Mornings be like


6:00am, on a cool December morning. I am at Taal Vista Hotel in breezy Tagaytay, overlooking the ridge. Taal Lake, the volcano, and sunrise is looming on the horizon.

Typical morning. Wake up. Say your prayers. Do your affirmations. Reflect. A wise man once told me that these (and mobile data) are one of the elusive keys to happiness.

Not that elusive at all – you can do it every day. But every day people wake up and unhappily drag themselves to work. (Guilty too!)

From the ledge I transferred to a nearby bench. If I do not hold my laptop the wind would blow it away.

The clouds are now giving way to a glorious sunrise. The rays blind my eyes, and I shift my gaze to the Ferris Wheel at Sky Ranch.

My nose twitch, I took a sip of my hot brewed coffee. And I type away.

In a few hours 7.4 billion people around the world would celebrate the New Year. One mass of land celebrating one hour after the other. Champagne popping, panties dropping (stole the latter line from a rap artist).

Resolutions are in vogue. Goals are set with dreams wanting to be realized.

Clouds, fog, whatever you call it, is about to hover over me. The person in a white shirt and orange walking shorts who is taking pictures of the sunrise tries to get away. But the clouds eventually envelope him. I sit still (payakap nga Lord!)

Humans are creatures of habit. A new year signifies new hope. Of new habits wanting to be systematized.

Our habits are the tools for us to engineer our happiness. We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.

Charles Dickens said “I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.”

Robert Kiyosaki, who co-authored a couple of books with President-elect Donald Trump coined the acronym FOCUS.

F – Follow
O – One
C – Course
U – Until
S – Successful

Hope you get to pick that one course for yourself for the new year.





Three out of five adults cannot swim. I am part of the non-swimmer statistic.

I do not know how to swim.

Interestingly two days ago, when the province of Batangas is under storm signal number 2 – my wife, my daughter, and I went freediving. On Christmas Day, during the calm before the storm, we were chasing fishes underwater and enjoying the sea.

Tomorrow would be my birthday. Much has happened during the past year.

There were lots of challenges, but there were also so many lessons learned.

The challenges came from various sources – those from the outside (other people, outside circumstances) and the thoughts inside my head. I found out that the latter was a more dangerous adversity.

It is true that we are our worst critic. It is true that we have the ability to put a noose around our necks.

It is also true that our inner world shapes our outer world. Unfortunately for us, there is both an angel and a demon inside of us. Fortunately, it is up to us who we would choose to listen to.

The bad news for me is I tend to listen to the demon inside. The good news is that for next year, I could choose to listen to the angel more.

I am still not 100% comfortable in the open sea. For the love of God I still could not do the survival float.

Being a non-swimmer, the road to being a certified skin diver appears to be a thousand nautical miles apart.

But the way I see it, it is just another challenge that has to be overcome. And I know that I have a couple more in store for me in the next year.

As I continue to reflect on the year that has passed, I noticed that the saying is so true – “We would be the same person a year from now, the difference will come from the people we meet and the books that we read.”

I wish that 2017 would be your best year ever. I hope that you would meet amazing people who will bless you and make you grow. I pray that you would pick the right book at your favorite book store that would give you the seed of thought to make 2017 your best year ever.

Happy New Year!!