Filipinos are known to be among the happiest people in the world, and anybody who has been to the Philippines will attest that the Pinoys’ remarkable ability to face anything with a happy and positive outlook truly is what sets them apart from the rest of the world.
More than the diversity of the country’s natural resources and its often-cited world-class beaches, it is the Filipino’s warm hospitality and happy character that has inspired the Department of Tourism’s It’s More Fun in the Philippines campaign.
“The Filipino culture is hard to define. We’re mixed, we’re diverse. But the best thing about visiting the Philippines and what sets us apart from other countries is our people. We’re our country’s greatest treasure,” Bogart the Explorer said.
—Happy Filipino (Manila Bulletin)
“Age doesn’t matter. He is 17 years older than me, but it didn’t pose a problem to us. Being older makes him much more experienced. He is mature enough to handle our problems. He understands me. When I become too emotional, he just lets me blow off steam. When I say things, he doesn’t mind them. I guess, marriage is about accepting the imperfections of your partner. To look for a perfect person will just give you a hard time with your life. There is no such thing as a perfect person, everyone has a flaw. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you’ll have a happy ending.” —In love with Batanes’ Beauty, Ma. Glaiza Lee (Manila Bulletin)
“Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then, you will be able to decide what God wants for you, and you will be able to know what is good and pleasing to God and what is perfect.”
This is the part of me that you’ll never, ever take away from me.
After all, familiarity begins with unfamiliarity. In between those phases we might expect and fail, aim but deviate, give but lose, because things may turn out differently from what we want, or people might not turn out the way we thought they would be. In the end, nevertheless, we grow an inch stronger and wiser, with lessons as weapons we can use in life.
Your parents have been stressing that the right guy will come at the right time, in God’s time. But when do we know for sure? Have to quote one of my favorite Coldplay song lines (because it always rings true): “If you never try, you’ll never know.” Because sometimes, the more we keep waiting for the right thing, person, or time, the riskier it gets missing out or losing something what could’ve been rightfully ours, because either we’re looking too far ahead or we content ourselves in staying stuck. This is what I perceive of our Creator: He didn’t give us free will merely for display, for a word to thicken the dictionary; He gave us that in order for us to make choices, to eventually take the wheel and sail our ship to God-knows-where.
Please don’t get me wrong, I respect your parents and we get it, they only want the best for you just like everyone else’s folks. We’ll always be grateful for that. In truth, however, they can only do so much for us. Ideally, our parents are the wind beneath our wings. Never should they be one that would clip them and prevent us from soaring. Shielding us from pain would only make us more susceptible to it. As what many would say, we just have to choose something (or someone) that will make all the pain worth it. In setting us “free,” our parents send the message that they trust us enough to make the right decisions, of course without forgetting the principles they’ve ingrained in us. And if we stumble, we’d get back on our feet. That trust would give us the confidence that we can be self-reliant whether they are around or not.
At the end of the day, we are responsible for our own happiness. If ever we fail to take a chance on what we want just because of other people’s rules, it’s only us who would suffer. I don’t wish to scare you. What I hope for you, and for the rest of us twenty-somethings, is to be able to look back in our life one day without having to ask “What if?” That even if our hearts get crushed, pounded, and shattered, we are able to smile because we tried.
Fall in love. Get your heart broken. Fight for your heart’s desire. Carve your own happy ending. You deserve it. You have the right to do it.
—Carve Your Own Happy Ending: An Open Letter to Sarah Geronimo, Rowena Joy. A Sanchez (Manila Bulletin)
Totally absorbed by the sound of their Ipods or Mp3s or engrossed in building connections with somebody somewhere through their cellphones, they become oblivious to their surroundings. They regard as essential only those projected in their technological gadgets; un-essential, are those not sensed by them via their computers or cellphones.
Making these people seem isolated and holed up in their comfort zones with their digital gadgets intact. Technology breeds citizens who tend to be complacent, individualistic, oblivious, or uncaring. Preoccupied with just the use of their devices to know about their world, they neglect experience actual or real happenings around them, much less, to ponder on what they can contribute to or share with their fellow citizens to eliminate some eyesores they are exposed to during their riding experience or in their communities.
Cast into a state of oblivion by technology, avid computer or cellphone users remain just plain observers or hearers in technopolis they belong to. Unmindful of one or two issues, they don’t care thinking critically or creatively of things beneficial to their surroundings.
Giving no arrest or control to the youths’ wanton use of these technological items is propagating the culture of oblivion; thereby, moving this country further away from progress, let alone the increasing economic woes of some people habituated to peso-to-peso cellphone loading, day in and day out, for not-so-urgent calling or texting.
—Esther L. Baraceros (Philippine Panorama, Manila Bulletin)
I’d never loved anyone, even when I was normal, never had anyone want to be with me, other than because of who I was, how much stuff I had, and how good I was at partying. I hadn’t cared much. I just wanted the same thing the girls wanted, a good time. There was time for the other stuff later.
But what were the chances I’d ever find someone to really love me now? And maybe loving her back would be the hardest part of all.
—Beastly, Alex Flinn