Sunday, August 30, 2009

1 Hour, 19 Minutes

Two years ago, 2 friends opened to me the world of marathon. Truth is, I seldom run. What I love to do is walk. I easily made up my mind for the sole reason that the race will he held in Dumaguete. It was only after the race that I realized, it was an elusive dream. I joined in the 21-k marathon race to be able to run with them. Again, truth is, i do not have any inkling what marathon is. At that time, my rational self did not work against my overconfidence. I only made it to the turning point. I was heavily gasping for air, looked faint, and felt the triple palpitation of my heart.

When I learned that there will be a marathon race on August 30, 2009 in Bacolod, I immediately signed up in the 10-k category. The night before the race, I had my alarm set at 5am. However I was betrayed, either it was my cellular phone or my body senses. I was not able to wake up at 5am. It was already 5:37 in my watch and the race will start at 6:00. With my indomitable spirit to run, after getting off from my bed, I immediately called a taxi and donned my immaculate white adidas short plus the sleeveless milo shirt. The cabby was very cooperative. He arrived at the gate very prompt. Inside the taxi, I pinned my race number knowing time is scarce for me already. Two minutes after I arrived, the 10-k race commenced. It was just enough time and I was really meant to run on that day.

From the starting point at the lagoon, I just breezed through until the Robinson's area when I felt I lost my normalcy of breathing. So I walked, took deep breathing, and after some reasonable distance, jogged. I had to always look back to make sure that I was not the last runner or else I had to speed up. I did not know exactly where the turning point is so I just continued the race that I have doggedly started. And finally, I made it half-way, and received the valuable straw, and jogged, and walked, and jogged. I was already near the finish line when I saw colleagues yelling and cheering for me. How sweet that was! And yes, the time was 1 hour and 19 minutes. Yahoo! It was time to erase all the doubts as I have conquered the RACE!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Right now, I am outside the Planters Den of Sugarland Hotel, quite earlier than usual. Of course i still have my favorite cup of cappuccino at the Twist plus a mouth-watering cheesecake. Earlier because the supposed 6th regular meeting of the Riverside Toastmasters Club have only me, Tm's Lorna and Mario in attendance.

I was the first to arrive in the room with only few lights on. There was no sound system yet. I did not bother to change anything in the room. I just sat in one of the chairs in front since I am supposed to be the toastmaster of the evening. When TM Mario arrived, we exchanged greetings, and noticed that the room is dim-lit. He made a remark and I immediately answered it meant something. He did not bother reply on what i have just said. Maybe he wasn't able to hear it. He switched on the lights. When he asked where are the others, I flawlessly enumerated their own businesses in fact I perfectly memorized all the reasons there are. Being the jokemaster of the club, he fearlessly said, dont they like me? At the back of my mind, I thought, maybe it is me whom they dont like. Whatever it is, as forecasted, only TM Lorna arrived after us but we still managed to have a heart-warming conversation, giggles, and laughter.

In 2007, I started my toastmaster journey. Unlike the normal way of things, I wasn't invited to become a guest. It was me who invited myself to toastmasters. Of course, I am very thankful to google for it gave me the number of the alluring CTM Emily Go-Villanueva. When I texted her how can I join a toastmasters club, without a downtime, she asked me what day would I be available. Saturday it is, so she gave me the cell nos of CTM Mary Lecias, who at that time was the Vice-President for Education and TM Lorna as the President. I was very eager to attend my first meeting but it was cancelled due to a very low attendance. My excitement for the second meeting still equals that of my first but unluckily we did not have a room for the meeting so we had to settle at the Twist where other people eat, discuss, drink, and whisper sweet-nothings.

It's been more than 2 years, and what a journey it has been. Contests, win or loose, are always rewarding. It may be a confirmation where do I stand among the others but more than that is the fact that I have half-won the battle by conquering myself. As one of the table topics quotation states, "The greatest battle is not fought in the world's battlefields but in the hearts of men as they fight against fear." Trophies shouldn't be vehicle or medium to flaunt and brag but rather a reminder of a great responsibility in helping other toastmasters hone their speaking skills.

Leadership, the not-so-famous benefit, in the eyes of non-toastmasters, is one thing that I have developed. I have learned to keep my promise in all roles that I have committed myself in-that's integrity. I have learned to adjust to all eclectic persona there are in the organization. I have learned to become more competent because I am in the midst of competent people. As it is in the desiderata, the only way to grow is to be with people better than you are.

Now, counting the past years, i am still that person very eager to become a toastmaster. How can I not be still, when I always have fun while learning life's lessons.

I would cease to be a toastmaster when the time comes that I am not capable of breathing.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Next Winning Piece

Magsimula Ka

Magsimula ka, batiin ang kay gandang umaga
Ng may ngiti sa iyong mga mata
Sa pagkakaidli gumising na
Ang buhay ay masaya
Palalagpasin mo ba

Magsimula ka, tuparin ang pangarap mong tunay
Habang ang lakas iyo pang taglay
Sa paghihintay baka masanay
Sayang naman ang buhay mawawala ng saysay

Iisa lang ang buhay mo
Kumilos ka, gamitin mo
Kung may nais ang puso mo
Mangarap ka, abutin mo
Upang ito'y makamit mo
Magsikap ka, simulan mo

Magsimula ka, pilitin ang tuklasin ang hanap
Madanas man ang maraming hirap
Ang mithiin mo pag naging ganap
Langit ng pagsisikap iyo nang malalasap

(Repeat refrain 2x)

Upang ito'y makamit mo
Magsikap ka, simulan mo

Monday, August 17, 2009

How Are You?

The question is no stranger. When we were younger, we were taught to answer the question with plain "I am fine, thank you". How sweet-sounding that is! But the question which used to be the simplest question one could ask and which seemed very easy to answer does not hold true anymore.

A friend at facebook asked me today, how are you? My reply was, i cannot articulate myself on the question. Thinking very hard, i really cannot find the right words to anwer. Could it be that i lost comprehension of my self? Or could it be that i am not okay and dont want anybody to know?

I had snacks this afternoon when a personnel at the canteen took the courage to ask me if i have any problem. Who wouldnt be shock raise your hand? That struck me enough that i paused to grasp some fresh air before i could utter anything. I said, why did you ask? She told me, she just overheard me. I could not remember. It even made me laugh as i got over it. Me and my big mouth. Made even bigger because of toastmasters (promotion..heheheh).

Back to the question? I still cant answer. Maybe tomorrow after i get my well deserved sleep.