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Monthly Archives: December 2012

I am excited for 2013 just being around the corner. I am excited what the year is going to bring for me especially that 2012 was really good. I am happy that after all the fuss and the buzz that 2012 was supposedly the year that the world will end, here we are faced with renewed strength and hope of a new year.

As we prepare to usher in new year, we also start hearing about new year resolutions – a bunch of things that one intends to change in 2013. These resolutions cover a wide area of behaviors from health resolutions to financial resolutions. The reality is that most of these resolutions will go unnoticed after January as most people will start finding reasons to jusitify why they cannot stick to what they intend to change.

Here is a question, have you ever wondered why resolutions never really worked for many?

Some would say it is because of the lack of commitment for most people as the main reason for the failure to stick to these resolutions. It is partially true but we need to remember that people had all the conviction and commitment when they made these resolutions. Something happened during the formulation stage and actual practice that causes individuals to fall off their promises to themselves.

The gap between resolutions and actual result falls on the fact that some resolutions are not tied to something tangible for them to see and feel. These tangible stuff will motivate individuals to continue with the behavior that they are working on. Let me put in perspective, let us take the case of a person who wants to lose weight. One can approach it two ways – the first is focused on behaviour while the second works on tangible outputs that complement behaviour.

The first case is just about I intend to lose weight so I plan to workout three times a week and I will work on controlling what I eat. This is a good resolution and the if the person sticks to it, he or she will have a great chance of achieving it.

The second approach is done by stating that one intends to lose about 5 lbs. per month. So the individual then maps out how he or she intends to do that in a month and will be carefully monitoring the developements of her progress on a weekly basis. By monitoring his or her “achievements”, the person will be motivated to continue on with his or her behaviors that give her the result that she wants.

I guess it is quite obvious which approach will more likely to succeed in achieving the desired resolution, right? I think that the gap between achieving resolutions to that of not achieving lies primarily on the tangible outputs that is associated with the bigger result expected. This tangible output is a good motivation for the individual to continue with going for the goal hence it enforces the behaviour until it becomes a habit. I would like to call these tangible outputs as goals. The truth is that it is a lot easier to stick to goals rather than the resolution. Resolutions are associated to behaviour and goals are tangible outputs that enforce behaviour.

That is the reason why I have shifted my approach from resolutions to goals every year. I have managed myself towards listing 50 things that I wish to accomplish every year and these goals are aligned towards a specific behavior that I want to work on. Case in point, I wanted to work on getting myself into the habit of regularly working out this year and instead of forcing myself to “workout out at least 3 times a week”, I modified my approach by working on my goal of joining a trail run. It was a good goal and participating in a trail run needs preparation. I was then more eager to get into a fitness program. Did I get to join a trail run? Nope but I did get to work out regularly and even got an instructor to help me out. I did get the behaviour right with the right motivation or goal.

As the year 2012 is about to end in a few hours, another year is waiting to be conquered. Yes, I have already finalized my 2013 bucket list and I have modified it by writing down why I need to work on the goal. It is such a great feeling to work back on my list for this year and enjoying the feeling of achievement for having done this and that. What is more exciting is the prospect of what I can do this 2013.

I challenge you to work on your goals, aligning it with your behaviours, this coming 2013. It is neither too late nor too early to start your bucket list. I assure you that it really feels good to see things happening in your life.

Happy New Year and Cheers to a better 2013!


13th month pay…
Horrendous traffic everywhere…
Midnight sale…
Long lines of people at payment centers…
Parties and dinners left and right…

Yep…the Christmas season is definitely here and so is every good and bad that goes with the holidays. I shuffled between Manila and Pampanga last week and it was downright tiring and exhausting. At one point, it was a nightmare. Traffic was really bad at any given time and at any given point. This is one reason why I get frustrated with how we celebrate the yuletide season.

I am in no way a Grinch…I love Christmas. I always look forward to the season of gifts, dinners, and reunions. I think every kid and those kids at heart look forward to the Christmas season. I grew up believing that Santa Claus existed and that I did try to keep myself awake on Christmas Eve hoping to catch him bringing me my gifts. You guessed it…I never met the real Santa. Why? Let us just say that I just didn’t get the right time to catch up with him.

I asked 31 individuals the question on whether they were made to believe that Santa existed when they were kids and 25 or 81% of my respondents said yes. This was not a surprise as Santa Claus has always been part of the yuletide celebration. I guess the guy, with his red suit, is just one of the more recognizable icons associated with Christmas. His gift giving behavior to kids teaches us a lot about giving – it is always nice to give.

Giving a gift to someone says more about the person rather than the item given. The act of giving speaks of how a person made an impact to the giver and how the giver appreciates and values the person to whom the gift is given to. The gift is a token of value – the value of friendship worth remembering and taking the effort to put it into something tangible. We should learn to appreciate that out of a long list of friends and acquaintances, you were singled out to receive a token of friendship from the giver. It is really the thought that counts.

Giving also entails giving a part of oneself for the one giving. When we give something, it includes giving a part of us – our thoughts and our feelings. I still believe that a careful thought process goes into gift giving. One chooses a gift that he or she feels would be of use to the person or something that complements the personality of the person hence it entails a great deal of knowledge about the person to whom the gift will be given to. When we give, it shows how much we know about the person.

That is why Santa is introduced to many, including us, at a very young age for us to understand that in gift giving, it is the thought that really counts more than the gift received. Remember that we have always found joy in receiving any gift from Santa, regardless whether he followed our wishlist or not. It is the thought that he gave us something for our good deeds that really matters. A very nice way to teach the kids the idea about giving.

There is a Santa in all of us. I believe that it is innate in everyone to give and it is just a matter of who and what to give that is to be determined. Others may give generously while some may give to only a few but that does not diminish the true value of giving. It is the holiday of gift giving – a time where most give and receive. I challenge you to be a Santa to someone today. Share that gift of hope to someone – a small start to make this world a better place.

***

Rave: I was browsing through the national dailies and saw a picture that depicted an inspiration that the Typhoon Pablo victims will rise again. It makes me proud to be a Filipino when we all gather together to help our fellows at a trying time like this. Resiliency is one strong trait of Filipinos – no matter what calamity hits us, our spirits will never falter.

Rant: Talking about airports, I brought my mom to the NAIA Terminal 1 for her return trip to the US. It is no wonder why it is considered one of the worst airports in the world. It was complete chaos outside with the traffic and poor parking services. The Php35 parking fee was a complete rip off for the bad service. The government should really focus on improving the state of NAIA, the country’s premier gateway.

Rave: Talking about Pinoy Pride – there are only two things that make the Philippines stop at a standstill…Manny Pacquio’s fights and the Miss Universe. The country was at a standstill last December 20 as the Filipina delegate, Janine Tugonon, sashayed her way on stage to finish second in this year’s pageant. You know the reason why Filipinos were on a standstill – both events put the country in the international limelight scene.

Rant: Just read from the news that a four hundred year old church was destroyed by fire in Camarines. A sad news for those who love history like me. I hope that local governments should check on the state of heritage sites and the safety of which so that we can prevent the destruction of these sites.


Passenger Terminals never fail to amaze me whether bus terminals, airports or seaports. The flock of different people converging in one area rushing to catch a bus, a plane, or boat to their next destination has its own story to tell. Then we have the ambulant vendors selling their wares that add color to the circus life of bus stops. I have once thought of writing a theater play about chance encounters that transpires either inside a bus station or the airport. Passenger terminals are just full of life.

I have this fluid attraction to passenger terminals since I am a traveler myself. Have you ever tried to watch a passenger terminal in action? You would be amazed as to how human emotions unravel in a matter of minutes. Terminals are just full of tears – tears of joy and tears of sadness. The tears of joy created by two souls reunited after being separated for a time is a touching scene to watch – the tight embrace and the longing kiss between the couple is just like a scene straight out of the daily soap operas that we watch on television. It is quite intriguing to also note that this culminating scene evolved from years back where the exact opposite transpired where tears of sadness were gushing as goodbyes were being said as the two souls were being parted. It is a fancy to watch as the couple say goodbye to each as they try to hold off tears from falling. The stories created by passenger terminals are a cycle of goodbyes and hellos that allows two strong human emotions to fuse in one setting.

Passenger terminals is a cycle of coming and going. It is always in constant motion – always in transit. People come in here to go to their next destination or arrive here only to depart, this time to the comforts of their own homes. It reflects a reality in life that we meet someone new while we walk away from others but life still moves on. Life is about moving forward, no matter how difficult the situation we are in. A passenger terminal is about life, we were born in this world and, in due time, we shall leave but the world will continue to turn. The moral of the story…make your own relevance.

Then we also have the story of ambulant vendors who recognize the huge opportunity to sell their wares to the transients who walk in and out of passenger terminals. They sell almost everything from food to clothing. There are also variations among these vendors. You can find the high end vendors in airports while most of the low profile vendors are generally found in bus terminals and seaports. At the end of the day, these vendors have a common denominator of recognizing the opportunity to make business in passenger terminals. It is about finding the right opportunity.

Passenger terminals speak a lot about life. We are all transients in this world who are trying to find our relevance with the hope that we can make a difference not only in our lives but in others, as well. But just like the ambulant vendors in passenger terminals, finding relevance is about recognizing the opportunities that we have and working on these opportunities. In the end, we will just breeze through life but how we live our life in the eyes of others will mark the difference.

Well, I gotta go because my bus just arrived.

***

Rave: The preparation for the onslaught of “Pablo” should be commended. Although it is sad that a lot of lives were still lost, I guess with the early preparations by government agencies and the local governments saved a lot of lives. It also mattered that most residents also heeded the warnings of these agencies. I think we are learning from our past.

Rant: Traffic is just plain bad in the metropolis and it is further aggravated by the holiday season. The local governments and the MMDA should really find a concrete solution to these problem. My suggestion…get the old rickety buses out of EDSA and stricter penalties for violators.

Rave: My family and I watched the recent staging of Aladdin by Atlantis Production and I am impressed by the way they staged the musicale for theater. Kudos to Atlantis Prouction for showcasing the Filipino talent. I just pray that we will have more of these productions in the future and more Filipino viewers.

Rant: The Christmas season really brings out the worst among taxi drivers. These abusive drivers take advantage of the season by asking a higher fare or just simply turning down passengers. I hope that the LTFRB would take action on this and make it public so that these drivers will finally get disciplined.