Posted in 2017, Adventure, Bravery, Choices, Courage, Dreams, Experiences, Feelings, Future, Life, Love, She Said, Strength, Travel, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls, Work

Kim’s Journal: The Big Move

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Some days you just have to create color

“I’ve made impulsive and cautious decisions over the course of my life. With impulse, I’ve lost and made friends, money, opportunities and even myself. With caution, there’s still not much of a difference since I’ve also lost relationships, money, opportunities and even myself. But on the bright side, I’ve gained a will to carry on, a time to rethink my steps and gain wisdom (I hope so!).”

After graduation I was offered opportunities and I, being honest here, rejected and did not take them. It wasn’t entitlement, it was finding a sense of happiness and purpose, I guess. The reason? Well, I felt empty and quite nowhere. A few months before graduation, I felt that the topmost priority for me was a job! People kept asking where I will work or where I want to work. I answered them just to simply keep them from probing more questions that I didn’t want to answer, because the truthful answer that they wouldn’t have wanted to hear was, “I don’t know.”

I honestly don’t know. I’ve checked out opportunities and felt that it could work and suddenly when it came, I was the first one out of the door. I went into interviews but withdrew my application after the interviews because I felt that it wasn’t right. I entered engagements, but chickened out a few days before it started because my gut felt so burdened. I was not in-between, nor was I myself. It was the first time that I encountered the other side of myself. It didn’t scare me, but it amused me for a moment. I came to realize that’s just me being human.

Over the years, I’ve had decisions that was inorganic due to pressure and to not wanting to have bad blood over the people in my life over the choices that I made. I’ve had engagements that I could not back out. I told myself, this time, it’s going to be different. Fast forward to months after dilly-dallying everything, I (think I) finally settled at the moment.

Moving from a big city to a bigger city and letting go of the comforts of what my home used to offer me was exciting and kind of sad (I learned some basic life skills like how to do laundry!!!). That was what my adventurous self felt. Yet, a few days of boarding into a new adventure, my cautious self wanted out. It wanted to crawl back to the rock that I have been living in over the course of two months. But a bigger part of me wanted in. Talk about irony! It wanted to try — to try to do something I’ve never done for myself (i.e. make bigger decisions in life). It wanted to fully make an organic choice. Without pressure, without negative factors. And it was liberating.

The main thing that I’ve learned from this big move is that things will come at the right time. Though people will have it differently, case in point: the demarcation line of the different levels of privilege. My feeble heart still believes that we can break that line even if chances are so slim. Those set-backs are part of something bigger. Though it won’t come easily and the process of going there may seem to suck everything out of that spirit within us, don’t give up (just curse or release that via yoga or some stress balls).

Getting to where you want to go is in itself what we do in life. Believe me, I never planned for this. I have a book which I’d like to call a goal book, where I’ve written my planned dreams (including but not limited to getting a job at X company), and a lot of other things. But this one came in my most unplanned moment and in my most impulsive moment.

Remember though that this is not a race. I know we’ve been exposed to the internet, of people and the lives that they live. A little part of me envies it sometimes, but this is one thing that I believe: that deep inside everyone has different lives, different shoes to fill, different problems to face. No matter how happy it may seem, we all have some fucked up moments too. If I wished my life was different, I would not have met beautiful people along the way; the people who helped me paint life beautifully.

I’d stop here. But whoever you are, whatever you are doing and wherever you may be, I wish you’d never lose hope (it’s free!) and courage to keep moving forward (by that I mean, study smartly, discipline yourself if you want to lose weight, and things that you know better vs me). You’d eventually find your place in the bigger scheme of things. And if you haven’t, and you’re stuck at doing what you least like, you may need that experience and wisdom (and money) to move yourself through what you really desire. I wish I could say believe me, that would be so hypocritical of me then, but we need to start somewhere right? And if the chapters that we’re having now in our books will lead us closer to whatever we want in the next 10 chapters or so, then we might as well try.

 

Valete!

 

P.S. This is to our past self who belittled ourselves. The present is laughing right now because the universe truly conspires for things to happen. Some beautiful things do come in the most unplanned and unexpected moments. And some arrive because we planned them beautifully and passionately. Trust in that timing and if it fails, then that’s a bonus round to keep on trying.

 

Posted in 2017, Adventure, Bravery, Courage, Dreams, Experiences, Feelings, Graduating, Leadership, Life, Love, She Said, Strength, Truth, Uncategorized

Kim’s Journal: Graduation Pt. 1


Most people wonder how I did it.

How I managed to “balance” my academic life and my extra-curricular life.

I didn’t.

I never knew how to balance it.

I never figured out the secret formula on the balancing act.

Some days, my academics matter the most (that’s when you know I’m on the brink of getting a bad grade and you can’t see me because I’d be pulling an all-nighter and getting myself serious coffee -I usually don’t drink coffee because it will just upset my stomach). Most days, my extra-curricular activities are calling my name (that’s when I can’t even comb my hair and put on my intimidating-million-worries-face).

I don’t know the secret to balancing both life since I’ve got only one life in this game.

I’m still in awe on how I manage to snug both in one setting with me in one piece!

What I do know though, is this.

It will always begin and will always end in the spectrum of love (and priorities of course!). You don’t learn it overnight nor just a year, it’s a continuity of some sorts. The first year will be about adjusting, the next year it will go smoothly (okay maybe less) because you’ve learned the ropes.


I started being involved academically ever since I uttered “school”. Bravely defying all odds to crash the class by being late and grabbing the chalk from my teacher. Talk about being two and without manners! This probably is one of my mother’s vivid memory when I entered pre-school. Trust me, my pre-school days as what I can remember is so the spoiled me.

Moving up to grade school didn’t even tamed down the spoiled me. Though I studied, it was mainly because at the end I know I’d get my reward. I cannot remember what reward that was, but I know that if I do my best it will be waiting at the end of the finish line. They say that the highlight of my academic achievements happened during grade-school. True, but it wasn’t entirely the test of my capacity till high school came.

Dear high school, the time where I realized I’m not made to be just in class and answer questions and solve solutions. This was the first time that I laid my eyes on leadership and that was indeed love at first sight. I’ve seen girls wearing green and marching their hearts out at the amphitheater and I told myself I wanted to be like them. I didn’t get the opportunity to do that during my first year though. I ended up entering my application come second year and to tell you the truth I honestly did not expect that the training to become a girl scout in San Jose would be so hard (our training is patterned after the Boy Scouts because of the teachings of late Sir Damazo). My two weeks was hell. It drained my physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My “proud” self, the self that feels “too important” finally realized how small I am, how I don’t know everything. We do it differently in scouting, it’s more than what they say as harsh, it was more on tough love. And that’s the reason why even at times, I try to tone it down, the main influence of my leadership journey will always go back to scouting. I learned that it doesn’t make sense to lead without doing it, to scold without actually complying, to react when you don’t even try. It didn’t stop there though. It became a landslide of extra-curricular activities, from handling the Publications, to leading the Recollect Augustinian Youth (voc jams are the bomb!), to getting whirled in the life of debate and other extra-curricular activities in school. Dubbed by most people as “stressed-girl” during high school, I just laughed it off because I wasn’t stressed, I just learned how love feels like. Don’t get me wrong, even if I handled a lot of organizations, my academics is not entirely polished! I remember crying in class because I can’t balance the sheets in accounting, I remember crying because for four consecutive times, I failed in my physics exam because I could not get the answer even if the formula is given. I was that student, too. I slept late because thesis happened and slept late preparing for org events. I cried a lot when I get stressed. I usually joked around and say that crying is good for my eyes because it’s cleansing. But eventually, my academics went and moved according to the flow and my organizations followed suit.

What I can say is that truly, I’m not just made to just sit in class. I’ve learned the very essential values in extra-curricular activities. I’ve been shout at by my mentors with lines that goes, “Apolinar, don’t give me problems. Give me solutions to your problems!” Or “Apolinar, everyone is dispensable. Just because you are the best doesn’t mean you can’t get replaced. So practice!” And my favorite line, “Humility, always.”

Looking back, I guess that’s how I got tough. Looking back, I couldn’t be anymore proud to my mentors and leaders way back. I owe to it to Tita Grace, , to Mommy Quat, to Miss Seville, to Ma’am Tomaroy, Kuya Melvin and among many others. Looking back, I owe my experience to them to who I am now, what I am now and where I am now.
I told myself that it would be pure stupidity to enter in org activities during college. Indeed, I was the funny one because during the first week of college, I remembered crying (okay guys, himi jud kaayo ko) because I don’t have anything to do and it was driving me insane! The best decision was to join orgs and it was truly the best decision.

I’d always have my Debate, JJD and SSC to thank for throughout my college life. For continuously molding me and challenging me to try to find ways to handle organizations. Trust me, it wasn’t easy! I was trained differently and I got slightly confused on how to adjust. On some cases, that wasn’t the case. I’m still the strict person who’d always nag about deadlines, cleanliness, being on time, and whatever I find at that moment. Debate though was another story! It was more of like finding a reason to stay, and I couldn’t be anymore prouder because in staying, I’ve learned the value of what it means to be in love. So as the council, I promised to never get involved when I will reach my fourth year in Uni because I would dedicate my last year studying and spending it with the friends and answering invitations of conferences in the country and even abroad. But it didn’t happen that way though. But I never regretted it because if I didn’t entered the council, I would never know the people who would become my earphones and shock absorbers. I’d always be thankful to the council for letting me learn and open up the soft side of myself (secretly haha).

I’ve maybe witnessed my growth. Maybe people who have been with me witnessed my growth. Whichever way.

I still remember doing my org list if I get bored at class and doing my acad list if I know that I might fail the subject.

I’ve had this idea that I’d only bring my homeworks to the house and leave org matters at school. Guess what? I’m not bringing both because the house is for sleeping and binge-watching series!

College was entirely different in terms of academics. The competition scene is there but it was mostly on how I manage to endure not sleeping early and making written works. Trust me, I feel like half of my college days was spent sleeping because I can’t think clearly when it comes to my academics. But the feeling to get a low grade because I didn’t study made me challenge myself more because I have this idea that if I studied, I would have gotten a better grade plus a different set of reward was waiting so I had to make an effort.

I guess it’s a matter of priorities and goal setting. I guess it’s always that. I still put my acads on top of my to-do-list and label my organizations according to importance. And though I skipped class because of my orgs, trust me, I cried on that, too! It will always be a burden for me to catch up, but I love the thrill and the excitement of both and I guess that I might suck at building my own studying habit (which I do recommend to have one!), I managed to suck it up and work my way.

The road wasn’t easy. This is where my family and friends comes in and I couldn’t be anymore than happier. I will never forget their nagging and pressures to live up being responsible! Indeed, it surely pays off.



I guess this is for the days that I didn’t go home, this is for the Sunday’s and the week that I’m away to some place debating, or fixing an event. This is for the idea that I’ve become a boarder in my parent’s house. This is for the days that I want to give up and quit. This is for the days that I recited the Desiderata for guidance and the Don’t Quit Poem for motivation. This is for the days that I said, “go on, Kimmy, try again. And this time try super hard! You are superwoman anyway. So suck it up and don’t cry ma ruin imong eyeliner.” This is for the days that I asked fro help from the people around me. This is for everyone who has been my inspiration.

So congrats, self! For slightly breaking the idea that just because your life revolves on your extra-curricular activities, you can’t excel academically.


With that, it’s your turn to defy some traditional lines and be a modern superhero 😉

 

Valete!

Posted in 2017, Adventure, Dreams, Experiences, Feelings, Graduating, Life, Strength, Truth, Uncategorized

Amazing AB-IS

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(below is the transcript of my speech during the tribute)

Dr. Glenn G. Pajares, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Our beloved professors, Dr. Angel Espiritu II, Mr. Allan Quinanola

Panel, IS Students, 4th years, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

The only thing that is constant in the world is change. The hands of time is not an exemption to this. Finally! The four years of (maybe) because I’m not sure; burning midnight candles (as if), cramming for an exam (true to some), doing homeworks at home (who are we kidding?) but mostly doing homeworks in school, writing (typing, copying and pasting not from Wikipedia because we know better) reading JSTOR.ORG. The four years of struggle, the happiness, the sadness, the moments that are in between in quest for tertiary education will finally be over soon.

For four years, I’ve listened to stories of why we chose the course. A few was because, “my parents picked it for me”, some was because “I have nowhere to go and the course sounds good”, others was because they like the course, but most was because they said “walang Math” but who are kidding? Math A palang daan na Business Math plus gi pun.an pa ug Math D na Statistics, wala juy Math diba? But amidst all reasons whether we did not start loving the course 100% for the first time, for the second time, or for the third, for the fourth, or even for the fifth time, we eventually invested and sometimes we fail for a few times and fell for it a hundred times over.

As you open the doors of our favorite classroom, favorite because mostly we spent all/ half our time there. 418A, 419A, 402 and don’t forget 321. You’ll see people from different walks of life, with different interests and personality and you begin to wonder how we come together? We just simply tolerate one another, no, I’m kidding, we, as the 5th Conflict Management Style notes: Collaborating for questions that need answers.

An anarchic form of government system is I’d describe the class for the first time, but eventually it’s just a mellow form to different states promoting their self-interest. In the case of Canada, headed by Prime Minister Renato “Arzel” Alondres III who makes the class lighter and less burdensome with his valid but laughable questions and answers and continues to fight for wanting to immigrate to Canada alongside with the energetic and best advisers Byl and Carl. The class will always burst into happiness. With Byl’s bestfriend in the name of Salve, Reginald who collects money from the class and spams your inbox which apparently is very useful especially to his archnemesis Clyde Castillo who for four years never failed to bully each one in the class and you learn to either ignore or fight back like the mean girls who wears pink on Wednesdays. Let’s hid their names as Sheen, Nic, Ada and Kim. On the other side of the mean girls table are the good girls who continues to make diplomatic notes despire the chaos that’s happening around. Jessa Aunzo, Cristel Dagaraga, Krystel Arabaca, Kim Allosada, Kate Segovia, Ciara Dinopol, Isabelle Oamilda, Marianne Yanson, Jessa Embalzado, and Joanna Villaraiz ,who trust me, are diplomatic note takers in the morning but k-popers at night which by the way, their lead singer is “Salve”. Diba revelations? On the other side of the coin, a very observant state comes into place with Rae, Shiela and Mairiz but don’t underestimate, they talk back when they are not pleased! Mary Grace, Queenie and Jasmine, the singing trio, you need people who’ll do your intermission number? Call them but convince them! With Ate Kim if ever you need clothes, Jemicha and Sheraleen if you need beauty products or tips, and Tara (who’ll graduate next sem with Kate). Oh, and don’t forget the American Politics book Fern warned Mona and Jen who loves to read books and who apparently are the people who finished a book in the entire four years stay. This class has been what they say, but to us, this class no matter what will always be something. From passing thesis, overcoming reports, from a shy individual to being confident. You name it!

They say that endings are beginning and that indeed is true. Endings also leaves a bittersweet memory for conversations for the future. Though we started as forty in class and some found their purpose in life, some graduated ahead of us, while others will follow suit. We will always be the Amazing AB-IS 1, 2, 3, and finally 4 as our secret group in Facebook says. As we go on with our lives, we’d always be thankful for our alma matter, our teachers, our classmates, the International Studies family for making our stay wonderful despite everything else. Ladies and Gentlemen, as the line of the song goes, with a little bit of twist, “We didn’t start the fire it was always burning since the worlds been turning, we didn’t start the fire but it will continue to burn and we when we leave we will always pay it forward.” Good Evening!

 

Valete!

Posted in Dreams, Experiences, Feelings, Intimacy, Life, Love, She Said, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls

Letters

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Captured: Nhi

Dear Past Self,

For pulling through all these years,

With puffy eyes because determination does not take no for an answer;
With runny nose for trying every opportunities that comes in your way;
With kind ears for every poems and songs that are slowly becoming a comfortable place;
With swollen lips that did not have enough water regime because you love to share your words and question beliefs;
With calloused hands that writes the most beautiful stories of passion and survival;
With bruised knees because running is the only solace that can release endorphins for a challenging day and you need all the energy to be happy;
With aching feet for walking and catching up with the people that mattered and will matter;
With a broken heart because you give pieces indirectly to the people you care;

You tried everything unconditionally, eventually you failed because along the way, some things don’t work out. You figured out that you’re also human and capable of feelings which you cannot standardize everyone else’s.

You’ve learn so much, and will learn so much. You kept friendships and lose some. You wallow for the losses but never give up on trying to build new ones. You will love plenty and lose plenty, yet continue to do it anyway because everything is a process which you still cannot comprehend.

Thank you for pulling through all these years with me. For the patience, for the knowledge, for the gift of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers.

 

Valete!

Posted in Dreams, Experiences, Intimacy, Life, She Said, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls

Kim’s Journal: Twenty Takes

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📷: Nhi

I have long accepted challenges that comes in my way, but this challenge is particularly different. Since I revamped my blog (not so long ago), what better way to get to know my thoughts, my fears, my likes, and my dislikes through a twenty-take challenge!

1. I am lactose intolerant. I know, it is sad! But there are days where I defy the odds and take on lactose products wishing the side-effects will not happen, but guess what? It doesn’t!
2. Though I am lactose intolerant, I really really really love ice cream! No fuss flavor, vanilla is my favorite! You can also hand me cookies and cream anytime of the day.
3. I am a rice eater. Take me at any food place as long as there is rice on the menu then I’m the happiest girl alive! When I go to places that rice is an option, I diligently look for it! I can finish up to six bowls to half-filled rice cooker, that if I’m very hungry. Most of the days two bowls is enough.
4. Did I mention I love to eat? Plus I love anything spicy! I feel that a meal won’t be complete if ever it’s not spicy 😁
5. I love books. I like to read books. I have read over 591 (and a half) books ranging from fiction to non-fiction. The huge chunk of reading happened way back high school years.
6. I am super talkative! I love to talk most of the time. I tried to keep my mouth shut in a crowd, but it only lasts for five minutes.
7. I love to travel! Though I wish I could have more time and money to do it.
8. My first solo trip in the country was way back 10 years ago (thank you parents!). Took my first solo trip going to Subic Bay for a camp…
9. While my first solo trip abroad was just recent. I went to Singapore to attend a Leaders Travel and Learning Camp. Though it wasn’t my first time there, I got worried if ever I can make it out! I got lost most of the time, but had the most amazing “me” time. I also was mistaken for a Chinese and a local!
10. I’m not a dessert kind of person. I have low tolerance for anything sweet, much more too sweet. I can’t basically finish a slice of chocolate cake!

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We’re halfway there!

11. I like to watch tv series. My favorite includes Castle, How to Get Away With Murder, How I Met Your Mother, Quantico, New Girl, NCIS and Scandal!
12. My curls came from a long process of not taking good care of my straight hair. So basically, it is natural! Do I miss my straight hair? Some days, but I love having my curls around as long as it doesn’t puff!
13. I like dressing up. The world is my runway anyway. I’m a mini-skirt-kind of girl. I have two pairs of pants just for the sake that I can get inside the University. I am not a fan of sneakers though, it does not look good on me.
14. I love my scarves! I love having them and pairing it up with an outfit. Gift ideas? A scarf would do!
15. My favorite subject while I was growing up was History. I like learning what happened in the past so that I can understand the present.
16. I believe that I shall not be contained in a classroom. Though I value knowledge, I cannot sit still in a class lecture that will last for even an hour! Imagine my attention span. But even if that’s the case, I still study to maintain my grade. I am mostly an extra-curricular kind of girl. You can find me running from one event to another, or running a council to juggling debate practices over the weekend. That and my events management business that I have with my high school friends plus my networking business (which today is inactive because of demands from the University).
17. I hoard notebooks and journals and to-do lists! I basically go gaga over those things.
18. I haven’t read Harry Potter. And yes, I will read it in the near future. I’m finding the particular time to buy the book set.
19. I do not like animals except a panda, a lion, and a dog! Apart from that, count me out.
20. You guessed it right! I don’t have anyone special (the romantic kind) never had one ever since birth. Yet, I make the best advice (my friends will debate with me on this one).

Valete!

Posted in Birthdays, Comfort, Dreams, Experiences, Feelings, Intimacy, Life, Love, Poem, She Said, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls

20th War

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Skin of a Warrior

You see scars around her body.
You see tears running from her eyes.
You see smiles from her lips.
You see a woman without fear, without doubts, without insecurities, without feelings.
You see her, but you do not really see her.
You see an illusion.
Your illusion of who she is supposed to be.
Yet she never corrects your illusion, because your illusion is what keeps her safe from prying eyes, is what keeps her asleep from the demanding world.

You’d never get past her scars.
Her scars that speaks of the battle she has fought.
You’d never get past her walls.
Her walls that was built so high because day by day the memories of the battles keep on flashing back.
If you do get pass, that means she loves you, and love (sadly) is something she cannot deal with because she has fears, she has doubts, she has insecurities, she gets hurt easily, and she is not strong enough.

Maybe, just maybe there would come a time she’d deal with it —. But she’s happy. If you ask her, she’ll say it truthfully and without hesitation.

I’m happy that she’s happy.

Hello 20th self, hope you’re happy wherever you are!

 

Valete!