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It's still vivid in my head how I argued with my friend about a decade ago if love is a choice or a feeling. He was very firm on his opinion that love is a choice while I insisted that it is a feeling, something that we have no control over. I even told him I never wanted to love my boyfriend at that time because his life was a mess, I just couldn't do anything about it because I fell so hard. He said I had the option to just turn my back, which I just shrugged off. My friend is 5 years my senior and already on the marrying age -- except that he had been single for years and still on a hunt for someone to love. He would frown and tell me how much of a sucker for fairy tale I was. Being surrounded by men fighting for my attention, it was instilled in my mind that love is all about sparks, butterflies in my stomach and whatnot. Little did I know that it is so much more than that...

Yes, my 20-year old self always believed that falling in love is something inexplicable, or the answer to why we love a certain person would always be a mystery.  Fast forward to today, I finally realized that love is a choice. It is not merely something that you feel, it is that 'feeling' you nurture to bloom. It is a product of conscious effort to find things to love about a person. More often than not, it is built from friendship and trust. Sure, it sometimes starts with either attraction or connection (or even lust) and hitting it off can happen by chance.. but you decide whether you will let that person enter your life or shoo him away.

I am now in my 30s and often caught myself contemplating about loving someone. And it's not only me that is making choices, but also the man I am asking to love me back -- he will have to decide whether to stick around and be with a scarred, (dark) humorous, harsh, indifferent and emotionless woman OR to walk away just because she's too difficult to handle.

However, just because it is an outcome of choices doesn't mean love cannot be extraordinary. Believe me, you can still get that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling, see those hues of pinks and reds everywhere and get a glimpse of that spotlight on him/her when he/she walks up to you. When you spend time with each you'll get to know his/her likes and dislikes, find out his/her worst habits and whatnot, witness how monstrous he/she could get yet you still willingly embrace such flaws. And this is what makes love amazing -- discovering how far you can go in the name of love. 

Same thing goes when one falls out of love; you thought it happens just because you no longer feel the same? Perhaps without any reason at all? That you just woke up one day and poof! the feelings were gone? Staying in love entails hard work. When something goes wrong, would you try to iron things out or let them fall apart? Again, the ball is in your hands. Your willingness to put forth efforts in keeping love alive definitely matters, even that will to live up to that promise of loving each other for better or worse significantly plays a role.

Love is always a choice. However, it is not as simple as turning left or right, it is a choice where you ask, "What is in store for me if I turn left or right?" I guess when we get a glimpse of what's fated we make decision on which direction to track. Although happy endings aren't always guaranteed, we wouldn't really know it unless we pursue our choices and give love a chance.

That is why..... Whatever choices I make or whoever I choose, one thing is for sure -- I will always choose to love. No matter how many times I get hurt. :)


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"If you love a flower, don't pick it up. Because if you do, it dies and it ceases to be what you love."


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Like I always mention in this blog, my parents have been living in Japan for nearly two decades now. They reside inside a US Navy housing in Sasebo, a city located in Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Their place is boring, I swear.. Haha. The only (quite) famous tourist spot there that I know is a Dutch-themed park called Huis Ten Bosch.

Last autumn (Oct-Nov), I traveled again to Sasebo. Although this place is quite uninteresting, I'm still happy about going because my purpose was to visit my family so it meant more than the usual travel for me. It's just sad though that my dad wasn't around because of sudden military duties in another base so basically I just spent my entire visit with my mom.

My trip started with a not-so-good news from my siblings in the Philippines. As soon as I arrived at the airport in Japan, I heard from my brother that our house in Manila caught fire. Sure, it was a sad news, but life goes on. I'm still thankful because no one was hurt. Mom and I still tried our best to enjoy our bonding moments.

Mom's friend's birthday.

We had dinner at a nearby Italian place and went to a karaoke (one of the very few pubs) place owned by their Filipino friend. I felt uncomfortable at first because I was with the 'oldies' and it was the first time Mom and I bonded over alcohol. Hahah. They were singing and dancing nonstop while I sat all night in one corner watching them. (In my head: Am I seeing myself 20 years from now? LOL)

Henn na Hotel. How about having robots man the hotel reception? And oh, one of them is a dinosaur. This weird hotel is located near my parents' place. We didn't check in, I just wanted to see the robots. I read online that the hotel is staffed entirely by robots. If not for the budget I would have booked a night here just to experience being served by robots. Heheh.

Wanna see how robots work in the hotel? Click HERE.

Don't go chasing waterfalls.. please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.. lalalala... This song automatically played in my head when I saw this beautiful falls in Karatsu. If not for the very cold weather I would have jumped into the water. Hehe. 

Karatsu is a city in Saga Prefecture, also on Kyushu Island. It wasn't easy reaching this falls as we had to 'hike' for a few km. I know my mom had a hard time cos she's not into physical activities so her friend (who regularly does trek mountains) and I had to adjust to her pace.

Even the trees, mountains surrounding the falls are lovely. 

May Forever. Sabi nito. And so does my mom. I forgot how they call this place though. We passed by this on our way home from the falls. This is also within Karatsu.

There are still other places that I got to visit for the first time in Kyushu, but this post is getting long so I'm going to stop here for now. I'll find another free time to update this blog and hopefully it won't take long. Heheh. But oh... work resumes tomorrow so.... que sera, sera. :)

Happy New Year again, folks! :)

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