Striking Protocol- Brawler’s Lab

As a martial artist, I’m a firm believer in the efficiency and practicality of a solid striking system. Not that I eschew the ground game, I do dabble in a little bit of wrestling and grappling, to compensate for “just in case” moments- but in the streets or in sports, it’s always safer and practical to keep the fight standing. That’s why I was thrilled when I got the chance to join Brawler’s Lab’s Striking Protocol Workshop conducted by none other than Ricardo “Gabay” Forlales, also recognized as the one who brought the Cage Fitness system in the Philippines.

In a country where boxing is passionately revered by both fans and local aspiring fighters, and recently MMA gaining popularity with the success of Filipino fighters in the world stage, anyone who can throw a punch and slug off in an amateur bout can soon just find themselves teach in a local boxing gym. This is where the problem starts- since anyone can teach, yes, but not everyone can teach efficiently and systematically. I bet you’ve seen those YouTube videos of gym coaches slapping with their mitts the gloves of students or those awkward mitt holding, in what in my martial arts discipline we jokingly call- “coaches simulating a three-headed opponent”.

 

Coach Gabay’s Striking Protocol addresses these mistakes and enables coaches/trainers to effectively formulate their training regimen into something fun, simple, practical and surprisingly yes, effective in actual combat scenarios. This is a guy who knows what he’s talking about. As for credentials? Coach Gabay himself practices JKD, as well as having a deep understanding of other striking arts such as Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Boxing, and FMA’s Kali and Sikaran. He used to fight Muay Thai matches locally and abroad. Gabay is also a Submission Wrestling instructor, the only Filipino instructor accredited by Guro Guy Chase under the Karl Gotch system; a founder of the Sagupaan Self-Defense system; and already produced URCC bantamweights Jiar “The Twister” Castillo (Fight Farm Champion), Jonar Oyo “Head Hunter” Cruz, and Bernard “Burn” Soriano of One Championship.

 

 

 

 

It was such a pleasure hearing a martial arts/fitness coach lecture first about the fighting arts in general, the history and relevance geographically and rules set differences of each art. Then he moves on to discuss about proper training gear handling coupled with a few tips on how to asses your clients/students, keep them motivated so they will come back and how to gain their trust. The lecture was done in a light and fun approach where questions are entertained and answered on the spot.

The Striking Protocol is not a new invention but more of an innovation in training methodology. It encourages a continous loop of pre-determined sets relying on a system of verbal and visual stimulus. The numbering system lessens the coach’s fatigue, improves the student’s reaction time, and allows the training to be fresh each time. Once you have a good grasp of the system, it is just like creating a jigsaw puzzle where you can join these sets by “connectors” such as slips, weaves, kicks, or even takedowns, thus creating another set. Mitt holding drills were done to have everyone be comfortable to the numbering system.

I like how these sets are what Gabay calls, “high percentage strikes”. No fancy variations or theatrical movements. This simplicity enables the trainer and the student to focus on accuracy, power and speed- all essential in any striking art. It has a lot of principles relatable to JKD, the art that I also practice, where we only have 5 punches and 3 kicks- and the mastery of these simple punches and kicks allows you to add variation depending on your timing, distance and intent, disregarding fanciness and showmanship.

 

It truly is a must have workshop in your arsenal if any one is serious in teaching a striking art, be it for fitness or for sport competetion. In our community of martial artists and mma afficionados, Striking Protocol is a much needed program to refine an instructor’s training program. Because having a good system produces great coaches, and great coaches can produce fantastic fighters- all a giant step forward for our combat art’s development.

For more about Striking Protocol, Cage Fitness and other programs, you may visit Brawler’s Lab’s FB page for inquiries.

Still here, alive and kicking

Wow.

After all these years.

This blog is still getting a few hits and visits.

This is just to let everyone know that this blog still is very much alive.

I just won’t be posting much anymore.

It’ll generally serve as a repository of my writings, articles and thoughts which are usually posted in my FB account as well.

So there.

Cheers and BE Excellent to each other!

What JKD is NOT

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It is quite unfortunate that the bright shining star of Sigung Bruce Lee’s influence and charisma was made into a money-making industry when he passed away. It is not uncommon to see the name “Bruce Lee” added into any, and just any, fighting art just for it to attract students. Hence, today, we have so many “McDojos” sprouting around teaching their own version of so-called “JKD”.

Wing Chun for instance, gained popularity because of Bruce Lee. Ip Man was only known to the world because he was Bruce’s former kung-fu master. Wing Chun was a relatively unknown southern art in Hong Kong, until Lee made it known in the U.S.. But Bruce ultimately left Wing Chun as proven by his telephone conversations and letters to his closest students. His new art, Jeet Kune Do, is NOT modified Wing Chun, and not even Jun Fan Gung-Fu, which was earlier own take on classical Chinese art- JKD is boxing and fencing alone, JKD is Western in origin.

Even until now, Wing Chun continues to market their art as Bruce Lee’s “mother art”, which really is a shame, because the final evolution of JKD, bears no resemblance to Wing Chun at all.

To those who are exploring to learn JKD, (Ted Wong JKD, being the “purest” form), these are some guidelines to look out for when choosing a JKD School:

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1. JKD is NOT a combination of 20+ different fighting arts!
– Whoever spread this lie is just absurd. Bruce Lee DID learn different arts (Filipino, Thai, Northern/Southern Kung-Fu, Karate, TKD, Judo, Savate, Silat, British Boxing, etc.) but he only did so, just for him to know HOW TO DEFEAT a fighter using such art. He DID NOT incorporate any to his JKD.

2. JKD Concepts is in itself a different type of fighting art. It is more like a mixed buffet of different fighting arts, sure some moves might be effective and looks good in camera, but again, it is not JKD as Bruce Lee himself taught. JKD Concepts was developed years after Bruce’s death. Know the difference between original JKD and JKD Concepts. Watch YouTube videos and compare Dan Inosanto to Ted Wong, then you decide.

3. JKD discourages trapping. If a JKD instructor is hell-bent on “trapping” movements, you better think twice. JKD is all about evasion using footwork, trapping is more like an “insurance” in our JKD and not our first line of defense.

4. Genuine JKD instructors teach angles, physics, and how to cheat inertia and gravity. If your instructor doesn’t care about weight-transfer and doesn’t know the difference between linear force (momentum) and circular force, then you might start looking for a new school.

5. Footwork and stance. Footwork is an essential part of JKD. If an instructor prefers to teach you how to deliver strikes without teaching you footwork, then you better leave. Footwork is what makes REAL JKD different from all fighting arts.

6. Simplicity. If a JKD instructor has too much drills consisting of learning too many techniques, then what you might be learning is not JKD. JKD is basically a mastery of 5 punches and 3 kicks. It is through footwork and angles that lets you create a masterful fight sequence.

7. Ted Wong lineage JKD instructors are not keyboard warriors who lurk forums trying to discredit another instructor, if what you think we are teaching is ineffective, then feel free to issue us a challenge, we prefer to prove our point in an actual fight or friendly sparring session, and not through internet trolling. =)

Pinoy Muna

I witnessed this first-hand. Sad scenario, and I just can’t help but approach the counter and ask the teller if this is really Banco De Oro’s policy: “foreigners first”.

I have an investment in the bank, heck, I even bought stocks from them. But like everyone else, I queue up. No special treatment, no special services. Here’s what happened–

BDO Salcedo, Makati: 

Foreigner comes in and shouts, “that’s it? no one will assist me?”
Bank manager attends to the foreigner while the rest of the Pinoys are lining up waiting to be serviced.

Who’s to blame here?

Foreigners bullying Pinoys to get special privileges?

Or Pinoys misuse of “hospitality” letting foreigners have their way in our own country?

Your thoughts?

 

 

Over-Saturation in the HR Field, HR Malpractice and Misconception

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Over-Saturation in the HR Field, HR Malpractice and Misconception

By: C. Seamus Hermoso

Anyone nowadays can call themselves an HR professional and start practicing “human resources”. Anyone belonging to the hiring department of most companies, particularly BPOs, can call themselves an “HR”. It seems that more and more people are venturing into the HR Industry nowadays, which to me, is becoming over-saturated.

Psychology graduates and business management graduates were the only ones before who pursue careers in this industry. In the last five years or so, with the sudden boom of the Outsourcing industry in the country, we start seeing so-called “hr practitioners” coming from the I.T. field, Mass Communications, Marketing and even Nursing backgrounds.

These young professionals are then led to believe by whoever trains them that what they are doing, is “HR”, when basically in truth you are just doing plain “recruitment”.

Calling up candidates and interviewing them over the phone, doing background checks, and navigating through Jobstreet, JobDB and Monster doesn’t make you an “HR Professional” in the strict sense, but more of a “recruiter” alone. Heck, even recruitment is further divided into- sourcing, assessments, and placement, to which some companies only assign one recruitment task to one person, thus making the so-called recruiter a plain, “sourcing specialist”, “interviewer”, or “placement officer”.

Semantics wise, recruitment is just one facet of human resources. Knowing how to source people and to coordinate their schedules is one thing, but knowing the technical aspects of an interview, strategic planning, cost consideration, company culture sensitivity, succession planning, these are some skills that are often neglected particularly in the fast-paced recruitment of BPO’s and call-centers where the primary goal is to hire, hire and hire.

I doubt that in most BPOs, the recruitment team would have meetings and discussions prior to hiring a candidate where they would discuss the potential career growth of the person under deliberation, where they will calculate costs to the company, where they will plan for succession/promotions, and where they will evaluate if the company culture and company goals align to that of the candidate’s.

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In most cases, as long as it fits the job requirements, then it’s a hire. In almost all cases, filling up the target quota of manpower requirements is more important to the recruiter than thinking of the long term company wellness. It’s these things that most BPOs do that gives Human Resources, actual and trained human resources DEVELOPMENT  people, a bad image.

And if the trend continues, with pseudo HR’s hiring other pseudo HR’s to take over, it’s an endless cycle of deterioration of the field/industry that some of us devote time, training and certifications, as well as multi-industry experience professionals all commit our lives to.

 

Team JKD Philippine’s 1st MMA Appearance

It was like a scene from those 80’s martial arts movies. The crowd was boisterous.

We were the “new guys”, all wearing our black uniform shirt, all advocating what most judge as an “incomplete” art.

They were calling us a “Bruce Lee Fans Club”. A Mickey Mouse club.

They were all seasoned fighters with skills ranging from Muay Thai, Boxing and Grappling. We, along with 1 Kyokushinkai Karate guy, were treated as outsiders. MMA guys feel that we don’t belong in the Octagon.

Until this happened:

Marjune Roma, JKD Philippine's fighter, ground and pound on Martin Tayag, an experienced grappler/mma fighter, after a devastating straight lead

Marjune Roma, JKD Philippine’s fighter, ground and pound on Martin Tayag, an experienced grappler/mma fighter, after a devastating straight lead

The fight lasted roughly 2 minutes, we won by TKO fight stoppage. But keen observers noticed that it was already over after the 0:38 mark when our guy, Marjune, connected with two Jeet Kune Do Straight Leads (and non-JKD guys would describe those straight leads as “jabs”).

The crowd was silent after the win. It was that quick and doubters during the match were silenced.

Martin Tayag, from Team JMC MMA, was clearly the more experienced fighter. Although I can’t show the video in public, people who saw the fight clearly noticed the speed, footwork and distance control of JKD. Truly, a testament that JKD can be competitive in the MMA octagon.

From L-R: Wendel Isles, the most senior of the team, Odi De Leon, JKD sparring partner and expert in rolls,throws, and ground game, Marjune Roma, our JKD fighter, Gimo Gomez, another associate instructor and sparring partner, and yours truly, sparring partner and strategist for this fight.

From L-R: Wendel Isles, the most senior of the team with the most experience in other arts, Odi De Leon, JKD sparring partner and versed in Aikido expert in rolls,throws, and ground game, Marjune Roma, our JKD fighter, Gimo Gomez, associate instructor and sparring partner with wicked barrage attack, and yours truly, sparring partner, former WingChun guy and co-strategist for this fight.

Next stop: Muay Thai matches, boxing matches, traditional karate fights.

It’s about time the Philippine scene see the true Ted Wong-JKD, our science, our art’s simplicity yet precision delivery, and our aggressive spirit that adhere’s to our founder’s “no way as way, no limitation as limitation”.

We are here to prove that be it combat arts, self defense, sports or plain physical fitness, JKD works.

with our Head Coach and instructor, Sifu Joel Ramos before the match

with our Head Coach and instructor, Sifu Joel Ramos before the match

Who’s the Mickey Mouse club now?

Really now?

What we do seem simple to the untrained eye. You can claim that yes, you can do it too. The question is, can you do it right?

Devoting one’s self to JKD, training for months with countless frustration, body ache from the stretching to the pad work and sparring, and then being told casually by people who don’t even have an ounce of martial art training- that what we do they can do it as well, really ticked me off.

It seems simple on video right? Sure sure, anyone can hit a speedball. Anyone can imitate their own personal (insert martial arts idol) right? But what you fail to see is the footwork, the head movement, the hip alignment, the hand before foot, the push step, the broken rhythm,and the maintenance of structure. The drill is not all about hitting the ball, there are layers and layers of concepts and principles involved in throwing a perfect single straight lead.

So please. I am not trying to compete with anyone nor showcase or brag about what I can do, or what I’m perfecting to do by posting videos and pictures of our training. These are meant to entice interest to come train with us. To show how Ted Wong JKD moves in motion through drills.

If your ego prefers to believe that I am competing with you, I can’t do anything about that anymore. Anything else, skills wise, we can always settle it in a “friendly” sparring match. Then we can see if you can really do what we do.

Bye For Now – Hermit Mode Once More

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Daily Routine – What I do

Recruitment

Obstacles

Obstacles and Bruce Lee

JKD: Learning While Teaching

I had always had a knack for teaching. I’d like to impart knowledge and share my experiences.

In my martial arts of JKD, I was recently given verbal permission by my Sifu Joel Ramos, to teach the basics of the art. It was such an empowering experience being given the task to help spread Bruce Lee’s original, untampered, way of fighting.

JKD  as taught to Ted Wong, was created in such a way that it throws away the traditions of Bruce Lee’s mother art of Wing Chun, and instead focuses on the efficiency of western boxing’s movement, and the long-range stance of fencing. It has adapted some trapping and parrying from Wing Chun and some high kicks from Bruce’s exploration in other Kung Fu styles, but it has evolved into something distinct and it’s own. It is not MMA, or Dan Inosanto’s JKD Concepts (where Guro Dan just mixes and matches different arts (which is too many) into one fluid movement) JKD Concepts is effective and looks great on screen, but it’s not JKD. You have to experience our own distinct movement, and see it for yourself, how in Bruce Lee’s own words: “it hits by itself”.

There are many other so-called JKD schools out there who claim to have originated from Bruce Lee or Dan Inosanto, some even resort to bad-mouthing Ted Wong’s lineage. But scholarly research and unbiased opinion proves that our Lineage is as authentic and true to what was being practiced by Bruce until his death in 1973. There are of course, so-called “Ted Wong’ lineage instructors that really don’t do much training but instead prefers to rob you of money. I won’t go into politicking or name dropping, but for those who have harsh words to say, feel free to challenge us and show us your “JKD” in actual sparring.

Here’s a nice article written by a Ted Wong guy who was from Concepts but moved to Ted Wong’s original JKD:

http://www.jkdmartialarts.com/HiddenStructure.htm

 

Being given such task to be able to teach newbies the basics also comes with a huge responsibility. Since JKD is so simple and direct, teaching an individual one basic strike is quite scary. It was designed to equip one to fight on the onset, no long forms or memorizing of a set of moves.  Teaching it to another clearly gave me new insights on both my understanding of the art, and my own personal biases, my way of communication, and my mindset.

It also tests my patience and tolerance. Not everyone can understand the concepts, not everyone will agree with me immediately. But  I like Sifu Joel’s approach in which, even the teacher learns new ways the art is appreciated each time you teach it to a new individual. “You learn by teaching” he always says. And to this, I agree. There are no secret formulas or hidden moves, advanced level forms, etc. in JKD. It is direct, it is simple, yet when one begins to teach it, and you gain a deeper understanding of the Science behind the concept, it can blow your mind on how complex that simple move really is. And yes, it is scary how effective it is.

For more information on JKD: Ted Wong Lineage you may contact Sir Joel Ramos at 09237303814 or message me here in my blog, and I can give you a trial in Salcedo Park or Valero Parking after office hours.

 

Tips From An HR Interviewer

TIPS FROM AN HR INTERVIEWER

I was asked just recently by someone on how to ace a job application interview. This led me to back track all the interviews I did, and what made me consider a candidate’s application.

I have been doing interviews ranging from job applications, employment verification, and sales potential probing all from my rich experience in background investigation, recruitment and manpower sourcing and sales/ business development consultancy, and it’s only just now that I’m seeing pattern to all these interviews I did.

TIP #1: CONFIDENCE

– If you are applying for a position that requires a specific skill and the interviewer asks you to rate yourself based on that skill, don’t under-rate yourself. Ranking yourself 6 out of 10 is far from being modest. Remember, you are selling yourself here, so go for an 8 or 9. Lack of confidence is a big turn-off to interviewers.

BUT over confidence is also a No-no. The trick here is to showcase that “yes you are qualified for the job” and you “see yourself able to deliver results” not present yourself as the Messiah the company has been waiting for.

TIP #2:  POWER DRESS

– You won’t believe how attire plays a huge part in adding points to your chances of being hired. This reflects your personality and professionalism, as well as that added idea that you went through an effort to look good. This impresses the interviewers.

BUT, over exaggerated attires should also be avoided since this gives the impression of a hard sell. For ladies, a skirt and blouse will do. If you are wearing casuals, just put on a blazer and tidy up your hair. Men don’t need to be in coats, a tie is impressive but not necessary as well. A coat or black jacket will save you if you arrive in a round neck shirt.

TIP #3: INTEGRITY

– Come clean please. If you got fired from your previous job, just tell it straight. If you need 30 days notice, don’t sugar coat it by saying you can TRY to start in 15 days. We all do background investigation and sooner or later, we will know you were lying.

TIP #4: KEEP YOUR LINES OPEN

– Putting a number and email in your CV means one thing -you want to be reached right? So make sure that after an interview, you can be reached. Anticipate calls when you know you just came from an interview. Not doing so tells us you just don’t care whether we get you or not.

TIP # 5: DON’T BE TOO UPTIGHT

– Loosen up. Smile. Laugh at our jokes. Learn to insert a funny anecdote or side-comment once in a while. For every four professional things and serious stuff you utter, add one not so serious comment. Yes, it’s a skill to develop, so practice this with your friends. This shows your humanity to the interviewers and helps us determine if you will fit the company/ department culture depending on your humor type.

Overall, just enjoy yourself during an interview and bottom line is to BE yourself. Capitalize on your strengths, layout your weaknesses (but downplay them), answer based on actual past experiences not in theory. If you are a fresh graduate, you can practicing interviews with your friends as this will boost your confidence and remove all those unnecessary jitters. So please, RELAX!

Good luck!

Windows Phone 8 Experience

After being on Android for almost two years, I decided to try the much-hyped, funky new mobile OS, Windows Phone 8 or more affectionately called, WP8.

I decided to go with HTC’s midrange offering, HTC Windows Phone 8S. Nokia’s equivalent is nice as well, although I prefer the matte and rubbery finish of HTC, as my hands are oftentimes sweaty, the rubberized back is a joy to hold (plus it eliminates the fingerprints).

The 8S comes with 4GB of internal memory and an expandable SD card slot (I had mine loaded with a 16GB Highpeed SD Card); a scratch resistant and ultra thin Gorilla Glass display, a dual-core 1.0 Ghz Krait S4 processor and 512mb of dedicated Ram. It’s a very sleek phone and very thin, which to me is quite an experience since my Xperia Play is really thick.

HTC-8S

I haven’t got a camera to take an actual picture of my 8S, so this is reference pic of what I have.

 

The overall experience with WP8 is really quite a shock and needs a bit of getting used to. Since my office PC is running Windows8, and my Xbox is hooked online, my Microsoft environment eco-system becomes complete with a mobile  iteration of Microsoft’s latest OS.

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Here are my homescreens as screenshots. You will notice immediately WP8’s signature “Live Tiles”. Everything I need is on one screen and can be accessed with a single touch.  The interface is really silky smooth and there is no sign of lag or hangups.  Nearly identical (if not smoother) than iOS.

 

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Of course, as a gamer, my mobile device won’t be complete without a set of games. WP8 apps and games are still a bit limited, but the lineup is rapidly growing. Some of these game’s achievements can be accessed through my Xbox, and my Xbox game’s achievements, play time and status can also be viewed through my WP8 device.

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One App I particularly like, is Round Workout Timer, an App that is sort of like a personal coach/timer for my sparring rounds, and shadow boxing with JKD.

Management of contacts is really excellent. All your social network accounts, and existing contact numbers can all be linked. So mentioning a person in Twitter, is as easy as texting them or calling them. Web experience is fluid and fast as well.

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I am very much pleased with this new promising OS. All that is lacking is File Explorer and a function to have Apps run from SD Card, when Microsoft solves these minor issues, then this OS can easily beat iOS and Android.

Beach Time @ Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro

                  The place was nice. We’ve been to Batangas beaches before, but it’s my first time to visit the famous cove. I specially liked the way the resort was built and it was a joy to run early in the morning along the man-made lake and along […]

Understanding ME – a life that WAS

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“The year, 2001. 

The time, around 8:00 in the evening . Friday.

Either I was playing online games with my super-setup PC, or Karl (my childhood buddy) and me were playing with the just released XBOX console.

That afternoon, my friends from college might have jammed in my room/studio, were there’s a drumset, lead guitars, bass guitar, a piano/organ and a 6-track audio mixer, not to mention pedal effects, and such.

My attic room was really something to be proud of. All the rooms had bathtubs and aircons. We have two maids, a utility boy, food is served upon request and there’s always plenty of food in the ref. 

There’s two cars parked at the garage, and catering tables, a griller and videoke machine were tucked probably after a night of hosting another party. The Bronx house was the ultimate party place. The veranda/balcony was perfect for hosting stargazing sessions and late drinking parties.

Our Benz van then arrives honking it’s distinct horn. Mama and Papa just arrived. With them are the usual small gifts they bring each week, plus of course a grocery of imported items from SBMA. They might have brought a cake or ice cream, and we all share dessert laughing and telling how our week went. Everyone still fresh from our U.S. family trip in 2000, Mama surprises us that we will be going to Bangkok for sembreak.”

Fast forward to 2013.

Mama’s gone.

Papa has a new wife and barely visits us.

We sold all the cars. We have the Bronx house rented to a Korean pastor and now serves as their retreat house. We left our beloved Quezon City, now living in Rizal.

Only the three us siblings are living together, doing our own laundry, cooking our own food. Since all of us graduated college already, we were brought up to be responsible and not depend anymore on Papa’s earnings but on our own earnings from work.

Yes I have a car, but to save from costly repairs and maintenance, I opt to commute to work each day- queuing for a tricycle ride, and then walking for 10 minutes, and then queuing again for a shuttle to Makati.

Our travels, gadgets, food, transportation are all budgeted and are the resulting rewards from work. We have to take up rackets to earn a little extra. My lawyer sister selling wellness and beauty products, my doctor sister, who’s still saving up money for her specialization, sidelines home service dermatology services, and I teach martial arts occasionally.

We don’t have cable. We don’t have internet. Heck, we don’t even have PC at home. Yes we live in a village condo unit, but more often than not, it’s just a place to sleep and bathe.

There are times when we reminisce what we used to have. A mom that was always there to talk to. A comfortable place where everything is provided.

Must be the reason why I enjoy a homecooked  food so much. (why I stay at Sarah’s for dinner, and if possible, during weekends even lunch!)

Must be the reason why I am excited to see free Wi-Fi everytime. (why times at Sarah’s are sometimes spent as an internet moment)

Must be the reason why I shed a tear each time I see a mother lost, or smile inside when I see a cool mom joking around her kids (why I felt like a marshmallow inside when Sarah’s mom kissed me goodbye that one time)

Must be the reason why I abhor these rich brats where everything is provided to them by their parents. (why I often get into a heated war with friends, either because I’m jealous of their status, or irritated by their irresponsibility)

Must be the reason why I don’t see the point of bragging something that you did not worked hard for…

Yea… looking back, we had quite a life back then.

But that’s how life is. I’m not saying that we feel bad or we pity ourselves now.

I am not whining. I used to. Sarah got tired of it. I got tired of it.

 

A little insight I came across while reflecting on my current state- I guess, what we DON’T have is what I would brag about. It shows how our parents trained us properly for whatever life throws at us.