There’s gotta be more to life.

My title is a part of the lyrics of the song “More to life” sang by Stacie Orrico. This blog site of mine is really about life. My life, people’s experiences in living life, their realizations about life. Anything to do with life.

Happiness is infinite. Have you ever wonder how wonderful the what-is-so-called Life is? No words can explain how lucky I am to feel and experience the beauty of life. I feel so fortunate to live in this world for more than 22 years and still counting. I’m looking forward in what life still has to offer to me. So excited in the new experiences I will have after every waking up, in seeing the beauty of God’s creations, as well as the love that I can give to the people around me and with the love that I will receive from them, I know there’s more to look forward to. More to aspire and more to achieve. To love, to smile, and to laugh, oh how nice they are!  I’m looking forward to the places I’ll visit, in falling in love, in stumbling to the path of the man that I’ll marry in the future, for the deep relationship that I’ll build with him. I’m excited on how and when I’ll meet my Mr. Right. Will there be a spark, a throbbing heartbeat, a long stare in each others eyes, a shy smile? Haha. Let’s see.

Not to forget in my list, I’m also looking forward on having my baby and being a mother in the future. (maybe after 5 years?) =)

Lord, thank you for the gift of LIFE. It’s wonderful!

Shattered dreams.

Here are some of my journal entries last week. The title is kinda bit exaggerated. I remembered that term when I was in our province years ago, and was reading my high school book in English. The title of the story I was reading was, “Broken dreams and empty promises”. The title is so beautiful, really eye-catching and very meaningful. It was a story of an OFW and how he encountered trials abroad that ruined all his dreams and promises for his family. And also in the song of Brian Mcknight entitled, “One last Cry”. I was singing some lines of that song, specifically, “My shattered dreams and broken heart, are mending on the shelf”. Last monday, when I felt so much disappointment, it was like my world fell apart, my dreams, and plans in the future. But as I’ve said, I only felt that sadness last week, and I’ve already moved on from that experience. It’s really a learning experience of mine that I will never forget. I’m exaggerating with this title, so please, don’t think that I’m depressed or what, this is what I felt last week. And it shows the reality that I am only human. I feel disappointment and hurt. But I am fine now. =)

August 22, 2011. Really really sad. Expectations weren’t meant. I’m so disappointed. And I really am. I’m sorry but I can’t control myself. I’m just sad with the turnout of things. I was already hoping last friday. No, wrong term. I was already expecting. And the saddest part of all is, if didn’t happen. And that’s exactly what happened to me this day early. It was like shattered dreams. I’m about to cry. My tears are starting to fall. It’s almost 99% closed sale, but that 1% has won. So my ice breaker sale won’t happen this month. Why am I hurting so bad? Maybe because I’m starting to love this job. I am so affected and it meant so much to me. On the other hand, it’s a good news. Meaning,I’m willing to fight for this job. Willing to invest my time, effort and feelings. Yes it brought so much disappointment in me, but I know, with that lost of sale, a new sale will come. A bigger sale. So I shouldn’t give up. I should not lose hope because everyday is a given chance from God for us to act and pursue what we really want to accomplish. Carry on Berna. You’ll reach all your goals and dreams in life. I am jokingly telling myself that I’ll stay in the company for 5 years and avail of their early retirement program given when an employee reaches his/her  5th year in the company. If that’s the case, at age 26, I could already retire, get married and have my own family. Just a thought from my wide imagination. But Berna, what happened today shouldn’t stop you from being fighter, an optimistic and an achiever. In God’s perfect time, you’ll have your ice breaker sale, and your branch, your bosses and the company will be proud of you. Sana nga. Well, I’ve been giving myself sensible advice. Yes! I will move on. I can overcome this. I’ll be better in product presentation. I’ll close a big big sale! I’ll qualify for Rome and Venice! That’s the spirit! Go “Burning Berna”! (That’s what my boss calls me. Burning with passion.)

August 23, 2011. Upon waking up, I said, “Good morning Jesus!” and smiled sincerely. Eventhough what happened yesterday still hurts a little bit, I am hoping for a good day at work just to cover up my disappointments yesterday. Jesus, thank you for still giving me hope, for still giving me positive outlook in everything I do. I know you’ll guide me in this endeavor.  Thank you and I love you Lord! -Berna.

Where’s my True North?

There is a big difference in me now. For the past months and weeks, I’ve been attending a lot of seminars, conferences, CLPs, dinner with friends, out of town travel,etc. I’ve been living and experiencing the “what-is-so-called-life”. I’m no longer a home-buddy. And I love it. I’m learning a lot. Those moments brought so much happiness in me. My life was okay before, but it became so much better this year. Last June 25, 2011, I attended a seminar with one of my friend. It’s entitled, “The Art of Being a Woman and other lost virtues”. It was a conference organized and sponsored by the Christ Commission Fellowship, a Christian church. The conference is not about religion but about being a single woman. So it’s open for all single ladies, regardless of religion. Some of the topics that were discussed are Purity, Modesty, Strong work ethics, Pursue Inner Beauty, Pursue Excellence.  There was a style show, makeover session, a talk show about what’s on a guy’s mind. In one topic, the speaker said that a person has to find his/her True North. What is True North? This is the area on a person’s life where he/she is good at. And we should spend 10,000 hours doing things we’re good at. I wondered that time, “Where is my True North?, Where am I good at?, What do I do best?”. I really don’t know.  But I know of a person who already knew where he’s good at. He’s not verbalizing that he likes this or that. But through actions it shows. He’s good in music. And he even shares it to others. And I know that the more you share your talent, the more you gain knowledge. It’s amazing that in the stage of his life right now, he was able to discern what he really wants to do and where he’s good at. Some people spent years and almost their entire lifetime knowing and finding where they should be. I’m on my early 20s. I’m already a young adult, and this stage is usually, the peak of mental and physical capabilities of one person. But this is also the time where the person is in search of who he/she really is. They say the biggest question of a man is, “Who am I?”. Pero ako, my biggest question is, “Bakit ganito?”. Each day I wake up, I’ve been finding out answers to some of my questions in mind, direct answers, indirect answers, and some, by reading between the lines. It’s true when they say, you wouldn’t know it, you wouldn’t understand it, until you live it. You wouldn’t know life unless you experience it yourself. LIFE is beautiful. And the mystery of what’s gonna happen in the future remains still. But let’s forget about the future. What’s important is the present because it will be the basis of our future. Deal with the present okay. I like the tag line in ETC channel 9, “Young and loving it”. I’ll enjoy being young. This is the time to fulfill my dreams. I have a lot of childhood dreams that’s still vividly in my mind. The course of my life may have taken a different path, but my ultimate dream has to happen. It has to happen regardless of finding or not finding my True North. It’s something special. My ultimate dream. =)

My Singkamas! Bow!

  Singkamas… A fruit or a vegetable? I don’t know. What’s the English word for it? I also do not know.   Why don’t I search it in google? I can’t. Cause I’m here at work. Google searching is not allowed. All I know is that eating singkamas is so refreshing, so thirst-quenching, especially if it’s chilled. All I care is that there should always be a singkamas in our fridge. After coming home from a stressful work or after eating a dissatisfied meal, a chilled singkamas always make my hour, and my day. There is a different kind of satisfaction I’m having. I just said, “Oh, this is life!”. Haha.

Haha. I wrote that at work. It’s when all of a sudden, I craved for Singkamas, when all of a sudden, I missed my Singkamas at home.

I’m just a simple person. I’m very vocal that I really do not want to be super wealthy, just enough. Hindi sobrang yaman, pero hindi rin naman hirap. In one seminar that I attended, the speaker pointed that the problem of being so well-off is that people become empty. We forgot to know our God, we lost time with our loved ones, and we failed to experience the true meaning of life. The return (wealth) is high but the risk is also high: the risk of being lost, the risk of a broken family, the risk of being overwhelmed with the material things and the luxuries of life and forgetting who we really are. And the last thing we know, everything was already damaged. But it doesn’t mean that I’ll become Juan Tamad or Juana Tamad and won’t persevere in life anymore. What I’m saying is, I’ll be cautious to balance my career life and my personal life. In a financial planning seminar that I attended several months ago, the speaker said, in the age of 50s to 60s, the biggest cliché of man is that he already has the money that he can use for luxuries, but the irony is, he no longer has the energy to enjoy life. With those words, I told myself that I don’t wanna reach a point in my life that I already have the money but not the energy to enjoy the fruits of my labor for many years. That I’ll forget how to live LIFE anymore. Oh no! No, no, no.

I can compare the life I want in the future with my favorite fruit/vegetable Singkamas. Singkamas is so native, sold cheap, but delicious. Simple but juicy. Not dry. The juice that’s coming out when you bite will be compared to my families’ love with one another. The more you bite the Singkamas, the more juice that will come out. The more you’ll hurt us, the more we will love one another, the stronger we’ll get, the tougher we will be.

According to Father Aranilla in The fight of your life workshop in MMC, we should ask God’s grace for us to be able to “Love fully, freely, faithfully and FRUITFULLY”. Good parting words.

Try Singkamas and you’ll love it! More Singkamas please!

***According to Google, the English for Singkamas is Mexican turnip. 🙂

Grace-filled healing

I don’t know how will I start this post. But let me write these words first, that “my heart is overwhelming with LOVE for God”. I cannot describe the feeling. It’s not that I’m laughing everytime, but it’s more of like having smiles in my heart. Tears of joy flowing from the eyes of people with wounded heart, from the people with broken soul, from the lost flock of sheep- those were the heartbreaking and at the same time touching moments I’ve seen in Metro Manila Conference of Singles for Christ. Until now, I cannot contain my happiness. Speechless. It’s one of the most memorable events of my life this 2011. The description of my calendar in this blog site is: 2011:my best year ever. Looks like it is and will be more in the coming days and in the remaining days of this year.

Right now, I cannot talk a lot about MMC, ’cause like what I wrote, I’m speechless. Still absorbing everything that had happened and everything I had realized last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (July 15-17, 2011). Is it possible to feel so gracious in life? Yes it is. Because Jesus is the stronghold of grace.

So many lessons I had learned. I remembered when I was listening in the radio a year ago, the topic is about LOVE. For years until I heard the talk in the radio, I cannot understand what people mean by saying “Love yourself first before you can love another”. I was wondering then, how can you say that a person is loving himself/herself and when a person is not loving himself/herself. One witty caller in the radio program explained that phrase. She said that when you love yourself, that love will outpour and that you can share it and give it to others. You cannot give what you do not have. You cannot give love if you do not have any love for yourself. Another illustration, when the boat is sinking and you want to save people, but you, at the very moment is also in danger. So the right thing to do is to save yourself first, then next, save others. ‘Cause how can you save others if you are not yet saved.

What’s the significance of the conversation in the radio program to MMC? It’s about healing the wounds in our heart. We’ve been in trials before or maybe experiencing trials now. There are emotional and psychological effects which we call, wounds of the heart. I realized that we have to face  our problems. We should not escape it because no matter how we try to forget, we won’t, ’cause in the first place, it is not healed. We, people tend to cover our problems, because we thought we can escape it through that way. But in reality, it’s a big misconception. If we will look back on it, the pain we felt from the time we had it, is the same, or worse, more painful now than before. We didn’t notice that the wound got infected and the scar got bigger and deeper. Actually, this is one of the workshop’s topic in MMC. I was not a participant in that workshop but I asked people what was it all about. Now I understand things. And so, I should start healing. I also want to support others heal, but how will I help them if I’m not yet healed? I have to be honest to myself that there are still some issues in myself that I have to resolve. I need to start working on it if I want to help others.

See… If not because of SFC, I wouldn’t be able to know and recognize all these. The SFC community is a grace from God. And with Him, I can now have a grace-filled life. I love you Lord.

Going back. Looking back.

When I was young, it was only in my imagination to see a sunset. It was all over our art class. My teacher would made us draw and paint beautiful scenery and the example always given was a view of a rice farm, with a sun smiling behind the twin mountains, together with fluffy clouds, wild birds, lush green trees, clear flowing river, a simple hut and abundant grass. I remembered last Christmas when I went home to our province in Entablado, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, the place I had spent 16 years of my life. I had a feeling of wanting to explore my hometown more. So I ride on my bike, alone, and brought my camera with me. There were lots of changes that I had noticed. The road was already cemented and there was already a health center in our barrio. Yehey! I was happy to see some developments in my simple barrio. When it comes to simplicity of the people’s lives, our barrio will be in the list. Some houses are made of nipa hut and I can still see farmers with their carabaos crossing the road. Some are going house to house to sell their freshly-picked vegetables. I had a stopover of my biking journey in front of the river. My attention was caught with the sunset occurring that time. I was amazed by the picturesque view. My eyes sparkled at the moment. I didn’t notice all these years that the picture of beautiful scenery in my imagination during my art class was almost similar to what was right in front of our house. I failed to appreciate these things when I was still living in the province. And now that I appreciated it, I will always look forward to the day that I can go home again and watch the sunrise and sunset right through my eyes. The beauty is unimaginable. I can now picture myself appreciating nature more than ever. So many memories of mine was relived. My childhood days. The most carefree days of my life.

*****

🙂

I don’t know. I’m just happy.

Last week, my officemate and I were laughing and talking of our favorite songs and she was teasing me of all, according to her, the “baduy” songs that I love to hear. Yes, I love OPM love songs, old or new, doesn’t matter, for as long as I felt its meaning. Then I said, “O sige na, lahat na ng “baduy” songs, themesong ko na”. And we both laughed. Then she said, “Wag ka mag alala, gusto ko din yung mga OPM songs like, yung sa The Company, Muntik na kitang minahal”. Then I told her I also like that song. I wondered, why it’s still not yet in my music player. That same day, at home, I downloaded the song. So, last weekend, aside from the worship songs that I’m trying to learn, I played it over and over. Even now, while writing this post. Haha! I must have been affected by the message of the song. Am I inlove? Haha! No… Not now. Secretly loving someone? Hmmm? Maybe yes, maybe no. Joke… I’m not!

Just recently, I was looking at “someone’s” picture, timing this song played, then I didn’t notice that I was staring at his photo for such a long time. There’s the feeling of adoration and admiration. Then a smile was painted at my face. 🙂 Enough of the fantasy and wake up in reality, I thought. It’s a nice feeling being inlove, or not really inlove, even infatuation or inspiration. Well, my status is neither of those. Liar! 🙂

Okay! I’m just happy with everything that’s been happening in my life. A major one is that I already reached this month, the production target I needed for my regularization at work. Glory to God! Indeed, patience is a virtue. Plus God. Little by little, things are starting to fall into the right places. One time, a brother in SFC told me, he’s not feeling alright. Then I asked him if he’s sick. He told me, no, it’s not about that, he feels sad and empty again.  I told him, “maybe you needed more time with God, you haven’t attended the CLP eversince you graduated”. It’s true when the speaker says that “Your real journey towards God starts after CLP”. After my graduation in CLP, I was not yet 100% alright spiritually, I was searching and yearning more of God. I was attending CLP every Sat., but I want more, and so why I am attending the Feast every Sunday even if I have no companion.

I’m wondering what changes happened inside of me so far. I should have asked the people I interact the most. But honestly, I’m joyful these past few months. I can now smile sincerely. Before,  I rarely smile, and if I smile, it’s like a broken smile, ’cause i was really sad and feeling empty before. I can’t find reasons to smile during those times. I can’t laugh hard. But now, seems like the other way around. I’m cheerful, inspired, joyous, optimistic, thankful and blessed. And I owe it all to God!

SMILE! 🙂 If we all, could just smile. Good night to everyone who’ll stumble at this post. 🙂

***By the way, here’s the lyrics of the song I just can’t get enough this past few days.

May sikreto akong sasabihin sa ‘yo
Mayroong nangyaring hindi mo alam
Ito’y isang lihim itinagong kay tagal
Muntik na kitang minahal
‘Di ko noon nakayang ipadama sa ‘yo
Ang nararamdaman ng pusong ito
At hanggang ngayon ay naaalala pa

Muntik na kitang minahal

REFRAIN:
Ngayon ay aaminin ko na
Na sana nga ay tayong dalawa
Bawat tanong mo’y iniwasan ko
Akala ang pag-ibig mo’y ‘di totoo
‘Di ko alam kung ano ang nangyari
Damdamin ko sa ‘yo’y hindi ko masabi
Hanggang ang puso mo’y mapagod
Sa paghihintay kay tagal
Saka ko lang naisip muntik na kitang minahal

‘Di ko noon nakayang ipadama sa ‘yo
Ang nararamdaman ng pusong ito
At hanggang ngayon ay naaalala pa
Muntik na kitang minahal

REFRAIN:
Ngayon ay aaminin ko na
Na sana nga’y tayong dalawa
Bawat tanong mo’y iniwasan ko
Akala ang pag-ibig mo’y ‘di totoo
‘Di ko alam kung ano ang nangyari
Damdamin ko sa ‘yo’y hindi ko nasabi
Hanggang ang puso mo’y mapagod
Sa paghihintay kay tagal
Saka ko lang naisip
Muntik na kitang minahal

Hanggang ang puso mo’y mapagod
Sa paghihintay kay tagal
Saka ko lang naisip
Muntik na kitang minahal

***I should sleep now. No more lates at work Bern. 🙂

Cebu trip: Day 2 and 3- Going South

On the second day of our Cebu trip, we went South. We’re supposed to do island hopping in Mactan Island on the second day but all of us thought that we’ll be able to explore Cebu more if we’ll go South. I was searching the web for other nice spots in Cebu, then I asked my friend if we could go and visit Kawasan Falls. And our Cebuano friend said that it was really nice in Kawasan, so at 7 am of June 4, we headed on South. We’re expecting more than 3 hours of travel from the city to Moalboal town. But it just took us two and a half hours. In everything that we do in life, it was really the journey that could strike us the most. And our 2 1/2 hours journey towards Moalboal was really a moment to cherish. I have come to love Cebu because of that. I’ve come to see the beauty of Cebu more. If the city is more of historical sites, buildings, hotels and churches, going South is more of nature. I do appreciate nature. And I enjoyed the sights of mountains, trees, grass, and most specially the white sand beaches with clear water. Cebu has everything a tourist could ask for. It has its city, historical spots, there are mountains, white sand beaches, beautiful falls. And the distance from one another is not that far. In just an hour or two, and maybe three, maximum of four, you’re already in a different place, in a different location, in a different horizon.


From left: Daffodil (Cebuano friend), Zai, CJ (Cebuano friend) and myself in front of the Kawasan falls

We spent overnight in a resort in Moalboal. Before sleeping, me and my friend had a long, nice talk. We placed a cloth in the sand, and lye there overlooking the stars and the ocean, if sitting. We talked about our lives, our work and our everyday experiences in the workplaces. It’s a kind of talk that we’re longing to have. I, myself, is wanting to express my thoughts about what’s going on in my life.

On our 3rd day, we woke up at 7 am to go back in the city to catch up for our flight back in Manila which is set to  be at 12.15pm. We arrived at NAIA at 1.30pm. Before separating ways, my friend and I dropped by in “Raku”, a Japanese restaurant on the 3rd floor of the airport, to eat, and we ordered their noodles. I love noodles kasi! Delicious! 🙂 The table in that restaurant has a funny but sensible statement. It says, “Share a table. Make a friend.”

I hope to go back in Cebu in the near future with the people I love. I want to tour them in the beautiful places that I was able see. Cebu is just a small province but I’ve come to love it. You will the see its beauty once you’ve been there. And one more thing, the people are nice. Cebuanos are nice. And the way they talk and speak Bisaya, they’re cute. I want to learn their language.  There are also other places to look forward to, such as the Bantayan Island in the  north and the Pagadian Island.

Hope to see more of you, Cebu, soon!!! 🙂

Cebu trip: Day 1- City tour

Weeks and days before the Cebu trip was really a struggle: struggle in asking permission to my mother and bosses at work that I’ll be going to Cebu for 3 days. (I would only be absent at work for a day because the two remaining days are Saturday and Sunday, no work.) I was waiting for the right time to ask permission to everyone. And yes, they allowed me to. I filed a one day leave from work. Me and one of my batchmate at work love to travel. We said before that we will travel and explore the places in the Philippines that we haven’t visited yet. And Cebu is one of those places. That’s why last March, we booked a flight to Cebu and the date we chose was June 3-5. Our airline was AirPhils. The cost of our 2 way ticket was Php3,142.00 inclusive of travel tax, terminal fee not yet included. The terminal fee is Php200 each for both NAIA and Mactan Airport. It was my first time to travel that far, I mean, to travel outside Luzon via airplane. That first airplane experience of mine is very memorable. I was nervous and anxious during the takeoff. Allow me to, it’s my first time ok! Our departure time in NAIA was 4:15am and we arrived in Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 5:10am.  Me and my friend was fetched in the airport by our Cebuano batchmate. That friend of ours volunteered to be our “tour guide”. From the airport, we first headed to Lapu Lapu Shrine. There was a huge monument of Lapu Lapu, the first Philippine hero.

Afterwards, we checked-in in our hotel “Fuente de Oro”. It was a newly built hotel, and the room rate is fairly reasonable. The cost of our hotel room is Php1,400, per night, bed for two, but with extra bed underneath. Since me and my friend were already in the airport as early as 12am of Friday, we had no sleep. We decided to sleep for 2 hours to make up for the lost sleep that night.

At 11am, we went to the IT Park. It’s like the little Ayala Ave., of Makati, in which there are buildings, call center offices, food parks and restaurants. We ate breakfast there. After eating, we went to Fort San Pedro. It’s the Cebu version of Intramuros in Manila. The place was full of historical memories dated on 1600s. Then we went to the historically famous Sto. Nino Church. We went inside and prayed. We were able to see the Sto. Nino from a distance. Afterwards, we proceeded to the part outside the church where you can light candles and ask for petitions. Magellan’s Cross was our next stop which was just a walking distance outside the church. There were many tourists taking pictures of the famous cross. This is what makes Cebu famous. When you hear Magellan’s Cross, people automatically say, Cebu!

At 1pm, we went to the Casa Verde restaurant for our lunch. We ordered their best seller, Brian’s ribs, it’s a steak, plus watermelon salad, calamares, and seafood carbonara. Delicious food but not that expensive.

After eating we went to Taboan, the place where you can buy baskets of Danggit, pusit and other dried fishes. I really like their pusit, it’s my favourite. After buying pasalubong, we went to Larsian barbeque house. We ate barbeque and “Puso”. Puso is the name of their rice, where rice is cooked inside the coconut leaf.

We were craving for a dessert and so we headed to La Marea. It’s a coffee shop. We ordered cappuccino, tea, and chose our dessert, I chose blueberry cake. It’s so delicious! Until now, I’m still craving for the blueberry cake in La Marea.

Then, we went to Marco Polo Hotel to fetch the areamate of my batchmate. We’re colleagues because we have the same work under one company. Marco Polo Hotel is really a nice hotel; we saw the lobby and waited in the pool area, it was very classy. It was lovely. Then we headed straight to the restaurant located on top of the mountain: Mr. A restaurant; the view is overlooking the whole Cebu City. It’s a beautiful restaurant. Like the restaurants we see in the Korean series overlooking the whole city with lots of light from the establishments. In there, we were able to see a nice view of Cebu, such as the famous hotels in the city: the Marco Polo Hotel, Imperial Place and Crown Regency Hotel. To all the adventure-seekers out there, there are exciting rides that you can try in Crown Regency Hotel. There is a Zipline, a Skywalk, and a Coaster Ride. We were supposed to try skywalk, but we ran out of time.

It was really a long day. We went back to our hotel tired but happy with what we’ve seen so far on our first day in Cebu. 🙂

I was hurt.

Something happened to me last Friday that added another impact in my life. It’s true that words can be so damaging. And heartbreaking. Hearing damaging words that time hurt me so much. I was controlling and preventing myself not to cry but the “words” said were really really really painful. My tears fell when I was riding the jeepney. I just can’t help it even if I was controlling my emotions. One passenger who was sitted beside was looking at me. I tried to act as if I have a cough and cold. If I could only prevent my tears from falling, I would. I wish the person who uttered those words know that he hurt me. At home before going to sleep, when I thought of what had happened, I burst into crying. I let myself release the hurt I was feeling that time.  I cried so hard.

In life, it’s really inevitable to meet people who’ll hurt you. But I know, I can overcome this. I wish I can forget this right away. I hope it won’t be deposited in the bank of memory that never forgets.

I am praying to God to help me forgive and and to take away the pain that person caused in my heart. I don’t wanna have grudges.