Choose Your Battles

So I’ve been reading the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and this is one of the prime tips.

Choose your battles.

Everyday, we face a pile of things to be mad about. It can be the driver who cuts in front of you, the irritating noisy person in the elevator or the Facebook friend who always rants about life. We do not want to, but we are perpetually forced to encounter them. They will be there as we try to live our day and most of the time, there will be an urge to be troubled or be irked by them. But the question is, does it always have to be the case?
No.
It is important that we choose our battles, that we focus on acts that will truly matter. Our time and effort deserve more than fighting the battles that aren’t going to bring us peace and love. #ChooseYourBattles

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Choose Your Battles

I Cried

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I love music. That’s what I’ve always believed in. I am an avid viewer of every singing competition – X Factor UK, X Factor US, The Voice, American Idol and the like. I’ve always enjoyed them. I even allocate hours of my weekends just to research on new songs (doesn’t have to be current – just have to be new to my playlist), memorize them and sing with them with iTunes. Yes, I do allot time for that. I will sometimes rape a repeat button for my “Song of the Week” and won’t stop until I know every word of it. My only disparagement is that I’m a mainstream guy. I will source out my playlist from the Top 40 charts of the world and be expected not to know some “obscure” artists.

Despite that, I just love being around music. Whenever, I drive around, I will always require to have that combinations of sound with me. Call me weird but sometimes while walking, I will sing with the voice coming out of my earphones. Screw those who will hear me. I just don’t and won’t care. The only thing I do know is that life without it is bland and boring.

So what for is this realization? I myself don’t know why this has to be very random! I just want to share my intense appreciation to an artist. His song has been my “Song of the Month!” I did spend a number of hours memorizing its rap part. Being able to sing along with the stereo makes me feel really good – as in extremely exultant. I literally dance with my seat-belt on with that song!

And the song would be *drum-rolls* I Cry by Flo Rida. I’m kind of into what he does. He’s channeling the best songs of the previous decades to our current pool of chart. It started with Good Feeling by Etta James and now he’s back on track with Brenda Russell’s Piano in the Dark. He fuses the best parts of a good old soulful song with house-sound and his expeditious and telling rap. I just love it. I know he’s getting criticisms from the purists but I am still with him. We need an artist who can ingeniously manufacture greater music by concocting the good ones!

Try playing I Cry after Piano in the Dark and you’ll see where I’m coming from. 🙂

Picture:  From Google Images.

I Dream the Dream

ImageI dream of waking up in a small pad with Fleur-de-lis pattern all over the wall. I will peek at window and my eyes will capture the outline of the “most photographed icon” in the world. I will excitedly take in a lot of fresh air, as if that is going to be my last, and exhale happiness. I will eagerly prepare and go out with a beam in my face. I will stroll on the long avenue until I reach a historical image that distinguishes it from any other avenues worldwide. I will then go to a cafe for breakfast. Am I alone? I do not really care. Being physically there will be the entire thing that will matter. To continue, I will converse with the waitress. I will be delighted and proud of myself as I drop those phrases with the accent, enough for her to catch it. She will reply and I will understand it. I will say thank you and will patiently wait for my order. I will get pleasure from looking around – the people, their language, the scenery and the fact that I am there. I will munch on my breakfast and relish the taste of something genuine: prepared and cooked by real citizens of the country.

I will then proceed to museums. I will prioritize the one with a glass Egyptian symbol on it. My heart will melt and I will be the happiest person on earth. I will capture the view with my point and shoot camera – the only companion I will require on this trip. I will line up with a bunch of tourists and patiently wait for my turn. I will stand anterior the most famous woman on a canvass. I will dwell my eyes on hers and will take note of the feeling I will be having. I will roam around the museum and appreciate all the works of art in there.

I will walk out of the museum’s door fulfilled, evident by a very big smile. I will spend the rest of the day doing nothing. I will just walk to nowhere. I will capture all the interesting view – every pattern, statue and even random happenings. I will be happy with just that. I will enter stores and just catch a glimpse of what is being sold. I was never fond of shopping and I will be broke by the time I get there – no spare budget to buy stuff. I will continuously inhale with contentment and breathe out happiness. I will sleep early and prepare for the second day. I will not have an itinerary. Everything will be spontaneous – a month will be too long for planned ones.

On the second day, I will leave for a religious site somewhere far from the Capital city. I will utter my ultimate wishes and get a hold of the holy water. I will be bringing it to my home country. I will purchase religious items and will head back to where I am staying. That will take a day.

Third day, I will join a hop-in hop-off conventional city tours and will listen intently to the tour guide. I will engage in conversation with other tourists and find out where they came from. I will make friends of different colors (figuratively used). And once again, a sense of fulfillment. I will eat dinner with my new found friends at a specialty restaurant. I will not be concerned if a meal costs a month’s salary. I will just savor everything. We will then proceed to the “Red Windmill”, walk through there and will call it a day.

The following days will be devoted to castles and country sides. As expected, I will be enchanted by their beauty and historical significance. I will learn the country’s history by being rapt by the guide’s stories.

Finally, I will pursue the icon that screams that country’s name. I will ditch the elevator and climb up to its tip with the staircase. I will appreciate the view from the top and resist myself from jumping out. It will be the highlight of my travel. That moment will suffice everything and will prepare for a second country the next day.

Picture : From Google Images.

Is It Meant To Be?

Sometimes I will visit my blog and re-read everything that I’ve written. I do enjoy it. It does bring back the exact feeling I had when I was writing them. Yet, at the same time, they make me a little bit sad. Whenever on that page, I will always want more entries – and capture as much feelings that I’m having at a certain moment in my life. Twitter will not always be enough. I will need vivid images and the entire story. However, I do face a big hindrance. I am running out of topic to write about.

I feel like I’m compelled to make my articles entertaining that I find most topics not worthy such as my dreams, certain emotion, a man who tumbled down a staircase, “dumb” moments, my last song syndrome, an irritating article online and the like.

There can only be two reasons for that. First is that I am living a boring life or I am not just that creative. After a minute of contemplation, I am choosing the latter. I mean some people can turn the most boring topic into an interesting one. I might not have that skill. The topic shall have to be a very fascinating one before I write about it. I sometimes feel like my style of writing sucks out the worthy of note elements of the topic.

Okay, so it has always been a misconception that “practice always makes perfect.”  I say, there are things not really meant for you to do. Do not get me wrong. This is not meant to dishearten you guys and this is not a bad thing. If you don’t really click on doing certain things, it’s either you drop it and find another object to be good at or you keep on doing it (as a leisure pursuit only) and look for another fixation that is meant for you and expect to be more successful at it.

I guess you already get it. This article is a disclaimer. If you find my succeeding articles not that interesting, please do not get mad or irritated. This is just sideline.

Messing Up Blues

How do you know whenever you mess things up? My quick answer is; you just know. Your guts will tell it to you as it forces your heart to beat faster and your brain to reminisce everything that happened. Today, I am undoubtedly experiencing that because I messed up big time. I just want to be swallowed by the earth and come back as a new person with new identity. I know things like these should make us tough but I feel like they are too much to bear with and evaporating from this world seems like the only bearable scenario.

This feeling all started when I delivered a speech. Yes, a speech; with close to 100 people watching. I was nervous like hell. My heart was beating too loudly and I feel like if I put the mic near it, the hall will be full of its echoes bouncing back and forth the walls and ceiling. I had a hard time focusing, my eyes and even my line of thought were all over the place. At that time, I knew I was doomed. Too bad, I was not one of those whose confidence can be as firm as statue. I’m always pins and needles whenever I get the spotlight. Okay, dont get me wrong. I wanted to be on the spotlight. During instances when I am forced into the crowd, while, someone is having the time of his life and gets to speak, I would always think that I can do better. Apparently, I can’t and will never be. I would opt not dwell on the details of what happened because years from now, as I read this, I would never want to remember such a failure.

As of the moment, I am shocked and confused. I don’t want anything that reminds me of it. I just want to unload everything and get on with my life as if it never happened.

Disappointment and Optimism

I can’t get my ideas together but I will still pursue writing. Why? It’s because I feel like exploding. I’ve been trying to air out my concern about how the president is running the country but no one seems to want to listen. Sometimes, I would even hear remarks such as “give him a break” or even as harsh as “go do it yourself if you’re that good.” That was hurting. I was not being a negative; not even a crab. I am just trying to be the critical one.

I am disappointed not because I don’t want the president to have his seat. I am having this degree of disappointment because I once rooted for him. I wanted him to be at his current position. At the time of election, I’ve been telling everyone how he, despite not being exceptionally intelligent, can actually harness the country into an optimistic state. I once believed that he will be able to foster a sense of harmony; that he will be able convene the country’s best minds to come up with the best strategies. And honestly, if I were given the chance to vote, I would have put the check beside his name.

However, now is a different story. The president, who shall be the one governing the country is not being a real leader. Despite the charisma bestowed upon him by his parents and a remarkable celebrity sister, he is lacking the thickness of will and guts prerequisite to be called an effective one.

In my opinion, an effective one shall be “capable” enough to handle all those people waiting for his mandates. He shall have a stand himself. If his citizens are working hard, he shall be working harder. Lastly, the citizens tell him that they are disappointed, he shall have the balls to accept it and do better next time.

I do rant about all of these to my classmates, my officemates, my siblings and even my friends.

I do that because I was not molded to simply shut up, sit back and let things be. If I feel like there is something wrong, I will be speaking about it. I do recognize that not everybody will ever share my sentiment. But that will never hinder me from voicing out my views and opinions. As the otherare entitled to express theirs and so am I.

These others are the ones that dominate in terms of quantity now. I am a part of the “few”.

Yet, I do not intend to be on this side forever. I am still optimistic.I would be glad to proven wrong. I would want my country’s leader to be a real leader. I would want to see a better Philippines.

Eventually, I would want to see my country gradually taking off and landing a spot in the list of “world’s fastest growing economies.”

Analysis of Residents Attitude…

I want to be of great help to the students so I am posting the abstract of my thesis. To those who would venture the complex concept of slum tourism, my thesis might provide a little help.

Analysis or Residents’ Attitude Towards Slum Tourism in the Smokey Mountain Through the Use of Indigenous Filipino Research Method

Slum tourism is a type of tourism where travelers, with the purpose of witnessing the residents’ extraordinary way of life are guided towards the physical environment of the slums. Recently, this activity has been gaining international attention. It is because instead of bringing the visitors into attractive and fine-looking destinations, they are guided towards the unsightly slums. Then again, critics of this type of activity exist. They claim that the activity is voyeuristic and insensitive. The argument arise because in the activity, the residents are treated as an attraction as well, which for the critics is a violation the residents’ privacy. Yet, it is only the residents themselves who can have the answer to the argument. They are the ultimate judge if what is being done, indeed, violates them or not. Thus, the researcher felt the necessity to perform a research that would focus on analyzing the residents’ attitude towards the aforementioned activity.

The study was conducted in the Smokey Mountain in Tondo, Manila. As slum dwellers are said to possess complex cultures that cannot be penetrated easily (Jocano, 2002), a methodology, tailored-fit to the interest of the kalahok had been adopted. The data-gathering methods were comprised of pakikipag-kwentuhan and pakikiramdam where mutual trust was established. This researcher-kalahok interaction yielded the depth of information needed to determine attitude of the kalahok towards the subject matter.

For this study, attitude is defined as a state of mind and an enduring predisposition towards a particular aspect of a person’s environment (Wang, Pfister, & Morais, 2006). Thematic analysis of data obtained from field work conducted from November 2010 to February 2011 showed how the residents construct their attitude towards this phenomenon. Their state of mind is conceived through reflections on the type of visitor, intermediaries who are involved, kinds of activity during the visit, and purpose of visit. The types of visitor are described through their nationality, gender and traits. The intermediaries identified are the Barangay Hall and the guide of the tour group. Purpose of visit and kind of activity included roaming around, mingling with some residents, sharing activity and space and taking pictures. Furthermore, it also showed this process of constructing an attitude was intertwined with the personal predispositions of the kalahok that consequently made them consider some attributes more than the other.