Sunday, January 31, 2010


I have encountered this very encouraging and inspiring video shared by Teacher Sol who is a Filipino teacher in the United States of America. The video struck a chord in me and pushed me again to BELIEVE. Believe in myself as a teacher and the tremendous impact that I could bring in this world. Believe in my students who would be the future of our world. Yes, I believe!

How about you? Do you believe? Whether you're a teacher or not, I encourage (if not force) you to watch this video and tell me if you do also believe.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Problems Are Blessings in Disguise

"Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problem, you don't get any seed."- Norman Vincent Peale

I am trying to imagine how life could have been without problems. Absolutely, there would be no sorrows and pains. But how it would be like? Unimaginable, I believe.

When stricken with problems, a lot of things usually happen in me. Aside from my immediate painful reaction, I flinch on digging out for as many solutions as I could. I take every possible step towards its solution and, to say, it's never been easy but I learned a lot.

I realize that a problem could be a blessing in disguise for every journey towards its solution provides building blocks of experiences which could eventually hone our character. Without problems, life would never be the same for problems in their own way had brought me to where I am right now. Faith, perseverance, honesty and ingenuity were just some of the values I developed while facing life's many problems.

I hope we could continue to optimistically look at life's many perplexities!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teacher's Block

A Mathematics teacher, I often struggle from this treacherous state during the planning stage of my lesson. Times come in which I lose ideas on how to present a lesson in such a way that it would grab the students’ fleeting attention. I call it Teacher's Block and I don't know if other teachers have also suffered this kind of frustration before.

Lecture and exposition usually become my last resort but I know exactly how students struggle from this method of teaching especially with a subject full of constants and variables which seem to be irrelevant when not carefully delivered and understood. I should have laid myself in my comfort zone but I know that it’s not the best thing to do. So instead of dwelling into this negative thought and emotion, I direct my attention to the hundreds of inspiring blogs and websites made by teachers who noticeably find ultimate joy and fulfillment in teaching. I believe that no matter how you love a certain thing, you still need a daily dose of inspiration to keep your passion burning. Thanks to the latest technology which allows us to get support and advice even from the people we do not know!

Until now, I am really wondering how Teacher’s Block could thump an educator like me. Actually, I needed time to reflect so that the thoughts could sink in my soul and tell me the reasons. Finally, I noticed that these reasons are not beyond my turf and they are personally controllable. I need to gain FOCUS!

Usually, I become overwhelmed when loads of works are laid in front of me. I want to finish all of them almost in an instant that’s why I fail to sort them out according to priority. Oftentimes, I would like to have a taste of each of them until I realize that I am already bored doing a particular thing and so I have to pick another one. It’s a chain and the story goes on until I would realize that I finished nothing. Naturally, I would become frustrated and my motivation to do another task would soon come to naught.

This condition I call Teacher’s Block could be avoided if one knows how to sort his tasks according to priority. It’s true that teachers are usually loaded with bunch of works like lesson and instructional materials preparation, learning assessment and many other side tasks but with proper time management and ardent focus, Teacher’s Block could be avoided. Each one of us only needs a positive attitude and genuine passion towards our job for no one could love it more than we could love it. As a teacher, my greatest reward is the tremendous power that is within me. The future leaders are in my classroom but with negative attitude and complacency, I could turn them into criminals. “What a power!,” I think. But as Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

So Teacher's Block no more!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Staying Thankful and Hopeful in 2010

Finally, it’s 2010! It’s almost four years that passed since I first stepped in an airline which brought me here in Thailand. I was younger then and still had plenty of musings on the perplexities of life. With all those musings, I had a dream I kept within and the youth that has been within me has pushed me to be the dream that I have always been seeing in my mind’s eye. I’m not yet living in dreams but with the life that I have been enjoying, gratitude could never have any way to escape.

I am very thankful for the many blessings which have been profusely poured into my path as I trudged my own road towards this year 2010. Relatively, they were not colossal but they were more than enough to turn out some changes in my life.

1.Friendship. It’s the most precious gift I have ever received in 2009 and the preceding years. I would always stay humble and thankful to those people who have showed great compassion and interest in my life. Some of them I met personally and regularly and have been through my joys and difficulties. Others are so distant yet our virtual relationship has ignited my innermost soul and has inspired me to do better in every way.

2.Wisdom. I thank for a mind which has always been open and ready for life’s major changes as I journey towards victory.

3.Health. I would always thank for the good health which I have been enjoying in all those years. I am very thankful that I could still wake up every morning with my senses clearly feeling the wonders of life with its little miracles.

4.Purpose. Life has always been wonderful especially when you know that you’re living for a certain purpose. I consider my purpose as one of life’s abundant gifts for every purpose lived brings joy to my soul.

5.Discipline. I admit, I hardly had any of it but I am still thankful for this small amount of discipline which allows me to live a life away from misery.

I would stay thankful for all those gifts and hopeful that I would get plenty of them this year. Life is so wonderful that I always want to live it with bounty of friendship, wisdom, health, purpose and discipline.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

5 on the Fifth: Faces of Water

5 on the Fifth? This might sound strange to some of you. No, I am not telling yet that the world would end the biggest show of life so soon. In fact, I believe those dubious prophesies only sound like being economical to the truth.

The '5 on the Fifth' I am talking about is the one that could be entangled in every photo connoisseur's senses especially to the tenderfoots. I learned about this from the comment of Stephen Chapman in my blog post "Here Comes Manila" and I instantly decided that I would give a shot into it.5 on the Fifth is a monthly posting participated by bloggers, photographers and the like. Anyone can participate by taking 5 photographs on the 5th of the month or the days leading up to the 5th. A participant could randomly take photos or follow the theme as suggested by Stephen Chapman.

This month, the theme is 'Water' and so I share my collection of water photographs I personally called 'Faces of Water'. Some of the pictures have been in my collection for a couple of months while the others were freshly taken from the corners of my sanctuary. You may double click the picture to view it with better resolution.


Silence Means Deep

Along the Shore

Drop of Water

Water: Solid and Liquid

More water photographs HERE.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pinoy Expats Blog Awards 2009

The 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards has been a very successful event and a remarkable evening for OFW bloggers and all Filipino bloggers in general. The awarding night was graced by different personalities and dazzled by amazing performances from incredible Filipino talents. It was a night full of splendor and extravaganza as awards for the Top 10 Blogs, Best Blogs by Region and Special Awards and Citations were given. Raffle prizes and souvenirs were also given away to the attendees.

I have been so touched by the production number performed by the Philippine Stagers Foundation. The goosebumps were even made more penetrating through the advocacies of Juana Change and the inspiring speeches of former DSWD secretary Dinky Soliman and Susan Ople of Blas F. Ople Policy Center. Rising Pinoy bands plus a dance troupe and a choir were also there to entertain the audience. I really felt like a real hero even before I received the award. :)

The night has almost ended when "Wits and Spirits" was called for a major award. I did not expect that my unfussy blog would land to the top 3 among the 37 blogs of Pinoy Expats/OFWs. Surprisingly, "Wits and Spirits" was also cited as the Best Blog for Asia and the Pacific. I was almost speechless that night but nevertheless, thankfulness was still running through my head moving down to my mouth causing it to utter some words of thanks and dedication. It was a surprise especially that the history of this blog was just a matter of homesickness and hunger for an outlet of expression. My close friends in Bangkok knew exactly how "Wits and Spirits" was coined after a spur-of-the-moment island escapade in Eastern Thailand. Not to mention, this blog has literally evolved until it got its own niche before 2008 ended.

Before I would sound dramatic, I have to notice that I have been mustering too much for this post. Too much because what I only wanted to say is thank you or "Khawb Khoon Khrap" in Thai. To those who have voted and raised this blog to the top 11 by popularity vote, thank you very much. To those who have inspired me to write, a blog entry is not enough to thank you guys. Thank you very much for trusting in my talents and abilities especially when nobody thought I had it. This award is just a simple beginning -- a simple step towards the realization of my little advocacy and mission of inspiring the youths to follow their dreams. I hope that this blog would continue to breath and endure like hope in the midst of dark and misty clouds.

I would also like to congratulate the other winners and of course to those who have participated. Everyone is a winner!