MY CHRISTMAS WISHLIST

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Christmas is probably the most looked forward occasion all year round. Aside from the fact that it is the longest celebrated among all holidays, it is also the time where our respective families and friends are usually gathered altogether. For younger ones, it is really the time of the year that they eagerly look out for because of the gifts they anticipate to receive. Well, who wouldn’t yearn for one after all? Each of us has own individual wishes, materially or immaterially. Normally, we put these wishes in a list so-called wish list.

Like any other persons, I also feel ecstatic every time Christmas is forthcoming. I also prepare my own wish list. I normally start listing down the things that I want to get hold as early as September.  This year is no different; I also prepared a list. The list is divided into two wishes – material and immaterial.

In my material wish list, I included some items I so yearn to add in my collections. First, I want to have a new pair of brown-colored contact lenses. Since I have an eye-sight problem, I prefer a graded one, with the left eye having an estimated grade of -2.25 and -2.75 for the right. Second, I want to have a new well-fitting leather jacket. A crew-neck sweater or a cardigan will also do. Third, I want to have a new set of perfumes or body mists. I want to try wearing a different scent each day of a week. Fourth, I want to load my fridge with assorted chocolates. I just so love them, for they transform my tough and draining day into something bright and breezy one. Those are some material wishes I keep for myself.

In my immaterial wish list, I included some important intrinsic worth. First, I need wisdom for me to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience. Second, I need love for me to be capable of giving love and to be loved in return. Third, I need prosperity for me to enjoy the condition of helping others with dire needs. Fourth, I need peace – in mind and with other people. Fifth, I need a firm faith to God, for me not to be easily drawn to unworthy lures. All these I need for me to see a bigger and better picture of myself and of others.

The idea of gift-giving, indeed, makes us become more excited to look forward to the jolliest season of the year. As time evolved, gifts and surprises someway contribute to the wholeness of the occasion. Yet, let us not forget that the true essence of Christmas has never changed; the spirit lies in the birth of Christ. He is the primary reason why we have been celebrating this yuletide. So, this Christmas, let us not only look forward for the gifts we are to receive but also remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have a merry Christmas!

 

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HOW A MAN LIKE AAMIR KHAN INSPIRES ME TO DO THE SAME

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I had idolized some people from the movie industry before. When I idolized before, I used to bolster the image of my favorites through sharing to my friends about the movies they starred or any trivia about their personality. (My friends love to natter around, too.) However, this admiration at present toward this one Bollywood celebrity is something different from the way I showed admiration to my favorites before. I started to get myself signed up for his blog page for me to be abreast, follow him on twitter, view videos in youtube of his different appearances, read articles from google about him, and blog something about him like this. I am only referring to this Bollywood actor, director, writer, and producer named Aamir Khan.

Roughly three years ago, Aamir Khan gained fame in the Philippines because of his films Three Idiots, the highest grossing Hindi film of all times, and Every Child Is Special. These films have become highly prominent, especially to the field of education since these films were central to the understanding of learning and education, in general. During the release of these films in the Philippine market, I didn’t miss the chance to watch them. Even my professors in college used these films as materials in teaching.

Although it was released in India a year before Three Idiots was produced, Ghajini (2008), which Aamir Khan starred himself, gained popularity here in the Philippines just after the two previously mentioned films gained. Some of my friends had watched the film but were not really impressed compared to Three Idiots. That’s why I didn’t bother to watch it. At that time, Aamir Khan was not yet one of my favorites. I just plainly adore his achievements and his brilliance in his field.

One night last October 2012, while idling inside our room, my roomies and I agreed to watch a movie. One roomie suggested that we watch Ghajini. I was not so excited about it, but I still religiously pay attention to it. As the movie went on, I started to like it so much that even the slightest scenes I was carried away. The film has an amazing plot. I so love how it rolled romance, comedy, and suspense into one. I just couldn’t help crying, together with my buddies, by the time Asin (the lead actress) was fighting for life and death inside her flat against a group of armed men who were pushing illegal business, headed by their master Ghajini. A lot of points for reflection stem from that single scene.  One point is that no matter how much you fight for what is worth fighting for a common good or cause, there comes along the way a thing or person who will really haunt you for doing what is right. We can’t regulate everything because there are some people who think about themselves alone, as exemplified by Ghajini. Second point is that we should know who we are in conflict with even in the slightest argument that we get into. We don’t have special powers like the superheroes who can attack the evil ones as easy as winking an eye. We have to be armies in our own special way; we need to be fully armed before we embark upon a war.

Moreover, the love affair formed in the film was also a key technique to provide varied emotions in the film. A tragic ending stems from a light love affair. I’m on my twenties, but I must admit, I still felt enchanted with the sweet scenes (kilig eksena) of Aamir Khan and Asin. Although the story of their love affair is very common – a man, who comes from a very affluent social class, met a typical sassy woman, who toils very hard for a living, in a comical circumstance and eventually fell in love with the latter, I still find it adorable. Probably, the contributing factor is the actual age bracket of the characters themselves; they are matured enough to play the roles. There was no sweltering kissing or hard romance involved, but love as the subject still clearly came into view. I must say, the film was deliberately planned, really.

Generally, my admiration toward Aamir Khan as a person who inflicts influence not only in his own industry but also in other fields, especially in education, will keep me motivated to follow him in my own simple ways. Well, I also have my own share of contributing something large to the world. I have to keep it, I vow. You attest.

A STORY OUT OF A WILD DREAM (ACTION STAR)

ONE night early this week, I dreamt of being an action star with an unnamed partner whose facial features resemble that of Albert Martinez’s and Cesar Montano’s (combined). This dream is something hilariously odd, knowing myself that I am not really into action. Even the root why I thought about it is yet unknown to me. That is why I decided to write a blog about it to at least put this peculiar experience into lasting form.

Dead beat from a work-out, I opted to sleep roughly 9:30 in the evening after cleansing. As I was about to sleep, I thought of any matter which I am to include in my prayer. Out of the blue, I thought about my student Matthew Burgos, who shared to me that he was experiencing a teen-aged struggle toward his friends. I included him in my prayer, not only because he is close to me but also because I hate seeing my students having clashes among themselves.

Suddenly, I saw myself in a turf chatting around with my students when I saw Matthew along side with a group of pranksters, composed of girls and boys about his age. As I drew nearer to him to know how he’s been doing, I noticed that he was trying to avoid the bad situation he had flown into. I went nearer and BOOM! I was right with my inkling. When one member of that group was about to beat him, Matthew suddenly shouted, “Help!” I felt a sudden fear. As he retraced his steps toward where his classmates reclined, Matthew saw me and with a hazy countenance, he shouted, “Sir Marko, help me!” as he tried to run off.

The next thing I knew was that I, along with Matthew and the pranksters, was already in a deep woodland running. I didn’t know how we get there. It was sudden. Confused, I stopped. I observed what’s going on. Hala! There’s a big strife going on. The pranksters were part of a big group of mutineers, who sought to overthrow a ruling power. They were trying to pursue Matthew to join their group. Then, I got to think that it’s their modus operandi to recruit male adolescents and adults to amplify their number.

Without warning, a succession of gunshots was heeded. The mutineers left in haste. Some holed up in specially made undergrounds; some hid in large perennial woody plants. Some were hit by the gunfire; some were captured. I was taken by surprise that the only thing I did was to stand still, observing what was happening between the mutineers and the group new to my unclothed eyes. Then, I began looking for Matthew, but he was out of my sight. The thought of not being able to save Matthew seemed to awaken me from being disconcerted. I panicked. When I turned back, I saw one insurgent who was about to pull his looped knot with an arrow. My eyes grew into bigger ones; I was hundred folds jittery that I could feel not only my knees but also my lips quaking. “In Jesus Name,” the only words I got to voice out. Before he could have pushed his action through, a man in black leather coat behind him shot him. I was still shaking. Then, the man swiftly came near to me, clutched my hand, and brought me to a place that was somehow familiar to me. “Run home, run home,” he forcefully shouted. Once again, I was confused. “Where will I run home?” I asked myself. “This is not my home.” Despite the questions running in my mind, I still opted to follow him and ran wherever my feet would bring me. Then, the place began to appear familiar to me. I stopped. I saw my grandma’s abode, where I used to spend my childhood summers every time we would visit her. “This is Salimpuno,” I said. I saw a woman of late 30s hastily getting the hung clothes outside the house. The face was not so clear, so I went nearer. I started to recognize her. “Aunt Vergie,” I shouted. “Where have you been?” she replied. “Come! Hurry! Get inside.” I could no longer trace why things went this way. I could not understand why I was in Misamis Occidental when, in fact, I live in Cagayan de Oro.

When I went inside the house, I saw my grandma, cousins, uncles, aunties, and even my mother and siblings packing all the stuff in the house.

“What is this?” I asked. “Where are we going?”

 “We need to move now,” mama replied, “because a war enraged in the next town.” I, then, remembered what just happened.

“We might get involved here if we choose to stay,” grandma interrupted.

I slapped myself and got hurt. “Hooh! This is really true.” Then, I helped in packing the things.

While we were taking our packs to our compartment, a black expandable car stopped in front of grandma’s house. The car was new to us. It looked exactly the same with that of Agent K’s in Men in Black 3. Then, a man went out from the car, and OH! It was the man who saved me earlier from almost being hit by an arrow. He came nearer to us. I thanked him for saving my life. My mama was confused. I explained to them everything that just happened.

Then, the man spoke to me, “I must go straight to my point. I am an agent. I am here to ask your help.”

“What kind of help would that be?” I replied.

“I want you to be my partner in all my endeavors.” He continued by explaining his targets. Actually, in my dream, the targets were not really emphasized. All I knew was I’d be his mate in this action-like scene.

“No! I’ll not allow my son to go with you,” mama said with tears. “I can’t take if there’s something bad that will happen to him.” Mama wept hard as if she knew already that I could not refuse to it. I embraced my mama so tight. I told her, “Ma, we should be in the greater goodness for everyone.” By my words, mama wept even harder, for she already decoded what I meant. “You take care, Nanak!” I could not help bursting also into tears with the mere fact that I’d be away from my family, especially my mom for an indefinite span in an indefinite place.

Mama spoke to the agent, “I trust the safety of my son to you.” The agent nodded and said, “We have to go now.” So, we went on, leaving my family weeping about my parting.

Inside the car, I was so amazed of how the car appeared so sophisticated. The agent explained to me why the car was specially built that way. We exchanged our personal information, but one thing unusual to him was that he never mentioned what his name was.

Six to seven hours had passed, but we were still trekking. The places where we passed by were already unknown to me. Then, I decided to take a light sleep. When I woke up, it was already dark. When I checked my watch, it’s already quarter to seven. Suddenly, I heard series of gun shots that seemed coming from behind. When I turned my back, a number of cars were chasing after us. We were their object. I informed my partner about it, but he just told me to stay calm and be prepared. He handed me two guns and triturated packs. “What are these packs for?” I asked. “If I’ll tell you to throw them to the direction I’ll point to, you throw them there,” he replied. The gunshots were getting as twice as many.

“Open the window close to you and throw the packs outside in the count of three,” he calmly said.

I was terrified. Once again, I was trembling. Then, the speed of our car went five times faster, leaving a little behind the cars which were chasing us.

“One. Two. Three. Throw.” Then, I threw all the packs. For only about seven seconds, the cars behind us exploded. It was only then I realized that those packs were explosive devices.

“Are you okay?” asked the agent mockingly.

“Are we safe now?”

“Yes, we are. Comm’n! Take some of these goodies. I know you are hungry.”

“Can we have a take out if we get to pass a drive-through, instead? I want a viand.”

“Sure! There is no need for a take out. We can have that in a little while. We’re close to my place.” I took some goodies to fairly ease my starved tummy.

Finally, we arrived at his home. His house was made of woodbine and looked so native. It was also cramped. I wondered where he’d maneuver his vehicle that even a parking lot he didn’t have. His personality and car didn’t suit the place where he lived. Yet, I just reserved my observation to myself because he might be affronted.

We moved out from the car. The moment we stepped out, I noticed he pressed a button of his key holder. Then, the car managed to move by itself forward as the hedges of his house robotically went up. I was amazed. It was my first time to see such an invention.

“You must be so rich and…”

“I am also a technologist,” he completed my statement. “Comm’n! Let’s get inside.”

“Oh! What are we supposed to do about your car and your moving hedges?”

“Don’t worry. They know what to do with themselves.”

Amazed, I just drooped and followed him. But, that’s not just it. Inside that cramped walled roof structure was an elevator, which took us to the different rooms of his house. It was an industrialized mansion, indeed. Then, we had a dinner with so many victuals on top of the table. Full and worn-out, I slept at once.

As I was sleeping in my dream, my roommates in our flat woke me up because I was nonsensically crooning while sleeping. I got up and smiled at them.

“What happened to you? Why are you smiling that way?” one roomie asked.

“I was dreaming that I was an action star in a sudden chain of events. That’s just it.” I gave them another smile, went back to my sleep, and tried to resume the scenes of my dream, but I could no longer do so.

 

Annotation(s)

  • The events in the story may sound incoherent in some ways. May be, dreams are just really like that. Actually, all events that appeared in the story above were the only ones which I could really remember from my dream. I opted not to add fictitious information to the story because it might lose its sense as a dream. If it were so logical and very seamless, I’d say that’s no longer something rooted from a mere dream.
  • I am aware it’s really hanging. As I said, I wanted to resume the story out of my wild dream but I could not. Maybe, you can continue the story on your own and have it ended the way you want it to be. Ing-ana nalang para bibo.

THE DOGS

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Do you consider your confrere equally? Do you view them according to who are ‘dogs’ and ‘serpents’?

It is part of our human nature to keep people whom we can really give our trust, knowing that these people can keep good company. By good company, what I presume is that they can help us get through with our problems by their sincere advices and simple presence, aside from the laughter and other good forms of hearty chuckle.

In my workplace, I can cite a few colleagues whom I regard as “dogs” or shall I say, epitomes of “trusted ones”, including my fellow English teachers, especially T. Nessa, T. Gwen, T. Faith, T. Lore, and T. Bless whom I regularly have my lunch and dinner with in our favorite fast food chains in our locale. I also consider as such T. Mildred (Science teacher), T. Anna (Science teacher), T. Carol (Filipino teacher), and Sir Kevin (Math teacher) whom prior to this teaching career I already had establish good friendship with. Although they are few, I know I can trust them. I always still believe that it is better to keep few companions rather than to keep many but are latent, camouflaged, and masked. Anyway, there exists beauty when keeping only a few. It can actually allow us to know them even better.

It is not that I am being choosy of whom I should befriend; I am just being acute. In these moments, it is hard to fully give trust and to openly share yourself with others in a matter of first or second (and even third) acquaintance. Dogs and snakes do both exist. They come in different ways, times, and forms. That is why, we have to decipher carefully who among the people whom we get to connect with are the ‘dogs’ and the ‘snakes’.

Note: This is generally encompassing.

Doing My Own Thing: Modeling

Just as others think teachers are just confined of doing the piled works in their cubicles and/or of facilitating students’ learning within the four walls of their classrooms, I go outside of the norm of the teaching profession. I did something extraordinary of a teacher – that is getting into modeling.

Modeling has really been a huge dream since my high school years. Having been exposed to various modeling activities in school and in the community (not to mention the “Mr & Ms” stints) as well as to friends who are into it, I really develop the passion for it. I started doing this kind of thing during my first year in college. It was when a friend from high school (Yza de los Angeles Photography) invited me to pose for her with Kristine Eblacas. At first, I felt a bit edgy on doing it because I had not tried doing one before. I might disappoint the photographer and my co-model (not to mention the people who’d surely feast our photos).

Criticism is really one thing I successfully worked out for. Before, I hated those people who threw their spiteful disparagement against me and my works. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why I hated the act; all I know then was it lowered down my self-esteem and confidence. However, thanks to many exposures which carry criticisms! Now, I can compose myself and see a better perspective whenever disparagement are thrown on me. Well, I just make sure they sound constructive, though. Because of these, many opportunities went along the way. There come photographers Chara Lee, Ritz Celso, Angelie Paredes, to name a few. I also had few invites to ramp modeling.

Up to now, I still consider modeling a way of life. It’s not that I want to make it a source of living; I just want to see it as a mere form of entertainment or past time where I can derive pleasure and relaxation from it. I must admit, I am vain. I love to see my own self image. I am in love with myself. I am Narcissus.

HAPPY 21st SIR DUDE!

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It’s exactly 12:00 AM of the 29th of September, 2012 – exactly three days after you celebrated your 21stbirthday, and let me be the last to greet you a HAPPY BLISSFUL BIRTHDAY. Well, I have a habit of being fashionably late every time. This time around I was no different. Sorry for that dude, but it is just part of the plan. (hehehee)

After thinking for several hours on the 25th of September as to how I could make my greeting different and special from those of others, I came up with this risky-but-meaningful scheme. Yes, I already anticipated that it’s really going to be risky because you might misunderstand my passiveness on the very day you celebrated your birthday. In spite of my awareness of that probability, I still pursued my plan because it is meaningful to me (and I hope to you, too). I decided to greet you “three” days after the 26th of this month because “three” is important to me. Aside from the mere fact that my natal day fell on a third day of June (in which my coming up in this world gets me ahead to know you and have you as my best buddy), “three” also stands for “mahal kita dude” or in English “I love ya.” (HAHAHAHA-awkward moment) This might sound strange and funny, for men find it difficult to say or uncomfortable to use, but really, I’m serious. I just so thank God for havin’ a bekoy/papartz, a best bud who, in good and bad times, was always there to support and comfort me for almost “three” years of golden friendship – a real prized gift, indeed.

And on your 21st birthday, I only have three wishes for you. First, with God as the pilot, I wish that you always find meaning on your existence and on all sorts of engagement, even when things are and will be getting different. Remember to understand that nothing evil or ill is willed by God. Second, with your family as the compass, I wish that you search for the right path where you can truly be happy in every way that you can possibly be. Lastly, I wish that you continue to be humble especially to those who admire your intelligence, talents, and personality. Stand like a coconut tree which goes straight on top but does not forget to look back on its roots as manifested by its leaves’ direction. I believe that you will get far with your dreams and ambitions in life. As your best bud, your #1 supporter and confidante, I will always support you no matter what happens along the way.

Angels are few, and so are you; that’s what that makes you even more special. God bless you on your 21st. Happy birthday SIR DONDEE!

 

Your bestbud,

MARKOY

 

PS: I hope that you like my gift for you. I really thought about it with full discernment. (hehe) It’s a cross with a scented candle. It will always remind you to remember of our Father’s unconditional love for us.

A THOUGHT TO LIVE BY

As an educator, I believe that every individual has innate skills and attributes that have to be dealt with and be given apt stance. Some of these are possibly half actualized by the moment and probably some still call for actualization for they are still unseen due to some factors that individuals scuffle within. As mentors, we ought to draw out the potentials that lie in every individual since it is our duty to make what they take to be fully brought to fulfillment. In order to realize that responsibility, I have ways to go by “introspectively”.

Primarily, I always employ creativity to promote growth, laying emphasis on the significance of education. Also, I give my students assistance to think and discover knowledge and awareness on their own means. It is clear to me that my main priority in my profession is my students, and it is my goal that at the end of every learning outcome, they will view their success as something they own. In order for me to realize that, I adhere toward creating a student-centered learning. My students are to take control of their own learning with little guidance from me. This inculcate a sense of responsibility and ownership in them in terms of achieving their learning goal. This idea is essentially supported by the principles of Lev Vygotsky’s scaffolding and John Dewey’s discovery learning, merged into one.

Secondly, I live by with my own concept of leadership. As models being imitated by learners (Bandura), we have the duty to show to the students good leadership skills. As John F. Kennedy put it, leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. While others favor strict rules and established authority in dealing with students, I attend to my personal outlook as regards to leadership. Basing from my observations during my basic education years and even in tertiary, being authoritarian (very rigid) will only create a distance between a teacher and a student. I believe that leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want to be done because he wants to do it, and not because they are duty-bound or compelled. One way to concretize this notion of leadership is to build strong rapport with students. As a result, a comfortable learning environment (based on respect instead of fear) is established. Thus, students feel not fearful whenever they have some things to say. With this, I am able to attend to their personal and academic needs whenever needed. In such way, a clear line of communication will be established, contributing to a successful teaching and learning process in the educational setting. Students must emerge as individuals who are successful in developing their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.

Thirdly, I open myself to new ideas and suggestions through involving myself to different educational activities and participating in forums and conferences. As a 21st century teacher, I have to keep myself abreast of the new innovations and improvements in the field of education for me to have updated insights to share to my students. This is one way for me to produce learners who are technologically-efficient, geared up to meet the demands of the contemporary times. Also, this is a way for me to further expand my knowledge and skills so that I will also not look left behind. As a teacher, I believe that I must be two or three steps ahead of my students. Additionally, I believe that it is wise for me to reflect on the experiences I will have on every lesson that has to be conducted so that I can spot and continue my strengths and correct my weaknesses.

By following the three major ways that I have to go by “introspectively” as a teacher – being highly creative, showing a good leader visage, keeping abreast to new ideas – will surely make me the teacher whom I want my students to remember.