Purity of a Teen’s Dream

I miss the times when I used to dream big. Especially during high school days.

I used to dream of the possible huge career in the future.
Of having a family of my own.
Of having faith that never doubts.

At that time, when I dream, I never considered the unknown & the unforseen.
Only the good things that comes with it.
But when I grow old, I doubt a lot.
Is it because I’ve seen too much suffering?
Is it because I’ve suffered from broken promises?
Or is because faith had too much faith on me, it tested me beyond my perceived limitations?

I’d like to dream again like that.
Like I’ve never been hurt.
Like I’ve never failed.
Like I’ve never experienced the ugly truth.

To My Angel — on her birthday

Mamang,

I’ve seen you hurting more every time you see me crying,
I’ve heard you wishing to take my pain just to see me happy,
I’ve felt your love even when there are times I hated you so much,
I’ve tasted your happiness and pride when you cheered at my achievements…

You have unselfishly dedicated your life to me, when you could be someone else, somewhere else,
You feed me with the remaining piece of bread even when you are still hungry,
You have me defended against life’s demons,
Your hands are scarred with hard work, just to give me the things that I want (not even a need),
You lost your health when you thought I was lost & left home (I’m sorry, I’ll never do it again),

While I was undergoing a surgery a couple of months ago, I searched for your face, your comforting voice, your gentle touch among the crowd…
But I choose not to let you know,
Because I know you will worry too much.
But honestly, I was secretly wishing you were there…
Because I fear that I may never see your loving face again if I die.

Many years ago, God might have anticipated I needed an angel here on earth,
He didn’t give me someone that I want,
Instead He gave me someone that I need.
Someone…
Bigger than love,
Deeper than faith,
Brighter than hope…

If God will asked me now what I fear the most?
It’s loosing you…
I think I’ll never be able to bear it.
Because I have found no other person who loved me more than you do.
Who thinks of me more than they think of themselves.
Who forgives me when I least deserve it.

If God will grant me with only one wish now.
I’ll choose to grant you with all the happiness in the world…
Even that, can’t repay the goodness that your heart beholds.
Even that, is not enough for someone like you who deserves only the best.

Sometimes, I wonder what your heart is made of.
Why is it so resilient and tough and soft?
Sometimes I wonder if you ever have a dream about yourself.
Because it seems like you only think about ours.
Sometimes I wonder if you want to be happy too.
Because you sacrifice to live the life you’ve always wanted, just because I am already here.
Sometimes I wonder if you don’t know how to fight back.
Because you still love me with all your heart even when I fight with you.
Sometimes I wonder if you were ever wrong.
Because you were always right.

When I am old and forgetful,
I only want to remember the times when you fought for my war when I don’t have the strength to face it.
The times when you first taught me how to say “Thank you” and “I’m sorry”,
To walk and talk,
To smile and be strong,
To sing and dance,
To pray and to love,
(But you never taught me how to be unhappy…)

Mamang, there are a lot of times when life seems to be too much for me,
When hope, faith and love failed me.
But you know what keeps me going?
It is just by thinking how hurt and devastated you will be when I’m gone.
So if ever you think that you are just a nobody,
Please think again.
I am just one soul
Being saved and loved by an angel like you.

An Interview with Myself

I take time out today. For a long time, I wasn’t able to process my thoughts, feelings and even myself. Every day, I drag myself to work and when random thoughts came to my mind, I just shrug it off. But today, I will face my fears, ask dauntless questions I never dared to ask myself before and get to know myself better.
I don’t know if this is necessary. I’m not even sure if this could help. All I ever wanted to write what I feel. I fear that if I don’t, I’ll never be able to remember it. I’m afraid that if I don’t process this, I’ll be ‘damaged’ forever.

Who am I?
It will take a lifetime to answer this question. It is because of the fact that I am not yet who I am. Surely, the Past had shaped me, taught me a lesson and will continue to haunt me in the future, but it doesn’t define me yet. As they say, the saint has a past and the sinner has a future. And it is always been said that no one can predict the future, so I could only hope that the best is yet to come. The Present may not be as hurtful as it may be but I’d rather have it now than in the future. I do not want to rely my happiness to the future but I want to believe in its many surprises. My heart knows what it wants and I hope that someday, I will set foot to where and what should I really be.

What are your greatest fears?
I fear that I might lose sight of what is essential in life.
I fear going through life without a purpose, without direction.
I fear that I may never find my true love.
I fear that I will get hurt again, and it might be more painful that I might not be able to manage the pain.
I fear that I’ll grow old alone and miserable.
I fear losing my mother, she’s everything to me.
I fear being sick, not being able to support myself and being a burden to my family.
I fear getting old and having all the remorse in my ‘senior’ years.
I fear not being able to be in control of what is happening.
I fear of hurting someone with my words and actions.
I fear sunrise as well as sunset. I don’t know, there is just this cold, clammy feeling once in awhile.
I fear that I might lose my sanity.
I fear to know some truths that will hurt me.

Where do you want to go?

Right now, I wan’t to go to a place where I am impenetrable to pain, disappointments and sadness. I want to learn how to forgive myself for my wrong decisions, wrong actions and wrong person to love. I want to go to a place where I could start all over again.

What do you pray for?

I pray for forgiveness. I pray that I will be able to forgive myself. I pray that I may be able to forgive the people who have hurt me.
I pray for peace of mind. My mind is my enemy at this in time. It reminds me of the memories that I don’t want to remember, it blames me of my mistakes, and it gives me doubts about myself.
I pray for my family’s good health and happiness. I pray for my mother’s happiness. I pray that she will always be proud of us.
I pray for happiness to come soon. I’ve been in this cold, clammy feeling for such a long time. It felt like a curse to me. I want to run as fast as I could so that I would be able to see the light at the other end of the tunnel. I want to be happy. I want to feel the feeling of being happy. I want to smile. I want to laugh hard, the one that comes from the heart. I want that warm, happy feeling again.
I pray that my biggest mistakes in life will lead to my biggest blessing. I hope that my bad choices will turn out to be best and my hidden aspiration knows better where I am going than what my rational mind can fathom.
I pray that someday, he will feel sorry for giving up on me, because he will realize that would have never given up for him. I keep on wishing he will be man enough to face me, even just to say he’s sorry for causing me so much pain. I was hoping he’ll have a little respect, enough to honor what we have together when we are ok.
I pray for someone who can stay with me no matter how hard it is to be with me. After all, a heartbreak is just a heartbreak, not a heart loss. I know I may be able to love again. It makes me think that though love sometimes shows its ugly face, it is one of the strongest & most powerful gifts next to faith. It could overpower all hates & cynicism. I may have hated the lover who broke my heart, but will never hate love. I believe in love.
I pray that even when I do something wrong, even if I fail, even if I make poor choices, I am loved. I pray that I will do the right thing next time. I pray that I will learn from my mistakes.
I pray that I “may be able to accept everything about myself – no apologies, no regrets. I’d like to have the self-acceptance that comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. I don’t want to numb myself to my trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from my life. I will find peace not by trying to escape my problems, but by confronting them courageously. I will find peace not in denial, but in victory.”
I pray that maybe the reason why he left is because someone else will come into my life — someone who is capable of loving me — the one who will not leave me hurting and hoping. Someone who is worthy of waiting. Someone who deserves my love, trust and thoughts. Someone who shares with my dreams, my pains, my success and my happiness. Someone who can’t imagine living without me. Someone who puts God in our center. Someone who respects and loves my family. Someone whom I could laugh with, someone whom I could share my deepest, secrets and thoughts. Someone who will always try to understand and protect me. Someone not so perfect yet human enough to admit his mistakes. Someone I could grow old with. Someone who will correct me because he wants me to become a better person. Someone who puts aside his own personal interest just to make me happy everyday.
I pray for all my prayers to come true…

What matters most to you?

God
Love
Health
Family
Dreams

To my future love

no, we didnt meet today. perhaps the universe is too busy making our lovestory or the materials arent ready yet. or maybe the scriptwriter is on sick leave, the director has a short fuse today, whatever.. but im not at all in a hurry, love. because i know, that the moment we met, it’ll be for eternity.

i know how excited and anxious you are. i am too. you cant wait to hold my hand and whisper loving words in my ear. you cant avoid touching my hair and smiling seeing me smiling back at you. you perfected the wonderful breakfast, you learned was my favorite. the flowers bloomed, ready to greet me when i wake up but i’m still sound asleep. you decided to learn how to play a guitar pretty well because you knew i’d like to be serenaded.

sorry to keep you waiting love, but this isnt our time yet. meanwhile, i’d learn from my friends how to take care of a baby because i know you’d want some. i’d like to learn a few dance steps because i knew you will ask for it. i cant wait going to monumental places with you, sharing jokes, riddles or poetry. i forgot to ask your favorite movies but there’s plenty of time to watch it with you. i dont want you to get sick but just incase, i’ll always be there. promise me we’ll walk under the stars and moon, we’ll laugh until our eyes will burst tears from too much laughing, we’ll encourage each other, learn and grow from each other’s mistake, write a love letter often, learn something new everyday, paint a sunset, listen to waves’ song, photograph the horizon, enjoy the good food and look into each other’s eyes…

for now, i’m gonna sleep, love — smiling. because i know, someday, sometime we’ll meet. i know.

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Memories of Bali

Day 1
– started the day with a banana waffle sandwich, brewed Bali coffee & some fruits, served by our hostel, Argosoka Bungalows. We decided to stay in Ubud because it is known to be the heart of Balinese royal family and art. It is located in the cool mountains just an hour drive north of the airport. It is located in Ji. Wanara, (Monkey Forest), Ubud.
For contacts, you may call Tel no: 0361-970912 or email at argasokabungalows@yahoo.co.id.

– went to see a cultural Barong dance (a battle between the good & the bad) in Batubulan. It is one of the famous dance for tourists depicting a battle between good (the barong) and the bad (the rangda). The barong is a half dog, half lion and a rangda is a witch. It is basically a display of colorful costumes and graceful dance moves. It is performed everyday in Batubulan at around 9:30am. Also shown in Puri Saren and Catur Eka Budi at different schedules.

– went to see how they process handmade Batik in Sukawati.

– visited Bali Marine and Safari Park though we didn’t avail of the tour due to time constraints.

– prayed at Besakih temple (also known as the Mother Temple of Bali) which is over a thousand years old. Our guide told us that we are quite lucky to be in time to witness their Full Moon festival in Besakih. It is an auspicious day today to visit the temple. Besakih Temple is the biggest Hindu temple in Bali which the local people call Pura Besakih. It has a beautiful view from the top of temple area where we can see the wide nature view of the ocean. Besakih Temple is located in Besakih countryside, Rendang sub district, Karangasem regency, east part of the island. It is located in southwest side of mount Agung, the biggest mounts in Bali. It is about 2 hours away from Bali’s International Airport by car to the east part of Bali and right located in Besakih Village, Rendang – Karangasem Regency.

– tasted 6 types of coffee: Luwak coffee, Bali coffee, ginseng coffee, ginger tea, rosela tea, lemon tea, Bali tea, lemon grass tea and vanilla coffee. Also, there are spices, massage oil, aromotherapy oils and home spa stuffs at Satria Agrowisata. Kopi luwak or civet coffee, is the world’s most expensive and low-production varieties of coffee. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In the digestive tract, the civets’ proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness. This coffee is widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world with prices reaching €400 per kilogram ($160 per pound). Also, we were introduced to Bali’s botanical garden where we shoved all kinds of fruits and spices right under our noses. It is owned by Dewa Gede Asmara Guna, and is located in Jl. Raya Tampaksiring-Kintamani Br. Basangambu.
For contacts, you may call 08179793020 or email stria-agro@yahoo.com for details.

– had late lunch at a resto overlooking Mt. Batur it’s lake in Kintamani. Folklore tells us that a giant named Batur was buried there. “A long time ago, there lived on the island of Bali a giant-like creature named Jidanbou. The people of Bali used to say that Jidanbou was a destroyer as well as a creator. He was satisfied with the meal, but this meant for the Balinese people enough food for a thousand man. Difficulties arose when the first time the barn were almost empty and the new harvest was still a long way of. This made Jidanbou wild with great anger. In his hunger, he destroyed all the houses and even all the temples. It made the Balinese turn to rage. So, they came together to plan steps to oppose this powerful giant by using his stupidity. They asked Jidanbou to build them a very deep well, and rebuild all the houses and temples he had destroyed. After they fed Jidanbou, he began to dig a deep hole. One day, he had eaten to much. He fell a sleep in the hole. The oldest man in the village give a sign, and the villagers began to throw the limestone they had collected before into the hole. The limestone made the water inside the hole boiling. Jidanbou was buried alive. Then the water in the well rose higher and higher until at last it overflowed and formed Lake Batur. The mound of earth dug from the well by Jidanbou is known as Mount ” (lifted from an article in Google).

– witnessed the cleansing ritual in Pura Tirta Empul, a temple built around a sacred spring wherein according to the locals, you can bathe to cleanse mind and soul from bad dreams and thoughts. “The Tirta Empul Temple includes the traditional Balinese split gate along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Braham, Mt. Batur, and Indra. There is also a large open pavilion in the main courtyard, useful for relaxing in the shade. But the main attraction here is a long rectangular pool carved of stone, filled with koi and fed by the sacred spring via 12 fountains. Worshippers first make an offering at the temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray. Many collect the holy water in bottles to take home. Nearby there are two smaller pools fed by the spring. Overlooking the temple on a hill above is a suprisingly modern building: the Government Palace, built in 1954. Originally a residence for Dutch officials, it was later used by former President Soekarno during his frequent trips to Bali. Pura Tirta Empul is located in the village of Tampak Siring, accessible by public transportation from Ubud. The souvenir stands outside the temple specialize in the local craft, carved bone jewelry.” (lifted from Wikipedia)

– bought some uniquely Bali accessories made of Cow’s bone in one of Ubud’s boutique.

– I thought I died and gone to heaven when I experienced the very rejuvenating massage by a very young & adept Balinese masseuse in the streets of Ubud at a very cheap price (around USD6.00)

– night cap of hot porridge in our hostel, drowned with a flavorful Jasmine tea.

A truly unique, eventful day!

Day 2:
-started the day by visiting Eat, Pray, Love’s Ketut Liyer took some pictures with him since I am too cynical to have my palm read by a medicine man. When you plan to visit this medicine man, make sure to arrive early and secure an appointment number. He sees an average of 30 people from all over the world, mostly ladies wanting to know their luck about love.

– went gaga over shopping at the Ubud market where there is a handful of bags, jewelries, keychains (they have Phallus keychains!), batiks, etc.

-went to the monkey forest but didn’t go inside because some reviews told us that the monkeys are skillful in stealing (omg!)

– proceeded to Tanah Lot, a temple by the beach side where there is an ongoing Full Moon Festival.
” Lot is located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th-century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island’s beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods. The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. However, the temple had significant Hindu influence. At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirartha’s scarf when he established the island.” (lifted from wikipedia).

– saw the 2002 bombing site where around people died in Bali in the tourist district. The attack was claimed as the deadliest act of terrorism in the history of Indonesia according to the current police general, killing 202 people and injured 240 people by the convicted Jemaah Islamiyah.

– shopped at Duty Free & found out that Coach in Bali Duty Free Shop are 20% cheaper compared to Malaysia & Singapore. The Denpasar airport is quite equipped with good shops where I decided to drown myself with Baskin Robbins ice cream and Starbucks coffee.

In summary, I will recommend Bali as a place to visit. It is indeed a charming little country. Most locals are nice, perhaps, they are accustomed to a lot of tourists who are visiting their place. We are quite lucky to have Ketut as our driver for two days. He is very kind and considerate. He does a very good job of a tourist guide too. He arrives on time, and doesn’t ask for tips (but we gave a pretty good amount of tip because we are impressed by his services). He told us that he used to work in one of Denpasar’s hotel but when he got married, he decided to resign and work as a driver in his brother’s travel agency so that he could take care of his family. He told us that he can’t facilitate prayer and worship time when he is still employed in the hotel. Which makes me think that religion and family are indeed the core of Balinese living. You may contact him through this number: +6281338769076 or email him at wayanbion@yahoo.com. Perhaps the only disappointment I have is with our guardian and guide at the Besakih Temple. He asked a quite pricey guide fee. And when we prayed to one of the temple in Besakih, he told us that our money offering was not enough. Maybe I am just used here in the Philippines wherein you give offerings to your local church according to your own generosity.

I come to realize also that what Bali lacks in material and industrial prosperity, they make up for spiritual and cultural “wealth”. For an art enthusiast like me, Ubud is like heaven on earth. Everywhere, there are temples, museums and art galleries. How ironic though that most of the fashion boutiques and stores were owned by foreigners, employing Balinese attendants. For the lack better term, they became slaves in their own country. It may seem like a hasty generalization but I think countries which core of living focuses on faith and families are quite poor compared to highly industrialized countries which focuses on technology and personal abilities/skills.

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