April 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
When you think you’ve done enough, do more.
It’s all worth it.
March 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
On random Wednesday or Thursday nights, my mother’s house in New Jersey booms with the sounds of familiar voices, the smells of delicious Filipino dishes, and this indescribable, but truly palpable feeling of warmth. For as long as I can remember, mom has been hosting meetings for the Bataan Association, an organization of Filipino-Americans who emigrated from the historic province of Bataan to the Tri-State area. An academic would call them a diaspora community, a group of people from one land – now in another – keeping their ties alive in their new home.
I grew up calling these people, many of my mother’s closest friends and confidants, “tita” or “tito” — tagalog for “auntie” or “uncle.” Through the years, they have cared for me, showed me unconditional support and affection, and, without even realizing it, these amazing men and women have taught me so much about what it means to be Filipino, to be American, and to be a responsible citizen of this world.
Through action, my mother, titas, and titos showed me that true citizenship is not demonstrated simply by providing and caring for your family, working hard, abiding by law, paying taxes and voting. It’s not enough to just move along through life as if it were a self-containing bubble. You’ve got to utilize your powers, talents, abilities to affect change, to help those in need, to leave this world better than when you first came.
I have never been able to separate what I do in life from this responsibility. I yearn to be part of something larger than myself. That’s what the men and women of the Bataan Association and Foundation stand for. They instilled these values, this passion for contributing, in me. I want to help because, to them, helping has never been an option. It is necessity. It is duty.
I’m so proud to be part of the Bataan Association and Foundation, and I can’t wait to help realize the potential that this charity undoubtedly has to change lives in the Philippines. I want to start preparing the Foundation for success in applying for large grants. I want to visit the Bataan scholars we send to college and share their stories with our donors. I want to meet with the regional hospital administrators to assess any major needs. I want to host a yearly medical mission for primary and dental care. I want to create a memorial scholarship in the name of our late founder to send a student from Bataan to medical school.
There is so much we can do. It’s been a slow start, but I’m ready to give more. It’s overwhelming, and I hardly have the time now, but I can’t sit by with all of these ideas, and let the opportunity to do something — anything — slip by. I’ve got to act.
September 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
“Solving problems of any kind, whether physics or social, requires practice.”
Tell it like it is, physics textbook. Tell it like it is.
June 10, 2010 § 2 Comments
Remember what Yeats said when Ireland was coming apart in the beginning of the 20th century: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”
May 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— From a friend of a good friend.
March 28, 2010 § 1 Comment
I know what I want. I won’t pretend like I’ve got my career figured out, but I do know what certain parts of my life equation can be.
For one, I want to always write. I realize that I can always write. It’s something that has been mine since forever, and I will never lose my passion for it. I can pen my thoughts and hope someone listens, but I will never stop — no matter what I end up doing in life. And whether I quit my day job as a writer, my quill will still be the lens by which I view the world for all my time.
Secondly, I am going to heal people. I say this with a new sense of vigor and authority, because I am on the road now. I may have taken just a tiny first step in a long and winding path, but that first step is momentous. That first step is an act of true boldness and defiance of the status quo. And for the first time in a long time, I am nothing close to complacent; I am dynamic.
Until now, my dreams were just dreams; in this moment, they are also goals. They are tangible — it’s like, if I could reach far enough, I could touch these dreams. They are mine to mold, and shape and reshape again. And, in the beauty of all that is going to happen, the most satisfying part of all this right now is that I’m doing something about those dreams.
I am building my own world now, and I am in love with the future.