You could miss it if you blink.
This little city that sleeps.
Sinking into forgotten promises and
trapped under outlier’s perceptions thrust upon them like drift nets on its prey.
They are swimming upward,
but losing breaths and movement due to someone else’s mistakes.

It is still here.
Remaining rooted in possibility
Cautiously waiting for their turn
at the world that refuses to acknowledge their potential.
It is rolling each memory of
disappointment into resistance,
into fuel against apathy.
Roaring, bubbling, pining for the chance
at paradise.

Because in this city,
In this place no one wants to remember,
There is an uproar beginning taking
There is a movement of minds
collaborating for change.
There are children being raised to
believe in their chance,
To protect the freedom of their
minds as if it’s existence holds the answers to generational reluctance.

It is here.
Lining the streets with a rhythm
Filling the sky with drumbeats booming
with expectation.
The march of education –
The simplest form of revolution-
Can be heard from
corner to corner,
heart to soul,
paper to pen,
Furiously working together to create a
symphony of change.

So march on,
And let the notes that you play take hold of the hearts that don’t believe.
March on,
With your S.W.A.G at your side
and your dreams as your sun.
March on,
Because you will get there, the
music will never run out.
You WILL get there.

You will show them everything precious
about this city.
You will show them the treasures this
city holds secret.
You will show them that your dreams
and your hearts and your future are worth fighting for.
You will prove to them,
That this city, is in fact,

March on Class of 2013, peace.

photo 1


photo 2

team de jean

team de jean


after party.

today, i woke up to thoughts about my our upcoming wedding, went to work for a pointless and overwhelmingly frustrating training, taught 2 classes, went to 1 meeting, drove home early to avoid traffic, took a quick carrot break, worked for 2 more hours, cooked dinner, prepared lunch for tomorrow, and then proceeded to work on my master thesis for 2 hours. i have been going non stop for about 12 hours..but it seems like a life time. time to tap out.

true to form, i am already planning my victory party. the endless black hole that is teach for america has been a wondrous, stressful, unpredictable, inspiring, heart wrenching ride. i think of my first year juggling all these things and i couldn’t get myself to warm up food let alone cook it. i truly think that i have made progress, but today i am reminded that it is not enough. if anything, these two years have challenged me to do more, to be more.

as i begin to reflect on what’s next after my after party, i quickly become obsessed with perfection. i would love to perfect my practice. to engage in endless empowerment. to be a part of the (bigger) change i wish to see. it is easy to think of the possibilities but the unclear steps to make it there make my intrepid nature, fearful. the ambiguity is all at once, exhilarating and dreadful. consuming and liberating. how do i collapse the binaries that i have been socialized to believe in?

my intention for the next 25 days is simple: do not sprint. i am well aware that my lifestyle is not sustainable so i must do what i have never done before: take my time. seek balance. say yes to myself by saying no to others. it is my current hustle, my endless grind, and in the end, it is what it is – mine. (only child alert lol)

[update on this month’s prayer]

feb.4 – “this week’s prayer: God be over my daily movements. surprise me with something beautiful. continue to help me find my new adventure.”

feb.8 – my friends and i took a trip to tahoe and due to lack of planning (and laziness) we had to hike up an icy hill, at 12:00 AM, with no lights, for almost a mile, with all of our food, luggage, and beddings. lol. it was definitely an adventure and the next day, we played here:

hows that for beautiful??(shout out to jill's hamburger earmuffs)

how’s that for beautiful??
(shout out to jill’s hamburger earmuffs)


david tryna walk on water

i mean..whats the worse that could happen?? lol

i mean..what’s the worse that could happen?? lol

this month’s prayer: to once again, find that place of peace by trusting Him with my big dreams & to be overwhelmed by his supernatural power … hmm…i’m exciting 🙂

slow and steady wins the race friends. peace.


after a pretty surprisingly great weekend (sans the niners loss) … i’m back to it. work – thesis – wedding – paleo. my m – f. trying to get use to that full time grind.


this week’s prayer: God be over my daily movements. surprise me with something beautiful. continue to help me find my new adventure. thanks 🙂


I tell myself that when I end the day w putting on my moisturizer – it was a good day. This means I wasn’t so exhausted that I ran home to my bed. This means I was productive enough during the day that i had time for some simple self care.

So, as I relax from the gym and reflect on today’s journey, I can safely say that moisturizer never felt so good 🙂

self care is health care y’all. stay dreaming.


remembering to heal ..

It is 7 AM and I wake up alarmed, eyes wide like I have forgotten something important. I am shaken by the bass of my dad’s state of the art studio and I slowly recount the facts. It is Saturday. I have no need to be awake. But I am.

My parents are cleaning and without fail, my dad is blasting his jazz. I yell, I grunt, I roll around in my bed and put the pillow over my head but I know it is no use. This will continue until lunchtime when all of the cleaning is done. It begins with Piano de America by Raul Di Blasio, an epic piano piece that makes me feel that this Saturday morning will be one of adventures and flight, but realistically, I will hide in my room to avoid helping them clean. My mother says when I turn 13, this will not be the case. But until then, I will lie in bed and listen to the entire CD before announcing my alertness.

This continues and I lay while the entire Raul Di Balsio cd plays until my favorite, What a Wonderful World comes on. I am sure I heard this version before I heard Armstrong’s and so this, becomes my lifetime favorite version. It becomes the song I use to be the background on my pager’s voicemail, “You’ve reached that 6 double 5, 1 – 2 seventy eight..” The song I later clean the bathrooms to when I finally turn 13. The song we play as we lay my father to rest.

My life with my Father always had a soundtrack. From Raul Di Balsio, to Jason Mraz, to his favorite APO Hiking Society, there seemed to always be music playing. Even as an adult we should share new songs we’d hear and he’d even show me how to rip audio from YouTube before anyone else did. Jazz festivals, Yoshi’s Oakland, and live shows in the Philippines were a family favorite and now, as I struggle to listen to the music that once colored our lives, I wonder if he left messages in them for me.

I wonder if he knew that his music would remain when he didn’t, so he showed me music for every occasion. Music that would move my heart, body and mind. Music that would give me advice about things I’ll never get to ask him. Music for when I accomplish things and look to him for approval. Music for when I miss him.

When I hear APO Hiking Society singing words of youth, strength, and wisdom I can feel him hugging me through the speakers. I can see his kind eyes and calm voice telling me to keep going. That everything will be okay, even though he’s gone.

As we approach my Father’s one-year death anniversary all I can reflect on is everything he’s left us with. And alongside his extensive music collection, I am realizing how much of himself he left in me. How much of who I have become is made up of him. How my drive and thirst for life and innovation has been part of my fabric, thanks to him, ever since I can remember. How my love for music will be something we can still share. Every day I struggle to contain all he’s taught me and while I often avoid listening to his music, I know that his voice lies between each note and whisper. That each rhythm is full of the vitality of his life lessons. And I am thankful for the music that easily sends me back to his arms and his guidance, a place I am still learning how to live without.

miss you popsicle .. every day more than the last.

wonderful world



as we get ready to go to the philippines I take a look at my traveling plans for the year and can’t help but think… am I crazy?!?

jan – philippines & korea
feb – hawaii
march – sxsw.austin
april – NYC
may – sd
june – vegas
july – italy
august – london & paris

thus enters my mia-ness due to work, grad school, and eventual broke-dom. at least ill go down in style 🙂


i’m not really into posting gifts i receive … oh shoot look at me new (insert gift here) #socialnetworkskindabreedmaterialism. BUT hahah i am a gifts person and i had to shout out these amazing gifts i got for my birthday 🙂

1. from the bf: a trip to disneyland with all the fixings & all the harry potter movies !!!! (did i turn 12 or 27?)

2. from ate kay: initials bracelets & the realization that me and my dad have the same initials N * B * R (i just teared haha)

3. from my mom: a surprise party for me and jill complete with food, family, friends, and wine! (sorry she put yall to work hana, dianne, & mel haha)

4. from my amazing, unbelievable, & i owe you the world friends & parents: a book archiving my writing & notes from people i love (thanks for the photoshop job dianne haha)

5. & from janelle: a painting of my family. damn you. you made me cry on my kitchen floor. hahahha i love you ❤


day4 into the new year and i’m finally writing the blog i’ve been ruminating over since november.

27. an odd number in function and form. as i (apprehensively/reluctantly/cautiously) move steadily into my new life i reflect on lessons learned and realize that the most pivotal lessons have also been the most challenging, devastating, and liberating all in one sweep of emotion.

1. people leave. i’ve never been a fan of burning bridges…but i guess, sometimes they fall on their own. & its okay. relationships and the lessons i’ve learned from them are like seasons – they’re meant for change and motion. so i’ve let them go with peace, love, and forgiveness. i will be thankful for the experience & i will send them the best intentions i can.

2. people stay. for those that stay .. i will hold on to them, love them, be intentional with them. because these are the people that loved me through my awkward stages (some of which i am still in). these are the people that let me cry, eat, laugh hysterically, and then eat again – this time wrapped in bacon. these are my soul mates … the ones that are meant to love my soul to its full existence.

soul collection. some of the most important women in my life.

POWERful in more ways than one ❤

3. healing shouldn’t be reliant on other people. whew. i am continually learning to let this lesson travel slowly through my pains & hurt. forgiveness should happen within myself. validation has to come from within. healing, forgiveness, and peace shouldn’t depend on whether the person/being/idea/system has said i’m sorry. this way i am able to find solitary peace within my pain away from the noise. this way i am empowering my ability to rise above assumptions and deal w my own feelings. easier said that done tho right?

my current favorite candle

4. don’t fall in love with potential. oh snap. haha we as people fall in love with potential all the time. in careers, academics, & most commonly relationships. but in relationships, i’ve learned that i’ve got to take people as they are. not what they could be. find the beauty in each person and love the hell out of them. no judgement. no trying to change them. just acceptance. just love. period.

love. people. jewelry. beer. ha just love!

5. fairytales do come true. awwww. i grew up a self proclaimed romantic. i was all about it, but somewhere in between the mixtapes and grown up heartache, i lost her. the her that accepted love, accepted vulnerability, accepted the beauty that comes with butterflies, cheeseballment, & slow dancing. but alas, i’ve found her again. from couples i’ve grown to admire to my own life. dare i say it ‘lest it comes true: fairytales do exist and your heart can be happy (again).


cbm ❤

6. no day but today. this is it. rent pounded it into our hearts. a wise dumbledore reminded us: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” & my dad taught us all – might as well. THIS is the year to live. THIS is the year to find adventure. THIS is the year to make things happen. live everyday with intentions of love, spirit, and laughter. drink wine .. choose forgiveness .. take every cliche and give it it’s own story. THIS is the year you become everything you already are but are afraid to love. this is the year I become everything I’ve forgotten to be.

i’ve been watching a lot of “letters to my 16 year old self” videos and i was tempted to write this blog in that form. but i realized these aren’t lessons i could’ve just told my 16 year old, 90 pound, braces for life, thick glasses Princess self. these are lessons i learned from struggle, happiness, experience, pain. these are the lessons that are the results of mistakes & accomplishments. these are the lessons i carry with me as i venture into the new year.

2012. lets handle this.

gold for global goodness =)

   InstantCash For Your Gold !
Bring your unwanted gold, broken necklaces, rings, earrings,
broaches, bangles, bracelets, dental gold, etc.
To determine the quality, we’ll test them for you.
 155 Bayside Terrace
 Vallejo, CA 94591
Connie Dayan
 (707) 647-1414   Home
Helen Roque
We would like to invite all of you to come to our fund raising event on Saturday, October 29, 2011.
You will have a chance to support our upcoming Hatid Biyaya Mission trip to the Philippines in January 2012.
All proceeds and donations from this fund raising event will go to the following:
Ø  Cancer Facility for men, women and children
We will be distributing food, toiletries, and bags of groceries to the cancer patients, and toys, cookies, milk and candies for the children.
Ø  NOH-School for the Crippled Children
This is a government funded boarding school for poor children and young adults who are physically disabled. Most of the students that are attending this school have either missing body parts (i.e. legs, arms, etc.) or physical deformity, and some of them are not able to walk due to an illness or disability.
We will have a chance to give the young women of the school a make-over to pamper them for a day and haircut for the men. We will also give gifts and bags of groceries to all the students of the facility.
An assessment will be made on what type of help we can offer some of the students after the visit.
Ø  Medical Mission – General Santos City
This will be our first time to arrange a mission trip to General Santos City and will be serving in one of the poorest community in General Santos City. Four medical doctors and dentists will be hired to give medical and dental treatments to 300 people. We will be purchasing medications for the following:
o   Fever, headaches and cough medicines
o   De-Wormers
o   Vitamins
o   Antiseptics and scabies medications
We will also be distributing bags of groceries to the families and milk for the babies.
Thank you so much for your continued love and support to Hatid Biyaya! Not only will we be giving gifts but more importantly to share the love of Jesus and hope that only comes from Him!
Helen C. Roque and the Hatid Biyaya Mission Team