Thursday, January 1, 2015

1st Day of 2015

Where did 2014 go? Just like that, it's gone, and I don't have much to show for it. I can look back at my Facebook wall to see what happened, but I didn't make it a point to post something everyday. So I made up my mind to post something everyday for 365 days this year. It could be a thought, an insight, an update to a plan that I have, a photo, a milestone, anything really. The point is to document my existence on the planet, or more appropriately, the experience of my seeming existence on a planet that seems to exist. If that didn't make sense, don't think I was trying to be wordy for the heck of it. It just introduces the fact that this year-long project's aim is to examine my experience as a human living in the year 2015.

The day started with something that I don't do - breakfast. Not a fan of it. It makes me feel bloated the whole day. What I'm into is called rawtill4, a way of life where you eat raw (fruits and vegetables only) from the time you wake up till about 4pm. You can only eat cooked vegan food after 4pm. So buffet breakfast is clearly not my thing.

And as today is a holiday, I got to stay at home after this. I could feel myself wanting to go to the mall, or to drive somewhere, but I just ended up looking for a new spot to put our DSL router at. And that is how the first day of 2015 went for me.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Trading One Form of Poverty for Another

Unless you're a Rothschild or a Rockefeller, you have, at one point or another, known poverty. And when I say poverty, I'm not limiting it to not having enough money. It could be not having enough time, not having enough vitality (e.g. sick, depressed), or not having enough opportunities due to discrimination against gender, race, or age.

I grew up knowing the importance of money - how it can buy nice stuff, how it can happily isolate you from the crowd that you don't want to be with, how sometimes you can buy time with it, and a million other things that you can do or avoid doing if you had it. So for the most part of my existence, it's been about getting a better job that would allow me to earn more and spend more.

And then I started noticing how the pursuit of money gave me less time to take care of my body. I get less time to sleep, no time to exercise, and no time to prepare healthy food. And as we've seen, not having enough time IS a form of poverty. Being sickly IS a form of poverty. So it then makes me ask myself, am I just sacrificing my health to get more money? Am I allowing myself to lose time so that I can have money? Am I just trading one form of poverty for another?

How does one achieve balance?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kodanda Archery Range, Makati Cinema Square basement

Archery has been getting a lot of Hollywood airtime lately - Hunger Games, The Avengers, Lord of the Rings, Arrow, and Walking Dead, just to name a few.

There's something about killing zombies with an arrow that makes it a better choice than using a gun. It's fast, it can be precise (if the user is skilled enough), and most important of all, it's quiet. But how, exactly, does one learn how to shoot arrows in the city?

That's where Kodanda comes in. In Sanskrit, Kodanda means "he who has a bow". Rama (from Rama and Sita) was said to "become one with his weapon" and maintained peace in the Ayodhya kingdom with the help of Kodanda, his bow.

And no, I'm not saying that we hire the legendary Rama to teach us how to shoot arrows, although we can probably try to channel him as we practice at Kodanda, the archery range at the basement of Makati Cinema Square.

Kodanda is a 7-lane, fully air-conditioned archery range located at the upper basement of Makati Cinema Square along Chino Roces Avenue. 

For Php 550 per hour, you can pretty much shoot as many arrows as your left arm will permit (carrying the bow for about an hour will make your left arm a bit wobbly), and for the ones who are intent on preparing for the zombie apocalypse, you can sign up for a 10-session course for Php 6,000.

No need to buy your own equipment as the hourly fee already comes with everything you need to start shooting arrows. Oh wait, you'll need another Php 30.00 for the target paper, although I wasn't able to ask them if you can bring your own target paper (e.g. photo of anyone you personally would want to shoot with an arrow).

If you've never used a bow before (and please don't count the toys you played with as a kid), someone will quickly teach you the basics - how to use the equipment, how to aim, how to release the arrow, etc.

Kodanda is at the basement of the Makati Cinema Square. If you park at the basement, it's very near the entrance from the parking lot.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


We trade our time, youth, health, and other things that are important to us for money. We work at jobs that aren't really aligned with our passions, work for or around people who don't support us, and give up so much of our time just to make a living. This isn't true for every single person on the planet, just for people who are stuck in a job or a business that they don't really like.

Should we try to get out of this rut, or should we learn to accept things as they are? I have stuff in my head that's ready to attempt to answer that question - things like, "nothing's wrong but anything is possible", or "get rid of your current point of view and try to see things from a different angle". But in spite of what I know, what I know doesn't make a difference unless I apply what I know.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Losing Weight

In the past three months, I have read a ton of stuff on losing weight, ranging from HCG injections, vegan diet of whole foods, exercise programs that naturally increase testosterone, to nutritional deficiencies that lead to cravings. Reading, of course, doesn't cause the weight loss itself, so I took the next step - I tried them all. Two months later, 28 lbs. lighter, I have a different set of problems - my clothes don't fit!

My 34" pants look way too baggy for my new 30" waist, and all my shirts are hanging too low, making me look way thinner than I really am. I recently had to spend a fortune to alter my clothes, but then again, this is cheaper than actually buying new clothes. Some of my clothes couldn't be altered without making them look really weird so I had to buy some new stuff as well. And to make sure this doesn't cost me another fortune, I recently got acquainted with brands that I didn't really look at before - Bench, Memo, Springfield and Zara.

The journey doesn't end there though. For the first time in a long time, I like what I see in the mirror. And this creates more ideas in my head. Next, I want to grow some serious muscles, because I see now that losing weight does not necessarily make one a hunk. Oh well, that's another story altogether, or should I say the next chapter of the story of my life that I'm writing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Why do I have a need to eat sweets? That's gotten me into lots of trouble in the past - periodontitis gets worse when people eat sugar because mouth bacteria thrive on sugar, my weight gain starts whenever I eat sweets, and I had to change my wardrobe whenever I gained or lost substantial weight. In short, there is a very real cost to allowing myself to succumb to the need to eat sweets.

Using the Landmark Forum distinction of rackets in observing this craving, the complaint is "I've been trying to stay away from sweets for a long time, but I just can't seem to get rid of it permanently". The way of being is one of being resigned to the fact that I seem to have a sweet tooth and there's nothing I can do about it. The costs are health, peace of mind, and money. Now what's the pay-off?

As soon as I asked that question, the answer popped into my mind - I get to to avoid responsibility for my own health AND I can always blame my love for sweets for my inability to lose a substantial amount of weight. I see a host of other pay-offs that I prefer not to write about but they have something to do with being right about a point of view.

Next step: Recall that I am my word, and I say that who I am is the possibility of health and fitness. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gum Surgery

Gum surgery - this is something I've never heard of before until I actually had to see a doctor and undergo the procedure. It seems that plaque can really lodge itself in the part of the teeth that's hidden under the gums, and even your neighborhood dentist can't take it out. You'd need to see a periodontist to perform deep scaling on your teeth, sometimes necessitating some incisions to reach deep seated plaque.

So this morning, I went to a periodontist, not really knowing what to expect as I didn't even bother to research about it. She started by injecting anesthesia on my gums. Thank God my gums went numb after a few seconds. She made some incisions, and I could just feel the scrubbing motions that she was making with various instruments but it almost felt like I had no gums at all. Then I saw her stitch my gums back in place. No pain whatsoever. As I write this, the anesthesia is wearing off. There's just a slight discomfort but I'm up and about.

The bad news is that it seems mouth bacteria can repopulate after a few months, so this means I have to religiously clean my teeth, and get professional cleaning very often. Lesson learned. This is what I get for not having professional cleaning done for a year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Being in a relationship

I used to be Mr. Scrooge when it comes to romantic relationships. Whenever I heard of people falling in love, I'd go, "there goes another one, another one who went cuckoo". At the background, what I'm really saying is I thought that falling in love is only for people who have nothing better to do with their lives, and so they create some form of delusion.  

Notice the use of the past tense. Something happened to me lately that made me see that people who fall in love are not necessarily people who have thrown their life away. They may be out of their mind, in a sense that they have gone past the thoughts of fear that we usually associate with being in a relationship, but they're not necessarily a nut case.

I don't know how to describe this experience, and I really have no intention of reducing it to a cognitive exercise as it's a lot bigger than that. I just know that this time, I'm willing to go with the flow.

Monday, April 27, 2009


T Harv Eker's book about the millionaire mind makes me think a lot about my own mental programming about money. I have this thought that I should be spiritual, and having money can lead me to either wasting a lot of it or getting so caught up in its pursuit that I'd lose my way somehow. And since that is the thought that's driving me, I end up spending everything I earn. That way, I won't have money. That solves the problem, and eliminates the possibility of being utterly destroyed by money. Stupid, isn't it? Can't wait to read the rest of the book. I just started reading it last night.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back to the gym

My "personal trainer" wants to kill me.  That's the only logical explanation for the things that he makes me do.  When he sees that I have this calm look on my face, he casually adds some more weight. When my face starts to register that look that says, "Oh my God, this is it, I'm going to die now", I catch him grin a bit, and I suppose that's because he's seeing me die right there and then. Then he calmly tells me that if it doesn't hurt, I can't expect any development. If those words came from a guru, they would have sounded like some universal truth. But to hear him say that when my muscles are screaming for some rest just doesn't leave me in awe the way it would if say, Jesus said it.

So why put up with all this torture? I can think of lots of reasons. First, I have a ton of clothes that no longer fit, and these are good brands too. It'd be painful to have to give them away to charity. Then there's the health benefit - I'd rather spend money on gym fees than buy maintenance medicine for all sorts of things that come as a result of living a sedentary lifestyle. And then, there's always that wicked side benefit of seeing lots of eye candy. Yeah, that makes it all worth it!

We diet, we exercise, we try to look okay, then we die, eventually. Such is life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Long Weekend

People had 4 days ... 4 days to forget about work for the meantime and just do something else.  And what is that something else?  

1.  Some people went to the beach. You know how it is, get a tan, get drunk, get laid - that kind of stuff - the stuff that holy week is made off.  

2.  Some people went on a vacation - the kind that requires flying out of the country, because you can really get away from it all in 4 days.  

3.  Some people got bored.  Accustomed to a life of routine where they work for about 9 hours, a 4-day stretch with no work was just too much of a weird interruption to their daily routine that their brains searched for their usual work fix, pretty much like withdrawal symptoms.

Just now I can sense that I'm using this condescending tone as I describe what people found themselves doing during the long weekend.  Yeah, there's some of that, and maybe a little bit of envy because I was not in the beach, and I didn't fly out, and I didn't suffer from work withdrawal symptoms.  Actually I'm wondering what happened to the long weekend - did it just evaporate, or did I really sleep it all away?

Throughout the country, or at least in the circle that I know, there was a tangible need to create a frenzy of activities during this 4-day weekend.  It's like we had to do something, ANYTHING really, just to avoid the silence and solitude that would have been the default consequence of closed stores, vacationing friends, and closed offices.  Being silent is way too scary, who knows what crazy ideas we'll run into if we actually spent some quiet times just observing our thoughts and being aware of our feelings.

It's Sunday morning as I write this, and the people who went out of town will now all try to go back to the city to prepare for Monday.  The trip itself will be one more thing that will take our minds off our inner thoughts.  Traffic grinding to a halt in expressways, the crowded gas stations that people stop at, the music they play in the car - yup, they'll get all the distraction they need.  We're not really prepared to confront what's going on in our inner world, so we just create distractions.

And just to make it clear, I am no exception.  I might have stayed at home but I created distractions too - DVDs, books, buko juice diet, trips to the gym, chocolates, this new blog.  And just like that, the weekend vanished.  I might say that I wish we could have more than 4 days, but really, that will only create another need to fill up the quiet moments with anything just to avoid the silence.