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Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Our 8th Year - A Service With A Heart

I can still recall when I was approached by our dear President to be part of this social organization some eight years ago. I am amazed with the burning desire of this person to help that it would be perfect if I can work hand in hand with the then young organization he pioneered.  I was on their family flat in Al Khobar having a visit and probably eating something (a native delicacy I guess), when he told me this:

Mr. President: “Would you like to join us in our organization?
Me: Sure! It's a privilege as I myself is inclined to these kinds of works.

Being socially inclined with this kind of work myself, I never even blink my eyes before I say my sweet “Yes”. Wow, it has been eight straight years. And we have gone so far and will continue to soar high to cater to the needs of the less privileged kids in our hometown. It is such an honor to be part of a social cause which aims to help prepare young kids - let alone less fortunate ones - to reach their dreams and somehow reciprocate the acts to others when they are already in capacity to do so.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Awesome Blogger - January Edition

The King of CDA with his chinito looks
How time flies fast. Only few days are left and January will turn over its calendar reign to February.

Speaking of February, we know that flowers and gifts are running out at every store during this month. People especially love birds are in a hurry to choose which gift shall they offer to their beloved. 

February is the season of the heart. A time of the year when you frequently see red color in a heart-shaped object. Love songs can frequently be heard playing in every music station. Love fills the air. Romance takes its center stage. How lovely isn't it?

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Hopeful Expecting Less - REPOST

The last time I entered a contest was way back in college during my quiz bee stints inside the campus and inter-university competition.

My last memory of losing was when I participated in a “Brain Twister” quiz bee in Holy Trinity College in Quezon City (a school near St. Luke’s Hospital) where I just ranked 8 out of 33 participants. It’s a brain drain though. Competing against the toughest kids from the likes of UP-Diliman, UE, PLM, PUP, Ateneo, and etc. brought me in awe. I just can’t believe I’m among them. It was like “Do I belong here” kind of feeling. Doubting as I was, I just concentrated and did my thing. In the end, I lost. Though I would say it's a graceful loss. A real fighter never quits and despite on a losing end, still finishes the battle.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Because We Care: Promoting PBO’s Mission – Part 2

Relating to my previous post CLICK HERE- this is the continuation of my promotional campaign to spread out this worthy cause initiated by four ordinary yet  driven people behind a group called “Pinoy Bloggers Outreach”.

I've always been fascinated with people who despite their life's busy schedule still find time to think of something that alleviate a poor human condition. 

I, for one, is also a social worker and has been involved to numerous social organizations both permanent and as a volunteer. I love the idea of extending a hand to the less privileged people. I don't know but I guess this is my personal mission here on earth. It always gives me a priceless satisfaction and inner fulfillment of the soul. I see life in a different perspective when I'm with people who shares the same blazing passion with me.

Road Mishap - Ten Wheeler Truck Overturned

We are on our way home last night from my wife’s place when something went wrong on the road 20 kilometers away from our place in Dammam. I’m with my brother-in-law and his wife

We passed the “check point” phase smoothly and drove fast when suddenly we need to lower down our speed because the vehicles ahead of us did so. We were wondering what happened far ahead of us that caused the traffic congestion.

It’s quite absurd to think that when you’re in a slight hurry to reach home something unlikely would happen that would test your patience. So we patiently waited while our speed is like a turtle-paced.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Around The World - Inside The Office?

Earlier in the office, I had my knowledge tested again by my Indian officemate about the different countries’ capitals. What led us to this idea was when we’re plotting out purchasing issues for international suppliers in our weekly purchasing and monthly purchasing plans.

He just randomly asked me question if I know the capital of India (obviously where he came from). I told him “Of course! Yes – crediting to my stock knowledge in my History subject in high school. I didn’t recite the answer. Doubting Thomas as he was, he insisted that I should pronounce it loudly to him. I told him no need but assuring him that I know the capital. But he further insisted to tell him or even write it in a piece of paper.

Annoyed as I was, I tell it directly to his face by saying, “Ok, the capital of your country is New Delhi” and to prove further my confidence I even wrote it in a piece of white bond paper in bold letters.  So, by that time, he was already convinced that I really do  know his country’s capital.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Because We Care: Promoting PBO's Mission - Part 1

It started with a small dream. Fashioned for a cause. Groomed to spread happiness. Assembled to release the joy from within. 

As the tagline says: "We have a unified vision to take blogging experience to the next level by fulfilling our mission to share our heartfelt support to the less fortunate."

These group of people embodies the heart of a servant. Passionate for a cause, selfless for an act of kindness. 

It is so heartwarming to think when people starts realizing their potential to do great things by sharing their time, talent, and treasure to the next one in need. I am privileged to have known the real people behind these bloggers. People who not only devote time to create opportunities but also find time to share the happiness. Creating opportunities that will validate their existence in this world. 

It is remarkable to note that all of us have something within us that is reserve to touch one's life. An act that should be unleashed to spread out such a paradigm that will send smiles to the people in our community. That will push a glimmer of hope for someone in distress. That will uplift a burdened spirit that hope can still be availed and endless.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ang Bagong Kalabaw Ni Tatay

Isang gabi natagpuan ko na lang ang aking sarili na nakaupo sa isang silya at nakalapag sa ibabaw ng mesa ang isang plastik na baso na may lamang mainit at mamahaling kape ng Starbucks. Naisip ko na sana sorbetes nalang ang sinadya ko sa kalapit na tindahan dahil maalinsangan ang paligid pero mas una kung maispatan ang Starbucks. Napagtanto ko na wala pala ako sa aking lupang sinilangan. Nasa ibayong dagat pala ako. Dinala ng pangarap at pagsisikap. 

Muntik ko nang makaligtaan sa isip ko na isa na pala akong OFW - magli-limang taon na! Marahil dala na rin ng pagod sa paghahanap ng ipapasalubong ko sa mga mahal ko sa buhay  sa aking nalalapit na pag-uwi kaya nawala ako bigla sa normal na takbo ng kasalukuyan.

Monday, January 21, 2013

When Photographs Speak - The Adventure Down South

(L-R) Jansenn, my wife Wida, Ringo, Joy, Me and sitting down Clarice
(Jansenn, Joy and Ringo are all Fil-Canadian citizens) while
Clarice is an Italian- American
Right after our church wedding last December 13, 2011 in Caleruega Church called as "Transfiguration Chapel" located in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas, - we packed our stuff, drove to the  airport, and  headed down south in the majestic and  scenic - Palawan.  Yes, we now belong to a "December Wedding" couples - if there is such a thing. It was my long dream to reach Palawan - a dream that has been put into halt for several times due to hectic schedule way back then. Luckily, I never thought that I'd reach this awe-inspiring place as our "honeymoon getaway". 

Originally, we've been planning to celebrate our honeymoon in Bangkok - reason why early on during the wedding preparation, I had been in constant communication with my good friend (now kumare) Cecile- who is based and working in Bangkok, Thailand. But due to heavy floods occurring incessantly in Bangkok, we were advised by Cecile to find another country as a replacement. As much as she wanted to accommodate us, she's afraid that the shifting and unpredictable weather condition might ruin our stay. Right after hearing that news from Cecile, we planned to explore Singapore. But were a bit hesitant if we will still be pursuing an out-of-the-country honeymoon. After my fiancee (now my wife) and I discussed thoroughly about the budget and other considerations, we finally let go of Singapore - consoling ourselves that we will just visit the place some other time. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movie Review: Letters to Juliet - REPOST

I have seen this romantic flick more than twice and I just love its plot, story, and setting. Perhaps, the medieval guy in me rose up to appreciate again historic affiliation in this movie.

Some of you might find it too early of a February post. It’s sort of like an advance attempt to set everyone’s mood for the “heart's month”. Whether it’s too early or just in time, it’s for your judgment anyway. After all, I know after reading my review some if not many of you will look for a downloaded copy, or a Blu-Ray or a DVD copy of it and satisfy your beaming interest to watch it.

This one is a re-post from an almost two years ago entry. I will just update some text contents in it to cater to the current time.

It is imperative amongst us how we had our love story. How we start to feel when someone romantically caught our interest. Sometimes, we develop a particular fondness for the person we’re dating. We just can’t stop thinking about him/her, even after many, many hours savoring his/her company. We are left in a quandary about our feelings and certain queasiness pervades our days. Then we ask ourselves the question: “Have I fallen in love to that person”? 

Love is a wonderful thing. But it is something that we should be certain about, least we spend many sleepless night in deep thoughts and confusion. Sadly, determining the veracity of love is not always easy. Sometimes, a deep infatuation is equated with the same.

So how do we know that it’s love? A real love that is? What could we be sure that the other person is not only the object of our thoughts but the object of our hearts as well?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rated BP as in "Baby Patronage": Damien Caleb's Fun Times

I reached home at around 2pm today. Good thing, my driver Dulal was able to speed-up the velocity without being caught on camera in some areas. Dito sa KSA, kung nasa highway ka, kapag nag over speeding ka bigla na lang may magpa-flash na camera on the side and kaboom "huli ka" - And what's the verdict? tumataginting na SAR 900.00 more or less 10k in Php peso. Anyway, it's just a side story. 

So dumating ako ng house at 2:10pm. Kagigising lang ng aking cute boy at ng wife ko. Kaya pala di ako sinagot sa text ko while on my way home ako kanina kasi tulog pala silang dalawa. At yun, sa sobrang sabik ng daddy sa cute boy bigla akong lumapit while her mom ay binibihisan siya. Of course, kinailangan kong maglagay ng alcohol gel kasi papagalitan ako ng wifey ko if hahawak ako sa baby ng di naglalagay. My wife is so strict when it comes to hygiene. Understandable kasi she's the "Infection Control Supervisor" ng hospital where she works kaya ganun siya ka strict. Many a times where I was caught not using it kaya maraming beses na din ako nase-sermunan hehehe..sermong may pagmamahal naman hehe (palusot pa)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Procrastination - Are You Guilty Of It?

According to Mr. Google--Procrastination is an act of putting-off doing something habitually. In Psychology it refers to the act of replacing high priority action with task of lower priority.

Have you been guilty of procrastination? I bet we are at some point. It totally sucks right? 

I, for one, has fallen culprit of this not so good practice. There are just moments that we just find ourselves doing something that is way out of our priority. That we give more time to other less important things than to those which should be done. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inspiring People No.1 - "A Man Of Steadfast Faith"

As stated in my previous post  of About Blog Improvements, Of New Features, Of People, And Of Real Stories, this is the first in my goal of featuring "100 INSPIRING PEOPLE OF MY 2013". Why "Of My 2013"? - it is because these people are of my own selection only, these people somehow inspire me in the way they live their lives, about their life advocacy, and about their positive vision that create optimistic influence in my life. 

On the side note, having my first entry does not necessarily mean he ranked number one on the list or he has earned my highest respect. All inspiring people to be featured here are on the same level-playing field - meaning they are equally inspiring in their own ways.

There are so many things and events that's been goin' on with the world today. Some of which are stories of technological advances and breakthrough, some of which are stories of triumphs and some stories are  headlining tragedies - stories like that of Sandy Hook Shooting in Connecticut, USA and just few weeks ago, the Cavite shootings in my own country as well. It's kind of sad to note that these events happen to innocent people.

In this age and time, people look for hope, for positive news, and for inspirations. Inspirations from people who can influence them to have a better outlook in life or to maintain optimism despite the crazy things that are happening around.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why Is "Pain The Second Best Thing To God"?

On A Yoga Pose at "Dolphin Beach" facing Bahrain

While lobbying into my heart for some hurtful things that I had encountered recently, I came across just a while ago an FB status of my former co-SFC (now also a CFC like me). I felt I was knocked-out by the very words in it. I felt ashamed of how I somehow treated my situation into like questioning God. But at the very end of it, I just felt His awesome presence in me through this encouraging words. I just feel the need to share it with you guys especially those who are experiencing difficult situation like me. This somehow will assure us of the omnipotent presence of God.

The Art of Leaving - As I View It

Some says life begins at the end of your comfort zone. And I guess I absolutely agree with  it. It is when you're tested in the water that you begin to see how and what life is.

Leaving is a part of one’s journey.

Leaving is seeking better opportunities beyond the realm of present job.

Leaving is believing that there are vast and open spaces for personal growth to discover.

Leaving is missing the opportunity to work again with people you come to see daily in your workplace.

Leaving is by all means the cause of heavy and hard cries and sleepless nights if reasons were motivated by financial stability and better security.

The Poetry Corner - Invisible Appearance Of A Tired Heart

Recently, I have been in a very emotionally-drenching situation. Sometimes, no matter how we project ourselves as a strong person, there are occasions where we're beaten by melancholy. There are those times where we submit ourselves to loneliness, just to feel again that we are human and that we are not as invincible as the superheroes in films. Well, for me it's good though that once in a while you recognize yourself as a plain human with normal emotions and candid reactions to events and situations that are presented to us. Vulnerability is not a bad thing after all. Being one, once in a while helps you re-affirm of your being an earthly creature. And here's what I'm into these past few days. I just transcribed it into a poem. Just read between the lines. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOW - PART 2 -My Raw & Unofficial Review

I will just be sharing to you guys the raw and unofficial review I did way back July 17, 2011 when I happen to watch the end part of the spell-binding saga of HP.

A decade had ended and finally we’ve reached the end of what I now call "The Final Confrontation". Seven Rowling novels have been turned into eight films which take around 20 hours to see or maybe more in DVD versions. The phenomenon is infinitely greater. A generation of readers and filmgoers has grown up with the bespectacled, wand-waving wizard and savior of the world from Privet Drive. Such a brilliant ending the way J.K. Rowling presented it.

Before the influx of thousands of excited people queuing in the ticket-booths and die-hard fans dressed-up to mimic their favorite Harry Potter characters and carry on their fancy wands, a lot has been talked about regarding this phenomenal saga. Many say it was an epic masterpiece. A movie unparalleled by its contemporaries in fantasy flicks except or even LOTR. And I must say a class in its own era.

I was able to watch the full length movie in an online site shared by a friend earlier in the morning during my three-hour break. Being a big Harry Potter book fan myself, I was overjoyed to see it. The best word to describe the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is epic. But even that is an understatement. I was blown away by the movie, and it was not even viewed in a gigantic and state-of-the-art & 3D-designed cinematic screen but only to the comfort of my own laptop. The final Potter film is a tour de force, with enough momentum that I think it will ride in victoriously during awards season. Hopefully, it might gain a citation or a nomination in the coming awards season.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Those Were The Days: Circa 2009 - Part 1

While looking for old pics for my featured first inspiring person. I came across a photo album that photographically chronicled our experience during the 11th SFC International Middle East Conference in Manama, Bahrain last October 28 - November 1, 2009. It still clearly echoes in my memory - the sheer fun and the unending laughter attending this awesome conference for Singles For Christ. 

Meeting different delegates from the Middle East Region is an awesome experience. Brushing off shoulders with SFC's of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in UAE, Muscat-Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, KSA and of course the host-country Bahrain tells stories of different pursuit.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Paseo De Sta. Rosa - Laguna - Funny Moment At The Parking Lot

I guess I just became a "Super Jay" tonight. I have done lots of things – posted two poems entries, wrapped the books for my blogger-friends, re-visited some of my laptop files and the list goes on. It’s really a feat so to speak. Added to that is the super uplifting worship songs that I keep on playing while doing these things.

While browsing my laptop, I came across several old videos. I opened each one of 'em and was delighted to watch again some funny moments of my night-out together with my WedSat Smashers Badminton Club. Here below is a funny moment classic. 

This video was taken last October 27, 2010

Upon watching, it led me back to the memory of our food tripping to Paseo De Sta. Rosa in Laguna. It feels like it was just yesterday with them. We're about to leave the place after we have enjoyed eating, chatting, and lightly drinking when Ren suggested that we'd do a "Pinoy Henyo" game at the parking lot before we finally head home. And so, the above video is one of the funniest videos I've ever had that night. I was literally running out of guesses as to what's the answer on top of my forehead. 

That was epic! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Poetry Corner: Ashes of Burnt Eyebrows

Flattered to have received positive comments regarding the poem I re-published here in my blog entitled I Need To Be Loved delivered by my former Grade-4 student Erika Marie Esteban. 
And to delight you again with another masterpiece of mine. Here once again a simple poem I especially composed way back March 21, 2006 to my Grade 5- First Honor Ephraim Ders Murro which he delivered during the graduation ceremony that year. 
Currently, Ram (as I fondly called him) is now a sophomore student of University of the Philippines - Diliman, Quezon City taking up a five-year degree course. I just forgot if it's Mass Communication, Business Administration or Political Science - I need to ask him to be sure. And I'm still in constant contact with him and even to my former grade school students. In fact last May 2010, I had arranged a get together with my former students when I went back to the Philippines for vacation. I was surprised how big they were already and I even jokingly shouted out "Stop growing guys!". Now, they are pursuing their dreams in college and seeing them excel in school is equivalent to my achievement too. That my mentoring has paid off.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Poetry Corner: I Need To Be Loved

I was requested by our school principal to create a poem to be recited in the recognition day of my pupil in Grade 4- English. At first I told her, maybe we could just research for a poem fitting for that year Department of Education's theme. Don't ask me what's the theme....LoLs...I completely forgot about. But she insisted it would be nice if I can compose a simple one. And so the obedient in me, quickly submitted to her prodding. My feet was put to testing water when I find it hard what poem to create. It took me several nights of thinking until I came to this lovely yet meaningful poem.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The 365 Life Lessons Project: Life Lesson - 1

"A Son Longing For Dad's Reconnection"

While reading page 79 of “Chicken Soup For The Soul: Thank Dads” inside the car on my way home, a close blogger-friend suddenly popped-up in my mind. I remember how in our series of online chat he would discuss about his sour relationship with his dad.

Sensitive topics such as that related to a family always catch my utmost attention. His story about his dad is worth listening. Along our convy, I can strongly feel how he felt disconnected towards his dad. I quickly gauged that there is a clear gap between him and his dad. A gap that was rooted when he was a young boy growing up.

I feel him. I feel how pain still lingers in his heart even at present despite confessing to me that he had forgiven him already. He had attempts to get closer to him but none of his efforts succeeded.

Being a young dad, I somehow understand where he is coming from and there is this “dad’s instinct” in me that wanted to comfort him, that wanted to show him and let him feel how it is to be embraced by the love of a father. At some point I even musingly agreed to him calling me his dad even if it means a bit of awkwardness since I’m just several years his senior.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

About Blog Improvements, Of New Features, Of People and of Real Stories: LOOK WHAT'S NEW

In line with the changing of the year, I also have devised some changes, improvements, and features in my blog. A combo of both new and old but improved features will be frequently seen in my blog. As true to its main reason – which is to really inspire bloggers-readers, I have come-up with this idea. As a writer in the online world  and though blogging is subjective, I somehow feel to be utmost responsible with what I write. And what better way to write than to inspire your readers with things not as extra-ordinary but of simple event or situation where anyone can derive inspiration, embrace hope, and uplift drowning spirit. 

This year, I will be writing a more seasoned and relevant write ups. Those which has the element of human-inspired stories, those that can collectively stir the mind and heart of my reader to pedal their own dreams, those which are community-based wherein ideas and insights can be an effective tool in effecting and affecting positive changes in one's community and/or organization. On a larger scale, I will be writing in support of the development and improvement of my country. 

Though, I want to clear the picture by saying that I write not to impress but borne out of love. My writing is raw, imperfect, with flaws, isn't far from erroneous grammar. Technically,I am not a trained creative writer and I don't write based on structure. It's free flowing of thoughts captured by my pen out from my mind.  As long as I am not hurting anyone, I will continue to write. And best of all, it's God's gift I'm just putting in action.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

About Twenty Thirteen: What Lies Ahead Is Up To Us

Recently, we have just closed the last leaf of our book for twenty-twelve. Part of closing is making peace and reconciliation to every minuscule of rifts we have had. We have to or else we will be haunted by our unresolved past and moving on and ahead will be difficult for us. Have you had done it? - if any? 

As for me, I always find "me time" to contemplate and reflect on the past year and talk to God - thanking Him, asking forgiveness for shortcomings and mistakes done, and asking for guidance for a brand new year. 

Way back in the Philippines, I usually go to the "Blessed Sacrament" in "Nature Church" located in Moonwalk - Las Pinas - where I started my SFC (Single for Christ) life and served as a choir member even though for a short span of time. If you don't know the place - paki- google na lang hehe! The Italian Architect who maintains the church's structure is a good friend of mine. How did we became friends? - Well, his daughter to a Filipina was once my grade school student. FYI - I taught grade school English and Computer subjects in a private school owned by my dear Tito in Las Pinas. That was long ago hehe! Way back 2004  until 2007. 
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