Category Archive: Personal

Life Skills….

Life Skills

While taking a short break, I stumbled upon an article from Buzzfeed. The article listed down all the life skills each of us should have. Since it’s a checklist, I was able to tick off the items that I think I’ve learned.

I have a looooooooooooooooooong way to go but I’m glad that I was able to get hold of this list.  Now, I have something to refer to.  It’s also a perfect time as I’m trying to revamp my bucket list.

Life Skills I Need to Have
Being a perfectionist, I feel uncomfortable tagging a skill as a ‘yes’ if I still have so much things to learn about it. I want to say that I will stop exerting effort in honing that skill if I have exhausted all possibilities in learning it so, you’ll see me tagging some skills as ‘maybe’.

LIFE SKILL ACQUIRED?
I can sew. YES
I can tie a man’s tie. NO
I can make a meal without a recipe NO
I can build a fire. NO
I can bandage a wound. NO
I can navigate with an IRL map (NOT Google Maps) MAYBE
I can measure a piece of furniture to know if it fits in a space. YES
I can change a tire. NO
I know how to check oil in a car. NO
I know the proper way to fold a fitted sheet. NO
I know how to do laundry. NO
I know how to iron a shirt. NO
I know how to stop a toilet from overflowing. NO
I know how to set up a wireless network. YES
I know how to use excel. MAYBE
I can create a basic website/blog. YES
I know how to craft a resume. YES
I know how to cook eggs at least three different ways. NO
I know how to use chopsticks. YES
I know CPR. NO
I know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. NO
I know how to calculate a tip. MAYBE
I can do a push-up. NO
I can swim. NO
I can drive. YES
I can ride a bike. NO
I can do basic math in my head. YES
I can do long division on paper. YES
I can keep a plant alive. NO
I can make pasta without under- or overcooking it. YES
I can tie a proper knot. NO
I can open a champagne bottle. NO
I can drive a stick shift. NO
I can use both a Mac and PC. YES
I can parallel park. YES
I know when fruits and vegetables are ripe. NO
I can assemble Ikea furniture by myself. NO
I know what to do if you spill red wine on carpet. NO
I know what to do to remove blood stains. NO
I know how to jump-start a car. NO
I know how to read and understand nutrition labels. NO
I know what to do if I get in a car accident. YES
I know how to budget. YES
I can write letters with few spelling and grammar errors. YES
I can bargain at a flea market. YES
I can carve a turkey or chicken. NO
I know how to operate a fire extinguisher. NO
I can use a sewing machine. NO
I can successfully bake a cake with a recipe. NO
I know how to properly set a table. NO
I can adjust my Facebook privacy settings with ease. YES
I know how to treat a bee sting. NO
I understand what goes in the recycling versus trash. NO
I know how to make a soft-, medium-, and hard-boiled egg. NO
I know how to back up my information. NO
I know how to update my phone. YES
I understand how to manage/store my music and photos. YES
I know how to use an electric drill. NO
I know how to hang a picture. YES
I can install something – like a shelf or curtain hooks – into the wall. NO
I can braid hair. YES
I can throw a football. NO
I can set up a barbecue fire. NO
I can cook meat to a desired level (rare, well-done, etc). NO
I know how to make a mixed drink. NO
I can do my taxes. NO
I can change a diaper. NO
I understand how to throw a punch. NO
I can actually throw a punch. NO
I can negotiate a raise. YES
I can figure out which direction points north without a compass. NO
I can navigate the subway without having to ask for help. NO
I know how to send someone a large file. YES
I know how to use Twitter. YES
I understand what a 401(k) is. NO
I understand how the stock market works. MAYBE
I understand the terms of my health insurance program. NO
I know what an abnormal mole might look like. NO
I can change a lightbulb. YES
I can read a text and recall the most important details. YES
I can do a pretty decent dive into a pool. NO
I can ski. NO
I can recognize (but not necessarily speak) languages like Spanish, French, German, and Italian. NO
I know how to clean filters in my vacuum. NO
I can replace a vacuum belt. NO
I know how to paint a room. NO
If named a state in the US, I could describe where it is. NO
If named a country in Europe, I could describe where it is. NO
I could draw a basic map of the world. NO
I know how to play sudoku. YES
I know how to polish silver. NO
I know how to eat a lobster. YES
I can fix a leaky faucet. NO
I know how to use the internet – beyond Google – for finding things. YES
I am good at finding exactly what I’m looking for online. YES
I can wrap a gift (and it won’t look like someone with no fingers wrapped it). MAYBE
I have been able to get around in a foreign country by myself with ease. NO
I can remove a splinter. NO
I know how to properly clean (the exterior) of my computer and electronic devices. NO
I understand how a mortgage works. NO

Plans to Learn the Skills I Haven’t Acquired
I already have a ready list of things I plan to achieve in 2014. Most of the items in this skills list are not part of it. However, I think I can squeeze in a few so that I can tick off some of the items

  • Year 2014 – tie a man’s tie, navigate with a IRL map, fold a fitted sheet, iron a shirt, master excel, cook eggs in 3 ways, calculate a tip, know when fruits & vegetables are ripe, bake cake with recipe, properly set a table, recycle versus trash, how to make soft, medium, hard-boiled egg, know what an abnormal mole looks like, clean filters in vacuum, replace vacuum belt, properly clean computer & electronic devices.
  • Year 2015 – meal without a recipe, bandage a wound, change a tire, check oil in a car, do laundry, push up, keep plant alive, proper knot, open champagne bottle, cook meat at a desired level (Rare, well-done, etc), learn stock market, understand health insurance program, back up data.
  • Year 2016 and beyond – build a fire, stop toilet from overflowing, CPR, heimlich maneuver, swim, can dive into a pool, ride a bike, drive stick shift, assemble IKEA furniture, clean spilled red wine on carpet, remove blood stains, jump start car, read & understand nutrition label, carve turkey/chicken, operate fire extinguisher, use sewing machine, treat bee sting, use electric drill, install shelf or curtain hooks on the wall, throw football, set up barbecue fire, make a mixed drink, do taxes, change diaper, how to throw a punch, can throw a punch, know direction points without compass, navigate subway without asking for help, understand 401(k), ski, recognize languages like Spanish, French, German, & Italian, know how to paint a room, name a state in US and describe where it is, name a country in Europe & describe where it is, draw a basic map of the world, polish silver, fix leaky faucet, get around foreign country on my own with ease, remove a splinter, understand how mortgage works.

Boy, after reviewing the list, I realized that I need to work on a lot of things (wahh! I only have 30 out of 100 skills!!).  I felt I wasted so much time during my youth.  I should have used the time to learn some of the skills in this list.  Anyway, I won’t let my age control me, hahahaha!  I’ll work on this one – one skill at a time.

How about you?  Mind to share your result? :)

Strengthening my Spiritual Journey

Life Study of the Bible

I have been a Christian for over a year now.  However, if you ask me any verses from the Bible, I can’t even mention a single one.  I haven’t even read one-fourth of the whole book.  I feel ashamed.  I did try to read once in a while but I never really followed through.

In the past week, while I was nursing myself at my home, I reflected on a lot of things.  I realised I need to realign my priorities and fix them.  What is really important to me?  Is it my career? my health? my family? my gadgets? my blog? my spiritual journey? my friends?

It dawned on me.  It’s not really about me or anyone but about our God, our Lord..

While it has been over a year, I’m still a baby Christian.  I love the Lord, I believe in Him, I have faith in Him but I don’t do much to know Him more and to include Him in my daily life.

So today, I started to read His word through the Bible.  It has always been a struggle for me to understand the stories inside the book.  I feel that the words used in the Bible are just too deep & hard for laymen to understand. If I push myself to just read it, I think I won’t be able to absorb anything.  The only way for me to be effective in this journey is to read through a life study of the Bible.  The church I’m in has excellent resources available online.

I went to http://www.ministrybooks.org/reading/index.cfm and signed myself up for a scheduled daily read.  It will take me almost 6 years to finish but hey, spending time with the Lord is the most fulfilling thing in the whole wide world!

Life Study of the Bible

There are a bunch of chapters in every Life study Book.  I started with Life Study of Genesis today and I intend to continue this study.  I hope and pray that I will be able to sustain it this time.  Please pray for me!

Life Study Genesis iBooks

The Life study books are also available via iSilo, Kindle or iBooks.  Since I’m always online, I opted to use the free resource available in the ministry website :)

Living Stream Ministries ePub Books

I started the day so well that I was able to enjoy the rest of my Sunday!  I’m loving this habit already.

Life Study of the Bible Finished Day 1

P.S. Thanks sioti Mark for the wonderful doodle!

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Wishful Thinking in 2013

Wishful Thinking in 2013

Happy New Year!

What a year that was!  In my case, 2012 was a difficult one and I’m really looking forward to 2013 because mishaps won’t happen in two consecutive years.  I know all the hardships I went through in 2012 will be replaced by blessings & fortune in 2013.

I’ve been through multiple accidents last year and I have scars that might take years to heal.  The trauma that I got after the truck accident was too strong that I refuse to drive sometimes and would rather stay home.  But you know what?  Even after all the things that transpired last 2012, there was one thing that I felt — gratitude.  There were friends who were willing to help when I needed them.  I never felt alone in any of the challenges that I went through.

I owe everything to the Lord who I accepted last January 2012!  Everything just seems to fall in place knowing that He is there for us! :)

Wish Granted in Year 2012

I started a wish list last year.  I wanted to make it a tradition so I’m writing another one today.

Was I able to achieve any of the items I wished for in 2012?  Oh yes, I did! :)
Roch Granted Wishes 2012

  • iPhone 5 – As planned, I got myself an iPhone 5 from the better network in the Philippines, Smart Communications.   The upgrade was super worth it considering that I came from an iPhone 3GS.  The iPhone 5 is thinner, has bigger screen, better phone design, faster response and most of all, it was the project that my idol, Steve Jobs, last participated in.  I got myself some wonderful accessories (Speck PixelSkin HD case & Simplism Crystal Cover Set) with it too!
  • iPad 3rd Generation – This was listed as a wish in 2012.  However, I bought the iPad impulsively at the same day that I watched Drum Tao.  While I was pretty disappointed with Apple releasing a 4th generation iPad six months after they released the 3rd generation, I still consider the iPad as my best gadget purchase for the year!  I even launched a website called iPadPinas to show my love for the iPad.

Year 2013 Wish List

A lot of things have definitely changed.  There are several items in my 2012 wish list that I don’t seem to aspire anymore. Some people say that all things are possible.  However, I know my limitations.  I know that even in my wildest dreams, I won’t be able to buy any Tiffany & Co. jewelries or Rolex watches.  Why would I continue to list them out here?  Even if in the future, I’ll have enough, I do not think I’ll have the willpower to spend that kind of amount for a jewelry.  It’s just not my style.

This time around, I’ll be listing down all the items that I wish to purchase this year.  I’m not sure if I can buy them all in 2013 considering the financial challenges I have at the moment.  However, I hope to achieve most of them.  Let’s see.

  • Tempur Cloud Mattress 25 – Queen Size

Tempur Cloud Mattress 25

This is my dream mattress and I wish to finally own this in year 2013.  I super hope I can achieve this as I’m having a hard time sleeping with my current bed setup.  We spend one-third of our day in sleeping.  I believe that we should invest in good mattresses like what Tempur has.

  • The Tempur-Fit Mattress Protector

Tempur Fit Sheet

Since this is available, I would want this as well.  It serves as an extra protection to the expensive mattress.

Here’s the official description:

The waterproof and breathable fitted sheet consists of natural fibres which breathe with the body, rapidly absorb damp and then release it into the atmosphere, and so preserving the level of body heat. The intelligent membrane which prevents your mattress from getting wet is the thinnest on the market. This helps preserve the comfort of your mattress.

A good solution to keep your mattress as clean and hygienic as it were on the first day.

  • 2 pieces Tempur Original Pillow – Queen Large

Tempur Original Pillow

Two pillows to match the Tempur Queen-sized mattress.  I can literally imagine myself using this in my sleep!

  • Sleep Mask by Tempur

Tempur Sleep Mask

I read in an article that we will be able to get better sleep if there are no lights at all.  A Sleep mask will fit this need.

  • DeLonghi Icona Series – Red

Kettle: Icona KBO 2001.R

DeLonghi Kettle

Toaster: Icona CTO 4003.R

DeLonghi Toaster

Coffee Maker: Icona ECO 310.R

DeLonghi Coffee Maker

As soon as I saw the products on display in an appliance store, I knew that I will have them in my kitchen.  I couldn’t get them off my mind.  One day, I’ll have them.  One day…

** Photos from Manufacturer’s websites **

Other items that I wish to buy in the future are a 27-in iMac, Magic Trackpad, Apple TV, Louis Vuitton wallet and bag, Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR DX ($389), Nikon SB-910 ($ 550), Nikon EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery for Nikon D7000 ($72), Tempur Travel Set, a Sony Playstation w/ Dualshock controllers, move motion controller, wireless keypad and a Sony 55-inch LED 3D TV.

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Lessons from the Fall

Lessons from the Fall

As some of you may know, I got into an accident 2 weeks ago.  I missed a step, then fell while I was going down the stairs of a garden inside The Hills in Cavite.

I’m feeling better now considering I got both my foot sprained and got several wounds & bruises on my body.  While this was an unfortunate accident (it will take months or even years for my wounds to heal), I considered this a learning opportunity.  I was once again reminded of the wonderful things in life and how I should never stop appreciating them.

I’ve been careful, trust me. I got my ankle fractured over a year ago and that made me look at the floor often when walking.  I guess no matter how hard we try to be careful, things happen.  That’s why it’s called an accident, right?

an unforeseen event or one without an apparent cause

My key takeaway from this unforgettable experience are the ff:

  • It’s Embarassing

I attended a wedding with over a hundred guests.  Imagine having all those people see you fall down the stairs in full view.  Yes, that happened!  It even went to a point that I fainted and had my colleagues carry me up the stairs to the reception as I was obviously handicapped.

I experienced pain but what made me feel awful is that I had to make a scene.  On that day, none of us should be noticeable.  The only two people that mattered was the groom and bride.  I was sad that I had an accident causing extra work for some folks to help/carry me out.  I felt sad as well because I wasn’t able to see the beautiful wedding ceremony of my friends.  However, I wish them all the best.  They’re a wonderful couple and I’m sure they’ll live a happy and loving life :)

  • My Colleagues are Awesome

As soon as I fell, my colleagues immediately went to my side to help.  Whether to carry my things, offer support, carry me (!), offer prayers & perform first aid, they were just there.  I’ve always known that my colleagues are smart but I got reminded that they are also beautiful inside and out :)

  • I have a Family

I always consider myself as a loner.

Last year, I started meeting people that I consider my family now.  My stalkerbugs family, my church family and yes, some long-lost cousins!

When the accident happened, I was in a far away place.  My churchmates cancelled their dinner plans and immediately drove to Cavite from Manila just to rescue me.  I felt so blessed.  Everyone was ready to help me in whatever way they can.  As some of my friends picked me up and drove me to a hospital, some went to the hospital to bring food and some went to drive my car back to my house.  A family lent me a wheelchair.  A sister offered me her home to sleep for the night and other friends visited me at home when I was recuperating.  Even a cousin who I haven’t seen for more than 10 years, stayed with me for one night so that she could assist me.

I’m humbled, truly humbled!  I actually feel ashamed for thinking that I don’t have a family because I do, I really do.

  • God is Good

I learned to accept the Lord early this year.  My life changed since then.  When He says that He’s there for us, it’s very true!

During that time that I was helpless, I felt him.  All the prayers from my sisters, brothers and friends were answered by the Lord.  It was a miracle that I didn’t get any fracture.  What was more apalling is I was able to stand and walk a bit after one day!  If you only knew the pain and the impact of the fall, you wouldn’t even imagine that I will be able to recover that quickly.  Miracles do come true!  Praise the Lord!

We learn things every day.  With this experience, I get reminded as to how good life is!  I’m truly thankful for a lot of things and I hope people won’t get tired of me as I try to improve myself each day.  I hope in the future, I’ll be able to help change someone’s outlook in life for the better too just like how my friends did.

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Roch Finally Got Baptized

Roch Finally Got Baptized

According to my favorite dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Baptism is a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community and it’s also defined as an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named.

When I was an infant, I was already baptized.  It was a tradition that most people follow.  But what happened next?

I rarely prayed.  In fact, I lived most of my life as an agnostic.  I was even an atheist at one time, but when I did pray, it was always to wish that my life would end.

I saw life as suffering.  I lived a hard life.  I focused on my struggles and challenges in life.  Self-pity became a habit.  I rarely felt loved because whenever I achieved something good, I don’t have anyone to share it with.  I was alone physically, emotionally and mentally.

As you can see, my mind’s been filled with thoughts of sorrow and negativity.  It continued when I grew up, though of course I got happy sometimes.  Like for example when I got to buy my favorite gadget. But the feeling of happiness was temporary.

I lived life one day at a time.

When I faced extreme challenges last 2004, I tried to get to know the Lord.  I joined an organization that I ended up judging as a social community rather than a family of Christians.  I left that fellowship and ended up being an atheist for a few months after that.  I’ve been invited to several more ‘Christian’ gatherings, but I always turn them down.

Fast forward to last year, I faced another difficult chapter in my life.  I don’t know what got through me but I learned to open my heart to Christianity again.  When I had lunch with friends, they asked me if I could join their Bible study.  I said yes.  Things that transpired after that were wonderful.  I attended the Bible studies week after week.  I met people who I can feel genuinely loves the Lord.  It changed my outlook on Christian organizations.  For the first time, I felt that there’s a group who’s there to serve the Lord, meeting friends are just a bonus, it didn’t feel like a social organization.  For me, this group was a gathering of true Christians.  I can feel the goodness of their hearts.  I felt welcomed.  I felt that I can grow spiritually through their guidance.  I felt the Lord in them.  The impact was great, far greater than what I expected.

My impression of Christians really changed.

I started opening up. For the first time, I felt… hope.  I maybe working on my spiritual life. I maybe changing my outlook in life.  In one of the Bible study sessions that I attended, I witnessed a baptism ceremony.  It was a declaration that they are abandoining their old lives and they are embracing life with the Lord. THey asked if I would like to join them.  At the time, I wasn’t simply ready. I felt too much of a sinner. I said to myself that I’ll finish reading the Bible and be a better person before I go that route.

Last December, I got sick. I got admitted to the hospital for a week. I hated it. I NEVER ever want to be confined in a hospital. I know I don’t have a family here. I was already expecting a miserable life in the hospital. I may have some friends who would visit me, but I’m sure it’ll be a one day thing. I would be facing weird looks and facial expressions from hospital staff wondering why a person like me don’t have a family to take care of me.

But I wasn’t alone!!!  I may not have a caring biological family, except for my female cousin who I care for deeply, but I have a family in Christ.  Everyday, I get visitors who brought me food, having fellowship with me, reading Bible verses for me and sending me love and care.  It was overwhelming, and I was truly humbled!  I then realized that God is with us.  We may not see Him but we certainly feel him.

As I laid down the hospital bed, I decided on several things.

I came to also realize that I’ll never be perfect.  There will never come a time that I can say that I’m completely a good person.  We are all sinners.  We don’t follow the commandments everyday.  Thou shall not lie right?  But we always utter white lies in order to prevent conflict.  Thou shall love your neighbors right?  But every single day, we judge people and we criticize them (consciously or not).

I finally understood what the saints (that’s what we call the people in our church) have been telling me — that Jesus Christ saved us from all of our sins.  All we need to do now is just accept Him in our lives.

I started reading the Bible…  Everyday I would send what I learned to my ‘family’ via e-mail.  One day, I told one of the sisters that I want to be baptized.  She was so happy that she broke the news to everyone!  They prepared the event on Chinese New Year (January 23, 2012).  Incidentally, my mom was here on vacation so I asked her to come along.

The night started with our usual Bible study.  We read the verses for study. We shared each other’s understanding of them, and when we closed the Bible study session, we prayed.

I requested for my baptism to commence after the Bible study.  We all went up the 2nd floor where the bathtub is located.  That tub would be the place where I’d get baptized.  I was excited!  I couldn’t wait to exclaim and announce to the world that I’ve accepted the Lord in my life! :D

We all prayed first…

prayer before Roch Baptism

Then brother Frank explained to me how the baptism would go… I was really happy!  I couldn’t wait for my new life to begin!

Roch Baptism

I asked friends to capture the moment for me.  I knew it was really important and I really really wanted to record this very crucial moment in my life :):):)

I’m now a true blue Christian.  I’m still not perfect.  I missed several weeks of my personal Bible study and I still feel like a sinner.  However, I know that it’s okay because I have God with me.  I continue to seek Him as I try to live this world through the words in the Bible.  I’m still the same person but I have a certain feeling of peace.  I’m not alone anymore…

Roch Friends at Baptism

I leave you with thoughts about Baptism from my sisters and brothers in Christ.

  • Baptism is saying, “I do!” to our Lord Jesus Christ, an outward affirmation of our inward acceptance of Him.” – sis Luc
  • Baptism is a declaration that you now belong to Jesus Christ!” – sis Jo
  • Being baptized was about accepting God for everything He is and everything He has done.  By accepting is allowing Him to deal with all of my sins, transforming me into man in Christ, a living testimony of Grace.” – bro Mike
  • Just like marriage is an outward confirmation of the love of 2 people, baptism is an outward confirmation to accompany the inward reality that you accept and now belong to the Lord Jesus” – sis Meng
  • Baptism is not a requirement for you to become a member of a group or religion.  Baptism is a declaration to the whole world, even to Satan that you now belong to God.” – sis Debbie
  • Baptism is the end of old life, and beginning of newness in life with God.  Doing everything and living with Him.” – sis Ane
  • Baptism means my old person has died and been buried with Christ, and I’m raised together with Him as a new person in new creation.” – bro Joseph
  • It is a transfer from the kingdom of satan into the kingdom of God.” – sis Shilo
  • It is the leaving of the old creation in the water, and rising up a new man.  Also affirming to God and men that you accept the Lord as your savior.” – bro Mark

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