The Protest

It’s perfectly legal to get angry, to raise your clenched fist, to shout and to have your thoughts made known to those holding the highest positions in the government. With everything that’s going on, it is a natural reaction, a civilized attempt to express. But it’s scarier I believe if the voices of those who care have been shut, the doors and windows to understanding closed, and hope gone. I wonder if the Philippines will one day wake up on an atmosphere of pure hate, hurt, and heresy. Yes, I still wonder because at 4 A.M. my mind wanted to believe that we can get over these humps. I hope that fear will never triumph against the truth… I hope.



Challenge me in ways that I’ve
never been challenged

Show me things – grand and minute,
subtle and bold, and let’s get drunk
on each other’s fascinations

Let’s not be mediocre, forever
threading what the men and women
before us built for themselves

Be mad at me, really mad,
to the extreme extent not
brought by hatred but
of love

Love me, show me, tell
me every day, every
hour, every time
the sun’s rays
visit your lips

Stay while the storm
displays its wrath, the
noise around us, all the doubts –
be with me still

For you’re my hiding place,
my refuge, the light in
a world that has gone crazy –
sit next to me.

21. Carbonated Fruit Drinks

AS SOMEONE who doesn’t find joy in consuming alcoholic drinks, being an attendee at a party where carbonated fruit drinks have been made available is a gift, a sweet gesture to avoid being out of place. Let’s toast!

‘Consistency’ not ‘Intensity’

IF YOU know deep within you that you love someone, don’t settle for anybody else. Don’t call or text or entertain those who express their intent to know you, to be with you. Don’t waste time and energy by giving others hope for your affection. Be courageous enough to tell them how you feel. Choose the one that you love despite all the mysteries, the uncertainties. Be loyal, sincere, and faithful even if all that’s in between you is silence. Relationships, the genuine ones, do not exist because of intensity. They don’t happen overnight or by pouring all the emotions in one sitting. They come into being through consistency. To be willing to listen, to give in, and to put the other person first; to be committed all the time. And nothing is more satisfying than being stared at by someone you waited for because you did not settle with all the tempting, enticing, and riveting roadblocks along the way.

19. Passing the interview

“In a one-click-please-answer-me-now world where Google is at the top of the food chain in technology, it is expected that one can easily answer the questions cited. But no, it’s not the case.”

NOBODY LIKES to be rejected. It is an innate need for us to be accepted, appreciated, and valued by other people. It’s one of the reasons why there’s awarding ceremonies, recognition days, and ‘best’ and ‘most outstanding’ titles that the world societies give to deserving individuals.

But we’ve all gone through it or faced it. A simple job interview maybe weeks or months after school or college graduation. By then, with all the might that we have, we faced men and women in suits, ties, and leather shoes. It’s no longer a joke. Everything’s real and we’ve got to cope or else we’ll be left behind in life.

Come to think of it. For more than a decade, we’ve unconsciously prepared for this momentous event. Yes, we want to be successful, to earn money, to buy everything that we want. We want to enjoy, be in a more comfortable position, and sip hot green tea in an island in the Pacific. We crave for meaning among the millions of things around us. But nobody told us the Dos and Don’ts in an interview.

Hearts pumping. Sweats everywhere. Minds juggling.

What are your weaknesses? How about your strengths? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? What is your greatest achievement? Why do you want to work here? Why should we hire you?

In a one-click-please-answer-me-now world where Google is at the top of the food chain in technology, it is expected that one can easily answer the questions cited. But no, it’s not the case. Because some of us memorize what we’ve got to say for the Big Day, we forget the essentials why managers and executives sit down to talk to us (some do it over Skype or through a telephone call). One can easily sense if the provided was based on a script in a computer or smartphone somewhere. The interviewers are not dumb to fail in measuring you up. Interviews happen to gauge you, your values, your virtues, your principles, your outlook, and you, the whole package. Accepting you means saying yes to a future that they cannot foresee with your talents and capabilities. It’s a form of investment.

Failing an interview happens. It happens to those who are not qualified or to those who did not prepare: being oblivious, not following the dress code, being impolite, unorganized resume, missing documents, wandering mind. To be accepted and appreciated and valued is something that we all long for. But first, we should ask: Do I really want this? Did I make the necessary preparations? Can I imagine myself working in this corporation, company, or entity?

It is not easy to pass an interview. But if you’re chosen and if you’re deserving of a nod, of a yes, of the opportunity, expect that you’ll exit the door with a smile on your face or you’ll wave goodbye at the person on the other side of the screen with gratitude in your heart.

Forgive and forget

It’s Sunday and I have been reminded of two powerful acts to have a more meaningful life: forgive and forget. Everyone makes mistakes and for one to be forgiven, one has to forgive first. But true forgiveness happens when the mind and the heart no longer remember the sin that has been committed by another person.  So, please forgive and forget. Yes, before you close your eyes today… Before the moon and the stars sing you a lullaby.

After college

After college, natutunan ko:

Una. Na kahit napatayo ka ng ilang ulit sa Chemistry class ni Dr. A. dahil hindi mo nasagot ng tama yung mga nerve-wracking at tricky questions niya tulad ng, “What is matter?” eh may pag-asa ka pa ring maging productive at matinong citizen ng Pilipinas;

Ikalawa. Na hindi Calculus ang pinakamahirap na subject kundi P.E. (Dance) dahil kailangang magpresent sa dulo ng semester at makita ng buong school na nasira yung back drop ninyo dahil sa pagmamadaling itago ang mukha sa kahihiyan ng mga hindi nabiyayaan ng talentong sumayaw; na ikaw bilang host eh magpapatawa na lang;

Ikatlo. Na kahit dumaan ka pa sa training ng malulupit na English at Filipino professors ng unibersidad ninyo para sa Inter-campus speech competitions, mauubusan ka pa rin ng Ingles, idiomatic expressions at paksa kapag ang boss mo ay native English speaker; madalas ngumingiti at tumatawa ka na lang kahit ‘di mo lubos na naiintindihan ang sinasabi;

Ikaapat. Na hindi madaling kumita ng pera; maging ang mga mangangalakal ng basura maghapon naglalakad at naghahanap ng mabebenta;

Ikalima. Na may mga classmate kang akala mo walang patutunguhan, late lagi sa klase o ‘di kaya absent lagi ngunit mauungusan ka pa sa career opportunities; dapat mong tanggapin ‘yon;

Ikaanim. Na totoo ‘yung sinabi ng dating Health Secretary, “Fast foods can make you fat, they are full of fats” (tataba ka nga);

Ikapito. Na hindi dapat nagje-jaywalking, may nasawi na dahil ‘di sumunod dito;

Ikawalo. Na dapat matutunang magmove-on (sa maraming bagay);

Ikasiyam. Na madaling lumipas ang panahon, ‘di mo mamamalayan dahil wala ka ng school calendar na sinusundan, may sarili ka na kasing kalendaryo na sa ayaw mo at ayaw mo dapat mong bitbitin;

Ikasampu. Na ‘di lahat ng pinaniwalaan mo totoo; tulad ng idinikta ng utak mo bilang sagot sa tanong sa una, “Matter is anything that has mass and weight.”