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.


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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