Category Archives: Reality

Thank you 2014

It’s been one hell of a ride this 2014.

So a really quick recap –

  • I came back to my homeland (Oh how I missed it!)
    • Met up with friends
    • Went on random trips
    • Hung out with my brother and sister
    • Hung out with the family
  • Went on a trip to Kota Kinabalu
    • Met an amazing girl who loves traveling
  • Got a job in a startup
    • Got scolded for being to stubborn
    • Got told off for being unprepared
    • Was called too nice, too soft-spoken
    • Became the boss’ anger sponge (to be fair, I pushed it…)
    • Met amazing people
    • Unlearned what I know
    • Learned new things, became more aware and gained more perspective
    • Re-learned and reapplied what I know
    • Fell in love with my job
    • Was pushed to grow and become more competitive (it’s like my Masters program all over again!)
    • Have too much in my head
    • Realized I have to act faster to keep up with my thoughts
  • Realigned personal interests with business interests
  • Discovered new area (Makati and North QC!)
    • Discovered places to eat
    • Discovered places to shop
  • Started fending for myself
    • Got an apartment to rent by myself
    • Stopped making my parents pay for my credit card bills (lol)
    • I pay for my food, my gas, everything
    • Learned how to budget
    • Takes sister out to splurge
    • Started taking a cab
    • Splurges on coffee
  • Met amazing people not from work
  • Lost 30 lbs
  • Visited Bacolod and splurged on food
  • Fell madly in love
  • Re-evaluated the softer, more emotional side of me
  • Was tested
  • Hosted my host family (aunt and uncle!) from CA
  • Celebrated my birthday with my family, shopping for Christmas haha
  • Celebrated Christmas with family
  • Worked during the holidays and didn’t mind at all
  • Gave people food, money, gifts and loved every bit of it
  • Will celebrate New Year’s with the family

It has been a crazy, wonderful year and I learned so much. Even though I had to put off my true love (travel), it was okay because I know after all this has paid off, I could always come back and it’ll be waiting for me with open arms.

Thank you 2014.

I welcome you 2015 and in fact, I am excited yet a teeny weeny bit scared of what’s going to come… still, BRING IT ON!

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Aging

I have been mulling over a comment made by my roommate (yes, I finally have a roommate in a small flat I rented!) a week ago. She said, “you’re such a nerd,” which was triggered by me finally deciding on ‘The World is Flat’ as my go-to book to sleep. I looked at her weirdly and asked, “what? Why?” She answered, “You like playing jigsaw puzzles during your down time, you watch videos for online courses, and now you’re reading THAT to sleep.”

Me being a nerd was emphasized earlier while we were having dinner at a posh restaurant near our apartment. She basically observed that I have a strong inclination towards the left brain while our group of friends are more right-brained. I disagreed and realized that it was true. I told her I have other hobbies… such as traveling… Except I cannot travel much nowadays. She basically pointed out that that wouldn’t count as I can’t do it after work. I don’t paint, play music, draw, sketch etc. during my down time. Instead, as she pointed out, I read articles from Harvard Business Review, Forbes and Entrepreneur. People my age read Cosmopolitan or Vogue. Oh, and she watches reality TV shows.

True again. She wondered why we’re friends. I pointed out that we balance each other out.

We started talking about books we liked. It ranged from fiction to classics to biographies. We talked about Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre to Stieg Larsson to Neil Gaiman. We talked about work and how our schools had an influence on our perfomances. We talked about the future. We talked about perspectives on love, and making love.

I realized one important thing tonight. We’re adults. Fresh graduates look at us as if we’re a bunch of old people who know about the world. Friends look at us and say one thing about us right off the bat. Close friends look at us and tell us how stubborn we are. Best friends look at us and analyze us. They accept our perspectives. They accept who we are.

My group of acquaintances got larger over the years. My group of friends had gotten larger too, but my group of closest friends had gotten significantly smaller. I don’t mind. I don’t mind at all. Actually, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for having friends who have known me for years and stayed. I’m grateful for having friends who I can be myself with – all my flaws and bloopers.

I believe there’s wisdom in aging not because you simply age but because you meet people and you learn to appreciate those who stay. There’s beauty in watching someone else’s life grow, and there’s significance in being a part of such. I believe the mere act of staying and being there already makes a huge impact on any person, and I daresay, make the most out of it.

Clutter of Thoughts

I have been thinking of the amazing ability of humans to hold so much information – sights, memories, thoughts, facts, etc. To be honest, sometimes I wish I have an eidetic memory so it’s innate in my brain to remember stuff, and probably, just probably, it’ll be much easier for me to order my thoughts.

Anyway, what news… I’ve moved back to my country and have started looking for a job. It is depressing because it seems as if the companies here do not value talent or potential. It’s as if they want robots with no ambitions. It’s sad. Sometimes I don’t feel like telling interviewers what I want for the future. Maybe they get scared I’ll get their jobs within five years. LOL *I’mjustbeingsarcasticandbitterdon’tmindme*

I have also noticed that almost all the basic goods here like food, have already increased prices *inflation* however, salaries have not. I have been to an interview which proposed that I only get a base salary of Php 11,000-14,000. A salary loads lower than my first job. Things like these are disheartening. Harsh truth is, companies here are exploiting people to do work at such low rate. Filipinos do a very good job but they become complacent because with shitty salaries for years, what will drive them to succeed?

Even more, I am infuriated because almost the higher salaries for people like me are in the government – and I don’t want to go back in the government. From my experience, government employees are not even being paid for their skills. It’s like they just put their foot down and grew roots in their positions – doesn’t matter if they cannot do their job well as long as they have the CSC to protect their asses from being fired. I’m ranting again.

Moving on, I should really stop procrastinating and arrange my cluttered thoughts.

A Reply to My Previous Reblog: The Last time I Will Ever Think of You

Dear my recent ex-boyfriend,

I’m the bad person. I know that much.

I’m the one who always complains, whines and wants to break up with you. I can’t even recount the number of times I’ve broken up with you or begged you to let me go.

Those times that I hurt you because I wanted to break up with you were also the times I thought twice about our relationship. I admired your persistence. When we first met, I was clear that I did not want anything more than a friend. You were a great friend. I thought such notion would work well for us. However, you started hitting on me. I did not like you that way. I knew you were fragile. I knew I was going to hurt you. I wanted to keep myself away from you.

You made me choose – either I date you and become your girlfriend or you walk away and I lose you. I was selfish. I did not want to lose a friend so I chose to date you even though I knew I was not ready for a relationship. I swallowed it. I did not feel anything when you touch my hand, or kiss me. I was angry all the time because I regret what you had done to me. If you liked me then as you claimed, why did you have to blackmail me? Why put me in such a position?

Months passed. Weeks have not gone by without fights – mainly because I start it. I was not content. My heart was troubled. I did not like you as a boyfriend. I regretted our relationship. I have insisted on an open dating relationship. You were possessive. I never said “I love you” until two months after. I probably lied because I did not love you like how you want me to love you. I loved you as my friend, as my confidant. Heck, even before our boyfriend-girlfriend relationship started, you knew my secrets – my pains, my wants, my frustrations. When we started dating, you were a frustration and I could not tell anyone.

Three months into our relationship, I opened up about my past relationships. You have always viewed them as a bad past of me. I did not view them as such. They were experiences to me and I’ve accepted them as a part of me. I need not tell the world about my relationships and its details. You wanted to know every bit of it. I told you and you viewed them as faults. I felt like a broken person nobody wanted and needed to be fixed.

I felt like I was a project to you.

You were a vegetarian and when around you, I could not eat meat. It started slowly but eventually you started telling me not to eat meat totally. You never viewed yourself as a controlling person but that is how I view you. What you wanted was what you wanted and I don’t have any say in it. My fault was I let you do that to me. I just lash out and keep on starting fights which hurt you because that was the only way I knew you would even listen to me.

I have always brought up the concept of respect in our fights. I have always felt you did not respect me – my views, my opinions, my habits, my past, myself. With you, I felt I just lost myself. I felt like damaged goods. Probably because that was how you viewed me. I was someone to be fixed. The ironic thing about it is that before you, I did not feel that. I felt I was free and happy and I could do a lot of things. Then you happened.

I lied about many things. Sometimes I would say I did not eat meat but for dinner, there was only meat so I ate it. You would have wanted me to skip meals anyway. Sometimes I would also say that I am going to sleep, but I was actually up until 2 in the morning watching a TV show. Almost all my time was spent messaging you that’s why I couldn’t get time for myself and do things I want to do. You have always complained when I don’t message for two minutes. What more if I disappeared for hours watching TV? For you, couples should always be messaging and be in touch. I was not like that from the beginning. You wanted me to change. So I tried messaging you all the time. I have to admit I get bored most of the time because you just wanted to talk about how much I love you or how much I wanted to hug or kiss you. I didn’t enjoy talking about those things.

You have always been a sensitive person. Oversensitive, in fact. Sometimes I feel like banging my head against the wall. Sometimes I wish I had amnesia and forget who I am so I could forget about you. I almost always lied about my feelings because I hated to see you sad if I answered truthfully and I knew it would make you sad. I have always felt imprisoned by you. You just probably loved me too much.

I eventually changed and appreciated you more. You were a rock I could lean on, a friend who could listen to me. You changed too. You didn’t need me to message you all the time. It came to a point that you were my only happiness. Fights became less frequent – we could go on for five straight days without fighting. I was happy. I loved you. Truly. However, not as much as you loved me. My love was not enough. Heck, I did not even mind that my parents knew about our relationship and yours don’t. You said your mom flared up when you told her you liked me. She clearly did not want her son involved with me because I am from another country. I have a different culture, different food habits, different language. I was a secret for over a year and I did not mind that everyone knew except people who were really important to you.

We were going to separate and I was clear I did not want a long distance relationship. You wanted to keep the relationship. Two days later, I changed my mind and said we should try it. We finally separated but we were in touch. It was not enough. We fight a lot mainly because I am fickle. I knew I loved you but it was not enough. I cannot see myself with you in the future. I could not commit to you. I could not take it anymore that I was a secret. I felt like a person no one wanted. It hurts when I see my friends in a stable and committed relationship. I was envious. I was not happy.

I told you in the midst of my depression that I was not happy. I have been truthful. I was clear that I cannot see myself with you in the future. I was clear that I do not love you as much as you love me. Fights were frequent again. I was the bad person. I was the liar.

I am sorry if you felt led on. I did not want to do that. I thought I would try. I’m sorry. I should not have blamed you. I was angry. I was angry because of the decisions I made. I should have let you walk away from the beginning. I should have not been selfish. We could have been both spared a lot of pain. I’m sorry I want this over. I’m sorry that I make you feel your love is not enough. You loved me too much and I was not grateful enough. I’m sorry I come running back to you even after telling you I’m breaking up with you. I should have been strong to walk away. I have personal issues. I am not a person you deserve.

You deserve someone better – someone worthy of your love. To move on with our lives you have to let me go. Please let me go so you can be happy.

There are many truths and lies in our relationship. You need only remember one truth: I have loved you. However, I cannot give you the same. I am setting you free and I want you to fly free. Don’t hold on to me. Please be happy.

Sincerely,

xxxx

Frustrations

I have more free time nowadays than I could have imagined before coming here. I find it amazing how the mind thinks that it’s always greener on the other side.

With more time on my hands, I’ve had the chance to also look through my Facebook news feed more often. After such browsing, I get frustrated. Why?

I see people posting loads of articles such as “These interns earn higher than you” or “These companies pay interns more than full time employees” and the like.

I am not frustrated because I’m unemployed and interns earn higher than I do but because of the mentality the poster holds. First of all, aside from posting as such, they also have a caption like, “@tagwhoever let’s apply!” It displays ignorance, naiveté and stupidity. Let me break it down:

Ignorance – the article clearly illustrates companies in the United States hiring engineering interns to work/learn from them. To be qualified for such internships, you have to be studying engineering in a top university in the United States. My point is, situate the articles and your comments accordingly. When I say accordingly, I mean according to your location, qualifications and background. The poster was from the Philippines. How will you apply for such a position when you’re not even in the US, do not hold an engineering degree and not even taking up a postgraduate degree currently? You can’t just say, “@whoever let’s apply!” when you don’t even situate it accordingly.

Naiveté – this is somewhat similar to above. The article made it clear that whatever they posted came from engineering interns. By the way, these engineering interns would also earn more after they graduate. Or, better yet they have already graduated and taking an internship for experience. More often than not, they already have a job offer with the company. These interns are also more or less US citizens or hold green cards. Not many companies, if there are any, hire and sponsor working visas for international students who are entry level.

Stupidity – I honestly think I’ve made my point pretty clear. Think before you post. It would be okay if you could have had a caption like, “Wow I wish I studied engineering and was born as US citizen.” Or something like, “I’m an engineer! I could do this, just have to marry an American.”

Okay, why is this ticking me off so much? It’s because such articles were posted more than once on my news feed. When I was in the US looking for a job, it was appropriate for me but I am certain that it wasn’t for them. I sound so negative because I have experienced how difficult it is to find a job there especially when you stick with integrity rather than getting pressured with the bandwagon.

Message for the day: Think before you post. Analyze and evaluate.

Home Sweet Home (?)

continued from “What’s up, ketchup”

  • On February 20, 2014, I boarded a flight to the Philippines. I will be arriving February 22. I was afraid that many things would have changed since I left even though I’ve only been gone for a year and a half.
  • I arrived. I was excited to see my family. As I exited the airport with the cart full of my luggage, I strained my neck and squinted my eyes searching for them. I ended up waiting in one place for about ten minutes, messaging them using an internet website as I do not have a local mobile number. I went to the other waiting place looking for them. One guard approached me and lent me his cellphone so I can call my parents. I was able to contact my dad and lo and behold, they were at my previous location. They came to meet me. I thanked the guard for his kindness and half-walked half-ran towards my dad when I saw him. I was kinda pissed (I know I shouldn’t have been). Apparently, they left the house ten minutes before I landed. :/
  • On the way home, my dad bought pan de sal. Oh how I missed it. Even though it was not warm, I just wanted it badly. I was also looking for taho. Until today, I haven’t had it. I noticed not much has changed. Same old substandard roads. Still has ongoing constructions. Man, those roads must have undergone a gazillion constructions because there’s always one every year.
  • We reached home. I missed home. I missed my room. The first thing my sister did was take a photo of me and post it on FB with the captions, “SHE’S BACK… and she’s fat!!” Of course, my friends loved it.
  • My friends were messaging me. I felt missed. It’s like that during the hype of the moment. Today, 5 days after I arrived, not many notice the difference.
  • The first two days, I felt time was so slow. Maybe I’m just getting used again to the pace of life here. In the US, everything came so fast. Probably because everything was much more convenient and electronically-ridden? By that I mean, internet’s fast that you get lost in it. Netflix and Hulu are there so hours tick by. I even felt I was growing older much more rapidly. Scary.
  • Monday came and I went to the LTO to renew my license. At least they don’t require drug test now. I find that just an additional hassle. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never taken illegal drugs (of course when I imply legal drugs, I mean the meds!). It’s just that it takes additional time and it’s annoying. Anyway, I renewed my license. Lucky senior citizens – they didn’t need to fall in line. The application form and medical processes were fast. The photo and signature process was also fast. When it came to the payment and releasing, I don’t know what in the world the cashier was doing – playing solitaire, updating whatnot records, or whatever but she just stopped taking payments for twenty five minutes. People were piling up inside the small A/C-less space and the employees in the payment and releasing seem to not care. This is aside from the fact that they arrived at 9:40 am when the office should be open at 9:00 am. My point is, everything could be done much more efficiently. What’s the point of prolonging it? And why can’t the government update the computer systems so the employees need not use ancient conking ones? Yeah, I should know the answer, I’ve worked there.
  • I just found it ironic and funny that I was so scared that everything would have changed when I’m back. I was expecting that I would not recognize the places. Many things have changed, yes. Few things have also changed. I guess this is why Asians seem ageless? Institutions seem to be also stuck in time. It’s the same old, same old Philippines that I remember. Not much has changed.

Of Love, Loss and Disasters

I actually do not know how to begin writing this blog post as it involves a devastating event. We know about the Haiti earthquake, the Japan tsunami, Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the East Coast, and other disasters. Around Thursday (PST)/ Friday, last week, Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named, “Yolanda”) struck several big provinces in the Philippines. I’m from the Philippines and this event which devastated my country pains me.

It was true that when my mom called from the Philippines telling me a really strong storm is coming, I was like, “OK, you guys take care and stay at home,” not really concerned as I know it won’t hit Manila. Little did I know that the super typhoon will do so much damage that it scared the wits out of me, and depressed my spirit. Storms and typhoons have been a common event in a tropical country like ours. Philippines experiences many low pressure areas, and at least nine storms a year – sometimes exhausting all the alphabets (we name our typhoons alphabetically). Yolanda, as can be deduced, is the 25th storm to hit the country this year. Amazingly, we even have the typhoon Zoraida raining on another part of the country. Even more disturbing and baffling is the fact that it’s already November and yet, the country is still being struck by typhoons when it should all be okay and sunny beginning October.

On Friday (PST), my mom called to say that she kept waking up at 3 in the morning because the winds were so strong. A few hours later, news reports and videos were uploaded and streaming. The super typhoon ravaged cities and towns as if they’re mere dust on the ground. A day after the typhoon stopped, it was reported that more than 350,000 people were displaced, and suspected that more than 10,000 people are dead or more. It was one of the strongest super typhoons ever recorded in history, and this super typhoon is also the most destructive that struck the Philippines – more than the typhoon Ondoy which devastated Manila a year ago. It came with a 235-mph wind and left with a 7 meter deep of flood in Tacloban City. As of today, CBS reports that more than 4 million people were affected by the typhoon. Some areas are still incommunicable as they are in remote areas of the provinces affected. No electricity, no communication, and not even enough helicopters or rescue vehicles were dispatched to help the affected people, or even to check if there are any survivors. Houses were destroyed, people died, families mourned.

To add salt to the wound, it was reported (Citi Research) that the super typhoon “destroyed 80% of the structures in its path and resulted in more than $69 million in damages.” Several organizations have already organized donation channels to help the country.  If you can, please help out. The following are only some of those I found:

The above are just channels for donation. You can help too by spreading the word and praying for the families. Donation of goods and clothes are also helpful. I think what they need most right now are the vehicles to reach those devastated areas. It’s sad, heartbreaking, and in Filipino, kalunos-lunos.

Here are some videos of the super typhoon –

Please spread the word.

Sources:

Unemployment

It’s officially my first three days of unemployment. Sad that I have to go through this again – the job hunt. I’m now looking for opportunities – full-time jobs and internships here in the US. I gotta say, I expected it to be hard to find even an internship here. What I didn’t expect is that it’ll be harder. Worse, it was harder to find jobs and internships which require a Master graduate.

On a more positive note, I’m happy my parents are here. We’re staying at my cousin’s bigger house. We got a whole house to ourselves with a pool. Can I just say, awesome! It would be good to get a job in Sacramento so I wouldn’t have to worry about rent and just live here. Of course, I am open to anywhere here in US. It would be good if I can get experience here, better if a career.

Wish me luck.