Tuesday, June 29, 2004

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"



A Potter fan claimed that to have gotten through this "locked" door in JK Rowling's website and found the message supposedly written by Rowling, revealing the title of Harry Potter book 6: "Harry Potter and the Pillar of Storgé".

JK spokesman dismissed the gossip and confirmed that it was a hoax. "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling reveals the real title of the sixth installment of her "Harry Potter" series.

"Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince".

Read this article for the info.

But I guess that's good. This supposedly hacking from her site and revealing the new title urged her to reveal the real one. Hehehe! Now, I wonder who would that "half blood prince" be...

Saturday, June 26, 2004

laughter



Laughter on a weary soul is like a warm blanket on a cold night.

Early morning today, I had my break with a group of friends from work. It's just an hour meal break. But it made me realize how good it felt to laugh... really laugh so hard. It was refreshing.

We actually discussed a variety of topics. As usual, we talked about the stupid calls we had at work, the weird questions and angry voices we heard through our headsets. Then we also shared our views with the fact that one of us would be transferring to another company or that one of our co-workers will be resigning because she is pregnant. Or how it pisses us that we have this annoying officemate who can't seem to mind her own monkey business. Then there's the more serious topics of the increase in fares and the fact that our transportation allowance won't be able to cover it. Plus the newly-elected President and what might happen to the Philippines. Then we go to making pranks, (sometimes green) jokes, silly quips and gestures.

It was just an hour of shared food and views. We were the noisiest table in the pantry. People look at us and smile or frown or even tell us "Sige, tawa kayo nang tawa dyan. Mamaya ma-overbreak na kayo." Those KJ people who try to ruin our moment.

I had to admit that it was shallow fun, but it was fun nevertheless. That despite the fact that most of us have uncertain futures, we laughed. Despite the fact that most of us barely have money in our pockets, we laughed. Despite the fact that we have something in the past we wanted to forget, we laughed. Despite the fact that some of us are lonely or brokenhearted or lost, we still found the reason to laugh.

Laugh at life. Laugh with life.

Friday, June 25, 2004

mixed emotions



I've never felt so torn before.

There was once this person who made me think:

You were everything, everything that I wanted
We were meant to be, supposed to be, but we lost it...


Then time passed by. Everything almost forgotten.

Then I met this other person who made me think:
He wasn't what I wanted. What I thought, no...
He isn't really what I'm looking for.


But then I've always believed that nobody's perfect until you fall in love.

Then the three of us crossed paths again. What happens next?

Life can be complicated sometimes.

-------
Songs posted with this entry are "My Happy Ending" and "He Wasn't" respectively. Both written and sang by Avril Lavigne.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

a reply from Paulo Coelho

Dear Karen,

Thank you for your kind email.

"Always follow your dreams and fight for them with faith"

May love always be your guide in every moment of your life.

Paulo Coelho





If this was really him (I hope it is since the reply came in 6 days after I sent him the note) or if this is only a bot I don't care, all I can say is:

"Thank you for the inspiration. I am eternally grateful." :)


NOTE TO SELF:

My fave Coelho books so far: The Alchemist, By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Veronika Decides to Die, The Fifth Mountain.
I have also read: The Valkyries, The Pilgrimage
I would want to read his newest release: Eleven Minutes and his short story compilation, Maktub.

The Notebook



I'm looking forward to this movie adapted from the first novel (and one of the most beautiful love stories I've read) written by Nicholas Sparks. Love in the time of war would always inspire people and despite the "exaggeration", as my sister would say, of the emotions described in the book, it never failed to make me cry.

Sparks has this tendency to write stories about finding and losing love. I should know, I have six of his books, but I would always read these stories just to remind me that love can still make the world go round, even only for a while.

I hope the movie would not disappoint me (like what "A Walk to Remember" did). Or maybe I was just biased because I am not a Mandy Moore fan. :)

This book is based on a true story.

Finally...

They were able to proclaim the President and the Vice President of this country yesterday. After all the hooplas, it's still Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her partner Noli de Castro.

In my opinion, the least of all evils... But evils nevertheless.

May their promises never get broken! God bless us all!

Monday, June 21, 2004

a great act



You need to find a middle ground between your obligations to yourself and your obligations to others.


Easy for you to say.

Some say that if one sacrifices one's dreams to let others fulfill and live theirs is greatness.

I say it's plain stupidity.

But sometimes, life does not give us any other options.

angst



There's not much going on today
I'm really bored it's getting late
What happened to my Saturday
Monday's coming the day I hate


I've been listening to her new album lately. I've always listened to her old one, "Let Go", whenever I feel angsty or misunderstood. At least, singing the lyrics of most of her songs makes me shout, and I don't get to do that often. :)

Skater girl, punk rocker, cool chick. She's not really a bad girl, according to one of her interviews. It's just the image she wants to portray, much like Eminem. It works though, I must say.

Most of her songs are about mending a broken heart, but don't think of the songs such as "Separate Lives" that you can find in "The Art of Letting Go" album. It's all about mending a broken heart, the Avril Lavigne style! That is: Blame him and think you're better off alone! Hehehe! Some songs I could not really relate to. Some of them have lyrics I understand and that I think I could have written myself, in one way or the other.

He wasn't what I wanted
What I thought, no
He wouldn't even open up the door
He never made me feel like I was special
He isn't really what I'm looking for

~"He Wasn't"

See? ;)

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Happy Birthday, Garfield!


Courtesy of Garfield

Now, who's next in line? Hehehe.

Guardian Angel?



A few moments after I posted my previous entry, my supervisor called me up and told me that she is endorsing me for email training. No more calls! Hah!

My mother told me I have a guardian angel. I believe her. :)

Friday, June 18, 2004

Bored

That's what I'm feeling right now. It's been two days of working alone. I was tired yesterday. It seems like I keep pushing myself to the limits until I'm exhausted. Right now, it's taking it's toll. I feel tired and bored here at work. I probably need some vitamins. Or maybe a vacation. Or maybe a change of environment. I'm tired of taking calls too. Why don't I apply for HR Assistant? Hmmm...

Now that's an idea. Hehehe.

NOT just another day

They found my wallet!!!

OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD!

I just finished my OT for two hours and a supervisor went to me and told me they found my wallet. All my ID's are in it!

Thank God! :)

*jumps around and kisses everyone on the cheek*

That's why I was not scared when I lost it. Somehow, in the deepest recesses of my mind, I knew it's just lying around waiting to be found.

Probably the klepto still has the capacity to listen to his/her conscience. :)

another day

After I ate my "lunch", I decided to sit by the window and watch the streets of Makati slowly being illuminated by the early rays of the rising sun. It was a peaceful sight. No traffic. No pollution. A couple pedestrians were crossing Ayala Avenue. I had less talk today. Aside from the usual blabber I do on the phone, my two buddies here in the office are absent. So, I was alone to take my break. My shift ends at 7AM later. But I might do some overtime work since I have to wait for the bank to open at about 9AM. Yeah, it sucks. I could be home earlier but I have to follow up my ATM...

Thursday, June 17, 2004

I'm thankful

..for the little things in life that makes living it quite bearable. If not for them, I don't think I'll be surviving the crisis I'm going through right now as an individual.

Yesterday, I was awake for about 30 hours straight. That was a record-breaker for me. But despite all the things I went through, I'm glad for the "little blessings".

Like the timing. My wallet got lost with only P90 in it. If I had withdrawn my pay before that, my family would have suffered with me. Then, I had to go through all the process of filing for affidavit of loss to the institutions where I had my ID's. I was glad I did not have work last night since it's my rest day. Then, despite the heat while going to the bank (I was still able to get my salary, thank God!) and to the notary public and despite the rain while I was getting my Troy goodies (thanks u l a n!), he kept me company. I am so grateful he did not leave me alone. I actually enjoyed the day despite what happened. I did not have an umbrella during the downpour and guess what? One of the Troy goodies I got was a Troy cap and I know it helped me prevent getting sick. Hahaha! I was planning to give that cap to him but he said I look good on it, so he did not accept it. I gave it to my father instead. By the way, I also got a Troy journal. I don't think I want to write anything down on it... yet. :)

Then I got home and found this wallet I used before. It still looks new so I guess I can scratch of "wallet" from my birthday wish list. Too bad it looks bare. I hope the creep who stole my wallet still has the heart (?) to return my ID's. He/she can keep the wallet and the P90! Haha!

What a day.

-------
Young girl, don't cry. I'll be right here when your world starts to fall...
~"The Voice Within", C. Aguilera

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Aint nothing worse...

...than this.

You know what happened to the last P100 in my wallet? It got stolen.

Life has it's own way of bitchin' me huh?

Not only the hundred bucks, but my wallet, my SSS ID, PRC license, Gentxt membership card, and my very valuable ATM card (plus my grad pic, lotsa calling cards and my LOTR Legolas and Frodo cards)! Waaah!

And I thought I'd be safe from kleptomaniacs in the new company. I realized, they are everywhere! I left my wallet inside my bag, like I always did for the past three months. All our bags were placed by our workstations. Probably the stupid klepto thought I was able to withdraw my pay yesterday. Dumbass. I only had P90 left in that wallet. But the rest are more precious than money. :(

I was also grateful that I don't have work tonight (since I have work this Saturday). Half of my supposedly rest day was spent blocking my ATM, preparing an affidavit of loss, calling SSS and PRC, ranting, walking under the heat of the sun, finding a notary public.

Aint life grand?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

zombie


Another head hangs lowly, child is slowly taken
And the violence caused such silence
Who are we mistaken
~ Cranberries, "Zombie"


I was walking from our office building this morning. Only with Php105.50 in my pocket. It's the last of my well-earned cash. Life's not good these days (years?), financially speaking. I went to the post office to mail a letter to a good friend on the other side of the planet (so sorry late na!) I gave the teller my last hundred and she said, "Ay miss, wala akong barya eh!" (Lau, maybe tomorrow, ok?)

Wiping the sweat on my neck, I cursed my work schedule. I have been taking calls from 9PM last night until 8AM this morning. My throat was hoarse. I would love an icy glass of water but I don't want to lose my voice, which is my only source of income as of now. Like a vampire, I was also irritated by the heat. It's getting hotter by the minute and I was used to going home by 7AM when the sun's rays are not that painful.

My head was throbbing. I lacked sleep.

I was looking forward to my rest day tomorrow. Then I thought of getting my pay after my shift later and that seems to brighten things up.

One of the things that never fails to amaze me is when I walk and think at the same time, I won't realize how far I've walked until something or someone or I, myself, will get me back to reality. I might smile or frown without knowing it.

Anyways, I was nearing the jeepney terminal, which is about 3 blocks away from where I work. Automatically, I reached for my purse, gave my guy in front of me my Php5.00, then fumbled for a peso coin from his palm. Then he told me, "Miss, Php5.50 na po ang bayad." I said, "Ay, sorry po!" There goes my Php5.50! Let's see how far my remaining Php100.00 go.

I realized that most of the news I see on TV directly affects me as a person. That's what I get for living a zombie's life.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Cedric Diggory...

...is Robert Pattinson.



Read more about this news on HPANA.

Sayang. I was betting for Henry Cavill pa naman.



Sino kaya mas guwapo? Hehehe.

Sunday morning


Sunday morning rain is falling
Steal some covers share some skin

~"Sunday Morning", Maroon 5

Early Sunday morning after my Saturday shift at work. It's almost 3AM.

Got nothing to do. No moolah. No gimmicks. No plans to go home yet.

Soothing background music. No disturbances. Less glaring lights. Unlimited internet access.

It's raining outside.

Perfect.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Lessons from the Little Prince



I got to rent a video last night of "The Little Prince". It's a musical done on 1974 but the video was just released this year. I was reminded of how simple and how beautiful the story was and it made me open a tattered copy of "The Little Prince" I got way back in elementary.

There are a lot of quotable quotes in that book and I think the most popular would be the secret the fox gave the Little Prince:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.


After rereading the book, I took a moment to let everything sink in. I miss being a child once more-- where everything is a mystery and every experience is an exploration. Everything was simple back then and it is very easy to be contented.

But of course, I cannot help being an adult. I have to go through this stage. But I also learned about "making ties" and I'm glad my life has not gone to waste. I was tamed by many people and I know I tamed a several ones too. With that, I am happy.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Getting old...



Courtesy of Garfield

In my case, that's "Soon I'll be 24 years old..."

Unprofessionalism (Part 2)

Here's the continuation...

We were there at 2:30PM thinking that the paycheck would be ready since banks close at 3PM. I asked if it can be released earlier, but she replied. "Don't worry. The check is with Chinabank and it's open until 4PM." I was thinking, alright. If I could get this money I can send my Lola (who is in the province) a birthday gift and my father can buy new eyeglasses for Father's Day and I could probably but new leather shoes since they're worn-out already.

We got to talk with several agents who also resigned and who are also waiting for their last paychecks. We also met familiar faces and learned that we have similar reasons why we resigned. Napuno na.

Sarah and I did not have any sleep yet. Then we kept on waiting and waiting... Some people were there even before lunchtime! Then we decided not to go to work because it was already past 5. When she finally arrived to give our checks, we were so disappointed with the amount. I mean, why the delay?! I thought they were waiting for signatories way back last Friday and she only took care of that when we were already there waiting! I got about P1K and Sarah got about P3K. So there goes my shoes and my father's eyeglasses!

I was absent last night because of that stupid paycheck. My absence would mean no pay for one shift. And one shift would pay me about the same amount as the last paycheck I got. Ironic huh?

My eyes were watering since they were already painful from lack of sleep and I waited for this. Then this inconsiderate b*tch from Finance said sheepishly, "Sorry ha, bukas nyo na lang ipa-cash."

No wonder Philamlife wanted them to leave their premises.

Sheesh.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Death

I'm Death!
Which Member of the Endless Are You?

"They're not too keen to see me."



Death is not fair, nor predictable. She does her work, in time and place, and everyone meets her sooner or later. But few enjoy her. Actually, it bugs her a little, that people are seldom glad to meet her. After all, she's only doing her duty, and she cares about people and their lives - think that she's one of the few who knows each of us personally. Death is full of contradictions.

And without death, there is no life.


Read more about DEATH on this site.

Unprofessionalism

That's one thing I can't stand in this dog-eat-dog and kiss-my-ass-or-else-I'll-kick-yours corporate world.

I just came from an 11-hour shift. I woke up at 7PM, started working at 9PM, ended my shift at 8AM. It would have all been an ordinary day if not for this person from the previous company I work with. She was supposed to take care of our accounts with the company because we should have gotten our last paycheck aeons ago. It's her job. But last week, we called her up informing her that we want to follow-up on our request since we've been "hearing" stuff that the process is sooo slow when it comes to releasing funds to resignees. That was Friday, two weeks ago. Monday, I called up again and she informed me to call back Friday before lunch so I'd know if it has been signed already. (And who the hell is that VIP anyways?) I called back last Friday from 10AM-12NN, but no answer. My friend was able to talk to her and advised to to call back Monday. I called back again Monday and guess what, she is in a company outing! Well, I actually did not have a problem with that BUT THEN, she should have told us to follow it up on the next Ice Age if it would be ready by then!!! She should not have wasted our time. We have our own lives to live. She knew she was going to the outing, why tell us the wrong information?

Then today we were informed that the "signature" won't be ready until 2:30PM later. Goodluck! I have a shift at 9PM. So, wish me a goodnight's rest. Grrr!

I'm glad I'm out of that hellhole.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Happy 2nd Anniversary, TPTS!

It's been two years since The Philippine Tolkien Society was established. It may be encountering some challenges throughout time but we, the members, are still here.

Yesterday, some of the members had a "replacement moot" since the supposed TPTS Party was cancelled. It was a simple meeting of friends but it was fun. :)


Pre-Anniversay Moot Posted by Hello

As a sign of my passion for all things Middle-earth, I had a henna tattoo done on my right forearm. It's fading right now since it has been a week, but I love it! :)


The Philippine Tolkien Society Posted by Hello

For more pictures from the moot, please view my imagestation album.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

overjoyed, over you

And though the odds say improbable
What do they know
For in romance
All true love needs is a chance


No, I am not referring to my crush at work. Though I always notice him recently, he did something (actually a lot of small things) that turned me off. So, if it would make a big difference I just want it stated here that he is not my crush anymore. (I'm beginning to relive my high school life. I think I've said that before. Hehe!) :)

Now let's talk about the special man in my life. I am at a stage right now when I feel bored about our relationship. It felt "stagnant". Like we're doing the same things everytime we meet and not to mention we're only seeing each other at the most, once a week. Blame my anti-social schedule at work. But then I always felt like I'm doing the effort in order for this relationship to work out. I mean, it's not as if he's on the other side of the planet, and it's not as if he is busy with work.

Or maybe I am just overreacting. Probably I am just expecting too much (again) from a person who, I know in the first place, is not as malambing and showy and emotional and sensitive (like me!) as I would like him to be.

Over time, I've building my castle of love
Just for two, though you never knew you were my reason
I've gone much too far for you now to say
That I've got to throw my castle away


We are officially together for 15 months on June 11. I've sacrificed a lot, I've risked a lot and I've given much effort, time and love. But I'm feeling the distance now. I feel I deserve to demand more attention... more time. Maybe it won't be us in the future. Maybe someday we will have to take different paths. Maybe someday we'll give up. Maybe I'm meant to be with another man or with no man at all. It's sad to think about it but I don't want to expect.

Over hearts, I have painfully turned every stone
Just to find, I had found what I've searched to discover
I've come much too far for me now to find
The love that I've sought can never be mine


I'm just taking this one day at a time. This is my first relationship ever. I don't have the luxury of time for a trial and error thing. I'm not that young anymore for flings and experiments. I never believed in them anyway. If I could wish for a perfect man in a perfect relationship, I would. But I don't live in fairy tales either. No "happily ever after".

Over dreams, I have picked out a perfect come true
Though you never knew it was of you I've been dreaming
The sandman has come from too far away
For you to say come back some other day


I know I am probably not making sense. I'm just jotting these thoughts down as they come out of my head.

As I'm thinking of the past 15 months we spent together and away from each other, I am just happy that there is technology for us to continue communicating. That's one of the reasons why there is still a "WE". Communication is essential in a relationship. That covers any relationship. I'm glad I can tell him my thoughts. I also think of the good times we had, the things he did to make me happy, the words he said to make me smile, the things he did to show me that I'm special... These may not be in the ways I expect (like flowers, surprise gifts, stroll by the beach under the moonlight...) but he has his own ways. I only wish that he would be more "open" and express his thoughts and feelings more so that I would understand that there really is a heart inside of him that's meant for only me.

And though you don't believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me


Oh, screw love.

Friday, June 04, 2004

inspiring speech

Butch Jimenez, head of PLDT's media and strategic communications department, delivered this speech at the UP Diliman Class 2003 commencement exercises. Quite long, but it's worth the long read. :)

As college students, you're just about to set sail into the real world. As you prepare for the battleground of life, you'll hear many speeches, read tons of books and get miles of advice telling you to work hard, dream big, go out and do something for yourself, and have a vision. Not bad advice, really. In fact, following these nuggets of truth may just bring you to the top. But as I've lived my life over the years, I have come to realize that it is great to dream big, have a vision, make a name, and work hard. But guess what: There's something better than that.

So my message today simply asks the question, "What's better than...?"

Let's start off with something really simple. What's better than a long speech? No doubt, a short one. So, you guys are in luck because I do intend to keep this short.

Now, let me take you through a very simple math exam. I'll rattle off a couple of equations, and you tell me what you observe about them. Be mindful of the instructions. You are to tell me what you observe about the equations. Here goes:

3+4=7, 9+2=11, 8+4=13, and 6+6=12. Tell me, what do you observe?

Every time I conduct this test, more than 90 percent of the participants immediately say, 8+4 is NOT 13, it's 12!

That's true and they are correct. But they could have also observed that the three other equations were right. That 3+4 is 7, that 9+2 is 11, and that 6+6 is 12.

What's my point? Many people immediately focus on the negative instead of the positive. Most of us focus on what's wrong with other people more than what's right about them.

Examine those four equations. Three were right and only one was wrong. But what is the knee-jerk observation? The wrong equation.

If 10 people you didn't know were to walk through that door, most of you would describe those people by what's negative about them. He's fat. He's balding. Oh, the short one. Oh, the skinny girl. Ahhh, 'yung pango (flat-nosed). Etc.

Get the point? It's always the negative we focus on and not the positive.

You'll definitely experience this in the corporate world. You do a hundred good things and one mistake-guess what? Chances are, your attention will be called on that one mistake.

So what's better than focusing on the negative? Believe me, its focusing on the positive. And if this world could learn to focus on the positive more than the negative, it would be a much nicer place to live in.

Better than working hard.

We have always been told to work hard. Our parents say that, our teachers say that, and our principal says that. But there's something better than merely working hard. It's working SMART. It's taking time to understand the situation, and coming out with an effective and efficient solution to get more done with less time and effort.

As the Japanese say, "There's always a better way." One of the most memorable case studies I came across with as I studied Japanese management at Sophia University in Tokyo was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies.

The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a box of soap that was empty. It immediately isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty.

Management tasked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast.

But a rank-and-file employee that was posed the same problem came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Clearly, the engineers worked hard, but the rank-and-file employee worked smart. So what's better than merely working hard? It's working smart.

Having said that, it is still important to work hard. If you could combine both working hard and working smart, you would possess a major factor toward success.

Better than dreaming big.

I will bet my next month's salary that many have encouraged you to dream big. Maybe even to reach for the stars and aim high.

I sure heard that about a million times right before I graduated from this university. So I did. I did dream big. I did aim high. I did reach for the stars. No doubt, it works. In fact, the saying is true: "If you aim for nothing, that's exactly what you'll hit: nothing."

But there's something better than dreaming big. Believe me, I got shocked myself. And I learned it from the biggest dreamer of all time, Walt Disney.

When it comes to dreaming big, Walt is the man. No bigger dreams were fulfilled than his. Every leadership book describes him as the ultimate dreamer. In fact, the principle of dreaming and achieving is the core message of the Disney hit song, "When You Wish Upon a Star".

"When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are; anything your heart desires will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star, as dreamers do," as Jiminy Cricket sang.

But is that what he preached in the Disney company? Dream?

Imagineering.

Well, not exactly. Kinda, but not quite. The problem with dreaming is if that's all you do, you'll really get nowhere. In fact, you may just fall asleep and never wake up. The secret to Disney's success is not just dreaming, it's IMAGINEERING. You won't find this word in a dictionary. It's purely a Disney word. Those who engage in imagineering are called imagineers. The word combines the words "imagination" and "engineering."

In the book "Imagineers," Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, claims that "imagineers turn impossible dreams into real magic." Walt Disney explained there is really no secret to their approach. They just keep moving forward-opening new doors and doing new things, because they are curious. And it is this curiosity that leads them down new paths. They always dream, explore and experiment. In short, imagineering is the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how.

Eisner expounds on this thought by saying that "Not only are imagineers curious, they are courageous, outrageous, and their creativity is contagious."

The big difference with imagineers is that they dream and then they DO! So don't just be a dreamer, be an imagineer.

You must have all been given a lecture at one time or another about the importance of having a vision. Even leadership expert John Maxwell says that an indispensable quality of a leader is to have a vision. The Bible also makes it very clear that "Without vision, people perish." So no doubt about it, having a vision is important to success.

But surprise! There's something more potent than a vision. It's a CAUSE. If all you're doing is trying to reach your vision and you're pitted against someone fighting for a cause, chances are you'll lose.

The Vietnam War is a classic example. Literally with sticks and stones, the Viet Cong beat the heavily armed US Army to surrender, primarily because the US had a vision to win the war, but the Vietnamese were fighting for a cause.

In the realm of business, many leaders have visions of making their company No. 1, or grabbing market share, or forever increasing profits. Nothing really wrong with that vision, but take the example of Sony founder Akio Morita. He did not just have a vision to build the biggest electronics company in the world. In his biography, "Made in Japan," he reveals that the real reason he set up Sony was to help rebuild his country, which had just been battered by war. He had a cause he was fighting for. His vision to be an electronics giant was secondary.

What's the difference between a vision and a cause? Here's what sets them apart...

No one is willing to die for a vision. People will die for a cause. You posses a vision. A cause possesses you. A vision lies in your hands. A cause lies in your heart. A vision involves sacrifice. A cause involves the ultimate sacrifice.

Just a word of caution. You must have the right vision, and you must be fighting for the right cause. In the end, right will always win out.

It may take time, and it may take long. But if you have the right vision and are fighting for the right cause, you will prevail. If not, no matter how sincere you are, if you are not fighting for what is right, you will ultimately fail.

Two final quotes Allow me to end with two quotes that I have lived by ever since I stepped out of UP. The first comes from the Bible, which says, "To whom much is given, much is required." Having been given the opportunity to study in UP, no doubt, much has been given to you in terms of an excellent education. Don't forget that in return, much is now required of you to use that education not just for yourself, but for others.

And as you move up and start reaching the pinnacle of success, even more will be required of you to look at the welfare of others, of society and of the country.

Though I have often dreamed of addressing any graduating class of UP Diliman, I never really thought it would happen. This brings me to the second quote I have held close to my heart as I traverse the destiny God has laid out for me.

"There is no destination beyond reach of one who walks with God." My standing in front of you today, as the youngest commencement speaker of this esteemed university in 92 years, is proof of how true that quote is.

A final review:

* What's better than focusing on the negative? Focus on the positive.
* What's better than working hard? It's working smart.
* What's better than dreaming? Imagineering.
* What's better than doing something for yourself? Doing something for your country.
* What's better than a vision? A cause.
* What's better than a long speech? Definitely, a short one.

Thank you and congratulations, UP Diliman graduating class of 2003.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Boy Who Lived Again (and Again)


A Personal Movie Review Posted by Hello


One thing I noticed after watching this movie for the first time: Alfonso Cuaron has a flair for the dramatic.

There's drama in the way nature was shown around Hogwarts. I can see that Hogwarts was "relocated" in this movie-- fresh air, lakes, mountains and trees all around. Hogwarts also had a few makeovers. The castle looks more brooding and mysterious, more worn out by time. I love the addition of the huge clock as well. Even the Whomping Willow looks more elegant in this movie. The scene transitions were dreamy-- the way the camera zooms on the actor's face then slowly darkness encircles it until the whole screen is pitch black. Then voices can be heard in the background and it opens to another scene.

The effects were cool. Although I know that dementors do not fly, they glide, but their movements were creepy. (I learned those were shot underwater to make the movements fluid-like). Buckbeak was regal as well. I was expecting more hippogriffs, but then that'll do. The inside of the knight bus was not exactly what I imagined it to be. The hairless werewolf was not that scary. Judging from the scene when he caught Harry with the Marauder's Map, Professor Snape is still scarier. The patronus charm was shown like a shining shield and I've always thought Harry's would always be in the form of a stag. How disappointing. But then the Marauder's Map was more than I imagined! Adding the "walking shoeprints" made it more animated than seeing a dot moving.

By the way, why didn't Harry ask anyone who the heck are Moony, Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail?

This time, more emphasis was given to "the others" of the story. I would like it more if they give some more time to the human characters. For example, I noticed the Whomping Willow had more screen time than Ginny Weasley and Percy Weasley combined. I can remember more scenes with The Fat Lady in it than scenes with Professor McGonagall. I mean, they do have their roles right?

I also missed the Dumbledore-Harry sharing and lesson-learning moments. In the movie, I can rarely see them together. It seems like RJ Lupin got that role as "Harry's adviser".

As expected, not everything from the book can be cramped in a 2 and a half hour movie. Nevertheless, it was still fast-paced. It's like skipping from one chapter to another. But I'm pretty sure non-book readers would enjoy the movie as well as understand the story.

Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawny was good. I've always thought Emma is too pretty to become Trelawny, but they did a great job. ;)

Gary Oldman is not the handsome and arrogant Sirius Black that I imagined. I know he just came from Azkaban, but even if he's wearing a clean suit and all, physically he's not Siruis Black for me. But the acting, well, that's a different matter. Gary Oldman is Gary Oldman. No doubt about that. RJ Lupin kinda reminded me of this Filipino senator... Hahaha! But he did well on his role. :)

Michael Gambon as the new and younger Dumbledore played his role well. He is still the same "playful" and well-respected headmaster. I did not miss Richard Harris that much since they do sound alike too! :)

Lastly, I would like to give the "kids" a pat in the back for a job well done. No more flowing Hogwarts and Quidditch robes for them. (Hey, where can I buy that maroon shirt with "Potter 07" at the back?) Although they're not as kiddies as they used to look (oh they grow up so fast!), they're still the same characters I've grown comfortable with. Ron is actually funnier than before even without giving much effort. Hermione is still the same witty girl, I mean, young lady. Dudley, Neville and Crabbe grew thinner probably since they grew taller. I'm sure a lot of you would admit that Harry is turning into one head-turner, heart-melter hero who always gets to live at the end of every book (so far). ;)

Did you notice that everytime there is an installment of Harry Potter book, it gets thicker since there are more pages and the story gets more complicated and more suited for adults?

Two thumbs up to the director, Alfonso Cuaron for incorporating those creepy talking heads, dramatic sceneries and soothing choir music to turn this once-kiddie movie to something that the author, JK Rowling, would want to become.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Uy, bago!

Yep, thanks to my dear friend, nabago na rin ang layout ko. Di ko kayang gumawa ng layout na maganda eh. Hahaha! Kelangan ko pa mag-aral. Wala nga lang magtuturo sa akin. Lau, magbenta ka kaya ng layout sa internet? Or sa blogger?

Di na nga lang makikita yung old comments pero ok lang. Comment na lang kayo ulit ng bago. ;)