Category Archives: Life

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

I won’t say grand things like, “If I give my best, I’ll accomplish everything.” But by trying my best, I give myself a fighting chance to HAVE SOMETHING rather than giving up and attesting to the fact that I was born NOTHING and will end up as NOTHING.

Senses tingling with  sweat as cold as ice and a little bit tachycardic is how I would describe myself right about now.

I finally clicked the much anticipated “Publish” button on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and am still waiting for their notification that’ll say that my book is ready, live and available on their store. The wait is killing me.

The mixed feelings this experience is giving me is really nauseating. And until this very moment wherein I am writing this blog entry, I’m still not sure if what I did was a good decision but what I am sure of is that this is something I really wanted to do.

Unlike the main character in my book, I am unable to see what lies ahead of me. With that said, there is no other option for me but to charge forward with all my might and hope for the best.

Wise Words from a Cat

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“We do have a lot in common. The same air, the same Earth, the same sky. Maybe if we started to look at what’s the same instead of looking at what’s different… well, who knows?”

As I was watching the first Pokemon movie with my four year-old cousin to help familiarize him with the English language, the line above really hit me.

It was quoted from a character named Meowth, one of the mainstay villains of the show Pokemon. Yes, he is a villain but if ever you’ve watched an episode or two of the long-running anime that started during the year 1997, you’ll more or less know that he’s more of a comic-relief than a serious threat.

The quote itself was deep yet simple enough to be understood by children and heavy enough to be remembered for many years. And as I analyzed the said line, I wondered what will happen if everyone on Earth, especially our leaders, would just learn from this cat and take what he said into heart.

Well, according to Meowth, “Who knows?”, right?

Ming the cat

Everyone in our house loves dogs. There was even a time when me and my other three siblings had one each.We always had dogs for pets as long as I can remember so, maybe, you could just imagine how my family reacted when my youngest brother brought home a female kitten, a very sick one to be exact, seven years ago.

My mom told my brother to return the sick kitten back to the streets as she had very bad experiences with my grandmother’s cats. Mom told us that they steal food from the table, can’t be trained and ruin clothing.

After so much drama which included my brother crying outside our house for a long time saying my mother had no heart, we ended up keeping the kitten.

At that time, we didn’t want to name the said kitten. In our community, cats are known to leave and never come back from their owners’ houses so we clearly didn’t want to get attached. Though that was our plan, it was hard to treat it like an object while we nursed it so we naturally nicknamed her Ming.

We didn’t expect much from Ming. Everyone assumed her to die within days and we just wanted her to feel comfortable before it happens. She was really sick and barely ate but she fought bravely and after a few weeks, she was able to run again.

Ming was simply a huge bundle of joy. She would chase after the most random stuff, hug our feet for no apparent reason and was so clingy that she cried whenever she was left alone.

If you’d exclude the scratching of curtains and bedding, she wasn’t anything like how my mother generalized cats. She had her own spot in our backyard where she pooped and never climbed on top of the table to snatch food and she even solved our rat problem which costed us two refrigerators already. My mother and sister didn’t like how she would leave headless rats and birds at our feet whenever she killed one which was rather cute in my opinion.

Because of our good experience with Ming, we started adopting more and more cats. It didn’t turn out to be a good idea though. She turned out to be very possessive and even got sick when she wasn’t the center of attention anymore because of the new cats.

That was when she became really attached to me. We spent more time together because we both enjoyed looking at my aquariums and birds. Everyone said that she was just waiting for the right moment to kill them but they were wrong. Ming is one of the smartest animals I have ever met. Though she often hunts down wild birds, she doesn’t hurt my parrots who freely fly inside the house and would even defends them against feral cats. It’s as if she naturally knew what was important. I even strongly believe she understands my emotions and does things according to them.

The moment I went to college and, eventually, medical school, Ming and I never lost our bond even though I only visit every three months or so. Whenever I’m home, she still prefers to sleep and spend time with me rather than my with my mom and dad who takes care of her now. I didn’t expect that because most people say that cats only remember something for seven days.

I’m writing this blog because as I called for her earlier when she was on the second floor, she missed the balcony and plummeted to the ground with a loud bang. She didn’t move for a few minutes and the thought of her dying scared the hell out of me. She really is a dear friend who I would mourn for days.

She’s okay now. As a matter of fact, she’s currently in my lap as write this.

PS: I’m trying really hard not to show her the contents of this blog as she might feel conceited and self-important. No, just joking. The truth is that I don’t want her to look at the computer in fear she might learn how to use the computer for world domination.

Bonds That Transcend

If love has a form, what do you think will it be? I believe it’d be a piece of broken glass. A shard can take up any random shape. It might be big, palm-sized or even as small as powder. If you try to pick it up, you’ll never know if it’ll give you a big or small wound or maybe, if you’re lucky enough, it wont hurt you at all. And It will reflect light depending on how you hold it. I’ve already said many similarities but the best one is that like a piece of glass, love, even though it can reflect thy self from time to time, exist to show the other side whether it be person, object or animal.

Three weeks ago, my mom called me to say that one of my cats was missing. I have several cats at home and the one mom said to be missing was my one year old persian cat named Tomas. I didn’t feel surprised and just told her to look for him on top of my bird cages since he often climbs them and most of the time be too scared to come down. But then, it shocked me when she replied, “Jian, he’s been missing for two days now.”

Two days?! What? Deep inside I know I wanted to end the conversation with my mom. I didn’t want to accept that two days affirms that Tom really is missing. The rest of our conversation was like talking to my inner self. The following words my mom said were the thoughts that were running in my mind—He might be stuck somewhere and can’t get out. He’s such a glutton. Was he able to eat anything this past few days? Was he picked up by someone? Is that someone petting him right now? I hope that that someone knows that Tom hates the sun, cries when alone, lets him sleep on their foot and is scared of high places.

Our conversation dragged on until I really couldn’t talk anymore. She said that the most depressing and irritating part when they were searching the neighborhood on the day Tom went missing was when they knocked at our cousin’s house. His children were the ones who opened the door and before my dad could even say anything, they said, “We didn’t take any furry cat!” Can someone please tell me how the heck would our neighbors know that we have a missing cat as early as 6am in the morning?

I fell silent to the point that my mom kept saying ” hello” to check if I was still on the other line. I wasn’t able to reply so she hung up. I remembered the day I bought him. There were only two cats available that day and I immediately petted the one that looked like Garfield and told the store that I’d take it.

I was so sure of my choice. The other one had messy hair and I noticed that it was bow legged. “Who would choose you?” was what I thought. Everything changed in a matter of seconds. The one I picked was annoyed at my hand and ran to the furthest corner of the cage. The funny thing was that the other one shyly glanced at my hand then ran towards it in a funny manner. He brushed his head several times and then rolled over to expose his belly. I played with him while waiting for the owner to put the cat I chose in a box.

After a few minutes, the owner came to me and told me to get the one I like. I literaly circled the whole cage to catch the one that looked like Garfield but it just wont come. Then, I noticed the bow-legged cat staring at me. There was something in his eyes that made me pick him up and say, “This one! I’ll call you, Tom!”

The owner was shocked and gave me a discount since Tom had a deformed leg. He probably thought it was a wrong choice and I thought so myself. I couldn’t be more wrong my whole life.

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During the time Tom first arrived in our home, the relationships between my siblings and parents were on the rocks (I’m close to everyone).The following months, Tom really became like a new baby brother. He mended the estranged relationship in our family. Playing with him became a bonding time since he’s more active when playing with many people. My mom who hates cats called him her son. My sister who was never a fan of my pets would sleep with him whenever she comes home. My brothers spoiled him. And my dad loved him so much that days after Tom disappeared, he asked my mom if she could feed my other cats from then on since he was really depressed not seeing Tom around during feeding time. My mom agreed since she said that my dad called Tom in his sleep and felt sad for him not knowing that she also does the same (according to my dad).

I came home after three weeks. Before entering our gate, I asked myself, “How will a bow legged cat jump over an eight feet tall gate when he can’t even jump on a dining table?”

Over dinner, we reminisced our moments with Tom. I wanted to go search our neighborhood again but then everyone said that they were doing it for three weeks straight. My sister even put up a reward and when she said that she was willing to give double the price of a fully grown persian cat to anyone who’d find him, our cousin and his wife just said, “It’s just a cat. Why are you people still hung up over a silly cat? It’s just ridiculous!”

My blood boiled until my sister said what she told them, “He is not just a cat. He’s family.”

The following morning, my sister and I searched for a replacement cat to brighten the mood of our parents. We looked for more than an hour on different pet shops but in the end she said, “It’s not the same. We won’t find anything because we never wanted a replacement. And I think mom and dad doesn’t want one either.”

Love really does take different forms and connects you to the most random and unimaginable people, things and in our case, animals. Up to this day I’m still hoping that Tom will somehow come back.

How about you guys? What’s your share of Bonds that Transcend?

The World and The Great Divide

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Have you ever opened the television to watch the news but as you sit in your comfortable couch, you silently thought to yourself, “What’s the point?”
What was the point in watching? It will probably be the same old news about how a nation attacks or defeats another or probably how there’s a news about this celebrity that bought a million dollar necklace and how the same news is ironically followed by another news saying that Africans are dying because of dirty water.

In almost all speeches, especially by beauty queens and politicians during elections, it’s almost hard to miss the words “world peace”. What exactly is world peace anyway?

According to Wikipedia.org, World Peace is a state of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare wherein there is equality between all races and nations transcending beliefs and religion. And based on what I remember from my highschool world history class, the exact origin of the idea can be considered lost in time since it was already around ever since the era of the upright man began.

If it was already around that long, how come it still hasn’t been realized? You can read every reference in every existing library and still, you won’t find an era that can proudly say that they’ve achieved world peace and equality.

Even though it’s origin can’t be traced, the number one cause why it’s hard to achieve is quite simple. Have you guessed what it is? It is the one thing that binds you with probably almost every person you meet everyday. It’s non other than your “Race”.

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It’s very ironic how the one thing that connects you with the stranger you meet in the hallway is the one thing that also separates you from the rest of the world. It is what I would like to call The Great Divide. Races push us to separate ourselves into nations which can then be divided into ethnicities followed by many more smaller groups.

What’s wrong with race you say? Here’s the catch. We are all born within a specific race and it is status quo to improve the standing of one’s race. How do we do that? By overpowering others of course!

In the long run, these competitions between races escalate to wars that produce another factor that will continue to widen the rift between nations — they are the Heroes of war. In my opinion, wars will never end because not only is there greed but also because in every generation, there will always be a hero to look up to who rose to fame by killing and conquering others for the sake of the “greater good”.

Other than races, there are many more things that hinder world peace and separate us from one another; we are divided by 7 continents, 196 countries, thousands of islands and not to mention the diverse religions, ideals, beliefs and many more. That is why philosophers believe that World peace is nothing but a surreal dream. They have come to a conclusion that humans have the innate tendency to separate from one another and aim for individual greatness but on the other hand, science also tells us that we also have an innate craving to disrupt the natural order of things.

Animals have no way of fighting their instincts but we humans do. Let us not be contented by the fact that nature has modeled us to grow apart from one another. I strongly believe that we are more alike than we are different from one another. Together, let us bring down the Great Divide.