A Tribute to Books in These Un-Book-Friendly Times

"Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light." Vera Nazarian It's not easy to read an actual book these days. Picture this: Wake up in the morning. Open book. Receive e-mail notification. Close book. Read e-mail. Respond. Open laptop. The work day starts. Break for … Continue reading A Tribute to Books in These Un-Book-Friendly Times

Meditating with Marcus: Lessons from Stoicism

I've made a very good friend in the past year or so. Through my ups and downs, he's become a companion, a mentor. I consult him when I fail. When I succeed, he gives his input to show me what could be next. He's taught me the practical value of philosophy and, now, a big … Continue reading Meditating with Marcus: Lessons from Stoicism

Work Hard, Speak Better: An Introduction to Good Public Speaking

At your age the best way you can improve yourself is to learn to communicate better. Your results in life will be magnified if you can communicate them better. The only diploma I hang in my office is the communications diploma I got from Dale Carnegie in 1952… Without good communication skills you won’t be … Continue reading Work Hard, Speak Better: An Introduction to Good Public Speaking

To Make the Most Out of School, Focus Less on Grades and More on Making New Stuff

Recently, I was invited to speak in front of a national assembly of teachers on a daunting topic. The question given was: "Schools want to prepare future-ready learners who can build the future they want, and yet there is a disconnect in terms of what it means and how to really empower students to do … Continue reading To Make the Most Out of School, Focus Less on Grades and More on Making New Stuff

Perception, Reality and Cohesive Societies

I read an article many years ago that mentioned the stereotype of the Filipino maid in Singapore. The article started with, "One of Singapore's most popular comic characters happens to be a Filipino maid called Leticia Bongnino." I mulled this strange thought as I sat across the President of Singapore, Halimah Yacob, for dinner. If … Continue reading Perception, Reality and Cohesive Societies

Two Worlds: Growing Up Both Muslim and Catholic in the Philippines

I've always said that my feet step in two worlds. In one world, I inherited the Catholic heritage of my father, a native of Zamboanga, a former seminarian, and the person who had always reminded me to keep, in Chavacano, el temor de dios. Fear of God. In another world, I wear this hijab in … Continue reading Two Worlds: Growing Up Both Muslim and Catholic in the Philippines

The Harder it Gets to Find Silence, the More Necessary it Will Be

In a world invaded by smartphones and laptops and screens, face a book or a notebook for a few hours. It might take a while but, eventually, the thoughts will come pouring. This is you, without the sharp pings of notifications. This is you, without the endless cycle of one Netflix show after another. This … Continue reading The Harder it Gets to Find Silence, the More Necessary it Will Be