Options are just an Option

Sometimes, it is good to have an option, but sometimes, it gives you a hard core headache.

I ditched work today, as I went for another job interview. I am at the moment being trained in the corporate world, while, I was hired to be part of the government.

This may sound weird, why would I still find a job if I already got one? Why resign in the middle of training yet take training in different field?

It was a hard core yet no expectations interview. I knew and had the idea that working for the government would entail loads of patience, determination and motivation to finish one task after another. While on the corporate, they give you the liberty to work for them, have their name in your cv and voila! Your cv weighs pretty much heavier than the first time you sent it out to head hunters.

What made me think of shifting gears?

It may sound absurd, but, I thought of setting down in terms of my career. I love traveling, and working with the community, engaging with people, but things doesn’t work the way I thought it would be. It was a tough, exciting, challenging and full of dynamism work that awaits me, not because of the “government work” but because, I see where my parents are coming from. It is practically not about the numbers in the salary that makes you a better individual, and not in the prefixes that you have in your name, but, it is how do people see, appreciate and respect you no matter what. Yes, there are several negative stigmas/branding/tags about working in the government, but instead of moaning why not take the small steps towards the goals that you really want?

Too Chatty or just being Honest?

I love to talk and that is one thing that is unique from me. I can talk anything under the sun for the next 24 hours nonstop(just give me a glass of water 🙂 ). When I had my interview, it seems I’m just having a nice chat over a cup of coffee with a friend in a local coffee shop. I had the guts of saying that I have plans with a fellow of establishing a business which would help the local/s to be competitive if not to be at par with the local market. The current employment/job/career that I have is pretty much related with the upcoming one, and I must admit, it is not my cup of tea, but I’ll try, not because of the “name and credentials”, but because of the experience to cherish.

Don’t Wanna Die Young

Stumbled in the middle of the road waiting for the traffic to ease its hard core mode while listening to my obsolete play list, body aches, and head turning events made me wanted to stay at home and hit my pillow.

From my escape to urbanity event last weekend, I just hit the usual road with my trainers on earphones on the go water bottle on one hand and off to go. The last time that I went for a “proper” run was right after my travel buddy and I went for a splurging weekend. I set a time of 10 mins. from 10, I made it to 5 from 5 down to 3 mins. – am I crazy, in vain or wanting to be on the hype? All I can say is, I want to be fit, not for the sake of being “sexy” as it always associate with being “fit”.

I don’t want to die young so I run

Whenever I go for a run, I would always think of living being “fit” and healthy, regardless if I own vast amount of money in neither my bank account nor staying in a house of gold. It was an alarming thing not only for me but for the rest of the family that ”lifestyle” illness just come and go in our house like a train ride from one station to another. Even if I’m really drained and exhausted from my work, the fast-paced environment, the expectations, personal issues and goals that needs to be aligned.

I just knew that, even if I was at the bridge of saying no and wanted to quit, my goal for the day to hit the 4 min. of run made me think that: if I could finish one 4 minutes of run I could also aced the challenges that my work enthralled me. The personal issues, insecurities and a lot more that made me worried for the past few days could be solved in a snap of a finger. I think, determination and will to move on will make you a better person. Sometimes, it is not all about “banging on” but sometimes, it is also about clearing your head and determined to make it a reality.

Can I be a Volunteer again?

Anxiety, excitement and mixed emotions caught me right then and there when I met the next batch of volunteers for Cabiao.

I want to tell loads of stories about our experiences, our moans, hardships, down days, the awesome socials we had, our endless exploration of the this small town. But after my endless stories, I stopped and reckon, I should not deprived them of the learning’s that this small town gave me, my counterpart and the rest of the team had.

It was not as easy as one two and three to go back, face the past, and moved on. But what I’ve got from this weekend getaway? It was the realization of the ff:

  • There will be strange feelings that will just pop out of the box- there was this feeling of deja vu, from the matching up to traveling from Phil rice to Cabiao. I still remembered how anxious and nervous I was when the counterparts was revealed.
  • Things will never be the same again.- this is true, when I went back to my host home, I felt as if I am a guest in their house. Yet, when I talked to my host ‘brother’ not ‘father’, he told me that I am still welcome in the house.
  • It is overwhelming to see the new batch of volunteers who will continue what we have established. Some as I had an opportunity to talk with and shared some stories has feelings of anxiousness and if not worry about the standard we established. Well to be honest as well, I told them to just be ‘yourself’; at the end of the day, expectations just come and go, but who will enjoy this journey? Is for them or for you to cherish?
  • Cabiao has been my second home- I never felt that kind of feeling of being secured even if I am not in my own “home”. Perhaps, this small town gave me the sense of belongingness of being a “tourist” yet being a local at the same time.
  • I had a great volunteer experience with great supervisors- I never thought that my “out of the box” attitude that I had would be made possible because I have a supervisor who is not selfish to tame if not put me in a box of doctrines. He even encouraged me and my counterpart to do things that we want to do, but of course within the limits of being “responsible for your own actions”. I could not think of a single word to describe my supervisor who kept on telling me to learn via experience, since “you know the rules, you can now modify it”.
  • Half-hearted- I don’t know if I really wanted to pursue MBA or MCD, which way it would be, I’m not yet ( I think) ready to pursue any masteral degree for this year, but definitely I will take one.
  • Security over happiness and vice versa- when I was in the small town of Cabiao, it gave me the sense of being secured and happy both at the same time. So why is it, I am living near the metro where the life line of the businesses sets in and go would made me feel inferior?

There are loads of questions and uncertain answers, with uneasy feeling of how will I bang it on. But here I am typing in this keyboard over the papers and numbers of the work for tomorrow. All I will think of is how Cabiao made me a better person.

3 Years over 3 Cups of Coffee

It has been 3 years of not seeing each other and I thought there would be strange feeling of being left behind from their routine and the topics being discussed; yet, I find myself in total awe- not because of being left behind, but because I found myself in total open discussion.

The Chatty and the ice breaker

When I was in university, I could count in my fingers the persons that I could share personal stories with. These group of people thought before that I was a bit conservative in my perceptions about life, career and etc; but it was not. Perhaps, I was not that open before about discussions about career and reality, what I’ve got was the utopia- like the republic of Plato.

After series of experiences that I had (in my work and exploring the other side of the coin), I just realized that life is not about the “big picture, but of the small details that makes it”. I was having this kind of discussion with a very chatty friend of mine as well, – by all means, chatty as I am; yet, as idealistic as I am(before). There was no dull moment, random things about life has been talked about, no more no less which I enjoyed the most – aside from the sumptuous meal that we shared.

Reality v. Utopia

Having the chat with these ladies (no longer little girls who roam around the university campus discussing about why the oil prices gone down, what’s next after Arab Spring, or practice speaking in Japanese); but more of having a chat about life, about careers, my volunteer experience (I am proud to share my volunteer experience with them) my work, their work, our moans, angst about life, our love lives, our goals, trips and a lot more.

We are no longer living on the ideal hype- I should be in this industry, or I should be working if not being engage or traveling, or just enjoying the NOW if not still searching for answers.

Keep the Reel Rolling!

There are still bits of something that pulls everyone back- and it differs, I don’t know the reason why, but I think it is more of the “norm” rather than the personal perception of how you live this life over 3 cups of coffee:

  •  Who cares if someone is working and the others are not? – no one really cares and no one does.
  • Step out of your own comfort zone- for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (why bother dealing with the latter if you can enjoy the former?)

It is strange- and it will be for the next few days, weeks, months and even years, but what matters? It is not about the perception of the people around you; it is more of how you see things in different perspective – like a kaleidoscope.

Coffee Date at Bag of Beans

Coffee date at Bag of Beans

A Chat like a Gunshot

It was week 10, and nearly down to week 11 when I got this opportunity to have a nice chat with a volunteer placement staff.

Well, out of the blue, while siting in our veranda waiting for my free data to logged-in, kuya Tom had this nice question for me. ‘what will you do after the program?’, what do you get from being a volunteer?

I replied in enthusiastic way and kicked it off! Well, basically, I want to search for myself in this program which I assure myself that I was able to do so. Also, I want to have that ‘kind’ of experience that I want before I enter another field (e.g. Corporate v. Development world?). If I fail to find a nice job, I’m opt to take my board exam which would entail a year and hopefully to pass it before I reached the maximum age for the position.

All it takes is that ‘bang it on’ attitude and out-of-the-box!

Basically, he kept on saying that job hunting in the country (and even my host dad agreed on me about it) is as tough as going to gladiator war 🙂 . Who would have thought that after you’ve finished you’re degree say IR, you’ll gonna get your dream job.

If you really want something, be assertive that you can have it, rather than staring at it from afar.

There is this nice opp which is up for grab, either I’ll take it or leave it, it is entirely up to me.

The same thing goes when HHC keeps on telling me instead of staring why not face it? If you fail, at least you’ve tried. You will never now that you can do it unless you try.

Perhaps, until now, I’m still struggling to face my fears. Yes, it is really a roller coaster ride feeling once you face your fears, or face the world of I wish I did this and that when I had the chance to do so.

Exit Plan

In search of tranquility and silence, I found peace and serenity on our favorite coffee shop in town while having a nice cup of coffee and writing this blog entry.

I really don’t know why I am having this feeling. So strange, I really don’t know what is happening to me. I’m scared, I worry, I am excited and I am happy, rolled into one.

The exit plan

To welcome week 10, two weeks from now, we will go back home, to the lives we left before the program, before this roller coaster ride.

I could still remember what our supervisors told us during our in-community orientation. He told us, that the first 2-3 weeks will be a community integration, and the last 2-3 weeks will be formulation of our own ‘exit plan’.

Am I ready to make my own exit plan?

Seeing the word ‘exit plan’ made me realize:

  • I built relationships that will lasts and some are just the surface level, which is a fact of life (like you can’t please everyone).
  • Inspiring someone is like having a nice trip to nowhere-scary at first, yet, once you ‘bang it on’ all you can feel is a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • Drawing back to past does not mean dwelling on it- I tried to review my ‘Japanese listening exam’, and got a bit stressed out(worry to be specific) about my upcoming examination; seeing how I built relationships with my Nihonjin friends and how it fades made me think, will it be the same thing for my counterpart?(hope it will not).
  • A nice chat with someone you’ve just met is as fantastic as exploring the other side of the world- I thought, having a surface level conversation is enough to formulate your own ‘stigma/brand’ to someone. Sometimes, it takes weeks or even months of conversation to end up with a nice person.
  • Being alone does not mean you’re lonely or anti-social- I love doing things with someone(a friend, a random stranger or even a driver or a vendor) in a random place at a random time. But, today, I spent most of the time having my own ‘me time’ without my counterpart, without anyone from the group of friends that I was able to build during the program, and I enjoyed it! I felt, again – a stranger looking for an oasis in a desert. Yet, similar peolple who will come across, will recognise you not as with counterpart but as individual-which I loved most!
  • It is okay to be immature- I love the way I am exploring this journey called life- I acted as immature (most of the time) and my counterpart can attest to that, the same way that I acted mature in several ways as well. Before, I thought, once, you received this thin paper called ‘diploma’ you’ll become mature, yet, when I entered the ‘professional world’ I find myself in a total lost. When I got my first work, I thought I am good enough to take a bigger responsibility/ am I overqualified(that’s why I resigned), yet, when I went to the business district, I find myself too little for big boss’s to spare their time to engage a nice chat with me. Now I was given the luxury to talk, to chat with the community, yet, I found myself taking aback from this good opportunity! Why? Perhaps I’m still scared to try- so what if I fail? Failure is part of life. So easy to be said yet, so hard to live it up.

It may not sound as a perfect plan (there’s really no structure in it). To be honest, I don’t want to leave the community yet, I love the community, how they accommodate us, how friendly the people are, yet, there are times that ‘missing home’ and missing my comfort zone strikes me. Perhaps this is just one of those days.

I thought, I won’t feel this kind of ‘missing home’ thing; I’m in my own country, living my life as if out-of the box, yet, there are things that will remind you that your past/background is not your benchmark to move on. It is just a pretty much reminder of how you progressed in this journey called -life.

Carebear

Sometimes, the more you care for the individual the more it stresses you out.

I think it was a remarking failure for me to express how much I care for an individual. Yeah, sounds creepy and awkward to say this, but I think, it consumes me now more than ever.

Since I just had a nice ample amount of phone credits, I tried to ask my HHC if she had already had her lunch, and I think this sounds awkward when I tried to care to someone, yet, used to be the one who’s being taking cared of.

I’m not saying that HHC is a snob, she’s not. I think she’s not used to see me or even know me well (), and how do I care for a person. For quite sometimes, I used to send the same messages to the members of fam, and I think, they’re getting used to the same routines that I have-send some message/s or even giving them a ring or two.

I find it weird because, as much as possible I want to tell or even express how much do I care for an individual yet, there is something that pulling me back. I am not treating someone like a child, because it makes the learning experience toooo tedious and unchallenging. I am not sure if it is because I’m getting used to be an independent woman who can stand up with tides? Or just sensitive to be up for beat?

Proper Dinner at last!

Sometimes, all you need is a glass of wine and down it till you’ll drop.

It was a nice Saturday night to end all the ‘cheat days’ that we have. We’ve got salad as our appetizer (which is an English thing), have rice and nice prawn, crab and squid dish(a Filipino thing), and pizza and fries(pretty much American) over a glass of red wine!

3 Brits and the Fil.

My work counterpart, host home counterpart, my friend’s host homecounterpart and I; had this awesome dinner courtesy of our HH brother(a birthday party!). We spent the night having a nice chat, nice food, nice wine all the nicest things that I could think of the moment. There was a time that I felt I’m already drunk (I kept on talking to them in straight English! 🙂 ), and even had a nice conversation with them as if we are friends catching up with each others’ businesses – no distinction of whose nationality one belongs with. I was even up for a challenge of finishing my glass of wine and half a bottle of beer in 15 sec. The prize? A week worth of allowance plus buko juice! I tried, yet, I didn’t made it! My time was 20.something sec!

The Call that made my eyeballs Roll

Reeda, a really good fellow and Lizzie’s HHC called me while having our nice red wine. Asked me if I was with her counterpart and I answered in affirmative, made her a bit more worried- if her counterpart would get drunk, if the proper permission was executed before the party and even moan me about being responsible, culture sensitivity and trust issues.

Let me clarify….

  • I know how to play games-pretty much, they find me a bit conservative made me wonder-are they still having this stereotype in me?
  • I’m not tolerating someone over something-yep, some may find me tolerating someone doing ‘something’. I’m not tolerating someone, perhaps, it is just about allowing ‘someone’ to commit mistakes (more often) than teaching them not to commit one(which is quite contrasting and will saves your time-I’ll assure you! 🙂 ).
  • Trust issues- I’m not saying that I’m good at disclosing even addressing ‘trust issues’ with the group-I am not. Perhaps, I’m just like a litmus paper, trying to gauge if the person is willing to extend their trust or not- if the otherwise-so be it (I can’t change someone’s perspective in a snap).
  • Baby no more- I find it weird, because some if not all volunteers (esp. The UKV’s) find themselves hanging and even being treated like a child in this journey. No one is treating someone like a child (it is only in my perspective 🙂 ). I don’t treat my counterpart as child, I’ll let her fail-forward fast for her to see what’s the real world is all about; and I think the same goes with me- letting me fail-forward-fast as well- so no one is being left behind.
  • Cultural sensitivity- it is a big word for me. Too dynamic, and I don’t know which perspective should I see it. Is it about the values I have (as a Filipino, as an individual), or is it about confining to the norms that the society sets in?

It is not about being ‘someone’ who does out-of-the-box things made me different from the team, perhaps, I’m just to loud to ask the unquestionable questions dare to do things unconventionally, yet, my ‘cultural values’ are still intact.