Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So It Seems to Say...

That I am happier than I would seem to be.

Authentic Happiness Inventory Test - registration required

Authentic Happiness Inventory Score: 3.63 on a scale of 1 to 5, five being the highest.

I scored better than ---

79 % of all Web users
77 % of my gender
84 % of age group
79 % of occupation group
81 % of education level
83 % of people within my zip code.

Well, in private moments I DO FEEL HAPPIER, sometimes more than I think I should be. Isn't that strange?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Where Bad Poetry Becomes Earth-Shaking Literature

Thank You for the Gift of You

Sometimes it just isn't too much fun being around, or reading about, people in love. There's this spoilsport part of me that keeps wanting to jump up and say "what the f*ck?" as if people goo-goo-gaa-gaa-ing is one of the perversities of the universe.

Then again, too, there's this prospect, the IDEA, that a girl goes twinkletoes over one of your best buddies. This is the same guy who barely held a broken sink up with half his butt while covered in soap. This is also the same guy whom another good buddy asked to dress his wounds (on the butt, natch) brought about by a nasty ass-chomping dog. This is the guy who constantly outeats you (and that says a lot about him), is at home talking to all sorts of people wearing the crummiest walking shorts, and once used to drive as if he were in a video game.

Oh well, they all grow up one day (or do they?). Gots nothin' to do 'coz ye gots to let 'em go.

But really seriously - it's ODD, but in a good way, seeing people in love, especially the ones to whom I can't say "I love you" because that just isn't the way we talk. And it's great to see their significant others have the courage to let their feelings out about them. The way she talks about my buddy is downright treacly, but only because it isn't happening TO ME.

It isn't "hardcore poetry" but in those moments where I am still and let my heart pour out into the universe, these are the kind of words that move mountains and roil the oceans.

Being in love is a good thing. Always is. That's why I hope people stay that way. Makes the world a better place.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A Dose of Winning

Pacquiao finishes Morales with electric third-round KO

Pacquiao creams Morales with a brutal display of power!

Everything seems to have been forgotten in the Philippines. Manny Pacquiao for President! I doubt if anyone back home would gainsay this right now (except the haters, of course! Screw you, I'm a homer all the way, baby!). We are a nation in dire need of positivity and hope.

I'm sure the bandwagon of politicians would ride on this very soon, if they haven't already.

Of course I don't think Pacquiao should be President. But we need someone with his aura of sincerity and hard knocks, mixed in with integrity and more than a dollop of good sense, to help drive Filipinos with a sense of vision, a sense of believing in themselves once more.

Now, even the best of us are filled with second thoughts about staying home.

But anyhow, kudos to Manny the Pac-Man. He deserves it. It would be corny watching the fight later on, but shoot, I'd watch it just to see the dude floor his opponent. Nearly as cathartic as having a marathon Tekken tournament.

As for me, the only winning feeling I have gotten today was pulling off our Club Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest with a minimum amount of hitches last night. That I lost in both events does not give me any satisfaction, naturally. There's always next time.

Note to all of my opponents in our International Speech/Evaluation Contests: Now that I'm organizationally battle-hardened, I'll be better prepared and in a better state of mind come this January.

(Aw shoot, that should get them shaking in their boots, Chief! HAHAHAHAHA!)

Saturday, November 18, 2006


One of our section managers passed away this weekend (our weekend of course, being Thursday and Friday). He suffered chest pains and complained of shortness of breath while driving somewhere. He had the presence of mind to park his vehicle on the road shoulder. He then lay down on the pavement to regain his bearings.

A passing motorist, seeing a supine traveler on the road, stopped and offered his assistance. When the man stood up, that was when the stroke got him.

He couldn't have been more than forty-five years old. He leaves behind a young family.

A Blood Pressure Chart is now displayed prominently on my cubicle and stares smack at me whenever I turn to make a phone call or to talk with my colleague in the cubicle to my left.

I haven't exactly been the paragon of health and over the past five years my health has gone progressively worse. This has, of course, matched the progress of my drinking habit. And, save for those few months that I deluded myself that I was a vegan --- not the best times of my life and something I would rather not repeat, though the health benefits were countless --- I haven't exactly been watching the diet. Sure, I know how to avoid pitfalls when I see them, but I haven't exactly put myself on Bruce Banner-restraints whenever an opportunity to gorge presents itself.

So now, I'm certain, instead of attracting the "babes" as I should (decent-looking, well-paid, single, and would absolutely listen to the tritest stories you can come up with --- no snoring, sadly, not guaranteed), I simply don't. Aside from the fact that most ladies, are, deep down, just as bad as men when it comes to looks, you can't get go far with an engine if its power plant might just give out on you when you have come to depend on it. And all the ladies out there are smart buyers. That's why you send them to school and give them fair shakes at high-paying jobs in the first place.

Yes, I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Nothing's more depressing when self-deprecation turns into self-flagellation. But when it comes to being healthy, there just isn't any room for drawn-out excuses. I haven't been fit because it hasn't been important to me at all.

Well, I am re-thinking this one over. Very, very carefully.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

F5 and Remembrances

I was writing a piece on fathers and leadership in Saudi Arabia but I haven't gotten around to finish it given my current workload. I'll post it sometime within the week.

In the meantime, while I'm sure the rest of this post has nothing to do with him, this is for my father, Conrado T. de Guzman, who passed away on November 10 thirteen years ago.

My father was an ordinary man who came from the humblest of roots. In his particular way, he never made his poverty or lack of opportunities an excuse to stop him from accomplishing what he did. I also learned from him never to take crap from anybody. He made me believe that anything was possible, and while of course life has educated me otherwise, I still believe that we are all destined for greatness.

All it takes is for us to get in touch with our own selves and learn to tap into the Infinite.

For me, there is no such thing as getting over his death. Each day I live is in his honor, and for that, I would rather leave the wound in my being unhealed.

* * * * *


I didn't like this week's edition, so I'm posting a Friday Five posted on my birthday, which was the F5 for October 6, 2006.

1. If you could have a super power, which one would you have? I'd like the mental powers as written by Julian May. The particular metapsychic powers I would like best are creativity and redaction.

2. What would be your supername? None. I'd maintain my true identity hidden and no one would know my "super-intervention." Besides, I'd cringe at the thought of having to wear a super-costume!

3. Who would be your arch-nemesis and what would be their superpower? The natural antithesis would be someone who could protect himself/herself from mental manipulation. Also, someone with super-strength. And in Ms. May's fantasy universe, my natural antithesis would be a coercive psychokinetic.

4. Who would be your sidekick and would they have a superpower? I'd rather be the sidekick, actually. I'd back up a guy with flight, super-strength or an energy-based power.

5. What would be your motto? My powers of self-mockery are relatively difficult to stretch, so a super-motto would be taking the fantasy too far.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Something Sappy

Your hand I hold in mine touches me to my heart
I want to share the very air you breathe
I long to know the deepest secrets of your life
You are to me life's greatest mystery

Each word you say fills the space of my in-betweens
And all new thoughts awake to glory in you
No past exists, no future stops the moment now
You wash away my lies, my tears, my shame

How can I thank you for my life
When you're beyond perfection
How can I show you what you mean
When my words lose meaning
You are the dream that every road life leads me to
How can I thank you for being you?

You took my hand and led me to your paradise
You gave to me a reason to believe
You looked at me and with your gaze you understood
All of the best things inside of me

Each day with you is joy enough to last my life
My woes, my cares, my fears - they disappear
You gave me everything that I would ever need
Beside you is where I will always be.

Here is my life - I give it up to you
My mind my soul
My faith my trust in you
Here is my heart - its rhythm is your beat
For you gave me wings
And taught me to be free...

How can I thank you for my life
When you're beyond perfection
How can I show you what you mean
When my words lose meaning
You are the dream that every road life leads me to
How can I thank you for being you?

* * * * *
Dear Lord, how can I thank you indeed?
Should you will it, may I at least give back the very best of what you have given me to the one who'll share my life and with me walk the rest of life's road.
I'll end this day of work with a smile and with words singing your praise on my lips.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Laments, Nagsawa na Uli, Etc.

The past few days to start off this November were eventful, to say the least.

Bro. Rafael Donato, FSC drowned while on holiday, while the fathers of my classmates, Lorenz and Logene Laureola, and Nikki Carrascoso passed away.

A recognized face among the La Salle Greenhills Search-In, Jundy Gueco, also passed away this week. His younger brother Jody died a few years back, also from heart disease.

Edit: The father of Vince Tolentino also passed away. I found out too late when I posted this piece.

Life sends us a message that our loved ones will not be with us forever, so it is time to make the most of our opportunities to send them our love.

I'd like to inject a new mood into my blog, so I'm abandoning the old template - I liked the color, but it would be nice to see something bright for a change. Maybe I'll put it back someday. Who knows?

On to the most recent Friday Five (when blog topics are hard to come by):

"Music Soothes the Savage Beast" is the title, but the correct quote from Congreve is "Music hath charms to soothe the savage BREAST, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."

1) What was the first CD/Record/Album/Artist you ever bought and what format was it in? (Vinyl/Cassette/CD/MP3 Download)? - The first one I remember buying with money I saved was a cassette of "Eroica" (Beethoven's Third Symphony) on cassette, and I think I got Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" together with that. That was about 1986 or so.

2) How do you usually listen to music? (iPod/Walkman/Stereo/Radio) - I pick up my tunes from the Internet, and normally listen through the PC. Formerly, I had a great sound system in my bedroom back home in the Philippines. It has been some time since I went for an upgrade, and I have no inclination since I'm over here anyway.

3) What is your favorite genre of music and why? - The compromise would be big band jazz. I have mixed tastes in music, and only the loudest/most idiotic/most hateful/most whiny types turn me off. Instrumentals turn me on the most, mainly because I'm more visual than I am auditory (I create visual patterns in my brain while I listen). I still like the classics the best as listening material, but the songs that I remember best are standards and 70's/80's music.

4) What is your opinion on music video shows and music television? - In general, they are there to push sales. No harm in that, but with all the studies about demographics, marketing, etc. they are less about value and tend to point to the least common denominator. I'm not saying kids are stupid, since these shows are primarily aimed at them, but these shows tend to make them stupid instead of raising their consciousness. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Occasionally a good documentary on forgotten stars or some such comes up.

5) Do you usually agree with who the winners of the Grammy Awards are? - I don't follow the Grammys when it comes to popular music. I do look up the winners in some of the less-publicized categories, such as jazz, to see who's up and coming, and in these cases, the jurors' choices reveal gems.