Photo from Day of Tikkun Facebook Page

Thank you, Lord, for the 25 beautiful years! ❤


On to the next quarter of a more beautiful life.. ❤

About the 1st Photo: Day of Tikkun Facebook Page
About the 2nd Photo: (c) 22 January 2015 |Ilocos-Cagayan, PH | Taken by Rizza

25 Life Lessons as I Turn 26

I dreamed of launching this blog when I turned 25 last year, marking the period of what many people called quarter life crisis. Obviously, I was unsuccessful on that one. And so, another year had passed and here I am, to say it truthfully, not that happy (in general and at the moment of writing this blog) but still grateful and overwhelmed with what life has given and yet to give to me.

I love reminiscing the past 25 years. Some are clear as day light while some are obscure figures like shadow. It was like riding in a time machine. But as much as we want to re-do some of these years, we are limited only to remembering the stories, and learn something from it.

The first quarter of my life is a long spectrum of lessons. I would like to share with you the most important ones which defined who I was then, and who I am now.

1-The most unconditional love comes from a mother.

I say this because I have proven this more than a hundred times. I think that in as much happiness I brought to my mom, there is also a large amount of pain I caused to match it with. Well, the phrase “large amount” is an understatement. I caused her too much headache, heartbreak, and not to mention, stress, especially after graduating college. Ironic, huh? Let’s just say that I became a prodigal daughter. There was a time when I did not even see her for more than six months (that’s too long for a mother and daughter who used to see each other at least once a week). I chose many things over her. We argued (love-hate relationship with my mom). I let her down so many times that I could not recall or count every moment of it. But none of it made her change how she cared for me. None of it made her hate me. None of it made her disowned me. She is just right there, every time I do not have anybody else. She is just right there, stronger as always, being my wonderwall. Not even a word of anger came from her, always words of wisdom and assurance that I am not alone and that I am always loved by the person who brought me into this world.

 2-Hardships make you appreciate life more.

My mother raised me alone. Being a single mom, it was hard for her to earn a living in the province while taking care of me. We were always in a “make ends meet” situation, then. There were times when we ate nothing but rice and some “mantika ng baboy” (oil extracted from the fried pork) and toyo (soy sauce). I never complained because it was good. I walked from school back to our home every afternoon to save 3.00 fare in the tricycle (thanks to my childhood friends who made our afternoon walking session one of the best memories ever.) I was in Grade 4 when my mom took some yards of yellow cloth. The night before my Christmas party, I have a newly sewed jumper. She did not want me to go to our school party wearing old clothes (because during Christmas party in my our school, new clothes were big deal). She did not want the class president to wear an old clothes. I almost missed my college graduation because I did not have any money (or coins, for that matter) to pay for the fare going to UPLB (but thanks to my neighboring relatives who gave me Php 100 that time). I know my mother’s sacrifices just to give me a better life and I saw how hard life was for us then. But seeing other people’s lives in worse condition (while working as a development professional), I appreciate more now every single cent I have, every opportunity offered to me, and every new day to live to make up from the lost chances that came my way. I have never been more grateful than I was in my life now. So, life may be calm or rough, be thankful still.

3-Fight for your love.

I met the love of my life in a not-so-perfect time. He has a world where I was supposedly not welcome. I hurt a lot of people, even lost some friendships, along the way of pushing through the boundaries. In the end, the hard fought love won. I would not ask you to do the same but what I am trying to say is always keep trying and do not surrender without putting up a fight. Follow your heart.

4-Don’t lose your self (literally and figuratively).

In search of happiness, stick with yourself. Remain who you are and change only to become a better person.

5-Never, ever, give up, come hell or high water.

Need I say more? Just remember that if your statistics of going through bad days is 100%, that’s pretty good. You will most likely to surpass this one, and another one, and another one.

6-Truest friends are less than the total number of your fingers and toes.

This is one of my favorite lessons in life and I will always hold true to that. Let’s enumerate.. a childhood friend, few high school classmates, and very few people I met during and after college. These are the people who will stand with you through thick and thin. These are the people, no matter how it hurts, will tell you the truth because you need an honest judgement. These are the people who would rather be tactless in front of you than talking behind your back. And these are the people who will remain on your side even if they see the worst in you. Now, can you count yours?

7-You can choose your family.

Family is not all about being related by blood. I have sisters and brother from another mother.

8-Being an only child has lesser perks than you think when you get older.

Gone were the days when being an only child is kinda cool. People think you have everything that you need/want and that you were raised as a pampered (and spoiled brat) kid. None of these  were true to me but I am so much happy of how my mother raised me (Mama, I salute you for that). But when you get older and some nasty problems come your way, you will look for that brother’s/sister’s support. That’s what happened to me and one day I wished  I had a real brother or sister to confide to and rescue me.

9-Babies can immediately turn your priorities 180 degree.

You plan your career. You have your timeline to follow. But baby bump gets in the way first ahead of all your pretty plans. Eventually, you have your alternatives and you are still positive that even with the baby, you can still pursue the career that you want. That’s possible. That’s what happened to me. But you will have your priorities rearranged once you see that cute baby face, much more when you cradle her/his in your arms. ♥

10-Never doubt HIS plans.

HE (the Mighty guy up there) always reserves something for you. Do not insist what you want because he will give you what you need. I learned that the hard way.

11-Smile – that defeats the sh*ts and assh*les.

Smile because it will make you feel better. Smile to a stranger (but be ware not to be misinterpreted). Say good morning to the security guard in your building. Say hi to a rude office mate. Say hello to the world. It attracts positive energy.

12-Unload excess baggage all the time.

Do not harbor hard feelings. Do not hold grudges. It will make you feel older, and unhappy. And lastly, it will make you ugly. Do you want that?

13-All I need to know I learned in summer day care class.

I love Robert Fulcrum’s book, and that is where I based my #13 lesson. I never attended formal day care or kindergarten class. I was four years old when I attended a free summer class hosted regularly by one religious group in our town. My teacher asked me once to arrange the pictures on the blackboard. And so after the picture of the “Jack” I put the “Queen” followed by the “King.” Get it? (I’m good at playing cards! I always watched my grandfather played solitaire) I remembered everyone laughed so hard and I could imagine Mama want to sulk under the table. Life is a logic. Life is simple. It’s only us who make it complicated. Say sorry when you need to. Say THANK YOU to anyone who does a you a favor. Well, in addition to that, my classmate learned the hard way that pencil erasers are only for papers and not for nose (imagine a eraser attached in the Jumbo black pencil had stuck in her nose, poor Peachy).

14-Insecurity kills – self and relationship.

Being insecure is having no confidence and I learned that it can destroy one’s self and one’s relationship. Stand in the mirror and you will find a God’s wonderful creation.

15-Passion is not enough to get going. There has to be a commitment.

Passion starts the engine. Commitment drives you all the way to whatever destination you want to be. You cannot do something without being committed to it. Try it and you’ll end up feeling bad about your work and yourself.

16-Don’t complain too much – Life is not fair, that’s it.

It’s a fact that everybody has to accept. Live with it or you don’t live a life at all.

17-Your TOR will not help you much survive the real world, it’s wit and guts (and sometimes, sheer luck).

Yes, graduating with flying colours is an edge but it is not a guarantee that you will have a better life than other graduates. It’s a different world out there. It’s not about how you did well in class room exams and exercises. It’s how about you survive the daily grind.

18-Pregnancy and motherhood will not turn you into a fat, ugly, and saggy monster.

Stretch marks are not beautiful decorations when you wear your two-piece in the beach but who cares? Your prune-like belly is a testimony that you have given another life, risky yet the most fulfilling job you could ever do. (And please, not all post natal figures are equivalent to 1.5 Liter Coca-cola figure. What about me? It’s all in the lifestyle, and sometimes, genes. One re-known pedia in UP PGH told me that if you want to see your figure when you have your own family, try looking at your mother. There’s an 80% chance your figure will be the same as her’s now.)

19-Aim for perfection.

My Speech Comm 1 professor said that we should always aim for perfection. There might not be such thing as perfect, but we can always fall somewhere near it. Good point, right?

20-Finding your purpose is just as hard as finding your true love.

Many teenagers rant about how hard it is to find your one true love. Later in life, they will realize how harder it is to find your true purpose — a dwelling place where you love what you do, you are compensated fairly, and you are making difference to other people’s lives. Well, at least in my case, I have a hard time finding that.

21-Honesty is always the best policy.

Be honest with yourself. Be honest with other people. And the effect will trickle down like domino.

22-Do not forgive easily.

Contrary to what other people say that we should forgive easily, I beg to disagree. I say we should give ourselves enough time to move on. Time helps us heal the wounds and bruises, no matter how shallow or deep. Forgiveness just for the sake of forgiving is non-sense. Forgive sincerely.

23-Being a mom takes more than skills in singing lullabies and cooking scrambled eggs.

I felt nervous, and at the same time, excited in raising my two kids. Thank God because Tatay (my partner), Mama, and Ate Lan (my cousin) are there to help me do it. I am telling you, it will push you to your limits. Every day is a patience test (if you are staying with them). Every goodbye (for work or travel for work) is 10x painful than your regular heartbreak. You will put them above anything or anyone else. Children’s section is now your favorite section in the department store. And it is priceless to see them discover and learn about the things around them.

24-It’s okay not to be okay.. – Jessie J

That’s part of the lyrics of my favorite Jessie J’s song “Who You Are.” We are human. We make mistakes. We feel pain. So, don’t screw yourself if you are not living up to the expectations of anyone else. It’s your life, not theirs.

25-There comes a time when you need to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump puddles for you.

I read this quote somewhere and it is a perfect #NotetoSelf in the next quarter of my life. Not all people care about you as much as you care about them. So, it would’t hurt to know the people who deserve your time and effort. 🙂

Prologue – Twenty Something Me

“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” – Iyanila Wanzant


I got this quote from one of the photos posted daily by Day of Tikkun. I’m a fan of good quotes and words from the most popular, lesser famous, and unknown personalities of the world.

I created this site, more or less, five years ago for the fun of venting my angst and rants (and self-righteous thought that I should always share my (then petty) issues in life but I suddenly realized, who the hell cares about it?). After that, the blog site is dormant. I attempted to write again a year after, but obviously, I was still picking up my brain, pen, and paper at that time.

Fast forward today, I challenged myself that a quarter of a century living in this goddamn earth, I can, perhaps, do something I love and wasn’t able to pursue (professionally) – to write. And not just writing, I want to tell stories which can inspire and move people. I want to share words and images which can brighten someone else’s day like how other people’s blogs affect my mood for a certain day or week – be it a hodgepodge of daily doses in life, people’s culture, journey by land and seas, personal accounts, documentaries (ambitious blogger lang ang peg), etc.

And so, I start my blog here, hoping to share my life stories and adventures – from railroads and rivers to mountains and cities, to mishaps and fortunes, and from finding love and losing it and finding it again (mushy there haha).

Happy reading! ❤


Each journey has a reward called lesson. So, I am sharing with you my rewards. Read on! (-Says me 🙂 )