Feb, 2006. For the past five months I have been living in a car at the edge of woods — jobless and homeless and totally unable to find a way out. I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't scream loudly enough, but I can read and write. So here I am laying down tracks...hopefully the start of an online paper trail out of here. (Update: Miracles happen....if you are reading my story I am part of your proof.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Life seams...

I am sitting here trying to catch up with emails. Lots of them in the last few days are from readers in Asia.. I had no idea my story would end up in an article over there and be read by a 16-year old student in Singapore...how bizarre is that! But over the last few days emails have been coming in from people who have read the article or read my book all those thousands of miles away telling me how, although they might have very different lives, they have been able to relate to my story in some way.

I have spent the last hour dipping in and out of some of their blogs, reading about their lives and cultures, being reminded that people are essentially the same wherever they come from, the same fears the same dreams...
Some of their blogs have pictures, or some are so vividly written that I almost feel for a moment that I have swapped worlds. Then I look up from the virtual world of my computer screen and back out through my side window, here in my real world, across at the London skyline. From this distance all the scaled-down, matchbox-sized landmarks stretching across from the towers and cranes of Canary Wharf and the dome of St Paul's along to the long misshapen pole of the Post Office Tower, and there, slowly turning through the trees, the big, bright bangle of the London Eye poking up from somewhere down on the Thames. I look back to the computer, at Shing Yi and her friends at their reunion in a restaurant somewhere in Singapore, smiling out at me from the screen and I can't help smiling back at how this world wide web we are all now in is making the world so tiny....at the great possibilities of that...as if there was no distance and no time.... And at how it was a blog and the people from around the world that came to read and give me encouragement on it every day, that literally saved my life in the end.

As I wrote that I just remembered something about Asia, some connection to when I was in the car. While I was sleeping across the front seats of the car in the laneway all those months, at one point, I can't remember exactly when, but at almost the coldest bit of it I seem to remember, there was an earthquake in the Philippines. Catastrophic destruction. Every morning I'd turn the key in the ignition to listen for a few minutes on the car radio to news of the mud slide disaster — to how whole villages had been wiped out, generations of families gone overnight. Morning after morning there would be reports of how many more homeless people there were now in these villages in the Philippines each day. The Phillipines had always seemed a milllion miles away for me before, tiny squiggles on a map, just a name, a geographical plural. But during those cold weeks I felt such a connection to them somehow. And as the traumatised voices of survivors filled the car each morning, or accounts of them were given, telling how they had not only lost their homes and all they had, but had lost their people too: mothers, husbands, children, friends, grandparents, lovers, all gone in an instant, it made me realise how lucky I was in a way. I know that sounds bizarre: I was homeless, completely on my own, had broken down (probably), and was living in my car, and I thought my own loss seemed unending, but it made me realise that I didn't have to deal with the enormity of their loss all at the same time. Not only were they homeless and had their dreams wiped out in an instant, but some of them were having to deal with the grief of losing all their loved ones at the same time. It was near the end of my time living in the car and I had almost shut down completely, but somehow something far worse that was happening over in the Philippines got me thinking again, and got me feeling something other than my own pain.

I used to sit there in the car under the trees those mornings shivering, eating whatever I had left over from the night before for breakfast, before I drove off to the hospital to have a hot shower in their basement. And whenever I thought I couldn't manage for another day or another moment I would think of all those people who had had their lives blown apart and say to myself 'At least you have a car to sleep in, Anya, they don't even have that.' So what many of you have said in emails about my story making you see your own problems in more perspective, I can understand. I don't think anyone's problems are really bigger or smaller than others', but I know that feeling. I know it because waking up to news about the disaster in the Phillipines all those mornings is what got me through some days too. It taught me that there is always something better and something worse.... Even when you think things can't get worse, there is always, always something worse happening somewhere. What was happening all those thousands of miles away in the Philippines was much worse than how I had ended up, living in my car...at least I had a car to sleep in. And I had public libraries and access to a blog to tell whoever might stumble across it one day about my story. I could never have imagined that a journalist from the New York Times would be the one to stumble across it— and from that hundreds of people would read my blog and that there would be a book and then this, or that one day I would be out of the car, and that again the Philippines would come into my story....

It did yesterday, with a man leaving a short message here on my blog, no name, saying simply:  'I am from the Philipines, thank you for writing your story.' For some reason it moved me deeply. I'll probably never know, but maybe he was someone whose life was torn apart by that disaster that time, one of the ones I listened to in the sleeping bag laying in the car...the ones whose voices came into the car those mornings to remind me that I was still a whole lot luckier than some. Maybe he was part of the invisible weft of my life, as others through connecting with this blog or my book have become, and I part of theirs. I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say here, it's just that sometimes you think you start to see the seams of life — the way things are all joined up, meanings and purposes behind things, how everything is connected. It comes, it goes — and I don't think anyone ever does ever quite see them, but I hope I never give up believing that they are there: that somehow things are connected, and for a purpose, and that there is some design in all this, some method in what sometimes just seems like madness.


At 10:28 pm, Anonymous Erin, UK said...

Hi Anya,
I recently read your book. It was heart-wrenching and inspirational and I just wanted to pop by to wish you the best of luck with the rest of your life. You deserve all the happiness in the world- you really do. I hope that you continue to heal and grow in confidence more and more each day. Health, happiness, love and light, Erin xxx

At 6:38 am, Anonymous elaine said...


I'm from Singapore and have followed your blog for the longest time, so it was strange to suddenly see mention of Singapore in your posts. It's weird, but somehow now you don't seem that far away either :) Also, I'm going to take painting classes! Yet another similarity...

All the best!

At 7:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Omg.. I haven't read your book or anything ... I read about you in the readers digest... What a terrible life you had! I never even imagined that someone lives like this... I am twelve and i would like to know what you do now and do you still have the car with you?

At 7:54 am, Blogger Mary Ann said...

Hi Anya,
I'm a 23-yr-old Filipina (from the Philippines, Southeast Asia), I've recently read your story in Reader's Digest - Asia, and I was really touched by it. I made it a point to check your blog today and to drop a note if I could. I just wanted to wish you more blessings in your life. You give inspiration to all people, not only the homeless, but those who are hopeless.
God bless You!
I'll search for your book in major bookstores here. Hope to have a copy.

At 8:54 am, Anonymous Janelle said...

Hello Anya,
Im a student from Singapore & i read about your story from reader-digest. It was a very touching one and it really inspiring. Your story make me to understand alot. I used to think that everything was for granted, but now i fully realised that not everything is for granted & i learn to treasure every singly thing that i have right now with me. Takecares, May lord be with you (:

Janelle ((:

At 10:27 am, Anonymous Caroo said...


I'm a girl from Belgium and I'm 14 years old. I've read your story in an article in Reader's Digest.

I was a little bit surprised about the things you've experienced!

I hope your life is better now and I wish you a happy life in the future.

Greetz Caroo.

At 4:55 pm, Blogger Nekonron said...

Hi Anya,

I'm from Malaysia and like the others who had commented here, I've just read your story in Reader's Digest Asia. It was truly touching and captivating.

Glad to know that you're doing well now and you might be happy to find out that you've gained yet another reader :)

At 10:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Anya
i brought your book the other day, and never put it down for to long, what a life you have had, the strength you have found deep with in you to get to where you are today, you are truly amazing lady, maybe the angels and your spirit guides, guide you in your path of life, may your future bring you much happieness. love & light xx

At 6:08 am, Blogger N Q said...

Hi Anya,

I am from Bangladesh and like so many others, read your story in Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest brings so many people and their stories to attention, but your's truly touched me.

I just wanted to wish you the best of luck in the future. You have been through a lot and I hope what lies ahead of you is filled with happiness and peace.

- Naureen.

At 9:15 am, Blogger khairiyah said...

Hey Anya,
I'll be telling my school librarian to order the book you wrote. Hopefully more Singaporeans will get the book! =)

At 9:46 am, Anonymous God save the... said...

Anya, hi! I'm Azam from Pakistan... read the article in Reader's Digest. Loved it!
your strength and resolve is really moving and inspiring... and you've got atleast one fan in Pakistan so cheer up and no more tears! :D safe.

At 10:37 am, Anonymous Rina said...

Hi, I am college student from Philippines. I recently received Reader's Digest at my computer desk arriving from school and browse it in every pages. I found an interesting story and read every word you say. I found your website under the description about you and could drop a note under the comments. That was so beautiful and inspiration story you ever made. Anya, 'you are not alone' but you reached your goal to a better person which made me very happy. Anyway, take care and be successful!! Have a nice weekend, Anya!

At 12:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's amazing to see the life of someone written in reader's digest translate to real life when i typed your blog address in here. And the realisation that indeed, the articles are about real people and real lives struck deep in me indeed.

I would just like to join the many others in the world and tell you that our hearts are with you and that when you do become successful, we will all be there with a wide smile on our face knowing that someone did make a difference to the life of others around the world.

The saying goes, no one gives more than the man who has little to give. So strive on Anya for you never know what else is out there waiting for us to explore and discover

At 4:58 pm, Blogger toffee said...

hello Anya (:

I'm Syaza from Singapore . And i'm 15 . Well my english teacher just bought for the whole class Reader's Digest , February edition . I was just flipping through the pages of the book , and i saw about your story . There's something in me that makes me want to read about your story .
It really touches my heart that although you are in that condition , you are still not giving up . I'm sorry about your past . I really salutes you . And Anya , mind my english language . I'm not strong in speaking english . So is there is mistakes in my writing , im sorry (:
I am now trying to save money to buy your book . I wasn't a reader myself , after i read yours , it kept me going . So im looking foward to your book .

At 7:04 am, Blogger the world's most hopeless guy in history said...

Hey Anya.I was having trouble with my homework but after reading an article about you....it gave me the strengh...Best wishes to you!

At 11:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey anya
i'm from bangladesh.i just read your story from reader's digest.want to read the whole book,its really courageous and inspirational the way you struggled and did nt give up.hats off to you and you will be in my prayers
take care of yourself

At 2:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey im jessie, im 14. I saw your article in the readers digest and was touched by it, i hope to have a copy of your book if it comes out here... i really like your blogs and your story inspires me much...i would like to write too but im afraid i dont have much inspiration to do so. I hope you'll have luck on contacting your mum...anyway take care!

At 2:38 pm, Blogger raq said...

hi! i'm a reader from singapore, and like many singaporeans who have posted before, i read about your story through Reader's Digest.

i was close to tears when i read your post, and i have to say, you really made me think about my position in perspectives.

thank you for sharing your story, and i really can't wait to get your book.

good wishes, and all the best to you!

regards, raquelle

At 5:12 pm, Blogger ayesha said...

hi anya
i read your story in reader's digest and was deeply moved by it.your story gives hope and inspiration to all those who are going through hard times.hats off to your courage!:)
now i really want to read your book!

At 5:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish you all the best,
though im curious,
since your stary is now known possibly to the whole world,
why havent you been offered a place to stay in by the govenment or something?

At 12:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Anya! Your life story gives me hope to believe that everything is going to be well in my life as well as long as I don't give up on me. Life is really a struggle and you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

At 1:34 pm, Anonymous Mai said...

hi! I am also a Pilipino reader of RD Asia. I love your story... Thanks for sharing it and allowing Readers digest to publish it. :)

At 2:29 pm, Blogger msApple said...

hi Anya. my name is Haliza. I'm from Malaysia. i read your story in Reader's Digest -Asia and it was a sad story... but somewhat motivated and very inspirational. take care ya~ and will add your blog in my favourite bloglist.

At 2:30 am, Anonymous Anna Marie said...

Good day! I'm from Davao City Philippines. I'm a librarian and I've just read your story in the Reader's Digest February 2008 issue. Reading magazines and newspaper every day is part of my job. But at this point of time, upon reading your story and visiting your blog, it made me think how lucky I am. It made me reminded that we should thank God for every little things we receive while others don't have. It reminded me that God really loves me and so He is to you. All those bad things we have experienced, it doesn't mean God had forsaken us, but instead, He want us to be equipped in the future and from that experience we can share it to the whole world and be a blessing to everyone. Like what God did to you. He let you experience those hardship in return of lots of souls in the world will be touched. God is using you to touch many lives. Because God is a just and loving God, He has a reason for everything. Although others sometimes don't understand and questioned His ways but God is so patient and merciful He never let us down. He we wanted us to be still and know Him more. Although we don't have that connection for we are in the other side of the world, but it seems I'm being connected and somehow thankful knowing that at least you've found refuge in a public library and I thank God for giving you the instrument to move on and found your way. As a librarian, it made me proud and made me think to improve my services to my library users who might have the same experiences with you or worse than you. Rest assured I'll be praying for those people who are homeless that God may able sent angels and use other people to become their instrument of survival. God bless and more power.

At 2:38 am, Blogger Azrael said...

Hi Anya
I'm from Sri Lanka and like many others came across your story in the Reader's Digest, so here I am going through your blog. :D

Your courage and "Never give up" stance is very admirable.

I wish you all the best. Take care


At 4:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anya.Read about you in Reader's Digest Feb issue.It was really sad and painful to know that you lived inside a car for nine or more long months!Another example of how cruel the world can actually be and how harsh life is.You never know what`ll happen the next moment.Anyway, don't lose faith and cheer up,good things are (and will be) coming your way!!

taKe CAre...... =)

At 6:39 am, Anonymous Caroline said...

Hi Wanderingscribe! Great job on your blog! I read your story in the Reader's Digest. It was a sad yet motivated story...


At 7:34 am, Blogger ladybird said...

Hi I'm from Malaysia.Like everyone else,I've read your story from Reader's Digest.You have a law degree.Why don't you start all over again and apply for a job?

At 3:16 pm, Blogger WJ said...

Hello Anya,

I was one of the many few who have read your story in Reader's Digest.

I'm a 16-year-old student from Singapore, where everyone I know lives comfortably in a home, and where life is so good that things like a home is taken for granted. I managed to get hold of the copy of Reader's Digest due to my school making everyone purchase a copy for English Lessons.

It was one of the things most of us here have taken for granted that we live in a nice place, with everything we need sent to us on a silver platter. However, many have taken these for granted. The warmth of the sun often being criticized as being too hot, and stuff like those.

Your story has truely touched me deep and asked me, do I have it too good?

I have taken away more than just an article, after reading it, but much more than that, and I am sure many of my peers would too.

Anyway, I wish you the very best, and I hope you'd continue touching many lives, as you did to mine.


At 3:35 pm, Blogger Mia said...

Hi Anya!

I'm an 18-year-old student from the Philippines and I just saw an article about you in RD Asia. I know you must be oversaturated with people telling you how inspiring you are, especially people from the Philippines...but I'll say it anyway. I can't count the number of times I've just completely stayed away from local newspapers and TV news shows because of all the depressing news. It's refreshing then to see someone from halfway around the world who not only pities the plight of a 3rd world country but empathizes with us. I think that's really all we need to give us hope when there's nothing else to hang on to. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us.


At 4:33 am, Anonymous Anis said...

hey Anya!
Like many others, i've read about your life journey in this month's RD Asia. I'm from Singapore and i must say, having read the article, i was really really touched. Your life might not be as blessed as other or even me, having our family and friends by our side, but i have learnt a lot about life from you. You have made me realize about the importance of these people around me. I have taken them for granted all this while, and your article really has wake me up.
I thank you for making an impact on my life and wish you well in your own life. May you find new family and friends who are willing to stay by your side everytime.

Anis, Spore

At 10:44 am, Blogger Jade said...


I'm an 18 year-old Malaysian student who was angry with my parents a few hours ago. So I plugged in my iPod and started reading RD Asia.

"THE NIGHTS I SPENT IN MY CAR"-by Anya Peters...captured my attention! I read it...and I feel really sorry for you..but I REALLY REALLY admire your strength to move on. *SALUTES ANYA again!*(will learn that from you! THANKS!)

And I want to THANK YOU for reminding me that how lucky am I to have my family with me. I just don't know why, but my tears keep falling when I read your article....aaahhh... let's just leave the past behind!

You've got ASIA to support you. You've got the WORLD to support you! Don't worry! You're NOT ALONE!

Take care + God Bless.

With love,

At 7:48 am, Blogger Looking up for good said...

Hi, I'm a 17 year old Singapore student. I really love reading RD Asia and your story really caught my eye and it really warms my heart to know that many homeless people living are not giving up hope on their lives. And made me feel thankful and grateful for what we have in our lives no matter how tough a situation can get. Take care and God bless, you're in my prayer. (:

At 3:41 am, Blogger camillejoliene said...

Hi Anya, I read your story in the Reader's Digest Asia. You are very courageous and strong to have gotten up and continue living after having been so beaten up with life's experiences. You are a blessing, so continue to use your strengths to bless other people. God is able to see us through always. (When I complain about the cold weather right now in the mountains where I live, I think about the times when you slept in your car while it snowed outside. And I say "Thank God, I live in the Philippines only and have a house too to keep me warm!)

I hope I get to read your book too.

Btw, here's a link for more info on the landslide in Guinsaugon, Leyte, Philippines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Southern_Leyte_mudslide. I personally know some people who had family living in that town and had lost them to the landslide. Truly, some of us have more to be thankful for and I believe that each of us have always something to be thankful for each day. God's favor and blessings abound in your life & be strong in Jesus. May you inspire more people who go through the motions of life each day.

At 6:39 am, Anonymous Jerome said...

I am a student from Philippines. I have read your story at Readers Digest and I can relate with your life very much because as a college student, we need to live alone in boarding houses and we need to be separted to our family for us to pursue our dreams. we can do this girl! I salute you. take care and Godspeed. You will serve as a great inspiration to me.

At 6:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! i'm from the philippines, just read your story in RDAsia.. i'm supposed to be on my way to school now but i couldn't just leave without viewing your blog. i might not be able to concentrate in my exam otherwise. hehe..
you're a strong woman and i really admire you. wish you all the best.. keep warm! *smile*

At 1:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Anya,

nice to know your story in RD Asia! my name is Nori, i'm 13 years old junior high school girl in Indonesia.
Last Sunday, after had a competition in my school, my friend and i went to a bookstore near my school. there, we bought RD Asia. i read your story this afternoon and i decide to open this blog.

your story is very touched my heart! altought i haven't read your book. but i promise as soon as possible i'll read it.
before read this story, i had no idea to solve my problems. but then, your story opened my heart. made me to thank a lot to god for everything! it's remember me that every problems has the solve..

thanks Anya
God Bless You :)

Nori H.

At 5:45 am, Blogger Tina said...

hello anya,

the town is guinsaugon in the province of leyte, southern part of my country. i think it happened sometime feb 2006. it is good to know people remember and hold it so close in their hearts.

that incident also struck me too deeply. and for the words i cannot speak of, Julia Cameron helped. i now share it with you.


i too am in-between things and places and lives and so i couldn't helped but be moved by your words. though i have yet to really read each of them carefully, i had to stop and ask why do i feel like i know you so much? and how you know me!

this takes courage. you see so much from where you are and that by itself can be overwhelming and paralyzing. yet you're here. thank you for your gift. i have been reminded of home--wherever that is. i wish you well. and i shall keep you company from now on.

do visit me sometime also, same blogspot zip. address is foolmoon.

be home.


At 6:06 pm, Blogger Alex Hooi said...

Hey there! read your story from RD as well =) and guess wat? i'm gonna be spending the next couple of days reading your archives.. ALL THE WAY FROM your first entry to your latest ^^ and to top it off.. i've added "Buy Anya's book" on my to do list the next time i go to a bookstore..

and thanks.. for inspiraring so many of us and just reminding us how lucky we've been.. and i'm really happy that you'll no longer have to sleep in a car anymore.. all th best to you dear friend!

ps. i've been wondering.. how did u afford petrol for your car during "those" days?

At 9:43 am, Blogger Outsider said...

The one you just written about the mudslide in the Philippines happen maybe 2 years ago today. It happened in the central Philippines (Visayan Region) and apparently an entire section of the mountain had collapsed. It was raining in that region for weeks and since the townfolks cut the trees down to replace with coconut trees, the soil became like an over-wet sponge since a coconut tree's roots is short and cannot hold the soil together. It was a disaster waiting to happen and that island's soil (where the town was) is porous in the first place.

How sad that we filipinos have a tendency to act right only when things have gone wrong. It was sad that thousands has to be perished before the government would spin into action. This shows how corrupt our system is.

At 1:47 pm, Blogger N.C. Stormeye alias Solan Camara said...

Hi Anya,

It's strange being able to read about someone who sees the Philippines with compassion...as opposed to being in my own country and having people all around me saying that it's sinking into the mire (myself included). I got a bit ashamed, because when I heard about the earthquake, I really didn't feel anything because it wasn't happening to me. The way you put things is fantastic. I can't help wishing that a part of me showed the same compassion as you did.

Do visit my blog (I'm sure a million people have said it a million times), share the world I'm in a little. My blogspot is defynorms. Same old thing. And I have the same suggestion as you do - Check the archives. It's as if I get shallower with each day.

You're a breath of deep, fresh air. Kudos! God bless!


At 4:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anya!
My name is Emelia and i'm from Malaysia.
Its lunch time at work and i just finished reading your story in Malaysian Readest Digest Feb issue.
Super interesting!

Happy val's day!=)


At 11:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

14th feb. 2008

hi anya!

i just read about you on readers digest asia.

i'm from the philippines.

i do hope everything is well.

and i wish you luck on your book.

i do hope i could buy one sooner.

God bless!


At 6:54 pm, Blogger ocean dreamer said...

hi anya,
like most of the people who've commented on this entry, i also happened upon your story in reader's digest. i just got back from a little soul searching trip and i had no news of the landslide -- and in my own country nonetheless.
i guess i'm just going through my own persnal landslide that i turned in, became myopic and couldn't see the problems outside my own. it's always like that isn't it? no problem is bigger than your own. i am working on being more resilient. my reading your story was very timely.

i know it's kind of over the top but thank you for the inspiration, when i sorely needed it.


At 12:18 pm, Anonymous Siti Zulaikha said...

hello Anya,

Im thirteen this year.My heart melted when i just read your stoy in the Reader's Digest.By the way,im from singapore.I realy like your story so much...it is so emotional.It touched my heart.But i want to say ,i am very proud of you for bingso patient.And smetimes you give me some inspiration for my art class ad finally got A-grade.I got to go.Good Bye.Hope you can came out wih others stories abt your life.

Siti Zulaikha , Singaporean

At 2:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there!

Read your story at RD Asia. Though I heard a lot and even witness everyday here in my town homeless people sleeping in the streets, yours is a different one.

Must be so hard when people are looking up and dreaming to live in London because of the beauty, history and greatness of the city, yet everyday you were struggling just to find a place to sleep -- to live.

Words are not enough to express those bitterness and even more your happiness today that finally you've got your own place under the sun.

I'm living in a developing country and you're in a highly developed one, yet this is a very big reminder for all of us that there are still great things to be done to make this world a better place to live in.

May all of us do our part in realizing such.

Thanks for the inspiration!

24, Davao

At 3:11 am, OpenID saikcvg said...

hi there,

I was able to read your story from reader's digest asia (february 08) I was really touched regarding your plight back then. I was wandering if the wealthiest country has that kind of crisis, should i say. how much more in the poorest countries that could hardly buy car, house, food, etc. Where do they go? I hope you could be an instrument... more power...

At 5:02 pm, Blogger wanderfulmadnificent said...

hai anya, i am from malaysia and i have read your article in reader's digest (surprise surprise) and i believe that the pen is really mightier than the sword (in this case, a notebook or a computer or just blogging) because through what you wrote that other people's lives are touched and with your writings, other people's lives have been influenced. so keep on writing and posting because your words, sentences and paragraphs and stories touched me and many others and we need that and we want to follow examples like that :)

well, i know i do ^_^

At 6:00 am, Blogger ellyn said...

hi anya...

i'm elena from malaysia
thanks to Reader's Digest for publishing ur story...
if not i don't think your situation really occur.

i still don't read ur book yet but i think its gonna be my favorite..

don't be sad anymore..be though and remember you are not alone.....

At 10:56 am, Blogger nobody's fool said...


u know what..im glad that ive read ur story in the readers digest,.and at first.. i thought it was very strange living in a car..or even i cant imagine living in a car.. im so touched with your story.. ur so brave and courageous enuf to handle situations when life is at the hardest point.. Yah, ur right.., there is still a lot of homeless here in the Philippines and street children here.. i think ur still lucky enuf coz u still have ur car, while others really dont have..

Im Shelley, from the Philippines,, and im still at the university and i can realize how life is hard. through u..ive learned that life still have a brighter side...

thanks for inspiring everyone of us .

Godbless you always,,,!

--Shelley, Cebu, Philippines

At 2:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Ms. Anya! how r u? i read your article in readers' digest and that was how i got into your blog. i really admire you..having lived in a car for months and still here. i hope that your story will inspire others to never lose hope. God will always have a way. expect that i will always be reading your blog ^_^ take care! God bless!

--== achi08, Cebu, Philippines ==--

At 2:39 pm, OpenID 02aira15 said...

hi anya! :)

im aira from the philippines and im 16 years old. i read your article on readers digest. it was very well written, and very touching. after reading your story, i suddenly felt very thankful. knowing that God blessed by life abundantly. and so are you!!! you were faced with so many hardships and struggles, and yet you stood firm and there you are, an international superstar! yay! :)

i agree with your post. your past condition is way way better than thousands of people here in the philippines. maybe you could even visit my country in the future and see for yourself. :)

im a big book reader. so im really looking forward to reading your book. ill reserve one once i go to my fav bookstore.

good day ate anya! :)
(thats how we address our older sisters/friends)


At 9:18 am, Blogger raisaraizen said...

hey anya...

i've also read about you from the Reader's Digest February 2008 issue. I almost felt like crying when I've read it. I've drawn a lot of inspiration from that article. also, i've had a lot of ralizations then and I was able to reflect on my life as well!!! keep on inspiring people.

GOD BLESS you!!!

take care


At 9:46 am, Blogger IndependentSailor said...

Hi! I read your story in Readers Digest. I actually think that considering all the thinks that you went through, still you were very resilient. If it happened to someone else he/she might resolve it by suicide.I just wanna tell you that in all our sufferings God's grace is suffiecient for us.
Sufferings doesn't happen because it just happen..God wants us to fully surrender ourselves to Him so that He can fully work in us.
It nice to hear that you have published and released your book. I hope I can read it. Congratulations.Have a personal time with God. God Bless You.

At 10:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anya!
I've just finished reading your story in the February Issue of the Reader's Digest.
I was absolutely wowed by your fierce determination and resilience.
Keep on being strong, and I wish you the best of luck.


At 4:03 pm, Anonymous ingrid said...

hi there im ingrid from newark,bought your book and never put it down from the first page,what an amazing person, you should be so proud of yourself for how far you have come,love and best wishes from a humble reader xxxxxx

At 9:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maayong adlaw, Anya!
it means "Good day to you, Anya"
i'm from the philippines and i've read your story in reader's digest.
amazing... at that time it happened to us.. the flood and all.. i never thought there is a positive result... as far as where you are... i wish you all the best.
keep on writing!

At 1:02 am, Anonymous katrina said...

i guess its the human feeling of isolation and loneliness that took hold of me when i read your article and blog (esp about the philippines considering that i am a filipina.) all my life i know i have been well sheltered and sometimes selfish. its not until lately that i realized that the things that i have right now can jump outside the window in an instant and for that i should be sensitive enough to be aware..thank you for anyaÜ

At 1:30 am, Anonymous Jan Shim said...

Greetings Anya,

Hello from Brunei Darussalam. Like many of your readers here, I came across your story and blog from Reader's Digest just as I was writing a blog post: Celebrate E Day

Your story is very inspirational and I've taken the liberty to share your story with my readers in my post. As a professional photographer, life as well as its success can be lonely and from this solitude, I found creativity afer I took a plunge from a well paying career in I.T. For years, I've aspired to write my own book and your story great inspires me to pursue that dream.

On Dec 31, 2007 I decided I was not going to wait for the day when writing a book would be a reality and as I had written over 160 blog posts on my blog SHIMWORLD in a year, on the last day of 2007, the urge to look back at my recent and past achievements was too overwhelming to ignore. Then, I knew my calling had come and I wrote The Accidental Artist.

I look forward to getting a copy of your book ASAP! Best wishes, Anya.

At 5:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi anya.. im from malaysia.. i just read ur story in the reader's digest (february).. it's amazing that u can survive in ur condition.. but god will always be with u anya.. keep strong.. wish u luck in ur life..

best wishes,

At 9:47 pm, Blogger nicki said...

hi anya..my name is nicki im from hull, east yorkshire..ive just finished reading your book.. abandoned..you are an inspiration to us all..i believe you had a guardian angel watching over you..x

At 1:48 pm, Anonymous Howe said...

I'm just like the others here, read your story in Reader's Digest. Just so you know, usually i just slip through the pages and not bothering to read most of the articles.
Yours is one of the few articles that attracted me. =P

Ooh, and by the way, there's this small information box saying that "Anya is no longer homeless" at the end of your story. Glad to see that. =]

At 7:02 pm, Blogger hineski said...

heya anya. i have already left u a comment but i dont think it went through?
i'm 15 and read your book through chance and have definetly not regreted it!!!
your are so inspiring and you should be so proud of yourself for getting to where you are now!
let me know how your getting on now


At 6:56 pm, Anonymous Ana Rita said...

hy Anya... I am a girl with 17 years old from Portugal...
I read your book and I was fascinated with your strength and courage. You not leaved your life go down and you always try to keep alive every seconds of all these years...
I really really admire you because your fight to be a person who only liked to feel loved by someone.

I would like to add that you are a Big Woman, and noboby can take you that.

A big kiss.

P.S--> keep trying to be yourself and don´t leave anyone put you down. :D

At 8:02 am, Blogger agapebliss12 said...

HI! Anya.I've read your story in a readers digest.AT some situation God made to the point that i would really met that little book.I was amaze by your story upon reading i cant help the involuntarily movement of my tears flowing.You are one of the people ive known as a strong person inside and out.Everything that happens in our lives has reasons and I do believe God has something good for you in store.I was also in huge problem right now but i do make sure that it would not affect my dreams.MOre power to you.God bless.Know what in every pain we had suffer the everlasting bliss will attained beyond out touch.Be strong And continue to be a victor in life.

Grace from philippine(agape)

At 7:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear Anya,
My name is Cherelle and im from Australia i have just finished reading your book and i just want to say how much i admire you for how far you have come.I want you to remember that are a strong person and can workout a way aroundany situation that may occur sit even if it takes awhile to figure itself out. Your story just goes to prove no matter what happens to you there is always someone less fortunate than you.THanks for you story sorry for all the things you had to go through but just remember you would be who you are today if that didnt. My thoughts will always be with
yours sincerly

At 3:40 am, Anonymous Irene said...

Hi Anya,
Ive just finished reading you book what a sad life you have had but so pleased to see you have made it thought. I wish you all the best in what ever you do in the future.You are so brave.I send this with love from Hamilton New Zealand.

At 8:49 pm, Anonymous Lauren said...

Hello Anya,
I have just finished reading your book, it made me cry so much. I'm twelve and i am overwelmed by your bravery and determination. I wish you all the best in life, you deserve it.

Love from Lauren, London


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