Long Travels

I have always loved traveling to new places and even more when the journey is quite long. Probably because while growing up, I I’ve had many long travels and I have also gotten to enjoying it. What I like about it is that I have  a lot of time to think about so many things while looking at the fast-changing scenery outside the vehicle. It also allowed me to do some self-checks or review of what has transpired over the past year at school, which often times lead to pointing out the subjects that I need to work on harder next time.

Someday, I’ll travel again and by that time it would be with my family or just me and my wife.

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Dancer != Choreographer

A good dancer doesn’t automatically imply that he/she is also a good choreographer. Some people dance really well but are having a hard time making their own steps much less finishing a choreography for one whole song. I’m one of those people but the only difference is that I strive really, really hard to finish whatever I’ve started.

The difficult part for me is not the lack of steps (except if I want really new and unique ones) but it’s more of balancing the difficulty of the steps I choreograph. I cannot just create steps that  only I can perform. I’d prefer group dancing over solo dance numbers. That’s how dancing should be done. Also, when I choreograph steps, I tend to lose myself by imagining, visualizing myself doing the steps (since most of the time I choreograph is at home with no space to dance). Maybe this is also a factor because remembering everything through your head is time consuming and a bit stressful.

I’m wishing that someday I’d be able to choreograph a dance for a song that I really love and that I’d be able to perform it in front of the people I love. I’ll call it “The Final Vow” or “The Last Dance”. Lol.

Competitiveness

I never had any childhood experience that triggered my competitiveness of today. I don’t have any siblings that I can compare my grades with and I didn’t get jealous even when my cousin I’m living with got 1st honor in kinder and grade 1. It probably started after moving to Digos when I was in grade 3. I have an inconsistent record since kinder I but grade 3 was different. I discovered how strong my memory and association skills are. Getting the top of the class honor at that point made me become more aggressive with my studies. Never letting any single subject have grades lower than 90. That’s what preoccupied my mind back then, but now I realized being competitive is not something I did just to prove that I can do something and be the best among others. It’s something that motivates me to give my best especially when you get to the point that you know there are others way better than you. I love to compete because it’s fun.

If there’s one thing that I won’t compete with others, it would be with dancing. I dance not to impress or to show how good I am at dancing. I dance because I enjoy it. I love to make my body move. And most of all, I love to make people happy with it.

Joannie Melle: How The Name Came To Be

I was fond of combining names of couples back in college and high school. When I finally had my girl friend, I then took the chance of combining our names a year after we were together. I first started with Jonie but it doesn’t sound so good. And then I saw this taxi whose franchise name is Jonie and my mind had this idea of inserting letter ‘a’ in the name, hence Joanie. But because I want it to be unique I doubled letter ‘n’. Since I want the ‘melle’ part of my name to belong to the rightful gender, I put it after Joannie and thus came the name of our future daughter (who is now turning 3 years old next month). =)

I also formed another name which my wife also liked, it’s Jemellaine Mai. That’s one heck of a brute force name mixing of our names if you look closely at it. Hehe.

1st Speech Project: The Precious in Me

The Precious in Me

There’s a Mexican proverb that says, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”. A saying that is quite true but I think is easily misunderstood. Jesus explained it very well through example by hanging out with people regarded as bad ones not for the reason of changing them but because of love. After having thought about it, I’ve recollected that there’s no better way to tell you about myself than to share with you, not about my friends, but about my family.

As you get to know my precious loved ones, you’ll also get to know more about me. In other words, you will know what I am and what I am not.

Let me start with the youngest person, my daughter. Her name is Joannie Melle. She is two years old. She is the sweetest person that I know right now (*ehem* like her father). She hugs, kisses and smiles a lot. She loves to sing and dance. I would carry her in my arms, hold her right hand with my left hand and dance her waltz. She loves it. Whenever I stop, she’d blurt out, “Daddy dancing!” I need to stop because her weight makes it unbearable to make it through one whole song. Apparently, she eats a lot. She’d eat anything even when she just finished a meal.  She loves to mess around with her brother’s toys. While her brother is playing, she’d get one toy from him and laughingly run away like a thief. As sweet as she is, she’s very shy to other people, unlike her father if you may say. She’d cry when other people take notice of her. The most prominent thing about her is that she got the looks from her father: the smile, the eyes, the serious or neutral look and just almost everything.

Now to my next precious loved one, my son. His name is Jamiel Myles. He’s 4 years of age. There’s no denying that he got the looks and skin color from his mother, but it all ends there. He has the naughtiness, the playful antics, an unstoppable mouth and love for dancing as well. It doesn’t take a genius to know where those came from. But beyond those traits that can drive any mother crazy is a kind and giving heart, which is still under development. He knows how to give way for his younger sister especially when I give him “the look.” Kidding aside he’s really kind and you can even ask him to get things for you around the house. He’s very clever, observant and loves to ask questions. One time in Jollibee, we saw the Jollibee mascot entered a room. He asked what Jollibee is doing there. I said he’s going to eat, he then replied but Jollibee can’t open his mouth, he just smiles. Like Jollibee, I just smiled back.

Last and definitely not the least is my dearest wife. Her name is Melanie. We have so many things in common like dancing, love for anime shows and songs and watching movies, but we have more differences than similarities. She likes to sleep often, I prefer being awake even when I’m sleepy. She easily gets mad at me and it takes a while before she talks to me again, while there are only very few instances where my anger lasted for hours. She’s skillful at handicrafts, while I can’t even do basic sewing well. We both love math but she’s the only one  who received the love back. We’re like the earth’s magnetic poles, but it’s because of these differences that we complement each other. She completes me and I complete her.

Well, those are my precious loved ones. I hope you have enjoyed listening and as you get to know me more, you can look back at this speech and compare other things that I share in common with my family. I have this belief that we don’t live to search for life’s meaning; we live because it’s the meaning of life. And the dearest and deepest parts of my life are these people that I have shared with you today. Thank you and have a pleasant day.

2nd Speech Project: When Venus Meets Mars

142 million miles is the distance of Mars from the sun. 67 million miles is the space between the sun and Venus. Subtracting these two values will give us 75 million miles, which is the distance between Venus and Mars. These two planets were used by Dr. John Gray to represent men and women and how the relationship between these two groups works. In reality, the 75-million mile distance is similar to the distance between men and women. It’s a distance that each one must overcome in order to have a good relationship. However, one of them has the disadvantage in terms of finding their partner in life.

This realization came upon me because of a joke I circulated to my group of close friends composed mostly of girls.  They even labeled it as a curse. And the joke, or rather the curse, is that it is because they have me as a friend that they are still single and have no boyfriends yet. They’ve never been in a relationship ever since they met me. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, I do believe it’s just a coincidenceJ, I find it something worth pondering about. I asked myself why it takes so long for that one person meant for them to appear. For how long must a woman wait? Why can’t he come yesterday, last week, last month or last year? I thought and searched for answers. I finally concluded that there’s a disadvantage, that Venus can only do as much to find or have her Mars. More than this conclusion, I found three realizations. First, good looks are not a guarantee that a girl can easily have a boyfriend. You may have friends who are drop dead gorgeous and GF-test passer but are unexpectedly not in a relationship. Second, good personality is not a sure-shot way in securing a relationship. Compatibility covers a lot of aspects and some people don’t just dig into a woman or a man that is goody-goody. And third, that nobody will ever know exactly if a person is the one meant for them. My friends had several prospects they thought to be the one. In the end, the feeling was not mutual or the spark was just not there.

Now, given these reflections, how can Venus meet her Mars then? For the part of Venus, she needs to be patient and ready for the time when Mars will come by to sweep her off her feet. For Mars, who also holds a crucial role, must reach for Venus. From there, they must cooperate to make things work out. And only through that can the disadvantage be solved. There still lies one question for us, where is Mars? Or where is Venus? Both of them may have no knowledge where but they do know they’re just 75 million miles apart. A great distance, yes, but with a Venus willing to wait and a Mars who will make a move as soon as he finds her, it’s just a matter of time for these two worlds to collide.

3rd Speech Project: Keeping The Fire Burning

Michael Jordan, Lea Salonga, Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs. What do these people have in common? You will agree with me that they are considered one of the best in their field. People who have really excelled so much that their accomplishments captivated the hearts and minds of people all over the world. There’s one other thing they have in common and this is the reason why they were able to fulfill larger than life achievements. Do you know what it is? It’s passion. All of them made double efforts, stayed up late to harness their craft, worked like there’s no tomorrow and none of these would have been possible if they were not passionate about what they were doing. Given the exemplary success of prominent figures like them we can conclude that passion is needed to succeed in our endeavors and our endeavors should be something that we are passionate about. I’m not here to talk to you about discovering your passion. You know why we often love to know the stories behind the success of people like those I mentioned? How MJ won 3 championships in a row two times? Or how Lea got the roles in broadway and Disney animated movies? We all know that they practice a lot but that’s not the secret we want to know. We want to know how they consistently did it. How they were able to muster such discipline and passion. And what I’m going to share with you today are three ways I think that can keep that fire within us burning.

First, know everything that you can about your passion. The ups and downs, the ebony and the ivory. Passion can start from being attracted to a basic aspect of the whole and some people quit upon learning the grander scale of it. You can only confirm if it’s really genuine passion when you still have that same enthusiasm after knowing everything about it. How does this help you in keeping your passion alive? One, there’s a big chance that the other aspects can excite you even more and it would be your motivation to keep going and going at it. Two, it would help you know how to face the not-so-beautiful aspects of it, which will lead us to the second way. Accept the fact that passion doesn’t completely ease the difficulty of the work, it just makes all your effort worth it. To quote Steve Jobs, “passion won’t protect you from setbacks, but it will insure that no failure is ever final.” You can’t keep doing something expecting that each step in the journey will make things easier for you. Having this kind of mindset will cause the passion to die a slow death because you will be burnt out due to unmet expectations. Whenever there’s consistent hard work, there’s also consistent difficulty. Now, the third step, share your success with other people and be inspired by their support and success as well. Your success may have a direct or indirect positive impact on other people. You have to share your success so you can have more room to grow and to aspire for. You keep doing it because you make people happy with it. There’s nothing more uplifting than to have people wanting, wishing and praying for you to succeed. The support of other people will serve as the backbone of one’s journey towards success. One may last without the first and second steps but without this third step, everything you have worked on can be gone when you hit rock bottom along the way.

Remember these three steps. Know your passion very well, accept that the difficulty will always be there and have people that you can inspire and support you all the way. Keep your passion alive because this is what keeps us alive and achieve something. As Steve Jobs said, “it’s the fuel that keeps you going when there is no outside validation of your dream.”