My Dreams

Dream Again

Stitches & Words | Dream Again | Cinderella quote

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Do you still remember how you answered this question when you were younger? I do.

  • Interior Designer
  • Architect
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer

Those were the jobs that I aspired for from grade school to high school. Pero ang totoo, kahit I never said it out loud as a dream job, I really wanted to be a performer. To act onstage or be on TV (hello, Ang TV!). I loved doing theater (also interpretative dance)!

I still remember the moment I switched from one dream to another.

It was a visit to an exhibition of Interior Design students that I got the inspiration to become a designer myself. I was very young then, 7 years old maybe? Parang ang saya kasi, seemed like such a joy to decorate rooms and spaces that would be appreciated by others.

Then I remember my Dad taking me to the still-under-construction building that would be their new office, and then having lunch with the Architect (or maybe he just told me about the Architect?). Hmm, I want to design homes and structures instead!

But after awhile, I realized that my drawing skills were very rudimentary. And I had a feeling I wasn’t creative that way – not creative enough to design spaces and structures.

But I could write.

A college Journalism professor told me so when I was 10 years old. She mentored us young writers aspiring to be part of the school paper. The school ran a great program while I was there: every start of the year, they would run a 1-day (or was it 3 days?) workshop led by her. She told us stories about her experiences, and also gave us an overview of what it means to write for a newspaper. By the end of the event, we would all have written something. Through our work, she and the school paper adviser would decide who qualifies and for what post.

I loved being part of the school paper and how we ran it. Those three years went by quickly. Sometimes I still wonder what would have happened if I kept on writing and cultivated the skill. I remember my Adviser (not the Professor who only worked with us during the workshops) believing in me so much that she came to our house one summer day to get my application for a creative writing workshop at the CCP. She also strongly encouraged me to stay in the paper for my last year (sixth grade, though she left the country that year), when I said I was switching to a different club. I wish we had stayed in touch.

Years later, when it was time to figure out what university to apply to, syempre I had to first decide what course I wanted to take. At the time, influenced by my involvement in the child rights movement, I thought I wanted to become a lawyer. A classmate told me that BA Psychology would be a good pre-law course. So I ticked that off as my first choice for UP Diliman. My next choice was Journalism.

Sometime in my first year at the University, I realized how much I didn’t enjoy going to school. Of course I loved learning, and I loved UP, I just didn’t like having to go to school. I never did. Or maybe it was traditional classes I didn’t like? And the idea of extending my years of having to be in school just didn’t appeal to me. I decided I did not have to become a lawyer to help others.

Fast forward.

To Now.

I am not designing, not writing for a living, not advocating for someone before a court of law.

It’s okay.

Posted with permission. EMM, Not Emma.

But I think it’s time to dream again.

You Can Make it Happen



These are Danielle Laporte’s words, and she has this printable available on her website for download.

We all need to hear words of affirmation, and if no one else is there to give them to us, we can have this page to read aloud to ourselves and to each other.

“Do a little more of what you want to do every day, until your ideal becomes what’s real.” I should take that advise. I really should.

Sarah Kay and Spoken Word Poetry

Cathy Zielske in her recent blog said it right, The Internet is Amazing. Without the Internet, I never would have heard of Sarah Kay. She is a young woman who travels to different schools performing and teaching open word poetry. She also writes plays/musicals and shoots documentaries.

I want to be her. She’s someone I could have been. Watch:


Isn’t she something? She co-heads Project VOICE with her friend Phil Kaye (you also have to watch their video “An Origin Story”), they envision to use Spoken Word to entertain, educate, and inspire. In this short talk, she certainly accomplished all three for me.

Once upon a time, I wrote poems. I was a fairly good writer. I tried short story writing too. Until now I still believe that, given time and the proper environment, I can still be a good writer. Or a poet. And I loved performing on stage. I may have been good too. So Spoken Word Poetry? It could totally have been my thing. Had I known there was such a thing.

What’s more important though is that I totally get how Spoken Word Poetry could be what many young people need. I’ve never had problems speaking out or finding ways to get myself heard. But I know it isn’t true for all young people. I hope they reach more audiences, even Filipino kids, and create opportunities for them too to engage with their environment, with the world. And this medium can be totally taken to the streets. Oh how fun and amazing that would be.

What inspires me from this talk isn’t the idea that I could be doing what she does, but the understanding that it’s not too late to be whatever that I want to be. Or whatever I wanted to be. The three steps she mentioned in her speech? Totally applicable to anything you want to do, not just being in Spoken Word.

First step: I Can.

It begins with the realization that I can do something. Or even that I am onto something magical and it is worth my time, and some people may be interested in what I can do.

Second step: I will.

Commitment. Willing to continue, to do it over and over until you find your voice. Until you find what makes something truly yours, or until you put your own stamp onto that something that you do.

Third step: Put all the things that you know so far into what you do.

This, Sarah says, is the step that never ends. And I realize that this is true not just for creative pursuits, but for anything that we do really. So I could decide that I could be the best boss, the best OM at work. It means having to put all my past experiences and all that I know into what I have to do at work. I can totally see how what I know about blogging or my experiences in theater could help me take my team to success.

When I hear about young women like Sarah Kay who are sharing their talents to the world, and helping change the world, I am overwhelmed with a feeling that I had my chance and didn’t take it. But I can’t reconcile that feeling with my conviction that I don’t regret any of the choices I have made in my life. So seeing this quote has recently given me hope –



It’s never too late to be who you might have been – George Eliot.

No, it is not too late for me. Thanks to Sarah’s three steps, I can still make things happen.

After all, local actor Richard Yap, popularly known as his characters Papa Chen and Sir Chief rose to fame at 44!

Remembering Steve


(image from

As the world pays tribute to a visionary, and the man behind iconic products of our generation, let us reflect on some of his famous words. From Stanford University’s website, I have copied the text of Jobs’ commencement address back in 2005. It gives us a clear look into how the man viewed life and death. Highlighted are my favorite lines.

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.


I am a newbie in the Steve Jobs’ world, having been an iPad owner for a year, and iPhone4 owner for much less time. I am a Windows-User, but an Apple-fan (you all know of our dearly departed dog called iPod right?). I can see more Apple products in my future. I appreciate the innovations that Jobs and his colleagues have brought us. And reading his words from this speech, hearing what so many others have to say about him, I know now that I am his fan.

Thank you Steve Jobs, your life is being celebrated all over the world. You have cheated death, because your memory lives on thru Apple. If I can accomplish just a fraction of what you have done that impacts the world, I will also die fulfilled.

Jenni Epperson also has  a nice collection of Steve Jobs’ quotes on her blog.

Rio 2014

While watching the game tonight, Alfred up and asked if we could make it to Rio in 2014 for the World Cup. No, he wasn’t asking about the Azkals making it through. He meant us. Can we go and watch? Well why not?

We’re going to need a lot of coin banks to save up for that! Smile

So it’s really sad that the Philippine Azkals didn’t win over Kuwait. Even that amazing goal by Stephan Shrock wasn’t enough to keep the boys going for more. They played well. We made a lot of attempts at goal but the Kuwaiti defense was tough, and so was their goalie.

Tonight’s home game was a far better game than the last one. Too bad we couldn’t pull off a miracle. We could have at least won the second leg though. Still, nothing to be ashamed of. The boys fought well. It’s that coach I’m not too sure about. Hahaha. Smile


(Image linked to source)

There are variations to the Azkals logo, but this is closest to the one I actually like. Alfred wouldn’t let me buy an Azkals shirt though, hahaha. He’s not a fan, or maybe a closet fan. He doesn’t like it that the Azkals is dominated by Fil-Europeans. I keep telling him there will be more homegrown players because the sport is gaining ground in the Philippines. It takes time.

Anyway… The Kuwaitis must be partying now, sharing their Black and Mild cigars around. Well they deserved to win. They were pretty solid as a team and they worked hard. The Philippine National Team must have learned a lot from competing against them. For that, kudos to Kuwait.

So, will me make it to Rio in 2014? Time will tell. Smile

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