Leaders motivate, communicate, and inspire. Bosses discourage, direct, and instill fear. #thoughtforacircumstance
So I thought of having lunch at a carenderia-style eatery just outside the gym. At the food line, I struggled in vain to focus on the menu at the far wall with my poor eyesight; I had to rely on the closer food trays and my culinary knowledge. “Beef ni?” I asked the kindly waitress. Then I spotted a pot with that fruit stew eaten during cold afternoons or more popularly during Lent. What’s this called in the dialect, I furiously asked myself, not wanting to be embarrassed at not knowing what that succulent dish made of plantains, yams, jackfruit, sago pearls, among others, was. As My recognition attempts became futile by the second, I resorted to the safest most fool-proof way of getting something in front of me that I wanted dearly: pointing. “Usa ana, Miss, palihug.” “Binignit, Sir?” she confirmed. Aha! That’s the word. “Oo, Binignit. Salamat.”
Happiness lasts but for a moment as I then lay my eyes on a traditional vegetable stew (bitter gourd, squash, string beans, okra) I suddenly wanted. Here we go again, I lamented to myself. Okay, safe-mode: “Usa pud ani, palihug, Miss,” I asked, pointing to the dish in front of me. “Pinakbet, Sir?” “Oo, salamat, Miss.”
I was furious, humiliated at myself, but also chuckling with mirth at having slipped Binignit and Pinakbet out of my memory when I needed them the most.
Lunch was delicious.
Beer can give you temporary confidence, but passion, among other things, gives you guts.
Last night, I was begging myself and anyone who’d listen to get me inebriated at dawn for what I was about to do the following day. It’s different being an event host and being an exercise leader; I wasn’t worried at the former as much as I fretted about the latter.
I’d been teaching a few Yoga-Tai-Chi-Pilates classes for 3 to 8 officemates, and that’s fine. But leading a warm-up routine to hundreds is overwhelming, more so because it was to be my first time this morning. Fortunately, I was able to scrounge some music into my just-restored iPhone, and with crammed practices the day before, I built a 3-song repertoire from moves I learned from YouTube and the group exercise classes at the gym.
I was baptized in fire. Early this morning before the 5km-dash gun-start, I found myself still hoping I’d be magically inebriated to quell my anxiety. On two raised platforms thus I found myself empty minded but forcing myself to kick into the routine I haphazardly practiced the day before. Albeit having no clip-on mic, I found shouting the queues to whomever heard me (the front row only I guess) a vent to relieve my fear. Yes, I felt some people jeer and play fun with this guy seemingly clueless on what to do, but perform to my best I did. I took off my glasses the whole routine for two reasons: to have no obstacle when I’d wipe sweat away from my eyes and to blur my view of the crowd - but primarily for of the latter. During the middle part of the first track, I vaguely saw most of the human figures in the crowd mimic my movements, which gave me the confidence boost to continue - I wish I’d kept my glasses on to see them clearly.
Oh, what joy I had, as I found myself breezing through the routine, injecting improvs during parts I missed, but nonetheless keeping my abnormally on-beat moves (I am not a natural dancer) and starting and ending in tune, my preliminary anxieties gone by the time we were into the middle of the second track.
Prayer helped my kick off the routine; my passion to teach others on what I know and to evangelize being fit along with the throng’s participation and mounting respect helped me sail on.
I didn’t need any beer after all.
Bring on the next challenge!
Things can happen to anyone, from the least to the best of us.
The past fortnight had been taxing for me. Beyond coping with the loss of good friends at work, I had to transfer to another room as the previous one was expensive to maintain alone; my roommate was one of those affected by the workforce reduction at our company. Though I had not much to transfer, it was still an effort, what with accustoming myself to the new space, coping with the acrid smell of paint, being able to arrange stuff late at night after work, among others.
Speaking of work, issues have a nag at choosing the right timing; projects started to bear down with their weight, tasks suddenly came into full swing. Co-workers started to show their colors after the prima-facie period, some shades of which weren’t that attractive nor appealing.
Life was akin to a dormant volcano shifting across a shallow rift in the mantle, experiencing significant buildup - just waiting for the perfect trigger for a glorious and menacing explosion.
Then the weekend came.
Five days before the Toastmasters District 75 [Philippine-wide] convention, which I had no plans to attend because of budget constraints and a want for some monk’s time, an invitation from no less than the District Governor came. She was surprised upon knowing I wasn’t going and that I should go, transportation, board and lodging taken cared of. I had gladly helped with some presentations and events under her wing, and I was expected to perform my technical duties during the convention in Tagaytay City. She is a motherly figure and a good friend; with that offer, I meekly accepted to go.
Still tight on the budget, I wasn’t sure (even with the plane tickets at hand) to go until the day before the trip up north. With barely two hours’ sleep from a night out with some gym-buddies and with the pre-departure anxiety and last-minute start-of-preparations, I boarded an early morning flight to Metro Manila with a fellow Toastmaster from Cebu.
Things were mellow until we were about a third our drive away from Manila to Tagaytay. The group had a short pitstop to relieve their bladders and have some breakfast to-go. My Cebu-friend is a twitchy, tense and anxious guy, who gets to my nerves after a while. He wasn’t content with the minute-interval run to the restroom at the Cebu airport just before boarding the flight; he had a noisy breakfast beside me with elbows flying hither and thither, and oh what a chatterbox he was. So I had an uncomfortable drive to the venue.
At the countryside hotel in Tagaytay that was the convention’s venue, I found a beeline to the District Governor and her entourage for a quick breakfast (I didn’t feel like eating during the drive) and to get my feet wet with the tasks waiting for me. Thus started a weekend that was to be remembered in infamy.
The dormancy went from a peaceful mountain, to a trembling countryside, to vented vapors, leading to that forthcoming eruption in all its glory and havoc.
People didn’t seem to be prepared enough for a national convention such as this one in particular. Most of the business presentations weren’t so much as last year’s slides, and were thrown to me to be done a few hours before the show, and even during the heat of it all. Some details weren’t forthcoming; reports needed to be inserted during the meetings; people hurrying you up and not giving clear instructions or pre-meeting briefings; halls and equipment weren’t prepped. Good lord. My temper flew this way and that, forcing my self very hard keep that glorious eruption at bay, as if I could hold it in. During repasts or meals, I focused my attention on the food, no longer having the energy to mingle. During the two-day convention that was supposed to be an educational and networking opportunity for Toastmasters, I had none of that except hearing the hurried-up but good keynote by a Regional Adviser who was a guest from Malaysia.
The eruption lasted long beyond the convention: the drive from Tagaytay to Manila was placating what with having some time with relatives in Alabang, but aftershocks came at the Manila airport where my fragrance got confiscated at the security check (why wasn’t it taken in Cebu; why wasn’t my isopropyl canister confiscated as well?) and where that Cebu-friend displayed his anxiety to my utmost disappointment; my Facebook wall got the blunt of the eruption, so the world got the news.
Albeit being non-educational, it was a learning experience. Plan before and plan well. Work as a team to get things done. Do not aggravate the situation by being pushy. Do not test someone like me to volcanic eruption because unforeseen and unexpected things can happen even to the best of us.
As a #public entity, #perception matters. So where are the #priorities of the #Philippine #Government? #Politics or the #People? #Disgusting
Many people in lligan City are discouraging everyone to course Sendong donations and relief goods to the CSWD because of pilfering by the receiving officials. According to the concerned citizens, the CSWD and officials of other government agencies get the ‘cream of the crop’ leaving measly remnants for the victims. The public is therefor encouraged to go to the various evacuation centers and distribute the goods personally or to the NGOs present (Red Cross, media partners ABS-CBN/GMA/TV5, UN, etc.)
It isn’t ethical. More so in these modern times when equal-opportunity is the in-thing.
Last night, learning from a friend that she was denied membership in a Catholic University dance troupe because of her ethnicity raised my hackles - who wouldn’t be furious on this discrimination even if it happened almost a decade ago? The narrow-minded creatures with blinders limiting their vision like race- or draft-horses.
This example is but one of the needles in the haystack. Talk about preferential treatment of Whites versus Asians in restaurants, hotels, etc.; rejection to a work-post because only Christians are qualified; non-advancement to a senior or management level because of origins in a cultural minority; etc. It’s unfortunate that some people wish to embrace the Medieval Age - out of breeding, social influence, peer pressure, reputation, and what-else.
Discrimination is beyond today’s moral precepts and ethical values. Everyone without any exemption - including kids, yuppies, and the elderly - must understand that we live and prosper in this era full of respect and peaceful co-existence regardless of the many differences we might have. Long gone were the days of the stake. The past: bears witness to our shortcomings; an opportunity for us today to learn good lessons from; a contrasting image of what society should be.
I invite all to reflect on our shortcomings with our fellow men, understand why we have chosen to wear the blinders of racism and discrimination, and seek for means to remove these dangerous and inhuman barriers.
Live Life Lovingly.