Gifted: Extraordinary Trying To Be Ordinary

It is one thing to be great and yet it is another thing to be happy and fulfilled. Which of these two are you after? 🙂

Hubby and I watched the movie “Gifted” starring Captain America’s Chris Evans. I was captivated by the movie’s portrayal that not all individuals who have the potential to be “great” are subjected to society’s dictates that they be the next Albert Einstein or Bill Gates. It depicted how parents overlooked the fact that greatness is not equated to a life well-lived but only if the child be given the chance to live life by his/her own choosing – a great life or a life lived otherwise, simple and normal devoid of titles.

The story was set in a small town in Tampa, Florida and revolved around the life of 7-year old Mary Adler (McKenna Grace) who’s been living with her Uncle Frank (Chris Evans). Mary’s remarkable talent in Math was discovered by her 1st grade teacher and raised this concern with the school’s principal who then proposed to Frank that Mary be sent to a school for the gifted. However, this setup changed when a battle on custody between her uncle and grandmother took place. Mary’s grandmother intended on giving Mary full access on all resources to maximize her potential while her Uncle Frank, on the other hand, wanted to fulfill the request of his late sister (Mary’s mom) that Mary should experience a normal childhood. The story ended with the court’s decision that Frank be granted custody over Mary and Mary taking regular classes in a public grade school in the morning and taking high level college courses in the afternoon.

Special Education gave way in addressing these problems regarding special children or children with special needs. I was very curious regarding this branch of education back in 2008 when I worked as a communication assistant for the deaf and mute which then prompted me to pursue a graduate study in this field. My eldest sister graduated with a degree in Special Education also and I’ve heard her recount stories and experiences in dealing with special children.

Out of my curiosity to understand them better and the dire need to alleviate the challenges they go through, it led me to finding out that there are actually more of these children who are trying to live ‘normal’ lives out there. It is not only a constant challenge to these children but to their parents as well who try all the best they could to give them a normal life.

Nowadays, the idea of Special Education is not so new anymore in our society. For those who haven’t been truly exposed in what Special Education is all about, the general objective of it is good in all aspects. However, as practitioners of this branch of education, there are some challenges that Special Education still has to address in which researchers are currently exploring. This ranges from teacher competencies to the after-school support programs because education for these children doesn’t end in the four corners of the academe.

The demands are greater – demands for better understanding on a holistic sense i.e. emotional, social, biological, intellectual, behavioral, etc. Indeed, their education is referred to as “special” because they are not regular students who fit more or less in a standardized curriculum. With these children, however, the Individualized Educational Plan addresses their needs best, academically speaking. But there are other needs that should be met as well i.e. emotional, social, and behavioral development in which a Special Education school with special students alone may not be able to cater.

As with the case of Mary, she is intellectually gifted. But if we will focus on just unleashing her full potential just like what her grandmother wants, she truly may miss a lot most especially her childhood. It was portrayed in the movie that Mary’s mom committed suicide which, I assume, has something to do with her low emotional quotient though considered as a Math prodigy. This low EQ, I believe, has been sidetracked as the school for the gifted she attended focused more on improving the technical side of her intellectual giftedness not taking into consideration the other essential factors needed in order for her to function fully and normally as a human being.

This movie is an eye opener most especially to parents either of a special child or a normal one. Though we all have dreams for our children to have the best in life and give them the best opportunities around, what matters still is not the achievement nor success (worldly definition) they could have in this life but to live it according not to our standards as parents nor of this world’s but that of God’s. God knows His plans for our children. We just need to trust in Him that He will give us, parents, the right instructions to raise them well according to His plans.

And what does God say about gifts? My previous article will answer that. *wink* Or better yet, watch the entire movie. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer of the movie below. 🙂

 

#Goal

 

Dahil kahit sira ang aking laptop, wala pa ring nakapigil sa akin na mag-sulat sa blog lalo na’t ilang araw na akong natengga sa pagsusulat ayan na’t puro drafts sila at kahit pa tinatyaga ko ang mabagal na pag-type nito sa aking phone. 😉

Madalas kong maalala ang nabasa ko sa libro ni Pr. Joey patungkol sa buhay mag-asawa sa libro nyang pinamagatang “The One Thing That Saved My Marriage.”  This was what he shared about remembering an incident where he learned that one lesson that changed their lives as a couple:

We were visiting a church in snow-covered Washington, DC. Though it happened in 1988, I can still remember the moment vividly in my mind. The pastor said, “At the end of your life, you will find yourself in a hospital bed somewhere and the people surrounding your bed will not be your business partners and associates; they will be your wife and children. The saddest day of your life is when you look into her eyes and both of you realize that you did not love her and your children the way you should have.”

Kung interesado kayong mabasa ito, married or not, you can download this sa website nya (joeybonifacio.com) and you just have to subscribe and look for the book in the e-books bar section.

Parang tulad din ng sinabi ni Pr. Dennis sa seminar on careers sa Singles’ Getaway noong 2012 kung saan ako nagkaroon ng altar call. This was about his wife noong ito ay nagbabalak i-pursue ang pagme-medisina para maging doktor at pinapili nya kung buhay may asawa o pagdo-doktor pipiliin nya. He told his wife na kaya ba syang damayan ng kanyang medical career sa mga gabing naiiyak o nalulungkot sya dahil sa isang problema. His wife chose to prioritize him and the family.

I met my husband nasa katapusan na ako ng masteral ko. Ngunit pinili kong unahin ang pag-aasawa thus we got married kahit ‘di ko pa tapos MA ko. Now I jokingly asked my husband, “Hon kung matapos ko MA ko and pursue my PhD, papayagan mo ba ako?”

He seriously answered/asked: “Wala ka na panahon ‘nun sa amin ng mga anak mo. May gusto ka bang patunayan sa sarili mo, Hon?”

And I was silent. Smiled. Then laughed. It was really a joke.

Oo, tama sya. Para saan pa nga ba ang pag-pursue of “greater” things when God wanted us to be content with what we have taking into consideration things that really matter – if you are married, it is your spouse and family. When we claim for greater things then it also means greater responsibilities which as we all know requires these – more time, more effort, and more resources. I guess we never really can have the best of both worlds thus we have to choose and prioritize. Ngunit sa mata ng Dios, what comes after Him if you are married is not your career but your spouse.

Tama sila Pastor na sa pagtanda mo o kapag ikaw ay naaksidente o nasa ospital, it is not going to be your co-workers, your friends or your boss who will be there to stay with you 24/7. Lahat ng iyong kaibigan ay magkakaroon din ng mga sarili nilang pamilya ganun din mga kapatid at kamaganak at ang mga ka-close mo sa trabaho ay magre-resign din ‘di kalaunan.

Though it is nice to get achievements, it will become of no use when you get home and you have nobody to share it with who is there with you cheering you all the way from start to finish. There is a possibility though that your spouse will leave this world sooner which would prove that indeed, things of this world are only temporary.

Yet this will prove too that because life is short and everything is temporary, it is a must we give the necessary kind of love to the significant other that God has appointed to us if it is our calling to be married.

Maybe the best question we should ask ourselves now is to whom or to what are we investing most of our time now here on Earth? Are we using it to forge meaningful relationships living out the greatest commandment of God which is loving someone with a Christ-like attitude and preparing for life in eternity or we are just living the life within this world and conforming to its patterns?

Isa sa mga goals ko ang mabuhay ng simple, working to live and not living to work. I need money for survival and yet I rely on God for the rest of my needs. If we are getting everything we need and want thru our own efforts then we would become lukewarm in our faith thinking we don’t need Him to supply our needs.

Now this is contrary to what God wants from us dahil ang gusto lang Nya is for us to seek Him with all our hearts. ‘Yun at ‘yun lang kung tutuusin ang only goal natin in this world dapat.

With this in mind, I contemplated about not finishing my masteral. I prayed real hard about it and got an instruction from God to finish it in His perfect time. Plano kong mag-shift ng courses noong college at itong Special Education na course sana lilipatan ko. But I was advised na ituloy ko na lang undergraduate course ko and i-pursue na lang as master’s degree ang Special Education kung plano ko mag-aral ulit.

Matagal na panahon na ang lumipas pero hindi pa rin ako makausad sa masteral thesis ko to the point na tinanong na ako ng Kuya ko kung ito ba talaga gusto ko. Sabi ko oo, dahil gusto ko tumulong sa mga batang may kapansanan o special needs. Nararamdaman ko na dun malapit ang puso ko. Kung ‘yun daw ang purpose ko ‘di na kailangan ng master’s degree dahil marami namang paraan para tulungan sila.

Sagot ko naman hindi lang kasi ‘yun. Plano ko magtayo ng isang Special Education school at magiging maganda credibility ng school na ito kung alam ng mga magulang na ang may-ari ng school ay may alam sa Special Education. Plano ko rin maging hands on sa school na ito kaya dapat may alam ako sa Special Education, training at experience nang sa gayon masubaybayan at magabayan ko rin ang mga SpEd teachers na magtuturo sa aking school.

At hindi lang dito nagtatapos ang layunin ko dahil kasabay ng school ay plano ko magtayo ng isang foundation/therapy center na mangangalaga ng libre sa mga batang may kapansanan ngunit kapos para makakuha ng sapat na serbisyo sa kanilang mga needs doon muna sa aking hometown sa Bulan, Sorsogon sa Bicol region. Alam ko na sa mga plano na ito, malaking effort, mahabang panahon at malaking pondo kailangan kong bunuin.

Ito ay isa lamang sa mga long-term goals ko kahit pa ngayong ako’y may asawa na. At palagay ko magpapatuloy ito hanggang sa pagtanda ko. Alam ko malapit ang puso ng Dios sa mga bata at alam ko rin na ang Special Education ay isa sa mga paraan ng Dios para matulungan ang mga batang nabuhay ng may kapansanan. I know the Lord sees the challenges, the frustration and the pain that these kids, who are innocent, go through pati ng mga magulang nila. Ngunit sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, ito rin naging reminder ko:

“Many are the plans of man, but it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21)”

Sa ngayon patuloy akong nananalangin for the Lord’s instructions, guidance and provision. And yet I have faith na saan man ako dalhin ng Dios kahit pa sobrang kabaligtaran sa mga plano at pinapangarap ko ang mangyari, buo tiwala ko na it is for my own good at ‘di lang para sa akin, kundi para na rin sa asawa ko at sa mga magiging anak namin. Nagtitiwala ako na hindi man matupad itong pangarap ko in my lifetime, I have hope na nariyan ang opportunity na ang magiging anak ko ang posibleng mag-sakatuparan at tumupad ng mga pangarap na ito kung ito ay alinsunod sa will ng Panginoon at kung ito rin ang kanyang calling o misyon.

Sa ngayon, binigay sa akin ng Dios ang asawa ko. This means that whatever happens, sya ang pangalawa sa priority ko after ni God.

Ikaw kapatid, anong mga plano mo sa buhay ang inaalay mo sa Dios na bigyan ka ng gabay? Continue praying, God hears and answers. 🙂

“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

How It Is To Live w/ Bipolar Disorder

Tin Ginete

HOPE

Yes. I think I have it.

Although I wasn’t diagnosed, I  believe I have a Bipolar Disorder II with Hypomania. It is mild but it still is a condition. Here is a link re bipolar disorder to help you understand better: http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic449381.files/Adobe_Acrobat_Format/WLecture_10_-_Bipolar_Disorder.pdf.

The news re Robin Williams’ death saddened me and reminded me of what I went through battling depression. The reason I took Special Education now is for me to understand myself more. Because the moment you realized you are different than others, you will seek ways to help yourself and you want to help others too who may be going through the same thing.

Most of you think I am naturally gifted with those “talents.” 🙂 The truth of the matter is, they are skills I acquired to help me combat depression without the medications. Doing art, playing the guitar, photography, dancing, writing and all my other hobbies all helped me take my mind off those depressive thoughts – they sidetrack all feelings of anxiety, paranoia and fear.

I attempted to commit suicide twice. The one incident wherein I was almost successful doing it was year 2012 after a very stressful and violent breakup.

BUT it was also that year that I got SAVED. I was introduced to the faith January 2012 and made my altar call during the Singles’ Getaway last September 2012. I created this blog October 2012 which now became my “megaphone” for my faith and my spiritual journey.

If I have been vocal about my faith in all social networking sites, it is not because I seek for attention nor for popularity but because I intend to share the FAITH that saved me from committing the greatest sin that one could ever do while alive and encourage those who are almost losing hope as well to not give up.

Cry your heart out. Belt it out. Drop down on your knees, repent, pray aloud, cry His Name aloud, seek for His Grace BUT NEVER GIVE UP.

Because God did not give up on you and me. He sent His son Jesus Christ into this world to suffer the pain for us, to save us from our sins – to give us HOPE.

NO ONE and NOTHING else can save you from what you are going through EXCEPT our GOD. The moment you surrender your life to Him, you will feel His presence in your every living moment. You will feel the Holy Spirit in you. God will give you opportunities to a new life and a chance to redeem yourself.

God used the skills I acquired and my circumstances to make me better and stronger so I can serve Him, serve others too and spread the good news. God surrounded me with people who helped in bringing me closer to Him, who will remind me of Him. Because of God, I don’t look back in my past with pain and regret. I see my past as God opening the doors to a new life – spiritually restored and healed.

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. There is no cure. There are only protective factors if you don’t want to go on medication. Although the latter shall be decided upon assessment of a medical professional. Seek help if it is too much to bear. I sought help from my spiritual family and I always have this verse to remind me every time I have those depressive episodes and it gives my life a purpose and meaning:

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4

If it wasn’t for the faith, I’ve long been dead. This testimony will speak how it really means to be BORN AGAIN through the Cross and through God’s love. 🙂

 “For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

Minsan Ba Naisip Mo Paano Kung Naging Tulad Ka Nila?

(This article was published at the Definitely Filipino website and at the Philippine News RSS Feeds Portal.)

http://definitelyfilipino.com/blog/2012/10/24/minsan-ba-naisip-mo-paano-kung-naging-tulad-ka-nila/

http://news.modelsorg.com/minsan-ba-naisip-mo-paano-kung-naging-tulad-ka-nila/

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Inakala ko na sapat na ang makakuha ng magandang marka (1.75, 1.5, 1.25 maging Uno) sa aking mga klase. Sa tuwing nakikita ko ang mga ito, hindi maikakailang ako ay masaya. Dahil nagbunga ang aking sakripisyo, tiyaga at pagpupursigi. Ngunit kaakibat ng kasiyahang ito ang isang malaking responsibilidad.

Inatasan ako ng lipunan at ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas upang tumulong sa lipunan bilang isang Iskolar ng Bayan. Sa pagkakataong ito, dito ko maibabahagi ang aking naging isang karanasan.

Nakilala ko si “D.” Isang batang may kapansanan. Salat sa lahat ng uri ng karangyaan sa buhay. Maswerte na siya kung sa isang araw, tatlong beses silang kumain. Nakatira sila sa isang bahay na maituturing na parang malaking kahon sa liit at sa pagiging marupok nito. Ang kanilang higaan ay isang papag na walang kutson. Ang sahig nila ay lupa, walang semento, walang kahoy.

Nang una ko siyang nakita, isang maaliwalas na ngiti ang ibinati niya sa amin. Niyaya kami papunta sa kama, na ‘yun na din ang nagsilbing kanilang sala. Pagkaupo ko, hinawakan niya kamay ko, at nagtatanong siya. Wala akong maintindihan sa sinabi niya. Pinaulit ko sa kaniya, di ko pa rin maintindihan. Nakita ko kung gaano naging desperado ang bata para mapaintindi ang ninanais niyang sabihin. Ngumiti na lang ako sa kanya at tinanong ko kung ano madalas niyang nilalaro. Kinuha niya ang isang sirang hoola hoop at pinakita sa akin. Dagdag ng Ate niya,

“Yan po ang paborito niyang laruan. Kaso nga lang nasira na.”

Pero hindi ako pumunta doon para kaawaan sila, kundi tumulong. Walang pormal na edukasyon si “D.” At dahil sa kapansanan at kahirapan, mas lalong lumiit ang oportunidad upang mabigyan siya ng sapat at magandang edukasyon. Tinanong ko siya kung gusto ba niya mag-aral, tumango siya sabay ngiti. Napangiti na rin ako, hindi lang dahil sa ngiti niya kundi dahil sa kagustuhan niyang matuto. Masunurin siya at nakukuha niya mga itinuturo ko sa kaniya. Ngunit alam ko na nangangailangan ng mahabang panahon para matulungan siyang makapagsalita, makapagbasa at makapagsulat. Siya ay sampung taong gulang na.

Natapos na ang panahon para makasama ko sila. Isang bagong hoola hoop ang iniwan naming alaala sa kanya at mga prutas na dali dali namang naubos ng magkakapatid. Wala man silang naipamahaging materyal na bagay para maalala namin sila, ang kasulatang ito ay sapat na upang magsilbing alaala ko kay “D.”

Nalalapit na ang huling serye ng aking pagtutuos sa aking pag-aaral bilang estudyante ng SPED. Alam kong hindi sapat na makakuha ng magandang marka. Ang mahalaga, kung paano magagamit ang iyong natutunan para makatulong. Nariyan na ang mga katanungang madalas kong banggitin sa aking sarili: Makakayanan ko ba ang ganitong uri ng trabaho at mga balakid na aking makakaharap bilang isang guro ng mga batang may kapansanan? Maibibigay ko ba ang tulong na kinakakailangan ng mga batang ito? Ilang “D” pa kaya ang maaari kong tulungan?

Sa bawat lagok ko ng Starbucks coffee; sa pagpunta kung saan-saang tourist destinations; sa pagbili ng usong damit, sapatos, bag, gadyet,; sa pagkain ko sa mga fine dining restos at sa lahat ng maituturing nating “extravagance for the privileged”; isa lang ang madalas kong maisip: sana nae-enjoy din ng mga batang tulad ni “D” ang ganitong mga pagkakataon.

Iskolar ng Bayan, ako’y naturingan. Hindi ito nangangahulugang gawing marangya ang buhay at kalimutan ang mga nangangailangan kundi tulungan ang sarili makabangon, maging mabuting ehemplo at magsilbi sa bayan.

Ito ang adhikain ko. Sana ganyan din ang adhikain mo, kaibigan. At ng karamihan.