Monthly Archives: October, 2016

On finding your niche




Hehehe ūüėÄ

Drawn by Manix Abrera for Chippy.


Looking forward to The Dawn’s 30th Anniv at the Music Museum

I’m excited for this!


So I bought these, two tickets to the concert!


The other ticket is a gift for my friend who is about to get married this December.¬† I won’t be able to come to the wedding so I’m treating her to the concert.

She, too, is quite excited.

And this is me. It’s no longer just hoping and wishing, I have it in my hands now!


See you The Dawn!

The brain




It’s not when somebody says I’m pretty.¬† Or beautiful.¬† Or cute.

When I was a little girl, I wasn’t pretty.¬† Beautiful.¬† Or cute.¬† So I’m quite used to people not appreciating my looks.¬† Come high school, that’s when I started getting comments that I’m pretty.¬† Beautiful.¬† Or cute.¬† Beauty is subjective, there is no one standard for beauty.¬† So even if nobody told me that I’m pretty, beautiful, or cute,¬† I see myself as someone who is pretty, who is beautiful, who is cute.

To me, the best compliment of all is when I’m complimented for something that I did.¬† My first ever compliment I ever received as a child was from my Nanay who told another person that I am masunurin or obedient.

A terror boss who, after I filed for resignation, offered me a better job in another company of his.¬† Which I had to decline, of course.¬† That’s a compliment that I really can’t forget.

Or a cold young boss who was deeply sad that I’m leaving him for good (I attempted to resign three times, and the third time was final), and I learned about this because his Dad told me.¬† This was sixteen years ago and I really could not forget this!¬† (To the bosses out there, if you appreciate your employees, the way they do their work, please show it.)

A collenemy who gave a thumbs up sign and a sincerest smile I’ve ever seen from that person’s face after I made a recap during a seminar/workshop, now that’s one compliment that I will always remember.

A colleague who told me that he thought he saw a different person when he saw me dance during a group presentation, or my palaasar close acquaintances who were pleasantly surprised with my dancing skills, who thought I was shy but then I was out there strutting my stuff¬† (I’m not a dancer, I just enjoyed the moment, I practiced even in the wee hours of the morning), those are compliments that I treasure.

I also won’t forget this:¬† resource persons who appreciated big time that smallest thing that I did for them, who then praised me in front of my bosses!¬† I really didn’t expect that but thank you!

October 21, 2016, Friday, while I was on sick leave, I again received a wonderful gift.¬† It’s when somebody I look up to dropped a comment to my FB post:



Thank you, Severo Catura (or sir Nonoy), for the kind words. Huge deal, so I posted this in my blog to remember this always when I’m down (new FB posts will bury old posts and can be forgotten).¬† It feels good that somebody like him appreciates my love for writing.

Severo Catura, or sir Nonoy, is one of those people that I admire from afar since I entered government service. I only see him during important occasions, whenever there are meetings, conferences and one time, during a conference, I had that rare chance of taking my lunch on the same table with him, together with another colleague and newly met acquaintances.¬† And he’s a funny guy.¬† He can tell a sad story that would break your heart then next thing you know you’re laughing.¬† He’s that kind of guy.¬† I don’t know about his bad sides, well, we all have bad sides, but one thing is for sure:¬† I admire sir Nonoy for his sincerity, articulateness, and intelligence, and most of all, his being humble.¬† Also, I’m a fan of his occasional writings and musings in FB.

Working in the government can be frustrating at times, can make you lose hope but knowing that there is somebody like Severo Catura serving our government, the public, it reminds me of my purpose as well. It reminds me that having people like him in government, there is STILL hope.


Interschool debates on human rights issues

“Same sex marriage is now ripe for legislation.”
“Human rights must prevail over national security.”

Above are the topics that were debated upon during yesterday’s interschool debate, CHR Cup, in partnership with Ateneo Law School’s St. Thomas More Debate and Advocacy Society, held at Ateneo Professional School in Rockwell. And these are the vibrant law students from UP, UST, PUP, San Beda- Mendiola, and San Beda- Alabang who competed to outwit, outdo, and outlast the other.


Incidentally, and I felt happy about it, one of the first competing teams that I really sat through to listen became the winner, that’s San Beda- Mendiola. (Debates were simultaneously happening in different rooms.)

San Beda- Mendiola law students will compete with Ateneo law students on November 5 at CHR compound. And I’m so excited.

One observation, though: Debaters should speak in normal pacing. The problem with speaking so fast is that good communication is being compromised. On the other hand, I am guessing this can be a tactic to put obstacle to opponent’s listening comprehension and to not pick up info to rebut. When I brought this up with two of the gentlemen/adjudicators from Ateneo, they agree with me, that one should speak in normal pacing but perhaps because of their training in debate–which is to speak fast to deliver all your arguments within the 7 minutes limit–the burden is passed on to the audience to catch up on their fast train of thoughts.

Diamond in the mud

Let them judge you.
Let them misunderstand you.
Let them gossip about you.
Their opinions aren’t your problem.
You stay kind, committed to love, and free in your authenticity.
No matter what they do or say, don’t you dare doubt your worth.
Or the beauty of your truth.
Just keep on shining like you do.

~Author Unknown


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~Max Ehrmann

Robert Greene

I read Robert Greene’s books.¬† I have read “The 48 Laws of Power,” “Art of Seduction,” and the “33 Strategies of War” and they’re all courtesy of my kuya Edgar who one day sent copies from the U.S through a package containing also other things. I think these three books by Robert Greene contributed in helping me move out from my comfort zone.¬† And I think Robert Greene is not pretending to be a know-it-all either.¬† In fact, based on my experience, reading Robert Greene’s books feels like reading history books, not the information type of history books but the novel kind, where there’s blood, violence, lust, and stories of our forefathers’ failures and triumphs that we could learn from.¬† His books¬† didn’t exist to impose on what to do and we don’t think anymore, but just simply as guides in dealing with interpersonal relations and wars, even on matters of the heart and understanding the psychology of love and relationships.¬† I admire Robert Greene for his fortitude and perseverance and sincerity in finishing all these books. Like music, Robert Greene’s books have helped me survive some of my personal tribulations.

Just like his books, Robert Greene is also interesting and engaging during interviews and lectures.¬† Words of wisdom on how to deal with life generally which he gathered from his painful¬† research of our history, and based on his own experiences that he would share with people who’d care to listen, who’d like to improve their lives.¬† Words of wisdom which aren’t exactly secrets or new inventions of this world, they’re already there but what we oftentimes forget, the older ones, and sort of a warning to the reckless young ones.¬† Here’s a few of those inspiring words of wisdom I picked from Robert Greene courtesy of YouTube.

On boredom:

“Pain is great.¬† Pain is pleasure.¬† Like exercising, it hurts.¬† But it leads to something good.¬† Boredom is not bad.¬† If there is no resistance to you, you’re not gonna go anywhere in life.¬† Who are the most messed up people in the world?¬† Spoiled kids.¬† Kids who were given everything.¬† So there are no limits, no resistance.¬† They don’t have to push against anything.”

On success:

“When we have to do something, we have to work three times harder.¬† You gotta work thrice as hard.”

“You have to put yourself on death ground on purpose.¬† That’s the trick in life.”

“Superiority takes grit.¬† Persistence.¬† Not settling for anything mediocre.¬† Meritocracy is not about going to Yale.¬† It’s about you.”

“There is no correlation between where people went to university and their success.¬† There is zero correlation.¬† Whether you went to Yale or you went to Dallas Community College, there is equal chance that you will be successful. ~A quote from Paul Graham”

“When you are motivated, when you feel yourself emotionally engaged in the subject, you learn faster.”

On self-awareness, dealing with insecurities:

“Each person is born unique.¬† One of a kind.¬† There’s something weird about you.¬† There can be bad but there can also be really good.¬† And you’re not minding that weirdness.¬† You’re letting it go.¬† You’re not becoming a copy of other people.¬† And if you take a step back, embrace what makes you different.”

On dealing with failures:

“Having a goal will change you completely.¬† From being depressed to being energized and moving in the right direction.”

“Failure in life is not realizing your potential.”

On dealing with the humdrum of work:

“Transform yourself through your work.

“I know this runs counter to our prevailing prejudices:¬† Work is too ugly, too boring, too bane.¬† Self-transformation we think comes through a spiritual journey, therapy, a guru who tells us what to do, intense group experiences, and social experiences, and drugs.¬†¬† But most of these are ways of running away from ourselves, relieving our chronic boredom.¬† They’re not connected to the process.¬† So any chances that occur don’t lasts instead, through our work, we can actually connect to who we are instead of running away.¬† And by entering that slow, organic process, we can actually change ourselves from the inside out in the way that it’s very real and very lasting.

“This process involves a journey of self-discovery that can be seen as quite spiritual if you like.¬† And by the end of this process, we contribute something unique and meaningful to our culture through our work which is hardly ugly, boring, or bane.”

On dealing with bullies:

“You’re constantly surrounded by fools.¬† And maybe you’re a bit of a fool.¬† And what you need to do is you need to put up with bullies, laugh at them, and not take them seriously.¬† That’s the wisdom in the Bible.¬† But somehow it got turned around in modern times where it seems to be a virtue where you don’t suffer fools gladly, that you don’t put up with them, that you get angry with them, you confront them, you try to change them and on and on and on.¬† You’re not gonna be a master in this world if you don’t know how to get along with people.¬† You can’t just be the nerd, the tech guy, there’s no contact with people.¬† You have to learn how to deal with people.¬† Be socially intelligent and it’s a beautiful form of intelligence.¬† And one of the aspects is to learn how to suffer fools gladly.

“And I tell you what I think of a fool is.

“A fool is somebody that doesn’t have the right kind of sense of priorities.¬† They magnify the little that we should just not worry about.¬† There’s a huge dramatic thing.¬† They have no sense of proportion and we encounter them everyday in our lives and, in fact, we encounter a little bit of them in ourselves.¬† We all have a foolish side.

“So let’s all be patient with fools.¬† If you try to change them or right them, you’re only gonna waste a valuable time and energy in your short life.

“Learn to laugh at them.¬† Learn to know that it’s part of the human comedy, and I find that’s gonna save you energy in the end.¬† And I had stories of how not only do you suffer fools gladly but you turn it around to an advantage.”

Spoken song that everyone should listen to

Saw this years back when somebody posted this in Multiply which is now dead, Multiply is dead, sadly. And I stumbled upon this again in Google after typing some key words not connected to this song, a spoken song actually by Baz Luhrmann.¬† It suddenly brought back a certain moment, when I was sitting in front of my computer, in a cubicle from one of this offices I’ve worked in, and seeing the faces again of my former colleagues and students I’ve met there.¬† In short, because this is inspiring and I like it so much, I am posting here both the video and the lyrics.

Baz Luhrmann – Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99
Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked

You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future or worry that know that worrying
Is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation
By chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
That never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive
Forget the insults, if you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you wanna do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22
What they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium, be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own, dance
Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get, the more you need the people
You knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft


Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you, too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen