choosing calm

“How do you stay so calm?”

It was a day before month-end. My targets are nowhere near 100% and I have called all the possible people that could help me. What else could be done?

Normal response would be flipping out in dismay, getting frustrated, and feel stressed about it. This was my response about situations like this, long before I realized that there are things beyond my control and I can’t always manage everything. I can’t always give an answer to everything. And that sometimes, the problem solves itself.

Have you ever tried extreme rides in amusement parks? Did you notice that the more you aggressively grip on to the rails or the safety buckles, the more likely you’ll hit your body and get bruised? But when you hold on to it lightly, just letting your body flow through the turns and loops, the ride will just be smooth and won’t be too tensed. Same goes on how we handle difficult situations. It will be easier to handle if we just take a moment to let go, and let the conflict subside on its own. That way you’ll get a better view on what to fix first.

Now, going back to the target. Since I knew for a fact that I did all I can to catch up with my sales, I paused and relaxed myself, and waited for the texts and emails from the people I called. This is the part where I let go, because I knew that whatever happens upon this stage, is already beyond my control. I let it happen from there. Slowly, the numbers arise and led me to over achieve 100%.

Once you learn how to let go, you will find peace and calm. You will no longer feel too pressed, or too tensed on how things should be done, or how things should be like. I’m not saying that your problems will magically disappear, but it will somehow be lighter to carry and more manageable. Once you take that burden off you, the more you will attract the things you are hoping and praying for. Choosing calm, over being tense. Choosing calm, over stress.

How do you stay calm?

a child’s faith

“Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for God’s kingdom belongs to such as these. Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter it.” Mark 10:14-16

My niece, Anaiya Caeli turned a year old this March. It’s amazing how babies grow quickly and they get new milestones every day. Before the quarantine started, she learned how to crawl and a few weeks after she turned 1, she learned how to walk. It’s super fun seeing her walk around the house, exploring new things and seeing her a little more independent than before.

Being the carefree little girl that she is, she tends to climb the stairs, jump on the bed and sometimes run with our dogs in the garden. We’re always keeping an eye on her, since she’s very agile and does things quickly. One time, she mindlessly jumped on the last step of our stairs, because she knew I was there to get her. Luckily, I was able to grab her shirt and kept her from falling. A child’s faith.

I admit, at times I have become so independent that I tend to forget that I need the Lord’s guidance in the littlest things. At work, when stuff gets loaded and becomes out of control, I tell myself, “I got this.” But I realized, even with the smallest of tasks, if you do it with a humble heart that asks God for guidance, things will get easier. A child’s faith. Like a child holding on to his mother’s hand while walking. To be guided. To feel safe and secured.

Let’s not forget to have a child-like faith.

cookies brought us here

Hello, world. Meet mine. 

how we met

[ October 15, 2018 ]

I was in the backseat of the car, stuck in traffic and was looking down on my phone. Hours before my flight, I was swiping left and right, looking at different men, reading their bios — some were funny, incredibly witty, and some were just plain boring. I wasn’t really invested in the dating app that I was using.

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After an amount of swiped left guys, popped this really adorbs guy, wearing a suit, and I guessed it was him in his graduation photo. First thing I noticed was his smile and how it synchronizes with his eyes. Carefully read his bio, and BOOM! It was a match.

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Okay, to be completely honest, my brows went up a little bit when he also mentioned in his bio that he was trying to look for a serious relationship. Like who says things like that in your dating profile bio? Are you tryna scare the girls away? Apparently, not me. I focused on the silver lining and looked at the brighter side that this guy bakes cookies.

Of course, since we were using bumble, I should be the first one to initiate the conversation.

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Yes, so it went like that. Being the blabber mouth that I am, I looked into his bio again and saw his star sign. He was an Aquarius too, so I thought it would be nice to use that as a conversation starter.

Me: Soooo, you’re an Aquarius too. Kailan birthday mo? (When’s your birthday?) Haha

Him: Yas I’m an Aquarius! Feb 10 haha ikaw?

Me: Feb 7 omg hahahah

Him: OH MY HAHAHA SAMA KA SA CELEBRATION KO TAPOS AKO SAYO (Join me in my *birthday* celebration, and I’ll join yours)

Okay, things were escalating pretty quickly but it was also about to die down. That very moment while I was talking to him, I was on my way to the airport, for my flight to Bacolod. And it wasn’t for a week-long vacation, but I will be there for six months to work. Yes, it was a complete bummer. I told him that I will be away for quite a long time, and he had nothing to do but accept our star-crossed lovers kind of fate.

We continued talking, until I reached the city of smiles.


the one after the swipe

To be completely honest, I was really having fun, talking to him. We’re both very different people, but we totally clicked. He was very straightforward, outgoing and he seems kinda like the life of the party. He’s also quirky, but in a good way.

We also switched to Telegram after a few exchange of messages on bumble and was surprised that he deleted his dating profile a few days after. He also got my number, and asked if he could call me in the morning, while he gets ready for work and to wake me up so I could follow our dorm’s bathroom schedule. He did it every weekday, without fail. It was also this time when he started giving me hints that he liked me and told me that he wanted to pursue me. *kiligs* 

Though he was miles away from me at that time, it was like a blessing in disguise, that we were able to get to know a lot about each other, without the rush. In my head, I knew it would be a totally different scenario if we weren’t in a long distance landian. We were taking our time, getting to know each other, our similarities, our differences. Somehow, it was much more easier to take in all the things that you know about a person when you are not physically there since there isn’t a lot of judgment. Lol does that even make any sense?

But, to tell you the truth, it ain’t hard to like Kervy. He’s basically the sweetest, gentlest and nicest guy I’ve ever known. He also speaks with so much wisdom, and he’s very passionate of the things that he loves to do. No wonder, that as the weeks went on, I started to like him more and more.

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christmas ain’t cold anymore

Two months of talking virtually eventually lead us into meeting each other physically, for the first time. I went home for the Christmas holidays, and it was the 23rd of December when we first met. Boy, I was nervous. I didn’t know why. I was pretty sure I completely knew a lot about this person, but still I was anxious, because what if I didn’t meet his expectations?

I’m not the type of person who sweats a lot, but I swear, that moment my palms were moist and it felt like all of my blood were in my head. Also, he was with his mom the first time I met him. So, imagine the amount of anxiety that I’ve been dealing with that time. But, God was great. He magically wiped off the anxiety when I saw him and his mom, smiling, while waiting for me. It went pretty well, his mom and I exchanged pleasantries, then she headed home and left us there in the mall so we could go on with our first date heheh. It was a pretty casual date, we just had pizza and took some photos using his film camera. Then he went to my house so he could meet my family.

We had great food, and he talked to my parents and siblings, like he’d known them for a long time. We also went to church together with my family to attend simbang gabi. And it was very dreamy, with the colorful lights around us and all. I was sure by then that I was in love with him. (but I didn’t tell him yet heheh)

We went to my home after the mass. And just a few moments before he went home to his, he stood up, straightened his shirt and spoke in a loud and clear voice:

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post-christmas extravaganza

After the New Year, I had to go back to Bacolod for work. And we were back with our video calls and chats. It was much easier then, because we know that soon I’ll be back for good, and we were counting on the days when we’ll be together for our birthdays. He got a plane ticket to Bacolod for us to celebrate our birthdays together. I planned out our itinerary, the places we’d go to, the places where we could eat, and so on. But fate played with us again.

I got a news from work, that we will all be sent back to Manila before February. For good.

Sure, it was great news. We’ll be back to Manila for good, earlier as expected.

Bummer, since we planned out our February vacation. And it needed to be canceled.


the brighter side

When I got back to Manila, a few days before our birthdays, we started to realize how our initial plan came true. That we will be able to celebrate both of our birthdays together. And it was so much fun! It’s amazing how God works in ways you can’t imagine.

Okay, so maybe you are wondering how we became together?

Here it goes.


so it begins

After our birthdays, I was really really 100% sure of him. He made me feel loved and secured and happy, and there was no reason not to be with him. So I planned out, how will I tell him that I wanted us to be together, like officially?

So being the creative person that I am, in the morning of March 10th, I made a zine. I cut out cute graphics, and a funny comic strip, and made a short poem. I forgot about the other contents, but yes, at the end of the poem, I told him there that he got himself a girlfriend.

His reaction was priceless.

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now what?

8 months in the relationship, and we are still learning a lot from each other. And what I love about the relationship that we have now, is that we pray together everyday. Through that, we get to know our intentions, and we get to pray for one another. Being in the Singles for Christ community also made us better individuals, and even better partners, as we grow together in love and in faith.

Sure, we had moments where we didn’t understand each other, but every time we had that, we made sure we talk about it in the best loving way possible. I’m really blessed to have someone who knows me well, understands me better and prays for me for the best.

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(1) After a fun photowalk sesh at BGC, we took a self-portrait (2) Our first picture together, me holding a pizza (3) He took me to my first prom, hence the awkward couple shoot (4) Just recently, we went to ANCOP Global Walk

what i love about my bb

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cookies pls

If you made it this far, I’m pretty sure you found our story interesting. But what makes it even more interesting, is that we now sell the cookies that sparked our love story! These chewy, chocolatey and chunky cookies are super hard to resist– I’m telling you!

Introducing, the Ohm-noms Cookies!

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Make sure you get your date a dozen ohms for Christmas! 😉

DM our instagram page for orders and queries!

 

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PS

Kervy and I are doing a podcast as well! Go check chamsicles on Spotify!

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on getting up

It is in the most difficult times that you see yourself, broken into pieces, like a shattered glass on the floor. Then you look at it like,

“This was where I went wrong,” and

“This was where I made wrong decisions.”

You pick it up carefully, keeping in mind not to touch the sharp edges. You look at the glass and see yourself in those situations, then reality hits you and your reflection starts to glare. This is you now. What can you do about now?

It’s not easy as you think it would be, but keep in mind that you are not alone. Your friends, though you’re not keeping up with them constantly, doesn’t mean they’re not there for you. They will always be. You just have to open up and allow them to listen. Your family, sure, they can sometimes have judgment, but they are up for some talking. Lastly, you have yourself. You are lucky that you are whole, and you are alive. There’s hope in your heart and you are still looking forward to the great things that are yet to come. Give yourself time to pause and reflect, seek for guidance, and pray for directions and wisdom to discern the things that are being unfolded to you, if they are from the Lord.

How many times did we hear the phrase, “It is okay not to be okay.” Your feelings are valid, but it’s not an excuse to stop. You pick up the broken pieces, bring them together and continue where you left off, but this time, better and stronger.

Everything is temporary, even the sorrow that you carry. – The Maine, Flowers on the Grave

what the past has brought me (3/3)

three of three

People come and go. It happens. But I hope this one stays.

 

(3) two. one. two.

 

I got hints, but never did I imagine that the breaking point will be that year. Funny, because I was holding on to something that wasn’t even strong enough to begin with. It was suicide.

Nine years ago I met someone funny, smart and outspoken. He’s really far from my ideal guy, but strange things happen. I fell for the person. I was fifteen back then, and was really stupid for not listening to my mom and my sisters when they told me, “Tigilan mo ‘yan.” 

I was in love, for sure. I thought I was doing something right, and I kept fighting for it even if the whole thing was a mess. Then, one day the guy wanted to break ties. That time, I was too tired to give a damn of everything, so I let him. It was easy. /how i felt/

Being with someone for eight years is no joke, though we weren’t really physically present for the whole duration of the relationship, it was still mind-blowing how we got that far. Well, he was a good man, he took care of me and he treated me right as much as he can. When he left, I thought I won’t be able to find a man who will treat me the same.

BUT BOY, I WAS WRONG. 

I was doing the laundry when a famous quote from a book popped into my mind.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I read that book when I was in college, and that line was indeed famous. But to be honest, I didn’t get it. It was just a “relate-able quote” for some, but I never really understood it. Until that afternoon when I was doing my laundry. It was like an “AHA!” moment when I recalled that line and finally understood what it means.

Indeed, I accepted the love I thought I deserved. Even if it caused me pain, and even cost me my relationship with my family. I thought everything will be worth it. And I thought everything that you fought for will reward you victory in the end. I was wrong. Looking back at how stupid I was in making decisions, I realized how naive and blinded I was in love. I kept on justifying everything, even if it wasn’t right and probably against God’s will for me.

God must have been looking at me like, “My poor child, you deserve better.” And I don’t know what kind of power He used on me that I didn’t feel any pain through the separation process. He helped me pick up myself again, and fortified me with His grace and love. I had everything I need, but still, He gave me more.

 

and then, October 15 happened. 

 

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what the past has brought me (2/3)

two of three

 

To new experiences;

(2) running after passion and some mishaps

If you have been following me for quite some time now, you’d probably know that I am a Nutritionist-Dietitian. My love for food made me become one. I vividly recall how my Professor asked me when he interviewed me for admissions:

“Why Nutrition and Dietetics?” he said, as he leaned back on his swivel chair.

“I like food and I like to cook, Sir.” I said. A bit disappointed with my answer because it was too shallow. “I want to know the right food to eat if you have this certain illness.” I added, just so it becomes a bit more acceptable.

Fortunately, I got accepted in the program. Got a tres during the first semester. Got a singko during my sophomore year. Became a Dean’s Lister on my third year. And passed my thesis on my fourth year. My life during college was pretty chill. I was an average student. No expectations from parents, and no expectations from anyone. I graduated on time. And passed the licensure exam the same year.

To me, Nutrition and Dietetics is my first love. And I even told myself, I cannot see myself in any other field but this.

But boy, I was wrong. 

Back when I was still in the Uni, I really admired my Professors. While everyone else were ranting about how complicated students’ lives were, I was there, thinking about how Professors were having a much more difficult time. Standing in front of the students for three straight hours, discussing, coaching, mentoring, going home with lots of paper works– I mean? These people are awesome! (except my Physics Prof who failed 80% of my class)

When I finally got hold of my Nutritionist-Dietitian license, I was offered with a job from a non-government organization who partners with different Universities for their Nutrition Practicum. I was a Community Nutrition Supervisor for graduating students of Nutrition and Dietetics. We were assigned to immerse in a small barangay in Bataan. For a month. Fun. We were living together in the same house. Fun. It was like babysitting, but instead, they gave me adults to look after, and some of them were even older than me! Aside from babysitting, I had to make sure that they learn and teach them how to expose their selves in the community. Give interventions, and help the community with the projects they thought of.

Of course, it was difficult. Grown ups were harder to control. They were resilient. And sometimes, they weren’t open for new information, just because “Eto ‘yung tinuro samin sa *insert prestigious school*.”

I thought I was going to fail as an educator.

But, I stood firm. Sought advice from my mentor and went on with it. At the end of my students’ practicum, they all made me a letter of appreciation (without me asking them ha, lmao). Seriously, they all made me cry of happiness when they told me how grateful they were that I was their supervisor.

And, it was then that I knew how much I wanted to be an educator.

A few months later, I was like a proud Mum when they passed their board exams. One of my students even landed a place on the Top 10! I was actually surprised when one of them messaged me, and thanking me for inspiring her to choose the field of Community Nutrition. She told me that she was bummed when their Community Nutrition Practicum was approaching because she hated it so much. But after our immersion, she fell in love with it and eventually landed a job as a Community Nutritionist. It was the best thing ever.

It was 2017 when I drifted apart with my first love, Nutrition and Dietetics. I thought I needed a break, and I remembered how much I wanted to become an educator. I wanted to be a Professor but I haven’t taken any units for Post-Graduate studies, and that is the minimum requirement to be one. If I can’t be a Professor yet, maybe there’s another way to become an educator.

So I became a Pre-School Teacher.

[ more of that on my next blog ]

 

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what the past has brought me (1/3)

The year ended up pretty quickly and looking back, it has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Sure, lots of good things happened last year, countless answered prayers, blessings I did not ask for but I received anyway, new experiences and learning. However, the previous year also broke my heart in so many ways, but it paved way for greater blessings I did not even imagine.

(1) strengthening the core

It was January when my mom sat us down in our room and convinced us to attend a weekend seminar at our parish. My mother, ever since we were little, likes to involve herself in church activities. She has been an active member of several religious organizations and likes to participate in different church activities. I always admire her faith and dedication in serving God and the community.

Going back, my sisters and my brother-in-law agreed to spend our weekend at church and attended the seminar. At first, my heart wasn’t ready, but I knew it was God who opened my heart to receive His invitation to move closer to Him. To listen to His words and say “Yes!” to His call. My Catholic faith and understanding deepened after that weekend, and I have never felt more renewed in my entire life.

A few weeks after that weekend encounter, it was another big event for my sisters and I, because it was Singles For Christ International Conference. and it was a 3-day conference. I wasn’t a member yet when I joined the ICon, but it was a great experience to sing praises and listen to beautiful testimonies of other people. From there, I knew that life is so much better if you surround yourself with people who are rich in faith and will let you grow in love with God. My spiritual journey did not stop there. Two months after attending ICon, my sister and I took the leap and joined Christian Life Program to become fully-fledged Singles For Christ. From there, we met more of our brothers and sisters who helped us light our paths back to Christ.

 

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Self-care is necessary

Ciao! It’s Chams. 🙂

I know there are days when you feel exhausted, lonely and sometimes, getting up in the morning is like the hardest thing to do. Don’t worry, you are not alone. I’ve been there too, and though it was not as easy to get away with that phase, I know that you can do it! 🙂 As for me, I practiced self care to help get myself together and be a brand new person. It was really helpful, because you know, the only person that can take the best care of yourself is YOU! So, here are some self-care ideas that you can try! Continue reading Self-care is necessary

Gogh-ing where?

Ciao! It’s Chams. Welcome back to my blog!

If you’re an art junkie like me, you probably know Vincent van Gogh. He’s a post-impressionist painter from the late 1800s. His works are far different than the other painters from his era, mainly because of his play with colors and the life behind his creations. 

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“The Starry Night” – Van Gogh, 1889 // this is a moving version of The Starry Night, to show the life behind this creation.

Vincent lived an unhappy life. He was broke most of the time, he didn’t have a decent job, he jumped from one city to another, his love life was a mess, he had mental illness, he was treated by his neighbors as a freak, no one was interested in his paintings (during his lifetime), and no one appreciated him as an artist (again, during his lifetime). The only thing that was good about his life, was his relationship with his brother Theo. They were really close, and he got Vincent’s back since day 1. Continue reading Gogh-ing where?

Portrait Sessions Vol. II | My sister

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It was a chill afternoon, Ate Tin and I decided to have a little shoot session around our house. This was taken at our garage. I really love our textured walls and how it gives earthy color to the photo.

This is Christine. She is my sister.

There is a lot to say about her. But, let me tell you a story about courage and faith, and how these two words best describe her.


Rainbows

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We were aiming for a weird, rather odd photo shoot.

“It’s been over a month since I gave birth last June 13, 2017, 5:43AM via Normal Spontaneous Delivery, my due was June 19, we have been waiting for that day when we’ll be able to meet our little girl. Even if I have been too scared to think about giving birth.

I started to feel mild cramps at 10pm, June 12, I was thinking maybe those are just Braxton Hicks contractions or false labor since I have read all about them but at 1AM the contractions became noticeable and intervals are getting closer. My husband, Gelo gave our OB a heads up and told us to rush to the hospital as soon as I feel that the contractions are getting painful and at close intervals. 3AM, I told Gelo to help me get a warm bath before we head to the hospital which is less than 10 mins away from home. While he was bathing me, I noticed the mucus plug and excitedly told him that I know I am about to give birth that day. When we arrived at the hospital I was rushed at the Operating Room and all I can feel was excitement and anticipation despite the pain. The resident OB checked and told me I was fully dilated. The nurses checked for Prism’s heart tone but they’re having a hard time to locate it.” Continue reading Portrait Sessions Vol. II | My sister