Best praise ever

Best praise ever

“Good job, coach!”.  “Great win,sir!”.  “What a comeback coach.”  “I don’t know how you do it but keep on doing it.”  These are some of the best praises I have received over the years of coaching youth baseball.  Of course, when you win and everything is going well, one gets a lot of these.  When you lose a game or two, you receive the harshest of comments….but that is another story.

You live for the good stuff.  Of course my coaching colleagues and I work doubly hard to do well.  Admittedly, these are the kind of compliments you are aiming for…. until just recently.

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Money is not the Solution

Money is not the Solution

I have heard a lot of people and friends blurt out, “If only I had money!”.  I have heard this so often that it seems that the solution to every problem or difficulty is money.  However, when probed,  most of the time, that is not the case.

Money can help in a lot of situations but it is not the solution to most of the challenges of life.

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Boys to Men

Boys to Men

Over the years, I have realized that we all do not really grow up.  Our bodies might age and we certainly are expected to mature but somehow the person inside all that never changes.  There are just some desires of the heart that never leave.

Being male, I can only speak of us men.  There are traits that are innate in us that it never leaves.  We loved doing this as young boys and I am sure if we get a chance we would still feel the same joy even as adults.

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Rest well my friend

Rest well my friend

A very good friend of mine just passed away.

He was much older than me.  In fact his youngest sibling,who was about 13 years his junior was my classmate.

Our sons played the same sport and played in the same teams.  Aside from that, we found so many things that were common to us that we hit it off quickly.   In fact, he would frequent our home and we would find ourselves just talking for hours on end over food and drinks, talking and laughing.   Our relationship deepened as we got to the point of being able to talk openly about our concerns as husbands to our wives and fathers to our children.   We would share our hopes and aspirations and at the same time try to lift each other up as we also openly spoke of our frustrations, shortcomings and challenges.

He passed just two days ago.

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A Father’s Confession

A Father’s Confession

When I watch you playing I really want to play with you.  I remember when I was your age, it may not have been baseball as  I was playing basketball then, I would enjoy just going out there and playing as hard as I can.  When I watch you play, I wish I could be right there on the field with you,  waiting for the ball with you and completing a play with you.    I would back you up when a line drive goes  directly to you and would cover your base when a ball pulls you off it.

We would be building great memories together if that were possible.   But of course I can’t.  I just get to watch you play and hope that you are enjoying as much playing as I am watching you.

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Aristocrat Restaurant- the same then and now

Aristocrat Restaurant- the same then and now

Sometimes when I find myself alone thinking of the past, I cannot help but be nostalgic.
My childhood was filled with wonderful memories.  It was always difficult to accept that life is full of changes as it moves on because I would always wish for the great experiences not to end.    But as they say,  change is the only thing permanent so one learns to cope with the shifts and turns.

However,  there is one place that to me has never changed.  The Aristocrat restaurant in San Andres Manila is the home of the standard of honey chicken (at least according to me).  Although the facade and building  have been rebuilt and remodeled several times, the food, atmosphere and ambience for some reason is still what it was my parents would bring me there when I was a little boy.

Aristocrat has been a witness to so many milestones of my life.  The reception of my parent’s wedding and my baptism were held there.  My parents and I spent a lot of dinner dates there ordering our “dating gawi”  chicken honey, bola-bola with sweet and sour sauce, pancit canton and the special shanghai fried rice.   Believe it or not , all these are still available and to me taste the same.

Today, I bring my family to Aristocrat whenever I can.  The restaurant still stands in the same location.  Even as their “competitors” have expanded and boasts of various different locations in the country and sometimes abroad, Aristocrat continues to thrive where they are.

Sometimes not changing is a good thing.

Pacquiao-Mayweather-  I was at the fight of the century

Pacquiao-Mayweather- I was at the fight of the century

Manny Pacquiao after the Mayweather fight

Manny Pacquiao after the Mayweather fight

Its been almost 3 months since the Pacquiao Mayweather fight.  Though the quality of the event did not give justice to the hype, it was and still is one historic moment.

I was interviewed by USA Today this morning asking about the Periscope App that I was using then.  It just then occurred to me, how truly wonderful that experience was for me.    I suddenly realized how blessed I was to be able to watch and call the fight from just 2 rows away from the ring.  It was because of where I was and what I was doing that prompted the skype interview.  At that moment in May,  I was in one of the most important locations in the world.

Wow!  That is really all i can say.  Thank you Lord.

One’s Life Purpose

One’s Life Purpose

Just last week,   the topic we had during our Bible meeting was about the fact that each one of us has a purpose in life.  It is described as one’s reason for being, the  purpose of one’s existence.

No one has been truly able to teach how to find that purpose but the bible describes it to be that moment, place, person, pursuit that one finds peace.  A kind of peace that makes everything seem easy and stress free.  It is that moment where you just “go with the flow”.

I run a baseball training program.  We focus on helping young children aged 7-16 to learn the game of baseball.  Our objective is to also help them prepare for the challenges of life by teaching them how to appreciate and play the game.

This morning one of the teams I handle had a game.  This was a bronco team made up of boys aged 11-12 years old.  I do not usually attend the individual games as there are assigned coaches for each but for this  game, I felt I had to be there.  My wife in fact made sure I did go.  She said that she felt that I should be in this particular game.

Quite reluctantly I slipped out of bed and made my way to the baseball diamond.

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Debt of Gratitude- the Filipino way 1

Debt of Gratitude- the Filipino way 1

“Utang na Loob”  is how it is commonly referred to.   A loose definition would be a desire of one to repay another for a past action where the latter helped the former.  The assistance could come in different forms and circumstances.  It could be where money was lent out at the the right moment.  A job was given when it was badly needed.  An opportunity provided when there was nothing else to turn to.    It is a form of help that characteristically bails out the receiver from a grave situation.

At the surface, the transaction is a simple give and take agreement.  It is by its original intent a selfless act of compassion…to help.  However, the gravity of the assistance sometimes makes the debt somehow impossible to repay.    That is why, ideally, there is no agreement that it has to be repaid.

This wonderful act of giving is oftentimes corrupted by the very same people who participate.  It is tainted when the giver expects something in return… that the debt of gratitude be paid back and also when the receiver lives the rest of his life trying to give back what was freely given.  In any case , both are imprisoned not by each other but by their own guilty disposition.

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Thru His Eyes….

Thru His Eyes….

Alabang New Life Christian Center is my local church… that is where I am planted.

Pastor Paul Chase is the Senior Pastor of Alabang New Life Christian Centre and just recently authored a book entitled,  “Thru His Eyes”.   I have been with New Life since 2006, I have not really had a chance to know Pastor Paul that well.  Although I  have had the opportunity to speak to him several times  I have never understood the man fully… until this book.

I thought it would be an easy read. The kind of book you can finish cover to cover in one sitting.  I thought wrong.  I got the book in July and just finished it last week.  I had to go back several times to some chapters.  re-read some passages and review some of his declarations.  Pastor’s Paul’s words were simple but engaging.  Each page made me stop and think.  I held on to every word as each one introduced the foundation by which Pastor Paul speaks and by which our church stands.

“Thru His Eyes” is not a book about a man’s interpretation of God’s word.  It is God’s word spoken through my Pastor.

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