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

Monday, October 28, 2013

Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you believe in ghosts? When I was younger I used to believe in ghosts. Upon reaching college, my belief in ghosts was slowly weakened by my reading of philosophy books, political science, and the application of logic to every situation or experience. I believe that everything I feel or experience must have some kind of scientific explanations. I was like that for so many years since college although I have considered divine intervention to also play a role and as an exception. But lately, I had this unusual experience for the first time in my life that somehow convinced me to revive my lost belief in ghosts.

My partner's uncle died a couple of days back but we only were able to pay his wake a visit on Sunday since Monday to Saturday are working days. We traveled by bus towards the southern part of Cebu province, central Philippines. Upon reaching my partner's uncle's house, I didn't immediately went on to take a glimpse of his face inside the coffin but followed and taking a look at my one year old son becoming very busy walking and playing around during that time. We stayed there for several hours, my wife talking to her cousins in tears, but the time for us to leave was wearing thin as we're planning to get back to the city right on that very same day before the sun sets because the next day would be local election day which we're both going to cast our votes as registered voters of the city of Cebu.

The moment we're about to leave the house I took some amount of money and looked for the donation tray. It took me a few minutes to figure out where the tray was being placed. It was placed just beneath the coffin on the floor crowded with colorful flowers. I reached out to put the money in the tray, my body bent to some degree so as to form an arc with my back, but my forehead accidentally bumped hard at the coffin at that.

While we're about 5 minutes since leaving the house of my partner’s uncle on the way to the bus stop bound for the city, I smelled something. It was like a very strong perfume. I remembered it was the same kind of odor I smelled during my paternal grandmother's wake when I was only 10 years old. Yes, it was exactly the smell of a particular make up used by embalmers for a deceased person.

At first, I ignored about the scent I had smelled thinking maybe somebody else along the way has been using that kind of perfume and I just mistakenly recalled it to be something that's commonly used for deceased people. It was not until when we're inside the bus that my suspicion grew. The smell's still there, never gone.

My partner also smelled that same kind of strong scent even while we're inside the bus already. The odor followed us through the usually two hour travel by bus which was extended to three after a one hour traffic jam at Naga, Cebu following a vehicular accident happening ahead of us involving a bus, isuzu elf, and a multicab.

The last time I smelled the odor was inside the taxi we're riding from the bus terminal towards the place we lived. The moment we entered the gate of the house, we could no longer smell it. I was thinking about anything I could put some logic on with that kind of thing I experienced, but it would only lead me to one thought: A ghost was accompanying us through our entire trip home to keep us safe.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Provodnikov is the man to watch

Provodnikov connects with a right hand to Bradley's face.
Photo source: Google
Hours before the heavy slugfest happening between defending WBO light welterweight champion Mike Alvarado and Russian challenger and former Pacquiao sparmate Ruslan Provodnikov last Saturday night, October 19, 2013, I made a wild prediction that the fight will not go the distance and that the Russian will stop Alvarado within round 6 to 8. Alvarado, being the champion, was the highly favored one in that fight, having gone through in a high octane action-packed war twice with Brandon Rios with both of them acquiring a loss and a win each card.

The fight being held in the champion’s hometown of Denver, Colorado would have only added more to Alvarado’s advantage, but the Russian came to fight and unloaded right before him the answer to a question on why he was the man to watch out for and fear of.  I was expecting Provodnikov to knock Alvarado out within round 6 to 8. What I wasn’t expecting though was the fact that Alvarado was tough enough to carry the fight on and to even extend it to two rounds more. That was a high-caliber fight, beautiful as it entertains--the kind of fight that’s all worth your money and time. We’re not watching sparring sessions, after all (like some of these so called sweet scientists engaged in boring fights), but a real slugfest.  

Provodnikov’s last outing before the Alvarado fight was a controversial decision loss to Timothy Bradley by whom he has one time floored the Desert Storm (it was actually twice but the referee ruled the other one out as a slip). Bradley suffered concussion issues a week after the fight. Now, after Provodnikov’s convincing win against Alvarado, what’s next for the warrior nicknamed as the Siberian Rocky?

Names like Pacquiao, Bradley, Marquez, and even Matthysse have suddenly surfaced to help shape the landscape of his future as a prizefighter. Boxing’s not a dying sport, as what some people would have claimed it to be, but only needs to keep enrolling fighters in that really fight. The warrior in Provodnikov is why he must be the man to watch in the sport where brutality is one of its main ingredients. He’ll be boxing’s next big star.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elegy for a damaged treasure (The bell tower falls)

Last Tuesday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Cebu, Bohol, and neighboring provinces of Central Philippines and some parts of Northern Mindanao, left us with many collapsed churches, houses, bridges, roads, and school and office buildings. Some precious lives as well have been lost.

Philippines’s oldest church--the Basilica of the Holy Child Jesus--has lost its bell tower. We hope the experts could bring it back to its original form and make it stronger than it has been. We mourned for this unfortunate event that brought destruction upon our most kept treasures.

These collapsed, or partially damaged old churches were considered national treasures of the Philippines. They played a very significant role in our nation's history so that they have become an inseparable part in the weaving of our unique heritage as a people. It will be very hard for the experts to repair some of them.

And now, watching some of them totally flattened to the ground, we could only recall the part of those memories by which the physical structure we have come to see or contact with before they were destroyed may have caused us to feel why it is important to preserve and treasure them.

The destruction of these old churches by the force of nature might be a sign and not a punishment; a sign by which we have to deepen our faith in God even more, and to build stronger churches to house God’s people. I’d like to share to you a poem of my original composition titled “Elegy for a damaged treasure (The bell tower falls)” upon seeing the Basilica del Sto. Nino de Cebu sans a belfry:

It’s gone: The vintage symbol in a span of seconds fell to the ground.
Let someone else worry about it. It saddened me. The pilgrims are nowhere to be found.

If I can do something about it, from out of such a cluttered debris, I'll care
Picking a piece of pebble and throw it in the air

Or to return from a walk the imagery would’ve given me some thoughts.
The fragments I would have looked at I’d become one pure astute

Observer of the whole mess: Sadly, within His household.
I’ll have this thing to the whole world be told.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanking God for everything, even in adversity

It is important to thank God for everything even in your most unfortunate of situations or time. All things had the potential of becoming a blessing for everyone. All things are created with the original purpose of glorifying His Holy name. So whatever it is that life throws at you is something that you must be thankful about.

You must count your blessings. Doing so will give you a psychological boost which attracts positive energies that can impact upon your overall health. Spend a little portion of your time each day remembering the things you would be grateful for.

You have to give thanks to the Lord because He has instructed you to do it. In the book of 1st Chronicles chapter 16 verse 8, it said: “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name and make known His deeds among the people.”

Giving thanks is one way to help you see more blessings. The world is never run out of beautiful things, things that you often ignore because they may seem so small or ordinary. If you try to look and feel around you, you’ll be surprised to find about the lots of things that are making you rich: Azure sky, rustle of the leaves, flowers in the garden, the air that you breathe, beautiful sunset, song of the birds, and so on and so forth.

You have to thank God because ingratitude may be the prelude to your complaining. If you will try to recall the Israelites in the days of Moses when God set them free from bondage in Egypt, where God has performed many wonderful things before them while they were wandering in the desert, and yet they complained to the Lord. But they were complaining because they cannot appreciate the works of God in their favor. Their ingratitude paved the way for their asking for more.

To thank God is to appreciate the good things that are at work in you. To thank God is to breed more blessings. "And for those who love God all things work together for good," to quote from the book of Romans 8:28 in the Holy Bible, "for those who are called according to his purpose."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Can Marquez do it again?

With his stunning sixth round stoppage win over Pacquiao last Decemder of 2012, Mexican warrior Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez will no doubt be the highly favored to win when he faces American Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley on October 12, 2013. Both fighters have been fighting a common foe in Pacquiao and each of them won, the only difference was in the manner by which they have snatched the victory. Bradley won on points in what was a controversial decision while the Dinamita, on the other hand, turned the lights out from Pacquiao with his crashing Heredia-transformed right hand that sent the Filipino champion falling face first towards the canvas and motionless in the dying seconds of round six. But before the knockout happened, Pacquiao was ahead on points on all score cards and was obviously dominating the fight.

But with another Pacquiao conqueror Tim Bradley, whom he would be trading punches tonight, can the Dinamita do it again? Would he be able to cast the spell so that his right hand will once again do the magic for him? Or he would simply become just like what he usually is best at doing: counter punching. Although he was a master counter puncher, the 40-year-old Mexican warrior is not known, in his entire boxing career, as a one punch knockout artist until his fourth outing with Pacquiao. Coincidentally, it suddenly happened when he hired former PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) dealer Angel “Memo” Heredia to be his new strength and conditioning coach. Heredia nicknamed him as “The Hulk,” which suggests something if you’re quite curious enough to make some kind of thinking. Marquez looked more of a body builder than a boxer when he fought Pacquiao the fourth time.

Contrary to what the majority of people thinking Marquez could beat the Desert Storm, I see a slower version of Marquez got beaten badly in this fight. This will, of course, surprise a many boxing fanatics and loyalists. Bradley’s speed is the key; his athleticism as well is another. So the question on whether or not Marquez can do it again is answered. I say, no, he can’t. But he can still fight Pacquiao again if he’s brave enough.  

Friday, October 11, 2013

A fight for redemption: Pacquiao will slug it out against Rios

If there is a fight that will give Manny Pacquiao the chance to bring back his boxing career’s lost spark following back to back losses to American Timothy Bradley and that of Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, then it will be his fight against Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios this coming November 23 (November 24 Manila time) in Macau. It will be his most important fight as the result of that fight will decide on whether or not he must continue to be fighting. We could expect Pacquiao’s best form when he slugs it out with Rios.

Meanwhile, two of Pacquiao’s former foes will be facing each other this coming Saturday, October 12, 2013 (October 13, Manila time). Both Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley have fought and beaten Pacquiao. A rematch with either of the two against Pacquiao is possible, hopefully next year, depending on his performance against Rios.

I would like to see Pacquiao walking over Rios within six rounds to pepper the young hungry lion, in staccato bursts, with shots of vicious blows coming from all directions, but going the distance towards the twelfth canto is also a possibility. Rios is a durable fighter and one who has a bottomless stamina. It will be a heavy slugfest, for sure, and one that will become the sport’s own antithesis to the Mayweather-Alvarez boxing clinic.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World War 3: The clear and present danger of this generation

Before going to the main topic of this post, allow me first to express the only one wish I had in mind concerning this issue. And that is wishing that whatever information I’m going to share below won’t come as true; that this is all but just a lie we are made to believe with as true. That somebody else just made a mistake in telling it would come. I hope our prayers could stop it from happening.

Will the war in Syria and the horrible chemical attack on civilians in its capital city Damascus the beginning of World War 3? The book of Isiah in the Holy Bible has it written about the city: "See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. (Isiah 17:1)"

It seems like the powerful countries of the world today are gearing up for something big to come. The United States of America, the only remaining superpower country in the world today after rival Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, was pivoting its war machines to Asia to check on the growing might of Communist China that are slowly grabbing territories from among its neighbors.

The two Koreas are always on the watch/guard against each other and any mistake or miscalculation to be made from either of them could lead to the nuking of each other out. Russia, Syria, Iran, and China became each other’s ally. You can add to it the North Koreans who will always be at China’s back. Israel is in danger and would most likely be attacked by Russia by way of Iran and Syria.

Although we may be hearing some peace negotiations going on to try to settle differences between these quarreling parties/countries/people, most of them are just a front, a sugar coated one. We’re now in the age of hypocrisy, a time where the devil is actively working to deceive a many; a time where the King of Darkness transforms himself to become like the Angel of Light.

If World War 3 erupts, it would most likely be fought between the U.S.-Japan-Israel and allies versus Russia-China-Iran and allies tandem. Israel would be left undefended although she was a loyal U.S. ally. It would come as a surprise to people who have great knowledge in history seeing the U.S. and Japan--two former enemies in World War 2--are now backing each other up. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran--two countries which are known to have some kind of rift in the past--are now collaborating.

This wouldn’t quite surprise me though, having read the Holy Bible as what was prophesied in the book of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Iran, together with Russia and their allies would invade Israel. World War 3 is getting real--the clear and present danger this, or perhaps the next, generation will have to face.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When boredom strikes: 20 things you should be doing to get rid of it

Boredom is, in my opinion, a state by which your mind is not fully engaged, focused, or interested on something or anything. The only thing needed to get rid of boredom is to keep both your mind and body busy or active at that particular moment. If you keep yourself busy or so much interested on something, then you won’t be getting bored at all. However, I’m going to suggest just 20 things you should be doing when boredom strikes. This will not only help you out from whatever boring things you’re in, but also contribute something to making your day worthwhile.

1.     Plant a tree. It will help our mother earth.

2.     Write a poem, or write about just anything. It will enhance your creative side.

3.     Read a book or the Bible. The more you read, the more you learn.

4.     Get out into the open. Take a walk in the park and do sight-seeing. It will relax your toxic mind.

5.     Go shopping, even window shopping when you’re out of budget.

6.     Watch a movie.

7.     Call a long distance friend on the phone and talk about random of topics.

8.     Go to the church. You can meditate there and pray.

9.     Treat yourself. Buy yourself an ice cream or anything you like eating.

10.  Clean the house.

11.  Listen to your favorite music.

12.  Sing in the karaoke bar.

13.  Get yourself a relaxing massage or a spa.

14.  Cook something delicious.

15.  Give something good to someone, even complete strangers.

16.  Go to the gym. Sweat that thing out.

17.  Visit a friend. Make sure he or she is not a boring friend to be with.

18.  Engage in your favorite of sports. If it’s boxing, then go, find a sparring partner and box it with him. If it’s chess, then go blow out your mind thinking for the next nice move.

19.   Go online and surf the internet. Check out your favorite social media sites and update your status. Chat.

20.  If you’re at the working place and you get bored, then it’s either you have to quit the job or learn to live with it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The best things in life are free

You probably may have heard about that adage a countless time already. Yes, the best things in life are free. Everyone can have them, you can have them too. You deserve the best of things that life can offer you. But what are these best things in life that you need to know about?

I would like to summarize them below and I hope that once you had found and possessed these things you would not just let them go that easy. In other words, keep them for as long as you can. You have got to treasure these things because, although they’re free, they’re considered a rarity nowadays in a sense that not all people can quite put them into good use.

Love is one of the best things in life. You can be the wealthiest man or woman in the world but without such a feeling of love in your heart to guide you, you would end up always chasing happiness and contentment.

Family is another best thing in life. Your family is something you have to treasure more than what this life could give you. It is where you belong and it is where you will have to lean on with no matter what.

Relationships define the best things in life. Yes, relationships are what life is all about. If you couldn’t build up good relationships with some people, then, at least, don’t ruin whatever good one that you have had with either.

Be a guiding light to others. Give free advice to people who need it most. Don’t just tolerate bad things or situation to unfold before your very eyes. Do something about it in your own little way. If you could do something good, then do it regardless of circumstances or whatsoever. Otherwise you’ll always regret not having done something good when you could have.

Dream, it’s free. Dreams can have some impact on the emotional, psychological well-being of a person. But while it is free to dream, it is always good to make the dream a reality. Set realistic goals for your dreams and live for them.  

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