Saturday, September 26, 2009

Traffic

Yes, we live in Manila and heavy traffic is just like having eggs on your tapsilog. Yes, it is also an everyday (every hour!) occurrence that raises the blood pressure of any one. You just can't get used to it. Oh, then with rains. Wow. Moving two feet from where you were originally is a luxury. With floods, you're better off dead. Well, some people in the government are. Oh, sorry. Getting back...Traffic! Whew! It really ticks me off when a 30-minute ride turns into a three-hour Alay Lakad (the speed of the car) event. Yes, truly a march of death. The stupid but know-it-all traffic enforcers also don't help but make things even worse. It also pisses me off when I think of government officials who are supposedly in-charge of making our lives easier by thinking of solutions to traffic are probably in a hotel (room?) enjoying taxpayers money! While me? I'm stuck in traffic with a bladder that's about to erupt but not enough to go to the pink lavatories which are dirtier than the comfort rooms in my high school. Who to blame? Who to blame? Hmm...

Are government officials the ones to blame for all the bad things that are happening to us? Ergo pinoy quarterlife crisis? Are they stunting the growth of the nation and the people? Are we stuck here because of money-hungry politicians who only care about improving on their real estate portfolio? It's shallow, I know--blaming traffic and the floods and all to politicians. But I can't help but wonder. What if they used their pork barrel to repair the drainage system in their areas? What if they invested in educating traffic enforcers? What if they give policemen and military men what is due to them instead of pocketing the money? Would there be less kidnappings and carnappings here in the Philippines? Will my friend still be stuck in the middle of EDSA? How many people could have been more productive today?

What can we do to help? How can we be part of the solution and not contribute more to the problem?

I can only pray that we know the answer to this.

Tsk tsk. Traffic. Floods. Politicians.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mind over matter

I remember a popular story about courage that my dad told me many years ago. During a final exam in one of the universities abroad, a professor asked his students to write down the definition of courage in five pages of yellow paper, back to back. Almost all the students panicked. How can they define one word in 10 pages?! It was close to impossible. Then, after a few seconds, this guy, known for being quiet the whole term, stands up, walks to the professor's desk and turns in his paper. Again, everyone is shocked. "Aww, he gave up too easily." "Wow. He sure writes fast!" He looks at the professor and leaves the room. The teacher is calm. He follows the student with his eyes then looks at the paper as soon as the student is out of the room. He looks at the first two pages. Blank. He smirks. Turning the set of paper over and seemingly claiming victory, he sees something written at the very end of the paper. At the very last line and at the very end of the back of the fifth page, there is something written. "This is courage."

The student got an "A" in his final exam.

Courage. How do you define courage? Like the student, I don't think it can be defined in words. It can be defined in deeds. By how you react to certain situations. By how you stand up to a difficult situation, looking at it straight in the eye, saying: "I can take you."

One perfect example of someone exhibiting courage is my friend from high school, Jacqueline Franquelli. She is courage personified. You see she just found out that she had a large tumor pressing against a brain stem and some crucial nerves in her head last week. How would you usually react if a doctor gives you news like that? Me? I would probably cry and sulk and hate God and question him and all the other negative reactions. "Why me" would be the only question in my mind. And why at such a young age! My life is just coming to me. I've just discovered what I really wanted to do with my life, Lord! Why?! But that's just me. Jacq took the different road. The better road. She smiled. She prayed and thanked God for making her and the people around her realize that life is short and it should be lived accordingly. She gleefully texted her friends to ask for their prayers. Nothing more. Just prayers. She went head on and faced the bad news with great faith. With God by her side, how can anything go wrong, she mused.

She instantly knew that she would be okay. She discussed the options with her doctors and family and made a bold decision. She would go through with a brain surgery. Just a couple of days after finding out about the benign tumor.

Tomorrow, as she goes under the knife to get a second lease on life, let us be with her in prayers. Let us not feel sad about what had happened to her. She isn't. If she is, she's doing her best at hiding it and making her loved ones exude courage as well. And she's doing a great job at it too.

Her being positive and upbeat about the temporary setback in her life is truly inspiring. We need more of that inspiration from her. We also need to be courageous. We need Jacq and she needs us too.

Together, let us all pray for the success of her operation...it's gonna be mind over matter...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ticknology

I love blaming technology. You never lose when you blame something to technology. "What? You texted? I didn't get your message! Okay, I'll go home now, honey. Last beer. Can't wait to go home and take care of you. Damn, network! Bye." See. Easy. Haha. Just kidding. "Which email, sir? I was fired three weeks ago?! Nope. Didn't get that email, sir." Hahaha.

But sometimes they strike back! Be warned. And I was a victim recently. Damn you PLDT DSL! Five days or so now that we've had horrible (understatement of the year) signal and sometimes no signal at all. If I tell you how my call to their helpdesk went then that would take me another three DSL-less days to write.

I remember the days when we didn't have cellphones, pagers, the internet, email, text messaging, etc. Life was so much simpler then. Less fights between couples because you couldn't wrong send a phone call. People are friendlier and are more personal because you really can't meet or see who's emailing you a proposal. Stuff like that. Technology has really gone a long way. And it has certainly contributed to people experiencing quarterlife crisis in a way that they can handle it better with people being more accessible when they have problems and researching about what they're going through is just a few clicks away. Technology has also evolved to become a sort of support group.

With or without technology, I still think that we would still be experiencing quarterlife crisis. But it has helped.

Didn't help me though these past few days. It ticked me off.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Balls, where art thou?

Precisely my question after I took the plunge of my life just last weekend in Danao, Bohol. No, tito and tita, I did not get married and forgot to invite you. That will happen soon, don't worry. I will forget you during that time too.

The plunge I'm talking about was The Plunge in Danao, Bohol. It's a 45-meter or so drop from a platform 200 meters above a river and trees. Think Tarzan. Well, higher. All you see below you are trees and rocks and water. Very small trees, rocks and river. Well, I conquered a fear. Well, it wasn't really a fear since it was my first time to really test something like that.

After the drop, I immediately held on to what is now left as the only determining factor to separate me from being a girl (yes, I think I have man titties already so there goes that)--my balls. That was the first thing I asked the staff, "Did I leave my balls there?" That's how it felt. I felt so light all over. You really have to try it for yourself to experience what I'm talking about (or wait for the Oct-Nov issue of JUAN Philippines, hehe). All I could say after the jump was, "Solid, pare. Solid."

Like what I did in EAT Danao, there are many so-called "plunges" in life. The most basic that is marriage, a new relationship, a new career and so on and so forth. And in all those leaps come risks and consequences. For me, I don't really care about the negative or positive outcome or results of the plunge. What is important for me is that I took the jump. It is better to regret something that you did than regretting something that you did not do. For me. It may be different for others. Being at the end of that cable and staring at my feet blending with the greens of what was below me gave me the feeling that I am really not always in control of my life. That I sometimes have to trust other people for something that in the end would also and still benefit me. Leap of faith. That God loves me and wants me to know that it's okay to let go of that security blanket/rope/cable/job/relationship because he will be there to catch me. Change is good. Change is God.

But seriously, has anyone of you seen my balls?!