Good morning my dear kambal! Happy 31st birthday! Sulitin mo itong year na to, this is the last year na nasa kalendaryo ka pa. ;) 

Thirty one years ago, God decided to create a family that He will forever bless and guide and nourish. He started with the mother. She is a gentle soul with a very sharp mind. She will be in charge of keeping her husband (aka eldest child) in line specially with his constant desire to play games. To make things fair, God also designed her to have a constant desire to shop, first for herself, but eventually for their children. She will strive to keep everything in order, with her uncanny prowess in planning and foresight. She will be the perfect partner for her husband, and the perfect mother for their children. And so, thirty one years ago, God created you.

And I will be forever grateful to Him for that special day. 

This is your special day. We may have limited budget, we may have many constraints, but always remember that YOU are special, and that is all that matters. I have been blessed by God by the fact that as early as now, He has already shown me the meaning of my life: to love, serve, and provide for you and our family. Even though it is your birthday, thirty one years ago, I was the one who received a very special gift. And I will ask for nothing more.

31 Reasons I am Grateful For You
1. You gave me the best gift in the whole world - our son
2. This slot is reserved for our future children :)
3. You constantly remind me to shave to look "pogi"
4. ...and to have my haircut!
5. You always have a plan for everything
6. And I mean everything -- even planning for our "palusot"
7. You *almost* always let me sleep now whenever I want
8. You accept me as a grown-up man-boy who loves computer games
9. ...and gave me PS4 for Christmas!
10. You *try* to go to stores with seats whenever I accompany you in your shopping
11. ...and constantly asks my opinion in choosing which item to buy
12. ...and picks the one I didn't choose
13. Sensible and thought-provoking conversations almost every night
14. ...which sometimes lead to quarrels
15 ...but always make us better individuals and improve our relationship as a couple
16. The constant effort to become the better version of ourselves
17. For getting me closer to God
18. Believing in me and my capabilities
19 ...and trusting me to provide for our family
20. For sharing our antics with the rest of the world
21. For encouraging me to value and treasure our friends
22. For inspiring me to achieve my dreams
23. ...and keeping my priorities straight
24. For the laughter while watching our favorite TV shows
25. ...and letting me make you happy :P
26. The delicious food you cook for me whenever you are in the mood
27. Keeping the house clean and orderly
28. Looking for different ways to celebrate life
29. Growing up and learning together
30. Being a thoughful and loving mother to our child
31. Simply being the best wife a husband could ever have

Honey, I love you so much and I hope that in my little ways, I would be able to show you how grateful I am for the gift of you. Happy birthday!
The Big Bang Marriage's Season 2 is about to end with our wedding anniversary on Sunday. This has been a very special year for us due to the arrival of our cutest cast: Baby Lex! As we approach the end of this season and prepare for our third year, I would like to give a special message to my co-star, my one and only kambal.

Honey, when I look in your eyes and you're looking back in mine, everything feels not quite normal. I feel stronger and weaker at the same time. I feel excited and, at the same time, terrified. The truth is, I don't know what I feel, except I know what kind of man I want to be... =P

Seriously though, the past year has been a roller coaster ride for the both of us. Our first Christmas together, your labor and delivery of the loveliest baby in the whole wide world, the zombie months, nanny problems, and the monthly celebration of Lex's birthday, are just some of the awesome moments that we shared together. I loved how these events help us grow and mature to become the couple that we are right now.

I am very thankful to God for you and Lex. You always inspire me to become the best person I can be. I can truly say that I am who I am today -- happy, fulfilled, and inspired -- in great part because of you. Ikaw ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin tuwing umaga, at nagtatanggal ng pagod at worries tuwing gabi. I love talking with you, being with you, and doing simple small things for you. I love you. 

Like what I said during our wedding, "ilang bagyo man ang dumating, hinding hindi kita iiwan." In our two years of married life, we didn't only survive, we conquered! Looking forward to forevermore with you. Happy Anniversary!
Note: This post is labeled Quora. This means that this is one of my posts in Quora and I am sharing/elaborating it here in my blog for posterity's sake.

Q: I love History but why so much pain and death?

A: It depends on which side of History you are looking. In History, like in everything else, for every death, destruction, and pain, there is also life, discoveries, inventions, and happiness. 

History is like the world's diary, written by many different authors. What you learn depends on which author you read, and whatever these authors decide to write about.

Another thing to consider is how YOU process the things that you read and learn. Pain and death are not the end-all of a story. They are simply realities of life, just like birth, victory, and happiness. It depends on you on which area you want to focus on. 

The meaning of life is finding life's meaning.

Your life is a story.
The lesson of the story is the meaning of your life.

As you read a book, you will never fully realize its lesson until you finish reading. 

As you live your life, you will never fully and conclusively find the meaning of your life until, well, until you die.

Great stories are great not because the ending is great, but because every page, from beginning 'til the end, fills you up with different emotions, inspires you, teaches you something.

The meaning of your life is the summary and consolidation of all your experiences. Only you have the power to make it great or boring.

You may finish reading a book without fully understanding and appreciating the story's lesson.

Some people live and die without really discovering the meaning of their lives.

The meaning of life is living life, discovering your potentials, and using your potentials to affect your surroundings.

Originally posted in Quora
Image from
Meron kang kasambahay. Ang pangalan nya ay Susephya Yanib. Napakagaling nitong kasambahay mo sa kanyang trabaho. Dahil sa kanya, malinis ang sahig, maayos ang mga kagamitan, at masasarap ang iyong pagkain. Masayang masaya ka sa serbisyong natatanggap mo.

Isang araw, bumili si Susephya ng isang "Wonder Walis" na nagkakahalagang Php2,800. Nang sumunod na araw, dumating ang iyong kaibigan kasama ang kanyang kasambahay. Tuwang tuwa sila sa iyong napakalinis at napakaayos na bahay. Nung tingnan nila ang Wonder Walis ni Susephya ay napansin nilang kaparehas ito ng walis tambo na gamit nila sa kanilang bahay. Pero yung walis tambo nila, Php500 lang. Nung nagpunta ka sa Department Store, nakita mo na ang presyo ng isang high-tech na vaccum cleaner ay Php2,500, mas mura pa sa Wonder Walis ni Susephya.

Dahil dito ay nag-imbistiga ka ng iba pang mga binili ni Susephya. Ang toilet bowl sa inyong palikuran ay binili nya sa halagang Php32,400 kahit ang presyo nito sa labas ay Php9,000 lamang. Ang inyong lababo ay nagkakahalagang Php24,800 ngunit sa pamilihan, ito ay Php10,000 lamang. Napag-alaman mo ring nagduda na rin pala ang anak mong si Dyunior dati sa mga presyong ito pero hindi ito nakarating sa iyo dahil nilibang sya ng mga anak ni Susephya. Sa tagal ng panahon ay marahil nakalimutan na ni Dyunior ang tungkol dito.

Nagbalik-tanaw ka sa inyong buhay siyam na taon ang nakaraan. Nung panahon na yun, ikaw ay may isang brand new, 200 square meters, three bedrooms na bahay. Si Susephya ay may isang payak na 40 square meters na bahay na may isang silid at may maliit na sari-sari store sa harap. Makaraan ang siyam na taon, ikaw ay meron pa ring 200 sqm, three bedrooms na bahay. Samantala, si Susephya ay mayroon nang 350 hectares na hacienda.

Hinarap mo si Susephya at ito ang kanyang sagot:
  1. Naiinggit lang po yung kaibigan nyo at yung kasambahay niya sa linis ng bahay natin
  2. World class po kasi yung wonder walis kaya po mahal
  3. Kasama ko po yung driver natin, si Dodong, kaya makakasigurado po kayo na talagang tama yung presyo nyan
  4. Tinanong na po dati ni Dyunior yung presyo nung toilet bowl at lababo kaya huwag na po natin pag-usapan yun ngayon
  5. Yung hacienda ko po ay galing sa kita ng sari-sari store namin

Ano ang iyong paniniwalaan?

Dalawa lang naman ang pinaka-punto ko sa lahat ng ito:
  1. Katungkulan ni Susephya na gawin ang kanyang mga trabaho. Karapatan mo bilang kanyang employer na i-enjoy ang mga benepisyong natatanggap mo dahil sa kanyang pagtatrabaho. HINDI mo utang na loob kay Susephya na ginampanan nya ng maayos ang kanyang katungkulan. Ito ang inaasahan sa kanya. Ito ay KARAPATAN mo.
  2. Sabihin man nating nagawa nya ang mga inaasahan mo, pero ang ginastos mo ay di hamak na mas mataas sa dapat mong bayaran, karapat-dapat pa rin ba syang pagkatiwalaan? Malinis nga ang bahay mo, pero ninanakawan ka naman pala, gusto mo pa rin ba? Oo, malinis ang iyong sahig, pero kung tama pala ang pag gastos sa pera mo, imbes na walis lang ay pwede palang nafloor wax at nafloor polish pa ang sahig mo. Oo, masasarap ang nakakain mong pagkain, pero sapat pala ang pera mo para makabili ng mas masasarap at mas masusustansya pang pagkain, hindi lang para sa yo, kundi para sa iyong mga kapamilya at kaibigan. Bagkus, ang nakinabang sa pinag hirapan mong kayamanan ay si Susephya at ang kanyang mga kapamilya at kaibigan.
I love the elegant simplicity of this life lesson:
You never lose in life. Good experiences become good memories. Bad experiences become good lessons.
Like other important lessons in life, being a parent is something that you will never truly learn by reading, studying, and asking other people. You can only genuinely understand the feeling, the pressure, the happiness, the concerns, the excitement, the worries, and the satisfaction of being one by experiencing it. It's like the difference between riding a roller coaster and watching other people ride it, listen to them about their experience, or reading about them in books.

It doesn't mean that preparing to become one is useless. As a matter of fact, I strongly suggest that you do. Read a lot of parenting books. Interview your parent friends. Attend seminars, parenting sessions, etc. Equip yourself with all the lessons that you can get before you go into battle.

No, I am not exaggerating. Parenthood IS a battle. It is a never-ending battle of time and attention between your family and yourself. It is a constant battle between your pocket and that damn baby store. It is a lifelong battle between your parenting style and the big bad world out to get your child. Being prepared means knowing the right weapons to bring in the battlefield.

Just remember, however, that being prepared is only half the battle.

The other half is the actual experience where you will need all the support, skills, luck, and faith to survive.

Support, trust, and honesty between you and your partner is of utmost importance especially when you become a parent. For one thing, the pressure of raising a good, independent, and intelligent child is so daunting that it could stress even a well-prepared individual. Don't be a self-centered do-it-all. Trust your partner. Be honest if you need a time-out, a time for yourself. And be sensitive enough to know if your partner needs some.

Support doesn't come from your partner alone. Remember that you may also get support and strength from your parents and/or siblings. Just keep in mind that YOU are the one ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE for your family, and not your parents and siblings. And that they also have lives, or family, of their own that they need to take care of.

Parenting skills mean knowing how to use the "weapons" that you studied during preparation, in real, messy, ugly situations. Part of these skills is knowing which of those conflicting theories should you apply in a specific situation. Another part is unlearning some lessons that you thought were right, but realized, through experience, were not entirely appropriate. Due to this, even if you come fully prepared, you will never win all the parenthood battles. Win some, lose some, just ensure that you win the war.  These things I am still learning, and will continue to learn, as I walk through this parenthood path. 

Finally, whether you believe in a Creator God or not, faith is immensely important in guiding your actions and knowing that whatever happens, everything will be all right. If for whatever reason, you think that the universe has formed by itself and decided to follow all the known and yet to be discovered laws of physics, then rest assured that as part of this universe, you are included in that decision of order and beauty. Have faith in the universe. If you, like me, believe in a powerful and merciful God, do realize that He will always guide and bless you if you let Him. So why worry? Have faith in Him. 
This diagram is too good not to be shared:

For a couple of weeks (or months?) now, I have been thinking of a way to use what I know to generate additional stream(s) of income. I have been reading a lot of questions and answers in Quora (which I really recommend because of its very high quality content) and found the diagram above.

The problem is identifying that one idea, concept, skill, talent, or asset that falls within those circles. Also, it is not really easy to determine if you are "good" with something, or if that something pays well. Nonetheless, hope this proves to be a good tool in my (and your) introspection.
Yey! I received an email from Blizzard informing me that I've been selected as a technical alpha tester of Heroes of the Storm!

What is Technical Alpha (from the email):
While Heroes of the Storm is playable and much of the core experience is present, we're still very early in development and the Tech Alpha is truly a work in progress. Our main goal in this phase of testing is to test stability and improve the game service to handle more players online. You can help us out by simply playing the game... a lot. And your feedback can help us fine-tune the game's balance prior to releasing it for larger scale testing.
I am currently downloading the game and very much excited to play:

To my wife, my partner, my honey, my soul mate, my kambal, and most importantly, the mother of the most precious gift I have ever received...

Happy Mother's Day!

Always remember that I am very proud of you for being a very wonderful and responsible mother to our child. With all the challenges and obstacles that we have hurdled these past months, I can truly say that God has blessed Lex with an amazing, strong, and persevering mom. Lex and I love you very much. Continue being the great mom that you are!