Thought Bubbles...

musings, rantings, and what-have-you, about my own small part of the world, and my 'sometimes' not so-ordinary life...something to read and reflect on, and which hopefully will bring a smile to your face... :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My Favorite Things

Leafing through Healthy Options' newsdigest for February, i read the publisher's page. Romy Sia came up with his list of "Twenty of my Favorite Things". Subtitle, "Life Really, really sucks without them!) :) So, decided to come up with my own list of favorite things, in no particular order of importance, but excluding the obvious entries, loved ones and good health:
1. travel
2. books
3. email (and the internet)
4. modern conveniences
5. good friends who you share a lot of history with
6. good food and drink (sweets/desserts deserve a special mention!) ;->
7. love
8. power naps
9. feel good movies
10. music
11. laughter
12. hugs and kisses
13. bonding with friends
14. hearing my sons' laughter
15. my sons telling me they love me
16. the beach
17. Miracle perfume
18. weekends/vacation
19. values (compassion, honesty, kindness)
20. spa (foot massage, back rubs, body massage...)

I could go on and on... But in keeping with my title, had to stop at 20. What a great exercise to lift up your spirit. So people, find pen and paper and write down your own 20 favorite things, and I assure you, you'll find yourself smiling after accomplishing this. :)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Speech 10: Heroes in our Midst

Last night, i delivered my graduation speech at my TM club. Finally! :) It's the final speech project from the Basic Communication & Leadership manual. I got a ribbing from my TM friends as this speech has been long overdue. The last speech I delivered was October '06, four months ago, as my friends have kept reminding me. Hehehe... Anyhoo, i'm just happy that I have now achieved the norm of CC -- Competent Communicator. I'm happy, not only because I've reached my goal for this term, but also because my achievement will help our club in it's efforts to reach its goals, and that is to be awarded the President's Distinguished Club for this term. Still keeping our fingers crossed... :D

Below is the speech, which i've tweaked some more after my delivery, based on the evaluations I received. Hope you find it an inspiring read... :)


Heroes in our midst

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!

When you think about heroes, what immediately comes to mind? The comic-book heroes we all grew up watching? You know who I’m talking about… popular fictional superheroes like Batman and Superman, or the web-swinging Spiderman or the very pretty Wonder Woman? Or maybe Philippine heroes, like Jose Rizal, or Andres Bonifacio, who fought for our country?

Well, I had a different set of heroes in mind. Aside from those comic-book heroes and Philippine heroes, there are other less-known, but true-to-life heroes in our midst. You may think that heroes are few. Why? Because in this day and age it’s very rare that we hear about heroes. But I think heroes ARE everywhere! Do you agree? Good for you! You don’t?! Well, hopefully after hearing me out, you’ll agree as well.

Let me tell you why I believe heroes are everywhere. One such hero I recently heard about is Wesley Autrey. You probably heard about him as well. Last January 2, 2007, Wesley Autrey was at the NYC subway station with his two young daughters, waiting for the train to arrive. When one of the people at the platform, a student named Cameron Hollopeter, suddenly suffered a seizure, and fell onto the tracks. Imagine this… There was an oncoming train, and Wesley, a mere mortal and not blessed with superhuman strength, jumped onto the subway tracks, threw himself over Cameron’s body in a drainage trench between the tracks, and held him down (as he was still having a seizure). Two train cars passed over them, inches from their bodies, and close enough to leave grease on Wesley’s wool cap. WOW!

For his heroic act, Wesley Autrey has been hailed by the media as the "Subway Superman" and "The Hero of Harlem". And I agree! For what else can you call a person who risks his life to help a stranger?

Reading about Wesley, I was reminded of 2 Filipino youngsters, heroes in their own right, Aris Espinosa and Rona Mahilum.

Aris was a 13-year-old boy from Lanao del Norte. On January 30, 1994, a grenade on the ground was about to explode near some children. Aris quickly jumped and covered the grenade with his own body. The children were saved, thanks to the sacrifice of Aris!

In May 1996, Rona Mahilum, then only 8 years old, suffered third-degree burns when a fire broke out inside their house. Despite the pain, she rescued her five brothers and sisters, then tried to put out the fire with water from the nearby well. Amazing!

Let these people inspire us to be heroes ourselves. There’s a saying from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” In the case of these 3 modern-day heroes, greatness was thrust upon them. Tragedies, actually, but which they used as opportunities to do great things. One was a fire, a grenade about to explode, and an oncoming train…

Not all of us, hopefully, will face the same situation. But I believe that all of us are given opportunities, although small, to do great things, and to be heroes ourselves. It was Mother Teresa who said, “Few of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love…”

In the same way, when Wesley was asked to explain his actions, he replied, “it's just being able to be here and help the next person.”

To be here and help the next person… following that line of thinking, we can all be heroes. We, too, can achieve greatness. It’s so simple! In our own small way, by just being able to help another person, we too, can be heroes…

You know, one of the few parts of the nightly news that I eagerly wait for, is the “Good News”. It usually tells of ordinary employees or taxi drivers, finding wallets full of cash, then returning it to the rightful owners. Don’t you find that heroic? Imagine, these people who are in badly in need of money themselves, to go to the trouble of finding the owners and rightfully turning over the money that they found! I think that’s heroic!

A story that hits closer to home… I know of a family based in Negros. A simple family. The mom, a nurse with the local government, the Dad a retired employee. With 7 kids of their own, this couple still managed to adopt five (5) kids to care for and feed as their own. Why? Because they couldn’t accept that these kids would suffer from hunger. They wanted to ensure that these kids would grow up, live happy, normal lives, and hopefully, nurture others as they have been nurtured.

Heroic? I think so. Heroes ARE everywhere. This room, I believe, is already full of heroes… Like my friend who helps pay for the meds of Pauline, a young girl stricken with cancer. My other friend, who supports a local charity which helps send youngsters to school.

My parents, while we were growing up, taught us to be generous. And they practiced what they preached. They supported local charities (which we continue to do now) such as Goodwill, Unicef, Comboni Missionaries, and World Vision. Now that they’re in the US, they support such worthy causes as the Sixty-Five Roses (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America), Easter Seals, etc. They also still continue to send money to their friends here in the Philippines, the messengers and janitors who lovingly call them “Daddy Eli and Mommy Vener”. I remember my Mom and Dad always telling us to give to those who cannot afford to pay us back for our gifts. For them, helping others was a personal undertaking for which they were rewarded by a special inner peace and satisfaction.

The world NEEDS more heroes. And all of us here, CAN be heroes! Our purpose should be to enrich the amount of goodness in the world, by doing good deeds, performing acts of kindness, and taking care of others. May we all strive to be heroes. It’s so simple! All it takes is to make a difference in at least one person’s life! And I believe a true hero is not measured by his strength, but by the strength of his heart.

In closing, let me repeat what Mother Teresa said, “Few of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love…”

Good evening.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Single moms and dating: What do men think?

Did the title catch your eye? Certainly did mine. Yep, it's an article i just read on yahoo personals. hehehe... yeah, since it's Valentine's and all, just thought it would an apt article to share with you. And my comment to the article? I AGREE! Not that i'm looking, ehem... 'nuff said. ;->


Single moms and dating: What do men think?

Yahoo! Personals polled single men among our Real People, asking why single moms make great dates, better potential mates, and are super sexy!

Here's what Raymond, David, Morgan, Deshae, Will and Ed gave as their top reasons to date a single mom.

1. You already know they're strong because they have to handle the responsibilities of single parenthood.

2. There is nothing like a mother. She is a woman that is responsible and focused on life. She knows what she wants out of life and will not sacrifice the happiness of her child for just any man. So, if she decides to date you, feel lucky.

3. Single moms know what they are looking for and are independent. Any man or woman can appreciate dating someone who has confidence in themselves. Face it, great moms are sexy!

4. A single mom isn't just filling time dating - she's had to make a choice to do something for herself while fulfilling the full-time responsibility of being a mom. For a man seeking a real and lasting relationship, this is ideal.

5. They appreciate quality not quantity of time. It isn't always an option to see someone everyday, so making sure the time together is of value is important.

6. Single moms are more open to long-term relationships. For single dads that are also looking for a romantic relationship, it is ideal to date someone with the same end goals.

7. They're done being a "party girl" and tend to be more selective and thoughtful in their approach to dating. With single moms, we know our romantic relationship is valued and not just part of a series of meaningless dates or something that stems from the fear of being alone.

8. You get to see how they relate to their children and how they relate to people they love. And for single dads looking for their own "play date," this also provides insight on how she might interact with our kids and her attitude about important life issues.

9. Single moms enjoy their time out more and can appreciate a simpler evening of just spending time together. People with a fun, positive attitude and outlook are always more fun to date.

10. They realize what it costs to raise a family - and don't require flashy dates. They are impressed more by substance than a big price tag both in dating and in life.

Extra bonus reason: They make great Mac-n-Cheese!