worth the splurge

In the last three weeks or so, I have not been living in my alabang home. My location residence has shifted between Asian Hospital and my lola’s house at Cainta. The reason? My sister got into a major accident in a South-of-Manila mall the family frequents. Both knees were dislocated and she’s been unable to walk. Thankfully, the surgery was successful and she’s on her way to complete recovery.

This major event means a lot of things for me and my family. My sister, mom, and I have more time to bond and agree with one another. I’ve realized through our limited living conditions that you don’t much to be happy. I guess the downside to earning stably is the convenience of having money to spend easily. Not that I’m against spending, but in the last few months, I was prone to getting a lot of stuff I don’t need.

But this doesn’t mean I’m against splurging once in a while either. Shopping is great for passing time but I’ve realized what’s really worth spending for: good company and good places. Nothing beats the ease of a delicious dinner with friends or memorable adventures in another country.

Travel is most definitely one of the major dreams I intend to accomplish. Hopefully in time, I’ll be able to embrace new lands and open my mind to the world. Of course, priority is the beautiful nation I already live in. After hopping the seaside islands of the Philippines, I can’t wait to explore the cuisine of Vietnam and fellow Southeast Asia neighbors. Experience is something that lasts years, unlike the wear, tear, and passing trends of clothes.

Nothing quite like it :)

As we grow older, we yearn for the days when life was simpler and easier. We were young once, only thinking about the games to play and excited about the new things to learn. Despite the ease of childhood, there were times when we would yearn for the “super powers” of adults. Aren’t we all guilty of trying on our mom’s heels or carrying dad’s suitcase when they are not home? We were once fascinated by the power their adulthood held. But once the responsibilities kick in, we long for the “freedom” that adult life lacks. One has to work so hard just to get by. Serious conditions such as diabetes, dislocated bones, and hypertension get in the way. The beauty of youth fades and the disadvantage of age gets in the way.

Every young adult wishes they were warned at some point during their adult (no innuendos intended) fantasies of feeling rich and powerful. Yet such is the price of responsibility. How does one feel fulfillment without actually working hard for what they have accomplished? Taking the clich├ęd words of Spiderman: with great power comes great responsiblity. And as cleverly put by Kickass’ protagonist: with no power comes no responsibility.
Unfortunately, the divide between the rich, middle-class, and the poor gets in the way of rewarding hard-earned work. There may be fields that reward the best graduates and personalities for their credentials but everything else is about a matter of knowing the right people. It’s also a matter of knowing the right names or being related to them in the first place.
I’d have to admit there are times I wish I was lucky as the privileged set in the Philippines. They have the money, resources, and connections to open up businesses or to get into high positions. It seems effortless, simply because they are COO’s (child of owner/s) or carry a powerful last name. So many other people not included in that circle are not recognized for their efforts.
Forgive me for showing some slight bitterness here, but I’ve been spending my free (read: unemployed) time to think about my next career move. I grew up wanting to publish stories and still hold on to that dream. Short tales I have written have been printed (well, the more modern term would be uploaded) for thousands to read. But I’m just beginning and still have much more to learn about the business of telling stories. I haven’t been formally offered a position in the media and I’m actually awaiting call-backs. I still have second thoughts since the popular publications this country prints aren’t exactly companies I aspire to be in. As much as I love fashion and shopping, I want to invest my words and technical know-how into subjects that matter. My ultimate dreams are outside Philippine shores: Esquire, GQ, and TIME.
Considering my circumstances, I’ve thought about going back to teaching. A recent interview I had is for a position related to education and getting the offer could be a turning point in my life plans. In the academe, hard work and relevant knowledge is truly recognized. Your efforts are not wasted as you try to intellectualize what people need to learn. Although getting into that field will be difficult, at least I know the fruits of my labor will contribute to something greater.
Back then, I thought I’d have it all figured out by 20-plus. But recent events have taught me the best decisions take time. I see my resignation as a blessing because I’ve been able to slow down. My last job was a rush decision–something done simply to fill a gap without really knowing why. I hope the next round will be a long-term move and more serious decision.

Inked

On May 10, 2010, I woke up excited and ready to vote for the candidates I believed capable of changing my Mother Land. Unlike other mornings, I woke up ready for the day’s agenda and ready to face whatever challenges my polling precinct gave me. Living in a a privileged village, I was lucky enough to comfortably wait and vote in De La Salle Zobel’s campus.

The lines were very long but I felt a strange sense of hope while waiting patiently. You would be surprised at this turnout, considering people’s mentality about elections in the last few years. Even weeks before the election, I still heard my colleagues say “Will my vote really count?” with Philippine history’s tendency to cheat almost every government process (Hello garci anyone?). But the new process has proven to be successful and quick, with candidates whose votes lag behind conceding just days after May 10. Unlike the last decades, the losers have accepted defeat gracefully. Although the leading presidential candidates aren’t my cup of tea (I stand by my G vs G dream election), the minimal election violence and the diverse voting crowd reinstates the hope this country still has. Many major decisions will rely on our officials but the people’s insight and choices ensure that everything is running accordingly. Apathy and hopelessness are no longer excusable.
I just found it unfortunate that there were voters who insisted on complaining about the long wait. Every great choice involves sacrifice and hard work. Think of it as two to three hours for six years of your country’s future.

You say goodbye, I say Hello

It’s been a month since I last updated here, so let’s have a quick run through of what has passed:
– Got regularized at my current company, letting me enjoy two days of vacation leave with the TLS kids
– On the same week of my vacation, I decided resigning would be the next best move career/job wise. It had nothing to do with the beach trip. When I was asked where I was working at 7 am, I replied with “blah blah. Oh, but I’m resigning.”

That’s the most major thing that has passed so far. People who’ve heard me complain about my job wouldn’t be surprised. For a while I was willing to stay for a year, but labor code violations and lack of professionalism led me to move on somewhere else. I have some interviews lined up, and the companies seem a lot more promising. This time around, I’ll be after a career and not just something that will pay the bills.

The last six months weren’t all a waste. I learned a lot of things about myself, my career future, writing, and the working world. Apart from improving my problem with prepositions, I was able to realize I really work better in an interactive setting. A desk job really drives me crazy. For months, I’d come home and wake up not looking forward to what the job has to offer. Happiness is a choice and I intend to choose so in the next round. I know that there is no perfect company, but I am sure there is a job that will give me complete fulfillment.

The lack of people interaction also made me realize I’d like to go back to teaching. Maybe not any time soon, but it’s something to consider once I start on my masters. It’s really something else when you interact with the younger ones and try to guide them the right way. Also, education is the one other field (apart from health) not so affected by the recession. This doesn’t mean I’m giving up writing though. There are ways to combine these two skills.

Though for the most part there were difficult and depressing times, I am grateful for everything I learned in the corporate/desk job-type setting. I’m more grateful for the friends I’ve made and the editors I worked with. Now it’s time to move on to greener pastures and really eye out the long term.