Monday, June 26, 2006

Twelve Three's

Three things you compliment your wife to be if you are on her presence:
1. Her eyes.
2. Her voice.
3. Her sweetness.

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Three compliments you make about her to your friends:
1. She is generous in almost everything
2. She amazingly loves me for who I am.
3. She is pretty and yet valiant and kind.

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Three traits you'll marry her for:
1. Her surprising shyness in camera.
2. She textback everytime I texted her. (thoughtfulness)
3. Her desire to cook good foods for me.

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Three days you cherished the most with your wife to be while you're away.
1. The day she accepted my proposal to get married at the temple. We were kneeling across the world over. Me, here, she, there, I feel so closer to Heaven.
2. The day we have a date, lasted for nearly 4 hours straight that we talk about plans, dreams, love, life and a thousand kisses, hugs and I love u…mwahhh!
3. The day I woke up and we have a chat; she was seeing my craggy unwashed face in the webcam and my crumpled and spiky hair. Hehe, first time for any girl that I love the most.

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Three material things you could give your wife to be if you just inherited a fortune:
1. The oven of her dreams complete with kitchen utensils…
2. Generator so we won't pay Meralco that much if she cooks using the oven.
3. Oil depot to supply the generator.
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Three things you would miss the most if she/he left even for just a day:
1. Her hugs. I know it’s hard to imagine, but I’m a bit of possessive.
2. Her kisses and mine to her.
3. Her charming wit here and there that makes life so much easier to live.
Three thoughts that crossed your mind when you first saw her:
1. “This tsikwa white girl I must have seen in the MIR? This, I need to know.”
2. “I could marry her.” This is true. I have documented a proof.
3. "She is young and naive." (hehe, kala ko lang)

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Three favorite dates:
1. February 15, 2006 at the bench at the back of the Manila temple, our first date.
2. The day we were virtually together for the whole day…seeing each other.
3. One special dream that night where I was calling her name telling her how much I love her.

Three funny odd things you love:
1. She was amazed that I can really lift the dumb bells (haha! Hon, anong akala mo saken? Haha!)
2. She told me I have a belly button…haha (imagine those CNN footage of children in Africa)
3. We fasted together when she is making the decision if she will accept my proposal to marry her. After fasting she asked me what's the answer. (haha, I love the girl, sobra!)

Three places you wish to live with your wife to be
1. Marilao Bulacan
2. Cebu City
3. Davao City

Three planned vacations:
1. El Nido, Palawan
2. Bohol Island
2. Camiguin Island

Thursday, June 22, 2006


The Emotional Bank Account
By SR Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

We all know what a financial bank account is. We make deposits into it and build up a reserve from which we can make withdrawal when we need it. An Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that's been built up in a relationship.' It's the feeling of safeness you have with another human being.'

If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust toward me become," higher, and I can call upon that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that trust level, that emotional reserve, will compensate for it. My communication may not be dear, but you'll get my meaning anyway. You won't make me "an offender', for a word." when the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.

But if I have a habit of showing discourtesy, disrespect, cutting you off, overreacting, ignoring you, becoming arbitrary, betraying your trust, threatening you, or playing little tin god in your life, eventually my Emotional Bank Account is overdrawn. The trill level gets very low. Then what flexibility do I have?

None. I'm walking on minefields. I have to be very careful in everything I say. I measure every word. It's tension city, mill haven. It's protecting my backside, politicking. And many organizations are filled with it. Many families are filled with it. Many marriages are filled with it. If a large reserve of trust is not sustained by continuing deposit, marriage will deteriorate. Instead of rich, spontaneous under­standing and communication, the situation becomes one of accumulation, where two people simply attempt to live independent lifestyles in a fairly respectful and tolerant way. The relationships further deteriorate to one of hostility and defensiveness. The "fight or flight" response creates verbal battles, slammed doors, 'refusal to talk, emotional withdrawal and self-pity. It may end up in cold war at home, sustained only by children, sex, social leisure, or image protection. Or it may end up in open warfare in courts, where bitter ego decimating legal battles can be carried for years as people endlessly confess the sins of a former spouse.

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And this is in the most intimate, the most potentially rich, joyful, satisfying and productive relationship possible between two peo­ple on this earth. The P-PC lighthouse is there; we can either break ourselves against it or we can use it as a guiding light.

Our most constant relationships, like marriage, require our most constant deposits. With continuing expectations, old deposits evaporate. If you suddenly run into an old high school friend you haven't seen for years, you can pick up right where you left off because the earlier deposits are still there. But your accounts with people you interact with on a regular basis require more constant investment. There are sometimes automatic withdrawals with your daily interactions or in their perception of you that you don't even know about. This is especially true with teenagers in home.

Suppose you have a teenage son and your normal conversation is something like, "Clean your room. Button your shirt. Turn on the radio. Go get a haircut. And don't forget to take out the garbage!" Over a period of time, the withdrawals far exceed the deposits. Now, suppose this son is in the process of making some important decisions that will affect the rest of his life. But the trust level is so low and the communication process so dosed, mechan­ic, and unsatisfying that he simply will not be open to your counsel. You may have the wisdom and the knowledge to help, but because your account is so overdrawn, he will end up asking his decisions from a short-range emotional perspective, which may well result in many negative long-range layout

You need a positive balance to communicate on these tender issues. What do you do?
What would happen if you started making deposits into the relationship? Maybe the opportunity comes up to do him a kindness-to bring home a magazine on skateboarding, if this is his interest, or just to walk up to him when he's working on his project and offer to help. Perhaps you could invite him to go to a movie with you or take him out for some ice cream. Probably the most important deposit you could make would be just to listen without judging, preaching, or reading your own autobiography into what he says. Just listen and seek to understand. Let him feel your concern for him, your acceptance of him as a person.

He may not respond at first. He may even be suspicious "What's Dad up to now? What technique is Mom trying on me this time?" But as those genuine deposits keep coming, they begin to add up. That overdrawn balance is shrinking.

Remember that quick fix is a mirage. Building and repairing relationships takes time. If you become impatient with his apparent lack of response or his seeming ingratitude, you may make all withdrawals and undo all the good you've done. "After all Wt."" done for you, the sacrifices we've made, how can you bt' ~II ungrateful? We try to be nice and you act like this. I can't belly it!"

It's hard not to get impatient. It takes character to be proactive lv, to focus on your Circle of Influence, to nurture growing thing and not to "pull up the flowers to see how the roots are coming.
But there really is no quick fix. Building and repairing relationships are long-term investments.
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Understanding the Individual
Attending to the Little Things
Clarifying Expectations
Living Personal Integrity
Apologizing Sincerely When You Make a Withdrawal

Saturday, June 10, 2006


June 10, 2006

My brother Carl has finally arrived with me here in Saudi Arabia. I can see him over the window of my laboratory office busy lay outing in his pc the forms in preparation for our ISO certification. I can see in his eyes and in his actions, that he is still adjusting of the climate, being in the hot season, our peak temperature would be as high as 48 degrees Celsius! Yesterday, we went to the city and have him enter the Saudi mall, and surprised that Arabs are white and have fair complexions, tall, and long nose, there women are very very beautiful, and that inside the mall, is a mixture of almost all of the races of the world. Saudi's, Americans, British, Italians, French, Africans, Filipino's, Jordanian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi's, Pakistani's, Indians, Nepal, Indonesians, South Koreans, Chinese, Thailanders, Syrians, Egyptians, Sudans, Yemenis, there must be so many others I cannot enumerate them all. I bragged with him that I could identify all of them in their dresses, in their hairs, in the shape of their faces or the slant of their eyes or the way they smell. Hehe. He got a headache.
My brother Carl is one of the best guys I have ever known. We are like buddies, and we communicate in a way that no one ever comprehend but just the two of us. Perhaps because we are both RM's or maybe, because the depth of our testimony is quite similar although he is an introvert and quiet type of person. He has been a very good example to me since we were young.

After I arrived from my mission, he processed his and received his call to serve in the Cebu Mission. October 2000 the day he left for MTC is the day I also left Gensan and venture in the Metro capital of Manila. When I was being treated with an Anti-rabies vaccine in the Manila San Lazaro Hospital, he is also lying and recovering with his American companion in the Cebu Doctors Hospital for contracting Dengue. We almost both lose our lives. But his experience is quiet severe. He and his companions name are being asked to be included in the fasting of all the members in that region. Although his companion is only having mild blood transfusion, his red blood has to be replaced with new bloods and most of the American missionaries who knew him donated certain amount of blood for him. We were never told until he fully recovered. The effect of that treatment is a Carl who is now, vigorous, healthy, humble, and slightly bald. I even joke around that the reason why he losses his hair is that because the bloods running through his veins is not a Filipino blood anymore, but American blood. And because Americans are usually going bald, he too, since his DNA is now altered. Hehe.

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The blood maybe different but he is still the same guy I have known for so many years. The guy whom I admired in playing basketball and is almost addicted to it. The guy who plays and coaches’ volleyball and can make asar without respecter of age, color, or status. One time, we are having a chat for an hour and told him everything that he will do on his way here in Saudi Arabia. At the last part of our chat, I asked him if he has any questions. He asked, "do you have a TV so we can watch NBA?" my, of all the things I've said what bothers him really is the NBA semifinals. Hehe.

The day he will take his flight going to Saudi Arabia, Mai2 and Lovefate make hatid with him to the NAIA Airport. There plane is about to take off when some technical problem was noticed and they have to leave the plane and stay the night in a hotel. The following day, half of the passengers are inserted to the flight and the other half had to wait for the next day. So he returns to the hotel, quite desperate and tired. He texted Mai2, me, and Lovefate dropped by to his hotel bringing him food and financial support on his travel. Why? He shared a story that he and his companion found a mini-ref in the roof where they are staying. They found a delicious desserts and foods there! It's for free? They think so. For a man who seems unease, eating is a wonderful therapy. Therefore, they eat it. When they leave the hotel the first day, they were charge for the food they it. He loss all his pocket money! Hehe.

He finally makes it the second day to be able to ride the plane on the way to Hongkong. Whattalife. I know aboy this, but I am asking what will my brother do in Hongkong? Early morning today, I receive a text from Carl that he is being hold in the departure area because he doesn't have a contract and the Chinese officer doesn't know how to read the Arabic Visa in his passport. I called the officer. "Asallam Mulaikum, is there a guy there named Carl Solis…" " The Chinese woman said… "ching chang sou, chaw la, …" I asked if I can talk to the guy..and gladly she seem to understand me, I heard Carl's voice…and to make the story short, I faxed his contract and he made it through the help of some of the pinoy working there. That night the plane from Hong Kong dropped by Bangkok, Thailand, and stayed overnight in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The next day, his plane fly from Sri Lanka to Dammam, Saudi Arabia and I finally meet him there in the airport. He is skinny, feeling weak and exhausted, for sure with jet lag.

I am happy that he is here with me now. We are working side-by-side, sleeping in the same room, and having conversations and laughs, as I asked him stories about home. He seldom talks, but you have to ask him lots of question for him to open up. He will have a better future here. I am sure. It will definitely change his life and the life of his wife and kids forever. I told him just today that he went to college, after terrible hardships and challenges, worked for 10 months and scrimped out of a meager salary that he received, the next day he woke up, working in Saudi Arabia at the age of 25 years.

I had said it before and I will say it again. The Lord and the God of Heaven have been so good to us. We love Him, and His love has been so abundant to us. We live such a humble life, started out of nothing. Our Mom have been so proud of us today, I know wherever she is, that she will be proud of her sons, who live a decent and honest life. Whenever I look at my brother, Carl, I saw tremendous reason to be more humble and be more faithful. He is such a very fine guy, who seem to live a peaceful and happy life. He has dreams too, he has ambitions, and he wishes to marry the girl he loves in the temple.

He meets many members of our faith yesterday and surprise that there are many women and girls too. Hehe. Uhmmmm, it seems that he got an eye to the ladies around. Hehe, ewan, naiinlove din yun, pero bato yata puso niyan… or maybe he left someone back home.. ahemmm, that is something I have to find out. Hehe..

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By the way, he still uses his Smart simcard though it is only for text. Thank you friends, for your prayers for him and for us, as we express our heartfelt gratitude to those who have touched our lives and are continually touching our lives for good. God bless us all!


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