I Am In Ketosis

Let me formally announce to the planet that I am in ketosis.  Yes.  It has been since February 26, 2019 that I decided to try ketogenic diet.  And it has been a grueling struggle to keep under ketosis.

Reason behind this is because I live in a country that is infested with sugar and carbohydrates, the two fatal enemies of this zany diet.  Filipinos like me will definitely go insane if their meal does not include rice.  Rice is in every Pinoy meal from breakfast, to lunch to dinner and even up to midnight snack.  Even desserts of Filipinos can be made of the scandalous rice!  For Filipinos, rice is life!

With regards to sugar, the Philippines has the sweetest varieties of tropical fruits on the planet and only a limited number of cooked dishes are not laced with sugar here in my country.  In fact, it is a well-known fact on the entire planet that only in the Philippines can you find a sweet spaghetti.  Hello Jollibee!  And even the world renowned Filipino Adobo, for it to taste even better must be spiked with the notorious sugar.

Philippines also is so unlike the western countries where keto friendly food and dishes are easily available.  Hello Whole Foods Market!  Aside from being so insanely expensive, It is really a struggle to maintain and retain under ketosis.  In fact, for the last fourteen days that I have been in ketosis, I have survived four social events – including that of Nengkoy’s big birthday party – where cakes, pastas, rice meals and sweet drinks were highlighted.

starting to learn how to cook this expensive keto friendly noodles…

I can actually consider that my reduction in the consumption of sugar and carbs was even harder than when I stopped smoking.  It is because I was born and grew up consuming these that resulted to an autopilot sagacity of my whole persona for rice and sweet treats.  It is unlike smoking, which I started when I was an adult and ceased puffing nicotine also during adulthood.  It is therefore not surprising that I had the worst cold turkey when I was starting ketogenic diet otherwise known as the keto flu for the ketogenic language!

But I guess for every struggle, there is like what Ms. Universe Catriona Gray consider as the “silver lining”.  It has been only fourteen days yet I already lost a whopping 12 pounds!

hope to achieve my ideal weight soon…

Nakaka-aning aning sa hirap!

I Wanna Sing In A Pub Choir!

I think I am a rare Filipino breed.  Reason behind this is because I cannot sing!

When I was in Jerusalem, I was able to meet a bunch of cool Jews in a coffee shop who were celebrating Purim. My sister Ester who toured with me decided to stay in the hotel to read about the Holy Bible’s Queen Ester, her namesake.

These young Jewish people were surprised to know that I was a Filipino travelling as a tourist in their country.  One guy then uttered to the group that Filipinos seem to have the genes for good singing voice. The whole bunch of these cool happy people then started teasing and entreating that I should sing a song for them.

a stock photo of my trip to jerusalem… it’s not rare meeting cool strangers in that city

I tried doing it but they obviously did not liked what they’re were hearing.  I stopped and did not finish.   I was like Cameron Diaz singing “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding.  After my singing, they were gracious enough to clap their hands while doubting if I am really is a Filipino and simply moved on and continued on with the Purim revelry with me.

I remembered all these when I happen to bumped into a fascinating YouTube video regarding a joint where hundreds of strangers inside the pub would learn and sing together a popular pop song.  Watch this…

Internet indicates that Pub Choir phenomenon started two years ago in Brisbane, Australia and the fun and fascinating concept/activity has been booming and expanding all throughout the Land Under. 

And if this phenomenon would finally arrive here in Manila, I would be one of the few Filipinos who could not sing would enlist and would definitely sing my heart out in this event. I and my rare kind of Filipino breed would definitely unleash the Cameron Diaz in all of us!

Handa AWIT!

 

 

 

Finally Understanding A Priest’s Homily

One opposite of living a normal life in a Catholic country like the Philippines is not having a Catholic priest as a friend.  In this particular aspect, I have long considered myself as abnormal, a nonstandard and an aberration. 

Yeah, I guess I am one of those self-promoting folks in Manila who lacks a saintly priest as a friend.  Dealing with a Catholic priest on a regular basis is an unchartered territory for me.

Maybe one of the reasons why I don’t have a Catholic priest friend is because I am seldom impressed by their delivered Homilies during a Holy Mass.  Commonly, priests in their Homilies would often talk too vague and too imprecise and they would move from one topic to another in a nonsensical fashion.  Their line of thinking often times is so ambiguous and so formless I would often suspect that priest’s common mental illness is schizophrenia.

But the priest I heard last Monday during a Holy Mass in Greenbelt Chapel to commemorate the death of my boss (Sir Larry Cruz) eleven years ago was somebody who was impressively different.  He was specific and was exact.  He was coherent and was so cohesive in his Homily.  His talk was well research.  It was actually enjoyable, charming and was very inspiring.

 

that’s me (left) with super friend dominic… nagdadasal? thanks to mj for this blurry photo. hahaha! 
i was so impressed, i took a glimpse of the greenbelt chapel’s priest

He talked about the man whom the Holy Mass was for and successfully correlate my amiable boss’s vocation and persona to his homily.  He was inspiring when he said that it is not about the years in your life that counts, but it is the life in your years that matter.  And what struck me most about this priest’s Homily was his wisdom about: “people will forget what you said”andpeople will forget what you did”butpeople will never forget what you made them feel”

If I am to make friends with a priest that Greenbelt Chapel priest would be the first dude in line!

Hay salamat at sa wakas, naka-intindi rin ng sermon!

Malou’s Prayer 2019

In my country, the Philippines, any corporate event or gathering will not be complete without the Invocation otherwise known as the opening prayer.  It is as if the event will not be successful if the organizers chose not to supplicate and plea to the heavenly spirits for guidance, strength and protection while the affair is on-going.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular posts I have in this blog is an Invocation.  I often see my blog’s stats sour high during Christmas season because folks assigned to lead the prayer in their respective event, program or party seem to search online on samples of beautiful prayers.  I can attest that Malou’s prayer has been so popular in the past few years! 

needs to have my photo before the whole stressful yet fun event starts!
malou & edwin, the designated hosts of the program

Last January 21, being the yearly designated organizer of a company’s Employees’ Night Grand Ball, I again designated Malou to compose and lead a gorgeous and inspiring prayer.  Despite having so much going on in my head that night – anxiety, pressure, worries and apprehensions – to ensure and make the party a success, Malou’s pleasing prayer consigned my being at ease.

And because of that, I again requested Malou for a copy.  She said okay when I told her that I am to post it in my blog.  Here it is…

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the blessings of 2018.

Thank you for bringing us together tonight and giving us another reason to celebrate our successes, our friendships, our teamwork, our lives.

We thank you most of all Lord for giving us 40 fruitful years and may we be blessed with so much more.

As we face the New Year, may You grant us the strength and the courage to live each day to the fullest, being a reflection of Your love to each other.

May you grant us the wisdom to perform our daily jobs and bless us with the inspiration to carry on each day.

Deliver us Lord from everything that will destroy us and help us to put our trust into your perfect care.

May we be to each other a beacon of light, a loving and forgiving friend, a strength to hold on to, a joy to look forward to, and an inspiration to keep us going.

May You bless our company with another 40 years of success and may we be a blessing to the people we serve.

All good things are not possible without You, Oh Lord.

 All glory and honor be to You Lord God, now and forever, Amen!

 

Gondohhh, di ba???

Wowed by Biblioteca Vasconcelos

If you don’t know me yet, and though I don’t look like one, let me tell you that I absolutely love books and reading.  That is why when I travel, there is always a book that I would bring along with me.

So when I heard that there is a unique mega library in Mexico City and even though it is not included in Tripadvisor’s the top 15 destinations to visit in Mexico City, I know that this would be a place that I have to check out.

It’s Biblioteca Vasconcelos!  I didn’t know really what to expect.  But when I walked in, I literally let go of a massive gasp.  It was so loud,  a bunch of quiet people inside the building knew that there is an elated first timer who has just entered.   

This place is unlike any other places that I have been to.  The architecture is incredibly unique and it is not just like any other library but unlike any other place I have ever seen!  And the more entire I went, the more incredible it becomes.

After the first initial wow impression, the next thing I noticed is just the sheer scale and size of the building.  The uniqueness is that you would see people around: beside you, beneath you and above you.  Some of the floors are actually thick translucent glass.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos opened in 2007 and has over half a million books.  It got its name after Jose Vasconcelos who is a Mexican philosopher, a former presidential candidate and was also the president of the national library of Mexico.   

I noticed that the walls are transparent and that the floors seem mismatched.  It also have very intricate staircases and balconies, it reminds me of the movie Inception in a scene where things were folding on to each other.  I really felt like I was in a sci-fi novel.  It gave me the feeling of being set in the future which not many equally awesome buildings could do.

Biblioteca Vasconcelos is called a mega library because it is actually 5 libraries merged into one.  And each one library is dedicated and pay homage to Mexico’s great thinkers.

One thing that really takes center stage inside this library is the massive white whale skeleton done by an artist named Gabriel Orozco.  The whale’s skeleton, fitted onto a metal armature and inscribed with granite rings and circles, hangs suspended in midair.  It seem visible from almost all sections and every point within the library.

The library is so massive, there are tons of areas where people can sit and work.  Entrance of course is for free and there is free wifi.  And what is best is that Tripadvisor seem to have yet discover this place as one cool tourist destination. 

If you are a book lover like me or an architecture fanatic or just want to see a really unique place within Mexico City, then Biblioteca Vasconcelos is definitely worth a visit.  

Waw as is WAW!

Calum Scott Don’t Know

Calum Scott don’t know that I belong to the multitudes of British Got Talent viewers who was so moved when he sang his audition piece and celebrated along when he got the Golden Buzzer as bestowed by Simon Cowell.

Calum Scott don’t know that I definitely identify with his audition song “Dancing On My Own”!  And if I am going to sing that song, I will be like him.  I will definitely not change the pronouns in the lyrics.

Calum Scott don’t know that the first time I heard his song “You Are The Reason” was through my Spotify while I was travelling in Turkey.  He of course doesn’t know that I am one of the responsible blokes why such a song has so many airplays in Spotify.

Calum Scott don’t know that we actually have a lot in common.  We both love our family so much.  Both of us are momma’s boy.  Both of us are assiduous HR practitioners.  And both of us are attracted to the XY chromosomes.  

i was with my sister… waiting for calum as the theater starts to get full

Calum Scott don’t know that I am such a fan and did some unthinkable efforts so that I’d be able to see his first concert here in Manila.  And I was super happy when he sang my personal favorite “What I Miss Most”.  He was super adorable that night! My favorite part was when we at the audience were singing along with him. 

Now Calum Scott knows…

Ngayon alam na nya!

Wow Morisette!

The Filipino translation for the word “beast” is halimaw.  And halimaw is how I would describe the strength, depth and power of the singing voice of Morisette Amon during her participation in the recent Asian Song Festival held somewhere in South Korea.

This kind of a Filipina beast simply slayed it!  This was such a phenomenal performance.  Her pure talent is out of this world! And she looks absolutely gorgeous in that video!

What is so surprising with this number is that I was less impressed by her whistling capability.  Maybe it’s because a number of good singers can do the whistle.  I was more impressed and surprised by the unique squeaking sound that her voice makes.  That is so rare and exclusively Morisette.  That squeak would most probably be the most beautiful squeaking sound that I’ve ever heard.

World klas ang lola mo!