Losing Love: Part 2

Years passed and her world grew bigger. A new life in a new city, another shot at reinvention. “I am someone else!”, mantra she kept in her mind as she started college. Once again, she found herself drawn into the beauty and rawness of the wilderness.

Finding yourself in the middle of nowhere.

She filled herself with fresh expectations but once again her quest brought new wounds. Wounds far more complex and deadly than the ones before. Daytime, she smiled and laugh like sun at noontime but when night came, she slithered into her cave of  self-destruction. A fish out of water desperately seeking the ocean, living off through small air bubbles. Desperation haunted her and self-pity seeped into her blood. She morphed into a reticent swimmer against the ebb and flow. Her mind filled with a farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, and wishes.  They all thought she suffered from the hectic duties and lectures but it was her ray of hope.

Routines made her feel safe. Just as a passenger desperately seeking for saving from a sinking ship, she clung to people who gave her promises of security. She would later find out that they were nothing more than a mere mirages. A bunch of conspirators scheming her demise. One day as she traipsed on, she stumbled into a river and for the first time, she descried her reflection in perfect clarity. She shuddered at the sight, realising that she was her own saviour. All these time she thought she had no choice, nothing more but a victim hanging on to the claws of cruel fate.

Energised with the new insight, she sought to change her reality. She gave up the prescribed life she had before her. The momentum brought her courage and a renewed focus in life. Packed all her stuff and moved to the metropolis, her goal to make her dream a reality. It was more than a decade ago when she dreamt of a restaurant that would serve nothing but fresh and healthy food produced from her own farm. Employing people and empowering them by providing education to their families. For many years, she hated the thought of business, thinking that money was merely the devil’s creation to enslave men. She now saw things in a new light after meeting a stranger. He woke her up from monotony and talked her out of her cowardness.

Creating yourself.

What was once lost is now regained. She found direction and let go of other’s life mould. All her life, patterned after what others saw. She finally mustered enough courage to live life the way she always wanted, swore to herself never be oppressed into living a life she is not happy with. She finally embraced her own legend and reached for the stars. She stood infront of the road that she created, knowing that it will not be an easy journey. Gone are her days of emptiness.

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Beyond Play : Changing the World through Sports

“Sport has established itself as an effective tool for development and peace-building. Sport for development and peace projects around the world have addressed many of the challenges society has faced.”- Wilfried Lemke 

Football for Life children
Football for Life children

Since time immemorial, sports have been the most popular form of recreation for people. Last April 5, 2015 at Patio Victoria, Brgy. San Jose, Tacloban City, the children, coaches and staff of Football for Life programme, joined the rest of the world in celebrating not only Easter Sunday and the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace (IDSDP).

Best egg hunter!

History of International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 6 April as the International Day of Sports and Physical Activity, to celebrate the contribution of sports and physical activity to education, human development, healthy lifestyles and a peaceful world. The 1st International Day of Sport for Development and Peace was celebrated on 6 April 2014.

The choice of the date of 6 April can be explained by the fact that, in 2002, at its 55th session, the Assembly of the World Health Organization, in its resolution WHA 55.23, urged Member States to celebrate a “Move for Health Day” each year to promote physical activity as essential for health and well-being. The date 6 April has been used since the year 2003 by some civil society organizations for celebrating a “World Day for Physical Activity”.

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Potential of Sport for Social Impact

Sport, as a tool for education, development and peace, can promote cooperation, solidarity, tolerance, understanding, social inclusion and health at the local, national and international levels. Its intrinsic values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game are understood all over the world and can be harnessed in the advancement of solidarity, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

For these reasons, states, the United Nations system and, in particular, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, relevant international organizations, and international, regional and national sports organizations, civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, and all other relevant stakeholders are invited to cooperate, observe and raise awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

She shoots, she scores.
She shoots, she scores.

Significance of Football for Life Programme in Tacloban

Football for Life (F4L) programme uses sport, specifically football, as a tool in providing psychosocial support for children who are in the process of emotional recovery. It allows children to have fun at a stressful time, connect with each other, collaborate, play and process their experiences.

Why is it important to allow these children to play? According to researches, early and adequate play therapy can:

  • Prevent distress and suffering developing into something more severe
  • Help children cope better and become reconciled to everyday life
  • Help beneficiaries to resume their normal lives
  • Meet community-identified needs

Play is what children consider as work and with F4L’s approach of engaging children through sports, they are indirectly being influenced to be active survivors not passive victime and to further develop their resilience in dealing with disasters.

Having fun in sand.
Having fun in sand.

Building Back Dreams and Communities

There are only a number of psychosocial support being provided post Haiyan. Across the Philippines, there is still a rampant misconception among Filipinos on how there is little need for caring about mental health. Disasters, conflicts and health problems have severe psychosocial consequences. These emotional wounds are less visible than destroyed infrastructures thus it is often looked over. Fact is, it takes longer for people recover from emotional impact than to rebuild buildings and houses. It affects the community and weakens productivity.

Early support and adaptation processes – which respect local customs in mental health or psychosocial healing – allow an affected population to cope better with a difficult situation. Seeing the F4L children taking leadership roles and evolving into better citizens, Taclobanons are realising that sports is not merely recreation for childrenwhere they display their physical skills but also as a way for social change.

Labour Day: A Reminder of Intolerance for Mediocrity

Today marks the 112th celebration of Labour Day in the Philippines, a celebration of recognising the Filipino worker’s triumph during the American occupation wherein thousands of members from the Union Obrera Democratica de Filipinas, the first labor federation in the country marched from Plaza Moriones in Tondo to Malacañang chanting anti-American capitalism and imperialism songs to demand complete independence. The celebration emphasizes the significant contribution of the country’s workers in  economic development and positive social changes. The century-old outcry remains as workers remain poorly compensated.

I remember working as a company nurse having to commute 4 hours daily to and from the workplace and receiving 7,500 pesos for a month’s worth of efforts. The salary was enough for me but I cannot imagine how life would be having children to send to school and feed daily. Not only did we have to deal with being overworked, we constantly had to face the threat of work insecurity. Given that the country produces thousands of nurses yearly, companies thrive on this fact to always keep us on our toes. Every time we try to ask for better salaries and benefits, they remind us that there is always someone desperate and willing to take our job so we succumb to threats and put up with second rate treatment. Other nurses are forced into agreements waiving their right to separation pay and they cannot voice it out or else they will not be given credit for years of employment. These are a common struggles most nurses face and it gets worser for people working blue-collar jobs. Increasing cost of living is not proportional to the daily minimum wage.

Updated Wages Across the Nation
Updated Wages Across the Nation

Employees treated like animals in a zoo wherein companies expose us to unhealthy working conditions without fair compensation. We tolerate and put up with a lot of things than be unemployed. We accept it as it comes and we fail fight for our worth. Nurses swallow their pride thinking after 2 years the suffering will be over. They temporarily try to forget how much they spent to get decent education. After being used as cash machines by universities, we are faced with the same fate after graduation.

Stop being content with the current situation. Workers deserve better than mediocrity. We should aim for fairness and better work conditions.

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.

I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” —José Micard Teixeira

Stop Being A Soubrette : Be The Lead

Soubrette? What? You probably haven’t heard of this word before, nor did I, up until I came across while reading an online dictionary (one of my geeky diversions). If you know this term then you probably part of the cultured class that appreciates and enjoys theatres and operas.

Soubrette according to Merriam-Webster is a coquettish maid or frivolous young woman in comedies. Although this word is uncommon, it is a usual role that most of us play daily.

Soubrette

Take a moment now and try to see what role you are playing in your own life. Sometimes we get stuck in a support role although we are the script writer and director. It could be because the world is feeding us with a lot of negativism. We get sucked right into a black hole and think we are victims. Either that or we try to avoid the responsibility which is having full control of our life’s script. We get stuck and live like puppets living on strings that other people control. We blame the world for treating us this way and we forget that it is what we ask the world to treat us as. It is up to us to cut those strings.

If what I said just do not make sense, watch Les Brown’s video on getting unstuck:

Stop being a soubrette, you are the lead. Act like one!

Setting Sun : Hellos and Goodbyes

Magical display of nature’s beauty.

Romantic hues that stretch across the horizons.

Fading warmth.

Flickering radiance.

Everything seems to end with the setting of the sun.

There is something captivating as it reminds us of another day ending.

We like to stop it and extend our days.

Yet we long for it when we grow weary.

Sometimes, we keep on chasing on endings,

Fearing beginnings.

We shut our eyes.

Scared of the blinding lights the sunrise brings.

We cannot hide from it.

Goodbyes are meant to be embraced just like the passing of each season.

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Sunset at Biliran

 

Over The Moon: Happiness in the Modern Times

“I’m okay.”, this is our usual response every time someone asks how we are doing. A primary reflex that most of us have used to avoid being faced with the thought of our own happiness. People have subjective definitions on what is happiness and where we derive it from. Happiness could be a good job, complete family, perfect health or it could simply be delicious food.  As the world celebrates International Day of Happiness today, we are again faced with the question: “Are you truly happy?”

Happiness and Reality

At an age of anthropocentricism, where human beings are considered the central or most significant species on the planet, all of our actions greatly affect everything else. While a small percent of the world are worrying over “first world problems” such as having WIFI connection or the latest Iphone, the rest are fighting just to live another day with dignity and basic needs. We are now facing a depressing reality that as society is getting richer and more technologically advanced it is not making the world happier. In fact, never have we experienced such great inequality and suffering. We witness wars, hunger and natural calamities. We start forgetting our connection and start thinking that we can exist as islands focusing on ourselves and no one else, thinking that another person’s misery will not affect us, but it does and there is no escaping it.

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Formula for Happiness

Action for Happiness has developed the 10 Keys to Happier Living based on a review of the latest scientific research on happiness.

The research suggests these Ten Keys consistently tend to have a positive impact on people’s overall happiness and well-being. The first five (GREAT) relate to how we interact with the outside world in our daily activities*. The second five (DREAM) come more from inside us and depend on our attitude to life.

           G IVING Do things for others
           R ELATING Connect with people
           E XERCISING Take care of your body
           A PPRECIATING Notice the world around
           T RYING OUT Keep learning new things

           D IRECTION Have goals to look forward to
           R ESILIENCE Find ways to bounce back
           E MOTION Take a positive approach
           A CCEPTANCE Be comfortable with who you are
          M EANING Be part of something bigger

For us to realize our own happiness, we must ask ourselves these questions:

  1. What do you do to help others?
  2. Who matters most to you?
  3. How do you stay active and healthy?
  4. When do you stop and take notice?
  5. What new things have you tried recently?
  6. What are your most important goals?
  7. How do you bounce back in tough times?
  8. What are you feeling good about?
  9. What is the real you like?
  10. What gives your life meaning?

Happiness is quite complex if we keep on postponing it, yet simple if we take the time to answer the questions honestly.

Make Your Smile Contagious

Happy People Means Better World

It is important that we take the time to check if we are happy with our lives. Several research have shown that happiness doesn’t just feel good, it has a lot of benefits for our performance, health, relationships and society. An extensive study in the British Medical Journal followed people over 20 years and found that their happiness affected others in their networks across “three degrees of separation”. Happiness is  contagious, making yourself happy means making your friend’s friend happy too. Countries with happy citizens have better GDP’s and standards of living. It is your obligation not only to you and your loved ones but to the world in general.

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What are you waiting for? Stop denying yourself of happy days.

Do what makes you go over the moon.

Pursue happiness.

Reluctance and Risks

Mamihlapinatapai n. the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.

Take risks.

Make tough decisions.

Live on the edge.

Make a difference.

Do you prefer safe?

Does it make you happy to lose opportunities?

Have you really lived?