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Kagay-an Coffee Cartel has just opened a few days ago, by a group of four friends whose love for the art of making coffee, and simply by coffee itself, has enabled them to start their own cafe in the city. It took months to plan out- since August of this year, to be exact, but the idea, which has always been a part of their conversations, remained long before. 

Coffee Cartel isn’t as ordinary as you would expect. Unlike many other known coffee shops, Coffee Cartel takes pride in getting locally sourced products from Kape Maramag in Maramag, Bukidnon . “Mindanao hasn’t always been known for its coffee beans but we do have them and this coffee could compete internationally.” Ed Abella, one of the owner says, that apart from helping our own farmers in Mindanao, the coffee beans produced right where we are could be as promising.



  


Designed for relaxing and working, Kagayan Coffee Cartel is a perfect go-to hub for creatives and coffee-goers alike. It is also the café’s vision to promote CdeO’s local artists, as seen in one of the walls of the coffee shop where a set of black-and-white photos have been framed. “Those are my photos, actually.” Ed says sheepishly, who mentions he is also a photographer. Ed explains that the café would feature an artist every month so people could also recognize the artists behind the highlighted works. Being able to bring together artists for poetry nights and exhibits would be one of the biggest goals of the café. 

“All you need are the right set of people.” Ed straightforwardly says, when asked about how others could start their own coffee shops. “A business has to have a heart. It has to believe in something.” A vision seemingly fit right where Coffee Cartel stands. Seemingly, Kagay-an Coffee Cartel already has that off their checklist.  

Kagay-an Coffee Cartel is located in  88 Arch. Hayes St., (near Mister Donut) Cagayan de Oro City

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Vivre (/Vi/) is a homegrown lifestyle website based in Cagayan de Oro, PH. If you'd like to contribute, don't hesitate to shoot an email to vivrethesite@gmail.com.

Photos by Kagay-an Coffee Cartel

Hole In The Wall Cafe Series - Kagay-an Coffee Cartel

Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Philippines


Kagay-an Coffee Cartel has just opened a few days ago, by a group of four friends whose love for the art of making coffee, and simply by coffee itself, has enabled them to start their own cafe in the city. It took months to plan out- since August of this year, to be exact, but the idea, which has always been a part of their conversations, remained long before. 

Coffee Cartel isn’t as ordinary as you would expect. Unlike many other known coffee shops, Coffee Cartel takes pride in getting locally sourced products from Kape Maramag in Maramag, Bukidnon . “Mindanao hasn’t always been known for its coffee beans but we do have them and this coffee could compete internationally.” Ed Abella, one of the owner says, that apart from helping our own farmers in Mindanao, the coffee beans produced right where we are could be as promising.



  


Designed for relaxing and working, Kagayan Coffee Cartel is a perfect go-to hub for creatives and coffee-goers alike. It is also the café’s vision to promote CdeO’s local artists, as seen in one of the walls of the coffee shop where a set of black-and-white photos have been framed. “Those are my photos, actually.” Ed says sheepishly, who mentions he is also a photographer. Ed explains that the café would feature an artist every month so people could also recognize the artists behind the highlighted works. Being able to bring together artists for poetry nights and exhibits would be one of the biggest goals of the café. 

“All you need are the right set of people.” Ed straightforwardly says, when asked about how others could start their own coffee shops. “A business has to have a heart. It has to believe in something.” A vision seemingly fit right where Coffee Cartel stands. Seemingly, Kagay-an Coffee Cartel already has that off their checklist.  

Kagay-an Coffee Cartel is located in  88 Arch. Hayes St., (near Mister Donut) Cagayan de Oro City

****

Vivre (/Vi/) is a homegrown lifestyle website based in Cagayan de Oro, PH. If you'd like to contribute, don't hesitate to shoot an email to vivrethesite@gmail.com.

Photos by Kagay-an Coffee Cartel

Last September 3, Chingkeetea hosted a dinner in collaboration with Vivre. The dinner named, Artists’ Night: A Creative Gathering, brought forth few artists in the local scene to take part in a special night filled with art and creative ideas.

The dinner took place in Pacifico Hotel’s E-Bar, which sat atop the rooftop of the building. Guests, dressed in shades of blue, started arriving by 5pm where the sun slowly set in, adorning the entire venue. Vinyl records on jazz music were also looming around, setting a relaxing mood for the evening. 







The tables were set with a rustic feel, decorated with fresh flowers from Petals CDO. Chingkee Te, specifically curated the whole atmosphere of the table set-up. Before dinner, guests had an art session in their preferred medium. Some chose to write essays and poetry, while others drew and painted their brushes away. Guests shared a good meal afterward. 

Gathering at the lounge area, a discussion on a special project commenced. But before that, artists who wrote read their poetry and other writings out loud to the group. The dinner went about with good conversations and creative brainstorming. The special project called INDIGO, which is still under wraps, is something that CdeO can truly be proud of once it will come to fruition very soon.


****

Alve Jane Aranton is a 21 year-old writer from Cagayan de Oro, PH. She is a lover of words, coffee and cats. Alve blogs her feelings at  She Is The Paper Back Writer.

Photos by Joshua Motomull. Video by Ajae Evangelista

Artist's Night: A Creative Gathering


Last September 3, Chingkeetea hosted a dinner in collaboration with Vivre. The dinner named, Artists’ Night: A Creative Gathering, brought forth few artists in the local scene to take part in a special night filled with art and creative ideas.

The dinner took place in Pacifico Hotel’s E-Bar, which sat atop the rooftop of the building. Guests, dressed in shades of blue, started arriving by 5pm where the sun slowly set in, adorning the entire venue. Vinyl records on jazz music were also looming around, setting a relaxing mood for the evening. 







The tables were set with a rustic feel, decorated with fresh flowers from Petals CDO. Chingkee Te, specifically curated the whole atmosphere of the table set-up. Before dinner, guests had an art session in their preferred medium. Some chose to write essays and poetry, while others drew and painted their brushes away. Guests shared a good meal afterward. 

Gathering at the lounge area, a discussion on a special project commenced. But before that, artists who wrote read their poetry and other writings out loud to the group. The dinner went about with good conversations and creative brainstorming. The special project called INDIGO, which is still under wraps, is something that CdeO can truly be proud of once it will come to fruition very soon.


****

Alve Jane Aranton is a 21 year-old writer from Cagayan de Oro, PH. She is a lover of words, coffee and cats. Alve blogs her feelings at  She Is The Paper Back Writer.

Photos by Joshua Motomull. Video by Ajae Evangelista

Colorful spools of thread, two sewing machines, pieces of cloth in different patterns and textures, beads in reused jars — these were what greeted me one humid August afternoon when I went to Shaira's house. "Sorry for the mess," she said and I didn't mind. It was her version of the "creative mess" that every artist and creator is familiar with.  

I've known Shaira for a long time. We don't even count the years we've been friends anymore. Way back in high school, she used to sketch a lot in the back pages of her notebook. She even sketched a few of the characters from short stories I wrote. For a school project one time, she made a replica of The Colosseum in Rome with paper-mâché. 

I will always remember her as the girl who never fails to push her creativity as far as she can. And her latest creative projects proves just that. I've sat down with her to talk about her craft which she turned into a business and she was more than glad to share her thoughts:

How did your passion for designing and tailoring start?

My great-grandmother used to sew pajamas and other outfits for us when my sisters and I were still kids. It really amazed me watching her sew using her treadle sewing machine. She inspired me to try sewing myself. 

I started sewing outfits by hand for my dolls. It wasn't until my junior year in college have I dared to learn using a sewing machine. I started with altering ready-to-wear clothes. I explored pattern-making and eventually, I learned how to make clothes from scratch.


What or who inspires you to continue your passion?

The endless possibilities you can incorporate and do with sewing, that's what pumps me up. Making new things that can make others smile keeps me going.

How did Glaze: Cut & Sew start?

It was actually unplanned. Last summer, my sisters kept asking me to make swimwear for them. They’re the sporty-type of girls. They’re totally not into the sexy and daring swimwear available in the market. So I made it based on how they wanted them to be. 

They posted photos of them wearing the swimwear I made online. Their friends got curious where they got it and I had been receiving requests since then. From then, I decided to put up a Facebook page and that's when Glaze: Cut & Sew was born.

Out of all your work so far, which piece is your favorite?

The first top I made for myself! I've been sewing day-and-night yet I barely have time to sew for myself so it was a big reward haha!

As an artist, what is your greatest motivation to keep creating?

It's having people who appreciate what I do, especially knowing my clients are pleased with the items I make for them. Getting good feedback from them makes me feel so happy and proud of myself. It pushes me to learn new techniques to improve my craft.


Was there a time in your life when you felt you wanted to give up your craft?

There were a lot of times especially when I decided to turn my hobby into a business. I'm often caught in a situation where I can't seem to handle the pressure I'm getting from the orders I'm getting at once. 

It's not the same as before when I can take all my time making something. Now, I have deadlines to meet. It's actually a big shock for me. I felt I'm not good enough and I don't make enough from what I do. The pressure and stress I've been going through are too much to the point that I wanted to give up.

What projects are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on making costumes made out of recyclable materials for my friends. I believe an event will be held showcasing them so I'm doing my best to make them presentable as possible. And I do still make swimwear and other beachwear. 

What next for Glaze?

I'm planning to work on outfits for corporate or office work. You know, those tailored trousers and blazers. I'm also developing new patterns so I can sell them on my Etsy shop soon. 

****

Photos and interview by Pearl Aton.  Pearl is a digital nomad born and raised in Cagayan de Oro, PH. She loves dogs and dreams of having at least five of them one day. Pearl blogs over at The Wandering Dreamer.   

To see Shaira's work and to order custom-made swimwear and clothes, check out her Facebook page

Stitching Dreams: Shaira On Tailoring And Starting GLAZE


Colorful spools of thread, two sewing machines, pieces of cloth in different patterns and textures, beads in reused jars — these were what greeted me one humid August afternoon when I went to Shaira's house. "Sorry for the mess," she said and I didn't mind. It was her version of the "creative mess" that every artist and creator is familiar with.  

I've known Shaira for a long time. We don't even count the years we've been friends anymore. Way back in high school, she used to sketch a lot in the back pages of her notebook. She even sketched a few of the characters from short stories I wrote. For a school project one time, she made a replica of The Colosseum in Rome with paper-mâché. 

I will always remember her as the girl who never fails to push her creativity as far as she can. And her latest creative projects proves just that. I've sat down with her to talk about her craft which she turned into a business and she was more than glad to share her thoughts:

How did your passion for designing and tailoring start?

My great-grandmother used to sew pajamas and other outfits for us when my sisters and I were still kids. It really amazed me watching her sew using her treadle sewing machine. She inspired me to try sewing myself. 

I started sewing outfits by hand for my dolls. It wasn't until my junior year in college have I dared to learn using a sewing machine. I started with altering ready-to-wear clothes. I explored pattern-making and eventually, I learned how to make clothes from scratch.


What or who inspires you to continue your passion?

The endless possibilities you can incorporate and do with sewing, that's what pumps me up. Making new things that can make others smile keeps me going.

How did Glaze: Cut & Sew start?

It was actually unplanned. Last summer, my sisters kept asking me to make swimwear for them. They’re the sporty-type of girls. They’re totally not into the sexy and daring swimwear available in the market. So I made it based on how they wanted them to be. 

They posted photos of them wearing the swimwear I made online. Their friends got curious where they got it and I had been receiving requests since then. From then, I decided to put up a Facebook page and that's when Glaze: Cut & Sew was born.

Out of all your work so far, which piece is your favorite?

The first top I made for myself! I've been sewing day-and-night yet I barely have time to sew for myself so it was a big reward haha!

As an artist, what is your greatest motivation to keep creating?

It's having people who appreciate what I do, especially knowing my clients are pleased with the items I make for them. Getting good feedback from them makes me feel so happy and proud of myself. It pushes me to learn new techniques to improve my craft.


Was there a time in your life when you felt you wanted to give up your craft?

There were a lot of times especially when I decided to turn my hobby into a business. I'm often caught in a situation where I can't seem to handle the pressure I'm getting from the orders I'm getting at once. 

It's not the same as before when I can take all my time making something. Now, I have deadlines to meet. It's actually a big shock for me. I felt I'm not good enough and I don't make enough from what I do. The pressure and stress I've been going through are too much to the point that I wanted to give up.

What projects are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on making costumes made out of recyclable materials for my friends. I believe an event will be held showcasing them so I'm doing my best to make them presentable as possible. And I do still make swimwear and other beachwear. 

What next for Glaze?

I'm planning to work on outfits for corporate or office work. You know, those tailored trousers and blazers. I'm also developing new patterns so I can sell them on my Etsy shop soon. 

****

Photos and interview by Pearl Aton.  Pearl is a digital nomad born and raised in Cagayan de Oro, PH. She loves dogs and dreams of having at least five of them one day. Pearl blogs over at The Wandering Dreamer.   

To see Shaira's work and to order custom-made swimwear and clothes, check out her Facebook page

In case you haven't seen our posts last October 3, Vivre has turned one year old! It's a little bit crazy to think that it has been a year since we went live to share our stories. We are grateful to everyone who has supported us by visiting the site, reading our posts, contributing their art, and sharing their stories. 

As a simple "thank you", we've whipped up this fun playlist filled with nothing but songs that will make anyone get up and dance. Here's to many more years ahead celebrating art, culture, life, and love! 

Mix Tape # 2: Cheers, My Dear


In case you haven't seen our posts last October 3, Vivre has turned one year old! It's a little bit crazy to think that it has been a year since we went live to share our stories. We are grateful to everyone who has supported us by visiting the site, reading our posts, contributing their art, and sharing their stories. 

As a simple "thank you", we've whipped up this fun playlist filled with nothing but songs that will make anyone get up and dance. Here's to many more years ahead celebrating art, culture, life, and love! 


Every day, I wake up to the noise of my alarm clock. I would groggily rise up, quickly eat my breakfast and rush to get ready for work. I would roll my eyes at how terrible traffic can be, sit by my desk for hours as soon as I step foot in my office, and I am yet again glued to the bright glare of my computer screen. Sounds like such a snore? Well, I start my day the same way and end it like any other as I, admittedly, live for routine. Routine gives me structure, keeps me safe and comfortable, but most days, routine can get quite sickening. I am so familiar with it but then I am reminded of how life should be lived.

Recently, I have been struck with the realization that I haven’t watched the sun set in a while. I haven’t gone out of my own space for a minute or two to just feel the fresh air on my skin. I haven’t spared a time to put my phone down nor shut my computer off completely. I haven’t stopped moving around. I haven’t slowed down, at all, and I bet the same goes for everybody too. I bet we aren’t entirely living our lives the way we want when our “busy” daily routine are stuck closely with the demands of our own tasks. Some of you go to school and others like me, head off to work, normally preoccupied, usually restless and always in motion.

Here are things we can always try to do in combining mindfulness and grace in our daily lives.

1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than your usual wake-up time.

I know, we’ve all fallen into the temptation of hitting the snooze button for a few more minutes of sleep. How could 5 more minutes be so bad, right? While it may sound good, waking up earlier than the usual might be even better. You could actually spend a lot of time doing stuff when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Waking up earlier means more time for prayer, exercise, coffee or listening to your morning playlist. I tried waking up once an hour earlier and I witnessed how the sun rose up through my window.  Man was it priceless.

2. Take a break.

Things can get pretty busy in the middle of the day but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a little break. So leave the desk, walk around and move those aching muscles, grab some food and relish the changing colors of the sky. Remember, you’ve got give some room for yourself to breathe.

3. Get into meaningful conversations.

Whether you’re at work or in school, surround yourself with people who you can genuinely speak with. Get into great conversations or spark one. Give up the gossip, pull off some jokes once in a while and talk about the positive things instead.

4. Put your phone down.

We’re all so engrossed on our phones that we tend to neglect the more important things. Surely, that tweet, status and photo post can wait. Learn to live, have fun and explore without it. Some places and certain events in our lives are better experienced on our own and with people nearest to us, rather than sharing it to a thousand more others we’ve virtually just known online.

5. Do something out of the ordinary.

With routine almost dictating our daily living, breaking out of it can bring out some adventure in you too. Do something other than what your ordinary and usual tasks require of you. Write a book, compose a song, sign up for a yoga class with friends, run the tracks or learn something new. Think you’re too busy to do something that you (really, really) like? I beg to disagree. Doing something far from the ordinary gives you excitement and vitality.


While its easier to follow our typical routine in this fast-paced world, shouldn’t we be taking the time to slow down a bit and live a little?

****

Alve Jane Aranton is a 21 year-old writer from Cagayan de Oro, PH. She is a lover of words, coffee and cats. Alve blogs her feelings at  She Is The Paper Back Writer.

Photo from Unsplash

5 Ways You Can Incorporate Mindfulness and Grace in Your Daily Life


Every day, I wake up to the noise of my alarm clock. I would groggily rise up, quickly eat my breakfast and rush to get ready for work. I would roll my eyes at how terrible traffic can be, sit by my desk for hours as soon as I step foot in my office, and I am yet again glued to the bright glare of my computer screen. Sounds like such a snore? Well, I start my day the same way and end it like any other as I, admittedly, live for routine. Routine gives me structure, keeps me safe and comfortable, but most days, routine can get quite sickening. I am so familiar with it but then I am reminded of how life should be lived.

Recently, I have been struck with the realization that I haven’t watched the sun set in a while. I haven’t gone out of my own space for a minute or two to just feel the fresh air on my skin. I haven’t spared a time to put my phone down nor shut my computer off completely. I haven’t stopped moving around. I haven’t slowed down, at all, and I bet the same goes for everybody too. I bet we aren’t entirely living our lives the way we want when our “busy” daily routine are stuck closely with the demands of our own tasks. Some of you go to school and others like me, head off to work, normally preoccupied, usually restless and always in motion.

Here are things we can always try to do in combining mindfulness and grace in our daily lives.

1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than your usual wake-up time.

I know, we’ve all fallen into the temptation of hitting the snooze button for a few more minutes of sleep. How could 5 more minutes be so bad, right? While it may sound good, waking up earlier than the usual might be even better. You could actually spend a lot of time doing stuff when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning. Waking up earlier means more time for prayer, exercise, coffee or listening to your morning playlist. I tried waking up once an hour earlier and I witnessed how the sun rose up through my window.  Man was it priceless.

2. Take a break.

Things can get pretty busy in the middle of the day but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a little break. So leave the desk, walk around and move those aching muscles, grab some food and relish the changing colors of the sky. Remember, you’ve got give some room for yourself to breathe.

3. Get into meaningful conversations.

Whether you’re at work or in school, surround yourself with people who you can genuinely speak with. Get into great conversations or spark one. Give up the gossip, pull off some jokes once in a while and talk about the positive things instead.

4. Put your phone down.

We’re all so engrossed on our phones that we tend to neglect the more important things. Surely, that tweet, status and photo post can wait. Learn to live, have fun and explore without it. Some places and certain events in our lives are better experienced on our own and with people nearest to us, rather than sharing it to a thousand more others we’ve virtually just known online.

5. Do something out of the ordinary.

With routine almost dictating our daily living, breaking out of it can bring out some adventure in you too. Do something other than what your ordinary and usual tasks require of you. Write a book, compose a song, sign up for a yoga class with friends, run the tracks or learn something new. Think you’re too busy to do something that you (really, really) like? I beg to disagree. Doing something far from the ordinary gives you excitement and vitality.


While its easier to follow our typical routine in this fast-paced world, shouldn’t we be taking the time to slow down a bit and live a little?

****

Alve Jane Aranton is a 21 year-old writer from Cagayan de Oro, PH. She is a lover of words, coffee and cats. Alve blogs her feelings at  She Is The Paper Back Writer.

Photo from Unsplash

If there was one thing hole in the wall eats bring forth to anyone, it’s most definitely an element of surprise. Walk around the city and there you’ll find them spurting out one by one hidden among corners. And we can’t help but admit, Vivre loves a good hole in the wall spot  a good diner or a quaint little cafe, you name it. 

Apostrophe is a newly opened cafe which serves food, coffee and other beverages. Included in our list of favorites is their special Matcha Latte, Caramel Macchiato, and the colorful Mermaid Frappe. The cafe is tiny but with a plethora of other things to offer. The cafe has pasta and a hot bowl of ramen too! So if you’re craving for something warm and fuzzy without going far and pricey, this is your place.





Situated in-between Kopya de Oro and Dunkin’ Donuts in downtown Divisoria, its pastel pink interiors is one that is hard to miss. Its pretty design sits on a fine line between pastel and tropical — a feel so modern and relaxed everybody now seems to love. We were all heart eyes on every detail in the cafe. It made us feel like we're inside a photo we pinned on Pinterest. Indeed, Apostrophe’s interiors are eye candies.

Apostrophe opens its doors for anyone who wants to sit by the window people-watching or read a book with a warm hug from a drink or two.

****

Vivre (/Vi/) is a homegrown lifestyle website based in Cagayan de Oro, PH. If you'd like to contribute, don't hesitate to shoot an email to vivrethesite@gmail.com.

Hole In The Wall Cafe Series - Apostrophe: Food, Drinks & Coffee

Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Philippines


If there was one thing hole in the wall eats bring forth to anyone, it’s most definitely an element of surprise. Walk around the city and there you’ll find them spurting out one by one hidden among corners. And we can’t help but admit, Vivre loves a good hole in the wall spot  a good diner or a quaint little cafe, you name it. 

Apostrophe is a newly opened cafe which serves food, coffee and other beverages. Included in our list of favorites is their special Matcha Latte, Caramel Macchiato, and the colorful Mermaid Frappe. The cafe is tiny but with a plethora of other things to offer. The cafe has pasta and a hot bowl of ramen too! So if you’re craving for something warm and fuzzy without going far and pricey, this is your place.





Situated in-between Kopya de Oro and Dunkin’ Donuts in downtown Divisoria, its pastel pink interiors is one that is hard to miss. Its pretty design sits on a fine line between pastel and tropical — a feel so modern and relaxed everybody now seems to love. We were all heart eyes on every detail in the cafe. It made us feel like we're inside a photo we pinned on Pinterest. Indeed, Apostrophe’s interiors are eye candies.

Apostrophe opens its doors for anyone who wants to sit by the window people-watching or read a book with a warm hug from a drink or two.

****

Vivre (/Vi/) is a homegrown lifestyle website based in Cagayan de Oro, PH. If you'd like to contribute, don't hesitate to shoot an email to vivrethesite@gmail.com.

Hi 

I know that life has been overwhelmingly hard for you the last months. Nonetheless, It’s good to see you smiling and fighting again. But you know what, I think you deserve an apology. I am sorry. I truly am. I apologize for the moments I allowed temporary circumstances to cloud your mind; for the times I didn’t take care of you, your health especially; for doubting your capability to fly; and for the moments I leave you behind–shattered and empty. I am sorry. 

I know that you are strong, but instead, I chose to stay in loneliness and negativity. I know that you have a heart that love, but I chose to feel ungrateful and empty despite the many blessings. I know you love life, but I allowed you to believe that there’s nothing worth looking forward to tomorrow anymore. I know you haven’t been yourself lately because I chose to be defeated. Again, I am sorry. And I mean this with all my heart. 

I’m happy to see that you’re starting to go back on track. I guess it’s not too late to start over again. And I thank you for giving me another chance and accepting me to be on this journey with you again. I have finally come to realize that my relationship with you is the most important relationship I’d have next to my relationship with the Lord. I won’t promise anything, but I will try to fight with you, and for you. You might not understand everything that’s happening in your life right now, but later you will. We will. And we will conquer this battle with hope and faith. Remember: God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. So keep your head up, little warrior. We can do all things together through His grace. I am now here again–more willing to walk and embrace life and its flaws with you. We’re a team. And before I forget, little warrior, I want you to know: I love you. I do. 

Yours sincerely, 
your stronger self

****

Marah Roque is a a 23-year-old Filipino storyteller based in New Zealand. 
Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash.

An Open Letter to Myself


Hi 

I know that life has been overwhelmingly hard for you the last months. Nonetheless, It’s good to see you smiling and fighting again. But you know what, I think you deserve an apology. I am sorry. I truly am. I apologize for the moments I allowed temporary circumstances to cloud your mind; for the times I didn’t take care of you, your health especially; for doubting your capability to fly; and for the moments I leave you behind–shattered and empty. I am sorry. 

I know that you are strong, but instead, I chose to stay in loneliness and negativity. I know that you have a heart that love, but I chose to feel ungrateful and empty despite the many blessings. I know you love life, but I allowed you to believe that there’s nothing worth looking forward to tomorrow anymore. I know you haven’t been yourself lately because I chose to be defeated. Again, I am sorry. And I mean this with all my heart. 

I’m happy to see that you’re starting to go back on track. I guess it’s not too late to start over again. And I thank you for giving me another chance and accepting me to be on this journey with you again. I have finally come to realize that my relationship with you is the most important relationship I’d have next to my relationship with the Lord. I won’t promise anything, but I will try to fight with you, and for you. You might not understand everything that’s happening in your life right now, but later you will. We will. And we will conquer this battle with hope and faith. Remember: God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. So keep your head up, little warrior. We can do all things together through His grace. I am now here again–more willing to walk and embrace life and its flaws with you. We’re a team. And before I forget, little warrior, I want you to know: I love you. I do. 

Yours sincerely, 
your stronger self

****

Marah Roque is a a 23-year-old Filipino storyteller based in New Zealand. 
Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash.

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