Finding my “Why”

“He who has a why can endure any how”- Frederick Nietzsche

For weeks, I was in turmoil. I couldn’t understand myself including the people around me. Extremely, I got easily exasperated and fed-up with things I regularly do. I even started to question things which I haven’t asked lately. Mental strains were categorically on the loop. In the midst of confusions, I just sat wordlessly, listening to my inner voice.

Discerning, I realized how stuck I was in the past. I would need to let go and move on so I could be released from this rut.  I was plagued with queries until I read the article of Margie Warell which was entitled “Do You Know Your Why”. The message was straight. I needed to revisit my purpose so I could live a life free from reservations that held me back for years.

According to German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, “He who has a why can endure any how”. Knowing one’s why is an important step in figuring out how we achieve our dreams and goals. These things will stimulate us and guide us to create a life that is worth living. Certainly, only when we know our “why” will we find the courage to continue on our journey. A clear sense of purpose enables us to focus our efforts on what matters most, compelling us to take risks and push forward regardless of the odds and obstacles. We have to stay enthused when the chips are down, and brace ourselves onto an entirely new, more challenging, and more rewarding trajectory.

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Childhood’s Rumination

While sitting here on the bench and staring moodily off into space, old memories begin to plummet in my head.

Twenty two years ago, I was six years old then, I could copiously remember what kind of life we had. We resided in the small barrio of Naujan, the biggest town in the province consisting of roughly 70 barangays. 

To make a living, dwellers had to plow their fields and plant various crops such as corn, rice and fruit-bearing trees. Life was not easy then, my father was a typical farmer, a tenant of a little four-hectare parcel. And my mother, a plain housewife busying herself in the different household chores and other farming duties which was unusual for a woman of her age. I salute my mom for doing manly tasks beyond her strength just to abridge the situation. 

Confronted with the nasty realities of life, making both ends meet was nearly possible.We never owned a house even a smaller one by that time. However, we were asked to inhabit the emptied house which was owned by my father’s landlord. They were sympathetic enough to offer one of their houses that they had been using for quite sometime. It was built with essentially ingenious architectural design probably around 1960. The owner had soon moved to Manila due to subjective and business affiliations so it just served as their rest house. 

Every summer, they had been spending their vacation in the old house probably to escape from the demanding schedules and punishing atmosphere of the city. We were then delegated to look after their most valued possession, their ancentral home. In fact, they even compensated us for using and maintaining the house. What a luck then.

Growing up, that house had become our home and fortress. I and my older brother, Gary (the one I’m next to) were born here, we’ d almost spent half our lives here, computationally speaking. It was a two-storey house with four large bedrooms, drawn-out balcony, and a living room. It was surrounded by towering palm trees which almost covered the entire house. 

The vegetation cover around the area made the atmosphere more nonchalant and fascinating. I could still reminisce how beautiful it was during our early years there. My brothers and I used to play hide and seek in the expansive front yard, sadly, we neither had playmates nor neighbors to play or talk with. The house unimaginatively stood amidst the barren fields facing the east.

I’d loved staying in the balcony, savoring the fascinating view while discerning about the richness and nothingness of life. Gigantic trees, immense rice and corn fields and not so lofty mountains from far-off were the distinctive features I’d relentlessly seen from where I stood.

Either, I couldn’t forget the fact that we had to eat our dinners as early as six o’clock in the evening, it was well-practiced in the province actually, I’d to ask then why it was so and my parents would tell me that we should eat early so we could sleep early and be fully prepared for the next day’s drudgery. “Early bird catches the early worm”, perhaps that was their motto and I eventually tailed it.

As we’d been often doing, before sleeping we would listen to some adventurous and ghost stories in the radio, I couldn’t forget the epic story of Negra Bandida , a woman of strength and fortitude who madly fights against the injustices and cruelty they experience from the tyrants. Looking back, I couldn’t help but to mimic the sounds from the radio drama we’d loved to listen to, “ haahh pakatik pakatik yaahh…hahhh.. pakatik pakatik yaahh” ,these were  the sounds mainly uttered by the heroine, Negra Bandida herself while continuously hitting the horse to make it run quicker.

 I’d been also hearing my brothers and sisters repeating the same lines so my parents would chide us and stop us from making any unwanted clatters. Back then, we’re all stubborn so basically we wouldn’t sleep and still wait for the ghost story we’d been hooked about. 

At 9’o clock in the evening, immediately after Negra Bandida, we would be listening to “Gabi ng Lagim” (Night of Terror – a collection of creepy ghost stories which transcends beyond one’s imagination. I wouldn’t forget those nights when I’d been struggling to sleep because of the horrors inside my head. Though it frightened me badly, I kept on listening to it. Then again, I’d become panicky.

One could easily please a child, and I wouldn’t be an exemption to that. Back in the old days, I’d love to eat “tira tira”, it was a hard, long and coffee-like candy which cost only twenty five centavos. Needless to say, I would eat four pieces a day until I cried in pain because of toothache. I’d also like to eat “dragon” a peanut inspired chocolate bar that swept me off my feet.

Like other kids of my age, I used to devote my spare times climbing trees, either the smallest or the tallest ones. Together with my siblings, we used to spend our Saturday afternoons, searching the woodlands for kerson fruits (aratiles), salamander fruits (bignay), and cotton fruits (santol). Before darkness had to strike, we would have been back home or else we would have received punishments from my father.

Still recounting, I had this nerve-wracking experience of almost falling from the tamarind tree. It was one afternoon actually before I went to school, I decided to get some tamarind so I climbed up there disregarding the fact that I was wearing my uniform, with my blouse and skirt on. After getting plentiful fruits, as I climbed down hastily, my skirt accidentally tethered to one of the delicate branches and so I lost my balance. I would have fallen and hurt myself if I didn’t hold on to that sturdy branch tightly, it had saved me from further injuries. Afraid to be reprimanded, I did not inform my parents of what transpired. Surely, they would have scolded me anyway.

On the surface, I consider my childhood’s experiences as the best part of my life. I’ll always look back to where everything started. The kind of person I am today is primarily inspired by the joys and sorrows that I had been through in the past years. And at this point in time, I choose to do what I love, and love what I do. With courage and optimism, I’ll choose to live my life the way it should be lived, so when I look back again, I won’t have any regrets.

 

When you fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in the light of eternity. (Philippians 3:5-8 NLT)

 

 -Anabel Geneta-Raymundo-

-lebanagr-

Smile More

A smile can hide so many feelings. Fear,sadness, heartbreak…But it also shows one another thing, strength.

If you will be questioning about who she is, I don’t know her either. I was about to write my views about climate change yet I ended up awed by the photograph of this cute little girl. I was stunned with how innocent and amusing her smile was. It seemed that her eyes have a life of its own, inviting me to see what was inside her soul. Enthralled by her innocent yet sweet simper, musings began to cross my mind.

When was the last time have you seen a genuine smile? There were just few, I guess. Superficial smiles have surfaced the universe and it excludes no one. Humans have high regards toward social expectations and standards. It feels distressing to know that most people just live to conform to the standards of the world trying to please everyone. Distinguishing realities from deceptions is almost difficult. A warm and inviting smile can be tricky, clueless, and meaningless.

On the contrary, smiling is also an expression denoting pleasure, cordiality, happiness, joy and amusement. When a person smiles, it invites a positive energy to the person she smiled at. It is contagious in nature. It calms the body, mind and spirit. These simple gestures may be hollow to others, but for me it is significant and desirable. Smiling is not just pleasing others, it is showing who you are as a  person. This humble act means something especially to the confused and oppressed. Whatever trials we encounter right now, remember, we can still beam to show the world that we have the strength coupled with optimism to pass the tests of life. We have to believe that God doesn’t give us any trial beyond our capacity, when faced with mishaps, he will give us the power to endure it and eventually leads us to our way out.

 

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.

-Mother Teresa-

 

 

-anabel geneta-raymundo-

/lebanagr/

 

 

A Glimpse of  Yesterday

The best gifts in the world are not in the material objects one can buy from the store, but in the memories we make with the people we love Amanda Boyarshinov

After posting a review about Pollyanna and her glad game, I couldn’t find a substantial topic to pen about. Fortuitously, as I was organizing my files in my computer earlier this morning, the snapshots of the activities in my former school caught my attention. For a minute, I had that nostalgic mood. I was there. I was with them. I suddenly realized how time had really gone so fast. Same time two years ago, we were busy preparing for the “Buwan ng Wika” (Filipino Month) -a whole-month celebration that aims to promote the value of the Filipino language and culture. Teachers and students were busy preparing for the different contests and even designing their bulletin boards. I couldn’t forget our extended stays in the school for we had to finish making and putting up the “ banderitas”. I hoped that Mel, Klarence and Buen would read this for they were with me in those strenuous yet rewarding times.

Bohol Escapade with the gang
JCSLC Family in Bohol
Bohol Escapade
With our Director,Fr. Mark Munda
JCSLC Family(sometime in 2011 or 2012?)
Retreat in Tagaytay
Photo Opt with His Eminence,Cardinal Tagle
Cluster Planning
When In Davao
With the Coordinators

On the other hand, I couldn’t forget our compassionate and determined administrators for always putting their best efforts to address our needs. Not only that, we were given plenty of chances to have our retreats, get-together parties and outings far from the demanding schedules of the city. There, we were able to strengthen our bonds as a family.

Well, those were just few of the countless endeavors that I have had experienced with my JCSLC family, yes, even until now I consider them as my family. As we were saying, “Once a Cardinal, Always a Cardinal”. I certainly feel that a part of me still lives there, and a part of them still lives in me.

Reliving the Pollyanna’s Principle

God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. (1 Corinthians 10:13 TEV)

Since, I want to really start writing inspirational stuffs. I am very much delighted that I encounter this “story” which really gets me interested. After thorough reading and research, finally I can share this classic story to everyone.

Pollyanna is a legendary and best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter which is now considered as a standard of children’s literature. The book was a success that it had roughly eleven sequels. The title, Pollyanna, is also the name of the main character which was associated to persons with the same optimistic viewpoint.

Pollyanna Whittier is an orphan who goes to live with her Aunt Polly who unfortunately doesn’t like her. Her old spinster aunt just feels like it is her duty to her departed sister that is why she takes the full responsibility of raising the poor child. Pollyanna’s life focuses on what she calls “The Glad Game”-an optimistic and positive attitude she acquired from her father. The game is about finding something to be glad about in every situation no matter how tough it may be.

The game guards her from her aunt’s unyielding attitude; when Aunt Polly locks her in the stuffy attic room, she wallows at the beautiful view from the high window where she stands; when she receives the punishment of eating only bread and milk with their servant Nancy due to being late in the dinner, she thanks her aunt unswervingly for she likes the food, and she also likes Nancy. With this philosophy, Pollyanna also helps some distressed inhabitants of Beldingsville to play the game. She touches the lives of the people and they are pleased by her.

However, even Pollyanna’s forceful optimism is put to test when she is struck by a car and loses the use of her legs. When she learns that fact that she will not be able to walk, she starts to doubt herself and finds nothing to be glad about. In the verge of doubt and hopelessness, the townspeople visits Pollyanna eagerly telling her how her reinforcement has changed their lives. With that, Pollyanna decides she can still be joyful that she at least has had her legs. After some time, she learns to walk again and she starts to appreciate the use of her legs far better as a result of her temporary disability.

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Are you living the Pollyanna’s principle? Well, I gladly picture out how beautiful the world will be if everyone gonna play the “Glad Game”-a game where everyone finds something to be glad about regardless of  how better or worse the situation is. It may sound absurd for many of us especially we’re more inclined to the “blaming game”-a game where one finds someone to be blamed when difficulties arise, that’s life (C ‘est la vie). Instead of looking for answers or solutions right away, we waste our time complicating things. As His children, we should not let those problems cripple us and stop us from living our lives.

Whoever you are, whatever you have, and whatever situation you are in right now will soon be unimportant for the Lord said it is finished. We have to remember that life on earth is a test and God wants us to pass the tests of life. He will not will give a test beyond our power and when faced with it, He will give us the strength to withstand it.

-anabel geneta-raymundo-

lebanagr

 

 

Musings

 

The night was still young and the inclement weather had just subsided.I could clearly hear the rattling of the windows caused by  the heavy rainfall and wind an hour earlier.The touch of the cold and fresh air marvelously soothed my exhausted physique and mind. ​​

I just ended reading one of my novel collections written by the master storyteller himself,Sidney Sheldon.Three consecutive afternoons were actually spent in reading the narrative.

I accustomed my after class schedule to get through it so I could turn back to doing what I enjoyed most,writing.Well,blogging,to be more unambiguous.A couple of weeks had passed and still couldn’t ponder of any substantial subjects to envisage on.

It was roughly 8 o’clock,two more hours before my hindmost touched the bed,still couldn’t think of anything to pen.Well,honestly speaking,I was in pensive mood for quite sometime.Preoccupied of random things,even stuffs which were trivial and unthinkable.

In that very moment,the image of my so-called advisory students flashed in my mind trying to dominate my other unfinished discerning.Why they were so stubborn and hard headed?These were few queries that troubled me when I held them in my thoughts.From our first day up to this very day,still,nothing changed.They were still in their usual selves.It seemed that all of those advices and admonishments didn’t work at all.

Like,I was constantly reminding them to clean up,arrange the books in the shelves,organize the chairs and engage in worthwhile activities. I just wondered if something was sinking in them.I only hoped.In contrary,I also observed few students who were consistent on being diligent,well-ordered,and compliant.They were commendable and worth bragging.I just prayed that they would influence their fellows in such ways.

Nevertheless,they were all my chidren and I loved them.Godly gift-this was what they meant to me.Lord Almighty truly blessed me with these youngsters who made me grimace more often yet unbridled my sweetest chuckle.

Reminiscing

 

Jaime Cardinal Sin Learing Center, a private Catholic school in Punta,Sta. Ana,Manila that offers quality Catholic education for the deserving ones

Teaching is the noblest profession indeed.Most of you will agree and others are free to contradict.I don’t really brag about it because I’m in the same line.But if you are one of us,you already have a taste of what this vocation offers.I have been teaching for eight years now,of course I always find this job challenging and rewarding.

I started as a high school  teacher in Jaime Cardinal Sin Learning- a private catholic school in Punta, Sta. Ana,Manila that offers a quality Catholic education solely  for the deserving ones.I was a part of that admirable institution two years ago and I will always take pride of that.I won’t forget our most handsome director,Fr. Mark Munda,our dearest and exuberant principal,Dr. Henry Davalos,our ever-supportive coordinators especially Mrs. Amador and Mrs. Davalos,they we’re the sweetest,and of course my co-teachers and friends.I would like to mention few names,these are amazing persons really,swear!I hope they will not take me out or treat me the next time we’ll see each other.Just saying a big Hi and Hello to Chenny,Mycel,Ruel,Meynard,Jasmin,Ian,Jayrald,Buen,Klarence,Ella,Emcee,Jean,Nina Theresa,Hanna,Aljun,Ace,Mel,Marlo,Shan,April,Marjun,Tina,Elma,Eden,Casie,Lowell and of course Mommy Nhida.I hope I didn’t forget some names especially those who we’re dearest to me.If I did.Please forgive me.

Leuteboro National High School,a public school in the heart of Socorro,Oriental Mindoro

​Time really flies so fast.I am on my second year as a public school teacher here in Oriental Mindoro.My first year was never easy  for I have to adjust in this new environment.Everything was new and I had to deal with it patiently.Well,this is my second year and I am doing very fine.I’m comfortable with things now,including teaching Social Studies which is not in line with my specialization.Dealing with the  subject becomes easier for I am surrounded by people who are easy to work with.Just wanna mention my co-teachers and friends in the Social Studies Department, Sir Gerson,Marchel,Leila and Jepony.Thanks to these awesome people,they welcomed me well in LNHS.Now,I’m on my new journey as an adviser of Grade 10-Julius Caesar,one of the best sections in that grade level,if I must say.

-anabel geneta raymundo-

/lebanagr/

 

I Dare You to Figure Me Out