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13 truths I learned from life |


13 truths I learned from life

NEW BEGINNINGS - The Philippine Star

(The following is a reprint of my article that came out in the December 2012-January 2013 issue of PeopleAsia magazine.)

Positively charged. That’s who and what I am. Life taught me to be like that.

I am a blessing hunter because life taught me to never be lackadaisical in finding a miracle or two, big or small, wherever I am, whatever I do. Even in my dreams I hunt for blessings and I awake a fulfilled man — wise enough to believe that my day can either be good or bad depending on how I will handle what life will throw my way. But yes, as I said, I am positively charged.

Life taught me many things in the past. These lessons are the truths that are part and parcel of my personal constitution, the fiber that serves as my moral mantle, my guide to a very long night, my manual when I walk on sunshine.

Here are 13 truths of what I have so far learned from life.

1. Life taught me that there is always a reason, however small, to be grateful. A thankful heart is the springboard of optimism, the launching pad of hope, the spawning ground of dreams. Fulfillment resides in a heart that knows the face of gratitude.

2. Life taught me to always, always believe that something wonderful is going to happen. However long the night may be, one bright tomorrow beckons in the horizon. A starless night gives way to the light of a new day, a new beginning, a new celebration.

3. Life taught me to never judge when I am mad, when I am angry. But it’s human nature to lose one’s cool, to blow one’s top, to throw one’s temper out the window, to simmer in anger and to spew venom in vain. Hold it! Maturity is the mother of tact, of control, of diplomacy. And maturity means counting from one to 100 before speaking with a livid tongue.  By the time you reach counting up to 77, 88 or 99, you have already realized that getting angry is punishing yourself for the mistakes of others.

4. Life taught me that every single day should be treated with awe and wonder. I get jaded at times but I always make sure the kid in me rules — forgiving of others’ sins so I will also be forgiven; forgetful of others’ mistakes so I will still have a perfect view of what humanity is really all about minus all the trappings and trimmings — kind and loving. I wonder if I carried all those baggage — theirs and mine — I would have looked like a hag now, or worse, dead by now. Well, I have little crow’s feet crisscrossing my face but life has instilled in me to believe and feel, because of awe and wonder, that my heart still beats the wants and whims of a sprightly teenager. In that sense, I can freely say that life taught me one truth I cannot deny: age is just a state of mind. I could be 60 yet feel like I were 16.

5. Life taught me to love life.

6. Life taught me that it is not true that a sad man cooks a sad meal.  It was with a weary heart that I discovered I could cook a mean spicy tuna pasta dish. All I had to do was to experiment in the kitchen on a night when a diaspora of emotional debacle was marching down like a battalion of angry soldiers inside my heart and mind. When the renegade started to assault me, I ran for cover in the kitchen and found garlic, onions, tomatoes, pepper and cans of tuna as my armaments. I proved it wrong that a sad man couldn’t make a happy meal. A happy meal could make a sad man happy. So when I am feeling a little bit under the weather, I make my own happy meal.

7. Life taught me that the happiest place on earth is not Disneyland but myself. Inside me reside Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and even Cinderella and the Prince Charming. I am my own version of truth and I am my own fairy tale. I make my own happy ending. 

8. Life taught me that one’s own family should be celebrated — while the moment still matters, while the time still counts. My late father instilled in me that a legacy is not about a billion pesos earned but about a billion beautiful moments shared together.

9. Life taught me that the road to progress is always under construction — with friends who cheer you on. Because, indeed, no man is an island, the role of friends in one’s life is as important as one’s own. In the Decembers of your life, you will always find comfort in the arms of your friends who will dry your tears and keep you warm. Having a well-meaning friend and keeping him or her for life is a human trait that is as old as time.

10. Life taught me that, indeed, God exists and that He is good all the time. Life has allowed me to discover that God is a friend who dances with you even when there’s no music; who talks and listens to you even if He does not utter a single word. I also discovered, through my dalliances with life, that God also gets mad. And when He’s mad, He’s really mad. The secret to pacifying Him lies in the sincerity of one’s heart.

11. Life taught me that it is not enough to move on. I must move up. Then fly.

12. Life taught me to be a joyful giver. I discovered that it doesn’t make sense if we give to someone then later on we show him a score sheet of how much we have shared with him. What we give others is not ours anymore. It is for them to keep. The happiness we give them is the only receipt we can keep.

13. Life taught me to continue to love — to give it even if it hurts. Because life taught me that if it doesn’t hurt, even for once, it is not love.


(PeopleAsia magazine’s 13th anniversary issue is now available at bookstores and newsstands nationwide.

For more information, call 892-1854.)


(For your new beginnings, please e-mail me at or follow me on Twitter @bum_tenorio. Have a blessed Sunday.)

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