Dear Young JP,
By the time you read this, I am already twice your age, 40. Life over here seems good. But it would have been better if I avoided some of my un-destined crossroads.
I am not here to inspire you to pursue a perfect life. Instead, I encourage you to appreciate the struggles and perils of your young life. It’s hard. It’s painful. Its agonizing. But when you reach here, they will be the crowning glories of the stories of your life.
Don’t forget who you are.
Carry with pride the accent of a Bisaya, the experience of a probinsyano life, and the people that shaped the baseline of your beliefs.
At your age now, success might be tempting. You want to grab them all and have them all. But on your journey, make friends to as many as you can. Because when you reach here, you will realize that the glory of success is nothing when you have no one to celebrate it.
When I was your age, I thought that having a career, buying a car, or owning a house are the elements of a complete life. They might be important possessions but they are invaluable without companion.
Without them, a car is just a machine, a house is just a building, and a career is just an office. A family is the crowning glory of a house.
Do not forget those that helped you on your way up because they are the same people that you will meet on the way when you are going down.
Keep on looking forward.
You will mess up. You will fail. You will get hurt. But do not allow the mistakes of the past ruin your hopes in the future.
You are not heading toward yesterdays, stop looking that way – the things that gone wrong, the times that were wasted, the pains that were suffered. You are heading here, your future, start looking this way – what could go right, what hope that it brings, and the dreams that you are closing in.
When the dark cloud sets in and the sun refuses its glory, don’t be sad. There are days that we just need to create our own sunshine.
Consider every life’s circumstances as note to the music of life. At the wrong place, they sound unacceptable. But at the right place, even the most painful circumstances could create the greatest song of your lifetime.
Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord.
You don’t need to know everything and memorize the details in the manual of life. Just execute what you know with grace and confidence and you will create your own masterpiece.
Don’t let love waits.
Four years from now you will meet a woman – one of the most beautiful in her generation. Don’t hurt her. Don’t let her cry. Don’t let her sleep in the bed of sadness. Don’t let her go. I must tell you – please don’t because I did, and I regret it. Love her because she will give you the love of your life – your son.
Don’t question her love and loyalty. She can hardly explain it. But her actions and smiles speak for it. Love her while she is by your side. Make a promise to me – that by the time you reach my age now, she will still be with you.
When you see her leaving, hold her; when you see her crying, embrace her; when she is lonely, comfort her. When you see her falling out of love, be her strength. When you make a mistake, start all over again. Use your mistakes to sculptor serenity. Use pain to plaster pleasure.
Never give up. Never give up on people who love you. Never give up on happiness, for our life is an incredible show.