Dec 18

The Tenacity of Holidays

You smile at almost everyone you meet. You shake someone’s hand whenever possible. You do occasional high-fives and ‘beso-beso’ / cheek to cheek kisses with your friends when you’re in the mood (and you’re always in the mood). You sing your favorite songs – when you’re walking, when you’re buying a piece of bread, when you’re texting, or when you’re about to go to the toilet – just soft enough for everyone to not notice your falsetto voice so you won’t be mistaken as the resurrected Michael Jackson (or more like the Bee Gees, I guess).


You usually look to the ceiling (when you’re inside) or to the sky (when you’re outside) as if doing a careful mystical mantra of appreciating what you have. Look up! Look up! (ala Ryzza Mae) is your favorite bubbly action. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nov 08



A year ago, I was in the midst of the great storm surge Yolanda in Cebu and in Iloilo (incidentally I will be in Cebu <again> and CDO this month;  it’s highly unlikely that if Yolanda has a sister who may also have the charming habit of visiting PHIL every November), so I experienced it first-hand, as did many of our ‘kababayans’ in the most stricken places like Leyte and Samar. It was a catastrophe of unimaginable magnitude.




I wrote an article about it (and was published in 2 international magazines, one of which was in Hong Kong) that described the agony of uncertainties. I also coerced my pen (alright, my keyboard) to put God in the spectrum to be questioned.

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Oct 12

Occupy Your Mind…, with BOOKS

Here in HONG KONG, the last few weeks had been about ‘Occupy Central,’ or ‘Occupy Mongkok;’ or whatever place people would like to occupy. Well, in this article, let’s shift for a bit, let’s talk about how to ‘Occupy Your Mind’, or OYM.’


The best way to OYM is by reading books (oh, you think occupying your mind is only by daydreaming? nahhh!;  YOU SHOULD READ,  just like what you’re doing right now).  And when I say books, these are the ones influencing how you see life, which as a result, causing you to influence others with what you learn; and the possibility of making you likable and rich (are you beginning to like what I’m saying now? ).

These are books recommended by WBO or World Book Organization (ok, I made that up, there’s really no WBO, but you have to admit that it sounded good and authoritative); that you must read before you…, no, not die (why do you occupy your mind with the word ‘die’?). I was about to write: ‘you should read these books before your eyes become bleary – when you’re already old and senile.’
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Sep 14



Lately, the past few months, over several weeks ago, on the days that really count, quite a number of delightful anecdotes and serendipities stretched and appeared into my life. And yes, I was part of them. In fact, I was in the stories. With joy and amazement still welling on me, I am now choosing to write them here; at least some of them.

The objective is not to flaunt, but to share, and hope with fervor, that these accounts can be used as guides or instruments in influencing others to do positive actions in life, and have fun as well. As a result, perhaps more people will be willing to help and assist others. So here we go:


1. Offered a seat.

Going to work, while inside a double decker 61M bus, I was sitting and reading a book (no, it’s not ‘FIFTY SHADES of GREY’; but you wondered, didn’t you?). I noticed a pregnant lady who was standing. She’s Caucasian.

She probably climbed up from the previous stop. There were no more seats and she was obviously having difficulty balancing. I offered my seat which was on the aisle, which then made it easier for her to place her arse conveniently. She took the seat.

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Jul 23

Writing… and us

The words we write may not be the words we speak regularly… they are rather words we think daily.
Ron L 1129


It has been a few weeks now since I wrote may last post. I laughed at myself this morning because one of the promises I made at the beginning of this year was to write at least one (1) article a week, and I simply did not live up to it.

Talk about New Year’s resolutions… and the first one that I have violated. 


Well, the simple reason why one fall short of his commitment is that…sometimes life takes over. One becomes occupied with newer priorities and more pressing issues. So no more promises. 

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Jul 19

This is Not a Toy Story. Ok…, maybe it is.


There is nothing Woody or anyone can do now. The doctors said that it’s just a matter of days, maybe hours. When his wife Rosabuz arrived at this hospital, they were hopeful that she can recover in a few weeks.

But 10 months have passed since then.  And now, she’s finally succumbing to her deadly disease – Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

After many weeks of chemotherapy which actually gave nil result and which only made her weaker and feebler, everyone was now accepting that her time to depart was near.


Her physical appearance has also changed so significantly over the months. She has lost a lot of weight, lost much hair (her head was wrapped in cloth) and her face now looked so pale and dull like a dried leaf that fell from a tree.

Woody entered the hospital room, almost tiptoeing, not wanting to awake his wife of 7 years and his sweetheart of 15 years.

“Is that you Woody?”  Rosabuz wanted to turn and look at her husband but it has been a difficult effort for weeks now. Just trying to open her eyes seemed like a monstrous task. She was always so tired these days.
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Jul 06

Dealing With Negative People

The door slid open. Outside the room, we could see our workmates performing their tasks quietly, while apparently listening to the centralized music softly playing halfway down the hall. Outside, there was an ambiance of serenity we all observed.

But inside the conference room where we gathered for a meeting, there was a different scene.  There was unquietness. There was agitation. And there was no soft music.

All we could hear was the loud tirade of rants and complaints from one of our colleagues. He was monopolizing the discussion with all his antagonistic statements and unkind words.

He was whining and grumbling about everything that we were working on and basically about anything that he could think of.  Clearly, he was pouring out all his aversions to work…, and to life.


We were captured by the suffocating moments and we felt like our souls were being endlessly intoxicated…, until one of us looked him straight in the eye and said, “NEGATIVITY is one of the most harmful substance in any conversation, and yet you are passing it on to us like a free sample. We don’t want your give-away dirt.”

Boom. Bull’s-eye. He stopped…, at least for a while. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 14

Why I Like ‘CHOC.NUT.’


He was there. The man was wiping his sweat with his hands. I could see him from the corner of my left eye. He was standing and waiting for his jeepney ride.


Meanwhile, my bigger and plumper classmate was having a grand time bullying me. “Give me your ‘Royal True Orange’ drink or I’ll put a finger in your ear,” said the brute with a voice that resonated like a cracking bamboo. As I sat on the pavement of our primary school, I did not have a clue how to respond.


I looked again and the man was still there, just standing. I sensed that he was watching us and observing what was happening. I realized it was already mid-afternoon and his white (which looked yellowish) polo shirt faded by years of wearing seemed to glow between the road and the passing vehicles. A couple of jeeps stopped but he did not climb them…, maybe not his rides.

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May 10

A Mother’s Glance


I remember my Grade 3 class in primary when our ‘monitress’ allowed me to borrow a water color set from our school after our practical arts lesson. At that time, a water color set was pricey, so most pupils could not afford it. The school would have a few sets.

Note:  A monitress is a female student who helps keep order or assists a teacher in school.


I was also transferee from another primary school and was just in my 2nd day.


Our house was just 5 blocks away so I walked going home from school.
Arriving at the door my mother greeted me.


As part of her usual tenor, she looked inside my bag to check if I’ve finished my ‘baon’.  It’s often ‘Marie Biscuits’ plus ‘Royal True Orange inside a covered Tupperware glass’ (believe me, that was already a classy snack during my school days :) )

  Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 27

So You Want To Win Something To Be Important


What will you do if you won the lottery?
There’s a story about this 38 year old plumber who was doing his job day in and day out – same routine – over the last 15 years. His name is Pablo.


Each day he puts on the same overall uniform and sets off for work to frequent houses, schools, markets and public facilities where he is being called to fix or replace pipes. Sometimes he’ll be called to repair sinks and toilets too. You can guess that he is not always the tidiest looking person in town.


One day, he won the lottery (ok…, let’s say it’s Mark Six if he lives in Hong Kong, or Lotto if he lives in the Philippines). He went home to his family so much wealthier, but kept the good news to himself. He did not tell his family (or at least, not yet).


The next day, he again cranks up to go to his usual work but told himself  - “I have been working hard for years but now I need to enjoy life, I need to change. I need to be important.”

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