Friday, April 15, 2011

Happiness to the Unlearned

People often say, and in fact, most of us would hear that there are people who have found "a happiness that changed their life". All of us would want that right? The funny thing is most of these people who accomplished such a feat would tell you that the secret to it is to, "live positively" in other words, "be happy". I might have missed a memo somewhere because of course you're going to find're happy! I'm happy all the time, so why doesn't it feel life-changing? So I guess I'm one of the unlearned, one of the people who want this happiness that people speak of. But I believe that to learn of this happiness is not totally impossible. I guess start with what makes you happy.

For me, happiness cannot stand on it's own. It has to cling to something that makes it tangible for you. A favorite toy makes me happy, food makes me happy, friends make me happy. But somehow that is not the kind of happiness that I'm looking for in this case. How can these be life-changing? Funnily enough, a friend of mine gave me a clue.

My friend text messages me after we hung out that she was happy just seeing me. I apologized beforehand because I thought I didn't do much, just sat there and watched people walk by. But that didn't matter. My presence actually made someone happy. Then it hits me. I'm not that sure of it, but maybe I can learn this life-changing happiness when I change other people's lives by making them happy. It's a step beyond which opens up to whole lot more.

I'm still trying to get there (hope you guys have better luck than me). In that instant, in that simple text message, I realized that I can make a person happy just by being there. How many people's lives do you think you changed because you made them happy just by being there? Imagine, if you gather all that happiness you have given, then you arrive at a happiness and fulfillment that is greater than yourself. And to think, that's just being there. What more if you actually did something or gave something?! And that not even counting the times your friends made you happy because they were there for you. Bottom line, happiness is HUGE, and you are just the tip of the iceberg.

Due to that, I may have shed a little light on my query. I can't say I learned what those famous and wise people experienced, but I definitely can say that I know why it would be life-changing. So as I look at the people who make me happy and the people I shared happiness with, I continue on this journey and maybe one day, I can be one of those people. I now have a path, which I hope you guys can join in too. Be the happiness that changes people, and someday it might change you.

Happy Searching! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Joy Rise Dissected

There are a lot people (And it may include you) that may wonder what is this term I keep yelling, saying, chanting, or even acting it out whenever I'm with friends. In fact, there are a couple of people who asked me what the hell is Joy Rise about and how did it come to be synonymous to who I am. I'm writing this in hopes of shedding some light into the matter.

It started in the once awesome hangout known as the barracks. Whenever we hung out there, my friends and I more often than not begin to reminisce on anything that involves our childhood (Cartoons, music, toys, food, etc.) Since Gnossis (their computer) was there, we would load up songs from the depths of nostalgia and wallow in the memories these songs brought us in the past. For some reason, the music turned to Techno. Then all the cheezy techno music of my grade school and high school days came flooding back in.

One song that eventually came up was this song called "Let The Joy Rise (Thunderpuss 2000 club mix)" by Abigail, and yes, that is the actual title. This song was ALWAYS coupled with another favorite "Happy" by the Squareheads. They ALWAYS get played one after the other during those times. they were sort of the highlight songs of the night or something.

And so, while I was with friends at the barracks, I told the story of how in all techno songs, there is a climax part where the song just prompts the crowd to go their wildest. "Let The Joy Rise" had that moment down! And as I demonstrated how people would act while at this peak, the alternating hands toward the sky action while looking up, soon became known as The Joy Rise to my friends.

So you know where it came from..but that is just the first part of this long epic tale!


I was planning my 90's themed birthday dinner. So I downloaded 90's songs including the famous Joy Rise. When I searched (more like hunted) a downloadable copy, I came across a Youtube video of the song with lyrics.

Reading the lyrics and understanding it struck a chord in me. Behind the flashy techno beat and very very catchy tune lies a message that resonates with me. It's knowing a way to lift yourself up. It's keeping the smile, keeping the happiness, keeping the joy rising. And ever since that time I re-read the lyrics, I've always tried to make the the joy rise every time. It may seem like I'm just being a party animal whenever I'm with my friends, and looking at it, it may seem so. But the difference, for me anyway, is that whenever I do "let the joy rise" I know, for that moment, for that night, for that meeting, I gave them a reason to smile and be happy. And when life throws you shitty stuff left and right, reasons to smile start to come few and far between one another.

Again, It's knowing a way to lift yourself and go beyond that by lifting up other people. That's why I Joy Rise on every occasion. It's a chance for me to help people stop dwelling and start rising. And seeing my friends happy is what lifts me up, so it serves me a double purpose as well.

So the Joy Rise started out as a joke, then it turned into a philosophy. My dream is for it to be a movement because can you imagine people joy rising other people?!

That's something I most probably would like to see. :)

Smile guys! You can do it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Point in Leadership

Who says old leaders can't learn new tricks? Here is a video, brought to you by TEDtalks, about the changes of dynamic leadership in this digital age and the importance of shared goals in uplifting morale of both the individual and the group. I find this video really inspiring and the speaker points out certain aspects of leadership that resonate with my own view of what a leader should be! Happy viewing! Lead the Change!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Time to be a HERO

I'm proud of these programs so I can vouch for their quality! Inquire about our programs today! We are open to schools, youth organizations and corporations! Let's all create a culture of Heroism!

Here is a primer on my baby, the Hero in Me workshops:

C'mon! Be the Change. :)

Friday, April 01, 2011

As I Write This...

As of this moment, there are a bunch of people getting together partying and joy rising somewhere in Makati. This bunch of people might seem like your ordinary, run-of-the-mill party folk but actually, there's more to them than meets the eye (and no, they are not robots, it would be cool if they were though).

This bunch of people are the kind of people that go to parties to forget their worries (sometimes, facing them). They miss each other even though they see each other every so often (with a few exceptions). They are there where the music hits hardest, rocking to tunes and singing along as if fate has brought them together. Worries and bad vibes have no place within this bunch of people. They are having a good time, some in excess for those who could not make it, and some, to bring themselves up from whatever pits they were before. As the bass hits, and the guitar strings vibrate, I know these bunch of people are shouting, raising their drinks and cheering themselves on, sometimes to the detriment of onlookers, but who cares? They see each meeting as fate, each shout in unison as rare experiences.

Now, you might think that these bunch of people are all that, but I tell you their not. Just as an amazing set ends, so does silences and low points enter. These people also have their burdens to carry outside their partying. Some may be heavier than others, but after the music dies down, they return to their game faces. They walk their paths in solitude, but they are never alone.

As I write this, a bunch of people are out in Makati, smiling and joy rising. And you are wondering why I'm not part of it. But I am. Of course I can't hear the banging of the drums or shredding of the guitar or even see the wave of hands going up and down as they cheer for awesome music. I'm there whenever they smile, and believe me, I know they are smiling right now. The thing with this group of people is you don't need to be there, to be with them. When a group of people like them get together, they bring everyone. So I know I'm with them. They brought me there. They are making me jump with them, making me sing until my lungs explode. To this end, this bunch of people will always amaze me.

By now you must be wondering who these bunch of people are. Some of you may even have guessed it already: friends. Everyone has them. I, for one, feel especially lucky for these bunch of people I call friends because even though I'm here at home, typing away about them, they are partying and letting the joy rise for everyone. Sometimes I wonder what I did to have this privilege of belonging to this group. Funnily enough, whenever I do bunch up with them, I always forget why I asked that question in the first place.

What to write when you can't move

Literally. In case some of you don't know, I have a hereditary deficiency to breakdown uric acid in my body. So I break it down more slowly than others, which piles up because I excrete uric acid like any other person. So ultimately, the acid forms crystals inside my veins. Being the anti-petiks beings that our bodies are, these crystals are deemed "alien" and seen as a threat (wow, sounds like a movie I watched before). So anti-bodies cling on to these crystals and fight it off. The by-product of the battle is swelling. So when crystals form, more or less the veins swell. As you know with anything that swells, if you put pressure on it, it can hurt. I suffer this kind off pain. This thing more or less goes by the name of GOUT, and yes, I have in right now. *pain*

I'm no medical expert, so I'm not sure how accurate I explained the condition. But I just drew from my countless research and experiences of it. Right now, my right knee and right foot are the battlegrounds. Simply speaking, I cannot use my right leg right now. So here I am typing away.

Whenever I get an attack, I feel like everything I did to prevent it was for naught. Uric acid, you see, is a very normal substance in the body. Exercise too strenuously, you excrete it. Don't exercise, it just builds up. Anything with protein, uric acid is excreted. So basically, whatever I do, I build up the acid. I tried eating right, I tried exercising regularly. But every so often, I get an attack. It's terribly hard to try and maintain something when you don't know when it's going to appear. Like for instance, this time it started with a discomfort on my said knee. DISCOMFORT. I played frisbee last weekend and my body ached bad. I thought that was part of it. Next morning, voila, gone right leg motor skills. And by the way, the swelling stays for at least a week.

So because of this deficiency, I have missed meetings, meet ups with dear friends, and just walking outside. There is NO cure for this deficiency. But sometimes you have to roll with the punches. I have accepted this a long time ago. The longest interval between attacks for me was a year and two months. I was and still am proud of that achievement. I still plan on beating that record after this attack subsides. I just keep setting my goals farther, you know because I believe I can reach an interval of two years, or three years even. Life is never too heavy to hang up your gloves. There's always the next round. And when that bell rings, when whatever that's attacking you slows its momentum, you got to go for it! Don't let up, because you never know when that opportunity will arise again.

Whether it's a disease, a person, or a future unknown, everyone has something pulling them down. You going to give up? Not me because when this swelling subsides, when I hear the next round go DING! I'm coming in hard and I'm aiming far! And when I look beside me, I want to see you guys alongside me, pushing further and going farther, leaving some acid or whatever it is that's pulling you down behind.

So I have gout. It got me this round, there's always next round.