Another open letter

They said that it would only be 6 months. But you fought and we all stood behind you, supporting you in every way possible. But we all knew it was your battle.

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From 6 months, it became 12, and a huge part of us thought it not necessary to be even counting anymore. Some call it a miracle. I call it strength and a lot of faith and love overflowing from each and every one of us behind you.  But most of all, I think that it’s the fighter in you.

Today, I am back here in my home town, away from the dreaded heat wave happening in Manila. Others might be jealous of me, but trust me, I’d rather be in Manila right now and have no other valid reason to come home. It was an impulsive decision but I knew I just had to be here. You are off your tubes now because Amma decided you’ve had enough. You’ve fought enough.  Well, Angkong, you showed me courage and strength I don’t think I would ever have in my life time. But you definitely inspired me to be  my best and to be strong as you.

As your first grandchild, I feel like I have some sort of responsibility to make sure that everything will be okay and I can guarantee you that the entire family will be okay. We  are all inspired by you to be strong and courageous but at the same time smart and careful. Throughout my entire lifetime and through your battle against the infamous C, you have taught us so much. You raised a family to be strong and to be fighters in this world just like you.

You didn’t lose this battle. You will leave this world in victory, with a family stronger than ever, and a story of a life to be told over and over again.

It feels like it was just yesterday, I was in Starbucks and I greeted you through text about 2 years ago on your birthday. I was in Manila and you were in Baguio. Your response to my greeting was simply, “Angkong Loves you”.

I know.

 

[I wrote this open letter to you about a year ago but it was just too difficult to post, to edit and to even to read. A year has passed and I’d say, time does heal but I we all know that we’re not yet healed. The entire family is healing but the hole in our hearts still yearn to be filled by your voice, your laugh and most of all your smile. Thank you again for everything]

 

Link to my first open letter

 

 

how [I] stay motivated to “hit the gym”

LONG POST AHEAD and I’m sorry for that because: I’ve been crazy about fitness this 2017. I’ve always been active (I played sports growing up, I got into running at one point and I’ve enrolled in a gym since Freshman year) but never THIS active. Throughout my college life, I’ve always struggled finding the right motivation to go to the gym. I love sweating and working out but the mental push to get me to enter through those gym doors or whatever fitness activity I will be doing is where one would insert the phrase: “the struggle is real”. But lately, i’ve been super into it. I’ve made a personal resolution (not even for the new year’s a couple of months ago. Seriously, things  just happened to all fall into place) to stay fit and toned this year while gaining more mass.

Here are some ways I stay motivated to “hit the gym” at least 3-4 times a week (maybe even everyday).

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I need an outlet

I haven’t written in so long. I don’t think I even bothered opening up this blog of mine during the longest Christmas Break of my life. My (lame) excuse is: I’ve been so caught up with so many things in life, living day to day, minute by passing minute. I never really took some time to reflect and collect my thoughts in one area, one post, one page; typed or hand written. But today I realized, my thoughts and day dreams are piling up, I need an outlet

Here I am, writing again, literally in the middle of the day (more or less… it is 11:55 AM), thinking about all the “what if” and the “if only” that have been crossing my mind lately. I experience sudden spurs of jitteriness, and anxiety, trying to mentally over come the tears at the brim of my eyes from running down throughout the day. (Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious. I’ve just been thinking a lot. Hence, this sudden need of an outlet).  It’s quite exhausting having to put up a happy and “I got my sh*t together” facade, because the rational and logical Shaira Marquez knows that there’s no point for tears and feelings of anxiety. Rational and Logical Shaira knows that it’s best to just live life as it is and be happy with what you have. That version of myself knows that I can actually get through whatever obstacles may come my way. 

Is it normal to feel a lot of uncertainty amidst a future that could be full of certainty? It sounds quite oxymoronic but let me give you a little bit of context: After college, I have this opportunity back home to manage a brand new business, a business I could find myself passionate about in many ways. But I fear that it is too certain, too stagnant.  I know for a fact that I would get security out of it. I’m lucky that way, and I have no one else to thank for but my hard working parents. In fact, for other people, this dilemma seems nothing but a no brainer  because it’s easily what a regular person would and should choose, but here I am, still not satisfied and still in search for more. There’s this deeper desire from within me to seek something more. 

I have this other option: to stay here in Manila. I know staying would mean I get to explore myself, explore some possibilities. I see self growth if i stayed. In Manila, I’d be able to experience more even if it would include failures and hardships as well.  

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learning patience.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCan I say I’ve nailed “patience”?
I wish I could say YES.

A semester of experiences dealing with different kinds of people, personalities and instances in group projects, work, orgs, etc., could make you feel either two things: delighted with getting through the past 6 months without having a mental break down, or disappointed from realizing that maybe I can never be patient after all.

Truly, it was tested this semester, especially ever since I got a car here in Manila. Driving through rush hour traffic on the 15th day of the month, 7 PM at night and in EDSA will definitely press your “buttons”. My nerves were tested to their limit. But then again, you really have to put things into perspective and realize that traffic is really nothing compared to the different personalities I everyone faces every single day.

I have to admit, I can say that I did fail several times this month. My patience broke down quite a few times. Reflecting on the last few months, I realized that there are a few instances where I would say that I wish I acted better, I wish I didn’t react at all, I wish I never did that and I wish I never said that. However, one thing I realized as well is that learning patience is necessary and as important for getting by every single day facing me only to some extent.  Sometimes you can’t just be that person absorbent to whatever it is that may be irritating, annoying and unproductive. You have to react accordingly.

At this point in time, I can’t tell you I’ve nailed patience down to its very core because I know for a fact that there are others who would consider my reactions to certain factors that really test me as unnecessary and clearly a sign of no patience at all. But I guess one thing I could say though is that the past few months allowed me to explore the depth of my patience (if that even makes sense).

In a more colloquial language, I now know the level of BS I can tolerate and I now know how I tend to respond to BS. I am quite delighted.

Perhaps this is a skill I can put on my resumé? I kid. But hey, I truly believe its something that could help me get by in the coming future.

 

 

 

Happy Living No. 2

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Amidst this afternoon’s traffic (yes, it’s that payday on a Friday kind of traffic), I still managed to get things done. In approach of midterms week and in the center of all stress and pressure, I still find the joy and pleasure to actually live life.  Below are a list of happy things I can still manage to do to give me those little sparks of joy:

  1. Sweets – I have a sweet tooth and even if it’s not the best things in the world for me, it definitely calms me down and relieves me temporarily of any stress.  Although I made it a goal to not exceed one dessert per day, it’s really that one dessert I look forward to. Limiting myself to just one sweet thing per day makes it all the more better.
  2. Working out – I love how it’s become a need. I am not addicted to the gym, I just want to get that out of the way.You won’t see me with swelling arms and legs and abs for days any time soon. I just love the feeling of sweating it all out (whatever ‘it’ may be: problems, last night’s alcohol, stress etc.) but I most especially love the feeling after. That feeling of accomplishment after a level of struggle.
  3. Goodmornings and Goodnights – It’s starting the day and ending it right that really gets me going. When you are greeted by your loved ones in the morning and close your day with a “sweet dreams” from them, you feel as if your worries can be wrapped up neatly and put aside when need be. Because of them, I feel warm and joy.
  4. Writing – As weird as it may sound, expressing my thoughts down in writing relieves me from the overflow of thoughts that fill my brain throughout the day. I express my feelings, my encounters, my worries, my imaginations, etc. Despite probably having several grammar errors here and there, the very act of writing is therapeutic. I feel like I can express myself better in writing than in speaking.
  5. Coffee – How can I not mention this? This may be a broken record for any coffee lover but coffee is my fuel. I tend to have headaches with out it. Perhaps it’s all psychological but having an Iced Latte beside me while I work in the middle of one of those “all nighter” nights motivates me to become more productive.

Happy Living No. 1

Let’s get a little personal.

About a year ago, I got really sick. I was what the doctors called a “TB Suspect” or in other words, doctors thought I may have had Tuberculosis, which is a very contagious disease in the lungs that would take months to cure. Thankfully, what caused the sharp pains in my chest and drowning feeling every day and night just so happened to be pneumonia which is half as bad only.

I mention this because during the month I was sick, I lost a lot of weight. For a 5 foot 4 inches girl, weighing 104 lbs was extremely under weight. I wasn’t anorexic or anything however, I did look sick with eyes as deep as caves, hair fall doubled in quantity and I was just pale and dull most of the time. My stomach seemed bloated despite being extremely skinny every where else and my period became irregular. Basically, my body wasn’t functioning right, even after I recovered from my illness.

I started to become more conscious with the way I looked because clothes didn’t fit me well and I’ve been getting the “you look too skinny, borderline sickly looking” lines from friends and family. I was fed up and food alone didn’t seem to do the trick.

Thankfully, a friend of mine introduced to me a new exercise regime called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. These are thirty minute work outs that can be done at the gym or even at home. I saw drastic results with in a month’s time and that motivated me even more. I did HIIT for about 8 weeks at least 2-3 times a week, but moved on to doing regular exercises in the gym, assisted by a very close friend of mine who has been a gym buff for a while now.

This may not be the only reason why I gained more of the right kind of mass. Perhaps my diet and metabolism also played a big role. However, this HIIT that I was introduced to jumpstarted my drive to actually care for my body both internally and externally. Currently I am 110 lbs, still under weight but at least feeling a lot healthierand more confident with my body.

 

I’d love to talk about my diet and fitness exercises, but that’s for another post.

 

Stuck

It is currently 1:29 am and I feel exhausted, physically. Three roommates of mine are fast asleep in the comfort of their blankets and pillows. He already said goodnight. So now it’s just my thoughts and I.

“Stuck”.

That’s actually the first word I thought to somewhat describe and capture what I’m thinking of right now. I have all these ideas, all these plans I want to do. I have projects in  mind, both profitable and creative.  I see all these people I know of online, doing something with their lives. Opening up businesses, travelling, trying something new. Honestly, I see a world as my canvas, waiting for me to paint on.

Yet here I am sitting on my chair, facing this white screen filled with words and words, not being able to move. Simply stuck.

It’s a pleasant thought to think that “tomorrow is a new day”, meaning, tomorrow I can start new things. I say this to myself every night, yet every time, I’m stuck in this same position with the same thoughts.

I’m sure I’m not the only one going through these thoughts every night but I sure feel like I’m the only one especially right now with everyone else asleep, with just my thoughts and I. I want to move forward, but I still feel stuck.

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Here are two random facts about myself:

  1. I love cheese. I love it on pizza, on pasta, in cake and most of all, I love it alone.
  2. I enjoy the long and tedious process of measuring and mixing during baking. But I’ve been lately discovering so many things you can cook up in the microwave. Ever since then, the microwave has become my best friend.

I’ve tried this recipe out months ago, specifically one night when I was alone at home with my sister and we had nothing to eat for dinner. I made use of the microwave and whatever was in our pantry that time.

So here is my  easy microwavable mac n cheese recipe:

Here are the necessary ingredients:

  1. CHEESE (All kinds, preferably cheese that melts. I used Quickmelt, parmesan, cream cheese) – I say put as much as you want.
  2. Seasoning (I used salt, pepper, chilli flakes because i like mine hot, dried basil and oregano) – It’s up to you how much you want to put!
  3. Elbow macaroni – About a handful per serving
  4. Milk – 2-3 table spoons
  5. Water – about a cup or just until all the pasta is submerged

*measurements are based on eyeing

Equipment:

  1. Microwave (of course)
  2. Microwavable Bowl (1 bowl per serving)
  3. mixing utensil

It’s easy !

  1. Just pour water in the bowl with your elbow pastas and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Check and see if it’s “al dante” (it really depends on how much pasta you put in)
  • If it’s still mostly uncooked and all the water has been evaporated, add a little bit and put it back in the microwave for 30-60 secs more.
  1. Add in milk, and all the cheese you want. Stir and place it back in the microwave until all the cheese has melted.
  2. Season to taste.

Voila!

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*Photo taken around Christmas time.

feeling or choice?

I used to think love was just a feeling.  After being in a relationship for a year now, I realised, it’s more than just an emotion and a feeling you get. It’s a choice.

If love was just simply a feeling, it could easily come and go. But after months of being with this guy I now consider my best friend, I realised, it’s that choice to be with each other, that makes this love greater than a feeling.

My friend who I debated this topic with months ago said that love being a choice just makes it more special. I didn’t agree with her then, but now I do.

There are those arguments, fights, disagreements and all the storms a relationship can possibly go through. But then you realise the value of choosing to stay and choosing to love that person despite the anger, the pain and all the tears that come along the way. It’s the fact that you choose to value the good more than the bad and choose to think that the way he makes you happy outweighs everything else that pulls you down.

It’s insane how fast a year can just fly by. It’s been a wonderful first year, baboy x

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