Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Pattern

(When Confusion Strikes)

You stare at your map, trying to figure out the direction you are heading. You carefully check on each road and curves that would lead you to your destination. But somewhere along the way, it has lost you. You are then, faced with tough choices that you’d rather not make. Decisions that can radically change your life. Paths that would lead you to some place uncertain. And in your heart, you just wish the map would be more explicit in pointing out the easiest road to where you’re supposed to be.

You begin to see a certain pattern. A particular path that leaves you wandering in circles. So you make a step backward and try to assess your facts. But what if your facts are unreadable, clouded by a whole lot of other things you have no control of? Or perhaps you do, but you opt not to. How do you ever read your map?

A king in the middle of uncertainty in a battle once said: For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.

Sometimes it’s ok to admit that you don’t know some things. That you are uncertain. Instead of playing it all along in your own hands, thinking you’ve got it all covered. But as you take just a little step backward, perhaps it is not for your eyes to assess things once again, but it’s time to focus your eyes to the one who has all the answers.

As you remain in the middle of the road, flooded with too many options you can’t seem to rationalize, guided by a certain map which don’t quite make sense, maybe it’s about time to focus your eyes on Him who would tell you in the end: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Unsaid

Words piled up
Wanting to be said
But the lips are shut
Uncertain to speak a word.

Eyes wide open
Trying to read in between
But all is unclear
Hard to peek within.

The space getting smaller
The maze harder to decode
For questions remain unanswered
Clues are left untold.

Is waiting a test?
Is silence secure?
While truth remains a mystery
While the path remains unsure.

When time isn't right
Is the tongue to be held?
Are some things really
Better left unsaid?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Battle is not to the Warriors

I had my very first attempt to encourage a team. I never thought it would be this exciting, I myself was the one encouraged!

Background: Ideally, I handle the sales/marketing department of our company. Yep, ideally, because I also handle a whole lot other things in the office- human resource, a bit of admin, a bit of quality control, practically a bit of everything. That's how great it is to work in a family business. You get to learn a lot. I mean, a looooot.

Anyway, last week, my boss/my dad instructed me to create a problem. Who does such a thing? You create your problem then figure out your own solution. But I got so encouraged by my boss's vision for the business. Well, I didn't set my hopes and dreams as high as his, but I'd like to think that starting from somewhere does mean something.

So, this afternoon, I gathered everyone and shared my vision with them. Preparing for that one-hour report/goal-setting/encouragement was thrilling, but I never thought that the actual thing would rouse something in me that simply wants to run and just go for it! Turn all these plans into an actual output! Realize the goal!

But, more than the that, it is the faces of our employees that got me fired up. Seeing that what I was saying (after all the hesitation to pursue the set goal knowing we may not make it) made sense, gave me more confidence that we, as a team, can actually solve this problem that I created. ;)

Not only the trained runners are capable of running. Not only the skilled warriors are capable of fighting. We may be all beginners in this first attempt, but it won't stop us in believing that to those who trust God and persevere, nothing is impossible.

Now, I stand expectant.

"I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors." -Ecclesiastes 9:11

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Crossroad

In the middle of crossroads you stand
Been wandering in circles, do you still run?
Left or right, you remain confused
Which way to go, you need to choose.

Your heart’s desire, just a step away
But do you go for it, or do you stay?
Swayed by uncertainty, but it’s what you want
You want to grab it now, but you just can’t.

Arms stretched, you try to reach
You try to move forward inch by inch
Is it for you, you stop and doubt
Do you pursue north or do you head back south?

Looking behind, do you go back?
Do you close your eyes and try your luck?
Listening intently, seeking for the Voice
Please help me, you say, I need to make a choice.

Standing unmoved, you look at the road
Trying to discern answers yet untold
Wind is blowing, your name they call
But grounded you stay, determined not to fall.

The end of the road, you still don’t see
Helpless inside, what’s your destiny
As you stand there, you patiently wait
The road may be unknown… but take it to your faith.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trina

(This is what I get from looking through old files in my computer before reformatting. ;p)

It was the second time she watched the stars with him while sitting by the beach. She could still recall how she used to love those scenes in movies and she never thought the stars could actually be lovely to stare at. He was just a few inches away from her and it was one of the most amazing, unexplainable feelings there could ever be.

A few years back, the idea of him was real only in romantic novels that she used to read. But he made everything truly like a fairy tale in real life. He had the kindest smile she had ever seen. He had the ability to make her feel like there was nothing more important in the world than to be with her.

He took her to places she had never been before. It was not as if she had never seen trees, and flowers and lakes, but nature seemed lovelier and more perfect with him having to show it to her. He declared her as his inspiration in front of his family, his friends and probably half of the town’s population and she just drowned with so much attention he poured out on her.

By the steadiness of his breath, she knew he was already asleep. As she heard the little waves break into the shore, she stared at him trying to discern something unspoken. She smiled remembering all the good things of the past and she wondered if he somehow thought of it too.

Things were already different. Maybe two years was really long enough to change everything. Even if his mere presence brought back a familiar feeling, and even if he were there right beside her, there was still a strange hollow between them.

Earlier, their friends continued to tease them as if it were a continuation of that special thing they once shared. They sang their old songs and tried to bring back that bond that they lost after so long. It was surreal. It was like one of those fairy tales brought back to life.

She asked herself, was the feeling still there? But until the break of dawn, she was not able to come up with any answer.

He opened his eyes and she realized it was time to go. She smiled at him and felt the awkwardness to say a word. She knew it was time. Because the moment they leave that shore where they watched the stars together, she already felt the coldness of the sand that she will leave behind, together with the new hope that the early morning sky promises.

He stopped the car where she had to take off. He told the others, “Guys, let’s drop Trina off first.” A very fast, deep regret in his face was unmistakable as if he wished to have bitten his tongue at that very moment.

It wasn’t her name.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Choosing A Side

In the middle of an uncertainty where the truth is unknown, you have two options: to believe you're in the safe zone, or to fear the alert of the danger zone.

Safe zone is where you believe you remain invincible, impenetrable by anything or anyone. It is where you feel you are still in control.

Danger zone is where the line is crossed, the boundaries are exceeded until you become vulnerable to whatever circumstances may still bring. It is where you have lost your upper hand.

It is torturing to stay in the gray area. To not know what side to choose. To want to choose the safe zone but the fear of the danger zone keeps on bugging you like a forceful idea not wanting to give up its power over you.

However, in reality, there remains one last option: to find out the truth. Only, the final question would be: Are you ready for it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

License to Rest

This is one of those moments where I am feeling terribly tired, yet feeling condemned for having that feeling. I'm crazy right?

Rest is meant for people who have been productive enough to earn that break. I don't know where I got that from, but it has been my philosophy since I started living in the real world of business.

As for me, I haven’t accomplished anything yet and I’m running out of patience. I know I’ve got a lot of things to do and in my mind they are all piled up, but I just couldn’t get the exact attitude to get it done. The mere thought of doing all these things make me scream "Stoooop!!!" inside.

So I say, I’m just tired but I have no license to rest. How tormenting can that be.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Authority in Question

Submission is a word most people hate. Of course. As much as possible we want to have things our way. But whether we like it or not, as long as we do not have a planet of our own where our rules and sole power reign, we have to submit to certain forms of authority.

Undoubtedly we have our own dominion in our little lives but when we step out and face the world, we still have to pay some form of respect to other people especially those who have authority over us, say our boss.

I am one of the nicest and most supportive bosses. I always encourage, praise good output, play down mistakes, and I very rarely yell. So I do feel awful when people become abusive and start to give me an attitude.

I am very much upset by people who seem to discount my authority as a boss. Is it acceptable to just go on a leave without giving any notice at all? Is it tolerable to make faces when given instructions? What’s the problem with these people! I need not spell it out as a policy. It takes just a little common sense!

You might suggest confrontation. All right, that makes me imperfect now. I hate confrontations and before I start yelling I have to recollect my emotions first. I know I don’t have to take things personally, maintain professionalism and all that. But sometimes it’s quite tough not to take things personally when as simple as common courtesy just doesn’t seem so common anymore. I’m starting to think if it’s being done on purpose. Running a business is really hard, but managing people is a whole lot harder.

Submission is not blind obedience. It is almost inseparable with respect. And in this arena, I believe disrespect is worse than disobedience.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sorry Is Just Another Word

Sorry is one of the overused and most abused words. It has become so ordinary that it gets to the ranks of “you know” or “whatever” or “like.” I don’t have anything against these. But it’s, like, you know…it has lost its meaning already or whatever.

We spill a coffee over someone and we say sorry. We don’t get what another person says and we say “I’m sorry?” Often, we choose to let go of words before even thinking about it and hurt other people because we can always resort to saying sorry anyway. People feel more liberty in being unkind or insensitive because they are free to dig in to the unlimited resource of sorry.

Sorry is a feeling of sorrow, regret or grief. It's not something that we take advantage of and excuse our shortcomings with. It's not something that's supposed to come out just to get things over with. I was reminded by someone that sorry is not the end of the discussion, but most of the time, it's where the real talk begins.

Sorry with no heart, no sincerity, is just another word. We cannot say we're sorry and at the same time justify what we do something wrong. We cannot say sorry and have a list of reasons that rationalizes our actions. When we say we're sorry, we simply are.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In the Middle of Silence

Silence is deafening, some people say. Sitting next to a person hearing nothing but the sounds of his breath is not easy. People resort to make whatever sound, tap their fingers, and initiate small talks just to fill in the awkward gaps. It's hard to be steady in the middle of silence. Most of the time, there has to be the littlest noise to break it.


What's in silence that people cannot bear? The awkwardness? The nothingness? The solitude?


I love silence. I love long drives with no radio on. No talking. I can go for hours without speaking a word. I love to be alone with my own thoughts. And sometimes it's the best time to recognize ones existence. It's one of the few moments to be reminded of life's simple pleasures, the ones that are always overshadowed by the busyness of this life. It's the time to uncover the realities that go unnoticed because each is consumed by the seemingly more important facts of life.


Nearly every place has no room for silence. In the middle of today's worries, even in our sleep we find no silence, no peace. I wonder when is the last time we have a time of quiet and just discover the marvel of the unknown...of some things greater than us...of the profundity of life and our existence.

Monday, May 4, 2009

In A Rush

*Alarm*
She wakes up at the exact time
Not a second later,
Not earlier.
She says a quick prayer
Then leaps from her bed to take a shower.

*Office*
She flees to her office
Does the first thing that pops to her head.
Tries to do everything all at once
So much for the daily planner
She jumps from one task to another.

*Frustration*
She's programmed to work
She goes on until the end of the day
Weariness
Her mind and heart aren't there
Still she does her job, but not quite well.

*The After*
She heads on to her friends,
Amazed. Puzzled
How can they remain so enthusiastic
When she barely has the muscles to smile
More so to think.

*More Frustration*
She doubts herself.
Feeling of inadequacy
She's not used to
She has to be like them
Everything, she wants to learn.

But she has no time,
No energy
No more willingness to.

*Disappointment*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When Your Feelings Betray You

They say if you don't like the ending, then don't even start thinking about it. The problem is most of the time it is your own feelings that betray you.

One moment you feel that you’ve moved on from a break up, ready to face a whole new world, and then you wake up one day feeling miserable all of a sudden, recalling all the pain you thought were already gone.

You know how it feels to slump back to that dark past but undeniably, stubbornness is the one enemy of all dealing with dilemmas. No matter how you portray that undefeatable fa├žade, you see yourself being drifted to that zone of vulnerability. Because you allow your feelings consume you. Most of the time you are indeed miserable because you choose to. You place yourself into where your feelings can manipulate you and make you believe that what it says is the reality.

But in the real reality, you are just one soul trapped by your own feelings. You are wondering on the endless what ifs of the past maybe because you just run out of something good to think of and strangely have that desire to feel miserable.

Feelings are always deceiving. It’s something very difficult to comprehend, but can be mastered I believe. It’s a venom that can poison you without you knowing if you have not learned to manage it.

There’s always one question you can consider:

Are you wise enough to know where your feelings lead you?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Game

Characters: He and She
Setting: Some bench in some place, one hazy day.

He: “So you think everything’s changed now, eh?” He had that probing eyes, trying to extract all information from her silence.

She: “Am I wrong?” It was her time to give him that prying look, and he turned away with a nervous laugh.

He: “I’m still here, right?” He tried to make it sound funny.

She: “Are you?” She threw back. It was the first time that he failed to make her laugh.

He: “What do you think am I, a ghost?” He laughed, feeling victorious in having found a way to break the tension between them. Second try.

She: “Didn’t you introduce yourself to me as that a long time ago?” She simply shrugged, breaking his triumph. Second failure.

He: “I know…” He said quietly. She could’ve jumped for winning the all-questions game they started. But she hoped he would say something more.

He: Said none.

She: “Gotcha. I won this time.” She joked, collecting back her things and her tears. She said a fast goodbye.

She: Ran away, without looking.

She knew he would never add anything more, not now, not tomorrow, probably never in this lifetime.

When can that ever sink in?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When it isn't about you this time

Who isn't thinking of becoming successful, being happy or getting the best in this life?

Do we not wake up in the morning preoccupied on running our life and making the most of it?

Do we not sometimes look at people thinking what can we possibly get from this person? Is he an asset or liability to my race?

Or even as we walk the streets, do we not think that all eyes are on us and we're being watched by the world?

Do we not want to get recognition for every little thing that we do? Do we not mimic a child saying "hey dad! watch me! watch what i can do!"

Talk about being self-absorbed.

We are so consumed by ourselves that we sometimes think that the world has to stop and care for us, to listen and give us what we want.

Do we not like those people or guys (he he sorry) who just love to talk about their curriculum vitae and enumerate all their accomplishments, then give you 5 seconds to comment an "ah" or "ok" or maybe applaud? then continue rambling?

The 'me-attitude' is always not the best option.

In life, I think the more we focus on ourselves, the more we find that too much is lacking. Sometimes, when we shift our focus from ourselves, to what we can do for others, it's where we find true fulfillment.

I've read a book once saying our own comfort comes when we give comfort to others. Financial sufficiency comes from sparing some of our own for others. It's hard to understand but it works.

Most of the time, there are far greater things in this world than our own. And since we are concentrated with our own little world, we neglect to recognize our responsibility with other people and yes I believe we have.

Sometimes, it isn't just about us anymore.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

When two people don't seem to match

I’m not really fond of meddling with other people’s business but it doesn’t mean I can’t have my own opinion about their lives. But don’t worry, I don’t go straight in front of them and tell them “hey your life sucks!” I got my own life to worry about.

It just so happened that I have this very dear friend and I cannot really figure out how she turned out to be madly in love with this guy. I thought she was just fond of the feeling of being with someone but would soon lose interest. But I realized they’ve been together for quite a while now! Where’s the breakup I’ve been waiting for?

You may think I’m cruel for wanting them to break up, or I’m just one bitter person who can’t find her own happiness. Maybe I am or I just want to have a partner in this world of singlehood. But can it be possible that I want the best guy for her? Ha ha sounds very mommy-ish!

My point is, they just don’t seem to match. I think my friend is too smart, pretty and way too talented. She has this amazing confidence and ability to make people give her a second look and hear what she has to say. (I’m so jealous!)

Then one night she just came to me with all sparkly eyes saying she may have found the one! The one? Him? Seriously???

Yeah, seriously.

I’m not here to demean other people. Now I’m feeling guilty. I just can’t really understand why such an exceptional lady would fall in love with someone…ordinary.

She could’ve found someone she can also have a good laugh with, someone who would also love her despite her immaturities, someone who would also make sense…but better.

Don’t I really like him that much? Not really… I’m just wondering could he really be the right one for her?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

When you regret sending a message

3 nights ago I sent a message to an old friend in Australia. We haven't talked for months now and I just wondered what could be wrong in sending a hi message.

Months ago I knew that very moment would come that's why I deleted everything that could possibly tempt me to get in touch with him- email addresses, phone numbers, home address (if I get too crazy and fly off to Australia). I thought I was wise enough then. But I am more clever/stupid now. I found my old phone where I stored and probably intentionally forgot to delete those info about him. Okay, I'll spare you the drama. I might regret this even more.

So, unfortunately, I got his number and sent him a text message. Not that I expected a reply. (Who am I kidding?) But hey, he could've been polite enough to text me back after he has dumped me in exchange for his trip to Japan. That was so unforgivable and his conscience should be bugging him for his insensitivity, but that too was ineffective. And so even before the year ended, I did an awful thing for even bothering to ask how he was doing. I should quit reading that book saying I have to get in touch with the person that pops in my head. Yes, there is such a book. And yes, I'm making it as an excuse.

It was really nothing and I can't believe that after more than a year of that broken promise, I would still create a big fuss out of it. And it is much more foolish to post it here.

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A Ghost