Inspire

Sunny

“Sunny”

 

…If you’re lost you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting
Time after time 🎵 🎶

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When Wounds Whirled Wisdom

Just, never get tired of trying. Positivity, persistence, and patience are what you need to keep on track. Don’t lose that sense of wonder you’ve been holding on for too long. You’ve not been this far to stop and acquire nothing. You might feel down for a while but that does not mean staying in the darkness. Another day will come and you will find new reasons to continue searching for the light. You will realize that everything pays off. Of course you wouldn’t like to harvest rotten fruits at the end of the season, would you?

So smile! Yes, you who’s reading this right now. Why should you?

Because you are wonderful…

for waking up this morning even if you feel like laying down all day

for pursuing the plans you’ve drafted the last time you feel excited

for beaming like how the sun shines to everyone on your way

for cheering up the vibes though you already feel exhausted

for staying in tune with the path that you have chosen

for striving despite the verdicts’ eyes on your acts

for struggling while heat seems so frozen

for risking across a myriad cracks

for fighting with all your heart

for trying with all your might

for breathing until tonight

 

Remember that while there are things which make you feel you’re not worthy enough, there also exist these bases which are going to support your claims come what may. Perhaps you will doubt yourself but there are proofs that exist to persist in believing that you actually can attain your goals. All you need is faith; for if you have it, the world will never be ceased to be amused by your masterpieces. Once you learn to accept yourself is the moment you discover a perspective that will open your eyes to possibilities. The worries and fears holding you back will no longer suffice. No harm will keep you from resisting a passionate urge expected to embark upon.

Every day is a new beginning. It empowers you to gain the strength that you need for you to be able to win over the treacherous beast within. Wake up your spirit and fall in love with your dreams all over again. Seek what makes you happy: then go for it. Make use of the lessons that the battle of life has taught you. Sustain the weapons for you must not lose. Give it all your best and leave the rest to Him.

Wounds are temporary yet wisdom remains beyond your capacity for ever. The pain will soon be over.

 

 

 

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Even if other people cannot impose discipline among themselves, doesn’t mean it’s fine if you get carried away. The bottom line is you still have to go against the flow when you think it’s not leading you the right path.

You have to at least be strong by yourself, for real. Gain the strength you need by doing things you love the most.

As for those you dislike but can’t avoid, embrace them. Get mad but don’t let it take too long. It is through the hardest times that you discover a lot more things about your inner being.

Don’t forget to smile. At the end of the day, you’ll realize it’s all worth the tears you’ve poured into.

That this is not yet the end… that the journey have just begun… that you might not be there yet, but you know… and you can feel… that you’re on your way.

Keep still. You can only be bent, not broken. They may shake you, but who are you to never falter? The answer lies on the question itself. You are you no matter what comes next, no matter what comes before.

This moment is a time for you to think. What keeps you until here? Those lazy ass people you encounter everyday who remind you that life can be as boring as theirs? Or those hard-to-beat people who amaze everyone else, stunning us… the remainder of the world: how do they survive?

Simply because they strive for life. You, too, can get a living. Work hard and be the person you truly want to become. Be the person you won’t hate to meet through the mirror.

The change you want to see is right inside of you. It won’t start from others unto whom you expect will do things for you. Come on. If you want something done, do it yourself. Do wonders.

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What If Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

We all have that feeling of joys and of sorrows. These two are what basically consist our daily lives. It’s either we feel good or we feel bad about certain circumstances that may come our way. Days are hard-earned. Nights are sleepless. We sacrifice such chunks of comfort for the benefit of our larger aspirations.

At the end of every episode, rages another show in a series of memories that are supposed to teach us: Lessons… Lessons which are not similar to those that we learn from school wherein lectures are primarily given before the examination. In real life, we have to take the tests first, then lessons. We may eventually surpass ourselves.

Sentiments are everywhere located in each chapter of our own stories. Whether we like it or not, we are thrown here in this world to feel alive yet it is so paradoxical that there are times when the things which actually give us life are the same ones which nearly push us on the verge of giving up this battle called survival.

Have you experienced that moment when you seem to have done enough yet none of it will suffice the demands of the environment you are in? You try to search for anything to blame yet cannot find it because you think that I got this. You list down all the possible works you can do for hours, for days, for weeks, for months, and even for years to prepare for situations that perhaps bring you that rush of nervousness and excitement; but when time comes, that you almost had it all, the world is as if to slap right to your face the kind of mess that you have been. You will never be ready until you experience the conditions. A wild dimension is about to snatch you from those sweet tales into a tragic story of defeat.

What is wrong: to expect too much from yourself? to wait for something else to happen that is not meant for you? to assume success? Is it then alright to accuse yourself of being too much of a failure? One’s self who is nobody but a shadow. A shadow which is nothing but a mere existence of false hopes. -then you start to question the verity of life. You start to indulge your being into the darkness that leads no path.

 

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

– Fix You

 

Feel the wind all around
All the courage to be found
Who knows what’s out there
I know I’ll get there

– Still I Fly

 

If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow
I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home

– Am I Wrong

 

Now, here are songs you might like to listen to. Uplift the spirit that deserves no doubt, no insult, and no regret… for yourself is all that you have to stand up again. Yourself is all that you have to confront the challenges and beat them up- they may hurt you, cause you wounds, leave you scars; but they cannot suppress a spirit that stays faithful to its master.

What if your best isn’t good enough? is not a question but a threat to your character. You shall not be deceived by temporary knock down’s because the truth is, you can always get up. You can always fight back. You can always win in your own ways. Just by reaching your best shot, you had already aimed at victory. There’s no such thing as failing because you tried.

It is impossible for us to risk ourselves defending the ones we love, through terrifying attacks of courage and persistence, just for nothing. We are not here just for nothing. We are here to prove the worth we have been holding on for so long. We are here to claim the fact that we will carry on, no matter what.

Your best is more than enough.

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The Metamorphosis of Love

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Life is not a series of chances but a series of choices.

A heart usually portrays the essence of love, of Romanticism, of people’s involvement in a relationship that demands commitment, trust, and loyalty; but a heart might mean a different thing that tries to incorporate a wider and deeper understanding of how love actually exists in a person’s life- where happiness stays and grows from within. However, the butterflies signify metamorphosis- an agent of change that persists to survive in this world.

Just because you want it, doesn’t mean you can get it. Destiny is not carved in stone because it is something you have to create on your own. Beyond the freedom set upon the spark of divinity that’s given from the very start, you get a life… full of uncertainties, doubts, and risks. You endure a battle and insist to win for you think of the importance of the things you love is what truly matters. But, is it really worth the fight? Do you deserve to fall in love that depends from the intensity of the presence of others? Does reality have to seem so vague that you associate real joy from the attachment you get used to? Is it then fair to blame circumstances when you lose yourself while finding the significance outside of it?

Perfection is imaginable yet it is not possible. It cannot be achieved. It is so unfair to expect something that goes too high enough to disrupt your view of reality. You accept the love you think you deserve that you eventually fail to realize that what you’ve been seeking for the whole time is already in front of you waiting to be held on for so long. You miss the chances that are reserved for you while chasing for the ones you desperately hope for. You end up undecided, left out unfulfilled. Is that what is considered as happiness? Of course not. You commit mistakes just like anyone else. The bottom line is, it might be too late to catch up with failures. You learn to let go.

What you believe keeps you going, isn’t it? What you believe is what triggers you to remain intact with your goals in life. You often accompany it with the thought of being extremely in love with something else. So when it is gone, the happiness fades away. That is what happens in a heart that is filled with butterflies. There are things, there are people… that will come and leave. Some will stay and others are meant to go away. Permanence is rare. Definitely, there are things that are bound to visit you temporarily. There will be a moment in your life when your actions are transformed into regrets. It makes you unsatisfied. Will things ever be put in their proper places? Yes. You just have to explore a great sense of being alive and discover that happiness is not all about romantic love, or gifts, or committing to someone, or keeping a promise- but about the innovation and development you attain while enduring the pain you receive and being passionate about your principles no matter what, each day.

Happiness is a choice yet so difficult to stand by it. Love freely. Who cares to give it back?

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Faith that is Not Tested, is Not Faith At All

While the downpour of rain was heavy all day long last Saturday, I was able to grab my chance of clinging into my academic obligations. I did not fail, somehow, to comply with my to-do-list. Perhaps the weather was really gloomy and not everything inside our house had fallen in its proper place, I still tried to manage my schedule and my mood. That’s right; to manage myself and the actions I would take has always been necessary for a harmonious living- well, at least from my viewpoint.

Some readings I was trying to study that day is about the orientation towards being… something is about existentialism provided that the writer itself has this perspective saying Not that we believe that God does not exist, but we think that the problem of his existence is not the issue, and the other literary piece has been talking about this creatively ambiguous but witty format of what the persona aims to express; but justifiably, I got the gist of the articles I have read. Anyway, it’s all about how we’re to interpret the given symbolic entities which meanings invariably depend to our intellectual capacity and background. It’s up to me, actually, upon whose way of thinking I am made-up to affirm or deny, right?

We all know that in Philosophy, two major groups of people pave its path through the broadness and deepness of discussions- Christians and Atheists. I surely belong to the first one. I just can’t imagine how I was able to deal with the articles wherein atheistic viewpoints are technically considered. Each time I had to support my own ideology and never falter to what I have believed for more than a decade. I told myself that open-mindedness is not a bad thing at all. Essentially, it’s quite a brilliant means to transcend into reality without having to seem too arrogant, ignorant, conceited, and rude. Having an open mind to things doesn’t mean inability to decide for one’s self but maturity to cultivate the values that can eventually lead us to excellence and a better understanding of the world.

Last Friday night, when I am alone in our house and the storm was on its rage, I recorded my voice. This recording lasts exactly up to one minute as it plays. It is supposed to be an alarm which will of course motivate me to get up. Considering its inventive script and a bit proficient tone that speak in straight English, I honestly regarded this habit as some sort of fun. I’d have to adjust the volume to minimum so as not to frantically disturb others; though it’s fine if they’re interested in it.

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(Photo of me in Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte during our historical tour;

but Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral is where I constantly go every Sunday)

Today is Sunday, the start of the week, when I’ve written this. I truly deem that waking up early contributes to man’s productivity and success. So it’s a deal for me to start a day or even a week right enough to make me feel so guilty if ever I do not keep hold of consistency. I am persistent about my dreams, and this blog of mine can attest to that.

Going to church becomes the fundamental system running throughout my character. I’m not the person whom anyone can convince not to go out for mass attendance, especially since when I have started my routine here in the City of Pines. It is a breath of fresh air, a lift of soul, a beat of heart, and clarity of mind- for me as a being. Tell-me-you-can’t-go-but-don’t-tell-me-I-can’t type of attitude is what I got.

Before I could stand under a shed to wait for PUJs, I passed through rustling winds and flooded streets; but still, I could feel the banality of what I am doing. Excitement is expected of me as I fulfill what I want, what I need. There’s this vehicle that stopped in front of me. An old man got off. He is familiar; I always see him on his way to church. He’s passionate about it and I can thoroughly confirm the verity of his faith. Perhaps he’s not too normal (I guess he’s ill due to age-related sickness) and I just can’t say what it is that bothers him. I just know he needs someone to accompany him whenever, wherever, because there’s no safe place nowadays.

Just like at that moment, he didn’t have an umbrella and the rain was pouring hard. It’s cold and I could see he’s tensed. Magsaysay PUJs passed but I am taking the Bonifacio route. So the man was. It’s as if he’s in a hurry not to get late for the mass (though it repeats hourly, in different languages). He’s about to get in a PUJ but its signboard said Magsaysay. God knows how I wanted to offer my umbrella to that man but there’s a bit of force that insisted not. But, when this driver saw the people waiting, he immediately changed his route. So an old couple, I, and the old devoted man, were able to take the ride. I felt an ease that we’re finally on our way to church.

Traffic was not too heavy maybe because it’s still early and the weather wasn’t too good. The PUJ stopped in front of the Cathedral and the vehicle was suddenly more than a half empty. As I crossed the road, I saw this familiar old man taking his steps towards the church. This time, I couldn’t let go of the chance that I might help him. I offered my umbrella and we both took some meters. All of a sudden, I remembered my grandfather. Is he doing fine in our home? Does he feel sick? Does anybody take good care of him? Does he miss me the way I do? Can he still endure and wait for me to get back? Tears watered my eyes but I couldn’t let it fall. For the first few times in months, I heard again the word “apo” (grandchild), with a different high impact melody in my ears. The old man was shivering and a strike of blame landed on me for not doing it so earlier. His age marked those slow footsteps and a notion of helplessness and uncertainty from the environment where he belongs; but I could perceive his hopefulness and it fueled me to keep going.

I thought, I just thought, I am very faithful and this is so exceptional about me. But no, I’m somewhat wrong. There are a lot more people like this man that is full of love for his devotion to God and passion for life. He might be alone at a sight, but inside he’s so full of faith that he couldn’t even think that nobody is there for him. His power of belief makes him stand, walk, and offer himself everyday that until now, he’s able to live. At that very moment of his tight grip (signaling a pinch of gratefulness that someone is confirmed to be there for him even at the slightest point of time), I felt so empowered.

Kindness is contagious. It comes from this man, not from me. I am merely one of the many noble instruments to make people be reminded that The Holy still exists and will always persevere because God doesn’t really leave. God is always here. God is always with us.

A lot of times go by that our faith is being tested without actually the recognition; it just happens. This story of mine for today is just one among the myriad instances that the power of love, hope, faith, and existence itself is realized. Each day can be a miracle, that we all breathe, that we’re all residents of Earth. We discover ourselves in every drop of a second and we explore our lives further not through our own but through our fellowmen.

As for me, I get inspired by you. Criticisms, adversity, loneliness, doubts, and emptiness get clearer every time. I am determined to face such struggles and fight for myself, fight for you, men of amazing faith; because you let me believe that I am not alone in this battle, that we can actually hold on to our beliefs, that we can actually carry on through our passion, that I naturally acquire this spark of love for humanity and that these testimonies trigger me to live. God is with us all the time at all places, in any condition. Impossible can be possible because we believe. God is whom we believe, that’s why we actually can.

Stronger, is how I call. Faith that is not tested, is not faith at all.

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Womanitely: 10 Wise Ways to Redefine Yourself

Read: http://womanitely.com/wise-ways-redefine-yourself/

Vitality is to be gained not just by a day you feel like being alive. The purpose of your existence is yet to be defined as you search for it, while you aim at those goals that are turned into possibilities. We choose what we become so dare to be happy.

This site so useful to somehow quench some thirst for uncertainty and confusion. Also, it captures the significant thoughts that are simple but are so helpful. The things that are cited do actually make sense for they don’t just state the obvious good thing to do, but also reflect upon the condition of the people who are seeking for a push to get started, to keep going, and to eventually be so madly in love with the situation that they are in.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how much you get tired of trying. It’s the effort that counts. It’s not the destination that is the greatest of all, but the journey itself.

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A Cradle for Vision Fuels the Tank on Mission

Who told you it would be easy? Nothing’s left in this fast-paced world for you to hold on; but because you believe that there’s something else to hope for, it becomes harder for you to just let go.

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What is in my mind right now? A lot of things. A thousand or millions of thoughts that eventually filled up the space of my being, enough to make me feel so full of flattering emotions and uncertain feelings. I couldn’t blame the rainy weather today. I couldn’t blame the suspension of classes. I couldn’t blame the moist air. I couldn’t blame the nostalgic view in the window. I couldn’t blame the deafening silence. I couldn’t find anything to blame for why I am this way.

I don’t think I was born exactly the person that I am today. Perhaps the time, experiences, and people’s influences have been contributing to the kind of human that I have become but I’m definitely not so sure how they changed me. Have I really changed? Here I go again with my philosophical questions, trying so hard to answer the inquiries that I know will never suffice. Questions welcome another questions for answers are just merely objects that are supposed to make me feel safe, unmoved, and at peace for a moment. The truth is, I never felt enough.

How do you see me as an individual in that photo? Your perception might be different as mine but I don’t care, really. What matters is that you actually paid attention to it at some point.

Free, empowered, and brave- these may be enough for me to step into real wild world. I feel like I am capable of surviving. I feel like I can conquer whatever struggle it is that will block my path. Well, at least, I have the feels. Although we all know that a man can be invincible but no man can defy imperfection, I still believe that if one spends his/her own life as the power to fight, this man is definitely immortal. The man can die but the flashes of its dynamism will never falter.

Oh good heavens, where did I find the guts to type these words that can eventually lead its readers to confusion? Because it is only through deep words that I can express the slightest closeness of my true sentiments to what I really meant.

There are times that I actually want to cry things out but no tear comes out of my eyes. It crushes me inside. I dare to smile to distract myself from entertaining insanity. There are times that I actually want to give up my only hopes but my dreams won’t accept my proposal. It brings out the guilt out of me. I dare to continue my plans or reinvent if possible. There are times that I actually want to just shut my brain from thinking but as before I can fully close my mind, there’s this little voice inside my head that disintegrates every single drop of doubt. It wakes me up each time I nearly sink my soul into a nightmare of failures. I dare to get up and fall even more madly even at the most futile ideas which only myself knows can keep me moving. Everything, to me, is paradoxical. What kills me makes me realize that I actually have a life to live, with that burning passion in my heart.

Do you get it, somehow? That a person’s struggles are truly the ones that aid to fulfill one’s goals. If we never had the struggle, wouldn’t you think we’d be able to appreciate the details of triumph and victory? I reflect. Please take note that I am trying if not for myself, then maybe for the ones I love the most.

Now the bottom line is what is so special in this life that I can be able to endure all these mind-boggling, soul-draining, heart-drifting challenges? If you can’t imagine myself saying these lines, try to incorporate them to yourself. What is it that pushes you to go on, amid the doldrums or even amid the monstrous storms? Is it your money, your gadgets, your foods, your books, your accessories, your clothes, your mansion, your car? How hypocrite we are, then.

As for me, what urge me to stay are reasons, I expect, only myself can understand. Will you believe me if I tell you I hold on because of the world itself? Philantrophic, isn’t it? Honestly, I am not the best person to promise things that are purely for the sake of others. I am giving it a try because I guess this is what makes me feel worthy to carry on, to share with you the air we breathe, to share with you the shades of sky, to share with you the rhythm, to share with you the company, to share with you the boundless treasures on earth. I’ll never tell these things to you. Laugh at me, it’s fine; but I’ll really never tell these because I want them done rather than chanted.

A Cradle for Vision Fuels the Tank on Mission is the title of my post mainly because I have a very large home that exists as spot on the universe that I can embrace as a cradle for the fruits of all our sacrifices, and the tank simply symbolizes ourselves. What substance do you want it contains? For me, I want it love. If I hated all of you, then I wouldn’t spare a moment of my existence trying to figure out what it means to be alive- what it takes to live for myself and what it takes to live for the significant creations that inspire me to look at things with wonder.

Could I ever make things happen? I can never fail this, so I must.

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Get up and fall deeper in love with your dreams each day!

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Quoted by Roxanne M. Frijas
Background photo taken at Ilocos: Plaza Del Norte Hotel and Convention Center

I felt a simple joy upon seeing my new header, a self-made twitter header. No matter how down one’s system is, how hard the days are earned, and how confusing things may appear, we will always find our way back home- and for me, home is where your dreams are built.

Uninspired is not the term to live by. Happiness is a choice. Therefore, it is not our fault to feel lost at the moment. It is our fault if we give up finding the right track. The journey might be full of hurdles, rocks, and traps but there is not an uneasy road to that of a person’s determination to follow wherever its heart, mind, and spirit take the lead.

We all get exhausted but we all feel the excitement, too. We all get tired but we all enjoy the fulfilling moments. We all get impatient but there is this little voice inside us that keeps on yelling ‘move, move, move’. Go on.

Now I’ve gotten mad- The kind of madness that comes from loving the world so deeply that it pushes me to the limits. This is the reason why I wake up each morning with hopes of getting better to bring out the best of what I really want to happen. Bursts of longings, wishes, and prayers fill up my day. And if it’s not too successful as expected? I’ll try even harder. I’ll love even deeper.

I’d keep the hardships for this day. So for the ones ahead, I would share the fruits I could reap with the people who made my adventure less hurtful and more meaningful.

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Fall In Love With Your Dreams by Ryan Edward Chua

#ThrowbackThursday special: A graduation speech 3 years ago

20 March 2014 at 16:13

I thought of reposting this for the second time since it’s graduation season in the Philippines and, well, #throwbackthursday. This is a speech I delivered in March 2011 before graduates of Davao Central High School.

***

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR DREAMS

I was exactly in your place more than 10 years ago. On that day in early March, I woke up earlier than usual, excited about the day ahead. That morning was one of the happiest days of my life: my elementary graduation in this school. It was my first experience of graduation because I skipped preparatory school. I was very ecstatic that day, and I suppose many of you here today are.

I was 11 years old then: a good boy whose daily life revolved only around home and school, well behaved, diligent, and irresistibly cute according to my mom. I had awards in oration and declamation, won in spelling contests, was an active boy scout and class officer, was consistently on the honor roll, and was a teacher’s pet because I rarely made it to the noisy and standing and not-in-proper-seat lists posted on the blackboard.

But don’t get me wrong: I was not a gifted child. I never even considered myself one. I was like many other kids my age who liked to play lupa-langit, tigso, and other street games upon getting home after school. I collected game cards featuring my favorite cartoon characters. I hated waking up early in the morning to go to school. And I was the happiest person in the world whenever classes were suspended.

Looking back, I believe what made me achieve some things at a young age was not because I drank milk that turned babies into geniuses, or that I was simply born that way. I believe it was because I was very, very in love with my dreams.

I wanted my dreams so badly they became my driving force especially during my growing up years, when I had an enormous sense of wonder and thought nothing was impossible. It’s the power of my dreams, my vision of what I’d want to become and do for the rest of my life, that led me to where I am today—doing what I know I do best, being where I feel I am needed, and making a living out of it.

I was a very ambitious child. When I was in grade 1, I wanted to be a priest. In grade 2, a lawyer. In grade 3, a teacher. In grade 4, an actor and singer. In grade 5, all the other ambitions I saw listed on my friends’ slum books.

It was late in grade school when I decided that I want to be a journalist, and it all started in this school. When I was in grade 6, one of my teachers encouraged—well, forced—me to join the school paper, The Centralites. That sounded crazy to me at first, because I didn’t know how to write! But the promise of bonus points was enough to convince me to just give it a try.

If I remember correctly, my first article was about the cell phone craze that was just beginning to sweep students at that time. Immediately after the thrill of seeing my first byline on the magazine, I fell in love. I started reading national newspapers and magazines and observed how professionals did it. I began watching news programs regularly and imitating anchors and reporters.

Like a person who just met his or her soul mate, I woke up one day telling myself that being a journalist is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

And so, driven by love, I spent most of my student life preparing to be a journalist. I was always part of the school paper even when I transferred to other schools in Iloilo and Laguna. I followed the news on TV, newspapers, and radio. In college, I took up AB Communication, specializing in journalism. I became an editor of the college newspaper and joined internships to hone my craft outside academics.

Now in the media industry, I continue to seek learning opportunities and consider myself a work in progress.

With God’s help, I was able to consciously design the kind of life that I have now. I am that in love.

It is never too early or too late to fall in love with a dream that would set a direction for your life. The key is to fall in love, or in a way, be mad about it. When you do things out of love, everything seems possible—or even if not, you yourself become driven to make all things possible.

Fr. Pedro Arrupe of the Society of Jesus once said: “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

This holds true for our dreams. My love for journalism shaped the kind of life I have today, and even before. When I was in school, this love made me endure countless sleepless nights to meet my school paper deadlines while hurdling my subjects in school. I never quit despite the pressure. It motivated me to live and breathe news even while I was a student, not just to keep myself updated, but also to improve my skills. Because of this love, I strived to be the best student I can be, never wasting all the great opportunities I have been given.

This love continues to guide me in my current job, helping me decide in favor of truth and compassion in every story I make. I continue to be idealistic about this profession despite some of its harsh realities that have turned some people jaded and cynical. I also remind myself of this love whenever I feel tired and burned out.

There’s a certain magic in desiring something. In his best-selling book, The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes: “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”

“And that’s where the power of love comes in,” he states further. “Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

But how exactly do we know what we love, or what to love? It’s not as easy as it seems. I know a lot of people, including some friends, who still struggle to find something they would want to do for the rest of their lives. They feel they’re in an endless search for meaning, even after finishing school.

Well, some people just know what they want to do for life and never run out of opportunities. Very, very lucky people—and very rare, too.

Other people realized what they want it because of opportunities they were initially reluctant to seize but eventually embraced. That includes me. I will forever thank my teacher who forced me to join the school paper.

But there are also people who actively search for their purpose, for that one thing they’ll fall in love with—those who may not have it at first but do everything to find it. I believe this is the best way to find out what you want to do in life—the career or life path you want to pursue—and fall in love with it. It is, of course, the harder way, and the harder way gets us farther.

Who else can do this best but you, graduates? Your young age and energy provide you great opportunities to explore and experience life. This is the perfect time for you to pursue your interests, learn various skills, and ultimately, actively decide what you want to be and what you want to do for life. At this time, you are ripe to be molded to be somebody someday.

A piece of advice as you move on to the next chapter of your student life: Go beyond your books. Never drown in your academics. The most successful people I know are not those who graduated with honors—although that helps—but those who had a lot of experiences while in school aside from studying for quizzes and acing exams. In the workplace, they are generally perceived as more prepared to face the so-called “real world” after school.

That’s what extra-curricular activities are for. You can learn many valuable things outside the classroom that you cannot learn inside. Join organizations that can help you enjoy your interests and improve yourself at the same time. Take part in competitions that challenge your skills. Ultimately, do things that will make you love life more and feel complete as a person. Aside from complementing your academic life and preparing you for real life, this will help you find your purpose.

In a culture like ours that places so much importance on the grade—often to the point that a student’s existence is reduced to mere numbers—I cannot emphasize this enough.

Pursuing your dreams, of course, would be easier with the guidance and support of everyone around you, especially your parents. It’s always sad to hear of students who take courses they don’t really like because they were pressured, or because the only consideration is landing a lucrative job after school. These are valid reasons, but they work to a student’s disadvantage. Students tend to lose touch with their inner voices and lose their drive to dream. And so I hope that most of you here, particularly the high school graduates, take up courses you sincerely want for yourself.

However, finding your dream and falling in love with it is not the end of the story. You have to do a lot more.  Behind all these, you have to confront the question: “What for?”

What will you be a doctor, teacher, nurse, engineer, writer, or entertainer for? Why should you keep yourself in love with whatever dream you have?

More often than not, the answers are, “Because this is what I do best. I want to maximize my talents. I want to be happy. I want to be rich and famous.” Nothing wrong with them, except that they lack an essential shift away from the self. The motivations are self-centered, and they shouldn’t be. For you must reach your dreams not only for yourself, but also for something greater, something bigger than you.

When asked why I chose to be a journalist, I often say it’s because this is the closest I can get to public service without being a politician. Indeed, by telling stories and delivering the news, I believe I am serving people constantly in need of information, and helping make our democracy strong by giving people the means and the chance to scrutinize government.

Of course there are other reasons I love this job, from getting to talk to persons of power and authority and exploring the world to making my mom proud. But above them all is a desire to “make the world a better place,” as former ABS-CBN news chief Maria Ressa put it. It’s where my love for this profession leads: Journalism to make the world a better place.

The recent disaster in Japan reminded me of the power of my job. The images we saw on TV, chilling and disturbing as they are, moved the world and spurred an overflowing of sympathy and help from different countries. Here in the Philippines, information delivered by journalists from Japan helped us examine and question if we ourselves are prepared to handle similar catastrophes.

On a similar note, the vigilance of the Philippine press has also kept our democracy intact despite its imperfections. It has exposed corruption, helped overthrow erring officials, demanded accountability from authorities, and given ordinary and marginalized people a voice in society.

This noble purpose has kept me in love with my job through the years despite having to work overtime often and missing some family occasions and nights out with friends when there’s breaking news.

As early as now, graduates, start thinking of how your dreams can help you contribute to society, especially its members who need it most. As a future lawyer or judge, how can you make sure justice is served to everyone, rich and poor? As a future nurse or doctor, how can you cure those who can’t afford to be cured? As a future businessman, how can you provide jobs and livelihood to a country where many are unemployed?

Always seek a higher purpose for anything you do. It may sound corny to your friends, so just don’t tell them and keep it to yourself. Seriously, whatever you do has the potential of contributing to the greater good, if you just want it to.

And so as you decide on what career to pursue, think not just of what you want, but more importantly, where you are needed the most. This time of exploration will give you enough opportunities to realize where and how your skills and talents can be used to help society.

A while ago I quoted Paulo Coelho saying that when we love, we always strive to become better than we are. In the same book, he adds, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

Dear graduates, don’t dream just for yourselves or your families. Dream for our country, and ultimately, for the world. Realized together, your dreams, my dreams—our dreams—can indeed make the world a better place.

Congratulations, graduates! May you all conquer the world with your dreams

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