The people of my 2013

Here we go with the list of people who made a positive influence in my life the past year. They inspired me, stretched me a bit to love more, made me want to become a better person and just ignited my hope that because there are still good people on earth, this will still be a good place to be in. 

Bravehearts and Power of One

These are my two councils for my two coaching stints in 2013. 

L-R: J, John, me, Dancel

In the beginning of the year, my journey with Bravehearts, J, John and Dancel, taught me that life's imperfections are perfected by love. Collectively, they also taught me that no matter how difficult things may be, if one chooses to courageously love, nothing can hinder me from emerging to be a better person. It just takes a quick shift to see the world as an abundantly beautiful world! I am grateful that even after LEAP we remained friends. J continues to teach me to let go of anger. Instead, live life choosing to embrace love. John reminds me that I needed to be treated like a woman; that courage isn't just about being tough but it is just about knowing what you want and going after it. Lastly, Dancel taught me the value of family, the humility to seek forgiveness and own up to one's limitations. 

L-R: Dada, Paul, me, Jacq, Choo, Marius and Ricky

Toward the end of the year, I met six beautiful souls--Choo, Paul, Dada, Jacq, Marius and Ricky. They call themselves the Power of One. Truly they are a bunch of powerful people who journeyed together in discovering who they are and what they can do. They surely made me see my own power, taught me to own it and make great results in my life. I hope they learned from me as I did from each of them. Choo, reminded me about the gift of vulnerability; that it is the place where my truth and beauty springs forth; Paul, showed me the value of integrity of mind, heart and spirit; Dada, again reminded me a well-kept message from God that whenever I choose from love, I will never go wrong; Jacq taught me that it just takes a dose of honesty, love and perseverance to make that difference in my life and in the world. Marius showed me that life can be light and that I can choose to be a joy to others if I will just shine my light. Lastly, Ricky showed me that it is good to love with boundaries; that loving sometimes need to be tough but with a lot of gentleness and care. 

Ryan Flores

I met Ryan two years ago when I took my own LEAP program. He was a coach. I was a student. Our first encounter was somewhat peculiar because it "revolved" around a not-so-ordinary chair (which we later call, essence chair) in a bowling alley in Greenhills. From then, I was stripped of a lot of insecurities and pretensions. And I guess, that started our friendship. :) When I coached the first time, I was so exhilarated to find out that he will be my buddy in that journey. Ryan loved me dearly. He held my hand as I learn the ins and outs of coaching while letting me be. I just cannot contain my gratitude for sending me an angel in such a challenging time. His calm and collected nature balanced my feisty attitude toward life. He taught me that trusting the power of one's love truly creates miracles. I will forever love you, buds! :) 

Angie Siapno

Angie was my Head Coach when I took my own LEAP program. Then, she taught me the value of vulnerability which was completely unknown to me. She led me to get in touch with my true self and appreciate the beauty that I was made of. I am happy that even after my LEAP, we remained friends. She was my constant reminder of excellence, dedication and service. "If you gotta do it, better do it well", would be something she'd live by. Angie can be tough and brutally honest especially to those she cares and loves to the core. I guess, love needs to be like that--straightforward and real. But don't get me wrong, Angie isn't all tough, she's completely a darling too. :) 

Pol Medina

Even before I learned to read newspapers, I was already reading Pol Medina's comic strips, Pugad Baboy . I met Pol's works from a comic book my classmate brought to school and from then on, I was hooked on it's irony and sarcasm. I later followed his works in Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), which actually led me to reading newspapers when I was in high school. I found Pol's commentaries on the Philippines' political climate very candid and refreshing. Unfortunately, in the middle of 2013, a fairly forthright commentary on same sex relationships allegedly prevalent in an all-girl, catholic school became too controversial that resulted to his suspension. He later decided to resign from PDI. Personally, I thought it was unfair because of the freedom of speech and what have you. At the onset, I felt that will spell the death of Pugad Baboy but I was delighted to discover that he chose to be part of on June 16. I guess, the passion just cannot be asphyxiated. Pol taught me that if a roadblock comes before you (and it may not even be hurdled), turn around and just find another route. He just did! Now he is reaching a far greater audience and influencing the younger generation. Good job! 

p.s. Pol is a Thomasian. 

Karen Davila

I spend most of my mornings with his woman. Just when I get off the bed or start prepping for work, I would flick the telly on and have Headstart, her daily morning show on ANC, on the background. I love how brilliant she asks her guests questions that as a viewer makes me think more intelligently about the current affairs in government, politics and just your everyday life. I also admire her knack of just speaking her mind.

Atty. Chinky Santiago

I am so blessed to be mentored by CYS, as we call her in the office. She's a legal genius and I appreciate how she patiently guides me as I find my way in the legal circle. Last year, she went through a personal struggle and I was amazed of how resilient she was to fight her way to live a vibrant and meaningful life.

Kathleen Madula

This woman makes it to this list the second time already, and she just deserves it. This year Kath finally made a long time dream of migrating to Australia. Yahoooo! I soooo admire (and sometimes envy. Hihi) her courage and reckless abandon to life. She knows what she wants and finds her way to get it. I have the guts to say that she is Dora (the explorer) in real life. Haha! :) Seriously, as aptly put by our priest-friend, she just blooms wherever she is planted. I love you, bunso and I hope to get to visit you in Sydney! :) Off to the next adventure! :) 

You may find her online at

Shakira Sison

taken from

I am a sucker of prolific literature and Shakira is a blow of fresh air in modern day writing. She is a columnist in and her no-nonsense, down-to-earth articles inspired me to embrace my sexuality. Sometimes, she'd also push me to reflect on my belief systems, challenges them a bit and makes me break self-made boundaries. Some of her articles may be filled with sarcasm and may be distasteful to some but I applaud her grit for individuality, gender respect and self-expansion.

You can read her articles at and  
Follow her at

Pope Francis

He is unorthodox, out-of-the-box, and crazily admirable. He was dubbed as the Coolest Pope of All Time. How cool can that be? :)  In the beginning of his papacy, he showed the world his surprising simplicity by passing off unnecessary protocols. Perhaps, he wants to show the world that he, too, is but human who deserves no special treatment and that Church he leads can be humanly, but authentically good. His examples makes me more proud to be a Catholic. I hope the world will see Jesus in him and finally realize that there is really no gap between humanity and sanctity.

Mia Langas

Ate Mia is my sister from a different mother. She is my strong fortress every time I feel feeble. She is like a river running deep--refreshing, gentle and silent but surely not leaving the course unchanged. I am her constant house guest, which I enjoy because of the sumptuous food she generously serves and more importantly, the long convos and warm company. I am forever grateful for our friendship.

Denise Rebollos

There is more than what meets the eye.  Denise seems like a snob at first, but beneath this smokescreen is a loving and soft-hearted woman ready to give you the love you have always been wishing for. In the past years, she has shown how vulnerable she can be; how loving can be both gentle and tough; and how life can be breezed through by just being. She has allowed me to be myself and through a seemingly effortless way showed me how much I deserve to be loved.