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Feb. 14th, 2016

Helping Out #StarvingArtists and #BrokeStudents

Hey y'all! Do you want to help out fellow #StarvingArtists and/or #BrokeStudents? Then this is the place for you.

Some students [at the same time, artists] are going to attend a month-long leadership camp this coming summer. The expenses don't come cheap so we need your help in order to raise enough funds for the said event. T-shirts would be the main product of our fund raiser but we may also have other products in store. Please check my Facebook Shop for more items that you may like to purchase.

Here are the designs available for purchase ☺

Each shirt costs 250Php. Iknow... I know... you may wonder why it costs 250Php... But hey! It's a win-win situation! You get to help, AND you get a shirt! now, isn't that wonderful?
So what are you waiting for?
If you are very much willing to help us out, the typeform for your orders is presented in the link below:
I'm ready to help! ☺



THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GUYS! YOU DA REAL MVP!!! ♥♥♥♥

Hey y'all! Do you want to help out fellow #StarvingArtists and/or #BrokeStudents? Then this is the place for you.Some...

Posted by A-Pop Shoppe on Saturday, 13 February 2016

Jan. 26th, 2016

"I am a Christian"... And It Was Toxic

Hey y'all everybody! I'm finally back after a long period of self-isolation. I was supposed to do this in the form of a vlog, but sad to say, I don't have my gear with me (Hooray broke amateur photographer/out of school youth). Sooo... Here goes nothing ☺

Let's face it. Being a Christian is no walk in the park. Well, it could be one if that park was some sort of leveled up Jurassic Park. Haha! Kidding aside, living life in Christ is no joke. It's probably even more toxic than the toxicity of a nurse's night shift job in a public hospital. We all know that trials, persecution, and all of that stuff is part of the package deal that we chose to live by. But some parts of the package deal wouldn't be quite as expected as compared to the other "expected" ones.
What I'm talking about here is the oppression of Christians who are supposed to guide you along your journey. Probably 'oppression' isn't the proper word to use, but that's all I could think of (my vocabulary's not at all that large).
To clarify, let me tell you my story:

Mental Illnesses, Thoughts, and Life
I had always been going through a lot of lethargic moments even as a child, but last year, the occurrence was just crazy. I would feel lethargic day in and day out, I would be at a loss of breath at all times, I would have no drive to do anything at all, and at all times, my mind seemed to have been separated from my body at all times. Since I didn't understand what I was happening to my body (as I had not been clinically diagnosed with several mental illnesses just yet), I decided to tell a number of trusted friends and mentors my concerns. All those thoughts I was having, like suicide, murder, and such, I told them all. I didn't know what I was thinking when I told them all that I felt. I didn't know what I was thinking when I decided to tell them [almost] everything as I already knew what they would say. They were also Christians belonging to the same organisation as I am, so basically, we share the common knowledge of stuff.
They often told me that "Jesus is the answer", or "Always look up to Christ. He knows what to do.", and often throw me verses like Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 6:25-34, Psalm 34:4, 1 Peter 5:7, John 14:27, and quotes like "No one can pray and worry at the same time."(Max Lucado), and "Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and providence of God, and yet it is a sin that Christians commit perhaps more frequently than any other" (John MacArthur). They often give me answers I already know, and have expected from them, but all they gave were answers. They never asked me what my question was. Moreover, I was too overwhelmed by all these answers they were giving me, that I, myself, have forgotten the question. All they told me were things I already knew, but I still don't know what was lacking. I pray everyday. I have devotions everyday. Despite all those, there's something wrong. I felt extremely oppressed and neglected because it appeared to me that they were not listening to the details at all.
Since I was all at a loss of... well... everything perceivable to me, I did my best not to feel the things I felt. All those verses they reminded me, I applied in my life. I did my best not to worry and do all the things a Christian would do. I felt as if I was not allowed to feel all the things I felt because I was a Christian. If you remember in one of my previous posts, I wrote something like I shouldn't feel the way I feel because I'm a Christian. It's not something that's normal.
When I talked to one of my mentors about this concern of mine, she told me that I should have my condition checked. But I refused, and said "I can do this. I have the Lord with me". But as how things turned out, all I knew, and all these answers they were giving, were never explained to me. I thought I understood, but I was wrong. I thought invalidating my feelings was the right thing to do as I have the Lord with me, but it wasn't the wisest decision after all. I had take so much time and energy to figure this out on my own because getting answers for the wrong question isn't an easy code to decipher.
I was enclosed in this idea that Christians shouldn't feel terrible as the Lord said "And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" (Luke 12:25), and "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27). All I thought of was wrong. If you ask me, I still can't understand what these meant, but all I know is that God doesn't want you to invalidate all you feel just because you're "in Him".
As cliché as it may sound, He wants you to lay it down to Him, and surrender it all. But you have to remember that this doesn't mean you have to invalidate everything you're feeling. It's just too hard to explain something so abstract.

I don't know if you learned anything from what I have shared, but I hope you did. I will be posting something related to this soon enough (I hope). ☺♥
More to come from this radical Christian in the times to come. ♥
Comment down below the ways I may be able to pray for you ☺

You can also message me on Facebookfor questions, prayer concerns, ideas, and maybe even if you just feel like chatting ☺

Nov. 14th, 2015

Taking The Toll

"I just hate it when people tell you to stop thinking about it or not to worry because a lot of people have it way worse. The thing is, although their misfortune is recognized, it, in no way, affects my own. if I rant about having no food to eat, please don't bring up the millions of people and families even who don't even get to eat three meals a day. Yes, they do have it a lot worse than me, but let me ask you this: Does the fact that those people exist solve my problem? some would say its a matter of gratefulness, and yes I am grateful for what I have but that just really is not the case."-Chow Dimatingkal

Last Wednesday, I saw a psychiatrist in my hometown (because how in the world would my psychiatrist in Manila treat me if I'm five hundred miles away?). She was nice enough to directly tell my mom and I my diagnosis.
I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I am not entirely sure, but I guess there's more to that than what is on the outside (rather the label of the illness). I am sick and tired of people who tell me to look at others who have it worse than my state. Yes, I get what they're trying to point out, but being the person I am, direct connection between my feelings and other peoples' misfortune just wouldn't exist. The quote, above, directly expresses how bad I feel about these people. And it sucks that my mother is one of the people who uses this technique on me.
Does she not realise that looking at other peoples' misfortunes would make me even more depressed? Does she not realise that I am a missionary who deals with this every day problem of people? Does she not realise that these situations break my heart further?
I don't know.
What I know for sure is that I am under medication, and this medication of mine is hindering emotions. I can no longer feel dispair over other peoples' misfortune nor mine. It just doesn't make me care at all. Though it is good that I no longer curl myself up in the corner of the room, the fact that I no longer care is something I need to change—if I could.
The medication has hindered me from crying, laughing, basically anything with emotion—except anger. I could only feel anger. I know that the Lord has given us hearts of joy, but my heart at this moment is no longer functional. I do not know what I need, nor what I want. All I know is that I am a different being now; far different than who I am before, and I don't like it at all.


Oct. 11th, 2015

How Timely Untimely Things Are : A Eulogy

20151011 0155hrs

A morning to paint a face
Fading away
All a blur
From tragedies and sleep
But with lips too vibrant
With fantastic stories to tell

An afternoon to paint a face
Eyes closed in memory
Of past struggles
Of past victories
With everything
Blurred out of existence

An evening
A call came

All coming together
Morning
Afternoon

Life had just faded away
Erased from the clutches of Earth
Ascending to incomprehensible heights

Faded
It had

Stories
Memories
Laughter
Tears

Stay

I miss you, Papa. ♥

[For 20151009]

  

Sep. 20th, 2015

Barely There

20150919

Here I am again
Quiet
Listening
Crying

I'm back again

Nothing

All nothing

I thought it's done
I thought it's the end
I thought I could breathe

I thought

...

I'm back again

Hiding tears with empty smiles
From nothingness to something
Which turns out to be nothing

Everything meaningless

This is not normal

I'm a Christian

This is not how it should be

I'm forgetting something
I'm lacking something
I'm...

...worthless

A tiny speck of dust
A thorn to everyone's lives
A painting covered and stashed -- then burned

Forgotten
Defiled
Destroyed

Am I even living?
I am
Living a daily nightmare

Tormented
Will I be able to wake up another day?

A day without wounds or cuts
A day without lances nor syringes
A day without dragging myself to places

A day

Just
Another
Day

The ability to care
I need to care
But I lack the ability to

HELP

...

Medications?
Do I really have to?

NO
There must be a way out

...

I cry out
I call out
I...

...give up

Sep. 14th, 2015

Kadayawan Haul

20150822 Kadayawan Festival Haul

My mom first bought a pair of bracelets from a lumad of the Matigsalog tribe while I was "covering" the Indak Indak sa Kadalanan. When she showed me the fabulous stuff, I insisted that we look for the people selling them, not just because I find the bracelets fab (because they really are), but also because I want to help them in the ways I could.

After a good hour of searching, we finally found them and I was able to buy a bunch. What amazes me is thatthey are selling these for a really low price (10Php each) when it's Kadayawan, and also with the fact that they come from the highlands (for context, at least an hour and a half away from our house given there is no speed limit, and our house is an hour away from the city hall, where they are selling these things) I don't even know how they earn.

Preparing the materials is hard enough. What more the actual process of making these things, plus their travel expenses? And some people even have the guts to buy it for half the price (SERYOSO BA KAYO?)

Haay...

EDIT: I was supposed to bring this to Metro Manila to give to my pals (or just wear it cuz them so fabulous) but then I forgot all about them and just remembered while I was sitting on the plane. -____-"

A totally irrelevant "hashtag" but a pretty serious one:
‪#‎StopLumadKillings‬

P.S. I'd be posting about my most recent travel back home in a few weeks ☺

Sorry for not posting in a really long while. I've been totaly out of sorts. But I promise I'll be back pretty soon ☺

Aug. 3rd, 2015

Is Reality A Hoax? : Thoughts On The Movie "The Matrix"

Author's note: This was the reflection paper I wrote for my Philosophy 1 class on reality and on the movie "The Matrix".



        In a world based on facts and senses, physical reality is defined as what we could see, what we could feel – generally what we could experience. The concept of physical reality is exactly what Morpheus said in the movie, “The Matrix”. He said:

“If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste, and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

        But is this really what reality is? Is there more to what the physical body could perceive to be real?

        In quantum reality, it is said that what we perceive to be physical is not physical at all. In this sense, the ancient philosophers were correct when they said that our senses deceive us and reason is the most reliable thing when it comes to perception.
        It’s mind-bugging to think that everything we perceive to be physically real is actually barely even physical. But the point of the scientists is this: If you look at the atom, the discovery of its sub atomic particles shook the scientific world. But what was even more shocking was the fact that these sub atomic particles emit “strange energies”.
Are we not made out of atoms, ourselves?

      At the turn of the nineteenth century, physicists started to study energy and its relationship with matter. With this, the idea that we are living in a physical world was dropped because it was found that we are living an illusion that matter was physically real.  Scientists have discovered that the universe was made out of nothing but energy.
It was found that atoms were just spinning vortices of energy that are constantly spinning and vibrating, each one radiating a unique energy signature. If you looked into an atom through a microscope, you would see bundles of energy vortices that are named to be quarks and photons. These quarks and photons are the ones that are believed to compose the atom. And if you look into it even closer, you would notice that there is nothing that you could see – that there is a physical void. The atom, therefore, has no physical structure. We, given that we are made of atoms, do not have a definite physical structure. Things that are perceived to be physical is not physical at all. Everything is just made of energy – nothing tangible.


      What does it mean, then, to say that the universe is not physical at all? Would this debunk all that we have been believing throughout all these years? Well, some scientists have already addressed this problem with the statement “the observer creates the reality.”

      With this, should we again trust our senses over our reasoning? I say that we should use both to achieve our perception of what reality is. Through our observations, and what we could perceive through our senses, we could use our reason to interpret what reality really is. It’s a matter of perspective, and it’s up to you to believe whether or not the paper you are holding right now is physically real or not.
      Let us be reminded that humans usually work within their “comfort zone”. Whatever feels right to you and whatever you believe to be real is okay. It is how you understand the world around us. We must consider the fact that we are all interconnected and that we should understand each other’s perspective of what reality is.

      Going back to the movie, “The Matrix”, there was a point where Neo had to choose between the blue pill and the red pill. The red pill would expose him the “truth” while the blue pill would entail him to stay in the world and beliefs he knows today.
      If I were in his place, I would think that it is very tempting to take in the red pill because humanity, in a sense, tends to search for the exact truth in this world. However, I would still prefer to take in the blue pill because this “freedom” they put in the red pill is not really freedom. It is more of an enclosing idea – a prison, per se – that the world is exactly nothing but a matrix. You have no other choice but to believe in what they believe in. At least, if I chose to take in the blue pill, I am free to believe whatever is real to me. I am free to think of various possibilities that the physical world is just an idea imparted by our brain to us – or not.

Not Us. Not Ours.

20150803 0117hrs

Minutes...
Hours...
Days...
Weeks...
Months...

Time is running out and neither of us...

(No.
Not us.
You and I.
Yes.)

Neither of you and I have that Benjamin Button thing going on in our lives.

For weeks now... well more accurately, it has been more than a month since I have had the chance to speak to you the way I used to. You may have wondered why I have been acting the way I have been for quite a while now. No, it's not your fault. It's all just me.

I should leave.

My heart is being torn apart and my mind is being flurried by how I see you.

No. Nothing special. Just... wrong. All wrong.

I have told a number of people of the struggle I am facing with this relationship of ours...

(No.
Not ours.
Yours and mine.
Yes.)

They keep on telling me — all of them — that if I leave now, without a word, I might alarm you. They say that they are concerned about us...

(No.
Not us.
You and I.
Yes.)

They say that it would be such a loss if I leave now.
I agree.
Yes, it's such a loss...

...but only to me.

I try to justify why I should leave. I give them logical explanations, but they refuse to accept.

In the end, I turned out to be the bad one.

I accept.

I am selfish for only considering how I feel, and how insensitive of I not to talk to you about this.

But this just goes for all good.
I'm the bad one.
I should leave.
That should do you good.

With all justifications, reasons, and rebuttals, my thoughts have gone from one place to another. Tired and troubled, I lay on my bed hoping for a few hours of amnesia.

Here I was wrong. My sleep had tormented me more than it should have.

A new morning, I rose up and went straight to my workplace, and sat down to finish the project that had been assigned to me as swiftly as I could.
Though too focused on my work, I noticed someone approach my vicinity. However, I did not bother to look because I was too occupied with my thoughts and my craft. To my surprise, this being stopped right behind me. I could feel the presence intensifying. I tried to ignore it for a while, but the presence had become so strong that I just had to look.

As I looked up to see who or what the presence was, I froze.

I saw you.

You were glaring down at me with eyes filled with anger and of sorrow.

You sat beside me and asked in a voice and tone I have never heard from you (was it angry? Was it sad? I don't know): "What's wrong? What is happening?"

I can't dare speak. I was too frightened and ashamed.

You asked once more — now in a rather serious tone.

I still refused to answer.

I got up and excused myself. I said I'd be getting something.

As I returned, and as I have mustered up the courage to speak, you're out of sight.

Gone.

Empty. The chair you sat on was empty.

My heart is torn. I have gone out of sorts. All that's left of my thoughts was just a word:

WHY?

Heart pounding and hands sweating, I awoke from slumber.

It was all a dream. A dream I had no control over — no sense of self.

For a moment, I thought it was real. But it wasn't.

How could one thing be real the first time, and be non-existent the second?

Maybe it's still real. Just not in this world.

It's real somewhere deep within the memory of my heart and soul that cry out for answers and solutions to this problem I have in our relationship.

(No.
Not our.
Yours and mine.
Yes.)

Yes.

Yes.

YES!

I should stop using parentheses and say that indeed, it is 'yours and mine', and 'you and I'.

What's the difference?

'Our', and 'us' would mean that there had been a discussion of the issue between the two direct parties concerned.

In this situation, I am the only one who knows there is something wrong. You don't. You view this relationship as if we see it same but in truth, it's all divided.

There is a faction.

A gap.

One day, you will see, and one day, you will know.

It's really not you.

It's just me.

Aug. 1st, 2015

Photography Is Useless

20150801 2245hrs

Photography.
Photos.
Capturing milliseconds of moments...of memories... of LIFE.

A lot of people I know probably are aware of how much I love photography. I just love capturing stories and trying to preserve them in forms that could be seen. I love the nostalgic feeling I get when I look at old photos and videos getting lost in all the memories and trying to forget the "now" for some time, and remembering the "then".

Just a photo a camera and I

Because I love art, and I know I'm "no good" at visual arts (no good in a sense that I only satisfy myself and not others' craving for beauty), I decided to venture into the art of photography (since I am not exactly the one who made the stuff in the photo).

This had become my hobby to the point where I go out and take photos just to "escape" from all the stressors I have in my life.

But now...
I've come to realise how counterproductive it is.
Yes. I "escape". But with escaping comes suppression.

The feelings deep inside of me are being suppressed by this hobby of mine. I am no longer expressing. My heart is kept silent by the satisfaction and awe I feel when I look at the sceneries I capture. Like a camera's aperture blades, my feelings are snapped shut in a blink and once it opens, another frame of reference is allowed to enter, leaving the previous feeling gone deep in memory.

I'm not saying that I'd be leaving photography nor photography is never an avenue for self expression. All I'm trying to tell is that it's not helping me cope with all the tragedies I am facing and am about to face. This is all applicable to me.

The suppression of feelings haunt me later after I'm done processing my work. It's never a way to remove my problems from my memory. All these problems are found in the " bad sectors" of my "hard drive". If defragmenting bad sectors is hard enough, then surely the addition of a new file (a good photo, at that) wouldn't be an answer to the problem. Some reformatting has to be made but that really isn't the best answer for now.

Again, I'm not leaving photography.
It would remain as a hobby, but I wouldn't be using it to express my thoughts and feelings.

Probably I should go back to writing and sketching. I should no longer mind whether or not I satisfy others' needs for "beauty". I should mind how I need not to suppress whatever I have in my heart. I must express... or else...

...I might die again.

Knives, Cutters, and Other Blades

20150801 0017hrs

I always point the blade away...

Why, you ask?

Tendencies.

It's all about tendencies.

Just a knife and I

It feels so horrible how people think suicidal tendencies would just disappear in a blink of an eye after one met Christ. Though I do agree that knowing Christ would do wonders in your life, and that there would be a lot of changes, I don't think that all these new perspectives come in just a snap. It all comes gradually.
I believe that in this gradual change, Christ is not just concerned about the main issue that the world sees (suicidal tendencies, for this matter), but rather, He wants to dig up the root cause of these issues and help you deal with it. Well if He wasn't concerned about the root causes of our issues, then probably He would, then, just disagree with Himself. I mean, He did say that He will give rest to those who are troubled (Mtt 11:28), and since His understanding surpasses any human (or artificial) mind (Phil 4:7) His concern about us and His knowledge on how to deal with things is just way beyond comprehension. Through this gradual healing, there is a journey. And in this journey, you would learn things you would've never known if immediate change in perspectives and immediate loss of vices happened upon knowing Him.

Christ isn't a magician who does things in just a jerk of a second. He is a Father, a Teacher, a Healer, a Psychiatrist... everything — all in one. But sure enough He isn't a magician for He never has tricks and cheats under His sleeve.

My obsession over the wonder of death have had taken me to places. But never would it take me to the "afterlife" — not in God's hands.

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