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Mistakes, a reflection

Sometimes, we are in a hurry. And in the course, we make mistakes.

Yes, we can race with time and run (or drive) faster than we used to just to catch up.  Yes, sometimes, we can be there and beat the deadline. But sometimes the problem is we forget some other aspects.

I drove from home to work to catch an interview. I made it. But in the rush, I inadvertently turned the park lights on. I learned about it hours later. So, car battery went drained. What a waste. I’m glad the car electrician was on call. To the rescue he takes the battery to his shop. After an hour, I get it back. He gets some bucks in return.

That’s the cost. That’s the Pxxx.xx mistake. I hated the incident. I promised to learn from this.

Lesson: try not to be in a rush situation so the case will not be repeated. In case it is inevitable/ unavoidable try to be more watchful. After the rush, review, go back to the way and check.

Lastly, maybe take out MSG or ‘instant seasoning from Lunch or dinner.

But really, we cant blame substances all the time.


A kababayan in Tel Aviv, anywhere

Congrats Rose Fostanes, a caregiver based in Tel Aviv who is “originally” from the Philippines. She is now popular in Israel after winning the X-Factor Israel reality television singing contest. Such a raw talent Rose have. She admitted having “small” self-confidence. But really raw talent comes out.

I admire her humility and courage. She must be a very hard working person. Most Filipinos abroad do not have Rose’s singing powers. What they have is love for family, perseverance, and unwavering human spirit.

I think that’s the inspiring part – Rose somehow represents all hard working, simple, loving family member anywhere they are in the world.

I also remember a relative in her voice. She talks like an aunt who passed away in a bus accident back in 1995 in Cagayan de Oro. Iya-an was strict, ambitious, and vocal. But she was also kind, hard working, and family-centered.

Thanks Rose.

Failure, unplugged

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
― Truman Capote

To all those whom I failed in 2013, sorry is not enough; but sorry just the same. You all deserved something better. I will not make any promise, I just decided not to give up; I will keep on trying. I’m not only hoping that 2014 will dish out better things for me and all of us; I also hope that I will be better in learning from mistakes, in making the best out of what is available; that I will be better in admitting my mistakes and omissions; that I will be quick in owning weakness and seeking help; and that what little good things I’ve done so far will grow even more. Mea culpa. The buck ends with me. No one else is responsible for my mistakes and omissions. I pray and seek others to pray for me and for all of us; our humility will not be enough; that God will not only send his wisdom, blessings, reparation and provisions. I hope God will also send his strength and zeal.

Advance Happy New Year; another year to learn, make mistakes, and to grow is ahead of us.


Beginner’s Random thoughts on running in Malaybalay City

  1. Come to the race to compete only with yourself.
  2. Expect to be laughed at; laugh with them, it’s another exercise.
  3. Stretch your body before running and your limits, too; but do not be suicidal
  4. Prepare for the race and your needs after it, including one more item at the drug store: muscle pain ointment.
  5. Listen to encouragements from friends, ignore negative remarks from ‘friends’
  6. Use water and food to keep you going, not to slow you down
  7. If you can’t run faster, go slow, or walk; but don’t stop.
  8. Dress light and feel light.
  9. Smile, don’t talk, to an acquaintance while running to save breath
  10. Thank God, family, friends before and after running, it counts to be grateful of the gift of the human life.
  11. Run even if there is no race or competition; if you feel good about stepping on the finish line; be aware that the best is yet to come.
  12. Help keep our community peaceful and free so we still have fields, trails, and streets where we can still run.

I made it!

I got these points printed in my mind from the starting line of the 4.2 km. Panahik night run on January 22 up to dinner tonight.

Finally, I was able to write it down.

I’m sure there will be more I can remember later on.

To those who have other thoughts to add, please key it in as a comment. (or make your own list.)

We don’t know, maybe in the future we can write a book about the gift of running in the free streets of our communities!


Changing the world starting from one’s dining table

On the road to a resort in Lianga, Surigao del Sur late on October 28, our Grassroots Documentation and Reporting Training Team talked about the application of science in the food that we eat.

It was a humorous but “meaty” chatter. The usual one you get into inside the vehicle while heavy rains slow your trip down. A check on the time piece showed dinner should go ahead before check in.

We talked about the chicken in the fast food chains. We talked about the poultry products in our breakfast table. Then the conversation extended to the synthetics of food preparation in the world of fast food chains and how they alter way of life and relationships. Fast food vs. slow food. Old vs. new ways to prepare food. We also talked about that World Toilet Summit in Beijing (yeah, but that’s another thing.)

Just a week before, I sat next to a Vegan. Is that how you call people who live on plant-based diet?

So I had some inputs to make in the car ‘conversation’: that natural diet is a healthier choice.

When we arrived at the resort and dinner was served later, I was shocked to find fried chicken on the table. Wew! While most of us skipped it at least as the main course, I find it very funny.The caterer later on told us they failed to follow the agreed food requirements.

We usually have nice conversations on health and diet; very nice,  that we often do not see them in our decisions and actions.

The simple reflection I got during the chatter was quiet an awakening.

If I want to correct what for me were unhealthyfood  decisions, I should rather start it on my dining table.

Back in Malaybalay, I wanted to bring the reflection closer to home.

I immediately shared about the advantages of this diet choice. I felt it was welcomed, in the light homecoming conversation. But I realized its not going to be easy.

When you are not the only one deciding in the kitchen, the market day, and the budget, there will be complications on your desire to initiate or explore a healtheir diet.

This thing about science, technology and food is quite a sensitive topic at home. Because of preferences and primarily due to the lack of time to prepare with everyone working for a living and not being able to afford hiring a househelp.

I realized it requires mass-based, proper and open consultations with every one concerned at home. It requires education about diet, health, among other things.

We even need rules on how to talk about it (why and how are we going to change the menu that has been our choice through time?) We need information and communication. We need not only one-sided information dissemination. We need to listen to one another. (Now this sounds like the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front already.).

Anyway, we also cannot miss out on the environment or the market.

The poultry industry, despite the talk of unhealthy hybrid/synthetic-based production (millions of eggs in how many days?) is a big and multi-million industry.

If you look at trimming it down you are looking at cutting on the feeds sector, and eventually the corn industry for example.

From my window in Kalasungay, I can smell the odor of poultry farms in Patpat, our neighbor village in Malaybalay City.

What I thought are micro personal choices and basic human rights will have bearing on the world economy!

Likewise, the choices we make in our kitchens are  affected by the choices offered by the market. Its an economic structure embedded into our way of life.

I remembered a colleague expressed his potent view over that dinner in Lianga: “That’s why most of us often get sick” and “that’s why doctors and hospitals are making money.”

Who is winning if we are losing? Such a formidable foe I supposed.

I missed the forum organized by anti- GMO (genetically modified organism) groups (sorry for this label) or should I say pro-organic farming groups last week in Bukidnon State University where Bt Talong took centerstage.It should have been a venue for critical information.

We all need to look at these options laid on the table by modern science and technology. Science does wonders, too. I think what we must remember is that “modern” doesn’t always mean healthy.

That’s why I still wanted to offer my two-cents worth in the big cloud and inter-gallactic movement for change.

I start going natural and fry-free food for breakfast, at least. I hope it will snowball into something more significant.(The folks at home do not entirely like this move at all.)

But like the ripple effect, it starts from baby steps.

Maybe if we change what we eat for meals at home, we help change the landscape of our farms and plantations.  (End)

Surviving in the Mindanao “island village”

I couldn’t help but be depressed listening to stories of conflict that continue to afflict our people.  The images and sounds are chilling.

Sometimes I shut my senses out in order to avoid the hassle. But, normally that isn’t possible.

Maybe its the same surge of terror that pushed me to post this piece even if I had been plagued with a mysterious strain of “blog silence”. Mute, but not muted. Read More…

Exodus day

I fully anticipate this homecoming. But as in any exodus, the past two days and the next two days would be busiest.

I have to do packing, unpacking, throwing, storing and all other things any transient could go through.

The biggest part is adjusting, or in this case, readjusting to another work set up and environment.  I look forward to major changes on many aspects.

Moving from Bukidnon to Davao and back looks easy with the five hour trip in an air-conditioned bus. But its not just the travel. It’s the whole idea of moving out-moving in.

I really hope it will go smoothly.  I wish.