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Brighter Days Are Here


posted by Deb Victa

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I've had my fair share of Goodbyes.

I've watched friends come and go in so many different ways: some lost touch over time, others moved to a different city and we grew apart, and others I personally sent off (with tear stained eyes and a heavy heart) to another land, unsure of when I will see them again.

Usually on those days filled with farewells and indefinite "see you soons", the skies are painted with a deep shade of grey and seem to share my sentiments over the day.

But on the day the tables were turned, when it was me saying my goodbyes, my best friends sending me off, and leaving behind the beloved land I was born and raised in - the skies did not cry with me.

See you soon, my Manila. | 09.10.14

Sure, it cast a gloomy shadow for a while as we waited for the sun to rise that morning. But as the time of my departure drew nearer, the day became brighter and my heart felt a sense of peace. It felt odd to me for a while, because I remembered all the people I would miss, and the memories I've shared with them. Days before, the mere thought of it would bring me to tears, but on that day when I was leaving all it brought was a smile.

Acceptance.




I learned I was leaving the country sometime in May of this year. The letter for our interview at the Embassy came in a little after the Holy Week in April, and we did our best to meet the necessary requirements in spite of time constraints and a lack in funds. At the time, our family still wasn't set on leaving. I had a cousin who received their family's interview letter the same time as we did, and though they too had mixed emotions, their hearts seemed so set on leaving the country and really believed God's favor was upon us. I and my folks on the other hand, couldn't seem to figure out where the Lord was leading in all of this. So I just prayed for a heart that would trust in His Hand day by day and that He would take me and my family step by step. If His will is truly for us to leave, then He would make every way possible for us to go. After all, there were a lot of factors to consider: we really had no means to go, and I had a budding career as singer and host which I absolutely loved doing. Though I've only been a year in, things were doing really well-- considering I had a duo in the oven, I was getting bookings and inquiries left and right, plus an opportunity to become a brand ambassador up ahead.

Things got really confusing. To the point that I would find myself crying at night when I would think about leaving behind my life in the Philippines. But every time I broke down, I remember coming before the Lord and He would meet me each time and give me comfort and peace through His word that things were going to be alright. I was at the palm of His Hand.

July of this year marked CCF (my home church)'s Mid-Year prayer and fasting week, and I just knew the Lord was leading me to seek Him for answers about whether I should leave or not. So I got really specific. I asked Him to send me a sign: that if He didn't want me to leave but stay in the PH, that I would book more singing gigs in the coming month. Preferably a regular at a bar, bistro or lounge. But if He really wanted me to leave, then He would give me the means to go. Particularly pamasahe to leave (a one way plane ticket to LA), and maybe a job or at least extra funds to get me by for the next two months while I'm there and settling in.

What happened next was insane.

I stopped getting singing gigs altogether. The regular bar that I usually play in didn't call me for a month. And the agency that books me for a high-end lounge at a resort in Manila was replaced by the company, which meant that I was no longer included in the roster of performers. I'd get a few hosting gigs and was able to book a commercial within that month, so I was still able to earn in a way.

Also, a few days after the fasting week we got a call from a relative who said they were willing to help with the fare for our flight plus give in a little extra to help us get by on our first few weeks. Help came in all forms and kinds. Even when we wouldn't ask for it. Reading back on what I've written down so far, I know it feels a little anti-climactic. Maybe because I don't wanna say too much. But I'm pretty certain that if you've ever been through a miracle moment like this before, then I trust you know exactly how I feel.

At that point I knew what I had to do.

New Day.

There were no tears as I hugged my best friends Jikay and Bea for the last time until Lord-knows-when that Wednesday morning. There was only a heart full of joy and contentment, and a mind filled with memories to last a lifetime and dreams I need to chase as we boarded flight PR112.

This is only the beginning of the journey and we are all looking forward for what's to come. Of course, I am still prone to thinking back to my homeland and the friends I left behind. I miss them all very much. On the plane, my dad and I would sometimes joke: "Ayoko na, quits na lang. Uwi na tayo" every time the captain of the airplane announced our ETA to LA in between the flight. It's a little half-meant, but at the same time my mind is set on seeing His Promise through. It's not going to be easy, I know. But a chance to mold my character, strengthen my skills, give me courage and make it on my own? I couldn't pass this opportunity up without first giving it a try.

Here we go!


Please continue to keep me and my family in your prayers. We're currently still sorting things out -- trying to get an SSN, a drivers license, waiting for our Green Card to get mailed in. Plus, I'm still trying to look for a job that'll help me get by and pay for stuff, of course until I'm able to do what I love again (which is music and performing, of course -- the chase for the Dream continues!) Jared needs to get enrolled soon, and we really REALLY need to find a place of our own within the next two months before we run out favors haha. Dami pang kailangan gawin. Hirap pala mag-migrate haha. But hey, we've made it through Day 2 with zero casualties so far and a whole lot of Grace to go around, soooo we must be doing something right, right? :)) This jetlag is being a real pain, though.

And so, I end this post with a song I released along with my good friend and duo partner, (Luis Cortez) a few months back. Luis wrote the whole thing, to be honest. But he wrote it during the time I told him I might be leaving for the United States. It was a time when we just planned forming and launching a duo publicly and we were both doing really well with booking gigs and events. I was crying when I told him that this new "development" in my life complicated a lot of things, most especially my plans, and I was so scared because I wasn't sure if the Lord's hand was upon this. It was basically a conflict between the good and the Best. What I wanted, and what the Lord wanted for me. And so, Kapit was born; a song of hope, trust and friendship. And ultimately, God's message to us... To you, for whenever times get rough:

"Kung hindi mo na kaya,
Ako'y nandito lang
Wag kang bibitaw, Kumapit ka na lang
Sasamahan Kita, sa hirap o ginhawa.
Basta't kumapit ka,
Hinding hindi Kita pababayaan."



The video is actually a gift to me from my friends in the Philippines, which they showed to me during my surprise send off party. (Kinda cried while watching it. Okay, I actually cried a lot.) But if you wanna hear the original track, you can find it on The Fifth Day's soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/tfdmusic/tfdkapit_original :)

And there you go folks. I realize I haven't told everyone my story yet, because my departure came as a surprise to most of you. So here's my story- it isn't finished yet, but I hope it inspires someone out there who might be going through their own confusing time right now. If there's anything I've learned so far this year it's this: KAPIT LANG, KAPATID. :) Hinding hindi ka pababayaan ng Diyos. Take life one day at a time. There's no need to rush.

Good morning, Manila.
Good night, LA.

Love,
Deb

Here I Am


posted by Deb Victa on , ,

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While on my way to a meeting today, I found myself crying alone in the car. Twice.

The first time was because I was feeling really exhausted. Physically and emotionally. I felt so undervalued this entire week- like nothing was going right anymore. You see, on the surface, people are led into believing that I've really got it together. I can hold my own now, after all. But I felt really broken inside. So angry, so hurt and easily irritated at the most random things. I felt so unappreciated and so unloved. Over the course of the week, I managed to re-learn feeling insecure again. Maybe it's because it's come to a point wherein I've stayed away from people long enough to feel socially awkward around others. I felt like I couldn't get along with anyone. Not my parents. Or my friends. I felt like I was burning more bridges than I was building them. I hated how I couldn't have control for a lot of things in my life and that really, REALLY scared me.


"Lord. What am I doing? Why am I here?"
"Does anyone understand?"

And then He spoke.
"Where are you?"

He already knew the answer. It wasn't a question; it was a reminder. A reminder of who I am. What I am to Him. He was looking for me. I mattered to Him. In His eyes, I'm important. And that's really all I'll ever need and should ever want. Why did I digress from what was already laid out before me? What else could I possibly want more than being on the Winning Side?

And then, something: An embrace. An act of kindness. Soft words. An unexpected gift. A challenge. Call to action-- every single possible thing He knew would speak to my heart, God granted it to me. Another reminder.

" For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." PS 84:11

"Stick to the Plan. I got this." He tugs on my heart strings.

I was left in awe and embarrassed at my ignorance. And yet, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.

You probably already know what happens next. It's the only obvious response: I found myself in tears, again. :)

Lost At Sea


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It’s easy to believe you’re in the center of God’s will when everything is going well for you. It’s a trap we all fall for: thinking that you have it all figured out when things are right in the world. But it’s not so easy to trust Him when the storms come in. Faith is a funny thing. It ushers you to keep dreaming, hoping that the best is yet to come, even when that best is nowhere in sight.

I often fail to remember that my God who calms my storms with only a word is the same God who summons them in the same breath. I also fail to remember that He’s there with me in the boat the whole time. (Matthew 8:23-27) In fact, He even lives inside me. My God is all around and He is in perfect control. Why am I so worried then?

We’re all probably going through our own storms at the moment. Some have bigger ones than others. The storm in my heart struggles to accept things the way they currently are. Have you ever felt like your heart was lost at sea? Stuck in the middle of nowhere, constantly looking back to measure how far off from the shore you are, but still hoping you catch a glimpse of your destination some time soon? And like a child, constantly asking- "are we there yet?". It's taking a while; you grow impatient. Can't this thing go any faster?


Newsflash: when you’re the captain of your soul, you end up sinking the ship. Let Him steer.

Review: Garnier Lightening Peel-Off Mask


posted by Deb Victa on , ,

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Howdy everyone!

Been trying out some new products lately and I thought I'd do a review on the Garnier Lightening Peel-Off Mask. I've seen it out in the market for about a few months now, but only got to try it some time last week. :)

I don't do a lot of reviews, mind you - because this isn't really a beauty blog per se. But since I'm a makeup junkie/enthusiast of sorts, I guess it wouldn't hurt to fill you in on some of the things I've had my eye on for awhile.

So, as they say: LET'S GET STARTED!

My review on the Garnier Lightening Peel-Off Mask

Off the bat - packaging is nice. I like how the layout is really sleek - which is probably the reason why it caught my attention on the shelf. (Plus I LOVE peel-off masks - kind of takes me back to preschool days when I'd slather art glue on my palm, wait for it to dry then peel it off. HAHA! Am I the only weirdo in the room or did anybody else try this?)

It comes in two (2) packs or doses for something close to P50.00 - not half bad, I guess.

So I started out by cleansing with the usual wash and toner - but skipped on the moisturizer for this part. Okay, for this next bit, I'd have to give you a little disclaimer:

You're about to see photos of me WITHOUT ANY MAKEUP - haha! Plus i'm in my pambahay so excuse my disheveled looking self:

1. Start with a clean face
Haha there you go! So after patting my face dry, it was time to open the pack! You only need one for each application.


I didn't think the product would look and feel so gooey, so when I cut it open - I was super surprised to have some of the product spill out! Luckily, I didn't make that much of a mess, but I guess next time, I'd make sure to squeeze some of the product downward, into the pack so this mishap wouldn't happen again. :)

I pour some onto my fingers to get ready for application - it's super slimy and sticky! And it's the runny-slimy kind (not firm) so it kind of glides off your fingers if you aren't quick about it. But the plus side is that it smells really nice, like lemons! I wouldn't be surprised though since Garnier has a whole range of products enfused with Pure Lemon Essence and Salicylic Acids which help brighten the complexion and get rid of impurities in the skin. :)


As I would any mask or pack, I applied the product with two fingers, onto my face. Making sure to steer clear from the eye area. I also made sure to apply this on the bridge of my nose as well as under and on the sides of it - since I usually get redness on these areas. The instructions say to apply this thinly and evenly - which makes sense, because the mask feels a bit heavy on the skin when first applied and wet.



On the packaging, it says to leave it on for 15 minutes, but I noticed that even after the time indicated, some parts of my face weren't fully dry yet. I gave it 5 minutes more to allow some of it to set.

After around a total of 25 minutes, it was finally time for the fun part! The peeling! :)


There was still some residue/left over product on my skin after I peeled everything off, but it was nothing some warm water couldn't fix. When I finally allowed my face to dry, I saw a few noticable changes:


Some of my dark spots on my forehead and chin seemed to have diminished! I mean, of course they're not totally gone - but I do notice that it became lighter after using the pack. Also, my face felt like it was lifted from whatever made it feel heavy prior to putting on the mask. My complexion also seemed to have become brighter and more evened-out.

I used the 2nd pack about 5 days after the first one and as of today, my dark spots are close to invisible now. I think all in all, I could give this product a 4.5/5 rating - super impressed with it's effectiveness and all. I guess my only downside to it would be how runny and how heavy the product is, but it's not a total killer, I guess.

I hope you guys enjoyed this review! I think this is 1st time I've ever done one! If you liked it, please let me know if you'd like me to do more - I'd also appreciate it if you could recommend some products I should try out and review also. :)

Laters!
Deb

You Complete Me: Wondering Wednesday 03


posted by Deb Victa on , , , , ,

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Hello!

I think it would only be appropriate to begin with an update on TVOTP, since there was so much drama which happened on the last episode. In case you guys didn't catch it over the weekend, we're down to the last few blind auditions for the season. Plus, we revealed a SUPER BIG TWIST to the game. I know we said that there will only be 12 members in each- but instead, the coaches get 13 members for their respective teams! How crazy is that? :)

Now the big question is: How are The Battles going to play out?

Before anything though, let me try to explain to you guys how the whole show works. I've been an avid follower of The Voice franchise for quite some time now, especially with the success of the US' 4th season - so I guess you can say I'm pretty aware of the concept.

OKAY. Ganito yun. The Voice actually first started out in Holland (named "The Voice of Holland") and is owned and produced by a company called TALPA. Ang TALPA ang may legal rights to franchise the show sa iba't-ibang part ng mundo. Like any other singing competition, of course, the Voice is out there to discover talents in the field of music and singing. But UNLIKE any other singing competition, The Voice is unbiased pag dating sa level of the artists they choose. Dito, it doesn't matter kung 15 years ka nang nasa industry, or baguhan ka lang na kumakanta sa kwarto. The playing field is totally evened-out because initially, artists will be chosen for their voice and unique style. Auditioning for The Voice is no joke. Wala kang makikita na sumali lang kahit na totally talent-less just to get their "15 seconds of fame." The coaches that the show chooses also are some of the best in the industry who have an ear and a heart for untapped talent. So you can only expect a show that is absolutely brimming with talent and class. -with people who share the same passion for music.

As some of you might have noticed, marami-rami na ring mga bansa have taken interest in franchising their own versions of "The Voice" such as Australia, India, Vietnam, The UK and the most popular one yet, The US. Simple lang ang format ng the Voice. Tandaan natin na TVOTP is following THE FIRST SEASON FORMAT - that is, the first season of the ORIGINAL franchise, which is the Voice of Holland. Therefore, may three "levels" lang ang season na ito. (ergo, no Knockouts, no Steals, no Fast-Passes, and no Wild-Cards)

The first, of course is The Blinds, na currently sinusubaybayan ng lahat. Each coach will select their team of 12 (or in our case today, 13) based on the quality of their initial performance. I don't need to explain this further, since after all, ito ang pinaka unique part ng show na alam ng lahat.

The next stage is the Battles. Dito medyo nagbabago ang basehan ng pag-judge. Dahil hindi na lang boses lang ang labanan but being able to totally capture an audience and the coach with a complete performance. Each team will have to face each other off in pairs and at the end of the performance - one goes home while the other moves on to the final stage- THE LIVE SHOWS.

"Pero paano na ngayon yan, na 13 na per team and not 12?" - you might ask. My hints are already  all up there- it's just a matter of doing the math and watching the show to see if your guess is right. ;) hehe.

OKAY! Moving on. Here are my answers for your Wondering Wednesday questions this week:

FROM THE BLOG:

Anonymous asked:
Kamusta Battle Preps po? Excited na po ba kayo?

Sobrang excited na kinakabahan. Haha matindi ang labanan talaga. Minsan nakaka-drain na rin kasi sunod-sunod talaga taping and preparations. Kaya sabi namin ng fellow contestants ko, dapat baguhin na yung tagline. "Boses ang puhunan, Resistensya ang labanan!" haha! :)

The Debsters asked:
Where should you never take a first date?

Honestly, hindi ko alam hahaha! I've never been the type to give dating advice. And I think it depends on the person naman rin. If you're asking about my preference, I'm really not sure. I'd like to think I'm an adventurous person who likes just about anything. :)) Once there was this guy who "took me out" pero sa kabilang dulo ng campus lang - which I didn't mind, because honestly I've never been to that end of the campus. I'm so babaw when it comes to dates, I swear I don't even know that I'm actually in one. HAHA.

Anonymous asked:
Best watched movie so far?

Hirap nito! Uh, Despicable Me 2? :)) I recently watched this movie called "Movie 43" - it was crazy stupid, (and I'm telling you, it's super stupid) but I kept laughing 'til my jaw fell off. HAHA! If you're going for all-time, best watched film though, you'd be surprised, since I have a lot: One of them is this horror spanish film called [REC] - where the movie "Quarantine" was based from. Sa drama naman, I super love this Korean Film called "A Moment To Remember" :) (My taste in films are very broad, as you can probably tell :p)

You know what movie I'm actually looking forward to? ENDER'S GAME - look it up.

Anonymous asked:
Do you have a boyfriend right now? If none, how many ex-boyfriends?

No boyfriend right now, but I do have a suitor. Haha! Technically - I don't really "have" an ex-boyfriend, since the relationships I've been in, we were never really "boyfriend-girlfriend". But the "official count" is one.

FROM TWITTER:

@DebstersGLOBAL asked:
How long has your longest phone call ever been?

Too long to recall. Alam mo yung nag-one hour limit ka na, so the call drops - pero tatawag ka na lang ulit? Haha yon.

Ainne (@theAYEN0193) asked:
Do we become happy only when we meet the one we love?

WOW NAMAN SI ATE GIRL!! SERIOUS! May pinanghuhugutan ba yan? Haha but for you bebe, my answer to your question:

It doesn't have to be that way. There are ways we can be truly happy without "meeting the one we love" just yet. I do believe singleness is a gift. You're only by yourself for just about a quarter of your life anyway. (okay, don't panic kung over a quarter ka na haha may pahabol ako)

If you aren't truly happy with just being yourself right now, what makes us think we'll be happy with someone else later on? I honestly think that our search for "the one" comes from our deep desire to feel validated and to be treated as someone valuable. But here's the truth - you don't need someone in order for you to know that. Your special someone isn't supposed to make you complete- because you ALREADY ARE COMPLETE. You are valuable and precious - as you always have been told from the very beginning. Kaya sometimes I wonder, when did we start thinking that we needed to be with someone to feel like we're worth something in this world? (Only to get disappointed in the end, because it just goes that way when you put two flawed people together...)

Someone finds you valuable and that someone is your Maker. The One who knows you inside and out. When you learn to find yourself - see yourself the way He sees you, that's when I believe you will realize that you CAN experience joy and happiness, even way before you meet your special someone.

-----------------
Thank you so much for all your questions for Wondering Wednesday! :) Oh, btw - if you guys haven't seen the posts. I will be taking a break from all my social media accounts muna so you might not hear from me until the weekend. :) For any immediate concerns though you guys are free to contact me via email:

d.victa@eventhorizonprod.com

On a side note: WOW. Can you actually believe that half the year has gone by? So fast, no? And so many things can happen talaga in 6 months! :) I'm really so thankful that they've been so fruitful so far this year. :)

Alright, that's it! See you guys next week!

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