22 In 2022

It’s been a long time since I’ve been alone with my thoughts. The past three years have been busy, and a lot has changed since the last time I let my hands write about my feelings.

It’s 2022, and yes, I’m turning 22.

I’m quite glad that I was born in the year 2000 because I can easily keep track of my age without having to do Math.

Aside from Math, there are lots of things I don’t exactly like in this world – in my life.

I hate that I have to survive another 22 years of life after crawling my way through battles, trying seasons, and miseries in the past 22 years.

I hate that I don’t have any idea what the next years will be like for me.

I hate that I haven’t been as wise as I am now when I was forced to face problems my younger self was so frightened to deal with.

I hate to think that using the excuse, “I’m too young for this,” won’t be as acceptable as it was years ago.

Time runs fast. One moment I was just a high school student whose only problem was, “Do I have enough savings to go to McDonald’s with my friends after class?”.

Now I pay bills, buy groceries, purchase furniture, pay tuition fees, and check out personal finds.

Am I ungrateful for this? No.

I’m honestly proud that I get to do these things before turning 22, but the privilege of being able to provide for myself and my family didn’t come easy.

When I was younger, I didn’t have the luxury of having more than 1 pair of school (black) shoes, 1 pair of rubber (PE) shoes, and 1 school bag.

My mom would scold me for wanting to have more than 1 piece of anything if I can still make do of what I have.

I never had any signature items. My mom would always take me with her to the public market every Thursday or Saturday to buy “groceries,” and if it’s my lucky day, maybe she’d buy me new stuff like clothes, sandals, toys, or any unnecessary thing I find along our trip in the market.

I slept in the same room and bed with my parents for 20 years because we couldn’t afford to buy a house or even lease an apartment that has two rooms.

I was always excited for Christmas and my birthday because those are the only two occasions when I get to have my OWN money, decide where I want to go, and how I want to spend the funds that I have.

Maybe this is why I love celebrating birthdays.

Maybe this is why I always look forward to the 4th day of March to the point when I’d get all of my work done days before my birthday so I can do anything I want on that special day.

I was always wondering why some people hate celebrating their birthdays when for me, it was the only day in the year when I’m special and my decisions are important.

As years passed by, my preference for celebration has changed.

I used to want to spend my special day with all of the people that I know. Hell, I even requested my parents to bring lunch meals to school for all of my classmates on my birthday when I was in 5th grade.

I used to want to go out with family and friends for a birthday dinner.

Now, I just want to be at peace.

I finally figured out what “being special” really feels like – being at peace with yourself.

I don’t mind spending my next birthdays alone.

I don’t mind not going to a fancy dinner with a lot of people.

I don’t mind not receiving gifts.

I just want to be at peace with myself.

This is a feeling I don’t have the luxury of having for the rest of the year when I have to attend my classes, report to work, write articles, and socialize with people.

I don’t feel at peace with myself even when it’s already past midnight and I’m lying on my bed, trying to rest after a long day of school and work.

I always felt bombarded with my thoughts, haunted by my past, and harassed by my worries

Now, after 22 years, I have finally realized what’s more important than life’s luxuries and people’s validation – it’s my peace.

And it’s the only birthday gift that matters to me this year.

I Need To Hate You

It’s not love. I don’t know how many times I have to convince myself that it’s not love. What I felt for you was not yet love. I have to believe that it was only a combination of infatuation, excitement, happiness, and favoritism. But it’s not love.

It would have been almost a year. We would have been running in circles for almost a year if I did not decide to finally end everything last week.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that it was going to work despite all of the visible red flags. I let my emotions take over. I let myself become too gracious and forgiving and accepting. I took you back and embraced all of you – together with your flaws, imperfections, and shortcomings. I embraced everything about you.

I was totally eager to make things work but fate had its way of pulling me away from what would have caused me more damage and scars.

I hated myself for being so gracious and forgiving. I hated myself for taking you back over and over and over again.

But you failed me each time.

You showed me and made me realize over and over again that taking you back was always a mistake.

You were so unfair to me.

None of my investments and sacrifices were reciprocated. I did not expect you to, but I at least anticipated some appreciation and gratitude, but you gave none.

For almost a year, I was no one to you but a person who was always willing to be taken for granted. It was as if I was raising both of my hands all those times to voluntarily wipe your tears and loneliness away, only to be completely ignored when all has become well again for you.

You came to me only for convenience, only for company, only for the good times. You only wanted the idea of having someone who would always be there for you – understanding, supporting, and comforting you when the need arises – but you were never willing to be that person for me.

You never wanted to be with me.

You never wanted to settle with me.

You never wanted this.

Now, I need to hate you, because that’s the only way for me to love myself again.

I need to hate you, because that’s the only way for me to forget all of the emotional scars and wounds you’ve caused me.

I need to hate you, because that’s the only way for me to convince myself that what I felt for you was not love.

I want to take the first step into healing.

I want to take my happiness and joy back.

I want to redeem my worth that I’ve lost along the way.

I want to remember how beautiful life is when I put myself first – when the person I am giving the most grace, forgiveness, and understanding is myself.

Your Moon in the Midst of the Night

There is something about the night that seems unsettling. There is something about darkness that is disturbing that it is likely to get associated with fear and ghosts and death.

But I guess, one of the things that make darkness fearsome is because it makes you blind for a moment. It causes you not to see anything, even hope. Darkness makes you unsteady, because you would not know what there is, or if there is anything that awaits at all, and being in the dark will make you stand there in silence, dumbfounded, helplessly waiting for what is about to happen next.

At the end of every day, when the night starts to creep in and take over the skies that once was filled with sunshine and brightness, suddenly darkness has come.

Not much people love the night. One reason is because it queues the end of another day where memories and laughters took place; where songs were once sang and stories were once told. The night signifies the end — end of a day where no currency can afford to bring back all the time that was lost and spent.

And many of us do not like endings.

However, on the other side of it all, we can see that the night is not all about darkness. There will still be people who are willing to become our stars — giving off light, even the faintest of it. But how about on nights when stars do not come out, you may ask. There will be your moon. That one person who stays in the midst of the darkness with you, even when all the other stars refuse to share their light.

The moon stays. It may come in different forms and shapes through different seasons, but there will always be your one moon who will never leave you standing alone in darkness. The moon may not be visible sometimes, but it is always there, maybe behind the clouds, but it will always look at you from afar, praying that it could be closer to you.

The night is not all about darkness. It is not all about endings. It is also a moment before a brand new day rises up.

The night is only a bunch of moments and hours before the hope of a new morning bursts.

One good thing about it is it gives you time to rest and lie down with the breeze of cool air rushing against you.

The night is an opportunity to pause and take a rest.

You may be in the middle of the night right now — lost in the hopelessness of darkness, but take a moment to look up, because that is where your moon is — shining a faint light that is a glimpse of a bright day that awaits where new songs can be sung, new stories can be told, and new memories can be made.

An End And A Beginning

Starting today, I’m not a teenager anymore.

Even when I was still young, I would always imagine how things would be when I get old; how I would do adult chores and deal with adult responsibilities, and how things would be so much different than when I was still “young”.

And now that I’ve reached the first year of entering the second decade of my life, I’ve figured it is not that big of a deal at all.

I still like receiving compliments from people telling me I look nice today or how my hair is neatly done.

I still get excited every Christmas and New Year’s Eve and whenever people would celebrate their birthdays with me.

I still get overwhelmed whenever people would randomly give me presents and other stuff.

I still like laughing with my friends, crying over dramatic movies, burping out loud, and choosing which outfit I would like to wear today.

I’m not a teenager anymore but I can still see a child whenever I look in the mirror.

I still see a vulnerable little human who constantly needs comfort during her lonesome moments; who gets a little bit sensitive whenever her buttons get pushed by people she least expects to get offended with; who dramatically isolates her self whenever she feels overwhelmed by loads of responsibilities and pressures of life.

Knowing that having “Eh bata pa kasi ako” as an excuse for my childishness has officially gone invalid today, I know I need to walk a few steps towards being the woman God intends me to be.

Dear, your teenage years have ended. But know that this end is only a beginning of great seasons that are about to come. Be affirmed that God has been so proud of who you have already become through all the years of pain and healing. He knows it was not an easy journey getting here, but keep in mind that He has always been with you in every step, in every struggle, in every triumph.

Continue walking on the path He has laid before you. No one will ever be more proud of you than Him, your only Audience. He has seen all your labors, investments, and hard work, and He is excited to see you rejoice in worship as you get to the end where a great reward is prepared for you.

He is honored in everything that you do.

His heart melts whenever He hears you sing a worship.

His face glows with joy whenever you talk to people about Him and your love for Him.

You did great in your past seasons, and I am in faith that you will be doing much better in the seasons to come.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalms 23:6

2019 Was Full Of These Things

No one will ever know where I am supposed to fit in all the things 2019 had for me. I got my hands full in so many seasons, but the best part was always their endings.

2019 was full of questions.

I grew up with a manner of always going for what was told of me simply because all I wanted was to obey, but this year taught me to become curious and to look for answers that will help me better understand why I do the things that I do.

I may not have all the answers to my questions yet, but as I continue to find clarity on things that were once left questionable, I get a clearer view on my direction and purpose.

2019 was full of beginnings.

It was a year where new friendships started. Some I figured would last a long time, while some were only meant to last for a season, but I am grateful for both.

It was also a year where new stories began. Some I still cannot figure out how to escape from yet, but I am working on it.

2019 was full of songs.

I am not good at telling my stories so I let other people tell them through their music instead.

I am grateful for all the people who introduced new artists and music to me; for the people who listened playlists with me on a midnight; and for the people who gave me reasons to love new songs because of the memories they remind me of about them.

2019 was full of a lot of things I lost count of. But I am now willing to drop all these things so I can catch on new ones this 2020.

I do not want to miss a world of new beginnings, new answers, and new songs this coming year only because I was not willing to let go of the ones I had last year.

This year, I will finally let go. I will finally step forward. I will finally embrace all the things a new year has for me — without a hold of yesterday’s hurt, pain, and doubt.

Here’s to new answers, new beginnings, and new songs!

Thanksgiving = Worship

Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. [John 9:38 NIV]

Thanksgiving is equal to celebrating God’s grace and favor. Yes, God has been generously gracious to us and He deserves our gratitude. But the real question here is, HOW DO WE EXPRESS THIS THANKSGIVING IN THE SIMPLEST AND MOST PERSONAL WAY? My answer? WORSHIP.

Worship is a spiritual activity.

When we worship in truth, we are doing something that is spiritual. It is beyond the realm of the soul — it delves deep into the realm of the spirit. It is the only eternal activity that goes beyond time, space, and even circumstance.

God is equal to The Spirit. Man also has spirit. The only way man is able to connect with God in worship is through the Holy Spirit.

Hence, worship involves God and man in the deepest engagement.

Also it is the highest level of privacy one can have.

When man is engaged with people, it is public. His desires and plans are known. However, his thoughts are still unknown to many.

When man is alone, it is privacy.

His wills and plans are not known to anyone.

Yet in the privacy of public surrounding, everything of him is still known to God. Therefore, in public or private, man cannot hide from God’s presence and his deepest thoughts are known to his spirit.

When he acknowledges this and, in the gentlest and faintest whisper of his spirit, calls out to God, the Holy Spirit begins the engagement of communion with God, thus translating even the thoughts of God which only He (Holy Spirit) has access to — all of this in absolute privacy between God and the worshiper (which still blows my mind away even until now 🤯).

Hence, no two people can ever have the same experience in worship.

God is seen differently by every worshiper.

To worship God in growing knowledge of His Word is also an encouragement. This means that the worshiper must spend enough time studying God’s Word and discovering new things by the Holy Spirit which make his worship experience better and which by itself is worship.

My point? There are numerous ways to give thanks to God for all He has done to us. But one of the best and most genuine acts of thanksgiving we can ever offer is worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.

What Does The Movie, Joker, Say About Mental Health Awareness?



The movie is undeniably hitting the top list of most talked-about movies this season. Aside from the character’s popularity and controversial persona, there have been reviews and feedbacks all throughout the internet, suggesting and discouraging a visit to the cinema for the movie. While everyone is busy talking about how Joaquin Phoenix has been reaching the viewers’ expectation, let us talk about what this movie says about mental health awareness.


At present, I am a psychology-major student, and I guess it is a factor why only ten minutes into the movie, I was already holding back my tears as I watch a different level of bullying being projected before my eyes. It broke my heart to realize that the things I just witnessed on the film are just few of the real scenarios that happen in real life at different intensities. I could sense the tension in the atmosphere as different “misfortunes” and adversities thwack Arthur (Joker) right on the ground, and the most painful thing about all these is that they were not only physical wounds, but also mental or emotional damages, which made him the villain he is now known for.


The tension and suspense never left the atmosphere inside the cinema until the movie rolled its credits, and the truth is I was really struggling to contain the tension and suspense inside my self until I got home and realized that everything I saw was only an illustration of the sad reality that it all happens somewhere right now; that someone, somewhere, is fighting a battle inside his head which he cannot tell anyone about because no one is available to listen.


Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger


We tend to despise the villains that pester our favorite superheroes in different movies, but the truth is we all know a villain we despise in our own real lives, and our default is to always see them as evil and conclude that they are just born that way — evil. And the sentence I just wrote led me to remember a quote from Carl Jung, a famous psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”.


For every evil and negativity that we see from people we despise and hate, there is always a story behind that no one is able to fully know and be aware of because no one cared to sit down and listen. If only people would take some moments to check on one another (even those who seem to be doing well), I am certain that the world will undeniably become a much better place to live in.


But the sad reality is it is not.


Stigma on mental illnesses is all over the place.

There is lack of mental health education on basic and higher schools.

People only care about physical health while their mental health tends to suffer without awareness because attention was not fully given.


Investment on one’s mental health is not a waste of time, energy, and money.

How we attend to each other’s mental well-being determines what kind of future our world will have.


Ask your self today, do you want to live in a future world where everyone is already past their sanity because no one cared to attend to them when they were younger?

Is that the kind of world you want to raise your children and build your family in?


Yes, the movie was dark and violently unsuitable to young audiences, but isn’t that how we would describe the present real world we live in — dark and violent?

But we all have the chance to be the light in this dark world. We can all be an epitome of hope to people who need it. Do not miss every opportunity to give hope to someone everyday.


Every word you choose to say matters.

Every statement you choose to declare may either bring life or cause death.

Every action, intentionally or unintentionally, gives an impact to people around us.


You have the power to influence.

You have the capacity to speak life.

You have the choice to bring change to this unruly and hurtful world.


Always choose to be kind.

In any situation, in any given moment — always choose to be kind.


Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The Small Things We Do

I cried while I was commuting on my way home; but I am certain they were tears of joy.

I was out today, volunteering for almost 15 hours. I went home with sore feet and all the other reasons to just lie down and have a good night’s sleep. I cried while I was commuting on my way home; but I am certain they were tears of joy.

I would usually stand on-stage only to sing and lead the worship, but today was not one of those days. Because today, God showed me a glimpse of the great work He is preparing me for.

Years ago, I never imagined my self spending my whole life inside the campus. I would always joke about being excited to go to school, but not to study. Today is August 4, 2019. It was three years ago (not exactly) when I started feeling the burden of getting involved into the lives of the students, but there was never a single moment I acknowledged that burden, nor even admitted that there was a burden at all. I would always shake off the thought of going into full-time campus ministry because, as obvious as I may have sounded earlier, I never wanted to spend the rest of my life inside the campus.

Aside from the fear of getting trapped inside the four corners of the school, I was afraid of how my parents might react when they realise that their only child, whom they sent into a private university for four long years, will not live on the line-of-business of her course. Instead, she will step out and walk on water by going into full-time ministry, completely depending only on the Lord’s grace and provision.

It was only a month ago when I realised I should stop running from the calling that God has been obviously impressing to me all these years…

It was only a month ago when I started fully acknowledging the burden that was actually planted inside my heart for a very long time. It was only a month ago when I realised I should stop running from the calling that God has been obviously impressing to me all these years when I spent my Fridays leading students into worship, when I spent several hours-a-week to meet students and do One2One and Victory Groups with those who are not even from my own campus.

All these years, the calling has always been here, sitting in my heart, waiting for the fire to be kindled.

On my way home, God took me back to all the times I denied the call; all the times I made up excuses; all the times I doubted His voice. But it was not condemning. He even conversed with me in a humorous way, “Ang dami-dami mo pang excuses noon, pero nasaan ka ngayon?”. And I realised, “Oo nga ‘no. Dito pa rin sa papunta sa calling Mo iyong bagsak ko”.

I still have a long way to go. I still have three more years before I finish my bachelor’s degree. I still have how many years to invest and minister in the marketplace before I answer His call to go full-time in the ministry. But today, I stand in awe as I see a glimpse of the great work He is charging me to go into. This is just a peek to greater measures of faith-building purposes He has been planning for me even before He formed me in my mother’s womb.

The waiting game is now on.

I do not mind spending a great part of my life discipling and investing in the next generation.

I do not mind going back to the campus even after spending how many years studying in it.

I do not mind surrendering my dream job of becoming a registered Psychologist, if it is for the sake of answering the calling of God in my life.

But waiting on the Lord does not mean sitting in passivity and plainly waiting for the right season to come. It means maximizing every season that comes before God’s go signal — doing His work even in the simplest things, and trusting that He knows what He is doing and when we are with Him, there is nothing to doubt and be afraid of.

The small things we do in our ministry today is God’s way of preparing us for greater things He will entrust to us in the future.

I cried while I was commuting on my way home; but I am certain they were tears of joy because now, even with sore feet and sleepy eyes, I am convinced that God has been carefully and beautifully orchestrating and planning how I will get into my finish line — His purpose, and all I have to do is obey and be patient.

In The Middle



I do not know where else I would be if Your grace did not come to my rescue. Maybe I wouldn’t be here, singing, jumping, and rejoicing. Maybe I am somewhere else; somewhere far from where You want me to be.


But I am here. I made it. I can hear Your affirmations on how I bravely soared through and endured all the hard times and troubles. I did not take the easy road. I literally walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and You walked with me through it. You did not just walk beside me, in fact, You held and even carried me.


And here I am, standing before You — with tears flowing down my cheeks; with sweat running down my neck in exhaustion of all the jumping and dancing and singing in worship; with hair all untidy from being sold-out in worshiping.


I do not mind.


I do not mind looking all worn-out and disheveled. Just thinking how You must have looked like on the hill where You paid my ransom, I do not mind looking all unkempt and desperate at Your feet where You allow me to worship and praise.


I have been singing for You for more than three great years now, yet I still feel dissatisfied because I know, deep in my heart, that none of these will compare to what You have done for me. Not even the loudest and most heart-felt song can ever equal to Your glory. And ultimately, all of these things — the singing and jumping in praise — are rubbish if You are not in it. They won’t even exist if You did not meet me right here in the middle.


I only started to feel alive while worshiping when I realized that it happens two-way — I, stirring an atmosphere of worship wherever I find my self singing; and You, meeting me there. All of our songs are worthless if You won’t come in the midst of it. Every time I sing, I reach out to get to the middle where You will surely meet me. I started avoiding performances, and began making sure that I give my all every time I stand before You to worship.


All of these songs fall short of what Your glory deserves, and I am humbled by the truth that this is all I can offer. This is all I can do to express my gratitude, love, and desperation for You.


I cannot think of anything else to do in order to somehow give back what is truly due to You. But realizing that You do not demand anything in exchange of all the things You have done makes me want to worship You even more.


I will never run out of reasons to sing, for each day You give me new things to rejoice about. To be honest, even without any reason, just remembering that You will surely meet me in the middle of my worship, I am driven to sing with all that I have; with all that I am.

Where It All Finally Ends

I am not her. She should have been the one telling you all these things. Too bad she cannot. But here, let me do something for her in moments she cannot do anything for herself anymore. I don’t know. Maybe she got tired of doing all the work — fighting, holding-on, hoping, and many other things you refused to do for and with her. But here — right here — is where it all finally ends.

Here is where her fight ends. She had been fighting for a long time. The battles she secretly fought with in order to keep you — she figured she would just fight them all by herself because she knew you were not ready to fight them with her yet. I heard you were still gaining strength for your own battles, and she understood. So she figured she had to fight all those battles alone and unprepared as well. But it did not matter for her, because she saw you worthy of all the pain and wounds she received. And today, she decided to start healing herself. She did not want to heal before because she hoped someone would do the healing for her, but she met no one who is willing to help her get through all the pain and replace them with joy and love. So she finally decided to stop poking the wounds, and just let them heal through time.

Here is where her holding-on ends. As much as she wanted to see where her endurance will take her, she just cannot hold-on any longer. Everything about her is just tired and worn-out. She held on for so long that she forgot about all the other things she needed to put first — her happiness, her heart, her security, herself. She got so fond of putting your happiness above all else, which caused her to give up her own. She did not mind holding-on to uncertainties and confusions, because she believed that it was all real and genuine. She listened to her heart which told her to keep on going despite her mind knowing the reality that it was all in vain. Today, she decided to let go. She decided to let go of all the what ifs and could have beens. She decided to set free all the emotions she kept to herself all this time. She finally found herself worthy of being let-out and proud about.

Here is where her hope ends. Letting go of something that has been pushing you to do things and keep on going must be one of the hardest things to do. Her hope was the only thing that made her wake up every morning, knowing that she is one day closer to the day you will get back to her. It was this hope that magically made her go through great lengths in order to get to you. But today, she decided to stop hoping, because this hope that encouraged her to love her life is also the very same hope that kept on disappointing her because she did not feel like there was still something to hope about.

Until now, she is still uncertain if she is ready to let it all go, but she figured she won’t ever know if she is all ready until she starts taking the first step into casting all her care into the wind.

She fought, held-on, and hoped for a long time. She realized it was all enough, not because you are no longer worthy and she does not love you anymore, but because she wants to break-away from all the pain she received upon holding-on to you even after you have already let go of her. Everyone knows that this is the kind of battle where both of you must be fighting together, and now she refuses to give up all her strength for a battle she will never win alone.

So today, she takes the bravest step she has ever done this year.

Here, right here, is where it all finally ends.

Photo from Richard Rosete

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