August 29, 2009

Balete Tree

This was taken during one of our inspection in Malasag, Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City in February 2007. The tree is called balete tree. Some or if not most Filipinos don't like balete tree especially the wild one because they say that it's a home to different kinds of spirits and demon-like creatures. In other cultures though, it is considered sacred and a wish fulfilling divine tree.

August 15, 2009

The Story of Rose

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, “Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug? “I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “of course, you may!” And she gave a giant squeeze. “Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked. She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…” “No, seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. “I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” She told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Everyday for the next three months we would leave class together and talk non-stop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time-machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she revealed in the attention bestowed upon her from the students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.” As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor everyday. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets!”

She concluded her speech by courageously singing, “The Rose.” She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you’ll finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it! REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL!

We make a living by what we get! We make a LIFE by what we give. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
--Author: Unknown--

August 08, 2009

Making a Difference

There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn.
In the distance he saw a frail old man.
As he approached the old man, he saw him picking up stranded
starfish and throwing them back into the sea.
The young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again
threw the small starfish from the sand to the water.
He asked, "Old man, why do you spend so much energy doing
what seems to be a waste of time."
The old man explained that the stranded starfish would die
if left in the morning sun.
"But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish!"
exclaimed the young man. "How can you make any difference?"
The old man looked at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw
it to the safety of the sea, he said, "It makes a difference to this one!".