Friday, July 20, 2018

How To Save A Life

I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life

Based on the photo above, which guy, do you think decided to commit suicide the following day?

Karamihan sa atin na mga hikers ay escapist. Umaakyat sa kabundukan upang makalimutang sandali ang masalimuot na buhay sa kapatagan. 

Ten years ago, a very good climb buddy invited me to climb Mt Cristobal just the two of us. 'Bro, bat ngayon? Huwebes pa a!' ang reply ko sa text nya. 'Sige mauna na lang muna ako sa Majayjay tas sa Sabado kita na lang tayo sa San Pablo!' Ganun talaga yun, there was no way to dissuade him kung may maisipan syang gawin. Masaya ang naging akyat namin pero batid ko sa tema ng mga pahiwatig nya nung nag-iinuman na kami kinagabihan na may mabigat na dinadala ang kaibigan ko. Alam ko naman na na may problema sya kasi yun lang naman dahilan namin pag umaakyat kami nang dalawa lang kaming magkasama. Ang ibig sabihin nun, may problema ang isa sa amin. Subalit, kagaya ng kinagawian, we'd climb and laugh the night away without discussing our problems and the following day, we'd realize how trivial our issues were and how beautiful life is. Kaya ayun panay block ko sa mga pahiwatig nya.

Kinabukasan bago sya sumakay sa bus papuntang Manila, isang tapik sa balikat at isang sulyap sa ngiting hindi malilimutan ang paalam nya. Little did I know, that was the last smile I would see of him.

Rest in peace brother

Sari-saring circles of friends nya ang nagtipon-tipon nung lamay nya -- may mga tattoista, punkista, mountaineers at mga kababata nya. And all of them were wondering kung bakit sa akin, na bagong kaibigan lang, nagpaalam si Nixon. Ngunit may isa ding anggulo kung saan hindi pagpapaalam ang pakay nya. Maaaring isa pala akong baka-sakali sa araw na yun. Baka-sakaling mabigyan ko sya ng dahilan at pag-asa na mabuhay pa. And I am forever thankful to him for considering me as such and perpetually resentful of myself for refusing to be his baka-sakali, for blocking all the signs and for thinking that his problems were too small and that the strange tapik and ngiti were all too corny. 

This photo was taken that night the song 'How to Save a Life' by The Fray made so much sense. I really would have stayed up with you buddy all night had I known how to save a life. 

So I am advising all of you not to commit the same mistake I made. If God gave you the gift for words, the opportunity to be a very good friend to someone, use it no matter how silly it would look. 

Always remember that the prelude to suicide could be as positive as a carefree smile.

Don't judge. Save a life! 

When God took you back He said hallelujah you're home!

Blooger's note: This was originally posted on my defunct Facebook page. I have decided to post this on my blog so that the message may be perpetuated and that more good lives may not be wasted. Please share to spread awareness on depression and mental health.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

On Phone Calls and Privacy

In one of my recent sessions with my learner, we discussed a three-minute video from The Wall Street Journal (online) focusing on how voice messages could be more practical than text on Messenger, WhatsApp, Line and other messaging apps. It starts with the fact that phone calls have largely been replaced by text messages and it goes on to the prospect of text messages eventually becoming replaced by voice messages. A phone call, the video says, requires your instant attention. A text message, on the other hand, gives you the leeway to carry on doing what you are tied up with at the moment and the freedom to choose not just what and when to reply but also when to open the message.  This is the reason why texting has become more popular. In a sense, it gives you greater control of your time and privacy. But, according to the video, the microphone icon on messaging apps has slowly gained popularity in many business settings. To some, it could be bothersome to key in every character of their message. What would require a full minute to key in all the characters in 'Please let me know when you'll be available for a discussion on the beta testing of our new inventory system' could be reduced to a quarter of the time and much less mechanical energy. Moreover, in text messages, there is more room for misinterpretation of the emotion or mood that you want to go with your message.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Life In Transit

I miss my bus rides to Baguio and back to Manila!

I miss listening to the music they played. 

I miss looking out the window.

My bus rides had always been about surrendering to and living in the moment. I loved the stops and the length of time the ride had to take. It reminded me that I was inside the bus and that I couldn't do anything about it: that there was no point worrying about things. I loved the music I'd hear on board. It didn't matter what song they played. What mattered was the fact that some artists put together all their gifts to create that song. I loved looking at the views that presented themselves out the window. I would always imagine I had been on Mars or on the Moon for a long time and I'd instantly feel happy looking at each withered leaf and twig on the ground. I'd always be filled with awe, wonder and joy looking at how Life thrives on Earth.

It's a beautiful life!

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Facebook-free Life

photo taken during my talk at AkyatCon 2.0

It's been a week since I deactivated my two Facebook accounts. And I feel free. I no longer feel like I'm living a life that others wanted to see or that I wanted others to see. I can't say it had been a bad life. But I sure can say it had been a life preoccupied with vanity. Now I can feel more peace. The clamor in the audience has died down. The audience has disappeared. Now I can catch up on my reading and blog posts. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mt Baloy: The First and The Last.

On my fourth attempt, this decade-old quest was finally fulfilled.
With my buddy and brother by choice Kevin Jauod
Photo by Mark IAL
I should be writing a great deal about my recent Mt Baloy climb. After all, Mt Baloy has been my toughest nemesis of a mountain. And we took a route that is less taken by hikers: the circuit from San Agustin to Busog. But I guess this is what they call retirement phase.

YOU deserve a holiday!
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