Morning musings: Trees and Growing up

It’s nearly a week since I’ve earned my license.

And as the days pass by, I’m still taking it in. More than 13 thousand people like me took that exam. I am more than blessed to be of the less than of it to have passed.

Just this morning, just after I had finished preparing breakfast and mopped the floors, I thought how familiar the sounds of the outside of our apartment have become to me, venturing up to this point. From the humming of the tricycles or the thrumming of the jeepneys that passed by our street, to faint chirping of the birds flying above who knows what, to the sounds of people getting along their day whether for work or for school. All these sounds and the sounds of the province my family and I had left behind for a nearly half a year now, were the sounds I had grown accustomed with as a student or a fresh graduate, striving to earn her license so that she might find a good place in oh-so-tumultuous economy.

And now, she has. Now, though those sounds that may be so routine, something about the one listening to it has changed.

I wonder what a tree “feels” when it’s finally stretched out it’s branches out into the open, each twig covered with leaves, now ready (?) and facing all the elements. Does it the feel the same way as I do?

I wonder if it’s the same with what a newly and fully grown cheetah feels after it’s mother, who had raised him/her, must let him/her now face the wilderness all on his/her own?

Now I’m an adult, and can be capable of finally providing for myself, giving back to my family….giving back to society.

Like a fully grown tree, ready to bear fruits or flowers or cones or whatever potential that has been placed within.

But though it may be able to stand now on it’s own it has to always be connected to the earth, strong in its own roots to stand long. Like as it was a seedling, it will always need the same elements and nutrients that it needed- probably even more. It will always need the care of the one that planted, and nurtured it ’till full growth.

But forget that, and it soon will wither and break in face of the elements. Sometimes right after so much less than it took for it to grow, or sometimes much longer.

Ah, look the time!!!

I better get going~

I pray you all have a wonderful day everyone!

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THANKS

When you pray for rain, and go outside bring with you an umbrella. That’s how you should act towards your prayer. That’s Faith.- mom

Four days ago, I spent most of my time lying in bed- sleeping away my anxieties about the results of the CPA board examinations that I had taken for the past two weekends. After 6 years in undergraduate studies, and another 4 months in review this was the crucible of my life into the working force of society. I was in the midway of transitioning between my life as a student towards the beginning of my life as a professional.

Throughout my life, I had learnt that my fate though my actions do play a big part of it, is not fully just because of my own efforts, and skill. That every “failure” is a blessing disguise. Every moment, meant to forge me into someone in the future that is…like I have prayed from a certain point in my life.

But still I was afraid, that I may not have made it. The ramifications of not making it now were too hurtful to think about, and I prayed to be able to be able to endure it should it come to pass.

Not to say, that this- making it, passing the CPA licensure examinations- has no ramifications. It does. And just the same, I continuously pray to be able to endure and surpass them as well.

And having reached this point, I am filled with so much, so much joy and thanks. It makes it hard to breathe, hard to write further…

But all praise be to God, I managed to compose and gather my thoughts. Posted in my other SNS with quite a few changes, but without changing the essence. I leave it here, and to all who have been reading and sharing with this humble blog- THANK YOU.

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful..

“O God! Lord of Power (And Rule), Thou givest power to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou strippest off power from whom Thou pleasest: Thou enduest with honour whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: In Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power.” (3: 26-27)
Still, not fully absorbing the matter as of now but one thing is for sure, I had set my mind and soul that whatever the outcome of this stage I was blessed with more than enough.

My family, my friends, the people I met and encountered from different walks of life, my teachers both in my undergraduate years and in the mentors in the last 4 months of review…even the people in the bakeshop I frequented and that kind elder lady I pass by sometimes at nearby university’s overpass…

I was and am blessed with more than enough, that I know no matter what happens now it is my first and foremost duty to remain steadfast in Faith and live my life to the fullest Faith.

When I took those 7-board subjects, I left the testing centers feeling as if I had no control. And I didn’t. I knew I didn’t. But I shaded each number with no trust in my knowledge, but full trust in His Grace. My preboard exams had been nowhere as satisfactory as my peers. Because, to be honest, once you see the exam questions there will be countless times when you doubt your judgement. And the human capacity, is oh so, so limited.

And after it all, all of those who took the exam with you realize this: If not for Him, this would be nothing. I would be nothing.

There are those who know me who might think and wonder if I am truly happy with this path I have chosen. “Being an accountant is far from my passion of being a writer/journalist/teacher”.

The thing is, I am. I am grateful, and happy. Challenged and honored. If anything, this path I have embraced has taught me and opened my eyes to kind of person- the kind of writer, journalist, and teacher I would truly want to be up until the end of my days (God willing).

Most of all, I learned that to pursue each dream, is to be accountable for it. That these goals may even change or evolve as we unravel who we truly are, by God’s Grace alone.

Being able to enter the profession of accountants, has only God willing, brought me a step closer towards the person He wants me to be. In all aspects.

(Also, am I not writing now?)

I also learned that no matter what I do, it is not insignificant. Not in His eyes. And trying my best in every aspect of my life, starting with my family and those close to me, is as significant as any endeavor I undertake.

Looking back, do I regret being not able to pass my scholarship exam to that prestigious university and had gone abroad? Do I regret not being able to finish my years in my first uni? Do I regret being held back by a year or two from graduating and earning my licence earlier? Do I regret even having to go through the metaphorically bloody and grueling years of a student of accountancy?

How many times, each year and up until now have I prayed “O Lord, if this is good for me, for my service, for my promise, for ‘that day’, bring me through it” ?

And here I am.

Indeed, God’s wisdom is Infinite.

For all those years, I am thankful. I could not imagine taking another route. I could not imagine the blessings I have and am receiving, had I been led towards another path.

So before anyone, all praise and glory be to the One True God. All praise is due to Him…

for giving me my family- my irreplaceable mother, my father, my lovable and protective brothers, my strong and cool sister, my nephew (squeee~), my dear uncles, aunts and cousins from all degrees, even the legacy that my grandparents have left to teach me..

for giving my dear and true friends… (no naming. Don’t want to be unfair. You guys know who you are. Love, love~)

for my teachers who believed in me. From my English teacher in my early highschool and elementary days, to my dear teachers and mentors in  Senior High (including Ma’am Principal!), to all my undergraduate teachers both in first and second universities (in all subjects, minor or major)…

for the memories and stories of people near and afar that have served to remind, reprimand, and inspire me…

for this. This, minor, minor yet very meaningful achievement.

I have earned two earthly titles- MICB, CPA.

Glory be to God!

May we earn an even more esteemed place in His Presence, God willing. Ameen!

Lessons from the Railways| Thoughts of an Ahjumma

23mrt

(Credit to The Philippine Daily Inquirer for photo)

I always am blessed to learn or to be reminded of something good while taking the MRT. But today was quite different.

There are almost a handful of things I was reminded of or taught about while experiencing another worse-than-packed-sardines-MRT day. (Which is almost like everyday, except Sundays XD)

1.Our society is very much like this kind of MRT day. People pushing,impatient, all desperately racing to get their destination, not minding that others like them are on this same platform as well. Literally, and figuratively speaking.

They’d push, they’d do almost anything to get on that train. I strongly think that 2/4 of the frustration comes from not giving others the chance to get off first. (The tramcar is obviously full, how could one get in when others haven’t gotten off to give next passengers actual space??)

Would anything change if we push ourselves into an already jam-packed vehicle? Are those few secondss we lose just to let others off first really so important? Won’t we lose more when we fight and almost push others off the railway?

This mentality of “my welfare first”/“i have my problems too” is a major reason why we ain’t moving as a society. 

“No man is an island” is something that I believe talks more than just individual loneliness. It talks about how we all, despite being unique, are interconnected. In fact, it’s our uniqueness that helps us connect and helps us collectively more forward.

2. Reminded again to never judge a book by its cover. Just because that person looks so “sacred” that he/she can’t be corrupt.

Such kind of person was next in line to me. Making way for someone getting off, I was pushed out and then that person got in first. I laughed at the encounter but it made me sad, since they’d be like one of those people many would expect to act with more patience & decency… whereas if I would have worn a veil slightly different from theirs, society would probably just go “Oh she’s of ‘them’. Rude, is expected”. (Prejudice is something terrible to have)

3. Despite all the frustrating ills we have as human beings there’s still hope. Most grateful to the security guard who let me go first -even after I was pushed out of the queue, giving me an exception even when others would have protested. He saw what happened  and calmly explained even the commuters’ hot tempers. Without his help, I probably would have ended up at the end of dreadful queue. (I know because none of those who were next to me in line moved an inch to let me get back in line after being pushed out.)

“There is still hope”. If only we could all learn to be like that security guard. If we could stop being stubborn in being pessimistic. If we could learn to let ourselves have sympathy/empathy again. That the plight of others is not their fault entirely. Especially in this society, we in differing degrees are responsible.

Reminds me of that commuter who laughed at Pnoy for trying to implement “tuwid na daan”/(pursuing the) “straight path” and all who still believed in it. That person said,  “He’s a fool! What straight path? It’s nonexistent. In this society? Ha!”

I wished I could’ve spoken out then.

Because the only reason we can’t seem to get on a straight path is because we have chosen to believe that such path doesn’t exist. We laugh at others ACTUALLY doing what they can to change. When we should pity ourselves for not being concerned,giving up, doing nothing.

4.  Last is something I’ve adopted after taking the MRT quite often, if not regularly.

In a competitive society, the pressures of everyday life can come from all directions- pushing you, squeezing you ’til you can’t seem to breathe.

  Letting these pressures get to you won’t help. Letting the anger of others get to you won’t help. Breathe despite all of it. Adjust what you can, but never loose your footing, your zen within. I’ve learned to calmly let others be when it seems there’s nothing I can do now to change the situation. And to smile, even it can be painful.

Because it might seem such a long ride, but as long as you keep patient in doing what you can, your bound to get to your destination in time.

-Growing Tree

Seed

I won’t give up dreaming. If I can’t realize it now, I’ll work for a future where that dream can’t be harmed and where it can grow. I’ll plant the seed today so that even if I may not live to see it, my children can see the tree all-grown.

(Tree of Hope by InertiaK on DevianArt)

Choice, for Now|T.O.A

“No one can tell what will happen in the future”- mom

And so many wise people say.

This is going to be quick. Am about to go to the airport for an unexpected flight.

And here we are…

Yesterday I entered college. Now half of my last semester has passed, and the year is ending.

I ask myself, “How did I live my life?”

I’ve always believed that we may not control the future, but no good choice and intention made now goes unrewarded. It just takes time. Time will tell, and guidance is there to help you onto the right track.

We are who we are, but what is now is but a mere drop. We can always choose to strive to be the best of who we are.

The choice we make, is the sure thing we can do.

So choose to find truth, choose to live truly. That’s the best we can always do.

TO EVERYONE: THANK YOU. I’M SORRY. PEACE BE WITH YOU. GODSPEED

Flying Cars, Robot Maids, and Laser Guns| A MUST WATCH AND READ| SPREAD AND DO CHANGE!

Hi guys! Here is a piece written and delivered by a good friend of mine! His message cannot be more timely! I won’t talk much anymore since his message is the focus of this post! Please! Spread this! And inspire and do change in your own little ways too! “Every single grain, drop, iota, and atom counts!”

[TRANSCRIPT]

Flying Cars, Robot Maids, and Laser Guns

By

Alfonso Manalastas (Computer Studies Program)

When I was much younger, I imagined a future world that spanned a colony of concrete skyscrapers, the sky flooded with flying shards and splinters of steel, life slowly dissipating, and the sun nowhere to be seen. This is a fault that cannot be attributed to my once naïve mind, oh golly, no. Being born in a generation saturated by Technicolor images of “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” aired in primetime, coincidentally at the height of the “Back To The Future” franchise that depicted a highly futuristic 2015.

2015 is but a few months from today.

You see, as a young boy, I thought that by this time the world was going to be swell, and majestic, and awesome in every sense of the word. I thought that by this time, we would see flying cars that travel faster and higher than commercial aircrafts we see today, ones that could literally cross-continents in a matter of minutes. Like if you want to have Breakfast in Paris, no problem! Lunch in Italia, why not? And if you’re in the mood for something more exotic, you can always go to India for dinner.

Robot maids will be scattered about everywhere, all at our command and disposal, each one of them specifically designed to cater to all our wants and needs, like “Uh, excuse me sir. Would you like to have some tea or some wine?” Right? And oh shucks, who hasn’t dreamt of shooting laser guns? They’re exactly like regular guns except they shoot lasers!

But standing before me is a completely different world. I see right in front of me an audience filled with people who have perfectly capable hands, eyes that beam of dreams, with thirst for life, and curiosity for knowledge. But outside the very walls of this institution, all I see is a wasteland. A dark, concrete abyss, remnants of what used to be a paradise. And then I begin to realize that maybe the problem isn’t that the world did not turn out as I hoped it would be, but that as a young boy I believed that in order for the world to be swell, and majestic, and awesome in every sense of the word, that all it needed are flying cars, robot maids, and laser guns.

Our generation is fixated on the concept of progress so much that even as young boys and girls, social constructs have implanted a certain algorithm in our minds making us believe that in order to create a perfect world, that technology, industry, and even warfare is the only way to go.

Now, my young travellers, allow me to deconstruct that algorithm for you:

One: every member of the Urian population bears with them a piece of plastic called an “ID”. Under each is the caption “I am an Urian, I grow trees.”

Two: each one of those Urians spend hours falling in line to get their ID pictures taken, making sure that their faces turn out as beautifully as they could ever hope for. We spend so much time doing that instead of, well, actually growing trees.

Three: a total biomass of 42,000 square feet of coral life is destroyed after a ship skims through the subterranean ecosystem in the Tubbataha Reef.

Four: approximately 350 endangered sea turtles were found dead in a Chinese vessel a few miles off the coast of Palawan.

Five: all 298 passengers on board were killed after an aircraft was shot down the Ukrainian skies by a man-made weapon.

Six: On November 2013, the Western Black Rhino was declared to be officially extinct.

Seven: According to conservationists if nothing is done, the Northern White Rhino and the Javan Rhino will soon follow.

Eight: The primary source of their extinction? Murdered by us humans.

Nine: Miss Earth, to us, is a woman who strips down to her underwear and parades her half-naked body, her porcelain white skin, and her 20,000 peso hair and make up professing to us nothing but generic sound bytes about how important the natural environment is as if we don’t know that already.

Ten: Let us ignore the fact that the Miss Earth beauty pageant is a project that costs millions and millions of money that could have been otherwise been spent in actually making a difference.

Eleven: Welcome to the pornography of environmentalism where to represent planet earth as its human embodiment, one must be intelligent, beautiful, and have a vital statistics of 36, 24, 36.

Twelve: In Israel, it is normal for people to gather around in tents with food and beer on hand as they watch bombs fall over the shores of Gaza to the sound of dying children, kind of like watching fireworks on a bright New Year’s Eve.

Thirteen: The year Israel began to attack Gaza, over 1000 people died.

Fourteen: The year the Al-Qaeda struck America during the 9/11 terrorist attack, 2,900.

Fifteen: During the Holocaust, 11 million.

Sixteen: Blood diamond in Zimbabwe.

Seventeen: The Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Eighteen: The Korean War.

Nineteen: The Vietnam War.

Twenty: The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Twenty-One: When will we ever stop destroying everything around us? We are supposed to be a community.

I have been alive for 21 years. It means that for 21 years, I have seen the world wronged 21 times. But as I grow older, I refuse to accept that the world has no hope. I refuse to believe in flying cars, robot maids, and laser guns, and instead, I choose to believe in our sense of community, in our respect for all forms of life, and in our ability to inspire human compassion. Because standing before me is an audience filled with people who have perfectly capable hands, eyes that beam of dreams, with thirst for life, and curiosity for knowledge. All I see are Urians dedicated to keeping out past from defining us as we move forward in our conquest towards molding community and sustaining ecology.

The work has just begun.