Wednesday, April 18

We gain some then lose some. We lose some then gain some.

How I wish it's my weight that we'll be talking about in here.

If you are my Facebook friend and/or Twitter follower, you would know that just last week, the jeep I was riding on my way to UP got held up. For the first time ever, someone pointed a knife at me and it wasn't funny at all.

I was carrying with me all the most valuable material things that I have in my life right now so when they asked for my phone, I obediently gave it to them. Ha, your loss b*st*rds. I just got that for free from Globe and the trackpad is crazy and my mom had it blocked already.

So yes, for quite a few days, I was feeling (and acting) crazy and I had no phone with me. My number's active again now, though. I lost something, kind of violently, but gained a lot instead.

I gained freedom from the need to respond to people immediately. You could say I was kind of off the radar, whenever I didn't have internet access, and it was awesome. I gained perspective. Life is like a box of chocolates; you'll never know what you're gonna get. Life is short; live it. Life is random and so am I. But most importantly, I gained recognition of those people who truly, really care. When your down and troubled and you need a helping hand, the people who would seek you, without the need for you to seek them, are the people who will love you through heaven and hell. Or not.

Oh what a cliche my words are.

So now, what's my point.

My point is that we live in a disheartening world. Those guys who took my phone, along with the others', are just kids (maybe not kid-kid, like 15-17 years old kids but still, kids). Kids who are forced to resolve to crime and violence just so they would be able to live. Kids whose childhoods and innocence are gone forever. Kids, just kids.

But there is hope, for them and for this world. How can I say that? I don't know. Maybe because I'm still alive and kicking butts.

Wednesday, April 11

This long overdue blog post about Singapore

The Singapore trip that almost checked my whole bucket list --
Writing on my plane back home because I don't want to tear up alone.

Or more of, the sweetest, coolest days of my life so far.

I'm currently running on a 0-peso bank account (update: my bank account closed by itself due to the 0 balance dilemma so I had to create a new one which is now running on a negative balance, which I didn't know until now was possible) but I seriously don't mind because I got a lot of all the things I ever wanted, needed, plus more. My life right now is so crazy awesome that I'm actually afraid to live another day because it might ruin it all, especially given that I also run on stupid decisions and unnecessary mistakes (update: true enough, hello holduper, bye phone).

Hiding from the sun and that crazy stalker taking all my pictures, hihi as if.

Of getting what I needed
The WCTOH 2012 was nothing short of awesome. I met a lot of people from all over the world, bonded with youths fueled with passion, learned a bunch through lecture and practice from experts and champions, and kept with my being a vegetarian because of the special recipes and accessible healthy diets. I'm more than sure that if ever I end up being in Nigeria or Malaysia or Chile, I'll have a familiar face to run to.

Hello from the Southeast Asians!
Live it up without lighting up!
Closing time

I realized in this week-long conference how deep I already am in this whole tobacco control and health advocacy. Each of my sharing about the Philippines was filled with either utter disgust or awe. I cringed at every dirty tobacco industry tactic discussed. My blood boiled for the need for FCTC implementation in our nation.

Most important of it all, my heart now beats so much for HealthJustice, our organization which received a cool recognition from Mayor Bloomberg aka the Bloomberg Awards. This is not a job; this is life.

The HJ team with ze bosses and some partners in the advocacy.
There'll always be a Friday night. (Photo from Atty. Irene, our Managing Director)
Time's Up, Tobacco! Check us out @ (Photo also from Atty. Irene)

Of getting what I wanted
I went to Singapore wanting only two things: to learn and to be part of something big, and I got those as previously mentioned. What's interesting is, incidentally, it was also during this Singapore week that the LAE results came out.

4-5 years of my youth for this. Bring it on, law school!

When I was a kid, I never wanted to be anything but a lawyer. When I got older, I wanted it for my family and for the people in Subic. But I got even older and went to not knowing what I wanted anymore.

Now, the universe has spoken: this is what I need to do with, or to be in this gift that is my life. I'm still so overwhelmed (update: yes, until now) by the fact that I'll be in UP Law (in less than two months) and by the amount of love and appreciation that I have been getting. Awesome life is awesome.

Going back to the Singapore trip, it gave me back that sort of independence that I feel like I have lost when I stopped living alone. I departed Manila alone, with a need of a wheelchair (update: huhu no more picture because I didn't get to retrieve it from my phone, or did I?) because my right knee decided to swell up the day before my flight, and arrived alone feeling so fly like a G6. I made "adult" decisions (aka rebooked my flight back to Manila from Friday to Sunday) and walked around Singapore wearing suits, makeup, and superfluous documents. Most of all, I was funding my own happiness.

I felt like I was 24. Or 27.

Of getting so much more than what I thought I wanted and needed
Often times we meet people and think, "Oh, this is someone I can see to be in my life." But what happens when it's the opposite?

Oh shut up self. Let's just leave this blog post at that. Let's just be content with knowing that I am happy in spite and despite of the craziness this universe is serving my platter. And that when we ask for something, I mean really, really ask, He will give it.

Again, awesome life is awesome.

PS. I didn't take these photos (malamang) nor are they from my camera. I have my own personal photographer, haha. You know who you are, thank you!