Category Archives: Thought-Provoking

Things that made me think and would make you think too.


day eighteen.

So now that the birthday celebrations and posts are over…time to go back to normal circulation.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but lately I’ve been feeling schadenfreude. Yeah, I just used a big word and quoted Avenue Q at the same time. I feel mean when I think about it, but don’t you also get that relieved feeling when you hear of sad stories from other people about their lives, the ones that make you think or say to yourself, “Thank God it’s not me.”

Yeah, I feel that. I’m sorry if it’s mean, or it’s very selfish. But admit it — I’m sure you get that same feeling too.

It’s not that I don’t sympathize or empathize…I do. I feel their pain, or sometimes I try to, and I feel bad for them and I want to help them solve their problems and be there for them and all. I don’t laugh at their problems, or belittle them.

But…I do have this feeling that “I’m glad I’m not in your shoes.” You know?

Gosh, I feel like such a bad person now. :(

Okay, maybe we can look at this in another way: hearing about what other people are going through makes me thankful of what I have, or what I don’t have.

Like appreciating what we had after the flood when I saw that other people lost more than we did.

Like thanking God for my family even if sometimes we get on each others’ nerves when other people don’t even speak to their brothers or sisters or mothers or fathers.

Like realizing that my singlehood worries are petty as compared to the people who are having rocky relationships or to those who just came from break-ups.

Maybe this is all an exercise in perspective. You could think I’m being selfish, or arrogant or whatnot, but you may also think that I’m struggling to set my thoughts straight to something more loving.

What do you think?

Single on Heart's Day

I’m a bit too busy to actually write something for Valentine’s Day right now so I’ll reserve that this weekend. For now, I’ll share with you an article I co-wrote with a couple of friends at work, so here! :D Enjoy reading!

Single on Heart’s Day?

It’s that time of the year again. Love songs play on the radio, flower and chocolate sales are at an all time high, and red is the color of the season.

Yes, friends, it’s time for Valentine’s Day.

Every year, more and more singles dread the month of February, especially when it comes to the middle of the month. Even if the 14th means payday, it also means that everyone who’s got someone is out on a date with their significant others, while singles are at a loss to look for what to do on that night.

It’s time to change that notion. You can have fun on Valentine’s Day, even if you have no significant other. Here are some suggestions for you to enjoy the 14th of February and not be sad or bitter (or both), because yes, it is possible to enjoy the day even without a date.

Continue reading Single on Heart's Day


Ah technology. Our landline conked out today for some reason so there’s also no Internet, but I’m thankful for Smart 3G for letting me connect. Connection is a bit fragile though, and not as stable as when I’m at the condo, but I’m not complaining.

Anyway. Today was an adrenaline-rushed filled day. Lately I noticed that I’ve always been the one having to adjust to other people’s schedules, especially when it comes to my gym schedule. I’m all for adjusting for other people to pick the least hassle of all roads…but sometimes it sucks because it ends up being a hassle to me.

Hay. I did survive all the adrenaline rush (leaving me almost knocked out earlier), thank God, but I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed over something that happened…or didn’t happen, rather.

I’d really rather not elaborate on what happened/didn’t happen, but on the feeling. The biggest feeling I have right now is probably regret. You know when you want something and you know you can get it, but certain circumstances just stopped you from getting that thing? That feeling. I can’t help but think of other things that I could have done to make things right, to help me get what I wanted. To change things so it would be different.

But changing it would probably mean the loss of the other good things that happened this day too…so it’s kind of a lose-lose situation. Sort of.

Hay. I may not be making any sense here, but I’m really just trying to sort my feelings out. It sucks, really. Because I can’t do anything about it…except feel sad about it. And then feel a bit annoyed at myself for being sad about it when I shouldn’t.

But if there’s anything I learned early this year…it’s that it’s okay to wallow. At least for a while. So…tonight I’ll wallow. Then tomorrow I’ll stop.


Earlier at mass today, the priest said something that really struck me during the homily: Pain is a gift that nobody wants. How true. There are a lot of necessary pains that should happen for us to grow…and I’m hoping this teensy pain here right now would make me grow too.

I’ll be okay. :) I always am. :)


Going Home

Day 5Just earlier, I came from my future sister-in-law’s mom’s funeral. That’s…the second funeral I’ve been to this year, if I am not mistaken. But it’s not the first death I’ve heard of for this year; it seems as if 2009 is full of deaths of so many people, both famous and not.

I know, I know, how morbid.

But then, think of it. It’s not just in 2009. It’s impossible for a year to pass by without anyone passing. Death is a natural part of life. Everyone goes, and it’s not something we can deny ourselves of. Someday, all of us will leave this earth and go back home. To our real home. With God.

I’ve been trying to come to terms with death, to stop myself from fearing it. I keep on trying to remind myself that this life on earth is just a transition to eternity, that this is just a drop in the ocean of forever. I keep on trying to tell myself that I shouldn’t hold on to so many material things, or worry about any other trivial things, because this isn’t home.

It’s hard. More often than not, I get caught up with so many shallow things that I forget why I am here in the first place, and where my real home is. But days like these, or times when I hear about people passing, leaving their earthly lives…I am reminded of just that.

I find a lot of wisdom in this little image I found at icanread about life and death, and I think it’s just timely. I hope you find some in it, too.

Don't waste another second
Don't waste another second

Have a blessed Saturday night. :)


On Leadership

Last week, I attended a three-day training at work about leadership. Specifically, leadership the way my company thinks it should be done. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a leadership training — or a training, for that matter — so this was a welcome break (except maybe that I have to go on day shift for three days, and I am not used to battling the early morning traffic and the rains in the past week).

So me, a leader. I’ve been a leader in a lot of ways before. I’d like to use the term “leader” by definition at this part of the blog. Based on my dictionary on Aslan, a leader is the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. I was almost always nominated as a leader of groups or voted as class officer when I was in elementary and high school. Not to brag, but I was one of the top students back then, and in a way, people then automatically equate that once you’re in the class’ top 10, you’re also a good leader.

In a way, I reveled in that power. I liked being the leader because it gives me a certain authority over some people. I liked it that people trusted me enough to, well, lead them to the desired outcome. I liked being a part of planning committees and student councils because it helps me not just be one of the people but someone who matters. And — I didn’t really know this back then — I liked being a leader because it gives me control over whatever situation I was in. I may not be able to control the people, but at least I have a bigger hold in the situation, and that’s always good, right?

When I became a YFC leader, things changed. Not immediately, of course, but more during college. I suddenly felt the pressure of having to be a role model for the people I am with, especially my household. In a way, the younger members looked up to me not only as the VP for Documentations bu also as a household head and someone they can turn to if they need a prayer, so I had to be extra strong in a lot of ways. Case in point: there was a time when I was so tempted to cut one of my classes just because I didn’t feel like going and I just wanted to hang out at the tambayan. I was agonizing over it, and was weighing the pros and cons of cutting the said class, and then I saw one of the younger members looking at me as if waiting for my decision and he was actually considering cutting his class too. Talk about a slap of reality and accountability.

In YFC, I was taught that to be a leader, I had to know how to follow. I had to know how to be a servant, because in being a servant, I lead. Weird, I know, but it makes sense (and that’s another post for me to explain that). I was taught to take care of the hearts of the people I was entrusted with, to be one of their lines of defenses from life. I was taught that I was a front liner in this battle that we, as Christians, are all in. We are the ones the world sees first, and the ones who carry the name of Christ higher than the rest just because we are leaders. I felt and lived those teachings, and when you do that often enough, it sort of becomes easy. When your heart gets a beating for another person, you’d think you can do anything really. ;)

When I started working, it’s very, very different. I admit to being a very relational person, and I liked having people to not only work with but be friends with too. I thought I had the edge of being a people manager better because of my YFC leader training, that handling people at work would just be like how I handle my household…but of course it’s not.

I’ve been a back up team lead for the past five months and there were a lot of moments that I wished I wasn’t. That I could be just another employee who’s satisfied with her position, not aspiring to step up and enlarge my territory. It’s like when a cashier who’s held a barcode scanners all her life and then offered a position to own the store instead of being one of the worker ants. Okay, it’s not exactly that way here, but you get my drift — it’s really a new territory. I’ve seen how much my team lead works, and how many issues he has to deal with, how many people he has to deal with on a daily basis…and seeing me in his position makes me wonder how will I do the same things he does (and still have time for myself)? It’s hard to have to always think on your feet and to deal with the mountains of emails he gets while I’m just a back up…what more if/when I become a team lead too? Can I do it? Can I be as strong as he is, not cracking under pressure? What’s more, my three-day training showed me the reality of how much employees expect things from their bosses, and it’s really crazy to think of having to fulfill all those. It’s almost downright scary. It makes me wonder why in the world I ever wanted to be in that position?

The comforting thing about this is…one, my company is there to support me all the way once I get into that position and two, well, people believe in me. I know all that sounds all too warm and fuzzy…but the three day training has inspired me to be a better leader. To be a leader in the truest sense of the word. And the training has made me believe that somehow, I can be the leader that they expect me to be, and I only need to find the strength within me.

Ah, this post feels so…idealistic and trying-to-be inspiring, I’m not used to it anymore. ^^; But I’m glad for the training because I really did realize a lot of things about me and the people around me. And by God’s grace, I pray that I may be the best leader He wants me to be, be it with the team I work with now or a new team or even wherever else He wants to bring me. :)

Tough Love

Life’s interesting. And hard all at the same time.

After posting my blog entry last night and while getting ready for bed, my mom and I got to talk about some family issues that she has heard recently, which, when I heard, kind of frustrated me too since the situation is just so wrong. Well, okay, not that wrong, but you know, things could be better. My mom and I agreed with what should be the right thing to do, but at the same time it made me think — is it really the right thing to do?

One of the things I’ve learned to understand as I am growing up is that I must always face the consequences of my actions. It’s quite harsh at times and painful, but I realized that this is the only way to grow. Well, okay, maybe not the only way, but one of the best ways. I’ve learned (and still learning) that one way of maturing is to face whatever is the outcome of what will happen.

For example. A guy gets a girl pregnant and they haven’t finished school yet. They decide to have a baby and the parents agreed for them to live together, under the assumption that they’d be taking care of the kid and take more responsibility, such as getting a job and paying for their share so that their family would survive. Ideally, that’s what should happen, but what if the new parents do not do this and instead, continue to be what they were before they had the kid? Like, instead of helping out in the house, they just sit around and do nothing? What if instead of saving up for the kid, they keep on spending instead on other things that would not help but instead will just satisfy their personal needs (like Las Vegas travel, but that’s a bit expensive)? What if they don’t understand the gravity of what they are, especially with the kid in their midst?

I don’t know, but I find it very frustrating to see people like that, who fall into holes that they have dug for themselves and do nothing to get out of it. Especially when you try to help them but they don’t help themselves.

But then again…who am I to judge? I’m sure I’ve done that myself more than once (not that I’ve ever had a kid, but you know, digging my own hole and falling into it). And not only that — with all my sins and darkness in me, God could’ve just chosen to turn away, leave me where I am. But He didn’t.

That’s grace, I know. And I’m more than undeserving. But God didn’t exactly give me everything I wanted after that; He changed my way of thinking which in turn helped me get out of the hole.

But what if the person’s not willing to do that? What will you do? What will I do?

Ah such heavy thoughts on a Wednesday morning, and I’m not even sure I got them all out right. I just found myself thinking of what I will do in that situation, if I were to be asked for help. Should I help? Or should I exercise “tough love” and let them learn the lesson on their own?

What is tough love anyway?

Life and Death

Last night, I went to my high school friend’s younger sister’s funeral. Yes, funeral. She died at 20 because of cancer, a few months after graduating from college. I heard about it last week, but I was a bit busy, and to be honest, I sort of didn’t want to go. It’s not that I am afraid of funerals or of dead people (I can safely say that I’m one of the people who’s not afraid to look into the coffin), but because of the fact that I’m afraid to see someone so young yet dead. :(

But anyway, I ended up going yesterday with some high school friends. My mind was running a mile a minute because of all the things happening in my life, and I was also talking so much, trying to keep certain emotions at bay and not wanting to think of how I would react when I finally see our friend who lost his sister. A little while later, we entered the place to pay our respects, and the moment I saw her coffin, lined with her photos and flowers and finally, when I peeked to see her, I couldn’t help but cry. I hardly knew her, and I was only close to her brother during freshmen year…but seeing her — so young, so accomplished, someone who had a very bright future ahead of her — inside a wooden box, dead because of a very unforgiving disease…it’s just surreal.

It was like I was staring at my own mortality. Back then, I only hear of cancer from people who are aging, from people on TV. It wasn’t a possibility for me or any of my friends before — we’re too young and the world’s so big and there’s so many things to do for us to suffer from a disease like that. But seeing someone even younger than me pass away, not even getting to experience how it is to be outside of school…to imagine someone like her going through chemotherapy treatments…it doesn’t feel right. It’s so unfair.

Cliche as this may sound, but being at the funeral last night made me realize yet again how fragile life really is. I’ve always believed that when it’s your time to go, it is your time to go, but it never hit me smack in the face as it did last night. It made me think of how I — or anyone of my loved ones — could just go anytime. How one person could be there at one moment and gone the next. How God can just take anyone of me away when He says its my time to go.

That made me wonder — what am I doing? Is everything I am doing even important? At the end of it all, would what I am doing right now even count? When it’s my time, will what I am doing right now be even worth it? All these things that are bothering me, are they even supposed to matter? What am I living for? Am I living for the world, for now, or am I living in the light of eternity?

So many questions and so many thoughts that, interestingly, gave me a fresh perspective of everything that’s bothering me in my life right now. I keep on complaining on what I am going through right now when what I’m complaining about is just a small thing — even smaller than the usual furniture catalog! Why am I even wasting my time and energy on things that are so petty, when I could use that time to be a better and more loving person? Why am I worrying over something so small, when there are so many more people worrying about things even I can’t grasp?

I guess if there’s something that could really silence people, it would be death, just like what it did to me last night. I can’t say I’m not afraid of death, but being in its presence last night made me remember that life is short compared to eternity, and I must remember where I am, where I am from, where my real home is. Most importantly, I must remember whose I am and what I am living for. Because really, at the end of it all, it’s going to be between me and God.

Separation Anxiety

Yahoo! Messenger works wonders, especially if you’re feeling sad and you kind of want everyone in your contact list to notice, even if you pretend you don’t. Hah. My YM status last night was from one of my new favorite artist’s songs, Jon McLaughlin’s Human: Is there any other reason why we stay instead of leaving?

See? Feel the drama! Because of that, I ended up talking to more than 5 people last night. Heh.

People leaving in the workplace isn’t a new thing for me. In my first job, it came to a point where someone says goodbye every single week. It was a serious morale downer, and I have to admit that it’s one of the things that made me entertain the thought of leaving and actually doing so. It was hard, but in a way it was kind of an accepted fact in my last job. Not even better offers inside the company or free wine racks can make them stay. What goes through my mind every time someone leaves is not “Why are they leaving” but “When will it be my turn?” It’s that bad, in my opinion.

Moving into my new job is one of the best things that happened last year, and I know I mentioned it here more than once. Compared to my first one, this place is heaven. My salary isn’t as high as what my other friends in other companies have, and it’s not really hardcore IT, but compared to my old job, this is really so much better. On top of doing the job that I love (web related), I get to meet lots of new people because of my extra-curriculars (I love that I get to do extracurriculars here), and I can see a lot of career possibilities for me. It feels like I’m in school with a huge monthly allowance, which I really like. It’s not perfect, yes, but it’s so much better than in other places. So I guess I am a happy camper here.

Which is probably why it’s kind of hard for me to accept and hear that other people who I’ve met and are getting to know and became friends with are all planning to leave or thinking about leaving or is not satisfied here. I know it’s different for every person, and the environment is not the same in every account (and I’m really lucky to be in my domain and account right now), and other people aren’t fulfilled with what they are doing or are tired with what they are doing, compared to me who feels like it’s just starting.

Continue reading Separation Anxiety

I will dance with Cinderella (In Memory of Maria)

Such sad, sad news. :(

Steven Curtis Chapman’s Daughter Killed in Accident
5-year-old daughter Maria Sue struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle at home.
By Andree Farias, from press reports
posted 05/22/08

Maria Sue Chapman, Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter, died Wednesday evening from injuries sustained when a sports utility vehicle hit her in the driveway of the family’s home near Franklin, Tennessee. She was 5.

The girl was struck by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by one of her teenage brothers around 5:30 p.m., authorities said. The teen’s identity was not released.

Laura McPherson, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Highway Patrol, told The Tennessean that the girl was airlifted to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, where she was pronounced dead.

“It appears to be a terrible accident,” McPherson said, adding that no charges are expected.

According to the Associated Press, several family members witnessed the accident, but the Tennessean report said only two children saw what happened. McPherson said the entire family was home at the time.

“I’m confident I can speak for everyone in the community to say we will do everything we can to support this family, as we would do at any time, but especially at a time like this,” Gospel Music Association President John W. Styll told The Tennessean.

Maria was Steven and wife Mary Beth Chapman’s third adopted daughter and sixth child overall, behind siblings Will Franklin, Caleb, Emily, Shaohannah, and Stevey Joy.


We were at a Hillsong United meeting yesterday when Erik gave Pastor Ogie the news, and then eventually us. We were all struck, not wanting to believe it, until I called Grace and asked her to look for the news. And it’s true. :(

I had the opportunity to help organize one of Steven Curtis Chapman‘s visits to Manila and to meet the family (at least the boys) during their second visit. I admire their family life and one can definitely feel the love that they all share. I can’t even imagine the pain that they are feeling right now.

Maria is one of Steven’s adopted daughters from China, and they have been an advocate of adoption ever since they accepted Shaohannah, their first adopted daughter. He had always mentioned it in his concerts, and they put up a foundation that supports the cause. It’s hard to fathom why this kind of tragedy could happen to such a loving family…but

I know they probably wouldn’t be able to read this, and I know I’m not as close to them as my other friends who actually got to be with them for a longer time..but my prayers and thoughts are with the family. Even I can’t understand why this happen, and I know I probably wouldn’t until I finally meet God, but I know He’s got everything under His control, and I take comfort in that.

If you want to send gifts to the Chapman family, they are accepting it through Maria’s Miracle Fund via Shaohannah’s Hope, or you may leave a message in the blog in memory of Maria.

Rest in peace, Maria Sue.

On cleaning up and moving on

Yesterday my mom and I spent the whole day cleaning and rearranging my room. I am finally getting my much-awaited and wished for bookshelf, hence the room rearrangement. My room’s much spacier now, which I really love. We got rid of the office chair and my desk is now right in front of my bed, so I can sit on my bed and type and watch videos while lying down. :P No need for leather office chairs! And I think I can fit in a beanbag chair in here once the bookshelf is set. YES!

The whole cleaning thing got me affected though. Too many dust = minor asthma attack. ACK. I was supposed to go out with Happy and Tuesday to scour Greenhills for an external hard drive, but I guess today I must rest if I have to be up and at ’em all week. So…hard drive can wait.

While cleaning up, I found tons of useless papers I stuffed in my drawers. I found old printed stories from KidPub that I liked. I found old school stuff — old handouts and papers that I said I’d use as scratch paper but never did because I never found the use for them. At least not yet…and well, I don’t think I ever will. I’m far from cleaning everything up, but I’ve resolved to throw away everything that I don’t need anymore. Yes, it’s time to say goodbye to being a pack-rat.

Anyway, since I’m talking about cleaning up and moving on from all the old stuff, Tuesday and I got into a discussion last Saturday about someone who’s been currently missing in action in our lives for a long time now. It’s hard to know and decide when to let go of someone especially when that person is a good friend. You know, when to move on when it seems like the friendship is on…a limbo. It’s not that I won’t think of that person as a friend, but I’m just stopping myself from putting my life on hold so that person and I could catch up. For all I know, that person could be living his/her own life and enjoying it without me. It’s sad, yes, but maybe, that’s the way how some things are and will be. That person will still be a friend, and hopefully, we’ll get back to how it sort of was before someday. But right now, I think it’s time to see my other friends and appreciate them for how they stay in my life, yes?

My mom’s been calling me for lunch so I can drink my meds. :D Happy Araw ng Kagitingan. :D