Love Lives

I saw this video with a blindfolded guy
Beside him was a large sign
“I’m Muslim and people call me terrorist,” it said
“Do you trust me? If yes, hug me,” I read
“Well, this is weird” was my first thought
But I kept on watching and waiting like a tot

One by one, they slowly came
These wonderful people who had no shame
They gave the guy a tight hug
And one full of love, may I add
Tears came rolling down my eyes
And to myself, it came as a surprise

Why was I crying? What was it about what they did?
Now, I feel like the one who’s weird
Was it the pain I carry everyday?
Was it the things I can never really say?
Was it all that’s happening in the world today?
Was it the fear of a future full of disarray?

After the tears came a feeling of relief
Then came that indescribable feeling of peace
For now, I have been reassured and reminded
There is still a lot of good in this planet
When you need it the most, love will always find a way
Even when you’re hopeless, even from the unlikely places

Look Up v.3

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If you haven’t already noticed, I really like looking up. It’s not only because I find amazing frames and beautiful sights up there but also because in a particularly challenging day, I find comfort and grace up There. Somehow, looking up has meant looking up to Him who saves.

*In response to the Mundane Monday Challenge

An Open Letter to Christina Grimmie

Dearest Grimmie,

I heard you moved on to your next great adventure. I guess you’ll be rockin’ it up there now with the Lord.

When I first heard about the news of your passing, I was so sure it was a hoax. Well, that was what I wanted to believe. It wasn’t until I felt uneasy with all the thinking that I had to find out for sure. And there it was – the news that you had been shot. I was out of words and almost out of thoughts. It felt like I had lost a friend. It didn’t feel right. It still doesn’t feel right. How could the universe take away such a beautiful soul? And why does it have to be in such an unfortunate way?

And so, I chose to go to my run-to quote in times like these, “Everything happens for a reason.” In time, I know I will understand. The world will understand why you had to leave so early in this life. Instead of wallowing in grief for a great loss, now, I’m choosing to celebrate an insanely miraculous life.

YOU WERE PHENOMENAL! When I first heard you sing on The Voice, I instantly became a fan. And as I came to know more about you, I was drawn even more. Every performance you gave was magical. You made sure that The Real Grimmie shone through every song, every cool outfit, every video, and even through every word. You were a wrecking ball of love, faithfulness, passion, creativity, and quirkiness. You were YOU no matter what. The reason you were so great was that you were never trying to be. You were just having fun being yourself.

I would normally say that every death ends a person’s meaningfulness in the world. But I am getting more and more convinced that it is the opposite. From what I am seeing, your legacy lives on by virtue of the people that continues to gather and celebrate the amazing life you have lived. And I believe that your legacy will continue to live on through us whose lives you’ve touched. We all have been witness to how ridiculously insane you were in living a life of your own. And we will strive to do the same.

Don’t worry about us whom you have left behind. We’ll continue to rock on down here. You just continue to rock on up there. And just hold on, you’re going home.

With all my love and prayers,
A grateful fan

A Trip Worth Taking

There is much grandeur associated in being able to travel to another country. You research, plan and ensure that you visit all the beautiful places that fit your interests. Whether those places truly are worth visiting or there is some added hype in being in a faraway place, travelers must admit that there are still places left back home that are comparable or are even more incredible than tourist spots abroad.

As a proud inhabjitant of the Philippines, I make sure to include in my travel list some places in my home country. One such place brimming with stunning views is Antipolo City. Being just more than an hour away from Metro Manila, it is often taken for granted. One Saturday afternoon, I took off with some friends to visit a few places in the nearby city. And was I surprised to discover much beauty and innocence in the place.

First stop was the famed Hinulugang Taktak. It has been a well-known tourist spot and my friends and I found ourselves a bit ashamed that we haven’t visited sooner. The entrance was free and we enjoyed the peaceful scenery.

 

The next stop was the Pinto Art Museum. This place has a 180 PhP entrance fee per person but one step inside immediately told me that it was worth every cent. I am even at a loss for words that could describe how I felt about the place. It was an escape, a wonder, an inspiration, and a form of the most free expression all at the same time.

 

We also would not leave Antipolo without visiting Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. We have this belief that one could make a wish when one visits a church for the first time. And I take that opportunity everytime.

Last stop was dinner, of course. We ate at Café Lupe Grill and Restaurant along Sumulong Highway with a stunning view of Manila. The food was good. The price was reasonable. The waiter was funny. The view of the sunset allowed us to witness a magnificent end to a magnificent day.

 

With four places checked in our list for a halfday trip, it has been a trip definitely worth taking. Although, we still have to come back as we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the wonderful places to experience in that lovely city.

How to “Plant Seeds” in the Game of Survivor

When your back is against a wall, you can pretty much do anything. There is nothing to lose, nowhere to go, nothing to do but just go all out. This was the story of this week’s episode of Survivor Second Chances where Ciera and Wentworth did everything they could to stay in the game.

*Warning: Spoilers ahead. 😉

Here’s how they continued to “plant the seeds” (as Ciera calls it):

  1. Even after Kass, a crucial alliance, was voted out, Ciera continued to instill the “play to win” attitude by taking a walk with Stephen along the beach. She suggested that they take Joe, a really big challenge beast, out of the game.
  2. They see rewards as more than just rewards. They used the time to build a bond with fellow castaways and ease in talks of strategy in between OD-ing in caffeine and pastries and the carefree joyride in the tuk-tuk driven by Keith.
  3. Wentworth continued with strategy talks with Joe and Wigglesworth and was keen on learning about how all the other talks were going. And even after talks of taking Stephen out didn’t work out, they kept cool and moved on to think of the next logical step.
  4. They kept on pushing the “play to win” attitude in tribal council. They took turns in making the tribe realize that if they continue to follow blindly, the core alliance of Savage, Jeremy, Tasha, Stephen/Joe would take them out one by one.

These seeds may take a longer time to grow since all the other nine castaways still wrote Wentworth’s name down. It was a good thing that she had a Survivor miracle inside her bag, the hidden immunity idol she found earlier. She managed to pull off one of the most epic blindsides in Survivor history and took out Savage who was extremely dumbfounded. I find myself still shaking in excitement hours after watching the episode. And if ever I find myself in a game of Survivor (I can dream, right?), I would definitely take these pages in Ciera and Wentworth’s books.

No Other Way To Play

It should not be easy. It should be going for the jugular. Like if this is such an easy vote, you’re not playing the right game. And I don’t like playing with people who are scared to play. I wanna win. It’s not fun to play with people who don’t wanna win.”

Ciera Eastin, Survivor Cambodia

Statements like this thrill me.

Gameplays like this keep me hooked on the reality television series, Survivor.

Players like Ciera inspire me to play to win in the game called life.

Beautiful Reminders

Once in a while, you come across beautiful reminders. Reminders to laugh, to love always and deeply, and to continue reaching for your aspirations one step at a time.

At times when you feel lost and drowning, they could mean everything. And when you’re just going through the motions of living life, they could be the breath of fresh air you need to put things in perspective. That is why I love and welcome these reminders.

And now, you’re in for a treat. I would like to share with you some of the reminders I got recently from some of the most amazing people in the blogging community:

  1. A reminder that your point of view is not the only one out there and not the only one that matters. I was inspired by how a fellow Writing 101 participant expressed this seamlessly through a scene in an emergency room.
  2. A reminder to be more carefree, and just do whatever makes you happy. If you want to read something witty, genuine, and refreshingly funny, check this piece about writing poetry.
  3. A reminder to believe that you can get through anything.  This giraffe has said it perfectly.
  4. A reminder to go after the kind of life you want even if that means something unconventional such as a life of travel.
  5. A reminder to love everyone in every way you can.

I hope these touch your hearts the same way they did mine.

*This is in response to Blogging University’s Writing 101, Day 19: Feature a guest