Friday, December 3, 2010

AVP for the 2nd Sunday of Advent (2010)

Presented before the beginning of the Mass in the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy. This is done so that the faithful who attend the celebration of the Holy Mass in the Shrine are given awareness of the greatness of this Liturgical season. Advent calls us to a life of preparation for the Lord's coming in Christmas.

AVP for the 1st Sunday of Advent (2010)

Presented before the beginning of the Mass in the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy. This is done so that the faithful who attend the celebration of the Holy Mass in the Shrine are given awareness of the greatness of this Liturgical season. Advent calls us to a life of preparation for the Lord's coming in Christmas.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Before I left Don Bosco Makati, one word was introduced to me – “IMBA.” IMBA is short for imbalance or imbalanced. In the past few days, one thing is lingering in my mind; and, that thought is how much I yearn for balance. Balance not in my surroundings but balance for my personal well-being.

In the recent years, I got my mind so occupied with so many responsibilities. Yes, I have committed myself to so many things. Added responsibilities mean added tasks. However, as the months and years progressed I notice one thing, I became forgetful and I tend to forget which task should come in first because I have realized that everything that I wanted to do was personally considered a “priority.” This mentality and belief has led to many consequences. Effects have begun to take its toll in the recent times.

First, since I believed everything was a priority, there was always something that was left out. There was always something that was delayed. Some things were missed. Other things were left underneath the books and then ultimately forgotten. In the end I was the one who ended stressed-up.

Second, since this behavior resulted to stress, my body started to respond negatively. I got more sickly. My immune system dropping – getting hit by the cold several times in a year. I have become hypertensive with a blood pressure reading reaching up to as high as 140/100. And since every single thing I committed to was important, I simply did not have enough time to go to the gym anymore – though I try to come back now. As with regards to my health, I was not able to take good care of my body’s needs any more.

Third, since process has taken its toll in my mind and in what I do, I ultimately got so many process stored in my mind that sometimes I tend to forget the ones that should be done outright. For example, I was at the gym this afternoon. As a practice, I would take all my things and put them in my locker. Today, I completely forgot to put my shorts in my locker. What did my shorts have? Well, It just holds my cellphone, wallet with driver’s license and voter’s ID, my coin pouch which also holds my ATM card. It only occurred to me that I wasn’t able to put my shorts in the locker when I was done using the treadmill. I panicked and thank God that the attendant in the men’s room was kind enough to keep it for me. I ask myself, what other things will be lost if I do not change how I do things and how I perceive things.

I will have to say, my balance has been left shaken and I need to do something before the gravity of things increase.

Here is a quicklist of how I think I should respond to this:

First, accept the fact that I am not a “Superman” or supercomputer.

Second, learn to prioritize the things which really need to be done. Let the ones that need more attention come in first.

Third, give up some of your so-called priorities. Life is about balance and moderation. Too much of something is not good.

Fourth, you cannot do all things at once. You will need to give up something and concentrate on the things that you really want and need to do.

Life should be enjoyed and not be taken as a process oriented endeavor. Before you can raise mountains you simply have to make sure that you are a well-moderated being. Balance is important if you believe that you can do great things. How will you move mountains if you have already killed yourself because of imbalance? How about you, are you also IMBA?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ithaca by Constantine P. Cavafy

I find this poem very inspiring. I hope you will too...

When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.
Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber, and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.
Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what these Ithacas mean.

"People of Substance"

Yesterday, November 2, the Catholic Church celebrated the commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. Yes, all the dead people! The day before that I found myself strolling in the Loyola Memorial Park with my little sister Mia. Several things struck my mind.

One of them was that I was surrounded by dead people buried six feet under the ground. The next thing that struck my mind was, to ask myself what significant things have these people done before they left this world. Many of them had titles before their names, inscribed on the tombstones. Some were 3rd lieutenants, engineers, architects, lawyers, judges or doctors. These titles never amazed me. In fact I find them haughty. At the back of my mind, and with all due respect to these dead people, they or their families surely wanted people to know who they were.

It's not in the title. I believe that living a significant life is not rooted in titles and accomplishments. I believe that living significantly entails how much you are able to give yourself to others; and, and once you are gone your legacy lives on and others will be able to carry on where you left off. In death, you may be buried six feet below the ground but your life continues to breathe on through others. Now that is significant. It is a perpetual milestone. Significance is no longer determined in what "I" have accomplished, but it is distinguished in how much that "I" was divided and shared so that others may also become significant.

"People of Substance" was one of the first things I heard from my rector in Don Bosco Technical College. This rector was Fr. Eli Cruz, SDB. Little to this priest's knowledge, his words continue to echo in my mind and actions both consciously and subconsciously. He has been the mentor I never had.

Through him I was subdued into a realm that was governed by results, actions and right attitude. I was enveloped in an environment that would allow me to believe that everything I do was part of a bigger picture. A picture that consists of making a difference for others. A picture that taught me see beyond myself and to find joy in working with others. A person of substance is someone who has learned to gain so that he can share what he gained with those who are in need. A person of substance is someone who knows how to make others a living legacy, not for himself but for the world that he has chosen to embrace and which is definitely bigger than his.

Every time that we experience the loss of a loved one, what we remember most from them is the living reflection of what we truly admire from them and how much we can imitate them or at least do something close to it. What about us? How do we wish the world to carry on where we've left off once we're buried six feet under?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Significant God

Many claim that we are in a journey called life. As a Christian Catholic I was raised to believe in the power and relevance of the Divine. I was taught to believe in God. We believe whatever we were taught to believe. We believe that there exists something that is greater than reason.

As we journey in life we encounter difficulties and unpleasant situations. When this happens, we become impatient and we start to ask God the "why" questions. We ask for an explanation or a revelation of some sort that would try and help us understand why things happen. In short we question God's reasons.

There is always a purpose why God willed it for us to be where we are now. He did not just have a valid reason, but he had a significant reason. We only need to be patient and cherish the moments worth treasuring. We move on if we must, but let us remember that there is a sensible God who wishes all the good things for us. In my years of asking, I have come to conclude that if we look at the bigger picture then we can truly see the master plan of God's intricate design.

I remember a text message that was sent to me a few months ago. It reads, "When we know that God's hand is in everything, we can leave everything in God's hand."


We all have our own experiences of being victims of routine. We become lukewarm with what we do and we suddenly feel the loss of drive to do things. When this happens we feel like we are machines trapped inside a system of unending cycles with no feeling of significance or fulfillment.

Nothing is more frustrating than to have a feeling of insignificance. It is a time when we feel that we are no longer making a difference in the lives that we are living.

I am a teacher by profession, by choice and by vocation. Considering the scheme of things, at times I would end up feeling that reporting to school is no different from the rat race. What makes me go on? Well, I have been teaching for the past five years and frankly speaking if we let structure, co-workers, principals and even meddlesome parents get in the way we will definitely shrink and end up as nothing. What makes me go on is the fact that I have my students. They are the totality of what strengthens me in the journey. They are the purpose and essence why I choose to carry out in the day-to-day undertakings of the school year. They give meaning and significance to who I am and what I do. Having this thought in mind, I am reminded that my daily experiences with them will make me a day wiser with fulfillment, realizing that I became a contributor in the molding if their lives.

How about you? What is your essence?

Random People

Life is full of choices. Among these choices that we make is the choice of who we want to have around us. Yes, I am referring to friends. We are given the choice as to who we want to hang out with during our free time. We are given the choice as to who we wish to share sad and fun memories. We are given the choice as to who we want to share hurts and troublesome experiences with. We choose these people out of our preference, a so-called profiling of what an "ideal friend" is.

However, life can also be as mean as the next mean person you can think of. Aside from the "chosen friends" we are also given "random people." I would define random people as individuals who have entered our life not by choice but by chance. Since most random people are those given to us by chance, there is a probability that they are the ones who end up making our lives miserable. They could be the person who bullied us in class, the college professor who would not listen to any reason other than his, the arrogant pastor, the power-tripping boss or almost anyone who makes our life a living nightmare.

I believe that in the light of possibilities, random people are not that bad. I believe that they are just there, placed in our midsts, so that they may challenge us to grow. I believe that in this activity of challenging us the world is molding us to become better people who know how to laugh at the difficulties we face, which are brought about by these random people. The pessimist might think that random people are threats to his existence; but, to the optimist, the random people placed in his midst in nothing less than an opportunity that will help him become a well defined human being. He adapts to the challenges and learns how to move on because there are more things in life to worry about.

The optimist becomes a well integrated individual capable of taking up the challenge of the next day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Readers' Advisory

Please follow my other blog:

This blog site shares the travels and journeys that I have enjoyed. I wish to share them with my readers so that they too can learn from my adventures.

Happy Reading. :)

"...dream on man!!!"

(taken from my Facebook Notes dated February 23, 2010)

I got carried away today, so i started writing... It's been some time since I last blogged...

We tend to look up to people and circumstances. The higher we look up to them, the higher our expectations become. The higher our expectations become, the higher our fall becomes when they fall short of our expectations. The same thing happens when we dream. the skeptic would ask us, "why dream when everything else is dictated by the real world?"

The skeptic may be right, in a way. We ask for things that our mind can behold but later on we are left depressed and anxious because the world did not play harmoniously into how we wanted things to be. The reality of things will tend to negate our longing, it will tend to negate what we hold dear in our minds. It will contest our desires by telling us: "Wait, don't do that because...", "Wait, it's not time yet because..." Skepticism will show us that our dreams are not attainable because of the reality of things. It will tell us that dreams are only dreams because they are not real.

I agree and I refute the skeptic. I agree with the skeptic because he is right, dreams are not real. I disagree with the skeptic because dreaming is not an activity of reality therefore it should not be equated with reality.

Dreaming is an activity of the ideal. Dreaming is a result of the mind's workshop. Dreaming is an intangible force of human nature that allows every single individual to go beyond reality and make things better for everyone. Dreaming is an intricate design of the unseen and untouched that every individual possesses, which allows him to ascend from the real to the "superman" that he wants to be. Dreaming should never be considered an activity of reality. It is dreaming that drives reality. Continue dreaming and we will soar to greater heights. Reality is only an effect of dreaming. Reality would cease to exist if we stopped dreaming.

The ideal person should never stop dreaming in spite of the difficulties he encounters in day-to-day challenges. The ideal person is the one who drives communities and societies to make things better.

“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.” -Napoleon Hill

before we go beyond 'excellence'... we first have to consider the 'human'!

(taken from my Facebook Note dated February 23, 2010)

People by nature always wish to go beyond what they are capable of doing. Gusto natin may mapatunayan tayo. (We want to prove something.) Gusto natin ma-beat ang records ng iba. (We want to go beyond the achievements of others.) Proving something to ourselves and proving something to those around us.Yep, it's part of our so-called "human nature."

I guess that's the problem with many Filipinos. They like to brag their accomplishments. They like to show off what they can do and what they have done. Seriously, it's making me sick. It happens in all government agencies. As an example, just look at the Department of Education. For every term in office, one DepEd Secretary wish to implement something different and do it in the name of "progress and development!" CRAP!!! It's all but a scam that squanders good tax money. They implement but they lack maintenance and verification to determine if their "plan" was fraudulent or not. A so-called milestone in their "leadership."

Why be skeptical of DepEd?!?! Lets just go into most organizations that exists under the sun... many leaders want to prove that they are capable of doing things. "Let's do this and that!", "You do this and that", "You do this and I'll do that!", "Let's walk our journey to greatness!" Flowery words that may seem too great to behold for a third party. Unfortunately, many of these so-called leaders who talk this way can oftentimes forget one dynamic principle. They neglect the humanitarian nourishment of their organization.

Organizations are built in order to embody the principle that "more heads are better than one." Organizations function because of its human side. It is a dynamism that springs out of human nature. It is sad to see that many organizations nowadays function based on process. They neglect that their members are breathing, living, feeling and thinking individuals. In order to achieve greatness, each organization should acknowledge that for a fact. There should be a humanitarian approach in dealing with organizations.

Ethics defines humanitarianism as "the doctrine that humanity's obligations are concerned wholly with the welfare of the human race." In other words, people are important in a living, breathing and growing organization. This is a deep and relevant issue that should not be taken in too lightly because the success of an organization is not just dependent on the leader but also in the welfare of his people. A leader who neglects this is in for a great roller-coaster ride. Humanitarianism IS RELATIVE to a successful organization!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Noble Chivalry

Chivalry is defined as the sum of all qualities of a knight in Medieval times. In those days, being a knight is not just having an honor of being called one but it entailed several qualities. It is characterized by courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

In this day and age we are reminded of the nobility of the knight, the noble chivalry. We are challenged by circumstances, at times we are helpless and at times we are tempted to forget our human dignity and integrity in responding to these challenges. The mind offers so many solutions and it is also the mind that can determine how our bodily actions can respond to these situations. May the qualities of the knight be infused in our day-to-day responses to the growing challenges.

To us commoners, we can all become nobles in our own accord.

To us educators, who celebrated World Teachers' Day on October 5, we have a lot of catching up to do in molding the minds of the young to become nobles in their day-to-day undertakings.

To us who have undergone a great deal of disintegration, it is never too late to continue learning for the better and rise up from the obstacles of life.

To my dear students, past, present and future, may you follow the endeavors of the noble chivalry. Make things happen, move mountains and may your spirits not be dampened by the misfortunes of life.

We must remember that this world never benefited from arms race and the exchange of soiled words. We must remember that this world has been built by people who lived a life of courtesy, giving, and sacrifice with a high regard for quality of work. As we live in the age of reason and information may these endeavors never be left under the dust and bookshelves of the forgotten worlds.

My Personal Synthesis of Life

(taken from my Multiply Blog dated April 30, 2009)

We are often compelled to ask: "why am I here?", "what is the purpose of my existence?", "why did God place me here?"

We always want quick answers to these questions. We always end up disappointed when we do not get the answers. We tend to rebel when we do not get the satisfactory answers.

Ang buhay nga naman tlga, parang life (I couldn't find an exact translation). Contentment, purpose, people, career... daming mga bagay ang dapat tignan, i-consider, at ipagpaliban (there are so many things to check, consider, and let go)... And then when the things don't turn up the way we want them to be, or when things start to topple off the balance, we start to complain, question and rebel.

After twenty-seven years of my existence I am now able to synthesize the answer to these questions. It's this:

First Synthesis... Life is in partnership with patience. It reveals things in due course. Life is like getting into a relationship. Know it first, befriend it, court it, trust it and then once it allows itself to be "seduced" it gives you endless possibilities and opens the door to limitless beauties that it can offer. The problem is we now live in the age of Cyberspace where everything is readily made available at the click of a finger. Minsan tuloy tingin natin sa buhay ay isang work-station na meroon internet connection (We tend to look at life as instant as clicking a button in a computer with internet connection). We are growing impatient with life. We want quick results. But the thing is, life is not like that.

Second Synthesis... Make every moment worthwhile. The information age is making us people take things for granted. When things become slow-phased we become bored and we start to feel that time has come still and it's the end of the world for us. Not so. It doesn't have to be. Simple pauses to thank the creator. Short chats with old and new buddies at *bucks. Exchanging ideas with the young. Learning from the experiences of the learned and the wise. Picking up a book to read. Finding a quiet spot to reflect. Spending time with your family. These are the things that will allow us to put meaning in every moment.

Third Synthesis... Know your "Calling." We are given special gifts and are tasked to do special assignments by the Creator. In every instance the gift corresponds with the special assignment. Have we really given ample time for ourselves to determine our gift and special assignment? Call me an idealist but I avoid people who tell me that we have to be practical and we have to give up what we love to do for the people we love. It's not really relative. I believe that we just have to do what we love and the rest follows. Harness and cultivate the gift that was given. I am still a supporter of this ideology. We make a difference and contribute for the wellness of society when we give our best in the best way we can. We can only do this when we know our "Calling."

Readers' Advisory

I have just opened this blog and before I can do some new blogging, I wish to include some of my old posts in my previous blogs that I find very nice. I hope my readers will also find them as inspiring as I have been while I was writing them.

Happy Reading!

say nothing, do nothing...

(taken from my Multiply Blog dated April 30, 2009)

Experience is the best teacher. When I was starting college here in Manila it was a totally different atmosphere. I was an observer in a big playground. Having grown in another country and studied in a school where the culture was totally different from where I am is a big shift.

As an observer I said nothing and basically weighed things according to how I see them. I learned from the people around me. I made experience teach me life's lessons. I explored around spent time with more people than I ever had compared to my high school life (when things were really just between me, myself and I). I was like a hound set off from its cage. I observed people, groups, church work, politics, and many more. I regarded myself as a historian (a lover of history), therefore I always relied on facts. Observation is a stage in getting the facts.

I was not an observer throughout. Observing was just a key to get the essentials. A key that allows us to learn what life is capable of giving us, and what we can give back to life. I started standing up for things that I believe is right. I started to say things that I believed is right. I started to initiate things that I believe is right. I was given several chances to speak, lead and serve.

Standing up for what you believe and doing things in accordance has its price. It has a price to pay. As I moved on I received criticism with increasing intensity. You have to mingle with people who did not share the same principles and practices and thus finding ways to get things done with them in the picture.

More than about a year ago when I was still teaching in Don Bosco Mandaluyong, I passed by the Small Chapel, as me and my colleagues usually do on our way home. There was a mass that time being held by the college. Fr. Edwin Soliva SDB was presiding and it was time for the homily when we got there. His words somehow caught my attention (it's something like this, because it was in Tagalog):

"If you do not want to receive criticism, I'll give you a piece of advice. It's this, when times arise say nothing, do nothing, be nothing. Maging isa kang wala! (Be nothing!)"

When people choose to stand up for what they believe is right, they receive crticism. When people choose to do what they believe is right, they receive criticism. When people choose to say what they believe is right, they receive criticim.

You see, when we receive criticism it means we stood up for something. At this point of my life, I can not remain silent nor can I remain still. I have been seduced by life and I have to do something for life, not just my life but also for the lives of those placed around me. I am a Bosconian, I am called to animate.

Passers-by and Regulars

(taken from my Multiply Blog dated April 17, 2009)

Last night I attended mass at the EDSA Shrine. I was tired from the heat of the day and the long walks I took in the afternoon after work. I sat at the very first pew. I was tired and the only things that came into me were sentimental moments... I was "emo"at that particular time.

In the bus, on my way home, I started to compose a text message and had it sent to people who have been very special to me... I would like to share that text message with you:

"I was just at the EDSA Shrine and suddenly had this thought in mind... It is a church located at a focal point where roads from one town and three cities meet. The people who attend mass there are either regulars or passers-by. Some may only see the faces of others once, others oftentimes.

Just like the shrine, there are people who have come to my life as regulars and passers-by. They are people who have made an impact on me, and in a way contributed in my development as a person.

I did not send this to everyone, but if it's in your inbox it means that you're either a passerby or regular. Salamat at nagtagpo ang ating mga landas (thank you for being able to cross paths with each other)."

Sometimes, we are driven by the allurements of this busy life. We become too busy with the things that we think needs to be done. We forget the people, good people, who have helped in molding us to become the person we are today.

May the lessons we have learned from the people that God has placed before us, be for us a constant reminder that the world is still a better place to live in. A great teacher of mine, Jerry Lovette, who taught me English in Grade 12, said: "No matter how bad a person is, there is still goodness in him." The world still needs good people to turn things around. The goodness a person does to another reverberates throughout eternity.

Vitae Philosophia (My Philosophy in Life)

(taken from my Friendster Blog post dated May 23, 2006)


Life is full of surprises and challeges. We dont know when the next challenge will come but if we persist and persevere, with the right help, we will surely get through the bushes.

When we get through one challenge, another one comes along. But that’s what life is all about. Life becomes a mere activity if there are no challenges and obstacles. Be surprised if you run out of problems. As some of my wise mentors would say, only those buried six feet under have no problems.

People around us will also come up with solutions, suggestions and recommendations as to how we can solve our problems and day-to-day challeges, but in the end, its always up to us how we will pull the string.

Nevertheless, whatever the prob may be there are always solutions. Don’t lose HOPE!


Never doubt that you can hold the solution or be the the solution to somebody else’s problem. We people have low self esteem that we sometimes choose to be silent rather than help create the impact that can change the life of one significant person or even the course of society.

Everything happes for a reason. Everybody has a purpose and a calling in this world. One can be an influential social reformist, one can become the world’s greatest scientist, engineer, or mucisian, and at the same time can also simply exist to complement the life of another human being…


Life is a great "balancing act" where people are greatly tested and their feet placed in hot water.

School, work, domestic responsibilities, and love life are just a few of the avenues which we need to set parameters so that we don’t let our principles go under stressful current. Each avenue is as important as the other and there are is a need to know where each avenue should go and how it should be handled, or else we will find ourselves lost under a great pile of "dung."



How true… we run our show… we dictate and determine what we should do with our lives. We make plans, set priorities, projects and even deadlines for the things that we need to accomplish. However, despite of our preparedness, despite of our plans and despite of our efforts things still don’t turn out the way we inteded them to be. For me, this is a sign from "Someone who is higher than our existence," telling us to "slow down, don’t rush into things, and I have a better plan; or, simply "enjoy life despite of its incosistencies and imperfections." Circumstances that don’t turn out the way we intend them to be may just be a clear cut sign that there is something better in store. A tenth try in the board exams, a job application turned down by an employer, an unapproved company project, financial incapacity to pursue a holiday in the Bahamas are just some examples. But, despite of all these maybe His way of telling us, "not now, just wait and it will come… just be patient and we’ll make things happen…"


"Career Paths"

Sabi nung iba pag nakatapos ka ng IT dapat IT related work ang mababagsakan mo (Some say that if you have finished an IT course, then you have to get an employment as an IT professional). We end up in courses that later on make us feel that we really should be doing something else. Regardless of what profession we wish to practice in the future, one thing should be clear, there must be that sense of fulfilment in the job one wishes to undertake so that there will be productivity in that individual and the recepients of his service. Malaking bagay ito (this is a big thing).


One would say "life has been cruel to me" or another might say "life has be kind to me" or "I have been blessed in my lifetime."

Any of these statements can be true to anyone. Life gives us many experiences and these experiences allows us to view life from different perspectives. Life can be a curse or a blessing to many of us. Life being a curse or blessing is not really determined by the situation but by how we perceive it and respond to it.

My life as an individual, a teacher, a student, a son, a brother, a leader, and a friend has taught me several things. The things that we face in life, whether good or bad bring us many things; and, among these things, it brings about growth.

The posts in this blog gives testimony to my realizations and reflections as I pass on through this life so that I may be reminded of how richly blessed I have been in spite of the many difficulties life has to offer.