Saturday, August 28, 2010

The gift of insults


The gift of insults

Near Tokyo lived a great Samurai warrior, now old, who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people. In spite of his age, the legend was that he could defeat any adversary.
One afternoon, a warrior – known for his complete lack of scruples – arrived there. He was famous for using techniques of provocation: he waited until his adversary made the first move and, being gifted with an enviable intelligence in order to repair any mistakes made, he counterattacked with fulminating speed.
The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight. Hearing of the Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him, and increase his fame.
All the students were against the idea, but the old man accepted the challenge.
All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult under the sun – he even insulted his ancestors.
For hours, he did everything to provoke him, but the old man remained impassive. At the end of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and humiliated, the impetuous warrior left.
Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked:
– How could you bear such indignity? Why didn’t you use your sword, even knowing you might lose the fight, instead of displaying your cowardice in front of us all?
– If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, who does the gift belong to? – asked the Samurai.
– He who tried to deliver it – replied one of his disciples.
– The same goes for envy, anger and insults – said the master. – When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to the one who carried them.

Well said Mr. Samurai! But then, insults are hard to bear, it takes a lot of patience and self-control to rebuff them... It is better to not speak than throw of words that can be a double edged sword...

Monday, August 16, 2010

His reply

Do you remember the girl who wrote to her future love? well, here is his reply. Got this from a friend and as you can see I'm reposting it. ;)

Those three words best describe the feelings my daughter and I have had last week as we received letters and comments on last week’s column that contained her letter to the man she will love someday.

Apparently, the letter struck a chord among the young and old.

One letter stood out—from an equally hopeful young man. I told my daughter the whole experience was starting to feel like a scene from “Letters to Juliet” and my eternally romantic 45-year-old heart just felt really blessed to be in the middle of it all.

I will let my daughter express our gratitude in her response below. We have been blessed in more ways than you will ever know. May you all find God’s best in His time.

My daughter’s letter

Dear readers,

I never expected that so many of you would find yourselves in a simple letter I wrote one night when I was most vulnerable, where in retrospect I realize now were just echoes of the little dreams my heart carried.

While I study to become a doctor someday, I know my focus should be on the literal intricacies of the human heart as opposed to what it feels. However, I find nothing wrong in hoping to meet that someone who’ll make it skip a beat.

To hope for love isn’t a bad thing, as long as you continue to live your life to the full while waiting for God’s best. As one wise reader wrote—it could be that “God is still preparing you both for that right moment.”

Meanwhile, we can learn, experience, and become happy with the things we do have in our lives today before that time comes, because after all, happiness never does depend on a single person.

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories of waiting and finding true love and to all the young people who appreciate the concept of not settling for just anyone but waiting for that someone. It is nice to know that there are others out there who still hope and pray for the right kind of love.

Two nights after the letter was published, I received this in my personal mail—an anonymous response to my letter. I want to share it with you all—a letter written by a man any girl would love to fall in love with someday.

Dear You,

I will admit that it came as a surprise to me when you decided to write a letter such as this. I always thought you were the type to keep things to yourself—one of the many things that keep us apart until now.

There is a part of every boy’s heart that dreams of his princess. However, no matter what the age, this princess does not change.

Nineteen years into this life, and although your unwillingness to give your heart away is what troubles you, what troubles me is how willing I am each and every time to give my complete heart and yet there is no one to receive anything of me.

Try as I might to give my heart to someone I had imagined was perfect, and I end up putting the pieces back together, mustering the courage to make it seems like nothing is wrong and nothing has been lost, when in fact, everything in my life at that point feels otherwise.

Although I have only known you for a few years, I am as confident as a man in love can be, that you are the perfect girl I have been thinking of ever since. Nineteen years into this life, and we are both still apparently waiting… for someone to be swept off her feet, and for someone to sweep you off yours. And yet, here we are closer to each other than you would expect.

I am sorry I took this long. But, I hope you know, it has not been entirely easy, trying to whisk you off to my palace on horseback. I am not alone in this pursuit of your love and I have no palace to show you in comparison to the many other men who will try to win your heart. You have not been entirely cooperative as well, but I do not blame you for this. In fact, it’s just one of the many quirks that sets you apart from other girls out there.

You will be disappointed to know that it has not been such a fairytale - meeting me, and for this I will be eternally sorry. I hope you know guys spend more than enough time trying to come up with the perfect introduction, what with sweaty palms and a shaky voice. As to the extreme disappointment I may cause you, I also hope you know that you are still as perfect in my eyes as always. I may not have begun it as a fairytale for us, but I will go through leaps and bounds to make you feel like the princess that you are.

Your eccentricities are what I love about you. Even during your occasional mood swings, it is the most endearing thing to see you shift gears. Although I must admit, sometimes it can be quite confusing; keeping me on my toes, it just makes me want to be with you even more. I want to be the man you stand beside at your best and your worst—because either way, you are still too beautiful, and I would be nothing less than the luckiest guy in town if you were just as happy as I was, standing beside you.

You are and will always be my best friend, even if one day I end up finding no more shirts because you have borrowed them all. And when you return them I end up not wearing them, still, because the scent is there to remind me of you even when you are not around. You are my best friend because you look out for me, after a stressful day, or after we lose a game of basketball. Even during times when you refuse to speak to anyone, me included—you are still my best friend.

You will be the girl I try so hard to cook for, and despite my best efforts I know I will fail, but I will love how you will try to taste my concoctions, even when the taste might make you cringe. You will be the girl whose mom I will try so hard to impress, and then you will fix my collar in hopes that I am ready to meet your parents. Adventure after adventure, you will be the girl I will see the world with, complete with the local cuisine taste and souvenir shots.

You are the girl I will smile to even in the worst of times. Even when the day feels like s__t, I know that when I see you that my world cannot be so bad if you are beside me. You are the girl whose smile I will wake up to, even when some mornings might find me with a slight case of morning breath. I cannot wait to love you.

Fingers crossed and palms held together, I hope one day you will find me worthy of your heart. In the meantime, know that I am out here somewhere, waiting for you, hoping that you will be mine.

Loving you forever and a day,


I was completely overwhelmed by this and went to sleep that night with a smile on my face, knowing that there are many people out there who continue to hold steadfastly to the hope of finding not the perfect, but the right person for them. So to every heart out there that continues to hope to someday know what that feels like- here’s to allowing God to write our love stories.

With much love and gratitude,


E-mail the author at cathybabao 

 Sana they'll continue this letter writing. heheh. i'm a fan na! *sniff*

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

read between the lines

Do you know the term "read between the lines?" 

I've never seen a group up close that is so business minded. I can't blame them, Philippines is in a dreadful state, people will do anything just to survive this jungle.
I'm blogging about the Networking agencies here in the Philippines. The kind who uses words to attract their customer. anyway, here' s the scoop.

A college friend invited me to have an interview in their company. He told me that positions were available and were related to our line of study. I was of course interested because he noted that this job can be part-time. So I agreed and set up a date, which was earlier tonight at 7pm. Little did I know that this company is operating via networking. You might think that I am close minded when it come to these things, but you see, I have studied Advertising. I am trained to read between the lines, to decipher meanings behind words and presentations. Why am I in this tone? It is because I was duped. I feel like it, though I can;t present you with severe facts, I can present you with my speculations. 

The minute I stepped into the room, I had a feeling that this was going to be something unexpected, I thought I was in the middle of a go-see, but it turns out, I have entered the realm of networking. I must commend the people working there for their diligence in speaking, they were chattering endlessly! Most people would have walked out of the room before he/she wastes anymore time, but i am different and you can say, more curious than interested. We were ushered into a room with speakers coming in and out of the session hall. One speaker spoke of the products and services, one spoke of the worst case scenario and the other presented a testimony. All were aiming at one goal, to convince us to pay P9,888 to gain (as they say) more money than any of our salary can give us. I was , of course, a skeptic. P9888 is not something you can conjure in thin air. The third speaker I was really entertained with. He is a pioneer of the company. When he spoke I feel like I'm in a comedy bar. The guy knows how to entertain, a very good speaker, and a musician too. I have nothing against networking people, but the mere fact that some of them are lying just to get themselves more money irritates me.

My speculations were as follows;
- I was doubtful of my friends tone when he messaged me in Facebook, a thing which he did for the first time. But I must be honest in saying that I was pleased that this part time will be related to advertising (or that just what i thought)
- The tone of texting with my friend and his friend were the same, feels like only one person is texting me. I disregarded it 'cause I thought of professionalism.
- Most of us were young people. The curious thing about this speculation is when i asked about why most of us are young people, he didn't answer me directly. something that i don't like in discussions.
_ the one i'm speaking with does not maintain eye contact long enough for me to feel him trustworthy. 

These were a few of my speculations... what I'm disappointed with their line of thinking is this. Their thoughts are too materialistic and they even use God. I dunno about their faith but money and God do not mesh well together unless it's glorifying HIM. They talk about helping when in fact there is in it for them. in summary, i have seen tonight an effect of today's economy to the society which is selfishness.

In their view, I will be perceived as a close-minded individual who passed up a valuable opportunity held by them. But for me, I have escaped the clutches of materialism.

I will end with this verse. 

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:19-21

to the man I can’t wait to love

My eyes misted as I read this article i got from my friend... A repost from

As a woman, you spend hours pondering—alone or with your girl friends—the intricacies of the human heart. You always hope and pray that the next generation will get it better than you did.

Below is a letter I found in my daughter’s website (I have her permission to share this). She wrote it to “the man I will someday love.”

I was expecting to read a gushing, romantic, idealistic tome. I was humbled instead by her sentiments. It’s filled with sensible expectations.

I pray that this will make every girl believe that hope does spring eternal, and even if your heart has been broken a few times, you can always put the pieces back together, and make it right the next time around.

Take your time. Don’t rush and don’t just “settle.” If it’s part of His plan, God’s best awaits you out there.


Dear You,

I will admit that sometimes I really do wonder if you exist. 
There is a part of every little girl’s heart that envisions her prince charming. At age three, it is usually of a man who can save her from the wrath of an evil stepmother, wake her from eternal slumber or give her that true love’s kiss.

In elementary school, he becomes the boy with the least cooties, the one who’s willing to cross the playground to share his Oreos even if it makes him a target for the week of all the other boys.

Come high school, it’s that boy you stand with at prom, who your father stared down at the door, who provided you with an experience complete with photos you will cringe at a decade later, a corsage that yellows in the refrigerator, and a faded memory of a night that seemed almost too magical to be real.

Nineteen years into this life, however, and still unwilling to give my heart away, I am still that same little girl who hopes for her prince charming. And although I wonder why it has taken you this long to sweep me off my feet and whisk me off to your palace on horseback, I know that it is probably because meeting you will be better than any fairytale I could’ve read as a kid.

A couple of heartbreaks and a few years wiser though, I will admit that there are times when I question your existence. Because I have yet to meet the guy who makes me hear songs like “All My Life” or “A Whole New World” in my head when I see him does not mean I don’t hope that it’ll ever happen.

I may already know you or may still meet you someday—something I leave completely up to God because I’m pretty sure our story will be epic.

However, I can’t promise you that I’d make the world’s most perfect princess. In fact I’ll probably keep you on your toes and amuse you with my eccentricities—there are a lot of them. I’ll probably steal a bunch of your T-shirts and turn them into shirt dresses, or drive you slightly mad with my obsessive compulsivity and my need to fix your collar constantly.

I can promise to be your best friend however—that person you can rant to after a rough day, the hand you can hold when you get sad, or the person you can text when situations get awkward.

I’ll probably mess up your hair sometimes and hug you for too long, but that’ll only be because I absolutely adore you. I’ll bury my head in your shoulder during scary movies and make you feel like superman when you kill those flying cockroaches that really shouldn’t exist. I’ll cook your favorite food on your birthday and try my best to make friends with your mom.

I’ll respect your nights-out with the boys and make you seem like the perfect guy to my barkada. I’ll watch basketball or soccer games with you, and not complain when you cheer too loudly at the TV set.

I’ll know the difference between giving you space and being constantly there for you—even if it means sitting and playing video games with you or taking hot chocolate runs when it rains.

I’ll listen to your music and we’ll go on epic adventures together—seeing the world, taking awesome pictures, eating awesome food, and never running out of things to tell each other along the way.

I won’t be waiting for you to sweep me off my feet and take me on a magic carpet ride, because I know I won’t need anything like that to fall for you—I will love you for you.

You will be that someone to make goofy faces with in pictures, to lace fingers with when I’m lonely, and to take long walks under the stars with on the beach.

You’ll be the guy who takes me the way I am—and will laugh as I burst into Disney song or pick out pink wallpaper.

You’ll be that someone I envision a future with—us filling out visa forms as we travel the universe, picking out our first dog together and arguing about what to name it, or being snap-happy stage parents in our preschooler’s annual mini-plays. And I keep hoping that maybe someday when we find each other, you will become that someone whose smile I wake up to in the morning and the last one I speak to every night.

So to the man I know does exist, and who will help me maybe make sense of the world someday, this man I can’t wait to love. Please know that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. But for now, I wait. Fingers crossed and palms held together, I hope that you’re out there somewhere, waiting for me, too.

With the hope I will be yours for always,


E-mail the author at cathybabao@


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just a random thought...

I was pouring water into my tumbler, when a sudden idea struck me. I am in need of a role model. Someone I could look up to. a real person, not somebody I read or saw in books. Somebody who is alive and can interact with me. Somebody who can answer my questions and never think the questions I ask to be dumb. Somebody who finds time to comment at my random thoughts. Someone who'll not find me weird because of my interests.
Someone who'll encourage me to speak my mind and say, "yes, i've been there, and I suggest you do this"

I am a frustrated writer... but i guess all i need is an encouraging supporter... An encourager for my sudden burst of thoughts...
Truth is, I want to be a writer. I am dazzled by words. I feel welcomed by words every time I see them. But the sad fact is, i am not a writer. I want to be, but it is not my forte. I have said in my plurk that I am a jack of all trades and indeed I am. I know tidbits of lot of things but have not master any of them. I know how to write, to read, to play the piano, to design clothes, to draw, to teach, to sing, to dance, to narrate, to act, to host,... but I can't seem to find something that I can excel in. That is the sad fact about my life. Yes, you can put me anywhere and still perform good, but I do not excel. I do not know what my future stable career will be, but I know that someday I will excel, by God's grace, i hope I do. 
I am an optimist. I always look at the brighter side of things.

Do you know the feeling of being in the background? The feeling  when a task is finished with you involved in it, supporting the main players? I think that's the feeling of accomplishment. It feels like you've done something right even if your face isn't shown. 

Life will always be complex and difficult. You don't have to be the front act or the main performer to feel the sense of accomplishment, or to feel contentment. You just need to see what your job is worth and see how it is helping others. And seeing the people you've helped, seeing that you have this job without hurting or stepping on anybody, it makes all the effort and sacrifice worth having.

Now, why do i always end in a positive note?
As I have mentioned, I'm an optimist.