An Ideal Death

Five days ago, Pepe Smith, pioneer of Pinoy rock, died at the age of 71. According to reports, he was strumming his guitar hours before his death.

Life wasn’t easy for him. He was jailed. He suffered from stroke and cataract. But I guess what mattered to the man was he lived his life to the fullest. He was able to do what he wanted to do, rock and rollin…

Also this week, someone passed away in our village due to heart complications. She was in her late sixties.

I spoke to the son and expressed my heartfelt condolence. According to him, his mother was already advised by his doctor years ago to change her lifestyle. Her eating of meat was unrestrained without intake of fruits and vegetables. She was getting big without physical exercise.

While listening to him, I looked into his eyes. How I wished I’ve told him to take care of his health. He’s a smoker. I could have told him to stop smoking and eat healthy foods but I guess it wasn’t appropriate.

Before, we ended our conversation, he said that death comes to all of us anyway. It’s just a matter of time. He’s right.

My ideal death would just happen during my sleep. I die not due to any sickness but purely of old age. I leave the world in happiness knowing I’ve fully done what I wanted to do. I leave the world in peace having totally forgiven and having asked for forgiveness.

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Give a Stuffed Toy

Giving stuffed toys is one of an all-time favorite ways of making someone happy. Whether there’s an occasion or not, you’ll never fail to make the person smile and fall for you especially if that person is a woman.

I thought before only women are into stuffed toys but my sons are also into these things. When they were small, my wife and I used to give them with these kind of toys. I was amused one time when my youngest son was hugging that little brown puppy while talking as if he was conversing with a real pet. He would then cuddle it and rub it softly against his face. Hahaha!

Both of my sons are fully grown up. The eldest is now working as a software engineer while the youngest will be entering college months from now. However, they still keep their stuffed toys in our room. Although they don’t play with it anymore but they’re so glad when I took a picture of their cute pets.

If you’re courting someone or just want to simply please your spouse, give a stuffed toy and match it with flowers and chocolates. I know it’s kinda old school but it still works.

Work Hard for the Money

It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness. It’s true but without it, you can go hungry and feel you’re a burden in this society.

You may have debts. Combined with your monthly bills, your income may not be enough to pay them all. That’s why you have to work harder. If you’re into sales, you have to get better in your presentations so you can close more and get paid with more commissions.

You don’t want to borrow money from anyone. You don’t want to place your burden unto others. Continually, you’re trying to figure out ways on how you can earn more. If that’s who you are, then I salute you and bow down before you.

You realize how important money is. It’s a big part in life. We are physical beings. We need food, water, clothing and shelter to survive in this world. Those things are not free. We have to earn money in order to buy them. All of them are not one time purchases except for shelter. For some, buying a house remains a dream.

I used to believe that God provides. What I thought at that time was He, with all His magical power, would really provide my needs as long as I’m good to others while I serve Him by preaching His Word. But I was wrong. So I stopped what I was doing at that time and got back to being employed. I had to, lest my family would starve.

I realize that money is essential to man’s existence. Oftentimes, it can buy happiness when you use it to take out your family for dinner and buy not only their needs but their wants as well.

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Whether you’re employed or having your own business, keep working. Don’t depend on others. If possible, don’t ask nor borrow money from them. It’s a great fulfillment when your family looks upon you with respect and pride that you’ve been doing your best with all your efforts to be a good provider.

Have Fun

We tried eating at this new restaurant which caught my attention at first sight from outside. Their words printed on their windows, walls and even on their menu are very funny written in our dialect.

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Gusto ko mag-tigum pero permi ko gutom. Translation: “I wanna save but I’m always hungry.” Bwahaha!!!

Alarm clock na lang galeh ang naay time sa imo, ginapatay pa nimo. Translation: “Alarm clock is the who has time for you but it’s what you turn off.” Hahaha!

My toes, my knees, my crush is manhid. Toink! “My toes, my knees, my crush is numb.” Hehehe!

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On their wall, it says, Dili ko free taste na ti tilaw tilawan lang nimo. Translation: “I’m not for free taste that you just try and try.” Hehehe!

I’m sure the owner is a pure Cebuano who shows his being a genuine local boy. He must love grilled food as the name of his unique restaurant is BOYZUGBA. I’m also sure what he does as a businessman is something he mixes it with fun. So I admire him. He inspires me. He’s a true entrepreneur.

Time will come someday when I have my own business. I’ll remember BOYZUGBA. I must be original without fear of facing big brands in the market. I must inject funny elements in my place where my customers laugh and smile so they will at least forget for a while whatever problem they may have in life.

Thank God

What happened today was one of the happiest days in my life. The kind of joy is deep and very meaningful. My fervent prayer was answered. If I’m an atheist or agnostic, what happened today would have no profound meaning at all. It would be like saying life goes on or business as usual. 

But since from childhood, I was raised by my mom to believe in God and His mysterious wonders, so every time there’s a good news, I would attribute it to God. The feeling then is something amazingly wonderful which makes me realize that life is worth living. As Lance said to me this afternoon outside the doctor’s clinic, “God is good.” Indeed, God is good. As the song of Don Moen says, “God is good all the time.”

There were times I question why bad things happen but as I look back, I realize it wasn’t bad at all. It was still good because the experience gave us a life changing lesson. If it didn’t happen, we might still go on with our usual ways of living until the consequence could be worse.

So thank God all the time as much as possible because in every event of our lives, things happen for a reason. And the reason is always to make us a better person… To make us wiser, more aware of what it takes to be physically well and most of all, to make us grateful, understanding, kind and compassionate.

Build a House in this Manner

I noticed that every time I sleep without turning on the airconditioner, when I wake up, I feel more refreshed as if I slept for many hours. With the windows open, I just use the electric fan, absorbing the air outside. I know it’s the natural air which relaxes my body and mind.

However, sometimes, I’m forced to turn on the airconditioner when the weather is hot. The problem is my sleep gets interrupted when I feel so cold. And you know when we sleep, even we’re using blankets, due to our unconscious movements, our bodies would be left uncovered after few hours of sleep. But when you sleep under natural air, you don’t need any blanket unless it’s winter time or during cold season.

My ideal house is built under a big tree. Inside is well ventilated with enough windows to take in natural air during summer time so there’s no need to use airconditioner. During cold season, closing almost all windows would definitely control the temperature inside, thus comfortable living is still there. If the presence of trees is unrealistic, there are building materials nowadays which are heat resistant.

So build a house in this manner. Of course, fill it with ones you love. Surely, you will live happily ever after…

Get along in this Internet Age

My family is so happy that our internet connection is finally upgraded to fiber optics. For so long, our speed was 5 mbps and now it’s 25.

Our country is known for slow internet connection but if you’re using a fiber optic cable, there’s a big difference but the price is higher. For those who are willing to pay more, some subscribe to 100 mbps. Our service is provided by PLDT. The other competitor is Globe. Recently, a third player has been approved by our government so we expect the competition would be interesting because we, the consumers, are the ones who will benefit the most. For sure, service will be better and price will be lowered. So thank God for competitors for they keep the playing field out of monopoly.

During my youth in the 80’s, this internet thing didn’t exist, not even cellphones were present. We were content on the traditional home phones. As long as we heard each others’ voices, we were glad at that time. As years went by, our needs and wants got complex. Being happy also got complex. In fact, presently, getting connected in the internet through wi-fi with our smart phones has become a need that without it, it seems life is boring, if not sad.

Whether we like it or not, we live in the internet age. We just have to go along with the flow and enjoy the ride.

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.

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…