Goodbye 2014

As I usually say, 2013 was one hell of a rollercoaster. During the first half, we were so down because of the death of my grandmother but it eventually turned better as the year progresses. While there were lots of sadness and endings, there were also lots of joy and new beginnings. All in all, 2013 was a good year. I'm grateful for it.

There were many lessons I've learned in the past year which I think became the turning points in my life as a person. I've learned the importance of keeping family and friends close, as well as the truth that there are some bridges we need to burn in order for us to be better. I was pressed with the fact that some things are inevitable and all that is left is for us to enjoy every moment.

As the year 2013 ends, I just want to say 'thank you' to people who had been there and who I know will always be there. Thank you for making my life a lot worthwhile. Thank you for making me realize that the least thing I want is to grow old alone. Thank you for making my life a lot more exciting.

Also, I want to apologize to people I've hurt along the way. I'm not perfect, and neither are you guys. I just want you to know that whatever I did, I deeply regret. Whether I am forgiven or not, I just want to express my apologies.

There were lots of lessons taught in the past year, which I will happily bring to 2014. There's a few hours left before we leave the current year behind and I am fairly excited. There are lots of things I am looking forward to, after all. Let's see if I can make them all come true.

Another Christmas Well-Spent

When Yolanda happened, I promised myself that I would lessen my Christmas shopping. I wanted to partake in their sufferings, after all. Little did I know that the 'less' would actually turn to 'nothing at all'. Work and other responsibilities caught me off guard, not to mention that I was suddenly tight on budget, that I wasn't able to find time for my own personal interests.

I realized this yesterday on Christmas Day. I was staring at my closet, wondering what exactly to wear. There are lots in my closet and I just couldn't decide. A little, I felt incomplete. I've grown up used to having something brand new for this day.

It was uncomfortable; but looking at the brighter side, it was fulfilling.

It's no longer just because I have stayed true to my words about Yolanda. It's the more important fact that I have proven myself that Christmas doesn't equate to spending money on new clothes, gifts and other stuffs. It's not about having different sets of meals sprawled on the dining table. It's not even how much 'aginaldo' you receive from people/

Christmas is about simplicity. Christ, the King, was born on a manger in the city of Bethlehem. He was born in the company of donkeys and sheep. There were no royal announcements about His birth. People didn't even know their King had been born then already.

If Jesus was born on simplicity, why are we spending His birthday in luxury?

I had a great lunch at a friend's house with our other friends. Family came to our house afterwards and we took pictures of the kids. Friends came over in the evening and we had a really, really great time.

I was given the privilege to celebrate this season in the best way possible.

What a wonderful way to end this year. ♥

Nanay's Dream

If you're gonna ask the elders of Meycauayan about who 'Pugo' is, chances are you're gonna be told about the Defuntorum Family. Though quite far from the moniker they were known for, the clan was known for their baking skills as they own one of the most famous bakeries in Meycauayan before. 

Proudly speaking, my late grandmother is a second generation Defuntorum (making me part of the fourth). Even as she stayed in Australia for more than two decades, she had depended on baking to live; so when she got home here, she had always wanted to buy an oven.

But instances happened when we were supposed to buy it last year and she passed away. It was a regret so Mom and I refused to just let go of that dream. That's why when the opportunity had presented itself, we grabbed it and here goes what happened:

TIME's Person of the Year 2013: Pope Francis

I remember jumping off the bed at the dawn of March 13th; though I clearly couldn't remember what woke me up at 4:30AM that day. I rushed downstairs to turn on the television after seeing tweets having a new pope to take over the position vacated by now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. 

The first thing I saw on my screen was the crowd in St. Peter's Basilica - all obviously cheering as white smoke was emitted out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. I knew it was a replay of what transpired hours prior. Then, the scene shifted to the famous balcony where a man wearing white stood before the vast sea of Catholics - the pope.

It instantly amazed me how he didn't wear the usual red attire of popes. I've always considered it the symbol of the highest priests so it kind of struck me that the elected pontifex wasn't wearing the traditional clothes. 

But as I knew of the name he chose, I immediately understood.

Pope Francis

I am not joking. I was really moved to tears upon realizing that he got the name from St. Francis of Assisi, the saint closest to my heart since I serve in his parish here in Meycauayan. But what definitely struck me most was the fact that the new Holy Father had the saint's virtues reflected on him on his first day in the position...

And it continued until TIME declared him as their Person of the Year 2013... 

and I know it will continue further...

The Catholic Church was clearly in the verge of division but as a Catholic myself, I feel the revolution which Pope Francis had been initiating since the very beginning. With his every decision and statement about sensitive things this faith normally would have frowned upon, I feel prouder that I am a member of this faith. 

What makes him entirely special is that he embraced the things tradition would have condemned. He based his leadership according to what this generation needs. To me, it wasn't actually being liberated. It was being one with the people today in understanding and discovering what the Church actually needs to know. Life in this world is constantly changing and Pope Francis opened his ears, his ears, and his heart to see, listen and feel like the world. He humbled himself and became one with us. 

But as he mingled with ordinary people, he exerts effort to encompass the religious teachings in his daily activities. Remember when he asked everyone to pray for him as soon as he was elected pope? Remember when there was a child who went to the stage while he was delivering a speech in front of a crowd? Remember when he kissed the sick man despite how he looks like? All those were humility - a major virtue which we all should learn. 

I haven't read TIME's article about the pope and why the chose him; but I am very certain that he was put under the spotlight because he deserved it. If there's anyone who's the epitome of change in our society today, it would be him. 

I'm not saying the past popes I know weren't like him. It's just that this is Pope Francis' way in showing what the Catholic Way is. And once again, I tear. Can I be any prouder?

Face Your Fears

Face your fears, it implied.
And I think it's about time that we all do.


To me, there is no clear definition for the word 'soul mates'; but it has been explained to me that finding your soul mate is like finding your other person - the one that doesn't actually complete you, but the one who manages to show you a mirror reflection of yourself.

I do believe in destiny but I'm not sure about the idea of 'soul mates'. I am yet to find one who is just like me because I've always considered myself to be... you know... different.

But reading this article, I guess the idea exist.
And it's so amazing it does.

And then, a pool of jealousy brewed inside me,
and then I began wishing...

I hope I get to find my own.

Take a Stand

I used to be that person who just goes with the flow. No real decisions. No definite principles. Incapable of handling my own life. I used to depend on others on what I should believe in, and what I should take as true. 

Until I realized that it was the worst way of living.

Taking a stand on something is something inevitable for us to be better people. We need to find a permanent place to put ourselves into - that no matter where life heads us, we'll come back there. Like it's home. We have to find that one holding factor that would take us back to whatever we are supposed to be in order for us to have that sense of individuality. 

We need to take a stand to be someone. 

If we have that something we believe in, we have something to protect. 
And then we find a purpose to live. 


Maybe Marilyn Monroe was right.
Maybe Celine Dion was right.
Maybe Yuxing unnie too.

Maybe love doesn't really come to those who wait.
Instead, it comes to those who believe it.


All Out

It's December and it's the last month of the year. And I have decided that I'm going all out. The last month will be like the test whether I've learned anything this year.

And proudly, there is a lot.

2013 has been a serious rollercoaster ride. I've dealt with new beginnings and endings, deaths and new lives. It is a year where major changes manifested and it had brought me to extremes. But you know what the best thing is? I have found myself capable of being the person I've always wanted to be. Sure, there are some more things to work out on but I'm glad to know that I'm way past the first phase of construction. I have improved.

December means Christmas and Christmas means honesty and generosity. So this month, I am giving back to people I owe most to: my family and friends. They deserve it after all.

As for the literal 'all out' idea, it has something to do with doing something for others. During this month, I expect myself to put my A+ character on everything. No room for mistakes. Go for the best. Squeeze my mind for the most creative ideas.

Geez. Just thinking about it makes me excited. ♥

Happy December, everyone!