Sunday, October 30, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 4 of 4


I remember well a line from Bleach, a popular Japanese manga/anime. In one scene, Kurosaki Ichigo, the hero of the story, criticized his opponent:

“You know why big brothers are born first? To protect the little ones that come after them.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 3 of 4


Speaking of kuyas, I do have an older (and only biological) brother. We don’t have many childhood memories together. In fact, most of them were not really nice. But as I reminisce the past, I realize that there were actually a lot of incidents where he made simple yet lasting influences in my life.

One in particular was when as a kid, my neighborhood playmates would hang out at out house to play. Our home then was quite wealthy – we had a lawn that I could truly boast of, and for some unknown reason, that day I was exceedingly arrogant because of it. As I bossed around my friends (using the fact that I lived in that house as my authority), my brother discreetly called me into the house. So I nonchalantly excused myself and went to him.

I don’t remember if my brother hit me. But I do remember how he scolded me: “Just because you own the house doesn’t give you the right to treat your friends arrogantly.” I couldn’t remember the rest, but ever since that day, my whole perspective about hospitality changed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 2 of 4


Realistically, I didn’t have any idea what it meant to be a kuya. I mean, I’m the youngest of four siblings. My relationship with my brother wasn’t that great when I was a kid. My elder sister was too busy with her teenage puppy loves and the 80’s pop music. As for the other sister? I was too busy competing with her.

It was when I discovered the youth ministry where the meaning of kuya and ate changed for me. While such honorifics were popular in school and the neighborhood, somehow the term felt different inside the church. It felt more real. More sincere. More powerful.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The KUYATE Leadership: Part 1 of 4


It was a few months back. I came across an online rant. This guy was a bit frustrated. He complained a lot. About them not listening to his advice. About them not heeding his warnings. About them not following his instructions. He used to be a youth leader. Now, he’s a young adult. And new leaders are already in place. But he’s not satisfied.

So I joined in the conversation. I had to point it out: we used to be the youth leaders. We are no longer the leaders. They are.

We miss being the leader.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stargazing at 4:30AM

I couldn't remember the first time I gazed up at the night skies. How young was I? How naive or innocent were my thoughts? How long did such a moment last?

I do clearly remember the day I first read about the Stargazer, a nickname for a fictional fairy tale hero. Amusingly, that title never bore any relevance to the actual story. I couldn't even remember the entire plot. But I can still clearly imagine the vague image picture of the scene: a young boy staring at the skies, his mind swirling and overflowing with ideas, yet which is devoid of coherent thought.

Just like a cloudless night sky brimming with stars.

And a cool breeze gently keeping me company.

And a kaleidoscope of memories from various timelines of my life converging on a single thought:

"God, how beautiful are these stars!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Original Social Network

In the past few months, social media giant Facebook has tremendously evolved. Or should I say, mutated. It used to be a mere lackluster social network, where throwing a sheep was the best fun I could remember (and still miss). Now, it's become the thriving online social community where everybody should be (Ha! Funny, most of my friends used to scoff me back in 2008 when I insisted them to sign up in Facebook, back when they were all still enamored with Friendster).

Finally, it has transitioned into the obvious next step: commerce (outrightly, not that it wasn't that obvious in the past months). Well, any sociologist could have predicted that happening. I mean, sure – trading started even when communities were relatively small (and simple). But tracking back history, we all know that as civilizations grew, so does the concept of business. Small peaceful societies get dragged into the quickening pace of exciting new ventures. Thy eventually leave behind what used to be the sedentary lifestyle of the rural lands. Major business districts bloated up, and those who lived outside those teeming marketplaces continued to exist in blissful ignorance (And of course, the over-expanding societies as well as the virtual ghost towns eventual collapsed, that's for someone else to write about).