Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Omnium-Gatherum (Random Thoughts 11)

The tightening of my pants is a witness to what I have doing in the past few weeks. Eating a lot! Since I did not spend Christmas last year here in Manila, I’ve almost forgotten how we Filipinos celebrate this wonderful season. Though my friends can’t and won’t believe me, it is true. I’ve gained some weight because of the too many pastas, chicken, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, sweet desserts and drinks that I have taken in. I plan to continue doing this in the next 3 or 4 days and then, back to normal fare. And I hope to lose all those weight I gained!

= = =

It was quite difficult to choose gifts this year. Busy schedule, Full-packed malls. Hundreds of choices. And well, limited budget too. And so, some friends I met for dinner, my treat. To many, I gave something that is completely practical and useful. To my godchildren, I included an extra item to their actual gifts… a plastic piggy bank (to encourage them to save up!). To some needy children, we gave little books about the love of God (others gave food and fun). And also food, specifically sweet yam. As a side story, I over-ordered and thus, ate a lot of sweet yam for the next five days!

= = =

It feels a bit weird to be in Manila, going to work each day whereas others seemed to be on a holiday already. It was wonderful though to leave home just 30 minutes before the start of the work day (I used to leave two hours before in order to beat the traffic!). It was fun to meet friends almost every night to celebrate, reunite (after a year!) and eat! It was tiring, of course. Especially if you sleep past midnight each night.

= = =

Thankful. That is what I feel. For the Lord’s faithfulness. For the Lord’s presence. I prayed that He would be with me this season. And He is, as He has always been with me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Leaving home...

Pastor Rodel and I were just talking about it via Facebook. He and his family wasn't able to sleep well last night because of neighbors who were so insensitive. The singing went on until 3am. And here I am, desiring to do the revisions on my thesis and I couldn't think. Why? Singing neighbors at the back of our apartment!. It almost 10pm and they are still at it. Good thing the kids playing in front of our apartment were done playing (and shouting!) volleyball.

For the past two years, we have been discussing about leaving this place. For many reasons and one of which was given above. Why are we still here? Because when there is a respite from these troubles, I forget the need to find a new place. I wish we didn't need to move. We are comfortable. Well, almost. Easy access to my office, church, shopping malls, etc. We can go home in the wee hours and still reach home safely. Good supply of water (only in the last five years, I think). No flooding. We can keep pets. No robbery (except for our mynah bird many years ago). No rental increase since we started living here.

Until 2008. Somehow, the demography has changed. The one living beside us started holding drinking bouts at our shared little entrance. The strong smell of cheap alcohol often wafted into our home. Cigarette smokes were blowing into our living room and bedrooms. It felt so uncomfortable to go in and out because they were blocking the gate. The number of kids increased in number and for the life of me, they seem to like congregating in front of our house. Sometimes, songs would suddenly play from cellphones and disturb my midnight slumber. Dogs yapping all night but were never made to stop by their owners. Every time there is a feast, a birthday, a holy week event, etc. they would set up the tent in front of our gate. The men living at the boarding house at the back of our apartment multiplied. There were more noise, more frequent visits and arrests from either the barangay tanod (village security) or the police. Then a few months ago, another floor mushroomed, effectively blocking our second floor window. Meaning? Less air and more noise. Many constructions were being done and thus, lots of sand and dust. And construction workers who huddle together and follow you with your eyes. I am not being discriminatory or paranoid. When I passed one group, I heard them suddenly talking about my dislike for cigarette smoke. How did they know? From then on, I took a different route to work.

The ceiling started leaking again. Even after I had it renovated. Yes, I had to initiate the renovations otherwise, the apartment would have crumbled over our heads (that's the reason why the rent was not increasing, I think). The cost I just deducted from the monthly rent. One reason for the renovations was to stop the rats from living inside the ceiling. But I think they have become so comfortable and strong that they were able to destroy the hurdles placed there. One even died and I could still smell it three months after (the renovations we did backfired a bit... we can't get to the dead rat!). Partly causing my asthma and allergies.

I don't want to move but the signs seem to be pointing to that. I have to admit that I am concerned about the cost and finding the right place. This is my comfort zone. Or used to be. It used to be my shelter when I feel worn out, afraid, and sad. But the "home" is now alienating us, even attacking us. I sometimes hate coming home, knowing that it is no longer my haven.

I am now praying to God to give me (or us) the courage to leave and trust that He would bring us to a better place in His time. I know there is no perfect place but somehow I think there is one out there where I could have more peace, safety, and comfort. A home. A haven for a tired soul.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Count your blessings

It is not right to just write about difficult things. Especially after a short hiatus from the blogging world. Thus, I would like to reclaim this moment and declare that I hope to write good thoughts in the next few things. Before I do that, I quote here a poem written by an unknown author. Count with me, please.

Count Your Blessings

Count your blessings instead of your crosses.
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes.
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears.
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean.
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth.
Love your neighbor as much as yourself.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tomorrow

It hit me hard. It hit me well. As I read the Exodus of Israelites from Egypt, I remembered God's wondrous miracles. He opened the Red Sea so that hundreds and hundreds of people could pass through dry land. He talked to Moses and allowed this chosen servant to see Him (only from the back). He clothed and fed this disobedient and grumbling people because of His great love and His promise to their forefathers. Throughout the Bible, I read stories about His faithfulness and grace.

My Father a loving God. His powers are infinite. He makes impossible things possible. He is in control.

Those who do not believe would wonder why believe in someone I cannot see. All I can give as a reply is that because He is real in my life. And I am so grateful that He chose to reveal Himself to me. For that I am so very blessed.

And so, I resist the temptation to worry. Instead, I take hold of His love and grace. He would always be there for me. He has my tomorrow in His hands.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I am learning: 2009 - A learning year

When the year started, I took hold of a challenge I felt God was leading me to take and embrace the things that He would teach me. Thus, I excitedly declared it as a learning year. I didn’t realize the significance of the challenge I took. It became a year of learning in all aspects of my life: spiritually, emotionally, mentally, socially, financially and even physically.


For the past 11 months, I have written here about some of the things I had to grasp, often with open arms, sometimes reluctantly and, now and then, bowing in acceptance after a long and arduous internal struggle. If asked to identify the many things I learned this year, I would include the following: trusting people, being a Filipino, security in Christ, and the gift of a mid-course correction.


Trusting people

It takes me time to open up and trust people. This year, I allowed myself to share more of what is in me to several good-hearted people around me. I tried my best not to be held back by my fear of being judged or rejected. Truthfully, there were those who didn’t understand me or did not even attempt to see things as I saw them. But they were counterbalanced by those who opened their hearts to me and my life stories. In the process, I learned that it’s okay to say what I feel and think. The talking intensified the joys, invited helpful insights and needed prayers, helped wash away the doubts, contributed to the faster healing of my pains, and increased my faith in God and in how He would fulfill His purpose for my life.


Being a Filipino

I struggled through the writing of my final paper for a political science class not only because it was intellectually difficult but because I also had to battle through my definition of who is a Filipino. It was my journey of finding out how I saw myself as a Filipino. It was not easy to reconcile the tragic and ugly side of our story as a nation with the gifts and blessings given to us as a country and people. I realized that we are a special breed of people - a unique blend of East and West - able to adapt, mimic and then create our own from our experiences, whether painful or blissful. I learned that leaving our country is not always a betrayal of it. For in the larger perspective of God, we are part of His heavenly country. We go wherever He sends us. We are being used for His glory.


Secure in Christ

Rejection, in whatever form and for any reason, can bring about a deluge of self-doubt. Yet, it is through these experiences that we are tested on whom we base our identity and worth. This basic belief became more entrenched in my heart - I am a child of God; I matter. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for me. There would be many more challenges, more pains and more heartaches. Life won’t get any easier as the years go by. But if I know who I am and what I have in Christ, I can survive whatever life brings me. And the wonder of it all is that I will be able to see the beauty and the blessings in everything instead.


Mid-course correction

Until we reach our final Destination, our journey will continue here on earth. And it can sometimes be disheartening to have in our pockets the many inadequacies, failures and mistakes we have made along the way. I thank God for the gift of mid-course correction (from the book of the same title by Gordon MacDonald). Whatever our age, regardless of our past, God can continue to regenerate, redirect and refine our lives. The choice, again, rests with us. To choose the consequences we would have to live with, to choose Him and His direction for our lives. As we voluntarily submit to God, He will breathe fresh vitality and introduce a new adventure in our lives.


The year is ending soon and so will this little corner where I have written my realizations and thoughts. I am glad that we are still being given the chance to learn from our past so that we can be better persons in the future. As the year ends, I am praying just one thing for all of us - greater intimacy with God.


Here’s to another year of journeying with God!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Omnium-Gatherum (Random Thoughts 10)

I have been out of the blogging world for the last three weeks. It took me some time to replace the laptop charger and somehow the momentum to write got a little bit lost in the process. Then, the reality of life intruded too much into my world and left me little time to reflect on what to write. It has its good side. I talked a bit too much to God. Yet, I remind myself that when I put my thoughts into words, I still speak to Him. The process of writing is a way of sifting through the things that are in my heart and mind and concretizes my faith and vision of God.

= = =

As the daily calendar on my desk became thinner each day, the passing of time became more palpable. Thus, I realized today that it’s the beginning of the end. December is here and soon we will bid goodbye to 2009. I told my closest friends that I couldn’t wait for this year to be over. In my mind, I want it to be 2010 already so that I would have a fresh beginning. The past year has brought me a lot of struggles and challenges in various aspects of my life: spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally and socially. I am not complaining though because my life has become richer. I do believe that I have become a better person. True, I sometimes wish that pain didn’t have to come my way but there are things that we could only learn when we experience the realities of life. The impurities in our character are winnowed out and we become better prepared for the next stage we are to face on this earth.

= = =

I received the expected criticisms. Not the commendations. What remains with me now are the praises telling me that I was courageous for taking on the challenge. A challenge that loomed over my life for the last two years. There were many times that I was prepared to give up, wanting to disregard the time, effort and resources I already gave in the past. The hurdle felt too big. But there were wonderful people pushing me to go on, to finish what I started, to strive and persevere even if there were others who seemed to be making my life a little more difficult than before. Have I finished the challenge? Not yet but almost there. I will be on the finish line soon. For now, I am relishing the surprising appreciation I received.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Food adventure

I was advised by my doctor to avoid certain foods that might be causing my breathing problems. For two weeks. What are they? Dairy, tomato, chocolate, nuts, beans, alcohol and cigarettes. My heart sank when I heard the last two. Okay, that's a joke. I don't drink and I am allergic to cigarette smoke. Seriously though, I told my doctor that I love yogurt. He said that it's not dairy. Hmmm... I think he is wrong in that. My next complaint was I won't be able to eat ice cream. He suggested that I try to find non-dairy ice cream! But is there such a thing?

When I got out of his clinic, the list of food to avoid began to increase. Pizza! Pasta! Cheesecake! Okay, I can always eat oil-based pasta. I like eating chocolate but I can survive without it for two weeks. Yeah, I can do this.

And so I headed to the grocery to buy snacks for the next two weeks. Got the surprise of my life! There are so many kinds of food that have milk or chocolate in them! BIscuits, cookies, muffins, chips, etc. Choco-filled, choco-flavored, filled with choco chips, nut-filled, cheese flavored, milk-flavored filling, butter flavored, etc! I ended up buying fig-filled cookies, malunggay flavored chips (I still have to try and see if it would even taste good!), salted and vinegar flavored chips.

The challenge was brought to the next level when I tried to look for something to eat for dinner. I love tomato and tomato-based sauces and soups. Hmmm.. Ended with a vegetable roll but I had to ask the salesgirl to take out the nuts. This would definitely be a challenging two-week diet to follow!

Then off to a wedding tonight. And what did I see? Delicious food! A choice of either white or red sauce for pasta. Shrimps in tomato sauce. Fish fillet with butter sauce. And lovely looking cakes and desserts with chocolates, cream, and milk. Waaaahhhhh! I couldn't eat those! I satisfied myself with the other food offered (which tasted good!)

At least I can look forward to another wedding in two-weeks time. And by then, I hope I would be allowed to eat these food that I love!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Faithfulness

If there is one word that could describe Christian and Claire's marriage, it would be faithfulness. God's faithfulness. As testified by the couple as well as their families, God's hand was present in every step of their journey.

Congrats and best wishes Christian and Claire!

For their story, please visit: http://capncrisp.multiply.com or http://ccwedding.multiply.com/

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dreams

According to www.pageaday.com for women :

“Dreams say what they mean, but they don’t say it in daytime language.”

—GAIL GODWIN

•We need these messages too. Our dreams give us balance.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Memory

My memory
Often it fails me.
The things that I just heard or said.
Even those I wrote down.
It can be irritating when you need the information.
You grope within your mind
Grasping for the right words.
Reminders don't always function.

Yet, these days
The challenge I face
Is trying to forget.
Why do I recall the little details?
Words, actions, places
Clothes, food, activities
And the hardest
Mistakes I said
Wrong decisions I took.

What I want
To remember the things that I must
And forget those that should be forgotten.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I am learning: On loving God’s Creation and men’s souls

The bus stopped and the passengers prepared to get off. The lady beside me popped a candy into her mouth. She slipped the candy wrapper into the narrow groove of the bus window. Then, the bus ticket from her bag joined the candy wrapper. I had to muster all my willpower to stop myself from confronting her. I really wanted to ask her, “What do you think you’re doing? After Ondoy and Pepeng? Can’t you keep your garbage inside your bag until you find a trashcan?”


What I just described is a common scenario in our metropolis. Passengers indiscriminately throw thrash while riding jeepneys, tricycles, buses, trucks and even their private cars. Heaps of garbage-filled plastic bags mushroom at street corners. Empty lots become repositories of unwanted junk. Apparently, we Filipinos haven’t learned our lesson from the tragedies that our country has just gone through.


Yes, our flood control system is substandard but it was aggravated by its severely clogged drainage networks, all filled with garbage. Big ones and small ones. Here we see people who don’t care about nature. People who don’t realize and don’t remember that the trash we throw away will always come back to haunt us. We forget that nature won’t take care of itself. It was given to Adam and his sons to take care of God’s beautiful earth. See what we have done so far with the responsibility given to us?


On the other side of the spectrum are organizations which fight for the environment. I often see them inside the malls or as I walk through the Ayala walkway. I understand and agree with most of what they are advocating for. Like I said, we are stewards of earth and all that is in it. However, I have qualms about those groups which veer toward extremism, becoming hyper-zealous for protecting nature while overlooking the reality that Creation is not the master to be served but, rather, its Creator.


I am not saying that we should not busy our lives taking care of nature. But we must remember that even this is just a reminder that our first calling is to share the Gospel. I believe that those who truly know God should have a high sense of stewardship for everything God created, that includes our environment. We might forget, though, that there is a more important kind of life that must be sustained. Spiritual lives.


We must remember that men’s souls are still more important. When Jesus came to earth, He gave us The Great Commission: To go to the ends of the earth and make disciples of men.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grocery

I went to the grocery store on my way home. I wanted to prepare as I hibernate for the next two days. My doctor told me to go home and rest. And of course, I didn't follow his instructions. I stayed at the office the whole day. Things to do.

I like going to the grocery. I enjoy browsing through the shelves to see if there's something new to try out. I think I like this better than shopping for clothes, shoes and bags. Choosing food is less complicated. I settled on buying salmon and pork for soups. Salad and sardines for dinner. And yogurt for tomorrow. Not enough but I can always buy something else tomorrow night.

Time to rest for now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Temptation

Nope. Not possible.
Why? Because.
Just is.
It will disappear.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 30: Finish?

It took me so long to finish this 30 day challenge. Technically, it has become a 37-day challenge. Truth be told, I was partly delaying this day. It would end my self-imposed requirement to write about something, anything. Yep, it is self-imposed. I like writing but I often find myself lost on what to write. Or even if I do want to write, I can't blog about the topic. Too personal. Too revealing. So why blog? Who knows? :)

Last night, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to breath and then die. Even though we believers know where we are going, I realized that there would always be that desire, little or big, to remain alive. Or at least, to pass away quietly and painlessly.

Who is Bob Ong? I have been reading some of his quotes in Facebook. There is truth in many of the words. They make me smile.

I have been writing about the things I am learning. The past few months, I have been trying to unlearn something. It's more difficult. It takes double the effort. No wonder my muscles are crying out from the stress.

Our teacher asked us what grade we would like to receive. If only I had the courage to pick the highest. It's hard to predict though if the choices we make might just backfire on us. If I choose the highest, she might think I am too proud and penalize me with a lower grade. If a lower grade, it might be considered a humble choice and be praised through the awarding of the highest grade. Or she might really just accept our suggestions and thus, I would be at the losing end. So I decided to base it on how much effort I gave. Otherwise, I am just glad that this class is over.

I heard Senator Gordon speak in a conference yesterday. He might not have a perfect speaking voice but his speech was well thought of. He knows what he is talking about. I wonder how he'd fare at the next election. The competition would be pretty stiff. At least 5 presidential candidates.

2010 will definitely be a crazy year. But I am looking forward to what it would bring. Something different. Something better. Here's to a better year!

I'm babbling. Trying to delay the inevitable. This is so like my habit of buying new things and only using or wearing them after at least a month or two. Weird. But that's just the way it is.

So I end it here. I know I can still write. But the title should no longer start with "Day"...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 29: Week-end experiences

I met 3 friends yesterday. Over coffee (for 1) and sweets (blueberry cheesecake for me), we talked about a funeral and a wedding. The funeral took place today. The wedding will happen next month. God allows us to have beginnings and endings. It doesn’t follow that the former is always happy and the latter sad. Both make our lives richer especially if we allow ourselves to mature and learn from the journey. And the beauty of it all is that when God closes a door, He opens a new one.


= = =


I am thankful for friends who know how I feel because they also went through similar journeys. They know that the process takes time and there is the tendency to dwell on the same details. But they are willing to listen and encourage you. Even if you sound like a broken music player.


= = =


Praise and worship for five hours. Last Friday. I almost didn’t go. I am glad I did. I needed to remember who is the center of my joy. - - > JESUS


= = =


Buffet at midnight. Egg, sausage, hotdog, pancit, fried rice, fried bangus, congee, maja, palitaw, pancakes. Late dinner or early breakfast? Both. It was all worth it. For $3 dollars. And two hours of chichat with friends / churchmates. Unfortunately, my body is no longer used to very late nights. But it was a good night…err… morning!


= = =


I have come to the conclusion that I don't understand them. Their mind works differently. Their actions are unpredictable. They could be intelligent fools or moronically smart people. They defy definitions or generalizations.


But so are we.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 28: Done

My last paper for this last subject will be submitted tomorrow.
One last thing to do is defense.
This will soon be over!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 27: Movies

As final exam, we watched the movie "Amazing Grace" and we must submit a reflection paper. I am doing that right now. Or at least, trying to. There are so many things I would like to discuss but my mind is a swirl of many thoughts. I was distracted by the rain and the frightening lightnings. I get lost in my own reflections, leading me to ideas that I know I could not translate into actions.

We can make life simple or we can make it complicated. Yet, life is never simple. There are so many complications.

I am babbling. Trying to fill-up this space so that I could write something for Day 27? No, this is just a mirror of what is inside my head. A jumble of thoughts and words, trying to make sense of a world that is often unfathomable. I am just keeping my faith in God that He sees the tomorrow and He knows that it is a better one than today.

Movies and papers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 26: Changes

A friend forwarded this to me. Are there changes happening in your life? Where are you right now? Just an interesting diagram. I am not sure if this is applicable to guys because I am not sure if they go through a valley of tears.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 25: Omnium-Gatherum (Random Thoughts 9)

Though we celebrated the happy news that friends would soon move to another country for good, it was still hard not to feel sad, too. Especially if the friendship has lasted for many years and has gotten stronger each year. It is hard to find real friends who would support you in any way they could. J and A (and baby C), I will truly miss you.

= = =

Beng was right. It is like the waves in the sea. It rises and subsides again. Sometimes you feel like being engulfed by it but sometimes you are deceived by the stillness of the sea. There are days though when a sudden wind of memory would sweep in the seawater and gets transformed into tears.

I am waiting for the sea to be calm again.

= = =

The mystery of friendships. You are good friends with girl A who is the bestfriend of girl B. Yet bizarrely, you don't get along with girl B.

= = =

Watered for 10 and then disappeared in just 2. How is that possible? So quick and then poof! Was it even there in the first place? Maybe not.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 24: Possible

Who would believe that I would do so? But I did.

I just ate the pickles I found inside the cheeseburger.
And I used to hate pickles.
I wore normal shoes last Sunday.
It's been a decade since I last wore those.
I let my hair get curly again.
It was 8 years ago that it was like that.
I have been eating pineapple.
It was in high school when I used to like it.

Change is possible.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 23: Needles

I was required to get some tests again. To check why my 4th finger (right hand) feels numb sometimes. I thought it would be a simple test.

Imagine my shock when a needle was stuck on my neck! Seven times! For a few minutes I was terrified. I was worried that something would go wrong and I would become paralyzed. I was just praying to God to help me through the test.

If only the procedure was completely explained to me. If only I didn't hear that the small needle wouldn't go through the muscle and the doctor asked for a bigger needle! What is it with needles and fear? Hmmmm....

Thank God it was over but I have a sore neck to show for it.

Another unforgettable medical experience...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 22: Sleep

My doctor diagnosed my upper back and neck pain as muscle spasm. She gave a muscle relaxant to drink every night. And I was required to sleep at least 7 hours each day. So for the last three nights, I had been getting my quota of sleep. It felt good waking up.

I wonder though why during the day, I still feel my muscles tense....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 21: Pain

It's all over. Pain in my neck, shoulders, eyes, waist, head, legs.
I feel the need to slow down.
I am not as quick as I was before.
Can't do the just 2-hour sleep anymore.
Yeah, I am getting old.
So you put hot compress and balms.
Get some therapy and do stretches.
Take a few more medicines.
Have longer sleep time.
Eat a little healthier than before.
And somehow, you feel a little better.
Now, if only that is enough cure for all pains.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 20: Liking

There was a time that I thought that knowing God should mean that I have to like everyone. And that everyone should like me. Or at least not dislike me. But as I experience more of life, I realize that it is not possible. There would always people I don’t and can’t like. Not because I am being mean, but it’s just that people come in various shapes and sizes. Introvert and extrovert, serious and hilarious, patient and impatient. Some go for dark chocolate, others for white. Some find cells interesting, others like climbing mountains or prefer investments and wooden objects. Some find peace in nature, others get recharged from watching films. Others hate exercising, while some are health-buffs. Some people exude serene souls and it’s so wonderful to talk to them. Others take the energy out of you and you need some space before you see them again.

Yes, I am learning not to have to like everyone. I don’t have to apologize for it. It’s just the way it is.

And I don’t have to try so hard to make everyone like me. To some I am boring, to others I am interesting. To some I am adventurous, to others I am not adventurous enough. I may be intelligent to some but to others I am a dimwit. To some I am very serious, to others I can be naughty and hilarious.

I have learned that people can’t always like me and I can’t always like everyone. And of course, it doesn’t mean that I should be unkind. I know that I still have to exhibit the love of God. This is what makes life a little more interesting and challenging!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 19: Honesty

Beng tagged me so here goes… :)

= = =

Can you fill this out without lying (it's not hard)? You've been tagged, so now you need to answer all the questions HONESTLY. At the end, choose at least 8 people to be tagged. Don't forget to tag me!

To do this, copy this entire message, then go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, start a new note, paste these instructions in the body of the note, delete my answers, and type yours. Easy!

Next, tag people and list their names at the bottom. Have fun! :)

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Corned tuna

2. Where was your profile picture taken? Santa Cruz, Laguna

3. Can you play the guitar? Nope

4. Name someone who made you laugh today? My physical therapist this evening.

5. How late did you stay up last night and why? 1am. The neighbor’s dog was barking all night!

6. If you could move somewhere else, would you? Somewhere where there is nature and fresh air

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? No(t yet)

8. Which of your friends lives closest to you on Facebook? Verk, my high school classmate

9. Do you believe ex's can be friends? I will soon find out.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? Who is he???

11. When was the last time you cried? Last week.

12. Who took your profile picture? My colleague

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? My friend from my previous job.

14. Was yesterday better than today? Yes.

15. Can you live a day without TV? Yes.

16. Are you upset about anything? Yes.

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Some are, some aren't...

18. Are you a bad influence? Err....depends.

19. Night out or night in? Either way, depends on the occasion and the weather.

20. What item(s) could you not go without during the day? water, toothbrush, lipstick

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say? Ayos na landline nyo? (is your phoneline working already?)

23. How do you feel about your life right now? There’s a purpose for this. I am looking forward to next year.

24. Do you hate anyone? Hate is too strong a word. Nope.

25. If we were to look in your Email inbox, what would we find most? Subscriptions and copies of my blog entries!

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? If they could identify calcium then I won’t! hahaha!

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Never. I don’t think I would be called that, ever. J

28. What song is stuck in your head? May bukas pa ang iyong buhay… (sang by my officemate and got stuck in my head!)

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m., who do you want it to be? Jesus

30. Wanna have grandkids before you're 50? Impossible to happen now! Hahaha!

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow: Work. Write. Eat.

32. Do you think too much or too little? Too much.

33. Do you smile a lot? Not these days.


Tagging anyone who wants to answer this! :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 18: I'm an ectomorph!

Body Types - Which One are You? The Ectomorph, the Mesomorph, the Endomorph, or a Combination?

We have known for quite some time now in bodybuilding that different body types respond differently to both training and nutrition. As a result, it is incredibly important to be aware of what your body type is so that you can design a training and workout program accordingly. In this article, the history of body types and some interesting pieces of information to help you identify them will be mentioned.

William Sheldon

William Sheldon (1898-1977) was an American psychologist who spent his life observing all the variety of human bodies. He taught at several universities and spent his career doing valuable research. As a child he was an avid observer of animals and birds, and as he grew up, this hobby turned into a strong ability to observe the human body.

The basics of body types are listed below:

The ECTOMORPH
  • Definitive "Hard Gainer"
  • Delicate Built Body
  • Flat Chest
  • Fragile
  • Lean
  • Lightly Muscled
  • Small Shouldered
  • Takes Longer to Gain Muscle
  • Thin


The extreme ectomorph physique is a fragile and delicate one. The bones are light, joints are small and muscles are slight. The limbs are relatively long in proportion and the shoulders droop. The ectomorph is a linear physique. Straight up and straight down, and may appear longer than he or she really is, due to the length of limbs coupled with lack of muscle mass developed on those limbs. The ectomorph is not naturally powerful and will have to work hard for every ounce of muscle and every bit of strength he or she can gain.

Other Ectomorph Traits

The extreme ectomorph may have long fingers, toes and neck are long. A pencil neck you could say. The features of the face are sharp, and the shape of the face is triangular. The lower jaw is somewhat receding. The skin tends to burn easily. Extreme ectomorphs may suffer from extremes of temperature. Due to the great body area in relation to muscle mass, the ectomorph may suffer from great heat, and due to low body fat, the ectomorph may suffer from great cold. The hair is fine and grows quickly and is sometimes difficult to keep in place.

Famous Ectomorphs

Lisa Kudrow, Kate Moss, Brad Pitt, Seth Green, Edward Norton.

The MESOMORPH
  • Athletic
  • Hard Body
  • Hourglass Shaped (Female)
  • Rectangular Shaped (Male)
  • Mature Muscle Mass
  • Muscular Body
  • Excellent Posture
  • Gains Muscle Easily
  • Gains Fat More Easily Than Ectomorphs
  • Thick Skin


The Mesomorph Body

The mesomorph has well-defined muscles and large bones. The torso tapers to a relatively narrow and low waist. The bones and muscles of the head are prominent. Features of the face are clearly defined, such as cheek bones and a square, heavy jaw. The face is long and broad, and is cubicle in shape. Arms and legs are developed and even the digits of the hand are muscled.

Other Traits of the Mesomorph

The skin of the mesomorph is thick and the mesomorph tans well. The hair is heavy in texture.

Famous Mesomorphs

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, the majority of Mr. Universe winners.

Endomorph

  • Soft Body
  • Underdeveloped Muscles
  • Round Physique
  • Weight Loss is Difficult
  • Gains Muscle Easily Like the Mesomorph.


The ENDOMORPH

The body of the extreme endomorph is round and soft. The physique presents the illusion that much of the mass has been concentrated in the abdominal area. This may or may not be true. The arms and legs of the extreme endomorph are short in length and taper. This may give the appearance of stalkiness. The hands and feet of the endomorph are comparatively small, and the upper arms and thighs are often more developed than the lower parts of the arms or legs. The body has a high waist.

Other Traits of the Endomoprh

The skin is soft and smooth, and the hair is fine. The head of the endomorph is spherical. The head is large and the face broad.

Famous Endomorphs

John Goodman, Roseanne, Jack Black.

Combinations of Body Types

Very often, people cannot be easily classed as one of the three main body types. Although there are some people who are purely ectomorphs, endomorphs, or mesomorphs with little or no characteristics of the other body types, very frequently, people fall into mixed categories, such as ecto mesomorphs, or endo mesomorphs, where largely, they are like the mesomoph, but with traits of the ectomorph (such as small joints or a trim waist), or traits of the endomorph (such as a tendency to gain fat easily). http://www.bodybuildingpro.com/bodytypeinformation.html

Day 17: Mistakes

You commit them.
Big ones, small ones.
Planned, unplanned.
Wrong actions, bad decisions,
Hurtful words, slap-like acts.
But once they are done
You cannot take them back.
The glass is shattered.
At least there would be scars.
So you admit your mistakes
Learn from them
And then move on.
At least try
Even if it is hard
Hoping that one day it would be gone
The pain of taking the wrong step
Of saying unkind words.
One day...
it would be gone.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Day 16: Wish

We know the reasons behind the tragic flooding that happened several weeks ago. First, nature has unleashed its power, deluging us with unprecedented large volume of water in a matter of hours. I can now imagine how the Great Flood happened. I am just thankful that we have the rainbow as a reminder that that won’t ever happen again. But the second and more painful reason is human error. Developments along or onnatural water ways, construction of shanty houses beside river banks, clogged drainages because of irresponsible throwing of trash, lack of comprehensive flood system, destruction of trees to hold up the water, etc.

The fingers started pointing to anyone and everyone. The poor for staying where they are not supposed to be. The government for not implementing the law, for being corrupt, for being disorganized. The developers for incessantly constructing where they want. For the people because we throw our waste everywhere. It was the result of decades of wrong decisions, lack of discipline and foresight and weak political will. We are now becoming conscious because we feel too well the pain from the death of loved ones, the destruction of our homes and livelihood, flood related diseases, and the mounting debts.

How I wish that our country would learn from the many errors of the past and implement changes so that there won’t be such tragedies. How I pray that the pointing of fingers would stop and the government would have the political will to function according to its mandate… to serve the people.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Monday, October 05, 2009

Day 14: Faith

Isn’t it great to receive God’s assurance?

I am praying that He would continue to grant me the faith to believe.


May he give you the desire of your heart

and make all your plans succeed.

We will shout for joy when you are victorious

and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the LORD grant all your requests. – Psalm 20:4-5

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)