It’s Okay To Have Standards & Be Hopeful

It is never wrong to have standards. It’s your compass, like a guide to know what works and what doesn’t, placing you towards the right direction. So don’t settle for the class A replica, wait up for the real thing. Remember that the waiting season is never a wasted season. Be hopeful, remain hopeful.


I was hopeful.

Believe it or not, when I decided to be single for a long time (for the first time in years!), it was a challenge. All my teenage life up until I was in 3rd year college, my security and identity have always belonged to men. Yes, I was independent in my own definition of the word, but I will always rely for validation from the relationships I was in at the moment. However, all my relationships then, no matter how invested I was, always just ends up failing.

Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting the same result.

One (lonely) night, I’ve read that from somewhere and it hit me. I need to do something different. If I want something beyond the ordinary, I need to change my perception towards relationships. There were a lot of times that I feel like the waiting season is just a wasting season. Sure there were potentials, but I was not into it a hundred percent because I know in my heart they weren’t who I am actually looking for. Don’t get me wrong, these were great, nice guys but as a Christian woman, I have learned to set my own standards for the guy I want to marry and be the father of my kids someday. Call me idealistic or traditional but I need him to be not just a Christian but a God-fearing and Word-obeying kind of a man. No, I do not need him to be perfect and I do not need him to always say bible verses to me in the morning, I just need him to be a disciple of Jesus. And that level of need is what kept me hoping, it kept me waiting.

I want a married life with someone I can share my faith with. Someone who will uphold my moral values and respect my beliefs in keeping a relationship. Someone who understands that I go to church every Saturday to serve in the youth ministry and go to church again the next day for the Sunday service to worship and hear about His Word. Someone who values family because I value family. Someone who loves the Lord more than he loves me. I’ve set my own standards and prayed for it every day because I was hopeful that even in this day and age, where there is less regard for courtship anymore, I will meet someone like that. And it was not easy. There were nights that I feel like I’m crazy for believing such. That I need to compromise even just for a bit. Okay na kahit naniniwala nalang sa Diyos, kahit yun nalang. Maybe I can sacrifice my time for my ministry when he comes, after all, mas importante naman na may mapapangasawa ako. Okay lang kahit di siya nagsisimba with me or he has a different belief system, i-eexplain ko nalang yung preaching sakanya every week. Okay lang, basta mabait. Okay na yun kahit di kami pareho ng moral values. Okay lang. 

But nah, deep down in my heart, I don’t want to settle. I want a married life with someone I can share my faith with. If I cannot have that kind of married life then it’s okay to not marry at all rather than spending all my life struggling to explain to my partner why Jesus matters to me so much.

But then, how will I know if a guy meets my standards? Let me set this as a foundation: It is never wrong to have standards. It’s your compass, like a guide to know what works and what doesn’t, placing you towards the right direction. No, I don’t believe that if you like a guy, you have to say yes and enter into a relationship to “fully” get to know him. It doesn’t work that way. You can meet a guy and get to know him as you become friends. You can observe how he texts/chats you (if it’s just all texts/chats and no personal communication then there’s something wrong), how he opens the door for you, how he treats his family, how he is with his friends, how he values time for you, how he values time for other things, how he values your time for other things, how he spends his weekends, how you discuss certain issues  — all that you will know when you spend time together during courtship even if he’s wired up to have “the best foot forward” because at some point, he will trip and you will see his natural self somewhere along the way — before saying yes and actually committing to him. And yes, I am pertaining to that twisted Mr. Speaks video.

And so I was hopeful. Because again, I want a married life with someone I can share my faith with. And that matters to me more than just having someone to be with for the long haul. I want to wake up every day with peace in my heart that no matter how hard and tough life can be, I can always kneel down before the Lord and I’ll see him praying with me.

More than 3 years after my last relationship, that person came. He was not perfect but he was a work in progress. He sure loves the Lord more than me — more than anything else, actually. He values family so much I could see how respectful he is with his parents. Through him, I learn every day how honoring your parents in Exodus 20:12 ought to be done. He goes to church on Sundays even if he was all sleepy and tired the day before because of his Saturday ministry. And most of all, we share the same moral values and beliefs in keeping a relationship.

Thank God I remained hopeful. Thank God I struggled to be hopeful. Thank God I’ve kept my standards, because in 6 months, I’ll have a married life with someone I share my faith with. 

My standards might be different from yours, but all the same, it’s still important. Your story might be all too different as well, might take longer (or shorter) than mine, but still be hopeful. Don’t settle for the class A replica, wait up for the real thing. Because I tell you, it’s worth it. All the tears and even the fears and doubts that kept you awake all night are all worth it. You might not totally agree with me on every word I typed up here, but I believe (I’ve read this somewhere, I forgot where) that the waiting season is never a wasted season. Be hopeful, remain hopeful, because the Lord is not only the author and perfecter of our faith, He is also the author and perfecter of our love story. 

 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. — Philippians 1:6 NLT

Photo credit:


The One With The Proposal

I thought I’d make my first blog of the year memorable, so I’m sharing with you the proposal that happened in Alabang Town Center last Tuesday, January 24 — my own proposal story. May the photos speak of the blessing and beauty that came with seeking His will and believing in His perfect timing. Hope you enjoy! 💛

I thought I’d make my first blog for the year memorable, so I’m sharing with you the proposal that happened in Alabang Town Center last Tuesday, January 24 — my own proposal story. May the photos speak of the blessing and beauty that came with seeking His will and believing in His perfect timing. Hope you enjoy! 💛

Note: Everything happened in Alabang Town Center, hehe. We’ll definitely have a great time sharing this to our future kids some day. 😄

The Surprise Team Meeting Place at CBTL (The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) around 1PM


By 2PM, the titas were off to prepping that bridge at Corte De Las Palmas (the one connecting Vanilla Cupcakery and Family Lounge) — at this time, Josh and I were still in Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo.


On their assigned spots by 4PM The Will You Marry boys standing at the middle of Starbucks and Mary Grace; Sam and Jikay waiting in Seafood Island; Pepay, Sofia and L.A. standing near Pinkberry; Rob waiting beside Starbucks cos his part was to go up through the stairs and hand the sunflowers to Josh — everyone on standby, waiting for us to go out from Vanilla Cupcakery supposedly going to the Family Lounge cos as per Josh, his tummy was acting up😂


Here’s a picture of me, still no idea of what was going to happen. Then I saw a crowd below the bridge and a kuya with his phone up high, taking a video of something, so I said, ‘Uy bat ang daming tao sa baba. Ano kaya meron?’ 😅


And then I saw this…




Then I looked at Josh and asked: Totoo ba? Totoo ba? Totoo ba?’ He smiled, nodded and kissed me on the forehead. Jikay, Sam and Rob started coming in the scene and the rest was epic…


Just speechless when I saw the ring cos it was really what I pictured on my mind. Not too big, with stones around the band, unique. And it was exactly what I wanted, just the perfect fit.
‘Babe, this is me giving my everything to you. This is me wanting the rest of my life with you.  Svetlara Mae Visaya, will you marry me?’
‘Of course!’


And wow, everyone was there! Our friends made time and even filed for leaves… 😭

dsc05387dsc05420dsc05424dsc05430dsc05434dsc05409dsc05406dsc05496dsc05499dsc05634dsc05646dsc05639dsc05575Thank you to my tita friends — The Titas of Naic lol — who were part of the entire proposal, I’m super happy you girls were there! To Jikay Laborte  who captured the best amazing moments (and made sure everything was documented including the SAME DAY shots!) and Leizl Ocampo who had the best lovely long shots during the proposal. To Faye Navarro, who knew me and Josh from way back Kids Church when we were still around 7 years old, and Sofia Day, one of my closest disciple, who helped with the preparation and materials. To my bestfriend Samirah Al Hamsi who I think (next to Josh) had the most stressful time making sure everything was perf haha and took a video of the entire thing which is now 2.7 views on Facebook (grabe lang!). AND THE BOYS! Of course the boys, who supported and helped Josh with the entire thing! The Will You Marry Me boys (Tan, JV, Tim and Jun) who were game to stand there in the middle of Corte De Las Palmas even after the crowd started happening. Haha! And to Rob, who witnessed Josh & I’s lovestory since Day 1 in Tsunami Camp, who people thought was the guy who is going to propose since he was the one holding the flowers the entire time lol. To our Koya and Pastor, Pastor Brian Kairuz, HUHUHU I cannot thank this guy enough for investing so much in Josh’s life and I, praying for our relationship and guiding us especially during our challenging times.AND MY BROTHER LA, thank you for playing a huge part in Josh’s plan. For being his contact when he talked to mommy last December, for driving us to Antipolo, for keeping everything a secret and for being there to witness your ate getting engaged. I love you, Panget! To everyone behind it all, thank you for celebrating this milestone with us.  And thank you for being Josh and I’s support system all these years up to this day. We really love you all. ❤️

And to you, Josh Hernandez, you never fail to surprise me in the most unpredictable way. ❤️ More than winning my heart, thank you for winning the heart of my mom and family. I know for sure my dad is happy up there in heaven —in fact, if there’s Facebook heaven, I bet he’d be commenting and sharing the photos too, hehe. Here’s to a new season, future hubby. Love you! 💛


January 24, 2017 💛

And.. Here’s Josh with my mom and brother, last December 30, when he asked for the blessing of my mom. 😃


Thank you Jesus, You really make all things work out for the good of those who love You. ❤️

Video Link: #JashgotMaengaged Proposal Video