NINETEENdihan: A Pre 20th Birthday Entry


WHEW! Let me just for a brief second take a deep breath and absorb the fact that today was the last day of being a teenager. Yes! And strictly speaking, based on my belief that a day ends and a new day starts by each sunset, it was already my birthday a few hours ago. As of the moment, I am ready to share with you, dear reader, what I have so far learned as a nineteen year old and what I can expect of myself as I leave the portals of teenage life and enter TWENTEEN life….

By the way, NINETEENdihan, for those who can’t understand, is a combination of the word nineteen and part of the word naiitindihan which means to understand, signifying that a nineteen year old understands it all. But for me, a nineteen year old does not understand or know it all. At such a tender age, there is still MORE to understand or know for such a person at that age.

So the list starts with:

1. NINETEENdihan ko that life is and will always be full of surprises. Recently, I’ve learned of news, very disturbing yet utterly shocking about people who were once a part of my life. I will not completely tell the whole story but what I learned about them made me really sad/disappointed. It’s just downright fascinating how one person whom you thought to be this angel is capable of doing a thing which you believe he or she can never do. More than such heartbreaking news, the untimely deaths of Cory Monteith and our former church pastor shook our lives by surprise just like the earthquake which hit Bohol last Tuesday, December 15. Indeed, we cannot tell whatever, whoever or whenever will be our bolts from the blue.

2.  NINETEENdihan ko that my FAMILY will always be there. It’s so amazing to think that God has blessed us with such wonderful people. No matter what happens, your family will still be there to care for you and love you. The family life may nott be all flowers and sunshine but through it all, family is family and love will always reign in each member’s heart. It may be possible that  you have been very hurt by your sister or you’ve hurt your mother to the extent of getting her heart broken, making it hard to forgive or be forgiven. Yet in time, the spirit of reconciliation sets in and forgiveness takes the victory since love would always be in our hearts for family.

3.   NINETEENdihan ko  that I’ve still got true friends and it was really today that this fact was made manifest. I realize now that I am so blessed with the presence of friends who, despite the distance, still have a special place in my life. I know that if they stayed with me at school, things would have been better but I think God has a plan so I need not worry at all. It was at this age where I, at some points, really felt alone but thank GOD, for the people who eased out the loneliness in me.  One girl, unexpectedly became a best friend and she was the reason why I was not alone last semester. The first semester of my senior year though was tough since she went for a different section. However, spending precious time with these precious people makes me appreciate the fact that I’ve got true friends for keeps! Just like Jesus!

4. NINETEENdihan ko that my choices are very essential in forming my character and future. I confess that I made pretty bad choices recently and if given the chance to turn back time, I would. However, since I am here now in the present, I pretty much should not stick myself to the past. Learning from my mistakes and very wrong decisions, I look forward to becoming better and I know it is based in the choices we make everyday. In order to change, I must start first with myself.

So far, these are what I can remember. It’s getting late and I should be sleeping now. I don’ want to look like a zombie on my special day.  

In general, NINETEENdihan ko that LIFE is what we make it. Let’s make the most out of it since we have no idea of when our last birthday would  be or if ever we’ll wake up the next day. Life is a gift. Life is a blessing. Life is LIFE and I’m greatly thankful for it!























As my beloved city celebrates its annual Masskara festival, here I am, in the living room of our house, with no one but myself, wondering what’s going on at Lacson Street. Well, I really wanted to watch the Electric Masskara competition tonight but sadly, no one invited me or I just don;’t have anyone to with. Anyway, despite slight regrets, I realize that there’s a reason why I’m not there and I am here, typing this blog entry to express myself. And so, let me share briefly why I’m somehow glad I just stayed at home.

It just hit me that I wouldn’t want to be in a very crowded place with the state I am in. I know for sure that for the past few days or even weeks, I lost myself to the point that I don’t even know what I have become. Due to some circumstances and pitfalls, I feel so lifeless, inane and desperate. I don’t feel at peace and my life seems so tragic. I definitely need to fix myself ’cause it wouldn’t be great to do something fun or special when you’re at your worst. Who would want to walk the lively streets with a burden in his heart? Who would like to have a dessert in Calea when he feels eaten by life? Not me and I feel like I’m wearing the greatest mask to cover the true feelings within. But now, it’s high time to remove that.

Thank GOD for giving me the time to meditate and contemplate. After this writing, I shall go back to reinventing myself. Indeed, a moment of silence wherein I can connect with Heaven is just what I needed.  




A few weeks ago, while the soldiers of the Philippine Army were risking their lives to save innocent ones in the city of Zamboanga, I was also in a fighting mode. Actually, to be specific, it was my body, fighting off the bacteria that caused my fever and sadly, pharyngitis. Well, thank God, my immune system was functioning properly since I didn’t stay long with my illness. However, I find it so tragic that the MILF forces led by Misuari were wreaking havoc for a longer period of time. In spite of the difference in how long these events occurred, one thing remains the same: a fight against something was happening.

Inevitably, we live in a world where war is widespread. Wars between nations and even within a nation. Wars against injustice, violence and other forms of abuse and crime taking its toll in society. Wars against discrimination which unfortunately are still being experienced by some Filipinos and other nationalities. Wars against pollution and this doesn’t only refer to the environmental aspect but also to the spiritual and mental as well.

Indeed, we all are at war. Everyone is somehow engaged in some form of warfare or everyone seems to be fighting for something or someone in their life. It could be a single mother fighting against time so that she could work three jobs a day to sustain her family. It could be a famous celebrity trying desperately to solve his drug addiction and become sober. It could be a senator advocating for family planning to put an end to poverty. It could also be just that poorly misunderstood guy who’s fighting for a friend or simply a little girl putting up a show to be given money by her parents so she could buy ice cream. You see, we are all warriors. We are all fighters in this game or shall I call it battlefield, LIFE.

Even in the Bible, the concept of warfare is clearly manifested in this verse: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. Being a Christian, I know I have to deal with lots of temptations and trials. I need to fight against many things which compel me to do evil. So whether be it in my spiritual life or in my normal routines, I have to have my fighting spirit in order to overcome and defeat whatever is against me.

I know we’re all human but provided God’s grace, we can fight. We can take the victory! We can discover the fighter within.