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?