Friday, March 31, 2006

Measuring and Value of Friends and Partners

Up to what extent can you measure the value or depth of friendship by people around you? How would you be able to properly determine the purpose of friendship? Are you dispensable? In times of needs, who would be around to stand with you? Are you being used or abused?

Questions, questions and more questions. Most of us meet new people everyday, especially for us who are active in social gatherings and activities both in the professional or personal aspect. Business or pleasure, there will always be people around to test the waters and in most cases classify as to what level of acquaintance you are to them. There are of course people like me, the gullible ones who give their all out trust. Cheerful and who can easily fit into a crowd, that certain circle of friends will not be around for long. Maybe one or two, but ever since my high school days, I have only chosen to keep a few. It is no secret that most of the people I knew then until now are only around in times of need. If they have use for you, expect them to be around, but after that, expect them to disappear. This scenario can be likened to something like to a child, if they ask you to come out and play, you play, but when it is your turn, one of among the millions of excuses will be heard. The verdict? Plain and simple, these people always want to be on the advantage. For them, there is no room for failure. Misunderstanding or misinterpretation? I don’t think so. This can go on as far as your partner in life, regardless if you are married or not. Think of it, why would someone stay with you if you only give them burdens like fights, quarrels etc.

This may sound like sour grapes from a complete stranger, but hey have you ever stopped and thought bout it? Surely you don’t think that all people are angels who have clear consciences. Whether they admit it or not is pointless. As in standard practice, they will always deny it, something that most people are good at. It may even come to a point where they would reverse the fortunes and make you look the bad guy. In my opinion, who cares?

I only have a couple of best friends. People who are always there in times of need. They don’t care on who you are, what you look like, or what your past is. Sad to say, I have made mistakes. First impressions, making you think you were special. But once you are a has been, they leave you out in the cold.

My resolution? Well, for me, move on and start staying away. Real friends will be there no matter what. Some things are best left unfinished. I think it’s high time to stop making myself believe that these people are special to me and vice versa. Life is so short and I have all the riches a man, father, colleague and son could have. For my FORMER friends whom I had high regards, it was nice knowing you. Sometimes, users and pretenders will have their day in court. Just don’t expect me to be as forgiving and understanding when that time comes.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Burn Out and Recovery Period

Moving on, trying to organize my thoughts, prioritizing my goals. Well, these are just some of the things going on around my mind right now. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Some months ago, I felt like I could do anything. Take on more than one job, aside from this job in trying to make a venture grow and become a hit. While I am confident I am on the right road, I wanted to excel in my writing profession as well. Internet related work cropped up one by one, and I found myself handling more jobs than I can handle. Talk about keeping myself busy, I think I am on the verge of a burn out. Focus is no longer there, and the fire I once had is missing. I am struggling right now to find my identity once again; the hyperactive child in me is still on vacation.

How to find it again? Well unlike in previous years of success, I am on a downward slide. Don’t know why though. Maybe because of certain setbacks, losing confidence or maybe it’s because I simply chose to concentrate on my own life and am still in dreamland. I just hope I don’t get to convenient with my setup. I hope to make something out of these plans. Patience is there but time is not cooperating. Problems exist but I choose to try and live with them, no matter how hard they are. Friends are around, but I think it is time for me to move on and look for better paths. If I have grown up from my past experiences, I guess I have to get towards the next stage, and that is to try and make something out of my long term goals.

As far as individual accomplishments, I think more or less I have attained them already. With so much to learn and experience, I believe that the best is yet to come. I yearn for comfort and success up to this point. But it is really more of wanting icing on my success as a father, friend, son and big brother. There are all that matter right now, and with God’s guidance, I believe that I will someday see the light for what is due to me and the people around me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Loving Algebra, Trigonometry and Mathematics

I recall the days when I can call myself a nerd in some ways. Focused on my studies, aiming for high grades and joining quiz bee contests, especially Mathematics, yes mathematics as in algebra, geometry and trigonometry. For me these subjects were like playtime as I rarely studies and considered it a game of mix and match.

It was something my parents back then were proud of. I barely wanted to use a calculator and wanted to do calculate things manually. I really can’t explain my technique. It was like being programmed in my mind such as the usual a+b=c or x(y+1)=xy+x. All were stored in my memory and I think it was really more on interest that lead me to breeze through these subjects. I even took up statistics for elective, much of my classmates then were from the cream of the crop, accelerated students.

The other day, Vanessa was telling me about her remedial classes in Trigonometry. Somehow I got caught back, when she recited some squared numbers like 25 x 25 = 625. To be honest, I had to think now hahaha. Not as fast as I used to be. And now it seems like she is slowly getting the hang of it. In a way I see myself in her, but she still lacks the commitment and discipline to understand how it all works. I believe she can be the best in her class if she chooses to, but that may be pushing it a bit. After a year she will be in college, and I hope that she learns that one day, all these things will be gone and she will have all the time in the world for friends and other activities she longs to do. For the moment, it is a matter of sticking to the basics of growing up and gaining education. Because one day, she will truly be looking back and wanting to learn more and prove not only to me but to the people who are putting her down, that she is truly gifted with wisdom and can be the best if she wants it badly.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Weekend of Victories!

Finally the long and chaotic season is over! It took 3 games, but finally the crown has been rightfully returned to its rightful owner…. THE AGSB Blue Eagles Men’s Basketball Team! The victory was the icing on the cake for the successful season, giving Ateneo Graduate School of Business the overall title in grand fashion. Controversies are still up in the air, but only for one school… a school that had nothing else to do but sour grape and cry foul, geez and to think we are all would be PROFESSIONALS.

It was a great ride, an honor for me as well, since this is my first time to be part of the basketball team, something which up to know puzzles me as to how I made the final cut. What makes it sweet is regaining a prized event invested so much by the school, not to mention gathering new friends whom I have grown to know better. All the time, sacrifice and effort was worth it!

Anyway, it’s back to my old life, taking care of Vanessa, working my butt off in the office and my writing obligations. By the way, I had another victory yesterday, scrapping off Saturdays from our work schedule--- YES!!!! More time to sleep hahahaha!

Professionally, I was able to compare and prove to the board that my sales projections are on target, and this not only proves to them that they got the right guy for the job, but I proved to myself that this job was indeed a right move last year! It was a weekend of victories, something that I will forever look back when I want to wear a smile on my face!!!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

An Empty Space...Defying Odds...Growing Old

Where do I go from here? Well, this is a question that I would ponder on, especially at times when a question pops up from my friends and relatives…Who will be with you when you grow old? Who will take care of you? You can’t go on being alone forever. If I were to answer this now, my instant answer is I can live with it, I have been used to it for majority of my life, not having someone who is consistent and who will love me for who I am, what I am, and what I believe in. My former wife tried to do this, but she didn’t have the patience or the belief in me. So while it did hurt to know that she went off with another guy, I just stand up, and tell myself, well, this is nothing new. Through all my life I have been used to wanting to achieve things on my own sweat, and this should not be an exception. I am known to defy all odds, make the impossible happen, well, the biggest test lies in my personal life, my once rocky married life.

Besides, I already have my trophy with me, something more precious than any other item or currency can bind. A lovely daughter named Natazha Vanessa Yalung. Seeing my daughter walk with her head up high and aim to achieve various things in the same way I did in my life is more than enough reward for me to think of anything else for myself. My life is never about myself. It is about helping other stand up and build their paths. This is what is more important to me, something I want to see from my peers and friends. Their success is already an achievement for me.

About companionship, I have totally fallen out of it. I have grown to become independent, caring less of what my future has in store for me. I have met some people, some I would love to fill that empty space, but unfortunately, priorities change and with my situation, I do not see them properly filling that space. I admire a lot of girls, but to call it love and truly have them support me is totally different. The most important thing above anything else is seeing them take their lives responsibly and not wasting their time and making decisions that are so arrogant. I have gotten into these relationships for the past year, and sad to say, this has always been my observation. Like I said, a person helping himself or herself will truly be someone I can relate to. Sad to say, no matter how much I push myself to it, the feeling is simply not there. So why bother getting into a relationship, if it is deemed to die from the first day. May as well face the world and take on challenges and opportunities as they come my way….alone and aggressively.

My Last Ride with the Ateneo Blue Eagles

It was our final practice before the big championship game on Sunday. We could have finished the finals last Sunday but as fate would have it, a decisive match was in the works. Well, all is not lost. But I am glad to see the response of the people who came to practice, sacrifice and sweat it out for perhaps the final time I will be with these guys. All that is needed now is to wait for that faithful day, hopefully we can be able to regain the crown which the school lost last year to the same team we are now facing on Sunday. While there has been changes in the lineup, I am honored to be part of the team, something I wasn’t really expecting considering there are a lot of young legs than me, and additionally, my prone to injury, owing to age and wear and tear of my body.

I do not play a vital role in this team. Just a supporter as far as I am concerned. My last hamstring injury is still hurting, and an added groin injury I suffered two weeks ago has rendered me totally a spectator. I am totally out of shape, I can’t even last one quarter with the young turks. Cheering them on, supporting my teammates in whichever way I can is what I can best do at this point. But regardless of what happens, I know we can come on top. I have never been so confident on my teammates compared to before. This is ours for the taking and ours to lose.

I have lost interest in inviting friends and colleagues of the school. Perhaps they do not share the same commitment as I have for the school. If in the second game I was persistent, for this final trooping to the court, I chose not to bother. All I care about now is to be with my team till the end. I will not be drawn to begging and soliciting support, for I know the team can function without it. We got this far without such support, and all I wanted was to share with them the distinction of being the best. Whatever happens on Sunday, win or lose, I am proud of this team. Heads held up high, and sing that alma matter song for possibly the last time. To the guys, it has been a privilege working with you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Something to Prove...MBA Flashbacks

I find myself right now in a very confused state. One year ago, I had my eyes on this girl. Typical Filipina, alluring eyes, she has that smile that can make anyone smile back and fall on their knees. She is about to take her final step prior to graduation, something I have finished last year. Not to take anything away from her, she is in a state of panic, same as her other friends, whom I had to chat up with when I passed by the school last Tuesday night. It was a night of intense ranting on how to go about their last hurrah in finally obtaining their MBA title. I asked my self why they are in such a state, when I was calm during my time, even having the time before to attend to other chores as my social responsibility to the kids and my village. Makes me wonder, how was I able to do it?

Anyway, in the same way that I cannot say no, I was in a bind yesterday. My dilemma was her boyfriend was not so fond me of me seeing her, and much as I would cherish being with her, I had to beg off initially, citing problems that may come along the way. I already experienced something like this in my past marriage life, and to make a wrong thing right, I would want to avoid doing it to somebody else, even if I hated his guts so much. It would be foolish for me to admit that I don’t have feelings for her anymore. I still do. I had moments of telling her that. Had all the right opportunities. I just couldn’t find the right time and spoil the evening.

I met up with her yesterday, showed her the initial drafts. We were together for about 5 hours, discussing her problem and personal issues as well as history between our lives. For one reason or another, she kept on asking me if I really didn’t want to be her guide. What was I to do? Here is someone, whom I couldn’t say no, and yet I am in the thin line of agreeing and turning back. After much discussion, I agreed to help her but I still have doubts on whether Mr. Perfect would intervene. I also need to help someone else, someone I courted before, but my emphasis will be on the first one, since she asked me first and well, I could see she will really need my help. I do not look at the output of this as long as I can lend a helping hand. Whatever outcome, maybe in a way, I still want to help her, but the most important thing is to be with her, probably for the last time.

For what’s it worth, it will be more of an honor for me to serve her, spend time with her. Whether she feels the same way, I will never know. But just the same, regardless of what comes out of it, I will be content seeing her walking down that aisle and receiving her diploma, in the same way I did last year, with only my mother and daughter seeing me shed my tears of joy for a hard earned degree.

My Baby is now a Lady

Slowly and surely, my daughter is being exposed to the outside world. Meeting new friends, both boys and girls, giggles and laughter from some mischievous things, slowly knowing the need to focus on her studies and prove to people who doubted her that she is more than what they think.

She has occasional faults, sometimes taking these things for granted. I don’t blame her. This is the stage of balancing fun with responsibility. But I do get surprised at her, how she is able to raise funds on her own to be able to go on camps, malling with her friends. I keep on wondering how she does it.

During my birthday last week, she got me a cake, her favorite cake of course! Hahaha. And a card which contained a message which brought tears in my eyes. She does not know it, but through that card, I was able to see something that she inherited from me that I would want her to pursue. My knack of getting quotes and expounding on them, this was something I never thought Vanessa would do. And I am proud! I just pray she continues it, besides, she is more than everything to me, and though I am not vocal about it, I hope that through my actions and commitment to being a complete parent, she would appreciate it if not now, then one day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Looking Back... Moving Forward...

Funny how time flies. Treasure some memories, seeing old faces, reminiscing bout the good times. Most of them would bring a smile to my face, but also bring some forgettable moments at that. Some would haunt me to this day, some would not. But one thing that’s for sure, seeing old faces you have not been communicating with in the past year truly warms the heart.

Actually, flings, links to people will only be natural. Seeing them again will bring mixed emotions, unexplainable feelings. Laughing about them, or just choosing to change the topic. How I wish I had a time machine to relive those moments. I bet most people would want this as well, memories are treasures that are irreplaceable and will forever be on the person’s memories.

There was supposed to be a gathering sometime this week. I couldn’t wait to go there, see old friends and share old times. But then again feelings cannot be commanded and it would be selfish of me to think of spoiling a gathering for people who would be better of enjoying this rare occasion. I am just a man, a normal man and stepping back is something that can be termed as a “gentleman’s gesture” as said to me by my best friend, the organizer of the whole thing.

Why bother to complicate a life that has been devoted to purely fulfilling tasks and taking care of my only precious gift, that of which is my daughter. Nothing else matters right now, and maybe, just maybe I will still believe in what I stand for, that of which is to stay alone for now. Adding problems is something I can surely do without for now. And outside my daughter and family, I don’t really want to inherit another person in my circle of trust, if they are not deserving. Not meant to be harsh, but if you truly are who you claim to be, then maybe it can be done without bounds. But if there are people who are more deserving than my friendship and care, I am always prepared to step back of the limelight and give you center stage. Heck I don’t even want to be in the limelight for all I care.

A note for the people who want to see me fall, I will not waste my time enumerating who you people are. I don’t care who you are, and what you are. I have a life to live, so I guess you should start thinking of one as well. A special note to pretenders, one final request… please lay off and let me be in peace.

Used and Abused: Is It Relevant?

Funny how good guys really finish last. They shy away from the limelight and well, like the true gentlemen that they are, they keep their poise and composure and just act as normally as possible. Just to do a good deed, make their friends happy, be helpful in any way and don’t ask anything in return. That would typically be people who would just want to fit in.

I have been there. Well, I have met some and learned bit by bit. It does hurt at times, but hey who is complaining? Being gullible should not be the escape button to such. It’s probably in the nature of my personality, wanting to be a helping hand to anyone, but naturally within bounds. I believe that for every good deed, that feeling of warmth and that you have made someone happy is more than enough reward for a valiant effort.

Friends will tell me to shape up, learn when to say “No”. I have a hard time pleasing them, knowing when I have been spoon feeding people who come to me. All I can say is, if it was only natural for me, then it would not be so hard to do.

Used? Maybe, but I don’t care. The only good thing is I can separate my valued friends from the pretenders. Abused? Well perhaps in a way, but then again, who am I to judge people. All I care about is being helpful and making sure that I can extend that helping hand whenever the need arises. Besides, it’s not like I want to run for office or anything. I am just simply being plain me and that is all that counts. If people accept me for whom I am, my advanced thanks to you. If not, well, it was nice to have served you.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Facing Tomorrow and Moving Forward

Call it a matter of being childish, or just simply trying to be strong and ignore something that meant so much to me. Yes a person is what I am referring to, but taking into account everything, all information, pros and cons, I need to show her I am strong. Besides, the chances of her knowing how much I care and well if given the chance, to actually show her that I care for her much more than I do to myself is no where in site. I guess, our worlds will never meet. I wouldn’t blame her, she has a promising career ahead, and well, she has beauty, looks, money, practically everything. So why bother having me around.

I am not used to this. I would often bow my head, flash her a smile even if deep inside I am hurting since I know that I cannot have her. Being technically married is among them. But one thing that is for sure, she cannot step beyond my relationship with my beloved daughter. No one can! I will never replace my love and relationship for my daughter with anyone else, even if it means staying alone till I grow old.

Its time to admit, she is better off with someone with less complications. All I have of her is a dream, somewhere where even the impossible can come true. I guess its just for the best. Why settle for a used has been when you can get a clean slated person to share your life with. Farewell to you my friend, but I think I have to move on with a heavy heart… if you still care.

Striving to be the Complete Parent

How do you put it hmmm. A single parent? Mother and Father? Well, this was what I always wanted to be for my daughter, who has now become a full grown teenager. I was never a good husband, but I am sure I can become a good Father to my daughter given the chance. Not only in terms of monetary support, but being there for her in her times.

Ideally, children would go with the mothers when their parents separate. But somehow, I find myself in a rare position. Being chosen alone over my estranged wife is something that warms my heart and gives me a reason to smile. I remember my daughter telling me, she never knew me that well when her mom was around, and all she got was I was a very bad father or husband. Proving this alone makes it a fulfilling stage for me. Not a happy one, coz before I still wanted a complete family. But priorities and times change. I would still follow the conventional practice and observe a conservative point of view. No matter what, I am proud of my daughter and I know she will appreciate that one day.

Never in my dreams did I imagine I would be in this situation. I always looked at myself as the worst person in this world. That entirely changed with Vanessa around. She may not know it, but every time she would say that I am not a bad father, thanks for everything Papa, I love you Papa…. I would shed a tear if I were the teary eyed person. My heart warms though, and she will never know this coz like her, I keep my feeling from her. In the genes I guess.

I love my daughter, and in the same way that I was brought up by my peers, enjoying life, sacrificing for my sake, it is my turn to do the same. Enjoying life in the pre-adult years is something worth treasuring. I should know…up to now, I still recall and enjoy those years of my life.