Colleen @ 18

1 of #100HappyThings

06.04.2016

I was supposed to wait until she uploads the photos taken by the official photographer during her 18th birthday, but I guess I might not be able to move on with my #100HappyThings if I’d still wait for the photos. Haha. She turned 18 last June 5 but we decided to have the celeberation the night before. I wanted this to be the very first happy thing so I’ll just use the unofficial photos for my blog post. I’ll try to update this with a photo dump once she uploads the photos. Pardon the low quality images because I just downloaded them from Facebook.

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My sister, Colleen, is such a sweet girl. She attracts people to be her friends without even trying hard. I am proud of how talented and bright she has become, well, thanks to me as well, for being the “model elder sister”. Haha! Kidding aside, I love how close we are now despite the five-year gap. I love how we became best friends, together with our youngest sister, Celine.

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I didn’t celebrate a debut party when I turned 18, because I simply asked for a DSLR camera instead and volunteered for an outreach program for kids in a nearby community in Imus, Cavite. Parties aren’t for me. I guess I’m just not that type of person. When we were doing the preparations for my sister’s debut, I would admit that I wondered what it would’ve been if I had mine. I have no regrets though, because I guess I’m really that kind who’d rather eat on the side than project a smile for a long time. Hahaha. I. Just. Can’t.

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As the day came, seeing my sister so excited, happy and thankful all at the same time made me feel wonderful, knowing that I did take part in making the debut party a dream come true for my sister. I knew the celebration was the way she wanted it to be, and I couldn’t help but be that Proud Stage Ate. She had a mini-concert titled 18th C-mphony and the three of us, Colleen, Celine and I, even performed Flashlight by Jessie J as part of the mini-concert.

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I was so elated to see how she felt so special that day, and I guess that’s how it is when you’re the eldest. A dream come true for your siblings is a dream come true for you. Their pride is your pride. Their tears are your pain. Their happiness is your joy. You share with whatever they’re feeling, because you’re the next parent they actually have. There may be several times that I kinda curse (lol) being the eldest, but this is one of the moments when I couldn’t be thankful enough that I was born first than any of my two younger sisters. The feeling of how they look up to you and being a living example for them is incomparable.

By the way, here are few stolen shots taken by the official photographer. I really don’t have a decent solo photo that night. Lol.

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Hi Colleen! I hope you remember this night for the rest of your life. I love you, little sis. Ate will always be here for you no matter what.

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23rd

I’m really not in the mood to tell much stories right now, but hey, I turned 23 yesterday and I need to make an obligatory birthday post so here I am, squeezing in a quick and short one. 🙂

My Facebook timeline doesn’t allow wall posts aside from my own (set it that way, haha). I guess this made me realize who will really take time to send a message and greet you, or leave comments on your random posts just to make you feel they remembered you on your special day. Everything’s too publicized nowadays and people seem to show they care for the sake showing off and not for the sake of caring. I think closing my timeline for wall posts by others made me see those who really make even just a quick time to greet you.

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This was what surprised me when I got home. My younger sisters do this every year since around three years ago, in different parts of the house. I hope they never get tired of doing this because I will always look forward to this cute and sweet surprise.

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Yum, yum, yum! I received too much sweets yesterday! My officemates in Inquirer ordered a cake for me to blow yesterday afternoon. At home, we had a simple dinner with my family plus Nang and Tang (mom’s side) and I’ve had two more cakes (Chocolate Caramel and Chocolate Cheesecake) and my forever favorite, Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese. Here’s to a sweeter life ahead after 23 years! 🙂

My Mom also bought me a new dress but I’d rather not take a photo of it now so I can put up an #OOTD some time soon. 😉

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And… Here’s the special gift given by my Man. He knows how much I love writing and I have obsession with notebooks (whether I’m going to use them or not, haha) so here’s a vintage-type notebook that I just can’t help but fall in love with. He, too, is not fond of writing (generally) because of his [self-proclaimed] bad handwriting, but because he knows I love writing [and reading] letters, he wrote one for me (for the first time!!!) – and that’s highly appreciated, Babs.

You see, when you’re getting older (yay), you feel more appreciative of the thoughtfulness of the people around you rather than what you get materially (well, that’s for me). It’s pretty amazing how time seems to fly so fast when you try to look back.

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Thank you, Lord, for the 23 years of being beyond blessed and more than loved. I may have random rants and complaints sometimes, but as I come to think of it, I wouldn’t have my life in any other way! 🙂

 

P.S. I said I’m not in the mood to tell stories… But look. HAHA.

 

Happy, Free, Confused and Lonely in the Best Way

It’s a not-so-ordinary day even when I thought it was going to be one. I’m already sleepy but I really just want to make a birthday post so here I am. I just want to share with you how I felt so blessed and loved today. The past 22 years had been a roller coaster ride – ups and downs, happiness and pain, joy and heartbreaks… Until now I am still figuring things out. I do have plans, goals and dreams but I still have some questions inside my head that are still bound to be answered as time passes by. It’s been a good life so far, despite the icebergs [that I keep on breaking, haha]. GOD has given me so much to be thankful for every day, especially for the people in my life – past, present and future.

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I woke up to this sweet surprise from my two younger sisters. I do sleep in the Study Room these past few weeks but I opted to sleep in our room last night. Upon entering the Study Room this morning, I saw these on the study table and wall. They’re simply sweet, aren’t they? 🙂

Nang and Tang (my grandparents on Mom’s side) also came in the afternoon, Tang’s cousin and a same-aged auntie of mine with them. We had dinner at home, and I’m just so glad to have really felt so special today (unlike my birthday last year, haha).

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Mom and Dad bought me a present too! 🙂 It’s a really nice blouse (awakened my fashionista side) and I couldn’t wait to match it up. 😉

And today… I have received one of the best gifts ever.

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Note: My favorite color is blue.

Using his BARE HANDS and RAW TALENT, he made all these… My portrait and my “personal” dream catcher. These brought me to tears when I opened his gift tonight. They reflected so much love that I have always dreamed of having (so far, in my 22 years of existence). I just couldn’t help staring at them [with tears of joy and awe in my eyes]. Birthday wish? For everything to be FINE very, very SOON…because I really want to display the portrait and hang the dream catcher in our bedroom and proudly say that he MADE those things for me. (I suppose you kind of get the picture of the complexity of it all now. We’re really praying for the best.)

I feel so loved and blessed. Thank you, LORD, for the past 22 years. I wouldn’t have lived my life in any other way. Thanks for the lessons and memories. Thanks for the regrets and hopes. Cheers to more years of wonderful adventures and crazy experiences! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! 🙂

Bienvenido, Papa Francisco!

When Pope John Paul II came here in 1995, my Mom told me that we also had a close view of him; but I still had no idea what was happening back then. Twenty years later, here I am, savoring my very own experience of being able to see Pope Francis. I feel sooooo blessed. Indeed one of the best things ever! ❤

Photo from Google
Photo from Google

The sight of the Pope’s plane landing on the Philippines last January 15, Thursday, even if I was just watching the television, gave me chills. I even felt more excited because I knew that I’m gonna be seeing him in person soon.

My parents were blessed (I’m beginning to avoid the word lucky, the word blessed is better), to be able to get into the quad of Mall of Asia Arena last January 16, Friday. They got their tickets from the community they belong to, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP). As for me and my companions, we were along EDSA, waiting for Pope Francis to pass by. There we thousands of people who also wanted to see him, and if you have watched the television that time, perhaps you saw the crowd that was waiting to take even just a short sight of him.

Photo credit goes to a family friend who was inside the MOA Arena Quad for the Meeting with the Families
Photo credit goes to a family friend who was inside the MOA Arena Quad for the Meeting with the Families

The Pope Mobile was too fast so I wasn’t able to take a whole view of him the first time he passed by us. I am not tall enough to get a good view and I wasn’t in the front row. I felt sad because I just saw a portion of his white suit. We were on the left-hand of the road that time too, and Pope Francis was waving at the people at the right side. A lot of people had already left when Pope was already inside the MOA Arena for the Meeting with the Families. Since I wasn’t able to see him well that afternoon, I stayed where I was, now right behind the barricades, so that when Pope Francis gets to pass by in the evening after the program, I would then get a closer view of him.

I would like to extend my gratitude to the policemen because they allowed some of us to go over the barricades, for as long as we wouldn’t stand. It was fine with us – just a glimpse of Pope Francis would make us all so happy.

Pope Francis still rode the Pope Mobile from MOA Arena on his way back to the Apostolic Nunciature. We were all so excited to see him when we saw on the big screens outside the he was going to ride the Pope Mobile. We were all cheering his name and when the moment came, even though it was kind of fast, it seemed so miraculously amazing! I felt so blessed that I really cried! We may have waited for hours, but that close encounter with Pope Francis was definitely worth it. My tears of joy were unstoppable. The memory of Pope Francis’ smile as he waved on our direction will forever be in my memory. If I could just put it into picture, I would. ❤

Thank you sa malasakit, Papa Francisco! We love you! Thank you for being a symbol of our faith renewal. Thank you for making us feel God’s love through your words and actions. THANK YOU FOR YOUR MERCY AND COMPASSION!

I hope, someday, when I get to see you again, perhaps in Rome, I would then be able to kiss your ring, and hug you tight. GOD BLESS YOU, POPE FRANCIS! We will definitely pray for you!


I wasn’t able to take photos of Pope Francis but the memory of it all is enough.

Tired but happy feet... These feet walked a long road, stood and waited for Pope Francis!
Tired but happy feet… These feet walked a long road, stood and waited for Pope Francis!
The sun had set, but our faith haven't. And will not ever. :)
The sun had set, but our faith haven’t. And will not ever. 🙂
Selfie with these people while waiting for Lolo Kiko :)
Selfie with these people while waiting for Pope Francis 🙂
Sorry not sorry for this. Almost everyone was taking selfies!
Sorry not sorry for this. Almost everyone was taking selfies!
We waited until evening... And it was all worth it.
We waited until evening… And it was all worth it.

Pope Francis’ visit in the Philippines really means a lot. It was touching to see the leaders of different religions gather. It was wonderful to see the Filipinos unite. It was amazing to see the faithful cry, smile and pray in harmony. It was magical to see the gift of GOD’s love.

His mercy and compassion weren’t just words, because we all saw him act with mercy and compassion. Indeed, the People’s Pope.

Hasta que nos encontremos de nuevo, Papa Francisco! We are truly blessed! ❤


P.S. FAITH SHOULD NEVER BE A MOTION FOR DEBATE. Let us respect each other’s beliefs. Thank you.