Friday, June 08, 2018

The Truth About Suicide

Missed hugs.
Missed kisses.
Missed words.
Missed kindness.
Missed life.

The picture was still vivid which seemed like it just happened yesterday. Blood from a slashed wrist as a result of attempted suicide by a family member. In between sobs and painful words, she expressed her desires to end her suffering. Yet, I could not understand. I don’t think I ever did or I ever will. And there the problem lies, the lack of understanding.

Suicide is a very sensitive topic that no one wants to discuss, but it is a prevalent problem that needs to be addressed. A recent study shows that over the last 30 years the suicide rate in young people has more than tripled.

What drives a person to end his/ her life? It is easy to make judgment that the problem that precipitates it is probably so mundane. However, I always believe that people who were driven to end their lives were lost in the abyss of confusion, pain and anger in an unfathomable depth.

It is REALLY a sad situation.

A person might have everything including success, fame and wealth- Kate Spade, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, to name the few- but nobody is spared from the sad reality of suicide.

According to the WorldHealth Organization (WHO), an approximate of one million people die from suicide, which represents global mortality rate of 16 people per 100, 000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds.

That ‘family member’ who tried to end her life several times surpassed that period of struggles in her life. She got a degree and faced the demons that plagued her for so long but I am still at a loss of completely understanding the battles she fought.

Although the truth remains that 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death, we can still make a difference by being a sincere listener, offering a gesture of humanity, and giving a gentle smile. We don’t know what each person is going through and a small act of kindness might save a life.

Farewell to the beautiful souls who perished during the times when their hearts were clouded with sadness and despair.

If you or a person you know is thinking about suicide, here's a number you can call:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Kris Aquino vs Mocha Uson

Two topics that are highly profitable in the world of blogging but I don’t normally write about- religion and politics. The current trend suggests that people nowadays are so divisive that they do not engage in intellectual discourse. When your views differ and you express it either in social media or personal discussion, it would mean losing your friends and family.

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However, the much discussed Kris Aquino-Mocha Uson fiasco goes deeper than politics. The fallacy is not lost on the way perspectives are taken in both sides. The two do not enjoy a highly respected past- Kris with her controversial relationships and Uson with her provocative dancing and singing jobs while grabbing private parts of men. But, who cares about the past? Apparently not Uson since she does not fare as well either at the present proliferating fake news which spreads faster than the worst epidemic in the world.

What is the truth?
In a time of universal deceit- telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Was the kiss accosted to the late Ninoy Aquino bears the same malice or intent the current president gave to the OFW? By using the old video of Aquino moments before he was shot death, did Uson show the real picture of the comparison? The truth of your answer of course will set you free.

What is just?
No matter who or what you support, I believe in supporting first what is just and fair. Was it fair to use an old video of the person who could not defend himself anymore since he’s dead? Your answer would show how fair and just you are.

What is the real discourse?
The real discourse is not the personalities involved. It is the callous disregard of the dead person who could not defend himself. It is the illogical comparison of two situations bearing no similarities at all. It is the abuse of position since Uson is a government employee paid for by the taxes of the Filipinos. 

“But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 4)

Summer 2018 was made so special with our road trip across three states, two countries, one iconic landmark, and one nature's wonder.

Our last day was equally special since it was my birthday. David disappeared after we got back home from the mall the night before to get flowers, cards, and gift for me. We were filled with excitement because our last destination before heading home would be Niagara Falls.

The scenic views from Philadelphia and New York to Canada were indescribable. Walls of rocks, beautiful trees, and pristine lakes kept us entertained. As always, we just followed the route from Google map so imagine our surprise when the map ended right in front of a residential house!

After a little bit of research looking for the proper route, we finally arrived at our destination. Niagara Falls was the most beautiful place that I have ever been. Even when we were still at the car looking for the parking area, we were already so overwhelmed with emotions. It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday with the person I love so much. The three falls are part of the Niagara River, which forms the U.S./ Canada border all the way from the city of Niagara Falls up to Lake Ontario. American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are on the American side of the border, and the Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side. We opted to see the Canadian side.

The temperature was almost 95 but whenever we stood right at the part where the mist was, it dropped to about 60F. We felt sad that we were able to stay for about 30 minutes only. We had more than six hours of drive on the way home and it was getting late.

The Port Huron border was packed with cars and we were at the bridge for more than an hour. I felt bad that my husband was the one driving the whole time of our travel. He was beyond exhausted and when a deer jumped right in front of the car when we were near Grand Rapids, I could not believe how fast he stopped! We were both shaken thinking of what could have happened if David was not able to stop. It was past 11:00 p.m. and he was driving since 7:00 a.m. Thankfully, we arrived home safely closed to midnight.

For most people, traveling is all about that adrenaline rush brought by the excitement of seeing new places, meeting new people, eating new foods, and basking on beautiful surroundings. Traveling is not a panacea but it does give you a clearer perspective about life in general. For me and my husband, it is our time to talk and enjoy the moments uninterrupted by technology and worries of life. Plus, don’t forget the joy of seeing a very dear friend.

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New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 3)

 New York Brooklyn Bridge during night time.

Philadelphia downtown where we met Mich. 

The main reason of our travel was to meet Mich who was in the U.S. to attend a convention. She was sent by the University where she works. Even though fate brought us far from each other, we continue to enjoy this special bond that connects us. We used to spend hours just talking about anything and everything.

There were no words to describe the moment that I hugged her again. It was so special that my best friend met my husband for the first time. The moment was made more beautiful with the fact that we were in a beautiful city of Philadelphia. Although I enjoy traveling in different cities in the U.S.A., I always relish the time that we go back home but Philadelphia was different. It has this blend of old and new which makes the city more welcoming and I actually felt right at home.

King of Prussia Mall considered as the largest mall in United States in terms of the area for lease. 

We had breakfast at one of the restaurants at Readers Market. My husband said the biscuits and gravy he had was the best he ever tasted. The place is a historic indoor market which has about 80 vendors offering a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world with some operating the same way back in 1892 when it first opened. Nothing could be better than spending the first hour of seeing each other after seven years in a very special place.

It was raining so we decided to spend the rest of the day at King Prussia Mall and TJ Maxx where we tried to catch up with each other’s life in between shopping and laughter. Needless to say, I was dreading the time that we would drop off Mich at her hotel and say our goodbyes. Although I was glad to spend the whole day with her, I wished it was longer. 

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New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 2)

At the Liberty State Park where we had a good view of the iconic Statue of Liberty. 

All geared up after being well-rested the night before, we drove on the way to Liberty State Park where we planned to ride a ferry and see the iconic Statue of Liberty. However, when I realized that the view of the statue from the park was good enough, I told David we didn’t need to ride a ferry to get a closer look. It’s known for a long queue and we knew that we won’t have enough time to see other places if we stayed there for so long. Visit to New York was limited since we needed to head back to Philadelphia in the afternoon to meet my friend who would be arriving from Italy.

The drive to New York was crazy. Traffic was bad and tolls were confusing. Instead of stressing ourselves of missing the turns and paying several times in the same toll, we chose to just enjoy the ride. I also find it ridiculous to pay $15 in Lincoln tunnel. It was worth the drive though because we were able to enjoy the beautiful day at Central Park.

We were surprised that we easily found a free parking area right in front of the park. Interestingly, Central Park is bigger than Vatican City. It contains several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, many playgrounds, and baseball fields. It was so amazing being surrounded with trees and giant sculptures of rocks amidst the city with skyscraper buildings. Central Park makes New York such a nice place to live knowing that you could just walk there and breathe some fresh air. Of course, David enjoyed playing with the pigeons and he ended up having a bird poop on his shirt.

The next stop was back in New Jersey for some taste of Filipino cuisine. Jollibee makes the visit in different states complete. As always, it was full packed mostly with Filipinos.

After enjoying the delicious lunch comprised with palabok, chicken, peach mango pie, halo- halo, and hotdog, we headed to the two-hour-drive to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I booked the wrong hotel. Hilton has several hotels and I chose the one about thirty-minutes from where Mich was staying. King of Prussia where our hotel was located was breathtakingly beautiful though. We were so near the King of Prussia Mall known for being the largest mall in the U.S. in terms of leasable space. Mich and I decided to just meet the following day since our hotel was not as near to hers as we initially thought.

We ended the day shopping and enjoying the rest of our Hilton complimentary cookies in the comfort of our room.

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