He Said Lies, HE Says Truth

He said, if only he had the money, he’d go with me to Ilocos. That meant spending time with me, and to finally meet my father. So it seemed he was already serious this time. But since he still didn’t have it, he said, soon. Soon we would travel together. Soon. Soon. Soon. (Just like how his surname is pronounced.) But I guess there’s no more soon to wait for.

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He said, we’ll eat in this and that restaurant. Because we just loved to eat together. No matter how street or posh, we would go for the adventure. Because we want to be fat. Because we’re both thin.

He said, he loves me. That no matter what, it’s still me that he chooses. That he would pursue me again. We just had to wait for the perfect time. Because we were ex lovers. So we kept everything secret. No one knew about…

Our trip to Ayala Triangle, when we watched the movie, La La Land in SM Megamall and a reggae musical in Star Theater, when he bought me a palm on Palm Sunday Mass, when we ate at Lovecraft Food Park and Fariñas Ilocos Empanada, when he gave me a notebook to write on and two novels to read, when I lent him my Sony headphones so he could use it for his service in the music ministry, when I prayed for him so that he’d be accepted for his job application, when I endured the afternoon sun in Katipunan just so he could withdraw his money, eat his meal, and buy his introvert soap and laptop stickers.

He said he loves me. That he’s going to pursue me again. That he’s ready. That he would finally face my mother again. That… That… That…

Then, one day, he took everything back. He said he’s not ready yet. That I was at fault because I was rushing him, pressuring him…

That he would stop everything. That he would quit doing all these for me just like the first and the second time last year.

For the third time, he left me again hanging. He left me again with the falsest of hopes. He broke all his promises again.

What happened to all the things he said, the things he said he would do, the things he promised, the things he said?

Lies. He only said lies. He only said complaints about how his stomach aches or how he hates the heat or how he had to wait for me that long…

The gravity of my patience with him after all this time was the same with his impatience to me. After all the trust and love I poured on our seemingly better beginning, these were all that I got again — LIES.

I just wanted assurance. Clarity. I just wanted to know that I was not wasting my time again. I just wanted to know WHAT we really were. Because we were like a couple with no label. But I still trusted he would finally formalize it one day. Because he said so. I just wanted to follow up but he would always get irritated whenever I asked. What’s wrong with my questions? Didn’t I deserve clarity? Or is he really just one of what they call ninjas? Was I committing the same mistakes like last year? Was I just being treated like garbage again? Was I just a pastime again?

He said he would buy me that turtle stuffed toy in the same place where he bought his introvert soap and laptop stickers. He said he would give me the book that I wanted. He said he would watch me in my poetry events.

But they will not happen anymore.

Because for the third time, he left me again. Leaving me with nothing but lies. Why did he ever come back in the first place only to leave again like last time?

May God bless his balls. I think I have more of those than him.

And so I decided to really move forward this time. I’ve had enough. No more room for stupidity with this guy who’s not man enough. No more fourth time or fifth time. Erase ALL things and ALL people that will remind me of him and his lies.

I choose new things, new places, new people. New everything. But I choose the same loving God who never stops reminding me that above all the bravest love I had been fighting for has been HIS HIGHEST FORM OF LOVE NO ONE CAN EQUAL.

He said He will be there for me no matter what, even until the end of the ages.

He said He is close to the brokenhearted.

He said He will be my refuge and my strength.

He said He is Love.

He said He will supply all my needs.

He said He is the God who heals.

He said He is light.

And unlike this liar ninja guy, God is pure truth. He never lies. So I choose Him now. I choose Him to be with me as I truly move forward. To learn my lesson and to forget what needs to be forgotten.

To make myself whole and better again. To be the best version of myself.

New things, new places, new people might appear scary and out of my comfort zone (or OUR used-to-be comfort zone) but nonetheless, I choose all newness and all truth.

Because true success is indeed on the other side of fear. Tawid! Tawid na ako mula sa kanya. Papunta sa Kanya. (Cross! I’ll cross the road from him. Going to Him.) There is no better way than this.

Again, may God bless his balls. May God add to mine, well, figuratively. May God erase all lies and replace them with pure truth.

Super Sunday: To Move On Is to Come Back

Today, I came back so I can move on. 

It was the same last year. Wearing my same green blouse, I queued at the second floor plenary hall lobby of PICC this morning for confession. Thank God that The Feast Bay Area gives this opportunity to attendees. Thank God also for the available priests who give their time. 

And I sat, waited for my turn, prayed, and kept quiet. But I sneaked out a quick browse on my Facebook app and first on my Newsfeed was the Live video of The Feast Bay Area. Bro. Bo Sanchez was about to end his talk for the earlier session and I was struck with what he said just after I stuck my earphones on my ears:

God is saying, “I have something better for you. Trust Me.”

I had to comment that with a heart because I was blessed in an instant. I was affirmed that moving on is indeed the step for me now. To forget and not look back to all the hurtful past. To trust God more. Then the praise and worship came next on the video. I removed my earphones and put back my phone in my bag. I kept quiet again so as not to distract the others waiting beside me. 

After some minutes, the closing song blasted from the second floor of the plenary hall which was not so far away. And to my delight, I heard my favorite song, “Where You Are” by Hillsong Young and Free being sung again. I’ve watched in a much earlier video streaming that it was sung as the opening worship song too! Wow! It was a happy comeback! God really knows what will make me happy. God knows my favorite treats! 

So I sang along in my mind and smiled. I hoped it would be sang again in the next session after my confession. But even it was not, it’s OK. Thank God still. 🙂 

Then my turn to confess came. I memorized my script both in English and Filipino just in case the priest confessor was a foreigner. I thought it would be a smooth confession for me. I was already inspired and happy with what happened while I was waiting. 

I saw Fr. Mark Demmanuel, a foreign priest, seated inside the covered confessional area. So I had to confess in English. My mind script was ready. When I sat on the chair in front of him, he even smiled and asked for my name. 

But when I started to say the first line in my script, I broke down. My voice shook, I couldn’t form the words clearly, I wanted to rant in Filipino but I had to say everything in English. I even told him a Filipino vocabulary word that he googled on his phone for better understanding. But eventually, I was able to express it and he understood. I wasn’t able to say the rest of my script because I just kept on sobbing.

Fr. Mark said the words I badly need to hear again and again. And they were the same words that another priest confessor said to me when I went there for confession last year, in the same green blouse and with the same first line. And these words I must tattoo on my mind:

Move forward. God doesn’t want you to be hurt anymore. 

Move forward. Yes. Move forward. I won’t have to look back anymore. And I have just taken the first step: to go back to God in the sacrament of confession. To go back to where He first called me in a personal way — The Feast Bay Area. And just move forward from that point on. 
What’s amazing about the confession earlier? Fr. Mark prayed for me in a personal way before he gave me absolution of all my sins (even the ones I didn’t say). And he didn’t give me any usual penance. He just said I must pray for myself and pray for him too. And after we made the sign of the cross, I told him that I would remember what’s written on his stole: PEACE. With red eyes and nose, I smiled again at him, he smiled back, and off I went to the prayer area. Afterwards, I went down the first floor of the plenary hall to attend the afternoon session of The Feast which started with a Mass. And finally, I was able to take Communion again. I didn’t mind walking around with my red eyes and small sobs. I must have cried a lot. But that’s OK. God’s love and forgiveness are greater than my sobs and tears. What’s there to be ashamed of? 

After the Mass and The Feast, the redness on my face didn’t matter anymore because it was gone. Just like the difficult moving on process God is allowing me to go through again right now, I know it won’t matter anymore in the future. Because all the hurts and pains will be gone. 

All I had to do is to trust Him completely, do my best on the tasks that He’s asking me to do, and wait patiently. 

Wait. Patiently. For His perfect time. ❤️ 

Today, I have come back. And I’m on the road to moving on. Truly moving on. Thank You, Jesus. ❤️ 

Do you have to move on too? Come back to the One who loves you best. 

When Bo Sanchez Replies to My Open Letter

Write and post. That’s it. I’m done. I’m happy.

This was me two nights ago after I wrote my previous post, An Open Letter to Bo Sanchez. I was contented with just writing what I wanted to say for my own pleasure. To express the realms of my imagination that I’m having tea with Bro. Bo. I shared a link on Facebook to simply do just that — share. I didn’t even dream that Bro. Bo himself would read it considering his busy schedule. But there were people who urged me to send it to him. 

When I pondered on my reaction to the urges, I realized I might have greatly matured in my writing and blogging life. Before, I would get frustrated because no one would read my posts. And I would get few likes to none. But now, I somehow don’t care anymore. When I began to write for myself and not depend on others’ opinion, that’s when I got likes, comments, and even urges (to send my post to whom I’ve dedicated it). 

I think that’s the beautiful yet crazy reality — it comes when you don’t search for it

And so, with trembling hands and palpitating heart, I e-mailed Bro. Bo and sent him a link to my previous post. After a couple of minutes, he replied:

If I had gone tongue-tied when he visited our office last Thursday, I had gone all the more speechless when he sent this. I haven’t replied until now. But I think that’s fine. That’s the end of the conversation. I have been greatly blessed. What more could I ask for? 

I instead of replying to him, let me move into action. I thank Jesus. Thank You, Jesus! I couldn’t thank Him enough. In my need of affirmation, He has been so generous. I just failed to see them because I was expecting certain people to say those words for me. 

From now on, affirmation starts with me. I know who I am. I am God’s child and no matter what others say, I am His. He created me. He doesn’t create garbage. Some people may throw me or put me down but I won’t give a damn anymore. I choose to listen more to affirmations. To positive words. To beautiful words. God’s Words. 

And I won’t stop writing. Won’t stop doing what interests me. Because it’s for me. And it’s for God who created me. With the hope that others would experience Him too when they encounter what I create.

To you who is reading this right now, thank you so much. Remember that you are precious and worthy. Don’t settle for less. Be happy with your talents and use them greatly to glorify God and bless the world. Don’t stop. Keep going. Keep moving forward. ❤️

An Open Letter to Bo Sanchez

Dear Bro. Bo Sanchez, 

Did you know that I first saw you in person on June 16, 2013 at The Feast Bay Area (previously Feast PICC)? That was my first Feast. And I was there because you invited me through your introduction in Didache 2013. I never thought that after four years, I will be working in your publishing company and actually help in proofreading and writing reflections for Didache. God is really a great life engineer.

Bro. Bo, that day when I first saw you was a Fathers’ Day,  and Fathers’ Day this year is already coming! That means, I’m turning four years old in the community you founded, Light of Jesus Family. Wow! I should celebrate that! 
But you know, Bro. Bo, I only realized how festive this June is after you visited us in our office this morning. I couldn’t put into words how I felt when you were there, when you asked how I was, when you tapped me on my shoulder, when you signed my copy of your books, when we took lots of photos, and many more. Bottomline is, I was happy. Thank you very much. Because for five days, I had been a disaster. Inside. And in an instant, I felt so blessed because you were there. 

And it was the same last year, Bro. Bo! Our first selfie together was in November 2016, during our production department planning. And that planning started and went on with you seated inches away from me. I had no choice because I arrived late and the only vacant seat was the one near you. But aside from not waking up early, I was also a mess that time. I had been crying for days before that planning day. But in an instant, after spending the morning with you in the meeting, I felt alive again. 

I don’t know what’s going on, Bro. Bo. Maybe you really are a living saint. Haha! But kidding aside, I just want to thank you. I know you’re a busy man. You might not get to read this but I’m writing it just the same. I’m writing because this is the core gift you helped me realize. The core gift that makes my dreams that God planted in my heart come true. See, Bro. Bo! These terms and words, I first heard from you. Thank you. 

Thank you because your Didache 2018 reflection that I read and translated to Filipino yesterday compelled me to forgive someone. Not because he deserves forgiveness but because I deserve to forgive. I deserve the peace, joy, and freedom that come from forgiveness. I pray that he forgives me, too. And that he may have the peace, joy, and freedom as well. I’m getting up from the pool of poison. I don’t want to be there anymore.

Thank you for your Full Tank video last Monday. Your message is what I exactly need to hear over and over again. You said that there are only two opinions that I should care about: one, God’s opinion about me, and two, my opinion about myself. I’m guilty because sometimes, I look down on myself. I condemn myself. I see myself as worthless. As garbage. Because many times, people just throw me away. But what is God’s opinion about me? You said, “God is telling you, ‘I made you. And I don’t make garbage.'”

God doesn’t make garbage. So I am not garbage. I should not forget that. Thank you for reminding me that, Bro. Bo. I am now on my way to healing myself. To more self-love. To more of what God wants me be. 

And so, Bro. Bo, I am moving on. Your visit in the office this morning seemed like a sign from God where I should go this Fathers’ Day. To the Father. To God. To where He first met me in a personal way. To where I first felt His overflowing love. And I am going back… So I can move on. And I promise, I will commit to keep moving forward. To never look back on all the mess and the disasters, and become the best version of myself. 

Thank you, Bro. Bo Sanchez. Thank God for you. 

Your employee, fan, member, listener, reader, follower, etc.,

Krizelle “Kring” Talladen

One Night at the Corner of a Cafe

While on my way home, I passed by a cafe inside a mall and from the outside, I saw a table with two empty seats on the corner.

It was there in the corner seats of the cafe where I found myself seated years back, in front of a heartbroken guy who let his tears fall because the girl she liked just disappeared.

The girl happened to be my friend. He wanted me to help him clear things out. He wanted me to help him talk to her. He wanted closure. But this female friend of mine didn’t want to see him anymore. And I couldn’t do anything about it. 

I just listened to his rants and counted the tears that fell from his eyes. At the end of that meetup, he still thanked me for being there. We didn’t even buy drinks. We just sat there and talked. He offered to buy anything from the cafe for me but I refused. We said goodbye and never let anyone know about that night. 

He even joked to jump from their condo after that. But I threatened to tell his elder brother about it. He just laughed. And that was the end. We never became close friends again. 

Fast forward to now, that guy is seemingly happy with his relationship with a pretty girl. And I wonder if he could still remember what happened in the cafe. If he could still remember our friendship. If he could still remember me. The girl who was there in his broken state. The girl who once had feelings for him.

And I leave that all in the past. Maybe he’s just one of the many guys passing by. One of the many guys who I liked but didn’t like me back. One of the people whom I helped but who just left and disappeared. 

Tonight, as I remember him and that night in the cafe, I offer a prayer for all who are blessed with super generous friends. May they never take their generous friends for granted. Because they too are humans. They are not unlimited sources of love and care. And I offer another prayer for all generous friends. May you find your way to self-love as well. 

Today, I promise myself that when I go back to that corner, I would buy myself a hot cup of tea, read a good book, and relax. And if I should ever be in front of a crying man again, that would be because of joy that he finally found me. ❤️ 

From the Turtle’s Eyes

Do you feel loved?

This was the father confessor’s question for her, not once but thrice. Until she was able to honestly answer, “No.” 

She’s been making excuses left and right. She thought she won’t be in the same hole again. But she’s there again. Her brain knows the truth that she’s loved by Someone who doesn’t look at her ugliness but all her beauty. 

But she doesn’t feel it. At all. 

Her brain knows but her heart just pounds for no reason, trying to get by because she knows she works for the Divine. She reads encouraging words from one page to another but she doesn’t seem pierced at all. 

But indeed, feelings are feelings to be felt and not condemned. So she won’t drown this with sounds or lights or masks of unreal smiles and laughter just to please a crowd. 

She will drown in silence.

Because only in silence does she hear His clearest voice. Because in silence, she finds rest. In silence, she might feel loved again.

 
If only she also had a shell, so she could retreat to safety. If only she could choose to swim or crawl on land. If only she could live more than a hundred like I could. But she could not, because she’s human. She’s never gonna be like me. 

OVERCOMER: My Jewels Story

I Am a Woman who Can OVERCOME — this is the full title of the Jewels gathering of The Feasts in the East. This is a joint women’s event of The Feast Blue Wave Marikina and The Feast Sta. Lucia Cainta, which happened on March 18, 2017, Saturday at Reza Events Place Marikina City. It was a memorable event for me because two of the women I admire so much were there as the speakers: Sis. Rissa Singson Kawpeng, one of my favorite authors (and actually one of my bosses), and Sis. Ara Fernando, a professional makeup artist, thespian, and life coach. For this post, let me share to you what Sis. Rissa said in this event and also what happened after.

3 Ms and 4 Ms

Sis. Rissa talked about the 3 Ms that women have to overcome: (1) money, (2) men, and (3) me or self-made problems. And to solve these 3 Ms, women should do these 4 Ms: (1) manage, (2) move on, (3) makeover, and (4) minister. Her inspiring and entertaining talk made me absorb each main point especially about financial management, moving on, and ministering to others.

After her talk, a lot of the women attendees swarmed around her for a selfie and then followed her to the book table. As the chair of Jeremiah Foundation, a crisis center for sexually abused girls, Sis. Rissa wanted to raise funds through her book sales and speaker’s fees. When the crowd subsided around her, that’s the time I came near just to greet her and have our picture taken too. I also checked out the books on the table and was about to buy one of her books which I still don’t have a copy of but I realized I could buy it a discounted price in the office. *Wink*

To be honest, I’m still the star-struck shy fan every time I see her even at the office. That time, I decided to just say hello and then go back to my seat for lunch when Sis. Ara and her assistant Toni, who were there near us, pushed me to have our picture taken. I could still remember Toni’s words, “Go na! Boss mo ‘yan eh!”

And so we had out picture taken. Thanks, Toni, for taking the photo! Sis. Rissa and I talked for a bit and then I returned to my seat. I stared at our picture for a while and was about to post it on Facebook but I didn’t know what to put as a caption. I thought it’s best to just blog about it. And so here it is!

The Female Writer with Short Hair

The first time I read Sis. Rissa’s name was in her column in Kerygma Magazine when I was in high school. I could still remember labeling her as the female writer with short hair. Her column was the only part that I look forward to whenever a copy of this magazine would arrive every CLE class. I told myself that I wanted to be just like her in the future. I wanted to be a female writer with short hair because I like writing and I had short hair too, just like her! And I also remember that she was Rissa Singson then, which means she was not yet married. I could still recall a story that she wrote about the code X-Y-Z which means “eXcuse me, Your Zipper is open.”

After high school, I had never read a Kerygma Magazine again until I graduated. In 2012, I bought a copy of Didache, a Catholic devotional, and I still didn’t notice that she’s one of the writers there. I also read in the introduction Bo Sanchez’s invitation to The Feast, a Catholic prayer meeting, but I ignored it. In 2013, when I got my new Didache and read the same invitation in the intro, I was inspired to really attend.

Good thing, in June, I was reunited with a second cousin who posted on Facebook that he’s in PICC for The Feast. To cut the long story short, I attended my first ever Feast in PICC in June 2013 with two of my cousins with me and after so many years, I saw Kerygma Magazine again. And the first things I noticed were its bigger size, thinner width, and Sis. Rissa’s column. She’s not the female single writer with short hair anymore. She’s now the female married writer with long hair. She’s now Rissa Singson Kawpeng! Oh my! She’s back in my life! Haha! The high school fan girl woke up again inside me. And I believe because of this reawakening and because of the teachings I’ve heard in The Feast, the dream to become a full-time published writer resurrected in me.

In 2014, Sis. Rissa launched her book Love Handles in PICC but I wasn’t able to buy and I just looked at her from afar while she signed books at the lobby. I told myself that my time would come. Thank God, I received a copy of Love Handles through our exchange gift in my previous office. And that was the beginning of God’s wonderful ways in the fulfillment of my dreams.

Book Launch and Blog Post

Finally! My time came! I was there when she launched her book, Shhh! Kinakausap Ka ni Lord! on February 15, 2015, Sunday, in PICC. She also had a talk before that with The Feast PICC Singles Ministry, which I didn’t miss as well. I actually have the video of the early parts of her talk in my tablet. I just can’t erase it! After her talk, I lined up at the lobby, bought a copy of the said book, and brought out my copy of Love Handles! Yes, I really brought my copy so she could sign it too! When it was already my turn, my insides were having a rave party! But all I could do was sheepishly smile while I waited for her to finish signing the two books. We had our photo taken and I simply thanked her for what I learned from Love Handles. And then, we made beso!

I thought that’s the end of my fan girl moment. But wait! There’s more! After that Sunday, I received a Facebook notification that the page of Shepherd’s Voice Publications shared the link of my blog post about Love Handles which I posted on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Just wow! Praise God! I believe that was a sign of more writing and more eyes to read and learn from what I wrote. (I actually wrote my whole fan girl experience that year in a previous post. Click here to read.)

I Have Overcome!

The rest is history! Right now, I’ve been super blessed to be writing articles for Kerygma magazine since February 2016. I could see and talk to Sis. Rissa usually two times a week in the office. And because of the Jewels gathering, I got to do that for a third time that week. After all the words I’ve written here so far, I am now speechless. Just… THANK GOD!

Thank God that I have overcome my poor self-worth as a writer. I knew since I was five years old that I have this gift but I was not strong enough to step up until 2015. Thank God that He opened doors and windows that led me to where I am now. I have proven that one’s passion, work, and service to God can be rolled into one! 🙂 And so I promise that I will keep on writing and editing and loving books just for Him — and for no one else but Him. I believe that’s the true quality of a woman who can overcome. Despite the 3 Ms, we can do the 4 Ms and so much more for GOD. Believe in yourself, woman! God’s got your back! He made you an OVERCOMER!

~Krizelle R. Talladen

P.S. If you want to buy a copy of Sis. Rissa Singson Kawpeng’s books on women empowerment, singlehood, relationships, dating, marriage, and worship, or if you also want to subscribe to Kerygma, the leading inspirational magazine in the Philippines, just click here.