Archive for December, 2008

As I start to think about the year to come, I feel the energy nudging me to get back to myself. I’m starting to review my hopes and figure out some new things to do. This introspection mode is the influence of the Winter Solstice that arises on December 21, 2008.

As the light returns in this sacred season, May you find abundant happiness and joy.

As the light returns in this sacred season, May you find abundant happiness and joy.

Winter Solstice is the longest night and darkest time of year in the North of the Equatorial zones, when the days are short and the nights are long and lonely. The day of the Winter Solstice is also called “The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” or simply the Yule. Though it marks the beginning of Winter, it also signposts the beginning of a new Solar Year.

For years, people assumed that there was a psychological effect of this time of year on many. But since I, myself, experienced the effect, I can say that it’s not only psychological but it is also physiological. Astronomers call the phenomenon Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD)- a real reaction of the body, and thus linked to the mind, of low light levels. However, despite these low light levels, Winter Solstice reminds us that darkness never lasts forever. It marks a central part of nature’s cycle- It is a time of new growth and renewal. It is a reminder that in order to begin anew, the old must end.

We often speak of getting through the winter and surviving it, rather than understanding the true pith hidden in the long dark months of the year. Solstice is actually encouraging us to slow down and do some soul searching. So take some time out from the seasonal mania to envision your life in the coming year.

And what am I gonna do on that night? I will be dancing, tumbling, doing an aerial cartwheel in the Zen Garden at least in my head during my midwinter night’s dream. I will envision that this Channel of Life will carry me to my destination, no matter what happens along the way. And as a part of my solstice ritual, I will try to let go of all that WAS, folding the 2008 journey book.

So- mark your calendar, greet the new dawning, join the day of reinvention and try to metamorphosize on Wonderful Winter Solstice.

Keep Looking Up!


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I thought of these a few moments ago before going to bed thinking of the things that happened to me this week.

Pathetically I admit, my momentum is zero. I always thought that I could hit three birds with one stone. I couldn’t. As I press forward in life, it also becomes more and more knotty.

I’ve been toiling with this language that is no longer pleasing to my ears and to my maxilla-mandible. I wish I could say “Oh, how I love this language as much as I would love to study French or Greek.” I’m still digging deep within to see if I could hoist my momentum with my own illusory winch. Then I finally had to acknowledge the fact that I really don’t have motivation for this thing. I’m following a path but my heart is not in it. I know because I am not inspired… not motivated naturally.

For the meantime, I guess all I need to do is to shut my pooped out wit and live for the moment; gotta follow the lead of my soul to calm my vibes.

I may be at the end of my tether but through these fights (against all odds), I believe that I’m developing the inmost strength of my heart.

Have a Pleasant Weekend, mates!

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C'mon Cinnamon!

C'mon Cinnamon!

Most of us perhaps have asked our parents about the meaning or origin of our names. Some of us are named after our parents’ favorite celebrities, famous or great people in the history, after our grandfather or grandmother, the blending of our father’s-mother’s names, etc. But still most people have a fuzzy idea what their own names mean. Why? Because some parents just name their children for the sake of ‘namesake’.

I was having a conversation with two of my former classmates (Randy and Julia) the other day when Randy said “Please do me a favor…just call me ‘R’. I never liked my name.” Julia snaply said “I don’t like my name either.”

RANDY: Well, in England when somebody calls you ‘randy’, you are regarded as ‘sexually aroused or horny’ human being. Can you imagine being laughed at when you introduce yourself with that name? My parents just picked a name that they like and stuck me with it. They didn’t even bother to look it up in a dictionary. Oh how I wish they had consulted just one dictionary, any dictionary. But no!

My casual remark… You were just a babe in arms. How could they consult you if you couldn’t even say ‘mama’?

JULIA: I hate my name, even as a little kid. My parents could’ve at least named me “Julie.” They even have to phonate it ‘Jul-yah’. It sounds dull and stuffy.

My casual remark… Consider yourself lucky for not having the surname “Gulia”. Try greeting somebody- “Hi! I’m Julia Gulia.” This actually reminds me of the Wedding Singer (Drew Barrymore kept parroting “Hi! I’m Julia Gulia… Hi! My name is Julia Gulia.”)

With all these name nitpickings, I encourage every parent to check the meaning of your favorite name in several languages before inflicting that on your child. You don’t wanna be nagged by your kids while they grumble “What were my parents thinking when they named me?”

You don’t need to take up onomastics to learn the different etymologies of names. I’ve learned a thousand of names and their meanings from Mike Campbell’s names database at Behindthename.com. Search for your name!

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Whether this topic interests you or not, I hope you take a few minutes to read it. It will somehow update your knowledge about this fatal pandemic.

World Aids Day

World Aids Day

Today in the class, we were assigned to translate a World AIDS Day 2008 Speech. “Why we are engaged in this kind of discussion. Don’t we suppose to review and train a bit for the exam or talk about Equality or Democracy?” Then suddenly, he started opening a pack of condom (dangling on the overhead projector), which was maybe shared out by World Health Organization (WHO) volunteers. He stirred the discussion by asking us why the condom was branded or named ‘JOHNNY’. Was/ Is it named after Johnny Depp, Johnny cash, or Johnny Knoxville? No need to elaborate our answers for these would just lead your thoughts away from what is considered good or normal. It is in actual fact the ‘Oh, the JOHNNY’ thing.

Anyway, here’s the English translation of the Speech:


Today is December 1st- World Aids Day. With this speech, I let the millions of people, who live with the biggest risk and have fewest rights, be heard.

In 2008, 2.5 million people got infected with HIV, and more than 2 million people died of AIDS; killed by double standards and ignorance.

If you have been infected with HIV or is living with AIDS, you are met with prejudice that hits as hard as the disease that has knocked you down.

In 2008, there are still countries where men, who love men, are thrown in jail by their fathers, because they bring shame to the family.

Where grandmothers can do nothing but hold hands and watch their children and grandchildren get infected with HIV and die of AIDS right before their very eyes.

Where prejudice and ignorance keep others at a distance for fear of being infected by a kiss.

When it comes to life- threatening diseases, we know that prevention is far better than cure. With HIV and AIDS, it is different.

Maybe it’s because people in general do not contract the disease? Maybe it’s because research in prevention receives no grants? Maybe it’s because it’s a disease that hits people at their weakest without making the headlines?

Today, 95% of the gay men in the world do not have access to knowledge on prevention. Young people who live in an HIV- exposed environment are not receiving information, only lectures on sexual abstinence. Millions of HIV- positive people are not receiving any treatment, because they are regarded as less than nothing. Meanwhile, the disease is spreading like wild fire.

Each time 2 persons receive medical treatment, 5 new get infected. And the number of infected persons is also increasing in Europe.

If this inhuman epidemic is to be stopped, we must first accept the conditions of the disease and start treating and preventing HIV and AIDS with the same willpower that we direct to most of the other life- threatening diseases.

That we spread the knowledge, take the risk seriously and not just show compassion at the outbreak of the disease.

Everyone has the right to protection and treatment, to not getting infected and to be taken seriously by politicians, religions and scientists.

It is not fair that people in 2008 are getting infected with and die of a disease that we can actually prevent.

Let us make the world see and understand that prevention always is the best cure. Also with HIV.



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