Thursday, August 14, 2014

How many lives have you touched?

Dealing with the passing away of very important people in your life is always very difficult.

Two friends from the office lost their mom and dad this week. Memories of how my mother-in-law passed away a year ago came rushing back. I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak that my office mates and my wife (yes, she's still grieving--and I don't think you will ever get over losing a parent, especially your mom) are experiencing right now.

During one of the sermons in one of the wakes I attended this week, a very important question popped up in my head. Actually, more of a realization than a question.

How many lives have I touched so far?

Listening to stories and testimonies from relatives and friends of the deceased parents of my colleagues and hearing how simple gestures of kindness made big impacts in their lives made me think about my life in general.

Have I just cruised along? Have I been a selfish little prick who have just cared about myself without giving a care in the world for the people around me?

Did I ever bother to sacrifice my own convenience for the sake of serving my loved ones or even those people I regularly interact with?

Have I made someone smile or laugh without even knowing that he/she needed to laugh at that exact moment because he/she is going through something that I and everyone didn't know?

That intern we had. Did I guide him correctly on what path to take or just simply passed him by everyday without saying a word to him?

Did I show any kindness to that waiter who accidentally spilled the soda on our table or did I berate him in public to the point that he thought he was no good and just stopped working and could now be a cellphone snatcher?

When my mom wanted to reach out to me about something bothering her, did I dismiss her and go on with what I was doing which was just browsing Facebook on my phone?

Did I make moments with the people important to me count or did I count the time until I got out of conversations with them?

I hope not.

I really hope not.

I believe that we all need to be genuinely kind people. Is that such a hard thing to do? To be considerate of others and to plant a seed within everyone we meet that can grow into a wonderful relationship.

It would be great if we found out the positive effect we have/had on other people's lives while we are still alive, don't you think?

So, let me ask you--how many lives have you touched?

Friday, August 8, 2014

8 things to do when stuck in traffic

Horrible. That’s the only way to describe it.

It is said that the Philippines loses some P140 billion a year because of traffic. Imagine that. Add to this the money being stolen from us by our elected government officials and what do we have? Carmageddon. God-damn Carmageddon.

So anyway, here are some suggestions on what you can do while stuck in the parking lot we call Manila.

1. Order take-out.

You’ve been on the road for two hours and your last meal was that pork adobo your boss didn’t want to eat. Your stomach is grumbling and everyone you see on the road or on the bus or jeep looks and smells like Chicken Joy (no #ChickenSad here). What to do? What to do? Why not order take-out?! If the operator asks you where your address is, just say EDSA corner Ayala then give your plate number. If on a public transportation, better! Order the barkada meals! They’re cheaper too!

2. Traffic-dial your ex.

You: Eve…I still love you. I never stopped loving you. Take me back. Please take me back. Did you hear it? I requested our song on the radio. The DJ said I was sweet. Justin Bieber really rocks, baby. Please. Let’s get back together. What happened to Ricky and me was a one-time thing. I promise. I love you!

3. Get to know the person beside you.

Get over his smell first then just get to know him. Maybe he’s a relative and he can pay for your fare. Maybe he can be a future business partner (soap industry, hopefully).  If you’re a guy then you’re beside a hot chick, then why not ask her how old she is, what province she’s from and what time her off is (oops, wrong venue). Anyway, it’s fun to get to know people. You’d do that in a bar, why not do it on a bus or a jeep. If you get to talk to a snatcher then hopefully he’d spare your phone and wallet.

4. Go crazy on social media.

Tag @mmda, @skywaysomco, @pnoyatbalut (I totally made this up) and all those other government Twitter accounts and rant your fingers out! We know @mmda replies and @skywaysomco doesn’t. Go on Facebook. Announce to all your friends that you’re stuck (stucked is not a word, guys, so please) in traffic and are willing to evaluate all their game requests. Oh, oh, oh, better yet, bombard those who usually send you game requests with your own game requests! Give them a taste of their own medicine.

5. Read a book.

Studies over the past few years have actually shown that you can read a book WHILE driving along EDSA. Yes, traffic is THAT slow. And yes, coming up with solutions to the traffic problem have been THAT slow too.

6. Request a song on the radio.

Yes, you can amuse yourself even more! Why not go back to highschool and call that radio DJ up. Quit Playing Games With Your Heart, man. Because Baby, Baby, Baby, oh! Call Her Maybe? Coz You’re Gonna Be Royal. That was pathetic. Anyway, you get the picture. Request a song that you can sing your lungs out to. When in your own car, okay? Not on the bus, please. I ride the bus. Please.

7. Walk.

When all else fails, walk. At least when walking, you’re moving. You’ll probably reach your destination faster by walking rather than waiting for the car in front of you move an inch. People didn’t have cars during the olden days anyway. We all were just meant to walk. Like government officials were all meant to solve the horrible traffic in the country. Oh well.

8. If in Quezon City, have sex.

This is self-explanatory and very much recommended.