Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao

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Paquiao makes me proud to be a Filipino

We’re in the papers almost daily as well as in Yahoo News since the proclamation of our new president. As said in my previous write up, let’s give the man a chance. He’s not been in the post a year and he obviously knows a lot more than we do anyway. A fighter, a man who knows what he wants and will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  I think he’s doing his best the way he knows how for his countrymen.  But I digress. Let me move back to the distinctive person I referred to in my first sentence.

Manny Pacquiao, like the President has also been in the news, but write-ups about him are more positive. His life story is an inspiration and the man is awesome. He may have his faults but these are outshone by what he does for his constituency and the public in general. True, he may also have been neglectful of his duties as a congressman – being one of those who have been more absent than present during sessions. He may have prioritized his boxing bouts and basketball coaching then but what he earned from those activities, he shared it with his constituency as a congressman. His salary from the government wasn’t enough to see to the needs of the locality he represented. He gave bonuses to the players of his basketball team – giving them rewards when they performed well… but obviously, a newly formed basketball team wouldn’t really make it big in the professional basketball league yet.

What really is so likeable about this guy is he doesn’t just get into something without doing what he needed to do first. Some years ago, he studied English so that he would be great at doing interviews during his boxing bouts. He also finished high school via an alternative learning program. Next, he continuously improved his craft as a boxer which was how he scaled up the ranks. Mind you though, he wasn’t always a winner. He was also defeated but he never gave up. And all through his fights and wins, he never did become an airhead.

When he became a congressman, he did his homework by learning the craft of good government, learning about the law and surrounded himself with mentors so that he would not only have an idea but would know and do the actual work of a congressman. And by this time he was being awarded Honoris Causa by universities. Beat that!

Now that he is a senator, he continues to learn – about the law, about good governance, rights and all there is to know about being a senator. He’s still in that stage though. So far when listening to his privilege speech, the man’s got substance. Here’s hoping his perspective wouldn’t become jaded.

Going back to his life story, his is one that tells of how to better one’s situation in life, a case of living out the axiom, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” His is the example of we may not like how our life is right now but we can always turn it into something better for us if we just persevere and endure while not losing hope and faith. Most of all, his life is the best example of getting up even if he got beaten; keeping that self worth intact no matter how hurtful the words other people threw at him.

And all these is because Manny Pacquiao has a mom who raised him the best way she could – she raised him to become the decent, religious, family-oriented, and focused man that he is. Truly a role model and somebody I’m proud of to be a fellow Filipino.

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Just Random Thoughts on Changes

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Way back before there were cellphones, computers, iPods, compact discs, home theaters and social media, people like me had some kind of order in our lives. When I say I’m going to meet somebody at a particular time, day and place, I confirm that date to at least a day before via a landline phone. Then, I watched movies in movie houses or movie theaters, and looked forward to trailers before the main screening. When we wanted to listen to music we had a record player for our vinyl records. We had a stereo if we wanted our music to sound better. We then had a deck tape as well which we used to record our music of choice if we wanted to. Then came the tape reorder which had either the 8-track or cassette tape, still for recording our music. When we wanted to say something to our friends , we talked to them either personally, by phone or by snail mail. I remember that we had fancy stationeries then, some of which were even scented. Or, if we wanted to say something about a public figure, we did it through the newspaper or magazine. We’d be lucky if our opinions ever get enough attention to get published. What all these amounted to was in those days, for things to happen it took time. But no matter because then it helped build character. It also instilled self-control/discipline. Further, there’s this attitude not only for me but practically almost all people during my time, that we anticipate the effects of our actions, somehow having a plan b, or even a plan c if things didn’t go the way we thought they would or wanted to happen.

What is this all leading to? Well, I think a generation ago when things such as the above gadgets, appliances or mode of interpersonal relationships via i.e. Facebook and Twitter, weren’t invented yet, people were more considerate and more patient about almost everything. There weren’t any earphones stuck in our ears and so we didn’t bump into each other when walking the streets. We didn’t have cellphones that distracted our driving. There was much appreciation of movies like a standing ovation and applause when Rocky Balboa finally beat Apollo in Rocky 2. Also, we tried not to make the inane and mundane rule our lives. These were just some kind of stress reliever. However, now there seems to be much attention given for example with a TV personality who got robbed and talked much about or even written about. Almost everybody and their sister had to say her piece about this in Twitter, and there’s all sorts of real time reactions from people from all places. Quite amazing, really. I guess our world then individually was too small and that we concerned ourselves with our and not others’present life and how it could affect our future. There was always this exercise in schools like, “When I grow up, I like to be…”. There was that focus and determination and most of all hope that our future would be better; that we would live our dreams, plans.

Yes, that did happen for me at least. However, as I’ve said the gadgets really made a big difference. Things are a lot t easier, supposedly. You just hit the keys on your smartphone, iPad or computer and you can express your ideas either publicly or privately depending on your preferences. I seldom watch movies in the movie theaters anymore. I just wait a few months and I can watch the movies in the comfort of my home. But I really miss substantial reading materials – those that I can leaf through page by page, not on a computer but an actual book.

Gone were the days when students have to extend their school hours to go to the library and do some actual research, leafing through reading materials. Those were the days. Now classmates meet, divide themselves into groups, divide the research into chapters and do their research via Google and other search engines. That’s one modern method I particularly know. Easier, yes, it seems. Substantial? Well, I have to qualify that…

Probably the most thought-provoking practice I’m observing is this very reactive responses to almost any news item that comes up. News travels fast these days via social media mostly, and it is always accompanied by comments and replies to comments. If you have sensitive feelings, you will react to these reactions you received; thus, a cycle has begun. Vicious? It depends.

When a politician says his government would be aligning with communist countries and cut ties with the former champion of democracy, this issue got a lot of reactions worldwide. I can’t blame everyone though as it seemed a little drastic. Commenting on this – no reply necessary though, let’s give this leader a chance to prove himself. He’s newly installed and not yet half a year in his elective position. I was told that a year is too short a time to adjust to changes – that’s nationally. Give it perhaps 2 years and allow the leader to carry out the reforms he promised his people. We may react but let’s be proactive rather than reactive. Let’s see if he can move his country forward in the next year or two with his promised commitments and changes.

Going back to that TV reality show actress who got robbed in her apartment abroad and had all her precious jewelry taken at gunpoint. That also got much reaction. What’s up with that? There are more pressing issues than this one. The damage brought on by the typhoon Matthew needs some attention. People in Haiti need help … let’s react so they can recover. The irredenta problem in Asia where Vietnam, Japan, Philippines and Malaysia versus China over the scattered islands in the South China Sea is another issue to talk about and to try to resolve.

But of course, people are more concerned about the latest gadgets, the coolest places to be seen, who are exchanging heated words in Twitter, who’s got the most number of views in YouTube. Tell me… are we escaping from something that we prefer trivial to significant matters. I guess that needs to be qualified.

Now I wonder what the future would be like. Sure hope I could still cope with it.

A Daily Routine

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Every dawn I arise
a yawn and a sigh
I get up and stretch my arms high
To embrace a new day ahead lies
As the sun creeps in the east side.

With thanks for this gift
Of another beginning,
My spirit You uplift
A soul worthwhile, redeeming,
Rectifying as You see fit.

Your grace leads me
To care for others, of so little I know.
To inspire, to guide, to let them see
The work of love You sowed.
And carry this on prayerfully.

Time and again myself I offer,
And to Your will I surrender
Armed with blessings sent
To make each day my moment
To shine for my Bestower.

Amen.

Forward to 2017

The countdown to the new year has started; and to think I just had my birthday.

It has been a challenging year for me.  I quit my job at the start of the year and started a new one which I’m enjoying because it’s much easier and I have more time on my hands.  The only thing is, like every other job there are some things hazardous to one’s health.  My job calls for excellent listening skills, good English language skills, knowledge in medical terminology and of course, typing skills.  However, doing this since 2002, I’ve changed my specs four times, been taking higher doses of vitamin B complex and have asked people to say stuff to me not only twice, up to four times as I can’t really catch what they’re saying.  Oh, well.  I guess it’s not only the job really… probably due to age as well.

I’ve also started a new part-time work.  As I said I have more time on my hands and now I’m able to do what I’ve always wanted to – that of baking bread.  I took a comprehensive bread making course early this year to complement the free cooking lessons I took some years back.  I’ve been able to sell some bread to my neighbors and so far I’ve had no complaints of any stomach ache, or anything of the sort.  I’m hoping that before the year ends, I could open up my brick and mortar bread store – keeping my fingers crossed on this.  It would be a very good transition from my current job to my “retirement”.  But of course, here’s wishing… and more learning – the process really doesn’t stop, just like the days of the year, it goes on and on, never going back, just forward.

This year has also been a reunion of sorts for my mother’s side of the family.  It seems that the older one gets, the more sentimental one becomes about members who have moved away, who have been “called home” and those who have opted to stay away, never heard from anymore.  Thanks to Facebook, Viber, and the like we got reunited, sharing pictures, stories and quotes relevant to family and relationships.

Now speaking of the new 2017, I have below some print reproduction of my dear sister’s paintings.  A budding artist who,  when she was in preparatory school won a national art contest sponsored by Caltex.  She has finally gotten the time to hone this artistic talent through her paintings.  I wish to advertise her paintings and so I have come up with 2017 calendars – A4 size, a one pager and a set of three which has four months of the year per page.  The one pager costs $3.00, while the set costs $8.00.  I have also come up with gift tags, 25 cents each.  In case you opt for her paintings, do indicate in your comments and I can forward this to her directly.  I will ever be so grateful if you could at least give this form of exposure for my sister’s works as I am really very proud of her.  Here they are:

The following are the one pager.  I could remove the “Your company logo here.”  if it’s for your personal use.

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Below is a sample for the 3-piece set.  Again, I’ll remove “Your logo here” if it’s for your personal use.

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And, here are the gift tags:

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Thank you!  It’s been awesome!

I’m Asked For Verses

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I’m asked for verses,
As I quote from a hero;
By a person I know.
But for words I’m pressed,
Not deserving of less
Because he deserves the best.

When as a wee boy
With me watched Sesame Street
And cartoons galore;
Not lacking for toys
He opts to talk, not a bit
Of stories with much color.

He grew up but he’s still the same
Story telling was his game.
Thus, reunions are never plain
The tales he says, inane or mundane
Seemingly true as he tells them,
Elicit much laughter from us then.

Miles apart now, I hear only of him
From relatives’ homecoming
Or from FB messaging.
This I can only say, too true
The road is long, for my nephew,
In my prayers, God be with you.

I’m asked for verses
I quote again from a hero.
These words don’t express
The best yet in him I saw.
Deserving no less
Him, from his youth I know.

You and Me

You and me
We met
In a world of many
Maybe accidentally,
Or perhaps
We were meant to be

Your quirks
And a weird me
Poles apart maybe
But arose a pair.
In each other finally
Found company.

Not me
Not you
Our differences too
Defeated what we built.
For God’s blessings we sought
And our family’s support.

Time passed
And knowingly
In our hearts
Promised lovingly
We’re joined as one
In this life’s journey.

You and me
No longer alone
But as one.
You love me
I love you
Simply, the way it should be.

For you and me.

Split Screen Love Affair

Ever watched a noontime variety show that has a segment that features a 15 minute soap/telenovela? Well here in my side of the world, we have such.  Last year it even became a Twitter phenomenon.  It garnered the most  number of tweets when the 15-minute segment was given a three-hour block time by the local channel that airs the noontime variety show.  How many tweets? Believe it or not, more than 40 million at the time the noontime show was running.

It’s a phenomenon really.  When the segment started July of last year, lunchbreak for most workers got extended from its usual one-hour break to two and a half hours.  Why? Well, mostly because this segment was able to attract a following.  Tricycle ( a public utility vehicle  consisting of a motorcycle and an attached side car like the one used by the  Germans during the war years) drivers would hesitate, even turn away passengers so that they could watch the segment undisturbed.  This was true for jeepney drivers and even for my office mates too.  Coming from my 30-minute lunch break, I found myself all alone in our workstation, wondering if I missed a meeting of some sort.  Indeed I did as I found out the next day.  I joined a group for lunch, adjusting my break with theirs (we can’t leave our office empty, at least one is left behind to man the fort).  Anyway, that’s when I discovered  that not only drivers, housewives, pre-school kids and senior citizens as well as salespeople of appliances specifically TVs, include people working in restaurants and malls where TV sets are tuned in to this particular TV channel airing this noontime show – are actually, seriously glued to the TV watching the segment.

The following, or should I say the fans of the actors in this segment are not only local; it’s worldwide.  And the lead characters in this segment were given the opportunity last December to land parts in a movie which has been shown,  is being shown and will be shown in different parts of the world.  Really, phenomenal, if you ask me.

What’s unique about it is how effectively media is used.  The noontime variety show can be viewed via live steaming so you can watch the show anywhere in the world at a particular time.  If you missed it, then there’s always Facebook or YouTube.  Thanks to the cellphone, the IPad, the laptop or the PC.  Also, the lead actress is a dub smash sensation who’s very creative and witty; you’ll have a hearty laugh just watching her.  This segment does not even have a script so the actors just play it by ear which makes it all the more entertaining.  Further, one actor who is a male but plays the part of a female, a grandmother to be exact, constantly reminds about values which is  good for the young viewers.

Why the title?  Oh yes, I almost forgot.  The lovers met each other via a split screen on TV.  Until after three months did they finally get to be seen together on screen.  They didn’t even talk.  It was just dub smashing on the part of the female lead, while the lead actor was the only one speaking.

Since it’s just a segment with no script but obviously a micro-mini soap opera, a lot of viewers got inspired to write a love song for the characters, yours truly included.  The noontime variety show even started an original songwriting contest for this, to which yours truly joined but never got to be included among the selected finalists.  Oh well.

Anyway, the nicest outcome of this segment was that the groups of fans have become organized; the proceeds generated in that three-hour show have been used to build libraries for marginalized public schools.  Priceless, really.  I suppose if the lead actors in this segment would run for office, it’s no contest.  They’ll win. By the way, of note would be the number of ads that these two actors have so far since their segment started.  Way to go, Kalyeserye! – that’s the title of the segment ( rough transliteration, Street Series).

Here’s my entry that did not get selected:

Split Screen Love Story:

Minsan sumama Kay lola                             (I was with my Nana one day)

alalay sa pagbigay ng saya                           (To help her make others feel gay)

sa TV napatingin ang Bae ang napansin  (I chanced upon the TV, wow, this guy’s         groovy)

At nahulog ang asking feelings.                 ( Then I knew, I had feelings for you)

 

Kakaiba ang love story natin.                      (Our love story’s unique)

Nagkakilala sa split screen                          (On a TV split screen we meet)

Nag dub smash ng awitin.                            (love songs I dubsmashed)

Maihatid lang ang damdamin.                    (To express my feelings at last)

At sabay ng pabebeng kaway.                      (with a cutesie wave I flash)

 

Nayamot na nga si lola                                            ( Nana is irritated)

Di daw ayon sa paningin niya.                              (For her our way’s liberated)

Sa tamang paraan dapat ika’y manligaw.         (There’s  a proper way to court me)

At personal tayong magkita.                                 (Let’s meet personally)

 

Sinunod mga payo in lola                             (Nana’s request we followed)

Tamang panahon naaabot na.                      (the right time for love behold)

Sa mga araw na lumipas                                 (As time passed that we got

Na live nagkasama.                                           To be together)

Tayo na ba talaga.                                             (Are we meant for each other)

Basta pinky swear na muna.                         ( this time just pinky swear

Sa tabi ko laging andyan ka.                          On my side, you’ll be there

Masabi sa yo Aldub kita.                                 And I’ll say Aldub you

Sagot mo’y mainenanahal ka.                    And you’ll say Me, love you too)

 

 

 

 

My Faith & Men of the Cloth

After watching a movie about transgressions committed by men of the cloth in the United States, I thought to myself, good movie, it deserves to win. And, did it affect my faith? No contest, I still believe. I’ll continue to support the Church.

Where I come from, our land has a solid almost 500 years of Christianity. When studying our history, one would come across readings about orphans who were given surnames like “Delos Santos” (of the saints) and “Delos Reyes” (of the king), who were actually offsprings of priests and government officers respectively, an ID of some sort at that time (see History of the Filipino People by Teodoro Agoncillo). Then we have our national hero’s two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Social Cancer) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed), which describe how the the Indios (the word used then to refer to the natives of our country) were being treated by the Spanish friars, the Spaniards as whole. Taken in one perspective, oppression and discrimination of the natives are part and parcel of being colonized. In another perspective, especially when it comes to religion, one would conclude that it was Catholicism which was the reason why the natives were easily colonized. Indeed, it was.

However, despite the fact that these were what happened then in our country, Catholicism is still very much the major religion. One might have encounters with men of the cloth committing moral transgressions but still, faith is there and remains strong. It cannot be denied that many have moved to other religious denominations or have been attending Catholic rites less and less or even being least observant of Catholic teachings; but when it comes to traditions like the recently concluded “translacion” of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, there is still a sea of devotees who have remained strong in their faith.

This is the year of mercy. We understand that our men of the cloth are still human; but we have expectations that they go beyond their “human nature” in their chosen vocation, that of being Christ’s ministers. We, too, in our daily lives are expected to live up the standards of our professions. As lawyers, we’re expected to uphold the law, not to twist it. As doctors, we’re expected to help keep our patients healthy, not drug dependents. As teachers, we practice what we preach, not “do as I say”. And the list goes on for whatever our vocation in life is. So let’s be forgiving and considerate of each other’s failings. As each profession has its own check and balance to make sure best practices are observed in the professions and the industries, the Vatican through our Pope Francis I is now taking measures regarding transgressions committed by men of the cloth.

So it is with my faith. It is microscopic, smaller than the mustard seed. My faith has been tested over and over with a lot of tribulations I’ve been through and transgressions against my person. It’s okay. My faith does not depend on the fallibility of the priest. It depends on how the priest, whether he is aware of it or not either through the gospel or through the sermon, is able to send God’s message for me. This makes it all well for me. And growing in my faith also needs to be worked on – through my interactions with other people, through my work but especially through prayer and meditation. See! That’s how I deal with my faith.

Lastly, if we need each other to grow in faith, all the more do men of the cloth need us that they are able to carry out their work as ministers of God. Let’s pray for them that they be strong in keeping their vows, that they be free from worldly temptations and that they will always be effective in spreading God’s Word to us. And despite all criticisms against the men of the cloth, I hope we continue to support the Church and its works.

Past Forward

I had work this morning and while at it I was gathering my thoughts on what I would write about for the last day of the year. It was a little difficult to do this as I was suffering from sore eyes. Yuck, I know. Anyway, my favorite movie trilogy came to mind – Back to the Future.

Maybe some or many may not have cared for it, but to me, it carried a lot of truths seemingly apt for a year-end bye-bye message and a way to welcome the new year.

First off, Doc Brown of 1955 didn’t like the idea of Marty mingling with anyone in that time for it will create an alternate future. And we all know what happened. In reality, this CAN’T happen. The past is just that… Pfft, gone, zilch, nada. So do our past experiences, our past relationships, everything that we did. Well it happened so let’s just put it down to lessons learned. If it was good, then we try to sustain those and be consistent, too.

However, Doc Brown of 2015 was all for Marty saving his son from being jailed. Marty came to the rescue, of course. This is reality.

We can change our future by starting today. We build what we could despite the contradictions, the hardships, the let downs because we know that what we are building will be for our own good. So we stick to it and listen to those encouraging words of our elders, our friends, our loved ones. We move forward against all odds so to speak. Along the way we make some changes here and there, some adjustments, give a little more time to concentrate on the difficulties that needs resolving but pretty soon what we were looking forward to now becomes ours, FINALLY!

Don’t let history repeat itself. Somebody advised me that perhaps the reason why some things/events/circumstance happen over and over is because I might not have tackled the situation correctly. Too true. There’s the right way and the wrong way. Do I take a U-turn? Definitely NOT. Stop at the curb and think about which way would be the best you could take. Leave the past, move on forward. Be sensitive about the signs though; they’re there to put you on the right track.

And to end this year’s last entry, let me quote from Numbers 6:24-26… “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

Happy New Year!