Perseverance

Perseverance is a key factor for success.

His name is Erwin Macua, 38 years old.

He juggled from being a security guard, pursuing a bachelors degree in Elementary Education, and being a father of 3 children.

And last March 24, 2017, he graduated cum laude from St Theresa’s College in Cebu – the same school where he works as a security guard for the past 20 years.

“Age is not a hindrance, poverty is not a hindrance. Just pursue your dream with the formula: hard work plus determination plus prayer and you will reach your aspirations in life,” Macua said.

An inspiration to his classmates, Macua said he plans to continue his work as a security guard while self-reviewing for the licensure exams for teachers.

He credits his passion for teaching to the lessons he learned from observing the diversity of students in school, which had him looking forward to having his own advisory class in the future.

For now, Macua will continue guarding the gates of STC as he prepares for the licensure examination for teachers in September. He said he has received offers from private and public schools. But his focus now is to pass the exams before he teaches, he said. “It’s one thing to graduate with honors and teach. But I’d be happier to be teaching with a license. That way, I can inspire my future students to work harder,” he said.
Sources: abs-cbnnews.com;  sunstar.com.ph

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A Winner Never Quits

A quitter never wins, a winner never quits.

I first heard these words from a sweepstakes ticket vendor who exhorted patrons to continue buying from him.

Persistence, that is what it is called. But this thing took on a new meaning to me when I chance upon a section of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen on  Overcoming Obstacles. It talked about how one of the greatest leaders in history may have exemplified this trait. It talked about how Abraham Lincoln did not quit, and eventually won!

Today, on his 150th death anniversary, let me share how Lincoln breathed life into the word — persistence:

Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.

He could have quit many times but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of America.

Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House.

  • 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
  • 1818: His mother died.
  • 1831: Failed in business.
  • 1832: Ran for state legislature- lost.
  • 1832: Also lost his job. Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
  • 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  • 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
  • 1835: Was engaged to be married , sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
  • 1836:Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
  • 1838:Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
  • 1840: Sought to became elector- defeated.
  • 1843: Ran for Congress-lost.
  • 1846:Ran for Congress again. This time he won-went to Washington and did a good job.
  • 1848:Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
  • 1849:Sought the job of land officer in his home state-rejected.
  • 1854:Ran for Senate of the United States-lost.
  • 1856:Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention-got less than 100 votes.
  • 1858:Ran for U.S Senate again-again he lost.
  • 1860:Elected president of the United States.
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You’ve Got to Find What You Love

October 5, 2014 marks the third year anniversary of the passing of Steve Jobs— widely regarded by his peers as a visionary, an innovator and a figure that will be remembered for changing the world.

Steve Jobs left his mark in game changing and profitable  innovations in the field of personal computers(Apple II and Macintosh); animation (Pixar);  music(iPod, iTunes), phones (iPhone), and tablets(ipad).

He did not finish college, but he built a computer empire and became a multi-millionaire in a few years.

He was fired from his own company before coming back a decade later to save it and turn it into one of the world’s most influential corporations,

He is a great presenter, anchoring practically all the product launches of Apple. But perhaps one of the most memorable speeches he has delivered is the one on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. For somebody who has dropped out of college the commencement speech speaks volumes of what this great mind has in mind and could provide inspiration to most young people seeking to build a career.

Do take 15 minutes of your life and just listen to this speech. It is by far one of the best speeches ever given!

 

Or read the the transcript of the talk below:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

 

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From my Inbox – 50s 60s 70s 80s

How different are the kids of today from those born three to six decades ago?

Well, here is one take of such differences as shared to me via email my a college friend Jose Yparaguirre.

 

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1950's, 60' s,70's and early 80's !!

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who did not have an OB-Gyne and drank San Miguel Beer while they carried us.

While pregnant, they took cold or cough medicine, ate isaw, and didn't worry about diabetes.

Then after all that trauma, our baby cribs were made of hard wood covered with lead-based paints, pati na yung walker natin, matigas na kahoy din at wala pang gulong. We had no soft cushy cribs that play music, no disposable diapers (lampin lang), and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, no knee-pads , sometimes wala pang preno yung bisikleta.

As children, we would ride in hot un-airconditioned buses with wooden seats, or cars with no air-conditioning & no seat belts (ngayon lahat may aircon na).

Riding on the back of a carabao on a breezy summer day was considered a treat.(ngayon hindi na nakakakita ng kalabaw ang mga bata)

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle purchased from a convenience store (minsan straight from the faucet or poso).

We shared one soft drink bottle with four of our friends, and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate rice with star margarine, drank raw eggs straight from the shell, and drank sofdrinks with real sugar in it (hindi diet coke), but we weren't sick or overweight kasi nga……

 

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and get back when the streetlights came on. Sarap mag patintero, tumbang preso, habulan at taguan.

No one was able to reach us all day ( di uso ang cellphone , walang beepers). And yes, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our wooden trolleys (yung bearing ang gulong) or plywood slides out of scraps and then ride down the street, only to find out we forgot the brakes! After hitting the sidewalk or falling into a canal (seweage channel) a few times, we learned to solve the problem ourselves with our bare & dirty hands.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 100 channels on cable, no DVD movies, no surround stereo, no IPOD's, no cellphones, no computers, no Internet, no chat rooms, and no Friendsters or Facebook…….WE HAD REAL FRIENDS and we went outside to actually talk and play with them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones, lost some teeth and there were no stupid lawsuits from these accidents. The only rubbing we get is from our friends with the words..masakit ba? pero pag galit yung kalaro mo,,,,ang sasabihin sa iyo.. beh buti nga!

We played marbles (jolens) in the dirt , washed our hands just a little and ate dirty ice cream & fish balls. we were not afraid of getting germs in our stomachs.

We had to live with homemade guns " gawa sa kahoy, tinali ng rubberband , sumpit , tirador at kung ano ano pa na puedeng makasakitan. pero masaya pa rin ang lahat.

We made up games with sticks (syatong), and cans (tumbang preso) and although we were told they were dangerous, wala naman tayong binulag o napatay. Paminsan minsan may nabubukulan lang. We walked, rode bikes, or took tricycles to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them to jump out the window!

Mini basketball teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't pass had to learn to deal with the disappointment. Wala yang mga childhood depression at damaged self esteem ek-ek na yan. Ang pikon, talo!

Ang parents ay nandoon lang para tignan kung ayos lang ang mga bata, hindi para makialam at makipag-away sa ibang parents.

That generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, creative thinkers and successful professionals ever! They are the CEO's, Lawyers, Engineers, Doctors and Military Generals of today.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had failure, success, and responsibility. We learned from our mistakes the hard way.

You might want to share this with others who've had the luck to grow up as REAL KIDS. We were lucky indeed. And if you like, forward it to your kids too, so they will know how brave their parents were.

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Political leaders can learn much from Dolphy

  He Entertained Generations of Filipinos                           

Dolphy during an ABS-CBN Trade Event in August 2004

 If there is one artist who has touched the lives of several generations of Filipinos, Dolphy's name would be one of those at the top of the list. He would even rank higher than those who have already been accorded National Artist Awards.

When we were kids, he is one of the two stars we talked about in our households and in our playing grounds – the other one being FPJ. We laughed at his jokes, talked about episodes of his TV shows and saved money in order to watch his movies. We re-tell his jokes and even try to emulate some of his antics.

During my professional life, I had the privilege of working up close with Dolphy. He was a big star at ABS-CBN. His shows topped the ratings charts and raked in a lot of revenues for the network.  He was generous to a fault – he gave cash to extras, to acquiantances and to relatives who wait for him duringthe  tapings of his shows, He earned a lot, but  he also  shared his blessings to a lot of people.

In the late 80s and the 90s, he was Channel 2's most popular and bankable star, His popularity was so high that he could have easily won any electoral contest.  When I read about his famous words : "Madaling tumakbo, pero paano kung manalo?, I cannot help but admire the man even more. His problem was not whether he will win, but whether he can give justice to his elective position if he wins.

Today, the country bids farewell to its King of Comedy. We bid him goodbye and remember him not only with fondness, but also of admiration.

I am also taking the liberty of posting a letter written to the editors  of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 3, 2012 by Harvey Keh,  Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship by he Ateneo de Manila School of Government. I think it describes what every politician can learn from the man.

What Every Politician Must Learn from Dolphy

As the nation continues to pray for the immediate recovery of our beloved comedy king Dolphy, his principled stand against running for public office can serve as a good lesson to those who are now contemplating and planning to run for an elective public office in the upcoming 2013 elections.

If one would recall, there have been several instances that Dolphy has been urged to follow in the footsteps of other actors and actresses who have tried their hand at politics. Surely, if Dolphy decides to run for senator or even a higher post, I am sure that he would have a very big chance of winning, given the wide support that he enjoys among our people.

Yet, he has always said in so many words that the problem isn’t really whether or not he will win but what he will do after he wins and assumes a government position. This is a good lesson in humility that many of our political leaders should learn. Up until today, we have many local and national leaders who continue to run in the elections without even thinking whether or not they have the necessary skills and competencies to perform well in these government posts.

Sad to say, many of them run and do everything to win for no reason other than satisfying their lust for clout and power and advancing their own personal interests. It is refreshing to see that in Dolphy we see a man who knows and accepts his limitations and knows fully well where he can really excel at and where he can best serve the country.

I hope that we will have more leaders in our country who will discern and reflect first on their intentions, and whether they have the necessary skills for the position that they aspire after, before they decide to file their certificates of candidacies.

Let us remember that it is not only through government that we can be of service to our country and fellow Filipinos. The life and laughter that Dolphy shared with all of us is a concrete example of sharing one’s life and talents with others.

 

 

Really, let all those with political ambitions realize that it is easier to be elected but difficult to give justice to an elective position. Serving the people is not a tea party. It is a responsibility one has to take seriously.

MABUHAY KA, MANG DOLPHY!

 

 

 

 

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From My Inbox – Childhood Memories

This post is from a note written by Sandy Tan, a childhood friend from Padada, Davao del Sur. He was actually reminiscing about people, places, events, and other things from our town. I tried to translate this to English but the resulting prose lost the richness and the undertones of the Cebuano dialect. So, I kept its original language.

Here it goes.

My town's boundary's marker
My town’s boundary’s marker

 

 

Kahinumdum ka pa ani?

30 centimos pamasahe sa una, kabit libre pa?
Babae ra gyud ang naay ariyos?
Mga piniriso ra ang naay tattoo?
Ang sabot nimo sa LOL kay ULOL?

San Pedro o Claveria ang shoppinganan sa Davao?
60 centimos ra ang BBQ ug Piso ang isa ka BOL nga kinutil ila Balending?
Kusog ka mokaon ug binignit ila Nene Idea ug?
Chocnut ang imo paborito…usahay Sergs kung naa kay kwarta?

Ang mantika sa baboy maoy ibahug sa kan-on?
Ga-atang sa palengke kay maghinalang kada sabado sa gabii?
Familiar ka ug unsa ang “Underwood” nga brand…unya gamit ka pa carbon paper?
Sulod palengke tigpalit ug Tancho, X-7, o brillante para pampapogi o pangpagwapa?

Darigold ang imo ginainum usa ka matulog?
Piso lang…daghan ka na mapalit sa palengke…apil pa siopao ila Marcial?
Mosugo ka pa ug tao para motawag sa imo amigo kay wala may telepono?
Puniton ang lata kay himoong tarak-tarak…unya pik-on ang papel para himoong pusil-pusil?

Dili mahuman ang adlaw kung dili makabasa ug Liwayway, Bisaya, Hiwaga…song hits pud?
Masuko ka kung sawayon ang ilong ni Vilma kay lapad man?
Kada tindahan gagunit ug Red Cross Ticket?
25 centimos lang ang gupit ila Apyong?
Ginasinggitan si junior ug “BUANG!!!”?

Ang pantalon ug palda naka ARMIROL…tuskig pa sa tuyom?
Maulaw ka kung gabitay imo Halfslip, pero karon kita na PANTY UG PUSOD?
Ginakantiawan ang mga BAYOT sa una?
Boring ang tawag sa GRO?

Payat ka pa sa una?
Taga-Limonzo pa ang tawag sa taga-Padada
Daghan pa ka ug buhok kaniadto?
Combo, songhits pwede na, binuntagay na sa barkada?

Gaharana o ginaharanahan ka pa?
Tuba pa imo gina-inum?
$1 = 4 Peso?

Kung nakahinumduma ka pa ani…TIGULANG ka na!!!

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