I went through a period of "writer's block" mainly because I was uninspired. Lately, I've been having LSS (last song syndrome) and I think it was something to inspire me to write about something. I used to think that the lyrics of this song was for couples who are experiencing a falling out, but then I realized that even singles can relate to this. 

"...we're not broken just bent, and we can learn to love again.."

For someone who's been hurt and had suffered a lot, this part of the song Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and Nate Ruess, somehow seems like a breath of fresh air. I used to think I was broken, now, I know I'm just bent. There's still hope. Thank goodness. For love.

I never really thought about falling in love again. Okay, sorry, I lied. Well, I might have, once..or twice. But not really thought of actually being in that situation too soon. But like the song, and the rest of the world says, we can all learn to love again. I know this for a fact deep in my heart, but I've been denying myself of the reality that someday, I might, just might be able to find love once more.

So today, I proclaim, I am not denying myself from loving and being loved anymore.

Life is full of surprises. Every once in a while, it throws something at you. Something that would totally turn your world upside down. And because you were unprepared for it, you got lost in it.

I don't want to come unprepared for anything that life throws at me. People close to me know that I hate surprises because I have an obsession for trying to give the best of me.Should life throws a man knocking on the door to my heart, I want to open every possibility. I kept my heart locked for quite sometime now, and I think I misplaced the key. Hopefully, someone finds (the Tiffany key) it and unlock it, and unleash all the passion and love inside it. But, I want to be ready for him.


Why did I suddenly started talking about love? It's because if you read my previous post, there's this guy whom I asked for a photo with. He is some sort of a celebrity in the world of tattoo  (bad boy image is not really my type. I'm not his too. so we're even.:)) And he had his arm on my shoulder. It just gave me a different kind of feeling to have a man that close to me. I was surprised I didn't cringe when he put his arm on my shoulder. Maybe because he was a celebrity or because I expected him to? I realized, maybe I am ready for men and dating after all.

So okay, Pink, how are we gonna learn to love again? Where do I start? And can I really choose who my heart should beat for?.Is there a mathematical equation that I can use to foretell who I'd fall in love with? Something like the kind of thing I used to do during my teens. FLAMES.

John Cusack 

You write your name on a piece of paper. Below it, you write your crush's name. And then you cross out all the letters you have both in common. Then you count the remaining letters and match it with the corresponding letter in the word FLAMES. See sample on the right. :)

F= Friendship
L= Love
A= Angry
E= Engage
S= Sweetheart

Life was so uncomplicated back then!

And how can I tell if what I feel for that person is love not lust?

One friend who tried to answer this last question, said, if you look at the person and you felt a tug in your heart, that's love.But if you look at the person and you felt a stirring just below your tummy, that's lust. Makes sense? What if  I felt both? :)

I used to think that I failed in my previous relationships. Yes, I did, but only because they were not the right person for me. I still have to meet my God's gift, the one God has prepared for me,specially for me. I just need to look past through the packaging because most of the time God gives us our gifts not in the kind of packaging we want but in the wrapping He knows best for us.

There's one person I know that I think God has sent me, especially for me. I feel it in my soul, in my bones and in the deepest crevace of my heart. But I still have to learn how to see past the packaging and the labelling because it is absolutely so different from the one I have in mind. Thinking about the possibility of that is so far-fetched. Much like shooting for the moon. But with God nothing is impossible.I just have to trust Him more and know that everything is what He wants best for me.

So many questions. So many answers. Too confusing to really think about it. Deeply. I only know of one thing that I think is true, but may have caused  some tears before. That is to follow my heart.

Once in a while, it is quite refreshing to immerse yourself.
In a world different from your own. 
You get a fresh perspective of it.
You grow.
And somehow develop a fondness for it.

As my title suggest, I am blogging about my immersion in the world of tattoo. 
Body art as they call it nowadays. 
 I have come to appreciate the art in it.
But, I have no intention of submitting myself.
Into hours of sitting and seeing your blood mix with ink. 
For slow torture.
For now. Perhaps later.

Appreciating the art of it is really an acquired ability.
Some people see it as a desecration.
Of their bodies. 
Contrary to this conservative thinking.
Tattoo is a form of self-expression and individualism.

Such sacrifice, such pain. All for the love of self-expression.

More photos here : Inktrada 3 Goes Black and Gray by Dave Martinez

My exposure to people with tattoos helped me get some fondness for the art.
 I live with one.
My sister. 
Two huge tattoos on the upper back.
We didn't have any qualms about her having tattoos. 
It's her body. 
She can do whatever she wants to do with it.

That's her first tattoo on her back.

Most of my sister's friends have tattoos .
In some parts of their bodies.
If not all.
Some are visible. 
Some are not. 
Just an ordinary sight for us at home. 
The kids have gotten past their fear of men and women. 
With tattoos. 
I re-affirm the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover". 
Ink splattered body does not make a bad person.

Can't really blame them thinkers. 
 In the past, tattoo was for the incarcerated. 
That's where people got their tattoos.
 Inside  the institution. 
But tattoo has evolved since then. 
What was once a source for discrimination is now legally accepted.
Embraced by many as a form of "body art".

Second year in a row.
Not as an organizer. 
But as a concessionaire. 
These people need food.
 I provide the food. 
Extra income. Extra blessing.

My second year.
I've gone from totally clueless about body art to being able to distinguish and appreciate art.
In an unconventional canvass. 

The skin. 

So many people. 
Different characters.
 Each one unique.
 I saw this woman with tattoos all over her nape. 
She is not Filipino. 
 I don't know her nationality.
 But, I'd take a wild guess.
She's European.
 Her English wasn't that of an American.
I don't know.
I wanted to interview her.
But she was busy tending to her little daughter.

My lone photo of them.
 She's the girlfriend of one of the artists.
That's their baby daughter playing with the puddle.

I had a henna tattoo in 2007. A butterfly. At the small of my back.

It was cool. I felt sexy.

 I was told not to lean against anything. 
For at least a couple of hours.
 But, somehow, I forgot. 
And some of the ink splattered all over my back.
Though some had dried. 
What was supposedly a surprise for my aheermm...man.
Turned into a mess. 
The butterfly became a bat. 

I would love to get a henna tattoo once more.
 It's temporary.
 It's painless.
I read about a study in France that men would most likely approach a woman with a tattoo.
More than they would someone without one.
Because a woman with a tattoo studies says
Is more approachable than women without tats.
Talk about cultural differences. 
It doesn't work that way in my country.

That's me. 
With Ricky Sta. Ana.
Premier Tattoo Artist. Product endorser.
 Dutdutan International Tattoo Art Competition organizer.
I asked to take a photo with him.
 He was gracious.
 Certainly felt so much different.
 To have a guy's arm on you.
Been quite some time.

 Back to my title, I'd say..to ink! 
I just know and am certain.
 I'll bever be ready for a permanent.
I'm happy and satisfied with henna. 
 I'm just not having it on my back anymore!

Here's a professional photographer's take on the tattoo festival. 
See Dave Martinez Inktrada 3 photos of the event. 

For more photos on skin art, please visit my other blog. 
This is another photoblog which I have not let the public see. 
Please visit  In My Kaleidoscope World.

The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped. 

When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives. 

Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman. 

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain. 

Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play. 

Give my kidneys to the one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week. 

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk. 

Explore every corner of my brain. 

Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window. 

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow. 

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man. 

Give my sins to the devil. 

Give my soul to God.

If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever. 

-Robert N. Test

No, this is not my last will and testament.

That was a poem written by Robert N. Test about organ donation.

I'm sorry if I post something that has to do with death.
I fell in love with this poem when I was still in high school.

Many people fear death. They do not even want to talk about it.
I do too. 
But that's just because I think that at this moment in my life,
I am not yet done with my purpose.
My children still needs me.
My future partner has yet to meet me.:)

Funny how your perspective in life can change. 
In an instant.
If you've been following my blog and have read from the start.
You'd know that I attempted suicide many times.
I lost count.
Not because I do not fear death. 
I just didn't have respect for life.
In the past.

And then I realized that if I were to die today,
I don't want my death to be meaningless.
I want to be remembered as a simple woman.
With extraordinary contributions in other's lives
Not as a woman who tried to end her life many times.
A very scary idea to even think about.

I don't want to be buried.
Even in death, I think I'd still be scared.
I want to be cremated.
So my ashes can either be placed in a pot where a new life can grow.
Or scattered in the lake.
Or thrown in the wind.

But, I now have another option.
Organ donation.
I want what's still functioning in me be given to someone who will make something out of it.
When I'm gone.
That's going to make me live longer.
A part of me, in someone else's body.
It would be like an extension of my life,
Many will be happy.
Burn what's left of me.

My cornea's up for donation.
But my recipient may have to wear glasses.
-275. Both eyes. 
My kidneys, lungs and brain are all in good condition.
Except for my heart.
It's battered and torn.
Still needs some time to heal.

Only God knows when our time here on earth will end.
All we need to do is make our life worthwhile and unforgettable.
Until then.
At the end of the day we ask ourselves this:
Did I make any difference in someone's life today?
How do I want people to remember me when I'm gone ?

I want to be remembered as:

A mother.
A mother who will fight for her children and provide for everything they need.

A risk-taker.
Adventurous,young and free-spirited
A woman who fight for equality and for our rights.
A lover who will go to the depths and heights to have the feeling of love forever.
Someone who is never afraid to try to walk the road less taken,

A friend, a sister and a daughter.
Someone who never gives up on things that matters.

How do you want to be remembered?

For more information on organ donation:
Integrated Program on Organ Donation.
Republic Act No.7170 or the Organ Donation Act of 1991.

I am not a sweet talker and I don't believe much in PDA's . Call me a prude, but I believe that certain PDA's that maybe normal to some is more appropriate done in private.

But I can be mushy, yes, don't be surprised, but only during hormonal changes. And tonight, guess what. I am feeling mushy, a once in a blue moon feeling that washes over me, just like how I sometimes like to dress more provocatively or feel sexier when I am at the peak of my hormonal phase.

In my previous post, I mentioned Joe D'mango's Echoes of Our Hearts as a saving grace for one friend I had in the past. Honestly, I too loved that particular love note. It was forwarded to me by someone who thought that I needed to be uplifted so he can be free from his own guilt.

Cheesy, but still, I love every line. And I wish I have more experience in love and life to be able to write something like it.

So here it is once more:

Sometimes we close our eyes and just listen to the echoes of our hearts. We all fall in love and there are times when we love so much that we lose ourselves in our emotions. More often than not, we wonder why there are love that grows, and love that grows cold. We would start to search for answers and try to find where love has gone wrong. But in the end, we find ourselves where we started for we cannot question love when it has its own reasons. Love will always be as it always has been....silent, mysterious and deeply profound.

Many of us believe that love is forever, that love never dies, only to be disillusioned in the end when we find our hands empty and our hearts longing. We mistakenly have looked at love as a need to be fulfilled. But love is a gift given to us. We should not hold it in our hands for we may never find the strength to let it go when it decides to leave. We should only embrace its warmth and glow while it last and then freely open our arms when its time to say good-bye.

When we fall in love, we don't want that feeling to end for it is everything we are, everything we wanted to be. We pray that love will stay and grow in our hearts. But if it doesn't then we should never let our lives be taken by it, for life should not end where heartaches begin.

There is always a reason why we have to move on. When we have to say good-bye to the feeling we wanted to stay forever, let us not wave our hands with a heavy heart. For love will have to set its wings free and find the place where it belongs. We may have lost it but then again, when we close our eyes and listen to the echoes of our hearts, we will hear that feeling resounding silently forever.

Then we'll know that love never left us, for the good that we have become because of love will always stay. Love will always be there, reminding us that we should be thankful and happy not because we have lost love, but because, for once in our lives, that feeling called love lived in our hearts and made us happy.

True. But sad.

I know I shouldn’t be doing anything but to relax, lest one person who literally “paid” me to relax and take the week off read about this. But this isn’t work, but a passion, so here I am blogging. Taking the opportunity to post much.  

Do you believe in angels?

I do. And they come in all forms. Some speak to us because we need to hear certain things to affirm the decisions we made in life, or to warn us about future misfortunes. Depending on how receptive our senses are about their presence in our lives, we sometimes see them clearly, but most of the time they appear in the form of another human being.

They could be someone you meet recently,or someone who’s been with you for so long. But mostly, they stay present in your life as long as they are still fulfilling their purpose. I’ve had many people come into my life and made drastic positive changes in me, and then all of a sudden, they disappear. And I wonder where they went. Then I realized, their mission or role in my life is done.

photo: blogs.amctv.com
In my experience and humble opinion, an angel (in the human form) is someone who helps you in the best way he/she could and ask nothing in return. Or more so , disappear from your life.

Almost ten years ago, during my transition period from living abroad and coming back to our country and staying for good, I met one person who helped me a lot overcome my adversity and the difficulties of trying to start all over again. Online.

On my 26th birthday, without anything to do and to fight boredom, I joined an online correspondence on Hotmail. I got plenty of responses but I maintained communication with only three persons. A British guy, a Filipino American US Navy and a German guy.

Among the three, I managed constant communication with the Fil-Am guy named “Noel Serrano” as he introduced himself to me. There wasn’t much of an exchange of personal information, but I felt like we had rapport maybe because we have the same culture and beliefs. He may have been raised in San Diego,California, but he was still a Filipino at heart.

And so , he communicated with me online for years without me knowing his real identity which eventually led to personal conversations through phone. He send one photo of himself, which was very dark. I could not really help but think he was just playing me for a fool. But I could always feel the sincerity of his heart to help me in any way he can.

Can you really know someone so well, but not know his real identity? As crazy as it may sound, I did. I asked him once why he does everything to help me, including financial matters. And the only answer he gave me was “because you saved my life.”

I don’t really know what he meant by that, it is a very vague answer so I put all my efforts to squeeze an elaboration from him. Finally he said that I was an angel because at the very moment that he was about to commit suicide, I somewhat made him realize something. Actually, I remember sending him Echoes of Our Hearts written by Joe D’Mango which he said reading it made him realize that a lost love doesn’t mean a life lost. At that time he just broke up with his girlfriend. And that, he said, saved his life.

And so, for the next 5 years we continued our friendship and then he became my angel. Every time I would be in deep trouble, even when I was already in a new relationship, I don’t need to say anything, he would just pop in a message and ask me how I was. And I would be honest about my situation. He would always extend help in any way he can.  It was like having mental telepathy. I just think of him and then he’d be there online.During that time, he became “James Recto”, a name I know was just another alias he used.

We had planned to meet but all our plans were ruined by the 9-11 incident. Because of his work, he was called back to base as the entire US Military forces were on red alert. He offered me an all-expense paid trip to Guam to visit him while he was based there, but I declined. I cannot really understand why I declined, maybe I just "chickened" out or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Until now, I'm still having thoughts that the 911 incident became just one of his excuses not to meet me.

He is now married but the last time we corresponded, he was asking me if there was a procedure done in the Philippines for artificial conception as his Spanish wife can’t get pregnant by natural means. And I remember recommending St. Luke’s Hospital to them.

That was the last time I heard from him. I can’t even check him out on Facebook because I don’t know his real name.

Indeed, many people come into our lives, at the very moment that we need them. More often, we do not realize this until their role in our life is done. And I never got the chance to thank him for everything he's done for me.

And that is why, I will never let the chance pass me by again to thank anyone who’s been ever so helpful to me because I do not know when their roles and their presence in my life will end. Being grateful for something is just the tip of the iceberg. Being grateful for someone’s presence in your life and acknowledging that role is what makes your relationship with that person worthwhile.

Without knowing it, I was an angel to someone, who eventually chose to be an angel to me. Know and acknowledge your life's angels. I know some of them are just standing very close to you. 

It's always been a habit of mine to regularly assess my life and compare it with the kind of life I had years ago. In short, daydreaming. :) I would always try to check which of my heart's desires have been fulfilled and which I still need to exert more effort to be able to achieve it.

As I've said in my blog post for New Year, I am not a fan of writing down goals and to religiously follow them by the book. I am more of a spontaneous person, but I still have some sort of a guide which I try to visit once in a while, the dreams I have planted in my heart and in my mind.

When I started attending the Feast, (the weekly celebration of the Light of Jesus which I will celebrate my first year anniversary of my Jesus Encounter on June 9. This marks my rebirth, the immersion into a life in the spirit and officially receiving my gifts) I was forced to write down my dreams. In the Feast, one of the first things we were taught, was to write down 7 dreams on our Novena to God's Love. It should be detailed and very clear.

I learned that if I want something and pray for it, it's not enough to just want it. I need to be very specific with every detail. So, if I want a husband, it isn't enough to just write that I want a husband. I need to write down the characteristics of my future husband.

And the best part of it is that the whole spiritual community will pray for it every celebration of the Feast. I have to pray for it and ask God to bless me with it in accordance to His will.

Looking back, and rereading my Novena to God's love written two years ago, I can say that majority of it has came true. I got custody of my children, which was the biggest dream I had before because I was in the midst of a custody battle.This was dream #1.

Not all of what I've written there came true, but almost. I don't take it against Him because I know that He has greater plans for me, bigger than what I have written in that novena. What's surprising though, is to know that God does not disappoint. He may not have given me everything I asked for but, almost. I keep saying almost because God did gave everything I asked for, only if you see things from a different perspective.

For dream #5, I wrote that I wanted a red Chevrolet Cruze. Guess, what. A week after, I ate with my friend in a food joint in SM Makati and after I paid the cashier, I was given a raffle stub. Lo and behold! The first prize for the winning ticket was a red Chevy Spark.

For Dream #5 I wrote down a 3-story 4-bedroom house in an exclusive subdivision in Cavite. True enough, 2 or 3 weeks after, I received an email from someone I don't know with a brochure attached of houses for sale.

Don't you just love the Guy's sense of humor ? I said, "God, are you kidding me?" :). That or He got confused because I wasn't so specific.Check out what I wrote, I said Chevrolet Cruze , red, latest model. What do I really want, the Cruze or the latest model? So there.

Looking back, I realized that I was indeed granted my dreams. Just not in the kind of packaging that I was expecting it delivered to me. I asked for a car, I was given a car. Only, I have to wait for the raffle draw. I didn't even knew who won that car. I said I wanted a house, I was given a house, but then, I have to purchase it first.

That's when  I realized that if we want something, we have to work for it. The blessings that come pouring on us now are actually the reward of years of hard work and perseverance. God doesn't throw blessings literally falling from the sky, that would be too easy for everybody. But God rewards those who deserves it. In His own time.

And so now, since majority of my dreams have already been met by my Creator, it is time to write and pray for new dreams.

Oops, looks like my  daughter beat me to it! I don't know what she mean by it though.

With or without a Novena to God's love, you can also start writing down your dreams. Start with 7 or even something smaller so you can monitor it if it really was granted. Sometimes we wished for so much that we lost track of it. And then we blame the big Guy for not granting us our dreams.

Remember to be very visual about it. While you are writing it, you have to start to feel it, smell it, taste it and actually have the feeling of already having it. And most importantly, pray for it. 

On a different note, if you have read the book "The Secret", you will learn about the "Law of Attraction" or "like attracts like" meaning, what you think all the time is bound to happen. So I encourage you to think positive all the time, because whatever you think of all the time will eventually manifest in your life.

If you are at a loss of what to say in your prayer, you can start by getting inspiration from this passage:

"Until now, you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full."
(John 16:24)

I'll be posting my new set of dreams soon..

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