Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ubuntu: I Am Because of You

Image courtesy of somalilandpress.com
On December 5, 2013, the world mourn for loosing one of his geniuses and greatest leader with a big heart - Nelson Mandela.

Although I never really met Mandela, I felt I already had my personal encounter with him. This Nobel Peace Prize awardee and former President revolutionize my perspective on ubuntu. I have known Ubuntu as a simple, fast and open-source Linux-based operating system. Had the opportunity to use it for more than five years as a secured alternative to the Apple and Microsoft's dominance. But for Mandela, Ubuntu is a way of life, an energy you could choose to deliberately stand for, he owned it and made it his life's statement.

Ubuntu is a South African philosophy which means 'humanity to others'. It also means 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. The word promotes our interconnectedness and the responsibility to each other that flows from our connection.
There is a word in South Africa -- Ubuntu -- a word that captures Mandela’s greatest gift:  his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.
Snippet from Barrack Obama's eulogy to Mandela            

Aside from Ubuntu philosophy, Mandela also left us with manifold of inspiring thoughts and quotes, below are some of my favorites:
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
A good head and a good heart is always a formidable combination.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
It always seem impossible until it's done.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Mabuhay ka Mandela! For relentlessly fighting for peace and unity not only for your own country or race but for the entire humanity. This noble act of yours is more than enough to keep you immortal in our hearts.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Movie: Catching Fire

After being blown away by "The Hunger Games" movie last year, I became an instant fan of Katniss Everdeen. I can even recall taking archery class at Gandiva few weeks after seeing the movie. Katniss not only inspires me with her girl power impact she also awaken my tenuous appetite of watching movies in big screen. I have my own reasons, aside from watching in cinemas being expensive and impractical(my frugal identity speaking), downloading movies nowadays is like stealing candy from a baby. But Hunger Games defy my self-imposed rule, I cannot miss to watch this in wide screen. No way! This is one of the very reason I became excited for November to come, well aside from my birthday of course. :)

I have the privilege of reading all The Hunger Games trilogy (thanks to my book sponsor) but I am still equally excited to watch the movie.

Kudos! First to the author Suzanne Collins, for her outstanding prolific minds. Second to the entire cast and production team of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the great adaptation of the book into a motion picture. 

Here are some of my favorite lines both from book and the movie:

“I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don't hurt anyone but myself.” --Cinna

"Remember who the real enemy is" --Haymitch

"People are looking to you, Katniss. You've given them an opportunity. They just have to be brave enough to take it." --Gale

“We had to save you because you're the mockingjay, Katniss, while you live, the revolution lives.” --Plutarch

“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.” --Suzanne Collins 

“Aim higher in case you fall short.” --Suzanne Collins

“It must be very fragile, if a handful of berries can bring it down.” --Katniss Everdeen

"You know, you could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him."

"That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I'm free to act as desperately as I wish."

"Remember, girl on fire, I'm still betting on you." --Cinna

"But Mockingjays were never a weapon," said Madge. "They’re just songbirds. Right? "Yeah, I guess so,” I said, But it’s not true. A mockingbird is just a songbird. A mockingjay is a creature the capitol never intended to exist. They hadn’t counted on the highly controlled jabberjay having the brains to adapt to the wiled, to thrive in a new form. They hadn’t anticipated its will to live."

I will see you again next year Katniss! :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dear Ces

Other people believe there's no good in goodbyes, after all goodbye means leaving the people you love, abandoning the somewhat routine you've been used to, walking away from the career you've already established and starting all over again in a new place you wish to call home.

But for you leaving is more than just parting ways or an escape. It is obedience to the One who calls us to go where ever we are right now. It means having the courage to make that step of faith even though it does not make sense at the moment. And for those reasons, I can only be grateful for the opportunity to have met someone who loves the Lord as much as you do. Someone who intentionally make that effort to tune in to God's heart and surrender to His plans.

More than a friend, you are a sister in Christ who is always there to listen to our frustrations and daily struggles at work. You have inspired us with your stories of love and sacrifices at work and to your circle of influence. You are as noble as your profession. You also reminded me of the infinite love of God with His patience and perseverance in pursuing you to be His daughter. And just recently you have demonstrated how you chose to remain at peace with the Lord, always grateful, even if the seemingly important possession are taken away from us. If your newly bought Gold iPhone 5S returns to you anytime now, it'll only be an icing on top of the cake, because you already learned the essentials. To never rely on the material gifts but to always focus on the Giver.

A friend once said, leaving is for the brave. You are brave! Brave enough to leave the comfortable life here in Singapore. Brave enough to face the unknown back in the Philippines. Brave because I know it is the word and promises of God that gives you the courage to move.

Thank you Ces for blessing us with your life's testimony. I am certain that this is not the end but just the beginning of more opportunities to be used by God in our dear country. Greater space of serving and growing closer to Him.

God bless you Ces! Just like the old song, "I can't say goodbye to you, no matter how I try" ( Please don't make me sing the song :D si Belle na lang or si Kitin baka magvolunteer :P ) because all my heart wants to do right now is to cheer you with a "Go Ces! Follow your heart as you follow the Lord!"

Here are some of the many pictures together with our all girls dgroup. We may come from different backgrounds and orientations but its comforting to know that the love of God unite us together in this circle of friends. Hopefully these bring a thousand smile to your charming face even if we'll be thousand miles away.

Honestly I had a hard time more on filtering which photos to include in this post because we have so many ;))