Driving

©Moira G. Gallaga

It may at times seem like a task.
But there’s no way of avoiding it
Mundane routines get boring.
Caught in gridlock, the worst thing.

Once in a while an opportunity
To drive like there’s no tomorrow,
Accelerating rapidly,
To feel the rush of extreme velocity.

I consider scuba diving, skydiving, bungee jumping and ziplining as therapy. The tamest is going on a road trip to drive as fast as I can, clearing my mind and enjoying the sensation of the wind. A mild adrenaline rush, but nothing compared to other zen-like sports like the 4 above.

Doesn’t matter where I go.
It’s about the adrenal flow.
Driving at the edge of safety,
Risking with alacrity.

I find it quite soothing:
This driving that’s way too crazy.
With Arias blaring loudly,
My mind just swelling.

I revel in the pressure, the adrenaline … the feeling of being on the edge and the fast pace that characterizes life. ©

It’s great to hit the road,
When I’m in this manic mode.
‘Course, can’t do it whenever.
 Once in a while is better than never.

Holding Out for a Hero

©Moira G. Gallaga

Our Earth is a damsel in great distress,
enchained by shackles of iron-gray smog,
only tatters of her once-lovely dress
cover her body, surrounded by fog.

Since I stopped working full time, I tracked the changes in nature as avidly as I do with world news. (Atlas Mountains, Morocco. For this view, we hiked along the Atlas Mountain range, setting off from Setti Fatma in the Ourika Valley in Morocco. The massive mountain range stretches from Morocco through Algeria and Tunisia.)

Where are her knights, her saviors, to rescue
their maiden from the villains of this tale?
With time running out, how can they get through
the downpour of acid rain, faces pale

Whenever there tends to be an ecological imbalance, Mother Nature has ways of letting us know about it. (Porto Moniz, Portugal)

against the polluted sky? Bravery,
cunning, and dedication, refusal
to let their world lapse into slavery
at the hands of corporate ritual.

We’ve all experienced how scary it is when Mother earth is making herself felt. (Jardim Estrela, Lisbon)

The princess is choking in her tower,
she needs fresh, clean air to help her flower.

30 May 2021

Vaccination: Not a choice but a necessity

©Moira G. Gallaga

One of my earlier articles in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Clearly, vaccination is a necessity from a medical and health safety standpoint, but there are strong arguments against making it mandatory. However, when circumstances and factors related to people’s livelihood and well-being essentially depend on it, that reality must be accepted. Choice in that situation is basically a luxury very few can afford.

The Other World

© Moira G. Gallaga

The fingers breaking the waves and then the ears,

immersed in silence.

The simultaneous sinking and floating, oblivion,

the other world.

The wonderfully deadly feeling of pressure on the ribcage,

bringing to life my small and simple mortality-

the adaptation of the body.

All divers are created equal(ized) – it’s just that some of us handle the pressure better.

spinning slowly through the dark abyss,

spiraling upwards with the power of risky physics.

Movements both of grace and power- more than I could articulate on dry land.

The other world.

Where I dare become all of the things that juxtapose ‘self’, where I understand my

smallness

and carefully observe my own

dexterity,

as though through a camera lens.

All becomes clear. Like clean water.

One of the things I learned from scuba diving. Enjoy every descent …that’s what it’s all about. (Praia dos Pescadores, Algarve)

25 May 2021

Facing Life’s Challenges

©Moira G. Gallaga

Life can test an individual’s will in a great variety of ways; either by having absolutely nothing happening or by having everything occurs all at one time.

We are forced to fight numerous battles throughout our lives.  There are times when we are too reliant upon others to save us. Other times, there is simply too much happening at one time for us to take care of it all.  What you are going through at any one moment should never determine what will happen over the course of your life.

Taking a break and hanging around Hawksbill Summit, 4,051 feet above sea level in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

For many individuals there are a lot of challenges in life.  Many people choose to develop a very negative world view because they always seem to go through periods of their lives in which they don’t have enough; nothing is going their way; or there is simply too much going on for them to handle.

It’s good to understand there are so many things we can’t solve. Many things we can’t control. Learn to live with that thought, that’s exactly what makes life great. I live by the rhythm of the seasons. Unpredictability. (Luanda, Angola)

Through all these, we must continue to maintain our sense of honor, stay true to our principles and possess an indomitable spirit. Work hard in life each and every day, and also work hard in specific life areas consistently.  If we do not, we will only improve in short spans and can never attain optimal growth due to the fact that growth will sometimes stop, unless we start investing more effort into that particular area.

Our Lady of Medjugorje

“Bad days are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you should shut doors and dim your light. Even the best trip up sometime.”

17 May 2021

Do You Believe in a World Without Wars

©Moira G Gallaga

Note: I stumbled very recently on this very short piece that I wrote back in 12 February 2012 as I was going over some of my old postings. With the recent conflicts and war in Gaza, Myanmar and other parts of the globe right now, notwithstanding the presence of a pandemic, it caught my attention. Amazing how the passing of 9 years lets you see something you write in a different way. I don’t see myself writing this today, at least not in the manner I have expressed it back then. I still get the point I was trying to make all those years ago, about the importance of individual agency and that the trade-off would be conflict and war. However, I would have made more effort to stress that while we should celebrate and value individuality and independent thought, violence and conflict should never be tolerated as a natural outcome of this process. I guess the adage that one mellows with age is true. Well, it is in my case based on this post, hahaha.

“The first casualty of war is the truth.” – Aeschylus

Unfortunately, war is and has been a constant companion of humanity. In my opinion, the absence of war will only mean one thing, humanity as a whole has become one mindless and single-minded entity. War is a consequence of conflict and conflict results from a clash of ideas, thoughts, necessity, etc… As long as humans are capable of independent thought then conflict is inevitable. This means to have a world without war is to have mankind thinking alike and in synch with each other, like a hive of some sort. I think I’d prefer to have the privilege and freedom to think and decide for myself, even if this makes the world a dangerous place to some extent. Besides, if we have the capacity to wage war, then we also have a capacity to wage peace. It’s simply a matter of finding a balance between the two.

“History is written by the victors.” Attributed to Winston Churchill but actual origin unknown

20 May 2021

Be Kind to Yourself

© Moira G. Gallaga

It is hard work being an adult. There are constant demands on your time, energy and emotions from many different people. Your spouse, your children and your boss all want to be the focus of your attention at all times. While it is important to do your best and live unselfishly for others, there is another side to this coin.

It is impossible to live life to the fullest if you are not kind to yourself. You cannot give 100% of yourself to others if you have not been nurturing your personal life. The list below shows you some ways that you can carve off some private time and treat yourself right.

Rest. Relax. Recharge. Refocus. Not a luxury – it’s a necessity. (Prague, Czech Republic)

1) Schedule Personal Time – Everything of importance in our lives has to be scheduled in. If you do not set a time as if it were an appointment, your personal time will never happen. You do not need to set aside much time, maybe just 15-20 minutes to read a book, play an instrument or take a nap.

2) Join a Group – Consider joining a club or taking a class on a subject you love. It may be a book club, a diving group or a pottery class. This is a great way to get away from it all while doing something productive at the same time.

3) Get Up Earlier – You may not enjoy setting the alarm 20-30 minutes earlier, but you will be surprised at the result. Those few moments of peace and quiet before the rest of the family gets up will become your favourite part of the day.

Slow down and be kind to yourself. The results are worth it.

Nature recharges our minds and bodies. (Lillehammer, a town in Norway where a Mossad hit team killed an innocent man by mistake in the early 70s)

15 May 2021

The Value of Forgiveness

© Moira G. Gallaga

When enough time has passed to heal the wounds
gashed by words careless or intentional,
nothing could be more soothing than the sound
of relief, easily detectable

from the one you forgive once you pardon
their crimes.  They will sigh, perhaps even smile
in gratitude that you did not harden
your heart against their own. You could revile

Forgiveness is not always for those who wronged us. It’s also for ourselves so may we move on and have peace. (Lourdes, France)

their name as long as you live, but that might
only embitter your remaining years.
Better, then, to lighten the darkest night
of a guilt face enshrouded with fear.

“Forgiveness: You cannot afford to withhold forgiveness. Nothing will destroy your life more surely, for there is a great hidden grief in the denial of forgiveness. Your heart is so heavy from what you have not forgiven that you bear the offenses of another as if they were your own.” – Glenda Green

The best of men know well how to forgive their enemy
Their magnanimity cements their reputation for posterity.

Mistakes were my teachers/
I’ve learnt well. ©

14 May 2021

Like a Garden after a Rain

© Moira G. Gallaga

In life there can be terrible showers

High winds and drama can shake you

Like leaves are taken and twisted by the wind.

These high disasters can make life barren

Like a patch of garden that never sees the sun.

Washington Sycip Park, Legazpi Village

But there are roots even in the bare ground,

Potential flowers just waiting for the day

When they can spring up into life again.

And like a garden, after the bad storms

There will be new shoots springing up all around

Filling the garden and making it beautiful.

Washington Sycip Park, Legazpi Village

Like a garden after rain you must blossom

From the challenges offered by the storm.

Bow your head against the wind but

Keep strong and upright even in the worst.

Spread your petals to receive the water

And take it in to nourish your blooms.

Washington Sycip Park, Legazpi Village

Without the rain the garden would be dry

Nothing would grow within its bounds,

And like a garden you can take the cold

The downpours and the storms life holds.

And like a garden after rain you can recover

Push through your blooms and rise above the ground.

12 May 2021

Push the Limits: When was the Last Time You Shook Things Up

© Moira G Gallaga

A child is not born with limitations. Society and life experiences makes a child learn limitations, and as he/she grows, he/she gets scared to overcome those limits. In truth, if you have strong willpower you can push past your limits and achieve more in your life.  

All of us are bound by limitations: emotional, physical, intellectual, societal and even mental. In society, you cannot just express your feelings fully all the time. Whenever a child talks about the problems of adults, the parent will tell him not to think about those issues, he is still too young or it is improper to do so. Are these limitations good or bad, well, it depends? Some forms of limitations are justified, and usually these come in the form of laws, rules, and norms put in place for the good and safety of the community and society at large. Other than that, you can freely push personal, individual limits to test yourself and enhance your potential.

Urgull, San Sebastian

The human brain is so complex and capable of doing things which at times would be considered impossible. Unless a record is created or broken, no one would have thought of such possibilities. Often, personal limitations are usually self-imposed. In other words, though you have the ability to do certain things you have never thought of even attempting it.

Overcoming limitations cannot be achieved overnight. You have to develop strong will power to push beyond your limits. To some extent, physical limitations can be quite difficult to overcome, but you can overcome emotional and mental limitations if you are strong willed. There are of course examples of overcoming physical limitations such as cases of terminally ill patients who live happily, as if nothing is going to happen tomorrow. It is because they live only for “the present” and not for “the future”. Even in cases of extreme illness, people could smile and live because they have “will power” to live and a positive state of mind that transcends the weakness of the body.

Marbella, Spain

Anything is possible if you have determination. It is not hard to push the limits if you are able to channel the strength inside you. Believe strongly that anything is possible and your brain will help give you enough strength and motivation to achieve your goal.

When you dive in, make sure you do it with both feet. To hell with wounds and pain afterwards. Life and Love.

 10 May 2021