Monthly Archives: October, 2012

kokology, the game of self-discovery (Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito)

It is so easy to be opinionated about other people’s behavior.  In fact, it is effortless to judge other people.  We can talk in litany about the things that we don’t like about a new kid in the office, a new member in a group, or someone you just met.  But what if we turn the tables around and you yourself take the time to criticize yourself.  It’s difficult, isn’t it?

I remember the time when we had this out-of-town company teambuilding and our facilitator asked us to write down in our metacards our good and bad qualities as a friend and as a coworker.  Many of us took a long time which words to choose to describe ourselves in four words.  I even got annoyed with a coworker/friend, an old lady, who depended her answer to me by asking, “What do you think is my bad attitude as a friend?” See what I mean?  We are so confident finding faults in other people, but to find faults within ourselves we cannot think of anything.  Have we taken the time to do some self-examination ourselves?

Taking psychological exams can be uncomfortable to some people.  I’d like to think that job interviews are another form of a psychological exam except that it is done verbally.  Here, the interviewer will observe and judge the applicant’s communication skills and also his/her mental and emotional state based on how he/she answers the questions.  In a few minutes to an hour or so, the interviewer will size up the applicant’s answer and try to discern if he/she replied to every question with all honesty.  The applicant or the interviewee’s job, on the other hand, is just to answer the questions in a smart, professional way.  Here, the applicant will be forced to do a self-examination while answering some of the questions.  And this can be emotionally draining afterwards.

But here comes a book called Kokology, a Japanese psychological quiz game, a less scary way of self-examination (thanks to Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito).  I had fun reading and taking all the quizzes which gave me the opportunity to get to know myself more, particularly my hidden characteristics when it comes to desires, longings, dealing with stress and life, relationships and sex! I highly recommend this book.  In fact, I lent this already to my younger brother who also enjoyed and laughed hilariously with the results, also I lent this to my female friend who is now enjoying it, and will be lending it to a male friend who is excited to take the quizzes.

Warning:  Kokology can only be effective (and fun!) if the reader/participant is honest about himself.  There is no right or wrong answer here.

Here’s a sample, a quiz that the authors titled as “You’re Only Human”:

“I can’t believe it!  How could I do something so stupid?” We have all too many chances to say those words.  Burned toast, coffee stains on paperwork, sleeping through the alarm clock, stubbed toes, missed exits – it’s human nature to goof up once in a while.  Nobody’s perfect, and each of us proves that every day.  Keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to laugh at other people’s careless mistakes.  After all, you never know when it’ll be your turn to wear mismatched socks to work.

You’re walking down the street, thinking of other things, when you stumble into a garbage can on the sidewalk and knock it over.  What comes spilling out from under the lid?

  1. Nothing comes out—the can was empty.
  2. A pile of loose trash spills out onto the street.
  3. Apple cores, chicken bones, and other raw garbage.
  4. A well-tied black plastic garbage bag.

(I answered no. 3)

Key to You’re Only Human

In your carelessness you overturned a garbage bag, dumping out something that had been neatly shut away and exposing it for all the world to see.  Your image of the can’s contents reveals things inside you that you try to hide from public view.

1. Nothing comes out—the can was empty.

People who gave this answer tend to live their lives without making displays or false pretenses.  What you see is what you get.  It’s this simple honesty that gives them their charm.

2.  A pile of loose trash spills out onto the street.

Those of you who said the can was full of loose trash may seem to be straightforward and forthright to others but actually have a pile of unexpressed feelings locked up within.  You may notice these feelings only as a general sense of frustration, but when you think about it, aren’t there places where you’ve been holding back from saying the things you really feel?

3.  Apple cores, chicken bones, and other raw garbage.

People who imagined a pile of kitchen waste are suppressing their appetites and the natural desire for food.  Maybe you’re on (or just avoiding) a diet.  Or trying to save money by cutting back on eating expenses.  Whatever the case, it’s taking its toll on you.  There’s no need to overdo it, but it might do you good to spend a well-earned night out at a restaurant with friends.

(I answered no. 3.  This is so true!)

4. A well-tied black plastic garbage bag.

People who saw a neatly tied garbage bag have a strong sense of self-control.  Maybe too strong.  You hate to show weakness or make complaints—your pride won’t allow it.  But letting others know how you really feel is no sign of weakness.  Loosen up the drawstrings and let in some air before all that garbage goes bad and starts to smell.


“the middle” by jimmy eat world

First heard this song back in 2004, at my then favorite FM station Jam 88.3. One of those best songs that I listen to to inspire myself, especially when I am in the middle of any existential dilemmas or any chaotic situation.  Truly, without music, life is a journey through a desert.

I originally wanted to post the music video of the song, where the band is there performing it, but I didn’t like how the video was done.  For the music video and the song do not match each other, just filled with trash and useless details that got no connection to the song.

And then I saw this video of a guy displaying his prowess in drum playing.  Just love the execution!  He didn’t distract me in listening to the lyrics of  “The Middle”, in fact, it added more impact to the song, a song that I find one of the best songs ever written for humankind!  Okay, I’m exaggerating here but I hope you got my point.

If I were to become a musician, I wanna be a drummer just like this guy in this video playing his drums to the tune of my favorite song,  Jimmy Eat Worlds’ The Middle.


“We read to know that we are not alone.” ~ William Nicholson

a taste of heaven

I have this favorite dining place which I discovered last June in my favorite mall, my mall, the Robinsons Galleria.  It’s called La Creperie.  They have the best crepes in the whole wide world!

So far, what I’ve tried are Mango Hazelnut au Chocolat and Choco Fudge Brownie Crepe.  I already brought my older sister there twice, my treat, and how she loves the crepes!  When my younger brother celebrated his 31st birthday last August 9 and I promised him that I will bring him and Tatay to Ortigas so we could dine in La Creperie and since I changed my mind the last minute to save us gas in going there, I instead gave him a P200.  We are grownups but we remained kids at heart whenever we are at home and I was happy to see my brother turned into an overgrown preschooler who was delighted receiving money from me as a gift.  He had heard the rave reviews from me and our older sister regarding this small fine dining restaurant called La Creperie.

Amid all the bullshit and what-the-fuck moments in life, dining in La Creperie takes away all the discomfort and heartaches even though it is only temporary.  I pity those drug addicts who would take prohibited drugs to get a certain kind of “high” in their already depressing condition.   I pity those people who are wasting their time away with useless activities, partying every night, abusing their bodies to forget their problems.  Yes, life is hard.  Yes, problems and trials are never-ending.  But when you think about it, there is always a way to make our life better, to still feel positive despite the unpleasantness and ugliness of this world.  And for me, one of my ways to feel good in this thing called life is going to La Creperie with my sister, or most of the time, just by myself.

Here is my super favorite Mango Hazelnut au Chocolat. 

“The best way to cheer …

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

– Mark Twain

Makes sense =)

the perks of being a wallflower

It was just an accident.  Me and my older sister were just strolling in a mall searching for a special restaurant where we could have our dinner (my treat) that night when we passed by the cinema area.  Then I saw this huge movie poster entitled “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and first I’ve noticed in the picture was Emma Watson, from the movie Harry Potter series. She’s all grown up now, so pretty, and she’s beside a cute boy and how I loved the movie poster which included some profound lines uttered in the movie like:

“If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it, too.”

I love this quote.  The one that sparked my curiosity to one day see this in a theatre.

The movie was still “Next Attraction” so I swore that once it is shown, I will watch it.  The movie is based on a critically-acclaimed novel of the same title by Stephen Chbosky so I decided to check out its written version first before I see the movie, while it was not yet being shown.

I won’t deny it, the book made me cry.  There’s just a part in the story where it really dredge up the sorrow that I’ve been feeling for somebody that I thought was a friend, and I just cried. I never thought the hurt is that deep until I cried.  There is a happy, touching part in the story which reminded me of the opposite that happened to me and this other person. I thought I have no issue about that past incident.  I thought they would go away if I ignore them.  They didn’t.  Because I saw myself that day crying about it.  It was a release of some sort.

So when I saw its beautiful movie trailer on TV, I got so excited.  I watched it last Saturday.  It was nice but it underwent too much editing and little changes in the storyline because a lot of stuff in the book aren’t uttered or included in the movie for the sake of brevity.  As a result, the movie became the wholesome version of the book which was a little disappointing.  But the good vibes were there.  The movie was good.  But the book is better.

“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a story about growing up and facing one’s insecurities.  It’s also a story of a boy who forces himself to “participate” in life instead of being a detached observer of life’s happenings.

Here is the movie trailer.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

mga aral na aking natutunan

Hindi mo kailangan maging abogado para magkaroon ka ng confidence na depensahan ang sarili mo.  Kung alam mong nasa katwiran ka, magsalita ka, sabihin mo ang side mo, ipakita mo ang nararamdaman mo.  Kung kailangan mong sumigaw, sumigaw ka.  Pero wag na wag kang magmumura sa harap ng taong galit ka.

Gusto mong maging mahusay na writer, o singer, o photographer? Eh di mag-aral ka, magsanay ka para maging mahusay ka sa napili mong gawain.  Walang magaling dyan na nag-umpisang magaling.  Uulitin ko, walang magaling dyan na kaagad-agad ay saksakan na ng galing.  Nagsimula muna sila sa wala.  Nangagapa pa pero ang lakas ng loob nandoon.  Ako, paborito kong hobby ang magsulat.  Sa umpisa’y may mali-mali pa sa grammar, sa umpisa’y medyo “hideous” ang pagkaka-construct ng sentences, pero sa paglipas ng panahon unti-unti na din akong nag-iimprove.  Sana mas maging mahusay pa ako.

Wag ka masyado magpapaniwala sa mga tinatawag na “expert” o mga taong may mataas na pinag-aralan kumpara sa ‘yo.  Minsan, makinig ka naman sa taong hindi edukado o hindi man lang nakatapos pero madaming karanasan at aral na natutunan.  Minsan, mas makabuluhan pa ang sinasabi nila kaysa sa sinasabi ng mga “experts” dyan na puro theories lang.  Kung sinabi ni former President Gloria Arroyo (nag-aral abroad, isang ekonomista) noon na nag-improve na ang education system dito sa Pilipinas based on reports and statistics, sus, wag ka maniwala agad.  Kahit di ka tumingin sa statistics, tingnan mo lang ang paligid mo malalaman mo na ang sagot.  Pumunta ka sa isang State U.  Makikita mo bulok pa din ang facilities, kulang-kulang pa din ang mga classroom. Kahabag-habag ang sweldo ng mga teacher.

Wag ka makinig sa sinasabi ng iba na wala namang kwenta.  Eh ano ngayon kung single ka pa din, walang boyfriend o asawa?  Just let it slide.  Mahirap dahil instinctively parang gusto mong suntukin yung mga pangit nilang mukha pero pilitin mong mag-control at pagtawanan na lang sila.   Kung sa tingin mong mananahimik lang sila kapag nagkaroon ka na ng boyfriend o girlfriend o asawa, nagkakamali ka.  Dahil kahit may boyfriend o girlfriend  ka na, pupunahin nila sa ‘yo kung kailan naman kayo magpapakasal.  ‘Pag nagpakasal na kayo, pupunahin nila sa ‘yo bakit wala pa kayong anak.  Kapag nagka-anak na kayo, pupunahin nila sa ‘yo kung kailan nyo susundan yung panganay nyong anak.  Neverending ang pagpuna ng tao sa ‘yo lalong-lalo na sa personal mong buhay.  Stop being a people-pleaser.  Sundin mo na lang kung ano ang gusto mo gawin sa buhay mo kahit ano pa ang sabihin ng iba.

Kaya tayo nabubuhay dahil naniniwala ako na may kanya-kanya tayong misyon.  Ang problema mawawala lang ‘pag nalagutan na tayo ng hininga kaya kung palagi ka na lang sumusunod sa agos, sa kung ano ang popular at magiging admirable sa ibang tao, wala kang fulfillment na makukuha dyan.  Sinasayang mo lang ang panahon mo. May kanya-kanyang standards ang bawat tao, may iba-ibang pagtingin sa success.  Kung ibabase mo na lang sa ibang standards ng tao ang mga desisyon mo, sigurado ako na di ka magiging masaya. Wala kang pinagkaiba sa isang robot na hindi nag-iisip, hindi marunong makiramdam.  Magkaroon ka naman ng sarili mong standards, buhay mo yan eh.

May natatago kang galing kahit saang kolehiyo ka man grumadweyt, kahit saan ka man nanggaling.  Eh ano ngayon kung hindi ka graduate sa top reputable schools? Hindi ibig sabihin nyan, hahayaan mo na lang alipinin ka at tapak-tapakan ng mapag-abusong employer dahil ba mayaman sila, mas may pera sila, dahil mga kapitalista sila.  May diploma ka, susi mo yan sa kalayaan at karapatang mabuhay ng matino at nirerespeto.  Pinaghirapan mo yan kapalit ng dugo, luha, at pawis na ibinuhos mo.  Hindi ka basta-basta.

Written during All Soul’s Day, November 2, 2011