Snapshots!

One of my goals in 2016 was to take better pictures.

On Instagram, apparently, I posted 386 photos in 2016.  Those 386 photos garnered an impressive 26,432 likes…apparently!  I must be doing something right!  And thanks to 2016bestnine.com I can present my 9 most liked snapshots of last year on Instagram.

Instayelly

Here’s to better photos in 2017!🎉

Last day of the year

I saw this quote on Goodreads a few days ago and copied it down into my notes.  It was a good thing to have floating about because it made me think about impending arrival of the New Year and what I wanted that to mean to me:

“What would you like to have happen in your life this year?  What would you like to do, to accomplish?  What good would you like to attract into your life?  What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you?  What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?…The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.  We can help write that story by setting goals.” ― Melody Beattie,  The Language of Letting Go

It’s this existentialist-esque questions that make you stop and think and indulge in well-needed retrospective introspection.  I may be twisting arm chair psychology, but this, I guess, is my reaction to my passive-aggressive over-developed sense of responsibility and hyperactive conscience!  In a few hours another year will have come and gone.  Another year will shortly begin its run.

While I don’t necessarily do New Year resolutions (anymore, as my steely New Year resolve will probably just last 3 weeks tops), I have goals this year: to strive to be kinder to others and to myself; to listen more to others and learn to use my self-edit button so I don’t speak before thinking; to make sure that my response to everything is borne out of love, patience and kindness; to make sure that no matter what, I follow the Golden Rule; to make sure I take care of my body, my heart and my spirit, and to make sure that whatever I do is guided by my faith. 2016 has been difficult and there were hard lessons that I had to learn and hard truths I had to face about myself. But because God is faithful, I am blessed with the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and to work at being a better version of me! I am God’s project, His work in progress!

Here’s to the New Year everyone! 🙂

Berlin Wall Fragment

It’s Christmas!

Regent Street angels

“The light of the Christmas star to you. The warmth of home and hearth to you. The cheer and goodwill of friends to you. The hope of a child-like heart to you. The joy of a thousand angels to you. The love of the Son and God’s peace to you.”
― Sherryl Woods, An O’Brien Family Christmas

To family and friends, both near and far, you are all thought of today, whether it is Christmas Day already where you are, or you are still rushing about taking care of last minute Christmas preparations, may you all have the happiest and the merriest of Christmases and only the choicest blessings are wished for you for the New Year!

Quelle Obscénité!!! #MarcosNotAHero

I rarely post political opinions on the blog.  But when I saw this article in the London Evening Standard whilst on the train last night I had to express my feelings.  For those of you still reeling from the disaster that was the US election, spare a thought for the Filipinos who lived through 20 years of the Marcos dictatorship.

Marcos in heroes grave - London ESYesterday, Friday, 18 November 2016, marks the darkest day of Philippine history.  Everything Philippine nationalists and patriots of the 1970s and 1980s fought for, suffered through and even died for, was negated.  All with one stroke of a shovel.  Because yesterday, with the support and approval of the newly elected administration and the irresolute Philippine Supreme Court, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, dictator extraordinaire was buried on the hallowed grounds of the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).

How could this administration allow this obscenity to happen?  This individual pillaged and plundered the Philippines, ensuring that generations suffered the consequences of his diabolical greed.  In return, he gets to be buried next to heroes who he isn’t even fit to be in the same atmosphere in, let alone share the same burial ground.

Did I miss something?  When did we start living in some horrible alternative reality?  When did our government side with dictators?  When did Martial Law become acceptable?  When did graft and corruption become admirable?

This isn’t some sort of two-month old, immature boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that fizzles out and everyone gets told to “move on” because it’s “for the best.” It is legitimately 20 years of oppression, where people are murdered, people who challenge the administration just mysteriously disappear, never to be seen or heard from ever again, where everything on TV, in radio and on print is censored and everyone is, essentially, deprived of human rights.  This has left so many people scarred.  And to those downplaying this part of Philippine history because it puts their president in a bad light, this isn’t some political horror story.  This really happened.  Those human rights violations really happened.  Those deaths and murders really happened (while there may not be any evidence, there are families still missing fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.  If this isn’t testament to that, I don’t know what is!).  Everyone in the world knows about it (for goodness’ sake Imelda Marcos and her 3,000 pairs of shoes are synonymous with corruption and greed!  What do you think the musical Here Lies Love was all about?).  I don’t understand how some people can say that it wasn’t that bad.  It was, and for many others, even worse than our worst imaginings!  I don’t understand how anyone can even downplay all the atrocities that happened between the declaration of Martial Law on 21 September 1972 and when, finally, Ferdinand Marcos and his family were forced to flee to Hawaii in exile in 1986.  How can this all just be swept under the rug?

My heart bleeds for you my dearest Philippines!  How is this happening to you?  To quote J.K. Rowling’s Rufus Scrimgeour, in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, “These are dark times, there is no denying.”  No matter how much the president tries to justify his actions, no matter how much the administration supporters deny it, no matter how much the Marcos family ignore it.  The Philippines has been raped, pillaged and plundered all over again.

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Lest we forget

Wearing this for my Lolo Isiong who served his country during World War II. I am also wearing this for Tomas Claudio, the first Filipino casualty during the First World War. He apparently died in a battlefield in France. Did you know that as a then colony of the United States, 25,000 Filipinos volunteered when the US gov't called for volunteers to join the Philippine militia? To Lolo Isiong and all the brave men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom, peace and sovereignty, for those who serve their countries in the armed forces, we are forever grateful. Because of you, we enjoy the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. #remember #poppy #poppyappeal #lestweforget #dayofremembrance #soldiers #FilipinosinWWI ##heroinmyfamily #proudgranddaughter

A post shared by Yael Medina (@yellywelly) on

The US Vote

gray skiesI thought the gray skies this morning was apropos.  I keep hearing the lyrics to Aerosmith’s Livin’ On A Prayer: “There’s something wrong with the world today /  I don’t know what it is / Something’s wrong with our eyes…”

It comes in threes: Brexit, the Marcos burial (in case you missed it, the Philippine Supreme Court have decided that Ferdinand Marcos, known Philippine dictator and thief will be buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery – how can a man who stole from the country, plunging the country into debt, and exiled dictator be buried in a place reserved for people who served the country with HONOUR?!?), and now a reality TV show based in the White House is a real possibility.  I’ve spent the last few months reeling from the results in vote casting in the Philippines and in the UK.

I hope the global community is ready to ride this political tidal wave!  Buckle up everyone because today marks the start of the most challenging few years in human political history.

America votes

Whispered a prayer for the US elections. Because however way you look at it, whatever your political persuasions are, the results will affect all of us. We are no longer individual economies, not really. We are all part of a global community.

I am praying for discernment and intelligent, sensible voting.

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