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Thursday, January 29, 2009


"Knowledge is like the water in the river, it flows freely until it reaches the ocean. But if you let it stay somewhere along the way, it will be stagnant, and useless..."

Ano bang pinaggagawa ko at sobrang busy ako...

I am a Student. 
I am never too old to learn, but never too wise not to gain more wisdom or advanced my "1 + 1" or which comes first, "egg or chicken?" intelligence. Thus, I am burning my lashes studying in Watershed Academy the US-Environmental Protection 
Agency Watershed Management Program. Along with some online trainings and studies I am currently enrolled.
I am an education enthusiast. I am waving the banner of education high and above sa sino man na gustong mag-aral. 
Knowledge is like the water in the river, it flows freely until it reaches the ocean. But if you let it stay somewhere along the way, it will be stagnant, and useless, babaho..!aalingasaw..! oppps, sori, carried away! 

Chemist ako, minsan engineer, minsan (scientist daw) sayangtest.
Aside from supervising the running of the reverse osmosis which is greatly responsible for the quality of water we sell, I am also supervising the mixing of the chemicals and additive, leading the laboratory and overseeing the analysis, and making sure that each bottle that leaves the plant/company being sold in the market is sweet and of excellent quality. 
Quite a task, for a small guy, and a meager salary job.
Ito mga tauhan ko sa laboratory, isang Egyptian, Pinoy (mas gwapo at mabait kaysa saken) and a Saudi.

There are times I feel like an engineer too, laying out the foundation of the new building, the new tanks, the new RO, the new machines, and purchasing the materials that we need to make the operation smooth, and unhampered. 
There are times I have to grow my beard, ng pagkahaba haba, oo, mahaba pa diyan, 
or my hair ng mas mahaba pa din dyan. 
Wear my magic robe, 
may magic mask, 
may magic gloves, 
wala lang akong magicsaucer... hehe 
Feels and looks like scientest doing research and experiments, 
sayang tests.

Graphics, Photo and Video Artist din daw
This what keeps me busy the past few weeks, 200 pieces of things like this, in vcd, dvd, with cover...
Me and my family wished Kenneth and Helga the best wedding!

Cellphone Technician daw ako
Umabot na yata ng isan daan mahigit na kabayan at itik at pato ang nalagyan ko ng applications sa cellphone. Kapag Mobily ang simcard mo, pag nilagyan kita ng yahoo messenger na ito, 10-15 halalas(cents) lang ang oras na kakaltasin sau. Marami rin akong ibang application at games, punong puno yata ang memory ko. Yun nga lang kumikitang kabuhayan din ito, umabot yata ng 700SR (300USD) ang kinita ko nung malapit na manganak si misis at todo kayod ako. hehe
Ang charge ko, 20 SR bawat lagay, with a package of 5 applications plus training pa. Mantakin mo naman, isang install ko, 15 minutes minimum kasi may kasama pang demo how to use it. Ngayon sa isang linggo meron lima katao magpapalagay.

Full Time Dada at 24 hours Hubby
Sa lahat ng raket at mga extra curi curi ko, ito ang walang kita, kung iisipin ko, lugi pa nga, pero pinakaenjoy at pinakamasaya sa lahat. hehe 
Ang maging ulirang ama
(dada, mafi malum)

 sa napakacute na baby that will occupy most of my time, that will sleep at my chest or arms, that will call you sweetly "dadaae" and will intentionally eye for my nose with her two recently develop weapon of mass destruction. She has two bugs bunny teeth! Yay!
All the pain and worries at work will simply vanish away everytime I am with her and her mom. Her bright innocence and lovely face is seemingly giving me tremendous hope to be optimistic about the future. And with a very supportive and understanding and caring wife, I couldn't ask for more.

Manager ng Thoughtskoto
Teacher ako ng isang grupo sa mga kids, ages 5-7 every Friday. 
Walang bayad, voluntary service.
Activities Committee chairman din ako sa LDS group namin, libre din, pero katakot takot na activities lalo na this Valentine may bowl ang mga Pinoy, Kano, British, South African, Australian, at mga ibang lahi na kasama sa group namin. 
Ako ang chairman, ako magpapasaya. 
Clowning tawag dun. haha

Kailangan ko help niyo.  
I want somebody to help me run the Thoughtsmoto-KA BLOGS. 
I want you to help me add Pinoy Expats or OFW blogs na alam niyo. 
I can grant you admin status so you can add 
Group of Bloggers like for example Australia, London/UK, Malaysia.  
Any country na sobra sa 5 blogs, gawan na ng separate na Group. 
Just verify it lang ha.
No pressures here, just if you have the time, and the ways na lagi online, 
please help me sort the list. 
Email me here



If you are in the Philippines or anywhere in the world and have access online and wanted to work in Saudi Arabia. (yeah! don't think about the Alcohol and Religious Ban, but think of tax-free and lavish offerings and benefits from Arab employers)

Here's the top 5 best site for you to find a job!

Remember though,

 think and act like you're worth a million and the world will pay you if that's your worth.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Glass or the Juice Analogy

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have… And remember – the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

When I was 21 years old, I was walking the dusty roads of Antique during the first area of my service, when we visited one of the dean of the Polytechnic State College in Sibalom, Antique.

He was having a small gathering of his former students who are now established and made good names in the community. Because he didn't drink coffee or tea, and is not so much a fan of soft drinks, he offered his students juice of different variety, pineapple, orange, and pomelo and with eclectic assortment of cups, like porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal - some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite.
He quietly told me and my American companion as well as his former students to help ourselves with juices to quench the thirst of the hot summer.
When we all had a glass of juice in our hands, he then motioned as if clearing his throat and began to address us in broken English and the local dialect of Hiligaynon and Kiniray-a or Karay-a.
This is not the actual transcript as far as I can remember but he said something this way.
"You may have notice that a lot of the nicer looking glasses were taken first," (napatingin ako sa glass ko, huli na kasi kami kumuha ng kasama kong Kano kaya parang glass yata ng Cheese Spread yung nakuha ko, hahaha, yung sa kano ko na kasama, syempre malaki ang 'lagok' nun kaya yung glass ng Tang Juice ang sa kanya)
"While natural lang sa inyo to want only the best for yourselves, yan actually ang reason bakit nagkakaroon ng mga problema. Be assured that the glasses itself add no quality to the juices. Sa totoo lang ang glass merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of us really wanted was juice to quench our thirst, not a glass, pero talagang we went for the best glass."
(Buti na lang panget glass ko, pero masarap ang juice na pomelo!)
The professor-dean then concluded:
“Now consider this:  
Life is a lot like juice.  
Jobs, money and position in society are merely glasses.  
They are just tools to shape and contain Life, and the type of glass we have does not truly define or change the quality of the Life we live.  
Often, by concentrating only on the glass, 
we fail to enjoy the juice that God has provided us…
God develop the juice, but he does not supply the glass - so bago mawala ang lamig enjoy your juice!"

How true that was! This Psychology professor is making things right and seeing things in the right perspective. I can't helped but nod my head in agreement to what he said. Minsan kasi kayod kalabaw na tayo, and minsan naman we even jeopardize the very right principle na we were raise para lang magkaroon ng mga konting bagay that we can't bring with us kung mawala tayo dito sa mundo. 

There are quality time for the family, and an honest admiration to our loveones.

Kung tatay ka man na nasa abroad, be sweet to your wife, you can do a call or schedule a chat with your son or daughter and ask how are they doing back home, how are their studies, what they did achieve, are they helping their mom, do they pray for your safety? Little act that seems to be nothing but when done sincerely and faithfully will yield happiness to the wife you leave and to the kids you missed.

Kung nanay ka man na nasa abroad, you can send an sms or FB message to your husband how much you think of him, and schedule to have a chat with your sons or daughters and asked them about studies, about their dreams and plans, their fears and their achievement, their simple joys, and stories. I always believe that a mother should stay in the house to take care of the greatest assets we all have, our children, our posterity, but that is not always the case. Mother sometimes needs to earn for the living to help the husband sustain their needs

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have… And remember – the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.”

We can have the most wonderfully and exquisitely made glasses, but if we don't have the best juices to pour to, it will only be a display that will be pleasing to the eyes but will never make a difference.

Translation: We can be rich, waffu waffu at waffa waffa, sikat pa, pero are we living life to the fullest? Ask ko lang. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What Kind of Chinese Animal Are You?

The title, I hope it does sounds good to you. 
Note - I don't subscribed to this, katuwaan lang.
Translation: wala ako sa tamang pag-iisip kaya walang maiblog!

(Mukhang malapit na sa tunog ng Hey, ung fat mo tabatsoy!)
Ako ba yun? pagkakaalam ko payat ako, ay, lean daw pala sabi ni Mrs. Thoughtskoto, pero ako ba yung mataba or tabatsoy? 
Malaki ang problema ko ngayong New Year.

Unang una, nawalan kami ng koneksiyon ng Internet sa bahay
kung bakit ngayong January maraming nawawalan ng internet koneksiyon
ay hindi ko alam. Si Kosa at Manilenya, taga Canada, nawawalan ng koneksiyon, 
ang layo naman ng Saudi para idamay ako.
NEBZ, salamat sa tag, follow-up post ko na lang ha.
Sinusulat ko pa things about sa dami ng brilliant blogs na alam ko, 
sinosort ko pa ang 7 na yun.

Pangalawa, nakakatakot ang tiyan ko sa salamin. May malaking nakaumbok na kahit anong gawin kong stomach in, chest out, ay lumalabas pa rin. Gawa ito ng kakaupo sa harap ng computer at kakaclick ng mouse, at kakazip ng Gain na Milk Choco.


Pangatlo, maliit ang sahod ko. 
Ay teka, di ko problema yan this year, 5 years ago na. hehe
Konsumisyon ang tawag dyan, opposite ng new and satisfying renumeration/remuneration

Anyway, binabati ko kayong lahat ng Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China and Taiwan.

My wife's grandfather is a descent from China, and though she have Chinese blood and do speak some Chinese language and can write some Chinese characters, she insist that she is purely Filipina. 
Ni hao ma?

I greeted her the other night while we are watching CNN International's coverage of the Chinese Spring Festival or New Year a 'Kung Hei Fat Choi'. 

Then I thought of posting this for the interest of others. 
We don't believe or subscribe to it, but just for fun lang.

Anong year ka ipinanganak at anong corresponding animal ka? 
Ay sori, hehe, animal mo? (parang not pleasing)
What kind of animal are you? (Oppps, sori, parang ang sagwa pakinggan.)

Anyway ako daw Dragon, specifically Fire Dragon. 
Very interesting kasi lahat yata ng dragon ay bumubuga ng fire. 
People born in the Year of the Dragon are 
(mild lang naman scoliosis ko, mahina lang ako kumain, konti na lang ang blood ko) 
(oo true yan, di ako naglalaro ng basketball, volleyball, soccer, wala akong sports kundi, sportsmanship)
( di ako nagagalit, umuusok ang tainga, oo)
and stubborn. 
(very true kasi pag gutom ako, kakain talaga ako!)
They are also honest, sensitive, brave, and they inspire confidence and trust. (totoong totoo, tanungin niyo mga nakaaway ko)
Dragon people are the most eccentric of any in the eastern zodiac. 
(eccentric as in 'hot' kasi may fire???)
They neither borrow money 
(hmmmn, nabayaran ko na ba si...)
nor make flowery speeches, 
(ewan ko lang nito ha, pero paano ko nga ba napasagot si Mrs. Thoughtskoto?)
but they tend to be soft-hearted
 which sometimes gives others an advantage over them.

Pero mukhang di daw maganda ang 2009 ko sabi sa Chinese Calendar. Sana wag naman. I always believe that the destiny of people is not on what's written and what's the fortune teller is saying but it's how we conduct our lives. 

We can be who and what we are if we wanted to. It all depends on our choices. 

Just for fun. 
If you wanted to know what's the animal corresponding to your birth year see 
You can also enter your birthdate here and presto! 
malalaman mo na kung anong animal ka! 
(Sori, masakit pakinggan, parang naririnig ko yung kapitbahay namin sa 
Pinas na sigaw ng sigaw sa mga anak niya...)

Check out here what's the 2009 has instore for you. :)


Monday, January 26, 2009

Two Inspiring Movies (You Should Watch)

I am a movie enthusiast. 
I have collection of more than 300 movie titles plus more than 20 Movie and TV Series. 

I have a complete collection of all seasons of 24 TV Series, Smallville TV Series, Everwood TV Series to mention a few, as well movie series like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Matrix.

There are movies that you feel you wasted your 'pulos' (money) and there are movies that will eventually last a 'good feeling' and influence your thoughts and actions as well as your decisions.

May mga movies na nakakatawa, na minsan nagmumukha kang tanga sa katatawa, na di mo alam napapaluha ka na sa tawa (minsan pati sipon pa nga!)

There are movies that will make you cry, emote sabi nila, or carried away.
May mga movies na khit ihing ihi ka na di mo mapindot ang pause ng remote, hanggang sa di mo napansin, nagiging sakit na pala sa kidney dahil lagi lagi na.

Minsan naman inaabot ka na ng hatinggabi sa kapapanood na aantok antok sa trabaho the next day. Hindi mo namalayan, nakatulog ka na pala na nakatayo, at minsan nawawalan ng balanse kasi para ka nang lumulutang. 

But there are movies that inspires. Here's my 2 top pick. 

The story of a charismatic young Irish guitarist and a sheltered young cellist who have a chance encounter one magical night above New York's Washington Square, but are soon torn apart, leaving in their wake an infant, August Rush, orphaned by circumstance. Now performing on the streets of New York and cared for by a mysterious stranger, August uses his remarkable musical talent to seek the parents from whom he was separated at birth.

After the death of the
 oil tycoon Howard 'Red' Stevens, his greedy family is gathered in the office of his lawyer, partner and friend Mr. Theophillis 'Ted' Hamilton and his associated Miss Hastings for the reading of the will. For his reckless and selfish grandson Jason Stevens, who hated him, Red assigns twelve apparently simple tasks called "gifts" - of work, money, friends, learning, problems, family, laughter, dreams, giving, gratitude, a day and love - challenging the playboy Jason to a journey of discoveries.

If you are in the Eastern province area, let me know, pwede kita makopyahan. Pero kung malayo ka, di ko alam how...pero you can still email or leave your comment. 


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ask and You Will Receive

Kagaya ng nasabi ko na, sobrang lamig sa Saudi. Sa sobrang lamig, nanigas ang mga daliri ko na di makapagtype. Ibinubuntun ko sa lamig ang dahilan, 
pero baka ito na yung sinasabi nilang rayuma. 
Translation: Muskhila. (problem)

Anyway, I was talking to a British friend the other day. He was talking about how his experiences as a British Airforce, and now a teacher in a flying school here in Saudi.
"If you want to earn money you have to start working, and saving. 
If you want to be healthy, you have to stop eating junk foods and start eating right foods,
If you want to progress in anything you're stuck into, you have to stop dreaming or wishing or whining and start with a resolution that all things are progressing, and there's no end to everything. The things that matters are the things that lasts. So if you been asking for a long time, and haven't receive the right answer, perhaps its time to examine if the one we're asking is the one that we really need and matters."

I think he was right.
You know, I've been asking a long list of what I want and wanted to be for a very long time.
Genie wish tawag nila dito, sincere prayer naman term ko dito.
(Genie wish, they call it, sincere prayer is my term for this.)

Gusto ko maging gwapo, well, sabi ng misis ko waffu na ko, pero di lang wafu, gusto ko din maging macho pa! Actually, matsu naman ako, matsunurin kay Mrs. Thoughtskoto, at sa anak ko, at sa boss ko na walang alam kundi magutos na gawin yan, gawin mo to! 
Sigh, arabo!
sa sobrang daming trials and challenges na pinagdaanan ko mula bata pa ako, naapektuhan tuloy growth ko, yung mga laman at buto, dahil isang kain isang tuka kami, ayan naging epekto, 
maliit na mga hita, maliit na mga braso't kamay, at mahabang leeg pero malaking ulo, imagine niyo na lang ano itsura ko. haha

In the end, kahit waffu ka man or di masyado, kukulubot din naman mga balat natin. Yung fair skin at beautiful face nagfafade. Pero merong mga bagay na naglalast ng panghabambuhay. Yung mabait and may ginintuang puso, a handsome heart that is loving and kind. 
Kahit di man ako ganun kagwapo, basta mabait at matsu (matsunurin) at may good health, 
na yung iba, happy na ako.
Miya miya jhamila, kater kuayes hada
(This is awesome, very fine with me)

Si Malakas at si Maganda, naalala ko nung elementary ako, at binabasa ang epiko na yan.

Any guy would want to marry a pretty woman. Now theres a lot of definitions of what is pretty and what is beauty. Truly it is in the eyes of a beholder. But there are beauties beyond what we can see with the natural eye. And perhaps for all the things I've asked, this is the sweetest and most satisfying answer that I got. I've been asking this since I was young and started falling in love.
I asked that the woman I am going to spend my whole life and eternity with will be a pretty woman to my eyes and will keep herself beautiful inside and out.

Naisip ko lang I think yung isang reason na iniiwan ng mga magagandang lalaki ang kanilang mga asawa dahil seguro hindi na ito nagpapaganda, laspag na sa wikang kanto. Seguro di na nga nakakapagsuklay, sepilyo or deodorant dahil sa busy na masyado. 

Naisip ko rin, kaya naman seguro nalaspag na ang misis ng ibang mga kabayang waffu, eh si kabayan ba naman makasama niya sa ilang taong pagseserbisyo, paglalaba, pagluluto, pagaalaga ng mga bata, pangungulit, at katakot takot na problema sa bayaran dito, bayaran duon, at sa utang kay Don Juan nung nagsabong at natalo, at nung nagpainum ng sampung kahang alak sa buong bario. 

Paano pa siya makakapanood ng  "Oprah" or "Kay Susan tayo"?
teka, parang lumabo, pakialam ko ba sa buhay ng ibang mga kababayan ko...

 Parang lahat yata ng hiling ko pamagat ng kanta. Napansin niyo rin yata.
Sabi ko sa boss ko nung humihiling ako ng salary increase.

"Show me a Filipino who came here in Saudi not to earn good money? The sacrifices and the endurance we have here as we patiently do our job is because we want to earn for our families back home. If you cannot take care of your good men, then how can they take care of their families? If their families are not taken care of, how can they work effectively and efficiently?"

Tumatagaktak ang pawis ko nung nagkaroon kami ng confrontation nung time na yun that should have lead to my resignation. 

Pero mukhang effective, dalawang tiglilimandaang mukha ni Haring Abdullah kada buwan ang idinagdag sa sahod ko. 

Ngayon nagbabalak na naman ako. Pambihira, 15 riyals lang ang limang kilong bigas nung panahon na yun, 25 riyals na ngayon!

Richest is not all material things anyway, and not just money. We can be rich with friends, and great families. We can be rich with knowledge and wisdom that will help us through the uncertain times of these last days. 
But the secret to financial riches is not the high salaries, 
it is in the money management and living within our means.
You might be earning 50,000 pesos a month and still be poor. 
Tadtad ka ng credit cards.
Kain dito kain duon, malling dito, malling duon.
butas ang bulsa
at pagkasahod
lahat pinadala sa pinas
walang savings na natira.
Si misis naman sa Pinas
hala bira!
Bili tayo nun, bili tayo nito
walang natira savings sa banko.
Again it is how we spend the money wisely and saving that leads to richness.
Sarap matulog na may savings, may security, 
may pinaglalaanan ng mga pangarap sa hinaharap.

So ask and yes you will receive it.

Pero ipagpatuloy ko yung sabi nung kaibigan kong British.

"You can keep on asking, but you won't receive it unless you work your part.
It's a partnership. He will do His part, and it has never failed, but you must do your own part. You cannot blame Him for who you are. You are the master of your destiny. He has laid out the plan and the map for you to follow. Don't take the shortcut. It will lead you nowhere."

Be who you are and what you are.
Appreciate and love the things most closest to your life.
and Live within your means.

photo is from godalone


Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Attempt na Magblog in EnTa Lengua "Ang Global Crisis"

EnTa - English Tagalog, a combination of Barok English and may pagkabisayang Tagalog.

I am always amused with OFW and Expats Pinoy who make a blog post in Tagalog. It's funny, witty, and yes, it strucks the heart. So now, I am going to attempt to post in English mix mix Tagalog. It's my thoughts anyway, and there are times because of the limited grammar and
 English knowledge ng inyong abang lingkod (naks) ayan na pasimple simple lang, is not conveyed very well kasi nga limited lang. haha Hirap kaya magkukotkot ng kokote kung wala kang makukot, kaya minsan nangangapa ng simpleng English words.

Anyway, I want my blog na maging masaya naman, as well as the readers and visitors that will come. 

Kaninang morning, I was surfing the Thoughtsmoto Kabayan Blogs, ang ganda kasi nito, syempre kasi itong Thoughtskoto and mga Thoughts mo, Thoughts niya, and Thoughts natin lahat pinagsama samang para sa iisang site, mababasa mo na ang snippet or maliit na intro ng mga bagong post ng mga kababayan kahit saang lupalop ng lupa, yelo and mabuhanging disyerto. Kaya naman naisip ko yun kasi nakakapagod magsurf isa isa, kaya kung alin nagustuhan ko, yun na lang muna click ko. Yug iba, gandahan niyo naman title para catchy macliclick ko. Haha

Anyhow (anyway na kasi sa taas, redundant na masyado) sa pagbabasa ko, mukhang iisa ang theme for the day. Kakatakot but true. Lahat apektado ng Global Crisis na nagsimula sa America. Minsan tuloy naisip ko, wala talagang untouchable sa mundo, hangin lang seguro. 

Sa company ko humina muna ang production at walang OT ng ilan buwan kasi nagslow down na din yung Aramco and affiliates nito. A few months back, di mapigil ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, ngayon dahil sa over production, bagsak ang presyo, maliban sa pamasahe sa pinakabayan ko.

Read over Gulf Region, mga post ng mga Pinoy tinanggal si ganito, rethrenchment dito, di na nirenew contract ni Kabayan, walang taas ng sahod at increment for this year, naghigpit na sa lahat ng bagay kina Juan, tatlong buwan ng delayed sa sahod sina Pedro, nagsara ng planta kina Jose, nagiisip pa naman ako lumipat ng trabaho magtiyaga na muna tayo.

I was talking to my wife the other night regarding the global crisis and how thankful we are na kahit papaano nakakapagsurvive kami. Then naisip ko ang isang pinakavaluable na lesson in life na minsan I tend to overlook or nafoforget.

Si HF knows everything, and mahal Niya tayo. Alam Niya what we need, and what is right for us. Minsan di natin maintindihan, minsan parang akala natin pinapabayaan Niya tayo. Minsan we feel alone, and fighting our life's struggles and battles alone. Akala lang natin yun, at miminsan lang yun. 

I have live my life and been to a lot, yes, a lot (parang ang tanda ko na). But I am not saying I am better than anybody else. It's just that my challenges and the trials I've been through since I was young helped me become the man I am now. Not the best, not the great, not really rich, not the wisest, but a better man than sa naiisip ko na maging ako if without those challenges.

Just face it. hmmmn, parang Nike, Just do it. 

Just don't compare yourself to others. If you do, truly you will be miserable. 
Live your best to the fullest for who you are, and what you are, and trust HF. 

Ganun kasi ako before, compare ko kakarampot ang sahod ko sa mga kaibigan ko. Tinapa ako kumpara sa tuna nila. Pero natauhan ako. Nasa 30's pa lang ako. Yung mga sumasahod ng ganun kalaki mga kaibigan ko, puti na ang buhok, pero sana di pa pumuputi ang uwak, maayos na ang crisis na ito, may naghihire saken eh doble sa sahod, nahold ako, kasi nga slowdown ang Aramco! Waahhhh :(

This global crisis, naglalaga pa ako, maglaga na muna kayo, kaya tiyaga muna tayo. 

Okay ba post ko? hehe.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Full Text of US President Barack Obama Inaugural Speech in Philadelphia

Barack Obama Inaugural Speech Text delivered in Philadelphia. Video link here

We are here to mark the beginning of our journey to Washington. This is fitting because it was here, in this city, that our American journey began. It was here that a group of farmers and lawyers, merchants and soldiers, gathered to declare their independence and lay claim to a destiny that they were being denied.

It was a risky thing, meeting as they did in that summer of 1776. There was no guarantee that their fragile experiment would find success. More than once in those early years did the odds seem insurmountable. More than once did the fishermen, laborers and craftsmen who called themselves an army face the prospect of defeat.

And yet, they were willing to put all they were and all they had on the line — their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor — for a set of ideals that continue to light the world. That we are equal. That our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness come not from our laws, but from our maker. And that a government of, by and for the people can endure. It was these ideals that led us to declare independence and craft our constitution, producing documents that were imperfect but had within them, like our nation itself, the capacity to be made more perfect.

We are here today not simply to pay tribute to our first patriots but to take up the work that they began. The trials we face are very different now, but severe in their own right. Only a handful of times in our history has a generation been confronted with challenges so vast. An economy that is faltering. Two wars, one that needs to be ended responsibly, one that needs to be waged wisely. A planet that is warming from our unsustainable dependence on oil.

And yet while our problems may be new, what is required to overcome them is not. What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed. What is required is a new declaration of independence, not just in our nation, but in our own lives — from ideology and small thinking, prejudice and bigotry — an appeal not to our easy instincts but to our better angels.

That is the reason I launched my campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago. I did so in the belief that the most fundamental American ideal, that a better life is in store for all those willing to work for it, was slipping out of reach. That Washington was serving the interests of the few, not the many. And that our politics had grown too small for the scale of the challenges we faced.

But I also believed something else. I believed that our future is our choice and that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together — Democrats, Republicans and independents, north, south, east and west, black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American, gay and straight, disabled and not — then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our union in the process.

This is what I believed, but you made this belief real. You proved once more that people who love this country can change it. And as I prepare to leave for Washington on a trip that you made possible, know that I will not be traveling alone. I will be taking with me some of the men and women I met along the way, Americans from every corner of this country, whose hopes and heartaches were the core of our cause; whose dreams and struggles have become my own.

Theirs are the voices I will carry with me every day in the White House. Theirs are the stories I will be thinking of when we deliver the changes you elected me to make. When Americans are returning to work and sleeping easier at night knowing their jobs are secure, I will be thinking of people like Mark Dowell, who's worried his job at Ford will be the next one cut, a devastating prospect with the teenage daughters he has back home.

When affordable health care is no longer something we hope for, but something we can count on, I will be thinking of working moms like Shandra Jackson, who was diagnosed with an illness and is now burdened with higher medical bills on top of child care for her 11-year-old son.

When we are welcoming back our loved ones from a war in Iraq that we've brought to an end, I will be thinking of our brave servicemen and women sacrificing around the world, of veterans like Tony Fischer, who served two tours in Iraq, and all those returning home, unable to find a job.

These are the stories that will drive me in the days ahead. They are different stories, told by men and women whose journeys may seem separate. And yet, what you showed me time and again is that no matter who we are or what we look like, no matter where we come from or what faith we practice, we are a people of common hopes and common dreams, who ask only for what was promised us as Americans — that we might make of our lives what we will and see our children climb higher than we did.

We recognize that such enormous challenges will not be solved quickly. There will be false starts and setbacks, frustrations and disappointments. And we will be called to show patience even as we act with fierce urgency.

But we should never forget that we are the heirs of that first band of patriots, ordinary men and women who refused to give up when it all seemed so improbable; and who somehow believed that they had the power to make the world anew. That is the spirit that we must reclaim today.

For the American Revolution did not end when British guns fell silent. It was never something to be won only on a battlefield or fulfilled only in our founding documents. It was not simply a struggle to break free from empire and declare independence. The American Revolution was — and remains — an ongoing struggle "in the minds and hearts of the people" to live up to our founding creed.

Starting now, let's take up in our own lives the work of perfecting our union.

Let's build a government that is responsible to the people, and accept our own responsibilities as citizens to hold our government accountable.

Let's all of us do our part to rebuild this country.

Let's make sure this election is not the end of what we do to change America, but the beginning.

Join me in this effort. Join one another in this effort. And together, mindful of our proud history, hopeful for the future, let's seek a better world in our time. Thank you.

- US President Barack Obama


Monday, January 19, 2009

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