Monday, September 26, 2011

I am a citizen of STI. I am an agent of change.

"All of us here in this room have hopes, not just for ourselves, not just for our families and for our loved ones but also for our country. Unfortunately though, the people we've elected into power can't do it all by themselves, they need our help too. And I got this from my brother, change should begin from within. That's where it starts. I mean, it doesn't have to be big. It can be really simple but the important thing is that each of us( I am guilty of a lot of stuff too), makes the change first from within. It starts with one. It starts with just one person and before you know it, that one becomes two and two becomes four and then before you know it, we are in heaven."
Judging the quote itself, it would seem as if this was spoken by a smart and concerned political leader of our nation. Someone we assume to be an apparent advocate of change. However, it may not be surprising to know that these words were delivered by Ms. Leah Salonga. I intended to download the song "The Journey" from the internet but for some reason the one that I was able to download includes her short-speech speaking about change. What she mentioned with reference to change completely makes sense to me. When I heard this commentary from her for the first time, it made me realized one thing. This "change" that most of us have been yearning for to take place, is the unified fragments of every individual’s selfless decisions in life for the society. If each and everyone will come to a single realization of how this seemingly impossible dream can come true then as what Lea Salonga puts it, we will all be living in heaven. The invention of a plane came from a man's decision to explore the place beyond his boundaries. In fact, everything that was invented which we are taking advantage of during this time, all came from a dream, followed by the will that was put into action then the will drove the hands to put all these dreams into reality.

   How can a student like me be part in turning the society's desired dream into reality? I can be part of it by being a leader. In the past, I have been living my life clinging to a wrong definition of "leadership". I thought being a leader was someone who barks commands to his followers, someone who doesn't do anything but tell people what to do. I thought living a life of leadership was easy. Nevertheless, my experiences in life helped me see and understand things right. These experiences allowed me to understand what leadership truly is and how it is applied in real life. Now I know that I do not have to be someone in power to be a leader. Being a leader is simply a choice. A choice to serve not ourselves but other people. A selfless initiative to do what is right. This act is something I know can contribute towards the development of my community and my country.

This may sound cliche but let me tell you anyway that being a leader means following rules and regulations. It is a very simple act of ethical behavior. It is so simple that most of us would rather go against it instead of committing to it. It is so simple that we think that violating rules and regulations sometimes wouldn’t hurt at all. As an agent of change, I will not have this kind of mind set. Instead, I will lead the people around me by doing what is right. I will follow the policies of my school, traffic rules and regulations and what have you. I will do this not because I want to impress people but because I know it is the right thing to do. Being a leader means knowing my responsibilities and obligations as a student, a son and a Filipino citizen. I am aware that I have to study hard to make my parents proud and provide a better life for my family in the future. At the same time, I am doing this to give a hand to my country. The hands maintaining the stability of my country is clearly not enough as we can see on the news nowadays. My hands may not be the hands of superman but just to know the fact that I have contributed something for my country makes me proud as a Filipino.

If there's one thing I would change in order for us to achieve national development and progress, I would change the attitude of the people. I think one of the many reasons why we still haven’t achieved this dream is because of the people’s mind set towards themselves, their lives, and the society. Some of us put all the blame to the government, some of us blame other people for the lives we are currently living now, others would rather be passive in everything that is happening around them. These acts are obviously the reason why we are stuck in this present situation. We complain too much but we lack action to do something about the issue. If we desire to change the face of this country and if we are truly longing to rise from this adversity, we need to act positively and appropriately in order to achieve this. We cannot easily change how the people in the government run this country but there’s one thing we can definitely change and that is ourselves. We know who we are and we know the things we need to change in our lives. It is just a matter of deciding and committing to change.

As I was writing this essay, another realization came to me. The acts I have listed in order for me to hand out something for my country is not a headlong solution. I don’t expect this country to change in 10 years time through this. I don’t expect everybody to follow me with this advocacy. However, there are two things I know for sure. I will be able to influence enough people to do their part in making a difference. The second thing is, I wouldn’t be any prouder because I have fulfilled my purpose for my country. So when is the best time to be an agent of change you may ask, well, the best time is, today.

(This is my essay entry for my school's essay writing competition)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I am the worst grandson

I wasn't excited to be back. 

I was even more concerned about the take home quiz that I need to finish tonight.

Was there something to be excited about? 

A question that came in as I took my breakfast.
I didn't even give an effort in thinking about what I'd wear.

I just picked my favorite stylish shorts and a simple shirt. Wore my sleepers and I was ready to go.

I just wanted to go because I didn't want my mom to go alone by herself.

Antipolo is my birthplace. The place where I've seen how hard life could become, how families struggle to make ends meet and how loneliness could make you the saddest person in the world and I guess because of that, I didn't really have a lot of nice memories growing up in the place of my birth. I had my friends but I was still lonely. Every time I'd get back home from playing outside, I knew loneliness would haunt me back again. You see when I was a child, my mom had to leave for work. I'd remember my grandparents trying to make me understand why mom had to leave. I believe I knew why but I couldn't hold my tears back when mom would step out of the door and bid me goodbye. It'd be the saddest moment in my life every time.

I remember, I would cry as she disappeared from my sight. Then I knew at that moment in time, it would be long before she comes back again. Having that thought ran around in circles, it has squeezed every tear out of my eyes. My grandma would use to calm me down, wipe my tears off my cheeks  and comforted me until I stopped crying. 

The absence of my tears didn't mean the absence of my loneliness. It was still present and alive.

The sun was up so high and I couldn't take the heat. 

As the tricycle went up to an incline, every memory of that path came in to play. I'd remember the place where I used to get scared every night. The place where I believed creatures lurked. I still remembered the exact same fear that I usually get every time I get to that incline.

The rocky road on our way to my grandparents was still the same old path. Until now they haven't fixed that path yet. It's still soiled so when it rains, you wouldn't want to walk there because it would turn from a dry land to a muddy pool. 

And then there we arrived. 

It was completely different when my grandparents weren't there. They reconstructed the house and built additional walls that separate two families living together. I used to sit beside my grandma every time we visit there, I'd pay respect to my aunts and uncles but I'd always prefer to sit beside my loving grandma and chat with her.

I'd usually ask her if she already ate or how she was doing. I'd look at her face and see how time had changed her(physically). However, she has not changed a bit with the way she treated me and the other people around her. She was still the same old grandma that I'd always find comfort with. The same kind, caring, calm and loving grandma.

You see, my grandma raised me in the absence of my mom. I remember when I was in 1st grade, she would fetch me to school. After class, I'd always see her waiting for me. We would go to the wet market and eat but I was always wondering why was I the only one eating. She would just watch me eat. I wanted to share my food so bad but I knew she would refuse. Or sometimes we would go home and she'd prepare food for me. I appreciated that so much but I didn't get the chance to tell her that. 

Every time I'd get scolded by my aunt or dad or my grandpa she would be there to make me understand why. She'd wipe my tears with her "daster" and would do her best to make me stop crying. Every time, we'd go to sleep at night, my grandpa didn't want to turn on the fan because they were trying to save electricity so when I'd feel hot, grandma would get a cardboard, a newspaper or anything she could use to make me feel cool.Sometimes, she would sing a lullaby to put me down to sleep. She had this calming and relaxing tone. I'd always feel like I was in heaven being serenaded by an angel.

She'd help me get ready for school. She'd wake up early to prepare my breakfast. There would be times when she'd prepare a pack lunch for me. My favorite was pandesal and fried hotdogs. Every day she would do that for me. I didn't hear any complaints from her. I remember images in my mind that she'd kiss me on the cheeks for no reason and it always made me happy. I knew that my grandma loved very much and has always appreciated my presence. I also remember images of me hugging her so tight. I still remember her scent. The scent of her "daster".

Now, the place changed since she passed away. The bed where she used to lie on was no longer there. I wanted to sit beside her but I knew I could no longer do that. She's in a better place and wherever that place is, I know she's happy.

I think the biggest mistake I have ever done was not being there when she passed away. I was at work. It was difficult to get absent and to be honest, I didn't really think about her that much. 

Today, when I went back to the only place where memories of my grandma and I together lie, I felt the guilt. It's killing me now thinking about it. I feel like I am the worst grandson ever to have existed in this world. I was raised and loved by her but I didn't show myself up during the last minutes of her life. I didn't show up in her funeral. She wasn't able to see me for the very last time.

I wasn't able to say how much I love her so much.

I wasn't able to say how much I appreciate her sacrifices and everything that she has done for me.

I wasn't able to say that she is a part of the reason why I am what I am now.

I guess, you would never know that it's too late when it already is.

I miss you lola and I love you very much.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


"Arrogance invites ruin; humility receives benefits."
(a quote from

I went to to look up the word "ARROGANCE" and then I noticed that has added a new feature on their site that allows a user to look up quotes.

Instead of looking for the literal meaning of the word, I just thought of searching a particular quote that talks about arrogance. I picked the one posted above because it's simple and it has a good meaning.

You see, when I was in high school, I tend to say anything that would hurt the person I was angry at. I would insult his physical appearance to every thing that my angry mind can think of.
I was careless. I was insensitive. I was arrogant.

I remember saying something about how smart I am and how dumb he is or anything close to that statement.

I would feel terrible afterwards.
That's how I become arrogant before but growing up I was able to learn how to control my anger and having to learn how to control it led me to know about humility.

Now, here's what I am wondering about, I used to become arrogant due to my anger and never really boast about something I know or something I'm good at when I am not in an angry state(excluding those statements that were misinterpreted).

However, what's the reason of those people who become arrogant in given situations but without even having any reason to be one.

You see, if you know something then share it with other people.

It should be for the sake of letting them know what you know but not for the sake of indirectly introducing yourself as "MR. KNOW-IT-ALL".

Man! If I can just tell you personally that you've already crossed the line, I will but I'm terrible with confrontations so I'll pass.

I was planning to write about this way back when I smelled the stench of arrogance from where he was sitting but just couldn't find the time to do so. 

Now, it's about time to write about it.

I don't want you guys to think that I'm judging this person.

This is how he acts and I just don't like the way he responds to things that tend to irritate or maybe hurt other people.

Sometimes, all it takes is self-control and thinking before acting. You may not be used to controlling the words you say but if you want to change, you'll do whatever it takes.

I still talk to him about school stuff but I'd rather keep myself away from him as much as possible for the mean time until the time comes that I've already figured out how to deal with his attitude.

To be completely honest, I liked his personality the first time I've met him.

He was nice and humble but I don't know. Things suddenly changed and he became a completely different person to me.

My reaction towards an arrogant person is normal. I am a human being and I have the right to feel this way about someone. 

Here's what I believe. Every person, including myself, has his own flaws when it comes to his attitude, the way he socializes, interacts and responds to the people around him.

I think these kinds of flaws can be altered depending on the interest of the person to change. You can be humble if you choose to be humble. You can be an optimistic person, if you choose to be optimistic.

Change is always up for grabs for those who want it or need it.

It's just waiting for us to own it.

: )