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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Rooster Crows at 4 am: Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake Rocks "The Compound" in Guimaras!

The Rooster Crows at 4 am: Magnitude 4.5 Earthquake Rocks "The Compound" in Guimaras!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Subscribers Alert!

If you are a subscriber to this blog. I have been moving all content to my Wordpress Blog. I will not be posting on this site much more. Please, Please, Please go to the new blog and subcribe! If you have any trouble please contact me at homsic4ph@gmail.com



The new link for the blog is http://homsic4ph.wordpress.com/

Monday, January 18, 2010

We are all life designers


I read all the time about people who travel the world and live their passion. I like these kind of blogs and stories of people who can live an exotic lifestyle. Have you ever dreamed of living in some far away land in a culture that is different from the one you live in? I do all the time!



I read about people who are writers, graphic designers, web designers etc.. I love to hear of the travels, see the pictures and dream of a day when I can live this kind of life. I read a very inspiring post the other day by one of my favorite bloggers, her name is Annabel Candy. She lives in Noosa Australia and is a full time writer, blogger and mother of I think three children. Her blog site is http://getinthehotspot.com/ , she encouraged everyone to look into their own lives and see how really special they are.



To be honest I get discouraged when I don't feel I am reaching my goals soon enough or trying hard enough. Has anyone of you ever tried to keep a new years resolution? If so you know how hard it is just to stick to something most of the time let alone achieve a lofty goal set for yourself!








I would encourage you to go to her website http://getinthehotspot.com/ and check a recent post called "What to do with your Life when you don't know what to do". It helped me realize that we all are life designers in a way. We live our lives with a purpose. It may not be in Thailand or on some exotic beach all day long but it is very important to you and your family nonetheless!


I want you to examine your day to day existence and look deeply into your life to see what is really important to you. We should live on purpose everyday! I like to boil down life to very simple terms so I can focus on priorities. I want you to do the same so you can get more out of each day and not just drift through and wonder "What does this thing called life mean?

Think of two basic questions:



  • If you could be doing anything in the world with your life what would it be?



  • What are you doing this day to make this happen?

Go to the comment section at the bottom of this post and let me know what your dreams are!


Writing your dream down will be the first step to taking action to make your dream a reality. Thanks for your participation!



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Live like the Third World and Earn in the First!



What if we could live like the third world and earn money in the first? Do you realize that most of the worlds families are poor by our standards but in other ways they have some tremendous advantages!




  1. First they as a rule have almost no debt! Wrap your mind around that concept! If they have no money then they are "broke". If they earn a little money then they actually have a net worth! Most Americans don't have a positive net worth.

  2. Second they spend more time with their families! They are not always in a mad rush to go here and to get there! They may be poor but I know for a fact that they enjoy life more than the average westerner.

  3. They live in reality: When it is cold outside, they feel it. When it is hot they experience it. If it rains for three to five months they have to deal with it. My experience in the third world is mainly from visiting the Philippines. Every time I go I am always home sick to go back. Since the 60's and 70's we have "progressed" to the point that we no longer feel things like hunger, the elements.


If we could cut our lifestyle and expenses back so that we were not financing everything we have we would be much less stressed. If you have a house in the Philippines, you own it. People around the world believe we are rich because we live in large houses and drive nice cars. If they only knew the load of debt that the average American carries they would pass out!



I'm just saying that we could live a completely different life if we chose to! Can you imagine living without debt and your paycheck was your own? What a liberating feeling that would be! If you owned everything you possessed and had been collecting paychecks for even a short time and then suffered a job loss, it wouldn't be that big of a deal!



I have been pondering this possibility for several months now and am coming up with a plan to implement it in my personal life. I will let you know of my progress.










Sunday, December 13, 2009

To Breath and to Smile





To breathe and to smile? Why would I make such a ridiculous title for a post?





Look at the children. Examine their faces. My favorite smile is of course in the middle! I actually know these small children. I wish you could have could experienced meeting them like I did. These little expressions of joy I met while on my first trip to San Matias, a little Barangay (village) that was devastated by the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption years before in the Philippines. Despite their circumstances these children and their community have grace and hospitality, I have only observed first hand once in my life!



My wife and I walked the dirty street that led to her Grandmother's small concrete home. We approached the gateway to the little dwelling when it seemed like 10 - 15 beautiful tiny figures gathered around in front of us. I did not know it but my wife was related to all of them and was greeting them for the first time! She had been away from her native country for 10 years so she had not seen these children. There is a custom in her country that the young are to always show respect to their elders. I had heard of this ritual but never participated first hand. The children formed a line in front of us. The first one grabbed my hand gently, bowed, placed the back of my and to his forehead. Each child repeated the same until they were done. I cannot accurately describe the feeling that came over me!



These children one by one paid respect to me and my wife as was their custom. You could see the fact that they were in poverty, a way of life that they were quite accustomed to.


I guess what I am trying to convey is when you strip life down to the very basics, all you really need in life is to breathe and to smile! You cannot tell me that these children are not living happy lives! I know they live on much less than we do, however they are happy in whatever circumstance they find themselves in!



We in the Western world are governed by our appetites, our addictions and to pop culture. We live our lives to varying degrees according to what our world view tells us is right. We are marketed to at every turn, overwhelmed with ads in print, television and on our smart phones! We are so engrossed in the virtual world that we miss out on reality!



I want you to try an exercise that I learned from a book by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Buddhist and Zen Master from Vietnam. He has published many books and is known the world over for his wisdom. This particular book is entitled "The Miracle of Mindfulness".




This simple exercise will help bring you back into focus so you can, like the little children, once again learn to smile and enjoy the little things. This is a breathing exercise, so find a quiet place the first time you do this. Soon you will be able to practice this wherever you are.

  • As you breathe in, say to yourself in your thoughts "I am breathing in a calming breath".

  • As you breathe out, say to yourself in your thoughts " I am breathing out a smile". Put a smile on your face! It will amaze you how much better you will feel with a smile rather than a frown. The physical act of smiling will bring a happier emotion to you shortly if you will keep it up!

  • Next, as you breathe in again, say to yourself " I am breathing in this present moment". Take take time to be in that moment you are currently in and experience it.

  • Next, as you breathe out, say to yourself " Wonderful moment". We should be thankful for every moment we live.





By repeating this process you can achieve much comfort and stress relief! By counting our breath and making the most of each moment we can live a much richer and more fulfilling life!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kape Anyone?


I was stirred to consciousness at 5:30 a.m. You know that fog you wake up sometimes when you are mildly confused as to what day it is? Maybe you thought it was a workday and it just happened to be Saturday. I was in a small concrete room, on the floor, on a thin foam rubber mat. A fan whined nearby giving some comfort from the humid air. There were bars on the window from my second story confines.
I could hear strange voices and the sound of footsteps outside my door! Was I in prison? Heck no! It was my first morning visiting my wife's family in the Philippines.

When I stepped out the door I was greeted by her uncle Augusto. He is a morning person and a happy Filipino having his first American guest. He said "Good Morning, would you like some Kape?". I said sure not really knowing what it was but hoping it was just coffee. I went outside on the porch and quickly got ready for the day, a quick shave, washed my face from a small sink they have outside all the while being greeted by stares from various rooters who were on the job waking their owners! In a short while her uncle returned with a cup in his hand.
I can remember negotiating the stairs that led to the ground floor sipping on this hot beverage thinking to myself "this isn't coffee, it's more like hot chocolate". He led me to the dining room, a small area about 6'x6' with a handmade table with an oilcloth table cloth. He offered me a small bread or roll called "Pandesal" and we went to the street.
The Kape was sweet and warm, the bread was hot with melted margarine. The street was filling up in this sleepy little village as people stirred out of their homes. I had stumbled on one of this towns local traditions or routines. It seems at least for a little while in the morning people will come out early and chat with their neighbors in the street. They have polite conversation with each other collectively greeting the new day. One can see the small uniformed children rushing around, laughing and boarding their transportation on their way to school.
We tarried outside for maybe 15 minutes. I met smiling neighbors petted a small dog, and waved at cheerful children as they made their way to school! All in all, not a bad way to start the day!

What can I take away from this experience? Hmmm, maybe it's cool to slow down a little and enjoy people and the time we have here. I think we, as Americans live our lives at twice the sound of Stupid!! Hey, we grew up here, this is what we know. I would offer that we should take a little time to examine our daily routine. Is this how you really want to live? As I get older the weeks fly past faster than ever. I remember like 5 minutes ago it was Sunday night and I was dreading Monday! It is now Friday and the week was spent like a Black Friday outing!
If you were to plan the perfect day what would it look like? It is time we live life on purpose instead of drifting downstream without a rudder hoping against hope that someone will throw us a lifeline. I hate to break it to you but your the captain here, it's up to you to do something! I often think of planning the perfect day. How would it appear? Just list some things you want to get done everyday, not at to do list but a priority list. What is important to you? What are the things you know you should take time to do but are putting off?

Make your list, do your list and repeat! Just take time to live on purpose!


Kape ingredients: Don't laugh when you read this, just try it once. One tablespoon Nescafe Clasico, two tablespoons brown sugar, two tablespoons CoffeeMate! There you have it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I love the smell of Pollution in the morning!

I cannot explain the way you feel when you get off of an airplane after you have travelled for 30 hours. I do know how I felt the last time I visited the Philippines. Standing in line at 4 different international airports, being hassled from the time you arrive at your first to when you get to your destination! Then you realize, "Hey I paid good money for this!"


This was my second trip. When you are beyond tired sometimes I believe you find yourself in a different state of consciousness. The feeling I had after I knew all the security checks were over, baggage collected and customs had cleared us was one of relief and expectation! We were to meet a friend of ours, a first time face to face with a woman we had met online (another story for another day!) Ninoy Aquino, the Philippines largest airport. We were about to make our exit.


We made our toward the doors leading out with luggage in tow. Leaving the comfort of the airport we felt the first blast of our new uniquely Filipino environment!


The smell of the city hit us like an unfortunate fall, the kind that happens so fast by the time that you are on the ground you have to ask yourself "What just happened?". The realization quickened our minds and senses to the reality that we were finally back in the Philippines! We labored down the ramp through the hoping to see the woman that was to meet us. This time when I breathed my first of the Philippine air I knew I was once again home in a strange country that I have learned to love! We gazed for a few moments across the road where all the people gathered to welcome visitors and family members. We searched for the new friend we were about to meet, at once she appeared from the crowd in typical filipina fashion, with a big smile and a welcoming wave! This was the beginning of my second adventure to this strange but fascinating homeland of my wife.


Why did I post this? I'm not even quite sure at the moment. The title suggests a silly premise. The point is not the smell of an emerging nation but memory that it invoked. I guess what I am trying to convey is that all that is known, learned, and experienced by a person is not the sum total of reality. Whoever you are, wherever you are, however your grew up shaped the person you became. Your environment, your parents, your peers, shaped how you view the world and what you consider to be the truth about the world you live in.


My greatest desire is to help people. Truth is one of life's greatest gifts. Look around at your very familiar surroundings. I want to enable folks just like you to uncover the fact that your personal reality, your personal flavor of the truth is not the final authority. There is a vast sea of humanity located in different countries, cities and neighborhoods. They wake up everyday just like you and have hope for a better existence just like you. Beautiful cultures with different points of view and experiences that have the right to not only exist but to thrive just as we do!