For whatever I can share to inform, inspire, enlighten, and bring joy and hope to others, then this blog has best served its purpose.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Everyday life and a sonnet

Life is a journey; living is a battlefield. That’s true. Each passing day is a new battle you’re going to engage with, whether you like it or not. That’s just the way it is. So, from that point of view, life is a journey of everyday battles. But you will be surprised to see and find out that, in spite of it all, you were able to survive, thrive, and continue on waging an indefinite war with what you cannot avoid.

In this battle, winning is not the only thing that should matter but also in how well and gallantly you have fought the fight. But while it takes enough courage to win life’s important battles, the ability to accept defeat is something else (it is a higher form of courage.) You have to deal with both the win and defeat so you could become a better fighter every next time (as there’s always a second chance in life.)

Having been inspired with the idea of such a perspective I had for life, I came up with a sonnet I only wrote this afternoon. Yes, life is a journey of everyday battles and you (each one of us) shall die each day for others to live:

You will die each day for someone to live
If God gives you but so many a life;
Yes, with whatever kind of death to brave:
Natural, sickness, guns, or through a knife;
Your blood shall be the food that nourishes
The weary souls—to those who need it most;
It’s sweeter to die for what one wishes
To bring back, the glory, what has been lost;
The kind of thing to feel when you’re inspired
By such a thing you are destined to do:
Like all of the martyrs known and admired.
You will die for others to live and you.
Death is what the valiant can truly win;
Yet, to risk is what the cowards abstain.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The ABC of love: Learning from the basics

Every learnable thing has its own basics. It is a process or a device by which every prospect must undergo or comply to achieve expected or desired results. Love, being a learnable thing, is no exception. The ABC of one of the most powerful of emotions should be something that unlocks the key to better relationships and, most importantly, directs one to do so.

Love is what everybody else is feeling or experiencing, yet only a few people truly understand what it is all about. But the best thing about it is that you don’t have to understand about it just so you could feel it. You love because that’s just what you’re feeling towards something or a person and that’s the only thing that should matter.

But then, in spite of that, you have to learn its basics. And while love could best grow in the freedom of making it just as natural as it can possibly be; it will still fall in the way you carry it out with your own hands. What you will do is what you will get in love.

Love is all about giving—the generosity that springs from appreciating the goodness of a person or a thing. Anyone else can give without loving, but to love without giving is impossible. From this “giving” thing emerged the ABC of love, the basics needed for anyone desiring to love and mean it:

  • Accept. Acceptance is the first move that leads to love. If you couldn’t accept a person as he or she is, then there’s no way that love could develop. To accept is to allow a little space in your heart for this person to stay as you evaluate the potential qualities that he or she can possibly impact upon you. Once you learn to appreciate the value or beauty of a person in your own unique way of observing, then there’s a great possibility that love could develop out of that.

  • Build. Once you have accepted the person, you will then start to build up relationship with this person. Building up a relationship with someone requires your ability to engineer what you would like of your relationship to look like or become. If you would like it to last forever then you will have to make strong foundations of your design.

  • Commit. Everything is intact now and you know you’re in for the best of what you have built up, it is then that commitment enters. And, to tell you frankly, it is very important. This is where most lovers failed, even the good ones. To commit is to seal your relationship with the purity of what love can provide.
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    What makes a strong person: 10 qualities of a strong person

    What makes a strong person? Someone who has a well-sculpted body with hard muscles everywhere is one thing to consider in the literal sense of it. But allow me to bring it a little further towards where something must be gauged out of a person who swims through life’s stormy seas exposing the kind of material he or she was being made of and the quality of the things that he or she possessed crucial to his or her showing of his or her full potential as a person.

    German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was right when he said that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Scientific studies conducted to prove this claim revealed that a person who had the most of life’s traumatic experiences is the one who would most likely to become more resilient and can cope up with any bad situation easily and faster. In other words, it makes one a veteran in that field.

    Perhaps these bad experiences and other negative things in life, in my own opinion, are designed to make you become immune with these things and that they will only bring out the best in you. But still, no matter how things turned out to be in the long run, it is what you decide to choose and how to react with the things you have chosen for yourself should be important.

    I would like to question, though, about how much should the extent of severity for these traumatic experiences and difficulties a person must have endured or survived to be considered beneficial. Will these things make you or break you?

    I’m not going to suggest for anyone to go the extra mile of searching hoping to find or experience it yourself nor for anyone to become totally reckless thinking that anything bad to happen at any time could be transformed as good. Of course, to have a miserable life experiences can be bad for anybody else although the same could also make people become tough and better in overcoming difficulties. The following are just 10 of the best qualities that, in my own opinion, makes up a strong person:

  • Patience. Being patient is a mark of a strong person. Impatience is enough to ruin whatever inner strengths a person has built up or kept.

  • Resilience. True strength is not always about never breaking. Sometimes, it is to be found in the bending with the attack of the storms of life and thrive.

  • Perseverance. It is in the steady, slowly, but consistent way of dealing with resistance ‘til the end of the process that real strength is formed.

  • Has a will. It is crucial to the mental strength of a person because it can influence big time the decision making processes of a human mind that will be translated into action.

  • Ability to accept. The ability of a person to accept whatever it is that life is throwing at him or her while trying to change what is needed to improve at the same time, as long as he or she can, is one best way to gain strength.

  • Honesty. Being honest in everything that you do builds up strength little by little. Being honest with your own self builds strength instantly. It is to show the true you and what you’re feeling at a particular point of time which requires a great amount of strength to become possible. Yes, strong men do cry.

  • Kindness. Any argument cannot be answered with insults so it requires the strength of a person to keep the anger at bay by showing kindness and keeping your cool no matter what.

  • Quick to forgive. Strong people are quick to forgive anyone who have done them wrong, yes, even their own selves, which is why they bounce back from the ruins just as quick. Forgiveness doesn’t only strengthen you, it heals you.

  • Joyful. Strong people tend to be happier even when life is not treating them well.

  • Faith in God. Last but the most important of all. Find strength in God.
  • Friday, July 12, 2013

    Meet Nick Vujicic: From life without limbs to a life without limits

    If you think that life should be without a use anymore because of physical disabilities, then you will need an inspiration from the man who defies logic by making his life worthwhile though having without all of four limbs.

    Australian born Serbian Nick Vujicic (pronounced as Vooyeecheech) was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982 with a tetra-amelia syndrome resulting to his having without all four limbs. Can you imagine how hard it must be for him to live without arms and legs and how he will have to survive all forms of discrimination thrown at him from all directions because of his condition?  Can you imagine how he must be so depressed and desperate? What was his source of inspiration and where did he draw strength from?

    His condition is enough to drive a man insane and to take one’s own life will be a sweet option. There comes a time when he blamed God for his condition. The idea about taking his own life has crossed his mind even at such a young age of eight that when he reached ten years old he tried to drown himself in a bathtub to end it all. Luckily, he was rescued.

    After three suicide attempts he realized about the importance of his life and slowly came to terms with the purpose behind it.  In an article published by the Daily Mail who happened to interview him, it quoted him saying, “The third time I tried it, I was stopped by one thought: seeing my mom, my dad, and my brother crying over my grave. They showed that love, that love caused me to love, and caused me to stay.”

    To have a strong faith in God has become his guide and his source of strength. “If you offer it up to God, He can turn even the worst part of your life into something beautiful,” he said.

    His life and his words should be a living reminder and one of a source of inspiration for anyone to lead a life full of meaning and a purpose despite the odds. And guess what? He can do some things like any normal person does. He can swim, dive from a diving board, play soccer, golfing, and travel around the world to spread his good news.

    The Philippines was one of the lucky countries he has come to visit with. Last May of this year, invited as a motivational speaker, he has filled up the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) Center in Ortigas Avenue, City of Pasig, Philippines, with people eager to take a slice of his good news. He also appeared to speak, as an in demand motivational speaker that he has become, before a crowd of people willing enough to listen to his words of wisdom and the story of hope that he will be able to impart to them in several other occasions and places.

    One of the most beautiful of things that has ever happened in his life was when he met his wife and became a father to a son.

    “From life without limbs to a life without limits,” addressing to a huge crowd of people who called themselves the “Unstoppable Faith” as part of the Unstoppable Tour Live in Manila under Becca Music production. “If God can use a man with no hands and feet as his arms and legs, He will use you. He will be with you ‘til the end,” he said.

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    7 important things you should be doing to lead a well lived, happy life

    Life is a beautiful experience if you know how to live it. It is not okay to just exist or to try living it in black and white terms, but for you to add some colors to it is wonderful. Of course, it is not perfect but it is in the way you make up for these imperfections that you are given the chance to see a clearer picture of what it is all about and why you have to live it leaving you satisfied and happy. I would like to share to you seven of the most important things that you should be doing to lead a well lived, happy life:

  •   Be generous.  It is always better to give, as what the Holy Bible was telling, than to receive. Yes, that’s true. Giving is the foundation of love and the more you nurture that “giving” thing in you, the more it is for love to grow. It is in giving that you would be blessed a tenfold in return.

  •  Count the blessings, not the troubles. It is always wise to look at the bright side of life. Worrying about anything won’t help it anyway. So instead of trying to see what is horrible, why not divert your attention to things that will not only give you peace of mind, but also inspire you to do something good at the same time.

  •  Faith in God.  A life without God is a life without direction. If you put God at the center of your life, you would have nothing left to worry about.

  •  Be satisfied. The only way to get satisfaction in life is to be contented with what you have. I’m not going to say you must stop doing something to improve yourself or what you have, but contentment is to break free from the clutches of greed.

  •  Be prayerful. Prayers can do wonders. I suggest you must be doing it daily, at least. To pray is to acknowledge the fact that God is in full control of your life.

  •  Eat and drink moderately. Gluttony is a sin. I’m not going to suggest that you must be a vegan, vegetarian or whatever but go for a balance diet and eat and drink in moderation.

  •  Wear a smile. To smile is to project what you would like others to communicate to you. It is like giving someone a candy, and you would get a cake in return.

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  • Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    Cebu: Cradle of Philippine Catholicism

    The Basilica del Sto. Nino de Cebu. Photo source: Google.
    Aside from being dubbed as the Queen City of the South, an indication of its being considered a highly industrialized city second to Manila, and as a commercial hub with world class international ports and amenities making its paradisiacal natural beauty in the countryside areas easily accessible to tourists, Cebu City also holds the title of being the cradle of Philippine Catholicism. 

    It was in this very city that the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who served for the King of Spain almost five hundred years ago planted the cross that would begin for the Christianization of the Cebu natives and of the rest of the Philippine Islands later on. Today a shrine stood at the very spot where Magellan had first planted the Cross of Christianity, which served as a marker, located just a few meters away from the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino church.

    But for most of the Filipino people, the Cebuanos (natives of Cebu) particularly, the Shrine of Magellan’s cross didn’t only serve as a concrete marker for them and for the rest of the world to see, but a symbol they were able to bring to life by making alive the Faith entrusted to them. Devotion to the Infant Jesus has never been more alive, active, and popular than in Cebu. The annual Sinulog festival held every third Sunday of January should be the mother of all the Santo Nino Feasts.

    Cebu is also home to the surviving old European-style churches and other architectures--a concept brought in/introduced by European friars and colonizers--and can also be found in other parts of the country.  But it’s not only in the building of these massive churches by the friars of the colonial-era Philippines in Cebu and anywhere in the Philippine Islands for the Faith to continue to thrive but as well, most importantly, in the capacity and ability of the Cebuanos and the rest of the Filipino people to nurture, preserve, and protect the wholeness and catholicity of such a Faith.

    Monday, July 1, 2013

    Learning from a stupid question: What makes a poem a poem?

    How would you like to answer a question from someone, who happened to read one of your poems, asking about what makes your work it is? It happened to me back in my college days when a Philosophy major dean’s list classmate of mine in one subject challenged me with a question. The question never came to give me difficulty in answering though nor has it caught me off-guard but I was more particularly curious on how should the arguments unfold to come up with a conclusion as a result later on.

    “The poem that I wrote became a poem because it has to be,” I started to explain to him my answer. “If it’s not going to be a poem I would be dealing so much time and effort writing, then I wouldn't have written it in the first place. But what makes a poem a poem is that a poem is a form of expression capable of achieving a variety of purposes in such a way that a poet connects or communicates to his readers.”

    The guy, perhaps unsatisfied with my answer, raised a brow and asked: “So, tell me, what it is then?” This is going to be playing mind games with this guy if I wanted to, I told myself, and the thoughts of it filled me up with excitement. But it’s good to tell him the truth of things springing straight from the heart of the poet that he has challenged.

    “It is the superfluity that a poet has to produce and the feeding up of such a longing it has compelled him to create,” I told him, paused for a while, and continued, “not anything but his masterpiece--a poem is why it has to be.” I had sensed the sarcasm in his voice as he exclaimed, “Bravo!” before asking me again another question, “And what can we expect of poetry?”

    “What would you like to expect?” I instead answer his question with a question. “Well, well, let me think,” he said as he looked a bit confused. A minute of silence was broken when he finally spoke: “I’m expecting that it can be a source of something that people can relate with and can touch their lives or heal.” “So that was it,” I said. “But that’s my answer not yours,” he tried to argue. “I just found out that you could learn more from a foolish question than from a wise answer,” I told him.

    “You’re not only a poet, but also a sophist,” he said as his face portrayed a rather awkward smile shot at me. Just before I could manage to say anything, the professor came in for the class. “Good morning class,” the stone-faced professor said. “I want you to prepare a one fourth sheet of paper because I’m going to give you a short quiz.”

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