Full Circle

Can’t change what’s been done
Can’t change what’s been said
This is me, for what I am.

No longer living in the past, no longer wanting to remind myself of what’s been
No longer dwelling on mistakes, oh so many.

Here’s me. Living in the now. Present, as present, can be.
What was once broken, has now become whole.

Dagger looks, pride that ravages your soul – Love, you’re stuck I can see. You’ve got much to learn.
Discipline will be hard. Tough love will come full circle for you, and when that day comes, remember it is love that clings me to you.

For now, I pray that He leads you through this journey.
For the things we have done or failed to do, love has come full circle for me too.

Crowns and Cows

Women who try so hard to earn their place through showing loyalty and working for free… Oftentimes, having to return sexual favors, co-habit or earn a man’s trust before he will actually marry her. Or sometimes, in the work place, to render more hours or wear numerous hats just because she can…

As a woman, one can bring so much to the table: the strength of her feminity, interpersonal skills and eye for detail are just some of what she can contribute, an educated and enterprising woman, more so! The skill set, years of experience and the value of their network is something most women take for granted.

I would have to agree to some some associates who brazenly stated: “Why pay for the cow if I get the milk for free?”

Harsh, yes. But there is truth to that statement.

Women get to be marginalized, their values compromised because they conciously choose to. They let these things happen because inately are desperate for approval, friendship, commitment, loyalty, and yes, the all enduring word…love.

There is this agony to make a significance in her work, the life of her partner, children… so that in the end, she won’t be shelved/discarded/abandoned because her worth and value have been proven, established…

All at a painful price: Her youth, her beauty, her years, her life. She is destined to live her life centered around her partner, her children, her work…because without them, she’s non-existent. Worthless. Invisible.

Notice that there are more and more women who find holding the “Busy badge” as some sort of trophy, or in this case, validation for saying: “I’m such a busy wife/mother/professional/business owner/etc… all of this, is all me. Finally, I am worth while.”

Busy doesn’t necessarily equate to productive nor significant.

“Busy” also begs the question: Where do you find your worth? Do you find your self-worth in the temporary? You can be doing multiple things all at the same time, you can be productive, sure. Hats off to you. But what if all of these are gone? What if you lost your work, heaven forbid, your spouse, children, family? What would you have as a woman? When all of these things gone, does your identity go with it?

Nothing is farther from the truth.

A woman doesn’t have to compromise who she is. She doesn’t have to replace her identity with the identity of her profession or relationships. She doesn’t have to “strive”. A woman was created by our Loving Father to “just be”. His grand design is for her to be the “crown”. Woman is His beauty incarnate. Diamonds need not force its beauty to someone who can’t see it.

The same principle applies to male-female relationships. A good man would be the one to do the pursuing. Allow him to ‘man up’ to the role. Just be. Unfortunately today, that role is reversed at very unhealthy consequences.

He will compromise your values, use you sexually/physically, emotionally/psychologically, (even financially…lucky guy!) and, as an afterthought, would probably marry you because, like a good girl, you’ve “earned it” (and besides, he needs someone who can look after him/his business/his children/his interests, his, his, his, his…etc. long after he’s gone. You’ve done it for free from the beginning, why should he start paying now? Insert cow reference here.)

The woman was his investment. He knows this. She just didn’t get full price for her “investment value”.

Can he be blamed? Not at all. Everything boils down to the woman.

In this world, a woman needs to earn her place, may it be a corporate title, or a place in a relationship. And even if she earned it, she still has to constantly prove she’s worth all that she’s striven for. She isn’t supposed to be pursued. She is commodity. Replaceable. Disposable.

So much for the grand design.

To Forgive is to Give

As the saying goes, we cannot choose our family.

Loving and giving are Christmas components. Although we say that everyday should be Christmas, it is never easy to be loving and giving especially to individuals who continue to push the wrong buttons, rub us the wrong way or have a whole different value system compared to ours.

But sometimes, we fail to realize that if they are a work in progress, so are we! It is really a (physical) conscious effort on our end to embrace diversity, and be loving (and forgiving) particularly to people we don’t see eye to eye with.

To fore-give is to give grace ahead of time and grace undeserved, hence forgiving is giving: forgiving a parent, forgiving a sibling, forgiving a spouse, forgiving a friend, and even the grace of forgiving one’s self.

We may not have the ability of choosing our parents, family or present circumstances, but we have the ability of choosing forgiveness either of past pain or of future hurts, simply because we value the person more. Despite the many flaws of the relationship, we value the hidden heart of the person.

This may be the last Christmas I will be spending with my grandmother before I loose her completely to Alzheimer’s disease but I am thankful that I got to see her in her prime and had the opportunity to see the person she has become: a gentle, kind and happy soul who has never failed to smile at life’s setbacks while embracing with open arms her severely flawed children and grandchildren. The ability to fore-give and be gentle is courage in itself. My grandmother is the warrior woman personified.

As we hold our breaths in anticipation and celebrate another Christmas with ‘strangers’ we can barely stand, it is the mere act of forgiveness that makes us ‘family’.

Thank you Grammy for teaching me this not through words, but through your life.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

30 years and counting

When you turn 30, you’re supposed to act your age. Like what the rest of society is expected from a full grown person who’s supposed to be on their own, most likely married by now and popping babies, left and right.

But I don’t have a husband and I am carefully thinking where I can buy a customized one. Plus, I still have to decide whether I would like to go through the excruciatingly, painful process of child birth. (RANDOM THOUGHT ~ In this day and age of advanced medicine, there must be a way to keep the birth pains down a notch either by a new pill, procedure, conditioning, etc. It’s the 21st century after all, we should have something by now, right?)

Believe me, 30 years was a work in progress. I’m just relieved I even managed to get this far!?

Deep down, I have always been a kid at heart. Case in point, I came up with two very substantial examples: Adventure Time and fast food. 😉

Growing up on Disney movies, it was a no-brainer that I would love cartoons. I’ve sang with my nieces to the tune of Elsa’s Let it Go so many times already it’s sickening. Then there’s my infatuation with Wall-E, how convenient it would be to have a robot for a pet especially one who can do my house chores, and to have Alladin’s Genie as your best friend. Awesome right?

Lately, I’ve been hooked on Adventure Time. When I’m off the computer, I tune in to that show. I’m not plugging the show in any way, but don’t you just find the characters amusing? I am particularly fond of Lumpy Space Princess (LSP), who can be an annoying drama queen, is very self-centered and at times, arrogant but who you can’t help but love thanks to her saving grace of sassiness, sweetness, loyalty, intuitiveness and resourcefulness that, most often than not, gets her out of the most ridiculous situations.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out Lumpy Space Princess here –

[NOTE: Adventure Time is a PG rated cartoon. There are parts of the program that need parental supervision and guidance. Parents, you have been warned.]

And also, this comes as no surprise to most of you, I’m not much of a cook. The irony is that I come from a family that are fantastic cooks! Both my parents (and brother) cook. My grandmother on my father’s side is also a great one. She’s Visaya and all manner of home entertaining, she has down to a tee. While on my mother’s side (all Kapampangan), every single person in that family knows their way around the kitchen. During dinner, I would sometimes think, maybe the “cooking gene” skipped a generation — and guess who the lucky tadpole was?

You maybe good at the computer, but your useless in the kitchen” my mom would sigh.

But I am an appreciative audience. Really. I don’t nitpick on food. I eat whatever’s served. Yup, I’m a good tadpole in that sense. 😉

The idea of food has always had a more practical use for me: it’s only good when I’m hungry.

Don’t tell anyone this, but I can live on fast food alone. Ssssh…Although, I do have my (never ending) goals to eat healthy and live a clean lifestyle.

If it weren’t for my family’s cooking, I’d probably be skin and bones. (So a big thanks to my family for keeping me alive! Yey!)

Despite my work as a journalist for a number of publications, being a content provider and social media specialist for some respected companies while running a modest start-up on the side, I can’t help but think — How did I get so lucky?

Truth be told, I would have to give the appreciation to the individuals who’s confidence in my capabilities and skills, to those whose lives I’ve been able to observe whether in their home, at work, with family or otherwise, have all been a cumulative source of inspiration.

For sharing your life with me, for showing me how it is be kind, how it is to share, to not take oneself too seriously, to constantly place a high premium on competence and integrity while reminding me to keep both feet firmly planted on solid ground. I dedicate this post to you. Thank you.

You have been an inspiration to me and I hope I could be the same with people I come in contact with for the remainder of my days. I hope that by the time I write on my 60th birthday, on this very same website, 30 years from now, I’ll be able to look back and reminisce what a privilege my life has been.

There is this verse that is very close to my heart which I also try to live every single day “He has told you oh man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)

Thank you for being a part of my 30 years. Happy birthday to me.

Old Lady Signing Off,

Paula

My Transformation (err, mutation?) through the years…

Potential hell-raiser right there...

Potential hell-raiser right there…

Serious kid. Nah!

Serious kid. Nah!

I was 5 years old then.

Cheeky 5 year old.

At 5 years old.

At 5 years old.

In gradeschool, I think.

In gradeschool, I think.

IMG_20141019_100935

My hair. Bow.

With some of my fabulous looking cousins during Anne's 18th

With some of my fabulous looking cousins during Anne’s 18th

During the 2014 Mining Conference at Sofitel. Working very hard as you can see.

During the 2014 Mining Conference at Sofitel. Working very hard as you can see.

During my trip to check out one of the mine sites in Palawan. Met with one of the tribes people.

During my trip to check out one of the mine sites in Palawan. Met with one of the tribes people.

Grabbing dinner after the 2013 Mining Philippines coverage

Grabbing dinner after the 2013 Mining Philippines coverage

During an art exhibit hosted by Dennis Smith with former first lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos

During an art exhibit hosted by Dennis Smith with former first lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos

My interview with Filipino artist BenCab.

My interview with Filipino artist BenCab.

My interview with Renewable Energy Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy.

My interview with Renewable Energy Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy.

My College Graduation.

My College Graduation.

MPAT

My Official Correspondent Picture. Sheesh.

Beautiful in His Eyes – A Happy Panda Shares Her Story

Do you still remember the entry I did on How to Heal a Broken Heart?

Well, guess what? The people I dedicated that entry to are doing well and are on their way to recovery. All through His Grace.

It’s amazing what happened that day. You’ll never really know how He works but He does indeed change lives. He offers the gift of love: A love that is real, full and freeing.

Please make sure to read the full entry from my friend. She has an amazing story to tell: A story of heartbreak, restoration and finally, redemption.

This entry is about her and the many others whose hearts have been broken and have come back, whole and beautiful. You can read her full story here: Darn Beautiful in His Eyes

 

Restoration of Israel

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness And speak kindly to her.”

Hosea 2:14