A Breath of Salt Water

San Juan, Batangas, Philippines, 2022

The sea has always served as a reminder to us that there are so much more that we have yet to discover in this planet. It has always made me wonder of what lies beyond those murky depths…

Scientifically, the vast expanse of salt water that surrounds the Earth is proof of other living things aside from us humans. So who are we to say that we are the only ones in the universe?
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Silhouettes of Tomorrow

San Juan, Batangas, Philippines, 2022

Here I capture both the different faces of the sea and hues of the sky. It is a glorious feeling, being able to witness such beauty and calmness — a testimony from the universe that even when everything around us may appear to be in shambles, there is always hope.

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“To Be Human is to Discuss”

What is the meaning of discussion? It originates from the Latin verb discutere, meaning to dash into pieces. Discussion is a word we’ve been hearing since we started going to school, yet do we really know the true process of discussion?

A lot of people are suffering from different forms of stress and anxiety. I’ve read and watched a lot of books and films that focuses on these mental issues; one of the things that I’ve noticed in every book and every film is that the person suffering from these issues find it hard to discuss their issues with other people — sometimes even with their therapists.

Being someone who overthinks a lot and easily gets stressed out, I know how hard it is to speak out one’s thoughts and tell people what’s really going on inside one’s head. Personally, one of the reasons why I find it hard to speak my mind is that I don’t want to be labeled as crazy or toxic. So I resorted to just keeping myself preoccupied with other things so I wouldn’t have to be alone with my own thoughts and deal with my anxiety.

So why are we so afraid of discussions, they say? Because the problem with a lot of people is that when someone opens a topic or tries to discuss something, most often than not, the discussion ends up in a full-blown argument. It’s mentally and physically draining, sometimes it even causes more stress, that’s why some of us just choose to keep our mouths shut.

For me, another is reason is that I’m the type of person who overthinks everything, sometimes I go back to a specific conversation or argument and end up spending all afternoon thinking that I should have said this or this instead of that. So to avoid having to spend countless hours dwelling on what I should have said or done, I just let all my feelings and thoughts bottle up inside me. 

During the past couple of months spent in the safety of my home, I’ve had a lot of time to rethink things and to try and give things a different perspective, I realized that to discuss has a deeper meaning into it. It’s something that is very crucial in our daily lives — it’s something we need to learn the process of doing, because without discussion, everything is in chaos.

The Social Media Effect

A decade ago, who would have thought that social media would take over our lives the way it does today?

It’s funny how we eat Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To be honest, for me, scrolling through my social media feeds used to be some kind of break from studying or working. “Used to” because recently, social media has been causing me stress and anxiety (and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this).

Which brings me to my next observation: I’ve seen discussions and arguments going around, saying how social media is such an evil invention. This got me thinking, “Is it really that bad?”

Personally, even though it has been causing me quite a lot of stress and anxiety, I still don’t think of social media as an “evil invention.” When social media was first introduced to us, its main purpose was to give us the opportunity to connect with relatives and friends who live quite a distance away.

What really makes social media platforms “evil” are its users — Us. As the years go by and as each social media platform improves, its users have also changed with it. In my observation, discussions turned into arguments, being friendly was confused as flirting, and sharing or posting achievements was misunderstood as boasting. So unfortunately, these changes are bad rather than good.

My point being is that no matter how many times Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter improves or changes their policies, if the users continue being as toxic as they are today, I do not see social media being a better place anytime soon.

Love in the Time of Corona

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In the past four weeks, the digital screens have taken over the world.

It was five weeks ago when the government enforced the community quarantine in my area, but to most of us, it already feels like a lifetime ago. Most of our usual activities like meetings, lunch dates, happy hours, and even play dates have been reduced through the digital screens.

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Our Common Ground: Hope

It is in situations like this that we find beauty in the things that we used to take for granted — in things that were once present and constant. The irony of it all is that we, human beings, become so used to our surroundings that we tend to fail at appreciating the beauty that behold us. This pandemic is a huge reminder that we should give importance to the little things in our life because everything could be taken away from us in one fell swoop.

This situation made me realize how much I miss Makati; its streets that are usually packed with cars, the sidewalks that are filled with people rushing to work, the coffee shops that have long lines, the malls that I was so used to roam around during lunch breaks with my boyfriend and a lot more.

But amidst this pandemic, I know that there is hope. A desperate feeling within our hearts — our hearts that are eager to do something, to go places, and to start anew. An invisible contract within our souls to start living a better life because it is never too late to start over.

Five Things I’ve Learned From My Manager:

  1. Take vacations. You don’t have to feel guilty for not reporting to work nor for leaving your teammates for a day or two.
  2. Take breaks. You can’t actually work for eight hours straight, take a break away from your computer from time to time.
  3. Save your energy. Save your energy for the more important things and stop stressing over something that you have no control over.
  4. Focus on quality. You don’t have to get everything done in a day. Focus on what you’re currently working on and make sure that the quality is good to go regardless if there will be someone available to review it or not.
  5. Give yourself credit. Don’t waste your time overthinking if you’ve disappointed someone or if you’ve done something wrong. Most of the time, you’re doing your best. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

I just feel like writing these down for future reference because they are not only relevant in terms of work, but it also applies to real life situations and instances.

What’s with Writing?

Day in and day out, all I do is write. A lot of people would ask me, “What is it with writing that you adore so much?” The truth is, I’ve tried and tried, but I could never come up with the perfect answer or explanation for that particular question because, really, it had me thinking, what is it with writing that I love so much?

When I am writing, the world seemed limitless and so were my words. Somehow, I feel like when I am in front of my laptop, my hands perfectly coordinate with my keyboard – as if the words flow naturally. It’s like inhaling life itself and penning them down to make every unexpected moment frozen in time.

Every composition is written with a trinket of my blood – siphoning every bit of my heart so I could come up with the perfect prose, the perfect article, the perfect letter – each article symbolizes a different battle scar. So when I write about love, I hope you know that each article took a lot of digging deep into the depths of my heart – every article took a piece of my heart to justify your presence in my midst.

Remember that pens are mightier than swords and each layer I peel out from myself to write about the magnificence of your existence in my life – how your scars are nothing but blemishes to a flawless exterior or how your stare felt like the sun touching my skin or how your smile can turn a stormy day into summer – I am slowly putting down my shield.

You see, every story I write is a moment of weakness; it’s as if I am letting you peek straight into my soul – as if I am slowly destroying the walls surrounding my heart – and slowly opening up to you and to the world before us.