Yes, the above title is a line from a TV ad that the advertising company came up with for their client, a pharmaceutical firm that sells Pharmaton vitamins. Or so I thought it was until I discovered later that the line came from Napoleon Hill, an American writer.
In the ad, a man was seen running away from a fire-breathing hell’s miscreation and hot on his heels. The escape route he was treading on dead ended into a deep ravine. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, he only has himself to count on. He composed himself; summons up all energy from every fiber in his body and leaped out and over the abyss like a cheetah in full stretch to the other side.
The TV ad, as portrayed in that 30-second sequel ferret out the message that; if man only aspire for something, anything bigger than what he thought he can do, the body will bring about that change.
They say beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. Well that’s exactly what I was set to do that weekend, a Saturday morning. And what better way to get lost than thread the road less traveled with my mountain bike.
To prepare for the ride, I bought extra pairs of tire tubes and patches for good measure. I also bought a high pressure tire pump with its complementary contraption that holds it to the frame. The checklist was long with things I may not even have a need for; but what the hell, I’m already in for it.
It was still dark and soggy at 5AM when I woke from a fitful sleep. I staggered out of bed and switched on the light. I plugged on the kettle and fix myself an extra strong coffee to evaporate the cobwebs of sleep left in my head. Outside, the tree leaves and shrubberies, sagged by the weight of mist bearing down on them, appears to meditate in solemn repose. And the sky is queer to be awashed in an amber shade of the dawn light.
The chance of winning the grand Philippine Lotto is 1 to 13 million. Put another way, there are 13 million more people (or number combinations) likely to win over you. Those are really steep numbers. One must be extremely lucky to beat the odds.
Despite the unlikely possibility, people still rush to buy tickets especially as lottery amount gets higher and higher. All these in the fervent hope of winning that could change their lives. And that’s exhilarating. Experts say the mere act of buying a ticket itself brings a rush of happiness to the buyer due to the rise of hope and fantasies for a better life.
But is that all there is to it – money and the countless abundance of it?
Being apolitical I stay free from commenting anything that has to do with state policies. But really, with news all in TV, internet, newspaper and mobile phones, I thought they’re ubiquitous to miss. They’re inescapable, actually. So allow me to share my two cents.
One of President ‘Digong’ Duterte’s campaign promises that were well received by the people is Federalism. It turn out that the clamor for it has its roots in history. It was said that Apolinario Mabini and Emilio Aguinaldo were the first to highlight that need. Now and quite loudly, they’re peddled by luminaries: UP Professor Jose Abueva, former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel and President Digong.
All of them argue that a shift to federal form will lead to decentralization and strengthen/empower local autonomy. Federal region-states will have access to and usage of resources and amp self-determination. This will also solve the issue of Muslim Mindanao and help placate the Moro insurgents.
Yet rather than jump the gun too soon, let us find more that needs fixing.
The Sun is way up at 8AM and filtered through the heavy morning haze. All around is soggy with previous day’s torrent and pavements in puddles of water and muddy at some places. Despite the weather’s grim forecast, typical of notorious November monsoon, it didn’t dampen the spirit of those that slept in or pulled through the night.
Such is the yearly scenery every November 1 where the livings honor their dead at their resting places. One place is barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City’s Mactan Island Memorial Gardens.
I’d engage Him in a friendly talk. That would surely surprise him. I mean I have already accepted my mortality and infirmity to bother him with what’s bound to happen. On the flipside, I have no idea how he is.
I wouldn’t ask him the obvious: cure for all maladies or why man suffers. Our progress in medicine may answer that over time. However that didn’t seem to matter, did it?
Once more November 1st is up close and again the livings are preparing to honor their deads at where they have been laid to rest.
One place in Lapu-Lapu City is the old Opon cemetery now lost from roadside view along Ceres (for Cemetery Residents?) Road that connects Osmena Street and Humay-humay Road. This cemetery is the oldest Roman Catholic burial ground in the island that had interments even until early fifties.
The place used to be enclosed with niches we knew then as “pantiyon” for pantheon intended for non-ground interment. The structures were made of sliced coral masonry, the same materials that built the old Opon church and the still standing convent. It’s portal used to have this inscription, “HINUMDUMI KAMI” (Remember Us) and from it was the macadamized walkway that led to the tall cross at the center.
Just to test how dark the evening was, I switched off my motorcycle headlight, and, immediately gloom descended as quick as camera lens flutter when taking a snapshot. I squinted and strained trying to magnify whatever ambient light there was, but only see inky darkness. I struggle to find myself and fought hard to dispel disorientation but only for a second.
I was driving through Datag, Maribago, a community that mushroomed around one stretch of road. Back in the days, the place, simply known as Datag, hasn’t yet acquired neighborhood for lack of commerce. Now, there is not much to differ night from day as people do not care to sleep – too busy with life.
As I passed by the last of the houses and into wilderness, I switched on my headlight. In an instant, the darkness scampered to the periphery of the light beam. I got my bearings, alright, but something’s not quite right.
Although both generate adrenaline rush; there is a whale of difference between excitement and happiness. And I feel sensations are far more pumped-up in excitement than the blitheful feelings of happiness. It is the anticipation, the sizzle before the steak.
Excitement may be sourced from the anticipation of doing the mundane or the expectation of reward in a grand project. For instance, adrenalines are high when I went out on my first date. I also get the kick out of reading a good book. Others get excited with complex task of building a high-rise condominium unit or building a house or taking on a big project.