Mantra: Every Woman Is Beautiful (featuring Cebu, Philippines)

“Music saves the soul.” Play softly while you read.

You, woman, are a beautiful creation, whether you believe it or not. You’re as beautiful as the sunset sky and floating petals of dandelion blown by the wind. You have struggles that strengthen the littlest bones and smarten the tiniest cells that make you. You have unbelievable scuffles and yet you are indestructible. You have qualities that keep all the stars of your own galaxy stringed together in place; qualities that creates harmony in the space you belong. You are a bizaare angel from one second, then an astounding wild beast on the next. Every woman is unique, each has interesting story that makes them even more beautiful.

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I admire a woman who feels lost on what she really wanna do with her life but it doesn’t mean she never had a plan. The thing is, she always plans, but during the execution she changes her mind and thought of revising everything, thinking it would make things way better. She’ll do things “as planned” and reach her goals but it will take her a lot of time and a lot of resources. She’s the kind who can hardly decide whether to wear red or black for an hour just to find out that she actually looked lovelier on that li’l white dress. She always asks her man to spend the night cuddling in the living room while binging on beers and chips and watching their favourite TV series and then inevitably question why don’t they ever go out on a date. She changes her mind in one snap and easily dismisses any discussion about how sceptic she can be. She proudly pushes heavy doors and doesn’t wait for a man to open it for her, though she winks at these chivalrous humans with her luscious glossy lips silently uttering “thanks” when they do. She is a bipolar monster. I admire the beauty in her emotionally complex soul.

I admire a woman who has endured heartbreaks that brought their morale down and composure lost. She has been left in the altar or has been romantically engaged just to find out that her world was covered with lies by the man she wholeheartedly trusted. She hated her poor self for loving a man who didn’t deserve her, not even a single piece of nail in her toe. She hated the guy as much as she hated herself to bits. Her betrayed heart cursed him on his face with “F*ck you jack*ss” plus a middle finger. But when she becomes sober from all her tears, she realizes that failed relationships with wrong men were results of her wrong choices. She made wrong decisions, yes, that are meant to mold her to become the perfect loving woman she wants to be. Every heartbreak, every impaired judgement prepares her for something better. Someone better. She will love again a new man like she has found her sole purpose in the world in him. She will fall in love again with her complete self and offer everything to this man as if she never mentioned that she has already gotten tired of loving. It will be the same amount of love she can and will give. She becomes smarter but she’s never afraid on the possibility that she might be fooled once again. The cycle of failure may continue at different levels, but the love in her heart continues to fire up as if the fuel was never consumed. I admire the beauty in her ever trusting, romantic and loving soul.

I admire a woman who has been divorced after a very mature partnership, may not be just once, and still stands strong after a very tough mind-and-heart battle. An aging wife who was left with an empty heart but regained and kept the love for life alive. A mother who was abandoned by her partner in crime but still fed her heart with thoughts that she’ll definitely find bliss in her offsprings. I admire a woman who stays in the marriage for their children, whose husband is as cold as ice and never kisses her goodnight anymore. I admire a woman who has been physically and emotionally abused by the love of her life but continues to live as if her fate is a beautiful one. She endures the struggles that she can’t have a divorce because that man is still her one true love and she believes that he will, at some point, see the spark in her eyes once more and love her till the end of time. She cries every night with no one hearing her weep under the sheets then smiles the next day while she prepares her husband’s tie that she bought years ago, cook her family the usual breakfast then send their children to school. I admire the beauty in her struggling but unbreakable soul.

I admire a woman who has been successful in a career dominated by men. She always wanted to believe that equality in intellectual strengths can be achieved between opposite genders. She cannot be stopped. She continues to grow and aim for success with the money just a bonus for all the pleasures her achievements can bring. She floats with the clouds and sings with the birds while keeping her feet grounded when her accomplishments are recognized noteworthy. She bravely challenges a man’s opinion and respects and acknowledges him when his ideas were truly marvelous. As always, she wants to learn something new, develops a new skill and never gets tired sharing these to others. I admire the beauty in her ambitious but humble soul.

I admire a woman who decided to belong to no man and aged gracefully. She has become genuinely happy on her own, alone, reading books or talking to the flowers every morning. She hums by herself every time her favourite song in the 80’s is played on the radio while she cooks a single sunny side up for breakfast. Yes, I admire her because she doesn’t mourn about cooking egg only for herself. She will enjoy eating alone in her cozy veranda where the morning sun rays peep on her face through the leaves of the garden trees. She is financially capable with all the investing that she did when she was younger and does not need to depend on others to continue paying her bills. She continues to do what she likes to do as an old maid and is never bothered by the absence of her supposedly other half or children. I admire the beauty in her wholly contended soul.

I admire a woman who got to marry a person she didn’t love or couldn’t love even after a thousand sunsets. She did it because she has countless reasons to. To survive and adapt to a world she believed she belonged? To prove faithful to their religious bounds? To avoid humiliation from cultural constrictions? To simply live? Reasons we may never know and understand. I admire her strength to surrender her hands forever to someone she can hardly stare for a minute, surrender her lips to a frog who can never be the prince charming of her dreams. She’s throwing away the fact that somewhere in the world, true love still exists. She has stopped believing in romance and values survival more than anything else. I admire the strong and firm decision maker in her soul.

I admire a woman who battles an unbeatable disease. She may be already bald as we speak but a well blended eye make up makes her so attractive that the absence of her hair becomes unnoticeable. She may have already lost a boob or both but still continues to wear her best-loved black dress and confidently go to the nail shop to have her toes done. She may have significantly lost weight and jokes around that she’s on a strict anorexic diet. She still wears that big charming smile and doesn’t give a fuck on the misfortunes life gave her. She may have considered life as unfair at some point but will forever be grateful of the beautiful  years she had. Counting her remaining days in the world is the saddest and scariest thoughts in her head but her undefeated positive soul will make her radiant as ever. I admire her brave and optimistic soul.

I admire a woman who never stopped dreaming of bearing her own child but can’t. She believes in miracles but ended up becoming so gracious by adopting one or more. She may have decided to get cats and dogs too and make her home a cheerful one. She still continues to hope that dreams can come true while she brings up and loves the children from another womb like they came from her. Every time she sees a shooting star or when she blows the candles of her birthday cake, she always delightfully whisper the same exact wishes she has – a wish that she soon bears a child of her own and a wish that she can give her adopted children all the good things in the world. I admire the beauty in her hopeful and motherly soul.

I admire a woman who travels alone, misses their family and friends back home but still continues to enjoy what the roads will bring. She trusts her feet that it’ll lead her to the world where all the wonders and questions of her heart will be answered. She values the lessons she gained over the kilometers she has walked. She has a crispy burnt skin that she got while exposing herself to the foreign land’s culture. Her hair is getting dull and dry as she roams around the plains of a foreign rural area. She adores the colors of the picturesque landscape and takes more than a hundred photos with her camera she will repeatedly look at by the end of the day. She doesn’t mind if the only companion she has on a Friday night is the bright full moon while she listens to the sound of flowing water of the springs. She might not even know it was a Friday night in the first place. She leans her head on the windows of the trains, enjoys a lazy afternoon in a hammock doing nothing but to stare at the ceiling, courageously keeps the faith in humanity while asks strangers for directions and drinks local beers as if it wasn’t available in a popular distillery in her hometown. She just goes and feeds her travel-hungry self with teachings she can never find in the corporate world. I admire her untiring wanderlust soul.

You, women, have your own astonishing story that makes you an exquisite human being. You are beautiful because you are, by nature, unreadable and complicated. You are beautiful because you’ve been fragile and broken more than twice or thrice but never give up on love. You are beautiful because you can be happy on your own when you need to. You are beautiful because you dream to fly high while keeping your feet on the ground. You are beautiful because you keep strong despite the burdens, you keep running no matter how high the hurdles are. You are beautiful because you never stop believing and hoping for good things to come. You are beautiful because you’re not afraid to get lost when you wander. I wanna be like you. I need to be like you, somehow, somewhere, whenever my fate calls for a soul like yours.

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Sun, sand, salt water. From Cebu City, to Bantayan, to Malapascua, Moalboal, Badian, Oslob, then back to Cebu City, I have enjoyed Cebu with two of the most wonderful women in the world I personally know plus a lovely new friend, a woman by choice. We’d like to believe we are beautiful caterpillars with so much room to grow and will soon be beautiful even more with an understanding that beauty isn’t defined as what the society always dictate. We will be butterflies out of cocoons.

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Bantayan Island, Sugar Beach

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Malapascua Island

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Moalboal rocky shore. .

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Canyoning at Badian, going to Kawasan Falls.

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whaleshark encounter at Oslob. I don’t support this though. . 😦
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at Oslob’s Tumalog Falls. .

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goofing around at Sumilon Island. .

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