When it comes to relationships, loving someone and being in a relationship are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you can totally have all these wonderful feelings for another without it ever being reciprocated at all – and I have learned early on in life that that was totally okay.

As a youngster, I have always been ‘brave’ enough to like / love people who would never give me time of day. I have always believed that truly loving or admiring someone did not have to include them loving me. Just like John Mayer’s song, I have always believed that life will return that love to me somehow and this is what makes me feel grateful about the love that I come home to daily.

That being said, I cannot help but feel a wave of pride and joy towards people I have admired in the past who are currently winning in life. There’s that sense of, “I always knew this person can do it” that overwhelms me when I hear of their successes. It makes me feel nostalgic and makes me ruminate on how mysteriously wonderful life is. Life never turns out the way we want it to but that doesn’t mean that we cannot be happy for those who are living the lives we initially thought we wanted.

I am letting myself chew on that last sentence. It’s so liberating to ‘bade’ that sister life from the shore and appreciate what we have in this moment because the life we are living could be someone else’s sister life as well.

Sister Life

There has been a season of silence – of limiting my writing to just work related content or just little musings here and there. My heart, for the most part, has chosen to simply listen, heal, and just take in this new life that has been given to me.

But today, despite my 8 PM bedtime on Mondays, the urge to write is greater.

I started off the day sharing this beautiful quote from Cheryl Strayed:

“I’ll never know and neither will you about the life you didn’t choose. We will only know that whatever that life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that did not carry us. There is nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”

The passage gripped my heart the moment I read it. In my 20s I have always believed that God had a plan specifically for my life and that closed doors meant that what was beyond it wasn’t meant for me.

I have firmly held on to that belief and yet as I bade goodbye to the idealism of my youth, I slowly questioned if this was true.

At 30 years old, I have begun questioning the beliefs and foundations I have built my life on and the results were always a mix bag of challenges, skepticism, and wonder. It’s a joy to unravel the box of what I used to believe in, examine it for what it is, and discover new perspectives.

It is quite possible to remain true to the core of your beliefs while going on a journey to know more about life.

Just like Cheryl Strayed said, it is possible to have a sister life and maybe that sister life reflects the life I once dreamt of for myself (or was it a life that someone else decided for me? I am still figuring that out) but it doesn’t matter because the life I have now, as I type this, is the life that I have chosen. 

There is a different kind of joy that comes with accepting this truth: for whatever reason, this is the life I have chosen and even though it is imperfect, I delight in it because I chose it. 

This means that at one point in my life, I abandoned what I thought what was aesthetically good for me to pursue what felt authentic to my heart and my soul. And it did not come in a pretty package – I had to wrestle to get to this place and my journey is just beginning. 

There’s no roadmap to this life and one is never assured of what’s next but despite that uncertainty, something inside of me is overwhelmed with joy because despite the curiosity of a sister life, I know in my heart that I am where I am supposed to be. 

It’s the irony of choices and letting it go. It’s that sweet middle nobody can truly define – it’s where reality meets the supernatural and we are so blessed to be in the midst of it.


Just Enough Light


I have been WAITING for something major since February 2019. I have possibly prayed every prayer, texted MY entire support group from Australia to Ireland (shoutout to you, eFam!), and just trusted that when the time came, the answer would be a resounding YES.

I waited with anticipation every week, constantly refreshing my inbox for that YES to arrive and here we are, two months later, and I am still waiting with no concrete answer.

It has been quite the journey for me – for anyone who knows my type A personality, you would know that I want things to happen and I want them to happen now. Waiting is painful for me because it challenges me to be still – that of which I cannot do.

This week, after days and days of waiting, I finally broke down and realized that this may not be for me, that no matter how much I have prayed and rallied for it, it is most likely a no and it absolutely destroyed me. I quickly went to the worst case scenarios and to be completely honest, it became a struggle of faith for me.

Suddenly, the world turned dark and I was out of options, completely hopeless. I was asking myself, “What is the point of this all?” and instead of thinking of options here on earth, I thought of another place I could be and how I could get there quickly. Saying goodbye to earth meant seeing Heaven and when you’re in a dark place, that is an appealing thought.

And yet, something in me persisted, a small silent voice told me that it was okay to reach out and ask for help and that I did, I quickly went to my eFam group (the community I have formed through Elevation Church) and boldly asked for prayers, pouring my heart out, and telling them that I needed some sort of miracle and divine intervention.

I thought that divine intervention would come in the form of the yes that I was waiting for but instead, it came in overwhelming peace inside of me that assured me that even if my life wasn’t anything like I imagined, God has not forgotten me.

And in a beautiful, Evan Almighty way, I saw God’s answers to my prayers.

The yes that I wanted did not come but He sent people who reminded me of the love He had for me. He sent prayers through my eFam group who overwhelmed me with love and prayers, He sent me strangers who out of nowhere suddenly talked about how good and gracious God is and how faithful He is to His children, He sent it through old friends who shared their love and appreciation, He sent it through a dear workmate who told me that my life had value and there was so much to live for, and most importantly, He sent it through my husband whose love is steadfast, strong, and unconditional. My husband has been my life’s greatest answered prayer – He has shown me a love that comes from God and I am grateful because that is exactly what I have prayed for.

Most times, we think God’s answers come in the form that we expect them to but this rarely happens only because God sees the big picture and we do not.

Maybe this experience wasn’t about the yes that I prayed for but more about what God was doing inside of my heart. That it wasn’t about the life change that I have been praying about but about understanding the importance of trusting God even when it hurts, most especially when it hurts. It is being overwhelmed with a sense of humility because God’s love remains even when we are unfaithful, even when we do not trust or we doubt His plans for our lives, He remains strong and steady, reminding us that He would never leave.

I have seen God in the big things in my life but I have been transformed by the little things that has affirmed His love for me. It is in the little moments of my life when I feel like giving up, it’s in the small, unexpected moments that I see His goodness and even though I do not know what is ahead, I just have enough light to take the next steps, and on most days, that is all you need.

Today, a newly found friend, Kasey, sent me a beautiful rainbow that she saw randomly today and with it, she reminded me that God’s promises are true and they still stand. And it absolutely tipped me over – God has been so gracious in the past few days but that was just a moment where I truly felt that I was loved and I was not forgotten.

I may have not completely healed from the yes I did not get but at least I have enough in me to fight another day and sometimes, that is truly all we need.

God has gifted us with just enough for today and that is truly all we need – tomorrow is another day and boy is that day worth fighting for.

I felt compelled to write this in the hopes of inspiring another who is experiencing what I experienced this past week – your life is worth fighting for, Jesus gave up His life so you can have an abundant one, and He has given us the strength to win, keep fighting, ask for help, your life is so valuable. You are loved and you matter. God has not forgotten you – there is beautiful beautiful joy ahead.


The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3



So here we are again my dear blog, we are back in the place I was a few months ago. It is quite true that when something is too good to be true, it usually is. I will not lie, I spent a good amount of last week hidden in my own darkness, enveloped by my own sadness. I have first spoken about the ‘hole’ in my first ever blog in 2004 and still return to it from time to time. The hole is the place I go to when I feel that life is getting too overwhelming and when I need to figure things out.

I wish I could tell you that I am 100 percent calm at all times but when I am trying to figure things out or when I feel betrayed of any kind, I retreat to my shell (oh good old Cancer) and try to understand the significance of why certain things happened in the way that they happened. An old quote about betrayal said that it never comes from your enemies but rather those you have held close to you heart.

When we expect people to be unkind, there’s no shock when they are but when people envelope their deceit in kindness, that is when the shock and hurt hits the most.

And while I may have spent hours crying over a friendship lost, I have come to realize that it has nothing to do with me. As Morrie Schwartz said, “People are not against you, they are for themselves.” It took awhile for me to get out of the hole especially because when I begin to attach myself to something, I cling on to it with passion.

But that is life and I know that God is merely redirecting me and using even the negative people to lead me to the path that He has carved out for me and so I cry, rest, and begin the journey yet again.

Nothing is ever wasted in God’s kingdom, remember that.

My Dream of Living a Simply Luxurious Life

Lately I have found myself obsessing over books by Milly Johnson, Debbie Johnson (not quite sure if they are related), and Shannon Ables (the only non-fiction on the list but reads like a dream) .

Paperback Sunshine at the Comfort Food Caf? Book

The books all spoke about the simplicity of life and just like a warm and cozy blanket, I slipped into their pages and just like when I was a child allowed them to envelope me with their warmth.


The Perfectly Imperfect Woman

The books had one common theme: enjoying small towns and to be honest, that is what I thought I would be doing when I left everything behind in 2017. I honestly thought that my husband and I would settle in a small town and I could return to my first love: teaching. As of late, it is yet to happen but I dream of a day where I can simply be similar to the characters in those books. As a angsty teenager, I have always described myself as a contradiction and at 30, I still see that in myself. I love being with people but I also treasure being alone, I enjoy ‘luxurious’ things but crave for the simplicity of life.

Image result for the simply luxurious life


But now, more than ever, I am slowly learning to embrace the simply luxurious life described by Shannon Ables. She said that living your life in luxury means living it in peace as you would want it. And while my life may still not be that today, I am still thankful to be in this place in my life where I am learning to love its everyday. I am slowly slipping away from the desires that have held me hostage and slowly creating a life that is my own (well my husband’s and I) and no one else’s.

There’s really no point to this blog other than thanking God for providing me with a life that is joyful and content. This is one that I have been praying for but I never realized that it could be something that I can choose. And so I choose it on a daily basis. I can’t wait to share with you more about the books but I hope that this inspires you to find a life that feels good to you.


Hello 2019!

When it comes to New Year’s traditions, I must admit, I can be pretty Asian about it. My husband and I, pretty much like my family back home, fill the table with everything round, make sure we do not serve chicken, and stay awake until 12 MN to greet the New Year. One of the traditions that I used to do when I was single was to sit down right before 12, meditate, and just sit there wishing for a better year than the one we just had.

But this year, I wanted to not just dismiss 2018 but instead I bade it goodbye with my gratitude. I thanked it for what it was and what it brought me – the highs, the lows, the tears, and the triumphs. I do not want to be ungrateful for 2018 because in as much as it was challenging, it also gave me a lot of beautiful surprises. 2018 gave me what I needed to grow and be prepared for where God takes me in 2019.

It was fun until it caused me so much anxiety to be happy and optimistic at exactly 12 or else my year will not turn out right. Fortunately, you grow wiser as you grow older and as life would have it, you would realize that life is not always perfect no matter how much you pray, wish, or go for traditions. It’s not being pessimistic to say that life will not be rosy 24/7 even in 2019 but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful.

In fact, one of the greatest gifts that life can give you is the ability to accept the circumstance for what it is and have the ability to let it go without attaching any of our self-worth and emotions to it. We can fully feel the emotions that are attached with specific circumstances and not be defined in it. Growing up also means allowing ourselves to actually feel what we feel even if the people are not comfortable with our emotions or if we do not fit into what ‘proper’ emotions should be like.

Just today, on the first working day of the year, I felt the opposite of optimistic and positive for various reasons. But instead of running away from what I was feeling, I processed my emotions with my husband and though I do not feel completely a 100 percent at the moment writing this meant that I had hope that the rest of the year will not be the same. Or at least I knew that even if I had days such as this one, I would be okay. And guess what, you will be too.

We put too much pressure into getting it right on the first day of a New Year but in truth, we just have to be kind to ourselves and trust that it will all work out. I have full confidence and hope in Jesus Christ and in the middle of my own personal rant, my husband shared this verse with me,

 “ Don’t be obsessed with money but live content with what you have, for you always have God’s presence. For hasn’t he promised you, “I will never leave you alone, never! And I will not loosen my grip[c] on your life!  So we can say with great confidence: “I know the Lord is for me
and I will never be afraid of what people may do to me!” – Hebrews 13:5-6

Doesn’t that verse just cover all that we could possibly worry about in the coming year? It gives us hope that no matter what is against us, whether people or circumstances, our God is for us and that no matter what He will provide for us?

This 2019, I aim to rely more on God’s grace and I pray that my faith in who He is grants me steadiness in my daily life. That I learn to lean on Him and in doing so, may I become more content with the life He has given me while pouring love and grace to those around me.

In the same breath of surrender, I also want to remind myself that I am in charge of my life and nothing is simply ‘happening’ to me. I want to fully discard the victim mentality this year and own my life and my happiness. We have the power to have the life we want, we just have to fully understand it. I wrote more about this in my New Year’s Day Article for The Manila Times.

I am quite excited about 2019 and I just want to remind you once again that your life is yours. While listicles, articles, and books are helpful, you do not have to adhere to anything that doesn’t make you joyful. This 2019, find what works for you and go after it! I wish you a joyous and happy life with everything you have prayed for and more.








Deserving a Seat on the Table and Shopping

I want a seat at the table but I do not want just the seat, I want to be able to deserve being there. I want to be there and contribute, not just sit there and be pretty (although I would be the first to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to both be beautiful and a significant contributor to any table you are called to).

If there is one thing you should know about me (that you do not know already if you have been reading this blog long enough) is that I do not give myself enough credit. I do not know if that is because of my Type A personality, being raised a middle child, or just how brain is wired. I am the first person to compliment another for their good work or basically anything good about them but the last person to acknowledge my own successes and own achievements. See even typing those words made me cringe.

You see, I see every day as a blank state of nothingness. Oh yes, I do remember every single mistake since I was like seven but I have forgotten every achievement I have had. My brain forgets that part of the equation but not my failures and not how I should have done better. My brain also makes me feel that I am so far away from the woman I wanted to become ten years ago and that makes me hustle even more. Now, with a culture that glorifies the hustle over anything this doesn’t seem like a big thing. But to someone who is questioning life and its meaning – it all seems lost to me.

During the year of transition (aka moving to LA and leaving everything I know behind), I begun to dive into the something deeper that life had to offer. Suddenly, life felt meaningless – I often ask myself, ‘What happens after the big win?’. As humans, we go and turn into the next big win. We keep going, going, and going. There’s always another milestone to achieve, another bag to buy (guilty), and another travel destination to go to.

We come home with our bags, with our photos from vacation, with the work high, and we are happy for a minute until we find ourselves running to another cycle of buying, winning, and achieving. Now while there is nothing wrong with that but I keep wondering where it leaves our mental health and our souls.

You see, it’s so easy to tape up our wounds with shopping and whatever else it is that leaves you high. For me personally, it’s adding to cart. I just love and adore shopping. Clothes and bags are my vice. I would be the first to tell you though that while I have thought of this – I haven’t completely abandoned my add to cart habits. They’re not dangerous, out-of-control spending but sometimes I wonder why my happiness can be found in something so … material.

This brings me back to deserving the seat on the table. I wonder sometimes why my ego is so fragile and why I tend to it through my passion of checking out multiple purchases on a weekly, maybe daily basis. I keep wondering if the reason why I do not think I deserve a seat on the table is because all of this reverts back to me not being worthy enough.

Maybe it reverts back to me not having enough confidence and that makes it difficult for me to risk my ego and bring what I know to the table. I am afraid to show my one hundred percent because what if I am not good enough? I hide behind my clothes and bags just so I can add worth to me and puff myself up for a time.

But what happens when I am alone? Well, this is as raw as I can be at this moment.

I have ideas of centering myself and finding the right balance but I do not want to commit to anything until I am a 100 percent there. But until then, here are a few thoughts and an intention to learn – about myself and the world and hopefully I come back to this space but until then, I will keep digging.

Thanksgiving Musings

Happy Thanksgiving from my second home!

This is my second year celebrating what is fast becoming a favorite holiday of mine and it came not without tears. Okay, it came with a lot tears. I always get emotional during the holidays mainly because I am missing the holidays back home but also because sometimes you just need a warm hug from your parents. Being so far away from home always makes me think about the brevity of life and how important it is to enjoy where we are at the moment.

The crab in me often retreats when I have been overly stimulated and if I do not give myself that option to let it all out – I end up bubbling over. And that is never good. So I am kind of glad that I get a four day weekend so I can be on my own, read the books I purchased, and just breathe.

My boss told me a gem yesterday, he told me, “It’s okay to be who we are and feel what we feel. That is what makes us human.”

And for someone who bottles up her emotions all the time, that gives me comfort and that is a gift I wish and hope to give myself this year and beyond.

I just realized that the holidays always make us feel pressured because it always makes us feel like we have to feel a certain way and be a certain way but in reality you can feel whatever you want to feel on this day without the pressure of it being perfect. You can be sad on Thanksgiving day, you can be happy, you can be sullen about it, you can spend it in your PJs all day – whatever makes you feel good for today that is what you do. Do not let anyone else make you think differently. Do what is good for you and that is what makes you not choose destructive choices.

My husband finally convinced me to go on a real hike and would you believe that the city girl in me climbed atop Mount Lowe. Just like anything in my life – I freaked out because I was thisclose to the edge and had panic attacks all the way up. It was terrible, it was horrible but it turned out to be incredible.

It was also a great workout and I was able to take a lot of photos – which was motivated me to climb up to the top.

Sharing with you these photos because if we look at the world from a different perspective – we see the wonder of the world and what God created for us and we are reminded of what’s important and that gives us relief. It reminds us we are loved and safe no matter how reckless our emotions can be.

Write What You Know


Photo by Alex Geerts

Write what you know.

But what do I know? It’s true what they say that you know less as you grow older than you did when you were 18 (or in my case 16 since I was a know it all at a young age).

Since 2004, I have been dishing out what I think was important and relevant in terms of love, life, my faith, politics, never fashion (which I grew to love), and just anything that made sense. Soon I was also dishing out on every social media platform I could get my introverted hands on and while I applaud my younger self for being brazen enough to speak what was on her mind I can honestly tell you that I no longer feel as brave as she does.

Or maybe time, age, and experience has subdued me. Not every topic needs to be retweeted, not every news article with my own opinion needs to be shared on Facebook, nor should every comment be liked, or every life moment shared. I used to want to share EVERYTHING. I do not know the point I was trying to prove but suddenly (especially since I moved here and away from the subculture I grew up in), I saw the plastic bubble I lived in.

I wanted to be deemed important. I wanted my social media accounts to prove I was doing better than the girl he chose over me or I was smarter than who they promoted. I was unconsciously creating a brand that merely reflected what I wanted it to reflect. Perfectly cut squares of my life that took hours to curate.

I was always SO NOISY. I wanted people to think I was pretty. I wanted them to think I was smart. I wanted them to know that I knew what was going on in current events and most importantly, I wanted them to know my opinion of things.

But now that I am older (and hopefully wiser), I have fallen in love with merely being a bystander. I love liking my friends’ photos showing how they are thriving in life, I adore sending in heart emojis to celebrate my friends’ victories, and I love the fact that Veronica Mars is back on air again.

Now that I am not constantly filling the already populated world of the Internet – I am now learning the value of simply observing which leads to being mindful. Instead of falling in love with sharing my thoughts with a click – I take the moment to step back, observe what I am reading, and wondering if it needs an answer.

For a girl who’s always spoken too much too soon too many times being able to step back to assess what I am really responding to has been such a freedom. And it all has to do with the interactions and situations I found myself in in the past year or so.

If I were being brutally honest I would be the first to tell you that I just survived the ABSOLUTE WORST season of my life and yet I commend myself for being able to see the season through knowing that every season was just that, a season.

Every day I got up with the determination to see the other side and that is when EVERYTHING YOU KNOW becomes tested. You begin to question and doubt everything you believe in. You begin to challenge notions you were raise with. You begin to challenge your own beliefs. You dig, you discover, and you get through to a better place.

It’s like a war inside your head and within your heart and just like any warrior you come out of it bruised yet smarter. And it is those bruises that teach you what you need to know – the power in humility, the grace in betrayal, and the hope in the darkest situations.

You don’t understand how it could come about. How you could have a won a battle that has devastated your heart and crushed your soul and yet somehow you did. That is when you realize that God is real and everything I believed about him is real. The more you come in contact with life’s harshness, the more you realize how truly gracious our God is.

How much patience He has for His children as they question him in the desert and how incredibly faithful He is to hold our hand as we pass through the valleys and into the hills. How we graciously He carries us from situations that has caused so much pain into an enlightened state of blessings.

And life is like that – it’s a cycle and what we know today may not be what we know tomorrow and yet we stop for a moment to bask in its goodness and to rest in what we know now.

Because it is all that we need in this moment and we thank God for always providing just what we need lest we drown. We take it a day at time and as we learn to quietly do so – we grow and we see life in ways we haven’t before.

A quiet and steadfast pace where we do not need to prove we are intellectual or better than the next social media star. That it’s okay to watch others win, that it’s okay to simply celebrate our victories in secret, and to just stop showing off. We simply be and for me at this moment – simply being is more important than knowing.


It’s been a month and a few days since I turned thirty and though I have always marked my birthday with a list of lessons I would take into the new year. 30 was a milestone birthday and surely, I intended for it to be a happy one. But as with most things in life, they never truly turn out to be what we expect it to be.

What I thought would be a grand trip somewhere turned out to be a quiet day of self-care with my favorite book in our little apartment. I had a lot of feelings and emotions leading up to my birthday that I had to sort through. I needed to realign my heart, my mind, and my soul and most of the time, it is never quite as beautiful as our Instagram photos suggest.

My dear husband blessed me the cake of my dreams and a yummy Italian Dinner at Mi Piace in Pasadena. It was a quiet night of revel and celebration – also the day after our 2nd wedding anniversary and the quiet dinner did lift my mood that was until the most ironic thing happened – I got hit in the head with a parking boom.

The paramedics were called, I was a bit hysterical because of my long history of watching too many medical shows (I literally asked the paramedic if I had internal bleeding), and just coming to terms with life for what it is. It was a literal bump in the head that also awakened something inside of me – it’s okay to not like where you are in the current moment but it’s important to understand that you are never stuck anywhere.


Since then, I have been doing a lot of internal cleansing and meditation as I prepare for a new chapter in my life. It’s all about letting go of the old, forgiving others (oh boy, it’s a long process), forgiving ourselves, and for me especially – not being ashamed of going after what I want. To not be scared to go after what I want for me and my little family and to not be constrained by limits others have put upon me.

It’s only been a month 30 but I am grateful to you for showing me the importance of growing my own wings and soaring – despite the many times I have failed to fly.

I would have more stories to tell you but for now, I bask in the silence and quiet of my life.