Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: Not a Year of Selfishness and Greed

     Few hours left and 2012 will officially be over. Then... 2013 comes in. Most of us are wishing for a brighter year ahead by creating a new year's resolution, by doing a pledge, by thinking positive thoughts, by wishing, and by praying. Most of us actually do that. We always tend to begin the year with happy thoughts and with high hopes for our days ahead.

     It's always nice to begin the year right by creating a vision for one's self - a nice career, a good habit, a prosperous life - but, it is nicer if that vision includes the betterment of one's country and fellowmen. It is always better if we have high hopes not just for ourselves, but also for others.

     It's time to begin the year right (literally). It's time to change one's perspective of what a good year should be. It's time to be selfless by starting to hope and care more for others. Let 2013 be a year of helping, of caring, of loving and not a year of selfishness and greed.

     2013 will be a memorable year for all of us. All we have to do is to cherish the year the right way. Happy new year everyone! This is your author, Arch. Matthew Sanchez Chua a.k.a. Artistmat wishing you the best in life! Thank you so much for being there reading every bit of my thoughts and for becoming a part of my advocacy. 2013 will be a different year for all of us, for our country, and for this planet we call home.

Walk... Leave a mark... And make a difference!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Change the World

In a world filled with humanly horror,
Here I am in search of my own endeavor.
I want to shed light in this lightless room;
I need to witness life at its greatest bloom.

In this monotonous reality, here I am walking
Trying to find the answer to my own calling.
There's no glitz nor glamour to where I'm heading
Because an ultimate sacrifice is what I'll be giving.

With all my remaining resources, I fearlessly stand.
I know I can revive this lifeless jungle in my own hands.
There's no stopping me now, this needs to be done.
But the world keeps on darker, all my energy's gone.

Devastation has been around every corner;
Innocent lives have been wasted by danger;
Madness evolved through man's greed for power,
Leaving my fellowmen die of too much hunger.

Everything's insane now. I do need help for this.
My intention is clear but it takes a lot of risk.
Yes, changing the world is the task I chose,
But I also need a lot of companion at most.

Where are you now, my fellow change-makers?
Let's join our forces and become earth shakers!
Together, we can create great and noble things.
Let's seam our tomorrow before the world rings!

This kind of journey have made me understand
That I can't change the world with my own hands.
Altering the earth's course requires a lot of people
Sharing the same intention, passion, and soul.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New Partnerships for 2013

     Just few more days from now and 2012 will about to end. What a memorable year it is especially for this blog. Partnerships, projects, and volunteerism have been highlighted in this year as part of this blog's shift from a single-page blog into a multiple-page blog. Truly, the introduction of those elements made this blog more functional in delivering its advocacy to its readers.

     Close enough, 2013 is approaching. And for this blog, new partnerships will about to be unveiled. Watch out for it.  Be as excited as I am in unveiling them to you. c",)

Photo courtesy of: QATestLab

Monday, December 17, 2012

Killed: In Memory of the Killing

The world rejoices as you were born,
Never expecting that soon we'll mourn.
Your life is so precious, we all know that.
Memories with you then, became so sad.

We gave you knowledge for you to will;
We gave you emotions for you to feel;
We never thought that someday we'll kneel
With tears in our eyes knowing you've been killed.

Your life is a wonderful gift that we did accept.
You are a priceless treasure that needs to be kept.
If only we guarded you so well during your stay,
Then we would have never seen you slain.

How can we find hope now that you're gone?
We've planted so many things, but now we're done.
All we need now is to pray to God for you to find 
The guiding light towards heaven, go leave us behind.

Oh! It's such a cruel world for us to stay. 
We're living with people that gave us dismay.
They heartlessly kill people we truly love,
Which caused our hearts break into tiny halves.

I wrote this poem in memory of the victims of Newtown Shooting. I joined the world in mourn for the death of innocent souls.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Ben10 Ultimate Alien: The Game You'll Love

     Last night was a very tempting night for me. I was tempted to download game apps on my iPad once and for all! I usually download iBooks and apps that are really useful for both my career as an architect and for my graduate study as an aspiring urban planner. But not anymore... I wasn't able to resist the temptation of searching and downloading a game... and I'm happy with the outcome.

     I found this game app called "Ben10 Ultimate Alien". It is a free application so... I gave it a try. And the rest is history. In fact, I was awake until 2:00 am and woke up 8:00 am this morning just to continue playing. The combat mode is so addictive that I can't just take a pause... I have a mission to accomplish! 
     The entire game interface is somewhat cool and inviting. The graphic is awesome and doesn't deliver a very childish atmosphere. The control system is somewhat similar to Facebook's Heroes' World (and that alone is enough why I was so interested in playing this game) while the way it should be played is somewhat similar to other popular game applications (the push system). Just like any popular game applications, it  carries this monotonous feeling when being played. But what's different is the guessing thing and that alone breaks the monotony. What guessing game?

     I'm talking about the way one should fight with the opponent. The system here it to actually guess and outsmart the opponent just like "Games of the Generals". One would need to guess all three moves the opponent chose and must actually exceed the opponent's moves by choosing the right attack, defense, or break that would definitely defeat the opponent.
     As an overall assessment, "Ben10 Ultimate Alien" is an app that must be tried by game lovers. One will never know when he/she will pause when his/her mission is at stake! Go on game fanatics and Ben10 lovers! This is your time to play both as hero and as Ben10! Grab on your ultimatrix now and choose your own alien adventure!
     Whoa! This whole gaming experience made me create this review. I guess... this officially starts my app reviews. Well then, more app reviews coming.... I guess.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Dilemma in Me

In this solitude of sadness I endure
Words and phrases that can lure
Dreamers and aspirants to adore
Perfect beauty, power, and more.

This is the place I call my very own
For my entire skills have been honed.
What more shall I even ask for
When things are better than before?

I see beauty beyond perfection.
I feel power in every creation.
Craftsmanship has been mastered,
But there's more to be altered.

Day and night I long to be better.
Not a chance not to go deeper.
Improvement is a habit to take
Especially when fulfillment is at stake.

I'll never give up nor surrender
Although there's much more to suffer.
This is the path I seriously chose
And the fate I understand the most.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paper and Pen: Lhai's Volunteer Rally

     Seeing people spend their birthday with less fortunate really keeps me amazed. It always turns out to be a picture of love, hope, and aspiration. I do admire those people spending their birthday or success to less fortunate individual because they keep on reminding me that I am not alone, that there are still people wanting to help others, that change is still present in everyone's hearts, and that love for fellowmen still exists. 

     Lhai De Leon, a friend and a fellow member of U! Happy Events Core Team, celebrated her birthday last Saturday (October 6, 2012). I wasn't able to attend nor witness her birthday celebration as part of her volunteer rally because I needed to attend our second to the last day of class in Plan 201 and I needed to perform our final exam with my group mates. I just heard Lhai's story regarding her birthday on the following day (October 7, 2012) right after the dance workshop of kids from different institutions, who'll be competing for U! Happy Events' Kids Got Talent.

     Hearing Lhai's testimony touched me and made me decide to share a piece of my space here in this blog in order for her to reach and inspire more people. I hope that this simple act would serve as an extension of Lhai's message of inspiration to everyone.

     Below is Lhai's unedited message and testimony.

     "Papel and Panulat (Paper and Pen)” was a success. My heartfelt gratitude to all (you all know who you are) who supported and donated school items/goodies for the kids of Smokey Mountain. These are perfect gifts as they continue to learn writing, reading and value education. 
     Thank you to all the guests who attended and spent their morning as Ate and Kuya of these kids. You were all game in the activities we prepared and it was really heartwarming to see all of you having fun and reaching out to these kids. It was fun to see you dance and play games with the kids too. Some kids who attended were their first time to see a magic show and I’m glad you were sitting beside them on that very moment. Thank you U! Happy Events, my fellow leaders for helping me make this event possible. Thank you Metro Ministries for bringing these lovely kids to us. My birthday has been extra special this year, I thank you all. 

     Below is my short sharing during the event: 

     About a month ago I was asked why I volunteer? I’d always tell Harv that I don’t have an answer yet. I don’t have an answer to the question “Why.” “Why I volunteer?” 1 year and 5 days ago, (October 1, 2011) I was asked by one of the sponsors of U! Happy Events why I joined the Relief Action for Ulingan Community. Ulingan is the Smokey Mountain. I answered him with “my purpose of being there with them” and I know that my purpose then was to have an outlet. Outlet for the loss of my brother. My Kuya Ian. I needed an outlet to keep myself busy and to forget the pain. It has always been the answer I would tell my friends.

     And then I realized that it was a selfish answer. That my purpose revolves around myself alone. I told myself that I’ll continue joining their events and let the experience educate me; help me understand why I am there helping and reaching out. 

     I have volunteered with U! for a year now. I have volunteered with Red Cross during typhoons. I have joined Shell’s activities with Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity. I even jumped from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s seat of an FX just push the breaks and avoid colliding to another car. And so on and so forth. A modern day hero? No. All these experiences had finally made realized the “Why.” “Why I volunteer?” I volunteer because we are one big human family and we need each other. I play a small part in the community, but I feel blessed to be able to play that part and help kids realize as early as now the value of generosity. To help those in need especially the less fortunate kids and to see that “hope” in their eyes is a gift beyond words." 
     I really hope that this event made you see that “HOPE” in their eyes. And I hope that you’ll try in your simple acts of kindness to keep that hope sparkle. You are all an angel and God’s blessings to these kids.”

Saturday, September 22, 2012

UP Pep Squad's Make 8 Happen Already Happened

     Studying at University of the Philippines' School of Urban and Regional Planning made my UAAP Cheer Dance Competition watching more intense as I felt that I'm officially a part of those university-spirited crowds looking forward to see their university pep squad dance their way towards fame and victory. And yes, I'm anticipating for the UP Pep Squad to win and bag their goal for this year - 8th title, 3-peat, 1 squad... "Make 8 Happen". 
     And yes, UP Pep Squad made it. "Make 8 Happen" really happened! They did stand out with their theme for this year - FREEDOM. The bang or the surprise for this year was their shaved heads (male and female. exemption). Their choice of costume was so simple, yet practical. It really emphasized their movements. We described them as like snakes tumbling in lines.  It was so beautiful!
     The big issue now was their winning despite their great fall during the finale, which brought different reactions from the crowd. And [of course] as a newly-found fan of this amazing pep squad and a blogger of positive thoughts, I also have my own take for this one big issue.

     For me, that fall was actually both a test and a showcase of what UP spirit is all about. In life, the measure of how strong you are is not being tested on how badly and hellish you fell... it is more on how you've reacted right after that fall - it is about how grandeur you stood up, how fast you recovered, and how you victoriously ended your fight.
Congratulations UP Pep Squad! 

Photos courtesy of: 831 Campaign
Video courtesy of: TheABSCBNNEws 

Note: UP Pep Squad's hair were donated to cancer patients and people with alopecia as their simple share for Alopecia Awareness Month. Caring for others is truly rewarding.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Blogger in Idle

     It has been weeks since the last time I updated this blog. I rarely blog even though there are so many words wandering inside my mind - ideas, inspiration, events, and lots of wonderful stories that's worth telling. I really would love to blog about all those things, but I can't. Time is currently pulling me back. There's a lot of work loads that I need to finish in a given amount of time. And I can't blame those work loads, which I considered "time thieves" simply because it is also a part of my obligation to respond to them.

     No, I'm not complaining. And I can never complain. These "time thieves" are all for my own good and for my personal growth. I just need to balance them and if there's something that I need to sacrifice for the sake of fitting in the entire work for a specific span of time, then that would be blogging. No, don't get me wrong. This blogger will not stop from blogging nor stop from telling wonderful and inspirational stories. I just need to sacrifice a bit for the sake of accomplishing everything. I [still] am a blogger, but I also need to attend on my duties as a construction manager, as an architect, as a student aspiring to be an urban planner, as an officer of different architectural organizations, as a board member of a kid's foundation, as a leader, and as a change-maker. 
     Just give me some time to attend to my duties... after which, I'll start writing all those words wandering inside my mind. Until next time! c",)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Once Upon A Time: Reality or Not

     Fairy tales have always been a part of our childhood memories. We grew up with stories of magic and happy endings. And we learned to love the way each stories went. And the best part is "And they live happily ever after" was the phrase we usually hear when the story ends. Truly, fairy tales are the reason why we became great believers of something magical and somehow, it did strengthen our capability of believing what's hard to believe. 

     My love for fairy tales was reborn when I discovered "Once Upon A Time". Once Upon A Time is a television series aired on ABC, which casts all fairy tale characters we grew up with. The story revolves around how the evil queen destroys the happiness of Snow White, Prince Charming, and the rest of the fairy tale characters through the use of the dark curse, which leaves the evil queen live a life filled with happiness. 
     Incorporating all fairy tale characters and stitching their story with one another in order to create a one big story was such an ambitious and challenging thing to do for a writer... but the story ended up remarkably amazing and magical! Once Upon A Time came out to be one of the best stories ever told. It was really worth the risk for writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Harowitz. They really know how to turn spectators into solid believers of the story they've created. And I commend them for doing such a great job.

     Once Upon A Time talks about hope, determination, choices, consequences, fate, dreams, courage, happiness, and the power of true love. Such powerful elements to begin and to revolve with. In either fantasy or reality, with magical powers or not, these elements do help people keep on holding on to whatever circumstances they are undergoing right now. And I think, these elements are the main reason why people like me got easily  hooked to it.

     Hope, determination, choices, consequences, fate, dreams, courage, happiness, and the power of true love are and will always be powerful reminders of why we keep on moving forward even though tides are against us. And without these elements, we may never have learned how to become a knight of our own armor. And whatever we may have become right now, it all points us to where our roots are - how great we've hoped, how logical we choose, how far we've dreamed, and how powerful we've loved. Let me end this article by leaving you a simple message from belle.

"No one decides my fate but me."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Youth Leaders for Knowledge and Development: Be Part of the Second Batch

     Passionate enough to serve the country? Is leadership, nation-building, and positive change are among those topics, which trigger your interest? Well then, you might be qualified for the second batch of Youth Leaders for Knowledge and Development of World Bank-Knowledge for Development Center and the Ateneo School of Government.

     Youth Leaders for Knowledge and Development (YLKD) was previously started as a nationwide search for the 100 young leaders, who will be qualified to participate in the year-long kapihan sessions with top caliber individuals of the Philippines known for their own crafts. Monthly kapihan sessions will serve as a venue for participants to be mentored by these top caliber individuals and to [as well] learn from their own fellow participants.  

     I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the top 100 young leaders, who applied for the said program. And I became a witness of how we grow as effective leaders of our own advocacy. Some of us went to other countries as delegates of the Philippines, some of our college colleagues were chosen as top students of the country on various award-giving bodies when they graduated, some became better social entrepreneurs, one was appointed by the president of the Philippines to head an agency, and as for me... I became part of U! Happy Events (a foundation for kids) by consistently volunteering on their events. Later on, I was appointed as one of their leaders, and just recently appointed as one of the foundation's new board members. None of these won't happen if it wasn't for YLKD. I learned a lot of effective ways to become a better leader and I gained connections with like-minded individuals, who are willing to sacrifice their own comfort for the sake of other people's comfort. 

     Willing to experience what I've experienced? Then start filling out that application form! Deadline is on August 31, 2012 so you better be hurry, young leader! Catch up for the second batch and discover ways on how to be an effective change-maker.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Let's Reach Out, Change-makers!

     The Philippines is currently experiencing another calamity. And there's no way that heroes will only sit down and expect for miracles. Heroes tend to do something great for their fellowmen simply because they are action-makers. They act for the betterment of everyone no matter how costly it would be as long as everyone's safe.  

     All of us can be heroes of our own. We are action-makers and change-makers deep in our hearts. We were honed to express greatness in times of calamities. All we need is a pure heart that cares for others' needs while setting aside our own personal needs. Let's help out! Let's reach out! 

     I'm appealing to my readers worldwide to help the Philippines. Let's set aside cultural and religious difference as of the moment. Let's focus more of our similarities as humans. Let's do our own share for this.

"In times of tragedies like this, CHANGE-MAKERS are at the forefront… 
Ready to serve their fellowmen." - @artistmat

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wave of Memories: Downloadable Version

     Hi to all my dearest readers! I'm still in my busy mode as I try to balance my professional work, academic life, and nation-building participation. And, also, I'm still analyzing the ins and outs of publishing my own e-book. With this, I am now presenting my second downloadable version of my previous literary work, which is "Wave of memories".

     Please do check it out guys! Feel free to read, comment, and download it. Thanks so much for the support!  

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Petal of Sorrow: Downloadable Version

     Finally, "Petal of Sorrow" - one of my literary works that made lots of hits, likes, cries, and comments  - is now downloadable! The copy is in e-book format. 
     This move is part of my test-run as I try to analyze possibilities and downfalls of creating an e-book. I'm planning to publish one (a compilation of my poems and literary works) soon enough. So, what are you waiting for? 

All rights reserved
Creative Commons License
Petal of Sorrow by Matthew S. Chua is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kokoro Ramenya: Consistency and Determination

To conceptualize a product is a sign of interest;
to produce the product is a challenge to take;
to sell the product is a struggle to endure; and 
to see the product grow is the beginning of success.

     Kokoro Ramenya's Grand Launch had finally taken place! The event happened last June 9, 2012 (Sunday), almost two months away from their Soft Launch. Customers and guests came in the restaurant and took chance of experiencing the magic of Kokoro Ramenya through their Japanese foods, which offer authenticity and delight to everyone. 
     Like everyone else, I also took that single chance. I went there and ate with my friends twice. One was in the afternoon (before going to church) while the other one was in the evening. I ate there with Ms. Melfi Caranto (my leadership mentor) before going to church while I had a dinner meeting with Monique (my former vice president when we're still serving as student leaders) after. Both of them are newbies to the restaurant and both have positive comments on the food being served before them. They were impressed by Kokoro Ramenya's delicious and authentic Japanese food, which comes with a very affordable price. And we kept on discussing Kokoro Ramenya and their food during and even after we dine in. It's just so amazing how Kokoro Ramenya was able to put a positive imprint on my guests, which gave me the assurance that I didn't ruin their day. 
     And for my end, all I can say was... Kokoro Ramenya has done it again! They made me want to go back again and again just to experience their good food. The people behind the restaurant are really consistent and are determined in providing the rightful dining experience that their customers deserve. 

     This is where this post ends. I don't need to elaborate more on how we became satisfied on what we've eaten there. It's time for you also to experience it (Kokoro Ramenya) as well.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Statement Photos: A New Blog

     I've started [again] a new blog. This fourth blog was named "Statement Photos". Well, this particular blog is under the category of photo blog... with a twist. I simply want this blog to showcase how I merge my hobby, my passion, and my purpose in order to deliver to my viewers a new kind of blogging approach from me. 

New blog, same author, less words, more visuals, 
and [still] has the touch of positive influencing.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Staree Page

     I'm now now part of Staree. This only means that more opportunities have been added and my sphere of influence just got bigger. With the help of this new page, I'll be able to share with my visitors everything I do especially the advocacy I'm trying to impart to people. Take time in visiting my Staree page and don't forget to subscribe. Thank you!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kokoro Ramenya: Good Food, Great Ambiance

When will food become good food;
when will experience become memorable ones;
and when will satisfaction become really satisfying?

     I had this chance of dining in at Kokoro Ramenya last May 3, 2012 and I must say that the experience was totally amazing and it is really worth my time!

     Kokoro Ramenya is a new restaurant that offers Japanese dishes and is located at the 2nd floor of the newly constructed Avenue of the Arts Building (just across U.S. Embassy). The restaurant claims that they offer [authentic] Japanese food and I can't argue with them knowing that my taste buds savor authentic Japanese flavor and knowing the fact that I tag along with me my friend named Arch. Cheery Dominguiano, who is a certified fanatic of authentic Japanese dish and who has an experience living in Japan.

     Aside from their Japanese dishes, other settings of the restaurant such as its interior would really make people believe that they are dining in places other than Manila. Its interior showcases modern Japanese look with an ambiance that is both inviting and relaxing (especially during nigh-time when lights come in and add drama). The panoramic scene would also add up to the intense dramatic feeling of the atmosphere as the astonishing sunset display of Roxas Boulevard makes the experience really memorable.
     With Japanese dishes that offer authentic flavor, affordable price, easy-share serving, and are being served fresh and not oily... you'll never go wrong. Kokoro Ramenya is, indeed, the best place to go when your adventurous feet wanders along Roxas Boulevard and your tummy suddenly seeks to indulge good food.
Photos courtesy of: Arch. Cheery Dominguiano

Monday, May 21, 2012

Realizations I Earned

     We had our company outing at Villa Excellance Resort in Tanza, Cavite last Saturday. That outing gave me the chance to [again] experience the feeling of spending a time at the beach and to enjoy privileges that our beautiful nature has to offer. At first, I saw our outing as an opportunity to bond with my workmates. But amidst that expectation, realizations on things await me. Realizations that made me more defined and more determined in pursuing things.

     When night came, I decided to be alone for a moment and think of things I used to do when I was still a child. Way back in Iloilo, when I was still in my early childhood, going to beach resorts and creating our wonderful memories there was just one of those ordinary things we do together as a family. Going to the beach is considered to be more usual thing that families do in Iloilo than in Manila because Iloilo is filled with beautiful beach resorts that are near the city and are very much accessible to anyone.

    As I continue reminiscing, memories from my childhood expanded. Every outing my family organized was a venue for me to enjoy my childhood the most. I see myself as a completely innocent child, who only thinks of fun. No worries in mind, no frustrations to think of, and no ambition to pursue. I was so innocent that time that I never mind what journey I shall take when I grow up. All I knew was I can draw and it can be a career for me.

     Then I started thinking about my last day in Iloilo. It was that moment when I need to leave Iloilo in response to the call of college. It was a call for my chosen profession – Architecture. It was going to be my first ever flight… alone. During that day, when I was still in our house getting ready to leave Iloilo, I felt like it’s now time to be alone. This is the real thing now. This is the start of my journey towards a path with an end, which is still unknown. It was such a blur understanding of what I might see and what I might become. Songs being played over the radio became sadder than I used to hear it, that a single melody brought tears out from my eyes. I was so emotional that it kept me crying as if I was brought back to being a child. It really felt like I’m dropping everything I own including my place in my family.

     Then, I started thinking of the life I acquired here in Manila, which made me grow as a person. But amidst my experiences and adventures here in this big city, I still am missing something – tons of memories being stitched in my hometown and in our own home without me. Because of college and of work, I never get the chance to see how my nephews and niece grow old and I never saw how they started their own adventures. I also missed the chance how my brother and sisters take charge of situations when my parents let them do so. I also missed the opportunity to see how my parents succeed in every trial that comes to our family. All I saw were outcomes of those missed opportunities every time they happen to visit Manila. All I saw were realities of life. My parents are getting older, my nephews and niece are already grownups, my brother and sisters’ physical features changed. All these missed opportunities made my tears flow from my eyes and I’m trying my best not to explode in sadness as people at the resort might see me crying.

     But with those realizations, I was able to regain my strengths. It was because of those realizations that I was able to give reasons why I have to make sacrifices like leaving my family and study in a completely strange environment. It was because of my family that I tend to drop things I used to own. It was always them why I’m striving my very best to finish the profession I chose, to pass the board exam, to have a job, and to venture on other professional path. It was always them, who made me want to achieve all these things. They are the very first reason why I have this extraordinary strength to continually do all my endeavours in life. They are my eternal fuel, whom God gave to me. I may have missed a lot of wonderful moments with them, but I have gained a lot of reasons that made me become worthy of their love.

     Right now, my future is [again] vague as my journey for graduate school and some career-shifting ventures are nearing. It feels like having my previous me coming back to life. It feels like me during my early childhood, whose innocence is at its peak; it feels like me when I’m ready to leave my hometown and my family for the sake of searching for higher education and for achieving for my dreams with unknown future still ahead of me; and it feels like me re-experiencing all those missed opportunities with my family. But amidst all these feelings of my previous me, all I can think of is the product of those me.  I have survived all those trials presented in front of me and have conquered all those obstacles in order for me to achieve what I am right now. 

     And after that reminiscing moment, I became more determined and more ready in starting the path that I’m willing to take for the sake of my family. And I know that when failing comes, I am built to stand up and finish my fight because my family is there with me. They are inside my heart. And no matter how far they may be, every success I made makes me feel that they’re with me, fighting with me, and struggling with me until the very end.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kokoro Ramenya: The Teaser Post

When will foods become good foods; 
when will experience become great and memorable ones; 
and when will satisfaction becomes really satisfying?

Discover answers on all these questions when you dine in at Kokoro Ramenya

Experience Kokoro Ramenya only at
2nd floor of Avenue of the Arts Building, 1388 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita Manila 
(Just across U.S. Embassy)

     This post serves as a teaser for my upcoming blog post regarding Kokoro Ramenya. I've already posted my review for this restaurant on a website, which will be launched this month, but it is not yet ready for public reading. I'll update you when my reviews are ready for public viewing. Catch my blog post next week as I'll unveil my Kokoro experience and the secret behind this new Japanese restaurant.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bright Lights: Emphasizing Hope

     When darkness seizes the day, fear arises. It was during this moment when we feel that our fear has finally won the fight. We find ourselves feeling the pain, the struggle, the defeat, and failure. It is like there’s no way out! Darkness is engulfing us to the extent that we will never face a bright future ahead of us.

     When light emerges, hope comes in. A single light that appears in the midst of overwhelming darkness gives us the feeling that hope is still there. We need not give up because the fight isn’t over yet. We still have a good future waiting to be unveiled. It’s not yet time to give up. No, we should never give up!

     A single light makes a big difference. A light can signify hope and potential upbringing for humanity. This is what we should always think of every time darkness arises. We may always face darkness during our way home, but we will definitely find a single light that will shed our way when everything seems to be vague.
     It was last April 14 and 15, 2012 when U! HappyEvents’ “Bright Lights” took place. The event was made as a product of a partnership between U! Happy Events and Liter of Light, which is a project of My Shelter Foundation. Bright Lights is the first ever sunset to night event of U! Happy Events and the concept of this event is to provide light to 100 kids of Brgy. Batis, San Juan City, Philippines.

     Day 1 was the main event of Bright Lights. It was solely dedicated to 100 kids of Brgy. Batis. The whole event was focused more on the interaction between volunteers and kids. The program includes fun and games, magic shows, intermission number, and the presentation of lights. Games were supervised by U! Happy Events Core Team; dance number performed by kids of Brgy. Batis; magic show made by "Salamangkero" Ron Mariano; Poi workshop and LED Poi exhibition courtesy of Planet Zips Poi Philippines; Laser magic by JB Dela Cruz; and the main event, the flying of Chinese lanterns with notes  of prayer and hope (made by volunteers and kids) attached to it. Day 1 showed the significance of how lights can bring magic, inspiration, and hope to each one of us every time darkness comes in.

     Day 2 was all about witnessing how the solar bottle bulb, which we sponsored as a result of the funds we got from Day 1, can make a difference in a beneficiary's home. The project showed us how remarkable an idea is after a junk has been upcycled. Upcycle is the term they prefer to use rather than the word “recycle” because according to them, they are transforming an item into something more useful by providing it with a totally different use. The project did bring light to houses and it will definitely lower their monthly electric consumption. And because of this, the beneficiary's money spent for excessive electric consumption will be used for other monthly priorities like education and food.
     The entire two-day event was delivered successfully and it gave us (core team, volunteers, and beneficiaries) another set of realizations. Day 1 gave us the realization of producing and providing hope to everyone. Hope starts with a single person having the desire to light a candle; sharing it to the other person in need; raising it up and letting it soar high up to the sky so that everyone may see its brilliance. When hope/light shines through, everyone will be mesmerized and be inspired. Day 2 gave us the realization that our mind can think in a whole new level if we really wanted to make use of it as a tool in solving social issues even with such limited resources. We always have the power to produce greatness and we have the capability of making other people feel great by simply extending our hearts to them. 
     We can make a difference to everyone starting from producing hope down to extending help in order to produce the change that we really want to experience. After all, change can only happen if we start believing and start acting on it. No need to be scared now. Hope is just around the corner no matter how dark the world may be. Hope lives in you... in me... and in each one of us! 

Photos courtesy of Emjay Mirasol Photography and Ate Malou Gailan
Also present during the event was our partner, Funlipix

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jacinto & Lirio: Becoming Part of Change

     Jacinto & Lirio is now scaling up and they need your help! Yes, you read it right! Jacinto and Lirio, the brand that transforms water hyacinth into world-class fashionable bags and accessories, is now asking for everyone's help in order for them to create further change in everyone's lives.

The Product
     Before I get into details on how you can help, let me first introduce Jacinto & Lirio in a much deeper perspective. The brand "Jacinto & Lirio", which means Hyacinth and Lily, was created by EcoIngenuity Inc. This brand showcases the Filipino pride and innovative mind by transforming water hyacinths into fashionable and functional statement bags and accessories. This product is all about raising the competitiveness of indigenous materials and the communities that produce them using global design brands. 

     Now this is truly amazing! From a pest (water hyacinth) that causes numerous problems such as flooding, water damage, and fish kills was turned into items that are fashionable, functional and world-class! It not only help the community by lessening the damage caused by this pest, but also help out people by providing decent jobs that they can truly be proud of.

The Plan
     Creators of Jacinto & Lirio have decided to expand the production capacity of their partner communities in order for them to widen their capability to reach out and change lives of our fellowmen. With this, they have started the campaign #liveastoryworthtelling, which aims to raise $8,000 by May 9, 2012. Money raised by this campaign goes out to their plan of expansion. 

The Chance
     Witnessing change is amazing, but being part of change is more amazing and life-changing. 

     Throughout the years, the team of Jacinto & Lirio have devoted all efforts in raising the dignity of everyone by means of introducing a solution to the present social problem. They have proven that they can initiate change through great efforts and have discovered the incredible feeling when helping out and being part of change (I know what it feels like after being able to change other people's lives).  Now that they are expanding for a greater cause, they are asking you to be part of change too! It is now your time to embrace the spirit of change and become its next agent! So far, this is the perfect opportunity for you to help other people. Your contribution will really make a lot of difference!

The Perks
     Whatever contribution you make means something. By simply contributing/donating, you get a chance of having their  statement plant leather journals and perhaps a one-of-a-kind Jacinto&Lirio bag when donating more than $200! Aside from the product perk, 10% of your contribution will go directly to the community production development of the Fernandina Water Hyacinth Group. 

     Now that's a WIN-WIN. Not only you feel the comfort of helping out, you also get a product that is unique, stylish, empowering, and world-class items.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Poet's End

Blank pages of nothingness,
I got to find my own happiness.
Here I am searching on every bit of pages,
But all I’ve seen were silent spaces.

What’s wrong with my words now?
There’s nothing more to be found.
It feels like I’m lost in my own niche.
Silent tears flowing like cliché.

Hurting… I found myself crying,
Remembering how far I’ve been flying.
How can I live a life of fulfillment
When words won’t even give its complement?

Now that my rhymes don’t harmonize
And my words won’t even compromise,
All I see is a blank future
With a life that is so unsure.

How come I’ve reached this stage?
It feels like I’m trapped in a cage
Where sorrow is the only emotion
And poetry is just part of illusion.

Looks like this is where my journey ends.
So long poetry, my long-time friend!
If only this poet hasn’t lost his talent,
Then there’s no reason for him to lament.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Marketplace for a Cause: Helping Helpers of Change

     By the moment I came to know the concept of Social Enterprise (SE), I became amazed by its structure and its ability to create change and to cure different social problems present in this country. It came into my point that I (as an aspiring change-maker) should also emerge as social entrepreneur in order for me to expand my helping capability through the use of whatever resources I have.

     And yes, I have my own SE and [still] planning to launch another one. Being part of SE is great and it fulfils my purpose as a catalyst of change. I get to produce items that wear my own designs; let vendors sell it; have profit out of those items; and help an institution. I’m quite fulfilled as a person. But being a blogger and a proud owner of this year-long blog, I felt compelled to do more for SE. I started asking myself “What other things can I do to help the growing community of SE?” And from thereon, I started developing a page in this blog that would become the center for different Social Enterprises available in the market. This page is now known as “Marketplace for a Cause”.

     “Marketplace for a Cause” is [so far] the latest page I’ve launched here in this blog and it is all about promoting businesses and freelancers, who decided to share their hard-earned profit to communities, institutions, and foundations. This marketplace serves as a venue for Social Enterprises and businesses alike to be promoted in such a way that people may know that apart from purchasing a product, their money also goes to various foundations supported by these featured partners. In this way, they’ll realize that they’ve started contributing change through the simplest things they’ve done - purchasing a product. And to sum it all up, “Marketplace for a Cause” is a venue for business transactions that undergoes a cycle of providing basic services down to delivering help to various causes.

     Have you decided what to purchase lately? Try this blog’s marketplace and experience the feeling of contentment. Go on! Let your money go beyond its worth as “Marketplace for a Cause” converts cash to cause. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Magicians: Bringing Out The kid In Us

     Magic seems to be so good to be true. I’ve been amazed to magicians performing their trick when I was still a child. Magic has been one of the best entertainments for me to see. But gone are those days when magic seems to be true anymore.

     Today, I’m old enough to know that magic is not as real as what I expected way back then. It’s just an illusion done by magicians. I guess I lost my belief in something I used to believe in. But, as I became more involved in different outreach projects (initiated by the school, charitable institutions, and people wholeheartedly celebrate their success to orphanage) with magic show included as part of their entertainment for beneficiaries, I learned to be in love with magic again and again. And what has been added was the fact that I do respect magicians for what they can do for us. They not only create illusions for us to be amazed of, but they also bring back fun memories of our childhood days. It was during those days that we are free to imagine beyond borders set forth by this world. Limitation wasn’t a hindrance before and it didn’t even dare to exist in our world of make-believe. I still do cherish those wonderful moments for without those, I may not be able to find creativity in me.

     Today, I find magicians not just great entertainers, but skillful people as well. They earned my respect for they do different amazing things that captivate one’s mind and heart. They do know how to steal our hidden childlike persona in us and bring it out to the fullest way possible. Indeed, they have the total package for they do illusions, hosting, and great entertainment all at the same time!

     Magic is not a trick, it’s a skill… and skills are not easily acquired. They need to be learned in a span of time accompanied with a passionate heart. And as practice turned into habit and illusion turned into perfection, you’ll find yourself emerging as a real magician. Let people bring back their lost imaginations as they spend their time watching you do your own craft. Be a magician and be the next crowd taker.

     Enrol in Inspire Magic’s “Summer Magic Workshop” and experience the art of illusion. Go on… inspire us, captivate us, and let us re-experience our  world of make-believe. 
For more details, visit Inspire Magic

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