Carve Your Own Happy Ending: An Open Letter To Sarah Geronimo

Last July 29, I - with hundreds and thousands of viewers - saw on your TV show, "Sarah G Live," that lady in you trapped in conflicting tensions: The girl ever respectful to her parents, adherent to their bidding, and the girl in search of her true happiness and liberation. It was clear from the get-go which girl dominated you. But, until when?

We're born on the same year, and just like other twenty-somethings, we're at the point where we're trying to figure out ourselves, our future, what this life holds for us. I can just imagine how much you will grow as an artist, as a performer, in the years to come. You have the advantage that many of us don't have: You've fulfilled a big dream at such a young age, and everyday you still get to realize it even more. While some of us wander and wonder, "What do I do with my life?," you probably ask, "What more can I do?" Yet I'd like to believe that we're all on the same page when it comes to finding true happiness.

I remember your mom saying in your Yes! magazine feature last year that you're not like other people your age. That you're not as exposed to the world as others. But those "exposed" people started out "unexposed," if we think about it. After all, familiarity begins with unfamiliarity. In between those phases we might expect and fail, aim but deviate, give but lose, because things may turn out differently from what we want, or people might not turn out the way we thought they would be. In the end, nevertheless, we grow an inch stronger and wiser, with lessons as weapon we can use in life.

Your parents have been stressing that the right guy will come at the right time, in God's time. But when do we know for sure? Have to quote one of my favorite Coldplay song lines (again - because it always rings true): "If you never try, you'll never know." Because sometimes, the more we keep waiting for the right thing, person, or time, the riskier it gets missing out or losing something what could've been rightfully ours because either we're looking too far ahead or we content ourselves in staying stuck. This is what I perceive of our Creator: He didn't give us free will merely for display, for a word to thicken the dictionary. He gave us that in order for us to make choices, to eventually take the wheel and sail our ship to God-knows-where.

Please don't get me wrong, I respect your parents and we get it, they only want the best for you just like everyone else's folks. We'll always be grateful for that. In truth, however, they can only do so much for us. Ideally, our parents are the wind beneath our wings. Never should they be one that would clip them and prevent us from soaring. Shielding us from pain would only make us more susceptible to it. As what many would say, we just have to choose something (or someone) that will make all the pain worth it. My father would always say, the tough times, the mistakes, serve as our learning curves. They shape us into being the best version of ourselves. In setting us "free," our parents send the message that they trust us enough to make the right decisions, of course without forgetting the principles they've ingrained in us. And if we stumble, we'd get back on our feet. That trust would give us the confidence that we can be self-reliant whether they are around or not.

At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own happiness. If ever we fail to take a chance on what we want just because of other people's rules, it's only us who would suffer. I don't wish to scare you. What I hope for you, and for the rest of us twenty-somethings, is to be able to look back in our life one day without having to ask "What if?" That even if our hearts get crushed, pounded, and shattered, we are able to smile because we tried. Gerald hit the bull's eye when he told you in the previous episode of your show - while holding that special clock and looking straight into your eyes - that "time lost may never be found again."

With so much ahead of you, I hope you could do things that would make you truly happy, things aside from performing before thousands of people, selling box-office films, reaping countless awards, gracing glossy magazine covers, and endorsing multi-million brands. Perhaps it's safe to assume, that we both know that there is more to life than those. Fall in love. Get your heart broken. Fight for your heart's desire. Carve your own happy ending. You deserve it. You have the right to do it.

My belated birthday wishes for you are the same as what you said in your recent major concert: The best for your family, love, and freedom. Especially the last one.