The Thankful Thirty Project. Day 6

March 6.

Today, I’m thankful to God for blessing me with a really good and crazily happy Lolos and Lolas and Titos and Titas.

I’m grateful that God made me born into two families who know very well how to value the importance of ‘family,’ fight for it, and live for it.

My Lolos and Lolas from the father side died even before I could actually appreciate the warmth of their cuddles and kisses. I think my Lola Saling died when I was just 2 months and Lolo Gemeng died way before I was conceived. Thankfully, I have Lola Saling’s brothers and sisters to call my Lolos and Lolas on my father’s side. They’re actually a blend of super serious, slight serious, and very funnily amusing grandparents! Most of them already passed away but at least the funniest of them all is still here with us–Lolo Totoy. He’s the most mapanlait lolo ever but his panlalait never fails to amuse me and make me laugh:-) One of my cousins even told me before that she doesn’t know how to introduce her boyfriend to Lolo Totoy without receiving panlalait from him. But we love him dearly and in fact, he’s always the life of the party during our family reunions. Every time he cracks a joke, the whole room will be filled with laughter.

I’m blessed to be able to experience spending summer vacations with my Lolo and Lola from the mother side. Tatay, as we fondly called Mama’s father, was the most gentle, caring, loving, and generous lolo ever! He would always defend us from Nanay (my lola) whenever she gets mad at us. His death some 15 years ago, was the first heartbreak I’ve experienced in my life.

Nanay Sitang is not your usual gentle and sweet Lola. She’s actually mataray and at times madamot:-) But those things could not discount the times we’ve experienced her unconditional care and love. She wouldn’t be Nanay Sitang if she’s not mataray. Nanay may be extra masungit at times but she never fails to make us laugh whenever she bonds with us over lechon rice or ice cream and sometimes even red wine. Even if we keep on telling her that too much sugar is bad for health because she has diabetes, she would stil insist on eating chocolates, ice cream and even hoard sweet desserts inside her refrigerator. She’s the most makulit and hard-headed lola of all! But we love her dearly:-) She’s our family’s treasure and just thinking about losing her one day really creeps us out. 

I’m extra grateful to God for blessing me with cool titos and titas from both sides. They are at times a paradox of each other. While the other side were more goody-goody and less enjoy-the-night-till-you-drop types, the other side were a more carefree bunch.

But I love them both ultimately. I love that they care for us more than what the normal titos and titas do. I love that they treat us like their own kids, too. I especially love that some of them are really very supportive of my passion for writing and creativity. I love that some of them were very thoughtful enough to really design my home workstation. I love that some of them were sweet enough to buy me my favorite nakakabilaok na mamon from Baker’s Fair. I love that some of the things I have now I got because they blessed me with it. I love that I could sing Eraserheads, Rivermaya, After Image, The Dawn, and even Introvoys’ songs with some of them and never really feel ridiculed. I love that I always look forward to summer family outings because they’re part of it.

It’s not always rose-colored days between us but nevertheless, I super appreciate their existence in my life. They are one of the reasons why I feel that my life is really blessed.


The Thankful Thirty Project. DAY 1

March 1.

Today, I’m thankful for the God I’m worshiping and praying to.

I’m thankful that the God I’m praising and putting my faith in to is the only God who made the heaven and the earth. I couldn’t imagine my life without HIM.

I’m thankful that He rescued me from darkness and He blessed me with this new life I am now enjoying.

I’m thankful that He is my one and only Savior.

Following Him and surrendering my life to Him was the most wonderful decision I’ve made in my life. It might have caused rifts and unending questionings from my family and friends but I never feel regretful for doing that. I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I strongly believe that what I did was the the single, most right thing to do. I didn’t do drugs or even caused anyone to die. I just surrendered my life to the one God who’s deserving of all the praises and adoration. I surrendered my life to Christ.

I’m thankful that God didn’t let me wander through life without a clear picture of what He is in my life. Year 2007 will always be a special year for me because that’s when I finally let God come into my heart. Year 2009 was an even more special and remarkable year because that was the time I finally let go of my fears and just surrendered my whole life to Christ. That year, I was born again. I was born into a new relationship with my Savior and my life was never the same again.

The Thankful Thirty Project.

First day of March 2013. The countdown to turning 30 starts today.

Some 18 months ago, when I was still 28, I came across this blog entitled “The 30 Before 30 Project.” It’s about a 20-something lady who made a list of 30 things she would like to accomplish, do or experience before she turns 30. By the time she celebrated her 30th birthday, she victoriously blogged about how she was able to accomplish all those things in her 30 Before 30 project.

I would love to do the same thing but that would just be parroting what’s already been done and published. Plus, one of my older cousins told me it might just stress me out if I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that 30 items in the list. He said that the best way to prepare for your new season of being 30 is to just welcome it with open arms, celebrate and enjoy it.

An advice I was a bit crabby at first but I eventually concurred to.

Nevertheless, I would still want to celebrate my 30th year of existence a little different. Turning 30 is one milestone in my life that I’m both dreading and feeling excited of. It was way different when I turned 20. I don’t exactly know why. Perhaps you’ll just feel it when you turn 29, when being 30 is only 12 months away. Imagine the feeling when you’re only a few sleeps away from hitting the big 3-0.

I actually have plans for my 30th birthday. No I’m not going to throw a birthday bash for myself since I’m no fan of hosting or preparing for my own party. Instead, I’m planning on celebrating my birthday alone in one of the happiest places on earth for me–Baguio. I’m actually used to doing things alone like eating, watching movies in a movie house or even shopping but travelling alone is one thing I’ve yet to do. Thus, I decided to travel to Baguio alone on the eve of my birthday and I will be spending the entire March 13 walking along the streets of Baguio, eating, watching people, doing quiet time, writing in my journal, and perhaps taking pictures. Nope, this is not an emo kind of thing. I won’t be there to feel emotional or feel alone. I will be there to celebrate my life.

Since I couldn’t come up with the top 30 things i want to do before I hit 30, I decided to just make a list 30 of things I’m thankful for in the 30 years of my existence. And I’m calling it THE THANKFUL THIRTY PROJECT.

It was only last Tuesday night, while walking along UP Sunken Garden after my class in EDRE 146, when I thought of this thing. Since March is my birth month, I decided to write about one thing that I’m thankful for in my life for each day for the entire month. March has 31 days and I’m only turning 30 so I guess I’d have think of what to do or write about on March 31 in the coming days as this project progresses.

I know not all people who turned were very OC about being 30. Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe not. Whatever. I just want to have something to look back to in the coming years and say to myself that “hey, that was something I did when I hit 30!”

Alright. March 1’s about to end so I better get going. The Thankful Thirty Project officially starts today!


Random Thoughts of a 20-something who is dreading the coming of the big 30.

Okay, so this will be the last year that I would be included in the 20-something group of people. In a matter of months and days, I will be saying goodbye to my 20-something life and say hello to the big 30.

You see, I don’t think I’m already prepared for it–that shift from 2 to 3 in my age and everything that comes along with it. I may be overreacting at some point but really, I’m just being realistic here. Not all women in the world would rejoice at the thought that they’re going to enter the 30-something age on their next birthday. In fact, when you try to Google for topics on being 30, you can see a lot of blog posts about that–how to deal with it, get over it and celebrate it.

And maybe, just maybe, I’m part of that big chunk of women who are somehow, cringing at the thought of being 30.

Or perhaps, I’m just having some case of hormonal imbalance while I’m blurting these out on this post that I couldn’t just stop myself from typing the thoughts running through my mind right now.

Alright, so being 30 doesn’t really have to be so scary, right? I mean I know it would make a good number of changes in my life, my thoughts, and even in my body, but still, it’s just a number!

Okay, that was me trying to convince myself that being 30 is nothing to be scared of.

Oh please! I just want to be 30 and be done with that being-30-syndrome!

I don’t know what will happen when I finally reach that age.

Surely, i will still be living with my mom and my sister and I will still be sleeping with my mom and my sister on the same bed.

I will still be teaching in a small preschool few steps from our house and will still be working online for a social media company in the afternoon.

I’m hoping I could finish my Certificate in Professional Education course by next year and praying so hard that I would be able to pass the Licensure Exam for Teachers so I could have an additional government ID in my pretty yellow gold CHARLIE wallet given by one of the sweet parents in my former school.

When I become 30, I would still be serving our church as one of its semi-active volunteers in some ministries, and perhaps doing a couple of one2one’s.

When I become 30, I would still be friends with my highshool friends and we would still be spending some out of town getaways and dinner dates with each other and post pictures and brand ourselves #posers (and yes, that really comes with a hashtag).

When I become 30, I would still be enjoying and loving the company of my church friends–the people who’ve helped me become less than warfreak and mean and who’ve inspired me to become the best person I could be.

When I become 30, I would still be friends with my guy friends to whom I’ve never imagined being romantically involved with. These guy friends would still text me at the wee hours with messages that would say: “TSONG!” or “Beks!” or even calls me to invite me to some get-together, or even replies with my forwarded quotes with: “Ang arte mo! Magpakita ka naman!” But seriously, I really appreciate these guy friends of mine because even if they NEVER see me as a woman in the entire time that we’ve known each other, I know that they love and care for me.

When I become 30, I would still be looking forward to laughter-filled bonding moments with my Moonlighting friends☺ I will still be the ‘maarte’ and RK of them all!

When I become 30, I would still be friends with my friends whom I might never see often but will always have a special place in my heart.

When I become 30, I would still be ‘kuripot’ or maybe even more since I believe I need to have more savings. I would still be budgeting my money between tithes, bills, travel funds, allowances for the entire month, buffers, some donations, and savings.

When I become 30, I would still have my mood swings. There will still be days when I feel like singing in the rain or smiling at every people in the streets just as there will also be days when I feel like the world’s totally against me and only watching a feel-good Koreanovela could make me feel good.

When I become 30, I would still be a fan of Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon  and Eat Bulaga and swoon over Bamboo, Ely Buendia, and Lee Min Ho.

When I become 30, I would still want to buy every book I find interesting in the bookstore but I will surely never be able to finish reading them–although I’m hoping I could.

When I become 30, I would still be stalking the Sotto clan in Instagram and be amazed at how close they are with each other.

When I become 30, I might still be reading Patty Laurel’s blog and still be inspired of her noble act of pursuing a teaching career rather than being in the limelight.

When I become 30, I would still be a fan of Hillary Burton a.k.a Peyton Sawyer of One Tree Hill and I will still be randomly watching some One Tree Hill episodes that I like the most.

When I become 30, I would still be the “ate” of my younger cousins whom they think is the best friend of Mother Nature and who will always remind them not to throw their litters on the floor but in the trashcan and never to waste water and paper.

When I become 30, I might still find myself crying whenever I hear Phil Collins’ song “You’ll Be In My Heart” because it would still remind me of my former babies in my former school. I might also be looking at their photos in the school’s Facebook page and I couldn’t promise still that tears will not fall down whenever I do that.

When I become 30, I would still be the only sister of my sister who will still have petty quarrels with her and nags her when her shoes is left outside of the shoe cabinet again or the towel she just used isn’t put out in the patio for drying or when there are too many bags left on the iron board.

When I become 30, I would still be the eldest daughter of my Mother to whom she couldn’t hide her overspending with trivial stuff with because I will surely talk to her about it. I will still be her daughter who is sometimes her ally and sometimes her antagonist.

When I become 30, who knows? I might become more mature not to make a big deal out of small stuff or not to entertain insecure thoughts and feelings (really hope I would!). I might also opt to spend less time with people who don’t make me feel good about myself or people who often says “i miss you” but never really find the time to see you or spend time with you.

When I become 30, I would still have my connection with the family of my late boyfriend. I would still visit his grave every once in a while and I would still think of him and dream of him especially when I hear a song that reminds me of him.

When I become 30, I might not still meet ‘the one” that God has planned for me but I will try not to give too much thought on that since I’ve grown to believe that women were created to just wait for that person and do what God desires for her to do and God will take care of every details of her love story (all thanks to the book Lady in Waiting, which I haven’t finished yet!).

When I become 30, I would still be serving and praising Jesus and I will still be singing songs of worship for Him. I do hope, though, that I would be able to be more deliberate in spending my quiet time with Him.

And seriously, I do think that writing those stuff above really did help me be more optimistic about being 30. Some 30 minutes ago, I was feeling soooo pathetic over being 30 in the next couple of months, but listing down those “when I become 30” thing somehow made me realize that being 30 doesn’t mean changing everything about your life. Hey, I could still do the things I do when I was 20-something when I hit the big 30!

Really, writing my thoughts is actually one way for me to communicate with myself. Maybe, I just need to see in black and white what my mind is thinking just so I could have some realizations slapped on my face.

And then again, I’m not sure of what I would be feeling again tomorrow. Or what I would be thinking and contemplating again. Sometimes, this habit of contemplating about life is just getting the best of me.

But still, at least I have another entry posted on this blog:-)