Monday, October 9, 2017

LET GO

Let it go.

It's very liberating to do so.

Whether we like it or not, life is one continuous journey of letting go. We have a tendency to try to hold on to everything that we have - the perfect relationship, our youth, our possessions - the list goes on. But life has a remarkable habit of taking away that which we may treasure at the time.

I breathe deeply. I inhale the delicious fragrance of the present moment. I remind myself with my thoughts that there is no better place to be than the one I am in right now. I spend as much time as I can outside in nature. There is something timeless and nourishing about the kiss of the sun on my skin and the song of the birds in my heart.

Live in present time, love people you know, appreaciate things around you, but don't get attached to anything because every good things must come to an end.

Knowing that, no matter what happens, all is well.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#DRAGONWARRIORSDUBAI


video

Riding the waves, unperturbed by the howling wind and even beating the heat of the sun, the dragon conquers the water and forces through to reach its destination such as dragon boating. It’s a team water sport that originated in China around 2500 years ago on the banks of Yangtze River and in modern times developed in East Asia and worldwide as a competitive sports. Twenty two people, one boat, with one aim. Each member on the boat personifies the spirit of the dragon and it’s the same spirit that runs through Dragon Warriors.

The Dragon Warriors are a Dubai-UAE-based paddle club. Being one of the oldest clubs in the local dragon boating scene, founded in 2010 by Nerza Del-Rosario Manalastas, the former Philippine Dragon Boat National Team Co-Captain. Growing from strength to strength over the last 6 years as a competitive club, participated in competitive races such as Shangri-La Abu Dhabi Dragon Boat Festival, Dubai Marina Dragon Boat Race, Dubai Creek Dragon Boat Festival, and IDBF Club Crew World Championships semi-annually, with a couple of medals to our honor. The team is a diverse crew made up of people from all walks of life, different nationalities, who are looking to stay active, push their limits, and always up for a challenge to be better, competitive without losing sight of how to have fun, as well as introducing others to the sport of Dragon Boat Racing.

Dragon Boat training develops core strength, endurance, coordination and team spirit. Training sessions are essential for paddling development. There is a reason we have the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Paddling, like most things in life, doesn’t improve without practice. Training is what takes us to a higher level.

Dragon Boat Training is held three times weekly on the Dubai Creek Yacht Club. Monday & Wednesday – 730PM and Friday – 530PM.

Land Training is held weekly in the Zaabel Park.  Fitness is an important aspect to Dragon Boating and is highly encouraged.

Safety is extremely important to the team and strive to meet all associate regulations. All practice sessions are conducted by an experienced coach and new members are given a safety briefing before going out on the water.

What to bring?  One of the most frequent questions asked. So, what should you wear/ bring to Dragon Boat? Clothes you don’t mind getting wet, flip flop or water shoes and bottle of water.

Dragon Warriors Dubai are now eyeing the October 27-28, 2017 Dragon Boat Competition in Abu Dhabi and December 8 – 9, 2017 Dubai Marina Dragon Boat Race, where they will go up against 30 veteran teams at the waters off Shangri-La Hotel and Dubai Marina.

Experience it for yourself! Come and paddle with Dragon Warriors Dubai. The team’s goal is to provide a competitive atmosphere through hard work and commitment while keeping the environment fun.

If you are interested, please contact +97152963960 / +971503119331 for additional information.

Make a connection. Interact with DWD through social media.

Facebook :  facebook.com/dragonwarriorsdubai
Twitter : @dragon_warriors_dxb
Instagram : @dragon_warriors_dxb
Website : http://www.dragonwarriorsdubai.com/

Thursday, August 24, 2017

THIRTY-FOUR LIFE LESSONS


It was my 34th birthday yesterday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ME!  As I look back at how fast time passes, I am surprised at how much can change in a matter of a year. I think we go through cycles of change, when the complete unanticipated tosses you off your stability, giving you the opportunity to reassess and make things right. This past year was one of those cycles for me and slowly but surely the pieces that were thrown up in the air are falling into place.
At a time of reflection, I’d like to share with you some of the things I have learned.
  1. Everyday should be a celebration of your life.
  2. Always be willing to admit that you don't have all the answers.
  3. Endings are just new beginnings in disguise. You may be uncomfortable with the uncertainty, but some of the best things in life are born from those times of being open to new opportunities.
  4. I know now when to distance myself.
  5. Learn to be patient.
  6. It really is never too late to be what you might have been.
  7. Once you feel you are avoided by someone, never disturb them again.
  8. You will have your heart broken, and you will survive.
  9. People you love will hurt you and disappoint you. Try to look beyond their mistakes and understand their intentions. Sometimes a friendship just needs time to breathe before it can flow again. And that’s okay, too.
  10. Learn to forgive.
  11. Love should never be complicated, but it is.
  12. Be selective of who you share your heart and body with.
  13. Take care of your body.
  14. Procrastination can sometimes be disastrous.
  15. Make that move you've been waiting to make. There's no need to be timid. If it's meant to be, it'll happen. If not, you saved yourself time.
  16. When it doesn’t work out with someone in the present, it’s because it’s meant to work out with someone else in the future.
  17. There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, split on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.
  18. Learn to make peace with uncomfortable feelings.
  19. It takes so much inner strength and courage to make a decision to let somebody go, to set them free. I think it's one of the hardest things to do in life.
  20. It's okay to make mistakes but learn from it.
  21. A little bit of fun is okay. Try not to take life too seriously. Live your life. Laugh often. 
  22. If you work hard mainly to impress people, you will hardly find happiness from it. Work for yourself. Impress yourself. All is about you.
  23. If you have the power to make someone happy- do it. The world needs more of that.
  24. Money can’t buy happiness but Experience does.
  25. It’s okay not to be okay.
  26. Best conversations you will ever have, are the one without boundaries.
  27. You don’t take communication for granted.
  28. I’m better off without Facebook and Instagram.
  29. Less TV, more books.
  30. Never, ever stop learning.
  31. Love yourself more.
  32. Appreciate yourself more.
  33. Look for beauty in everything.
  34. Let God be the center of your life.


Monday, August 14, 2017

EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU


“Everything I Never Told You”  by  Celeste Ng was moving, beautiful, heart-breaking, and at times unbelievable, but yes, what you see with the Lee family, really does happen and their stories need to be told.

Celeste Ng is a masterful writer. Her words paint pictures of real people suffering from interesting problems that many readers will relate to. I was drawn into the lives of the five members of this family as if they were my own relatives. The best part of the book is the exquisite writing. The word pictures are stunning and revealing of the character of the people whose lives unfold in this wonderful novel.

The book starts off with the family’s daughter, Lydia, is declared dead (this is from the first sentence, so don’t worry, no spoiler) and her family deals with her death in different ways. Each of her family suffers some kind of identity crisis. Through flashbacks and multiple perspectives, each characters, reveal their motivations and the scars perpetrated on each of them as a result of feeling like outsiders in a world that doesn't accept biracial marriages. What Celeste Ng does so well is make the characters' revelations unfold like a mystery leading to wonder if Lydia was murdered, committed suicide, or had an accident.

This is a great read. There was a feeling of anticipation of what is felt to be good experience and will hold its readers captive from the first to last sentence.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

S U R A T


This is a post I've been itching to write from the time I got my own SURAT products, an advance birthday present from a friend. To my friend – I’m so sorry Thank you so much!, Maraming Maraming Salamat & Thank you for introducing  #SuratJournals. I was actually surprised with the care package that I received. The smell of genuine leather hit the moment I unwrapped the brown paper carrier, super-duper-excited-unboxing-moment – I just love the smell of leather. I myself am a great fan of leather: handmade leather, old school looking handmade and things with personal touch (touch of love)...

Skipping the backstories, I received a lot of things: a long wallet, two card holders (one that has two credit/business card slots and the other one has four), passport holder and my personal favorite is the “journal” (the flagship product of  #SuratJournals).  I have been a keen journaler (if there is such a word) ever since childhood, I’ve been interested in writing and sketching, so, receiving a journal as a gift is overwhelming. Again, Thank you! You know who you are. =P

The word “Surat” is used in Indonesian means  write, letter or mail (thanks to google translate, to Arum, too, an Indonesian friend of mine, Hahaha – I also asked and get the confirmation from the owner itself). So, it makes sense, right?! =)

#SuratJournals Artisan leather products, handmade in Philippines, creatively designed and owned by Kenneth Surat.

a look inside my journal...


The leather is incredibly soft and flexible. The covers have been beautifully done; they aren't roughly cut. Be that as it may, the leather is not over-finished but that totally didn't bother me (perfectly imperfect ika nga). It has an uneven and rustic look that I like, leaving some marks such as small scratches, spots, and blotches. The scrapes just added to the highly vintage feels.

The bindings along the spine were relatively secure, stitched with waxed thread and not cheaply done at all (kumbaga hindi basta-basta minadaling ginawa) though, there are some pages, hirap ako sulatan – maybe it’s just me. Each of those bindings is what holds the sections of paper together, inside. The strap used to wrap around the journal and close it up, just as soft and supple as the rest of the journal's outer shells.

The paper are made from finely crafted recycled paper. Old-style paper just like it was back in the old times, softer feel and easy to write on. It has four bundles of blank paper that were bound into it. I don’t know how many pages but one thing is for sure it’s not enuf for expressing your innermost thoughts and feelings to fill those blank pages.

This isn't just a leather products that you should be afraid to get scuffed or toss in your bag unprotected. It's going to look even better as it shows its age.

I'm fascinated and impressed. #SuratJournals makes excellent leather journals at a sensible price. It all comes down to whether the style fits your personal preference. Super thanks to Kenneth Surat for creating these gorgeous journals and the other products as well.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review. I just love the products! Kenneth Surat, Alam mo na ha! Hahaha

OWN A #SuratJournals NOW =)

Receiving gift from someone is one of the best moment of life for everyone. It’s just kind of way to express our feelings. Act of gift giving inspires and admire to bring the friendship or closeness in relations. So, it’s only not important to receive a gift, but it’s also foremost fact that the person who gives the gift is important for us.

So, if you are looking for a special gift, for yourself, or a surprise to your friends or loved ones, then you're in the right place! #SuratJournals is a PERFECT GIFT. No Charrots!

Record all of your thoughts, ideas, sketches and travelogues in this handmade leather journal.

OWN A  #SuratJournals NOW!

If you need further information, please check and contact #SuratJournals , just click the links below , and he will be happy to help you further.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

E N Z O

First I would like to thank the person who is very special to me and always hold a special place in my heart by recommending this book, Thank you! When I have received the book, which I ordered from Borders Bookstore a month ago – the book cover caught my eye right away. It showed a dog peeking over the bottom on a blue background, with the title reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” I wasn’t quite sure how a dog and racing related to one another but — once I brought the novel up to the counter and walked out the door — I looked forward to finding out.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a masterpiece of contemporary fiction. It makes you go through all the emotions in this book, from extreme sadness, to anger, to happiness and sometimes make you laugh out loud. It’s also a very tuff book to read if you have a dog because of all of the sad moments that really relate to you. There are so many real life things in this book such as cancer, lawsuits and just plain old friendships. It really makes you think about what is important in life and if one thing is worth losing over another.

that's our dog "Misty'
I loved this book; and I love the person recommended this book in fact I have to say, after finishing this book it was probably one of my favorites. I found it to be profoundly philosophical (also a very philosophical person), and deep. Yes, it had a dog as a narrator, but to me, that made it all the more charming. Through the perspective of a dog, Enzo, Garth Stein brilliantly reveals the beauty and cruelty of human life, the love within true friendship, the trials of an ever-changing family, and the wisdom that lies within car racing. I know nothing about racing, yet found the racing segments to be analogies related to real life, if one looked at them in that way. I never got bored with the racing segments.

I felt Enzo was a wonderful character, and felt the book was different. I have adapted many of the quotes to use in my own life.

My favorite is: "That which we manifest is before us." That quote is so true. "Your car goes where your eyes go" is just another way to say, "that which we manifest is before us." 

This quote actually comes from Denny’s time on the race track and becoming an excellent driver. He always talks about the significance of taking the car where the eyes go, being in the moment and positively not overthinking. While the quote is associated to racing, it’s more a reflection of life. It says that we are the creators of our own destiny, if we have the audacity to do so. That if we believe this and follow the lives we picture for ourselves, the fates that we dream of for ourselves will manifest before us. We are the controllers of our end result.

There are many more quotes I wish I could share with you, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself. Enzo, an amazing dog, but dog nonetheless, this old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human. One thing is definitely for sure, though. You won’t regret picking up this book, and I guarantee you’ll have a hard time putting it down until the very end.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

S E C R E T S

It’s been a while since I started sharing a personal stuff and I kind of miss writing here online about it, after I’ve done loads reading or so I hope. What drives me to write again – something personal is my being the secret-keeper to some of my friends, mostly girls.

When I was on my freshman years, my classmates would always share their secret crushes, secret boyfriends, and some problems which they found me to be their confidante. Even when I was in university, some new friends did share the same thoughts, issues and secrets to me. I never complained or even criticized them. But what I realize, after hearing all their secrets, is the thought that not a secret did I hear that someone has a crush on me or someone liked me. I pitied myself but I keep on reminding myself not to because I consider it as a gift. It’s a gift to gain one's trust. It’s a gift to console someone who's in trouble by just listening and also give a piece of advice.

I never thought that after so many years of being their unpaid counselor/adviser, I still am consulted for the same topic. What differs is that some of my friends now are already married having an affair with other married men.

What a secret indeed.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SING YOU HOME

 
Zoe Baxter and her husband, Max, desperately wanted a child, but couldn’t because of Max’s genetic problems. They started doing in vitro and three embryos were created. After several miscarriages, Zoe had finally become pregnant. She was very depressed when she found out that it was a stillbirth. Soon after, Max and Zoe divorced, as Max didn’t want Zoe to pressure him into trying for another baby. When Zoe met Vanessa, an openly lesbian, she was slowly pulled out of despair as their friendship accelerated into love. They married and Vanessa suggested that she could carry one of her embryos. Zoe agreed and she asked Max for the permission to give her the frozen embryos. But instead, Max, now a born-again Christian, sued her for the rights to these pre-born children.

In humanities, we were just learning about human rights and in this book, a lot of things surrounded gay-rights. No one should be discriminated against because of their race, and so of course no one should be discriminated against their sexual orientation. Your sexual orientation isn’t something you can choose, you are just born this way, so why is it that gays should have less rights than heterosexuals?

In the book, the Christians considered “engaging” in a homosexual lifestyle as a sin, and that they are not fit for marriage, for raising children, that they should not deserve these simple rights that everyone else have. No one will ever want to be a homosexual, and certainly will not “engage” in one’s lifestyle.

Why will anyone want to be gay, and be criticized and judged at when you are just going out for a walk, holding hands with your boyfriend. But that doesn’t make them a worse person, just like being heterosexual doesn’t make you a better person. They can still provide love for their children; they can still sustain a relationship.

Homosexuals are just the same as anyone else, and they have the right to happiness, they have the right to express their feelings, they have the right to a family.

Even though our society is slowly accepting homosexuals, there’s still a lot of discrimination relating to sexual orientations. We need to try and open up our minds toward the things that are different from the norm. Just like what the book says, “You can’t choose who you love.”

Monday, July 17, 2017

S I N G L E

Enough about books, let's talk about me, something personal, about singleness.

I wonder if I am meant to be with someone I can share the rest of my life with. I kept myself busy with work-reading-exercise. I forgot to date even though someone asks me to. I become oblivious of the fact that I desperately need someone to hold hands with. I can’t remember the last time I kissed or have been kissed. Charrot! My mother constantly urge me to have a baby or to get married, though she knows what my preference is. She has never really dealt with or spoken about my sexuality.

How can I tell them that my chance of getting married is hanging at the edge of a cliff?

Later I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, and those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love, well, that’s just fabulous. Thank you for that quote, Carrie!

However, part of me has always felt that life has no real meaning until you get to share it with somebody. Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of: my life finally taking meaning or suddenly becoming void of it.

Maybe I’ll share my life with somebody… maybe not.

But the truth is when I think back of my loneliest moments, there was usually somebody sitting there next to me.

Why you are so elusive?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

K A L A N I T H I

Paul Kalanithi When Breath Becomes Air was possibly one of the most profound and heart-breaking autobiographies I have read.

Talking about death, reading about dying, writing about it, is not easy.  As a doctor, Paul Kalanithi was confronted with death constantly, and reading his narrative history are jarring; the cases he’s dealt with are at times disturbing. The man is a saint for doing what he did for so many years. He’s the doctor you’d wish you could have when, or if, you need it.

Through this book Paul Kalanithi proves that he is more than just a talented surgeon. He is an exceptionally talented writer. His words are deep, philosophical, and penetrating, showing the world from his perspective in a way that is full of honesty and perplexity. He spent his life searching for a deeper meaning, both figuratively and literally, through the study of scripture and literature and the study and practice of medicine.

“I was driven less by achievement than by trying to understand, in earnest: What makes human life meaningful? I still felt literature provided the best account of the life of the mind, while neuroscience laid down the most elegant rules of the brain” 

This is a powerful and moving book but is not for the squeamish. He writes reliably about his time as a medical student, and later as a neurosurgeon. He tells about the first cadaver he ever worked on, the studying of organs. He describes what was left inside the stomachs of those who died before their last meals, pills, were digested. He says that many medical students change their course of study by about their fourth year of medical school, would rather to work in lifestyle areas such as radiology. But Paul Kalanithi chose neurosurgery. 


Death is unavoidable, but when will we die?

With no way of knowing how much time he had left, Paul Kalanithi was at a loss for how to spend what very valuable time he had. His doctors had no way of providing him a solid time frame because it was impossible to determine how his cancer would change with various treatment plans. His wife Lucy had recently given birth to their daughter, who brought new life and happiness to their lives and the lives of their families.

Paul Kalanithi eventually spent his last days in writing. Once they learned that his cancer had spread to his brain, it was all a matter of writing as much as he could as fast as he could while he still kept the mental clarity to do so.

“This book carries the urgency of racing against time, of having important things to say. Paul confronted death – examined it, wrestled with it, accepted it – as a physician and a patient. He wanted to help people understand death and face their mortality. Dying in one’s fourth decade is unusual now, but dying is not”

Death is not, in fact, unusual. It is the abruptness of being faced with it when we least expect it that is hardest to understand. And yet, Paul Kalanithi faced his death with strength.

Paul Kalanithi has given so much of himself in this book, he’s encouraged us to live meaningfully, and that we can effectively conquer the fear of death. There is nothing that can surmise this memoir better than his words himself.



Read More Reviews:

My Name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
House Rules - Jodi Picoult

Thursday, July 13, 2017

LUCY BARTON

I just finished reading My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout – yesterday, which had only taken me about three hours ( I am not a skimmer, but a careful reader). Second book for this month – July.

I think My Name is Lucy Barton is not a novel  –  that was short, but rather a short story that was long. I was like wish-there-was-more-story-to-tell, but Elizabeth Strout creates a unified story – about love: about the complicated, complex love between a mother-daughter relationship. Sparse, grows on one as you read, but it is perfect for Lucy, who struggles to speak the unspeakable, both aloud and in her writing.

Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.

Lucy carries a deep loneliness throughout life. A loneliness that stems from a childhood in a home where poverty was so fundamental that it overshadowed both love and goodness.

Can you call such a family dysfunctional?

The extent to which one can give their children a safe and loving childhood – full of joy – when the threat of hunger and homelessness are banging on the door every night?

To what extent affect our childhood, our choices later in life?

Brilliant storytelling. Lucy delivers a personal and refreshing narration. The language is beautiful. The story is infused with suggestive and aptly remarks about life and the relationship between humans themselves.

I have mixed emotions in recommending this book. I don’t know.