Don't try to be the Buddha (Christ). Just be yourself for that is the Buddha.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Our family at the Divine Mercy Foundation.

On the way to Davao City we dropped by a religious tourist spot named Divine Mercy. The site consists of a good sized church, a large landscaped park, and a big statue of the legendary Jesus Christ. There is also a place to light candles and some souvenir booths lining the entrance.

I was a little disappointed that I was still sleepy when we got there since I didn’t enjoy the outing as much as I normally would. But I still got to sit in a large, quiet and peaceful church. There weren't that many people there so it was easy to observe the silence. I enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading about our travels and I hope you enjoy the photos!

A statue of Jesus Christ at the Divine Mercy Foundation.
The landscaped park at the Divine Mercy Foundation.
Overlooking a beach in the Philippines.
The ocean in the Philippines.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Elma & Tita Flor.

It’s May 28th today and that means it’s Aaron’s birthday. He is now three years old! I still remember before he was born when it was just his Ate Claue and their parents. Aaron doesn’t speak English yet since he's still young but his older sister does. 

While at the birthday party I took a picture of a roasted pig and that is one of the things that makes the Philippines different from the United States. I only saw a roasted pig in the U.S. once in my life but here it's extremely common. Most families that have enough money to purchase and cook whole pigs multiple times in a year do. It is part of Philippine culture. Some religious doctrines ban pig products but a good amount of the Christian population here enjoys pig during most of their celebrations.

This was just a basic update with some background about celebrations in the Philippines. Thank you for reading and make sure to find time off to relax and treat yourself with kindness.

Birthday Celebration.
This is a street dog here in the province.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Emafe & Chris Rice.

Emafe and I were laying down last night and I asked her if we could take a photo together. It is now one of the many photos we have taken together as a married couple. I also asked Jake if I could take a photo of him.

I upload my photos to Instagram and I like the fact that it's like a personal diary. I have a lot of our memories there. IG (Instagram) can be less stressful for people who want to avoid reading the rants of their peers. It is mainly for photography, not text.

I hope you enjoy IG, Facebook and the Internet. If used properly they can relieve stress but if used incorrectly, they can generate stress. Have a good day everyone.

Dried fish.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Emafe & her relatives.

Emafe and I visited a mountain top the other day. It is actually where some of her relatives live. I felt a little discomfort at first since it was a new scenery and I felt a little stressed from the news I saw on TV. But then it was time to sit down and look at the chickens that live there.

A chicken's eye looks like a fish eye and their necks move fast in twitching-like motions. I saw how innocent they were and felt a sense of peace watching them take care of their young. I also took a few moments to look at the mountains that sat off in the distance.

The last thing everyone did was play volleyball. I didn’t play but I took a few pictures to remember this moment as it is.

Thanks everyone for reading! :)

Emafe & Chris Rice.

Mama chicken and her chic.

Chicken playing peek-a-boo.
Walking chickens.
Coconut trees on a mountain.
The family playing volleyball.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jake’s in his Holy Child outfit. 
Holy Child is the school he went to in Davao City (2016).

This is one of the good memories that I share with Jake. He was wearing his Holy Child t-shirt with red face paint and his Ate Emafe is the one who took the photo.

Holy Child is the school he went to when we lived in Mintal of Davao City. It was an English speaking school and the education there was good. There were a lot of school projects and extracurricular activities like swimming and taekwando.

On the day of this photo Jake was singing at a Holy Child event with his classmates. And he was singing so loud that the veins in his neck were getting really large. And I remember seeing a strong sense of innocence in his expression and gestures. That is probably the closest thing to fatherhood besides my wife’s pregnancy that I have ever experienced.

So I am looking forward to more interactions like that with Jake, and especially the birth of my son, Zac Lucas Rice. I have a good sense that the day he is born will be similar and probably a lot more intense. It will be the first time I witness the miracle of life in person and I predict it will be a day of pure joy :)
Jake & Renz (July of 2015)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fast sketch of Chris & Emafe Rice.

Sometimes our society or at least the part of society I grew up in teaches people to have goals. The philosophy is that without a goal, a person will get nowhere. But I am starting to think that trying to get "somewhere" often takes us to a place that is worse than our starting point.

When we don’t have a goal or agenda we are more fully ourselves. We can enjoy life more, our family, our friends and most of all ourselves. Goals might be good sometimes but lets not get so caught up in goals and enjoying ideas that we forget to see the real thing, Reality, staring us in the face and waiting for attention.

P.S. A good definition for the word "God" might be "Reality". It is the only thing that is real and everything else is false.

Sketch of Emafe Rice.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Chris & Emafe Rice
Emafe met me at the Manila Airport with her aunt and cousin on August 29th, 2009. After our time in Manila we flew to the province and got picked up by her parents and brothers. I still remember seeing the never ending rice fields and coconut trees lining the highway with the wind blowing towards me and the fast motion of the multicab I was in. It was surreal!

We visited other relatives of hers but the first thing Emafe did was clip my toenails. I am not very clean when it comes to that and in the Philippines it is much more important. I don’t spend that much time caring for and looking after my feet so that's probably why I needed them clipped so badly.

Anyways, it was awkward getting my nails cut by someone else for the first time. It almost felt like she was going to cut my toes since she used a nipper to trim the skin around my nails. But I am now getting used to it.

Thank you, Fema. I love you :)

Emafe clipped my nails today.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Our dog, Gabby.

Sometimes when I notice an animal I see a dog, cat or a bird. And sometimes I can look at Gabby the dog and I sense some sort of reflection, like a mirror. I see something similar in his eyes and mine. He doesn’t walk upright, talk English or have a wife, but I can see a part of myself when I look in his eyes. Especially in this photo. I can notice the same thing in the cats we used to care for.

Some people say that Love is a form of attachment, other people say that it is seeing yourself in another person, animal or thing. I don’t think it matters what the word means to other people but I can sense some sort of connection between me and everyone & everything else. It isn’t that strong but looking at photos like this one makes it stronger.

There is a doorway that leads to the End of Suffering, and I believe that noticing our connection with other people, places and things is the door.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

This is a church at the Monastery.

I visited a monastery with Emafe and her family the other day. The location was silent and solemn with trees, open space and a small prayer room. As a family we took time to sit, walk and reflect. 

Most of us wrote prayers on little paper cards. Renz even wrote a prayer asking God if he could go to Heaven with his family. I know he doesn't quite know that much about the world and that most of the stuff he knows and thinks he knows is based on what he's been told. But I still see a sweetness in his prayer.

Out of everything he could of asked for he asked for him and his family to be together & happy forever.

I love the open space here.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Emafe's Dad in his store.

I have had a good time since I moved to the Philippines. Distance has been a slight issue, since I am away from friends and family members that I grew up with. But in terms of Self-Growth and Personal Development, I had no choice but to move to the Philippines.

Life is simpler Here. I am sure there are places in the United States like the Philippines and even simpler if you compare Amish communities with cities in PH. But the crowd I was with in the United States wasn’t simple. Keep in mind that there is nothing essentially wrong with being complex, it is a matter of preference, not Right or Wrong.

The two most influential people in my life that help(ed) me do this is Emafe and her Dad. Her Mom, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends and everyone else I was introduced to played an equal role. But it is Emafe who helped me appreciate animals, her Father who helped me appreciate plants, and both of them showed dedication towards helping me improve my health, lifestyle and understanding. Everyone did, but looking back, it seems like the two of them took leadership positions.

Emafe is a leader, just like her Dad. And I owe the two of them something money can’t buy, Love, Joy and Understanding in One.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Renz is practicing his photobombing skills in the background :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sometimes in the midst of noise there is a quiet presence, a sense of peace where all joy and love can be found. This is what I am learning. I am learning the art of finding peace, of noticing peace as it is, at all times in every situation and circumstance. But I am not there yet. I am still getting there, or to put it another way, I am getting Here from over there.

I have spent much of my life focusing on thoughts. Thinking of the future in the best times and of the past in the worst times. But I am starting to get better at focusing on the Present, the Gift that God gave me, the present.

(Note to Emafe: This is the gift I told you about when I was sick.)

I am noticing Zac more, even though he is still in Emafe’s tummy, and I am noticing Emafe more. I am slowly waking up from the dream called The Future and waking up to now called Reality. I hope all of us will do this, and do it together. This is how we find peace, not only for our hearts, but for our friends and family.

May the world know the world as it is, Perfect.

Monday, May 15, 2017

This is a poem I made that can mean more than one thing. It is subjective and ambiguous on purpose. Not necessarily out of cleverness, but the Truth itself is ambiguous and to such an extent that it seems subjective.


I Am

Before the Universe, I Am.

For I am Nothing.

In need of nothing.

In search of nothing.

In fear of nothing.

I stand on my own.

I am Nothing.

I am the Universe,

I Am.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nottingham Building in Camella Northpoint

I visited Camella Northpoint yesterday with Emafe to pick up the keys to our condo unit. It was an investment we made in 2012 to help us save money. But now that I am older and have lived in the Philippines for over 7 years, I am no longer interested in purchasing real estate. Paying the taxes is a hassle, maintenance is a hassle and renting it out to someone else would be a hassle. That is one of the reasons why Emafe and I sold the house we purchased in Davao City (too much work with not enough benefits). But that might be related to my personality or diagnosis.

Since I wrote about my diagnosis a lot has changed. I have come to accept that I experience avolition and my wife has accepted it too. So things are smoother now. I sleep a lot, help when I can but I don't worry about the things I am not good at. I still do my best but I learned that I cannot force myself to do better than I can. I either can or I can't, and I understand now that it is good to do my best but that my best is all I can do. I guess I am trying to say that I know my limits now (on a moment-to-moment basis). I think that is a good thing.

Liverpool Building of Camella Northpoint
The building of our condo unit is nice. There are big windows on the side of the building that lets in fresh air during the day. And even though I haven't visited the building at night I am almost sure it has a pleasant cool breeze then too.

One of the best parts about the condominium complex is that the community is covered in pine trees. I love plants so I am happy that I have a place to relax and view some nice trees. The trees are especially pleasant to view from the clubhouse and the doorway sized windows. I think I will bring plastic chairs when I stay there so I can sit outside with Emafe and look at the view. I am happy to say that the air was fresh too, at least during our last visit.

Emafe and I visited the OBGYNE today for one of her regular checkups.

Now the last part of this post. I wrote a letter to my son but I never updated the news that Emafe is pregnant! At least not on my blog. So now it's official, Emafe is over 5 months pregnant and soon, at the perfect time, Zac Lucas Rice will be born and the two of us (Emafe and I) will be first time parents. If you remember, I was big about .XYZ domain names a little while ago. But coincidentally, Zac has XY chromosomes and Emafe nicknamed him 'Z' on her Instagram account. So somehow, someway, I got exactly what I asked for. I just didn't know at the time that Zac was my dream, Zac is what I was waiting for, and Zac is what my wife and I were waiting for together. 

I am happy I will be a father soon, and someday I hope to walk him around the condominium community we own a unit in. It is a beautiful place and reminds me of when I was young and went camping at Redwood Glen

Sunday, May 7, 2017

I loved you before I fully loved myself. But through you I am learning to love myself more and more everyday. And because of you, I learned that's what the world needs. That's what I need, and that's what my friends and family need. So thank you for being a bright light in what initially seemed like a dark world. I love you 😊

Happy Anniversary, Love Emafe.
(I posted this in Facebook on April 30th, 2017)