Monday, November 18, 2013

Blessed and Humbled

Last September/October was a depressing month. I don't know if this was the time everything was sinking in or there are just too many issues happening at the same time. Whatever it was, I felt like I needed a retreat in my life. Jessie invited me to Life Directions months ago. I actually forgot about the invite and I just remembered it when one of her friends (who eventually became my friend) tagged me in her post. Plus I saw it in the Blue Post (Ateneo alumni email group). I asked Geo (since she was the secretariat) if there were still slots and lucky for me, there were still 10 slots :) I signed up, paid for it then went this weekend.

I went to the retreat alone because I want to reflect by myself without any friends around. Also, I would like to share my story to people I don't know. I just feel like it's easier for me now to tell my story to strangers. But God was really not making this easy when I arrived there and saw a lot of Gawad Kalinga friends (This was God trying to be funny). Anyway, the retreat gave me enlightenment and realizations. I would not go into the details of the retreat because it's better if you attend it. I would just talk about some main realizations and feelings for this weekend.

1. I am in the process of growth. During confession, Father Vic told me that I'm in pain because I am in a process of growth. This struck me so much because this is what I learned from the Better Story Project workshop last October.

2. Trust in the slow ways of God. God will really bless you in ways you wouldn't expect. I have been very impatient for all the my prayers to be answered and for all the hurt go away. I have been eager to feel better and happier again. But this retreat made sure that I remember to trust God in His plan and not be too selfish in thinking about my own feelings.

3. I am not alone in this journey. I came here at the retreat because I feel alone but God answered me that I will never be alone in this journey. I attended the retreat to find answers but He told me that I don't need answers, I just need people to share stories with so that I'll feel understood. Once I shared my story, there are other people who share the same story as I do. I was really blessed to be part of a shared group who can relate to my experience. I am thankful for having new friends who inspired me that life will get better because they all experienced what I'm experiencing now. I am still feeling very thankful now :)

4. Choose your companions well. I have learned that every person in my life has a purpose. Once friendship or love has ended, his/her purpose in my life is done. I should stop forcing myself in other people's lives. I should choose people who will make me a better person. I should choose companions who will not make me feel alone.

LD Batch 94 :)
There are a lot of other realizations but these are the main points I have. Life Directions has really helped me feel better. I've been praying a lot for the healing of my heart, mind and soul and this retreat helped me start from scratch and create a better version of myself. God really made me feel His presence through the new friends I met. It was a very humbling experience to know that God will still be there even though you're broken. :)

* God was really trying to be funny on the way home. Through out the retreat, I was praying for the healing of my heart because of the breakup that happened last June. After the retreat, I realized that I should stop blaming myself for what happened and accept it more. Then on the way home, my ex texted me (first time he texted me after everything that happened). I can't help but laugh because I don't know if God was testing me or just trying to be funny.

Monday, November 11, 2013

[DELAYED POST] Singapore 2013

Last Sept 19, I flew with Rhea and Ter to Singapore to celebrate Jessie's birthday (Backstory: Jessie's assigned there for 6 months and it's her birthday on Sept 29.) Knowing my friends, it's so hard to plan any trips/getaway with them because of all the conflicting schedules; so we're all excited that this pushed through and it's always been our dream to travel abroad together :)

Bringing the jejeness to Singapore
Since Jessie has work and we arrived at around 8am, we have to go around by ourselves. But our itinerary has been planned days before so we kinda know where to go. Top of my list was Ikea (I need home decor ideas) so we went there first. Then roam around Bugis Village because it's just near Jessie's hotel.

Luckily/Unluckily, it was Formula 1 weekend when we were there. So yes, there were a lot of people and LOADS OF PRETTY CARS!! We also saw Bianca Gonzales and Raymond Gutierrez there. Anyway, we met with Jessie after her work then went to Singapore flyer because it will be closed due to F1 for the weekend. 

At the race track! :)
Singapore flyer
We had dinner at Orchard then had free desserts c/o Jessie (All the ice cream at their office is 50% or 70% off!!!) WOHOOOO.

When we were there, it was also the first day of the launch of the iPhone 5S and this is what welcomed us at one store: CRAZZYY. Yeah, Singapore was event filled when we were there.

Ogie followed the next day and we just went shopping and met with our relatives. That night, we also went drinking at Haji Lane. It was a pretty cool bar because they offer customized drinks. You're going to tell the waiter what you're feeling right now / what you want your drink to make you feel. So basically, you're just gonna tell him a few adjectives (i.e, something refreshing and sweet) and they will come up with the ingredients for your drink. It's pretty amazing :)

Then Marianne followed Saturday. Since we're now complete, this is the perfect time to tour the city so that was what we did the whole day. We walked and walked and walked and walked the whoooole day! (Plus some roads are closed because of the F1 so we were really required to walk) Singapore is a walk-able city so it was okay. Plus the transportation system was freakin' organized. This is what I want for my country! 

Anyway, we went to Merlion, National Museum, Orchard, Haji Lane, Bugis Village, Clark Quay etc. Then we also went shopping at H&M, looked for the Abercrombie models at Orchard, photo ops and more. It was a good trip although I wish we got to see more of Singapore. I will definitely go back to tour more and eat more of Singaporean food.