When Step One May Be Everything

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While on my way home, I was thinking of what to do this weekend – The Great Breather. Frankly I’m quite stressed thinking about what’s going to happen next week as The Test enters the scene.

Junjie, a good friend, indirectly suggested an idea. He said a movie marathon with a pint of ice cream awaits him this weekend. So how about me?

Finally, I had the will to discover new music tonight!

I still kept the document where the links Keishia gave us during our team meeting a few months back were compiled. Good heavens I still remember my former IBM email address. Anyway, tonight was more of an indie-alternative-slash-pop night. Of course it’s Friday and even though I’m at home, celebration should be turned on! Also, that’s what I truly like to listen to – not too heavy, not too mellow, quite upbeat and pop-ish, and sounds good to the ears.

Ctrl + click the link. Instinct says streaming may be the first best option before downloading anything to save bandwidth (I actually don’t know if it did save since technically it may be more wasteful). Later on, I found myself clicking on random posts searching for no particular band. The act was quite a routine but enjoyable as I give every track a try. Fortunately all of the picks I had are the ones suiting my preference and mood.

I downloaded everything I found tonight, without worrying of the other tracks included in the album. Anyway I’m looking for indies and it’s quite impractical to search for and hoard the other songs. Besides, this get-the-whole-album attitude in downloading songs must be changed. Can’t I just get and play what I want to hear instead of becoming extremely obsessive-compulsive in beefing up the list? That’s just for bragging rights and no one actually benefits from it except from, well, no one (not even myself).

Great music appreciation session indeed!


And now, I’m scribbling nonsense on this ageing laptop. Perhaps I miss writing rants? (By saying that, it means writing for me has become synonymous with ranting, which defies this blog’s purpose.)

No, not that. Abstinence from writing sank into me upon reading an online article a few days back about developing a habit of doing something you like. Admit it, we have endless activities in mind but disempowerment always veers us away from doing things consistently and regularly. This is not to mention other factors like distraction and downright laziness.

So what might be a good solution? Decide to do a specific activity for ten minutes, whatever that is. After that period, you may go back to what you were previously doing like slacking off and watching your favourite series. At least you were not guilty of postponing that activity again. Do that as frequent as possible.

Doing it for ten minutes isn’t the point, really. You’ll just realise that time may become immaterial as you progress, finding yourself engrossed for a period longer than ten minutes.

Oh, I’ve written a post this long already? :)

Sometimes all we need is a single step.

P.S. Sorry I can’t remember the link but I’m in no way intending to plagiarise the idea from that article. In fact, that was helpful in the success of tonight’s jam and in finishing this blog post. :)


2011: Choose and Change

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This year has not ended yet but I can proudly claim how good 2011 has been to me.

Setting goals for the upcoming year wasn’t a habit, until signs of ageing sank in (including balding). But personally, I find the practice valuable despite realising on December how many of these items were sorely missed!

Eleven goals for 2011 were drafted and, to my surprise (yeah right!), 2011 was a great leap forward from what I had in 2010. Eight goals were achieved, five of which were fulfilled to a large extent. Only three goals were left untouched due to circumstances quite beyond my control.

Not bad!

I won’t go through the eleven items for this post. However, I’d highlight some major achievements for 2011, which were out of my sight a few years back.


2-0: As an IBMer


When I entered IBM exactly two months ago, I was a broken man due to external and internal pressures hounding me.

Externally, it’s the society and how it looks at you based on credentials. Political Science graduates are always stereotyped of pursuing law or post-graduate degree on social sciences, and I entertained these options. If I won’t study, I must work to keep up with the competition. In a world of misfits, the absolutist-idealist me was pressured to align work with my degree.

Internally, ego says I must reap achievements. Though I’ve compiled a somewhat impressive roster of extra-curricular activities, I felt underachieved. Questioning starts with a ‘what if’, and expect the usual two-word to construct a discourse longer than what you’ve imagined.

From that state, perhaps it’s time to quickly look back and assess how I’m faring so far at IBM. I’m encapsulating it using the same letters: I Believe Myself.


1-0: Birthday

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Even as early as January, people around me were fretting on my upcoming birthday. The day did not excite me.

First, men do not usually look forward to their debut. I kept saying, ‘I’ll just turn 21, what’s special about it?’ I’ve been contented to receive greetings regardless of how they heard of my birthday. Gatherings and special treatment are simply bonuses, if not unexpected.

Second, I look forward for nothing. As I turn 21, will there be change? Can I determine and consolidate my plans and goals in life? Am I bound to nurture and inspire people around me? I didn’t have the answers until March, which makes this point only partly true. I actually wrote some of it on my personal calendar. When someone skimmed through the scribbled notes and aspirations for my birthday, I got teased due to ‘hypocrisy’. Ha-ha. After all, I’m still waiting for it.

Let me tell how the day went by thanking people.

For the 21 years of celebration, thank you. I’m the most difficult-to-read member or maybe the unforeseen black sheep. Perhaps I’m the most inexpressive, but that doesn’t mean apathy. In reality, I care for this family the most. Whatever I go through, family will always be on top of my list. Thank you to Mom, Dad, Andrei (my brother), Tita Melyn and my cousins, and Lola Lydia for sharing dinner, cake and ounces of ice cream with me. I have always wanted simplicity on this day and you gave that joy to me. Special credits to Mom for practical suggestions (and sorry for the sharp words I said) and to Lola Lydia for opting to stay in Manila until my birthday.

Thank you for the surprise dinner, Giboy, Arvin, Fatz, Mads, Kuya Kerwin and Bernard. That scenario was completely unheralded until I saw you arrive one by one! Catching up after quite a while was remarkable. I enjoyed the chat and laughter we had at Il Pirata and Happy Lemon. Special credits to Giboy (The Mastermind) for initiating the surprise I know these people wanted to give and to Kuya Kerwin for going to Eastwood just in season! Thank you for extending the joy another day. Friends beside me are precious blessings I want to keep forever and putting them together in one place on your special day is enough to create the firework in me.

For the week-long greeting-and-teasing, thank you, IBM batch mates (Jan, Nikki, Sasa, Carmela, Laila and Marco)! My first days with IBM could have been unimaginable without Milo, jokes and lunch with you! Forming new friendships is indeed a pleasant gift to receive. I truly appreciate the stories we’ve shared and the greeting despite being teamed up with words ‘Libre!‘ and ‘pizza‘. Ha-ha. Salamat din sa panlalaglag during our Business Writing training!

I also decided to deactivate Facebook until that day. I kind of didn’t like mass greetings that have become quite obligatory whenever someone celebrates his/her birthday. It looked artificial. With this, I thank those who remembered me through text and Twitter. These are the people who either know my birthday by heart or who constantly set their calendars to remember me. I appreciate them so much.

And how can I forget those who utilised electronically creative means of getting their messages sent? This is a very nice concept, Giboy! Thank you for engaging the following people: Fatz, Mads, Arvin, Kuya Kerwin, Dave, Bianx, Miko, Pia, Kim, Eric, Mica, Junjie, Jepy, Ed, Rhowell, Queng, Rowen, Aza, Marianne, Sassy, Nadine, Ellen, Racie, Shalma, Cams, Nang, and Ryan Chua. These are some people whom I have worked with and I’ve missed. They have touched my life in different ways and seeing them in unison under a greeting card was empowering.

I may not have mentioned other names but they are in my heart. Thank you for the friendship, one of the best things given to me each year.

On Writing and Re-Starting

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Many people think of me as an open book. Blame it to me talking too much at times and trusting easily even to new people I’ve just conversed with, it’s as if I have told everyone how colourful my life is. What remains hidden to these spectators, however, is my tendencies of seclusion especially when things turn out quite chaotic than what should be. And whenever understanding seems too elusive, I find refuge in writing.

Besides consciously organising random thoughts, writing has been a unique way of talking to myself. The world becomes more challenging day by day. Changes happen, whether wanted or unwanted. Issues of motivation, trust and capabilities hound any growing individual. These concerns, more often than not, are being faced simultaneously as we struggle to keep up with the things happening in the macro. Thus, there is a need for humans to consistently know where the change comes from, identify what triggers it and understand how that particular change can actually serve for one’s betterment and the contribution of such betterment to the community.

That’s the reason I have been keeping to continue writing even if many of these thoughts left unpublished or are simply being random. I am hungry (and at the same time thrilled) to understand how my inner universe works and the changes it has been undergoing.

But writing isn’t all about heaven. Honestly, I am disappointed. I have been writing since I was young and, although I have the potential, I feel stagnancy. I have been failing to regularly update blogs and private electronic journals despite having OneNote and Springpad. I pride of storing different ideas and I yearn to explain these to people (even if these sound weird) but, most of the time, I struggle on putting my thoughts into words. It’s hard to select what to blog about and how to write it.

Believe me, writing is difficult for me. I cannot even see myself writing for a living!

Either I need more practice or I should read more. Perhaps both.

Today (at the time of writing: tonight) is my last day of being bum.

Despite having a previous employer, the Day-One-at-Work eve still has the magic to inject a feeling of a fresh graduate. I’m anxious on this new start in a field unimaginable to me years ago. I can’t help thinking about my capabilities to adjust to a new surrounding. Where my skills would take me and what’s in store for me in the coming days remain unknown. Inhibitions haunt me. Yet I’m welcoming this particular opportunity, with dreams intact to ensure self-development and to aid others in helping themselves. I am willing to re-start, to rehabilitate the damaged me and to improve what I have even if it means an uncanny mix of joy and pain.

I’m ready to gradually handle varying responsibilities, to become less negative, to discover what I want to be, to realise things I have envisioned myself with, to be frustrated and to re-start again if needed. Through charting the life I have lived and applying every lesson to take the yet unearthed path, learning won’t be compromised.

I believe in myself–and in my talent to re-discover myself. If I need to use another name, so be it.

Okay, I have been random again. In an attempt to fully make sense on this page, I need an interesting theme where my posts revolve. I hope to determine it very soon–and yes, find time.