Monday, March 31, 2008


Do you show appreciation for the work of your wife, or husband? For the help of your children, or brothers and sisters? For the sacrifices that your parents have made for you? For it’s only when you learn to appreciate things, big or small, that you realize you have the capacity to express positive emotions and keep a happy aura around you.

Are you loving or selfish? Are you cross and irritable or patient and forgiving? Are you dictatorial, or do you listen to the opinions of others? Are you respectful and obedient to your parents, or willful and disobedient? It is easy to act like good, but what kind of person are you at home? If you want to have a happy home, humbly acknowledge your failings and do your best to overcome them. If you have the guts, the discipline, and the willingness to do your part, you will definitely succeed.

Are you helpful and obliging? or lazy? Do you gladly cooperate with others without criticizing and complaining? Do you become discourage easily, or are you cheerful when things go wrong? Do others find it easy to live with you? Do not be discouraged if you have a hard time controlling your temper or some other disagreeable trait in your character. The effort that you are making to overcome it is a testimony of your great capacity to love, which will help you grow spiritually.

Do you Ask forgiveness for your wrongs? It isn’t easy to say, “I’m sorry that I spoke sharply to you. Please forgive me,” but it’s a good way to get rid of hard feelings and keep your home happy. Do you have a bad disposition? Acknowledging your fault and asking your loved ones to pray for you is a long step toward victory over it. He taught us to ask forgiveness of those that we have wronged. If we aren’t willing to do this, it will stand in the way of your fellowship with Him.


How do we spend our time?

Of course, we have to spend a certain number of hours each by working, eating, sleeping, enjoying indoor and outdoor activities, thinking, reading, watching our favorite television shows, and many other worthwhile activities. But how do we spend the rest of our time?

What a person does in his free time depends on what he and his family are most interested in. Some work all the time and other play. Some take part in community services; others just don’t have time for that. We probably don’t have enough time to do everything that we would like to do, but somehow we manage to find time for the things that interest us most. When our interests change, so do our activities.

We have so many choices in life; if we choose things for the better, then we are taking the right path. More often than not, our friends are surprised when we no longer take interest in things like having a good time with them, things that would harm our health and our spiritual well being. They will never truly understand that if we are making wise choices we are entering a life of deeper enjoyment, full of worthwhile, satisfying activities that will give new purpose and meaning to our life.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


You tell me don't lie!!!

There's no truth about the conjecture that women lie more than men, much as children or adults, politicians or lawyers, supervisors or subordinates, writers or readers, rich or poor, techers or students.

Why do people feel they need to tell lies. A study shows that there are definitely different reasons for lying. May be, because of fear, embarrassment, to protect one self or the interest of another, for money, to take advantage of the generosity and kindness of others, or merely just for fun.

In a work-related situation, a secretary may have to lie from time to time to cover up for his/her immediate supervisor, especially if the latter does not want to take calls from someone he/she does not want to talk to.

You are not being honest if you tell your colleague that he/she did an excellent job, when you know for a fact that it is a worthless output. It is big blunder to boost his/her morale for something you know that is not praiseworthy. You are not helping at all. For whatever reasons, nobody knows why people keep on lying.

Honesty is one virtue that always leads to goodness, kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, and that's no lie!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Our life is like a building; our thoughts, words and actions are all bricks in the building. As we line them all up on the foundation of His teaching, we will have a character that can stand the tests of storms of life.

It is a continuing process. We should have the determination, the drive, and the discipline to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Let us always aspire success in every aspect of our lives; health, family, finances, friends, knowledge, physical, emotional, spiritual, and enjoy each step of the way to success.

For the needed support, we can always rely on Him. Whoever lives as he pleases, without following the standards that were laid down to us by He, who is all knowing, will be a failure like a house built on the sand without any foundation. You won’t be able to stand when the storms come.

If you want to be a successful person, build your life on His teaching and follow His standards.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today’s company top executives need to develop a wide range of specialist skills and knowledge to drive performance and help their organization achieve success in a tough global market.

With many years working experience in finance, human resources and administration, I came to realize the value of enhancing management skills through proper exposures and trainings. Human resources and personnel management are key drivers of competitive advantage and effective change management. Personnel and development practices play an important role in almost every aspect of an organization’s activities.

In a modern organization, top executives must get involved in the process, systems, and should have the needed skills to be successful. They need to explore activities ranging from the basic recruitment interview process to a dismissal meeting, discovering the skills required and the role of the human resources management specialist along the way. Some key factors to understand are strategic human resources management approaches, determining when personnel interventions are necessary, planning and conducting employee grievance investigation, and using of human resources administrative and support systems.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


“…. the best aid to beauty that we can put on is a gentle and quiet spirit…”

We should be modest in many ways; speech, actions, appearance, and dealing with others. Modesty is exactly the opposite of pride and vanity. If we act and think like we are better than others and look down people who do things that we would not do, we will drive them away instead of winning their trust and confidence.

We must realize that we have absolutely no right to be proud over who we are, what we do, or what we have. We do not deserve a thing that He has done for us or given for us. A vain, proud person wants everyone to notice him by wearing expensive clothes, jewelry, by showing off superior knowledge and abilities, and by going against approved dressing customs and conduct. A modest person does not try to call attention by himself/herself. He/she always keeps a low profile, as much as possible, keeping things by himself/herself.

Beauty comes from the inside—from a beautiful character that shines through a pleasant, happy face.

Monday, March 24, 2008


F. Chopin and F. Liszt
If Frederic Francois Chopin is considered the most romantic composer and poet of the piano music world, Franz Liszt is regarded as the greatest pianist of all time. He is one of the most awe-inspiring figures in all of music history, a genius, unique, and very imaginative. Most of his piano compositions are considered unique, inspiring, and innovative. His music evoked deep psychological and emotional impact, opening new dimensions in sound, and the human psyche.

Liszt was the first and true inventor of impressionism and atonal music. He was the first to fully orchestrate on the piano, utilizing all its undiscovered resources. Most importantly, he altered the course of music history.

To understand his works is to understand the true essence of piano playing.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Some delights of having a garden are watching butterflies that fly from one flower to another, the sight of dragonflies and damselflies pumping up their wings, listening to the chirping birds, smelling the sweet, gentle fragrance of sampaguita flowers (jasmine), the flashing croaking of frogs in the small pond, the elegance of the orchid trees in full bloom, the buzzing sounds of the bumble bees foraging and pollinating flowers, and sitting on the soft, thick grass under the shady trees. What a wonderful feeling.

We had a garden because it was a good supplement. Among the vegetables we grew were the standards, such as string beans, sweet potatoes, okra, eggplant green onions, kangkong (swamp-cabbage or water cress) growing in the small pond, camote vines. We planted tomatoes, too. The trees in the garden were mangga (mango), avocado, sampalok (tamarind), kaimito (star apple), bayabas (guava), kamyas (averrhoa bilimbi), tsiko (chico), tsesa (canistel), saging (banana), orchid, duhat (Java plum/blackberry), kalamansi (citrus fruit), atis (sugar apple or custard apple), langka (jackfruit), mabolo (velvet apple), and papaya.

It was a small lot, but very fertile. We never used any spray or chemical fertilizer. To ward off insects, we collected and piled up dried leaves and burned them, the cloud of smoke billowed around and floated up in the air. We did it in the morning and late in the afternoon. Weeding was tiresome; sometimes, we let weeds grew because they looked interesting.

After the sun had gone down we enjoyed strolling through the yard peering at the plants and occasionally pinching off a leaf and sniffing it. It was truly enchanting.

My parents had a lot of love and patience for gardening.


The sampaguita Jasmine (Arabian Jasmine) was adopted as the national flower of the Philippines since 1934. The sampaguita bears a white, star-shaped flower, which blooms for the full year. The flower opens at night and lasts for about one day, producing a unique sweet scent. For the Filipino people, the flower is the symbol of purity, simplicity, humility and strength. Its blossom is celebrated in Philippine legends, stories and songs. It is believed that the flower was brought from the Himalayan areas to the Philippines in the 17th century.


... join me in my travel quests to the great cities of the world ...

After walking around the botanical garden

One of the distinct advantages of overseas contract workers is that they get the chance to travel to countries other than their own.

Here’s one to reminisce --


I made several side trips to Hong Kong in the past, and would probably do so in the years to come. Hong Kong would always be a bustling city—its streets are always crowded with tourists, businessmen, adventurers, and migrant workers. It’s harbor crowded with ships, ferryboats and junks. It’s skyline dotted with towering skyscrapers. But beneath this sophisticated fa├žade persists the Chinese enigma—the century old beliefs and customs that prevent Hong Kong from ever being mistaken for a western city.

The best time to visit Hong Kong is in September, October, November, and December, when the days are warm and the nights are cool. There are so many points of interest in Hong Kong, and one should not miss a trip to the Peak, for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramic views. There are so many sightseeing tours, which cover attractions of the new territories, Hong Kong Island and outlying islands. The nights of Hong Kong are amazing and tantalizing. Nightspots are everywhere, an open-air market in the evening time.

Our next stop over is SINGAPORE …. Here I come!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Many thanks to my friend for this thought worthy of sharing!

A man asked his father-in-law, “Many people praised you for a successful marriage, could you please share with me your secret?”. The father-in-law answered in a smile, “Never criticize your wife for her shortcomings or when she does something wrong. Always bear in mind that because of her shortcomings and weaknesses, he could not find a better husband than you.”

We all look forward to being loved and respected. Many people are afraid of losing face. Generally when a person makes a mistake, he would look around to find a scapegoat to point the finger at. This is the start of a war.

We should always remember than when we point one finger at a person, the other four fingers are pointing at ourselves. If we forgive the others, others will ignore our mistakes, too. Finger pointing doesn’t solve any problem. It normally leads in out of control, heated personal attacks, badmouthing, the end result is physical fighting.

A few rules should be set in place to maintain a level of civility.


“…. if you have much, give of your wealth;
if you have little, give of your heart …”
(Arabian proverb)

Love and genuine sacrifices helped us get to this point in our lives!

There are so many precious memories I recall about my loving parents working constantly to support a big family. My father was a secondary school teacher, and my mother was a wonderful seamstress. I remember the many times our neighbors would come to our house and ask her to design and make clothes for them. She would continue working until the wee hours of the morning to finish and deliver a fine job. She did this to support my father’s meager income, and to make both ends meet; she would cut expenses wherever she could. I remember the constant prodding of my father to always perform well in school, aim high and hit the mark, strive for excellence. He always reminded us to avoid risky behavior to ensure success in our studies.

My parents worked so hard because supporting and providing for a family of ten was most important to them. They worked as hard without complaints but with pure joy, and sacrificed so many things to ensure that we could realize our goals and dreams and live a life better than them. My siblings and I considered ourselves lucky and privileged, but this has come at the tremendous cost of our parents sacrificing their own interests for our future.

The elements of sacrifices were always there; hard work, diligence, discipline, and determination. They taught us the hard ways of not giving up on things easily, especially during painful times, when problems were so deep, how to identify, recognize, and address them. They kept on identifying the best approaches to achieve their visions for us. They focused on the best solutions to the root cause of problems; thus, providing lasting changes.

No matter how much or how little we have, the material possessions and opportunities we now enjoy are a direct result of our parents’ love and sacrifices

This is in loving memory of my dear parents!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Different people have different perception. One man's meat could be another man's poison.

A couple bought a donkey from the market. On the way home, a boy commented, "Very stupid. Why neither of them rides on the donkey? "Upon hearing that, the husband let the wife ride on the donkey. He walked besides them. Later, an old man saw it and commented, "The husband is the head of family. How can the wife ride on the donkey while the husband is on foot?" Hearing this, the wife quickly got down and let the husband ride on the donkey.

Further on the way home, they met an old Lady. She commented, "How can the man ride on the donkey but let the wife walk. He is no gentleman." The husband thus quickly asked the wife to join him on the donkey. Then, they met a young man. He commented, "Poor donkey, how can you hold up the weight of two persons. They are cruel to you." Hearing that, the husband and wife immediately climbed down from the donkey and carried it on their shoulders. It seems to be the only choice left. Later, on a narrow bridge, the donkey was frightened and struggled. They lost their balance and fell into the river.

You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future. Thus, do not be too bothered by others words if our conscience is clear.

Arnel, thanks, it is truly an eye opener! The lesson, always use your own personal judgment.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008



The road to virtuosity is long and hard, demanding not only a high degree of inborn talent, but also the ability and desire to devote many hours a day to soul-searching practice and study.

If you are playing the piano purely for your own pleasure, careful practice is still essential if you wish to make real progress; but when music is a part-time creative activity, practice will necessarily be on a more limited scale. Even short periods of aimless practice may, instead of proving beneficial, serve only to develop and perpetuate faults. Therefore, properly directed practice is of first importance and can transform periods of drudgery into periods of enlightenment.

“Think ten times and play once”. Concentration, interest, observation and listening are the essential ingredients of worthwhile practice.

From our piano mentor, Mr. King Palmer.


It’s March and soon the days of great dates come!

For long times, dates have played significant roles in the lives of Arabian Peninsula residents. Dried dates were a basic part of their nourishment.

The world famous dates sought after by many come in different types, such as rothanah, heliah, baidh, rabiaah, and helwah. Each territory of Saudi Arabia is famous for its distinctive kind of dried dates. The western area produces Al-Mabrook, Al-Khalas are produced in the eastern area, Al-Surri and Al-Safri dates in the southern area, while the middle and northern areas produce Al-Sukkah and Al-Burhi dates. The produce is priced at reasonable levels as the market is oversupplied following a good harvest spawned by very warm weather conditions. Dates harvest is subject to changing temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more produce the farmers get.

The biggest palms farm in the world is the Al-Qaseem territory located in the middle of Saudi Arabia. The area has 4 million date palms. The Hail territory in the north has 1.5 million date trees and produces 53,000 tons of dates annually.

The date palm is considered to be one of the most adaptable trees in the world and is able to withstand the dry, hot days and cold nights of the harsh desert climate. It is especially important to Saudis not only for its myriad uses, but also as a national symbol of wealth and health.

Let us enjoy a plateful of delicious dates with coffee or tea!

Sunday, March 9, 2008



This is for you, Leonie --

My earliest recollection in plants was of being very little and going for a walk in my parent’s garden. They inspired in me the love for nature and has taught me all there was to learn about flowering plants and fruit-bearing trees, roots and shoots, weeds, and how to maintain a green garden. We had all things for his garden; hoe, rake, pike, shovel, wheelbarrow, hand tools, and other garden implements. Watching my parents tending the garden was very inspiring.

It was a 500-sq.m. lot along the railroad tracks very much in the heart of Tondo, Manila. Crops would grow in any space and small footpaths led everywhere. It was a perfect little world for my cousins, friends, and me. We got to spend much of our free time playing; climbing the trees, harvesting tree ripened fruits, harvesting vegetables, picking sampaguita (jasminum sambac), lying on the thickly-growing grass under the warmth of the morning sun while listening to the low howl of the rolling wind, sleeping under the guava trees, catching butterflies, dragonflies, black and golden beetles. I remember being very proud of our garden especially the different mango trees planted all around.

While other kids played ball, jumping rope, luksong tinik (jump over thorns), patintero (three nights), taguan (hide and seek), viola (straddle jump), tumbang preso (prisoner), piko (hopping), takip-silim (blind man), sipa (kick) etc., after school or on weekends, we would rather spend hours watering the plants and trees, raking dried leaves, and weeding. It was truly a refuge for us.

Gardening will always be a part of my life!

To be continued

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Pareng Tony Lim, many thanks for sharing this to me.... but I'm not even forty yet .... uggghhh!!!

1. Focus on enjoying people, not on indulging in or accumulating material things.

2. Plan to spend whatever you have saved. You deserve to enjoy it and the few healthy years you have left. Travel if you can afford it. Don't leave anything for your children or loved ones to quarrel about. By leaving anything, you may even cause more trouble when you are gone.

3. Live in the here and now, not in the yesterdays and tomorrows. It is only today that you can handle. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not even happen.

4. Enjoy your grandchildren (if you are blessed with any) but don't be their full time baby sitter. You have no moral obligation to take care of them. Don't have any guilt about refusing to baby-sit anyone's kids, including your own grandkids. Your parental obligation is to your children. After you have raised them into responsible adults, your duties of child rearing and babysitting are finished. Let your children raise their own offspring.

5. Accept physical weakness, sickness and other physical pains. It is a part of the aging process. Enjoy whatever your health can allow.

6. Enjoy what you are and what you have right now. Stop working hard for what you do not have. If you do not have them, it's probably too late.

7. Just enjoy your life with your spouse, children, grandchildren and friends. People, who truly love you, love you for yourself, not for what you have. Anyone who loves you for what you have will just give you misery.

8. Forgive and accept forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others. Enjoy peace of mind and peace of soul.

9. Befriend death. It's a natural part of the life cycle. Don't be afraid of it. Death is the beginning of a new and better life. So, prepare yourself not for death but for a new life with the Almighty.

10. Be at peace with your Creator ... For ... He is all you have after you leave this life.


We all need sleep. Sleep affects our health and well-being, our emotions and behaviors, our level of energy, our job performance and decision-making skills, and our safety behaviors.

The quality and quantity of our sleep can make all the difference in how productive we are the next day. Sleep deprivation can result in serious safety hazards when critical decisions are required, such as when driving, operating machinery, or caring for young children.

Take control of your sleeping pattern and environment to improve the quality and amount of sleep you receive. Adequate sleep can help to reduce stress and improve your qualify of life making you feel alert and energetic during the entire day.

Better sleep begins with your bed. If you’re tossing and turning more at night, or if you’re waking up feeling stiff in the morning, it could be a sign that your current mattress is no longer the best for you.

Who heard about sleep debts?

Source: Panorama 4th 2005

Monday, March 3, 2008


Almost every home has at least one television set. Most of them are color sets. For low-income earning family, a black and white television set is more than enough.

Television has become one of the best means of reaching people from all walks of life. Its invention and innovation has globally triggered the development and enhancement of telecommunication technology. However, this positive view is now being countered by the facts that more and more negative factors are attributed to its use.

Nowadays, television shows offer greater disadvantages than advantages to the viewing public. Estimates of how much time people spend watching television vary from an average of 29 to 42 hours a week. Violent movies being aired tend to encourage unwholesome atmosphere. Children try to emulate cartoon heroes. They tend to copy almost everything they see. Although, there are a number of shows that are educational, they are outnumbered by shows that are not suited to their age. Television shows do not cater only to young children. Even adults, especially, housewives spend more time watching sitcoms, talk shows, variety shows, and soap operas. As a result, household chores are left unattended. Troubles erupt at home when things go wrong because of differences of opinion about a show. There are lots of disagreeable pattern because of television thing.

The latest theories revealed that ages from 2 to 6 years are the time that a child learns all his principles, behavior, and manners. What a child learns in his childhood will tell on his future. Television and videos are factors affecting a child’s upbringing. Today, our children hang with the television cartoons, and computer programs for hours. This has many effects that people do not recognize. Other social factors can be affected, too.

What should parents do if their child watches cartoons that run counter to the moral principles they are trying to building in their child? This is a thought-provoking question, isn’t it?

A piece of advice: Do not be so televicoholic!


We are what we eat,” says an article in the health section of a local daily.

More and more people are becoming aware of the ill effects of unsafe foods; it seems we are all responding in some ways to advice to look after ourselves. Parents now tend to become more concern as to the kind of foods to serve on the table, as unsafe foods not only ruin their own health, but their children, as well. Children’s natural taste is for fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, pasta and bread. They eat heartily and really enjoy whatever foods they can grab. Oftentimes, parents give in to the caprices of their children when it comes to the choice of foods, with the satisfaction of knowing they are good for them.

With the spread of fast food restaurants, most of us are turning back on homemade foods; thus exposing ourselves to health problems. Fast food poses a potential health risk, as we are not 100% sure if they are catering well-prepared, well-cooked, uncontaminated foods.

Nutritional deficiencies brought about by taking in unhealthy foods cause poor growth, deformities and other major health problems. It is known that due to nutritional deficiencies a range of characteristic deficiency diseases can be evident in human. It has been observed that many diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies can be eradicated with proper nutrition. Research shows that most adults and children are in the habit of consuming the wrong type of food. We are not consuming enough food high in fiber, iron and other essential minerals. This can have a detrimental effect on our health. Too much processed, synthetic food makes us nervy and irritable. However, eating healthily is very time-consuming. The raw material needs careful selection and preparation. There are many healthy foods we can make quickly, but they are not usually so conveniently packaged.

We still need to be educated on the value of a proper nutrition and balanced diet for the maintenance of the body tissues and for their growth and repair.


It is synonymous to the word independence, or the phrase
“to rely on one’s own resources”.

There are lots of ways by which one can develop self-reliance. It is actually a learning process. It can be learned through experience, from observing others, from being you, communications, contacts with other people, media, and from values handed down to us by our folks. To have self-reliant is to have self-confidence, respect, integrity, and the ability to do things with dignity and pride.

I have fond memories of my childhood, which I always share with my children; experiences that have taught me many things—moral, spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual. I became more inclined to believe that self-reliance is one thing we do not achieve overnight. We have to work hard to achieve it. Experiences, positive or negative give us deeper meaning and understanding of ones ability to cope with different situations, thus, developing self-confidence.

Growing up in a closely-knit neighborhood, where everybody seemed to treat each other as brothers and sisters, my siblings and I were taught the values of self-esteemed and independence. We were taught to feel, act, and behave independently. I was ten years old when I started to realize the value of being self-reliant. In doing so, it gave me confidence to do things, even at their meanest form, wholeheartedly. At this stage, other children tend to spend time playing with friends, doing naughty things, exploring, and experimenting. But it was totally different for me, I felt bad wasting time. I became very enterprising, always kept looking for things to do just around the neighborhood for a small fee. It made me happy to please everybody. Cleaning houses, washing dishes, baby-sitting, ironing clothes, just name it and I could do it.

Self-reliance is one of the keys of my success in life.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


flawless recording!

One of Gaetano Donizetti’s best operas, full of beautiful melodies, but very taxing roles is La Fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment). I am so lucky to have a 33-1/3 album and VHS stage performance, and wish to add a CD recording, as well.

With Dame Joan Sutherland as Marie and Luciano Pavarotti as Tonio, it’s pure revelation. Dame Joan Sutherland is a riot;
she is so fun to listen to. She meets all the challenges of this opera work of Donizetti; great voice, perfect, enjoyable trill, high notes, roulades, etc. Her voice matches the superb role. It’s pure magic, delightful, sensational, and captivating. Luciano Pavarotti is a perfect Tonio, unquestionably, the king of the high Cs.

As an avid opera lover, I believe this comic opera should be produced more often in all the big opera houses of the world.


ad the visit of my friend last night. He just got back from repat leave, and was so happy to break the news that he’s going to be a father soon. Almost instantly, sadness and silence ensued. He felt a deep longing to be back home, he missed his loved ones, so homesick!!! It’s going to be a very, very long two years away from home again ….. he sighed and started crying.

An actual long separation from dear ones, not to mention from specific environment or object you have attachment to causes an irrational feeling of discomfort and distress. No comforting words can help ease the pain of being away from home no matter how you try it.

Homesickness is very common among overseas contract workers. It frequently occurs when you tread into an unknown territory or culture. Most people describe it as a want or longing to be back home, continuously missing those you love, the environment you have grown accustomed to. Deep sadness, depression, frustration, anger, or hopelessness are some of the described feelings among expatriates. It sometimes leads to suicidal thoughts.

Are there ways to overcome homesickness? Some psychologists say, that the best way to prevent homesickness is to spend practice time away from home, keep a positive attitude, maintain communication with loved ones, whether it be traditional or electronic, engage in worthwhile activities, enjoy the new surroundings, and bring with you transitional object, something that will help you feel like home.

Who says, I am homesick, ha??? ….. aaaahhhhhhh!!!