TO THE WOMAN OF WORTH, (YOU)

This advocacy is born out of a heart that is passionate to witness a generation where every woman is well-aware of her worth in a holistic point-of-view: physically, emotionally, socially, legally and most of all, spiritually and Biblically.

In a world where women experience inequality, violence and discrimination, this advocacy aims to raise up Christ-Empowered Women, who live to empower her home, her husband, her children, her ministry and career, her generation and her nation.

This advocacy believes that this is her time because she is PRISCILLA TODAY.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

When Church becomes a Lonely Place, Be Alone with God

I grew up in the church. I studied in a Christian school. I danced to every Christian nursery rhymes in Sunday school. I attended a few youth camps. Years later, I even got engaged to one of the church's youth leader.

From afar, I could be the perfect candidate of a "church insider."

However, that was not the case for me. I did feel lonely inside the church.

"Fitting-in" the church was one of my biggest struggles. I always yearned for the sense of belonging, I always wondered if something was wrong with me. Why can't I seem to get into their "clique"? Why do I hear an imaginary choir of Mean Girls' "YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US!"whenever I enter the sanctuary?


See, I tried. I joined a special club in church for dancers/worshippers. I finished leadership trainings and I even humbled myself to attend an evangelical program, despite being a Christian born in a Christian family, and raised in a Christian school.  I volunteered in Young Adults ministry and even hosted regularly. I changed myself in such a way that I felt the church would accept--I would copy how loud they would pray, how intense they would worship, how spiritual they would talk, how they would think--but it was like I was playing a character that wasn't me. I was just acting a role, wearing a mask. Because it was in that way, the members get promoted to "core" or "leaders" or simply, an insider.

Somehow, the more active I tried to become, the less my "fire" burned. The more I fit into the "cookie cutter," the more I lost sight of my unique DNA, of my self.

I was stressing about fitting-in with THEM, impressing THEM, understanding THEM, THEM, THEM.

Worst of all, I lost sight of my relationship with God. 
And realizing that, shook me to my core. 

From that split second of enlightenment, I knew I had to leave the "hype" of being "active"--I just needed to get away. I was crying every now and then in the hidden places. I felt so lost. I felt so far from myself. I felt so far from God.

I started asking questions like "What would be my real love language to God? How did God create ME to pray? How did GOD design ME to worship?"

I knew "template prayers" aren't God's thing. I knew He didn't care about volume. Or if I was bawling my eyes out or just being silent in prayer. I knew ALL HE WANTED WAS ME, AND MY HEART.

Just that. He wanted the real me stripped down to the most raw version of me--all sins out, all dirt exposed, my fears, my doubts, my dreams, my ambitions, my everything, and my honesty.

And for that moment, I uttered the most honest prayer I could ever say, no flowery words, no exaggerated words, not even a trace of theology…
And it was as simple as:

"Father, I'm lost. I'm tired too."


It was an oxymoronic reality, being inside the church and praying that prayer. But back then, all I heard was God's tiny still small voice tell me:

"Just rest." 

And I did. I broke away from the 'active church life,' I was more present at home with my family, I focused on my post-graduate schooling and graduated, I entered a new career, found lifetime-friends in my officemates (the kind of belonging I always desired for in the church), I got engaged to my loving now-fiancee, and things just naturally started to HAPPEN in my life.

I intentionally started my personal prayer and worship time, thinking I had to bring myself back to the way I would genuinely talk to my Father God, the way I would worship, and I had to unlearn some template words/music and I had to start anew.

Suddenly, I started to feel alive again. Life felt like spring, where there was blooming all around me. My career was promising, I had my own friends again, I was enjoying time with my family again, I was happily preparing to marry a wonderful man.

Most of all, I was enjoying a REAL RELATIONSHIP with The One Who Matters.

And in that season of intimacy with God, there was a comforting sense of familiarity brushing against the strings of my heart, and embracing me so tightly saying:

"You're back!"




Well, I haven't "really" gotten back to "the church life" yet, so I don't really know how to properly end this blog. I don't know if I'm ready yet. Maybe I'm scared of feeling alone again. I always wanted to write a proper blog with a proper ending (haha), but guess what, I'm still on this journey. This process seems like a loooooong way to go.

But I'm sure, so sure, that there so many of you out there, who could probably relate to me. Maybe you grew up in church, but you still feel like an outsider? Maybe you are even a Pastor's kid, who doesn't like being in church? Maybe you have been active in church before, until your fire burned out?


Whatever you went through, please know that you are not alone. Let's go through this together. You are not an outsider, you are definitely part of GOD'S FAMILY.


And when you feel lonely inside the walls of your church, take time to be ALONE and intimate with God. Remember, it is ONLY your relationship with Him that matters, and let everything come naturally.

Don't be in a rush. Let's take it one step at a time.











Sunday, March 17, 2019

CHAPPYeverafterwithHAZEL: You Are My Home

Y O U A R E M Y H O M E ||
Hello everyone! How are you? It's already May and we are down to 6 months and 20 days before our wedding day!! It’s beginning to become a little busy for both me and my groom for all the wedding preparations and prePAYrations ๐Ÿ˜… DIYs are tedious and messy, but very fun ✏️๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ–Œ...and it’s funny to think that Chapsy and I feel like little kids doing art projects ๐Ÿ˜‚





Yikes and Yehey! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜
We hope you had a beautiful day of rest with your families at home. 
Speaking of home, Chaps and I would love to ask and request for you, our dearest guests, to utter a quiet prayer for us, as Chaps and I have just entered this season of preparing our HOUSE for our marriage. 
1. Please pray for WISDOM as we face "adulting" decisions and responsibilities for our house, that we may always be reminded to seek God in every decision we make for the house we will be moving into after the wedding. 
2. Please pray for PROVISIONS. Before you will be hearing our Wedding Bells, Chaps and I are currently hearing Wedding BILLS HAHA but we believe PAYables are also PRAYables. (Please excuse my puns) We thank the Lord for His provision as we overcome our financial needs for both our wedding and our house at the same time! 
3. We are praying for MINISTRY. Staying true to our verse Ecclesiastes 4:12, #YouMeAndJesus, we pray that our wedding and our marriage most especially, will be a living testimony of that verse, and that everything we do as a couple will radiate with God's presence in our lives. 
Your prayers will surely go a long way. Our hearts are just thankful that you have allowed us to be part of your lives. We're so excited to finally give you our formal invites! 
 — with Chaps Carino.


















Friday, June 22, 2018

I'M ENGAGED! #ChappyEverAfterWithHazel

The Proposal Story & kinda-Our Story
MY DEAREST FIANCร‰E,
Alam kong hindi ka mahilig magbasa ng mahahabang post kaya open letter na lang para mabasa rin ng iba )
I woke up that day completely unassuming and clueless about everything that was going to happen that night. It was our 3rd anniversary and I knew it was going to be just another ordinary day ahead—commute, work, meetings, work, commute, event, home, sleep. You told me ahead of time that you were very very very sorry about being busy for work on our anniversary day and that we could celebrate the next day instead. I thought, “Not again.” I was pretty smad (sad na mad haha) about it, signs of my tampo couldn’t help but show, especially a few days before haha.
Fast forward to that night, I was on my way to a “debut event” your mom had organised and asked me to host. They were just too nice to even fetch me from work. 



On the way there, since it was our anniversary, I couldn’t help but sit still, keep quiet and think about the rollercoaster we’ve been through together—both the ups and downs, the twists and turns, the sudden drops, the fun and finally reaching to a point where our journey got stable, progressively heading forward and upward. I recounted our days as classmates in grade-school, in high-school Jesus' Flock Academy (Marikina), then meeting each other again on our on-the-job training during college in The Araneta Center and then meeting each other again in Jesus' Flock Church. I laughed to myself about those times where God crossed both our paths together, many times in that timeline, but we did not even bother to look at or mind each other. 



It’s amazing to think that if we’ve ever fallen in love with each other in an earlier time, with all our baggages, struggles and emotional immaturities, we might have not ended up with each other. And this beautiful relationship we have right now may not have happened anymore. God must’ve put up something like an invisible wall between us during those times, so that we can have a glimpse of each other’s lives from afar, until He saw that both of us were ready.
Little did we know, years and years later, the time our eyes finally met and stayed there a little longer—that was God’s perfect timing taking place. 
I sat in the car, wishing you were there so I can hug you like “di na ako tampo babe HAHA jk”. And then, my mind got distracted from memory lane as beside me was Bebe Chumchum, scratching my purse with her chubby hand and looking at me with eyes that could actually pierce your soul. And before I knew it, we have already arrived the “debutante’s venue.” The view was nice, so serene by a wide lake with a bluish pink sky. It's a navy blue and rosegold sky (wink) haha! It’s pretty!
Things got weird for awhile. 
A split second as I got off from the car, a lapel was attached to me. WHAT IS HAPPENING? As I walked, I was asked to wear this pair of gloves because the debut’s theme was “princess.” OKAY COOL, SURE. BUT WHAT IS HAPPENING? Ate Kylie and Tita Cel (Chaps’ Mom) tied a long pinkish white dress on me. TITA, ANO PONG MERON? (I couldn’t hear her answer)Then this place was next, with music playing, a projector flashing my photos from my childhood, and rose petals all over, Ate Maine gave me rose and told me it was from Bebe
Chumchum… AAWWW ANONG NANGYAYARI?
She escorted my to a seat in front of the projector. HAH?
Think I finally got what was happening? NOPE.



From the back, my MOM came to me and put a tiara on my head. OKAY I GOT IT. THIS IS AN ANNIVERSARY SURPRISE! 
“Awww, this is such a ma-effort anniversary. Pero wala ka naman” I thought.
The next thing I knew, you tapped me on the back and when I looked at you, you were bawling your eyes out crying!
Then I cried and cried, while you were making this sweetest speech about our journey together, and I was so shocked because no one has ever surprised me like this. Super effort! My knees got weaker as I fell more in love with a man in front of me who was being sooo sweet, kasi diba it’s just another anniversa—oh, why are you kneeling na?
Then you pulled out a ring. 
I’M LIKE WHUUUUT?
Then you said “Will you marry me?” 
COMPLETELY DUMBFOUNDED, I said “Totoo ba?”
Then I held out my hand for the ring, and forgot to say YES muna haha
The rest is history. Everything was just too perfect to even describe! I’m just so blown away by the love present in each and everyone, from both our families and our friends, that were there physically and spiritually to witness this miracle, that is our relationship. (If people knew our story, they would say that our relationship was indeed a miracle.) There is just so much joy, love and peace overflowing from me! And I know that is because we are living right in the palm of God’s hand and that is the best place we could ever be. I know in my heart that God has orchestrated our friendship into our relationship and into the marriage we are about to enter. I know marriage can be intimidating, but knowing this: “YOU, ME & GOD. A cord of three strands is not easily broken!” 
I look forward to the wedding preparations and to the rest of our lives full-on without fears. Because truly, perfect love casts out fear!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

M.A. Thesis DONE!


It seems impossible until it's done! But more like... It seems impossible until you allow the right people in to help you out. #LONGPOST#Chescademics #Masterals #MAlife
I'm so blessed to have been surrounded with so much intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual support. (Yung financial kasi kapit lang sa sarili haha and kay God haha!) Thank you Ms Faye @fayeyoingco you have not only been my very hands-on thesis adviser but you have also been a real friend and a stage mother. You have gone ABOVE AND BEYOND! ) also thank you Sir Bagaman for saying yes to being my Critique Reader, the OC-kind-of editing and criticing has really helped me a lot in improving the flow and structure of my content. And to Dr. Acosta and Ms. Garcia for being there for me as panel members ever since my College Thesis up to my MA Thesis. I wonder if you will still be my panelists in my PHD Thesis. What. Haha! Why am I suddenly making a grad speech. Thesis speech palang toh! Haha Thank you Mama and @gisdotselle for keeping up with my moodswings at home whenever I'm stressed out with thesis and Giselle for offering me Mcdo Iced Coffee pero ako magbabayad. And to my bebe @charlescarino for actually helping me out with my thesis!! ๐Ÿ˜˜ and my Santรฉ officemates too for cheering me on! And Tita Minette for opening doors for me to be able to excel in my study  God has been so faithful for making everything fall into place!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Harley Quinn VS. Holy Queen

Harley Quinn was a character meant to show you, ladies, what you should NOT be. That was the real intention of the movie--to show you what you should not be. Sadly, I see most of your posts with the hashtag #RelationshipGoals as if you romanticize over the inexcusable abusive relationship of the Joker and Harley Quinn. I don't want to be "Tita mode" over here and be all "masyadong serious" but at the same time, I just don't want us to take domestic violence so lightly. 


There are real women out there who have spent years being abused, manipulated and humiliated by their significant others. Not just talking about physical abuse here. Also, emotional abuse. Signs of which are when they regularly put you down, devalue your opinions, point out your flaws and blame you for everything wrong. This isn't a place where you should be. Get out as fast as you can. Don't be "hyponitized" to thinking that violence is acceptable and "sexy." It just ISN'T. 


You are NOT meant to be treated like HARLEY QUINN. You are meant to be treated like a HOLY QUEEN! 


#SuicideSquad
#BeAPriscillaToday

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Things You Need to Know About Introverts Like Me

YES! I am an introvert. Pramis nga.

Photo by Johan Andrew Ocampo


And it took me (like) about 23 years for me to discover that I am not the extrovert that I've always believed myself to be.

So now, whenever I tell people "I'm an introvert"--all I usually get as a response are doubtful smirks that almost feel like "WEH?" or sarcastic laughs that very much tell me "WHATEVER, ZEL."

But again, YES. I am an introvert. And there are so many (misunderstood) people like me who are very comfortable in public speaking and being friendly with various types of people...but are the same time, introverts.

And if you find yourself having close friends who are my type of introverts, these are the things you'll need to be aware of to understand them (well, us) better:

I think the first thing you'll need to know is...

1. INTROVERT AND SHYNESS ARE NOT SYNONYMOUS.

I'm not shy. In Tagalog, wala akong hiya. Haha!

I can be the giggling, talkative, bubbly girl who dances at random places and at random times. Okay, you get the picture. And I’m not afraid of people, BUT being around too many people for too long always leaves me feeling drained. When I talk to many people, I can be my real best energetic self, but when I get home, I drop dead. As in like a dead battery!

Sometimes, when I hangout with too many people for toooooooooooo long, I run out of energy and spiral into silence and my mind is already doing other stuff...like, I don't know. Probably contemplating about life or something to that effect.

I discovered that I was the type of person who needed "purpose" for every interaction I make. Which leads me to my second point.

2. INTROVERTS LIKE ME LOVE CONVERSATIONS, BUT HATE SMALL TALK.

As much as my witty-self loves joking around (I mean I love puns and I have my kulit-likot-daldal moments), I have to be honest that introverts like me prefer REAL conversations with REAL substance rather than just small talk that are just full of 'banats' 'joke-joking' and stuff. I didn't mean it like we love to be "serious", but we just love to have a purposeful time with people. We're (over) thinkers and we get energized by heavier conversations about life, you know....ideas, life goals, theories....

We're good listeners and most of us are great at giving advices. In my case, I've noticed that in every interview I make (especially back in my magazine-days), I've always had that strength to transform a chit-chat interview into a real life talk ala Boy Abunda, where the people I interview suddenly open up their life views, up to their tear-jerking feelings and their past stories to me. 

Just as I love reading books and discovering stories, I also love interviewing people and discovering their real stories.

Basically, I love substance!


3. WE CAN HAVE AS MANY FRIENDS AS WE WANT, BUT WE REALLY HAVE FEW ONES WE TRUST AND KEEP CLOSE

I can be chummy with everybody so easily but it honestly really takes a little more while for me to really bring down my walls and be open to someone and trust them with my feelings, thoughts and opinions. It's like we are NOT anti-social but we're probably selectively-social.

It takes a little more warming up for me to really be open.


4. INTROVERTS LIKE ME DON'T GET BORED ALONE. AT ALL.

My mind is a very VERY twisted place. If you go inside my mind, it is probably exploding with colors, ideas, random thoughts, life questions, memories, imaginations, choreographies, unicorns and weird stuff. In most of my friends' words to describe me: "malikot ang utak"

My alone time has gotten me to write stories, to paint, to choreograph, to think of advertising ideas, to ACTUALLY meditate on His Word and see things in a fresh perspective, my alone time has gotten me to question life, to imagine my future, and to just end up sleeping--and most of all, my alone time has gotten me to write this blog! :P 

This fourth point already supports my fifth point which is:



5. INTROVERTS LIKE ME ARE MOSTLY CREATIVE AND ARTISTIC. BECAUSE WE KINDA OVERTHINK.

I have my silent moments. I swear I can't believe I can't even control my silence.

But in my silence, it doesn't mean I am not paying attention, my silence usually means I AM PAYING TOO MUCH ATTENTION. Yup. I'm overthinking what just happened or what has been said.

And because I am paying TOO MUCH attention and my mind runs wild, I collect a lot of information. I pick bits and pieces of information everywhere.  I am helplessly a silent chismosa.

And all these information I get make me feel something.

And that feeling inspires me to write something, or do something maybe artistically.

Or maybe not. <wink, wink>


6. INTROVERTS LIKE ME ARE VERY OBSERVANT!

My keen observance with people has gotten the best of me in acting and impersonating people. Hahaha! If we're close, I can probably impersonate you already! :D MEHE.






I could add more to the list, but these are just the first few things I can only think of. If you feel like adding more points to this, you could share me your thoughts on the comment sections below :)


So my point is, actually wala akong point (charot). My point is, we need to understand each other more and we need to be aware that there's not really like a specific set of traits limited to either if you're an introvert or an extrovert.

Just like in every clichรฉ, everyone is unique and everyone deserves to be understood better. Just because you're not a shy person, doesn't mean you are automatically an extrovert. Just because you're talkative and bubbly (like me), doesn't necessarily make you an extrovert.

It's just that we all have different ways of keeping ourselves energized and we shouldn't force others to think the same way as we are. Or we shouldn't judge them for feeling tired or for being too makulit. I don't know where this paragraph is going...so before I get lost in my thoughts (again), just like to say thank you for stumbling into this blog and giving some minutes of your life.

'Til next time,

Chiao!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My two-cents: Unlabeled Relationships

So it's been a while since I last wrote in this blog(....that nobody reads.) Yeah yeah, I'm okay with that. (ugly cries)

As I was thinking about what to write about for now in this blog (...that nobody reads), I thought that maybe we should discuss about important things that weigh a lot......................

ME! There goes my self-esteem jokes. And I cannot handle it.

The first thing that comes up to mind is (ba-dum-tss!) Unlabeled relationships that remain unlabeled for too long. 

Disclaimer: Not that I've been there. Or ,not that I've NOT been there. (wink wink) But here's to writing to the young girls (fine, and young boys) out there who are about to explore or are exploring this mysterious (unstable, cruel, and heartbreaking) black hole of love......the label-less relationship status.




Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So here's mine: Unlabeled relationships shouldn't even be considered a relationship in the first place. 

Hold your horses, I know many would disagree, I suggest you write your thoughts on the comments below. 

I'm just blessed that God blessed me with a mature and loving boyfriend who was man enough to define our relationship to our families, friends, our church and most of all, the world! The universe, rather. 


We all pretty much know that there's always someone who is usually always playing the guessing game in un-labeled relationships. And that is never fair..especially nowadays, that the "trend" is "Parang tayo pero hindi." 

Usually the woman gets confused whether she is supposed to act as if she is still being courted (thus, a little pakipot) or if she should act like a girlfriend already (because that's what guys in un-labelled relationship always demand/expect from the girl) The thing about labels is similar to "knowing your job description." Or else, you're lost.



People are scared of labels because they don't want the commitment yet or they don't feel like holding a responsibility yet. They are scared of the "job description." 


Kumbaga, mga "interns" lang. "Try ko lang ganern" or baka ma-Sam Milby ka: "I never said, that I love you"....Charot.....




And if you feel like you are still scared of labels, then you are not ready for a relationship yet. THEN DO NOT ENTER ONE. Unless, you wanna get hurt or you wanna hurt someone.

No one deserves to be left hanging. Everyone of us deserves to know where we stand in someone's life. People may say that 'Labels are just mere words and the important thing is you know the feelings and understand your importance to someone. Blah blah.'

BUT putting a label would determine your boundaries on expressing your self to the other person. It is as important as your feelings to someone.






And people, you know what you deserve. You deserve someone who's mature and genuine enough to tell you where you stand in his/her life. 

Don't just give your everything to someone who isn't even brave enough to give you what you deserve. Do not be too intimate with someone who can't commit to you. 

Remember we were taught that intimacy is not the foundation of the relationship. Commitment is. Intimacy is only the reward of commitment.


Above all else, know your worth. 




You are the sons and daughters of The King so go out there and wear your crowns! 

You deserve better!