Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Will to Keep On Going

I am presently at a state where things are piling up in my life. Demands, bills, expectations, needs, work, opportunities, and all the sort. I find myself groping for air and scratching for my next meal. More over, the next supply depot for my wife and I. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I are amply supplied. But I'm starting to get the feeling that my needs are growing but my income isn't coping.

To explain further, I wrote an entry talking about the wonderful things my godfathers have advised me. They are indeed wonderful and my wife and I are starting to practice them. we are doing our best to live under our income, at 70% to be exact. Now, we are getting detailed on our accounting. We set up a worksheet showing all our income, bills, expenditures, savings etc. Now, looking at it, we were amazed to find out that our income as increased dramatically since last year! Praise God! I also noticed that before we spent almost as much as we earned so we didnt have savings last year. Now that we're starting, we decided all the necessary stuff to be able to save.

But the will wont be enough. Factors such as oil price hikes, rice prices going up, EVERYTHING going up, more personal demands coming, more problems coming, and life simply gets harder, I honestly can say that my will to save up and earn more isnt enough. We tried living cheaper, working harder, saving more, and becoming more efficient in our expenditures, but the OTHER factors keep on negating our efforts. It seems like an endless circle down.

Before I sound anymore discouraging, I am glad I do have good news. We have a God who promised He will take care of us. Even if the oil hikes to the sky, our God has bigger plans and has longer arms to embrace all of our needs and carry us up. It is very difficult these times to say and believe that we have hope. But all we have to do is continue the fight, and wait on the Lord's salvation. In the midst of all the chaos and darkness, though we walk in the shadow of the valley of death, LET US FEAR NO EVIL. Let us not fear.

For young men will lose their strength, and our resources will fail, but they that hope or wait on the Lord, their strength shall be renewed. We will be steadfast and firm and its as if we were carried over our storms on wings like eagles, and though we run, we will not be weary, and though we walk, we will not grow faint.

We serve a God who is powerful. Even if we dont believe it, even if our faith doesnt measure up to it, the fact is He is powerful. He created the universe, and He is sovereign. He NEVER loses control. Actually, He has this all planned out for His glory. He allows trouble, so that we can see His salvation. Be encouraged. He will save us, and nothing compares to the promise we have in Him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why Go To Church?

A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. 'I've gone for 30 years now,' he wrote, 'and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.'
This started a real controversy in the 'Letters to the Editor' column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this... They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work . If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!'

This story is quite true. I cant remember exactly a single complete sermon (message title, date of sermon, what the challenge was, who the speaker was, what the announcements were, what the song line up was) but I sure remember A TON of lessons and Biblical truths that is burning and alive in me right now! Just the fact that my faith has been strengthened I'm sure I benefited "mortally" from the every Sunday sermon I hear. Some comments though,even if we don't go to church regularly after a genuine regeneration (born again), WE WON'T SPIRITUALLY DIE. We become very malnourished and weak, and it results to a road to sin and destruction, backsliding, and most probably a big whacking from Papa GOD! You see, He wont allow you to remain spiritually malnourished. He's your Dad for crying out loud. If you don't feel Him calling you to the table for dinner, and if we're not obedient we don't get a spanking, maybe you aren't part of the family after all.

And unlike the story, since I've been married for almost a year now, I do remember much of what my wife cooks. It's all my favorite! And they're all delicious!

Friday, June 6, 2008

UP Centennial Orchestra

I joined the effort to celebrate and form an orchestra for our university's 100th year! Wow, I owe alot not only to my university, but to my country as well! This orchestra is formed by students, alumni, and faculty, and the performing singers would include, UP Madrigals, UPSA, UPCC, DUP, and choirs from other UP campuses. We also have great solo performers who will sing and play pieces that are superbly world-class! I am excited to announce that this concert would be held FOR FREE at the CCP on June 18,19,20 and they are to honor and celebrate the country's premiere state university: UP!!!

The Origin of MP3...

I've been a fan of music since I was little. I remember having vinyl as my dad's collection! And man they were expensive! Now as I was growing up, the audio tape became the most popular medium of selling and playing music, and they were relatively cheap! Now do you remember when the CD came into existence? Only a handful could afford them coz the CD player itself was super expensive!

Now, when the Mr Bill Gates made the PC such a worldwide phenomenon, cheap and available everywhere, and someone invented cd burners and blank cds, lo and behold...digital music was super available! Now, the story doesnt stop there, internet and the broadband has recently become a household name, trading music needed to be easy, fast, and sadly "pirated". Thus the mp3 format was born. It consumed a lot less bytes, and you could fit 10-20 albums in one 700mb blank disk. And the quality is even preserved to the minute detail! mp3 also has alot faster downloading time than most wav and wma files.

The downside of this is the accessibility and availability of the artist's work becomes so easy to get, the business of music became a challenge for most artists. That is why, as an advocate of anti-piracy stuff, I recommend downloading mp3's legally.

One site I can recommend is MusicMP3.ru, and if you visit it's site you can see even the latest music news from your favorite artists, and get this the latest and coolest stuff you cant get in the stores! You can get soundtracks, Album Reviews , collections and the like. By the way, the layout is very easy to follow, very user friendly, and I'm sure you'll get alot from this site.

Get this: you're already a member of the site! Just log in as "solidus" and password is "mczoqk3s". When you get in, you'll find that their offered services are alot cheaper than other sites. The reason for this is because its a company from Russia, where the overhead costs are way cheaper. But quality comes first and again, IT IS LEGAL!!!

I found most of my music needs, reviews, Music News handy in this cool website!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hip Hop Generation?

At our recent pre-enrollment seminars at Gen. Pio del Pilar National High School in Makati where I spoke about Integrity, we came across many young people whose fashion follows after rap artists. There was this one guy called Aziz, and he speaks and moves as if he was a black guy, rapping! RapArtists.com is a web site that they can surely benefit from. They can find a wide variety of information about rap artists like Nas and find Nas Biography, album information, Nas Lyrics and discography.

My goals to be successful, a summary of my latest talk with my godfathers

Last night I was intrigued with how my godfathers got so successful in their life, and I wanted to be like them. So, thinking I was already 30, I should get a head start and try to be at least like them by the time i was forty. Here was the question I wanted to ask them:

"To be successful in life, what should I be doing and should be accomplishing from thirty to forty years of age?"

I was surprised to find their answers very similar to each other, so I'll put a summary here, but it will be injected with my own personal thoughts and insights, so do not assume that these men are directly quoted:

Dr. Jun Javelosa, Architect Amerigo dela Paz and Businessman Antonio Melocoton said that my question is a hard one, since your goals in your thirties are very relative to your personal dreams, your personal goals, and definition of success. It is good to have a goal, but generally, men, when they fail to reach their goal, become depressed and would feel like a failure. So it is wise to set a specific goal, and head towards that line, then upon approaching, set something higher, and grow more, and learn more, be better, etc.

In reality, man will not be satisfied with their success, for there is an innate desire to become like God (because we are created in His image), and if misdirected and misunderstood, it becomes deadly, and it is sin. When you reach a certain level of accomplishment, you yourself become a benchmark FOR OTHERS. But personally, you know you're not there yet. There is a saying "the more you know, the more you realize you don't know anything yet". That is true, for me as a musician, the more I progress, the more I learn that there is more to know, to explore, to study, to achieve, etc. So, parallel to that, in success, it becomes relative to your point of view, therefore, you never become successful, and you end up frustrated and spent. So you have to define it in another way.

I also learned that there is no such thing as successful in terms of wealth. When successful people compare themselves to their colleagues, they might even become insecure! But when those colleagues of them would compare themselves to other business moguls, they would also shrink in size! There is no end to it! So what should be the solution?

I know I've mentioned this before, and I've adopted this quote as true to my own definition of success: Success is achieved if your life is pleasing to God. Simple isn't it? Simple but very difficult. Think of it this way, our lives will only be at a maximum of 60-80 years. Some people reach 90 or 100, but I doubt that I will. And whether you are a Christian or not, all of us believe our souls are eternal. Since I am a Christian, I don't believe in reincarnation, nor the ceasing of our existence. Real life begins when you enter into eternity, not just when you die, but when you accept the gift of adoption and eternal life, at the moment you believe in Jesus(this has a deeper meaning to it). NOW, let's head back to the topic... our lives here on earth are short, extremely negligible compared to forever. Forever is the topic most people believe in, but only a handful invest in and prepare for. This is the most least liked subject for most "Christians". Sad, but true. To you, who might be reading this, think about it, if you please yourself with what you've accomplished. or please others with what you can do for them, but forget about pleasing God, who determines your eternity, what would be the wise choice? What would be the more meaningful choice? The things said are not bad, you must love yourself and do things for yourself, and on the other hand, I also strongly believe in serving others and helping them. But, in view if eternity, if we fail to focus on the primary goal, we are wasting precious time. Eternity, is the top priority.

Success on earth is very important. But its importance pales in significance compared to eternal investments. Why? Because, you will bring ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with you when you die. You may leave something behind for your loved ones, but they wont bring those with them when they die too! That is why my godfathers strongly urged me to invest in eternal stuff.

But, practically, they did leave me with something for my success here on earth. It was simple. Save money. Live below your income. And if income increases, live at the same level as if your income didn't increase. GIVE. Be smart, and increase your skills. Be the best in an area where you don't have competition. If you do have competition, create an edge. Before you have kids, get an MBA, even if you don't finish it, at least you have some units! Invest in metals, not currency. Invest in appreciating value stuff: Land, property, etc. Try new stuff, and be prepared to fail. Start early. They also said that in your income, you have to separate your tithes, offerings, and SAVINGS and bills FIRST, then think about your living expenses like food, etc. Your other stuff like a new bag, a great tv, gadgets, snacks, etc., live off those for a while. If you do get extra income, that's the chance for you to save up for your personal treat... but if you can, hold it off. Something better might come along. Reality check... I'm almost none of those.

In everything that was said, I really remembered Give, and Save. Giving isn't a problem for me, but saving is. That's what I'm going to start off this month. Save! To those of you who are reading this, let's start together!

So, in conclusion to this great article... be wise and work hard. Be smart, be efficient. But in all these, eternity is to be considered with the highest regard. If you live Life In View of Eternity...then you really begin to LIVE.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Nice Pants


I have a new Dockers and I really love them. Specially the multi chambered pocket and their loose casual feel. Anyway, there has been a contest commercial going on at nbc.com where Jay Leno comes out, and looks at you as if he was enticing you to join the Dockers contest! Well, I will!

Watching those Dockers contest videos already gave me ideas of my own! The video would begin with a scene where I would be playing cello with other "me" instrumentalists like violins, violas, cellos, horns, double bass, drums, piano, etc. who are going all wrong. I would have to edit the video in a way that I would be the same player in every instrument. It has a caption: "tired of being the same?" After a brief riot of sounds, everybody would then stop and leave the true "me" alone playing cello beautifully. I finish the piece with a bang, stand up, then bow the other way, exposing my dockers pants! Camera focuses on my "butt", but actually on the Dockers logo only. And the video ends with... Dockers, it makes the difference.

Cool! If I only have a nice camera to do all those things, and maybe a good PC to edit and all...oh, not to mention a cool sound track and a recording device. It must be so hip and cool!

Anyway, I'd like to link you to a nice commercial for Dockers!

Sponsored by Dockers

The Manila String Machine--NEW WEBSITE

Im not very fond of multiply, so I just made a new blog in blogger.com! And finally I have a website for Manila String Machine! String quartet, String combinations, ensembles, chamber orchestra,etc., you name it, we got it! Just log on to Manila String Machine and comment on the lay out, the content, and whatever! Thanks!

A New Life

My new life would be like, as the In Plain Sight series would require, a musician who is a witness to a crime and is in the Witness Protection Program. Because I would be hiding from my detractors, the government sent me to another country, in an obscure but bustling city, where I was given a beautiful home, car, job and I could still play music in a community orchestra.

The challenges are flowing, because it is difficult hiding the professional musician I once was, sitting at the back of the cello section to avoid attention. Driving a more expensive car and a more beautiful home is a convenience, but working hard in the corporate world more than my growing music career is the challenge. A co-worker, a co-musician, and a neighbor has found me interesting so I sometimes go out on friendly dates with each of them. However, I can’t have a serious relationship because I left my fiancĂ©e in my hometown, with the promise of marrying her when the criminals are finally put in jail.

USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight starts on June 1, so watch out for it! My story however, doesn’t come out on that series…

Sponsored by USA Network's new original series In Plain Sight

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