Happy Thoughts

208 mga puna

Wendy: Once upon a time there was a boy named Peter Pan, who decided not to grow up. So he flew away to Neverland where the pirates are.
Hook: What fun he must have had.
Wendy: Yes but he was rather lonely.
Hook : Peter Pan thought you how to fly. How?
Wendy: You just think HAPPY THOUGHTS. They lift you into the air.
Hook: Alas, I have no happy thoughts.
Wendy: That brings you down!

I have felt a variety of emotions for the past weeks.

I was sad, down, disappointed, homesick, happy, excited, inspired, positive and invigorated.

It was a roller-coaster ride for me. One thing I realized was, If I choose to be happy, I could.

I am too blessed to be depressed by petty things. At the end of the day, the only choice I have is living while I’m alive, and enjoying every moments of it.

Now I really believe that having a good life is indeed the sweetest form of revenge.

Happy thoughts also helped me in the process.

1. Thank you to ABSCBN News for recognizing the nominees of the 2009 Philippine Expats Blog Awards. It is really a humbling experience for us Overseas Filipino Workers to be mentioned in your news.

abscbn

2. I received two compliments in one day from my clients. Well, these things serve as a reassurance that I am doing something good for other people and believe me,I’m gloating right now.

compliment

3. I was able to book two return tickets for next year (September 2010 and October 2010) thru the AirAsia promo. Paying RM70.00 (RM35.00 each return flight) is not bad at all. (Note: RM1 = PHP13.50 so technically, I only paid PHP472.50 for each return ticket from Malaysia to the Philippines.)

4. I will be going home on December 29 for my Christmas vacation -insert hooray and applause here- I’m so excited and there’s no hiding it. I am planning to meet some of my long-lost friends, old-time friends and blogger-friends as well. It will surely be a blast.

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Christmas in KL 2008

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Christmas in KL 2008

5. I’m getting married next year. I am so inlove. If I am dreaming, please don’t wake me up. It’s really good to love and to be loved in return. I would not trade this for anything in the world. Okay, I just made this up. Number 5 is yet to happen.

Happy Thoughts. There.

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When Good Becomes Better (I’m Still Standing)

113 mga puna

There’s always a bigger picture behind every happening in the present.

We may find it difficult to understand at first but as days pass by and we start to mature, we would be able to understand why God let us experience these things.

It’s inevitable, all good things really come to an end. And as soon as it ends, we face another challenge. As cliche as it may sound, it’s like seeing a glass half-empty or half-full. It would depend on us whether we accept another exciting chapter wholeheartedly or rant because we’re too afraid (read this: chicken) to face it.

I never thought even in my wildest dreams that I would be working abroad. I used to be somebody who would rather stay in my comfort zone because it is where I felt secure and loved. I had a stable job before as a service assistant/teller in Bank of the Philippine Islands and a parttime trainor for call center agents but a part of me still wanted to grow.

After almost two years of counting millions of deposits and withdrawals, I realized that I was not enjoying the job anymore. For one, it did not make my heart beat faster and I am not excited to go to work every morning.

Everything changed when my friend and I visited Mang Badoy in Kuala Lumpur last April 2008. I realized that apart from the usual job which was just good to make ends meet, independence is something which I’ve been craving for the longest time. I took the opportunity and sent my application during the job fair, and the rest they say, was history.

I could not deny the fact that luck was one of the reasons why I was hired by my company in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from it, working in a customer service environment for more than five years also helped in sealing my fate. If I did not experience the hardships that I’ve had before during my call center-hopping days and I gave up in the process, I would not know where I would be right now. Being away from my loved-ones sucks. Working on a thirteen hour-shift sucks. Preparing my own meal even if I’m already dead tired sucks.

There may be times when I almost gave up. There may be times when loneliness got the best of me. There may be times when I felt deserted and depressed. But I’m still one of the luckiest people in the world. I am working abroad despite the economic crisis. I could save money to have a stable future. I could buy the things I want and I could pamper myself anytime. Above everything, I could make my family happy and proud of me. And hey, I’m still standing.

college rye

rye during his college days

peba nokia

PEBA-Nokia photoshoot..Good becomes Better

30 Second Post on Moving On

107 mga puna

When do we move on?
When our heart finally understands that there’s no turning back.

When can we say that there’s no turning back?
When we stood up for what we believe and feel happy about it. We should not be sorry nor cynical about love. It should rather make us wonder that ‘If we were happy with the wrong one, how much more if the right one comes along?’

When do we feel happy about something?
When we did our best to accomplish it, whether we win or we fail.

When do we fail?
Failure is just a word. Failure is an event, never a person. It would either make us feel bitter or better.

When do we think that we failed?
If we did nothing to succeed. It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all. Failure doesn’t mean we are a failure…it just means we haven’t succeeded yet.

When do we succeed?
If we did everything we could to accomplish our goal.Success is a journey, not a destination.

‘You can run from the past. But sometimes the only way to move on is to go back.To face what your life was so you could make it what you want it to be. It’s my time to move on.’

TORN

91 mga puna

Do you know why people hate to admit that they are lonely? It’s because when you do, everyone thinks something is wrong with you. They think, ‘I have people in my life, why don’t you?’ But the strange thing is, you could have people in your life and still be alone.’
-Lee Wen, The Forgotten

Torn

‘The best memories you’ve had will flash infront of you when you’re about to die.’ Good thing it has not happened to me yet. Morbid.

This statement has nothing to do with my post. It’s just that I’m feeling TORN these past few days.

TORN because today is the start of my six days off. I worked dayshift last Friday for thirteen hours (7:30 am to 8:30 pm). Since my colleague was absent during the night shift proceeding that, I continued to work night shift for another thirteen hours (until 8:30 am the next day). After my night shift, I attended the training until five in the afternoon. In short, I worked thirty three hours straight. Beat that. To set things straight, I am not complaining. I just felt like I needed to pamper myself after that. And pampering myself is synonymous to going back to Manila for a quick six-day trip. I was really tempted to book a ticket but I did not because the price was almost RM1,000 (PHP13,500). I know better than to spend money. I decided to save instead and wait since I would be going home on December 29 for my Christmas vacation. Patience is a virtue.

TORN because there is really no place like home. I am TORN between staying here to continue my two year contract until August 2010 or go home and find a job in Manila. I am not getting any younger. If I want to save and have a brighter future, it’s a no-brainer. Staying in Kuala Lumpur is the answer. I browsed jobstreet the other day and found out that there’s a company in Manila looking for a Bahasa Melayu speaker. Henceforth, I would try my best to learn Malaysia’s native language with the help of my colleagues. I would ask them to teach and talk to me as if I’m one of them. Next language on my list: Thai.

TORN because I used to hate it everytime mom sends me an sms before asking where I was and what time would I go home. And at times, if I still had plans of going home. I went out early this afternoon and came home kinda late. I was secretly hoping that somebody will text me to ask me where I was and what time would I go home. Or if i still have plans of going home. I checked my cellphone twice. Nobody did. Freedom at its best. I should be happy.

TORN because I received a very bad news last week. My sixteen year old brother met an accident. The motorbike that he was driving was bumped by a truck. I was not able to do anything but pray that he would be okay. It’s inevitable to feel helpless since I am miles away from my loved ones. But prayers really move mountains. He is getting better now. Some lessons are literally learned in a painful way.

TORN because I want my prayers to be answered immediately. When you aggravate somebody, the first thing that comes to your mind is to make amends. Being the talker that I am, I have said things which I regret in the end. I want Him to make everything alright again. In the end, I asked Him to give me a sign until Friday.
If there’s no sign until then, I also told Him…’Thy will be done.’

TORN because besides my family, I really miss my friends. I sometimes feel that I am deprived of familiar warmth and affection. I need my friends to light up my need for familiar faces, familiar voices, old jokes and tested bond. Well, I maybe feeling nostalgic but it’s one of the most special emotions in the entire human experience
especially now that im longing for the people who are worth-keeping.

     Scottie, my apologies for not being there now that you need me the most.

     Kath, as usual, thanks for the ego-boosting compliments. They’re special since they came from my number one fan.

    Eloisa, thank you for being my bestest best friend. The deal is still on. If we’re both single by the time we’re thirty, I’ll accept your proposal to marry you. Kidding aside, thank you for making me realize how self-centered I was. You might think that I was not listening when you told me that I will never be the center of eveybody’s universe and that, the world does not revolve around me, but those words struck me. People’s lives could go on even without my presence.

    Kuya Topher, nobody could understand what I am going through right now but you. We are on the same boat. A million thanks for listening to my rants and for the late night chat (and sleepless night for me). You’ve been the biggest help. Thanks for confirming that I really was self-centered and for being the big brother I’ve never had. Now you know that I am not a snob. Some people misinterpret me for that(calling Yhen..hehe). You could still spend your vacation here in KL…for a minimal price. The sooner the better.

When you’re in a mess and people ask you ‘how are you?’ Trust me, they don’t want an answer.

I’m TORN. Pray for me.

A Tribute to Lola

69 mga puna

In a week’s time, All Souls day will be celebrated again. It is always the best time to remember our departed loved ones and relive how they mean to us and how we cherish them.

During this time of the year, the person I remember the most is my late grandmother, Lola Lucing.

Since dad and mom worked abroad when I was still a kid, I grew up with my grandparents and my aunts. Lola Lucing has played a very important role in my younger years. She taught me that being a good boy is the most important thing in the world. She took care of me when I was sick, attended my pre-school activities and  most importantly, shaped me to become the person I am now.
 
Moreover, Lola helped me a lot in strengthening my faith in God. She taught me how to pray the rosary and we attended masses and church events together. It was because of her that I have completed countless ‘Simbang Gabi,’ made wishes after that, and found out that nothing is impossible for those who believe.

It was also because of Lola that I learned to love her favorite movie of all time, ‘The Sound of Music.’ Everytime I hear of this film, I would automatically think of no one  but her. As geeky as it may sound,until now I still memorize some of the classic songs in the film like ‘TheSound of Music,’ ‘Do Re Mi,’ ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen,’ ‘So Long Farewell,’ ‘Climb Every Mountain,’ ‘Edelweiss,’ and ‘My Favorite Things.’

Five years ago, Lola succumbed to breast cancer. It was the saddest moment in my life. I literally saw her on her death bed at three in the morning. It was something which I would not wish even for my worst enemy to experience. Her wake passed by in a jiffy after that. I saw how Lola‘s peers andcontemporaries loved her so much. She really must have done something good.

The first time I went and worked abroad, during family reunions, Lolo‘s birthday, Christmases, New Years…yeah, there are still moments when I wish that Lola is still alive. I want her to see that the values and lessons she instilled in me throughout the years have been helping me cope up with the pressures and realities of the present.

I even dream of her at times. I am always happy everytime I see her in my dreams. I know that she’s already an angel who continues to guide and protect our family. And as the lyrics of ‘My Favorite Things’ say, and I quote,  ‘When the dog bites, when the bees sting, when I’m feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.’

The years I’ve spent with Lola Lucing will forever be one of my favorite things in life.

Lola‘s memories will forever linger in me, like the sweetest music ever played.

SOM

This Time I’ll Make It Right

142 mga puna

PEBA

This is a repost and my official entry to the 2009 Pinoy Expats Blog Awards…

(Please vote for us: #35 Flamindevil #34 Topexpress #33 Bonistation..You could vote up to 10 bloggers at the same time. You could only vote once per IP address. Here’s the link: http://pinoyexpatsblogawards.com/ )

I have been a call center hopper before. Since it’s pretty easy to jump from one call center company to another when I was still in Manila, I made the most out of it. My first company catered for outbound clients. I stayed there for five months. After I bought a fridge for my parents as a Christmas gift in the year 2003, I resigned. A string of applications and resignations followed after that. The rest, as they say, was history. Now I am here in Kuala Lumpur working my ass off.I sometimes feel that I am very tired to go to work. I sometimes feel like laziness has gotten the best of me. But I’m proud to say though, that I have never been tardy since I started working here in August 2008. Being abroad helps me mature fast. As what I’ve said before, I’m already starting to learn how to look at the bigger picture in making decisions.  Though physically I still look young and cute maybe because of my height, wow I’m ageless according to my peers, mentally and emotionally I’ve matured. I dun have a choice anyway. Being away from my comfort zone, I realized that I can’t depend on anybody but myself. At least I can’t blame anybody and I’ve prepared myself to the consequences that my decisions will bring. I firmly believe that if I felt good about something I did as long as I did not do anything to aggravate anybody, it’s absolutely right. I realized that I’m one of the luckiest people in the world because I’m working abroad despite of the current global crisis. Countless people lose their jobs everyday and I’m not one of them. Though I have clients who can really be a pain in the ass sometimes, at least I still have clients who appreciate what I do for them. A simple ‘thank you’ could really make the day of a call center agent. Yeah, we are sometimes bombarded with information overload, but it’s better than staying at home and earning nothing. Thank God I am a PINOY and I’m very proud of it. The work ethics which was instilled in me through my previous jobs could really save the day. Some of my colleagues are really, really, really, err, lazy. They call in sick and report for work thirty minutes after the shift started. I’m glad that call centers in Manila are really strict in terms of attendance and performance.Even if I am dead tired everytime I go home, I always see to it that my company would feel lucky because they have a Filipino employee in their center. Besides being the hope for the nation, Filipinos are gift to the world. We know how and when to be patient. We know when to keep our mouths shut and when to explain our sides in a courteous way. I was easy-go-lucky before…This Time I’ll Make It Right.

I have failed many times in this crazy thing called ‘love.’ I’ve been bruised, damaged, hurt and my ego was shattered with and without my consent. Now I’ve learned that if I have to love again, it is because I want to, not because I have to. Love was the reason why I felt empty. Love was the one that made my tears fall as if I was dying. Love broke my heart and stopped my breath. I used to think that love was not great because it’s a gentle death. I’m too tired to play games. Now I realized that in relationships, it is impossible to find someone who will never hurt you. So I’ll go for the one who makes all the pain worth it. I’m positive that I will find that someone soon. I’m still weighing the pros and cons though. I hope as soon as I get to my senses, I would be ready to love again and I promise myself…This Time I’ll Make It Right.

I am nowhere near perfect. I eat when I’m bored. I’m vulnerable to believing lies. I’m hoping that one day I won’t need a fake smile. I live by quotes that explain exactly what I’m going through. I make up excuses for everything. I have true friends and critics. I have good memories and a share of dramas. I really appreciate it that there are many people (if I say ‘many,’ I mean it) who love the imperfect me unconditionally. They are the reason why giving up has never been an option for me.And because of them…This Time I’ll Make It Right.

Smile. It makes a world of difference. Dance. Who knows when I won’t be able to? Cry. Holding the emotions inside is bad for me. Kiss. It’s the most wonderful thing in this world. Laugh. What’s the point of hiding my happiness?Frown. Why not let them know that I’m unhappy? Apologize. I dun wanna lose friends. Hug. There’s no better feeling than being wrapped up close to someone I love. Live. Because life is everything. Pray. For God’s guidance and to be an inspiration to others. Be positive.  That This Time I could really Make It Right!

Glee!

140 mga puna

glee

I was having second thoughts before I started downloading this. For one, the show is about a high school glee club and you might react as I did initially: I wanted no part of that. I’m not a musicals kinda guy.

I have to admit, however, that no matter what you’ve been led to believe, Glee is not a straight-to-your-face musical.   It’s just a show that happens to be about people who sing, and there’s a big difference.  People in Glee don’t, for a start, just break out into song randomly and sing their way through their day.  They sing in Glee club.

Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) is a high school Spanish teacher who takes over a pathetic glee club filled with misfits. He is inspired by recalling the one time he was truly happy — when he sang in his own high school glee club. In a healthy way, he’s going to channel his nostalgia into making the club, called New Directions, glow:  ‘There’s no joy in these kids…. That’s why they all have a MySpace page,’ he says.

This comedy from creator Ryan Murhy (Nip/Tuck) is so good, so funny, so bulging with vibrant characters—that you would actually love it. Glee will not stop until it wins you over utterly.

The show rests on characters so overused that it could have been cliche figures, but these actors bring fresh details to them.  Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), the persecuted girl who is so determined to become famous and so convinced of her talent (to which she says, ‘Being anonymous is worse than being poor’); Finn (Cory Monteith), the football quarterback with a voice fit for an ’80s power ballad; Mercedes (Amber Riley), the plus-size diva who believes that she should not be a back-up singer because ‘she is Beyonce, and she ain’t no Kelly Rowlands;’ Kurt (Chris Colfer), the gay guy; Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), a stutterer whose affliction conveniently disappears when she sings; Artie, a spectacled, guitar-wielding geek in a wheelchair; and of course, the ever-brilliant Jane Lynch (as cheerleading coach Sue), the queen of deadpan delivery (‘You wanna be good. You wanna be a star. Face it, you wanna be me.’)
 
In a nutshell, Glee is all about sparking ambition, getting kids off the sofa and doing creative things. But it also has a healthy dose of sarcasm and skepticism to offset its peppy interpretations of Journey hits. The production numbers show the sweat and constructive criticism that goes into good performances.

However we look at it, Glee is still the little musical-comedy-drama that could…bomb. As terrific as it is, it’s a risk. Why? Because there’s nothing else like it on TV. So far, in the first three episodes, the show has given us its own renditions of popular songs like Rehab (Amy Winehouse), Mercy (Duffy) and Take a Bow (Rihanna).

Honestly, I was persuaded by Glee’s cagey little mind as well as its big, throbbing heart. I think you will be too.

glee-cast

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