“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

It took me so long to get my thoughts together to compost this blogpost and quite frankly, I am still speechless. I feel like even once I finish this, it still won’t be enough. I feel like no matter how hard I try to convey my opinions and emotions about this issue, there will still be people who won’t listen – and that’s what fucking sucks.

If you are American, or you live near the US, or is aware of what has happened in the past 24 hours, I hope you are as terrified as I am for the next four years of our lives. Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. Even saying it out loud or typing it on my keyboard seems like a joke. It hasn’t sunk in to me yet. I don’t know if it ever will.

As a Canadian, I know I won’t be as affected by Trump’s actions as I would be if I lived in the US, but to some extent, Canada will still be affected by his policies (that’s if he even has any). I have friends, PoC friends, immigrant friends, friends who are women, friends who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, living in the United States and as someone who deeply loves and cares for them, I am so scared. I feel like saying that I’m scared is an understatement. I’m nervous. I’m afraid. I’m terrified. I’m horrified. I’m everything but happy with the result of the elections. It just… I don’t understand how this is real. I feel like I’m alive in the worst alternate universe there is and I’m just waiting to get out but no. This is it. This is real. This is reality and this is happening.

I’ve cried many times today. I cried at 1 in the morning when I saw that the electoral votes were 244-215. I cried when I woke up at 5:30am getting a text from my friend that said “he won and I’m scared.” I cried during my chemistry class today because my teacher said that her daughter came up to her this morning with the biggest frown on her face and said “Mommy, the mean man won.” My teacher teared up and said it broke her heart to see a man who has no respect for women whatsoever gets to run a country rather than a woman who has the potential to actually make a difference. I cried coming home from dinner realizing that I’m not dreaming and this is actually what is going on. I cried watching Miley Cyrus’ recent Twitter video post. I mean, fuck. This isn’t the kind of reaction we should be getting when a president is elected. None of this is right. It’s so bent that I feel like it’s not real.

I can’t comprehend how people in the right mind could compare and contrast between Hillary and Trump and come to the conclusion that Trump is the best fit for presidency. I can’t comprehend that there are people who openly support him. I can’t comprehend that there are women, WOMEN, who voted for him despite of all the disgusting, misogynistic shit that he’s said. I can’t comprehend that there are people who think that he is right, that what he’s doing and saying is all justified and correct. I can’t comprehend that there are people who don’t care enough for the lives of others and would just go vote for a bigoted, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic asshole like Trump. I don’t see the logic behind the support he’s getting. I’m a 16 year-old Filipina and it breaks my heart to see that someone who is so misogynistic and has so much hate for someone who isn’t coming from the same race as he is, has become a president of a country that has so much power and impact on the global society.

Hillary has done and said some controversial and problematic things too but she is more fitting for the position than Trump is and ever will be. I don’t support Hillary – I don’t support any of them two, but if I had to vote I’d go for her. At least she has a slight idea on what she’s doing since she’s actually done public service unlike the man who has gone bankrupt, doesn’t pay his taxes, is going to be on trial for raping a 13 year old (by the way, why is this issue not being talked about by the media?), and much much more. The list is endless.

Trump’s win is a win for himself and his ego only. I fear for the minorities who are going to be persecuted more than they already have been, for the PoCs who will continue to receive hatred from White America, for the LGBTQ+ community and having their rights taken away just after they were given to them, for the families that will be separated due to deportation, for the women who will be silenced and told that they are inferior to men.

To the people who voted for Trump, who didn’t vote, who voted for a third party, who isn’t at all in any way bothered by this: I want you to know that your silence speaks volumes. I want you to know how many lives you’ve put in danger. I want you to know that this is all on you. And if you’ve chosen to go blind about how bad Trump becoming president actually is,  I have lost all my respect for you. If we are friends and you are in any way a Trump supporter or you sympathize for him even with just a little ounce of you, do not talk to me ever again. Do not consider me as your friend because you do not respect me. You’re now a different person in my eyes and I’m sorry to say that but it’s the truth. Cut your ties with me, I don’t care who you are or how long we’ve known eachother for, we are done. By being silent, I want you to know that you are siding with Trump and his beliefs because if you weren’t you would speak up. You would fight for the oppressed and not side with the oppressor. By voting or sympathizing or even supporting Trump, it is clear that you don’t care enough about other people but yourself. The truth hurts but it doesn’t compare to the hurt, the pain, and the suffering that women, immigrants, people of colour, people in the LGBTQ+ community, and minorities have had to go through all these years.

To the women, the PoCs, those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, to the minorities and to anyone who is suffering and is affected by the election results: First of all I am sorry. I am sorry that this is what America has come to. I’m sorry that people have become so ignorant and refuse to acknowledge you as human beings deserving of rights. But I want you all to know this: I love and care for each and every single one of you. I mourn and is just as disappointed as you over this. This is a fight we all have to fight and I will stand with you all to do what is right. We will not be silenced. We will not be told that we are less because our skin colour is not similar to theirs. We will not be told that we are pigs or dogs because we are women. We will not be told that we are lazy because we’re immigrants. We will not be told that we don’t matter because we do, every. single. one. of. us. We will fight for the justice that we have always deserved. The justice that the system deprived and continues to deprive us of. I love you all and I live for the strength and confidence that brews in your spirits. That is what we need. High-spirited fighters who are willing to stand up for justice. We have always fought, but now is the time to fight even harder. To stand up for what we believe in. To do what is right and just.

Earlier, I was told today to “get over” this because I’m Canadian but it doesn’t work like that. It is hard to ignore a problem and a social issue like this. I’m a girl, I’m a person of colour, I’m an immigrant. I may not be American but Trump’s hatred towards women, PoCs and immigrants is a direct attack to me because I know that someone like him and people like his supporters have hatred towards people like me just because we are different. Yes, I’m Canadian but that doesn’t mean I will sit here and watch as America sets itself on fire. I will not quietly watch as Trump fucks things up more than he already has.

ALL JOKES ASIDE

As you may have heard (multiple times already), last night was the coronation of the Miss Universe 2015. Many beautiful women were there but only one had to win and we all know what happened there, right? That awkward mishap of crowning Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines – we know about that, right?

Well, that whole situation has blown out of proportion. Let me just say this first: I am Filipino so yes I am happy for Pia and am glad that she won the competition. After the show, many have made jokes and created memes that are more so of insulting and rude than being funny. The term “Colombiazoned” has been circulating the Internet since last night and many jokes have been about Miss Colombia’s loss. This is very upsetting to me because it is so disrespectful.

People are using the term Colombiazoned to refer to a situation where one was made happy and then having that happiness be taken away. Now this, I don’t think is as bad as the other jokes that were made but in my opinion, it isn’t very polite to poke fun at a situation where someone (Miss Colombia) was hurting. Could you imagine that same thing happening to you? To have your LITERAL LIFE GOAL AND DREAM be given to you and have that taken away in just a span of two minutes while it’s being aired on LIVE TELEVISION WHERE THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING? Not so funny now, is it? I thought Filipinos were supposed to be respectful and kind, why are we doing this?

There are even jokes made about Miss Colombia roaming Twitter about how the crown was taken away from her and she doesn’t even have an idea because she can’t speak or understand english. How is this, in any way, slightly bit funny? What happened to her sucked and I can’t even begin to imagine how she must be feeling right now. I really don’t think it’s right for us to make jokes about what took place last night because yes, it was awkward and maybe funny for a little while, but the jokes got old really quickly and now they’re just mean. Put yourself in her shoe and think about what you would feel if you were her last night. Think about how you would feel if your ultimate life goal was achieved and given to you and then moments later they tell you that it’s for someone else. It sucks, doesn’t it? So what makes you think that it’s funny to poke fun and make jokes about the situation?

If anything, we should be applauding Miss Colombia for her positive sportsmanship and the way she reacted upon what happened. In my opinion, she should’ve been the one that took off the crown and put it on Pia’s head instead, then walk out gracefully as she did before being crowned. Miss Colombia doesn’t need a reminde of what happened so please, instead of laughing and making jokes out of it, congratulate her and applaud her for being such a good sport during the show.

On a different note, a lot of people are also getting heated about Steve Harvey’s mistake. Can we all accept that he made a mistake? It was an honest mistake, just like he says on Twitter. I’m so tired of people calling him out for making a mistake when he was literally in front of so many people, on top of that, the whole world was watching him at that very moment waiting for the name of the winner to be announced. Can you imagine the pressure he had at that very moment? I really appreciate the way he apologized because he said sorry, didn’t make excuses, and just went straight to the point that he read it wrong and announced the wrong name. At least he owned up to his mistake. Can we please stop the negativity and just let it go? This whole thing has gotten so big that it’s hurting other people’s feelings. It’s not funny anymore.

On the other hand, congratulations to Pia for winning the pageant. She deserved it as much as the other ladies who competed. She’s worked so hard for this and I love how humble she was about last night. She did amazing and her answer for the Q&A portion was on point. Anyway, look at how good she looked at the pageant.

Yup. I definitely have a girl crush on her.

YOU DESERVE BETTER

So I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline until I saw these posted:

(c) Twitter

(c) Twitter

(c) Twitter

Those two posts were originally from Tumblr and people posted them on Twitter but that’s not the point.

I’ve been thinking of writing a post like this for a long time, but just had no idea how to begin or how to word it out properly. Weirdly enough, something happened this week that related to the topic I’m going to talk about and upon those situations, I found those quotes/advices. Isn’t it funny how you randomly stumble upon posts that you relate to during the time that you need it?

Anyway, here’s the thing.

Love.

What is it? A four letter word that contains such powerful meaning. According to my phone’s dictionary, love is an intense feeling of deep affection. I’m not going to sugarcoat this introduction so I’m just going to go straight to my point.

You see, now, people seem to rush through getting into relationships. A lot of people just want to find The One already and just settle with that person. But I just want to talk to you, yes you, the person reading this. I have some advice for you. Read those three posts above until you remember it. Before you get into a relationship, I want you to know that you deserve nothing but the best. First, you have to know what you deserve, and then second, never settle for anything less than that. You are worth so much and you deserve someone who will give their best for you. Someone who will tell their friends about you even when you’re not around. You deserve someone who goes out of their way just to see you and talk to you and be with you. You deserve someone who will listen to your stories, how boring or bizarre they may be. You deserve someone who will be there for you, through trials and victories. You deserve someone who will make you feel like you’re on top of the world, someone who won’t leave you hanging and left out. You deserve someone who laughs at your jokes, even if they weren’t funny. You deserve reciprocated love. You deserve someone who isn’t embarrassed to talk about you and the times you both spent together. You deserve someone who will fight for what you have. Someone who will put as much as effort as you put in. You deserve someone who will care for you no matter what, no matter when, no matter where. Someone who will make you feel alright, someone who keeps you grounded and humble and kind. Don’t worry if that person isn’t here now, they will come and when they do, you are going to be so full of love that it will radiate through you and life will be so much better because they’re by your side.

On the other hand, here’s what you don’t deserve. You don’t deserve someone who belittles you. Someone who makes fun of what you enjoy doing, may that be drawing or singing or writing or anything. You don’t deserve someone who makes you feel uncomfortable when you’re around them. You don’t deserve someone who doesn’t care about you. Someone who doesn’t appreciate what you do for them and someone who doesn’t think about the efforts you put in for them. You don’t deserve unrequited love. You don’t deserve made up lies. You don’t deserve someone who ignores you. Someone who, in the relationship, only talks about themselves, and never asks you anything about yourself (i.e.: how was your day, how are you feeling, did you get home safely, etc.). You don’t deserve someone who invalidates your feelings or opinions. You don’t deserve someone who makes you cry constantly. You don’t deserve someone who makes you think twice about why you’re with them. You don’t deserve someone who’s never there, someone who doesn’t talk about how much they love you. You don’t deserve someone who makes you feel like you constantly have to change yourself for their own comfort. You don’t deserve someone who you have to worry constantly whether you’re pleasing them or not. You don’t deserve someone who doesn’t pay attention at all to what you have to say. You don’t deserve that kind of love. Heck, that’s not even love to begin with. Like I said earlier, love is an intense feeling of deep affection. Therefore, there must be some affection in between the both of you. You deserve nothing but the absolute best. And if you’re with someone who makes you feel sh*tty about yourself, then know that you deserve better. It’s not worth loving someone who constantly demeans you, it’s exhausting. You deserve all kinds of love in the world. I honestly can’t emphasize that enough.

Letting go of people who are toxic in your life and cause negativity may be easier said than done. But life gets SO much better and brighter when you do let go of them. Rid yourself off of people who don’t make you feel good about yourself. Rid yourself off of people who cause troubles and burdens in your life. You are better off without them. Find someone who uplifts you, someone who encourages you to be a better person, someone who motivates you. Find someone who will be there through good times, and bad times, through rough and smooth. Find someone who will stick with you through thick and thin. And I sure do hope that one day, you find someone who is exactly all of that and more.

5 YEARS FROM NOW

I was at the dentist flipping through the pages of the magazines when one question written at the bottom of a page struck me.

 “What would you tell your 20 year old self?”

I thought about it and I now have the answer. I decided to put it in a letter- a letter to the 20 year old me.

Dear me,

Hi. I’m your 15 year old self talking to you- the 20 year old version of me. You’ve gone through 2 decades, 2 ten years. That’s quite long but you will live through more. The struggles you’ve faced are tiny compared to the struggles you will face. I need you to promise me one thing- that you will keep on keeping on. You will not give up no matter how hard the situation may be, no matter how difficult it is to get through. You will face several problems that will make you feel like you don’t want to deal with them anymore. There will be dark days, but there will be sunny ones with birds chirping and cold lemonade stands, too. So just hold on and get yourself together. You can do this.

There will be problems such as financial issues, educational stuff, boys and relationships, and other bumps in the road. You will be piled with so much work from school that may make you feel like you don’t want to do any of them. You will need money (preferably quite a lot) to get through school and life in general. But remember, you are still 20. That’s still quite young. You still have so much ahead of you to be worrying about these things. But here’s one thing I can tell you, you are bigger than the problems you face. You are better than the trials you’re going through and you’re going to overcome them with the help of the people you love.

Boys and relationships will become a problem. You will, or have already, go through or gone through breakup(s). You will lose and gain friends who will either make you or break you. But here’s the thing, your relationships with these people shape up who you are. Boyfriends can be problems, but they can be great if you find a good guy. Remember what you told your dad when he asked you what kind of guy you were looking for, “mabait and God-fearing” and remember what you told your mom when she asked you the same question, “someone who dresses nicely para hindi ko sya ma-outshine when putting outfits together”. What you told your dad was more important, although you did say once you wanted a guy with dimples. Ahh yes, dimples. Anyway, find someone who will treat you right. And I cannot express that enough. Find someone who will treat you right. Someone who will see the beauty in you even in your ugliest, most laziest, I-just-got-out-of-bed-I-haven’t-brushed-my-teeth-yet look. Find someone who will make flowers grow in even the saddest parts of you. Someone who will make you so happy than happiness radiates from your smile and other people become happy when they see you smile. Find someone who loves God, and fears Him, and someone who has values and knows what’s right and wrong. Remember: no sex before marriage. You know the rules, your parents have told you this so many times. Doesn’t matter if someone calls you lame for still being a virgin at 20, who cares really?! It’s your sexual life, why do they care if you’re still a virgin? Find a guy who has the same beliefs as you. Find someone who will bring you out of your comfort zone. But hey, you’re still 20. You don’t necessarily HAVE TO have a boyfriend at this age. If you don’t have anyone at the moment, just remember that relationships take time. Meeting and getting to know someone on a deep, intellectual, and emotional way doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye. Don’t rush it, darating din yung tamang panahon.

Here’s another thing: don’t forget where you came from. Lagi mo’ng alalahanin yung mga reasons that caused you to be where you are- the people who made you the person you are today. Wala ka kung hindi dahil dun sa mga bagay na yon. Talk to your relatives back home, tell your parents you love them, give back, be down to earth. Don’t be egotistical, it never ends up good. Also don’t forget to thank God, for everything He’s given you. Marami na Siya’ng ginawa for you. Nakakahiya naman if you won’t take at least 20 seconds from your day to just say thank You, diba?

Don’t stress yourself too much about your future, just enjoy the Now. You will lose track of all the good memories of the Now if you keep thinking about your future. It’s okay to not know what you want to be still. It’s okay to fail. You’re not perfect and you never will be, so don’t stress yourself out too much. Stop worrying, you’ll get wrinkles if you do. Just keep doing your best, always be thankful, and don’t forget where you came from. He has so much planned for you, so don’t give up! Keri mo ‘yan, teh! Bilib ako sayo!

Love, 

Shay, the 15 year old

What advice would you tell your 20 year old self? If you’re older, what would you have told your 20 year old self? Are you happy with how your 20 year old self turned out?

A LIFE LIVED IN FEAR IS A LIFE HALF LIVED

I’ve read that quote before didn’t think anything of it until I watched the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby for the 12th time. Literally. I’ve seen the movie 12 times. It’s my favourite movie because I love the flaws in it and the beauty of the colours and the soundtrack and obviously, Leo. Anyway, back on what I was talking about..

I had no idea the quote was there until I paused the movie and read it. I read it out loud and asked my mom if she thinks it’s true and she said yes, asked why and she said “your fear holds you back from doing what you want.” I thought about what my thoughts are about the quote and so here is a post conveying my thoughts.

I think it’s true. No, scratch that. I don’t think it’s true, it is true. First, what is fear? Fear, according to Oxford American Dictionary is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. You see, this is what holds us back- the fear of us being hurt or being wrong. Fear is what stops us from doing the things that we (sometimes) want. We’re existing, but because of fear, we’re not living. What the quote means is this, when you live your life worried about the things that could hurt you, you’re not living in your full potential because you are stopped by the thoughts of failing or rejection or pain. Being hurt is a part of life, you learn from being hurt. When you first rode your bike and fell and scraped your knee, you were hurt, so it gives you the instinct of not falling again, therefore you learn. If in the first place you feared being hurt so you didn’t ride the bike at all, then you wouldn’t learn how to ride it. Whenever I do anything remotely scary, these “what if” questions come to my head. What if I get hurt? What if I don’t do it right? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I fail? What if it doesn’t end up the way I want it to? What if I get laughed at? These questions come into my head to bug me and to convince me not to do anything.

Fear is something that holds you back, it’s something that ties your hands behind your back and duct tapes your mouth shut. But once you find a way to overcome fear, it’s like finding a scissor to cut yourself loose from the knotted rope on your arms, and it’s like taking off that duct tape and finally being free. (What kind of analogy is that? It doesn’t make any sense) When you live in fear, how will you be able to do what you want? How will you travel places when you’re scared of flying or riding ships or being in cars? How will you become a leader when you’re scared of people?

“Live your life to the fullest,” that’s what they always say. But I say, “a life lived in fear is a life half lived” to remind myself not to live in fear. I feel like “live your life to the fullest” is way too common and overrated that people just throw it around and it lost its depth. So, I’m sticking with “a life lived in fear is a life half lived” instead. I want to one day look back on my life, and have no regrets of a certain thing I didn’t do because I was scared to do it. I don’t want to look back and think about the opportunities I didn’t take. 

We bring fear upon ourselves; we’re the ones in-charge whether to be scared or not. I feel like we need to stop living in fear and regret and just do the things we want to do, achieve the dreams we want to achieve, and be as happy as we can be. Live your life out of your comfort zone, do things you never thought you’d do, dare to eat exotic food, say what’s in your mind, call someone out if they’re wrong and do not fear about what people think as long as you’re doing the right thing. Overcome your fear so that you live a full life, and not a half one. Stop being scared and be confident instead. Life is a journey full of scary, yet amazing things, but how can you get to those amazing things when you’re scared? Remember, you are intended to do things far beyond what you can imagine. You are meant for so much more.