Why Failing is Fine this 2019

Dancing to Bebot, I had the entire crowds attention when the candle on my head dropped. Read more on how I failed infront of a huge crowd.

When you hear the word “Failure”, do you cringe?

I am quite proud about my failures enough to regularly post it here and you might enjoy or be boggled why?

I know normal people usually do their best to hide everything (#filter) to give others the best picture of them. Well, failure has played a crucial part in my life.

Okay, I used to try my best to avoid it but I realised that it is what boring people do and I do not want to be like them. Kidding aside, what struck me is that after I failed, I learned and found my way up or at least be a bit better than where I was before the failure. I know all of us have failed at one point in our lives so why do we try to hide it when it is part of human nature?

One of the biggest failure I had was during Binibining Pilipinas. I failed in the talent show in front of a big crowd at a mall in Quezon City! See, I came up with a modern take of the Pandango sa Ilaw and I am no professional dancer. I thought that fake it til I make it would be enough and for a moment it did. During the preliminary selection, I convinced the judges that I knew what I was doing.

Day came for the presentation, it seemed to go quite well until the candle on my head fell. It was a split second when everyone pause and you could hear the crowd gasp.

Ooops!! Dropped the candle…

There are points in our life when you get all the attention and usually it’s for two things: winning and failing. Luckily, I have a quick mind and have always managed to find redemption for each failure.

What did I do? Picked up the candle and did the hush gesture with my finger and continued.

What I learned from this epic fail moment is that the whole time I thought failure would kill me, I realised that it is not as bad as our minds picture it out to be. Did anyone die from me dropping the candle? No, just had a bit of my ego bruised but that’s okay. What happened after was, the crowd were amused at how I dealt with it, even one beauty pageant blogger and former Miss Philippines Universe mentioned this in her recap.

What did I get out of this failure?

I learned to practice more, recognise my limitations and came up with a different routine which I used as talent in Miss SCUBA International 2013 which made me part of the top 5 for talent.

Failure is part of growth and realising weaknesses. It is not that bad as long as you learn and get better. As the cliché says, “There are no failures, just lessons.”

So stand up 2018 might have been a bad year but it is time to gather those lessons learned, dust off the bruised hearts and egos because the show goes on this 2019!

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How To Stop Worrying And Start Living

Life is a matter of choice and each day we make a choice between worrying and living.

Do not worry
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Each day, we battle with ourselves, with expectations and with the world. We worry our lives away, seeking for certainty and forgetting what is in the present. When we think too much we paralyze ourselves and stop living. We push ourselves to hard to meet up with what others want and start living by other’s definition. Routines make us robotic and lifeless. We end up burdened and depressed. Worry robs you of your life.

  1. Do these three things: 1. Ask yourself: “What is the worst that can possibly happen?” 2. Prepare to accept it if you have to. 3. Then calmly try to improve on the worst.
  2. Whenever you worry, remind yourself that if you do my best and stay true to yourself there will be nothing left to worry about. You need to realize that power comes from things that you can change. Whenever we let our fears win we become slaves to it.
  3. Surround yourself with people who help you up.The company you keep influences your life. Choose your friends wisely.
  4. Meditate and take time to think. It is not easy to free your mind from all these. It is a struggle at first but when you learn to let go and fully jump into life, things become easier and lighter. Each day goes by like summer breeze.
  5. Focus on what you can change. Whenever we feel helpless, it becomes easier to just stay on beaten. When you start changing things you have control over, you realize that you are not a victim of circumstances.
  6. Focus on what is going right, if you focus on what is wrong you will never see the most that is going right.. Negativity is poison and nothing good ever comes out from it.
  7. Keep smiling and keep fighting. Changing simple physical gestures can make you feel better. None of us will ever live without going through struggles but it does not matter as long as you keep on standing up and striving for the best.
  8. Do not sweat the small stuff. There are bigger things in life to focus about, do not let petty things steal your time.
  9. Be good to yourself. Learn to forgive yourself of shortcomings and mistakes and grow from it.
  10. When we have accepted the worst, we have nothing more to lose but everything to gain.

Do not chose the easy way. Sometimes it is tempting to let problems suck the life out of us, to let problems win over us but we were given will for a reason. I lost a lot of personal battles too and I for one am not immune from worrying. Roadblocks are there not to stop you but to test you on how much belief you have on yourself. When life knocks you out, you sometimes end up sleeping on the floor and you let losing fester in. There were times where I questioned my choices and regret doing things. Just remind yourself that you are born a champion.

Do not worry and fear kill you. Take risks. Break boundaries. Travel to unknown places. Defy norms. Redefine things. Do not accept everything as they are. Fall in love.

Life is for living. Dying is much certain and easier. Living is for the brave.

Get more tips by reading How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.

What is keeping you from living? What are you willing to change? Let me know in the comments below.

My Miss SCUBA Philippines 2014 Farewell Speech

Back in 2014, I relinquished my crown. My journey ended as Miss SCUBA Philippines 2013. Here is my farewell speech!

Back in 2014, I relinquished my crown. My journey ended as Miss SCUBA Philippines 2013. I got to meet the lucky woman who represented the country in the Miss SCUBA International Finals in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia that November.

For those who weren’t able to witness, here is the farewell speech that I wrote on a whim.

During Ms. Cebu
During Ms. Cebu

For as long as I can remember, I always had a love for the ocean but I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. It was through Facebook where I first heard of Miss SCUBA and without second thoughts, I went to the screening alone with the dream of finally getting a dive license. However, I did not win Miss SCUBA Philippines 2012, instead, I won as a runner-up, Miss SCUBA Philippines Marine Tourism 2012.

Losing however did not stop me from what I wanted, I was lucky enough to have met the international organizer, Mr. Robert Lo and before 2012 ended, I was appointed to represent the country for Miss SCUBA International 2013. At first, I hesitated, thinking that it was unfair for the rest who would want to represent the country but I eventually knew that it was the opportunity that I have been waiting for.

Just like a ship on a grand journey, I went against several waves to be Miss SCUBA Philippines 2013. I had to sacrifice time and put effort to find sponsors and supporters on my own. On December 8, 2013, I left Manila to with a wallet that was almost empty, a luggage bag filled with thrifted clothes and my borrowed dive equipment. I knew that my life will never be the same once I board the plane. I was worrying about how my stay would be and what would become of me after. I left my country with only a handful of people knew what I was about to do.

With little support, I felt like an unarmed dwarf forging a battle against giants.  The next day after arriving in Kota Kinabalu while I was patiently waiting for another flight, yellow rays started creeping in, slowly taking over the gray clouds which hovered the skyline and just right out of the glass window of the airport, Mt. Kinabalu greeted me with her grandiosity. It reminded me to think big, that very view gave me courage and made ready me for the start of competition.

I opened both heart and mind and got rid of my fear. Each day was filled with laughter shared not only among candidates, but with everyone involved with the pageant. The whole competition seemed like a long vacation.

Fast-forward, I found myself standing together with three other finalists. It was the announcement of winners, I was the only one with no special award of which worried me a lot. In a split second, my name was called.  It was a surreal unexpected moment of triumph. They called me, “Miss SCUBA International First Runner-up”.

Since then, I was able to help communities and contribute in the protection of the marine environment. To my mother Noemi and sister Carrie for the unfailing love, to Sir George for helping me with my dive license, to Aquamundo Sports for providing my dive gears and to Edwin Uy for letting me don his creations for the MSI competition, to my Miss SCUBA International Family, SERALHCO, SAV Hospitality and to everyone who was with me during this journey, I am forever grateful.

I am walking in front of you now as a proof that failure is a natural part of success, road blocks are meant to test you and passion always gets you through. To the next Miss SCUBA Philippines, the dream is yours for the taking, be brave.

I was sad and happy that night because I was giving up familiarity but I also knew a new doors of opportunities were on my way. After that night, I became a co-host for Miss SCUBA International 2014 and in 2015, I became the second national director for Miss SCUBA Philippines and ended up chosing the lady who would become Miss SCUBA International 2015 and the year after the next lady I chose won another First Runner up place for the country.

Cliche as it sounds but every ending is indeed just the beginning of something else.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to an opportunity or someone? How did it go?

 

Postcard Stories: Rebel Life

The world tells you to follow but the world do not celebrate those who fit in. Rebels always win! Are you one?

Hi! I am the endangered monkey called Paula. On rare sightings you will see me randomly climbing trees like in this photo while visiting Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija (I still need to blog about my experience).

Anyhow, we were laughing a lot when I was monkeying around. People often mistake me to be arrogant when they first meet me because of my natural resting bitch face and my introvert nature but those who end up befriending me know how crazy I can be which leads me to the thought of how many people are really crazy but think that being predictable is better.

The world is a funny place to live in.

First they tell you to follow, be like everyone else so you spend a lot of years being one with the crowd.

You go to university then you get a job. Next thing you know you have a husband/wife plus kid/s and you plan out retirement.

The plot twist though, the world rarely rewards the ones who blend in. It is always the rebels and the crazy ones who are celebrated.

So why blend in?

I tried blending in for 22 years but miserably failed. I got the course my mother thought was practical, I tried working as a nurse for half a year and just broke down. I used to follow everything despite questioning those asked from me. In the end, I could not continue lying to myself and this is why I moved to Manila.

I cannot embrace the stereotypical life and never will, it is never the easiest path to go on your own route. A lot will question your life choices and think you are being irresponsible but in the end it is your life and you are the only person you have to live with. It is far more irresponsible to live unhappy and project this to others. There are already tons of zombies living the typical 9-5 life. It us after all called living not dying.

I do not know about you but I will always be a rebel by birth, by blood and by choice.

Are you a rebel too?

Postcard Stories: The Price of City Life

The question in my mind was “What is independence for you?”, there are times when I stop and think about what moving to Manila has done to me.

 

View of Mandaluyong from Flair Tower
View of Mandaluyong from Flair Tower

I just got back from a Manila trip over the weekend to visit a friend who had lost her father. We had to go to travel around to several cities. We flew in early Saturday morning and news was out about the chaos over NAIA Terminal after a plane landed badly. We then went straight to Quezon City to console our friend. After couple of hours, we went to her condominium to drop our backpacks and freshen up. We were so tired from the trip that we managed to only walk to Megamall to have dinner and look around.

Later that night, as I looked over the skylights. I could not help but think of the years I spent in Manila. The question in my mind was “What is independence for you?”, there are times when I stop and think about what moving to Manila has done to me. There are good things like being more open minded and building grit but somehow I feel that it made me a slave to the shallow side of the world.

In my quest for independence, I ended up in bondage of capitalism.

I am realizing how much of a bliss it was to grow up in a simple city.  While Ormoc is a city, it still feels quite provincial. I grew up at a time when internet was not yet accessible, where books, radio and TV were the main source of content. Back when google did not exist and Grolier Encyclopedia was considered the go-to for reference.

Living in the big city really took a toll on me. It made me a lot more cynical and lost. I met people who did not help me grow instead they helped in my destruction.

Being back in Cebu has given me time to heal and rethink of those ordeals. The lifestyle is a lot laid back and I still get to work in quite an innovative company. I am in a much happier place now, however, I do not know until when I will stay in this city.  Maybe, I will be back again in the city to open a new opportunity.

 

 

Summer Dream

Going through my old blog, I feel the need to repost these random poems I once wrote.
DCIM101GOPRO

Radiant smile so enthralling

Beguiling eyes like turquoise water

With thoughts denser than the Amazon

Embraces as warm as ocean zephyr

Saccharine mango kisses ever addicting

Vivid sunbeams taking dark clouds overhead

Alluring oasis so promising

You plague my thoughts

Oh summer dream!

Monday Musings: The Three Provincial Ladies

When I moved out of our HR officer’s flat, I ended up renting at Kalayaan area it was basically the outskirts of Bonifacio Global City.

Just a couple of meters away from the posh bubble lies a cluster of houses clumped together. This is where the middle class and slum people mingle by day and stay at night.

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Me with AJ, my HR Manager, at Karpot Office

My office, about 300 meters away.I rented a bunk bed in small room about 15 sq.m. Inside this little wooden room were three other girls. They, like me, were also starting out their careers in Manila. I would like to think of us all as predominantly provincial and naive girls, what we had in common though, is the need to change the course of our lives.

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Timid Jenifer!

 

Jenifer, was a working student from Bulacan, she worked for GIZ in the morning as an office assistant while taking up night high school in La Salle as a scholar.

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Ma ann

Meanwhile Ma-ann, a Bicolana accountant from Sorsogon was just starting out as a bookkeeper in Ford while saving up to afford finishing her course and licensure examination to be a certified public accountant. She stayed in the room together with her cousin, Elvie, who was also working for a different company.

I was the last addition to the group. It was my first time renting out a small bed in a humid room without any real windows. Smaller than 22 square meters, I remembered feeling still claustrophobic though lesser than the past year. See it was finally a month since I ended up living with our human resource manager after my talent manager deserted me in the apartment all alone in Quezon City. I doubt that I could get any more concerned about space after literally sleeping in one bed with our HR manager. She was the only person I knew after the only people I know left without telling me. They did not even give me the talent fee for the beauty competition. After finding this out, indeed, as a girl from a smaller city, I worried. I worried not only a little but a lot! I swore to my mother that it would be a great idea to learn business in the craziest city in the Philippines.

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After making myself comfortable in the small room, I started talking more to Jenifer and Ma-Ann. Since we did not earn much, we would spend our nights buying a small serving of friend noodles. I would get the one that comes with two dumplings and save the two dumplings to pair with rice the next day. As a new employee, I had a smaller salary which was just enough to pay for everything.

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I remember those times that with them, we would pretend to make it big. We would just spend our free time jogging around Bonifacio Global City, a bubble like no other in the Philippine. This place feels like Singapore to me always. I started founding groups that would give me part-time job as an event model. I tried to do as much side gig to supplement the income to cover all the expenses I had. The other girls were the same, we would do our own laundry and look for the cheapest meals.

 

Sometimes we try to imagine how life would be once we become successful. We went on sharing so many moments together. One day, I got tickets for a fashion show and knowing how extremely timid Jenifer and Ma an we’re, I knew it would help them be extra confident and courageous so I let them wear some dresses and made them all up. It was such a fun night with them. We felt like we were the girls from Sex and The City and I thought Carrie Bradshaw would’ve been proud of me.

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After all the bonding time and Ate Elvie left, we decided to rent a different place because we became fed up with the landlady. We all slept on the floor with mattresses that were too thin just like having a thin sheet of cloth over a wooden floor.

After a couple of months of living in one small room together, we parted ways. Ma Ann found a place with a relative, Jenifer continued her studies and me, after being robbed by a guy with a knife near the area, decided to move with other friends from Couchsurfing.

Fast forward to 2018, Ma Ann got married last 2017 to her long time boyfriend and is employed in a good company. I met Jenifer over coffee in Cebu, she is working for GIZ the German organisation who also got her to fly to Germany for some training. I on the other hand, ended back in Cebu running a coworking space.

I still get updates from them over FB, I haven’t seen Ma Ann since we partied ways while Jenifer have gone to Cebu a couple of times and we would play catch up on what’s new with her. It really is different when you live with people for quite sometime, they also become a part of your history and these two girls will always be part of my motivation and a daily reminder that ambition with passion can really get you far. It is always interesting to see people evolving and how persistence is paying off for those with dreams. We were just a bunch of naive girls who were brave enough to go after our dreams and rewrite our story from victims of scarcity to victors of opportunities.

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