Monday, December 31, 2012

The successes and failures of 2012

I find it funny that people divide their lives by years when life is a continuum that is divided only by day and night. Nevertheless, I do the same.hehe To cap the year, I looked at my Wishlist for 2012 and see if I achieved some. Here's the list:


To conquer the 2012 FSO Exams I am very glad to have taken the FSO exam this year. Although I did not pass the entire exam and only reached the Written Part of the test, I take pride in having the guts to take on the challenge. It was an exhilarating experience. For now, I will not take the 2013 FSO exams. I am also still not sure if I will continue the journey towards becoming a diplomat, but we will see.
    
   To have my Master’s degree abroad I know that I will not achieve this wish within 2012, even in 2013 probably since I recently did not apply for any scholarship abroad due to various commitments that made me very busy. But this will remain a goal for the coming years and I pray that the universe will collide to help me attain this aim soon.

To have the house of our own – My family and I are still on the process of looking for a different place, a new home. I know that this search should be given a lot of effort and time, which I failed to provide. But this coming year will be different. I know that we will be on our way to find a house that fits our income and our dreams.hehe 

To invest – I am very proud to have invested my money this past year. Well, technically it was not a mutual fund or a UITF. I invested it in our store which participated in the Bahay ng Alumni Christmas bazaar for 2012. From just a concept in our minds, my sister and I concretized our plan to join a Christmas bazaar. Unfortunately, we were not able to watch the Lantern Parade and did not reach our target profit but still, it was a learning risk. We discovered that we need some product development because selling the products that we ourselves made is more profitable than just purchasing from wholesale sellers.

To learn the piano or the violin – The summer of 2012 was the time to learn the piano. As stated in a blog post before, I enrolled in a piano class. However, I haven’t practiced the instrument for some months. I need to refresh my knowledge and skills in the piano and learn more complex pieces so I can really say that I know how to play the piano.

To have a photo published in a magazine or a periodical – It is sad that the camera that I plan to use to produce quality photos had its LCD destroyed. I know it was an excuse but of course I would not like to submit low-quality photos for contests. I hope to have that camera fixed I can achieve this wish by 2013.

To have my written article be published – I do not know if there’s something wrong with me because I can’t seem to think of topics that I would really like to write on or that are publication-worthy. I shy away from writing something about myself or my life experiences but I also think that I am not the authority on writing on other topics. But someday, maybe I am knowledgeable enough on a topic that I will be asked to write something about it. For now, I will just practice, practice and practice.

To travel – I had the fortunate chance to travel to Burot beach and Calaruega Church in Batangas last August. It was just a single travel but I enjoyed it very much. I hope to have more travels and to give more time for travels this 2013.

To read at least 30 books – This year, I only finished two books (“Who moved my cheese?” and “Flipped”) because my time was spent on academic readings, which I do not count as books since they are only journal pieces. I already miss Murakami, Coelho and Lewis. But every time I start to read a novel, I feel guilty because I should be reading assigned articles for school. Well, that’s what you call prioritization.

To lose at least 5 kilos – This one is really a WISH. hehe I sort of monitored my weight the entire year and it did not change. At least it did not increase thanks to my decreased food intake. I should exercise more to be fit and have a healthier body not just diet on food.

Be more generous, helpful and loving as a person – I do not know if I have achieved this goal. It depends on the persons that know me and that I encounter frequently. Maybe I should ask them.hehe

Have a more personal relationship with God – I know I failed in this one. What a shame. I long for the days that I can feel like I can hear Him talking to me. I must also give Him more time and effort.

 Looks like there are more failures than successes. But I know I should not be disheartened. After all, there's still 2013. :)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

A celestial dream



Last night, I dreamed of stars on the sky. It was more than a dream. It felt real and seemed like I was very near them, that I can touch them and hold them in my hands. I hope that dream signifies that I will soon reach the stars, that I will soon achieve my dreams. Soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another semester, another chance


The first two weeks of November signaled the start of the second semester. I was glad that the first sem was over and I unbelievably got through it with flying colors. I hope that that achievement will repeat this current sem.

I am satisfied with the courses I took, though they look more demanding (knock on wood). But I know that I can do it (think positive!). I'll just have to reduce the amount of time I spend lingering in Facebook and Twitter. As my theory professor said, "Facebook is dangerous for graduate students."

Well, I think the sem break got me enough Facebook rush that I need, that's why I was not able to do the tasks that I should have done during the break.Ha ha! First of all, I was not able to finish that Marvin Perry book, though I finished "Flipped". I'll write a review on that later. I failed to do the other sem break tasks that involved reading. Ok, so what does that say?

Nevertheless, it seemed to me that my experience during the first semester of grad school changed me in a way that is very much helpful in the future. In work, I now try to finish a task as early as possible so that I can have more available time to read. I also read faster now. haha

Let's see what this second semester will bring. I know it will be a better one. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Of bloggers and readers

         Enrollment in UP has always been a "wonderful" experience. Aside from getting sunbathed for hours, I get to meet and talk to different people of various backgrounds and interests. Oftentimes, I would able to talk with those people during the enrollment for the first and the last time. Of course, they belong to different courses or specializations, thus I would not be able to get past the first meeting with them. 

          This morning, when I was waiting for a professor to advise me on the courses that I enlisted to, a different case happened. Although it is more likely that I do not to get past the first meeting with this person, this encounter is a remarkable one. This morning, I met the author of a blog I've been following for quite sometime. At first, I was hesitant to talk to him. I was like a fan - but not so much of a fan. I just like his blog and follow it because it gives me a perspective of what's it like to be working in a larger-than-life institution, and I am at awe at how he writes. I admire how he seamlessly flow into thoughts without losing coherence, style and creativity.

             We were then introduced to one another by a mutual classmate. When I said that I read his blog, he did not seem to be pleased about it. He did not talk to me for the rest of the time I was with their company. I am not mad nor annoyed at him for doing that. I don't even know if that would be a natural response if you knew that someone is reading your personal-thoughts blog. Wasn't he proud of his writing? Would it be a shame to know that someone else is aware of your rants? I don't really know.

              This led me to wonder on how would I react if I met someone for the first time and got to know that he/she is reading and following this blog. I am sure that I would be delighted deep inside. On the outside, maybe I would say, "Oh you read that trash!", and then follow it with a laugh or a bright smile. But seriously, I would be very much grateful, and maybe I could ask that reader to critique my writing too. Well, I hope to meet that person someday. As for that blogger I just personally met, maybe I would not strike a talk with him again and I'll just wait for him to talk to me. For the meantime, I will still follow his blog.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

UP

"Never think that you don't deserve to be here. Only those who doesn't deserve to be here are those who doesn't understand what it means to be in UP.

Being in UP means having to become extraordinary... And by extraordinary, we mean not having a GWA of 1. We do not mean perfecting your exams... By extraordinary, we mean, never giving up.

There will come a time that there will be walls against you and your dreams... Climb on it! Dig underneath it! Walk around it! Push through it!

Lastly, I know in a few years, you will forget to solve for parabolas or functions... But I will be proud as a teacher... When you walk out from this class at least you have learned to have courage, persistence, and strength to never giving up and keep fighting.

Grades are just numbers.

If it is worth dreaming of, then it is worth fighting for, and when it is worth fighting for, it is worth suffering through."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sembreak


I have never been this excited for sembreak to come. The stress of working while studying makes me tired and long for some time-off. I have missed a lot of night-outs, concerts, movies and reunions because of my work and study load. Unfortunately, the coming sembreak will only be for two weeks. I have thought of a multitude of things to do while on a break. I do not know if I can do all of them since they are a lot. Nevertheless, I decided to list them so that I won't forget:


  • Finish "A History of the World" by Marvin Perry.
  • Read more on investing and mutual funds.
  • Read on International Law and IR theories (assuming that I will pass this semester).
  • Update wardrobe! (^_^)
  • Research about Methods of Research.
  • Declutter my closets, cabinets and e-mail. 
  • Do a movie marathon.
  • Exercise!
  • Make the most out of the sembreak! Haha
I hope I can accomplish them all. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hounded

Recently, I am having problems with my mouth. I have a big mouth, figuratively speaking. It gets me into trouble for the past few days. I don't know why. I'm not like this before. I don't know why I got into this state. Is it really in my character? Am I really a blabber? Shouldn't I have more sense? Or recently, I just don't think before I speak? Am I too confident that everything I say will have sense?

I need to change myself. Should I be quieter? Maybe I need to be really pensive before opening my mouth unless I want to suffer misjudgements from people.    


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hello July!



We are already at the second half of 2012. This is an opportune time to reflect on what I have achieved for the previous half of the year and how much time I still have to attain my wishes (refer to Wishlist for 2012). So far, I am proud to say that I managed to make one "wish" come true, which is Wish # 5 - to learn to play the piano/violin.

Last May, I enrolled in Yamaha's piano lessons so that I can pursue my affinity to playing musical instruments and grant my childhood wish of learning how to play the piano. I am delighted that Yamaha doesn't have a recital after every end of the session because if it has, I'm already dead. hehe Likewise, I am glad that my piano teacher and I get along well since he is also a student of French and a fellow iskolar ng bayan.

I already have completed two piano pieces - "Melody" by Schumann and "Minuet" by Bach. I am on the process of completing the piece entitled "Sonatina" by Muzio Clement.

Although I practice only with a keyboard, I hope to be able to buy a piano someday and have a space for it. Playing the piano is very relaxing and relieves me from stress. I now understand what music does to people.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New chapter

He who knows no hardships will know no hardihood. He who faces no calamity will need no courage. Mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.
Harry Emerson Fosdick
Tomorrow will be the first day of class, at least for me. I will be facing another chapter, not to mention another challenge, in my life as I embark on graduate studies. I know it will be hard. I call it "self-inflicted suffering" since I believe I will be tackling a semester of papers, recitations, reporting, group works, etc., at the same time proving myself to be a good employee by not compromising my duties in the office.

But how hard it may be, I know that it will be worth it. May God guide me and give me wisdom in every class discussion, project or paper. I believe this challenge will not be given to me if I cannot handle it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Snow White & the Huntsman - A review


Thanks to my sister's free advanced screening tickets, we got to watch Snow White & the Huntsman. The film 's cast is led by Kristen Stewart (Bella of Twilight), Chris Hemsworth (Thor of Avengers), and the South African actress Charlize Theron. 

The movie is a visual treat. It reminded me of The Lord of the Rings. Medieval ages is my favorite period in Western history and this movie made me desire once more to have lived in the said era. However, just like a failed product disguised in beautiful advertisement, what made up for the special effects lacked the depth of the actors concerned. Stewart is the same Bella I saw in probably the worst movie of the Twilight saga (and of Hollywood) - New Moon. I found Charlize Theron a bit of OA. You can be wicked and abominable without exaggerated shouting. Maybe I am just not used to seeing her a kontrabida. Chris Hemsworth's performance here is better than his Thor character. He is believable as a huntsman but I did not see that he was falling for Snow White until the last parts of the movie. 

Just like the recent box-office hit Avengers, Snow White & the Huntsman left me empty. Great movies make you think. Great movies make you say 'what if?' Great movies can send a significant message that can change one's outlook in life. Unfortunately, Snow White & the Huntsman failed to accomplish such.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Success!

Today is a Success! :)

Details will follow.. hehe

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wake-up call

From Those To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected

While on my way to work this morning, I reflected upon the problems that are besetting me: career, post-grad degree, the continuous search for a house of our own, my father's outrageous temper, my future. I constantly search for answers to those thoughts that linger in my mind from time to time. When I wake up every morning, I pray to God to help me solve those preoccupations. Thinking of them, with no clear solutions at hand, makes me feel that I am trapped inside a four-cornered room where no door is at sight. It seems like everything's blurry.

When I arrived at the office, I saw our cleaning lady and had some chit-chat with her. She confessed to me that she still has problems with her ex-husband who does not give their kids some financial support and how her salary can barely provide for the education of her children and their everyday expenses. She wept and expressed her disappointment over the current state she is in and wished that all of it is only a dream. Unfortunately, I do not know how to help her since I also do not have large amount of money to lend to her and help her cope with life's demands.

When I went into my room, my colleague asked a favor from me. She would like to borrow money because his lolo got sick and she cannot withdraw money from her account because it will suffer 10K worth of penalty. I know how hard it is to borrow money. Our family has been through that before. While she was telling me about her predicament, she sounded like she has a lump in her throat. It is obvious that it is difficult for her to make that favor.

I told myself, why have I been worrying on petty things when there are people whose problems are bigger than mine? Why should I be sad when life is really good to me? Maybe it's just that I have to open my eyes to see the good things and be grateful for what I have than continuously let self-defeating self-talk beat me.

Not that knowing how heavy are the problems of other people will make you feel lighter, but it is makes you wake-up to reality: that everyone in this world have their own set of problems and that you do not have the right to burden other people with your excruciating self-pity.


Life is good. It has been and is always good to me. I should not sulk and just be happy. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A year older

Before April ends, I would just like to add another post.

I noticed that I have not been posting for the past few weeks. It is partly due to my busyness and to the lack of anything to write about. I will speak on the reason of my busyness on another post.

I was not even able to write on how I celebrated my birthday. Well, it was very simple, as usual. Celebrated it with my family and some of my relatives. I concocted a very nice new spaghetti recipe. Instead of putting ground pork and hotdog, mama and I put mushrooms and chunks of fried chicken.The all-purpose cream made the recipe even more delicious.

Ugh. A year older. Thank you Lord for another year. But that means that I should act older and accept the fact that I am now an adult. Some may wonder why I seem to detest being an adult. It is because I fear losing my dreams. I fear being integrated so much in the system that I would just stay in an easy corner and forget to strive for what I really desire to be. I fear being a very pragmatic person.  True enough, being an adult is a challenge for me.

However, there are other aspects of being an adult that I am proud of. Being an adult lets you face the reality. Though the reality cannot be so good and most probably unfair, it keeps you grounded and lets you see the current situation that you are in, in a bigger picture.

Last Saturday, I stumbled upon one of my diaries during college. I read it from start to end, and I cringed at the thought of my immaturity back then. I was dismayed that I wasted time blabbing about shallow thoughts. Nevertheless, it made me laugh and let me see how I progressed within five years. I reflected on how would I think differently now if ever I was put in the same situations as those in the journal.

It was a truly joyful experience. Going back to the past and seeing how it shaped me, I felt elated. Maybe I should not hate being an adult after all. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Progress Report


We are near the end of the first quarter of 2012. From time to time, I look at my wishlist for 2012 and see if I already made some progress. My goal is to achieve at least one of them this year, considering that some of them might take some years to materialize. The wishlist also serves as my guide on how should I move my life or what endeavors should I delve myself into for this year.


I recently acquired the habit of listing my daily expenses in a journal. The aim is to monitor where my money is going and what expenses I can cut short, to be able to save more and eventually invest. It can be taxing at times, but when you think of it, you do not solely gain control of your money, but you also train your memory by recalling how your day went in terms of spending. Listing expenses will also help someone to avoid unmindful spending, which can cause damage to one's wallet.


I hope to read more about managing one's finances in the coming weeks. Likewise, I should learn first some investment lingo before jumping into the investing bandwagon. I want to take the process slowly but surely.


Referring to the 2012 Wishlist, I hope to read at least 30 books within the year. So far, I have finished "Who moved my cheese?" (review - to follow). Currently, I spend my idle moment at the MRT reading "12 Little Things Every Filipino can do to Help our Country" by Alex Lacson. It's a small book though I have not finished it yet. I try not to finish it for the sake of finishing it. I hope to enliven the tasks suggested by Mr. Lacson, and consequently make it a habit.


Looking at it makes me say "what a slow progress?!" hehe Well, I should read some more and manage my time well. Or should I enroll in a speed reading class?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ache


This morning, I received a bad news: second disappointment of the year. I wonder how many disappointments I will suffer throughout the year.

Ok, enough of the negative vibes. Good thing I already prepared myself for whatever that may come so I am not so much depressed. Yet, another hole was again left in my heart, though not so deep to the point that it will suck all my energies and love for life like a black hole.

For now, I will continue to hold on and chase my dreams. I will continue to believe that once a door closes, two windows open. haha I will continue to be on lookout for more opportunities to improve myself. I will continue to have faith. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Valentine's day and being busy

It's already the middle of February and I have yet to come up with my second post for 2012. The past few weeks have been very much busy. I was tasked to organize my first cultural event. The opening of the said event was held last night at the Museum of the Filipino People. I am glad that it did turn out well, although it could have been better. But seeing the Ambassador happy with it is enough for me.

Angel (our intern) and me

Prior to the opening of that event, I dreaded the approach of February 14. Aside from the said date being Valentine's Day, it meant for me the eve of the "Big Day," where everything should be polished and make sure that a lot of people would come to our launching. I even forgot that it was the Day of the Hearts ( a literal translation of Araw ng mga Puso), and only remembered it on the day itself.  Although no one gave me roses nor chocolates, Feb. 14 this year was a happy day for me. We discreetly celebrated it with my family by cooking pasta and having ice cream as a dessert. We seldom eat ice cream and we really try hard not to, as we try to take care of our figures (figures daw! hahaha) and our calories. Thus, having ice cream at dinner is already a celebration for us.
                                                                    ********

I hope to be less busy after Sunday. I have a lot of plans and much to do for the rest of the year. But I hope to write one post  at least every month. Maybe, this should not be a big challenge for me.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

12 for 2012


As they always say, New Year is the time for new beginnings. For some, New Year is also a perfect excuse to be sentimental (hehe) – to reevaluate the achievements and failures in the past year and set goals for the present year.  For me, 2012 is an auspicious time to have fresh perspectives and to develop myself. It will also be a time for bigger dreams and accomplishments. I have listed below 12 wishes (or dreams) that I hope would not continue to be just wishes. On December 2012 (which I hope would not be the month when the world ends), I’ll check if all of them came true. J



1.       To conquer the 2012 FSO Exams – Well this one is a WISH, haha. I do not even know if I am already prepared for it. A lot of things impede me from progressing in my review, like my own will. But this is my dream. To pass the exam would mean cloud nine for me, and of course, to serve the Filipino people can really be rewarding. But I know that I have to sacrifice a multitude of my leisure time to succeed in this endeavor, which signifies less time in front of the TV and more time reading books and newspapers. I am even thinking of attending a review class in Ateneo, which seems to be very helpful not only for the exam but also for my post-graduate degree plans. I need something that will force me to study. God help me do this. Aja!

2.       To have my Master’s degree abroad – achieving this will be “the moment”, the “this is it” of my academic life, the climax of my biopic. Enough said. haha

3.       To have the house of our own – last new year’s eve, our family promised that 2011 will be the last year we’re living in the place we have now and we’ll be looking for a larger place, enough to keep us dignified and relaxed. Since our present place is very small and located in a not-so-good neighborhood, I plan to really scout for houses that my budget (plus loans) can afford, something that we can call a house of our own. I pray that this is the year that God will grant us this lifelong wish.

4.       To invest – I recently read articles on mutual funds and other types of investment products. Luckily, I found a blog about facts on investing in the Philippines, which is very much comprehensive. I would like to start investing as soon as possible, and I feel that 2012 is the right time.

5.       To learn the piano or the violin – I once did a career exam at UP, which yielded a quite surprising result. It said that I am suited at being a music teacher. How can I be someone like that if I don’t know any musical instrument? I am not that good in singing too. So I decided that this year, I must fulfill the exam’s destined career for me. hehe No, I would just learn an instrument. Of course, little by little, and who knows, maybe it is really my fate to be a music teacher.

6.       To have a photo published in a magazine or a periodical – you are mistaken if you think I am vain enough to submit a photo of myself for massive publishing. Recently, I am into taking photos (I don’t want to call it photography since I am just starting and I just use a simple point-and-shoot camera) I only want to have a photo taken by me be published in some glossy magazine page or in a periodical of national circulation (e.g. “Picture Perfect” section of Manila Bulletin).     

7.       To have my written article be published – may it be Youngblood of PDI or Reader’s Digest. Haha But first, I will have to shed tears and blood to come up with a publication-worthy article.

8.       To travel – enough of being afraid to explore new grounds. I should have some backpack experience this year, be it within the country, asia or Europe, with friends, family or with myself. Naks!

9.       To read at least 30 books – be it fiction/non-fiction novels, self-help books, political and economic books. I must be Ninoy Aquino-ish this year.

10.   To lose at least 5 kilos – maybe I’ll hit the gym this year, or continue to have a weekly jog at UP or just minimize my food intake. I MUST LOSE WEIGHT!

11.   Be more generous, helpful and loving as a person – sometimes, being a goody-goody can get someone into trouble, but I believe in “you sow what you reap” kind of mantra. Being a good person can also make someone beautiful, not only on the inside, but also on the physical looks. I believe that being good to other people can reflect on someone’s physical appearance. But more than that, it is the act of being good that sends feelings of contentment and happiness.

12.   Have a more personal relationship with God – lately, I only talk to Him when I need help or when I thank Him for the blessings I have received. I should share more with him and tell Him my daily thoughts and aspirations.





2012 please bear with me and be considerate enough so that I can accomplish all those mentioned above. J