Archive | September 2014


Which is more awkward?

Finding out that you weren’t invited to a friend’s party? 

Or receiving a text from another person, asking you details of that party and the need to tell that person that you don’t know because you are not invited.


This entry was posted on September 29, 2014, in Life Lessons.

Change the Life of a Child with Autism

I’m helping out a friend, who is part of Autism Partnership Manila, an organization that provides a wide range of services for families and professionals involved in the treatment and education of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

AP Manila is looking for ABA Therapist for children with autism. If you are passionate about making a difference and you meet the qualifications, do apply by sending your resume via the email address indicated in the poster. If you know someone who is interested, please also do me the favor of sharing this post.

This entry was posted on September 26, 2014, in What's Up.

Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, and Taking a Chance

Yeah, Bryan Cranston won the Emmys. It was well-deserved because he is Mr. White. #yeahbitch But what caught my ear was part of his speech.

Take a chance. 
Take a risk. 
Find that passion. 
Rekindle it. 
Fall in love all over again. 
It’s really worth it.

Bryan Cranston in his Emmys’ acceptance speech.

This entry was posted on September 24, 2014, in Life Lessons.

My Top 10 Books

A chain post is going around Facebook about the top 10 books that influenced or affected your life. Two friends have tagged me, Hello Saigon and KM.

I was once a voracious reader. I would read one to three books at a time. But things change when you’re so immersed with digital. Your attention span is shorter and you don’t have that much patience for anything.

As much as I love digital, it ruined that aspect of my life–the love for reading books.

Anyhoo, here are my 10 books (in no particular order):

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is one writer, no matter how much I try, I will never be able to emulate. LOL! His book was brilliant beyond words. I remember reading this in college. I tried twice before I could finally get the hang of it.

2. The Little Prince by Antoine Saint de Exupery
I read this every year. Every time I read it, the meaning and significance change. There’s something about this book that always resonates in me.

3. Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
This was groundbreaking for me because I learned of a God who is all about pure love. I’m a devout Catholic and was raised with Catholic values. But I was taught to fear God lest I be struck with lightning for every minor infraction I commit.

But in this book, I learned that God loves us, wants us to be happy, and wants us to be the best we can possibly be. I learned that God can be my friend.

4. Being Happy by Andrew Matthews
Happiness is a choice and you can be happy if you want to. This is where I learned that sometimes, we are the reason why we are unhappy.

5. The Diary of Anne Frank
This was the first time I read about the horrors of war and I hated how war destroy lives. It was also a powerful book because even in time of war, people can still retain their humanity. Anne Frank may have died but the biggest consolation is that she died of sickness and not through the gas chamber.

6. Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal
I read book 1 to 96 and I still have my SVT collection. I spent many of my growing up years following the lives of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield. In fact, I would name my daughter Elizabeth because of this book (and Betty Cooper).

7. Mythology by Edith Hamilton
It was my dad who introduced this book to me so this one’s special. This started my fascination with gods and goddesses. When I was young, I thought they were real and I couldn’t reconcile the idea that Catholicism has only one God. LOL! πŸ˜€ 

8. Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
I remember reading this in third grade. I believe this was the very first novel I read. I finished the entire book but didn’t understand any of it. Hahahaha! But this started my love for reading.

9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I loved Harry Potter the first time I read it. It became more significant to me when I read the entire series at the lowest point of my life (five books have been released that time). Reading Harry Potter provided me a great escape from the pain I was feeling then. It allowed me to kill time without noticing how slow time could be.

10. Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
If I were to identify my three favorite books, these would be Conversations with God, The Little Prince, and Catcher in the Rye. I wasn’t really an angstsy kid but I found myself rooting for Holden Caulfield. My favorite part of the book was when he was watching his sister on the merry-go-round. Sigh…

Anyone who knows me would be surprised that I didn’t include Archie in my reading list. Unfortunately, Archie and the entire series are considered comics rather than books. πŸ™‚

So, what’s your top 10 books?

How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

My guilty pleasure is reading Thought Catalog because it allows me to see how other people live and how they see the world. Recently, I came across an article “3 Ways to Heal After a Breakup” and I thought, why not share my tips? Hahaha!

Medyo walang K pero baka puwede na din. I’ve had my heart broken three times. Back then, a heartbreak was something your friends or family would tell you to brush off. “Okay lang. Balewala lang yan. Kaya mo ‘yan!”

But recent studies have shown that a broken heart is real and there’s even a scientific term for that. “Stress-induced cardiomyopathy” or “takotsubo cardiomyopathy” is how researchers call it. In layman’s terms, it’s the Broken Heart Syndrome.

Here’s what has to say:

The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure.

The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal). 

Healing is different for people. Some people take a long time to heal while others can snap out of it quite quickly. In my case, these had been my ways to heal my broken heart.

1. Bury yourself with work (or school).
Distraction has always been important for me. I bury myself with work or school, or both. It helps me keep my mind off things that I no longer have control of, and it allows me to forget the pain.

Before I know it, nakalimutan ko na kung bakit nga ba ako broken-hearted. Naging productive pa ako. πŸ˜€

The worst thing I experienced was I quit my job immediately after a break-up. Very bad idea! Toinks talaga!

That moment was like a perfect storm for me. I had a broken heart, I had no job, and my money was running out. The company I was supposed to transfer to took a long time to process my papers. Because of all these factors, I suffered from mild depression.

Buti na lang I had my MBA to keep me occupied. I remember taking three subjects in one trimester. Shucks, halos maloka ako sa hirap! πŸ˜€

2. Listen to angry music.
Angry music is cathartic for me. The last time I got my heart broken, I listened to Pink and Kelly Clarkson for a whole month. I realized that I was already moving on when I stopped listening to their angry songs and went back to my usual playlist. Here are some great angry songs from these two favorites:

The only caveat here is that this won’t work if you are not angry. When I had my heart broken for the first time (he was my first love in college), I was never angry. I was just extremely sad. Lekat! Hahahaha!

3. Hang out with friends
Friends are family that you choose. They will make you feel that your life is not over and that you have a lot more to offer the world.

4. Pray. A LOT.
This is fool-proof. Praying heals. I consider myself as prayerful person but I’m even more so when things are not going well. 

Praying paves the way for a lot of things. You learn to forget the pain, you learn to be thankful, and you learn to forgive not only the one who hurt you but also yourself.

If anything, praying is the most important thing you should do.

5. Believe that everything will be okay.
And it always does. Whether you believe in God or not, believe that things will be better. 

And to end this post, here’s what Kelly Clarkson has to say:

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over cause you’re gone

10 Things I Learned from Coursera’s Social Psychology

As much as I love learning, I just can’t seem to enjoy online courses. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t stimulate me enough and posting on discussion boards seems recreational to me (because online forums are just my tambayan).

It is for this reason that even when I’ve tried attending a number of Coursera courses, I’ve never finished anything. Until now.

A few weeks back, I joined Social Psychology. I know I have way too much on my plate. I have a full-time job, I have a sideline project, and I’m taking two subjects for my Master’s. But there’s something about social psychology that fascinated me and so I joined the class. Kumuha lang ako ng batong pinukpok ko sa sarili ko.

Admittedly, I only watched the videos and didn’t read the readings. I downloaded the pdfs, however, because I felt these would be good resources when I do my masteral thesis.

That’s our professor: Scott Plous from Wesleyan University. Brilliant and funny guy!

I still don’t know what my final grade is but I enjoyed the several weeks I’m studying it. Anyhoo, here are the 10 things I learned from the class:

1. Situations can bring out the best and worst in people.

2. People can make judgments in a blink of an eye. When you feel that someone you met first time is sizing you up, he probably is.

3. Judgments can change but it takes time. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

4. Attitude is not usually reflected in your behavior. When you say that you are compassionate, sometimes it doesn’t show in your actions.

5. People usually obey authority but be mindful. You might be following orders that may potentially hurt people or go against your values.

6. Group pressure is real so be mindful. If you think something is wrong, speak up and don’t be swayed by the majority.

7. When people are faced with situations that are in total opposite of their beliefs, they try to justify to minimize dissonance. Hence the phrase, “Kung sabagay, baka naman mas okay…”

8. Sometimes, everyone in the group does not want to do something but does it, anyway. They fear that if somebody speaks up, they’ll become social pariahs. Speak up, anyway.

9. Prejudice is human nature but try to minimize being prejudiced, anyway. There’s a whole world out there that we don’t know and understand so learn to listen.

10. When you see something is wrong, when you see someone is being attacked violently, speak up and do something. Don’t be a victim of the bystander effect.

Tale as Old as Time

It’s coming to Manila and I’m watching!

Of all the Disney movies, this is my favorite. Actually, it’s a toss-up between Beauty and the Beast and Mulan. I just love Beauty and the Beast a teeny weeny more because it was my dad who introduced this to me.

I love that Belle is not just some lamebrain, who wanted to marry a prince. She was smart, confident, and has ambitions. Even when others feel that she’s odd, she doesn’t care because she knows who she is.

Among the songs from the animated film, this is my favorite.

Belle (Reprise)

That song has struck a chord in me when I first heard it in high school. Just like her, I wanted “adventure in the great wide somewhere.” While some of my batchmates were interested in courtship and having boyfriends, I wanted to get away from what I considered a “small world.”

There was, and still is, a longing inside me to see what’s out there. This includes meeting new people, seeing new places, learning new things. Of course, I ended up with Beast at some point in my life, which is just as bad as ending with Gaston. Hahaha!

Anyhoo, I’m happy that Beauty and the Beast Musical is coming to Manila. Ang saya-saya lang kasi more Broadway acts are being held here. I remember it took several years to bring Miss Saigon here.

But now, every year may dinadalang musical production dito. Win! πŸ™‚

Soul Pancake: Who’s Your Favorite Teacher?

Watch this beautiful video from Soul Pancake and I’m sure you can relate. After all, everyone of us has been–at some point in our lives–greatly influenced by a teacher.

I have two teachers in mind: Ms. Estelita Felizardo and Mrs. Mary Ann Agudon. Ms Felizardo was my class adviser in third grade and Mrs. Mary Ann Agudon was my class adviser in fourth grade.

What do these two women have in common? They both believed in me.

I had a lot of emotional issues when I was growing up. As my dad once put it, I became independent way earlier than I should have. This is because of a number of factors: 1) my parents were abroad much of the year 2) there’s a huge age gap between my brothers and me 3) I grew up in the company of household help.

Because I didn’t have much adult supervision when I was growing up, I had to fend for myself. This meant a lot of trial and errors. Sometimes it felt like I was a headless chicken.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I don’t take it against my parents that that was the childhood I have. On the contrary, I am who I am because of what I went through.

Anyhoo, I was just an average student until I met these two teachers. I don’t know what it is about me but they believed in my potential. When I became their students, I began to bloom. I held leadership roles in class, I excelled academically, and I became more sociable.

Years later, I still remember how much influence they have in my life. When I finished my undergrad thesis, I included their name in the dedication page.

I have had other wonderful teachers like Teacher Irma and Ma’am Paz but Ms. Felizardo and Mrs. Agudon would always have a special place in my heart.

The only regret I have is that I can’t find them online. I take pride in my being an Internet scavenger but all my searches have led me to nothing. I would have loved to connect with them again.

So, if you have any news about them, I would appreciate it if you let me know. πŸ™‚