felix felicis

felix felicis: December 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Do more 2015: Two more years before my Bucket List expires

Two years back, I promised that I’ll complete my bucket list before I turn 25. Listed around 50 things to eat, experience and places to go. Halfway through the expiry date, let’s see if I did more. Hehe.

Things I achieved out of my bucket list:
  • Participate in a fun run.
  • Go hiking or wall climbing. Also did mountain climbing!
  • Eat something exotic. We did fried frogs, fried ants and tamilok!
  • Pig out. Doing this most of the time.
  • Appear on whatever show. Hello, cameos in news clips. Haha!
  • Have my own photo blog and camera. Hihi. Working on my own online portfolio. Nakzzz.
  • Go on a road trip. We did Ilocos and Los Banos.
  • Distribute bibles to random people.
  • Do some charity work. Continue the shoebox thing. 
  • Have my own business. Burloloy’s on a hiatus but we promise we’ll be back.
  • Join a festival. Yay, Masskara and Panagbenga!
  • Join a cosplay. Good thing we have Christmas costume contests at the office. Hehe.
  • Participate in a bazaar.
  • Learn pottery. Winner experience in Ilocos!
  • Be better in baking.
  • Study abroad. Short course in Hanoi during the last quarter of 2014 was an awesome and blessed experience. More for 2015!
  • Disneyland! Yay we’re going back. Hahaha

Things I tried but have yet to improve on, coz I’m a noob:
  • Learn to play the piano. 
  • Visit all the places enumerated in Tara Na Byahe Tayo song. Only did 13 out of 31. More more more.
  • Learn how to bike. Balancing is weird for my body. Tsss.
  • Plant a tree. Need more lessons on herbology.

Things I’m halfway done:
  • Finish reading the books I listed on my to-read list. 50 or more. Hahaha
  • Finish my MA. One more sem. Hehehe :D
  • See Southeast Asia. Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, SG, Myanmar. Done with Vietnam, Thailand and HK.

Things I still need to achieve:
  • Be on a gig. Play an instrument or sing.
  • Be a street musician for a day. Guitars would do.
  • Try an extreme sport. 
  • Learn how to scuba dive.
  • Party til I drop.
  • Participate in a flash mob.
  • Paint walls. Vandalize.
  • Learn French. Be better in Spanish. 
  • Spelunking.
  • Visit Batanes.
  • Have my own library. Create my own book.
  • Go on a cruise.
  • Have a kiddie birthday celebration.
  • Create a short movie.
  • Watch a meteor shower.
  • Have a pet dog or a cute goldfish.
  • Own a car. Learn how to drive.
  • Publish an article in a major broadsheet or magazine.
  • Go bungee-jumping.
  • Get a degree on graphic design or advertising.
  • Study abroad under a scholarship.
  • Wear a bathing suit.
  • Ride on top of a jeepney.
  • Live with indigenous peoples for a day.
  • Treat a total stranger to a nice meal.
  • Ice skating. 
  • Play with snow.

All in all, I did 17 out of 50. Needs improvement but not really that bad. Do more 2015! :D

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'Tis the season

Because we're hip at CMSNet and we love to thank people who made our already fun endeavour into something happier and more meaningful. It was a wonderful year sharing our blessings with these kids and our friends of course. Waw. Cheers to more next year! :D

Also, this nice Google Doodle. :D

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Monday, December 22, 2014

A slightly paradoxical krismas celebration

Slight lang naman. Hehehe.

Last Saturday, peace advocate friend and I organised a Christmas Party with the Muslim kids we're teaching peace education. Several friends came over and helped us pull off one helluva celebration filled with games, gift-giving and a few smack downs in between. Smack downs because every time we give out candies to game winners, the kids were like human zombies preparing for a stampede. But anyway, it was a good one. Our hearts are filled with so much joy seeing these less privileged kids smile because they've got new stuff for school plus a bag full of chocolates and candies. 

We're thanking our friends for their prayers and support, especially those who really went out of their way to donate stuff while others really spent time with the kids. We thought we won't be allowed to hold a Christmas party there given religious differences but thank heavens it is okay with their barangay officials. So there, a Christmas party with Muslim kids-- unusual for some but an activity we're happy to have done.

We'll resume peace classes on January 2015 and we're hoping to build a library for them. Praying for more blessings so we can bring this to life. For more details regarding our group, like us on Facebook. :)

Enjoy the photos! They're taken by my brother who's also into photography.

Listening for game instructions.

We're playing Maria Goes to the Market.

Kids playing Maria Goes to the Market.

Now playing: Pass the Message.

Waiting for their team mate to pass the message.

The guys won Pass the Message.

Goodies for kiddos!

They've got notebooks and pencils and candies.

Group photo!

Glocal scholar friend enjoys listening to kids' stories.

They're asking when we'll come back. We told them we're resuming classes on January 2015. :)

Last minute selfie with our new friend.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Bittersweet November

Wow. Took me a month to write again. So here we go.

November was quite a revelation. The challenges thrown at me were at its peak and I felt that I did not have time to breathe, at least barely enough to tackle the next one that's coming my way. Let alone the "training" I needed to face these things head on. Things would have been easy because I've always thought I already made the necessary adjustments on my schedule as a working student-- I work from 8 to 5 and then go to school at night and on Saturdays. But as with Murphy's Law and the usual saying that "wait, there's more," there is really more. After a battering, bittersweet engagement with November, the best thing I got in time for Christmas were golden life lessons. And they say we're too young to experience life and learn from it. Oh no. We learn and then we grow. 

First lesson: Good things come to those who pray and wait.
After failing to present my paper at an international conference last October, I was disappointed with myself for not managing my time very well. But then again, I thought there will be more opportunities to participate in academic events in the near future. I tried applying for more short courses and seminars and stuff but the usual replies I got was "thank you for submitting... your submission is impressive but the process was rigid so we only chose a few..." Natural but of course, frustrating most of the time. These also happened at the time when I had to prove that I am better now than before; that I am ready to face a different audience and speak my mind as a future scholar. I was about to give up and just try again next year when a new message from a small research foundation popped up my email. They're telling me I'm going to Hanoi for a week-long short course on peace studies and conflict transformation. Wow. Also plus points: because the office allowed me to represent the organization in the course, they paid for half of the airfare and the course fee. Did not make it to Davao but I got the chance to visit Vietnam and meet new friends. Fair enough.

Second lesson: Workload will always pile up so multitask strategically. And don't give up.
This is tough. After a five-month school vacation due to changing the start of classes, I thought I'll be more than ready for this semester. Turned out I am not really prepared. I flew to Seoul for a vacation trip a week after classes started, which means I am going to miss a few meetings. We scored a large-scale project and I was assigned to coordinate it-- should be a "yay!" but eventually, this became an excuse to skip some of my night classes. I was also cramming to finish papers for submission and presentations for class reports. Because I am thinking too much about school requirements, I also cannot focus on the new and bigger responsibilities entrusted to me at work. I ended up cranky, sleepy and zoned out. The outputs were unsatisfactory because they're either half-baked or incorrect. I was already at the brink of giving up-- forget the opportunity to excel with the project by allowing others to dictate what to do, and then just drop the classes I cannot attend and concentrate on. It was the easiest decision but of course, it was a cop out. Sharing the burden I am feeling that time helped release the pent up pressure; I could have exploded. I learned that I have to face things head on and that whatever I do-- rant and get mad at the universe for bringing it all in one heap-- the workload remains the same. The better thing is to start working one step at a time. I was not able to meet the deadlines for school papers but submitted them anyway; more confident than the initial half-baked drafts I worked on. In terms of work, it also helped to accept that I cannot do things on my own and that I need help. The event we were working on turned out to be better than expected. Of course, there were glitches here and there but we managed to pull it off in one piece. So yeah, never give up-- both on stuff that were entrusted to you or those that you've worked hard for.

Third lesson: Email is good but discussing things personally is better.
Another tough lesson to learn because a professional relationship was at stake. It started with an email clarifying for responsibilities on a certain assignment. I could have breezed through it except that there were underlying statements slightly maligning my capacity as a professional and my judgment, and also because it came from my supervisor. Of course I cried; one because I was offended but second because I thought I could have done better to prevent this from happening. The reply message was already saved in my draft inbox-- specifically answering each of the raised issues-- but decided against sending it. My closest friends also advised against sending it because this would just make things worse. I sent a sobered reply and still got a slightly inflammatory message and eventually a resignation letter. This totally pissed me off and got me crying again, this time because of anger. It did not help that I was thinking of school requirements and the fact that I am overseas attending a short course. I could have said the harshest and more honest statements just to satiate my brewing anger. Thank God for self-control. After weekend, I returned to office and was greeted by a silent protest from my superior. I chose not to mind and gathered enough courage to approach her and discuss things on my mind. She brushed it off several times but eventually faced me for some serious talking. It was hard but after that talk, everything seemed better. In the end, I realized that email provides a platform for people to lash out words by hiding behind the glare of the computer screen and the comfort of the keyboard. We think we can resolve issues because the words we used create a stronger, more authoritarian image of us. But I'd like to think, it's another cop out for the coward; because we can't tell them things personally, we attack them via cyber means. Discussing things more personally takes a different level of courage. It may or may not get messy but it gives us better chances of resolving issues more amicably by allowing us to see the other person's perspective. Unless we're really warfreaks, ya know. Hehehe.

So yeah, November is equal parts good and not so good-- had enough happy weekend activities, the self-help guru friend transferred to a different organization (no more ice creams for lunch :( ), project event was successful with several understandable glitches, studied at Hanoi for a week, met new friends from several parts of the globe, received a beating on email, did not submit papers on time, watched Mockingjay for free, went home to sleep and woke up hoping that the start of December will be better. There are more good things than bad, I'd like to think.

The lessons I learned this month are relatively harsh than the previous months, maybe because pressure had built up so much. I was at that point again where I wanted to achieve more but I end up not doing anything. But yeah, will work on this more. Until the next post.

"Sometimes there is that choice: either kick ass or kiss ass." 

Choosing KICK ASS. \m/

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