Thursday, June 23, 2016


This was supposed to appear in the Urban Life section of the newspaper but it appeared in the Opinion page. So I'm placing here the article with the supposed photos. :)

To The Extremes

LIKE most people, I dream of travels–a lot of travels. And like most others, I try my best to save for life’s best adventures. While I can’t do them all yet, I continue to browse on my phone, social media accounts of nature trippin’, beach lovin’ and hiking adventures. I remind myself of the things I want to do if time and budget already permit.
Having gone through millions of posts on Instagram and Facebook, I found accounts with portfolios of rock climbing, mountain climbing, surfing and skydiving–basically, a lot of extreme nature tripping. As a kid, I’ve always been a fan of X Factor. I love the thought of adrenaline rush and euphoria. And I’d replay the TV scenes over and over in my head and imagine myself doing the bicycle stunts, the skateboard glides, the motocross jumps and the drag race turns. I’ve always loved the idea of being away comfort zones, outside nutshells and beyond ordinary.
While I am always awed by various photos in my social media feeds, I am more impressed that some people I came across with had already been into things I imagined myself doing. So I picked a few of them to cite.
Although mountain climbing has become ordinary nowadays–with a lot of groups doing diverse squad goals, nothing beats the passion of real mountaineers, who climb not just for the selfies and the groufies but for the rush and exhilaration it gives.
Ayen Chiong is a professional interior designer and a courageous mountain and rock climber. My favorites in her escapades are her Japan climbs: Mt. Fuji in Tokyo and Mt. Asahidake in Hokkaido, where she climbed them with an arm cast (yellow cast in the photo). Yep, you read that right. Not your typical mountaineer.

Why go for extreme sports: It’s a way of being much more alive. It doesn’t only challenge me physically, but also mentally and spiritually.
Who is your role model: Dr. Gideon Lasco, Philippine mountaineer, anthropologist, environmental advocate (
Skydiving has always been one of my dreams. I believe this is also top on the bucket list of most people. I browse travelling photos and I come across skydiving photos on Facebook.
Yam Otarra, 26, has since been a passionate traveller. From being around the beautiful Pilipinas to various international destinations, this young lady has travelled 35 countries (as of the moment). My favorites in her travel? Gazillions. Skydiving, surely is one of them.
What is your life motto: by Paulo Coelho: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
What are you looking for in life: Happiness.
Of all the things I wanna do right now, this one is it: freerunning. I’ve always dreamt of becoming a ninja, a martial arts guru, well, yeah, a freerunner in these modern times. And I’m so glad they have training in Manila already. So yep, someday, parkour.
Karl Bautista is a graduate of Architecture in one of the universities in Manila. He does parkour and climbing rooftop buildings is his hobby. And like all freerunners, the world is Karl’s playground. My favourite: his photos of roof culture.
Where did you learn parkour: I actually learned parkour in the monkey bars in UST. I saw some guys jumping and doing simple flips. With my basic gymnastic background, I decided to join them a bit, but ended up loving the whole experience!
What does it feel like: When I parkour, I feel free. It’s a form or art, in a way, because I can express myself through movement, just like how dancers feel. Except, rather than music, we use the environment around with our mixed training in calisthenics, gymnastics and add some creative flare to it.
Motocross and drag racing are just few of my childhood dreams. I get so excited watching exhibitions of motocross and car racers. Few months ago, I was watching Pilipinas Got Talent and lo, and behold, I found motocross racers as contenders.
UA Mindanao is a group of motocross performers from Kidapawan City. The group graced PGT Season 5 and like the PGT judges, I was stunned. My heart would skip a beat every time the riders would strike a pose. And in every jump, I imagine myself doing the same thing. And I was like, “I’m killing this.”
Me? Well, I’ve climbed Mt. Capistrano. I think that’s a good start. Haha! Skydiving? I’ll try freerunning first. I know I have been doing ordinary things and nothing like the episodes I watched way back in X Factor. But who knows, maybe in the next issues of Gold Star, I will be sharing with you how I am already into the extremes.

Being Filipino

Full article also at

WHEN Filipinos make it big in the international realm, we say that we are proud Filipinos! When it’s everything about greatness, we go out and say, “I am a Filipino.” Most people would utter the words “Pinoy Ako” without really understanding the word Filipino.
It’s funny how people I know who say that they are all about being a Filipino are the same people I know shopping around high-end malls buying imported brands: Zara, Topshop, Mango, H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy and other go-to brands in the metro.
It’s funny how I invite people to watch Tagalog movies and all they say is “Jologs, unsa man na?” or “Yuck, ga’watch ug Pinoy movies?”
It’s funny how I ask about OPM and local indie bands and all they know are songs on Billboard and the indie band from I don’t know where.
It’s funny how people would go crazy over buying luxury bags online or in actual mall stores even to the point of buying class A versions but are not able to patronize cheap Marikina bags.
It’s funny, how most of the time, we don’t really walk the talk. Well, in a lot of cases actually. The instance of being Filipino is one.
While a number of tourists go to various destinations for the local feel and the heritage the place brings, we are all about westernizing, bringing and adapting a lot of different culture in the country. While it is good to amuse ourselves with diversity, it is best to nurture our very core and uphold our values first. It is like loving and appreciating ourselves first, before loving other people.
We often try to learn foreign languages without even first polishing our own dialect. I believe we must hone first the Filipino ways before taking things into international streets.
Support Filipino brands. Endorse local tourism. Travel the Philippines. Interact with the locals. Feel and understand what it is to be Filipino.

Harambe and Humanity

SINCE the news about Harambe surfaced days ago, netizens have been pro-animals than ever. Watching the video, I can’t really judge if the gorilla was trying to hurt the kid, or I’m just protecting the gorilla too.
Point being, this incident reminds us of humanity and the decisions and actions that come with us. A number of citizens even questioned the existence of zoos and the like. I read somewhere: “The animals are not here for our entertainment.” Point taken. Humans as we are, we tend to look after our own interests.
We prefer our welfare, sometimes even at the expense of others. We want convenience. Through time, we have chosen to buy gadgets that are convenient for us. And in business decisions, we tend to make choices that will benefit us than the public good’s welfare.
Harambe, I believe, has now become more than just a gorilla killed by the management of the zoo or of the neglectful parents of the child, as perceived by many. He has become a representation of all the animals in Kindgom Animalia. I want to believe that the online petitions are not only movements for Harambe but for all the living creatures suffering in the hands of humanity.
Point now is to take this incident into a different light–for it to no longer be a case between the parents or the zoo’s management but a case of question and discernment on the actions of humanity. We have been blessed with such a beautiful world, and every single day we, in our own little ways, exploit it.
We have witnessed headline news and random news about how other people deliberately inflict harm against “Harambes” in the world. All we do is just like and re-share the photos and videos, without giving thought to our personal actions. So Harambe and Humanity, question really is how do we best co-exist?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Life After Graduation

Noone will tell you how it is after graduation
how it is to find an occupation
how going to school is sometimes better than going to office
how an overtime is way exhausting than a school event practice

That all the things you learned in school may not be applicable
That the thesis and other projects you worked on are only just theoretical
That good times with friends may not be as good as good times with colleagues
That it is some kind of survival-of-the-fittest world out there

People instead will tell you how beautiful it is to earn your own money
To be independent and free from all the house rules
To be able to go to places wherever you want
To buy things you have long been eyeing

They will not tell you that your bills may be greater than your wages
That your vacation leaves may sometimes be taken away from you
That getting sick during peak season is not an option
That you may not land a job aligned with your profession

Noone will tell you the life after graduation
the hesitations, the reality versus fiction
the deadlines, the distractions
the dramas, even the hefty obligations

Noone will tell you that there will be a whole lot of blood for perspiration
Disappointments, politics, even some depression 
Noone will tell you that there will be a lot contemplation
about the world, about life, about you as a person

Noone will tell you because it's up for you
to find the life after graduation

Kudos to the graduates! :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What is Passive Income?

If you have accounting classes in college, you may have come across the term Passive Income. Or if you're eager to attend financial literacy sessions, surely this term will be uttered ten million times.

Passive Income refers to earnings without need of the individuals' thorough and intense active participation. If you're an employee who wakes up 6:00 AM everyday (or whatever time you wake up) to kick your ass off at the office, complete reports and submit them on deadlines, then I'm sorry to tell you that you are not earning passive income, but active income. Actively performing services translates to active income.

Now, how to earn passive income? Note that passive income requires a little effort as well. This income doesn't just come out from nowhere. There has to be little investment: time, money and/or effort before you can earn passive income.

Examples of Passive Income are:

1 Rental Payments
2 Royalties
3 Franchise Fees
4 Copyrights
5 Blogs
6 Stock Dividends
7 Stock Price Gains and
8 Mutual Funds

Notice that before you receive income from above sources, you will need to have an output first: building structure, items for rent, books, business, literary, music, logo, designs, initial deposits, etc. Nothing comes for free.

The only difference between passive income and active income is passive income does not require daily efforts and services for an individual to continue earning. Once you have written the book and published it, you will just wait for the royalties to keep on coming. Unless you decide to make a sequel of course, then you'll have to exert effort again on your second book. For as long as your work is being published and bought, you will continue earning for a book you may have written 5, 10 years ago.

There should be an initial step. That's number one must do's for earning passive income. The rest is just follow through.

Now, I am not telling you to be all artistic and smart and start writing books and composing songs, unless you have that talent, though. You can earn passive income with your bank deposits. Your savings account and time deposits earn passive income. If you happen to go over your passbooks, you will notice figures that you haven't deposited but are added to your balance. Those numbers you see are also called passive income.

You may have heard of stocks and mutual funds all your life but haven't gotten the chance to try it. So I'll be introducing mutual funds in my next article.

Keep posted! :)


me and my random lines

1 Sometimes, I think I'm pretty. Then I realize it's all in my head.

2 Don't complain about the choices you yourself made.

3 You've moved on when you just laugh about it now.

4 Struggle is there to remind us nothing comes easy.

5 Fries is good for the heart.

6 Love is when you still choose your partner after you met a more stunning one.

7 Life is never easy. It's a circus. Some rides give you great vibes. Some just give you goosebumps. But the whole experience is surely one hell of a memory to remember.

8 Marriage is when you decide to commit the rest of your life to that person you'd love to love over and over again.

9 Going to school is my best childhood memory. No responsibility. No commitments. Basically, no bills.

10 You are who you think you are. I think I'm Phoenix.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

3 Reasons Why You Should Pause Before You Speak

Most often than not, we let our emotions get the best of us - whether it be an air of excitement or a gast of anger.

Humans as we are, we get too giddy and overly excited to the point of divulging information we shouldn't be saying in the first place. Or we get so angry and vengeful in a conversation to the point of an unexpected outburst at the outset. Either condition, we end up sometimes regretting having spoken.

While it is good to share stories and ideas and vent issues and concerns, it is best to choose the proper way, time and venue to release all these. But if in an actual conversation, the talk begets an immediate reply, then inhale, exhale and pause a bit before you say another line.

Here are 3 reasons why:

1 For Coherence - You don't wanna end up mumbling. Organize first the thoughts in your head and ensure you will be talking sense and not just blabber around. Make sure what you'll be saying is indeed in connection with the topic. Know your points and know how to present them well.

2 Saving the Relationship - You don't have to be in a relationship to know that humans are social beings and in whatever place we're in, we may have a connection with any person we meet - citizen to citizen, brother to sister, teacher to student, colleague to colleague, customer to staff, passenger to driver, etc. You don't wanna destroy something that hasn't even started nor would you wanna destroy something existing for a long time.

3 Saving Yourself - At the end of it all, it's you who will benefit from taking a pause before you speak. Lucky if you emerge victorious after the talk but sadder than sad if you end up failing just because you insisted on letting your emotions get the best of you.

Really, the pause is for us to assess for a while if the situation really needs a piece of us - Are we the proper person to discuss this topic? Are we authorized to speak for the person? Is this a battle worth fighting? Should we stoop down to the level of this person?

Pausing actually gives us the time to analyze the situation and allows us to take matters at hand gracefully. I'm sure you don't wanna regret anything you believe your mind and heart seem to tell you at the moment.

Pause and take matters at hand, gracefully.

Friday, June 10, 2016

MUST WATCH: Code Geass

In the rank of one to Naruto or one to Sailormoon, I don't know where Code Geass is.

The first time I heard this, I was like, what? But to my own surprise, after having completed the series, I was like C-O-D-E G-E-A-S-S. Maybe I'd disappoint you with my review because you're an anime addict yourself. But nah, I believe in what I think about the series.

Code Geass is a Japanese anime, composed only of 2 seasons. Yep, 2 seasons and each with 25 episodes.

3 main characters (make it 4 for CC):

Lelouch Lamperouge - also Lelouch vi Brittania or Lulu is the 11th prince of the Holy Brittanian Empire. When in his normal school routine or everyday roundabouts, he presents himself as Lulu or Lelouch. But since receiving his geass, he disguises himself in his every appearance to people as "Zero".

Shirley Fenette - like every story, there is a love story. For Code Geass, it's Shirley Fenette. And like all other female animes, she's got this picturesque look of a lady matched with a bubbly personality. Shirley is also a member of the student council and the swimming club at Ashford Academy, where Lulu also studies.

Suzaku Kururugi - is Lulu's childhood friend, an Honorary Brittanian soldier and the son of Japan's last prime minister, Genbu Kururugi. Suzaku believes in fighting for the good, defending the people, and following the orders of his superiors. He is also the pilot of The Lancelot, a Knightmare Frame by Lloyd Asplund.

C2 - is from the Order of Geass. She was taken out from the research laboratories but was managed to be saved by Lelouch Lamperouge accidentally when he was at the site. C2 also known as the Immortal Witch, Pizza Girl, and Zero's mistress, among others is crucial to finding Lulu's long-sought answers.

Since the death of Lulu's mother, her sister Nunnally (6 years old then), who witnessed the death of their mother, suffered trauma leading to blindness and half-way down paralysis. Lulu somehow blames his father, Charles vi Brittania for Nunnally's disablement and the death of his mother, Marianne.

C2 holds a certain power of Geass. Geass refers to the certain supernatural ability originating from the Order of Geass. It may differ to each individual, depending on the person's inner desire and personality. When frequently used, the power of Geass increases and should the person lose control of himself, the power of Geass has the tendency to consume the person.

Suzaku being mighty and noble (and charming) became one of the Knights of the Round, the goal of which is eliminating Zero. Charming, I mean, noble that he is, Suzaku became the knight to Princess Euphemia, 3rd princess of the Brittanian Empire.

Lulu, in his quest to find answers for the death of his mother, finds the Island of the Geass. And there, his ultimate battle begins.

Please don't judge that I only love this anime because of Suzaku. I swear, he isn't the reason. You gotta believe me.

I mean, this?

Certainly not. Code Geass for me the best episodes put into 2 seasons. Good plot. Great series.

But I don't think you'd want me spoiling more of the anime series. So go, decode Code Geass!

Photo Credits:,Arthur+(CODE+GEASS)?p=3

Monday, June 6, 2016

Finding Ourselves

 #postLent #latepost

It’s again that time of the year when most people repent, reflect, and recreate their spirituality.

For most people, it’s the 3Rs. For others, it’s only the 2Rs: reflect and recreate. While some are in retreats and/or recollections, others are in Batanes, Camotes Island, Busuanga or Hinatuan – pretty much across the country (sometimes, across the globe). Wherever everyone may be, we all have one common goal: finding and reconnecting with ourselves.

A minimum once-a-year reflection and recreation is actually good for our hearts and souls. It allows not only our physical bodies to rest but our hearts, as well, to take a break, set aside sadness and disappointments, feel the summer breeze, enjoy the scenery, treasure the present and dream about the future.

Life is a constant turn of the wheel: a series of ups and downs and a mix of happy and sad. When we forget to pause or hit the breaks, we overspeed, drunk drive, cross one-way streets until we find ourselves at a dead-end, in the middle of who knows where.

In life, we need to take note of stoplights, road signs, and traffic enforcers.

When I was a kid until I graduated college, my family always had this Holy Week tradition of visiting places. No, we don’t do just the 2Rs. We do the 3Rs. We do processions, retreats, recollections and abstinence.

When I started working, I got lost twice. And it wasn’t just a bump in the road. It was more like a dead-end. I even asked God, “Where am I?

So come this season of Lent, let us pause, hit the break and do the 3Rs.

Let us spend Lent, away from the internet – most of all, away from our daily routine. Let us challenge ourselves to abstain from technology and commune with God and appreciate the beauty of God’s creations around. We may realize that for the longest time, we needed to be found. Now, is that time.

Have a Blessed Holy Week!

Friday, June 3, 2016

5 Steps To Overcome Depression

There could be tons of ways to overcome depression, or maybe just one. But I'm citing five.

Change the term to boredom. Negativities beget negativities. The more you say you are depressed, the more you will be depressed. And depression is such a heavy and gloomy term. So lighten things a bit by saying "I'm bored". Then try doing things you do to relieve your boredom.

Consult your friends. Before consulting doctors, psychologists and whoever medical and psychology practitioners, talk first with friends. The reason sometimes for depression is isolation. You are alone because you isolated and shut your doors from people who can actually be by your side through it all.

Think happy thoughts. Stop watching sad movies or listening to sad music, it will drag you down more. Play upbeat songs. Think of fun times and little things like bubbles, rainbows, Easter eggs, cotton candies, comics, or childish pranks.

 In as much as I want to cite this as the first way to overcome 'boredom', I believe people would least likely do this. Because the first thing I did, was escape. Then I ran back and accepted the fact. So for you, stop running away. Accept.

Choose to overcome it.
 Best-selling authors and random people could probably tell you 100 great ways to overcome 'boredom' but if you do not make that choice to overcome it, you will probably would never overcome it. So choose. Choose to let go and start over. Leave that trash behind, put it in a garbage can or burn them rather so you can see ashes and embers be blown away and never be seen again. (There’s no need for an actual trash bin. You just need to throw those thoughts away. Burn them in your mind or whatever.)

If there's only one tip to this, it would be: choose to overcome it.

(Origin: Change the term to boredom – Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Ricky John Goyeneche)

Sunday, May 29, 2016


 Not-your-ordinary fashion show, best explains the event held last May 24, 2016 at the Centrio AyalaMall Event Center.

SAY IT WITH FASHION, a fashion show hosted by Faith and Light Cagayan De Oro, aimed to raise awareness of down syndrome individuals to the community through a runway show featuring masterpieces of CDO's local designers and Mags Fashion Boutique. Assisting the kids were Faith and Light CDO volunteers and local models.

Faith and Light is an international non-profit organization founded by Jean Vanier and Marie-Hรฉlรจne Mathieu in 1971. The purpose of which is to assist individuals with learning disabilities. In Cagayan De Oro, Faith and Light Ministry was created by the St. Francis Xavier Church in Pueblo De Oro, with parish priest Msgr. Boy Salvador.

Every 3rd Sunday of the month, Faith and Light CDO holds various activities for the down-syndrome children. Among these activities were: icing decoration by Monster Kitchen, clay molding, rosary-making, and candle-decorating.

For the month of May, Faith and Light CDO core group decided to host a fashion show, with the help of Centrio Mall and the city’s local designers. The event was graced by Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J, D.D., and local designers who participated and sponsored the models’ formal wear were Gil Macaibay, Boogie Rivera, Benjie Manuel, Mark Magallanes, and Mark Yaranon, among others. The show was directed by Vince Arenas and attended by families, friends and random mall-goers.

It was a good opportunity for the Kagayanons to know the Faith and Light Community. And it was indeed, a great experience for our down-syndrome friends to have walked the runway like the celebrity models they see on tv and magazines.

Truly, it was an experience to remember!

Faith and Light CDO holds activities every 3rd Sunday of the month with each session uniquely themed. Regular sessions are facilitated by Connie Cabreira, Mae Jumangit, Aldrin Valdehueza, Malou Aquino, and Dra. Barba, among others.

To be part of the Faith and Light family, you may visit St. Francis Xavier Church every 3rd Sunday. The community is looking for volunteers to assist the kids, as well as the parents and guardians during the counselling sessions. You are welcome! J

Small, Big, and Big Big

Years back, there was a commercial ad about this. I can’t remember clearly, but I guess that was for a bubble gum. As a kid, my mom would always tell me about the power of small things – how I should pick up a peso or even a centavo on the ground, reminding me that a million peso wouldn’t add up to that if it weren’t for the few pesos.

Growing up, I’d see to it I appreciate the little things. My Dad would always tell me to start small - with my Kuya even having this idea of being a janitor first before being a top executive. I took that principle with me as I grew up. Although I dream big, I start acting with small things.

Small, Big, and Big Big. I’d like to always believe that before hitting big, all things start small. A sturdy tree started as seed. An old man started as an infant. A typhoon started as raindrops; an avalanche, snowdrops. A huge painting started with a few artistic sketches; a beautiful garden, few flowers.

I guess point being, is we never forget the small things. Small things make up the big, and the big big. A tiny act of negligence can result to bigger problems. A random gossip can turn into a mainstream controversy. A small group of tree planters can contribute big in the ecosystem.

We must bear in mind, that no matter how small our actions are, these can resonate a gazillion fold. Our negative vibes in the morning can ruin everybody else’s day. Our smile and laughter can probably be contagious to a whole lot of people. Our personal decision can probably impact the bigger community.

So remember: Small, Big, and Big Big. J

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


by the psycho wanderer
There will always be those times when we’ll have to part ways with friends and compel ourselves to move forward with our lives; that time when we’ll secretly shed tears for a friend leaving the city, or migrating abroad, or permanently residing in the skies.
For grade school/high school students, it’s the change of class section or school. For college graduates, it’s leaving the school or city for good. For yuppies, it’s leaving for greener pastures. For everyone, it’s that never ending cycle of sad goodbyes and sweet hellos.
So I ask myself sometimes, what is friendship?
As I browse through my Facebook feeds the infinite number of despedida pictures and new work photos, I realize that distance doesn’t change friendships. It actually transcends from domestic to international level of relationship. It means extending into global reach. The local city crib turns into an international hangout place.
So for you, what is friendship?
Friendship is like a second home/family that gives you a sense of belongingness, where you can be yourself with no reservations. – Karen Dandasan, 27, Richmond-British Columbia
Friendship is having that same frequency and having an understanding with nonverbal communication. – Lyka Yutuc, 26, Muntinlupa-PH
Friendship is being with a friend not just in times of bliss, but also in times of sorrow. – Burt Aurelio, 30, Las Piรฑas-PH
Friendship is like a ship, you will know who will stay when things get bad. – Jane Daquita, 25, Makati-PH
Friendship is being able to have a conversation with just one look. – Caressa Cabrera Nala, 27, Dubai-UAE
Friendship is “busy ka?” – hindi – “tara.” – Kaye Jumangit, 27, Cagayan De Oro-PH
Friendship is an expression of love that doesn’t turn bitter. – Shin Singson, 21, Cagayan De Oro-PH
Friendship is an unchanged connection won over time and distance. – Mika Comique, 27, Architect, Cagayan De Oro-PH
Friendship means being there for that person when the rest of the world walks out. – Nikki Gue, 25, Proprietor-Nikki’s Treats
Friendship is that family bond I chose and Spirit of God has guided me towards. – Ricky John, 27, NGO Relations Philippines
Friendship is laughing at someone so hard when they are down, then you do all you can to pick them up, and then laugh again so hard. – Jheyz Saljob, 28, Bulacan-PH
Friendship is that intangible string that binds you with the people you want to be with along with life’s journey. – Macky Acorda, 27, Co-Founder,
Friendship is like having a mother who will scold you, a father who will defend you, an elder sibling who will bully you, and a younger sibling who will be clingy. – Mark Raphael Ferraris Justiniano, 27, Cebu-PH
For me, friendship is:
Photo taken years back. “Nice” travelled from Singapore to PH after she learned of an emergency back home. Friends met Nice at NAIA 3 to accompany her wait for her trip to Cagayan De Oro on the same day she travelled to PH. This happened on a weekday and one friend just messaged everyone to meet at NAIA 3.
The meaning of friendship differs from one person to another. It’s basically subjective. That’s why sometimes we wonder why some of our frenemies have real-life friends. It’s because they share the same interests and sometimes the same stories. We cannot ask someone to not be friends with a particular person, because a real friend sees right through. You may not see one person as a friend but others may have.
Friendship is a second home. It’s a second family. It’s that place where we want to be all day and night aside from our families and lifetime partners. Real friends inspire us. Real friends confront us. Real friends help us move forward with our lives. And when we’re too stubborn to move forward, they understand us and sometimes just let us be.
Some friends leave us. Some friends stay. But those that leave us are just always there. Sometimes, they’re with us like guardian angels. Sometimes they’re just going through something that’s why they’re at a distant. Sometimes they choose to be with themselves for a while and we just wait until when they’re ready. We communicate through our hearts and spirits. That’s why most of the answers I guess referred to comfortable silence and sense of belongingness.

It’s all about being friends with like-minded dreamers. It’s being comfortable with ourselves in their presence. It’s being able to speak without talking, cry without bawling, and love without saying. It’s being who we are without being judged. It’s being us without being questioned.
There will always be differences and petty fights. But at the end of the day, the friendship remains. So, the next time a friend goes somewhere, think of it as a new hangout place. When a friend says goodbye, you reply with: Yes! Roadtrips! New hangout!, or guardian angels.
In GOOD-byes, we don’t really part ways, we just move into other places.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Life of Richie

by: The Psycho Wanderer

No, I’m not that envious. But yes, I haven’t been to places in as much as other people have – in as much as (itago natin sa pangalang) “Richie”, a friend of mine had.
I could probably term him “Richie Rich” – that kid who could afford almost everything. He’s my age yet he’s travelled the world. Yes, not just the Philippines, but probably a significant percentage of the globe.
He used to be our job hopper high school classmate (he’s batch salutatorian by the way) until he settled with one manufacturing company. I guess he found his soul there, or at least tried to make things work (like in a relationship).
In any one’s life, one will have that one Richie friend – that person one will get envious of for all his achievements, travels, successes and even just plain gadgets; that person one will always look up to and ask during ‘me’ time, how does he do that? Or geez, why can I just not be like him?
Sometimes we dwell too much with the life of Richie – forgetting we have bountiful blessings in our lives to also be so much thankful for: family, friends, a simple yet happy career, a sometimes confusing yet going strong lovelife, a blissful home and a healthy body. We forget that behind our unattained dreams and yet aspirations are blessings bestowed upon us and
our families without us even asking. The life of Richie is just one in a million, so 999,999 of the population is going through the same things we do.
The life of Richie in tumbler, photobucket and instagram photos are everything we would have ever wanted for ourselves, but never got the chance (well at least, not yet). Richie has travelled almost every island in the Philippines. He has travelled A-Z places in the Philippines – some of which: Albay-Bicol, Bacolod, Baguio, Balesin Island, Basco-Batanes, Benguet, Boracay, Bukidnon, Cagayan De Oro, Calaguas, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, Dipolog, Iligan, Ilocos, Iloilo, Masbate, Metro Manila, Misibis Bay, Negros Oriental, Oslob-Cebu, Pagudpod, Palawan, Pampanga, Sagada, Tagaytay, Vigan and Zambales. He is diverse in his travels: climbing mountains, swimming oceans, celebrating festivals, appreciating plays and musicals, loitering at small-time gigs, partying at posh bars, visiting art museums and a lot more. And there are also his international travels: Australia, California, Cambodia, Canada, China, Delaware, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Korea, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Maryland, Myanmar, New York, Paris-France, Philadelphia, Scotland, Singapore, Venice, Vietnam and Washington, among others.
Nope, he isn’t a businessman nor a son of a business tycoon. He is a 27-year-old who is working in the Philippines and knows how to live life. He is our epitome of a YOLO, a forever young, a Carpe Diem, a make the best out of your life, a worklife balance – basically, it’s the life of Richie that we want for ourselves. Browsing through Richie’s photos and photos of airport pre-departure area, exotic beaches, unknown ruins and temples, legendary landmarks and famous tourist destinations make us dream for ourselves. Actually, we spend a lot of time contemplating more on Richie’s life than ours (well, I do. รผ). We focus on what we don’t have rather than cherish what we have.
A presiding priest in one of the Sunday masses at Greenbelt Chapel, Makati once said “count your blessings, not what’s missing.” So today and forward, why don’t we start being grateful for the things and people in our lives? Why don’t we look deeply and realize that we may have more than what Richie has; that there’s more to our lives than what we think as seemingly boring and no-adventure kind of lives? Why don’t we start thanking Him for the everyday life, for the daily blessings, for the beautiful surprises, the enriching challenges, the victorious successes, the unexpected disappointments, the unwanted sorrows, the peaceful bliss, the wealthy health, the simple joys and the contagious laughters?
Let us treasure the now and move forward to the future – no more self-pity and inferiorities. And with our wholehearted appreciation of our lives, choose and begin to be Richie – living the dream; living the life. We must learn that everything in life is a choice. We can do everything Richie did. We can travel the world, buy fancy clothes, party until forever and seize everyday of our lives. What we need to do is earn and save – earn courage and confidence and save for the now and the future, wait for the seat sale – wait for the right time; gauge for the right season and plan for the future, book the tickets make use of that courage and confidence and start walking the talk, pack our pretty travel bags and travel the world experience the fun, excitement and adventure we’ve always wanted for ourselves. Let’s live and enjoy, the beauty of LIFE.
See you around the globe Richies!

Earth Day Everyday

The first Earth Day movement by happened in 1970. Forty six years later, it announced April 22, 2016 as this year’s Earth Day. But as they say, this is more than just a single day.

Earth Day Everyday was the message conveyed by the Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro City (ACDO) - Ecology Ministry last April 17, 2016 (Sunday) at Centrio Ayala Garden. The event was named “HARANA para kay INA”, an acoustic jam for Mother Earth.

This was graced by numerous indie bands: Grupong Laya, Memoronnie, Cookies and Cream, Estilo, Escapo, But Karma Kills, Bloodflowers, Northern Sparks, Bombo Radyo Jasaan Rondalla, 4th ID Band, Rage of Laura and Glennfalse & Thony. It also featured CDO Archidocese’s Ecology Musicians: Zee, The Right Stop, Dodu Abrio and Ding Cabreira.

Harana Para Kay Ina was a fusion of original compositions by several indie bands and unique renditions of popular songs like Lion King’s Circle of Life and Pocahontas’ Colors of the Wind. The event also included a performance of Malvina Reynolds’ song, “What Have They Done To The Rain?” by St. Francis Xavier Church Social Action Committee Head, Mr. Natz Jumangit and ACDO Ecology Musician, Mr. Ding Cabrera. The acoustic jam was concluded with all the bands singing the song, “Kapayapaan” by Tropical Depression.

To remind the people of our role in our environment, Mr. Ding Cabreira asked the audience to pick up the trash seen at the event area. He even left us with the words, “Basura ko, Ibulsa Ko.”, a movement inviting people to be mindful of their trash even candy wrappers that certainly go a long way destroying sea animals.

On April 21-24, 2016, tribute to Mother Earth continued as the Luna Musikalawaig Full Moon Festival was held at the Ki Bathala Gardens in Talakag, Bukidnon. It was graced by various musicians and artists: Joe D’ Farmer, Lost Tribe, Kamaggong, SinoSiKat, Emann Vibration, Jericho Vamenta, Spy, among others, with Rafael Kiefer, President of Professional Models Association of the Philippines, as one of the organizers. The tribal gathering was on its 5th year since it started 2011.

The Summer Peace Festival was not just one night, but three nights of expression of love for art and music dedicated to Mother Earth. It was a way to commune with nature whilst being away from the convenience of technology and the internet world, to be specific.

To get to the venue, shuttles were provided and a camping site at the gardens was made available to those attending the gathering. It was nights of soulful music and speaking with the gardens and the river.

Meanwhile, in the north, a beach cleanup activity in partnership with Gawad Kalinga was hosted by O’Tara at Baler, Aurora. O’Tara is a non-profit organization with numerous advocacies like arts and nature. Last February 2016, O’Tara brought scholars of Smokey Mountain to an art tour at Angono, Rizal. Its latest advocacy is coined #advocaSEA for cleaning up Baler.

To sum it up, we can all take part in being stewards of Mother Earth. We can do simple acts of saving nature by throwing our garbage in the assigned waste cans and yes, cigarette butts in their supposed places. Human population is growing fast while trees and rivers continue to deteriorate as a consequence of our actions. We are so much into industrialization and constructing commercial buildings, we forget that every tree we cut, or every mountain we flatten is a pollution we impart with Mother Earth.

Let the passion for Mother Earth of the Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro-Ecology Ministry, Musikalawaig Organizers and O’Tara be our guide to our personal advocacy in saving our world. There will be no use getting all the money we can from stock market or our rising business if the world we live in will just vanish. We will vanish along with the extinction of Mother Earth – no more food to eat, no more water to drink.

We make the world with our actions of negligence and self-centeredness. Let us try to be selfless and think of all the people living in this world, the future of the next generations, the cute pandas, the beautiful flowers, the relaxing rivers, and the innocent infants.

Indeed, everyday should be earth day.

(Photo credits to David Roa, Kim Alcantara and Yam Otarra.)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Under A Pen Name

Why do I feel like writing under a pen name? Well, basically, not for the thrill. It's for the paranoia. *chuckles

If you noticed, there are also fictional characters for Facebook accounts. Why? Well, I'd like to think they are as paranoid as me.

I love the thought of people not knowing me. It gives me the freedom and comfort of writing just about anything - sometimes to the point of just blabbering. It gives me a dose of happiness that my write-ups are read by people I barely know and I'm not being judged by my opinions, because after all, I am entitled to opinion in as much as anyone is.

2013, I decided to create this blog and dreamt to write anything under the sun. Afraid of being judged by people, I thought to choose a pen name. Random pinay. Well, truly, I am one random Pinay. You go to the Philippines and ask around my name, people will go "er, sorry, who?", or "Pasenya na po. Hindi ko po sya kilala".

Basically, I am no one. Like my first ever post in this blog, I am no "It" girl and three years later, gaaaah, nothing changed. ๐Ÿ˜‚
(For a second, I got alarmed that nothing changed. Lol) I am the same person who started this blog, went dormant then active again. Well, probably, a little stronger and bolder.

Life taught me that when you go out naked (not literally), there are only two things that will happen: people will either accept you or judge you. Every person goes through mess and I don't understand, but people, they sense happiness and carefree aura and they just..knock you off. Sometimes, you bear them and say, whatever. But sometimes, you get weakened and they get through you and you just.... fall.

So yeah, I have fears. Haha fear of rejection, fear of..basically, rejection. Who wants to be rejected anyway? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜„ So I pour my soul into this blog and I just feel so alive under my pen name.

And I guess, people really don't care who's under the pen name. Because once people do, they start reading behind the articles, they start connecting it with personal life, values, etc. I just want them to read a book without knowing the life of the author, like when we read Harry Potter or LOTR or MockingJay - we just care about the book.

So I'm writing under a pen name, not to sound overly dramatic but to compensate my overly paranoid being. I write under a pen name, maybe because, ok fine, maybe I'm thinking big in the future - like this will get mainstream and people would want to know who's under the pen name. But hopefully, by that time, people won't judge me because they've read so much and they'd think I'm worthy of a pen name.

Or maybe I'm just really paranoid. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜„ Whatever it is, I'm sticking with the pen name. ๐Ÿ˜‰