Category Archives: Friends

With the girls

Being Better

Many days, weeks, and months ago, I suffered a betrayal that I thought I could never move past beyond. It cost me a lot of things… confidence in myself, trust in others, and “friends.” Every time I’d encounter a milestone or a reminder of that painful moment, I’d lose all my confidence once again, and paranoia and self-pity would set in. I have tried so hard to avoid those moments and to keep to myself, to hide my pain and sorrow only to be witnessed by me alone.

Today is one of those days. I fear that I will break down and wallow in self-pity. Once again, I want to just keep to myself and have my own pity party but I had made a promise. I will be there, I will face the reality of what had happened, of how my best laid plans had failed despite my earnest and sincere efforts.

I don’t know why I made the promise to be there but I did and I will fulfill it, not just for the people who stayed true and loyal to me but for myself. I have to do it for me. If I kept to myself and just nursed my pain and sorrow alone, it would not do me any good.
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An Introspection on the Past Three Years

It has only been three years but so much has happened. So much has changed. So many friends gained. And so many “friends” lost.

It has been a long and winding road. In my 31 years of life full of drama, twists and turns, this last journey I have been taking for over 3 years has been an interesting one.

Once again, I am at a crossroad. There are days when I still look back at the painful memories. And yes, there are still nights when I cry in frustration. Times when I’d get sad over the most trivial things. Moments when I feel jealous of others. I feel like I tried and worked so hard but I don’t really have anything to show for it.

There’s always one thing I tell myself and others, that no matter how great or small, every experience is an opportunity to learn. And there are lots that I’ve learned through the past three years. At the very least, I can say I have learned many valuable lessons I would have never learned if this journey had been a successful one.
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Ria Jose, Davao Blogger

On Pride and Loyalty

Some people may call me proud. I burn bridges when necessary. Turn my back on people who have betrayed me. And I’m unforgiving to those who don’t ask for forgiveness.

It’s not pride, I tell you. It’s self-respect. I’d rather have few people around me than plenty of “friends” who choose to betray me, hurt me, and malign me.

I know my worth and I’m uncompromising. You piss me off, disrespect me, become disloyal to me, you’d have to practically kneel before me so I can forgive you. I may forgive you, but I will never trust you again. So stop pretending like things are ok and we’re ok. We’re not. And pretending like we are will definitely win points with me.

You might think I don’t know the things you say about me. I know perfectly well how much crap shit and lies you say about me so you better shut your mouth. I’m the kind of person who does not deny my mistakes and wrongdoings. So when I say something is a lie, something is definitely a lie.

Stop telling me things or warning me about other people. Stop thinking we’ll ever be ok. Stop hoping you can ever regain what we once had. You have proven yourself unworthy of my trust and friendship and nothing will bring that back.

I’m fiercely loyal and I demand the same loyalty.

My self-worth is not tied to the number of friends I have, but to the loyalty of my friends, no matter how few they may be.

So to the people who have betrayed my trust and friendship, I say to you… thank you! I am grateful that you have finally shown me your true colors. That there are less people I have to care for, love, and protect. You have given me the gift of clarity. I hope that, during the time I thought you were my friend, you appreciated how loyal I was to you and how sincerely I cared and loved for you.

I’d much rather be proud and unpopular than be popular but without an ounce of loyalty and surrounded by people I cannot trust.

Ria Jose, Davao Blogger

Through the Fire Once Again

Not a lot of people are aware of it, but I’ve been through some tough times these past few months. Once again, my faith in people was tested. On most nights in January and February, I was crying. The only times I wouldn’t cry was if I was out of town.

Ria Jose, Davao Blogger
Still smiling

I have never aspired for awards or recognition. For the most part, I did my job earnestly because I loved the challenge of it and because I loved the people I was with. I was fiercely loyal and at times, clouded by my need to please my peers.

But alas, my hard work and loyalty didn’t count for much. As much as I would like to blame gossip, idle talk, politics, or whatever there is to blame, I was never able to make full sense of what happened. I felt lonely, betrayed, and useless. All my hard work for more than two years went unappreciated and counted for nothing. The people I fought so hard for, didn’t value me as much as I valued them. Worse of all, my friends who didn’t do anything wrong except be my friend became targets of other people’s ire and paranoia.

I thought I had people who were with me to fight the battle, but they had abandoned me and started a war against me. I do not know why or how but it happened and I had nothing left to fight for.

I was about ready to give up but many people, countless people gave me encouragement. Even then, I was not convinced that I should stay. In just two years, I have been maligned so many times, called many names, abandoned and disregarded, blamed for failures of other people, and hated on. It was not worth it, I thought.

I focused on other things at hand, on other matters that had to be worked on, on friends who gave me strength and the mindset to move on and get over the pain.

It’s true that we find true friends in the unlikeliest times and through the most difficult situations. I am grateful that I have found such true friends. Friends and relatives who gave me many reasons to smile and laugh. Who shared with me a new way of thinking. Who reminded me that I am so much more than what some people say and think of me.

Through all the pain, sadness, and anger, I have learned several things.

My loyalty and hard work may not mean anything to some people, but it will always count for something.

My work and my skills will always be needed and appreciated. Maybe not by the people I worked hard for but by those who are looking from afar.

Never judge people based on what others say about them.

There will always be people ready to support me and help me through life’s challenges. We can find true friends at the unlikeliest places and through the weirdest moments.

When people let you down, doubt you, or go out of their way to hurt you, smile and just move forward.

And now, finally, I am ready. The passion has returned and I am, once more, excited for the challenges that lie ahead.

I might not be bulletproof, I feel pain and anger. Sometimes it takes me quite a while to stand up and move forward… but I have been through the fire more than once, and I have always come out better and stronger. Not because I am that good, but because there are countless people, friends, relatives, and even strangers, who remind me that I can always do better, that I can always be better.

And for that, I am thankful and will be forever grateful to my friends and relatives who were there for me these past few months.

Live. Love. Learn. 😉


The Anna I Know

Anna and Ria
Anna and Ria

I first met her over a year ago, when I joined the organization’s New Member Orientation. We barely spoke to each other. In a few weeks, we got to know and trust each other. And within months, it seemed like we knew each other for a long time. I owe her a lot of things. Every time I thought I could not do something, she gave me the confidence and trust to accomplish the tasks set before me. Every time I wanted to quit, she was the voice of reason and encouragement. Every time I felt disappointed and angry, she calmed me down and gave me a reason to continue trusting in the good of people.

She might not be a perfect person, but the Anna I know never stops trying. She sets out to do things not for fame, glory, and power, but mostly to improve herself, to challenge herself. And all the while, she gives and serves without agenda or hidden motives but to give and serve sincerely.

She accepts every challenge with the willingness to learn and improve herself. She carried a chapter with barely ten members and worked hard on it, giving it her all, and bringing the chapter to heights it has never reached before. She believed in the good and in the capability of every person and would always encourage us to do well. She doesn’t see herself as being above other people but among people. She believes that with every challenge is the opportunity to do more, to dream bigger, to be better.

The Anna I know is one who might not smile a lot or chat a lot with other people, but she is always ready, always open to listen, to share, to give, to learn. She does not see herself as being above others. Rather, she sees herself as being one with other, able to accomplish more by working with others, by giving others the opportunity to do well.

She knows her strengths and her weaknesses. She is not one to claim glory and fame using the hard work and talents of others. She does not portray herself to be better than she knows. She is true to herself and she knows that whatever her weaknesses are, she can improve on.

Despite the challenges, the pains, and the frustrations, she is still laughing because she knows, as we know, that there is no malice, no malevolence in her heart.

The Anna I know is not necessarily a leader by choice. But with her sincerity to work with people, with her earnest desire to serve, with her eagerness to learn, she has managed to exceed expectations and she continues to embrace the challenges of being a leader.

And with this, I manifest my full support for her. Win or lose, she will always be a leader. And she will always strive to be better.

Ria Jose and Avel Manansala

100 Days Project: Mr Bariles

Ria Jose and Avel Manansala
The Diyosa and The Bariles

98 days to go and I dedicate this day to a dear friend.

The second blogger seminar I was ever invited to was the Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) Blogging Seminar organized by bloggers I met in a bloggers event here in Davao. It was 2008 and we had just founded a bloggers organization in Mindanao. I was teeming with enthusiasm and idealism. In that NDMU event, one of the persons I met was a blogger whom I was already following through his blog Dust Dadiangas. Back then, we has an audience member who was generous enough to drive me back to General Santos City from Marbel.

The blogger is Avel Manansala who is no longer Mr Dust Dadiangas. And who, more importantly, is no longer just an audience member in blogging events. After the NDMU blogging seminar, Avel and I participated and collaborated in many other events and projects. Primary of which is the establishment of Mindanao New Media. He was also a big supporter of the Davao Food Appreciation Tour (DFAT) since it’s first year. In not so many words, Avel supported Davao Bloggers, Avatar Media, and events by these groups ever since I met him on February 2008.

It’s 2012 and nothing has changed. Except he is more popular and more influential than ever. This blogger, despite all odds, has wielded his influence to create, solidify, and develop Soccsksargen Bloggers. Undoubtedly, he is the godfather of blogging and bloggers in Soccsksargen. Take note… of an entire region, not just of one city or town. He is that awesome.

Committed to the mission of providing balanced and complete information about his region and the entire of Mindanao, Avel has forged on to be a powerhouse influential bloggers who has not aspired to forward his personal goals, but that of contributing towards the growth of Mindanao.

RIa Jose and Avel Manansala
Me and Avel 4 years ago (many pounds lighter) with pioneers of Soccsksargen Bloggers

While we began with me as lecturer and him as audience member, I believe I am now his admirer and supporter and him my inspiration. I shall never forget that awesome moment I met Avel when he instantly became my friend, supporter, and inspiration.

On the occassion of his golden birthday, I dedicate this space for him and him alone… without any agenda or motive other than to give praise to a person who has inspired me in so many ways.

Dear friend,

I might have missed your golden birthday but in my heart, there will ALWAYS be a special place for you and all your plans, projects, and events. While I rarely say it, I sincerely love you and I cherish our friendship. I will be forever eternal that we are always on the same side.

I wish for you good health, a fulfilling career, and an ever loving partner (which you already have and undoubtedly deserve). Kung saan ka masaya dear… suportahan taka. I may not always be physically there for you, but I will always support and love you.


Love lots,

Your Ate Ree 😉

PS I’m crying while I blog this. Ma-drama lang. Haha! :-*