Posts Tagged With: inspiration

Marahil Mahalaga Ka

Hindi isang routine ang buhay. Kung labag sa loob mo ang linyang kasasabi ko lang, baka nga nabubuhay ka sa routine; pero hindi pa rin ito ang buhay. Pakiramdam ko kasi’y walang halaga ang paulit-ulit at nakakasawang sistema. Kaya nga siguro maraming nalilito maging iyong mga kabilang sa masang sumisigaw ng pagbabago.

Hindi nawawala ang pagbabago. Patuloy ito sa pagpuksa ng nakakairitang plaka na tila ba isinusumbat sa’yo na hindi ka makaintindi. Kahit na maintindihan mo, iiwan ka rin naman ng lumang istilong tinangay ng panahon. Lahat naman kasi ay pansamantala. Walang forever ba ang nasa utak mo? Tigilan mo ako.

Hindi nakukulong sa ilang pahinang depinisyon ang salitang maaaring bitiwan ng isang tao. Ang punto ko lang naman, bakit pa kailangang pag-aksayahan ng oras ang mga bagay na hindi naman pala sigurado? Oo punto ang tawag sa pangungusap na ‘yan bagamat nagtapos sa tandang-pananong. Ayoko naman na sagutin mo ako ng hinulaan mong parirala o ‘di kaya’y ninakaw na talata mula sa katha ng iba. Ang gusto ko ay unawain mo.

Unawain mong hangga’t may pagbabago ay may pagkakaiba. Unawain mong ikaw ay hindi tulad nila. Unawain mong ikaw ay may kakaibang hina at sigla. Ikaw ay may sariling halaga.

What completes me, breaks me in the process sabi ko. Paano? Alam ko kasing hindi madali na gumising na lang isang araw na okay ang lahat. Walang okay lang, sarkastiko. Nangangarap tayo. Ang pangarap kasi ay hindi lugar na magagawa mong pasyalan kung kailan mo gusto. Hindi ito laruan na itatapon mo sa nilalangaw na tambak ng basura kapag pinagsawaan. Ito ay paglalakbay. Nariyan na tamarin kang lumakad sa kung anumang dahilan. Nariyan na ma-excite ka, tumakbo, ayun nadapa. Nariyan na sasabihin mong ayaw ko na pero ang kailangan mo lang pala ay ang magpahinga. Mabuti nga at nabigyan ka ng pagkakataong magkaroon ng sarili mong lakbay. Nakakahiya naman sa ibang nilumpo ng nanggigipit na kalupitang kaakibat ng buhay. Itong hiya na ito ang nagpakapal ng mukha ko. Ang kahinaan ng iba ang ginawa kong sigla. Tila ba itinuring kong makina ang aking sarili upang magtrabaho hindi para sa sarili kong kapakanan; kundi para sa ikabubuti ng nakararami. Corny? Bahala ka. Para sa akin, isa itong sentimental na pangakong kailanman ay hindi ko iwawaksi. Kaya nga ganito ko na lang ipahayag kung gaano ako nasasaktan habang binabaybay ang peligrosong daan tungo sa kinabukasang siguro naman ay may hitik na bunga ng ating pinagsisikapang ipunla.

Madami akong isyu sa buhay. Halos lahat ng detalye ay iniintindi ko hangga’t mamaya, wala na pala akong oras para intindihin naman ang sarili. Alam kong ito’y mali. Anong klaseng pagpapahalaga ba ang maibibigay ng isang tao kung wala siya nito? Hayaan mong hanapin ko ang sagot mula sa mabangis na mundong kinabibilangan ng aking anino. Nakalahad ang palad ng naghihikahos na pulubing hindi mo alam kung kailan pa huling nagkaroon ng laman ang tiyan. Nakatulala ang manggagawang lugmok sa trabaho umulan man o umaraw na nadaya na pala sa kwentahan ng sahod. Nakapanlalambot ang istorya nila at ng iba pang mga kasama… silang mga biktima ng pang-aabuso ng dayuhan o ng kapwa Pilipino. Hindi mabibilang ang mga mensaheng nais iparating ng mga kaganapang hindi malutas. Nasa loob pa pala tayo ng giyerang ginagamitan ng basyo ng balang tumupok na pala sa napakarami nating mga kawal. Anong silbi ng ipinaglalaban nating mga aktibista kung patuloy palang nagaganap ang iba’t ibang uri ng karahasan sa paligid? Isang routine na paulit-ulit tumatatak sa nakapaninibughong kasaysayan ng pinaghalong tamis at pait. Isyu ko pa rin na hindi tayo malaya.

Ikaw, na bumabasa nito, ay mahalaga. Pinili kita kaysa iba. Pinipili kita higit sa anumang luho. Pipiliin kita sa aking pag-iisa, sa tuwing ako ay may kasama, kapag ay ako ay pagod, kapag ako ay inaantok, kapag ako ay nalulungkot, kapag ako ay natutuksong itigil na tingnan kita bilang mahalaga.

Sumusulat ako hindi mula sa ideolohiyang ipinipilit sa akin. Sinusulatan kita dahil marahil mahalaga ka.

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Happy birthday bruuuuuuh. :D

– For the second time around, I’m greeting another brother of mine with the same line. He even requested my mom to delay his birthday celebration for three days so that I can join them when I go home.

I wanted to greet you, dear brother A HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. LOTS OF LOVE, GOD BLESS YOU! STAY SAFE AND COOL.

Ivan

Here is my younger brother, Rafael Ivan.

Perhaps he is not the very clingy type of person, I admire him for being a responsible and thoughtful child. He makes sure that the important people around him are well taken care of. He actually cares a lot even though there are times that he will not directly show it to us. I can say that in our brood, he is the most reserved and conservative person because he is usually the one who keeps his money well, and other stuffs that can testify to such statement. What is good about this is that he turns out to be resourceful. He cannot resist seeing his loved ones enduring difficulties so he finds ways to help as much as he can- indeed, a practical yet loving man. He always tries to work hard to achieve the goals he really wants. I am so proud that he is my brother. Yeah he may have the looks. He’s into sports, too. Similar to what I’ve said to my previous related post, I don’t tell it to him/ them too often because I am not fond of telling sentimental things to my family members. It gets too mainstream for me. As long as I know he has me and I have him, I’m sure I’ll strive for the best to succeed in our endeavor.

We used to grow up together so I know much about him. Now that I’m in college and I have to live away from them, I still do not forget the moments whenever we used to have our simple bonding (there will be small fights though oftentimes we collaborate with each other)- If they only know how much I miss them, how much they give me strength to continue fighting, how much they motivate me to be better and excel in everything that I do. I want to thank my brother for all the things he has sacrificed for me and for our family. I definitely would have to avoid the wrong path because I have yet to prove that this is all worth it and someday I’m going to pay him back. While we have each other, I can carry on.

 

Day and night

Rain or shine

I’ll find a light

That is divine

 

For you dear brother

Is the very reason why

Ate must be tougher

Struggles, I can defy.

 

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Happy birthday bruuuuuuh. :D

– Those were the only words I have posted on his facebook wall, and nothing else. I don’t think he would appreciate it very much if I put on some clingy messages and photos to show in public. What I am actually doing is to make a phone call to greet him. Perhaps I cannot explain that feeling when my siblings are having their birthdays consecutively and I’m not even home to celebrate with them.

I hope they understand. I hope they know that while I’m physically away, my heart is left with them. There’s not a day that I do not think of them whereas they are the foundation, the push, and the motivation that keeps me going.

Well, whoever you are reading this right now… I am warning you. The following texts are emotional. The writer has been carried away!

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROTHER! I LOVE YOU. GOD BLESS.

STAY SAFE. STAY COOL.

bruh

Here is my youngest brother, Romson Simon.

He is our sweet little boy who will soon grow up into a man, still a very caring and loving man. In our brood, he is usually the most laid-back; but when he starts working on a task that he is really passionate about, he transforms into his creative and hardworking side. Also, he is a sporty kind of guy. He may be a mischievous child but he is thoughtful, too. He does not pretend for he tells what he thinks and means it. He is strategic more than the academic type of person when dealing with real life situations. I am quite proud of him and he does not know that. Why? Because we are not the ultimate showy people who praise each other. We frankly point out our flaws yet deep inside, we know we’re one another’s best.

I know him because we used to grow up together- one home, one family. Until the time came that I have to leave our house because I’m stepping into college. I miss my siblings so much but I do not tell them because I do not want to relive the feelings that can make them sad. Each time I feel that pain of not seeing them for months, I try my best to fight. I study hard to finish my schooling and find a job that will ideally support them. My mind has been set to give back to them every single thing that they have sacrificed for me. I owe them my life.

 

Day and night

Rain or shine

I’ll find a light

That is divine

 

For you dear brother

Is the very reason why

Ate must be tougher

Struggles, I can defy.

 

 

 

 

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Try Harder. Do more. Be better. – What Inspires You?

cats

You may take a look at these blurred photos fused into a collage that makes it even less clear to see. Oh, forget the irony.

So this is what had kept me busy last night. This is my version of what has been the so-called vision board. Actually, the images I put in it are not only my goals in life. There go the pictures of myself, my family, my colleagues, personalities I look up to, quotable lines, stunning places, architecture of ideal buildings and houses, cars, and money. Will these photos actually boost my ego and trigger me to come up with a better version of “I”?

I’ll take this time as a moment for me to release my feelings as of today… Unlike my freshman year, I cry less now that I am a Sophomore. I am not just sure if it’s because I can already endure the pain or I am already immune to frustrations that it affects me no more or just too busy to entertain my emotions. What hurts? A lot… A myriad reasons of why I find myself on the verge of crying each time I realize that I may be alone. Perhaps I’m used to do my tasks all by myself and take struggles without having to demand anyone to help me get through. It’s not that I am a self-made man but I consider myself as someone who dares to strictly follow rules and finish requirements.

Nowadays, my happiness depends whether or not I get things done. It sounds simple yet is complicated within a process. I always want methods. I always want punctual. I always want substantive. I always want comprehensive. I always want compliance. I always want to give it my best shot that I find myself competing with myself upon whom I am being too hard on. I feel abused by my desire of putting myself into a pressurized dimension of the world. I even think it’s pleasurable if I get tired, exhausted, and stressed; because I am afraid of slacking off… that I won’t rather be carefree and laid-back if it means having done nothing productive at the end of the day.

Do you see my problem here? I swear I want a life lived in its fullest. I need it. But, how can I actually compensate for the lost of the things I sacrifice for the sake of something that I deem is more important? I had been beside my family for my first 16 years of existence. I don’t have a perfect one but I can say that its members are the ones who bring out the best in me. Now I am trying to stand by my own and live in a city far away from them. We may be miles apart but that doesn’t make me love them any less. Instead, I can feel that I am falling deeper in love with them each day that I spend while suffering with the aches of my mind and my heart.  This is my decision. At some point, I have chosen this path and I have no plan of putting it off my system.

Typical student struggles: academics, allowance, peers, chores, doubts and insecurities, lackadaisical attacks, teenage issues, and a lot more. It has turned me insane in a subtle way. Yet I may find myself asking: What keeps me going all through these hardships when I can just stop and be a low-lying moron all my life? Do I even make sense? Is it even worth the fight? Who am I really? Why am I here in this damn place where survival is in the farthest reach of access? These questions kill me. It is quite a paradox that I am staying, living, searching for answers- just as I realize that the journey itself lets me hold on to hopes that I may eventually figure out what these all mean. I am strong for staying alive through my fears and weaknesses. I am a dreamer that still longs for an idealistic perspective whereas I will actually become the person I aspire to be.

Back to that vision board… well, it’s not actually a big, big deal. Fun, indeed. Such a material on my bedroom wall will remind me everyday that these are proofs that I can. I can do more. I can try harder. I can be better. Motivation doesn’t always have to mean deadlines, to-do-lists, calendars, alarm clocks, and whatsoever work-your-ass-off notes. Motivation can just be, merely, the life I had yesterday, the life I have today, and the life I will have tomorrow. Inspiration comes from within. It tells me, “Carry on” …there’s so much episodes to encounter. This is not yet the end- I am not yet there but I’m on my way.

Categories: Part of Me | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Faith that is Not Tested, is Not Faith At All

While the downpour of rain was heavy all day long last Saturday, I was able to grab my chance of clinging into my academic obligations. I did not fail, somehow, to comply with my to-do-list. Perhaps the weather was really gloomy and not everything inside our house had fallen in its proper place, I still tried to manage my schedule and my mood. That’s right; to manage myself and the actions I would take has always been necessary for a harmonious living- well, at least from my viewpoint.

Some readings I was trying to study that day is about the orientation towards being… something is about existentialism provided that the writer itself has this perspective saying Not that we believe that God does not exist, but we think that the problem of his existence is not the issue, and the other literary piece has been talking about this creatively ambiguous but witty format of what the persona aims to express; but justifiably, I got the gist of the articles I have read. Anyway, it’s all about how we’re to interpret the given symbolic entities which meanings invariably depend to our intellectual capacity and background. It’s up to me, actually, upon whose way of thinking I am made-up to affirm or deny, right?

We all know that in Philosophy, two major groups of people pave its path through the broadness and deepness of discussions- Christians and Atheists. I surely belong to the first one. I just can’t imagine how I was able to deal with the articles wherein atheistic viewpoints are technically considered. Each time I had to support my own ideology and never falter to what I have believed for more than a decade. I told myself that open-mindedness is not a bad thing at all. Essentially, it’s quite a brilliant means to transcend into reality without having to seem too arrogant, ignorant, conceited, and rude. Having an open mind to things doesn’t mean inability to decide for one’s self but maturity to cultivate the values that can eventually lead us to excellence and a better understanding of the world.

Last Friday night, when I am alone in our house and the storm was on its rage, I recorded my voice. This recording lasts exactly up to one minute as it plays. It is supposed to be an alarm which will of course motivate me to get up. Considering its inventive script and a bit proficient tone that speak in straight English, I honestly regarded this habit as some sort of fun. I’d have to adjust the volume to minimum so as not to frantically disturb others; though it’s fine if they’re interested in it.

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(Photo of me in Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte during our historical tour;

but Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral is where I constantly go every Sunday)

Today is Sunday, the start of the week, when I’ve written this. I truly deem that waking up early contributes to man’s productivity and success. So it’s a deal for me to start a day or even a week right enough to make me feel so guilty if ever I do not keep hold of consistency. I am persistent about my dreams, and this blog of mine can attest to that.

Going to church becomes the fundamental system running throughout my character. I’m not the person whom anyone can convince not to go out for mass attendance, especially since when I have started my routine here in the City of Pines. It is a breath of fresh air, a lift of soul, a beat of heart, and clarity of mind- for me as a being. Tell-me-you-can’t-go-but-don’t-tell-me-I-can’t type of attitude is what I got.

Before I could stand under a shed to wait for PUJs, I passed through rustling winds and flooded streets; but still, I could feel the banality of what I am doing. Excitement is expected of me as I fulfill what I want, what I need. There’s this vehicle that stopped in front of me. An old man got off. He is familiar; I always see him on his way to church. He’s passionate about it and I can thoroughly confirm the verity of his faith. Perhaps he’s not too normal (I guess he’s ill due to age-related sickness) and I just can’t say what it is that bothers him. I just know he needs someone to accompany him whenever, wherever, because there’s no safe place nowadays.

Just like at that moment, he didn’t have an umbrella and the rain was pouring hard. It’s cold and I could see he’s tensed. Magsaysay PUJs passed but I am taking the Bonifacio route. So the man was. It’s as if he’s in a hurry not to get late for the mass (though it repeats hourly, in different languages). He’s about to get in a PUJ but its signboard said Magsaysay. God knows how I wanted to offer my umbrella to that man but there’s a bit of force that insisted not. But, when this driver saw the people waiting, he immediately changed his route. So an old couple, I, and the old devoted man, were able to take the ride. I felt an ease that we’re finally on our way to church.

Traffic was not too heavy maybe because it’s still early and the weather wasn’t too good. The PUJ stopped in front of the Cathedral and the vehicle was suddenly more than a half empty. As I crossed the road, I saw this familiar old man taking his steps towards the church. This time, I couldn’t let go of the chance that I might help him. I offered my umbrella and we both took some meters. All of a sudden, I remembered my grandfather. Is he doing fine in our home? Does he feel sick? Does anybody take good care of him? Does he miss me the way I do? Can he still endure and wait for me to get back? Tears watered my eyes but I couldn’t let it fall. For the first few times in months, I heard again the word “apo” (grandchild), with a different high impact melody in my ears. The old man was shivering and a strike of blame landed on me for not doing it so earlier. His age marked those slow footsteps and a notion of helplessness and uncertainty from the environment where he belongs; but I could perceive his hopefulness and it fueled me to keep going.

I thought, I just thought, I am very faithful and this is so exceptional about me. But no, I’m somewhat wrong. There are a lot more people like this man that is full of love for his devotion to God and passion for life. He might be alone at a sight, but inside he’s so full of faith that he couldn’t even think that nobody is there for him. His power of belief makes him stand, walk, and offer himself everyday that until now, he’s able to live. At that very moment of his tight grip (signaling a pinch of gratefulness that someone is confirmed to be there for him even at the slightest point of time), I felt so empowered.

Kindness is contagious. It comes from this man, not from me. I am merely one of the many noble instruments to make people be reminded that The Holy still exists and will always persevere because God doesn’t really leave. God is always here. God is always with us.

A lot of times go by that our faith is being tested without actually the recognition; it just happens. This story of mine for today is just one among the myriad instances that the power of love, hope, faith, and existence itself is realized. Each day can be a miracle, that we all breathe, that we’re all residents of Earth. We discover ourselves in every drop of a second and we explore our lives further not through our own but through our fellowmen.

As for me, I get inspired by you. Criticisms, adversity, loneliness, doubts, and emptiness get clearer every time. I am determined to face such struggles and fight for myself, fight for you, men of amazing faith; because you let me believe that I am not alone in this battle, that we can actually hold on to our beliefs, that we can actually carry on through our passion, that I naturally acquire this spark of love for humanity and that these testimonies trigger me to live. God is with us all the time at all places, in any condition. Impossible can be possible because we believe. God is whom we believe, that’s why we actually can.

Stronger, is how I call. Faith that is not tested, is not faith at all.

Categories: Daily Post, Inspire, Part of Me, Reflection | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall In Love With Your Dreams by Ryan Edward Chua

#ThrowbackThursday special: A graduation speech 3 years ago

20 March 2014 at 16:13

I thought of reposting this for the second time since it’s graduation season in the Philippines and, well, #throwbackthursday. This is a speech I delivered in March 2011 before graduates of Davao Central High School.

***

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR DREAMS

I was exactly in your place more than 10 years ago. On that day in early March, I woke up earlier than usual, excited about the day ahead. That morning was one of the happiest days of my life: my elementary graduation in this school. It was my first experience of graduation because I skipped preparatory school. I was very ecstatic that day, and I suppose many of you here today are.

I was 11 years old then: a good boy whose daily life revolved only around home and school, well behaved, diligent, and irresistibly cute according to my mom. I had awards in oration and declamation, won in spelling contests, was an active boy scout and class officer, was consistently on the honor roll, and was a teacher’s pet because I rarely made it to the noisy and standing and not-in-proper-seat lists posted on the blackboard.

But don’t get me wrong: I was not a gifted child. I never even considered myself one. I was like many other kids my age who liked to play lupa-langit, tigso, and other street games upon getting home after school. I collected game cards featuring my favorite cartoon characters. I hated waking up early in the morning to go to school. And I was the happiest person in the world whenever classes were suspended.

Looking back, I believe what made me achieve some things at a young age was not because I drank milk that turned babies into geniuses, or that I was simply born that way. I believe it was because I was very, very in love with my dreams.

I wanted my dreams so badly they became my driving force especially during my growing up years, when I had an enormous sense of wonder and thought nothing was impossible. It’s the power of my dreams, my vision of what I’d want to become and do for the rest of my life, that led me to where I am today—doing what I know I do best, being where I feel I am needed, and making a living out of it.

I was a very ambitious child. When I was in grade 1, I wanted to be a priest. In grade 2, a lawyer. In grade 3, a teacher. In grade 4, an actor and singer. In grade 5, all the other ambitions I saw listed on my friends’ slum books.

It was late in grade school when I decided that I want to be a journalist, and it all started in this school. When I was in grade 6, one of my teachers encouraged—well, forced—me to join the school paper, The Centralites. That sounded crazy to me at first, because I didn’t know how to write! But the promise of bonus points was enough to convince me to just give it a try.

If I remember correctly, my first article was about the cell phone craze that was just beginning to sweep students at that time. Immediately after the thrill of seeing my first byline on the magazine, I fell in love. I started reading national newspapers and magazines and observed how professionals did it. I began watching news programs regularly and imitating anchors and reporters.

Like a person who just met his or her soul mate, I woke up one day telling myself that being a journalist is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

And so, driven by love, I spent most of my student life preparing to be a journalist. I was always part of the school paper even when I transferred to other schools in Iloilo and Laguna. I followed the news on TV, newspapers, and radio. In college, I took up AB Communication, specializing in journalism. I became an editor of the college newspaper and joined internships to hone my craft outside academics.

Now in the media industry, I continue to seek learning opportunities and consider myself a work in progress.

With God’s help, I was able to consciously design the kind of life that I have now. I am that in love.

It is never too early or too late to fall in love with a dream that would set a direction for your life. The key is to fall in love, or in a way, be mad about it. When you do things out of love, everything seems possible—or even if not, you yourself become driven to make all things possible.

Fr. Pedro Arrupe of the Society of Jesus once said: “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

This holds true for our dreams. My love for journalism shaped the kind of life I have today, and even before. When I was in school, this love made me endure countless sleepless nights to meet my school paper deadlines while hurdling my subjects in school. I never quit despite the pressure. It motivated me to live and breathe news even while I was a student, not just to keep myself updated, but also to improve my skills. Because of this love, I strived to be the best student I can be, never wasting all the great opportunities I have been given.

This love continues to guide me in my current job, helping me decide in favor of truth and compassion in every story I make. I continue to be idealistic about this profession despite some of its harsh realities that have turned some people jaded and cynical. I also remind myself of this love whenever I feel tired and burned out.

There’s a certain magic in desiring something. In his best-selling book, The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes: “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”

“And that’s where the power of love comes in,” he states further. “Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

But how exactly do we know what we love, or what to love? It’s not as easy as it seems. I know a lot of people, including some friends, who still struggle to find something they would want to do for the rest of their lives. They feel they’re in an endless search for meaning, even after finishing school.

Well, some people just know what they want to do for life and never run out of opportunities. Very, very lucky people—and very rare, too.

Other people realized what they want it because of opportunities they were initially reluctant to seize but eventually embraced. That includes me. I will forever thank my teacher who forced me to join the school paper.

But there are also people who actively search for their purpose, for that one thing they’ll fall in love with—those who may not have it at first but do everything to find it. I believe this is the best way to find out what you want to do in life—the career or life path you want to pursue—and fall in love with it. It is, of course, the harder way, and the harder way gets us farther.

Who else can do this best but you, graduates? Your young age and energy provide you great opportunities to explore and experience life. This is the perfect time for you to pursue your interests, learn various skills, and ultimately, actively decide what you want to be and what you want to do for life. At this time, you are ripe to be molded to be somebody someday.

A piece of advice as you move on to the next chapter of your student life: Go beyond your books. Never drown in your academics. The most successful people I know are not those who graduated with honors—although that helps—but those who had a lot of experiences while in school aside from studying for quizzes and acing exams. In the workplace, they are generally perceived as more prepared to face the so-called “real world” after school.

That’s what extra-curricular activities are for. You can learn many valuable things outside the classroom that you cannot learn inside. Join organizations that can help you enjoy your interests and improve yourself at the same time. Take part in competitions that challenge your skills. Ultimately, do things that will make you love life more and feel complete as a person. Aside from complementing your academic life and preparing you for real life, this will help you find your purpose.

In a culture like ours that places so much importance on the grade—often to the point that a student’s existence is reduced to mere numbers—I cannot emphasize this enough.

Pursuing your dreams, of course, would be easier with the guidance and support of everyone around you, especially your parents. It’s always sad to hear of students who take courses they don’t really like because they were pressured, or because the only consideration is landing a lucrative job after school. These are valid reasons, but they work to a student’s disadvantage. Students tend to lose touch with their inner voices and lose their drive to dream. And so I hope that most of you here, particularly the high school graduates, take up courses you sincerely want for yourself.

However, finding your dream and falling in love with it is not the end of the story. You have to do a lot more.  Behind all these, you have to confront the question: “What for?”

What will you be a doctor, teacher, nurse, engineer, writer, or entertainer for? Why should you keep yourself in love with whatever dream you have?

More often than not, the answers are, “Because this is what I do best. I want to maximize my talents. I want to be happy. I want to be rich and famous.” Nothing wrong with them, except that they lack an essential shift away from the self. The motivations are self-centered, and they shouldn’t be. For you must reach your dreams not only for yourself, but also for something greater, something bigger than you.

When asked why I chose to be a journalist, I often say it’s because this is the closest I can get to public service without being a politician. Indeed, by telling stories and delivering the news, I believe I am serving people constantly in need of information, and helping make our democracy strong by giving people the means and the chance to scrutinize government.

Of course there are other reasons I love this job, from getting to talk to persons of power and authority and exploring the world to making my mom proud. But above them all is a desire to “make the world a better place,” as former ABS-CBN news chief Maria Ressa put it. It’s where my love for this profession leads: Journalism to make the world a better place.

The recent disaster in Japan reminded me of the power of my job. The images we saw on TV, chilling and disturbing as they are, moved the world and spurred an overflowing of sympathy and help from different countries. Here in the Philippines, information delivered by journalists from Japan helped us examine and question if we ourselves are prepared to handle similar catastrophes.

On a similar note, the vigilance of the Philippine press has also kept our democracy intact despite its imperfections. It has exposed corruption, helped overthrow erring officials, demanded accountability from authorities, and given ordinary and marginalized people a voice in society.

This noble purpose has kept me in love with my job through the years despite having to work overtime often and missing some family occasions and nights out with friends when there’s breaking news.

As early as now, graduates, start thinking of how your dreams can help you contribute to society, especially its members who need it most. As a future lawyer or judge, how can you make sure justice is served to everyone, rich and poor? As a future nurse or doctor, how can you cure those who can’t afford to be cured? As a future businessman, how can you provide jobs and livelihood to a country where many are unemployed?

Always seek a higher purpose for anything you do. It may sound corny to your friends, so just don’t tell them and keep it to yourself. Seriously, whatever you do has the potential of contributing to the greater good, if you just want it to.

And so as you decide on what career to pursue, think not just of what you want, but more importantly, where you are needed the most. This time of exploration will give you enough opportunities to realize where and how your skills and talents can be used to help society.

A while ago I quoted Paulo Coelho saying that when we love, we always strive to become better than we are. In the same book, he adds, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

Dear graduates, don’t dream just for yourselves or your families. Dream for our country, and ultimately, for the world. Realized together, your dreams, my dreams—our dreams—can indeed make the world a better place.

Congratulations, graduates! May you all conquer the world with your dreams

Categories: Inspire | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Take YOUR Track

There you go! Should I say more than what I think is enough?

That’s the spirit, man. NEVER GIVE UP TRYING TO DO WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO. WHERE THERE IS LOVE AND INSPIRATION, YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG.

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Prospects

Prospects

I’m guilty of this- which is honestly, one of my motivation to keep moving and never give up. There are times that it’s quite overwhelming and tends to cover up what must really be done to accomplish one’s goals: a disadvantage.

How I wish to always remember where I want to be directed. Daydreaming might inspire people but it might also mislead the right path that is being followed through.

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