In the Case of Choices

See, if the world ran simply straightforward, there’d not be the existence of choices. Nothing would ever be difficult, no complexities, everything would just lay there in front of you waiting for you to go ahead and move on to the next step.

But, apparently, that’s not how it works. From the beginning of time, if you believe in the story of creation presented in the Bible, man was presented with choices. According to the story, a certain serpent made Eve decide to partake of the fruit of knowledge. That is easily the first wrong choice man made.

There was that time when we only had simply things at hand – we only had to choose which candy to buy, what game to play this time, which toys to play with. But, then again, we all had to grow up from that stage. Then, somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone tries to talk in front of you speaking of all those things about choices! Then, that person would also try to warn you about not making the wrong ones and sometimes would cite his experiences and speak of the repercussions of the so-called “bad choices” that that person ever made!

That’s when you start thinking about them and try to start looking at the possibilities even if you are really just seeing them in your very own personal inner mind theatre. But that period comes to pass, like a seven-day wonder. You only get to go back to them when the time comes when you are actually standing in front of a forked road in the so-called “crossroads of life”. Then, you suddenly wish that either for everything to go back to the time when everything was simple enough or for time to stretch for you so you get to have more time to think about everything.

What if Adam and Eve never had a bite of that fruit? What if there was not the deceitful serpent? What if they simply chose to bask in the glory and richness that was the Garden of Eden? Maybe, we’d never have to go through these things. Maybe, we would all be in the Garden of Eden simply enjoying the splendour that is right in front of us.

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The Story of Christmas

According to Wikipedia,

Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday observed generally on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar, or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

But according to other literature, Christmas, the way it is celebrated these days, is a rather twisted tale. It tells us that Christmas actually originated from the ancient pagan feasts. The church was already getting worried about the number of followers because a lot of people were attending pagan worship celebrations because they were festive and, therefore, attractive. This pushed the church to set Christmas on around the date of this pagan celebration to try to stop people from becoming pagans. Also, according to the story set in the Bible, Jesus Christ couldn’t have been born on winter because of the setting of the environment given in the tale – sheep staying outside in the night.

Now, this should put Christmas in a rather controversial position. Or so I think.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, a lot of people today are already forgetting the “true spirit” of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ. They are saying that people are turning to Santa Claus as the star of Christmas and this is absolutely wrong because it should be Jesus. Then again, Christmas have become too commercialized and I can fairly well say that a lot of business establishments are looking forward to this date due to the sheer amount of possible income from the decors to the gifts.

Now seeing as this isn’t actually the birth date of Christ and we are celebrating something that originated from the wrong things, how exactly should this date be approached?

Though, apparently, these days, a lot of things are very much uncertain. Maybe, the best thing we can all do is take a step back and try to look at things from every possible perspective and decide whether or not what we are doing is really something that we should be doing.

Encounters with Yesterday

Reconnecting with the past is never a simple task. It can be taxing, nauseating. Whether you wanted to or you were merely inadvertently pulled into that space, the experience will, undoubtedly, be the same. Sometimes, the nostalgia will hit you with a frightful force.

People almost always have stories to tell. Whether they are good or bad, funny or sad, long or short. When you get to meet someone of yesterday, and you have your own stories you want to tell, you must strike the first chance you get. Otherwise, you get to be the praying mantis for a while until you get the chance, if you are enough of a listener. While if you’re the kind to interrupt, well, that is just disrespectful.

Sometimes, the wait is actually almost excruciating. But that’s just how it is. It’s part of all the thoughts that reels into your mind whenever you get drawn in by that element of nostalgia.

When you get the chance to talk, however, you also get that nagging feeling, that racking in your brain that echoes, “Are you sure this is still interesting? Are you certain that you will be able to keep the discussion in place?” See, when you are in a conversation, you always gotta make sure that it flows smoothly until it has to end.

Things like these almost always happens in the most unexpected of places. Therefore, it will have to end sooner than later. But when it finally ends, you are sometimes hit with questions like, “Did we really even talk when we used to be at that place, at that time together? Was that person really who I thought that was? How were we able to talk after all those years?”

How to Earn Money Online

I’m kidding.

I’m not gonna talk about how to earn money online here; like, which programs to use and such. I just wanted to state a point.

I have long realized how amazing is the fact that a lot of people have learned how to earn money online and some of them have been able to quit their day jobs to fully embrace the so-called “dot-com lifestyle”.

Also, you can find a lot of places in the web where people try to tell you how to become a millionaire in a very easy way, in such a short time. Well, some of them are real. A lot, most of them are nothing but hype.

I just wanted to say that earning money online is not for everyone. Not all of us can be internet earners.

Most of these proven and effective ways* of earning money online requires you to be, in one way or the other, a writer. And NOT all of us are writers.

I am not talking about business outsourcing here – those are not what people who write about how to earn money online talk about.

Most of these internet earners will tell you about search engine optimization (SEO), link building, and the like.

But you cannot be able to do SEO if you have nothing to optimize because you don’t know what to write about or how to write.

While you can say that, “Of course, we can all write. We just have to scour the internet, find a few things there, then, put together those things you’ve found.”

Or maybe a simple copy-paste of some articles from other people will do.

But those wouldn’t work. Traffic to your site will ALWAYS be dependent on content. As they say, “Content is king.”

People wouldn’t want to go back to a site that is full of stuff from other people’s sites.

Originality counts a lot. Also, keeping things interesting is equally important.

If your blog can’t keep up because you can’t write about anything, you will most likely fail.

While a lot, if not all, of us wants the easy money and some of us thinks about earning this money online, some of us just can’t do it. Either because we lack the skill or the commitment.

When we get to realize that, we can all conclude that it is a simple truth that there will be nothing in this world that was created for everyone.

Note: Don’t take this as an expert’s opinion. I am no expert in this kinda things. I’m just giving my 2 cents.”

*Yes, they exist and, I, myself have earned a few dollars online.

Grand Santacruzan 2010

I could’ve written about the event and posted pictures from it but before last night was anywhere near over, the whole BEC has managed to disappoint me well enough.

The Santacruzan or sagala is supposed to be the culmination of the month-long celebration of the Flowers of May or Flores de Mayo. This tradition has spanned generations – I believe, it is one of the good things that the Spaniards have given the Philippines during the days of the colonization; well, at least, I believe, it is a part of religion.

Unfortunately, I believe, this tradition has almost hit the dirt given the changing times. However, I was happy to learn that, somehow, some people are putting on an effort to try to help this tradition live.

But I wasn’t wrong about the changing times.

You see, I have never thought of it as a form of a beauty pageant. I’ve always thought that it is a cultural and traditional activity and I have respect for cultures and traditions.

My mindset was far from it being any form of contest.

But before the mass started, I have learned that it was so. I thought that each member-baranngay of the BEC was assigned queens to represent. I was told otherwise.

I guess, I was the only one who didn’t know so. Apparently, each member-barangay of the BEC was to give representation for every queen for the sagala – including the Reyna Elena, the queen of queens; or so, I think.

The mass, itself, was a disappointment. The people were very busy about their costumes and props and didn’t bother to hear it. They chose to stay outside the church and do last-minute adjustments on their whatever that needs fixing.

After the mass was the parade. Fortunately, it came and went smoothly.

The final point of the parade was in the covered court that was barely able to fit all the participants. And this is where the biggest disappointment came from.

The highlight of the night was the announcement of the so-called “Reyna Elena 2010”.

The judgment system was the whole setup for a beauty pageant. It was bad enough that they had each barangay have a Reyna Elena but they made it worse by making it sound like some beauty pageant and judging the representatives according to beauty and poise.

I don’t mean to sound like a person very much against beauty pageant but it doesn’t seem right to me.

It all makes me question the point of the feast and confuses me about its significance.

Why does everything have to be a pageant?

Well, seeing as the court seemed to be setup for some disco, I believe, the night ended for them with music and dancing.

As for me, the night ended with me being sufficiently exhausted both from the walking and the disappointment.

I know this post would’ve been better with some pictures from the event but I am still on the process of saving up for either a camera or a mobile phone with a camera. I leaning for the latter.

I GotΒ Inked

It wasn’t very easy…

Before my yesterday ended, I set my phone’s alarm clock to 5:00am.

So, this morning, it woke me up at that time but I snoozed until 5:30am. I meant to do so.

I got up from bed and prepared.

At 7:00am, I went to the elementary school to check for my name. Yes, I didn’t check for my precinct beforehand.

I wasn’t very surprised not to find my name in the list. However, I still tried to check if it was just some sort of mistake.

I went to my aunt’s house, very certain that’s she’s got a list cuz she’s the barangay captain, to verify.

My name was indeed in the list. So, why can’t I find my name in the voter’s list posted at the elementary school?

The mistake was the BEI’s. I am listed in 26B. However, they posted the first two pages of the list for 26B with the pages for 26A – my name’s on the first page. I knew it was alphabetically arranged so I didn’t check every page.

Anyway, when I learned about that, I thought I was ready to vote.

Thing is, the PCOS machine at the precinct wasn’t working. At least, not yet.

I left the school to check on my parents. I stayed at our place until my mother was able to get ready.

When I came back, at around 8:15am, there was already a line of about 20, 30 people in our precinct. They said that the PCOS machine just started working.

So, yeah, I waited in line with the sun shining so bright. Yes, there’s no waiting area and we all had to stand and wait in line.

At around 9:00am, we noticed more people cutting in line.

Then, suddenly, there was this woman in front of me who was yelling, “Don’t cut in! There are people here waiting!”

And I was like, “Yeah, right. Like you didn’t cut in yourself.” But I didn’t tell that to her cuz I know that people will just call me very disrespectful and I was almost pissed that I didn’t want any trouble.

After 48 long years of waiting, I was able to get inside the precinct, did some signatures, got my ballot, marking pen, and ballot secrecy folder, shaded some ovals, cast my votes, got congratulated by a PCOS machine, returned the marking pen and ballot secrecy folder to the BEI, did some thumb marks, and got inked.

The PCOS machine also told me that my ballot was the 71st ballot that was cast.

I got out of the precinct at 10:07am. And glad to.

One thing, I was very uncertain about my ballot. The ink from one page got through to the other page. I really thought that the PCOS machine will reject it. I’m glad it didn’t.