Believe in God

Many years ago, I met a group of atheists and agnostics. While listening to their arguments about God, I observed their viewpoints and reasoning made a lot of sense. I didn’t know what was going on with their lives if they live with good morals and integrity. But I read an article about these kind of people. They have a community here in Cebu whose members are professionals. They do outreach activities such as giving free medical and dental services. I think they’ve always believed on being kind and compassionate which is more important than even being concerned whether God exists or not. They don’t pray, not even a single ritual they care about. Real action is what matters to them. Their success and good health are all attributed to their own efforts, definitely not to any supernatural beings.

I do respect their way of life. In fact, I admire them as opposed to those religious people who are hypocrites (well, not all, of course). However, my question is… Would it be better if you combine both worlds? I mean, you’re kind to others and at the same time in your own private life, you believe in the mysterious presence of God. I personally believe this is a better way of life.

When there are times you fail no matter how hard you try, then you sincerely pray to God with all your persistence… Then your prayer is answered. Isn’t that something to be joyous about? Then you realize that when all human efforts have been exhausted, there is always the Divine part of our existence which is larger than the logical truth. And when we live in that reality, there’s always hope. There’s no reason to despair for there’s a God waiting to be called. Whether that God is just within or above us, there’s no difference.

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Drive Someone

Traffic here in Metro Cebu is getting worse. If I take away the heavy traffic, travelling by car with my usual destination in 2 miles could just take me not more than 8 minutes. But with the normal traffic on weekdays could take me more than 30 minutes.  Driving becomes stressful especially when your car is manual. (How I wish I can buy an automatic SUV someday!) Driving could become more stressful when you encounter motorcycles counterflowing. That’s why there’s a city ordinance penalizing those kind of drivers.

When you’re in Manila, it could be worse. More incidents there called road rage where drivers would use their guns to vent out their disgust against other drivers.

My wife sometimes tells me that she would just take the public transport but I always insist that I continue to send her to work and pick her up when going home. She knows it’s not easy for me but I know as well that she’s always glad if I don’t stop driving her.

There were few times when I wasn’t able to drive her because I got so tired in cleaning the house. However, when I chose to stay at home taking a rest, I got bothered just by the thought a commuter always has to endure waiting for a ride. And when you do get a ride, you also have to endure the inconvenience inside the Jeepney and Tricycle where people sit there like sardines.

So if you got a car, having the opportunity to drive someone, surely, you’re making the person happy.

Keep Your Family

Yesterday was the feast of Santo Niño here in Cebu City. It’s called Sinulog, celebrated every third Sunday of January in honor of the child Jesus Christ. Although I wasn’t able to watch the colorful participants on the street for the Mardi Gras but just watching them on TV was good enough for me to feel the happiest event in our city.

When I was younger, I can still remember I used to join the street party by dancing, drinking and even painting each other with wet charcoal. That was all I knew at that time. But when I got married and started to raise kids, more than the fun and celebration, Sinulog is a way for me to ask something from the Lord. For this year, I fervently prayed that my son will be completely healed. And I know Jesus will for He had answered several of my prayers. I genuinely thanked Him in advance and confidently affirmed that I, together with my wife and two sons, live in good health and happiness.

I’m not rich. I don’t have great achievements in life. But there’s one thing I cherish the most. My family. My happiness especially when the four of us are together in doing something has made me realize that this is my deepest joy which I wouldn’t trade with anything in this world.

I guess family too is your greatest treasure. Do everything you can to keep them together, forever…

Watch Manny Pacquiao

This afternoon in Philippine time was the fight of our nation’s pride, Manny Pacquiao. He won clearly by unanimous decision over Adrien Broner. As usual, I was so happy to see my fellow Filipino victorious even at his 40 years of age. I’m amazed of his speed and lightning power punches as if I was watching him fight 20 years ago.

I never failed to watch all his professional fights on the ring. As they say, when it’s Manny’s boxing bout, the whole Philippines stands still. Crime rate is zero. Rebels and government troops stop fighting against each other. Almost everyone is on the TV screens to cheer our living national sports hero.

I’m not really a boxing fan per se simply because it’s a brutal sport and some die because of it. But due to the inspiring story behind Manny’s success, I become a great fan of the person. From his beginnings in poverty, he worked very hard. There were losses along the way but his number of wins were extremely dominant all throughout his career. He is considered to be a true warrior because he’s never afraid to take risks. He’s never a counter puncher. He’s more of an offensive fighter. That’s why he’s more admired than Floyd Mayweather. Although unbeaten, Floyd has less respect and admiration from boxing fans. If I’m not mistaken, even most Americans are Manny’s fans.

What I’m saying is that you find your own local hero whom you’re excited and happy to see. He or she may be in sports, film, music or whatever field as long as that person inspires you and makes you realize that life is worth living.

Be Glad with Ads

I guess some of us if not most, don’t like advertisements. Even in this age of internet, ads find their ways to penetrate the viewers especially in watching videos. If there’s an option to skip the ad, we click on it. For those who are internet savvy, you can install an ad blocker in your browser so ads won’t interrupt your viewing experience. There’s no problem if you’re just reading an article such as this one because you can always choose to focus on these words instead of those picture from different ads.

Personally, my take on ads would be different if I watch cable TV. I welcome them in between shows so I can do my household chores and go to the comfort room. In fact, I get restless when I’m watching a movie such as in HBO because there’s no ad. So I prefer FOX movies but nothing beats watching local shows in ABS-CBN or GMA because ads are longer.

So be glad with those advertisements in whatever you’re watching or listening. You enjoy watching your favorite show while being productive as you can do your personal stuffs. Remember, without ads, content creators and artists are motivated to continue to do what they do. On the other hand, it’s also good to know those companies advertising their products or services which might fulfill what you’re looking for.

The Tomb

Yesterday was the birthday of my mom. She could’ve turned 73. She could’ve celebrated her special day with me and with my family. No matter how I pretend, she just can’t be physically seen anymore. God, I still baldy miss her so much!

I’m amazed by my mother-in-law. Every Monday, she visits her departed husband in his tomb. She never missed a single Monday since he died in 2006. Although he left a child from another woman, her unconditional love remains even after his death. She must have already let go her pain long go but her love for him is always there. I don’t know if the phrase, move on, is applicable to her. All I’ve observed is that she continues to live like she’s still married and still has a husband to take care and to look after to.

What does she do there? She regularly cleans the mausoleum and the tomb. She brings flowers. Most of all, she talks to him as if he’s in front of her. She must be happy of doing that. No one can last of doing it if happiness is not what’s felt.

I didn’t understand it until my mom passed away. Every time I visit her tomb, there’s calmness. As I breath the fresh air in the cemetery while the branches of the trees are swayed by the wind, I feel peace. Then in my mind, I see my mom sweetly smiling at me. Then I’m simply happy knowing I still feel her mysterious presence.

Don’t Delay

When I had one of my tooth extracted this afternoon, I realized thereafter how important that we should highly take care of our teeth.

For the past days, I was suffering of pain every time I eat and drink. I was advised years ago to undergo root canal but I didnt’t do it because I couldn’t afford the cost. So I was instead advised to have my tooth pulled out. I was warned that it could bring me discomfort if I would postpone it.

Indeed, the discomfort occured. I still postponed it until I couldn’t take the pain anymore. But beyond that, I wasn’t anymore fully enjoying what I was eating.

Time came when my feet finally moved me to go to the dentist. At first, I was in pain even I was already given a dose of anesthesia. Thr doctor had to give me successive doses up until the third before he took out my teeth painlessly. I was praying anxiously to God that everything will be just fine. And whew, I was indeed fine. Thank God! Thank you Mama Mary! Thank you angel Jhudiel! If I could call more Divine Beings whom I’m devoted with, I would…

Whatever physical discomfort you’re experiencing especially if it’s recurring, you have to go to the doctor as soon as possible. It’s human nature for some Filipinos to act only when the pain is getting intolerable. We’re known for pain bearers. We should’nt fall into this kind of attitude. It’s one of the major blocks towards happiness when time might come that we would no longer enjoy living and sometimes, we might wish we will just be gone in this world.

Learn How to Massage

Every time my wife massages me, I feel relieved with these joint pains. Although I really don’t want her to be bothered but I’m glad deep inside when she does it. In turn when I have the time, I massage her as well because I know it’s one of the things she likes me to do for her.

Massage spas here in Metro Cebu are growing in numbers. I’ve seen a rapid growth with this kind of business. I guess probably because living here is associated with stress due to heavy traffic and high pressure at the workplace where economy continues to boom. So after a week of hard work, I think people go for a massage to reward and pamper themselves while having a kind of relaxation like no other.

There have been a number of studies that regular massage promotes good body circulation, thus, improving physical and mental performance. So if I would venture into business, this is one of my plans to open up a massage parlor. There’s not much capital needed because your investment would mostly rely on experienced therapists. Having a clean and relaxing ambiance, complete with essential materials is a must but those things would go in vain if your therapists are not good in what they’re expected to do.

Oftentimes, I run out of budget for a massage so I just massage my wife at home. Do the same. If you don’t know how, watch some video tutorials in YouTube. It’s guaranteed that once you know how, even just a little, you can make the person smile and happy. In turn, a reciprocal action would take place.

Enjoy Your Food

I recently met a surgeon. His impression to me is cordial and he seems to be an honest and compassionate doctor who’s clearly an expert in his field. We talked about appendicitis. He said that the key of avoiding this condition is chewing the food well. Any food which goes inside our mouth must be eaten slowly so when it goes inside our bodies, our digestive system will have an easier work. When we eat fast, especially when we’re in a hurry, we tend to consume food in large volume without undergoing proper chewing by our teeth. When this happens, our digestive system, specifically the large intestine will work harder until it’s stressed out. When this becomes frequen, that’s when the appendix, which is part of the large intestine, becomes inflamed. If early detected, surgical operation can be easily done without complications, but if not, inflammation worsens until appendix bursts out. Then this poses danger.

He also added that when we eat, we should try to enjoy the food. I think the key word there is ENJOY. It’s like savoring the graces we receive from the fruits of our labor or in a spiritual aspect, thanking God for His goodness through the bounties of nature.

So let’s enjoy while eating. How do I do this? As much as possible, I’m silent, listening to the rhythmic sounds of my teeth grinding the food. I don’t watch TV. It should be a pure experience between my mouth and the pleasure of my sense of taste. I should know that I’m not only enjoying, I’m also making my intestine happy. If it has a voice, it could say, “Ryan, thank you for making my work easier. As a reward, I will let you live healthy and long.”

Don’t Complain and Blame

Blessings in disguise. Is it really true? I used to shrug it off, thinking when undesirable things happen, there’s no such good thing about it. It’s just the way it is and the reason why it occurred can be traced to one’s actions.

However, I’ve observed recently that blessings sometimes come in disguise as misfortunes. At first impression, you really don’t like it, questioning God or fate why it happened. But as time goes by, you realize it happens in order to serve a higher purpose which is to enlighten. If it didn’t happen, it would be very hard for one to learn a lesson and it would take a very long time before learning can be absorbed and applied.

When someone gets sick, for example, the best thing you can do is to reframe the situation. Try to look at it in a different angle. Don’t complain. Don’t find something or someone to blame because if you do, you would just be upset which could lead to depression until you can’t move on. You could get stuck, getting mad at yourself, others and even at God.

When I said reframe, it means seeing the situation from a different viewpoint wherein  the supposed misfortune is actually a blessing because it galvanizes the person to evolve into a better human being.