December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year to all!

A month before Christmas, I again spent days after agonizing days of designing the official postcard for the organization I work with.

It's not that I am running out of ideas, but creativity was so hard to come by when you're swamped with a hundred other things to worry about.

This year's SWS postcard underwent the most toxic process of revisions I've ever had since I volunteered to do this annual tradition, and all those effort doesn't even show in the final product.

But the whole process reminded me of the things to be thankful for, and ultimately the postcard carried the question that sums up all we've been wanting to say (or rather, ask):

What is the best Christmas gift you have ever received?

Here's what our kababayans answered.

Mine's the gift of life and love.

And just recently... forgiveness.

The year 2008 has been one that makes us appreciate every little blessing that comes our way. Every single lull in between problems, every little good thing -- is a gift that makes up the many best gifts this year.

What's yours?

Wishing everyone a safe, happy, and healthy year ahead.

December 17, 2008

Left wide open

For some time now, I've been contemplating about incorporating a forum to the website of the organization I work for. But each time I'm at the brink of giving it a go, I remember the words I've read from a moderator in one of the forums I subscribe to:

"However well you moderate a forum, this is a tool that leaves you wide open."

I don't think I'm ready.

***

We've all heard it before: sharing means opening up. This is nothing different from the daily interactions we have with everyone.

A coping mechanism, a need-to-know information, or simply to let others understand one better -- whatever the purpose for doing so, if done without malice, sharing is intended for something beneficial.

Of course, whatever happens after the information has been shared is something outside of everyone's control. How easily can one turn an information into a weapon, intentional or otherwise?

...

...

So, shoe throwing is the highest form of contempt in the Arab world.

Let's see... A "shoe" was thrown at me today. It represents everything that I despise, something very few knew of.

Though intended as a jest, the throw was direct and precise.

Unfortunately, unlike Bush, I wasn't able to duck.

I was wide open.

Bull's eye.

So funny... The irony of it all. ^ ^

First time for everything, I guess.

December 05, 2008

Love the drama

I've been wearing smart casuals/semi formal for three straight days now. This is unusual considering our workplace requires us to be in smart casuals only twice a week.

My extra day of looking a bit less of an NGO staffer this week was because of an interview appointment for a TV network that got re-scheduled.

This morning it finally pushed through.

When I entered the studio where the interview was going to be conducted, I was like "Whoa!" O_o

I won't tell exactly what the theme is just yet. The producer immediately explained the reason for the studio setup, how the interview will proceed, and what the overall tone will be.

"We have to make it more interesting for the people."

I agree. I do hope a little drama would make surveys and numbers a little more palatable to the viewing public.

We'll find out sometime before New Year.

Cheers!

December 04, 2008

Emotion

If one of the keys to effective fighting is unpredictability, then Metro Manila motorists make good fighters had driving been a form of sparring.

First, they never let their intentions known. Making the move is the primary concern. Announcing this move by signal would be purely optional.

Sure, make that turn. Signal only when you've come millimeters away from leaving a dent in someone else's fender.

Another thing that makes Metro drivers effective sparring partners: they show no emotion.

Show it, you lose.

***

Controlling emotion.

I used to believe I learned much of this precious skill at the workplace.

Over a decade of meeting different people in different circumstances lead me to believe that somehow I would have earned myself a decent amount of skill over this domain.

But no.

Life still has been blessing me with people who show me how little I know, and how much more I have to learn, about controlling emotion.

The mask that I so proudly wield seem so puny compared to the kind of walls these extraordinary people could deploy.

I have to sit for an entire hour staring at nothing to take it all these lessons in, and even that won't be enough to realize how far I still have to go.

A day at a time. Just take careful note of every word and every act, and from them build that wall.

Because the mask can only conceal, but not protect.

Oh, so emo. ^^

December 02, 2008

The disease lives on

If I remember correctly, my first taste of the disease was Live AIDS 9, when Adrian invited me to watch this annual musical-comedy series by UP SAMASKOM.

I got hooked. Watching Live AIDS has then become a staple annual activity that Joan and I look forward to, even if we've been missing it a lot in the recent years.

Thanks to a colleague and former housemate, Ai, and her sis Aims, we were able to watch Live AIDS Silver: The UP Centennial Edition last Sunday at the UP Theater.

Except for the schedule (which is typically slotted somewhere 1st-2nd quarter of the year) and the bigger stage (they brought in an Ikot jeep onstage), nothing has changed -- the production still bursts with that energy, sound, and color that are distinctively SAMASKOM.

And since it's the University's centennial celebration, the theme mostly revolved around the good and bad of being an Isko and being in UP.

Anyway, I just wonder what the 5-year old kid, seated near the front row, thought when he saw the re-enactment of the Oblation Run. Haha!

I was left wishing for more biting lines on the government and other contemporary issues, but nonetheless the whole production refreshed that old UP pride in me.

Congrats, SAMASKOM, for another darn good show!