16 Signs You’re Happier Than You Think


Thought Catalog

Our personal happiness is always at the whim of our own self-sabotage if, at any given moment, we don’t feel completely overjoyed. We mistake this for genuine dissatisfaction or unhappiness. I think we are so far from accepting that happiness is not a sustained sensation of joy that sometimes, we’re happier than we think we are. Happiness means interest, it means honing in on the art of learning to just be. Sometimes we’re doing this and we don’t even realize it, and we let our minds talk us out of our own contentment with petty complaints and minor issues that we irrationally expound upon. Part of getting over this is coming to terms with the little ways our lives show us we’re happy even if we’re not conscious of it.

1. It’s not like it was– you can look back and feel gratitude and pride for getting through a rough…

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Somebody, help me. I keep on telling myself that I will change for the better. I keep on convincing myself that I’ve turned over a new leaf. But I only end up fooling myself. I have three free days this week. In my mind, I allocated a day for fun and school. That was last Saturday, when we took our first year buddies to BGC (Bonifacio Global City in Taguig) to just spend time with them and get to know them better. Yesterday, although unexpected and way out of the plan, I spent the day outside of the dorm, eating and exchanging stories with a few friends and dorm mates.

I wish today would be different. It’s a good thing I was able to drag my lazy ass out of bed and took an early bath. At this very moment, I feel guilty that I am able to write this blog entry, yet unable to start on my paperwork due this Friday. I have yet to start on anything. Anyone, help?


On a lighter note, I wish to thank my friends Steven and Patrice. Although the two of them are geographically distant from me, the chocolates they gave me are keeping me awake. Thanks, Pat! Had it not been for your chocolates straight from Canada, I don’t know how I would have survived studying for my Mental and Psychiatric Health Finals. And thanks to your European chocolates, Steve, I have something to munch on while watching episodes of Awkward and Greek.

On birthdays


So I’ve been treading the world for two decades today. Yup, today marks my 20 years of eating, praying, and loving. Just like everyone, I am in quite a dilemma of how to spend it. Allow me to take you on a tour of how my June 16s for the past five years have been like. If only I were at home, I’d be more than willing to include my celebrations of younger years, but I’m in the dorm and the people around me right now  have a crazy sense of adventure. Just see for yourself.

Every year, I thank God because Dad and Mom who never complain how much I spend for a party. I have to (or want to) throw at least four separate celebrations, namely: with high school to college friends celebrating at Yellow Cab or at Kennny Roger’s, eating pizzas and spaghetti with friends at the dorm, celebrating with college barkada (bunch of friends) at Shakey’s or at TGIF’s, and with my sisters at buffet restaurants when everyone is available.


okay, so I found this one from the ancient files on this not-so-acient laptop. This was during my senior year in High School, and everyone attended (okay, so there were to who didn’t).

On my first year in college, when I turned 16, I threw a lunch party for my friends just so we could all get acquainted. A year later I felt more than happy receiving a compilation of birthday greetings from dormates, college-mates, and friends in the university.

on my 18th birthday, some of my friends who no longer were my dormates came over to have snacks. Well, someday they will be great. But they are already great people on the inside, so there won’t be such a long wait afterall.

18th was very special. My dormates had to give me a hard time looking for them. They organised a hunt a la Amazing Race for me. I was running through the corridors, up and down the stariways, and even on the rooftop just to look for clues. I swear I looked like this -_- when I found out that the clue was with roommate all along. 


Because Achi is such a dearie, she gave me a box full of sheets of paper folded into paper cranes. On the sheets of paper were messages and greetings from 18 people since it was my 18th birthday. Cranes, according to legend, are bearers of good luck in that they grant wishes.


I would really like to post pictures of my 19th and 20th birthdays here but…  My 19th birthday was a lot of fun because Ate Joy, a student-worker celebrated it with me (since her birthday is three days before mine). She cooked my favorite cheese sticks while I put ready some Filipino delicacies. So many dormers attended, and I’m very thankful that they made were game for the party even if it lasted until 12 and it was a schoolnight.

It’s a good thing, however, that the person who sat beside me at mass today was a nice young lady who took my hand while singing the Lord’s Prayer. And while it was awkward holding hands with a girl I barely know, it made me feel a little less alone. That could be the first highlight of this year’s birthday.

If you ask me, I’d say that I love the fact that I did not forget to turn off the Facebook setting wherein the website notifies my friends that it is my birthday. I guess it’s the only way that people close to me will remember my birthday and that people I barely know and who feel forced to give me greetings will feel less obliged to do so. It’s funny how the first Facebook greeting I got was from a distant cousin who I never thought would remember my birthday. But it’s funnier and more heart-warming when people got the wrong date, greeting celebrators a day earlier.

People change. A lot. I’ve seen it through the years. Just yesterday, I had dinner with my high school chums who study in the same university as I do. We’ve become more mature; minus the moment when we were arguing who among the three of us is the tallest. Earlier still, this high college male friend of mine told me that he can now tolerate hugs. I went all o_O because I never thought that day would come that early. But my friends haven’t changed in one aspect; they are still my good friends.

 I know a person or two who share with me my birthdate. I already gave out my greetings to them, and that’s genuine. How could one not feel good about his or her birthday?

This year, just like every year, I celebrated my birthday with my sisters. It’s cool that they invite to luncheon, but I guess their paying the tab for it would make everything better. Of course, I’m joking.  I’m generous, it’s my birthday. We went to Buffet 101, which is a notch more expensive than last year’s celebration at Yakimix. Last year they bought me a pair of shoes from my favorite shoe brand, Hush Puppies. They’re more sensible this year, buying me a Littmann stethoscope with my name engraved on its bell. (I promise to post a picture of it soon!) But here’s a pic of how it looked before I ripped the life out of the present.

This pink li'l sumthin' contains my first Littmann stethoscope! :D

This pink li’l sumthin’ contains my first Littmann stethoscope! 😀

Okay, so maybe they deserve a shout out. Hello, sisters! Thank you for making my life so colorful, and for making making my birthdays memorable. I love you.

And because it has been so long since we last saw a movie at the theatre together, we decided to watch Man of Steel. However, I did not offer to pay for their tickets because I’d be spending five digits for just the three of us when I have so many more friends whom I want to celebrate with. Achi, being more of a Batman fan than that of Superman’s, was asleep halfway through the movie. Fraulien, the biggest Smallville/ Superman fan I know, was all eyes and ears throughout the movie. I found myself on the middle ground again when the two of them argued about how the movie should be rated.  On the way home, I passed up on a Venti Java Chip while my sisters ordered their usual Sunday drinks because they have to study for this week’s exams or whatnot.

When I told Daddy that the three of us will be eating at some expensive restaurant, he only said sure. He even offered for us to charge it on our credit cards. I didn’t do that, I don’t think my conscience can ever let me do that. Daddy always makes us feel so very special. He also reminded me that today is that one day of the year when no one can ruin nothing, when people who care actually make you feel better, and when one can demand only nice things from the rest of the world. But when I heard mass today, I can’t help feeling that today is just like every other day. It’s the sixteenth of June, a Sunday in the Philippines, I could have been standing at church today had I been late, or I could have not been accommodated at the restaurant today had there been more people who wanted to celebrate Father’s Day. Of course, to everyone who doesn’t know me, they don’t care about how special today is for me. Yes, it’s just another day for another set of chores, or for one person to turn older, or for one person to get out of prison. But I still believe that it’s all in the way we choose to spend and value our birthdays.

I had so much fun today. I guess only my mobile phone can be complaining. I am very thankful for the many people I have met in life, who never fail to surprise me, and for journeying with me throught life. I believe that these people are a reflection of who we are in life.

Thank you, Lord for another year. Two decades and counting. Yes, Lord!



So Dad and I were seated in front of Bossini in the busy street that seemed to be China Town. Beside us sat an Indian Family. I am not going to be discriminating, if that’s what you think. As a matter of fact, I am very pleased to have overheard the conversation that transpired between the two Indian kids. They were mentioning English words that started with a given letter.

Small Kid: “U”

Smaller kid: Uhm.. Papa (muttered in Indian words that translated to “What English words start with the letter U?” 

Kids’ Papa: Umbrella

Smaller Kid: Umbrellla. “V”

Small Kid: Violet. W

Smaller Kid: water. X

Small kid: (..thinking…)

Smaller Kid: X-ray

Small kid: Excellent

Smaller kid:Y


The moment the small kid said “excellent”, I think I just died. X-cellent! :))) This made me happy. 



So my sisses are ever-busy. Since my schedule is very flexible, Daddy appointed me in-charge of the booking for tickets home. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! After five long months, I finally get to see my brother again.

But geez! It was a complete hassle talking to different representatives in such short notice. It was already 10 pm when I started looking up tickets online, and of course payment transactions were only available during working hours. That’s just fair, I know. It’s my first time to have done this successfully.

And I have encountered so many problems, like all three of us maxing out our credit cards. Dad would be so furious. I thought my sisters said that they haven’t used their credit cards yet for this month yet, but as it turns out, they already have. So what I did was use Achi’s credit card for her ticket, mine for my ticket, and Bing’s for her’s. Didn’t have to be a genius to actually think of that.

One of my roommates got exempted from Math 17 finals. What do you think? Well, adik siya dahil minsan e talagang dina siya natutulog sa bed niya. Pero idol! Ang galing niya lang. Sacrifices were made but they’re all worth it. 

This Chemistry genius


So I was reading this blog and the only other tab open on Google Chrome was Facebook ( duh! What else?! Teenager here!), when a red flag or whatever came to sight – I had a notification. I know, I know. I wasn’t hyped about it, for all I know it could be another invite to play another Facebook game. I was ready to just click the button, and ignore – not even read it! But the notification said that my Chem Professor, who happens to be my all-time favorite teacher, commented on my wall post.

Look here! He is not just any professor. He is one of those who come in class without anything, but a whiteboard marker (third-world resident here). He is one of the most effective teachers, who takes time to know his students. At present, he took time off teaching and studied in some known university in the United States. Well, he is THAT good. 

I remember my first semester in my university. I was really eager to attend his classes. I mean, I’m not any good in Chemistry (let alone, Science). I get by, but with Sir Li, I somehow excelled. 

But here’s the funny thing. I posted on his wall more than a month ago. I had to revisit his Facebook page to confirm what I was thinking. Yep, he went through his notifications to say his than yous to those who’ve      congratulated him for being one of the two top Chemistry Master Students. And although I believe that he has forgotten about me being his student, it would be safe for him to assume that I will never forget the teacher that he is. 

Thank you,Sir. You are truly inspirational! 🙂

P.S. and funny (without being deliberately funny!)

Grandpa in my Dreams


Three nights ago, I saw my grandfather in my dream. I don’t wanna say I dremat of him. Maybe it’s because I don’t want how my dream went.

You know how dreams are. There are changes of scenarios, and delineations in between dreams are not that clear. Here’s how it went:

Achi and I were fighting over something. She rang me while I was eating snaks at some resto. Weird, but I could see my sister in my peripheral vision. When the me in my dream did turn her head, Achi was there. In short, we were having a mobile phone conversation while she was only one ouch away from me.

Achi: Ikaw buro. Kitaa nag-iisog na la hi Lolo. (It’s your fault. See now, Grandpa is angry.)

Me: Ako? Bahala ka daw. Labot ha im. (Me? How is it my fault? Never mind, I don’t care about you.)

Achi: Hague. Ambot ha im. ( Sigh. Whatever!)

The next picture was what broke my heart. I saw my Grandpa the way he was at the hospital, weeks before his death earlier this year. He was in a vegetative state. In the background, I heard my voice. It said that my Grandpa had high BP pressures. The entire dream felt so real. The entire dream.

I remember so vividly the night before I came to Manila for enrollment. My Grandfather had hypertensive episodes. He had spikes of hypertension in the middle of the night. There were two nurses (or student-nurses) in the house: me and my second-year cousin Toteen. My cousin did not have a sphygmomanometer then because that wasn’t part of their curriculum yet. We had to borrow a sphyg from our doctor-neighbor.Dad called, and told me that I should monitor Grandpa’s BP, and take them every two hours. So yes, my flight was the next day. But guess what, I didn’t care. I felt more important as a person, helping my Grampa. I feel happy that I have served him before he passed on.

My Lolo sit hat kind of person. He deserves to have the best in life. He had humble beginnings, but howhe turned out in life is much of a success story. People look up to him. Several TESDA Directors have been circulated around regions of the country, but not him. Why? Because Region VIII TESDA has never been better. Only my Lolo has been director for three terms. His subordinates love him as a boss. He is strict, but mostly fatherly. He is loved by all. He is a civil engineer. He had hi Masters at Harvard. He also lived in various countries at such a young age because he was sent there to study. Most of the countries he has visited are European, and he never says no when we ask him to tell him stories.  Lolo’s work usually involves dealing with Asians like the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. Theywere his business partners.

Even after his death, everyone knows that no one could replace him. My family never worried about anything during Lolo’s funeral because a convoy consisting of at least six trucks of flowers and accessories were sent to his home in the province ( some 2 hours away from the city). It wasn’t planned but out family decided to succumb to Lolo’s national bosses. His bosses wanted to hold a wake in Manila because there are a number of people (mostly from the central office) who wanted to say their condolences. We slept, but the visitors did keep coming. In Tacloban where he is buried, his loved ones visit him. Also, there were Asian business partners who came to pay their respect.

I remember the crazy chase we had on our way to the airport. Dad’s, auntie’s, and Nanay’s flight were a t two in the afternoon. Since Lolo’s casket was to be transported to Leyte, they had to be at the airport before 12 of the clock. The wake the night before was held at QC, and it was impossible to be at the airport in 30-60 minutes. It was already eleven o’clock. Friends of police relatives were so much help.It was as if we were in an ambulance. there were eight cars in the convoy, including the car carrying Lolo’s casket. There were policemen in motorcycles, and there were policemen driving our cars. Every car on the street made way for out parade. They really did! And so, we arrived at the airport in a little over 30 minutes. This might jsut be the fastest recorded travel time for QC to Pasay City.

The thing is that I feel some guilt about his passing on. I am not going to tell why, not becaue I want to keep it secret, but becasue I believe that telling the world is not going to make me feel any better. I hope Lolo knows how we all feel.

I am not scared of dreaming of him again. To date, this is my third dream about him. I am not scared. I just want to talk to him.

Thank God for people like Lolo. Thank God I have someone like him to brag about.THank God we are related because i can never tell how I would have turned out as a person had I not known him. I love you, Lo!