Foreign Books that Inspired Me to Be Better

I have read so many books in my entire life. My ultimate favorites are biographies, classics, history, and mysteries. We have these Pocket Classic condensed books with titles  like Pride and Prejudice,  Heidi,  The Scarlet Letter, The Hound of the Baskervilles and many more.

These books I will mention are those that help to make me who I am today. I am a self -motivated individual who loves to learn new things. Children of today are lucky to be born into a world where there is internet. Just type a few keywords and voila! You get an answer for your homework. Not unlike during my time, especially highschool. You need to research in a library, only to find that the answer your looking for is not in any of the books there.

There’s this subject called Filipino, and we’re suppose to be doing analysis on the literature such as Ibong Adarna (The Adarna Bird), Florante at Laura (Florante and Laura), Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I am frustrated because I am unable to find answers. It would have been different if the internet was available during my time.

These books I will include here have made an impact in my life, and in a way, has shaped who I am today. Here they are in no particular order:

Pocket Classics Books:




Swiss Family Robinson, and Robinson Crusoe


Hound of the Baskervilles


Agatha Christie books



Florence Littauer’s books Personality Plus






Ken Blanchard’s Leadership and the One Minute Manager



Madeleine L’Engle’s books


The Velveteen Rabbit


Haruki Murakami Norwegian Wood


The Little Prince


Next time, I will share books that have improved my way of thinking. Lately I am getting interested in learning how to do business. You can’t rely on your full time job to earn money. I still have a long way to go though. I hope you can share with me your favorite books as well. Have a great day!



Photo credits:

The Little Prince from

Heidi photo Pocket Classics link

Robinson Crusoe Pocket Classics link

Hound of the Baskervilles Pocket Classics link

Agatha Christie book Funerals are Fatal link Many Waters photo link

Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami link Personality Plus book link Leadership and the One Minute Manager link

The Velveteen Rabbit link

Kokology Amazon link

Cover photo from

Super Human: Paralympic Swimmer Ernie Gawilan


I was blessed to have met this man at an Amoris Laetitia talk in Don Bosco Center of Studies of Father Francis Gustilo. The focus was on families caring for people and children with special needs. There I met  Ernie Gawilan. Ernie is a paralympic swimmer from Davao. During the talk, he cheerfully retells the story of how he was born with underdeveloped limbs because of an abortion attempt. And to top it off, his father left him, and his mother got sick of cholera leaving him helpless. Eventually, his grandfather took care of him afterwards he was orphaned.

Such a life would have hindered others not to fully live through all that difficulties. But not Ernie. He never gives up. Nevertheless, his handicap has not stopped him from joining the Paralympics. After the talk,  we all went to the pool area at Don Bosco Seminary, and for the very first time, I have witnessed how fast he swims. In a second, he was already halfway the people.

I encourage those having challenges right now, or anyone who has a similar situation with Ernie. At first, it may seem hopeless and unfair. However, I believe that such challenges are actually blessings in disguise. Maybe you just have to find what your purpose in life is through them. Maybe you just need to put on rose colored glasses and  e take a look closer at the hidden blessing of your situation, whatever that maybe. What are the lessons that you need to learn because of them?



Ernie Gawilan News Clip courtesy of GMA NEWS 

Ernie Gawilan Biography from Wikipedia Photo of Ernie Gawilan 

Go Slow, and Savor the Life you Live


Words and Feature Image Photo: Liza Benetua

Location: Moonlight Beach,

Laiya, Batangas

In a world that we live in where everything happens fast,  it’s important that we take things slow. We need to savor every moment that happens in our lives. However, taking it slow is not what the world wants. We base our lives on that twelve-digit object that goes, “Tick, tock, tick, tock.”  We are always in a hurry that we miss the tiny details of our lives. For example, a friend asks us as we walk in our cubicles, ” Hey, what did you have for breakfast?”.  We reply mindlessly, “Huh?”. Bummer right?

Yup, instant is the word. It’s evident everywhere we go. There’s the convenience store that’s open 24 hours a day.  The ATM machine that let’s you withdraw your hard earned cash without going to the bank. The vendo machine, and for just a few coins or bills to spare, food and drinks comes dropping down the vent.

We are not spared from the number of activities we are faced with, like those deadlines  for a project that’s due next week, or preparing tonight’s dinner for your family of five.

Likewise, technology is not spared from this Speedy Gonzales pace that we live in.  For instance, the Internet. When we are checking our email, doing our  History homework for school,  or searching Wikipedia for info about Soh Ji-Seob (one of my favorite Korean actors apparently). While doing any browser-related activity, we want immediate answers for all our quesrtions at the snap of our fingers.


It’s also true when we spend so much time browsing social media, scrolling through your Facebook Newsfeed for hours, or playing games over your smartphone. It’s Ok to spend time doing this, but not to a point that we’re addicted to it that we forget to do our laundry, or to clean our house, or throw the garbage. Before we know it, Friday comes, and we lie down in our beds exhausted. Another week has passed, and we ask ourselves, ” What on earth just happened? The day just went by just like that? I didn’t do anything worthwhile.”

I realized that while I was taking a shower. I have forgotten to slow down. I have totally ignored the fact that in every thing I do, I must appreciate the experience. That when I put the shower gel in my loofah, I have to make sure that I know the brand that I used. Then I take note of the color of the loofah, was it purple? Yup it is purple, or lavender.

We are lucky to be born in a time where gadgets like cameras, drones, and smartphones are invented. I thank the geniuses of our time who have made our lives comfortable with their talents.  I would encourage that we use these things to help us revel in every moment that passes by our lives. No gadgets? Then there’s the handy diary or journal or even a photo album that helps us to cherish everything: 1) places we’ve been to 2) people we’ve met and 3) our cherished memories.

Sometimes we need a break from our hectic schedules. Don’t forget to take a deep breath when were panicking. Don’t forget to smile at friends even if we’re feeling our worst. I recommend a trip to the beach. Went to Laiya, Batangas last May with friends from my Catechism group. Whatever pain I had, my trip to the beach healed. Details of the beach trip on my upcoming post.

Remember these words from CSI’s Gil Grissom, “If you want to go fast, you gotta go slow.” Cheerio!!!

Photo Credits:

Photo of Soh Ji-seob