Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘skill’

Ink On My Fingers

I did not expect myself to become a fan of modern calligraphy. I just joined a workshop

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Messy firsts at the workshop…

for the sake of seeing my friend Jenna again. But when I learned how to do cursive strokes with that calligraphy pen, it was magic. I got a new hobby.

I used to be interested with calligraphy when I was in highschool. Back then, I used to have a calligraphy book, which was a guide for writing various fonts. I bought it to copy artistic lettering using a ballpen. But I did not bother looking for an appropriate pen in writing these fonts.

Now that I had my own pen holder, nib, and ink, I was a little mad looking for scribbling pads. Although this hobby is beginning to spread here in the Philippines, items for this art

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Another messy first šŸ™‚

can only be found in specialty stores. I had to order pads online as I cannot find a store that sells these wondrous calligraphy items (which was an agony waiting for my order for days).

My first works were messy. I used too much ink in some of the letters. I even had the trouble of writing these letters, especially that I am left handed. Calligraphy ink would not dry easily, so I had to wait some time for the letters to dry. I had to readjust on how I handle the pen.

The more I improved, the more I enjoy it. But for the meantime, I wonder where would I use this newfound skill in the future. As for now, I’ll just enjoy scribbling away.

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Jenna and I showing off our works of art šŸ™‚

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Writing Pains

I woke up at almost 2 o’ clock in the morning just to write my script. In the state of surprise, I rushed to my still open netbook and typed away. Focused and alert, I did not notice how I’ve finished my long script in a jiffy.

Somebody told me I’m a very intelligent person because I write well. Being a student who joined journalism clubs and wrote for school columns, I was a bit popular among my peers. I even once thought that being a writer makes one exclusive. But through the years, I realized that being a writer does not make you the brightest person in the world. Rather, it’s a talent and gift with a purpose, and not made for bragging.

It’s a gift to the one who will use it well and a curse who will use it senselessly. I don’t know why some thought it’s very intelligent to write eloquently without really making a straight point. Just like any other skill, it’s not made for the writer to be famous but as a help to the public. Let me tell you that it can also be a puzzle. It’s challenging to put every information together, while constructing a very clear and concrete point.

Hard to be a writer? Yes. Very much. But no skill can be developed without it being tested on harsh waters. Waking up in the wee hours in the morning is one. But, when furnished, there’s fulfillment. Besides, whatever talent and skill you have, your passion can never die even if it is thrown into the fire. Living the passion just points one to where he should belong. To know one’s gift brings him to his convergence point. This is what everyone should discover in himself, for when we find our assignment, we would know what is our purpose in our generation.

I might not know how big can my script make an impact to the society. All I know is that I should do my job well. Popularity should not be an issue. When the real purpose of one’s skill is forgotten, chances are, the skill can be forgotten, too. When we practice our skills and gifts, may be remember the generation to whom these skills will impact, as we are part of this big world that we take part in rebuilding.

Deafening the Political Word War

Noisy, crowded, brightly colored, and tense. That’s how I can describe a kick-off campaign rally. Yesterday, marked the beginning of the campaign season for this year’s elections. As mono-

People flood Plaza Miranda for the Team Pnoy Kick-Off Campaign

People flood Plaza Miranda for the Team Pnoy Kick-Off Campaign

colored groups poured into the rally site, so did the huge tarps and placards bearing the names of the senatoriables. It was a tense moment…maybe because of the atmosphere of the crowd hype then.

I was assigned to Team PNoy, the admin block. I felt like being drowned in a sea of yellow while the giant tarps tried to block our view.

All twelve candidates were given eight minutes to speak to the crowd. Some laid a glimpse of their platforms, some their dramatic life story, and some, as expected, gave their enemies some good bashing. One called the past administration as thieves, the other ranted on him being cheated in the past elections, and another emphasized on not to believe the “others” who were “pretending to ride with their platform”.

But during the days before the start of the kick-off campaigns, the word war between parties was already at bay. From “new opposition” claims to “racist” remarks, the media noted them all. Not one from both sides missed to answer the rant of the other.

It was sickening. The battle of politics has turned into a sour word war. And for me it’s a dirty game.

When I talked to a spokesperson of an election-regulating body in the Philippines, he mentioned that they cannot stop these parties or candidates from making personality-bashing at their campaign. Nothing in our law prohibits such campaigning. Besides, our constitution itself upholds the freedom of expression as we belong in a democratic country. He warned candidates to be mindful of such a campaign strategy. Not everyone buys it.

True enough, in all the five or more people we interviewed from the public, nobody likes the idea of personality bashing. All talk but no work, one of them says.

The dangers of negative communication. I wonder how far will such a war of words go.

It’s easy to criticize. It’s easy to show the ugly side of your enemy. It’s an effective way to make the crowd see you’re in the right standing while the other is not. But such a strategy is the downfall of both sides. Not only will his rival get a bruise from his words; the one who threw will get a bad score from the public.

Such a strategy is as immature as kids who fight back when being teased for having a bad hairdoo.

How desperate can one become just to get into power? This is how far we have gone in our brand of politicking. Aside from empty promises and dramatic stints, we’ve resolved to picking a fight through words and ego-lambasting. But by doing so, it does not uplift who a candidate really is. Besides, one should be campaigning for himself, notĀ embarrassingĀ another.

I just hope that the public would realize that words alone are not the basis for choosing the best candidate (or the “lesser evil” as someone called it). Words do not make up who are worth to lead this society. Besides, while it’s still election season, all voters must choose who are fit to execute the roles a government position demands. Does the personality of that candidate fit the role to be a senator, a congressman or a local government leader? Do they have the skill, wits and political will of a lawmaker and leader? Do they have the heart to lead the public through their unique roles in the government?

Those word wars can’t reveal the answers for those questions. I hope every candidate will just be honest in their works. No more personality-bashing, please. It’s time to prove integrity by works and character alone.

Habakkuk’s Empty Strings

It has been almost three years. But I did not know him until now.

Habakkuk's Empty Strings

Habakkuk has been a faithful friend to me. Actually, he has been my baby by the time I bought him. My first guitar, I bought him days before I resigned from my first job. All I wanted was to learn how to play a guitar, know a few worship songs that I can sing during my quiet times, and know how to play at least one instrument in my entire life (for I was not too successful in the violin and in the keyboards).

Just recently, one of his strings broke. Playing with one string missing sounds odd, especially now that I have been asked to play at two Christmas parties at Malacaňang. This time, I realized that I should pursue this hidden passion in music (and once-denied talent), not to impress anyone but to take care of this skill given to me.

Three years later, I’m still a beginner.

But this time, I’m determined to learn and know a few tips. I kept on asking questions from a friend whose father is a guitar virtuoso (and hope to meet and learn from him myself). I kept on watching tutorial videos this past week to learn and try to adopt new playing styles. I’ll never be perfect though, but it’s good to accelerate from where I am now.

I was determined to buy new strings and a capo, as well. Imagine, three years and it is only now when I realize I have to change a lot from Habakkuk. And it’s only now I realized how my baby needs some make-over and a clean-up.

Yes, you read it right — a clean-up. Poor baby…I’m so sorry.

While changing his strings and wiping dust off the fingerboard, I realized how I neglected him even though I’ve been bringing him out most of the time. I saw his bruises and his tarnishes, and I felt foolish how I called him “my baby” without really caring much about him. It took me so much time to realize how to remove the old strings from these pegs (which took me hours to discover how to remove them and bring them back) and wasted so much time from removing the tiny balls from the old strings (because I thought that they should be used by the new ones :-O ).

Ah yes, today was a major trial and error moment. Though I lost much time, I feltĀ fulfilledĀ when the new strings were in place.

This is another lesson of good stewardship. We don’t buy things to fill up our houses. We buy them because they are made with a purpose in our lives.

When I was looking for another guitar last Friday, my friend told me that I should not only check everything from it but feel from it. It’s a weird concept, as she added that things also “feel” their masters. It’s like looking for a life-partner — one has to make sure that that guitar is “meant for you”.

I guess she’s right. There are things that are “meant for us”.

I’ve heard of friends who prayed for the things they’re buying. I thought it was totally awkward, but when they gain wisdom from the Lord to buy it or not, they find a blessing of not wasting their money over the “second best” of their choices. Even in gaining things, one should never be impulsive…being a spoiled brat over materialism can never give us any gain; only added trash in our houses and our lives.

And as Habakkuk rests on my bed with the new strings in place, I wonder if he was complained at all. I felt that we are both rugged kids trying to stick together for a reason. He loved me anyway, for he did not break away from despair of not being cleaned at all. Besides, we have tagged along each other during intercession nights. He sang along with me most of the time. We had some little adventures at times. I wonder if he has been tired when tucked away in the dark for days…or even weeks.

I know, it’s weird. It’s like how my friend can love her pet dog, or how a guy can love his car by investing so much from it. Loving something can cause one to invest time and money to bring out the best from it. Now, little by little, I realized how I need to invest new things not only for my dear Habakkuk but also for this gift and skill in music. By this way, I do not waste what was lent to me and I will sow to make it grow, making sure that it will not be a waste.

As I take care of Habakkuk, it’s also taking value to the One who gave him to me. I remember how I had been joyful when I brought Habakkuk home, being thankful that even with a small salary, I was blessed to have him. Indeed, it is the Lord who gives all our heart’s desire. Taking care of Habakkuk is my way of thanking the Lord who has given him to me. Only now I realized that Habakkuk, before he was mine, had been my prayer and my heart’s desire. šŸ™‚

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