Living and Breathing Are Made Up Of Colors

sometimes, in the middle of a hectic life, you find that you’ve been holding your breath for a long time and that there is a need for you to just stop. to stop, let go and breathe back in the life you left behind.

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 it seems hard, after being enclosed in drab, gray walls for days on end, to turn your back and let some color back into your life but you have to. you don’t need those drab, gray walls forever. a little sunshine will always beg to be let in.

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 when the sun gets through the cobwebs that we wrapped around ourselves, we see through the broken glass how a kaleidoscope works. how when we shake and change what was still, it rearranges itself to become more beautiful. it is never the same because life is not made of particles that automatically arranges itself. life is unpredictable. life is colorful. life is magical.

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we traverse through this life to experience it and not merely to pass through. we’re not meant to be just plain creatures but we’re all made to become amazing. so we paint our lives with the  blue hues of the sea and the colorful laughter of our friends and family and we live it. we’re not born to become merely passengers and passersby but we’re born to become guides who tell tales of misadventures and successes through living and flying through failures and falls.

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we may fail sometimes but we learn to wash and cure ourselves with the sea and its calmness. the calmness in the surface that reassures there is a colorful world underneath that is teaming with life. we learn that life moves through vast oceans and that the currents bring us up and down but will never let us sink if we learn to float and continue to breathe.

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 at the end of it all, it is not about the fat paychecks we get and the success stories about promotions that get us through each day. rather, it is about how we go and settle for drab, gray walls for a time and always leave so we can boomerang to the colorful smiles and the laughter of our families and our friends, the appreciation of a dance, the losing of ones self in beautiful music and the appreciation of the chance to breathe again. it is about the longing for the dusk that turns into night that makes way for the dawn and another day to live .

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 so we cast our anchors away. we sail on through stormy paths and we find solace. we anchor on solid ground and there we find space. we breathe.

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we are not here to be just spectators or passersby. we were created become fragments that make up a wall of colorful stories. we are here to become stars that shine bright against a blanket of nothingness. we are here because we are all made to live. we are here because we are alive. and life is not bleak nor mundane. life is colorful. life is beautiful.

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photos by: danielle aballe

1)en route to singapore, 2)siquijor, siquijor, 3)wonder wheel, coney island, NY, 4)canso x, cansomoroy, balamban, 5)lazi church, siquijor, 6)sunset along tanon strait, 7)san juan, siquijor, 8)sunrise in sumilon bluewaters

Breather

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on some days, we just need to take a breather. a break from the usual everyday scene. a trip to a place far away enough to detach ourselves from the all-consuming city life.

Imagea long trip that starts at dawn and ends at dusk to a place where the sea is as aqua blue as you can imagine.

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throw in a handful of your closest friends for guaranteed laugh-trips, adventures and misadventures off beaten and tree-lined paths that are dark and scary in the dead  of the night. we all laughed off the scares, of course, albeit shaking hands and imaginations on overdrive. these friends are best gathered around a warm bonfire by the beach with a blanket of rarely seen stars above us and a bottle of rhum passed around. they break out into a dance around the fire at any given moment to ward off threatening dark clouds that brought in some rain. when the dance proves to be ineffective, there’s always the retreat to the veranda. no rain can stop our revelry.

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in the morning, you thought you’ll sleep in. no alarm wakes you up but you get up anyway. the sound of the morning waves and the breeze is beckoning you to wake up and bask in the sunshine. you cave in, of course, because it’s just too beautiful to resist.

ImageImageand who knows what treasures you find on the beach? a critter, a hermit crab, a bottle from a different drunken stupor? a shoe, perhaps!

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we went on the road for more surprises and views that took our breath away. like the three-tiered waterfalls and the huge balete tree that has seen a century’s worth of things. these are not your usual, everyday views in the concrete jungle. so we trudged along and exclaimed our “oohs and aahhs” and we consumed all this beauty until we were drunk with it.

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we took our time. you take all the time you have to take it all in. you remember the details. you freeze memories in still frames called photographs because, like everything else in this world, this getaway will soon end.

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 sadly, it seems that the best things end so swiftly. and just like that, the weekend was over. we packed our bags and said our goodbyes to the sea and the wonders of this little island. as the dusk was settling in, we battled feelings of staying one more day and convinced ourselves that priorities are more important.

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breathers happen to take us away from what consumes us. it restores our belief in the saying that life is beautiful. find delight in the simplest things for it is not grandeur that brings us true happiness but it is the things that set us free that makes our life journey worthwhile.

like all beautiful things, the weekend was over and like the best things in this life, the weekend was short but bittersweet. as the sea brought us back to the city, we brought with us too the promise of going back for another break. another breather.

location: siquijor island, philippines

Sailing On By

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i am sailing to discover
the wisdom of the world
i am sailing to feel
the winds of change behind me
i am sailing to drift off
though i never think that i am lost
i am sailing to get away
though i would always have the courage to go back
i am sailing to know
that safe harbor where i can roll up my sails
i am sailing to find
that harbor where someone is waiting for me
i am sailing to rest
a weary mind and a weary heart
in a space where i feel safe
that place where i find love
that harbor where my heart can rest
that heart where i am finally home

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Morning Dew

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how do you do it?
smooth and subtle
as young as the night
how do you do it?
morph and struggle
holding on tight
how do you do it?
grope and kiss
just as i might
how do you do it?
sleep and forget
dead as the night

how did i do it?
dressed and walked out
into the daylight
how did i do it?
drive and smoke
and just forget the night
how did i do it?
live and let live
without a hindsight
how did i do it?
forgive and forget
continue to be polite

how do we do it?
hold on and let go
without a fight
how do we do it?
walk out and carry on
like everything is all right
how do we do it?

I Should Just Say Yes To Drowning

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With everything that I’ve been through,
I should be okay with drowning.
But no.
I grope at the makeshift walls
that I built with my own cynicism
and I push it with my shoulders
just to make it stand firm.
But I should just let it go and say yes.
I should just say yes to drowning.
And believe in my denial
that you are the new, unfamiliar but lovely sea,
the sea that rushed through me
when I was unarmed and bare
I should just say yes to drowning
even if it’s not quite fair
I should just say yes to drowning
even if you’re not really there
I should just say yes to drowning
even if it’s just a one way path
I should just say yes to drowning
because when I start to drown,
I might just learn how to swim
or if the day is brighter than the others,
when the air smells like summer,
the leaves and the rain and of hope,
you might just come and save me.

I should just say yes to drowning.

AUG16|2012 – 1:30AM

what are you most afraid of?

last night, i chanced upon a blog and in one of her entries she wrote: “what am i most afraid of?” having read that question got me to thinking too about the things that i fear most. what am i most afraid of?

a lot of people are afraid of being alone and this fear comes in varying degrees. some are afraid in the simplest sense like going to the mall by themselves and others fear the deeper sense of it, like spending the rest of their lives without their beloved. for a minute there i got myself to thinking: do i have this fear? i have always been proud of my strength and my independence. i have no qualms about walking around and going out alone. i have always regarded these times as a time for myself where i can ponder about things and the world. so i don’t have that fear. but then i will have to admit that a lot of times, i have wished that i would have someone with me. a conversation goes so well with a cup of coffee and some cigarettes and it’s even better with a couple of beer bottles.

Island hopping and drinking is more fun with friends. hehe

so maybe i am comfortable now with this peace, this freedom and this single-blessedness and i do not fear being alone but i realize that i do fear something beyond that. i fear that i will lose that need and that longing to be with someone and that i will be content with just me, the world and maybe a couple of cats. maybe i am not afraid of being alone; at least not right now. but i am afraid of not being afraid of it… of growing out of this need to share forever with someone. i am afraid of growing cynical, cold and jaded.

but right now, i do have this longing to have someone to hold hands with, to spend endless nights with, to go on spur of the moment trips with and to just be happy with again. maybe now is not the right time for me. maybe God is not yet done fashioning that person to fit into all my broken parts. until then, i remain fearless in walking this world alone. i am happy for i have my friends and that is more than enough for me to go on.

waiting for the right one

One for every Tree – Stop the destruction of trees in Baguio City

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One for the Trees

An expansion that caused the indignation of many Filipinos, especially the residents of Baguio City. A move that didn’t have to happen if only those involved in the expansion had been more creative by coming up with an alternative plan to expand and co-exist with the trees at the same time. A move, that if pushed, can be the cause of regret in the future when climate change will take its toll and display its wrath.

A place like Baguio City is often times a refuge for city-dwellers to escape not only from the hustle and bustle of the city life but also from the smog, polluted air and the busy streets. These trees that created the character for Baguio City has been around for the longest time and has even earned the place its nickname – The City of Pines and to say that the destruction to make way for a larger concrete jungle is a senseless act is an understatement. If this expansion continues, Baguio will not only lose a vital part of its character; Baguio can become just as susceptible to the ugly things climate change can bring as the big, polluted city. A place that we once considered a refuge is slowly becoming just another barren space with a box-shaped building protruding from the edge of a mountain.

People do not go to Baguio to get photographed at SM. They go to Baguio to get photographed by the pine trees in awesome jackets and scarves. And no one will drive more than five hours just to see Baguio when SM happens.

The effects of climate change is slowly creeping its way up the corners of our Earth and even today, we are already experiencing the effects of man’s carelessness for the one Earth that we have. The damage done is already up in the levels where there is no turning back but it doesn’t mean that there is no time and no chance. We might not be able to turn things around but we CAN help make things better. For whatever good things we have left, let us keep them, for whatever it is that can cause harm, let us change our ways. These things will not stop climate change but it will help a lot in lessening the destructive effects it can bring. Trees and plants are vital. They absorb the carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen for us. If we destroy the trees in this world where carbon dioxide level is rising in an alarming rate, how can we avert the damage climate change brings?

Don’t tell me you’d choose to stay inside a shopping mall forever when that happens?

Stop the cutting of trees in Baguio City. Let us all be one for the trees.

My parents had their honeymoon in Baguio City and as a child, I loved looking at their pictures among the horses and the pines in sweaters and scarves and snazzy jackets. When you come to think of it, I might even be product of a cold night in Baguio City! It sounds so beautiful to say that 28 years ago, a happily married couple had walked hand in hand through the pines. To say that a lovely couple walked hand-in-hand through the brightly lit window displays, snuggling up to each other through the cold, cold airconditioning… Errr, it just doesn’t sound as romantic. so let us save the trees for you and me. =)

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Living in the moment

You must live in the present, launch yourself in every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

Henry David Thoreau

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Sometimes, we all get caught up in looking forward that we forget to take in the most important thing about living… Taking each moment to heart, committing it to memory. And one day, when we get tired of looking forward, we look back and we realize that all we have is a vague memory in black and white. Let us not waste life. Let us drench every single day in color so that at the end of the day we can bravely say, without any hesitations, that we have lived.

Cousins and Siblings are Love

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Your first true friends are your siblings and your cousins. As they say, blood is thicker than water. It is indeed and no matter what happens in this world and in this life, they will always be there. I love my siblings and I love my cousins. They may not be my bestest friends at all times but I know they will always be with me today, tomorrow and until forever.