2nd month, 2nd Week

It was an exciting and overwhelming 2 weeks since I started working with my new job. I love how the work is all about – competitiveness. I am not saying that I am competitive, but, it has been one of the things that I really wanted to do just right before my graduation.

Fears here, there and everywhere

While the job gives me the opportunity to go out and explore the archipelago by promoting advocacies and other projects, yet, I am afraid to lose my childish enthusiasm. I am afraid to get to the “adult” stage, of working, of doing things, of working out things.

Can I just be a child for a month?

I could still remember how childish I was during my volunteer placement. I did a lot of things which for others it was a lame and laid back thing, but not for me. Whenever I do something at work (today), I would always think that failure is essential, bloody red comments are pre-requisite, otherwise, you and I will never learn. I did and expecting to commit more mistakes while at work, not to pull out the “trainee/transition” card whenever I did something wrong, but, it is more of giving myself a leeway that things don’t work in the same pace, manner and for everyone-all at the same time.

Behind the corporate aura that most people have, I still think, try to consider, why do we need to conform to the existing norm? Why not make a new norm and work on it rather than break it? If we don’t break it can we make a new norm? (does this make any sense? I dunno).
It is the society that judge me? Or it is me who loves to entertain their comments? Do I need to dump my hiking gear just to conform their standards?

When you are afraid, things are going to get worse if you don’t do something, it can prompt you into action. But it is not good when you are afraid that it keeps you from doing anything.

I am afraid-yes, like a child wandering and afraid of getting lost. But throughout the years of existence, I got lost, I learned my lessons the easy and hard way and there’s nothing wrong with that (unless you are part of the 90% who lives on the standards of the status quo). 

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How They Met my Father…

It was one of a kind experience that I had when I finaly walking down the road to my Father’s office. Deja vu would say that it was pretty much more of seeing Makati again in different perspective, with more vibrant, enthusiasm and ‘bang it on’ attitude. I got mixed emotions when I approached the same person in the lobby of the building, saw the familiar face made me wonder, will I carry this ‘out-of-the-box’ attitude when I go back home? Or is this just a facade of my entire experience in the program? Familiar faces of my father’s colleague saw me and even asked what I’m doing in the metro? When time came and had my face to face approach to my dad, all the not-so-good things were washed away like a river/stream that keeps on flowing. I really missed my dad, and I was really excited to met him, share stories of what I’m doing for the past few weeks and months, and basically, the beaming smile of my father when he saw made me moved – as if I am a survivor who went to a warzone :). I kept on talking with him in English and most of his colleagues would wonder, why would I speak in the English language whereas,I am in a bunch of Filipinos? (I kept apologising as well to my father for speaking in the language that is foreign to him). We had a nice lunch and even told him that if he got an opportunity to meet HHC, probably he’ll gonna find HHC pretty much the same as me(the difference? She’s British!), too chatty, having her own ‘me’ time, a random thinker, doing ‘out-of-the-box’ things-pretty much the same as what I’m doing. 🙂

 

He asked a lot of questions like:

  1. How do I get my food? – well basically, as part of the host home agreement, volunteers have their food from host homes, luckily, we are with a very accommodating host homes(all host homes are accommodating!), I told my father that in a particular meal, we have at least a variety of foods(e.g. Prawns, veg. and fish), which I find thankful for!
  2. How’s your A-S-T-H-M-A?- proudly( with flying colors and honour)that I told my father that I am no longer having my allergies and asthma attacks. So basically I am free to do what I want to do and eat whatever I want to eat! I even told him that HHC and I went for an almost 20 kms. Walk and he find it weird and crazy(as always they would find me weird for doing random things 🙂 ).
  3. Still up for 500 peso challenge? Basically, he also asked me how well I am in terms of my finances(he knows that I know how to handle my money 🙂 ), I told him, I’m okay, still up for the challenge of living with an ample amount of allowance that I am getting from the program.
  4. What are you doing? He asked this simple yet intriguing question. All I got to say is that- I a happy doing work in the community, living with an ample amount of resource/s that I have, walking to and from work, working with the barangays, and the local government.

 

Opportunity came in and I invited my counterparts (Steve and Katie) to met my father (good thing about having a beyond ‘counterpart’ relationship with someone is as if they are part of your family, just having a mini-reunion); establishing an honest-to goodness relationship is as good as having a nice cup of warm cafe americano-so good and therapeutic. :).

I know for a fact that my dad is not that fluent in the English language, yet, as much as possible he tried to speak with my counterparts, how are they doing, and how he wished to have a nice chat with them. My counterparts even invited him over a cup of coffee-yet he declined and I found it hilarious! He sent me messages that he wished he did not decline the invitation and had a pretty much nice chat with them (seeing how indecisive Filipinos are, makes me smile 🙂 ). I find i funny as well that my HHC even asked someone to take a photo of us with my father (she even mentioned that we are having a mini-reunion! 🙂 ).

After that not so usual encounter/meet up with my father, I told Katie(HHC) that seeing my father is like having a nice gift for my birthday, I couldn’t ask for more. 😀

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The Brits. Me and My Father. 😀

Deja vu! Tour de Manille

Saying goodbye is not as hard as having a bottoms up of hard liquor.

It was a fun fun fun Friday, UKV’s and ICV’s went to Manila for a day, and for UKV’s to renew their visa in the country, whereas, us, the ICV’s spent the day running our own personal errands.

Tour de Manille

A good friend of mine and I were asked to do some tour in old Manila together with our co-volunteers. It was a bit pressured, stressed and out-of-the-box thing again for us (me to be specific, because I need to talk pretty much how versed I am in the place), but don’t get me wrong, I used to live in the old Manila before that’s why I am pretty much well versed in the area. All the familiar faces, the places rushing back into my memory as if I’ve been here for couple of months ago and not years.

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Churches here and there

One of the highlights of old Manila (Intramuros) is its highly influential yet, preserved churches built during the Spanish era(the country has been a colony of Spain for 333 years, from 1921 till ___ spanish-american war 🙂 ). These churches has been a witness of how influential the Spanish culture was in the country till now,(I can still imagine the population of students who would grab for Spanish as Foreign Language in uni.). We went to Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church (which is known for one of the oldest existing church in the country).

Challenge #:Romantic Coffee Date

HHC and I saw this good restaurant with in the old Manila(Barbara’s to be exact), and I told her, that it has a nice scenery(pretty much a romantic one) while having a nice cup of coffee, will make your day(I enjoyed staying at barbara’s before when I was in uni for coffee).

The challenge? In a year, I should send her a photo or even a blog/ a nice chat that I went to barbara’s and had a nice chat with someone(like a date 🙂 ). Am I up for the challenge? I don’t know. Pretty much, I can go to Barbara’s and have a nice cup of coffee with someone who I’ll meet along the way of this crazy journey- no one knows and can tell. 🙂

The not so usual walk around the historic walls

Walked through the walls of the historic landmark, made me realized that I’ve been in these places before, as if I am part of the  history! Living up the “International Relations”  mentality does not make any difference, it is a matter of again- going out – of – the- box!

Chefs’ Wannabies

All soul’s day and all saints’ day are approaching very fast as fast as time goes by before we say goodbye.

 

Why do Filipinos Celebrate Holloween/all saints’ day/all souls’ day?

To make this explanation short, we (Filipinos) try to reminisce our departed love ones. In my fam, we always cook something for our departed love ones. We even share it to them, go to the cemetery and spend couple of hours or the day with them (as if they gonna talk and ask how are you sofie? 😀 ).

Out-of-the- box #……

Well, basically, our host home is very family oriented individuals, they have this ‘mini-reunion’ thing during family events like: a. Halloween b. christmas and c. new year. Here’s the catch! They prepared a lot of foods for the fam. (since they consider us as part of the fam, we are entitled to eat as much as we want to), we prepared pancit as well to share. Cooking seafood pancit was one of a kind experience for me. Cooking my fav dish made me proud (I also aknowlegde my HHC) and another step-up of the ‘adult’ ladder, like, hey mom/ hey dad! I know how to cook porridge and pancit! And soup! (aside from making Japanese Maki).^_^

We’ve got massive loads of banters, sodas (I had 4 bottles, and 3 for HHC), and meeting the expectation stuff along the way.

Meeting Expectations

I am not sure if I’ve been too offensive/rude with the fam, with my HHC (Katie) whenever I try to think and decide for myself. Am I being selfish? Being rude to the fam or my HHC? There were times that I can bear the thought of explaining to the public that I am not here (in Cabiao) to be a translator/interpreter of my British counterpart. I am here as volunteer as well. The only advantage I have is the local language- no more no less. When it was revealed to the fam that we are about to leave the community in 4 weeks, they kept on asking me if I’ll go to London as well and even work there. I kept on insisting that I’ll stay here (in Phil.) see my fam, find job or another volunteer progam, but not go to London, via my host home counterpart. Yes, we practically established the fact that our relationship is far beyond the surface of being ‘ host home counterparts’, it is pretty similar to a best of friend or an elder/younger sibling, settling in the other side of the globe. Definitely I’ll go to London, and might meet her, but not now. She can also go to my home (my parents to exact), in the future and not in a snap. It is as if, I am a gold digger/social climber waiting for someone to bail me out.

Down day on Saturdays

I may find myself rude to my counterpart if I gonna tell that I am not pissed off whenever someone would ask me questions which I already answered before. Is it about cultures? Or about our personal differences? I don’t know, perhaps, it is just about seeing things in different perspective/s, no more no less.