Category Archives: Filipino

The Significance of Celebrating 7th Birthdays

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Last Saturday, October 27, 2012, I was in Sofitel with my family and friends to celebrate Chantal’s (my one and only niece) 7th birthday. It was definitely a blast filled with touching and fun-filled memories. Our family’s effort in the preparation of Chantal’s event was never wasted. Chantal surely enjoyed her moment. You can see it in her eyes, in her laugh and in her smile. Her parents, Reggie and Skye, did a tremendous job putting up this event for their one and only daughter. And of course we, Paps, Momsy, Carol, Micah, Camille and I, were in full support for the success of Chantal’s birthday celebration.

But there is one thought that lingered in my mind.¬†“Why do we celebrate 7th birthdays?”

Here in the Philippines, it’s automatic to celebrate an individual’s 1st, 7th and 18th (or 21st for men) birthdays. In this blog I’d just like to point out my opinion about the significance of celebrating such birthdays especially the 7th year.

For every 1st birthday, of course we’re celebrating the marvelous gift of life. It is the celebration of the birth and a new life coming to a family. That’s why we can see in every 1st birthday that we celebrate, the atmosphere is doubtlessly full of joy, happiness and gratitude. I’ve been to a lot of 1st birthday celebrations and the one thing common I observed is the joy found in every person present in the event. Well that should really be the case since we’re talking about a new life, a new gift, a new miracle given by God to a family. Imagine the time when we were born, or during our 1st birthday, I think it would be touching and noble, not naive, if people are happy because of are existence. Right? ūüôā

18th (for women) or 21st (for men) birthdays meanwhile is a celebration of an individual’s adulthood. I believe it’s a milestone in one’s life that is worthy of a celebration. The logic is obvious why we celebrate debut here in the Philippines that’s why I won’t go in so much details about my school of thought about 18th/21st birthdays (maybe on Chantal’s 18th birthday I might blog about it). But 7th birthdays? Why?

Just my own personal thought, I strongly, energetically and carefully agree that an individual’s 7th birthday is as important just as his or her 1st and 18th/21st birthday. But one’s 7th birthday is more significant than those two. Why? Here’s my personal take on that.

Our 7th year is usually our age when we first enter a milestone. Nursery, kindergarten and preparatory is now over. It’s time for a more challenging experience, the primary or elementary education. But not just in terms of educational background, our 7th year is considered as the time where we enter the age of accountability. It is the time where we are starting to have a moral sense of right and wrong. Just like Batman. Our 7 years of age is usually the instance where we are exhibiting a bit of maturity and a starting to have a sense of responsibility. ¬†And most importantly, this is the moment in our lives where we become susceptible in keeping the experiences in our minds meaning memories, constructive ones, are being saved by our brain.

The memories we have in this part of our life, particularly our 7th year of existence, make a lasting impact in our lives. Good memories are contributing factors on how a person perceives life. As I may put it, good memories in our childhood will translate in a positive outlook in life.

As I ponder about my life as we prepare and celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday, I went back to memory lane to visit my 7th birthday. Honestly, my memories of my 7th birthday are very vivid, detailed and profound. I guess an average individual would also remember his or her 7th birthday with so much details. I celebrated my 7th birthday in Jollibee. I had a kid’s party and a giant bee dancing Oh Carol to much delight of the guests. I remember everything from my 7th birthday. The food, the gifts, the people, and most of all, the feeling. Looking back at my childhood, I can say I had a fun, exciting and happy childhood. I’ve got to thank my parents for that. And I passionately believe with all my heart that all the good experiences and knowledge I had in my childhood, particularly on my 7th year, played a major role on how my life has shaped up now.

I took the Strengths Finder exam by Tom Rath and my number 1 theme is Positivity. People regarded with a theme of positivity is an individual who is light-hearted, energetic, enthusiastic and never loses hope no matter how bad the the circumstances are. Those descriptions from Tom Rath actually ring a bell on how I am as a person. I really consider that my childhood allowed me to have that kind of perception and perspective about life. If I had a lousy childhood or a sad 7th birthday, I believe I am a different person than I am today. Big thanks to my Dad and Mom who really made sure that I, along with my 3 sisters, had the best childhood any kid would have. I thank God for my parents.

That’s why today, I commend my sister Skye and my brother-in-law Reggie, for putting up the best efforts to give Chantal a memorable, special and big, big celebration for her 7 years of existence. I am pretty sure Chantal will have a positive outlook in life no matter how difficult it is to live in this world. She had an awesome birthday. She is having a not so bad childhood. I believe that will help her on how her life will shape up few years from now.

That is the reason why I am convinced 7th birthdays are significant and crucial. I hope I made a point. I believe every child deserves a great childhood and a 7th birthday celebration. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be the best of our means.I pray that parents would really make a conscious effort to provide kids with the best childhood that they can have. Only parents will have that kind of ability and also, responsibility.

And I pray to those who haven’t had the chance to have fond memories from their childhood that caused them to have a different outlook about life and family. I pray that God would heal their eyes, and their hearts, that they will always look at life as something that is good and worthy to be thankful for. I pray they will always be full of optimism and hope.

Life is good. And our God is great. To my Dad and Mom, this blog is for you. Thank you for the childhood you have given me! And to my niece Chantal, happy 7th birthday! ūüôā

The Perks of Being “The New Guy”

Last night I watched two good games from the PBA. The first match was between Alaska and Meralco. The second game was between Barako Bull and Petron Blaze. It was a pair of exciting games. Meralco won against Alaska, Petron defeated Barako Bull. It’s my first time to watch those teams this new PBA season. But there was someone in the first game that really caught my attention,¬†the “Cliffhanger”.

Cliff Hodge a.k.a. The Cliffhanger is Meralco’s top pick, No. 4 overall, in the PBA 2012 Rookie Draft. Last night, he had his very first win in the PBA and his very first Player of the Game citation. He literally did everything on the floor. He scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, played suffocating defense and became the hustle guy that every basketball team needs.

But one thing that I definitely remember about the Meralco – Alaska game is the many times that Cliff Hodge kissed the floor and the physicality given to him. If all the hit that he took will be counted as game statistics, he would have gotten a triple-double. From Gabby Espinas, to Sonny Thoss, To Tony Dela Cruz, even Dondon Hontiveros, everyone gave him a not-so-warm and rude welcome in the PBA. In his first game against Talk N’ Text, he also experienced that kind of physicality. In his second game, even more. We saw a bloody Cliff Hodge on the second half because of the sharp elbow thrown by Gabby Espinas. This kid is really being tested by the veterans. The not-so-young guys gave the Cliffhanger a baptism of fire.

Am I a fan of Cliff Hodge? No. But there is something in his situation that we can all learn from. There is really something in our society today that I believe we should address. And that is making life difficult for a new guy. Not just in basketball but in any society, in school, in government, in sports, in any workplace or industry, this world is unwelcoming, tough, tight and rugged for all the newbies.

Yes I believe in hard work, in perseverance, in patience, in walking your way up, but do we really need to make life a lot more difficult for a person because he’s new? Have we ever thought that the adjustment itself and that being of a new guy isn’t difficult enough? Do you think the experience, the years, the expertise will make us a better person than the new ones that come along? Does experience give us the right to do anything we want to another person?

Then what’s next? After the new guy gain experience, after he graduates as the newbie then what’s next? He’ll do also the same to the new people that will come along. He’ll make life difficult also for the new guys so that they can also experience what he has gone through. It will be a never-ending cycle of power-tripping, bitterness and revenge. It’s a rotten practice that we should all change.

I know that respect is needed to be taught, but respect is needed also to be earned. That’s the danger of leadership and experience. People think position and experience necessitates respect from others. Actually it is still not. It is still something to be earned. I strongly believe that this is a major reason for power tripping on a new guy. We want to impose respect. We want to be regarded as of higher value. We want people looking up to us. We want to feel better. We want to feed our ego.

I believe we can live in a world of respect, success, obedience, unity and cooperation without making life difficult for any person at all. I believe as leaders or people with more experience, we can teach younger guys through example. It’s easy to teach with words but it’s more difficult with actions. With actions, we can easily adapt, we can easily mimic, we can easily learn, we can easily make the lessons part of our lives. But with words alone, any new guy won’t have a clue.

John Quincy Adams once said,

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”¬†

It’s a powerful statement. But it’s actually true. As leaders, as elder¬†statesmen, as someone with much greater experience, our actions should be inspiring for others, especially for the new and younger ones.

We want to teach respect, let’s show them how to do it. We want to teach perseverance, we can show it how we do it ourselves. We want them to work even harder, let’s inspire them to work even harder, We want them to know about loyalty, we show them how to earn loyalty.

Let’s not make shortcuts in teaching the younger ones the essentials of life. Sometimes that’s why we make things difficult for them because we don’t want to take the time and effort to teach them or impart to them the lessons we need to teach.

That’s why I always love Jesus. I always look up to Him not only as my Lord and¬†Savior, but as my mentor, my teacher, my role model. In Philippians 2:5-11, the Bible says,

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:¬†Who, being in very nature¬†God,¬†did not consider equality with God¬†something to be used to his own advantage;¬†rather, he made himself nothing¬†by taking the very nature¬†of a servant,¬†being made in human likeness.¬†And being found in appearance as a man,¬†he humbled himself¬†by becoming obedient to death‚ÄĒ¬†even death on a cross!¬†Therefore God exalted him¬†to the highest place¬†and gave him the name that is above every name,¬†that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,¬†in heaven and on earth and under the earth,¬†and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,¬†to the glory of God the Father.”

Imagine our God who is in heaven, still made time for us by coming here in human form to save us, relate to us, to teach us about love, humility, perseverance, obedience and forgiveness. God Himself choosing to spend time with us.¬†That’s why He was exalted as Name above every name, because of His humility. Humility is thinking of others first before yourself. He thought of us so deeply that He came here for us. Jesus took the time and effort to reach us.

We could learn a lot from Jesus, especially in terms of treating others, and the new guys. As He always say, we should love others as how He loved us, and treat others as how we want ourselves to be treated.

Last unsolicited advice, in Romans 12:10, this is what the Bible says,

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

I hope and pray that the world of new guys will soon get better.

Happy 1st Birthday Victory Molino

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Today, September 23, 2012, marks the first year anniversary of Victory Molino. A church that is dedicated solely in honoring God and making disciples.

Well, it’s been a year. A year of honoring God and making disciples. A year of introducing people to Jesus. A year with records of miracles, breakthroughs, deliverance, restorations and second chances. A year wherein strangers amongst strangers become friends amongst families. A year where people became more intimate with God through worship, prayer and service. A year where people had a new found love on His Word. A year where people became one family of God. It has really been a year where God showed forth His greatness, faithfulness, mercy, grace and of course, love.

For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. РPsalm 100:5 (ESV) 

One year. The best is yet to come. It’s just the beginning of the greater things that God will do in Molino. But for now, it’s a really, really good time to just celebrate, rejoice and enjoy the goodness of God for the past year.

Happy 1st year anniversary Victory Molino!

Gilas Pilipinas routs Macau. Exceptional display of teamwork from Philippines. Playoffs starts Thursday.

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Team Gilas Pilipinas won its third consecutive game in the FIBA Asia Cup 2012 via another blowout against a young team of Macau. The score is 98-46. Jeff Chan led again the team with 18 points and another 4 of 7 performance from the three-point range. Reserve big man Jay-R Reyes finished the game with 12 points and 9 rebounds off the bench and newcomer Matt Ganuelas Rosser almost had a triple-double as he tallied 11 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in another all-around performance. Gilas Pilipinas finished the preliminary round with a 3-1 record.

Gilas Pilipinas gave naturalized center Marcus Douthit a much needed rest and relied heavily on local big men Sonny Thoss, Rico Villanueva, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jay-R Reyes. Douthit will be very much needed come playoff time. This rest could really spell a big difference in a short tournament like this with games being done everyday.

Team Philippines showed great teamwork as they shared the ball and made baskets on 24 assists. They executed again extremely well that allowed them to score 41 field goals on 67 tries for a high percentage of 61 %. The team also shot 9 out of 22 from three-point range for 41%. We saw a lot of alley-oop plays from the team with Matt Rosser, Gabe Norwood and Jared Dillinger being recipients of brilliant passes.

Gilas Pilipinas showed exceptional teamwork. Trusting one another as if they are one body with many different parts. It’s another necessary nugget of life wisdom we can get from today’s victory. Trusting one another, teamwork and unselfishness. There is really no limit to what we can accomplish when we work as one and when we don’t care who gets the credit. No more crab mentality but “Bayanihan” spirit all the way.

Gilas Pilipinas played like that. Filipinos should live like that.

FIBA Asia Cup 2012 Playoffs kicks off on Thursday. Gilas Pilipinas will still wait for today’s result to determine their opponent from Group B. It will either be Qatar or Chinese Taipei.

It’s another great day for Philippine Basketball. A brighter day for every Pinoy.