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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Pray for the living…

Pray for the living…

Every 1st of November, Filipinos flock to the cemetery to remember their dead.  “All saint’s day” is what we call it.

For those left behind, aside from honouring their loved ones who have passed away, it is also a time to meet up with other relatives and friends who chances are they do not see  during the year.  It is a time to catch up on each other’s whereabouts, catch up on stuff and rekindle relationships.

This morning’s experience was quite different.

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Shout at the boys!

Shout at the boys!

discipline hardwork inspirational

Baseball training grassroots!

The other day, a father of a boy playing in our 12 and under team from a school whose baseball program we handle came up to me and said, “Coach, you know the boys really lack discipline. They drop the ball even when they just need to shuffle it around. They are tense.  They need to be noisy, talk to each other on the field.  I give you the license to shout at them  some more.  The coaches seem to be shy and embarrassed to do so”.

 

I have heard this comment and suggestion time and again from well-meaning parents.  A lot of them define good coaching by being loud.  That discipline is achieved when coaches continuously shout at hapless boys, giving out instructions in detail short of him playing as well.

 

Stepping back however, I have observed, that the teams that are truly cohesive, those that play like well oiled machines, those that play with discipline are led by coaches who see no need to “shout” at them during games.    All the shouting has been done during practice.

 

You see, I think the first thing a coach, the leader must make sure of, is that his team understands the goal of the group and embrace the path everyone has chosen.    Once this is set, all actions by the coach, including the “shouting” must bring the group towards that goal.

 

But, the “shouting’ is one of a few visible, or should I say audible features of good coaching.  Everything else, not everybody can see. The relationships that are formed within the group, the respect that is built amongst the individuals, the common objectives the players share.  Objectives that people outside the group may never understand.

 

This forms the platform of building a team.  The “shouting” then becomes productive and integral to the team’s and individual’s growth and development, even if they are only 12 years old.

 

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If you are a writer,  WRITE!

If you are a writer, WRITE!

I stopped writing several months ago.  For some reason I just stopped.

It seemed that I didn’t have the time.  I could not find any motivation and much worse there was no inspiration.

This blog signed off for a time and I even missed renewing its domain and hosting.  Something was amiss.  Something was wrong.  I could not put my finger on what was stopping me to write.

I wasn’t writing to earn.  i wasn’t writing for any publication who requires me to submit articles regularly.  I was just writing because I wanted to write.  It didn’t matter much if only a handful of people were reading my posts.  As long as I was able to send out my message to at least one person, I was ok.

For a time that stopped. …

IMG_0818“If you are a writer, Write!”  These very same words woke me up more than a decade ago.  Back then I had so many things to say and share but was afraid to write.  Placing my thoughts in writing was scary.  Growing up I was never told by anyone that I wrote well so I believed that I didn’t have the right to write.

“If you are a writer, Write!”  I took that to mean that if I thought I had something to say then I should write it down.  It did not matter what others thought about my writing style as long as I had something to say, I believed that I should write it down.  And so I did.

I had to believe I was a writer before  I became one.

“If you are a writer, Write!” So with those words I open up my blog again,  mikeochosa.com.

Thanks to my wife Betsy and one of my best friends Monet, this portal is up and running again.

 

Abby Marano-Beast Mode

Abby Marano-Beast Mode

I have had the opportunity to meet the DLSU Lady Spiker’s  Captain, Abby Marano.

She has led her team to numerous UAAP   titles and has emerged to be one of the most dominant and recognized volleyball players in the country to date.   Although her team fell short of  defending their title in season 76,  Abby remained poised and composed at the moment of defeat, a mark of a mature athlete and leader.

That was her last remaining year to play for her school and now she sets her sights to bigger things.

Abby’s tenacity  reflects the kind of determined attitude the “Captain” possesses.  She shared with me her career goals, her future plans for her family and her own personal objectives for herself.   Admittedly they are lofty goals but knowing what I know now of her,  it seems that she has a good chance of attaining them.

She spoke of each one much like she would plan for a volleball game.  There is a sense of focus that one seldom finds from a 21 year old nowadays.   It was as if she exactly knew where to go, what to do, whom to speak with and how to prepare for the future.  Much like her knowing how to defend with a dig pass,  acknowledge where her setter is and prepare for the patented “Beast  Mode” attack of Abby.

We also spoke of her humble beginnings when as a young child she would  hide from her parents to play volleyball.  Her mom Belen shared that she was against her playing as she did not see then any future in the sport.  She kept on reminding Abby to keep on studying with the intent to get to a good school.  Little did they know that it would be volleyball which would fulfill that dream.

No one would also even think years ago that the game would continue to be her stepping stone to better things to come as she leaves college life and enter the workforce.  Abby was the second pick  in the 1st round draft of the newest semi-pro league of the country the Philippine Super Liga.

Together with her good friends and nemesis on the court, Din-Din Santiago and Iari Yongco,  Abby Marano represents the springboard that can bring volleyball to a different level in the next couple of years.

Abby now embarks on a new season of her playing years.  Her teammates,  players on the other teams and her fans have high expectations of her and they all know she has it in her to play her role right.  For Abby there is no other way to success.  A way that has brought her to where she is in her career and her life.   Watch out for her as she turns on the “Beast Mode” when she takes the court when the season begins.

 

 

 

 

 

Pacquiao Bradley meet again

Pacquiao Bradley meet again

Situations are different now. Pacquiao is at a crossroad attempting to extend career. Bradley’s last two fights seems to show a

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better and more improved fighter. How will this fight end?

 

Pacquiao Rios-  What they really want to say!

Pacquiao Rios- What they really want to say!

 

Pacquiao Rios

Just got home from the fight.  I did not attempt to even write any post fight articles. Was too tired and clearly so many write ups have already been posted.  The story took the headlines of most if not all relevant media portals and broadsheets. 

The story is clear , it is what it is.  Pacquiao put on a dazzling show to beat Brandon Rios.

As I read through a lot of articles I would just like to share my thoughts on something.  Given my little knowledge in boxing, allow me to decipher  what I think these fighters want to really say when they say what they say.

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Pacquiao and Rios- fighting for their future

Pacquiao and Rios- fighting for their future

Pacquiao looks good!

Ripped and ready

I was at the weigh in for the Pacquiao Rios fight and here are the facts:

Rios came in at 146 and a quarter lbs while Pacquiao registered at 145 lbs

Pacquiao looked fresh and buffed.   Rios cheek bones were pronounced and though he is thinner than usual, he had no muscle definition.

Both fighters were smiling while Rios was having fun with the crowd asking Filipinos and Mexicans alike to cheer.

The expected tension between the camps were not evident, everyone seemed civil.

Alex Ariza was not quite visible but he was on stage for a few minutes.

Several minutes backstage, Pacquiao was his usual jolly self allowing ambush interviews and several photo opportunities.   He stayed for at most 20 minutes and proceeded to walk out the arena using the backdoor.  No one from team Pacquiao stayed behind except for Freddie Roach who had to formally approve the gloves and join the pre-fight meetings.  All in all, Pacquiao and team stayed at the weigh-in for not more than one hour.

Bandon Rios’ smile was gone as soon as he passed the through the backstage curtains.  While Robert Garcia, Rios’ trainer, was taking care of business talking to media people and then proceeding to check out the gloves, Rios was seated with two 1 litter bottles of what looked like juice and or a sports drink.  He was clearly in need of liquid to hydrate himself.

Rios showing off what he has

Rios at his best

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Pacquiao needs to dispose Rios

Pacquiao needs to dispose Rios

It has been almost a year since Marquez pulled one of the biggest upsets in boxing history when he floored Manny Pacquiao.  Sitting at ringside, the moment Pacquiao hit the canvas I was up on my feet not believing what I just witnessed.

If only Pacquiao did not fake an attack before going in the round would have ended and Pacquiao in all probability would have won.

If only the bell sounded a second sooner, the fight would have gone on without Manny tasting his worst defeat ever.

I obviously have not gotten over it.  I am not sure if Pacquiao has.

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