Saturday, 30 November 2013

Yang Chow Dim Sum & Tea House: It Touches Your Heart

Yang Chow Dim Sum & Tea House: It Touches Your Heart

           It used to be a big but empty house along Marcos Highway as you approach the busy Masinag Intersection in Antipolo City. As far as old timers can remember, that structure has been there since the early 80s.  It was massively built but unoccupied.  And rumor had it, then, that it was owned by a high ranking military officer close to the powers that be.  But that remained as such -- unconfirmed. The place had not been useful or productive until renovation was done recently.  It was converted into a restaurant. A Chinese restaurant with a very familiar name:  Yang Chow Dim Sum and Tea House.

           The Chinese name Yang Chow has been associated with the delicious fried rice served in almost all Chinese restaurants. As one enters the restaurant, a wall painting is noticeable at the south side where one learns where the name of the restaurant really was derived. It was taken from YangZhou, a city in Mainland China. Noticeable too are the beautiful Chinese lanterns which enhance the over-all ambiance of the place. The ceiling is high and the air conditioners are blowing really cold. Very cold.  The Tea House is spacious.

            Yang Chow serves delicious dim sum and congee.  If one likes noodles, there is a broad array to choose from. Dim sum, naturally, is prepared in small-sizes for easy biting which usually includes steamed or fried dumpling and rice rolls with bits of meat or shrimp. Congee is porridge served hot. And all these food items are served with Chinese tea. For free. I am referring to the tea.  For some, these can be the meal itself while others consider them as appetizers. Dim Sum means "touch the heart".

             Yang Chow Tea House serves Hongkong Cantonese dishes such as Soy Chicken, Salt and Pepper Squid, Beef Brocolli, Steamed Fish Fillet & Hot & Sour Soup. The choices look endless. And the prices are reasonable. Service is generally good. Waiting time for food to be served is about 20 minutes.  There is free parking but the slots are almost always occupied which is an indication that Yang Chow is attracting a lot of diners. And the way I look at it, Yang Chow is here to stay. For many years to come.


Yang Chow is along Marcos Highway in Antipolo City.
Two figurines greet guests at the entrance.
Background of resto
Attractive paper lanterns
Beautiful decor
Yang Chow Tea House is spacious.
Waiting time is about 20 minutes.
Good for family gatherings
Birthday boy Andre
Free unlimited tea
Shark's fin dumpling
Hot and Sour Soup
Beef Broccoli
Special Birthday Noodles
Steamed Fish Fillet
Salt and Pepper Squid
Food served really hot
Inviting and tempting
Function room for big groups
Clean as a whistle
Free parking

Monday, 25 November 2013

The Commission on Human Rights At Work

The Commission on Human Rights At Work
          Andre, 11 years old, was dropped from the varsity team on account of a late registration marked on his birth certificate. Coach was citing a new tournament rule which disqualifies a player outright if his birth certificate has a late registration stamped on it. But what puzzled Andre's father, Allen, was the fact that another boy with a similar birth certificate, also registered late, was not being disqualified by the coach and was made part of the team.  Said rule was an arbitrary and controversial rule touching on legal grounds. Allen even presented Andre's original certificate of live birth, hospital documents showing when and where mother and son were confined, hospital bills, baptismal certificate, SSS records, etc. but to no avail. Allen's recourse was to file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights.

          The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is a constitutional body mandated to ensure that human rights of all Filipinos here and abroad are safeguarded.  It is tasked to make further studies and make recommendations to Congress.  The CHR has investigative powers and is also empowered to ask assistance from other government agencies in the fulfillment of its mandate.

         The CHR's main office is located at Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and is part of the vast UP-Diliman complex. Based on personal impressions, it is manned by efficient, courteous and accommodating employees.  Its investigation division is at the ground floor. When Binibining Pilipinas Universe Venus Raj was stripped of her title because of questions about her citizenship and birth certificate, the CHR came to her rescue and, ultimately, she regained her title.

          Months passed by and Allen was asked by the CHR to present his 2nd affidavit. This was a reply to the counter-affidavit filed by the coach. He complied.  And he was asked to report again a few days after. He had a consultation with his private lawyer, who after evaluating the counter affidavit of the other side, came up with the initial assessment that there were sufficient grounds to elevate the case to a higher court and the case would be criminal in nature.  But the lawyer gave him enough time to think about it, the implications and the consequences as well.

         Allen thought about it long and hard that night. He was giving weight to the aftermath, to its effects on other people, groups or organizations. And most importantly, its effects on the boy Andre. The following morning, he was at the CHR.  The lady investigator had just finished with the subpoena to be served to the coach, which was supposed to be the second subpoena for him. Allen presented a letter to the lady investigator.  She was taken aback after reading. Here is the content of that letter:

Nov 19, 2013

Atty. Gilbert D. Boiser
Director, National Capital Region
Commission on Human Rights

Through:  Atty. Carmelita Rosete
                 Chief, Investigation Division
                 Ms. Marlene Espiritu

Dear Atty. Boiser,

We would like to thank the Commission on Human Rights for the invaluable assistance extended to us and to our son Don Andre.  This is something we will always remember.

In the best interest of everyone concerned, we have deemed it wise to set aside our case.  It is time to "let go".  It is time to move on.

And as Tiny Tim said in the story A Christmas Carol: "God bless us, everyone!"

Merry Christmas.

Very truly yours,

Mr. & Mrs. Allen Gener (sgd)

Cc: MS, Atty.Jimenez, Atty. Viben, Atty. Rosete-CHR, DWAD-NPC, file

         Lately, Allen has found time again to walk casually along the riverbanks, watching a bunch of cranes hover around an unmanned wooden banca, patting beautiful dogs he sees along the way and stopping to appreciate the colorful flowers that bloom at this time of the year. And the boy Andre?  Though he missed the prestigious tournament, he is now a member of the school team that is currently playing in the PRADA and MSSA tourneys. Hope it stays that way.


The Commission on Human Rights is located along Commonwealth Avenue.

The Constitutional Commission is housed at the SAAC Building which is actually part of UP Diliman.

Main driveway

Photo taken from the Commonwealth side of CHR.

The Main Building

The Goal, Vision and Mission of CHR as seen when one enters the main building.

The way to the Investigation Division at the ground floor.

Strictly enforced

Investigator handling the case

Allen and Andre shown here with Milo Best President Nick Jorge. When Mr. Jorge was Coach of the San Miguel Beermen, Allen's grandfather was team manager & team doctor of the Utex Wranglers in the MICAA and early PBA days.

A friendly chat with the amiable sportsman Nick Jorge. Allen idolizes Mr. Jorge who was his mentor in his Milo Best days.

Andre shown here attending another basketball summer camp.

Young basketball enthusiasts

Andre religiously and eagerly attending basketball practices.

Part of the rigorous training

Andre tags along whenever his father Allen plays at the Moro Lorenzo Gym.

Whenever the controversy is being discussed, Andre breaks away from the group and keeps quiet.  He is shown, above, all by his lonesome.

Allen and Andre with their Uncle Johnny who used to be a player and coach.  He tells Andre:  "You are too young to be involved in a controversy.  Just remember that there is nothing wrong with you. You are just as fine as the other kids."

Allen's legal adviser is Atty I. Jimenez (right) who is a younger brother of an incumbent Cabinet Secretary. He tells Allen: "Think also of the consequences.  It's your call." Another legal adviser is Atty Viben.

Allen is special guest at CBS-DWAD where cases of human rights/ child's rights violations are being tackled.

News reporter and human rights advocate Pasky Natividad cites the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.  Listening and waiting for his turn is radio broadcaster Henry Samaniego.

Moderator Dan "Equalizer" Zulueta, Jr. stresses a point during the deliberation.

With the case set aside, Allen and Andre have more time camping in the mountains of Sierra Madre.
The morning sun has risen and the rooster has crowed, yet Andre is still fast asleep.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Poems Of My Youth

 Poems Of My Youth

          We were fortunate that we had the opportunity to go to a Catholic school run by the Capuchin Fathers who originally came from Spain.  Part of their liberal education was the mandatory introduction to English Literature.  And a module was concentrated on reading and reciting poems. We were taught about meter, rhyme and figures of speech.

         During classes, we were asked to stand up, open the literature book to a particular page and read a specified poem.  Not just read but to emote as well. Some were easy to understand and some had deeper meanings which were hard to fathom. Before classes ended, we were asked to write on a piece of paper the message which the author was trying to convey.

          But that was not all there was to it.  On a designated day of a particular month, everyone, with no exemptions and excuses, would go up the stage in gala uniform to recite an assigned poem. Hundreds of students would be watching as a panel of judges would listen and pick several winners.  I still remember to this day how classmate Ricky Xavier would dominate the competition and how easily he would romp away with the gold medal almost every year, from grade school to high school.

         Looking back, from these poems, there were lasting lines which were embedded in our fertile minds, which later on, became our mantra or guiding principles. They were pearls of wisdom. There were unforgettable and inspirational phrases which, at several stages in our lives, became our battle cry. From the beauty of a rose to the steadfastness of one man, there were lessons learned. And these poems, after all the years, we still keep close to our hearts from where we, at times, draw strength. Inner strength that sees us through our journey in life.

 - Konted

by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth sweet flowing breast.

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair.

Upon whose bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree.

The Arrow and the Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Break, Break, Break
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, oh sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

My Heart Leaps Up
By William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. 

A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever
by John Keats

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. 
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing 
A flowery band to bind us to the earth, 
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth 
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, 
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways 
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all, 
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall 
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon, 
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon 
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils 
With the green world they live in; and clear rills 
That for themselves a cooling covert make 
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake, 
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms: 
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms 
We have imagined for the mighty dead; 
An endless fountain of immortal drink, 
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 

by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 

A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns
O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June; 
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while! 
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.

How Do I Love Thee?
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. 
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height 
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight 
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. 
I love thee to the level of every day's 
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight. 
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; 
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. 
I love with a passion put to use 
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. 
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose 
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath, 
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose, 
I shall but love thee better after death. 

She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
She walks in beauty like the night
of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
meets in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
had half impair'd the nameless grace
which waves in every raven tress,
or softly lightens o'er her face -
where thoughts serenely sweet express
how pure, how dear their dwelling - place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
so soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
the smiles that win, the tints that glow,
but tells in days of goodness spent,
a mind at peace with all below,
a heart whose love is innocent. 

Introduction to Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest. 

 This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman? Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,-- Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands, Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven? Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed! Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean. Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-PrĂ©. 

 Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient, Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion, List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest; List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

But O heart! heart! heart! 

O the bleeding drops of red, 

Where on the deck my Captain lies, 

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
The arm beneath your head!

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,

From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;

Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

A Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream! 

For the soul is dead that slumbers, 

And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real! Life is earnest! 

And the grave is not its goal; 

Dust thou art, to dust returnest, 

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way; 

But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day. 

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating 
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle! 

Be a hero in the strife! 

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! 

Let the dead Past bury its dead! 
Act,— act in the living Present! 
Heart within, and God o’erhead! 

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time; 

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing, 

With a heart for any fate; 

Still achieving, still pursuing, 

Learn to labor and to wait. 

The Rhodora
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

On being asked, whence is the flower.

In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals fallen in the pool
Made the black water with their beauty gay; 
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool, 
And court the flower that cheapens his array. 
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why 
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky, 
Tell them, dear, that, if eyes were made for seeing, 
Then beauty is its own excuse for Being; 
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose! 
I never thought to ask; I never knew; 
But in my simple ignorance suppose 
The self-same power that brought me there, brought you.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league, 
Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred: 
'Forward, the Light Brigade! 
Charge for the guns' he said: 
Into the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred. 

'Forward, the Light Brigade!' 
Was there a man dismay'd ? 
Not tho' the soldier knew 
Some one had blunder'd: 
Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but to do & die, 
Into the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 
Volley'd & thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of Hell 
Rode the six hundred. 

Flash'd all their sabres bare, 
Flash'd as they turn'd in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army while 
All the world wonder'd: 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right thro' the line they broke; 
Cossack & Russian 
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd. 
Then they rode back, but not 
Not the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon behind them 
Volley'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
While horse & hero fell, 
They that had fought so well 
Came thro' the jaws of Death, 
Back from the mouth of Hell, 
All that was left of them, 
Left of six hundred. 

When can their glory fade? 
O the wild charge they made! 
All the world wonder'd. 
Honour the charge they made! 
Honour the Light Brigade, 
Noble six hundred!

Come Live With Me And Be My love 
by Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love, 
And we will all the pleasures prove 
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, 
Woods or steepy mountain yields. 

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks, 
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals. 

And I will make thee beds of roses 

And a thousand fragrant posies, 

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle 

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle; 

A gown made of the finest wool 

Which from our pretty lambs we pull; 

Fair lined slippers for the cold, 
With buckles of th purest gold; 

A belt of straw and ivy buds, 
With coral clasps and amber studs: 
And if these pleasures may thee move, 
Come live with me and be my love. 

The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing 
For thy delight each May morning: 
If these delights thy mind may move, 
Then live with me and be my love.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

For Whom The Bell Tolls
by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Breathes There The Man - Canto VI
by Sir Walter Scott

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

by Max Erhmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Don’t Quit
by Edgar A. Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,

Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

The Man Who Thinks He Can
Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don't,
If you like to win, but you think you can't
It is almost sure you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you've already lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins

A Prayer For My Son
by Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee — and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goals will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, give him, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”

*All pics from Konted's album (except that of Jennifer O'Neill)