When Your Head Hurts

I've been having headaches quite frequently since the last month or two. And i usually get by just ignoring it and enduring the pain. Sometimes, I take pain relievers and they work fast, although I had to sleep to actually feel better, otherwise the medication would take longer before it can actually relieve my headache. Every time this happens, I get so annoyed and irritated. But not because of the pain. It's actually because of the fact that it slows me down -- physically, mentally, emotionally. When my head hurts, I'm compelled to stop and rest. And that irritates me. Funny how stopping and resting has become to uncommon these days that people hate it. Not because they don't want to stop or rest. It's because they can't afford it. These days, more and more are expected from all of us. Whether you're a bank president, a street vendor, a mother -- even in equipment..computers, cellphones, cars, washing machines..we expect more and more. Why can't a cellphone be just what it is --- a cellphone. Why do we need to pressure this device to bring us the internet news or entertain us with music or take our pictures and videos? Why must we require everything to be more and more advanced? Why must we demand great expectations from our employees? Headaches.They do feel bad and irritating. But sometimes, just sometimes..maybe that's what we need. Maybe it's for our own good that we get headaches, so that we can stop for a while and think. So that we can slow down and realize certain things we may have ignored for a long time. Maybe all we need is a little break, a little headache.

The Philippines' Biggest Problem

When asked about the Philippines' biggest problem, specially now that the Presidential elections is but two years away, I suppose one would answer education, governance, poverty, criminality and hordes of others. Not to downplay all the major problems we speak of today, i believe there's an underlying problem that's being overlooked right now -- and that's attitude. Simple, plain attitude. Because the way I see it, these problems did not happen overnight. We didn't just wake up one morning dead broke as a country. All these problems started small and eventually accumulated and worsened by the day. All because one, two or more people decided not to act and remained indifferent to the issue at hand. These people were short-sighted enough to see past than the current situation or were simply insensitive enough to care about the adverse effects of their negligence or indecisiveness to other people's general well-being and right as this country's citizen. And having felt neglected and uncared for, most citizens responded the same way to other people they've dealt with. They too became indifferent and assumed that they won't be as directly affected as others. This has become a vicious cycle, as never-ending as our struggle as a nation to rebuild our reputation and economy. Remember "pay it forward" -- but the opposite. That's what happened. But what can we possibly do now to address this problem, you may ask? The answer lies within ourselves. We need a radical "change of heart" and we need to do it now. It's always been said and quoted from one of the greatest philosophers, "Aesop", that "one little act of kindness, however little -- is never wasted. Everyone must act now and contribute what they can to push for "social transformation". You don't need to run for President. All it takes is one little act of concern. Let us care enough to throw candy wrappers in trash bins, to segregate our trash at home, to obey traffic rules, to help people in need as much as we can, to think twice before speaking ill of another, to scrutinize election candidates before voting for them, and many, many more little deeds that we've abandoned because of indifference. I know that social transformation, like the current problems we've created will not happen overnight. But if we do something now, it will make a world of difference today and in the generations to come. And it's definitely better to do something about it than to sit and wait for the ultimate destruction that is to come.

Nine Mornings: A Believer's Realization

This morning, my day started at 5 minutes before 2AM. It's the 4th day of "Misa de Gallo" in the Philippines, a traditional novena (9 days) of prayer and attending mass that starts at exactly 4AM beginning on December 16th until the 24th. "Misa de Gallo" is the Spanish term for "Mass of the Rooster", a tradition inherited from our ancestors during the Spanish colonial times. It was named as such because you literally wake up and go to church about the same time that the rooster makes his "it's-morning-already" sound alarm, which is around 3 or 4 AM indeed. It's kinda weird that the rooster sound (the written one) varies in different countries unlike the popular "mooooo" of the cow or the "meow" of the cat. In the Philippines, it's "tiktilaok...". in some countries it's "cock-a-doodle-doo" or "cocoro coco" or whatever. But whatever sound it is, I bet it's gonna be music to my ears, specially now that in the village we live in, there's not a chicken or rooster around. All you hear in the morning is the almost synchronized alarm of cellular phones that seem to be an all-around gadget nowadays. Some of my colleagues back then would even joke that the only thing they need to add to a cellphone is a "lighter". Funny, huh! Anyway, going back to the "Misa de Gallo", it is believed that anyone who completes the novena (again, 9 mornings) would have his/her wish granted! That's probably one of the reasons why people flock to churches that early and so consistently for nine mornings. Well, apart of course from the main reason ( i hope) which is to give thanks to God for the many blessings received during the entire year and to prepare for the celebration of Christ's birth.
You might think I'm a consistent church-goer during "Misa de Gallo's". Nah. I've gone to quite a few masses of the previous years but never really got the chance to complete it. And more often than not, actually always, whenever I get to miss a day of novena, I lose interest and not attend the next day onwards. Maybe, unconsciously, the urge to wake up as early as 2AM (I spend 30mins. in the shower and 30mins. commuting to the nearest church, then I need to be inside the church at least an hour before the mass starts, otherwise I'd be standing outside for over an hour because the church can only accommodate so much, 500 I guess...easy enough if I'm alone but difficult when my son brings his tantrums with him and demands that he be carried the whole time..) is brought about by the enticement to the promise of a granted wish and not by sheer devotion. Pity. Because I know that a lot of people share the same reason. And year after year, this was what happened. This was all it was to me -- a path to a wish.
So you can only imagine my utter frustration, when, in the morning of the third day, a Tuesday, I woke up at 5:30AM.... "what the #$%^&&*!@#!". All the effort, all the time, all the chance, lost forever! I'd have to wait one more year if I wanted to give it another try! One more year! I've gone through many long years of waiting for this chance. And I'm 28. That's 28 lost years of chance for a granted wish! I went back to bed after staring at the wall 20mins. It seemed "forever". . There was a truckload of emotions that seemed to sink heavily on me. First denial. Then anger, frustration, disappointment, hopelessness. I couldn't close my eyes. And when I did manage to do it, my brain wouldn't stop thinking and rethinking what I've done wrong. What in the world have I done the night before that, why didn't I wake up on time?
And then it hit me. "Wait," I thought to myself. I didn't wake up on time. But I still woke up. And I woke up because God cared enough to add another day to my life. And another day always meant a new chance. A new hope. A new reason to be even more grateful of God and the life He gave me. Beautiful thoughts suddenly came to me and I realized what "Misa de Gallo" was all about. It's God's promise of a "new day" for us all. It's His way of telling us that He love us so much that He is giving us another chance to rediscover ourselves and God. Sometimes, that is all we need, an awakening of sort. Sometimes, in a plan of a perfect novena that we made, God intervenes (oftentimes in the most unusual, disappointing way) to let us know the meaning behind the tradition.
Today is the fourth day of "Misa de Gallo" and I'm glad I was there. I am thankful for this new day. The photo I posted is a shot I took after the mass. I thank God for touching my heart and giving me inspiration to write today. I thank God that I woke up today. I have 5 more novena days to complete. And I intend to finish it, complete or not complete.

Emilio's Transformer "Bumblebee" Toy Review Video

Emilio likes watching toy reviews of the Ultimate Bumblebee toy at YouTube that he asked me to record his own toy review. The toy he's using is actually a Dodge Viper model car with black stripes. We bought it from a toy store because he mistook it for the Camaro Bumbleebee of the Transformers movie.

Random Thoughts on 21October2007

These are a few of the thoughts I've written in utter disappointment and frustration. Others may mean something to you, while the rest may sound silly or stupid. Nonetheless, these are my thoughts, so live with it. :-)
  • Other people see more sense in the tangible taboo than in the intangible profundity.
  • No one will ever see what you're truly worth, not even yourself.
  • No one else will fight for what you believe in.
  • Life is harsh but people are harsher.
  • When you leave this world, what mark will you leave behind?
  • The vagueness in your ambition is the beginning of your downfall.
  • Where there is certainty, there is no challenge. Where there is no challenge, there is no fulfillment. Where there is no fulfillment, there is no life.

This is Gonna be Fun!

Wa ha ha! Finally, a blog account at Blogger! I have waited all my life for this! People have been blogging forever and here I am, just starting out..feeding from scraps falling from their tables..ouch! Now let's see where this will take me. This is gonna be fun!