Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Wise Gifts

I already received three Christmas gifts (a shirt I got from an exchange gift activity, a couple of timely GCs, and a foodie!) to this day, and I feel very thankful - not because I received something, but because what I received was some items I really needed.

Let's be frank: how often do we pressure ourselves looking for a way to give everyone we know something for Christmas - only to end up buying cheap stuff at Divisoria so that it will fit the budget (which translates as your entire Christmas bonus, or worse - your entire ATM balance)? I'm not against buying stuff at 168 Mall, which is now revered as a die-hard shopper's pilgrimage. What I realized - now that I'm back to the simple life below-average income living - was how easily and carelessly spent my money.

But don't be on the defensive! Giving is a laudable act; as they say, "it's the thought that counts," that's why there are no "empty" or "cheap" gifts as long as we put our heart into it.

Yet, have we?

What does it really mean to put your heart in your gift?

It makes me wonder - would it be better to give generic gifts, as long as everyone you know receives something from you? Or wouldn't it be more excellent to see the need, seek God's heart on it, and whole-heartedly give - even if that means bringing a smile to only one person this Christmas?

What really is a gift?

To the persons who gave me my three wise gifts, I thank you with all of my heart. Especially for the banana cake - my tummy thanks you as well.

An advanced merry Christmas to all!


Monday, December 06, 2010

Being Out of the Box: Me & Creativity

Box design by Iris Blanche Plopenio
[The article below is the transcript of my short talk on December 3 during our WINchetto event by the Single Adults Ministry of WINmakati.] 

There are two obstacles for a graphic artist like me. First, there’s the limit of my imagination. And second, there’s the limit of design – everything has to have a purpose. And I can’t help but feel like my brain is inside a box. How creative can I be with only one little box?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Bernardo Carpio Complex

I sometimes wondered if given the right circumstances during my high school life, I could have chosen the field of psychology for my college degree. I always enjoyed observing people, spending time to understand them, draw out my own hypotheses and analysis, and make lessons from all these.

One particular observation is what I personally would love to call 'The Bernardo Carpio Complex'.


Monday, November 01, 2010

A Second Voice

I just got back from the PCEC NYC 1st Philippine Youth Ministries Congress, and I would say that even though I attended it as a staff, I went home refreshed and recharged for ministry. And of course, to start a new blog, thanks to Sir Mighty Rasing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

T.G.I.A. (Thank God I'm Alive)

While I never truly considered suicide, I did wonder if I was better off dead. Just for the kick of it: how would my funeral be like, what would people say about me, and who would bother to visit my coffin.

Somehow, it makes me want to live a little bit more.

Monday, August 30, 2010

On Calculated Spontaneity and Spontaneous Calculations

It's not a totally new concept. In fact, just using Google Search gives you an approximate of 494,000* hits on those keywords alone. (Accessed: 30 August 2010, 09:32PM )

That aside, nobody seems to really offer an extensive description of what this oxymoron really means.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sleepless in Makati... Brainless, Too.

I realized too late what the worst thing is that can happen when you're rushing on a deadline. It's not a crashed computer, or dogs/cats/mice/iguanas chewing up your paper. It's not a power failure, or lost internet connection. It's not even illness, or heartaches... or the usual sleepiness.

The worst thing you can have is an uncooperative, unproductive brain.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Mirrored Glass on Writers’ Block

A friend just chatted me up the other day. He was reading a blog I wrote, and he was asking nicely why I stopped posting.


In that almost-dreamlike expanse of a moment, my logical mind raced to come up with alibis to justify myself from being embarrassed.

I simply blurted, “Laziness.”

And it was the truth.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

God Luvz Jejemons

I remember watching Pokemon for the first time. I hated it right away - but I have to admit that Pikachu is classically cute, even to this date.

The Jejemon culture, on the other hand, was cute when it started (just like baby-talk) as a form of syntax in mobile messaging, and eventually into social networks like Friendster. And like mice (which Pikachu supposedly was), it breeded, swarmed and dominated entire webpages.

Just like Zerglings overrunning planets. Or zombies.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yellow: Just the Right Color

In a report by Inquirer.Net on April 17, 2010, it opens its news item with this paragraph:
Liberal Party candidates Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Manuel “Mar” Roxas II are elated that Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. has finally shown his “true colors.”
It also states that Aquino even went as far as to say that: "Ampatuan and Villar probably understood each other more."

Non Scholae... So, Anyway [Part 2: Hound Days of a Puppy]

Whenever I find a picture of the UNC-PMT Gala Uniform, I can't help but feel pride in having worn one of those - especially the one with a star on its 5-striped chevron.

The PMT (or CAT as it was originally called) officers' training was probably one of the most stressful phases in high school, especially in Naga City. The amount of training and excellence was exemplified by the fact that the entire region was participating in bagging the honors of being the best and most disciplined group.

Yet for all the hype, the dark rumors were true in our day: of corrupted basketballs which left us drooling... of hardened abdomens from boxing practice...

But hey, we had our happy memories, too!

Non Scholae... So, Anyway [Part 1: Photographs and Memories]

Thanks to Facebook, a lot of my former classmates and schoolmates were finally able to flush me out of hiding. And thanks to them, my internet browser is getting slower with each chat window they assault me with. Not that I'm complaining - I could go offline if I really wanted some privacy. But I have come to realize that each opportunity to reconnect with my old friends is a precious moment, even if all they would say is, "Hi Patti!" and "Add mo ko sa Farmville, ha?"

Monday, April 19, 2010

To Hell with Flirting

[Disclaimer: This blog is my personal view on flirting. I am not a theologian, pastor, psychologist or therapist. So spare me please, I'm just ranting here.]

I have not been a playboy during high school or college (or even up to my young adult years). In fact, I was the torpe guy. The only reason I didn't have any relationship during my teenage years was my endemic hesitation and shyness to actually court a girl - and I had a lot of crushes then, just like any other normal guy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This is Madness! This is the Philippines!

It's been a week since I last blogged - a maddening week of worrying and trying to do something about my financial crisis. And in some ways, the stress was driving me insane.

I was trying to limit myself from tackling too much politics in my blog, because I don't want this to be a political blog. I want it to be a personal and fun site where I can express my ideas freely.

That was a crazy hope, because I realize that as much as I hate politics, it's a part of life. So heck, I might as well deal with it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cats Are XXL Kittens, but Cats are Miniature Lions

I was cleaning up my hard drive from unwanted junk when I stumbled across a batch of photographs I took from my previous (sniff!) mobile phone. They were taken during our stint in Tarlac City last January 2010:

Monday, April 05, 2010

A Good Friday - Literally

I always wanted to hold a Siberian Husky. Maybe it's due to its wolf-like countenance, or maybe of how regal I find its silvery-white fur. And I had a chance to fulfill that simple wish last Good Friday.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

To Err Ain’t Human; To Joke About It – That’s a Man!

Life is a joke. For some people, that may sound like a joke. But the truth can’t be any funnier than that.

I’m serious. Making jokes is not a joke; it takes certain skills, knowledge, and a measure of experience to make it funny. In fact, it is easier to make rational choices than to make jokes, even the most stupid ones.

Except when it comes to love and politics. That is not a joke.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Pinoy Brown Jokes Have Many Shades

In the Philippines, almost every day is April Fools Day. Just watch the political TV ads and news articles.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Three Blind Lies

 Three blind lies, Three blind lies!
See how they run, See how they run!

I've been meaning to make a satire on the nursery rhyme where I got this idea from, where I would like to show that the farmer's wife was more blind than the mice... but the story got too complicated. Plus, rhyming isn't that much fun or easy. So instead, I'll just make my usual rant.

Guess I picked up the idea from Marvel's Daredevil, who despite being blind saw more than others (literally and metaphorically). And it makes me wonder - who really are the blind people in our nation today?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Repainting the Writer's Block

After weeks of procrastination, I finally spent hours pimping up this blog site of mine today. And it makes me wonder, "Why the heck did I not do it sooner?"

I'm feeling euphoric lately with the rush of ideas to write about. In fact, I want to write about so many things that I usually end up writing about nothing at all. Like now.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Food, Food Everywhere... But How Can I Buy It?

We had just finished eating lunch at a fastfood joint in Tarlac City. We were enjoying ourselves in the cool comfort of the establishment after a long, summer-hot drive in late January. I was handling the technical stuff then, and I was toying around with the camera to amuse myself.

It was a common scene, seeing street urchin making faces at the windows of food-selling stores. As common as seeing them play with their alms-begged coins, which we may never truly know if they're just playing with it out of the pittance that those coins mockingly represent compared to the actual costs of food... or whether they really are practicing juvenile gambling in the vain hope of being more able to afford food, whether it is the pleasurable or affordable kind.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Presidential Courts

If all the 2010 Philippine presidential candidates were suitors, I wonder how would they woo you?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's Elementary, My Dear!

I was browsing around some forums from random links I found, and this one comment on piqued my interest:
"Kahit wala akong bilib pagtitiyagain ko na lng din si ninoy e... kahit hindi pasado sakin sige lng..."
In blissful reminiscence, this kind of attitude reminded me of my earliest voting experiences - back in elementary school, where we had to elect our class officers during the start of the school year. We would often choose the class president based on looks, on charisma and confidence, in stature, or in speech. And if you personally knew that classmate, there's the popularity and kid-version "kumpare" factor.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Looking at the Brighter Side of Night

Valentine's (or should I call it "Happy Hearts"? because it didn't really feel that way hahaha!) Day is over. So is the Chinese New Year.

Yay. So let's get back to our regular life, and reality.

And politics.

I just realized that nowadays, I seem to be trying to get more involved with current issues. I remember that I do used to read the newspapers a lot in high school, but that's because we didn't have the internet - and it was necessary for the school contests I was competing in. Maybe I should blame the Unleash seminar I attended last year for this newfound interest. Or maybe I just matured a bit as a Filipino.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Puppy Love [Im]Matures #2: Reflections of Fleeting Love (ROFL)

Haaa... Just finished a simple video presentation for our couple's fellowship dinner, I'm patting myself not with a "work well done" but a "hey you survived those cliche cheesy movie quotes".

And yes, surprisingly I was affected while going through the vast YouTube junkyard of low resolution video clips to get the materiel I need - not because I still have feelings for my ex (I don't as a lover, but I do as a long time friend - go figure), but because I guess I am slowly succumbing to my own hypnotic messages of romance and intimacy.

Am I in love? Or isn't the proper question "Is it possible to love a vague person?" Like - can we be in love yet we don't know with whom? Hmm.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Puppy Love [Im]Matures #1: LOL (Lost on Love)

I've been posting a lot of original love quotes (as well as personal adaptations) online for quite a few months already - to the point that people think and even assume that I am in love.

[Snort.] I wish I was.

Well, Valentine's Day may not be an important event for most Neo-Puritanical Christians, but since the world is soooooo into it - I think we do need to balance things a bit, especially for the young. But I'll be leaving the Bible lessons and theologies to more capable and reliable people (like Pastor Erick and Pastor Manu) - and focus on the more practical side.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Wait is Worth the Waste

People may consider my precious vote "wasted on a presidential who cannot win". And looking at our country, I am tempted to think the same - a mentality akin to gambling, of siding with the better odds.

In war, it may be related to "allying for survival's sake". In reality, it is plain cowardice - surrendering our own ideals to someone's else simply because we don't stand a chance to make it a reality. It simply shows that we have no guts, to willpower of our own to fight our own battles.

I was in high school when I first encountered Dick Gordon. I never had the privilege to meet him in person; we were being toured around the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority back in 1997 - twenty Senior Scouts vying for the honor of being called "Outstanding". Instead, I was the one astounded.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Being Bitter with Ampalaya

I used to abhor ampalaya (bitter gourd). I don't remember if it was the bitter taste that traumatized me first, or the jibes of my teasing brother about how awful it tastes. What I do remember is that I never dreamt of taking a bite of it - even had a lot of bad fights with my father because of it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gazing at the National Battlefield

I was just randomly checking the stream of posts when I got curious about a certain article.

While the story was actually focused on the presidential candidate Richard 'Dick' Gordon, what caught my attention was a reader's comment - which simply said "Dick Gordon, is pretty much becoming Roco of the last election… are we going to mutter this word “the best president that this country never had” again???" 

Raul Roco. I don't know if people still remember him, or even know him. But I do know that he was beloved by most of us, Bicolanos - enough for him to totally dominate the more than three million votes of the entire region. He was popularized for his usual Hawaiian get up, but he was a man of great but silent achievements - which sadly may have been one of the reasons why he lost the bid for presidency.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Echoes on Love's Empty Corridors

It's just my speculation, but I think love is the most talked about, written about, researched about topic in the whole world. And despite all these things, it still is one of the most elusive things we'll ever experience.

Just for the record, I'm talking romantic love.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ten Things to Do this 2010

I’m not really a fan of making New Year’s resolutions, but I realized it’s not that bad. In fact, it is a good practice. We often joke that New Year’s resolutions are not meant to be kept, but who said so? Did we simply resign to that belief, because we can’t keep ours? Or is it a personal challenge to discover a virtue that we need to work on ourselves: resolve?