Feeding your dragons and staying young

I was able to talk to actress Glaiza de Castro during a lunch organized by GMA Network two weeks ago. She plays the role of Eunice, considered as the antagonist (kontrabida) in the teleserye entitled “Stairway to Heaven”. During our discussion, she brought up a point regarding the teleserye's impact on her.

“Being an antagonist could be draining and tiring. To be more effective in my role, I really get into the character and even after the director says 'cut' I'm having a hard time letting it out. This happens when I am in a very tense scene that need so much of my energy. It's worse if we have to do the scene repeatedly, thus I end up doing things I should not do. One time, I slapped Dingdong Dantes' character which was not on the script. Anyway, it would take a long time for me to get out of that character. Sometimes, I have to cry to just get out of that role I got into. Outside of the camera, I tend to imbibe Eunice's character. When I get angry, my sister tells me that I act like Eunice,” she said.

Glaiza is getting into Eunice's character almost everyday during shootings. It's no wonder if there are times when Eunice's character is also manifested in her life outside of show business. This case reminds me of a story a priest told me once. He said, “All of us are made of good and bad stuff. We have two kinds of dragons inside of us. One is good and one is bad. Whichever you feed is the one that becomes stronger and one that will be manifested in your dealings with other people.”

We can classify the good dragon as love, trust or faith, forgiveness, sincerity, peace, hope, unity, and other related values. If, despite the trials that come our way, we continue to feed these values, we end up being happy with ourselves and shower kindness to others while we seek for our own happiness and meaning in this world. We can classify the bad dragon as hate, distrust or lack of faith, revenge, dishonesty, harsh words, violence, anger and other related values. If these emotions are strong, they can be manifested through malicious and harmful words or deeds. True, the receiver of these emotions will also be affected but temporary; it's the bearer who suffers the most. While feeding the good dragon results in a win-win situation. Which would you choose?

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HOW TO STAY YOUNG AT HEART. A friend forwarded to me an e-mail containing tips on how to stay young. But of course, we can never stay young but perhaps we can feel young at heart. First, don't worry about your age, weight and height. Second, keep only cheerful friends because the grouches pull you down. I disagree on this one, though. If you happen to have friends who are “negative” you don't leave them, you accept and love them as they are and just go about your own life. You can still have happiness with your other happy friends, right? Third, keep learning. It's sad to hear people say “I'm too old to learn computers or PSP” or just lie around doing nothing when you can learn to garden, cross stitch or any hobby. As the e-mail states, “An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.” Fourth, enjoy the simple things. I agree. We are all so blessed but why is it that we keep on complaining about the things that we don't have? And why is it that we only make effort for big-time time dreams, big-time people and big-time projects? The big-times usually start small, right? Fifth, laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Sixth, the tears happen.

Endure, grieve and move on. Be alive while you are alive. “God, this pain can make me a better and stronger person. The next time, I'll be stronger,” could be a great phrase to say when you're in tears instead of “I'm going to get you, I will plan and plot for your downfall, wait and see” because the latter is like drinking poison yourself. Seventh, surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Eighth, cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. Ninth, don't take guilt trips.

Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but not to where the guilt is; and lastly, tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

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