Friday, November 11, 2011

At the end of the day...

When did this become an official corporate jargon?

"AT THE END OF THE DAY, profit is the most integral part of our business."

No s*#t, duh?

Every time I hear it in meetings (or in the elevator), I smile to myself. I smile and naughtily think of other terms to replace this. Or sometimes I think WHEN I would actually BE the ONE saying it.

Apparently, only bosses have the right to say that. Ironically, it was voted as one of the most annoying phrases ever spoken.

With crazy things happening each and every day at the office, I'm glad that this phrase somewhat makes me sane one way or the other.

Yes, it's the phrase people say before they make the most important statement during the meeting. Or, just to shut up that annoying person who keeps on suggesting stupid campaigns.

Some office mates and I have even resorted to saluting every time we hear the phrase uttered in meetings. Hehe, sorry bosses.

Anyway, here are some alternative phrases that we can use once we become bosses. Some I got online, some I invented and tweaked to become as close to the phrase as possible (guess my inventions! haha).

Here they are. Enjoy!

1. When all is said and done...
2. Before we go to sleep...
3. Before we turn off the bedside lamp...
4. When the fat lady sings...
5. When Elvis leaves the building...
6. Taking everything else into consideration...
7. Ultimately...
8. Once the school bell rings...
9. After a bus hits me when I exit this building...
10. When that last guitar chord is strum...
11. After slapping you...
12. When the Pop Tart's out of the toaster...
13. When all appeals are exhausted and the client is broke...
14. When Gloria finally gets to fly out of the country for that face alteration...
15. When Noynoy finally does something that will make him worthy to be President of a country...
16. Once you are able to send a message using your Globe line...
17. When Manny Pacquiao finally loses...
18. When Ramona Revilla returns to the country...
19. When Kuya Germs finally falls asleep...
20. When the pen is finally parked...
21. When there is no traffic along EDSA...
22. When I take my shirt off and you girls run out of the conference room...
23. Pag pumayat na si Sharon...
24. When Kris Aquino finally shuts her mouth...
25. When Boy Abunda asks us to look in his magical mirror...

There. There are so many variations to the phrase. I wonder why people don't use those instead. Haha.

Anyway, I'm bored. Forgive me for this list.

Any other suggestions?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Negative + Negative = Positive?

A lot of times people look at the negative side of what they feel they can't do. I always look on the positive side of what I can do. - Chuck Norris

Yes, there will always be negative things in life. There will always be negative people in our lives. 

"Dad, I scored 20 points in our basketball game today!" "You should've scored 30!"

"Boss, look at my video project!" "Yeah, it's good you were able to interview him but the shot is awful!"

Yup, there will always be people who will burst that bubble. Or cut that rope to satisfaction. Or turn off the lights on your dreams. There will always be the Debbie Downers or the Nancy Nags who will keep on complaining about everything.

Uh-huh, all these add up. They may seem trivial at times and you may just laugh about them but it takes its toll on you. It pinches nerves. It elicits a forced teeth grind. It sucks.

But they are part of life. I don't want to sound negative but we cannot rid ourselves of negative occurrences in life as well as negative people. They will ALWAYS be there.

They will be our constant reminders of how bad we are doing. Or how nasty we are being. Or how poor we are performing.

So how do we deal with negativity then?

The best way of removing negativity is to laugh and be joyous. - David Icke

Yes, laughter is THE best medicine. Reader's Digest says so and life says so.

We just have to laugh about them. Brush them off your shoulders. Enter one ear then leave the other.

No need to get consumed by them. You're just gonna waste your time. So, just laugh at them.

A clear understanding of negative emotions dismisses them.- Vernon Howard

Try understanding why they're like that. Or why things are what they seem. How did they turn into a negative situation? Maybe it was your fault. It doesn't matter if it wasn't. Just try to understand.

Accent your positive and delete your negative.  - Donna Karan
Personally, I don't like negative people. I don't like being stuck in negative situations. I don't like conflicts. I don't deal with conflicts and confrontation well. I just don't like it when something that I expect to happen does not happen. But then again, who dictates on what should and should NOT happen.

So the best thing to do is to adjust. Compromise. Understand. Easier said than done BUT it has to be done.

They say the positives should outweigh the negatives. I certainly hope so.

If not, we can just be negative too. Two negatives produce something positive anyway, right?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Movie Watching 101 (Relax, watch a movie).

We know you’ve been irritated or annoyed by that person snoring or kicking the back of your seat one time or another in the past. Yes, we’ve been victims too.

Here is our part in making watching movies in public fun again.

1. Put your phones on Silent Mode.

People do not want to hear whether you have the latest ringtone or that you are an important person in your job (if you were, then people would not bother you if you told them not to). How would you feel if you missed a very important line in the movie because the inconsiderate person in front of you forgot (or intentionally) to put his/her phone on Silent Mode. Oh, if your phone is on Silent Mode and it vibrates, it would be best to take the phone call outside the theater if you really have to answer that call. Otherwise, please wait until the end of the movie and just call the person back. Rule of Thumb: If it is really important, the person will call again. If not, then just call them back after the movie.

2. Don’t hit the seat in front of you.

The person in front of you paid for the seat he/she is sitting on just like you. Treat their chair as their property and try your best to avoid hitting them with your feet or knees. If you are above 6 feet then that would be perfectly understandable (and we do not want to pick a fight with you) but please say “sorry” every time you do hit their chair. Nothing is more annoying than someone nudging you from behind. Treat the chair in front of you like a person walking or standing in front of you.

3. Do not hog all the arm rests.

Share the arm rests. If you’re already resting your arm on the right arm rest then make the other one available to your seatmate. Most often than not, the arm rest on your right is YOURS. Lucky you if you don’t have someone sitting on your left but if you want to sit like a king then you can always watch in your own house. Also avoid putting your bags or other things on the empty seats beside you. You did not pay for them and this may be a sign that someone is sitting there. Give other moviegoers a chance to get good seats as well.

4. Dispose of your trash properly.

Yes, it’s always funny seeing someone stumble and fall face down on the floor but what if this someone is you or your mother. Put your trash under your seats if you are too lazy to bring them out with you.

5. Keep the jokes to yourself/ves.

People don’t like people who laugh at everything in the movie. Okay, the fat chick falls on the skinny guy but that’s the fifth time that that has happened so maybe you can control your laughter now. Do not ruin the serious mood that other moviegoers are in especially if what you are watching is not comedy. Yes, laughter is the best medicine but this is not prescribed to everyone inside the movie theater so learn how to control its volume.

6. It’s okay to ask questions. Just don’t address it to everyone in the theater.

Missed a line? Ask your friend (we hope you have a friend with you or else that would be a bit creepy) quietly. Do not address the whole audience. You are not David Letterman. Keep the decibel level to a one person distance.

7. If you’ve seen the movie, keep it to yourself.

Okay, you’re rich enough to watch the movie twice but it’s all our first time to catch this film. Yes, we ACTUALLY want to see what happens in the next scene and we DON’T want to find out if the lead actor dies or gets his hands cut off. But if you really cannot avoid opening your trap then open wide so our popcorn can fit your mouth.

8. Pick your food. Close your mouth. Don’t crush the wrapper.

Choose your food wisely. Remember, you don’t have a table in your seat. You don’t want your food spilling all over. If you know that your food will smell (Shawarma, anyone?) then please sit in the very corner of the theater. You can also try closing your mouth when you chew. Yes, this actually eliminates the sound from your chewing. We know that burger tastes great, you don’t have to be arrogant and all and let us know every time you bite into it.

When disposing of the snack, try to crumple the wrapper as slowly as you can. Crushing the Mr. Chips wrapper emits sounds that irritate other people. Try folding it sometime.

Oh, on a side note, eat food that won’t stick to the spaces between your teeth too much. Hearing a lady “magtinga” (for lack of a better word, our apologies) is just part of the Greatest Movie Experience Ever.

9. Don’t leave one seat empty.

Be considerate enough and don’t leave one seat empty in between another group. Unless they’re like you when you were in highschool and don’t have friends, it’s rare that people go to the movies alone. That one seat between you and the other group in your row is useless so sacrifice your arm rest and let that sweet-looking couple enjoy the movie together.

10. Check your kids. Pick movies you bring your kids too.

Cars 2, yes. Transformers, hmm. Harry Potter, okay. Cowboys vs. Aliens, not so okay. Just like in church, you don’t want kids running around and shouting invectives at their yaya’s all throughout the movie. So if you think that your kid won’t like the movie that you will be watching, two words for you—Day Care. Or leave them at home. I know of some adults who don’t care whether they trip kids or adults. Be careful.

11. Restroom break. Choose the way nearest to the aisle and move quickly.

Okay, we wouldn’t want you to go right there on your seat. That’s just nasty (and uncomfortable for you). If you need to visit the toilet in the middle of the movie, make it as quick as you can so that people you pass through to get to the aisle won’t be bothered as much. They DID go to the restroom before the start of the movie. Hey, that’s a good idea! Go to the restroom BEFORE the start of the movie. That might actually work for you.

12. Arrive on time.

They actually say what time the movie starts in your ticket or in the ticket booth. To avoid saying “excuse me” to the people you pass by going to your seat and also to understand the movie (so as not to ask questions), maybe it’s best that you get to your seats before the actual movie starts. It’s fun to watch trailers of upcoming movies too.

We would love to be able to relax again while watching a movie so please follow these simple and basic rules when going to the movies.

Be considerate of other people who paid to see the movie too. Respect begets respect, always remember this. And don’t be afraid to “shhh” people who might be in violation of the basic rules when watching a movie.

Let us all group together to fight these inconsiderate people. Enjoy the movies!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Ulilang Apo

I’ve always wondered how it was to have a lolo. I didn’t know how it was to sit on a grandfather’s lap while he went on telling stories about the war or a certain struggle that they went through while growing up. I never had the opportunity to ride an old car or sniff at the vintage scent of a tobacco. I was never reprimanded (although my parents took care of this) or I was never called “lolo’s favorite grandchild.”

I was lolo-less.

Then how come I’m writing about my lolo as a hero, you ask? Well, based on the stories from my lola, aunts, uncles and older cousins, my lolo was truly a hero in every sense of the word. Maybe not to me personally but to my family and also to many Filipinos.

You see, my lolo was former senator and court of appeals justice Roseller T. Lim. Yes, his name might not ring a bell and it may not be the most familiar names in Philippine politics (there were still no television commercials back then) but reading his resume and hearing stories from people he had helped makes him the most famous man in my side of the world.

I still marvel at my lolo’s kindness every time I recall the story on how he first became a “public servant.” He was on his way home one afternoon when he heard someone writhing and moaning in pain as he was passing the wharf. He went to the man and asked him what was wrong. He found out that the man had his appendectomy stitches ruptured as he had just had the procedure two days ago but was forced by his employer to work already. My lolo quickly brought the man to the hospital and after this literally rolled up his sleeves and went back to the wharf and called the first-ever labor strike in Zamboanga (which eventually became the Mindanao Labor Foundation which is still existing until this day). He then went on to become one of the advocates for labor in his stint as representative of the city to Congress at only 34 years old. In a report my lolo made entitled “My 14 Years in Congress,” he proudly mentioned that he was the first ZamboangeƱo to ever serve for Congress for six years and also the first ZamboangeƱo to serve in Upper Chamber for eight years. Until now, I don’t think this feat has been duplicated. He was also the first Filipino with a Chinese family name to win a national post.

My lolo, together with 17 other congressmen, introduced the creation of the Social Security System providing employees protection and benefits like sick leave (that’s why I can write this article on a Tuesday. Thanks, Gramps!), minimum wage (that’s why I could afford to buy this computer), death benefits (I hope I won't be claiming this soon!) and retirement funds (see you sooner, I hope). He was even made chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee when he was in the Senate and was a representative to the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland where he made significant strides toward the recognition of the Philippines in the international organization. He was also a Constitutional Convention delegate in 1971 and was one of the 49 delegates who did not sign the so-called Marcos Constitution of 1972.

I can go on and on about his achievements but knowing my lolo as being a humble man, I would not want to embarrass him through me. Or have I done that already?

Anyway, more than all the achievements I listed above, his influences on me and my life have been immeasurable. His being dubbed as “The Great Filibuster” has rubbed off on me as I can run my mouth talking about one topic for several hours (right, guys?). My lolo did it for 18-and-a-half hours to try and protect the Senate from being taken over by the minority party (Marcos) but was blind-sided by Marcos and we all knew what happened after this.

My lolo passed away when he was only 61 years old. He was working as a justice for the Court of Appeals. My siblings and I always wonder what would have happened if he lived a little longer. Me, I think, he would not have just been a great lolo but a great president as well. He was “Pro-Filipino” in every sense of the term and that quality is the only thing that matters when you’re president. It would be really cool to see him in TV commercials too (not riding a pedicab for sure). I wonder if he’d also pretend to be champion of the masses. Oh, yeah, he really was.

He is my hero because he has left us with a legacy that will be unmatched. He has left us with a good name. When we’re in Zamboanga, every time people there find out who we are, we are treated like royalty. This is testament to all the sacrifices and the hard work that my lolo had done when he was still alive. He was a person of service. A person of integrity. A person I never got to know personally but I believe he will live on through the stories of the people he was able to help. It will live on through the taxi driver who when he found out about my lolo’s funeral, rushed to the church and insisted that he be one of the pall bearers. It will live on through me. Through the vow that I will make that I will never do anything to taint the name that my lolo had worked hard to make (I really hope I’m not too late).

At first, I doubted I could have a hero whom I had never met in person. After recalling all the lessons that I learned from my parents through words and deeds that my lolo taught them, I think that it is better to have a hero whom is not physically with you. You can never question what they said because they’re not there with you. You just follow what they said and trust that he will guide you through what you’re going through. My lolo is my hero and he will always stay that way.

I am partly writing this because I do not feel that all the achievements of my Lolo had been given enough recognition by the government. But I am only one small voice (our weighing scale would disagree). What I can do is let my Lolo know that we are okay. We may not be the perfect family that I know my Lolo wanted us to be but we’re okay (can’t say the same thing for our country though). You have done your job well. For the country and for your family. Your lessons on being strict and also your humor will carry us through life.

To my lolo. You are my icon. You are my hero. Thank you.

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

11 Things to Know at 25(ish)

By:  Shauna Niequest 

What you need to know to be a real adult.
When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.
1. You Have Time to Find a Job You Love
Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.

When I was 25, I was in my third job in as many years—all in the same area at a church, but the responsibilities were different each time. I was frustrated at the end of the third year because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do next. I didn’t feel like I’d found my place yet. I met with my boss, who was in his 50s. I told him how anxious I was about finding the one perfect job for me, and quick. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him I was 25, he told me I couldn’t complain to him about finding the right job until I was 32. In his opinion, it takes about 10 years after college to find the right fit, and anyone who finds it earlier than that is just plain lucky. So use every bit of your 10 years: try things, take classes, start over.
2. Get Out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt
Part of being a healthy, mature adult is learning to live within your means all the time, even if that means going without things you think you need, or doing work you don’t love for a while to be responsible financially. The ability to adjust your spending according to your income is a skill that will serve you your whole life.

There will be times when you have more money than you need. In those seasons, tithe as always, save like crazy, and then let yourself buy fancy shampoo or an iPad or whatever it is you really get a kick out of. When the money’s not rolling in, buy your shampoo from the grocery store and eat eggs instead of steak—a much cheaper way to get protein. If you can get the hang of living within your means all the time—always tithing, never going into debt—you’ll be ahead of the game when life surprises you with bad financial news.
I know a lot of people who have bright, passionate dreams but who can’t give their lives to those dreams because of the debt they carry. Don’t miss out on a great adventure God calls you to because you’ve been careless about debt.
3. Don’t Rush Dating and Marriage
Now is also the time to get serious about relationships. And “serious” might mean walking away from a dating relationship that’s good but not great. Some of the most life-shaping decisions you’ll make during this time will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without. One of the only truly devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. It’s not fair to that person, and it’s not fair to you.

“Who are you dating?” “Do you think he’s the one?” “Have you looked at rings?” It’s easy to be seduced by the romance-dating-marriage narrative. We confer a lot of status and respect on people who are getting married—we buy them presents and consider them as more adult and more responsible.
But there’s nothing inherently more responsible or more admirable about being married. I’m thankful to be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary this summer, but at the same time, I have a fair amount of friends whose marriages are ending—friends whose weddings we danced at, whose wedding cake we ate, whose rings we oohed-and-aahed over but that have been taken off fingers a long time ago.
Some people view marriage as the next step to happiness or grown-up life or some kind of legitimacy, and in their mad desire to be married, they overlook significant issues in the relationship.

Ask your friends, family members and mentors what they think of the person you’re dating and your relationship. Go through premarital counseling before you are engaged, because, really, engagement is largely about wedding planning, and it’s tough to see the flaws in a relationship clearly when you’re wearing a diamond and you have a deposit on an event space.

I’m kind of a broken record on this. My younger friends will tell you I say the same things over and over when they talk to me about love, things like, “He seems great—what’s the rush?” and, “Yes, I like her—give it a year.” And they’ve heard this one a million times: “Time is on your side.” Really, it is.
4. Give Your Best to Friends and Family
While twentysomethings can sometimes spend a little too much energy on dating and marriage, they probably spend too little energy on friendships and family. That girl you just met and now text 76 times a day probably won’t be a part of your life in 10 years, but the guys you lived with in college, if you keep investing in them, will be friends for a lifetime. Lots of people move around in their 20s, but even across the distance, make an effort to invest in the friendships that are important to you. Loyalty is no small thing, especially in a season during which so many other things are shifting.

Family is a tricky thing in your 20s—to learn how to be an adult out on your own but to also maintain a healthy relationship with your parents—but those relationships are really, really worth investing in. I have a new vantage point on this now that I’m a parent. When my parents momentarily forget I’m an adult, I remind myself that someday this little boy of ours will drive a car, get a job and buy a home. I know that even then it will be hard not to scrape his hair across his forehead or tell him his eyes are looking sleepy, and I give my parents a break for still seeing me as their little girl every once in a while.
5. Get Some Counseling
Twenty-five is also a great time to get into counseling if you haven’t already, or begin round two of counseling if it’s been a while. You might have just enough space from your parents to start digging around your childhood a little bit. Unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy, whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.

Some people believe emotional and psychological issues should be solved through traditional spiritual means—that prayer and pastoral guidance are all that’s necessary when facing issues of mental health. I disagree. We generally trust medical doctors to help us heal from physical ailments. We can and should trust counselors and therapists to help us resolve emotional and psychological issues. Many pastors have no training in counseling, and while they care deeply about what you’re facing, sometimes the best gift they can give you is a referral to a therapist who does have the education to help you.

Faith and counseling aren’t at odds with one another. Spiritual growth and emotional health are both part of God’s desire for us. Counseling—like time with a mentor, personal scriptural study, a small group experience and outside reading—can help you grow, and can help you connect more deeply with God.
So let your pastor do his or her thing, and let the person who has an advanced degree in mental health help you with yours.

6. Seek Out a Mentor
One of the most valuable relationships you can cultivate in your 20s is a mentoring relationship with someone who’s a little older, a little wiser, someone who can be a listening ear and sounding board during a high change season. When I look back on my life from 22 to 26, some of the most significant growth occurred as a direct result of the time I spent with my mentor, Nancy.

The best way to find a mentor is to ask, and then to work with the parameters they give you. If someone does agree to meet with you, let it be on their terms. Nancy and I met on Wednesdays at 7 in the morning. I guarantee that was not my preference. But it was what worked for her life, so once a month I dragged myself out of the house in what felt to me like the dead of night. It also helps to keep it to a limited-time period. It’s a lot to ask of someone to meet once a month until the end of time. But a one-year commitment feels pretty manageable for most people, and you can both decide to sign on for another year or not, depending on the connection you’ve made.
7. Be a Part of a Church
Twenty-five is the perfect time to get involved in a church you love, no matter how different it is from the one you were a part of growing up. Be patient and prayerful, and decide that you’re going to be a person who grows, who seeks your own faith, who lives with intention. Set your alarm on Sunday mornings, no matter how late you were out on Saturday night. It will be dreadful at first, and then after a few weeks, you’ll find that you like it, that the pattern of it fills up something inside you.
8. Find a Rhythm for Spiritual Disciplines
Going out into “the real world” after high school or college affects more than just your professional life. Where once you had free time, a flexible schedule and built-in community, now you have one hour for lunch, 10 days max to “skip” work and co-workers who are all over the place in age, stage of life and religion.

In those first few years of work-life, it’s easy to get too busy, too stressed and too disconnected to keep up spiritual habits you may have built in school. Figuring out how to stay close to God and to grow that relationship through activities and disciplines that complement your new schedule is critical for life now—and those habits will serve you for years to come.

One of the best routines I adopted in my 20s was a monthly solitude day. In addition to my daily prayer time, I found I lived better if once a month I took the time to pray, read, rest and write, to ask myself about the choices I’d made in the past month and to ask for God’s guidance in the month to come. Some of the most important decisions I made in that season of life became clear as a result of that monthly commitment.
9. Volunteer
Give of your time and energy to make the world better in a way that doesn’t benefit you directly. Teach Sunday school, build houses with Habitat for Humanity, serve at a food pantry or clean up beaches on Saturdays.

It’s easy to get caught up in your own big life and big plan in your 20s—you’re building a career, building an identity, building for a future. Find some place in your life where you’re building for a purpose that’s bigger than your own life or plan.

When you’re serving on behalf of a cause you’re passionate about, you’ll also connect in a deep way with the people you’re serving with, and those connections can yield some of your most significant friendships.
When you serve as a volunteer, you can gain experience for future careers. Instead of, for example, quitting your banking job to pursue full-time ministry, volunteer to lead a small group, and see where it goes from there. Use volunteer experiences to learn about causes and fields you’re interested in, and consider using your vacation time to serve globally.
10. Feed Yourself and the People You Love
If you can master these things, you’re off to a really great start: eggs, soup, a fantastic sandwich or burger, guacamole and some killer cookies. A few hints: The secret to great eggs is really low heat, and the trick to guacamole is lime juice—loads of it. Almost every soup starts the same way: onion, garlic, carrot, celery, stock.

People used to know how to make this list and more, but for all sorts of reasons, sometime in the last 60 or so years, convenience became more important than cooking and people began resorting to fake food (ever had GU?), fast food and frozen food. I literally had to call my mom from my first apartment because I didn’t know if you baked a potato for five minutes or two hours.

The act of feeding oneself is a skill every person can benefit from, and some of the most sacred moments in life happen when we gather around the table. The time we spend around the table, sharing meals and sharing stories, is significant, transforming time.

Learn to cook. Invite new and old friends to dinner. Practice hospitality and generosity. No one cares if they have to sit on lawn furniture, bring their own forks or drink out of a Mayor McCheese glass from 1982. What people want is to be heard and fed and nourished, physically and otherwise—to stop for just a little bit and have someone look them in the eye and listen to their stories and dreams. Make time for the table, and you’ll find it to be more than worth it every time.
11. Don’t Get Stuck
This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to find a church, they mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.

Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe God is good and life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned.

Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Shauna Niequest is the author of Bittersweet (Zondervan). This article originally appeared in the May/June issue of RELEVANT. You can read more articles like this by subscribing—click here for more information.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Hero

He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination. - Jose Rizal

Translation: Babalik ka rin, loko! - Dinjo Constantino

Today marks the 150th birthday of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

Wala nang paligoy-ligoy pa. Nasaan na tayo ngayon? Ano na ang nangyari sa ating bansa? Sinayang lang ba naten ang buhay ng ating pambansang bayani? Binalewala ba naten ang lahat ng aral na iniwan saten ni Rizal?

Ano sa inyong palagay?


How appropriate it is for Father's Day to fall on the day our national hero was born.

I know most of us Filipinos consider our own fathers as our very own heroes. Role models and anchor. Our rock.

I want to greet my dad, Rey Constantino (reycons in the advertising industry), a very Happy Father's Day and tell him that he may not see it and notice it, I am what I am right now because of all the values he and my mom imparted on me.

We may not say this often, but we ARE proud of you , dad. For all the sacrifices you have done for us. For working overtime just to meet a payment deadline. For the articles that you left on the tables for us to chance upon them and read the article that you wanted us to read. For diffusing a conflict with your one-of-a-kind humor. For driving me to the high school prom and making me and my date sit at the back. For always pulling money from your pocket when I had no money for my own gimiks. For knowing when we are struggling and need your fatherly advise. For going to the office late because you had to meet with my teachers to talk about something I did again and again. For still going to work day in and day out to provide for your family. For us.

To us, you are our hero. You are our Jose Rizal. If our family had currency, you would be in each of them.

Through your life and through what you have and not have done, we have learned. You tried. Sometimes you succeeded and sometimes you failed. But you taught us lessons. Lessons that we will forever hold in our hearts. 

You are the heart of our family. Your beating makes everything flow. You are the rock. Your mere presence makes everything seem all right. We don't have to worry about things. You will take care of it. You will take care of us.

Every day, I wish that you stop working and just enjoy the fruits of your labor. The fruits of your love. But the Lord has plans. You will have your time. Soon. We assure you.

When I walk down the aisle and have you and mom by my side, I know everything will be all right. Trust that when you give me out to my future wife, I will be all right--because of you.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! Again, you are Legen...(wait for it)...Daddy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Till Debt Do Us Part

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Hmm...this is actually my second entry already related to Debt. I wonder why. Maybe it's the fact that I remember the D word every time I check my pockets. Or when I think of buying something for my fiance (Hi Toots!). Or when I feel hungry but just get water instead.

Debt. O, why is your "B" silent?! Is it because it's harder to pronounce? Or is it because you can't "B" who you want to "B" when you're full of Debts?

Last week I was reminded of a Debt that I made two years ago. Two freakin' years ago! YeSSS, it seemed like ages ago. But I'm not complaining. I borrowed it so I have to pay for it.

I just can't believe the timing. Right when I need to save every centavo for The Wedding.

Truly, there are really only two constant things in life--Debt and Taxes (and pimples!).

I am learning the truth the hard way.

BUT the right way.

C'mon, Debt. Come to me!

I am kidding of course.

I love you, Debt. But not too much.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Born Stubborn

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Yeah, that's me.

I want things to be done my way. If people don't want to follow me then to me they're stupid.

Well, at least most of the time. I choose the time I want to think this too. That's how stubborn and proud I am.

I was not really born stubborn. It was developed in me. Kinda like how leadership is developed in some people. For me, it was being stubborn. It wasn't thrust upon me too. I sort of thrust myself into it.

Sometimes I enjoy it. Especially when I really encounter stupid people. I love teasing them too. I love making them feel really stupid. But then again, I decide who's stupid or not. So I'm the only one enjoying. Which makes it not that enjoyable in the end.

I find it hard to accept whenever I'm wrong. Sometimes I even Google stuff just too prove that I'm right. Yeah, what's wrong with the previous sentence? I'll challenge you that there's nothing wrong with the sentence. If you're correct, then I'll resent you. Forever. Well, not forever but maybe around five minutes or so. Until I realize that it's a waste of time to argue with stupid people. Then I say sorry.

My cousin once told me, "Not everyone is as smart as you, Dinj." Of course, he was being sarcastic (or I'm being very humble).

I don't know why I'm stubborn. I don't know who I inherited it from. Who am I kidding? My mom and dad are both stubborn (well, all old people ARE stubborn). I thought two wrongs made a right? Guess not.

I don't have plans of dying stubborn though although it looks like I'm headed that way.

To the people I have wronged or offended, I am sorry.

I don't think you're stupid. I did not intend to make you feel stupid.

If you really are stupid then I apologize even more for making you feel EVEN MORE stupid.

If you don't accept my apologies, then you ARE stupid. Oops. Sorry.

I just hate stupid people.

Can you guys do me a favor? If you don't want to feel stupid...then please don't act and say things that can denote otherwise.

I am stubborn. And I am sorry.

No. I'm really not.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Things not to say during weddings; Songs not to play too

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I recently attended the wedding of my future brother and sister-in-law (naks! assuming!). It was a very intimate and private ceremony as most of the attendees were the most important people in the lives of the couple. I co-hosted the wedding with the bride's good friend which made it all the more special for me. You see, making people happy is one of my passions in life (hmm...Dinjo Constantino..."he made people happy...") and it was a great pleasure lending my time and service to two of the most important people in my fiance's life.

Anyway, thinking about it yesterday on the way home from work, I came up with a list of what hosts or guests should not say during weddings and I want to share them with you.

Here they are:

1. Tututol ako!
Of course, this is like saying "Bomb!" in the airport or on the plane. In the airport, you deal with the security. In church, you have to answer to God. It doesn't matter if it's a joke or if you have valid reasons to say this, the thing is you should have done something before the wedding. Okay, unless you came from abroad and rode a horse to the church. But still, these words should not be uttered when inside the church.

2. The bride is just smiling and not talking that much because she is reserving her voice for later.
This is not really the most polite thing to say even if you're joking especially if the bride's priest for an uncle is there in the reception or the bride's ultra-conservative mother. What are you insinuating? She's just a moaner, okay?! Haha.

3. I thought priests didn't allow pregnant brides anymore.
Oookay. She's not even a few weeks pregnant, Johnny Boy (i'm assuming guys make more word blunders than women--expecting my fiance to read this, that's why). Maybe the gown has a different design to it. Maybe the bride went to the reception first before the church. BUT DO NOT MENTION ANYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO HER LOOK. NEVER. Or it's going to be your funeral the next time your family goes to the church.

4. Tonight will be the last night the groom will be on top.
Again, even for a joke. Although there is a certain truth to it, be sensitive to the other Christians there in the wedding. Maybe you can just whisper it to the groom's ear as a warning so that he'll make the most of his time on top but never when on the microphone. This is more of an appropriate thing to say during the bachelor's party. And yeah, leave that rubber in your car too. No, the maid of honor will NOT sleep with you, you sleazy guy, you.

5. Ang galing humawak ng bride ng mic!
Do I need to expound on this? Seriously. C'mon, man!

6. I give them a year.
Would you like the responsibility of owning up to this statement? What if they separate after a year? It will be on you. Especially to the ones who heard you say this. What if it reaches the bride and the groom? It's gonna be on you, boy. Weddings are reserved for predictions on how many children the couple will be having and not on how long they will be able to stand each other. If you have doubts then you shouldn't be in the wedding in the first place. Can you predict that someone will punch you in the table you're in (way to go, Kuya!)? So shut it, Nostradamus.

Weddings should be a fun occasion. But there is a thin line between what is fun and what is appropriate. I would therefore like to apologize for uttering the words "subuan" in the wedding that I hosted (I was referring to the cake eating portion, Ma! I promise!). This is an honorable mention to the list as I was the one who said it. Haha. Go write your own blog entry then if you want to include that. Feel free to quote me. Hehe.

Anyway, this serves as a warning to people who don't want to go home from a wedding with bloodied lips and pulled hair. Let's keep weddings decent. I'll surely try my best in my next hosting gig.

I wonder when the next subuan will be?

As bonus to this entry, here are some songs that DJ's and future couples should avoid being played over the sound system during the wedding:

1. Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko
2. Sad To Belong
3. Number Two
4. Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?
5. Welcome To The Jungle
6. I Said I Love You But I Lied

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wedding Preparations

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Yey, we're getting married! So exciting! I can't wait to hit the ground running with the planning! This is so exciting!

And then you start planning.

And then the real excitement begins.

Are we gonna fight today or not?

Haha. Of course you hope you don't. But the Wedding Preparation gods find a way for you to get on each others' nerves one way or another. Yes, not by choice. But by circumstances. You try your best to avoid conflicts but they just crop up when you least expect them.

Don't get me wrong. The fights ARE entertaining (well, after you realize how lame they are). But I would prefer not to be entertained even once a week. Hehe.

You also see how practical and crazy your partners can get. Me, personally, I have a hard time distinguishing preparations from a business deal. I was told by my fiance to hang loose and to relax and to have fun. I am so formal and stiff when it comes to decision making and responsibilities. I have to learn how to make it FUN!

But it IS really fun. No sarcasm here. You also get to know who your true friends are. Hehe. I never imagined getting help from all angles! Thanks, guys.

Getting the best but most affordable suppliers is really the hardest part too but together, we are slowly making this fun.

I am getting excited by the day. And learning to be patient as well.

Are we prepared for this? I don't think anybody is.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thankful at Thirty Three

Every when do you put down your pen, close your computer screen, turn off the TV or shut down your mobile phones and think about the things in your life that you should be thankful for?

It seems that the only times we do this is every time something tragic or life-changing happens to us and we get through them.

Maybe we should all do this at least once every three months. Or as much as you want.

Today, I just turned 33. Wow, Thirty Three. And I still live in my parents' house. And I'm still not married. And it's only now that I'm getting to work for a multinational company.

So, what reasons are there for me to be thankful, you ask?

I asked the same thing just this evening while attending mass, actually.

What is there to be thankful for?

I thought my list would be limited to the fingers in my hands. I was wrong. I had to touch my ugly toes too to complete my list.

Although people were looking at me while I was touching my toes (yes, I was still in Mass), I realized that there are many things that I should be thankful for. A LOT.

So amidst the priest ranting how bad people who support the RH Bill are, I started counting.

First, my parents. Yes, it is not always a harmonious relationship with them. Yes, we can get on each others' nerves (more of them than me, hehe) every other day. Yes, there are times that I wish I had a different set of parents (don't we all sometimes?). But NO I do not WANT a different set of parents.

I am thankful that they are putting up with me even though I seem to be a boarder most of the time I'm in the house. Yes, I hate being the "techie" when I go home and my response to their seeking for assistance on Iphone and computer issues may not be the most courteous in the world but it's also nice to feel needed sometimes.

I am thankful that they still allow me to live in their house and get all their food (i mean ALL THEIR FOOD, hehe). They let me use their cars too and they tell me that I'm "pogi" as well once in a while, hehe.

I cannot list all the reasons why I am thankful for my parents. That would take up most of my blog's bandwidth! But if I could only say "Thank You" to three people in this world then they would be the second and third (mom first then dad second. haha, just kidding, dad!--in equal order of course). God would be first, by the way.

I thank them for allowing me to be me. For supporting me in whatever decision I made while I was growing up. For scolding me if I didn't brush my hair. For asking if I am really going to wear slippers to church. For telling me not to text while driving. For saying I'm pogi. For letting me know I'm fat and that I have to do something about it. For the sampaloc pasalubongs when I was in grade school. For going to Marikina to have me made a special correctional shoes (high cut, yo!). For always reminding me that I am talented and that I can achieve more if I just tried more. For all the Mcdo's and for all the Shakey's and Pizza Hut's. For telling me and Mike it's okay if we don't want to continue Taekwondo (we're lovers, not fighters! haha).

I could go on and on but I am afraid that someone might get the idea that this is a good topic for a book (Thank You Ma and Pa--there I even gave you a title) and that this person would get published and get rich while I continue to stay with my parents.

I will thank the other people that have contributed to my being me in future posts (don't tampo na!).

My name is Dinjo. I am Thirty Three. And I am thankful that I have Rey and Vicky as my parents. I will have it no other way.

Thanks, Ma. Thanks, Pa.

Can you do grocery soon?

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Time for a Cool Change

Ever get the feeling that nobody likes you?

It's either you're too hot-headed, too impatient, selfish or immature?

Hop on board, mate! You are not alone.

I am hot-headed.

I don't like stupid people. I don't like people asking too many questions. I bark at people who don't get my instructions the first time and have to ask me again. I detest people who shout too much and who are always noisy. I don't like it when people do something that I don't approve of. I hate it when people tell me that what I'm doing is wrong. I don't like people shouting at me. I don't like it when people don't believe what I say.

I am impatient.

I don't like waiting for an answer to my question. I hate it when people don't know what to do next. I don't like waiting for an answer to the question "when do we turn right or left?". If you can't answer the question "where do we eat?" then let's just not eat at all.

I am selfish.

I always like it my way. I always want to be the comfortable one. I don't think of others' feelings just as long as I'm happy (as told to me). I rarely think that I am wrong. Most of the time, other people are wrong.

I am immature.

I am not ready for a major commitment. I do not know how to handle serious issues. I react to things the way a six-year-old would usually do.

I am all those and more.

But I want to change. I need to change. Everybody hates me. Yes, it's time for a cool change.

I need to understand people more. I need to be more patient. I need Anger Management. I need to count one to five before answering questions or replying to a question that I just answered. I need to start thinking that I am not better than everybody else. I am not all that and that is a fact.

When people ask me something, it is because they want to know what the answer is and not just to annoy me. When people can't answer promptly, that just means they're thinking about what the answer is and not just to make me wait.

I need to change. I want to change.

If I change, will people like me now?

Will you like me now?

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Friday, March 25, 2011


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I'm out.

I don't know if I have anything left.

I am consumed by nothingness. That's what she said. Or that's what she seems like saying.

I don't have anything more to give. I am empty.

I seem to not have anything more to contribute for us to get to that other level. I am useless. I am dead weight on her shoulders. Empty but heavy. That is me. That's what she said.

Is she correct? I don't know. I really don't know.

All I know is that I tried. I gave my best. I pulled my weight. I contributed. Or so I thought. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I'm always wrong. That's what I'm thinking now.

How can I think that I'm always right? I'm not always right. Yes, I may not always be wrong. But I am not always right.

I think.

I feel shackled. I feel like a prisoner. Always being scolded. Unliked and afraid. Afraid to do or say things that I usually do because I might hurt her. I don't want to hurt her. That is the last thing on my mind. That, for me, is my sole purpose in life now--not to hurt her.

But I still end up doing so. Even with my wings clipped, I still manage to hurt her.

I don't understand how I could do that still. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Or am I still doing anything right?

I'm empty. I don't know what to do next. I am clueless. I'm out of ideas.

Maybe I just don't know how to love.

Yeah, maybe that's it.

I don't know how to love. I don't have anything to give. I am empty.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I am not the favorite child.

Read somewhere:

I am not loved.

Yes. It is what it is.

And I've learned how to deal with it. I learned how to count by counting how many times I breathed in and out just so I could regain control over my emotions. Biology was taught to me the time I found out that my chromosomes were totally different from my siblings. I was educated on History by the ridiculous number of times I was asked why I was born--in my face and probably more times behind my back.

Anatomy was taught to me by the bruises all over my body which I patiently waited on to heal every morning before I went to school. I know enough about Economics by comparing my siblings' bank accounts with my own pathetic bank account.

That's how I was built. That's how I was educated. This is why I am me.

I did not learn how to hear in school. I only knew one tone. The shouting tone. Yes, even the mere act of asking a question merited shouts from my parents. I stopped asking questions when I was 11. It's been a more quiet existence ever since. Except for the times I get shouted at for other reasons. Reasons that I never understood. Hey, they taught me how to be me, what am I doing wrong then? Oops, I asked a question.

I always wanted to be like my older brother. But the gap grew further and further as the years went by. Maybe because I was an underachiever. Or that's what I kept on hearing every time relatives were in the house to visit. As I stopped asking questions by then, I never knew if they were really talking about me. I heard my name being mentioned a couple of times but I hoped they were just looking for me as I was busy hiding inside my room.

My breakfast consisted of reminders on what I did wrong the previous day. My lunch was always served hot through reminders on the wrong things I did for the day. Dinners were pretty quiet because I always made it a point to leave the house after lunch and just come back when everyone was already sleeping. This is the time when I usually reflect on the wrong things I did that day.

My siblings are all wiser than me. They moved out even before the parents got old and semi-senile. Maybe that's my karma. I was an underachiever. I couldn't afford to move out.

Sometimes I think I brought all these upon myself. Most of the time I am reminded by my parents. They actually don't say this to my face anymore. They just show it by being kinder to my siblings when they decide to go home once a month. I always tell myself, "It's just once a month that you feel like you're not the favorite kid. You can do it." I have learned to lie to myself, you see.

My only consolation is death. Their's or mine. Whose evers come first. I don't even know if that last sentence is correct. Grammatically, I mean. Maybe they'll die first since they're older. Maybe I'll die next week because of high cholesterol. Death is indeed the greatest equalizer.

Those who know me, please don't worry. I am not inviting death to our house nor am I seeking it. Life is too precious, according to friends. I believe them though. THEIR lives are precious. Mine? I am just a statistic. Unemployed. Still living with the parents. Voted "Most Likely To Grow Bald First in High School". Not the favorite child.

I have decided to see the silver lining in my situation though. I will now stop caring. If I get scolded because of something that is not really "scoldable" in most households then I shall not care. I will look at them blankly in the eye and move on to the next situation in my life. I may be scolded again, but this time it would feel better. Because I will not care.

I am not the favorite child. But do not pity me. Because I am you.


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Saturday, January 8, 2011


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Described by my common sense as "not being certain", "unsure about things", "experiencing quarterlife crisis."

Last night, I received my latest bout with uncertainty.

It's funny how you think you are so sure about things but then a couple of words just bring you back to reality (uncertainty?).

Let me ask you guys a question.

How many times in life have you been sure about something?

Yes, 100 percent sure.

We all might come up with the same answer--never.

Yes, never. Because that's the way life is built. We will never know what is in store for us around the corner and what might happen to us if we make a certain decision.

Actually, that's what makes life even more exciting. It's like an old game my brother and I used to play called "Choose Your Own Adventure." It was either you advance, get a new weapon, get stuck, die or save the princess (I think this was Mario, hehe).

Isn't that fun? Choosing your own destiny? Yes, I believe that God knows our destiny but we are the ones responsible for getting to where/who we are destined to be.

So everybody goes through it. Uncertainty. We are just never sure about something until we decide about that something and WE make THAT something that we are sure of.

We already made the decision so might as well live with the decision we made by owing up to the consequences of that decision.

But it's okay to be uncertain. That's the way life is supposed to be. We just have to learn how to live with any decision we make.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Goals for 2011. What are yours?

Wow, it seems like I write here every New Year's only.

That's all right. Nobody follows this blog anyway, haha.

Anyway, I shall enumerate what I plan to achieve in this coming year and also what my targets are for 2011.

Here they are:

1. Choose my battles.
I will not sweat the small stuff. I read this book before and I should be striving harder to practice this. I will not get too much affected by miniscule things and just pick on major things that I need to handle and worry about. This will also help me in being patient with others. I will not get affected by the little negative things that people do. I am not perfect and so are a lot of people. A LOT OF PEOPLE. Haha.

2. Control my temper.
I am presently looking for ways on how to control my temper (Yahoo Search!! Hehe). This always gets me into trouble with my girlfriend and my mom. It's such a waste of time arguing with them so I better control my temper to avoid fights with the two most important women in my life. The times that should be spent for lambing are most often spent on tampuhans. This should not be the case.

3. Be more patient.
I should not expect from others. Expectation is always doomed for failure. Once your expectations fall short, you just get disappointed. So might as well not expect anymore so you won't get disappointed. Just hope for the best. I get ticked off especially by stupid people. And also when people think that I'm stupid. I should just be secure with myself and also not treat people like they are wont on doing mistakes. I have to be more patient. Even to my dad who is getting older and older as I'm typing this. My parents are getting older. I should be more patient and caring towards them.

4. Laugh more.
What is the easiest thing to do? To laugh. It's free too! Laugh at my mistakes. Laugh at people. Laugh at everything! It's good exercise for the face too.

5. Settle Down.
Yes. Haha. If she says "yes" to my proposal. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata. Haha.

This includes getting our own place too. I am so looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year at our own place. With beds and all.

Baby? We'll see:)

Yeah, donations for the wedding and settling down will be appreciated. Hahaha.

Two (three because two of them are part of a couple) of my friends were engaged today! Wow!

6. Work, work, work.
I was blessed to get into Smart last year. I'm still in the so-called transition period but I'm excited to learn more! Work begets work so here's to more work! Better to burn out than to fade away.

This goes with my other endeavors too. Maybe I can hire staff already for and also maybe 2011 is the year Maybe these endeavors can pay for our house and car:)

7. Work out.
Yes, this is a promise. I AM FAT, I admit it. I am currently on the lookout for a gym near the office. Three times a week, baby! Let's do this! This includes watching my diet too. No more softdrinks!

I'm feeling some symptoms of being old and fat already so better do something about this now.

8. Save, save, save.
I need to discipline myself when it comes to spending. Lessen the dinner out's and gimiks maybe. Bring baon to the office. Don't spend on too much gadgets. Save up for the wedding, the house, the family car, the future!

There, I think I have everything covered. If you're a friend and you happen to read this, please let me know what I need to work on:)

Happy New YOU to everyone! Let us strike while the iron is hot. This is our time. This is YOUR time.

Go for Goal!

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