You

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You are the song I want to sing

The music I want to hear

The words I want to speak

You are the life I want to live

Kris Ancog

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Gifts

There are times when what we thought as a selfless act we do for other people become something that teaches us the real lessons in life. By going out of our comfort zone, we realize how blessed we are and how much we have. By listening to the stories of others, we are able to celebrate life and the wonderful connections we have with one another. By looking at the lives of others, we learn that we all struggle yet those who kept the faith and the right attitude are the ones who reach the mountaintops. By offering whatever we have, we witness that the very thing we give away comes back as a gift that brings freedom and awesome sense of purpose in our lives. And funnily enough, we gain more than what we have sacrificed.

Kris Ancog

Snip It Away

If a relationship is tearing you down instead of building you up; if you work so hard to prove your worth and you are not even appreciated and accepted for who you are; if it’s getting too painful and it’s sucking the life out of you, pause and rethink. Sometimes, it is best to prune unnecessary branches for us to grow and bear fruit.

Kris Ancog

069/101 | Three Things I Want My Siblings to Always Remember

I come from a big family. I have four brothers. And one little big sister.

And it’s cool to have them around.

This post is for them.

Three Things I Want My Siblings to Always Remember

You are a masterpiece.

I know there were times when some people make comparison between us, especially with regards to our achievements. But remember that you are wonderfully different, irreplaceable, and worthy of love and belonging no matter what happens. You are a brilliant star created to shine and bring light into this world. You are perfectly imperfect and gifted with special ability to do the tasks that only you can fulfill.

Do the things you truly wanted to do.

Dare to dream. And never ran out of courage to pursue them. When you are in the verge of tears because things don’t make sense, never forget that you don’t have to fight alone. We are here for each other and we are going to hold each other’s hands even if they’re full of blisters and bruises. Live at the present moment with burning passion to make a difference and touch people’s lives.

Never stop believing.

Believe in yourself. Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Most importantly, believe that life under God’s direction is a miracle that gives you lasting peace and pure joy. Never stop believing that love is supreme and hope is always a better choice than despair. And when the whole world turns against you, remember that there will always be someone who will stand by you.

Me.

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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046/101 | Real Treasures

The other day I had this poignant yet insightful conversation with my patient. She told me that, one year ago, her daughter passed away at the age of fifty two because of a certain cancer and it shocked her whole family. I looked into her eyes and saw that powerful love of a mother that never fades even in the face of death – the kind of love that remains ‘till eternity.

“With all these things happening, what has the whole experience brought you?” I asked, filled with curiosity of what wisdom an eighty one year old lady could share after going through a rough time with her illness and being beside herself with grief.

“Life is precious,” she replied. “And relationships are the most precious thing you could ever have in your life.”

Her words present to me as a great testimony of the value of relationships, especially our family. It made me think of the irony of how we sometimes ignore or hurt those special people in our lives even if we know we love them to bits. Sometimes we kind of assume that they are just always there without really recognizing that they, too, are vulnerable as we are and have their own mortality.

I realized that:

Love is not love until it is given away.

If it is just in our head, it is only an idea or desire. Love becomes real the moment we start doing something out of that desire to care, support and nurture others.

I’d like to encourage you to love your family wholeheartedly. I know some of you might have received rejection and disconnection from your parents or siblings instead of experiencing love and belonging. And perhaps you’ll say I have no idea how difficult it is to be in that position and it’s just so easy for me to say ‘love with all our hearts’ because I haven’t experienced the opposite. ‘Easier said than done’ you might add.

Listen, I appreciate that I have no complete understanding of the circumstances you are going through. What I know is that it is difficult, it is painful, and it is not easy. But I want you to know that there is hope.

You have a choice to forgive.

Remember that there is a redemptive power of forgiveness. And we can only forgive through love. Think of this: what gain do you reap if you keep resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart?

Choose love. Choose to forgive.

– The Terrible Artist

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

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045/101 | Relationship Traffic Advisory

Conflict can happen in any form of relationship and sometimes we are compelled to display a fight or flight response. When you decide to fight, follow this brief guideline before going wild and blurting out those nasty words that attract more problems rather than solutions:

STOP judging, blaming, and arguing.

LOOK into the person’s eyes without hostility.

LISTEN intently. And shut up.

– The Terrible Artist

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101 CONTEMPLATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

If you enjoyed reading this post, you are more than welcome

to hit the “like” button. Cheers!

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013/101 | For My Auntie

I’d like to dedicate this flower to my Auntie who passed away in 2009.

And with this photo I’d like to share the words contained in one of my letters for her before she died. I know this is very personal. But I still want to share this to you guys with a pure intention to give the same message to anyone who’s going through a rough journey in life. My Aunt suffered a rare condition called Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy and I admire her extraordinary courage and strength during the last few years of her life.

Dear Auntie, Continue reading