Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Debt is the worst poverty. ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

There are a lot of people in this world that instead of accumulating wealth had been in the streak of accumulating debt.

When you look at them, you will think that they are filthy rich because they have all the material manifestation of a wealthy person. But money corrupts people. So whatever money they’ve borrowed will bring upon them their very own downfall.

Just imagine if your debt would amount to say $20,000,000? Can you sleep? If a person can sleep better at night knowing that he owes the world so much, he must have an unbelievable character worthy to even make a record in Guinness.

So the poor people should not feel so bad after all, yes they may be poor … but they won’t be carrying around in their conscience something so enormous. We should not always worry about what we should eat or what to wear tomorrow because our Creator knows our needs and He will provide. It gives me comfort in my moments of chaos the thought that man is far more important than the birds in the sky or the grass in meadows. If He takes care of those tiny creatures what more man? We also have to do our share in this world… we can’t just sit down and wait for bread to fall down from the sky.

But we have to remember, that we should only limit our borrowings to an extent to which we are able to pay back during the prescribed time given to us. They said too much of everything brings about destruction. Everyone has to learn the art of budgeting because it helps a lot in decision making. We better stick to the necessities that way we never go astray.

Ready for Marriage?

It is a woman’s business to get married as soon as
possible, and a man’s to keep unmarried as long as he can.
- George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Oh darn! One by one! Yes! You heard me right… my girlfriends; one by one they are all starting to get into this huge thing called marriage. Doing the planning and working on the details of having that perfect day of their lives. A fantasy comes true.

Well, just seeing them being ecstatic and all will somewhat give you that feeling that the “happy and care free days” will soon be over. Marriage would mean no more late nights for dinner, coffee or donuts. Marriage would also mean no more movie nights and of course the girls’ night out, when we can just lie there and talk about everything under the moonlit sky.

I am beginning to think, marriage spoils fun for people. Oh but I know for sure, those married couple will say that there are some good things about being married. Oh swell! Tell me about it. From what I understand, when someone marries another person, one actually marries the whole family of that person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. Just imagine the horror one would go through if you are not approved by the family of your special someone.

Another thing I’ve noticed with my really good friends, if before, we can be as open as possible about our problems, pains and frustrations… well, now they have the tendency of softening the blow they are experiencing because the person who are causing them pains happen to be the significant other. Sometimes, I can’t help but be mad. But what pains me the most is when I hear them utter a word of despair that if only they can turn back time, they would have opted not to marry this guy.

Marriage is not a joke. It is not something people can just get out of when it no longer feels right. Marriage is about trust, respect, sacrifice, compromise and love. This is a huge thing and should not be taken lightly. Couples should not rush into marriage as an escape goat or as a solution to pregnancy. These are all the wrong reasons of settling down. And I know for a fact that a lot of marriages failed due to haste into getting married.

I know it is every girl’s dream to have a fairy tale wedding and a lifetime of bliss with her significant other, but I guess one should note that he/she should get into marriage with eyes both wide open to be able to see things clearly. To all my friends who are about to plunge into this mountain of commitment, it is my earnest hope that you’ve given this whole thing so much thought and emotions but remember where your brain and heart is located and decide accordingly.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Listening Ear

Earlier today, I spent two hours with my student listening to all her ideas, pains, hopes and dreams. I was suppose to teach her a new lesson in English but last night her Aunt spoke to me about what she wanted me to inculcate in the mind of her niece. She wanted to increase the level of my student’s comprehension. She wanted me to put some sense into her. I spent an hour listening to her wishes last night.

On my way home I was like… hello! I have a Herculean task ahead of me. Imagine having to understand the whole story behind my student’s life and helping her rise to her feet to be well equipped in facing the complex world there is out there. I began processing things on my own. I asked myself, at first I took this part-time job to teach the kid how to communicate in English. Now, I’m being asked to do an overhaul. Not that I’m complaining, but my role now is turning out to be a shrink.

I don’t have a clue what shrinks really do except for those I’ve seen on TV, where they give all those recommendations. But to me those are crappy things because who are we to judge or to give a valuable insight when we were never really in the shoe of the patient. They say experience is a good mentor. How can a shrink be so knowledgeable about pains and anguish? Is this something you learn in school? I don’t think so… When you come to think of it, at the end of the day, we only have ourselves to reckon with. Whatever mistakes or failures we’ve committed should not be remedied by others. We have to learn to rise where we fall and garner the strength to move on and make whatever time is left in our lives, count.

In those times when we seemed lost and insecure, we should not turn to shrinks who know nothing about every bit of emotion going on inside us. What we need is a friend who will be there to listen without judgment. Not many people are capable of listening but if ever you will have a friend in need at some point, don’t hesitate to listen and just be there. I’ll let you in a little secret I’ve learned today, listening can be very rewarding. Somehow, you become a part of that person who shared something with you and it opens your eyes to the many blessings you’ve had had and the blessings you are now enjoying. I guess when we are given the gift of listening; we have to put it in to good use. Take note: A GOOD LISTENER IS A GOOD CONVERSATIONALIST.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thoughts to Ponder On

People from different parts of the globe will celebrate the “Hearts Day” next week. I just saw something that I wanted to share to all of my friends. Enjoy rediscovering the essentials of a relationship. The author really made a whole lot of sense here.

Today I will give you a portion of his write up and the rest will be posted tomorrow. So read on...

The Fear That Cripples a Relationship
By Dr H. Norman Wright

Have you ever seen movies of birds engaging in a courtship dance? They’re fascinating and funny. The awkward fowls fluff up their feathers, prance around, dance toward one another, and then retreat. They do this time after time until the courtship rit­ual is finished. Then they get together.

Some people are like this. They move close to a person, but then retreat. Their relationship pattern is a constant pattern of moving closer, then moving away. There seems to be both a strong desire for a lasting relationship, and at the same time an odd reluctance.

“Ambivalence” is another way to describe this situation. If this characterizes you, you’re familiar with the phrase, “Can’t you ever make up your mind?” The inability to decide is a killer when it comes to relationships. With ambivalence as your guide, what you’re doing is operating on the belief that by not making up your mind—by holding out long enough—you’ll eventually make the right decision.

In reality, however, this is a protective move to keep you from taking a risk. An ambivalent person is looking for a guarantee—a certainty of being right. It’s a battle between the heart and the head. Once again, it is fear that underlies this

Fears Both Said and Silent
Many singles experience thoughts and feelings such as the fol­lowing. Have you felt them yourself?

“I don’t think this relationship will be reciprocated. My friend’s needs
will be met, but mine won’t.”

“This relationship takes so much work. I’m afraid I can’t bal­ance the needs I have for closeness as well as independence.”

“I’m afraid of opening up any more. Why? The more he knows about me, the greater the possibility of rejection. I can’t handle that.”

“If I stay in this relationship I could be controlled.”

“If she meets my family, she’ll discover what a weird bunch I come from. It will make her wonder about me.

“What if she becomes too dependent on me?”

“I’m not sure a marriage will be worth giving up the freedom I like so much!”’

Being married carries with it both freedoms and limitations. I’ve talked with men and women who have been in and out of one relationship after another for 25 years. They say they want a lasting relationship, and have been close to someone at times, but one or both decide not to make that final dance toward inti­macy. It’s as though they would rather hold on to their freedom of singleness than exchange it for the freedoms of marriage. They are in some ways driven by fear.

For many it’s a commitment conflict rather than not being able to find anyone. It’s good to approach a lifelong relationship with caution, but some seem downright phobic.

Sometimes relationships are characterized by an overwhelming ambivalence On the one hand the person loves the other and can say it. They may say it very freely at the beginning of a relation­ship—but their safeguard to keeping themselves from marriage is in the word “but.” Those whose hesitation forms a pattern, and who live with the fear of commitment, often make such statements as:

“I love you, but we’re so different it would never work.”
“I love you, but I think I need more time.”
“I love you, but I just don’t deserve you.”
“I love you, but I have too many other issues to work out first.”
“I love you, but I need to be alone right now.”
“I love you, but I’m interested in others as well.”
“I love you, but I’m not sure I’m in love with you. Do you understand?”

These lines play over and over inside of hesitant people’s minds. Only infrequently are they expressed to their partners. And even if they are, usually the other one hears the “I love you, not the “but.”

Guide to Assessing Your Fears

How can you determine whether you or the person you’re inter­ested in has a high level of fear when it comes to making a com­mitment? Consider the following characteristics, which are in the form of personal questions.

1. Do you or your partner have a history of relationships in which one wants more and the other less?

This could take the form of more time, closeness or commit­ment. As you consider the relationships you’ve been in or cur­rently have, do you want more or less?
What about your partner?

Do either of you complain that the other pulls back or with­holds?
Do either of you limit how much is given in order to avoid intimacy?
Do either of you have a pattern of hurting or disappointing partners?
Is one a bit anxious because the other is not giving the secu­rity he or she needs?
Is one pushing the other for more commitment?

On the following scale, indicate where you are in terms of commitment,
and also where you think your partner is:
0 25% 50% 75% 100%
(Forget it!) (Yes! I’m all for it!)
Me _______________________________________

My Partner _______________________________________

Sometimes it’s difficult for couples who are out of synch to ever get together. When one moves closer the other may move away. It becomes a dance
in which the two are always out of step.

2. Have you ever experienced a significant relationship that came to a halt because you or your partner became too fearful of moving ahead?

If this occurred, do you know if it was a feeling of panic or a steady sense of fear? Who was the person that was rejected? Was this the first time, or a pattern?

3. Have you experienced a relationship in which either you or your partner set limitations of some kind on closeness and intimacy (nonsexual)?

Some people are so structured, so cautious, so compartmentalized, that you’d think they invented boundaries! Their concerns may appear so legitimate that you’re unaware that it’s actually a fear of involvement. It may appear to be caution or simple logistics.

A person may limit his time and availability. He may exclude you from specific
areas of his life such as family functions, work, social occasions, certain
friends, or even his church. I’ve seen some indi­viduals who attended the
same church, but the man made it a point never to be seen there together. He
didn’t want them to be known as a couple. There’s a real message in that! A
person like this may not want to share other special occasions or even special
interests. He or she may even set restrictions on how much money you spend
together on outings, or limit gifts to cards. All of these steps seem to have
the purpose of maintaining a certain distance in relationships.

If you or your partner tend to do this, don’t guess about the motivation. It’s clear.
Excluding and being excluded won’t help a relationship to grow.

4. Do you have a tendency to develop relationships when, down deep, you know they would never work out—that the person just doesn’t have what is needed for a rela­tionship?

Some people do this so they will always end up with an escape clause. Usually the difficulties are there to begin with, but they are overlooked or rationalized. They could be differences involv­ing political views, social status, race, age, levels of Christian commitment, or even Christian vs. non-Christian. It’s an attitude that says. “There is too much of this for it to ever work.”

Differences will be in every relationship; but a pattern of seeking them carries a sign saying. “Watch out!”

5. Do you believe there is that “one and only right per­son” for you out there
somewhere, but as you look, the person you actually find is never quite right?

Once again this can be a signal that you seek someone with “too much” of
a negative in his or her life. You just haven’t found the ‘right person’ (and
probably never will).

6. Do you or your partner have a tendency to seek out those who are unavailable for one reason or another?

It could be they’re unavailable relationally. They’re involved with someone else, but you’re still attracted—as well as safe. There can be no commitment with someone whose heart is really elsewhere.

Some potential partners are geographically unavailable. You meet someone at a resort or on a plane, and when you’re togeth­er it’s great. You write, e-mail, fax and phone each other; but the distance adds to the romance rather than the reality.

There are pros and cons to some long-distance relationships. Some couples have said they put more energy and thought into building the relationship than they would if they were together all the time. And they say they don’t take each other for granted.

But if you marry without several months of spending time together in the
same locale, it can be an intense adjustment. Some say that when the
relationship stops being long-distance it can even precipitate a crisis.

In some ways it is reminiscent of the adjustments required by those in
the armed services when they are deployed for six months to another area. Many
marriages experience major adjustments and crises when the serviceman returns to his family. It takes weeks to settle back into a normal routine. So if you’re
involved in a long­ distance relationship, be aware of the crisis potential
when you eventually find yourselves in the same area.

Working side by side with this person for three months—see­ing them under all kinds of stresses and conditions—will clue you in to reality!

I’ve seen some people who seem purposely to connect with what I call the “permanently unavailable.” It gives them a good basis for commitment to be illusive.

Perhaps you can identify other reasons for someone to avoid commitment.
And perhaps this doesn’t apply to you or the other person. But it’s something to

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Easy Listening to Javanese Music

Every Wednesday after office hours I would always get a glimpse of these group of people playing their kind of music. I've been meaning to take their picture ever since I got here and that was like over a year ago but I don't know, it seems to me that every Wednesday I keep forgetting to bring a camera with me. I guess, I'm just so forgetful.
Luckily, last Wednesday my new gadget was with me so I was able to take a picture and a video of these folks. But somehow I can't share the video here so you wouldn't have a chance to listen to their music. The way they hammer on those instruments can give a soothing effect for a restless soul. The voices of the women singing at the top of their lungs and God knows what they were saying coz I don't even understand. I tell you the way things blend with those instruments, it is just magnificent.
Well, I hope you guys will have the chance to visit this part of the world too. They have a rich culture and if you are the type who certainly have knacks for exotic stuff. Indonesia is a place to visit. Very colorful and vibrant country.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Kaki Lima

In a foreign land one has to learn to adapt to the environment. Man has this tendency to find a nook wherever in the world he/she may be that sort of provide that sense of belongingness.

In this part of the world where I am now, I find comfort in this place along the side of the main road near my place. You can only see this at around five pm onwards or up until the containers are empty. Here they call it "kaki lima"” which literally means 5 legs. Three of which belongs to the trolley and the other two for the person selling the goods. When, I don't feel like cooking or am tired of eating pork, I usually go to this place where I can have a little chitchat with "Bapak"(literally means father) and enjoy his "soto ayam" (chicken soup). They say chicken soup is good for the body. So I try to at least have a bowl of chicken soup in a week. The soup is really good and it's cheap. Whenever I go there, Bapak already knows how I want my soup to be prepared and I always have a cold bottle of "Teh Botol".

This is a place where I can go and observe people and enjoy their stories. People from different walks of life somehow merge in this small place to have a taste of this sumptuous “soto ayam”. In this place also, I feel like I belong because just like everyone else I’ve met, they think I’m Indonesian. In a place like this, it feels good to know that somehow I can blend with them. But even if I am able to adapt, my heart is still in RP. There will never be any place better than Home. For the meantime however, my favorite "kaki lima" gives me that sense comfort even if I’m away from home.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Day Spent in Solitude

It was a peaceful day for me. I enjoyed doing my cross stitch while watching a series. Even if things looked a bit disarray it gave me a sense of comfort. I will always cherish moments like this. It helps me in a lot of ways because it allows me to process things.