Love Story

I heard this love story from my mom, and I have never forgotten it.

She knew of a couple which were dating. This was around the early 60s. They discovered that they were compatible right off the bat. She liked his openness, attention and the strength and the caring he exuded. He liked her for her simplicity, her humor and the love she seemed to project. They went out a few times  and not too long after, they eventually fell in love.

After a few months, they decided to get married. But there was just one problem. The guy had a very low paying  job. It was around 200 pesos a month during that time. He was living with his parents.

While the girl’s parents liked him, they naturally were quite alarmed. How would he be able to support their daughter? What if she got pregnant early? Where would he get the money in case they had a child? They were full of questions and anxieties.

But the girl and the guy were too far in love to change their minds.  It seemed like a deadlock that couldn’t be solved without some unpleasantness and pain.

Finally, the guy decided to do something.  He went to talk to the girl’s parents and presented their case.

“I hope you do not doubt that we are truly in love’, he said.

‘No, we can see you are truly in love and that you have the best of intentions for our daughter’, the father answered.

Finally, the guy took a deep breath, faced them and asked with the most serious face he could muster the following question. ‘Would you let 200 Pesos stand in the way of your daughter’s happiness? I know I will not.’ He said. ‘And I also know that life is not static and I know good things will come my way in time. And with our love as our inspiration, we can overcome any problems we may encounter and create opportunities for more happiness.’

The parents were baffled. How indeed could they let a simple obstacle like a 200 Pesos salary jeopardize the happiness of their daughter.  They thought about it in silence for a few minutes. It was the longest silence the parents and the guy had ever experienced.

Finally, throwing away  their misgivings, they gave them the blessings to  marry.

And yes, theirs was a marriage that lasted and was happy.

I thought that story was so romantic then especially since it was a true story. When I started dating my wife-to-be, I  found myself often in the same boat as the young man. I had no money. All the other guys who were after Lydia were rather rich. They had cars. They would invite her to fine dining, and give her flowers and gifts.

Aside from taking her to the movies, I could hardly afford going out to do anything else much less take her to some expensive dining place.

One of our earliest dates was in Luneta. My cousin who had a car dated Lydia’s sister who was our designated chaperone. the arrangement was so convenient. At least we had a car.

When we got to Luneta, the 4 of us went for a long walk around the park and to the sea wall while we chatted away  about so many things.  We told jokes, exchanged stories while flirting. At the end of the night, my cousin and I bought our dates balloons which was all we could afford.  But we enjoyed ourselves.

This may sound cheesy but to Lydia and her sister, we were quite unique. They were used to more  ‘proper’ dates. My cousin and I were different and exciting to them. On our next date, we went to La Mesa dam to take their pictures under the big trees.

The best thing about  this  was it set the tone for us. When we got married, we hardly had money and only   spent what we could afford which was not much. The reception was at home. We served cocktails, not dinner.  But everyone present enjoyed the celebration. There was a ring of sincerity to it.

My father-in-law calculated how much we had spent and gave us a  corresponding check as his gift. From our only set of ninong and ninang, we got some more and that was enough to get us started.

These days, I see people going all out for their weddings and a few years later finding out  that they are not meant for each other.

Love is not about THE peak experience that you get by manipulating or controlling the outside world to give you the mood and thrill you desire. Lasting love is simple. It’s more about the peak experience between the two of you where the outside world may hardly even matter.

75 Years In The Making: Harvard Just Released Its Epic Study On What Men Need To Live A Happy Life

In 1938 Harvard University began following 268 male undergraduate students and kicked off the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development in history. The study’s goal was to determine as best as possible what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing. The astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits — ranging from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum” — indicates just how exhaustive and quantifiable the research data has become.
Recently, George Vaillant, who directed the study for more than three decades, published the study’s findings in the 2012 book Triumphs of Experience (Amazon) and the following is the book’s synopsis: “At a time when many people around the world are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers some welcome news for the new old age: our lives continue to evolve in our later years, and often become more fulfilling than before.
Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days. The now-classic ‘Adaptation to Life’ reported on the men’s lives up to age 55 and helped us understand adult maturation.
Now George Vaillant follows the men into their nineties, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement. Reporting on all aspects of male life, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use (its abuse being by far the greatest disruptor of health and happiness for the study’s subjects), ‘Triumphs of Experience’ shares a number of surprising findings. For example, the people who do well in old age did not necessarily do so well in midlife, and vice versa. While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength.
Marriages bring much more contentment after age 70, and physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50. The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup.” As you can imagine, the study’s discoveries are bountiful, but the most significant finding of all is that “Alcoholism is a disorder of great destructive power.” In fact, alcoholism is the single strongest cause of divorce between the Grant Study men and their wives. Alcoholism was also found to be strongly coupled with neurosis and depression (which most often follows alcohol abuse, rather than preceding it). Together with cigarette smoking, alcoholism proves to be the #1 greatest cause of morbidity and death. And above a certain level, intelligence doesn’t prevent the damage.
With regards to income, there was no noticeable difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110-115 range vs. men with IQs above 150. With regards to sex lives, one of the most fascinating discoveries is that aging liberals have way more sex. Political ideology had no bearing on overall life satisfaction, but the most conservative men on average shut down their sex lives around age 68, while the most liberal men had healthy sex lives well into their 80s. Vaillant writes, “I have consulted urologists about this, they have no idea why it might be so.” In Triumphs of Experience, Vaillant raises a number of factors more often than others, but the one he refers to most often is the powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and your health and happiness in your later years. In 2009, Vaillant’s insistance on the importance of this part of the data was challenged, so Vaillant returned to the data to be sure the finding merited such important focus. Not only did Vaillant discover that his focus on warm relationships was warranted, he placed even more importance on this factor than he had previously.
Vallant notes that the 58 men who scored highest on the measurements of “warm relationships” (WR) earned an average of $141,000 a year more during their peak salaries (between ages 55-60) than the 31 men who scored the lowest in WR. The high WR scorers were also 3-times more likely to have professional success worthy of inclusion in Who’s Who. One of the most intriguing discoveries of the Grant Study was how significant men’s relationships with their mothers are in determining their well-being in life. For instance, Business Insider writes: “Men who had ‘warm’ childhood relationships with their mothers took home $87,000 more per year than men whose mothers were uncaring. Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old. Late in their professional lives, the men’s boyhood relationships with their mothers — but not their fathers — were associated with effectiveness at work.
On the other hand, warm childhood relations with fathers correlated with lower rates of adult anxiety, greater enjoyment on vacations, and increased ‘life satisfaction’ at age 75 — whereas the warmth of childhood relationships with mothers had no significant bearing on life satisfaction at 75.” In Vallant’s own words, the #1 most important finding from the Grant Study is this: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.”
You can purchase your own copy of Triumphs of Experience by visiting Amazon. FOR LIVE UPDATES FROM FEELGUIDE BE SURE TO FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
HarvardHappinessSources: Business Insider, The Take Away, and The Atlantic

The Samsung S5: A wide leap from the S4

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The Samsung S5 is equipped with an Ultra Power Saving feature, which is The Bomb.

MANILA, Philippines - It was exciting for me, and a few geeks to fiddle with the new S5 smartphone in a hotel function room in Manila a few weeks back.  And this was while watching its world launch via livestream in Barcelona. I know I may sound crazy for getting excited about another new smart phone when so many new ones were just launched the past weeks from almost every brand.  And wasn’t it just a few months back, too, when the S4 was just introduced in the market? Time hasn’t even flown too far and fast yet, and here’s another smartphone we are being asked to be excited about. In the fast and furious lane of the digital world, I guess we can only expect ever-faster turnovers of new products.

As a person who loves gadgets, it would have be crazy to ignore the latest offering coming from an industry giant like Samsung.

I have the S4 and I love it. So what else can Samsung improve on the S5 to make it a phone to own? That’s what I asked myself as I held the S5 in my hands.

On the surface, the S5 is not too different looking from the S4. It has the familiar silvery and shiny sides. People will still complain about the plastic feel, which in truth never really bothered me. The plastic cover of the S5 is smooth with perforations, and comes in blue, white, black and copper. The screen is slightly bigger at 5.1 inches and is visibly more impressive than the S4. It is visibly clearer, brighter. And I found it faster, too. The phone is a teeny-weeny heavier, and the OS is the much-anticipated Android Kitkat.

But let me say that the newer functions and hardware   under the hood are what makes my S4 suddenly look less gorgeous than what it was just awhile back.

The Samsung S5 now has a fingerprint scanner for added security. You will need to tap and slide your finger downward 8 times to initially set it.  This feature also opens the phone to easier access to e-commerce such as PayPal, etc.

It also has a built in heart rate monitor below the back camera which is a great addition to Samsung’s sporty apps and functions found in the S4, such as the  pedometer, fitness coach and exercise tracker.

It is rated IP67 which means it is water and dust resistant — definitely a big plus. More than just being able to use it in the rain, you can actually drop it on a meter of water for 30 minutes.

In case your kid or younger sibs like to play with your phone, the Kid Mode function should keep them entertained with age appropriate apps enough to keep them away from the rest of the contents on your phone.

The camera and video upgrades are impressive, too.  The 0.3-second focus time is three times faster than the Galaxy S4 and is touted to be the fastest among smartphones as of now. This means you will most likely get less blurry shots of anything in motion, thanks to the Phase Detection autofocus found only in DSLR cameras.

For real time HDR, simply tap the screen to get an idea of how it will look before you shoot.  There is also the selective focus mode where you can decide which to focus on after the shot has been taken. You can choose between foreground and background by tapping on the screen. Nice! I was going to buy the Lytro camera, the only gadget that could do this, but now I don’t have to with the S5.

One of the biggest features that excite me about the S5 is the battery life. Its Ultra Power Saving feature is The Bomb. It is the best energy saving feature I have seen. Simply switch it on and in a few seconds, the screen turns to monochrome and reduces your access to your apps to the barest minimum. You yourself will choose which apps you will want to use on this mode.

Samsung says that with 10 percent battery life, you can extend phone use to 24 hours. On a full battery, you can use it for 15 days.

The S5 has real bragging rights too when it comes to the downloading speed via LTE.  Usually, smartphones are either on WIFI or 3G /4G. With the S5, both WIFI and LTE can be turned on at the same time for the quickest downloads at 1 gig in 30 seconds! That’s really amazing.

Thrown into the mix is My Magazine, an app similar to Flipboard, which is also available on the Note 3. Basically, it’s a personalized news and social feed app that keeps you up to date on Facebook, twitter, news, etc.

Samsung has not been lackadaisical and indifferent to competition. Although they could have made more strides in other areas, I would say the S5 is quite an impressive large leap from the S4, and a challenge to its competitors.

Is the S5 worth looking into?  Definitely.  Should you upgrade? If you can’t decide based on this review, go to a store and try it out for yourself.

I would.

Santos, Santos, Santos & Santos Law Office

Phone rings.

'This is Santos, Santos, Santos and Santos Law office, May I help you?'

Caller: May I talk to Atty Santos?

 ’I’m sorry sir, but he stepped out for lunch.’

Caller: ‘How about Atty Santos?’

'O, he's on leave, sir.'

Caller: ‘Well, then connect me to Atty Santos, please.’

Sec: “He just left. He  is out with a client, sir.”

Caller: ‘Well, in that case, I would like to speak with Atty Santos then.’

'Speaking…'

Just Water

Life
Drips one drop
To the next
A flood of concerns
And yet I find
No real fish

No sign of anything
Nurtured or nurturing
Live or living

Just water

But the rippling pools
On the surface
Are thoughts
Of you…

(Poem I found that I had written a few years ago. Can’t remember when exactly.)

On women over 40

Andy Rooney's thoughts on women over forty, Do you agree with him?: 

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.


If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.


A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.


Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.


Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.


A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.


Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.


A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.


Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.


Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.


Ladies, I apologize.


For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.
(Picked up from Facebook)
Andy Rooney’s thoughts on women over forty, Do you agree with him?:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.


If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.


A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.


Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.


Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.


A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.


Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.


A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.


Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.


Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.


Ladies, I apologize.


For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

An ageing master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” said the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

~ Meditation Masters

It is absolutely right to be feminine. You should feel fortunate, because this is the quality that one needs in the search for god. One can move towards god only in utter passivity. One cannot be aggressive towards god. In the East we have a saying: ‘God is the only male and everybody else is female.’ It is in deep feminine receptivity that god penetrates. So this is the quality of a disciple, of a devotee. The problem is arising because of your Western conditioning. In the West the male ego is praised. To be active is thought to be very valuable. In the East we have learned something more profound. To know the art of inaction is the greatest thing in the East - we call it tao, wu-wei. And this inaction is not lethargy. Much action happens through it, but you are not the doer. The doer is god, you are just a vehicle. So it is not lethargy. Action will be there but it will come — Osho

Techno-geeking in Bali

 (The Philippine Star)
Taking shots at life: The Samsung  NX30 is the latest camera to impress. The advanced 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor means it can capture more high quality images with sharper detail, richer colors. The NX30 was launched at the Samsung Forum 2014 in Bali, recently.

I was in Bali last week together with some tech writers and bloggers for the Samsung Forum 2014, an annual event that showcases Samsung products to be released in the coming months.

The products range from TVs to cameras, washing machines, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, tablets, laptops, printers, and some specialized equipment for hospitals and hotels. It is usually quite an exciting event and this Bali event again did not disappointment.

I won’t talk about all the products. I just wish to write about the few products I can most relate to, and these are the TVs, the NX30 camera, and the printers.

Let’s start with the television. They had on display the world’s biggest Ultra High Definition Curved TV at 105-inches. It is truly impressive to watch really sharp, vibrant images on a screen as huge as this. I must admit that when I first heard about curved screens, I could not imagine a reason for it. But the idea of having a curved screen in many ways simulates a 3D experience without the glasses.  It draws you deeper inside the picture. UHD is four times sharper than regular HD and is the state of the art of TV today.

Samsung also unveiled the 78, 65 and the 55-inch UHD screens.

Another class of televisions, the SD TVs, are equally engaging as well. The SD590  offers a wide viewing angle that delivers consistent natural color and contrast  from any angle within 178 degrees. What is interesting is the SD590 also includes a game mode option with a D-sub and two HDMI inputs. Samsung is launching these models in anticipation of the World Cup this year. In fact, the SD TV has a ‘soccer mode’ which allows you to change the audio equalization when watching the game live. It captures more of the ambient sound and feeling of the event. It also has a  screen capture where you can freeze the action while watching a live game. When you do, you can split the captured image into 9 parts and enlarge any one of them for better analysis.

And that’s not all. It can also do sound capture which you can save to USB in case your thing is watching music videos, for example. These are definitely big wow factors.

Samsung’s attempt to join the big boy’s camera club has been making inroads the last two years due to their innovativeness, quality and ease of use.  I am talking of about their 4/3rd, mirorrless cameras. The NX30 is the latest camera to impress. The advanced 20.3MP APS-C CMOS Sensor means it can capture more high quality images with sharper detail, richer colors. Its AF system guarantees really fast focusing which means you won’t miss a shot. It has an exceptionally fast 1/8000 sec Shutter Speed and it can shoot nine frames per second (FPS).  

But the big story here is about the viewfinder, which you can actually pull and move about. You can use it like an inverted periscope if you wish, just like the old box cameras, or use it like a regular viewfinder. It also has a moveable back screen that you can position on the left side of the camera. Lastly, it has Tag and Go feature which makes sharing photos between tablets, phones, etc. so much easier via NFC. All you do is put two NFC enabled devices together and voila! the picture is shared! I really like this feature. Sharing the photos online  through LTE or Wi-Fi, or using smartphones as remote viewfinders are just as easy to do.

There are many more things to talk about regarding the NX30. The video is a high quality HD.  It comes with a 16-50mm F2-2.8 S ED OIS lens. There are 11 other great lenses to choose from if you want to expand your gear.

Lastly, I want to say that Samsung’s latest Xpress series laser printers are quite impressive. Take for granted the sharpness. It delivers flawlessly. It can print 28 pages per minute on the Mono Xpress M2885, and 18 on  the Color Xpress C1865 series. The big deal here is the ease in which you can print via NFC technology. For on-the-go printing through NFC and Wi-Fi Direct technologies, all you have to do is tap your Samsung phone, camera or tab on a part of the printer and you can print any image you wish.

If you are buying anything new this year, I suggest you take a look at these offerings from Samsung. You will not be disappointed.

Let’s go Shoot!!

OK. I got your emails and entries. Big huge thanks!  I got so many responses I really wish I could bring all of you. But I can only bring 5. SIGH! The hardest thing to do is choose. But here goes:

1) ZJ de Castro

2) Catherine Mae Andaya

3) Princessa Dian Beth Chua

4) Rochelle Tubilla

5) Rachel Peralta

Congrats! There’s one more thing you have to do by TODAY!

a) You have to write me another email with your full name, contact number, birthday.

b) Please state the following in your email.

' I fully accept the terms and conditions as offered by Jim Paredes and AirAsiaPH as written in jimparedes.tumblr.com and will abide by all rules and cover all expenses outside of the round trip ticket provided by AirAsiaPH'

c) Please put ‘Trip to Davao’ on title of email.

d) Send email by today OR LOSE YOUR SLOT TO SOMEONE ELSE.

e) Please tweet that you won using #EdenEcoPark and @AirAsiaPH

OK? Hope to hear from you SOON! Congrats. Prepare your cameras and see you March 8 at the airport!

Thanks

Jim Paredes