Thursday, June 30, 2011

Your Top 10 Semi-Finalists

I was anxious.


I feel droplets of sweat in my forehead. My palm is wet and I can feel my heart beating wildly.

First round of elimination was over. I was in.

Good thing, I share the same feeling with the fellow contestants. It was a tiring experience standing up, maintaining poise and to wait patiently for our names to be called for each round. All of us woke up early for this event. We prepared, however I prepared differently from them. I gave my all. I made sure my name will be remembered, one hundred years from now. And yes, that song from Brian Mcknight keeps on playing in the background.

In a few moments, they will call the top ten finalists. Only ten lucky ones will be part of this very prestigious contest. Not all can be lucky. Not all can share the stage.

Top ten... Keeps ringing on my head. There can only be TEN. What if I didn't make it? How will I move on? When all I know this is a once in a life-time adventure? Will I take another chance?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thanks 6/26

Thanks for the enduring love
The enduring faith
The persistent hope
And all that comes in between

Thanks for the sorrow
Thanks for the sadness
The setback I despise
Made me all realize

Thanks for the misery
Thanks for the worries
Those and all
Made me just stronger

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quit and You Lose

Oh well, as the cliche goes, "When it rains, it pours..." True to its meaning, yesterday was another storm for yours truly. The light at the end of the tunnel was indeed elusive. I'm lost, and I can't seem to find my way back. Seeing Nimmy over a cup of ice cream was all that I was hoping for since Monday. I saw Nimmy yesterday, ordered ice cream generously topped with blueberry, kiwi and cherries. What I thought to cure my blues (the ice cream) was ineffective. I almost cried. 

During these low-moments in my life, I can't help but write to release these emotions. My friends have their own struggles in life, and I don't want to share into their own concerns. Pardon me if I write a lot of  melodramatic entries. Still, thanks to those who put encouraging comments. It feels like someone's listening. Whatever the case may be, I still appreciate the fact that I can write and release. 

This morning, I bumped into one of the most powerful poem I read in my entire life. Thoughts like these keeps me going. Let me share this to all of you: 

Don't Quit
by: Edgar Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing, you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - but don't you quit! 

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometime learns, 
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out, 
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow - 
You might succeed with another blow...

Success is failure turned inside out - 
the silver tint of the clouds of doubt - 
And you can never tell how close you are, 
It may be near when it seems afar; 
So stick to the fight when are hardest hit - 
It's when things get worse that you mustn't quit! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Faith on Rainy Days

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

It's been raining for days. The wet and the cold weather is really a conducive time to reflect on things.  It's a struggle by yours truly to think on happy thoughts nowadays. Reading has been a source of refuge - but only to some extent. How can I cure my spirit? How can I completely change my plight? How will I know thy true self? 

We have our own struggles in life. It can't be of huge difference from others. We all get to be sad, depressed and anxious about our problems. What makes us unique is on the extent and the capacity of our spirit to endure. How you handle them effectively is your choice. How you solve life crisis depends on your initiatives. But above all, faith should be the main ingredient of it all. 

I can only hope that some day, I can learn from this experience. That someday too, I can share to others what I've done differently to have that 180 degrees transition. That someday, I can inspire someone through God's given breakthrough. That someday, I've cured my spirit, knew myself more and changed for the better.  

My faith is telling me it's not going to be that long and that on these rainy days the sun will shine through my life, like it have never shine before.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thanks 6/18

Thanks for a wonderful week...
For the chance to praise You
A chance to serve 
A chance to prove myself that I can be worthy

It has been tough and challenging months
But to this day, I can start to see
The unraveling mystery
And appreciate the obscure fact

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kotseng Pang-Becky Lou Blanco

A year ago, I purchased an old but refurbished Toyota Corolla GLi (A/T) out of my savings. My relationship with my car is so strong, that despite two traumatic minor accidents, I still love driving. Those experiences really taught me being a skilled driver. And for me, a   good driver is  defensive and smart. My preparation in owning a car was rather swift. 5 days in driving school and thereafter, I bought one of the best possession in my life. Sabi pa nga ng isa kong friend, "Ang tapang mo!" I have to drive the car from Paranaque to Pasig alone - student license pa lang meron ako nun. 

I don't advise doing it. Tapang-tapangan lang ako, kasi dala ng pangangailangan. I need to have a car, kasi malayo ang office at haggard magcommute sa C5. I don't think makaka-survive ako magcommute sa layo ng Pasig to Taguig. So there. 

A second hand car suited my needs that time. I don't want to take a loan, kasi malaki amortization. Besides, tanga pa ako magdrive. Sayang naman ang bagong kotse, kung mapipisak ko lang siya or magagasgas ko lang ang makintab niyang pintura. Kumbaga, practice unit ko 'to. If ever ready na ako financially and skill-wise, ibebenta ko na 'to for an SUV. Sana mayaman na mayaman na kami ni Nimmy that time. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thanks 6/13

For the friends that reached out
On my loneliest days
For the people that showed concern
When I was on my weakest

For challenges I have
When I dream of something
For the sacrifices I endure
To reach my goal

For the books I've encountered
When I seek knowledge
For the Holy Spirit I ask
When I need wisdom

For Nimmy's unconditional love
When I need support
For my family's silent care
When I'm vulnerable

For the simple words
When I want understanding
For the prolific mind of others
To show God's given talent

For the angels I call
When I drive to somewhere
For the opportunity given
To feel's God's blessings

For the internet I use
When I occupy my head
For the network I've gained
To provide some help

For the health of my family
In times of being broke
For the safety of all
To fulfill God's destiny

For the time to give gratitude
Is a blessing indeed
From the bottom of my heart
I give thanks to THEE

Friday, June 10, 2011


Out of nowhere, I've asked, "What if I had a different route in life which leads me to work in public office?"

"What if life had bumped me to step in the dirty world of politics?"

"What could have been my post?"

"Can I be an effective public official?" 

I was daydreaming that if ever I won in the Lottery (yes, I place bets in Lotto), I was thinking of financing my political dream by having these simple steps: 

1. Hire a PR manager
2. Create my Power Team
3. Build my Legislative blueprint and draft an efficient and realistic platform for North Caloocan
4. Engage in Socio-Civic activities
5. Frame my campaign agenda

Five Simple Steps. I know it's not simple as that. 

Politics is really out of my league. My previous career has nothing to do with Politics. Having studied Political Science majoring in Public Administration, I was exposed in the government's intricacies. Moreover, it paved the way for yours truly to understand the social stigma politics had harbored over decades. I come from a poor family, and financing a career for politics, is really out in the equation. Imagine this, poor gay, running for public office = nuisance candidate. 

If it is to generalize that Politics is the world of the rich and famous, I totally agree. To state the obvious, our legislators, cabinet secretaries are affluent beings. So for starters like me, impecunious as it is, depends on winning the Lotto to finance this so-called political dream. 

Suddenly, I remembered what triggered this state of milieu. Our current residence is on a very tight dispute between us, the title-holders and Carmel Development Incorporated, headed by a real-estate tycoon, Greggy Araneta. Over 30,000 families are affected by Supreme Court's decision nullifying our land titles. Just a swift history, our land titles came off from a Presidential Decree during Martial Law. Then President Marcos declared a vast land here in North Caloocan as property of the government, and (he) distributed them to Malacanang officials and military. My dad, out of his humble savings from being an OFW  acquired almost 340 square meters of land from one of the government official. Couple of years later, CDI won through an SC decision. After 28 years, with all goodness, they still haven't got our land. Worst, informal settlers multiplied in no time. 

It is indeed difficult for CDI to claim such vast land. First, there are 30,000 families in this village, second, the SC decision was highly contested by our organization's counsels. 

Few days ago, a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) was granted by SC. This is for CDI to stop from doing illegal demolitions. CDI over the past several months started to initiate intimidation from informal settlers and resulted to a child being hit by a gun shot. They tried to tear down houses on an early morning - a great example of a baloney act. Araneta's tried to demolish houses without court sheriffs, and worst, no sight of policemen. It got in the news somehow. 

Some sort of concerned citizen group in Facebook had requested for support using the Fan Pages of Akbayan, Cong. Malapitan, Commission on Human Rights and Sen. Marcos. 

Yours truly have been very vocal in those pages and it did somehow ignited my clamor for justice and peace. I thought, this is the only way I can help not only my family but also our community. 

I've sent emails to Malacanang, Sen. Marcos and Cong. Malapitan. 

As usual these folks will just shrugged off from the issue. Nada, none, zero. My mailbox didn't get any replies. These folks will not touch on this case due to number one, they can't support us since Araneta is influential, number two, they are chickens. 

Then I thought, Senate and Congress are legislative form of government and may not be able to encroach upon the jurisdiction of a decided case from Judiciary. But as representatives of the people, they should know their duty to protect its people. 

Akbayan, through Rep. Colmenares did his job. Although he's not our Congressman, he stand firm and asked his colleagues to look into this matter. House Resolution was filed by his group instigating a committee to study and investigate. This is the first time, after 28 years that the Congress helped our community. 

Facebook comments flooded Akbayan and our community's  fan page. I was happy to see an overflowing of support to each and everyone. Things are different now in our community, but we are still on an alert. As for Congressman Malapitan's fan page, I can only see how proud he was with anti-rabbies projects. For Sen. Marcos, I feel he's not even existed. 

Going back to my dream, my community have spurred my desire for public service. On the second thought however, I know it will be such an honor, but the responsibility is overwhelming. 

OVERWHELMING. I just thought that all Congressmen should feel that way and ACT on it. Keyphrase: Sense of Urgency. 

Because if not, they're just wasting time, and squandering tax money - pork barrel. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Educate Thy Kids

After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad few weeks ago, I never thought that it will have such a GREAT impact in my thinking. Robert Kiyosaki had really made his point come across by his examples and anecdotes. The book revolves around financial education and how it can solve financial struggles of his fellow Americans. 

While most of the folks think that getting a college degree, getting a job and earning helps alleviate their economic status, Robert through his "rich dad" taught him a very valuable lesson better than what most people get from universities. I love how Robert explained the rat race, and how most of the people are trapped on it. 

The book really did inspire me through the tough times I am in right now. 

If only I have read this book prior to me getting my first job in 2001, I know that my life right now could be far more different. Coming from a family that is not that financially educated, I got trapped. There is this undying clamor to get out of it, for the view is not enticing. Despite of it all, I can say, I am blessed, because my parents started off with some small investments. What an eldest son got left to do, is to ensure that this sleeping assets are woken up to work for us. 

Is it too late then? I contemplated a lot on this new dogma. At first, I was astonished by the  pragmatism of the approach, and realized, this could have been very simple. I felt, that the things I learned from it are realistic, and can be applied at this very moment. So to answer the question, I think it is definitely not too late. The best time to start is now, now and now. 

The Philippines is one country with plethora of resources and my idea is that if all youth, the kids, are taught to be entrepreneurs, these resources could have been used to help alleviate the sad plight of our economy. If we can cultivate the minds of the younger generation in aiding them to be more financially adept, we could have lessen the number of students taking up Nursing. 

I'm no parent, but if ever given the chance, I want my kids to be raised with a mindset to save, invest and buy properties with values that don't depreciate. 

The best is yet to come and I certainly hang on to that cliche. Aside from hoping, I'm starting off studying and learning the rudiments that I need to learn... For sure, it's going to be rough ride, but being experienced as I am, there's no boulder I cannot crush. 

There's really hope with God. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When All Else is Gone

I promised myself to be positive at all times. I want to think good and happy thoughts all the time. I'd love to be in a constant state of glee - where worries never existed. I want to remain on that state where I can be so confident to face the world. I want to think that challenges and other awful situations are just minute details in my-so-called-life. If problems existed, I want my mind to have openness that it can endure and produce an antidote in no time. 

But it's not the case. 

I am writing this to serve as a confession to myself. A full realization that I am on a rock bottom. 

That I failed. 

Despite the auspiciousness and resilience I've learned to cultivate in my 30 years of existence, with all humility I can muster, I am on the admission that I'm suffering. 

It's not easy to go back to a place where you thought it's not going to exist anymore. It's not easy to think that you have moved forward but because of sheer existence of fate, you are pulled back to square one. 

I don't have any today. So I thought, that with the overly blessings I was blinded by, one by one it dripped like a drop of water. All I can do is stare as things unfold before me. 

The more I try to control, the more it went crazy. 

It's been months. The only recourse and consolation I have for myself is the faith and trust to Him that with these things going on in my life, there's something to look forward to with His unconditional love. Day by day, I felt the need to communicate and meditate on His response to my prayers. 

I want to move on. I want CHANGE. When all else is gone, I felt the need to change course. I felt the need to change my view. I felt the need to renew myself to be better and to be worthy of Thy grace. 

When all else is gone, you look back and count your blessings. 

Gratitude and thanks are nothing but necessary on this most trying times. Without the people surrounding me, I really don't think I can survive. 

My life has never been so easy, and I can confidently say - so is with others. My coping mechanism is unique that it gives ample time to comprehend and take some actions. I let myself endure the pain and pray that my head gets clear. For some, it takes hours, days and weeks to move on. And some, don't even get the chance to see and experience it. 

It's not yet over but soon enough, I know, that I can overcome this not in my own time, but in His time. 

All I can do for now is wait.