Carpe Diem

Those are the words that I want to remember everyday. Seize the day!

But I do not need a tatoo for that. And I do not have any intention to have any. I respect people who have tattoos. But that’s not for me; just like smoking which is not for me.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Tattoo….You?.”


Malasakit is one Filipino trait that I hope the world will practice. Malasakit is your ability to feel the pain of others. The nearest English word is compassion.

When you have malasakit, you will care for others. You will care for the environment. You will care for the future. You will care even for those whom you do not know.

The opposite of excellence is not mediocrity. It is the absence of malasakit, or indifference. When one has malasakit, he cannot help but give his best. He will make better his best because he cares. He will show his best because he owns the impact of his actions to others.

Malasakit, simply the best of Filipino values, that I hope everyone in the world — and beyond — to practice.

Jef Menguin

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.”

P.S. Please visit also my website at

Last Chance

It was a song I listened to when I was in high school.

Last Chance was written by a seminarian. And this song inspired me to enter a Catholic seminary and study for priesthood. The song taught me that I will not live forever and that this could be my last day, my last chance to show my love — to God and to people around me.

What if this is my last day? What if this is my last chance?

I do not remember the lyrics anymore. I do not remember who wrote it. But I will never forget its message. Last Chance serve as a constant reminder that I in everyday, I must give my love and whatever I can do best — because this day could be my last chance.

Last Chance…it is always there to remind me to live this day as if this is my last.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

Jef Menguin

I am not afraid to die…but not now.

Five people died that day.

At around 1pm, barely two hours after the bus I was riding left Manila for Banawe, an explosion woke me up. I initially thought that the sound came from the glass windows. Before we left from Manila, the bus driver reminded us to cover the glass windows with curtains. There were reports of drug addicts throwing stones at bus windows.

I looked for my companions. They were crying. They were on the floor with heads bowed down. Then I heard another explosion. That’s from a gun. And the man who was standing right in front of me declared that a hold up. He told us not to look up…and nobody did for everyone was afraid.

One companion was crying loud. She’s holding in her hands a rosary. She was praying loud,crying, and panicking. I went to her, told her to keep her head bowed, and calm herself.

We will be fine….

She sat quietly.

I heard the angry voice of the man standing beside me. I saw the barrel of his gun. It was not pointed on me, but that was enough to keep me quiet.

A man at the end of the bus shouted something I did not understand. Then there was another. He said that there was a policeman inside. Then we heard gun shots…one..two..three…four…countless.


Until the robbers left. Babies and women were crying. Two women begged the driver to speed up. Their husband were shot. A mother was screaming. Her baby was shot too… and she did not survive.

It took us thirty minutes to reach the nearest hospital but it seemed like forever. The bus at 150 km/h seemed so slow.

Five people died that day.

The travel from Manila to Banawe was 12 hours.  People were waiting for us. They’ve heard of what happened to us over the radio.

I rested from a while. I needed to regain my energy and start soon. I was two-hour late for my stress management workshop.

I was on a veranda and from where I was I could see the beautiful landscape of the famous Banawe Rice Terraces.  Then I told myself…

I am not afraid to die…but not yet.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Finite Creatures.”

Work Under Pressure

I am reading Life Is Not A Stress Rehearsal by Loretta LaRoche. It is a good read. It reminds us that we only need to listen to our inner grandmother. For your grandmother knows how to handle stress.

Stress management is a modern day invention. This is why companies offer stress management seminars to employees to increase productivity. In my workshops, encourage participants to identify the real enemy. Stress is champion’s friend. Stress is necessary to be truly alive. Stress must be celebrated.

Of course, not everyone really believe at once. This is why I tell stories of stressful situations of “easily handled” by people who know.

Most people panic when there is fire. But you do not expect a fireman to panic too, do you? He must ready for that. Same situation; different mindset and capability. Those who do not know what to do see themselves as victims. Those who know what to do see themselves as problem solvers.

And this is how I handle myself. I can work under pressure because I know precisely that it is during such times that I must give my full attention to the job. The more that I feel the tension, the more that I feel that joy of making quick decisions.

Stress, or stressful situation, is a game, a game we can all play and win.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Heat is On.”

A child changes almost everything.

That’s true for me and JC.

A friend said that I am still “the stubborn classmate” she knew when we were in high school. I always stick with my decisions. I don’t care what people say. I just do what I think is right.

But no longer today. I cannot simply argue just to make a point, to make people suffer and teach them lessons. I can no longer throw caution to the wind. With JC around, I know that every action has consequences. Every action I will make has an impact on his future. Today, I act not just for myself but also for my baby boy.

Intelligent people can easy understand this. But only parents get to experience this.

A child changes almost everything.

Live Your Life

Most people will predict your future according to their failures. Make no mistake…many of them are nice people and they meant well. But do not allow them to map out your future for you.


They are ignorant on you. What they have are impressions of what you can and cannot do. But only know what’s up their in your head and who you are within your heart. Live your life.

Thank these people every time they try to “protect” and “guide” you. Learn from their mistakes. Then create a path which others can soon follow.


Jef Menguin