Choices we make Part 1

In the film "Sophie’s Choice", Meryl Streep’s Sophie had to make a terrible choice, which of her two children will be brought to the gas chamber in Auschwitz during WWII.

Never mind that her character spoke German, never mind that it took her one take, never mind that she won the Oscar for Best Performance by an actress.

It was a choice nobody had to take.

Maybe because my heart is unblocked now after my angioplasty that the memory of something similar came back.

It was the day I had to tell the medical staff of the hospital’s Emergency Room which of my parents will be left to die.

Meanwhile, here is the link to Meryl’s commentary on that scene from SOPHIE’S CHOICE.


The Voices of the Day

At the office, our camaraderie is such that we are very candid with each other.

A colleague told me something I already knew about myself: that my mood changes throughout the day. I am more quiet and more serious in the afternoon. But I never really dwelled on it. I didn’t think anyone actually noticed.

In truth, I am not a morning person. No I am not cranky in the mornings. In fact, I am more extroverted in my actions ante meridien. I think I wired my brain during my high school years (specifically junior and senior year) to have full neural pathways engaged in the latter part of the day.

I am not so bright when the sun rises as compared to when the sun sets.

My colleague noticed that I do more of my heavy-brain work such as planning, reviewing and learning in the afternoons. In addition to his comment, I am more inclined to reserving houra for creative work after the sun has set.

I am more easily distracted in the morning, less able to shut out the rest of the world when I need to concentrate. I hear everyone talking. And I feel the need to contribute to their conversation. Siempre I am in Public Relations. I have to sniff out gossip and hearsay and just tag it as unconfirmed information while I search for and distill useful and relevant news. A caveat, though: my wit usually comes out once the sun has reached its zenith, never before. So I minimize morning sosyalan. Because nothing witty and sparkling can come from me before noontime. But, of course! Yes! I can smile and say hello. And then if I can help it, will make a graceful exit.

In the afternoons, I am more able to focus and concentrate; better able to listen to my inner drum and the other voices in my head as I ruminate on strategies and initiatives and as I play with creative ideas for future projects. I also do my press release drafts (10 minutes at 4 pm compared to 90 minutes staring at the cursor at 10 am), and draft and refine my reports.

In a nutshell? During mornings I hear and listen to the voices of the world around me and the messages they bear. In the afternoon, I hear myself. During evenings sometimes until way past midnight, I hear my spirit. Of course I pay attention.

That is my rhythm of the voices of the day. What is yours?

The Importance of Being Thorough

When I was a Freshman in ADMU, our English professor, Eric Torres, pounded in our brains the ethic that the key to good writing is good self-editing. In publishing, this quality is assured by an editorial team that includes a researcher, a content editor, a style editor, and an art director. Often, this team also has a pool of proofreaders that go over manuscripts, galleys, and so on before something goes to print. That was in the early 80s, when editors and proofreaders know and use standard proofreaders’ marks.

Back then, E.T., as he was fondly called, dared us to find typographical errors in the newsmagazines of TIME and NEWSWEEK, whose editorial teams were formidable. If we found typos, we get plus points. Or was it an "A" in our next essay?

The Professor’s point in this was that in all that we do, we have to be thorough. Because being thorough separates the Pros from the Amateurs.

A recent listing by a luxury travel guide included a hotel that closed in 2014 as one of the best places to stay in Manila.

Was it an old post? Even so, it should have been updated because the beast we call the World Wide Web demands information that is always up-to-date.

Was it nostalgia on the writer’s part or was he not thorough enough?

Were his editors not thorough as well?