31 Roles I Played During My 31 Years of Existence on Earth (Part 3 of 6 Series)

On this blog, I’m asking you a small favor… Please allow me to boast a little as I need to share the-one-who-always-raises-hand-and-volunteers stage of my life.  I learned so many things by volunteering on a lot of things – joining an aerobics competition, competing in a declamation contest, directing and playing the lead role in a school play, running for school senator, modeling, writing for a school paper, volunteering as a teacher for the alternative learning system (ALS), submitting a romance novel to a publishing house, competing (and winning some) on quiz bees  (math, science, cultural arts, and spelling), joining a dance competition, competing for a position in CAT, etc.

That’s how a I learned a lot of things.  I tried almost everything except for eating live chicken or walking on top of flaming charcoal.  Again, allow me to share with you a part of my life.

11.  Performer – I love to perform.  I don’t know who among my parents influenced me to be one.  Both my parents are friendly, but they are a little shy compared to me.  So, I don’t think it is the genes.  I think that my love in performing is because of my eagerness to overcome my introvert personality when I was younger.  During the past 31 years of my life, I have performed so many times in front of an audience and I love the feeling – the thrill before I enter the stage and the happiness after hearing the audience’s applause.

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12.  Achiever – My mother is such a disciplinarian – and I love her so much for that.  But it took me years to understand why she did not allow me to watch the television on school days.  (Trivia:  I never watched the Simpsons, Sesame Street, Adams Family, etc.)  I wonder if I got addicted to watching TV shows, I wouldn’t have won the Math, Cultural Arts, and Spelling Quiz Bee, I wouldn’t be the class salutatorian, I wouldn’t be an academic scholar or a dean’s lister.  I’m glad that my mother led me through this role.

13.  Writer – This is the role I never imagined I will ever play as I never got high grades in any of my language subject when I was younger.  In fact, one of my highschool classmates made fun of my writing when she consistently saw my “You is” statements on one of my essays.   I’m grateful that I became part of team portfolio and was trained by our editor-in-chief, college professors, and colleagues to write (if not very well at least better than decades ago).  Truly, a person’s past does not define his future. Picture4

14.  Teacher – Few years ago, I volunteered as an instructional manager for Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System – an alternative class which is conducted once a week (usually on weekends) and is dedicated to teach out-of-school youths, elderly, and anyone else who did not finish elementary or highschool.  The program usually runs for approximately seven months to prepare the students for an exam that will give them an opportunity to have an elementary or high school diploma if they pass the exam.  The process is very rewarding for us, teachers, knowing that our little help can change the lives of all the students.  It made me appreciate more that I’m lucky to have the privilege to study as a full-time student in a privates school.

15.  Mentor – Most of the time, I’m faced with a lot of life-changing questions from friends who need advice.  Questions like “Should I take my graduate studies now or later?,”  “Should I leave my current job and take the offer from another company?,” “Should I leave the country or not?,” “Should we construct a house near my parents or should we buy  property somewhere else?,” etc.  Some listened to my advices, some didn’t.  But I’m glad those who listened were happy with their decisions.  I guess, the success of a mentor is not measured on the number of his mentee/s, but on how successful the mentee became after the mentoring.

16.  Model – Who doesn’t love fashion?  It’s everybody’s obsession.  Those sleek leather bags, those designer clothes, those animal-skinned boots, those fancy cars… Ahhh, fashion is everywhere.  Once in my life, I enjoyed dressing up so much.  “Mommy Ate” – my father’s elder sister, used to have an RTW shop in a public market in Pasay.  And, I, being the cutest niece (haha! Sorry cousins, this is my blog!) get to were whatever is new on her collection.  Way back in highschool, I was also one of those hand-picked to model for Tony Galang’s bridal collection.  There I experienced how it is to be a ramp model – the glamour, the excitement, the fun…

17.  Researcher – I’m obsessed with researching.  I practically research everything.  I research for the class schedule of my crush when I was younger, I research for alternative medicines, I research on how to make processes easier and simpler, I research on how to perfect toasted garlics, etc.  I’m thrilled everytime I am asked  to research and I believe I’m good at that.  I’m good chasing people, I’m good at chasing information.

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18.  Chef –  I always tell myself and people close to me that I never thought I will love cooking until I got married.  I shocked the entire mankind (!) when I posted several photos of my dishes.  A lot didn’t believe that I cooked the dishes myself.  Well, I can’t blame them because I can’t even fry an egg before I got married.  I realized that cooking is a really good therapy; it gives an incomparable kind of relaxation.  Part of this blog is dedicated to showcase some of my dishes.  You can find it on my “Sarap at Home” page.

As my birthday comes nearer, you get to know me closer by reading the 18 roles I played during the past 31 years of my life.  I’m half-way through on sharing my life with you.  Thank you for taking time to ready my blog.

Happy to share my life with you,
Mumay

An Exotic Restaurant-Gallery at the Heart of Angono

Released in September 2003 issue of eNegosyo Newspaper, this article was written to share the success story of a restaurant-gallery located at Angono, Rizal – the “Arts Capital of the Philippines.”  Again, this is a success story of husband-and-wife tandem who made a great business partnership.  The restaurant-gallery is now being ran by Mrs. Luzvimin Vocalan – the widow of the late artist Perdigon Vocalan.  Sharing my gastronomic one-on-one interview with the owner of Balaw-Balaw Restaurant, which was written during my early years as a writer of a business newspaper…

Balaw Balaw

Photo of the actual write-up

“When I dined in one of the restaurants in San Francisco, I was reminded of Balaw-Balaw,” former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo once said when she visited the town of Angono, Rizal.  Until now, Luzvimin Vocalan is still very proud as she recalls what the former Philippine president said during her short visit in their town.

Aside from the country’s former president, famous gastronomic writers and novelists have been the restaurant-gallery’s regular visitor.  A lot has already been written about Balaw-Balaw, yet there are still few to be unveiled.

Balaw-Balaw Restaurant’s Roots and Origin

Built in 1982, Balaw-Balaw Folk Food Folk Art Restaurant is the brainchild of late Perdigon Vocalan.  A painter and sculptor by profession, Mr. Vocalan decided to open a restaurant-gallery because he has found the need for a place where he can hang his works and serve foods of Angono to the public.

The restaurant-gallery was named Balaw-Balaw due to Mr. Vocalan’s mission of promoting the town’s splendid culture.  For those who still do not know, Balaw-Balaw is a fermented shrimp sauce.  This delectable sauce from Angono is reddish in color because of the Angkak grain.

During Balaw- Balaw‘s first few years, Mr. and Mrs. Vocalan, both natives of Angono, worked hand in hand towards its mission.  Mr. Vocalan involved himself in cooking while Mrs. Vocalan dealt with the administration concerns and finances.

A Self-Taught Artist and A Soft-Spoken High School Teacher

“A self-taught artist,” Mrs. Vocalan said as she describe her beloved husband.  Mr. Vocalan was only four years old when both his parents died that he has to make both ends meet all by himself.  His talent in painting helped him finish his studies until high school.  He took up Interior Design for only one semester in college and stopped because he doesn’t have sufficient money to finance his schooling.

Married in 1974, the couple devoted themselves on their chosen profession.  Mrs. Vocalan worked as a high school teacher as Mr. Vocalan committed himself in doing artworks long before Balaw-Balaw Restaurant was established.  The loving couple was blessed with four sons.  Two of them are into arts, one is into film making, and the other one passed away few years ago.

Still the Best of Two Flavors

Today, Balaw-Balaw Restaurant is famous for its Filipino motiff showcasing the panoramic collection of Mr. Vocalan’s paintings and sculptures, and the exotic Angono food.  As what the famous gastronomic writer, Doreen Fernandez, said, “Balaw-Balaw Restaurant is the best of two arts: the flavor of arts and the arts of flavor.”

It is more than a decade since the famed writer dubbed the restaurant-gallery as such.  Yet, Balaw-Balaw Restaurant is still visited by well-known writers, lifestyle show anchors, and reporters from prominent television networks locally and internationally.  Surely, the restaurant-gallery will always be one of the best of its kind.

31 Roles I Played During My 31 Years of Existence on Earth (Part 2 of 6 Series)

On the first part of this 6 part series, I shared the roles I played in our family.  For the second part, I will share the roles I played in our community as a young Mumay.

As with all the roles I played, these roles are also close to my heart – my role as a God’s servant, as a best friend, as a neighbor, as a friend, and as a student.  I must admit that life will never be as colorful and as exciting if it will be lived only within the four corners of a home.  As an old adage goes, “No man is an island.” We will not grow if we will not communicate and mingle with other members of the society.

Hope you’ll enjoy reading as I share with you my life during the past 31 years of my life.

6.  God’s servant – This is the role that is close to my heart, one of the roles that I have developed throughout my journey in life.  At a young age, I served as a member of 31 roles choirour church choir (Yes, I sing! With  big group so others won’t distinguish which one is my voice).  As a I grew old, I did participate on our church’s activities that contribute to nurturing our spiritual health.  As I go on with my life’s journey, this is the role that gives me immeasurable amount of strength despite life’s challenges.

7.   Best friend – We always define a best friend as someone who will stick with us through thick and thin.  Someone who will never turn his or her back on us.  However, typical best friends are classmates, neighbor, childhood playmate or someone who is of the same age as ours.  Mine is  different, she is more than 10 years older than, she didn’t go to the same school (in fact she didn’t even finish elementary), but she’s someone who I love the same way I love my family.  She’s the person who took care of me whenever mom is not around, she’s my confidante, my secret keeper.  Late last year, we had the biggest obstacle ever – she got sick (and it was very bad) that we almost lost her.  I could never imagine what would life be without her – our Mama Lhet.

8.   Neighbor – When I was around nine years old, during the time that Angry Birds, Temple Run, Bad Piggies, etc. are not yet invented, I and our neighbors/playmates enjoy running around our place as we play “taguan,” “taguang tsinelas,” “tumbang preso,” “patintero,” “touch ball,” and softball using an improvised ball made of our mother’s worn-out stockings.  Those were the days!  Indeed, those are one of the happiest moments of my life – when life is just about laughing, shouting, running, and catching breath.  What is your favorite game when you were young?31 roles - playmates

9.  Friend – There are very few people who I consider friends.  I can even count them with my fingers (no need to include my two feet).   I carefully choose my friends; something I inherited from my mother.   I consider friendship as a blessing as not all people are blessed with true, loyal and honest friends.  So, if you are reading this blog, there is a big possibility that you are one of my friends – taking time out of your busy schedule to read whatever it is that I want to share.

10.  Student – My parents, even my hubby, sees me as a model student.  Little do they know that I’m really a lazy student.  I only devote my time on subjects that interest me.  In fact, I always fall asleep as I try to memorize the extremely-hard-to-remember scientific names for our periodical exams.  Yet, I never allowed my laziness to interfere with my performance as a student.  As a quiz bee champion, a batch salutatorian, a dean’s lister, and academic scholar, I have understood that learning is not limited on the four corners of a classroom and on the pages of a textbook.

Relationships with other members of the society other than my family has been  a wonderful experience.  It gave me lots of fantastic childhood memories that I will definitely share with my son as he grows old enough to be interested with my stories.

My relationship with God that developed from my childhood years as part of the choir and later on as a member of the church’s office staff taught me the true meaning of dedication and responsibility.  The virtue which I hold very close to my heart.

Reminiscing my fantastic childhood memories,
Mumay

The Leader in Developing Innovative Filipino Ethnic Dishes

Released in September 2003 issue of eNegosyo Newspaper, I’m still amazed at how the Manrique couple was able to grow their business from a small bakery to a product that is now available on all stores locally and abroad.
 
I admire how simple, and soft-spoken Mrs. Manrique is, yet aggressive in pursuing their goals for the business.  Sharing with you another inspiring business success story of Philippines’ manufacturer of canned Filpino ethnic dishes, written during my early years as a writer of a business newspaper …
 

moonbake

In 1991, Mr. and Mrs. Manrique opened a bakeshop in their parents home at Moonwalk Village, Las Piñas City.  Back then, they are both clueless and inexperienced in  managing a business.  Yet, they are eager to learn and explore the endless possibilities of establishing and managing one.

The start of the business has been an exciting learning experience.  They bot studied baking and undergone a comprehensive training on business management to learn how to run a business efficiently and effectively, up to its smallest details.  Their undying hardwork, patience, and perseverance helped them survive and endure all the obstacles and challenges they encountered as they travel the road to success.

Moonbake, Inc.’s big break came in 1994, where they decided to introduce chocolate crinkles.  The new product helped them generate more profit, which was used to fund the construction of their production plant and the purchase of their delivery vehicle.

Their success continue until the day that they visited the Department of Science and Technology where Philippine ethnic foods for commercialization are being showcased.  Among all the proposals presented to them, they chose to produce canned “laing.”  On year 2000, the canned “laing” was introduced to the local market and was exported later on.

moonbake-laing

Being a native of Bicol, Mrs. Manrique has mastered the recipe of spicy yet appetizing Bicol dishes.  New ethic dishes were developed to suit the needs of their customers.  Aside from regular “laing,” vegetarian-style, extra-hot “laing” with tuna flakes and the like are now available in the market.  Canned “Bicol express” and “camansi” were developed and were, also, offered later on.  Theses ready-to-eat products were named MoonDish.

In establishing your own business, “Magandang i-combine yung social responsibility by developing new, export products our of locally available materials,” Mrs. Manrique said.  She even stressed out the importance of discovering Philippine agricultural products for commercialization.  It is also necessary to find the right technology in processing and production of the canned and baked products.  It is also important that the products are neatly and conveniently packed.

Today, Mr. and Mrs. Manrique continue to develop new products, and to improve its quality and packaging, as well.  They also continue to aspire in being the first to develop unique, coconut-based ethic dishes.

31 Roles I Played During My 31 Years of Existence on Earth (Part 1 of 6 Series)

In the next seven weeks I will be celebrating my 31st birthday.  Yes, I’m doing what most birthday celebrants do, denying their age to death and after getting offended with the question, “How old are you?” 

I’m proud to say that it’s been over three decades since I felt air and sunlight touching my skin.  It’s been 31 fruitful and colorful years of love, happiness, disappointments, fear, bliss, excitement and anger.  Guess what?  I realized that there have also been 31 roles I played since the day I was born.  Gosh!  I feel like an actress portraying different roles!  Hahaha!

I’ve been living and yet “thriving” on earth for more than 3 decades already.  Looking back, I realized that it has been such a wonderful journey.  These roles are actually not unique at all so you might find yourself being on the same role at certain moments of your life.

Let the role playing begin…

 1. Daughter – My first role since I was born;  the role I was given with no choice.  Since I was brought to earth neither by an alien nor by a scientific experiment, I’m left with no choice but be a daughter to two amazing human beings – my parents.  I’m utterly grateful that I’m blessed with the kind of parents I have.  And I’m equally grateful that I am blessed to bring them joy (or so I know).  Indeed, this is the kind of role that I will never exchange for any other riches in the world.

 Family - 31 roles

2. Sister – Being an only child for 19 years of my existence, is extremely sad.  It is something that I don’t want people I know to experience.  God knows how I waited for the day that I will hear a sibling call me, “Ate.”  I even preserved my toys until before I went to college for the “lil’ one” who is yet to arrived.  And just when I accepted that the “lil’ one” will never arrive, the most surprising part of our life came – our “lil’ one” finally arrived!  Today, she is a “lil’ one” no more but I will always treasure the day I became a big sister.

3. Grand daughter – Whenever I hear the word granddaughter, I’m always reminded of my Lolo Aco – the man I love so dearly.  It’s been almost 15 years but until now, I can still feel the lost and the grief when he passed away.  My father worked in the Middle East for more than 10 years as an OFW, when snail mail is still the usual form of communication, and when  one phone call costs Php 5,000.  I could still remember how proud he is of me and how he tried to walk (despite his paralysis) just to visit us. 

4. Niece – Being the first child, first “apo (granddaughter)”, and first “pamangkin (niece)” on both my father’s and mother’s side, everyone was so excited to play with me – see me giggle, yawn, cry, or even smell my poop (eiiiwwww!).  That includes my aunts and uncles who have tons of pictures with the “baby” me on our ancient old photo albums.  Surely, I enjoyed being everyone’s favorite during the first few years of my life.

Mother Teresa - 31 Roles

5. Cousin – On both my father’s and mother’s side, I’m the eldest among my cousins.  I’m everyone’s “Ate” and I enjoy being one.  Being the eldest, most of our relatives would make me as a benchmark, “You better study hard like your eldest cousin., or you better get married at the right age like your eldest cousin.”  I’m glad that most of them listened (Good news!).  I’m extremely happy seeing some  having flourishing careers, some with peaceful family life, and some enjoying their  lives as single.

 The first one-sixth part of my life started at home – with the first few people who taught me life; who showed me the true meaning of love; who showed me what family truly meant.  

I’ve been through a lot on the past 31 years of my life, but I can proudly say that my first few years of my life served as my anchor when faced with life’s storm surges.  My first years as the family’s little girl guided me on making major decisions in my life.  And for that, I will forever be grateful for being blessed with such an amazing family.

 

Loving my family dearly,
Mumay

On Leading the Chinese Fastfood Industry (Chowking’s Success Story)

Released in September 2003 issue of eNegosyo Newspaper, this is one of my favorite stories because of Mr. Raffy dels Rosa’s light and happy disposition in life – the attitude that brought Chowking’s success eversince it was acquired by Jollibee Foods Corporation.
 
I admire how he made analogies to explain his ideas in concise and simple language.  Sharing with you another inspiring business success story of now leading Chinese fastfood in our country, written during my early years as a writer of a business newspaper …
 
Photo of the actual write-up

Photo of the actual write-up

Founded in 1985, Chowking originated from its basic idea of making an Oriental quick-service restaurant more accessible to Filipinos.  From its first store in Makati, were it started offering dimsum and noodles, Chowking has gone a long way and surpassed a lot of challenges to top the Oriental quick-service restaurant player in the industry. 

When Jollibee Group finally decided to acquire Chowking in year 2000, it began to expand rapidly, serving more Filipinos with hot and delicious Chinese foods.  “Steaming hot delicious foods in five minutes, not exceeding ten minutes, with a smile from us,” Mr. Raffy dela Rosa, President and  CEO of Chowking Food Corporation, describes as he looks back how Chowking started and adopted its first slogan.

From 155 stores in year 2000and sales of Php 1.9B, Chowking already has 230 stores, both company-owned and franchised.  Chowking also expects to break the Php 5B mark this year.  Its rapid growth and expansion helped them reach the 3rd place in the rank of top quick-service restaurants in the country.  And having been awarded as the Most Outstanding Filipino Food Franchise of the Year by the Philippine  Franchise Association for two consecutive years, 2001-2002, Chowking, indeed signifies how hardwork, determination, perseverance, and excellent customer service work well to every striving entrepreneur.

 
The Secret of Chowking’s Aggressive Image

Mr. dela Rosa, former Jollibee’s Vice President for Finance, knew that it would be hard for him to turn around Chowking.

Holding on to his faith and determination in leading Chowking toward success, Mr. dela Rosa, together with his management team, gave a closer look on the most essential needs of their customers.  They’ve squeezed all their creative juices to develop the new image of Chowking to a more lively, more aggressive and customer-oriented Chinese fastfood.  Chowking’s new image is also marked with the extensive utilization of graphical-picture menu board – the 1st in the Philippine quick-service restaurant industry.

The existing products were improved and new products were introduced to the market later on to suit the varying needs of their customers.  And to maintain consistency and uniformity on all Chowking stores, a training school for Chowking’s new and old chefs and kitchen crew was established.  The central kitchen or “commissary”, where pre-cooked, pre-chopped and marinated products are prepared, was expanded to accommodate the demand, which in the first two years under Mr. dela Rosa, grew by leaps and bounds. 

In relation to Chowking’s mission of continuous and rapid expansion, Chowking became one of the most-wanted franchise in the country.  With this, more Filipinos are given the opportunity to have their own business while experiencing the delicious foods and the delightful service Chowking offers.

Mr. dela Rosa also declared their plan of establishing Chowking stores in Asian countries.  The very high acceptance of Chinese foods in Asian countries becomes Chowking’s natural competitive advantage, making them more optimistic in bringing the brand to other markets from the US mainland and the Middle East.

After more than three years of managing the business, Mr. dela Rosa claimed, “The restaurant business is a gold mine for entrepreneurs.  Just focus on three things:  delicious foods, impeccable service, and clean, relaxing ambience.”

 

A Closer Look to Chowking’s CEO

Being a Finance Director for quite a long time, he thought managing Chowking would not be that easy.  But, being trained and exposed in Jollibee’s financial and corporate setting, he easily had a good grasp on Chowking’s operations.  His learning lessons from experience were efficiently used and those that are not effective enough were discarded, “After few months, I’ve learned the ropes and it’s just so simple.  You just have to make the customers happy.  I’m a president or a CEO, but I don’t feel like one.  I feel like I’m a person who really enjoys the food of Chowking,”  Mr. del Rosa proudly declared as he looks back how he started a Chowking’s CEO.

 A very simple and jolly kinds of person, he has a very optimistic outlook in life.  Having a happy disposition in life and putting attention to important details are some of Mr. dela Rosa’s natural assets as a CEO.  He simply believes that his happy mindset as Chowking’s head will be absorbed by his management team and crew, and will reflect to happy and contented customers.  Giving personal care to their customers has been his primary objective that’s why he always tells his staff, “A customer might be a laborer.  But still, he is the master.”

 

A Piece of Advice and A Bite of Success

Establishing a business and managing one might be a hard, complicated task.  But with Chowking’s long journey to success where a simple management approach and careful attention to the customers’ needs works best, it is, indeed, rewarding to always give a close look to details and prioritize customers.

“Maski wala kang MBA o hindi ka finance person, simple lang ang isipin mo – ikaw yung natitinda ng siopao sa Avenida.  Dapat mayroon kang maiinit at masarap na siopao, nakangiti sa customers, optimistic ka na mabebenta mo lahat ng siopao, at malinis yung lagayan mo ng siopao.  Ganoon lang ka-simple.  Your survival depends on happy customers.  It’ s nice to be an MBA or a CPA.  But at the end of the day, it still goes down to you as a person.  You should always have a happy mindset.  Otherwise, forget it,”  Mr. dela Rosa advises to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Why is it “sometimes” good to be an idiot? (Lessons I learned from the 3 Idiots)

3 idiots ass

Few days ago, I slept half past eleven in the evening to finish watching the recent movie recommendation from my hubby – 3 Idiots.  Actually, my hubby recommended it few months ago but I didn’t bother giving time to watch a movie about idiots.  Such a waste of time, I thought!

After watching the movie, I realized that I did waste time – I wasted time for not watching it few months ago.  The movie taught me a lot of fantastic life lessons that I will never learn in a conformist society that we are living in.  The movie also taught me how to face life with an unorthodox and positive mindset.  I won’t tell much of the story as I encourage you to see it for yourself.  The movie is too beautiful to be narrated only in writing.  Though, I’m giving here five reasons why it is “sometimes” good to be an idiot.

Reason #1:  Idiots believe that learning is more important than the degree.   This is especially true for Rancho, which I will not elaborate as this is one of the highlights of the movie.

How often do you meet people who brag about the diplomas and the degrees they earned from the Harvards of the world?  Some people believe that the degree that they earned, the perfect scores they got in college, and the medals and trophies define who they are.  How many of your high school or college classmates who failed in Algebra became top salesmen or successful entrepreneurs?  How many of your classmates who belong to the Achievers’   Club now work in a big company living paycheck to paycheck, driving a company-owned (not his own) car, relying on the company’s heath benefits for the family’s medication, or working abroad away from his/her loved ones to make ends meet?

Our society puts too much pressure on education that it is focused on getting good grades, getting high scores on entrance exams, being the number one in the class, etc. that we fail to focus more on learning.  Idiots think differently.  It doesn’t matter if they get kicked-out for their stupidity from a class, it doesn’t matter if they don’t get the top spot in the class.  Because, for idiots , learning is not limited to memorizing textbook meanings.

Reason #2:  Idiots challenge the conventional.  Idiots ride a different train – they take a different path, they  do things differently.  Idiots prefer simple terms not because their brains cannot comprehend complicated definitions.  It’s because they avoid complexity.

virus 3 idiots

Idiots are advocates of change.  Rancho had countless unpleasant encounters and arguments with Albert Einstein look-a-like – ICE’s Director Viru Sahasrabuddhe (a.k.a. Virus).  One of which is when Rancho challenged  Virus and told him that he is not comfortable on having the grades of the students posted because it publicizes the students’ weaknesses.  As you watch the movie you will witness more funny encounters between Virus and Rancho.

Reason #3:  Idiots value their family that they are on their topmost priority (sometimes, next to their dreams).  Raju, the family’s only hope to have a better life, is motivated to be an engineer in order to buy a car which they will use as dowry so her sister can get married, to buy medicines for his paralyzed father, and to serve decent food on their dining table.

I admire Rancho when he said, “There is only one dad, there are lots of exams.”  For the idiots, it doesn’t matter if they fail to attend a class or take an exam as long as they can take care of a father who just had a near-death experience.  Indeed, it is true that we only have one family, while everything else has duplicates.

Most employees – janitors, service crews, factory workers, managers, supervisors, division heads, alike spend more time in their workplace.  They only stop for short vacations or holidays, or whenever they or a family member are sick, or whenever a love one died.  Sad, but nothing stops us from working.  We are like machines who can’t afford to pause and to take time to walk in a park or play with our toddlers because we are too busy with too many things.  We fail to realize that the company where we are working at can immediately terminate, suspend or replace us, while our special place in the hearts of our loved ones is irreplaceable.

Reason #4:  Idiots become what they want to be.  They follow their passion in choosing their profession.  They are not enslaved by somebody else’s dreams.  Take for example Farhan who pursued his dream of becoming a wildlife photographer against his father’s will who want him to become an engineer.

We owe it to ourselves to pursue our passion.  A lot of books nowadays encourage us to follow our passion and capitalize from it.  There is nothing more rewarding than living a life free from pretensions.  Life is too short to be spent on living other people’s (parents included) dreams.  That is why it is repeatedly mentioned in the movie that you don’t chase your dreams, because if you work with passion, success will come to you.

Reason #5:  Idiots are courageous human beings.  I can never forget how Rancho taught Raju and Farhan what to do whenever faced with problems.  He told them:

“The heart scares easily.  When you have a problem, take your hand, put it over your heart and say, “Aal izz well (All isall is well photoJPG - 3 Idiots well).”

According to Rancho, that simple gesture doesn’t actually solve the problem but it gives them courage to face their problems.  I tried this simple gesture myself (Haha!).  Indeed, it gave me an unusual strength and courage to face life’s challenges.  So, when I faced with fears, I simply tell myself ,”All is well.”

The 3 Idiots are Actually Smart

The 3 Idiots is the kind of movie I will watch over and over again without getting bored.  This movie is full of wit and rich in life lessons.  It is a must watch movie for parents and senior high school students who are still making up their mind on what course to take in college.

I realized, these idiots are no idiots at all.

Embracing an idiot side of me,
Mumay