Love comes in many forms. It’s anytime you get that warm fuzzy feeling deep inside the pit of your stomach or the feeling that you have a miniature sun as a heart. I feel it a lot. I feel it when getting stuck into a warm bowl of sinigang, when the plane touches the tarmac at Siargao airport and when waiting to board a flight to Phuket to see my parents. I feel it when I get messages from fans and when I wake up in the morning and get to put my arm around the guy I love. These are only a few examples of times I’ve felt love take over and fill me with a feeling of intoxication and bliss all at once.
I first felt love at a young age in the security and familiarity of my parents’ company. Then came my younger brother whom I was absolutely enamored by. It wasn’t always peaches and roses (I was a particularly difficult adolescent) but it’s through the ups and downs that you learn about unconditional love.
I’m very lucky to have always been surrounded by amazing friends, relatives and the opportunity to travel and learn about the world. And although I don’t get to be with all these people or travel as frequently as every Wanderlust would dream of, I am forever grateful and always looking forward to these encounters. A distant type of love, but that same fuzzy feeling, nonetheless.
Then comes the most intoxicating form of love, where some are luckier than others, and I thank God everyday that I am one of the lucky ones. I have been dating a special guy for almost four years now and he’s taught me many important lessons about life and myself. When I’m with him I get the feeling that I’m almost weightless, and like I can take on any challenge in the world. If you ask me, the key to any successful relationship is compromise, trust and respect.
Last but definitely not least, a love that is so necessary for you to truly feel happiness: Loving Yourself. I feel this is relevant for me to talk about because of my experiences throughout 2017.
I joined Binibining Pilipinas, won and then went on to represent the Philippines on the Miss Universe stage. I was literally judged for how I looked on a stage, in front of thousands of people. But it didn’t stop there. I was judged CONSTANTLY -- what I wore, how I did my hair and for every word that came out of my mouth. All the noise and negativity was amplified by social media and as much as I tried to deny it, it got to me.
It took a lot of tears and many moments of doubt before realizing that I was wasting my time worrying about what everyone thought of me. I cut out the people who made me feel anything less than what I was and surrounded myself with positive people, who made me realize that the only person one should ever have to please is themselves. It was honestly a moment of enlightenment for me and from that moment on, I blocked out all the negativity and it was as if I had a whole new perception on life.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to love yourself. How can you expect to love and respect others if you can’t first do those things for yourself? It's really quite easy to show yourself some love, its just a matter of making time out of your busy schedule and appreciating how doing these things makes you feel. Some of the ways in which I show myself love are by going on beach trips, getting a massage, scheduling a trip to the derma and working out! Yeah, the last one may sometimes feel more like torture to begin with but your body and mind will thank you for it afterwards!