Alternative Pastime for Your Ears

Are you tired of listening to the same playlist in your media player? Watched the same music videos in Youtube? If music starts to be deafening, you can have this as an alternative pastime for your ears.

In my quiet moments, I browse videos of TEDx. For those of you who don’t know, “TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. ” It carries a tagline  ” ideas worth sharing.”

I enjoy listening to speeches that are well crafted.  After all,  I finished a degree in Speech Communication. But I must admit that I have short attention span. Sometimes, I end up daydreaming after listening the first five minutes of   a lecture, a sermon, and a group discussion.  Well, listening to TEDx speeches is different. They are easy on the ears, that you forget you spent nine minutes listening. You can do it while working and browsing in the internet. Here are some of my favorites.

Craig Walzer – Artful Lies and Shelves of Fiction

On one vacation in Santorin, Greece, two American boys  looked for a bookshop but could not find one. This sprout the idea of building a bookshop.  After Craig graduated, he went back to Greece and  built a bookshop where people can read, tell stories, and make bonfires in the evening.

Cameron Russell –  Image is powerful

I admired this woman for being brutally honest about the modeling industry.  Her talk in TEDx has become viral and controversial. There are a lot of negative comments but I bet they don’t get her point. She does not sugarcoat, like showbiz people do.  She said: ” The real way that I became a model is that I won a genetic lottery, and I am the recipient of a legacy. What do I mean by legacy? Well, for the past few centuries we have defined beauty not just as health and youth and symmetry that we’re biologically programmed to admire, but also as tall, slender figures, and femininity and white skin. And this is a legacy that was built for me, and it’s a legacy that I’ve been cashing in on.”

Jarrett J. Krosoczka – How a boy became an artist

He is an illustrator and writer of children’s books. He has sense of humor and overflowing passion. This video brings me smiles.

Sabsy Ongkiko: Our Return of Investment

In the Philippines, my favorite TED talk is a speech of a public school teacher. She graduated in one of top universities in the Philippines. In spite of having outstanding credentials, she preferred to work as a  public school teacher. She is very inspiring. I was in tears while listening to her speech.  I know there are a lot of young leaders who want to make a difference  in the country but she is different from the rest.   Some do good and some fight for a cause because in return they will get merit and credit for what they do. On the other hand, this woman is  a genuine modern day hero. You can tell through her speech that she gives her service not for self-fulfillment sake.

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter

Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet. She is a captivating speaker. I recommend not only her TEDx video but all her videos. You will cling to every word she says.

“It’s not that I think that spoken word poetry is the ideal art form. I’m always trying to find the best way to tell each story. I write musicals; I make short films alongside my poems. But I teach spoken word poetry because it’s accessible. Not everyone can read music or owns a camera, but everyone can communicate in some way, and everyone has stories that the rest of us can learn from. Plus, spoken word poetry allows for immediate connections. It’s not uncommon for people to feel like they’re alone or that nobody understands them, but spoken word teaches that if you have the ability to express yourself and the courage to present those stories and opinions, you could be rewarded with a room full of your peers, or your community, who will listen. “

I hope you get to watch these videos. I’m sure you’ll find far more interesting videos from TEDx. It’s a treasure box of ideas.

My Uncle Sam

Sometimes sorrow teaches us the best things in life and brings out the best in us. My most viewed blog post is a piece written for my Uncle Sam (also found in a community blog, Definitelyfilipino.com). Last weekend, we went to San Felipe, a small town in Cotobato to have a reunion and to remember Uncle Sam’s death anniversary. In memory of my Uncle’s Sam, here’s an article by a local writer in Union County Advocate. To have a better look, click the scanned photos.


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“Cancer is a Friendly Disease”

Lina Bernardo lost a husband, companion, friend, lover, and husband two years ago. Christmas Eve would not be the same again for December 24 was the date Lina Belo became Mrs. Bernardo. The last thing Mar gave to his wife was a card and a dinner in their favorite restaurant.

“Friend mo siya forever, kahit sa pamilya niya. Lagi siyang nakikinig. Kahit kasalanan ko, ako pa rin yung bida. Approachable siya. You can tell any problem,” said Lina as she retrieved memories of her husband.

During the first few months after Mar’s death, she struggled over loneliness. She had to deal the realities of widowhood. She missed those days when she had Mar to accompany her in grocery store. She missed those moments when they watched movies together and she missed those days when they worshiped together in Samar where they first met and fell in love.

Lina, now, can smile and talk at ease about her husband’s death but she has gone through a lot of pain before she can be in her current state.

Two months fighting cancer was like a decade battle. Before Mar was diagnosed with colon cancer, he had been suffering dizziness and high blood pressure. They did not know it would soon lead to his death. Even if she knew how chronic her husband’s condition, she did not give up. When Mar was hospitalized, she drank coffee like water. She witnessed how hard for Mar to sleep. As she saw her husband’s body deteriorating, she became more fearful.

She was in teary eyes as she described how grateful she was to her friends and loved ones in the church. She regained her strength when the members would visit and sing with her and her husband. They cried with her. Empathy from others was her best comfort.

In Pangasinan, she said to her husband for 29 years, “Mar, huwag ka munang mamatay, i-survive mo muna yung sarili mo.” Upon hearing, he held her hand. One week after, he died.

Looking back, she said, “Cancer is a friendly disease.” It gave an opportunity for Mar to be cared for and to be loved by those who are special to him. The illness that scared a lot of people brought her some life lessons. “I become closer to God, “ she said.

From there, she learned how precious life is. “Everyday sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘I choose to be happy’. Ni-rerecite ko sa sarili: ‘Life is precious. Life is good.’ This is how she recovered. Since then, she treasured life by learning to forgive and eliminating stress and negative thoughts.

She added, “I ty to philosophize that ( it is also positive): I’m free to do what I want. I can go anywhere. I am not trying to please anyone.” She opened herself to more people by sharing her experience.

She learned to appreciate life as well as death. Family and friends gave her books to comfort. She read A Glimpse of Eternity which taught her death is beautiful. It helped her feel better thinking that “masarap ang mamatay.”

My aunt and yours truly