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New Year, New Accomplishments

Be Better I started 2022 with the hope that things and an adjustment to what looked to be a semblance of some of the old normal as the months passed, return to normal as gatherings happened again, old friends reunited, and business slowly picked up.  Last year, my accomplishment was I was able to take…

New Year Celebration

A Simple Celebration of Fulfillment Last New Year’s Eve, our family just stayed at home. I was actually planning for a family staycation and getting a room with the best view of the fireworks, but ended up staying at home instead. The spectacle of sparkling fireworks with its flashy and sizzling sound is what I’ve…

Those Butterflies

I never would have thought that my grandfather, my Tatay, would make such an impact on my life until he passed. Just a few days after his passing, my mom told me how Tatay noticed my sadness sometime during the pandemic and even asked her, “Bakit malungkot si Tammie?”  He didn’t tell me this, nor…

No Place Like Home

I grew up with a very big family. I may have not grown up with a father, but I have Papa and uncles who filled my father’s shoes. Living under the same roof, I grew up together with my cousins whom I had not felt even a tiny bit of discomfort and awkward moments with. …

Vision to Receive God

I have always wanted to see God– either through some hint of a sign from above or something to look forward to this Christmas. Then it hit me– He has always been giving me notions and realizations, that I am with Him, near Him, because He is in me, in my heart; that here I…

A Gift I Will Never Deserve

God is easier found in the glaring sun, the beauty of the flowers, and the healing sight of the vast oceans. His magnificence is in those great mountains. His life breathes through the vegetation. His presence is in the air, beholding the vast skies and the stars that contain them whenever the velvety night covers…

Remembering My Christmas Present

Rosary Bracelet The best Christmas present I have ever received was a rosary bracelet, gifted by my father. Its beads are white, and it has a small cross on it. From the looks of it, it seems like real pearls though I don’t really know how to identify what’s real and what’s not. I couldn’t…

True Friendship

I learned about friendships because of this experience: one that I endured for 10 years and finally walked away from. There were instances in the friendship where I felt out of place, unsupported, silently judged, and grossly uncomfortable— probably anxious about seeing and engaging with them even, at some point! These girls also affected my…

Everything is Grace

The time when I served God the most was a few months before the pandemic happened. It was one of the craziest months as well because I did not know how I was able to juggle them all. For sure, I knew that grace was present; I was serving both in a charismatic community and…

Spending Christmas Holidays

Jesus and My Family Sitting at the dining table with my family during a happy season when there is so much food to eat and gifts to receive, along with the ambiance of the place, I can just simply say, “It’s Christmas!”  I look at the lights of the Christmas tree that are all glowing…

God’s Grace

God’s grace is when you see how God has been faithful  even if it feels like losing track of the path to His Kingdom.  It is a realization when God allows something in your life that is best for you. It is seeing how God works all throughout your life. It is an increase in…

Flowers and Candles

Papa is in a better place now. I used to tell this to myself as I couldn’t accept the fact that Papa was already gone, and that I could only accept it when I told myself he was in a better place than ours. I even told myself to not celebrate Christmas and New Year…

It’s Okay to Cry

I once had a day job where it seemed everything I did was wrong from the beginning. There was this specific scenario in my life when my boss got furious at me, and it felt like she wanted to crush me like a ‘pest’ because I made a terrible mistake involving our clients and higher…

Wonderfully and Beautifully Made

It was my master’s degree proposal defense when I was down with the flu and my hoarse voice was even worst off. My manuscript was poorly edited and lacked basic arrangement according to the standard rules, but I was sure of the content–a well-researched write-up. I am actually dyslexic and have apraxia of speech (loss…

Keep Going and Keep Trying

“We regret to inform you..” These were the words I couldn’t accept whenever I read emails coming from the companies I wanted to work for but was never hired.  I must admit that back then I was too full of myself only to realize I wasn’t good enough.  During our career fair at school in…

Envision

You are created to be made whole, that despite whoever or whatever broke you, you can be molded again— and be made new— for you are called to pick up your broken pieces together and mend with the right people you can turn to. You are called to share your story with others so that…

I Love My Life

I love my life. From the moment I met You, I became in love with life. I cherish every moment that I am with You. You are the source of everything, and all of my goodness comes from You. I cannot ask for more. I just want You. All of You. Non nisi Te. I…

That Awkward Feeling

The ‘Whistleblower’ I was in high school when I witnessed other students cheating in our class during examinations. Session by session, they still continued doing it and I couldn’t bear it any longer. After answering my questions, I listed down in my answer sheet all the names who were cheating in the examination hall. Unluckily,…

The Substitute Joiner

I was asked by a “friend” if I could join him on a trip to Ilocos. His girl best friend, who was supposed to join him, couldn’t make it and he thought I could fill the slot just not to let it go to waste as it was already paid. For me, it was a…

My First Long Trip

My most memorable road trip was certainly not my best and most fun-filled trip, but it was the first long trip in my life. When I was finishing elementary, I had a scholarship offer for high school but I had to go through the qualifying examination to get it. That made my dad and I…

My Most Memorable Road Trip

Writer on the Road I can’t think of my most memorable road trip, but I guess the series of road trips as simple as riding in the passenger seat of a van and sitting there for long drives makes it memorable for me. It’s because that is where the magic happens for writers like me…

A Traveler at Heart

I’m a traveler at heart. I don’t travel that much like anyone else – going to different countries across the globe. But whenever I get to travel, I would be having this adrenaline rush to do many things during the trip except these three things I have never done: riding a bicycle, swimming, and driving.…

Pursuing Words

Poetry is inside my core. It has been echoing in my heart. Words come out of my weary mind only to find out that I am slowly honing my craft to let people know that I too have something to say. Here’s one piece that I wrote a long time ago: There is an echo…

Painting Dreams

Dream It, Believe It I have always dreamt of my parents being happy and proud for letting me become who I really am and for permitting me to do the things I really enjoy rather than do the things that people expect me to do. But today, I choose to believe that this dream can…

Halloween Special: My Worst Nightmare

A Hideous Thing I’ve had a lot of nightmares. Sometimes it happens every day. The only good thing about my nightmares is that they would turn into victories – where I am like a warrior fighting evil spirits. My dream would take very long not until I won against creatures and monsters that I could…

The Most Positive and Influential Person I Know

My Fairy Godmother My family isn’t perfect ever since. I was mostly influenced by fairy tales and romance stories – be it books, TV/movies, or Asian dramas. My view on “that one soulmate” is a mix of those.  I was an aspiring writer when I met Coach Aileen. She is an author, a guidance counselor,…

My Role Model

When I was in grade school, I thought having good grades was enough. But for Mama, good grades meant higher grades than my competitors. She expected me to get higher grades than I used to have, and if I did not meet her expectations, she would be furious. At that time, Mom was working overseas…

Love and Relationships

Since my family isn’t perfect, I had been mainly influenced by fairy tales and romance stories—be it books, TV, movies, or even Asian dramas. My view on “that one soulmate” is a mix of those.  I was an aspiring writer when I met Coach Aileen. She is an author, a guidance counselor, and a life…

Sharp Sword

Wrath is a bomb hidden in my heart, and it just never goes away. I know it just stays in me while I’m here in the sinful world. It’s a weapon I’m afraid to take advantage of as this would only tear me and break me—bringing me down—transforming into a sword: sharp and deadly.  As…

Triggered by Anger

I seldom get angry. That’s just me. There was a time in the past when I got angry at a bank teller. I was in a queue, and when it was my turn, I gave the deposit slip, money, and everything else needed for the bank deposit transaction. While waiting for her, she started to…

Calm the Mind and Spirit

A lot of inordinate people took advantage of my “softness”—having a pure heart—I would say. There was a time in my life when I felt abused by an older lady. This lady called me from afar just to serve her water which was just some inches away from where she was seated! She was giving…

My Bed of Warmth

Losing a father like Papa was devastating. Papa is actually my grandfather who filled my father’s shoes. My soul yearned for a father’s touch, and Papa was the only bed of warmth that ever existed—until he was gone.  My mom, grandmother, uncle, and I were on the way to the hospital to visit Papa when…

Life’s Best Workout

Workout Sessions The best workout I ever had was when I lived in Texas. Back then, I was enrolled in the gym. I did different things such as Salsa Latin dance class workout, swimming laps, and walking on the indoor track. Saturday mornings there were Hatha Yoga sessions. Sundays were at church. Near our house…

My Spiritual Battles

Now that I am set free from my past worries,I am tempted to do something on my own.Lord, humble me. Now that I am growing in building up virtues,I am tempted to compare myself to others.Lord, humble me. Now that I feel I’m already winning the battle,I am tempted to rely on my own strength.Lord,…

Trust in God’s Healing Hands

Different health issues have been flaring up amid the pandemic. Before, people just turned a blind eye when they experienced simple coughs, colds, and fevers knowing they could be healed in just a couple of days. Now, anything about health is very alarming. People are overthinking and overreacting, petrified by the assumption that they might…

Committed to Being Fit

Understanding my body system has been a significant task for me as I add years to my life on this planet. I’ve realized that I am unique in my own way and do not need to follow other health tips unless they are tested and trusted. A few years back, I had a job change–or…

Sense of Accomplishments

A Blessed Fur Mom It was the first time I took and accepted the responsibility to be a fur mom to a kitten. One rainy July, mom came home and rescued a stray on the streets. It was scrawny and tiny. Sadly, she was already blind in one eye. Through constant love and care, Darna…

God’s Instruments

After I graduated from high school, I got lost in track and I stopped chasing my dreams. Getting to college sounded far-fetched until Aunt Nene helped me finance my studies. It was unexpected. I never would’ve thought that God would use her to help me in my studies. My dreams lit up and I was…

A Random Act of Kindness

A Knock on My Door  There was a time when I was sick. I was living in a foreign country during that time and I was not expecting company. There was a knock on my door. Two of my friends stopped by the apartment. They made me dinner. It was just soup, but I still…

Hard Work Pays Off

As per the Oxford dictionary, the definition of accomplishment is an impressive thing that is done or achieved after a lot of work. I searched for the meaning of accomplishment because I wasn’t sure about its real definition; I just thought it meant achieving goals that meet people’s expectations. Five years ago, I regretted that…

My Life Would Be Incomplete Without…

My life would be incomplete without Christ. Since the day I learned to follow Him, I know in my heart that I am complete. There is nothing else that I would need. For me, Christ is the best Suitor and Lover of all.  I could recall this certain moment in the past when I was…

Blossoms’s Scripture

It was mid-year in 2017 when the diagnosis of my daughter’s throat infection got tensed up. Back then, Blossoms was five. Since my husband is a pharmacist in Nigeria, we’ve been treating her from home with antibiotics. Little did we know that the infection was eating her up and draining her young body. My daughter…

The Picture of Contentment

“Happiness comes after contentment.” This is my go-to inspirational quote about contentment. It’s true enough that contentment leads to happiness, and happiness leads to success. I had always thought money can buy happiness because it can take you wherever you want to go and give you whatever you want in life. I realized how true…

Bless Those Who Curse You

Prior to Papa’s death, many of our relatives had been in touch with us. I remember our house became a ‘five-star hotel’ where they could stay whenever they want for free. But since the pillar of the house was gone, so did our house – it collapsed, abandoned, and dejected. The ‘five-star’ house was sold…

Good Stress and Positivity

Whenever I finish a task from work and pass it to my boss, I would get this weird feeling in my body where I expect the negative comments to come flooding in. I imagined the stress of repeating a very tedious task for the second time, and I realized that my mind was being controlled…

Increase My Faith: A Trusting Response to These Troubled Times

During the quarantine, I was asked by my community prayer group to share my reflections on any of the topics from the weekly virtual Faith Series Talks: In Trouble? Failed? Grieving? Stressed Out? Lord, Increase My Faith. I was having difficulty choosing the topic because I felt that I was going through all of it…

Reconnecting with Nature

These days, overthinking about weekdays has been the root of my anxiety, stress, and negative state of mind. A day in the life of a working-from-home assistant like me could be productive and have a better work-life balance, but I’ve realized that working remotely could also affect my thoughts and feelings as well as my…

Serving God

Before going to bed, I would usually ‘accomplish’ my devotional journal by reading Bible verses for the day, writing reflections, and ending it with a prayer. In this way, I’m able to spend my personal time with God. I would say that my life now would be incomplete without my devotional journal, one of my…

Wonder

There is a sense of wonder whenever I read Your Words. The birth of a baby under a starlit sky, so poor – and yet so humble. I let a sense of wonder in my being whenever I hear the beauty of Your story. I read angels sing for You. I imagined them singing for…

180-Degree Turn

I remember when I was in high school, I told one of my classmates, “I am never going to get married.” “Really? Why?” she asked. “I don’t see myself as a married woman or a mother. In fact, I already have an application form to apply to become a nun,” I replied. “Okay, I will…

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