Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Blues clues

Almost everything's been all shades of blue for the past months. Sometimes it's a pale shade of blue of calmness and introspection followed by days of blue-grey I associate with stormy weathers. In between are the different shades all representing the pendulum-like movement that defines the ever-changing twists of life.

Now, I'm back to indigo, the color that reflects me most. I love this world. And I absolutely love being ME.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My 6-year old scares me (by Rizzo Tangan)

(I find this hilarious, which is why i just had to post the whole entry. Rizzo's a teammate from my dragon boat days. She juggles amazingly well - family, a full-time career in the advertising industry, triathlon, and more.)

Well...technically she's 6.75 years old. I'm very conscious of the fact because every month, Dylan is requesting a new theme for her 7th birthday party. Spongebob, Disney Princesses, Powerpuff Girls-Z, Art Attack---what's next kaya?

She's a very demanding little girl so I'm paying attention. I guess growing up with 2 kuyas teaches her to be assertive ( akinder term for "bossy" )...which can be good. Hey, it got her the "Most Outspoken" award in pre-school!Speaking of Outspoken...I'm finally going to put all of Dylan's preciously memorable quotes on record here. Then you'll understand why the blog title says what it says.

What she shouted with a half-crazy smile after chasing and pinning down this one boy named Adam in pre-school.

What she exclaimed upon seeing Adu, my aunt's African business partner, at the door. She even grabbed his hand and pulled him towards mortified me to "show" me the amazing "BLACK" man. To top it all off, she goes down and lifts his pant leg, and gasps in surprise because of course....his leg is black too.

Anton had unwittingly gone to far in his teasing one time, and both Niko and Liam were crying angrily. My husband tried to say sorry to one boy, who merely growled...then he turned to apologize to Niko beside me...who also grumbled in reply. Dylan out of the blue, turns Daddy's face to her, puts her arms around his neck and says the ultimate "sipsip" line in all-caps above. We could hardly contain our laughter.

The first quote is the first thing she says after I introduce her to the company's HR manager. The second was said to my officemate during the summer outing, upon seeing the penny-sized keloid in the middle of his hairy chest."

I realized during dinner that it had been a month since Anton had promised to buy Liam lovebirds. The next day, Dylan casually asked him, "Are you buying Liam a pet?" Anton says "yes" distractedly. Then Dyl says, "When?" in a tone that could have had her tapping her feet expectantly. Dispassionately, Anton says "tomorrow"---then is totally floored when Dylan makes her exit, with a threatening two-finger gesture from her eyes to Anton's face saying "I'm watching you".

Dyl: Can you make me a CD of my favorite songs Mom?
Mom: Yes of course!
Dyl: Okay cause I want to practice.
Mom: Oh...okay.
Dyl: Can you put a lot of chairs in the house after you make the CD?
Mom: Uh...why?
Dyl: So a lot of people can watch me dance.

Anton had been playing Luxor on the PC with Dyl playing behind him. After losing the stage for the nth time, he mutters, "Ak! I'm a loser". Dylan expresses shock and goes..."Hey!" Then earnestly says to her Daddy: "Don't say that! Tangans are NOT losers!"

6 years old pa lang yan ha? Anu pa kaya pag teenager? Inaaaayyyyy....ako.

Visualize this

The earth is warmed by energy from the sun and the warmed earth releases heat. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as CO2 absorb the heat and return it to earth, maintaining the temperature of the earth at an average of around 15 degrees. However, due to increases in CO2, the earth is becoming hotter. – from a PPT presentation on Activity of Team Minus 6% for Prevention of Global Warming by Kenji Someno (Lifestyle Policy Office, Global Warming Division, Global Environmental Bureau, Ministry of the Environment Government, Japan)

So, what generates 1kg of CO2 (100 soccer balls) emissions?

Using electrical appliances
King-size Plasma (5-6 hours)
Normal CRT-based TV (approx. 15 hours)
PC (approx. 15 hours)
Laptop (50-200 hours)
A/C, Heater (full operation: 2-3 hours)
Oil heater (2 hours)
Dry form garbage disposal (1 time)
Fluorescent lamp 40W (60 hours)
Incandescent lamp 100W (25 hours)
Fluorescent lamp equivalent to 100W (150 hours)
Cell phone (10,000 hours)

Using gases
High heat cooking (1.3 hours)
Low heat cooking (17 hours)
Heating a bath (1-2 times)
Using hot water (200 L)

Car (1.8L: between 3km-5km)
Mercedes S class (between 1km-2.5km)
Bullet train (50km)
Train (65 km)
Domestic airlines (9km)

Magazines (300g) 1 copy
Cardboard (550g) 1 box
Tap water (10 bathtubs)
Container:Aluminum can (6 cans) / Large beer bottle (12 bottles) / PET bottle 500ml (7 bottles)
Plastic bags (6 bags)
Tomato (alley) 40 / (greenhouse) 2

(Source: HP of Itaru Yasui, VP of United Nations University)

Who cares, really? I think everyone. This has always been everyone’s business. There's been too much noise created on this. Forget about the politics and the motivations of people who do. At then end of the day, they help send the message across.

I think all these noises fall under the label of "call for action". Some of the sound might be grating to the ears at times but at least, they often succeed in waking people up.

Friday, July 18, 2008


There is only one way to deal with misery - end it with an extremely painful killer stroke and be done with it. Suffering can only last as long as the willingness to suffer. Hope can only endure as fleetingly as faint wisps of change that fade like illusions of desert oases.

Change cannot truly happen without the will to make it happen. The mind delays the inevitable by focusing on what would be lost. It evades the thought of losing too much, too soon. And while the spirit screams in silent agony, the fa├žade continues to move like a machine that is falling apart.

It is that step off the ledge that liberates the soul from fear of the unknown. Freefalling is that fine line between death and rebirth. The easiest path to change is to let go of everything and embrace the feeling of falling. To resist the possibility of something good or bad to manifest is to waste the possibility of learning and growing.

Freefalling is deep faith. It is faith that whatever is lost can once again be found or replaced with something better. It is faith in landing somewhere. It is the conviction that to survive the fall means another opportunity to live and start anew.

Yes, too much will be lost, too much to dwell upon. Change is coming. It is the change that requires that one resolute jump from the ledge. Nietzsche provides courage with what he said best, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A borrowed thought

I just couldn't resist borrowing this from here (thanks Dennis) :)

Stop Whining and (Shut the) Pack Up!

It's time to come off the water. I have given full measure. I am done.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Processing what I don't understand

I sit in contentment at my table in Starbucks. I am doing a Mayee. I am spending time reading in a quiet place with my favorite cup of coffee. Nothing disturbs me, not the people who come and go, not even those who stay.

I hear someone talking. It takes a while before I fully make sense of what is said. I look up and see the security guard talking to me and the people at the table next to me. He looks outside, points to a two men walking and tells us that they are "snatchers". They are known bad guys in that area. There are four of them working together. They slash bags, pickpocket and every possible strategy snatchers employ to steal.

I listen in earnest. I look outside and see the men. Then I look back at the guard. I try to process why he is telling us this. It sounds like he is sharing information to us. Perhaps he wants us to be aware of such danger lurking outside.

But in my mind I cannot process such detachment. I want to ask what is being done with that information. Why are these men still out there walking with what seems to me a certain level of impunity i cannot totally understand?

Is this how things should be? Is it better to let bad things happen for as long as it does not affect me directly? Can apathy make everything look better? Is it unwise to rock the boat? Is it better to let it stay on-course regardless of the knowledge that it is way off course? These I need to process.

I finish the coffee, close the book and stand up. I am done reading for now.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Giving full measure

It's always hard to negate what people believe you to be. It's all about appearances. Anything that doesn't fit in the box of goodness and facades becomes labeled.

I sometimes wish people would just talk openly about how they feel. I know that everyone's neither deaf nor blind. Talking behind people's backs, making them look like they have the monopoly of "bad" attitudes, and basically refusing to see whatever ounce of goodness they may have suck.

I can now make a list of 10,000 and one ways to effectively kill my spirit. A friend asked me why I still stay. Essentially I think it's because I still believe. I believe in what I do and I know I still have the passion to burn. It's no different with rowing actually and I think the following captures the reason behind why I continue to hang on when all I want to do is let go:

"There has to be a PASSION. Not a mild interest but a passion.

When you complete the race you DON'T WANT TO LOOK BACK or even FEEL that you had more to give YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE ON EMPTY.

Have no regrets.

All for One)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's not just about houses

For two days I was busy digging up foundations, shoveling dirt/sand/gravel, mixing cement, carrying hollow blocks, laying bricks, painting houses, playing with kids and getting to know young people from a different culture. I had the opportunity to do all those things with fellow Trenders Badette and Gedrick who also volunteered for the company's homebuilding program in partnership with GK.
I have always wanted to participate in this program but I neither had the chance nor the time to make it happen during the previous runs. So when another invitation was released to volunteer for the homebuilding project I resolved to join regardless of how tight my schedule is at work. I just thought that if I do not do it this time I may end up waiting forever.

Badette and I submitted our applications to volunteer despite some doubts. I was not very optimistic that we would be allowed to join the group from Taiwan because we cannot stay until the end. We had to be back to work by July 3.

But I think our desire to go was too great for the universe to ignore. We got the go-signal and last Monday, we left for Batangas.
It was there in Batangas that I met thirty university students from Taiwan. These are students who spent money just to fly to Manila to volunteer for the GK. I cannot help but be impressed by them. Talking with them, being with them is an experience that I would not miss for the world. For someone who is used to meeting people from different cultures, I still found the experience unique and extraordinary. It inspires me to see them do what they do because they believe in giving their time and resources to make this world a better place.
I spent two days doing back-breaking and exhausting work. I discovered I am good with a shovel and that I can carry my share of load like any other men and women out there. I worked under the searing heat of the sun and under the rain. I have worked with great men and women out there. And I am immensely happy to have been part of that entire experience.