March 04

Boarding the same elevator flight with the office crush, thinking you’ve hit jackpot, only to realize you’re holding a roll of tissue in one hand, and it’s too late to hide it because he’s already weirdly gazed upon it and you.

Perfect time to do a tissue run downstairs.
Perfect timing as always, Doreen. 😕



March 02

For the past few days, my Ate neighbor has been playing Yeng Constantino’s “Chinito”, day in and day out, on full blast, for everyone’s entertainment. The same darn song greets me as I wake in the morning, welcomes me home in the late afternoon, and on a couple of nights, lullabies me to sleep. While I am not a very big fan of Ate neighbor’s loud music playing, it weirdly does not annoy me, and in fact, to some extent, I’ve grown to be amused by it.

Ate neighbor’s probably in love. The thought of someone who’s in love is enough to leave a fleeting smile on your face, too. Ate neighbor’s state of possibly being in love is quite contagious, and this is coming from someone who just recently declared she does not believe in ‪#‎forever‬.

Funny how someone you haven’t met personally can have such an effect on you.

Then, there’s Other Ate.

Other Ate does not return my “good mornings”, nor does she smile back when I give my sweetest one. She has this pasted expression on her face that tells you something bad probably happened to her during her commute to work— eyebrows perched as one, wrinkled top of the nose, no eye contact, body language that shrieks, “Don’t talk to me!”, and an air of negativity around her. The ‘angry emoji’ sadly reminds me of her. Whatever Other Ate’s going through, it’s clearly reflected on her face and in her actions, hence, she drives people away.

I can relate to both Ate neighbor and Other Ate.

Like my Ate neighbor, I know how it is to be in love. I have told friends, again and again, how much I believe that falling in love is one of the best feelings in the world despite not believing in #forever. More than the feeling of being in love, though, I think what’s even more beautiful is how you infect other people with your positivity. It shows in what you say, what you do, what kind of decisions you make, what songs you listen to, basically, how you approach life and its obstacles — and it’s contagious.

But I also used to be like Other Ate — negative, bad vibes abound. And like other Ate, all the negativity was never really caused by any huge problem or issue. Okay, failed relationships could have caused it, but more than that I think, is just me dwelling on the negative more than all the positive things happening in my life. I can’t find the answers why I chose to do that, but I did realize I didn’t have to, so I stopped and turned things around.

It is oftentimes difficult to psych yourself into focusing all your energy on good things especially when things aren’t always as rosy. What helps me cope though is to accept that things won’t always go my way, and that it’s fine even if they don’t. I continue to learn to pick myself up when I fall. I have begun to laugh off and learn from my mistakes. I surround myself with people who are supportive and understanding, and in turn, I try my best to understand and be compassionate of people who might be going through something I know nothing of.

And sometimes, all it takes is to encounter that one person, a stranger or not, who will turn your perspective around for you; that one person, who may be unmindfully and unintentionally, infects you with her/his own happiness…just like how Ate neighbor has infected me with hers.

We all have a bit of Ate neighbor and Other Ate in us. Most often though and unfortunately, we touch base with the latter more than the former. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but just don’t stay there too long. Keep choosing the positive; keep looking at the brighter side of things; And without you even realizing it, you’ve already bid the Other Ate in you good bye, and you’re already an Ate neighbor to someone who badly needs her.

Join me in my LSS, will you? 🙂


February 25


I was eight years old when the actual ‘bloodless revolution’ happened; too young to fully-understand what it was all about. But my family, particularly my grandfather and my parents, made sure my brothers and I knew and understood everything as we grew older.

My dad worked for Senator Ninoy Aquino, Jr., while two of my uncles were student activists during the time of Martial Law. To say that my family lived in fear at that time is an understatement.

My war veteran grandfather had every souvenir picture and signed book of Sen. Aquino, an illustration depicting activism made by my uncle, destroyed and burned because anyone_ANYONE who expressed any dissatisfaction of the Marcos dictatorship was ‘taken’ even from the supposed comfort of home, never to return again. Family activist friends had to resort to years of ‘fleeing‘, ‘hiding‘, all because they openly fought to have freedom back.

Back then, no one can express his support to anyone who was against the Marcoses; no one can listen, read, watch anything that wasn’t about the Marcoses; the military can just ‘pick up’ anyone it felt was a threat to the Marcoses. Fear — that was what’s most evident.

Then came 1986.

It was a time when Filipinos finally had the courage to save themselves. A time no Filipino should forget. Never forget the oppression. Never forget the fight.

I believe in gratefulness. I believe in giving back. And even when it is not being sought, I believe in forgiveness. But there are particular times, those that one should learn from, when one should not forget — Martial Rule and Edsa Revolt — very much included.

I was taught (and I will forever hold onto this) that if I so enjoy exercising this amount of freedom, it is but right to educate myself as to how countless men and women fought and gave up their lives for this moment; it is but right to make an educated stand as to what kind of government I wish for my country if only to make Edsa Revolution matter. ‪


#‎NeverAgain‬ ‪#‎NeverForget‬ ‪#‎Edsa30‬

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Pacman?

February 20

I had the same topic of conversation with a former student and a cab driver earlier. You guessed it right. ‘Twas about Pacquiao. At one point my former student asked, “Cher, do you hate Pacquiao?”

First of all, I find ‘hate’ too strong a word. Let’s not use ‘hate’. I know of no religion that teaches to hate on people and persecute those who have different beliefs than others. No, I do not hate Pacquiao.

I found it very odd that he was able to get into, play, and coach in the PBA, but I do not hate Pacquiao. I do not support his or his wife’s decision to enter politics, but I do not hate Pacquiao. I do not agree with most of his views and the words he uses, but I do not hate Pacquiao.

For one thing, anyone who makes a stand and sticks by it, even if there’s a lot at stake, to some extent, is commendable. It takes a lot of courage to do so, particularly for someone like Pacquiao, who is running for a higher public office. Such an unpopular stand could actually cost him numerous support and eventual votes; he stood by his faith anyway.

Indeed, everyone is entitled to his opinion and beliefs. In the same essence, no one is spared from criticisms. Pacquiao made a stand; just like the Fil-Am guy who petitioned for Nike to remove Pacman from its roster; just like Nike eventually dropping Pacman; just like personalities like Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda, though just in reaction to Pacman’s statements, have also made a stand.

Pacquiao is a public figure. From his first win as an athlete, he has become a public figure. Public figures, more than anyone, have a greater responsibilty to choose their words, their views, and their actions. If Pacquiao chooses to go against same-sex marriage, then let him be. What he should have considered though and thought of very carefully, in my humble opinion, is how he should defend that stand, his views, in a more studied, and more respectful and responsible manner. I just expected that someone, who is seeking higher office, should have a considerable level of maturity and wisdom. Or maybe that’s just me.

I cheered for Pacquiao in most of his fights. Truly, he has brought so much joy and pride, and I am thankful for that temporary high. However, I humbly disagree that the nation owes him for that. We owe the SAF 44, yes. We owe the countless men and women who put their lives on the line, the countless men and women who dedicate their lives to service, yes. But Pacquiao or any other celebrity? No.

Pacquiao is an athlete, by profession, as a way of earning and living. He did not, and does not fight solely for the country’s pride. If anything, I feel he owes his constituents. When he became a congressman, he swore, on a Bible no less, to uphold his duties and responsibilities, and fulfill his obligations. What we, as voters, need to reflect on is if Pacquiao was able to do that, and more. His career and achievements as an athlete is separate from his accomplishments (or lack thereof) as a public servant, and therefore, should not be the sole basis to consider voting for him.

So much has been said about Pacquiao particularly on this issue/controversy he is involved in, and maybe my opinion, or another post about it would not really matter. But to answer my former student and manong cab driver’s question…

No, I do not hate Pacquiao.
Yes, I will still cheer him on if he continues to fight in the ring.
But no, I will not vote for him.

Cab Talks

February 15

I had quite the interesting cab ride this morning. While stuck at a VERY early Monday traffic along Elliptical Road, manong cab driver and I conversed about the weekend traffic on Edsa, the country’s state, traffic aides and their superhero-like stance on the streets (think Superman’s fists on his hips pose), a nearby road mishap, Makati, Quezon City, me asking Boy Abunda questions (this made me smile because he claimed it amused him), and the presidential candidates. Yes, we hopped from one topic to another like pink bunnies in a meadow, and yes, traffic was that terrible.

On presidential candidates, manong cab driver gave what would probably be my quotable quote of the week. He said, “Choosing an un-corrupt politician is like choosing a virgin among prostitutes.”

Arguably not the best words or comparison to use, and I don’t necessarily agree with you, but nonetheless, point taken, manong cab driver. Point taken.

#Halalan2016 #PresidentialElections2016 #PiliPinas2016

Everyday Valentine’s Day

February 14

“Once you lick the icing off a cupcake, it becomes a muffin.”

For me, love is something like the cupcake/muffin; with or without the ‘icing’, it’s there. No need for special trimmings and extravagant presentations. It is, by itself, constant and more than enough.

So, with or without that extra dollop of icing, whether or not it makes sense, be the cupcake or the muffin (whichever you prefer). Love yourself, be more accepting, more patient, and more understanding.

Then spread the love that’s within you. ❤❤