Saturday, January 30, 2010

ten commandeeeements? (very short story from one of the pages of my life's book.)

It was only about five years ago, when I attended mass during holy week with my cousin Calin, she was so young and petite that I liked pressing against her cheeks and she'd giggle, upon leaving the church, (at that time she was still learning to read) we passed by two tall stone tablets, a replica of the ten commandments. She slowly read the engravings and said, te'en co-o-man-de-me-ents..............

instead of asking me and her mother what they meant, she surprised us by asking, "kuya, pinagpipilian ba yan?" (cousin, are those of multiple choice?) I looked at her with both eyes gaping wide open in an instant, so was her mother's eyes, after a second or two ,we (me and her mother) burst out with laughter in a very amused state.

pressing against the hair on her head her mom stooped down and said "no, sugar, those are like chores that lord left for us to follow.", she stopped for a few seconds as she searched her young mind for a follow up."why are there many? teacher gives multiple choice or asks if we want to help, why do we have to follow all ,is that tiring ?".

Amused by her precious young mind,we kept giggling and her mother said, "those are more do's than do not's." she looked with a simple look of puzzlement, "how many?" teary eyed with laughter,finally, her mother said, "As you go on you'll understand, but not right now, it may only confuse you, even if it isn't there, the lord left two more, your neighbor like yourself, 2. love God above all." "neighbor? left? where?" my cousin inquired in a low tone, "just be good sugar, I'll read the bible stories for kids to you tonight OK."

unsatisfied, my cousin kept on asking until her mother gave in after all the many follow up questions ,there were so many,even I can't remember!she finally got tired of asking and agreed to just eat ice cream, her mother and I exchanged glances of amusement as we walked towards their place, a few years later (these days.), my cousin still enjoys reading bible verses and looking for clarification as well as the meaning of life.

one lesson i learned was that, "good interest should be planted and nurtured, given time and not thrown away, a little push goes a long way when it counts. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

from thought to friendship. ( a personal view.)

It doesn't really count how good or bad a person is, he/she will always have sides many may not know about. which is why I personally refrain from judging at first sight, I enjoy being a deep judge of character, In other words, I never call a person anything bad until proven. I never did believe in gossip. :)

But I always did admit that I've been bad at differentiating ugly from beautiful.
I hope my understanding of the human psyche will be more than enough to compensate for my lack of aesthetics.

Each time I see presidential candidates on the news, I never really know what to think of them, but since I am a human I can never really control my personal biases after I've seen them more than several times on television.

When it comes to candidates, I never really give much positive feedback because people are "usually as fake" as possible when they are on T.V and are even less transparent when they're running for a seat.

It usually takes a guy like me well over half a year before I can say a person is my friend, fortunately there are exceptions, last year, I succeeded in making a friend in less than 45% of the time it usually takes.Unless I can honestly tell myself that I know the person has been sincerely good to me from the get go. It's relatively harder to know how long they'll keep being good, one thing I do know about my most recent friends is that they are never the first to turn their backs on me unlike those who try hard to intimidate at first meet.People who approach me with intimidation usually find out how much it hurts when the "victim" bites back.

I've had lots of quarrels in the past and I can't recall ever biting the dust or starting it,I find the sight of my bleeding foes enjoyable, luckily I make lots of good resolutions during new year, but I do have one friend in particular who enjoys making enemies and loves the sight of people with aching and battered bodies after a brawl he started, how I became so close a friend to him, remains buried in the past.

Every time i am asked to give my opinion about someone, I usually say so when i have nothing to say, pretending to know is a futile attempt to please others when it only aggravates the situation.sometimes, i keep trying to be good or close without being friends, there was a time that lasted for more than four years with multiple people, not a single one of them ever became a real friend of mine. Last year, I found out that Angeles city deserved it's title as "city of friendship"
I made real friends there and one thing I do enjoy about making a real friend is the fact that I make one for life.:)

attending sunday mass.

I am usually upset whenever i see inattentive people attending Sunday mass, about two weeks ago, I saw the priest's assistants talking in the middle of the gospel reading and homily.
They were laughing and jeering so noisily that i could hear them from the back seats of the church,so I decided to ask some of them a few questions, I'll only state the shortest.

"Excuse me, Could you please tell me what the gospel or homily was about?" I was even more upset when the priest's assistant said "I have no idea, I was busy with the church instruments."
I wanted to tell him what a big shame it was for "sacristans" or the "priest's helpers" to be in church all day and not know the gospel, or , take a few moments to listen instead of chatting purposelessly.
I left him when he couldn't answer the last question I left him, but first, I followed up with, "Didn't you at least try to listen?" the way he answered was even more upsetting "I was doing something important." he said with an insulting expression, "Which is more important? you listening to the gospel or you talking to your friends, do not play ignorant, I've seen you and your friends doing the same thing you've been doing since the 6:00a.m mass, you've been talking worthlessly during mass weren't you? in fact i could hear your from the seventeenth pew!"

They couldn't answer so I continued, "If you're bent on not listening then let us listen in peace! all your giggling is defiling the church, have some respect will you?"
All they could do was apologize and I got the results I wanted, I didn't hear them making noise last Sunday, I'm not sure whether they took me seriously or they were silent because I sat closer to the altar that Sunday, one lesson I'd love to leave everyone with a self centered attitude is "the lesson of having consideration.". :)

"EJ's journey"

The person pictured on my profile is my beloved cousin EJ, we do not come from wealthy families and I feel very touched whenever I see him together with his father.

It was a few years ago when I overheard his guardian say "sorry if i can't give you all your wants, but i have to put your needs first, study hard and you'll get what you want when you are strong enough to stand without me."

It always pleases me to feel the heart warming connection between him and his father every time i see them together, I feel another page in my life's book being filled, genuinely.

I accompanied them once to the town fair and EJ was looking at the playthings on display, I could read what was on his mind but even I couldn't afford those things he craved.

The look on his sad face made me feel sorry for every Christmas I didn't give him a present, that day was on Christmas itself, I couldn't do anything but watch as he looked on, he gazed at the buyers in an almost mesmerized state.

His father took photos of him and I left shortly to buy some food, while on the way to the food stalls I kept thinking about the moments that children go through during their childhood and I looked back at mine, I couldn't remember much about mine but I was watching my cousin's childhood flashing before my eyes.

I imagined how the early stages of his life would affect his mentality when he grows older, I couldn't do anything so I decided to take EJ with me to one of the rides while his father went to the rest of our companions "how much money do you have?" I asked my cousin in a low tone, he opened his small palm to show me a few bills which he saved from the entire year, his allowance barely gave him anything to work with or save, I didn't want him to spend a year's savings on something lasting only a few moments so I decided to pay for his ride and just watch on.

I realized I had many chances to do so when I was a child and that old cliche' about not crying over spilled milk fit my want to give up a good ride perfectly, I kept in mind that at my age, i had no more need to to enjoy those things.

My way of making myself happier that night was if i made my cousin happy, fortunately, his father came to where we stood and payed for all three of us, that way i didn't have to sacrifice anything,with my good intention in mind.

I decided never to hesitate whenever I had good intentions, as for the action figures my cousin wanted, I decided to get him a chess set instead. but I always did say "my intentions do not waste away, you just have to wait a little bit longer." whenever i tell my cousin that, he never seems to let me down, cause his smile is just as sweet as when I first told him that. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

obsession with butchering.

Last Saturday at the anniversary of my uncle's wedding, I was tasked with the butchering of one our pet goats, I didn't just butcher him, I made three separate kinds of meals with his insides and meat, the goat was begging for his life and unlike the uncomplaining lamb, he caused such a racket he should have been in a rock concert. It didn't matter cause I killed him anyway, I am very pro-Animal but I had to do as I was Made to do.Although I felt reluctant to chop his head off, My uncle told me to hurry up so i closed my eyes and fired away, afterward I took his insides out and cleaned it's contents and used the juice to cook a Philippine delicacy known as papaitan, Its cooked by cleaning the stomach and cooking its juices with the intestines and blood, adding a little salt and garlic will do nicely after adding "siling pangsigang" (green chili) and some vinegar, it was a tasty meal but after cooking caldereta and adobo from his meat I felt so guilty I had to sit it out, maybe it was the cry of nature within me, filling me with guilt and a heavy conscience, then again, i must have been really tired and hungry.It was hard for me but then again, it wasn't the first time, i felt reluctant because it was the first time I've been given the chance in three years, recalling how many times I've done it in the past gave me back my sense of light joy and a good appetite. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

surviving pressure.

One thing all employees must hate is a nasty boss, it isn't easy to work when your boss is always breathing down your neck and never giving you breaks it's not a good thing to stay in a bad position unless you really have no other choice, my boss isn't bad at all, in fact he's my uncle (mother's side) I'm glad that he treats all his employees and apprentices as friends, in my case I am not a legal employee but that doesn't make him an illegal employer, after all, we are relatives, I do however, have a friend that works for a vile boss and everytime i see him, he's in a different mood from how I used to know him a few years back, he lost weight and I was a little worried because he seemed severely in need of rest, he's been working for the same crack for two years and I couldn't help but asked how he was surviving.
"I think I'm losing it." he says, I thought he meant going insane, turns out he meant he was losing all ill feelings towards his week day tormentor, he said "If you can laugh at it you can most definitely forget about it and treat it as nothing more than a joke gone bad."
I solemnly believed him until he left his job about a week after our conversation.
When I met him, even before I could say anything he said, "If i work there, I'll die too early, If I leave I might just live longer than you do." we laughed and I accompanied him upon looking for his next job.

my mini success. ( a semi laughable example.)

upon taking a big fall, never think of it as the end, instead, you have to look back and see how far you've fallen and what made you trip. make it a point to never accept anything as a failure but as a priceless lesson, experience is sometimes tough and unforgiving but what softens it more than good will? good will from other willing to help you get up? shoving away the hands that want you is like clinging to the arms that suffocate you, what is essential is usually felt and never seen, do not hesitate to show your feelings, if you have to weep do it and once you're finished crying, wipe your tears and get up, as soon as your wounds have healed you have to try again, it doesn't matter how many times you fall and bruise in a race, what matters is how much distance you've covered, you do not go back from scratch knowing you've started something all you need to do is keep your passion's flare alive. you may find this oddly familiar but what can I say, I'm not very special to have an extraordinary story, otherwise I'd be lying to myself.
There was a time when I was still an upstart chess player, i didn't win my first game until a few years after learning, there was a school player who was fond of humiliating and telling me that I was wasting my time at trying to play, he wasn't helping much but i understood how there will always be people trying to drag you down, but my mentor never gave up on me or let me win against him so I'd know how to play against a pro, he never gave up on me and we still play today,each time I lost as a child I had enough in me to know i had to figure out why I was losing and how to make sure it doesn't happen again, after four years of practice I won my first local games against people who were good at beating me, The prices didn't matter to me because my hard work was pay-off enough, the same person that taunted me during my first two years of playing finally bit the dust when we met over the board and when it counted,I ultimately realized that shoving the bad away will not help, facing it and solving it does it but we should always look back and look for the holes that need patching. :)

parent and child nausea.

Teenage years, the time when parent's are least understood and the children are most assertive.
kids who are in their teens usually feel controlled and need independence while the parent's know they're not ready until they're eighteen and strong enough to stand on both legs, sometimes if not most of the time, the good parents will keep watching from a distance while the least of the parent's will angrily stop caring, teenagers usually feel bad when they are not allowed to go out with friends without understanding that their parents are only being careful knowing the country's crime rate.
Even so, parent's should still weigh thing things before making snap decisions and should loosen up, if you think they can manage then why not? parent's should establish a lasting good relation to their children and the children should maintain it, do not expect your children to follow if you're setting a bad example, it doesn't matter how hard you work, if they see you're a gambler and a drinker they'll have even better reasons to pull away, parent's should always talk in a calm and frank voice each time there is a situation and children should always keep in mind that their parent's are working their bones off in an attempt to keep all of them healthy and alive, the relationship between parent and child should always be balanced, although parent's should be in charge they should also consider what their children might think, its not easy to be an old parent knowing your children are still mad at you and in case the child is wrong it would be hard for them to enter adulthood with regrets, prevention has always been better than cure and if parent's are more cheerful and outgoing with their children, they'll have the impression that they have "cool" parent's and they'll never try to break away, of course, there will always be exceptions, so keep it balanced, if anyone tries this and fails i would just like to say it's not my fault, I'm just expressing my opinion. :)

the hardest part of dying.

imagine being in the last few moments of your life with the ones you hold dear around you, weeping as you slowly close your eyes, what do you think would come to your mind first? is it never seeing them again, what will happen to you, is there anything you've missed in life, is there anything you wish to apologize for, are you willing to accept God, have you been good in your life, are you worthy of heaven, is the afterlife even real and how will your loved ones move on without you?

people often wait for the last moment before they apologize or say something they should have said while they were still strong and able, is it the fear that the other would be too cold to accept the apology? or is it because they fear not entering paradise because of unresolved matters? then again it could also be because of the offender's doing in other words being the victim.
The feeling when near death is a helpless feeling of losing grip unless you die by a quick accident.

Some things are better resolved early and both parties should know how to be open but if the other is badly hurt then there may be no turning back, some people treat death as a blessing, a way of escaping from life's problems and misery, the love of life is sometimes overshadowed by the heavy tides of gloom that are brought by those who are near to us, it hurts more when you are hurt by someone you love but it's easier to forgive ,in some cases however, it makes it harder to forgive, even impossible, I've experienced my life flashing before my eyes in a motor accident so i know how it feels to be helpless, at that time, I realized, the hardest part of dying is knowing how much you wanted in life but having to say goodbye to the ones you love before getting the chance.

dreaming aloud.

If you have a good dream and you know others may not appreciate it, do not be in a hurry to tell them, the best time to do so is when you've done it, it always hurts more when a person is said to have shattered dreams, sometimes, not fulfilling a a dream you've kept to yourself, keeps critics from speaking harshly because they would never know you had the dream in the first place,I'm not saying you shouldn't tell them before you've reached it, I'm merely advising you to declare so at the right time.
Its a good idea to be open to criticism, you'd know if you're critic is speaking for a good cause or just being plain insulting, if the latter is being done then you can always prove them wrong by fulfilling your dream, the sweetest laugh is the last one, failure should never be anticipated, lacking the courage to begin only pulls you down deeper, a little encouragement is usually needed, when asking for advice, ask people who you think can give the best and least hurtful advice, if you seek advice from friends you won't feel as bad as you would when faced with a bad critic, always pick the right dream for you and if you are going to make any realizations, try doing it as early as possible, although regret comes last, the payoff for a broken dream is always sweeter when you know you've tried, your feel only gets better each time you get up from a drubbing, staying committed is the most important part of any dream, never lose your love for what you want or it because nothing more than a spiteful memory.when receiving good criticism or success, keep humble, the people that see you climb the ladder of success will be the same who'll catch you in case you slip. make as many friends as possible, make may but choose only the good ones.

scribbles of my neck pain.

It was December of 7 years back as i was sitting on the branches of my favorite tree,when i first tried to relieve myself of any heavy emotions, i was looking at the stars with amazement and sentiment, recalling how i once did it with someone else made me feel lonely,but realizing how much I've missed them loosened the feeling,I actually missed the sparkles in the sky, especially because the polluted city sky usually covers them from where i studied in High school,for the record, i rarely miss any event,to me, watching them sparkle was an event worthwhile, seeing them after such a long time made me feel near complete but it wasn't enough to compensate for the years I've lost, I treated every single night that I didn't see them as a loss and every miserable memory made me feel weaker at first until that weakness turned to anger and then hate, but whenever i would look up at the star filled sky, i somehow feel a little bit better, I always enjoyed gazing at nature it never bores me unlike most people of my age, the cool December winds pleased me more than a cool drink under a hot summer sun and the light from above made me sleepy, It took a few more nights before i realized that it was almost impossible for a person like me to ever let go of something that made me loose blood and sleep unless I resolved the problem with my fists, i then thought of how people drank and took drugs to help them forget and how some would even take their own lives, realizing how bad their ideas were, my perspective changed, I realized that all the miserable memoirs that haunt me are part of the past and doing something about them in the present would only keep me living the nightmare but i could never keep them in so i got myself a few hobbies, stargazing in my view, is better than any pain killer or drug, i've never taken any illegal drugs and drinking beer wouldn't help much either, why get drunk? I'm already seeing stars! :)

what's fair?

whenever i hear the words "justice", "fair" and "equality" the first thing that would come to my mind was everybody leaving satisfied, but that view changed, each time i hear those words i now see their exact opposites, elections are drawing close and the politicians are blowing their horns in public like they have been doing for the past three decades with little improvement, it's tiring to have to hear the long list of promises they intend to break and they get seats by any way possible, it may not be known to other countries but more than 50 people have died in a mass murder committed here in the Philippines last year, that includes journalists and women, it's horrifying to run against people of strong but painful will.
Each time i walk along the city streets i see children being shoved away by passers by and the first few questions that enter my mind are, "where's the justice and help the government promised?"" why do they keep spending on profit projects when the people they should be putting first are dying of hunger?"
it's pathetic how they say "lack of funds are to blame for poverty" or "overpopulation" when both do not exist, Its a popular practice for politicians to spend on all sorts of road and waste projects while they flagrantly turn their eyes away from those who need it more, it takes thousands even millions up to billions of Filipino pesos to have express ways built, and the reason they have express ways built is because they claim driver's lives have to be preserved, to a common listener, this may seem good, but to a caring individual it would be pointless, how many driver's do we lose each year with or without improved roads? have they ever thought of the hundreds even thousands that die of hunger every year? it's a world of political profit where the few generous are cast away or heavily criticized by the ignorant.
unfortunately due to poverty, some voters will vote for whoever offers the most money or bribe, cheating is a familiar face to any election and many voters interpret the old cliche "vote wisely" as "vote for the richest leech." or something similar but the real problem is that we really do not have a choice, no matter who is voted, it all stays the same, even if the president voted is a good one, it wouldn't matter if the people under her are the same bloodsucking faces of before, its a shame the mother of Filipino democracy passed away last year without ever trying to run for the highest seat when she was healthier and alive, then again, how much difference could one person make?-A lot! If many are willing to follow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

chess bite.

why many people think chess is a boring and tiring mind game is a matter of perspective, people who want to learn simply need practice and people without enough enthusiasm to learn are usually the ones complaining, you do not need to play 24/7 to get better at playing, sometimes you need to watch more experienced players and take note of how they play then compare it with your own style of play,if you do not have a style of play, try developing one and if that doesn't work try being flexible, being flexible involves learning opening and endgame theory but what's really important is both your opening and middle game, never stray too far from what you know or what you're comfortable with unless you feel like it doesn't fit you or needs improvement.if you're in a hurry to pick up good tactics, you may want to spar with the computer programs and pick up some of their style, try watching chess games on the internet, using a chess book is time consuming, the same annotations are found when you watch games on the internet, nobody really gets extremely good as beginners but there are such things as chess prodigies or people who become good at young ages, not everybody learns that quickly, in fact, all that's needed to learn is a little motivation and enthusiasm but if you still do not enjoy then it only means the game isn't meant for you.

red hot tears. 10 min blog.

Its been well over a decade and a half since the pyroclastic flows and lahar rushed down the slopes of mount pinatubo in Botolan, Zambales Philippines and ravaged everything in its path ways as it impregnated all nine rivers that originated from the Zambales mountain range with over 20 feet of scorching mud burying all the nearby towns and destroying many bridges and millions worth of agricultural profit literally turned to dust.Mother nature didn't stop there as the wind from typhoon Yunya propelled the ash fall further on the already grieving land.
the Philippine aborigines known as the "Aetas" were forced to come down from their mountain homes and live the life of refugees in the resettlement areas, astonishingly, they allowed themselves to be civilized and lived peacefully with the other families even though many of them were still mourning their losses.
on the 8th of June 1991, the volcano gave it's warning shot when some of its vents released smoke, vulcanologist situated at Sitio Moraza in Poonbato Zambales took video footage and photos shortly before it's first major eruption on the 12th of June 1991. Although the volcano was roughly only 2km in height it released ash clouds reaching heights of over 20,000 meters with poisonous sulfur gas, it's a sad coincidence that it's first major eruption happened on Philippine independence day,( perhaps the the mountain wanted to free its insides)
the mountain was relentless as it continued releasing it's judgment on the inhabitants nearby, according to aeta belief, the volcano's eruption was caused by the anger of Apo Mallari, the god who slept in the deepest regions of the mountain who was apparently angered by the wrong ways of man, perhaps they were pertaining to the flesh markets that went out of business during the volcano's wrath, soldiers at Clark air base were forced to move and president Corazon "Cory" Aquino was facing one of the greatest trials at the near end of her term.
Ohter countries promised to help and even if that was a long time ago, we can still see its effects on the lives of all involved, cars that were destroyed by the eruption were auctioned and farm animals had to be sold at cheap prices, the Aetas could no longer go back to the barren land they once called "Home" and the farmers however found a way to turn their frowns upside down when they made products like hollow blocks used for construction to compensate for their loss of agricultural material, through all that misery, Filipinos continually display the trait worth admiring-Smiling through pain.

5 min blog.

earlier I just saw the same street dweller I've been giving coins for the past five weeks and I never missed giving her a few coins or donuts until I found out something about her that really made me think thrice about giving her coins again, it turns out, I had no reason to be upset at all, first of, she was smoking, the first thing that came into my mind when i saw her smoking was how wasteful it would be for a street dweller, i kept thinking about it on the bus and decided to help her out with her smoking problem, i didn't want to separate her from her simple joys and didn't want to let her smoke either for the sake of her lungs of course, so i decided to stop giving her coins......................but that never stopped me from buying her a couple of donuts each time i saw her and giving her those morsels was enough to make her smile each time she saw me, i believe she still hasn't realized I've stopped giving her coins! :)

ajchtar note 1.

In my first blog i hope i do not bore you people half to will see the first this sunday.