Saturday, January 24, 2004

On Depression: A Letter To A Friend

Working so hard, giving 100% of your time and effort, sacrificing personal life but not getting appreciated to the point of feeling inexistent? Been there, done that! Getting a lot of backstabbing from the people you least expect to do that? Oh I've been there, and I've done that! From, even during my fragile, less-mature days while in high school and during college... to just last year, when things went one way when I was almost absolutely sure it would go another way.

Hey! Being depressed, or feeling "down na down", and very disappointed is not good for your health!

I've been there before... I myself have even considered suicide. Thank God, but somehow, I was brought up to have just a little more faith in my system that was enough to bring me here to where I am right now. But I am not yet complete when it comes to faith. There are still these things about me, things I do or think, that show that I myself have a lot to improve on. But, over the course of time, I have learned one important lesson.

To have more trust and faith in the LORD. After all, after a time of trials comes a time for joy.

To do that, we'll have to be ready for change! We've heard of the answer before: we can't change others, only ourselves.

We could change our attitude towards things and others, and that goes first. It doesn't seem easy, and it takes a lot of mental strength. [(Filipino) women are somehow better than most (Filipino) men!] So, while for you, it might be hard, for me and a lot of other people, men and even women alike, it will be much harder! It's not impossible... :-)

Also, it's always healthy to think and act positively! And it's always a good medicine for depression. It requires quite a lot of change in our systems. It's not easy! So we'll also need friends or our immediate community, who know and share the same goals, ideals, and principles as us, to support us and/or guide us!

And prayers---they are always good! You might be one of millions who offered your prayers and your big and simple sacrifices to Him through the feast of the Black Nazarene, held at Quiapo early this year. That's great! It's one step in the right direction! We can also talk to Him in the comfort of our own home, and in the comfort of our own time, like during lunch break, perhaps, or during our trip to the restroom...

So what if you are, like someone I know, "trapped" inside a job or place or environment from which you just can't grow, because there's no more space to grow (like you don't have time for other "healthier" things, and people around you most of the time are your greatest critics)? Get out of that trap! The universe is huge, there are many more places to go!

Yes, by now, you could probably predict what I'm about to say: I've been there, done that. How did I do it? Well, in simple terms, I thought that... If I'm in a situation that's really bad and yet somehow I needed to be there, could it become worse if I did something else? If I choose Option B instead of sticking to Option A, may be I wouldn't get the same things that I used to get out of Option A, but may be I would feel better and more productive if I choose Option B! I would have to change my attitude though, towards those things I needed that Option A provided. Maybe I didn't really need them at all. I mean, if my apartment rental costs me half my whole months' salary, maybe I didn't need to stay in that apartment!

What if Option B proves to be worse? There's still Option C! What if I've come to Option Z, and it still isn't what I wanted? Uh-oh, wait a minute, I know where things could have gone wrong... It's with my attitude. Why would I want to buy a fancy car, if I would have to be extremely patient with my extremely impatient boss everyday of my life, and cause myself unneeded stress which eventually makes me go on weekly drinking sprees with my "barkada" and smoke half-a-pack a day, and which would eventually kill me at a young age, and probably leave my future wife and kids behind with... well, not much; or probably, people will just say about me, "kawawa naman" ("Such a pity.")?

I could also... change my attitude towards my boss! Well, I could choose to accept the fact that my boss is like that. Maybe instead of being affected by his impatience, I could just be an example to him. I'll smile all the time while working! And maybe if he asks me to do overtime this weekend, I do have the option to tell him that I can't! Because it's not mandatory to do overtime! If he kicks me out because I refused to do weekend overtime, let it be!

Well, the things is, we have a lot of options! We always have a choice! Well, we can't control the consequences of that choice, but again, we can choose our attitude towards those consequences!

One time, when I was really feeling "challenged" in life, I went to the Blessed Sacrament at the UP Chapel to pray and to ask for comfort from God. And then this picture came into my mind: imagine Jesus having to accept that he was going to suffer and be killed, understanding that it was God's will. Though he suffered much, having to accept his purpose (the story of The Agony in the Garden), what did he turn out to be? Oh, he just rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father! But he's just quite the perfect example, isn't he? :-)

So... Basically, we could either choose to accept where we are, make the most out of it, and act enthusiastic and think positive all the time, or take the alternate highway with less humps and potholes. If things will go wrong, they will. But after all has been said and done, let us trust and have faith that God has a purpose for all this, and it is universally a good one.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

On being "mabait": Bo Sanchez' reply to an enduring wife

Do you think we should call the letter-writer (the wife) in this story, just being "mabait" to his husband? My answer is NO. Thus, I see being "mabait" more closely associated with being loving, or "mapagmahal", rather than with just simply being tolerant.

This is the January 6, 2004 issue of Kerygma Soulfood Bulletin, provided by Sheperd's Voice Communications, headed by Bo Sanchez (one of my favorite writers), and based in Metro Manila, Philippines. To subscribe to the bulletin, send an e-mail to

--------- forwarded message starts here ---------

by Bo Sanchez
January 6, 2004


Hi Bo,

I just read your last bulletin where you answered a wife's question. I have one of my own. I guess I would like to say that I really need guidance. I have two spiritual advisers, very close friends of mine, who belong to two different communities. When I told them about my marital problems, they both suggested that I stick it out with my husband. But I cannot hold on to this marriage forever.

My husband is a drug user. He and I have gotten into arguments about his habit, and it would sometimes turn into violent fights. He has violent tendencies, because he also gets into spats with his siblings. He also spanks or pinches our son very hard when the latter misbehaves. He has lost his job because he always seems to think that he is above the law (he was caught accepting bribes). Now, what he does all day is play with his PS2 games and expects me to wait on him hand and foot.

He earlier confessed to me that he was put into jail because of drug possession, and that he has since mended his ways, but I keep catching marijuana in his car.

I love him. I have prayed for him over and over again, but he is very easily swayed by his friends. I do not want to give up on him, but he seems unwilling to help himself.

Please pray for me and for my family.


Dear Frustrated,

Leave your husband. And don’t reunite with him until he goes into some counseling or rehab for his drug abuse and violent behavior. That’s the firm condition you’ll set.

Will leaving him make him change? There are no guarantees.

But the probability that he changes is much more if you leave him than if you stay with him. Why? Because when you stay with him, the message you’re giving him is this: "It’s okay for you to take drugs—anyway, you’ll still have a wife here beside you and life goes on normally." I don’t care how intense you nag him about his destructive habit, he won’t change. Because your actions are louder than your words.

But when you leave him, the message you give him is totally different. By leaving him, you’re telling him, "You’re destroying your life. Unless you change, you’ll lose everything. Even your family."

In other words, you need to allow a crisis to happen to his life.

By taking drugs, he’s causing the crisis—but until now, you’ve prevented it from happening.

Don’t prevent it.

Sometimes, the most loving thing to do for a loved one is to allow the bad consequences of their bad decisions to happen. So that they taste the bitter experience and learn—and mend their ways.

Let him feel what it means to lose everything, including family.

Again, I cannot give you guarantees for his change. It may be possible that for awhile, he may even become worse.

In the meantime, you live your life. Focus on the Lord, and let God build you up.

Explain to the kids that you’re doing this so that the family will be saved.

Call up our counseling center at Tel. 9950303 and our counselors will pray with you.

I remain your friend,

Bo Sanchez

--------- forwarded message ends here ---------

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

End of Blog {Thread}?

I should just end this blog {thread}. If you go to, they have a lot great stuff for reading there, posted by Matrix fans like you and me. But, there must be a purpose why I thought of putting this blog up. Thus, this shall not be the end.... Yet.

destiny? (draft)

Quote me on this... Though other previous sources are expected.

Where we are now is where we ought to be. Where we will be tomorrow is our choice to make.

The fact is, there is a tomorrow, whether we like it (that fact) or not. Whether we believe in that fact, or not. What will happen tomorrow, we will either like or not like. What will happen tomorrow, will happen tomorrow.

Thanks to "The Matrix philosophy"* by the Wachowski brothers, and to others who have contributed to the "world" of that "philosophy" like fans posting comments, and their own two cents worth on different fora (such as at, and at, and philosophers' (such as those at, and traditional paper books) and scientists' views, and also to the book, "A Purpose-Driven Life" by Rick Warren and other fine books (I should note Paulo Coelho), I have come to realize that there is only one reality--it is that where you are in right now.

Analogies... (Outline)
Person playing/participating in a virtual game/environment.
Person logged-on on one website, which has links to webpages outside of such website.
Person working as an engineer, pondering "what if i was an artist or book writer?" (Sounds familiar!)

* I just term it a "philosophy" and not just a movie or a trilogy of movies, because it is more than a movie--it is also a computer game, a comic book, anime, an online game, a website... it is now a sub-culture; it is a phenomenon**.
** It is not a phenomenon if you do not see it that way. And vice versa.

Sunday, January 4, 2004

[Movie Review] The Matrix Movies in General: Ratings + Blog {Thread} Intro

I'd rate them...

TWO THUMBS UP! ...I do have two thumbs. And well, if you believe in Zodiac signs, I'm a Gemini, and thus I'm a "Twin", I have split personalities, both of which give the movie a thumb up. Thus, my pathetic justification for two thumbs up. Two thumbs, same direction... That's providence. (Hey, can you try to determine for yourself which statements are serious, and which are sarcastic? Alright, thanks!)

FIVE OUT OF FIVE! ...Did I mention that it's just a movie? You know, some novels are great, and then they become great movies (or not). This was a movie, and was a movie. Get it? No? I did not think so. But it is always good to ask.

Others rate them...


I say, are you trying to compare this movie with other movies? Didn't your mother tell you that comparing is not good for anyone!!!!??? Why compare The Matrix with The Godfather or Lord of the Rings? Come on! That's not fair!

Anywho, others say that the visuals are great, but the audibles? Hmmm, you know what, now I'm thinking, what college degree did the Wachowskis finish?

Well, I respect everybody's opinions. But I must say, The Matrix got all the praises, Reloaded got mixed emotions, Revolutions weeded out the real fans from the movie-hoppers! And people tend to talk a lot about the dialogues, the "MWAM" (Matrix Within A Matrix) Theory, the MWAMWAM theory, the visual effects, and so on and so forth. But there's more to that. So read the next paragraph because this is the last sentence of this paragraph.I'd like to react more about the symbols and the messages we can get from the movie.

There was this Filipino movie, which was rated "X", or basically, it was for adults only, and it had really explicit sex scenes, I guess. {I think I was referring to the movie "Warat."} Thus getting banned from public showing, getting all the hype, getting attention from "freedom-of-speech users", getting cut, getting a new rating (something like rated "R"), and finally, getting showed to a very curious public. People watched it and said, "There's no story, it's all about sex, sex, sex." Well, of course, we could say, yes, fornication is a bad thing. But there was a message in that movie; i.e., there was a story! And the story was that, there were these two people who fornicated, found out they were step siblings, and in the end, their lives were ruined. Pretty simple, but, I don't know, people didn't see that. Was it too obvious? Instead, people saw SEX SEX SEX. Well I guess if you put a BIG RED DOT beside a tiny green one on a big white canvas, it's easier to notice the color RED.

My point is, beyond the nice computer graphics, "wire-fu" coreography, and juicy dialogues... There was more to The Matrix movies. There were symbols, and hidden or shall I say, "watermark" messages.

Oh well, let me spoil for you one of these "watermark" messages. When I finished watching Revolutions with a friend, she could only say, though in another language, and hereby paraphrased in a way because I forgot her exact line: "The movie screamed nothing but FAITH. I saw nothing but FAITH FAITH FAITH. All I saw in the movie was FAITH." Haha...

Well perhaps, what you easily see first in a movie would be something that reflects of you. I did say PERHAPS, okay? I could paraphrase that statement, still. Anyhow, so I guess this series of short "reactions" to parts and parcels of the movie would be more about things that I, the author, relate to, or something like that. Thus, you may view these posts as viewed from another point of view, some of which might be similar from where you're at.

Get it? I hope so! Enjoy this BLOG!

p.s.Did I tell you guys that it's 4:30AM? Thus, pardon my weirdness, please. Thank you. :-)

[sub-labels: CPC movies]

new ronjblogs: thoughts + matrix

It's 3:55 am (Manila time) and i'm having a hard time sleeping, yet again. When this usually happens and I really need to sleep, I write songs or poetry, or paint something, or other "creative" stuff. Thus, tonight I thought of putting up the "thoughts" and "matrix" ronjblogs. Nothing much yet, but... well, thoughts. Enjoy!