Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What It Takes To Be A Hero

Just being kind can make you a hero
By: Elizabeth Lolarga
Philippine Inquirer

As the observance of National Heroes Day approaches, high-school students from the Community of Learners in San Juan City share their thoughts on what heroism is, and how they can go about being heroes in their own small way.

David Yap writes, “Being a hero isn’t that complicated. Doing big things doesn’t make a hero, but being unusually kind and generous gets you there pretty quickly. Heroes are people who are true to themselves, yet can still put others’ needs first. Just simply picking up trash and putting them in the garbage bin or saving a weaker kid from bullies is already the mark of a hero. You don’t have to be big and buff. Nor do you need super strength. Doing simple things where you put others before yourself makes you a hero.”

Kimberly Yu agrees that a simple gesture like “telling someone his or her shoelace is untied can help a lot. Even going to work on time or taking a sick friend’s shift is heroic. Let the old lady or the little kid go first in the bathroom when you’re in a line. These are simple acts of heroism. It would be great to make a habit out of it. Such acts of helping somebody not to trip, pee in their pants or get fired from work may not mean a lot to the world, but they do for certain people.”

Franco Gargantiel writes, “Heroism isn’t all about dying for your country or fighting for freedom and basic rights. It’s also about being a role model for others and doing what’s right. Recycling paper is also significant. Heroism is an act that shows valor and chivalry. It is also found in the smallest acts.

Like his classmates, Junald de Guzman thinks “being a hero doesn’t automatically mean doing something big and being on the cover of newspapers and magazines. Heroism means doing something for someone, or something, whether it’s for a person, an animal or nature itself. A hero isn’t just someone who stops a bank robbery or saves a little boy trapped in a well. A hero is someone who does something for others, even if no one notices it.”

Today´s youth are weaning from Batman, Spider Man, the X-Men, Astro Boy and other comic superheroes, and are casting instead for real, flesh-and-blood heroes who are not imbued with superhuman powers, but with the wisdom to know that a simple act can be converted into an act of heroism. That it is in everyone's possibility to be a hero in his own way.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Story of Two Angels

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family.
The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room.
Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement.
As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied,
"Things aren't always what they seem"

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife.

After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears.

Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel how could you have let this happen?
The first man had everything, yet you helped him, she accused.

The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die..

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied.

"When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall.

Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife, I gave him the cow instead.

Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You just might not know it until some time later...

Author Unknown

Source: Net

Monday, November 28, 2011

Michael Bublé - Christmas Songs

The Christmas season, the holiday season, or simply the holidays is an annual festive period that surrounds Christmas and various holidays. While we most often think about Christmas as a single day, it is actually a season of the year. In its popular sense, it extends four weeks before Christmas Day and for two weeks after. However, the time before Christmas is a special season called Advent, comprising the four Sundays before Christmas Day.  Source:  The Voice

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  We start to see Christmas commercials on tv and on publishing materials, and the streets start to gain decorations and luster.  Christmas  is already in the air as wind drifts and leaves fall, another season of cheers has began.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Celebration

Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in the month of November, every year, is essentially a harvest festival. It is a time characterized with lot of fun and frolic, gifting, family feasting, community praying etc.

Thanksgiving is most jubilated in the countries of America and Canada. These countries witness a lot of fervor and zeal among its residents. It is a time to thank not only God for a bountiful harvest, but also your fellow for their continuous support and care.

Parades, fetes and fairs, eating at restaurants, shopping are an inherent part of the festive celebration. Football game is closely associated with thanksgiving celebration in America. Foot ball matches are organised every year to mark the occasion. Thanksgiving weekend is also the official beginning of the Christmas season in America.

It is also celebrated in parts of Asia, Africa under different names. The theme behind all the celebrations is uniform- being grateful to Lord Almighty and your fellow men.

Source: SCFI

Here are some  quotes on Thanksgiving Day:

It is delightfully easy to thank God for the grace we ourselves have received, but it requires great grace to thank God always for the grace given to others. ~James Smith

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty. ~Michael Dresser

Source:  Quote Garden

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack

Here is an inspirational song on "Never Losing Hope".

I hope you dance once in a while even when you think you lack the rythmn!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Two Brothers - Happy Birthdays

Passion for beer, love of food, and appreciation for family traditions.  These characterize my two nephews.  They are similar and yet very different in sizes and shapes.  They were borne on the same date on November 19, but exactly two years apart, a perfect timing by mother nature.

Raised through the Catholic doctrine, devout and religious,  both have a talent to sing and dance like crooners and entertainers, inherited from their Dad.  Both have a happy attitude towards life and are hard working and borne to strive for the best, guided by their Mom and Dad.

Happy birthdays to both of you, and may God shower you with more of His Blessings with peace, good health and joy!  Cheers!

Here is an Irish Joke for you today:

Irishman's Two Brothers
An Irishman walks into a pub. The bartender asks him, "What'll you have?"
The man says, "Give me three pints of Guinness please."
So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third until they're gone. He then orders three more.
The bartender says, "Sir, you don't have to order three at a time. I can keep an eye on it and when you get low I'll bring you a fresh cold one."
The man says, "You don't understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the States. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we'd still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three Guinness Stouts too, and we're drinking together.”
The bartender thought that was a wonderful tradition. Every week the man came in and ordered three beers.
Then one week he came in and ordered only two. He drank them and then ordered two more. The bartender said to him, "I know what your tradition is, and I'd just like to say that I'm sorry that one of your brothers died."
The man said, "Oh, me brothers are fine -- I just quit drinking."

Source:  Funny Hub

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bags In Style


The bags by Antonio Lobato, which are sold in  "Julia y Belén" (Goya, 17), are mixed with jewelries and furniture as if they were in your own house.

Mother and daughter Julia y Belén, have designed their store so that they can present their products far from the boring and conventional showcases.

The bags  prices oscillate from 99,95 euros up to 134,95 euros.

In this time of economic crisis, luxury items are even less affordable for the middle class, but everyone can always look around and dream, why not?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Old Lady and One Euro, Short Story

Yesterday, as I opened the locker where I kept my things before I entered the supermarket in the city,  I dropped my coin of 1 Euro.  I looked for several seconds, minutes maybe while people kept passing by unmindful of my dilemma.  I kept on looking around on the floor, moving around and about, but the floor was of different shades and with a peculiar design which did not make it easy for me at all to find my coin. I was about to give up and let it go thinking that somebody will eventually find it and make good use of it, when an old lady (probably in her 80's) came by to ask me:

"What is the matter? Maybe I can be of some help".   I thanked her for the offer and mentioned about the missing coin while thinking  "if I cannot find my coin with my eyes, how can you at your age?"  She probably read my mind because she said: "Well, I may not be able to bend to pick up the coin, but I can help you to locate it, four eyes are better than two".

I smiled at her and extended my gratitude again.   But as if by magic and almost simultaneously, as I turned to the spot near me, where I looked and looked before and did not find the coin, I heard the sound of the drop of a coin, and alas!  there it was, too close not to have been noticed before, but seemed to have been dropped out of nowhere. I looked at the old lady again and gave her another smile of gratitude, wanting to give her a big hug, but afraid it would probably be too much for her fragile body, as she returned my smile and walked away.

One Euro, only one Euro, bu enough to give me a joyful day!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Endemic Flowers of the Philippines

Waling-Waling or Vanda sanderiana, is described as the "Queen of Philippine Orchids". One of the largest species in the world, Waling-Waling was discovered by German Taxonomist Heinrich Gustav Reicheinback in Mindanao in 1882. Since then, it has become the most sought-after flower in Mindanao. The discovery of Waling-Waling has influenced another thousand colorful and attractive vandaceous hybrids that are now part of the world's multibillion-dollar orchid and cutflower industry. 

Waling-Waling, the rarest and most beautiful orchid is  famous for its large and colorful hybrids. It grows on tree trunks in the rainforests of Davao, Sultan Kudarat and other parts of Mindanao. It blooms only once a year, between July and October. However, the continuous plunder of this prized specimen has brought it to near extinction. 

Source:  TxMania

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Story of The Prodigal Son

Photo by Ronald
Once upon a time, there was this prodigal son who by force of destiny, had gone astray from his family.  But by choice, he decided to return to his roots, once his obligations already allowed  him to do so.

But then when he returned and with a child,  he found out that his father has died and that the mother has been attended all this time that he was gone, by the rest of the siblings.  And that one has gained authority inspite of not being the oldest in the family, after having taken care of all of the mother's needs in all aspects.

Although the mother celebrated the return of the prodigal son, the latter was faced  with several impediments.  One of the siblings, who took the main authority, no longer wanted to cede the place that he now occupies in the family, feeling that he has gained entitlement to it and by virtue of the years that he held this authority, considered that  he has gained full right to the title.  He did not  want to discuss the matter of authority and would rather stay in his comfort zone.

So the prodigal son, thought it necessary to call the rest of the siblings as witnesses so someone can act as the jury, but not before saying that  the jury must be quiet until the complete hearing was done, from both sides.  But then the second of the siblings started to interrupt and gave what he considered to be a neutral counsel,  without consciously  knowing that by doing so, he was disobeying the order of the prodigal son and perpetuating a defense for the one in possession of authority.   The second sibling finally said:  you must settle your differences first with the one holding authority, and keep  me out of your disputes, because I cannot do anything about it.

Another sibling said that it was okay for the prodigal son to come back, but does not think it seemed right to have the prodigal son come back with his child, although he ventured that the prodigal son, has the choice to bring his child, and it depends on the prodigal son whether he wants to do so or not.  But not before having given previously the full invitation for both prodigal son and child.   To which, the prodigal son thought: "how can I come home with a partial invitation now, when at first, he gave me a full invitation to me and my child, and I already made a promise to my child that I will bring him along with me?  He was faced with a dilemma, since now  the full invitation has been withdrawn to change it to a partial one with  an indication  of  "take your child against my advice as you wish, but don't forget that it is against my advice".  Although his child is an adult now, the prodigal son thought that he still has his responsibility towards him.

So he went to the same sibling and asked again:  Please can you re-consider since my child is old enough not to give a problem of any kind in cumplying with my obligations with our mother, I just want to present my child to the rest of the family to see for himself how they live and pay respect to his grandma.  And yet, the same reply was given:  "I told you once, and I am telling you twice:  I do not think that you can give full attention to our mother, if you bring your child with you, and do not ask me again because you will no longer receive any  answer from me",  so he replied, almost angrily.

The prodigal son was at a loss, so he turned again to the three siblings and said: " Please, just let me be with Mother for a week or so and let us celebrate my return together with my child, because I  do not have any intention of taking away your authority in the family but I just want to celebrate with you a reconciliation in the eyes of our mother.  So that together we can be happy instead of waiting someday to meet and cry before her grave.  The prodigal son knew that, just like when his father died, he will not be present in a celebration of grief and condolences, it was just not one of his principles.

But all the efforts and pleas of the prodigal son were all received with "NAY, NAY, NAY".  So the prodigal son just bowed his head and prayed.  He prayed that someday his siblings will realize that he comes back with a mission of peace, that he realizes that for the long time that has elapsed since he left, his siblings no longer know him as who he is today, that his intentions are noble and honest, but on the other hand, the prodigal son realizes that he should be patient and wait until his siblings face the reality, so that he can be received as the new person that he now has turned into, a better and wholesome member of the family, an asset never a liability to be given the right to the place where he belongs as a respectable part of a family nucleus.

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, only my thoughts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What Determines the Richness of a Country

The difference between poor countries and rich countries does not lie in their ages.  Like India and Egypt that have more than 2000 years,  they continue to be poor.

The difference between poor countries and rich countries neither resides in the availability of their natural resources. Japan has 80%  of mountainous lands, which are inadequate for agriculture and pasture, but it is the second in world's economy.

Japan is an immense fluctuating factory, importing raw materials all over the world while exporting manufactured products.

Another example is Switzerland, it does not produce cocoa, but it has the best chocolate in the world.

They raise animals and cultivate the earth for hardly four months a year, nevertheless, they manufacture the best milk.

It is a small country that projects an image of security, order and  employment, and this is what transformed it into a Safety Box of the World.

Executives from the rich countries in comparison with their parallel executives from the poor countries show that there is no significant intelectual difference.

The education and the culture must manifest  collective consciences, structured in the eternal values of the society:  Morality, spirituality and ethics.

In synthesis:  to transform the conscience of the people and the process must have the starting point in the communities

- where the citizens live and live with others

Upon analysis of the people's behaviors in the rich countries, it has been observed that the majority adopt a quantum paradigm, with the prevalence of the spirit over the material.  And adopt the following life principles:

1. Ethics as basic principle
2. Integrity
3. Responsibility
4. Respect for law and regulations
5. Respect for the rights of other citizens
6. Love for work
7. The effort to investment
8. The desire to excel
9. Punctuality
10. To see that something is wrong must not generate indifference.
      It is necessary to change thinking to be able to rectify
11. Our preoccupation must be on the society, the cause, and not with the political class
which is hardly the sad effect.

Only this way can we reach excellence.

Martin Luther King said:
- It does not worry me the shouts of the violent, of the corrupt, of the deshonest, of those without ethics.

-What worries me more is the silence of those who are good.

Source:  Alicia J. Butticaz

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The New 7 Wonders of Nature

From all around the World people have chosen the new 7 wonders of the world, including Puerto Princesa, Philippines. What a pride!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Key To Love

Processed Photo by Ronald
Normal Photo by Ronald

 Corazon rojoCorazon rojoCorazon rojo      

The key to love is forgiveness - to accept each others' fault and pardon mistakes
without forgetting but with remembering what you learn from them

The key to love is sharing - facing your good fortune as well as the bad,
together, both conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness

The key to love is giving -  without thought of return but with the hope of a simple smile by giving in but not giving up

The key to love is respect - realizing that we are separate people with different ideas that you don't belong to each other, that you belong with each other and share a mutual bond

The key to love is inside all - it takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take us to the threshold

It is the continual learning that demands a lot of work,
but the rewards are more than worth the effort

Author Unknown

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mimic Show of Ennio Marchetto

Today, we went to see a mimic show in a theater in Madrid.

This is a one man show that has triumphed in more than 70 countries, and we had the chance to see how Ennio Marchetto, 51, an Italian from Venice transformed himself  changing rapidly to do his memorable interpretations of some famous international and local personalities such as: Mona Lisa, Lady Gaga, Marilyn Monroe, Celine Dion, Abba, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Amy Winehouse, Tina Turner, Elvis, Freddie Mercury, Beyonce Knowles, Queens, Liza Minelli,  Julio Iglesias, Lola Flores, Rafael, Alaska, Miguel Bosé, etc.

Ennio's show was inspired by the animated cartoons of Disney which he used to watch when he was a boy, with the modern coreography of Pina Bausch and the carnival air of his natal city of Venice.

Ennio's show  along with an unbeatable sound track, made him gain numerous international awards and made it a global phenomenon. 

The quickness of his movements as he transformed from one personality to the other sometimes wearing three layers of extravagant clothes and masks, created from origami, immitating different personalities, was a funny thing to watch as he danced and interpreted some all times favorite songs.

It was different from all the other shows that we have seen before and the four of us who watched Ennio, along with many others of the audience, were all delighted and entertained with the show.  Too bad we were not allowed to take pictures.