"Empowered women, empower women."
I strongly believe that there are still days that weigh us down because of our limitations, weaknesses and insecurities and we still can't help comparing ourselves to others, but that's totally fine and I'm telling you those days shall pass.
You should also know this, Empowered Women, you don't always have to be strong for others, you can't be everything to everyone. If you wanna cry, cry your heart out, it is never a sign of weakness, it is actually empowering you to honor your emotions and that they are valid. If you wanna be alone, away from all the drama, go far, but always remember to take your heart with you and that whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy.
So I would like to dedicate this post to all women, wherever you are, whoever you are, whoever you want to become, just be confident, always be happy because you deserve it, don't settle for less, know your standards, keep your eyes focus on God and on the now, and remember that you deserve a love you are so willing to give. YOU ARE WORTHY! ??
(Video taken at Bulgari Resort, Bali, Indonesia)
HARASSMENT---- Flustered not flattered.
By Mikee Alimorong Ganotan
From corners on the streets to alleys in the city, in one’s comfort zone, and even in the platforms of social media. Sexual harassment does exist in everyone, especially women. In the society one lives’ on by today, on average every 1 out of 3 women experience street harassment in their everyday lives. This happens through catcalling, stalking, leering, assault, staring profoundly, sexist remarks, unwanted manipulation, and even sexually explicit comments. These would never be called out as a compliment rather it is sexual harassment. The women who experience this must know that it was never their fault that these occurred to them rather the men are at fault.
An alarming thing is that aside from the disrespect and intimidation women receive just by getting harassed, they also get disrespected when they are ‘victim blamed’ by society. NO— what we wear is not an invitation for you to catcall us. How we act in our daily lives and on our social media platforms does not also give you the approval to judge us. Anything you do that disregards our femininity and violates our human rights would never be an excuse for you to do or say whatever is in your mind. Whether experienced firsthand or a family member came home crying traumatized from an experience, or a friend ranting about how she got catcalled this morning by a group of guys she just passed by.
Who would not be alarmed in the situation? It does not just only violate human rights, but it does leave a mark physically and mentally on the person affected. Some become traumatized and rather adjust to the society itself just to avoid being in that situation again and they tend to become self-conscious while for others, this serves as a trigger for them to stand up for themselves and for other women out there who are still in shock or even outraged. So for us women, we should not just let this pass by, this may be our way of reaching out. Whether you have experienced such or is close to someone who has experienced this or even if you have no experience being harassed, we should not let the people who harass women think that what they are doing is right and they should never be tolerated for such actions.
We may not directly stop them, we can at least help the victims in our possible ways. We can give comfort but we should not just settle with comfort rather we must also stand up and speak out for them. Let us be their voice and stand for the traumatized women! Harassment is not a compliment, stop insisting that it is!
Face It With Fierce
Take the risk or you lose the chance? I am afraid of fear. Fear of rejections and fear of taking risks. This fear always terrifies me. Often times, I choose to block opportunities. Yes, negative thoughts swallow me every time without me realizing I am missing many opportunities. Oh! no, I am missing a lot of rejections. Rejections that we all know will make us a better person. Rejections that will make us realize that we can do more and we can do better.
I lost chances because I was afraid of taking the risks and grabbing all opportunities. It feels like I am stranded on the same plate with no progression. For me, all those things are not just a piece of cake. I am so sick of being like this, being afraid and weak. I want to face my battle and prove to my self that I can give, I can do more. I try to look at my reflection and says, "You are more than what you see in the mirror, more of you that no one else could never hold on to it. You are more than what you think you are."
Time passes, I learned how to stand on my own, give what I can give, share what do I have and open the door when opportunity knocks. It's fun doing what you love, taking risks without any hesitations and doubts. Embrace the opportunities and seize the moment. If challenges are trying to approach and things get rough, dive in! it's normal.
Life is a matter of ups and downs. When you succeed, smile. When you are rejected and failed, cry and try again. They say, we will never enjoy the feeling of success if we don't experience failure. We dont know what the future may bring but we are free to believe. Dream big its free. Life is full of trials, yet I am full of hopes and dreams. I used to be afraid of my own fears but not anymore. Always face your fear with fierce.
It was 2012 when the doctor said I have scalp psoriasis. I cried so hard knowing that there’s no cure yet and all I can do is to prevent it from spreading. I tried different doctors and different medicines — both for topical use and for intake — just to have another options with high hopes that I can finally find a cure or at least prevent it from spreading. Followed all orders from the doctors, spent a lot of money for years but nothing happened.
Having this condition is shameful. People will think you have the worst dandruff and dry skin in the whole world. Others think that you are just calling it “psoriasis” to make your scalp condition (dandruff) sounds posh. Fyi, to those who are not familiar with my condition: Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. This makes the skin build up into bumpy red patches covered with flaking white or silvery scales and sometimes these patches will crack and bleed. They can grow anywhere, but most appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
Though it looks unpleasant and itchy, psoriasis isn’t contagious. You cannot pass the condition from one person to another. It’s an auto immune disease. Stress is also a big trigger for a psoriasis flare. Until I gave up and accept the fact that I’ll be flaky for the rest of my life. One day, I discovered body oils and aromatherapy oils, and I couldn’t be any happier as oils help me conceal the patches and soothes the itchiness because it moisturizes the patches. Aromatherapy oils, on the other hand, does not only help me physically but also mentally and emotionally as it relieves my stress and anxiety. It also introduced me to yoga and mindful breathing.
Using aromatherapy oils, I made my own products like moisturizer for patchy skin; hair mist to moisturize and soothe itchy scalp; face and body mist to hydrate, refresh and soothe dry and tired skin; aroma blends for on-the-go aromatherapy session, formulated for topical use; and of course, essential oils.
As a living proof that aromatherapy works, I created my own brand: @anapanasati.ph to share with everyone the benefits I take pleasure in with aromatherapy, to make aromatherapy accessible to everyone and to encourage everyone to practice mindful breathing. Since we’re under enhanced community quarantine, I took advantage of the time and learn more about aromatherapy by studying online; continue experimenting; do product shoot every now and then; and make friends with people who are interested with aromatherapy and who have the same condition as me online.
These things also help me cope up with anxiety caused by the corona virus pandemic. So if ever you see someone with psoriasis, smile at them (since giving a hug is discouraged nowadays) instead of looking us down and making us feel that we’re contagious because as mentioned WE ARE NOT. So don’t stress yourself out! Inhale and exhale before reacting, and smile. To the people who have the same condition as mine; don’t lose hope, everything is possible if you believe. Just breathe in and breathe out and tell yourself every day, “I am beautiful. I am brave. I am strong. I am great. Psoriasis is not my identity and I am more than my psoriasis”.
The Unpopular Opinion: I AM NO DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
Disney has been creating fantastic tales that truly make a mark in one's childhood. From simple fantasy stories to adventure stories that rattle the imagination of whoever is attached to the magical world of Disney, the company has been successful at churning out classic and modern epics, whether in animation or live action. This magical universe challenges one's train of thoughts as every story explores the deep imagery of every line delivered by exceptional characters.
Furthermore, one of the remarkable things about Disney is its capacity to come out with remarkable remakes of fairytales that have touched even the deepest dreams of children. That said, behind the magical world of Disney is a hidden sacred feminism, an empowerment of women concealed behind the lines and the fairy tales while debunking the gender norms in society.
As a typical girl growing up with the dream of being one of the enchanting Disney Princesses, I am looking forward to being the star of my own fairytale-like story someday. You know, a story full of adventures and stuff that a real Disney princess gets blessed with. Add in some sorcery, talking things, and fairies to the concoction, and it would be complete. These are just some of the typical items in the wish list of a child who has grown up in the magical universe of Disney. From Cinderella and her fabulous glass shoes, Sleeping Beauty and her supportive fairies, Snow White and her seven little companions, these are just some of the well-known fairytales all around the globe made possible by the wondrous technology and brilliance that is exclusively Disney’s. However, if you look closer at those magical stories of the various Disney damsels in distress, there is a hidden women empowerment theme just waiting to unfold.
Almost all of the leading characters in a typical Disney fairytale are women. It may be a princess trapped in a tower for so long, a normal provincial girl, a magical creature, a warrior. However, that character is always a headstrong girl. From the different roles the heroines in every Disney story portray, it just goes to show how women, by all means available to the fairer gender, are as equally skilled as men.
Take the story of Mulan, for instance. Mulan is the first born in a Chinese family. In the story, Mulan made the radical decision to disguise herself as a man and join the army fighting the Huns. She didn’t want her partially crippled father, who used to be a famous army general, to rejoin the troops battling the marauders and protecting China and the Emperor. Her deception of her commanding officer and her comrades was considered an act of treason, but she was able to show she had the courage to match – or even exceed – that of a man.
In the animated movie "Brave", the heroine Merida proved that women could lead an entire clan by themselves. The movie also showed that it is not necessary to have a man behind every successful woman. The movie proved that women and men are equally strong and independent from each other.
Then there’s Moana, which is about a girl who succeeded in saving her village from the dilemma its people were facing, resulting in the unfolding of the great history of their civilization.
These are just some of the stories of exceptional ladies raising the colors of women while hidden in their own enchanted tales. Those tales prove that women can become the knight in shining armor who will save the world and those they love, in the process. Behind the fancy jewelry and incredible wardrobe are the hidden vigor, vitality and determination of a seemingly typical girl.
The stories demonstrate that women could be the greatest individuals that history writers could ever chronicle, and that all women, in all types of standards on beauty, are masterpieces of grace under pressure while dressed in fancy garments. Behind every Disney tale lies a story emphasizing the value of women in our society, proving that every maiden in need is not always a damsel in distress, but a hero in heels.
If you're still single now, there are probably a a lot of questions running in your head. But being on your own for a long time helps you discover more about yourself. It's more than just freedom or independence. It's facing the world with so much courage. It's trying to make the most of your life without having to depend on someone. It's being happy on your own and loving yourself with all that you are.
We've been chasing love only to realize that it's not gonna work out that way. The right time will come that you will be blessed with the one you deserve. The one who also prayed to be with you. The one who will make you believe in love again. Let life surprise you. Hang in there.
The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.
Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.
Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.
For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?
Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.
Literally to begin with, I am writing with little shaky hands because this is the last time I went for a vacation like most of us must have and can’t plan any for now. The coronavirus outbreak has compelled us to stay at home for our safety and others in the vicinity.
I remember how I penned down my year 2020 to be the most remarkable year of my life in the hope of doing everything I desired for a long time and overcoming few obstacles. Whilst planning things ahead, I forgot to truly value all of things in the present.
I remember being chipper and grateful for my last summer vacation but now I feel I should’ve valued each and every moment. Considering the current gnarly situation, I want each one us to motivate ourselves to look for a positive side and to make the most of our time no matter the situation.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t give up in these circumstances and reckon that there are a lot of good things for us in the store. We’ll have the most amazing season of our life post pandemic. Let’s accept for the change and become the change. Propagate love and only love.
Danielle Flestado @artdkf.ph | June 19, 2020
"While I was reading my devotional book yesterday, this part hit me: rejoicing together is more difficult to do than grieving with each other. And so, I thought of reminding myself that I should be happy for the success of others. After all, we are part of one family and every one of us is striving to accomplish our own goals in this world. Let us be happy for each other."