THIS IS WHAT IS IN MY MIND. WHAT'S IN YOURS?

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

POEA Day 3

I was able to be at the institution on time. Fall in line and proceeded to window 9. Presented my papers and went down for assessment, then was directed to go upstairs to pay the fee and all was done. Wow this was to done just in about two hours and yet I have to go all the trouble for three days just to secure a piece of paper that will allow me to get out of Philippines.

And so I went back to the processing area and ask if there are still things to be done and was told that all is done. Then I saw this girl. I know she’s familiar. I have seen her sometime in the Feast, a Catholic Charismatic gathering of the LOJ community, and I think she needs help. I was sure it was her but I am not quite sure if she will accept a help of a stranger like me. So after sometime I mustered all my strength and approach her and asked her if she is attending the Feast. And she said yes, thus I directed her on what to do in the process. It was a short conversation and I short instruction on how will she go through the process. Again I was smiling God really makes me smile. She is bound to New Jersey and will work as a physical therapist.

And then I went to Cubao, got myself lunch and went home to get my laptop. All afternoon what I did was to write and inform my cyber spiritual family that I will soon be leaving. But I assured them that it is not goodbye, rather its just see you later. Things aren’t permanent. I still don’t know what will happen next. God has a lot of surprises for me. What awaits me in Guam is something that I don’t know. All I have to do is have faith in the Lord that He will lead me to the place where He wants me. A place where I will expand my borders.

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POEA Day 2

Day 2 was for my schedule of PDOS or the Pre-Departure Orientation seminar. The seminar was mostly how we will interact with the foreigners we will meet in the foreign land. How we will conduct ourselves, our rights, and also on how we will adopt ourselves to the customs and practices of the foreign land we are bound to.

It was also the day for me to get my Physical examination which I have to rush. I have to repeat my urine exam because they said it has minor problems thus paying an additional fee for the repeat exam and paying half of the original fee to expedite the release of my records….

During the PDOS I was able to meet people. One is bound to mainland USA who has a flight to catch on the Friday, it was Tuesday then. He secured a work as a computer programmer in one of the computer company. Some are bound for Canada and mostly are bound to Europe particularly Italy. There was a woman who is returning to Italy and shared some of her experiences. There was one lady bound for Guam, who works in the field of Marketing. The spokesperson of the seminar made clear why we Filipinos are one of the sought after workers in the world…that is we have been sacrificing a lot for the love of our families thus we do the very best we can in our jobs abroad so that we can support our families that we left behind.

Then in the afternoon I rushed to the accredited clinic to get my physical exam result and was hoping that I am able to secure the document I needed from POEA. I was able to get it but by the time I fell in line for the processing one document needs notarization…and time was not at my side. Processing ends at 3:30 and the time was already 3:00. No choice but to go out and find any notary, by the time I came back it’s already 3:40 and my papers were not accepted already but was ask to go back tomorrow.

I just smiled at the person behind the counter and said “Thank you!” our Lord really knows how to make me smile. I am dead tired and my back aches a lot but I have to follow; I have to do what God really wants me to do.

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Life in Guam

I arrived in the island last December 3, a couple of weeks before Christmas, and I had mixed emotions the moment I set foot to this foreign land. “I will be working here” that is what I am trying to inculcate in my mind because I know when I begin to not think of it boredom and homesickness will creep into my system.

Yes I am a strong person and I think I can manage to live anywhere but this place is different. I encountered many obstacles so that I can move forward. I am used to with fast pace lifestyle and easy access systems like transportation and establishment open till 10:00 pm. Here I need a car to move around. From the simple things like going to buy drinking water or buying bread for the morning needs a car. Unfortunately I don’t drive back in the Philippines and that it takes a long time to secure a driver’s license. You need to go to schooling in order for you to be able to take the written test and wait for your actual driving test. Here shopping malls close at 5pm on Sundays and holidays. Unlike back in the Philippines, holidays are time to spent time until wee hours of the day. One thing more most establishments are part apart and are very few unlike back at home I can go to SM Mega mall and the three malls that surround it or I can ride the MRT and be at Ayala are or Cubao area, or at SM west area going to the new mall of the Ayala’s right next to the MRT station.

Another is that I have no friends yet here. I missed my friends back in Manila. Specially my KFAM family. I missed our Sunday get together in the Feast and the after the Feast activities that we do. I missed are talks about life and its wonderful and mysterious facets. I missed our exchanges of thoughts and arguments regarding what we stand for and what we believe. I missed our sharing and prayers and anything that we have, our friendship has grown that we have this thing been going on and on and we look forward to have projects. We had an outreach project for the orphans but unluckily I was not able to take part of it because on the night I will be flying to Guam. I know I will have contact with these friends of mine but the distance will be an obstacle. I also know that I can have friends here as well but with the different culture and traditions and social setting I know it won’t be the same as what I already have. I try to communicate with my friends back in the Philippines through email and I hope the ties we have won’t be broken by distance.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kerygma Conference: We have the power…extend our borders



The Kerygma Conference was held from Nov. 23-25 at the Ultra. It was a success!

With its power pact and life changing talks from Bo Sanchez and the various speakers, the delegates were empowered. It was an enriching experience.

Day one kick off with Fr. Orbos mass and with the initial talk by Bo and concerto of Nolyn Cabahug and Dulce. I was not supposed to be there. I was undecided whether to come or not to. But Rej told me to come with her words “saying bro pag di ka pumunta” Thus upon bidding farewell to my officemates, it coincided to my last day at the office; I rushed to Megamall to meet with Rej and Jhunanne. We went there and we enjoyed the evening. After the day one conference the other guys/members of the forum decide to have a little chit chat at Starbucks Megamall. We were joined by Cian of Davao, the reactivated member, and with Dianne aka Soul Angel.



Day 2: I was able to catch up in the afternoon and the talks were empowering.
Bro Alvin Barcelona spoke about us trusting God’s plan for us and asking God to show us His insights and ideas about our life. Often we are impatient and we wanted to things go our way but god’s will and plan will always prevail. He told us his story when he went to his province and a related asked him to visit a relative who is incarcerated in a far away penitentiary. The only means of transport was a tricycle and when it was there turn there was only one tricycle and according to his words “isang kalawang na lang magigiba na”. Then the tricycle was very slow that walking would be better and the road was rough. Due to his impatience he prayed over the tricycle so that it would speed up but it didn’t…until he complained to God that he is in a hurry…then suddenly out from nowhere a huge Toyota Fortuner nearly slams them. There he realize that God has a plan for him, that is his safety thus God didn’t speed up the tricycle.God has a top view and all we could see is our horizontal view. It is how we see each circumstance in our life. Do we see Gods plan in our life? Do we see opportunity in every situation?

Then Bro. Pio Espaniol talked about loving and sacrificing everyone’s family. No family is perfect in this world but we can make it a good one if we model it in God’s will and plans. We should put them second to God and we should always be there for them and we will be great in God’s eyes. He exhorted each husband to love there wife, each wife to serve and respond to their husband’s love, and every children to love their parents. Because a house is a place where there is no love of the family but a home is a place where love in the family dwells.

Then Bro Mike Joseph Jr. with his friends from Antipolo move everyone when they let the Holy Spirit move them and tell them that they may feel the hurts and pains of thus who are in the Conference and we all prayed for them. For their forgiveness, for their relief, and unloading of there heavy load in life’s struggles…

Then Bro. Obet talked about getting rid of our bad habits. He coined. He told us that God is a forgiving Gods that no matter who you are He forgives you…He loves us so much. He even sang a song that move every to their tears...

At night we have a great concert with Nyoy Volante, the KFAM 5, Christopher De Leon, The LOJ Music ministry, Fr. Joseph Skelton, Ruben Laurente and many more. It was a very inspiring and enjoyable night.

Day 3: It was started with a worship led by Fr. Joseph Skelton followed by Bro. Bo’s talk of freeing ourselves from being cage into thinking that we are just this small. He told each and everyone his seven principles that we are God’s champion and that we are equipped with all our needs and tools to be what God wants us to be. He told us to be not afraid of giants in our lives that kept us from extending our borders through an example with his two kids. Then it was followed by mass officiated by Fr. Joey Faller and Fr. Skelton and then the healing of those who are sick. It was a moving experience when Fr. Faller place his hands on the sick people in the wheelchair and they were able to stand, walk, see, and tremendous healing and the power of the Holy Spirit work on all those who are not only physically sick but also spiritually and emotionally sick. The members were move and all our tears fell in thanksgiving on God’s miracle. We extended our hands to bless all people and prayed over them for their healing. God works in wonder.


It was a very life changing event and each member of the forum that attended truly experience God’s moving grace. We are more bonded though we are of different backgrounds and beliefs. Truly were two or three are gathered in His name He is in our midst

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

POEA Day 1

My last document needed before I can start my work at Guam will be coming from this institution. I never thought of it. I just got my US visa a week ago when it came to my mind that I still have to secure one more document, then I finally realize that its from this institution. So I called up my brother in law in Guam to hold the ticket ordering because it still uncertain how long will I secure such. And so it started this morning. My day was an agonizing day.

Got up early to be in the POEA vicinity and for sure long lines will greet me. After the government office flag ceremony and the usual program, making the processing of documents delayed, we went to the second floor for the processing. I was expecting to finish at least the seminar called Pre-Departure Seminar but it was a sad thing to know that we were scheduled the next day. Besides that I have to have a medical exam asap because of the long releasing date of the record from the medical clinic. Because of this I spent my whole day in the Ortigas area. First half at the POEA just to get an schedule and to be told that my contract has deficiencies and second half was the arduous and inefficient Biomedix.

I was pissed of really and I started to complain. But I remembered Bro. Alvin Barcelona’s talk….that we should look at God’s perspective because He has a top view of everything. Sometimes we are in a hurry and impatient or we want things to go our way as we have planned but sometimes it wont happen as expected. Maybe we are not seeing God’s plan because we are to focus on our plan thus we should pray for more wisdom so that we can grasp God’s plan for us. God’s plan are far better than ours;His plan for you and me is the best. Let go and ask God to lend you and show you His plans….and we obey and put our trust in Him because He will not let us fall into our pits.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dulag circa 2007


I went back home for the all saints day to Dulag, the place where I grew up.

As the tricycle I rode traverse the old asphalted two way road, I remember the days when these very roads were still the old road. The road back then was not asphalted thanks for the Cristo Rey celebration finally a politician and cashed out there fund to had the road asphalted so that our little barangay will be presentable to the visitors who will join the procession…and that there names will be remembered by the old folks during election time.

Yes election time. The barangay election has just been concluded and just like before corruption is still rampart. The only difference was that the bribes candidates hand out are higher today. Why is it that so many candidates will be ready to give money in order for the voters to cast there vote in their favor? Problem is the voting public themselves are the very reason why these candidates give money…as our utility man at the office says “ensuring there future”.

I usually bike around our barangay in the afternoon if I am on vacation. I always noticed the difference back then. Our old building school was no where to be found, most of the fields are now with erected houses, parts which were once spacious are now crowded, and most of the old people are still here but with there lives still below standard life. I think instead of improving our barangay has not change at all. The young people have become more liberated and undisciplined. As early as they can be they can already grab a bottle of beer and a stick of cigarette and stay in the side ways doing nothing. Most are unemployed; wasting there God given talents and some parents are still “consentidor” by not forcing there children with capacity to work go to work. They just look up to the sky, sigh and wait on God’s grace to come. Have they not known that God has already showered them with so many blessings? Unfortunately they have not yet realize it, and as long as they don’t realize it they are there rotting and losing all there potentials as time causes these God given talents to rust just like that.

It seems that the only possible way to uplift there lives is going to foreign lands. Just like may brother sings “Saudi Saudi yayaman din kami, Japan Japan sagot sa kahirapan.” I am myself bound to an overseas work offered by my brother-in-law in Guam. I was able to have a chance to work for multinational company who offers a better compensation than my current employment but my brother-in-law has long been offering this job because he badly needs someone to rely on. I accepted it because I know I can be of great help to him and at the same time it will be a learning experience for me besides the good compensation which won’t be offered by most companies in the Philippines.
We call this brain drain. Most of our talented countryman are now working abroad to have a better chances at life. Same with my simple barrio. Some of my elementary classmates are already working abroad. With the help of Friendster, I was able to know that they are already abroad. They are now away in foreign lands struggling to live and attain a better life than staying home for nothing.

Overall my barangay could still be a better place. Only if my barangay folks with truly seek change and betterment I think it has a change to be a better place. Only time can tell and I hope by the time I get back from my stint in Guam, Dulag will be a better place.

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Undas


Another day of the year; only one day for the dead.

I left the apartment around 7 am to catch the bus bound to Dulag.

People visit there beloved departed once a year on this very day, and the irony of it is that we could have done so when they were still alive. We could have hugged them or maybe we could have a hearty chat over puto or kakanin instead of placing it in a paper plate with a lighted candle.

Another irony of it why is it we just visit them today when we could have visited them weekly or monthly? When we buried them we were weeping all the way and sometimes even pass out.

On the contrary this event has its own good side. Relatives were able to have a reunion. We are able to meet our titos and titas, cousins, and old friends who happen to have someone buried in the same cemetery.

It also shows the level of stature every one has in the society. One can see it in the "nitso" of the dead and through the candles and flowers placed. Sad to say that such attention could have been given to them when they were still alive; it is only when we are dead that we enjoy a soft bed, a soft bed in a pricey coffin.

It is truly ironic to celebrate and remember our dead on this day when actually the church intended this day for those departed ones who have no one to cherished there life. One thing more November 1 is for the Saints and November 2 is the day for the dead but as early as October 31 we are already having Halloween parties. We have forgotten those people who have showed exemplary life as a Christian and yet we celebrate more the tikbalangs, aswangs and the underworld creatures of our folklores.

Though it has been a tradition, I hope each and every Filipino will not forget the essence of what we are celebrating. We must be happy because our love ones are already there and we must be ready for the time of our death is unknown as it is written in the Bible; it is like a thief in the night, no one knows when it will come.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

My little brother


 

Literally he is little. Our youngest sibling was believed to be "pinaglihi"to the Sto. Nino thus he has that small stature. When we stand side by side he would just be up to my waist. That’s my little bro, and I love him.

After his birth I remember that he suffered suffocation. Good our eldest brother was there to revive him. He gave him another shot in life. He was very white back then and as my sisters says “cute”. Some say he was a lucky charm in the family. If you would notice most of all my kinsmen or relatives are really tall. Most people in our place say that if they hear our surname surely they would picture a tall person.

He has this inferiority complex when he was young. But as time passes by he became dark skin due to his constant going out with his small bike. Sometimes we would find out that he join our cousins going to the beach with telling our parents. He was funny most of the time. He would always smile at person and he easily connects to people.

He is supposed to attend vocational school but he has not enrolled yet. Right now he is helping our mother in her feeds business in our small barrio. Because of this he came to be popular since he attends to all my mom’s customers. Even though he is small he can drag a sack of 50kg feeds. They call him manager. I remember back then when I was still a seminarian. People will call me "father" when I am back home. Even people I don’t know knew me. Even little kids knew me and they would call me “Father Louie” but today my fame has faded; it’s my little brothers era.

In case you see him don’t hesitate to call him. His name is George and surely he will reply with a sweet smile.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Matrix v.02


I have written about the Matrix back then…lately I was able to watch the third installment and finally I was able to get the idea of the story.

The part I like the most was when Neo was trap in the train station in the Matrix. There he met Satte and her parents, the program that operates the generator and the creative program that keeps the beautiful things they see inside the Matrix. The discussion between Neo and the program that runs the power source was the one that really caught my attention. There one puts meaning to every word we say. Saying I love you is purely an action of blurting out the words. All we see are letters arranged to convey a message. But beyond that the meaning that we put depends on the relationship these words establish.

A relationship is established by giving attention and value to someone or something. A connection must be established. Thus a relationship is created in due time….not just in a snap of a finger. It is build through time. We as humans have a normal ability to interact thus it seems so easy for us to establish a connection but what if one day we wake up in a reality where we are actually under a Matrix. Our actions are limited by the programs that run the Matrix environment and probably will hinder us from establishing relationship. Just like an anti-virus program we might be quarantine and deleted to protect the system.

So how will we establish relationship in a world where there are programs to follow? Should we be ourselves and go all out or should we be choosy on to whom we should trust? Your happiness depends on your hand my friend, no matter how hard will be the consequences you must chose weather to establish a relationship or not. Just like the text message I got: The bravest thing to do? – To Love…

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Expressions of Shyness

I am shy
I am truly shy
I told you I am shy
Enough leave me a lone

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Friend



She was all alone for the past four years. The walls have been her constant companion. Saturday was her most important day. I see her on that day. Even though I’m just there for nearly two hours, she feels that I’ve been with her always. Those two hours are long for me, but for her it was the shortest time that she ever had. Though we see each other there is till distance between us. She sat on the other side and tells her story; I sat on the other side and smile on her stories. Sometimes I bring sandwiches for that special occasion and for her those sandwiches were the best that she’ll ever have. Life is so beautiful just to let it pass but for us ordinary people who are on the other side of the fence we ignore those time, moment or sequence, because we are ordinary. We never had the time to be with our friends who might be just there waiting for us.

My story above is not real but in my mind it’s so real. I never had someone whom I can call my best friend. Most of the people in my life are just my acquaintances. They just know me because they know my name, my face, but not my being. I exist in this world just to be in a particular time and place but not to be someone’s best friend. Maybe in the course of my life there were few friends who could have been my best friend. In my elementary years there were two candidates, in the seminary even though we are all brothers I think there was no one I can call my best friend, in college there were two, in my past job and present job I think there were two. The reasons we were not able to be best of friends is that we parted ways and that they have someone already that they call their best friend. No matter how hard I tried to win that place I won’t be able because that place is already filled in. I was always left alone. I was alone.

My best friend was accused of a crime she did not do, or may be accused of crime I think she did not do. This is how a friend is supposed to be, to be on the side of a friend against all odds. Though I said she is in prison already for years now in reality I just created her in my mind while riding in my officemate’s car home bound. She is all alone now in a white room and the only thing separating us is just the table. I don’t know what we were talking about, she just tells her story and I just listen. Is it that it must be like this when a friend is having a problem, someone must be there just to listen. And a friend is someone who would just spend a two hour time just to make a friend happy. So simple yet most of us don’t have time to do it.

I hope you don’t think that I am crazy and kept away from me, I hope you don’t come closer to because you pity me for not having a best friend and be sorry for me for the way that I feel. I just say things to cast a thought back to me to challenge myself. For this writing of mine I just want to know if I myself have been a good friend to my friends. I have friends. Though they are just a bunch I have someone to turn to just to talk about the crazy things that I get in to. I also wrote this to cast to you a question. Are you a true friend or just the usual acquaintance? Someone that just know my face or someone who knows my being.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Touch


Touch 

We do it everyday. Each passing moment of our lives we touch our special someone. It comes in so many forms. A hug gives our love to that special someone. A pat or tap at one’s shoulder expressing our appreciation. A handshake to express acknowledgement of a person’s accomplishments. A kiss in the check to express our friendliness. A wink to express our inner expression. So many forms of touch, so many lives change by that simple act.

In my life many people have made a difference by way of a touch. My former classmates at the seminary always clasp each others arms or a tap at the back. It brings back the old days in the walls of our alma mater. Friends always make that particular wave at you and you already know what it means. It puts a smile in my face every time I reminisce those moments.


Why does such act put a good feeling in our skins, in our hearts and soul? Maybe it is that act that tells our bodies that we need not worry because someone is there who cares. They say that a new born child who has not completed the nine months it needs to fully form can be relieve in a simply massage, a simple touch that will tell the baby’s body to continue the process of building and construction of its essential parts.

Just like a potter, our lives are molded by the touch of every person that has gone through our life. And thus each hand that reaches us can either make us or destroy us. Our parents were the first human person that molded us into the person that we are. Then our siblings, our first friends in life. Come our friends in the neighborhood and school. Then our officemates and co-workers, our business partners. Then our special someone, our partner for life comes into our lives. Then we have our children and our grand children…..

In all the times of our life we always feel the touch of our Creator. From conception to our death, He has always been there. And because of that He has left an imprint in us to do the same, to touch each others lives. Making a difference in someone’s day. Bringing hope to a frustrated person, putting a smile in someone’s face, and uplifting someone bringing them closer to our Creator.

Touch one another. Make a difference in someone else life. Bring God to each and everyone.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Education


Most young people of today forget the value of education. They won’t go to school if they don’t have the latest cellphone, good looking clothes, a hefty allowance, or they don’t feel going. They have so many reasons not to go. They would even prefer to go to internet shops and play playstation or network games.

I walked nearly three kilometers just to go to school in my elementary years. With that was a bag full of books and notebooks at my back and a plastic for other books that wouldn’t fit in my bag. I did that Monday to Friday. I was lucky when my brother or one of my Dad’s workers would drive or fetch me to school with our old tricycle. We never have a hefty “baon” and most of my notebooks were unused pages of my old notebooks sewn to make a notebook with a hundred pages. I never had a cellphone; they were not yet popular those days but comparing my old cellphone today with my niece’s, who is just in high school today, latest Nokia model, makes me envious. There was no internet back then. Our school have no formal library so all our knowledge are limited to the books our public school provided which the students have to take well care of.

My high school years were spent in the seminary. It was the Archdiocesan seminary. Most think that studying inside the seminary was a way of disciplining stubborn sons; they view the seminary as a reformatory school. I was not sent there to be reformed. I was sent there because my Dad believe that I a good head (they think I was intelligent, some kind of a special child just kidding).I liked my stay in the seminary. To tell you the truth I was exposed more inside the seminary than when I was outside. I browse over the books and encyclopedias of the seminary library, reading the classic novels, scanning all magazines regarding socio-political and economic culture. To put it in words I was liberalized. Most of my classmates are well to do. I was supposed to leave the seminary in my second year because of the high cost of studying in it. But my mother and siblings persisted and convinced my father not to pull me out.

It was graduation day at the seminary when I was told that tomorrow I will be taking an entrance exam in a business school in Manila. My brother convinced my father that I will be wasting my head(again they think I’m intelligent) if I studied at my province colleges. Together with my cousin, we took the exam not giving me any choice of school to study unlike today that most would like to study in a school were fashion and trends are the primary consideration. I passed the exam after inquiring the result after a week and the next thing I know I was already enrolled.

During my collegiate years, I was trained to live on my own. I spend my first year with my cousin who was accompanied by my tita. In my second year I moved to a boarding house nearer the school and move again to an apartment. I have no television then thus my only source of entertainment was the newspaper. From the old newspaper and magazine I made abstract art. One of my creations is still with me. It was a collage type (I think so) of art work where Jesus was the center (I got that image where Jesus was fit to a T).

Comparing myself to today’s students, I think they have really changed. Though financial struggle has always been the same problem, most of them have never gone to the trouble of being alone in college without anyone to turn to for guidance. And because of this they tend not to appreciate the hardships of their parents or siblings who are sending them to school. I hope the youth of this generation put value in education, do I sound like a politician (just kidding again)?

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunday People


Sunday afternoon, I was northbound Edsa. I just came from my group, the Sunday People, for our after the feast gathering. As the bus was gearing up to full speed; I realized something. I realized that my life, my journey, has gone to another trip.

I have known about the feast last year. It was the Sunday talk of Bro. Bo Sanchez. I came to know this guy way back in the seminary when I found a copy of Kerygma Magazine. Then in college I was again able to encounter one copy in the house where I was renting. In my first job, I was able to read his book “Thank God His Boss.” Then when I begun earning really my own money I started buying his books. My sister said I am a Bonatic. Last year after reading one his books I decided to donate giving freely. I subscribed to the websites, KerygmaFamily, and since then I have been donating until I joined the forum. But before being invited by my co-members in the forum by sis Jennifer Cueto, I got my invitation from HR personnel when I was applying in Coca-cola export. If I remember well her name is Beng. Last Sunday I saw her singing in the choir. I have been attending the feast for more than a month now. Hearing Bo speak was really inspiring. Though I was a former seminarian, I was not introduced to charismatic praise style, the one they call worship. Sis Jen cautioned me that I may get shocked because most of the attendees are women and it will be not the usual gathering that I know.

Then I met these people, the one that I call Sunday People. If Albom has Tuesday People in Tuesdays with Morrie, we have Sundays with Sunday People. What I have are these beautiful persons. We come from different backgrounds, lifestyle, beliefs, and quite a big age difference, just kidding, though most are young at heart. It’s amazing that the group I am with is even international. Some are from New Zealand, others from the US, from Singapore, China, and the Middle East. The wonder of the internet connected us all like a one big family. Here no one is a stranger. We listen and read each or anyone’s post regarding their personal problems ranging from the simplest to the most intricate. Here we believe in the power of prayer and in the power of the Almighty God. Opinions of different persons are heard. Comments and views are shared to give light to something that bothers anyone who in God’s miraculous guidance where brought to the site. We cried and rejoiced with each other. We shared our thoughts and understandings. We bonded.

We call it a miracle. We never knew each other personally and yet when we meet on Sunday as if we knew each other for along time. The alias in the computer screens are not just lines that comes up when a post is made. They bare real persons, real friends.

I smiled at the bus; I hope the girl across my seat didn’t notice because she might think Im crazy, while reminiscing the events of that day. As I said to one of the sisters who has poured out her hurts the night before “our intestines are already intertwined, we are already a family.”

Indeed we are already a family. Though of different house we go when we part, though we are of different age and background, each and everyone is a friend, a family, and an angel to each and everyone’s eyes. These are the Sunday People.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Matrix

I love the Matrix movie trilogy but I was only able to watch the first two, the last I didn’t watch it anymore. With the stunning graphics and action sequence one will marvel at the great art made by the Wachoiski brothers. Of the two that I have watched, the second was the one that really made impression. The first presented me with a lot of questions while the second answered a lot of the questions. The third do I didn’t watch presented a possible team up between man and machine to fight a common foe.

But one thing made me thing. What if our present world we live in is actually a Matrix? We are all made part of a lie, that reality is not what we see but what is beyond the graphic programs that made our minds tick so that our bodies will fuel the machines need for electricity. Will you be dismayed that after all these years you are just living in a formula and the only person who can save us is Neo.

The favorite scene in the Matrix Reloaded was when Neo and The Architect met. All blurry things were cleared and finally Neo himself found a direction. That he was a flaw of the program The Architect made. The survival of men depends on the hand of a program virus. All truths were made clear to him, he realize that he himself was a creation of The Architect so that man will have a hope to continue struggling. He was the savior of the wretch world everyone was living.

If you were Neo would you save the world even though you knew you were just a part of it? Life has its mysteries and also its loop holes. One day we will stumble on them and it will make us think wether we are really living in a real world. Though it is the truth we should keep on struggling because change is in our hands, in our choice, our hopes, and in our hearts.

Choose to live in spite of a Matrix world we are living in.

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Monday, August 6, 2007

Depression


One day I woke up and all I feel was laziness.

I can’t even drag myself to go down stairs to take my breakfast. It was Monday. The day most detest, the day called the first workday of the week. After eating, I take the bath that I wish would last a lifetime. The flowing water over my head and to my body just soothes what I really feel inside.

Yesterday, I felt like my body is tortured by the medieval guillotines yet I never felt any single pain of that neck twisting thing. Or maybe I could compare it to the accidents that happen in the roads where a truck runs over into the public fx taxi I am riding and I get the most damaged, like broken bones, multiple lacerations, mangled veins, and blood all splashing all over yet even a single bit of it I cant feel.

Upon arriving at the office, I am greeted by my rotating chair and I imagine myself tied to it and thrown into the deep see yet I do not even struggle to breathe. I just wanna close my eyes and hope that I will feel anything just to feel it, feel the pain inside and let it out. Problem is no matter what I do it seems that it is not there, pain wont make me feel what should I be feeling, what should I be going through. I cannot even cry anymore all; I could do is stare at the white ceiling of my room during nights of no company of slumber.

There are times that I could have jump of the edge of the building and let my head hit the floor first, or maybe I could have slash my wrist and wait for the moment to just slip away like that. Nevertheless, I can’t do it, I just can’t. I wanted to end it all. All the pain that is in every part of my soul, my mind, my heart, and my body are there but I am just so numb to fell any.

Then I wake up again one day and realize that it is still Monday. And there it goes again the same cycle of internal pain that I cannot fell. The plans to just end it all but I cant do it, and the sleepless nights staring in the white ceiling.

Note: The article above is the definition of the writer regarding depression. How about you have you ever define depression in your own words? Maybe it would help if you can put to words how you see depression.

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Pity

There was a scene that I remember that has left a mark in my mind. I was in a mall in Cubao. I was standing near in front of an ATM machine and I noticed this old lady while making a withdrawal. At first attempt, it seems that there is problem in the machine so she decided to enter her ATM card and make a withdrawal. She tried it several time but no cash came out. Due to my curiosity I tried to peep on the screen of the ATM, the balance was only a very small amount. I think this old lady is in dire need of cash, maybe she is receiving it from someone overseas and hopes that she’ll get her cash today but to no avail no cash credit to her account yet.

I was taken aback. My mind started to think and it made me place my own mother in that same ATM machine trying to make the machine bring out cash. I do not know for what will that old lady would do with the money but the fact that she tried it several times shows that it is an urgent need. I was wondering if one day my mom needs money ang all she could relay on is her pension and her ATM. Reality do bite.

There are times that all we could do is glance at people and just shake our heads. There are so many people in the world that every day they hope that one day all there life would just change for better. That instead of grumbling stomachs in the morning they would be greeted by freshly cooked meal. The world seems to be unfair that some are bountiful while others are lacking.

The inequalities in life are sometimes to depressing to face. Soon time will come that you yourself that you will look at your self and get scared wether if you were in place of those person who all they do is hope that there ATM cards will have enough balance to make them live just one more day.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Empty tin can

An empty tin can will make a rattling sound. When an empty tin can is pulled or rolled, it will certainly create a noise. Comparing an empty tin can with humans, a person who has so many problems causes that person to continually wail and make complains about how life has been harsh on him. Empty of what?

People have particular needs but above all what people need is love. A drug addict is into drugs because he or she thinks nobody loves him so he uses Mary Jane to make up for the emptiness of love that he feels. People who feel unwanted become insecure of themselves thus they spend money just to make themselves beautiful. They need attention. Everyday they think that the world is against them. They start pointing at people regarding their problem. They blame this and that but one thing they do not realize is that they are the problem. They just cannot accept the fact that they are the problem thus they made a scapegoat to take the blame.

So how will we make the tin can noiseless? Fill it with love. Try to fill your life with love. How? Open yourself to God’s blessing everyday. Yes, God sends sunshine both to the good and to evil. Why does God do such thing? Many don’t understand it. Many are still bewildered at it. Thus, people who thinks God is an unfair God. They start to be noisy like the empty tin can. They think God doesn’t love them. Problem is they never realize that God is a loving God that He even fills the emptiness of those that are bad. He does so because He believes that in the deepest corners of their hearts there is still “conscience” and “longingness” for Him who is the source of all love.

From opening yourself to God without comparing yourself to others move on the second part, that is acceptance. People may be open for things but it doesn’t guarantee that they are willing to accept it. They may receive it but deep down in their hearts they are rebelling. God doesn’t want us to suffer; He wants us to be free from suffering. Problem is we are to attach to what we have grown into. Just like a kid who wont exchange her toy pearls to a real pearl her dad wants to give to her. Lesson is we must be ready to surrender and trust that God wants us to have the blessings that He is giving us. Some people think that they are very sinful and thus they say that they don’t deserve God’s blessing. I disagree with you, as I said God made even the sunshine to shine on all people here on earth no matter how good or evil they are.

Be open and be ready to accept God’s blessing. Fill your emptiness with our Lord's Love don’t reject it, trust Him and submit to His guidance. He wont let you down because he loves you. You are far more important than the birds of the air, though this birds has no strong shelter to be in God protects them how much more you whom He created in His own image.

Be filled and be not an empty tin can.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Independence

“I want to work so that I will be independent,” that was my sisters answer why she wanted to work and not instead take the CPA board exam. My parents kept on insisting that she take the exam first but she didn’t. Why is it that most young adults of today want to be independent?

Independence means you can do want you want and no one can dictate to you what they want, right or wrong? Maybe most of the young adults think this way. They think that there parents are like police who will always tell them that there doing something wrong. They don’t want to be overpowered by other’s will. So they show it when they can stand on there two feet thus working earlier in life instead of doing some things first before they experience the harsh life. A friend of mind reasoned out that she worked while in college to show her parents that she can stand on her two feet and they can give all there love to her older sister which brought problems in their lives. It seems that there is no space between her and her sister. She told me that they even quarreled about small things but as I see it the root of those quarrels is the fact that she didn’t get the attention that she needed. I don’t think she’s jealous of her sister, she is actually wanting of the parent’s attention. She has issues with her mother thus when I told her that she should open up with her mom she said that she did it once but they ended up arguing. Though the deprivation of that parental attention she has grown up to be an independent woman. She has her dreams to fulfill and she is on the way. Hope she still reconciles with her parents and sister and make a united family.

Independence for others commands respect. People will respect you if they see you walking tall amidst all possible problems. They see you as a role model. They were able to lead a life for every one to envy. But most will trace there independence back to there family. They will say that it was through there mom’s guidance in cooking that they learn to be independent. Or maybe it was there kuya that help them sort out things in life while they were young thus they were able to carry out the lessons they learn in the past and apply it to there present lives. Or maybe it was a serious chat with there dad over a drink that made them realize that being independent is a serious thing.

I remember back that independence is not the ability to do anything you want, as we say “this is a democratic country.” Rather it is the ability to coexist with everyone else and respecting each and everyone’s rights and boundaries’ in life. In this way we are actually independent by being dependent on each and everyone’s actions. You may want to do things but put in your mind that you are not violating others rights. Thus you still follow your parents but it doesn’t imply that you are not independent. Soon you will learn why parents are so persistent in telling you things to do; they don’t want you to commit the same mistakes they have done. I know you will say that they have a different experience but you can’t blame them, they just love you that is why they act silly sometimes. I am not telling you to follow without question anything they say. What I want you to do is to talk it out with them why you chose this action. It is in that way that we can measure one’s being independence.

Independence commands responsibility. Being responsible about one’s action will make you have a better perspective in life. Maybe sometimes you commit mistakes and those are essential. You must be able to pick up yourself every after your fall and learn from it, from there you gain values that will form part of your understanding of independence.

Life is always a bargaining action. You counter offer in order to get what you want in the terms and conditions which is agreeable to each and every party. I haven’t read yet the book but it is called creating a win – win situation (7 habits of highly effective people). This way everyone is at the same footing and all is satisfied. All can be talk out if all parties are willing to listen and also to speak. Your independence depends on how you will bargain for things in life. Be independent, be open minded.

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Moods

My sister has always been problematic about her hair. She has done so many treatments just to have that perfect fall thing. She says that when her hair is in bad shape she has this bad hair day. She is in this mood that she doesn’t like to go to work, she can’t work or she gets easily irritated because of her hair.

What really affects our mood? Do you wake every day being greeted by your mood and when it is not good your day is ruin? Maybe last night you quarreled with your girlfriend or wife, you got a “crap or bullshit” from your boss, or you where just too tired yesterday that you just would like to stay home and sleep all day to compensate for the bad day yesterday. You feel unproductive and grouchy. Maybe you would just like to go to mall and do window shopping or watch a movie. Maybe you would just like to eat ice cream till your heart’s content. One’s mood affects one’s productivity and disposition. A bad mood will ruin your day.

So there is one thing I would like to suggest. Instead of waking up in a bad mood why not choose to wake up in a good mood, the one that they call “in the mood.” Maybe if you start the day right you would be happier or healthier than your current state right now. You could choose to be happy so that you can finish your work earlier and be able to go back home on time to have that beauty sleep so that you wont have those eyebags. Instead of blaming the traffic when you are late why not beat the traffic, leave your house earlier. Try to understand traffic flow in the morning. Know the best time to leave the house so that you will arrive on time or earlier in the office. As they say if you can’t beat them join them.

It is your choice on how your waking affects your mood. You and only you can make that move to make your life better. Every day you should practice to choose to be happy. Always have that smile ready to great the world. If you smile at the world, the world will smile back at you. If you open your doors to accept everything God’s blessing will cone rushing in to you.

Got that bad hair day? Smile and it will be managed and it will look beautiful. Just imagine that your hair is beautiful. Let your imagination take your mood to the good side. Just like the local radio tag line, it’s all in the mind. It’s your choice to be happy; it is your move to be positive. So walk tall and show your smile.

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Maturity

How mature are you in dealing with things in your life? Being capable of self restraint in arguments may be a sign of maturity. Giving way to the other could also be a sign of maturity. They say mature people knew how to conduct themselves in every unlikely scene or occurrence.

Maturity signifies that a person has discipline. He or she knows when to do or not to do things. They say that when you are mature enough you would understand. This very line bewilders youngster just like me back then. We see other people smoking and drinking and they say you can’t do this because you are not yet mature. Some are watching pornographic movies if you peek in what they are watching they will shun you and say that you are not yet mature. Is maturity then a ticket to do adult things?

Age and experience cultivates maturity in a person. The experiences one acquires as one age makes the person more inform to pass judgment thus one formulates mature decisions. I do remember when I was still young that I can’t join the conversations of my older siblings or cousins because I was still young. Today as much as possible I try to get involve what is being talked about in the family and any gathering. Sometimes I post a question that sets their minds to thinking. I can see in their faces the “what if’s” and “because” faces. As people grew older they create a set of beliefs that for them makes them a mature person thus in the end we all say that every one has his or her own opinion. It is in an open forum where each and every single member is given a chance to listen and to speak what he thinks. From this scene we can see the true mature person, those that are ready to acknowledge their mistakes and those who are ready to listen to others opinion. They don’t react defensive and be in “save my skin mode”. They are those who have open minds and wide understanding. Their actions are carefully plan but not measured. They act according to what is a better option than that to act to be of advantage.

We fight a battle in our life. The outcome of this battle is still unclear but being able to accept defeat and rise up again and learn from one’s mistake makes one mature. Maturity then is about learning about life. One has reach maturity when one knows what to do best for a situation which poses a choice to do a wrong or a good thing.

In my life I did some stupid things. Many thought I am a very good person. I am not. No one in this earth is perfect. What differentiate a mature person from an immature person lies in the learning experience in a failure. As they say “Experience is the hardest teacher. She gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”

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Appreciation

I remember back then the sermon of a young deacon in one of the Misa de Gallo. His topic was about why we celebrate the coming of Jesus. The line that struck me most was when he said as I quote, “You cannot appreciate the beauty of the Christmas lights unless you experience darkness.” I think a classmate of mind in college mention this to me already. How will one appreciate things? On what standard does one base one’s appreciation?

We Pinoys have this maxim that we remark when one losses a chance, “Nasa huli ang pagsisisi.” Relating it in the quote above, it is when we lose the chance or thing that we appreciate its value. The two quotes quite work the same. Let me discuss first about the chance that was miss. What if you were presented with an offer to work abroad for a higher pay but in exchange for it you will be separated with your family for let say 5 years and you decided not to pursuit it, people will tell you that you let that chance pass and you might regret that decision after you start to have money problems. You will always look back and imagine what might have your life been if you have grab that chance. You might have probably sent your children in the top schools of the country, or you might have built your family a nice house. You tend to miss it and regret it telling yourself that the 5 years being away with them is part of the sacrifice to get a better life.

On the other hand let us discuss the other quote. Most people who nearly have everything are sometimes restless. They have set their standards so high that they don’t see appreciation in the simple things. I will present you comparisons. A kid who was born with a silver spoon would be thrilled if you buy them the latest toy car, what he or she likes is the hit toys just like that of his or her friends. Maybe it could be an Xbox 360, PSP2, or it might be even be Nokia’s N95. For a simple kid who has never had a toy in his life will appreciate if you buy him a toy truck you just bought at Divisoria or any mall at a sale price. I tell you he or she won’t lend it to any other kid because he puts importance in it.

The lack of or forbearance of a thing or moment creates in us the appreciation emotion. We put value to things that we miss or we never have. That is why it is good to have reunions. In a reunion we look back at the past and we appreciate those moments that we will not be able to put back. We appreciate the things that could have happen if we went the other way and experience those precious moments.

Appreciate every day that you have. God never wants you to suffer. Each and every moment in your life is God’s gift to you. It is up to you wether to appreciate it or not.

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Bosses

They are the honchos of the company. They are the lords of the workplace. You have a different treatment for them. They are the priority in certain company occasions. In case they needed or ask you something it is always urgent. You see them coming late, leaving early, most of the time going out for lunch, sometimes going out during office hours, and you make reasons to the callers why he cant be reach during office hours.

Who are they really? Most of them they are the owners of the company, some are the stockholders, others are friends of the owners, some are former employees of the owner or other bosses from their former company, and the most eye popping category, the COO, that is Child of the Owner. They are like the Roman conquerors and the Spanish colonizers. Every word they utter is a law to be followed. The things I enumerated above are the typical boss characters, I have only talked about the fifty percent of the story you might point out to me that I have a wrong observation.

Some bosses are actually good natured. They are not what we termed “Bossy” kind of boss. There are those who can sit beside you and talk about your family problems. Some even lends you their personal money in case you are in really dire need of cash during enrollment and sickness of your child times. There are those who share the same passion as you are thus you can talk just like pals and enthusiast. There are those who treat every employee as their family member thus you get gifts on your birthday, Christmas, or even volunteer as your child’s “Ninong” in baptism or in wedding.

They say that a good leader carries his subordinates. Applying this idea I therefore theorize that a good boss can be judge through his or her employees. If his very subordinates are well organized and works well there you have a good boss. A good leader can unite a group of disorganized people. He or she can break the differences between and among people and lead those in achieving the set goals the group is ought to do, doing things in an efficient and orderly manner. A leader therefore must have charisma and patience. He must be well verse since he or she will deal with different persons with diverse background. He must be impartial at all times weighing things first before passing judgment.

The very first boss everyone might have faced I think is our parents. So you can see your parents through yourself. I am not implying that your parents are to be blamed for the family’s shortcomings, remember they are just humans they are bound to commit mistakes. Through yourself you can assess on how you will make up for the other part lacking to complete the family. It is through them that you determine your part that you can contribute to make the family whole. It is a complementing thing in which what the other lacks the other fills in. Just like an efficient team in the workplace, a team is always built in the house once there are good bosses or parents.

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Family

“That is what family is.” My brother-in-law remarked while my other siblings and my niece and nephews where leaving for their respective homes. We just have some kind of family reunion and my sister’s thanksgiving for passing the US Pharmacy licensure. We all had a great time. Everyone was happy.

Maybe you already heard this definition of family, “Father and Mother I Love You.” How is your family? I don’t have the statistics but most of people I met today came from broken family. Many times I meet person with a family where each and every member understood each other. Most of the time, the father is not with the family because he has another woman or family. Or one of the siblings has rebelled against the parents. In some situation the children are not close to their mother or father who has work abroad for so long just to give the family a good living. Some those of my age are unwanted pregnancy back from college. Due to the inability to support or commit and the hatred of their respective families the parents of the unwanted child are always in constant war blaming each other and wish that they never met and at all.

To unite a family love is not enough to unite husband and wife. Many couples always put the blame to money but in reality money is not the problem at all. Besides the fading affection, the lost of respect is the common reason why families break up. Yes it is not enough for a man to feed his family and also it is not enough for a woman to be always ready to serve her husband and children. As I see it most people of today get married because of financial reason. Don’t get me wrong but I think most women do marry men who have something than to end up with someone who only has the promise of giving the stars and moon of the skies. Why you ask? It is security that matters most now a day.

Men on the other hand want someone who will serve them and fulfill all their needs. There were stories where a man separated with his wife due to her inability to conceive. I think it is even a ground for annulment. Men wanted to be treated like a king. He wants to dominate the house that is why there are so many men who resort to drinking and gambling when they feel that their wives are overtaking them. It hurt their ego to see that there queen has more powers in the house especially when the wife is the provider of the family. I had this one theory why many men are falling for prostitutes. Men who drink and sleep with prostitutes are those who cant find satisfaction with their wife because there wife don’t pay attention to them or that every time he comes home all he hears are his wife’s complaints and suspicion and constant comparison with their neighbor who just bought a new plasma tv and why cant her husband cant just even bring her to a fancy restaurant some time. He prefers the prostitute who hugs him and talks with him in the bar and who would fulfill his sexual desires than with his wife that only always talks and talks.

Next will be the children. Children these days are so demanding and spoiled. They won’t go to school if they don’t have this and that. They won’t study well unless you promise something in return. They stay up outside late when you tell them that they can’t stay up late as in “pasaway.” They do stupid things and you end up covering for their deeds to hide the shame and so many other things. I have another theory again on this. The children of today are the product of the parents holding back in the past. To think of it the youngsters of the past were always obeying their parents back then because they were afraid. They don’t want to be scolded or be renounce by their very family. The family’s name should not be brushed with shame or else they would lose their right in the family’s wealth. These feeling were hidden for so long that when they have their own children their children put those out right in there very face. I am not putting the blame to the grandparents, what I am pointing out here is that the children of the past didn’t know how to express their feelings thus those resentments were manifested to their children. The children of today on the other hand also don’t know how to express themselves because their very own parents are acting like their grandparents. They should know best on how to deal with it because they experienced it thus their children either goes to drugs, rebel, and end up with bad company because the parents never knew how to listen to them.

Now how can one then have a perfect family? But before you say something one word of caution, there is no such thing as perfect marriage and family. If you had a perfect family you are not here on earth you might probably in heaven. Problems will always exist. As I once said “life is like a chocnut, you’ll never know the surprises that come with it.” You don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or better yet what is happening right now. You also don’t know what your husband, wife, or children are thinking right now. So how will you know that? Communicate with them. It is through communication that one understands the other’s situation. But another caution, in a communication always removed those tags that you are wearing. What do I mean in that? When you talk there is no husband or wife, parents or children, you are always equal. Don’t say but, I tell you that most family can’t talk because they always assume authority. They have this childish thinking “you hurt me so you should be the one who is to say sorry.”
In a communication there should always be a dialogue not “daya at lugi” just what my formator always says back in the seminary.

Each and every part of the family must talk and not argue. Dialogue is a situation where each is given a chance to be heard and also a chance to listen. Often time’s people forget the listening part. They form quick judgment of their husband, wife, and children. The pointing fingers are always quick to blame. Most parents forget that they can learn much from their children if only they would listen. Wives also can learn from listening from their husbands and the other way around. To women what I advice you is to say what you fell and want and don’t linger around by saying things when you can just say it in one word. If you want your husband to kiss you tell him to kiss you and not making other situations and long script.

I am no family councilor. What I advice to each and every family is to form a council within the family. Each member of the family who has the capability can take turns to serve as the chairman to give each and every one a chance to say what he or she has to say and say the sentiments and regrets he or she has. Other members should just listen until one member is done that way avoiding others from jumping into conclusions and defending their turf.

Family is not just the happy parts, it also includes the parts were there will be pain, misunderstanding, and disunity. What is important is that in each of those times the family learns and becomes more united. Those tests should strengthen the family ore. Unity is inculcated by constant practice. Unity is also achieved by understanding the other’s situation and knowing when to give way for others. Respect and understanding are the key things in a united family and marriage just what my sister Liezl said. If you lose respect to your husband, parents or children, you will turn cold on them and as if they never existed every time they pass you. But what I also say is that you should always be positive that no matter how much respect is lost you always look forward to reconcile, to see the hope of reconciliation, and to be ready to accept ones fault. If once you closed your doors there is no turning back. Lines of communication and positive thinking or hoping will eventually make everyone understand. When a family is like this there is no problem that can’t be solve, everything is possible.

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Life

Are you a dreamer? Have you ever have a chance to dream of things beyond your imagination. Have you already pictured the life that you want to live?

I was asked once what my dream or quality life is. Well for me I want to retire at 40 and devote my remaining time to doing things that will help others. If ever I have the chance to have wealth I would tour the world to help anyone I think who needs help especially in the Philippines. I would also do things that I have wanted to do in my life. Learn another language and read good books. You might say I have shallow dreams but I think otherwise. They say that if you keep on working until you die you might have spent all your time suffering without even enjoying the fruits of your labor; that would be a great waste of time. In short enjoy it while you can because life is so short.

On the other hand some people enjoy working. They feel alive when they are working. They want the nerve racking problems they encounter in their offices. They want the tight deadlines and the continuous demand to surpass what has been achieved in the past month. When I was in the seminary our spiritual director once ask me in front of the whole community how I excel in class. I said I enjoy the subject, I enjoy studying. So in order to excel in something you must have enjoyment in it or else you won’t pursue it. The advice of established businessmen to new entrepreneurs is to go to a business that they like and know most. Lack of knowledge and passion are the most common reasons why business fails.

So how will one enjoy his or her life while achieving the dream that one wants? Life will always be a roller coaster ride. You’ll never know when will you be slowly climb to the top or drop fast to the bottom. Be prepared to face what is to come. Plan ahead, if you want to retire at 40 just like me(I hope I do fulfill this dream so that I can fully dedicate my life in serving others in the way that I know)we should start accumulating our savings and correctly investing them so that when we retire money wont be our problem. Enjoy every moment of it. Store those memories in your head because you’ll need them when you grow old. You will be comparing your life back then and you’ll realize how beautiful life was. You’ll appreciate those days your parents were there to guide you. You’ll remember the giggles and teasing with your siblings or your friends. You’ll also cherish those happy and sweet moments with your beloved.

Life is a box of chocnut (just kidding) you’ll never know the surprises you’ll face.

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Love

It is all that matter some say. Others say it’s the thing that makes the world go round. It is the bond that binds us all.

What really is love? What I want to discuss is the romantic or somewhat romantic kind of love. I say somewhat romantic kind of love since sometimes friends are in this kind of love and yet they are not as we think about. Right now I am listening to Sitti’s version of “I didn’t know I was looking for love”. In order for me to fully discuss this topic I think I would best start it by describing the feeling when you fall in love.

When you are in love based on my experience and on the stories I heard, you are crazy.
You just can’t stay and do nothing to be near the person of your affection. You smile when your idle mind suddenly thinks of the person. My sister is lurking around right now that I am writing this topic and she says that I am inspired. I cast a dubious and questioning eye on her and she says I am guilty of being inspired. Maybe I am in love because one of the symptom of being in love is that you are defensive and kind the aggressive if somebody else sense it in you not because you don’t want to be teased but you want to keep a secret from your center of affection. I have rare moments of emotional state because most of the time my mind is preoccupied with work. You feel happy even in the midst of unhappy times. Thus you are like a drunken person.

Love brings out the emotions in you. As the song goes “I was coy but you make me candid”. People have inner selves that are not brought out because of the barrier one places to protect one’s emotion. Love removes that barrier because when one falls in love he or she feels protected by the counterpart person. You tend to open up your very self to the object of your attention that is why when the relationship comes to the dreaded part of parting ways it is always a war. The other will accuse the other of things that are not true and the other will defend himself or herself by counter attacking. As I quote most text messages I received from friends “it is when you are hurt that you have truly loved.”

I already heard of some breakup stories. Some breakup or cool off mostly because of a third party. Others would reason because they have lost the affection towards their significant other. Some would say cultural and emotional difference, status and background difference, and age difference. Some is that they are so use up with the same routine in their relationship; while others because they are taken for granted.

I have also heard of surviving relationship after such breakups. They say that their relationship has surpassed the test of fire and that no matter what other hardship they will face they will remain strong. They can’t stand it when they are separated. Others say that if you are meant for each other you both end in the altar no matter what happens.

Others have sacrificial love. They let go to make their beloved happy in the arms of the other’s love. They are willing to have a miserable life for the sake of that beloved. Others will fight for their love against all odds. They would risk everything just for the love that they both cherish. Most movies have this kind of formula.

What if you already fell out of love and yet your guy or gal you left hold on and never let go. I heard this kind of relationship which they call open relationship. In this type you are open to be with someone else as long as you don’t commit yourself with that one because you have a relationship (I hope I got it right). This kind I think is not good. Both are in the losing end because if chances are that the other finds another the other will still hold on. It might not be good for the new one thus causing conflicts between the three of you.

Is it the feeling of being pampered or surrounded with outmost care that one loves to be loved? Is it the being the envy of others because you have a princess or a knight in shining armor which everybody would wish for? Is it the feeling of security in the strong arms of the man or the soft caring hands of your woman? The feeling of being in cloud nine or the feeling of being the luckiest person makes you go crazy with love.

But love is not just the feeling. I once heard a priest’s homily about love. According to him as I remember love is a choice. Choosing to be with someone in spite of the many differences and in spite of all the objection of the relationship and yet you stay in it. Each and every one of us has free will to chose who we want to love romantically. Our choices might give us the feeling that we want or lead us licking our own wounds, hurt and devastated. Up to what extend will you love if you know that there is a possibility that it won’t be the thing that you want?

So how will one love? I suggest love freely and truly. You can choose. So don’t be in a hurry to be with someone but at the same time don’t play with other people’s heart. Give your full love to the person in a way that won’t bar your judgment. Most people are blinded by love thus they suffocate their love one thus she or he will ask for space. Knowing a person in ordinary ways is not enough. You should know him or her in the most extraordinary moments. In this extraordinary situation their true identity comes out. Love to live. It is not just your choice but the choice of the other person.

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Traffic

“Only in the Philippines” that’s what they say when foreigners would bear with us the rush hour drama of every day Filipino life. My office moved last October and the additional distance means additional cut in my sleeping time so that I woke up early in the morning to catch my train. From my apartment I have to ride the jeepney bound to Cubao and drop off Gateway Mall to walk to the MRT station which is in Fairmart. From there I ride the train to stop at Ayala station so that in turn I can ride the Fort Bus so that I will be at the area early in the morning. If I left my apartment an hour before work starts I will be caught in traffic especially in the MRT train where you don’t know how you will be able to get in due to the jump pack situation everyday.

That is just my morning ride. The other is when I go back home. I am fortunate when my officemate will be fetch from the office from the ungodly hour of our leaving the office but if time comes worst to worst I have to ride the Fort bus which takes time to come in the waiting area and MRT at Ayala station where a kilometer line is waiting for me each night and it will be a miracle when the line is just short. I drop off at Cubao station to take jeepney ride to rest back at home. Though this traffic is kind of annoying there were moments when you enjoy the ride.

There were times when the train is empty and you can grab a seat and enjoy the smooth ride of the train. You will be able to see the giant billboards along Edsa and laugh at catchy lines or the seductive pictures of endorsers. Or you will notice that a certain person is always on the same ride that you are catching thus it seems that you are as we call it “classmates” in that ride. There are times when you see someone from your high school years, elementary years, and a friend of your siblings, and somebody else that has been a part of your life.

Sometimes I have some friends who happen to be on the same way thus we spent the ride together and talk about our office work, the happenings in the office that day, and sometimes our personal lives. I f in case the train has been always full one of my friend suggested that we take a round trip. We rode the train on the other side and at the last station we let the others leave and we take their seats thus we have seats going to Cubao. We usually joke or tell our stories while enduring the added travel time but its okay; it is worth while time spending specially with people you trust.

Yes we have a worst traffic situation. The important thing is that you enjoy the ride. As one text message said “though we have bumps and turns the important thing is that we enjoy the ride of our lives.” Our lives will always have this certain traffic; it is we that decide when this ride would be happy. Enjoying it would be a good idea than to rant and blame others. Live life to the fullest and ride your way to your drams!

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Lies

Have you ever experience discovering lies of a person you mostly trust? It may be from your best friend, your brother or sister, your parents, your girlfriend or boyfriend, your officemate or boss, your church leader, or somebody you didn’t think would do such a thing. Were you stunned? Were you shocked? If your discovery will lead to a bad thing will you tell it to someone, shut up, or go to the person involve and confront him or her to tell it herself before others get hurt.

Trust is one of the most important things when we deal with people. If no one trusts you, you will be bared from so many opportunities and unimaginable possibilities. The details I will dispose below are juts my ideas. They are not actually true just may idea which I observed or heard from the current streams of information. Any of my examples are not made to pinpoint someone that you and I may know but just for example sake based on my observations and deep thinking.

Case 1: Cheating husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend
What if one day your partner was late or never came to your agreed meeting time or place and suddenly reason out that there was something at the office or at home. Or maybe for most married people your partner is always out of the house and reasons out the tonnes of work he or she has to do or something came up at home or school thus he or she can’t come. Then your suspicion rise and you investigated and found out that your partner is having an affair, how would you react to this situation. Maybe if you are watching Grey’s Anatomy like me you’ve watch the hanged underwear in the bulletin board episode. Would you the same by exposing the entire secret affair for all to know and act as if you didn’t know it. Hard to tell doesn’t it. Or the common story your best friend and your partner has an n affair under your noses. I think that more hurts thus most soaps do this story. Which will you chose to save your friendship or your relationship?

Case 2A: Office affairs
What if you found out that one of your officemate is doing some other job with your boss. What if one day you accidentally saw your officemate playing fire with the boss? How would you feel toward your officemate or your boss? Will you blow the whistle and share it to your other officemates. What if because of that affair that officemate of yours got promoted instead of you will you cry foul? I read once from a magazine, I think it was my sister’s Cosmo(yes I do read a lot even women’s mags for information), in the Darkest secret section that a newly hired girl in an office dress seductively and she got her boss fired up those they ended up doing it in the boss’ office during office hours. What if this girl was your officemate and after staying in your company for only a month got promoted by passing you. Wouldn’t you protest and shout out what you have seen?
Case 2B: Office money embezzlement
One day you were checking the office bank accounts and your eye caught an unusual transaction which was not in your bank statements but was recorded in your company books and upon tracing it was craftily manipulated thus ending up a balance bank and book records. You thought it was done only once due to unavoidable circumstances of need but your further investigations leads to an amassed amount that you didn’t think such person would do. Would you report this to your supervisor or your boss? Or you would shut up because you were afraid that the issue of security was not made and at the end the fault will be place in you because your boss was not able to justify such events to the higher bosses. You are caught in the middle aren’t you?

Case 3: Family secrets
What if one day you found out that your parents done something very bad in the past and they move in to your new place before you were born so that they could escape the shame and punishment of their past. Would you shun away from them and try to avoid the surging of the idea in your head every time you in front of them or you will tell it right in there face that you knew it.

Case 4: Secret of a high performing classmate
It is common story in most TV series. The schools top student was actually cheating. This particular student was performing way to far from most of the class and you were just the lowly second place. Most of the schools’ top professors highly commented this student and you were just a second rate for them. And in the dark areas in the school you discovered that this student has an accomplice inside the registrar or any school department that allows this student to have access to questions of every exam thus he or she knows the correct answer to each question. Will you allow this to happen and be berated or will you stand up and fight for your place.

I think I have no more space to write all the lies that you and me can see. Above are just the common things I observed. The question now is what will you do?

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Animosity

I went home in our little barangay in Pangasinan to participate in electoral process. I woke up early in the morning to catch the bus from Quezon City and go to the five hour ride. It was long ride back home. It was Sunday and election day will be the next day. They call those times “Dark hours,” it was the time were all candidates give all they can to win the seat; even doing the worst of worst things.

My family has been in politics for a long time. My father was the barangay captain in the past, my uncle was appointed Mayor of the town after the EDSA Revolution, my cousins were barangay captain in nearby barangay, my other cousins were councilors of the town, my two brothers were SK chairman successively of our barangay and the older brother even became the SK President of the our town thus gaining a seat in the Municipal council as an ex-officio, and my brother in law serve as the Vice mayor and three consecutive term as mayor. What is my point in enumerating all this; that I am fed up with politics. I have seen the worst of it and the worst that it can do to people.

Voters then in our town were dignified person. You can’t easily buy their vote. As the time goes on I have seen politics grew its sharp fangs. Back then when I was young all candidates do was to go to each house shake hands to voters giving their “tarhita” and ask for your vote. It is usual to attack the opposing candidates during the “meting de avance.” That was all but as I grew up there came the 2 kilos of rice per household, the 4 payless & 2 cans of sardines per voter, the bag of groceries per household, the Php 50 per voter, the 200, the 500, the 700, the 1,000, the 1,500 and to this point your life just for that seat.

Politics is the ultimate facelift, it does not only change your face, it also changes the personality not just that of the candidate but also the voter as well. The voters themselves are the one dictating the price of their vote. Sometimes they even have the guts to approach you and demand Php 1,000 for their votes. They never knew the value of their vote. Violence comes during election just to have power. Sometimes Families never wanted to relinquish the seat to others thus every member of the family has already run into the same position for the past decade. This term for the father, next for the uncle, next will be the son or daughter, and when everyone has run and can’t re-elect the wife will be asked to run.

They say Filipino voters are already wise voters. They have already learned and that they have better discernment. But what I saw back in our little barangay makes my blood boil. People are still double faced and easily bribe by money. I see no sense of patriotism. I hated to imagine that this same people that voted for the corrupt candidate will be the one to lead in complaining that their poor and the government is not doing anything to make their lives better. The problem lies not in the person who is in the seat of government but in the minds of each and every Filipino who have done nothing to alleviate and uplift their life and put the blame to the government who they voted. Maybe you’ll say that you never voted for those in power in government but truth is your not doing anything to make sure that the right leader be elected causes all that we see today.

The change we have been waiting for lies not in the hands of those in government, it lies on us who make the whole nation. We make the difference; change starts on us.

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To be or not to be

Most of us are always confused in life. We have to chose between this and that in order to get this or that so that we can be this or that or we can have that or this.Complicated right?Yes life is complicated. I have also suffered such already from the petty things you have to decide on the the most urgent thing you hav eto decide for your life. Sometimes we're afraid that the outcome will not be good. In life we have to make decisions no matter what. The action not to decide is itself a decision. So no matter how hard or how much or how many will get hurt in your decision you must make one. Your life depends on it. I would like you impart what have I learned in my life. Though I'm only 25 going 26(some say to oung , others say I'm old already) I have learned something and I will share to you two things that I learned.

First dont be afraid to make a decision. Why you say so?Because your desicion will be the basis of your life. If you want to go to a certain destination you wont reach that destination unless you decide to make that very first step towards that direction. Most of the time people say I wish I have a better life or I hope I would achieve this. I tell you you wont get thise unless you decide to move and do something. By just saying I wish, I hope, or I will is not yet the decision. A decision is made when a change come into being. Even you want to be rich but you wont even move an inch to make a plan or start a business you wont get rich. Most people are like this. They state it and do nothing about it and when time has alredy passed they would say they missed an opportunity.Kick your butt now and be brave to make a move.

Second is you must narrow your decisions to only to two. Yes having choices is great but it makes it harder to decide. By narrowing it into it is either or, neither nor. Its either you go to the left or the right. That's how simple it is. Many will complain that's impossible or hard.So I suggest that you make a hierarchy of your choices. By doing this you can determine which are just alike and which are entirely not related thus chances are you will end up into just two decisions.

I'm not a life guru. But these things are always just around us. God created the world very simply, it is only us humans who complicated it because of our unquenching thirst for more. If only we could decopline ourselves and enjoy more what we have than yearn for things that we dont have I think the more that we will truly appreciate God's creation.

If you which to comment on my blog why not, mits your choice. God bless!

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My Dad’s Death

It was March 5, 2005 early morning. I barely got sleep from the time I step in the bus bound home. I left Manila around 4:30 in the afternoon and arrived at the hospital around 9 in the evening. He was already in the ICU. With all the tubes just to keep him alive.

He was feared in the family. He was strict. His rules couldn’t be bent. To quote him, “If you don’t want to obey my rules get off my roof,” he often says. He smokes, play cards and gamble to let the time pass, and most of the time he is not home. He has no way of communicating to us. Bridges between father and children are burned down. There was no relationship to the point that the children just avoid him as much as possible. Families will always have secrets. In the fa├žade is a beautiful family but inside are the hurts and indifference between family members.

Every one was there except my sister who was in Guam, my mother, youngest and eldest brother who were at home since they have been watching for the past days already at the hospital. To look at us as his child, in my own opinion, was the one each of us would like to have. A treatment that a person would like to be treated. Maybe because it is of the family my dad have. Those principles he learned in his family is the one he wants to imposed, where parents are authority and children are just possessions. Don’t look at me as a rebel; I was not the rebel in the family. I don’t want to brag but to tell you the truth I am the obedient one. There were instances in my early years I my life that I remember where my siblings argued with our dad. Heated words and mostly disrespect to him was the ending. There were times that he tells us about his life and compare it to our present lives. The problem lies in the way he thinks. He always thinks differently and as my sister says, “he has a closed mind.”

They were expecting that it was his last. He had the stroke last January. Half of his body was paralyzed. When I went home for the Christmas, December 25 to be exact, something unusual happened. Before he went to his pals to play cards he asks me if we could have a drink. My mom was also surprised. So he went in the house and I think he brought out his favorite drink which he has kept for a long time. He asked me to get some Indian mangoes in our backyard to serve as our “pulutan. He was happy that time. We talked about my work, if ever I was drinking in our company functions, about my girlfriend, and about how to have a male firstborn which I think he heard from a doctor who read it from a Reader’s digest or National Geographic magazine. I was about to return to Manila in 2 days since I have to do my job.

My second eldest brother and talked to the doctor who just came in. My dad’s doctor was replaced because she has to go to the US since her father also succumbed to his sickness. As the new doctor goes through the details of my dad’s medical history it seems that he has no hope of recovery, that night was his last. Due to his heavy smoking half of his left or right lung was already gone and the other was ¼ gone also. His kidneys are not functioning anymore, and so many complications brought about by his diabetes.

I arrived home together with my siblings who came home from Manila. My mom was there to tell us all that happened, the hardships they went through in taking care of my dad, the intolerable behavior of my dad when he was brought in & out of the hospital and at home. Silence enveloped our house. Then my sister called around two in the morning of March 5. It was Saturday. My sister told me that dad was gone. I told my eldest brother about it and he was just silent. Then my sister talked to him to arrange for the removal of my dad’s corpse from the hospital. My sister asked me to tell it to our mother. As my brother left the house, my mom was awakened and I tried to tell her in the most humane way. They she cried and sobbed. I tried to comfort her in the best of my abilities.
It was already around 8 in the morning when my dad’s body was brought home. By that time many people has already come to our house to confirm my dad’s death. My dad’s sisters came and they were all mourning. My cousins came and all was crying. As everyone waits I tried to be calm.

We realize that my dad died without making the connection with us his children but more than that the reason why he was not able to connect to us was because he himself cannot find appreciation in his very own home. That is why he went to gamble with his pals and have kept his health a secret. He lived the last days of his life unhappy because he can’t find a way to be with us because we his children never appreciated his efforts to take care of us. We never saw him in that way because what we have focused on was his authoritarian ways of running the family. We never saw the good points that he was trying to impart. Up to now that problem in the family is still there. We seem to have no connection as siblings. Most of the time there is no communication.

My dad died yet the hurt in the family is still there. I want my family to move on but I guess all family has gaps like this. Only time will tell until each family member understand the need of others. I hope that you learned something from what I am sharing. All will go through this kind of pain. But the best part of it is to learn and to keep on struggling to unite one’s family. Talked as often as you can and don’t judge your family members cause you don’t know what really is inside there hearts. They might have a hard time expressing themselves thus they resort to means that we see it on the wrong side. Understanding is the key component in a united and loving family.

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