Weekly Photo Challenge : Thanksgiving

I’m living with this view for more than 20 years. This has been the constant morning picture from my room ever since my family moved away from my grandparent’s compound. Back then, my grandma won a significant amount of money in the local lottery. No, grandma didn’t get the jackpot million prize. How I wish! The money was just enough to give my grandparents a source of steady livelihood and enough inheritance for their children. My father used his inheritance to purchase our home for more than 20 years.

I never noticed this view as I was growing up. In my elementary years, I have to wake up before the sun is up for school. Back in college, I either wake up early or get up late because of my classes that lasts until 9 pm. I never noticed this blessing all those years of my life.

When did I start to notice and appreciate the view? A few months ago while I was savoring my rare vacation from work. I was worried, irritated and can’t find reasons to get up from bed. I pushed away my curtains and I realized, wow this could be a perfect upload for Instagram! LOL

Seriously, that morning made me realize that I tend to ignore a lot of things that I should have been thankful for. I allowed all the negativities in life to control me.

So starting today, I’ll try my best to appreciate this little heaven that never left me all those days of my life.

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New Journey Series – When prudence meets a desperate dream

Over the past days to months, my struggle to become financially independent has been a dilemma that never left my mind. This has been causing me worries and occasional anxiety attacks. Will I be able to pay my bills for the next three years? Will I have more freelance jobs and writing assignments? No matter how good are my plans and intentions, there are just some things that happen way beyond my control. Sigh..

In my attempt to remain loyal with my much needed mission to be accomplished, I was monitoring my expenses and exerting all means to beat the temptation to spend. The only thing I can be proud of myself now is that I no longer use my credit cards for my purchases. When I want a new blouse or a pair of shoes, I pay everything in cash. My only purchases made through credit cards include the replacement for our 20+ years old refrigerator and my phone that was begging for eternal rest. LOL The cards were used as substitute and not as an extender to my purchasing capacity.

A week ago, I did some decluttering in my room and guess what happened? I was able to almost complete my Christmas list. It’s only now that I discovered that I hoarded a lot of things within a span of a year. I shopped for goods which I thought would be useful. I obviously accumulated things that consumed space and ripped a huge hole in my pocket.

As much as I want to show the proof of my shopaholic attacks, I prefer to keep them because some of my friends might accidentally land on this post. My Christmas presents will be busted then. Haha For those who are raising their eye brows and wanted to call me selfish, go on! One thing I can assure is that all my presents are NEW and never been used. I can still draw the dividing line of my prudence vs. deceit and selfishness .

All the while, I thought that I will be spared from purchasing gifts for everyone. I thought I’m almost done with my Christmas list. Almost not until someone invited me to join their Kris Kringle. Just when I’m teaching and disciplining myself to limit my expenses, I have to spend more for these three-times-a-week-gift-giving. Call me The Grinch but I never loved the idea of buying gifts that would just end up as useless pieces at home, as a result of complying with those “something” “something” requirement. I’d rather spend and lavish gifts the people close to my heart or share a fraction of my much awaited 13th month pay to organizations that awaken that soft spot in my heart.

Another reason why I never loved this weekly gift giving marathon is the minimum amount requirement. (Tag me now as a killed joy and pathetic loser. ) We were asked to purchased something not lower than Php 30. Cheap but do that 3 to 5 times a week, that’s already a significant amount of money. Added to it the fact that I won’t settle with the idea of buying a gift for the sake of compliance. Since it’s a gift, I might as well make it as a real gift.

Since I don’t want to bother and accummulate additional worries to my overloaded system, I went to the mall two days ago to fulfill my Kris Kringle list. So here’s what happened.

I’m finally done and almost happy not until I checked my receipts. I would like to believe that I surpassed the requirement of not becoming an annoying gift giver. I bought useful gifts but when I did the Math, I failed! You see, this is a shouting evidence that I’m never good in budget execution.

As I’m trying to convince myself that I’ll just call it a day, I remembered something that I should have purchased. Gift wrappers!!! No, I wouldn’t want to spend again so I allowed the ambitious and pretentious Martha Stewart in me to handle things. LOL

I checked my cabinet that housed my shopping bags (another proof of my shopaholic attacks) and I did some desperate DIY moves.

Redundantly desperate!

How I wish I was blessed with just a drop of the talent of Martha Stewart or the famous Papemelroti’s Alejandro family. I never knew that creativity can go a long way. Aside from the fact that DIY projects can save some money, it could even turn to some business opportunities… if taken seriously. Now that I’m taking DIY seriously, the more important question is

Will DIY take me seriously too? LOL

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

When I learned that the weekly photo challenge is all about green, the first thing that entered my mind was a garden away from the city. It should be a place blessed with lush greeneries of grass and trees. I already have the exact picture that I will be using for this post. It was just a matter of waiting to come home and check the drive where I store my gazillion of photo files. As I was browsing my pictures folder, my attention was diverted to another piece of greenery.

The place was still paradise, but it wasn’t away from the city. This paradise was a ride away from home. In fact, I passed by this place everyday on the way to work. This happens to be the resting place of my dearest friend, Anna. For those who have been reading my posts, I blogged about her several times here. Actually, among all my friends, it was Anna that I often blog about. In like manner, that she’s my only friend who regularly reads my posts.

I know this is not the right time to write about sad things. Christmas is almost everywhere. To my dearest friend Anna, I want you to know that I’m trying to live life without you. I would like to believe that I’m getting used to it. However, when something shows up to remind me of you, everything seems to turn around. Like we have always promised, please guide and pray for me too. I know I should no longer burden and disturb you but at this point, I really need someone to pray for me.

Please don’t give Education a bad name

My fellow Filipinos are surely updated with that latest You Tube sensation. I won’t mention her name here. She has unfortunately gained that enough unwanted attention. I won’t even link up the video that mutated to parodies that gave sudden fame to a few.

I don’t have intentions of rendering my own point of view of who should be blamed.  I’ve been equally tired and entertained of hearing both the sensible and useless opinions. So what’s the point of writing this post? I wanted to dwell on a critical belief that most “educated” people tend to overuse.

I finished school. I’m educated. I have a college degree. In effect, I deserve every piece of respect in the world.

This is the greatest misconception that mankind has ever equated to Education. I will hold on to my belief that people who use their “Education” as an access card to their self-imposed respect is giving Education a bad name.

Education should never be seen as a status symbol, security blanket and a gateway to gain respect.  Kids and those who are blessed to own a college degree, please don’t use the name of education in vain.

While the law dictates that every kid should be sent to school, we all know that reality doesn’t work that way.  Education rather turned as a privilege to a few. In that case, I hope kids would rather see Education as a rare and noble chance to improve one’s life. Education never became a right. It clearly became a rare blessing.

Given that gift of Education, I hope those who are claiming to be “educated,” should rather feel blessed and humbled. I feel that education should be valued than bragged. Education should be treated as a blessing that should be shared and not as a license to demean and demand that self-imposed respect.

My fervent plea to everyone who were blessed with a college degree, please value your education like a priceless treasure. Instead of using your education to gain that respect, for a change,
live a life that will prove that you are indeed deserving for that rare and priceless education.

Bored

This is the nth time I’m changing my blog’s theme and layout. Obviously, I’m bored but I’ve nothing interesting to write…

Hopefully something will happen to spark up the lazy,  thriving and ambitious writer in me.  But please, when I said I wish for something to happen, I meant it in a positive way.

Wishing everyone a happy Friday!

Too much on my plate

Fine, this is just one of those days that I should not rather document. But the stubborn and frustrated writer in me refuses to follow rules. I’d rather rant away and maximize my airtime in the blogosphere while it is still being free. Oh WordPress please! Don’t take away the last few things that keep the last strands of my sanity.

I arrived at the office late because I started my unhealthy lifestyle again. I only slept for 5 hours because I have to prepare my lecture. It’s my first time to handle this advance subject so I need more preparation and studying to do. My current assignment in the office is running smoothly. The only constraint I see is as always, to beat the deadline. Nevertheless, I can feel that I can manage each phase of my job. Thank God.

I teach after my 8 am to 5 pm office work. I have been blessed with good kids this semester. I handled them already in another subject and I have proven that they are one of the best college kids that every professor would ever wish for. Having been blessed with good kids, I feel both challenged and obliged to provide them with the best education they deserve.

As I started to render my lecture, all the while I thought I was fully prepared. I was able to finish my lecture, but I felt disappointed because I know that it wasn’t my best. My discussion demands its own points for improvement. Sigh.. I hope the kids will not be able to read this.

After having a bad day at work, all I wanted is to head home straight and finally forget about everything. I can finally call it a day not until I saw the pile of bills arranged near the netbook I’m using to type this post. Another huge sigh here….

I opened the envelopes and even though I know what to expect, the papers acted like poison gas that weakened my knees and planted another set of worries that occupied my mind and heart. All I want to say now is I have too much on my plate.

When honesty becomes stupidity

As I was about to leave the house this afternoon, I heard familiar voices from what we tagged as the happy family from our small neighborhood. We baptized them as the happy family because we have observed that the sound of their quarrels, rants and curses defined their everyday happiness. I was once agitated by their everyday happiness ritual which starts at 4 am. Over time however, I’ve learned to deal with them. In fact, things feel unusual for me whenever they are in peace and silence. Haha

While I learned to ignore their loud presence, this afternoon drama episode was different. I overheard the mother nagging and reprimanding his son who lost a Php 500 bill. As I was walking away from home, I felt that they were behind me. Apparently, the mother was taking chances of finding the Php 500 bill along the street. The mother and son scene continued. The mother was even shouting at the teenagers and bystanders whoever saw a Php 500 bill. The mother tried to beg everyone to return the missing Php 500 bill. I was about to cross the street when I realized that they were still behind me. To say that the mother is making a scandalous scene is even an understatement. The mother caught every attention from every person in the street.

I can’t blame the mother because I would equally feel upset if I lose a Php 500 bill. However, what I can never accept is the scandal created by the mother. She rattled the entire street. She reprimanded and embarrassed the son in front of many people, which I believe is a mortal sin under unwritten rules of parenthood.

Setting aside the drama which the mother had created, I hope she realized that she has her own mistake too. If the Php 500 was the last money left in her wallet, she should have held on to it. She should not have entrusted her remaining livelihood to his seven year old kid. More importantly, she should have placed herself in the shoes of the bystanders or anyone who met a Php 500 in the street. Would she be tempted to pocket it as well?

In a similar note, I remember a related experience back when I was eight years old.

I was walking with two male younger cousins across a mud-covered street.  One of my cousins was a two-year old kid and the other was a year younger than me. Halfway on the way home, I saw a Php 100 bill in the brink of being soaked in a puddle. I shouted, “there’s a Php 100 bill!” My other cousin immediately shouted, “hey, that belongs to Roy” (my two-year old cousin). I didn’t understand what my cousin was trying to communicate with me. I later learned that he knew the money wasn’t ours. He wanted to pretend and shout that the money belongs to my innocent two-year old cousin.  We continued with our argument because I was insisting that we didn’t own the money. Hence, we should not claim it as ours.

While my cousin was getting agitated and I remained clueless, a girl of my age joined our argument out of nowhere. She grabbed the money and asked a group of early elder male drinkers if they own the money. Taking advantage of our ignorance and silliness, they immediately claimed the money.

When we reached home, my cousin related everything to our folks. To my surprise, everyone was mad at me, including my own parents. I can’t count how many times I was called as a stupid ass. My cousin was treated as the hero antagonist. While me? I was left as the ignorant and annoying supporting actress.

As I was riding the FX taxi, incident caused me some shallow realizations. Thanks to the unexpected traffic for intensifying my emotions and making me write this post.

We demand for other people’s honesty without looking at our own level of honesty. We want to have honest neighbors without considering if we are capable of promoting honesty in our own families.

My experience back when I was an innocent eight year old kid gave me confusions for a while. You see, my mother would always remind me to be good and value the expensive Catholic education ,which my father is dying to work for. While the value of honesty was thriving in me, I was suddenly placed in a situation where I have to set aside my values system. The incident gave me my first taste of how honesty sometimes becomes a moment of stupidity.