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My grandmother passed away six years ago, but memories of her linger still.  It feels like a dream.  I am old enough to think of the good old days but not old enough to indulge myself in reminiscing since I am still actively making new memories.  There are moments when I remember how she took care of us and how she would warmly greet us when she saw us.  Her face lights up and it made me feel loved.

Those days when we were young, it felt like the world was safe and sunny, and now that a few decades have passed, I’m old enough to know better. That every moment should be cherished because they become memories far too fast and sadly enough it almost feels like their existence as a dream because memories have a fleeting quality about them, they are not solid.

Life feels like it’s not quite real but at the same time oh so real.  I remember her, but now that I am used to her being gone, it doesn’t feel so painful, but there is a dull ache of longing to be able to see her again and interact with her and hang out with her.  It’s those little moments that feel like they are not important which become the most important, as we get older.  It’s those moments which become poignant and pierce our hearts when we remember how much we miss them.

When we are young, we can’t wait to grow old, yet at the same time we are very of the moment, we are not able to think too far into the future except maybe to wish for something to happen but then get distracted once again by the moment.  Now that we are older, with a few battle scars and having experienced the loss of loved ones, the perspective is different.  We are not as young and carefree as we once were, nor are we as brave.

Sometimes I wish that I could hang out with her again and share meals with her.  There is something so comforting about her and so relaxing.  It’s a feeling of home.  And now, all that’s left are memories which weave in and out of our mind as we go through life.

(c) Niconica 2019



According to Google, concept of undermining is defined by “gradually weakening or damaging someone or something especially gradually or insidiously.”  This is why we must be mindful of people who are out to harm us with their supposed good intentions, it’s like leaving little crumbs for us to eat up until we find ourselves in a hole that is too deep to dig out and before we know it we are someone else’s lunch so to speak.

Just because someone assures you that they love you and care for you, or just because someone is related to you, it doesn’t meant that their intentions are as clean as they purport it to be.  They can make it sound as though all their supposed “sacrifices” and decisions are for your benefit but it doesn’t meant that we must believe them.  Actions always speak louder than words and when you feel that unsettled feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is not quite right, you have to pay attention to it.

You will not be able to confront them or discuss their intentions because they are experts at double talk and they will demand for hard evidence that what you are saying is the truth.  They will tell you that you are imagining their negative intentions and that you are too sensitive and you are difficult to deal with.  There is no discussing truth or logic with these “wolves” and one should not even try to do so for our own mental health.

In the fairy tale, the wolves are identified as wolves–good and bad are clear cut.  However, in real life, many people who surround us and who might even be closest to us and even related to us may be manipulative enough to use our own weaknesses against us and the when we realise that something is amiss, they would dismiss it by simply attributing it to our overactive imaginations, and that they really mean the best for us–they might even stare straight into our eyes and claim that they love us, however all their little actions are clearly the opposite–strong enough to make us feel bad but subtle enough that they would not be called to task for it.

They are masters of mind games and more interaction with them will risk our peace of mind and our sanity.  We all know people like that in our lives, sometimes they might even be family or supposed best friends or supposed trusted employees.  We must be vigilant and listen to our guts because sometimes if we keep trusting in their words, we fail to take them to account for their actions and there is always that discrepancy between what they claim they intend and what they actually do and they would never admit to it.

In fact, if they are called to task for it, they will have the gall to be hurt and lie through their teeth that they are the victims of wrongful accusations and even, paranoia.  These sort of people will have it coming to them–karma will not discriminate between a well-concealed negative deed and an overt one. Our job is to stay our of the way and let karma have a straight path to them.

(c) Niconica 2016


Daniel Goleman’s books are a must read when we wish to learn about how we think and how to cope with the world around us.  Social Intelligence provides insight into how we interact with people around us. It also makes us understand how and why people are the way they are and how we can improve ourselves.

Getting along with people is a crucial factor for our survival; hence, the reason why it is pertinent to learn social intelligence.  I will belabour the point that learning emotional and social intelligence should be mandatory in the education system.

We learn that how we are treated during childhood affects our levels of anxiety and how we cope with daily stresses and this may make all the difference between a well-adjusted individual and a criminal. We learn to look at humans beyond the typical IQ assessment and ability to memorise facts and figures.

Social Intelligence is a very insightful and relevant read for all who wish to understand the human mind and how it works.

(c) Niconica 2015


Eckhart Tolle Oneness with All Life

Life is getting more and more fast-paced and it’s hard to find moments when we get to slow down and read books.  Eckhart Tolle’s Treasury Edition of Oneness With All Life which contains inspirational selections from his bestseller A New Earth is precisely aimed at busy individuals who do not have time to read his book and yet are curious as to what all the fuss is about.

The selections contain easy to read and brief excerpts which give us some reminders of staying in the present moment.  His teachings are very similar to Gary Zukav’s Seat of the Soul which I find to be more insightful and appealing, however, it might just be because I grew up with Zukav’s works.

By the articles I choose to write, I am not one to shirk from heavy emotional issues and tackle them intensely so I would prefer a book which deals more deeply into our mind and how we think and feel.

However, it’s light and feel good reading which would be good gifts to inspire or remind loved ones to stay in the present moment without touching on or their wounds and opening up locked emotional issues.

(c) Niconica 2015


I have been away for a way, not a vacation or a holiday–I wish.  I have been mentally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically overwhelmed for the past few months and it’s been quite a journey, I am not even sure whether to begin.  Each time I write a blog entry, I keep thinking I’ll be able to sustain the momentum and write at least one entry weekly but sometimes, life gets in the way.  It’s been a bumpy ride so far and there is definitely more fodder for discourse for the blog.

Sometimes, that’s all we end up gaining from bad experiences–the lessons to discuss, to remember, and to share with people, because there is nothing we can do to change things.  It is how it is.  One of the lessons that I’ve learned is that wide-eyed idealism and being naive catches up with us in the end, especially in a poverty-stricken country like the Philippines.  We keep thinking that it’s as simple as giving jobs or opportunities to the people who need it but we do not consider the flip side of the equation where hiring people who are in such a state, we end up having to deal with their erroneous habits and thinking.

We also subject ourselves for manipulation, trickery, and theft because they are that poverty-stricken that they seem to have the faulty assumption that it is the only way to get ahead.  There is so much media coverage on the nobleness of being in poverty and how the wealthy are the ones who exploit the underprivileged and it really sells as a viable plot line and appeals to the mental archetypes in our head and therefore a lot of movies and books tout this view however reality is a bit more complicated than that.

If we keep on raising up the underprivileged and poverty-stricken on pedestals as though they can do no wrong, because they are already at a position where it will not be politically-correct to criticise them, then we place ourselves in a very blinkered perspective where we do not consider the whole story.  In order to address an issue, we must not be afraid to look at it and tackle it head on–starting with the reality that there is the tendency that people who are raised in a chaotic and poverty-stricken environment will have to adopt some tendencies and mindset to survive a very tough childhood, upbringing, and neighbourhood, and they bring this thinking into the workplace.

There are many stories where the employers or business owners are manipulated, fooled, cheated, tricked, and embezzled from by these employees, but the excuse of the perpetrators are often the very salable lines that it is because they are financially challenged and had no other choice but to engage in dishonest behaviours and that they are the ones who are the victims.  They turn the whole story around and make the employers the villains, and this is swallowed up by the mass psyche.

I would call this tendency manipulative self-pity.  This has often been used as an excuse to get away with murder and vilify people who are more privileged and it’s just a way to passive aggressively express envy and hostility.  These psychological tendencies need to be addressed in order to move the country forward because if such personalities and attitudes are allowed to thrive, there would be more chaos and crime, and getting away with murder so to speak.

We here a lot of these supposedly maligned people spread their stories onto the media, we hardly hear or give proper platform to the other side of the story where it is the business owners or employers who often get the short end of the stick, because it is not popular to criticise or bring up the habits and tendencies of the underprivileged because they already have their poverty to deal with and we would not be good people if we add to it, therefore we all turn a blind eye to this area which needs to be addressed if we wish to move forward.

(c) Niconica 2015

It is almost too obvious to say that difficult people must be avoided at all costs, however the reality seems to be too much to hope for. They seem to crop up everywhere with blatant neglect of others and yet have the manipulative gall to even act like they are the ones who have been wronged.

We would all like to hear we are good people and we don’t usually like stirring up the pot and these difficult characters see this as an opportunity to further their own causes. Up to what point is it acceptable to allow these people to commit such blatant acts of selfishness.

After the initial stages of trying to let the situation solve itself or trying to be idealistic and see things from their perspective, there comes a point where we must have a resolution to the situations created by narcissistic characters.

It’s tempting to get these difficult people to look at the mirror each time they rant about how horrible life is to them as well as other self-righteous tirades. However, the lack of self-awareness in such difficult personalities seem to pervade their whole persona that they would not know decency even if it stared them in the face.

It would not be a good idea to harbor the illusions that they would change and realize their wrongdoings. Winning the lottery would even be more possible than renovating flawed characters when the best plan of action is to stay as far from them as possible and avoid any more contact to preserve our own sanity.

(C) Niconica 2014

It seems that somewhere along the way the real essence of weddings has gotten lost in the billion-dollar wedding industry.  We are being sold a dream and a fantasy while we lose our grips on reality on one of our most important life decisions.  There are only a few things more important that selecting our life partner and we must not get lost in the illusions which popular media and society have created.  

We may be exposed to Western television series which portray divorces to be as casual as break-ups, but we still live in a society where divorces are not legally allowed and annulments are mentally, psychologically, and financially costly.  With this in mind, our society encourages the idea of lavish weddings which may allow the faint-hearted to lose their grips on reality.

The wedding is not the endgame.  It’s just the beginning.  Therefore impractical notions should be checked at the door.  We cannot judge the quality of a relationship or a marriage on how much the weddings costs and how flamboyant the celebration was.  These are not definitive factors of what is more important–the relationship of the couple and their marriage and family life together. 

Truth be told, the wedding is merely a means to and end–which is joining ourselves legally with the person that we love and being able to start society sanctioned life and family together.  It was probably a bigger deal in the olden times when there was no indoor plumbing, no vaccinations, no electricity, and no modern conveniences–therefore weddings were a means to literally surviving. 

I think that we have, as a society, become obsessed with the trappings that we have lost the point entirely. We must endeavour to always keep it real. 

(c) Niconica 2014

If there is one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that life is unpredictable and changes can occur in the blink of an eye.  We must learn to mind our own business and avoid being judgemental of other people because we are not omniscient and we cannot know how things will turn out even for ourselves, much less for other people.

It is easy to proffer our opinions and pass judgement on others, but to what end? In the end, our opinions do not have any bearing on the reality of other people nor can we predict definitively how the situation will transpire.  It is better to be neutral and observant and learn to focus on our own betterment rather than be preoccupied with other people’s situations to the point of being a gossip or a busybody.

This is not to say that we must be narcissistic and not help others who are in need.  It is only to establish that if we are not able to benefit other people by helping them, we must avoid being judgemental.  It would be good practice to remain neutral when it comes to many situations which occur to other people. 

Each minute that we spend on judging others and pronouncing our opinions on them or about them, it takes away precious time which we may devote to more productive and positive pursuits.  Being judgemental is a flaw of lazy people who would rather use the excuse of “concern” for other people to procrastinate or to divert focus away from their own weaknesses. 

At the end of the day, all these useless or destructive behaviour will take away from our humanity and cause us to develop negative mental habits which will take away from our future happiness.  Be mindful. 

(c) Niconica 2014

We find ourselves in a world where all superficial and material needs seem to be progressing while we seem to lose track of what is essential and find ourselves in want of a moral compass.  It may seem that morality is not applicable now as we get more and more jaded and cynical through bad experiences, but it is precisely the nature of these experiences which make it even more clear that we must start growing and maintaining a strong moral backbone–this cannot be purchased and artificially constructed.

It is only through careful and meticulous discipline that we maintain what it is that makes us human so that we do not harm others as well as ourselves through the current of increasingly selfishness and narcissism.  Being ethical and having good morals is not optional–it is necessary–so that we do not lose our souls in the process.  

Peace of mind is probably one of the most overlooked treasures which we could have.  We must stop and not allow the rampant and intense materialism carry us away at the expense of what is truly important.  

(c) Niconica 2014

During our younger years when our hearts were not worse for the wear, we might have not given a second thought about entering a committed relationship.  During our thirties (at least) and onwards, when we have more things at stake such as our family responsibilities, careers, and emotional wounds and issues, we enjoy the idea of finding love and entering a relationship on a theoretical level and may even think that we wish to pursue it.  However, when we observe our own inclinations and habits, we might find some contradicting behaviour.  Do we really wish to or not?  Do we have the courage to risk our emotional (and physical wellbeing) by entering a committed romantic partnership?

The idea of finding “The One” still might appeal to us on a certain level but when we are faced with an actual flesh and blood human beings, our issues come to light and we wonder whether we would be able to set them aside or quickly resolve them in order to give a potential relationship a fighting chance.  Are we both ready and willing to love?  Being ready requires more than a simple willingness and desire to love, and risk vulnerability.  Being ready requires emotional maturity and the earnest desire to work towards understanding another person and integrating them into our lives.  Being willing might sound simple but it should be more than a flippant desire to indulge in the romantic whimsy or thrill of the moment.

In moving forward in a serious manner, we must ask ourselves whether we are truly ready and willing for the risks and commitment a real relationship requires, otherwise we are just wasting our own and the other’s time, effort, and emotions. 

(c) Niconica 2013