The Waves of Zambales


It was the summer of 2006, I was looking out to sea in my favorite beach in Iba Zambalez. I got reminded of a concept I thought of way back 1990s when but never got to write it down. This is an attempt to mix a little of the old reflection and the latest trip.


I was playing the usual game I did since I was a child standing in the same shoreline. I would stand a foot and a half away from where the water meets the shore and wait for the waves to reach my feet. I would look out and try to predict which of the waves would eventually reach my feet. I would give my prediction just before the break of the waves.


After all these years it never really occurred to me as it did last summer that I should write this down and share it because it was in fact looking at life and success and that this could help some people realize how things are in reality.


Most of the time we would see a large wave coming in and I would think that this is the wave that would definitely reach far into the shore, just look how high and strong it is.  As it nears the shore however, it meets heavy counter flow from the waves from the shore rolling back into the sea.  After a while the big wave would weaken and the wave would not get too far into shore. It would fall way short of original expectation.


Then there is this average wave, the one you would hardly notice and before you know it, it is at your feet and you would think . . where did that wave come from?


Success in the Philippines is quite the same. You would see big deal makers, dreamers and high flyers, they talk big and dress up like they own the place. You would think they were voted most likely to succeed, but they donít, they fade away since they are the big waves and meet a lot more opposition along the way from the existing sharks.


One area where you see them is the political arena. Just before national elections people who would speculate who are the winnables and would bet on who would be running even before the prospective candidate would even think about running. The big wave would be so obvious that the existing powers who had other interests would plan a demolition job even before the candidate would declare himself. The old Julius Ceasar strategy of like kill them while they are still babies so they donít plot against you. By the end of the day, the prospective big wave would be thrown mud and dirt by the demolition team that they would loose their appeal and chances of winning.


To succeed here, one strategy is to stay unseen and noticed till you are near the goal and before they know it you are almost there.  Stay small enough to hide behind the big waves and get to the blind side of the demolition teams.


This is one strategy to succeed here in this country. It might work in other countries and there are certainly more options in terms of strategies to choose from.


It does not sound fair, but to those who have lived here long enough, it is real.


Next time you go to the beach check out the waves.  Then check out if your life is a big wave running out of steam or an average wave. How far into the shore do you get with what you are doing. If you are satisfied with the result then Iím happy for you. If not, use the time in the beach to reflect on what is a good strategy to try to get more favorable results.


Coach Mel (Orosa)