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

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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.

It’s Raining Blessings Everyday!

Last week, I sent an SMS to my high-school friend greeting her a happy birthday and telling her–with much conviction–that God will surely bless her more in the new year added to her life.

After a few hours, she replied with the usual thanks, and that she’s looking forward to that “I know God will bless you more” part. I smiled with positivity upon reading it, then suddenly, I thought…

Photo grabbed from Flickr

Heeeeeeeyyyyy…  We’re lavished with blessings everyday! 🙂

From the moment we wake up, take a bath, eat our breakfast, say goodbye to the people at home (if we live with our family or anybody else), commute to work, let the sun touch our skin, meet and mingle with our colleagues (or classmates for those still in school), do our tasks in the office or at school, eat lunch, eat snack, reach the end of our shift, commute back home, pass by people–strangers or not–with equally busy lives, greet and catch up with people at home, eat dinner, watch TV, check our Facebook accounts,  get a bit unlucky with some of the occurrences along our daily routine, to the time we say goodnight, turn off the lights, and go to sleep… These are all blessings from God!

To most, those may not be godsend anymore because doing them every single day have made them too monotonous. But if we really think about it, not everybody is given the gift of next day, which means there are less fortunate ones who can never be able to do those everyday habits again.

As Panic At The Disco‘s Oh Glory song goes, “If I wake in the morning, I only need two more miracles to be a saint…” It’s true. To be able to see the daylight once more is indeed a marvel. Just imagine how many people sleep at night with carefully-listed plans for tomorrow in mind, but then, never able to fulfill them because their time have expired. And there are people who still wake up, but then after a few hours, their lives turn unexpectedly, and they can no longer function the same way they do.

So to us who still have the chance to greet the world a happy morning again and again, let us never take those unacknowledged blessings from the Lord for granted. Let us also never stop from thanking Him for those ’cause we never know when the last time we’ll be able to do them.

We are very fortunate. We really are. There may be times when our regular days are disturbed by troubles–lots of troubles–and it seems like there’s no way out. But remember, God doesn’t put those trials just to punish us. Problems come to us to teach us and mold us into the stronger and wiser persons whom He meant for us to be. That’s another great blessing, right?

So let us not let ennui take over us and instead, look at the brighter side. Blessings are abundantly presented to us each day, we just have to search at the right places and have the right frame of mind.

 

P.S. A simple reply of appreciation that led to this blog entry. Oh, it’s okay if you don’t mind me, and it’s okay if you do. It’s just me with overflowing optimism and renewed faith in God. :3

God bless!

 

 

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UPDATE (October 21, 2012):
I just remembered this quote I read from Jostein Gaarder’s The Solitaire Mystery:

How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.