The Pre-History of How I came into Being

This was my Basic Speech #1 for the Round 2 CC Journey.

According to an American reformer, Henry Ward Beecher, Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.

Good evening fellow Toastmasters!

There was once a very young boy, who’s fond of disco. He was 5 feet tall, then, until now, actually. Every night, whenever, wherever there was disco, he was always present. After all, he was a disco apprentice. By the way, a disco apprentice was someone who would assist in the setting up of the disco lights and sounds, while the owner of the local disco system happens to be his uncle.
At a very young age, he knew he found his passion and the true meaning of his life. At a very young age, he also found his true love – Lorena. His life revolved around Lorena. Every day, every night, every dream, his brain was filled with nothing but Lorena, and of course disco!

Then one day, everything was changed. Beyond unconceivable reasons ever known to his young mind, Lorena went away. While she was enjoying her freedom, he was left broken-hearted. The only words that kept ringing in his head were “I don’t like you anymore. I’m tired of this relationship. I’m tired of looking at your handsome face.”

For days, even weeks, he couldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep, not because of disco! But because his growling pain was louder than that of this heartbeat. He’s lost his appetite in everything. He’s never left his room. Actually, it was his parents’ room. For weeks, he cried an ocean of tears.

Without Lorena, his life had no meaning. How could she do such a horrible thing to such an adorable boy! She was his everything. How could she ever break this poor boy’s heart! Now his life was ruined! And he was16 years old!

One day, a friend came to his house. “Get out of here, you filthy loser! Let’s go to the beach. I have a new friend. She’s waiting outside.”

After long hours of dragging him out of this stinky bed, he finally agreed to face the world anew. The boy felt a sudden spark of excitement that day. He didn’t know exactly why! When he stepped out of the door, his world suddenly stopped. For the first time in his life, he saw an angel extending her arms as they were being introduced by his friend.

His friend’s visitor friend was there, waiting to grab his hand. As their hands touched, everything was changed. The world around him seemed to freeze at the moment. Birds were chirping happy songs. Clouds were paving ways for the sunrays. It was magical! It was like in fairytale’s true love’s kiss, though in his case, it was true love’s touch!

Right there and the, he knew was that she was the real one!

Weeks had passed she was scheduled to go back to her hometown. If it happened today, he would simply tell her, “See you in Facebook. Or don’t forget to text me, okay?” But since there were no celphone and Facebook those days, and sending letter takes impatient months, so right there and then he proposed to her.

“Are you kidding? We’ve only dated for weeks?” she said. But of course, she was hoping also that he would go with her in her hometown. Before the vacation, she too was heart-broken. So, having a boy on her arms would be a vengeance to her ex.

So, she went back home with a new boy in her arm. With their magical love for each other, they were inseparable. In March of 1983, they got married. She was 22. He was 16!

July 25, the following year, a magical boy was born. Someone once said that every first born child is a product of love. The second is the product of a habit. The third is the product of a bad habit.

So, as the first born son, he shall be named to emblazon their love for each other. Frank and Elin, thus lo and behold, the boy’s name is magical. If and only if, Frank and Lorena did not break up, I couldn't imagine what name they would have given me!

Destiny brought 2 broken hearts together! If not for the tears they both shed in their failed relationships, there wouldn't be me, a magical concoction of both their pain and love!

And that’s the pre-history of how I came to being!

Always Give Your Best Struggle - By Bo Sanchez

Hi friends,

I really like this article from Bo's Newsletter...
Always Give Your Best Struggle
When I preach to an audience of thousands, I always find two or three people in the audience who sleep through my talks.


It doesn’t matter what I do, whether I crack a joke, scream till my larynx dies, or I murder someone in the front row—it will have the same effect on them: Zzzzzzzzz...  That’s right, one of them snores.  In four voices, no less.


Because they’re the same people who always nap, I know them quite well.


Like I know their permanent seating arrangement.


And I know exactly when each one will fall asleep.  With clockwork precision, one guy sleeps at my third sentence, while the woman with the flowery blouse signs off on my fifth.  The third one dozes off the moment I enter the stage.  (I get paranoid sometimes.   Do I really look thatboring?)


       I also know their favorite sleeping postures.


There are only two major ones really.  The most popular is what I call the Wet Look: After the head bobs up and down, it finally tilts forward.  Count ten seconds and drool flows from chin to lap.


        The second most popular sleeping position, I call Hallelujah Forever.   This time, the head is tilted way back, and—gloriously—the mouth is wide open.  The same way a mouth opens when a world-class tenor is singing the final “jah” of Handel’s Hallelujah.  Except this one won’t stop.  And I can tell you his entire dental history from twenty feet away.  Three molars filled and one root-canalled.  If I get any nearer, I can give you an endoscopy report.


        But lest you think I’m angry at them, I want to say that I really admire their struggle to come despite their obvious exhaustion.  First of all, they’re a loyal bunch.  They’re present every gathering!  (Physically, at least.)  God knows they’re tired, and He honors the struggle they’re going through to be there.


Because when I’m tired, I too sometimes fall asleep in my daily prayers.  When my wife catches me, I just tell her that I practice a very “deep” kind of meditation where I “rest” in the God’s Presence.  She doesn’t buy it.


But curiously, I think my God does.  Because He hasn’t thrown a lightning rod towards my direction yet.  I bet He even laughs at my wet look or hallelujah forever posture.  I guess He also honors my struggle to pray despite my exhaustion—and that struggle of mine really pleases Him.


We have a funny God.


We have a God who demands that we give the best to Him.  But if the best we can give is faulty and weak, He accepts what we give to Him anyway and transforms it to become the best. Even when we flounder and fall and fail, He’ll know if we gave Him our best struggle.


He’ll know.


And He’ll laugh with you and tell you to struggle again.

Area 83 delivers, Among Top 10 Toastmasters clubs in the Philippines

Area 83 is currently among the top 10 toastmasters in the Philippines. All the three clubs in the area are Presidents Distinguished Clubs.

This is not just an ordinary feat! Considering the devastation brought by Haiyan, this achievement is like a miracle. Who would have thought that even without a proper venue to hold meetings, Pillars TMC, Cancabato Bay TM and Carigara Bay TMC not only survived, but performed be­yond expectations?

But there’s more to it than just to brag about the recognition. The achievement can also serve as a reminder of some lessons, which any individual or organization could relate to and learn from.

1. A common goal is like a light tower. It leads the sailors where to dock their ships at night. The ultimate goal of Area 83 Toastmasters this year is to achieve the Presi­dent’s Distinguished recognition for Area 83  and for all the 3 clubs in the area, before the end of the term.

When it was announced that our goal was to achieve the highest possible award, the officers and members responded with enthusiasm. Few months later, the enthusiasm resulted into scores on the dashboard of Toastmasters International.

2. Achieving a common goal becomes fun when there is a sense of involvement from the offic­ers and members. One of the ways to earn club points is to have its members deliver speeches. To prepare a speech is tough. It takes a lot of time and effort.

Talk about work schedule, everyone’s simply busy! Plus, to deliver a speech in front of an audi­ence can be daunting. These are enough alibis to quit chasing for the ultimate goal.
But seeing one or two members working hard on their speech projects is contagious. It’d make you work hard on your projects, too. See­ing members becoming better is even reward­ing. By being personally involved in achieving a common goal, people become self-driven. That’s when the goal appears to be easy and fun!

3. A sense of purpose fuels people to action. To achieve the highest goal is never for recogni­tion purposes. The halo effect of recognition lasts only for a short while. What stays is its true value. To achieve the highest score means to maximize the benefit from the Toastmasters membership. It means that the active members reap the benefit of the club’s educational program.

People join Toastmasters for different rea­sons. Some people join the club because they want to improve their confidence. Some peo­ple join the club because they want to practice speaking in front of the public without quiver­ing. Others join to practice their listening skills. Toastmasters provides a healthy and friendly environment, where members are encouraged to speak and challenged to listen.

4. Learning is a never-ending journey. After achieving the highest recognition doesn’t mean it’s all over. There are members of other Toast­masters Clubs who remain active members for more than 25 years now. They stay for two main reasons: to mentor the newbies and to learn even more. As the old adage says “mentors learn twice as much as their mentees.”

Congratulations to all the hard-working officers and passionate mem­bers of Toastmasters clubs in Leyte.

Thank you to all our mentors and supporters from other clubs in Division and the whole District 75. Thank you for all the encouragements. Thank you for the inspiration!

Never Go After Fame

Reposting newsletter from Bo Sanchez... Hope this puts on a smile and lights up enlightenment in your heart...

Imagine if I'm an aspiring actor. 

You must agree that with my looks, it wouldn't be difficult to picture this scenario.  (After all, Horror Movies are getting more popular today.)

They tell me that there are five stages that every tinsel town personality must go through.  Let me show you the anatomy of fame…

Stage #1: "Who is Bo Sanchez?”

This is the starting point of every fame-hungry person: you're a nobody.  You have to make your first appearance on film, even if your role is one of the costumed freakish aliens that gets pulverized by the star at the opening scene of the movie.  It might be difficult to imagine now, but even Beyonce and Brad Pitt and Anne Curtis passed the stage where people asked, "Who's she?”

Stage #2: "Get Bo Sanchez”

This second level is intoxicating.  By some stroke of luck, you get recognized for your thrilling talent or thrilling body.  Your name is bandied around in the studios, and a small fans club is forming—no longer organized by your mother.  Your price tag is still ascending, so all movie outfits fight for the right of making your first box-office.  As you walk in the mall, you count the number of times people ask for your autograph.  When you get tired of this, you start wearing shades.  Ahhhh.  You have arrived.

Stage #3: "Get me a Bo Sanchez look alike”

The peak!  Your face is seen on ads, tabloids, billboards, and TV gossip programs.  You're everywhere!   Only the biggest producers can afford you now.  So smaller media companies will settle for young artists who look like you.  You're now royalty (e.g. concert queen, king of pop, box-office king, soap-opera queen).  Finally, you know you've reached this high point when you can no longer walk in a mall without a huge crowd following you hysterically, screaming, "Idoooooooooooool!”

Stage #4: "Get me a younger Bo Sanchez”

But before you know it, the inevitable hits you.  You hear your director ask for someone like you whose ten years younger, ten years sexier, ten years bolder.  You feel offended when scriptwriters offer you motherly roles.  Soon however, no other roles come except motherly roles.  Your price tag gets slashed.   Your name shrinks in movie ads.  Your fans club reduces to a handful of loyalists, and when they congregate around you, you wonder if you're in some high school reunion of class 1957.

Stage #5: "Who is Bo Sanchez”

You meet some teens walking down the street and they pass you by like you were a telephone post.  Ouch.  Once in a while, a grandmother points to you and her family looks at you quizzically.  You feel like a prehistoric artifact in a museum being surveyed.  And then they walk you by.  Double-ouch. 

       And then it hits you: You're a nobody.

       And you realize—wasn't I here before?

Here's my point: Never go after fame.

In the heart of God, you're always a star.

       Always was, always will be.

       May your dreams come true,

Do For Your Soul What You Do For Your Body

An inspiring article by Bo Sanchez on having a healthy body and a healthy soul.

I have a couple of questions for you.

       Can you imagine yourself taking a bath only once a month?

        You’ll freak out, right?  But let’s say there’s a water shortage and a presidential decree was issued that showers can only be taken every thirty days—with a maximum of two gallons of water for each Filipino per bath.  (Out of our ingrained hospitality, foreigners are allowed to use two-and-a-half gallons.) 

Entering into an air-conditioned room or bus will be a nightmare, as various toxic odors will hang so thickly in the air, it may coagulate into gel form. 

Prayer meetings will prohibit the lifting of hands. 

The basketball ring will be lowered to four feet. 

And I presume that an accidental spark in a crowded elevator will be fatal, as the fumes of a sweating humanity will be flammable by that time.

        Too gross for you?  Let’s change the topic.

        What would it be like if you brushed your teeth only once a year?

        Let’s say some loony scientist discovered that the up and down motion of brushing teeth has a direct impact to the thinning of the ozone layer.  (Who knows?)  So brushing of teeth has been banned by legislative decree number 9002—except on New Year’s eve.  That is the only day you can brush your teeth.

        Imagine how thick your mouth will feel by November.

        Think with me.  Let’s say you’re out on a romantic date on December.  Not much kissing will take place, believe me.  And as you look at your beautiful damsel, you notice a bit of green lettuce jutting between her teeth.

       So you tell her, “I know what you had for lunch this morning.”

 “What pre-tell?” she teases you.

 “Lettuce!” you grin.

 She chuckles, “You’re wrong!  That’s what I ate last March!”

 Ah, these situations will be quite normal.

        My message?

        That you and I do more deranged things than bathing monthly and brushing teeth annually.

        For example, when we do not forgive others everyday.

        Our bodies need regular washing because we get dirty everyday.  But so do our hearts!  Because each day, people hurt us, offend us, forget us, snub us, step on us, reject us.  But if we choose to forgive everyone everyday, we cleanse our hearts!  We wake up the next morning refreshed and pure and lovely!

 Some people however will not wash themselves from the hurts of each day but rather accumulate them week after week, month after month, year after year.  Perhaps in some annual Holy Week retreat, they decide to forgive all their enemies.  Perhaps when someone close to them dies, they remember to cancel debts and live for something more noble—rather than collecting bitterness.

 But without these rare events, they just become filthier each day.

 Their spirits begin to smell.

 And their stench becomes flammable.

 For these people, hell begins now.

 Do for your soul what you do for your body.

Do You Like Yourself?

This article gave me smile.


Enjoy reading....



In the parties that I attend, I’ve noticed a common ritual that happens around the Videoke machine.  I’ve discovered three stages in this ritual.


First, someone is cajoled to sing for the group.  He first declines adamantly like it was as preposterous as running for President of the Philippines.  He in fact points to others who may sing better—but if for some bizarre reason, people don’t point back to him to sing, you will notice that he will go home utterly depressed and may hang himself…


       But let’s say the ritual is followed and people keep urging him to sing. The would-be singer declines now with shy humor—inviting them to pressure him more.  He says inane stuff like, “Ayoko, baka ma-discover ako.”


The second stage of this ritual is when the singer takes the microphone, pulls from his left pocket an instrumental CD and says, Track 1.”


The third stage happens after the song.  Everyone asks for an encore—no matter if his voice gives everyone a brief introductory experience of the pains of hell.  The Filipino audience is supposed to praise him with words like, “Naku, kailangang may makadiscover sa ‘yo!   Kalinya mo si Martin Nievera!”


       Let me focus on one point about this ritual: This whole thing about getting “discovered”.


I believe that in real life, getting discovered by someone else is not as important as discovering yourself.


You discover the beauty, the glory, the wonder that IS you!


Listen to a quote I got from Mike Murdock: “Popularity is when others like you.  Happiness is when you like yourself.”


Do you LIKE yourself?


Do you enjoy being you?


Do you celebrate and throw a party because of the goodness that God has bestowed on you from the very beginning? 


Let me say this again: Don’t wait to be discovered.


Pray. Be quiet. Look within yourself through His eyes.




And be completely awed at how beautiful, how special, how wonderful you really are.

Let Your Work Be Your Worship

Have a great start of the week fellow toastmasters and friends of Area 83! I want to share with you this inspiring article from Soulfood, a weekly newsletter from Bo Sanchez.

Let Your Work Be Your Worship

I have a simple message for you today: Let your profession be your preaching and your work be your worship.
Preach In Your Profession
One day, my friend told me, “Once upon a time, I used to complain about my crummy job.  Until I met people with worse jobs.  Like I heard of this wife who complained how her husband kept on bringing home work.”
“Huh?”  I didn’t get it.
“The wife was so irritated that her husband kept bringing his work home and working on the dinner table.  Finally, she gave him an ultimatum and told him to stop doing that or else.”
“But isn’t that… uh… normal?”  I asked.
“Not if your husband is an embalmer.”
“Suuuuure,” I chuckled.
“Seriously, I really thank God I’ve got the job that I have.  Even if it’s difficult.”
In fact, I believe our job is where God wants us to share His Love to others.  Yes, even if you’re an embalmer.
St. Francis of Assisi said, It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
       Announcement: I don’t know what your job is, but I believe you’re also a preacher.
       But with a big difference.  If my audience doesn’t like what I say, they stand and leave the room.  You however have a captive audience.  In your workplace, people are listening to you eight hours a day, five days a week.  If your audience doesn’t like what you preach, they’re stuck with you, and they’ll have to listen to your preaching whether they like it or not.
       Sadly, if you live a life of materialism, selfishness, and pride—you’re preaching a life of Hell.
       But if you live a life of love, forgiveness, and humility, then you preach God’s Love—and you bring your officemates closer to Heaven.
       Friend, the choice is yours.  Today, will you preach Heaven or Hell?
Do your officemates become better persons because of knowing you and being with you?  Find out how you can bless them more.
Worship In Your Work
       Your job should worship God.
       Because you’re not employed by your boss or company, but by God Himself.
The guy who you call Boss isn’t your Boss.
The Almighty is your real Boss.
St. Paul says, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…  It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
       So when you give sloppy work, you give sloppy worship to God.
       I remember Joseph in the Old Testament.
       Wherever he was working in—as a slave in Potiphar’s house, or a jailbird in an Egyptian prison, or as Vice-Pharaoh, he was always Star Employee of the year.
       No, he didn’t do these for the awards.
He just did a fine job everywhere he went because he was faithful to God.
       This is what I learned: If you work for God, you bloom wherever you’re planted.
       So respect and honor that obese guy with the bad breath behind the desk in front of you.  He doesn’t look it, but he’s God’s representative.
       Again, St. Paul says, Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men… (Ephesians 6:5-7).
       Will you be embarrassed when you present your work to the Lord as your worship?  Or will you be proudly offering your work to Him?  What can you do to make your work more pleasing to God?  List down the ways.
Martin Luther King said, If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep even as Michaelangelo painted, or Beethhoven composed music, or Shakespear wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, Here lived a streetsweeper who did his job well.” 
Let your work be worship.

Shirt for Love

I love to paint. I love making T-shirt designs. I love positive words. These are the things that inspired me to come up with this site. At first, it was just for self-gratification. That’s why, it took me years to finally publish and present this to the world.

I am a survivor of the monstrous typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). No drama. It’s been 3 months already. The hype has slowly cooled down. The media seldom talk about it now. However, the real battle has just begun…

I want to help. I am desperate to help. But how? I can’t just drop my responsibilities and my job to go on a mission. Some people can do that. I don’t know how they do that, but I think there’s a better way without making such a drastic move, without quitting my job.

Why not do something that I love? I love to sing! Hmmm… I can join The Voice of the Philippines on TV? If I win, I can donate the money to build some houses in Leyte. What if I don’t win? I know I have a good voice… (Ahem) But what if my voice is not good enough to win, even if I did my best… Just once! I’d end up being a joke and jobless and perhaps gravely desperate.

During my spare time, I paint and I write stuff for my blogs. I believe they’re God’s gift. I believe God planted them in my soul because I feel joy doing them. I learned that the best way to utilize our gifts is to share them to others. They’re not for selfish reasons. They are for a purpose. I remember the Parable of the Talents. The Master entrusted to his 3 servants his property. The first two servants invested them and gained some more, while the third servant hid his share under the ground because he was afraid of losing it. In the end, the Master blessed the two servants with even more, while the third man received nothing. I don’t want to be like the third man.

I love to paint. I love making T-shirt designs. And I love to write. Now, I can combine all of them for a purpose!

50% of the proceeds of this project will be donated to my Toastmasters friends in Leyte. A lot of them are still roofless or homeless. I am hoping, this way I could somehow help if not all of them, at least some of them.

More designs will be posted at

48 Laws of Power According to Robert Greene

Recently I bought a red book. It’s quite expensive but it’s worth it. I find most of its ideas different from I’m used to. Maybe, it’s liberating as well, and they’re worth trying. Here is the list of 20 out of 48 items, which Robert Greene, the author refers as the 48 Laws of Power.

1. Never outshine the master

2. Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies

3. Conceal your intentions

4. Always say less than necessary

5. So much depends on reputation – guard it with your life

6. Court attention at all costs

7. Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit. NOTE: this is not really as negative as it sounds. That’s why you have to read the whole chapter.

8. Make other people come to you – use bait if necessary

9. Win through your actions, never through argument

10. Avoid the unhappy and unlucky

11. Learn to keep people dependent on you

12. Use selective honesty and generosity

13. When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest

14. Pose as a friend, work as a spy

15. Crush your enemy totally

16. Use absence to increase respect and honor

17. Keep others in suspense: cultivate an air of unpredictability

18. Do not build fortress to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous

19. Know who you’re dealing with – do not offend the wrong person

20. Do not commit to anyone

AREA 83 Speech Contest

toastmasters speech contest
We're inviting fellow toastmasters to join us on our speech contest area level, on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Venue will be at the beautiful resort of former Division K Governor Linda Lagera, ACG/ALB, Balai Constancia, Carigara Leyte Philippines.

8th of November last year, a super-typhoon named Yolanda (Haiyan) visited our place and left us in total mess - literally! It was one of the most horrible experiences in our life. And the agonizing part isn't even over yet. Many people remain roofless or homeless. On the brighter side though, we never feel hopeless.

Maybe it's true that everything is a process. So, life must go on. What happened was part of the history. A history that may have wounded us so deeply, but like any other kinds of wound, we are healing. We will face the future with positive spirit not because we have to, but because we love to. We have so many reasons to be enthusiastic with life. As the lyric of a song goes, there's a rainbow always after the rain. And by far, the rainbows in life outweigh the storms.

On February 22nd, witness our brave speakers showcase their wit in sharing their stories of struggles and triumphs. Be inspired. Be there.... We need your support!