Monday, March 2

By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  9:00 PM   tpphow 1 comment

Before anything else, I just have to clarify. I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON THIS TOPIC. I just mainly chose this title because 1) I think it's catchy (o 'di ba, feeling witty bird), and 2) it will get people clicking on the link. Kidding aside, I just want to be more personal with blogging and be raw with our lives. Sometimes, the whole notion of branding in blogging today clouds my reason as to why we created it in the first place, when in reality we just wanted to share our lives with zero pretense and lots of authenticity.

Now let's get down and honest (a little dirty, but mostly honest).

I am currently in a season of my life where I'm trying to tame my emotions, effortfully pressing on the brakes and grasping tightly on to its leash. I've learned to acknowledge them, but over the course of time, only by God's grace, I feel like I've given it less importance than the way I used to, and it's a good thing.

It's no secret, I am a firecracker. I can be intense and excited and passionate about life and people, and sometimes, it backfires on me. Not that these characteristics are a bad thing, it's just that sometimes, I let my emotions get the best of me. I let it rule me, and I let it mess up my thoughts with overthinking and overanalyzing. This is why I'm giving myself a pat on the back right now (seriously, you just can't see me), because I feel like I've matured in some ways on how I handle my emotions, especially on liking someone (thanks to my real friends too, who always slap the delusions out of me).

The last bad crash I experienced from the high of liking someone was not so long ago. I really liked this guy I met in church because he really was indeed likable. He's charming, engaging, yet mysterious. What's not to like? I got to know more of the guy when we were able to work together, and having spent so much time, my emotions blew up more than it should've. I think he was just generally being nice to me, but I've mistaken a lot of his humor as flirty gestures that could've possibly meant something. I would often feel bad when he would assure me of hangouts and catch up dates that never made it to reality. This made me question a lot about myself, and honestly, it made me a tad bit bitter at the guy (I'm OK now though, I promise).

In hindsight, I shouldn't have given him that upper-hand. I should've guarded my heart, although I honestly think he should've been careful with his words and actions too, but that's a whole different story. The only cards I can deal with are the ones that have been handed to me, so in this situation, I can only take control of my responses.

Having said I feel like I'm currently maturing on this subject, here are some golden nuggets of wisdom I've picked up along the way (and learned from one of my favorite JS Park books, The Christianese Dating Culture).

1.) THERE'S MORE TO THE IMAGE. Although I will not deny that physical attraction is one key component in this whole pheromone-intoxication game, it's not the end-all-be-all of it. I've seen so many young people "fall in love" with a person's front than the ACTUAL PERSON. This saddens me. When the "romantic goggles" wear out and you finally see the ugly and not-so-cute parts of the person, you can easily "fall out of love", which I highly doubt because I wonder if love was really there in the first place. JS Park wrote, "If you finally land that relationship you so badly wanted, your initial illusions always go out the window, and suddenly this person isn't fulfilling you like you'd hoped. It hurts that person, and hurts you, too."

Which brings me to...

2.) DON'T LET EMOTIONS BE YOUR MOTION. Let's get real here. When you spend way too much time with someone, sparks may get in the way of what you once thought was platonic chemistry. I've been there, and often times, I tend to equate the butterflies with the possibility of romance. The result? A ROLLERCOASTER OF EMOTIONS that usually ends in confusion and loneliness. Although I admit that sometimes our emotions tend to have a mind of its own, we don't always have to be bullied by it. "Our significance and validation comes from Him (God). Without this, we'll merely pursue our latest and loudest feelings to accumulate more feelings, which is a bottomless perpetuity that will crush others and ourselves (JS Park, 2014)." Currently, I do like someone, and I think it ends there. He doesn't have to like me back, and that's not the goal as to why I choose to continuously develop a friendship with him. Which brings me to...

3.) FRIENDZONE IT. Just because you have strong feelings of admiration for someone doesn't mean you have to act on it. Assess the season you're in. Are you ready for a committed relationship, or are the romanticized, euphemized ideals of it are just playing and messing with your head? Also, enjoy the friendship and focus on it as it is (up until it blossoms into something else).

To be honest, I've objectified guys in the sense that I always think about what they can offer me when I start entertaining thoughts about possibly dating them. I had to intentionally catch myself and guard my heart. I know these are such cliche lines, but trust me, it's the only way to go.

 JS Park wrote, "A lot of this random "crushing" is from our culture of "What can you do for me?" which leads to objectification and dehumanization. I know that sounds pretentious, but even objectifying an idea of romance or some ideal mystery dude is still using someone for what they can do. That tingle-twitch you get from flirting is just an ego boost because we like it when someone might like us back. On a long enough timeline, it leads to others getting or becoming a self-marketing meat on display. Friendship is the only way to cure that predicament. When you're in the art of being friends with the opposite gender, you'll find a love for them that doesn't regard their physical appearance or "dating material" level. It only regards them for who they are. This is tough to do, but if you can hang out in groups and protect your friends' dignity, your mind gets rewired to enjoy them for them. It's how God loves us and how we're called to love others. Don't turn your opposite-gender friends into possible dating candidates. Quit dragging them through the attraction-evaluation in your brain. You need a timeout to regain perspective and remember who you are in Christ." This statement cut me to the core, man. Basag trip! But I needed it.

4.) ACCEPT IT. If you're like me who used to hate herself for liking someone, STOP IT. I know it sounds pathetically funny, but I often beat up myself when I liked someone, as if it's some sort of a sin. I was talking to my mentor, Stephanie, the other night about this current guy I like, and I kept reiterating that it has to stop, that I don't want to like him anymore. She asked me why, and I was left dumbfounded. It made me realize that there's nothing wrong with admiring someone, as long as you know your boundaries, and you don't take over roles that aren't yours to take. As Michelle McKinney-Hammond said, "don't act like a girlfriend when you're just a friend, and don't give him husband benefits when you're just a girlfriend" (paraphrased by me).

5.) GIVE YOURSELF THE TRUTH. Lastly, we have to be honest with ourselves. If you think that your emotions are too strong to handle, maybe it's just right give some healthy space and distance between yourself and the guy. I've done it, and I know it seems too much or too radical, but I had to help myself too. I'm not saying you have to cut off ties and vanish like a creep, but I did keep my guards up and I did veer away from situations which I could possibly give extra special meaning to. Be honest as to why you like the person, too. That always says something about ourselves and our hearts.


I guess I wanted to share this because I officially wanna break away from my own bad habits upon liking someone, and I think this is also a form of empowerment, for you girls. Be smart about your emotions. I know we are often boxed and stereotyped as emotional freaks of nature, but we can always rise above 'em and be wise about where and how we situate our hearts. :)


By Danah and Stacy   Posted at  2:12 PM   wedding 1 comment

It finally happened. Paolo and Diane are hitched! 

I became good friends with Paolo when we hosted a 3-day single's retreat together (True Life 3.0). I initially met him during the program team meetings, and his (shameless) humor instantly made us homiez. He's very witty and hilarious, but is incredibly deep about things that matter. We've kept in touch ever since, and his fiancè then (now Mrs. Manzano) even became our official dentist! How cool is that?

I'm so honored that he invited us to such a momentous celebration in his life. I honestly thought we are not in that category of friendship yet, but I guess we are special! Hee! :)

Stacy and I left Manila at 1pm, believing we'd arrive the ceremony at 3, until Waze surprised us with its ETA at 4:30. Haha! It was a cool and smooth road trip, nonetheless. 

with my Pauly D!

Colgate, the couple's noisy yet oh-so-adorable pug

What Stacy wore:

H&M top | Nothing but H2O dress | F21 sandals | Givenchy bag | Tomato earrings | Raybans

What I wore:

F21+ top | Customized maxi skirt | F21 sandals | UNIQLO stole | Givenchy bag | Fly shades

with Jony, a dear friend from church

Them dentist couple showing off their pearly whites. These 2 are beaming! :)

the mandatory "shady" selfie

My favorite photo of the couple, so far. Haha!

On our way to the reception!

We were asked to host the cocktail segment of the program because Paolo is an opportunist that way. Nyahaha! While waiting for the reception buffet to open, guests were welcomed with snacks and refreshments. The entire cozy vibe of the beach resort really made the place homey and warm.

Good girl vibes! Haha!

LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS SUNSET! To think it was raining the day before! :)

The Stilts, Calatagan

the not-so-secret beach reception

The weather was perfect, the set up was amazing, and God just painted the couple the most beautiful fabric of colors in sky as a background for their wedding reception.

table 10 is where the fun begins! 

simple but beautiful set up

I absolutely love this woman! Accountability friends. Nyahaha! :)

playing the Paolo or Diane? game

ending the night with gratitude from the couple

I love authentic weddings—ones that focus on the union of couple and celebrate their true and raw devotion for one another. It saddens me when the love of the couple is forgotten as the entire ceremony turns out to be a show, something that isn't the case for Paolo and Diane. Their wedding was simple, but beautifully executed, and everyone around has witnessed the genuineness of their relationship and love. I also am in awe that these two have chosen to be pure for their honeymoon night! This really inspires me. At one point, my sister and I ended up sobbing like crazy when the same-day edit video was shown. Their love story is one that has God's fingerprints all over it, and it made me realize I wouldn't want my own love story written any other way. :)

God's faithfulness is manifested all over the wedding and in the lives of Paolo and Diane. It makes me such a proud friend. :)

To the newlyweds, congratulations! May your love for one another shine bright for people to see the Love of Christ. We love you both! Steak night soon, yeah? :)

Plump love,