There is about a week left to a much awaited holiday: Valentine's Day!
I can see a lot of you through your screens: some of you are giddy delight while some of you are desperately trying hard not to smack your computer screen.
I used to be a part of the latter but it turns out that "love" is not defined by a singular relationship. I'd like to believe that those who really invented Valentine's Day meant it to be a day to celebrate love and all its facets and not to heighten people's "singleness".
I believe if we truly look at our lives and see how much love has been given to us, we too will be excited about this holiday and not hole ourselves up in our room hating every single rose in sight.
This year, I choose not to dwell on the fact that I am single (again?) on this holiday and instead I choose to celebrate the love that has been freely given to me by those God has chose to bless my life with.
And let me just say, being single is not a bad thing, it doesn't mean you are unwanted or hideous, it just means you know what you're worth and you won't settle for anything less than that.
So here is the list of people who have inspired me and people who have helped me become a little better than I was yesterday.
I hope this blog expresses even just a tiny bit how much I appreciate these people and the joy they have sprinkled into my life.
1) My Family
It goes without saying that my family is my biggest source of love, especially since they are the people who see me every single day. They've seen me at my worst and they chose to love me anyway. It's the greatest love anyone can have and I'm forever thankful for that. While it's not perfect at all times, it is the kind of love that will never ever go away.
2) Ms. Yay Olmedo
I met Ms. Yay Olmedo in College when she became my professor in my Principles of Advertising class in 2006, since then I have learned so much from her in and outside of the classroom. Ms. Yay was one of the first people who believed in me and in my ability. Also, her dedication to serving God has inspired me to center my life on the One who gives me life. I appreciate the fact that she is always a text message away and most of all, I appreciate her prayers. Her encouragement is truly priceless!
3) Ate Ingrid Dedel
Ate Ingrid is the first person I text whenever I feel down or I need prayers. She is an inspiring woman of God and someone truly admirable because she's independent, smart and has a mind of her own. It is a privilege to share my journey with someone like her. It has definitely made the load a whole lot lighter!
4) Elydia Reyes
I first met Elyds or as I fondly call her "lola" when I was still working in SISC and I was immediately blown away by her calm manner and her dedication to her job. Elyds has inspired me to take my work very seriously because we were not doing it for our bosses, but ultimately for God. She is possibly my most favorite person in the world simply because her view of the world is optimistic and never jaded.
5) Dea Lambo
Do I really need reasons to explain as to why I love this girl? Our friendship started with me asking her to be my stylist because she definitely is the most stylish and most fashionable person I know but as I got to know her I have come to realize that Dea is even more beautiful ON THE INSIDE. She's got a big heart and a vibrant personality on top of being one of the most confident people I know. I am so glad I took the step in asking her to be my "stylist" because it has definitely led me to one of my most treasured friendships!
Isabele and I became friends when I got her as a "model" for the promotional materials in the place where I used to work. I have always been blown away by Isabele's beauty, in fact, I was a bit intimidated by her. But when I looked past her stunning beauty, I saw a strong girl with such a big heart for Jesus. Her big heart is also the main reason why she is loved by many! I can't wait for the great things God has for you, love! I miss you already!
7) Gracia Lopez
I first met my beloved Ate Gracia browsing through my favorite bookstore, OMF! She is by far, one of the most inspiring people I know because she is love in action! She not only sends me encouragement every now and then but she has shown me what real love is like through her actions! She inspires me to always keep my eyes on God and always reminds me that the greatest reward of all is Jesus! Her dedication to her job is also an inspiration! I know God will continue to bring her to places that will truly make her shine even more!
8) Mike Pamintuan
I first knew of Mike in CSA, Makati where he was in the same batch as I was but never a classmate. He was quite popular as a young boy but we never had the chance to meet and become friends in school but of course, through Facebook, I "saw" him again and boy was I surprised by the change I saw (hihihi)! Mike is one of the most genuine Christians I have "met" in my life. Not only does he align his life cautiously with what is being taught by the word but he also isn't ashamed to admit his mistakes and also admit that he is a work in progress. Mike also uses his "popularity" for good by spreading Jesus' love (seriously, this guy gets 100 likes a minute!). Mike is an inspiring young man, but if you don't believe me you can read all about it here. I truly wish him nothing but God's very best in all things and may his life continue to inspire more men in the world :)
9) Tracy Pagal
I absolutely love and adore this girl! Tracy is quirky, funny and intelligent all at the same time but what I love most about her is her ardent passion for Jesus! Tracy is so in love with Jesus but at the same time, she isn't a major killjoy! Instead she's living her life to the fullest and infecting with her enthusiasm as an effect! Tracy makes loving Jesus look absolutely fun, which it really is! She is a huge encouragement to me and I hope she knows just how much I appreciate her! PS: Just look at how beautiful SHE IS!! Another one of the girls whose beauty intimidated me when we first met!
10) My Workmates and My students!
They say the people you work with are like family simply because they see you every single day and they see it all: happy you, pressured you and depressed you! So I'm grateful for my workmates because they do bring a lot of sunshine on those not so happy days!
Same goes with my students! I may not have a picture of all of them to post but they truly brighten up my day and make me feel like I am doing something worthwhile!
11) Angelie Kare
Angelie or "Ange" as I fondly call her is one of my most treasured gems! I absolutely adore this girl because she is always positive, stylish and generally, just an overall good person! We have been friends for quite awhile and I truly appreciate her even more because she listens to me and just gets it! I know her dreams will come true one day and I would definitely be the first person to be cheering her on!
12) My Manila Times Family
I have never been to The Manila Times Office but I am forever grateful to these four people: My Editor, Ms. Tessa Arriola, The One Who Set Me Up with Atom Araullo (haha), Ed Uy and My Forever Favorite Co-Fan Girl, Euden Valdez! You guys make writing seem so easy and fun! I really wish to meet you all in person soon! :)
And of course, I would forever be grateful to Kai Pastores for blessing me with such a great opportunity to do what I love! :)
13) My Brilliant Kids and My True Blue Friends: Charles, Cla, Von, Alia, Tina, Tin, Prex and Jay
I never thought the day would come when students would be real friends. We may not hang out all the time but these people have been there for me and have encouraged me through the toughest battles. They are also the people who make me laugh the most (yes, I'm talking to you, Von!) and I am so proud of all that they have become :)
14) Cris Nieto
I absolutely love my Ate Cris! She has seen me grow up (magkaage daw kami!) and has always been a just a BBM away. She is also one of the funniest people I know! She also carries in her a strength that is indomitable and something that I truly admire her for. Also, she gave me first ever ebook reader! Haha! That is reason enough! ;) Also, thank you for introducing me to Cayleigh and Clayton!!!!
15) Patty Mendoza
This girl just inspires me to jump into life and not constantly think of the consequences. Her life inspires me to start living my own life as well, without limits. I will bet on anything that Patty will definitely go places! And I love her laughter, okay! HAHA!
And lastly, I would like to say that the greatest love I have come to know is the love of Jesus Christ, it may seem like a cliche but I am forever grateful for the love that gave me everything without ever expecting anything in return. That is truly the love that is worth celebrating this month, the kind of love that makes you whole and never leaves you empty.
This list does not include EVERY SINGLE person in my life who has touched me with love in one way or another, forgive me for I am quite forgetful at times, but let me just say that there are so many things to celebrate this month and so many things to be thankful for!
Allow me to end this entry with the real definition of love and may you be blessed with the love of your dreams, in God's perfect time but in the meantime, relish in the love that has been given!
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (Message)