Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Life Hack 101: A Never-Ending Chase

In this world, we cannot have everything we want in life. Therefore, it is important the we learn how to be contented and happy on what we currently have. otherwise, we will find ourselves just to be "chasing after the wind" and it will certainly leave us physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. 

Things around us will keep on changing - new phones, new clothes, new technologies, new people, new friends, new office, new iPod, new laptops, new policies, new president. Day after day things change, people change. One day, you like one thing, the next day you'll be sick of it and replace it with something new, then the cycle goes on. It is already tiring just to even have a thought that it would only be a life of non-ending chase. it's like running without a cause, running without knowing where you'd really like to go. 

So i guess, each of us, should learn how to set our priorities. We should take a deeper look on ourselves and determine what we really want in life because this world will always offer us something new to grab on - both on inanimate things and on people whom we wanted to be in our lives.

We should set our priorities. Know what we really want and most importantly, what we truly need. Otherwise, we can never find lasting happiness and contentment in life. or worse, one day, we will simply find ourselves left in the midst of uncertainty and indecisiveness while other people are successfully moving on to their journey and are living their lives fully contented and happy. Or it could be a realization that we have passed the opportunity that best fits us by trying to grab everything life has placed in front us.

So to reiterate my first statement, WE CANNOT HAVE EVERYTHING WE WANT IN LIFE. There will always be something missing since we're living in an imperfect world with imperfect inhabitants. 

I leave you with the words of King Solomon* in the book of Ecclesiastes 2:11:

"And I, even I, turned toward all the works of mine that my hands had done and toward the hard work that I had worked hard to accomplish, and, look! everything was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing of advantage under the sun."

-------

NOTE:

King Solomon was the wisest and the wealthiest king during his time. He built the massive temple in Jerusalem (a 13-year construction work), implemented a nationwide construction program and has an abundant supply of wealth & riches and food.

On gold from merchants alone, King Solomon approximately has an annual income of USD 256,643,000. He has other sources of income like timbers, precious stones, silver, expensive oils, etc.

And about women, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

Still, despite those, he found everything to be in vain and striving after the wind. It didn't give him lasting happiness that each one of us wants to have.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Advice From 30-year-old Me to 20-year-old Me

I already turned 30 recently. For some very odd reason I’ve not warmed to the idea of it just yet. However as I began to evaluate my 20's I realized how many mistakes I’ve made and things I’ve learned in a decade of life.

I took some time to write myself some advice.

1. TRAVEL

You have very little responsibility so go and travel. When you get to 30, you’re going to want to travel slightly differently, spend a little more, do slightly more expensive things, eat at slightly better restaurants. So work for a year and save enough money to experience the world on the cheap. How do you know what you want to do if you don’t know what’s out there to do?

Don’t just travel to the obvious places.
Travel to the tough places.
Travel to learn.
Travel to discover.
Travel to the places that will challenge who you think you want to be.

2. BUILD THINGS

Don’t spend too much time working on other people’s visions or in other people’s meetings. Spend time figuring out what your own world view is (see point 1) and where you want to take your own life. Meetings are where ideas go to die.

If you find yourself in a corporate job that you wish you could leave then do it. Leave. If you don’t have a corporate job yet see point 5.

3. READ

Read every day. Read everything you can. Don’t just read about things you know about. Read about people. Read people.

4. STOP WATCHING TELEVISION

Right now. Stop it. It’s not helping you get better at anything.

5. BALANCE BETWEEN SPIRITUAL AND SECULAR CAREER

Fill out the pioneering form and start "storing up treausures in heaven" (Matthew 6:20) Do not take that corporate job. Simplify your life and always make sure you have work-life balance. 

6. DO NOT TRUST TOO MUCH

Even if it kills your relationships. Even if it destroys your ideas. Even if you lose your friends. Even if it means you end up getting hurt.

Trust people until they give you a reason not to.

But don’t be naïve. Some people are out to mess you up.

7. PEOPLE

People are the best and worst thing that will happen to you. Some will help you go further, faster. Others will pull you down to their level and help you lose. Most are OK. Many are average. Some are excellent. A few people will change your life forever. Find them. You don’t need a lot of friends or people around you. You need amazing people who do for you as you do for them.

It’s simple really, a lot of average friends will leave you feeling alone when you need to feel surrounded by people who care.

8. VALUE TIME

Don’t waste time on people who you don’t trust. Don’t waste time with lovers who cheat on you. Don’t waste time with friends who don’t treat you the way you treat them (see point 7).

Do not be late. Value other people’s time. 

Some people will tell you that it’s okay to be late. It’s not. Some people will tell you that it’s just the way they are. Then you need to reevaluate them (see point 7 above).

9. FAIL AND GROW

Fail a lot. Fail often. Fail at love. Fail at socializing. Fail at making friends. Fail at work. Fail at business. Fail with family. Fail with existing friends.

Fail. But do it quickly and learn a lesson.

If you don’t learn something every time you fail then all you’ve done is failed. If you learn something, then you’ve grown. Every time you grow and learn and fail, you get better at figuring out how to succeed.

10. SUCCESS

There is no point at which you will have succeeded. Not in your twenties. Not ever.

Get over that fact and start building things (see point 2 and combine with point 9).

11. PATIENCE

Be patient. Nothing worth doing is worth doing quickly. Nothing worth building is worth building in a rush. Nothing of value is formed in a minute.

Plan in decades. Think in years. Work in months. Live in days.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Two More Months To Go!

Articles are ready but I decided not to publish these stories due to the sensitivity of the topics. Lakwatserong Bicolano is so busy with his wedding preparations.

I am loving Blogger's new themes by the way.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Year-end Updates from Supladong Bicolano

Oh my, I missed this blog. First off, I am happy to announce that.... 

I AM GETTING MARRIED!
What? How? Why? More of it soon.

I have a lot of stories to tell.

It's holiday season, I will have more time for writing. I promise to myself that I will finalize my entries and publish it here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Unsent Letter: I Am Going Away For 3 Months But Please Don’t Fire Me

Dear Employer,

Last month, I brought up the craziest idea any full-time employee won’t ever think about: I asked you for a 3-month sabbatical leave. I want to travel and not quit my job. I am not sure if there’s a way this will be possible but I am still taking my chance.

I am very thankful how open-minded you are towards my idea. Some companies only allow 30 days of leave per year and I am ridiculously asking you for 90 straight days. In this age of millennial travel, a lot of people my age already quit their jobs to travel the world but I don’t want to do that. I want to keep this job because I love it. I am happy here. I was never burnt out here. This is a kind of office environment that allows me to be me. It takes a while for people to find that cubicle that makes them happy — mine only took a few years. I have a very nice apartment, excellent workmates, and a middle-class lifestyle. All at the same time, I am able to provide for my family back home and afford to travel when I want to. This job made all that possible.

You see, it’s so easy to get out of this office and say, “I quit.” But my heart doesn’t say I should do that. You’ve been a very good employer and I want you to be involved in my thoughts, hopes and dreams for my future in this company.
I am going away for 3 months but please don’t fire me.
This year, I’ve spent weekends in our neighboring countries that pointed me to this crazy idea. I feel very blessed for being able to spend my Saturdays and Sundays sipping coffee with the view of the Singapore Bay and watching the breathtaking sunset in Phuket. Even if it’s just a few days, I found joy in these experiences. This is the reason why every Monday, I get in the office full of energy, creativity, ideas and most of all, life. I am not like any employee who feels like a zombie upon entering these glass doors.

I want to take my traveling to the next level. This time, I don’t want to be a tourist. I am asking for 90 days because I want to experience life. I want to stay with local families and eat, sleep, cook and speak Spanish in any country I will choose to visit for this trip. To be honest, I don’t know where exactly in South America I will go for this sabbatical but I promise it won’t be boring. I know I will be able to learn, grow, try new things, get out of my comfort zone and gain more independence.

I’ve been working for you for 5 years already and I think it is right to discuss this with you. One thing that I learned from working here is that I need to be confident about myself, about what I can do to make this company thrive even more. So I am saying this with all confidence and honesty: Invest in me. Let me go for three months and I promise you, I will come back with knowledge, power, enthusiasm and new life learnings — things that will make this company better; things that I can never learn from my happy cubicle; things that will make me the best employee you will ever have.

I am hoping for your kindest consideration, sir. I want to go away for a few months and keep this job when I come back. I have a strong feeling you, the company and I will gain something wonderful from embracing a little change.

Respectfully yours,

Lakwatserong Bicolano

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Travel 101: The Supladong Bicolano's International Solo Backpacker Adventure in Singapore and Malaysia

Years ago, I was once one of the newest kids on the travel block. I didn’t even know about hostels and backpacking. It was all about that sensation of the need to escape but I had no idea where to go, really. And yes, I was alone. At least, I had the inclination to just do it though I had never been out of the country – ever. Well, I managed to get my new Philippine passport just in time. So I told myself, why not start traveling South East Asia?
Backpacking is a term that has been used to denote a form of low-cost, independent international travel. 
With this in mind, I started looking for a cheap airline flying from budget terminals and a not-so-expensive hotel. Such budget terminals allow airline companies to offer the lowest flight deals as operating costs are reduced. You bet! The next day I’m already booked for a round-trip ticket to Singapore via Cebu Pacific!

My officemates introduced me to the world of hostels and the fact that hostels are "ideally" for backpackers. One of them referred me to this very cozy place called A Beary Nice Hostel. which is located near the Chinatown MRT Station. I must say, its name was quite a catch, don’t you think? Well, it was for a first-timer like me. So I booked a bed in their mixed-type dormitory room – just the perfect spot for a newbie to meet travel junkies and learn more about backpacking.

For immigration formalities I planned my so-called travel itinerary. I did some research about Singapore – the must-sees, downloaded offline maps on my Android phone, gathered bits from those in-the-know, read forums on how to locate the Merlion and anything about Singapore. Finally, I packed all the essentials with a decent backpack and off I went to NAIA 3. I paid travel taxes, checked in, lined up for the immigration interview (it was a brief one), boarded the plane and flew heading to Singapore early in the morning.

After roughly 3 and a half hour flight from the Philippines, I arrived at Changi International Airport, Singapore. One of the perks of being a Filipino is that we could enjoy a visa-free Singapore for at least 30 days. So dope. After passing through the immigration (queued up in a long line though), I was on my own. I was mindful to pick up oodles of tourist maps and guides to help me get around the city. Anyway, it’s free. Then, I stepped out of Changi to see the riveting country – Singapore. I paused for a while and savoured the moment. After a reality check, I finally convinced myself to call a taxi and headed to A Beary Nice Hostel where I booked online a few days back.

Squinting into the glare of the morning sun, I took a few more walks up until I reached Esplanade – theatres by the bay! Esplanade boasts its distinctive twin shells and steel framing forming the cladding. It is perfectly located just by Marina Bay. There's nothing quite like walking up by yourself in an unfamiliar place with nothing to do but explore.

There was so much to see that I almost forgot that I still need to check in to the hostel. I headed back to City Hall through an underpass which links four shopping centeres - Raffles City, Marina Square, Suntec City and Millenia Walk. Finally, I made it to the hostel at around 10:00 in the morning.

For three days, I managed to see the beautiful places in Singapore - Sentosa Island, Chinatown, Little India, Orchard R, Clarke Quay, Singapore Zoo, Botanical Gardens and a whole lot more. Most of the time, you could just see me walking around with my backpack and looking at the crippled map on the phone for directions. Talk about walking all day, it was just fitting to try the local food as a treat. I tried a cheap local breakfast for just 2 SGD and a hot Yong Tau Foo Bee Hon soup. Now that was a real treat!

I felt like I still needed to see more. I was curious enough to consider crossing borders from Singapore to Malaysia, very eager to see the famous Petronas Twin Tower in Kuala Lumpur. I've got three options: by plane, train, or bus. Obviously, I took the bus as it was the cheapest option.

First, I took the MRT from Chinatown Station to Nicoll Highway Station and took the first bus heading Kuala Lumpur. I had to get off at Singapore immigration checkpoint for immigration clearance and then took the same bus to cross the bridge. Passing the Singapore immigration checkpoint is a breeze. With a view of palm oil trees, taking the bus was a perfect opportunity to see a bit of Malaysian countryside before arriving to the city of Kuala Lumpur. Pinoys are entitled to stay in Malaysia in less than 30 days without visa. It took me a bit longer to enter Malaysian immigration port though since I have to fill in some forms.

I found out that the knack of getting to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore is by bus (trying to be mr.know-it-all now). The trip took me approximately 5 hours to reach KL (I alighted at the famous Berjaya Times Square) compared to a trip by train which will take you around 7 hours. Well, 5 hours is really long for a traveler with a limited time like me. But, it’s all worth it! Not to mention, everything was cheaper. It'll cost you almost half the price of anything in Malaysia compared to Singapore. Later in the afternoon, I found myself right in front of the majestic Petronas Twin Towers of Malaysia! I paused for a while and savored the moment. I stayed at my friend's flat in Ampang.

I arrived back to Singapore the following day and headed directly at the Changi Airport Terminal 2. After all that's been said and done, it was time to go back home to Manila. This marked my first successful international backpacking trip. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Paano Mo Nalaman?

Paano mo nalaman na kailangan ko ang isang tulad mo sa buhay ko, na may puwang sa puso ko at ito'y nakalaan para sa'yo? Dumating ka sa tamang panahon sa buhay ko. Hindi ko malilimutan kung paano mo binigyan ng kulay at saya ang buhay ko at kung paano mo inalis ang takot at dudang noon ay naramdaman ko. Bihirang matagpuan ang isang tulad mo sa mundong ito.

Marahil ang nais kong ipahiwatig ay walang katumbas na salita ang mabibigkas ko upang ipadama sa'yo kung gaano kita kamahal.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

El Único Hispanohablante De La Familia

Quisiera establecer una familia hispanohablante. Yo sé que será una tarea muy difícil para mí. Hay tantas razones por esta dificultad. Cuáles son? Primero, mi familia no habla esta lengua. De hecho, también estoy enseñándola a ella. Mi padre y abuelito hablaban un poquito español pero ya han sido muerto hace mucho tiempo. Aparte de mí, nadie en nuestra comunidad habla la lengua. A pesar de que el Inglés es el medio de instrucción en todas las escuelas aquí en Filipinas, casi todos mis amigos no hablan el español. Tampoco hay programas de televisión en español. Nuestras bibliotecas aquí no venden libros en español. Y peor, trabajo por la noche (no sé hasta cuándo) — no puedo permanecer despierto todo el día.

Estos son algunos de los desafíos de un hombre filipino de hoy en día que quiera impartir el idioma de la patria a su familia. Me siento como un hombre fuera de tiempo. Pero tengo que hacer lo que hay que hacer. Pase lo que pase esta tarea tiene que ser hecho. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cuál Es Tu Excusa?

Piensa.

Jacob era un tramposo, Pedro tenía temperamento fuerte, David fue adultero, Noé se embriagó, Jonás huyó de Dios, Pablo era un asesino, Gedeón estaba inseguro, Marta estaba angustiada,Tomás era un escéptico, Sara era impaciente, Elías estaba deprimido, Moisés tartamudeaba, Zaqueo era pequeño, Abraham era viejo y Lázaro estaba muerto.

Ahora, cuál es tu excusa? Dios te puede usar o no? El no llama a los calificados, califica a los llamados!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

10 Harsh Realities that Help You Grow

Character and wisdom are sculpted over time.  They come with loss, lessons, and triumphs.  They come after doubts, second guesses, and exploring unknowns.  If there were a definitive path to happiness and success, everyone would be on it.  The seeds of your progress are planted in your past failures.  Your best stories will come from overcoming your greatest struggles.  Your praises will be birthed from your pains.  So keep standing, keep learning, and keep living.
"All the world is full of suffering.  It is also full of overcoming."Helen Keller
Over the past decade Angel and I have dealt with several severe hardships, including the sudden death of a sibling, the loss of a best friend to illness, betrayal from a business partner, and an unexpected breadwinning employment layoff.  These experiences were brutal.  Each of them, unsurprisingly, knocked us down and kept us down for a while.  But when our time of mourning was over after each tragedy, we pressed forward, stronger, and with a greater understanding and respect for life.

So my challenge to you today is this:  Start looking at life’s harsh realities and toughest challenges as friends that are going to help you grow.

Here are some thoughts to consider.

1.  The first step is never easy.

The beginnings to good things are always the hardest, but it’s these hard times that pave the path to greatness.  Be strong and keep the faith.  It will be worth it in the end.  The greatest miracle of your success in life will not be that you finished, it will be that you found the strength and courage to begin.

And remember, it’s not that those who are strong never get weak in the knees, or that they never hold their breath before they embark…  It’s that while their knees are shaking, they force themselves to breathe and take the first step.

2.  Good things rarely come quick and easy.

Life is not easy, but it’s worth it.  If you expect it to be, you will perpetually disappoint yourself.  Achieving anything worthwhile in life takes time and effort.  You must align your efforts with your goals and then start every day ready to run farther than you did yesterday and fight harder than you ever have before.

Persistence is the single most common characteristic of high achievers.  They simply refuse to give up.  The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will happen in your favor.  Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration.  No matter how hard it seems, the more you persist, the more likely your success.  

3.  You will always have less control than you desire.

The only thing you can absolutely control in life is how you react to things out of your control, and there’s a lot you can’t control.  The better you adapt to this reality, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows.  Put most simply: Living a happy, fulfilling life means being in a state of complete acceptance of all that is, right here, right now.

As your life unfolds, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better.  You don’t have to control everything to find peace and happiness.  You just need to do your best, and then relax and have faith that things will work out.  Let go and just let life happen the way it’s supposed to.  Because sometimes the outcomes you can’t change end up changing you and helping you grow to your full potential.

4.  You cannot avoid risk without avoiding life.

As Henry David Thoreau once said, “When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”

Living is a risk.  Happiness is a risk.  If you’re not a little scared sometimes, then you’re not doing it right.  Don’t worry about mistakes and failures, worry about what you’re giving up when you don’t even try.  Worry about the life you’re not living and the happiness you’re forgoing, as you merely exist in the safety of your comfort zone.  Give yourself permission to be one of the people who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them and grew into your truest self.

5.  Your biggest problems are often in your head.

The primary cause of unhappiness and defeat is never the current situation but your thoughts about it.  Happiness and success really comes down to two elements: the way you think and the way you act based upon your thoughts.

Human beings become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do great things, right now, without the need for anything more.  When you believe in yourself, you have realized the first secret of success.  Often finding your way is not about going somewhere new; it’s about seeing familiar ground in new ways.  Once you do, you will realize the only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.  

6.  Long-term happiness cannot be bought; it must be earned.

If you’d rather live surrounded by pristine objects of little significance than by the traces of happy, passionate memories, stay focused on acquiring tangible possessions.  Otherwise, stop fixating on things you can touch and start caring about the things that touch you.  Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for something that makes us feel alive.  It’s your duty to find it and keep it lit.

Whatever you do, don’t completely sacrifice your life for your livelihood.  Enjoy the gifts money can’t buy.  Promise yourself that you will stay true to your loves, your values, and your purpose.  Let your heart and mind work as one.  Do what it takes so that one day, many moons from now, you can look back at your life, take one final breath, and crack an honest smile.

7.  Not everyone will support you.

If you take every insult or rude slur of your fellow human beings personally, you will be offended for the rest of your life.  One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don’t have to agree with everyone, everyone doesn’t have to agree with us, and that’s OK.  As Bruce Lee once said, “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”  Live by this quote.  Don’t let the opinions of others make you forget it.

It takes a long time to learn how to NOT judge yourself through someone else’s eyes, but once you do the world is yours for the taking.  We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own life, and we will never be happy or successful if we try to live someone else’s idea of it.  So give up worrying too much about what others think of you.  Regardless of what they say about you and your chosen path, remember that the only approval you need in the end is your own.

8.  You are better off without some people you care about.

It’s during the toughest times of your life that you’ll get to see the true colors of the people who say they care about you.  Notice who sticks around and who doesn’t, and be grateful to those who leave you, for they have given you the room to grow in the space they abandoned, and the awareness to appreciate the people who loved you when you didn’t feel lovable.

Bottom line:  Be okay with giving the gift of your absence to those who do not appreciate and respect your presence.

9.  You cannot have happiness without some sadness.

Chuck Palahniuk once said, “The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  Some sadness is necessary.  Everything in life is two-sided.  You can’t expect to feel pleasure without ever feeling pain, joy without ever feeling sorrow, confidence without ever feeling fearful, hope without ever feeling uncertain, etc.  There is no such thing as a one-sided coin in life, with which you can buy a pain-free, trouble-free life.

Life is a series of highs and lows – an adventure that requires you to take chances and actions that have the possibility of both success (happiness) and failure (sadness).  

10.  What’s done is done, but life goes on.

If you are carrying strong emotions about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live productively in the present.  With everything that has happened, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift of knowledge.  Everything is either an opportunity to learn and grow or an obstacle that keeps you stuck.  You get to choose.

Take a deep breath.  It’s going to be OK… maybe not today, but eventually.  There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong.  You might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.  Sure the sun stops shining sometimes, and you may get a huge thunderstorm or two, but eventually the sun will come out to shine.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of us staying as positive as possible in order to make it to see the sunshine break through the clouds again.

SOURCE: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/173806/celebrities-netizens-weigh-in-on-julia-buencaminos-artwork

Life Hack 101: A Never-Ending Chase

In this world, we cannot have everything we want in life. Therefore, it is important the we learn how to be contented and happy on what we c...