life

Why I Refuse to Give Up on My Dream

My dream is simple. I want to write books and screenplays endlessly, and I want people to enjoy them. As always, there are, however, complications in reaching it.

Today, I received a book from one Filipino author I look up to. She was the first writing mentor I had whom I actually met in person. The other two, I only had the opportunity to converse with through emails. And what she wrote on the title page (since I asked for her autograph) caught me motionless. Not that it was entirely personal, but it did cause a pinch. In a good way. Here’s what it said:

I wrote this to remind myself that we can be fabulous at any age — and also choose new things. Hope you are well!

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In 2013, I had been published in the US. I celebrated it, as it was the first affirmation I got that my talent wasn’t put to waste. But that wasn’t the best year of my life. 2014 was.

For in 2014, I was at my peak, my God-given talent used at full speed. I was at the top of my game. I released yet three other books and met Director Jay Abello, who taught me the ropes of writing for the movie industry. He even brought me to Bacolod to watch him shoot RED for CinemaOne Originals.

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Direk Jay, discussing the script to me. Photo was taken by one of the RED production staff.

But then, as it always did, life happened. I had bills to pay and a family to support (since my father left us more than eight years ago, and it wasn’t any different with my partner as he also did four years ago) and the next thing I knew I was parking my passion so I could actually earn from a prestigious job that paid well.

My job grew on me, no matter its complete disparity with what I loved doing. A graduate of AB English, minor in Theater Arts, proudly at the top of my class, you wouldn’t expect to find me holding a position in the retail industry. But I was, and I couldn’t say I regret a moment of it.

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That’s me on the furthest right. My team (a third of it, since they were the only ones left for the closing shift) serenaded me on my last day at work.

So I ventured into photography as a hobby, a resort to keep my creative side intact, and hung out with people who knew people from different walks of life. I met mountaineers and journalists and simple everyday people who lived the life they chose for themselves. Since I couldn’t write, my mental energy used up when I get home, they were my way of clinging to my hopes of keeping the artist in me alive.

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Fast forward to more than a couple of months ago, a personal situation had forced me to quit my job. I had to attend to matters and even with my leave credits (since I couldn’t use them most of the time), I simply couldn’t fit everything into place anymore. I had to let go of something that had helped me keep afloat.

Now, I am back to where I started, trying to connect dots, trying to get back the opportunities I have lost the past 2 years, and wishing I could do my 2014 success — and more — all over again. It’s exhausting, once you overthink about it. Then again, wouldn’t you say I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be?

Miss Mina Esguerra wrote two things that was unknown to her to be personal to me:

  1. That we can be fabulous at any age. I am at my 31st year (more on that when I finish my supposed birthday post), and to me that means books and movies, lined up along the shelves of my private library at my future house.
  2. That we could choose new things for ourselves. THAT MEANS LEARNING. And I choose to write and take photographs and learn other skills. For I do not know how long I’d still be living in this world.

I refuse to give up on my dreams because I have reached for them once. I intend to do it again. This time, fabulously and with new armors.

Thanks, Miss Mina, for reminding me.

My Cup of Coffee and Me

KZ RimanI have always been fond of coffee. And for the first time in my life, I have finally agreed to paying any amount for it.

It has something to do perhaps with the fact that my life has drastically changed before 2014 came.

Not many of my friends know what I am currently going through, and I doubt it if more than half of those I really consider to be friends will even care if I shared. After all, no one will know what to say to someone whose marriage has actually fallen apart. Sure, many will offer their shoulders – just as many have already done through private messages in Facebook, in response to my rants – but not many will be able to do away with cliches and offer the right words. It is the way of the world, and I see it to be just fair.

A friend of mine once said to me that falling in love is like filling a glass with water. Anything poured into the glass is yours to keep and anything spilling out is for the man you choose to share your life with. That has always been my problem and I am not afraid to admit it. If there are people in this world who believe that life is about sharing, and then sharing some more so their whole world lights up, then I am one of them. I am one of those who eagerly think that I love myself more if I share my life with a few people I choose to and a man who can make me happy. So I always end up having nothing left as soon as the people I share it with leave me hanging. It is – again – perhaps the way of the world, and I barely see it to be fair.

As soon as 2014 came, I knew right away that my life would never be the same. I chose it that way. No. Let me rephrase that. I battled it to be that way, in my efforts to see the world differently and to change the way I am. And somehow, though I am in pain because of it, I am getting stronger.

I feel like I am meeting someone else in me.

I finally found myself running again. Sure, I wasn’t always the finisher when I was younger, and I ran only when I felt like it. But this time, I finally found myself looking forward to it. For each night, when I take rounds, circling Maria Christina Park with strangers, I find myself thinking of things I know I never will if I am not feeling the cold breeze in my hair, cement on my barefoot-style running shoes, the loud thudding of my heart which tells me to go on further – live some more and love some more. Sometimes, I smile, even when my heart breaks, and I tell myself, “by damn, I sure will.”

I have been having coffee with different people lately and I could attest to that one cliche I always hear whenever cups are shared – coffee brings two people together.

So yesterday, I went to Starbucks, ordered myself a cup – a flavor I haven’t tried before – and sat alone working on my laptop in one corner. I wanted to see what it would bring me, or if it ever would bring me something when I was alone. And it was a joy to know that it brought me myself. It gave me that sense that I could enjoy a day or two, or perhaps more, just being in the middle of a crazy world – undisturbed, unharmed (as you know, I am a home-buddy). It gave me the feeling that I could have some more and that I would try out some others. The same would be true to my life, I promised.

The same would hold true to falling in love again, I guessed. So of the many people/friends I have shared coffee with the past weeks, was there ever someone who stood out? Yeah. And I think about him often. I wonder. Nothing romantic, I believe.

At least for now, I guess I will have to enjoy trying out new things for myself and myself alone, but never forgetting that everything comes right back to where it begins – a cup of coffee in my hand and the new me.

Eyes Behind Shutter: A Look at Mykie’s View of the World

I always say that inspiration comes in many forms. Yet most of the times, I forget what it actually means.

As a writer, I force myself to look at the world differently. It is a gift, as many people say, but for someone who doesn’t have the luxury of time or someone who has had too many experiences that contradict the saying that life is what you make it to be, it is a gift still waiting to be unwrapped.

In the second half of 2013, a sudden and unexpected change has happened in my life. I moved on to a new job while writing my novels, and met quite a few people who are expected to actually leave a mark. One of them is a man I never thought I would actually come to know as a great friend. And wouldn’t you know it… he actually shared an interest I had long buried in search for what I actually thought I needed. Through him, I have found myself inspired to write differently… and of course to see the world in a new light.

Photo Credits: For Research

Mykie Ibarra: Photographer / Creative Director

Mykie Ibarra is not – and I mean NOT – your typical artist, creative thinker or director. Of the many things one could describe a man in love with the arts, he is but the quiet type. Then again, you can never judge a man by what your eyes could see, let alone what your ears could hear, whenever you listen to him talk or joke around. Needless to say, I often think one would be happier to know him more by what his photos reveal, and perhaps learn that the heart could feel just by perceiving.

I am not sure why you do not wish to set up a blog (you are too modest), but I hope you won’t hate me for putting up some of the photographs I think could win you your deserved recognition as a photographer. (Surprise! I know you won’t hate me. You are too kind and too nice for that. Haha. Or not. Either way, surprise!)

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Hues of Daybreak

Hues of Daybreak

Amidst the Fallen

Amidst the Fallen

Baywalk at Sunset

Baywalk at Sunset

I have always wanted to travel. It is something that I don’t have that much resources for, but something that I know I am going to push for this year. Maybe I will start with Sagada. He once said to me that I have to travel alone and see at least my own country, doing it for myself than to forget about this pain I am currently going through. I think I am going to do that… yet with friends for starters. Baby steps.
I Alone

I Alone

Lake Sebu

Lake Sebu

Gui-Ob Church Ruins

Gui-Ob Church Ruins

Banaue

Banaue

Banaue

Banaue

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Pan-Ay. Biggest Church Bells in the Philippines

Pan-Ay. Biggest Church Bells in the Philippines

Magayon Festival

Magayon Festival

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Palawan Provincial Capitol

Palawan Provincial Capitol

Perhaps then, I would see the world differently, feel my life differently, and treat others differently.

Lutong Bahay (Home-Cooked)

Lutong Bahay (Home-Cooked)

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Proper Cropping

Proper Cropping

Pineapple

Pineapple

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

De-Padyak (Peddled)

De-Padyak (For Pedaling)

Palawan Provincial Capitol

Palawan Provincial Capitol

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

Aeta

Aeta

Mykie Ibarra

Mykie Ibarra

I have not worked with him that long enough yet to write about him more. Yet, I know that whether he stays with the team or not, he has already fulfilled a purpose in me without knowing. He has already given me something I know I would cherish for the rest of my life… a more positive and colorful view of the world.

Blue Hour

Blue Hour

Mykie Ibarra. Photo by KZ Riman

Mykie Ibarra. Photo by KZ Riman

Mykie at Work. Photo by KZ Riman

Mykie at Work. Photo by KZ Riman

Full Circle by Mykie Ibarra

Full Circle by Mykie Ibarra

Walk with Me by Mykie Ibarra

Walk with Me by Mykie Ibarra

Thanks for being a great friend, Mykie!

I Need to Wake Up

I kinda remember one moment in my life when I swore I would always remain true to myself and to what I feel. I believe I live by that promise and it has become my mantra ever since.

 

There is nothing wrong with keeping true to what you think you feel is right or what you think would make you feel a little more happy than usual. Then again, when you make a major mistake, which you certainly cannot get away from without trying to ruin yourself or dooming the world, you end up thinking you should have been like a lot of people you know – cheat yourself and get on with life, even when you feel so empty.

 

By the second half 2013, I met a lot of people who changed my life in ways I never expected. Of them all, there have been quite a few whom I seriously loved talking to and sharing a part of me with. I enjoy their company and for once in my life, I suddenly feel like I am beginning to understand life… my life, at least. With this sudden change of pace, I feel like I am in search for a part of myself, and I wonder if I will ever live long enough (and I don’t just mean my worldly life) to see it found.

 

A friend of mine once said to me that since I have found myself at a dead end, I should stop staring at it, turn around and walk back to where my life could begin again. With a few drunken nights, a lot of tears shed, I think I slowly have done it successfully. Now, all I have to do is find the right way so I don’t end up journeying a million miles, only to find myself staring at that dead end again.

 

I seriously need to wake up. Maybe I have been dreaming about my feelings for such a long time now that I forget about things that really matter to me. I need my life back. I need myself back. And when it’s whole – when I am whole – I wonder if someone will be there at the end of the road, waiting…

Upon a Wishing Well

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Sway with the wind, you dancer at heart

Hear its whispers, sing with its harp

Gently open your eyes, let it spark

See the clear waters, see where it starts.


Feel on your palm a sweet saved penny

Flick it in the air, flick it gently

Think of it all, things big and small

Think of whatever your desires call.


If maybe not today for its granting,

Would tomorrow do? In a day or two?

Would sitting help? It brings more waiting.

Then maybe it’s what you should be learning.

 

FADED FACES

I have great people around me with different stories to tell.

Each story had a face to show yet to me that didn’t matter. For each time I gazed at their faces, I couldn’t help but conclude they never looked the way their stories went.

A man cracking the most hilarious of jokes at the center of the party didn’t always mean he couldn’t be suffering from abuse, did it? Or a woman always walking tall with her chin up and her heels clacking didn’t always mean she had golden stars to her name, did it?

A face would always try to make everything seem to be from a hearty tale.

That – and more – are what I would be sharing with you guys on this new tab. (check it out. up there.)

So just read every single story of real people I have around me. And feel what they feel.