Monday, September 22, 2008

the list i have yet to finish

For over 4 years, I have been bugged by one question over and over again. I thought I was going crazy for finding no satisfaction in all the time I spent for my thought life seeking to find the answer. I’ve read all the books. I’ve asked for all possible help. I’ve compared notes with my friends. Still, I was left with no concrete answer.

The Purpose-Driven Life became a best-seller because Rick Warren was able to successfully spot the one question that everybody has subconsciously been asking all their life- What is life’s purpose?

In one of my quest for the answer, a wonderful revelation was made known to me a few months back. I realized that finding the true meaning of existence is not of this world. I was able to understand that nothing in this world can truly satisfy that strange longing in our life…that after earning all the accomplishments this world has to offer which should’ve made us feel that it was enough, still we end up wondering what else is missing.

I was over step one. I was able to draw the big picture out of this search. If it’s not our job, relationships, our bank account or collection of travel pictures, I began to zoom in the specific- what is that very thing that we are all searching for. I used to envy those people who seem to have a definite purpose in life, who live each day as if they knew exactly what they are meant for. I began to imitate their source of happiness.

I was jealous of those overly confident people who could win any argument by mere intimidation. I was jealous of those who had a wide perspective in running businesses that innovations just seem to pop in the middle of the night. I was jealous of those who seem to know it all and are able to impose their point of view on other people. I wanted to become like them, so I dreamed to do things that would make me like them.

None of my efforts paid off. None of my plans materialized. I was on the verge of frustration of wanting to do everything and yet not knowing where to start. During one of my daily meetings with myself, I asked God just one request. I asked Him to show me a direction on where I should head. I asked for an opportunity to do that very thing that would define my purpose in life in a way that’s delightful in His eyes.

As faithful as He’s always been, He answered clearly. Imagine how you were confused as a child on why huge ships do not sink into the sea but a tossed coin does. Then all the concepts of buoyancy etc. were explained and we just couldn’t hide our amazement. I could’ve picked a better analogy but my point is there was a clear, unmistakable answer that was given to me that left me gasp in astonishment.

I was offered a writing position. I was not even expecting that answer. In fact, I was looking forward to a teaching job at a university. Writing was just a hobby and an outlet of thoughts I never seem to run out of. You can just imagine my disbelief when I was told of the answer. It was laid out to me plain and simple. No room for having second thoughts. No room for debates.

I was ecstatic! It was as if I asked my dad for a red car for my birthday and he gave me the exact red car I asked for right there and then! (How I wish) I never thought writing could possibly be more than just a hobby.

Now, I’ve got a new list of plans but this time I am prepared to put a check mark on every single step.

To God be the glory.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wall Street

The news of Wall Street’s beginning of recession is everywhere. Investment house, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy while 158-year old giant bank, Merrill Lynch sold itself to Bank of America at about $50 billion. Now everyone’s worried on its global effects, US having the dominant grip on global finance.

Now don’t expect me to give an in-depth analysis of this. I’ve worked in a bank before but I barely recall the significance of these stuffs in my life. Besides, I’ve read it on the paper just this morning. The only thing that roused my interest of course is its effect on me.

Local banks are also affected by this drop in the US stocks. Philamlife had to assure its troubled investors, including me, of their stability despite the financial difficulties of its major shareholder, AIG. And I think the investors of Philamlife or its subsidiaries could pacify themselves a bit by looking at its investment portfolio which is heavy on Philippine government securities and corporate bonds.

Anyway, as I was reading the newspapers and blogs today, it wasn’t only the news per se that absorbed all my interest allotted for today. Seeing these people so engrossed with relevant matters as this led me into thinking what on earth I am consuming my time with, while everyone else is busy with the world’s concerns.

I once dreamed of becoming a journalist or a novelist. I’ve always wanted to write something that would impact other people. I don’t know if this is just one of the many things I’m planning to do with my life. I mean, I planned to become a lawyer at one point. I planned to become a teacher and establish my own school for cute little kids. And now I, myself, am not certain if this is for real or is just a product of my active mind today.

However, I still believe that when you put your mind into something you want, you’ll be able to make it happen. Let’s just see if there’s gonna be a Plan D or am I gonna stick with this.

Government announces $85 billion loan to save AIG – yey!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Isang Magandang Kwento


NOTE: THE COMIC VERSION (kindly refer here for the original version)

May isang kwentong natatago, ngunit pinahahalagahan. Ito’y isang kwento na nagsimula sa isang kakaibang paraan ngunit nagbunga upang maging isang napakagandang bagay na maaring mangyari sa isang tao. Ang kagandahan nito ay nakakalito ngunit mayroong mga bagay na mas mabuting hindi maunawaan upang mas mabigyang halaga.

Sa pagdaan ng panahon, ang mga pangyayari sa kwentong ito ay nanatiling napakalinaw na para bang ang bawat bahagi nito ay paulit ulit na binabasa hanggang sa ang bawat kaliit liitang detalye ay nanatili sa pinakamalalim na bahagi ng kaisipan. Ang kahalagahan nito ay inalagaan at iningatan na parang isang bagay na walang kapantay; isang bihirang pangyayari sa buhay na hindi maaaring ipagpalit sa kahit ano pa man.

Ito ay isang kwento na nabuo mula sa mga bagay na imposible. Ito ay isang matibay na katunayan tungkol sa dalawang tao na tunay na magkaiba at magkalayo, ngunit sa nag-iisa at napakaliit na pagkakataon na maaring hindi na maulit pa, mayroong isang napakagandang bagay na maaaring mabuo.

Ito ay tungkol lamang sa isang kakaibang pagkakaibigan na nagsimula sa biro, pinagsamahan nang magkalayo, pinagtibay sa kabila nito, at pinagpatuloy hanggang sa dulo. Simple lang, ngunit hindi ito ordinaryo. Sa kwentong ito ay may natatagong kakaibang pagkakaugnay na maaaring manatiling misteryo hanggang sa katapusan.

Kahit kakaiba ang kwentong ito, nanatili ito sa alaala sa napakahabang panahon. At kahit pa nga sinasabi ng ibang tao na katangahan ang paniniwala sa bagay na gaya nito, nanatili pa rin itong katotohanan.

Kung tutuusin ang kwentong ito ay maaaring manatiling walang kahit isang kamalian. Ngunit kahit na ang mga kamangha-manghang kwento ay mayroon ding depekto. At kagaya ng lahat ng bagay, nagkaroon din ng mga problema sa kwentong ito. Nagkaroon ng mga pangyayari na hindi mahalaga at napagkamalang mga bagay na mas makapagpapaganda pa sa isang bagay na sa una pa man ay perpekto na. Nakakalungkot man, napatunayang ang mga pangyayaring ito ay walang kaugnayan sa kabuuan ng kwento.

Hindi naman masasabing pagkatapos ng pangyayaring na halos hindi na rin naman nangyari, ay nasira na ng tuluyan ang buong kwento. Ngunit para sa isang tao na pinahalagahan ang ganitong kwento, sapat na ang pangyayaring ito upang pagdudahan ang katotohanan ng isang napakagandang pagkakaibigan.

Unti unting lumabo ang mga bahagi ng kwento. Noon ay kasindali ng abc ang pag-alala dito, ngunit dumating ang pagkakataong kahit ang mga salita ay naging malayo upang maipaliwanag kung ano ang nangyari sa kwento.

Kung ito ay isusulat muli, ang mga bahaging hindi kanais-nais ay hindi na isasali. Dahil ang pangyayaring iyon ang nagbigay daan upang maging hindi kapani-paniwala ang buong kwento. Ngunit kung babalikan ang pagkakataon kung saan ang lahat ng pangyayari ay walang kasingganda, lagi itong nagbibigay ng kakaibang pakiramdam ng kasiyahan. At maaaring tanging ang pakiramdam na ito lang ang tanging bagay na mananatili hanggang huli.

Ang pagtitiwala sa kwentong ito ay masasabing hindi tama at tanda ng kawalan ng karunungan. Ipinipilit ng ibang tao na masyadong maganda ang kwentong ito para maging totoo. Sa kabila nito, nagdudulot pa rin ito ng mga ngiti sa pagalala dito…isang kwento na paulit ulit pa ring binabasa sa kabila ng mga depekto nito.

Ito ba ay isa lamang talagang kwento? Maaari. Ngunit kung aking titingnan, ang maaaring ito ay isa nga lamang kwento, ngunit ang pagkakaibigan sa kwentong ito ay totoo.

a translation of "A Beautiful Myth"