Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Be Strong


Nurture your strength and let it freely grow
Gather your spirit, paddle your own canoe
The  darkest storms and all the wildest waves
Spiralling winds,  the strongest gales
All these torments, disillusions and dismays
Easy and strong paddles keep you adrift and unafraid

The Beauty of Letting Go



The changing of seasons tells us how beautiful it is to let go of some things in life. It is also a great time to accept life's impermanence. Fall is a time for letting go, letting go of any burdens you've been carrying with you. Trees show
us their strength standing against every storm even when leaves will fall. And as autumn leaves fall from the trees, let go of anything that is not serving you. Let go of all the battles and try to open your hearts to accept things that some wars could be so hard to be won. Try not to struggle against it and be sure not to get strangled with negative things these battles are causing you. Try not to cling to failures, anger and anxiety. Reminisce the past times and learn from them and accept that things change. We will never learn and grow without all the abundance of life's experiences, challenges, struggles,  wins and even losses and of course opportunities. Autumn signals that with patience and positivity in ourselves, leaves will soon be back and blooms will blossom again. So cherish the memories, learn from the past, forgive life's difficulties and embrace the beauty of letting go.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Dear Flowers

The sweet fragrance you shared to me changed my weeping heart
Shadows of bitter yesterdays are now erased at last
Scented tints of the awesome spring put smiles into my eyes
Previous battles I've cried and lost, you brought a hopeful sunrise

Bloom My Dearest

You are indeed an awesome enchanting gift
Please stop walking in a field of grief
Life's sometimes wicked and full of prejudice
But remember you're lovely amidst these tumult and haste
Our life isn't always a happy feast
Like the pretty tulips that fade, die and wilt
Flowers bloom to inspire us to grow in faith
Thus, bloom! Don't be scared to fail my dearest

Someday We Will


Too wonderful is the spring's day and night
Painting the meadows with delight
Too green are the grass and leaves
Waving happily in tune with the breeze
Too sweet is the smell of the blossoms
Rejoicing in colorful robes they bloom
Someday my dearest love we will
Oh believe me, one day in April
Spring dance in the sun we will
On a sweeter spring, we'll kiss uphill

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Rhythm in Lines

One Snowy Day

White flurries descending from the gray sky
Starting to envelope the ground like blankets
Leaves are lovely as if they have trinkets
Naked trees suddenly have ornaments
The cold wind blows the crystals in rhythm
Snowflakes are dancing like tiny butterflies
Winter's beauty truly isn't pale and colored light

The earth's not asleep, only dressed in sparkly white



Winter Morning

Watched the dull gray sky one winter morning
Felt quivering in the crisp wind
Though the world seemed so quite asleep
Barely heard the crackling trees

Stripped trees stand sleeping in the cold
"Where's the sun?" I asked myself
Then suddenly I turned around
On the bare branches were about a hundred birds
Oh! I didn't hear their sound

Winter's paler beauty still is pleasing
Great hope is what this season brings
Said the quiet lake and the silent stream

After winter soon will be the beauty of spring










                                
Autumn



The brilliant hues of the fallen leaves
The silent roar of the waterfall
Brought solace and happiness
Autumn's magnificent tints 

offer promise and tranquility
But much more to nature's beauty
Are the nurtured memories









Fall

Brown, red and golden leaves 
falling gently from the trees
Floating, flying, 

swirling in rhythm with the breeze
Dropping slowly on a 

bedlike ground
Creating music with a comforting sound







Monday, February 15, 2016

A Sweet LOVEly Twist (Valentine's Day in Japan)

Valentine's Day is considered to be a big day here in Japan. The 14th of February is actually all about giving chocolates. In fact, an estimation is given by Japan's Chocolate and Cocoa Association that $500B  is spent annually on Valentine's Day and another half a billion dollars is spent on White Day. Wow, what a way to celebrate Valentine's Day! Moreso, there is a cute TWIST about this celebration. Heart's Day is an important day for women to profess their love. They give chocolates (store-bought or homemade) to men on this day to express their respect,  fondness, or endearment. During this occasion, chocolate is given not only to lovers or boyfriends, but also to male friends or co-employees and even the woman's  boss. This sweet twist happened because of a mistake made by one company named Morinaga back in 1950.  This was a product of a mistake on a newspaper advertisement during the time that it
was marketing Valentine's Day. A mistake in the company's printed campaign was published in different newspapers. Morinaga wanted to pattern the campaign to America's tradition of men giving chocolates to women. Japanese people then have started several actions to Westernize, thus, Morinaga's advertisement team was too eager to launch the press release.  The said company wanted to emphasize that men who give chocolates to women is an expression of love in its campaign. However the printed message became "Women giving chocolates to men is an expression of love." It was actually capitalized to a  minor mistake that led to a hit tradition being valued by most Japanese until these days.

Ooops but wait, do not ever think that the woman who is giving you chocolate is in love with you. You must have to know that there is a custom here in the Land of the Rising Sun on how to give chocolates on Valentine's Day.
One, "giri  choko" (obligatory chocolate)- This is given to male co-workers, boss, teammates or classmates as a sign of respect. A box of chocolate to be brought to the office that you work is acceptable.

Two, "cho-giri-choko"- It is like a giri chocolate but it is given to people you don't necessarily know.


Three, "honmei-choko"- This  is the kind of chocolate you give to your lover/boyfriend or husband. If you are interested to a man, you may give this kind of chocolate and confess to him your feelings on Valentine's Day. This kind of chocolate must have to be expensive and in high quality.

Four, "tomo-choko" (friendship chocolate)- This is the most recent addition to Japan's Valentine's Day Sweet Twist collection. This is becoming popular to young Japanese girls. The girls give chocolates to their girlfriends. Some women also go find ways to see their friends and make chocolates themselves to give to one another.

Men are supposed to give the return gifts to women a month later on March 14. This occasion is called the White Day, a return day for Valentine's Day which was created in 1980. Who doesn't want chocolates daily? Are you excited to celebrate the White Day like me?




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Random Thoughts

UNSHAKEN SMILE

Courage and strength in the midst of her fear
Disguises her feelings, though she woke up in tears
Uneven, rocky and rough her journey will be
Winding and long her roads are temporarily
She’s confused of the thoughts that even the toughest will tire
That the strongest will be weak and the happiest will cry

She has begun to find doubts on how far she could go
She started to get scared if she would be able to go through
There were minutes of choosing to stop and finally give up
But still she thought of how long did she hold on
and how she has battled so tough
Then she thought of how God has led her way
and guided her journey
Showing her unshaken smile, she stood up again
and began her odyssey.

#iamYsa26

Saturday, September 26, 2015

IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE "BEBE" (ALDUB You ALL)

LOVE  ISN'T SOMETHING YOU FIND, LOVE IS SOMETHING THAT FINDS YOU
-Loretta Young

Screengrab from Alden Richards Instagram


Apart from the million of people who are taking part on the most talked about ALDUB Phenomenon, a lot of people also are seeing it as a nonsense and stupid waste of time segment of the 36-year old noontime show Eat Bulaga. Most of these non-Aldubnatics actually find it so frivolous and valueless and thus considered the Kalyeserye as a contributing factor why most of the members of our society remain unproductive and lazy. That because most Pinoys usually value more of the telenovela, love teams, kalyeserye, and other "ka-cheapan" and "kababawan" shows, our nation and its people stay in the middle of the road  unmindful of which path to take that will lead to a progressive life. That most Filipinos will dwell into "kabakyaan" instead of striving hard to contribute more to the Philippine economy.  Correct me if I'm wrong or find me delusional, there are only a few people that would want the Philippines a worse place to live in. Consider me a very optimistic and delusional Pinoy because, I am sure that there are a lot more Filipinos who still want to make our country a better nation. There is something that is intangible and invisible in Eat Bulaga's Aldub. And what is so intangible that can give such a massive impact in anyone's life?  YES, IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE "BEBE." Aldub's Kalyeserye enthralls many. It actually bridges the generation gap among Filipinos. It bounces within the realms of patience, commitment, obedience, respect, determination, affection, kindness and admiration. LOVE may really disguise into different forms such as kalyeserye and comedy. Let us savor its comedic and moral impacts.  Scripted or not,  the message has directly reached its target. Aldub has what everyJUAN loves. It gives the viewers the sense of HOPE that at the end of the day LOVE will always prevail. Some people may call it whatever they want. Many call the Aldub fever a form of escapism...the tendency to seek relief and distraction from unpleasant realities of life. But these unpleasant realities in our Philippine society compelled us to look for what our country cannot offer its people. While our government still does not know how to manage a lot of  issues nowadays which include corruption, crime, impunity, poverty, unemployment  and violence; let us leave those giddy sensation and reactions to all ALDUBERS. Anyway, the show has brought happiness to many. It is actually a Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella- inspired story. The story is inspired between "once upon  a time" and "happily ever after" kind of plot  that showcases what LOVE and HAPPINESS can do to everybody. That sometime we almost thought that CHIVALRY IS DEAD, but actually it just fell asleep and now it is being awakened because of this extraordinary occurrence. Eventually the ecstasy that was brought by the accidental love team stirred the action to revisit our old custom and traditions, adding more nods to the viewers as true-blooded Pinoys.  Maybe, that is what our country is lacking right now to unite its people. The moral values we Pinoys are known for far way before. The euphoria that was shown by the young love also helps people washed away the numbness brought by  skepticism and deep uncertainty caused by the Philippine politics. That amidst all these uncertainties most are still longing for a Better Philippines being run by great Filipinos with great love for our country and its people.  I just hope that all JUANS and JUANAS will try to translate into actions whatever lessons they learned from EB's kalyeserye. That though we may get inspiration from what we read or watch, ACTION is still required to reach anyJUAN's dream.  Let us all be part of the kalyeserye by not just merely an spectator. Let us all be part of this phenomenal kalyeserye by bringing love to everyJuan in all kalyes in the Philippines. Who knows, the HAPPINESS, HOPE, and especially LOVE that are being instilled to us by the Aldub's kalyeserye will flourish into something powerful that will transform all of us as dutiful and loving citizens of the Philippines. Well, just what Lola Nidora often says, there is always the TAMANG PANAHON (right time).   Just do not let escapism be the outcome of all your kilig moments but turn all those "kilig" reactions as motivation to spread love, kindness, and happiness to all. As the saying goes, BE HAPPY NOT BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS GOOD BUT BECAUSE YOU SEE THE GOOD SIDE OF EVERYTHING (Unknown). Why don't we try having those more than 20 million tweets with hashtags about LOVE and good vibes be imbibed by many especially the people of our government?  Anyway, the world is still filled with nice and loving people, and if you can't find one just be one.

(Pabebe Wave)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Overseas Filipino Workers- The TRAGIC HEROES of Today?

Our Overseas Filipino Workers' part of keeping our economy adrift cannot be denied by anyone. They send billions of pesos in remittances to their families regularly, and yearly the numbers increase as a lot of Filipinos leave to work in foreign lands.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration's statistics, about 9 to 12 million Filipinos or approximately 10-12% of our population currently chose to leave their family members to work as OFW's anywhere worldwide.

Migration has been a much needed option for working Filipinos since the era when I was born, during the 1970's. The Philippine government then opted for labor export and liberalization of the trade industry to help on the economy development. The deployment of workers abroad was done during Martial Law also to address unemployment and lack of foreign exchange with priorities on the agricultural and manufacturing sectors only. It was actually a temporary measure before to stabilize the government because of the national debt we had by then. But after more than four decades, our country cannot employ all Filipino workers and has not enjoyed freedom from labor migration. Migrant workers are consumed with a strong challenge of nationalism and sacrifice. Our duty as Filipino citizens is to maintain tough and sincere attachment to our beloved homeland. One of our functions also is not only to do our duty to our family but to our country and community as well. Most of these migrant workers were probably the ones who worked hard in our country but were not properly compensated. Or the people who were not able to graduate in college and were not able to find jobs there. No person would exchange a stable and a well-compensated job to work away from his/her family.  In all the Philippine households, one or a number of members is an OFW. We all have an OFW family member that occupies the empty bed in our room. We all miss hugs of those loved ones during bad days. We all long for their smiles and laughs  during good days and celebrations. I am actually from the generation of sending letters and photographs to my OFW relatives through the post office. I am also one of the children who would run to my aunts and uncles'  houses to get my "pasalubongs" from them sent by means of a "balikbayan box"

All the people from the government acknowledge the huge contribution of all the migrant workers dispersed around the world. The Philippine economy is dependent and actually partly built on OFW's backs. What is disgusting is that although everybody is aware on this reality, migrant workers lack total access to the most basic labor rights and privileges. I really do not want to dwell in to all the sacrifices made by all these "unsung heroes" of today. I really do not want to stress the sacrifices made by those who work as nannies and domestic helpers. I really do not want to emphasize the social cost of sending OFW nannies and caregivers to care for other families while leaving their kids behind. 
OFW's are indeed "modern heroes" of the new generation. However, would I probably be right to say they are suitably  called the "tragic heroes" of today? Is the Philippines spending enough resources to protect these "migrant heroes"? Yes, we've got agencies and institutions established for the migrant workers. Were they able to establish enough programs to service OFW's? I am talking about the problems/issues that beset  a lot of OFW's around the world. 

*Employer's Maltreatment/Abuse 
*Contract Switching
*Illegal Recruitment
*Drug Related Cases
*Sexual Exploitation
*Underemployment
*Corruption at the Airport

I do not need to emphasize thousands of tragic incidents such as death met by many as an ultimate price to climb their way out of poverty. For some, migration is a tragedy of being forcibly separated from your loved ones out of desperation and necessity.


It is indeed a huge irony to know that while Pinay nannies raise other kids, Filipina caregivers care for the thousands of sick and elderly away from the country, and Pinay teachers who educate thousands of students abroad... about ten million Filipino children grow up with virtual moms on Facebook and Skype. We left the country in our own accord and yes we went abroad in search of higher income because of an obvious reason. Our country can not provide jobs that offer good salaries to most of its citizens. That is definitely true, the decision was more of a necessity, the price of survival. It is because our country cannot provide sufficient jobs for everyone. I do not want also to mention the ever-soaring high cost of education and commodities. Collateral damage? ...leaving your family behind and loving them from a distance.

On the other hand,  I still dream of a government that creates a lot of jobs at home so that working abroad will not be a necessity but only an option. I am optimistic that I will have a government that will not think of migration as an answer to unemployment and underemployment. I am still sure that I will have a government that will provide sustainable domestic jobs. I am still wishing for a government that when its people choose to be a migrant worker, their protection and their welfare will be one of its priorities. 

 My dreams of having a government that values OFWS were shattered when I learned that   the Bureau of Customs conceived an idea of putting additional tax and a plan to conduct random inspection to OFW's balikbayan boxes. An OFW's balikbayan box is a symbol of love. It is the equivalent of his/her presence that brings simple joy to all the members of the family. A migrant worker actually spends months to buy stuff for his/her loved ones to complete a box. OFW's boxes do not contain contrabands. They contain a representation of joy and love sent in the form of gifts by the hardworking migrant workers. (Though sending them on a regular basis is not a good idea afterall.)  Is this a planned policy to help the BOC or a corruption scheme for the greedy? There are gigantic issues that need the eyes and scrutiny of the officers of the BOC. The corruption is rampant in the system involving large-scaled smuggling, lagay-system, misdeclaration of goods, and a lot more that need your expertise.

At the end of the day, I still believe on Kennedy's ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY. However as of this moment I actually have one question in mind for the BOC...are you kidding me? seriously?


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CAN YOU LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY?

Love is indeed of paramount importance. Life is beautiful if we know what love really is. According to the words of God, Love means living our life the way He commanded us to live. But can we love without conditions like what God is doing to us? 

From: gallery4share.com
We all know that love is difficult to define. Persons in authority like the psychologists, writers, and all other people like us can not specifically explain the meaning of love. What more if we are going to talk about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE? Do you really believe that unconditional love really exists?  Believing about unconditional love and putting it into action requires a huge amount of understanding the concept, having faith, a great deal of intimacy, and a positive relationship. Loving unconditionally is not really about our feelings. It is something to do about our actions. Giving your love to someone without boundaries is a CHOICE. A  chosen decision which is made to love someone regardless of any circumstances, struggles, hardships, and disappointments. Thus, it means loving another whoever he/she is and no matter what he/she fails to do. 














The question is HOW TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY?

To love without conditions, one has to be aware of some important things to consider and remember.

1. GOD IS LOVE
The most important lesson in life that God wants us to learn on earth is how to love.  Love is really the foundation of all the ten commandments He has given to us.  "Love others as you love yourself."
Let us always value most the selfless love. Loving anyone unselfishly is too difficult for some. But because we have learned how to love God first and foremost, He will help us learn how to love others us well. We are actually given a lifetime to do it.

2. LOVE ISN'T BLIND
If you have newly fallen in love with another and you have not known him/her yet especially his/her character, be sure to give each other a chance to know each other gradually. You will not be choosing him/her, if you did not see good things in him/her during your first meeting. Love actually gives us sight. When we are in love with someone even at first sight, we come to see that person in a very unique way. So none is blinded by love.

3. LOVING UNCONDITIONALLY IS AN ACTION NOT A FEELING
To love without conditions does not mean to accept the negative, abusive and destructive behavior of your loved one. And because unconditional love is more of an action rather than a feeling, one must have to help the other on   things that go with accountability and responsibility. Feelings are the response we get from something or someone. Thus, it is quite conditional. 
Unconditional love otherwise is putting solutions and making actions. It is a choice to strive for the goodness of one another. 

4. LOVING YOURSELF PROPERLY
Giving love without conditions is unselfish and selfless. And in order for you to share love to others, you have to learn to love yourself properly. You must acknowledge your flaws and weaknesses. By doing this properly, it would be very easy for you to share and offer your limitless love to other people. Therefore, if you could forgive yourself with your mistakes and imperfections, you are more than ready to show your love to anyone.

5. SPREADING THE LOVE WHOLEHEARTEDLY
We deal daily with different kinds of individuals, from the members of our
family, to our friends, co-workers and even to our neighbors. They are all different. Spread the unconditional love to each one of them taking into consideration the most loving thing a certain individual needs in a certain time. Unconditional love is choosing the right loving approach with a particular person at a particular situation.

6. FORGIVING THOSE PEOPLE YOU LOVE
According to Mother Theresa, "If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive." We must always have to let go of our resentment, regret, and anger to love someone. Help your loved ones grow and learn lessons about their mistakes. Never ever forget to let them feel that they are loved yet they did something wrong. Loving unconditionally does not mean of ignoring the hurtful things they did to you, hurtful words they said to you, and forgetting them all in order to love. Loving with no boundaries mean forgiveness, kindness, care, obligation and acceptance.

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with           every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving         each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

7. SUPPORTING THEM AT ALL TIMES
Providing unconditional love is a difficult task. It is our role to aid our loved ones to understand that there are misfortunes, hardships, failures and disappointments in life. Help them realize that those things are part of life's changes and challenges that each one has to encounter. Unconditional love means doing a lot of things to guide and care for them in time of troubles. Suggest positive solutions into resolving the problems at hand.

8. NOBODY IS PERFECT
Acknowledgement of one's flaws and imperfections means loving your loved ones unconditionally. Learn to accept who they are. Do not try to control and dominate them that they may lose their individuality and essence. Loving unconditionally is helping them strive to achieve happiness and comfort.


Now, can you love unconditionally?

There are actually different situations in our life that loving someone is too difficult to do. Sometimes we do and say ill things to him/her because he/she makes us unhappy and disappointed. Or it is because, we do not get our expectations from them. In this kind of circumstance, we tend to give conditions and provisions to LOVE. More specifically, if that special someone can not repay or return the good things we do for him/her.

ISN'T LOVE ENOUGH? 

Love is more than enough.
Learn to love because God wants us to love everyone.
Learn to love because  life is love.
Learn to love because life is worthless without it.
Love unconditionally because our family needs us.
Love unconditionally because others need it.
Love without conditions and without being scared of getting hurt because a lot of people long for it.
Love without boundaries because we want others to be happy.
Love unconditionally by looking beyond each other's faults, weaknesses, and shortcomings because we want our world a better place for everyone. 

THE BEST TIME TO LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY IS NOW!


    



Monday, May 25, 2015

When Your Loved Ones Are Left Behind




When a mother left her children to work overseas, she has two major goals that will secure a good future for them: First, a beautiful home of their own and second a good education. But working overseas comes
 at a sad cost that no amount of money can replace. Our presence is temporized for the promise of economic gain. The amount of time that you should be spending with your loved ones is spent taking care of other people. Long distance motherhood is one tough job we OFW moms has to do daily. We worry if our "bunso" is not having a problem in school. We worry if our Kuya and Diko have a good set of friends. We worry if Ate is not dating at a young age. We feel all the probable problems our children might experience even miles away. We worry if they get sick, if their school needs are enough, if they are eating on time and a lot lot more. It is also heartbreaking to feel that you can not be with them during special occasions. 




The Philippine government is always screaming with glee  to honor OFWs especially OFW moms. For me, it is not being applauded as the modern heroes of today, it is indeed the price to pay for survival. It is a choice made to meet the needs of our dear loved ones, a choice that is made due to limited opportunities in our country to better our families. I am engulfed with sadness right now because of that reality. We all know that the more women ofws there are, the more positive effects to the country's economic development it will have. These unsung heroes' dollar remittances keep our economy adrift. These millions of Overseas Filipino Workers are all scattered around the world who are dreaming that one day our government will provide gainful opportunities in the country.


 Because many of us OFWs however are in no bliss and wonderland, our only wish is that our family members would always value the effort and sacrifice we are doing for them.   Aside from having our loved ones  left behind who will grow up without us , racial discrimination, harassment, sexual exploitation, hign social cost  are only a few struggles OFWs meet  when living abroad.  There are actually tons of possible difficulties.  The struggles and hardships of being a migrant worker is really difficult. But it is actually not the worker's main concern. It is more on the possible threats that their family members would have because of being away from their parents. Though being an OFW Mom is one tough job, it is inspiring as well. Thus, I promise to endure the agony of temporary separation with my family so that I can give a better life for them. I REALLY CAN NOT WAIT TO SEE THE BADGE OF MY MOTHERHOOD. This is when I see my children march during their college graduation. I maybe in a distant land but my heart is with my loved ones who have the same dream as mine.


God will never ever cease to guide and help us and even our loved ones that we left behind in the Philippines. MABUHAY ANG MGA OFW MOMS!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Magical Sakura in Okinawa

Flowers are beautiful as well as life is. Traditionally, Japanese people believed that sakura or cherry blossoms represent beauty and life's impermanence.  They say that the flowers characterize their appreciation to life and its beauty. Sakura are very much appreciated here in the Land of the Rising Sun. Chrysanthemum is Japan's official national flower and  though sakura isn't, they are still well loved by its people even during the ancient times. Many Japanese believed that the flowers have magical powers. Several centuries back, they regarded that you feel so energized and powerful when you spent time under the sakura trees. 

Aside from their belief in their magical properties, sakura were considered as a symbol of prosperity in agriculture. Before, the branches of the mountain cherry trees or yamaza-sakura were brought down to the lowland communities during spring celebrations in acknowledgement of their bountiful harvests. 


During the earlier times in 812 AD, sakura were planted all over Japan and all the rich families began to hold annual sakura festivals. This included Japanese people creating poetries and songs about the transience of life and even performing meditation under the sakura branches. Some said that the samurais (the military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan) also believed that because the flowers don't last throughout the year, their brief existence reflected their lives offered to their country for a just cause.

I was given the opportunity to witness the beauty of sakura here in Okinawa. I came to view the beauty of Okinawa's sakura at Mt. Yae located at Okayo, Motobu, Kunigami District. I actually have seen nothing less but their magnificent and magical beauty as said in the country's history.

Yearly, Japan Meteorological Association tracks the blooming of sakura trees from the southernmost prefecture in January to the northernmost regions in April and May. This is called "sakura zensen" or The Bloom of Cherry Blossoms. And because Okinawa island is having a relatively temperate winter climate, the sakura zensen begins months before many other Japanese locales see them during spring. Some of the mainland residents visit Okinawa during this season to see the local species called kanshi- zakura. This kind has darker  pink (actually scarlet in some cases) bell-shaped flowers. The blooming begins at Nakijin Castle ruins at Mt. Nago and at Mt. Yaedake here in OKINAWA.  Although there are people who would not believe really that sakura has magical properties, one thing is indeed real. The exquisite beauty of the cherry blossoms and the softness of their delicate petals brought tranquility and happiness to me. They may not really seem magical but still after viewing them,  I have witnessed and felt the pure heart of the Okinawans  and their culture. I really enjoyed the hanami (sakura viewing). THIS IS REALLY MY EXTRA CHERRY ON TOP OF MY JOB AS AN OFW.
                                                                                               

Friday, April 17, 2015

What Really Matters Most, CHARACTER or INTELLIGENCE?

All of us parents want our children to be intelligent. We want them to learn a lot of things right after they are born. We worry about the first words they will utter, the school they will attend, their teachers and classmates and all other things that affect and that may contribute to their learning. We worry a lot on their academic achievements. But is it being intelligent that matters most? Our world now values one's right thoughts more rather than one's right actions. Our education puts more weight on educating one's mind rather than moral. What really matters most, character or intelligence? Do we have to polish literacy first before character? For me, intelligence without character is nothing. If we focus more on educating children's mind and not include building their character, we are creating individuals that will still become a menace to our society. We should ensure that intelligence comes with good character. We must build a society where academic and character are at par. Teachers in school must know that they are character educators no matter what subjects or what levels of education they teach. 

Nowadays, intelligent people especially those who are working in the public office usually tend to be involved in corruption. Why? because they have poor moral backbone. Some people praise others according to their thoughts rather than their actions. We usually choose people who are said to be brilliant rather than those of good character to be our government leaders. And because of a lot of issues in the world that involve people with poor character, we have to strengthen and nurture academics on the platform of good manners. But how do we do that? We all know that all education curricula of course include behavior courses/subjects and still children display improper and sometimes unacceptable character. We must consider these things to be of help to our children.

Recognition of the teaching profession as a tool in shaping morally upright children should be a concern of all people. Teachers must be planning their daily lessons that integrate good manners in all subject areas. They must also walk the talk. Mentors should represent words with action. All teachers must acknowledge that they are the primary social architects of the world so they have to "Practice what they preach." In this regard, students will learn more because character is built daily in school. All school personnel must get involved. Younger students are always amenable and can be changed through peer interaction/teaching and proper mentoring.

What about parents? Parents should stop bragging about their children's intellectual capacity but have to be focused on working towards molding them into having high moral values. They have to emphasize to their children that character is more important than intelligence. They should explain that what is indeed important is that they have hearts that are kind and compassionate to others. Parents have to stop worrying about their children's academic achievements but have to work on character traits development. Children can learn character within the family environment.  

WHAT THEN REALLY MATTERS MOST?

God bestowed us with gifts in abundance. God gave us the gift of intellect. This gift is given to us by our most powerful God for us to use properly. God also has given each one of us gifts of character. Improving children's cognitive skills are important factors to attain life's success but what matters most really is to teach them to become persistent, conscientious, optimistic, kind, compassionate, motivated, disciplined and God-fearing. These traits are collectively known as CHARACTER. We really do not teach intelligence to children. We only cultivate and develop students' intellect. Character traits can be taught. Character-forming traits can create better people of the world.

Therefore, let us join hands into molding kind-hearted, compassionate, and disciplined children. Having good-mannered children today will help us build a better world.   


"IT'S NOT OUR JOB TO TOUGHEN OUR CHILDREN UP TO FACE A CRUEL AND HEARTLESS WORLD. IT'S OUR JOB TO RAISE CHILDREN WHO WILL MAKE THE WORLD A LITTLE LESS CRUEL AND HEARTLESS." L.R. Knost


Monday, March 30, 2015

Stand Up for the Truth

From Google

From Google

From Google
Life sometimes is unfair and people are unjust.It sometimes does not give you what you truly deserve. But in all struggles that I have triumphed and in all the hardships that I am still facing, I have learned the value of patience, determination, bravery, strength, and courage. I endured and patiently rose up after all the challenges and defeats I experienced. I was raised to listen and follow. I was also trained during my junior and senior years in High School the value of "Obey First Before You Complain." I treasured the value of respect and obedience during my student years.  But during those years, I also learned the meaning of fairness and equality. I was once a victim of partiality during the latter months of my senior High School by joining/choosing a dance presentation for the winners of the Model Parents Search rather than being part of the cadets and cadettes who queued up raising their swords in respect to the same winners of the said search. Yes, I am talking of the same program. Saying all that, from a major position in CAT, I was demoted to be a platoon leader and eventually stripped off a position in the organization. I did not speak for my right for I know then the importance of discipline and submission. From then on, I have started to realize the society's irrationality and unfairness. In my almost 18 years as a teacher, I am usually tagged as bold, impulsive, and blunt. Most of the time, people around me mistaken my "frankness" for arrogance and disrespect.

Is it incorrect to act out and speak up for one's right? Is it wrong to speak up for the injustice and prejudice you experience at work? Standing up for one's right is never a crime. Well, I also learned the value of humility. But letting injustice slide for the sake of compromise is a big no for me. Humility does not necessarily mean that you should give up your right for the truth. What if you are pushed to the wall? What if you are asked to do something inappropriate or wrong? BROADCASTING SENTIMENTS TO THE PUBLIC IS ALSO NOT A CRIME. It is my choice. I am proud and certain to tell you that the rewards/love I get from my students and their parents whether they are verbal or in the form of presents are all screaming for what I am as a worker. They are all silent recognition that I appreciate more. Never did I ask anyone to laud in any way over any achievement or accomplishment I made in all schools I have worked for. What I am always pushing for is the proper treatment of superiors to his subordinates. But sometimes you have to deal with  a lot of unjust people in the world. They will try not to ever give you things that you truly deserve instead threaten you of what "things" you can give to them far beyond your duty. In some situations, you might be a victim of indecent proposals and malicious acts by them. That I know spells T-H-R-E-A-T and H-A-R-A-S-S-M-E-N-T! I will definitely stand up for the truth and what is RIGHT. I will fight for my rights always.  


And in case that you know that you are becoming a victim of unfairness, injustice, and is not given proper recognition of the contribution you make to the place you are right now. Do not forget that GOD IS A JUST GOD AND WILL EVENTUALLY SHOWER YOU WITH WHAT YOU TRULY DESERVE. Remember also that your character and work ethics are part of the bases of your success and promotion. It is never ever the "pleasure" in whatever form that anyone could give to his or her superiors so he or she is favored all the time. 

THE ONLY PEOPLE MAD AT YOU FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH ARE THOSE LIVING A LIE, KEEP SPEAKING IT! -Unknown 

#iamYsa26
#dailybattle

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Okinawa's Froyo


If you want a healthy and customized treat that you will never forget, Okinawa has also something for you guys. Partyland Mihama  is a self serve frozen yogurt cafe here in American Village Chatan, Okinawa. It is located at the second floor of Carnival Park. You could drop by  not only for a personalized cup of froyo with exclusive  toppings  but for your healthy smoothies and mouth-watering crepes as well. As of the moment froyo is really big time here in Japan as an alternative to ice cream especially during summertime. And because it is made from milk instead of cream, it is indeed far less fat and more nutritious. Most women prefer to have frozen yogurt now instead of ice cream. At Partyland, you really can add a personal touch to your froyo by adding brownie, fresh strawberries (which I love most), bananas, nuts, kiwi, and a lot more. It indeed challenges your creativity. You've got a dozen options of flavors plus toppings that you could have as few or as many combinations that you desire. There is no required amount that you need to buy as long as you weigh down your cup with as much yogurt and toppings you love and of course  you are willing to pay for it (hehehe). Partyland has a number of branches now in Japan. You may now visit the branch nearest you. Here in Okinawa, the store opens at 11am to 11 pm daily. 

Just remember, THE BEST FROYO IS THE ONE THAT YOU CREATED YOURSELF! Party! Party!