About Jasmine

February 19th, 2008

I attribute good choice to sound self-knowledge. Highly significant or otherwise, decisions are always a serious matter to bat. The choices we make define our person and our decisions either make or break us. As Lao Tzu once said: “knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is a true wisdom; mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power”. Many of us encounter unbearable failure and unspeakable pain because of inability to appreciate what dwells within ourselves. Not that I perfectly know my inner self, in fact, I’ve always believed I’m still a work in progress.


So when Jun volunteered to help me set up my own website, I was faced with the first question: yes or no to web writing? Sure I have been blogging on the sides but not on a regular basis, and not really on a serious level.

Because it dawned on me that every person has his own stories to tell, what’s wrong with giving it a good shot. Each of us is a walking book waiting to be read so that others may also learn from our wisdom, from our past mistakes, from our glories and triumphs.

However, like anything else that requires critical thinking, web writing is not as easy as blabbering. After the initial steps come the more crucial ones. Choosing the title, for instance, seemed easy as it sounds. In my case, it is way harder since the more I press my mind buttons — the more the images become elusive and hazy. Nevertheless, I managed to brainstorm on some possible options:

Coffee Delights and Daydreams.
Daily Dose of Surprises.

Coffee Swirls.

In the Luggage.
Mind Decode.

I thought they were “cool” and “funky” enough for my website to wear. You see my fondness for coffee, and traveling, and dreaming big, are indispensable in my list. But just like putting on clothes for an important event – I did not feel they were appropriate, or even comfortable. Next thing I know, I was summoning all the deities of the blogosphere to help me in this quest. Then, like an answered prayer, it hit me one morning.

Oh, sweet days are summer, the jasmine’s in bloom
July is dressed up and playing a tune
And when I come home, from a hard day’s work
And you’re waiting there
Oh yes you’re waiting there, without a care in the world

Summer breeze, well it makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze, it makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind

Jim Seals and Dash Crofts (of the defunct 70’s hit maker Seals and Crofts) must have been my secret angels. The story of Jasmine in My Mind begins!

Why not? Seals and Crofts “Summer Breeze” has that power to transport me back in time and yet it has this “brand new” me feel.

Born and raised in Bicol sunshine and tropical weather, I grew up appreciating nature’s myriad of surprises amidst all faces of unpredictability. Camarines Sur is a typhoon-stricken region. And us Bicolanos, whether we like it or not, had to live with that fact.

Despite of this, Bicol reminds me so much of so many things. I love the late afternoon’s delightful sunsets in May, the air’s fresh after-rain scent in November, the cold breeze of December and January, and the sight of lush green and fields abloom all year-round. I couldn’t help looking back just by listening to the Seals and Crofts classic.

I am amazed at the reminiscence of pre-adulthood days. Yes they are like yellowing pages of photographs filled with unforgettable memories.

… of early morning jeepney rides,
..of colorful Penafrancia festivities,
..of teenage first loves and first broken heart,
. of tiangge visits and window shoppings,
..of Holy Week trips to the beach…
“Jasmine in my mind” is my story.

In a nutshell, choices and decisions are bridges that connect our present from the past,our today to our tommorow. What I am now, is a product of what I stood up before.

I am Joybeth, a mother, a wife, an educator and development practitioner. I am into development writing, project management, grassroots leadership, training, and academic research work. Join me in as I share with you my experiences, and hopefully my “storybook” turns out to be the way God planned it to be.

Ad maoirem Dei gloriam!

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