Solano Stories

Is Colin Kaepernick A Disgruntled Football Player?

Written By: Rex Solano - Oct• 10•16

The trending news or the controversial issues regarding San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national protest about not standing for the national anthem will adorn our lives, not with love, friendship, and camaraderie but with hate, anger, and discontent for years to come. It’s been over a month now since the time Colin Kaepernick voiced his freedom of expression about how the minorities are being oppressed and the police brutalities in question so direly needed to scrutinize, so reprehensible at times, have made all of us looking at our nation “sugar-coated” with so much divisiveness, enmity, and rancor regarding the stance and beliefs demonstrated by others. This protest spearheaded by Colin Kaepernick reprovingly disrespecting and dishonoring our patriotic flag will linger for as long as it is tolerated and condoned by some organizations especially the San Francisco 49ers football team for which he is listed as a backup quarterback. Right now, we are facing an unhealthy society and political detraction going forward to see other athletes following suit on the stance of Colin Kaepernick that to kneel down instead of standing at the singing of the national anthem will give them ultimate justices, listen to their cries and their sentient gripes or disapproval over social inequality, police brutalities and oppressions believing it will send a strong message and generate a lot of supports from those who have been oppressed. Though I believe it is not a pretty sight to watch those athletes kneeling or raised a fist during the singing of our national anthem, explains to me thoughtfully and intelligently, if ever it helps or solves the racial tensions and how they viewed about the police force not safeguarding the welfare of its community? What is so ignominious or loathsome about Colin Kaepernick’s action and what his protest inherently is trying to relate to the American people, had instead divided this country with furor and disgust. Sometimes as a respectful and obedience citizen of this nation, I have come to wonder why they have to act so repulsive and disdainful to the country where they are a part of or had even been given all the chances and opportunities to be successful in their lives, while others have not had that sumptuous privilege to enjoy. Many people living in America does not have that luxury in life where one like Colin Kaepernick has to play, strictly football and made millions to the envy of others. If those who protest do not like how the government is being managed and conducted, then for the good measure of the law and civility, they are also given a free reign of their lives, to that so called freedom of choice to leave the country, in the same manner, they also boldly claimed that it is their constitutional rights to the freedom of expression.

Honestly, ever since Colin Kaepernick had waged a war of his stance about oppression, social inequality, and police brutality, it has really impacted my life. It changes the “landscape” of how I like to steer the direction of the road I want to take. Even now I stopped watching NFL football which for so many years had become my ultimate pastime. It has not given me the pleasure and the joy to embrace the game ever since Colin Kaepernick infused in my life the irrational rhetoric of how his protest can be so demeaning and degrading to the conscionable one who sublimely and dearly loves this country. Gone are the excitements and the celebratory moods that were once a part of me.


As I was trying to cogitatively analyze the truest sense of Colin Kaepernick action and behavior, I found it so digressing, unworthy of any praise and just so contentious. Colin Kaepernick reminds me of a disgruntled employee who became so argumentative questioning the leadership of his supervisor. At one time, Colin Kaepernick was idolized and revere because of his talent when he was a starting quarterback for San Francisco 49ers, almost leading his team to Super bowl victory. But when he lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert, his attitude and demeanor delusively changed. I just wondered if his protest not standing for the national anthem had something to do with losing his starting role as San Francisco 49ers primary quarterback. And so, if it happens, if the SF 49ers decides to give him back the starting quarterback, will he start standing for the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner? Well, like a disgruntled employee who has an attitude problem because he was bypassed for promotion, we can also expect the same for Colin Kaepernick if given another chance by the San Francisco 49ers to name him as their starting quarterback where he was once a catalyst of a proud organization with a winning tradition.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Written By: Rex Solano - Sep• 11•16

Any which way we look at it or read about it, Colin Kaepernick stance protesting the singing of the national anthem by kneeling instead of standing, given my own personal view is contemptuously wrong. Colin Kaepernick may have his reason by voicing his own opinion with the constitutional rights being conferred or granted to the American people, but to dishonor and disrespect the symbolic freedom of our patriotic flag is as disdained, despicable and ignoble as anyone can imagine. The singing of the Star Spangled Banner in any sports events, concerts and other entertainment functions have been a social and cultural tradition that had been practiced since the time he was not even born to life. What made Colin Kaepernick think that his protest against social injustices and police brutality as he personally claimed by not tending to honor and respect the national anthem will solve social ills and racism that is confronting America today? For me it just does not make any sense at all. Really! Why desecrate the American flag for which our branches of United States military and even our police officers had fought, for our freedom and democracy; to me, this is in itself a travesty and unpatriotic to our own creeds and beliefs for the way we lead our normal life.

If Colin Kaepernick continues his protest by kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem while the rest of the football fans are standing with some placing their right hands on their hearts, then with Colin’s arrogant stance dishonoring and disrespecting the American flag; he just made some people especially the football fan looks like a fool.

But I still do not get his point though. What police brutality and social inequality is he talking about? We all have our constitutional rights, but he must bear in his mind, that our constitutional rights have also its limits. Do we have constitutionally a right to drive speeding in a freeway over the posted speed limit as governed by laws because one is going to be late for work? Or to smoke in any establishment where a no smoking sign is posted and then continue to smoke because one has to satiate his own habits? Or even when a police officer stops a motorist by running a red light, and then when apprehended resisted to cooperate with the cop thereby insinuating police brutality? Colin Kaepernick just totally missed the whole picture. He probably did not know what the American flag stands for. It is a symbol of America’s strength and unity. It beholden us to beam with pride and inspiration, that our brave soldiers had fought for our freedom, liberty, democracy and the pursuit of happiness that million of American people have now come to cherish and embrace for. I may not possess a brilliant mentality as what Colin Kaepernick is trying to infer but I will not follow his stance protesting by kneeling at the singing of Star Spangled Banner because deep in my heart it was absolutely wrong even if he was freely given his constitutional rights of the so called freedom of expression.

I knew and I always believed that America is fair. As a Filipino who came to America in awhile ago, I always have great admiration of how America shapes the lives of its citizens. When I was drafted by the United States Army and eventually assigned to the war torn country of South Vietnam, where during the times the escalation of the war was extremely dangerous, I feared for my life. I asked myself, “What am I doing here?” Either I can go back to the Philippines or become a conscientious objector? But I put aside all those thoughts and fought side by side with American soldiers because I love to live in America; willing to fight, protect and secure the freedom of a great nation even if I had to sacrifice my own life. This is what Colin Kaepernick could have done. Seattle Doug Baldwin once said that “we honor those who have fought for the freedom we cherish. And we stand to assure the riches of freedom and the security of justice for all people. Progress can and will be made only if we stand together.”

But for Colin Kaepernick, however, he took a different stance, making it hard for other people to understand his true gestures, the real reasons behind his advocacy and to justify his personal attacks about country’s injustices and discrimination.

Pokeman Go – Elementary Moves

Written By: Rex Solano - Aug• 26•16

Note: This blog is written by Hyla Solano

This article is to mention some of the beginning moves I’ve discovered since playing P.go. It assumes the player is familiar with the basic elements of the game; however, if needed I can write a prequel to discuss those oddities, far-out, cool, elements of Pokeman Go.
Collect those pokeman balls! It’s never enough. Until you become good at “catching” those pokeman animations you will probably use more than one to conquer your find. Also the higher the CP value, the harder it will be to capture. If you have rasberries, save them for the harder CPs-its meant to make it easier to capture. No one has to tell you to use those great pokeballs (blue) or ultra pokeballs (black) when the rare ones are in your sights. They tend to run away (thats the grey clouds that appear when it happens!)
Capture anything that passes your way! If you have room that is-there’s a limit on the number of pokemans you can store (this may be alleviated by purchasing more space). The reason is stardust is valuable when evoluting. And everytime you capture a pokeman you collect 100 stardust; as well as getting other advantages. You may already have enough of that basic level pokeman but the additional benefits make it worthwhile to do capture.
Plan on utilizing the gyms. Its scary at first-unsure of what the heck is going on? Plus actually interacting w/others (even if its the program). First of all beginners probably don’t have enough high value CP pokemans to fight successfully so its losers time. Never you mind, its good practice. I found it frustrating at first but practice makes perfect and was I proud when I saw my pokeman displayed on the gym roster! Supposedly you’ve selected a team by now and when you play the gyms and fight another team you get 6 pokeman to use. If the gym is owned by your team (mine is Mystique-blue) you get one pokeman. This is because its training time and you really don’t want to slaughter your own teammates.
Alrighty! These are just some of the situations that I came across while enjoying Pokeman Go. Very elementary and nice to know. Remember-don’t drive and play! Pay attention to your surroundings-be SAFE!

” I Do Believe “

Written By: Rex Solano - Aug• 15•16

I do believe that with the upcoming ever so important general election on November 8, I am presumptuously confident that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will emerge victorious and lead the American people to the path of righteousness and good governance. I also do believe that she will enlighten us with her fortitude, strong leadership and her visions to shape America and turn a greater nation. Hillary Clinton is a presidential candidate for the American people, who I think is more than qualified to run our country. In this coming November election, so inspired with first lady Michelle Obama’s delivery of such marvelous speech, that I have come to borrow her phrase as I would verily say delightfully that “I am also with her.’

I do believe that China, being a civilized nation will accede and concur to the fair judgment of an international tribunal in The Hague, in its ruling that their claims of South China Sea is invalid. From my own vantage point of view, if neighboring nations like Philippines, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia disputed the conflicting claims of China in the South China Sea, nothing further could resolved this matter but to abide by the international tribunal ruling. I do believe that China will acknowledge and accept the decision in an amicable and peaceful agreement by having a dialogue and bilateral talks with other nations involved.

I do believe that with the so called terrorists – terrorizing and spreading fears to the lives of innocent people, I solemnly pray that the ISIS will stop with their evil criminal minds, their nefarious criminal activities by decapitating innocent victims beyond any reasons we don’t understand. I just don’t see any advantages to their own ideology and beliefs, if ever they have gained anything to continue with their atrocious acts of terrorism. It’s senseless and despicable and to arrive at any vantage point of reasoning, the ISIS never really accomplished nothing except to lament over the hundred bodies sprawled on the ground. People have died but other human beings are born everyday. It could be endless but that is how God had created the world. Even in any job, when someone retired or an employee is terminated, there is always someone to replace them. It’s a long process for the ISIS to annihilate the world’s populations and in the end the ISIS will fail. Every morning, as soon as we wake up, comes a beginning of a new day. Life must go on and happily we move on.

I do believe that the Filipino people will continue to support the program of current president Rodrigo Duterte in his campaign to stop and eradicate illegal drug dealers who for so many years had corrupted the youths and turned decent people into heroine addicts. These illegal drug dealers have to stop. So many people lives were already destroyed and transgressed into others’ livelihood by robbing them of whatever they can steal just to support their own addictions. With the Philippines National Police ( PNP) in full force in their manhunt of drug pushers or drug users, Philippines has now become a “killing field.” I do believe that in no time at all, the Philippines will be free of all illegal drug activities and the Filipino people will soon enjoy a clean living and a healthy environment.

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Of A Man’s Death

Written By: Rex Solano - Jul• 11•16

While we deplored and mourned the death of Philando Castile as maliciously senseless, I do not see any reason to believe that the killing was racially motivated. This fatal incident was tempered with a gravitational misinterpretation of one’s action toward another. When Police Officer Geronimo Yanez, who is Latino, stopped the car of Philando Castile for a broken tail light, the standard operating procedure as I presumed duly performed by Yanez was to ask for the driver license, registration and proof of insurance. As an obedient and law-abiding motorist he would just simply comply. But here it was not so. Philando Castile opened with very alarming and involuntary words by allegedly telling Police Officer Yanez that he had a concealed weapon in his glove compartment and was licensed to carry it. Why Philando said that to Police Officer Yanez, we would never able to know. Maybe Lavish ‘Diamond’ Reynolds, a girlfriend of Philando, who was a passenger in the car, will shed light to this horrific tragedy, as she claimed that Philando was shot and killed for no apparent reason. Whether Miss Reynolds was telling the truth and stating the facts were even unfathomable and incomprehensible to believe. Yet, that is another tale-story to be expounded and investigated. For at any time, anyone who carries a concealed weapon whether you are white, black or Asian it is always a possible threat to others especially to a police officer where a motive and behavior of a person during a traffic stop needed to be evaluated, studied and addressed thoroughly. So many conflicting statements came out from this bizarre incident. It is all about misleading claims and unsupported speculations. As previously reported, a gun was spotted at the top of his right hip. Now according to Reynolds’ testimony, Philando was just about to grab his wallet in his back pocket. So what prompted Officer Yanez to shot Philando not once but four times, if it’s true as what Miss Reynolds claimed that Philando only tried to get his driver license? But a video footage took us to a very chilling account when we heard Police Officer Yanez yelling and telling Philando to keep his hands in the air. “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hands off it.” For me it was a defensive reaction on the part of Yanez to outdraw Philando first, just like a showdown in the movie “High Noon” where the quickest to pull the trigger, ultimately survived.

And so as I kept on reading the news, my personal reaction is to believe that the reason a black motorist was killed was not about race but a Police Officer reacted to what he thought was a very extremely dangerous situation when he displayed a gun and the unfortunate timing of Philando’s car being stopped when a July 2nd robbery at the convenient store in Lauderdale, Minnesota, fits the description of him as the suspect. But this I can accede to the fact that it might just be a mistaken identity as we would never go that far to believe that a 32 year old cafeteria supervisor would commit a crime robbing a convenient store by jeopardizing his image and reputation. This is simply a case of a black man in a wrong place. Because for what we knew and heard about Philando Castile, he was a team player who maintained great relationship with his staffs and student at the cafeteria where he worked. Philando was full of joy, always possessed that big smile and hug to his co-workers. It’s just so hard to believe that to meet his life in an unexpected circumstances was so lamentable, heartbreaking and regrettably unfortunate.

So many questions were asked. What happened if Philando Castile just acted as an obedient, courteous and a polite motorist complying with what the police officer was asked of him? Would there be any shooting? I do believe that Philando Castile would still be alive and be with us today, had he not acted so arrogant, by bragging to the Police Officer that he carried a licensed gun. Anytime we declare it openly, even though it is only a joke, like boarding a plane and telling TSA personnel that you carry a bomb, it has to be taken seriously. A busted tail light resulted in a death deemed so unnecessary and for me is a waste of someone else life.

We still can learn from this tragedy. Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile had never failed to tell her son that anytime he is involved in any traffic stop, do not do anything drastically. Just comply, comply, and comply. Her strong words of advice to her son probably will reverberate throughout the epicenter of America but she could never bring back the life of her son. She is still agonizing over the death of her son that she adored and loved so dearly, who died at the hands of those she thought would protect her son’s fundamental human rights.

The Orlando Tragedy – A Passion Of Hate And Dislike

Written By: Rex Solano - Jun• 15•16

In the aftermath of the gory and bloody massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando where a gunman had randomly killed 49 innocent civilians and critically wounded numerous others, we come to grip with the realization that our enemies are living within us. We all are a loss for words trying to find a definitive answer for this horrific tragedy happening in a confine of friendly atmosphere. No one could ever imagined, that a gunman who was born in New York of Afghan parents, would devastate the lives of so many.

Revelers about 300 of them, enjoying the nightlife at the busy Pulse nightclub had no idea that a gunman Omar Mateen, armed with an AR-15 Bushmaster assault weapon, would deliberately contrive his plans to take as much lives as he can, without any thought of showing mercy and pity to the helpless innocent victims who were begging for their lives.

We can only derive from our own theory and hopeful understanding that this deadliest mass shooting in US history could only be done by a sick, disturbed and unstable man. If it is to be believed that he called 911 and admitted his pledge of allegiance to the so called Islamic State, then we all come to the conclusion that this is an act of terrorism- a terrorist where we wage a battle of war against the tyrannous and atrocious evil schemes by inflicting deadly harm to the American people. For me this is not normal and living forward to hopefully seek that freedom of safe-haven in a country like America where people around the world have their dreams and aspirations, the longing of a better life calling America, their homes. But when we are pressed on with some individuals whose beliefs are different with ours and whose motives are driven by religious zealotry, hates and silent rages, we have that significant problem confronting us all.

It may be too easy to say that we can stop these nonsensical killings and the intent of committing violence towards innocent civilians, if we stop manufacturing guns especially those military grade assault rifle. But the problem is that we are also divesting business establishment by stopping them from earning a living. I think the fault can solely be attributed to the individual himself. We can control individuals from buying guns but we cannot control their minds and behaviors. What the FBI has to do is to apply a moratorium on anyone who wants to purchase a gun. Get a thorough background check of that person who likes to buy a gun and for what purpose, then withhold that gun for about two weeks until the business establishment or US gun companies gets a clearance from the FBI or even from the National Rifle Association, that the said gun purchase is clear and ready for issue. This is already true in many instances but I believe it has to be strictly enforced, checked, and re-checked that individuals and businesses owners are following the laws. No short-cuts, favoritism, and underhanded dealings.

Too many lives have already been lost. From the Blacksburg, Virginia massacre, to the Newtown, Connecticut, Killen, Texas and the San Bernardino rampaged, our grieves and sorrows are mounting in droves, becoming too painful and enormous to bear. There must be some preventive measures to stop this nonsensical killing of innocent civilians whose lives were cut short by the false beliefs of this radical Islamist ideology and irrational discountenances of these deranged individuals.

To avoid any tragedy of this nature, people must be circumspect and cautious to be on the lookout when attending any social gatherings, sport events and entertainments where the lunatics are targeting the big crowds and congregation of sorts. Business establishments have to hire more types of securities to be patterned like the TSA, by screening all individuals, travelers and detecting potential terrorists. I know it is a hard task to do that may result in causing a delay but we need all the help we can get to combat the heinous act of terror and their unforgiving evil intentions of killing innocent people.

Your Philippines Presidential Choice, My Choice.

Written By: Rex Solano - May• 04•16

On Monday, May 9, 2016, millions of Filipino register voters will go to the poll and cast their votes to choose the president who will lead them out from the asperity of poverty and away from the venal of living a miserable life. It’s not an easy task to make a personal choice of a preferred candidate, but with a clear conscience and firm convictions, the future of the Philippines is in your hands.

Five qualified candidates are vying for a presidential seat. Among them are Grace Poe, Mariam Defensor Santiago, Mar Roxas, Jejomar Binay and Rodrigo Duterte. Anyone of them can lead the nation. However, that is not the criteria why you choose the right and good leader who will take you all to the promise land of great tomorrow. To be a good, conscientious voter, one has to ask among those candidates, if ever you can find it in their heart, a penchant devotion to love, care, and compassion for the people. A presidential candidate who has the vision to make the necessary changes to uplift the impoverished condition of the poor and the sincerity of their campaign promises that will ultimately gravitate the tenet lives of its inhabitants. Constituents likewise have to analyze, evaluate and find out for themselves the priorities of these candidates in their quest to becoming a great leader of their country. By enhancing the lives of their people to be free from all the burdens and hardship that insufferably makes life so rough, tough and challenging. By rights as we all know that by making all those promises are not enough. All politicians are gifted with that kind of rhetorical talents. What we like to hear from the presidential candidates is how to solve the impoverished living conditions of their people. By providing jobs to the unemployed so that a breadwinner will be able to put food on the table. That the presidential candidates will strictly enforce the fundamental human rights of its citizens whether they belong to a lower class, middle class, and upper-class families. The candidates must have the vision to protect the environment, and climate change is a must on their campaign program. During calamities, as it was proven, the Philippines were wreak havoc and inundated with massive flooding. The reasons as Anton Chekhov opine through his observation, that ” Forest keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life’s become extinct, the climate’s ruined, and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.” All presidential candidates must focus and centralized their platform strictly on the beliefs the important of the climate change to the global world. All presidential candidates must be truthful to the words being promised during the campaigns; by eradicating criminals spreading terrors, exterminating all corrupt officials that had caused the rising of poverty and the lacked of the job driving all newly graduates seeking employment elsewhere, will hinge largely on the president you will soon elect.

Words are so sweet to hear. All those promises that will enlighten and enliven the lives of their countrymen are nothing but just fancy words persuading the electorates to vote for them. Many times voters were fools and deceived by the sweet talking politicians, but despite, did the people ever learn their lessons? The problem with the Filipino voters is the facts they have no consciences to follow their own. So easily to get swayed and just become followers of whom they like. Study and evaluate their campaign programs, their platform and agenda. As I said, they are all qualified leaders. We have come across so many brilliant presidential candidates whom we trusted to lead the nation, but none of them had emerged as a problem solver to hear the cries and woes of its people. To be a smart, knowledgeable and brilliant presidential candidate, one also has to possess the character of being a sincere and honest leader. I knew for sure this is what the Filipino electorates are having in mind, to entrust their future in the hand of those they choose to elect.

I am writing this blog to impress upon all readers that the best presidential candidate who will run the country and suited to be a good leader is Grace Poe. I have a lot of friends and relatives living in the Philippines. Even though I live in Hawaii, it constraints on me that feeling of pain and sorrow, whenever I heard their agonizing cries of the murmuring whines of the hearts and the hardship of continuously living in a country full of promises. Is this what the Filipino people like to happen in this year presidential election? Please vote wisely and smartly. Don’t let that emotion gets the best of you.

The Cruelty Of Fate and The Circumstances Behind It.

Written By: Rex Solano - Apr• 02•16

There are times in life that when we failed to live up to our expectations, the desires and hopes that we long to achieve, we blamed it on fate and even called it a destiny as a criterion in our life asking why such incidents or misfortunes are fortuitously happening to us.The fact is, we even shrugged our shoulders and said it to ourselves, that is fate and then in a sour grapes tone of voices, we would say that maybe God has something better things in store for us. But that is not the case. We lead our lives based on the decision we made and the choice we take. God is only instrumental in guiding us in whatever undertaking we do in life that would benefit us in all future endeavors. Commonly, when we meet the most cumbersome and unfairness of how the cruelty of fate played a trick on our lives, especially the tragic loss of our loved ones, immediately we sought the Divine intervention of the Lord. God has nothing to do with all the misfortunes that are occurring in our lives. Fate is just an unavoidable circumstances beyond our control, although if we are too careful and prepare ourselves to any adversities and misfortunes that would ultimately strike us with hapless results, then maybe, the divine intervention of God is conceivably needed. But too often than not, as what William Ernest Henly pointed out in his poem “Invictus,” when he venerate proudly “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul,” we lead our lives the way we like it to be. We are aptly responsible in determining all the challenges confronting us or even that are ahead of us.

The cruelty of fate or the so called twist of fate happened just recently to basketball star Mario Chalmers. I am not too shy to admit that I followed his basketball career since he was playing with Kansas Jayhawks ultimately winning the NCAA title and then NBA titles with Miami Heats. When the Heats traded him to Memphis Grizzlies, for me it was quite contentious and disturbing to see him go. But that was part of the economic reason as the Miami organization was trying to solidify their team roster especially with the departure of LeBron James, considered a prodigal player who came back to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But what was so sad when Miami Heats traded Mario Chalmers to Memphis Grizzlies are his all out efforts to blend in with a new team, trying to prove to the basketball world that he has something left in the “tank” as one would suggest. I purposely titled my blog -” the cruelty of fate and the circumstances behind it” because I felt that the manner Memphis Grizzlies’ handled the case of Chalmers was so disheartening and uncalled for, the inculcate iniquity toward the budding basketball career of Mario Chalmers; by severing ties or ending his contract upon rupturing an ending season Achilles tendon injury. We were neither expecting nor even envisioning of an unjust treatment to any player, but a decision of unfairness to let him go had bewailed a moan of cries heard in all circles of the basketball world, and for Mario Chalmers, grimacing the pain and sadness of his basketball career, he soon has to find a new team that is willing to take a calculated risk how quickly he recovers from an ankle injury. Well, we can blame it on fate and how cruel it was.

My Mom who suffered a stroke about over a year now and still has not recovered would never be nary in my mind of any thought to consider a cruelty of fate. But the circumstances befallen her, how it happened leaves much of a more suspicious action that nobody was able to watch her carefully when a woman at the age of 91, apparently needs careful attention and guidance to monitor her daily activities. Through all the years, as she continued to struggle to get a glimpse of how the beautiful nature surroundings in her most painful condition, sadly so, the least I can offer is my gratification and gratitude to Panay Health Care, St Gabriel Hospital, and Ibajay District Hospital. They had exercised and displayed due diligence in their professional duties, having provided useful services and extreme caring to my mother.

Students, who take a board and bar examinations and failed so many times, would never place the blame on fate because those students control their own destiny. If they studied hard and prepared to review for the exams, there is no reason to doubt that they will pass.

We are all talking about circumstances happening to some people saying in jest that a person met his fateful death in a bizarre way for being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. An Airline passenger was so thankful that she missed the flight upon learning that the plane she was about to take met a tragic air tragedy. Was she ever lucky or merely a stroke of fate? How can we ever justify those innocent victims who were killed in Paris carnage, a Brussell bombing explosion in Belgium, also in Pakistani annihilated by a suicide bombers, lest we asked ourselves and search in our souls if ever these criminal activities are related to the so-called fates or for just being in the wrong place, at the wrong time?

However, fate enmeshed our lives in so different forms and mysterious ways. The usually adverse and inescapable misfortunes blaming it on the so-called fate have been parsimoniously regarded as a stroke of bad luck. We cannot control our destiny and fate. It just comes to happen to us. An example was a man working in his yard mowing the lawn when an irresponsible driver who was busy texting drives right through the path where a man was cutting the grass causing a tragedy, if that is not a cruelty of fate, I do not know what else?

For if at anytime you happened to go to Las Vegas and met your ex-girlfriend, that is not a chance but of fate. God also find a way to rekindle the love of an old relationship that was lost and through fate, a destiny was born.

Big Island International Marathon (Hilo Marathon)

Written By: Troy - Mar• 21•16

Big Island International Marathon

March 20, 2016

One of my running goals is to do a marathon on every Hawaiian Island that has a marathon. Years came and went, but now I finally had a chance to do an outer island marathon. The Big Island International Marathon a.k.a. Hilo Marathon is the cheapest out of all the outer island marathons. In addition, my mother-in-law and her newly-wedded husband Charlie live in Pahoa which means I can visit and stay with them.

Week Before

The week before the marathon I did a long run on Sunday ~ 14 miles. I decided not to drink any alcohol during this time, a habit I have to kick. I flew out on Thursday and did some sight seeing adventures. I also ate two big meals on Friday and Saturday. Packet pick up was Saturday at the Moku’ola Ballroom located at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. I had a hard time finding the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. At first I thought pick-up was at the Hilo Bay Hotel. I double checked and found out I was wrong. The Hilo Hawaiian Hotel was next door to the Bay Hotel. There was no big sign indicating the hotel. Instead there was this banner that was put out in front of a banyan tree. The marathon expo was good surprisingly put on well. I expected an empty room with 2 volunteers, but it was run very well. They were selling gels which was important. Outside of the hotel is Hilo Bay, like literally right when you step outside.


Hilo Hawaiian Hotel


View outside of the hotel, literally

Marathon Day

My alarm was set at 4:15 am. But, I woke up at 3:45 am, just because that is what I do.  I got ready and started to leave the house. I put the door in the lock position and closed it. “Shit, I forgot my shoes”. I tried to look for a spare under a mat but came up empty. I had to go near the window to tell either mom or Charlie to open the door. Nene was barking loud so she woke them up. Charlie half asleep opened the door for me probably in a dreamlike state of mind. The drive to Hilo was about 30 minutes. Everything looks so confusing in the dark being that I made this drive at least twice. Everything looked unfamiliar. It was raining which is not a good sign. Seems to always rain in Hilo. Since I got to the Bayfront early, I got a good spot right at the start line. The announcer said the the Fire Marshall was late so they can’t start the race until he comes. Finally at 6:15 am they came and we started. Just then it started pouring, cats and dogs pouring. It rained for the first 2.5 hours of the run. My earphones went dead and it was just me and the rain.

One thing I notice and it was somewhat of a issue, was they didn’t cone off everything. Instead, they had signs that said, caution race in progress. We were running on the side of highway-19 next to cars going 50 mph. Another issue was the twist and turns, constantly making right and left turns to go in and out of streets. There were people to assist, which made it easier. Finally the hills. I shit you not, hills on top of hills, these hills were like Tantalus hills. My body was game, but I was spending too much energy attacking the hills and decided to take it easy which slowed my pace. We took a road that led us to Onamea Bay. It was beautiful!!! One of the most picturesque stretches I’ve ever ran through. The bay from the lookout was world class. The trees hanging over the road were beautiful. The waterfalls and streams rushing because of the rain were beautiful. It was a sight to behold.


Onamea Bay

The turnaround was at mile 8 and we had to go back. There were less hills, but it seemed more steep. My body was tired already and I had to walk up the hills. The bad thing is that when you start to walk, you lose major momentum. My 10:00 minute/mile pace was shot and I was going 10:30 minute/mile pace now. I was beat, and didn’t even get to Hilo Bay yet. I kept up a pace under 11:00 minute/mile but knew my 4:50:00 projected time was in big time jeopardy.

After I past the Bayfront, it got freakin’ hot. Scorching hot. It was really bad. I told my self to mentally suck it up. My earphones dried out and I was in a tiny grove. But that only lasted for a short time until the heat got to me. From the Bayfront, we would have to go 5 miles past the airport on a nice stretch of coast. What sucked was the probably one dozen twist and turns along the way. It was a lot of turning, people were there to assist. I was walking already, and tried to focus my attention on doing one mile at a time. I wasn’t chaffing and my body wasn’t sore yet. My clothes also dried out. The beaches on the coastline was a sight to behold.

The turnaround spot was at mile 21. I thought this would give me a boost, but it didn’t. It was the opposite, my body shut down and I was going about 14:30 minute/mile. At mile 24, I thought my legs were going to fall off. This is when you hit the wall and your legs don’t feel like moving anymore. If you ever ran a marathon, you’d know what this means. If you haven’t then it might be hard to fathom. This is where the experience helps. Right at this moment. You can choose to stop and rest or you can choose to keep going. The rule my friend Christian taught me was, “don’t stop, if you stop, its over”. He’s right, once you stop, your done and it will take like 30 minutes to walk a mile. My feet were so sore, but through self talk, I told myself, “you got this”. The people cheering were world class. Though small in numbers, the support was great.





Post Marathon Drink

Since I was by myself. I got huge cheers from the small crowd as I completing my 7th marathon at 5:20:37. They had beverages after, so I grabbed a beer and drank it. As I walked back to the Mustang, paramedics were loading a female runner into an ambulance. I always thought to myself, what if my body had a bad reaction from marathon stress, how would I handle that? I got into the Mustang and drove to one of the beaches I saw while running, I think it was a popular tourist beach (Onekahakaha Beach). I took a shower to get all the sweat off, changed my clothes and drove to Hiro’s Place. $6.95 for a big ass Chicken Katsu Plate. I ate half in the car and left for Pahoa to Mom and Uncle Charlie’s house to rest.

What I Learned by Running a 5K every month: Becoming a ‘blue shirt’, Being my own BAE, & Loving on Japan

Written By: Jsol - Mar• 06•16

The long awaited post. This is probably the one I have been trying to get to since Dec. 2015. I apologize, I was having trouble with “the cloud” eating my photos before I could snatch them back! Now that it’s fixed, back to blogging! I am a visual person and for that reason, I couldn’t post anything if it didn’t have any pictures to what I was referencing! 😉

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Running with the trail flooded but it made for a good photo op!

With all of my posts, we start with the backstory. Since I moved to North Carolina, I noticed all of the amazing lakes and parks in the area. At the time, my job was very stressful, I stopped working out, I was gaining weight, I drank a lot of wine, I didn’t have a gym yet, and walking in nature sounded like a great start! I would start by walking half way around the lake, snap my gorgeous North Carolina pictures, and then walk back. Next step was to walk around the entire lake, no turning around, no quitting and calling an uber, and no thoughts of trying to swim or canoe across the lake to finish either! We did it, by we, I mean me and my iPhone camera!
Honestly what came next was due to my impatience! Each time I would walk a new lake, I began to think that these walks were taking up way too much time out of my day. I need to get this workout over and done with, so I started light jogging the tail end. A jog turned into a walk/jog, walk/jog/walk, a full jog, and a don’t-ever-stop run and then a run-better-than-the-last run!

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Running on my travels helped to change up the scenery.

To prevent from getting bored on my weekend jogs and slowly beginning to take nature for granted, I figured let’s sign up for a 5K. I think that’s the same length as the lake, right? Of course all I really cared about were the colors, the lights, free stuff, and a groupon to go with. It was then that I mastered the Electric Run 5K without stopping. How fun and doable was that and it felt so good to finish, what other 5Ks are out there that I could do? Then came the lovely site, I mapped out which runs I wanted to do, what day would I have to register to get the cheapest entrance fee, and where will I be at the time (I traveled every once in awhile.) That year, I ran a 5K in Hawaii, California, and different cities of North Carolina.

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My brother and I at our first 5K relay race in Hawaii. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Thoughts and Memories:
1. This is tough. I hate getting up super early for these runs. I LOVE to sleep-in on weekends. Do we really want to sacrifice 1 weekend every month?

2. You don’t need to beat yourself up because you didn’t pass the 60 yr. old lady, she probably was in track or something in high school.

3. I just need to keep up with this guy the entire time. Do you think he can hear my breathing and that I sound like a dying dragon?

4. This is getting pricey. I don’t really want to spend $30–60 every month. Next year, let’s do one every quarter! (Just did March :))

5.. Wow! I thought I was a runner, these people are super fast. I need to get on their level….. oh wait, yeah I am not on their level yet, let me just slow down before I pass out.

6. I have a 5K next week, should I run today? No, I just washed my hair yesterday OR Yes, today you need to run because you’re going to wash your hair tonight!

7. Let’s get under a 30 min. 5K! We can do this. Dang. 30:01. WHY didn’t I just sprint a little harder the last 10 steps? #everysecondcounts

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North Carolina lakes at its finest!

8. That playlist made me run! GO Bey. #QueenBee

9. Does my shirt keep riding up? I don’t know. Focus on the race, but really though, is my stomach showing? Next race, I should invest in clothes I don’t need to worry about when running.

10. I’ll never forget when my brother and I showed up and we found out it was a 5K relay race with 3 other people we didn’t know from Japan! That was an unforgettable experience! They are so motivating, competitive, and have the most amazing positive energy! We crossed the finish line together, so in love with the Japanese! 🙂

11. Ok, blue shirt, pass the blue shirt. Done. Ok, red shirt, pass the red shirt. Done. Oh wait, blue shirt passed me. Ok, blue shirt, pass the blue shirt.

12. Oh, you get medals for these things? Shoot! I don’t even care if it’s a participation medal, selfie with my medal!

13. I don’t think I can do this hill. Focus. Don’t let your mind think you’re tired we haven’t even reached the hill yet. Ok, we are on the hill, baby steps, ahh this hill, I can’t, I am dying, is it over yet.

14. Shoot. I got 4th. I could of got a medal in my age group. Even if it’s a small race with a handful of people and a small age group of 25–30. Hey, if I place, I am telling people! #goingplaces

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Pictures of my races with friends, new friends, and family!

15. Cramp. I don’t think I can go on. Hurting. I am sweating every drop in my body. Can’t. go. on. PUSH. (Please don’t injure yourself from this post).

16. Yay! My brother joined me. Two of my girlfriends want to go on the next run. Finally, some company. I am no longer doing the “I ran a 5K today, here’s my medal and bib, go me!” selfie, once again.

17. I have to run today, I have a 5K in a week. Just do two miles, nothing crazy, not fast, not timed, just run.

18. Another t-shirt. I am collecting over here. (I later found a person who wanted all my t-shirts and so that’s where every t-shirt went!).

19. 5K in two weeks. I need to run. Ok, it’s just the length of a “How to Get away with Murder” episode, just do it really quick and you’ll be back. 10 more minutes. Ok, that’s how long I wait outside for my friend when I pick her up. 2 more minutes. Ok, that’s how long it takes me to put mascara on. I can do this.

20. Oh, another hill. Just don’t stop. You can stop once you get to the top of the hill. Oh how nice it will feel once we get to the top and get to cruise downhill and walk, totes can’t wait for cruising! (I never stopped after I hit the top of the hill, by the time I got there I always figured why stop on the cruising part, gravity is assisting me on this one and I will take it).

21. DONE SON! about a 9 min. mile, about a 28 min 5K, NBDubs.

22. Oooh I need to beat that girl. She may be in my age group! Am I sprinting? What is this? What’s come over me? What’s a sprint and who does that?

23. Someone went up to me and said they were trying to keep up with me and pass me throughout the race. Dirt off my shoulder, I am now the “blue shirt” YEAH!

24. Homestretch. You can’t quit now. You just need to finish the year. You’ve done so many consecutive months already! You can’t post “I did a 5K every month for about 8 months off and on or so”, look at me being a boss, or nah?

25. I can’t believe you just did that. You run like a fit person, whaaa? Does this make me an official runner now?

26. Every race was hard. It got easier, but it was always a new challenge.

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Friends, that is 12 months of 5Ks! #boss

Bonus Benefits and Revelations:
1. Eating healthy. After running, all I could think about is how to not ruin a good run and a good feeling. A salad or a smoothie sounds about perfect right now. A burger does too, but I feel so sluggish afterwards. Today my goal is to eat some vegetable or veggie-like thing a day and I always get to splurge on dessert! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good burger!

2. Consistently Active. Since then, I have not stopped sneaking in a run here and there throughout my week and have now expanded my workouts to yoga, boxing, and outdoor activities like paddle boarding to keep me moving. Today my goal is to break a sweat once a day and by sweat I mean the, you-have-to-shower-after, kind of sweat.

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Staying Active!

3. Too much free stuff. Collection of medals, bibs, safety pins, water bottles, tshirts, socks, bags, stickers, color powder? Hey, you never know when you may need to throw color powder at your attacker.

4. You’ve become an inspiration! You inspire others whether on social media or during the run. People want to know how you do it and run to you first to share their running successes!

5. It really does take years and consistency to see the fruits of your labor and that can apply to almost anything, work, business, losing weight, learning a new skill. Successful people make it look easy at the top, but at the bottom and during, they’re griping about every practice and every hill I ever complained about, but still pushed through it anyway.

6. My clothes look good. I am happier. More confident. I hated my arms ever since middle school. I LOVE them today. I mean I loved myself before, but DANG, I really LOVE myself more today. #bae

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