Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Insects of Life

I was wordless as I found myself gazing at the spectacular vista right before my eyes. Two quaint white flowers separated from the rest. The other one with fresh petals appeared magnificently proud. While the other looked wilted and…decrepit.

Why? Obviously, the insect has feasted on its beauty. It sapped the flower’s splendor that it ended up poorly dry and totally ruined. Its petals sagged and its color turned into gross yellow.

The piteous flower seemed outcast from the group of fresh leaves and the other flower. 

Strangely, it reminds me of our faith…

As we traverse life, we come across with “insects” of life. The trials and tribulations, the pains and sufferings, the doubts and uncertainties…they all erode our faith. Growing up could only mean being devoid of “unsullied” beliefs. We usually ended up like that poor wilted flower.  

The more the “insects of life” sap our will to survive the more we become bitter with the way how we view life.

Then we say, “What’s the used of believing? Life stings anyway…”

Thenceforth, we yield into melancholy and bitterness could only mean being skeptical. We call life “ugly” and hopeless. The faith totally cave in with despair.

I gazed intently with the other flower- the fresh one. Like an infant fresh from his mother’s womb, it looked wondrously full of hope. It reminds me of love and again…faith.

The “insects of life” could hammer our soul and weaken our faith but if there is love then there is hope. The fresh white flowers imply that come tomorrow a bud of new life will spring out of nowhere because of optimism and courage.

In contrast with that piteous flower we have something that it doesn’t have...love and audacity to fight against the “insects of life”. It could just stand there and accept its fate with the insect but we on the other hand can fight back and at the end become triumphant.

Don’t despair if sometimes our faith wilted…so long as love resides in our heart then life will always be beautiful…

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Monday, March 31, 2008

What Do My Stars Say About Me?

I've been tagged by Joy about this star quiz. You can try it yourself. It's quite cool and yeah it says a lot about my personality but not all specially those that I censored. It's 10 out of 18.

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Students Messages for Teacher's Day

Finally, after forestalling myriad times to send the last thread that connects me to the school where I taught before I have finally found the courage to mail it. My resignation letter made it official and the message I received from my superior this morning was the confirmation.

The moment I read it, I wanted to curl up on the bed and bury my face in the pillow. It’s harder than I thought it would be. Though assurances were given that I could go back anytime and there would always be a place for me in school, my heart was filled with perplexing dejection missing my NPS family.

For five years, my world revolved only in that school. Now, I said my last goodbye…a grateful goodbye because the school has done so much for my growth as a teacher.

Instead of succumbing in the initial impulse to wallow in broken heart, I got the box which contains hundreds of letters that I have received from my pupils through the years. After reading the whole afternoon, I ended up nonetheless with tears in my eyes as my heart surged with love and appreciation…

Why? Because it’s astounding how the essence of my five years as a teacher was captured in the letters from my treasured box…

I want to thank you for believing in me. I was able to do great things because of you. Thanks for giving me the opportunity and the trust to lead and do my job as the Editor-in-Chief of the Foundation. Thanks for all the lessons learned and for the inspiration. I hope to meet more teachers like you in my high school journey. Wish you all the best.

For the past few months we were amazed that you are still with us. Your incredible words and challenges conquered us all. In our successes and victories, you became our plus 75%. You were the one who made us five months in a row and still adding Most Disciplined Class. You can easily handle and teach us our lessons…thanks, Teacher.

A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle. May you never get tired of sharing your light.

Words of thanks and gratitude are insufficient for all the patience and efforts you have exerted for us to fully understand the true value of learning. Such efforts and endeavors bring us more encouragement in the pursuit of our ambition. For all these favors, you deserve most precious gift, MY PRAYERS TO GOD- that you remain active, helpful, healthy, safe, and always be my greatest mentor.
Glenn Britt

I am very thankful because you have a good character as a teacher. I am touch whenever you say, “Think first before you act,” and “behave not because of the award but because it is the right thing to do.” We learned new things from you, teacher. I hope that you will continue being good until your last breath. Thanks for everything.
Mac Mac

On your special day, I would like to thank you for building the foundation of my character, knowledge and faith in God. I salute you for being hard working and dedicated to your chosen career. Teachers are the unsung heroes of our young lives. May God bless you always for your patience and personal sacrifices.

I am so grateful for having you as my mentor in Language subject. Why? Because you are understanding, patient and kind. You are teaching us so many things in this world. There are times that the topics are not found in the book but you made researches to impart and complete the needed information. By these, you are forming us to grow as a good human being not only with knowledge but at the same time with heart.
Nico Jefferson

You know teacher when you are teaching us, we sometimes feel that we are walking in the Promise Land. Sometimes we also feel that we are traveling from Egypt to the Promise Land. Thank you.

For me you are one of the best! You are an intelligent and a hardworking teacher. You are known for being very strict but I know that your concern is for us to really learn in class. Thank you for everything, Teacher Niña.
Matthew Mark

I want you to know that I feel so great when you are the one teaching us because of you I learn more about how to deal with other people. Thank you.
Marc Glean

Thank you very much for coming into my life. Now, I have realized the true purpose of your presence. I wish to thank you for your patience, for making me learn the difficulties which are beyond my capabilities. I know all the things you’ve taught me will enable me to live decently someday. I will always remember you wherever I go. Thank you very much.
Brian Paolo

There are no shops in the world where we can buy such a great teacher like you that’s why I want to thank you for everything you do. I was blessed having you as one of my mentors. I hope that you will continue to encourage and help more students.

I admire you for being a good teacher. Your enthusiasm and effort to share your knowledge to me is my inspiration to study my lessons. Although sometimes I am lazy of doing my assignment, still you are there to always remind me to study harder. I know the fruit of your sacrifices to equip me with knowledge that you want me to acquire needs a lot of patient and understanding on your part. Thank you for being so kind to me, for being my teacher.
Andrew Matthew

Thank you for helping us to change. When we were still in grade four we’re the most undisciplined class but now we’ve won! We became the Most Disciplined class for five consecutive months. I can’t believe it. I thought there is no chance anymore for us of winning that award. Teacher, thanks a lot.

Thank you for all the knowledge and skills you have given to all of us. I had fun in doing book reports this school year. I think I can compose already a song. I titled it “Favorite Teacher.” 

My favorite teacher is Teacher Buena
She taught all the skills I need
Without her, I can’t do anything
She’s here to teach a lot
Every student must respect their teachers
Because they’re our second parents
Do anything to make your teachers happy
So everyone will enjoy learning in school.
You are the best Language teacher for me because you are very strict. Being strict helps us to be disciplined and improve ourselves. You do not tolerate our bad attitude. Thank you for all the things that you have done for us.

Thank you for…
T- teaching me things I do not know
E- encouraging me to study things new to me
A- accepting me for who I am
C- cheering me when I feel gloomy
H- helping me decide between good and bad
E- educating me to be a good Parochialite
R- relating to me as a friend

School year is about to end and I am about to say good bye to my dear NPS. For all the years I had been through, many things cannot be forgotten specially my teachers like you who became an instrument in forming my personality physically, mentally and spiritually. Word THANK YOU is not enough to say because you are always glad to listen, to help, and give your best. But, I have to on your special day. Thank you, Teacher.
From your student who will never forget you,

Thank you for all the patience, support and personal sacrifices. You are one of the reasons why I am standing proud and can shout to the whole world that I am a true-bloodied Parochialite. You have developed our young minds to be well-rounded individuals. I owe you very much and I can never repay you for all the things you have taught me.

Thank you for teaching us so well and shaping my future to be a good citizen. I hope to see you when I am already a successful businessman someday.
Kim Martin

You deserve all the good things that's coming your way,
and I know how much this means to you.
I don't know of anyone who's worked and planned as hard or used their talents as well.
You know how to set goals,
Use your time wisely, and get things done right.
You may not think those are unusual traits,
but they are!
You know what you want to achieve
and you go after it-one step at a time.
You work around the obstacles in your way,
and don't let small setbacks discourage you.
So it isn't at all surprising you've met your goal.
Everyone who knows you knows you were meant to succeed...
and a lot of people have been pulling for you.
Your positive outlook is contagious,
and your determination is an inspiration to everyone around you.
Thank you for everything.

The dominant feeling in the school campus during the Teacher’s Day characterize the school as a place so filled with love and fraternal union that makes me so grateful that I have you not only as a teacher but as a parent as well. When I think back of the lessons I learned from you and the wisdom I gained from it, I feel initiated to face the challenge to face the challenge of the future that I more realize how much I owe you. Thank you.

It has been great to be with NPS, the only school where I studied since Kinder. I have learned and continue to discover many more that I needed as I grow up to become a man. All of these could not have been possible without the indispensable help of the greatest mentor that I ever known…and that is you.
Edwin Aldrin

Through this letter, I want to convey that I am very grateful to have you as my teacher in Language subject. I admire your expertise on the subject. I feel that you know everything about the subject and I’m sure you really do. I find you a little bit strict but I feel it’s just right because it’s a way for us to study harder. You are always ready to listen and guide us. Thank you, Teacher.

On your very special day, I would like to let you know how much I appreciate your wholehearted support in my studies. I know sometimes that I am naughty but I always make-up for my misdemeanor. I promise that I will try to be a good boy and to study hard to get good grades. Whatever I achieve in the future, you will always be a part of it.

I know we have never thanked you enough
-for sharing with us your time and talent
-for showing us how to live and love
-for the understanding and patience in teaching us how to read and write
-for being a mother and a sister
-for teaching us how to pray
On this very special day, I would like to say, “Thank you” Teacher for teaching us all the time so that we can become the best persons we could ever be.
Joseph Vincent

This is the moment to show you our gratitude for your patience and love for us. Thank you for sharing with us all the things you know so that we can be as wise as you are. You are always the one we look up as our model, our guide and our example that we should follow. Thank you for treating us like your own children. May God shower you more blessings to continue on guiding our ways all the time. All of these will be treasured in our hearts.
Kevin Matthew

I thank you for teaching us the things we need to know in Language and Spelling. You taught us how to have a great composition and to have the right spelling of difficult words and to speak English at all times. We will always love you. Thank you very much.

You inspire me in the way you teach. Your method is unique making the learning process easier for me and that makes you an extraordinary teacher. Thank you.
Jan Peter

Thank you for the lessons you taught us. You are a kind of teacher who always has a beautiful smile. Thank you for being good to me and to my classmates. Thank you Teacher.

Wishing you a fun time this day. I would like to thank you for all your hard work in dealing with us even though we are naughty you always try to put something in our heads. You never gave up on us whether we are bad or good, you tried to bring out the best in us.
Christian Allen

Thank you…
-for being my second mother in school
-for teaching us how to be the person that we should be
-for the knowledge and values imparted to us
-for being a model to all of us.

It has been a wonderful journey as NPS teacher… one that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It is now my turn to thank back my NPS Family for always being there and for not closing completely the door of my second home for me. They cried with my maladies and cheered with my triumphs.

I left my shining star with gratefulness in my heart knowing that I made the most out of it. Now, I am ready to chase another one. I know that another path of learning will be shown to me. After all, teaching is not only imparting knowledge but reaping as well from the best teachers...my pupils who catapulted me into realization that I trudged the best possible road in life…

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is Happiness?

One man said, “I have everything but I feel empty.” The other one said, “I have nothing yet I am happy.”

What is happiness?

I once asked my teacher but she seemed at astray on how to answer. I probed deeper by reading insatiably yet all I have gleaned was its scholarly definition.

I explored further with the same query from my college professors, “What is happiness?” They gave me long incredulous look then immediately proceeded to lengthy lectures about living in gratification, peace and love. Still, I was not convinced.

As I gaze at the stars tonight and while the sweet cold breeze played with my hair, I was reminded of those many times I asked that question. Strangely, as the stars teased me with their simmering sparkles my heart felt like it was about to burst with…happiness.

I then realized that happiness is a journey not a destination. It doesn’t matter how I ended up but how I go through it. The marvels of the stars reminded me of those steps I trekked and I ended up with wisp of smile on my face.

I think back of yesteryears and spectacle sensations filled my heart. All the time I was asking that question the answer was inside me.

It was happiness when I spent time with my family and friends. It was happiness when I saw the dawn of learning on the face of my pupils. It was happiness when I went up on stage to receive the fruit of hard labors. It was happiness when I did good things for my friends and strangers without expecting anything in return…

All along I was having the journey of happiness…

I once lay placid amidst the surge of the ocean of pain and suffering but it was a journey where faith and hope was my anchor- a journey of happiness. 

I think back of the time that I was drinking my favorite coffee and had a good smile. The moment that my niece kissed me and said, “I love you.” and my heart overflowed with incomprehensible feeling. The instant that I looked up at the skies and was greeted with vastness of its beauty, my eyes feasted with happiness.

Happiness is a state of mind…

I could have the world but I couldn't be happy. On the other hand, I might have nothing but I could be the happiest person alive. Happiness is also a matter of perspective.

 We long to be happy but we imprison ourselves to specifications. Thus we say, "I would be happy if only…"

Such could be the cruelest thing we could do to ourselves. It was the kind achieved by secular search and could be gone so fast like a sand castle. The sense of real happiness bubbles from within. The world's a big ship where we are all voyagers of time. Sometimes we feel overwrought and in despondency how to go on. Happiness could be elusive and we could only see the enormity of the sea of grief. The port of victory might be imperceptible but then we just need to wait for “the tide”.

As we dock and feel the tide of happiness, the completeness of our soul became its herald.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

What Makes Man Human?

The man incessantly puffs out wisp of smoke from the cigarette. He seemed to be oblivious to the people around him who were inhaling the big percentage of that deadly cloud. I tried to grab his attention by coughing and sneezing showing to him that I was indubitably suffering with his lack of concern.

But he continued to enjoy his cigarette as if there’s no more tomorrow. I heaved a sigh of surrender then tried to muster deep long breaths to silently endure his torture...

Finding one’s self face to face with rude, inconsiderate and ruthless people is perhaps the most atrocious experience one could ever have.

Whenever I do, I usually try to stretch my patience by having this mind exercise…I would imagine that person fresh from his/ her mother’s womb. Unscathed, untainted, so innocent and human…

When we are seething in anger, we call people with inordinate names enough to summon a howling wind or maybe a tsunami to hit him/ her. But you see I do believe that in every person’s heart (even a murderer) there lays a dormant kindness waiting to be unfurled.

Beneath the flaws we see on the surface are the unique qualities that separate us from other creations…traits that make man human.

The ability to empathize is perhaps top on my list. The short statement “I understand…” denotes a multi-layered meaning. It conveys unspoken words such as… “I feel your pain.” “I love you.” “I’m here.” “I care.” “I want to hug you.”

Iron resolve is sometimes just a mask that hides the pain. I know that there is nobody as numb with the feelings of others as he claims to be. It’s just a façade in the world of pretense.

Apparently as we journeyed through life what we have mastered is the art of hiding…the skill of concealing our real feelings. (Like that man who buried himself in the shade of his cigarette). We normally resort to things that will make us look as strong as Atlas who can carry the burden of the World.

Unbeknownst to us admitting defeat doesn’t make us less human. What’s wrong with saying “I get hurt, can I cry first?” Nothing, it only says we can feel like a normal being does. As long as after we dry the tears we will stand again then continue fighting.

Then, we have the greatest virtue of all- the ability to love. The big word can be seen in small acts of kindness everyday. In our haste to criticize others we often neglect those little humane deeds.

Lastly, man becomes more human by his sensitivity towards others. I want to continue believing that each one of us has the power to unfold the sleeping benevolence in every person’s heart.

It is that belief that makes me persist with my dream in making a difference in my own small way…

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