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Friday, November 28, 2008

Stephen R. Covey New Book: The Leader in Me

Dr. Stephen R. Covey, famous author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and one of the top 25 most influential person in America announced the launch his newest book:

The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time. 
Find out more about the book and how you can raise leaders, one child at a time.

Dr. Covey said with the launching of the launching of this book: "Of all the books I've written, this new book and the work it represents truly thrills and inspires me because at heart I am a teacher. Whether you are a concerned parent, educator, or a business leader, I am confident you will be inspired by this book because it focuses on our children and their future."

"In this book, you will find proven answers for some of our greatest challenges in educating our children and preparing them for a fast changing world. What you will find in this book is a budding global movement that has the power to change the world—by creating leaders, one child at a time. 

I am grateful to all the many "teachers" both at home, in schools, communities who are lifting up our children, to teach them the principles they need to be happy and successful in our fast-changing, and often turbulent world."

REad the forword chapter of the book here

Logo and Book Image copyright by


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving and Birthday Reflections

you are just so lucky that 
Thanksgiving day happen also to be your birthday. 
Double celebration, and a great saving since nobody will come to dine or celebrate with you coz everybody's busy with their own fiesta.
Alright, if you're extra thrifty, 
why not come and dine to your friends houses, 
schedule them one at a time
 and you will be spoiled with all the delicious and yummy foods they prepared
 since it's your birthday!

You know I've been thinking about this the whole week. 
It's great, sound and perfect tips.  
The only thing is, I am not in the US.

So my wife is cooking some cakes, 
brownies, pasta's and salads, and kafsa, and sago't gulaman...whew! 
That's a lot, so come and celebrate Thanksgiving Day and my birthday with us!
You don't need to bring and give gifts, a simple greeting and a catching up about one's life will be enough. 
And yes,  
 don't ask for my age,
for cornucopia's sake 
you're tempting me to lie! :-)

I would like to share the great ABE's words when proclaiming the Thanksgiving day every last day of November in the US.

" The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

  It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. "

- Abraham Lincoln 

This is eventually what you look like when you are scribbling keyboards and starting early and staying late at night in the computer. My wife's given me an eyeglasses gift, it is a computer protection glasses and at the same time, you'll just have to look at the sky on a clear noon day, and it will automatically change color turning from transparent to shady black that could protect your eyes to UV and sunlight. Cool huh! 

I have made several list of HEROES and ANGELS several years before. The list eventually expands but I was not able to update it. Much of who I am today is because of these people, one way or another, in small and seemingly simple ways.

We have been touched by many along the way as we move on with our lives. In return, even without our notice, we may have made a difference in someone's lives for good. 

I was telling my wife and my baby who was looking and seems to be listening intently when I made my small speech last night right after we prayed and retire for the night.

"You girls made my life so much happier, meaningful and better because you are there...I prayed for you, and I thank God for you..."
 As I reflect my life for the past two years that I've been married, I know I am so much happier because of this two girls in my life. I also thanked the people that will be too many to mention for the support they extended to me, in my professional careers, my brothers and sisters in faith, my mentors, my fellow bloggers out there.

Just like a small and tiny pieces of sand that when mold will make a strong sand block that builds a house or a building, you are all part of my life that lives, that loves, that learns, and will leave a legacy through your goodness and charity.

I wish nothing for me and my family and for all of us, a trio blessing that I always pray in my heart.

A healthy living
A life full of joy, happiness and peace that we all dream of
and success in every good thing we aspire.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Birthday to me!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finalizing the Top 10 Pinoy/OFW Blog Search Project

We are truly grateful to the men and women behind the Search Project for the TOP 10 PINOY OFW/EXPATS blogs.

We run this project as a mere recognition award for the many wonderful Filipino bloggers who share their thoughts and talents, time and effort to somehow inspire the people around, not just Filipino's but people from all walks of life.

I am an Engineer by profession, my English is limited, my salary is just enough to sustain our needs, but I never ceases in my dream to make a difference. In organizing this award, I didn't seek the help of the rich and famous, the powerful and glorious, the wise and the gorgeous.

I just follow the feeling in my heart, the passion in my mind, thinking of the happiness it will brings, and the memories that comes along with the experience.

I received several comments and postings, emails and even calls; I should put to rest my foolishness, and I will be better off if I will spare others, in riding to their popularities 

I have been judged doing this to fuel my desire to raise my blog metrics, and I've been labeled as  'opportunist' and 'without credibility' and I keep my peace.

I move on, quietly, and the nominees despite knowing this search project doesn't include monetary prize still continue displaying the banner, and eventually gave them all the poll widget so their respective visitors can vote to their own blogsite.

I am currently looking for the judges, who will volunteer too, and Pete Rahon, suggested we should also include looking for Top blogs by region;

Asia and the Pacific
Middle East and Africa
US and Canada

If you haven't voted yet, please vote above for your favorite Expats/OFW blogs!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight Movie: "Are You Afraid?"

I have ebook on the other hand and popcorn on one hand while watching Twilight.

Welcome to the Twilight world!

My wife asked me last night what Twilight means so I went to the Free Dictionary and look at it.

twi·light (twlt)
a. The diffused light from the sky during the early evening or early morning when the sun is below the horizon and its light is refracted by the earth's atmosphere.
b. The time of the day when the sun is just below the horizon, especially the period between sunset and dark.
2. Dim or diffused illumination.
3. A period or condition of decline following growth, glory, or success: in the twilight of his life.
4. A state of ambiguity or obscurity.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Random Thoughts

I experienced a few minutes rain the other week, and to my surprise, after a couple of days, mushroom started sprouting around our plant vicinity.
You can see the yellowish-brownish Arabian desert sands covering the mushrooms. I've been here for five years, and it's my first time to witness  mushrooms in the midst of the desert. What does it tells us? What does it mean to me?

I am expecting a lot of changes in the Saudi weather and climate this coming month. I am still hoping snow will fall here in the Eastern province.

"Life is an eternal progression if you believe that . We are sent here to be tried, to be tested, to gain knowledge and experiences so when we come to the next stage of life, we are ready for it. Just like our small baby from the moment she was born, till the day she started saying 'papapapa' she progresses. Ironically we won't progress, and eventually succeed by holding on to things. We have to let go some things to pick up new things as we go along our journey."

"I have done some kindness to people, but my heart swells with gratitude for the people who have done so much good to me. In fact, there are many many people out there who have touched my life for good, and make me what and who I am now. I just realize that my gratitude is overwhelming towards them. I cannot stop saying thank you and how grateful I am for the things they have done. That's why the saying "IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE" is really TRUE. It's better to receive words of gratitude than to have a feeling of owe or debt to someone who have done favor. Of course, we can't do it, we have ask for help, we need others support from time to time. No man is an island here. 

I was reading the BOM with my wife last night and we encounter the phrase in Moroni that says something like this;

"all things that cometh of God is good...
all things that are good cometh from God...
do good continually..."

I would like to leave you that message. How simple, and how true. May we all reflect this Thanksgiving week, some of the goodness we have done and some of the goodness others have done to us.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

European Countries, The Happiest Place to Live?

As per the data crunched from the World Values Survey, the National Science Foundation sponsored a survey that measured health, wealth, education, sense of identity and the aesthetic quality of the landscape. 

The list are;


1.     Denmark,            

2.     Puerto Rico,        

3.     Colombia            

4.     Iceland

5.     Northern Ireland

6.     Ireland

7.     Switzerland

8.     Netherlands

9.     Canada

10.  Austria

11.  El Salvador

12.  Malta

13.  Luxemburg

14.  Sweden

15.  New Zealand

16.  U.S.A.

17.  Guatemala

18.  Mexico

19.  Norway

20.  Belgium

21.  Great Britain

22.  Australia

23.  Venezuela

24.  Trinidad

25.  Finland

Saudi Arabia ranked 26th, and Philippines ranked 36th among the 97 countries surveyed from 1981 to 2007.

Money is one of the factor resulting to happiness according to this research. But the Filipino's especially those who have grasp their sense of purpose can still laugh, have fun and crack jokes about ourselves despite our lack in financial and material things in this world.

And is Europe the new place to be?

7 out of top 10 happiest country can be found in Europe, and 14 out of 25 countries. Well, not to mention the favorite destinations like Italy, and France, Germany and the UK.

Ireland is the best place to live in the world, according to a "quality of life" assessment by Economist magazine.

And for the 2nd year running, Norway has been named as the best place in the world to live, according to an annual report from the United Nations. The Top 10 list was dominated by the European countries.

Why Europe is the best, read here


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Money Falling from the Sky!

We all have dreams and fantasies or have your head in the clouds sometime or another. We fan our excitements by dreaming, we sustain the hope by imagining, we draw inspiration from enchanting stories and make believe fairytales we watched or read. I dreamed to have a modest land and house at the heart of Tagaytay, a black GMC SUV car to drive, and a business that thrives.

Unfortunately it does not come true all at once, or by a wink of an eye.
The faith i have subscribed and the principles I've been taught and learned is to work hard, gain knowledge, love others and rear a family that last for eternity.

And so my dream began...

I dreamed that bundles of hundred dollar bills falls from the sky right in front of me while walking.
What currency? My goodness, I am dreaming, do you really need to ask that?  It doesn't matter, as long as it's not fake. (lol)

Anyway, back to my dream. Yes, a bundle of hundreds of dollar bills from up above. I was thinking what goodness have I done to deserved this, but I am indeed grateful. I am not really selfish but since it's my dream, can we pretend that in this case, Nebz and Ed of Sandbox, and even Ever and Jhay was not around when this bundle of money falls because we share the same cloud-free sky here in Saudi or Ever's nearby country of Kuwait! (hehe, balatohan ko na lang kayo). Can we just pretend that in this dream, it's just me and no one is around? Thank you. :) 

Now the challenge is how to keep this money. You cannot deposit them all in Enjaz or Al Rahji because of some anti-terrorism measure. A handsome guy with salary so meager can't make a deposit by the thousands of dollars!
You can't also bring them all at once to the Philippines. The scanner will see those and  the immigration officer will ask for some share or kutong, if you're lucky. But if some unlucky charm comes along with the money, you might be holden by authorities and confiscate your money and detain you for being financier to the terrorists.
Oh, enough for this worse case scenario. Why I am writing this case? I want to end this dream happily. 

Okay, I am not bringing the raw money home, the dollar will be strengthened, and the peso will weaken, and the ofw's will get mad at me.

And so I keep the money in my bag pack, rushed home, and kiss my daughter and my wife. Mrs. Thoughtskoto will asked where this money come from, and so I said, "this falls from the sky. Perhaps some people rob a bank, their plane malfunctioned up above, and all their money went out. And God knows we need money and we are kind, He knows we will spend it wisely and share it to the poor ones..."

"Yala! Yala! Ro!" shouted by the driver in Arabic to the car before us. Then I was back to reality. I am still sitting to where I am sitting before I dreamed. I am still holding my pack bag, and tried to open it if it has really bundles of money inside. I was disappointed to find out my bulky bag is not full of money, but full of lab gown, notebooks, print out to read, and 'baon' (lunchbox) and Doritos to eat. I still have to wake up early, work hard to earn money, and live within our means with simple pleasure and simple joy.

Dreaming is good. Working out for those dreams is another thing. We cannot keep on dreaming and achieving those dreams without working. There is no shortcut to real happiness and joy, they say. And sometimes the real happiness and joy can be felt, and can be found only by working happily with whatever we do, and living joyfully and to the fullest with whatever we have.

And so I have to get to work now, to realize my dreams and well, some desires.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Amazing Wallpapers

Click the photos to view the actual wallpaper sizes.

Click the photos to view the actual wallpaper sizes.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

China Poisoned Milk - Companies and Products Affected

Which companies are affected?
Hereunder are the companies affected with Melamine.

What are the foods to be avoided?
Foods that contain dairy products should be avoided.

Remember: Foods with creamer or milk should be avoided.

Click the image above to view the products and the companies affected by the China's Melamine.