Growing up, we were always told to be brave and to triumph over our greatest fears. But fear, just like its hosts, is ever-evolving. From worrying your classmate might make your crayons blunt to being afraid of getting caught having your first taste of alcohol, I like to think that we are entitled to a certain type of phobia through the course of our evolution. Now, though, on the brink of being an adult (although as I write I already am one), turning eighteen seemed to carry a massive qualm. One that nags at me like I have never been nagged before. Somewhere between found and lost, it was there: the fear of uncertainty.

Hours before my birthday, I was on a plane to Hong Kong. Pensive, I stared outside the small aircraft window. I knew the city lights twinkled under the vast wing of the plane, but that’s not what I saw. Instead, I stared at a girl, her eyes emptied out by confusion. I was leaving as I am, but will I come back the same person? Or will being 18 change me? Ridiculous, I know. But somehow, on the verge of abrupt change, it was reasonable for me to worry if anything had to be replaced along with my previous age.

But if there’s one thing that being eighteen taught me (or reminded me of) so far, it’s that there are some things far greater than your fears. Beyond all uncertainty, there will always be a select few who will outshine the shadows you never thought you could brave.

imageL-R: Robie, Iya, me, Rae, Coleen, Patty

Since I left for Hong Kong on my birthday (which was on a Sunday), I was so so SO convinced that they had nothing planned out for me anymore — and I didn’t mind because I’m the type to avoid sensationalizing self-celebrations like this. Besides, exams were coming up and even I started getting busy. I invited them for an overnight stay at Sofitel the following weekend anyway, so I guess that would suffice.

I had everything all planned out: first, I’d watch the Pyromusical Competition with Coleen and Patty then proceed to Sofitel in the evening where Iya, Rae, and Robie would be right after another party they will attend to prior to our sleepover.

Turns out they had other plans.

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When we arrived at the room, Coleen knocked persistently on the door. I thought it was just her being silly because last I remember, I left the room alone so nobody is supposed to answer from the inside. Suddenly, she stopped knocking.

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Girlfriend (by Icona Pop) started playing in the room, and I swear I felt my pupils dilate at the sight of what greeted me when the door opened: pink lights hit the surface of pink balloons that flooded the floor, and through the pink & white strips of crepe that lined the entrance, I saw an “18” post-it formation stuck to the sliding doors (which contain some of the most sabaw pick-up lines ever). I was in a state of awe.

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And as if that weren’t enough, I learned after a short while that they had a mini program ready for me. I didn’t want to have a debut, but that didn’t mean they don’t want one for me: after showing a hilarious (and tear-jerking) tribute video, they sat me down on a chair, placed the cutest crown atop my head, dimmed the lights, and started playing slow songs. Holding a couple of paper flowers, they wore a blazer and slow danced with me one after the other. A makeshift 18 Roses dance — even better than a real program!

imagepretty paper flowers by the creative Iya

imagecupcakes c/o Rae; cake c/o Coleen & Robie

My friends also had an 18 Cupcakes segment for me! I’m telling you, they make some of the best pastries ever.

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Right before I entered, Iya sprained her ankle after she panicked and fell….for me.

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I can’t thank my friends enough for all the effort they put in just to make me feel special on my “birthday.” I love you, TRF! I’ll remember this one forever. 

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A lot of times, I struggle to find the right words to justify a feeling I never want to forget. Photos and phrases may not have done the job of immortalizing these indelible moments but I guess that’s how you know what the best things in life are: when no form of expression can ever perfectly capture the very essence of how they make you feel. 

There will always be a select few who will outshine the shadows you never thought you could defy. And when you find these people, the fear of uncertainty won’t matter. Because when you’re that certain of them, that will be reason enough to be brave.

I have yet to figure out what New Year means to me.
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In its purest form, a new year is the beginning of another cycle around the Gregorian calendar. It tells us that after revolving around the Sun, the Earth has returned to an initial position in its orbit. But to most people, the passing of another year is a nostalgia-induced gala more than just a man-made contrivance.
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I’d be a hypocrite if I told you what fools they are for growing too attached to mere dates. Maybe it’s visceral for people to clutch onto these things — memories, visions, experiences — as a mechanism to cope with fleeting time, refusing to accept that eventually, these might all just slip away. Your average Joe would agree: New Year gives you the license to feel sentimental about the moments that hastily turn into a cloudy montage of memories, soon to be overridden by new ones that the impending year will bring. The new becomes old, makes new becomes old again. And again and again and again. Tradition shows us the exuberance of a New Year’s Eve celebration, but this tiring cycle makes you wonder if it is but a magnitude of noise from fireworks and sappy greetings, packed into a single evening, used only with the intention to mask our fears. It scares us not to know what’s ahead, but most of all, it scares us to forget. 
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Heartbreak is time’s favorite accomplice. You can only desire so much to freeze it and deny change but at the end of the day, moving forward will always be wiser than dwelling. For that reason, I resolve to strive for acceptance. Not the defeated kind, but one that equates to a big, fat bear hug. I wouldn’t say I’m in denial — I’m just not ovational with huge transitions. But change is something we have to casually face, if not painstakingly deal with. 

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So here I am, writing away in a brand new year. While it marks a shift in date, some other things don’t have to change. But if they do, we have to see that it isn’t all that bad. It never really is.

This year will be tough. I have my whole batch to attest to that. We will graduate. We will leave. However, these realities won’t deprive anybody of the fact that we lived through 2013, 2012, 2011… and every vibrant moment in between. I still have yet to figure out what New Year means to me but when I do, it will be defined as an opportunity for warm acceptance. Or better yet, anticipation. After all, the new year isn’t about what happened. It’s what’s to come.

At least that’s what Gossip Girl says, and I guess I’ve learned to trust all 6 seasons of her.

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NAVA coat

Poison Ivy top

shorts from Greenhills

Vega necklace

Rusty Lopez wedges

IT’S OFFICIAL! Vega is moving to bit.ly/shopvega! Be sure to visit our new website to browse our lovely pieces!

thunderpopcola:

TYPHOON HAIYAN RIPS THROUGH CENTRAL PHILIPPINES

Typhoon Haiyan is a Category 5 storm, the strongest typhoon of 2013 and said to be the “most powerful ever” to make landfall (with winds near 195-200 mph). Perspective: Superstorm Sandy was at 95mph when it hit New Jersey; Hurricane Katrina at 129mph when it hit land.

The victims need all the help they can get. Cities have been leveled, buildings made of concrete were destroyed by strong winds and storm surges. Communications have yet to be reestablished in most of the areas affected by the typhoon. The full picture left behind by Haiyan has yet to be established yet the devastation reported on television is already extensive. The government is bracing for large-scale relief operations. Virtually 1/3 of the country has been ravaged by this natural disaster. And we need help.  

HOW THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAN HELP

  • donations via the Philippine Red Cross (including PayPal)
  • donations via Habitat for Humanity
  • donations via ANCOP Foundation USA
  • eta:donations via UNICEF Philippines
  • eta2: donations via CARE Australia
  • eta2: donations via Caritas Internationalis
  • eta2:donations via GMA Network (credit card)
  • eta2:donations via World Vision
  • eta2:donations via AmeriCares
  • eta2: donations via Samaritan’s Purse (Canada)
  • eta2: donations via Canadian Red Cross (or you can text REDCROSS or ROUGE to 30333 to donate $5)

FOR THOSE IN THE PHILIPPINES

HOW TO FILE FOR MISSING PERSONS

Please reblog and add other details I might’ve missed! 

Source:stannisbaratheonthunderpopcola
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