Author Archives: missris24

I Miss “Got To Believe”

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It has been a week since the TV series “Got to Believe” ended.

It was one of those shows that was light-hearted, funny, and loveable. One where after every episode, you catch yourself smiling.

I was meaning to write about it, but did not find the time. So here it is, though late, here are the reasons I found the series endearing.

1) The great cast. Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo are certainly getting better in acting, and they have this rare ability to be funny without much trying. Add to that their great chemistry. Supporting casts are all great especially Manilyn Reynes and Benjie Paras (who has great comedic timing). Up to the teens of Malaya University, the house helpers, Beverly Salviejo and the woman who played Ethel. It was like an orchestra where every role was well played.

2) Great director, writers, and crew. Of course a great cast is useless if the story was not good, so hats off to the writers. Direk Cathy Garcia-Molina, a blockbuster director, brought out the best in the cast and made sure every night had a kilig moment.

3) It had a fun family. The “perya” family was fun, and I think every person wanted that kind of bonded, fun, family. That is why Joaquin loved Chichay more, because of her fun, united family. And in many ways, Filipino families have so much laughter together that is why everyone can relate.

4) The setting was relatable. Joaquin came out of his shell when he went to university. Malaya University, the name itself represented freedom. University life for many was a time of self-discovery, of exploration, of falling in love.

5) Each character represented us or someone we knew.

  • Chichay is the girl who loves her family, who will fight for love, is passionate and expressive. Painting is her form of self-expression and she does it well. It is what she does best.
  • Joaquin is the lost boy with an unhappy family, sheltered. But once he got his chance to be free, he became courageous and was ready to stand for what is right and true.
  • Betchay was the girl who sacrificed a lot, gave it her all, but lost love. But because she was loveable and kind, she found true love again.
  • Chito represented a second chance at love, which was true and lasting. He was a great father, who kept a secret to protect his family.
  • Lolo Isko was the ideal grandfather, full of wisdom, a loving grandfather who made us all believe in magic.
  • Tatay Poro and Nanay Puring were the surrogate parents who taught Joaquin things his parents should have taught him, and loved him like he was their own son.
  • Juliana was the woman who felt unloved by his father, and was guilty of something (her brother’s accident and her accidental shooting of her son). Due to her guilt, she was unable to forgive herself and was also angry at others leading to so much hatred.
  • The Zaragosa family was the kind and rich folks who knew how to have fun and mingle with all kinds of people.
  • Dominic, Patricia, Pedro and Alex represented young, unrequited love.
  • The mean girls represented the gossipers around us.

6) It made us believe in love again. It made us remember how magical love is, that wounds heal, that love is good.

Like all those who watched the show, I hope there will be a Part 2 (or book 3), or even a movie.

Musings of a New Migrant

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It’s my second month in a new country. It was my dream to go here since childhood, as I have heard good things about it from my relatives who migrated here. Clean surroundings, good benefits. Yes it’s all true. But it’s not all there is.

First, why I am here? Like everyone else, I dream of a better future. It’s not just for me but I am thinking of helping my relatives go here if I become a citizen. I am also thinking about the future of my kids, if and when I have them. I am currently single but taken. I left my heart at my home country and as of this moment, I am in a long distance relationship. That’s the one thing that truly pains my heart, to be away from the one I love. But we are both hoping and praying that we will be together again. His profession is also one that is in-demand in the country where I am in now.

My first few weeks was a breeze. I was living the dream! I now live with my relatives who told good things about this country. And now I can really see that they are reaping the rewards – they have a nice house, cars, and their kids studied here so they have good jobs too.

I started applying for jobs. I went for an interview with the recruiter, but oh, the rules here are so different. I am not in demand as I was in my home country.

Yes, this is the reality of being a migrant. I am in a different world. Now, my biggest dilemma is finding a job. My faith is being tested. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions – being homesick, sad, anxious, afraid.

But God never leaves us. He sends us people. My friend who is in another country is not a migrant, she is on work visa. She reminded me that I won half the battle, I am here, I got a legitimate visa to work, something others only dream about.

I also got people to cheer me up – people who grew up here who belongs to the same organization. They are citizens here but we have the same cultural roots.

I met a woman on the train who told me of how she started out, not also in her field but is now enjoying her work and she is attending trainings to enhance her skills. She said “Wherever you are, you can progress. It is up to you to make the move.” Such wisdom and eye-opener.

I also met a classmate who told his struggles on finding himself after their family migrated. But he said, after all the struggles, all in all he is happy that their parents decided to migrate, as they now live a more comfortable life. And when his mom got sick, the government also took care of the medical bills – something that our home country cannot provide.

Of course, I am truly grateful that my relatives here are very good people who provide my basic needs. I don’t know how to repay them really. But hopefully in time, I can pay it back (and pay it forward to others) in any way.

So after hearing these stories, I am inspired to move forward in job hunting. There are still fears, uncertainties. But whether I succeed here or not, the lessons I am learning about myself are priceless.

Driving Lessons

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I am learning how to drive.  Following the advice of my family, I enrolled in a Manual transmission driving course.

The first few days, I was struggling with the pedals, especially the clutch. Good thing my regular driving instructor was motivational (after a few chats, I learned he worked as a basketball coach before). He instructed and helped me manage the pedals well enough.

Last week, my instructor decided I was ready for EDSA. I said “Ok, let’s go”. My lessons were from 8am-10am, so I had to deal with EDSA traffic. Boy, was I tensed having a truck in front of me! Traffic was slow moving, and for those manual drivers, you know that it takes pedal control to cruise through traffic. A taxi who changed lane and overtook me was a savior, so I did not have to deal with the truck. Yes, I survived and my instructor gave me a pat at the back.

Slowly, I think I am getting better at driving, with a lot of realizations on driving such as:

1) Perfect the basics – In this day and age, we want it fast. But some things just can’t be rushed, I needs to be learned.

2) Don’t panic, don’t rush – I had to restart the engine a few times when I rushed because I was afraid I being too slow. But it caused me more time. I just needed to do the right thing the way I knew how, not minding anything else.

3) Learn your limits – When driving in reverse or on a side street, it’s best to cruise slowly. On a highway, speed is required. Learn what is needed on different situations.

4) When in doubt, ask – Self-explanatory.

Lastly, in any endeavor, practice is the key to excellence. Now, if I just have the money to buy that car.

Winning is Bouncing Back

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This year, I have been watching more sports events in television.  I was mostly rooting for the underdog.  Though the winners may not be my bet, I learned a valuable lesson through them, and that is: Winning is about bouncing back after you lost.

Image from CBS Sports
BASKETBALL – NBA 2012 Champions: The Miami Heat

I was really rooting for the Oklahoma Thunders because they were outstanding in the semis, as they beat previous champions like LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.  Players like Kevin Durant, Russel Westbrook and James Harden played really well.

During the finals, the Thunders won Game 1 but the rest where won by the Miami Heat. Miami Heat also were contenders in the 2011 Championships but they lost to Dallas Mavericks. But they made sure, the 2012 crown would be theirs. Le Bron James particularly played well during the 2012 finals series.

image from BBC

SWIMMING – Michael Phelps

Mr. Phelps was the golden boy in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He had some drug issues after that, but good thing he got back in shape to compete again. In the 2012 London Olympics, all eyes were naturally on him. Though he disappointed himself and many by winning a silver in the 200-meter butterfly, he was able to redeem his glory, including his team by winning gold medals in the men’s 4×100 medley relay. In total, he won four gold and two silver medals in his last Olympics.


image from DailyMail UK

TENNIS – Roger Federer and Andy Murray

During the Wimbledon men’s finals, I was rooting for the underdog again, in the persona of Andy Murray. He really did his best to reach the finals, so as to make history for Brits (the last Brit to reach the Wimbledon men’s singles final was Bunny Austin in 1938). He wanted to make another history by winning it. However, Roger Federer was too strong an opponent. I saw how good Federer was, his serves were superb. I learned that for some time, he had not won the Wimbledon for two years (his last was 2009). But like the true champion that he is, he delivered again this time.

Andy Murray, for his part, got back on his feet for the Olympics. He again battled with Federer for the men’s tennis Olympic gold, and this time he won!

Sports brings us much stories of hope and truimph. As in sports, in life we should also bounce back from ashes of defeat, marching onwards to winning til the end!

[Book Review] The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

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It has been a while since I have read fiction.

This book has been loaned to me by a bookworm friend who insisted reading this was worth it.  I was hesitant at first, because I had other books on my “to-read” list. But after assessing that I have not been too varied and adventurous lately on books, I decided to read it. And true enough, it delivered the goods.

“The God of Small Things” tells the story of fraternal twins Estha and Rahel. The story revolves on what happened during their cousin’s visit to India.  This is not surprising since the author, Arundhati Roy, hails from India but is based in the UK. The twins’ cousin, Sophie Mol, is half-Indian and half-Brit, a fusion of the author’s roots.  The storytelling shifts from the past to the present, giving bits of pieces of a beautifully woven story.

The story draws a mix of emotions – from childhood dreams, love in all aspects (parental, unrequited, brokenhearted), it tells of the power of a mother’s love, of how in each family there is dysfunction, of respect, of the small things that truly matter.  It is a page-turner. Ms. Roy created a moving story from a simple plot that speaks profoundly.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Spanish Curiosity

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For a long time, I had this urge to study Spanish. But it is only recently that I made actual steps to start learning the language.

What is it about Spanish? Well, my first language, Tagalog, comprises of several Spanish words. I know how to count in Spanish even without taking Spanish lessons. From dining – cuchara, tenedor, vaso – to religious event and holidays – (Semana Santa, Todos los Santos) , Spanish words are used.
It’s no surprise because our country, the Philippines was colonized by Spain for over 300 years. But Filipinos never fully adapted the language. Only some areas that speak Chavacano are actively using Spanish, albeit not full, as Chavacano is considered to be broken Spanish.

Spanish used to be a compulsary course requirement for college students but this was removed from the curriculum. I think what happened was, there was no base for the use of it, as no media was used to sustain it – no newspaper, radio show or television show.

But it is a sad thing because Spanish is a big part of our cultural influence. I even found a website which promoted the use of Spanish to Filipinos, though unfortunately, the site is outdated. In one article on the site written by Gemma Cruz-Araneta, it said, “In my opinion, it is imperative that Filipinos should have at least a reading knowledge of Spanish, simply because most of the works of our heroes were written in that language. As we all know, a lot is lost in translation, so if we fail to read and understand these works in their original, we will never know how and why we are Filipinos, or what it really means to be a Filipino.” And I agree, because we should be able to read our heroes great works in their original form.

Recently, there are initiatives by the Philippine government to revive Spanish in the school curriculum, but only on selected areas. I read it in this article by Manila Bulletin: 2 Davao schools to teach Spanish.

English-Filipino-Spanish book

It is also heartening that a Philippine publisher had a book published named “English-Filipino-Spanish Vocabulary”. I bought this book at a local bookstore for $1.00.

 Some years back, I bought a Spanish beginners course on sale. Now that I have some free time, I thought of browsing it, but reading the book and listening to the accompanying CD was not as engaging as I expected it to be.

But the good thing is, I came across a blog entry by Tim Ferriss which gave tips on how to learn another language and I have been following some of his advice. He said to read materials of the language of your choice, on topics which YOU LIKE. For me, I thought of three topics (actually two): showbiz and photography. I searched the internet and found three sites to my liking: PEOPLE Magazine (Spanish edition), Noticias Glee Latino (Glee news – Latino), and PUNTO Magazine (a bilingual photography online magazine). So far, I am picking up words while trying to read the articles.

It also helps that our cable subscription has TV Espanol (TVE), so once in a while I watch shows on this channel. For radio, there’s a free Spanish radio station that streams their broadcast. This is Radio Nacional de España (RNE).

I’m still in the dark of where I can use Spanish in the future. Maybe when I go on a trip to Latin America or Spain, the answer will be clearer. But right now, the curiosity remains.


P.S. I hope my gal friends and fellow sabawdiaries bloggers – purplepoint and misscarlotta1924 – would join me on this Spanish learning expedition. We have discussed wanting to learn this language in the past. Join us, too, sherrymoon2011. 😉

One of the best books on establishing relationships: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

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I recently read this highly popular and highly-acclaimed book by Dale Carnegie.

This was written in the 1930s and further editions were published later on.  Despite of this, the content is still very relevant. I realized this because human nature never changes.  We want people to approach us in a nice way and not hot-tempered.

The book is divided in four parts: Part ONE is Fundamental Techniques in Handling People; Part TWO is Six Ways to Make People Like You; Part THREE is How To Win People Into Your Way of Thinking; Part FOUR is Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment.

I find Parts three and four most interesting. Part four is the most informative for me. I have tried some of his tips and to my delight, I received positive results so far. Of course, I know at times these won’t work because of different personalities I will encounter.

Mr. Carnegie uses humor and a lot of stories, mostly of leaders of his time, which makes this book quite dated. But aside from that, I can say that this book is a gem!