Independence

Funny how there are some writings I made in the past that I can’t remember what it was about or even who it was for now. 

Today, I got to see my past notes on the default Notes app of Apple after I got myself an Apple gadget again after years of turning to Android gadgets. When I opened the said app, there it was, this poem I entitled “Independence”. I get the faintest feeling I can remember what or for whom it was all about, but that’s the closest I can get to it. But I guess this just proves that there are still a lot of things that can be forgiven and forgotten, with enough time given to be healed by whatever it is that made us hurt or angry. 

Anyway, here it is, a poem I recovered after some time…

I resist the chains,
I refuse to be bounded.
I belong to myself,
And nobody else.

I’ll do what I want,
And whenever I want.
This life is mine,
And yours is yours.

So don’t you chain me,
And even bound me.
Eat your jealousy,
That bullish feeling.

Such don’t touch me,
Only makes me mad.
If you don’t want me gone,
Better know your place.

Be a BC Blogger!

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They say no man is an island, and so is true even to bloggers.

Yes, writing is a solitary activity but that doesn’t mean that we should take it to the heart and hinder ourselves from getting to know fellow bloggers. We should mingle with others even just through their blogs to gain more readers, online friends, and even knowledge. But the problem is, that’s too tiresome and eats up a lot of precious time especially to those with busy schedules.

The solution? Join bloggers communities like BC Bloggers.

Why? Because they help us get closer to other bloggers without the fuss of introducing our page to them blog after blog. They make each member’s blogging experience more interactive and easier!

If you’re interested and want to start with BC Bloggers, simply answer these three questions:

Are you a blogger who has a full-time office job but still try to sneak in some time in the office to blog?

Are you a stay-at-home mom who has her hands full because of her kids and try to make some time blog hopping so she can be updated on what’s going on with her blogging pals?

Are you working at home struggling to balance juggling your work and blogs at the same time?

If you say Yes to one of the questions, then you are most welcome to be part of BC Bloggers’ growing list ’cause you’re one busy blogger!

Join today! 😉

On Wisdom in Matters of the Heart

“What blows on my face often has my name on it,” said the pastor just this Sunday’s service at Word for the World, Makati. And he was right. Most of the time, we, ourselves, are the causes of our own problems, our sufferings.

Recently, a guy friend shared to me that he got turned down by a girl. Sure, that was unfortunate, and I would have sympathized with him deeply, but after telling me the story, I didn’t know what to feel anymore. I understood the girl’s decision and I couldn’t seem to get what went on this friend’s mind (Sorry, friend, if you ever get to read this. Yikes).

The story went as simple as this: The two got to know each other well in March. They went on a date once where he told her he likes her, but after two weeks, the girl flew to Dubai (I guess it’s safe to assume it’s for work). He continued wooing her but the girl stopped him saying she doesn’t want to be distracted.

Seemed like the girl’s a little harsh, right? How dare her not give my friend the chance to prove himself to her?! Who does she think she is?! Err… Not really. ‘Cause here’s the thing: He knew right from the start that she’d be leaving but he still decided to court her. BOOM. So who’s at fault now? And I think the girl was just being polite when she agreed to go on a date with him.

Of course, I am a friend to my friend so although he didn’t ask for any advices, I tried to point out to him his area of mistake–‘cause it bit me like a snake upon reading the story on chat, and it should bite him, too—and with a lot of smileys so as not to be hard on him.

What was the error? He lacked Wisdom. I knew I was right when he said he didn’t get it so I produced a 411-word explanation for him.

I told him I think he loses wisdom when he falls in love. He’d been devastated by love twice and in a span of 3-4 months and it was because of no one but himself. And I think that’s something serious.

The first has a boyfriend. Oh, yes, you read that right. They met when he visited his province, got her number with the help of one of his sisters, and exchanged SMS for a few months until he fell for her. When he came back to the province, he told her he liked her only to be indirectly rejected with the words, “You may have to wait long,” in which he responded, “I’ll wait.”

Oh, did I mention that all along she already has a boyfriend and he perfectly knows about it? When he told me the story, I got pissed off immediately so I was reluctant to help him. Still, I kept my cool and I said, “Sometimes, girls don’t say things directly. You have to read between the lines.” And he was asking for an advice for a very obvious baloney (I’m sorry for the term): “What am I going to do, the girl I like has a boyfriend?” He said it was complicated and the girl’s words made it hard for him because by then he didn’t know if he’d just let go and look for another girl or just really wait. Complicated? I wanted to uncomplicate things for him then by smashing the table on him. BAM!

Photo grabbed from http://www.memecenter.com

Photo grabbed from http://www.memecenter.com

And the worst part there was I could see him in pieces while being in a state of limbo. He is the kind who can look straight in the eyes of the person he’s talking to, but during the time I was reprimanding him, he was reduced into someone who busied his hands fumbling nothing and kept his gaze on the table while trying to answer my questions the whole time. He was like a kid I was scolding for breaking the vase. But since he isn’t a child anymore, the scene was both sad and irksome.

Then there came a new girl after three months. I think she turned him down because she could already see that it won’t work, apart from the part that she said she didn’t want any distractions. And well, honestly, it was obvious she was not into him.

I have a friend who has a very successful long-distance relationship, but that’s rare, most of the time, its survival rate isn’t exactly okay, so what more the long-distance courtship that doesn’t have any foundation yet? I think the girl has wisdom and I admire her for that. She didn’t want the two of them to waste time anymore for something that’s bound to die down sooner or later.

But then one may say taking risks is important and we may be missing a lot in life if we don’t get out of our comfort zone (Oh, I’m so boring!). But the thing is, in this recent situation that my friend was in, it was quite obvious that he was gearing toward disaster lane. It was like insisting on stepping forward when it was crystal clear that it was the edge of the cliff right in front of him. I don’t know, but with my friend’s short story, I felt for the girl. In fact, I would have done the same if I was in her position.

If my friend let his wisdom work, she didn’t have to turn him down and he didn’t have to be rejected. So now, she’s tagged the heartbreaker and he’s the person with the bleeding heart (Oh, so now I’m slowly getting unsure if he really likes her!). And again, that was the obvious outcome right from the start. But she could move on easily, big time, and since my friend was the one that got rejected, he is having the rough time. Why? Because rejection bites and viciously gnaws on one’s pride. So who dug his own grave?

My unsolicited advice to him was to work on his wisdom. He should make wise decisions especially when it comes to love and avoid rushing into it like it’s some limited edition collectible. It’s wiser to sit down first and mull over it. Especially with him, ‘cause he’s supposed to be analytical and he’s proud of it, but he lets his heart govern himself when in love. Mind shouldn’t be set aside at all cost no matter how hard it is when it comes to love. It’s important and it can help him heaps.

And I hope he won’t let what I said above about getting devastated by love in a span of 3-4 months be his norm. He’s turning into an embarrassment. We weren’t born for constant suffering but for happiness.

Lastly, I told him that love isn’t supposed to make life complicated, it should simplify it. So he should stop looking for love that could turn his world upside down in a very messy way.

I sent the lengthy explanation to him, got a “Wow” as a first response (prolly because it’s long), and then “Well said! Hehe.” as the second. I simply scratched my head as I understood that he doesn’t have any plans on taking my advice. But oh well, it’s his choice, at least I was able to tell him what I think about his decisions in love. 🙂 Besides, it’s better to tell it to him first before putting it on this blog. LOL.

P.S. I would like thank Ramon Baustista’s Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo? for a wonderful insight about the mind, heart, and “bird” as the decision-making bodies of people, Pastor Raymund of Word for the World for teaching about wisdom, insight, and understanding, one meaningful Sunday service, Kuya Kevin’s Basta Lovelife for telling about the importance of wise decision-making in love, and of course, my little experience in love which made me seek friends’ and self-help books’ advices about it, take them to the heart, all of which somehow made me wiser and stronger. hehe

Silver

Photo grabbed from http://yusper.tumblr.com

Photo grabbed from yusper.tumblr.com

This day marks the beginning of my 25th year–my quarter life, supposing I get to live ’til I’m 100. But am I entering some crisis? Nah. With this silver year shimmering right in front of me, why should I be?

Quarter-life crisis is a period in mid-20s when most people feel confused, depressed, scared, and lost. They feel so because they’re at the age when they’re supposed to be adults but don’t have any ideas where they currently are or where their lives would lead them.

It is the time to panic if you have yet established anything significant, and honestly, I somehow felt it at the start of 2013, when I realized that I’ll be getting a year older in a few months. But then the optimist in me kicked in and made me take advantage of the feeling and turn panic into anticipation of good things and experiences, and my 25th year as the starting point of my everything. My thoughts went, I am simply in the middle of my 20s, the decade when it is normal to get bruises, scratches, and even long stitches here and there, so why worry? Just enjoy the trek at the forest and never forget to pick up necessary lessons and bring them to the future.

 

Silver Goals

I stopped making big plans back in college when the carefully laid-out goals my teenage self created for myself crumbled due to some unavoidable decisions of the higher ups. I used to live in organization and precision, like after I graduate at this month of the year, I MUST take some rest for a month before finally going full-force looking for my perfect job and all. I wrote them in my planner, and I was the strict type that when I write something, they must come true the way I wanted them to. But I guess I wasn’t flexible at 19 so because of what happened, I threw my goals away and simply lived with whatever that came my way, anyway, plans were uncontrollable and could be taken away from me instantly.

I lived like that for a few years, just accepting whatever destiny showered me with. I got the good ones, mind you, which proved Lewis Carroll’s quote: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”, and I made sure that I was accompanied by God along the way.

But somehow, I knew that a journey isn’t worth all the sweat and exhaustion without any clear aspirations to grasp. So for my 25th year, I decided to give planning another shot. I am certain I’m a grown-up now and I believe I can handle hindrances better and I won’t end up doing tantrums when my goals get disheveled again. And when I say plans, I mean realistic plans, those I know I can reach considering what I have in my grips right now.

Goal #1:
Save enough money for a house (with my dream private library in it,  of course)

Photo grabbed from my unfinished projectmacoi365.tumblr.com

The Reyes Residence. Photo grabbed from my unfinished projectmacoi365.tumblr.com

This is no real rush, but I know I have what it takes to make this possible by the age of 30. I have a talent for saving money, in fact, my father used to remark that I would be rich in the future because of this ability. I am also on my way to my first year in my career as a researcher and though my salary isn’t exactly bombastic, with my abovementioned talent, I can save with what it gives me little by little without sacrificing a few luxuries I have come to live with, except perhaps for my dream of travelling outside Metro Manila yearly. I have a pending application for a part-time job, too, for this. The pay isn’t going to be big, in fact, it’s too low, but I think it’s a good start for freelancing, and if I won’t be accepted, I can look for other companies that can accept what I can offer.

Goal #2:
Open new career paths for myself

I’ve always wanted to be a little bit of everything. Right now, I’m a researcher, blogger, and writer, but I want my Linkedin headline to contain the careers, Researcher, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Voice Talent. The part-time job I was referring to in my Goal #1 is the freelance writing, and when it comes to being a voice talent, I know that I already possess a good voice for it, it has already been a dream since grade school, and now I already found a company that does workshops for voice/speech every quarter and I would be enrolling for its July batch. It’s a bit expensive, but I’m aware that we have to invest if we want something. Hopefully, the company can help me start a career with voice acting, which will also help in my Goal #1.

Goal #3:
A lovelife!

At the beginning 2013, a friend told me that according to a feng shui expert, those born in the Year of the Dragon will be lucky in the love department this year, and not that I take it as something divine, but it got me thinking, maybe it’s time, maybe it’s time. But the thing is, being lucky in this may mean two things: either I’ll be able to find my soulmate and we’ll live happily ever after (ho-ho-ho!), or I’ll stay single and be saved from the heartaches and annoyance of being in a relationship (well, well, well). The latter is still a luck in the love department, right? Either way, I’ll be elated to embrace whatever the outcome is at the end of my silver year. But what are the necessary steps am I taking to find out which way I’m going with this? You’ll find out later. 😉

Goal #4:
Know how to cook a lot of recipes

At YakiMix at The Podium, Pasig City (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

At YakiMix at The Podium, Pasig City (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

I love food! I can eat non-stop as long as there’s food in front me. But one day I thought, a good eater isn’t enough, I must also be a good cook for fairness’ sake. And since I’m already making a goal list for my 25th year, I decided to make cooking part of it. Actually, this plan should’ve started in October 2012 when I got interested in the Pasta recipe book we have at home, but laziness took over so it always got moved.

Anyway, I think this time around is the perfect time to really, really start it ’cause as I said above, I’m making my 25th year as the starting point of my everything. And as a warm-up for this, I’ve already tried cooking thrice (Cooking at YakiMix wasn’t included because it wasn’t proper cooking) before this big year of mine to test if I should continue with it or not. I even created the food sub-category Project Cocina de Camilla in this blog to document my progress in cooking. So far, I’m doing okay and I’m looking forward to more recipes to learn how to cook.

 

#beforeiturn25

Speaking of warm-ups, I had three mini goals I created at the start of February 2013 to get myself ready for my silver year. The list, called Only 3 But Big Things! #beforeiturn25,  was posted at the sidebar of WoH. My original plan was to have five goals, but because of time constraint, I decided to cut it down to three, anyway, it was just a warm-up. I consider them all a success, by the way.

A widget at WoH's sidebar posted from mid-February 2013

A widget at WoH’s sidebar posted since February 2013

1. Do something remarkable and heart-warming.

This idea alone was what inspired me to make a pre-silver year goal list, meaning it was supposed to be only one, but I thought, hey, it’ll be more fun if there’s more, and can you believe it, I almost failed at this. The “remarkable and heart-warming” act I was originally referring to there was reconnecting with someone whose bridges with me I had decidedly burned a year ago due to a problem we got caught up with. I thought this was nice since I already began asking someone close to her how this person was doing and I was constantly mentioning her whenever I talked to another person very close to her. But then I realized that the next steps would be to crawl back to her, beg her for forgiveness, and make peace with her in my sweetest way possible. It may sound easy but just an imagination of what would happen humiliate me. I wasn’t the only one at fault and I don’t want to think of her triumphant reaction when I do that successfully, so I scrapped the idea altogether.

I substituted it instead with forgiving every person that hurt me the past year (Which included her, anyway) so I could welcome my 25th year with more positivity. I also believe that changing it to this was way better because it concerned not only one person but more than three. Yes, it also included that co-worker from another department who got angry with me and raged at my back for being too silent and failing to entertain her like it was part of my job description.

Forgiving is never easy especially for me who once I forgive, I completely forget everything that happened, which then exposes me to the repetition of the pain. So I until now I have to balance forgiveness with not forgetting to save myself–that I believe I can manage. Right now, I still don’t talk to this colleague, but at least, I don’t feel any grudge anymore whenever I see her. It’s like we just don’t know each other, and again, I think it’s better.

2. Finally embrace the fact that I’m just like everyone else and realize that I. NEED. IT.

Q:  What’s gonna happen to our love lives according to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? (You ask and you open a page and point to something.)A: “What is that?” he heard her say.

Q: What’s gonna happen to our love lives according to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? (You ask and you open a page and point to something.)
A: “What is that?” he heard her say.

It was love I was referring to there.

In 2011, my thoughts about love was this (Click here.), and after almost two years, I’m on my way to thinking the other way around. Okay, but did I succeed in this goal now that today’s the deadline, you ask?  Uhhh… Can I get an extension?

It’s a never-ending internal battle for me. Sometimes, when I get lonely and whenever there’s an event or place I want to go to but none of my friends are available, I think of finally searching for a boyfriend, but then I am reminded of a quote that says, “Love when your ready, not when you’re lonely.” So I try to deal with my loneliness by making myself busy with getting ready for any potential relationships, but in the process I realize I enjoy solitude more, the singleness, the freedom, and everything I do alone. So what happens is I get lonely, I try to get ready, but I never get there. Nice.

But I guess all those times I spent since February thinking, conditioning myself, and reading books and Internet posts about love paid off because “A lovelife!” made it to my silver year goal list (Please see above). Yey! LOL. I just don’t know what my reaction would be when I’m actually there. XD

3. HEY! That couple-of-months-late pasta. Remember? LOL.

This was a cinch. It only got moved often because I was either too lazy or preoccupied with other stuff. Anyway, what’s important is I was able to do it a couple of days before the deadline, and if you want to know what kind of pasta it was and how it was, watch out for it one or two posts from this one, it’s part of my Project Cocina de Camilla. 😛

 

As they say, prevention is better than cure, and maybe this move of making goals for myself is my way of evading a possible quarter-life crisis. So now I’m on my quarter life minus the crisis part. How cool is that? I’ve never been this excited about my birthday! I’m getting older? So what? At least my maturity doesn’t get left behind my age. I just hope and pray I get to reach all my goals in God’s perfect time. 🙂

 

FYI: The exact time I turned 25 this day was at 11:20am. :3

Morals of the Story

For every trouble that comes our way, it is important that we do not only overcome the pain and turmoil, but also get lessons which aims are to make us better persons and give us a better perspective of the world.

In 2012, I met my biggest problem thus far and it sure shook me, and crippled me for a while until I decided to break free and stand up if I really wanted that genuine smile on my face again.  It was no cinch, letting go and moving on with life, but with the careful analysis of everything that occurred, which helped me learn God’s purpose for giving me that chaos, I was able to do it and now I’m reaping good fruits.

I have no plans of recounting what happened now that everything is completely over, but I believe what I learned deserves a space in my blog. So here they are:

#1
Do not be too likable. Sometimes, having no one who has any problems with you can cause you a big problem.

#2
Sometimes, it’s helpful to follow your intuition. If you’ve felt any doubt about something or someone right from the start, maybe it’s better to stay away from it or that person immediately. Set aside your being stubborn and say-no-to-quitting attitude.

#3
Ask if you have questions, worries, or doubts. Ask.

#4
Be cautious on who you give your care to. Especially if you have the tendency to care too much. At the end, you may already be doing it for the wrong people and this can hurt you big time.

#5
Fight if you know you’re on the right side. Make sure you’re heard.

#6
Sometimes, it’s better to take sides instead of settling to be in the middle. ‘Cause for all you know, the safest place may turn out to be the most dangerous.

#7
Stay away from people with big problems. You may sink with them and become a codependent. Tsktsk. Bad for your health.

#8
Making a mess is sometimes good for it can show you who your real friends are. It can also yield good results.

#9
Okay, it’s your life. But sometimes, it’s goddamn better if you listen to your friends. If they tell you to stop, maybe they see that you really need to stop. Remember: They are concerned about you and they are just protecting you from pain.

#10
Do not completely trust anyone from the other side.

#11
It’s never wrong to have the habit of looking at the brighter side, but learn when not to do it. Remember, too much optimism lets your guard down, making you unaware when bamboozlers have already crept their way toward you, tainting you with their horridness.

#12
WTP  (Acronym for ‘Wag Tanga Please, in English, Do Not be Stupid.)

#13
Shut your big mouth if you can’t say it to the person you’re talking about.

🙂

The Dragon Baby Says Thank You!

Earth Dragon baby in the 2012 Year of the Water Dragon. ~

The best year isn’t always the one that gave you the most laughs and fun times. Instead, it may be that when you received the proper spanking, which made you learn so much in life.

The year 2012 is that year for me. It topped my 2008 as the most unforgettable with the way it fastened me tight on a roller coaster, giving me the ride of my life. It made me laugh harder and smile wider and more often, breathe fire in anger, get butterflies in my stomach, feel stupid and weak, set barriers up with people I don’t feel good about, appreciate friends and family more, fight for what I think is right, feel my heart pounding hard due to stress, learn and try new stuff, spend more time awake than asleep, become more vigilant, submit to forgiving and forgetting, surrender my proclaimed independent mind and seek people for help, and even create rivers of tears for so many nights on my way home from work–which scared my Mom and sister for witnessing that one deemed the strongest in the family at her most vulnerable.

It was a crazy year that proved I’m a warrior armed with all the metaphorical weapons all over my body. It showed me that being unbelievably nice is noble, but there should be a boundary between it and that pathetic thing called martyrdom. And that I shouldn’t expect everybody to reciprocate everything I do for them. It also taught me to love myself, to put myself first before anyone and anything else, because with an incredibly stubborn mind like mine, it is only I that can really save myself from drowning at the end.

It was crazy. Crazy, indeed. But as nerve-racking as it may have been, 2012 is still the bombastic year I wished for during its New Year’s Eve. I can even confidently say that I have no regrets with every move I made. In fact, I cannot imagine doing otherwise, more so any other aftermaths than what there is now. I know everything that happened will play a huge role in how I’ll act, think, and perceive the world in the future. And with the abundant optimism God blessed me with, I am thankful that I still see the world the same as before, He only tainted me with a little bit of pessimism to balance everything out and to protect me. God designed my year 2012 to get me ready for more lemons that will be thrown at me in the coming days. And now, I’m very much ready for more challenges.

 

Of course, everything wouldn’t be possible without the people around me.

With no hard feelings now that it’s turning into a distant and blurry past, I give my sincerest thanks to those who shattered me. I have come to understand that God sent them to me to wake me up and help me realize gazillion things. They were blessings in disguise to me, and without them, I wouldn’t discover who and what matter most. THANK YOU.

Then my warmest gratitude goes to those who helped me pick the pieces up, not just to bring me back to my old self, but also to form the happier, stronger, and wiser person I am today. They know who they are. For those I have baptized as my “brutal friends”, thank you for the sweet but piercing reprimands and the constant and forceful pulls whenever I seemed to lose track of the right path. This extremely adamant Aries-meets-Dragon lady needed those blows. For those who have chosen to treat me the tender way, thank you, too, especially to those who listened to me and obligingly gave their advices and opinions ’til who knows until what time it was–thus the term “unhealthy friendship” was born. For those who listened to my stories and endless rants and never got tired of them, for those I have frightened with the tears that always came unannounced, for those who supported me and are still standing at my back waiting for the next chances to help me more, for those who didn’t and hopefully will never give me up, for those who effortlessly made me laugh, smile, and appreciate life and its every moment more, for those who shared their lives to me, for every helping hand whenever I need them and even when I didn’t ask for them, for all the good times, for the friendship, THANK YOU. THANK YOU, EVERYONE. I am unsure if I have already thanked everybody enough, so I just immortalized my appreciation in this page.

For some who are unaware of what I went through and even those who think they have little to no contribution in my life, I would also want to thank them. For just being around me, being able to make me smile, laugh, think, and some, even irk me, they have also made significant impact in my life and helped in my growth, I assure them. Again, THANK YOU.

 

Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charisse Reyes

Charisse Reyes

Carlo Reyes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarissa Catalina Repollo

Jocelyn Que

Mary Ernestine Yao

Rajiv Idnani

Yuko Konishi-Legaspi

Yuko Konishi-Legaspi (Photo grabbed from Yuko Konishi-Legaspi)

Meynard (the only guy on the photo)

John Joseph Santiago (the only guy on the photo)

Abigail Lucas ~

Mae Winky Mozelle Veluz

John Herald Cachola (middle) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desiree Quijalvo (Right)

Desiree Quijalvo (Right) *

John Carell Fababeir (the only guy on the photo) *

Jorice Oliveros (left)

Tita Elvira Angeles (farthest left), Tita Gregoria Candelaria (third to the right), Tita Josefina Evangelista (second to the right), and Nanay Priscila Nazareth (farthest right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ate Beverly Candelaria-Garcia (left)

Ate Jeramae Evangelista-Santos (farthest left) and Ate Pamela Angeles (the woman holding the baby)

Michael Rey-Ann Norte

Michael Rey-An Norte (left) (Photo grabbed from Cha Reyes)

(Top, from left) Cedric Reyes, Lexus Reyes, Ate Charm Rebong, Cha Reyes, Alexis Reyes, Gelai Rebong, (Bottom, from left) Me, Monique Rodriguez, Jay Ar Rebong, Ivo Rebong, CarloReyes

(Top, from left) Cedric Reyes, Lexus Reyes, Ate Charm Rebong, Cha Reyes, Alexis Reyes, Gelai Rebong, (Bottom, from left) Me, Monique Rodriguez, Jay Ar Rebong, Ivo Rebong, Carlo Reyes (Photo grabbed from Lexus Reyes)

The Reyes Family

The Reyes Family (Photo grabbed from Tita Malyn Reyes)

Sir Hermie Morelos

Sir Hermie Morelos (Photo grabbed from Ms April Ramos)

Boss Deth Alegre

Boss Deth Alegre

Sir Butch Reyes

Ms April Ramos Ana Marie Nibal Juvy Tan (L to R)

Ms April Ramos, Ana Marie Nibal, and Juvy Tan (L to R) (Photo grabbed from Ana Marie Nibal)

Cristine Leal (Left) and Darah Manigo (Right)

Cristine Leal (Left) and Darah Manigo (Right)

Randolf Santos (right)

Antonio Apatan Jr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Antonette Basbas

Abraham Basbas

Jayson Domer (the only guy on the photo) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Shirley Tito (middle) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malou Alvarez (Left)

Malou Alvarez (Left) *

Eldie Arubang (farthest right) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Karl Acepcion (middle) *

Rosanna Manansala (third to the left) *

Licelle Andaya (Second to the left), Sir Jojo Munoz (only guy), and Ms Shiela Ecube (farthest right) *

Noli Pionilla (farthest right) *

Sam Jaictin (farthest left) *

Tito Fred Alcaraz (Only guy on the photo)

Tito Fred Alcaraz (the only guy on the photo) *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellow Hikers

Fellow Hikers at Mt Daguldol *

Ms Ana Valencia (second to the right) and Ms Tonet (farthest right)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guia Trinidad (middle) *

Suzanne Uang (Photo  grabbed from Suzanne Uang)

Ivan Anyayahan (the only guy on the photo) *

TY Joan San Diego

Joan San Diego

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanna Ayroso (farthest left) (Photo taken in 2011) *

ITI Philippines Interns (people on the left side) and Michelle Joy Dela Cruz (girl in pink standing on the left) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Yttel Anne Robles (farthest right) (Photo taken in 2011) *

Of course, lastly, I would like to thank my partners- in-crime in photo taking: Kiki, my Sony digicam, and Steven, my iPod Touch. ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, and the most important of all, there’s my Creator. I have the greatest feeling now that I have completely rekindled my relationship with Him. I still have my shortcomings, but still, I know that He’s just there, patiently waiting for me and loving and protecting me. I have realized that optimism minus Him is as good as a life filled with nothing but negativity. I thank Him for the dark days for I know He placed those to make me come running back to His loving arms, and so that’s what I did. I thank Him for the unyielding love and concern. He truly is amazing and I don’t know if I have already praised and worshipped Him enough to deserve the overflowing blessings He has been showering me with. LORD, THANK YOU, I AM YOUR SERVANT AND I’LL DO EVERYTHING NEVER TO GO ASTRAY EVER AGAIN. 🙂

 

It’s been a few days since we said farewell to 2012 and my original plan was to post this on the first day of 2013. I failed because I had a hard time writing this entry as memories came rushing back, thus, I was teary-eyed every once in a while. I actually thought of discontinuing this, but a friend encouraged me saying that since she witnessed how my 2012 is very different, it deserves a space in my blog for the record. And she’s right. With everything that happened, though I didn’t specify them here, the year deserves to be written and be re-read again and again in the future to remind me and to poke me whenever my over positivity will make me forget of what I’ve been through.

With this post, I close another chapter of my life and turn to the next blank pages for a more fruitful and more blessed year.

2013, I’m ready! 🙂

 

 

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Photo Credits:

* – Champy Cachola

~ – Abigail Lucas

Wanted: Treasures in You

I am a proud treasure hunter. I always search for jewels in everyone I meet.

Without any safety gears except for a headlamp, I brave dark mines, anticipating to uncover loads of precious stones. I persistently dig and dig deeper in every surface I can reach and put my hands on, not minding the dirt I acquire all over my face and body in the process. Big or small, a lot or just a few, it doesn’t matter to me for they all yield the same rewarding feeling upon discovery.

What’s interesting is each mine is different. Some almost readily give me the stones I am looking for a few minutes after I enter and begin my work, some with proper timing, while there are those that take longer and are more frustrating to excavate.

Photo grabbed from Flickr / Color edited by yours truly

I dig and dig and dig. I find satisfaction in doing it. And with the latter type, concerned people oftentimes shout at me from the outside, advising me to stop ’cause they see how my quarrying is getting futile. But the stubborn optimist in me still go on.

Truth is, I become worn out in this kind of mines, yet conceding is not an option. I am already inside and I have started exerting efforts. I dig and find mere pebbles. I dig more and unearth rocks. Then I dig deeper with more force only to reveal useless boulders. And when I reach this point, I’m already close to tears, but my mind keeps on telling me that just a few more and I’ll finally see what I’m searching for. Because when I do, I’ll blissfully get out of the site and brag to everybody my interesting finds. Never mind how messy I am from all my hard work inside.

That’s the best part for me, when I persevere in times when others have already given up, then I luckily succeed. But there are depressing cases when no matter what I do, all I expose is filth.

Then when I realize I’ve done my best and I’ve already spent too much time inside the dark with no anything valuable yet, I start feeling stupid and wasted. I pity myself as I look at my blistered hands and it’s what I abhor most. So my temper rises, and there’s nothing else I can think of but plant bombs all over the site, go out, and blow it up.

A big explosion.

I watch as the fire eats up the place. And when nothing’s left but a ruin and black smokes, I silently leave without wiping the stains on me.

Sad and disappointing, but that’s how it is for me. So as much as possible, I avoid that moment.

 

It was only at the middle of this year when I realized that I’m this kind of person. Then recently, I remembered writing a profile article for the business magazine I worked at before about somebody like me, but he’s an expert and knows how to handle frustrating situations best.

My former boss and I met him during his company’s event. He was friendly and there was nothing on his aura that made me feel uncomfortable. Then the interview afterward, which was set right that very moment when we were introduced to him, was smooth and light that I instantly admired his interpersonal skills. I think he influenced me in becoming the treasure hunter that I am today.

He is a role model and he is the kind of boss I am yearning to have. If you also want to get to know him, I have posted my article about him below this entry. It was published in the September 2010 issue of China Business-Philippines magazine and was also posted online for the netizens to read.

Spare some time reading it and get inspired, too! 🙂

 

 

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All That Sparkles

Dell’s Varinderjit Singh is a treasure hunter. But he doesn’t go searching for gems in mines, he finds them in the people he works with

Dell’s South Asia developing markets managing director, Varinderjit Singh (Photo grabbed from China Business-Philippines site)

“I’ve always believed that everybody has a gem in them,” says Varinderjit Singh, or Varin, South Asia developing markets managing director for IT company Dell Inc. “It’s up to the leader to take this and pull it out.”

With two decades of experience working with people, he knows what he is saying. A gem himself, Varin is considered one of the most important and valued leaders in Dell South Asia for constantly receiving the highest employee feedback scores.

With such stature, he has been given the task of managing Dell offices in 21 developing countries in South Asia region in the past one and a half years. One of his roles is managing country managers and in-country teams to boost sales in enterprise and client service and solutions. He is also in charge of gathering distributors and partners “while developing partner strategies and skills in the region” for the company.

Varin got started in the computer industry after he graduating from New Hampshire College with a degree in Computer Information Systems in 1990. He moved to Malaysia to work with IBM, then back to the United States when he transferred to networking company 3COM Corporation as chief strategic marketing engineer for worldwide customer communications.

After six years of working in America, Varin decided to move back to Malaysia thinking Asia is the best place to be. “[The] US is very nice. [Its] worldwide market is very good,” he says. “But Malaysia is [a part of] Asia. This is the place where growth level [of the market] is fast proceeding.”

Once back in Malaysia, he worked for NEC Computers Asia Pacific as marketing director for a year. It was five years ago when he finally worked with Dell South Asia.

He was hired by Dell as software and peripherals manager. A year later, he was moved to managing the inside sales of the call center for same region. He describes managing a call center as ‘good times’ because he was given the opportunity to head a call center with 100 to 200 people. He was, after all, a people person. For about a year and a half, Varin has been with Dell as the managing director for the region’s developing market.

Mining Metaphorically
Varin has more or less worked in every aspect of the IT industry. From programming, technical networking, then product and PR marketing, to sales, and a management, he can confidently say he knows business in and out.

But when asked what he likes most in all those areas he has been, he confesses that he has no favorite. “What I like best is not really any of those areas,” he says, “It’s more working with people.” And this is the reason he describes managing a call center good times.

Varin is naturally a people person. In fact, he believes it’s one of his skills. “I like working with different kinds of people, different kinds of cultures, and getting the best out of everyone,” he says.

Having met all sorts of people has led him to believe that everyone has a gem or a strong point within them, and he says it’s up to the leader to dig it up for the world to see. As a person experienced in the business industry, he knows what can come out from people in the best way. “That’s something I’ve been very successful at,” he admits.

He says that it’s by managing people the right way and letting them shine that results will come. Once you succeed in doing that, everything will follow. “The marketing goes well, the sales go well, [you put] the right products in the market,” he says.

But digging for gems is not easy. Aside from seeking strengths, spotting people’s weaknesses is also vital in the process.

So what Varin does is to sit down with each person. “I really identify their weakness and strength, I actually have it documented,” he says, “It’s part of Dell’s internal development program.”

This is done because, he says, many people do not know their strength or they may be aware what it is but don’t spend time on developing it. But by learning what they’re good at through the results gathered by Varin, people will do something to leverage it. “I identify the one or two things that need to be done so that they can further develop,” he says.

The process of taking a strength to a higher level, he says, includes linking a person with someone weak in that area. Then one who has the skills becomes the mentor of the one lacking it. In the end, the ‘weaker’ employee learns, and the other learns more from sharing what he has.

Not Much Counting Backwards
Varin says he doesn’t lose many people in his team, and if he does lose some, it’s often because those people are moved to better roles. His secret: whenever there’s a problem, he tells it straight to the people involved. “I’m an open book,” he says, “And my entire team knows this.”

He gives everyone honest feedback. “If it’s good news, I tell them straight. I don’t hide things. So when there’s an issue, I’m direct,” he adds. What’s more, he doesn’t only tell the people what their problem is, he also tries to help them by giving them mentors. But there are times when his method just doesn’t work. And when that happens, he has no choice but to let the problem employee go.

He believes that not everyone that the company lets go is unskilled, it’s just that they’re not for the job. “I look at it [and ask myself], ‘Is it job fit’?” He says many see people who do not perform as problem employees but he says 70% of the time it’s job fit. According to him, out of 20 employees, only one in six who don’t perform may have to be let go. The other five can sometimes be moved to other roles to become stronger.

Being a gem himself means someone else dug that treasure within him too. And just like any leader who wouldn’t be able to get where they are without anyone to look up to, Varin also has his role models and he regards them as the “few people that really touched me in my life, definitely.”

Karl Hess, the global director for customer communications when Varin was still at 3COM Corporation is one of them. Aside from moving him to the US, Hess also helped to bring out the people-person aspect in him. “I definitely attribute a lot of things to him,” he says. Another is Paul-Henri Ferrand, Dell’s vice president for global marketing. Varin describes him as a superb and assertive man.

Sunny Side Up
In the 20 years he has been in the business, Varin has learned one thing: Enjoy life. And because he is a people person, he lets everyone get their share of enjoyment. “My philosophy is to make sure that everybody is enjoying what they do,” he says. Whenever he sees someone not having fun on the job, he turns the atmosphere around and tries to brighten the situation.

Though he may seem nice, he’s strict about his team’s performance. “You need to enjoy what you’re doing. But results must be there,” he says. It is, after all, a two way street. The miner digs the gems, in turn, the miner should also get something out of it.