#DearDiary: Dawn Is Nearing

#DearDiary: Dawn Is Nearing

I stare at the ceiling and sigh.

I toss in bed yet again, grabbing another pillow, carefully placing it in between my thighs.

I try to think of happy thoughts, but all that comes in my mind is a list of things I’ve yet to do. It’s long. And endless. I do not know where to start and how to begin.

I feel like I’m running out of time.


What am I chasing after?

Has life always been this fast-paced?

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My Post-Birthday Musings: On Staying Young, On Choosing Friends, And On Pursuing Happiness

Written on March 3, 2018


The weeks after your birthday is quite a sappy period, isn't it?

With all the candles blown out, the leftover cake gone, the guests out of the door, and the confetti on the floor swept away, you look around and realize—the party has ended.

And that's when it all sinks in: 365 days have passed. You start to feel sentimental, and begin to ask yourself questions like—What significant things happened in the past year? Are you living life to the fullest? Are you living a life with purpose? Are you happier? Or perhaps, a bit wiser?

Scribbling on my journal post-birthday has become sort of a tradition for me. If you'd allow me, I'd want to share with you some of my musings:

On Staying Young

I’d always felt uncomfortable telling people my age because I didn’t want them to think that I was “too young”. (In case you're wondering: I am now 22.) I wanted to be taken seriously—the last thing I wanted was to be tagged as just another “millennial” in the workplace.

But I’ve come to realize—there’s nothing wrong with being one.

Because while “young” means reckless and naive and inexperienced to some people, it also means curious and enthusiastic and hungry. It means having courage to take risks, make mistakes, and start all over again—no matter how big, no matter how small, no matter how silly or bizarre or absurd. It means wanting to learn and learn and learn, day after day.

Let's stay "young" forever, shall we?

On Choosing Friends

It's true what they say—the older you get, the less important it is for you to have tons of friends, simply because you've already found the ones worth keeping. 

The thing with genuine friends is that they're hard to find—and it took me a long time to find mine. They're not necessarily the people you see everyday (though let's be honest, it would be pretty cool to live in apartments next to each other like in 'Friends'), but they are, however, the people you want to celebrate your milestones with, big or small. Like a promotion, or an engagement, or a graduation, or even something as simple as a birthday.

They're also the people you can be yourself with, simply because they're the ones you don't even have to please. I used to be concerned of what my "friends" would think of me all the time—but I eventually got tired. The cliché phrase rings true—you're never going to please everyone. But it doesn't matter—the 'right' people know and accept you for who you truly are.

Learn to drown out the noise. Surround yourself with love and acceptance. Cultivate genuine friendship with genuine people.

On Pursuing Happiness

When was the last time you did something for yourself? 

Life is fleeting. Isn't it a waste of time when we don't do the things that give our hearts pure joy?

As much as you can, try to pursue what makes you happy, every single day. You don't have to do something drastic right away. I'm not talking about quitting your 9 to 5 or leaving everything behind to move to a far away country. Pursuing happiness can be something as simple as choosing to rest because your body needs to. Or giving in to that slice of cake. Or in my case, intentionally choosing to make time for your passion.

Blogging will always be my first love. All I ever wanted to do was write, and write, and write—but all I did was work, and work, and work. For instance, I would tell myself I'd work hard tonight so that I can blog for myself the next day—but you know what? 'Next day' never came. I eventually drowned in a never-ending cycle of work, because the truth is, I had a never-ending list of things to do.

Seven years had passed, and here I am, starting back from zero. But it's okay. I am here—dressed in my pajamas with my hair all scrunched up in a bun, typing away on one corner of my bed at 12AM—pursuing my passion even after a long day at work, just because dreamers never quit, and dreamers gotta start somewhere, even if it means starting from scratch.

Please—never give up on the things that make you feel alive.



Pursuing Happiness, typing on my keyboard, one word at a time

#The20FirstsProject: Cut 5 inches off your hair! {Azta Urban Salon, Eastwood}

"But when was the last time you did something for the first time?" asked my friend, 7 months back. Speechless, I didn't get to answer him then, but I have to admit, his question just stuck with me. I admit it, I was done with routine. I was tired of sheltered. I'm done with just comfortable

   We meet around 80,000 people in our whole lives. And a lot of us do not realize that our words and actions, how small of an act we think they may be, could create a huge impact in the lives of others. And you know what? That holds true. Every day since my friend threw me The Question, I would always wake up in the morning and ask, "What new thing can I do and learn and experience today? What new lesson can I share and pass on to others today?"



     10 years from now, I'd remember the year 2016 as The Year I Turned 20. Aka The Year I Made Sure I Lived Out the Teenage Dream Before It was Too Late. (Jeez. I'm a walking cliche, huh?) Hence, on one quiet night at the backseat of my dad's car, this little life journey of a project was born.

     There is always this unexplainable, exhilarating feeling you get from A First. We may not remember it then, but our First Walk, for example. Or fast forward to high school and our memories flash back to our First Kiss. A few years after, and BAM. We meet our First Love. And then experience our First Heartache. And our First

Uno and our First Singko and our First Road Trip Adventure and our First Solo Flight and our First Job and our First Pay Day Family Dinner and everything in between.

     Our Firsts, either blessings or lessons, would always

hold a special place in our hearts. Our Firsts help keep us going; they help us get up from bed and look forward to what adventures await us.

     So here's to experiencing new things every day. 

     And most of all, here's to enjoying our own personal journeys, and learning the lessons from the Best Teacher Out There—Life.


     2015 was one hell of a year: had my heart broken three times, had my first job, had so much realizations on life (and on what to do, or rather, what not to do, after graduation), had been physically, mentally, and emotionally hurt by someone who I least expected to. Long story short, I just badly needed a fresh start. 

     You know how cutting your hair short is the kind of thing that girls-moving-on-from-a-bad-breakup do in the movies? Well yeah, I needed some moving on, all right. Not just from my previous relationship, but just from the negativities in general. I needed to move on from a dark and heavy past, and if cutting your hair is one way to make you feel lighter (literally AND figuratively), then why not give it a go, right?

     So here goes my First Number 1 on my #The20FirstsProject bucketlist!



Of course, I had it done at Azta Urban Salon in Eastwoord, by the only hair stylist I trust when it comes to cutting my hair- Sir Jo Tubato.

(Really cool how they shampoo your hair while you sit on your chair lol)


Bye-bye, 5 inches!

Just in case you're wondering, these are Azta Urban Salon's rates. 

I feel so fresh!! Wahaha. Thank you, Sir Jo! And thank you, as always, for the excellent service, Azta Urban Salon :)

The Sentimental Freak inside of me decided to bring this home for safekeeping. 

(Is this what you would call "normal"?)

(Am i still ur friend lol)

"Just chop it off already. It'll grow back anyway."

Join the movement! Create your own #The20FirstsProject, too! :)

What happened?

You used to ask me how my day went. 

You used to be interested in listening to what I would say,

even when—especially when— I started talking about my weirdest, most bizarre ideas.

You used to tell me stories. Wonderful stories. Stories worth laughing to or learning from.

You used to share me your secrets.

(I still keep your secrets.)

You used to talk about your plans, your dreams, your principles.

You used to like me. 

You used to like us.

What happened?


January 16, 2015

I tried. And I'm tired.

Impermanence: some people aren't meant to stay in our lives forever

January 2, 2015
4:20 AM

by H.N.

Some people aren't meant to stay in our lives forever.

they were meant to help us forget; 
to help our hearts heal
faster, easier.

They were meant to pick us up,
dust off our knees,
and remind us of everything we are and could possibly be.
A note. A promise of a brighter future.
Our own secret little metaphor of hope and better days; 
sunshine and warmth; happiness, even. 

They were meant to help us see the silver lining of things. To view the world from a different perspective. To love our scars.

They were meant to touch our lives through little things we'd often take for granted;
Like through good music. Or through books by authors you've never heard of before. 
Or through conversations on life, on passion, on questions like where-do-you-see-yourself-in-ten-years; on politics, on ice cream flavors, on stories of how we got our pets or the stupid things we did back when we were children.

You see, the thing is, some people will bring happiness after what may seem too long since.
Some will make us believe again. In the world. In humanity. In ourselves. Sometimes, maybe even in love,


we have to remember

that some people will make us hope for things, wonderful things, we'd never even imagine ourselves hoping for

but they weren't meant to stay in our lives forever.

Breathe in, let go, and be free.

"In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself."

Deepak Chopra

The first weeks of October was a huge burn out. In an attempt to distract myself from the hurt and betrayal, I allowed work to drown me. I signed up for so many things, committed to different projects, and attempted to finish a long list of tasks, only to be left feeling insecure and unaccomplished in the end, just because I couldn't deliver. My flames of passion were slowly extinguishing. I was looking for an escape; I was searching for happiness and inspiration in all the wrong places. I was lost. Worse, empty. 

But just when I was about to give up one night (the millennial inside me decided to take a break from everything by deactivating all her social media accounts and not showing up to people for days),  I'm thankful to have found a ray of sunshine during an inconvenient 2AM phone call, my own tiny little secret metaphor of hope and better days, that made long nights a whole lot tolerable, and sometimes, better.

So I choose to get back up.  To relax. To take a deep breath, a break, and a cup of tea this beautiful Sunday afternoon. There is so much beauty in this life and it is a waste to let bitterness and hurt get in the way of appreciating the now. And even though it hurts to think that I will never get the apology I've long been waiting for, I choose to let go. And in the process, find happiness, inner peace, and eventually, myself.

As the old saying goes, it is when you let go that you are finally free.

All photos were taken by April Baldovino (IG: @aprilbaldovinoo)



NMAT Ice Cream Operations 2015 + Connecting the Dots in Life

Four years ago, I would have imagined myself to be taking the NMAT today, along with thousands of other aspirants who dream of becoming doctors to serve others.

But God has a funny way of twisting life around, and lo and behold, there was a plot twist: Just when I thought I had life figured out, I realized that being a doctor wasn't my calling, after all, so I shifted out of my pre-medicine course to pursue communications.

Sometimes, I ask myself if I made the right decision; if the risks were worth it.

 I look around and pause to reflect on life, and then deep inside, I am assured I did, because I am passionately in love with what I do.

 Steve Job once said that, "...you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something-- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Living life to the fullest is pursuing your passions, even if it means having to take a risk and go over hurdles.


Today, three of the people closest to my heart will be one step closer to

fulfilling their dreams


They're taking the National Medical Admission Test as I type this, and I couldn't be any prouder of them. There is no doubt that one day, they're going to be amazing doctors with even more amazing hearts. 

Go, Nat, Mara, and Angeline! We love and believe in you! Aim for 99+! :)

Surprised my girls with ice cream last night, just because they've been studying their butts

out the past few weeks, and ice cream is always a good idea.

Why I am done with being a meantime girl.

"She's the one you call when you're bored because she makes you laugh. She's the one you talk to when you're feeling down because she's willing to lend an ear and be a friend. But she's not the one you call when you need a date to your company's Christmas party, or to go dancing with on a Saturday night. She's the one you spend time with between girlfriends, before you find 'The One'. You know, the one you keep in the meantime." --Anonymous

Photo by Pauline Disuanco of 31 Girl


The dating game is complicated.

You spend time with a person and you tell yourself you won't get attached because you're just 'hanging out'.

You talk at night, go out for dinner, go to the movies, share inside jokes, and you tell yourself that everything's fine and everything's casual, but then as time passes by, you find yourself tearing your walls down and letting him in, and then in a blink of an eye you realize that, crap, you do like him, but you're not supposed to, and he's not supposed to know, because, again, you're just "hanging out".

And then you pretend like nothing's up, that you're fine and cool and chill,

and you both continue playing the game,

because they say love is one, after all.

But you're not supposed to assume, or jump into conclusions, or take things as you see it. Because everything is all just for fun and no, he doesn't like you that way. So stop.

 "This is just how it's supposed to go", I thought.

 "I'm okay with this."

Until slowly, eventually, I was left feeling empty and searching for things that weren't even there. I was willingly exposing the deepest parts of myself for nothing. I was getting involved and attached, for nothing.

 And I don't even know why I had to put myself in this situation. I didn't have to, and I don't even have to.

I'm not okay with this, after all.


I don't want to be the girl you text at 2AM when you're bored or drunk;

I want to be your 7AM good morning, your 1PM-tell-me-what-you've-had-for-lunch, your 6PM-you-wouldn't-believe-what-happened-today.

I want to talk to you about your dreams, your passions, the things that inspire you or make you happy or tick you off or keep you awake at night. I want to know you, the real you behind that calm and composed and mysterious facade of yours.

I don't want to be the girl you run to /just/ when you're sad or lonely or confused;

I want to be the girl you'd like to spend boring days with, doing nothing but eat Chinese takeout or sweet and spicy instant noodles over movies or video games or board games, even.

I don't want anymore of those empty kisses that leave me feeling loved and wanted, but only for a night;

I long for assuring warm, tight hugs that glue together all of my broken pieces and promise better days ahead.

But we're just not on the same page.

Because at the end of it all, you don't see me as anything else but someone to keep you company while you're in this phase of fooling around and doing crazy things so you can discover yourself and explore the world and know what you really want, until you realize you're finally ready to get serious and look for the 'right girl'.

But I won't ever be her, because it's obvious that I'm just your meantime girl.

It's time I realize my worth, and for mercy's sake, I am far worth more than this.

We are far worth more than this.


Darling, it doesn't have to be this way.

If the dating game isn't for you, then it's okay. It's not everyone's cup of tea, anyway.

Don't stick around with people who make you feel sorry for things you shouldn't be.

You need someone who won't make you feel guilty for texting first;  someone constant; someone who shows his/her appreciation for you not with grand gestures, but with the everyday, boring, little things. Trust me, they're the most sincere ones.

Know your worth, and never compromise with your non-negotiables.

Too much

Sometimes I feel like people think I'm
too needy
too weak
too helpless.

And oftentimes, I feel alone.

What if no one ever sees past my scars?
What if no one chooses to understand?
What if no one chooses to stay?

After all,
I'm too broken to be loved, anyway.

/ I'm sorry I can't win this fight. /

Pagod na pagod.

Ang daming gagawin.

Ano ba uunahin ko?

Mag-thesis? Mag-aral? Mag-sulat ng papers? Mag-org? Magtrabaho? Mag-email kay boss? Hindi ko na alam.

Ah, basta. Pagod na ako.

Pagod na pagod na akong

Mag-thesis. Mag-aral. Mag trabaho. Magpapayat. Mag-mahal. Magpa-ikot. Ma-inlove. Magpaka-tanga.

 Sino ba binibiro ko?

Teka, trabaho pa ba pinaguusapan natin?



Because sometimes, going to the village park at 5AM to declutter your life is the best thing to do

Because sometimes, going to the village park at 5AM to declutter your life is the best thing to do

Sometimes, it's okay to grab your favorite sweater and head out of the house while half of the world's asleep; it's okay to walk to the village park at 5 in the morning, just because you've been looking for some symbolic shit to do, to remind yourself that you'll be fine, and most importantly, that's it's all over now; that there's nothing to be afraid of anymore.

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Darling, take the nearest exit: A letter to my 16-year-old-self

He will be mysterious.

He will seem distant and unattainable,

and then he 

will woo you

and tell you that you’re different from the other girls.

He will tell you he still finds you pretty even when you’ve had a long ass night and your hair is all over your face and you still haven’t slept and you’re stuck with a truckload of problem sets to work on and you have no idea how you’re going to apply college algebra in real life anyway.

He will go out of his way to make you feel special.

He will text you at 3PM.

He will text you at 3AM.

He will make you feel like you’re the only one running in his mind.

And you will fall for it.


Because as soon as you let him know you’re falling for it, the game changes.

He will lock you up in his fingers.

He will keep you

trap you inside

and then 

he will let go of you


without any warning.

And you will come running after him. Desperately.

He will tell you he loves you.

He will let his walls fall down

and you’ll feel good about him tearing down his facade for you.

He will make you feel nice and warm inside.

He will kiss your forehead and tuck your hair behind your ears

He will surprise you with beautiful gestures.

but then

He will make you feel that you’re not enough.

He will tell you that you’re

not pretty enough

not smart enough

not feminine enough

not good enough

And the next thing you’ll know,

you’re left broken

and empty

and lost

and hurt.

You will be a stranger to yourself.

So darling, as soon as you see the red flag,

take the nearest exit. 

Run as fast as you can.

And don’t look back.

You’re not lonely. You’re just alone and that’s okay.

You’re just sixteen and you were meant for greater things.

Don’t go ahead chasing people who don’t know your worth. You were meant to be loved and pursued, and you should remember that.

You’re still young. Don’t rush relationships.

Love isn’t built for speed, anyway.

Love, Madness, Poetry: Goodbye, really.

2 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon, and I think I'm ready.

2 o'clock and I remind myself that it's about time.

I'm tired of waiting and hoping for all the wrong reasons.

So I say goodbye and let go of all our "if onlys".

I say goodbye to all the things you said that left me hoping still.

I say goodbye to you, and

and I say goodbye to what could have been us.

Goodbye. I'm letting you go, not because I want to, but because I have to. And because we have to.

"So when people leave, I’ve learned the secret: let them. Because, most of the time, they have to.

 Let them walk away and go places. Let them have adventures in the wild without you. Let them travel the world and explore life beyond a horizon that you exist in. And know, deep down, that heroes aren’t qualified by their capacity to stay but by their decision to return."

—The Staying Philosophy, Isa Garcia

(Poem source: Berlin-artparasites)

Love, Madness, Poetry: We almost were.

Yes, I'm still not completely over you, or over us, or rather, over what could have been an us. But I'm trying my hardest. Earlier tonight, I saw this poem on berlin-artparasite's page, and it struck me. 

This needs to end.

"I need to stop being in love with the ideas of what could have been. We could have slowly inched closer and held each other a little tighter. We could have laughed a little harder and fallen in love some more. There are so many things that could have happened, but didn’t. We almost were. We almost weren’t. We almost happened. Cupid almost won. But he didn’t. And we didn’t either. "

— Ming D. Liu

Love, Madness, Poetry: How to Pretend It Doesn't Hurt by Ashe Vernon

It's 4AM and I just finished doing work. I can't sleep, and I don't think I have plans on doing so anymore; I have to wake up by 6 for school. So here I am writing this post, tryna get my mind off things; tryna focus on what's important, on the here and on the now.

A week ago, my sorority sis sent me a poem that she stumbled upon that night. She knew I was feeling down, and that this would somehow make me feel better. She was right.

I just thought It'd be nice to share it with you, too. 

Here's to the girls who had every piece inside of them break and crumble.
We are more than our heartaches.
We are strong, and in time, we will not just get by
-- we will grow and blossom and love again.

How to Pretend It Doesn't Hurt
by Ashe Vernon

When he says he doesn’t love you anymore, roll your shoulders back and look him in the eye even when it feels like your ribs are breaking inward; like spider legs.
When he digs up old aches that he swore he forgave you for, smile and ask him why he didn’t leave you sooner.
Ignore the way the words feel like sandpaper running all the way up your throat to your mouth.
When he blames you for mistakes that wear his face, do not scream.
Do not cry.
Tell him that there are boys who would be proud to say they’d love you.
Tell him that in two years you won’t even remember his name and don’t let him see the way you can taste your own lie.
When he leaves, ignore the howling in your blood and do not get up after him. Not even to lock the door.
Do not, do not, DO NOT. Smell his shirts when you box them up to give them back. Not one.
Swear off dating when you realize you’re chasing ghosts that wear his smile.
It’s okay to cry over him. It’s even okay to forgive him. But do not go back to him if he did not know how to love you the first time. He won’t know how to do it the next.

Diary Entry: "Psst. Hi Ate!'

I was hailing a cab along a curb at Bonifacio High Street when a group of perverted, sweaty, jeje sando-wearing jerks in a pick up truck stopped right in front of me.
The guy next to the window howled.
"Pssst. Hi ate!"
His friends cheered him on.
One thing I do not tolerate is street harassment. Just standing there and not doing anything about it makes them feel that they have some sort of power to demean us women.
I rolled my eyes and replied "O. Bakit?"
The guy looked surprised, like it was the first time a girl he tried to degrade actually answered back. His friends were laughing. He answered, "Anong pangalan mo?" and winked.
I kept a straight face, looked at him in the eye, and said "Ikaw? Ano bang pangalan mo?"
I dont know why, but he awkwardly looked down, and then away. Embarrassment was painted all over his face. I could sense that he wanted to drive away from me right then and there.
But then the traffic light turned red.

Of late nights and broken promises

I love you
Even though you come and go. 

And you know this for a fact.
I'm always here to stay..

But this time
You don't have to come back for me.
You're free to choose what makes you happy.

Just always remember
Just have this engraved somewhere in your heart:

I love you.
Even though you come and go.

I never was and I'll never be.

I was never the one you wanted.
I was only the one you had.

I am just me,
and I will never be her.

And that leaves me broken.
Because deep inside, you hurt me.
And I still am hurt.
And It will always hurt.
And I would always have to pretend.
But to be completely honest, seeing her every single day, knowing that she's what you perfectly want and she's what I'll never, ever be, kills me; crushes me; destroys me.

"Why can I not."
"Why am I not."
"Who am I not."
"Who am I."

But at the end of it all,
I try to be happy.
Or to look happy, at the least.