unexpected returns

I was surprised by one of our housekeeping staff this morning when he came to my office, carrying a small plastic bag and he said… “good morning madam; this one, salary me”.  I thought for a while that he’s asking for his salary, or the funny thought that he’s giving me his salary 🙂 but it was a can of red bull and a packet of biscuit. He wanted me to have it, and he just said that it came from his salary. I broke into tears. He went out with a gesture of a humbly bowing head with his right hand in his heart (chest). He’s the one who gets up early, in the office at 5:00 am, doing his best to clean before I arrive. Yesterday, actually; I gave him my breakfast. I did so because the food being  served to me daily is just the same and deep inside, I know I’m tired of it, so instead of throwing it, I called him and gave it to him. I did not expect that he felt so cared for by my action that he did his best to return the favor. His name is Yakoub, and he’s from Bangladesh. He taught me the value of giving.  I was sorry thinking of my motives when I gave him my food and realizing his response to that act; blew me away. Thank you Yakoub, you are a teacher of kindness.

unexpected returns
unexpected returns

The picture which captioned “I cook for you” is from Manik. Also from Bangladesh. Manik is my assistant in the yacht which is owned by my boss. I worked so hard for that tourism venture of my boss and Manik worked even harder. I’ve known him for 3 years now, and when the yacht was sold, we still work together for my boss’ asset management company. Manik drives me home every night after my second shift. I always keep something for him, because I so love this boy and I know he doesn’t have time to sit down and enjoy a regular meal in a day.  I even call him “chiko” which means “baby” because he’s like a son to me. Every now and then, he surprises me with his cooking. He would take some time from his very busy day to cook for me. He keeps it in a food warmer in his truck, and waits patiently until his pick up time (7:30 pm) to hand the food to me. By the way, it is the best chicken biryani that I have ever tasted. Thank you Manik, you are a teacher of love and kindness and the art of surprises.

My student, which when I said I work on my second shift (It’s actually a tutorial), is a 5-year-old little angel by the name of Fakhra. She is an Emirate. When I first taught her, she could not recognize the alphabet, that was just in January of this year, I couldn’t think of how to organize my lessons for her to grasp them quickly, I almost gave up, because English is not her first language. It was a struggle for me. But now it’s May, four months later, she is the number one in her class, she brings home “excellent” stamps and she reads story books in her class. The picture with “close if finish” is a chocolate box which she wants me to enjoy, but not to bring home.. 😦 her reason is that, “I want to see you eat this while we have class” ~good reason, so I kept my cravings still. Fakhra is such a strong teacher. Thank you little girl, you taught me patience and perseverance.

These are just three of the many gifts I receive every now and then, all of them have their own touching stories behind. I wanted to compile them into one and someday make an inspirational true stories for others to learn as well, but as they keep piling up, I noticed that it is my children, who really learn from each, as they always see how it happens and appreciates. Little did I know that these people around me, does not only teach me, but my children as well. I guess that is enough inspiration result already.

Much as I would like to brag about them all; I am always tamed by this wisdom…

keep them to yourself
keep them to yourself ~dgad (c) 2014

My blog is not to brag, it’s about sharing the learning I get from the teachers around me.

my mother’s faith

to my dearest mother
to my dearest mother



Despite losing Papa, you remained strong for us all. I am very proud of you. Your strength holds us all together. There’s so much to say about who you are, how you’ve fought for life and how you brought us all up. My children will inherit your love and your examples.

I love you Ma.


an open letter to kris aquino

from a legitimate taxpayer
from a legitimate taxpayer

I love this blog community. The administrators not only check statistics, but rather go deep into knowing how to encourage us writers. Last week I have not had enough time to write but I always open my daily post messages, and despite my absence, I (daily) think of the reminders and these ideas would never leave my head no matter what I do. I dream that if I should ever go back to writing again, then I will refer to the (any daily post push) insights that inspire me.


This post is about I Can’t Stay Mad at You” . Which was about any grudges or just anything that we can’t forgive of may be holding on to. 


So here’s my share.

haunted by shadows

tainted truths
tainted truths

I got this tip from the Daily Post to write about anything; and she gave us 5 points to tackle. the 5 topics are all interesting; the first one though is about “the last thing that made us mad”. I decided to write about it, but not really “thing that made me mad”; its more of the last thing that made me cry.

Presently I am enrolled in one of Harvard’s course, GSE1x. Immunity to Change. It’s all about unlocking our potential to change and become a better version of ourselves. You may want to try it though. It’s a powerful course, and very much challenging. To me it feels like knowing myself more; not the kind of knowledge that I portray –  the kind that I want people to see; its more of me, in the inside of  “me”.  We were asked to come up with something that we can call a personal goal; to change for the better “me”. Of course I wrote too many. As I continue to encounter the course materials, videos, readings and self assessments; I got stuck at one point. And it was a tug of war.

My goal was “to get better at not quitting (quickly). Or say, get better at pursuing things, despite the challenges that I face”. It’s kind of vague goal, because when I looked back at my experiences; I noticed, that I quit all the time; and a lot of things that I started; I left open or unfinished. So I wanted the focus to be there, and learn my way through. I thought it was simple.

Week 2 started asking about our “worry box” -what are the things that worry me, if I quit?  The question played on and on in my head, until in a huge pride; I said, “I am not worried at all” I quit because I want to quit, and I tried to move on..oh so me.. But then again, I have to change, I committed to change…and I did not know how.

Believe me; I have revised my improvement map several times. Until today; I started crying. It’s week 6 now in my course; and honestly, last week; I wanted to give up. In our sharing; I posted this:

Last week I almost gave up on this course. I found myself in the corner of my past. I feel like all these time, I was strong enough to bear all that life has given me. Yes, I live a strong character, very strong that when I was asked about my goal, I just simply wrote; be better at not quitting. I posted some of my thoughts, because when I encountered the “worry box”; I realized, I do quit, and I am not worried at all. I took all my experiences of quitting as lessons in life, in its most practical way that is applicable to my being, so I did not regret my “quitting”. Then again, deep inside; I know there is something that I must change, so I searched and thought deeper. I was stuck at week 5, really. I wrote too much, revised my map several times, and I couldn’t get to the bottom of it. “just one goal…please..” I told myself. Then I found myself crying…I was emotional. I thought to myself; “I have fought the hardest times in my life, and I gathered all the positives, to keep me going, I practiced the kindness, where in fact; had I not, and considering my VERY dark past; I could have been the worst person on earth, I would want to take revenge in its fullest form…but I chose to be good, act good and be a good friend, sister, daughter and a great mother”. I was very defensive. Little did I know; I was protecting my past. I do believe all of us have created our perimeter. Nobody is allowed to jump or gate crash, we will react, for sure. Then I suddenly realized, I give up easily, yes. I quit easily without regrets, yes. I feel good about it? -yes. But the question is “why”. Why do I quit? Why do I run away, why do I change course or path? It bounced to me that:
I do it because I want to avoid criticisms. I get defensive if I am criticized. I flare up; I react in advance if I sense the heat coming. And I didn’t want to face it. Because I know (my big assumption is ) that I will be reminded of it again and again. I will be blamed, insulted and I don’t like that feeling. Just like my past; I just want to forget it. So I leave. I turn my back, and never allowed myself to face it. This sharing is so meaningful to me. Some will see it as a long story but, you must know, that as I write this, my tears painfully run from my eyes, I feel the pain and the choke in my throat…this course would not only lead me to identify the root of my quitting, this would discuss my past (though not in public) through my self evaluations. The past that has gathered together and created a huge shadow, the shadow that I wanted to get away with..the dark shadow that overwhelms me..it is too big that no matter how I tried to run away from it, it runs faster than me; that sometimes I actually bump into it. Yes I want to change and be a better person, and I plan to continue no matter how painful it would have to be, to deal with my past.
Thank you very much GSE1x Team.

So, the last thing that made me cry?  is this.