Drink Organic Green Tea

This organic green tea has been my beverage for many years now. I drink it after meal when I’m at home. The immediate effect on me is good digestion on the food I take. Sometimes when I get tempted with the delicious dishes on the table, I couldn’t help but eat a lot. But with a glass of this tea bag soaked in hot water, I then feel light after an hour.

I’ve observed my bowel movement is daily. From then on I began to research its health benefits. It’s not only for good digestion and regular bowel movement but also it has the ability to cleanse and flush out the toxins inside our bodies.

Nowadays, it’s very hard to avoid food without chemical preservatives. Even in fruits and vegetables, most likely they were sprayed with pesticides. Chicken, the most consumed animal, is injected with antibiotics and growth hormones. Fish, such as cream dory, mostly served in fast food chains and restaurants, has a preservative called formalin. Those chemicals are proven to be causing cancer to humans. Those are just some examples that not all we consume are safe. All you have to do is to protect and defend yourself when these carcinogens invade our bodies.

One of the best ways for me to be protected is daily consumption of this green tea. I can rest my mind because this is organic. It just means that even in herbal tea sold in grocery stores, the preparation during its production could involve spraying the leaves with pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

But then again, how would I really know if this green tea is indeed organic? They could just be making this up. Right? This is where trust comes in. Every time the product claims to be organic, the company is legally obliged to be truthful or else they could face complaints.

Above all, it’s the relief I feel every time I drink it after meals for I know it’s keeping me healthy.

The next time when you buy something at the grocery store, include a box of green tea in your cart. It doesn’t cost much. You’ll be glad for doing so. You might hear someone in his 80’s or 90’s testifying that one of the secrets of long and healthy life is drinking green tea.


Eat Ice Cream

When I went to a grocery store just this week, there’s a saying printed on their wall: “Life is like an ice cream. Enjoy and eat it before it melts.”

I was a sales representative before, working for a big multinational food company. I was assigned in the ice cream division, in charge of getting orders from stores while collecting payments. Most of the time when I was in the store, I had a merchandiser who came along with me. He cleaned the freezer and decorated the store with posters. One of the posters he brought was an image of a swimming pool with our brand on the center and below the words which stated, A Taste of Happiness.

I had to agree with the slogan because I usually saw customers, with their children, buying our products with smile on their faces. I could guess there must be a special occasion like birthdays because they bought one gallon while some half gallon of ice cream with flavors such as double dutch, cookies & cream, fruit salad and the like.

When I came home from work, oftentimes, I brought half gallon for my family. My eldest son, who was very small at that time, came running towards me as he gave me a cheerful grin on his face and then warmly embraced me.

My youngest son requested for an ice cream, cookies & cream flavor, last New Year’s eve. According to him. it’s his craving which needs to be satisfied as well as eating lechon. His wants needed to be fulfilled. No one wanted to be upset in the happiest season of the year.

Yesterday, I ate buko salad (passionately made by my wife) with vanilla ice cream on top. All I could say that eating experience is more pleasurable when the dessert served is ice cream. Surely, it’s the sweet and cool creamy taste on my tongue which somehow makes me realize, it’s physically good to be alive.


So go ahead and ice cream especially during holidays and of course, when it’s your birthday. Or even when there’s no occasion, eat ice cream when you’re happy as of the moment. Savor that joy. It might not happen again. Like the wall said, “Life is like an ice cream. Enjoy and eat it before it melts.”

No person so far have I seen frowning while eating ice cream.


Attain Balance

There are three levels of communication. First is when you’re having a quick interaction with another person. Second is when you’re having a conversation where you spend longer time. The third is the most meaningful one because not only you interact and spend longer time but you get to have a chance to open up, thus, talk more, where the other person is listening more. This is what happened when we had our meditation, followed by sharing.

I guess we started our New Year 2019 right by getting back on what we used to do on a weekly basis. In our room, we sat on our bed in crossed legs. With a soothing music from Enya as background music, I said, “Let’s meditate. Let’s close our eyes. Relax. Inhale… Exhale… Let’s be aware of the air we breathe as we think of the good things that happened to us last year. Let’s thank God for all the blessings we received.”

After 15 minutes, we prayed one Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be and Angel of God. Then we had our sharing. I started when I talked about my goals for this year. Then my wife and my two sons followed each sharing their thoughts on their plans for 2019.

When I shared something about my plan for the next coming days, my wife responded that she’s happy of what I just disclosed. What I mentioned is I continue my passion in writing but it doesn’t mean I won’t be employed anymore as I realize I have to be realistic. Earning enough money being a writer is the last thing that can happen but when you’re employed, I can have a guaranteed income, enough to pay our monthly bills. I realized that balance is the key in achieving happiness.

Writing is my passion. It’s my way of actualizing my self in achieving a beautiful meaning of my existence. But beauty isn’t real beauty when happiness isn’t achieved. True happiness can only be achieved when it’s able to fulfill both emotional and physical needs. I can be happy writing something with my emotions flying in inspiration but it’s not complete if I see bills piling up unpaid. Electricity can be cut off. I could go hungry. Definitely, if those things happen, how can I continue writing?

Make sure there’s always balance in everything you do. I think it’s the ultimate secret to happiness.

Be Happy in Whatever You Do

Here in our country, Philippines, I’ve observed we have a lot of practices and traditions to attract good luck when the New Year comes. One outstanding tradition is having 12 different kind of round fruits on our table. There’s also money in a bowl with rice and round chocolates wrapped with gold. When the clock strikes twelve at midnight, you can see firecrackers at the street and fireworks at the skies.

I remember when my mom was still alive, she used to give me new coins minutes before Jan. 1. She told me, “Yan, e butan ni sa imong bulsa para swertehon ka.” It means, put these coins into your purse so you’ll get lucky. I also remember an amusing instruction she gave me when I was a small kid that I have to jump at exactly 12 midnight so I grow taller. But the most memorable moment I always treasure was when she happily kissed me on my face every New Year as she greeted, “Happy New Year, Yan. Love you, love you!” She never failed to wear something red. God, I miss her so much…

Whatever our tradition, culture or practices are, we have to respect each others’ belief.   Although I strongly believe in consistent hard work which is the strongest factor in bringing good things into our lives, but what matters is our happiness in whatever we do in life.

On my part, I will continue to wear something red with coins on my purse because it makes me think of happy thoughts about my mom. I will continue to honor and cherish these fruits and money on our table because they’re prepared by my beloved wife.

Whether I get to be financially lucky or not this 2019, it’s not really a big deal for me. I can say my greatest luck, if it’s rightfully called as luck, is having a wife and two sons who are all in good health.

Eat Delicious and Healthy Foods

Eating what you want because not only it’s delectable but it’s also healthy can really make you happy.

When my wife prepared garlic brown rice and inun unan (fish cooked with vinegar and spices) for our breakfast today, she knew it’s gonna make me smile deep inside. The picture below showed three fishes left when there were actually 12. I ate most of them.

I started this pescatarian diet since 2004. I read a book which greatly influenced me. I learned that the kind of animals which are designed for human consumption are seafoods. From then on, I avoided eating pork, beef, chicken and the like.

More than its health benefits, fish really tastes good. Well, it depends on how it’s cooked, the taste of any seafood can vary from anyone’s tongue. Of course, when you’re in a first class restaurant, every dish can be excellent but there’s a high price to pay.

I remember when I used to eat lechon and crispy pata, I got sleepy afterwards. The worst was when I overate those kind of foods, I was like suffocated. I thought I suffered from a heart congestion. I had to take successive long breathing while walking around the park for about 30 minutes. Then I realized that indeed, they are not designed for human consumption.

I’ve known a number of people who lived up to the nineties whose diet was mostly consisting of fish, fruits and vegetables. Most of them died not because of sickness but due to old age. Some of them just died in their sleep. I’ve been envisioning this is the kind of death I will have. I won’t cause any burden to anyone, both financially and mentally.

I read a book saying Jesus Christ was a pescatarian. If he wasn’t crucified to death, he could have lived more than 90. I read an article stating our maximum life span can be more 120 years old.

There are times when there’s no seafood on the table or in any eatery, I have no choice but to eat what’s available which is usually chicken. Every time I eat it, although undeniably it’s tasty, I can feel my digestive system is getting upset. Then I said to myself, “Damn! How can I reach 90 with this?”

Appreciate Anyone’s Kindness

To appreciate is one of the most effective ways of producing happiness between the two persons.

Recently, every time I share our meals with my dad, he seems not to appreciate it. It’s almost like he wants to tell me, “Yan, don’t give me food anymore. I can take care of myself. Besides, your sisters are taking care of me.”

Naturally, I’m upset but I don’t wanna dwell too much into this. I guess fathers have the tendency to prefer their daughters rather than their sons. What matters, mom’s spirit wherever she is right now, knows I’ve tried to fulfill my promise to take care of dad.

I realize that when you don’t appreciate someone’s efforts in showing concern and care for you, you’re making that person sad. Sadness is the opposite of happiness.

That’s why as much as possible, I would appreciate anyone’s acts of kindness to me for so by doing, not only I’m making that person happy, I also get to be glad when I feel one’s efforts are appreciated. Happiness is always a two-way process.

My wife, I have to say without any bias, is a great cook. Oftentimes, I’m amazed of her unique delicious dish that I have to ask her if it’s her own recipe. She replied it’s her own creation after having undergone some experimentation and exploration.


I show my appreciation to her by caressing her face while sincerely saying, “Myts, lami kaayo ni. Salamat ha!” It means, this is very delicious. Thank you. By the way, I call her Myts from the two words, MY mariTeSs, combined.

Then she touches my hand as she gives me a sweet smile. I can feel her joy. Her joy then becomes mine as I realize happiness is indeed a two-way process.

Express Yourself. Write.

As far as I can remember, I started to write when I was in first year high school seminary. Since we were only allowed to go out once a month, I had to soothe my homesickness through my diary. There I learned to keep a journal where I just put down into writing whatever came into my mind. It was very personal. I made it sure no one can read it.

When I got into college, I continued writing but when I read back my notes, I observed I was able to compose some words of wisdom which could be my guide when I grow older. Indeed, some of those words became a point of reference when I needed a guiding light as I entered in my 30’s.

When I started to reach in my 40’s, I realize that my writing has evolved into some sort of a self-fulfillment. I write because it’s making me seriously happy. It’s more of a kind of happiness for myself. I tried to stop writing just to see the other side but I got lost and empty. It was as if I took something essential out from myself.

Trying to analyze deeper, I realize that every time I write, I’m continually actualizing my purpose in this world.

Whether you’re a writer or not, I guess it’s really good that you put down into writing what’s in your heart and mind. Write for yourself. When you look back into what you’ve written into your notebook years after, you’ll be both touched and amused. You might see yourself more valuable, thus, realizing you have so much potential waiting to be fully unleashed. Even if that’s not the case, just by expressing yourself, either recording through audio, video, paper or electronic, what you’re doing is trying to know yourself more. When you do, you understand yourself better which progresses into self-acceptance and self-worth.

Tap Someone

By simply tapping one’s shoulder or stroking his head, I’m sending a message that I value and care for that person, effecting good results.

I remember there’s this person at one point of my life. His name is Mari. He was the team leader in our sales account. He used to tap my shoulder saying, “Ryan, you can do it.” Without explaining how would I do something, his touch sent a message that somehow he trusted my skill and experience.

Almost on a daily basis he did it yet maintaining his sincerity. I knew he was genuine because there were times he spoke to me, one on one and asked me how I was doing. He never failed to show his concern. It was as if he made me think that I’m highly valuable under his team. But it was his touch with a light grasp on my shoulder which made me feel that I was indeed an important member of his team. One thing I can’t forget about him was his consistency in greeting me first when I came in the office.

Months after, I was promoted to a team leader. What I couldn’t recall if I was able to credit my success to him. I knew I was able to thank him but he must know that it was because with the way he frequently touched and tapped my shoulders which in one way or the other, propelled me to perform and excel. Wherever he is right now, I always wish him and his family well and blessings…

I’m influenced by Mari’s tap that I’ve been applying it to my sons. Alternately, I gently stroke their heads to let them feel I really love them. Just this afternoon when Lecar was busy doing something, I tapped his shoulder and stroked his head.

Hours after, he let me see the website he completed. I smiled with all my joy and proudly said, “Wow! Good job, son!”

When Lance was sleeping in our room, I stroked his head as soft as I could be, making sure I won’t awaken him. Then I slept besides him. When I woke up, he was no longer in the bed. I went down and saw him. He told me, “Daddy, murag dungan tag mata. Nauna lang ko nimog gamay.” It means, we seemed to wake up together but he was just minutes ahead.”

I was amused with the way he said it because his facial expression obviously showed he had a quick but good rest.

Travel and Stay in a Resort

Before, I didn’t like to travel because of the hassle of packing things, carrying luggage, transferring transport from one to the other and the list went on and on…

When I started to have my own family, that changed. The hassles I considered before have become just part of the journey of moving away from a stressful place to somewhere relaxing and enjoyable. A stressful place is where my mind is placed upon such as my workplace and even in our own house.

Sometimes, you have to travel miles away from your home to a destination where you breathe the tranquility of a beach


and have fun, swimming at the pool. So when you go back to your house, you carry the happy feeling and bringing it to your place. It’s even advisable to go on overnight in a resort, so when you go back home, you miss where you truly belong. Then you might be able to see a different viewpoint of your house as you grow to value more your place.

That what just happened last Christmas when we went to a popular resort here in Metro Cebu. It’s estimated at 15 kilometers from our house but due to traffic, it was like we traveled double the distance. But the fact I was with my family, I treasured every minute of our journey because we got to talk more often in a contained setting. I thought I know everything about my wife and my sons but since there was an opportunity for them to share and open up, I get to know them more. Knowing them more makes me pay attention for them. I get to discover other sides of their personality as I learn to understand them more which is vice versa from their end to mine.

When I’m in the house, I tend to be occupied with a lot of things but during vacation, I have nothing to do but to enjoy the company of my family. Even at least temporarily, I forget my problems but what matters, I become happier. Longer conversations, seeing new place, eating in a restaurant, laughing while enjoying the waters, sleeping in a hotel and most importantly, realizing life is worth living when you do all those things with the ones you love whom you are closest, choosing them above anyone else…

P. S. Sabi ko sa kanila, “Parang nasa Korea yata tayo! Tayo lang yata ang Pinoy dita ah!”

Exchanging Gift

Exchanging gift when the clock strikes 12 on exactly Dec. 25 had been my family’s tradition since I was a little kid. I can still remember I tried very hard to be awake just to excitingly await and open what was inside the Christmas wrapper.

The tradition remained to be practiced with my wife and kids but we don’t have to stay awake until 12. I realize it’s better to open gifts in the morning of Christmas day. Since we usually spend Christmas even in a hotel, we get so tired of our travel and swimming on the pool. So it’s better to sleep at night and wake up at usually 7 AM and open the presents.

What’s important we have the renewed energy and refreshed mind to enjoy the act of giving and receiving during the happiest time of the year.

Our gifts’ worth are ranging from 500 to 800. It’s not expensive and fancy. What’s important, material things can be practically used like clothes or underwear right there and then.

Of course, the excitement is there, guessing what will I receive this time. I can simply buy what I need for myself but it’s still different when you receive something from the other person. How much more if that other person is your spouse and your children! The feeling of surprise is there the moment you open the gift and what joy it can bring if they’re able to guess what I need!

I recall one time during our Christmas party at work years ago when I just gave money to my “manita.” I said sorry as I didn’t have the time to buy a gift she wanted as based on her wish list. She seemed upset. I greeted her Merry Christmas but she didn’t reply and just walked away.

I realize that the value of money was lost because I didn’t use it to buy something for her use which would have saved her time and effort.

Anyway, past is past and we only have the present to undo the mistakes we did before.

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you very much for the hip jeans which my wife gave me. I got this cool shirt, brief and perfume from my sons. Thank you so much, boys!