Sunday, December 01, 2019

Circle: Judgement Reimagined

     If you'll be given the responsibility of executing random people in front of you, who you only met right there and then, what will be your basis?

     Circle is a movie I just watched last night on Netflix and it brought out the interest in me to write this review. The plot revolves around a group of people randomly selected by aliens. They were housed inside a spaceship where they stand next to each other forming a circular pattern. No aliens were shown in this movie, just the people and the killing technology that binds them. It was an interesting movie because there were no flashback scenes provided. Only individual stories unveiled through series of conversations and debates that can last a minute. 
     Each minute, the group needs to decide who dies by voting that particular person. In case of a tie, the group needs to recast their votes. And in the event where the group failed to decide on a tiebreaker, both will be killed. If ever a minute has passed and the group chose not to vote, the killing machine will randomly pick a victim. If someone volunteers to be next, he/she may freely step out the circle and be killed. 

     During the entire film, a lot of issues were pointed out giving the group their basis on who needs to be voted next. Issues such as age difference, gender exclusivity, racism, physical incapabilities, moral obligations, and perpetual purpose to humanity were tackled.

     In the end, only one has to survive per ship/circle. Strategy ruled the game. If you pity, you die. It is a struggle between surviving and choosing. One must be good at selling, uncovering mistakes, and making allies in order to be freed.

     In reality, life is [indeed] a battle. One needs to survive by proving himself/herself that he/she is worthy to be spared from execution. In today's world where standards made were all based from personal opinions of what is right and holy, being worthy is questionable. I would always say that morality, though perceived as a universal truth, can still vary based on beliefs. Morality can still be fabricated in order to accommodate human convenience. And at the end of the day, it is a question why one needs to show worthiness and why everyone needs to judge others. 

     Execution isn't just about killing your own kind through concrete and absolute decision. Execution can also mean being able to single out an individual in emphasizing his/her wrongdoings in public venues. It can also be about creating a policy that excludes certain types of people, which cut their ties from the core and limit their rights to enjoy privileges. The movie is a reflection of a judgmental society who's willing to execute people by means of throwing mud at others for them to appear clean. Survival of the fittest is a dirty concept where the survivor is, most likely,  the most unworthy.

Photo source: screen-captured on Netflix

Monday, November 25, 2019

Procrastinating Pro

     Promises... Been tracking all your promises. Same reasons all over again. Same cycle of doings as if you are in a loop. Why can’t you pursue what needs to be done? Why be in a still while riding on a moving time? Why let yourself be buried by obligations untouched? Why commit when everything can't be done?

     Now turned into later. Later turned into tomorrow. Tomorrows turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Abundant time became the deadline. And another deadline became an opportunity loss. All these privileges went to trash bins. Hopes of tomorrow turned midnight dreams. What else should have been said to motivate an idled heart?

Broken dreams. Shattered chances. Fading future. Missing old self.

     Why am I in such a mess? I’m supposedly productive, but now I’m useless. What time has yet to offer me when previous chances were neglected? What path shall I take when even broken roads vanished? What expectations must people give when passion has been taken out of grip? What world shall accept me when I chose to isolate myself and be settled in a tiny void?

     I need to fight this bad habit. I need help in rebuilding my old self. I need you to remind me why I have to redo all of these. I need purpose in making things happen. Let me dream of the impossible like I used to. Let me chase dreams as if it is my last. Let me feel the urge of wanting to be my very own hero.

     This time... I want promises turn into realizations and reasons turn into purpose. I need not be idle any longer for I desire progress for my life's remaining existence. 

Sunday, July 07, 2019

An Elegy for Sir Ramon Ma. Zaragoza

Respect for a noble, yet humble man.
A life well spent for each and everyone.
Mourning is harder than we think it is.
Only great mentors can truly do this.
No more pain now... we better let you go.

Monday, May 06, 2019

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Money Edition

     What’s the immediate thing you do to your money the moment you receive it? Pay bills? Pamper yourself? Hangout with friends and drink all night until you reach sunrise? Don’t feel guilty if you’re doing any of these. All three mentioned habits are acceptable as long as you have the money to spend (only spend what you have). 

     If the last statement made you smile as if you’ve just earned a validation, then maybe you’re good at managing your hard-earned money (having a high salary can also be a factor). But if that last statement gave you guilt, then maybe you’re already spending beyond what you are earning that led you to debts. Overspending is already a sign that you’re not good at managing your hard-earned money or... do you even manage your money at all?

     Know that hard-earned money should be divided into three components: your needs, your wants, and your savings. Now, how do you determine which is which? How will you know if your budget allocation for your needs, wants, and savings are just right? Allow me to discuss all three components using the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe.
     The lion represents your needs. The ability to move forward, navigate, and survive until you reach your next payday is a concern for “needs”. Just like the lion, needs should also be tamed and be taken care of especially if your goal is to survive in the midst of the wilderness. Identifying your needs means remembering man’s basic needs - food, water, shelter, and clothing - as defined by Maslow. Yes, you need food and water.  These allow you to live on a day-to-day basis. Shelter can be in a form of housing rental, realty tax (if you own the house), and utility bills. In the case of clothing, not all clothes you buy can really be a need. You only have to have [enough] clothes for casual, for corporate, and for very important events/social gatherings. Clothes beyond these functions shall be classified under “wants”. Don’t forget to include transportation costs. It is also a need. You can’t go to work without it (unless you’re residing near your workplace in which walking is enough or you’re a work-at-home person). Medicine and supplements are also under this component for it gives your body the ability to live life to the fullest. Remember to allot fifty percent (50%) of your earned money for your needs.

     The witch represents your wants. Wants are intimidating and deceptive. Just like the witch, wants operate best on perceptions. The significance or importance of an item can be confusing most of the time. Wants normally convince you in buying things you thought you can’t live without. But the truth is that you can [still] go on and live a normal day even without the presence of such items. You either buy those things just to intimidate, to show off, or to fuel your ego. But of course, having the need for “wants” can also be a case-to-case basis. Wants can also be used as self-rewards. It can be your tool in  providing self-satisfaction and quick-relief from acquiring too much stress. Pampering or treating yourself for accomplishing a milestone or doing good at work are acceptable reasons. Catching up with friends in order to rekindle relationships and to create an outlet for releasing loads of stress are also acceptable reasons. Allot thirty percent (30%) of your earned money for your wants. Having an allotment lesser than your “needs” means you only use this [occasionally] and not frequently.

     The wardrobe represents your savings. Savings let you go [beyond]. Just like the wardrobe, savings  serve as your vessel in traveling great distance. You may want to go for a short ride, long ride, or much longer ride. It really depends on how far you’re willing to go. This component requires tremendous amount of discipline, patience, and emotion. Discipline means doing a strict financial routine, patience means being able to wait for a particular period of time (short-term, medium-term, long-term), and emotion means being emotionally ready to whatever surprises arise from the path you’re trekking. This component relies heavily on your present state and is very useful to your future state. With this, be sure to allot your remaining twenty percent (20%) to your savings. Trust me, savings will take you far.
     Now that you’re familiar with needs, wants, and savings, it’s about time for you to manage your fund. Create a budget allocation out of your hard-earned money only; observe proper allocation for each component; and avoid overspending.

Image Sources:
The Lion, the Witch, and the wardrobe
Budget Allocation Chart

Monday, March 25, 2019

Artistmat Says: 006

“Seek for unfamiliar grounds.”

     Complacency and comfort aren’t always the key to success. We may be champions in our own battlefield, yet we may be lacking in terms of courage and skills. Let’s look for unfamiliar battlefields where we can hone our existing skills and discover other skills we are destined for. We will never discover our full potential unless we come out from our comfort zone.

As posted on Instagram.
IG account: @artistmat

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Penniless and Alone

     Imagine waking up in the morning feeling different. You begin staring at the ceiling blankly and confused. You don’t know why it feels like your body is heavier than before. You start getting up in bed and sees your feet wrinkled. You stand up and hurryly go to the bathroom. With eyes wide open, you are in shock of what you’re seeing. You see yourself... pale, wrinkled, aged. You’re old now.

     Series of memories come flashing in. They are memories of how you lived your life starting from the age you last remember. It was a terrible life. You were so dependent with your salary alone. There were times when your salary wasn’t good enough. Your vices and short-term enjoyment competed with your needs. You acquired loans you can’t repay. You have no savings, no emergency funds, and no investments. You weren’t able to secure a good future. 

     Tears falling out from your eyes. You feel so sorry for yourself. If only you were able to think of your future above anything else. If only you were able to allocate a portion of your hard-earned salary for your future. If only you’ve done yourself a favor.

     You wake up in bed crying. It was just a dream... such aweful dream. Thankful as you are, you begin asking yourself if that’s the future you want to end up to - penniless and alone. You start imagining the future you really want to become. One by one, you list down things you need to do in order for you to secure that ideal future. Little by little, you’re becoming your own hero.

Good thing you’ve dreamed of it. Good thing you’ve realized.

     If by chance you’re reading this article, consider this your turning point. Stop wasting and start investing. Make use of your precious time in shaping that ideal future. Brick by brick, a castle shall be made. You just have to begin somewhere - where time and strength are still in sync.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Artistmat Says: 005

"Be your own competition."

     Don't compare yourself to other people. They have different sets of skills, dreams, sour moments, and motivations than you do. You must create your own armor. Their armors were specially designed for their own battles. You have your own sets of battle so you better create an armor that suits your needs. Strive to be the best version of yourself by competing against yourself. 

As posted on Instagram.
IG account: @artistmat

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ready to See Your Future?

     Let me ask you a question. If given a chance to see your future... your [entire] future, would you want to see it? You may answer me with a quick “yes” for the very reason that you want to be prepared facing your day-to-days. You may also answer me with a quick “no” simply because you don’t want to be consumed with worries and fears for you’ll know where and when you’ll expire.

     Both answers can be true for all of us. We may want to see the future for the benefit of today where redirections and repairs can still be made in order to alter the future. Or we may not want to see our future at all because reality can be frightening and may affect our current self in dealing with hopes and aspirations. It’s normal to be in doubt when confronted with this type of question.

     But why am I asking this question? I assume you are aware of this popular quote that says: 

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it’s 
called the present.”

,which suggests that we just have to enjoy today; instead of clinging on our past, move forward; and instead of worrying about our future, just be productive.
     The reason for me asking this question has something to do with assurance and security [financially].  Yes, we must enjoy today to the fullest but I would also want you to realize that time is moving forward at a fast pace. Before we even notice it, our future has arrived and there’s no turning back. Time becomes our enemy. 

     But instead of treating time as an enemy - whom we should be afraid of, let’s treat time as a friend - whom we can rely on. Instead of running against time, run with time. That’s how it should be. Time is an infinite progression. All things progress with time. We progress with time - from a cell into becoming dusts. Investments also progress with time - it grows with interests and eventually matures.

     There’s nothing wrong with having fun. What’s wrong is if you’re just having fun at the moment without having the luxury of being responsible for your future self and future family. Make this day an opportunity to become the hero that your future self deserves. It’s time to invest.

     This is Matt, and this post serves as my introduction to future financial-related posts. Let’s help each other. Let’s educate ourselves and become the future we can be proud of.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Artistmat Says: 004

     "Start with a dream in mind."

     Dreams aren’t just wishful thinking where we just fantasize for something we can’t achieve. Dreams are those tiny sparks, which cause the motivation burning. Want something? Dream of it. Let that dream condition your spirit. Start with a dream. 

As posted on Instagram.
IG account: @artistmat

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Artistmat Says: 003

"The road may be far, yet it becomes nearer
the moment you start your step."

     Long-term goals may be unachievable nor overwhelming the first time you draft them. Just keep in mind that goals will only be reachable the moment you start acting on it.

As posted on Instagram.
IG account: @artistmat

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Artistmat Says: 002

"Despite all odds, learn to stand."

     Whatever difficulties and challenges you are facing at this point, keep in mind to always stand up. Life may hit you hard several times, yet you need to stand up and be still. Show the world that your hopes and dreams are worth fighting for.  

As posted on Instagram.
IG account: @artistmat

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Artistmat Says: 001

"Disturb the calm water. Create ripples."

     It's not bad to be the first to pick a stone and throe it to a calm lake. Be the first to disturb the usual calmness and create ripples. Change is something that we must seek. At first, you'll be criticized by many for such audacity. But things will go well when they are beginning to see and feel the impact of the change you've created. Go on, pick up that stone and start disturbing the atmosphere. 

As posted on Instagram.
IG account: @artistmat

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