding process of their iconic group and coming to terms with the absence of Maurice, Robin died from cancer in 2012. This left Barry emotionally devastated. He thoroughly abandoned the name Bee Gees and ventured solo, performing on tour in honor of his brothers.

In January 2018, he was among the British citizen honored by Queen Elizabeth II with a Knighthood for his service in the music industry and in charity. Just like Sir Paul McCartney of the Beatles, the last of the Gibb brothers can now be called Sir, a distinction given to all British citizens Knighted by the monarch.

Sir Barry Gibb is one of the most highly successful song writers in history and had many collaborations with popular artists like Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross among others. But perhaps his greatest legacy is his dedication to his family and love for his siblings, making effort to unite them together through music.

On the other hand, it's 30 years after the tragic death of Andy, and his songs live on. His timeless hit, Our Love, is a heartwarming music with emotional lyrics and surreal melody, but more than that, it was a collaboration with his brother, Barry, making it a sentimental song of love, brotherhood and affection.

Here's the complete lyrics of Our Love, Don't Throw It All Away

You can watch the video at this link
Maybe I don't want to know the reason why
But lately you don't talk to me
Darling I can't see me in your eyes
I hold you near but you're so far away
And it's losing you I can't believe
To watch you leave and let this feeling die
You alone are the living thing that keeps me alive
And tomorrow if I'm here without your love
You know I can't survive
Only my love can raise you high above it all
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
We can take the darkness and make if full of light
But let your love flow back to me
How can you leave and let this feeling die
This happy room will be a lonely place when you are gone
And I won't even have your shoulders for the crying on
No other women's love could be as true, I'm begging you
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
We changed the world we made it ours to hold
But dreams are made for those who really try
This losing you is real
But I still feel you here inside
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love, our love
Don't throw it all away, our love
Songwriters: Barry Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb / Derek John Weaver
(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 22, 2018

True Love Will Find You When You Embrace Who You Are

As the old adage goes: Do not look for love, you will only fail. Love will find you when God know you're ready for it.

This old proverb left me somehow very complacent with my decisions in life. And for the past decades, I remained stuck in my own little world, confident that someday, someone will sweep off my feet.

For so long, I stayed in my sanctuary and just contented being alone. I refused to mingle out with others. I refused to expand my circle of friends. I refused to get acquainted with men because in my own universe I was convinced love will find me in due time.

But months rolled into years and years crept into a decade, with nothing happened. I am still the same girl who frequented the backyard at night time and gaze up at the silvery sky and blow off my wishes to the stars.

Looking back, I am not certain if I was just stubborn or simply stupid enough to believe in my own reveries that prince charming will just land in the backyard like a shooting star.

Or perhaps, I was just unsure what I was looking for. I figured, when we are unsure what we are looking for, chances are we would never find it. When we are uncertain with ourselves who we really are, most likely,  people in our environment would never recognize our worth. Including "the one".

We mirrored our thoughts and became who we think we are everyday. Our mind is a powerful attractor of our fate.

Lately, I've been through a lot of things - thinking hard about my life, anxious about what's coming ahead, pondering about what I've been missing, discerning about a certain "feeling" that had just burst in out of nowhere in my horizon.

How it happened?

I don't know. It just happened. Sometimes great moments in life occurred when we  less expecting it. Moments that even reasons cannot understand. Perhaps it is part of life's mystery to encounter precious moments and experience special affection towards someone, so that we have beautiful reasons to live and be inspired everyday.

There are occurrences in life that are hard to understand. But we don't need to deeply comprehend it. We just need to embrace it because things sometimes are not meant to be understood. It meant to be relished.

But this "silent affection" of mine needs to be controlled to spare myself from going down the pit of rejection and humiliation. I've been humilited before for assuming things wrongly. And it was a hell of a misery. That was the kind of pain I would never want to experience again. There was never easy in life filled with frustrations and rejections.

So now I am extra careful with the manifestation of my emotions because I don't want to undergo another round of humiliation for assuming things wrongly. Whatever it is, this silent affection might just remain private.

I have enough reason to be "scared" because most men in modern times, especially the younger generation, favor nonsense stuff. They seemed born with roving eyes and naughty tendencies. And prefer dumb girls over smart women. Girls who can satisfy their curiosities and fantasies.

Some men today tend to overlook women with substance and no longer care about the value of relating because they focus more on girls who can stir their wild imagination.

They are confined in a certain level of idealism where they care more on rubbish things - exterior beauty, age, height, weight. These factors have nothing to do with the value of relating and would never contribute to a strong and harmonious relationship that lasts a lifetime. Why most men are more visual and flirty? I find it very disturbing.

I guess they need to boost their wisdom and understand life better in the real sense of the word to outgrow their idealistic tendencies and set their focus on things that matter in the long run.

Sometimes things can be very disappointing. But I learned over the years that disappointment occurred when we expect too much, when we start counting things we don't have, when we keep looking for perfection in everything, when we focus on things that we cannot control, when we assume things wrongly. Disappointment, therefore, is a product of our subconscious and not of the environment.

Over the years, I have developed my wisdom and allowed my emotional maturity to evolve.  However, I still acknowledged the fact that I am human with vulnerable emotions. I still have tendencies to yield to my weaknesses. Though I know I don't have hang ups anymore, there are still moments in a day that I succumb to self-pity.

I still cried to sleep almost every night, I still felt the earth crumbled below my feet when I feel being rejected, I still felt the child in me - my tendencies to easily get hurt - when being turned down.

I tried to put a steel on my spine to get immune with emotional debacles but I also recognized the fact that I am alive, therefore not spared from suffering misery. In order to understand life better, I must learn to absorb the ugly effect of emotional pain.

Still, there are times that I would encounter moments that challenge my strength and my balance of judgment. Moments that surprise me in a way I could never imagine. Moments that deliberately pushed me to walk into the same road of dejection I vowed never to pass again.

Seeing how my life revolved into the same pattern of apprehension and confusion, I realized that perhaps there is a significant aspect in my life that I have neglected, that I have suppressed to flourish. Something that I need to face now to get rid of my fear.

The value of relating.  Especially towards opposite sex. This is something I cared less for most part of my life. I was so afraid with boys back then. My parents pohibited me from forming a bond, or even friendship with guys before. I was raised to never talk to boys while still in school. So I grew up developing a certain degree of fear towards men. Until avoiding them became a habit.

I have never been into a relationship before. Until now. I was so scared with men. I was distant with boys ever since I was a teenager. It was my father's house rule to never get involve into a romantic relationship while still in school. So I have no close guy friends. I rarely talk to boys back then. I find it uncomfortable to be with men or even initiate a conversation with them.

When I started working, I made some adjustments. I tried talking to boys. But uneasiness was still there. I could feel some invisible wall dividing me and the men.

So while girls at my age already settled down and have kids, I am yet to go on my first date.😱

I am a kind of girl whom people would find a little boring. A typical introvert, I prefer the comfort of home and the essence of silence than go outside and mix with a loud crowd. While other girls love to party, I am facing my laptop at home, either writing manuscripts or fixing the template of my blog.

Realizing it would never take me anywhere, I made some adjustment and start opening my door to some possibilities. So I relaxed some of my ancient principles and start connecting with other people, joining friends on a trip, forcing myself to be comfortable with male colleagues. Initiating a conversation with them.

However, not all people I have come to know became my close friends.  Only fewest individuals made it to my small world. Because I only join a group when I feel the people in it shared my interest and passion in life.

I am still wary about getting close to boys. Not that I see them as dangerous, but I still have that discomfort with them being around. But there's some exemption. It is very rare that I would find someone whom I easily feel very comfortable with, whom I feel I have a chemistry, whom I want to be with, to talk with, to share special moments, to go on a trip.

This is very rare. And when this happened I know I have found someone whom I love to share a piece of my life with. I am very transparent. You will know if I am into things because I can be clingy. I can be thoughtful.

How the journey has brought me this far to collide with that someone's path is a matter of destiny. Or perhaps, a serendipituos circumstance that meant to happen. Even without expecting it.

Serendipity. This is how we often describe the manifestation of destiny. And it is not a grand coincidence. It happens because it meant to happen. Things happen for a reason.

Serendipity is a situation where a certain occurence we have never expected suddenly takes place out of nowhere. In the simplest explanation, serendipity refers to a situation where we encounter moments when we less expecting it.

How a certain person becomes extra special is also a matter of principle and emotional judgment, a tug of war between logic and sentiment. We decide things based on how we perceive our future. And not just a temporary pleasure that makes us happy for a time being. We don't choose a person to love just for a momentary affection, we choose a person to love with a headsight of the future. Therefore love is not just a feeling, it is a choice.

We will know if we have matured emotionally when we decide who to be with out of respect. And not just for a moment while senses dance in lust and infatuation.

We love to be with this person because we believe this person can provide us balance in life, and can compliment our personality. A person whom we would love to spend every morning sharing meals and every afternoon telling stories about what happened in our day.

Love, therefore, is not merely feelings, it is a life-changing decision. A choice. And our manfestation of love is a product of how we carefully discern things based on our life's principles.

I often see things based on principle. But sometimes I yield to what is necessary at the moment. So much so that I am anxious to confront myself about my idea of "finding the one" in a more serious note.

When people ask me about this, I often crept back to my cocoon because I find it very uncomfortable to discuss feelings in such an open manner. But lately I realized, I should not balk from it. I should face it.

Perhaps the reason why I did not attract someone or have not stumbled on "the one" is because I kept holding back myself. I lacked self-confidence because I often thought of rejection, of abandonment. That people don't like me. That people don't see me as desirable.

I have so many hesitations and worries, including apprehensions that are yet to happen and fears that are not actually there. I am always scared to take risks and try new things. Because I am afraid of rejection and failure.

Perhaps, I should start opening my mind to some possibilities and be confident with myself. And in order for me to see some clarity in the road meeting "the one", I must learn first to recognize my value as a person.

Appreciating my self-worth is a powerful attractor of affection from others. I must also change my views about love. That it can actually be found. Even in the most unlikely places.

But first I need to work out my flaws, insecurities and personal shortcomings to uncover my real value and develop myself into a better person. Because according to relationship experts, the idea that someday someone will understand and accept our flaws is a subtle excuse not to work on them.

That someday, someone will sweep off our feet and save us from distress is a stupid excuse of not making ourselves whole, of not transforming ourselves into better, smart, more confident individuals free from insecurities.

We become more attractive if we stop worrying whom we are attracting, whom we are impressing. So perhaps, I should start here. I should stop worrying too much on things that are not yet happening and start living freely without restraints.

I will just let things flow into the right direction, develop myself into a more confident person, start opening myself to others, exploring the goodness of others, and working on the value of relating. Things happen for a reason and it is always for the best.

In fact, great thinkers say that we will meet someone who is meant for us in our life time. And that someone is not the one whom we feel madly in love with but someone who is just right there, at the right place at the right time. So I will wait for that special moment, I am confident God will reveal the right person in His perfect time. No "what ifs" and buts".

So how would I know it is love, if ever?

Well, I do believe that there's some truth about the tale of cinderella, "It's love when the shoe fits perfectly".

It's love when the tiny details of that person which is insignificant to others become fascinating to me. When I can hear sweet melody out of nowhere each time I hear his name. Until then and only then I would know it is love.

So I resolved to start embracing my self-worth, my real value, my being me, to attract the power of appreciation and affection from others.

Love happens when we start to accept the entire journey and the challenges that come along with it. And when we embrace who we really are, then true love emerges and find us. Because love reflects if we know the real value of it.

Life can be so hard. But I need to accept what has been offered at the moment. And focus on things that I can control. And accept who really I am to let myself shine. Eventually, I know love will find me. 😊💗💖💞

Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 21, 2018

Crawling back to my Sacred Journaling Space

It's Saturday.

Nothing extraordinary. Except for the anticipation of a relaxing weekend. At last I am home again and could feel the warmth of my bed. But am I really at peace and relax?

Lately, I've been bothered again with something I have been trying hard to suppress because I know it would be totally useless. I am exhausted analyzing my troubling destiny. Been there a few times before and I always ended up bushed up.

But lately, things have been hitting me up again. Something I understood because I am still alive and still have a normal emotion. The feeling of anxiety is knocking me off a bit and slowly swelling in my horizon as days progressed. As if I am cursed, destined to keep going back to the road of dejection I bowed never to return.

But here I am, feeling the same uncomfortable atmosphere of blurred hopes and pointless apprehensions. As if I am a damsel in distress, waiting for someone to pick me up and whisk me away to a happy place.

Seeing how things turned out pretty confusing the past days since my discernment process in Tagaytay last weekend, I resigned to the fact that my life is nothing but a ball of misery.

So here I am, spending my lunch alone in a quiet corner, thinking hard how to make things better when I am not okay. Because right now I am not okay. Though everyday I wear my sweetest smile and I have a sunny personality, privately I am bleeding in despair.

If I would paint the hues of my weekend now, it will reveal a pattern of gray shades. Again.  

Perhaps because I am expecting something that looks like will never happen. I am taking pointless things seriously. I am slowly yielding to what my subconscious is screaming now.

It is my fault anyway. I am quick to assume things. So I need to change my mindset and turn away from my current state of senseless reveries.

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authorI am a blogger from the Philippines. My interest centers on travel and food, global affairs, European royals and self-help. I've a great passion in traveling and photography. I am also a book author with five published books in Amazon.
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