1. Dream big. He always said to me that it is always free to dream but we need to work on it to become reality. If you dream, dream bigger. Dare to fail. Rejections, pain, failure and breakdown are part of it. But we must learn how to cope up and stand with it. If you have dream, you are always motivated because you want to reach your goal and that is to reach your dream. Don’t be idle. Always remember that dreams do come true! If others can do, you can do it too.
2. Learn from your mistakes. Everyone of us make mistakes. Of course, because we are human. Human learns not only from their experiences, academic lessons but also from their mistakes. “Accept your wrongdoings. Say sorry and learn from it. After all, it won’t make you less a man/woman” he said to me. Mistakes are our stepping stones toward brighter tomorrow. It makes us stronger as a human. After all, we are not perfect.
3. Never give up. God gives us a bundle of trials and problems so that we will not forget Him. Remember that it is just a test paper given by God to see if we have learnt on His lesson called “Life”. We may experience difficulties in life, feels like became a burden to others, problems that seem unsolvable and never ending trials but don’t you ever dare to give up. Life is never said to be easy but it’s worth living. He said that I must never give up when I still have something to give because nothing is really over until we stop from trying. What he said to me became my motivation in life. It’s just like a big placard on my mind written the phrase “NEVER GIVE UP”.
4. Save and spend wisely. He always said to me that if I have the money, try to save it for rainy days. One time, he asked me on why woman is so expensive. Did they know that shopping is not a chore? He asked. I answered him this: “what will we do to our money if we don’t spend it? Shop. That’s the first thing, us, girls, usually came onto our minds*with a meaningful laugh*. He said “instead of spending it, why not invest it in some business or in a bank?” That questioned of him stop my senses. I realize that he is right. We must be practical especially that it is so hard to earn money now a day. Save money and spend it wisely. In the end, it’s your benefits not any one else unless you will share it to them. Why settle for less if you can afford?
5. Think wisely. Before we came up to any decisions, we try to think and plan it first. We sometimes weigh things first and think of the possible outcomes before we start to make an initial move. “If you make a decision, try to think it a hundred times so that you won’t have regrets in life. Don’t hesitate to ask me or anyone about it”, he said. Think twice, thrice or even a hundred times. Wise men/women always consult to the expert. Be wise enough to face the world. Don’t be the center of mediocrity.
6. Learn to look back. “Always look back from where you came from. It will leads you to your destination”, he always reminded me. Don’t forget the people, places and memories that put you where you are right now. Some people said that past is past and don’t look back anymore. I halfly agreed about it. I believe that we cannot bring back the past but that past your talking to is what makes you who are in the present or in the future. Forget the bad memories in the past and look back the good one who and which became your inspiration in the present.
7. Always be thankful. In every blessing that we receive everyday, we must be thankful about it. He said that if someone did good or bad things to you, you must be thankful. Maybe you’re wondering on why we have to say thank you to the one who made bad things to us? Of course we have to because they made us realized that there’s still better person out there who deserves our company and knows our worth. God has a reason on why He let things happen that way. I believe that we must be thankful to our Almighty God because He gives us a reason to survive of not to live.
8. Acknowledge your mistakes and faults. Sometimes we find it hard to acknowledge our own faults and mistakes because of our damn pride and ego. It’s also hard to say sorry for it. We even put the blame to others and accuse them for our faults. “The truth hurts but the lies worse” that’s what he said. Human must know how to acknowledge their faults and mistakes. I know it is hard to accept it but it will lessen the problem and definitely will set you free-peace of mind. Your conscience will set you free. Don’t hold grudges.
9. Be independent. As I got a little older and try to gain my independence, I wanted to move away from my grandparent’s zone. I want to be independent. I started to do my own stuffs. My grandpa confronted me about it. “I know you wanted to live on your own now and I’m proud of you for being an independent and responsible lady. You are already grown up. I and your grandma are not getting any younger; would you please do us a little favour? Stay home. You can be independent here too. Being independent doesn’t mean that you have to find a new place to live at. It is not only measures on how you survive in your new place and settle down”. We can be independent in other matters to- in feelings. Don’t depend your life to others. I once fall in love and I became dependent on the strange feelings called love and to him. But after a total heartbreak, I’ve learned. Don’t depend your happiness to others because you will definitely breakdown if that happiness your talking to will leave you or evaporate. Don’t be a burden to anyone and a burden to yourself. Be independent.
10. Travel the world. God created so many beautiful things and places for us human to live, love, appreciate, enjoy and taking care of. Some are haven of wild animals and some become a perfect paradise for mere mortal. My grandpa said that there’s a lot of exotic paradise in the world. If you have the opportunity, why not grab it? Since I was a child, I always wanted to go to Paris, France and I promised to myself that I will work hard just to get there. I’ve been traveling the Philippines; I’m happy and feel blessed that I got the chance to visit our own paradise, too. Travel the world and experience the different cultures and religions of different races around the world.
11. Extend a helping hand.” Share your blessings” and “it is better to give than to receive”. Old sayings that gives me an inspiration to kindness. It feels great if you help someone. He said to me that don’t hesitate to extend your helping hands to those who need your help especially the less fortunate. If you can help, HELP! It is never become a sin to help other people in a good way. I always want to be one of the UNICEF volunteer and works with great philanthropist out there. Help without expecting in return. Forget the hesitation to help because nothing will lose in people who have the courage and heart to save the world.
12. Learn the art of letting go. Nothing is permanent in this world except change. Change is inevitable. Sadly, there are some changes that we need to let it go. There are things we need to let go especially the things that causes too much pain for us. Human must learn how to adapt changes. “The world will not stop if you fail, all your dreams crash, people leave you and if you give up. Let go and move on”, he said. We must learn the art of letting go. Let go all pains, frustrations, heartaches, hesitations and forget about your yesterday’s nightmare. Start a new beginning. Remember that “Nothing is heavy if you start to let it go”
13. Love and respect your family. He said “Family is family. Nothing will change that no matter what happen”. They are the one who will accept you even if you fail, breakdown, lose hope and everything seems so wrong about you that nothing is there to accept you. Your family. Our family is our main foundation in life. Sooner or later, you will have your own family and maybe you start to settle down. There is a probability that you will do the same thing to your new family from where you came from. Love your family. Live life to the fullest until it last. Love your parent and respect them while they are still alive. Say you love them so that you will not wake up in every morning with regrets. Life is too short to live in hatred and regrets. There’s no place like home and there’s no greater thing than our family.
14. Cling to God. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Grandpa said that God is always there watching from up above. If we seem to give up, lose our hope, feel weary and everything seems so wrong along our way. Cling to God. Cling to our Heavenly Father. We may have a different religions and teachings and I fully respect that, the important is we have our God to praise and cling to. Religions make us all unite and give hope to each and everyone of us even though we have different races, cultures, teachings, beliefs and traditions. There is more to life than to love; it is to cling to God. Walk with faith.
15. Be humble and keep your feet on the ground. “Wherever you are, keep your feet on the ground. If fame brought you to the top, be humble” he said. People who are down-to-earth are loved and appreciated by many. Don’t be the heavy wind trying to destruct the humankind. There should not be a room for thick air inside you. Simplicity is beauty, down-to-earth is worthy.
16. Smile always and laugh often. Smile and the world will smile at you. Cry and you’ll cry alone. Smile makes us look better. I remember my grandfather bought some stickers from the National Book Store. When I opened the bag, I saw some smiling emoticons stickers. He put and pastes it on the walls, inside the bathroom, in the living room, each of our room and on my study table. I cannot help myself but to smile whenever I see them. It was a childish act but very much appreciated. He said he always see me frown that’s why he did it. Sometimes simple things make us damn smile like a fool and laugh even if it’s not funny. Some people chose to be stupid for them to feel of what they called happiness but me I don’t need to because I know how to smile even if the world frowns at me. I laugh too. Problems? Laugh at them. Difficulties? Have fun at them. Laughter is the best medicine. If someone tells you that you’re like crazy, SMILE at them. Smiling doesn’t need a lot of common sense after all.
17. Never run after your problems. Problems are part of human life. If you don’t have problems, I guess you are not normal and probably not a human. I believe that in every problem, there is always a solution. I heard this saying from my grandpa, “Don’t problem the problem, let the problem problems you”. It’s quite difficult to understand but the logic is “sometimes, problem solves itself”. It doesn’t mean that we will just let the problem come and go. If you have problem, face it before it creates another problem. Don’t let today’s failures ruin the beauty of tomorrow.
18. Live young, wild and free. Freedom is something everyone wants to have. Everything in life is just temporary. Live ‘till it last. As possible, he wants us to enjoy every stage of our lives. He wants us to feel that we belong in the society, in this planet earth. My twin sister and I are more than capable of making what we say into reality. We have the ability to show what we mean instead of just mouthing an array of words. “If you don’t act foolish while you’re young, you won’t have anything to smile about when you’re old”. Stop blending into the mainstream of things. It won’t make you stand in the crowd. Live life while it’s free and keep your spirit young, wild and free.
19. Accept criticism. There are two types of criticism; constructive and destructive. People are exposing in the open world full of criticism. In this world full of lies, pretences, deceit and hypocrisy, it is so hard to find who and what is real. They will tell you what to do, not knowing you are starting to fall into their trap. You’re making fool of yourself out of foolish people. He said that if someone’s criticizes you, you are not obliged to follow them. It’s up to you whether you will accept or tolerate it. If it is good then follow it, it will help you a lot. If you think it is somewhat destructive/bad, the hell why follow it? Be true to yourself.
20. Fall in love. One of the greatest feelings in life is to love and be loved. Old folks believe that there is a right man/woman for everyone of us in the right place with the right time. Fate or destiny? I don’t think so- it is a choice. “Love feels like heaven but hurts like hell. That’s why it takes courage to love”, he said. Love and pain are always together. We cannot question the existence of the strange feeling called love. Some things cannot be seen or touch but can feel with our heart. Did you that the greatest thing in life is free? It is to love.Fall in love.
21. Believe in yourself. I believe that everyone of us has the capability of existing in our own field and become a role model to others. Sometimes our existence gives hope to other people without even knowing it. We are born to be a winner. We must have to believe in ourselves to make it real. We don’t just have a remnant of potentials but full of it if we believe that we have and we can do. “If you think that your path is going way ward, just follow your, believe in yourself and you’ll fly high”, he said.
22. Get a degree. “Education is the only treasure we can give to you, you better study hard and get a degree, sweetie”, grandpa said. I think life will become easier if we have a degree, a profession we must be proud of. We should never stop from learning. There’s no such thing as old in learning. Age doesn’t matter. Focus in your studies. Priority first before anything else. It feels great when someone calls you “Doc, Engineer, CPA, Architect, etc.” connected in your name, people will respect you. Others cannot get your wisdom that is within you.
23. Face your fears. Everyone of us has its own fear/s. Afraid to fall, scared to death, afraid in flying cockroaches, scared of being alone, afraid in the dark, afraid in pain, in height, ghosts, lightning, etc. Me? I have musophobia (fear in mice), batrachophobia (fear in frogs), ophidiophobia (fear in snakes) and dromophobia (fear in crossing the road). I admit that until now it’s still driving me crazy. I’m not jealous of the people who are not afraid to die but I’m jealous of the people who fond of reptiles. I don’t know what’s gotten into my nerves; maybe I’m just afraid because they are a family of dinosaurs. Grandpa encouraged me not to fear anymore instead learn to face it. I may be one of the cowards out there but I promise I will do my best to overcome it. Little by little I will learn to love it.
24. Save the planet earth. Save our mother earth- one of the common slogan I knew but hard to understand by common people. When I was a child, I can’t help wondering and asking why grandpa used to bring extra plastic bag and put in our car. We are used to travel and I’m very sure that no one has a jet lag or feels like vomiting. He always let me keep my own junks until we got home. Then that’s the time I can now throw it in the trash bin. Until now, I still practicing it but grandma always scolded me because I’m bringing trash in our house. My bag is always full of trash. I admit I’m a clumsy girl and everyone knows thatJ Grandpa is my inspiration in saving our planet even in a simple ways. Learn to save electricity, water and natures. Technologies are one of the big factors in destroying our mother earth but human must learn how to use those technologies to protect our exhausting planet too. Dare to care. Dare to save. Plant trees, don’t burn plastics, stop kaingin, avoid littering, prevent/stop pollution and be an eco-friendly person. Your simple act is a big help. Let us be uniting to save our mother earth. Join the revolution. Be one of us.
Meet my amazing grandfather, Mr. Virgilio Villena Cuadro, who became my inspiration, my mentor, my loving father and the only father/grandfather that only exist! He was a retired US navy, interpreter during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines and a loving husband to my grandmother Mrs. Celenia Nautan Cuadro.
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