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.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dahil crush ko si John Lloyd

"Something inside has changed. And it came as a surprise."

Finally, napanood ko na rin ang A Very Special Love. I've been hearing good reviews about it from my sister and some friends. Kaya nga sa sobrang curious ko na, I promised myself I'll really make time to watch it. Bukod pa dun, sobrang crush ko si John Lloyd kaya naisip ko even if the movie turns out to be so mushy and corny matutuwa pa rin ako to see his face on the big screen.

I was a bit worried though na baka hindi na showing yung movie. Kasi naman, parang ang tagal-tagal ko nang nairirinig sa kapatid at friends ko na sobrang naaliw sila sa story at kinilig ng makailang beses kay John Lloyd. Tuloy, masasabi kong exercise in patience yung pagbibilang ko ng araw at paghihintay na mag-Sabado na para makapanood na. Sabado lang kasi kami puwede ni Badette. Hindi na rin kasi showing sa Eastwood yung pelikula kaya kahit gustuhin naming manood after work wala rin kaming mapapala.

Patience has its rewards though kasi parang bumilis yung takbo ng oras at finally Sabado na. Badette and I decided to meet at SM because we thought that one can always trust SM malls to still run yung magagandang movies after two or three weeks. It turned out we're correct kasi showing pa nga yung movie nung chineck namin.

Despite knowing that the movie already impressed a lot of people, I still wasn't so hopeful. Hindi naman kasi talaga ako mahilig sa mga Tagalog na love stories. Not that I have anything against them. It's just that, minsan I find them either really mushy or corny. I guess I never really expected this one to be an exception. I was a bit iffy with the title pa lang kasi. A very special love sounds a bit serious and mushy for me.

I was pleasantly surprised tuloy that the movie was everything I didn't expect it to be. Umpisa pa lang nakakatuwa na. Simple lang naman kasi lalo na yung "love" ni Laida (Sarah Geronimo) kay Miggy (John Lloyd Cruz). Well, in a manner of speaking wala namang simple sa pagkakagusto ng isang simpleng babae sa isang complicated and totally unreachable na lalaki. Pero kung isi-simplify mo lang kasi yung love lang naman ang importante. Eh ano naman kung langit at lupa sila. Eh ano naman kung nuknukhan ng sungit yung isa. Ang mahalaga lang naman yung simpleng "love" na andyan na.

Sometimes I think that it's the simplest form of love that resonates most. Kapag simple naman kasi mahirap nang pag-isipan at i-analyze pa ng mabuti. Simple na nga kasi. It's the complicated stuff that requires all the effort and thinking time. Madalas tuloy yung sobrang pag-iisip at kahihimay sa facets nung love na yun ang posibleng maging reason para mag-fade o mawala pa ito. Yung simple andyan lang. In-your-face kind of love kumbaga.

Sa simpleng love everything else becomes clearer. The clarity provides that focus required to face whatever challenges or difficulties that simple love may bring. It's easier to make room for exhausting eventualities that are often attached to loving. The simplicity of it all makes it easier to keep the hope even in the most difficult times. At kahit ilang beses mang mapagod ang puso, yung simpleng love will always find a way to sustain itself.
Kaya ako, I think I'd opt for that simple yet very special kind of love. The kind that manifests itself regardless of whatever walls are put up. Yung simpleng love na even if unrequited mabubuhay pa rin. It's not as if I'd lost if naubos na yung possibilities na pwede ko exhaust to nurture it. At the end of the day, I was true to myself.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Which of the X-Men Are You?

You Are Jean Grey

Although your fate is often unknown, you always seem to survive (even after death).

Your mind is your greatest weapon, literally!

Powers: telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to project thoughts into the mind of others, communication with animals


it's in the silence amidst the noise
that i sometimes get a glimpse
of that simple, unfathomable you
that takes my breath away

it's the distance between us
that keeps me still
when chaos and confusion
attempt to drown me in sorrow

it's those kind eyes
that seem to see through
the thick layers of complexities
few understand

it's the complexity of you
it's the everchanging moods of you
it's the quietness of you
that make me hear and see you more.

Team Edward

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Commitment issues

I have commitment issues. I’m stymied by my own doubts and laziness. I think I should start writing my short-term goals down again. There’s something about writing goals down that, well, sort of urges me to commit. Maybe it’s my penchant for crossing off accomplished tasks on the list that provides that feeling of accomplishment. Regardless of how simple or insignificant the finished task may be, knowing that I’ve done something makes me happy.

I’ve been doing mental lists of action items that I thought are important for me to do. There’s the plan to go running again. Let me see, how many times have I been telling myself to do that? I’ve been delaying this plan for months now. Consequently, I’m sure that my current weight is my heaviest so far. I’ve been shying away from weighing myself in the past months. Now, maybe that’s another problem. Not seeing the numbers gives me an excuse not to commit.

It’s definitely a different kind of commitment I need now. I’m refocusing all my energies and resolve to things that require my attention. It’s not just for the sake of losing myself into things that provide the highest returns in terms of learning and growth. On a more personal and selfish level, I need to commit on something that would steer me away from this shadow that I’ve become.

Friday, August 15, 2008

When familiarity breeds apathy

I've fallen into the routine of my daily commute that I seldom notice anything while on the road. I can't help it, traveling the more than one hour route back and forth everyday increasingly diminishes my curiousity. I guess that's the danger of familiarity, the repetitive experiences and impressions make most things appear ordinary. Only when something disturbs the routine that the mind pays attention.

The significantly heavy traffic last night is a definite disturbance to that routine. Until now I still think about how the flooded streets of EspaƱa and Taft effectively stretched the travel time by more than one hour. Even knowing that heavy rains usually result to some flooding in those areas, I'm surprised by how much things have turned for the worse. I couldn't help but think if I'll again be seeing waist-high floodwaters along those routes.

I would've thought that the improvements I've seen in the past ten years would only get better. Sadly, it appears now that the progress I've seen is being reversed - by neglect perhaps? Whatever it is, I hope appropriate actions are taken. It's stressful to spend three hours on the road after work.


(The boring trip last night was followed by a scary trip to the office this morning. I took a cab because I didn't want to be late to an 8:00am-1:00pm training. Unfortunately, the driver seemed to enjoy playing with death. He's one of those drivers I really hate - the types who don't seem to care for other people's lives. I think I lost 10 years of my life in that trip.)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just a few of my favorite things

(Inspired by this and this.)

dark chocolates, stroopwafel (Holland waffles)

chocolate cake, Banapple's banoffee pie, chocolate ice cream

coffee, coffee buns, champorado

chili crabs, adobo

bottled sardines, pork sinigang

Chili's crispy chicken salad, Sonjas cupcakes, creme brulee

books, traveling

A paper, old friends, and aging

I was reading the freebie newspaper - well, not exactly a freebie since I had to dole out a certain amount for the pie to get myself a copy, and saw this feature about PHI athletes who are in Beijing for the Olympics. I saw familiar names there, friends I've had the opportunity to share experiences with as fellow quartered athletes in RMSC.

There's Harry who's competing for boxing. Sadly, some of our other best bets didn't qualify. Despite that roadblock though, I'm sure Harry will do his best in Beijing same as he did in the Vietnam SEA Games when he won the lone gold for the boxing team (not because the other 5 who competed there was not up for the gold, but let me just say that it was one boxing fight I'll never forget because of how the crowd reacted to the judges' scoring).

Then there's Mariz who's currently the country's long-jump queen. If there's something I'm absolutely sure about her, she's not one to go down without a fight. She's a very determined soul and I know she would have prepared harder than ever for this event.

But what really captured my attention was seeing Sheila's age alongside her name. Sheila's diving skills are such that she earned herself another slot in the Olympics. I think she first competed in Sydney and this would be her second time to participate in the quadrennial event.

It says in the article that Sheila's now 23. I couldn't help but look back to that time I first met Sheila and all the other young divers that were recruited from Davao. They were just a bunch of little kids then who were uprooted from their hometown. For years after that, I've seen them mature not just mentally but in skill and talent as well. These are kids who grew up ahead of their peers. They helped me appreciate that among the many gifts that athletes get to have, it's their resilience in even the most adverse circumstances that I learned to admire most.

Sheila and the other divers have indeed grown. The numbers show how the years have passed by so quickly. In my mind, they were still the same kids I see everyday in the past. Happy kids who know hardships, who value discipline, who are committed, and who persevere.

I think the numbers made me realize how often I forget how old I really am. It made me think of this question I recently encountered ~ How old would you be if you didn't know your age? My answer to that is similar to my Japanese teammate's reply ~ ageless.

I know the numbers but I don't see any change in how I view things. The years for me are just opportunities to be whatever I want to be in every moment I wish to immerse myself in. Ageless is being a soul first before the physical embodiment of that soul. And the soul does not limit itself to judgments and restrictions. Young or old, a soul can be whatever it wants to be.

Today, my age would be of that girl who shared experiences with these athletes years back. I'm the girl who knows that these people who carry our country's flag with pride in the Beijing Olympics deserve all the prayers and support that we can give. I'm the girl who believes that regardless of the results in their respective events, they are already winners. After all, as Baron Pierre de Coubertin has said, "The important thing is not to win, but to take part."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Letting people make it happen

Chris asked me earlier what's my takeaway from the When Great Minds Dream event. I told him it's seeing how great things can happen if we just allow people to step up and do their thing.

I never thought that an idea I shared can actually see the light of day, that some people actually supported and believed in it. It all started when we got word that the executives are possibly coming to PH for the GK. We were immediately asked to churn out ideas for events for each executive. I was thinking, it's good that we're planning ahead. I was pretty confident that we'll be ready for the visit given our lead time.

However, not everything turned out as planned. To make the long and crazy story short, we ended up with only ten days to prepare for the event. Ten days and we had no venue yet and no clear picture of how the event would turn out.

It didn't help that this was also the time that I was going through a really rough patch. Suffice to say, those who knew of my plans wouldn't have imagined I'd still do what I did with unbridled passion. But for those who know me, they would know that I'd do this without reservations - regardless of the circumstances.

For ten days I got to work with people from different teams. I think it's seeing them stepping up and doing their best that added to my unwavering belief that we could do it. I think my personal triumph in all of these is to have led the group by trust. I trusted everyone to do their best and let them make things happen their way.

It's not easy to let go. There's always that moment that you'd want to do things yourself. But one thing I realized from all the grief I've been having lately at work is that I don't want others to feel how I feel. I want them to know trust. I want them to embrace teamwork. I want them to explore and stretch themselves. I want to see them triumphant at the end.

If there is one thing I value most from having nurtured this event from thought to execution ~ it's knowing that I have led a group of great people who stepped up and delivered.

It always feels good to believe.

something my younger sister unearthed from i don't know where

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The making of sinners

I recently attended an empowered communication seminar that is part of the regular offerings of OrgCap. Truth be told, I had a full schedule that day. But because I am one of those people who just love trainings, I parked some items on my to-do list for a few hours and spent the day doing what I love most ~ learning.

From among the many concepts discussed that day, the Seven (7) Deadly Sins of Communication fascinated me most. The said "sins" were gleaned from some foreign corporate officers, based on their perceptions on how Filipinos communicate.

1. Not speaking up; being passive
2. Not communicating proactively and effectively
3. Not communicating accomplishments
4. Not volunteering, not adding value, or not going the “extra mile”
5. Not making solid commitments
6. We are slow.
7. Washing dirty linens in public.

I tried to look at these “sins” from the other side of the fence. I think I understand why some people would have these perceptions. However, I strongly believe that these perceptions are just labels that do not reflect Filipinos' capabilities and talents. I think that Filipinos who are perceived to be guilty of these sins may be exceptions to the rule or may be in an environment where they are not encouraged or allowed to be otherwise.

Everything hinges on reciprocity. If there is a desire to see people empowered, those who are in the position to be catalysts of change should make the effort to make the people thrive in an environment where empowered communicators are developed. I think the deadliest sins of all in communication are close-mindedness and inability to listen.

Empowerment entails not only an individual’s effort to free himself/herself from self-doubts and take that step towards doing what he/she fears most. Empowerment requires the skill and discernment of leaders to cultivate a culture of change and continual improvement. It should always be about the bigger picture. And the big picture demands that we see everyone and everything.