Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nakaka-stress din pala ang "laid back"

Argh! More than one week na pala ako dito sa amin and yet di pa ako totally naka-laid back mode. Kasi naman, habits die hard (tsk...). Ngayon ko lang na-realize na totoo pala na kakaiba ang bilis at takbo ng buhay sa Manila. Siguro sa sobrang tagal ko nang naka-base dun eh wired na ako na gumalaw as if everything's a race.

It can be a good thing, yung sobrang bilis ng kilos at siyempre yung expectation na lahat mabilis din. Na parang kailangang parating may hinahabol. Kaso, kumusta naman pag napunta sa lugar na gaya dito sa Davao kung saan lahat ng bagay ay tumatakbo sa kakaibang pace. Kung tutuusin, ito yung gusto ko, laid back pero may buhay.

Sabi nga ng kapatid ko, "Chill, 'te...chill".

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Distinctly Davao

I missed the blessing of that house in South Pacific last summer. Family, relatives, friends, and friends of friends were there. All I got were stories, which include three of the most common themes - 1) that South Pacific is far (as in very far) from downtown Davao, 2) the house is big and would easily fit all extended families and then some in the usual holiday get-togethers, 3) the nearest neighbor is like hundreds of meters away.

Knowing the relatives' penchant for pulling the younger ones' legs, I thought that those impressions were just exaggerations to elicit curiousity from us in the family who have not seen the place yet. I imagined the place to be far, yes. But I did not really think of it as far *far*. Davao is a vast place and it is one of the largest cities in the world so I would say a local would have a fair idea of what "far" would be. If it is still in Davao City, then it could not be that far, right?

Wrong. At least for me. I realized, come to think of it, I have not really explored the places beyond my old high school campus (which is like at least 12 kilometers away from our place). Beyond school are names of places which I have heard before but could not remember.

So it was like a perfect opportunity to finally see the house along with my sisters, cousins, and aunts. Tita Nora has been inviting us since Christmas to visit and stay over for a Karaoke session. My sister, Diane, who has been there quite a few times already was very eager to go. She packed the Magic Sing and a few other stuff and organized that the other cousins from the province would join us as well.

So it happened that Diane and I met sister number 2 (Angging), Ate (Tita actually) Elma, and the other cousins met in SM so we could all go together to Tito Bobot and Tita Nora's place. The trip took longer than I anticipated. I kept telling the others na "Wow! Ang layo nga." And I was amazed by the scenic route I was seeing. I could not believe just how much I am missing holed up in the middle of all that concrete jungle in Manila.

It was twilight by the time we entered the village gates and proceeded to find the house. By this time I was convinced that it is indeed far and that the vast place need more houses for it to resemble a village. And I was also thinking, I totally understand why they would choose to live in such a place.

The house sits alone at the center of a vast empty space that in the future would undoubtedly be sprouting more houses. In the twilight, the impressive Mt. Apo serves as a backdrop to a picturesque image. The wind is crisp and there is a peaceful silence broken by sounds of insects and birds.

By the time I got inside the house, I was fully convinced that the stories were not exaggerated. The house is a place of solitude and yet it does not shun the noise. It is a place where all of us can really enjoy the noisy get-togethers without worrying that we might be disturbing the neighbors.

At the patio, Tita Nora told us that she has not seen so many species of birds in one place. She says that owls, mayas, lovebirds, herons, crows, hawks, and more freely fly around and are often seen flocking in the streets and even on their fence. She said that mornings are amazing as well where fogs lift to provide a clear view of the gulf.

It was truly a nice place to be in. I hope the next time I visit, I would get to see the birds.

The day after

While Diane and the cousins were still having brunch at Tita Nora's place; Ate Elma, Angging, and I were enjoying fresh durian in Magsaysay Park. I was the only newbie in this experience and both of them were telling me that eating the fruit is much much better than those candies I keep buying for pasalubong. I did not even know that there were so many variety and that what we were eating, the Arancillo, is the type which has a lot of meat and has a distinct milky taste. I kept telling them that it was like eating candy, only much better.

After promising the vendor that I would remember his stall if I want to bring some back to Manila, my sister and I went to SM to meet Diane and all the other cousins. It has become a tradition of sorts that we always watch the latest Shake, Rattle, and Roll and scare (if we are lucky) ourselves.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Urbi et Orbi

I am not a Catholic but I had enough Catholic education to respect religious traditions that is very strong in that faith. I think behind every great religion is a simple but powerful foundation, one that is built in faith, love, hope, and selflessness. This is why the papal's Christmas message this year touched me and made me think of my journey, which is often hindered by my own selfishness and greed.

“Wherever the selfishness of individuals and groups prevails over the common good … may the light of Christmas shine forth and encourage all people to do their part in a spirit of authentic solidarity. If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart." ~ Pope Benedict XVII
I share the hope of everyone to see a better world and I nurture a desire to become a better person than I presently am. I nurture a wish to balance my desire for goodness for myself and the selflessness to be a catalyst of change, no matter how small or insignificant. It is not an easy path to take, but I wish for the courage to go that way anyway.

(Photo from: Inquirer.net)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Uwi na

The trip from the office to the airport took almost as long as my flight going home. There was a long queue at the taxi bay earlier and the taxis were so few and far between. Of course, it didn't help that it's also the season when some taxi drivers are very picky with passengers.

It took me 30 minutes to get a taxi (at buti na lang mabait si manong at di na nagreklamo nung sinabi ko na sa airport punta ko). Tapos, it took us more than an hour to get to the airport. I was trying not to panic and think about that time in the past when I arrived late for my flight and ended up spending Christmas alone in Manila.

Buti na lang I had enough lead time so I just arrived in time for another long queue for check-in and a very short wait at the gate before we started boarding.

It wasn't a very fun flight because there was so much turbulence but the anticipation didn't waver. I just couldn't wait to get home. So it was really a pleasant surprise that it seems it has really become a "tradition" that the first meal I have at home is a plateful of my favorite ---> shrimps! It's soooooooo good to be home.

Things Get Done, Personal Feelings Aside

After all the UB experience and a general feeling of goodwill, optimism, and higher level of trust all around; I would say that it really came as a surprise to realize that someone I know seems to believe that personal feelings stood (and still stands) in the way of getting things done. This made me think just how much effort all of us spend on believing what others who are different from us can actually do, regardless of how personal biases color our judgments.

No matter how we might sometimes wish it to be otherwise, it is a sweet fact of life that we were not made out of the same mould. To imagine others to be less than who we are, just because we see ourselves as strong, unemotional, and right...well, it is tragic. This is the kind of thinking that erodes foundations, that weakens bridges, that creates a feeling of inferiority to others. This is the kind of belief system that is probably one of the saddest realities in life.

Perhaps it would help if we look around, see the world, see people, see beyond the facades, see the soul...and maybe - just maybe - there might be a wealth of opportunities there to learn and grow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

2008 Highlights: Number 11 Loves Her Life!

As 2008 is winding to a close, I'm in the mood to review some of the highlights of this year. I really felt like I haven't done much before I started doing this post. But as soon as I began looking back, I realized I have much to be thankful for. It's truly been a fun year, complete with the highest highs and lowest lows. And that pretty much sums up life as I know it.

New Year at home. ~ It's tradition. I spend Christmas break at home and make it a point to welcome the New Year there too. Last New Year's eve wasn't complete without my mom there since she didn't come home from abroad. But we did manage to squeeze out as much fun as we can from the simple, and sometimes silly, family traditions we have. Spending time with my dad, sisters, cousins, aunts, and other relatives was really fun.

Fun Runs. ~ I mustered the will to join fun runs again. I didn't do many this year and I sucked in most of them. But all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. UP GIG run was my first this year. It was quite an experience. Apart from it being the first this year, a lot of my friends joined as well. Then there's the fact that it was done in UP. I do love that place. I guess I've never really outgrown the campus, not after all these years. I loved the excitement and all that energy buzzing in the crisp early morning air. I loved the feel of being surrounded by trees again. I loved running under the canopy of leaves and feeling my heart and lungs work hard to finish the race. This was followed by Pinay in Action run at the Fort. This is where I felt I did okay. It was still a far cry from my personal best but it was great for me because I felt good the entire time, I also succeeded in my goal of shaving off 10 minutes from my time in the UP run. Then last but not the least, but definitely the worst, was the Adidas King of the Road run. That was the run that gave me so much grief. I was in so much pain and discomfort almost from the start until the finish. I was close to calling it quits halfway because my left shin and knee were throbbing painfully. But I guess it was a personal victory for me when I made myself run the entire course and finish it. This fun run list is pitifully short but they did make for some of the happiest times of my life this year.

Something New. ~ I promised myself to do something new this year. And without conscious thought and effort on my part, I found myself trying two new different sports. In early February, I got invited to try Futsal. Now, let me just say that I'm a big fan of Football but I've never imagined myself actually playing it (or at least a sport that is closely related to it). The thing is, I've long had this strange notion that I'm a wuss in sports that need balls (no pun intended) to be played. Turned out I had a knack for defense (by sheer luck, I think) and discovered I love playing the game. So I guess that's something new this year that really stuck. Another fascination was somewhat closer to my interest, which is martial arts. I got hooked to Capoeira because of Brod Nathan who convinced me to try it. Interestingly, he was also the one who introduced me to Arnis and Dragon Boat so I'd say he does like the idea of getting me into things that would make me suffer through hell and back. :-) But seriously, I tend to trust Nathan's judgment on these things so I tried. Sadly though, I wasn't able to sustain it as much as I wanted to.

Sporting Events. ~ I finally got a reason to go to SM MOA this year. The National Wushu Championships was held there. Since I was in the Organizing Committee, I got myself a reason to spend two days there (not counting the visit we've made to check out the venue). It was a very tiring yet fulfilling event for me. There were so many things to do and so little time to sleep. But it was all worth the effort to see so many athletes from so many places compete. Then just recently, I co-organized the FISA/OS Technical Course for Rowing Coaches. I was initially not sure if I made the right choice to back out from the Asian Junior Rowing Championship in Hong Kong just so I'd have the time to help organize and attend the seminar. I had to choose which to prioritize because I can't afford to take a leave from work two weeks in a month. So it was either go to HK or stay and organize the seminar. I chose the latter. And it was a good decision all in all.

FISA Umpiring Duties. ~ I got selected to be one of the Jury members for the Asian Olympic Qualifying in Shanghai this year. It was a nice surprise to me and at the same time, scary too. I had months to stew on the fact that I was the only newbie on the list and that other than Singaporeans Nicolas Ee and Tat Yeo, I don't know the other umpires that I'd be working with in the qualifying. But I worried for nothing because even if I was indeed the youngest, in both age and umpiring experience, I was treated quite well. The experience further cemented my respect for FISA umpires. It's uplifting to see how people of different races can be so different and still be the same.

Training. ~ I had training opportunities at work this year. I was one of the last minute inclusions to the Compass Training, which was one of the workshops for the PM Pool program. I'm not sure why some of us who weren't part of the PM Pool were added but I'm definitely grateful for the chance. Someone who loves training and learning like I do wouldn't question the reasons for blessings that come. The best thing to do when blessings rain like that is to step out of the room and catch as many raindrops as I can. Then there was TLC which was a regular offering for everyone at work. Other trainings such as Empowered Communication, ICEP, and Tapping the Creative Universe by Jim Paredes followed.

Simple Pleasures. ~ Meeting new people and helping others. Leading When Great Minds Dream. Seeing dreams slowly coming true for Team Lakay. Just some of the simple pleasures in life I wish I could do or see more often.

Bondings. ~ This year's outing and eCamp had its share of fun and surprising quirks that usually come out when the team drinks. There's never a dull moment with all that eccentricity, funny quips, smart-ass comments, and what-have-yous from a bunch of truly interesting people.

Padespedida for Friends. ~ The YinYang project sure added a reason to party for people at work. I've had the chance to join padespedidas for Ord, Colleen, and Mayee who were the team's YinYang King and Queens for this year. Apart from the fun of surprising them and using the despedida as an excuse to drink (and get drunk), I personally loved the idea of them living abroad and exploring new places. I love traveling and I often have this weird idea that when my friends travel, it's like I'm traveling too. Because if I'm lucky, there'd be moments when they think of me while they're on the road - and it's like a small part of me (that thought of me) touched that place too.

Travel. ~ I didn't do much of it this year. But the few ones I made left great impressions and fulfillment. Shanghai was my only foreign trip this year. It was a great trip because it was my first time to umpire in an Olympic Qualifying and I got the chance to see one of it's ancient cities. This was also the year that I got to swim in a crater...Mt. Pinatubo's crater. It was a wonderful trek. The sights and experiences were worth all the effort and exhaustion from trekking under the searing heat of the sun. I also had the chance to visit the Callao Caves in Tuguegarao where the young Andoy moonlights as a tour guide.

Upward Bound. ~ A moving experience. So much that happened and so little that I can say about it. The spirit of upward bound is something that's hard to capture in words. It is best lived to the fullest.

Friday, December 12, 2008

(Not a) Virus Magnet

Just when I thought I've finally maximized my quota of flu and cold viruses for this year, I managed to get myself bogged down by the insufferable irritants again this week. It's exhausting, to say the least, to battle it out with these freaks of nature.

I hate being sick. I often manage to get by only because I tend to ignore the signs. Tough it out is what I do. Most times I manage but sometimes, there are moments when I wish I can just laze the day away and feel sick.

I also tend to be extra sad whenever I get sick. It's like a reminder, in huge neon signs, of how lazy I've become that I've disregarded my health to the point of losing my defenses against common colds. And feeling sick makes me want to curl up in bed and cry. But that's something I only allow myself to do if I'm home with my family there to take care of me or if I'm sick enough that no amount of mind power can get me off my bed.

So, looking back, I guess my virus guests weren't that strong enough to make me stay home and cry buckets of tears. But I sure did feel that they were persistent enough and effective enough to make me walk around in a daze trying to block all the aches and pains. I definitely didn't enjoy that part when I was torn between barfing what little food I've had and wondering if I'm suffering gas or LBM.

Thank God the worst seems to be over. The weekend beckons and getting rid of the virus magnet tops my list of things I need to think about and work on. Aja!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is a story of the heart that wouldn't quit

This is a story of the heart that wouldn't quit
Even in those darkest times of sorrow and grief
In moments where only a world of madness thrives
And hope is a quiet bystander lurking in shadows

This is about the heart that never gets tired
Of silent dreams and broken wings
A heart that beats like wild horses galloping
In never-ending dunes where fear brings courage and resolve

This is a story of a heart that wouldn't quit
A heart that hordes the simplest joys
And finds reasons to hope
To weather the storm that batters it.

jerz2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Immeasurable, deep, abiding friendship

Sabi nga Gilbert when he posted the link "How can u not be touched by this.." Just one of the many simple yet meaningful stories that make even the most jaded people feel...well...feel something.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What Drives That?

There was quite a construction project last weekend where I'm renting. I saw the male owner, with some three other guys, building something that I initially thought was an extension or an improvement to a certain part of the house. They were seriously at it for two days, starting early morning and ending up after dark.

I was not really paying much attention to what they were building. If not for some minor inconveniences, I would not even have noticed what they were doing. I was either holed up in my room reading books or out watching a movie with my friend. It was just the sort of domestic activity that's so normal, so ordinary that wouldn't leave much of an impression to me.

Except that, by coincidence, I was there when they finished. I was there when they stood up in a half-circle looking at what they built. And I, the curious one, stood from a distance and looked as well.

So there we were, four men who looked tired but proud of what they've created, a woman who's curious and confused, and eight dogs barking in delight. It turned out the hard labor was all for a dog house.

I was deeply touched by that and couldn't help but think that what the owners have are some lucky dogs. And at the back of my mind, a quiet thought formed ~ if only more people could also be that lucky.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Brand of Pain Killer

I'll do the miles tomorrow. I need to feel the wind on my face, gaze in wonder as the early morning sky welcomes the sun, and focus on the pain of each heartbeat as I run. There is no room for grief and disappointments in that place. It is in that place or moment where I draw the energy of life that is constantly being sucked out of me.

I still feel like a bird with clipped wings. I am delearning to fly. I am learning to crawl and trying so damn hard to forget the sensation of flexing my wings without fear. I have chosen my path for I continue to believe. No amount of sadness will erase who I am.

I will endure. I will survive. I will learn.

Pretty much like when I run.

Elevating the Elevator Experience

An elevator ride, for me, is not exactly an elevating experience. I'm just not keen on being in a place where my personal space is reduced to almost nothing. It could also be because I often find it ironic that people in such cramped places are creative in finding ways to avoid eye contact or any form of human interaction outside of the accidental brushing of shoulders.

Here's a funny take on some annoying things that could transform even the most mundane ride to an unforgettable one. Whoever wrote this list captured what probably a lot of people have thought of at some point.



Annoying Things To Do On An Elevator

1) CRACK open your briefcase or handbag, peer Inside and ask "Got enough air in there?"
2) STAND silent and motionless in the corner facing the wall without getting off.
3) WHEN arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act as if you're embarrassed when they open themselves.
4) GREET everyone with a warm handshake and ask him or her to call you Admiral.
5) MEOW occasionally.
6) STARE At another passenger for a while. Then announce in horror: "You're one of THEM" - and back away slowly
7) SAY -DING at each floor.
8) SAY "I wonder what all these do?" And push all the red buttons.
9) MAKE explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
10) STARE, grinning at another passenger for a while, then announce: "I have new socks on."
11) WHEN the elevator is silent, look around and ask: "Is that your beeper?"
12) TRY to make personal calls on the emergency phone.
13) DRAW a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers: "This is my personal space."
14) WHEN there's only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder, then pretend it wasn't you.
15) PUSH the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.
16) ASK if you can push the button for other people but push the wrong ones.
17) HOLD the doors open and say you're waiting for your friend. After a while, let the doors close and say "Hi Greg, How's your day been?"
18) DROP a pen and wail until someone reaches to help pick it up, then scream: "That's mine!"
19) BRING a camera and take pictures of everyone in the lift.
20) PRETEND you're a flight attendant and review emergency procedures and exits with the Passengers
.21) SWAT at flies that don't exist.
22) CALL out "Group hug" then enforce it.

Found here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Cold One Just Got Hotter

I guess it's a blessing that I'm no movie critic because when it comes to Twilight, objectivity and logic escape me. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) literally took my breath away when he told Bella (Kristen Stewart) this ---> "I don't have the strength to stay away from you anymore."

Edward is totally the hottest vampire, ever.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Which character are you from Twilight?


Looking for Value in the Haze

I find that one of the many simple ironies of life lies in perceptions and realities of a person's value. I think that knowing you're valued gives that extra push to achieve the seemingly unachievable. Being valued enables you to stretch yourself to an unimaginable proportion just to prove that impossible is a wall that can be scaled.

I have recently heard that smartest thoughts and strongest soul make for high performing individuals. I believe this is true. But what would that soul do when it keeps groping in a haze of the unknown? What would that soul do if it feels like a worthless appendage to the recipient of its commitment and efforts? When does valuing move from an unimportant part of the overall scheme of things to something that inspires?

As what's mostly true in life, you collect as much experience and disappointments hoping that in the end, everything will add to that strength that only you can truly nurture and develop. You consistently remember to acknowledge your worth. Then you just try not to be derailed by how tiresome things sometimes get - of that sad feeling of giving everything you've got to that something that consistently fails to acknowledge your value.

This is why it's not wise to put yourself in a box where your heart and soul wither. The box is a reality that you live with but it's neither a cage nor a stage to stand and be glorified. You see the box as something that you can easily reach out from because it's outside the box that the heart and soul truly lives.

Who knows, one day, you'll be surprised to know that you're valued outside the box. And you didn't even have to do much and lose yourself to feel it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FISA/OS Technical Course for Rowing Coaches

November 19-22, 2008
Makati Sports Club/La Mesa Dam
Manila, Philippines

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thoughts.Heart.Soul. ~ Lessons from Johan Flodin

Interesting insights I picked up from Johan Flodin during the seminar:
(Johan Flodin sharing coaching insights ~ Day 3)

Smartest thoughts & strongest soul ~ I love this. Johan said these are important especially for those who aspire to become high performing athletes. And the beauty of this is that, it's true in life regardless of what it is that we choose to do. At the end of the day, we can decide what to think then the strength of our soul will bring us closer to the fulfillment of our dreams.


(The participants)


The quality of inner dialogue separates the best performers and low performers. ~ I think that this is connected with the first one. I do believe that we can only learn and absorb so much from training, or from life for that matter. But if it comes to that moment when we need to decide to hang on tight and give ourselves a fighting chance to get what we truly want, how we talk ourselves towards holding on would provide that shift in favor of what we chose.

(Maricon, me, Johan, April, & Carole)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Keep It Simple

"If you can't do it easily, you can't do it at all."
-------

November 19-22, 2008
Manila, Philippines


The first day felt like a reunion of sorts with some of the Rowing and Dragon Boat vets. I was at Makati Sports Club early to meet James because we needed to prepare everything for the seminar so I had the chance to do some catching up.

I was really happy to see that quite a number of athletes I've known from both teams are still actively training and competing until now. But it's also nice to see newbies especially in Rowing and learn that they've done quite well in their competition in Hong Kong just recently.

The rowers who competed in the HK Championships won two (2) golds, two (2) silvers, and two (2) bronzes. This is indeed happy news for me, and I'm sure for the rest of the Philippine Rowing community as well because it means the sport is still thriving despite the challenges that we face in terms of promoting the sport. It's a daunting task to promote a sport that has the murky waters of Pasig river, plus the barge/ferry traffic, to offer since La Mesa Dam allows only the national team to train on its pristine waters. This recent win is just proof that Rowing truly has also its share of potentials here.

















Johan Flodin, an international rower with merits from World Championships and Olympic Games, arrived to conduct the seminar. Johan has a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and in Sport Management and he's one of the most successful coaches in Scandinavia. He's currently the Head Master of the Swedish Rowing Gymnasium.

It's a good experience to learn from an expert. The past two days have been filled with great coaching insights. All of us attending the seminar agree that we're lucky to have Johan conduct it because he makes everyone understand even the most complex ideas.



















It was more than a decade ago when we had the Level I FISA Coaching Course. Only a handful of us are now taking Level II. Most of the participants now are new and haven't had the chance to take Level I yet. We're lucky that Johan made Level II easy to grasp because even those of us who took Level I needed our memories refreshed.










We're now halfway done with the seminar and I must say it's a very gratifying experience. I'm glad I took the time to help Mr. Ramos, Steve, and James organize this. I realized that I do miss the sport and the people. It also made me determined to get back into shape. And more importantly, it made me determined to help develop the sport further here in the country.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Making Room In My Foxhole

Reading this and this prompted me to think about my own list. For someone who has seen and experienced so much in the trenches, I'm still sticking to the simple things that are deeply rooted and strong enough to weather the complexities of love.

1. is self-aware
2. knows what he wants in life
3. has a self-assurance that is unshakeable in adversity
4. quietly strong and determined
5. can listen to my musings without judgment
6. is capable of surprising me with little gestures that resonate in my soul
7. holds my hand every chance he gets
8. is not self-absorbed but rather, capable of deep compassion for others
9. can make me laugh
10.encourages me to pursue my interests and hobbies
11.is someone who's open to experiencing the things I do
12.is someone who would love to go running with me
13.likes to read as well
14.someone who I can talk to about so many things
15.lean and fit
16.is willing to understand my quirks
17.knows how to take the lead in situations when I would expect him to take the lead
18.insightful
19.has convictions that I share and/or respect
20.is strong in faith
21.loyal to the end

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sabi nga ni Bob Ong...

Salamat kay Irene for compiling these Bob Ong quotes. Mas lalong gusto ko na tuloy bumili ng libro nya at spend a day doing nothing except magbasa.

1. "Kung hindi mo mahal ang isang tao, wag ka nang magpakita ng motibo para mahalin ka nya.."
2. "Huwag mong bitawan ang bagay na hindi mo kayang makitang hawak ng iba."
3. "Huwag mong hawakan kung alam mong bibitawan mo lang."
4. "Huwag na huwag ka hahawak kapag alam mong may hawak ka na."
5. "Parang elevator lang yan eh, bakit mo pagsisiksikan ung sarili mo kung walang pwesto para sayo. Eh meron naman hagdan, ayaw mo lang pansinin."
6. "Kung maghihintay ka nang lalandi sayo, walang mangyayari sa buhay mo.. Dapat lumandi ka din."
7. "Pag may mahal ka at ayaw sayo, hayaan mo. Malay mo sa mga susunod na araw ayaw mo na din sa kanya, naunahan ka lang."
8. "Hiwalayan na kung di ka na masaya. Walang gamot sa tanga kundi pagkukusa."
9. "Pag hindi ka mahal ng mahal mo wag ka magreklamo. Kasi may mga tao rin na di mo mahal pero mahal ka.. Kaya quits lang."
10. "Kung dalawa ang mahal mo, piliin mo yung pangalawa. Kasi hindi ka naman magmamahal ng iba kung mahal mo talaga yung una."
11. "Hindi porke't madalas mong ka-chat, kausap sa telepono, kasama sa mga lakad o ka-text ng wantusawa eh may gusto sayo at magkakatuluyan kayo. Meron lang talagang mga taong sadyang friendly, sweet, flirt, malandi, pa-fall o paasa."
12. "Huwag magmadali sa babae o lalaki. Tatlo, lima , sampung taon, mag-iiba ang pamantayan mo at maiisip mong hindi pala tamang pumili ng kapareha dahil lang maganda o nakakalibog ito. Totoong mas mahalaga ang kalooban ng tao higit sa anuman. Sa paglipas ng panahon, maging ang mga crush ng bayan nagmumukha ding pandesal, maniwala ka."
13. "Minsan kahit ikaw ang nakaschedule, kailangan mo pa rin maghintay, kasi hindi ikaw ang priority."
14. "Mahirap pumapel sa buhay ng tao. Lalo na kung hindi ikaw yung bida sa script na pinili nya."
15. "Alam mo ba kung gaano kalayo ang pagitan ng dalawang tao pag nagtalikuran na sila? Kailangan mong libutin ang buong mundo para lang makaharap ulit ang taong tinalikuran mo."
16. "Mas mabuting mabigo sa paggawa ng isang bagay kesa magtagumpay sa paggawa ng wala"
17. "Hindi lahat ng kaya mong intindihin ay katotohan, at hindi lahat ng hindi mo kayang intindihin ay kasinungalingan"
18. "Kung nagmahal ka ng taong di dapat at nasaktan ka, wag mong sisihin ang puso mo. Tumitibok lng yan para mag-supply ng dugo sa katawan mo. Ngayon, kung magaling ka sa anatomy at ang sisisihin mo naman ay ang hypothalamus mo na kumokontrol ng emotions mo, mali ka pa rin! Bakit? Utang na loob! Wag mong isisi sa body organs mo ang mga sama ng loob mo sa buhay! Tandaan mo: magiging masaya ka lang kung matututo kang tanggapin na hindi ang puso, utak, atay o bituka mo ang may kasalanan sa lahat ng nangyari sayo, kundi IKAW mismo!"
19. "Pakawalan mo yung mga bagay na nakakasakit sa iyo kahit na pinasasaya ka nito. Wag mong hintayin ang araw na sakit na lang ang nararamdaman mo at iniwan ka na ng kasiyahan mo."
20. "Gamitin ang puso para alagaan ang mga taong malalapit sa iyo. Gamitin ang utak para alagaan ang sarili mo."
21. "Ang pag-ibig parang imburnal...nakakatakot mahulog...at kapag nahulog ka, it's either by accident or talagang tanga ka.."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Allergic Reaction

This is partly inspired by JC's tongue-in-cheek comment that he's allergic to books and that he doesn't like spending time in bookstores because he get's this weird reaction from the smell of books. Now, I have a huge respect for JC despite the usual banters and often garapal na pang-aasar namin ni Badette sa kanya. But I think I never really believed what he said to be even remotely possible. I just thought of it as one of his barber's tales.

Two days ago, though, I seriously began to think about the statement. Not that I'm beginning to believe that he's actually telling the truth, but just the possibility that outrageous and unbelievable reactions can be true.

What triggered this weird thought was that unfortunate meeting last Thursday where I literally felt I was suffocating and choking (while fervently wishing that I wasn't showing it) when the discussion zeroed in on methods.

Don't get me wrong here, I have absolute faith in methods and for someone who delivers results (or tries to anyway), I'd say I'm not really lacking in focus or organization skills. But, and that's a big but there, I'm not a fan of plan everything in detail and make sure you do it as you said you'd do it.

I haven't paid much attention to my reactions before but now that I look back, I remember feeling extremely uncomfortable when I'm asked to do it. Worse, I feel that I waste so much time agonizing on how to do the planning that I actually end up spending more time on it than doing what I'm planning to do.

It's not that I don't believe in it but I don't think I'm good at it. And there lies the constant challenge. I seriously think I need help here. I'm contemplating buying a software to help me manage all these project management plans and stuff. I'm not just equipped with the right skills and knowledge on what's the best way to produce plans that look professional enough to merit some measure of trust.

I won't shy away from this challenge, honestly, I won't. I just wish to admit it to myself that this is something that really bothers me. I'm not good at this, at the moment. I'm sure I'll be good at it when I set my mind to it. For now, I'll just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. But that's just for the nice-looking plans I need to make.

On another note, I learned this morning that I'm not a gofer. Stephen R. Covey defined Gofer Delegation as "Go for this, go for that, do this, do that, and tell me when it's done". And that is exactly the kind of paradigm which, unfortunately, tends to trigger all these weird reactions from me (*thinks allergy*).

According to Stephen Covey, there's another approach which is Stewardship Delegation. He posits that in stewardship delegation, the focus is on results instead of methods. He adds that it "involves clear, up-front mutual understanding and commitment regarding expectations on desired results, guidlines, resources, accountability, and consequences".

This stewardship idea looks infinitely attractive from where I'm standing. The expectations seem straightforward and I don't think that would prove to be much of a challenge to a committed person like me. But then again, I could only wish so much in a day. Everything in due time and everything happens for a reason.

In the meantime, I'll have to work double-time to equip myself with the right skills and tech-savviness to produce kick-ass project management plans.

Enough Could Mean Almost Anything

Okay, I admit, little persistent me doesn't find it easy to let go. I find it easy to come up with crazy thoughts like *I think I've had enough of this shit. I'll try to go off-course for a bit and test the waters. Who knows? A change of course may just be what I need.*

But I'm such a sucker to obligations that I tend to end up not doing anything about my decisions. Then something happens that just makes me do things without thought or reason. It's when I stand up, go, not look back, and not feel anything but absolute freedom and lightness. More importantly, I feel the bliss of overcoming extreme reactions to things that pushed me to the edge.

I like it when I'm in that zone. That's the place where nothing else matters except what matters to me. Sometimes, enough simply means: step back and breathe. This makes me think really hard now, how often do I say enough? And what do I really think about saying enough? Does it mean I cop out? Or is it just a reminder to consistently find time to step back and see if the course is good to continue on or a little veering off is needed.

I've said enough last week. I even challenged myself to do things, most of them I routinely do before anyway, just so I'd wake myself up from this stupor I'm in. Still, after seven days, I haven't even started doing most of them. I didn't even thought much about them. Until last night when I suddenly and strongly felt I've had enough. It was in that moment that without any conscious thought, I called it a day and went home much much earlier than usual.

Enough doesn't mean I'm copping out. Enough is not being irresponsible. Enough is just a temperature check that could mean almost anything. Now, what I do after I've indulged myself with all these enough business is another story. And that should be enough fodder for my blogs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Coaching Seminar

Organized by the Amateur Rowing Association of the Philippines (ARAP) under the auspices of the International Rowing Federation (FISA) and Olympic Solidarity.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Dare Me



To:

  • Wake up at 5:00am everyday.
  • Get back to running at least three times a week.
  • Run at least 3K per running day.
  • Pay more attention to what I eat.
  • Do something new and something difficult every day.
  • Avoid overstaying at work.
  • Read at least two (2) books per month.
  • Watch a movie at least twice a month.
  • Visit a salon more often (once a month is a good start).
  • Go back to the habit of reading newspapers.
  • Always remember Upward Bound.
  • Work on lessening my carbon footprint.
  • Inspire others to embrace carbon neutrality.
  • Learn, improve, excel as a FISA Umpire.
  • Go back to Sanshou training.
  • Join dragon boat training on weekends.
  • Write more.
  • Keep in touch with family and friends.
  • Make it a habit to smile even to strangers.
  • Live a life of gratitude.
  • Count my blessings.
  • Keep the passion burning.
  • Always believe even when things get tough.

Safety Measures Bordering On The Absurd

Now, this news report could be funny if I could get past the absurdity of it. It seems that Vietnam's Ministry of Health recently proposed to introduce a driving ban for small-chested, too short, or too thin people.

If you have ever been to Vietnam, it wouldn't really be much of a surprise to hear such an outrageous proposal. It's easy to imagine the dangers those motorbike drivers and the pedestrians face every day. I have never seen that huge number of motorbikes on the road and the utter disregard for pedestrians anywhere else. I can still remember my constant fear of crossing the roads in Ho Chi Minh. I don't think it was intentional on the motorbike drivers' part but there's no obvious concern for pedestrians whose main goal is to just cross the street and get from point A to point B. Clearly, in HCM and I believe in most of Vietnam, the motorbike drivers are the kings of the roads.

It's easy to understand, really, the challenge of looking after the safety of these drivers and the hapless pedestrians. However, to prohibit small-chested, too short, and too thin people from driving motorbikes is probably the closest brush to the absurd that I can think of. Isn't that a discrimination of sorts? Why would people's "perceived handicaps" become the criteria if they can drive or not? Aren't there more important measures or guidelines that the government can focus on?

From what I recall, some of the drivers there don't even follow the most basic rules like respecting the pedestrians right of way (geez, that's what those pedestrian lanes are for). I can still remember that one truck driver that I saw who wasn't even looking straight ahead even if there were people attempting to cross. What's up with that? It made me think that there were no existing rules at all. But I guess that was just me struggling with my innate fear of crossing roads and placed in a most challenging situation of learning survival skills in the streets of HCM.

But despite those memories, I still think of HCM as the most quaint and wonderful place to visit. I like the people there. I was amazed of how "healthy" they look to me. In all my twenty-one days of stay there, I haven't seen any obese Vietnamese. So I can easily imagine the effect of this planned proposal should it see the light of day. I wonder how many would be left to legally drive motorbikes there.

I would be very interested to know how this plan pans out.

Photo from: http://www.nytimes.com/

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Going light

Mababaw akong tao. At dahil mababaw ako, madalas kong pinapansin ang mga bagay na maaaring walang katuturan para sa ibang to. Gaya na lang ng mga 'to:

1. Yung official medical diagnosis na Obese I ako and that I need to be on strict diet - Disclaimer lang, hindi naman kaimposiblehang maging obese. Tao lang naman. At ako'y taong aminadong matakaw at nabubuhay sa chocolates so hindi katakatakang maging obese. Maybe what struck me most lang sa current situation na ito is that it's the first time in my whole life that I'm nine (9) kilos overweight. And what alarms me most is ~~ I should know better than to go down this path given my long line of Diabetic family history (in both sides).At ang isang malaking tanong sa utak ko, bakit di ko magawang mag-diet? I know how to manage my health and I have been fit for the longest time. So, what is this that's causing me to forget everything I know about nutrition and proper diet? Ang tanong: What happened to the athlete in me?

2. Yung effort to the nth level just to get the doctor to write "Physically fit for training" on that medical form for our upcoming Team Building activity at work - Seriously, this is quite a blow for me. I didn't really pay much attention about stuff like this before kasi I never failed those medical exams they require us to undergo prior to major international competitions. And I'm so used to extremely challenging/difficult training that it's something I take for granted that I'd be able to do if I have the mind to do it. But to actually experience not being fit is an eye opener, on more ways than one. It makes me want to stop for a while and see what's causing me to lose perspective and let my health suffer.

3. And last but not the least, yung recurring "a finger grip on a cliffside" feeling - I don't have the answers yet on this one. But I'm hoping time and space will give me a measure of comfort and clarity.

In the meantime...to the batcave!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Denial Queen

Here's the thing about denials...they just buy you time to stay in your comfort zone. They just delay the inevitable and make the issue or the problem doubly harder to resolve.

Today, I can really say that I'm the Queen of Denials. See, I've known for months now that I'm increasingly becoming overweight but I haven't been paying much attention to my diet. I still ate like I used to back when I was an athlete. I consumed food like an athlete but I burned calories like a sloth.

Looking back I think this whole denial business started when I suddenly stopped routinely checking my weight. I used to drop by the Wushu federation, even when I stopped training already, just to weigh myself on that digital weighing scale we have there. I did that at least once a week then I just stopped. Of course I had all the "reasons" for not doing it anymore and I'm *busy* tops the list of my impossibly long list of excuses.

I remember there was this one time I had a sudden thought that I'm probably at my heaviest weight so far. There was a brief moment then that I started to worry. But whatever insight that slipped through my denial gates was immediately silenced by the denial sentinels.

And I happily went on eating my way through almost every emotional rides I've had. I ate when I was upset. I binged when I was sad. I gobbled down food when I was apathetic.

Significant things happened these past few days though that made me re-evaluate my current lifestyle. The first one was my first attempt to train for the recently concluded Adidas fun run. I remembered feeling frustrated and scared at the same time. It was then that I realized how unfit I was that I can't even find joy in running. Even at my slowest pace, I was so in pain. I think I was out of breath two minutes out and my left knee (that was injured years back) started acting up.

The other wake-up call was that disastrous 5K run I did at the Adidas King of the Road. Not only was I slower than a turtle running through mud but I also was in so much pain in my left leg and knee during the first three kilometers. I seriously considered stopping and just finish the race by walking. But I guess I decided to punish myself for abusing my body so much that I pushed myself to continue running and struggle my way through finishing the course. I told myself I was not going to humiliate myself further by chickening out.

Now, I honestly thought that nothing could be worse than that realization that I'm so damn heavy my knees could barely carry my weight when I run. But there's actually a clincher. An exclamation point to a seriously pathetic statement the Adidas run made. And it's finding out today that I'm now medically, for all intents and purposes, an Obese I.

And it was only by serendipity (I think) that I found this out. See, I wouldn't have made my way to a medical clinic for a physical exam if it wasn't a requirement for an upcoming Team Building activity at work.

It was the first of the many findings written on the results. I'm diagnosed as Obese I and I need to be on strict diet from now on. Now if that's not embarassing for a former athlete, I don't know what is.

Before I end this sad tale, let me just say that another seredipitous thing happened to me today. Funny how the universe works. I do believe that it leads us ever so subtly to the right decisions...and it's up to us to notice and take heed.

A few minutes ago I used this carbon footprint calculator that measured my climate impact in four lifestyle categories: Home Energy, Driving & Flying, Food & Diet, and Recycling & Waste. I scored way below the average (meaning I have less carbon footprints than most people) except for one category. By this time it wasn't much of a surprise to me already. I scored high on Food & Diet because - *gasps!* - I eat too much meat.

Now, I truly believe that it's the universe talking not so subtly already.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Melting Snow

I hate to think that all my current experiences will someday become stories with no point. - Calvin, It's a Magical World p39

I noticed that I haven't writing much on my blog(s) lately. I find it ironic because I'm so busy doing so many things one would think I'd have plenty of "stories" to write about.

But I don't feel like I have "stories" to tell. Writing has become so unfamiliar and life as I knew it is gradually becoming a stranger to me.

Adrenalin rush for me now is of an entirely different source. The voice that speaks for my heart is silent. And it is the kind of silence that begs to be heard.

Waiting for Twilight

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Inspiring John Hancock ad

I've been keeping the magazine where I found this ad for years. Last week, I finally let go of my attachment to the magazine, specifically to that ad page. I managed to tear the page off so I can include it in my collage of dreams homework.

The homework was just one of the many activities that Jim Paredes asked us to do for his "Tapping the Creative Universe" training. It was a good exercise on so many things, some of which are on letting go and doing something just for the joy of it. Not thought, no conception.

The ad was fairly simple, but it was the message that went with it that really resonated to me. I'm posting it here as a keepsake of something that strongly inspires me.

I am not an Olympian
because I am strong.
I am not an Olympian
because I am fast.
I am an Olympian
because I know that others
are faster. And stronger.
I am an Olympian
because I am not afraid to try.
I am an Olympian
because I am proud of what
I can accomplish.
Even if
someone can accomplish more.
I am an Olympian
because I strive to do
better every day.

I am an Olympian
because I know, at heart,
we are all Olympians.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Stands

  1. I stand as a passionate being, fully embracing and celebrating my humanity.
  2. I stand for character, excellence, and integrity in everything that I do.
  3. I stand for love and family. I believe that they provide solid grounding in even the most difficult situations.
  4. I stand as a soul fully committed to seeking the goodness in people.
  5. I stand for the environment. I recognize the value of minimizing my carbon footprints in this world.
  6. I stand for individuality and uniqueness while recognizing the value of teamwork and collaboration.
  7. I stand for the simple and ordinary things in life that lead me to find wisdom and inspiration.

imaginary lives

just one of the interesting activities we did in the creativity workshop conducted by jim paredes:

my 10 imaginary lives
~a quantum physicist
~a doctor serving with the doctors without borders
~a sculptor
~a warrior (preferably a samurai)
~a hermit
~a philosopher
~an artist/poet
~a writer
~a UN volunteer
~an astronaut

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Finding time

It was very foggy at some part of the way going to Baguio last Friday. It was even raining hard a few kilometers near the Summer Capital that I sort of psyched myself up already that it would be raining throughout the duration of my very short visit.

As it turned out, the weather was really nice when I got there. It was not even very cold, which was good because I forgot to bring a jacket (failing to bring a jacket only drove home the point that i was still under the effects of the grueling week i had - where all I was able to do was keep up with all the things that came up). It was a good thing that Mark was nice enough to meet me and lend me his jacket. I knew it would only get colder especially when evening comes. I had no plans of freezing myself to death just because I was unprepared for this trip.

Mark and I agreed to meet with the other Team Lakay core members, Coach Mark and Eduard, at the training venue. I was supposed to train with the team as well. I even managed to bring my training stuff with me despite the last minute packing I did. But I decided not to train because I was so tired. I guess the past week's events took their toll on me that all I wanted to do was take a much-needed break.

So the four of us just observed the others who were training. I was happy to see that there were so many of them already. I definitely did not recognize most of the people who were there. I see some of the more older members and a few of the girls who have competed in one or two Wushu national competitions already but the rest were all newbies.

I also noted some of the improvements they have made to the gym. The were new mats and I noticed a new punching bag as well. There were more gloves and kicking pads to go around.

Watching them train made me glad that I did not join them. I almost forgot how grueling Sanshou training can be. But still, just watching them only made me feel how much i have missed doing it. The warm-up is easily my favorite part. I just love the warm-up routines. They are usually very challenging and tiring at the same time. And the funny thing is, the level of difficulty there does not even come close to the actual training routines. I think of it as the decision point, where I either choose to continue knowing what would be coming next or opt to bail out and not learn anything.

The two hours spent watching was very gratifying. The team seemed to be thriving well and there were more people getting interested to join. I was especially pleased to see that there were kids around. It is not everyday that I get to see kids practicing Sanshou because it is often considered as a dangerous sport by most parents. I fully understand the concern there though. But I also firmly believe that the discipline and principles these kids could learn from it have benefits in the long run.

There was a twelve-year old kid training with the group. And he appears disciplined and commited enough to this sport. Coach Mark, Eduard, Mark, and I also talked about the other newbies as well. They told me that a group of them even jokes about the team's training as "rehab". This group of newbies used to be very fond of the night life with all the attendant drinking and smoking. But as they continue to train with the team, they realized they had to make some changes with their habits. And I guess this is something I fully understand. It is just one of those things you realize when you start loving the sport. The commitment gets stronger and the desire to excel grows as well.

It was only after the training that I finally got to sit down for a more in-depth meeting with the rest of the core group. I think we all did not anticipate that the team would grow this fast. At the end of the day, we were just all happy to see that somehow, our simple dreams for this team are gradually coming true. It is up to us to make sure that we continue to steer the team towards the path that we envisioned it to take and to tread carefully while doing it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

andoy: ang astig at pinakabatang tourist guide ng callao caves


(Trip na Trip features andoy)

a few minutes after jake and i arrived in tuguegarao for a speaking engagement, sinabi sa amin nung organizers ng event na they're bringing us to callao caves. i didn't even have the slightest idea that it's one of the famous tourist destination pala. but nung sinabi nilang they're bringing there, i knew i was in for a treat. i can sense their pride sa caves na yun so i figured it must really be awesome to explore.

we traveled for almost 30 minutes to the town where the callao eco park is located. i was excited kahit na i wasn't exactly dressed for a trek. it's one of the rare times that i went out of town without bringing my rubber shoes. eh malay ko ba namang pupunta pala kami sa isang famous na cave? kaya nga ang nasabi ko na lang sa sarili ko eh good luck sa mary janes ko dahil masira na ang dapat masira, sasama at sasama pa rin ako.

buti na lang nga at pumunta kami kasi the place is simply wonderful. serendipity na masasabi yung mga pangyayari sa trip namin na to. pero higit pa sa sobrang gandang caves na nakita ko, ang masasabi kong napaka-interesting at inspiring na nangyari eh nung nakilala ko si andoy.

andoy is a grade 6 student who is also said to be the "youngest cagayan tourist guide". it was a shame hindi ko na-video nung nagsimula na syang magsalita. this was just before we began to climb the stairs going to the caves. pano ba naman, he totally captured all our attention that it was already too late when i realized hindi ko pala siya kinukuhanan.

he delivered his spiel kasi in flawless english, with a matching tone na sounded to me as confident, naughty, and generally happy sa pagiging guide nya. at it seemed na pumunta siya talaga dun at yung isang 16-year old guide (na kagaya rin nyang magaling mag-english) para mag-guide sa amin.

the trip to the caves was doubly fun because of them. there was never a dull moment. naisip ko nga, i would have enjoyed staying there longer. and to explore all the caves with these two tourist guides that made me feel so light and happy.

sumabay si andoy at yung isa pang guide sa amin pabalik ng tuguegarao. while in the van, tuloy-tuloy lang yung usapan. feeling nga namin matagal na kaming magkakakilala. mga bibong bata kasi sila andoy. kwento pa nya, gusto nya maging lawyer paglaki nya. then he corrected himself, tourism daw muna pala kukunin nya then tsaka siya magla-law. and when he said that, i knew that someday he'd be one. he said it in such a matter-of-fact tone that i believed him.

sabi ni andoy may offer sa kanya na sa ateneo de manila sya pag-aaralin. he said that he told those who offered him that na pag-high school and college na lang daw nya. i hope that happens nga, because andoy really has a lot of potential that i'm sure a good education can further draw out from him.

nakakatuwa na hanggang ngayon naaalala ko pa rin yung mga antics ni andoy kahapon. i can't help but think that treasures really abound. and that most times, nakikita sila sa mga hindi inaasahang lugar at pagkakataon.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I-witness Docufest

Start: Oct 4/11 '08
Location: Cinema 5 Gateway Cineplex

EARLY AFTERNOON SCREENING
"Batang Kalabaw" by Jay Taruc
"Boses Upos" by Howie Severino
"Ahas-Pagong" by Kara David
"Iskul Ko No. 1" by Sandra Aguinaldo

LATE AFTERNOON SCREENING
"Katay Kabayo" by Sandra Aguinaldo
"Alaga" by Kara David
"NPA in New York" by Howie Severino
"Batang Langoy" by Jay Taruc

2nd screening to be followed by the winning student documentaryand an open forum with the I-Witness hosts Howie Severino, Kara David,Jay Taruc and Sandra Aguinaldo

(thanks to tonio for posting the schedules here.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Leading Change: They Know What I Know (by Mike Figliuolo)

Have you ever felt like the proverbial mushroom at work? Kept in the dark and fed a lot of, well... manure? Uncertainty generates fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety generate gossip. Gossip generates rumors and distractions. Rumors and distractions destroy productivity and generate distrust. Do you see where I'm going?

We often behave like everything is a state secret that requires a security clearance before someone can be brought into the fold. It's maddening walking by a conference room with a bunch of muck-a-mucks in it and wondering what they're plotting (is it a reorg? a layoff? cancellation of the holiday party so we can make our end of year numbers?). It's amazing how secretive we can be when theoretically we're all on the same team.

Imagine a football team where the huddle consisted of the quarterback, the wide receiver and the center. All the other players have to stand over in the corner and wait until the three in the huddle break and line up for the play. The center snaps the ball. The wide receiver runs his route. The quarterback drops back to pass. And everyone else stands around muttering about how they have no idea what is going on. The odds of that play being successful don't seem very high. An extreme example? I don't think so. Reflect on behavior in your organization over the past six months and I'm sure you'll find plenty of similar examples.

So what's the fix? It involves people getting hit by a beer truck (or a bus or some other heavy contraption moving at high speeds). I'm speaking metaphorically of course. It goes something like this - if you were hit by a beer truck on your way home from work, would your team be able to carry on and achieve their goals without your direction? Would they know the plan? Would they know what to do in your absence? The only way to answer "yes" to those questions is to let them in on everything (well, everything that's not confidential like mergers or personnel actions, of course).

I adopted these principles for communicating with my team back in my platoon leader days. In the event of combat (or even training, which could be dangerous and deadly), there was a distinct possibility of a leader falling in the middle of the fight. To prevent total anarchy in the face of such an event, EVERY member of the unit knew THE ENTIRE PLAN. This way, if the commander, platoon leader, tank commander, etc. were removed from the battle (most of the time due to a defective radio - God bless America and purchasing from the lowest bidder) the unit could still accomplish the mission.

If you're wringing your hands right now at the prospect of being more open with your team, you're either an information hoarder (Bad hoarder! Bad!) or you don't trust your people (which means they probably don't trust you either). If you want your team to be more open in its communications, you have to set the tone. The only way to do that is to let them in on "the secret."

Start small. Show them you trust them and want them involved. If they violate that trust, deal with it appropriately. If they uphold it, keep bringing them deeper into the fold. They'll appreciate it. They'll feel more connected, committed and involved which will lead to better morale and productivity (and reduce turnover to boot).

Give it a try. They're wearing the same jersey you are. Let them in the huddle.

(Lifted from here)

He Drinks 7Up (by Mike Figliuolo)

One of the most exciting things you can do as a young tank platoon leader is participate in a tank gunnery exercise. Essentially it's going to a shooting range with some really big cannons mounted on a 68 ton chassis. One particularly hot summer in Colorado, I went to my second gunnery.

About six months before this gunnery exercise, I had a new soldier transfer into my platoon (let's call him Specialist England). He had been in the army for about three years by the time he made it to my platoon. He wasn't the spiffiest soldier nor was he very fond of all the regulations (he'd occasionally break them - flagrantly). In short, he was a bit of a "problem child." Nonetheless, I was responsible for him and his performance.

England went on several field problems with us in those six months. It was usually pretty difficult to motivate him to perform his job well. He simply didn't have a fire in his belly to train hard and train well. My platoon sergeant and I had multiple conversations with him about his lack of performance but for some reason we were never able to get beyond "yeah... I'll try to do better" with him.

After those difficult six months, we headed to this summer gunnery. I was excited about the event but somewhat concerned about how England would perform in a live fire environment. As we sat around playing Euchre (an army favorite) for hours in the sweltering heat, I decided to send my driver over to the snack shack to buy some sodas (my treat). I gave him a few dollars and he was about to run off to get our drinks. Before he bolted I told him to get two Pepsis, a Coke, a Diet Coke, a Mountain Dew, and a 7Up. He wrote down the order and headed out.

When my driver returned, he asked me who got which beverage. He then handed them out as instructed. As he handed England the 7Up, England said "How did you know I drink 7Up?"

"I didn't. Lieutenant Figliuolo did. He told me to get it for you."

England turned to me with a bit of a puzzled look and asked "You know I drink 7Up?"

"Yeah. I do."

With a smirk and a nod, England replied "You're alright sir."

A funny thing happened that week. England was a very different soldier. He was proactively doing all the things we had previously had to coerce him to do. He smiled. He was excited to be at gunnery and be a member of the platoon. Many of the disciplinary issues we used to have with him disappeared. He was a different soldier altogether.

Now I'm not sure exactly why this change occurred. Maybe 7Up is much better than I thought. Or maybe it was simply that he knew someone on the team cared about him as an individual.

What do the members of your team drink?


(Lifted from here)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

the hats

the wait for team lakay fighters' turn in the octagon in last night's fearless intensity 8 gave me plenty of time to think about about the hats i wear. one of the triggers was lester's pitch on wushu's proposal. it finally dawned on me that he has quite been consistent in selling that out to me in the past few MMA events that i've seen him.

i like what they're selling me. but the thing is, i don't think that they truly know me to see that i can't do it because i love all my other hats. a huge part of my hesitation to even consider it is this love for all the hats i have collected and treasured all these years. there are hats that i haven't worn for years now. there are those i wear occasionally. there are some i wear more often than the rest.

i didn't pay much attention to these hats. i just wear what i'm most passionate about at the moment. i didn't think much about them until last night. it was then i realized i love all of them.

i may not wear all of them as often as i'd want to but that doesn't diminish their value in my life. see, those years that i collected them were also the years i stumbled into invaluable treasures. these are treasures i found because of my hats.

i am who i am now through the gifts of learning, discovery, adversity, and triumph i've had while i was wearing all those hats. i don't come in parts. i don't come with only one hat. i can't be who i am wearing just one hat.

Friday, August 29, 2008

digging a burrow that no radar can find

how exactly can one fly under the radar? it's the flying thing that really causes the trouble. i just think that flying's no good because no matter how low you fly, there'll always be a chance that a radar will find you. see, the thing with radars, it puts you right there at the center. it leaves you vulnerable because you're out there in the open, flying. it's like an invitation to disaster. it's like being a duck in open season. it's too easy to shoot you down.

so i'm thinking, flying low is not exactly the best way to avoid the radar. burrowing is a much better option. the deeper the hole, the better.

burrows are necessary once in a while. they provide that much-needed respite from the wear and tear of flying. they are like cocoons that nurtures a wounded soul until such time it is ready to fly again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pasalubong (na birthday gifts na rin) ni Ordy :-)




Why blame?

This is probably the most refreshing and commendable reaction I’ve heard post-major competitions. If only all our sports leaders think like this.

Our country’s sports development program definitely needs some shaking up if we want to stand any chance in competitions such as the Olympics. Finger-pointing and blame game will not help at this point. The best move forward is to really accept all the facts that have long been there - waiting to be acknowledged.

What we need now is action and accountability. These are important to inspire athletes to step up and do better. Blaming the athletes is futile and absolutely a sorry excuse for escaping accountability. How can you blame these admirable people who sacrifice a lot in quest of their dreams to be champions? Some of them give up their studies to give 100% of their time to training. Some of them leave their families behind in the provinces so they can train and try to be the best in their respective sports.

The athletes give more than what they can give in search of their dreams. Imagine a platoon of soldiers you send to fight without ammunitions. That is how our athletes live. Day by day they face adversities. Day by day they triumph over these adversities. Day by day they become better because that’s what they aim for. But they can only do so much with the opportunities and support handed out to them.

The National Sports Associations (NSA), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) should collaborate better. They should take the lead in chartering a new course for local sports. As the major players in Philippine sports, they should initiate the changes needed to breathe new life to a dying dream.