Live For Yourself

I talked to someone earlier this week and he made me realize that for so many years, I have done everything not for myself, but for my parents. Everything I did, I did it for them. I tried so hard to please them. I tried so hard to be better than others, all to make them happy.

This might not seem like a bad thing. After all, we must respect our parents. And I truly agree with that. We must always be loving and kind to our parents, as we will not exist without them, as they have loved us unconditionally, as we are their children. However, what I was doing, and what I believe a lot of children are doing, is unhealthy.

We need to live our lives on our own terms. We need to find our own happiness and strive to reach that instead of letting others direct us. We need to live for ourselves, not for other people, because if we do that, we will end up being unhappy. And I am sure that the people we love, be it our parents, our partner, our family, or our friends, won’t be happy to see us sad and lost.

Here’s something that will help us decide things on our own and follow what we believe in. We need to understand that our lives are our own, and we have the right to decide what we want to do, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Moreover, people we love might not approve of what we want to do. However, if they truly love us, and we love them, we will respect each other despite our differences. So maybe they will talk about us behind our backs. Maybe they will try to change our minds. But all the same, even when we go against their will, they still love us anyway. And that’s what matters. Under all that, they will still love us. And if they don’t, then they are not worth our time.

Another thing that a friend of mine said to me that really made an impression on me is that: It’s better to follow ourselves rather than our parents, because when we fail because of ourselves, if we made a wrong decision we would be able to recover quickly. But if we do it because someone else told us to, we would forever be resentful to them.

I’m very sorry for not being active lately. School’s been consuming much of my time.

Risks and Rewards

“But it’s dangerous.”

“It’s risky.”

“Who knows what will happen?”

I’m sure all of you have heard these phrases before. Maybe it was from a parent, a friend, a sibling, or a teacher. They try telling you not to do something because it’s unpredictable, because you might get hurt from it. Of course, they’re only trying to protect you. But what they don’t realize it’s that everything has its own risks.

Nothing in this life is perfectly safe. When you go out, there’s always the chance of getting into an accident. When you love someone, there’s always the risk of getting your heart broken. When you have a friend, or a pet, or anything you care about, you always have the risk of losing them.

If we live in fear of ever hurting ourselves, we won’t be living at all. Imagine a child staying at home all day because their parents were scared of him scraping his knee or getting a cut. The child will miss out on a lot of things. Now imagine ourselves staying in our comfortable zone, unable to reach out into the world and take risks. We won’t be able to experience life to its fullest extent.

That’s why we should take risks. Life isn’t safe. It’s not predictable. There’s always that possibility of you messing up. There’s always a chance of getting hurt. But what happens happens. With the uncertainty and the danger, there’s also the chance of having the most wonderful experience of your life.

Of course, that’s not to say that you should go into dangerous neighborhoods or walking alone at night. That would be stupid. What I mean take risks is within reason. Use your head wisely, and then you won’t make bad decisions.


Sometimes it is hard to forgive someone, especially when you feel hurt or betrayed. It is hard to forget the pain. Sometimes you just want to keep it close to you.

But this is not something we should do. Sooner or later our pent-up feelings will breed hate, which will change us. Destroy us, even. Hate does nothing but make you see the world as a dark place. It doesn’t bring happiness, doesn’t bring love, doesn’t bring any good.

This is why we have to learn how to forgive. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. I am not one to get angry over trivial matters, but once I feel hurt, I find it very difficult to let go. I simply cannot forget.

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine said something very offensive to me. I won’t explain, but suffice to say that I felt betrayed. I am usually a very easygoing and positive person, so it horrified me to see how angry that made me. For a few days, my thoughts kept going back to the incident, and I found myself getting more and more frustrated. I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t talk to her at all. However, the most disturbing thing was that I found myself contemplating whether to hurt her back or not. I knew a lot of things that would destroy her future, and I found myself wanting to use it.

It made me feel so ashamed of myself. I decided then that I would learn to forgive. I went and talked to her about this. She acknowledged what happened although she didn’t apologize, but that didn’t matter because I have chosen not to think any more about it. People make mistakes. Sometimes miscommunication happens. I have a choice to let the grudge go or keep it close to me, and I chose the better option.

That night, when I went home, I felt an actual physical relief. And what I want to say the most is that forgiving someone is one of the best feeling you can ever experience. There is something about letting go that just makes us feel so light and peaceful. On the other hand, if we choose not to forgive, keep in mind that it will change us, most of the time for the worse. Sometimes we will find ourselves doing things we would not have even thought of, just because of a past mistake, a buried grudge, and a growing hate.

On a side note, please check out the travel blog I made with my sister <3


I was talking to my best friend on Skype this morning, and our conversation took a rather philosophical turn. I find it interesting, so I’m going to share it with you guys.

On New Years, I usually take time to look back at the year before and find out how much I have progressed in life, how far I’ve gone, the things I’ve achieved, and how I’ve developed in that one year. So far, my reflections have been positive. These past years I have grown, both through self-development and external achievements. However, as I was talking to my friend about this, I understood that I’ve always had the fear of looking back and realizing that I am still in the same place that I was in last year. Or worse: that I am going backwards.

Upon discussing about this, we came to a good, satisfactory conclusion. We agreed that our reflections should not be based on our external achievements, such as work, academics, or money. Instead, we should look more on personal self-development, our relationships with loved ones, spirituality (if you are religious/spiritual), and other little things that matter. It doesn’t matter much if we don’t get into the school we want to, if we fail in our businesses, if we lose our jobs, as long as we have things to be grateful about. For example, it is much better to gain trustworthy friends than to meet important people. It is much better to have a low-paying but satisfactory jobs than to have a lot of money but no happiness.

I am not saying that worldly things do not matter. I myself love being able to buy the things I want and to travel wherever I want. However, it is important to see that they are only temporary, and that the truly great things in life are free, as the famous saying goes.

However, there will be times where we do not advance in our personal development and relationships. There will be times where we seem to move backwards, where we became less happy and less connected to our loved ones than before. This is not a good thing, but it is not a cause for distress. Rather, it just shows that things need to change. Maybe we need to change. Think about it as a blessing, as a warning that we could have been better. Without it, we would have stayed in the same place again because we made no move to improve.

On a side note, please check out a travel blog I made with my sister and friend:

Finally, I’d like to say that it doesn’t matter if we fail. When looking back we realized that we have fallen so low, we needn’t worry, because as long as we have a future, things will get better as long as we have the will to work for it.

No Boundaries

Okay, so I watched the movie “Theory of Everything” yesterday and I have to say that this was one of the best movies I’ve ever watched. What struck me most about it is the words “no boundaries” Hawking said during a speech. And I came to think that maybe it’s true.

Of course, that’s not to say that we can control everything in our lives. There are greater powers outside of ourselves, or at least I believe so. Sometimes things just spiral out of control, and there is nothing we can do about it. Hawking’s life is a good example. However, despite whatever misfortunes life might be giving us, we are still able to do something. We are still able to shine, just like he did.

I have been going through a lot of thinking lately. I am uncertain about my future, and it scares me. However, I came to the conclusion that there is no use worrying. Sometimes there are things we aren’t able to control. Sometimes we just have to see where life goes, and do our best. Whatever we’re going through, I believe that there will always be little blessings, things to be grateful about. There are always some help out there, be it from family, friends, even complete strangers. And when no one is out there to lend us a hand, we might just find a little source of strength inside us that will push us through.

Back to the “no boundaries” subject. There are limits to us, there is no doubt about that. Maybe we are financially limited. Maybe we are not as healthy as we would like to be. Maybe we don’t have the opportunities that we deserve. Maybe we are alone, without people to back us up. However, we should not focus on our limitations, but on what we have instead. Maybe we are smart or talented. Maybe we are creative. Maybe we have good friends or good family. There is always something that makes us shine, that makes us special, and when we use it to our advantage, we will find that there is no boundaries that can hold us back.

Maybe this sounds a bit unrealistic or too optimistic, but this is just how I feel.

How Far Have We Gone?

Firstly, sorry for the very late update! I know I always say I will be more active, but life has been very busy, especially since my mom and sister came to visit us in the United States. It was fun, but I barely have time to do anything :D

Okay, so to get on with the writing. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of news concerning racism, discrimination, and violence. Murders, kidnappings, rapes, shootings, and all other sorts of violent things seem to happen every day. Conversations start to turn dark as we discuss about the events that had happened lately. However, what concerns me the most is how people seem to have given up on society at large, because they are so discouraged by the things they see and hear. Some people live in contempt, hate, even fear.

However, I want to state that even though we might be surrounded by a lot of ugly things, we still have reason to hope. I was learning about US history last semester, and I found that compared to what it was a few decades ago, the US we live in seem like a very good place. Just compare the past to now. Racism still exists nowadays, but compared to back then, we have come so far. Discrimination still exists. Violence does too. However, let us not lose hope. If we look at what the world seemed a few hundred years, even a few decades ago, it might seem like a horrible place without any hope of ever becoming better. Yet we have grown so much since then. That is why we should not give up, and always try to make the world a better place. Of course it’s hard, and it might seem impossible, but if we look at history, it shows that humans can change, as long as people fight for it.

Anne Frank

Riches can all be lost, but that happiness in your own heart can only be veiled, and it will still bring you happiness again, as long as you live. As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within, and that you will still find happiness.

-Anne Frank

It is hard to believe that those words were written by a 14-year-old girl. I think it is true that suffering makes people wise, for when I read her diary, I cried a few times from how relatable and how insightful they are. It’s also almost miraculous for a person who had been stuck in the same rooms for over a year to be optimistic, to still believe that good things will come.

I personally believe that our world is how we make it to be. When we expect good things, when we see it with positiveness, we will have no choice but to see good things as well. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes outside influences are too much to bear. Sometimes we try to be positive, but the things we go through everyday simply crush us. But that is not the end. Like Anne wrote, happiness in your own heart can only be veiled. Maybe things would not go as you planned, but there would always be things you could count on, things you could be grateful of.

Things did not end well with Anne. She was found out and taken to a concentration camp. However, I like to think that she made it through strongly. After all, her writings shows us how strong she is.

This is just my ramblings, because the book makes me think and feel a lot. It’s hard to believe that it’s based on reality. Sometimes humans are so cruel, but her writings tells us that amidst all the horrible things there were always good to be found. And that’s very reassuring.

Difficult stuff.

I know. Horrible title. Don’t hesitate to suggest a new one ;)

For my history class, I had to read a novel called Out of this Furnace by Thomas Bell, which told the story and lifestyle of an immigrant laborer in Industrial America. I find the story very interesting, but the thing I’m going to write about today is a conversation that struck me as very true.

In the story, a workman called Kracha was talking to his friend, who was another worker. He complained about the bosses who kept cutting wages and making them do difficult work, but then his friend said that they couldn’t blame them, because if they were in the bosses’ place, they would probably do the same.

This seemed very true to me. We tend to complain about other people, but if we were in their shoes, would we do the same? We think that we are better than most, but are we? Maybe, if we were given the choice to get whatever we want by sacrificing the wellbeing of others, we would do it. After all, we do not know them.

I don’t really know what to think about this. Maybe I am no better than the people I hate most. Maybe if I were in their position, I would turn out exactly the same. Who knows?

I think this teaches me not to judge others too quickly. I am very limited, and I do not know what is going on in other people’s lives, and therefore I have no say in anything. There seems to me to be much more about this subject, but I haven’t dug deep enough.

This is just my ramblings for today. Feel free to share your thoughts!

Is love a bad thing?

Yesterday, as I was doing my late-night tumbling, I came across a picture that was heartbreaking.

 Leonard Matlovich gay vietnam veteran medal for killing two men discharge for loving one don't ask don't tell

Doesn’t it show just how messed up our world is, for us to understand hate more than we understand love? After all, we awarded a man who killed two others, but when he admitted to love another man, he was let go. 

Why is it that a lot of us understand the reasons behind wars but we cannot accept the fact that one man might love another? I don’t know how to think about this, but strange as it might sound, we put more importance on other things other than love.

Is it so hard to understand that one man loves another? He is not trying to hurt anyone. We claim that it is abnormal, that it is a sin, and that it is not what God intends for us. But why do we care about that? Loving someone is an act of love, not of hate. If there is one thing God intends for us, it is for us to love one another. That man is not trying to hurt anybody by his sexuality. When does killing someone become more respectful than loving? 

I have to admit that I had been one of those people that see homosexuality as a sin, because the Bible says so. But lately my mind has changed. I had always lived in a conservative surrounding, and I have never opened my eyes about these issues. I have always blindly followed what my teachers and the priests told me. But living here in the US has changed the way I see things. It is so strange how we, as Christians, are all right with wars and executions (even though we are always taught to forgive), but we cannot tolerate two men, or two women, who love each other. Doesn’t the Bible teach us about love? If God’s teaching could be summed up in one word, it would be “love”. But why is it that we try to stop people from loving each other, just because it is not “normal”?

I am not saying that Christianity is bad. I am not saying that from now on I am going to stop believing in God. I’m just trying to sort out my priorities here. Should I care how people love each other? No. If anything, it teaches people to be kinder, to be more caring and loving. And I think it is far more important than judging others.

Again, I’m sorry for the inactivity. Sometimes I sit down and try to write, only to realize that I don’t have any topics to write about. So from now on, I am going to write short stories and poems too, just to keep writing. :)


“We are so accustomed to noise, that we are not able to appreciate silence anymore.” Those are the words a very wise old man told me in Lake Shrine, a very peaceful mediation area in Pacific Palisades, just an hour away from the heart of LA.

I agree completely. Every day we are exposed to noise, from conversations, the drones of cars, the ringing of phones. We don’t know it, but we never truly experience silence, and for that reason we have missed a lot of things.

We tend to dismiss silence, branding it as useless, strange, and boring. We look at people who are quiet and think that they are odd. When we are alone in our home, we turn on the TV so that we can hear voices. What we forget is that sometimes we need silence, for it has the power to make us realize a lot of things that are hidden from us.

I have to say that silence actually speaks a lot, teaching us about ourselves. Have you ever been somewhere so quiet, with no sound to be heard, and felt like the silence is very loud? I have, and I can say that it allows you to think. Rather than believing that silence is useless and boring, I’d like to say that it actually speaks to us, telling us about ourselves and the world, making us think more than we are able to when we are surrounded by noise. Through silence I discover parts of myself I have never known before, I find new ideas that have been buried for so long, and most importantly, tells me what is important and what is not. A few hours of silence can help us sort out our problems, because most of our worries are actually not that important anyway.

Of course, I’m not saying that noise is bad, and that we should all stop talking. I like good, interesting conversations more than anything, but sometimes we need a break from all that. Sometimes we need quiet. Sometimes we need a time to think. Sometimes we need to let our worldly problems go and just appreciate life. :)







Here are some pictures from Lake Shrine. It’s a truly wonderful place. We all know that LA is a bustling, busy city with plenty of stress, and this little sanctuary is a treasure.