Wednesday, January 21, 2009


There are few changes in my life now. That sounds too profound. So I'd like to restate that. I am now a morning person. Alright, that's a lot better. I used to dread my weekly change of schedule. No. I don't just dread it. I hated it. It is one of the few reasons why at some point I wanted to quit my present job. But it pays to be patient and persistent. I am now a morning person!

Taking a bath these days takes a lot of courage. It's the cold that seems to penetrate my skin down to the bones that makes me grit my teeth in utter shivering. Well I guess this is not just my plight. This is everybody's. Cheers to that!

Since indulging in water seems insurmountable these days, I have to sit first in one corner of my bed after waking up, just blankly gazing at the beige-colored wall of my room. And then if I felt the strength to move, I'd pick that remote control in my miniature table and turn on the tv. And then, there's Francis Kong still wearing that smile when I first met him on a National Leadership Training Cruise. I have to admit I am a fan. He is one speaker that once he starts talking you can't feel anymore the lingering pain of an ant bite. I mean it. Your eyes will be glued to him in utter disbelief how this person can hypnotize you with his words full of wisdom and inspiration. You hardly notice the time when its him talking. How time flies so fast!

I could still remember, one of the participants, who has just gotten a degree in education was asked by him if she badly needs a job and without batting an eyelash, she said yes. Who wouldn't? Well Francis Kong with all his might in business and business connections said "I can provide you a teaching post" if you pass my requirement. Francis Kong then asked "How many books do you read in one week?". And there was silence. All heads bowed. I saw it. I was the last to bow.

Reading is fun. Reading is highly essential. Reading is a must.

A highly successful businessman never finished college and yet made it in the business world. His secret. He read 7 books a week.

I know of a person who based his friendship on how big you build your library. He has a point. Conversations are avenues of learning. Remember that life is too short to experience everything that it has to offer. Nobody would want to talk to a lousy conversationalist with a lousy, nonsensical vocabulary. It is empirical then to learn from other people. It is pretty much the same when we ask what our classmates know from what they have read before the exam starts. Nostalgia! However, I'd like to make myself clear that it should not be the sole basis of friendship. As what a colleague remarked when I told her of the library as basis for developing friendship, she said "Not everyone has the monetary capacity to own a book. Some just borrowed. That does not make them less of a reader". Point well taken. The main point is, "We have to read".

One way to improve ourselves to to surround us with people better than we are.

How about seven books a week? I wish I could but the main point is, "We have to read".

It's near 7:00 o'clock! I should take my morning bath before getting a written warning for tardiness. I already have two. One more to go.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I asked recently a colleague if there’s a term in psychology that refers to a person who enjoys in solitude most of the time. She seemed preoccupied with her analysis that she just earnestly smiled as an answer to my query.

"Why do you live alone in your rented house?"

The question above has been asked to me innumerably that in fact I have gotten used to it. And this is how it usually start.

Commencing a conversation with a stranger, (Let me first qualify the word “stranger”. It could be a friend of my friend, an auditor from another brewery, or a new colleague) one of the informations that will be asked is the location of your house. Then the trail of questions will follow. Take for example my case. Once they know that I am renting my own place. The follow-up question to that would be, "How many are you in the house?" My answer to that. "I live alone". As a follow-up to the follow-up question, would be "Why do I live alone?" If I may deduce the question, they wanted to know if it is a personal choice or a pure circumstance. So I would say it’s a choice. My answer will always elicit a conspicuous, pensive gaze shown in their eyes riveted on my face. "Are you a loner", they would ask. "I am not", I would answer.

My growing up years is not extraordinary. I am like any other child.

Rainy days are blissful days. I play mud, trying to make artistic forms and shapes of anything conceivable under the rain. Playing hide and seek becomes more fun, when running is made difficult by the slippery ground. We choke in laughing when we see someone slide over and fall.

Sunny days are doses of happiness. The fields and the outdoors are my haven for excitement and fun. Swimming with friends from sun dawn to sun dusk on weekends is an activity to look forward to. On some days when we become lazy to walk the long distance going to the beach, we would busy ourselves creating the most gaudy and gigantic kites. And then we compete whose kite soared the highest.

Dissecting my childhood memories, I am certainly not a loner. I take pleasure in the company of friends.

More so when I was in school. You will rarely see me singly in the campus. I practiced badminton with co-varsity players. I interviewed campus personalities for my feature story in our publication. I camped with fellow classmates during science week celebrations. I led as an officer in student organizations and clubs. Long before I know that it is fun to be with other people.

After I painstakingly finished all my academic requirements, it marked the time to bid goodbye to the comforts of my home. It signaled the moment to embrace living separately with my parents and live to a place I can consider my home.

Economics tells me that life is difficult. Therefore, people who are perplexed why I live independently in a house is comprehensible. They may be correct and sound to do that gesture for practicality reasons but I chose to stick to the wisdom of living independently.

Living independently made me a different person.

I decide on where and what food to eat to satisfy my own craving. I manage to wake up without other people pulling off my hands. I plan my activities for the rest of the day without the consent or approval of someone else. I clean my place which makes me conscious of my own litter. I brush the tiles and bowl in my CR. I take time in taking a bath without having to worry for the next users. I read books free from distractions of human sounds. I sing my heart out anytime I want. I trip off or put on the fluorescent lamp any time of the day. \

This is the picture of living in solitude. And that is not to detach myself from other people.

I am in full control of my life. I am a mature, young professional who has found his niche outside the portals of the academe. I am now a person who stands on my feet gripping fully on my cognitive capacity to decide on my own.

I am a person who chose to live in sheer solitude. I, who knows the wisdom of living independently.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I have figured out two reasons for writing this. One, which is more important, is to make you laugh or at the very least smile. Second is to bring some information which you might find apropos. A good laugh and a good thought are a perfect combo to kick off the year of the Ox.

Warning! Don't underestimate the power of words! Before you know it, you are already giggling in laughter 'til your lungs burst, God forbid.

Born and raised in Dumaguete, I am a certified "Bisdak", a contraction of the cebuano phrase "Bisayang Daku". I speak and know the dialect by heart. As time evolved, the word "Bisdak" has acquired a lot of connotations, two of which are glaring not just exclusive to the circle of pure Cebuanos but reaches as far as the ManileƱos or the Ilonggos alike. One is called Bisdak if one enunciates wrongly. For example, the Tagalog word "ate" is enunciated with a long "e" which makes it "ati". Or one is called Bisdak if one dresses out of fashion. They try to figure out Bisdaks as people who do not know the difference between straight cut jeans and skinny jeans. People who only have a slim chance of visiting shopping malls. But I will not extract a single sweat to prove that these are all fallacies. However, allow me to articulate that one should not make a generalization unless otherwise proven.

I could still remember that one fateful day when I was asked by my manager why I wanted to be transferred in Cebu. (That time, I was in Bacolod.) I paused. I thought very hard to make myself as persuasive as I could. It's going to be a make or break decision. A critical one. Life-changing maybe. I gave three reasons of decreasing importance. With eagerness and decisiveness I said "Sir there's no language barrier, Cebu is a really familiar place, and its nearer to my abode. Now, I am still in Bacolod. Could somebody tell me any reason more convincing? Who knows that question might come to me tomorrow or next month.

Since I was made to stay, I can't possibly beat all Ilonggos in Bacolod, so I have to join them. This means I have to learn their dialect, the Hiligaynon.

I was utterly lost when I set foot in the city in 2006. With no relatives around, I know I am in for a big challenge. Lost because I didnt even know where to start. My first unforgettable moment was when I rode a jeepney. A passenger with a roaring voice said, "Bangga lang". I thought, what? It made me panic! What the hell is that? Why would he want this jeepney bumped! So I waited. But nothing notorious happened. We just halted beside the street. I felt relieved. When I got home, I hastily asked my landlady what "bangga" means and to my surprise its not to bump. Thank goodness my panic did not manifest! It could have been a Bisdak moment?!

I was with my colleagues when we were about to cross the street, I declared "labang", but nobody crossed. They just gave me a pensive stare. To cross in Hiligaynon is "tabuk". Now I know!

I saw this miniature animal trying its way near us when I exclaimed to a friend, "ok-ok". To my surprise, that friend did'nt even react. Cockroach in the dialect of the Ilonggos is "tanga".

I almost quarreled a colleague because she said she'll be around in a while. I waited for minutes before she came. What she said to me was, "Coming nko karon". Trying to settle things, I came to know that "karon" in Ilonggo means later but in Cebuano, it means now. How contradicting words can get!

All of these mishaps are already etched in my mind. Inseparable! Who to blame? No one! Not my manager of course! (I hope he can read this.) Because whenever I look back, it always gave me that beaming, contagious smile. Now I am smiling!