Category Archives: Books

Malapit na, Unggoy: Mga Modernong Pabula Para sa Henerasyong Milenyal (Ramon Bautista | Guhit ni Ryan Sandagon)

IMG_1066Di ko sya na-appreciate, haha, mahina impact siguro kasi pang-Milenyal daw kasi sya.  Pero itong libro, sa tingin ko, may purpose pa rin sa buhay ko like siguro ‘pag nabadtrip ako, isa ito sa magiging outlet ko: kukulayan ko na lang yung mga drawing kaya dadalhin ko ito sa opis.

At least ibang treat naman ito galing kay Ramon Bautista at kasama nya si Ryan Sandagon bilang tagaguhit.

“Ang librong ito ay isang coloring book na ang pangunahing misyon sa buhay ay magbigay ng panandaliang aliw habang kinukulayan,” pagbabahagi ni Ramon Bautista.  “Pwede ring basahin lang at hindi kulayan.  Ipamigay bilang regalo.  Gawing pamaypay.  Ibenta.  Gawing panggatong sa pagdating ng zombie apocalypse at nagkaubusan na ng LPG.  Pwede ring ipang-kalso sa pinto o sa mesa na umaalog habang pinagkakainan.

“Pwede rin itong matulad sa ibang stuff mo na nandyan lang at naghihintay ng kung anong paggagamitan.

“Parang ikaw.”

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Hot Sos: Your Guide to Getting Fit, Eating Well, and Loving the Body You’re In (Solenn Heussaff)

IMG_1065I got discouraged upon seeing the hot sos workout plan I found in this book by Solenn Heussaff.  My viewpoint is this: if you’ve finally decided to lose weight and look better, and you’re not really the physically active type of person (worse, don’t have flexible body yet), I don’t think I would recommend the workout plan specified in the book. Like planking? Whoa, wait a minute. Running? I heard if you got weak knees this is not advisable. Actually, I tried some of those before from another source and my instinct told me to go after an exercise which I can enjoy and not be intimidated with or feel dumb about.

But this was my initial reaction, particularly when I was still at Chapter 2. I just continued with my reading hoping to find a ray of light from this book. And I did, thank God.

“Everyone’s workout style is different.  If you really wanna enjoy exercising, you need a routine that matches both your goals and personality,” says Solenn matter-of-factly.

I’d ask friends what’s their secret for losing weight, looking better in just a short time. Most of them would tell me: “I don’t eat dinner anymore. If I need to eat, I eat one piece of an apple.” “I avoid rice.” “I eat more protein than carbs.” “I don’t drink softdrinks anymore. I drink tea.”

And despite hearing this, I’d still drink Coke, eat more carbs, rice, and I can’t even remember when was the last time I ate a fruit. People would observe I gained weight. I, too, observed I gained weight. People’s opinions get to me but I’d still go back to my habit to cope with it:  I continue drinking Coke, eating lots of carbs, I eat anything that’s delicious not caring the impact it would do to my body.

Until my fat male colleague, also a friend, was overreacting over me gaining weight, that I look like a mom already (I’m not!). And when I would strike back at him for saying something too blunt from someone like him who’s fat, his excuse was it was because he saw me not like this before. If he hadn’t met me five years ago only now, he would have easily accepted my appearance. But he knew who I was before. He strongly demanded that I go back to my beautiful self and shed that pounds!

So this is Day 1. The beginning of my road to recovery.

“CHAPTER 3:  DON’T EAT LESS. EAT RIGHT.

“Let’s get something straight. I LOVE FOOD.  Healthy food I love even more.  Actually, to get another thing straight, eating healthy or “eating clean” is not about depriving yourself.  It’s about choosing food that’s good for you,” shares Solenn, who used to be fat when she was younger and was bullied for being so.

“Like, I love crispy pata, but whenever I eat it, I won’t have an entire leg, because that will make me feel bloated and sluggish.  Instead, I’ll savor a few bites, so my cravings are satisfied.

“Honestly, healthy eating isn’t so complicated.  I try to prepare my own food, and I make sure I “eat a rainbow,” because meals with more color usually have some veggies and fruits in it.  I also drink three liters of water every day to avoid overeating.

“So this chapter is all about food, everything from buying it to preparing it.  If you’re expecting advice like “Do NOT eat the bacon!” um, you’re not gonna find it here.”

Well, thank you, Solenn. What a relief!  Hey, I would like to try that Cheesy Panini recipe you shared. Looks yummy to me.

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I also wanna try that vitamins drink because not only it’s healthy, it’s easy to prepare. Exactly what I’ve been looking for: easy to prepare and ingredients are not hard to find.

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So this is Day 1. And I started off by reading Solenn Heussaff’s book, “Hot Sos: Your Guide to Getting Fit, Eating Well, and Loving the Body You’re In.” A book that encouraged me that I can do it!

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FilipiKnow: Amazing Facts and Figures Every Pinoy Must Know (Luisito Batongbakal Jr., Alex Castro, and Marcus Vaflor)

Did you know:

-That blood compacts during Spanish times were made by drawing blood from the chest, not the arm? Blood compacts, which signified a peace treaty between the Spaniards and the natives, were done by drawing blood from an incision made below the breast. It signifies the participants’ willingness to defend each other’s lives.  It also showed a great deal of trust both parties placed on each other.

-That Jose Rizal was suspected as the Jack the Ripper? They say that when Rizal left London to publish a book, it was exactly the same time the murders stopped.

-That it was not Fernando Poe Sr. who was the model for the UP Oblation created by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino. It was fashioned from not one but two people:  Anastacio Caedo, Tolentino’s student and assistant, and Virgilio Raymundo, Tolentino’s brother-in-law. To create the Oblation, Tolentino used Caedo’s physique and Raymundo’s proportions.

-That historical figures Ernest Hemingway, Indira Gandhi, Robert Ripley of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Robert F. Kennedy, Edward the Prince of Wales, and Charles Lindbergh had visited the Philippines?

-That it was once legal to execute minors under Philippine law? Marcial “Baby” Ama was only 16 years old when he was executed on the electric chair.  At the time, the law considered 16 and 14  as the legal ages for men and women, respectively.

These are just a glimpse of what’s inside the book, a must-have for every Filipino eager to learn more but do not have the luxury of time to read thick history books. In fact, this book would inspire you to read more about our history, our culture.

BLINK, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Malcolm Gladwell)

I thought this book is all about gut feel. I thought gut feel is a gift given to us by God, that would come out of nowhere like a divine intervention, or maybe, just maybe, an example of extra-sensory perception thus the title Blink. It is not. At one moment it talked about that, about trusting your instinct, but that instinct, I learned, originates from your past experiences (at times a forgotten past but still remembered by every corner of your body, most especially by your gut thus the word “gut feel”) and exposures to different stimulis—the good, the bad, even the mundane, the ordinary–which would help you make important quick decision in the present when time is running out. Actually, this book will prove to you why experience is the best teacher and why sticking to the rules while you’re still learning the ropes of the game, of your profession, of your advocacy is always a good place to start to become a good strategist later on.

Take for example, improvisation comedy.

Malcolm Gladwell shared: “Improvisation comedy is a wonderful example of the kind of thinking that Blink is about. It involves people making very sophisticated decisions on the spur of the moment, without the benefit of any kind or script or plot. That’s what makes it compelling—and to be frank—terrifying.

“What is terrifying about improv is the fact that it appears utterly random and chaotic. It seems as though you have to get up onstage and make everything up, right there on the spot.

“But the truth is that improv isn’t random and chaotic at all. If you were to sit down with the cast, for instance, and talk to them at length, you’d quickly find out that they aren’t all the sort of zany, impulsive, free-spirited comedians that you might imagine them to be. Some are quite serious, even nerdy. Every week they get together for a lengthy rehearsal. After each show they gather backstage and critique each other’s performance soberly. Why do they practice so much? Because improv is an art form governed by a series of rules and they want to make sure that when they’re up on stage, everyone abides by those rules.”

Another case in point, the game of basketball.

Malcolm Gladwell shared: “Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. But that spontaneity is possible only when everyone engages in hours of highly repetitive and structured practice—perfecting their shooting, dribbling, and passing and running plays over and over again—and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court. This is the critical lesson of improv, too…

“Spontaneity isn’t random. How good people’s decisions are under the fast-moving, high-stress conditions of rapid cognition is a function of training and rules and rehearsal.”

Blink is a book about those first two seconds,” says Malcolm Gladwell. Particularly if it’s a matter of life and death and you need to make a decision and you’re forced to rely only on the data available or limited information that you have.

“This is the same thing that happens with doctors in the ER,” shares the author. “They gather and consider far more information than is truly necessary because it makes them feel more confident—and with someone’s life in the balance, they need to feel more confident. The irony, though, is that that very desire for confidence is precisely what ends up undermining the accuracy of their decision. They feed the information into the already overcrowded equation they are building in their heads, and they get even more muddled.”

What about in the matters of the heart? How will I know if someone is sincere?

Of course, Malcolm Gladwell didn’t talk about it at length but in passing he mentioned something about it. There was one paragraph that he was able to insert it in the book as an example. He said, you look at his face. The face is the doorway to the person’s soul.

“When someone tells us ‘I love you,’ we look immediately and directly at him or her because by looking at the face, we can know—or, at least, we can know a great deal more—about whether the sentiment is genuine,” shares Gladwell.

What I also found interesting and also a source of surprise was on the subject MARKET RESEARCH.

But first let me share with you a personal story.  I met this consultant of a higher up. Since the day she’s able to join us in our planning, her recommendation was to do a market research. When it’s about thinking of themes for the video production, she’d recommend market research. When we already figured out the themes or basis for the video production without resorting to market research and the problem to be solved next was to produce a module on human rights, she again recommended market research. We asked how much would it cost. She answered 100,000 pesos. Later on, after weeks or so. this consultant told me to increase the budget for the market research to 350,000, a too-late declaration because we’ve already indicated in our budget, approved already, that it’s just 100k. Whether we like it or not, we have to put it there because it was approved by this higher up. This higher up also approved increasing it to 350k despite the already approved 100k.  To feel certain, we might still have to present it to other higher ups to review it again, so it’s all up to them.

Personally, I felt uncomfortable with that market research. First, it would take some time to get the results. Second, the data that we need if it’s about research are available on the Internet and every time we have a forum. Third, market research is too expensive. Fourth, I am not sure if the results that would come out are reliable.

Which is why when Malcolm Gladwell started citing situations that proved that market research isn’t always accurate, I felt like my doubts and fears were validated.

I didn’t know until I read this book that new TV programs, new music are subjected to market research. Example: the music of Kenna.

Malcolm Gladwell shared: “When Kenna’s album was making the rounds in New York, being considered by music industry executives, on three separate occasions it was given to an outside market research firm.  This is common practice in the industry.  In order to be successful, an artist has to get played on the radio.  And radio stations will play only a small number of songs that have been proven by market research to audience.  So, before they commit millions of dollars to signing an artist, record companies will spend a few thousand dollars to test his or her music first, using the same techniques as the radio stations.”

Wanna know what came out from that market research?

Gladwell: “Kenna once ran into Paul McGuinness, the manager of U2, backstage at a concert.  “This man right here,” McGuinness said, pointing at Kenna, “he’s going to change the world.”  That was his instinctive feeling, and the manager of a band like U2 is a man who knows music.  But the people whose world Kenna was supposed to be changing, it seemed, couldn’t disagree more, and when the results of all of the consumer research came in, Kenna’s once promising career suddenly stalled.  To get on the radio, there had to be hard evidence that the public liked him–and the evidence just wasn’t there.”

Gladwell went to cite more examples on market research that failed, like what they did to Aeron chair, like what Coke did to compete with Pepsi, like what have been done to  sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore show and All in the Family which were given a thumbs-down during the market research but when it was shown to the public, it became a hit.

“The problem with market research is that often it is simply too blunt an instrument to pick up this distinction between the bad and the merely different…”

All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in other words, were the television equivalents of the Aeron chair.  Viewers said they hated them.  But, as quickly became clear when these sitcoms became two of the most successful programs in television history, viewers didn’t actually hate them. They were shocked by them. And all of the ballyhooed techniques used by the armies of market researchers at CBS utterly failed to distinguish between these two very different emotions.

“Market research isn’t always wrong, of course.  If All in the Family had been more traditional–and if the Aeron had been just a minor variation on the chair that came before it–the act of measuring consumer reactions would not have been nearly as difficult.  But testing products or ideas that are truly revolutionary is another matter, and the most successful companies are those that understand that in those cases, the first impressions of their consumers need interpretation.  We like market research because it provides certainty–a score, a prediction; if someone asks us why we made the decision we did, we can point to a number.  But the truth is that for the most important decisions, there can be no certainty.  Kenna did badly when he was subjected to market research.  But so what?  His music was new and different, and it is the new and different that is always most vulnerable to market research.”

Stick ‘Em Up!

I bought a sticker book for the very first time. This is not only in support of our local artists, but also because, well, the sticker book was nice.  I thought the designs were attractive.

Abbey Sy, June Digan, and the Googly Gooeys are the creators of this fabulous sticker book. An offering by Summit Books.

Here’s to give you a peek.

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The Best Advice in Six Words: Writers Famous and Obscure on Love, Sex, Money, Friendship, Family, Work, and Much More (Edited by Larry Smith)

the-best-advice-in-six-words“I can’t get enough good advice.  As a kid, I loved hearing old-timey wisdom from grandparents.  Now, I’ve never met a graduation speech I didn’t love, am a sucker for a promising magazine cover line at the newsstand, and listen to way too many TED talks. And as someone who’s spent most of the last decade asking people to be succinct, I appreciate thoughts that get right to the point, advice such as ‘Reading makes you a better writer,’ ‘Your greatest weapon is your wit,’ and ‘Stumbling looks like a dance eventually.’

“Besides being good advice, the above examples have one thing in common: they are six words.”

~Taken from the Preface, Larry Smith

***************

It was unplanned. I was on my out. Then I saw this book. I got curious with the title: THE BEST ADVICE IN SIX WORDS. So I went to the cashier. Paid for my own copy of this book despite its expensive price (P599). Went home. Then read it and finished it right away. The Best Advice in Six Words is a collection of “six-word memoirs” which the collector and editor, Larry Smith, gathered from “the worlds of film, music, food, finance, comedy, wellness, and academia.” And he’s been doing this since 2006.

Here are some of the Best Advice in Six Words I randomly picked from the book:

“Just believe in yourself, you idiot.” ~Dana Eagle

“Deadlines are there to help you.” ~Nol Martin-Tungpalan

“Work ethic, not GPA, determines succes.” ~Belinda Hernandez

“Learn the ropes before challenging customs.” ~Pam Grater

“Don’t be afraid to be happy.” ~Iris Delgado

“Make people say your name properly.” ~Aria Velasquez

“Better to be kind than right.” ~April Baur Davis

“Let karma do your dirty work.” ~Ariel Penn

“Reading makes you a better writer.” ~Mary-Liz Shaw

“Take a shower.  You’ll feel better.” ~Dawn R. Dugle

“Do no harm, take no shit.” ~Lisa Ann Gallagher

“Don’t let your degree define you.” ~Kelley Heaney

“Kindness is never wasted, or forgotten.” ~Brigitte Peterson

“Trust your outrage.  Turn to wonder.” ~Courtney Martin

“Speeches sink or swim with emotion.” ~Pete Pantelidakis

“Spend less time sharpening pencils. Write.” ~Erika LaCarney

“You can’t brag about being humble.” ~Kaitlin Monkemeyer

“Wanting less feels like getting more.” ~Tanya Arterburn

“Basic needs:  backbone, wishbone, funny bone.” ~Raven Okeefe

“Saying ‘be creative’ squashes creative bug.” ~Katherine Kennedy

“You learn more by keepin’ quiet.” ~James ‘Son’ Thomas

“It’s okay not to have kids.” ~Sima Walker

“Your only constant companion is yourself.” ~Nichole Argyres

“Pursue what makes you come alive.” ~Mari Mitchell

“Go ahead, serve your country. Anywhere!” ~JJ Jay

“Share your story, change the world.” ~George Takei

Louie Jalandoni, Revolutionary

Outside the walls of the church, there was commitment to offer body and shed blood for the people, but there was no liturgy to celebrate it. Inside the church, there was the liturgy, but no commitment to offer body and shed blood for the people.

~Louie Jalandoni

Exif_JPEG_420Took interest of reading “REVOLUTIONARY,” an illustrated biography of Louie Jalandoni after hearing his voice for the first time on radio a few days ago. He was being interviewed by Ted Failon through a long distance call to Netherlands concerning incoming president Rodrigo Duterte’s offers of government posts to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Jalandoni, though glad with the offers, said that they can recommend people but they will not be members of the CPP.

Louie Jalandoni is the son of a wealthy landowner in Silay City, Negros Occidental; who witnessed the death of his older brother and suffered indignities as a child during the Japanese invasion; who then became priest slash activist to help the farmworkers, the peasants, women, and children from abusive landowners and government officials in Negros; who then left priesthood to focus on his life mission, whose path became clear to him after getting a copy of Amado Guerrero’s Philippine Society and Revolution; and here’s the most interesting part, a priest who fell in love with a nun, and vice versa, during their work at Christians for National Liberation. The former nun and former priest are married with one and only son, Pendong, named after Ka Pendong (real name: Edmundo Legislador), a communist friend of Louie, who was killed by the military in Antique. Louie Jalandoni is the international representative of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political arm of CPP, “to make the world aware of what was happening in the Philippines.”

The CPP, the New People’s Army (the military arm of CPP), and its founder, Jose Maria Sison (a.k.a. Amado Guerrero) were placed on the terrorist list in August 2002 by the U.S. and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (during Bush and Macapagal-Arroyo administration, respectively) because of their rebellion. The guerilla warfare of the CPP-NPA continues.

REVOLUTIONARY, an illustrated biography of Louie Jalandoni, features the captivating works of members from the Concerned Artists of the Philippines which is what this post is also about. Written by Ina Alleco R. Silverio, this is a book project of the International Network for Philippine Studies.

Here is a glimpse inside the book:

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From Chapter 1: A Charmed Life

Illustrated by Roberto “Bobert Elyas” V. Elias, “is a visualist. He favors scenery over stories, stories over spectacles and spectacles over villains. He enjoys collaborating on productions with communities, organizations and interesting people.”

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From Chapter 2: Father Jalandoni

Illustrated by Max Santiago, “is a graphic artist and reporter of the Metro Manila-based alternative media outfit Manila Today. He has been involved in urban grassroots organizing visual arts close to the urban poor communities. In 1994, he joined the UGAT Lahi Artists Collective, a group of visual artists, which tackles social realities in the Philippine context. He took up Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas.”

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From Chapter 3: An Activist Priest

Illustrated by Enrico Maniago, “is a Philippine-born artist based in Los Angeles, California. He is a character designer and storyboard artist in the animation industry. He has worked with projects such as X-Men, Dragonlance, Phantom 2000 and various shows for Disney and MTV. He worked on the Heavy Metal release, Agent 88, and made various comics and other designs for his band, Flattbush. At the request of Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman, Enrico made a Turtles mural during the 35th Heavy Metal anniversary event of Meltdown Comics.

“Enrico and his brother toured the Philippines as Flattbush and as members of the Filipino Health Workers Association. He helped establish Habi Arts and the People’s Artists Los Angeles Collective in the U.S.”

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From Chapter 4: Liberation

The day that Louie met Coni. (Illustrated by Renan Ortiz)

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From Chapter 4: Liberation

(When Louie remembered one of those moments that he showed his feeling to Coni in a subtle way but at the same time confused coz he’s a priest.)

Illustrated by Renan Ortiz, “is an activist, artist, and art teacher, is an active member of the Concerned Artist of the Philippines. While working in diverse media such as installation, video, printmaking, and graphic design, comic books remain as his first love and introduction to art. He is a recipient of the 2012 Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Awards. He currently heads the Visual Arts Section of CAP.”

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From Chapter 5: Life in the Underground

Illustrated by Leonilo “Neil” Doloricon, “was among the Social Realists who portrayed the ills of Philippine society despite the close watch and repression artists were being subjected to by the US-backed martial law regime of Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos. Neil is a painter, cartoonist, and graphic designer. He is the incumbent CAP Secretary General and sits in the CAP Board of Trustees.”

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A scene from Chapter 5, Life in the Underground, by Neil Doloricon.

This is a scene where he met Ka Pendong, a young CPP cadre, head of the Negros underground. Ka Pendong was later killed by the government military in Antique.

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From Chapter 6: Life as a Political Prisoner

Illustrated by Fernando Argosino, “a Filipino-American who was born and raised in Southern California, is an independent comic book artist and illustrator. He has several published works in the U.S. He is an actor, high school teacher, and community organizer. His comic book fascination began with images of superheroes. Eventually, he found his inspiration in the struggles of the Filipino people. He tries to use his illustrations to forward social change.

“He is a member of Habi Arts- Los Angeles and continues to use his art to popularize the people’s stories.”

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From Chapter 7: Resistance against Martial Law

Illustrated by Leonilo “Neil” Doloricon. This is a scene where President Marcos released Presidential Decree 823, completely banning strikes but this did not stop brave men and women from forming a workers’ strike movement.

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From Chapter 8: Escape to Hong Kong

Illustrated by Mervin Malonzo, “graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He is currently completing his Filipino comic series called Tabi Po, a deconstruction and re-interpretation of Philippine mythology, specifically the aswang. At the time of this writing, a TV show is being produced based on it.

“Mervin works on other comic projects, one of which is a comic adaptation of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo by Gat Jose P. Rizal. He is also a freelance designer who creates illustrations, websites, and animated videos.”

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From Chapter 9: International Work (Illustrated by Maniago, Doloricon, Ortiz, and Argosino)

“Jose Ma. Sison is the founder of the CPP, the author of the book that greatly influenced Louie’s life and its direction, Philippine Society and Revolution.”

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)

200px-QuietBookCoverAt least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams.  Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so.  This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

— Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”

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Being an introvert, or quiet, was one of my biggest insecurities when I was a teenager ’til I reached my twenties.  In elementary, I remember I would sit so behaved with my bag on my lap and just listened to teachers.  One teacher commended my behavior that she asked me to stand up in front of the class, gave me a stick, and instructed me to hit my male classmate with it who was misbehaving.  What I did was I just made a light touch to his head with the long stick I was holding.  That’s all I could remember.  I am saying this because while my being quiet in elementary was accepted by my teacher, or by my classmates because I did not experience hostility at all, it was in high school to college and then when I work in an office did I meet some people who are antagonistic towards my quiet behavior, throwing negative remarks my way as if that would encourage me to change my ways.  It did not.  It encouraged me more to hide under my shell.  There were times that I cried in my private moment.  I  pitied myself, that maybe there really was something wrong with me.  And because of this, I came to envy those who are gregarious, talkative, loud, and flamboyant.  Why can’t I be like them, I asked myself.

I don’t know what happened but after working in so many companies, meeting different kinds of people and bosses, after going through hell and back, I’ve learned to become assertive.  I now initiate conversation with a stranger.  I still consider myself an introvert because I get anxiety attack when I’m in a party.  But I no longer cry in my private moment just because I am an introvert and somebody has a problem with it.  Because you know what, I’ve realized that those “gregarious, talkative, loud, and flamboyant” people that I envied before are also annoying people.  In this life, it’s just a matter of choosing the right people to surround yourself with, it’s just a matter of choosing the people who will accept you for who you are. From being passive and quiet, I don’t know what happened but during  certain “events,” I can be confrontational and combative as opposed to my younger self where I would cry privately because of self-pity.  I’ve learned that confronting your enemy is the only way out.

That is why I got so interested when I saw this book by Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, from the package that my older brother sent from abroad.  Though I strongly believe that introverts are talented and gifted just as extroverts are audacious and expressive, I got curious with the other details.

In this book, I met Mike Wei, an Asian-American studying in Stanford University.

“My dorm has four Asians in it, out of fifty kids. So I feel more comfortable around them. There’s this one guy called Brian, and he’s pretty quiet. I can tell he has that Asian quality where you’re kind of shy, and I feel comfortable around him for that reason. I feel like I can be myself around him. I don’t have to do something just to look cool, whereas around a big group of people that aren’t Asian or are just really loud, I feel like I have to play a role.”

Susan Cain has this to share: “Mike told me about a freshman icebreaking event he’d participated in, a scavenger hunt in San Francisco that was supposed to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones. Mike was the only Asian assigned to a rowdy group, some of whom streaked naked down a San Francisco street and cross-dressed in a local department store during the hunt. One girl went to a Victoria’s Secret display and stripped down to her underwear. As Mike recounted these details, I thought he was going to tell me that his group had been over the top, inappropriate. But he wasn’t critical of the other students. He was critical of himself.”

“When people do things like that, there’s a moment where I feel uncomfortable with it. It shows my own limits. Sometimes I feel like they’re better than I am,” confesses Mike.

Susan Cain adds: “Mike was getting similar messages from his professors. A few weeks after the orientation event, his freshman adviser—a professor at Stanford’s medical school—invited a group of students to her house. Mike hoped to make a good impression, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. The other students seemed to have no problem joking around and asking intelligent questions. ‘Mike you were so loud today,’ the professor teased him when finally he said good-bye. ‘You just blew me away.’ He left her house feeling bad about himself. ‘People who don’t talk are seen as weak or lacking,’ he concluded ruefully.”

But Jon Berghoff, an introvert but a successful sales manager thinks otherwise: “A lot of people believe that selling requires being a fast talker, or knowing how to use charisma to persuade. Those things do require an extroverted way of communicating. But in sales there’s a truism that ‘we have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionately.’ I believe that what makes someone really good at selling or consulting—the number one thing is they’ve got to really listen well. When I look at the top salespeople in my organization, none of those extroverted qualities are the key to their success.”

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking took five years for the author to finish. Thank you Ms. Susan Cain.  I love your chapter on “When Should You Act More Extroverted Than You Really Are.” That’s chapter 9.

Susan Cain shares: “You might wonder how a strong introvert like Professor Little manages to speak in public so effectively. The answer, he says, is simple, and it has to do with a new field of psychology that he created almost singlehandedly, called Free Trait Theory. Little believes that fixed traits and free traits coexist. According to a Free Trait Theory, we are born and culturally endowed with certain personality traits—introversion, for example—but we can and do act out of our character in the service of ‘core personal projects.’

“In other words, introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly. Free Trait Theory explains why an introvert might throw his extroverted wife a surprise party or join the PTA at his daughter’s school. It explains how it’s possible for an extroverted scientist to behave with reserve in her laboratory, for an agreeable person to act hard-nosed during a business negotiation, and for a cantankerous uncle to treat his niece tenderly when he takes her out for ice cream. As these examples suggest, Free Trait Theory applies in many different contexts, but it’s especially relevant for introverts living under the Extrovert Ideal.”

Eeyore Has a Birthday

Eeyore Has A Birthday“That’s right,” said Eeyore.  “Sing.  Umty-tiddly, umty-too.  Here we go gathering Nuts and May.  Enjoy yourself.”
“I am,” said Pooh.
“Some can,” said Eeyore.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
Is anything the matter?”
“You seem so sad, Eeyore.”
“Sad?  Why should I be sad?  It’s my birthday.  The happiest day of the year.”
“Your birthday?” said Pooh in great surprise.
“Of course it is.  Can’t you see?  Look at all the presents I have had.”  He waved a foot from side to side. “Look at the birthday cake.  Candles and pink sugar.”

Pooh looked–first to the right and then to the left.

“Presents?” said Pooh.  “Birthday cake?” said Pooh.  “Where?”
“Can’t you see them?”
“No,” said Pooh.
“Neither can I,” said Eeyore.  “Joke,” he explained.  “Ha ha!”

Pooh scratched his head, being a little puzzled by all this.

“But is it really your birthday?” he asked.
“It is.”
“Oh!  Well, Many happy returns of the day, Eeyore.”
“And many happy returns to you, Pooh Bear.”
“But it isn’t my birthday.”
“No, it’s mine.”
“But you said ‘Many happy returns’—”
“Well, why not?  You don’t always want to be miserable on my birthday, do you?”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
“It’s bad enough,” said Eeyore, almost breaking down, “being miserable myself, what with no presents and no cake and no candles, and no proper notice taken of me at all, but if everybody else is going to be miserable too—”

This was too much for Pooh.  “Stay there!” he called to Eeyore, as he turned and hurried back home as quick as he could; for he felt that he must get poor Eeyore a present of some sort at once, and he could always think of a proper one afterwards.

____________

Bought this book last December 2015. Just read it this evening.  “Eeyore Has a Birthday,” written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, was originally published in 1926.

 

Help!!! Ayoko Na Sa Syota Ko! Sapagkat ang nambe-break may feelings din (Ramon Bautista)

Help Ayoko Na Sa Syota koTanggapin na natin, bago ka pa pumasok sa isang relasyon, alam mo na ang mga puwedeng kahihinatnan nito. “If you’re not ready to get hurt, you’re not ready to fall in love,” ika nga. Sa sobrang kilig, madalas nakakalimutan na natin ang lagim na maari nating sapitin kung sakaling hindi happy ending ang dulo ng love story. Tandaan, hindi pelikula o romance novel ang buhay mo.

Totohanan ‘yan.

Gustuhin man nating lahat na mauwi sa happily ever after, may malaking chance na sumablay ang mga bagay.

Sa pagkakasawi, mas umaangat mapansin, maramdaman at mas obvious ang kapangitan o kawasakan ng damdamin. Parang pa-consuelo ang mga sinasabi ng mga kaibigan natin kapag ang mga katagang binibitawan nila ay nagsisimula sa “ang isipin mo na lang…”

Ang isipin mo na lang, hindi ka na maga-gago pa.
Ang isipin mo na lang, puwede ka nang lumandi uli.
Ang isipin mo na lang, makakatipid ka sa regalo.
Ang isipin mo na lang, panget naman siya.
Ang isipin mo na lang, magkakaroon ka ng mas bago, mas magandang buhay pagbangon mo.

Valid ang mga ‘yon. Ayaw mo lang pakinggan kasi minsan masarap lang mag-dwell sa drama dahil wala namang ibang nangyayari sa buhay mo na exciting. Ine-enjoy mo ang mga sitwasyong minsan lang dumarating sa buhay mo. Sana makinig ka sa mga friends mo. At tingnan mo kung gaano ka-beautiful ang pakikipag-break.

–Ramon Bautista

_____________________

Hindi naman ito ang bibilhin ko na libro talaga. Bibilhin ko dapat yung Trese 4 na ibibigay ko sana sa pinsan kong si Stacy na nagbabakasyon sa Pilipinas. Isa kasi syang fine arts graduate na nag-major sa animation so gusto ko sana syang bigyan ng kopya ng komiks na gawang Pilipino, na parang Anime. Kaya lang yung dating malaking National Bookstore sa Robinsons Galleria lumiit na dahil diumano sa sobrang pagtaas ng renta. Kaya kumonti ang tinitinda nilang libro.

Gaya ng kutob ko, wala ng issue ng Trese 4. Hanggang sa naisip kong bumili ng kahit anong libro ni Ramon Bautista. Eto na nga yung HELP!!! AYOKO NA SA SYOTA KO! Sapagkat ang nambe-break… May feelings din.

Sa isang araw natapos ko na ito basahin, itong libro ni Ramon. Madali syang basahin kasi madaling intindihin. Madaling intindihin kasi naranasan ko ang break-up. Sa ngayon eh parang malayo na silang alaala pero basta ang naalala ko lang, right after a break-up, umiiyak ako, nagse-self pity, asking God kung may magmamahal pa ba sa akin. Kadiri pero ganun ako noon.

Ngayon, natatawa na lang ako ‘pag naaalala ko moments na ganun. Ganun yata talaga, pagdating sa pag-ibig, dito nagiging mahina ang lahat ng tao. Dito lumalabas ang insecurities na kung minsan ay walang basehan. Ngayon na wala akong issue about lovelife because I have none anyway, ang masasabi ko lang ay ito: having a man beside me is not an integral part of my being a girl. Di porket wala akong ka-holding hands na lalaki ay may kulang na sa buhay ko. Ako bilang babae ay kumpleto na. Bonus na lang kung ma-inlab ako at magkaroon ng katuwang sa buhay. At parang ito ang isa sa gustong mensaheng iparating ng awtor.

Hindi na ako magpapaligoy-ligoy. Ibabahagi ko na lang ang ilan sa mga love advice ni Ramon Bautista galing sa kanyang libro. Si Ramon Bautista ay isa ring sawi katulad ng marami sa atin kaya malalim ang kanyang pinaghuhugutan, hehe:

Q: Pag babae ka, bawal kang maging mas matalino, mas nakakatawa, mas yumaman, maging mas malandi, maging mas successful, mas malakas, at mas tumanda sa lalake. Bawal din manligaw tsaka umihi sa poste sa talahiban. Ang puwede ka lang, maging mas maganda at seksi. Pakshet ano?

Ramon: Parang disadvantaged na tuloy ang pagkakaroon ng matalas na utak sa larangan ng paghanap ng boyfriend. Minsan, maraming babae ang nagbo-bobo-bobohan o nag do-downgrade ng bilis ng brain para lang maging compatible sa boyfriend na less superior ang intelligence.

Ang masasabi ko lang, huwag ganyan mga ate, madam, at bhe. Kung nai-intimidate sila sa talino niyo, di bale na lang. Hindi sila worth it. Wag panghinaan ng loob at i-improve ang mga sarili ninyo.

Then again, sabi nga nila, maski sino, babae man o lalake, walang mata-matalino kapag in-love.

Q: Sir Ramon, nalaman ko po na may ibang GF ang BF ko ta’s buntis pa ‘yung girl. Ano na po ang gagawin ko? Help:( Mahal na mahal ko siya:(

Ramon: Sayang kasi hindi ka niya mahal na mahal. Hindi ka nga niya mahal at all eh.

Q: Ano ang dapat kong sabihin sa kaibigan ko na gustong balikan ‘yung ex niya na maraming beses na siyang niloko para sa ibang babae at pinagsinungalingan?

Ramon: “Ang tanga-tanga mo naman!!!”

Q: Sir RB, tatanggapin ko po ba ang sorry ng boyfriend ko? Sabi niya kasi hindi niya na ako bubugbugin eh.

Ramon: Huwag na, gago pala siya e. Liligaw-ligawan ka sabay ganyan? Ang deserve mo eh ‘yung magmamahal, gagalang, at mag-aalaga sa ‘yo. Ipa-pulis mo!

Q: Sir Ramon, umamin ‘yung girlfriend ko na na-fall na siya sa classmate niya na sobrang pinagseselosan ko. Mahal pa rin naman daw niya ako kahit ganu’n. Ano bang gagawin ko? Ang sakit.:(

Ramon: Hindi nakakagalit o nakakalungkot. Nakakadiri. Iwanan mo na ‘yan. Wag ka ma-depress dahil d’yan ok? Andito lang kami.

Q: Sir Ramon! I need your advice! Hanggang kailan po ba dapat ‘yung time before I should give up on a person na mahal ko? Kasi parang one sided na eh. Hihi

Ramon: Mga ngayon na.

Q: Paano mo ipapaliwanag sa hot chick na hindi mo siya gusto nang hindi siya malulungkot? Ewan ko ba kung bakit nangyayari sa ‘kin to, ‘di naman ako gwapo 😛

Ramon: Nakanaman! Pa-seminar ka naman.

Q: Na-friendzone ako. Grabe. Kumuha pa siya ng props na manliligaw “kuno” para patayin ang pag-asa ko sa kanya.

Ramon: Napaka-creative niya. Kung chicks ako, gagawin ko ‘yang technique na ‘yan.

Q: Sir, paano po ba makipag-break sa boyfriend?:( ‘Yung “pinakamadali.”

Ramon: Ang pinakamadali eh ‘yung pinakatama. Ang pagiging honest. Not necessarily pinaka-hindi-masakit pero pinakadabest.

Q: Bakit kadalasan kung sino ‘yung gusto mo siyang ayaw sa ‘yo at ‘yung ayaw mo siyang may gusto sa ‘yo? Bakit ganu’n?

Ramon: Para may challenge ang life. Kung parang t-shirt lang na madali makuha ang love eh di parang t-shirt din na araw-araw tayo nagpapalit ng love.

Q: Sir RB, ‘yung GF ko niloko ako, naghanap ng iba. Pero di niya pa din ako binibitawan at nilagay ako sa friendzone. Hindi niya daw ako kaya mawala kasi ako lang daw nakakaintindi at nakakaunawa sa kanya. Ano gagawin ko?

Ramon: Malandi ‘yang GF mo at makapal mukha niya ginagawa ka pa niyang reserba. Anong gagawin mo? Do whatever makes you less tanga… isip!

Q: Gusto ko nang makipag-break pero hindi ko kayang ma-lonely. Tulungan mo ako, sir RB. Ikaw lang ang makakasagot nito!

Ramon: Lumo-lonely ka kasi hindi mo kayang mag-generate ng sarili mong fun. Inaasa mo sa boypren. Pag inunahan ka i-break niyang syota mo, e di iiyak ka na naman. Learn to be awesome on your own.

Q: Hi sir! I broke up with my ex who cheated on me and now has a kid (nabuntis niya ex niya while we were together). I know I did the right thing but why do I feel as if what I did was the wrong move?

Ramon: No, you did the right move. You don’t need guys like that. Cheating na, irresponsible pa. Ngayon, the baby needs him.

Q: Sir Ramon, ano pong gamot sa insecurity?

Ramon: Galingan mo sa life at mag-excel sa, at least, isang bagay para mayroon kang mapapagyabang.

Q: Sir RB, what’s the quickest way to move on from a horrible past?:( I’ve been stuck with it for quite some time now and am already getting tired. Help pls.😦

Ramon: Go get some wonderful future and have a superb present.

Q: How would you know if a married guy is serious about you?

Ramon: ARE YOU NUTS?!