My favorite part of the first episode of HBO’s new TV show, “The Newsroom”:



Saw this on facebook, just had to repost here ūüôā


This is your life. ¬†Find a passion and pursue it. ¬†Fall in love. ¬†Dream big. ¬†Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends. ¬†Laugh everyday. ¬†Believe in magic. ¬†Tell stories. ¬†Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism to the future. Travel often. Learn more. ¬†Be creative. ¬†Spend time with people you admire. ¬†Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves. ¬†Love with all your heart. ¬†Never give up. ¬†Do what you love. ¬†Be true to who you are. ¬†Make time to enjoy the simple things in life. ¬†Spend time with family. ¬†Forgive even when it’s hard. ¬†Smile often. ¬†Be grateful. ¬†Be the change you wish to see in the world. ¬†Follow your dreams. ¬†Try new things. ¬†Work hard. ¬†Don’t count the minutes, count the laughs. Embrace change. ¬†Trust in yourself. ¬†Be thankful.¬† Be nice to everyone. ¬†Be happy. ¬†Live for today.¬†¬†And above all…make every moment count.¬† — Louise Carey

The joy of solitude

I recently watched a TED Talk given by Susan Cain on “The Power of Introverts.”¬† And it got me to thinking of how I enjoy solitude.

One of the main reasons I loved college was that I had a lot of time to read, think & reflect.  I loved going to the library after school hours & staying until it closed.  I relished reading all the books,  magazines & periodicals on the vast 6th floor of our library building, enjoying the quiet & stillness while I read, & hearing only the faintest sound of pages being turned.

I loved taking walks alone from school all the way down Session Road & back, stopping in at the few bookstores that were along the way, and just enjoying browsing all the colorful cards, posters, books & magazines that were offered. 

As I grew older, there were times when I would crave & actively seek ways to relive that same feeling of peace & quiet & being alone in my thoughts that solitude brings, whether it be just being alone in my room reading a good book, or being outside walking & feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the company of my boys & my friends.¬† But sometimes, it feels good to be alone, to not talk & just enjoy looking out & taking in all the scenery, having time to think about everything…or nothing¬†if I so choose, and exhilarating in just…being.

private battles

A few hours ago I was at the Navy Exchange and I couldn’t help but overhear this guy say to the woman who was with him, “You’re a f***king retard, that’s why you need to have me with you to buy this s**t.”¬† They passed in front of me while he was talking like that & I saw they had with them¬†a boy that looked like my son’s age & a girl who is a toddler.
When I was in Italy, one time I was at the grocery store when I heard a fellow Filipina.  She was obviously arguing with what I assume was either her boyfriend or husband because there were kids with them.  She was talking loudly & cussing at him in Filipino while the poor guy was trying to calm her down, with no success.  Why were they fighting?  From what I heard, because he didn’t park where she wanted & because he happened to greet a pretty acquaintance who was on her way out while they were going into the store.  Since they were blocking my access to the milk, I excused myself, but couldn’t help but notice the look of embarrassment on the guy’s face while the woman kept up her nonstop ranting.  The Italians around us obviously didn’t understand what this woman was talking about, but the tone & volume of her voice said it all.  Everyone couldn’t help but notice & walk away sheepishly.
On my walk home, their car passed by & I saw the woman hitting the guy while he was driving.  I felt sorry not only for the guy but also for their kids who had to witness this, & was alarmed at the possibility of a car accident involving not only them but others as well.
She may have other legitimate reasons for being angry at the guy.  But I personally think that when you’re angry, you don’t have to resort to hitting, cussing or insults.  These are all signs of an abusive person, especially when it’s done on a regular basis. 
The best reason not to hit, cuss or insult¬†your guy or gal is this –¬† you don‚Äôt have to, & if you truly love this person, you shouldn‚Äôt.¬† A withering glance and a few choice words should be enough to express any anger or resentment, and should be done in the privacy of your own home.¬† If you don‚Äôt know how to fight or express your anger without getting physically, emotionally or verbally abusive, then you need help.¬† Otherwise, you‚Äôll be ruining your relationship & will be serving as a poor role model for relationships¬†for any kids involved.¬† Those kids will learn that abusive behavior is ‚Äėnormal‚Äô and acceptable.¬† They‚Äôll most likely¬†grow up to become either abusers themselves or victims in an abusive relationship.¬† And staying in this kind of relationship isn‚Äôt good or healthy either if the abusive person simply can‚Äôt or won‚Äôt change.
Private arguments should remain private, & should not be waged in public.  Please spare us the spectacle.
Originally published on my friendster blog 1/8/09, with a few revisions.

Party, party!

Who doesn’t love to party?¬† Whether big or small, simple or grand, special occasion or just because, we like to party or celebrate.

But we also have to be practical.  One thing I & others find irritating is when people try & borrow money from us so that they can throw a party.  Gustong magkaroon ng engrandeng kasal, debut , birthday o binyag, di bale nang mabaon sa utang o manghiram ng pera sa mga kamaganak & kaibigan based abroad, makapaghanda & makapag-party lang ng magarbo.

They say the 1st, 7th & debut birthday¬†(18 for girls, 21 for boys) dapat bongga ang handa.¬† If you can afford it, sure, why not!¬† But realistically, for the 1st birthday, your adorable little son or daughter isn’t going to remember the event, so there’s no real need to have a big party.¬† Kids for the most part are easy to please.¬† On their birthday have a simple celebration at home or take them to their favorite restaurant, no need to go¬†into debt having food catered or holding the party at a restaurant & buying¬†loads of gifts.¬† If you want to have a grand celebration for your daughter’s 18th or your son’s 21st birthday, you should start saving up as soon as you found out you’re having a baby.

Di ko rin maintindihan why some would ask for financial help for a baptism.¬† Aba eh mag-aanak ka, pambinyag lang di mo makayang i-provide, ba’t ka pa nagkaanak?¬† Wag ka nang magparty after the binyag, a simple celebration will do.

Some will say,¬† “Di bale, basta masaya tayo, ok lang gumastos para sa party.”¬† How can you be¬†truly happy if you’re saddled with debt for a non-essential expense like a party?¬† And if you have no savings or life insurance to speak of & God forbid something happens like a serious illness or death of the breadwinner of the family, how will people provide for themselves?¬† Mangungutang uli o aasa sa mga taga-abroad to provide for their needs?

It’s ok to party, people, but let’s be practical.¬† If you can’t afford it, have a simple & happy celebration with family & close friends, the people who matter to you.¬† You might have a small & no-frills celebration, but the fun & memories will be priceless.

This video nails it on the head in terms of what motivates me. 


Status symbols

A few days ago at a meeting we were talking about how a large income is no guarantee that people have savings or are financially secure.¬† Two guys said that high income earners like doctors & lawyers have to live in posh neighborhoods & drive fancy cars because that is what’s expected of them & that people will look down on them if they don’t.
I disagreed.¬† I said they don’t HAVE to live in a posh neighborhood, buy a BMW or anything expensive, they just choose to do that.¬† People sometimes are just too conscious of status symbols.¬† ¬†“But Den, wouldn’t you look down on a doctor who drives a Toyota or lives in an average neighborhood?”¬† I said I don’t really¬†care about those things.¬† What matters to me is that if I’m sick, ¬†he can help me get well.¬† If I or my loved ones had cancer or a serious illness (knock on wood), the first thing I’m going to ask is not “Where do you live?”¬† or “What car do you drive?”¬† but “What medical procedures would you recommend?”¬† His competence is what matters to me, not where he lives or what the make & model of the car he’s driving.
One of my favorite lessons when I was teaching conversational English at Nova is the one on status symbols.¬† There’s a sentence that states “Many young women love to buy brand name bags.¬† I’ve never understood why.”
I’ve never understood it either.¬† I mean, there’s nothing wrong with brand name clothes, shoes or what have you every once in a while, but I personally am not willing to spend $300 on a tiny bag when I can buy a good sized one for $20 or less at Target or Wal-Mart.
I am turned off by people who flaunt or brag about expensive stuff they have, not realizing that it’s just stuff, just things¬† To me, it shows how shallow or weak their sense of self-worth is.
If your self-worth is tied to material things, achievements, or your looks, all of which are ephemeral, then I think reality will someday deal a big blow to these things you value, & only then will you truly realize that there is more to life than these. 
I’m glad I learned early on that the rat race & the pursuit of happiness in the form of material things is not for me.¬† I’m at heart a simple girl with simple needs… as long as I have family, friends, a good book to read now & then, a job that I enjoy doing, & get to travel & be out in nature, I’m content.¬† Everything else is just icing on the cake.