21 things I realized at 21

  1. Of the 9-billion people populating our earth, there’s me.
  2. Being the middle child is risky business – and it spells a lot of things however you decide to take your life, and it kinda sucks.
  3. Thank god, I was born Asian, Filipino, a Mindanaon and a Female – these gave me perspectives that help me see and understand the world.
  4. As an Asian, I realized how much different western people are from us (duh). And how much we must thrive just to prove our worth so that we won’t be labeled as the tropes they label us as. History has shown that we, Asians, have done so much to make the world as it is, but Western people just like trampling over us. But in the end, as differences were set aside, they befriended us and helped us in every step of the way. But still, we always have to do extra just to prove ourselves.
  5. It’s hard to be a Filipino now in these trying times. Often – or more often than not, we’re divided by differing opinions, social status, ethnicity, to name a few. We live by the values of dignity, honor, bravery, unity and family. But we dumb ourselves just for the attention we crave so much, the honor we think we deserve, just to establish our country on the map. But still, I’m proud to be a Filipino because we’re brave, we’re vigilant, we’re a happy bunch, and more importantly, because we keep fighting back.
  6. For being born a Mindanaon, I understand how divided my country is by fear, hate and ignorance especially towards us. That because I live in an island mostly populated by Muslims – who are always branded as terrorists but are victims of misuse of their religion – that we live in war all our lives, that we’re illiterate, we don’t have civilization. They don’t understand that this island is home to all, that terror is trying to rule it but we – Christians, Muslims and Lumads – refuse to let it happen. And I am not ashamed of my heritage, my ethnicity, or the island I grew up in. I am a Mindanaon.
  7. For being born a female in the 21st century, I’ve come to realize how blessed I am to have my rights and freedom. Honored too, for I don’t share this kind of freedom with the rest of the female population in previous generations or other countries.
  8. One act of random kindness can save someone’s life or make their day.
  9. It’s all a matter of perspective to why and how things are.
  10. It’s okay to be in pain, just don’t justify it. For there are people in the world living in war, experiencing hate, and who suffer far worse than you – your pain in nothing compared to theirs.
  11. High school was the greatest four years of my life. As it broke me out of my shell.
  12. College is the better version – despite it being full of headaches and heartaches.
  13. Listen to your teachers, they’re the best people next to your parents. Value their advice, because they help inspire you make it in life.
  14. Being single is still okay. It’s no contest. It’s all about you and being the best version of yourself first.
  15. Your friends are always there for you, and they always, always know you better than you think.
  16. It’s okay to rant, let it out, let it go.
  17. Reading is a beautiful thing and is more than just a hobby – it broadens your perspective on life and flushes out whatever nonsense you chose to close your eyes to.
  18. Always dare yourself to do something outside your comfort zone, even if it makes you look like a weirdo. Be a weirdo anyway.
  19. Your parents are gold. Mom always always¸ knows best (sometimes). Dad jokes are the best (no matter how cheesy they are).
  20. You’re only the age you are once – spend it wisely. Do more, live more.
  21. Always remember the butterfly effect (no matter how scary as it is): every choice you decide to make will cause a ripple that will forever change your life. And so, live your life wisely.