Saturday, December 27, 2008


Its over! Welcome 2009! This is not about future events; though somehow related.

I still remember in high school when we indulge in discussion about what we want to be. With conviction I would tell my classmates that I wanted to be in the media. Maybe juggling between print and broadcast media. This was the time when I was utterly involved in our school paper publication and joined in many school's press conference. I really thought then that I would take Mass Communication, Creative Writing, or Comparative Literature in college.

The day came when we eagerly queued for enrolment in college. Someone who knew me might say that I am lost in the lines because I enrolled in BS Chemistry, to the surprise of my friends and classmates, even to my self. Maybe the non-conformist in me striked that I could not resist. The biggest challenge from then on is to stand by the decision that I have made. Near our graduation, discussions were focused on the careers we want. All of my classmates envision themselves to be working in the laboratory. This is not however difficult to comprehend after all, four years in the course were spent mostly in the lab. I dont think its the non-conformist in me that striked again that I wanted to teach. No. That is what I wanted. My classmates just smiled. I did not bother to decipher what's in it! I just smiled too.

After passing the Chemists Licensure Exam, barely five months after graduation, I was already in front of my first year nursing students in the University of San Jose-Recoletos teaching biochemistry. It was indeed a fulfilled dream. I enjoyed school everyday; teachers' activities, students' activities, tecaher-student activities. But it only lasted for one semester. Fate has its own way of revealing surprises.

And so I am back to room filled with chemicals from A-Z; glasswares of varrying shapes, forms, and sizes; equipment with different intricacies.

Am I now to where I am suposed to be? Is this what I really wanted? What about my taking Law? Or a PhD in Chemistry?

It is not for me to answer now. The thing is, all the decisions we have made are to our accountability. Not our professors, not our friends, not our families. We find joy and contentment to what we have. We let go of mistakes and learn from them. We are grateful even to the little blessings we receive and we smile at all times and at all cost!

Happy New Year to One and ALL!

Monday, December 22, 2008


There is something about the Christmas season that makes it really special. This time of the year, people are marked with happy faces! There is optimism in the air and the thrill of waiting is beyond definition of the words bliss and ecstasy!

Christmas in the eyes of a child means receiving toys as presents. It means having new polo shirts, pair of socks, and shoes to be worn during the midnight mass. A celebration full of colorful sparklers and incessant blowing of the Christmas horn. These are the memories I remember when I was a child.

Then came the time when we go around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols which most of the time are jarring their celebrations. Unbearable it may be, our neighbors are still gracious to have our presence a joy in their midst.

As a grown-up, the feeling of Christmas nearing is way different. The excitement that escalates as the day draw nearer to Christmas day is apprarenty the same but this time, the reason for the excitement is conspicuously not that of a child. This time, it means giving joy to our family and love ones. Joy that comes not in glittery presents but in the simplest thought that one shares what he has.

There is a dominating feeling of nostalgia for old happy memories with friends and relatives. There is indeed plenty of joy that one can extract from going back to the way it was before, a carefree, simple, and happy self.

Christmas is also the time to retrospect. We try to find meaning in every day that we have lived our life. We dissect past events to fuller vision that will illuminate the days to come. We renew values in life that we have somehow put aside. We evaluate relationships whether they have made us a more distinct person, a person that we really are.

"And so this is Christmas and what have you done?"

Friday, December 19, 2008


I have just finished reading a book by Viktor Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist, titled Man's Search for Meaning. He is the proponent of logotherapy from the word "logos" which means meaning. He upholds the will to meaning as opposed to Freud's will to pleasure and Adler's will to power.

His contention is that to live means to suffer and to survive means to find meaning in our suffering. He emphasized however that suffering in this context is suffering that is inevitable. Self-imposed suffering is not heroic, it is masochistic.

When I chanced to read the title of the book owned by a colleague, i immediately told him that i will be the next reader of the book. It was indeed very enlightening! He said that one should live in search of meaning for life, otherwise, you will be in the dungeon of darkness nowhere to go, and gaping for a trace light.

According to him, there is no general definition of life, after all, no two individuals are the same, and every person is living a different life. He further said that one's definition is very dynamic as it can change from time to time. It could be a split of a second.

Our search for meaning in our life serves as our compass in living the future. That gives us the inspiration to go on living even in the greatest tribulations of our life.

He also differentiated logotherapy from psychoanalysis. Phychoanalysis is like a painter. He has a picture in his mind drawn in a canvass for the viewer to see exactly what he wants them to see. On the other hand logotherapy is like an opthalmologist, he makes the people see a clearer picture of the world around us.

Man should not spend his lifetime pursuing for happiness, instead he should find reasons for him to be happy.

Man should not be self-actualizing, but rather self-transcendent. Self-actualizing is knowing the self by focusing only of the self, while self-transcendence is knowing the self by opening up to other people. Remember that how people see us is what we really are.

Enjoy reading the book because there's more to learn.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Toast and A Smile

Cheers! A celebration is about to unfold! Let’s have a toast and a smile!

We are a unique people. We stand out from the rest of the world. Hmmmm! But don’t think of our being one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Or our being great imitators. Or our undying patronage to international brands that this speech is all about. The uniqueness that sets us apart from the rest of the world is the way we value celebrations that involves the family. Take for example, town fiesta, birthday, death anniversary, wedding anniversary, Christmas, New Year and the list could go on. These are “tatak Pinoy”. These are marks of being Filipinos.

Filipino celebration means extravagance! All kinds and all sorts! The best home decors, the best kitchen utensils, the best food, and the best Beer – the San Miguel Beer. It will not be complete without it! It makes conversations longer, spontaneous, and natural. Remember the saying that “Drunken words are spoken by sober hearts”.

What exactly is beer? Beer is an alcoholic beverage with a distinct bitterness, aroma, and foam. Its main ingredients are malt from the barley plant, hops which provides the bitter taste, and water. An average beer contains zero cholesterol, zero fat, 13 g of carbohydrate, 25 mg of sodium, protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B2 and B6, and alcohol.

Did you know that it is now a proven fact that beer can provide the same health benefits as wine? Studies show that drinking beer in moderation can and will reduce your chances of stroke, as well as heart and vascular disease.

Proof # 1. In November of 1999, the New England Journal of Medicine stated that light to moderate beer drinkers would decrease their chances of suffering a stroke by 20%.

Proof # 2. In May 1999, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas reported that consuming moderate amounts of beer would lower one’s chances of coronary heart disease by 30-40%, compared to those who don’t drink at all. This is because of the fact that beer contains a similar amount of antioxidants as red wine and 4-5 times as many as white wine.

Proof # 3. Alcohol has been attributed to increasing the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in the bloodstream, as well as helping decrease blood clots.

Proof # 4. Beer provides a 30% increase in vitamin B6 into the blood plasma – something that neither wine nor any other liquor can do. Vitamin B6 prevents heart disease.

Proof # 5. Beer is both fat-free and cholesterol free, something that suits really for the health and diet conscious!

The only problem nowadays is the fact the people seems to abuse everything. They drink more than they should, and sobriety becomes a discarded word. The dictum “too much of something is bad enough” still works. Being responsible is always the key to having fun with friends and enjoying a nice cold glass of San Miguel beer.

Let’s have a toast and a smile. A toast for a celebration of life-long family ties that makes us unique and a smile for a healthier you. Cheers!