Friday, November 27, 2009

It Took Me Long To Say...

But I still did--to utter...

This morning, I was able to spend some time chatting with my former professor and boss Sir Ariel Vidanes. In the midst of those "kumustahan" I told him of the what abouts at work including the upcoming release of the magazine.

It warmed my heart when he told me that he's happy for me; as I shared to him of the accomplishment I had in the magazine. I can still vividly remember a year ago a few weeks before he left to respond to his calling, I can recall telling him "I'll be a managing editor too someday Sir--just like you." It has been a long way and as I think of it, what I said became a reality in some ways. To which I took the moment (even over chat) to thank Sir Ariel.

All God's angels come to us disguised. ~James Russell Lowell

More than just my former professor and boss, I am thankful to have met Sir Ariel. I know I've been the schoolgirl who was afraid of my own teachers (yes, until I graduated from college) but that's because I see them as authority. But aside from being my mentor, He became God's instrument who helped me in achieving my heart's desire--of being the writer that I am today. Of course, I also handled some other tasks aside from that but then those things taught me lessons too. Lessons that are not found in the four corners of the school.

In a way, I know I was blessed. Indeed, people come in to your life for a reason. I guess I found one of those in him. And while it took me long before saying those words of gratitude, I've embedded it in my being that no matter what, I know, those two words are so important. Quoting writer Sara Holbrook in her one of her poems (entitled Sorry, but I'll change it for the sake of this entry) :

It nags me in my dreams
When I have gone to bed
That thank you virus hangs on
Until it's finally said.

Think of it. How about you, have you said THANK YOU to anyone lately? I'm ending this entry with another word of wisdom from an unnamed author:

He who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If You Want to Get It, Work on It--NOW!

Most people can describe me using S words for their first impression--shy which makes them think I'm either masungit or suplada and silent. Deep within me lies the persona of a Silent Warrior.

Now, if there's one thing that leaves me concerned (aside from my physical looks), it's being silent. A thing that rooted from the trait of being conservative, which I've been carrying for such a long time. Manang in other words. For the longest time, I raised myself that there are things that I have to wait for; that I have to wait for that thing or person to come.

Eight years ago, my associate editor Joemar Aquino described me to be this:

"Malakas ang loob na iyakin. Makapal ang mukhang mahiyain."

Sometimes I want to believe it to be for real. But then, I know I like to know a person more. I'm aware if I don't work or do anything about it, chances are I'd be on the losing end (again). And frankly while I'm afraid of being rejected, I am also afraid of living a life of regret and unsettled what-ifs. I've been there four years ago and I know the feeling--which I don't want to feel again.

I am now discerning about it as there is something that I want to achieve. I know I want this thing and I want it to happen. But I'm seeking for an answer from within. I want to know the person and move towards the realization without being tagged a flirt or any negative word.

Sometimes it takes a bit of nudging. And a lot of things are telling me to do it.

And these words that I found days ago seem to push me:

"Mas mabuting mabigo sa paggawa ng isang bagay, kaysa magtagumpay sa paggawa ng wala."

"We tend to get what we expect." (This sent a good-dose of whack on my head, kung negative ang ineexpect mo, yun ang makukuha mo.)

"Help yourself and God will help you."

"First is always difficult. We don't know things can be done, dreams can be fulfilled, that great accomplishments can be realized until somebody takes the first step."

"Ang taong pumipili ng isang desisyon ay nagiging malaya."

"Life offers you a thousand chances. All you have to do is pick one."

The answers are found within like what someone said. Now, I suppose I better decide. Not unless I'd want the losing end again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

When the Bullied Becomes The Hero

How do you define a hero? Does it really take bullets, blood and painful, harrowing ordeal in order to be one? Tonight, as I tinker down these thoughts, I am watching another magnificent triumph for the country. Just days after Pacquiao's victory comes another reason to be proud of.

His name is Efren Peñaflorida. A school teacher who bagged this year's CNN Hero of the Year out of the 10 finalists vying for the said honor. I first saw him in the Ako Mismo commercial. Funny but at that time, we in Highlights were busy thinking about who to feature in our final issue for this year with the theme Proud to be Pinoy.

Maybe we weren't lucky enough to get him in one of our pages for a greater reason. He won't just make it to our pages because he will make it for the rest of the world to know. He was named Hero of the Year for his advocacy to bring educator to street children as an alternative to gang membership like what normally happens through pushcart classes. He founded Dynamic Team Company to train young children in becoming responsible, systematic and principled.

What surprised me was that he was also a victim of bullying back in high school.

Look inside you and be'll finally see the truth that a hero lies in you.

Quoting Efren on his speech during the awarding ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theater, he further stresses a hero defined:

"Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need. So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers ... you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be."

Many people are called to serve but few are chosen. Efren Peñaflorida heeded this call--even did something extraordinary. And it did not need any amount of suffering to be a hero; but instead, all is takes is one powerful word--SERVE.

Like Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, a hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. That man happened and proved to be Efren. He was able to be brave five minutes longer to bring a very significant change to society--and that five minutes will long be a prized, living legacy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Infected by the Last Song Syndrome

One way that saved me from the burn out syndrome is music. Indeed it's the language of the soul. During the height of typhoon Ondoy, it was the contents of the iPod that helped me survive the day in the midst of the heavy rains and brownout.

Working on the issues of the magazine in the office, the same actually helped soothe my revision-stricken nerves. Through Ms. Kay, my darling editor, I came to encounter and eventually love this video

Waiting For a Star to Fall became my energizer. When Ms. Kay learned how addicted I became to be with this song, she was really laughing her heart out seeing me move and sing with the video. And addicted indeed, I got to memorize almost the whole song just by listening to it thrice. This was an old video from 21 years back and was supposed to be sung by Whitney Houston. The singers were from the former husband and wife tandem of George Merill and Shannon Rubicam who called their duo Boy Meets Girl.

And as fun as loved singing to this song on a normal day, this was the same music that was playing at the back of my head as I waited for the Leonids meteor shower last Tuesday. Just in time with the event.

Anyway, the lyrics of the said song goes like this....

I hear your name whispered on the wind
It’s a sound that makes me cry..
I hear a song blow again and again
Through my mind and I don’t know why..

I wish I didn’t feel so strong about you
Like happiness and love revolve around you..
Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star..

So many people love you baby
That must be what you are..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

I’ve learn to feel what I cannot see
But with you I lose that vision..
I don’t know how to dream your dream
So I’m all caught up in superstition..

I want to reach out and pull you to me
Who says I should let a wild one go free..
Trying to catch your heart
Is like trying to catch a star..

But I can’t love you this much baby
And love you from this far..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

Waiting for a star to fall
And carry your heart into my arms,
That’s where you belong, in my arms baby..

Waiting, however long.
I don’t like waiting, I’ll wait for you..
It’s so hard waiting, don’t be too long..
Seems like waiting, makes me love you even more.

Pretty enough; that while the countless magazine drafts and revisions has almost came to a halt, now I can wait for that another star to fall.

Been Through Busy Weeks

It has been two weeks since I last wrote on this zone. And now I am saying anyongihaseyo (in Korean, that's HELLO) again. My long absence was because of a lot of things; from updating or should I say revamping a concealed blog to overseeing the operations of the magazine. My managing editor had to file a leave thus entrusting me with the task as coordinator (I'd rather put it that way--rather than call myself as OIC managing editor, which I don't think to be appropriate) for the quarterly publication. Which really left me really busy.

The said endeavor left me working on like the usual office schedule. For most days, I found myself working from 9am to 5 pm in front of the PC monitoring the emails from my editor, checking the drafts and coordinating with the printing press. This seemed to be a routine that mom actually finds taxing.

But don't get me wrong. Despite having the task, I don't complain. I am used to it actually. And handling the magazine taught me new lessons. It showed me how it is like to do the whole thing; not just write and revise like what I have been doing for three years (actually it's eight years, if you'll include being in the college paper). It was fun that because I've been seeing the same pages, emailing the same stuff to the same people, it came to a point that I have memorized the contents and the place where to put what already.

The great news is that we're almost done and the magazine is just a few steps away from being printed. I can't hardly wait for the output.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Silver Year Girl

I was one of those who experienced a huge turn yesterday--by becoming 25 years old.

I never really had an extravagant celebration. Waking up to the reality that another year has been added to my life, it gripped me that I need to accomplish a lot and establish myself; living a stagnant life is absolutely scary--especially if you have reached this age. And while I decided to take a birthday leave, it never materialized much. Two days before the celebration and until yesterday morning, I was having an almost-disabling bout of hyper acidity and the heebie-jeebies over an anticipated event.

I had to do some email check and coordination with the printing press through phone for the magazine--answering calls while in bed two times during the day.

And while it was a rainy day for my birthday (hey, they say it's a sign of a blessing), I left home at 4pm to visit the church to say my prayers of thanksgiving for another year and off I went to Sta. Lucia for the scheduled appointment with a friend. The thing has been planned days ago including the plan of introducing me personally to another Facebook buddy. Funny but this was the first time ever that I spent almost an hour for my preparations and mom giving me another permission to come home late.

I'm 25 now. And more than just the wishlist, I have a more sincere wish--a more blessed and stable career, a life full of wisdom and development in the L/R department (that's actually the wish of my friends for me, but then in a way, I also wish that for myself hee...hee...)

I'll take this space for these people to say THANK YOU for your greetings and wishes:

Mom and Dad, my nephew Andrew (for that crying version of Happy Birthday), Tita Fe and Tita Vins, Tita Renee D., Ate Jenny RS.; my friends Brian D., Karen Grace R., Lalaine C., Mark U., Elizabeth C., Carmela V., Ate Sands C., Excel D., Mikhaela dL., Eileen T., Noelito C., Paulo S., Maricris R., Hermil I., Chona A., Love B.; my professor at URS, Ms. Jo J. (for an advanced greeting from Singapore); and to my bosses from MMLDC, Sir Noel A., Sir RJ C., and Ms. Angie T.

And to my two wonderful birthday guests (you know who you are), for that wonderful night with you guys, Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really had a blast! Sa uulitin.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Bit of the Kilig Moment

Writing this entry a few hours before the big day.

Last month, my brother JR and his girlfriend April celebrated their anniversary. Browsing through the files shared in this PC, I got to find this video. Which turned out to be JR's anniversary gift.

I know April from way back. Her family was my uncle's neighbor and we're childhood friends with my brother and my late cousin. Funny how JR laughed his heart out seeing April's photos back when they were younger. Who would have thought they'd be the way they are now?

I loved the part where he wrote these words:

"My heart is filled with you."

Awwww....I never expected my brother would say those words--like it's not in his personality. I to squeal in delight whenever I see him do those sweet gestures to April--in a way he's also sweet contrary to what I thought.

Indeed, they're lucky to have found each other. :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Love in the Time of Facebook

Gearing away from the usual serious posts, I’m typing these down inspired by my friend B and my Darling Editor—and what Facebook has to do with this post.

Days ago, I was one of those who were surprised by the recent change of status of my darling editor. The said “news” earned a lot of comments from her friends (including me—who was really, really surprised at that!). Funny but as I key in this observation, I can’t help but grin at the thought that Facebook is somewhat better and faster—dinaig and news at press release ng CNN or even Fox News.

I also see these social networking sites as a modern venue for engagement and wedding announcements. Indeed, the web could make someone a star by her own right—even just by a changed status reflected on her profile.

When I entered a relationship (with now an EX) some years back, I only have Friendster. In a way, it gave me the privacy that despite of my then “in a relationship status”, I was saved from the prying eyes of people searching for the photos of “the guy”. Because compared to Facebook, Friendster’s option doesn’t include naming the person you’re in a relationship with. And being private when it comes to who I’m seeing, dating or even with, I was spared from the wildfire of comments from friends and colleagues—even successful in keeping the whole thing a secret for four months—if not only for my Literature professor who told the class that the guy and me were then four months into couple hood. It’s great to keep people guessing about the real score.

And the whole wildfire of happy comments she received left both of us laughing to our heart’s content. But don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against that; and to people who are taking pride in declaring their new status—like what they say, share the happiness.

My dear Darling Editor, I’m one of those people cheering for you. For being a crazy River Girl in love with Jesus, you’re hereby rewarded with a nice love story. Your guy is so wise to keep his identity—photographed as one of the characters of Sesame Street. Maybe if time comes and it’s my time for a change of status, I’ll ask him to dress up as Elmo—or the Count perhaps.