Saturday, October 9, 2004

[Essay] Our Greatest Wealth

We are born with two eyes in front because we must not always look behind, but see what lies ahead beyond ourselves.

We are born to have two ears - one left, one right so we can hear both sides, collect both compliments and criticisms, to see which are right.

We are born with a brain concealed in a skull then no matter how poor we are, we are still rich, for no one can steal what our brain contains, packing in more jewels and rings than you can think.

We are born with two eyes, two ears, but one mouth for the mouth is a sharp weapon, it can hurt, flirt, and kill. Remember our motto: talk less, listen and see more.

We are born with only one heart, deep in our ribs, it reminds us to appreciate and give love from deep within.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

[Essay] Three Trees

I would like to share with the world this very inspiring story that I read this morning during breakfast. It was published through the column Silver Linings by Gilbert Luis R. Centina III, OSA (People's Journal Tonight, Tuesday, 9/21/04 edition).

May God bless everyone who reads this and may they also realize and treasure the lesson found within:

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday, I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems and be decorated with intricate carvings. Everyone would see my beauty."

The second tree said, "Someday, I will be a mighty ship. I will take things and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally, the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest tree and straightened tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time, and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. One came to the first tree and said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter," and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest. At the second tree, one of the woodsmen said, "This looks like a strong tree. I should be able to sell it to the shipyard."

The second tree was happy, because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship. When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened, because it knew that, if it was cut down, its dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, so I'll take this one," and he cut it down. When the first tree arrived at the carpenter's, he was made into a feed box for animals, placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.

The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of becoming a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.

The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and a woman came to the barn. She gave birth, and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree.

The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose, and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe.

The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said, "Peace," and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat. Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets, and the crowd mocked the man who was carrying it.

Finally, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that, when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts.

Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are always best.

Keep it moving. You can clip this to your e-mail and pass it on so it may inspire more people. Sometimes the heart sees what the eyes can't.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

[Essay] Once Is Enough, Twice Is Too Much, Thrice May Be Deadly

Do you believe in the title of this entry? I do and it could mean a lot of things in this diversified world of ours. It could portray our wish list (i.e. those things we'd like to do before we leave this life), our mistakes, our relationships, our health, our decisions & our loves.

Normally, people inflicted with terminal illness tend to make wish lists to help divert their attention and to at least regain a sense of normalcy for their everyday life. Usually, this wish list of theirs consists of things they wanted to do or events they wanted to go to. It's not really the material things they wanted but the experience of life in the fullest, knowing that their time is nearly up. So they make the best of what is left. How I wish healthy people would have such care & reverence for life such as they!

The saying is also true when it comes to making mistakes because when we commit one for the first time, we are bound to learn something significant from it and rise above a similar situation in the future.

Same too with relationships but let's focus more on what psychologists termed as "unhealthy relationships." They called it such because both the relationship and the people involved are not growing in a positive way. Instead, it's destroying their self-esteem and confidence. If ever, you've got the guts to quit on such a relationship from hell, try to abstain from it for such depression that only a bad relationship can bring could have long-term effects to your intelligence, well-being & spirit.

When it comes to health, almost if not all teenagers would like to try new things even if they're educated on it & knew what the after-effects are. Examples for the youth and adults as well are smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling &

All the above examples have long-term bad effects except in certain cases when it comes to gambling (for a provoked sore-loser could kill you on the spot!). Smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling & sex is okay once, if you really can't quench that curiosity and you think it would only stop if you had a little taste. But STOP after that one little taste, except of course if you're a married person (for sex is an active part of marriage & family but do it with only one partner if you please!) and choose your partner well! Doing the above examples twice could start a habit until one day you'll wake up & find yourselves with lung cancer, cancer of the liver, a drug dependent (therefore you'll either be locked up in rehab, jail or in a mental facility/institution), STDs or worse, HIV. While it is true that science has already an antidote for cancer & HIV will follow soon, but WHY LET YOURSELF GO THROUGH THE AGONY & SUFFERING WHEN YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO STAY CLEAR OF THESE VICES IN THE FIRST PLACE?

When faced with difficult situations that needs to be decided upon with great care, we tend to come up with at least 5 options, paths, or strategies and each has a predetermined or self-projected consequence. As a result when we chose one of the five choices and it backfired, we tend to play the "what if" game while the situation is still fresh. But after some time, when we find ourselves in yet another similar situation (remember, history repeats itself), we tend to come up with another 5 and make the same mistake all over again! It would seem that we didn't learn from before. You may be right. So the challenge here is to remember what the other 4 options were & choose among the remaining 4. Who knows? You might get a more favorable outcome. If not, there are still 3 options left! Just don't use the same decision a million times when you know that it won't work.

And here comes the last but certainly not love. We have a lot of loves that will certainly come and go throughout the course of our lives and we can only learn from the experience and live through the loss and try not to be so foolish as we were before.

We have also heard of various love stories from family and friends and we too can learn from their mistakes, same goes with the various love stories we read in history books, novels & anecdotes.

There are great stories to learn from if only we would listen, pay really close attention to the details & keep the lesson close to your heart.

An example would be an obsessive lover. As you have read the book entitled, "Valentine." I'm sure you'll understand why something so innocent as love could turn out to be deadly.

A classic example of history repeating itself is that of an obssessive guy, following around your mom (when she was your age) everywhere she goes & then it happens to your older sister & then to yourself! So what do you do? Ask your mom & sister what they did to ditch the guy without getting themselves killed in the process & follow their example. If you do just the opposite & encouraged his unwanted attention, he could be so scarred by your rejection in the end that he could be plotting your kidnapping and digging up your grave so no one else will have you! The moral lesson here is not to play with fire for you might get burned. It would be nice if it turned out to be heaven but what if it's hell instead? How do you get out?

In conclusion, I would like to remind everyone that ONCE IS ENOUGH, TWICE IS TOO MUCH, AND THRICE MAY BE DEADLY.

Wouldn't life be so much more fun-filled if you try all of the "healthy" activities available at least once so that when you look back, you can say more or less, that you've already done everything imaginable!

Live life to the fullest - IN A HEALTHY WAY!

Saturday, July 3, 2004

[Essay] Reflections From A Man Buried Alive

During breakfast two days ago, I encountered a news article entitled "Man Buried Alive."

I can't help but be interested and so I read the short article and most probably as of this writing, he's currently applying for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for having defeated the record of a man who was buried alive for 4 days! Imagine that!

This guy (sorry, I forgot where he's located), was buried for 10 days without food, water & light. He survived & communicated with his loved ones through a tube attached to the coffin extending upwards to the outside world. And throughout his "experiment," he realized a few things and I would like to quote him:

"While I was underground, I thought about all the things happening in the world, and I realize that human life is so futile that we must be glad for the time given to us. We should respect our lives."

And I believe the lives of others too if I might add.

The above quotation got stuck on my mind that I forgot everything else about the man himself. Though it could definitely be harmful to our health if we too tried his experiment on ourselves, his words are worth of our own attention and reflection given this trying times whether it be political, social, or personal.

I'm going to refrain from giving my opinion on the political issue because it just might raise a few if not a multitude of arguments so to keep things peaceful, I'm going to comment on the social & personal issues.

On a social scale, just looking through the news would definitely give us an idea on how human life is so futile. There being various crimes committed, drugs and alcohol and other life-threatening elements all around us. Crimes are self explanatory and so are drugs. Now maybe you're thinking that alcohol only harms the one drinking but if you'd take a minute to think, I hope you'll realize that it isn't so. Especially when you drink and drive because clearly, it is a manifestation that an alcoholic has no respect whatsoever for his own health and is completely disregarding the safety of the innocent people around him who could be in an accident because of one irresponsible
drunk driver. I guess same goes with smoking.

On a personal level, the perfect example would be how a few heartbroken people kill themselves because some girl/boy dumps them for another. Didn't they realize that if it's not meant to's not meant to be??? True that it hurts so bad when the person you thought who loves you leaves you instead for another BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD! Instead, we should get up, wash our faces and get out - enjoy being single once again, meet new people - falling out with someone is just a way for us to learn something, for us to be stronger emotionally, a time to focus on ourselves and to take greater care of ourselves. Why did I say that last part? Well, based on observation and a few interviews from reliable sources, people in relationships - esp. in a give & give or take & take relationship-the ones who give & give tend to forget themselves & become less of a person compared to what they were before the relationship. You know what I, I'm saying that now is the time to do all the things you were planning to do before you got hooked up with some jerk (sorry for the bad language). Now is the time to rebuild your self-esteem & confidence. A time to pamper yourself and most of all, a time to love yourself a little more correction - A LOT MORE!

For others to learn to love & respect you, you yourself should learn to love & respect yourself. And the rest will follow your lead.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

[Essay] Life and Love

Two days ago, during our lunch break a friend of mine imparted words of wisdom regarding life and love specifically the answer to the question "When is the right time to get married?"

In times past, marriage is solely a means to acquire wealth (or more wealth if you're already a wealthy man), elevate your social status (if you're a lowly duchess and you caught the eye of a crowned prince, you're likely to be the next queen!), acquire a good name or bring into the
family respectability & title, and the list goes on and on. In times past, it is the man who has to do the hard work...i.e. approaching the woman, making the first move, entertaining short, keeping her interested. For a woman, it's quite easy (if you're a real beauty)for all you have to do is to attend all those soirees, dances, tea parties, musicales, and various social invitations that
the haut ton throws your way. Women in those times makes themselves visibly attractive at all times: their hair & makeup are perfect, they're gracious, polite, calm, elegant, moves around the room with such perfect gracefulness & poise, a beauty inside and out with their hovering mamas and a bunch of chaperones keeping a watchful eye on with whom you should be seen with and who should be avoided at all cost.

Though we have read a lot of historical romance novels and yeah, some, if not all of those situations, were once the norm of society. If a modern woman of today were transported to the past, it would definitely be such a great tragedy for her because it's not in the place of a
woman to decide whom to marry or to say yes to a marriage proposal but such privilege is given to either the father, the first born son, the uncle, the mother, the aunt (I think it's in that order).

As time passes on, people and tradition change as do society and culture. But of course, change is but constant in this world for our own progress. And as you can see and I'm quite sure you realize by now how courting nowadays is different from let's say the 18th century or so. Ok, so let's not compare it that far...let's say to the time of our own grandparents.

I'm not 100% a traditional person and I welcome & embrace new technology but there are values & traditions on how to go about things that I envy in their time. And that's the M word. I can't bring myself to say the word yet because it scares me. You may think I'm afraid of committment - well, maybe you're right. Their time was great when it comes to relationships because they got to know each other so well, did a good background check, and there's a lot of love & respect between them. And so they have lasting marriages compared to this modern era where divorce and or annulment is done in a blink of an eye.

On the subject of marriage, my grandmama advised me to marry well (i.e. a man who is honorable, responsible, a good son, a good provider, preferably has Chinese bloodlines, and most of all, a Catholic) while my mom says, I can get married right now if I want to (since I've gotten my degree) BUT it has to be to someone who is a good man, has a stable job, responsible, a good son, a good provider, & someone you're compatible with. He doesn't have to be filthy rich because you can't buy happiness & love but at least one who has a college degree to boast & comes from a good family and of course, a Catholic.

My grandmama married at a young age and my mom at 26. My 2nd cousin at 22 and a few friends at 19. So we found ourselves back to the question: "When is the right time/age to get married?" Both my grandmama & mom answered, when you are both physically, emotionally, intellectually, financially, and spritually stable..that's when you tie the knot.

But for this friend of mine, she shares: "It's not being financially ready that decides when but really, it's being emotionally ready that decides when. If you base it on finances or a fat savings account, then, you'll never see yourself married to the one you love. Being single & available, you tend to spend on whatever you fancy and you don't have that much to drive you to save more therefore, it would take forever for you to say, have a million bucks before you tie the knot! You might find yourself alone & wrinkled! All you need for finaces is a job, & a respectable amount of savings. You don't need a million before getting married because once you're married, spending priorities shifts towards savings because now, you have a family to take care of. It's now your goal to save & invest in things that would appreciate in the future."

While it is true that we should be emotionally prepared before we take on & start a family of our own, I think we should also be prepared financially due to the high cost of living that this day & age present.

In reaction to all that has been said and/or done, this is what I would like to leave you with for you to think about: "When HUNGER comes through the door, LOVE flies out the window."

Monday, June 21, 2004

[Essay] On Human Suffering

Have you ever asked, blamed or directed your anger towards God? Have you ever found yourself asking, "What have I done to deserve this kind of suffering?" and then blaming God? I have. And not so long ago, about a year ago, to be exact, I have done just that over and over with tears streaming down my cheeks, my eyes puffy and my nose red from all that crying. It was the first failure I've had in my life and it's an important part of the career I've blindly chosen.

I FAILED. That's's over....

STOP THE DRAMA AND MOVE ON! That is what I'm telling myself now that I've had the guts to walk down memory lane and feel objective about everything that happened and analyze the cause of such pain and anguish.

As a human being too, I have observed not only in myself but also with others, when things go wrong or events didn't go the way we had planned it out so carefully, most of us tend to put the blame on everyone but ourselves. Up until now, I'm still mystified on the reasons why we do that. Of course, I can only speak for myself but I think, maybe because I was scared of what people would think of me and I think, at that time, it's beyond my comprehension to accept the fact that I'm a failure - correction, WAS a failure. I used the past tense because I have accepted that it was my fault, due to the fact that I'm not as crazy about my career as do others, and I wasn't really serious about it. In short, my heart and soul wasn't even in it! I know you're even asking yourselves, "Then why bother getting a degree in a career you don't even care for?" I'll give you the priviledge of an answer to that and it's because: I'm a responsible person to the point that I don't want to leave things unfinished and that is the reason why I studied hard for 4 years in college and is the reason why I'm trying hard to quench the restlessness stirring in my soul in order to stay. I'm also stubborn to the point that I want no to minimal changes in my life, which is why I have 2 loyalty awards and I'd rather stay where I am right now than face a future I'm not 100% sure of.

Having come to such a conclusion, I can feel a few regrets lingering but I would never trade them for anything in the world (even the cause of such suffering) because in those times, I have met wonderful people who are now my friends, my colleagues, my confidantes. I've learned to be weary of people with certain types of behaviour, know what their character is because of their body language. Because, in those times, memories & experiences have been formed and stored not in my brain but in my heart where I can look through in the future and learn something from it. I prefer storing things in my heart than in my brain because scientifically speaking, when a brain cell dies, the information dies with it too. Scary, isn't it? The heart does not have that kind of memory problem so experiences and memories are better kept there. The heart never forgets even if a thousand years or lifetimes has passed, it never forgets, which is why psychics & astrologists invented Soulmates!

Anyway, I'm sorry I got carried away in sharing with you my greatest suffering and so let's go back to the first paragraph. I'm sure that every single one of us has blamed God for one thing or another BUT...don't you think it's really unfair to put all the blame on God's shoulder when clearly, it's our own foolishness and pride that caused our own demise or suffering? OH COME ON! Think about it! Truly, it is unfair! Why don't you try to walk down memory lane and look at it objectively? You'll come to realize that what we do is what creates a reaction that would start another set of chain events that even God didn't plan for us!

God is the source of all that is Good and Holy. He has infinite love for us so why would He like for us to suffer? That is the question I had in mind but I found the answer during a homily three Sundays ago and the priest said, "God lets us suffer from time to time because first of all, we were foolish and we needed to learn a valuable lesson from such suffering but most of all, because He wants us to grow in all aspects and for us to have a stronger faith & bond in Him."

God is only waiting for you to call Him. So go ahead and pray...He will surely hear and readily help you. It doesn't matter that you're not religious, you've forgotten how to pray, you're a sinner (heck! everyone of us are!), you're the blackest of the black sheep...IT DOESN'T MATTER TO GOD! HE LOVES US JUST THE WAY WE ARE. God would rather have a REPENTANT SINNER than a PROUD & ARROGANT deeply religious man.

Keep that in mind.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

[Essay] Patience Is The Word Of The Day

Hi there! I bet you’re wondering why it’s all about patience. To tell you the truth, I’m not really a patient person especially when it comes to the nonsense stuff people throw my way. Yesterday was a really bad work day not because I was feeling a bit lazy but because I was quite irritable. Even the small things would make my skin crawl that day. I can’t explain it really and I can’t help but feel that way.

Now, a day after, I realize that I’m probably not the only one who suffers from such unknown irritation from time to time so I decided to write about my reflection an it goes like this:

Patience is not just merely a word to describe a virtue. It is how a person reacts to irritating elements that is beyond their control. From patience stems forth acquaintances then friendships. From friendships, we’ve got hope, love, and peace! Most if not all alliance were formed out of patience. I think Chivalry is a brother of Patience because they’re the same but not quite.

I know I may have affected a lot of people that day and sorry may not be enough to heal the hurts I may have caused but let us think about the chain reaction of being a little bit patient everyday and do it or at least try to. Because today is all about patience, I would like to share with the world a Bible passage which we could turn to for help when we desperately need to be patient with something or someone a irritating as my little irritant:

“You need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if you want him to do for you all that he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36 LB

“When your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” – James 1:4 LB

Look into your heart and believe that God’s promises, which are found in the Bible, will truly help you and open your hearts so that Christ will be able to make a home in it and you will feel the difference after praying the Bible passage above.

Keep up the faith!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

[Essay] Cancer Is So Limited

Just this morning, while drinking a cup of hot milk for breakfast, I read from People’s Journal Tonight dated Tuesday, June 15, 2004 under the Silver Linings column, a text message sent by and I just can’t resist but share it with you.

This goes out to those who are inflicted with the Big C and it goes:

“Cancer cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot corrode faith, it can’t eat away peace, it can’t destroy confidence, it can’t kill friendship, it can’t shut out memories, it can’t silence courage, it can’t invade the soul, it can’t reduce eternal life, and most of all, it can’t quench the spirit.”

My thanks first of all to for sending that to Silver Linings and of course to the columnist for publishing it!

Though we ourselves may not be inflicted with such a terminal disease, but many people in our lives, some are those whom we have loved, are loving right now, family members, relatives, and even friends and or acquaintances, are suffering from such. I pray for their strength to overcome whatever self pity they may have indulged in.

I hope this article would bring comfort to you and fill your body with warmth, your heart with love and your soul with peace and happiness.