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Archive for December, 2014

I have something in common with Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Hillary Clinton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sofia Vergara, Bill Gates and even Kris Aquino not only this coming New Year’s Eve but even in the previous New Year’s Eves.  All of us, have not been lighting firecrackers during New Year’s Eve yet we are the rich, popular and powerful beings of this planet.

wealthy powerful people of planet earth

wealthy powerful people of planet earth

So if you think that producing deafening noise during New Year’s Eve like lighting a firecracker will bring luck and drive away undesirable spells and bad spirits, you better think again.  I hope you realize that even if you will light a nuclear bomb, no amount of wealth, power and popularity will come to you unless you work hard, persevere hard and stay focused on what you do and what you want.

You should realize that making noises should be made not on a literal sense.  But instead thunderous noise of diligence, progress and optimism should be produced in your heart in an uninterrupted manner all throughout the coming year.

A Wealthy New Year to all of us!!!

Nagtotorotot at tumatalon lang kami nina Oprah, Bill at Sofia pag bagong taon. Haler…

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Worthy grade school teachers taught us that precise goals must be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bounded.  This very principle was one of the backbones when I set my New Year’s resolutions late last year.

And I am glad to convey that I am triumphant in accomplishing one of these resolutions.  That is, to discontinue riding the pricey taxi when going to and from my workplace.  And instead, settle for the more economical Jeepney ride.

Considered a cultural icon, Jeepney is a bus-like mode of public transport uniquely found in the Philippines

Considered a cultural icon, Jeepney is a bus-like mode of public transport uniquely found in the Philippines

It is actually only fifteen to twenty minutes by foot getting to my workplace.   This is why my initial goal/resolution was to walk daily to and from my office daily.  But because of the thick toxic air pollutants in Metro Manila as well as fear from tropical sun’s Vitamin D overdose, I settled on taking the Jeepney ride.

My ceasing to take the taxi this year actually has lots of advantages.  I no longer have to deal with ill-mannered opportunistic taxi drivers and experience those horrible circumstances:  (i) suffering from feelings of rejection after being declined by taxi drivers who refuse to have me as their passenger; (ii) enduring the stench of putrid taxi interiors or the reeking foul body odor of taxi drivers who opted to start their day without initially getting a good shower; and, (iii) feelings of being duped every time the driver would not hand me the exact change but instead compute change based not to the nearest ten but to the ‘next’ ten.

Aside from averting myself to all these stressful hideous encounters, riding the Jeepney gives me the sense of being grounded.  It somewhat makes me feel that my soul is aligned and so incorporated with the Filipino norm and culture.  Others may say that riding a Jeepney is so baduy (tacky) and so masa (for cheap lowly masses).  But for me, these people can have their fake and shallow elitist eccentricity with freaking lavish panache and let me and the rest of the Jeeney riding public have the biggest benefit of all.  That is the astonishing bargain of paying for a Jeepney fare and the savings that we can actually amass.  Tell me who doesn’t like bargain and I will smack the freaking grungy muffler of the Jeepney on his or her face!

To be exact, my taxi fare (on a return basis) would cost me around 140 pesos.  But the Jeepney fare back and forth is only 17 pesos daily (as of this writing has been lowered down to 15 pesos).  Based on simple mathematics, this accomplished New Year’s resolution saved me a staggering 29,520 pesos for the whole year.  This money is actually more than enough for a plane ticket if you’re journeying from Manila to Tokyo and back!  This amount in point of fact is actually more than a two-month-salary of a minimum wage earner in Manila.  And is actually enough to pay for my electric bill for six remarkable months!

To sum it up, my simple yet specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bounded goal and resolution which I triumphantly achieved this year was indeed worth it.  I am not saying that I will no longer be riding the taxi, what I’m simply saying is that my preferred mode of transport when going to and from my office is the Jeepney.  And until major changes happen to the “taxi culture” and improvements be felt regarding the taxi drivers’ urbanity in the Philippines, I plan to continue riding the ever reliable Jeepney in the next years to come.

Sige. Ikaw na ang sosyal! 

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Icelandic legend has it that anyone not dressed with brand new clothes on Christmas Day would be devoured by the ferocious Yule Cat.  Though my family is not from the Nordic country of Iceland, we do observe the tradition of wearing new clothes during the festive Christmas Day.

More than five years now, my family has kept a somewhat different variety of tradition in terms of wearing new clothes on Christmas.  It is because we opt to be wearing the same design of clothing every year during Christmas Eve.  Call if uniform, call it a costume or call it regalia but this tradition has kept us in a way to be more bonded as a family.

And every year, it takes weeks before the final color and design will be agreed upon.  Knowing how liberal and outspoken each and every member of my family is, it comes not as a big surprise that there were lots of funny debates, hilarious deliberations and side-splitting discussions on how the style and design would look like.

A way of kicking the Yule Cat’s ass this year, my family opted for a vibrant baby pink color shirt with a somewhat retro chocolate brown design print.  Here’s how it looks…

cool!

cool!

i love it!

i love it!

Sino ba ‘yan Yul Kat na ‘yan? Pusang gala lang yata ‘yan!

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merry christmas!!!

merry christmas!!!

Nengkoy and I would like to express – through the general parts of speech – our one of a kind 2014 Yuletide greetings and wishes to everyone!

Our wish is for you to possess your most wanted adjective, fulfill your most yearned verb, experience your dream adverb and express nothing but delightful interjections.   Nengkoy and I both hope that all these shall be in conjunction with the fulfillment of your dream to be with your most desired noun and pronoun in whatever preposition you may be this Christmas Season.

Merry Christmas!

Yeba! Maligayang Pasko sa ‘yo!

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nengkoy with her water rafting team

nengkoy with her water rafting team

Before Nengkoy and a bunch of her grandchildren headed to Davao (a southern city province of the Philippines) for a short vacay, I and my elder sister particularly told our adventuresome nephews and nieces not to subject their Lola (grandmother) to any hell raising thrill ride that they plan to take during this journey.

This specific order was put in place because every time Nengkoy and her grandchildren convene outside of Metro Manila they would often go for some adrenaline-infused adventure.  One particular exploit was when they went through some limestone caves in Palawan then capped it with a 330-meter zip-line ride.  Nengkoy then was already 74 years old.

And as expected, my adventuresome nephews, nieces and Nengkoy defied such orders.  Nengkoy now 77 years old further pushed the envelope when she conquered the white water rapids of the Davao river.  According to my nephews and nieces, Nengkoy was the oldest female rider who did the water rafting for this particular route.  And the oldest male rider is actually 3 months older than her!

Here’s one of those many scary obstacles during their adventure…

Nengkoy is the one who refuse to raise her paddle after the challenge!! Hahaha!

Taray! Lumelebel ap ang lola nyo!

 

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According to Mahatma Gandhi, “The simplest act of kindness is by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer”.  That is why aside from trying to succeed in the 9-day Misa De Gallo challenge, let me encourage everyone to allot even a small portion of their Christmas blessings to charity.  I suppose you need not be told that even for a small amount, your donation will indeed go far and would help a lot of people.

I am not the best Catholic this Christmas Season so let me make up for my sins by helping others.  This Christmas, my chosen aid organization is Save the Children UK.  I know there is Save the Children Philippines but I chose the UK-based branch because I was so touched and was so moved by their YouTube advert for this Christmas season.  Entitled Real Giving This Christmas, the advert features Gerald a young boy from an impoverished town of my very own country.

o-ha!!! feeling mayaman...

o-ha!!! feeling mayaman…

gerald (photo from save the children uk fb page)

(photo from save the children uk fb page)

What is very moving about Gerald’s story is his ability to give so much despite having so little.  His enthusing narrative along with a touching musical score of the video can indeed inspire and encourage people to share their blessings in whichever form it may be.

Do your soul some favor, you can donate to Save the Children UK by clicking on this LINK:http://www.savethechildren.org.uk

Puro ka kabig! Huy! Mag doneyt ka naman.

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love photo

Having so much love to give that is already spilling out of the brim yet no one wants to take is the most pathetic feeling.  This is according to last Friday’s episode of Forevermore, a Filipino TV series shown nightly.

I guess I would have to agree on it for I have been experiencing the same for the last 22 million years.  But still I’m hopeful that my patience will pay off and my waiting to give away love will pass like what a bad season does.

While patiently waiting, I am singing Sam Smith’s latest single entitled Like I Can

Antay antay lang…

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.