Wednesday, November 11, 2015



Out of the most difficult trials come God's biggest blessings.

A betrayal is almost never about the person betrayed.

Your dreams motivate you. Your faith pulls you through. Your sanity keeps you in one piece.

Some things work out. Some things don't. And someday, you're gonna know why.

In the issue of gender identity: You have a moral obligation to be who you really are even if it means being "immoral" in a religious and social context.

In my 31 years of existence, I've never been drunk. Every stupid thing I've done, I did sober. Every lesson life taught me, I remember in full clarity.
* I will be publishing a compilation of my Facebook wall posts from 2010 - 2015 entitled Scribbles. Watch out for it. You might find something there that could benefit your existence. Ciao!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Lyrics and melody by: Hencel Lauren

I don’t know what to do
I’m in the middle of it all
The confusion and my faults

I can’t tell You how I feel
I know You already know
Please spare me from the pain

Of having to hear the truth
About my brokenness
From my very mouth
Oh it’s just too much to bear

I’ll just spread my broken wings
Lift up my everything
Be the wind beneath me
As I soar

I need You now
I need You more than ever
Help me pull myself together
Guide me with Your grace
I’m here where it’s dark
And living in fear
Only You can
Get me out of here
*I need You now

I can’t find the words
To explain how Your words
Changed the life that You gave me

But I know better now
Every lesson is a scar
From the wounds of my heart

I used to not care about You
And before today
I thought I’d manage on my own
Coz it’s just life anyway

Now all I have are broken wings
But I know I can fly again
Be the wind that guides me
As I soar

(Repeat Chorus except  *last line)

I need You now
I’ll need You more everyday
I know that I can make it
Because You’re here IN me
Please bless me more
And I’ll give You me
Let me be more than I hope
I could be
I need You now
I need You now

So I’ll spread my broken wings
I surrender everything

I can fly with broken wings
With You I can do anything

I need You now

written for: 
CFC-SFC Salmiya Chapter
Batch 2 CLP 2011

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Friday, July 24, 2015

I Will NEVER EVER Get Married

A lot of people ask me why I’m still single. I’ve been giving blah-blah answers since I was 27. Some of them are:
-I'm too busy writing about... stuff.
-I’m not in the mood to be in any kind of relationship.
-It’s better to be alone and happy than to feel lonely and miserable even when you’re with someone.
-I want to avoid the drama for now and just have fun.

When I do think about being in a relationship, I try to imagine the possible scenarios of how I’d meet the one. Some are:

-I meet him at an airport while waiting to board and we end up seating next to each other on a16-hour flight to somewhere (you know, like #thisthingcalledtadhana).
-I meet him at a coffee shop or a bookstore reading the same book I’m trying very hard to understand.
-I meet him strumming a guitar while shopping for an electronic drum kit at... wherever they sell those things.
-I meet him at the grocery store frozen stuff section where they sell chocolate ice cream.

And then, I think about the possible reasons I might end up marrying him. Some are:

-See first reason.
-Read it again.
-Move on to the next paragraph. 

Single people want to get hitched for different reasons and some DON’T for lots of reasons too that married people call excuses. I grew up around unhappy marriages. I have experienced the frustration of being in non-relationships and the pain after broken ones. A person who knows me might think these hold me back from every opportunity to be with someone but a person who knows me well knows the truth.

I’m still single because I’m too ambitious for my own sake. And in my brain, my dreams are worth sacrificing a life that is expected of women. For the longest time, I’ve been taking full responsibility for my own happiness and refusing to dump it on someone else because I may not be able to return the favor. Sure, I could just be myself and that may be enough for him, but not for me. What if I decide to give love a shot but in the end find myself unable to commit on that level -marriage and kids and all- then what would the poor guy do? How could I live with that?

I could be overthinking. Maybe I’ll meet someone wonderful. Maybe then I won’t have to think, or be a certain way to keep him satisfied. Or maybe we’ll have the same take on things and are able to make sense of each other’s personal choices within the context of our relationship. Maybe he’ll be as ambitious as I am. Maybe his dreams aren’t that different from mine. Or better yet, we’ll be working hand-in-hand in achieving them. Maybe then, I’ll reconsider. Or, maybe not.

But what if...

... I meet the worst possible guy? Maybe he’ll be so bad that the people who keep nagging me to get married would just can the idea of me marrying anyone, ever. Maybe my mom would have a fit. Maybe, in spite of who he is and all the drama he may bring, I won’t care. Maybe he’ll be the one who could make me say:

“I had several dreams but I chose you because, however unlikely, you were the best option.”

Regardless, the guy I’d marry will be the MAN who can make me eat the words of this blog post’s title.
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Friday, February 27, 2015

My Gift

January 18, 2011


“Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”

Fifty five minutes into the movie, I got stuck when Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) narrated this line and had to replay it five times before I went on with it only because I wanted to finish it without going to work late. I found myself repeating it over and over again in between taking dental x-rays and developing them and each time I did, the truth in those words clung to every inch of my being. It’s not some kind of realization you get while going about your daily routine. It is something you can only say once you’re already out there, dealing with change one day at a time as you try to rebuild yourself from the ruins of the old you. Ruin is where I came from. Ruin is the reason why I’m here.

Every now and then, I marvel at how my life turned out to be since I decided to leave my country. For a year now, I've been confined to this nine-story building where I both work and live but so much has changed for me. It’s because it is only now that I am able to sort out the jumbled things in my head and the emotional spaghetti in my heart. I’m now able to see a lot of things clearly, some even beyond what I initially took them for and the way I think, live, and love has changed. This newfound sense of belongingness with myself, this inner peace even with the occasional chaos life tries to inject me with through things, situations and people makes me feel a hundred times tougher than I was before. I am being transformed into someone who does not easily get derailed by negativity. I’ve become more optimistic. I’m now capable of being grateful even in the midst of an ordeal and use the lessons I’ve learned to turn things around for me. My only motivation now is God and not thyself. I have learned that putting Him at the center of your life inspires you to live life the best way you know how and be a blessing to others with any chance you get.

All my life, I’ve heard so many people claim to be "lost" because they are not happy with who they are and how their lives are going. Once they "find" themselves after they've recognized and defeated their inner demons through a life overhaul nicknamed “change”, they become happy until the time comes when they feel lost again. I have decided to find God first within me and found that having Him IN me is what will keep me happy whatever my circumstances are. I will not lose myself to the world again. I have Him. He transformed me. I have made good use of ruin, my gift.

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THE Question

February 26, 2011

It was Kuwait’s Liberation Day yesterday (and the 25th Anniversary of the EDSA Revolution in the Philippines as well) so what better thing to do on a holiday than to watch a movie on my laptop? I clicked around my movie list and saw The Nanny Diaries and thought that maybe I'd watch it today so I can delete it already. So watch it I did and there's this scene in the movie that played in my head like that Eat, Pray, Love scene I had to rewind a few more times. Scarlett Johansson’s character asked the ever common but REALLY hard question: “Who is Annie Braddock?”

I couldn’t stop asking myself the same question throughout the movie and after. Who am I? Who am I really? Giving my personal information would be like taking an exam I've been reviewing for for 26 years, I’d be a nutcase or a case file if I’m not able to fill in all the blanks from first to last. I can’t believe I had to pray before I came up with an answer I myself could find credible and in the pool of words I was given, I had extreme difficulty finding a word that could define me.

Maybe there is no one word. Maybe how I define myself is not exactly who I am in reality. There is a danger that if I write one page about who I think I am, I would only be writing about who I want to be which is oftentimes the case. Oh well, writing about who I am is not an easy task as I now know especially when I’m not really that sure of the answer. But then, if I don’t know the answer, who does?

Who am I? Is it really necessary to have an answer to that question now? At 26, am I expected to at least have an idea as to what my definite role in the society is and how people must know me? Do I need to know who I am to live my life accordingly, to know my purpose, to know my worth? Or do I just live my life and deal with its challenges the best way I know how with the person I become to be the answer to the question? Do I have to wait until I’m in my deathbed, to have a flashback of memories and watch myself like I’m somebody else so I can finally give an objective answer?

It’s silly that I’m asking too many questions to answer THE question at hand like it’s going to make it simpler for me. What is so complicated about the question anyway? Then I realized that it is not the question but the answer that’s making it so damn difficult to spit out. I know who I am. I’m just scared to be wrong because if I am, then how can I ever trust myself to find the answer again? NOBODY can give a more accurate answer. NOBODY can ever be capable of helping me out when I have proven for myself that NOBODY can be sure of who he really is.

I therefore conclude that the safest and most unworthy-of-the-suspenseful-waiting answer to this question is: I AM ME.
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Sunday, January 18, 2015


September 27, 2010

Needless to say, I am not perfect but I strive every day to be the friend that my friends deserve. I cannot speak for myself but I trust that the people I have chosen to be a part of my life appreciate my presence in their lives regardless of whether I’m giving them what, in their opinion, makes me worthy to be called a good friend. I may have been inadequate at times but my love for them makes up for it because it is the only thing I could offer that has an unlimited supply. I never run out of love. God fills me with it every day.

Through the years, I’ve been with so many people who have come and either stayed or were gone for good and looking back makes me realize that they've each become a piece of who I am and for that I am so grateful. If I had to live my life over and over, I would still choose the same people I spent time with. In every fight or argument that led to crying or years of painful recollection, there was still a lesson learned that led to stronger bonds with them and the new ones who knocked on my door to fill that empty space where another had left. It’s amazing how big our hearts are to accommodate everybody. When someone leaves, no one replaces that person. That place where he used to be is where your memories together stay for a lifetime. No one is forgotten.

Time heals all wounds, scars fade and the love that once was there, that unconditional positive regard, returns. 
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The One

The One (noun): if given the choice of all the people in the world, he/she is the one you will always choose

I used to believe in the “soul mate theory”, the kind of bond that Disney glamorizes from the small to the big screens. Who didn’t? Needless to say, I’ve outgrown it like the rest of the more realistic humans. I’ve been disappointed, frustrated, betrayed, and a lot of other things. Disillusionment was painful, of course. From a scale of 1-10, I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I tell anyone I’ve had an 11. The first cut is the deepest, they say, but the ones that follow aren’t less heartbreaking. How you deal with a broken heart has more to do with your state of being that time than your perceived depth of feelings for the person. I don’t know about other people but when I’m in love, I’m in love. I don’t have a scale for that. And besides, it helps to think that I too, was not loved more or less than the one who came before or after me; I was loved differently. Or I was loved, period.

When I was in college, my instructor in Asian Civilization discussed another soul mate theory.  She said that if we are to consider the concept of reincarnation, we have more than one soul mate in a lifetime. A soul mate is someone you’ve had some sort of “connection” or close bond with in one of your past lives. Imagine how many friends and lovers you’ve had so far multiplied by a thousand if your soul's been recycled since before God told Noah to build the ark. That’s a lot of would-be exes if you’re the type who takes things literally. How many have you had so far? The one you’ve gotta be hoping to finally meet is your “twin flame”, your long lost half, the part of your soul that was separated from you after your first life. I thought, “This is ridiculous. I don’t feel incomplete in any way." But after I’ve experienced the intoxicating feeling of being in love, the way it filled me to my core with something gooey but pleasant, I finally became aware that there was indeed a void within me that's been filled. Your twin flame is the one person you will search for every time you come back for another chance and once you find him, you will never be apart again. You will be together… sit still… hold tight… brace yourself… FOREVER.

After college graduation, I remember watching The Oprah Winfrey Show and they were talking about the exact same thing. There was this woman who was sharing her love story that she wrote about in her memoir about how she met her husband, one of the most eligible bachelors before he married her. They’ve met several times before but did not feel attracted to each other until they were both single and ready on all aspects. What she said is what I still believe in up to this day. We don’t have one single soul mate. Whoever it is that gives off the same kind of energy that you do when your paths cross is your soul mate at that given time. When the time comes when your energies don’t match anymore, you’ll both find it hard to walk through life together. You drift apart slowly or separate abruptly, moving forward into opposite directions and someday, somehow, you’ll find your next match. If it lasts, well and good. If not, then it’s for the best.

When I see couples that are so much in love, and even those who aren’t all smiles at the moment but are trying their very best to make things work, I feel very happy for them. I imagine the happiness love gives, multiply it by two and wish it for every person on the planet. Our love stories vary in trials and triumphs but they are still what they are: stories of love. And love is, and will always be no matter what, a pleasant emotion to indulge in.

To the ones who have found “the one” for right now, I wish you all the best. As for me, I guess my soul mate is still out there, happily single, taking his time. Or maybe he’s pissed at his family and friends who are overly concerned about his lack of interest in having a girlfriend for now and won’t leave him alone. Or maybe he is bored to his bones with all the same questions random people ask about why he isn’t like everybody else who wants the same kinds of things and live the same kind of life. Or maybe, he’s a little annoyed with his Christian friends who tease him that he might be gay. Or maybe he is busy preparing himself for the greatest adventure he is yet to take- on his own. Or maybe, just maybe, he is out there strumming his guitar, with the words to our song waiting to be written by yours truly. Lots of maybe/s. Lots of possibilities.

To “the next one”, my “next soul mate”, hopefully my “twin flame” because break-ups are overwhelmingly exhausting and overrated:

I’ve been through a lot and I’ve got the scars to prove it, but there’s still this soft spot in my calloused heart that I will leave untouched just for you. In the meantime, I am so NOT interested.


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