Tag Archives: change

A Tale as Old as Time

It is understandable that many people (majority of them girls) would love the classic film from the 90’s. I personally do, too. But to give away two IMAX tickets with a Krispy Kreme treat included as prize for a Beauty-and-the-Beast-themed essay contest is definitely out of the ordinary. This friend of mine has this passion that is amusing and inspiring at the same time. There is something with the way she deeply loved Beauty and the Beast that triggered my imagination. Maybe that’s how they say passion is contagious. So, to give due recognition of my friend’s love for the tale that’s as old as time, let me write my share of the essay — no matter how past the deadline it would be. 

If you were the beast, how are you going to change to unleash the princess in you and why? Discuss your motivation for change. 

Many times we relate with Belle — being adventurous, almost perfect, admired by all, and with some person needing our love and compassion. It is one question we ask ourselves only when we are forced to give an answer: can I possibly love someone who is beastly on the outside but tender on the inside? Often, we see ourselves as one who gives understanding, never the one who needs changing. Always the Beauty, never the Beast.

But as one of my writer friends wrote, there is a beast in every heart. Inside each of us is someone as irritating as she is irritable, self-centered, arrogant, lazy, and undeserving of love. The moment we realize this, the long-loved movie begins to take on a different perspective. So, if I were the beast, how do I break the curse and unleash the prince within me? Let me first share a few of my musings on the movie:

1. Recognize love when you see it.

The unexpected arrival of Maurice at the castle appeared as intrusion, which angered the Beast. But when Belle volunteered to be a substitute for her father out of love, the Beast recognized it. It is something unheard of in the castle for years, something both familiar and new at the same time. Something heartwarming. And he decided to welcome it home. And so, the journey to transformation began.

 
2. Let love have its way.

Having Belle in the castle changed the way things were done. Suddenly there was someone in the house with a positive vibe, and the house staff seemed to favor and imitate her disposition. The Beast had to adjust. He learned to warm up, open up, be kinder, and be considerate. He learned to look beyond his selfish needs. It felt as if the song was playing in the background, “Bittersweet and strange… Finding you can change…  Learning you were wrong…” The Beast learned to let love have its way in him, and it changed him on the inside. Maybe that is how change takes place sometimes. It must first happen on the inside

3. Let love take its place. 

After some time, Belle learned to love the castle. The staff (aka living kitchenware) were expectant that the curse would be broken. So did the Beast. But, more importantly, he was looking forward to forever with Belle. But when Belle had to attend to her father’s terrible condition, the Beast decided to send her home — even if that means letting go of the chance to break the curse, and letting go of the chance at forever. The Beast learned to let love take control of his destiny, and counted the cost for it. The same love gave way for Gaston to attack and kill him. But the same love finally broke the curse and set the stage for a love that, as fairy taletellers write, would live happily ever after. 

The moral of the story resonates with me in the sense that it highlights how love changes a person. And I think that could best answer the question of how to unleash the royalty within each person. Love makes you brave, yet kind; strong, and at the same time tender. It enables you to make the toughest decisions and offer the greatest sacrifices.

The song says, “Certain as the sun, rising in the east. Tale as old as time, Song as old as rhyme…” This love story has been around for as long as one could remember. The story of an unlovable beast receiving undeserved love and attention goes way back… to the cross. “While we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Love came to save us and change us. Change happens when love takes over. What is the greatest motivation for change? Love. And the greatest love one can ever have? God’s love. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). If one needs changing, he should come to God. Does your situation in life needs changing? Seek God. You will find that He will not just change your situation, but He will first change you and unleash the royalty within you. 

I didn’t get to win Franny’s contest, but I did get to watch Beauty and the Beast with my siblings. Thanks, Cherry Mobile family!! ❤

Perfectly Imperfect: Cyborg Girl

Oh, the power of foreign movies.

In the past two weeks I’ve been sleeping late because of a Japanese movie and a Korean drama series that Ate Michelle lured encouraged me to watch. The movie is Cyborg Girl by a director-writer from South Korea named Kwak Jae-yong.

The story tells of a lonely man named Jiro, celebrating his birthday alone for years because he has no family, until an almost perfect girl came from seemingly nowhere and made his 21st birthday unforgettably magical. But then she had to go. One year passed with no single trace of her. His waiting was rewarded when exactly on his 22nd birthday, she came back–with a message from the future.  She was everything to him. The beauty that left him dazzling. The perfection that made him feel everything is alright. The color that altered his boring life. The strength that rescued him from tragedy. She was everything… but real. She was a cyborg from the future. He loved her, cared for her, revealed his heart to her. But, she could not feel.

The story ended with a literal happy ever after (which I am not going to spill over here). But if you wanna know the story in detail plus the sought-after ending, you can check one good review here. You can find another review here where the movie is analyzed comparatively with the other films directed by Kwak Jae-yong.

I didn’t get the ending at one viewing so I had to re-watch it twice. After it dawned on me, I couldn’t figure out my emotions. But because I tend to over-absorb whatever movie I watch, I reflected on the movie and eventually two questions crossed my mind.

How much do we want to control time, and consequently, life?

Probably like Jiro, it’s a boring life we live today or a sad situation we do not want to be in. Maybe it’s a broken past that keeps on haunting us and affecting every day that we breathe. Or yet, maybe it is a part of the future which we couldn’t wait to know. These are the moments we wish we could control time and twist it the way we wanted.

How much are we controlled by our emotions?

Many times our decisions and actions are determined by our emotions. Be it anger, bitterness, love or any sort of emotion, it has the power to drive us, to determine our lives. Jiro lived the rest of his life building the love story he hoped would last–and it changed the course of his life forever.

This beautiful movie has a lot of implications–on philosophy, time travel, infinity, and many more. It is a launching pad for many to air their personal beliefs. But one insight I gained here is the significance of an All-knowing Being who orchestrates this universe and everything else within and without. Apart from the context of the perfect will of that All-powerful Being, everything is chaotic. Everything is a confusion. Every quest is a search for an answer, to an end which only leads to another quest for what could be.

I am just thankful. With the truth that a loving Creator wonderfully made me to live with Him towards perfection, I am at peace.

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Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.”

Job 42:1-3

Letter About the (Not so) Special Guy

Today I got surprised by yet another letter from the past which I forgot I wrote. Exactly last year I was writing about a guy who had taken a special place in my heart. But now I cannot even remember his name! The only thing that remains is the reminder that stands so true and so important even today, exactly one year after the letter has been written. So, to give you a glimpse of the letter from FutureMe.org:

Dear FutureMe,

I want you to know that on this day you’ve felt so much irritation that you felt you’ve disregarded all the people around you who cared.

On this day you kept thinking of ways to escape feeling so deprived of joy–or people, but know deep inside that it is not anyone else who can alleviate the pain, but God alone.

On this day, you have already counted weeks thinking how much this one special person takes a big space in your heart–and thinking how he could be the one you’re waiting for. Oh, well. God says he’s good, but the better and the best are yet to come. Maybe this guy thinks so, too, as he now tries to maintain some distance from you. But somehow you have this feeling that you want him to know how you feel for him–how special you place him in your heart. But you just can’t seem to do so.

On this day, you feel so confused, so lost, because you’ve gradually been missing on the only thing that’s needed–your relationship with God. So may this be a reminder to you, Future Self, to never regret this essential one thing in your life, less everything else will fall into pieces.

So long,

Your Old Self

Got the reminder? So what can you say? 🙂

Commemorating

A few weeks ago one post kept running in my mind as it kept on being put alive by the memories it carries. Maybe this just proves that… saying goodbye is never that easy. This is how the post goes, as originally published here on April 18, 2010:

Ang Mr Congeniality at best clown ng aking buhay. haha.. Sobrang dalang ko na lang nakakasama at nakakabonding si Papa, kaya sobrang nakakatuwa na whole day ko siya kasama nung April 13.

Well, sa araw na yon I rediscovered a lot of things about my father as I spent the whole day with him. Honest si Papa sa transactions niya. Toward long-time friends slash “business partners”, he sees to it na hindi siya makaka-offend just for the sake of profit or sustainability. Ine-explain niya ang mga bagay-bagay para maintindihan siya ng mga ka-transaksyon niya.

Generous din siya kasi everytime na kasama ko siya, lagi niya ako pinapakain nang bongga. Haha.. Hindi rin siya puro trabaho lang (as we all know, nakaka-burnout ang all work at no play). May time rin siya para maglaro at mag-nap. haha..

Well, I can say Papa is a kindhearted person. Sabi niya, pag natuwa ka sa service ng isang tao/worker sa pagupitan o sa anumang shop, bigyan mo siya ng tip para matuwa rin siya. At sa susunod, mas pagbubutihan pa niya. Naaalala ko, binili niya ung isang malaking isda worth P60 na dapat P40 lang. On the way home, chinika pa siya nung tricycle driver. Tinanong kung magkano yung isda tapos sabi, “P40 lang ‘yan!” Okay.. Papa knew, right?

Sabi ni Papa, pwede namang tawaran yun, kaso naisip niya wag na lang kasi naawa siya sa matandang nagtitinda. Para naman daw kahit pa’no, may kita yung matanda. Hm..

Kaya rin siguro sa liit ng bayan namin, hindi pwedeng lumabas si Papa ng bahay nang walang nakakawayan o nakakausap o nakakakumustahan sa labas. Haay.. Amazing talaga si Papa. Mr. Congeniality talaga siya para sa’kin. Haha.. tsaka Best Clown. Kasi lagi talaga siya nagpapatawa kahit sa mga taong di naman niya kilala (e.g. tindera sa palengke). Kaya mabilis niya nakakagaanan ng loob ang mga taong nakakasalamuha niya. O, sa’n ka pa? 🙂

Alam ko rin naman imperfections and shortcomings ni Papa as a father, a friend, a pastor, an administrator, and many more. Pero amazed lang ako kung pa’no niya yun kinakaya lahat. Lalo na siguro nung first months na wala na si Mama. Haay.. Basta, I’m proud of my father. Proud ako at nagpapasalamat sa Lord dahil sa dinami-rami ng tatay sa mundo, naging anak ako ni Rev Benjamin S. Tandico.

I love you, Papa. 🙂

Saying goodbye is indeed never that easy, all the more when there are thousands of memories that you are holding on to. But do you know when one can smile despite the tears caused by losing a dear loved one? It is when she knows that there’s another chance to meet that loved one again–an eternity to look forward to.

So, it’s hard for me to say that, honestly, I’m missing Papa A LOT. But even with all the tears and the heartache, I can still smile and say, “See you, Papa (and Mama), in Heaven.”

Silently Breaking

What does it feel like to be on the top the world, having achieved a lot of things, famous all throughout the world, envied by many? What does it feel, really?

When Sharyl and I get to talk about college life, there is this one person whom we always want to ask, “How does it feel to be you, dear darling of the crowd?” It is because when we look upon the life of this person, it seems like having everything IS possible.

Oh, but I guess that’s an overstatement.

I remember Kuya Allan sharing his experiences in his trip to India last month. He told about the growing microfinance institutions there, about people working in their offices and in field areas to extend help and transformation to the poor. He told of the spicy food which he somehow got a trauma of. Then he excitedly shared about their visit to Taj Mahal and its beautiful symmetry. How exhilarating was his sharing!

Kuya Allan's shot of the Taj Mahal

But then a question rang through my mind: If the Taj Mahal was built out of a king’s love for his sick wife, could the wife had been so amazed of it the way we are? How sure are we that the marble epitome of love wasn’t ever taken for granted by her? Did she even have a chance to know about it?

Maybe an outstanding skill in singing or dancing won’t ever be taken for granted. People look at them with delight and awe, probably with a little envy. Some of them even rise to become celebrities. But even these skilled singers and dancers invest countless hours practicing–and at some point, these practices come synonymous with sacrifice.

This is where I think I can relate the quote, “Stars shine brightly on the outside, but silently break on the inside.”

Come to think of it, whatever great treasure we hold in our hands come with a great price. Successful businessmen–what have they given up to accomplish much? Famous stars–whom have they let go of to own the pedestal? And simple people living their lives to be agents of transformation around them–what sacrifices have they made in the secret just to bring about change in the people whom they haven’t really known?

The story of Po in Kung Fu Panda 2 came into my mind. Po, being the hero that he is, has a hard time dealing with the villain Lord Shen. This is because he lacks inner peace–he hasn’t come to peace with his past. And this prevented him from achieving victory. But once he has gotten it over with, victory came easy.

Po in Kung Fu Panda 2

Maybe this is one sacrifice we have yet to make in order to achieve the greater things we are meant to have in life. Have we come at peace with the past? Have we gotten over it and moved on towards our great destiny? Can we call ours a life fully surrendered to our Master? This is one price we have to pay to achieve the greatness He promised. Maybe in order to shine brightly on the outside, just like stars, we have to be broken on the inside–at the feet of our Master.

Worth the Wait

Self-made poems. Some people think they’re boring or a little weird. But it’s funny and interesting how my roommate and I found a common hobby when we got to talk one rainy Sunday afternoon. We realized we both enjoyed writing poems and what have you when we were younger. Laughter filled the room as we figured out we both even wrote poems for our crushes! 😀 But that’s history now. 😀 Let me share one poem I made in high school, though:

A room was full with people

Wonderful music filled the hall

A smile was in everyone’s face

‘Twas one of the extraordinary days


Filled with the spirit of happiness

The people did not fail to express

The joy of being together in that occasion

Everyone was happy, and the band played on


But now all the cheers were gone

The party’s over, the occasion’s done

And all that’s left was one man

Who, before, spent time with everyone


Yet, as he plays the keyboard

The burdens of his heart began to unload

As he plays the music he used to play

The tears say all that he longed to say


Deep inside he’s been dying

But nobody knew what he’s longed to say

Behind the happy mask was the real him

Crying of the pain that so long bruised him


After some time he rose

Wiped his tears and set aside his woes

Then, he went out to face the world

Put on his mask an drew strength to hold

Behind the Mask

As I browsed through my old notes and remembered the years long gone, I realize that a lot of things have passed and changed during those four years I stayed in college. People have come and gone in my life. I learned new things, I forgot some. Definitely I made new discoveries. I grew and became a better person.

Now, I’m entering a new stage in life. They say this is the real world–the world of work. This is where all the practicing and preparing end, and the real stuff come around. They say it’s where ideals rarely exist and feeling real good is something one can hardly afford.

And right now, it feels just that way. It’s so easy to fall into thinking that high standards and great expectations would do me no good. They just seem too high to reach.

But His Word keeps on telling me not to live by what I see or feel, but on what His promises say. He says that everything I go through is according to His plans for me, and no matter what, I am at the center of His will. So if it is my faithful Friend and All-Knowing Mentor who’s telling me to trust Him, I’d gladly do so.

So I’m not gonna lower my standards but keep expecting the best–yes, waiting for the best–as I give my best and become what He has intended me to be. If what’s destined for me is His best, then sure enough, it’s going to be worth the wait.

————

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.

Isa 40:31, Msg

To embrace and not fight

“You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow.”

This is a famous quote from an unknown source which I got here. And it’s true. Organizations need to level up their standards and performance if they want to remain in business. In their article “Major, Major Market Trends in Book Publishing” posted in Inquirer.net on September 23, 2010, Ned and Ardy Roberto discussed up-to-date market trends in book publishing. They initially gave two market trends.

MT 1: Books are not dead

No, they’re not. The authors of the said article noted how people rushed to SMX in MoA to avail themselves of the big book sale. The article also showed that big book publishing companies like National Book Store and OMF Literature increased their sales this year and opened new stores. What they pointed out, however, was that books are now becoming digital . Basically, books nowadays still exist but are taking a new form as they have taken a different way of being published and purchased. The problem is that while big publishing companies including Vibal Publishing House, Inc can ride on with the digital shift, many Filipino publishers find it hard to get along.

MT 2: eBooks will eventually outsell printed books

Gadgets like the iPad and Kindle are becoming more affordable nowadays such that readers are given the option to get digital books instead of printed ones. With China releasing thousands of iPad-like devices, more and more readers will get hooked on e-books. It is easy to see that the trend now for publishers to go digital. As Elwell put it, “E-publish or perish!”

Not only is the call for publishing companies to accept the challenge of getting involved in the digital shift. Basically, every organization should be able to see that the web is a better place to get the business not just going but booming.

Books go digital.

If books are changing, the web is also pretty much changing. It is no longer for computers, but is now also for people. The web is now becoming an accommodating venue for entrepreneurs to boom, as highlighted by Amanda Kooser in her Entrepreneur magazine article “New Digital Dawning”. Entrepreneurs and organizations alike can use websites, blogs, and other NSM tools to establish their online presence and connect to their customers. The thing is that we are already on the third wave; we’re done with the HTML browsers, and almost  past online access via mobile phones. Kooser pointed out that we’re on the third wave; we’re all about everyday objects having internet access. Evidently, organizations and starting entrepreneurs have to change old ways and catch up. Joining the digital shift isn’t only about being relevant and up-to-date,  but using a more affordable and effective means of communicating to your customers and to market your product.

Life is so full of challenges and we have to meet them and overcome. But all efforts would turn to nothing if we keep on using yesterday’s old strategies to get by. Organizations need a breakthrough. As Bart Decrem emphasized, “The big thing that’s going on is that control is shifting from the creators of content and the publishers of content to the consumers… The winning startups have embraced [this shift instead of] fighting and trying to control it.” (as cited by Kooser).

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“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

-George Bernard Shaw