Saturday, July 30, 2005

Next Best Thing

I just finished the latest Harry Potter installment, the Half-Blood Prince. It was great, as expected. Now, this won't be a critique of the book. This post is just to extol the virtues of that wonderful writer, J.K. Rowling. She really is amazing. I'm almost tempted to believe that throwaway comment of my co-worker about her possibly being a witch herself. How she can talk about those things? And, in such a fashion?

She really has created a fantasy world out of Hogwarts and Potter. The characters have taken a life of their own that people seemed to think of them as next-door neighbors. I just know that we'll all be saddened once the series comes to an end. It has gone beyond the I-like-this-book-it's-great to I-love-this-book-it's-an-absolute-favorite.

While the most recent book has a sad ending with one of the major characters dying, it just left the readers desperate for the next, and it was said, last installment. While it would be great to have that, it would mean a doleful goodbye to something that has become an immensely enjoyable pastime in our lives.

Sure, we can go back to reading it again and again. But, it would be different. In our minds, Harry, Ron and Hermione will go on living but it won't be with us.

Harry Potter is not just enjoyable reading, it has become our playground where we are again, a child, wide-eyed and able to believe in the wonders both known and unknown to us. It' s a very nice feeling. And, one that would be most difficult to part with.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

People

I read this somewhere: the desperate need to compete stems from a deep-seated feeling of inadequacy.

Healthy competition is good if all it does is to motivate you to do your best and keep you on your toes. But if it goes beyond that, when you let it dictate to you and make you look, well, desperate, it's saying much about your self-esteem. Or rather the lack of it.

At a certain age, self-knowledge should be a given. You should know what you can and cannot do. What you're good at and where you're not so good at. Let's face it, there will always be something that others can do better than you. That's the way of life. Each is born with different talents and skills. We take what we have and we make the best of it. We can only build on what we have and we can only work on something up to a certain point. It's futile to want something that is never yours to begin with.

Sometimes one is 'lucky' enough to meet this kind of people. People who are not happy unless they have what they deem to be the approval, the admiration, and worse, the envy of others. They don't feel complete when they don't feel they are not the 'best,' whatever that is in their limited concept. They want to acquire friends. And it's not quality they're after, it's the number and the 'status' it confers. Empty flatteries, liberal sprinkling of gossips, depracating chats that meant to exclude others and make it seem that this needy person is at the center of a very popular clique of friends. Pathetic, attention-getting, and really immature.

I may not have a thousand friends, but, each of them counts in very special ways. Most of all, I'm thankful of what He has given me, a loving husband, a lovely daughter, family, friends, work, and health. I have never felt the need to prove myself to others. For those who matter to me have always believed in me. I know what I can do. I know my skills and the quality of work I am capable of. I am not defined by other's perception of me thus I am not limited by it. If they like me, fine, if they don't, well, one cannot please everybody.

It's pointless to engage in constant competition with others for it will only bring endless frustration and unhappiness. To measure oneself through other's standards is hardly sensible.

It's a cliche that life is not about winning or losing, its about loving and being happy. There's a whole lot of truth to it, though, and one which I most definitely agree.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Lazy

Feel so lazy these days. It's a real struggle to get up early mornings to go to work. How I wish I have the luxury to choose the days I'd want to go to work. That if I don't feel like it, I'll just snuggle up in bed with my loved one and take the day leisurely. Get up when I want to. Eat comfortably and watch DVD's all day long.

Especially when it's raining wet and cold outside, I'd want to burrow under the pillows and just forget about the outside world. Or while lounging in bed with a good novel, I'd get myself a hot milk and a platter full of warm chocolate chip cookies. Conveniently beside me also will be a stack of favorite DVD movies should the lure of books fail to hold.

Wow, that would be the life. But, hey, reality calls and all its practical demands such as money. So, off to work I go. I know I'm dragging my a** today, but this should pass. Like when payday comes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Political Hullabaloo

I am not into discussions of politics. Even while I was in U.P., where students take pride in being nationalistic and avid takers of political issues, I was one of the few exceptions. I am quite passive when something is of no direct concern to me. But, from what's happening in our country now, with all the political turmoil and ensuing economic downside, it seems impossible not to be involved. So, I will voice my opinion. Of course, I take full responsibility for it, but, I will not be criticized because it is my own.

In regard to PGMA, I believe in the Rule of Law. As such, all the complaints against her should be brought before the proper court. I believe in the process of impeachment. Take the case to the court and if she's found guilty then have her successor, vice-president de Castro, take her place.

But while I believe in due process, I would admit that I personally don't believe in her anymore. She has shown herself to be dishonest. She has said a lot of things that she did not mean. From her televised declaration that she won't be running for president anymore, to her supposed promises, and finally, to her public apology about her 'lapse in judgement'. All these showed a President that has no moral authority and personal integrity. And, for that, she has lost the people's trust, mine including.

While I won't join street protests, I understand these people's sentiments. Some of them are bought to join in, sure, but for the others who're truly doing something for what they believe in, the monetary compensation is just something extra. They want PGMA to resign. If the organizers of these anti-Arroyo protests are guilty of distributing money to the strikers, then so is PGMA's henchmen who did the same for the 'support rally' held at Luneta recently.

I also feel that PGMA has squandered enough of the people's money. We have incurred a lot of debts, more so than the previous administrations, through her. And, this, largely because of her desire to hold on to power. There were a lot of political indebtedness made from her re-election to her persistent clutch to the presidency today.

I see a lot of politicking already in life. There's no difference when you do it to one person and when you do it to a lot of people. The end result is the same, someone gets hurt. Being President and saying sorry should not excuse you from facing up to your wrongdoing. The people has taken a lot of beatings already, we shouldn't be made to take more. I don't want to say that the only reason GMA is still president is because we have no one better to replace her with. Is that the state of the country already? With the multitude of people serving us in the political arena, I don't want to believe for one minute that there isn't someone out there who is truly deserving to be President.

I opt for the lawful and peaceful way to resolve PGMA's case. For like many others, I don't want any violence or rough disruptions to our already troubled country. In my heart, though, I totally understand why there are a lot of people taking to the streets calling for GMA to resign.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A Sense of Normalcy

The sun is shining, people are awake and moving, and I'm one of them! Thank God my office hours are back to normal. That really means a lot since I'm still in the call center industry where GY is the norm.

I've been in the morning shift since last week. I just didn't post something about it because I've been busy doing chores at home. My daughter is elated about the change in my schedule, too. I've been focusing on getting her up-to-date in her schoolwork which I previously was not able to do.

It's really different when you work during the day. There's a certain raw energy in it. I eat and sleep well, too, unlike when I was in the night shift.

The times spent at home are also great. I'm not too tired when I get home and I get to spend bonding moments with my husband and daughter.

There will be a cut in pay, though. No more night differentials for me. But, that's a price I'm very much willing to pay. It's just money, after all.

I just have to maintain good schedule adherence so that come next shift bid, I can still choose an AM shift. I mean, I can be a vampire at work, but I'd really prefer not to be. It's great to be one of the normal, 9am-5pm working people. Here's to the AM shift!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Level Up

Politics is a given in any workplace. That is something that an employee has to deal with. Unfortunately, knowing about it does not make it easier to accept. It's galling how people use certain issues to forward themselves and their own interests.

I work hard and I always try to do my best at it. I say that without conceit. I do my best because I see how much I benefit from it. As an individual and as a productive citizen. I would want to get promoted but I would want that on the basis of my performance and capabilities.

Although, I don't always see that fair process in regard to promotions, like how I know firsthand how some people get promoted on the basis of their connections and "pagiging sipsip," I still believe that in the end, one's capabilities and skills will be the deciding factor in one's growth in career. That might seem a naive belief sometimes but I would much rather hold on to that than lose heart at my job.

If an unworthy person gets promoted, sooner or later his or her inadequacies will surface. For not even his or her connections and "sipsip tactics" such as empty flattery, gossipy chats and "pabibo moves" to the higher-ups will make him do well at his job. And, if he or she gets really lucky and gets away with it, there is that higher authority to consider. I greatly believe in karma, that is, you get what you give in life.

In the end, those doubtful achievements will hardly make anyone feel great. Not if you know you didn't deserve them.

I wish everyone can be fair and just. We are already blessed with so much, life and the opportunity to work with others. If one is privileged enough to have a very good position, especially one that plays in the promotion of others, I can only hope and pray that they'll use it in the manner that befits them.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Grandfather

It would have been my Lolo's 76th birthday yesterday. He died October of last year due to heart failure. My grandmother asked her children to prepare a special dinner and asked us to offer prayers for my grandfather in honor of the occasion.

I wasn't close to my Lolo. Even though, as the first grandchild, the much-loved 'apo', I was his favorite. At least until my brother arrived on the scene and then he became the favorite. Oh, well.

My grandfather was a difficult man. He was poor and didn't finish school but made something of himself through sheer hard work. He was a seaman until he retired at age 68. Even though he came from humble beginnings, he was able to earn much; he even became sea captain, and traveled the world through his work as an international seafarer. He expected the same of his seven children. To him, none of them came to par and he was greatly disappointed about it. In his later years, he became very bitter and did not hesitate to voice his angry disapproval of all his children and their respective spouses. It came to a point that most of them, along with their families, find ways to avoid him. I admit that I, too, was guilty of that in some respect. I didn't know what to say to my Lolo when he ranted about my father and mother and I found it easier not to get into a discussion with him.

My grandmother, who understandably loves her children and did not demand things from them, became angry with my Lolo for his treatment of their children. It caused an irreconcilable rift between them that in their old age, made them live under the same house with a nary a word to each other.

That was how it was when he died. I loved my grandfather, he was great with all of his grandchildren, but I felt sad that he alienated almost all of his family members. We couldn't do anything to pacify his bitter feelings over his children and then, it was already too late.

He wasn't perfect, but he was my Lolo. And, for that, I love him. I will always remember his caring ways when I was little. The way he'd bring me special toys from his trips abroad and his gentle reminders. I never doubted he loved me nor any of his grandchildren. He loved my Lola very much and so with their children. I guess he didn't know how to show it. He maybe thought that the only way for him to teach his children, even when it became obvious that it was already too late in their age, was to be hard and unrelenting.

I wouldn't really understand. His memories, though, will always be with me, his first granddaughter. Those I will forever hold dear.

I pray you are at peace wherever you are, Lolo. Belated Happy Birthday!