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Five Learning Nuggets this 2013

This year is so amazing, too bad I missed a lot of opportunities to write and share about it. Looking back at my 2013, I could not help but stare in awe at how God could transform my then ordinary plans to extraordinary encounters and raising it to greater heights. Thus, I would like to spend my last post for the year remembering each memorable and life-changing realizations:

1. Success is achieved by those who envision it. Instead of writing resolutions, I made a detailed goals last Jan. 1. It is not enough to write “I promise to be …” rather I chose to write very specific and time-bound goals i.e “Engage in contact sports; get a job before graduation; learn to drive before the year ends.”

Every now and then, I update my bucket list, and even then, I surprise myself about how easier it is to not just achieve but also exceed such . For every goal, claim it, take it as yours, and breathe life into it. >

2. Smarts are good, and so is discipline. People tend to label me as smart, genius even by some of my classmates in the University. When asked how come I’m able to do it, I would always tell them “I’m not smart, I’m just disciplined to get the job done”.

Many things whether in school or work are quick to learn…only if you have the discipline to do it. It is not enough to have goals, but to progress from one goal to another for the next 365 days and more, the discipline must be hay-wired into your being…into your very core. It has to be your mindset, your attitude.

3. When your mind/body tells you to quit, don’t. Many times, just when I’m about to quit, the Universe sends signals telling me to hold on a little bit more. I realize that when the going gets tough, it’s time to listen to the heart more and to follow my guts.

More often than not, I did not regret wherever my heart and guts lead me into. ūüėÉ

4. Be a learning sponge, and be great at being one. . This year opened new opportunities and blessings from me: graduating University with honors, finding a fantastic job, meeting new friends, living alone, etc. and with each encounter, I discovered a new thing or two–about myself, about others, about life in itself.

This year, I set aside my shy self and plucked up the courage take my learning as my responsibility. Life as an adult did not come with a manual nor it is served with a silver spoon. Experiences are sure to be great teachers, but I also learned significantly by asking advice from my family, trusted friends, and mentors.

The best (and unfailing) advice I got is “do things with great love, it never fails”. If you love what you do, you’ll never stop falling all over again and learning a lot from what you do.

This 2014, I certainly hope to be a more absorbent learning sponge.

5. Keep yourself firmly rooted to your values and beliefs. With so many changes (both bad and good) happening all at the same time, the most important thing is to keep oneself true to your values and beliefs. What matters in life is to have that desire to be good and to do good, not to hurt others intentionally, to learn from mistakes, to keep one’s integrity and dignity intact, among other things.

I could not count how many times my values and beliefs were challenged, but I realize that it is part of the whole how-to-learn-to-live-your-life process. When all material things are taken away from me, what remains is the things that remain invisible: love, faith, charity, forgiveness, determination, quality time with family and friends, among others. May this year be a year where we inhale and exhale love. ‚̧


“Don’t judge ea…

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson¬†(13 November 1850 ‚Äď 3 December 1894) was a¬†Scottish¬†novelist, poet, essayist, and¬†travel writer. His most famous works are¬†Treasure Island,¬†Kidnapped, and¬†Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.


Decision to change

Decision to change

“You are where you are because of your choices. There is nothing to gain by regretting things. Review your past decisions for lessons and make a new decision to change. Take Action Today.”

— Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is a strength and conditioning coach from Toronto, Canada. He works closely with athletes and is a consultant for Rugby Canada.


Out of the nest and aiming high

The past 19 weeks is a blessing for me. The reality is far from what I have imagined myself to be. I am nearing the end of my third internship–my final requirement in the university, and I am this close to graduation.¬†I admit I am excited for the things that will happen, for the adventures that await, and for all the other things that will challenge me more.

But I am also aware of the growing fears inside of me…a deadly poison of failures and rejections. No matter how many small victories achieved throughout the years, the fears of making mistakes and disappointing others (and ultimately disappointing oneself) can easily crush my afraid soul in an instant.¬†

Instead of spreading my wings and bravely venturing horizons, I am trapped in my own nest, entertaining “what-if” thoughts and still weighing the pros and cons of my options. Fears condition the mind of the impossible things, thus limiting the actions that one can do, and effectively cutting all possibilities of new triumphs.¬†

Such fears must come to an end. Now is the perfect time that I do it. All I need is to breath all the courage in, and exhale a positive and confident attitude out.

“I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Yes, I am quoting Phil. 4:13 as a reminder that faith should always be bigger than my fears. God will always be with me.¬†I can do it!

In reality, people make mistakes and will make mistakes, and people disappoint other people. A winning and brave attitude is needed to recover from all mistakes and disappointments to move forward and learn from. I need to tell myself I need not to be afraid in making mistakes, it only means I am trying to do something. I can do it!

I guess, it’s now time to spread those wings and aim high! ūüôā

“The longer you…

“The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you have to fight for something, the more priceless it will become once you achieve it. And the more pain you have to endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. All good things are worth waiting for and worth fighting for.”

— Susan Gale

What keeps me going?

Faith. It gives me hope in His beautiful promise that everything will be just fine so long as I work (insanely) hard in all the things that I love to do.

Best advice I learned so far: Do the things you love doing, because (striving for) excellence becomes second nature to you. It will enable you to wake up each day knowing that there is a reason for your existence. Every effort is borne out of that love you can give, and it will never stop you from making (great) things happen.

True story. ‚̧

Elections 2013: The best day to be a Filipino


Today, my friend tweeted that May 13 is the best day to be a Filipino. For more than the 52M Filipinos eligible to vote, this day¬†marks the day when your voice matters in every vote casted. For some, it is just another extension of their long weekend–perhaps to go on vacation, to cram for some takehome work or to wait for election results.¬†

Our family decided that instead of voting in the morning, we will just go to our precint at Palatiw Elementary School in the afternoon. As I was writing my list of candidates to vote for, I can’t¬† help but notice¬†on the news channel the (extra)ordinary stories of the people who truly maximized their right: (1) a man refusing to vote since the PCOS machine broke down, ergo he doesn’t trust manual count of elections, (2) a¬†guy who was born without¬†hands¬†who voted and asked the COMELEC officer (who¬†is a public school teacher)¬†put the indelible ink in his toe, (3) old men and women in their walkers or wheel chairs who never failed to vote, and (4) public school teachers who spent their own money to replace the marker pens allocated in their precints so more people can vote.¬†It was my second time to participate in the national elections, and apart from wanting my choice of candidates to win, these stories are more than enough reasons for me and my family to go out and vote.

My experience in this year is almost not quite different as it was in the 2010 elections. The lines were long but manageable. Even if there were 6 precints clustered in our area for one PCOS machine, our family finished voting by 4 PM, an hour after we arrived. Despite the sweltering heat and occasional downpour, one thing that I noticed was how the humor of the Filipinos to keep the people amused. It was not easy for the teachers, poll watchers, and volunteers who stayed in a small room full of people without a single electric fan working, but their interaction with us voters were full of fun and witty lines that only Filipinos could understand. Lining up for 30 minutes is not that bad after all. I only wish that in the 2016 elections, the PWDs and the elderly will receive more assistance.

Another change was the fact that more youth are active discussing political issues and stating their stand months even months before the elections. In spite of the selfie pictures via Instagram of their inked index fingers indicating that they already have voted, their tweets and posts are reminders that the voting youth is accountable to their own future, and each wanting to pray for change in the Philippines. Information regarding the candidates’ profiles are available online, and the COMELEC even developed an application for Apple and Android users to help them find their precints. Still, the Filipino humor cannot be eliminated via memes and hashtags in the social media.

While I cannot say in behalf of everyone, my take on this elections is that people should always realize how their vote is crucial¬†not only in¬†the next six years of their lives, but in fact in the¬†more years that follow. If you sell your vote so you can have money to pay for your basic needs, take the money and don’t vote for that candidate. Chances are that candidate will never respect your rights¬†for he or she cannot even respect your right to vote. I do not think that my list is a perfect list, but I selected them based on the integrity of their character and the sincerity of their platforms. My¬†ballots may have included names of several independent candidates, and I chose them not because it is the hipster thing to do, but because my conscient tells me that these names speak for the change I would love to see in the Philippines.

For some who did not register for unexcusable reasons, your taxes may have earned you the right to blame¬†the politicians and how their idiotic acts give your life in the country a living hell, but it ¬†does not earn you the right to¬†call the voting massess as illiterate or uneducated.¬† Whatever the election results may be, I just hope that violence and cheating will be reduced if not totally eliminated. We must respect the country’s democracy, and let the seemingly unqualified candidates who will be seated to be challenged and prove the nation that the votes they received are all worth it, simply because our country is worth it.