interweaving the strands

State of Mind

When you suddenly feel too angry or frustrated, take a walk, or do some exercise to clear your head. Better to just walk it off instead of letting your emotions drag you. It’s not good to stress yourself out for the little things. If we could get some help from other people who would pull us away from the “stress”, then that’s good. If no one is around at that instance, remember to try walking to release the fume.

Continue reading “State of Mind”


The little plant


When we decided to fix our room, a trend followed.

It has been a pressing issue to fix our things at home, to get rid of clutter and just make space to the once empty flat. The house is filled with clutter where many things were left untouched over the years. I understand how difficult it is to schedule a clean-up or to make one move especially after a long day at work. When you get home, you just want to relax and take a rest. You tell yourself, it’s fine, you’ll just have to fix the things tomorrow and then tomorrow and… so forth.

I told my professor how bringing in a new furniture had helped bring about change in the whole place and the clean-up sparked. People were inspired to sort their things too, part by part, we started to organize different parts of the house. People in the house became energized to fix their things and make more room by cleaning, sorting and throwing away things we no longer need. It turns out that we got more space than we thought.

My professor said that I’m like the girl who brought in a plant and changed everything. She related to me a story of a little plant that a girl saved and placed it in their home. When she saw how cluttered the place in their veranda where the plant was set down, she felt the urge to clean and organize the things after cleaning the window. The house became so clean and she thought that the other parts of the house were still filled with clutter and dust. She set out to clean the whole house. The whole neighborhood saw how clean her house was and so they too started to clean their houses. In the end, the whole neighborhood became really clean.

Something small could really bring about a difference. The important thing is taking action, bit by bit, no matter how small; eventually it would add up to something grand or simply amazing. Hopefully, the spark won’t be put off and the trend will continue.

The Life of Gaming

Wherever you turn, everyone’s holding a gadget.

I am not a gamer myself, but having the chance to possess a smartphone, I realized that it’s a good pastime to play and to get mind off things. Once you’re immersed in the gaming scene, it would be difficult to keep your attention on anything else other than the one on the screen. It can also provide an avenue for topics to discuss that at times it gets too grave that people who are not familiar with games would think that you’re having a serious discussion. Upon mentioning ‘someone won’t die’, or ‘this person already died’, or relaying some details of the story make it sound realistic enough that the adults would presume you are talking about someone’s unfortunate flight. But then it’s just a game or an anime, a story from a series or a movie.

Sometimes though, the game gets too intense or it’s eating too much of our time. The smartphones and other gadgets we use are supposed to connect us together, but our focus shifts to that gadget, and keep ourselves secluded in that world. Games draw us in, as if our full attention is needed to complete the tasks at hand. It is true for some games, where a sudden distraction could actually cause us failure to finish the level or to defeat the monsters. Some have time constraints that if disturbed could actually cause the wrath of the one playing. I’ve tried it myself. If you are told to wait, better do so until the person completes the level or reached a save point if it’s an RPG.

The sphere of gaming covers a wide range of choices that has affected our lifestyle. It can be a good way to relax, to slice the fruits as in Fruit Ninja or make fun of our boss as we are letting out our anger on our situation or on people. It can be any word game, puzzle, basketball, mystery game, runs, etc. It can make waiting more fun and ascribe more patience to people as they get absorbed to the game, they won’t even realize that time has passed quickly. At the same time, it can also segregate communication, being too engrossed with the game leave us absorbed to a digital world that we are in fact not living in. Some games nowadays are also violent but in a cartoon or graphic manner so people would think that it’s okay. But it promotes a negative notion that it’s okay to treat people that way, probably thinking they deserve it, or it just is fun, as some would say. Due to the advancement of technology, the graphics become more and more realistic and at times it might even feel real even when you’re just in front of the TV screen supposing that you’re the one holding the ball or the gun. It is helpful to put some limitations, like allot a time in a day where you would play, limit a few lives and then it’s time to spare your attention to the people around you or the things you need to attend to. Trying to hit that mark or complete the three stars could actually waste much of our time. (Don’t wait till you missed the dentist appointment because of playing Angry Birds/Candy Crush.) It can be very time-consuming when you think about it as my cousin would say that she removed some applications on her phone so that she wouldn’t play them anymore. The games are good to pass time such as when you are stuck in the traffic. Place a satisfaction level so that there’s a goal and at the same time fulfillment. Don’t be too engrossed as to fall into addiction. After the game, do stretching exercises, walk about, and remember to know how and when to stop.

A friend’s mom missed her dentist appointment because of playing Angry Birds.

My uncle plays candy crush frequently and loudly. The moment he sits in a car, or any place where he has to wait, you’d here the ‘deng!’ sound and would know that it’s candy crush.

“Napakanta ko na ang mga zombies!” remarked my sister’s officemate’s dad real proud after finishing the entire game of plants vs. zombies. Until now, I haven’t finished it yet. Stuck in the rooftop level and only passing the levels at several tries.


Fire Drill

The fire alarm sounded. You’d be able to smell the smoke coming out from a part of the building, but you don’t panic. It’s just a fire drill. The sound doesn’t stop, urging you to go down and leave all the things behind. That’s how we’ve been taught, in emergency situations you can’t stay too long to gather everything you need, just bring the valuables and leave as soon as you can. The security guard checks in to account that all people have gone down. What to do now?

  1. Dismiss going all the way down because there are many more things to do and it’s too tiring to use the stairs. When you get down, you have to go all the way up again. (Though you actually have the option to use the elevator this time around)
  2. Hide inside the cubicle till the drill is over.
  3. If you’re lucky, ride the elevator down (having been tipped) prior to the drill and roam around the stores nearby. Escape the heat of the scorching sun and just go back when all is over.

As in our experience in the University, the drill takes longer than expected and people don’t know how to respond to emergency situations because of not seriously going through the drills. There is an element of surprise though, in that, you’d suddenly hear the alarm and wonder what has happened. We hear the Discipline Officers uttering that it took so long before everyone gathered together in the designated area. When it’s a true emergency, people would rush out of the building, probably not caring about the safety of others and could even cause stampede. I remember back in our elementary and high school years, when the fire alarm sounds, we would all be asked to form lines and go down the stairs. No need to bring any bags with us. The end place to meet would be the quadrangle or any open space area. The drill would be timed – I forgot if it is per year level or per section. One time, it was in our typing class then that the alarm sounded, our teacher then, Mrs. Racho, hurriedly called everyone’s attention to immediately go down. We reached the meeting place quite early.

For office spaces of high-rise buildings, you’d definitely think twice to go down the flight of stairs. Imagine a 35-storey building or more than that. If ever you decide to go down, once you reach the ground floor, you’d be really thirsty and probably had a month’s worth of exercise. Since usually people here have a sedentary lifestyle, and work comprised of sitting in front of the computer, that much workout could bring about ill-feeling and would just file a leave the next day. Some would opt to roam around the nearby shops to cool down and just go back when all is over.

Hopefully, people will take the drills seriously because it’s for their own good.

5 Alternatives to our routine life


Ever wondered if you like what you’re doing right now? How about the job you’re keeping or simply the life you’re living? I’ve been asked this question many times before, but recently in our online class “Grow to Greatness”, our professor also presented the question to ask ourselves how do we feel about our current job. At some point in our life, we get tired of our daily routine, we struggle and easily feel discouraged to move forward but because we have to, we still keep to our routines. The list below is nothing like adventure or exciting activities but somehow has proven to be a good shift at least for my own experience.

  1. Do something you like, whether it’s a hobby, something you like to do for a long time now but haven’t done so. Submit to what you are craving to do but have been repeatedly putting off. Maybe this is the time to just hop and don’t mind what other people might say but that the important thing is we are living.
  2. Find something to do especially when waiting. You can read a book, write something, take pictures, that way, you get to make the most out of your waiting time. I have been used to waiting; waiting for a class, waiting for the ride home, a long queue and other things that could really test our patience. Waiting has become worthwhile for me because I just had to have a notebook and pen and I can scribble or doodle. Sometimes I simply walk about and get the dose of exercise at that moment. People are still puzzled how come I’m too patient, but somehow that helped in the countless times that I have to wait.
  3. Watch something entertaining or something that would let your mind off the things that you worry about. Don’t just watch though, find an activity that you can do simultaneously with this; such as: piecing a puzzle, while doing house chores, or other tasks. In the end, you won’t feel like you have wasted so much of your time just watching TV. I have read though that multitasking is not that beneficial to the brain, but at least watching doesn’t require the mind to think much so this is when we could do something mechanical or even puzzles (Lego, nanoblocks, etc).
  4. Listen to Music. Find something on youtube or ask for recommendations. When you’re feeling down, try to listen to upbeat songs. Just like in (五月天) Mayday’’s伤心的人别聽慢歌 [ShangXinDeRenBieTingManGe] song, which means that sad people shouldn’t listen to slow songs. Find something that could uplift your spirits, because music can be influential and soothing to our moods. Music can also change a really bad scene to an inspiring one. The lyrics and the melody that people write have the capacity to calm down our spirits, give us hope and allow us to easily relate to the stories weaved by musicians all over the globe, indeed, “Music Never Sleeps”.
  5. Stop saying you don’t have time. It’s not about being free all the time, it’s about making time. It might appear that you have more free time, but that’s because you managed your schedule very well and swiftly handled all your responsibilities. Even just a fifteen minute break a day or when someone invites you for lunch of coffee, grab that opportunity to unwind. It would be beneficial to be able to have someone to talk to, or to have change of scenery and you’d realize that the things that clogged you up back home or at work would be unessential, at least in that moment. Read a good book, take an online course, enroll in a language class, allot a few hours for these things and develop an alone time where you can feel at ease with yourself and somehow be more graceful in your daily life.

12 Paths to Recovery from Stress

I realized that people fear a lot of things that is why they tend to ignore that problems do exist or make up their own version of story, the one that is appealing to them or that they want to accept. I felt that God gave us more courage to face the situations, remaining true to ourselves, in what we see and still considering other’s disposition. Somehow we have grown up and still learning. It’s with slowly letting go and not being affected by what they say or do to us that will help us move forward. Continue reading “12 Paths to Recovery from Stress”

Re-organize 1.0

Pulling in new furniture could be a positive move. We decided to replace two of our old Durabox which was from our old apartment to one drawer cabinet. As we searched the stores that sell furniture, we spotted one from Dimensione and surprisingly it’s much cheaper than the ones we saw from other stores, it is more spacious and looks sturdier.

The delivery came and now I am forced to organize my files and things that took up the space of the old Durabox. I did think of putting everything into one box and even told my cousin if only I could stack them all together and just burn them or throw them out (more environmental according to my sister, why contribute to the pollution?), that way I won’t have to sort them one by one. Right now, I have placed the important things inside our new drawer cabinet, and stacked the other stash of papers in a travel bag and a sack. I have yet to sift through those things and see what to save and what to get rid. I am the one with many things in the room that my sister and I share. The good thing is that I have learned from to give away the things that I don’t need, and that we do a regular clean-up and surveying what we can donate, recycle or trash. I’m glad that there are organizations and places that we can drop recyclable items regularly, so we do collect plastic bottles, glass bottles, newspapers, etc and give them for recycling every Monday. For some electronic wastes, I just drop them off at our school which has a bin for any e-waste.

Last week, our househelp and I started a spontaneous clean-up in the kitchen, organizing and weighing the things that should be kept and those that should be thrown away. The clean-up for the rooms started when we decided to clean and fix some things from our parent’s room. It is a tough challenge because we can’t decide for the things we don’t own. We didn’t touch much there, just threw away some unimportant things and expired or really old items. There were stash of plastic bags and paper bugs that took up a lot of space. Generally, we haven’t organized and cleaned much there. We had to cram before our parents arrive, so a huge part of it is remained unorganized. We should probably schedule a couple more rounds of cleaning and organizing.

My dad remarked that he found out there’s a lot more space he was able to make when he sorted his things. That’s true. Somehow, our move for clean-up and replacing our storage was fruitful, it somehow mobilized the entire household to do the same. They were interested with the containers we emptied out. Hopefully, we could find new homes for old stuffs that are left unused, sort the clutter and be able to create more room in our once spacious home. In our daily lives, we collect clutter and get too complacent or lazy to organize the things. They start to build up wherever and whenever we leave them be instead of putting them back to their original place.

Organizing is still a challenging task but somehow putting things in category will help set the urge to keep our belongings in order. I have a challenge to myself to overcome, to compress the notebooks and papers I have to Word documents and to finally de-clutter.

Adding Flavor

Spontaneous cooking could be fun and as you work through the recipes and available ingredients you have in the house, you’d realize you are able to improvise, be creative and resourceful. Making cooking a habit makes this activity fun and not the least of a bother. Of course, I won’t be able to do everything by myself without the help of our household cook, or my sister. But generally, we could accomplish all the dishes with an average of one hour. As we explore other styles of cooking, we are able to add more color and flavor to our daily meals as well as the inventory of our recipes. Even though nobody taught us how to cook, we learn every time we get to action, produce hearty meals and share them with family and friends. I do believe that I must have inherited some genes on the talent of cooking from my grandmother.

Sometimes, our meals can become monotonous so it would be nice to try something different than the usual. As we start cooking again, we search now for ingredients that we don’t have and add them to our stock. I think what’s important in cooking is working together, teaming up especially if there are people who can help you. We all learn in the process, one just have to brace the kitchen, pick-up the knife and start chopping. It is quite intimidating how they portray cooking on dramas where the output is always burned, too salty or too bland for someone who doesn’t cook, Then cooking shows came into the limelight, and celebrity chefs surfaced. There would be many cooking shows telling us how easy cooking is and how you can do them at home, those that you find in the menu of a restaurant and make them look very appetizing and encouraging too. There’s Jamie Oliver, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, etc. I am inspired when I watch the cooking shows on TV or when I read their blog posts or even seeing photographs of food. I am grateful for the posts we easily find on the internet, the recipes that people share and as we follow through the steps and improvise with the ingredients in the process, we are able to produce a really nice outcome. My sister and I are easily satisfied, after all, as we joked with our cousin, we could go out and eat, or cook and eat, the bottomline is EATING.  It is nice too when our family and friends appreciate the meal we prepared. It is a joyous feeling to be able to share a meal with people you love to spend time with.

One of the fun activity associated with cooking is taking photographs of the outcome, and also posting them to my Instagram. Some of the fruits of our trials are below:

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On moving

Change is inevitable but we have to undergo it. It may not always be pleasant but we gain something precious out of it (and get rid of unwanted clutter in our life). Our department offices moved to a different building. We had to undergo sorting, packing, throwing away documents and other things, some have been untouched for 20 years as I have been informed. They haven’t moved for a long time and things kept piling up. Suddenly, they were asked to move and that felt like organizing your whole life. The positive thing about this is forced de-cluttering. Every year or better if we do it frequently to survey the things we have, then sort those that we need and those that we no longer want. This way, we will have better opportunities for new things to come, we will be able to create more space. In the process of organizing, our senior professors even found submissions in betamax or VHS tapes when nowadays it is CDs, USBs, and even uploading online. They found piles of research papers, old theses, project submissions that took up a lot of space but end up not receiving any attention over the years. They threw out a lot of things but there were a lot that ended up in boxes that would be sorted if they “find the time” and remember where they stocked the items. As always, moving entails starting anew with the new space we are given. It is challenging to sift, sort and organize ALL the things that you accumulated over the years and hopefully the new space won’t become like the old one. It also requires a little getting used to; just that, most of the time the space is being filled up quite easily. Moving could be exhausting but can also be rewarding. It does involve a lot of physical work, could be time consuming and stressful all at the same time. After the move, we’d take a step back to uncover the things that are hidden for a long time now, finally deal with them and eventually find new things to replace the old ones. The new environment gives us chance to organize, re-decorate and maintain the order. It is fun and refreshing too.

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