Featured, Personal 79 COMMENTS

Dear 16 Year Old Camie,

Ah, to be young and naive. Sixteen with no cares in the world except getting to school on time, being called into the principals office for wearing makeup (please, cheek tint and curling your lashes is hardly makeup, Ms. Murella) and having ‘flings’ with unsuspecting boys just because you’re bored. So young, so naive, so immature. But you’re allowed to be, you’re sixteen, and you’ll most definitely grow up. You’re thinking life right now is pretty exciting, but you’re dead wrong.

You’ll meet a boy in the later part of being 16. He’ll be charming, he’ll be sweet, and he’s a school heartthrob (god how I hate that word) and for months or years you’ll hear girls tell you how lucky you are to be with him. He’ll tell you he loves you after two weeks from meeting you, and you’ll believe him, but you won’t say it back because you know you don’t feel the same way… yet. You’ll live on opposite sides of Metro Manila, so you hardly see one another, but digitally you’ll be inseparable. You’ll spend hours after school talking, texting, chatting online. You’ll find yourself telling little lies here and there about your personality just to seem interesting, he’ll ask you about your past, and if you’ll ever dye your bangs red/pink again because he liked your natural hair color better. You’ll ignore all the warning signs because you’re naive, because you’re insecure, because you mistook all this for real love. You’ll fall in love with him immediately and in a month you’ll officially be together. You’ll adapt this silly “it’s you and me against the world” thinking, going behind your parents back to go on dates with him, ruining dad’s trust. Your relationship will last for 3 years, a year of that good and the rest exhausting, tedious, restricting. He’ll make comments about how much makeup you wear, the kind of clothes you should be wearing, how short your hair should be — you’ll turn into an insecure wreck. You’ll mistake constant fighting and passive aggressive controlling behavior as a sign of love. It’s not. And for a while you’ll think that relationships are meant to be like this.

In your freshman and sophomore year of college, you’ll meet different people from all walks of life, none of them you’ll really keep in touch with — because you’ve never been good at that anyway. Mom will constantly remind you about keeping your options open, like experiencing new things, meeting new people — they’ll fall on deaf ears because you’re stupid to think your boyfriend was The One (so frustratingly naivem but you’ll learn). When the relationship is all over, you’ll realize how right mothers are and you’ll never doubt her advice ever again. One day after dad picks you up from the train station after a long hour of commuting home from school, you’ll talk to him about college and your future. He’ll convince you that tourism isn’t where you should be, but focused on the arts instead, he’ll suggest you shift courses to fashion design and you’ll go for it, and that’s where the college fun really begins. This is when you’ll learn that dads can be right too. At age 20 you’ll learn that parents do know best — usually.

You’ll spend three of your college years in the School of Design & Arts building where you’ll meet people who you’ll relate to on all kinds of different levels and become great friends with. You’ll switch from living in different places throughout your 5 years in college due to life events that beg for it. You’ll get out of your toxic relationship. You’ll rebound, you’ll “date” or “hangout” with a confusing guy, but nothing will ever come out of it. He’ll probably just be a good reminder that dating can be fun, and that most guys are confusing. It’s all okay, because for a good year and a half your life will just be about Y-O-U.

In your junior year of college you’ll meet a guy in the school cafeteria during the Wednesday C-break. You’ll get along with him pretty well and even start a friendship. He’ll take it up a notch and will ask you out on the several occasions he’ll spot you in the cafeteria. You don’t take him up on his offer. You’ll prefer to just be his friend, but you’ll get more than you bargained for and he’ll end up becoming your best friend. For once you’ll feel 110 percent comfortable around someone, no makeup, hair undone, flaws and all. He’ll make you feel confused. He’ll make you want to look past your cynicism. He’ll slow dance with you to Van Morrison’s “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” and he’ll make you fall in love, and you’ll share your first kiss while “Lay Lady Lay” plays softly in the background. He’ll serenade you 80’s movie style but with an iPhone + dock instead of a boombox because it’s 2011 not 1980. You’ll even say ‘I love you’ first. The first thought of marrying him will scare you, not because you fear commitment or he isn’t the one — it’s because he is, and the realness of that was the scary part. You’ll grow individually, but together. You’ll chase dreams individually, but together, too. He’ll be the Great Love of Your Life.

You’ll move out of your home to try and pursue a more independent life. You’ll have a better relationship with your parents because of it. You’ll miss out on your younger siblings growing, but it makes coming home to them even more exciting.You’ll grow a closer bond with your real mom, and forever take pride in having two moms while others have one. You’ll gain weight, lots of it, but you’ll learn to keep loving your body for what it is, child-bearing hips and all. You’ll still hate exercise and you’ll only improve eating healthily by the slightest bit. Your eyesight will get way worse due to late nights online, but it’s okay you’ll look cute in eyeglasses anyway. You’ll continue documenting life and blogging. You’ll end up on Tumblr where you’ll meet the coolest people and make online friends, some who become real life friends. You’ll end up being friends with people through the most unlikely circumstances, but it’ll teach you to never judge people based on someone else’s opinion. You won’t pursue fashion, but maybe in the future, it’s still a possibility. You’ll learn that following your passion for blogging can and will take you places, figuratively and literally. You’ll learn that it’s okay to follow your heart and tune out what everyone else is saying, and because of this you’ll be able to achieve one of your biggest life goals: traveling. Not to be a huge spoiler, but you’ll live in France for two months and even have a French family to call your own. You’ll fall even more in love with life after this.

You’ll start adulting, and on most days you’ll question your entire existence. Usually it’s the question “What am I doing with my life?” that will haunt you at 2 AM. And I wish I could tell you something to prepare you for this, but I have no idea because I still haven’t figured it out — but it happens to every single person, so I guess revel in the fact that you won’t be alone in it. As you grow older, you’ll realize which relationships are worth keeping and which relationships need weeding out of your life and why it’s all necessary, and not just when it comes to friends, but family too.

In 10 years you’ll look back on the last 10 years and realize how much has changed. You’ll be in for quite a ride, but don’t worry, it’ll be fucking amazing. The only thing that worries me is how fast everything is going, but you know what they say right? Time flies when you’re having fun.


Love always,

26 year old you



Disclaimer: The photos used above are from when I was 18 years old. I no longer have photos of myself at 16, unfortunately. I’ve asked my sister but they were mostly blackmail material, thus should be reserved for something like an embarrassing video at my wedding reception.

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  • Reply Aneth 24 February 2016 at 10:14 am

    Whew! So glad that you were able to get out of your previous relationship. That was toxic, man. Well at least that gave you a lesson and ended up now with a better person. #Gabie forever!!!!!

    Happy, happy birthday, Camie!!!!!!! You are an inspiration not only to me, but to everyone. We love you!!!! <3 <3 <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:11 pm

      I know, I eventually learned to love myself! I wish everyone learns this sooner. I see/read so many people who have gone through the same shit and justify emotional abuse as “love” … Hay :(

      Anyway, thanks Aneth <3 LOVE U TOO <3

  • Reply Alheya Raze Gaela 24 February 2016 at 10:19 am

    I can totally relate to being so naive and that parents usually knows best. 16 year old me would never believe that I would ever be where I am right now. Heck, 16 year old me would’ve fake-puking if she knows I am now at a point where I actually want to buy ~*formal*~ bags, shoes, and jewelries- because I now know that even when you are a grunge chick, you have to present yourself well on office settings.
    And yes, 16 year old me would never have thought that the guy who left me at 14 would come back and be my boyfriend now of nearing seven years and that things will never get better but I will be stronger.

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:12 pm

      But it’s quite nice not knowing, yeah? The thrill of how life turns out is the best part… In the end it will always work out for the best <3

  • Reply A 24 February 2016 at 10:19 am

    I felt emotional reading this camie!!!! so nice

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:12 pm

      Thank you <3

  • Reply Priscilla 24 February 2016 at 10:20 am

    Happy 26th! Not just a year older, but a year better :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Haha yes. Thank you <3

  • Reply Michelle Bio 24 February 2016 at 10:23 am

    Damn. I almost forgot how good you write! Felt a little closer to you after reading this. Thanks for sharing ♡
    Also wow, it has really been that long since I last “added you as a friend” on Multiply! We’re getting old.

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Haha I usually need to be emotional to write, so sometimes it takes me a while to come up with good pieces. I’m glad you liked this one. I missed writing like this too.

      I know, it’s so crazy that we’ve known each other online for 10 years… That’s CRAZY ok!!! Haha Thanks for sticking around. I’ve always appreciated you as a reader, as a person <3

      • Reply Michelle Bio 26 February 2016 at 4:47 am

        You are most welcome! I’d be happy to stick around for another 10 years! :D Happy birthday, lovely!

  • Reply Katrina Calado 24 February 2016 at 10:24 am

    Omg! you posted this at just the right time for me, cause I feel like I’m in a crisis about my life right now. Thank you :))

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:17 pm

      Hahah I’m glad my perfect timing could be of help to you <3

  • Reply Katrina Calado 24 February 2016 at 10:25 am

    Happy Birthday ate Camie! hope you enjoy your day :D <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:19 pm

      I did! Thank you <3

  • Reply Miel Laquindanum 24 February 2016 at 10:34 am

    I hate being emotional! This post hits me right on the spot. *sobs* Happy Womb Emancipation Camie! Cotntinue Inspiring people. Have a good one! :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Miel! Sorry if I got you all emotional. LOL

  • Reply deekismet 24 February 2016 at 10:35 am

    Happy Happy Birthday Camie! I have been a reader of your blog for years now, and every time you post something new, I am reminded why I love your blog posts in the first place! <3 You are an amazing person! And you have been inspiring me – and other girls too – to dream big and be myself. Sending you love from Bacolod! :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 25 February 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Too sweet. Thanks dee <3 I hope to visit Bacolod soon. I heard it's great over there, and the food is the best apparently!

  • Reply Maurie Chavez 24 February 2016 at 10:38 am

    I just got out from a toxic relationship. And I feel good about it. I’m 21 and yeah I don’t know what im doing with my life either.I am both happy,sad ,scared and confused.Hahaha All I want is to travel !! You inspire me a lot and i’m planning to start blogging again. Thanks and Happy Birthday Camie :-)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:32 pm

      I’m glad you got out of the toxic relationship :-)

  • Reply Bless Marin 24 February 2016 at 10:42 am

    Such a good piece of writing! It’s nice to read things like this, something a bit more personal to get to know you a little bit better. It kind of scared me, though. Reading this made me realize how fast time flies. One moment I’m sixteen, the next I’m 19….. Still young, I know. Haha. But it’s scary, because next thing I know, I’m 26 and writing a letter like this to myself.

    Anyway, happiest birthday to you, Camie! More good things your way!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks Bless <3

      Don't worry, it only seems fast when you look back but I honestly wouldn't go back in time. Life is more exciting at this age. LOL

  • Reply Kai 24 February 2016 at 10:43 am

    Well, this is a great letter to yourself! I can reallllyyyyy relate hahaha :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Haha I’m glad you can relate :-P

  • Reply Mei 24 February 2016 at 11:12 am

    You’ve really been open about your toxic relationship and I’m glad you’re able to. Sometimes we just need to learn the lesson the hard way.

    I6 year old Camie feels so different from today, because that’s how it’s supposed today. We make mistakes, we learn, we improve, we make better decisions. 16 year old Camie definitely grew wiser!

    One of the biggest decisions I made is shifting course. But unlike you, it’s my own decision. And that’s when I realized how much my family loves me for supporting that decision. Family will always be the best people in your life. And I agree that moving out will make you miss coming home more.

    Happy birthday! :)

    PS. I will still publish my own version of this soon haha

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Shifting courses was technically my own decision too. I was just surprised it was my dad who told me fashion would be more fitting. It’s like he knew me better than I knew myself. I remember telling him, “Are you sure?” as if making sure he’d approve.

      But yes, I agree, it’s the best when families support each other. I don’t understand parents who force their children to take up specific courses during college, even if it means their child is unhappy. I can never do that to my own child.

      Anyway, thank you! I want to read yours :)

  • Reply Paige 24 February 2016 at 11:28 am

    This was so well personality written and it definitely captivated me because of how emotionally relatable it was. Thank you for posting this! Also, happy birthday and have a wonderful day! May you have more blessing to come :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks Page <3 Such kind words. I appreciate it.

  • Reply bakewritelove 24 February 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Life is dulce!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Yes I’d have to agree <3

  • Reply Yza Marzan 24 February 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Wow! This post is super relateable. To all the young kids reading this post, I hope you take a page from Camie’s book and heed her words. This is real life!!

    Happy birthday, Camie! Continue being an inspiration to many people. :) Shine brighter! Cheers to being 26!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:40 pm

      Aww! Haha.. Thanks Yza! <3 I hope the kids do learn from this, and not take life way too seriously at such a young age. It's all about having fun and learning from mistakes ;-)

  • Reply Joyce 24 February 2016 at 4:07 pm

    A lot of feels for this post. You never fail to inspire us with your blog post, Camie. Thank you for posting this, and thank you for allowing us to peek what’s inside you.
    Happiest birthday!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Thank you for sticking around to read what I have to say. It’s honestly the most humbling thing, to be able to reach out to people/strangers from all over the world with just my experiences… And vice versa :)

  • Reply Rachel Liwanag 24 February 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Why do I feel so emotional and happy at the same time just by reading this? haha


    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Haha maybe you can relate? :)

  • Reply ECYOJ16 24 February 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Happy Birthday Miss Camie….. as always its very enlightening to read your blog…. gaan sa feeling…..

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks Joyce :)

  • Reply Mikyu Maglasang 24 February 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Happy birthday, Camie! Looking back really makes us realize that a lot has changed, and we may have made some visions of how our life will turn out but it’s all gonna be so different instead. I’m glad that you’re lovin’ life right now and that you’re not letting your quarter-life crisis get the better of you. Continue enjoying life and may you receive more blessings! :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Mikyu <3

      I think it helped that when I was younger, I never had a certain vision for what my life would be like in my mid-20's. If there's no high standard, there's no room for utter disappointment, just excitement for each life event that happens (good or bad)

  • Reply Maria Hazel 24 February 2016 at 6:54 pm

    That. Is. So. Beautiful. Camie. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks Hazel <3

  • Reply Leslie 24 February 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Oh God this is such a beautiful post! Would definitely recommend it to young girls in high school or something. Had I read something like this during that age, I would have found it really encouraging and inspiring. It’s a good example of how even though at some point we feel out of sorts, life tends to turn things around for us if we just hang on tight and keep pushing against whatever odds are against us. It felt like it could be on the last page of a really good book, like the Jessica Darling series which I absolutely loved. Happy birthday Camie! Have a wonderful one!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:47 pm

      That’s so sweet, Leslie!

      I’ve never read the Jessica Darling series but I’ll take that as a compliment <3

  • Reply Jeline Catt (@jelinecatt) 24 February 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Aww I loved reading this!!! So nicely written and reminiscent. <3


    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Heehee, thanks Jeliners <3

  • Reply Always Remember Me 24 February 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Oh, Camie.. this such a wonderful letter to your past self. While reading this, I’ve also remembered my high school self. That time, love was supposed to be magical but it wasn’t. But now I know better. I wish that your relationship with Gab will stay beautiful and stronger than ever. Happy birthday! :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you <3 I think everyone goes through that phase where they think the love they have at a young age is "true love" but oh how we're mostly sadly mistaken... We don't know true love until we truly love ourselves and are able to love others unconditionally too.

  • Reply Richel V. 24 February 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Happy birthday, Camie!! This post gave me lots of feels and made me reminisce my teen years, as well – and it’s so beautifully written! AH. <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks Richel! <3

  • Reply Glaiza Binayas 24 February 2016 at 10:54 pm

    This is such a beautiful personal post, Camie! Your writing style will always ALWAYS be my fave! I’m so happy I was able to meet you already. ^___^ and Happy Birthday, too!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks Glaiza <3 One day I wish to meet ALL my readers. lol

  • Reply Hannah 24 February 2016 at 11:17 pm

    The “blackmail material” on your disclaimer really made me laugh! Superb writing as always Camie, and happy happy birthday!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Hahaha! Thanks Hannah <3

  • Reply Shayne 24 February 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Wow! What a journey you’ve been on, Camie! I can totally relate to being caught up in the naivety in being young, where that can take you, and how fast that can make your life go without knowing it. At the end of it though, you’re such a beautiful person inside and out. So many people (plus me!!) admire you, and can’t wait to see what else you’ve got in the many years to come. Happy birthday!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:51 pm

      That’s so kind of you to say, Shayne <3 Thank you!

  • Reply Jae 25 February 2016 at 9:36 am

    Aww what a beautiful letter to write to your 16-year old self. You’ve come a long way at 26, and I can only imagine how even more amazing your life would be 10 years from now. Happy birthday, Camille!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Your comment freaked me out a bit. 36. DAMN. NO. SHHH.

  • Reply Aia 25 February 2016 at 10:59 am

    Happy birthday, Camie!!!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks Aia!!!

  • Reply ...Em 25 February 2016 at 11:06 am

    Hey, this is tear-jerking..bravo.

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks :)

  • Reply Cariza 25 February 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Camie, this is really beautiful. The rawness of it all and your vivid writing made me feel like I was there with you throughout your journey, growing up. I wish I could also tell 16 year old Camie that she’ll make the most wonderful and amazing things happen, about her life and to many people she’ll meet, in the next years to come.

    I remember telling you once you had an effortless way of making beauty out of the most mundane things. I now realize you are the same with life. Not only do you have a way with beauty, you inspire it out of others as well. :)

    Happy Birthday! I hope it was grand.

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Oh my god why? I’ve gotten comments about how this piece of writing was causing people to get teary-eyed but clearly they need to read your comment to me. It’s so sweet. Thank you, Cariza. I never imagined we’d turn out to be friends, despite knowing our love for Harry Potter and writing… I just always thought it wouldn’t happen due to certain circumstances but silly me for not giving either of us enough credit…but I’m glad we did end up becoming friends.

      Thanks Cariza. You’re a real gem. <3

  • Reply Janine 25 February 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Belated happy birthday Camie!!! You may be one year older but I know you have grown to be wiser, more inspiring to us your readers, and more beautiful inside and out. You are one of my inspirations because I love how genuine you are and you don’t snob your followers. Stay awesome Camie!!! <3

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Aww! Thanks Janine <3

  • Reply Rej Relova 25 February 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Belated happy birthday, Camie! I can totally relate to your post to your younger self!

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:55 pm

      I’m glad you can relate Rej <3 Thank you!

  • Reply Joana 25 February 2016 at 2:52 pm

    This is such a beautiful letter and I wonder what would be the reaction of your 16 year old self if she was able to read this in the past. Anyway, belated happy birthday Ate Camie!!!

  • Reply Yshy 25 February 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday Camie! Continue to be an inspiration to many! :)

    • Reply Camie Juan 26 February 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks Yshy <3

  • Reply Alissa 26 February 2016 at 3:10 pm

    This is such a nice read Camie! I’m 25 but I’m still learning things the hard way. I guess it’s okay just as long as you know when to walk away. So happy for you :)

  • Reply Corinth 26 February 2016 at 10:31 pm

    The feels! This is so well-written Camie! Again, happy birthday! :)

  • Reply Pearl 27 February 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday Camie! Ooooh I remember your heysilly days quite well lol that came out wrong. I sound like a stalker haha :) Anyway, I’m so glad that you’re slowly living your dreams. I hope you achieve more life goals this year. Happy Birthday! <3

  • Reply Kaye 1 March 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks for this inspiring letter. After reading your letter, I kind of want to write my own. But I didn’t really have an exciting teenage life, not even close to one. Haha! Maybe I’ll tell myself I should be more adventurous.

  • Reply Hannah Salla 2 March 2016 at 12:35 am

    Wow… this got me thinking about my own life back at 16 years old. It’s all fuzzy now, and my mind just automatically jumps to memories of a brokenhearted me. It’s funny how we remember the dark parts of our past the most, no? But it’s all good because in hindsight, those circumstances played big parts in shaping us to who we are today. And I think you’ve turned out really wonderful! (i’ve only actually started following you mid-2014 but i did recognize you from your heysilly days. ALSO SDA is so small, why didn’t we ever meet there?? lol)

    (Belated) Happy Birthday, Camie! And congratulations on winning Blogger of the Year!!! You really deserved it. <3

  • Reply Mica 4 March 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Why am I only reading this now ahhhh! I’m so moved by this post! I love how genuine you are and how I was able to relate to you even though we’re not of the same age. Medyo naiyak ako. This is such a beautiful post, I hope you get to experience more amazing things!

  • Reply Gaby 8 March 2016 at 8:37 pm

    This post speaks to me on so many levels. Been going through a lot lately about family and achieving my freedom and life after college. I’m turning 20 this year and life isn’t exactly turning out the way I hoped. So cheesy but reading this gave me hope that eventually all things will fall into place. :( thanks for the lovely insight Camie! <3 belated happy birthday!

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