Sep 27, 2017
Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 11th Graders at the University of Bohol
Location: VDT Advanced Learning Center (University of Bohol), Tagbilaran (city), Bohol (province), Philippines
Giving a Talk
During a student debate, UB faculty Mehul and I had a brief talk where he found my story rather unique. He asked if I could share my philosophical and spiritual journey to 11th graders at the University of Bohol. Of course I said Yes.
Mehul took me to the University of Bohol-VDT Advanced Learning Center, Senior High School on the outskirt of town. After a brief talk with a teacher, I learned that this school is the most exclusive in all of Bohol. The students are the most privileged, coming from affluent families who shake and move Tagbilaran, perhaps all of Bohol. To set the paradigm right, these students are born and raised in the Philippines who can hardly speak Boholano or Pilipino - because they only speak English. Until I had a trust-fund girlfriend back in my UP days who was born-and-raised in the Philippines but could not speak Tagalog, I thought such references only existed in comics and movies. Now, they would be my captive audience. It goes without saying that these students already have the best education money can buy. They're not just rich, they are smart! And I am not about to underestimate that intelligence.
No Rated-R Pictures
I had an outlined set of topics together with webpages from TheLoneRider to present, but opted not to open it after learning most of them are 18 and below. I had Rated-R pictures from Burningman which might ruffle the school admin feathers. I didn't want to be rude to my university host. As such, I just winged my presentation wherever it took me. I couldn't possibly talk about cathartic moments in my journey without mentioning Burningman.
Point A to Point B
I started my story when I was still a working stiff in Canada, doing the 9-5 back in 2003. It's all about the normal life of going to work, reporting to an incompetent boss, being reliant on the paycheck, house in the burbs, white picket fences, etc. Life was all normal until I told my boss she was incompetent. I was fired while saddled with a $22,000 debt in the middle of a nasty divorce. I thought the world imploded on me. But that's when the magic started.
Fast forward to my here-and-now and I'm a homeless nomad, no property, no job, no connections with powerful people BUT I'm happy. I live in plush resorts, eat good food (and even invite breakfast guests!), travel extensively all over Southeast Asia, meet magnificent lives and give talks like this one. Sure, I hardly have money, but if I can manifest my desires by simply wishing it, then who needs money? Everything I could wish for in life, I already have....hmmm I haven't walked on water yet, but that's a different issue :)
How is all that possible? I pointed out cathartic moments that happened in between to cause a paradigm shift that redefined everything - divorce, Burningman, Vipassana, yoga, etc.
I busted the myth about money, the delusion of the future and the clawing hands of the past. I talked about the fragility of love, the impermanence of what we think we forever have, clutter-clearing heavy baggage which may include friends and loved ones, redefining spirituality not as a goal but as a process and questioning everything if it makes no sense.
Natural Hidden Law
Homeless people who have no money usually starve on the sidewalk - I don't. I attribute that to a natural hidden law I somehow stumbled upon. I wanted to talk more about the variables that make up the pieces of its jigsaw components to make it readily available to everyone - not just me. I already have a good collection of the jigsaw pieces...and growing - empowerment, fitness, perfecting the game instead of pursuing money, detachment, impermanence, staying present, critical thinking, mindfulness, trusting in the process, humility, gratitude...all these things I'd like to add to having a Midas Touch.
I didn't talk too long since I wanted the rest of the segment to be an engaging Q&A. I wanted the dynamic interaction. To my dismay, none raised any question, although it was obvious they had a lot to ask. The talk ended abruptly after that. Interestingly, when we were informally taking pictures, that's the time they squeezed-in their questions - too late!
I don't usually do formal talks in front of an audience (although I'm increasingly getting comfortable with it) as I usually share my experience on a one-on-one basis with friends across a coffee table. However, given my nomadic lifestyle, the radical way I see reality, how I play my role as I inch my way through this journey and more importantly, the transformation I've gone through in pursuit of it, it becomes increasingly clear to me that people who live a conventional life could benefit from whatever insight I can share. There are too many unhappy souls out there limited by their visible horizon - as I used to be. I share my story to give them a glimpse of a horizon far broader and more animated than the mole hill immediately in front. Why be a passive observer of reality when you have it in you to construe it.
Thank you for giving me the privilege and opportunity, Mehul !!!
Next stop: Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House
University of Bohol Blogs
- Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol Oct 4, 2017
- Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 11th Graders at the University of Bohol Sep 27, 2017
- Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
Reader Comments:Cristina Lark
(Sep 28, 2017) ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
(Sep 28, 2017) LOL so cute
Greg & Sally Tree Garden Cafe
(Sep 28, 2017) Guru!
(Sep 27, 2017) Astig bro. I'm still amazed of how you do it. Living your type of life I mean. Good read
(Sep 27, 2017) Wow Git. So proud of you! Miss you
(Sep 27, 2017) 👏 👏 👏
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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