To Frances, for her 26th

About eight years ago, I saw you walk into the room for a formal interview.

I’ve always liked how you carried yourself, how you presented your arguments and held your ground when we tried to shake you. Years later, I guess not a lot has changed — in retrospect, I think I’ve still been ruffling your feathers, unconsciously (sometimes consciously) throwing you into challenging circumstances, pushing you and allowing you to fly… because I know you can.

Frances and Eah with the UP Radio Circle, 2012

We started our journey in Pinoy Catalyst, with great hope and grand plans. I knew you wanted to write and contribute more to the development sector. Thank you for hearing me out when I first came to you with just a budding idea. PC will not be PC without you.

We started Quiddity, knowing we both wanted to have our own online magazine, and we had too much of good conversations we wanted to share with the world — the musings of some 20-year olds. You words have surely touched lives, Frances.

Life took a turn and our priorities shifted. I encouraged you to go for a leadership position in the 2030 Youth Force .  I knew you share the vision and have the passion for what we were trying to accomplish. I knew you’d be great at it. You’ve always been a leader and a visionary. Keep thinking big and soar high.

I’ve always believed in you. Thank you for trusting me too.

Frances and Eah on their first partnership for Pinoy Catalyst, 2016.

There have been a couple of challenges we’ve had to face over the years, especially you, having to lead a team of excellent leaders and professionals. I see you shine even brighter with every activity, every speaking engagement, and every event you’ve had to see through.

I wasn’t there during your most trying times, Cesie — those years between leaving Radio Circle and starting Pinoy Catalyst but through it all, as we were reunited, I’ve seen how tough you’ve become. I’ve witnessed you bloom, Frances.

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Frances and Eah, 2012 (left), 2014 (right)


Maybe, once again, you find yourself at a crossroads, figuring out where to go next, wondering how far you’ve come. I am here to remind you, Cesie, you’ve gone a long way and you’ve done so much. I know deep in your heart you already know this, but let me affirm it once more — you have done significant work and you have things to be proud of. We may all still be seeking our ultimate purpose in life or our real-life calling (or whatever it is called) but know that just by taking one step at a time, by overcoming one challenge at a time, you have been making significant progress and a dent in this world.

You’ve already been writing your story this whole time. There’s no more ‘someday.’ Your here and now shapes you and you’ve bloomed beautifully. Your story may be different from others’. It may not be as appealing or as exciting or as magnificent as you initially wished it to be but do know that for those around you, for those who shared the journey with you, and for the lives you’ve touched along the way, it has always been enough. Thank you for being the person that you are.

And to the person you will become, well, cheers! I am excited to meet her too. But today, as you celebrate your birthday, I hope you look back at the past years with joy and fulfillment, and look forward to the coming years, not with anxiety, but with hope and excitement.

I pray that you will always able to do the things that make your heart sing, and most of all, I pray that you always find peace in whatever you do and in wherever you are.

Here’s to another year of telling stories, touching lives, and just doing our best on our road to awesomeness! 😀

Let’s go make things happen, shall we? 😉 ❤

Your forever cheer leader


PS. I realized belatedly how I didn’t mention anything about your heart or love in general. Very different from our messages over the recent years. Likely because I’m already too confident your heart is in a good place now… and I have a great feeling it has finally found its home. 🙂

Frances – Goal Alignment Director, 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines Inc.



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